Rants and Reviews while drinking brews!
As the current generation of video gaming wraps up, gaming websites, bloggers and vloggers are looking back at the most memorable games of this last decade giving their final thoughts on games they loved. I would like to go ahead and weigh on the matter via a top 5 list, but with a minor twist. I loved the mainstream Xbox 360 and PS3 games like Halo 3 and Uncharted, so in a sense, creating a top 5 of the best these systems had to offer would not be very appealing to a reader. So for this entry, I will go over the top 5 games of this current generation that I probably shouldn’t have enjoyed as much as I did. These games fall in the category of my all-time favorites, but they are not necessarily my favorites of all-time. Okay, enough with the word play, hope you enjoy!
*Quick note, games listed may be on other platforms than the ones I list. These just happen to be the versions I own.
5. Catherine (PS3)
So there is this old saying, “Never judge a book by its cover”, although in this case we are talking about the game’s box art. I don’t typically buy a new game based on the game’s cover, but with Catherine, I took a shot. The game ended up being pretty damn good and highly addictive. You play as Vincent, a man troubled by his girlfriend pressuring him to take that next step into their relationship (That’s all you need to know). Without knowing how to handle the predicament, a new girl by the name of Catherine woos him into having an affair with her. As a result, Vincent becomes haunted by nightmares in which he is forced to climb a tower of obstacles in his underwear. These towers are where the highly addictive gameplay comes in. Vincent has to push, pull, and move around blocks in order to reach the top and complete the tower. Sounds simple, but later levels will definitely push you to your limits if you’re not fast enough. It gets incredibly challenging making the cutscenes following the towers more rewarding. The plot has a crazy twist and I challenge you to give it a go if you haven’t already.
4. Sonic Generations (PS3)
Sonic Generations Trailer
Sonic Generations was the game that diehard Sonic fans have waited to play for over 20 years…or so we thought. We as fans were thrilled at the nostalgic rollercoaster we were about to embark on with Generations as every level, rehashed in both 2-D and 3-D, were taken from prior Sonic the Hedgehog games. It was a bit disappointing that only a few levels were taken from the old Genesis games and the rest were taken from the newer lack luster titles. Still, it wasn’t enough to deter me from completing all the challenges and obtaining the unlockables. Despite not being familiar with the later levels in the game, the gameplay was superb. The 2-D challenges are handled by the Sonic of past while, the latest Sonic tackles the 3-D versions. If you’re an old school Sonic fan, chances are that you have already played this game. For those who haven’t played Sonic Generations, it’s possibly the best Sonic game of the current generation and I highly recommend giving him a shot here.
Fuzion Frenzy 2 Trailer
There is a crazy little story behind this particular choice. Back in 2001, my roommate went out drinking and came home the next morning with an X-Box, surfboard, and wet suit. Apparently he had a little too much to drink, blacked out, and stole these items out of a college dorm room. He claimed he didn’t remember who and where he got the stuff from, but that’s neither here or there. Anyways, inside of the X-Box was the first Fuzion Frenzy. Being that it was the only X-Box game we had in the household, we spent months playing this little party game over and over again. Plain and simple, it was a fun game. So when I heard Fuzion Frenzy 2 was being released on the 360, of course I jumped on ordering the game. The sequel wasn’t necessarily better than the first game, but it was still just as fun as the first. You basically take part in a large number of mini games where the goal is to win the most money across several different planets. It’s a party game so if you’re not typically interested in the genre then this game is probably not for you. The reviews were quite mediocre, but I’ll go ahead and bat for the game. Fuzion Frenzy 2 is a bit silly, but it does have the potential to kill off many hours of your life.
2. Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars (Wii)
Tatsunoko vs Capcom Trailer
Backtracking to say three years ago, I remember anxiously waiting for the much anticipated Marvel Vs Capcom 3 which was set to be released in 2011. Luckily, Tatsunoko vs Capcom was released before MVC3 keeping my anxiousness at bay. I had no idea what Tatsunoko was or where it came from, but the game looked great and it still included some of my favorite Capcom characters. TvC was an underappreciated Capcom tag team fighter that should have deserved more praise than it did. Some of the more recognizable Capcom characters include Morrigan, Frank West, and Zero, although if I do recall correctly, the latter two were to be unlock via completing the Arcade mode with other Capcom characters. There isn’t much I can say about the Tatsunoko characters other than they are fun to use and explore. Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom for the Wii is a gem worth investing in given the limited number of quality games released for the system. For optimal gameplay, I recommend using a Wii Classic Controller Pro as the Wii motes aren’t really built to tackle on a fighting game of this caliber.
1. Viva Piñata (X-Box 360)
Viva Piñata Trailer
Out of all of the games on this list, I spent the most time playing Viva Piñata. It’s an Animal Crossing meets Pokémon meets Mexican birthday fiesta hybrid in which you build and manage your garden to attract, catch, and raise new piñatas. Viva Piñata was critically acclaimed, but the childish nature of the game was sure to deter the mature audiences away. I never heard of this game or the cartoon that supposedly came out with it, but when it’s one of the only few games available at the PX (military exchange) in Iraq, I was pretty much forced to buy it and give it a go. I’m sure glad I bought it though as the game grew rapidly addicting with its charming and colorful graphics as well as its simple gameplay mechanics. There is a bit of a grind at the beginning but as soon as you level up a bit, the game just keeps flowing. It’s the only kid’s game I know that gives the player the ability to mate their piñatas and create new ones. The term used in the game I believe was “romancing”. If you are into games like Pokémon and Animal Crossing, then Viva Piñata is a must play before retiring the good ol’ 360. If you currently are playing the game, send me your gamertag and we can partake in a little piñata trading online.
So just to be clear with everyone, this top 5 is NOT my top 5 favorite games of this current gen, but rather the top 5 games I enjoyed more than I probably should have. Think of it as my hidden gems list though games like Sonic and TvC probably wouldn’t fall under the hidden, cult-type game category. I know you guys out there have hidden pleasures like the ones I’ve listed, and I want to read about them. Please leave your comments down below and let me know what games you’ve unusually or excessively enjoyed. Alright guys, thank you for taking the time to visit our website. I personally have been on a short hiatus in order to focus on my studies, but if I get the chance to write, I definitely will. Cheers everyone.
Mike H., the founder of BarroomGamer.com is a 30 years old, married-with-kids, undergraduate at the University of California San Diego. He enjoys playing and talking video games with anyone, as well as enjoying delicious alcoholic beverages to accompany him in his gaming experiences. He’s new to the realm of blogging, but loves the idea of sharing his thoughts about video games, or anything related to them,with the world. He loves to discuss, find him on Twitter @barroomgamer