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Each week on Backloggd, the game logging site, I post some sort of Top 10 list. To better elaborate on my choices, I am posting the top three on this blog with slightly more detail.
This week’s topic was a deeper dive into the past with my list from 2009.
Depressingly, I had a tough time coming up with many games from this year that I even enjoyed—kind of a rough year for video games, upon reflection (at least for me). But there were some absolute gems in the muck.
Obviously, this is incredibly subjective. But my list is correct.
Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth
This might be one of the most contested picks on my list. For those unfamiliar, Ace Attorney is a gaming franchise out of Capcom that follows the wacky courtroom antics of Phoenix Wright. The writing is flawless, and the mysteries are always captivating. They are a mixture of point-and-click and visual novel gameplay elements.
With the success of the mainline series, Capcom released Ace Attorney Investigations. This game allowed players to control Phoenix’s rival Miles Edgeworth, a prosecutor that constantly gets wrapped up in trouble. The game also changed the point-and-click elements into a 2D action-adventure that is relatively light and limited. This took fans by surprise. Some loved it, some really, really hated it.
I’m the former. I love the gameplay. I love the story. I love the writing. It’s a joy to play through in bits and pieces and an excellent ‘bedtime’ game to wind down the day before sleep.
I am as much of a narrative gamer as I am anything else, and Ace Attorney is nearly as good as it gets when it comes to story-telling. Notice I say nearly.
I love the Arkham series. I miss the Arkham series. I want more of the Arkham series.
I was a late arrival to the Arkham universe. My first was Arkham City, but I didn’t even play it until it was years old. However, the literal minute I would finish one Arkham game, I would start the next one and begin my binge through the story.
I’m not usually one for stealth gaming or beat-em-up ARPG-style gaming, but the combination of both with the character of Batman makes for the best gaming experience. I am a diehard Bats fan, and every single entry in the Arkham universe makes the player feel like Batman. Kevin Conroy certainly helps that immersion.
There aren’t any superhero games as good as these, and Asylum was the one that started it all. For that, I am forever thankful for this series. Here’s hoping that Suicide Squad lives up to the Rocksteady hype (if it ever releases).
Zero Escape: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
I don’t care what you think about my number one entry. There is no argument here. This is, unequivocally, the best game released in 2009. As I’ve mentioned in other lists, the Death Game genre is my favorite of all time. And Danganronpa holds my heart as my first experience of falling in love with the genre.
But this game is the best entry the Death Game genre has ever had.
999 is an absolute masterpiece of suspense, storytelling, and characterization. Like most games in this genre, it’s a point-and-click visual novel. However, I was first drawn to this game's escape room elements.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the narrative. I’m not trying to be hyperbolic, even if I am - it is a story I constantly gasped out loud at.
It’s hard to say that these Death Games are suitable for anyone. It’s so niched that most ‘gamers’ don’t enjoy them. But this gamer sets this one up on the pedestal as the GOTY of the Death Game genre.
And that wraps up my top three picks from 2009. If you’ve never played these top three, would you consider it now that they’ve been brought to your attention? What would be your top picks from this year?
I hope you enjoy these lists and look forward to bringing another to your feed next week.
July 6th, 2022