By Black_Rose 7 Comments
A couple of years ago I did my own take on the “GOTY” thingy, I don’t really play enough games to warrant a more common game of the year blog, so I thought I’d come back to the format. As last time, there’s going to be a lot of Nintendo games mixed with a few PS3 titles, so if you don’t like Nintendo I suggest you turn around and kindly get the fuck out ^_^.
Anyway, without further ado, let’s do this thing:
Games from 2011 that I finished:
Games from 2011 played but not finished:
- The Conduit 2
- Driver: San Francisco
- Fifa 12 (PS3)
- Killzone 3
- Kirby’s Return to Dreamland
- Lost in Shadow
- Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Games from before 2011 that I finished (Not including new playthroughs)
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
- Call of Duty: Black Ops
- Ghost Rider (GBA)
- Kirby’s Epic Yarn
- Metroid Other M
- Metroid Prime (Metroid Prime Trilogy version)
Games from before 2011, played but not finished:
- Cursed Mountain
- Feel the Magic: XX/XY
- Just Dance 2
- The legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
- Muramasa: The Demon Blade
- Pokemon Diamond
- Rune Factory Frontier
- Sin & Punishment: Star Successor
- Sonic & Sega All-Star racing
- World of Goo
- I’ve also been playing Red Steel 2 but nowhere near enough to consider it for any “award”.
Special Award: Game I’ve finished before and played again this year that holds up the best.
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
This year, Echoes replaced Corruption as my favorite Metroid game. I played Corruption again this year (my fourth playthrough) and I didn’t feel compelled enough to finish it. By contrast, I absolutely DEVOURED Echoes, finishing it in only two sittings and then going back to it to beat it 100%. It’s a truly fantastic game and if I had made it eligible to win game of the year it probably would’ve won, no other game I played this year gave me such an excellent experience.
Runner-ups: Starfox Assault, 007 Everything or Nothing.
The “He’s not gonna make it” award for game that didn’t live up to its potential.
Lost in Shadow
Lost in Shadow is a game that I really thought had a really unique concept that could lend itself to some very interesting puzzles and in a way it does. The puzzles are good enough and make good use of the shadow abilities and it looks great. The problem here is that this is a very boring game. Don’t get me wrong, the shadow abilities are pretty cool but the game hardly introduces anything new after the first hour, so it becomes very monotonous and as it progresses more and more enemies appear and considering how terrible the combat is, it leads to many boring and frustrating moments. It’s too bad really, I feel like so much more could’ve been done with this concept.
Runner-ups: Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Cursed Mountain, Madworld.
The “I’m so wet” Award for water levels that don’t suck.
I actually felt the need to make this a thing because of Rayman Origins, I’ve never seen water levels that are completely predicated in not annoying the living fuck out of you. That’s not to say they aren’t challenging, but they’re not to the point of being frustrating. So cheers Rayman Origins, for being one of the few games with water levels that don’t piss the fuck out of me.
Runner-up: Kirby’s Epic Yarn.
The Wind Waker “Oh my god it’s so pretty award” for best looking game
Kirby's Epic Yarn
Epic Yarn is just a beautiful game, even if everything is so goshdarn kiddy I could not look away. The attention to detail is absolutely impressive, everything from the backgrounds to the enemies looks so cute that not even Metal Gear Solid 4 and Killzone 3 combined mesmerized me as much with their visual quality as Epic Yarn did.
Runner- ups: Rayman Origins, Metal Gear Solid 4.
The “Hit the weak spot” Award for best boss battles
If you had told me a few months ago that a Rayman game would have better boss battles than a Zelda or Metal Gear game I would’ve laughed in your face and bitch-slap you for being so ugly. But there’s something that feels fresh about the Rayman Origins bosses, not only because their design is absolutely insane, but because every single one of them is creative and don’t feel so by-the-books. Killing them is also very rewarding, even if you don’t get an item or a piece of heart afterward.
Runner-ups: Sin & Punishment: Star Successor, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
The “Kim Jong-Il memorial award” for craziest game.
Sin & Punishment: Star Successor
I had a hard time choosing a winner here, but in the end, Star Successor gets the nod for its batshit story and enemy design. Really, it’s just gloriously ridiculous.
Runner-ups: Rayman Origins, Feel the Magic: XX/XY
The “Not too shabby” Award for most surprisingly good game.
Just Dance 2
I know this game (and genre) get a lot of shit by the so-called “gamers” but fuck them and fuck you if you don’t like it. This game is fun, like, a lot of fun. I’ve enjoyed countless of hours playing it with my friends and the varied song selection means there’s something to be enjoyed by everyone. It’s silly, hilarious, fun and a great excuse to have girls moving their asses in your house. It is also way better than I ever could imagine it being.
For my complete thoughts on this game, check out my review.
Runner-ups: Ghost Rider, Sonic & Sega All-Star racing
The “No, just no” Award for Worst game.
I did not play any game this year that I felt was terrible, but if I had to choose one that was less good than the rest, it’d probably be Cursed Mountain, a game I thought was victim to its own ambitions, concentrating too much on delivering a great atmosphere but not a satisfying or even good gameplay to go along with it. I’d still like to finish it someday, but as it is, it looks like it’ll be a long time until I do.
The Game of the Year Award for Game of the Year.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
You know when I said that no other game had provided me with such an excellent experience as Metroid Prime 2 did? Well, Skyward Sword came the closest. I can’t say it’s the best Zelda, or even my favorite because I’d be lying but this is a fantastic game from start to finish.
The thing I love the most about this one is that it’s so immersive and I’m not just talking about the fantastic motion controls. The little additions like the stamina bar and the shield controls made it a very refreshing approach to the already familiar gameplay. The combat was absolutely sublime, so much so that this was the only Zelda game where I didn’t avoid enemies whenever I could, the enemy variety is quite amazing and makes the combat a lot of fun. Besides that, the change of the dungeon-overworld-dungeon formula, while not terribly innovative, was welcomed and the backtracking was not as tedious as in previous titles.
I also liked the graphics. While not the best of the year by far they were absolutely beautiful. The combination of the cartoony elements with the more realistic ones absolutely paid off. The environments are incredible and the character models, especially those of Link and Zelda are great. Overall, I’d rank this just behind Wind Waker as the best looking Zelda game.
The story is another positive point, while I didn’t think it was as good nor did it have as many interesting characters as Twilight Princess’ I still liked it a lot. It’s not awfully deep, but it cements the timeline nicely and the ending in particular was pretty sweet.
But I did not think it was a perfect game. The soundtrack, while great, was underwhelming and not nearly as memorable as I’d expect from the franchise. Also, Fi is a terrible character and her design could not have been worse; if you’re going to give us a character to accompany us through the whole adventure, making her emotionless is not the way to go. The reason why Midna from TP was such a great character was because one could actually care about her, she was important and most of all, useful. Fi is a total captain obvious and very rarely does she proves to be anything other than completely useless.
The game also holds your hand way too much, it’s still challenging, but some parts get ridiculously easy and that’s in no small part thanks to the dowsing ability, which sometimes hurts the game more than it helps. The overworld is also unimpressive, it’s not nearly as big or as interesting and fun to explore as it was in Wind Waker or Twilight Princess.
But despite those flaws, Skyward Sword is an absolutely fantastic game and I loved every minute of it, which is why it is my game of the year.
Runner-ups: Ghost Rider, Rayman Origins