Thursday, 21 November 2013

Marty's fondest and worst memories this gen!

It's nearly that time again where we step forward to a new generation, and look back at the current generation, and what has kept us gaming to this day. There's still life in the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 don't you worry, but since 2005, we've seen Trilogies end, 4 Gears of War Games, 3 Mass Effects, 3 Dead Spaces, 10 Call of Duty Games (one was the classic re-released, but that counts), 3 Bioshock Games, 6 Assassin's Creed Games, Duke Nukem Forever FINALLY released, Kinect try to recognise us, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree! I've had an amazing 7 years with my 360, with so many great memories, some great new friendships made, some classic games revisited in HD, lots of Zombies being slayed, Locusts being Chainsawed, Plastic Guitar Buttons being plonked, and god knows how many Wanted Stars amassed and shedded in Liberty City and Los Santos.

So pull up a chair, get the kettle on, and get comfy, as I take you through my top 10 best, and top 5 worst games this generation.

Top 10

10) Bioshock

I remember first seeing Bioshock when I went to GAME & bought the amazing The Darkness for my 360, and was mesmerised by this giant Mechanical Diver Robot on the cover with a huge Drill for a Hand, protecting a Little Girl. I hadn't seen any Gameplay Footage or Trailers at this point, but I instantly wanted it when it came out, and was so glad when I did buy it when it was eventually released. The first time I set foot in Rapture, I was blown away by this beautiful Underwater World, with it's Noir style, eerie, haunting yet beautiful soundtrack, and being introduced to these new powers known as Plasmids. And then being able to use them to create some inventive kills. I remember jumping at the first sight of "Mr Bubbles", the Big Daddy I saw on the Cover, and trying to escape, then take on him and his giant Drill. I loved the Audio Logs, Andrew Ryan and the fantastic engine. Such a classic, which is no surprise why it's still one of the greatest games on the Xbox 360. Some would even say it's their favourite.

9) Far Cry 3

I will admit, I was late to the party with this one, only picking it up in the Summer of this year, but i'm glad I did. Such an amazing, beautiful, huge game, with an exceptionally twisted, dark, psychotic character in Vaas. I loved the exploration, the lush, tropical surroundings, the ability to liberate outposts, take a Handglider across the Sea, looking below and the beautiful blue Tropical Ocean, and taking a Zipline from a Radio Tower rushing straight to a Vehicle below to evade the guards. The story was fantastic, I loved Jason Brody going from an arrogant reckless Teen, to a Man forced to kill to survive, and while i'm not the biggest fan of FPS Games, Far Cry 3 was definitely one of the best games of last year.

8) Batman Arkham Asylum

For years, bar X-Men Origins Wolverine, and Spider-Man 2, games companies have struggled to nail down a great Superhero Game, especially Batman. Rocksteady Studios got the Batman licence, and in 2009 released a game that would send waves across the two main consoles, and show that the Bat was back and in a big way. While Arkham City is a bigger and better game, i've chosen Asylum, because I prefer the story, and the enemies in this, especially the Scarecrow, with those amazing, creepy, mindbending, twisted sections, were amazing. I still play this and City occasionally, and have also completed the Game of the Year Edition too, with the seperate achievement list because I love the game so much.

7) Tomb Raider

17 years I've been a Tomb Raider fan. That's more than half my life. I've seen Lara remodelled a fair few times, and the games go from great to good to alright to great, to amazing with the 2013 reboot. Obviously borrowing a few tricks from the Uncharted Trilogy, which some would say borrowed elements from Tomb Raider in the first place, Tomb Raider comes back with such a fantastic, gritty, well written story and look, with a younger vulnerable Lara, forced to pull the trigger to survive. I loved this game and it's definetly up there as one of my favourite games of the year. I loved the exploration, the new weapons, and how you could upgrade them and use them to find new areas, the stealthy elements, finding new Tombs, the puzzles, and the gritty finishing moves you could pull off on the Solari.

6) The Walking Dead

I love The Walking Dead game. No not Survival Instinct. I haven't been so emotionally drained by a game from beginning to end like I have with Telltale's The Walking Dead well since, ever. Based on Robert Kirkman's Graphic Novels, TWD sees you play a Convict, named Lee Everett on his way to Prison in a Police Car, before being forced to flee after the Police Officer escorting you swerves off the road, and evetually meets a grizzly end. From the moment you first pull the Trigger to survive from the Zombie Officer, to first meeting Clementine, all he way to Episode 5, after meeting some great characters along the way, you'll be wondering if the choices you made were the right ones. The relationship between Clementine, a young girl who develops a touching bond with Lee, becomes one you'll become emotionally invested in, and I loved the choices, the do or die situations, the story, the writing, and the consequences of your actions. I'm all set for Season Two. If you haven't played it, or finished it, then you NEED to. The Wlaking Dead was my game of the year for last year and it wasn't suprising that it won several GOTY Awards.

5) The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Having not really enjoyed Oblivion, despite me trying my utmost to like it, I was skeptical about Skyrim, but after borrowing it from a friend, as soon as I started to get a tad further in the world, seeing more people, starting new quests, learning new shouts, and taking down Dragons and Giants, I found myself getting more and more addicted, and kept having to borrow it until I got my own copy last year. What sets Skyrim apart from the other ES games in my opinion is that it's a lot more accessible than them. It has become such a huge hit with friends, and i've lost so many hours, just exploring Dungeons, and walking across lands, through Villages meeting so many new people, and taking in the breathtaking scenery from a Mountain Top. I've still got so much to see and do, so mark my words, i'm not done yet. Not for a good while.

4) Red Dead Redemption

Howdy! There might have been Horses in RDR, but there was far from any Horseplay in Rockstar's amazing sequel to the Playstation 2 title, Red Dead Revolver. Rockstar had given us a superb and amazing title in Grand Theft Auto IV 2 years before, but what they had in store for us when we stepped into the Cowboy Boots of John Marston was breathtaking, and that is why it is in my Top 10. A great Multiplayer, a fantastic story, some moments which stand out to this day, and still get people talking like the moment you first reach Mexico in the story, and a saddening emotional ending, all topped off by a fantastic engine with some amazing usage of lighting, a great soundtrack, and the ability to ride Horses, or even Lasso them in.

3) Assassin's Creed II

What a fantastic game. One that still stands up today, despite the game engine since improving and expanding all the way up to the current title, Black Flag. The reason i've chosen II in my top 10 is for a number of reasons, 2 being that it expanded upon the amazing first game released two years before the sequel, and it introduced us to one of gaming's greatest, and charming protagonists in Ezio Auditore De Firenze, an Italian Assassin with an eye for the ladies, and hands so fast, Templar Guards have blade wounds in their throats quicker than you can say "Arrivederci!" I loved the sheer size and scale of the sequel, and the new additons such as the ability to improve your home with Artwork and various other items, and being able to use Leonardo Da Vinci's Winged Invention.

2) GTA V

Ahhhh Grand Theft Auto V. In the 2 short months, we've gone Mountain Biking up Mount Chiliad, cruising through Los Santos in a Sports Car with Michael listening to him and Jimmy have another domestic row over something stupid, driving through Grove Street with Franklin, and going batshit crazy with Trevor in yet another Rampage, but all in all, having a great time doing so. GTA V expands upon what made GTA IV a fantastic game, and betters it, with the ability to fly Helicopters and Planes, compete in Triathalons, play a round of Golf or a few games of Tennis, and even go up in the world, then back down again with a spot of Parachuting. With 3 fantastic characters you'll get attached to, an amazing storyline and superb supporting cast, some well thought out and executed Heists, and an addictive Multiplayer Mode that pulls you back into Los Santos for just "one more job", Grand Theft Auto V stands out as one of the greatest games this generation, hell, one of the greatest ever. It's going to be one that i'll still be playing for a long time to come yet.

1) Gears of War

Why not Gears of War 3 I hear you cry? Don't worry, Gears of War 3 still holds a special place in my heart, and is better technically, and graphically, AND has an amazing Horde Mode, but Gears of War is what made me buy an Xbox 360, and I still play it to this day, with General RAAM being one of my favourite bosses of all time.

The Worst

5) Kinect Star Wars

The Force is not strong with this one. While the dancing minigame was fun, and the Podracing was decent, the rest of Kinect Star Wars was an unresponsive mess, with so much potential wasted with this licence. It was supposed to put you in the shoes of a Jedi, wielding a Lightsaber with so much power, force, and ability, yet felt like you had the speed of Jabba the Hut, with the grace of Jar Jar Binks. Like Fighters Uncaged, it took the time it could have taken to watch all 6 movies to recognise your actions, and while there were Combos, you got the same results by frantically waving your arms about, with the occasional block motion (which was pointless at times as you had to aim your lightsaber in EXACTLY the right position to block a shot) or more frantic waving to deflect Droid Blaster Shots. I was so disapointed with KSW, even more so as Terminal Reality had done a fantastic job with Ghostbusters The Video Game.

4) Naughty Bear

If you go down to Woods today, you better go in disguise......because otherwise, you'll get seen, killed, and have to start the entire level ALLLLLLL over again, because Naughty Bear doesn't believe in Checkpoints or Autosaving do you Ted? I rented this game after being curious about the previews. It looked fun. You play as a Bear going around killing other Bears. What's not to like? Lots actually. I had so much potential, but eventually got dull and repetitive, and the novelty just wore off after a while. The stealthy element, and some deaths were hilarious, and inventive, but as mentioned, when the same death animations flashed in front of your eyes for the 50th time, or you had to start all over again because of some cheap death, it got incredibly frustrating.

3) Fighters Uncaged

These fighters have been uncaged, and you have to defend yourself. The only problem is, if this was real life, you'd have had your arse to handed to you before you could land a punch. Fighters Uncaged is so slow, sluggish and barely responsive, hence the comparison above. I eventually got frustrated and either won fights by just swinging my arms and feet around like dancing badly or got beat because it took the same amount of time to make a Brew, plan a Wedding, get Married, go on Honeymoon, get someone Pregnant AND have the Baby, then bring them up till they're 19 before it even recognised and registered my actions. To top off what is such a horrible fighting game, you get a Seperate Training Mode, yet when you start the Single Player Story Mode, they make you do the Training Mode anyway! :S

2) Iron Man 2

Now don't think I hate Iron Man (I love the movies), but when a game like this costs £40 on release, and lasts barely 4 hours to completion, there's something seriously wrong. I only rented it, but I feel for those that did waste their money on this horrible licenced dump. While it had a bit more variety than the first game, it was far too easy, and did give me too many feelings of deja vu even at the best of times. I really wanted to enjoy it, but it had no memorable moments, and had it not have had the Iron Man licence, would have been just another run of the mill horrible flying shooter like Dark Void.

1) Iron Man

I AM IROOOOOON MAAAAAN! I really wish I wasn't if this game was to go by. Seriously bland, repetitive missions which combine the same boring objectives in which you fly around destroying Gunships, Missiles etc. It had the potential to be amazing, what with you having an Iron Suit at your disposal, and lots of gunfights. I got it dirt cheap, and took it back the next day.


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