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The Greatest Games of This Generation: The Results - 20/10/13 - the top ten


Wiper
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Augh, my clumsy cut and pasting strikes again... (again, doesn't alter the scores fortunately, just a misaligned slab of text commentary where I accidentally double-pasted)

Sorry about that - corrected.

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Wow, impressive placings for Phoenix Wright and Rock Band; the former either drove me mad with it's trial and error or made me grin at its daft humour, and the latter provided lots of ace multiplayer fun with friends and family. :)

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Great to see Wipeout get some votes. Surprised Spec Ops is that high. The story should support the gameplay, not the other way around. Really didn't enjoy my time with it and consider there much more worthy shooters out there.

See, the thing is I actually enjoyed the gameplay - I certainly enjoyed the combat more than the laborious grind of Gears' combat (at least headshots felt like they ought, for one thing), though it was miles off the quality of Binary Domain or Vanquish as a shooter. Not the greatest shooter out there, but far from the worst.

*cough*Certainly better in that regard than the Half-Life series*cough*

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I think it is a shame that many games are having their votes split. I realise that people could have voted for multiple versions of a game but I don't see many people doing that. Both pgr3 and pgr4 are worthy of much higher positions than they have due to split votes.

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italic?

Central American?

Erk, I meant Central African, obviously. Not quite sure how I ended up writing American...

And I fear my ancient history may be showing - Italy derives from the Italic people and their cities, and as I'm pretty sure Italy as a country didn't exist during the setting of Assassin's Creed II, I went for the 'safe' option and described the cities according to their culture.

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Ahh, Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts :D

Creative gaming done right! As an attempt at something brand new (and neatly side-stepping that creatively bankrupt genre, the 3D Collect-Em-Up Platformer) Nuts & Bolts is an utter triumph.

There is an element of setting the challenge of the game yourself. You can hack together an unbalanced car with some wonky wheels and get yourself across the finish line while preserving with the crap car you built, You can spend a little more time, build something more driveable, tinker with it, test it, tinker some more and get something that it a bit more competitive. Or, you can really play with the physics and build something complex that does some odd things with jets that work to propel you across the finish line in record time by launching some small pod of a car seat in the right direction.

These layers of choice is what I really like. But the thing that makes it all work is the editor. Whichever individual(s) at RARE that made that editor made the game. Without the simplicity and ease of it, everything else would be for nothing.

Other games have wonderful powerful editors (Trials, LBP) but they are hopelessly complex. I would love to make something in them but there is too much there and too much time needs to be invested. Too many parts, options, and parameters to set. Banjo's building is simple and quick and the best thing (of lots of great things) is how quick you can hop from editor to world to editor again. Trying out how the weight is changed if you move the seat one block backwards is almost instant.

I've focussed a lot on the mechanics but equally the story and humour is splendid. Very dry and very knowing it feels like the team knew they would be up against it, but I can't help but admire the passion that shines through. Banjo & Kazooie are absolutely the perfect characters for this and in many ways it's the same trick that they used on Conkers Bad Fur Day. Anybody still upset over this game is an idiot. Fact.

I don't hold out much hope for a Nuts & Bolts 2, but Bad Piggies last year shows that it didn't go unnoticed, and I continue to hope it influences other studios too.

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Enjoying these write-ups immensely, but I'd suggest Mirror's Edge deserved what it got. It didn't have the courage of its convictions. If it was just the free-running I'd have loved it to bits, but the combat absolutely killed it for me. IIRC many of the reviews picked up on this - this isn't the game we thought it would be. There was a much better game in there that only half got made. Clearly enough folk here like it to get it to this position, so I'll shut up now, but I reckon this would have been higher had they shot the first person who mentioned guns (ironically).

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Indeed. The only combat in the game that mattered was the over-in-a-second melee - the guns were clearly put in because a) it made the game an easier sell, and b) it made logical sense that you would be able to pick up the guns from the bodies of enemies. The fact that DICE - who know a thing or two about gun games - made the gunplay extremely clunky in Mirror's Edge, as well as completely nullifying your agility if you did decide to make use of them, seemed to make it pretty clear that they wanted players to avoid using them where possible (Faith is a free-running courier after all, not a soldier), as did the presence of the well-publicised achievement for completing the game without using a gun.

They put in a (actually very good) melee system that made full use of your character's mobility,* made every situation completable through rushing, out-maneuvering, out-witting and then knocking out or plain evading your enemies, and then got criticised because people chose not to make use of it, and instead decided to play the game like a shooter? I'm not sure that really holds up to scrutiny. It's rather like criticising Hitman: Blood Money because it's not great if you approach it as a third-person shooter - it gives you the option of playing that way, but it clearly doesn't encourage or want you to rely on that gameplay - it just didn't make in-game, logical sense to prevent the player from being able to do so, so it was kept in. This is hardly a game like Absolution, where the game forces you away from its strengths into something far less enjoyable.

*I have never felt more boss in a beat-em-up than when I managed to knock someone out with a motherfucking wall kick, not least because I'd had complete control over every element of the move.

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Mirror's Edge was ace, but it was deeply flawed. For every truly amazing bit where you nimbly scamper your way up the outside of a building site and out onto a truly enormous crane or excitingly run away from masked free runners with stun guns, there was a bit where you tediously dodge things on top of a subway train, or crawl painfully slowly through a vent. Or sit there waiting for Faith to turn a big wheel or for a list to arrive. Or have a rubbish boss battle with an unskippable intro cutscene.

When it was great it was really fantastic, but so much of the game wasn't great.

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Yeah, Mirrors Edge was really flawed all over.

They'd have been far better to have melee enemies throughout capable of chasing you, and maybe introduce harassing ranged enemies near the end. Suits the setup far better, and avoids all the "well they needed to have guns because you should be able to pickup guns". Also sort out the loading.

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Mirror's Edge was ace, but it was deeply flawed. For every truly amazing bit where you nimbly scamper your way up the outside of a building site and out onto a truly enormous crane or excitingly run away from masked free runners with stun guns, there was a bit where you tediously dodge things on top of a subway train, or crawl painfully slowly through a vent. Or sit there waiting for Faith to turn a big wheel or for a list to arrive. Or have a rubbish boss battle with an unskippable intro cutscene.

That's a much fairer criticism, though I actually quite liked the slower sections, as they offered a brief respite from the mad rush that was the rest of the game, the contrast making those panicked races across rooftops and up buildings all the more powerful.

The wrestler boss was rubbish, though, and added nothing to the game.

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