Best of 2009

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Wait, Darth Vader is Luke's father???

This may be hypocritical of me because I agreed with Yahtzee preemptively on this one but Demon's Souls is undoubtedly my Game of the Year. I freaking love that game. I could rant about how wrong I was and how good it really is and how overstated the difficulty and lack of checkpoints but I'd prefer to just say the game was fucking awesome and its an experience if nothing else.

Second place goes to Assassins Creed II for me. I did not like ACI. I really liked ACII. The amount of improvement surprised me so much that I really fell in love with the game.

As for Batman, well I thought it was overrated. Its good but I don't see it as game of the year material, especially in a year with quite a few strong contenders. The game just felt off and kind of awkward to me. I mean you could to a hell of a lot worse than Batman but I think other games just beat it, and fairly decidedly at that.

Viruzzo:
Wait, Darth Vader is Luke's father???

and also C3PO's. From a certain point of view.

Funny, but Darth Vader really is C3PO's father in the sense that Anakin built him. This more proves how unbearably crappy the prequels were than points out a flaw with Yahtzee.

Woodsey:
I like Desmond!

Like him like a decorative element or as a character?

Good read indeed by the way. I enjoyed my food while reading this
:D

Russian_Assassin:

Woodsey:
I like Desmond!

Like him like a decorative element or as a character?

Good read indeed by the way. I enjoyed my food while reading this
:D

Character of course xD

Yes, he whined a little in the first one, but let's face it - so would everyone else in that situation.

Furburt:
No offense, Yahtzee old boy, but I've decided that I really need to stop listening to you.

If I keep listening to you, no matter if you like a game or not, you will still implant seeds of doubt in my brain.

Rest assured, I'll still watch your reviews for the comedy, but I think if I take them as reviews I'll end up hurting the game industry because I'll end up never buying another game again.

Note to mods: I did actually read it by the way, I read very fast.

Note to user: It doesn't matter when you post if you have something worthwhile or relevant to say.

I'm sorry but you made me chuckle when you said you'll hurt the game industry... Just how many games do you buy exactly??? :P

Also I like the little conversation between you and the mods there, it's really scary the way they can implant into your comment. Makes you think, they could put anything into anyone's comments... I might not be typing this right now!!! Oh.. I .... Garghg,...

THE MODS ARE FANTASTIC... I LOVE THE MODS... ALL HAIL THE MODS...

can't wait to be ninja'd on this...

Love the ODST comment.

Also,

"A bunch of shit yahtzee already said, lackadasically reconfigured to sound vaguely like something I would say."

You fucking yutzes.

I liked Desmond. Well no. I don't like the character. I like the plot. His present (my future) was actually the entire reason why I continued to play Assassin's Creed. That and the meta-play of playing a guy who is playing his ancestor somehow appealed to me (and helped explain UI elements that most video games just kind of gloss over). I haven't played AC2 (yet) but if I hear that AC3 lacks the future plot line (or doesn't actually take place in the future plot line), I'll be disappointed.

That being said I wasn't engaged by the past-plot line in AC1. Everybody says I will be engaged with the past plot line in AC2. So perhaps I will start to hate Desmond. We'll see. (But I doubt it).

Beatles Rock Band? Ehh...I prefer DJ Hero. It's a crying shame DJ Hero hasn't done well. It's much better than Guitar Hero.

Controller feels a bit more realistic, is more fun to use and the music is better. Although the latter is subjective (well technically my entire opinion is), but I hate Metal and I'm not a rock fan either. DJ Hero is more about Electronic music, which is both appropriate and more appealing to me.

Beatles are good and all, but I just don't think they're amazing. Yeah, I said it. Daft Punk ftw.

Personally, I thought Desmond was a brilliant character in comparison to Ezio. I didn't think anything could make me miss Altair, but Ezio was one of most annoying characters I've ever come across in any form of story telling. He's worse than both versions of Anakin Skywalkers combined. At least Desmond appeared in the semi-interesting parts of the game.

Wait, did he like Halo 3: ODST, or was that just a joke at how bad it was? Sorry, I couldn't get it.

Snowalker:
Wait, did he like Halo 3: ODST, or was that just a joke at how bad it was? Sorry, I couldn't get it.

As a rule of thumb: if Yahtzee says it, it's probably negative.

WafflesToo:
Funny... I felt the same way about the Archon in HALO 2, especially since the forced you to play that goob on the heels of taking down a Scarab and then all hell breaking loose for the characters that I actually care about.

It would be the Arbiter you're talking about, and while I rather liked his story (despite Halo 2 overall being a large bucket of disappointment for me) I do agree with you- they didn't do a very good job of pacing out the story between him and the Chief.

Now. Seriously, people say that Yahtzee hates games? Come on. He's just very vocal about what he dislikes, as that's his main "gig" (how often do you hear people whine when he talks about how much he likes a certain game? "hwo com u dint maek fun ov it?!?! dis sux!!!1!1"). Zero Punctuation is the spectacle; Extra Punctuation is more of the in-depth story, and I believe EP has shown that our Mr. Croshaw has some rather complex ideas of what makes a "good" game.

Anyway. I would love to say that this was a great article, I agree with the whole thing, yadda yadda, but since I'm a sad PC-gamer holdout who doesn't own a console newer than the N64, I sadly have no experience with any of these games. (Maybe once I get settled in to my new job I'll pick up Arkham Asylum; the scant amount of gameplay I've seen of it looks pretty interesting.)

Nice article. I enjoyed the Halo 3 ODST bit. God, that game was disappointing.

Quick nitpick: who in the chuffing hell is Josh Whedon? Joss Whedon is a brilliant writer whose works never fail to please (and no, the first season of Dollhouse never happened in my little Universe).

Furburt:
Rest assured, I'll still watch your reviews for the comedy, but I think if I take them as reviews I'll end up hurting the game industry because I'll end up never buying another game again.

i had a revelation the other day: The games industry is based off of the fact that most Gamers are Ungrateful bastards who are never happy with what they have.

snowman6251:

As for Batman, well I thought it was overrated. Its good but I don't see it as game of the year material, especially in a year with quite a few strong contenders. The game just felt off and kind of awkward to me. I mean you could to a hell of a lot worse than Batman but I think other games just beat it, and fairly decidedly at that.

That is sooooooo vague! No one can take your criticism seriously. Honestly, Batman was the only game this year with not as many problems as the other games. Nearly perfect in every department, even with a ho-hum last battle.

Viruzzo:

Snowalker:
Wait, did he like Halo 3: ODST, or was that just a joke at how bad it was? Sorry, I couldn't get it.

As a rule of thumb: if Yahtzee says it, it's probably negative.

But wasn't this the games he actually enjoyed? And he did say "But seriously"

I agree with most of what Yahtzee said there. I do disagree, strongly, with his comment on Desmond. I rather like Desmond and the future storyline is one of A-Creed's great strengths, since it gives way for much conspiracy and depth. Sure, it gets a bit convoluted but playing as Desmond, Altaïr and Ezio gives several different perspectives on things.

End rant.

I love it at the beginning of the game when Lucy tells Desmond to "Shut. The. Fuck. Up." It's absolute gold. To be honest, I like Desmond more than Lucy, but it was still pretty funny. If I had to rank the Assassin's Creed protagonists in likability, I'd probably put Ezio first, then Altair, and then Desmond. And that's the way I think most people would do it.

Ah ha! I did the same thing with uncharted 2. Change the language to French and suddenly it is about French adventurers making wise-cracks and stealing things. The burning pain of American wit recedes. On youtube though, it really sounds great in deep, muttering Polish.

Hated the mindlessness of the main character though, when Sully uses a word which would sit in the vocabulary of an averagely educated person, and Drake the protagonist asks what does that mean? Wondered if Drake was missing his power armour at that stage.

Moeez:

snowman6251:

As for Batman, well I thought it was overrated. Its good but I don't see it as game of the year material, especially in a year with quite a few strong contenders. The game just felt off and kind of awkward to me. I mean you could to a hell of a lot worse than Batman but I think other games just beat it, and fairly decidedly at that.

That is sooooooo vague! No one can take your criticism seriously. Honestly, Batman was the only game this year with not as many problems as the other games. Nearly perfect in every department, even with a ho-hum last battle.

Well first of all obviously this type of thing is totally subjective and all GOTY's equate to nothing more than opinions and in my opinion Batman didn't quite live up to my expectations after the huge amount of praise it got. I thought that in some respects it was deserving and in others not so much.

It received tons of praise for its combat. While I won't deny it was animated incredibly well and that for the most part it flowed pretty well I thought it was a bit simplistic. Now simplistic combat isn't always necessarily a bad thing but I felt the game had too much of an emphasis on combat for such a simple combat mechanism. Also once they started letting the henchmen have guns in scenarios that weren't set up for me to use a stealth approach I got annoyed a little. Having to run back and forth to knock the guys with away from the armory stations broke the flow of the combat.

As for the stealth this really comes down to the way Batman moves in the game but it felt clunky and sluggish to me. This wasn't helped by me taking out a guy totally unknown to his friends only to have the Joker come on over the intercom and warn them so they all got paranoid resulting in forcing me to sit in the rafters waiting for them to split up. The grapple gun also had a bad tendency of targeting the wrong thing in some sections that cost Batman a few injuries.

As for the atmosphere and exploring this was a big disappointment for me. I love exploring in games. I love running around and getting to know the area. In Batman though I just really couldn't get into it. That stemmed from two major problems. The first is the way Batman moved. As I said I thought it felt clunky. He walks slow and awkwardly. I felt other things like the grappling hook were kind of sluggish. All in all he just doesn't move in a fluid manner. The other issue I had was the environment itself. It didn't really have much in terms of variety with maybe the exception of the botanical gardens. The rest was just some dark gritty corridors or rooftops. If you've seen one you've seen them all and aside from whatever little things the Riddler hid there there was nothing new to see.

Games that I really like have a wide variety of locals. Zelda has forests, deserts, underwater, the netherworld, etc. Demon's Souls has castles, swamps, jail, ruins, and a mountain. Even Bioshock while sticking true to its one underwater city local has lots of variety in it with its docks, malls, apartments, gardens, art studios, medical facilities, etc. Batman has a whole bunch of samey run down facilities, outside between buildings, and a garden. That's really it.

Also the Scarecrow segments were a huge letdown for me. I was expecting some really deep psychological mind fuck kind of stuff and while they had little bits of that they just turned it into some weird 2D platformer every time that I was not too fond of.

Compared to other games this year Batman just didn't stack up in my eyes. Demon's Souls in particular surprised me as being rather exceptional. The punishment for death being so high in such an unquestionably hostile world made for some of the most intense atmosphere and exploring I've ever had in a game. Behind every corner looked danger and behind every dangerous obstacle lay great reward. Exploring was both highly encourageable and yet totally terrifying. Not to mention the combat system felt pretty much perfect.

When all is said and done Batman just doesn't stack up in my eyes. Its not bad but it had a lot of things that annoyed me and they lessened the experience. I thought there were several other games this year that were more deserving but then again that is just me. This is all my opinion. If you think Batman is the best game ever, good for you, but I liked some things other games had to offer better.

"I rip on games because I see potential being squandered in mediocrity and "safe"-ness." -Yahtzee

I was hoping that this was a lead in for an apology for his half-baked review of Demon's Souls. Unfortunately, it was not...

And to speak to the wall of text above me, yes I agree: Demon's Souls > Batman: AA

XD I actually like future Desmond... though I haven't finished Screed 2 yet

Furburt:
No offense, Yahtzee old boy, but I've decided that I really need to stop listening to you.

If I keep listening to you, no matter if you like a game or not, you will still implant seeds of doubt in my brain.

Rest assured, I'll still watch your reviews for the comedy, but I think if I take them as reviews I'll end up hurting the game industry because I'll end up never buying another game again.

Note to mods: I did actually read it by the way, I read very fast.

Note to user: It doesn't matter when you post if you have something worthwhile or relevant to say.

Note to mods: Thanks guys and gals!

I've gotta agree with you there Furb, I have been taking Yahtzee with a pinch of salt for a while now, don't get me wrong I think the bloke is hilarious, but if I took his word as law I wouldn't have bought any games in the last two years.

Also I thought Mirror's Edge was superb.

Interesting, everyone of his picks feature main characters with short brown hair. (The four Beatles count)

"But on the other hand: So we spend the whole game getting to know Ezio, right from birth no less, following his quest for revenge over 20 years, and then at the very end the game basically says "Piss off, wog boy, Future Desmond's the important one." Earth to Ubisoft: Nobody. Likes. Future. Desmond. It'd be like if The Empire Strikes Back ended with C3PO turning out to be Darth Vader's kid instead of Luke."

Too TRUE.
Nuff Said

Why is Yatzhee a Matriarch instead of a Patriarch?

Dok Zombie:
I have been taking Yahtzee with a pinch of salt for a while now, don't get me wrong I think the bloke is hilarious, but if I took his word as law I wouldn't have bought any games in the last two years.

I realised long ago that while Yahtzee may often like or dislike games that I, too, like or dislike, there are some I disagree with. For example, I loved Mass Effect, but think that Painkiller is nothing particularly special. OTOH, Prototype actually isn't too bad and Sands of Time is the best game in the PoP trilogy.

Dok Zombie:
Also I thought Mirror's Edge was superb.

While I thought it was very good, the flaws were just too annoying for me to call it superb. That doesn't mean I didn't really like it. I just thought that there was too many forced combat sections and not enough to differentiate them from the sections when you're meant to run away. Also, some stealth-type sections might have been nice too...

tl;dr: IMO, Mirror's edge was very good but it wasn't "superb".

so now guitar games are thrown onto the same rack as Halo under "do not play because it's popular" haha

oh well, I'm okay with the anti-Halo because I was real unhappy with how AC2 ditched Ezio too =(

like seriously, I was so getting into his life story and then...meh

for me it was like that leaking balloon analogy Yahtzee used for his Mad World review

ppppbbbbbbbbtttthhhh
...
-pbtht-

Yahtzee justifying being a critic again?

On the other hand, I guess I'm not the one receiving all the hate mail.

still didn't see how rock band beatles differentiated itself from the pack, but it was still entertaining (plus i and everyone else love the beatles); surprised that you actually liked uncharted but i now understand you like hating on the game's story

i didn't understand why everyone praised the story mode so much, it was kinda whatever. arkham asylum's story was much better as was assassin's creed 2 (minus that whole weird ass ending). uncharted's story just seemed rather bland and copycat that tried to (and apparently was successful to other critics) hide this dullness with crazy set pieces. i guess it was more thoughtly put together as opposed to modern warfare 2, which had no structure at all

Machines Are Us:
Wish you didn't include this bit:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Halo: ODST

BAH ha ha ha ha. But seriously.

Not because there's anything wrong with the opinion that it's bad, but I have never heard so much bitching about Halo since you mentioned disliking it.

Have to agree with this.

Other than that though I thought it was a nice compilation of games even though I can admit to only playing a few on the list. I nany case as always your writings are fun to read and videos fun to watch and I like your attitutde, even if I sometimes find myself disagreeing with your points.
Call me a skeptical fanboy if that makes any sense.

RottingAwesome:
XD I actually like future Desmond... though I haven't finished Screed 2 yet

you may not like him after the end, or more likely you'll just be as confused as the rest of us

"I rip on games because I see potential being squandered in mediocrity and "safe"-ness. I'm like a tyrannical matriarch who demands perfection only out of love for her terrified children."

Well said.

Best description of why the game industry is advancing at a f/n snails pace I have ever heard.

Spot on as usual man.

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