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Gamasutra's Games of the Decade: Honorable Mentions


December 29, 2009 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 5 Next
 

Katamari Damacy (PlayStation 2, 2004)

Keita Takahashi and Namco Bandai's wildly successful gameplay experiment attracted some enthusiastic boosters attracted to its incredibly original concept:

Anonymous: "Some games seek to put forth an original concept, while others focus on well polished execution. Katamari Damacy does both beautifully.

"Specifically here are the main strengths of the game: 1. Fun and original - It's like no other game that has come before it, and it's hard to put down the moment you pick it up. 2. Gameplay - The gameplay is simply to learn yet difficult to master, a hallmark of great games. 3. Music - The music to Katamari Damacy is in itself arguably the best game music of the decade, not to mention fairly original for game music.

"4. Characters and story - The cutscenes with the king and the normal family and their story are funny and entertaining without being so long they detract from the normal game. 5. Few development resources - The fact that this game was developed with few development resources makes what they've accomplished even more impressive.

"Put all of these factors together and what you have is the game of the decade. The only possible negative of this game is that it was too short, but on the other hand it definitely left the player with the feeling of wanting more. Truly Katamari Damacy is an eternal classic."

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PlayStation 3, 2008)

Kojima Productions stepped things up with this PS3 exclusive, and one respondent in particular was enchanted by the way it brought the classic stealth action series forward.

Anonymous: "Can any game, ever produced, ever, match its perfection? The gameplay was the pinnacle of the series, allowing you more or less the option of stealth vs. shoot'em. The visuals (don't forget the live-action "tv" to start the game) were the best ever produced in a game.

"The story encompassed more twists and was more epic than the previous three games combined. Like watching Star Wars Episode 2, you thought to yourself 'This is how everyone else will be making games in the future.' And besides, it's like when they gave the Oscar to Return of the King, really you are rewarding the entire series. This is our Godfather."

Pac-Man Championship Edition (Xbox 360, 2007)

Namco Bandai and Toru Iwatani's clever revival of his seminal arcade title was so cunning that it motivated some to nominate it for the best game of the last ten years:

Robert Boyd: "It took a gaming icon and made it relevant today. It popularized the idea of timed score challenges & retro revivals. It showed that less is sometimes more when it comes to game design. It has a perfect difficulty curve (the better you do, the faster it gets).

"But most importantly, I think it deserves game of the decade because it's playable and fun for anybody - you could hand it to someone who has never played a video game before in their life and they'd have a blast, but at the same time, a veteran gamer could spend a lifetime mastering the game's intricacies. The same can't be said of most popular video games which are either tailored towards casual or hardcore gamers."

Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords (Multiplatform, 2007)

Mashing up the puzzle game and the RPG with much aplomb, Infinite Interactive's Puzzle Quest has dedicated fans advocating for it in the Games Of The Decade countdown:

Jeremy Glazman, Refuge Zero: "This is the game that brought the puzzle-RPG genre to the forefront, and it wasted my entire summer. This could arguably be said to have been Bookworm Adventures, which was released first by a few months, but Puzzle Quest brought in all of the best elements of hardcore RPGs and made them accessible to the casual puzzler crowd.

"In a decade of clones and sequels, Puzzle Quest was one of the few games which opened the doors to a whole new area of unexplored gameplay mechanics."

Resident Evil 4 (GameCube, 2005)

One of the titles to just miss out on the Top 12, Capcom and Shinji Mikami's evolution of the survival horror game impressed many for its fresh approach and carefully crafted suspense.

Robert Ericksen, InSpec Games: "Released in 2005, it was able to use elements from the first half of the decade (QTE from Shenmue for example) but also be an influence to other games in the last half of the decade (Gears of War's camera for example). So it is the GOTD because it really is a part of gaming history; it was made from games and is still making games, and the franchise itself will be making more games for the entire NEXT decade too."

Ted Brown, Buzz Monkey Software: "After going through graduate school at the Guildhall and shipping my first game, GUN, I had a bit of an existential crisis: I no longer enjoyed playing games. Or, more specifically, I could not identify a single game on the market that I wanted to play. Considering I had just joined the industry, this was a crushing revelation. It was possible that a switch had flipped and I had somehow become a regular person with no interest in gaming.

"Then I played Resident Evil 4, on the GameCube. My wife and daughter were out of town; I was sick and feverish. But I played it until I could no longer physically continue, then slept briefly and played again. The euphoria at finding myself in front of the next big push forward -- and loving it -- has never left my mind. I am honestly grateful for the experience."


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