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Intro/ Disclaimer/ Please don't flame me.
I was going to keep these un-ranked, and but I figured any article will have some bias, so why should I withhold mine. I, of course, will be doing my best to keep this list as unbias as possible. But seeing as this is online journalism about games, everything should be taken with a grain of salt, and don't listen to me... go try um! Or comment and tell me how I'm wrong.
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In case you've never been addicted to flash games online, Trials found its birthplace among the densely populated flash games sector. I am putting this game on the top ten, for a number of reasons:
1) I am proud of the developer (Red Lynx) for having coded their game for HD tvs, as well as being able to make a profitable project from an otherwise free-to-play online game.
2) The gameplay is fantastic, and it almost never gets old. (That being said, play the demo first.)
3) The graphics are beautiful, anyone who has played this type of game on a computer prior to this will notice how big the upgrade is, and how they have earned the word HD in their title.
But of course there is a catch:
There is a beautiful track maker, that allows you to create custom tracks with ease. (small learning curve) However there isn't a 'browser' of types that allows you to download other strangers tracks. You can only 'take' tracks from your friends, and if you are like me and only have friends you know in real life on your friends list, you may be up crap river without a paddle.
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9: Castle Crashers
This obviously makes the top ten, and just ahead of Trials, because I am not usually a fan of simple 2D arcade beat-em-ups. That being said, Castle Crashers has a unique feel to it, and while the humor is somewhat 'childish' in nature, it is difficult not to giggle at some of the physical humor.
As far as gameplay goes, theres 2 attacks, a block, and a magic attack. (of course you can jump) So after a quick playthrough, things may start to get boring.
Which is why they allow 4 player coop! Same screen and online, I believe, and it rounds the game out quite well. If this weren't a coop game, I wouldn't have found my way to the end of the game. (out of boredom, not lack of skill :P)
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8: Shadow Complex
I see this game far too often on these types of lists, but as I was constructing mine I thought it would be un-just to leave it out. It is a quality game (aside from 3d background shooting/aiming bugs) that deserves recognition. In this era of gaming, it is risky to try something different. Even if different is reverting to an old scheme. Shadow complex is a fantastic experience, that will keep you pinned to your seat the whole time you are playing it. The only problem with that being: the game is over relatively fast, and if you aren't a completion-ist, like myself, there isn't much to do afterwards.
That being said, the gadgets, the guns, the jumping, the fighting, and shooting, makes this game into an excellent experience. (If you haven't bought this game yet, I'd wait around for a sale, its bound to happen for such an amazing game they've already made so much on)
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7: Portal : Still Alive
There are certain games that come along, and set a new benchmark for whatever genre, or implementation they innovate on; portal is one of those games.
In case you have missed this awesome game on the orange box (a collection of Valve titles) or have been living under a rock (and have no idea what portal is) here is the quick skinny:
You wake up in a holding cell. A computer is talking to you through simple training simulations. All of a sudden, you gain the portal gun; what ensues afterwards is a fantastic ride of portal puzzles, and taking a verbal beating from the computer Ai that is tracking your progress.
I'm not even sure I want to reveal more. Just go buy the damn thing.
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6: Any 2d Retro Sonic Game
To be quite honest, I am a sega fanboy. I don't have any beliefs that sega will ever make a comeback, and I have very little faith in the fact that sonic will ever make a glorious comeback. This is probably because my first system was a genesis, and I have loved video games ever since.
That being said, there is nothing wrong with bringing back some retro sonic love. They have sonic 1-3, and sonic and knuckles on the Live arcade, and rather than having 6-3 of the top ten being sonic games, I figured I'd just give him a category. Go Sonic!
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Here are the last few picks for my top ten.
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Put simply, worms is a classic. 2D blow everything up on screen, is the genre I'd put worms into. Heres the premise:
You control a worm (big surprise) with a ridiculous arsenal of weapons. I mean a rocket launcher is the simplest and the default. There are jetpacks, grapple hooks, dy-no-mite, proxy mines, homing missles, grenades, banana grenades (more devastating than they sound), and a whole other slew of interesting, unique weapons.
The best part of all is that it is 4 player split screen, and thwarting each others plans of worm domination is just too fun.
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I was very skeptical before I actually got into this game. I heard tons upon tons of people ( and gamers that I respected ) telling me how awesome an experience it was to play braid. I thought to myself, how special can time traveling be on a 2d platformer? it seemed borderline chicle.
I was wrong. I will admit it here, and let it stand on the internet forever that I misjudged Braid by the cover. After getting into the levels where the puzzles actually start to challenge you, I started to see exactly what my friends had suggested. 'Nothing like you've ever played', or 'I sat thinking for twenty minutes before figuring it out'. It's all true, and the best part is: You feel so satisfied every time you make a little progress.
Not just that, but the story! Oh the story. I had to re-read it a few times, but ultimately this experience is unlike any other you'll find.
Also let it be noted that one person did the design, and code for this game. (Jonathan Blow(Look it up))
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3: Dead Space (game on demand)
Dead space is one of those games, that is heavily hurt by not having a multiplayer mode, or a coop mode or anything to do after beating the single player.
That being said: 20 dollars and being able to play it semi instantly (how quick can you get to Gamestop and back?) is an excellent deal for this space horror shooter. It was unique in a lot of ways, and copied a few other games (bioshock storytelling anyone?) but on the whole this game was an excellent experience that anyone who missed it should definitely consider picking up.
The only drawback to games on demand is that most people don't have more than ten gigs of space. If you do, consider yourself lucky.
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2: GTA IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony
Twenty bucks for a parachute, helicopter, and unique liberty city story. I'd say it was well worth it, however if you bought GTA for 60 bucks, you may not sound as excited because you'd end up spending 80 for a few features you may have thought should have been in the original game. Well get used it folks, this DLC exclusion from original game is something that is here to stay. Gamers complain about 60 bucks being too expensive, so developers look at other options: Bethesda and 5 downloadable packs quickly after release of the game? Dragon age with 2 DLC packs on Day one? Lets think about this: DLC is here to stay.
That being said, The Ballad of gay tony brought back the mayhem to GTA. I found myself being the little boy I used to be, blowing up things right and left, and then escaping via parachute for more destruction. This is obviously a case by case basis, but I'd suggest that if you enjoyed the previous GTAs, but felt that someone was lacking from the forth installment, you should consider getting this package.
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The best download on Xbox live
Sorry folks, didn't mean to upset. However I have spent more time on Netflix than I have spent on any arcade game. It is a feature that has revolutionized how I watch movies on my TV. Thankfully the PS3 also has this lovely feature (on disc only so-far) and thanks for the lovely company of netflix, there are constant movie updates, and I am always broadening my horizons with unique movies I had never heard of. And revisiting some old classics.
That being said, there are of course amazing games, and DLC out there, so if you have a different opinion on my selection I'd be happy to hear it.