Games Played 2011: 30 - 21

Got distracted from completing my list from 2011. How about we bang out the rest before something new actually comes out. You can find previous posts for 50-41 and 40-31.

30. Star Wars: The Old Republic

The Old Republic's biggest issue is that it happens to be an MMO. The class campaign could be be vastly improved in a different genre that would allow a greater focus. The world doesn't feel very large, and there isn't a huge need to seek out other players on a consistent basis. The combat, while less automated, is very much the tried and true MMO gameplay. The quests have an interesting setup from time to time, but in the end you'll end up fetching, collecting, and killing are certain amount for the most part. The most enjoyable part of SWTOR has to be the decision making that comes up fairly often in the longer quest lines, that directly effect your character's story. SWTOR introduces a better way to tell a story in an MMO, but not exactly anything new to the world of video games.

29. Dead Island

Most likely the deepest zombie game on the market today. Dead Island is loaded with quests, quests, and more quests that take you to several different locations beyond your beachfront hotel. The story elements are kind of broken (about 8 hours in you realize that you've been rolling around with three other people the entire time without any previous mention), and the campaign it just too long to stay interesting.

28. TrackMania 2: Canyon

There is no stranger driving game than TrackMania. The setup and interface are pretty awful right out of the gate, but thats not what we're here for. Once on a hot server full of tracks that aren't possible in any other game, TrackMania becomes this infinite loop of trying to shave seconds to thousandths of seconds of your time. When striped down its a time trial game, but the variety and seer madness of the tracks themselves and how your car reacts are truly unlike anything else out there.

27. Catherine

Sex and video games have a checkered past at best. Catherine attempts to tackle the subjects of growing up, accepting responsibility, marriage, cheating, and pregnancy, all the while using block puzzles as its main source of gameplay. An interesting story taking place over the week after Vincent realizes he could be a father, during which he has begun cheating on his longtime girlfriend. There are several endings that are ultimately decided by the questions the player is asked while pushing blocks in Vincent's nightmares.

26. Orcs Must Die!

A solid action tower defense game with as many orcs to destroy as the title suggests. With plenty of upgrades and enemies, each map feels fresh and a razors edge from getting out of hand. The action is more responsive than any other tower defense game out there.

25. Dance Central 2

Harmonix knows how to get around the frustrations of the typical party game better than anyone. With its already battle tested interface in place DC2 remains easy to use, while adding features that make the game more fun with more people without adding road blocks. DC2 has little to no trouble allowing a second player to jump in and start dancing right away. Dance Central 2 is the dancing party game out there right now with its great pacing and satisfying dance moves with plenty of difficulty levels for everyone.

24. Kirby Mass Attack

There are few things more amusing that throwing ten Kirby (Kirbys? Kirbies?) around. You'll need to keep at least a certain amount of your Kirby to finish each level. Whether it be for throwing at enemies, pulling down objects, pushing down buttons, or running for their lives. Mass Attack is a simple, yet very enjoyable platforming with surprisingly long levels and many different scenarios to keep it fresh.

23. Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine

Its hard to type Space Marine without an exclamation point and thinking of the thousands, if not millions, of orc that yell Space Marine as they are destroyed. The gameplay setup is pretty simple, giant Space Marine with massive melee weapon and gun that shoots exploding bullets. Everything about your Space Marine feels heavy and over the top, and that's what makes the seemingly simple combat actually novel. Running head on into waves and waves of orc and leaving nothing but exploding bodies in your wake is incredibly satisfying.

22. Driver: San Francisco

The commitment to its unique storyline is what makes Driver: San Francisco special. After falling into a coma, you have the power to in and out of the bodies anyone driving in San Francisco. This allows you to get anywhere in an instant, and to cause all kinds of mayhem from throwing cars at the targets you are chasing down. The premise is off the wall, and no where grounded in reality, but that's what makes it fun. The tone of a cop show is charming, and the mystery behind the goings on in San Francisco make the entire rather short campaign fun to play through.

21. The Gunstringer

The Kinect can be a ton of fun, and a lot of the time it can be frustrating. With the use of movements that we've all used since we were children to symbolize a gun, The Gunstringer makes it easy to play through its amusing scenarios. A great deal of video game references, silly FMV, and gags allow the campaign to keep a smile on your face throughout. Also, The Wavy Tube Man Chronicles.

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Games Played in 2011: 40 - 31

40. Blocks That Matter

Part Tetris, part Minecraft, this puzzler uses indie charm to make a good first impression. Your robot collects familiar Minecraft like materials that can then only be placed in Tetris shapes to make your way to the end of each level. Sounds simple enough, but requires careful planning with its platforming and use of limited materials.

39. Killzone 3

Few games start with as much punch as Killzone 3. The biggest issue isn't that it can't keep up the pace, just how dull it becomes so quickly.

38. Fractal: Make Blooms Not War

A delightful matching game that doesn't do anything radically different with matching clusters of same colored blocks. The style and soothing tone are what keep one coming back for a quick session of a level or two.

37. Crysis 2

A game that never really makes its intentions clear. Crysis 2 is a great looking game by any standard on any platform. It tries to hit both the hardcore PC and the console FPS market, but falls short with a lackluster story and failing to do any one thing really well to make a splash.

36. Bulletstorm

What a weird game. Very in your face from the jump, yet it seems to backpedal from that tone the rest of the way. As if it doesn’t really mean it, they just wanted to get your attention. There are plenty of interesting ways for murdering your enemies, but not enough reward for exploring new ways throughout.

35. LittleBigPlanet 2

As a whole, we probably don’t give LittleBigPlanet enough credit. Or maybe we give it too much credit. One thing LittleBigPlanet 2 does better than any game out there today is the creation and management of user created content. There are nearly infinite possibilities with LBP and it will always be worthy of a return visit.

34. Marvel Vs. Capcom 3

A buffet of beloved and obscure characters that digs deep into both catalogs. MVC3 is rather easy to pick up, and probably has the lowest ceiling of the recent fighting games. MVC3 is manic and fun for a time, but isn't the deepest fighting game and is one of the most frustrating online experiences.

33. Resistance 3

The First Person Shooter genre does not have enough crazy weapons in it anymore. Resistance 3 goes for a more personal story than we're use to in the genre and mostly pulls it off. Few games go for the on the ropes feeling quite like Resistance 3. The problem stems from while having interesting weapons, the scenarios in which you use them aren't all that interesting.

32. Child of Eden

While shallow in content and gameplay, the one thing Child of Eden along with every other Q Entertainment game is never short on is style. Child of Eden is a little too much like Rez to get true praise, but the amount of transitions, lights, animations, and crazy designs make the whole ride enjoyable. Space Whale.

31. Kinect Sports: Season Two

The little things are what set Kinect Sports apart from the rest of the sports collections. From improving the menu navigation with voice commands, to waving your arms like a crazy person while getting Rick Rolled. Kinect Sports: Season Two does a great job of keeping a smile on your face, even though not all of the games work as well as you'd like.

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Games Played in 2011: 50 - 41

50. Brink

Brink had a chance to surprise, but fell short in just about every way. A confusing and disjointed campaign that left one wondering what the purpose was. The shooting was uninteresting and the environments lead to mostly confusion. While Brink wasn't exactly broken, it failed to find it's own brand of fun and reason to keep coming back for more.

49. Bionic Commando: Rearmed 2

Bionic Commando: Rearmed hit everything you wanted from an update to a well liked classic; fun, feel, gameplay, and price. You can't blame Rearmed 2 for trying to change things up so soon after Rearmed, but it misses out on the fun and fluid gameplay from the first.

48. Okamiden

Easily the game I spent the least amount of time with on this entire list. As great as Okami was, Okamiden just doesn't suck you in with the same style and gameplay like the original.

47. Full House Poker

While a competent poker game, Full House Poker doesn't quite get the player engaged enough in it's local or online tournaments to keep one coming back.

46. Fruit Ninja Kinect

Fruit Ninja translates to the Kinect surprisingly well, and can be a lot of fun while causing injury to those in the room. At the end of the day it's still Fruit Ninja, and while that isn't a bad thing, it isn't exactly deep.

45. Dungeon Defenders

This downloadable action-tower defense game takes loot and customizing your character to another level for the genre. The fighting itself during your waves upon waves of enemies could use a lot of work though.

44. Kirby's Return to Dream Land

Nintendo experiments with Kirby more than any other property, but this time it tries to cash in on a more popular game from two years ago. Very similar to the formula that made New Super Mario Bros. Wii so much fun, Return to Dream Land ends up being too easy and stale to be memorable.

43. Pokemon Black

As the second series of new Pokemon games on the DS, one could expect some improvements and new features to the tried and true formula. At the same time it is always someones first Pokemon game, so therefore it remains the same as it ever was.

42. Rock of Ages

Maybe the most crazy game of the year, at least in premise. Making a game that is part skeeball, part tower defense, part racing game, is to make a game without peers. Rock of Ages has a sense of humor like no other, and is fun to play with friends thanks to all the weirdness along with the easy gameplay concept of rolling a ball.

41. Magicka

A silly game about wizards, that allows you to mix and match spells to an absurd level. The sense of humor makes Magicka’s spells and the way you use them in game interesting and best of all fun to mess around with.

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