Date: 14 March 2014
Time: 1:21 AM ET
Mood: Can't fall asleep
Editor's Note: Read at your own risk. There may or may not be spoilers.
Encompassing a life span over 10 years and a personal 5 for me, the Xbox 360 can be regarded as one of the elite consoles in video game history. With a wide array of video games to choose from including your typical shooters like the Call of Duty series to the obscure gems like Viva Pinata!, the Xbox 360 has a game for everyone. Furthermore, the Xbox 360 is where most of my games come from, as I own 94 games as of date for it (excluding Xbox Live Aracde games). So to celebrate the bringing of the next generation that is the Xbox One and the end to a golden era, we're going to take a look at my personal top 10 favorite Xbox 360 games.
Vanquish is a third person sci-fi shooter that is characterized by fast paced speed as well as slow down mechanics. It is about a DARPA agent named Sam Gideon who must overccome all odds with his augmented suit and help the United States defeat the Russian Federtation who unexpectedly fired a laser on top of San Francisco, annihilating everyone in the process. Vastly underrated in my opinion, this game was a gem produced by Sega in 2010. Probably the most reminescent thing about this game is the insane boss battle at the end when you fight Zaitsev's bogeys. The battle royal is a classic example of how integral and well-executed the combat system is in this game, as you must boost from area to area to avoid attacks as well as slow down time to get enough time to launch an attack. The voice acting in the game is quite laughable, but is only a minor deterrent for an other wise great game. That being said, Vanquish speeds into the #10 spot in this list for its visuals and stellar combat system.
#9. Castlevania Lord of Shadows
This list wouldn't be complete without a Castlevania game, and while I am currently playing the game's sequel, the original is by far a classic. You play the role as Gabriel Belmont who must destroy all the Lords of Shadow, fighting vampires and werewolves to the brink of death, all in an attempt to bring back his loved one. In the end though, you are forced to sacrifice your own humanity to gain powers beyond your imagination to destroy a dark evil, which ends up transforming you into Dracul, or Dracula, himself. The reason why I have this game on here is not only because it's another beautifully crafted Castlevania game, but because this game has one of the best original soundtracks I've heard in a long time. It's an epic collection of tracks that push you forward on your adventure, almost making you strive to be better and become victorious in your venture. That being said, the combat controls are tight, the visuals are out of this world, and includes a wonderful cast of voice actors including Patrick Stewart.
#8. Lollipop Chainsaw
Looking at the art cover alone, you can probably already guess that this is going to be an over-the-top game...which I can confidently tell you yes, it is. Developed by Suda 51, Lollipop Chainsaw is a hack and slash video game about a zombie-fighting cheerleader named Juliet who, with the help of her bodyless boyfriend Nick, must defeat a epidemic of zombies so she has time to celebrate her birthday. Yup, you did not read that incorrectly. With your trusty chainsaw, you must ravage your way through six stages, each with a head zombie boss. My favorite boss is Josey, a T-Pain-esque zombie who fights you with his autotune. The witty banter between the characters as well as the amazing music - which resonates throughout the entire game - makes the fight hilariously awesome. That being said, Lollipop Chainsaw's fun style has it nabbing the coveted #8 spot on this list.
Daily Music - "All I Want" by Kodaline
Bethesda's open world game was my introduction to the Elder Scrolls series, and boy was I in for a journey. Skyrim, arguably one of the most anticipated games in recent years, has one of the most visually appealing worlds: traveling from Solitude to Whiterun, the world is littered with creatures, vast mountains, and the occasional guard who took an arrow to the knee. While the combat system in the game is quite simple on paper, there is actually a lot of depth and time considered in the customization of your character. You can become a dual wielding knight, a quick stringing archer, a destructive magic casting mage, and so on and so on. There is no restriction in how you play the game, as there is an element that appeases to everyone. Don't feel like tackling the main quest? That's fine, as there are hundreds of side quests that one can be a part of just waiting to be done. The hours I've put into this game have become too high to count at this point, and I am actually still playing the game to this day (I'm going for 100% of the game and I need to get to Level 80 to summon a dragon). For the long lasting play value of this game, Skyrim lands on this list at #7.
#6. Red Dead Redemption
Besides a certain character that shall be named later on this list, John Marston from Red Dead Redemption is hands down one of my favorite characters in recent memory. He has this charismatic nature around him, and the ending to the game left me absolutely stunned. That being said, Red Dead Redemption is an amazing entry by Rockstar Games and justifiably so. It's a spaghetti western game where you are thrown into the life of former bounty hunter John Marston. Your mission? To save your wife and kid from the government after they kidnap them for ransom to have you eliminate the former members of your gang. In the process, you'll be crossing the American Fronteir on your trusty steed, skinning bears along the way and getting into drunken brawls at the saloons. Surprisingly enough, this is the only Rockstar game to land on this list; however, it doesn't take away from the immersion that you feel when you play this game, which is why it lands at #6.
#5. Borderlands 2
Borderlands 2 is the classic example of a game in which is doesn't have to be taken seriously but can still roll out the punches to be a fantastic game. This FPS is about a group of new Vault Hunters who must take down the infamous Handsome Jack and gain access into the Vault which supposedly contains great power. You have control over 4 characters: the Commando Axton, the Siren Maya, the Gunzerker Salvador, and the Assassin Zer0. Each contains their own unique abilities which should be chosen depending on your play style. The reason why Borderlands 2 lands on this list is because of its co-op/multiplayer aspect. Borderlands 2 is fun as itself as a single player game, but it's meant to be played with friends. The ability to drop in and out of games makes for quick and easy fun for players if they wish to level up quickly or have a grand time with their friends, allowing them to share experiences. The other reason why it's on this list is the support it got from 2K Games. They created a lot of downloadable content for this game, which increased it's longevity for a very long time. And they weren't bad DLCs either. For these reasons, Borderlands 2 marches on into the #5 spot.
Daily Comic - "Wishes" by Bill Waterson of Calvin and Hobbes
Praise the sun that it was made! The Dark Souls series is the epitome of tough gaming. If you've felt that games are becoming increasingly too easy as of late, this is the game for you. Dark Souls 2 is a game centered around the collection of souls, which are used to level up your character and buy better armor and weapons. However, whenever you die, you end up dropping all of your souls and you only get one chance to go and get it; if you die again, your souls are lost forever. And yes...you will die a lot. While the first Dark Souls is an excellent game in its own right, Dark Souls 2 takes whats great about the first game and makes it even better (if that was even possible). Controls are much better, fast travel has been added, and the bosses are badder and even more menacing as ever. However, as great as it may seem, Software made the game even more difficult by having the enemies become finite, meaning you only have a set amount of souls that you can collect as they are dropped by vanquished enemies. If you screw up too many times, your time in Dark Souls might be short lived. This adds a sense of hesitance and responsibility in your decisions in the game, which is why I absolutely love this game and has it landing at #4 on this list.
#3. Fallout 3
War. War never changes. Fallout 3 was one of the first games that I owned on the Xbox 360 and boy was it well worth the buy. This apocalyptic RPG has one of the most time-inducing game styles that I've ever played, and every minute of it was well loved. Whether it was fighting Super Mutants in downtown DC, or choosing whether or not to save Nuketown, or going through the Vault with your trusty furry dog friend DogMeat, there was a consistency of exploration and adventure that should be applauded for. The thing about Fallout 3 is that its meant to make you feel like you are actually one of the last survivors in this apocalyptic anarchic wasteland, which essentially you are. On your journey you'll come across bandits who are off to kill you, escape the wrath of Nightclaws, and keep yourself from dying by radiation poisoning from Feral Ghouls; essentially, the only person you can trust is yourself. The only company you have - if you choose - is the radio music from your Pipboy or a sidekick if you choose one, and even with one it doesn't really help you escape the loneliness that you feel while playing it. Fallout 3 is a parallel to what an apocalyptic world may look like and the struggles and trials you must overcome by others, which is why this extraordinary game by Bethesda lands at #3 on this list.
#2. Bioshock/Bioshock Infinite
The Bioshock series is by far one of the most innovative games that I've ever played before. Whether it's through the underwater city of Rapture or the sky city of Columbia, Irrational Games did something special by creating beautifully aesthetic stages for the everyday gamer. With a slew of out of this world powers thanks to Plasmids, combat has evolved for the gamer and offers a wide variety of techniques and strategies for the gamer to take advantage of. Furthermore, Kevin Levine did an amazing job with writing the plots for both games. While I won't go into the spoilers for the game, the twists and turns that encompasses both of these games will make you second guessing your decisions which is something I wish more games made you feel. It's unfortunate to hear of the dissolve of Irration Games; however, with Kevin Levine leading a small band of designers with him, I can only imagine what he has in store.
Daily Video - "Xbox Achievements" by comedians CollegeHumor
#1. The era of Ezio Auditore
Ezio Auditore in my opinion is one of the greatest characters to come out of a video game. Crossing over three games - Assassins Creed II, Assassins Creed: Brotherhood, and Assassins Creed: Revelatiions - you get to live the life of the Italian assassin from birth till death, and you'll be loving every minute of it. Whether it is stealthily finding your target or flirting with the ladies, the Assassin's Creed franchise took a very improved approach after the first Assassin's Creed with the introduction of Ezio and Renaissance Italy. Looking at Assassin's Creed 2 specifically, the combat system was much improved, weapons choices make more diverse, the ability to style your assassin through dyes was implemented, and much much more. It was aesthetically beautiful to interact with the culture of Italy, I still have fond memories of traversing the rooftops of Italy at night getting ready to attack my next target. Ezio Auditore will go down as one of my favorite characters as well as Assassin's Creed 2 being my favorite setting to play in a video game, which is why that collectively makes these trio of Assassin's Creed games making it to the number one spot on my favorite Xbox 360 games list.
What are your favorite Xbox 360 games? Do you agree/disagree with any of these games landing in the top 10? How do you feel about Xbox 360's game life span closing in 20115?What do you think the Xbox One has in store for video gaming? Comment below as I'd love to discuss and hear what you have to say about this!
Honorable Mentions: Fable 2, Call of Duty World at War, Tomb Raider, Batman Arkham Asylum/City, L.A. Noire, Dante's Inferno
‡ As always, the "Daily Bloggity" is self written by myself and includes just some of my opinions on different mediums. If you have a subject that you might want me to touch on, feel free to PM me or comment below! I would love to hear some of your ideas! Tune in tomorrow at 5PM Eastern Time for the next edition of the "Daily Bloggity!" Cheers! ‡