Thursday, March 01, 2007

Double J's Best Games of 2006

10. Final Fantasy XII (PS2)

You though the jacket was gay...

Final Fantasy games are a big deal. When one hits, you know it. FFXII was of little exception. Although there was a different kind of calamity about this one. Square-Enix must have decided a change was in order. Instead of the tried and true method of the RPG standard turn based action, it happens in this weird, semi-real time kind of battle. Hell, if you really want to, you could even damn near have the game play itself for you. FFXII is a beautiful game, with a very well written story. But to say it was simply disappointing is only scratching the surface. It's still great though, for what it is. But as a Final Fantasy game? It will never rank in the top 5.

9. NEW Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo DS)

Starring Dustin Hoffman as Birdo!

Nerds everywhere have waited years for this game. Take Super Mario Bros. 3, throw in some Super Mario Bros. 1 and Super Mario 64, and you've got NEW Super Mario Bros. There is a problem though. Yeah, it's a Mario game. Run, jump, don't fall, and squish the Goomba. But it has little heart. The quirkiness of the Mario genre almost feels force fed. It doesn't have that feel as you would expect from a Mario game. It's great, but the levels are fairly tame and lack any REAL design. They are almost like levels some guy on the internet created for his online Mario knockoff. With all that said, this is still an amazingly fun game that can really leave you reaching out for a fix of Mario. Let's hope we get a sequel.

8. Dragon Quest Heroes:Rocket Slime (Nintendo DS)

Looks like I need to get me a new jacket...

A game that I never thought of playing. I like RPGs, but it wouldn't have surprised me if I had passed up this game all together. Honestly, and I don't like to admit this, but I decided on playing this game based on hearing them talk about it on an IGN Game Scoop Podcast. This game is adorable. It's a quirky RPG adventure that is in vain of The Legend of Zelda series. It's cute, it's funny (especially the shocked expression Rocket gives quite often...), and it's just fun. Plus it has tank battles. Using yourself or your friends as tank ammunition is hilarious enough on it's own. The tank battles are some of the most intense battles I've had in a handheld RPG ever.

7. Bully (PS2)

Beating Kids up for 2 years!

Jack Thompson is rolling over in his grave. Well, at least I wish he was. This game will apparently lead to thousands of deaths in America alone. I mean, as we speak, some kid is plotting on training with a Hobo to kick some guys ass right now. This game is Grand Theft Auto Lite. It's an open playing field where the main area of attraction is your school campus. I guess you play as a bully, even though there are pricks in the school worse than you. It's just good, juvenile fun without hooker holes.

6. Elite Beat Agents (DS)

Nintendos Dirty Little Secret

Music. I genre I love apparently. I mean, for whatever reason there seems to be a music game that is always topping lists these days. Including my own. Frequency, Guitar Hero, hell, I'm even a fan of those Karaoke Revolution games. This is an interesting take on the genre. You are basically male cheerleaders that help people get through difficult times in their lives by dancing and singing an EXTREMELY eclectic group of songs, from Deep Purple to Madonna, they've got the bases covered here.

5. Tetris DS (Nintendo DS)

One right move, and the building gets it!!

It's Tetris. It has an NES theme. It's Online. That is all.

4. Wii Sports (Wii)


Holy Jesus H. Christ. I figured Wii Sports would be a fun game. Just look at screen shots, how bad could it really be? I find this game funny for one particular reason. It doesn’t take much movement to play the games, but when Tennis comes up, you’re on your feet chasing the ball down like you are really on a court. Thusly making you look like a total jackass. Wii Sports has a funny way of making everyone want to get in on the action. My dad hasn’t played a video since the original Gran Turismo on the Playstation, and yet he asks me to hook the thing up so he can play some golf and bowling. Good job Nintendo.

3. Okami (PS2)

Stupid Okami and it's not funny pictures...

Clover Studios is/was/is going to be again a great game company. They stay sort of under the radar. People don’t recognize the name, they made some great games too. Viewtiful Joe is an amazing game. But their true masterpiece is Okami. Stripped down, without the wacky premise, the game is a strikingly similar to an N64/Cube/Wii Legend of Zelda game. It’s an action adventure RPG. You are a wolf god, and you defeat your enemies with the power of a paint brush. Okay, that sounds gay, but you don’t know if you haven’t played it. There is something disturbingly beautiful about painting a line on the screen that cuts your enemies in half.

2. Guitar Hero 2 (PS2)

Featuring The Worlds Most popular accordian songs!  All the artists have the last name of Yankovic though...

Guitar Hero was my Number 1 game of 2005. It had a lot going for it. Awesome tracks, and an awesome controller to go with it. Guitar Hero 2 would have been the single most anticipated game of the year if it weren’t for the fact that Nintendo and Sony were launching consoles the following month of it’s release, and Nintendo was bring Zelda with them. Guitar Hero 2 improved upon some of the mechanics, making some of the more hand warping moves easier to pull off. Plus the soundtrack is right on par with the previous release, featuring some of my all time favorite songs like Free Bird and Carry On Our Wayward Son. It’s just as awesome now as it was a year ago.

1. Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess (Wii)


The Gamecube failed to launch with a legit Mario game. And it never even really got one either. Sure, it launched with Luigi’s Mansion, but that just doesn’t cut it. The Nintendo failed again without a Mario title at launch, but they made up for it big time. Nintendo’s newest console, the Wii, hit shelves with a game that had long since been considered a Gamecube game, but Nintendo stepped it up a bit, added some fantastic Wii Remote capabilities, and made the best game of the year. Period. I don’t want to be on of “those guys”, but Twilight Princess may actually be on of the best games in almost ten years, only being beat out by Ocarina of Time. Seriously. This game is worth price of admission alone. Already have a Gamecube and can get the game for that? Fuck you. Buy the Wii anyways. You’re an asshole thinking the ‘Cube version is an acceptable substitution.

Honorable Mentions: Brain Age/Big Brain Academy, Dead Rising, Lost Planet, Metroid Prime Hunters, Clubhouse Games, Trauma Center: Second Opinion, Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, Black, Star Fox Command, Final Fantasy III. There are plenty others that I'm probably forgetting, but you get the point.

--Double J

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