Goodbye, 2011 and hello, 2012. It's been a great year for gaming while at the same time it was a bad year for gaming. Sure we had some great games that came out like Batman Arkham City, Gears of War 3, etc. though some bad stuff occurred as well like the PSN hacking fiasco in the Spring. Either way they had their swings and misses for gaming. Which is why I would like to share with you all my Top 10 Favorite Games (That I Bought) In 2011. It doesn't matter what year the games came out as long as I bought it in 2011. So without further ado, let's get this blog started.
10. SHADOWS OF THE DAMNED
Straight from the minds of the director that was a part of developing Resident Evil 4, the sound composer of the Silent Hill franchise and Suda 51 who gave us cult followers like No More Heroes and Killer7, comes a brand new IP named Shadows of the Damned. As a Mexican demon hunter, Garcia Hotspur, you venture into the pits of hell with a small variety of guns (pistol, shotgun and submachine gun) to save your kidnapped girlfriend from the Lord of Demons himself.
Now anyone who has played No More Heroes will know just how crazy the mind of Suda 51 can be. Shadows of the Damned did not sell well sadly and the bad part about it is that the game was not only short but it felt like it was missing quite a bit of content. Plus I hate laser-sight aiming which is always a big no-no for me. Despite all of that, I had a fun time with this game and got 100% at it too. Also it has an awesome soundtrack, I recommend you listen to it and rent the game to get a good idea as to what to expect in hell.
9. UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES
Sequels are hard to come by, especially if the first one did well or was terrible. Uncharted 1 when it came out for the PlayStation 3 (you know when that console was hated by almost everyone…..and kinda still is) was hated by many for being a Tomb Raider/Gears of War ripoff while those who gave the game a chance such as myself enjoyed the experience. So when word got out that a sequel was in the works, of course expectations would be high. Lo and behold, Uncharted 2 comes out and immediately becomes a success.
Naughty Dog took what made the first game great, improvised where others who have played it needed work and went with it from there. The gunplay has improved, we got better usage of explosives, far better melee and a bigger challenge to get through the single campaign on Hard and above. There's a reason why Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is well liked amongst PS3 owners. Me personally, I like the game though I still prefer the first game over it. That's just me. I've yet to play Uncharted 3, but I will eventually.
8. THE SLY COLLECTION
I've never played these games when I had the PS2. Thank goodness that they were remade for the PS3 cause now I can proudly say that I've found another platformer to add to my list of well-liked games. Sly Cooper now sits aside Mario, Sonic, Ratchet and Clank, Kirby, Donkey Kong and Sackboy when it comes to my love for a great platformer.
To tell you the truth, the unveiling of Sly 4 at last year's E3 got me to buy The Sly Collection. Sadly I've only beaten the first game and from the looks of the second one, it feels better. Over-the-top comical appeal, hilarious dialogue and gameplay along with a nice combination of stealth and platforming. Where the hell can you go wrong with that? All I know is, I need to beat all 3 of these games (hell even go for 100% on all of them) before Sly 4 comes out this year.
7. SONIC AND SEGA ALL-STARS RACING
Of all the games to buy for 2011, this was a dark horse. At first glance, I never gave this game a chance. Upon seeing it at the 2009 E3 (I think), I dismissed it as another one of Sega's failed attempts with Sonic along with a Mario Kart ripoff. Note to self: NEVER THINK THAT WAY AGAIN. When certain people wanted to play something new on my PS3, I went with this game and never looked back. My verdict: this game is WAY BETTER than its Wii rival, Mario Kart Wii.
With 20 racers ranging from the obvious Sonic to the not-so-obvious Opa-Opa, you race your way through various tracks from the Sonic, Jet Set Radio and Billy Hatchet franchises with a barrage of items to assist you towards your mad dash for the finish line. Oh and of course there is the flashy, somewhat useless All-Star moves so whatever. Honestly, I consider this game to be better than Mario Kart Wii since it gave you more to do like the single-player challenges and how much FASTER it felt. Not to mention the variety in the vehicles and how you had to find the shortcuts yourself without a map to help you. It doesn't matter. Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing, a good game.
6. KIRBY'S RETURN TO DREAMLAND
Nintendo released both Kirby's Return To Dreamland and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword as the Wii's final, major big hits before putting more effort into the 3DS and Wii-U for 2012. I went with Kirby since Kirby's Epic Yarn kinda left a bad taste in my mouth. Thankfully, Nintendo learn from THAT mistake and brought HAL Labs to work on this title to ensure that Kirby's last hurrah on the Wii turns out to be a bang.
All of the ****c goodness from past Kirby games are here with the option of multiplayer (having 4 Kirbys ganging up on everybody for powers can be annoying) or Players 2, 3 and 4 can become King Dedede, a Waddle Dee or Meta-Knight venturing through Dreamland. A lot of the ****c power-ups are back along with Uber power-ups and a much harder mode to play through after beating it for the first time. I've already beaten the main game and already halfway through EX-mode which is loads of fun. Verdict: Kirby's final run on the Wii is a success. A great, big success.
5. SUPER MARIO 3D LAND
Yours truly now owns a Nintendo 3DS with 3D remakes of Star Fox 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. However the one game I bought with it that stood out more was Super Mario 3D Land, one of the best handheld Mario titles I've played in quite a while.
This game also holds the record of me beating a game as quickly as I feel like (two straight days). I've beaten the game as Mario and almost completed the Special Worlds as Luigi which is a bit harder to accomplish with some of the stipulations added to the revamped levels. 3D is not needed to play the game though it gets useful in certain levels, especially getting those elusive Star Coins. I've played Super Mario 3D Land so many times during the Christmas holiday and I won't deny the fact that it was a great run. Would highly recommend you play this if you own a 3DS.
4. DEAD SPACE 2
I bought both Dead Space 1, 2 and Extraction in 2011, so only one must go here. For this, I picked Dead Space 2. The first Dead Space was phenomenal and I 100% it as well. From there we move to the sequel which improved so much that it's not even funny. From new weapons to better usages in melee, new enemies and an even greater challenge to finish it even on Normal, Dead Space 2 deserves its props.
What can be said about Dead Space 2 that hasn't been said already? It's not as scary as the first one, although some areas will catch you off-guard especially at the end. Plus the multiplayer was unnecessary and sucked if you were not playing as a Necromorph AND the single campaign is shorter. Despite that, Dead Space 2 is just as phenomenal as the first one and requires a playthrough if need be.
Another dark horse game I picked for 2011 and quite frankly my favorite one. You like Gears of War? You will certainly love this game. You could care less about big stories and more about getting into the game (like all games should be even though a great story normally keeps your attention) then Vanquish is certainly for you. Vanquish is much faster than many of the third-person shooters out there and resembles a bullet hell arcade game with some innovations in the gameplay such as a booster to move from Point A to Point B and the ability to slow time down giving you the chance to pick off any enemies nearby without all the horde of bullets flying across the screen (and believe me there's gonna be a lot).
My minor gripes with the game are how short it is. Five acts which can be plowed through non-stop and it's all over. The good part? Vanquish is NOT a walk in the park. On Normal, this game will really push you with the amount of bosses and overwhelming gun battles await you, not to mention the amount of one-hit kills here and there. And once you're done with the main story, there's six challenges that await you and they are a LOT harder than the main story. If anyone who owns this game has beaten all six challenges, I will give you kudos cause those are ridiculously hard. Just like this game can be ridiculously hard on the first attempt. Either way, it's a fun game and challenging while not being unfair. Give it a try.
I hate hackers and I'm sure many PS3 owners wanted to hang the a-holes that hacked the PlayStation Network, leaving all of them without access to their games and other services for months. When it finally got back up, Sony delivered news that a selected amount of games would be available to download for free. Infamous was one of them. I bought this game in 2009 and sold it in 2010. Thankfully, my urge to finish what I started with this game came back when I noticed that it was free and downloaded it in a hurry (or when the bandwidth had less people on it). This is great that I downloaded Infamous cause that had to be one of the best PS3 exclusives I've played.
The ability to choose the path that you want to go: whether you fight for the greater good and help the remaining survivors. Or show that you are truly a one-man wrecking crew and be evil to the core. The alignment you choose will depend on the type of powers you will gain in the long run, ranging from sticky electric grenades as a hero to exploding cars upon usage of a shockwave as a villain. Not to mention how the game made you have sympathy for Cole as he learn to wield these brand new powers while dealing with the amount of crap going on around him. Truly a great PS3 exclusive for those who have missed out on it. Not to mention the sequel that I want to get my hands on in the near future
1. BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY
NO SURPRISE. After Arkham Asylum, my expectations were high. This game did not disappoint. Improved combat, slighter tougher stealth, new upgrades to old gadgets, new gadgets that REALLY come in handy at a pinch along with some new DLC and a massive sandbox environment makes Arkham City an awesome sequel to the already awesome Arkham Asylum.
Plus to top it all off, as stated, the environment is far bigger than the limitations of Arkham Asylum with more buildings to investigate, more henchmen to take down, more of Batman's rouge of villains that roam the city, a LOT more riddles and physical challenges to find as well as the usual challenge rooms, with 12 freeflow and 12 stealthy missions to complete along with campaigns to really test your skills. If that wasn't good enough, the game comes with Catwoman for free and two new DLC characters (Tim Drake's Robin and Dick Grayson's Nightwing) completely unique from each other for various reasons along with some new maps to brawl on or stealthily take down a room full of gun-wielding maniacs.
It's amazing how much effort Rocksteady put into making Batman games. I can say this right now, they got themselves a worthy customer if they are capable of pulling off amazing games like this as Batman: Arkham City is easily my no. 1 game of 2011.
What a year 2011 was, with 2012 just 75% of the way from being over. Let's see what games will catch my attention this year, shall we? Ciao.