Game of the Year 2010

Vagary.TV Game of the Year!
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Mass Effect 2 is our choice for Game of the Year 2010.  The amount of depth and complexity in every possible regard will likely make this stand out for years to come as one of the all time greatest games.  Commander Shepard sets out to save the galaxy once again, and takes you along for one hell of a ride.  Those who were fans of the first Mass Effect will be infatuated with ME2, and even for those who didn’t really care for ME1 the amount of improvements in ME2 truly make it anyone’s game.  There are many hours of outstanding gameplay and there is great replay factor.  With a price tag now below $20.00, if you haven’t played it yet there is no better time than now.

-Ryan Kenward
Owner, Vagary.TV

Purchase from Game Stop For the disgruntled Wii owners out there, Nintendo has once again sought to appease you with the newest release in the Donkey Kong Country franchise.  Donkey Kong Country returns harkens back to the days of the Super Nintendo.  DKCR is true to the series, while successfully integrating new elements that fit in naturally that are fun and interesting.  DKCR is a fantastic game for gamers of all ages.  Moreover, DKCR looks outstanding.  Despite the Wii only being capable of 480p, the game scales remarkably well and looks much better than the actual resolution.  DKCR took me on a trip to my childhood, and that is something you can’t put a price on.

-Ryan Kenward
Owner, Vagary.TV

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My fingers tremble with nervousness above the keyboard while my eyes and mouse pointer waver frenetically across the screen. I’m worried about my economy and what my opponent is doing, but I know that, unlike in most multiplayer games, I won’t be worried about anything getting in the way of skill. StarCraft 2 has cleared a space for itself in my head with its depth of perfectly balanced gameplay – something that few games in 2010 have come close to doing. Thankfully, I can still wind down with the ever-expanding library of custom games, created by the community – from RPGs to side scrolling beat ‘em ups.

Anyone intimidated by the robust multiplayer, despite its ability to match up players of equal skill, can still enjoy the single player campaign. The campaign adds separate mission paths to the established cinematic space opera of the StarCraft universe that, combined with multiplayer, is the reason that anyone remotely interested in strategy games will be able to play Starcraft 2 for years to come.

Kyle Baron
Writer, Vagary.TV

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I’m guessing that Just Cause 2 didn’t find its way onto the lists of Vagary staff because of its plot. The story, although it ends well, is a forgettable paper-thin spectacle of ridiculousness. The real driving narrative of the game, and the force that compels me to adore it, is the player being a hero of their own story; you’re in several hundred square miles of cities, jungle, ocean, and desert with the freedom to do enact your imagination on the world with the tools (a grappling hook and infinite parachutes) that you are given. Whether I’m soaring past miles of jungle and cloud-capped mountains while standing on a fighter jet, or listening to the crisp pops of mile-away explosions, Just Cause 2 continues to nurture the pleasure centres of my brain every time I pop back into its fictional paradise – terrible voice actors and all.

If you have any care for open world action games, help me help you; play the damn game.

Kyle Baron
Writer, Vagary.TV

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What game has more densely packed action than the God of War series? That’s correct, pretty much none. So when Sony Santa Monica released God of War III, you would think we all would have been prepared for the Brutality of the game. However, when you’re playing through the very first scenes of the game, crawling up the back of a Titan to destroy Mt. Olympus and slaying the likes of Poseidon along your way, you’ll probably need to step back and take a breather, because Santa Monica studios seriously cranked this game to eleven. If you like action games, this is a no brainer, seeing as this series epitomizes the genre, you can’t go wrong.

Bill Millby
N00bketeers Podcast

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To say this game was anticipated is the biggest understatement a gamer might be able to muster. So after half a decade, Sony’s last “Killer App” landed this year, and it made quite the diverse splash. With over 1,000 cars and over 70 tracks and variations, it’s no wonder this game took as long as it did. With unparalleled racing physics and attention to detail, Gran Turismo couldn’t help be on our list. Just be warned that while many pieces of the game are more advanced than any rival, it doesn’t have the streamlined next gen progression and online elements we have come to expect from games this high caliber. But rest assured, if you’re a car junkie, then this equally earns itself a spot on your shelf next to the likes of the Forza brand.

Bill Millby
N00bketeers Podcast

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Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood was announced early in 2010, and fans of the series shuddered.  Was Ubisoft going to start cashing in on the series, releases underdeveloped games every year? Rest assured that this title was anything but underdeveloped. With the massive setting in 16th century Rome, your own teams of Assassins to recruit and train, a 20 hour single player campaign, and a unique and compelling multiplayer mode, Brotherhood was one of the best games to grace consoles this year.  Stabbing people in the neck has never been so well done. Now, about that shocking, cliff hanger ending…

Tony Odett
The Perfectly Sane Show

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The Old West had always felt like an untapped gaming resource. Thankfully, Rockstar dove in head first, and produced not only the finest Western ever, but one of the greatest games of all time.  With beautiful vistas, a living, breathing world chock full of animals, and an utterly compelling narrative, Red Dead Redemption was simply a must play effort.  In addition, the free roam multiplayer mode allowed you to explore the world with some friends, and the game received one of the greatest downloadable expansions of all time (Red Dead Undead).  John Marston’s story will suck you in, and the finale will leave you breathless. A fantastic effort.

Tony Odett
The Perfectly Sane Show


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Mario returned to the Wii platform with the year’s best platformer, Mario Galaxy 2. Taking the first game’s successful formula, Nintendo added Yoshi, an overview map (replacing the annoying over-world), and mixed in some classic Mario 2D action to create an exceptionally entertaining and challenging platformer.  Tracking down all those stars led to payoff after payoff, and the level design was out of this world.  Now, if only I could master Rock Mario bowling, I’d feel like a true platforming guru.

Tony Odett
The Perfectly Sane Show

Halo: Reach was the final labor of love by Bungie as they moved on to other things.  The result was the culmination of a decade of improvements to the Halo franchise, resulting in one of the greatest shooters ever created.  The campaign left you battling an inexorable Covenant tide, trying to salvage some sort of victory out of your inevitable defeat, and was one of the most challenging and compelling in the series.  The multiplayer was fantastic, adding a variety of modes and weaponry to what was already one of the best suites around.  From using the jet pack to drop on your unsuspecting foes, to a well timed armor lock to avoid certain death, to battling foes in zero gravity, Halo: Reach truly had it all. The addition of daily and weekly challenges added a new level of attraction to an already addicting package. An incredible effort.

Tony Odett
The Perfectly Sane Show

It might have slipped under your radar this year, but if you love excellent game design and a good challenge then look no further than VVVVVV. It’s a 2D platformer with a twist: instead of jumping, you flip gravity at will. It’s fast, fun and surprisingly deep, and the difficulty – while immense – never gets frustrating, as a checkpoint can be found every few seconds. The 8-bit soundtrack is also wonderfully catchy. Don’t let the Atari-level graphics fool you – VVVVVV, at $5, is as meaty and satisfying as most $60 games you will find this year.

Jason Ericson
The N00bketeers

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Author: Ryan Kenward View all posts by
Ryan is the Founder of Vagary.TV - he currently works in a free lance capacity and as an advisor. He formerly hosted the Game Seers Podcast, was the first Editor-in-Chief and is generally, a badass.
  • http://vagary.tv Jeff Derrickson

    I’m happy to see Just Cause 2 getting a mention, because it’s a lot of fun, but where the hell is the real game of the year–Epic Mickey?!?!?!?!!!! (Also, Reach, ftw!)