SB09: Justin Last’s picks

December 13, 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.  We kick it off today with Justin Last.

10. Defense Grid: The Awakening (PC, XBLA)

Multiple tower types, three levels per tower, and excellent levels that encourage creative tower layout make this a TD game that I keep coming back to.

9. Fat Princess (PSN)

Take Team Fortress 2 and turn it into a medieval cartoon. Also replace the flag with a princess who gains weight really quickly when you force-feed her cake. It’s just as great as it sounds.

8. Shadow Complex (XBLA)

A modern love-letter to Super Metroid complete with missiles, health packs, and an x-ray visor analog. Challenge rooms are fun, but the story is lackluster, and the map layout makes no sense. Still fun enough that I have completed it three times. 

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

It’s a Mario RPG (which already means it’s great) where Bowser is a long-term playable character. Stylus battles are neat, and the battle system involves the player just enough to be challenging without being frustrating.

6. Plants Vs. Zombies (PC)

I have a plant that throws frozen watermelons at the zombies that are, for some reason, trying to cross my roof. I’m not sure what else I could say to make this game sound better.

5. The Beatles: Rock Band (360, PS3, Wii)

Great music, three-part harmony, wonderful dreamscapes, and an insane amount of polish make this my favorite Rock Band title to date. It would only be better if the songs were exportable into RB2.

4. Borderlands (360, PC, PS3)

If Diablo II, Mad Max, and World of Warcraft had a baby and that baby came with guns that let me shoot weirdo dogs and set them on fire then they would be obligated to name it Borderlands. CRITICAL BEEYOTCH!

3. Batman: Arkham Asylum (360, PC, PS3)

Rocksteady managed to do what no other developer could – make Batman feel powerful and fragile simultaneously. Combat is visceral and satisfying, predator segments are stealthy and fun, and the Scarecrow segments are unforgettable.

2. Halo 3: ODST (360)

Bungie finally did it – they made a Halo game with no Flood and it is, unsurprisingly, the best game in the series. ODSTs, Rookie excluded, are wonderfully characterized and taking on wave after wave of Covenant forces in Firefight mode with a full group is ridiculously fun.

1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)

Uncharted 2 may be the perfect game. Gunfights are entertaining, multiplayer is great regardless of whether you’re playing competitive or cooperative, and it never stops feeling like an action movie. The commercials were right though – I could only play this one while my wife watched.

Games I Haven’t Played Yet (AKA I sure hope they’re under my Christmas tree)

I don’t know where they would end up on the list, but I’ve played the demos or watched Quick Looks over at Giant Bomb, and I’m sure that even if none of them made it they would have made my decision much more difficult. Seriously, Ratchet & Clank has a Cthulhu gun and LEGO Rock Band has the Ghostbusters theme song. How could I not consider them?

Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (PS3)

New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)

LEGO Rock Band (360, PS3, Wii)

Assassin’s Creed 2 (360, PS3)