Last week we all here at Nintendo Okie talked about the games that we thought were the best of the best for 2010. The lists were great and there were a lot of different games that we thought outshone everything else this past year. I’m here to talk about some of my favorite games that didn’t necessarily make the lists. 2010 was a huge year for games (we say that every year, don’t we?) and there were dozens of titles that deserved some spotlight. Here are some of the games that I thought were really good that didn’t make the cut for the best of the year.
Ivy The Kiwi? (Wii, DS) – This year was the year Sega hoped to bring Sonic back to the front of everyone’s mind and make him relevant again. I would say that they mostly failed, but Yuji Naka, the man who created the blue blur, brought out a game that was everything that Sonic wasn’t. It was all about momentum and keeping up speed. It was about quick reflexes and problem solving. It also went criminally unnoticed. Ivy the Kiwi? was a great game on both the Wii and the DS, with expected download versions coming soon. If you haven’t played it, and you can find a copy you need to check it out. It’s also really cheap.
Guilty Party (Wii) – Disney became the masters of the party game this year with two really good ones released. The best of them, though, was hands-down Guilty Party. This game blended Mario Party and Clue together into one really fun, quirky and clever mystery solving board game. The story mode was very short. Most people would be able to finish it in 3 hours or so. The brilliant part of the game was the random mystery that took locations, characters and objects and threw them in a pot coming up with a new mystery every time you turned the game on. It provided nearly limitless hours of fun, party game and crime solving.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Video Game (Wii, DS)– It’s got one of the longest titles ever, but it’s also one of the best platformers I played this year. Batman: TBatBTVG was based off of the TV show of the same name and saw the Caped Crusader teaming up with various other superheroes to thwart the machinations of different villains from the Batman universe. It was campy fun, gorgeous to look at and solidly controlled. For folks who had the DS version they could also connect the two to get a new character and interactions most games can’t get.
Jeopardy (Wii) – This has got to be my biggest guilty pleasure of the year. I’ve been playing this game nearly every night with my wife since the end of October and it’s not gotten old yet. In over two months of play we’ve only come across one category that duplicated itself and that’s only been once. There are a ton of questions and categories to choose from and quiz show fans will find this to be one of the best versions of the game ever. Differing difficulties allowed different levels of player to play, it supported Wii Speak (though poorly) and it had a lot of stuff to unlock. Combine this with Wheel of Fortune (also from THQ) and it makes for a lot of puzzle solving goodness.
WarioWare D.I.Y. (DS, WiiWare)- This is the latest in the WarioWare line and worked in conjunction with the WiiWare release of the game. For the first time you’re able to create your own mini-games and share them with friends. The input was limited to tapping (or pointing on the Wii), but that didn’t make the game any less fun to play than the previous iterations on the franchise.
Toy Story 3: The Video Game (Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, PC)- If I were to tell you that a licensed property would be one of the best games of the year what would you do? Probably laugh in my face, right? Well Toy Story 3 proved that there can be a quality video game attached to a license. It wasn’t the campaign that set this game apart. That was a pretty standard romp through the storyline of the movie that could be completed in no time. It was the additional Toy Box Mode that made this game so fun. Toy Box Mode was essentially an open world sand box where you could do whatever you wanted. Characters would give you missions to complete and there were literally TONS of things to unlock, but it also gave you the complete freedom to do whatever you wanted in this virtual Toy Story world. It was a game all by itself and probably could have been sold as one, and no one would have cared.
Mega Man 10 (WiiWare, Xbox Live Arcade, PSN) – It’s a given that if a proper Mega Man release comes out it’s probably going to be good. The downloadable Mega Man games have been great. They brought back the difficulty of the previous generations with new innovations that made it accessible to new players that might have been turned off by them. The downloadable content brought new modes and characters to make the game a different experience. I believe Mega Man 9 to be a better game than this one, but this was still a really solid release and one of the best games of the year.
Art Style: light trax (WiiWare) – This was part of the Art Style franchise, which in turn is a remake of the bit.generations line from the Game Boy Advance. Light trax was essentially a racing game where you controlled a beam of light. Staying close to other beams of light would increase your speed. There was some real strategy involved, though, because no two beams of light could occupy the same lane. You could use this to your advantage by bumping other racers into obstacles while avoiding them yourself. It was a very unique take on the racing genre and a great time waster. The visuals, while simple, were very engaging. The music pounded and drove you along the track making you want to go faster. It was a very good game for a very small price.
Dive: The Medes Islands Secret (WiiWare) – A platformer, underwater? That’s exactly what this was and it was really good. It has the feeling of Endless Ocean, mixed with some real danger. The fish could actually eat you in this game. The controls were very simple to use, just point to where you want to go and go there. It took some getting used to, but when you figured them out you could finesse your way through very tiny spots. It even had some elements of a Metroid game by keeping areas locked away only by limiting the technology you could use. Upgrade your equipment and new areas were now opened to you. Exploration and combat came together in a wonderful way and make for a completely unique experience.
Costume Quest (Xbox Live Arcade) – The folks at Double Fine make good games. They don’t always sell well, though, and because of it they tried something new in 2010. Downloadable stores gave them the ability to try out new ideas and get them out to people for a smaller price. The first game in their new approach was Costume Quest, a Halloween themed RPG. Essentially you play as a small child going door to door through neighborhoods trying to rescue your brother (or sister) from a group of monsters who have kidnapped her. The combat was simple, yet engaging using an approach similar to the Mario RPG series. Timed button presses would increase your attack power and give you the ability to lessen incoming damage. Each of the different costumes you could find had different abilities that would compliment the other members of your party. The game was fairly straightforward, and easy, but it was so fun and the writing so amusing that you just had to play all the way through. They even supplemented the game a few weeks later with some Christmas DLC that hopefully will continue through the New Year.
So there you have it. Some of my favorite games of 2010 that didn’t make our lists. Are there any games out there that you liked that we haven’t talked about? If so let us know in the comments or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 2011 is here and it’s going to be another really big year.