My Personal List of This Generation

With the release of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One marking a new generation of video games it's only natural that we look back at the past generation and reflect on the past seven years. Let's be honest it been one hell of a generaton.

My Personal Top 10 Franchises of this Generation

10. Rock Band: Rock Band, Rock Band 2, The Beatles: Rock Band, Lego Rock Band, Green Day: Rock Band, Rock Band 3
9. The Elder Scrolls: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
8. Portal: Portal, Portal 2
7. Assassin's Creed: Assassin's Creed, Assassin's Creed II, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Assassin's Creed III
6. Grand Theft Auto: Grand Theft Auto IV, Grand Theft Auto V
5. Yakuza: Yakuza 3, Ryu ga Gotoku Kenzan!, Yakuza 4, Yakuza: Dead Souls
4. Uncharted: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
3. Fallout: Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas
2. Bioshock: Bioshock, Bioshock 2, Bioshock Infinite
1. Mass Effect: Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3

OrangeSponge's Top 10 Games of this Generation

1. Mass Effect 2

When Bioware released the original Mass Effect back in 2007 I was instantly hooked by the fiction and the world they had created. Sure the gameplay was flawed, looking at you Mako... The combat was fun... at times, the gunplay was servisable but I wasn't drawn to the Mass Effect franchise for combat. I was drawn to it for the presentation, the story, the characters, the vast worlds, etc... I was encapsulated by it Mass Effect, immersed by it.

Come 2010 and Bioware released the long awaited sequeal, Mass Effect 2. A game that started off with a bang and sent players on a suicide mission to save the galaxy from, the mysterious, Collectors. From the the word 'go' the story hooked you in. As you traveled around the Universe encountering new planets and worlds. Along the way we where introduced to new fleshed out and well developed characters and even encountered some old. The story took a few twists and turns as the ever present threat of the Reapers sits in the back of you mind.

Ultimately Mass Effect 2 did everything a squeal should ane more, it improve on the original without being afraid to change what was broken. The combat was tighter, there no more cluttered inventory screens and more importantly no more Mako.

By no means is this game prefect, but it's close-enough to sit happly at the top of my 'Top 10 Games of the Past Generation.'

2. BioShock
3. The Walking Dead
4. Fallout 3
5. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

6. Yakuza 4

I love Japan, well really... Any and everything Asian in origin. 95% of my film collection is filled with so it's really surpising that I have never played a Yakuza game before playing four, I didn't really know what to expect but what I found was a gem of game with an surpisingly interesting story, with fun and enjoyable combat mechanics, and an open world that has endless possibilities.

As I said before I have never played a Yakuza game before playing four and I was surprised to find an in-depth 'previously on Yakuza' feature, that was essentially every cut scene from all the other games, that got me up to speed on the story so far. That is not to say that you need to have play the other games, for the most part you switch between three new characters and the main protagonist for the series. All the characters are surprisingly fleshed out by the end of the twenty hour story, and you really start to care about them. While the situation they're in isn't believable it's still an interesting story that kept my on seat from start to finish. Even the side-missions are worth searching for. Some of the missions open up story arcs that span entire portions of the game, and fill in some of information about the main characters. While the side-missions don't get the polish that the main story did. Side missions missed out on that fully voiced treatment, which is a shame but doesn't detract from the narrative. "Worth searching for", none of the side-missions are marked on any map and it's down you to explore the streets to find them. Saying that this game gives you a lot to do is an understatement. The game is set in the busy and noisy streets of Kamurocho. In Kamurocho you can go and buy food, visit a host club, play poker, play roulette, play mah-jong, visit Club Sega, play pinball, go fishing, run a Dojo, enter tournaments, Karaoke, etc... The list goes on... and on. I never found a dull moment in this game, in-between mission I found myself at Club Sega playing on the arcade machines, or playing a game of Pachinko. The combat is ridiculous, and satisfying; I can't begin to express how fun it is. The combat flows nicely between enemy to enemy, and is easy to master.

7. The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimI can't tell you how much I disliked Oblivion, from its dull combat to its repetitive dungeon design. Don't get me wrong I still appreciated what Oblivion was trying to achieve but it never quite hit the nail on the head, so to speak. With that said I could sit here for hours talking about how the magic system was ineffective, and the archery being broken and how I wish that this game was the open world epic it wanted to be. Thankfully I don't have to because Skyrim is the game you wanted when you played Oblivion, when you played Fallout. It fixes everything that was wrong with those games and goes the extra mile to improve on the formula set out by Bethesda. As I hinted at in a previous paragraph, I took issue with Oblivion's ineffective magic, and archery mechanics. While the combat in Skyrim is still dull if you stick to just the melee side of the tree, at least Bethesda has fixed that magic and archery so they are now reliable means of attack. Overall combat fells tighter and enjoyable, while yes it gets dull after awhile, encountering an enemy is no longer a pain and that a massive improvement over Oblivion and even Fallout. Skyrim's world is so detailed. There is always something to do, and you can easily get lost exploring the world or just listening to the people that inhabit the many towns and cities. I found myself spending hours exploring the world finding new towns and cities', listening to the townsfolk as they argue about what faction is more loyal to the empire. Chopping wood, hunting deer, playing tag with some playful children, etc... Starting in a three hour long side quest that has me exploring a dig site to tracking down a powerful artefact. I could go on for hours about the detail that went into the world and the fiction but I'll start to spoil what's so amazing about this game. While the main storyline was never my main focus while I was exploring Skyrim, I found the side mission, or quest lines whatever you want to call them, are just as fleshed out as the main story. As I mention the three hour quest that I randomly encounter travelling through one of the many cities, the whole game is full with these polished and refined quests lines that are worth digging for. Overall Skyrim is the game I've wanted Bethesda to make since playing Oblivion back in 2006, and they have nailed it. Like I said the world, the combat, the quest lines are what make this game my game of the year for 2011.
8. Portal
9. Red Dead RedemptionFor a game that was originally pitched to me as Grand Theft Auto on horses, a Grand Theft Horse if you will, I didn't really have any expectations going into Red Dead Redemption. At the time, and still to this day, I have never played the orignal Red Dead Revolver. And while the original statement wasn't entirely misleading, taking the statement a face vaule you would be belittling the one of unique games of this generation. The writing is amazing, all the characters (that you have time to get to know) are fleshed out and like-able. The story follows John Marston as he's on a quest to get his family back from the government, by hunting down members of his old gang. The story hooked me right from the start and keep me through all the way to its brilliant ending. While Red Dead plays like GTA and there aren't that many features that change up the combat in Redemption from GTA, other-than Dead Eye mode. Dead Eye is basically pick which enemy you don't like the look of and than John Marston will fill him full of lead, at first this mode was fun but by the end of the game I never touch it. The multiplayer is only worth mentioning, it's fun for about two weeks before you stop playing it. I wish Rockstar would just change one thing for there next game tho, NO more having to repeatably tap 'A' to run, there is never a situation in GTA or Red Dead where you can just walk into cover. Surpisingly still to this day I still can't talk about the 'Undead Nightmares'DLC... I should really sit down and play it.
10. Grand Theft Auto V

Honorable mentions:

  • Alan Wake
  • Amnesia The Dark Descent
  • Assassin's Creed
  • Assassin's Creed II
  • Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
  • Battlefield: Bad Company
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum
  • Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
  • Bastion
  • Beautiful Katamari
  • Bioshock 2
  • Bioshock Infinite
  • Borderlands
  • Braid
  • Burnout Paradise
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  • Call of Duty: World at War
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  • Castle Crashers
  • Comic Jumper
  • Crackdown
  • Deadly Premonition
  • Dead Space
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  • DiveKick
  • Dust: An Elysian Tail
  • Fable II
  • Far Cry 3
  • Fez
  • FLT: Faster Than Light
  • Forza Motorsports 3
  • Gears of War 2
  • Grand Theft Auto IV
  • Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
  • Halo 3
  • Halo 3: ODST
  • Halo Reach
  • Halo 4
  • Hotline Miami
  • inFAMOUS
  • Injustice Gods Among Us
  • Journey
  • Just Cause 2
  • Katamari Forever
  • Killzone 2
  • Left 4 Dead
  • Limbo
  • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
  • Mario Kart DS
  • Mass Effect
  • Mass Effect 3
  • Metro 2033
  • Minecraft
  • Mirror's Edge
  • Noby Noby Boy
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Pac-Man Championship Edition DX
  • Pixel Junk Shooter
  • Pokemon Black & White
  • Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver Versions
  • Pokemon Platinum
  • Pokemon X & Y
  • Prince of Persia
  • Project Gotham Racing 4
  • Rock Band
  • Rock Band 2
  • Rock Band 3
  • Rocksmith
  • Puzzle Agent
  • Ryu ga Gotoku Kenzan!
  • Saboteur
  • Scribblenauts
  • Shadow Complex
  • Shadow of the Damned
  • Shadowrun (FPS)
  • Sid Meier's Civilization V
  • Singularity
  • Sleeping Dogs
  • Spelunky
  • Starcraft 2
  • Super Mario Galaxy
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2
  • Super Meat Boy
  • Super Smash Bros Brawl
  • Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition
  • Team Fortress 2
  • The Beatles: Rock Band
  • The Binding of Isaac
  • The Maw
  • Tomb Raider
  • Tokyo Jungle
  • Total War: Shogun 2
  • Trials Evolution
  • Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
  • Viva Piñata
  • Yakuza 3
  • Yakuza 4
  • Yakuza: Dead Souls
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown
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Good-bye to a personal Hero!

I find myself genuinely upset and quiet torn up. To find out a man who has influence my life more than anyone and in more ways then one, a man I never met. Ryan Davis died on the 3rd of July, and I honestly can’t imagine life without him.

THIS AIN'T NO GAME!

For the people who are asking “how can anyone be this upset about some you don’t know?” Ryan Davis wasn’t just a disembodied voice on the screen or an opinion on some paper he was, and I find it silly that I’m writing this, a friend and a inspriation to many people. His style of writing, along with the rest of the Giant Bomb crew, was unique. He really put himself in his writing, you got a sense of who he was, what his taste where. You really connected with Ryan, and in this day and age, with social sites such as Facebook, etc... I'm lucky to connect with the people around me locally let alone hundred miles away.

I'm highly dyslexic and have been my entire life. When I was 15-years-old I could barely spell, honestly you should read some of the crap I wrote back then. Below is my closing paragraph on my review of 'Pokemon: Leaf Green' I was 15 when I wrote this.

"Is one of the pokemon game ever. Poeple how were not around when Red & blue were out this is a good place to start off on and if you like you might what to try pokemon Ruby, Sapphire & Emerald. Fanil say:
It is a fun game for all pokemon fans so go and buy it."

Simon Burdall, Posted Jun 9, 2007.


All of my blogs, reviews, and short stories were poorly formatted, poorly spelt, with piss poor grammar. I join Gamespot in June, 2007, and randomly watched 'On The Spot' one evening. I remember seeing Ryan Davis for the first time appearing on the show, I can't remember what his segment was but I remember watching a early demo of 'Battlefield: Bad Compy.' Anyway, I fell in love with listening to Ryan Davis, Jeff Gerstmann, and Rich Gallup. I started to read reviews written by them I remember reading a review of a game called ‘Spy Hunter’ by Ryan Davis, and I began copying it word for word. I started to mimic, along with Jeff’s, style of writing and started to learn the basics of formatting a review, and how to express myself. From there I went onto becoming who I am today.

Ryan Davis influences my taste in humour, films, TV, how I write, what I write… His love of 'dumb' things is one of the reasons I own 'Robogenshi' on Blu-ray, because if I'm owning a film about a Robot Genshi I'm going to own it in the stupidest way possible.In short, again I fill really fucking silly for writing this, I wouldn’t be who I am today without Ryan Davis, and the Giant Bomb crew, in my life. So thank you to Ryan Davis for unintensionly influencing my life and making me the person I am today. Thank you to Jeff Gerstmann, Brad Shoemaker, Vinny Caravella, Alex Navarro, Patrick Klepek and Rich Gallup for helping me express myself. There's more I want to write but... I really can't think, all I know that needs to be said now is...Rest in Piece Ryan, and you will be greatly missed. My thoughts go out to his friends and family. I love you Ryan.

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OrangeSponge's Personal Top 5 Games of the Year for 2012

UNFINISHED!

So here we’re again, another year and another list of ten games that I deem to be the best of this year, the year of 2012. So what did I do this year? I started my second year in university, continued to freelance as Boom operator and visited America to see my family… This year had its ups and down but yeah! Video games, that’s not why your here let’s find out what I deem to be the best games of this year.

What better way to start off this list by listing the games I played the most from last year in our first category;

2012’s 2011’s Game of the 01110100 01110111 01101001 01110011 01110100

What the fuck? A Twist! As mention above this award goes to the game I played the most this year that was released last year but because work has started to pick up in the later part of this year I’ve haven’t had any time to play new games and anytime I have I spent playing old games that I’ve been meaning to play for a while now. So I’m going to extend this category to games that I’ve played this year that where released from the last ten years, and it shall be called;

2012’s Yester Year Game of the Year.

Now let’s start off with the runner ups:

Saints Row: The Third

Genki!

Platform: PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 | Developer: Volition Incorporated

I can’t believe I missed this gem of game from last year. I’ve always viewed the Saints Row franchise from a far always hearing about every couple of years, until last year. It wasn’t until I started to hear Jeff, and Ryan talking about this game and raving about the latest instalment craziness, I didn’t believe them at first. Sadly I didn’t get a chance to get my hands on Saints Row until this year when visiting a friend’s house and he showed me the CRAZY MISSION.

I instantly went and brought a copy the night and started playing, making my character near the end of the game jump out of a Votoll Jet and Finally breaking free from its “GTA Clone” staple and creating a unique image for its self. I

Yakuza 3

Where my face!?

Platform: Playstation 3 | Developer: Amusement Vision, Ltd.

After finding a new love for the Yakuza series with four I thought I would look around and try and purchase the other instalments in the franchise. After looking around on online I found Yakuza 3 pretty cheap.

And the winner is…

Psychonauts

Why did I wait so long?

Platform: PC, Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Xbox, Xbox 360 | Developer: Double Fine Productions, Inc

Needs a squeal!

Now with that out of the way; I’ve always heard good things about Double Fine’s Psychonauts, and just like Beyond Good & Evil, I just never got around to playing it but I picked it up on Steam pretty cheap and what I found blow my mind. I found a unique premise with a well-written story and tight controls. I loved the humour, the aesthetic, the level design, and the characters. Overall this should have been my Game of the Year for 2012, and I encourage anyone who hasn’t played this game to do so.

And now on to the actual list, there is a sad twist I have to add to this list this year. So sadly haven’t played enough games that I deem worthy of Game of the Year, no XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Asura’s Wrath, Dishonored, Syndicate, or Far Cry 3. Hopefully I’ll get around to playing them next year, hopefully… Anyway on to my top five Games of the Year!

OrangeSponge's Personal Top 5 Games of the Year for 2012

5. K-ON! Houkago Live!! HD Version

Platform: Playstation 3 | Developer: Sega

Fun things are fun!

OK, if you really want to look into it this is a re-release of a PSP game that came out in 2010 but hey! This version came out this year.

And OK, I admit that K-ON! I love the Manga, the Anime, the music and I even love the figures... So when I heard that there was going to be a game based on a series, a rhythm-game none the less, I was instantly sold. I even jump through fucking hoops to be able to play the PSP version. Overall while I still really enjoy the game, it has its flaws. I feel like the challenge doesn't come from the note chart but the hardware it's self. The PSP D-pad isn't as responsive as you would like it be.

4. FTL: Faster Than Light

Platform: PC | Developer: Subset Games

Argh!

Words!

3. Tokyo Jungle

Platform: Playstation 3 | Developer: SCE Japan Studio, Playstation C.A.M.P, Crispy’s!

Ridiculous!

Oh, Tokyo Jungle you’re ridiculous in a way I like. I can play as a Bear who is wearing a straw hat and a pair of kitty paws, and run around a decimated and empty Shibyu

2. Journey

Platform: Playstation 3 | Developer: That Game Company

I went on a Journey!

Journey had always been on my radar since its announcement at E3 2010. I feel deeply in love with the aesthetic, MORE

With all these expectation that I had attached to Journey I never thought I would encounter a wonderful social experiment that would make me deeply consider how people could interact online. Playing through Journey and experiencing it with another player that I had no, if any, communication with and creating a weird and wonderful bond with this player through only a handful of chirps. And it’s amazing to think that this bond was strong enough to bum me out when the other play left the game, and it’s even incredible to think that I cared out another player who’s PSN name was xXxSM0K3W33d4L1F3420xXx (Or something to that )

Beyond the social experiment

-ambigous story

And the winner of Game of the Year for 2012 is…

1. The Walking Dead

Fuck you, Gary!

Platform: PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 | Developer: Tale Tell Game

For someone who doesn’t have much or very little interest in the Walking Dead franchise or has never really been big into the zombie genre that has sprung up over the last couple of years. I’m surprised that this would be my game of the year, but from the story to the characters, go team Kenny, I found an

At one point in this game I made a decision that I regret so badly for about twenty minutes, I sat at my desk considering restarting the game and changing the decision

So well done to The Walking Dead you join the ranks of 2009's winner Borderlands, 2010's winner Mass Effect 2 and 2011's winner The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

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OrangeSponge's Personal Top 10 Games of the Year for 2011

Note: I know this is late. This is a repost from GameSpot which I wrote at the beginning of this year. Woo!

Another year… Woo! This year I had two films win awards, I've move in my own place, started university, began to learn Japanese, and went insane for about a hour, yeah! That was one busy year. So how is Giant Bomb these days? I'm on here a lot watching Quick-looks, reading the articles, I'm never on the user side. So as you guess it that one time of year where I return to the community to post a one sided Game of the Year list and then leave again. So for those of you who don't know I like to share what I think were some of the best games of this year. This isn't finished yet, I just wanted to post it now and refine it later.

So here it goes…

Simon's 2011's 2010's Game of the Year

The game I played the most from last year.

Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver

Runners up;

Just Cause 2

K-ON! Hōkago Live!! (けいおん! 放課後ライブ!!)

Simon's Personal Top 10 Games of the Year for 2011

10. Battlefield 3

Platform: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC | Developer: EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE)

Normally I would never buy a game just for its multi-player but... Battlefield 3 is just madness. Name another game where you jump online take in the impressive visuals, the detail in the terrain as you run into a tunnel travelling to the front-line. When a helicopter flies into the tunnel hits a pillar and blows up.

The multi-player is just fun, it's something I can't explain you just need to play. Quickly the story; generic military story line with a few interesting narrative hooks, but beyond that we have seen it before.

9. Mortal Kombat

So... Street Fighter 4... Marvel vs. Capcom 3... I can finally call it... Fighting games are back! Mortal Kombat brings back its silly, over the top game play that has been missed in recent years. The ridiculous storyline that seamlessly blends cut scenes into game play.

8. Gears of War 3

Platform: Xbox 360 | Developer: Epic Software

I've always had a love/ hate relationship with Gears of War. I got to late into the original Gears of War, by the time I played it everyone was playing Call of Duty 4, so I never spent any time in the competitive multi-player, so I only really played the game for the story. For the most part I didn't enjoy Gears of War, mainly because I only play one half of the package, but the story was also lacking. When Gears 2 came around I found a much more enjoyable game, the story was better... It wasn't prefect but better. While I still can't get into the competitive multi-player, I still find some enjoyment in the amazing survival mode, Horde. Now here comes Gears of War 3, the final game in the trilogy.

It's surprising to see a game franchise conclude in an industry that has annualised sequels. While Gears 3 doesn't answer all the questions it does give a fair amount of closure to Delta squad, and it's hard to see another game with these set of characters.

While Gears of War 3 doesn't break any new ground it just refines what Gears and Gears 2 lies out. Horde mode has been refined with a tower defence like component and a boss wave that deserves the name 'Boss Wave'. Every ten waves one of the games many giant or boss like enemies, some boss are bigger than the maps there in, spawn and wreak havoc... That is if they don't get stuck in the maps geometry...

7. Bastion

6. Shadows of the Dammed

Platform: Xbox 360, Playstation 3 | Developer(s): 8-4 & Grasshopper Manufacture

Being a fan of Suda 51's work, all the any from Killer 7 to More No Heroes, I couldn't wait to see what he's next project was... Wait! His next project will be collaboration with Shinji Mikami, best known as the father of Resident Evil... I don't know that sounds alright I guess… Wait! Also Akira Yamaoka, best known as the sound director on Silent Hill, is also working on this game... Sold!

While I know not Shadows of the Dammed isn't for everyone, I still think this game is one of the funniest games of the year.

5. Yakuza 4

Platform: Playstation 3 | Developer: Amusement Vision

I have never played a Yakuza game before playing four, I didn't really know what to expect, but what I found was a game with an interesting story, with fun and enjoyable combat mechanics, and an open world that has endless possibilities.

As I said before I have never played a Yakuza game before playing four and I was surprised to find an in-depth 'previously on Yakuza' feature, that was essentially every cut scene from all the other games, that got me up to speed on the story so far. That is not to say that you need to have play the other games, for the most part you switch between three new characters and the main protagonist for the series. All the characters are surprisingly fleshed out by the end of the twenty hour story, and you really start to care about them. While the situation they're in isn't believable it's still an interesting story that kept my on seat from start to finish.

Even the side-missions are worth searching for. Some of the missions open up story arcs that span entire portions of the game, and fill in some of information about the main characters. While the side-missions don't get the polish that the main story did. Side missions missed out on that fully voiced treatment, which is a shame but doesn't detract from the narrative. "Worth searching for", none of the side-missions are marked on any map and it's down you to explore the streets to find them.

Saying that this game gives you a lot to do is an understatement. The game is set in the busy and noisy streets of Kamurocho. In Kamurocho you can go and buy food, visit a host club, play poker, play roulette, play mah-jong, visit Club Sega, play pinball, go fishing, run a Dojo, enter tournaments, Karaoke, etc... The list goes on... and on. I never found a dull moment in this game, in-between mission I found myself at Club Sega playing on the arcade machines, or playing a game of Pachinko.

The combat is ridiculous, and satisfying; I can't begin to express how fun it is. The combat flows nicely between enemy to enemy, and is easy to master.

4. Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Platform: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC | Developer(s): Nixxes Software BV & Eidos Studios Montreal

While I have fond memories of playing the original Dues Ex, from the number of ways to complete one objective to the story, I didn't know what to expect from Human Revolution. All the PR that was shown before the games release promised so much that I didn't believe that a game like this could stand a chance in a market saturated by mindless shooters. But while not all Human Revolutions features panned as well as they should of the game is still blows away any doubts that I had.

Human Revolution keeps the multipath base format that the series is known for while updating it for new players. Each objective has a multiple to tackle it. The player could decide to sneak into the build though an air-vent, hack the turrets and wait for every enemy to be flushed out or he/she could decide to enter the building through the front door, guns blazing, and paint the walls red, it's up to the player.

While the main storyline has some predicable twists, it's still worth playing but what shocked me the most was how interesting the world is. I found myself hacking, next to, every computer in the game just so I could read the e-mails so I could know more about the world. Characters in this game are largely forgettable; we don't spend enough time with the characters to get to know them before the story is driven pass them. The voice acting in this game is terrible, I found myself laughing at most of the characters, well… this really only applies to main cast. There are a few side characters that give a decent, if not brilliant, performance.

3. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

Platform: Playstation 3 | Developer: Naughty Dog

While Uncharted 3 doesn't pack the punch that its predecessor did Drake's Deception still is one of the most enjoyable and visually impressive experience on the PS3. From the character driven story, which sees you drive deeper into Drake's and Sully's relationship, to the technically impressive set pieces Uncharted it something that needs to be seen.

While I'll stop talking about the story, the Co-op mode is something special. I won't spoil it for anyone but it's worth playing through for the incredibly funny storyline. The Multiplayer returns refined and polished. This time around Naughty Dog has played to the strengths of Uncharted's climbing mechanic building multilayer maps that welcomes the traversal mechanic that the series is known for.

2. Portal 2

Platform: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC | Developer: Valve Corporation

Portal was one of those hidden gems of 2007. A game that I hold highly for its clever writing and unique game play.

It's hard to fathom that Portal 2 can be any bit as good as Portal was, and it isn't... It's better than Portal in every way possible. From the epic storyline that will have to jump deep into that depths of Aperture Science, to the unforgettable characters. Wheatley played by Stephen Merchant and the CEO of Aperture Science himself Cave Johnson played by J.K. Simmons. Both Stephen Merchant and Simmons give unforgettable performances and carry the games brilliant story.

The new game play mechanic, such as Thermal Discouragement Beam, Propulsion and Repulsion Gel, add new challenges to the formula without breaking the core mechanic... Portals.

The Co-op is a wonderful surprise to Portal 2. While I haven't finished the co-op storyline yet, I still enjoy the technical challenging of having these puzzle that can facilitate four portals without feeling like I'm cheating the system.

But you know what makes Portal 2 better than Portal, they improve on everything that Portal laid out, it still has the comedic time of a master... And it does all of this without making a single "the cake is a lie" joke throughout the entire game. Yay!

And my Game of the Year 2011, is... Drum roll... Long pause for dramatic effect... Lets take a look at previous winners; 2009's winner was Borderlands, 2010's winner was Mass Effect 2 and 2011's winners is...

1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Platform: Xbox 360, PC | Developer: Bethesda Softworks

I can't tell you how much I disliked Oblivion, from its dull combat to its repetitive dungeon design. Don't get me wrong I still appreciated what Oblivion was trying to achieve but it never quite hit the nail on the head, so to speak. With that said I could sit here for hours talking about how the magic system was ineffective, and the archery being broken and how I wish that this game was the open world epic it wanted to be. Thankfully I don't have to because Skyrim is the game you wanted when you played Oblivion, when you played Fallout. It fixes everything that was wrong with those games and goes the extra mile to improve on the formula set out by Bethesda.

As I hinted at in a previous paragraph, I took issue with Oblivion's ineffective magic, and archery mechanics. While the combat in Skyrim is still dull if you stick to just the melee side of the tree, at least Bethesda has fixed that magic and archery so they are now reliable means of attack. Overall combat fells tighter and enjoyable, while yes it gets dull after awhile, encountering an enemy is no longer a pain and that a massive improvement over Oblivion and even Fallout.

Skyrim's world is so detailed. There is always something to do, and you can easily get lost exploring the world or just listening to the people that inhabit the many towns and cities. I found myself spending hours exploring the world finding new towns and cities', listening to the townsfolk as they argue about what faction is more loyal to the empire. Chopping wood, hunting deer, playing tag with some playful children, etc... Starting in a three hour long side quest that has me exploring a dig site to tracking down a powerful artefact. I could go on for hours about the detail that went into the world and the fiction but I'll start to spoil what's so amazing about this game.

While the main storyline was never my main focus while I was exploring Skyrim, I found the side mission, or quest lines whatever you want to call them, are just as fleshed out as the main story. As I mention the three hour quest that I randomly encounter travelling through one of the many cities, the whole game is full with these polished and refined quests lines that are worth digging for.

Overall Skyrim is the game I've wanted Bethesda to make since playing Oblivion back in 2006, and they have nailed it. Like I said the world, the combat, the quest lines are what make this game my game of the year for 2011.

Just to note, I've only play three hours of the PC version and the rest of the hundred hours plus on the Xbox 360 version I haven't touch the Playstation 3 version, but from what I can tell is just plain broken.

Honorable Mentions

These games didn't quite make my Game of the Year list but are still worth mentioning.

Aban Hawkins & the 1000 SPIKES

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary

L.A Noire

Monster Tale

Total War: Shogun 2

Okabu

Pokemon Trading Card Game Online

And there you go my Games of the Year for 2011. Another year, another reason to write about video games... If anyone read this what were your games of the year?

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Update on reveiws

Hi,

I've removed all my old reviews because they were poorly written... Also I was like 16 years old, my opinion and tastes have changed... But I still like the colour Orange! Also Purple.

Here is a list of the reviews I have reposted.

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First Blog: I'm online once more...

Hi everyone,

Its Mad_SImon_000 form GameSpot, all friends are welcome to re-add me if they wish. I'm so happy to finally being able to set up my account, I got the user-name I wanted SimonBurdall Orange Sponge. So I'm happy. I'm going to repost all of my reviews and maybe rewrite one of two of them, I have all ready reposted my Crackdown (Xbox 360) review on here. Also I'm on a break from work so hopeful I'll be on here a lot.

In gaming news I'm playing Mass Effect (Xbox 360) at the moment, I have had this game since christmas and only recently have I had any time to play it. Also its my birthday soon, so I should have a lot of free time to sit down and play some games.

I do have a few games that I need to write reviews or impressions for Beautiful Katamari (Xbox 360), Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (Wii & Xbox 360) & Super Smash Bro. Brawl (Wii). That all that new in my gaming life but my personal life there's nothing new apart form I got Kittens, Yay! Kittens.

But I want to say its great to be back online.

Thank you,

Simon.

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