2013 Gaming

  • Hotline Miami (PC)

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  • Far Cry 3 (360)
  • Need for Speed Hot Pursuit (360)
  • Mark of the Ninja (360)
  • Devil May Cry HD (PS3)
  • Lost Odyssey (360)
  • Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)
  • Star Wars The Old Republic (PC)
  • Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II (PC)
  • Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin (PC/360)
  • Guild Wars 2 (PC)
  • Tera (PC)
  • Half Life (PC)
  • Dishonored (PS3)
  • Star Wars Bounty Hunter (PS2)
  • Star Wars Republic Commando (PC)
  • Forza Horizon (360)
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2012 Gaming

  • Dragon Age II (360) DLC
  • Dead Space 2 (360)
  • Lord of the Rings: War in the North (PS3)
  • Crysis (360)
  • Mass Effect 3 (PS3/360)
  • Metal Gear Solid 3 HD (PS3)
  • Battlefield 3 (360)
  • Syndicate (360)
  • The Darkness II (360)
  • Assassins Creed (360)
  • Operation Flashpoint: Red River (360)
  • Max Payne 3 (360)
  • Jurassic Park (360)
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3)
  • Halo Wars (360)
  • The Last Story (Wii)
  • Spec Ops: The Line (360)
  • Killzone HD (PS3)
  • Metal Gear Solid 4 (PS3)
  • Uncharted 2 (PS3)
  • Borderlands 2 (360)
  • Halo 4 (360)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II (360)
  • New Super Mario Brothers U (Wii U)
  • Nintendo Land (Wii U)
  • Minecraft (360)
  • Forza Motorsport 4 (360)
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD (360)

GAME OF THE YEAR: The Last Story (Wii)

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2011 Gaming

So a friend was asking me what my GOTY would be for 2011, forcing me to look back and try and remember all the releases this year I managed to play.

  • Mass Effect 2 (PS3)
  • Knights of the Old Republic (PC)
  • Final Fantasy VI (GBA)
  • Red Dead Redemption (360)
  • Ghostbusters: The Game (360)
  • Bioshock (360)
  • Gears of War (360)
  • Gears of War 2 (360)
  • Final Fantasy XI: Online (360, PC)
  • Batman Arkham Asylum (360)
  • Call of Duty 3 (360)

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  • Dragon Age II (360)
  • Homefront (360)
  • Top Spin 4 (360)
  • Crysis 2 (360)
  • Portal 2 (PC)
  • Mortal Kombat (PS3)
  • Socom 4 (PS3)
  • LA Noire (PS3)
  • Red Faction: Armageddon (PS3)
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PS3)
  • Gears of War 3 (360)
  • Ace Combat Assault Horizon (360)
  • Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (PS3)
  • Goldeneye Reloaded (360)
  • Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (PS3)
  • RAGE (360)
  • Warhammer 40k: Space Marine (360)
  • Battlefield 3 (PC)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (360)
  • Jurassic Park: The Game (360)
  • Halo Anniversary (360)
  • Turtles in Time RS (360)
  • Mortal Kombat Arcade (360)

GAME OF THE YEAR: Rage (360)

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First Impressions: Goldeneye Reloaded

I've been playing a lot of shooters this year (Deus Ex, Gears of War 3, MW3, Battlefield 3 etc.) and they all seem to have one thing in common; they take themselves (a bit too) seriously, so my first experiences with Goldeneye have actually been pretty refreshing. It's a game that seems to just keep its focus on being fun, and well paced and does a good job of bringing the classic FPS feel into the modern day with some of the shooting mechanics from Call of Duty.
 
I'd definitely recommend the game to someone looking for something light and fun, as I've just really enjoyed the game so far.

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Later Impressions: Red Faction Armageddon

Just doing my typical quick bullet points; should be noted I'm a big fan of the original Red Faction (and it's very Total Recall style).

  • The enemies in the game suck out some of the fun as you're constantly trying to track them as they jump between various parts of the cave ceilings.
  • The destruction of buildings felt right at place in the open worlds of Guerrilla as you took out entire installations, but definitely feels out of place in the really confined cave environments that make up most of this game.
  • The weapons all feel great, and the auto aim feels just right for a console shooter. I like that the game lets you figure out your arsenal yourself rather than forcing you into using certain weapons at certain times (as many games do).
  • The "horde" mode for this game is decent, and I actually enjoyed it more than I expected to, I really felt like I had to bunker down as a group and work together to complete some of the higher level waves, each user also has a power (like throwing a force shield down) so strategizing with team mates on what your loadout is can really help, and is almost imperative in some of the high levels.
  • New Game+ options are above average in my mind, and definitely give some good incentive to go back (unlocking cheats, having the unicorn weapon).
  • I'd recommend this to anyone who really like Guerilla, but with the understanding that you're getting a much more straight forward linear action game here, and not a unique Mars roving open world game like we had previously.
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First Impressions: Portal 2

  • I’ve played the first chapter of single player, and the game seems to maintain all the wit, charm, and humor of the original but with some well…much more varied and interesting environments.
  • The coop portion I’ve beaten, and it was A TON of fun, while the puzzles are technically more challenging you’ll generally find that when you have two people working simultaneously on a puzzle you actually figure things out faster, cause in one level you’ll have something figured out quickly while your partner is still perplexed, and in others it’s your partner figuring it out.
  • At least this was my experience where it was basically my friend and I switching giving each other orders on what to do, cause one of us would figure it out.
  • Absolutely recommend playing this coop, although it’s probably worth it to find someone who hasn’t gone through it yet as you’ll have a lot more fun solving the puzzles for the first time together.
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First Impressions: Aliens vs Predator

Ok, so having bought the recent Predators movie on Blu Ray, I was pretty stoked on the series and decided to buy this game (against my better judgement), but it only set me back $20, so it wasn't a huge deal.  My first few quick thoughts upon starting the Marine campaign.

  • Menus aren't the prettiest thing in the world.
  • They have my "Legacy" control scheme, which is much appreciated.
  • The gameplay in the human campaign started off with some pretty annoying dark hallway wandering, where I'd essentially double back every three seconds until I finally found the one corridor I was supposed to go down. I feel like they probably could have achieved the atmosphere they were going for without making it completely annoying to navigate.
  • You can tell they were definitely doing their best to hold off fighting an alien, and make it more of a "reveal", which for the most part worked, but the sequence definitely felt cliche.

Not much to go on so far, but I am actually quite excited to try the multiplayer, as I could expect that would be more enjoyable than any of the campaigns. But we'll see, I'm interested to see how much the gameplay differs for the alien, and predator campaigns afterwards.
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First Impressions: Vanquish

 I had absolutely zero expectations going into this game, but when starting it up I was immediately impressed. The game definitely has some crazy Japanese style to it, but that's kind of the charm/appeal in it for me. The characters seem very archetypal, especially the player's character who seems like some kind of merging of solid snake and raiden into one character.  

  • Control is very precise, and very solid. Combat is just a ton of fun, from sliding all over the place to combining gun/melee attacks you generally feel very nimble.
  • Graphics have me impressed, lots of great special FX everywhere, from the computer digitized HUD look, to the explosions etc.
  • Story is ridiculous, and has some terrible acting, but you should enjoy the level of camp.
  • Battles all seem extremely busy, you really feel like you're a small part of a much bigger battle.
 
I'd probably recommend this to more hardcore gamers only who don't mind picking something up just to whip through and trade in. Doesn't seem like there is a lot of depth to the modes, and it doesn't have any online play, so I can't see it having very much longevity.
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First Impressions: Medal of Honor

I was a pretty big fan of the first Medal of Honor game, as someone with a PlayStation (and not an N64) it was the first high quality shooter that could arguably compete with Goldeneye. I eventually moved away from the Medal of Honor series as I really didn't appreciate the all too linear/scripted nature of the campaign. Firefights in games like Halo just seemed to develop more naturally, and had some element of randomness. Either way I decided to pick this up despite a couple mediocre reviews and give it a chance. 

  • I really don't understand any comments about the graphics being bad, I really think they look superb, almost looks as polished as Killzone, but with maybe a little less special effects constantly being rendered.
  • They don't have the "Legacy" control scheme, which is a huge annoyance in FPS's for me, I can manage on the default, but it's still annoying not having the primary scheme you're comfortable/proficient with.
  • Maybe I've been playing too much COD on Veteran, but this is the kind of game that feels like it should be less forgiving when you get shot. It really loses the "sim" or "authentic" feel when i can get shot in the back and am just able to slowly walk behind cover to regain my health. The single player probably could have benefited in my opinion from more of a Ghost Recon pace in the tight spaces. At the very least it would have made this game feel a little LESS like Call of Duty.
  • Audio definitely is impressive and it's easy to see (hear) when you have a surround system what all the compliments are about.
 
But yeah first impressions at this point, I may indeed grow to love or hate the game, but right now I would just say I'm mildly satisfied with what I've played so far. It's definitely not something you pick up and say "this sucks" it's just not necessarily blowing me away with anything (yet).
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First Impressions: HAWX 2

So I'm a pretty big Ace Combat fan, I always loved the great combination of high detailed graphics, great story, and arcade gameplay. When HAWX came out they were ahead of Namco in terms of online features (namely coop), so the first HAWX game was very intriguing to me. The story in it unfortunately felt far to cookie cutter for me to pay any attention to, and really didn't have me interested at all, but the mission design was solid, the control was good, and despite it being kind of cheesey in comparison to Ace Combat, I felt the online coop made it a good value.
 
When HAWX 2 came out, I figured I'd be getting more of the same enjoyment, but unfortunately have just been having a lot of trouble getting into it so far.

  • Once again I'm completely disinterested in the story.
  • On a positive note they do appear to have tried to put some effort into having good mission variety again.
  • Nothing really seems to have been done to improve the core gameplay.
  • Refueling is a cool idea, but should be skippable, and most of the time is more of a frustrating task, I'd rather have something like this as optional.
 
So far, it really just seems like this might sit on my shelf and collect dust more than anything, the original got a bit of a free pass for having online coop, but with almost no improvements other than a new campaign with another boring story, and some new levels (most of which use the same mechanics as previous), I'm definitely kind of dissapointed right now.  Looks like I'll have to wait for the next Ace Combat to get a nice new flight combat experience.
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