With 2010 drawn to a close, we here at G.A.M.E.S. are going to throw our hats into the ring with our favorite games of the year. Our only requirements for a game to be on this list are that it must have been released this year and the writer must have finished the game. There is no consensus building on these lists, each writer is issuing their own opinions. We all have very different opinions on what we like; so, if you see a game on multiple lists, it’s probably something you should check out, too.

I managed to finish about 16-18 games this year.  (Had a list but lost it.)  They covered Action, Adventure, Platformers, FPS, RPG (Western and Japanese) and 4 systems (Wii, Xbox 360, PSP, DS). It was really tough deciding what to pick.  I only truly finalized my choices by writing down what I liked about each game.

Mass Effect 2 Brings with it a James Bond Style story, game play improvements, and the ability to transfer your decisions from Mass Effect creating a unique world for each player. Some of the customization I enjoyed from the first game was simplified while other mechanics where introduced. The decisions that made a change in the story range from big ones like “Did the Council Survive?” to “The scientist that was hiding behind the desk on an insignificant mission. Did I shoot him for working with my enemy or let him go because he was a peon?” Character dialogue was designed to sound like natural conversation, and it is even possible to for main characters to die. The Mass Effect series mixes the best of 3rd person shooter and RPG into a world that feels like it could really exist.

The game reminded me of a cross between Earthbound (Mother 2 in Japan) and the Good Times with Weapons Episode of South Park (while staying E rated).   The only down side to the game was that it was short.  The whole thing will take you about 7-9 hours to play but I could not put the game down and was sad to see it end.  Not many games have ever left me with such a feeling.

It was very tough picking between this and Costume Quest for my pick as Game of the Year. How many games have you played where you used a flashlight as your main weapon? Alan Wake left behind all the sci-fi, space marine, FPS mayhem that is plaguing the console market and gave us a story line that I have never seen in a game before. The protagonist is a mystery writer, a dark spirit is bringing his latest novel to life, he’s lost the last week of his memories, and he has to rescue his wife and save the town using a flashlight!!! Alan is not a buffed up Space Marine, he didn’t gain superpowers, he’s not even super intelligent or even an athletically fit individual. He is a totally normal average man and just like any average person thrust into this kind of situation he is completely overwhelmed. You spend much of the game running for your life, low on ammunition and batteries. I would also give Alan Wake the award for best soundtrack of the year. The soundtrack was written specifically for this game and not only sets the mood but it’s used in game to provide clues to solve the mystery.

  • Honorable mentions go out to RB3 for addition of pro-mode/keyboard support and Alpha Protocol for being a game that was not given the credit it deserved.

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