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With another year turning into dust, let us not forget the releases of the year. 2009 was pretty good with games. Sony managed to kick everybody in the nuts with Killzone 2 and Uncharted 2, while Microsoft started getting scared, releasing *bleep* all exclusives for the 360 (oh, there was Forza 3, but that's it), but has no problem brining heaps of shit onto the PC. As for Nintendo, well, they released a few good titles on the DS, but only managed one Wii game worth my time. With that said, let's list a top 5, as well as some honorable mentions. Please note, these are my opinions, and do not necessarily reflect the objective quality of the games. What I'll list, won't necessarily be what you'd list. So without further ado, let's begin!


5. Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising (360, PS3, PC)
Anything that involves strategic thinking gets my vote. The feeling of actually putting some thought into your actions and managing to succeed because of them is the most rewarding of them all. Well, maybe not as much as blowing shit up, but close enough for me. Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising is a tactical shooter, much like Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter. No idea what that is? Well, you have a gun. So what? One hit, you're *bleep*ing dead! This really encourages you to think about your next move. More often than not, you ought to be one step ahead of your opponent. As for online, well, just know that snipers will *bleep*ing buttrape you to death if you're not careful. Be on the lookout, and be prepared to think outside the box, for the most tactical minds tend to win. I heard there are glitches, but none that seem to hidner progress too much. Some outright piss me off, but not to a huge extent. At least this doesn't freeze whenever it wants, unlike a certain OTHER Codemasters game!

4. Killzone 2 (PS3).
If Crysis was to ever come onto a console, this is about as good as it's going to get until Crysis 2 comes out. Killzone 2 is a graphics juggernaut, on a console that is essentially a graphics juggernaut. It also manages to encourage some smart thinking, even on the easier difficulty levels, or else, you'll be kissing dirt. Helgast will flank the shit out of you, and beat you down. Be prepared for anything, pretty much. Of course, on the easier difficulty levels, you could just run a bit and shoot, then find cover and kiss your booboos. You don't have this luxury for the hardest diffculty, unfortunately. But that's what makes victory satisfying. It could've been higher on the list, but a few levels prior to the final level just felt a bit weaker than the first couple of levels, plus the loading times are a bit too goddamn long. 20-40 seconds to load up a map? Hah! But at least online makes up for that, and much more, with many modes and a hell of a good time just waiting to be experienced.

3. Ratchet And Clank Future: A Crack In Time (PS3).
I *bleep*ing love this series, so why should I disgrace it by not including such an excellent game into this list? Yet again, Ratchet is given an arsenal of weapons that would make Chuck Norris weep, as well as a few handy gadgets and tools in leiu of Clank (as they are seperaed), and some time manipulation devices. Oh yeah, you can go through time in this one - mostly just to get to the other side, or to destroy an obstacle. Clank's gameplay pretty much involves time manipulation, amongst some platforming and a lot of puzzles that... you guessed it - require time manipulation. Don't worry, it plays pretty damn well. Only problems would be that the camera will go ape sometimes when jumping down ledges, space battles are a wee bit too easy for my liking, and SIXAXIS controls for the Dynamo Of Death could use a little work, as the projectile is a fair bit too hard to steer. They're not huge deals when you think positively, and Ratchet And Clank is the sort of series that does it - make you think positively!

2. Borderlands (360, PS3, PC).
What a better thing to do, than to insert RPG elements (ie. EXP and statistics) into a first person shooter, and attempt to make an online sensation out of it? Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare might've attempted something like this, but the online sensation rose mostly out of the fact that we wanted to kill each over and over again. Borderlands adds a few things to the mix - treasure, vehicular combat, character customization, teamwork encouraging moments, a near endless variety of missions, and a whole *bleep*ton of weapons and weapon combinations. Yeah, some parts are damn hard for a single player, and those without online will probably be screwed over in a few missions unless they're just lucky, but goddamn, the positives outweigh the hell out of the negatives.

1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3).
Ahh, what a cliche way to end a top list... by listing the game that everybody else is calling #1. Let's just say that me and hype have somehow managed to get along with each other for a short period of time, and it's through this game. I always seem like the person who would troll this sort of game in hopes of brining attention to less fortunate games, but I actually end up reading these "troll" reviews of this game, and I'm not seeing it their way (wow, a change of pace). I just can't. The controls are superb! The camera angles are great 95% of the time (SOME of the cinematic angles are kind of annoying to deal with, but I can adjust). The story actually kept me coming for more, wanting to see what they come up with next instead of facepalming over some stupid shit (due to the spoiler-free nature of toplists, I'm keeping my lips sealed here). Multiplayer is pretty impressive, ranging from co-op, to the usual deathmatch kind of stuff you see in other games, but this (like Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising) isn't a first person shooter relying on dominance, but rather, a third person shooter relying on acrobatics and some slick gunslinging. Honestly, I can't find too many big flaws, and the minor ones are ignorable due to the positives outweighing them.


Honorable mentions:

50 Cent: Blood On The Sand (360, PS3).
Assassin's Creed 2 (360, PS3).
Batman: Arkham Asylum (360, PS3, PC) (#7).
Bionic Commando (360, PS3, PC) (#9).
BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger (ARC, 360, PS3).
Brutal Legend (360, PS3).
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (360, PS3, PC).
Dragon Age: Origins (360, PC) (PS3 version is, supposedly, inferior).
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (DS).
Halo Wars (360).
Infamous (PS3) (#6).
Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days (DS).
Left 4 Dead 2 (360, PC).
Madworld (Wii) (#10).
Mario And Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (DS).
Prototype (360, PS3, PC).
Red Faction: Guerrilla (360, PS3, 360).
Resident Evil 5 (360, PS3)
Shadow Complex (360).
Street Fighter 4 (360, PS3, PC).
Tekken 6 (360, PS3).
The Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (DS) (#8).
Wet (360, PS3).

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For the past week, the weather has been fairly eratic in Australia. One minute, it's sunny with the birds singing and bees trying to have sex with them, but the next minute, the sky turns gray and it starts pissing down with rain. To make matters worse, there were a couple of thunderstorms. One of them, we even saw lightning bolts a few times while the wind pushed everything it touched that wasn't fixiated to the ground (so think leaves and stuff). Hell, most people had a little trouble keeping their bearings and balance, though being tough Australians and others, we managed to brave the storms and resume education, despite a couple of blackouts.


On the video game front, I've just purchased Halo 3: ODST and Batman: Arkham Asylum [PS3]. Both games prove to be excellent upon first impressions. Batman: Arkham Asylum is a definite contender for GOTY, with its healthy mix of stealth and action, coupled off with authentic Batman atmosphere and fun gameplay mechanics. Even Yahtzee couldn't find himself to have too many BIG problems with it. Not much to say, considering I haven't played it in the last few days. Too busy these days.

As for Halo 3: ODST, I can't quite give it the same amount of praise I can for Arkham Asylum, although I can, at least, give it more praise than I ever would for Halo 3. The campaign was... interesting. Yeah, a Halo game with an interesting campaign. Never thought I'd say it. The story seems interesting so far, having to locate your squad members while going through a series of flashbacks. For a non-RPG, the flashbacks allow the story to flesh out decently well. Actually, I haven't seen this technique used much. Last couple of times (and possibly even first couple of times too) were Lost Odyssey and Turok (360/PS3). Of course, it could all be a huge cocktease for some upcoming Flood, though I'll gladly give this a 10/10 if there's no Flood. I hate the Flood...


Aye, speaking of that basketball game with my brother, I jumped too far forward and ended up doing quite a number on my leg upon landing. See, the problem is that for some time now, I have somewhat brittle leg bones, and too much downward velocity can *bleep* them up bigtime. Thankfully, I only landed on my right leg and thankfully, it's not too big. Just have to be on crutches for a little while, so now I can't really do any tech (woodwork and metalwork). 2 extra study periods FTL, and on the day where I shouldn't have any either... Oh well, it got me out of tech clean up first lesson of tomorrow at the very least.


Lately, I've been listening to some electronica. This time last year was when I first listened to Boards Of Canada and fell for them. Unfortunately, it wasn't too often that I'd listen to them, Venetain Snares, Aphex Twin or any other DJs that I've aquired work for over the course of about 5 months. I've still been stuck on metal. But through listening to The Flashbulb and Xanopticon, electronica has been dominating my life for the past week. Sure, there's the occasional metal band that I listen to from time to time (Revocation, Arghoslent, Anaal Nathrakh, Persuader, Iron Maiden and Vader), but it's safe to say that I'm really digging electronica, and have finally, truly broken the binds that metal put me under.


This brings us to the end of the update.

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