Hype: Pokémon X/Y

The announcement of a new Pokémon game coming is no surprise. When Nintendo announced they were doing a Nintendo Direct specifically about Pokémon, what else could it be. The trailer, which is embedded below, blew me away and makes me more excited than I should be.

When Black 2/White 2 was announced I had my doubts that the Pokémon games would ever move into full 3D. Luckily, Game Freak has my back and finally everything will be polygonal. Ever since I played Pokémon Stadium back in 2000 I have dreamed of this. Don’t get me wrong. The sprites in Black/White look great and animate well, but they don’t express nearly as well as the models do in Stadium. When my Nidorino gets hit by a low kick launched by my opponent’s Machop, I want him to be affected by the attack instead of just standing there in some idle animation. It adds a lot more excitement to battles and will surely increase replay value.

Game Freak has definitely gotten more inventive with their level design since they started using 3D elements in the background starting with Diamond/Pearl, but now that they have thrown sprites out the window and embraced polygons they should really be able to cut loose. I can’t wait to see what they’re cooking up. In the trailer, they show the protagonist swinging across a pit on a vine. Hopefully, this is an indication of some light platforming, which could help traversal be a little more fun, and not just merely an animation that asks you beforehand if you want to swing on the vine or not.

The one thing about the trailer that failed to impress was the starter Pokémon for this generation. They look super generic, but I suppose after coming up with 600+ monster designs it becomes a little difficult to do something truly different. Hopefully, their final evolutions look more awesome. The two legendary Pokémon they showed looked appropriately legendary and on the nose about the game title. Game Freak obviously isn’t taking the same route as Black/White in respect to the Pokémon included in the game won’t be all new. The only new Pokémon they showed were the aforementioned starters and legendaries beside classics like Psyduck and Magikarp.

That’s about all the concrete information one could glean from the trailer, but I’d like to throw some speculation out and see what you think. One of the first images of the game is of the main character looking at himself in a mirror. This image reminds me a whole lot of making and customizing a sim, you know, in the Sims series, so maybe we’re looking at being able to alter your character’s appearance. Being fully polygonal would make that easier to accomplish. That would be really neat if that’s a feature and would help make the adventure feel more like it’s your adventure.

Also, this is a first-party Nintendo game on the 3DS, so it has to have some StreetPass functionality, right? I have no idea what that could be, though. There have been some really crap StreetPass features, I’m looking at you Resident Evil: Revelations. But, Fire Emblem shows that it doesn’t have to be completely lame. Hopefully, it’s not something forgettable like getting a berry. I think it could be cool if they did something like Super Street Fighter IV. Maybe let you set up a team of Pokémon and they’ll battle anyone’s team that you encounter via StreetPass. That’d be neat, right?

As I said before, I’m more excited for Pokémon X/Y than I really should be. I’ve been playing Black constantly since the trailer came out, trying to fill in the blanks on my collection. Is anyone as excited as I am? I’d love to hear someone else speculate about possible StreetPass features or just game in general.

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Weekend Update 03-25-12

(There are Mass Effect 3 Spoilers in this post)

I’m back from another illness fueled hiatus. Instead of dicking around like last time, I went to the doctor this time. I was told I had strep throat and was given a prescription for some antibiotics. This was a good choice. I was feeling better by the next day. I didn’t get any game playing done during this sick period. I just laid in bed and drifted in and out of sleep for a few days. I’m glad I got being sick out of the way since I’ll be going to PAX East. With any luck, I won’t get sick again.

I finally beat Mass Effect 3 this week. I’m going to get right to it. I don’t think the ending was that bad. I really don’t understand what was so terrible about it. I haven’t looked into what was so appalling too thoroughly, so I don't really have any counter arguments to make. I had fun with the game with the exception of the last few combat scenarios which were a pain in the ass, but that was my fault for playing on insanity. My only major complaint is at the end when Shepard, Anderson, and The Illusive Man are talking together. The last conversation wheel in that dialogue has a paragon and a renegade choice, but I couldn’t choose either of them. The renegade option I understand because I hadn’t made any renegade choices, but the entire game I did everything paragon. I also did everything I possibly could in the game. It’s unfathomable to me why I couldn’t choose that option. As far as I know, if I had been able to choose that option I wouldn’t had to do a renegade trigger pull to stop Martin Sheen from killing Shepard and Anderson. The requirements for that choice seem a little extreme given I was a nice guy throughout the entire game and still couldn’t choose it.

After putting 200+ (probably easily 300+ because multiple playthroughs) into Mass Effect as a whole it feels weird that I’m finally putting this Shepard to rest. I still have my female Shepard to play through, but that will probably be awhile from now. Maybe next year, who knows. I can’t wait to see where Bioware will take the universe next. I hope they go in an unexpected direction. Like a stealth action game as Nihlus or a member of the STG. Or a tactical RPG would be pretty baller. As long as it’s not a kart racing game. Please don't do a kart racing game.

Since completing my journey through the galaxy, I decided to focus my time on the Wii launch title Twilight Princess. The obvious next step, I know. When I first booted it up I was blown away by the graphics, not in a flattering way. My repulsion only lasted until I remembered that it was technically a Gamecube game. I’ve completed two dungeons as of this writing, so I'm still just getting into it. I’ve been having fun with it. There’s not really been any huge surprises outside of Sumo matches against Gorons. I laughed seeing Link in a traditional Sumo outfit, slamming his leg down on the ground. My only complaint, which I’m sure won’t be surprising, is the waggling that must be done to swing the sword. It’s just not precise. Whether I execute the full chain of hits seems to be up to chance. Regardless, I’m sure I’ll complete the game and enjoy doing so.

I feel like I’ve really neglected Marvel over the past two weeks. If you compare license card from this post and that last one that will be evident. I’ll probably hop into some of that after I get this posted. With me going to PAX East this week, I might not write a weekend update or if I do it will most likely be later in the week. In any case, maybe I can start doing this with some regularity after this week.

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Weekend Update 03-11-12

So I was totally sick last week. Because of that I didn't do an entry for my weekend update. I was halfway okay with that because the previous week was rather uneventful anyways. I got Mass Effect 3, but didn't really play it much that week because of work and life. I called in on Monday and Tuesday and got some quality time with Bioware's latest while enduring what I think was some form of influenza.

I cut my hair.

So far, I'm enjoying the game. I think I'm in the second act just by the feel of what's going on with the story. I've been frustrated by the combat a few times, but that's because I'm playing on insane and all the enemies have infinite grenades. I can't tell you the number of times I've rolled to the side only to jump on top of an exploding grenade. You might say it's my fault for playing on the hardest difficulty, but it's unlocked from the beginning and there's an achievement related to it. How do you expect not the go for it? Another thing that kind of bugs me, but at the same time I dig is the amount of fan service. I bugs me because I can tell they only put stuff in there for me to be like, "Yeah! That guy!". I love the universe so much that I get excited even though I realize this. Sometimes I just want to race to end to see what this noise about the ending is, but that's not how I play. Hopefully, I'll have it finished before the week's end. In case, anyone is interested I'm helping the Quarians out right now.

So, I had to change my avatars around.

I still haven't touched I Am Alive, but I didn't get a little time with Street Fighter X Tekken. That is a fun game. I didn't even worry about the gems. A couple of friends and I just had fun playing some local versus. The Street Fighter characters feel right at home and I'm not really a Tekken guy, so it took me a bit to get used to them. Actually, I would say I never got used to them. When I ended up with a Tekken character, I lost. You know who I won a lot as? Zangief. I really like Zangief. He's fun to play as in most games he ends up in and I'm proud to say that he is great in SFxT. The command grab throw range seems really stupidly large and to top it off his super charge move is a throw. This throw has hyper armor as well. My favorite way to use it is when I notice someone jump towards me. I just start charging it and Zangief puts his hands in the air. They'll hit me coming down towards me and Zangief will just shrug it off. As soon as their feet hit the ground, I let go of the charge, unleashing his devastating throw. I was totally ready to throw down $60 to play some more, but then I heard about the online issues and just how basically everything outside of the fighting itself is kind of a mess. I guess I'll just stick to Marvel. Marvel is always fun.

I really don't like the way my Mii looks.

During breaks at my job, I've been enjoying some Rhythm Heaven. That game is goofy and simple, but at the same time ingenious. Essentially, you're either tapping the screen, holding that tap, or flicking the stylus. Somehow with those simple motions, this game is made into a compelling rhythm game. It also has hooks in place that make you want to retry previous stages and do well, maybe even get a perfect. The game is addicting and I have one of the songs stuck in my head as I type.

May 15, most of the time that's a date no one cares about. May 15 just happens to be my birthday. This year, it also happens to be the release date of a major game that I'm looking forward to. Diablo III, anyone? What a perfect gift for me. Thank you, Blizzard. Before this point only Max Payne 3 was the only game coming out and no one seemed to want to mess with Rockstar as its release was going to be unchallenged. If there's a company that doesn't need to worry about other games being released, it's Blizzard. I wonder if this changes the expectations of how Take-Two thinks Max will perform. I know beforehand I was on the fence about getting Max Payne 3. Now, I could care less because I'll have Diablo to play.

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Weekend Update 02-26-12

This next week is going to be awesome. As I type I'm on my way to see the Black Keys perform, and on Tuesday one of most anticipated games of this year, Mass Effect 3, will be released. I'll probably spend the majority of the 6th saving the galaxy. Unfortunately, I won't be able to pick up Street Fighter X Tekken right away, but if I'm lucky my brother will be coming over and I'll get some hands on time with it. I Am Alive will be available the day after and I plan on buying it as well. Hell, I already aquired the Microsoft points for it when I bought Alan Wake's American Nightmare. Mass Effect 3 will probably take up all my time that week, so most likely I won't want to play Ubisoft's most recent downloadable title until the week after.

I finally finished Alan Wake's American Nightmare, well I completed the story mode. I'm into Remedy's use of their faux-Twilight Zone, Night Springs. I'm a fan of everything they've done to present the story. They still got the usual manuscripts (presently a little differently though), television sets, and radios, but I also randomly found a telephone which had me listening to Alan Wake talk about a horrifying scene that stuck with him. My roommate didn't even see that throughout his playthrough. Little things like that really incentivize a player to explore. FMV is also used a more extensively, the beginning, some scenes in between, and the ending are all in FMV. The combat is just about the same as the original. Shine your flashlight on the enemies to take away the darkness that shields them and then smoke them with one of the various firearms at Wake's disposal. Combat is a little more exciting since you have more than three enemy types to deal with. It's not amazing by any means, but it's alright for filler between more story. This title's focus on combat over story is a little disheartening because story is where Remedy excells and getting a taste of that just makes me want a proper sequel. I tried a little bit of the arcade mode, but it just isn't my cup of tea. The combat isn't fun enough by itself to keep me going.

I still haven't played any more of Resident Evil: Revelations and I didn't play Reckoning at all this week. Both of those games are alright, but you can easily get burned out if you play it too much. It doesn't help that I have more entertaining things to play like Rock Band 3 and Super Street Fighter IV.

With the coming of this week I have another game to add to my pile of shame, SSX. I enjoyed playing Tricky and SSX 3, so I was really looking forward to playing the newest entry. With Febuaury and March being so full of games I gotta budget my time and money and I knew with Mass Effect 3 and Street Fighter X Tekken coming out a week after I wouldn't get back to SSX any time soon. Hopefully, I'll be able to catch up on it later in the year.

How about that new Assassin's Creed setting? Colonial American is an awesome place and not enough games take place there. I'm really curious how the game will handle guns. There were guns in Ezio's time, but they weren't so that every soldier would have one. It'd be kind of silly if none of the enemies had them, and instead fought you with melee weapons. I still need to play Revelations to catch up on the story threads. I didn't really have any drive to do so before I heard about the new setting. The thought of stabbing dudes in the neck and face with George Washington by my side is so appealing. George isn't confirmed, but a man can dream, right?

The last thing I want to do is mention Patrick Kelpek's article about harassment in the fighting game community. It's definitely a serious issue that needs to be dealt with. I don't really have any ideas about how to deal with this other than penalize people for unsporting conduct like they do in other sports. I just wanted to mention it and raise more awareness. Does anyone think that kind of behavior is alright? I kind understand if it's a personal setting. I can have a pretty sick sense of humor sometimes, but I understand social norms and how to treat people with respect, so I wouldn't say anything like that in a stream that's promoting Capcom's newest game and the fighting game community itself. They're making us look like a bunch of assholes and I don't like it.

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Weekend UPdate 02-19-12

I feel as if I didn’t play games that much this week. I suppose I played an alright amount, but there’s no sense of accomplishment. The only game I made any large commitment in was KoA: Reckoning, but I don’t feel like I’m all that much closer to finishing it. Maybe that’s why I feel this way. Who knows?

I bought Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, which I only played through half of the story and haven’t even touched the arcade mode. It feels like the same game that the original was, but with more enemy variety and less story. I’d rather have more story, but more enemy types is a change I welcome. I was very excited when I started the game and the crisp FMV started. The original had some FMV with the TVs scattered throughout the world, but nothing as high quality as the videos in American Nightmare. I’m a fan of how even though the story mode only has three maps, Remedy explains why you’re going back to same places multiple times in a way that makes sense in the world of Alan Wake. Obviously, I would have liked to have seen more levels, but with the way Remedy handled it it doesn’t look like they were cost cutting, but merely working within the limits of their budget. I applaud Remedy for that. Hopefully, I’ll get around to finishing that this week.

Both Syndicate and Asura’s Wrath came out this week as well, but I don’t have the time or money to play them, unfortunately. I have a lot more interest in Asura’s Wrath, especially since I started hearing surprisingly good things about it. I really dig the over the top anime vibe I get from it. Who doesn't love swords that are longer that the diameter of the Earth? Syndicate looks pretty slick for a linear FPS as well. With luck, I’ll be able to check these games out later this year, if not next.

Generally, I play a lot of Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 and I played an okay amount. I actually played more Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition 2012, which is stupid long title. My friend and I were playing UMvC3 together and he was equating it to Chutes and Ladders. It’s fun, but it doesn’t really take that much technical prowess to be good at it. So I asked what game would be more like chess. That's how we started playing Street Fighter. He had been hesitant to play it for awhile, I’m not really sure why, but I’m glad he’s giving it a try. I started to work on my Zangief. I always liked the Russian grappler. There's something that's so satisfying about a command throw. It helps that he has two of the most badass costumes in the game: Mike Haggar and Robogief. After he left, I played some online ranked matches and won half of them. That might not sound good, but it gives me motivation to keep trying. Does Giantbomb have any SSFIV:AE2012 tournaments happening? If not, would anyone be interesting in fighting in one?

The last thing I want to talk about is the announcement that Jet Set Radio is coming to XBLA/PSN. One of my favorite games on the Dreamcast. I really hope the full soundtrack in the game. It’d be really weird if Guitar Vader’s “Magical Girl” isn’t one of the first things I hear. Can’t wait to play through it again. Is anyone else looking forward to this? Did you play it back in the day? Have you even heard of it? I’m curious, so please comment below.

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Weekend Update 02-12-12

This week another huge batch of games were released. I wish I could have a night with UFC Undisputed 3, but ultimately I don't feel like buying it is worth it and I don't want to rent it because I have so much more shit to play. The only game I bought this week was Warp, the first game in Microsoft's House Party promotion for XBLA, and wrote a review for it. It had it's moments, but was very frustrating towards the end.

I only played a few hours of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and my opinion of it hasn't change much because of that. I continued to play Resident Evil: Revelations during my breaks at work. I'm enjoying it more now that I got a shotgun and rifle with Jill. I found a frustrating moment, though. I'm in a boss fight that's kind of lengthy, especially when you're a wimp and move very slowly around the environment because this boss leaves and the reappears in the level. I got to what I felt was probably the end of the fight and bit it. I reloaded just before the fight, which is reasonable, and probably won't be that bad once I jump back in because I know where she'll come out from. It just demoralized me when it happened and I haven't picked it back up yet. I'm sure my motivation will come back around Tuesday (the next day I work).

I played the Mass Effect 3 demo, which was pointless because I already planned on purchasing Bioware's latest game. The single-player portion showed off how missions will feel more dynamic with the help of gaps to jump over and just making the terrain something of an obstacle. The demo didn't have what I really wanting which was talking to people for a stupid amount of hours. I understand that EA wants the game to look action-packed and exciting, but I want to ask Wrex an inane amount of questions. I didn't expect there to be a multiplayer component to the demo and that was exciting. Multiplayer is the one aspect of the game that was an unknown. It seems like a serviceable enough "Horde mode" that I can play when I don't feel like progressing the story. Plenty of upgrades to have and cooperative play with your bros is always fun. Unsurprisingly, I'm still excited about Mass Effect 3.

Also unsurprising is the fact that I played Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 just earlier today and had a hilarious moment happen that made me wish I had capture gear. I'm running my usual team of Frank West, Ryu, and Dormammu. I don't remember what my opponent had because he/she was just down to Phoenix. Phoenix was just spamming stuff while in X-Factor, so I got some distance and threw out Ryu's Shinku Hadoken and Phoenix blocked. That's fine because I was just hoping to take up some X-Factor time. When the hyper combo ends, I choose to DHC into Frank West's Survival Techniques Hyper Combo so that I could bring him in without any punishment. Between the two hyper combos, the Phoenix player decides to teleport right in front of my character and Frank came in right while she couldn't block and the hyper combos connect and ended up giving me the K.O. victory. I imagine the other player was very salty afterwards and I laughed because I really didn't expect that to happen.

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Weekend Update 02-05-11

I decided to start writing a blog on what's going on in my video game life to just keep me writing because I want to get better at writing. I need to make a better title for this, something more original. I'll get to that when I get to that. I've never been good at naming things anyway. Anywho, I kind of just decided to start to do this today, so the format is kind of randomly assembled. I picked a good week to start writing because it was actually eventful. At least, as eventful as a dude playing video games can get.

The Usual

I'm always playing Rock Band 3, Dance Central 2, and Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. On Rock Band, I always play a little bit of everything, but deep down I love the drums and if I allowed myself I could just play that and be happy. The Harmonix games aren't really much to talk about, so I'll just say I played them and that was fun. I finally broke the 7th Lord barrier on UMvC3 which felt like it took forever to get to and I got there with a pretty impressive 6 win-streak.

New Releases

SO BIG!

This Tuesday marked the release of a whole slew of video games. I ended up buying Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and Resident Evil: Revelations. Hopefully, I'll catch The Darkness II later on in the year, I hear good things about it, but I've only got so much money and time. I've played somewhere around 15 hours of Reckoning and I'm enjoying it. Feels like a strange mix of Fable and The Elder Scrolls. Good side-quests so far and the world is intriguing. The combat is really something, it takes the ideas from Fable which assigns your buttons to different types of attacks, but it adds a depth the combat that I always felt was lacking from the Lionhead Studios' games. The quests are varied enough that my interest hasn't feigned. With luck, that'll keep up and I'll keep playing. I just really, really hope I can manage to finish it before Mass Effect 3 comes out because everything will put on hold that day.

For Resident Evil I bought the stupid ass Circle Pad Pro attachment, which I think is worth it. I like being able to shoot and move like in RE5 much more than standing still and shooting, but maybe that's just me. This thing is huge though. It feels like I'm playing a Game Gear, but that's part of the reason I like it. More ergonomic and whatnot. Makes it harder to put in a pocket, though. With how I play my 3DS, which is on breaks on work (where I have a locker that I can store it while working), the size isn't an issue with me.

This is where RE made me jump. I hope I gave someone a cheap laugh.

The game itself is pretty much what I expected so far. Resident Evil hasn't seen a whole lot of innovation since RE4, but the game is still entertaining regardless. I don't know how I feel about the weapon upgrade system at the moment. It's neat, but I really like miss being able to max out my guns' stats like in the previous iterations. I've only played the first two chapters so far, but it doesn't really seem like I can do that with this system. There's also the Genesis device thing, which let's you scan a room in first person and look for hidden items, hand prints (which I have no idea what they do, probably a collectible), and scan the corpses of enemies to fill up a meter that gives you herbs when it gets full. It's an alright mechanic I suppose, but it makes me compulsively search every room for any items I might find. Luckily, it doesn't seem like how long I take on a mission factors into my score. Surprisingly, I've been able to really immerse myself in the atmosphere of Revelations with all the hustle and bustle of a retail store around me. I suppose headphones help me focus on being scared by zombies. At one point I actually jumped as customers were entering and exiting the store because some shambling motherfucker came out of nowhere and my partner didn't have the decency to tell me. I didn't have time to be embarrassed though as I had to avoid dying. I look forward to this game distracting me from work for the next month or so.

Miscellaneous

Love this sleeve so hard.

I subscribed to Game Informer recently and got my first issue. I was so ecstatic to see XCOM on the front because I really wanted to read that article. Made me stoked to get my hands on it, the game that is. Looking forward to a game with so many tactical choices. Too bad, it doesn't even have a release date yet. How about Double Fine's kickstarter? I've been a fan of Tim Schafer since Psychonauts, which is probably late to the party according to some people, and I dig point and click adventure games, so I didn't hesitate throwing Double Fine some money despite the fact that by the time I caught wind of it they had already doubled their goal. My last thing to talk about is this sweet ass 3DS card case I got from Club Nintendo. I don't really have many games to put in it since my 3DS is my first DS, but I figured it would be a good investment for later.

That's all I can really think to mention this week. I feel pretty good about it since this was kind of off the cuff. If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments please post them. Hopefully, I'll actually continue doing this next week.

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My Top Ten Games of 2011

Man, 2011 was a great year for games, in terms of quantity and quality of AAA titles and downloadable games. The quantity is part is bittersweet, working an hourly retail job I don't really don't have the time or resources to play all the games that come out. If you're interesting in my shame check out my to-do list. There are some games I feel no shame for not playing such as Modern Warfare 3 of Battlefield 3 because those games just aren't my scene.

10. Mortal Kombat - NetherRealm Studios

This game depresses me sometimes. Mortal Kombat is so much fun to play. It's a shame that the online is kompletely unplayable. If the online component wasn't such a mess, I probably would have sunk way more time into it and I would have put it much higher on this list. Let's stop talking about Mortal Kombat's failures. You know what Mortal Kombat does right? Everything else. The core mechanics are fun, the game is beautiful, and the blood is bloody. The biggest thing to mention is how much NetherRealm Studios nailed the story mode. Hands down, it's the best story mode in a fighting game to date, and I really hope that some of the other developers in this genre take lessons from it.

09. Bastion - Supergiant Games

I feel like this is one game that I let the hype get to me and I didn't enjoy as much as I could. I actually didn't get around to playing it till November and it took a couple of times before I felt like playing it more. Once I let it, the game sucked me in and I didn't stop playing till completion. Bastion would have been mentioned a lot just based on the unique narration, but all the other aspects of the game are so good that it would get GOTY props without the narration. The combat is satisfying and suits all types of play styles with customization with many weapons and upgrades. The story is one of the best one's told in gaming this year. The music is appropriate, memorable, and will stay stuck in your head. There's not a part of Bastion that doesn't shine with polish and passion.

08. Gears of War 3 - Epic Games

Gears 3 is the way to end a trilogy. You get the sense that this is the end of Marcus Fenix's tale and there's some finality to that that makes the story feel all that more impactful. In addition to the terrific story, there's the multiplayer. Gears 3's PVP can be addicting, I spent a few way too late nights just playing against random people and getting angry at their shotguns. If PVP is not your thing then there's Horde mode, back from Gears 2 when Epic made the mode popular. They prove they are the best at it, by improving upon the formula with the ability to built defensive structure and difficult boss waves. There's so much stuff to do in Gears that you could spend the whole year just playing it.

07. L.A. Noire - Team Bondi

This game may have a few issues, but you're able to look past those issues because L.A. Noire is just that fun. As odd as it sounds, L.A. Noire is a triple-A adventure game. If you told me 5 years ago that an adventure game would be getting a bunch a GOTY praise and would sell to a mainstream audience I would call you crazy, but here we are. It may not be flawless, but I kept playing L.A. Noire till I beat it for a reason. That reason is the story and how it was portrayed, and I won't soon forget this game.

06. The Binding of Isaac - Edmund McMillen

The is probably the game that I put the second most hours into this year. Everything about The Binding of Isaac is pretty simple down to the art style, but it's how everything works together that makes this game so much fun. The Binding of Isaac is as rewarding as it is difficult. Your reward for playing the game is seeing and using an incredible wealth of upgrades that range from laser eyes to a floating fetus familiar. The further you go through a game the more upgrades you get and Isaac ends up looking goofy as hell because each upgrade also has a cosmetic effect. Let's not forget the music of Danny Baranowsky, making the challenge of the rooms feel that more arduous by matching the tone. If you haven't played The Binding of Isaac yet you really should, it's only five dollars and will give you days worth of entertainment.

05. Little Big Planet 2 - Media Molecule

Little Big Planet 2 is a delight. Media Molecule improves upon the formula from the first game in the series and makes a game that is charming as hell, plus it's fun to play. The main story is a blast with many different types of levels and a great presentation that keeps you going till the end. Not to mention, the endless user created levels to keep you busy for months.

04. Batman: Arkham City - Rocksteady Studios

Arkham Asylum was a great game and a genuine surprise when it came out in 2009. Rocksteady takes the winning formula and puts it into an open world full of collectibles and side-mission to keep you busy for awhile. The simple-yet-deep combat is back and so is scaring the shit out of goons. Arkham City doesn't do a whole lot different than its predecessor, but it doesn't really need to. Wrap that up with a pretty interesting story and you have a formula for me not doing anything, but play this game for a couple of days. I wait in eager anticipation to see what Rocksteady does next.

03. Skyrim - Bethesda

This is how to do an open world RPG. You can play this game however you want and there are hours upon hours of content to go through. The crazy thing is that most of that content is actually interesting stuff. I've played just over 23 hours of the Skyrim and I've barely scratched the surface of what it has to offer. You can complain about the combat not being very interesting, but in the end it doesn't matter. The game is purely about exploration and just discovering an interesting world. Skyrim is a game I will play well into 2012.

02. Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3/Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 - Capcom

UMVC3 has many flaws. When the first version came out there was no spectating, which is a major feature to be missing from a fighter game and makes fighting in a lobby very boring. There's some major balance issues and there's not much to do in the game other than fight against other people, whether online or offline. Not to mention the quick around from MVC3 to UMVC3. With all that negativity, the game is still very fun to play and I've probably put the most hours into this game in 2011. I dearly hope that Capcom gets it's shit together and stops releasing unfinished games only to charge us for the final product again at a later point. Sadly, I think I'm holding my breath.

01. Portal 2 - Valve

Truly funny games are a rare thing to find. Portal surprised everyone when it came out and became an instant classic with it's humor and thinking man's gameplay. Portal 2 manages to outclass the original in every way. It's more challenging, funnier, and longer. It manages to do this even with the surely bloated expectations of many gamers. Oh, did I mention it also has coop? Which is just as funny and probably more challenging. If you missed out on Portal 2, you owe it to yourself to play one of the best games of this generation.

Honorable Mentions: Dance Central 2, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, Iron Brigade, Shadows of the Damned, Stacking

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Yes. and No.

The used game market is a great thing for people who barely make ends meet (like me), but still want to play the latest and greatest games.  I'm not even playing on current generation systems yet because of the cost.  I will be soon because I'll be buying someone's used 360.  If there wasn't a used market then I'm sure there would be far less people who could afford to play games. 
That being said, I'd buy the games new if I could... You know, support the studios that I like by letting them receive my moneys instead of some dude who won't stop pestering me to pre-order the newest game.  I mean those studios need the money so they can make new and better games.  You guys want new and better games, right?

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