End of Year Awards 2010

Red Dead Redemption is a masterpiece of epic proportions. Players take the role of John Marston, who must hunt down the outlaws he once ran with. While Marston is on the game's cover, the game's real protagonist is the sprawling western world created for the game by Rockstar. It's rare that a game is as fun to sit back and watch as it is to play thanks to gorgeous set pieces and visuals. This combined with fantastic voice work and an incredible sense of action makes for one of this generation's most well done games.
 Super Mario Galaxy 2

It may not come as much of a surprise but playing through Mario Galaxy 2 is an absolute, unabashed blast.  Most intriguing about the game is the fact that you're unlikely to ever be bored, each section and each mission introduces a new mechanic or a new objective that is sure to challenge you. Much like Mario's previous 3D adventures, you'll often have to go back into levels more than once, and each time feels surprisingly fresh and fun. There were many times when I thought – given my experience with video games, that I knew what was going to happen, only to be led in an entirely different yet thrilling direction.

Make no mistake about it, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the best game on the Wii. Much like Super Mario 64 defined the Nintendo 64, the Wii finally has its identity. It's imaginative, exciting and most importantly – very, very fun.
 Mass Effect 2

Star Wars was an almost religious experience when it first came out. In the year 2010, Mass Effect 2 had the same effect for many who experienced it.

Like all great sequels, Mass Effect 2 takes the formula set by its predecessor and improves upon it greatly. Playing as a customized Commander Sheppard, players are set on a journey to assemble a team to go on a suicide mission. In the process, you'll encounter underlying lessons on everything from morality to humanity and everything in between. Literally everything, from the vehicle driving to the combat has been improved in Mass Effect 2.

 Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty

In an industry where a new Call of Duty or Guitar Hero seems to hit shelves every six months, gamers have grown accustomed to not having to wait very long for their favorite franchises. Not Starcraft fans though, while Blizzard has focused their creative energies on their World of Warcraftgames and expansions, it's been twelve long years since the first Starcraft game's release.

Not only is Starcraft 2 the best RTS I've played this year, it could very well be the best RTS I've played period. Filled with Blizzard's trademarked creativity and attention to detail, Starcraft 2 is one of those sequels that we're going to be talking about for years to come. Every gamer needs to play it and after, they'll need to own it. In short, Starcraft 2 is pure videogame bliss.

by Joe Sinicki


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