The premise of Scribblenauts is deceptively simple, but how you go about completing the tasks is what sets it apart from everything else. There are no princesses to save, gods to slay, or a vast conspiracy to uncover. Instead of relying on reflexes, the innovative gameplay tantalizingly opens the door to anyone's imagination with the ability to write into the game nearly anything that you will need. In this way, one could say that it's a god game built on words, and that description wouldn't be too far off the mark. Scribblenauts can easily fill in the blanks as one of the most unique gaming experiences that anyone can have this year.
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is a great entry into the series and brings the GTA formula to handhelds in a spectacular way. The gameplay is just as fun as ever, and the use of the handheld hardware and added features make the experience feel fresh and not a dumbing-down of GTA. It certainly remains unique in style and gameplay, and the story makes it well worth checking out for longtime fans of the franchise. This is a fantastic title that's definitely worth picking up if you have a DS or PSP and like GTA.
From the power-ups to the level design, Shadow Complex is a love letter to Super Metroid. The result is a game that is a heck of a lot of fun, although it would be unfair comparing it to Super Metroid. Those who enjoy a challenge will spend hours trying to find the perfect way to get through the toughest areas with minimal equipment, while those who prefer overwhelming their foes will have a great time as a powered-up armored superman. Shadow Complex is fun, in exactly the same way that a well-designed Metroid game is fun, and I can't pay it any higher praise than that.
The bottom line on Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story is that it's one of those games that every DS owner should buy, period. Regardless of your feelings about RPGs, the title is just so entertaining and well-executed that you're nearly guaranteed to love it. The game's few blemishes aren't really flaws at all, but rather opportunities that weren't fully exploited. It genuinely doesn't get much better than this folks, and it would be a travesty if you miss out.
In my 70 hours with it, DA's finer details demonstrate that Bioware's bards can easily spin their own stories in the same way that they have embellished others while also highlighting where the formula falls short. As an RPG, it entertains with its familiarity and indulges players with an amazingly vast number of things to do. For those of us seeking a deeply storied adventure in which to save the world from the forces of darkness, Dragon Age delivers.
Left 4 Dead 2 is a very worthwhile sequel, and any fears you may have about this game merely being an overpriced expansion will melt away as soon as you start playing. Besides, seeing Valve release two games from the same franchise in the span of a year gives me hope that I may actually see Half Life 2: Episode 3 released in my lifetime, and you wouldn't want to steal away my hope, would you? Even if you don't love zombies, play this game anyway. You'll feel much better prepared when the real zombie apocalypse comes and the only thing standing between you and certain death is a shotgun, a med kit and three of your closest friends ready to help you clear a path through the horror.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is one of the best games this year on the PlayStation 3. It has incredible cinematics and provides a thrill ride in a single-player campaign that doesn't feel too short or too long. The deep and incredibly fun multiplayer features everything that makes the single-player segment so great: amazing visuals, near-perfect audio and a sharp presentation that makes this among the best of the best. It's better than the original Uncharted in every way, and it's easily one of my contenders for Game of the Year 2009.
Batman: Arkham Asylum is the ideal Batman game. It does everything right and manages to capture the spirit of the Dark Knight in a way that no other game has even managed to approach. The combat is frantic and fun, encouraging players to learn the ins and outs of the combat system and rewarding them with some of the most amazing combat visuals I've ever seen in a game. The Predator gameplay, while rarer, is even more fun. Sneaking up on guards and setting traps never goes old, and each Predator section is fun enough that you'll be sad when it's over. The only weak spot is the lackluster boss fights, which are a touch bland. All in all, Batman: Arkham Asylum is exceptional, not only for being an excellent game, but for being an exceptional Batman game. Fans of the franchise owe it to themselves to pick it up, and anyone with a hankering for a high-quality action game will find Arkham Asylum to be just what the doctor ordered.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii stands on its own through pure quality and is easily one of the best Mario titles. Each level is fun and interesting to play, and the game has done a lot to balance and alter power-ups and level design so that both novices and hardcore gamers can enjoy it. In terms of multiplayer, New Super Mario Bros. Wii is one of the best co-op games in years, and it's a boatload of fun to play with friends. If you're a Mario fan, a Wii owner or just a fan of good platformers, you owe it to yourself to pick up this game.
Given the care and attention lavished upon the competitive and cooperative multiplayer in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, it's clear that Infinity Ward sees the future of the Modern Warfare series in that particular component. What that means is you'll end up with a game that doesn't show much in the single-player experience, but once you take it online, it's going to be difficult to put down. If you love online shooters, then this is a game you simply must own, and even if you hate them, Modern Warfare 2 might just change your mind. Gear up and say goodbye to the family because you're being deployed, and given the game's depth, complexity and quality, your tour might not end for a very long time.