Dr. Noh’s Top 10 of 2010
It was a good year for gaming. As we begin to delve into the next generation with 3DS, let’s look back at what was awesome in the past year.
Pokemon Heart Gold/Soul Silver – NDS
Taking one of the most revered entries of the entire Pokemon series, Gamefreak added enough new content in this remake that it had the feeling of playing an entirely new game. Online battles, trading, and the Tamagotchi-like Pokewalker make this a perfect game for both veterans and newcomers. It’s enough to tide over even the most hardcore Pokemon fan until Pokemon Black/White is released in 2011.
Cave Story – WiiWare/DSiWare
One of the many examples of why indie gaming is worth your time, Cave Story was originally released for free on the PC. This WiiWare version of the game adds enough extras and graphic enhancements that I believe it’s worth the $12 price tag. For those that are aching for some Metroid or Castlevania-type action, Cave Story stands among some of the best examples of each.
StarCraft II – PC/Mac
I’m Korean. It would be blasphemous not to include this on my list. Although my APMs are laughable, I still love playing this game. Save for a few controversial hiccups , Blizzard did everything right with this game in my book.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game – PSN/XBLA
Besides the fact the this game plays great, there are two other factors that make me really enjoy this game. I love Paul Robertson‘s sprite design and animation and I love Anamanguchi‘s soundtrack. I wish more video games based off of film properties were this much fun. Remember when everyone was freaking out because the Chronicles of Riddick game was good? It’s time to freak the fuck out again.
Super Meat Boy – PC/XBLA
Super Meat Boy brings back excruciating, yet cherished memories of endless deaths while playing various NES games. This game can get as difficult as Adventures of Bayou Billy, but it’s a much better game. If you missed this during the recent Steam holiday sale, something is wrong with you.
Rock Band 3 – 360/PS3/Wii
No other rhythm-game exists for me. Harmonix has reached the pinnacle of rhythm gaming. The inclusion of keyboards is a no-brainer and I’m glad it’s finally here. Rock Band 3 is the culmination of what Harmonix has been trying to do with rhythm games ever since their first entry into the genre with Frequency (2001). Now you can learn how to actually play a real song with a real instrument! I also really like the Lady Gaga song pack released earlier this year.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 – Wii
When Super Mario Galaxy 2 was originally announced at E3 2009, it came as a surprise. It would be the first time a Nintendo console would receive a direct Super Mario sequel on the same console since the NES (Super Mario World 1 & 2 don’t count because they’re not really direct sequels). The original Super Mario Galaxy (2007) was released to critical acclaim for its tight 3D platforming experience. Super Mario Galaxy 2 perfects the experience with slight tweaks and new gameplay mechanics. Super Mario Galaxy 2 reminds me why Nintendo matters.
Tatsunoko VS Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars – Wii
This game is so good, I own two copies of it. Tatsunoko vs Capcom was the true successor of the Marvel vs Capcom franchise before Marvel vs Capcom 3 was announced earlier this year. As far as I can tell, they seem to use the same, or similar fighting engines. Sure, you may not be familiar with any of the Tatsunoko characters. Most of them still look pretty bad ass though. Until Marvel vs Capcom 3 is released, do yourself a favor and play Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars.
Sin and Punishment: Star Successor – Wii
The original Sin and Punishment (2000) for N64 is one of my favorite games of all time. Sin and Punishment: Star Successor is just as good as the original. On-rails shooters aren’t a particularly popular genre, but if you consider yourself at all a hardcore gamer, you should play this game. Everything that the renowned developer Treasure is known for is displayed prominently in Sin and Punishment: Star Successor. Nothing is quite as satisfying as deflecting a missile from a tank with a gun-sword back at the tank and destroying it.
Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies – NDS
No other game this year ate up my nights the way Dragon Quest IX did. When I heard that people in Japan were going crazy for the game, I didn’t quite understand why. I mean, this is Dragon Quest we’re talking about here. It’s the only RPG franchise to rival Final Fantasy in Japan. This is supposed to be the successor to Dragon Quest VIII (2005) for the PS2, but it’s on a handheld console!? Many questioned why Square-Enix would release Dragon Quest IX for the NDS, but as soon as I played it I understood why. Dragon Quest IX is the perfect blend of the traditional Japanese turn-based RPG and the quest-driven MMORPG. I love it. Combine this with the addicting tag-mode, and you get one of the most memorable RPG experiences of the last decade. The last time I had this much fun playing an RPG was probably when I originally played Chrono Trigger (1995).