Ever seen one those TV shows that round up the year in news? Ever wanted one just for games? No? Well tough, that's what this is...
2010 got off to a great start, particularly for the Xbox 360, with the release of Mass Effect 2 on the Xbox 360 and PC (PS3 owners weren't completely left out in the cold though, thanks to the announcement that there would indeed be a PS3 release in 2011) and the better version of Bayonetta. Wii fans weren't left out either and saw a sequel to cult hit No More Heroes. Capping off the best of the month for us was Hustle Kings, a little-known PSN billiards game.
Dark Void Zero won the dubious honour of being our lowest scoring game for the month of January, proving that it's not so easy to make a good retro game afterall.
Mass Effect 2 (360, PC) - 9.5
"It’s amazing what difference two years can make in a franchise. Mass Effect has gone from a great game to an unforgettable one". Read the rest here.
Bayonetta (360) - 9.1
No More Heroes 2 (Wii) - 8.9
Hustle Kings (PSN) - 8.5
Dark Void Zero (DSiW) - 5.3
The flood of big PS3 exclusives began with the release of Heavy Rain in February, to great critical and sales reception; CGI was vindicated and everyone else pretended not to be too surprised. The sequel to one of the most impressive games of the generation also arrived in February, this time on both HD consoles simultaneously. The same couldn't be said for Star Ocean: The Last Hope International though, but the wait seemed to be well worth it. Finally, the latest Ace Attorney game arrived and turned out to be, somewhat predictably, a great game.
Deadly Premonition entered the Hall of Shame in February. Some sites seem to think it's so bad it's good, we just think it's plain bad.
Heavy Rain (PS3) - 9.1
"[Heavy Rain] gives the player a thrilling rush, and an intriguing and interesting story that will keep you on the edge of your seat from the beginning to the end. This is the kind of game that you may sit down and play all at once, not because it’s incredibly short, but because it’s just too hard to put down". Read the rest here.
BioShock 2 (PS3, 360) - 9.1
Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth (DS) - 8.4
Star Ocean: The Last Hope International (PS3) - 8.2
Deadly Premonition (360) - 4.0
The biggest PS3 exclusive of the year so far hit stores in March - God of War III, of course - and it was every bit as good as we had hoped. That wasn't all though - the most anticipated JRPG of the generation also landed in March, to a much more mixed reception. The tedious smack talk between the Battlefield and Call of Duty teams was finally put to an end, Modern Warfare 2 seemingly winning that battle. Yakuza 3 topped off arguably the strongest month of the year so far.
And the worst game of the month? Dead or Alive Paradise.
God of War III (PS3) - 9.4
"God of War III is fantastic. It is an amazing experience: exhilarating gameplay is tied together with a fascinating story and mind-blowing graphics". Read the rest here.
Final Fantasy XIII (PS3, 360) - 9.0
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (PC, PS3, 360) - 8.8
Yakuza 3 (PS3) - 8.6
Dead or Alive Paradise (PSP) - 3.7
April saw the release of Super Street Fighter IV for those who missed the game the first time around... and fans looking for an excuse to buy it again. Monster Hunter Tri became the best Wii release of the year so far, an honour it held for a mere 33 days. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted. The latest Splinter Cell release caps off the best of the rest for April. Shockingly, we didn't review anything truly awful in April. No worries though, we made up for it in May.
Super Street Fighter IV (PS3, 360) - 9.2
"If you haven’t already had the pleasure of enjoying Street Fighter IV, now is the time to pick it up. It is a superb package that proves that the fighting genre is still kicking and has a lot to offer". Read the rest here.
Monster Hunter Tri (Wii) - 9.1
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction (PC, 360) - 8.8
Somewhat predictably, May followed April. Almost equally predictably, Super Mario Galaxy 2 turned out to be fantastic, becoming only the 2nd game to ever exceed 9.5 on the site. The other game being the original Super Mario Galaxy, naturally. Not to be totally outdone, the HD consoles offered up Alan Wake and Red Dead Redemption in May. I did promise to make up for April's lack of bad games, so consider that promise fulfilled with Iron Man 2 and HexyZ Force.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii) - 9.6
"Owning this game is like being able to access your best day ever at an amusement park whenever you want... Mario and Nintendo prove they are at the top of their game and that their star is ever rising to new and incredible heights". Read the rest here.
Alan Wake (360) - 9.2
Red Dead Redemption (PS3, 360) - 9.1
Iron Man 2 (PS3, 360) - 5.5
HexyZ Force (PSP) - 5.5
Much like 2009, 2010 was the year the PSP died. Despite its demise, it continued to release some fantastic software. For the first (but not last) time this year, a PSP title claimed the top spot. Hmm... funeral postponed until 2011 then I guess. The Art Style series went from strength to strength, with Rotozoa picking up a 9.0. The latest Tiger Woods iteration on the Wii, and Rock Band iteration on... well, almost everything, topped off a diverse month.
I don't get hyped for games too often, but I must admit to being excited for Naughty Bear. I won't be doing that again anytime soon. The wooden spoon is yours, my cute, fluffy fiend.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (PSP) - 9.4
"Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker isn’t just one of the best games the PSP has ever had, it’s also one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences I’ve had in the 25 years I’ve been a gamer". Read the rest here.
Art Style: Rotozoa (WiiWare) - 9.0
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 (Wii) - 8.6
Green Day: Rock Band (PS3, 360, Wii) - 8.3
Naughty Bear (PS3, 360) - 3.3
The PSP made it two months in a row with Persona 3 Portable, but was joined this time by the wonderfully atmospheric XBLA indie title, Limbo, both of which managed straight 9.0s. The greatest RTS of all time (disagree? Sue me) finally received its sequel in July, and, although it didn't live up to the original's greatness, it still proved to be a hit. The ambitious PSP Mini, Young Thor, rounds out the best of the rest for July.
There was another tie for worst scoring game of the month, with movie tie-in Clash of the Titans, and the latest Wii exclusive from High Voltage, Tournament of Legends, sharing the prize.
Limbo (XBLA) - 9.0
"Every second of the experience is of the highest quality. LIMBO is a hauntingly unique and unforgettable experience, worth every minute of your time". Read the rest here.
Persona 3 Portable (PSP) - 9.0
StarCraft II (PC) - 8.9
Young Thor (PSP/PSN Mini) - 8.5
Tournament of Legends (Wii) - 5.2
Clash of the Titans: The Videogame (PS3, 360) - 5.2
The PSP continued its impressive winning streak in August - three months in a row now - with the release of Valkyria Chronicles II. Fans dared to hope that Valkyria Chronicles III would return the franchise to the PS3, alas it was not to be, and the series is staying with the PSP for the time being; finally ready to buy a PSP yet, Valk fans? Lara Croft brought the Summer of Arcade to an excellent end. Another ending came for the Sam & Max series, with the release of the final episode in the Devil's Playhouse adventure. Spare a thought for Metroid: Other M though - it failed to even make the 'best of the rest' category.
August saw us give out the lowest score we've ever deployed: a mere 1.1 for Just SING! National Anthems. Owch.
Valkyria Chronicles II (PSP) - 9.3
"Valkyria Chronicles II is truly a worthy addition to the franchise and proves that a small system can still pack a huge punch." Read the rest here.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (XBLA) - 9.0
Ys Seven (PSP) - 8.8
Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Episode 5: The City That Dares Not Sleep (PSN, PC) - 8.8
Just SING! National Anthems (DSiW) - 1.1
One thing you'll never be able to accuse gamrReview of is review score inflation. What's that you say? Two 9.6 scores in one year? Well... I did say score inflation. 9.6 remains the highest score we've ever given out, with Halo: Reach now joining Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel at the top of our table. The PSP's winning streak came to an end, but it still managed to give us one of the best titles of the month in the form of Birth By Sleep. Finally, the Professor Layton and NHL franchises continued to score excellently.
A lazy XBLA port of Sonic Adventure was our worst game of the month, sparking off a trend of poor ports landing at the bottom of the pack that continued right through to December.
Halo: Reach (360) - 9.6
"Halo: Reach is still Halo, but it’s so much more. Bungie has poured everything imaginable into this game... this is the biggest leap the series has ever seen between entries." Read the rest here.
Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (DS) - 9.0
NHL 11 (PS3, 360) - 8.8
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (PSP) - 8.7
Sonic Adventure (XBLA) - 4.0
October was simultaneously the strongest month of the year and the weakest when it came to review scores. Four titles broke the 9.0 barrier - another Rock Band game, another Fable game, another Kirby game, and anoth.. oh wait, no, Shantae is new... I think.
Meanwhile, two games managed to score a lowly 2.8 this month. Coincidence? Hmm? I think not!
Rock Band 3 (PS3, 360) - 9.4
"Rock Band 3 sticks to what it does best and yet introduces so many new features... they all combine for a big step forward for the franchise." Read the rest here.
Shantae: Risky's Revenge (DSiW) - 9.3
Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii) - 9.1
Fable III (360) - 9.0
Dream Chronicles (XBLA) - 2.8
Farming Simulator 2011 (PC) - 2.8
November is almost always one of the best months for videogame releases, for obvious reasons. 2010 was no different in that respect. Somewhat fittingly, The PS3 exclusive Sly Collection and the Wii exclusive GoldenEye shared top honours in November. It was a good month all-round for PS3 exclusives, as the much anticipated Gran Turismo 5 finally hit the shelves and managed to pick up an 8.8, along with Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, which managed to shake off the 'AC 2.5' moniker.
Ports of 'classic' games continued to fare abysmally in November, thanks to Craxy Taxi, which tied with the latest Naruto game on the Wii for worst reviewed game of the month.
GoldenEye 007 (Wii) - 9.0
"With a superb campaign, great production values, and excellent multiplayer that will keep you coming back, GoldenEye is an absolute must-have title for any action game fan." Read the rest here.
The Sly Collection (PS3) - 9.0
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (PS3, 360) - 8.8
Gran Turismo 5 (PS3) - 8.8
Crazy Taxi (PSN, XBLA) - 4.0
Naruto Shippuden: Dragon Blade Chronicles (Wii) - 4.0
And so we move swiftly on from the busiest month of the year for game releases to the slowest one. December is a dry, dry month, but there were a few notable releases (albeit noted for different reasons). Battlefield: Bad Company 2 kicks things off on a good note, with the well received Vietnam expansion pack. And LittleBigPlanet fans were given a little teaser of what's to come with the PSN title Prehistoric Moves.
On a sour and slightly shocking note, a Mario game was at the bottom of the pile for us this month, with Super Mario All-Stars abjectly failing to honor the legacy of the most iconic character in gaming on his 25th anniversary.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam (PS3, 360, PC) - 8.6
"The easiest way to look at this expansion pack is as a remake of the original Battlefield Vietnam, but with the destruction elements made possible by DICE's Frostbite Engine... [making it] well worth the purchase and complete bliss to play." Read the rest here.
Sackboy's Prehistoric Moves (PSN) - 6.0
Super Mario All-Stars: 25th Anniversary Edition (Wii) - 5.5
That completes our run-down of gamrReview's best and worst scoring games of the year.
A special thanks to everyone who supported gamrReview over the last year by reading our articles and posting your comments. It's very much appreciated!