Game Of The Year Picks: Gamasutra's Frank Cifaldi

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're publishing daily alongside picks from the Gamasutra staff. Today's first picks come from Gamasutra contributor and editor Frank Cifaldi, whose top game choices for 2005 are as follows: "I don't know if it's necessarily the most innovative, or surprising, or even well-polished game of 2005, but Nintendo's Osu! Tatake! Ouendan is sitting in my DS right now. This is significant because I mastered the game on its highest difficult setting about three months ago, and yet, it's still there. Sure, I've played some other great DS games - Mario Kart DS, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Animal Crossing: Wild World - but in the end, I always find myself coming back to a wacky rhythm game about imaginary cheerleading men inspiring kids to do their homework, secretaries to seduce their hunky bosses, and orchestral violinists to overcome constipation, all to the tune of sugary sweet Japanese pop. And that really says something. Specifically, it says that Ouendan is the best game of 2005. When I first saw screenshots of Capcom's Killer 7, way back in early 2003, I knew I'd like it. I didn't know what the game was about, I didn't know how the game controlled or what the objective was or the name of one single person involved. None of that mattered though, because those shots oozed style. It was as if someone looked at an untextured, in-production game, with its simple placeholder tiles and barren landscapes, and said, "Hey, this looks kind of cool." And indeed, Killer 7, when it eventually came out, was cool. It was ice cold, bitter and frightening, like drinking cheap scotch over ice in a dimly-lit bar in the wrong part of town, knowing that there's a price on your head and hoping against all hope that this is all just a bad dream. And at the same time, hoping that it's not. I played a lot of other great games this year. I can't choose a third favorite, so I'm going to cheat and start listing a few off. Double Fine's Psychonauts was incredible, up until my Xbox stopped reading the disc. Thankfully, I got to experience the pure brilliance of the Milk Man before that happened. Shadow of the Colossus was also good. Too good, in fact. I killed about five of the buggers before I realized that I wasn't doing the game justice by playing it at my leisure. The disc is sitting on my shelf until I can devote an entire night to it. Sonic Rush is the greatest 2D Sonic game of all time, and this is coming from someone who previously thought that the series died after the 16-bit era. Take out the lame story segments and make the bosses more interesting, and it might be perfect." 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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