SB Staff Picks ’10: Gerry Pagan

December 29, 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, we have staff writer Gerry Pagan. He picked a PSP game as his favorite of the year. This makes him special.

This was an interesting year for games, with a huge variety of genres getting some good representation. There’s many more games released this year that I wish I could have played, whether for monetary or hardware reasons. Some of the games I did play, however, were good enough to place in my list of favorite games of all time. Here are my choices for best games of 2010.

10. Final Fantasy XIII (PS3/360): There’s not much to be said about this game that hasn’t been said already, whether it’s praising the game’s gorgeous visuals and atmosphere or criticizing its lack of towns and hallway-like dungeon design. However, the game gets major props from me for being able to completely turn around my opinion of nearly the entire cast, from disdain and hatred to making most of them my favorite new characters of 2010. Plus I had fun with it, and that’s what really counts in the end, right?

9. BlazBlue Continuum Shift (PS3/360). Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely loved BlazBlue Calamity Trigger, the precursor to this game. So it’s not much of a surprise to see the sequel rank as one of my favorite games of the year. It probably would have ranked much higher if Arcsys had decided to ditch studio GONZO, which just about ruined the story cutscenes in the game with abysmal art. Here’s to hoping the next game does everything better.

8. 3D Dot Game Heroes (PS3). Andrew would probably argue that this game has no merit being on any top ten, but I disagree! 3D Dot was one of the games I looked forward to the most, and its retro-styled dungeon design, feel and gameplay topped with well-done references to games from past generations won me over.

7. Mass Effect 2 (PC/360). I jumped into this series very late, having picked up the first game a few months before this one came out. While I greatly enjoyed what Bioware did with the sequel, there were many interesting but flawed aspects from Mass Effect that were removed entirely rather than fixed, making the sequel play more like a streamlined shooter with RPG elements than the epic space RPG the first game was. Only time will tell if Mass Effect 3 will combine the best of both games while keeping the great narrative intact.

6. God of War III (PS3). I’d been really looking forward to this game since the cliffhanger ending of God of War II. Was I looking forward to any form of revolutionary gameplay? No, I just wanted to see Kratos beat the crap out of more Greek gods. If you own a PS3, there is no excuse to not own this game.

5. Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love (PS2/Wii). Picked up on a whim, it being the last big PS2 release, and I loved every second of it. It’s a shame that we probably won’t see any more of this series stateside, despite it having such a strong Japanese following. 

4.  Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light (DS). What made me pick this particular title over the tons of other Final Fantasy spin-off titles? I’d have to say the focus on having proper equipment, jobs and a good strategy over the traditional RPG “grind”, which will take you nowhere in this quirky little game. Combine that with an adorable art style taken right out of children’s story book, an excellent soundtrack and a humorous story that never takes itself too seriously, it’s a game that people looking for a good traditional RPG shouldn’t pass on. 

3. Bayonetta (PS3/360). I kind of have a history with this game. When it was first announced, I was extremely vocal about my dislike for the very concept of the title. We certainly didn’t need another game that used sex and half-naked women as its major selling point, even if it was being directed by Hideki Kamiya and developed by the remnants of Clover Studios. However, at a local game expo, I saw actual footage of the game in action, which made me give the game a second chance. After picking it up on launch date, the pieces just fell into place. It proved that I was wrong about everything the game was about and I ended up falling in love with the over-the top action and absurd scenarios the game is full of.

2. Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii). I think my review already covered how much I liked this game. It would have no doubt been my top vote for Game of the Year if it hadn’t been for…

1. Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (PSP). The latest title in the Kingdom Hearts series is by far the best in the series. With a difficulty for every kind of gamer, an extremely customizable battle system and tons of replay value, this is a game I’ll be playing for quite a long time.