Ben’s Picks for PSN Game of the Year
Goodness me, is it that time already? 2010 has rapidly shuffled off its mortal coil, and we welcome the illustrious overlord that 2011 promises to be, with a smile on our faces, and perhaps even a thought or two in our heads.
I’m not the type to get all sentimental whilst waxing lyrical, but I’ll give this whole little ditty a go anyway. 2010 was, as I’m sure at least 4 of you are aware, when I first started writing for the site. I’m somewhat proud of the fact that Chris responded to my email, and my entire row in my law lectures were also somewhat impressed that I was capable of actually doing any work. Needless to say, I’m now reading English rather than wallowing in the doldrums of the British legal system. I can tell you stories about leaking pipes that you’d probably believe, mostly owing to the fact that they’re true, and horrifically dull at that.
Anyway, I’ve certainly enjoyed my time writing for the site, and I’m fairly certain that I won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. After all, I’m the only person in a country with a queen (You don’t count David, you’re borrowing ours.) So, without further ado, here are my top 5 picks for game of the year (In no particular order).
1) Pac-Man Championship Edition DX
Look, I’ve never been much of a fan of Pac-Man. I respect its position in the annals of gaming history as a classic, a masterpiece of its time, if you will. But that doesn’t change the fact that I still find it kind of dull. I can promise you that finding PMCEDX (as I haven’t taken to calling it) on my list is as big a surprise to me as it may well be to you. What Namco have done here is nothing short of astounding, spicing up an old game with all sorts of tweaks, additions and a variety of bells and whistles. I placed it in front of 4 people, and all of them had an absolute blast giving it a whirl, each person finding their own little technique amidst the vibrant graphics and spectacular sound. It’s one of the best reinventions of a game that I’ve seen in quite some time.
2) Joe Danger
In a gaming landscapes dominated by Dudebro shooters and Social gaming dystopias, it’s always nice to see a game not afraid to blast out a trumpet solo, pull down it’s underwear and shout “Hey, Developers! It doesn’t take a small army to make something fun, see? 4 guys in a relatively small but homely room can do just as good a job, and that’s even without a monkey!” And that’s Joe Danger in a nutshell. The fun game that didn’t need a monkey to succeed. If anything, the lack of primates is more than made up for with the fact that the game is just an absolute joy to play, and continues to surprise me every time I fire it up for “Just one more go”.
3) Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – The Game
Good gracious, I didn’t expect a licensed game to make this list. Scott Pilgrim proves to me that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel when making a game based off an existing media property, as just making the wheel rounder and shinier will do. With great 4-player action, fantastic art, and a soundtrack that refuses to leave my iPod, Scott Pilgrim surprised me in more ways than one. It’s my go to party game, get 4 friends round your PS3, shotgun Scott (he’s totally the best one), and just enjoy the ride.
4) Costume Quest
If you look at it straight on, Costume Quest is nothing more than a simple RPG with cutesy characters and a run of the mill storyline. However, when you dig into the game, you’re likely to find so much more. Costume Quest is a Double Fine game through and through, with fun quests, charming dialogue, and is just wholly entertaining the whole way through. It’s just so darn adorable that you can’t help but get sucked into the world it portrays.
5) Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse
Goddamn it Telltale, I swear you do this on purpose. Whilst I’ve enjoyed every Telltale game before it, The Devil’s Playhouse was the first one by the company to make me exclaim my delight out loud whilst playing it. I’m utterly flabbergasted by the constant parade of quality that streams out of this season throughout every orifice, be it through the spectacular soundtrack, fantastic and intuitive puzzle design, and what is undoubtedly the best story Telltale has ever crafted, I loved every minute of it. I was like an excitable child waiting for a new parcel; sitting by the letterbox waiting for the postman to deliver what I knew was just going to be utterly fantastic, and totally worth the wait. That is the feeling I got for every month of this wonderful season of adventuring, and god help me, I’m going to be replaying The Devil’s Playhouse for quite some time.
Worst Game of the Year – Dead Space: Ignition
Huh. It turns out with the right mixture of Bad Art™, horrible voice acting, trite and uninteresting gameplay, and just the right sprinkling of pixie dust (read: snowflakes made entirely out of urine), you CAN make a game that is so horrible, you have to give it away for free with pre-orders just to get people to play it. If you paid money for Dead Space: Ignition, I feel sorry for you. If you got it for free, I still feel sorry for you. Stay far away.