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List of Games Beaten in 2011

Hooray, a new one of these. What eclectic mix of interactive entertainment will appear on here over the coming months? Can I beat last year's total? Will anyone care? The answers to these questions and more, only on Mento's "List of Games Beaten in 2011".

So let's answer some of these questions, and others, with another stats round-up like I did with 2010's list. Maybe it'll be of interest to you, mister random person who probably clicked this list in error:

  • Total Games Completed: 60 (clearly the same number of items on this list. Doy. 8 down from last year)
  • 2011 Games Completed: 32 (over half? Man, getting some mileage out of those rental vouchers)
  • 2010 Games Completed: 13 (still a few games I missed in 2010, then)
  • 10+ Year Old Games Completed: 2 (hey, I'm not stuck in the distant past at least. There'll come a time, though.)
  • Games Started But Not Finished: 11 (I do try to beat everything. Some games aren't for me though, and others are in-progress as the year closes out.)
  • System Breakdown: PS3 (20), 360 (18), Steam (9), Wii (2) DS/3DS (7), PC (3). (not much in it here. First year in over a decade where I didn't beat a PS2 game)
  • First Game of Year: Just Cause 2 (how to start right)
  • Last Game of Year: Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (to round out the numbers more than anything)

List items

  • 02/01-13/01. So it turns out this game is really big. I've spent the better part of two whole weeks just blowing up army bases and statues of a Kim Jong-il knock-off. It's still pretty awesome though.

  • 13/01-15/01. Man, this game is harsh. While Retro Studios gets kudos for injecting a lot of DKC nostalgia into this reboot, I don't recall them ever being all that hard, and certainly not to this extent. Worthy of note is the Mario Galaxy-esque cinematic dynamism of each stage, though (oddly enough) not knowing what the hell was going to happen next was more often than not detrimental to DK's survival.

  • 17/01-19/01. Kind of ambivalent about this one. I liked all the references, even if I'm not the biggest horror/King fan (though those Night Springs things were fun.) There's only so many hours you can spend running through a dark forest with possessed hicks chasing you before it gets monotonous though. Good lead up to Dead Space 2, mind, which I hope to play very soon.

  • 2010-20/01. Arbitrarily decided that the cut-off point was when I unlocked everything. Maybe it should've been once I'd heard all the conversations at least once. One of those games, like Crash Course, that costs so little its only requirement is that it's not a complete waste of time. Which this wasn't.

  • 22/01. This.. barely counts as a game. That's not a knock on its obvious amateur qualities (which, like most of the game, is oddly charming) but its generally minuscule length and difficulty. Still, it did come free with its apparently way-meatier sequel, so watch out for that. On this list I mean.

  • 23/01. Well, I did say I'd get around to it sooner than later. This one was a bit prettier, smarter, trickier and Hitlerier than the first game, none of which are a bad thing for a sequel to be (except maybe Hitlerier). For the £1.50 I paid for the duo, definitely good value. If only more Indie games were as cheap as they are brief and satisfying.

  • 28/01-03/02. One of those glitchy, labor-of-love CRPGs from a country no-one's heard of ("Germany"?), beloved of the Snider and those of a similar disposition. It was quite a bit of fun, just to explore a whole island on my own terms (kind of a theme this year, what with January's Just Cause 2). I also love the ridiculous old-school charms of a bottomless inventory and managing to somehow sneak away with something you shouldn't from an area or NPC way too high-level. I should add more 90s PC CRPGs to this year's playlist. Screw all this indecipherable Zettai Hero Project and Resonance of Fate garbage I had going on.

  • 04/02-06/02. Like the first, it's definitely serviceable as survival horror IN SPACE! but it doesn't feel like a whole lot has changed or improved. It's now become a "franchise" instead of a video game series, with this, the gaiden games, the books and the cheaply-animated movies simply repeating scares and set-pieces to move a larger plot along. Well, fuck them and their marker.

  • 08/02-12/02. Nice looking game. Amateurish in parts, but definitely a class product from Messrs Holowka and Yu in the then re-emerging Indie market. Of course, now it's a pretty big industry of its own, and I can't help but feel this game (and Cave Story) probably can take some credit for that. As well as the sad reality that every fifth Indie game now is a Metroidvania, but I suppose there are worse genres for the Indie machine to be stuck on (tower defense, tower defense, TOWER DEFENSE).

  • 13/02-23/02. Well. Well, well. Certainly not the disaster I was anticipating, but also not exactly a step in the right direction if JRPGs (and Japanese games in general) want to stay a significant force in the industry. I'm not saying the watered-down, glorified shooter/sandbox WRPGs are any more imaginative, but Final Fantasy badly needs to make bold strides the way FF12 did while simultaneously cutting the dead weight: Nomura, ATB (i.e. waiting in real-time battles for your turn), the hokey dialogue and stories, Nomura, transitioning to different screens for battles, severe linearity in its progression and Nomura.

  • 10/03-12/03. Hrm. Of the faults I expected this game to have, I didn't think sheer amateurish design would be one of them. Plenty of Skillshots were made considerably harder than they need to be due to bad/cover-based AI and other issues as well as horribly mismanaged checkpoints which more often than not dumped you shortly before restocking and story/dialogue scenes leading to a big fight, forcing you to replay them each time (as well as a considerable loading time before you could resume play). I went into the game with low expectations and still ended up disappointed.

  • 03/03-14/03. While it more or less perfected the Diablo formula with oodles of customizing and conveniences such a format desperately needed, there's still that all-encompassing genre-specific flaw of mindless repetition that a game such as this cannot escape from regardless of its exceptional craft. Doesn't help the game got objectively less fun (stupidly challenging mobs on the bottom levels, for instance) around the same point I was getting tired of it. I doubt I'll be revisiting this world come the sequel.

  • 16/03-26/03. I didn't expect to get into this as much as I did, but I had fun systematically wiping out areas and using the spoils to mess around with the decent crafting system for a bit. It's the kind of RPG that needs some mild strategy for most of the battles which has been sorely missed of late. That final boss, though, probably qualifies as one of the worst in video game history. Yeesh.

  • 26/03-27/03. Kind of wish I went with Ghost Recon as my bonus 3DS game when buying the system. This is a far cry from the tricky Marble Madness horrors of the original GameCube games. The other modes are kind of bad too, and seem to be an early attempt to get a weak Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros onto the system before the real deal shows up and makes them superfluous. I dunno. Not a promising launch catalog for the 3DS, but at least it still has the DS' amazing library to fall back on (see below for an example).

  • 30/03-02/04. An exceptionally high level of craft, as usual, only marred ever so slightly with an annoying dependence on peg solitaire, chess knight puzzles and those thrice-accursed sliding blocks. I wish they were all logic puzzles, since they're the cleverest and most fun (and best suited for the "hey, heard of this one, Professor?" type set-ups), but I guess these games work because they appeal to every part of the brain. Including the central hate node.

  • 05/04-11/04. Problematic. The all-too-pervasive feeling of this being rushed out to meet a deadline makes it hard to play in parts, though BioWare made sure its priorities (characterization for example) were in the right place. If only the rest wasn't so half-assed and simplified. Anyone hoping this series becomes the deep, hardcore RPG to Mass Effect's breezy space shooter RPG is apparently out of luck.

  • 12/04. Rented it to see if I'd like it. Nope. I just don't really dig the fighting games. I definitely didn't feel like beating that horrible Galactus fight with every character, which was the closest thing to "completing" this game. It looked very pretty though, and I always like seeing anything from Mega Man Legends crop up, even though these days people only know Servbots from the masks in Dead Rising.

  • 17/04-18/04. I'm glad XBLA are doing Steam-esque sales, often dropping prices on things by 50%. That's how I got this little gem for cheap. I've talked about it in the Metroidvania blog, but suffice to say it was money well spent. Well, except that 100% is impossible if you missed a single item. That was slightly vexing.

  • 27/04-28/04. Well, Story mode was fun and I like the variation in the Challenge Tower, but overall it still has that fatal error of being a fighter. Which means I suck at it. I'm wondering why there's now two games of a genre I can't stand on this list...

  • 30/04-01/05. Fantastic. Valve are too good. Someone needs to take them down a peg or two... No wait, then I wouldn't be able to play any more Valve games. I'll just put my "potato mail bomb" scheme on hold for now then.

  • 21/04-06/05. Narrowly beating Just Cause 2 as "most played game this year". Of course, as all true Demon's Souls aficionados know, completing the first playthrough is just the beginning. I have eight trophies left and I'm kind of itching to get them all and ice this thing, though it will mean three more runs...

  • 08/05-09/05. Have to say I was a little disappointed with this one. It has a touch of the Psychonauts: The story and characters are great, but the gameplay and overall design are full of rookie errors, annoyances and glitches. However, I don't want to discourage developers who can actually write an effective narrative for a video game, so if anyone asks: I loved it and would like another.

  • 11/05-15/05. We're entering Summer, which is a dead zone for releases, so I caught up on some tiny Lego people doing their usual puzzly platformer spiel. The ground battles were an interesting addition, though grinding the last few out for that ever-enticing 100% got very tiresome. If I never see a golden shield generator again, I'll die happy.

  • 17/05-19/05. Bought half-price in one of those XBLA sales I'm glad to see are becoming more frequent. It's a good game, though challenging in parts often due to the controls more than anything else. My first Twisted Pixel game, and I'd happily play another.

  • 22/05-24/05. One of the few GBGOTY-inspired purchases, as it made "PS3 exclusive of the year". Like the other GOW games I've played, it suffers from some severely limited platformer and combat gameplay, but is enhanced in turn by its cinematic badassery. Because being like a pretty, pretty movie completely excuses a merely average character action game, right? Because movies are art and games aren't, right? Barf.

  • 28/03-02/06. Well, it's not a particularly good Tales game. In fact, it's kind of restored a bit of my faith in Bandai Namco since they felt this wasn't worth localizing. It's no Symphonia 2, by any stretch, but there's some particularly bad level design and generic guild fetch quest shit.

  • 14/06-16/06. Let me say this: I wanted to like this. I found the first inFamous a lot of fun, and I'm a big fan of Sucker Punch's body of work. But all this sequel adds is "nothing", "generic ugly bug monsters", "more Zeke" and "a fuckton of glitches" - in order of least egregious to most. It's very much in the Crackdown 2 mold of diminishing returns, unfortunately. Man, but it has been a year of disappointing sequels.

  • 19/06-21/06. Same issues I had with RDR, really. There's so much of this game that was either undercooked (Truth/Doubt/Lie) or just plain not fun (stealth tailing, the chases both on foot and in a car.) Still, I commend them for trying new things with the adventure genre, and the face technology is indeed impressive. It's no replacement for Phoenix Wright for getting your investigatin' on, but there's potential in spades here.

  • 24/06-27/06. I'm with Ryan on this one. Despite overlong levels and some of the worst UnrealEd faults since Last Remnant, it's a fun, imaginative platformer with decent combat. The visuals are amazing too, far darker than the usual horror-whimsy Tim Burton aesthetic. Probably the best game I've played this month.

  • 28/06-02/07. It was a lot of fun. A very compact game, it seemed, with levels never stretching out more than they needed to. The darkness puzzles got a lot of variation too. The plot's completely bananas as well, though that's pretty much expected of Suda51.

  • 17/07. I have no idea what possessed me to play through this interminable adventure game again. The dialogue and violence was as hilariously gratuitous as I recall, but I forgot how much slow-ass walking around was needed. It'd make for a great mocking "Retsupurae" LP if someone cut out most of the walking.

  • 23/07-24/07. I like collecting things over being stealthy, so I rented this Arkham Asylum copycat that allows just that. It was one of those fun, low-challenge rentals that, while I would never pay sixty bux for it and nor should anyone else, is a great time-waster with little to say against it. That sort of "just a Sunday afternoon spent watching Die Hard again" relaxing.

  • 28/07-30/07. Though you can't really "beat" Terraria, there's kind of a checklist of things to see and do. At this point, I've done all of it - seen every biome, beaten every boss, crafted the best armor. I haven't found every item (scouring Hell for that singular Dark Lance doesn't appeal), but I'm about done until a major update adds enough to get me interested again. I definitely enjoyed my time with it.

  • 04/07-05/08. Though I started this brainteaser back during the Summer Camp sales for that meta-achievement, I actually found myself returning occasionally for a few more stages. This intermittent format actually helped with a few of the harder puzzles, since the breaks helped me gain fresh perspective on puzzles that had stumped me. I've beaten all the stages currently available, so it's done for now.

  • 06/08-08/08. I made a (bizarrely well-received) picture blog about this one. It tells you everything you need to know about this action RPG from the Recettear people.

  • 26/07-14/08. I dunno, I'm with Ryan on this one. It's a clever Zelda pastiche and everything, preying on that 8-Bit nostalgia in a weird way, but it's still a From Software game and therefore still kind of sucks to play. It's a game that chose to imitate the NES Zelda's quirks perfectly rather than try to improve on the 25 year old formula, if that tells you anything.

  • 10/08-17/08. A rather flagrant Metroid clone that also plays a lot like one of those old isometric puzzle-platformer games. It's playable, but every stage's formula of "find keys, activate teleporter, beat boss" is so rigid that diminishing returns set in fast. Plus that final boss.. oh man.

  • 18/08-20/08. Yeaaah. Hunted is a bit too goofy for my liking. Waist-high walls, trading pithy put-downs and elf boobs all strike me as a little too "lowest common denominator" - all it needed was a unicorn firing balls at irascible avians while you tried to set up turrets alongside its path. The all-too-sparse moments where you're solving riddles and plundering tombs took a back seat to the tiresome "go here, fight waves of enemies, move on" Gears-esque action. You shall indeed pass on this LOTR also-ran (and that was my impression of a hack game journalist.)

  • 23/08-24/08. Well, it doesn't really stack up compared to Guerrilla (and I never expected it to), but it was okay for what it was. Playing through on an easier difficulty and using the Magnet Gun on everything was quite fun. However, it has one the worst "trading quips and action movie one-liners" scripts I've ever heard. It was extraordinary.

  • 28/08-30/08. Kind of a dickish design philosophy in parts, but overall a solid platformer. Reminiscent of the LEGO games (including slapstick, dialogue-free cutscenes) but a lot more fun than that tired formula. It's also a lot longer than it seems too.

  • 31/08-04/09. Surprisingly good, considering the horror stories I'd been hearing from some people. The first person/third person stuff was a bit awkward, and the less said about Samus' characterization the better (like baseball, there shouldn't be any crying in Metroid), but the rest was pretty solid. Good job, Team Ninja.

  • 05/09-11/09. I enjoyed this a lot. It feels like a proper sequel to Deus Ex, with all its goofy Illuminati cyberpunk capers and growly voices. I think it's also the only stealth-oriented game I've ever liked, besides Beyond Good & Evil.

  • 14/09-19/09. Like Borderlands, an attempt has been made to boost the game's looting and sidequests by having a solid foundation of decent action gameplay. It's just a pity the game's so busted and melodramatic, as it's perhaps one of the better zombie games conceptually.

  • 17/09-23/09. A vast improvement over the first, as it took what worked in the first game (the puzzle levels) and just made the whole game about those. They left some (thankfully optional) action stages in case anyone still wanted to grapple with the horrible arbitrary platformer physics, but that core puzzle game is what people should come here for. As the name suggests, this is the superlative Scribblenauts experience. 4 Mean Bears out of 5.

  • 24/09. Probably shouldn't include this one. Beating Star Fox 64 takes like an afternoon. Still, I got a reasonable ~1300 hits using my own special route and promptly returned it to the rental store for something new. Great game of its day, but you can't really go back. Well... I'll probably play Star Fox Command 2 if that ever appears.

  • 28/09-17/10. Finally. After so many blogs, so many hardships and so many crashes and glitches, I've put this game to rest. It was a great experience overall, and a very in-depth 3e system that I would've liked to have seen polished further in future modules/sequels, had Troika not exploded. Alas. Mucho gratitude, still, to my CRPG comrade ArbitraryWater for the donation.

  • 23/10-26/10. Very much like the first. Never really got into the combat sufficiently to get amazing good at it, so it sort of dragged once the more dangerous dudes started showing up. I might be one of the few that loved the Riddler stuff to complete all of it, though. Overall, a game that will easily make my top ten for this year.

  • 27/10-30/10. I've found that these have become my "chill out" games of choice, where it's a zero-pressure platformer collect-a-thon to wind down with. I kind of wish Rare were still the ones making them, but you take what you can get in this 3D platformer drought. While I don't much care for Harry Potter, I will admit that the spells and simple stories make it apropos for the LEGO game mold.

  • 30/10. Cute game. Only slightly better production value than the type of free puzzle platformers you see on Kongregate or Armor Games, but when you're nitpicking over five bucks it might be time to put away your top hat and cane and then hunt.. for treasure.. on the Moon? I think that analogy got away from me. On topic, I did note one particularly awful achievement that may well be show up in a future "Breaking Brad" video.

  • 03/11-05/11. My whining about this game has now been consolidated into one single controversial blog, so instead I'll say that minor issues and my general apathy aside, it's certainly no disaster. Some of the set-pieces were genuinely amazing.

  • 02/11-???. I have no idea how long I'll keep coming back to this. I've uninstalled and reinstalled it a few times now. While (clearly) addictive fun, some of the annoyances are holding me back from going full Mento and getting 100%. At this point I've beaten it half a dozen times, and the thrill is wearing off.

  • 17/11-20/11. Sigh. This is precisely what that disastrous "disappointing sequels" blog was meant to convey. Had this been made before Brotherhood, it would've been an amazing stride forward for the series, with a few unfortunate steps back. But following its almost identical sibling, those missteps become all the more apparent and jarring. Very much indicative of a video game produced in too little time: Functionally identical, with every additional element either unwanted or badly implemented because of the time constraints.

  • 23/11-26/11. Maaaaan, I'm really heartbroken that I found this a little disappointing too. Like a great many sequels this year (yep, still on their case), it attempts to distil what made earlier games work and cut out what it perceived as dead weight, which in this case are most of the fun activities (FUZZ, Septic Avenger) while inexplicably keeping the crappier ones (Snatch, Heli Assault). The result is a much smaller game, which isn't really what you want your sequels to feel like. Still a lot of crazy fun, but a step back from SR2.

  • 28/11-02/12. Like DKCR, a gorgeous 2D sprite-based platformer that is insanely difficult when it doesn't even need to be. I feel a lot of casual gamers (children especially, if that doesn't sound condescending) would enjoy this game's visuals and kooky atmosphere a lot if it wasn't for the punishing skill requirement. Ah well, it's an absolutely fantastic game if you can keep up with it.

  • 03/12-04/12. Finally got around to this Double Fine XBLA adventure. Like Costume Quest, it's a charming if lightweight affair that's an eminently pleasing way to spend a few hours. Then again, I have a predilection for collectibles which others might not share.

  • 08/12-11/12. An Indie Metroidvania that downplays the exploration for more bullet hell sequences involving its Ikaruga color-switching gimmick. It makes for a solid action game, all told.

  • 11/11-29/12. Well, it took most of the last part of the year, but I finally have all the achievements for Skyrim. In lieu of any better yardstick for the completion point of this massive game, this will have to do. Fantastic game, but you all knew that already. Glad I ended it before getting completely burned out.

  • 30/12. Yep, it's more Puzzle Agent. Similar Twin Peaks-esque plot as the first, if a little dumber and less creepy. A lot of repeats and duds in the already meagre puzzle selection, though. Kind of a shame, but it was definitely worth what little I paid for it. I can't really hold it up to Layton's standards when the price difference is so conspicuous.

  • 31/12. UFO shenanigans in this striking Metroidvania. Like everything else I've played on XBLA this year, it's able to stuff enough charm into what little there is to mitigate any issues one might have with the length.