SB Staff Picks ’10: Andrew Passafiume

December 22, 2010

One of Snackbar Games’ traditions is to have staffers pick their top ten games of the year. We’re so all over the map in our tastes that our lists are never similar. Today, writer Andrew Passafiume picks exactly the games we thought he would.

10. Super Mario Galaxy 2. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is everything you’d expect and so much more. While the first Galaxy wasn’t exactly easy, Galaxy 2 ramps the difficult up quite a bit. This was a welcome change for those clamoring for more of a challenge, while still able to appease to newer fans. Galaxy 2 is the closest to perfect Mario has gotten in 3D and it’ll take quite a lot to top it.

9. Sin & Punishment: Star Successor. I can’t think of many other games that brought me as much joy as Sin & Punishment 2 did just from a pure gameplay perspective. The game isn’t perfect, but I couldn’t help but enjoy every second of it. The levels are full of many enemies, each ending with one (or more) insane boss fight, each of which is unique. The difficulty is perfect, finding the right balance between ease and challenge, and never feeling too frustrating. Complete with smooth controls, it’s everything the first game should have been and so much more.  

8. Limbo. Limbo is as atmospheric as they come, and one of the most engrossing downloadable releases of the year. It’s a very simple premise, but it becomes something so much more. You never know what to expect next, and every puzzle is a welcome treat. It’s challenging at times, but not unforgiving. Very few games have done what Limbo does so well, and it’ll be a while before we see another match it.

7. Vanquish. While there have been many great shooters this year, few approach the same level as Vanquish. Very few third person shooters manage to feel both very similar and incredibly new at the same time, but here’s one that does, and does it very well. Shinji Mikami has made his masterpiece.

6. Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love. Sakura Wars continues to be one of the most charming and endearing games I’ve ever played, and that’s saying a lot. As a game, it’s nothing amazing, but as an experience, it’s quite spectacular. You have memorable characters, a pretty enjoyable plot, and one of the most enjoyable strategy-RPG battle systems around. This is easily one of the best imports you’ll find on any system.

5. Kirby’s Epic Yarn. Kirby’s Epic Yarn is one of the most charming games I’ve played in quite some time. Kirby games are almost always adorable and a blast to play through, but Epic Yarn recaptures the same feeling I got from playing Kirby’s Adventure and Kirby Super Star for the first time. An absolute delight, and a game that every Wii owner needs in their collection.” 

4. Pac-Man Championship Edition DX. I never thought you could make Pac-Man relevant today, at least not more so than the original Championship Edition did, but Namco managed to pull it off. CE DX is simply brilliant. Even those who don’t call themselves Pac-Fans can probably find something that will get them hooked here. You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten thirty ghosts in a row. 

3. Red Dead Redemption. Back in 2008, I said that Rockstar could never top Grand Theft Auto IV. Well allow me to correct myself: it’ll be very difficult for them to really top themselves this time. Red Dead Redemption is one of the best open world games I have ever played, and it takes the long-underutilized Western genre and brings it into a video game quite seamlessly. Combine that with the excellent expansion, Undead Nightmare, and you have one hell of a package. 

2. Rock Band 3. Rock Band 3 is everything I wanted it to be and so much more. It boasts an incredibly impressive track list, the new (and very fun) keyboard and pro mode support, and a ton of streamlined menu changes. It’s easily the best Rock Band experience yet, and it takes Harmonix’ basic concept and turns it into a full blown experience. 

1. Mass Effect 2. I was not a big fan of the original Mass Effect, so calling Mass Effect 2 my favorite game of 2010 is a surprise, even to me. While some may not even call it an RPG anymore, ME2 is pretty much the epic science fiction adventure that the first should have been. It provides one of the most satisfying gameplay experiences I’ve seen in an RPG, and does shooting better than a lot of shooters. Complete with a lengthy story and plenty of memorable side quests, ME2 is an absolute triumph from start to finish.