Friday, 19 December 2014

Games of the Year - 2010

Well, 'tis nearly the festive season here in the UK, and indeed many other countries, and will remarkably be the fifth such season since I've been posting my ramblings here at Red Parsley. Usually this affects the content of my posts to no significant margin, such is my indifference to this time of year (and there are only so many 'Christmas Games' posts people can read, anyway), but this year I was thinking of posting a 'Top Ten Games of the Year' closer to the... ummm, well, end of the year.

This would not, however, be comprised of games released in 2014 - I've played so few of those it would be a bit pointless - but will instead feature my favourite ten games of those that I've reviewed in the year. Since these games could've been made at any time, I suppose this could also be a somewhat pointless exercise, but I'm going to do it anyway. Before I do that, though, I figured I might as well do the same thing for every year since Red Parsley has existed.

If nothing else, this will give me a chance to highlight some of my older reviews (and some great games in the process) to newer readers, and will probably prompt me to tidy them up a bit too (looks like I was less of a perfectionist in the early days!). So, the finest games reviewed during Red Parsley's fledgling year are:

10. Shinobi by Sega (1987) - Arcade

I've probably spent much more time playing the MS version of this classic than this version but few could deny the charm the arcade original has. It's tougher, there's no doubt of that, but it's also very satisfying and enormous fun to play. The gaming world has seen many ninjas but none as cool as Joe Musashi. (full review here)

9. Fantasy Zone 2 by Sega (1987) - Master System

Sega's garish 'cute em up' series has many fans, myself included (believe it or not), and one of the finest entries in the series is the MS version of the second game. The music, graphics, and stages were better than ever and it was a perfect mixture of 'old plus new'. You'd better wear sunglasses while playing though... (full review here)

8. Wiz 'n' Liz by Raising Hell Software (1993) - MegaDrive/Genesis

Most of the games on this list are celebrated works of brilliance but Wiz 'n' Liz is not. I've actually found it tough to even find someone else that has played it, never mind one who loves it as I do. I don't care though, it's fast, platformy antics are still hard to beat as far as I'm concerned. I demand you play it too (grrr)! (full review here)

7. Wave Race 64 by Nintendo (1996) - Nintendo 64

Unusually for me, I actually bought this one near the time of its original release, but despite having it for so long it's still always been one of my most played N64 titles of all. Part of the reason for this is its exceptional quality but I think it's more down to how relaxing it is to play. The definition of a chilled game... (full review here)

6. Gunhed by Hudson Soft (1989) - PC Engine

During the PC Engine's early years, the one game critics and gamers alike used to rave about was Gunhed. As I discovered some years later, this was with very good reason - its quality is still hugely impressive today and it remains one of the finest vertical-scrollers to be found on any system. (full review here)

5. Bomb Jack by Tehkan (1984) - Arcade

For a long time this was my favourite arcade game ever. This was partly due to its long presence in a local takeaway but also because it's frickin' awesome! Steering brave Jack around the succession of busy screens collecting bombs and saving the day has never been anything less than enormous fun. (full review here)

4. Thunder Force 3 by Technosoft (1990) - MegaDrive/Genesis

Few shmup series' have ever appealed to me as much as the Thunder Force series. This third game, a MegaDrive exclusive, is the pinnacle of the series in my opinion which, as well as boasting among the best graphics and music on the system, is also still the best horizontal-scroller I've played. (full review here)

3. Devil's Crush by Naxat Soft (1990) - PC Engine

I almost couldn't decide between this version and the MegaDrive version but eventually I plumped for the original which, while harder than the MD game, is also more balanced, and looks nicer too. Easily the best pinball game I've ever played, and yes, that's including actual pintables! (full review here)

2. Bubble Bobble by Taito (1986) - Arcade

This may not have been the first platformer ever but after nearly thirty years it's still one of the most popular, and that's no surprise thanks to its appealing characters, 100 stages, intricate scoring system, and tonnes of secrets. There can't be too many gamers in the world who don't love this Taito classic. (full review here)

1. F-Zero X by Nintendo (1998) - Nintendo 64

Many nincompoops prefer F-Zero GX over this, due no doubt to its flashy graphics, but this N64 game is without question the finest in the series. Each of the memorable courses are superbly designed but it's also the purest racing game I've ever played and, quite possibly, the greatest example ever made. (full review here)

Best of 2011 coming soon!


  1. Well, this certainly is an interesting idea for a post/series! The only comment I'll make here (aside from the one I just made, I mean) is that I'm really looking forward to playing the updated remake of Fantasy Zone II via my Japanese 3DS in just a bit. It looks soooooooo good ^^

  2. Yeah, these posts were a fairly pointless exercise I guess, but I like making lists and it also reminded me to replay many of my favourites. I only seem to get time to play games for reviews these days. I'm jealous regarding FZII as well - any Fantasy Zone goodness is wonderful :)