This is how the dancing genre should be done. Harmonix brought it on and stepped it up with Dance Central, a full-body follow-the-choreography game that showed off Microsoft's Kinect tech and ended up being the device's killer app at launch. Authoritative, yet fun, Dance Central felt like the first step in a franchise that could potentially have an amazing future.
Dance Central 2 is a given and I can't wait to see what it delivers. Harmonix has shown us with Rock Band that it can rapidly build upon a core foundation. Chained dance routines? Online dance battles? Customizable routines? It's probably all on the table... and I would dance on that table using a stripper pole for all of it. But, my gawd, I would give anything for the option to remove or exchange freestyle sections for more moves.
Valkyria Chronicles 2
I am certainly a passive member of the angry mob that cries out for Valkyria Chronicles' return to PS3, but I'm glad that the PSP sequel held the line on what makes the series great. Despite the portable tech limitation, VC2 still delivered all the strategy and drama fans would expect. The happy-go-lucky characters still discovered ways to explore dark themes for anyone paying attention. I really enjoyed VC2 and it was definitely one of the best PSP games of the year. I just really, really want the series to return back to the PS3 and let me enjoy everything about it on a big screen.
Haters gonna hate, but Civilization 5's accessibility is one of the best things to ever happen to the PC series. Since its release, the game has also fixed many of its initial AI issues, which seemed to mostly revolve around even the computer being confused that it couldn't do "stacks of doom" anymore. Clear strategy has returned to the 4X strategy game and I don't feel like I need to sift through Excel spreadsheets to follow what's going on. So much of the game's flow has been improved (and continues to be improved), that the series is finding that happy balance between Civilization and its console version, Civilization Revolution. I'm looking forward to the further improvements the game will receive.
God of Zelda: Legend of War. Darksiders obviously blended the best elements of two major franchises and it was good. There really isn't much more to say other than it should be played. It may not exactly have found its own unique voice yet, but for a game that came out the first week of 2010, it says something about Darksiders that it left enough of an impression for me to remember it again now.
Monday Night Combat
I want to have a better relationship with this game. When it launched, it had that multiplayer magic, like Battlefield 1943 -- then the cheaters and exploit-seekers descended. After a short trip out of town, I came back a week later to find a very different game than the one I left. By the time some issues were resolved, I had moved on, but I still think about Monday Night Combat. I really should try to get back into it again, as it's apparently better now, and maybe there's just a little magic left to recapture.
Just Cause 2
The best worst game of 2010. For a full explanation, check out our review on this "game." If you avoid everything the story missions want you to do and just mess around with the sandbox provided, Just Cause 2 delivers hours upon hours of explosive fun. I truly hope that whatever project Avalanche Studios works on next that they give the folks making the missions more than two weeks to do their job, and let the devs doing everything else keep on keeping on.
1 vs. 100
An inclusive family and friends gaming experience that died before its time. I will miss it.
Joystiq has revealed its 10 favorite games of 2010! Stay tuned to see those games that didn't quite make the cut in Joystiq's Best of the Rest series.