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Blog Time!: My Top 10 of the Current Generation

All throughout tonight, I’ve been trying to decide what to write about. I don’t know why, but I just felt compelled to write eight-hundred words about video games knowing that only one or two poor souls will actually do more than skim the article. I debated between attacking the eleven states trying to police video games, my current reason for being displeased with Activision and Microsoft, or just not doing anything at all and playing more Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge (their’s your plug, now leave me alone). But then, I got thinking, “how fair is it for me to write any review without readers knowing JUST exactly what my taste is?” After dwelling on that epiphany for about half-a-minute, I decided I’d make this list showing my top ten games of this gen.

Before we get started, I need to give quick shout-outs to a few games: Infamous, Castle Crashers, ‘Splosion Man, Bayonetta, Call of Duty 4, and Braid. All of you are great and reek in the creativity I’m looking for this gen. However, you all lacked something the list below has: they all reached a personal level for me. These would be the games I’d proudly give my left foot to play if I had to. You six just didn’t quite have that level of awesome. Now then, let’s begin:

Number 10: MadWorld

You know we have an action packed list when a title by PlatinumGames barely makes it. That’s right, MadWorld is the first game by the former Clover employees. It was their attempt to make a hardcore, violent, fun, and stylish game for the Wii. And it succeeds on all of those levels. With a visual style resembling Sin City, a blood level that would make Niko Bellic squeamish, a surprisingly decent and deep plot with an ending that sets us up for a perfect prequel, and a soundtrack that makes me respect hip-hop music, this is a title that belongs on every Wii-owners shelf. It oozes style more so than the terrorists ooze blood after I digitally decapitate them with my arm-chainsaw. Suck on that Connecticut!

Number 9: Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack In Time

It’s no secret by now that the Ratchet and Clank games kick-ass, but I think this was easily the strongest entry by and large. This time around, the developers over at Insomniac noticed something: the R&C formula was starting to get a bit stale. All the guns in each game were similar, the levels all felt like ones in previous installments, and it needed -something- to show that their was still room for this series to grow outside of the graphics. What did they do? Everything. They changed the travel system, the weaponry, the level designs, made a few maps open rather than completely linear, gave us a hell of a story, puzzles, and jet boots (my personal favorite edition). Adding all of that while keeping the traditional R&C platforming filled gun-play? You sold me Insomniac.

Number 8: Ninja Gaiden II

By law, I am required to inform you that I DID NOT play the original Ninja Gaiden for more than eight minutes. It’s camera and explosive-throwing ninjas annoyed the crap out of me. Surely enough, Ninja Gaiden II brought them back… but this time I had claws to fight them off with! Truth be told, NGII is my kind of game. It has ninjas, crazy platforming, gore, katana’s, gore, fun achievements, more gore, a crazy plot, decapitations, and off-the-wall pulse pounding action. With all that and difficulty up the bum, their is a lot of fun to be had in Itagaki’s final game with Team Ninja. Heck, I still load this game up from time to time just to see a brutal kill or two…. or three…. or eight hundred and fifty-three.

Number 7: Gears of War

Epic Games’ first entry into this gen was easily their best and will forever be their best. Whilst the campaign was great (and I mean GREAT) with constant feelings of being surrounded and trying to brutally think your way out of each predicament, the true star here (for me) was the online. Never before have I enjoyed an online multi-player so much just by that great feeling you get when you shotgun somebody into bits or watch them blow up from afar after you’ve frag-tagged them. When everybody played fair, this game always left me with such a grand feeling of accomplishment with each and every kill. Not too mention, this game gave us the chocolate-peanut butter situation that is the Lancer. It takes a certain type of psycho to combine a chainsaw and a machine gun, and that man needs to start thinking like that again.

Number 6: Mass Effect

Borderlands ad campaigns kept bragging about how they were the first to think of combining the shooter and the RPG. That would be fine, if they didn’t have to ignore this amazing epic from BioWare to make it true. Mass Effect puts you in the roll of Commander Shepard, a human given the honorable roll as ‘Spectre’ who has to hunt down a former Spectre before he unleashes doomsday on the universe by awakening an ancient, grim, execution cycle. It’s more awesome than it sounds. In this game, every choice you make counts. And it damn well let’s you know it. Personally, I prefer it much more than I do the sequel. Go play it. Now.

Number 5: Bioshock

Truth be told, I forgot this game existed until midway through making this list. In fact, I had to kick No More Heroes off the list to make room. Forgive me gaming world, for I have sinned greatly. But c’mon, how can you not love the dark atmosphere, the sheer creativity, and the mind-fuck worthy plot twists that exist within Rapture? Yes, the ending sucked. Sucked hump-back whale testicle. But the plot of seeing two omniscient and manipulative villains fighting for control of an underwater city through YOU just makes up for it in every level. Too bad the sequel sucks.

Number 4: Portal
Portal may be a game that is shorter than this blog entry, but it’s damn fun. In this quick add-on for the Orange Box hides the BEST and most original puzzle game of all time (yes, of all time) and my thumbs felt blessed to have been in control of it. This game was made by a team of college students who really knew who to use Valve’s Source engine brilliantly. The physics in this game all makes sense, and yet it is incredibly mind blowing. The main cause of this is how they abuse momentum. To put in the words of the game: speedy object goes in, speedy object comes out. That is half of the puzzles right there and creates a lot of mischievous fun for you and Chell. If that is not enough, it also contains a never ending supply of hilarious black-humor through the one villain in gaming to top Andrew Ryan: GLaDOS. To sum it up quickly: Your cake is in another laboratory.

Number 3: Halo 3

Shut up, it’s fun. Especially when you have (1) skill and (2) friends who are willing to play with you. In all seriousness, some of my fondest gaming memories come from playing Halo 3. Each and every time I play, their are always laughs, excitement, quick thinking, and loads of trash-talking that will forever unite us. It’s almost no different than when I played Super Mario Bros with my mates as a wee lad. Heck, I still remember when a friend and I were playing on Legendary whilst trying to earn the Vanguard achievement and we had to fight the twin scarabs. I lost my hornet, so my buddy came over and air-dropped me onto the scarab where I earned the 50,000th point. It was beautiful. Another story I remember is when a different pal o’ mine and I played Cold Storage the night of its release where we kept racing to see who could win the game first which led to the most chaotic online matches I’ve ever played. Few games leave an imprint like that on one’s memory without a cutscene. Thank you, Bungie. Seeya on Reach.

Number 2: Super Mario Galaxy 2

Let’s be honest, we all expected this to be a complete re-hash. A way for Nintendo to cash in on a gimmick that worked well enough for them to win hundreds of GOTY awards (not from us!). However, it wasn’t. In fact, it was everything they said it was: a more daring version of the original Super Mario Galaxy. It’s everything they wanted to do and now knew they could do. Once the team realized they had complete freedom to make this sequel, they took risks on what is, to me, the greatest example of level design in gaming history. The environments are all beautiful and the gravity-defiant platforming is constantly impressive from beginning to end. You never feel like the game is getting stale on you with each world being completely different right up until the final clash with Bowser. Plus, the game gives Mario back something he hasn’t had in his games since the SNES days: difficulty. I may not have gotten my cake in Portal, but I found it in Bower’s castle, and it was delicious.

Number 1: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.

Yes, MGS4 is my number one game of this entire gen. And why shouldn’t it be? In this one blu-ray disc (yes Diego, that joke was for you) that offered us fantastic stealth and action-packed gameplay with a lengthy theatrical story that brought me to tears as much as it made me laugh. Kojima’s final entry in the main series is easily his best with each act offering something entirely new without turning into a schizophrenic experience. It was creative, completely crazy, and each second was somehow believable despite their being a robot ninja break-dancing to destroy giant, mechanical cows. It is one of my favorite games of all time and it’s the only reason I bought a PS3. Rest up Snake, your adventure is finally over.

That’s a wrap. I hope this article gives each and every reader an insight into what direction my upcoming reviews will be leaning towards. Although, it will probably have completely changed once 2010 wraps up. Ah well! Seeya next time.

Oh, if you’re wondering where Uncharted 2 is, I didn’t mention it because I don’t care for over-rated garbage. Let the controversy begin!

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Bah Humbug.

    July 20, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    No Uncharted 2 because you don’t care for over-rated garbage, yet MGS4 is your #1 game of this gen.

    MGS4 is in the bargain bins now for a reason. People are supposed to play video games, not watch a 10 hour movie. At least you moved Drake half the time instead of sitting on the couch watching Snake Movie 4.

  2. shadowjak

    July 20, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Yes, their were a plethora of cutscenes in MGS4. I remember enjoying them and being on the edge of my fanboy seat. People seem to forget though that their was actually a lot of gameplay as well, and with each act it changed the way a person needed to play the game without holding their hand or guiding them through it. I loved the story in MGS4 and it’s the only game I didn’t mind for it taking itself too seriously. In fact, that’s what made it work.

    In the words of Kojima: “MGS4 is best. The end”

    PS: I also love the cutscenes in Yakuza 3.

  3. Boo Radley

    July 21, 2010 at 1:10 am

    Wow. What a crap list. MGS4 was decent, but for gameplay, it was a bit on the weak side. UC2 should have been on this list as it had a great mix of story and gameplay as well as great multiplayer.

    I can think of a lot of other games that should be here, but people tastes vary wildly; LittleBigPlanet was one I think that really innovated and offered a little something for everyone. But like I said – everyone has their tastes…

  4. John Lock

    July 21, 2010 at 1:12 am

    The cutsceens wern’t so long as people (HAHA XBOX fanboys like always) make it to be.

    PLUS if you’re a true mgs fan, then you’ll sure as hell love the story.

    gameplay 5/5
    story 4/5
    online mgo! 3/5 hey, I loved it. play it to this damn day, just not for the casuals or call of duty ppl
    graphics 5/5 still look great to this day.

  5. Kashmir90

    July 21, 2010 at 1:32 am

    The man is entitled to his own opinion (forgive my male reference, difficult to phrase for both genders without writing a whole sentence in bracket form explaining why…..oops too late) heres mines:

    10. Final Fantasy XIII
    9. Dragon Age: Origins
    8. Demon Souls
    7. Halo 3
    6. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
    5. God of War 3
    4. Mass Effect 2
    3. Uncharted 2
    2. Resistance: Fall of Man
    1. Metal Gear Solid 4

  6. Ruddigerpez

    July 21, 2010 at 1:41 am

    No uncharted 2 = you’re a moron and your list is crap. Fuck you.

  7. shadowjak

    July 21, 2010 at 2:04 am

    For those demanding Uncharted 2: It was a mediocre cover shooter that faced more problems than other members of the genre that had the EXACT same mediocre story as the first game. The multi-player was only decent and, to be quite honest, I don’t enjoy PS3 multi-player games due to lack of socializing (though I give Resistance 2 and KZ2 a lot of props). Lemme phrase it this way, I found it easier to communicate with my gamer friends over my Xbox 360 while we all played LittleBigPlanet.

    @Kashmir90- I am male, lol. I do like your list, though. I didn’t really get into FFXIII nor DA:O, but they’re all great titles aimed at someone other than myself. Though Demons’ Souls I didn’t like at all and fight with my colleague, Diego, about almost daily 😛

    @Boo Radley- Ignoring the U2 comment because I already covered it, I wish I could’ve included LIttleBigPlanet. Its emphasis on fun, creativity and endless replay value is EXACTLY what I was looking for this gen. However, I never actually played more than a few hours of the game so adding it wouldn’t feel right. I can’t add a game to a top-ten list if I barely played it, ya know? Also, love that your name is a reference to To Kill A Mocking Bird.

  8. shadowjak

    July 21, 2010 at 2:09 am

    If you’d like to know why I didn’t pick a particular game (OTHER THAN U2), ask away. I know Arkham Asylum, Infamous, LittleBigPlanet, Bayonetta, and Fallout 3 all have fans ready to come burn my house down.

  9. Bob

    July 21, 2010 at 3:53 am

    No UC2 = No credibility. Madworld? Ninja Gaiden 2? Ratchet & Clank? But no UC2? Wow, you have no clue

  10. shepard

    July 21, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Mass Effect is the best

  11. shadowjak

    July 21, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Sorry Bob, I dislike games that do nothing original, feel like they peaked mid-way through, and star an over-rated voice actor who does nothing but make innuendos and say ‘oh, great’ sarcastically like it is stellar writing. Personally, Arkham Asylum and Infamous TRUYL deserved those GOTY nominations more than Uncharted. Maybe you just like Uncharted because you control Nathan and he actually gets laid =)

    Truth be told, I side with Yahtzee on the U2 hatred. Only thing I agree on with him, but hey, I’m cool with it.

    Madworld is awesome, Ratchet is awesome, Ninja Gaiden II was practically made for me. It’s something called taste which I’m sure you have some of your own that fully conforms to IGN.

  12. MEDzZ3RO

    January 21, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I have to say I agree that Uncharted is overrated. It’s alright but MGS4 is by far the better game. Other then that though our top 10s are very different. I know for a fact MGS4, God Of War 3, Gran Turismo 5, Demon’s Souls and Heavy Rain would all be in there.I expect the remaining five would be Twilight Princess, Mass Effect 2, Mario Galaxy 2,Killzone 2 and Assassins Creed: Brotherhood (I hear you all shouting Red Dead Redemption at me and that would be number 11 but overall I just prefer Assassins Creed).

    1- God Of War 3
    2-Demon’s Souls
    3-Metal Gear Solid 4
    4-Gran Turismo 5
    5-Mass Effect 2
    6-Killzone 2
    7-Assassins Creed: Brotherhood
    8-Heavy Rain
    9-Super Mario Galaxy 2
    10-The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess

    You’ll notice a lack of PC and 360 games and that’s just because I haven’t been blown away by any of them, not enough to put them in my top 10 this generation.

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