In the coming weeks the hosts here at Podtacular will be hosting one of those shows every community does, the best games of the previous year show, but we will be doing it later than others. Why you ask? Two reasons; the first reason being we want to take a little break. The second reason is so we can think about all the gems that came out throughout the year. The episode will not only sport our favorite picks of 2009 but will also include yours. Podtacular is going keep it Podtacular even in the new decade; you submit, we read, and we make fun of your submissions. So I hope all of you are encouraged to submit to the up-coming show which will be filled with guests from all around the gaming community; not just us awesome folks here at Podtacular.com. Awesome folks from other websites will (hopefully) be joining us.
Before you go off writing your own long article on what your favorite game is and why it should be the top pick of 2009, I’m going to give everyone out there a little sample of how they can forge their submission to the up-coming show. Please no “ODST IS FOR THE LAMES COD:MW2 IS THE LEETEST G4ME EVAR!!!??NESS!!??!!!qqq1111!!!” quotes for the show.
I will start out with my fifth favorite game this year and end the article with my favorite.
#5 Uncharted 2
Uncharted two changed gaming in a big, good way. It showed the world that a game with a good narrative can be considered one of the best gameplay wise. The visuals in Uncharted 2 are the best I have ever seen; though I do not own a gaming rig that can play crysis I do have HD video capability and I can dare say that on any console the PS3 exclusive is downright amazing. It’s an action-packed movie with a good director that’s playable. Could we ask for more?
Those of you who have not played Uncharted 2 would not completely understand how well Uncharted 2 has kept my faith in the action genre. A good story, wrapped up in the best looking console game to date, top it off with easy to use controls and you have yourself a game worthy of “game of the year” as many video game websites have dubbed the title. However, there were a few more titles that were a little more engaging for myself in 2009. Which leads me to my next title,
#4 Halo Wars
For anyone that knows me I am two things. I am a kid who loves anything halo; books, games, movies, tournaments, name it and if it’s something related to my favorite ring world and I love it; I also am a lover of the RTS gaming genre. My first video game ever was Star Craft on the PC. When Halo Wars was announced my geek senses began tingling and did not stop until I could wrap my hands around the finished title. I only bought one game this year before the fall and that game was Halo Wars. I wouldn’t call Halo Wars the best RTS on the console; maybe the best known though. Command and Conquer 3 is a much better game and has a lot more replay value with the depth of varied strategies it gave us. However, Halo Wars made people believe that an RTS could survive and sell well on a console. Keep it simple and many people will buy it; also add in the word Halo.
To call Halo Wars a true RTS experience is to call Rogue Warrior a game worth playing; it’s a falsehood. The game is an action title with RPG elements allowing the player to upgrade units; as long as they have enough patience to wait. I wished Halo Wars was a lot of things; it was few of them. Though, the game was good enough to keep me playing it for a long time, even though that was a long time ago. I hope Halo makes another jump into the RTS experience whether it be on the console or not and I hope it is more fleshed out than Halo Wars.
#3 Super Mario Bros Wii
So many good titles came out this year and the one that was over looked the most was probably the first popular title ever; Super Mario. I fell in love with my red shirted plumber before I knew what a stock was and still do now that I know how to trade them. Nintendo is doing a great job for people like myself and for kids to understand and love the Mario franchise. They changed the game up enough to keep it interesting; though players who grew up with Mario and Luigi in their consoles found it to be very, very easy; which it was. Overall the games experience was done very well.
Updated graphics with the same old feel make the game feel new even though it doesn’t really change anything. Mario looks like Mario and Bowser looks like the turtle fiend that he is. I learned one thing after beating Super Mario Bros Wii after one play through and 5 hours. I will buy every Mario game as long as I live if I can. Mark my words.
#2 Halo 3: ODST
Call me biased but ODST does deserve some credit. Ladies and gentlemen this is my opinion and you are free to flame me as much as you want in the comments section but at the end of the day ODST was a breath of fresh air to me. It made me believe in the Halo Franchise again. Yeah, I liked Halo: Combat Evolved and thought that Halo 2 was better but the piece of trash known as Halo 3 had me feeling that halo had gone south and would never recover. (I’m talking about the single-player here people). Overall I didn’t really like Halo 3 all that much if you compare it with the other halo titles. I feel it is the weakest of the bunch. Halo 2 gave me memories I will never forget with a lot of you guys here. Halo 3 probably did not give me one fond memory outside of visiting MLG competitions. However, ODST changed my faith in the franchise, for the better.
Halo 3: ODST changed the way gamers look at a halo game, the experience was not completely focused around a fully fleshed out multiplayer scene, but rather a good story that engaged the Halo Audience. It took players out of their comfort zone and made things simple. It gave us two easy to use weapons and a story line that’s probably halo’s shining point of the franchise. Gameplay was the same old thing; but that wasn’t what was wrong with halo; it was the inconsistency of the story. ODST was everything Halo 3 should have been; An engaging story, simple and addicting game play with hours of added replay.
ODST was the first game I actually tried to spend time out of my regular gaming time to get achievements; aka I tried to go out and get them rather than let them happen. That is an accomplishment in itself. Firefight has added a much needed difference to the Halo faithful, not everyone is into the matchmaking experience. Though, I do love everything that was already there, I think firefight shows the world that Bungie isn’t just trying to keep Halo “The same old thing with updated weapons, vehicles, and graphics.”
# 1 Assassin’s Creed 2
My most favorite title of the year was the game I put the most effort into. I put a lot of time into Halo but not too much effort went into the whole experience. However, Assassin’s Creed forced me and challenged me to think outside of the box of what a normal Action game is. Hands down, Assassin’s Creed has the best story line, best unique game play, and best engaging experience to come out of 2009. It reminds me of the heavy hitters Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and Mass Effect; which is odd because Assassin’s Creed is marketed to be an action title, but for those who really get the entire experience understand that the title is much more than a normal action game.
No other game really takes the open-world fell and makes it fell as realistic as Assassin’s Creed does. Trying to conceive Crackdown as real is very hard to do, even the Grand Theft Auto titles feel fake; but Assassin’s Creed makes it believable that this whole game could have been true. Though those who do know their history know the story is nowhere near true, the actual game play could have happened. This is heightened by all of the polished touches the game has. With simple and easy to understand game play and life-like sequences, Ubisoft gives gamers the most realistic real-life experience any game has ever given the gaming scene.
Well there you have it ladies and gents, my top 5 games of 2009. Though there are many more to mention (and I will Forza 3, Dragon Age: Origins, Batman: Arkhym Assylum, and DJ Hero) but the five that made my list left the biggest marks on me. I can’t wait to say more once the podcast comes out in the coming weeks!
Remember I do encourage each and every one of you to put as much thought into your submissions as I have. Good luck and keep on fragging trucks!