Collection Part 3: Last Gen PostGB

This is the third part of my collection. It is split into multiple list due to list length restrictions. This list covers the middle period of the 360 era, which I figure starts around the time I found Giant Bomb. Specifically this covers from July 2009 to September 2011.

I make a habit of putting a number (1/5 to 5/5) and about a paragraph on each game. You know, for posterity. A heart (<3) means I love the game and it's one of my all time favorites.

Keep in mind that takes here were written during the period this covers (2009-2011) and are of a time.

List items

  • XBLA (September 1st, 2011) - 4/5 - A really cool concept, however I have no grasp whatsoever on the strategy elements which makes the game incredibly stressful. However, I do like to roll down hills and the rolling handles alright, so I think I'd recommend it, though know it's dense as hell.

  • XBLA (August 3rd, 2011) - 4/5 - An incredibly atmospheric game let down by a painful lack of story or context and an incredibly short campaign. Still, it was a lot of fun for the 4 or 5 hours it lasted.

  • XBLA (July 27th, 2011) - 3/5 - I got tired of this game 4 or 5 levels in, right before fire trees and water trees get introduced. I don't know, it's not terrible, but there are a lot of things that push me away, causing me to never play it.

  • XBLA (July 20th, 2011) - 5/5 <3 - A remarkably well executed and original action RPG. I can't recommend this game enough.

  • PC (June 30th, 2011) - 3/5 - An incredibly atmospheric Layton Knock Off blighted with bad puzzles. A shame.

  • PC (June 30th, 2011) - 3/5 or so - Really good story, watched on youtube last year, thing is now that I own it I have no reason to play it because the puzzles were bad. A shame.

  • PC (June 23rd, 2011) - 2/5 - Had some good bits, but overall was slow and boring. Would not play again.

  • XBLA (June 22nd, 2011) - 4/5 - Great multiplayer game filled with a lot of cool ideas. Could use a few things though that look like they're coming. All I can say is that for once what this Doublefine game stands on is gameplay, can I can't wait to see how they expand it.

  • PC (May 30th, 2011) - 4/5 - Wow. Well, actually, you do get tired of it after a few months.

  • PC (May 24th, 2011) - 2/5 - Was a fun toy for about a day.

  • XBLA (May 9th, 2011) - 3/5 - Poorly designed in a lot of respects, but over all a very interesting game if nothing else.

  • 360 (May 1st, 2011) - 5/5 - A solid fighting game, even for single player.

  • PC (April 29th, 2011) - 3/5 - Wasn't terrible. I guess. There were some good bits, but there were also some frustratingly awful puzzles contingent on tedious interactions.

  • 360 (April 19th, 2011) - 5/5 <3 - This game is so finely crafted. I love it. It's remarkably funny, remarkably clever, and unbelievably well play tested and stream lined. If I had one complaint, it'd be that the commentary is a little too sparse, but honestly that's kind of a petty complaint for one of the best games I've played all year.

  • PC (March 28th, 2011) - 3/5 - It was an interesting world, but I felt it ended way too soon without actually offering any pay off.

  • Black, DS (March 6th, 2011) - 4/5 - There's a lot to hate about it, from the insipid story, the way it forces a lot of shit down your throats, the grinding towards the end game, and the fact that a lot of stuff that's generally awful about Pokemon still being awful. However, it speaks to how engaging and atmospheric it is that I say you should probably play it anyway.

  • XBLA (March 3rd, 2011) - 3/5 - Didn't ever get around to finishing. Somewhere between the stealth, the combat, and the running around a world that's way too big for its own good I lost interest and stopped playing. Shame, the story seemed really interesting.

  • XBLA (March 3rd, 2011) - 5/5 - It's a fantastic little time waster that's great whenever you have 5 to 10 minutes that serves a function better than just about any other game in my collection. It also doesn't hurt that it's amazingly well designed and super smart about just about everything it does.

  • XBLA (February 24th, 2011) - 4/5 - It's a charming, funny, and entertaining game, and while it's not as funny or touching as Double Fine has been in the past, it's gameplay is more polished and fun than any previous Double Fine game to date.

  • 360 (February 22nd, 2011) - 5/5 - An excellent blend of classic, modern, and original ideas, Bulletstorm is a delightful shooter which manages to incentivize creativity better than any game I've ever played before, both with its brilliant Skillshot system and it's great weapon variety.

  • PC (February 18th, 2011) - 4/5 - Was alright, and has me hooked enough where I'm definitely stoked to play Episode 3.

  • DS (January 24th, 2011) - 5/5 <3 - An incredibly entertaining story, incredibly delightful puzzles, snappy and amusing dialog, fantastic animation and a great premise make Ghost Trick one of my favorite DS titles.

  • PC (January 5th 2011) - 3/5 - Not really funny, but a nostalgic trip that at least passes the time.

  • 360 (December 30th, 2010) - 4/5 - A remarkably strong game which manages to blend several existing games better than you might expect while still having a really nice personality of its own.

  • 360 (December 19th 2010) - 3/5 - Didn't play anymore than a few minutes, so I really can't say, but seems like racing without any frills, and I live on frills. It's not a game for me, but it was free with my new 360 so it's cool.

  • 360 (December 19th 2010) - 4/5 - Smart action, smart story telling, and an incredible atmosphere make Alan Wake a good time.

  • 360 (December 16th, 2010) - 3/5 - The shortcomings of Mass Effect are its incredibly clunky UI and it's incredibly frustrating and genuinely unfun combat. It's strength is storytelling and atmosphere, and it has incredible amounts of both. In the end its immersive nature does compensate to some degree for its poor gameplay, however barely.

  • 360 (December 16th, 2010) - 4/5 - This is the "Wreck shit up" sandbox game to end all "Wreck shit up" sandbox games. Sure, there are some major issues with the missions in that they're not very fun, but it doesn't matter because it's awesome to run around blowing shit up.

  • 360 (November 27th 2010) - 4/5 - Brotherhood managed to further refine the mechanics of Assassin's Creed 2 in some very smart ways which are easy to appreciate. Plus it's as fun as it ever was to stab a historical asshole in the neck.

  • Wii (November 21st 2010) - 5/5 - A fine example of a game that is able to be both modern and classic, DKCR manages to find new ways to innovate while staying true to what made the original Donkey Kong Country trilogy so damn fine.

  • XBLA & PC (October 25th 2010 & December 14th, 2011) - 5/5 - Super Meat Boy understands fast. Super Meat Boy understands flow. Super Meat Boy understands stupid. Super Meat Boy is awesome.

  • XBLA (October 20th 2010) - 3/5 - Costume Quest is charming I guess, however the charm runs out fast and the writing isn't really funny enough to hold up a rather spartan RPG with very little strategy in the combat.

  • Xbox 360 (October 19th 2010) - 4/5 - Technical failures fail to hold back Fallout New Vegas, which offers a fine narrative and a great world to explore.

  • Wii (October 17th 2010) - 2/5 - I think this is, in a lot of ways, a major step back for the Kirby series and, honestly, the removal of health only makes it either more stressful while you care about gems, or completely uninteresting when you realize gems have absolutely no use. To be frank the game ends up being somewhere between frustrating and boring, two things I don't ever think a game should be.

  • Wiiware (September 2010) - 3/5 - This game is kinda neat, but a little mellow for my tastes.

  • 360 (September 2010) - 3/5 - I didn't play much, but what I did play made me sure of the conclusion I had reached years ago. I'm done with Viva Pinata.

  • XBLA (August 11th 2010) - 2/5 - I do not like this game at all. I'll leave it at that. No, actually let me say what I don't like about it. The shooting feels weak and ineffectual, the movement feels way too slow (possibly due to all my Multiplayer FPSes being Valve games) and I don't like the upgrade mechanic at all which encourages you to choose a class and stick with it, while a game like this should really be more fluid.

  • XBLA (August 4th 2010) - 4/5 - Reviewers gave this a hard time, but you know, I really dug H of D. While there were people playing it I played more or less it nonstop, sometimes 12 hours a day. It was an incredible week or two. It felt like a Castlevania game with MMO trappings, we one finds a group to go on a raid with and hang out with them going through a few dungeons. Where a guy and a mate can try a particularly hard boss 12 times in a row, each time trying to approach it from slightly different angles. It felt like a really social experience, making its true shortcomings not how poor it is alone, but its issues with matchmaking which made it frustrating when it was new.

  • PC (August 1st 2010) - 5/5 <3 - What is there to say about Starcraft II? It's an incredibly well done single player game with a massively satisfying campaign filled with variety in gameplay, variety in strategy, and a whole lot of story. It's an incredibly well done Multiplayer game with a ton of strategy and a ton of custom game types which are really fun in their own right. It's a great eSport that's a ton of fun to watch if you can grasp it properly. In short, Starcraft II has it all.

  • XBLA (July 31st 2010) - 4/5 - A fine racing game. It's fast, the boost stuff it has is good, and it has a really visually interesting world that's a lot of fun to tear through since it's really dynamic. The only thing that can be held against it is that there weren't a ton of courses.

  • XBLA (July 2010) - 4/5 - It's dark, it's edgy, it has a lot of good mellow platforming in it, but I find it hard to say it's without error as it's really short and doesn't really deliver on the concepts it puts forward. Still, worth seeing.

  • 360 (May 2010) - 5/5 - This game is fast. This game has a lot of strategy in its item use. This game isn't strictly speaking random. Because of this game I will likely never buy another Kart Racer ever again because I know they come nowhere close the refined intense strategic racing Blur presents. For its phenomenal multiplayer and acceptable single player, I'd recommend anyone pick up Blur.

  • Wii (May 2010) - 4/5 - You know, I loved Super Mario Galaxy. It seemed like Galaxy 2 improved it in all the right ways. It removed the hub, added more variety to the game in the form of power ups and Yoshi, but I dunno. I think the inherent problems of Galaxy began to become an issue after all this time. Getting out of levels is still too slow. All the characters are asshats again. Minor complaints, sure, but minor complaints that Nintendo likely will never fix at their current rate, which is aggrevating.

  • XBLA (April 2010) - 4/5 - What can I say, it's Uno. It works well for what it is, and its fun with the right people, and an average to mediocre way to waste time if there are no people available. Still, for 5 dollars (or free if you got it before I did) it's fine.

  • Game Room (March 2010) - 3/5 - Pretty fun for a maze game, but at the end of the day it's just a maze game.

  • XBLA (March 2010) - 4/5 - Cool idea, was fun while playing the demo, however the campaign is frustrating when you get to the point where the AI is really good and having to replay maps gets boring fast.

  • 360 (February 2010) - 5/5 - With the addition of Minerva's Den, I'm confident in saying that if it weren't for the weaker story this would be far better than Bioshock 1 due to it's by far superior gameplay.

  • 360 (January 2010) - 5/5 <3 - This game is as good as space RPGs got. It's got great lore, great story telling and characters, a lot of good exploration, solid atmosphere, and combat that's just good enough to hold up for the 30 plus hours the game lasts. For me a lot of this game is just magical, and I feel while it can be a slog at times, it's alright because it's just so immersive.

  • 360 (January 2010) - 4/5 - A solid stealth game, a decent beat-em-up type game. I never did get the combat's rhythm down, but I still enjoyed it.

  • Played on PC (Since 2009) - 4/5 - The game is crazy fun, but also incredibly jacked up in some really bad ways. Still, it's CRAZY fun and for the price of free it's a great ride.

  • PC (December 2009) - 3/5 - I lost interest in this game after a few hours. It's a lot of clicking on dudes. I paid $5 for it though so I feel fine with the purchase.

  • DS (December 2009) - 2/5 - I had high hopes that it could fix the major issues with the first game, but it merely compounded them. Shows me for trusting Nintendo.

  • 360 (November 2009) - 5/5 <3 - This is the sort of game I can thrive on, and my friends list is built for. I love the cooperation, I love the strategy. I love the killing, I love the running. I love the talking, I love pills. I love the Scavenge, and a little Mutation can be fun time to time to. This game built on the success of the first one in all the right ways and for that I give it credit.

  • 360 (November 2009) - 4/5 - Assassin's Creed 2 was such a step from Assassin's Creed 1 I think I often use it as an example of how much a series can improve from the first game to the second. It fixed literally every issue of Assassin's Creed 1 in some fantastic fucking ways and managed to tell an actually compelling story in the process. It's not perfect, but it is really damn effective.

  • 360 (October 2009) - 4/5 - People say things about this game and they are not wrong. It is a kinda terrible RTS. It is a half baked action game at the same time. Yes, it is kind of awful how much it expects you to do at one time. Still, I love its atmosphere, I love its open world aspect, and despite it's problems I enjoyed the RTS bits of it, and even played skirmishes against Very Easy CPUs for a time after I played it. Also, I have to say, it has one of the best stories I've ever seen in a game.

  • Wii (Fall 2009) - 3/5 - Needs more game to keep me going, something to engage me in physical exercise. As it stands it's boring and I stopped playing it as soon as my back stopped hurting. (Which was the reason I bought it)

  • DS (September 2009) - 3/5 - Parts of this are the greatest Mario & Luigi experiences to date, but a lot of it is absolutely horrible. The great parts are any time you play as Bowser, roam around the overworld kicking ass and taking names, and being an absolute bad ass. The terrible parts are where you play as Mario, Luigi, and some absolute Mouthy Twat who talks down to the hero of the game, Bowser, constantly. Mario and Luigi's sequences are dry, tedious and boring when they're not minigames, and when they are... that's a whole different story.

  • PC (September 2009) - 3/5 - Story's good, but the gameplay's so clunky and kinda shitty.

  • XBLA (August 2009) - 5/5 <3 - One of the few Metroidvanias, this game is a modern classic. It successfully takes the ideas present in a Metriodvania, builds them out in a modern way, and adds its own twists to the proceedings perfectly. I can not recommend this game enough to literally anyone with a 360.

  • XBLA (July 2009) - 2/5 - A below average platformer that attempts to sell itself as a simple platformer. The unfortunate fact is that the simplicity of the controls doesn't lend itself to open ended platforming making all the levels stupidly linear with no room for interpretation and, while its controls are simple, it's both more mechanically dense and more driven by trial and error elsewhere than other platformers, making a genuinely bad game that fails to deliver its key selling point.

  • DS (July 2009) - 5/5 <3 - The definition of a solid RPG far as I can see. Great characters, great writing (great translation on the DS version!), and an incredibly cool adventure that spans 5 eras and manages to feel exciting and interesting throughout. If you have a DS and have never played Chrono Trigger, I must say that you should.