The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2009!

  • @brannox 90% of it was still action-adventure though, there were just a few RTS battles throughout the campaign and not too hard to get through anyway.

    I loved that game, its world is so unique and built with such love and passion, it's like they boiled down an entire culture/musical genre into a universe of its own. I discovered so many artists through its incredible soundtrack, I spent hours just roaming the world in that badass car listening to all these bangers. Never got tired of it.

    As a videogame it doesn't do anything revolutionary, just a competent third-person hack-n-slash, but it was a joy to live there for a while.

  • This is a surprise entry as far as I'm concerned. Brutal Legend is a cool and memorable game but it's definitely Jack Black in both good and bad ways. I love the meshing of heavy metal with fantasy and seeing cameos from metal icons like Ozzy Osborne and Lemmy Kilmister, but jokes can fall flat and the strategy portion of the game is irksome. This one wouldn't be in my top 20 or top 25 of 2009 probably but it's certainly inspired.

  • Brutal Legend is the most hilarious case of false advertisement I've ever seen. I remember playing through the demo and really enjoying it. Only for it to then add on all the RTS mechanics after the fact, which just isn't my thing.

  • Brutal Legend is the perfect use of an HM. Doesn't mean is right next to 4th on my top but means that I'm more glad that exists than other games I would rate higher.

  • Banned

    I was able to forgive the tremendous genre bait and switch thanks to the massive amount of atmosphere and heavy metal feels the game just blasted in my face from start to finish.

  • @phbz My exact thought process. There are probably games from this year that I liked more or that are objectively better that DIDN'T make my HMs, but none of them are as unique as Brutal Legend, and that's something I value a lot.

  • I recall this released on the same day as Uncharted 2 and I was shocked by the amount of people I personally knew and well as the GT Forums who all seemed more hyped for this game than Uncharted 2.

    I am a pretty big Jack Black fan, I love Heavy Metal and action games but I really didn’t like the demo. It felt super jank to me. Didn’t feel good to play so I never purchased it. Still don’t even know what the hype is about to this day because I just never came across it in the wild.

  • @dipset The two big dueling release dates that I remember from this gen are:

    Brutal Legend + Uncharted 2 (Target had a BOGO deal on this date that sold out immediately, if I'm remembering correctly)

    Enslaved vs. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (two games I've spoken about before that I love for completely different reasons)

  • inFAMOUS

    #10. inFAMOUS - 15 points


    #1: 0
    #2: 2 (Scotty, Sentinel Beach)
    #3: 0
    #4: 0
    HM: 7 (Brandon_Reister, NeoCweeny, Lotias, El Shmiablo, bam541, Exist 2 Inspire, naltmank)


    Release date: May 26 [US], May 29 [EU]
    Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
    Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
    Genre: Action-adventure
    Platform(s): PlayStation 3



  • Finally, a game that I voted for! InFamous was one of the first truly awesome games that I got for my PS3. Aside from Motorstorm, the first few games I got were forgettable, and it took a while for my PS3 library to get going. I guess you can say that applies to the whole console library in general.

    My memory of this game is pretty hazy nowadays, I think I last played it in 2010, but I still remember liking a lot of the story stuff for both good and evil playthroughs. I don't think I ever finished the evil playthrough though. I really like the main villain's story in particular. Also, those comic book cutscenes are awesome. I really like that Sucker Punch still does that every now and then.

    Empire City's grimy and dirty look is something that the series would move away from in the later games (for the better, imo), but it does help sell the idea of a huge incident impacting everything in the city. Plus, one of the series' favorite staple to me is collecting those blast shards, and boy it's so fun to do that when you have parkour mechanics like in this game. You'll get extra powers for exploration too later on, like being able to slide on train tracks. In terms of fulfilling superhero fantasies, this game certainly did a good job.

    Speaking of powers, it's just so fun to throw electric bolts (or anything electric related) at people. I always loved the flexible and dynamic combat in InFamous games, and the first game did a good job of providing a solid ground for future games to improve on (and I think they have improved it! Second Son has the best combat imo).

    While there are better games in the series, I think this game still has a lot of good things that warrants at least one playthrough, especially since the story stuff is actually worthwhile. At this point I'm super cool with Sucker Punch moving on, but I would be hyped if they decide to make another inFamous.

  • I've got it for free after PSN hack. Good game, and I was considering it as my #8, but I liked Borderlands more (I think).

  • Of all of Sony's major 1st party franchises they've built and maintained over the course of the PS3's life cycle, inFAMOUS is one I've been turned off by. Despite my fandom of Sucker Punch's previous work with Sly Cooper, inFAMOUS came at a time where I was first starting to feel fatigue in open world games looking like you were doing a lot of the same kind of thing, but with different skins/time periods. On top of that (as I've stated on other countdowns), I'm not into the superhero/comic book style, so that's another knock against me ever wanting to try it.

    That said, I do appreciate what it does with it's take on morality and I DO know the major twist. While I kind of like it from an outsider's perspective, it's one of those that is SUPER easy to mess up or be a massive dud, so kudos to SP for doing a good enough job, not just with this game, but for creating a sustainable franchise across several entries.

  • One of the most interesting releases of 2009, inFAMOUS was a real killer app for the PS3 that felt refreshing with its comic-book stylings and its playing with electricity. I don't think young children should play inFAMOUS because they might get some dangerous ideas and may start to fiddle with electrical objects themselves, but inFAMOUS was sizzling with great gameplay and was supercharged with great moments. Cole was a bit too gravelly but besides that this was a successful IP debut that deserves to be remembered. While we're on the subject it should be mentioned that Yahtzee put inFAMOUS and Prototype devs into competition where the devs would have to submit a picture of the protagonist from the opposing game wearing a woman's bra and Yahtzee would pick the winner.

  • Niiiice. I really do love this game, I've played and finished it so many times. It's essentially the story that hooks me the most, that has some real gravitas and powerful moments. And the way it's presented both visually with those comic screens and with Cole's narration... It just hits me perfectly, that whole tone.

    The powers are really cool both for fighting and especially for traversing Empire City. The game world is just the right size with a sweet and appropriate number of things to do and collect, so the whole journey stays pleasantly tight from start to finish. And the score by Amon Tobin is the cherry on top, it binds everything together so well. Man, I love this game.

  • This game is dope as hell. My main criticism with it is that visually it's a bit of a drag - just a crapton of grays and browns, which isn't my vibe in a world with superpowers. I also remember being annoyed that your choices were a true binary, and that you couldn't play around with the nuance of one major decision later on (i.e. it didn't matter if you were a good guy the entire game up until that point, you were treated as an asshole no matter what if you chose the "bad" option). Still, just a really fun game with some sick powers.

  • I'm kinda shocked none of my picks have appeared so far.

    While I did purchase six of the ten picks thus far, it was simply that loaded of a year for me.

  • I'll never forget the infamous inFamous vs Prototype threads and comment wars on GameTrailers back in the day. I thought neither looked particularly great but almost everybody leaned into Prototype looking a lot better. Then both released and inFamous became a sudden hit while Prototype floundered.

    I think I played a demo and wasn't super into it but ended up buying it anyways and having fun. The art direction is just waaaaaay too grimey for me and the factions were kinda dumb. Your buddy was also kinda annoying, but on a minute to minute level, the game is fun. inFamous 2 was a lot better but I'm glad people came around on this one.

  • Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

    #9. Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days - 16 points


    #1: 1 (Sheria)
    #2: 2 (Jamicov, MXAGhost)
    #3: 1 (Brannox)
    #4: 0
    HM: 0


    Release date: September 29 [US], October 9 [EU]
    Developer: h.a.n.d.
    Publisher: Square Enix
    Genre: Action role-playing
    Platform(s): Nintendo DS


    GT Review

  • I saw this game in 1.5 collection. Maybe it was better as a game, but as a movie it's too slow and boring.

  • Of all the games in the entire franchise, I think this is the one that doesn't get enough love. 358/2 Days is MUCH better than the movie cobbled together in the 1.5 ReMix, because it leaves out so many important details (and is a major source of irritation, personally speaking). Playing as a member of the Organization is one the series' best decisions, as seeing everything through a day to day lens is very engaging, giving further context on who they are and what they did while Sora is out of action.

    The panel system is the one of the most flexible in how you want to build Roxas, but it's not utilized in any other Kingdom Hearts game, which is a shame. Having a set grid of squares to fill in with a keyblade and abilities is fun to me, and each keyblade has a unique tetris like shape you have to figure out how to configure in your grid, making it feel like a fun little mini-game of what abilities you want to chain together and what items/magic you want on each mission.

    The missions can vary, from fighting unique bosses and doing tasks like finding a set amount of chests to some of the more mundane filler like collecting emblems within a time limit or defeating a set amount of enemies. Having the ability to skip some missions to progress the story is appreciated, but I don't mind them, so I do as many as I can (though some optional objectives are terrible). While most of them you'll do alone, there's a decent amount where you'll be teamed with one other Organization member and having one on one time with so many of them is fascinating to see their personal dynamic with Roxas in how they view and treat him.

    Overall the story is solid, though it does have a couple moments where it really shines. A large chunk of the beginning takes place alongside the events of Chain of Memories, so seeing the other side's perspective of the aftermath of that game is really cool. There's a moment pretty late in the game (I think in the last week) where hindsight absolutely blows me away. Don't hover over the tag if you don't want spoilers for this game, KH Birth by Sleep, KH III, and Unchained x:

    During a cutscene, Axel, Xigbar, and Xion are in Wonderland, and something happens where Xion will temporarily look like Ventus, and Xigbar has a line saying he hadn't seen him in a while. This is important because Birth by Sleep didn't come until two years later, and no one really knew Ventus yet EXCEPT those who saw the secret movie from KH II, but Ventus wasn't named until BbS. And since KH III, this moment is given even GREATER context what with Xigbar being revealed to be Luxu from Unchained x.

    While this one scene is incredible to me, it's not the best moment of the game. That distinction happens in the next to last day:

    Where Roxas goes rogue, pulls his hood up, and you can dual-wield and become extra powerful for that one moment. And the fact it culminates in you playing out the secret movie from the very first game is a total delight.

    I really like the game a lot (if you couldn't tell) and the fact it doesn't get as much love as the main trilogy or Birth by Sleep is a shame. Square didn't do it any favors by making it condensed into a movie, but it's one of the better games of the whole series. While I dislike having to answer the question of "what games do I need to play in the series," from people who are looking to try the series for the first time, this is on the short list for sure.

    And as I always do whenever I have a game I voted for make the cut, I want to shout out and virtual high-five my fellow voters who showed love to it: @Sheria, @Jamicov, and @MXAGhost!