By GunstarRed 1 Comments
I will have linked this to my top ten that will be linked to the forums probably.
This is where I spend too long describing my thoughts on all of the games that are not in my top 10. The other list is overly long as it is and this has only been skimmed for mistakes a couple of times as there is an insane amount or writing that I have worked on for the last couple of months. I'm probably going to add something about Black Knight Sword at some point and I have included a lot of music that I loved in video games throughout the 35+ games I talked about here.
Asura's Wrath (360) - So, this is a game... kinda. Firstly I want to mention that there's a lot more "game" than you would expect. While the core character action sections are very simplistic and basically require you to mash and roll around some pretty small environments it probably takes up around a third of the game. There's some other sequences that are a little like Panzer Dragoon, but when you're not doing either of those you're probably hitting the Y button and Asura is probably screaming and/or punching something very large in the face/giant god finger/planet/space monster/demon/mutant monkey/tortoise etc.
If you like big dumb anime about muscular men with godlike powers screaming at each other this is the game for you. Whatever your thoughts on Capcom, they should be praised for putting out such a unique title, a game that wants to be a movie, but could only ever work in the medium of video games. It doesn't use quick time events just as an excuse to show you something big and dumb play out, it uses them in creative ways to push the story forward.
Asura's wrath tells an interesting story, full of big dramatic betrayal and punching gods. It's essentially a stupid soap opera where the hero occasionally sprouts six arms or is infected with a nasty illness that makes him even angrier than he already is.
I played all of Asura's Wrath. The true ending with DLC is a little annoying, but the game definitely wraps up neatly if you never wanted to shell out for it. If you did buy it however, you will be treated to some truly insane spectacle as you grow to the size of a planet and face off against a final foe in a really striking battle. I feel like the true ending was worth the money, I'm happy to give money to the developers of something unique that was clearly made with so much passion.
On paper it sounds like a pretty horrible experience, limited gameplay interrupted by endless quick time events, but that's enough about Resident Evil 6... Oh I mean Asura's Wrath... What we have here is a game that couldn't have been made by anyone other than Japan, and couldn't have worked in any other way, and I am thankful for its existence.
I wouldn't want all games to be this, I don't even think I want one of these every year, but this is the kind of game that rarely comes about. Asura's Wrath has great style, good music, interesting characters and you can punch the shit out of Ryu and Akuma from Street Fighter.
Yo, this music is cool.
Dragon's Dogma (360) - ARGH!!!!! how do I feel about this game? Is this the best three star game I have ever played? I have never put over ninety hours into a game and felt so conflicted with everything about it. The voice work is terrible, yet simultaneously the greatest voice work in any game I have ever played. I hate running everywhere on foot, but I'm excited about traveling to everywhere on foot. I hate getting ambushed by dudes, but I also love fighting them "Tis a goblin sir, a nasty one I shall smite thee with my stick of vengeance" Those words(or some variation) may or may not be shouted at some point, but this is the level of writing that has gone into this game, attrocious, wonderful, glorious. I HATE high fantasy, I hate orcs and goblins and harpies, FUCK harpies. WHY DO I STILL THINK ABOUT THIS GAME. J-Rock, big open world with limited fast travel points, climbing on hydras, talking Sean Connery dragons, nonsensical storytelling, ugly NPCs, one town, brown, muddy, windy all the time, stupid, stupid... stupid... STUPID GAME!!!!!!!
I really liked Dragon's Dogma.
Below I have added the ending theme to Dragon's Dogma, the J-Rock intro is wonderfully absurd, but it is the final song that sums up nearly everything about why I think the game should be talked about. Just listen to it... 1min 30 is so dumb, and then at the 2 min mark it turns into a Disney princess song.... just... just brilliantly dumb.
HELL YEAH! Wrath of the dead rabbit (PS3) - HELL NO!
Resident Evil 6 (PS3) - This is a game that I played for 30 hours.
If I heard this bit of music it probably meant that I was at one of the four endings and I was full of sighs and relief... it's also a pretty cool bit of music, one of the very few things that is good in Resident Evil 6.
Mass Effect 3 (360) - I didn't like the ending either.
Superbrothers Sword & Sorcery EP (PC) - This game is quite cool although you can really tell the game was not designed for a mouse as some of the puzzles are a bit fiddly. A wonderful soundtrack and gorgeous pixel art, in fact some of the best use of minimalistic pixel art I have ever seen. It's very easy to pick holes in something that has become so embraced by a huge amount of indie devs, but the art in this game is quite wonderful. S&S is a really weird thing, it's barely a game, but a nice distraction nonetheless.
Love this, reminds me of early John Carpenter movies.
Thirty Flights of Loving (PC) - I played Gravity Bone a whole day before this was released and it's a fun little 10-15 minute story that I think is really worth playing. I did prefer Gravity Bone a lot more though, it seemed a lot more focused on it's spy setting, it's hard not to admire what Thirty Flights is trying to achieve though.
New Super Mario Bros 2 (3DS) - Yeah, This is a game.
Rhythm Thief & the stolen ideas from the Layton series. (3DS) - I think my fake title sums up a hell of a lot about the game. RT is full of fun and catchy music rhythm games, a big world map with lots of people on static screens you can talk to or tap frantically around the environment to find coins and notes etc. The game is mostly fun with a silly and cute anime adventure with some really bad voice acting and a pretty good variety of mini games. The game is far too punishing with its scoring and any of the games that require the 3DS's gyroscope feel a little unfair due to inaccuracy, but it's a cool little thing if you're desparate for a new game in a pretty dead genre.
Anarchy Reigns/ Max Anarchy (360) - I feel that when this game comes out in the west early next year it will be one of those games that is talked about passionately by a very small group that likes to tell everyone that it's one of the best games they have ever played. Anarchy Reigns is not the next Bayonetta from Platinum, its combat isn't flawless and it has a pretty terrible camera that I found myself fighting with a lot more than I'd have liked.
My opinion on the game is about 97% (yes 97 exactly) based on the single player. Yes the game is crazy, yes the game is full of weird and wonderful (and very Japanese) video game characters, yes it's unashamed of being a video game, but once you've gotten how the game plays down it really does boil down to doing the exact same thing on a very limited amount of enemy types for about six to eight hours.
It has a weird sort-of hub-like structure where you can run around and beat up hundreds and hundreds of people to unlock new skills for multiplayer and get concept art. I found some of the randomly generated stage hazards to verge on annoying, where the randomness can often lead to some fun chaos/ frustrating loops. There's nothing like getting carpet bombed out of nowhere when you're just trying to hit stuff. Its got an ok story, totally nonsensical mind you, and you get to see it from two different perspectives. Throughout the story you get to unlock 16 or so other fighters that range from maddeningly annoying to quirky and amusing. The game really shines when big dumb shit is happening on screen, and while some of the characters verge on being racist stereotypes, there's something quite charming about Jack, A giant robotic bull, some asian sisters each with their own elemental attack style and some mad, half robotic Russians.
I liked the game, it's fun, but it's totally understandable why Sega panicked about putting the game out. It's never going to sell, it's far too weird and incredibly unforgiving to new players that just want to mash buttons.The cutscenes are nice, the music ranges from catchy to irritating, and while the models look lovely the environments look as ugly as shit. If you thought western games were all a bit too brown this game fucking LOVES brown. It's a weird game to talk about, I can only really recommend it to the people that have always wanted to punch a krakken in the mouth.
Borderlands 2 (360) - I thought I would have something more to say about Borderlands 2 after missing the first game the year it came out. Borderlands gradually seeped into my system little by little over time and unexpectedly become one of my favourite games ever. There's that easy description of BL2 "It's totally more Borderlands" While it is a lazy description it also is the most accurate. I wish I had more reasons to explain why I like the game, but that one sentence sums up my feelings for the most part. I could mention the really great soundtrack by Jesper Kyd, I could also talk a lot about some of its genuinely funny missions based around things from popular culture, how pretty it is or even how insanely dumb that Face Mcshooty mission is, but hey... It's totally more Borderlands.
It's a shame the version on youtube doesn't escalate as much as it does in game, but the music in Borderlands 2 is outstanding.
Botanicula (PC) - I never finish these point and click games. I don't know why, but I get really into them for a handful of hours and then never want to return to them. I haven't finished Botanicula, I probably never will, but what I played was charming as hell with some cool art that balances on the fine line between cute and creepy as hell. the music is fantastic and the sound effects always bring about a smile. I really should finish this game.
Dum dum dum dum dum dum, this is ace.
Assassin's Creed 3 (360) - This was the game I was most excited about this year and oh man I was disappointed. A buggy mess of a game, full of insanely linear missions, frustrating fail states and a quite frankly boring story. Living in the UK where we learn nothing about American history moments like meeting George Washington or taking part in famous battles does absolutely nothing for me. Sure the core climb & stab mechanics are there and there's a huge world full of really uninteresting things to do, including the QTE-Heavy hunting and no real sense of progression. It's not a bad game, but the ending and Desmond are wasted in favour of some more alien nonsense that seems both rushed an unexplained. I never felt like the end of the world was approaching and I definitely don't feel satisfied by the vague storytelling. Oh well, good riddance Desmond.
AC3 is not a bad game, but it feels a little unfinished, a little souless, a little too much like the games that came before, but also like a few steps have been taken back when thinking about the overall world design. It looks really good in some places and really terrible in others, the voice acting is so inconsistent and British soldiers are so awful it is laughable. I'm glad Haytham gets a good chunk of playtime as he is far more interesting than the star of the show and the Naval missions are both stunning to look at and fun to play. A real disappointment, I think the series needs a well deserved break... shame it won't get one.
Double Dragon Neon (PS3) - A real surprise. I spent an afternoon with the game leveling, beating up bad guys and getting down the timing whilst humming along to the best fake 80's soundtrack I have ever heard, Jake Kaufman is responsible for so much about what makes the game special. It's a competent brawler that you can actually get good at by learning to dodge and roll at the right times, I assume you'd be able to get through a vast amount of the game without taking any damage.
The writing is fun and dumb with a real bro-ness surrounding the brothers. I'm no DD purist so this came off as more amusing than cringeworthy. I really must mention the music again. It is easily one of the best soundtracks of the year, full of really catchy level tunes and some of the best original songs written for a game since 'Splosion Man.
I came away from the game with a real Big Trouble in Little China vibe, maybe it's all that Neon lighting or maybe its the start of the music that plays before a level, either way this was one of the few that very nearly made my top 10 and I'm more surprised by that than anyone.
All those people that say good things about the music in this game are correct... listen to the links above also.
Tokyo Jungle (PS3) - This game is neat. It's funny and violent and incredibly Japanese. There is a hell of a lot to like about its overly punishing progression and bizarre storytelling. Just knowing you can play an elephant or a bear and attack dinosaurs around a post apocalyptic Tokyo would be enough to sell most people that like their games as dumb as hell, but the core here is pretty hardcore, requiring a real knowledge of your surroundings, how to deal with an overwhelmingly hostile world and a lot of quick decision making. Stop and you will die (probably by the weather) There's a ton of content and the idea of unlocking some of the bigger animals is both time consuming and exciting, but there came a point where it felt far more of a grind than I wanted it to be just to unlock another dog, goat or chicken. It's hard to want to put the hours in when some of the bigger animals are sitting in the menu for a miniscule price, Yeah, it's kinda terrible that some of the animals are locked out that way, but have you ever seen a giraffe in a hat attacking a wolf? I have and it was glorious.
I'm still not convinced a Porcupine could lunge kill a Gazelle in one hit, but I saw it in Tokyo Jungle so it must be factually correct.
Dustforce (PC) - I really like the artstyle and the music is mostly fantastic, I just don't like the way the game requires real perfection. I found myself not being able to progress early on and I don't think the controls are tight enough for a game that demands so much precision. I was a little bummed out to find I didn't like it very much.
I really like most of the music in Dustforce, I like it a lot more than the actual game.
Liberation Maiden (3DS) - Animeeeeeeeee!!!! So the president of New Japan pilots a mech and blows up shit that turns into trees and then a giant boss appears and you shoot it some more and then you spin around a lot and shit explodes. Very Zone of the Enders, kinda Kid Icarus-like in its controls. A really fun downloadable game, but very, very short.
FEZ (360) - It wasn't until watching Indie Game The Movie that I realised that Phil Fish totally succeeded in making the kind of game he set out to make, It really does feel like the kind of game based around playground secrets. At it's core it's a basic platformer where you rotate the world and jump about a bit eventually leading to a mindfuck ending that requires so little effort that it would be easy to say "is that it?", give a shrug and move on.
The surface of Fez is the least interesting part about the game. The pixel art is nice, The Blade Runner-esque soundtrack sets a really unique mood and the rotating seemed pretty neat, although it suffers from some pretty awful technical problems when loading into areas. The "real" game part is pretty mindblowing though. The strangest part is how the best Fez has to offer is locked away behind a certain mindset, a lost art from a time before the internet, a time when your cousin fought Shen Long on some secret stage in Street Fighter 2 by pushing Up fourteen times when highlighting Blanka on a Wednesday... at 4.10pm.
I have notes to show for this game, pages of notes and diagrams, and scribbles. There is a whole alphabet in here with Tetris-like symbols to decipher and hidden answers to puzzles by looking around the world in first person... in what initially seems to be a one-note-gimmick 2D platformer. Puzzles that require timed rumbles, QR codes and discussion on messageboards, not to mention unexplained secrets and a mad monolith. Fez is a great game, and being there at its release was a special time, but it's totally unrecreatable now in this era of achievement guides and google. I was done with the game very quickly and once you've played it there's not a lot left to do other than soak in it's unique atmosphere and truly stunning soundtrack.
For all the hate Phil Fish has gotten his game lived up to the strange hype surrounding it. It isn't without its issues and to the casual player it's a pretty uninteresting game. whatever way to look at it, and however you feel about the developer it's quite a fascinating and unique experience that plays on both nostalgia and the strengths of modern technology and I am really intrigued to see what he goes on to make next... in 2054.
One of the best soundtracks this year.
Dead or Alive 5 (360) - I really like this game, its been so hard to ever get good at a fighting game when so many other games have demanded attention, every single time I have wanted to return to this to get good at it I have been sidetracked by something else.
The game is great though, there's the usual idiotic (brilliant) storytelling but at its heart there is a really good fighting game, ignore the boobs (I know, it's hard) ignore the overall stupidity and there is a really well crafted and simple to pick up, but hard to master fighting game. I discovered I really liked the way Helena plays from my time with it and I'm reminded weekly that I need to play a lot more of it. I should play more of it, like seriously - Note to self PLAY MORE DOA5!
The Walking Dead (PC) - I'm not the biggest fan of Point and click adventure games, and I have had a pretty miserable time trying out other Telltale episodic games, so it comes as a surprise that I was fully drawn into the miserable world of The Walking Dead. I finished the game over three nights and found myself attached to a handful of characters, I kinda knew early on that the decisions I was making weren't always changing all that much about the story, but it didn't stop me from being shocked when certain things played out unexpectedly.
I found the last episode to be the weakest, full of idiotic and out of character decisions and an ending that didn't hit as hard as a moment in the later part of episode three. Some of the acting was off, most notably Clementine, a character I couldn't quite understand the love for, I just wasn't always feeling it, although Lee's care for a young girl comes across really well, and I would stick with Kenny right to the end. I really, really liked the game, I wouldn't have finished it if I didn't, It's just... I don't get the extreme love for it, as a film or a piece of TV this would be merely good, as a video game it's apparently a masterpiece, but hey. I can't quite put my finger on what it is, the occasionally dull gameplay or unlikeable characters I found incredibly easy to sacrifice, or the ending that you can see the writers set up about midway through the series.
Maybe I'm just over-analytical of this kind of stuff, I do the same with TV and movies. This game is hanging around the 15th spot on my list (out of 49) so I very definitely liked it and I'm curious to see what they do with the second season.
Ratchet & Clank: Full frontal Q hey Insomniac make a proper Ratchet game force assault (PS3) - Hey, Insomniac! MAKE A PROPER RATCHET & CLANK GAME!
Rhythm Heaven beat the beat paradise Wii (Wii) - I LOVE the DS game and I love parts of this game, but the timing is so god damned strict. I love the hell out of Music Rhythm games, I have bought four of them this year and I love the art and the humour in this game, but some of the unconventional timing on these songs seems overly complicated. It's a hard game from song one. I'm sure people with a really great sense of rhythm or drummers would connect instantly, but I found myself barely getting through songs or not very clearly being told when I need to hit the button. A song featuring a giant clock where I had to high five monkeys initially seemed so cute and fun, but half an hour of frustration later I no longer wanted to play any more of the game.( I did) It seems strange that Nintendo try to dumb down everything whilst keeping the strict difficulty in this so high. A more lenient mode in the place of a skip song would have made this a better game for people like me, having the option to progress to harder versions would be a better choice. I want to love this game more, it's so imaginative and vibrant with some truly great songs, I just wish it was easier.
Alan Wake's American Nightmare (360) - Give me any excuse to return to the weird world of Alan Wake and I'm right there. While this is far more combat focused and a little cheaty in it's Groundhog Day repeating of the story it still retains the usual trashy horror novel theme, some well placed FMV sequences and silly missing pages from a book written by Alan read out to you. I think the combat in Alan Wake is good enough for a more action orientated game, but I had far more fun watching the psychopathic video's which would play on screens occasionally, the actor getting to play those out must have had a ton of fun shooting them. I had a lot of fun for the four or so hours it takes to finish and despite having to play sequences over three times there's enough shortcutting and unique instances to stop it from feeling a little cheap. I would be happy if they stuck to this episodic format as any Alan Wake is a good thing in my opinion, but man, Remedy should totally make Alan Wake 2.
Hotline Miami (PC) - It's violent and it's fun and is has a really great sense of style. The hour or so I have played hasn't grabbed me like others, but it's cool if a little frustrating with all the unpredictability.
Sonic & Sega Racing Disney friends and the cast of Friends with some lady I have never heard of racing transformed! (360) - Yo, this is a kart racer and it has a lot of love for both Sonic and older Sega properties. It has a really nice sense of speed. The influences are pretty obvious, but the game is well made even if some of the AI is a little unbalanced and plainly cheats. I really liked the game, there's a ton of content to unlock and level progression for a wide variety of characters. Oh, and Nights is a nightmarish car-monstrosity that will haunt your dreams and consume your soul.
Malicious (PS3) - I don't really have a lot to say about the game as I only really played it for about two hours before deciding it wasn't for me. When I first saw it I thought it was my kind of game, but awkward controls, a hideous camera and bosses that show no real sign of taking any damage at all really turned me off. It has a nice visual style and the music is quite pleasant along with the Mega Man-like structure of doing any boss to receive their power in any order you want being kinda cool. It really all comes down to this though... block and dash on the same button? That's just weird.
Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode 2 (360) - Why does this exist? People were generally not fond of the first part as the physics were all off and it seemed to just be a rehash of levels from older games to try and pull in the idiots blinded by nostalgia. (probably me) Part two tries some new things, like including Tails for a double dash spin, lets you swap between the two characters at certain points and tries some brand new zones (that still seem like rehashes of old levels)
This game wouldn't be so infuriating if Sega hadn't shown us that they were still capable of great Sonic games (Colours/Generations) Instead they decided to take two (fifty) steps back by putting out this awful game that halts your momentum by forcing you into walls only Tails can fly over, cheap deaths and bosses that go on for an age. Dimps shouldn't be let anywhere near Sonic again, all they are doing is hurting a series that was totally on its way to being back on track.
Oh, and the music... the music...
Dear Esther (PC) - Not really a game, Walking and talking. If it was a great experience for you I'm totally cool with that, but I found it to be boring as shit. Looks lovely in places though.
SSX (360) - I don't buy sports games, I have never played SSX, but I enjoyed the demo, I felt like I was getting better with each run and played it for hours. I played the full game for a weekend, I didn't even finish the campaign. I just burnt out on it really, really quickly. I had no idea how to play the game properly until I had read a ton of stuff on message boards, the game assumes you will know how it works and that is never any fun. If a game tells me to "wind up" before a jump maybe it should tell me what winding up is y'know. It's ok, It was fun for a weekend I think (?????) I'm just going to file this under the not-for-me category.
Rock Band Blitz (360) - I had no fun with the game when it released, I was only ever hitting three stars with an occasional fourth and I didn't feel like I was getting any better even after seventy or eighty songs. I found myself looking up how to play the game properly on message boards and that to me says "hey, your tutorial is bad" After a few hours of massive frustration that made me just want to return back to playing RB3 (I still do) it finally clicked, A different control scheme, I started knowing when to switch, when to stay in lanes and what powerups I should be using which meant I started doing relatively well in it.
The problem is this. Every song is essentially the same, patterns are similar, the way you get 5/gold stars is identical every time, and it just becomes a little tiresome. It's fun, but not the game that's going to revive the music rhythm genre.
My other complaints are the challenges through Facebook, kinda disgusting, badly designed and once the coin winnings were adjusted serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever. Why do I want to play 4 songs for the exact same amount of coins I can get playing one of those songs and getting five stars? The massive focus on getting you to buy more and more and more songs is really offputting and there is absolutely no excuse to not have the challenges in game or at the very least give you the progress you've made in-game.
Spec-Ops: The Line (PC) - For a game that seems so important I really don't have a whole lot to say about it. I played the campaign in one sitting, It's a very standard third person shooter that can occasionally get quite tough if you don't have the right ammo.
The interesting part of the game is not the way it handles and there are about a billion pieces written dissecting every inch of its story, and while I have nothing but praise for them trying to make you think about your actions, the story really isn't all that clever. The ending can be seen a mile off and has been done countless times in film and that left me a little disappointed as the credits rolled.
The game uses a lot of licensed music to great effect and the kill animations are suitably brutal to make you wince every now and then. There was about three points in the game where I felt genuinely unsettled, something very few games have been able to do. I had to take a break after the very first "holy fuck" moment and while I hope this is the blueprint for a game with a better story, I don't want every single game to be this. Extra points for being the very first video game I have ever played with a Bjork song in it.
Ghost Recon Future Soldier (360) - GRAW2 - good times, brilliant times, making friends, co-op-ing, sniping, hiding, awesome campaign. WHAT HAPPENED!?!? I thought this game looked amazing from the trailers, but it turned out to be just another cover based third person shooter with a great tag & clear mechanic. I found the campaign to be a frustrating mess with a story that made no sense, awful character faces and far too many fail states embedded into all the missions. It has its moments, but it really does lose what made the previous two games special.
I hate that they removed the co-op missions in favour of full campaign and a boring horde mode, but the multiplayer is quite a lot of fun. The maps are great (I have no idea about anything released after the ones on the disc) and there's a lot of fun toys to mess about with, you're also never stuck in one place doing the same thing for too long. If there is a small complaint it is that in order to do well at the game you find yourself constantly switching to first person mode to hit people from afar. If that is so core to getting kills why isn't the game in first person? But hey that's a minor thing and becomes second nature after a few matches. This game left me really conflicted at release. I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue going up the ranks or move on to better games. I don't miss the multiplayer so I guess I made the right decision.
Darksiders 2 (360) - I adored the first game, stunning art, great music a fiery fucking horse! I could go on and on about the Z-Word comparisons, but DS2 was something a little different, and not entirely for the better. The first world seemed like a generic, boring fantasy land so I was immediately put off right out of the gate.once I got to the dungeons things seemed a little better, but it wasn't until I got to the second hub world that the game felt at all like Darksiders.
A lot of my problems came from things like the loot, insane side quests and big open worlds which really serve no purpose at all. I hated that I could sometimes come up against enemies (usually optional)and be under levelled or just insanely godlike, far too much of the loot is just junk. The combat is so mashy in the game that almost everything can be beaten by just rolling about like an idiot, the final boss took me under five minutes and required me to hit one button a lot.
I think some of the puzzles are clever, but I was only mildly stumped on like two of them. I remember being stuck a few times in the first game, but for the most part everything was really, really straightforward.
So here is my biggest complaint, and it's not the technical problems or the camera or the section on earth that is one of the top 3 worst sections in a video game this generation... It is the boring as hell story, Michael Wincott as Death is amazing and a lot of the other voice acting is really good, but this story goes nowhere and ends on a big "oh, what, is that it?" There are times when you can get extra dialogue but it just feels like you unnaturally going through a list like in a point and click adventure and none of it really fleshes out the world. After the "F'YEAH!" ending in the first game it is hard not to be a little saddened by the story in this.
This just reads like a big whine, but I genuinely liked a lot of things about it. The artstyle is some of the best in any game, Jesper Kyd's score is wonderfully grand and atmospheric and the combat can make you feel really, really powerful and skilled despite being mashy as hell. I know I am not alone in my complaints about the game. I really hope a third game gets made, this could have been something truly special.
Jesper Kyd did two amazing soundtracks this year, I think the music in Darksiders 2 was my favourite thing about it. There was another version of this piece of music when you fight the giant guardian also.
Dust: An Elysian Tail (360) - Ok, I'm gonna get this out of the way. I'm one of the pieces of shit that thinks the artstyle in this game isn't very good. I don't like the backgrounds, enemies, the close up dialogue shots, almost none of it. I do however think that it is beautifully animated and transitions from one move to another look great. I feel a little terrible knowing one dude did almost everything for the game. It clearly has a lot of passion behind it and it's a really good thing that the core of the game which is killing the hell out of hundreds of monsters faces is really, really fun.
I enjoyed my time with Dust, it is lengthy has a lot of content and a fully voiced story. I grew tired of the story early on and skipped past quite a lot of it as I found a few of the voices to be a little irritating and sometimes didn't mesh well with the serious storyline.
As I said, there was a lot of exploring, secrets and the combat was always flashy with combos flying up into the hundreds. I can't complain about the fifteen or so hours of game time I got out of it. I'm definitely interested in what the developer goes on to create next... and y'know Meat Boy characters are always a nice addition.
NeverDead (360) - This game starts off with you fighting a frog-bird demon-man with ruffles whilst Megadeth plays. I've seen people say they hate this game with a passion and people that think it has its moments (me) But never anyone defending it as a good game.
I have played through the game twice and oh man does NeverDead have some pretty big problems. The core of the game is being able to break into bodyparts and still be able to fight. losing a leg or an arm is fine and you can kill things from a distance, but far too many enemies require you to use your sword which is pretty much the only weapon in the game of any worth. This doesn't sound too bad, but when most enemies can break you up into pieces with little more than a whisper, requiring to roll your head around Katamari-ing up the rest of yourself, you find yourself swearing uncontrollably at the screen.
The more you play it, and I know many would give up very early in the game, the more you figure little combat tricks and find yourself being able to take out large groups with only the loss of an arm or a leg. That doesn't stop the inevitable death-revive loop you sometimes find yourself in every so often.
The story makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, some of the voices are ok and the final two bosses are like anti-fun... like Shadow The Hedgehog levels of bad... fuck those guys!
YEAH! This song is dumb... I like dumb.
Sound Shapes (PS3) - I enjoyed the music in this game a lot more than the actual game itself. It isn't a bad game, but it's really nothing more than a quite basic platformer. There's maybe fifteen or so songs in the game and they could easily be done in one sitting. The most interesting thing about them beyond the artists involved is the art that compliments each album with each one giving off a really distinct look. Beck's hand drawn pen scribbles and the Superbrothers levels are really great.
I didn't really mess with much of the user created stuff as the few I tried all seemed like big messes of lasers or ultra simplistic. I'm sure at this point some creative people have made some amazing levels, but the core gameplay is not enough of a draw to make me want to go looking for them... maybe I should go have a look.
I feel pretty indifferent about Beck most of the time, but I love the combination of art and music in this level.
Lollipop Chainsaw (360) - "I'm gonna fist my ass with your head" No other line of dialogue sums up Lollipop chainsaw quite like this. (maybe "I'm so totally gonna masturbate to you tonight Juliet" also.) So, where do I start? LC is not a good game, no it's ok, I think, maybe... it is. Before the game came out a couple of reviews talked of it being a score attack game and that's something that stuck with me whilst playing through it. The game holds you up far too much for this to be something you pick up and play in short bursts to get the best high scores. You can play it like that, but you will grow tired of the combat very, very quickly.
I feel like I have gotten off to a negative start here... I found Lollipop Chainsaw to be a lot of fun with its vibrant colours, great soundtrack, great characters and genuinely funny writing. I thought I would have a lot more to say about the game, but it's one of those things you either know you're into or you aren't. *shrug*
Special mention goes to Nick the body-less, voiced by Lex Luthor dude from Smallville. He is pretty much the voice of the player and is both likeable and charming in an otherwise crude and offensive game. One of the best characters in any game this year.
I will have added a bunch more of the music in the Kid Icarus entry on my top 10. I found the music to be great in this game, so varied and so much of it. Almost every single stage has not one, but two pieces of music.
I'm a sucker for creepy, atmospheric strings.
The music in Journey is stunning and deserves all the praise it gets. If you haven't played the game and want to experience it some time in the future I do not recommend listening to this piece out of context as the music is integral to the experience..
I adore the music in Halo 4, really fitting and appropriately grand.
If you read this, seriously thankyou.