The New Year has arrived and 2010 should already be forgotten by now with many a hangover to ponder on instead. So, while you recover I felt I should share with you the top five games of last year that were my most played and most enjoyed overall, they are ranked but only based on my length of enjoyment not necessarily based on the actual game itself being any better.
A game that received much praise but little recognition amongst many in the gaming press this year. Though I had heard very little of it before its release, and having only played it at 2009 Comic-Con I couldn’t help but want more and jumped into the Wars world soon after release. It was a Zelda game in HD and that was more than I could have asked for, let alone the stunning art style and unique, if-not-a-little-confusing storyline. Certainly one for any Zelda/ action fan out there.
#4 Donkey Kong Country Returns
Return Donkey Kong did this year and finally went back to its origin of side scrolling jungle hijinx as it was most fondly remembered for. This certainly felt like a Rare made game from the 90’s and that is a compliment. Retro studios captured, perfectly, the essence of what made the original trilogy so much fun. This added a bit more frustration on top of new ways of enjoy a standard side-scrolling landscape. If you own a wii this is a must-purchase game, no matter your taste.
#3 A World of Keflings
I only just discovered the addictive pleasures of the original Keflings title this year, A Kingdom of Keflings, and was immediately wanted more than the two measly DLC packs could offer. Luckily, A World of Keflings arrived not too long after and provided improvements and bug fixes that I was hoping for. NinjaBee as took the libertry of adding more of a structure and story to the game while giving more reason to customize the multiple kingdoms once you had completed the game. I consider this game a combination of Real-Time Strategy and The Sims, plus having your own Avatar in it adds an additional personal touch. I have already logged many hours and am still enjoying all the game has to offer. It was tough to choose this game over many other great XBLA games this year, but the longevity of it ultimately made it the best choice.
#2 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Not enough great things can be said about this Castlevania title that is not a Castlevania game. Outside of the realm of JRPGs I would say I am most definitely a Castlevania fan through and through, even enjoying the Xbox and PS2 games. So needless to say, when this was announced my anticipation was maxed and I was sold even before I had my time with the demo, which I played many a time before the games eventual release. Lords of Shadow featured a few of the enemies from the side-scrolling series fame as well as adding several new ones and also showing off an original story line including the Belmonts name. The biggest disappointment was the lack of Dracula, though every other aspect was fantastic. The visuals are certainly the most impressive I have seen in any game of late and the static camera is set up to help emphasize the heavy art direction. The action is fast, fierce and addictive and has some things to set it apart as an action game.
#1 Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit
This game was the biggest surprise to me and I have said it before but the demo is what really sold me on this game. I wanted it vaguely as I enjoyed the original Hot Pursuit and after seeing Criterions involvement in the creation I knew it would be great. Burnout Revenge has been my favourite motor vehicle title of this entire generation and there had been few competitors that could usurp its role. Hot Pursuit exceeded every expectation I had after playing the demo, there is much length depth and enjoyment to be had. The cars are all racing favourites even the famed Bugatti makes its way as a playable vehicle, and it is still the fastest sports car ever made. The social aspect that is heavily ingrained in Hot Pursuit is what will really drive up sales and re-playability as everyone will be competing to get the best time amongst all their friends. I am hoping for some extensive DLC, perhaps the ability to level beyond 20 in the future, to keeping coming back for even more high speed action.