METROID PRIME • 4.1
Samus lands on a planet. Why? Who knows. What's she doing once she goes there? Who knows?
DATE BEATEN: QUIT DUE TO CRAPPINESS
DO NOT WANT. This is supposedly a great game. But for some reason, I loathed it with a burning passion. I played the Wii version, so maybe the GameCube version was better? I can't say that I plan on finding out. But things started out bad, and went downhill in a hurry. First and foremost, the game committed a horrible act—it failed to probably explain a key function in the gameplay. Switching visors is a vital part of this game. Both the in game tutorial and the instruction manual indicate that to switch visors, you push and hold minus. That's it. In fact, you must also move the cursor to the top third of the screen to switch visors—though there is no way to know that since the game doesn't tell you and there aren't any visual clues while holding minus to let you know. So after struggling with THAT for far too long, I finally started making some progress in the game—though every time I thought I was getting somewhere, I hit a brick wall because I didn't have THIS upgrade or THAT upgrade. Well? Where DO I go then? I dunno. Game doesn't tell you that. So I was all like… F*** THIS. And that's Metroid Prime.
THE LAST REMNANT • 5.9
The Last Remnant has all the ingredients for a good game. It has a great story, an interesting battle system, an excellent soundtrack, great graphics, and tons of stuff to do. But none of that matters, because the leveling system in this game is flawed beyond comprehension.
DATE BEATEN: February 6
TIME PLAYED: 105 hours
ACHIEVEMENTS: 19/22 • 580/1000 G• 86% complete
FATAL FLAW: The game actively encourages you to fight lots of battles. Instead of gaining a level after defeating so many enemies, you get random stat increases after every battle. In theory, that's okay, but enemies level up as you do—and if you get a lot of bad stat increases, you can find yourself horribly outgunned later in the game. That's exactly what happened to me when I first played the game two years ago. The key to beating the game is actually avoiding ALL battles except required ones, and level grinding in an area (that happens to be DLC) where the enemies leave you with good stats. It's ridiculous.
LEGO STAR WARS III • 6.3
The Force is not with this one. The levels aren't that interesting and far too often, it's not obvious what you need to do to proceed. Also, the camera stinks. And the Clone Wars aren't nearly as good as the movies.
DATE BEATEN: April 22
TIME PLAYED: 22 hours
ACHIEVEMENTS: 42/48 • 720/1000 G • 88% complete
PILOTWINGS RESORT • 7.0
So you fly around this island and stuff—wait, no. There is no "stuff." You just fly around some island.
DATE BEATEN: June 18
TIME PLAYED: 7 hours
DRAGON AGE 2 • 7.2
You are the Champion of Kirkwall. And only Kirkwall. Unlike many other heroes, who have accomplished many great deeds to save the entire world, you, friend, are the Champion of one measly city. Though you did go into a cave that one time. It was scary. And that is why you are only the Champion of Kirkwall.
DATE BEATEN: March 22 and July 15
TIME PLAYED: 72 hours
ACHIEVEMENTS: 65/65 • 1370/1370 G • 100% complete
RINSE AND REPEAT. While the combat moves a lot faster than Dragon Age: Origins, it still comes down to button mashing. That was fine in the first game, when you were driven forward by an intricate plot filled with twists and turns through many various locations. This time around, almost all of the action takes place in one spot. It's fun for a little while, but visiting the same 4 places over and over and over again… well… I think that might be a little tiresome. Don't you?
DRAGON AGE? For a game with "DRAGON" in its title there were certainly not a lot of them in this game… Just saying. I guess "Generic Bandit Age" isn't as marketable.
A GREAT DEAL OF RESPECT: I command a great deal of respect. The Arishok told me so. So treat me accordingly, with the respect I deserve.
METROID: OTHER M • 7.4
This time Samus goes on an adventure, and I actually knew why she was doing it.
DATE BEATEN: September 21
TIME PLAYED: 16:00
SECOND CHANCES. After my horrid experience with Metroid Prime, I was hesitant to try Other M—but it turned out to be a decent enough game. Yes, the story was lame, and yes, Adam was even more lame for not giving Samus permission to use the Varia suit the FIRST time she ran through that lava tunnel. Still, I'm in no hurry to play another Metroid. Sorry, Samus. I don't care how tight your Zero Suit is.
GOD OF WAR: CHAINS OF OLYMPUS • 7.6
Hear me, Athena! The Gods have wronged Kratos again, so he's gonna like, go and kill stuff.
DATE BEATEN: September 18
TIME PLAYED: 6:41
LEGO PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN • 8.0
Grab ye a grog, ya salty sea dogs, and set yerself down for a high seas adventure, filled with little plastic blocks. And booty. Lots of booty! But even more little plastic blocks.
DATE BEATEN: June 4
TIME PLAYED: 28 hours
ACHIEVEMENTS: 40/40 • 1000/1000 G • 100% completed
ARRRGH! With Lego Star Wars III slumbering for eternity in Davy Jones' locker, it was up to Lego Pirates to restore me faith in the series—and that it did, lad. That it did. No parlay required—though I would have been disinclined to acquiesce those demands. Arrgh, Lego Pirates be a mighty fine game—fun and charming like the movies, and gorgeous to look at, too, which is unusual for a Lego game. Why is this game so good? Sea turtles.
3D DOT GAME HEROES • 8.0
Long ago, Prince Darkness "Ganon" stole one of the Triforce with Power. Princess Zelda had one of the Triforce with Wisdom… wait a minute, wrong game. I was confused there for a second… But you get the idea.
DATE BEATEN: May 22
TIME PLAYED: 22:20
TROPHIES: 29/51 • 42% complete
IT'S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE… I'm surprised Nintendo didn't sue for copyright infringement :lol: 3D Dot Game Heroes is so similar to the first Zelda game that it's not even funny.
GOD OF WAR: GHOST OF SPARTA • 8.1
Hear me again, Athena! Kratos knows that his brother yet lives. HE IS COMING.
DATE BEATEN: September 28
TIME PLAYED: 7:46
SUPER SCRIBBLENAUTS • 8.2
Maxwell returns. And he brings with him the awesomeness of adjectives.
DATE BEATEN: January 9
BEST THING TO SUMMON: Giant Angry Robotic Pregnant Vampire Muffin. Watch in delight as is it leeches the life from your enemies… and then gives birth to little baby muffins upon expiry.
RED DEAD REDEMPTION: UNDEAD NIGHTMARE • 8.3
Be warned, stranger. The dead have risen, and they're hungry for brains. Then again, you don't look like you've got much to worry about, friend. It's a sad day when a zombie hungry for brains passes you by, isn't it?
DATE BEATEN: April 10
WTF DLC? I wouldn't normally count DLC as a game beaten, but Undead Nightmare has more content than some games, so I don't have any problem counting it on this list. And neither do you.
BASTION • 8.5
The Kid woke up in a daze. Somethin' wasn't quite right. Ahh, looks like the Calamity happened during the night, and the Kid somehow managed to sleep through the whole thing. Looks like he's gonna have to save the world now. And I'm going to narrate the whole entire thing as he does it.
DATE BEATEN: August 6
TIME PLAYED: 14:00
ACHIEVEMENTS: 12/12 • 200/200 G • 100% completed
THEN THE KID SCRATCHED HIS NOSE. There is a narrator for this whole game. WHOLE GAME. I wasn't sure how I felt about it at first, but something about that dude's voice just makes you want to listen to him tell the story—and the fact that the story was pretty damn good also helped. Bastion is a fairly standard hack and slash RPG, but it's a ton of fun—and when combined with that narration and the graphics, and that oh-so-incredible soundtrack, you have a game that is certainly worth playing.
UNCHARTED: DRAKE'S FORTUNE • 8.6
Nathan Drake sets out to find the fabled city of El Dorado. What could go wrong?
DATE BEATEN: July 29
TIME PLAYED: 10:09
TROPHIES: 26/48 • 47% complete
UNCHARTED 3: DRAKE'S DECEPTION • 8.7
Nathan Drake sets out to find the fabled city of Ubar. What could go wrong? Well, that would be EVERYTHING.
DATE BEATEN: November 10
TIME PLAYED: 10:38
WHAT COULD GO WRONG? Everything. I liked this game. A lot. Otherwise it wouldn't have gotten an 8.7. It is easily the best looking game that I have ever played, it sounds great, plays great. So what's wrong? I don't think that the story is all that it was cracked up to be. To me, the story seemed like little more than a conveyance to get Drake from one over-the-top situation to the next. Granted, that was the case in the previous Uncharted games, but in this case… well, I think the game was TOO over the top for its own good. Each of the set-pieces were amazing in their own right. The cruise ship is pure brilliance—and it would have made an awesome climax. Alas, it takes place in the middle of the game, and afterwards, Nate just dries himself off and gets onto the plot conveyor so he can get himself into another over-the-top pickle. It just didn't sit well with me, I guess.
SUPER MARIO 3D LAND • 8.8
Believe it or not, Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach. Dude, that NEVER happens…
DATE BEATEN: November 27
TIME PLAYED: 7:04
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: OCARINA OF TIME 3D • 8.9
Apparently, Link didn't have it in him. Ganondorf got him. He failed. Didn't save Hyrule. Let Zelda die. Well, at least according to Nintendo.
DATE BEATEN: August 31
TIME PLAYED: 30:36
HALO 3 • 9.1
Something about a Flood. And an Elite is apparently fighting with me and I don't know why. And more Flood. I really wish I had played the first two Halo games before tackling this one.
DATE BEATEN: April 4
TIME PLAYED: 15 hours
ACHIEVEMENTS: 13/79 • 540/1750 G • 16% complete
MARIO KART 7 • 9.1
First place… third lap… blue shell… lightning bolt…. red shell… green shell… sixth place.
DATE BEATEN: December 4
TIME PLAYED: 19:18
LET'S A GO! The blue shells are worse than ever. The computer is more wicked than usual. And green shells seem to lob you from out of nowhere with amazing frequency. Yet, somehow Mario Kart 7 is still really good. All of the new courses (except for Neo Bowser City :x) are a ton of fun, the online is great, and the swimming/gliding is actually a lot of fun. As is always the case with Mario Kart, the positives outweigh the negatives.
FAVORITE NEW TRACK: Piranha Plant Slide
HALO: REACH • 9.5
I am Noble 6. I am a Spartan. The best of the best. Grunts fear me. Elites with fuel rod guns? Not so much.
DATE BEATEN: June 11 and October 30
TIME PLAYED: 285 hours
ACHIEVEMENTS: 54/69 • 1245/1700 G • 78% complete
LEGENDARY. Normally, I wouldn't mention a game that I beat last year in this blog, but since I managed to beat Reach twice this year—both times on Legendary, I figured it was worth a mention. Also, after spending 285 hours with the game, it has become not only my most played game of 2011, but my most played game of all time.
A MONUMENT TO ALL YOURS SINS. Not only did I beat the game on Legendary twice, the second time I did it all by my lonesome. It took me 28 hours, I died hundreds of times, and was probably the most cowardly Spartan in history (if there was a way to avoid a battle, ooh yeah, I avoided it). But I did it, making this my biggest achievement of the year.
RED DEAD REDEMPTION • 9.6
I don't rightly know why I didn't play this game sooner, friend. I reckon I was not finding the setting appealing to my refined palate, but the moment Uncle Sam recruited me to track down that scoundrel, Bill Williamson, I hopped into the saddle and had me a mighty fine adventure.
DATE BEATEN: February 27
PLAY TIME: 69 hours
ACHIEVEMENTS: 47/95 • 920/1500 G • 49% complete
CHANGE OF HEART: As many of you know, my original rating for this game was a much maligned 8.8. I had some issues with the controls (and still do), I wasn't too keen on the music, I found the multiplayer somewhat lacking (there really isn't much to do, honestly), and I think I had a few other quibbles. But in retrospect, those problems were minor. Red Dead Redemption is an excellent game. The gameplay, the story, the characters, and especially the setting I was so leery about… it all combines to make a truly stunning game that is worthy of a bit more than that "lowly" 8.8.
"DASTARDLY": This was my favorite achievement of 2011. Kidnap a woman, tie her to the train tracks, and let nature take its gruesome course.
THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM • 10
I used to be an adventurer like you. Then I took an arrow in the knee. Now I'm stuck on guard duty while my cousin is out fighting dragons.
DATE BEATEN: N/A
TIME PLAYED: 148 hours
ACHIEVEMENTS: 45/50 • 840/1000 G • 90% complete
I SAW A MUD CRAB THE OTHER DAY. Well, well, well… What have we here? Skyrim has earned the 10 that I said it would get all those months ago. It is everything that I dreamed it would be and then some. It is a fantastically amazing game. I could go on for pages about the adventures I've had… and at some point, I will regale you with the story of how I really, really wanted to get back to Riften… but there were guards. And bounty hunters. And dragons. And Thalmor Justiciars. And Delphine. And Forsworn. And over-encumberement… if that's even a word.
HORRIBLE CREATURE. Skyrim is NOT my game of the year. No. There was a horrible creature in this game, and it was not a mud crab. It was that horrible, horrible Daedric Prince of Glitches. I listed a boatload of Skyrim glitches that I had encountered a few blogs ago. At that time, they were nothing but fun little aberrations that did not detract from my enjoyment of the game. That has changed. The number of quests I have been unable to complete due to glitches has grown by leaps and bounds. People I need to talk to don't acknowledge me. The Orc I needed to speak with to initiate a Daedric quest got killed before my very eyes. The map marker pointed to the WRONG place for the entirety of the last civil war quest. As much as I love Skyrim—and don't get me wrong, I DO love it—these glitches have detracted just enough love to deny the illustrious GotY award.
GLITCHES. I hope to never see another. Hahahahaha…
FAVORITE MOMENTS: Becoming a cannibal was certainly something. Assassinating Glerda the Kind to initiate the Dark Brotherhood quests was also a hoot. Right in front of the children. They cheered at her death. And the guards afterwards: "Didn't I see you coming out of that orphanage?" :lol: The wedding was also enjoyable. I wore my good clothes.
2011 GAME OF THE YEAR
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: SKYWARD SWORD • 10
After Princess Zelda is abducted by a mysterious beast, Link must embark upon a dangerous journey to a mysterious land to get her back. If only it were that simple…
DATE BEATEN: N/A
TIME PLAYED: 30 hours
SURPRISE! How is this possible? For months, Skyrim seemed like such a lock for GotY! How could Skyward Sword (a lowly 7.5 in GS's eyes) possibly dethrone the game I had been hyping for the entire year? The fun swordplay doesn't hurt, but for me, the thing that tipped the scale in Skyward Sword's favor was the moment that Groose set foot upon this strange new world called "the surface" and proclaimed it "Grooseland" :lol: Skyward Sword is filled with amazing characters. Fi, Groose, Zelda, Batreaux, Ghirahim… these are memorable, fully fleshed out people. They're charming and funny, and over the course of the game, you actually come to care about them. The same cannot be said for the denizens of Skyrim. Combined with a surprisingly good story, an excellent soundtrack, great dungeons, and… oh yeah… some of the MOST EPIC boss fights you will ever see in a game… all of that combines to make Skyward Sword something that is truly special. And something that is worthy of the title GAME OF THE YEAR.
NOT TO BE OUTDONE. And it even has a game-ending glitch, just like Skyrim.
I NEED PAPER! I was thrilled to see that toilet in the Knight Academy. I was even more thrilled when somebody inside needed some paper. So what did YOU do with that love note? :lol: