15 points, 2 votes
Brilliam: By the fifth level (‘Fear’), I am so enrapt that I forget I’m a sack of meat on a chair staring at a glowing picture frame. I forget everything, really. I just listen to some dorky rave song and react to pictures and grin like an idiot. If you doubted this game’s quality, check it out anyway. It costs little and doesn’t take long. Turn the lights off and sit close to the screen. You won’t find better immersion for a while.
John Justin: Tons of fun, zero replayability… kind of zero real playability at all in some ways. But I liked it.
Ste: So this is Panzer Dragoon with clever graphics/music interaction. It was fun for a short while, I guess; I just can’t believe I paid twenty quid for it.
Jeff LeVine: The leaderboards and stuff help make it more addicting; I know I played a lot of score attack trying to top my brother. Each level is better than the the one before and the last level is way better than everything that came before. Make sure to play through to that final level!
Tracer Hand: Holy shit. Between this and Fahrenheit it’s like I’ve now finally played the two games I’ve always wanted to play without even realizing they existed before. One is all sensation. The other, all angst. Both are fairly easy! Perfect!
15 points, 2 votes
John Justin: Fifty percent of this game is completely awful but the brilliance and bizarreness of the other half still put it in my top five. On the plus side, the driving is so transparently crappy that it only took about five minutes to realize that there was zero reason to devote any effort to making it do anything useful.
Mitch Krpata: The rudest and most joyful game of 2008, No More Heroes gleefully embraced all the symbols and tropes of almost three decades of gaming. NMH doesn’t necessarily strike me as a game of the year contender, but it’s an important breakthrough precisely because it doesn’t need to be judged along the traditional review axes. In fact, on the Metacritic page is this excerpt from the IGN review: “…it’s a pain to trek through, and a painfully low-tech visual offering. Pop-in is everywhere, control is irritating at best, and the frame rate is all over the charts. It’s an absolute mess.” It’s not often I feel justified in saying something like this, but it’s hard to imagine a reviewer so completely missing the point. That’s like bitching about a movie being shot in black and white after 1950. The look of this game was a choice. No More Heroes is a game with things on its mind, not least of which is its own identity. I feel richer for having played it. And, frankly, I’m just glad I finally got to play a game that let me use the word ‘pastiche’ without having to strain for it.
Garrett Martin : Yes, it is awesome, though kind of embarrassing to play when the wife is in earshot. I’m glad to see that Japanese inscrutability being applied to something that isn’t sci-fi, an RPG or mind-shatteringly “cute”.
Creeztophair : The ending is wonderfully delightful, the characters all have their own unique style and all the levels are pretty neat but the combat is mostly the same throughout the game.
Still a shitload of fun and a must purchase if you own a Wii.
15 points, 2 votes
Iroquois Pliskin: Pixeljunk Monsters follows in the path of the excellent (and free) flash game Desktop Tower Defense, which stripped away the genre’s complex economic and unit-management aspects and reduced it to a simple formula: the game sends waves of enemies marching across the screen. You build different varieties of defensive towers in their path to kill them, which nets you money to buy more towers and upgrade your current stock. You win if you prevent these enemies from reaching the other end. That’s it.
S1ocki: It seemed pretty fun and looked nice but I sensed right away that it would have the exact same fun value as any other web-based Desktop Tower Defense game, i.e. addictive for a few hours then impossibly hard and I’ll never want to look at it again.
Jamescobo: The PSP version has the potential make me actively love taking the bus.
Abanana: So great looking and yet such annoying gameplay choices… if they only had chosen to make the timer optional, it would be a great game.
(4-way tie for #40)
15 points, 2 votes
Mordy: I was probably predisposed to like this trifle of a game. Your protagonist is a boyfriend trying to finish his dissertation before his girlfriend leaves him. I know what it’s like to write a paper while every distraction in the world is pulling at you. But also, I know what it’s like to not want to disappoint someone you love. As you destroy your girlfriend’s gifts, trying to salvage your relationship, the game doubles up on pathos. It’s also the funniest and most surreal game to be written this year. A good argument that the age of interactive fiction is far from bankrupt of ideas.
Gravel Puzzleworth : I thought it was cute, although it left me a bit cold – actually I spent 20% of my time playing kind of outraged how this genuine first-time-author game was so much better implemented than any other IF I’d played – it sort of confirmed to me that when standard IF doesn’t understand me it’s the culture being wicked insular rather than some technical inability to do so?
26 points, 2 votes
NI: Hatsworth is great. I love the way things shift up a gear from ‘woah woah this is a bit crazy’ in the normal (very good) platform game to ‘SHIIIT BZZZTT’ in the also very good tetris-alike side game. It’s a headfuck though, on the difficult side and colorful/manic/bleepy to the extreme. My head feels like it’s jammed full of popping candy
Abanana: I love the intermission/”world of chocolate” music that plays during the bonus sections.
Forksclovetofu: This is a good time but I really need designers to stop making DS games where you have to juggle using the stylus and using the buttons, especially when it’s time sensitive. EA is making games for people with three hands.
N/A: Shit is pretty hard.