David’s Picks for PSN Game of the Year
Greetings, PSNStores readers! I feel as though I have yet to make a proper introduction, so here I am: The name’s David S. Gallant the “new guy” here on the site. You may have seen some of my reviews or read a news article I’ve posted. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English, my first handheld was a Sega Game Gear, and I never had a home console until my first Gamecube. 2010 was a crazy year for me: I replaced my borked PS3 with a Slim unit in January, I put on a dress for Fat Princess in April (on my birthday), I waited seven hours to be first in line for a Playstation event in October, and I joined the PSNStores crew, just to name a few significant events.
Anyways, you’re probably not here to read my self-fellating aggrandizement and are probably more interested in what I consider to be the best five games on Playstation Network for 2010. Without further ado, here they are:
#5: Joe Danger
I’ve tried to go back to ExciteBike and, quite frankly, I can’t stand it. I feel like I’m one of the few people who doesn’t compare Joe Danger to that venerable NES “classic”. So, when I recommend Joe Danger as one of the top games of the year, you can be assured that nostalgia factor has nothing to do with it. For a game with minimal narrative, it contains more charm and personality than most of this year’s titles could even muster. It services score-chasers, completionists, level-builders, and folks you just like to laugh at silly crashes, which are all gamer hats that I wear at one time or another.
The PSN had several good beat-’em-up titles this year, but my favourite among them was Scott Pilgrim. Between all the throwbacks to classic video games and references to my native Toronto, the game appealed to me in a way that few brawlers have ever done. The top-notch music and co-operative gameplay (still suffering from a lack of online support) made it joy to play through.
So, this is the only title not reviewed by PSNStores. You might be thinking that MAG was a disc-based release for PS3 back in February, but it was made available as a PSN download prior to Christmas, so it technically qualifies. There were many excellent shooters released in 2010, but MAG keeps me coming back. It probably has something to do with it’s MMO-like progression, constant improvements, and well-realized squad structure on top of a solid shooter. I will likely still be playing MAG long into the launch of the next Battlefield or Call of Duty.
Ah, Hoard. Best described as “stratecade”, it is a game that is difficult to explain to someone without actually getting them to try it. This game really came out of left field to become one of my most-played titles this year. The game has so much going on, and has gotten so much better since launch, that I can’t wait to see what kind of DLC we can expect in 2011 (to say nothing of the PSP version in the works).
#1: Costume Quest
Okay, folks. I might have to explain this one, because I haven’t seen it rate very highly on other Game Of The Year lists. First, let me clarify: yes, I am stating that Double Fine’s Hallowe’en-themed “lite RPG” game is my pick for the best game of 2010. It’s not just my pick for best game on the Playstation Network; in my opinion, Costume Quest trumps every other game released in 2010, on disc and digital, period.
First, you have to understand that I love Hallowe’en. It is my favourite holiday of all. It isn’t often featured in video games. Costume Quest came along and, in addition to giving love to the most Hallowed of We’ens, gave us a tightly-streamlined RPG experience with Double Fine-calibre humour. The battle mechanics were engaging without being too complex, the costumes & battle stamps offered just enough variety, and the experience wasn’t padded out very much by frivolous filler. The game was the perfect length and the perfect difficulty. I had a giant grin on my face for almost the entire time I spent playing, and that grin instantly returned when I began playing the Grubbins On Ice DLC. I have rarely had such an enjoyable experience with a video game, which is why Costume Quest is my #1 Game Of The Year.