Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Five Favorite Downloadable Games of 2010

2010 was a weird year for me in terms of downloadable games. I did play a fair share of them but at the same time, there were many games that I missed out because there just wasn’t enough free time. I usually enjoy downloadable games because they are almost always made to be completed in a matter of hours with the best ones giving you a reason to play through a 2nd or 3rd time. One of my gaming goals for 2011 is to spend more time with these style of games because the digital age of gaming is not going away anytime soon.

With that, here are my five favorite downloadable-only games.

Did not spend enough time to consider:

Limbo (360)
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX (360 and PS3)
Scott Pilgrim vs The World (360 and PS3)
Shank
(360 and PS3)

Just Missing Out:

Dark Void Zero (DSiWare)
Söldner-X: Final Prototype (PS3)

5. DeathSpank (360, PS3 and PC - Played on 360 and PC)

DeathSpank has a special place for me as I managed to see this game behind closed doors at PAX 2009, almost a year before its launch. It had my attention then, even without getting to directly control the game. When it finally did hit consoles, I was absorbed with its quirky atmosphere and easy to grasp combat. Yes, the way in which you healed yourself was an odd choice, it didn’t really detract from what the developers intended on doing, giving players an action-RPG that didn’t require too much from you. The only other knock on this game isn’t so much a knock on it but a knock on the fact that Hot Head Games quickly released a follow-up, Thongs of Virtue, a mere 3 months after the fact. Added that Thongs of Virtue didn’t improve upon anything left a sour taste in my mouth and hurt the original game’s originality.

4. Joe Danger (PS3)

Having never played the cult classic Trials HD, I felt it was necessary to pick up Joe Danger for that simple fact alone. While I know the two games aren’t that similar, it was still a good call on my part. Yet another quirky game that very few people got to experience but should most definitely do. It doesn’t really require a lot from the player but once you begin to want to master each race, collect all items and get higher score than your friends, you appreciate what the developers set out to do. What I really enjoyed was that levels and situations could be enjoyed in small portions. Play for a bit and then come back whenever you wanted; a must for all great downloadable games.

3. Super Meat Boy (360 and PC - Played on 360)

If it wasn’t for a really bad glitch on the 360 version that deleted a massive chunk of my progress, this game would have been my #1 without hesitation. I was in love with this game not only because it was super-challenging, but it had such a cute charm and quite simplistic in its approach. You would die a couple of dozen times but after each death, you got the feeling you knew what was required to complete the stage, so you tried again, and again, and again. It was a bit disheartening that the glitch, which occurred when downloading anything onto your 360, hurt my enjoyment, but when I feel like punishing myself, this will be the game I turn to.

2. Dead Rising: Case Zero (360)

Considering I really didn’t enjoy Dead Rising, I thought Capcom’s idea of releasing a quasi-prequel to the game’s sequel was a smart idea in order to gauge people’s interests. Yes, this was a $5 demo, but for gamers like me who weren’t too sure if Dead Rising 2 was worth their additional $60, it helped answer that question. It prepares you for the main game but offers an interesting story that leads into the main game. Fine, I haven’t played Dead Rising 2 yet and probably won’t until it receives a price drop, but I am still content that I managed to play through Case Zero a few times to unlock additional content for when I finally do.

1. echochrome ii (PS3)

My favorite downloadable game of 2010 was surprise even to me. I had no idea this game was even on Sony’s schedule for 2010 until they announced the launch date of Dec 21st at the beginning of the month. I got back from vacation and was managed to obtain the game a week before its release for review purposes. It’s an extremely simple game in concept but its execution and the variety was absolutely incredible. I was already a fan of the first game, was probably one of the few people to actually play echoshift on PSP and I had many late nights trying to complete various puzzles in ii. This is also my favorite Move-controller game because of the creative way it uses the peripheral as a flash-light. You point it at the screen and adjust the shadows you place on the screen. It sounds so simple and it is; but it is something that you need to see to fully appreciate. If own the Move-controller and have been waiting for another quality game, download this immediately.

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