The Top 10 Games of 2012

Another year in the books and another top ten list for games. It’s been a bit of a weird year: two system launches, multiple game delays, and nothing groundbreaking. Still, it’s not like there weren’t any great games in 2012; this list doesn’t have contain any mediocrity. Considering that a number of titles on this list were smaller releases, maybe there are a few here that you haven’t played. This isn’t an isolated opinion; many other media outlets had a number of, if not a majority of the titles on their top games list, made by companies that are not household names. It’s a bit weird that many of the best titles of the year came from obscure place but, then again, 2012 was a pretty bizarre year in gaming. (more…)

The Top 10 Games of 2011

It’s the New Year so it’s time again to look at last year. 2011 was a good year for games. It wasn’t a particularly outstanding year but it did provide enough solid gaming to keep us entertained. What’s interesting about this list is that there is only one new IP throughout; the rest are all sequels (or prequels). Maybe the big reason why this hasn’t been a stellar year is because innovation is stifled by game companies sheltering themselves with familiar names to stay on the safe side. Even then, some franchises like Elder Scrolls offered up experiences that weren’t just about HD graphics but gave us games so large in scope that they seemed unimaginable five years ago. While the industry still waits for the next big thing, there were still plenty of great games (and a few instant classics) worth playing. If you haven’t played the following games in 2011, there’s nothing like starting the New Year right with these ten titles.


King’s Quest (MB Hall of Fame Inductee)

King's Quest 

Hall of Fame Inductee
King’s Quest
Original Release: 1984 (IBM PCjr)
Developed by: Sierra On-Line
Published by: IBM, Sierra On-Line

During a time when computer programmers took little risk on their projects and companies shied away from large budgets, there was little room for innovation. By 1984, on all the various home computer formats there were tons of RPG games. The text-based adventure had given way to exploration games with graphical interfaces. King’s Quest took everything one step further. Unlike previous games where the screens remained lifeless and unanimated, King’s Quest’s world was alive (or at least as much as possible with the limited technology). Not only that, Sierra and IBM opened up the purse strings and put enough money into this game to make it one of the most expensive game for its time, as well as the most labourious. It was time and money well spent as King’s Quest was one of the best RPGs of the era.


Weekly Video Game Podcast – Feb. 12-16, 2010

Weekly Video Game Podcast – Feb. 12-16, 2010 <80 mins (36.7 MB) >
  ^ right click to save

The written stuff that was supposed to go up yesterday will only go up on Wednesday now. The problem is the mid-term exam I’m having today. I need to make sure I do well on the exam so that’s why I’ve been spending so much time planning for it. I’m a little more nervous about it than usual (only because it carries a high weight for the final mark).

So I’ve decided to put up the podcast that Chris and I recorded last week. I didn’t want it to go to waste and I think we did a really good job with it. It’s 80 minutes of really interesting stuff within the world of video games. If you enjoy our podcasts, this is one that you don’t want to miss. I would have liked to have put the podcast up after my review of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and the HOF induction of Q*Bert were posted but since that isn’t going to happen until Wednesday, I didn’t want such a good podcast to rot on my hard drive.

Please note that the next video game podcast will be on Friday instead of Wednesday because of my crazy school schedule. I still think there should be a rule about exams before the week long study break (McGill actually calls it “Reading Week”). After the break, I only have one test before finals. It seems a bit absurd to me. Thank goodness it’s my last year.

The Top 10 Games of 2009

It’s the end of the year of an old year and a beginning of a new one. After getting together with a bunch of gamers (both hardcore and casual), here’s our list for the “Top 10” games of 2009. The list is only in alphabetical order so don’t get feisty because Assassin’s Creed 2 is at the top and Uncharted 2 is at the bottom. The qualifications for a title to be part of this list was that it had to have had sales of at least 250 000 units in the Americas on at least one single system (according to sales website http://vgchartz.com) through Dec. 19, 2008. The reasoning for titles to be excluded under 250k in sales is that even that critics might love a game but if a game isn’t well received by the mass market, then it’s hard to call it a top game (which hurt a lot of Wii games since there were several people who voted for this list who wanted to vote for games like Silent Hill: Scattered Memories and Madworld). This list is about the Top 10 games that everyone enjoyed, not just the critics.

Like the list? Hate it? Leave a comment because no list is perfect and any discussion is welcome.


Plants vs. Zombies (Video Game Review)

Video Game Review
Plants vs. Zombies
Developer: PopCap Games
Publisher: PopCap Games

If there has been a genre that has gone past the fad phase and now has hit the overkill phase, tower defence games is that genre. These types of games are everywhere and if you’re one of those that needs to justify their iPhone/iTouch purchase by saying it’s also a games platform, there’s a tower defence game released every week for the platform it seems. Plants vs. Zombies breaks the mold by offering something different although it is plagued by low difficulty and the extra crap that PopCap felt necessary to throw in to add value to the game. Even though it’s easy, it will still suck hours away from even a hardcore gamer.


Nation Red (Video Game Review)

Video Game Review
Nation Red
Developer: DiezelPower
Publisher: DiezelPower

There’s something appealing about killing zombies in video games. Games are sell well simply with the premise of zombie annihilation. DiezelPower’s Zombie Red is no different. The game is an arena-based shooter that lets the player only do one thing: killing zombies. For a zombie killing game, it’s enjoyable but it’s limited in its options. It’s fun at the beginning but then the gameplay begins to feel a little dead after a while.


Bioshock (Video Game Review)

Video Game Review
Developers: 2K Boston/Australia/Marin
Publisher: 2K Games

There are certain genres of video games that have probably peaked in terms of gameplay. The 2D platformer probably hit it’s ingenuity apex with Super Mario Bros. 3/World (depending on which side of the fence you’re on). Several other genres like airplane sims/fighters have little improvements left to deliver outside of better graphics. The first-person shooter has the similar problem. Sure, you could make the graphics better or add more players to the multiplayer but it feels like the single-player experience has reached the it’s evolutionary peak. Fortunately, for 2K’s Bioshock, it takes a bunch of what makes a good FPS and delivers. It has it’s issues and it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it’s fun while it lasts.