Hey guys it’s Sam, and I feel really super good today (besides feeling sluggish about it being September aka school month). You know why? Because I checked my site stats, and last Saturday morning I had fifty views! Did you know that’s the same number of homes in a city of Nebraska? Do you know how good that makes me feel? Anyway I figured that it’s a Monday, and after an ignorant hiatus, I’ve decided to come back at you with an old Sammwak original: the top 10 Xbox 360 games! (See I published it!) To agree or disagree? That is the answer. From the fighting ring to the soccer field and everything in between, bring on the list!

10. Get ready to soil your plants in Plants vs Zombies.

It's like Left 4 Dead, but with plants.

for animated blood and cartoon violence.

One of last year’s most memorable games that hit the Xbox Live Arcade, PvZ took tower defensive games to the next level. If you’re not very “bright” (get it?), you won’t know the storyline: Your house is attacked by hordes of zombies looking for brains, and while you chill in your house, the only battlefield you have is your lawn. The soldiers? Plants.

HOW THIS GAME ROCKED: Beautiful graphics never go awry. Endless amount of opportunities, such as getting new plants (earned or bought as a Twiddydinky) or facing new zombies. Impressive mini games when you want to take a break from the adventure. Awesome versus mode.

HOW IT DIDN’T: You actually have to w-w-(if I say this, my lips will swell like salami)-work to earn things! Progress is unbelievably slow (unlike the iPhone version, the most fair edition sold). Take a white kid and dab two drops of ketchup on his neck and call him a vampire, that’s simply not my league of gaming.

9. Be the predator, but don’t be the prey in Mirror’s Edge.

Faith in mid-fight with a “Blue.”

  for blood, violence, and language.

One of 2008-2010’s most reflected action-adventure games (and my sister’s only played game), taking the phrase “freedom of movement” to a dangerously high level. You play as Faith, a 24-year old in a utopian city that makes a living as a runner, a master of parkour who carries communiques about the city. Faith discovers corruption at the city’s core, and she gets hunted down (at least, that’s what the back said). Along the way, you encounter the Pursuit Police (also skilled in parkour), former runner Jackknife, and even Ropeburn the bulky wrestler!

HOW THIS GAME ROCKED: The most beautiful graphics I’ve seen in an action-adventure game. The core controls are super easy, and you can string them together for even more combat skill. Reasonable voice acting for each character, and a real bang of an ending.

HOW IT DIDN’T: Freaking impossible, even on easy. The combat does sag a little, and the amount of trial and error is time-sucking, soul-sucking, and…well, frustrating.

8. Team up and throw down in Skate 3.

Who’s gonna break the most bones? Guess in your comment!

for crude humor, drug reference, mild violence, suggestive themes, and language.

The third and most recent installment in Electronic Art’s open-world skateboarding series Skate, this game flipped into retail stores May 2010. Since San Vanelona has put up a strict skate-free rule, we take to the streets of Port Carverton (home of the Sharks). But this city of not only the residence of Sharks, but stars. Stars in the skateboarding history, that is, from Danny Way to Rob Dydrek and everyone in between.

HOW THIS GAME ROCKED: The controls did churn out easy and quite impressive. The environments were breathtaking and so lifelike, and there are very worthy skaters to unlock, even if they’re skeletons of slabs of meat. Simply throwing yourself off buildings is instant fun.

HOW IT DIDN’T: The engine just couldn’t keep up with the visuals, so every now and then Skate 3 does glitch up (carrying the series’ old tradition). The droning format it undergoes simply melted away my entertainment. Challenges slowly got impossible.

FUN FACT: Did you know that the game before this installment was not Skate 2, but instead the spin-off Skate It? Since Thanksgiving 2008, this extreme sporting game has been getting air on the DS, the Wii, and the iPhone.

7. It’s a futuristic battle to the finish in Monday Night Combat.

An Iceman Assassin gives a juiced piggyback ride to a Hotshot Assault. Hey, am I next?

Juicing up the XBLA last summer as part of the Xbox Live Summer of Arcade, MNC has intelligent and heavy use of a Monday Night Football background, with a character-class based system with clones that fight for money. Speaking of money, there’s a Moneyball (a ball of money….) that must be defended on one team, while destroyed on the other. Classes, defense, money…yup, it’s pretty much tower defense.

HOW THIS GAME ROCKED: The visuals are also clean and striking, and the controls are actually awfully easy at the core. It makes you feel as if you’re in the arena, and I might be a thick-header for saying this, but it’s very lifelike. Bullseye has to be the best mascot in a 3-person shooter game.

HOW IT DIDN’T: And that’s pretty much it, save the fact that you’re literally blazing bullets every five seconds.

FUN FACT: Did you know that MNC is getting a free-to-play sequel sometime in late 2011 or early 2012 called Super MNC? It’s got new classes, bringing back the old ones, but gives out more of a strategical test.

6. Take the rallies and the ridges in Kinect Adventures.

Two adventurers rush through river rapids in "River Rush."

for…mild animated blood?

The first game for the Xbox 360’s Kinect, Kinect Adventures depicted an adventurous storyline with people looking for journeying. There are five mini-games in Free Play, let alone Adventure Mode: River Rush (see picture), Reflex Ridge, Space Pop, 20,000 Leaks, and Rallyball. Adventure on your own or have a cooperative or competitive time with friends.

HOW IT ROCKED: The events did have lots of range, and they were fun in their own ways. As long as the Kinect could track you, the controls did work good. Successful multiplayer, whether it’s co-op or competition.

HOW IT DIDN’T: The most annoying way of telling players that they can’t be tracked: A huge message pops up in the corner of the screen, and tells you to move backward or move forward or left, IT’S SO ANNOYING! Anyway, the game’s also really repetitive so it doesn’t have much interest for people to stay round for at least a handful of hours.

5. You’re the ninja Terminator, and you’re no conjurer of cheap tricks in Mini Ninjas.

The protagonist Hiro, attacks a massive "large one".

for crude humor and cartoon violence.

Welcome back to the world of Japanese adventure! In this big little action-adventure, flatlands are attacked with horrific weather as bad as earthquakes, and mysterious figures are seen caging animals. The truth is that the Evil Samurai Warlord banished 300 years ago had made an unholy return turning caged animals into mindless warriors in an attempt to take over the world! When the ninja master sends out armies of ninjas with no return, he turns to his final two, knowing that the fate of the world rests in their little hands.

HOW IT ROCKED: Beautiful art making a cohesive world of vibrancy. (sorry, too psychedelic?) Unlimited combat options, which make for some pretty fun fights, whether you need to possess a fox for a quick retreat, or a bear for a good old mauling.

HOW IT DIDN’T: Every flaw literally points their finger at the bad camera. Fighting does get tiresome towards the end of the game. And a not very impressive way to fight bosses, but an extremely hilarious one at most: pantsing them. (I’m not even pulling your chain!) So points for and against you.

4. Get to the dancefloor and get funky in Dance Central.

Miss Aubrey breaks it down mid-game.

The killer app of the Xbox 360’s Kinect (hands down), Dance Central is the second game for the Kinect (see no. 6 for the first) and actually sneaked exercises into what seems to be just having a good time. With a soundtrack with grooves as classic as “Funkytown”, to as current as Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)”. There are ten avatars (counting ELIOT and the Pink Ninja), and t0 top it off, there’s even a ten-second freestyle!

HOW IT ROCKED: Invigorating visuals upon a wide complexity of dance, a helpful training mode. It’s hard to resist dancing with your friends. A party’s dream game.

HOW IT DIDN’T: Girlie moves that men can’t survive to perform. When routines are easy, they’re a little too easy; they’re super-duper-fragilisticexpialadocius-1-million-points easy. No character customization? Well, that stinks, because I was looking forward to dancing under my own creation. And at first glance, you’d think you reached hip-hop-happy land. So why is this game always defending the right to get funky?

3. For these ragdolls, it’s a rush in Activision’s Wipeout: In The Zone.

If old ladies really have to cross streets like this in the future....

for comic mischief and mild cartoon violence.

In 2008, we first received the hilarious show, Wipeout. Then we received Wipeout: The Game in 2010. And now, the Kinect evolution! Yessiree, this game totally supports Kinect gaming! And for once…this isn’t garbage! It’s actually fun for a change, even if you’re playing a little experience at Best Buy!

HOW IT ROCKED: Successful Kinect mechanics for multiplayer, and awesome mechanics of obstacles you’d actually see on the show. Good voice samples and entertaining visuals never grate up. A good game to get a simple handful of laughs out of.

HOW IT DIDN’T: Replays rub your misfortune in your unlucky face. Tasks to do before running a course are embarrassing, like striking poses or dancing. Kinect models do patch up, while it’s infrequent, but noticeable. Not really some achievements worth striving for.

2. Put the pedal to the metal with over twenty Sega characters in Sonic & Sega Racing.

Sonic zooms in the foreground with Tails hot on his track on the Whale Lagoon course.

for comic mischief, cartoon violence, and mild suggestive themes.

First revving into the market February 2010 nine days after Valentine’s Day (six after my birthday), Sonic & Sega Racing is the third and most recent installment in the Sega Superstars crossover series. With an endless amount of courses to unleash your inner all-star, it’s also a great game for friends who want competition, whether it’s racing or the mini-games’ varies from king of the hill to knockout!

HOW IT ROCKED: Very smooth controls with endless speed senses which fall into the beautiful visuals and great frame rates. Impressive course design with plenty of variety and range even when you have to drive in a circle three times. Even when they’re literal Sega mascots to ultimate D-listers, this game has a good mix range of racers. Ultimately successful multiplayer with endless fun.

HOW IT DIDN’T: No way to Grand Prix with a friend. Even with up to four players racing, the one signed in gets all the credit.

———————————

Okay, this is it. My most recommended game. Change your underwear. Man the floorboards. Take your vitamins. Because number one has arrived, and even critics and players alike agree with me all across the country….

A CPU Makoto attacks Dudley with a Hayate. Official X360 Magazine courtesy.

for alcohol reference, mild language, suggestive themes, and, of course, violence.

The best fighting game around for ages. Super Street Fighter IV brought everything back of what we needed. Bringing back “forgotten” characters while introducing newcomers, giving “that new touch” to that old game, man this game has it all. I can do the whole evening just in training mode. No wonder me and my brother made onebyonetv in its honor.

HOW IT ROCKED: Gorgeous models and arena designs. Ultimate success in rebalancing characters along with the robust gameplay. Excellent competitive multiplayer if imperfect. Video replay is the best way to share fights with friends in a new, evolved way. All together, definitely makes a better game than last year’s at 2 thirds of the price.

HOW IT DIDN’T: Only limited to a wee two-player multiplayer. You know what would’ve patched it up? Team battle. DUH! Online fighting does suffer if either fighter has slow connection. Video replay mode could be a tad easier to use.

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So that’s all, folks. A deep sorry for not being able to catch up these past weeks, so I forced myself to do this one. Thanks for always being a part of Sammwak, and if you blog here at WordPress, please like this post. And if you’re just a viewer, then please subscribe or leave a comment in that section!

- Sam

p.s. Do you know I’ve gotten up to sixty comments here on Sammwak? Good golly!

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