GOTY 2011

11 games for 2011. My list of this year's most favorite games. Otherwise known as "the wall of text". I'm sorry.

List items

36 Comments
Posted by tekmojo

11 items and Dragon Age 2 up at the 2nd spot, very interesting list lol.

Posted by RVonE

@tekmojo: Thanks, man. I try. =p

Posted by Dixavd

Took me some time but I read it all and it brought up a few things. First off sicne oyu are playing Skyrim on the PC what did you think of the menu set-up - I know some people who absolutely hate it on the PC saying lines like "it's for consoles and doesn't work on PC, too many times I scrolled up and went back a stage and had to back and start looking again - it sucks"... or something to that affect. How did you find it?

Second what made you get Dirt 3 since you aren't really a racing fan?

And third the DA thing about characters talking reminds me of in Final Fantasy XIII where characters will just say what comes ot their mind when out in the world dedending on places they are in, what the player is doing and what other characters are present. While I do have some huge problems with that game, that touch really worked for me - so many times I would just walk around areas with different characters looking at the beautiful environments and see what the characters say. I fear since both of these games have been knocked so far then the good things they do are ignored, and this is a really nice subtle thing I want in more games.

Nice read!

Posted by RVonE

@Dixavd: Hey, thanks for taking the time to read my list. As for your questions:

-I understand the complaints people have with Skyrim's UI on the PC. I've played it for a couple of hours with mouse + keyboard and it just didn't work well. There is a mod out called skyUI (I believe) that fixes most of the issues. That said, I just plugged in an xbox controller and never looked back. The default UI works fantastic with a controller. I play most of my games on PC these days, but I'm not one of those types that sticks with mouse + keyboard no matter what--some games just work better with a controller, some with m+k.

-Well, I think it's the QL with Drew that sold the game to me. I always liked the idea of rally racing but, like I said, race games usually just aren't for me. But I just took a leap of faith when Drew recommended it and it's been great. Like I wrote, I don't particularly like the gymkhana events, but the actual rally racing is just fantastic.

-Yeah, it's kinda similar to FFXIII. Whatever one thinks of either game, the way those games make characters interact is just phenomenal.

Again, thanks for reading.

Posted by Dixavd

@RVonE said:

@Dixavd: Hey, thanks for taking the time to read my list. As for your questions:

-I understand the complaints people have with Skyrim's UI on the PC. I've played it for a couple of hours with mouse + keyboard and it just didn't work well. There is a mod out called skyUI (I believe) that fixes most of the issues. That said, I just plugged in an xbox controller and never looked back. The default UI works fantastic with a controller. I play most of my games on PC these days, but I'm not one of those types that sticks with mouse + keyboard no matter what--some games just work better with a controller, some with m+k.

-The only thing I have a problemw ith playing Skyrim on a controller is that I have to pause every time to change items in the quick menu, I can really see the ability to set equipment to the number buttons making the combat snappier on PC.

You're welcome - really interesting, especially the Dragon Age 2 stuff.

Edited by SethPhotopoulos

Our taste in games is really similar. Especially your takes on Dragon Age 2, Zelda, and Uncharted 3. Not Batman though. Not Batman.

Online
Posted by RVonE

@SethPhotopoulos: Hah, that's cool!

Posted by DarthOrange

Great list dude! Lots of detail in why you liked these games. Also this:

I'm not onboard with these hipster shenanigans

That was hilarious.

Posted by RVonE

@DarthOrange: Thanks, man! I try.

Posted by Winternet

Glad to see Alice made someone's list (although it didn't made mine :D).

Posted by Baal_Sagoth

Excellent, some really nice and deep explanations for your choice and I'm happy to see Alice on there. I even like the first one, deeply flawed as it was with the camera behaviour and some of the gameplay. An interesting read!

Posted by RVonE

@Baal_Sagoth: Hey thanks for taking the time to read it!

Posted by Czarpyotr

Awesome list. DA 2 was almost on mine and then I moved it to honorable mentions at the last second. I totally agree with you on everything about that game. The choices you made felt way better than any of DA O's decisions and the story kept me interested in playing the whole game through.

Posted by RVonE

@Czarpyotr: Absolutely! I just hope the DA team take what's good about DA:O and DAII and make a great sequel. Let's just say I'm cautiously optimistic about DAIII.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to check out my list!

Posted by Scottish_Sin

Nice list man.

As you've already stated, DA II gets a lot of hate but despite the faults I think it had (recycled areas being the biggest culprit) I still really enjoyed it and I also debated about putting it on my own top ten list.

I really enjoyed the characters and the story so I'm interested in seeing where they take the next one.

Posted by RVonE

@Scottish_Sin: Thanks for taking the time to read it; I appreciate it very much. And yeah, it'll be exciting to see where they'll take series next, especially in a post-Skyrim and post-Witcher 2 world.

Posted by Scottish_Sin

@RVonE: No problem. I'm getting a PC within the next month that will mostly be used for gaming so I'm looking forward to playing The Witcher games.

I'll also probably end up buying Skyrim again for the mod support as well. :P

Posted by RVonE

@Scottish_Sin: Hah, those Bethesda guys got you good! =p

Posted by Scottish_Sin

Haha, them and Bioware. It's shameful quite honestly. ;)

Posted by amlabella

That was a great read, and you even made a convincing argument for Dragon Age II at #2 lol. I liked seeing Alice: Madness Returns on the list, I felt that game was underrated. And though I personally liked Arkham City more than its predecessor, I agree about the audio recordings from AA - those were fantastic. I guess doing it two games in a row might have been a bit much though.

Posted by RVonE

@amlabella: I'm glad to hear that you liked my write-up. Yeah, Alice is just a very enjoyable game (I'm glad Ryan also gave it a positive review). I definitely see how you can prefer Arkham City over Arkham Asylum. Top to bottom Arkham City is just an incredibly well-crafted game and a good experience.

Posted by AhmadMetallic

You should add some text in the description box, it exists for a reason you know..

Posted by RVonE

@AhmadMetallic: Hah! Yeah, I know. I just had no motivation to do so after writing my wall of text. =p

Posted by RVonE

@AhmadMetallic: Wait, I now got your joke! Well done Ahmad. Well done. :D

Posted by AhmadMetallic
@RVonE:  ;p
Posted by Zaxex

You know, it became cool to hate Dragon Age II too. I preferred that game's combat speed from the start and without direct comparisons to Mass Effect it was a decent game (not that ME is better, but it certainly has a higher budget etc).

I kind of wish I could have included Alice and Dirt 3 as well; loved both those games but I liked Dirt 3 less its predecessor and Shadows of the Damned was less frustrating than Alice (played them at the same time).

Posted by RVonE

@Zaxex: Yeah, I had only recently finished DA:O before starting DAII and I definitely preferred the faster combat of the latter.

Unfortunately, I have yet to play Shadows of the Damned so it couldn't make my list. Most likely I'll give that game a go this summer.

Thanks for taking the time to read my list!

Posted by Zippedbinders

While I think Alice suffered from some padding issues, I loved the story (one of the most satisfying and beautiful endings in a year chock full of 'em) and visual style of it, the fact that its a playable game in any form is a plus, considering how poorly the original has aged. I'm glad someone put it on their list.

Interesting seeing DA2 on a list, considering the backlash from fans. However, as someone who doesn't quite get all the hooplah over DA:O in the first place, I'm not sure I understand any of it.

Edited by RVonE

@Zippedbinders: Yeah, the more I think about Alice, the more I feel it should've been higher on my list.

Regarding DAII, I have to stress that it IS the most disappointing game I've played because I hold DA:O in high regard. On the other hand, it still is a game I had a ton of fun with. Having said that, I am curious whether or not you would actually like DAII--with it being such a departure from DA:O and all. It might just be different enough for you to enjoy it. Maybe.

Posted by NamelessWanderer

Strange, i have rarely ever seen anybody hate on Skyrim, maybe you could point out where you saw this, because i sure Haven't.

That's not the case for DA2, however, lol.

i can see your points but i don't agree with them.

But pretty good list overall.

Posted by RVonE

@NamelessWanderer said:

Strange, i have rarely ever seen anybody hate on Skyrim, maybe you could point out where you saw this, because i sure Haven't.

That's not the case for DA2, however, lol.

i can see your points but i don't agree with them.

But pretty good list overall.

Thanks for taking the time to read my list. A couple of things:

Regarding Skyrim, don't be crazy; even on GB there are threads that read something like "surely this can't win GOTY, look at how busted this game is" or "if it was the 360 version that was broken, the GB guys would never pick this game for GOTY". Other than that, there is plenty of stuff about this on GAF and (of course) Bethesda's own forums are filled with hate posts (that will often be deleted the same day).

As to DA2, I understand that that game is not for everybody but you say you don't agree with my points, which is fine of course but I do have some questions. For instance, does that mean you don't think the writers did some cool stuff with more focused character development? Did you also not like the random in-world dialogue that took place between squad members? What about the art design? Surely Flemeth's DA2 look is preferable over her drab DA:O look? Don't get me wrong, like I wrote in my list, DA2 is the most disappointing game I played last year and I do feel the devs took a lot of stuff in the wrong direction. That said, I don't think that that makes it a bad game; it's still a strong game with decent story-telling (even though I don't agree with the direction the story took and I hate what they did to Leliana).

Posted by NamelessWanderer

@RVonE:

Well, i'm very new to this place, and i really haven't had the time to be in the Forums, or any other forum really(with exception of BSN, for some reason i keep returning there, i don't know why, i just do). but n the outside i barely see any criticism for this game, everyone seems to proclaim it a masterpiece or something.

as for DA2, well, i'll answer your points:

1)i'm not really sure what you mean with more focused character development, are you saying that the game is character driven?

2)Some were funny, but on the hole, the characters didn't grabbed me and i didn't care for their banter. and besides, i don't see what's the big deal, Origins did the same things.

3)i see your point in that it looks less generic, but that doesn't mean good.

i absolutely detest the way some races look (not all), like the elves, and i hate the color palette, it looks like they put bleach everywhere but the colors didn't went away completely.

i'm also not a fan of it's over the top-ness, everything is so flashy, and gory to the point of being comical(this almost happened with DA:O but it was more tolerable), and everyone is jumping around like crickets and....

well you get it, i didn't liked the art style.

this is what i mean by "i see your points, but i don't agree with them"

Posted by Lockeyness

Interesting list! Was not expecting anyone to put Dragon Age II so high up on their top ten, but you raise some good points about it. I wanted to like Alice so much more because I was such a big fan of the original (American McGee's, that is). It suffered from too many graphics issues for me to focus on the otherwise great art direction.

Posted by RVonE

@NamelessWanderer: Thanks for taking the time to lay out your views. I see where you're coming from and (like I wrote earlier) I can totally understand why people dislike DA2; it was a huge disappointment after all.

As to your first point, yes, for better or for worse I do feel that DA2 was a lot more character driven than the previous game (whereas DA:O was a lot more plot driven).

Posted by RVonE

@Lockeyness said:

Interesting list! Was not expecting anyone to put Dragon Age II so high up on their top ten, but you raise some good points about it. I wanted to like Alice so much more because I was such a big fan of the original (American McGee's, that is). It suffered from too many graphics issues for me to focus on the otherwise great art direction.

Did you play it on the PC? I played the Steam version and it worked great on my machine (there were occasional hiccups and oddities but nothing major that I could tell).

Posted by Zippedbinders

@RVonE said:

@Zippedbinders: Yeah, the more I think about Alice, the more I feel it should've been higher on my list.

Regarding DAII, I have to stress that it IS the most disappointing game I've played because I hold DA:O in high regard. On the other hand, it still is a game I had a ton of fun with. Having said that, I am curious whether or not you would actually like DAII--with it being such a departure from DA:O and all. It might just be different enough for you to enjoy it. Maybe.

I played the demo for DA2 and hit a lot of buttons, it wasn't a painful experience. My problem for DA:O is that I've started it twice and it hasn't found any way to hook me. The blight seems like common enemy fodder with no interesting hooks, the art design is bland, and the Grey Warden ritual really put me off on wanting to be proud of being a badass for these people. I tried human noble, which I stopped within an hour (killed some rats in a kitchen, put it down for 6 months) but have recently restarted, and dorf noble where I made it to the town where some kid is possessed by a demon and everyone's sad/worried for their lives.

Outside of Fallout, I'm not a huge fan of western RPG design or setting, mostly because they all try to be Tolkien (of which I'm not a fan) in the worst way possible. I'm not interested in strategic/challenging combat in this sort of RPG (I've been playing DA:O on easy), so any of DA2's for better or worse streamlining isn't going to do much for me.

Strong narrative really isn't a huge draw either. I like Bioware for its characters, Wrex made ME1 awesome and Thane and Garrus made up for Miranda's general whoreishness in ME2. Of the people I've met in DA:O, Sten is the only one I'm liking (not counting the dog). Alistair and Morrigan have only served to reinforce my feelings about how the dorf origin story goes down, that this is a universe of self conceited and unfunny assholes. Hopefully things get better and some of the characters actually evolve. Also, it bothers me how easy it is to stumble into hitting on people. 3/4 of the things I could tell this one random elf girl alluded to boning her. Subtlety would be nice, Bioware.

Pirate Booby lady, beardless dorf, and the warrior woman from the demo seem interesting from what I can tell. I'll get around to DA2 eventually, I'm compelled to at least finish DA:O before I try DA2 out but I'm pretty sure that's a ways away. .