10 January 2010

In the year 2009...

It's been 2010 for over a week now. Time to take a little look back at the year that was and pick out the best games of 2009. Yes, everyone's making these lists and it would be helluva more interesting to list the worst of the worst of 2009 but that would present a little problem. I don't buy games which I know are crap or aren't my cup of tea. So let's stick with the idea of the best of 2009. And it's based on personal opinions. It's not dictated by anyone else than me. Without further ado, let's get on with it.

Oh, I should point out I have chosen only categories where there are clearly winners. Say, if no 1st person shooter cuts the mustard (ie. it's not exceptionally good), then there won't be a category for 'the best 1st person shooter'. And I choose only genres I play myself. No matter how awesome racing game there has been, it's not listed since I don't own any and thus haven't been playing them enough. Okay?

Best Fighting Game: Street Fighter IV (PS3, Xbox 360)
Who would have thought the old dog still has life in it? Street Fighter dragon punched back to the scene with ace cartoon graphics, fast-paced action and true-to-origins gameplay touched up to modern needs. It's not perfect though. New characters featured are either boring or crap but the expressive old cast more than makes up for it. Now waiting for the forthcoming Super edition with probably the coolest beat'em up character I have ever seen, Juri. Phwoar!
Best choppers in the game award for Sakura!

Best Action Game: Wet (PS3, Xbox 360)
With a bad-ass heroine inspired by Clint Eastwood's straight-to-the point spaghetti western antiheros and free-roaming gun and sword slinging in a B-movie style settings executed to the gaming perfection, you can't go much wrong with Artifical Mind & Movement's Wet. Slapped by reviewers and ignored by gamers, Wet is a fast-paced, stylished, no-nonsense action romp with a soundtrack you could hear in a Nevada road-side boozehouse. It's short, yes, but that keeps it repeating it from itself. I really must wonder what the publisher Bethesda must have been thinking by NOT telling on the game cover or magazine advertisements Eliza Dushku lent her husky, sexeeeh voice for the lead Rubi Malone. Damn it! Eliza alone gives the game a merit as the best action game. Oh, and Malcolm McDowell voices the villain! And Tarantula is hot.
"Mess with me and I mess with you." Yes, please!

Best Game You Never Heard of: Velvet Assassin (Xbox 360, PC)
Again, a game slapped by critics and ignored by the public. The world ain't a fair place, mein freund, especially if you've been stalked by Violette Summers. Scroll down a few entries for more about Velvet Assassin so I don't need to repeat myself. And go and buy the game, will ya! It's in bargains bins by now and won't bankrupt you.
"Have you seen the sunset, Dietrich?" 

Best Game: Resident Evil 5 (PS3, Xbox 360)
I would have never guessed I would pick up something like this for the best game. I didn't like Resident Evil 4 and demo for Resident Evil 5 left me cold as walking naked in Siberia. It felt helplessly clumsy and unfinished. But for some reason I bought the game when the price dropped. Maybe because I knew the new second lead Sheva is hot. Anyway, to cut the story short, Resident Evil 5 is not clumsy or unfinished. You won't find more polish on a wax museum. Every detail is counted for. But that doesn't make the game sterile. Dark contrasts in an unprecedented use of lighting, grim surroundings from shantytowns of Africa to eerie, abandoned laboratories make the game uncannily realistic in looks and feel, even though the subject matter is hardly plausible science. The game keeps a sense of rhythm to the beat, never making you feel 'seen that, been there, gimme something new'. And do yourself a favor. Play it as a real co-op. Don't trust the AI partner. Grab a brother, find a friend, steal a stranger, abduct an alien or teach your dog/cat/parrot/goldfish to play with you. And is the game racist, as some hypocritical reviewers with double standards have been hinting? Absolutely not! The enemies are zombies, no matter what color they are. As we learn in the process of the game, the new breed of parasite render its victims in seconds beyond redemption. And Sheva is African. And very hot. A hot hot. Oh, and let's not forget Wesker, the ultimate villain. And then I could mention superbly directed and action-choreographed cut scenes. And I could probably mention a whole lot more.
I really don't need a caption here to say Sheva is hot.

Did I really choose only four categories? That goes on to show how lacklustre the gaming year has been. Well, I could add Dragon Age: Origins is the best RPG but I've been so busy with other things I haven't finished it yet so I really can't say it yet. We'll be back about it later.

And don't get me wrong. I said 'hot' many times but all these hotties in the last year's games are actually better than averagely fleshed-out heroines, not just pointless sex objects, and that's the fact which makes them hot. Get it?

To flesh out this entry a bit more, a quick list of extra categories:

Best blood: X-men Origins: Wolverine - Uncaged Edition
Hottest ass: Cammy in Street Fighter IV
Best thighs: Chun-Li in Street Fighter IV (always and forever!)
Best quote: Wet - "Here's your fucking book."
Best villain: Albert Wesker in Resident Evil 5
Hottest blind albino assassin babe: Tarantula in Wet
Most bad-ass attitude: Rubi Malone in Wet
Best biceps: Chris Redfield in Resident Evil 5
Hottest left-handed babe: Sheva Alomar in Resident Evil 5
Most innovative use of knife: Violette Summers in Velvet Assassin
Best worst wake-up: Cole in Infamous