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Game(s) of the Year 2011
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So, it's that time of year again. Let's all struggle to remember which games we played in the last 12 months! What are your best and worst games for 2011? Make your own categories, I don't care! [b]Game of the Year:[/b] [b]Dark Souls[/b] There's not much to say about this that hasn't been said already. It's one of those rare games that I start over as soon as I win it. I only wish that they had a little more time to finish the game up, as it feels like it's missing about 15% of its intended content. [b]Honorable Mention: Uncharted 3[/b] Although I enjoyed this game as much as Dark Souls, it's not as good as a "game" so much as a "gaming experience" or just flat out "entertainment." There are so many sights in the game that simply have to be seen to be believed and although the story is fairly idiotic, the dialogue (and voice acting) is extremely charming. In addition to the abundant eye candy, the multiplayer modes are also extremely fun. This is the number one game I hope other developers take inspiration from. You don't need to have quicktime events and super lengthy cut scenes to create a cinematic experience. (I realize that these comments also apply to the other Uncharted games) [b]Fighting Game of the Year: KOF XIII[/b] I don't even want to say this, it's so obvious. My only hope is that this isn't the last in the series. Being an SNK fan is always painful. [b]Honorable Mention: Street Fighter 4 Whatever Edition[/b] Congratulations to Capcom for keeping people interested in their game as time marches on and congratulations on them bothering to make an updated Arcade Edition, even if it was their fault that it was necessary in the first place. Ultimate MvC3 was fine, too, but I'm not picking top 3. [b]RPG of the Year: Last Story[/b] Almost forgot this one! I had to check my list from last year to see if it was on it. Guess it came out in 2011 after all. I would say this is the "summer blockbuster action movie" of RPGs, but it's more like the "shounen fight manga" of RPGs, with its "use your powers in clever ways to beat the bosses", "11th hour hidden super moves" and "You go on! I'll stay here and finish this guy!" scenes. Much like Uncharted, it maintains a cinematic quality without sacrificing gameplay or halting the game entirely. Much like Mass Effect 2, it left me feeling like "this is a good direction for (at least some) RPGs to go". Unfortunately, thanks to its aggressively mediocre plot, it narrowly misses being one of my favorite RPGs ever. It's a pity to see such a stereotyped story in an otherwise wildly inventive game. As a result, it only ties Xenoblade, which was my RPG of last year. [b]Honorable Mention: Yuusha 30: Second[/b] Choosing a 2nd place is really tough, as Super Robot Wars Z2 was really excellent as well. Somehow, I don't want to count it as an RPG, though. At any rate Yuusha 30 was one of those games I thought didn't need a sequel. I loved it, but I was so satisfied with it in the end that I felt like I didn't need more...it already did everything. 30:Second changed my mind, though. It soared high above my expectations and more than justified its existence. Of particular note is the soundtrack, which features some of the best from some of the best in the industry. The genius in-game music player kept me rocking through hours of the game's extra content. [b]Downloadable Game of the Year: Guardian Heroes[/b] I hadn't played this game in years and I thought my memory was playing tricks on me, or I had built it up in my mind, but the game is actually [i]better[/i] than I remembered it. Sure, the character designs and color scheme are hideous, but the game itself is every bit as fun as it ever was. The world may never make a better 2D beat 'em up. [b]"Not Quite There" Award: Final Fantasy Type-0[/b] Here is a brilliant game with a fun, interesting system, typically (for Square) impressive graphics, stunning cinemas, lovely music and an interesting story all tainted by poor difficulty balance. The story quests are wonderfully executed and nicely challenging, but they're always just out of reach in terms of difficulty. When you finish one, you'll be level 20 and the next one will be level 30 difficulty. In the meantime, it would make sense to do some of the numerous and rewarding side quests. Unfortunately, 9 out of 10 of them are level 45, making them completely impossible. All that's left is to grind, which is a huge frustration, since you have SO MANY characters and they all level slowly, even with an EXP boosting item equipped. The game is intended to be played twice and it's obvious that most of the side missions are catered to New Game+, but that doesn't make your first runthrough any less frustrating. [b]Runner Up: Tales of Xillia[/b] I often say that I can't pick a "best" Tales game, not because they're all so good, but because they all have something so wrong with them that it prevents me from calling any of them "best." Xillia seemed to have everything right, except for the soundtrack which was just okay. The plot was even pretty good, which I never expect from a Tales Game. Then they introduce this strange new problem where the boss enemies don't necessarily react to getting hit. In other words, sometimes they flinch and sometimes they punch you as you're punching them. The result is that you are completely at the mercy of a random system to decide how much ass you're kicking. I will be rocking 6 screen-filling combination moves in a row while one of my other dudes is also filling the screen with some epic spell and the boss will just keep punching away as if nothing is happening. It's not an issue of challenge...I almost always put Tales games on the hardest difficulty possible...it's an issue of feeling out of control. How can I be proud of a huge combo when I know that it's only luck that the boss didn't break it earlier? There are way more elegant ways to stop you from doing endless combos all the time. Still...great game otherwise. [b]"Not Quite There" Award: Company Edition: Imageepoch[/b] I like these guys. I played a lot of their games this year. Sadly, I didn't finish any of them. I think the last game of theirs I actually played to completion was Last Ranker. I should go back and finish Black Rock Shooter at least, since I liked the story. [b]Why Did I Buy This Game Award: Gears of War 3[/b] I like 3rd person shooters and I finally decided that my disdain for beefy heroes wasn't enough to keep me away from GoW3. It had a strong start, but the campaign becomes hopelessly repetitive by the midpoint. Here is the rare game where I'd be happy to see boss battles recycled, if only to give you something else to do. I'm sure the multiplayer is fun and the environments are quite impressive, but the campaign is severely underwhelming. Also to its discredit is the fact that "chainsaw it" solves 95% of your problems in a game that's already way too easy. On a side note, if you don't have a buddy, the computer AI is quite excellent. I think the game presents a fantastic solution for people who are terribly at video games, but just want to have fun. You're free to kick as much ass as you like, but if you sit back long enough, your buddies will inevitably take care of things. [b]Most Pleasant Surprise: Dynasty Warriors 7[/b] I'm not nuts about Musou games. I make fun of them a lot. I usually like Basara much more. And yet, I wasn't a huge fan of Basara 3 and Musou 6/Dynasty Warriors 7 really delighted me. It's not a huge step forward, but it's definitely (in my opinion) the best game in the series. The story mode was particularly enjoyable and the ability to add things from other games as DLC is nice as well. [b]Game I Wish I Played, but Didn't: Super Mario 3D Land[/b] I'm not usually shy about buying games or systems, but until I can get around the region lock, I'm not touching the 3DS. I'm not a huge Mario fan, but my love for Mario Galaxy has me interested. [b]Game I'm Finally Sick Of Monster Hunter[/b] I love MH. I always have, but I've done it all. I have zero interest in the 3DS one. I'm irritated that 4 is a 3DS game as well, because I feel like they're leaving Sony high and dry and not advancing the series enough. An added irritation is the fact that the game has SUCH a huge impact on the success of a console in Japan. Yes, it's great, but there are other great games, too. [b]Predictions for this thread:[/b] *I forget which game came out in which region in which year. *Maou's "Game of the Year" is old enough to have children. *Someone has become disenchanted with games and only played one game the entire year. That game is from 2005.
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