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Dala’s Game’s of the Decade 5-3

January 19, 2010

This was meant to be 5-1 but I spent so long writing about these three I decided to finish it off tomorrow. Enjoy!

5. Left 4 Dead 2

As with the Melee and Brawl position in the previous list you could substitute this for Left 4 Dead if you prefer your apocalypse more urban, your survivors more conventional, and your black dude less fat, but for me knocking the brains out a zombie’s nose with a cricket bat makes L4D2 the winner.

The new special infected are all winners as well and make versus ten times better.

‘Game of the Decade though? Really?’ Yes, twat, my list so it’s my favourite games games on it and boy oh boy is L4D2 one that I adore. Great games are made from the experiences created within them and any four player session of L4D2 will create memories, it’s the kind of game you and friends can gush about over several pints down the local, recounting that time you were the last survivor making a dash for the safe room with three zombies on your tail, suddenly the growl of a hunter fills your ears and in a moment of blind panic you spin and melee, batting him away mid leap before finishing the level in the safe house. Or the time you got side swiped by the tank after your team left you, downed and almost out you shoot your last bullets into him, as he reaches up for his final punch your friends lay into him and he collapses at your side and over the mic one says ‘we never leave a good man behind’. Forget ‘cinematic’ setpieces, these kinds of moments only happen in video games.

Left 4 Dead and its sequel bucked the trend of forced co-operation, no ledge is a centimeter too high therefore needing two people to scale it, and no buttons ask you to press them simultaneously like they’re your boss, all the situations that occur in a session are unpredictable and test the players to their wits end, with co-operative events happening organically as players yell for help whilst one friend is being reeled in by a smoker and another is wrestling with the randy jockey humping his face, you’re the man the entire run depends upon and if you manage it you’re a damn celebrity to them.

Melee combat, bloody good fun.

Memorable characters (for the most part) and an interesting ‘story’ helped give the game depth whilst additional game modes add hours of fun for those who enjoy killing some undead, Realism mode is fantastic. The brilliant gore engine added in part two was ace as well.

4. Super Mario Galaxy

Mario Galaxy is brilliant, the variety on display in the star collection whilst all typically cut from the same cloth (get coins or traverse stage to get star) was continuously toying with what it could do meaning in one level you could be trailing some music notes to make the Mario underground theme when in another you’re skating along water, then in another you’re riding a manta ray around a race track like a revenge seeking Steve Irving, then in another you’re fighting a giant mole, then in another you’re rolling a ball down a hill Monkey Ball style, then in another you’re clambering around the nether regions of a humongous bee.

Mario soaring from planet to planet is a brilliant feeling.

The beauty of Galaxy is the subtlety in which it uses the Wii’s innovations, but also in its limitless creativity with which it surprises you every time you think the designers might have run out of juice. Visually the game was a delight as well, the conventional locations were present but interspersed with Saturn-esque ring planets in which the ring was actually water, or a huge mansion in which, you guessed it, poor Luigi was trapped.

The music was brilliant as well; Nintendo tunes are normally the sort you’ll hum whilst writing rubbish blog posts (currently humming Mario Bros Underwater theme) but to do the music in Galaxy justice you’d need a well-rehearsed chamber choir. This is the kind of music that could raise the spirits of an entire cancer ward, go on, go to your local hospital and play it.

The 'planets' made all other platformers flat in comparison... Oh wait...

Mario Galaxy is a beautifully created video game, and an unrestrained expression and celebration of the medium’s most jubilant character.

3. Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

Screw the haters, I bet you’re one of them, one of the ones that judged this on the fact it replaced the idea of jumping with a car with springs, or because Rare’s output since leaving Ninty has been ‘shite’ (go play Viva Pinata ya numpties), well more fool you because Nuts & Bolts was brilliant.

Brilliantly flawed however, the game had some rubbish design ideas such as carting jiggies to the center and getting chased by the cops, or some of the rubbish ‘LOG’S choice’ challenges, but when it was working well Nuts & Bolts was gaming gold dust.

It also looks drop dead gorgeous.

The vehicle creator was sometimes hard to use but rewarding when you got it, being asked to protect ‘Mr Fit’ as he runs around a course a novice player might try and fight all the enemies, a true genius will make a cage to go over the portly rodent whilst they laugh at enemies banging against it with no luck, or when you’re asked to take part in a dogfight and you create a disco ball death star, firing death in every direction.

Whilst games like Mario Galaxy created the genius in which you played, in Banjo a lot of your fun was created from your own imagination, sure there was always an obvious method to something, but breaking the game was half the fun. Winning a sumo match because my car had an ejector seat, meaning I remained in the ring whilst my opponent and ten tones of now inanimate vehicle plummeted to the ground below was brilliant, my friend however used springs to keep his vehicle intact, probably the more insurance friendly approach.

I made this abortion of a vehicle 😀

The multiplayer was also an under appreciated piece of genius, before the game’s release I feared it would be easily dominated by small children who’d unlocked everything whilst older people like myself were constantly turning the TV back to Question time or porn whenever parents or friends came in so they didn’t catch us spending our lives making brumm sounds whilst the Dalamobile Mk 3 laps the speckled mole and shoots a rocket up the native American woman’s tail pipe, but it was actually good fun thanks to tricky course design that favoured technical vehicles over powerful ones.

Klungo’s games were brilliant as well.

A true gem of a game.

—————————————————————————

Second and First place coming tomorrow!

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3 comments

  1. lol banjo


  2. Don’t quite get how ‘brilliantly flawed’ makes it to number 3… but it really does look fantastic 😀 Will need to actually play it at some point 🙂 x



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