Well, it’s done. After last week, the holiday blitz of fantastic games is finally over. Sure, there are a few games releasing this week, but they’re nothing that great. Instead of spending paragraphs talking about how horrible I think Rise of the Argonauts will be, or how Rock Band 2 is finally being released on the Wii and PS2, I’d rather focus on the good times that the past few months have given me.
- Gears of War 2 was everything I wanted it to be: an over-the-top action game with an overbearingly stupid story. It was visceral and it was glorious. When I wasn’t yelling at some of the stupid choices made in the game (Act 4 was kinda brutal), I was just enjoying my time, happy not to have to think too hard to enjoy my entertainment.
- Valkyria Chronicles, on the other hand, was everything I didn’t know I was missing. I knew that I’d like it by virtue of its pedigree, but I didn’t realize that it was the best tactical rpg to come out since Final Fantasy Tactics. The characters were memorable, the battles required strategy, and the game looked simply gorgeous.
- Rock Band 2 is to Rock Band as Guitar Hero 2 is to Guitar Hero: a refinement of an amazing game, bringing it to near-perfection. Ask any drunken partygoer and they’ll all agree: No-Fail Mode is the best addition.
- Mirror’s Edge was a game that, uh…well, what can I say? I had a blast playing it, and there’s something ultimately rewarding about hitting a long series of jumps/slides/grabs without breaking your momentum, but I just couldn’t spend too much time with it at once. I think I stopped playing around level five; at that point, I realized that I was done, and everything I’d wanted to do in the game had already been thrown at me. I don’t think I’ll ever pick it back up, but that doesn’t mean I hate it.
- Castlevania: Judgment isn’t as bad as everybody thinks it is, but if you’re a fighting game fan or a Castlevania fan, you’ll probably be disappointed. Given that it’s a Castlevania fighting game, this begs the question of who is left to play it.
- Left 4 Dead is by far the most fun game to have come out this year. Once you get a group of four or eight people together, the good times come a-rollin’. I haven’t laughed (and cursed) so rapidly since the Talking Tyrants first started doing Halo Sundays. It even got my girlfriend to start playing first-person shooters, something I never imagined would happen.
- Chrono Trigger DS is Chrono Trigger. It simply fills me with glee.
All in all, it’s been a pretty damn good year-end for games. What about you guys? What games did you end up playing and what did you think about them? And yes, I’m sure I forgot [your favorite game here], but that’s only because it sucks and you have bad taste.