Derrek’s top ten games of the decade…

by Derrek Lucas

Everyone seems to be doing a TOP 10 BEST GAMES OF THE DECADE list. At DownWriteFierce, we have no authority to make such bold claims. We can’t qualify whether Ico is better than Prince of Persia or worse than Halo. Instead, we’re opting to share our opinions on each of our favorite ten games since 2000, in no particular order.

The following is Derrek Lucas’s favorite games of the past ten years, in absolutely no order

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

I am a Metal Gear fan boy, I’ll be the first to admit it, and will say it with pride. I’m relieved and happy to say that none of the games in the series have disappointed me.  Sons of Liberty is still one of my favorite story-driven games ever. Yes, like most Solid Snake aficionado’s I was disappointed when the 90 minutes of actual Snake-time was up and I was introduced to a feminine nobody by the name of Raiden. However as the game progressed the character became more and more likable, especially when you met his hottie girlfriend. With a rapidly progressing storyline, and a decent amount of running around naked,  Sons of Liberty was an easy choice here.

Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater

To go along with my Metal Gear boner, Snake Eater is the closest to perfect I have ever seen, and will likely ever play. It is the only game that managed to combine my love of Snakes, with the thrill of eating them. The gameplay took a bit of a step forward by including a close-quarters combat system (which blew pieces of my mind all over my TV) and the addition of functional camouflage was a welcome bit of change from my beloved designer, Hideo Kojima. One of my favorite little things that I loved the most about this game was the food system. I didn’t get as much enjoyment out of throwing a grenade into a crocodile’s mouth (which still gives me the giggles), as much as I loved learning what kind of food Naked Snake enjoyed the most. This game truly is a masterpiece. I think a marathon play-through is in order.

Metal Gear Solid: Guns of the Patriots

I am ashamed to say that my only time playing Guns of the Patriots was a marathon session shared with our own Mitch Dyer. We played through all but an hour of the game in one sitting before I managed to walk home at 8am to catch a few hours sleep before we capped off an amazing game. I was completely mesmerized by the game, and disgusted I had waited such a long time before I played it. I had finally found a Metal Gear game that actually supports the run n’ gun tactics I use in any other walk of life. Finally, my favorite franchise had found an HD outlet, and it is my favourite current generation game to date. My fingers are crossed, hoping that Peace Walker and Rising will both do the franchise proud.

Katamari Danacy

Katamari Damacy is one of my all-time favorite games. I remember playing the demo and immediately forcing my dad to drive me to buy it. The roll-up-everything concept was so simple that they managed to tie in an absolutely ridiculous story that still makes me nauseous when I try wrapping my head around. Never in my life have I considered the idea of making a star entirely out of crabs, but I am proud to say this game made it possible. There have been days when I would stay home sick from school, and would play the game for hours on end; I would always be disappointed that after I vomited, I didn’t procure a rainbow which transported me to a magical, cheaply animated world.

Amplitude

Amplitude is my favorite music game hands down. I personally give credit to Frequency for paving the way for the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises, but everything that Frequency set the stage for, Amplitude improved upon. Piecing together sections of a song is a lot funner (yes, funner) than it sounds. And I think it sounds pretty, um, fun. I spent hours and hours playing this game. Kick-ass songs reverberated along the walls of my bedroom to the point my dad would pound on my door asking me to stop playing Weezer and move on to a different track. One of the most difficult times for me in gaming history was when I had to stop weaving drum and bass beats in Amplitude because the blisters on my thumb made the game too painful to play. I’ve since made up for lost time.

Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath

The Oddworld universe is arguably my most-adored game franchise, and Strangers Wrath made the best use of the varied and insane characters, as well as the breathtaking environments. Combining the quirky, lovable universe with an FPS twist was more than enough to pique my interest, and the blend of third-person platforming and first-person shooting was too amazing for just one play through. I am sad to say I never owned an OG Xbox, and was at the mercy of Mitch once again to allow me to play his copy. Thank god he was a generous fellow.

Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix

Street Fighter 2 has probably taken more hours of my life than any other game in existence. I currently own a SNES copy, a plug in and play version, and since I got my PS3, I have been enjoying HD Remix. This game is just a faster, prettier version of Street Fighter 2, which I already considered to be near-perfect. The speed added a whole new level of difficulty that I welcomed with open arms. The slow paced original I fell in love with is basically irrelevant now. Rediscovering and falling for HD Remix was the most romantic experience of my life.

Soul Calibur II

I mentioned that I did not own an original Xbox, and I know I mainly played this game on my PS2. But it was the Xbox version of Soul Calibur II that had Spawn! Soul Calibur II made fighting games fun for me again (since I ignored anything that did not have “Street Fighter” in the title for the better part of my younger years). It is remarkably difficult for me to pinpoint what this game did right to redeem the entire genre in my eyes, but I know that the hours upon hours I spent wrecking chumps with an eyeball encrusted sword were hours I treasured.

Star Wars Battlefront

If you know anything about me, you know about my lifelong love affair with Star Wars. As I write this I have the 1981 BBC radio play plugged into my ears. I have impossibly high standards for Star Wars games and I was pleasantly surprised when Battlefront met all of them. I can happily say that even though the game had fewer maps than I would have preferred, every level I played I thoroughly enjoyed. Even the lack of lightsaber was easy to forgive. The fast paced, Battlefield-inspired action and Gungan-killing made up for any shortcomings.  I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for Battlefront (especially when it comes to tearing through the skies of Cloud City in an X-Wing), and I don’t see how that could ever change.

Guitar Hero

Guitar Hero really just picked up where Amplitude left off and went crazy. I lived too close to Mitch for him not to be around for most/all of these experiences, and if it wasn’t for him god knows how long it would have been before I ever got to play this game. This mini-SG-guitar controller was foreign, the controls unknown, but the premise was so exciting, I remember my heart beating a little bit harder as I played (and failed) I Want To Be Sedated, on easy. Guitar Hero truly revolutionized the music genre, and it introduced me to a gaming world I never would have dreamed existed. I can honestly say that I have yet to have more fun playing any of other Guitar Hero or Rock Band game as I did learning the first Guitar Hero. Finally, our talentless cover band, The Russian Commandos, could take the rock world by storm.

Honorable Mention.

Dynasty Warriors 4


If there’s any game that used more hours than any other on my PS2, it was this. The concept was simple enough; use massive weapons to kill hundreds opon hundreds of people on the Chinese battlefield. I followed that guideline as best I could, and I did it for countless hours. I beat the game under every possible story, and kept going. It was a phenomenal experience, and I’ll love it forever.

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