telling minor stories to avoid a major one

Lists! 2008: Favorite Video Games 5-1 by Barbecue Bros
January 21, 2009, 11:17 am
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Finishing up the favorite games of 2008…

5. Super Street Fighter II Turbo: HD Remix (Xbox Live Arcade)
An awesome remake of the game in HD graphics. It’s Street Fighter…not much else to say. But it has officially pumped me up for Street Fighter IV in February. Just need to get some arcade sticks…

4. Gears of War 2 (Xbox 360)
It’s more Gears, with improved cover, new weapons and some variation on levels and gameplay. They’ve also attempted to have more of a plot (with mixed results) and help you keep track of achievements. It really is more badass.

3. Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox 360)
Kind of shocking to me that a GTA game isn’t my favorite game of the year, but that’s just an indication of how much I enjoyed the two ahead of it. GTA IV faithfully recreates New York City while introducing a darker protagonist and plotline. Added touches like GPS, advanced use of your cell phone, and fun side quests using the internet (like online dating) make this the deepest GTA game yet. Can’t wait for the The Lost and the Damned DLC to come later this year February 17.

2. Braid (Xbox Live Arcade)
This game takes the traditional platformer and turns it on its ear by adding the manipulation of time and a very serious (although some may argue very pretentious) storyline, though in the end you are still saving a captured princess. Some of the puzzles take several (sometimes much more than that) attempts to solve, but actually completing one on your own is a quite rewarding experience. One of the coolest games I have ever played, and I have to mention the beautiful waterbrushed art and music unique to each level in the game.

1. Fallout 3 (Xbox 360)
Fallout 3 truly is an open world game, where you explore Washington, D.C. post-apocalypse in hopes of finding your dad and ultimately helping the inhabitants of the Wasteland create a pure water source. But that’s just the main quest – there are tons of side quests, memorable characters and locations to discover. Though I am new to the
Fallout series and generally not a fan of RPG’s, Fallout 3 is my game of the year if only because it was the only game to keep me up until 3am playing it.

Honorable Mentions:
Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe (Xbox 360)
Rainbox Six Vegas 2

Wish I had gotten to:
Far Cry 2
Fable II
Castle Crashers
Geometry Wars 2
Mirror’s Edge
Rock Band 2

Burnout Paradise

Lists! 2008: Favorite Video Games 10-6 by Barbecue Bros
January 21, 2009, 10:53 am
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I actually didn’t play a ton of games until the last three months of the year, mainly due to Grand Theft Auto IV and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare multiplayer. Here are numbers 10-6…

10. Fifa 09 (Xbox 360)
Ahh, old dependable. But this year I feel like they made substantial changes to the passing system of the game thus improving the overall experience. Graphics and teams were still great, as expected.

9. Devil May Cry 4 (Xbox 360)
Kind of an unexpected title for me since I hadn’t played any of the previous 3 and only picked it up because it was on clearance. It’s a fun hack-n-slash with rpg-lite elements where you can pull off some insane combos and go against some pretty epic bosses. And Nero’s Devil Bringer is one of the cooler weapons I’ve used in recent memory. A very pretty and cinematic game, though having to replay back through the levels with Dante (the original character in the series) for the second half of the game was a bit annoying.

8. Prince of Persia (Xbox 360)
Like its Ubisoft brother Assasin’s Creed, Prince of Persia makes a very strong first impression by being a very pretty and introducing some new gameplay ideas, but the further you play it the more the repitition and subpar battle system starts to grate on you. The acrobatics are mostly cool, but can also frustrate if you happen to push a button in the wrong context. At least you literally cannot die in the game. Still, all in all you can’t fault Ubisoft for taking some chances in rebooting the PoP series. Hopefully they will improve on a solid start for the next game.

7. Bully (Xbox 360)
Its a two year old port of a PS2 title with some added classes (mini-games), but I found it to be a quite enjoyable open world title. Inexplicably, I even found myself wanting to grind through the various collectibles and side missions to get the achievements in this game when I never do that. A little buggy, but luckily I never experienced the game-freezing bugs that many seemed to experience.

6. Civilization Revolution (Xbox 360)
Takes me back to my high school days playing
Age of Empires, though the Civiliation series is a contemporary of AOE. Its just fun to create a civilization and advance it though time. I only played it a handful of times before getting to the bigger games of 2008, but I will definitely be coming back to try and win with most (if not all) of the civilizations.