Silicon Sasquatch's Honorable Mentions of 2009: Tyler'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 one of a five-part series of Honorable Mentions articles, one from each member of the Silicon Sasquatch staff. Here are Tyler's picks.

Killzone 2

February -- PlayStation 3

First-quarter releases -- even high-quality ones -- often end up forgotten when it comes time for game-of-the-year discussions.  While Killzone 2 wasn’t necessarily the best first-person shooter released in 2009, it did a lot to make up for the disappointments of Killzone 1. It also proved to the games industry that Guerrilla Games is the powerhouse developer it had long been claimed to be.

The Dutch studio had a lot to live up to from the time when the stunning Killzone 2 target video was premiered at E3 in 2005, and the amazing feat is that they by-and-large did it.  If 2009 is remembered as the true “Year of the PS3,” Killzone 2 will be recognized as the title that kicked it off with a bang.

Half-Minute Hero

October -- PlayStation Portable

PlayStation 3 wasn’t the only Sony platform with a dramatically improved catalog in 2009 -- the PlayStation Portable also saw a resurgence of quality titles.  Half-Minute Hero understands the limitations of being a portable title by offering bite-sized, addictive chunks of entertainment while turning the  Japanese role-playing game genre on its head.  Fast yet entertaining design and well written, humorous dialogue are what make this the must-have portable experience of 2009...

Doodle Jump & Drop7

iPhone & iPod Touch

...unless you count the App Store.  Apple was dragged into the gaming space kicking and screaming, but it didn’t take long for the iTunes App Store to become flooded with games for the iPhone & iPod Touch. However, 2009 saw the emergence of a new style of games that perfectly understood the limitations of the platform.

Doodle Jump and Drop7, my two most played iPhone games of 2009, represent my favorite style of games for the platform:  They're easy to learn yet highly enjoyable games that can be played whenever you've got a few minutes to spare.  Nothing makes waiting in line more bearable like trying to beat your friend’s high score on Doodle Jump -- and tweeting about it when you do.

Assassin’s Creed II

November -- Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

I finished the latest branch in Desmond’s family tree relatively recently but it made a big impact on me.  Easily one of the most dramatically improved sequels of the year (and that's coming from a fan of Altaïr), Assassin’s Creed II packed in excellent missions, more freedom for the player and an overall increase in content.

The title also boasted some of the best voice acting of the year and one of the most memorable open world environments ever seen in games with its brilliant realization of 15th Century Venice.  Despite how well put together the campaign was, what I find myself thinking about the most is the absolute trip of an ending that trumps its predecessor’s conclusion in nearly every possible way.  The third chapter of Ubisoft’s war of assassins & templars has leapt to the top of my list of most anticipated unannounced (yet inevitable) sequels.  A presto, Ezio.