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Game Of The Year Picks: Brandon Sheffield, Game Developer Magazine

As part of Gamasutra's end of year round-up, we've asked our readers to submit their choices for ...
As part of Gamasutra's end of year round-up, we've asked our readers to submit their choices for top three games of 2005, which we will publish over the next few days alongside picks from the Gamasutra staff. Today's remaining set of picks come from Game Developer magazine Associate Editor Brandon Sheffield, whose top titles are as follows: "Capcom's Resident Evil 4 was certainly the best console game of the year, in my mind. It takes the survival horror formula and improves upon it with giant steps, rather than the usual iterative process we generally see in games, without alienating the fanbase. This game is universally lauded for its excellence, and for once, I actually think the hype is deserved. RE4 is forward-thinking in its design, with automatically scaled difficulty, measured introduction of new play elements. While the story is linear, the player feels a great degree of freedom in terms of how to approach any given situation. The several month Gamecube exclusivity was also a bold move, showing that Capcom cares deeply about hardware manufacturers that put games to the fore. Doukutsu Monogatari, or Cave Story, was a breath of fresh air, with its simple sprite-based graphics, oldschool play aesthetic, and charming, involving story. It was released only for the PC, an independent (doujin) game from a Japanese designer who calls himself Pixel. The game was the darling of the indie gaming community for some time, and received an English language patch just a few months after its release – an uncommon feat for any Japanese-originating amateur game. The attention Doukutsu Monogatari garnered was large enough to generate new interest in doujin games from a wider audience, making the game's achievements twice as important. The Rumblefish 2 is the Atomiswave-based arcade sequel to Dimps/Sega's 2004 original IP 2D fighting game effort. Like its predecessor, the game uses a unique flash-like graphical technique to give the characters extremely fluid animation, and the high resolution fighters look quite nice in motion. The system marries the best from other popular series such as Guilty Gear, King of Fighters and Asuka 120% (with new twists, of course), making the game very intuitive to pick up and play for fans of the fighting genre. The main 'gimmick' in The Rumblefish series is that characters' clothing will tear as the player progresses, with the tears reflected in subsequent battles and character profiles. This, combined with the fast action and furious combos, makes for a very exciting series. The Rumblefish 2, while not totally suited for competition, is much more balanced than its predecessor, and shows that original 2D fighting games can still be made in this day and age, and made well." Anyone else interested in answering this question should use the official Question Of The Week page until January 2, 2006. Respondents should ideally keep their answers under 500 words.

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