Booze, Baseball, and another "B"

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Outstanding Games of 2005....

Since every other site I come across seems to have some sort of year-end list on it right now, I figured this one could use a list also. My Top 10 Movies of 2005 list won't debut until next year!

Here's a selection of Outstanding Games From 2005. Not the Top 10, not even THE BEST, just games that were really good and would be worth your time to play. This list is based on games that I have played, so there are notable omissions, such as Guitar Hero. Enjoy!

  • Gran Turismo 4 - I have yet to see this game on a SINGLE year-end list so far (GameSpot couldn't even be bothered to put it on their 2005 Best Driving Game list, instead giving the title to Forza), that's one reason why it's on this one. Another reason: Nurburgring. 13 miles of awesomely-accurate track, so difficult it's KILLED people. Another reason? 1080i. Game companies have finally figured out that playing games in high-definition is really cool. Sony has been slow to get on the bandwagon, but that should change with the next gen almost upon us. Want more? How about a gaming experience that's actually better than GT3? Many wouldn't have thought that they could have improved GT4 as much as they did, but with tweaks from road noise to improved graphics to more tracks, GT4 is outstanding.
  • Resident Evil 4 - This game is cleaning up the Game of the Year lists, so you're probably already aware of it. If not, it's not only the best Resident Evil game ever (by a large margin), but it's probably one of the the best action-adventure games ever. Wonderfully atmospheric, with excellent graphics and sound (480p and Dolby Pro Logic II), RE4 is a delight to play. More than that, it's also playable! Gone are the outdated "tank" controls from the RE series, in is a new, action-oriented control scheme. If you haven't played it yet, do yourself a favor and play it; you won't be disappointed. Featuring amazing: gameplay, graphics, sound, and story, RE4 is certainly one of 2005's most outstanding games.
  • God of War - I'm kind of torn putting this game on here. Don't get me wrong, it's an awesome game. The graphics are good, sound is good, gameplay is a hell of a lot of fun, and it's downright VIOLENT, but the problem I have with God of War is that when I play it, there's a sense of "been-there, done-that." If you've played the PS2 Rygar game, you'll know what I'm talking about. The gameplay in God of War is almost the same. Both games have their heroes running around in ancient Greece, wielding a weapon connected to a chain they can throw around, tearing everything apart with. That being said, I loved Rygar and I love God of War; you should play them both. How many other games give you the option of killing your enemies via shoving your sword through their head, via their mouth, as they make gurgling noises? How many other games allow you to impale a Hydra's head on a ship's mast? While definitely not being a game for kids, God of War is outstanding.
  • Gunstar Super Heroes - If you didn't know already, I'm a big fan of the oldschool, particularly when it comes to 2d games. One of my favorite 2d shooter developers, Treasure, teams up with my all-time favorite publisher, Sega, to give us Gunstar Super Heroes, the follow up to the excellent Genesis game, Gunstar Heroes. GSH features excellent graphics, good gameplay, and has a nice back-in-time feel to it. My gripes with the game are that it's only six levels and it's on my GBA, which means you pretty much can't see the game (which is why the GBA SP was made).
  • Shadow of the Colossus - I haven't played through this game, but the small amount of it that I have played was outstanding. The graphics are good not great, but the aesthetic is excellent. On top of that, it's very original. How many other games have you climbing on gigantic monsters and fighting them while you're ON them?!
  • Day of Defeat: Source - The old DoD, like v1.3-2.1, is still my favorite FPS game of all time, and my favorite mod of all time. DoD: Source isn't nearly as good as old DoD, but it's got a lot going for it. The graphics are excellent, and the gameplay is solid, though not nearly as good as the old DoD. They progressively screwed up the gameplay the further they got with their revisions on the old game, but it seems like they're making it better with Source. With a small selection of maps right now, DoD: Source has a lot of room for improvement. I think that this time next year, the game will have a lot more polish on it, and will be even better than it is right now.
  • Ninja Gaiden Black - I know this game is good, and I own it, but I haven't had the opportunity to play it yet. That being said, if you have an Xbox, get it; it's that good!
As I was playing games last night, one game really stood out in my mind as a game that should have been able to make the "Outstanding of '05" list, but came up terribly short,

  • Capcom Fighting Evolution - A game that should have, and could have, been great. CFE takes fighters from 5 Capcom series: Street Fighter II, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter III, Darkstalkers, and Red Earth (not released in the USA), and pits them against eachother in 2 v2 matches. Doesn't sound too bad, why wouldn't it be awesome? Unfortunately, the lineup of characters is very small, there's something like 20+ fighters. There should have been a lot more. On top of that, the 2 v 2 system they use is pretty lame. Unlike games like King of Fighters, where you have an order of the fighters you use, or Capcom's "vs" series, where you can switch between fighters during the round, CFE lets you select which character you'll use in each fight. For example, since Ryu is much stronger than most of the other characters present in this game, if you want to use him for every round of every match you play in, you can do that. And that's another problem, the balance isn't great in the game either. Ryu and Zangief can kick pretty much anybody in the game. Pyron, who's the boss character, is incredibly simple to play against. I've seen this game described in online reviews as something of a "fan service" title, and I think that's completely wrong. Yes it's neat because it has characters from some excellent fighting games all in one place, but CFE is obviously an attempt by Capcom, a half-assed attempt, to cash in on their 2d fans. CFE is tossed together, and feels incomplete; for a game that should have been outstanding, Capcom Fighting Evolution is far from it.

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