SB Staff Picks ’10: Paul Bishop

December 28, 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, Paul Bishop shares his picks. We think he has a type.

10. Bayonetta (PS3). Last guilty pleasure of the year, I feel like apologizing to every female I have ever known after I play it, but I come back again and again for unadulterated action and over-the-top scenes. Unabashedly it is what it is, beyond description it goes for the gusto with a smile on its face the entire time. Worth the experience 100%.


9. Star Wars: Force Unleashed II (360). Although it didn’t improve too much on the original it was still a fun game that traded length for memorable set pieces. I never thought falling to my death would be very fun, but then again I am not the accomplished Jedi like Galen Marek who completes boss battles as such.

8. Arcania: Gothic 4 (360). Another minor blip on the radar turned into a truly rewarding experience. A no-nonsense RPG that has an awesome, if not easy, combat system and a skinnied down leveling system that is as rewarding as it is fun. Looting and leveling were never better.

7. Bioshock 2 (PS3). What is so magical about the world of Rapture? I wish I knew, but going back down for a second time was as awesome as the first. I enjoyed the updates to progressing, including taking out other big daddies, harvesting, and ultimately fighting the big sisters again and again. I wish you could revisit past levels, but I understand it was necessary to keep the game going.

6. 3D Dot Game Heroes (PS3). I would have never given this game a chance had I not received it for review. It looked bland on the box but it was anything but to play. It screams retro revival, but it does so with such flair and panache that I hope more people pick it up just to experience it. It only goes to show that good gameplay can withstand the test of time.



5. Final Fantasy XIII (PS3). I really had high hopes for this one, and I wish it was higher on the list, but unfortunately it didn’t wow me as much as I was hoping. Great characters and innovative leveling/combat make this a true Final Fantasy game, and I actually applaud the beginning linear nature of the game as it was necessary to wean you through the advanced combat mechanics. As far a Final Fantasy goes it was more hit than miss, but unfortunately it wasn’t a FFVII or FFX.


4. Red Dead Redemption (PS3). I will be honest, a lot of the gameplay mechanics from Grand Theft Auto IV bothered me, and so I was very skeptical when Red Dead came out. Boy was I wrong. Red Dead set the bar high with storytelling, characters and gameplay that truly threw you into the Old West.


3. Mass Effect 2 (360). Shepard’s return was a great one. This probably would have gotten a little higher on my list had I not been disappointed by the leveling changes from the first ME. Fun gameplay and awesome involved world will make this a memorable experience that I will cherish until the concluding chapter comes out.



2. Just Cause 2 (PS3). Biggest guilty pleasure of the year by far. Not much of a story, but all you need to know is one thing: the point of the game is to blow everything up you possibly can. The grapple hook and parachute  combo are unmatched in any other game, and I found myself constantly being drawn back into Panau whenever I didn’t feel like playing anything else. It doesn’t get any more fun than this.


1. Fallout: New Vegas (PS3). On paper Fallout: NV has a lot of things going against it; Buggier than hell, rehash of Fallout 3 with little differences, but still it came out as my number one for the year despite. Admittedly, Fallout 3 was my number 1 choice of 2008 so the gameplay was already something I could feel at home with but I forgot how much I missed the perfect blend of shooter and RPG elements this game mastered.