Friday, December 16

The Best Games of 2005

The past year was a cool time for videogaming- even though I don't remember having any gaming marathons quite like the PS1 days, I had my share of quality gaming time in the past months. Here are some of my favorite games played this year.

Haunting Ground
An unusual but compelling twist to the Survival-Horror genre. This time around, you played not as a macho monster-hunter or even a sultry femme fatale. You play Fiona Belli, a teenage girl whose only real defense against the hostile denizens of a spooky castle are her coltish legs... and they're used more for RUNNING than actually fighting (low shin kicks are her best bet). That, and her friendship with a mysterious dog. With a good story, gorgeous graphics and some interesting new gameplay mechanics make this game a must for scare-fans wanting a new take on the genre.

Killer 7
You play as a wheelchair-bound assassin with a multiple-personality disorder, unleashing various sides of your psyche to carry out missions against a cult of smiling mutant time bombs. Sound outrageous? You haven't a clue how wild this game can get unless you shoot it out with the Killer 7 yourself. With wild character designs (from luchadore wrestler to blood-spattered femme fatales), a confounding but always-gripping story and some of the most mature language you'll ever hear in a videogame, Killer 7 is sa unique experience for the grown gamer.

Tekken 5
A refreshing of a beloved series that had sadly gone stale in the past couple of installments, Tekken 5 brings back most of the old guard with a couple of cool newcomers, great CG cinematics and the rock-solid fighting action I remember from the best of the Iron Fist tournaments. Not even the CHEAPEST end boss in gaming can spoil this winner.

Soul Calibur III
I have to admit- I wasted away hours and hours just playing with Soul Calibur III's awesome Character Creation mode, and seeing my CAS babes (yeah, who cares about making male CAS? Heh) slash it out. The enhanced 'choose your own adventure' story mode is cool, the unlockables are plentiful, the graphics darn beautiful and sexy, and the fighting action addictive as hell. This is the finest game in the series and simply the most satisfying fighting game package you can find on any console, anywhere. Bar None. Yep, even better than the DOA games. And you can quote me. Who can't love a game where cotton panties make you EVIL? Hehehe...

Shadow of Rome
Yeah, it throws history out the window but darn, this tale of two would-be heroes in ancient Rome battling intrigue and danger in and out of the gladiatorial arena is one long, satisfying trek. Some of the most satisfyingly brutal and bloody combat ever seen in a game (with moves like The Meat Grinder) and some monumental battles make this a gore-drenched classic.

I'm looking forward to 2006. Xbox 360? Dead or Alive 4? PS3? The possibilities are tantalizing. For now, I'll settle for confirmation of Soul Calibur III for the 360. WOOHOO!!! Next-gen hotties, here we come! Heh.

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