Monthly Summary - May 2011

I've decided to change the format of my Gaming Blog here, and will be rolling the 'Game Complete' posts into my Monthly Summaries. I never can find the time to post my thoughts on games as I complete them, but always enjoy doing a writeup to talk about the games played at the end of each month. I also feel last's month's summary was too much of a quick name drop on games as I'd already said what I wanted about the majority of the games I had more substantial thoughts on. So here we go with May...  

Portal 2

Completed: 4th May 2011 (20:45)

Involved: Completed single player and multiplayer co-op
 
Summary: I completed the co-op before even starting the single player, and so already knew I was in for something special. In short, this has been my favourite gaming experience of the year so far. The puzzles were fun and challenging in spots (but never tripped me up entirely, I just had fun playing about with them 'till I figured them out). The story and progression through the varying gameworld kept me hooked and I was so sad to realise, post-credits, that I was done with all things Portal 2 until the eventual DLC releases. Recommended without reservation, and you shouldn't worry if you've not played the first (though you probably could get it done quickly before jumping in here!).
 
Next: Waiting impatiently for DLC, I'll probably play through Solo again and will do Co-op again, on PS3 this time.

Rating: 5


  

Kirby's Epic Yarn

Completed: 15th May 2011 (19:30)

Involved: Completed to end of story, in co-op
 
Summary: We finally did it! Epic Yarn is a pretty easy platforming game that can be played entirely in co-op, with a nice level and ability variety, with plenty of replay value as you can easily skip levels in the road to the endgame. It's childish, for sure, but I still had fun with it. I wouldn't play it on my own, as the lack of challenge would lead to boredom eventually, but in co-op it was good fun just trying to work together and get through it with enough gems to reach Gold for each level.
 
Next: Probably won't go back too much, we may do the levels we never tried but there's not much to entice us into playing through for higher scores.

Rating: 4



  

The Writer (DLC - Alan Wake)

Completed: 17th May 2011 (23:20) Rating: 4

Involved: Completed to end of story
 
Summary: This went on sale last month, so I grabbed it quick. Played through this in 2 short sessions and had more fun than in the first DLC, and liked getting a bit of closure at the end. I don't think any of it beats the base game, it kinda just made me wanna play through that again. I would recommend this and 'The Signal' if you played through Alan Wake and wanted a bit more of the the strange atmosphere, narrative and solid gameplay.
 
Next: No more Alan Wake 1, but there are rumours of a download only spin-off.

Base Game Rating: 5

DLC Rating: 4


ilomilo

Completed: 18th May 2011 (21:15)

Involved: Completed to end of story, in co-op
 
Summary: Another co-op game we finally got through, it took us this long as we hadn't played it for a long time but decided to get it done after offing Kirby. Playing this during its first month after release led to disappointment as it kept crashing, but a timely title update kept us interested. There was enough level choice that we could get stuck on one and have options to play a different level and progress through, and when the pieces all came together it was always a great moment running towards your partner in victory.
 
Next: Again, it's unlikely we'll go back. Time for something new to play co-op!

Rating: 4

 

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Completed: 21st May 2011 (23:30)

Involved: Completed game on Normal difficulty
 
Summary: The idea of playing through MGS4 again got stuck in my head earlier this month, and one night I just decided.. "few more days before LA Noire and DiRT 3 arrive, let's do this!" So glad I did, I had so much fun playing through this again and reliving those amazing cutscenes. Nothing much new to say on this one, but I should play through my favourite games more often. This game-completion-statistic-chasing game really slows my onling gaming and favourite game playing!
 
Next: Metal Gear Solid: Rising.... PLEASE! I would also play any HD remake of any MGS title. Make it so.

Rating: 5

  

Stacking

Completed: 22nd May 2011 (14:50)

Involved: Completed to end of story
 
Summary: Yet another game I jumped back into and reached the end credits earlier than expected. Hadn't realised there were only 2 levels left. This was a breeze to get through, although I am well aware that there is more to do if I was so inclined. Graphically, its got a nice art style though the near-ground camera made me feel a bit weird at times, and led to me having to put it down after only a short session each time. Inventive concept, well executed.
 
Next: No more Stacking for me, but I wouldn't mind Double Fine's next downloadable outing, Trenched!

Rating: 4

 

L.A. Noire

Completed: 29th May 2011 (18:30)

Involved: Completed game (to end of story)
 
Summary: This game has been playing with my head. First few hours were awesome, it got me smiling, had me sympathizing with characters, hooked into the gameplay, wanting more. Homicide desk draaaagged for far too long - I'm aware that the monotony was a device to make it it's own short narrative branch, but it soured my enjoyment by the conclusion of that thread. Vice picked up, but towards the end my enjoyment went back down. This game is brilliant, and I was playing with my final rating for a while. I recommend everyone plays through it, my girlfriend has played the first hour and it looks like she'll like it too. However, I think its a case of amazing concept, great gameworld, awesome mo-cap technology, and an interesting narrative arc, strung together with repetitive tasks and an illogic questioning mechanic (at times - I never got settled into how to read people and be successful in telling when people were telling the truth etc. and I blame the mechanic itself for not being able to make its mind up over what the words Truth, Doubt and Lie meant within the game). Again, I suggest you play this game, but it disappointed me upon reflection. It'll be in my GOTY Top 10, unreservedly, but the flaws pain me.
 
Next: Debating whether to get the Rockstar Pass and do the DLC. Will load it up again and see what I think.

Rating: 4

 

Also Played:

 
Bought Outland, and have played the first 2 levels and bosses. It's a really interesting mix of 2D platform adventure and Ikaruga light/dark gameplay mechanic, and one of the best XBLA releases this year. I need to sit down and play some more. I played the story mode in Mortal Kombat up to the 2nd main chapter, and would love to get good at this but don't have the time. I played DiRT 2 for more achievements, draining it of its last drops of game-juice before DiRT 3 was in my hands. Jumped back into Shaun White for a bit... eh. I started Nuts & Bots from scratch whilst waiting for the month's big releases to arrive, and will go back to it when things go quiet again. 
 
DiRT 3 is awesome. Not finished it yet, but I've invested plenty of hours so far, online and in the Dirt Tour mode, and can't get enough of it.

Scores Summary:

FULL GAMES:

Portal 2 [2011] (5)
Kirby's Epic Yarn [2011] (4)
ilomilo [2010] (4)
Metal Gear Solid 4 [2008] (5)
Stacking [2011] (4)
L.A. Noire [2011] (4)

DLC:

The Writer [Alan Wake] (4)

Game of the Month:

2011 Release: DiRT 3
Most Played: DiRT 3
Overall: DiRT 3
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Posted by DarkFury
I've decided to change the format of my Gaming Blog here, and will be rolling the 'Game Complete' posts into my Monthly Summaries. I never can find the time to post my thoughts on games as I complete them, but always enjoy doing a writeup to talk about the games played at the end of each month. I also feel last's month's summary was too much of a quick name drop on games as I'd already said what I wanted about the majority of the games I had more substantial thoughts on. So here we go with May...  

Portal 2

Completed: 4th May 2011 (20:45)

Involved: Completed single player and multiplayer co-op
 
Summary: I completed the co-op before even starting the single player, and so already knew I was in for something special. In short, this has been my favourite gaming experience of the year so far. The puzzles were fun and challenging in spots (but never tripped me up entirely, I just had fun playing about with them 'till I figured them out). The story and progression through the varying gameworld kept me hooked and I was so sad to realise, post-credits, that I was done with all things Portal 2 until the eventual DLC releases. Recommended without reservation, and you shouldn't worry if you've not played the first (though you probably could get it done quickly before jumping in here!).
 
Next: Waiting impatiently for DLC, I'll probably play through Solo again and will do Co-op again, on PS3 this time.

Rating: 5


  

Kirby's Epic Yarn

Completed: 15th May 2011 (19:30)

Involved: Completed to end of story, in co-op
 
Summary: We finally did it! Epic Yarn is a pretty easy platforming game that can be played entirely in co-op, with a nice level and ability variety, with plenty of replay value as you can easily skip levels in the road to the endgame. It's childish, for sure, but I still had fun with it. I wouldn't play it on my own, as the lack of challenge would lead to boredom eventually, but in co-op it was good fun just trying to work together and get through it with enough gems to reach Gold for each level.
 
Next: Probably won't go back too much, we may do the levels we never tried but there's not much to entice us into playing through for higher scores.

Rating: 4



  

The Writer (DLC - Alan Wake)

Completed: 17th May 2011 (23:20) Rating: 4

Involved: Completed to end of story
 
Summary: This went on sale last month, so I grabbed it quick. Played through this in 2 short sessions and had more fun than in the first DLC, and liked getting a bit of closure at the end. I don't think any of it beats the base game, it kinda just made me wanna play through that again. I would recommend this and 'The Signal' if you played through Alan Wake and wanted a bit more of the the strange atmosphere, narrative and solid gameplay.
 
Next: No more Alan Wake 1, but there are rumours of a download only spin-off.

Base Game Rating: 5

DLC Rating: 4


ilomilo

Completed: 18th May 2011 (21:15)

Involved: Completed to end of story, in co-op
 
Summary: Another co-op game we finally got through, it took us this long as we hadn't played it for a long time but decided to get it done after offing Kirby. Playing this during its first month after release led to disappointment as it kept crashing, but a timely title update kept us interested. There was enough level choice that we could get stuck on one and have options to play a different level and progress through, and when the pieces all came together it was always a great moment running towards your partner in victory.
 
Next: Again, it's unlikely we'll go back. Time for something new to play co-op!

Rating: 4

 

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Completed: 21st May 2011 (23:30)

Involved: Completed game on Normal difficulty
 
Summary: The idea of playing through MGS4 again got stuck in my head earlier this month, and one night I just decided.. "few more days before LA Noire and DiRT 3 arrive, let's do this!" So glad I did, I had so much fun playing through this again and reliving those amazing cutscenes. Nothing much new to say on this one, but I should play through my favourite games more often. This game-completion-statistic-chasing game really slows my onling gaming and favourite game playing!
 
Next: Metal Gear Solid: Rising.... PLEASE! I would also play any HD remake of any MGS title. Make it so.

Rating: 5

  

Stacking

Completed: 22nd May 2011 (14:50)

Involved: Completed to end of story
 
Summary: Yet another game I jumped back into and reached the end credits earlier than expected. Hadn't realised there were only 2 levels left. This was a breeze to get through, although I am well aware that there is more to do if I was so inclined. Graphically, its got a nice art style though the near-ground camera made me feel a bit weird at times, and led to me having to put it down after only a short session each time. Inventive concept, well executed.
 
Next: No more Stacking for me, but I wouldn't mind Double Fine's next downloadable outing, Trenched!

Rating: 4

 

L.A. Noire

Completed: 29th May 2011 (18:30)

Involved: Completed game (to end of story)
 
Summary: This game has been playing with my head. First few hours were awesome, it got me smiling, had me sympathizing with characters, hooked into the gameplay, wanting more. Homicide desk draaaagged for far too long - I'm aware that the monotony was a device to make it it's own short narrative branch, but it soured my enjoyment by the conclusion of that thread. Vice picked up, but towards the end my enjoyment went back down. This game is brilliant, and I was playing with my final rating for a while. I recommend everyone plays through it, my girlfriend has played the first hour and it looks like she'll like it too. However, I think its a case of amazing concept, great gameworld, awesome mo-cap technology, and an interesting narrative arc, strung together with repetitive tasks and an illogic questioning mechanic (at times - I never got settled into how to read people and be successful in telling when people were telling the truth etc. and I blame the mechanic itself for not being able to make its mind up over what the words Truth, Doubt and Lie meant within the game). Again, I suggest you play this game, but it disappointed me upon reflection. It'll be in my GOTY Top 10, unreservedly, but the flaws pain me.
 
Next: Debating whether to get the Rockstar Pass and do the DLC. Will load it up again and see what I think.

Rating: 4

 

Also Played:

 
Bought Outland, and have played the first 2 levels and bosses. It's a really interesting mix of 2D platform adventure and Ikaruga light/dark gameplay mechanic, and one of the best XBLA releases this year. I need to sit down and play some more. I played the story mode in Mortal Kombat up to the 2nd main chapter, and would love to get good at this but don't have the time. I played DiRT 2 for more achievements, draining it of its last drops of game-juice before DiRT 3 was in my hands. Jumped back into Shaun White for a bit... eh. I started Nuts & Bots from scratch whilst waiting for the month's big releases to arrive, and will go back to it when things go quiet again. 
 
DiRT 3 is awesome. Not finished it yet, but I've invested plenty of hours so far, online and in the Dirt Tour mode, and can't get enough of it.

Scores Summary:

FULL GAMES:

Portal 2 [2011] (5)
Kirby's Epic Yarn [2011] (4)
ilomilo [2010] (4)
Metal Gear Solid 4 [2008] (5)
Stacking [2011] (4)
L.A. Noire [2011] (4)

DLC:

The Writer [Alan Wake] (4)

Game of the Month:

2011 Release: DiRT 3
Most Played: DiRT 3
Overall: DiRT 3