Games We Couldn't Put Down in 2010
Civilization V (PC) by JC Marx
I’ve been a Civ fanatic since the early-90s when my brother got me hooked to the game after visiting him at Syracuse University. Soon thereafter, it was my turn to go to college, and I picked up the brand new release of Civilization II. Between classes… heck, during classes, my 133MHz Pentium was getting a real workout! Over the years, I’ve picked up every edition in the Civilization franchise, and I’ve never been disappointed.
All Civilization titles are essentially the same game in a shinier, more refined packaged. So when I started playing Civ V, I wasn’t deterred by the Civ IV graphics engine and haunting similarities to the previous title. Sure enough, after spending several hours with the latest entry, the nuanced strategic gameplay had me enveloped in a lavish tapestry of culture and conquest – that bleary-eyed first marathon was just a taste of things to come.
To say this game is simply “addictive” is tantamount to calling Bill Gates “rich”. The “one more turn” motto of the franchise is about as apropos as any that has ever accompanied a game. Civilization V is my game of the year, not because I think it’s the best, but because it is always engaging no matter how many times I come back to it. I’ll be playing this game consistently until Civilization VI rolls around!
Etrian Odyssey III (DS) by Ramon Cabarrubia
Despite the massive amounts of shovelware released for the Nintendo DS, it's a viable platform for serious gamers. One game in particular, which catered to both old-school and new gamers alike, was Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City.
Known for its brutal dungeons and a very Western take on a Japanese RPG, EO3 was probably one of the best DS games of 2010 and was also my favorite.
As fun as JRPGs are with their Final Fantasy formula, Etrian Odyssey took a different route, adopting a style of gameplay where it was more about the adventure rather than the story. Within the minimalist storyline that the game provided, the game let me create my own stories as I adventured deep in the Yggdrasil Labyrinth.
From party creation, developing skill trees, and mapping each level of the dungeons, I quickly had a very personal attachment to my characters, which in turn made my in-game decision-making very deliberate.
For someone who spent years and years within the world of Tamriel in the Elder Scrolls series, having a portable world in Armoroad to adventure in was nothing short of magic.
Fallout: New Vegas (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) by John Arkontaky
COD: Black Ops' eight hours of campaign missions can take a hike. When I lay down $60 of my hard-earned cash, I want to get something out of it.
Fallout: New Vegas delivers action, adventure, and a bonanza of missions in spades. Simply put: no other game came close to New Vegas' expansive campaign last year. Every time I strap on my Pip Boy and hit the wasteland, I find something new in the radiated rubble that makes me love the game all over again.
From melee brawling to lasers blasting to diplomacy, the sheer variety of Fallout: New Vegas' gameplay is amazing. Playthrough #3 here I come!
Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii) by Maria Montoro
The Wii has its highs and lows, but it seems like in the eyes of gamers (at least some), it has lost its spark. Gamers neglect it, criticize it, and certainly don't dare talk about it or its games with their friends.
Well, fools... the Wii lives on! With first-party games like Super Mario Galaxy and Kirby's Epic Yarn, there are still reasons to turn on the Wii and spend hours upon hours in front of the TV screen. I played a variety of games in 2010, from bloody action titles to addictive puzzles, platformers, and more. However, there's only one that really left a mark. If magic was a game, it'd be Kirby's Epic Yarn, with its heart-melting visuals representing a whimsical world made out of fabric, buttons, and yarn.
It's a game full of imagination, but best of all, it has some of the best platforming mechanics you can find, and it all comes together to form one of the best Wii games to date - one that you must play if you consider yourself a gamer and have any respect left for the company that probably made you a gamer in the first place. Kirby's Epic Yarn may seem soft and cuddly on the outside, but it sure packs a punch!
(Continues on the Next Page...)
[Other Features +]
More from GameDynamo