Russta (russta) wrote,
Russta
russta

2011

I think 2011 was the best year of gaming since 1999. Perhaps a large part of that is down to minimal MMO playing, a full time job and a good PC but the quality of games that came out out was just staggering. Given that, I couldn't resist the chance to briefly go over my favourite games of the year, which is something I've intended to do for the past few years. I can see myself doing the same next year if 2012 ends how it's going to start - I'm solidly looking forward to Ni No Kuni, FFXIII-2, Mass Effect 3 and Diablo 3. Also the beta of a certain game.

Xenoblade

I've said pretty much everything there is to say about Xenoblade below though I don't expect it to win game of the year anywhere. A game from a genre perceived to be dying that hasn't been released in the US amidst the monumental releases of 2011 stood absolutely no chance. Even so, months on, I still feel the same about it despite the games I've played in the interim and implore anyone with an interest in JRPGs to pick it up now, even if it takes you five harmless minutes to get your Wii to play it.

Dark Souls

Demon's Souls is one of my favourite games ever and the days leading up to this being released was absolute agony. These days I don't read up too much on games in advance and am happy when they end up on my doormat but this was something else. We ran to the booth at the EuroGamer expo and spent hours playing it, I kept watching EpicNameBro's videos on YouTube and I was counting down the hours and days before it finally arrived. Dark Souls built on its predecessor in every possible way and the open world concept worked amazingly well, adding an extra layer of difficulty as you figured out where to go.

It had it's problems, sure. Elemental weapons being massively unbalanced, Crystal Ring Shield spam, Fog Ring and horrendous online issues but patches eventually sorted everything out. But, overall, the good outweighed the bad massively. The only thing I can take away from this game is the fact it's a sequel and you can never recapture that magic of doing everything for the first time.

Portal 2

I loved the original game, it was great fun. I had the sequel preordered for the PS3 just so I could get a free PC copy but ended up cancelling it and getting it on Steam two days early for more money. Playing through it was a blast and the co-op was fantastic. A few puzzles in particular, we sat there for what felt like an eternity going over everything to figure out what was missing before finally managing it and getting a warm feeling inside. The problem with a game like Portal is you can pretty much only play it once and it's done till the next content is released. It has practically zero replayability but that first experience is unrivalled.

Skyrim

I've gotta be honest, the exact same thing happened with me when playing this game that happened when I played Oblivion. I start, I have an absolute riot. I enjoy the shit out of myself trying to get from a to b and getting side tracked into the entire alphabet for hours. I find a quest I love and talk about then... that's it, it dies. Skyward Sword didn't help in this regard as I took a break from Skyrim to play through it then just couldn't get back in to it. I think it comes down to the fact there's literally zero character development. Every one sounds the same, no one stands out. It's tedious to me. It's like the polar opposite of Lucky☆Star and I'm a guy that will sacrifice story for character development without hesitation.

Still, those hours I spent playing it were so fucking fun I just can't resist singing its praises. I'll no doubt pick it up somewhere down the line, probably when I have to swathe through pages of bestiality loli mods to want to do so.

Uncharted 3

Another disappointing release for me. I had great fun playing it but it just lacked something. Uncharted 2 blew me away in a way this couldn't and I don't think it's the 'did it first' syndrome this time. Sure, its graphics are only surpassed by The Witcher 2 and FFXIII and the whole cinematic style seems to be what Hideo Kojima fails to achieve with every Metal Gear game but it felt soulless. I enjoyed seeing how Nate and Sully met and Charlie's character but there is something missing from the game I couldn't put my finger on.

Skyward Sword

No game has ever made me feel more conflicted than this. The game is built around the most flawless motion controls you'll ever experience in a waggle game. This is the game that you imagined when you first pondered the potential of motion controls. On that front, it's the best Zelda game I've ever played and absolutely the most fun. Of course they had to then ruin it by having a central hub and three worlds that you have to visit over and over again that get rehashed in various ways throughout the game. That makes it the worst Zelda game ever.

Where do I put this in my Zelda list? I have no fucking clue but Wind Waker is still dragon of the roost.

Infamous 2

When the first Infamous came out I spent so much time trying to figure out whether I should buy it or Prototype that I just said fuck it and bought neither. When we were offered it for free thanks to the PSN debacle I couldn't not pick it up and I was so happy I did. I played through it in a few days and platinum'd in the same timeframe. It was so much fun and so enjoyable that I had to pick up the sequel that had just come out (that marketing ploy wasn't lost on me) but held off to avoid burn out. I found Infamous 2 to be one of the most improved sequels I've played and enjoyed it even more. If the idea of being a complete badass running around a town appeals to you, pick them both up.

Be warned though, the ending on evil mode is just horrible. And I mean that in an upsetting way, not that it was badly written or anything.

The Witcher 2

Never have I died so many times in a tutorial. Holy shit The Witcher 2 kicked my ass so bad I almost gave it up. Calira told me some cheese tactics to get past it which worked and I built from there. Great story, great voice acting, mind blowing graphics and, when used to it, a brilliant combat system.
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