Silicon Sasquatch's Honorable Mentions of 2009: Spencer's picks
While our Top 10 Games of 2009 deserve attention for their overall excellence, we can't neglect this year's remaining deluge of fantastic games -- titles that just missed the final cut. Be it their charm, gameplay or presentation, our Honorable Mentions were simply hard to forget. We now present part two of a five-part series of Honorable Mentions articles, one from each member of the Silicon Sasquatch staff. Here are Spencer's picks.
Though our top ten is a sturdy list of the year's finest titles, we each had some favorites fall through the cracks. Here, then, are my preferred runners-up.
Red Faction: Guerrilla and Brütal Legend
June -- Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows | Rocktober -- Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Brütal Legend and Red Faction: Guerrilla are shoo-ins, the former being a flawed but ultimately fun strategy/adventure title, the latter a shallow but supremely enjoyable shooter with great physics and solid multiplayer. Both are worth playing, especially considering they'll probably hit the $20-30 price range soon.
Gratuitous Space Battles
November -- Windows
Gratuitous Space Battles merits a nod from me; part tower defense, part Masters of Orion, it's a great ship-building hands-off strategy title, though people new to the genre might find it a bit daunting. I recommend it, if only for the type of nerd who loves to individually name each of his ships and watch gratuitous lasers and explosions slowly consume the screen. (This may or may not include me.)
Sins of a Solar Empire: Entrenchment
February -- Windows
In the vein of games for huge nerds, I can't speak highly enough of the first micro-expansion to Sins of a Solar Empire; Entrenchment. Ironclad's latest added defensive mechanics and tech trees to the already solid RTS/4x hybrid - not necessary, per se, but welcome additions nevertheless. The second micro-expansion, Diplomacy, is due out this year, but the original and Entrenchment are very worth picking up in the interim for the strategy nuts in the crowd.
May -- Windows
While Left 4 Dead and its sequel were setting the standard for zombie apocalypse simulations, Tripwire was busy ignoring them both while releasing Killing Floor. Where the former titles are teamwork-oriented and story-driven in their portrayal of the infection, the latter is a gore-filled zombstomp - less about getting from point A to point B and more about taking down as many zeds as possible in post-apocalypse Britain. Freaky English voodoo-thrash-electronica accompanies the action flawlessly.
Team Fortress 2
October 2007 -- Windows (also available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as part of The Orange Box -- but unfortunately without the Windows version's updates)
Team Fortress 2 nets my final spot; yes, I'm quite aware it came out two years ago, but Valve's regular updates are packed full with something for everyone; maps, hats, weapons, and even achievements for the recovering gamerscore-junkie. Valve's commitment to TF2 makes it the best team multiplayer experience on the PC, as it has been for two years running.