Games I played during 2011

2011, that's one more than 2010.

List items

  • First DS game I finished, woo!

    Really liked it, a bit linear, possibly - and some parts of it was a bit obscure, but still, good fun!

  • While I don't really like "scary games" (or movies), I decided to play the first Dead Space because of how much positive feedback it had received, and boy did it have atmosphere!

    EA's dumb "Your mom will hate it"-ad campaign almost turned me off the game, but in the end... I decided to pick it up, and have really enjoyed it, when I wasn't freaking out over the weird shit that's going on. FYI: SCREWDRIVERS AREN'T MADE FOR THAT! ps. @EA: Your ad campaign still sucks.

  • After playing Dragon Age: Origins back in... uh, when it came out (2009?), I pretty much hated the game. Dragon Age is a very mixed, uneven experience. While the story is good, and the characters are very interesting, the actual game always felt poorly made to me. For starters, there is clearly a memory leak issue with the game that still hasn't been fixed - for me, the game becomes almost unplayable after 5 hours, and just restarting the game fixes it. Then there are the regular crashing - which has turned me into everything I hate about PC-gamnig: One hand on the quick-save button.

    Beyond that, Dragon Age feels like Baldur's Gate. By which, I mean it feels anachronistic - dated gameplay, and poorly balanced, switching rapidly between stupidly easy to impossibly hard within the span of 2 fights.

    Mechanics wise, it's poorly implemented - the stats are not intuitive, and even reading the tooltips doesn't really help. I'm left sitting there going "As a Warrior, should I be getting dexterity? What about magic? Oh, I don't know, I guess I'll just dump everything into strength."

    And then there's the Awful class/subclass system. Especially for mages. Now, don't get me wrong - activated abilities ARE the most interesting parts of a game, but when you start picking up abilities that you'll never use because... let's face it, your action bar is already full, and the ability you are getting isn't solving a problem you have (it's not doing more damage, it's not healing more, it's not CCing better/different) - it's just taking up even more space on your action bars, and, like the stats, it makes game play non-intuitive. Again, I'm all for having a ton of abilities to pick from, I just don't think that every character needs to have 30 (exaggerating, I think?) of them.

    That said, I think that just rebuilding the level/stats/ability system would've made DA:O a much better game.

    And then there's the HORRIBLE INVENTORY SYSTEM, and the HORRIBLE CRAFTING SYSTEM.

    Where would I typically go to craft? Yeah - my camp/base, where I have my personal storage, and where I can access all my characters. Right? WRONG. You can only access crafting panels when you have the characters in your party. Which they aren't in camp.

    Also, because of how they are handling the crafting system, you probably won't pick crafting skills on your main character (there is no combat or dialog benefit!) or your "main party" (again, no benefit), but rather use the guys you for whatever reason chose never to bring to missions - as crafters.

    Not sure what to say about the inventory management system, other than that it's horrible. I don't want to spend half my play session messing about in an inventory screen deciding if I should throw away this leather armor with strength on it ("is strength good for rogues?"), or if I should put my dual-wielding warrior in a suit of leather to decrease fatigue. (Which does what, again?)

    But... this is about Awakening. So, why bring up my pet peeves about DA:O when I mean to talk about Awakening? Because it's all still here. And there are a few new things that pissed me off as well - want to change a party member? Yeah, too bad - now you have to run all the way back to your home base and swap your party. In most cases, that means about 3 loading screens (dungeon -> above ground -> home town (outside) -> swap party -> go back to where you were). Couple that with the memory leak issue I mentioned earlier, and you can see why that might become a problem.

    There are also a couple of other problems with gameplay design, like the cop-out that is the "respec tome" - they're pretty much going "Ok, so everyone got that respec mod. I guess we failed at designing classes, so let's just make respeccing even easier. That'll solve the issues with game design, right?" No. But I understand why they did it - you don't entirely change such mechanics in an expansion.

    Also, the issue I had with inventory management and crafting? Similar to how terribly Awakening handles the party-swapping, it pulls the same shit on crafting and inventory management.

    Let's say you are making a Paragon Rune. Right. You go into the keep, you go to the rune vendor and go "Oh, wait, I can't remember making a Paragon rune takes". So you leave the rune vendor again, and ZONE OUT of the keep to get to the court yard (where you get to select your party), pick your token crafting characters and zone out. Navigating through the HORRIBLE crafting menu, you figure out roughly what materials you need to buy. And ZONE INTO THE KEEP again. Walk up to the vendor, and start trying to buy things. Only to realize that to make high level runes, you buy a ton of low-level runes, and level them up. Ok. that's fine. Except even in stacks, low-level runes TAKE ONE BAG SLOT EACH. So you dump all your crap into the personal storage chest and buy the runes. ZONE OUT again and craft it. Something that should take less than 10 minutes have not taken you an hour. This is the dumb shit that they need to solve in DA2.

    But, at the end of the day, technical crap aside, Awakening does what Bioware does best. It delivers a compelling story, strong characters and I really enjoyed it. When I wasn't fighting the game.

    Now I just have to finish Golems of Amgarrak and Witch hunt before tuesday, and I'll be ready for Dragon Age 2, which... is a different topic!

  • Took a while - but finally got around to finishing Magicka in co-op. I absolutely love it. Amazing humor throughout the game, not only in the expertly crafted speech/dialog, but also in the detail throughout the game.

    Also, I still think the gameplay is pretty revolutionary - it definately has it's problems, and it's cumbersome, has a huge threshold to get into... but it's still fairly simple, and you get fairly adept at it as you go through the story.

    Also: NEW GAME !

    On the down side, the game (currently) suffers from both design and technical issues... but for an indie game like this, I'm more than willing to look the other way. Good job, Arrowhead. Good job.

  • Finally got around to play it. Very fun, if somewhat oppressive at times.

  • Terrible. Dull. Not even co-op is enough to redeem it. The question "Why do companies like these disappear when great companies [like Troika] die?". Basically, it's another poor licensed game.

    Low budget or lazy developers? Probably both. Don't buy it.

  • More Dawn of War 2 can just be amazing. The fact that "ALL RACES HAVE A CAMPAIGN" is a selling point feels a bit cheap when you realize that while the "local story" from race to race is different, the over-arching story is the same - and is essentially the space marine story.

    That said, it's still really good. However, if I were to suggest a campaign to play - go for the Orks, their motivation is superior.

  • Most controversial game of the year?! The amount of Hyperbole spouted in relation to Dragon Age 2 is stupid.

    FACT: Dragon Age 2 is as good, if not BETTER than Dragon Age: Origin - but both games are deeply flawed.

    Combat is better, story is just as good. Worst thing? Re-use of certain areas (one cave-system? one ware-house? one "outside area"?) is horrible... and I had some serious issues with how they handle a certain faction at the end of the game. But I really liked it.

  • Been playing Picross on and off for a year... I love it! Best Puzzlegame on any platform, ever?

  • Similar to Miles Edgeworth - this is among the best games I've played on the DS. The story was hugely amazing - even once I figured out "the kicker"; I couldn't see where they would go with it.

    Great game.

  • Portals, Lemons, SPAAAAAACE. No Cakes. Awesome.

  • Normally not really my sort of game, and I'm unlikely to ever play much online of this. But other than the final Shao Khan fight: Mortal Kombat is a trend-setter for Single-player experiences in Fighting games. Very good.

  • One of those games I will remember for requiring actual skill to beat - while I found some bosses tedious due to the checkpointing system - and the final boss originally angered me greatly, but... having beaten [the boss], I have a grudging respect (and healthy sense of pride at the accomplishment). Other than that, pretty good feeling in the platforming as well.

    All around? Awesome game.

  • Pretty disappointed. Could've been much better. What a shame.

  • Strangely detached from this game, even though I think it's wonderful.

  • I remember never finishing Witcher 1 for a variety of reasons (probably most importantly being losing the save) - and as such was hesitant to give Witcher 2 a go. Turns out Witcher 2 is a lot better than Witcher (1), huh.

    I do regret a couple of decisions (like going with Roche rather than Iorveth), but... really compelling game, if somewhat clunky (but *almost* awesome) combat. Play on easy, don't worry about the combat.

  • Good game. But about twice as long as it should've been... I noticed that I was very much losing interest halfway through, when the good parts started. Shame.

    The facial animations have spoiled me forever on other games, I fear :(

  • For good and bad, InFamous 2 is MORE of InFamous, with some unlikeable characters added to the mix. Still awesome controls, but I felt the story left a bit to be desired (even if I think it was anything but what I thought it would be).

  • Cards on the table: F3AR is not the best game ever made. But allowing the campaign to be played through in coop makes it quite good, and very enjoyable to play.

    I enjoyed it, and I may go back and play it a bit more!

  • Bastion is one of those games. It's lovely and amazing. Yet, somehow, I feel like I shouldn't like it too much. I don't know what that's about. But it's a great game anyway.

  • Beautiful game, and very well made - but... feels a bit short. Could've added some additional leveling content or something. Though, I should do some more Lantern Runs to get a better feel for the depth of that mode... Though I can't say I much enjoyed the lantern run mechanic in the main story.

  • Alice is a pretty good game. It's also a pretty bad game. There's a lot of things going on here, and there are a lot of mechanics that are superfluous. Beyond the hack-and-slash and 3D platforming, there are also 2D-platforming elements and some weird pachinko/flipper gameplay. Not good. Models for non-story-critical characters is also awful. That said, the story is pretty good, and the art design of Alice herself is awesome.

    There are also some very disturbing moments, this is without a doubt a pitch-dark game about a girl with some very serious issues - and I found myself not reluctant to play it for it's darkness, rather than not enjoying it.

    One thing though; I wish I hadn't heard others describe it as "too long", at 14 hours, it's respectable, but not terribly long, though, I probably would agree that some scenes are pointless and play on for too long, which is a shame.

  • 130 hours total. S-ranked. Done pretty much everything the game has to offer to a Hunter and Siren, including several Crawmerax kills and plenty of coop, except for picking up a Pearlescent weapon. While I love the game and it's characters (including Moxxi), the Moxxi expansion is HORRIBLE. 3+ hours with no experience or weapon-skill improvements - and it's hard enough that doing it with a level 13 character makes it "somewhat" challenging for a level 69... I hope they don't repeat this sort of thing for Borderlands 2 (which I'll be buying, if there was any doubt!)

  • Steam says I've played the game for 3 hours. While there are some pretty interesting set-pieces, and the game is fairly crazy on the amounts of action from the start to finish, 3 hours seems a bit low. Then again, Steam sale... so *shrug* I guess I got *my* value out of it at least. (Not interested in the multiplayer)

  • After all the negative press, I was surprised to find a very competent game that is fairly similar to Red Faction: Guerilla. The main change is that where Guerilla relied on open-world mechanics, Armageddon tries to tell a story, quickly moving you from scene to scene - much like any other third person shooter.

    The difference? Armageddon includes destructible environments. Sure, some surfaces can't be destroyed - and that can be a bummer, but I found that most of the time, the areas that were not demolishable were clearly marked as such. Also, the ability to repair damaged structures is very important as otherwise you'd a) find yourself in constantly ruined landscapes, and b) constantly get stuck, having destroyed the ramps that you needed to walk on to progress... Overall, I like the game. :)

  • The entire season, that is. There's just something "off" about TellTale Games. They somehow seem so "by the book" that the humor regularly gets lost. I still absolutely love Sam and Max, though.

  • Fun, but seems to be poorly balanced - only a bit past 4 hours in, I'm forced to grind to progress in the story. Could become more interesting again a bit further in... but I don't know...

  • Wow. This game has serious issues. SERIOUS issues. However... Wow! It brings back a lot about what makes me love gaming - the choice, the exploration. Do I want to take the air duct? Maybe there's a door I can hack around that corner? Can I talk my way past the guards?

    Then there's the gameplay - also solid, the shooting mechanics are a bit weird, but works just fine. Sneaking works perfectly - with a lot of extremely satisfying situations.

    Story... has been extremely thought-provoking for me. What is being human? Can getting replacement parts reduce our humanity? Probably. But where's the limit? Also, the risk is great, for everyone. Where do you put the limit? Why would you make a replacement limb that is as WEAK as the original one, if you can surpass it many times? But... how do you control that?

  • Ooooh yeah. This was really good. Except that it was a bit short, and kind of eclipsed by the high of Deus Ex. Still, awesome job, Relic :)

  • Phrases that come to mind is "Janky", "Broken", "Buggy" ... and "Damn, mindless coop is so much fun". Oh, and It's easy to get carried away with killing each other with gas canisters...

    Also, I almost think this game is better for the duping bug.

  • Played through the game in 2-player coop. It's an ok game, the combat is pretty satisfying and the weapons are fairly interesting - and sufficiently diversed so that multiple players can find niches they enjoy.

    Good basic gameplay mechanics, in other words.

    Unfortunately, the story is not very good... lots of silly and pointless things happen that have no real impact on the story... and then there's that big thing that happens that kind of does. But it's entirely illogical! Who would do that!? And there was no benefit to it! They could've just shot at it... or thrown a grenade? Sigh.

    Decent game, but the shooting is better than the story...

  • To it's credit, it's pretty much little more than a marketing game, made to promote and hype up the, then imminent, release of Space Marine. Unfortunately, Kill Team is not a very good game. As usual, it's a lot more fun in Co-op, but that probably has less to do with the game and more to do with the company...

  • Rage is not a bad game. Rage is not a bad shooter. You could even say that the shooting in Rage is pretty good. It's unfortunate then that Rage is very unsatisfactory. Almost all enemies are extreme bullet sponges, often time requiring several clips. Even headshotting someone with a sniper-rifle is ineffective, since EVERYONE has a helmet which can block at least one Sniper-rifle bullet to the face... As for voice acting, John Goodman and Claudia Black are excellent, as usual - but there are several other voice actors who ARE. VERY. CLEARLY. READING. SCRIPS. And the story... just the setup for the first quest is... just... implausible and stupid. But it's not a bad game. Neither is it a great game.

  • In the week-long delay of Dark Souls delay in Europe (whatever you want to call it), I started playing Demon's Souls again - and ended up starting over. Soul Level 90, ~35 hours played. It's very much a love/hate relationship - but primarily, the game for the most part was very good, if tricky and used unfair tricks (Like having Dragons nuke bridges and stairs before you've seen the Dragon) on you at times - but it was never ACTUALLY unfair, there was always a tell. There was always... something you did not do right. That's not to say it's a perfect game. It's not. But it's a good one.

  • Amazing Game. Compelling story (though not entirely apparent, unless you dig a bit). Still, feeling somewhat detached after finishing it. I think I'm less excited about the next Batman game this time, than I was 2009 - but it's still a very good game.

  • Not many games make me rage about unfairness. Not many games make me lower difficulties. Not many games have good platforming. Not many 3rd person games have good puzzles. Some games have good story. Unfortunately, for me, this, and terrible gunplay/AI is my experience with Uncharted 3 - unfair enemies, getting killed from no where... While I really enjoyed the story, the gameplay broke the game for me.

    "Best PS3-exclusive Movie of the year, shame about the Game."

  • Saints Row 2 was a game I could not get into. I guess it was partially having recently played a/some GTA games, and being rather tired of the mechanics of such games, but I just couldn't get into it.

    In Contrast, I've played over 50 hours of Saints Row, and I would gladly S-rank it (though the coop achievements seem bugged...). Saints Row: The Third is a lot of things, all things dumb and stupid. And I love it for it.

  • After 70 hours of Skyrim, I feel like there are still more things I would like to see. Theoretically. However, the voice that has been whispering to me, for most of the last 50 hours, telling me how I'm just doing the same thing over and over has become a shout. I used to think that the main fault of Bethesda's games was their bugs. For Skyrim? It might be that it outstays it's welcome.

    On the one hand, I see how providing overwhelming amounts of content gives you the illusion of choice - but the only choice you have is which order you do things and which things you do not do.

    Don't get me wrong, Skyrim is the best Elder Scrolls game they have yet made - and they've made some great ones. I'm just a bit tired of it.

  • A very interesting game, I like the unconventional, but very intuitively physical nature of the controls. Unfortunately, it suffers a lot from poor user friendliness and poor design, with overly-large UI elements covering far too much of the screen - and failing to instruct you on the majority of mechanics until you have finished a significant portion of the game.

    There's also the matter of the built-in calibration tool that sets your mouse-sensitivity to unplayably high levels.

    Fun, but troubled.

  • Honestly, the massive delay of Tenched has probably lowered my excitement for this game significantly - by the time it was released in Europe, it was such a known quantity.

    Still, Double Fine made another amazingly fun game with an interesting twist to the tower defense genre.

  • Assassins Creed: Revelations is perfectly competent. However, while there are revelations, there are few answers - it feels a lot like they are preparing for the next year - which, hopefully, will feel a lot more fresh and a lot less like a sequel.

    Great game, but... much like all the other sequels... sigh.

  • What a delightful little game! It's just relaxing fun, though it does require at least some brainpower at it's places :)

  • I don't know... Never been a huge fan of zombies. Atom Zombie Smasher was kind of fun, but there's just too much frustration for me to stick with it.