Board 8 > Snake's 2010s Gaming Retrospective

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Snake5555555555
02/11/20 12:35:34 PM
#1:


Because when the write-up bug bites you, you gotta bite back! I've amassed a loose chronological collection of some of the most notable games I've played throughout the decade, and I really just want a place to discuss them. This will be a more laid-back, casual topic, focused more on the meat of the games rather than trying to rank them or anything like that. Not all of these games are good, in fact some are pretty terrible, but I think that's the fun of it all. These are the games of the decade I've found the most interesting or have impacted me the most in any way, positively or negatively.

So, I hope you join me on these loose ramblings on the games that defined an entire decade for me. I think it will be a lot of fun! To add to the looseness of this project, if you want me to talk about any particular game I may have played, feel free to suggest it to me and I'll do it as the next write-up.

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greengravy294
02/11/20 12:58:07 PM
#2:


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Snake5555555555
02/11/20 1:14:00 PM
#3:


Bayonetta

Played on: Xbox 360
Release: January 5, 2010
Genre: Character Action

KICKING THE DECADE OFF WITH A BANG

In the years since the original release of Devil May Cry, the "character action" genre had struggled and floundered a bit in capturing the unique essence and vision of that series. While franchises like God of War stood shoulders with DMC in regards to popularity, it ultimately missed the mark on the replayability factor and awesome combo potential DMC had in spades. Of course, it took the original creator of DMC in the first place to reinvent the wheel of character action games once again, with the fantastic Bayonetta, technically released in 2009 in Japan but otherwise 2010 for NA (aka me). The bombastic, over-the-top nature of Bayonetta made even DMC3 look like a subdued survival horror game, and if there was a chance to be quirky, chaotic, or insane anywhere in the game, Hideki Kamiya and PlatinumGames seized that opportunity and cranked it as far as they could push it. With a combo list that could fill an entire encyclopedia, Bayonetta gave players so much room for experimentation, potentially making every single combat encounter in the game a wholly unique experience without much repetition at all. It may seem exhausting to some, but the short spurts with each individual battle ranked on its own merits gives the game an almost bite-sized feel that makes the game much more manageable. Or could you even turn on the automatic mode which gives you all of the spectacle with none of the effort; sure, it's looked down upon by some, but it's there and I'll admit myself it's a blast to turn it on, put on some music or something, and just chill to the gleeful carnage unfolding on your screen, while taking in the equally terrific Gothic atmosphere, which cannot be understated how important it is to both Bayonetta and character action in general (not just the Gothic part, just general atmosphere).

I fell in love with the original DMC thanks to its almost overbearing Gothic horror atmosphere, and it's such a vital part in contextualizing the action. The claustrophobic hallways of Mallet Castle with large enemy counts constantly makes you feel like the underdog despite your overpowered moveset, giving each battle a thrill that makes each action you perform feel extra badass, stylish, & meaningful. Similarly, Bayonetta's bible-accurate influences often pits you against gigantic, screen-filling enemies that fill you with simultaneous awe & horror, playing with your expectations on what a traditional angel is typical presented as. The battlefields make you feel small & powerless, but with the confidence of our main character and the knowledge of our arsenal giving us the right tools needed to conquer the day, we make it through regardless of the challenge. A great character action game constantly gives you this push & pull of tension, and it is what separates the great titles like Bayonetta from the pack.

I couldn't think of a better game to kick off the decade for me. It laid a new blueprint for pretty much every character action game to come out of the 2010s, and the fantastic underappreciated MadWorld aside, was the game that kickstarted PlatinumGames to become synonymous with kick-ass character action games and a level of quality almost unmatched in the entire gaming industry.

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pjbasis
02/11/20 1:20:00 PM
#4:


Uh bayonetta is 10 years old? Holy fuck talk about a game I was interested in nearly day 1 and still haven't played.

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Snake5555555555
02/11/20 1:22:10 PM
#5:


Well it's getting a 4K re-release in like a week so it's a perfect time (along with Vanquish, another game I will be talking about very soon)!

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pjbasis
02/11/20 1:38:20 PM
#6:


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Johnbobb
02/11/20 4:01:18 PM
#7:


Tag

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PSN/Steam: CheddarBBQ https://goo.gl/Diw2hs
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Snake5555555555
02/11/20 6:44:46 PM
#8:


Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

Played On: PS2
Release: January 19, 2010
Genre: Survival Horror

PSYCHOLOGY WARNING!

Okay, I promise this is the last game in this project actually released in 2009 instead of 2010! The PS2 version was released in 2010 and I didn't have a Wii at the time okay?! Okay, now that that's out of the way, let's talk about Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. It's a re-imagination of the first game in the series, and either a much praised entry or much maligned entry depending on where you look. In my view, this is easily the best post-Team Silent game though, and while yes it doesn't even come close to touching the original trilogy (what can?), Shattered Memories has enough of a unique voice to itself that I can't believe it isn't more universally liked, though knowing the SH fanbase, maybe I can believe it.

Shattered Memories doesn't play like any other game in the series, Team Silent or not. The game features no combat, one of the main points of contention, but I thought it was fine at the time & works even better as a precursor to the Amnesia-style of horror games that would go on to populate the decade. What's a little more unforgivable in my eyes is the lone enemy type you encounter from beginning to end, and the predictable nature in which you encounter them. Unlike other SH games, enemies are only encountered in the Otherworld here, and far-removed from the metallic rust & grime of other entries is a frozen landscape filled with convenient barricades and hallways to run through. Though the locations do end up getting more maze-like, each encounter plays out the same and I feel it was almost included just because the SH series needs a monster to go up against.

Luckily though, that's only a very small slice of the game. Most of the time is actually spent exploring the titular town, and these sections are where the game truly shines. You'll meet familiar faces and traverse familiar locales, but the game feels radically different from the original Silent Hill. In these locations, you'll find clues and mementos that build up a story that plays out in text messages, phone calls, photos, & voicemails. This is such a perfect fit for the series and the natural evolution of file collecting that goes way back to the genre's progenitors. One of the best stories takes place in Midwich High School, which includes an expanded role for Mr. Gordon, Alessa's school teacher mentioned in SH1 & 3, and the fallout of his affair with an underage student. Lisa Garland's re-imagination is also very powerful and kind of makes you feel like crap too. The way its all presented, and with you having to discover the clues with the tools you have is just all very engaging and keeps the tension & atmosphere high without relying on enemies.

The second huge part of the game consists of therapy sessions with Dr. Kaufmann. In these sessions, you answer questions or participate in little activities that change the town of Silent Hill. It's the kind of thing that is really neat the first time through, but easily manipulated on every subsequent playthrough. It's not quite the menacing (read: extremely cheesy) PSYCHOLOGY WARNING and the "game plays you as much as play it" as it promises but it's clever enough and is a good hook for getting you drawn into the game at least. And it does ultimately play into the mega final twist of the game you probably won't ever see coming.

For just a brief moment in time, Silent Hill felt fresh again, like it could reclaim its spot on top of the psychological horror throne. Alas, it was a one-off, and this would end up being the last truly good Silent Hill game we would ever receive (P.T. aside). We will return to Silent Hill again in two years (and believe me it is not pretty), but for now, let's take a second and remember a time when Silent Hill was almost a respectable franchise again.

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Anagram
02/11/20 6:59:52 PM
#9:


Tag

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Not changing this sig until I decide to change this sig.
Started: July 6, 2005
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v_charon
02/11/20 7:49:10 PM
#10:


Hopefully the rumors of Silent Hill's return some time this year are actually true. I'd love to see the franchise come out of the darkness and return to the forefront of the horror genre where it belongs.
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Truly smilin'
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CIaireRedfield
02/11/20 8:41:01 PM
#11:


I hope so too but I really don't know how good it will ultimately be. Just gotta be optimistic I guess.
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Snake5555555555
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Snake5555555555
02/11/20 10:52:41 PM
#12:


Mass Effect 2

Played on: Xbox 360
Release Date: January 26, 2010
Genre: Third-Person Shooter/RPG

THE FIRST BLOCKBUSTER OF THE DECADE (GOTY 2010)

Mass Effect 2 is easily one of the most improved sequels of all time. It took a game, that was by most accounts a bit of a slog and at worse, a bore, and built upon that game's core concepts and amazing world building potential to craft a game that isn't greater than the sum of its parts, but is amazing because of those parts. The game literally starts off by exterminating the past: the original Normandy is destroyed, Shepard is pretty much killed off, and your old squad mates are nowhere to be found. In this baptism by fire, Mass Effect is essentially rebooted and given a chance to make a whole new first impression on the player, and it makes the most of it. Gone is the jank of simply moving your character, gone are the tepid, floaty shooting mechanics, and gone is a tedious checkpoint system that could waste whole sections of the game if you ever forgot to save. Mass Effect was reborn here, and with these new changes in effect, the stage was set for a fantastic, engrossing story you would never forget.

You could say Mass Effect 2 is about searching for the alien race known as the Collectors and investigating missing colonies, and you wouldn't really be wrong. But as anyone who's played the game can attest to, Mass Effect 2 is much more character driven than it is plot driven. The cast of squad mates in this game somehow has the most quantity AND quality of the series which is incredibly hard to achieve. Mass Effect 2 dumps all squad mates from ME1 save for Garrus & Tali (AKA the two best ones) and replaces them with a far more varied, interesting cast of characters. You've still got the main human dynamic with Miranda & Jacob replacing Kaidan & Ashley, and though Jacob ultimately isn't really that interesting, Miranda definitely steals the show with her femme fatale wiles and mysterious backstory, giving the player conflicting feelings on her trustworthiness. Fan-favorite, fast-talking Mordin rattles off scientific technobabble with an adorable charm backed up with a hard-edged level of combat prowess atypical of Salarians. One of my personal favorites, Thane Krios, not only gives us a first-hand look at a new race, but intrigues with his mix of assassination prowess and spiritual nature. Even Garrus & Tali get rebooted introductions better showing off their character traits while still showing growth from the events of ME1. Recruiting and getting to know the entire cast of ME2 is what makes the game so fantastic in my eyes, and by the time you reach the final "suicide mission" you feel so ingrained with these characters that the stakes feel incredibly tense, stressful, and above all, real. It's like having an extended family with how well you get to know everyone and you want to protect them in any way you can.

The dialogue system has been streamlined, with new paragon and renegade choices that can interrupt a conversation with an often devastating blow. These choices are cool, but can often be too unpredictable. Also, a lot of the lore dumps from ME1 are gone to make way for these, which isn't the worst change since I found a lot of those to be rambling and boring in all honesty, but having them around would've still been a good option for some conversations. Still, the new system fits the game's breezy style, and overall struck a nice balance of having meaty dialogues without feeling like your standing there for half an hour listening to the most boring lecture this side of planet Thessia.

All of the changes made to ME2 were ultimately for the better, because it's still the game I remember most and the game I always look forward to replaying the most as well. Choices feel like they actually have weight thanks to the expanded cast and a streamlined experience on the whole paces ME2 so well, because who the hell misses 10 minute awkward elevator rides and 20 minute loading screens to drive a weak-ass tank on planet Empty Wasteland. When I think of why I love the Mass Effect series, THIS is absolutely the game I point to, and past & future aside, why ME is still one of the most legendary franchises out there.


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Snake5555555555
02/12/20 1:17:17 PM
#13:


S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

Played On: PC
Release Date: February 2, 2010
Genre: Open World/RPG/Survival Horror

REALISTIC POST-APOCALYPTIC NUCLEAR HORROR

The Fallout series may be the most famous post-nuclear disaster video game series out there, but there's always been another series I've come back to more and more times to get a true fix of post-apocalyptic horror: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.. While having fantastical sci-fi elements in its own right, the simulation design of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. gives the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone an uncannily scary realism that never fails to just suck me right in to its brutal and unforgiving world. Call of Pripyat improves on the series by actually being well-optimized without many crashes, along with some minor gameplay changes like new mutants and a slightly modified trading system that just continues to emphasize the harsh nature of the world S.T.A.L.K.E.R. portrays.

I think it takes a special kind of person to enjoy a game like this. I doubt many will have the patience for its large areas, myriad of survival elements to keep track of, difficult gunplay with accurate recoil, absolutely slow pace, and overall unpolished nature. Yet, there's a fantastic kind of feeling I get just from walking through the game's many open areas, mixed feelings of awe & fear that draw on my own knowledge of the real Chernobyl to craft an experience unlike any other. Whether you spend 10 minutes or 100 minutes in this terrific world, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat is a game that captures the imagination and may even grip you enough to see it through to the bitter end.

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Snake5555555555
02/12/20 2:53:15 PM
#14:


Deadly Premonition

Played On; Xbox 360
Release Date: February 23, 2010
Genre: Survival horror

TWIN PEAKS INSPIRED TRASH

I so wish I liked this game more than I do. It was like it was tailor-made for me: inspired by a show I love, with a well-realized setting and great characters, all wrapped up in the kind of survival horror game I love playing time and time again. And yet, it just doesn't work for me; it's definitely not the story, it's just all boils down as game that's just not fun play at all. I've played the dregs of survival horror in my time, and yet none of those compares to just the singular act of driving in this game, which is probably the worst driving I've ever experienced in a game. I actually quit the game completely after the first driving segment because of the crap-ass controls. And any time I return, which isn't often, I dread these segments with a simultaneous loathing and fear that makes we want to chuck the game into the nearest trash compacter. Beyond than though, the game is also way too over simulated; the game really did not need the drinking/eating mechanic, further complicating the game and making it even more of a tedious slog than it already is.

Yet, in spite of itself, DP constantly tries to compel with an awesomely weird story that actually goes beyond its inspirations to tell a gripping narrative you can't ever even attempt to predict. There's seeds, a serial killer who only kills when it rains, secret sex clubs, horrifying repressed memories, and supernatural rooms anchoring story beats. It's all fantastic, and it begs to be seen, and that's maybe the operative word here. Watch a let's play of this and skip the terrible gameplay and you'll see why this is considered a cult classic. In the way S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is meant for a special kind of player, so is Deadly Premonition and unfortunately, as much as I may wish for it to not be the case, is about my limit of the amount of unplayableness I can take.

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Snake5555555555
02/12/20 4:25:52 PM
#15:


Heavy Rain

Played on: PS3
Release Date: February 23, 2010
Genre: Adventure

JAYYYYYSOOOON

Speaking of rainy-day serial killers, we have the much lampooned David Cage project, Heavy Rain. Despite the criticism and jokes it has received over the years, I still love it in all honesty. It was one of my biggest reasons for grabbing a PS3 and I don't regret it one bit. Now, it's not to say it's a holy grail of storytelling, in fact it's not ever close to that. The acting is all off, the script is laughable, and the uncanny visages of the main characters can even be difficult to take seriously at times. And yet, there are absolutely other times when Heavy Rain clicks together with atmosphere that literally drips off the screen, horrifies with Saw-type traps that demand player fortitude thanks to a control scheme that seems casual at first but is really difficult to master, and engages with a central investigation mechanic known as ARI that feels wholly original to this game. I also enjoy the game's fine attention to detail, and the amount of things you can interact with, and how the game will place you under time constraints in realistic scenarios, like the simple act of taking care of your child on a typical school day afternoon. It's not the kind of thing you would typically find fun, but it achieved what it set out to do at least in my eyes and portrayed the difficulties of being a single parent at least somewhat well. Another great scene is when Ethan has to traverse a crowd, battling with fears and anxieties as you make your way through, a true-to-life sequence as someone who has struggled with that kind of thing before. It can be hard to recognize the great aspects of the game when you're running around as Ethan shouting out "JAY-SON" over and over again, or stifling your laughter every time you hear "Nahman Jayden", but overall, it's a great experience warts and all and I truly think it's a must-play no matter what you're in it for.

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Johnbobb
02/13/20 9:45:48 PM
#16:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0t0uCWjQ6Og

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Snake5555555555
02/13/20 10:09:21 PM
#17:


That was just the clip that kept on giving!

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Snake5555555555
02/13/20 10:33:45 PM
#18:


Metro 2033

Played On: Xbox 360 & Xbox One
Release Date: March 16, 2010
Genre: FPS/Survival Horror

A MORE ACCESSIBLE S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

lf you liked the idea of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. but were too discouraged from checking it out for whatever reason, Metro 2033 might just be the game for you. Metro 2033 was developed by former S.T.A.L.K.E.R. devs, but is presented in a more linear, COD-style campaign format, Metro 2033 is like a condensed version of that wonderful world that draws you in with incredible true-to-life detail. Combining FPS twitch shooting with survival horror ammo conservation, tension, and atmosphere Metro 2033 presents a bleak picture of society, now living in the sprawling metro tunnels underneath Moscow, Russia due to a world ravaged by nuclear devastation. This society is well-realized, not only featuring a unique currency system based on the most important resource in the world (bullets), but also seeing just how people have settled into and set-up shops around the various tunnels is so interesting to me. It's not your typical dilapidated buildings (though they're not toally absent either), it has locations that I think feel truly lived in and established, and most importantly, makes a lot of sense to traverse and experience. There's such a rich culture that permeates the entire game that I really could spend hours just sitting at a little bar taking in the environment if I could.

Combined with the environments, when played on its definitive difficulty, Ranger Mode, Metro 2033 becomes a desperate, harrowing fight for survival, where every bullet could very well be your last; however it goes both ways, making you just as much as a threat to your enemies as they are to you. With small but sweet touches such as being able to wipe your mask and change air filters, Metro 2033 engrosses you in such a way that makes every minute feel like something special. It's not always a flawless experience, with some admittedly poor stealth sequences especially, but even with those flaws, Metro 2033 never truly falters in what it tries to deliver, offering up a perfect slice of post-apocalyptic fiction that horrifies as much as it instills the seemingly endless well of hope humanity can have at times.

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trdl23
02/14/20 3:17:20 PM
#19:


Tagging so hard

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Snake5555555555
02/14/20 10:49:33 PM
#20:


Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction

Played On: Xbox 360
Release Date: April 13, 2010
Genre: Stealth

CONTROVERSIAL EXCELLENCE

Splinter Cell is one of my absolute favorite series; this game, along with the terrific Chaos Theory, is what made me a a fan in the first-place. Yet, ask any other SC fan about this game, and you'll get mixed results, and I totally get it. Conviction is the RE4 of the franchise, changing the core mechanics that had been in the series for 4 main entries up until this point, heading in a more accessible action direction while retaining only fragments of its former identity. It's always a risky choice, but usually one born out of necessity. Simply put, the hardcore stealth of prior entries would always put off more people than it brought in, and sales were reflecting that. In my view, Conviction was absolutely the breath of fresh air the series needed.

Faster-paced with a focus on action-based stealth, Conviction's biggest changes were its cover system, mark & execute feature, and new black/white stealth dynamic. I find slamming from cover-to-cover is a whole new game of stealth, and an addicting one at that. Whereas previous games would demand keen attention to your environment, Conviction emphasizes smart positioning and on-the-fly strategy that quickens the pace without diminishing the difficulty. Stealth in this game is a literally black-and-white affair; like previous games, light plays a huge role, but now you're either hidden or you're not. Some people will say this diminishes the game overall, but it only serves the pace the game is going for and looks seriously stylish as a bonus. This positioning than leads into the new mark-and-execute feature, allowing you to mark a whole load of enemies at once and take them all out at once in one seriously badass move. Nailing this perfectly isn't as easy as it sounds, requiring the correct line-of-sight and also requiring a melee take down to get started. Pulling it off is never anything short of satisfying and will make you feel like a stealth god when pulled off correctly.

Besides the always fun stealth gameplay, Sam Fisher is a huge reason why I love the series too. Typically a somewhat laid-back deadpan character, Conviction however shows an angrier side of Sam, depicting him getting revenge on the people responsible for the death of his daughter. Once again portrayed flawlessly by Michael Ironside, Sam's anger from storyline feeds well into the game, with some highlights being brutal interrogation scenes and a revelation towards the end of the game that highlights Sam's emotions through gameplay by granting him unlimited mark/kills without the need for melee. I'm always a sucker for story/gameplay elements melding so well, and SC: Conviction has it in spades. The only drawback to this is an otherwise typical terrorist plot you've seen dozens of times, but I don't think it hurts the game much at all.

Much like other SC games, I love playing this over and over and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. It's the type of game that's easy to pick up but tough to master, and luckily you can practice your skills in the highly replayable Deniable Ops modes with a friend if you're so inclined, which condenses the gameplay of Conviction into small but dense arenas ripe for endless stealth possibilities. This is almost my GOTY 2010, and just thinking about this game makes me want to jump back into the boots of Sam Fisher and experience it all over again!

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Snake5555555555
02/15/20 1:55:46 PM
#21:


Dementium II

Played on: DS & PC
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Genre: Survival horror

HORROR ON THE GO

Horror games for mobile platforms have been seriously lacking, probably because it can be genuinely hard to illicit scares on such a small screen in a public setting where people would typically play such a game. While the DS surprisingly had its fair share of on-the-go horror titles, no duology of games came close to delivering the type of scares you could receive on the big screen more than the Dementium series. Mixing Silent Hill (the original Dementium was initially developed as a Silent Hill game actually) atmosphere and exploration with a Doom 3 style FPS action slant, Dementium's low-fidelity, realistically designed areas, and genuine difficulty made Dementium a tense thrill ride from start to finish. Dementium II was basically more of the same, with marked improvements that made it more accessible and fun to play without sacrificing any of that great atmosphere, such as being able to hold a flashlight and one-handed gun at once. Though the original Dementium took place in one entirely gigantic hospital complex, Dementium II features several areas including a new asylum, extensive boiler room underground area, and a local village. Coupled with new enemy designs, Dementium II was just as scary as the original and just a solid sequel.

Dementium II would go on to receive an HD remaster on the PC, and while good in its own right, felt too clean and sterile, losing a lot of the bite of the original DS version. Maybe it's because I grew up on PS1 survival horror games, but I vastly prefer that style of graphics in horror games because it makes things more mysterious and alluring for me. I like not being able to fully make out something, because it adds a small but noticeable layer of challenge to the whole experience. Still, it's probably your best bet since the DS version is pricey nowadays, and still an experience worth going through in my humble opinion.

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Snake5555555555
02/15/20 9:28:44 PM
#22:


Alan Wake

Played on: Xbox 360
Release Date: May 18, 2010
Genre: Survival Horror

THE FRANCHISE NEVER MEANT TO BE

Alan Wake was one of two games I got for my birthday in 2010: the other was Red Dead Redemption. Both excellent games, but I think in the long run, AW was the one that stuck with me longest. The push to make this game a thing was real, even including a Machinima live-action miniseries prequel to the game, but as history would prove, Alan Wake had cult classic written all over it, not mainstream smash. It's a shame, because Alan Wake's concept and execution are pretty interesting, unique affairs in my opinion. Heavily drawing upon Twin Peaks and the works of Stephen King, you play as Alan Wake, a famous fiction writer suffering from severe writers block. You take a trip to Bright Falls with your wife Alice, under the guise of a normal vacation, but in reality Alice is trying to help Wake with his condition. Unbeknownst to the both of them, a dark presence has overtaken the peaceful little town, and starts bringing to reality a manuscript by Wake he doesn't even remember writing. Alice gets kidnapped, and its up to Wake and the player to piece together the mystery of what's truly going on. Remedy has a great knack of drawing you in with compelling, stylish, well-told stories, and Alan Wake is no exception. One of the big, main hooks of the game is the collection of manuscript pages, detailing past or even future events, either giving old happenings new context or helping the player predict what's going to happen next. The way it's woven into the story is seamless and you'll find yourself absolutely compelled to find these to better understand the game's sometimes complex narrative. There's also great world-building with exploring normal locations during the day, local radio broadcasts, and a Twilight Zone-parody found on TVs, a fantastic carryover from Max Payne.

Along with great narrative hooks, Alan Wake's gameplay adds a new twist to survival horror. Enemies you encounter are shrouded in darkness, with bullets unable to penetrate the murky force. You must "melt" the darkness off the enemies and then finish them off, and as more enemies begin to swarm in, battles become this beautiful, mad scramble of light-flashing, getting shots in when you can, and performing cinematic dodges ala Max Payne. It starts off simple at first, but various enemy types and light conservation gives players a nice, healthy challenge that always keeps thing tense.

Unfortunately, the sales of Alan Wake never matched the high quality of the game. It was lucky it got a half-sequel at all in the form of American Nightmare. It's certainly not forgotten though, receiving several references in Remedy's latest game, Control. I would love nothing more than for AW to make the comeback it deserves, but if not, at least we got 1 and a half kick-ass games out of it anyway.

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v_charon
02/15/20 11:54:54 PM
#23:


Alan Wake is definitely one of the best stories horror game wise of the decade. Another unique thing in this game was the soundtrack; Remedy contracted actual band Poets of the Fall to portray in game band Old Gods of Asgard. Fighting through the game to some of those songs in the background was one of the best experiences a horror game has given me.
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Murphiroth
02/16/20 1:28:21 AM
#24:


The Old Gods of Asgard make an appearance in Control as well, and one of the upcoming Control DLCs seems likely to be a straight up Alan Wake story.

Control is basically a stealthy indirect sequel to AW.

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Johnbobb
02/16/20 4:47:01 PM
#25:


I'm honestly tempted to go back and play Alan Wake almost entirely because of Control

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Snake5555555555
02/16/20 11:37:53 PM
#26:


Red Dead Redemption

Played on: Xbox 360
Release Date: May 18, 2010
Genre: Open World

GTA IN THE OLD WEST

I'll be honest, it's been 10 years since I last gave this game a full, honest playthrough. Even after the terrific RDR2 compelled me to go back to the past and dig this bad boy out, I never actually got around to it. It's definitely not that this is a bad by any stretch of the imagination. I just find it hard in general to go back and play through most open world games, 1: because they're crazy long, and 2: it never quite lives up to your first experience running through it. Sure, there's been attempts, but they usually get stunted short after only a couple of hours. At the time though: yeah, this game ruled.

Completely fulfilling the fantasy of GTA in the old west, with horses replacing cars, dusty trails replacing well-driven roads, and bare-bones starter towns replacing bustling huge cities, RDR was the perfect cowboy simulator everyone secretly wanted deep down. The world was realistic, but it didn't fall into the GTA4 trap of going too far. I felt the potential for goofing off in this game was well-realized, without the clunky movement of protagonist Niko Bellic getting in the way. The game played smooth, and with fantastic additions like Dead Eye adding to the overall experience, RDR set the stage for a game that would rule my life for at least the next month and beyond. I remember the vastness of the world really impressed, especially the ability to head to Mexico, a whole other country to explore, imagine that! The amount of content in this game was staggering for the time, and though I'm not typically what you would a completionist or anything like that, RDR kept me hooked with extensive side activities and minigames that were as fun as they were a great addition to the world Rockstar had crafted.

The story must not have been the most memorable thing in the world, since I honestly can't remember much of it besides the shocking ending, but characters like Bonnie, Irish, Nigel West Dickens, and John Marston have still stuck with me regardless and left a lasting impression, not doing anything too ground-breaking but taking well-worn western tropes and just making a solid supporting network out of everyone involved. Despite my shaky memory of this game, I do think it's an incredible achievement of interactivity. Sure, the graphics haven't aged well and this style of game has definitely been improved upon 100 times over, but it's hard to beat the magic of your first time with something, and at the very least, RDR definitely has that going for it.

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Snake5555555555
02/18/20 3:06:03 PM
#27:


Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Played on: PSP & Xbox 360
Release Date: June 8, 2010
Genre: Stealth

THE DAY METAL GEAR SOLID DIED

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, by all accounts a great game packed with loads of content and backed by a slick production, is nonetheless a game I'm not entirely a fan of. The sequel to the often overlooked Portable Ops, Peace Walker has all the gameplay trappings of a traditional MGS game wrapped up in a portable format, and I definitely won't pretend the game doesn't play great. It has all the wacky experimentation that made MGS3 one of my top favorite games of all time, and the game makes use of limited handheld controls for a surprisingly more fluid and intuitive experience. Stealth espionage action is alive and well in Peace Walker! It's what Peace Walker does with these systems though that ironically makes the fun stealth action ultimately boring. Continuing the squad recruitment mechanic from Portable Ops, for me it's about as compelling here as it was there, which is to say, it's not at all. This is not what I look for in an MGS game; I want go in solo, experience a great story, and not have to worry about Fultoning a random mook to my base so I can play as him later or assign him to the mess hall. It has always just felt like a chore to me, especially with the clunky menu system and headache-inducing stats you're made to look at. It has never felt natural to me even if I get its purpose in building Big Boss' character.

That's not even the worst part of Peace Walker for me though. What's even worse here is absolutely atrocious & repetitive mission structure that would come to define what little was left in the series from here on out. While the main missions are mostly okay, the side ops are some of the most tedious busy work you will ever come across. With such exciting missions like "Destroy the Infantry Combat Unit 02" or "Destroy the Attack Chopper Unit 04", Peace Walker does its best to ensure you feel like your doing your daily chore list rather than playing an awesome espionage adventure. To get the true ending of the game, you're pretty much forced to do these too which absolutely sucks. This being a portable game does not excuse this in my eyes, and it's a perfect example of more content not necessarily being for the best.

On to the story, the other of two main pillars of the MGS franchise. Presented mostly in comic-style cutscenes, Peace Walker presents a supporting cast that I actually enjoy quite a bit! Each character is fleshed out well in recordings that definitely feel true to the series. The actual main plot is not the best of the series, especially when it comes to everything surrounding Paz, but the continuing story of Big Boss in his quest to build up MSF with Miller by his side, and trying to do things differently from The Boss, is easily the most compelling part of the whole game. I wish it was presented better, but what we got is still high-quality storytelling you expect from the series.

Peace Walker isn't inherently a bad game. Obviously, others have loved this game and my gripes are mine alone and reflect my gaming tastes as a whole. Hey, I liked this game at least enough to go through it twice both on PSP and Xbox 360, but at the same time I mostly owe that to the story. I think it just set a bad precedent for the series that it never recovered from, not that it had much life in it left anyway unfortunately. But, that's a story for another time!

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