Half Life 1 and 2 are still superb games, though I can agree, they aren't mythical levels of awesome anymore. Still, Half Life 2 is one of the best examples of great game design out there, if not the best. Valve really does prove the importance of play testing and feed back. If all developers were like them, gaming would be a paradise.
I think Dead Rising 2 took a page from Brutal Legend... just Combined a guitar and an amp, rolled into the centre of a zombie mosh pit and then jammed. Shockwave!