It may not be flashy, it may not be a blockbuster, but Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride for the Nintendo DS was my favourite game of the year. Last year, I absolutely adored Dragon Quest IV, and had to temper my hopes that its sequel would be able to recapture the magic. Imagine my surprise when Dragon Quest V not only met its predecessor head on, but surpassed it in every way. A charming little RPG that just reeks of old-school charm, Dragon Quest V encapsulated everything that’s wonderful about one of the genre’s premiere series: an epic multi-generational story (that never takes itself too seriously), a blazing fast battle system, and nostalgically muddy graphics. During a period in my life when my free time is devoted almost wholly to reading, writing and family, Dragon Quest V sucked me in for 40 hours and wouldn’t let me go. I wait eagerly for Dragon Quest VI, coming in 2010.
I wrote about Torchlight a few months ago, when it was first released, and it hasn’t left my gaming rotation since. It’s like Diablo 2.5 and the absolute perfect thing to hold over gamers until the real Diablo 3 rolls around.
Machinarium is a cute adventure game in the vein of the old Monkey Island games, but set in a beautiful dystopia populated by robots. It’s great to see a revitalization of the genre after all these years.
Sense a theme? I’m a sucker for clean hand-drawn art, and A Boy and his Blob was on my radar from the moment I first saw screenshots. A great puzzle/platformer, it turned out to be more than just eye candy.
You can find my favourite games of 2008 HERE. So, after my decidedly retro list, what are some of your favourite games released in 2009?