Damn the flu jab! I’ve been laid low with a cold for a week now.
Anyway, back to the rundown of the top games of the last generation, and I’m making a few changes.
Gone is the Lasting Appeal section, as I fear this would become very repetitive. Also, just so I can do them in smaller chunks whenever I have a spare minute, I’ll do five at a time.
#90 – LA Noire (Xbox 360 – 2011)
Rockstar’s previous release was the critically acclaimed Red Dead Redemption, and considering the quality of that game, the bar had been set high.
Unfortunately, it failed to be the classic game that it could have been. Oh sure, it looked good – with facial realisation so close to life that when I saw the lead actor in Mad Men for the first time it took me aback a bit – and it had a whole lot of atmosphere about it, but in terms of gameplay, it dragged.
Some aspects – like the seemingly random interrogation techniques – were hit & miss, while the protagonist’s rise to homicide detective half way through, only to be busted down to vice and arson, seemed like arse-about-face storytelling.
Fun, but it could have been so much better.
#89 – Pro Evolution Soccer Series (Xbox 360 – 2005+)
Nobody took FIFA seriously as a realistic football game, and though PES had its long-term faults (lack of licensing, fictional players, certain gameplay niggles) it was still superior to EA’s output.
But then things began to change.
EA got their act together and improved , while PES stood still.
Now why anyone would give PES a go when it’s so clearly in second place – in spite of their PR team saying “It’s back to its best” every year – is a mystery. When you have a choice of playing a game with proper players and better gameplay, just where exactly is the appeal of playing a worse game as West Midlands Village away at the Trad Brick Stadium?
Unless you’re a blind loyalist, the answer is “There is none”
#88 – Left 4 Dead Series (Xbox 360 – 2008/9)
Got three friends online and fancy a bit of mindless Zombie slaying?
Then the Left 4 Dead is the game for you.
Making good use of Xbox Live’s party chat feature, L4D is a game that encourages teamwork rather than the sort of spamming and selfishness you’d associate with most First Person Shooters.
Another good game with atmosphere, its main problem for me is that it’s actually quite difficult, and can be pretty frustrating if you almost get to the end of a level and then die!
I enjoyed playing through Mirror’s Edge.
It was innovative for the time and was told from an interesting first person perspective.
Not only did it look great, but it was also a lot of fun.
So why is it only at #87? Because it was too bloody short.
Definitely a game to rent rather than buy (and thankfully that’s what I did), there was no way Mirror’s Edge justified its initial RRP.
It would probably feel a bit primitive now, but for the time, Rainbow Six Vegas was an enjoyable FPS game set in an environment that was pleasingly different to the norm (and by norm I mean war-torn Europe, Africa or the Middle East).
IIRC though, the continuous need to instruct your partner to move to different places walked the knife-edge between innovative and irritating.
Either way, it was a fun game to play back in the day.
One That Doesn’t Make It To The List- QIX++
Indeed, I could happily pick it up and play it today.
The Xbox Live Arcade version was a disgrace.
Shallower than a puddle on a hot day, you could easily finish this off in about 15 minutes. Had the reviews come out before I paid £10 for this travesty, I’d have known that.
Chalk one up to nostalgia over reasoning.
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