For those who follow me like a dirty stalker, you might know that I am a connoisseur of city-building strategy games, particularly SimCity. I am not ashamed to admit to the hundreds (okay, thousands) of hours spent between the 4 main games... and the two SimCity 2000 spinoffs. Remember Streets of SimCity and SimCopter? Not the greatest bearers of the Sim name, but it was the late 90s. Anyway, the last few years have been all quiet on the SimCity front as I expanded my horizons with other games. Then about a month ago, this happened.
I have found my drug of choice ever since a crippling glitch essentially ruined my Dead Island save. And I was really enjoying it, too. Seriously. Anyway, the peer pressure to jump back into SimCity 4 has been strong lately with the occasional forum topic that Claude always lets me know exists and just the fact that it's completely installed, in my hard drive ready to play at any time. Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan didn't help things either. Finally about a month ago, the downward spiral began. A few days later, I announced it to the world. 152 hours later, here I am a SimCity 4 addict. I still perform normally, go to work, do adult things like eat, work, sleep, and even bathe. However, I now eat, work, sleep, and even bathe SimCity. Productivity is down, but it's not at critical mass just yet. I can quit whenever I want... right?
This also explains why I've been more lurker than active member of the community lately. And for that, you're welcome!
Time to get back to my region. My splines need reticulating, but you all think we can get Maxis to pull a Double Fine and ask for SimCity 5 funding? I would fully support it if EA wasn't such a massive gaming conglomerate with money flowing out of every orifice. Maybe I'll ask them nicely.
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My procrastination has come to an end! I am here to because I still need to talk 2011... although I am the last to do so. It's not so bad finishing last, really. Nice guys finish there according to the quote, "Nice guys finish last."
Before you all think I've been drinking, let me move on and give you my top 3 games of 2011. And let me warn you now.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is a Zelda game. And although Skyward Sword does play it safe sticking to what worked for Zelda in the last 25 years, it also makes some strides in other areas that make Skyward Sword stand out among the crowd this year. The most noticeable change I saw in Skyward Sword was the combat and its major overhaul to fit the underutilized MotionPlus technology. Right now, Skyward Sword makes a very strong case for the use of motion controls in the future of gaming with the some of the most immersive controls on the Wii. We're not quite at 1:1 controls yet, but controlling Link's sword and weaponry just feels more natural and more gratifying than a simple button press. Not everyone has had success with the controls, but somehow I was able to swing the Wii Remote accurately with very few hiccups. I will admit some of the motion controls might fare just as well without the MotionPlus. Bomb rolling feels like I'm back playing Wii Sports, the hookshot is just like in Twilight Princess, and gaining altitude on your giant bird is a waggling mess, but other than the flying parts, they pretty much nailed the controls.
Skyward Sword might also be Nintendo's best effort in storytelling in their history. Skyward Sword is a more cinematic experience than previous games, and it tells a great story of how Link, Zelda, and Ganon are intertwined in this never-ending battle for the Triforce... despite the lack of voice acting. Actually, this might be the last time I will forgive Nintendo for not adding dialogue to its secondary characters.
I guess what people expect the most out of a Zelda game is the actual adventuring, the clever puzzles, and epic boss battles, right? Well Skyward Sword retains what made the previous games so great in those fields and adds a little bit of spin to the structure. Not every boss battle follows the rule of three, the surface world where most of the fighting happens feels like 20 dungeons glued together, and some of the puzzles are among the best I've seen in the series. And no torch puzzles... not a one. There's still block pushing and arrows to the knee eye, but I loved how the game was able to utilize all of Link's gadgets in a meaningful way, and not just in that one dungeon where you found the item. Hell, the flying beetle might be the best thing to happen to Link's inventory since the hookshot. Even many of the bosses were great to battle... but not The Imprisoned! Sorry, but fighting the same boss three times was a chore.
Skyward Sword is not perfect and like Jeff Gerstmann said in his infamous Twilight Princess review, some of the game feels stuck in the past. I would like to see the next Zelda make a left turn like Majora's Mask or add those modern touches like voice acting, CGI cutscenes, HD visuals, and towns with more than a few signs of life, but Skyward Sword was able to make an impact without all the shininess we see on other consoles.
I understood why Minecraft was so popular, but it was never a game that interested me in the least. And I am a fan of building shit. When I first heard of Terraria, it was just beginning to gain some buzz among the indie gaming crowd so for $9.99, it was worth a look. 150+ hours later, I can safely say that Terraria is a game about building shit... and mining, exploring, fighting monsters, PvP arena battles, and teamwork. I think what makes Terraria one of my favorite games of 2011 is how it combines what I love about games into a total package of awesome. 16-bit graphics? Check. Constructing structures to my specifications? Check. Epic boss fights? Check. Exploring strange, new worlds? Check.
If you're unaware of what Terraria is, it's an open-ended game where you explore a randomly-generated world filled with riches and evil. The ultimate goal is to kill every boss and search through as much of the world as humanly possible... and depending of the size of the world, it can takes dozens and dozens of hours to see it all. Finding all the goodies underground is great, but I find that building an underground fortress or a castle made of gold is just as much fun. If you've been to the Terraria community site or the defunct Giant Bomb server, you saw the extraordinary things people have built. And yeah, that includes giant dicks.
And Level 1-1. Look it up.
Terraria is a game where you make your own fun, plain and simple. And the tools given to you make damn sure you'll have fun.
I knew within the first hour that Portal 2 was going to be in the running this year. I came to that conclusion after I was introduced to Wheatley and his neurotic personality. After a few more hours, I knew Portal 2 was going to be tough to top after Nolan North's performance as the growing collection of hilariously broken defective turrets. A little while later, I was introduced to Cave Johnson and that pretty much sealed the deal for me. So Portal 2 is my game of the year, but it's not all because of combustible lemons and potato humor.
Portal 2 is my game of the year because it expands the original Portal while not adding cheap laughs and unnecessary filler. Spreading out one of my favorite games of the generation into a larger sequel was a little risky, but in the end, Portal 2 ended up becoming one of the funniest, best written games I have ever played and one of the rare games that made me feel both stupid and brilliant without making me frustrated in anger.
There's rarely a dull moment in Portal 2 as long as they keep throwing science at you. They added a few gels that add an extra layer of thinking to several of the puzzles, and the traditional tests are just as devilish as ever, yet all are solvable and very satisfying when passed. And if you remember the latter half of Portal when you escaped the test chambers and saw the gritty behind the scenes work of Aperture Science, well that's back, but it occurs periodically throughout the game and you're bouncing between the "outside world" and the test chambers. Some of the best parts are the more dramatic parts where you're running along catwalks while science is being made around you.
But it's Portal 2's story and sense of humor that places it over the top among the games of 2011. There are more memorable characters in Portal 2 than in any other game combined this year. GLaDOS is as lovely as ever, but it's the combination of Wheatley, Cave Johnson, and Nolan North that made me laugh out loud on more than several occasions while playing. There are so many hilarious moments that listing them all would take too long. And if the humor isn't enough, they expanded on the history of Aperture Science and you get a great history lesson of the company. Not only is it entertaining, but educational.
Finally, the ending. That beautiful ending. When that bright moon was exposed in front of my eyes, my thought pretty much went like, "You gotta be shitting me!" I'm not sure why, but that moment just came out of nowhere and threw me for a loop. That moment was just icing on the... cake. However Still Alive is the better song. Nice try anyway, Mr. Coulton.
And I barely touched the co-op, but what I've played was wonderful... and I'm not a big fan of co-op.
Portal 2 is another near-flawless game from Valve that I will fondly remember for many years to come. It's everything I could have hoped for in a sequel and more.
Now I'm ready for 2012. Bring me Bioshock Infinite!
I have played Mega Man 2. Several times. Usually I've played Mega Man 2 alone with the TV turned up so all my neighbors can listen and say to themselves, "He's playing Mega Man 2 again. Awesome!" Never once have I had my session of Mega Man 2 accompanied by a band. This guy has done it.
MAGFest is an annual event that combines the world of video games with the world of music. When these worlds collide, you get the cosmic greatness above. Excellent job, Bit Brigade. You've destroyed us all... and it's glorious.
And thumbs up to the player for not dying and being super-efficient.
I did not play nearly as much Aquaria as I should have, but it makes my list this year because Aquaria was able to make an entire game set underwater good. Perhaps the other reason why I like Aquaria is its exploration and open-world feeling... like Super Metroid and Castlevania. I call it Metroidvania. Anyway, Aquaria separates itself from other Metroidvania games with its oceanic theme, colorful graphics, and amnesia. Another standout feature is the narration which is similar to how Bastion treated narration... except it's narrated by the character and she doesn't talk nearly as often. Unfortunately, it didn't grab my attention as much this year so hopefully 2012 is the year I finally get to sit down and get more acquainted with Naija and the surrounding world.
If I were giving out awards, Chrono Trigger would win the "Best RPG of 1995 That Isn't Earthbound." I started playing Chrono Trigger just before Ryan and Patrick started their Endurance Run, but 16 years after its initial SNES release... but better late than never. I think you all know enough about Chrono Trigger now that the Endurance Run is nearing the end, but I can say that the classic gameplay still holds up well today. From the unique cast of characters to the wide range of settings, Chrono Trigger remains one of the high points in JRPG design and execution.
Or Fahrenheit if you will. Indigo Prophecy plays like no other game I've ever played. It's part point-and-click adventure, part Simon. However, the "action" is not what makes the game in this case. Indigo Prophecy is built around the story more than anything else so liking the game depends almost solely on whether the story and dialogue is well done. And... yeah, the story of Lucas Kane is an interesting one to put it lightly. It starts off with Lucas in a trance-like state murdering a guy in a diner and somehow ends with him being Keanu Reeves. Even though the Mayan connection and the Lucas/Carla attraction came out of left field, Indigo Prophecy was a one-of-a-kind game at the time and fans of adventure games who want something different should give it a try.
Of all the games I've played this year, Limbo has to be the darkest, most emo of the bunch. As a platformer, it ranks high among the best this generation. As soon as the game begins, you find yourself in a dark forest running through the dank trying to survive. You're just a boy... no superpowers, no background, no nothing. The goal is to traverse the landscape avoiding giant spiders, man-made traps, and the environment. As a puzzle game, it's brilliant and makes you think before you proceed, although trial-and-error can be used to pass through the game as well because Limbo is forgiving with its many checkpoints. Artistically, the lack of color and the silhouettes might seem lazy to people who like some color, but it works to the game's advantage making Limbo scarier than it would be if it were in full color. Overall, Limbo is an excellent game that... I still need to finish. Damn, I suck at completing games. It's my fault because Limbo is not a long game.
Many of you have witnessed the tale of Commander Shepard and the gang through two games and are looking forward to the 3rd entry later this year, but I'm late to the BioWare party. Although the game came out back in 2007, I was still amazed by the scale of Mass Effect in both the size of the game's universe and the detailed history given to just about everything. It doesn't do everything perfectly, but the few issues didn't hamper my experience one bit.
Here's a game listed in my best of 2009 blog so... why bring it back? Because I spent more than a few hours with the game this time. However, I stand by my approval for Muramasa and its lovely style and action.
Tower defense was never this good, but the premise makes zero sense. Why are plants fighting zombies? More accurately, why is Crazy Dave using plants to fight zombies? Because he's hardcore? Whatever the reason is, Plants vs. Zombies is surprisingly complex for a cutesy, casual game.
Of the 2011 games I played, Bastion ranks last in the amount of time spent. 20 minutes, actually. So expect Bastion on my 2012 list, but those 20 minutes of Bastion made me realize why people have been praising the game the past several months. Damn if that narrator is the James Earl Jones of video games! I must make room for Bastion this year.
Somehow I was hoping Bulletstorm was going to be the game to break the mold and make shooters exciting again. That didn't happen, but it's not like Bulletstorm is a bad game. It's a shooter that doesn't quite take itself that seriously and the dialogue pretty much proves that. It put dicktits on the map, but for most of us, that's the game's legacy. I do have to give People Can Fly and Epic Games some kudos for developing a solid game with some great set pieces and dozens of different ways to kill. If you were hesitant about Bulletstorm, just get it for cheap and strap it on. Seriously, though. Dicktits?
I will come out and say that I really like de Blob and getting the sequel was a no-brainer to me. I fully expected de Blob 2 to be a great game on par with the original, but sadly it wasn't the case in my opinion. De Blob 2 was a familiar game that brought very little that was new to the table and the biggest change (the 2D platforming sections) felt sluggish. I still believe de Blob 2 is a good platformer that stays true to the original with an underrated soundtrack and loads of gooey charm.
The Binding of Isaac can be best described as fucked up. You mainly play as Isaac, a scared naked fetus boy who is trying to escape his overly-religious mother because she's trying to kill him. It's a classic Old Testament story... right? Anyway, The Binding of Isaac is my first true experience with this weird roguelike genre and the randomness has kept me from discounting this game. The design almost mirrors The Legend of Zelda (the first one) so a hint of nostalgia lingers despite the blood, ooze, and creepy enemies that want Isaac's flesh. The Binding of Isaac might take bit and pieces from older games, but it's a departure from pretty much anything out there and because of that, it stands out.
I have a top 3 which I will dig into later, but chew on this for a while.
As a side note, Dead Island will likely be on next year's list. I sneaked a few hours of that game on New Year's Eve and if I had played it earlier, it would be among the games above, jank and all.
So here's the deal. I wasn't really interested in Dead Island until about a week or two ago. Like many of you, I wanted no part in any games that showcase the latest in zombie technology. I've had my fill of Left 4 Dead a few years back and I was happy leaving the zombies behind. Then the Steam sale came along and Christmas. Combine the two and I get a nice gift from my brother, that gift being Dead Island. The game was chosen by me so I am to blame if I hated its take on the apocalypse by zombie infection. But I just said I was sick of zombie games... well... Dead Island actually looked pretty neat. It seemed like my type of zombie game. Little gunplay, sharp objects, blunt objects, and a strangely original setting on the fictional island of Banoi, originally called Hanoi until Ryan Davis thought swapping the H for a B would be hilarious. The pieces were there, but would it be any good?
Believe it or not, the answer might be yes. I'm not sure why because there are aspects of the game that I simply don't like. For example, everybody is either depressed or scared. I understand zombies are serious business, but most of the people on the island are either downers or cowards. They want me to do everything, selfish fucks. Speaking of me, I'm cursing a lot in the game. I figured I chose the white male douche because they make for the best fighters in zombie apocalypses, but tone the shit down, game. What else... Dead Island is fucking hard! I'm opting for the single player because playing with other people just ain't my thing unless it's a deathmatch or competitive scenario. I'm not sure if that makes a difference, but how am I supposed to fend off 7 or 8 walkers at once? Luckily the game doesn't exactly punish people hard for not living so balance? And oh, the jank. And the shitty driving. And the occasional mission where you have to fetch bottles of Jack Daniels.
So do I like anything about Dead Island? Well, the entire package works despite the issues. Think about it, it's a zombie infestation! People should be fearful and afraid to go outside. There should be large groups of zombies together to make the apocalypse almost impossible to survive. There should be fetch quests for booze because alcohol is cool and tastes great.
Several hours in, I find myself enjoying parts of Dead Island to the point that I will sometimes forget about the rough edges. For starters, killing zombies is fun because it's all about the melee. Shooting zombies is boring, right? Chopping off the head of a walker with a sickle or an axe is much more gratifying than just pulling out the gun and trying to pull off a headshot. Continuing onto the next point, Banoi is a lovely place for a zombie attack. It's like Sandals or Beaches, but without the kids running around bugging you for attention. The actual city I found myself in later in the game looks less inviting, though. I swear that city is actually a lost Call of Duty multiplayer map. But hey, zombies.
I can attempt to go on, but the bottom line is that I like Dead Island. It ain't perfect, but it's really great if you can live with the jank.
On an unrelated note, where is my 2011 in review? I have a Game of the Year to announce. No it's not Dead Island, silly.
2011 is coming to a close, folks. Belive (sic) it or not, we are less than a year away from the end of the world. The human race had a good run so I can't complain, but what about video games in general?
If I can describe 2011 in a single word, I'd say it was "familiar." The number 3 was the big winner of 2011 and the only company not to release three-quel was Valve. Because Valve doesn't believe in the number 3. There were very few games that were both original and stood out among the pack and that's very unfortunate because 2011 could have been an awesome year. Some of you believe it was a great year. It was the year of Skyrim, Zelda, Uncharted, Gears of War, Portal, Batman, and many more. Now it's not like the whole sequel thing is a new phenomenon, but 2011 was an exceptionally horrible year for innovation and all things new. Some may disagree and I've seen some people compare this year to 2007, the year that has become the default best year this generation. Those people are morons... or not, some of them might just be misguided.
As I look back at 2011, I see fewer games worth talking about than last year and for some reason, fewer older games to talk about as well. One reason might be that I spent more time on a small handful of video games than other games in the past. I spent over 50 hours on a few games this year so I was somewhat occupied with a small amount of games. There are some games on the list I didn't finish, and even a few still need to dig much deeper in. But these were the games I played and deserved at least some of my time.
What were these games? Well... guess them all and you can win a 10% coupon off any Activision game on Steam! That's a WHOLE 10%! Hold on, here are some clues.
A game 25 years in the making that doesn't star Duke Nukem.
A 2011 tale straight from the Bible.
An epic and colorful shooter, both in language and box art.
A colorful 2011 platformer all about colors.
A tower defense game that matches the living against the undead.
A Vanillaware title I put on my 2009 list.
A Minecraft-ish game that looks older than Minecraft.
A 2011 game that is certainly no combustible lemon.
An aquatic adventure that has been humbled in the past.
A dark 2010 game set in greyscale.
And a game that felt like a quantic dream.
Remember, you can win a virtually worthless coupon. Come back on Christmas for the results.
The Nintendo Download X-Press train has been sitting in a railyard for months without anything worthwhile to talk about. And since I haven't listened to the Bombcast in a long, long time, I'm not sure if they periodically bring back the WiiWare and eShop releases unless they're actually of some bit of quality. Well... I have a game here called Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder! that bucks the usual trend of glorifying its shitty games. You don't believe me?
Put on your Gerstmann voice and read the description for Paper Wars.
"There are a lot of bad games. Some of them are even considered to be the worst games ever – is this one of them? It kinda is. But you shouldn't find Paper Wars compared to any of those! It’s just too bad to be even ranked ! This is a warning: do not even try to play it! Paper Wars Cannon Fodder is a tower defense video game developed by several Polish and Hungarian outsourced programmers of iFun4all team, in the cheapest way you can imagine. What’s the so-called brilliant goal of the game? You would never guess. It is about destroying all enemies! The same well-known thrilling story, hordes of cold-blooded enemies trying to survive the Armageddon! There are some additional goals to be achieved in different missions and levels - watch your right! The game can be played by up to four players in co-op mode. If you think you need some extraordinary power-ups, you can get them during three campaigns: Classic, Winter Assault and Cyber Wars. „Hand made” graphics, soviet style military music and annoying sound effects make players eager to complete each level and collect medals for their outstanding efforts."
- worst game ever - papercut graphic - three campaigns - four players cooperation
It's been ages since I've voiced my opinion here about a video game I was currently playing in great detail. This year was a great year for some, but for me it wasn't the most impressive year of the generation. In fact, it's probably the weakest I've seen since 2006 when the industry was going through the transition towards HD graphics and motion controls. And it was in 2006 when we were introduced to the Wii and a little game called The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Some like myself thought the game was excellent and improved on what made its predecessors so endearing. Others thought Twilight Princess was too much like the previous games and was predictable enough to dislike. 5 years later, the same thing can be applied to Skyward Sword. And here I am 5 years later playing a game that is unequivocally Zelda to the core and loving it. And despite the traditional trappings, Skyward Sword also makes enough subtle changes to keep many of those who want dramatic change occupied a few years until we get the Wii U's interpretation of the story about Zelda, Link, the Triforce, and the rest.
My impressions will be mostly positive, but let's get the predictable story plots out of the way. The story doesn't exactly veer off into left field, at least as far as I know. I'd say I'm about 80% through the main story and it's not that different than the others. Zelda is part of some elaborate witness protection program like in Ocarina of Time and Link must go through a series of dungeons finding trinkets and doo-dads that will all eventually help with the end boss. The only major twist is that Zelda and Link start off best friends in the game. And since I believe Skyward Sword is intended to be an origin story, I hope they eventually wrap up some of the 20 million or so loose ends in the timeline. As I usually do with Zelda games, the story is secondary to the meat and potatoes of the game, the gameplay.
And the game plays just like a Zelda game with advanced motion controls. I find the controls to be pretty superb and the MotionPlus works at least 95% of the time. It appears that the Zelda team took some cues from the Wii Sports Resort team and utilized the controls from a number of the Wii Sports Resort games. The bow controls are straight from archery, rolling bombs remind me of bowling, and flying is... flying. Anybody remember the beginning of Wii Sports Resort where your Mii goes skydiving? Yep, same controls when Link skydives. The only minor flaw that can hinder the controls a bit is while pointing at the screen to aim, but even that can be fixed with a button press. I have had no problems with calibration to speak of and other than maybe some human error, Link's sword goes where my Wii Remote goes. Link's weapon selection is a bit different this time around... think no boomerang. There's a leafblower device that cleans up sand and dirt, a bug net for catching bugs (yay), and the most useful device I've seen in a Zelda game in a while, the Beetle. It's been incredibly handy as a land surveyor, grabber of goodies, and distractor of baddies. The Beetle is one of the first examples of actual technology in the Zelda universe. In fact, this might be the most advanced civilization in a Zelda game. Like... robots! Robots in my Zelda game? It somehow works. And everything controls great.
And it's probably a good thing I've had no troubles with the controls because the majority of enemies rely on those high fidelity controls working near-perfectly. There will always be a handful of enemies that can be killed through waggling, but most involve swinging your controller a specific direction to effectively get the hit or kill. And I'm surprised that Link's arsenal can be very useful against some bad guys. It definitely keeps me on my toes and forces me to think about how to kill enemies compared to previous games where either button mashing or waggling were the standard.
As for how it looks and sounds, I'm all for the impressionist look. We all know the Wii never blew people away with its technical prowess and those people aren't going to be wowed by Skyward Sword. So I'm praising Skyward Sword's visuals for being different and unlike anything we've seen in a long while. It's simply beautiful overall even if there are some spots where it's less flattering. It's a good way to combine the gritty realist look of Twilight Princess with the clean, colorful look of Wind Waker and give Skyward Sword its own identity. And the soundtrack is a glorious mix of old and new, most of it in its orchestral glory. So check that box. Voice acting... not this time. A disappointment, but it doesn't bother me. The few dozen characters still express more emotion than most characters in other games where they won't shut up. I'll take Beedle's enthusiastic yells or even Fi's computer gibberish over Beedle's actual voice or Fi speaking at all... she's too much of a Captain Obvious.
But it's a Zelda game so there are going to be many elements that are inherently Zelda. Heart pieces and rupees remain as they should, maps are important for dungeon exploration, and many of the weapons return like the bow, bombs, and clawshot. Even the upgrade system feels like an upgrade system that would be in a Zelda game, simple and a bit irrational, but kinda neat at the same time. The cast of characters are still as goofy and colorful as they have been. Like the big-headed fortune teller or the Kikwi fella in the picture above who reminds me of Adam Savage of Mythbusters... if he were a giant pair of balls. Skyloft, Hyrule, and the rest of the universe will always have its quirky citizens and I wouldn't want it any other way. As for Zelda's dungeons, they're dungeons you'd find in a Zelda game. The themes are typical for Zelda (forest, fire, water) but now the surface world acts as several small dungeons. Skyloft is the central hub where everything happens, but the world below is much less open and is deceptively dungeon-like. The dungeons themselves haven't changed except for the lack of torch puzzles... shocking! Every dungeon still has blocks to move in order to climb up a high ledge, there are switches that only the slingshot or bow can reach, and I believe every dungeon has that end boss where the rule of three exists, but Nintendo can still create a fun and challenging dungeon boss scenario. I can keep going on about the remixed side quests (like the variation of the toilet paper scene in Majora's Mask) or the minigames that don't seem to evolve or the tear collecting that rips straight from Twilight Princess or the one dick who hates Link because he's so awesome or the... everything else I've seen in other Zelda games. I say they should bring back the Bomber's Notebook quests from Majora's Mask... because that was the shit!
But does all this translate into a Game of the Year contender? I guess it depends on your tastes in games today. In 2006, Jeff Gerstmann (you know who he is) felt that Twilight Princess was an 8.8 (still great, guys) and his opinion ain't gonna change with Skyward Sword. That's fine and we need people like Jeff and Patrick Klepek of Giant Bomb fame to emphasize what some people believe are negatives. Hopefully they make sure Nintendo doesn't just remake the same, old game again and again even though some people think Nintendo remakes the same, old games again and again. Personally, Skyward Sword is vastly different than previous games, but so familiar that it feels like I've played this exact game before with a different coat of paint. That means I think it's an awesome game that everybody should check out if you have a Wii. That also means that Skyward Sword doesn't really change much from past games in any meaningful way other than the MotionPlus controls... for those who believe in motion controls. We might finally be at the point where every future Zelda game from now to the end of time will be scrutinized for being either too different, too similar to the rest, too dark, too lighthearted, too simple, too challenging, etc. It's pretty common to see something that's been around as long as Zelda be criticized for a host of things. Look at The Simpsons, for Christ's sake. People like me who feed on nostalgia can live without innovation to a point and still love Zelda for what it is, but with gamers finding themselves more attracted to games like Skyrim, The Witcher 2, and Dragon Age, something like Skyward Sword feels like a throwback.
But I love myself a good throwback. As does this guy.