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Greetings. I am the Illusive One. For many years now I have been a huge video game player, movie viewer, and book reader. For almost as long, I have been a critic of these things and many people respect my opinions of these things and have often said I belong on G4 doing reviews on X-Play or a similar show. Sadly that is not likely to happen. So instead I shall do reviews for you, uninfluenced by other reviewers, of video games books, movies, and, occasionally, music and political actions. I hope you find this informative and helpful. Thank you for your time.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Illusive One's Top Five Games of 2010

              Well, 2010 is over, 2011 is here, and a new year of games, films and books will soon be out or have already been released.  But before we get into anything from this year I'd like to take a look back at my five favorite games of 2010.  These games will be in order from my least favorite to my most except for the top two as it's next to impossible for me to put one ahead of the other.  So, without further delay, I present to you The Illusive One's Top Five Games of 2010.

          At number five is Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.  Anyone who owned a NES or a Super Nintendo in the 80s or a Sega Genesis or a PlayStation in the 90s has to remember the Castlevania games.  For those of you who don't, allow me to refresh your memory.  To make a long story short, they were games where you played members of the Belmont family and/or their allies as they battle Dracula and the forces within his castle once every century.  However the games were unable to effectively make the transition from 2D to 3D in the late 90s and the series went way downhill and virtually unnoticed during the 2000s.
            That, however, changed with the release of Lords of Shadow in October of last year.  The game takes place in Medieval Europe and a spell has cut off Earth from the Heavens keeping all souls of the dead stuck on Earth.  In order to break this spell, the protagonist, Gabriel Belmont must slay the three Lords of Shadow, the creatures they command, and collect pieces of the Mask of Shadows in hope that he will use it to break the spell and resurrect his recently dead wife.
            The game had a large variety of enemies that included werewolves, vampires, zombies, ogres, trolls, goblins, wargs, giant spiders, and enemies that I have never seen or heard of before.  While the game is a button mashing hack and slasher it didn't come off as being repetitive like other hack and slashers such as Dante's Inferno.  The enemies were constantly changing, you gradually get upgrades and they never reused the same environment twice.
            While the plot may have been a bit clichéd, it made up for it with great gameplay, great voice acting, great enemies and a great after credits twist.  While there's no Dracula and many things from the old Castlevania games are missing, it is still, in essence, a Castlevania game and is one the greatest installments of the franchise.  So don't miss out on it.

           At number four is Fallout: New Vegas.  Since I have already done a review on this game I'll keep this one short.
            The plot of the game revolves around a courier who is shot in the head while delivering a package to New Vegas.  By some miracle he/she survives and goes after the men who did this and in doing so becomes a key player in the current war between the various factions in the Mohave.
            While the game did have a huge number of faults, it was still a Fallout game and that ensured it a spot on my list.  It still had giant, mutated creatures and enough human enemies for you to kill to rival a Call of Duty game.  It still wasn't as good as 3 and was a bit of a disappointment but was still one of my favorite games of 2010 and I would highly recommend playing it if you enjoyed 3.

           At number three is Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.  Once again, I've already done a review on this game so reference that if you want more detailed info on it.
            The plot of this game revolves around Desmond Miles as he once again takes control of Ezio Auditore in search of where Ezio hid one of the Pieces of Eden.  In Ezio's story, Ezio has to stop the Borgia family from conquering Italy by cutting off their support in Rome.
            The game, in a nutshell, it took everything that was good about Assassin's Creed II, put in a smaller scope, added a multiplayer, and gave you the ability to recruit other assassins.  As I said in my review, it was one of the greatest of 2010 so check it out if you liked II and enjoy ramming a few blades into a few throats.

           Now this is where the games get tied up.

           The first game tied for number one is Red Dead: Redemption.  Do I really need to explain why?  Well, once again, I will anyway.  You play as former outlaw John Marston as he hunts down his former gang for federal agents who are holding his family hostage.  In the process, you fight a war against outlaws, get involved in a Mexican Civil War, and have to put down a Native American uprising. 
            Up until this point, there really hadn't been a single decent western game released and I truly believe that only the creative minds at Rockstar Games could have pulled this off.  All of the previous attempts had gone under the assumption that giving a character a six shooter and a duster would automatically make it a good western and this game did so much more than that.
            As far as gameplay goes, just thing of a western version of Grand Theft Auto IV and you got it.  It was full of everything a western should have, ranging from six shooters to old time saloons.  A great twist on the whole thing is that it takes place in 1911 with a dying Wild West theme.  It adds a sense of a changing time; a period of uncertainty for the people of the west and those who have prospered in it and I really think this added to an already great environment.  Later in the game you go to a modern town and actually see and use weapons and technology that wouldn’t have been available in 1880s.   
            It had great gameplay, voice acting, great characters, a great plot and one of the most mature and realistic endings I have ever seen in a video game that leaves you feeling empty inside, just the way an ending should.
            It's already won many Game of the Year awards and John Marston is already considered to be one of the greatest video game characters of all time and was ranked at number 2 on Game Informers The Thirty Characters who Defined a Decade, so in truth, me writing this description is kind of pointless but I still had to give my opinion.  It is truly a masterpiece so don't miss out it.

           And finally, the second game tied for number one is Mass Effect 2.  Taking place two years after the events in the first game, Commander Shepard finds himself working with the pro-human terrorist organization Cerberus.  Together, they try to stop a race of aliens known as the Collectors from abducting human colonies for unknown purposes.
            The gameplay, environments, and graphics were hugely improved, the dialoged and voice acting was just as good as the first, and the characters were hugely improved.  The fighting controls were fluent and completely re-mastered and made for one of the best third person shooters I have ever played.  It's one, however, that you have to play in order to understand.  But still, it had great gameplay, great environments, great characters, a great plot, and great voice acting.  So don't miss out on it.

          Well, those are my top five games of 2010.  Keep in mind there were many games released last year that I didn’t get the chance to play and there are certain genres of games I just like more than others.  Until next time, this is the Illusive One saying thanks for reading.


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