FGotY 2009 [Xbox 360]

Wrapping up the individual console posts is the Xbox 360.

Jason O – 2009 was definitely the year where the XBox 360 was the dominant platform in my house. A lot of good games graced my disc tray. Borderlands was bordering on greatness but couldn’t quite pass cross into becoming a classic. Lego Rock Band was solid but uninspired. Modern Warfare 2 brought us more of the same but was still quality entertainment. Shadow Complex gave me a brief and enjoyable foray into a game genre that I consider well past its prime. While I may not be playing it any longer, I think the most fun I had with a game this year was Red Faction: Guerilla. All I really ask from an “open world” game is to be open enough to let me solve problems with my own style. Red Faction: Guerrilla delivered on this. The real pity is that once you’ve beaten the game and levelled most of the buildings on Mars there isn’t much reason to keep playing. Lack of replayability aside, I don’t think there has been any game this year that has been so much fun from start to finish.

James – I think the game that I had the most fun with would be Prototype I wasn’t expecting more than to be able to run around and destroy everything HULK-style and I pretty much was able to do that. It did get repetitive and I never ended up finishing it but I think I had the most fun with it while I was playing it.

Nat – The Xbox sat a little bit on the back-burner in our house this year. However, it did get some play time. I’m going to go against a lot of gamer’s ideas and say that I had the most fun with The Beatles: Rock Band this year. Not really knowing much about the group, it was a great interactive, historical trip. ‘Splosion Man gets and awfully close second for laughs alone.

Brock – The 360 has been gathering dust a lot around our house especially during the last half of this year. That said, I’d have to give my pick for the most fun game I’ve played on the system this year to ‘Splosion Man. Even when I was hurling the controller around the room in a fit of rage after dying yet again thanks to some of the most sadistic platforming I’ve ever done, I couldn’t help but smile while doing so. The crazy antics, awesome music (did you know that everybody loves donuts?) and mind-bending ending made this my pick of the year when it comes to fun on the 360. Plus, Twisted Pixel were the first to give away free Avatar awards for getting achievements. How cool is that?

Will – The Xbox 360 gets the most use around my house. When I look back at the games that were an obsession for me, the ones that had me thinking about them when I wasn’t playing them, I came up with the following list: Halo 3: ODST, Borderlands, Shadow Complex, and Dragon Age: Origins. I give my FGotY 2009 [Xbox 360] award to Borderlands. I spent a lot of time trying to sell this game on fans of console FPSes. I told them that its four-player cooperative play was a great deal a fun. I told them that there was something very gratifying about constantly collecting loot and comparing that new shotgun to your good old reliable one that got you through that epic fight with Skagzilla. I told them that four different classes, each with multiple skills trees, made for a decent amount of customization. I think I spent as much time trying to sell the game on others as I did on playing it; my Soldier character has fifty-two hours devoted to him alone! I enjoyed this game so much that I also have a copy of the PC version. I spent all that time marketing the game for Gearbox because I know a lot of gamers who would get a lot of enjoyment out of Borderlands‘ unique blend of FPS and RPG, but they deprived themselves of the opportunity to partake in its fun because they were waiting for Modern Warfare 2 to be released. Hopefully Gearbox will release a GotY edition that includes The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned and Mad Moxxi’s Underdome to capture the gamers they missed the first time.

Tony – My 360 definitely got a work out this year. I think I’ve finally hit almost every major release this year on the console, and it definitely was a great year for the 360. I thought long and hard about which game I had the most fun with. In the running were many of the titles already mentioned here by my co-bloggers and I’ll also mention having a lot of fun with Forza Motorsports 3 and Left 4 Dead 2. but in the end, the game I had the most fun with was Batman: Arkham Asylum. It took me a few hours to get into the game, but after the first Scarecrow level, I was in – hook, line and sinker. Then, once I got used the fighting system and felt comfortable and in the flow, the game opened up ten fold. There is nothing more satisfying than stringing up a bad guy from a gargoyle, drop silently behind his buddy to take him down and then take out a third with a batarang in quick succession. After I saw the 2005 Batman Begins, I wanted to be Batman. As Nat mentioned in the PS3 post, in Batman: AA, I was Batman. It doesn’t get any funner than that!

[2 Minute Review] The Beatles: Rock Band

Do you want to know a secret?

 

We all live in a yellow submarine

DO: The Beatles meet Rock Band. Simple.

TYPE: While my plastic guitar gently weeps

PLATFORM: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PlayStation 3, and Wii

PRICE: $60

MEAT: If you’ve played Rock Band almost nothing has changed except the difficulty has been lowered a notch for almost all the songs. The technicality of the songs was much simpler then, but, of course, the songs are accessibe by almost anyone. It’s awesome to the see the evolution of their music as you play each venue they play or as you sit with them in the studio. The dreamscapes (what goes on in the background in the latter half of the game because the group didn’t tour) are so amazing that they can be distracting at first.

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PERKS: style and presentation are top-notch; enough for hardcore Beatles fans; engaging and interesting enough for people familiar with the group; catchy tunes, interesting rewards; a music game that’s accessible for mom and dad; fun with a little help from your friends; 45 songs is just enough for one group; vocal harmonization; got my wife to play late into the evening three days straight

SCREAMS: to have Hey Jude and Let It Be; you’re not really playing a specific character; to have a little more depth; 45 songs is not enough for one game; $60 may be too much for some. The Beatles are the taxmen;

VERDICT: He buys her diamond rings you know. She said so. Im in love with her and I feel fine. I was not a Beatle fan, but the prospect of playing a Rock Band game where I knew at least ten of the songs intrigued me. After one week, I’ve become a fan. I guess the game worked. The title oozes style and substance. A non-fan may not see the substance, but I found the pictures, trivia, group dynamics, and all the history to be very interesting. I think what the game does very well is show how the group was innovative with almost everything they did up until the end. The evolution in their style of music, clothes, and even hair were indicative of the times. I was born in the late 70’s and I guess the biggest compliment I can give this game is that I understand the era in which they played a little better and it’s getting better all the time.