Posts Tagged ‘Team Fortress 2’

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Dala’s Games of the Decade 10-6

January 16, 2010

10. Paper Mario 2: The Thousand Year Door

Mario RPGs are mostly brilliant, Thousand Year Door is sublime. Taking Mario and company away from their natural habitat of The Mushroom Kingdom meant Nintendo could flex their vibrant creativity just that little bit more. Featuring memorable characters and a selection brilliant miniature stories, no one will forget their time at the wrestling ring or the mysterious events on that train, alongside an addictive and ever expanding combat system the game continually surprises until its closing moments, a good twenty odd hours later.

The brilliantly simple visuals meant scenes like this would happen on a whim.

Add to all that a charming visual style that bleeds into its gameplay and a brilliant translation that could make a world weary toad smile and you’ve got one of the best video game’s available.

9. Super Smash Bros Melee/Brawl

I can hear the heckles now, ‘Idiot dunno what he’s talking about’, ‘Smash Bros is diabolical’, ‘A disgrace to fighting games’, well fluff all of you because any Smash Bros plus a room of mates, plus drinks, equals more fun than dealing a game of strip poker with seven super models in a hot tub.

As a serious fighter Melee tops it, but Brawl is still brilliant fun.

Smash Bros, as Russell Howard said to Jonathan Ross, is whatever you want it to be. Fun filled party game – turn all the items to max, super serious brawler – turn items off, RSPCA worrying animal cruelty sim – all play as Pokemon with only pokeballs turned to high frequency, Smash Bros has been a constant source of fun for years. Infinitely playable, incomparably competitive, unbelievably stupid, yet undeniably brilliant.

8. Mario Kart DS

Sure it’s Mario Kart, and sure the Wii version has a superior online mode, however this is a very personal choice for one reason – College.

Of a lunch time me and several great friends (and some smelly strangers) used to hang out in the café enjoying some intense Mario Kart, no snaking (gentleman’s rules). The game bred some serious competition and we regularly had five or six players, but then Mario Kart DS is also arguably the best Mario Kart hands down.

Oh and custom decals were brilliant as well.

Waluigi Pinball, Delfino Plaza, Yoshi Falls, Luigi’s Mansion, Airship Fortress, Peach Gardens, all brilliant tracks and tailor made for the DS, there was more spectacle than Mario Kart 64 and the tight kart handling taught Double Dash a lesson for trying to be different. What’s more, it’s just a plain well made game, it won’t improve your life spiritually, help you pass a degree, or cure cancer, but you will have cemented some friendships from time spent playing and laughing.

7. Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4. Meme generating, franchise reviving, list topping super game extraordinaire. Resident Evil 4 was exquisite, from the first pistol shot you plant in one of the game’s shambling insectey parasitey infected you know this will be special, shooting enemies hadn’t been this satisfying since the groin grabbing guards of Goldeneye.

But what took Resident Evil 4 beyond great to legendary status was the satisfying feel and surprising depth to the experience. Still the only game to get QTEs right finding context sensitive actions was brilliantly intuitive stuff, ‘I wonder if I can do that’, yes you can says Resi 4 as you hurl yourself from a window, spinning 180 degrees and shotgunning your pursuers in the face, reveling in the squelch and the satisfying chunk, chunk of your weaponry before soiling your drawers anew at the sound of a revving chainsaw.

If you ask me the best version is the Wii version, PS2 improvements with GC performance plus brilliant aiming.

But then there’s the wonderfully camp story with its myriad of absurd characters, never taking itself seriously the player pushed on notsimply to enjoy the combat, but to see what silly setpiece the game would invent next.

And then there was the extended game, unlocking more weapons, working out the tantalizingly deep mercenaries mode, Resi 4 was a game that begged to be played time and again, and yet no matter how many times you played it every one felt just as fresh as the first.

6. The Orange Box

Kind of a cheat this but screw the rules, I have… Well I don’t have money, but I have control.

I still stand by Half Life 2 as being incredibly over-rated, shonky controls and rubbish drawn out sections seem to get ignored for a physics toy when people recall it as classic (it is an awesome physics toy mind you), the episodes on the other hand, they are gloriously compact extracts of gaming nirvana, no thirty minute odd boat trip here just an intense set piece rush through some of gaming’s most memorable locations. Episode 2 also hits your were it hurts on multiple occasions, making it the only nomination here to cause a lump in my throat.

Shat box, brilliant games.

Portal is a work of genius; in terms of narrative it’s got one of the best twists and most subtle yet brilliant reveals in gaming, and in terms of gameplay the concept of using two interconnected portals to move things around, sneak up on turrets, or even launch yourself across gaping chasms is exhilarating yet somehow never disorientating. The compact three hour experience crammed more memorable moments in than a Hitchcock film and the writing was top notch as well. Oh and it finished with Jonathan Coulton song, wub.

And then there’s Team Fortress 2, the best looking, best playing online FPS that has evolved into a varied, chaotic experience and will continue to grow into the next decade. This certainly was a triumph.

10. Paper Mario 2: The Thousand Year Door

Mario RPGs are brilliant, Thousand Year Door is sublime. Taking Mario and company away from the confines of the mushroom kingdom meant Nintendo could flex their creativity a little more. Featuring memorable characters and a selection brilliant miniature stories, No one will forget their time at the wrestling ring, or the mysterious events on the train. alongside an addictive and ever expanding combat system the game continually surprises in both its story and gameplay until its closing moments, a good twenty odd hours later.

Add to all that a charming visual style that bleeds into its gameplay and a brilliant translation that could make a world weary toad smile and you’ve got one of the best video game’s available.

9. Super Smash Bros Melee/Brawl

I can hear the heckles now ‘Idiot dunno what he’s talking about’, ‘Smash Bros is diabolical’, ‘A disgrace to fighting games’, well fluff all of you because Smash Bros plus a room of mates, plus drinks, equals more fun than dealing a game of strip poker with seven super models in a hot tub.

Smash Bros, as Russell Howard said to Jonathan Ross, is whatever you want it to be. Fun filled party game – turn all the items to max, serious face brawler – turn items off, RSPCA worrying animal cruelty sim – all play as pokemon with only pokeballs turned to high frequency, Smash Bros Melee was a constant source of fun for years on end. Infinitely playable, incomparably competitive, unbelievably stupid, yet undeniably brilliant.

8. Mario Kart DS

Sure it’s Mario Kart, and sure the Wii version has a superior online mode, however this is a very personal choice for one reason – College.

Of a lunch time me and several great friends (and some smelly strangers) used to hang out in the café enjoying some intense Mario Kart, no snaking (gentleman’s rules). The game bred some serious competition, and we regularly had five or six players, but then Mario Kart DS also has some of the best tracks to grace a Mario Kart.

Waluigi Pinball, Delfino Plaza, Yoshi Falls, Luigi’s Mansion, Airship Fortress, Peach Gardens, all brilliant tracks and tailor made for the DS, there was more spectacle than Mario Kart 64 and the kart handling taught Double Dash a lesson for trying to be different. What’s more, it’s just a plain well made game, and you can’t ask for fairer than that.

7. Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4. Meme generating, franchise reviving, list topping super game extraordinaire. Resident Evil 4 was exquisite, from the first pistol shot you plant in one of the game’s shambling plant infected you know this will be special, shooting enemies hadn’t been this satisfying since the groin grabbing guards of Goldeneye.

But what took Resident Evil 4 beyond great to legendary status was the feel and surprising depth to the experience. Still the only game to get QTEs right, finding the context sensitive actions was brilliantly intuitive stuff, ‘I wonder if I can do that’, yes you can says Resi 4 as you hurl yourself from a window, spinning 180 degrees and shotgunning your pursuers in the face, reveling in the squelch and the satisfying chunk, chunk of your weaponry, before soiling your drawers at the sound of a revving chainsaw.

But then there’s the wonderfully camp story with its myriad of absurd characters, never taking itself seriously the player pushed on not just to enjoy the combat, but to see what silly setpiece the game would produce next.

And then there was the extended game, unlocking more weapons, working out the tantalizingly deep mercenaries mode, Resi 4 was a game that begged to be played time and again, and yet no matter how many times you played it every time felt just as fresh as the first.

6. The Orange Box

Kind of a cheat this but screw the rules, I have… Well I don’t have money, but I have control.

I still stand by Half Life 2 as being incredibly over-rated, shonky controls and drawn out sections seem to get ignored for a physics toy when people recall it as classic, however the episodes are gloriously compact extracts of gaming gold, no thirty minute odd boat trip here just an intense set piece rush through some of gaming’s most memorable locations. Episode 2 hits your were it hurts on multiple occasions as well, making it the only nomination here to cause a lump in my throat.

Portal is a work of genius; in terms of narrative it’s got one of the best twists and most subtle yet brilliant reveals in gaming, and in terms of gameplay the concept of using two interconnected portals to move things around, sneak up on turrets, or even leap across gaping chasms, the compact three hour experience crammed more memorable moments in than it had any right to. The writing was top notch as well, and it finished with Jonathan Coulton song <3.

And then there’s Team Fortress 2, the best online FPS that has evolved into a varied, chaotic experience and will continue to grow into the next decade.

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The 2009 gaming checklist (aka the alternative GOTY awards).

January 8, 2010

2009 is over, finished, kaput, but did you sample the very best of gaming from last year? Well before 2010 gets into full swing (yes Bayonetta is awesome but it is only one game) you should make sure you check off the following essentials!

L4D2 – Boot to the Head.

I knew I needed to include something from the seminal Left 4 Dead 2, but it was a throw up between several things, the Hard Rain chapter, fending off the hordes during a metal concert, but in the end I settled on something that never gets old, smacking ten shades of claret out of zombies with blunt and or sharp objects.

From the first clang of the frying pan to the juicy slice of the katana L4D2’s melee is brutal, gory, and above all effective. In fact it’s currently being considered as a new dictionary definition of the word satisfying.

Insert sound: Thwak

HotD: Overkill – Play it with the Handcannon.

Gamers are split into two groups, those who have played House of the Dead: Overkill, and those who have not. Those who have played it are split into a further two, people who killed the undead limp wrested with a pathetic wii remote, and those that grew a pair and wielded the official Handcannon.

This is not just any piece of plastic, it’s a perfectly weighted piece of finely molded bad ass for you to give your wii remote the pleasure of sitting in, it turns an already amazing lightgun game into the real deal. Once you’ve used it, there’s no going back. It  beats that rubbish excuse for a lightgun Nintendo released any day, then again putting the wii remote inside a banana skin makes a better lightgun than that thing.

The Handcannon, brilliantly modelled by yours truly in blur-o-vision.

Halo: ODST – Vidmaster Endure.

Halo 3 ODST was a fun expansion pack and Firefight was fun, if a little long winded. However that first time you get endure, which coincidently wil probably be the last time you play firefight, is a real struggle. You and three friends figure, it’ll be easy to get that score! Until after an hour you begin to realize how long it’s going to take. The closing minutes of this two hour struggle are some of the tightest in a game in 2009, and the experience is best shared with others who don’t have the achievement as the elation felt afterwards is like a simultaneous ejaculation. Trust me, try it.

Firefight lasts far too long compared to other 'survival' modes, but it's still a blast.

Uncharted 2 – That Train Level.

I don’t have a PS3, and I have not played Uncharted 2. But I have been told by a reputable source (my mate Dave) that the train level is the best bit.

This is Nathan Drake, from Uncharted, in Shadow Complex.

Plants vs Zombies – F***ING BUNGEE ZOMBIES!

The third zombie enhanced game on this list and something everyone should have played, if only so you too can scream at the bungee zombies. By the roof levels any player of PvZ will be confident in their horticultural powered undead slaying abilities, until the bungee shows up for the first time.

‘YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAH!’ It screams as it hovers above your prized watermelon catapult, before yoinking it from before your very eyes.

And you will scream.

But then, as with a new vegetarian girlfriend, you’ll adapt or fail, as that’s what drives the perfect difficulty curve of PvZ.

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

Monkey Island: Special Edition – Something Old, Something New.

Every once in a while an element of gaming turns around, smacks you in the chops, and reminds you how far we’ve come in a short space of time, reliving Guybrush’s first adventure was one such smack.

So to fully appreciate this effect in full motion, press the button to swap the graphics and sound between old and new.

And do it again.

And again.

Addictive isn’t it? And if you’re playing on PC you can then say to yourself ‘how if the presentation is better, can they make the inventory and actions more awkward?’

Two steps forward, one step back.

If I wasn't so lazy, I'd have

merged these pics.

Street Fighter IV – HADOUKEN!

Like an old war veteran given a submachine gun, giving a gamer in their early to late twenties a copy of Street Fighter IV and a stick (or competent D-Pad) will induce flashbacks to a simpler time, a glorious time, possibly a treasured time, and then the nostalgia really kicks in.

Watch as their eyes scan the character select for their old flame; who will be there unless they’re mentally retarded (T. Hawk is shit), and the match starts. Chances are, they chose Ryu or Ken, chances are the first thing they will do is throw a Hadouken. And watch the smile spread across their face.

Still got it.

You’re not a real gamer until you can do these consistantly

Team Fortress 2 – Throw Piss on Someone.

Team Fortress 2 is a miracle in modern gaming, it stays a constant force in the minds of gamers thanks to Valve’s commitment to updates, and in 2009 we were given the best yet. The Jarate.

Playing as the sniper you now have the privilege of slam dunking a glass container of your liquid waste all over some helpless sap on the opposing team, watching it slowly drip off as your friends pummel them into the ground for being covered in pish. Yep, in 2009 Valve let us re-enact the best part of a night out in Glasgow.

Some call it gross, I call it effective waste recycling.

Trials HD – Getting past ‘that’ bit.

Trials is full of so many ‘that’ bits I couldn’t possibly name one, and everyone will find a ‘that’ bit in Trials that I daren’t say mine for fear of someone on the big bad Internet calling me a pussy. But anyway Trials HD is a hard game but it’s so quick to try again that we do, we try again, and again, and again, until on the eighty fourth attempt we get it, we cheer, we run around, we down the last of our beer, we start to question that twitching on our temple, we down another beer, we think the twitch is gone, or we can’t feel it, good enough.

And then the next bit is harder.

We degenerate into a caveman like dialect of grunts and splutters.

*gulp*

Borderlands – LUK AT MA GUNZ!

Borderlands is a game about guns. Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head, all tools of killing. Most fall into the category of mundane but every once in a while you’ll find a gun that makes you impersonate a monkey and you will need to show it off. In all honesty, Borderlands is a pretty average game but the ability to hop online with friends and say ‘watch my triple rocket launcher that electrocutes people and saves a starving African child every time I fire it’ is a joy no other game can match. God bless loot.

As fun a game as Borderlands is, these four have as much personality as a Cream Cracker. They leave a similar taste in the mouth as well.

Those are my ten moments that made 2009 a great year in gaming, apart from one from a reputable source (Dave), but if you think you’ve got any more why not share them here! Oh and make sure you actually, you know, go and do those ten. They’ll improve your life and maybe even make you a better person.

It’ll help you survive a zombie apocalypse anyhow.

2009 is over, finished, kaput, but did you sample the very best of gaming from last year? Well before 2010 gets into full swing (yes Bayonetta is awesome but it is only one game) you should make sure you check off the following essentials!

L4D2 – Melee.

I knew I needed to include something from the seminal Left 4 Dead 2, but it was a throw up between several things, the Hard Rain chapter, fending off the hordes during a metal concert, but in the end I settled on something that never gets old, smacking ten shades of claret out of zombies with blunt and or sharp objects.

From the first clang of the frying pan to the juicy slice of the katana L4D2’s melee is brutal, gory, and above all effective. In fact it’s currently being considered as a new dictionary definition of the word satisfying.

HotD: Overkill – Play it with the Handcannon.

Gamers are split into two groups, those who have played House of the Dead: Overkill, and those who have not. Those who have played it are split into a further two, people who killed the undead limp wrested with a pathetic wii remote, and those that grew a pair and wielded the official Handcannon.

This is not just any piece of plastic, it’s a perfectly weighted piece of finely molded badass for you to give your wii remote the pleasure of sitting in, it turns an already amazing lightgun game into the real deal. Once you’ve used it, there’s no going back. It  beats that rubbish excuse for a lightgun Nintendo released any day, then again putting the wii remote inside a banana skin makes a better lightgun than that thing.

Halo: ODST – Vidmaster Endure.

Halo 3 ODST was a fun expansion pack and Firefight was fun, if a little long winded. However that first time you get endure, which coincidently wil probably be the last time you play firefight, is a real struggle. You and three friends figure, it’ll be easy to get that score! Until after an hour you begin to realize how long it’s going to take. The closing minutes of this two hour struggle are some of the tightest in a game in 2009, and the experience is best shared with others who don’t have the achievement as the elation felt afterwards is like a simultaneous ejaculation. Trust me, try it.

Uncharted 2 – That Train Level.

I don’t have a PS3, and I have not played Uncharted 2. But I have been told by a reputable source (my mate Dave) that the train level is the best bit.

Plants vs Zombies – F***ING BUNGEE ZOMBIES!

The third zombie enhanced game on this list and something everyone should have played, if only so you too can scream at the bungee zombies. By the roof levels any player of PvZ will be confident in their horticultural powered undead slaying abilities, until the bungee shows up for the first time.

‘YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAH!’ It screams as it hovers above your prized watermelon catapult, before yoinking it from before your very eyes.

And you will scream.

But then, as with a new vegetarian girlfriend, you’ll adapt or fail, as that’s what drives the perfect difficulty curve of PvZ.

Monkey Island: Special Edition – Something Old, Something New.

Every once in a while an element of gaming turns around, smacks you in the chops, and reminds you how far we’ve come in a short space of time, reliving Guybrush’s first adventure was one such smack.

So to fully appreciate this effect in full motion, press the button to swap the graphics and sound between old and new.

And do it again.

And again.

Addictive isn’t it? And if you’re playing on PC you can then say to yourself ‘how if the presentation is better, can they make the inventory and actions more awkward?’

Two steps forward, one step back.

Street Fighter IV – HADOUKEN!

Like an old war veteran given a submachine gun, giving a gamer in their early – late twenties a copy of Street Fighter IV and a stick (or competent D-Pad) will bring back flashbacks to a simpler time, a glorious time, possibly a treasured time, and then the nostalgia kicks in.

Watch as their eyes scan the character select for their old flame; who will be there unless they’re mentally retarded (T. Hawk is shit), and the match starts. Chances are, they chose Ryu or Ken, chances are the first thing they will do is throw a Hadouken. And watch the smile spread across their face.

Still got it.

Team Fortress 2 – Throw Piss on Someone.

Team Fortress 2 is a miracle in modern gaming, it stays a constant force in the minds of gamers thanks to Valve’s commitment to updates, and in 2009 we were given the best yet. The Jarate.

Playing as the sniper you now have the privilege of slam dunking a glass container of your liquid waste all over some helpless sap on the opposing team, watching it slowly drip off as your friends pummel them into the ground for being covered in pish. Yep, in 2009 Valve let us re-enact the best part of a night out in Glasgow.

Trials HD – Getting past ‘that’ bit

Trials is full of so many ‘that’ bits I couldn’t possibly name one, and everyone will find a ‘that’ bit in Trials that I daren’t say mine for fear of someone on the big bad Internet calling me a pussy. But anyway Trials HD is a hard game but it’s so quick to try again that we do, we try again, and again, and again, until on the eighty fourth attempt we get it, we cheer, we run around, we down the last of our beer, we start to question that twitching on our temple, we down another beer, we think the twitch is gone, or we can’t feel it, good enough.

And then the next bit is harder.

We degenerate into a caveman like dialect of grunts and splutters.

Borderlands – LUK AT MA GUNZ!

Borderlands is a game about guns. Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head, all tools of killing. Most fall into the category of mundane but every once in a while you’ll find a gun that makes you impersonate a monkey and you will need to show it off. In all honesty, Borderlands is a pretty average game but the ability to hop online with friends and say ‘watch my triple rocket launcher that electrocutes people and saves a starving African child every time I fire it’ is a joy no other game can match. God bless loot.

Those are my ten moments that made 2009 a great year in gaming, apart from one from a reputable source (Dave), but if you think you’ve got any more why not share them here! Oh and make sure you actually, you know, go and do those ten. They’ll improve your life and maybe even make you a better person.

It’ll help you in a zombie apocalypse anyhow.