I was fortunate enough to be able to play a lot of 2010’s game releases. I didn’t get to play everything I wanted (Alan Wake, Mass Effect 2, Enslaved, Red Dead Redemption, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood), so it’s possible these top gaming moments would have been trumped, but eh, I’ll write another top 5 moments for those.
5. Deathspank – Greetings, non-descript citizen!
I have never laughed at a game as much as I did Deathspank. Even if the gameplay was horrible, the visuals were abysmal, and the enemies were unforgivably difficult, I still would have played through this game just to see what Deathspank says next. I’m still not sure what my favorite quote is, if it’s “Greetings, non-descript citizen!” or “And I love you, you disgusting little orphan.”
4. Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep – Sora
Wait, wasn’t this game about Terra, Ventus, and Aqua and took place years before the first Kingdom Hearts game? Yes, yes it was. However, it was really more of a backstory for what was really going on in Kingdom Hearts 2 with Riku, Sora, Ansem, Xehanort, and Roxas. All the way through these games, I had numerous questions about how this and that happened, not to mention all of the WTF moments. Even though BBS brought in several of its own WTF moments, the end game episode really tied things together and answered pretty much all of my questions. I, as a die-hard Sora fangirl, especially loved the explanation of how Sora and Riku got involved in the first place, and how Sora’s Nobody looked like Ventus. It was all so very sweet, and it brought a small tear to my eye.
3. Heavy Rain – All of it
I loved everything about Heavy Rain. I loved the murder mystery, how well it all wove together, how tragic all the characters were, and how much it affected me as a parent. Yes, the voice-acting wasn’t stellar, but the intriguing story made the voice-acting easy to overlook. I really want to play it again to get the other endings, but I’m not sure I can watch Ethan go through all that again. I was in tears after nearly every session of gameplay, and more than once, I had to stop myself from waking up my son to give him a hug.
So how can I like something so much when it made me cry? I love Meet the Robinsons, Monsters, Inc., and Toy Story 3, and all of them make me cry.
2. Bayonetta – The Big “OH” Moment
For pretty much all of Bayonetta until the last couple of hours, you had no idea what was going on. All you knew was that Bayonetta was hot, she was on a mission for…something, and she had a lot of interesting fighting moves. Thank God the gameplay was so much fun it made ignoring the odd story much easier. But then you learned what was going on and who Bayonetta was, you couldn’t help but have an OH moment of your own that had nothing to do with Bayonetta’s odd victory poses and the angel that had green light coming out of her, um, you know.
1. NIER – The Second Playthrough
Players hear all the time that it takes more than one playthrough to truly appreciate a game. When I received my review copy of NIER, the letter from the developers said it would take at least four times of play to understand all there is to know. I scoffed at it instantly, and then immediately ate my words upon completing the game for the first time. I did beat the game all four times and watched all four endings. While the last two endings really painted a conclusive portrait of Nier’s world and life (especially the fourth), it was the second playthrough and ending that blew me away.
Notice I said “playthrough” as well as “ending.” When you play the game again, right after the first ending, it zooms you to about the halfway point to play again, and not the very beginning. When you play this latter half again, you learn all the backstories to Emil, Kaine, and oddly enough, all of the end game bosses. I have never played a game that made me care about the bosses, but when you learn why they’re there and why they fight, you can’t help but want to lose the fights just a little. The feeling only intensifies when you hear the thoughts and private conversations of these bosses during the fight and their dying moments. You also learn what really happens to all of your companions, but I think that’s enough spoilers for now.