East Bay View (a blog about several things)

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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Favourite video games of the decade

From the point of view of a casual player with too short an attention span to play all the way through games, and applies to most of the below.

1. Guitar Hero III
The series is good for musicianship, though who knows if it'll be good for music in the long run? Song choices have been pretty lame compared to Rock Band, and anything that prolongs the prog revival is a mixed blessing. What these games do, though, is to lower the barriers to participatory enjoyment to something achievable for people like me who lack hand-eye co-ordination. I can now hear guitar tracks (and not just for songs I've played) in a way I couldn't before. That said, the reason that no. 3 is the classic so far (Beatles Rock Band has the setlist to be the definitive play-along game, but I haven't played it yet) is because it takes single-player as far as it can go, which basically means it's really fucking hard. I am no longer confident that I will pass "Raining Blood" on Hard (forget Expert) at some point in my life, but it could happen.
2. Grand Theft Auto III
We're still waiting for some genius robot to make sandbox narrative something other than a mixed metaphor. No human has yet improved on this.
3. Super Mario Galaxy
Everything you ever wanted to know about gravity but were afraid you'd get beaned with an apple for asking. Coming: Super Mario Relativity!
4. Pac-Man Championship Edition
Toss-up as to whether Ms. Pac-Man or this is the sweetest Pac-game. If you're pressed for time, though, it's probably this.
5. Kingdom of Loathing
The sharpest writing, line-for-line, and just below the maximum tolerance for Monty Python references. Pretty cleverly structured, too.
6. Portal
7. The Sims
8. Wii Sports
9. Sid Meier's Pirates!
10. Desktop Tower Defense 1.5

And I also liked:
No More Heroes
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
Rock Band 2
Burnout: Revenge
The demo for World of Goo
Wii Fit
Fancy Pants Adventure: World 2

The demo for Plants vs Zombies, even though you only get to play for an hour
And why not Cursor*10, which is immensely enjoyable for several minutes

2009 favourites:
Street Fighter IV
Plants vs. Zombies demo
Braid demo

And special mention to Lose/Lose, the best game I'll never play

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