Joe McKay's top video game stuff of 2010

If you’ve ever said, “modern games are obsessed with graphics at the expense of innovative gameplay” and/or “sandbox games offer such promise yet never seem to really let you explore, interact and create in a fun way” then you must play minecraft. In fact, it’s about to come out of Alpha and go into Beta on the 20th which will mean a higher price so now is really the time.

You need to learn the basics (surviving your first night, finding coal and crafting) — — but I’d recommend against watching too many youtube videos (there are zillions) and explore the game on your own. Seriously - dude - this game is “emergent gameplay” at its fucking best.

Survivor mode is the only way to play, btw. All other modes are for posers.


You’ll need to be on the Xbox, and you’ll need to have the xBox Live, but if you have all that get a download of Limbo. It’s a puzzle based side scroller with real innovative level design. You will die, a lot, and there’s real comedy/horror when you do.


Red Dead Redemption
The West done right (mostly). Rockstar realized that in the end, story is what makes a good western not horses and guns. A story about redemption and revenge and stuff. It’s the first GTA game that I actually finished, and the first game with cut scenes that I never skipped. Second best video game of the year (although I didn’t play Reach, Left 4 Dead 2, Masse effect 2, Grand Tourismo, or the new Need for Speed, so I’m not exactly an authority).

red dead redemption

Peggle on the iphone

I’m still not sold on the iphone as a gaming device, but peggle was pretty fun.


Hey Ashley Whatcha Playing is a very clever video-cast about games by brother and sister duo Anthony and Ashly Burch.

If you need to watch just one try this. It doesn't require any video game knowledge to get the jokes.


TRON (original)
In anticipation of having my childhood candy coated and turned 3D, I watched the original TRON again. My thesis has been that a remake will be impossible because the original was actually a crappy movie and our love for it is based on geeky nostalgia not actual movie goodness. But I was wrong. TRON is great! (Apologies and a hat tip out to Marisa - you were right, I was wrong, don't get used to it). There’s some seriously weird stuff in this movie and it handles the virtual world shenanigans with tongue in cheek cleverness, and NOT the naive 80’s optimism I was remembering. It’s refreshing to see after all the super seriousness post-cyberpunk Matrix / dark City / Johnny Mnemonic stuff that came later. Plus the graphics have that "they will never be this good again" feel vector graphics give you. It's hard to describe, but you can bet the new one is going to be ugly in comparison.


- L.M. 12-16-2010 5:04 am

I think Joe's is the list I look forward to most. Last year, I ended up playing Bear and Cat Marine Balls all holiday break. This year: Peggle.
- Gabby (guest) 12-17-2010 2:07 pm

Bear and Cat Marine Balls ruined my life too.
- L.M. 12-17-2010 2:15 pm

I only know Minecraft from YouTube vids but it looks pretty great. I did some blog posts on Tron back in the ancient days of the open Internet (2003): 1 / 2. FWIW I saw Tron as a young adult in its initial theatrical run (twice!) and was blown away: I was going around telling the uncaring hordes that it was the new Metropolis.
- tom moody 12-17-2010 2:17 pm

TRON is making me feel old for sure. None of my new media students have seen the original.
Minecraft has different modes, and most of the stuff on youtube is in a mode where there are no enemies and you get unlimited blocks of unlimited type. In survival mode there are monsters that can hurt you and you need to find and mine the blocks - so the game is much more engaging.
I promise you, if all you're doing is watching mincraft you're only seeing half the story. That said, this is the funniest thing I've ever seen on youtube.

- joester (guest) 12-17-2010 5:49 pm

I forgot about bear and cat. brrrr - sorry about that.

Shit I forgot to self promote.
Here's a preview of the best game of 2011 (it's still in alpha and you'll need two USB mice to play it.)
- joester (guest) 12-17-2010 5:55 pm

I forget stuff every year. I need to salute the absolute hardest game of the year. If you can get past level 1. Hell, if you can get past the first little part of level 1 my hats off to you.
- joester (guest) 12-17-2010 6:04 pm

for me it was the arcade game at dave and busters on composite drive x-mas vacation in........80's dallas. blech for a vacation! rad game.
- bill 12-17-2010 7:05 pm

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