Friday, January 12, 2007

The Best Video Games of 2006

You didn't think I'd spend all that time blathering on about comics and not list my favorite games of the year did you?

Don't expect this to be a four-part series though. Unlike the world of comics, I didn't wasn't able to cull that many great games into a top 10 list. It wasn't that there weren't enough good games, mind you. There just weren't that many stellar ones.

You'll note a few big-name titles omitted from this list. That's mainly due to a lack of time on my part than anything else. I still haven't gotten around to playing "Gears of War" yet and I really didn't spend enough time with "Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess" to feel comfortable adding it to a "best of" list. Horrible, I know, but such is my limited schedule.

You'll also note the list reflects my own interest in the quirky and offbeat. Not to mention my love for handhelds. Perhaps it's just that developers are more willing to take chances on a smaller scale game than a title for a big, expensive console. Whatever the reason, the DS and the PSP (finally) had a good deal of my favorite titles this year.

Anyway, here's a quick rundown of the best games that I did in fact play this year:

10. Dragon Quest Rocket Slime
-- If this had been just a simple platform game, it would have been just cute. The tank battles, however, drew it into the realm of inspired.
9. Viva Pinata -- Take a bit of Pokemon, sprinkle in some Animal Crossing. Add a dash of the Sims and voila, you have one of the most addictive games I've played in a long while.
8. Exit -- Finally, 2006 saw the release of some decent software for the PSP, including this little stylized puzzle game.
7. Elite Beat Agents -- Any game where you have to keep in time to a bunch of guys in nappy suits dancing to "You're the Inspiration" is alright by me.
6. New Super Mario Bros. -- Yes, it is in many ways a retread of past Mario games. So what? It's still the best platformer that came out this year.
5. Bully -- Sorry Jack Thompson. Far from inciting violence, "Bully" is one of the smartest, funniest and honest games about school life I've ever seen. It's also the best use of the aging "GTA" methodology so far.
4. Guitar Hero II -- If the first game is going to make every top 10 list the year it comes out, then it stands to reason the sequel, which is an considerable improvement, should be included here.
3. Loco Roco -- Delighfully simple design and gameplay translate into I'd say more great things about this game, but I can't get my daughter to let me have a turn.
2. The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion -- This game offers so much diversity that you could actually become paralyzed with all the options available. There's not many games that really make you feel like you've actually entered into another world.
1. Okami -- Except perhaps this one. No other game that came out this year entranced me as much as Okami did. By taking the basic Zelda formula and adding the paint component, Clover Studios made something familiar and yet utterly uniqe at the same time. Okami is a storybook set to life, and I can't wait to pick it up and start reading it again.

Now, however, I'm going to go watch the Eagles lose.



At 5:58 AM, Anonymous alliance one said...

Elite Beat Agents is a music video game developed by iNiS and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS handheld game console.

At 8:27 PM, Anonymous jump manual said...

Great post!


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