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This has been one incredible year for gaming. While most make a top 10 list to commemorate their favorite, I've decided to go month by month with a few highlights and no numerical value. Though I have a general top 10 in mind, this should be a nice break from the numbers.
Many were still finishing their games of Fallout 3 and Left 4 Dead, but a few titles proved to be enough to satisfy gamers for the month. Lord of the Ring: Conquest gave fans of the epic trilogy a Battlefront style of gameplay throwing orcs against elves, dwarves, and humans all over again. Afro Samurai provided a pretty decent hack and slash for the anime fans. Skate 2 was the highlight of the month, proving that skateboarding games can still hold up after all these years. Nearly 100 different types of objects are movable by the player to setup their own dream skate setup.
Wii owners got an on-rails shooter with some language not targeted at the kiddies with House of the Dead: Overkill. Fear 2: Project Origin also made its debut, allowing multiple consoles to relive the fear of Alma once again. There was also the surprisingly enjoyable 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand. Nobody expected such a fun game to follow the horrible experience that was the first installment. Dawn of War 2 gave a stunning RTS experience for PC users, with an incredible look and ease of control. Killzone 2 proved a juggernaut of a shooter for PS3 fans, with stunning visuals and gameplay to match.
The real hit came when Street Fighter 4 was released, selling over 2.5 million copies with critical acclaim. With a huge roster of characters and unique look and feel, the game became a gift for the fans as we relived our days of playing the previous SNES installments all over again.
March provided great games for any console. Halo fans could ease their pains for more Spartan action with Halo:Wars, a break from the shooting action to an RTS style of play. Guitar Hero continued raining its titles down with Guitar Hero: Metallica. However, most Capcom fans were itching to get their hands on the new Resident Evil 5. The game sold over 2 million units worldwide and became the best-selling game of the franchise, allowing you to relive that same fast-paced gameplay from Resident Evil 4 with a friend.
Another big surprise came in the form of a Mature game for the Wii. Madworld, an over the shoulder beat em up, provided Wii fans a shot at a new gory sandbox style game. The game only sold around 66,000 copies in its first month of release in North America, but as discounts set in it is becoming a Wii title that many seek to own.
April gave us a few new titles to consider. Ninja Blade provided fans of the hack and slash, fast-paced gameplay something to experience. Godfather 2 allowed gamers to shoot em in the kneecaps one more time, using a strategic overview of the game world, where the player can order members of the family to expand or protect their territory. Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena not only provided an enjoyable experience, but reminded people that Vin Diesel is totally still alive...and making good games...
Summer was about to begin and gaming was there to welcome it. For fighting fans, UFC:Undisputed sported a huge roster of everyone's favorite UFC fighters. Wii owners got a nostalgic feeling when Punch Out: Wii was released, providing the same great fun and challenge fans remembered. The PS3 exclusive Infamous provided an incredible experience of walking through an urban setting with electrifying superpowers and agility, something ever gamer can appreciate.The story and substance of the campaign along with the morality system gave great replay value and an overall incredible experience.
Summer gaming continued the slew of new titles. Red Faction: Guerrilla moved more than 1 million units, utilizing GeoMod 2.0 technology to create dynamically destructible buildings and environments. Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood provided a nice western shooter to tie us over. Fans of the classic movie Ghostbusters were able to relive those awesome moments of taking on the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man! The month on consoles belonged to Prototype, which became the top selling game of June 2009 in North America, with over 419,900 units moved on Xbox 360 alone.With close comparisons to the recently released Infamous, many compared the two through the month, but few could deny the fun of running through streets at high speeds throwing cars like they were nothing.
The Sims 3 made a huge impact on the PC. EA reported that in its first week, The Sims 3 sold 1.4 million copies, proving that people still love keeping their virtual counterparts alive.With a recently released expansion pack and more DLC available from the store, it's evident that the Sims will be speaking gibberish well into 2010.
Sports fans were able to get NCAA Football 2010 to tide them over until the college season began. The fighting genre saw two big releases this month. King of Fighters XII tied fans over using the usual 3-on-3 team system with each fight, creating various teams dependent on the user's fighting preference. Blaz Blue: Calamity Trigger provided the highlight of the two fighting games, with an actually decent storyline when compared to the other fighting games out there. Though only a small roster was provided, each character had an incredibly unique fighting style.
Fat Princess proved a success for the Playstation Online Network, providing a neat change in formula to the classic capture the flag game by making a princess that you fatten up with cake act as your flag. Up to 32 players could be in one game with various classes. However the month belonged to one game in particular, Wii Sports Resort. Bundled with the Wii Motion Plus and containing up to 12 new games showcasing the Wiimote's new sensitivity, the game flew off the shelves. In North America it sold over 500,000 copies in its first week.
With real NFL scheduling, live drafts,and an online co-op mode Madden 2010 delivered a solid experience to tie football fans over through the season. Wolfenstein allowed us to fight super Nazi generals all over again with a slew of new weapons. A highlight of the month appeared not in console form, but over the Xbox Live Arcade. Shadow Complex gave a classic side scrolling feel similar to Metroid, with incredible visuals and shooting gameplay to match. It broke all sales records for Xbox Live Arcade titles, selling over 200,000 units within the first week of release.
The true star of the month had to belong to Batman: Arkham Asylum. The typical curse of mediocre super hero games was broken, as Batman became named the best superhero game of all time. Incredible visuals, comic-worthy story, and insanely satisfying gameplay combined to make an incredible game. The general populous also agreed, as two million copies of the game were sold in the first three weeks after release.
Part 2 Coming Soon...