Sunday, January 9, 2011

Kevin's Top Video Game Picks of 2010

This summer was the beginning of my true gaming life. I've played video games a ton. I've also become fairly well versed while at friends' houses, however until recently, the newest console that I owned was a Super Nintendo!

This summer I saved my dollars and purchased an Xbox 360 Elite. Since my real gaming didn't begin until the middle of the year, my "games of 2010" spill over into 2009 (and even earlier, but I figured I had to draw the line somewhere...).

Halo Reach

This game was one of my most anticipated games of 2010, but I didn't jump on board right away. Instead I dragged my feet completing a few games I was already in the midst of. I ended up borrowing it from a friend about three weeks ago, after he had completed it.

I'm thrilled! I still haven't finished the campaign, because I refuse to play on any difficulty lower than legendary, but I've had a blast online! The graphics are smooth and clean, there are fewer exploits than in previous releases, and I enjoy most of the additions they've made. The gameplay was updated enough to keep it fresh, even though this is the sixth Halo release. The inclusion of the Daily and Weekly Challenges provide a great reason to keep coming back. Armor modification was also fun and interesting and the implementation of the credit system makes it all the more addicting.

Fallout: New Vegas

New Vegas is the first game I have ever pre-ordered and I couldn't be happier with my decision. Fallout 3 was one of my favorite games to play at friends' houses. After everyone else had fallen asleep, I would load up my save file and play as much as I could before the sun came up. With the release of New Vegas (and the purchase of my own console), it immediately became my new obsession. I took every sidequest i could, created multiple characters, and still enjoy playing it often!

The wide open feel of the game, both in geography and morality, is what really draws me to it. Your choices affect the world in realistically significant ways, every evil or morally-questionable decision you make stays in the back of your mind.

The game grabs you from the jump, with a cutscene in which you witness, from a first person perspective, your character being shot and buried. This was a great start to the game and it continued to impress for hours afterward (up to this very moment in fact).

New modifications to the gameplay, such as weapon customization, faction alliances, disguises and companions, all kept the experience separate from Fallout 3. The graphics, although somewhat glitchy and unstable, were much smoother looking than in previous releases, much to my pleasure.

Fable III

The original Fable (including The Lost Chapters) is my favorite game, bar none. I have probably beaten it more than 50 times and I still play once in a while. When Fable II came out, I was all over it. I bought a copy of it to bring to my friends' houses and everything. Unfortunately, I sold it within a week. I was unbelievably disappointed with it.

When Fable III was announced, I was excited, but skeptical. I still haven't actually purchased it, but I was able to test the gameplay at different points in the game, by jumping into my friends' save games and have been thoroughly impressed, not to mention relieved. THIS is the Fable I remember!

There are still some things that I think the original did better, but overall it kicked Fable II out the door! The fighting style was a tolerable mix between the first and second Fable games. The modification of appearance was also much improved from the second Fable, and the "jobs" of Fable II were also well incorporated. I am marking Fable III as my new item to save money for and will be playing my own copy on my own console as soon as I possibly can.

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