Games I Finished in 2011

Since this is the list of games I've actually finished there's a reason why all the ratings are 3-5/5, if a game wasn't worth playing I wouldn't have finished it. The list of games I started and just stopped playing would probably be about as long as this one... Perhaps that's a list for 2012.

Forgive the formatting, nothing I can do about that.

List items

  • Started: 02/01/2011 | Completed: 04/01/2011 | Total Hours: 4 | Rating: 4/5 | Taking away the third dimension from a real-time strategy game also took away the extra level of complexity which usually prevents me from getting too invested in the genre. A good-looking, funny game well worth the low price.

  • Started: 22/02/2011 | Completed: 23/02/2011 | Total Hours: 10 | Rating: 4/5 | I believe I finished Dead Space in two sittings over a weekend. Nothing too special about this game compared to other third person "horror" games but it's just a load of limb-chopping fun with a decent story. The lack of in-game cutscenes REALLY helps.

  • Started: 18/02/2011 | Completed: 25/02/2011 | Total Hours: 7 | Rating: 5/5 | Magicka game is meant to be played with friends. A legitimately funny game is a rarity (for me, at least) and it's even rarer that the gameplay and humour work hand-in-hand to make one another stand out. Just pure gaming fun.

  • Started: 01/03/2011 | Completed: 03/03/2011 | Total Hours: 5 | Rating: 5/5 | Few games have forced me to rage-quit as often as Bit.Trip RUNNER but the fact that I kept returning to it is a testament to how addicting and fun the game actually is. The soundtrack is also brilliant.

  • Started: 28/02/2011 | Completed: 04/03/2011 | Total Hours: 7 | Rating: 3/5 | I paid full-price for Bulletstorm which I regret, this is definitely the kind of game you'd want to pick up in a bargain bin somewhere. That's not to say it's bad, the shooting-dudes-in-crazy-ways-to-earn-points system is really cool and keeps the game interesting (despite the story) but I've never felt the need to go back after finishing the main storyline.

  • Started: 03/03/2011 | Completed: 14/03/2011 | Total Hours: 7 | Rating: 4/5 | It's Donkey Kong, straight-up. The Wii-motion additions to the gameplay do nothing but hamper what is an otherwise a great, solid gaming experience.

  • Started: 13/03/2011 | Completed: 16/03/2011 | Total Hours: 3 | Rating: 3/5 | RISK: Facetions is one of the many games I picked up on a whim and wished I had a couple of friends who I could get invested into it with. The gameplay additions they've made to the board-game it's based off of are really smart but I was over it by the end of the short campaign.

  • Started: 18/03/2011 | Completed: 28/03/2011 | Total Hours: 13.5 | Rating: 4/5 | Man this game is adorable. While Epic Yarn doesn't contain my favourite attribute of Kirby games, that being the ability to absorb powers of enemies, it still ends up being a solid addition to the franchise.

  • Started: 01/04/2011 | Completed: 02/04/2011 | Total Hours: 8 | Rating: 3/5 | Uncharted is essentially as close to a Hollywood blockbuster as a game can get, for better or worse. The quality of the cutscenes made them more than watchable and the game is just beautiful to look at. The one-dimensional "platforming" and horribly repetitive shooting really tired me out though.

  • Started: 03/04/2011 | Completed: 07/04/2011 | Total Hours: 10 | Rating: 4/5 | Uncharted 2 really improved on all the areas in which its predecessor dropped the ball. While it's technically an excellent game, the watching/playing ratio is just a little too uneven for me to fully endorse it.

  • Started: 19/04/2011 | Completed: 20/04/2011 | Total Hours: 5 | Rating: 5/5 | Definitely one of the best gaming experiences of the year, one of my favourite story modes of any game. The co-op is a lot of fun too if you have a friend to play with, it's an entirely different experience to the single-player and just as funny.

  • Started: 16/04/2011 | Completed: 25/04/2011 | Total Hours: 9 | Rating: 3/5 | While definitely a bit rough around the edges, Sanctum delivers a quality interactive tower defense experience.

  • Started: 06/05/2011 | Completed: 19/05/2011 | Total Hours: 9 | Rating: 4/5 | While it's not my favourite game in the franchise, Crack in Time it is a hell of a lot of fun and delivers more of what you'd want out of a Ratcher & Clank game.

  • Started: 22/05/2011 | Completed: 28/05/2011 | Total Hours: 27 | Rating: 4/5 | I told myself I would rush through this so that I could be ready to play The Witcher 2 once it was released. I rushed through it in 27 hours. It definitely has a slow start and it took me a while to get into a rhythm and figure out what I like about this game but about a third of the way in I was hooked. You won't miss out if you go straight to The Witcher 2 but if you put in the hours with this game you won't regret it.

  • Started: 15/05/2011 | Completed: 29/05/2011 | Total Hours: 13 | Rating: 5/5 | I didn't realise how much I missed Professor Layton until I started playing Unwound Future, it contains a significantly lower number of math-based puzzles which plagued the Diabolical Box and has a story which constantly had me re-thinking the direction it was going.

  • Started: 06/06/2011 | Completed: 06/06/2011 | Total Hours: 4 | Rating: 4/5 | I'm not usually one to recommend a game based on the "experience" it provides but Limbo is an exception. It's cheap enough (especially on Steam) to definitely encourage anyone reading this to buy it and give it a few of your hours.

  • Started: 02/06/2011 | Completed: 06/06/2011 | Total Hours: 8 | Rating: 5/5 | Mortal Kombat at it's best. A fighting game with a story worth caring about is enough to warrant a buy, the fact that it's a perfect revitalisation of (what was) a stale franchise is enough to make it one of my favourite games of the year.

  • Started: 08/06/2011 | Completed: 09/06/2011 | Total Hours: 7 | Rating: 5/5 | Ikaruga meets Prince of Persia, Outland is one of the best games available on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The art is gorgeous and the game plays incredible well and doesn't overstay its welcome.

  • Started: 13/06/2011 | Completed: 17/06/2011 | Total Hours: 20 | Rating: 5/5 | The opening two-hours of Assassin's Creed II was almost enough to deter me from playing it, fetch-missions and uninteresting characters (at the time) gave me the false impression of where this game was going. After pushing through the bland opening I started to see what this game was all about; the characters were engaging, the scenery was beautiful and most-importantly it was a LOT of fun.

  • Started: 18/06/2011 | Completed: 19/06/2011 | Total Hours: 5 | Rating: 4/5 | I'm a sucker for great local co-op experiences and Guardian of Light is just that. Really tight controls and interesting puzzles really made for a great few hours of playing.

  • Started: 26/06/2011 | Completed: 27/06/2011 | Total Hours: 6 | Rating: 5/5 | Fuck yeah, Trenched..oh, uh Iron Brigade! There's a lot of competition in the interactive Tower Defense genre this year and Iron Brigade might just be at the forefront.

  • Started: 10/06/2011 | Completed: 28/06/2011 | Total Hours: 27 | Rating: 5/5 | I'm one of those people who believes there should be more puzzle/adventure/fighting games, it's games like Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes which help enforce that belief. While the online community is dead (except for those two dudes who are always online) the single-player provides enough challenge and variety to keep your attention for a long-ass time.

  • Started: 25/06/2011 | Completed: 15/07/2011 | Total Hours: 10 | Rating: 3/5 | I just wanted to rush through Gears of War 1 & 2 in time for Gears of War 3 to come out. Playing through a first-generation 360 game by yourself doesn't really hold up.

  • Started: 05/07/2011 | Completed: 15/07/2011 | Total Hours: 4 | Rating: 3/5 | If Professor Layton was actually the movie Fargo. The puzzles are fine, the voice-acting is really what shines about this game. Still, though.. Just get Professor Layton.

  • Started: 20/07/2011 | Completed: 23/07/2011 | Total Hours: 8 | Rating: 5/5 | Easily the best soundtrack of the year. Bastion does everything right, at the price you can get it for right now, I'd argue it's the best value for your money of any game right now, hell, of anything at all.

  • Started: 19/07/2011 | Completed: 24/07/2011 | Total Hours: 2 | Rating: 3/5 | The artstyle is what allows Jamestown to stand out in a field of horribly generic shoot-em-ups. Out of the four different vehicles to choose from only one is viable and it suffers from all the problems which plague the genre but if you're a fan of shoot-em-ups you'll most likely enjoy this one.

  • Started: 10/09/2011 | Completed: 16/09/2011 | Total Hours: 5 | Rating: 4/5 | There's not a lot of games that allow me to state "I have never played a game like it" but seriously, Rock of Ages is like nothing else. Sure, it has tower defense elements but you play as a giant boulder smashing through your opponents defenses to break into their castle and squish them. It's hilarious and awesome and you should buy it.

  • Started: 06/09/2011 | Completed: 24/09/2011 | Total Hours: 24 | Rating: 3/5 | It's fucking Pokemon, the same game since Gold & Silver.

  • Started: 21/09/2011 | Completed: 24/09/2011 | Total Hours: 6 | Rating: 5/5 | As far as pure fun goes, Renegade Ops nails it. You (and up to three friends) play as badass cars shooting EVERYTHING and blowing up EVERYTHING and there's helicopters sometimes and it's FUN.

  • Started: 24/07/2011 | Completed: 27/09/2011 | Total Hours: 12 | Rating: 4/5 | I was initially deterred by the fact that Banjo-Kazooie is by-and-large not a Banjo-Kazooie game and it took a long time for that stigma to wear off. Nuts & Bolts takes a while to get interesting mainly because it relies on the fun of creating insane vehicles to solve a wide variety of quests but it takes about five-to-six hours for you to accumulate enough parts to create anything other than generic plane, car, boat and truck-type vehicles. It's ridiculously cheap right now, though so if you have some time it's worth getting invested into.

  • Started: 30/09/2011 | Completed: 01/10/2011 | Total Hours: 4 | Rating: 5/5 | The Binding of Isaac is probably my favourite game of the year so far (written December 21st), don't be put-off by the total hours there, that was just for my first playthrough of the game. To-date I have put over 70 hours into The Binding of Isaac, it has the perfect amount of randomness and a whole lot of unlockables (over 60 I believe with more coming early next year) to make it a game I constantly find myself coming back to to kill fifteen minutes (which actually turns out to be about two hours).

  • Started: 27/09/2011 | Completed: 07/10/2011 | Total Hours: 12 | Rating: 5/5 | Brotherhood does everything right that it's predecessor did fixes a few problems I had with the series. Without getting into too much detail, it streamlines a lot of the convoluted mechanics of Assassin's Creed II and allows you to spend more time jumping off buildings into haystacks and stabbing dudes all over the place. The mutliplayer is fucking rad, too.

  • Started: 08/10/2011 | Completed: 13/10/2011 | Total Hours: 8 |Rating: 5/5 | While Trenched, Sanctum and Dungeon Defenders all rely on the fun of teaming up to create towers and defend your crystal/base/whatever from hordes of enemies, Orcs Must Die! is a purely single-player experience and a really great one at that. The animation and over-the-top traps and weapons make it worth playing.

  • Started: 15/10/2011 | Completed: 15/10/2011 | Total Hours: 3 | Rating: 5/5 | Another one of the few games that has made me laugh out loud. Raskulls is the perfect kind of XBLA game; pure, pick-up-and-play fun. If you can find a way to get four people in one room to play it you'll be glad you did.

  • Started: 16/10/2011 | Completed: 23/10/2011 | Total Hours: 6.5 | Rating: 4/5 | Shadow Complex takes all the best parts of the Metroid/Castlevania-style games and adds a high level of polish with some awesome shooting/combat mechanics. There's also enough collectables for completionists such as myself to rage over.

  • Started - 8/11/2011 | Completed: 9/11/2011 | Total Hours: 4 | Rating: 4/5 | WIZOOOOOOOOOORB! Arkanoid with an excellent retro/fantasy twist. It's like $3 and is coming to Steam soon.

  • Started - 02/09/2011 | Completed: 27/11/2011 | Total Hours: 10 | Rating: 4/5 | I was able to play this addition of the Gears of War franchise properly, two dudes sitting on a couch playing it on hardcore with a couple of beers. This is the way to play Gears of War.

  • Started - 23/10/2011 | Completed: 10/12/2011 | Total Hours: 40 | Rating: 5/5 | The Witcher 2 is probably one of the best sequels I've seen, it improves on all the (incredibly rough) areas of the original and it doesn't hurt that it's one of the best-looking games I've seen. You might want to wait for the 360 version to come out if you don't have a great PC.

  • Started - 15/12/2011 | Completed: 17/12/2011 | Total Hours: 2.5 | Rating: 4/5 | How do you put value on a game when you get it for nearly free? As part of the Humble Indie Bundle, Shank ended up being about $0.99 to me so two-and-a-half hours of incredibly satisfying, beat-em-up combat was more than worth it.

  • Started - 15/12/2011 | Completed: 20/12/2011 | Total Hours: 4

    Rating: 4/5

    It seems like Cave Story + is the way to experience Cave Story at this point. With a really crisp pixel-art-style, a calming soundtrack and solid shooting and platforming it's well worth a look.

  • Started: 26/12/2011 | Completed: 30/12/2011 | Total Hours: 20

    Rating: 5/5

    Pure fun. A legitimately fun and funny experience throughout my whole time playing it, it's everything I'd want in a "sandbox" game.