SB09: Graham Russell’s picks

December 16, 2009

One of Snackbar Games’ traditions every year is to have each staffer 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, Graham Russell makes a lot of offbeat picks, because that’s pretty much what he does.

10. Retro Game Challenge (DS)

I want so badly for Japanese show Game Center CX to be subtitled and have an American release.  If more of you guys had bought this game, which is based on it, my dreams would be closer to happening.  You’re all dream-crushers.  That seems so incredibly mean. 

9. Torchlight (PC)

It’s like Diablo.  In that it’s really close to being Diablo.  Torchlight has a brilliant art style for a downloadable title, and there’s way too much gameplay in here to be healthy.  Multiplayer would have kicked it into the stratosphere, but it’s still solid as it is.

8. Scribblenauts (DS)

A perfect example of how hype can kill a game.  Before the months of constantly-raising expectations, Scribblenauts was a magical little cult hit.  Hopefully the series will continue with better controls and just a bit more variety in gameplay.

7. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (Wii)

You can laugh if you’d like, but I’ve played this many times with friends, and it’s just a fun thing to do.  Ice Hockey feels a bit like the old Nintendo World Cup games, and the Dream Events are just fun in concept.  It’s a definite improvement over the first title.

6. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story (DS)

It’s still not Paper Mario.  It’s getting close, though, and that’s a very good thing.  For the next title, Alpha Dream should work on making the overworld a bit more compelling.

5. Patapon 2 (PSP)

So my friends hate me for playing this.  I understand them; the sounds are incredibly repetitive, and that’s all they experience.  The core gameplay, though, is interesting, and the RPG elements keep it all held together. Pata-pata-pata-moving on…

4. ‘Splosion Man (XBLA)

So simple.  Twisted Pixel’s sophomore effort had just one mechanic, and it was on almost every button.  It’s telling that everyone I know that has played it would prefer it over most retail titles.

3. Wii Sports Resort (Wii)

It’s the holiday season, and it’s this time that I’m reminded how fun this is.  It isn’t a lock-yourself-in-your-room title with great single-player, but there are enough of those.  This one makes family gatherings enjoyable, and…that’s hard to do.

2. The Beatles: Rock Band (360)

Vocal harmonies.  I’m a sucker for that stuff.

1. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)

It’s back, and it’s great.  Multiplayer is a must, but it’s even more compelling than Four Swords Adventures, and infinitely easier to get the equipment together for.