By Brad Gallaway on December 14, 2009 - 12:09am.
Tim Schafer is a brilliant guy and I have tons of respect for him, but he's just been off lately. I don't care what anybody says, Psychonauts was a big bag of fail to me, and although Brütal Legend is better, it's still not anywhere near what it could've been. In fact, I'm not even really sure what it is.
By Richard Naik on December 13, 2009 - 2:16pm.
HIGH This is a very serious breach of protocol, but I have two: 1) Watching my companions change from fantasy archetypes into actual characters. 2) Glyph of Repulsion + Inferno + a doorway = awesome.
LOW The sheer amount of useless crap that I'm presented with while looting. (NOTE: This has been relieved somewhat by a recent update.)
By Brandon Erickson on December 12, 2009 - 1:41pm.
Rather than do one big top ten list, I thought I'd instead break things up into two separate top five lists (with a few honorable mentions thrown in): my favorite games of 2009, and my favorite games from prior years that I played for the first time in 2009. This seems like a good compromise, since I haven't come close to exhaustively playing all the "big" releases this year, and therefore any best of list from me would be loaded with caveats and qualifiers. In addition, many of my most memorable gaming experiences this year came from older titles, and I think that needs to be acknowledged.
By Brad Gallaway on December 12, 2009 - 11:05am.
Getting close to wrapping up my second time through Mass Effect, and since I almost never replay games, it's been an interesting experience. A friend asked me today how it was going through again, and to be perfectly honest, it wasn't nearly as fun as it was the first time. Don't get me wrong—I'm not saying that there's anything the matter with the game itself, it's more about the kind of player that I am.
By Matthew Kaplan on December 12, 2009 - 11:04am.
One can very reasonably argue that religion does not play a role in most video games (other than those which are "edutainment" or pointedly religious to the point of proselytizing, ala the Left Behind series) for the same reason that many cultural and ethnic factors do not: It's just not part of what we look for in an avatar. You don't really see a "Buddhist" slider in the Elder Scrolls character creation screen, after all. But is that really the case? That games remain pleasantly ignorant of religion and ethnic culture because we will them to do so?
By Matthew Kaplan on December 11, 2009 - 5:19am.
Big surprise, I know. Uncharted 2 will inevitably rack up countless Game of the Year honors and will be forever remembered as a crowning jewel in the PlayStation 3's game library... but it will deserve every glowing remark, every spot of praise. While I was similarly fond of the first Uncharted game, Uncharted 2 expands upon the successes of its forebear with even more stunning graphics, breathtaking set pieces, and some of the best voice acting and writing in the business.
By Matthew Kaplan on December 10, 2009 - 6:05am.
I should note that by "underrated," I mean under-appreciated or overlooked by the media and public. These are games I feel deserve just a spot more attention than they initially received, or sold very poorly relative to their quality. Similarly, my selections for "overrated" games are not necessarily massive hits or top-tier critical choices, but I do feel each one undeservedly dominated a specific part of the gaming conversation at some point or another this year. They're not bad games; just not as good as they could have been.
By Matthew Kaplan on December 10, 2009 - 6:02am.
As promised, I'm continuing to record responses from game bloggers and critics as they come in.
By Brad Gallaway on December 9, 2009 - 11:31pm.
Still working my way through Mass Effect again in preparation for the January release of Mass Effect 2. I have to admit, I'm very pleased to see that the game holds up in all the areas that made it such a favorite of mine. Even better, this time around I consulted an FAQ (I didn't previously) and thanks to the diligent work of some dedicated fans, I've seen some side-quests and alternate paths that I didn't know existed. Even two years after release, it still impresses.
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