Gaming in 2011
. A strange year in that nothing really jumped out as uber-awesome, and an MMO (SWTOR) might be my GOTY. Never thought I'd say that. iPhone also became my second most played platform.FINISHED IN 2012
- Mass Effect 3
(360 - April 3) - B+ - A fitting finale to the story, but not nearly as strong as ME2. The strange questing on the Citadel felt very disjointed, and the overall story wasn't nearly as compelling. Still, it was plenty of fun and the production values were off the charts. 31 hours.
- Diablo 3
(PC - May 25) - A - No one does hack-n-slash better than Blizz, and D3 was no exception. Looked amazing, fun story, great gameplay. 62 hours.
(PS3 - July 5) - B - Very unique and artistic, and it implemented MP in a way that I actually enjoyed instead of dreading. 2 hours was a bit short for $15 though.
- God of War 3
(PS3 - July 6) - A - The sheer spectacle of the GoW games is truly something to behold, and this one is no different. Some fantastic set pieces, awesome combat, great puzzles, and the perfect length. A stellar first game to knock out on my new PS3. About 9 hours.
(PC - Oct 18) - B+ - The closest thing we've seen to Thief since, well, Thief. Would be a solid A if not for lots and lots of major bugs. Tried playing through with no-kill, but eventually just gave up and went on a killing rampage. Was nearly as fun playing that way. 22 hours.
- Guild Wars 2
(PC - Oct 26) - A- - Maxed out an MMO character for the first time, so I'm going to go ahead and count this one as complete. Upper level areas had some significant issues with bugs and glitches, but it was otherwise fantastic. May even roll up an alt to give it another try. 110 hours, so far.
- Torchlight 2
(PC - Nov 4) - C+ - Same problem that the original TL game had for me. All the right pieces are there for a fun hack-n-slash, but it has absolutely zero
personality. I had no idea what I was actually trying to accomplish, it was just a bunch of random areas thrown together for collecting loot. Decent enough to finish, but really only because nothing else was tickling my fancy at the time. 17 hours.
- The Unfinished Swan
(PS3 - Nov 20) - A+ - There are certain games that are so unique, so fresh, and so interesting that they serve as “rechargers” for my increasingly cynical gaming heart. There’s so much cookie-cutter crap out there that we forget that games can be truly creative and stimulating. Unfinished Swan is such a game. A wonderful, touching, surreal experience for the short time it lasted (3 hours)Currently Playing
- Borderlands 2
- Shadow of the Colossus (PS3)
- Persona 4 Golden (Vita)
- Lego LotRPlayed and Discarded
(PC) - Once I get past the "wow, this looks amazing and is fun to explore" phase, it really boils down to doing the same 2-3 dungeons, fighting the same 10-12 enemy types, and running between similar looking towns. The storyline was very dull this time around, and didn't really compel me to continue. May pick it up again after modders have worked their magic, but setting it aside for now. 30 hours.
(PC) - Held my interest far longer than any other MMO has, mainly due to the fantastic storytelling. It simply got too grindy for my tastes, and I found myself distracted by other things. 92 hours.
- Kingdoms of Amalur
(360) - A decent game that got sidequested to death. After 28 hours, I still hadn't got out of the first zone and was still coming across quests left and right. Probably could have just advanced and beaten it, but my ADD brain couldn't handle leaving that many things undone.
- Shinobido 2
(Vita) - A god-awful Tenchu clone. Not a decent redeeming thing about it. 3 hours
- Hot Shots Golf
(Vita) - Fun, but nothing revolutionary. Latter courses got ridiculously difficult. 10 hours.
- Uncharted Golden Abyss
(Vita) - Looked fantastic, but I didn't like the gameplay at all. Came across a couple spots where I couldn't figure out how to proceed and simply had no desire to continue due to the lame story and setting. Probably 5 hours.
- Super Stardust HD
(Vita) - A great Asteroids-ish game that looked fantastic. 4 hours.
- Wipeout 2048
(Vita) - Another case of one that looked great, but I wasn't crazy about the gameplay. Found that my hand cramped terribly when I played it for more than 10 minutes as well. 2 hours.
- Xenoblade Chronicles
(Wii) - I really enjoyed Xenoblade, but it dragged out far too long. Combine that with some frustrating game mechanics (i.e. can't track individual quests, finding NPC's is bothersome, baffling crafting system, etc.), and I simply wore out on it. A very good effort though. 40 hours.
- FF XIII-2
(360) - For some reason, this one just didn't click with me at all. Only got about 5 hours in though...will likely give it another try later in the year.
- Warlock: Master of the Arcane
(PC) - A fun fantasy take on Civ 5. 6 hours
- Orcs Must Die
(PC) - A decent enough take on tower defense...those simply don't hold my interest very long. 1 hour
- Dungeon Defenders
(PC) - See above. 1 hour.
- Runespell Overture
(PC) - Thought it's combination of poker and RPG could be the next Puzzle Quest. Not so much...ended up to be pretty dull in practice. 1.5 hours.
- HOMM VI
(PC) - Scripted missions are teh suck. Even moreso when they're in a "story mode" that doesn't flow at all. Would be great with a random map generator. Without one, not so much. 3 hours.
- Dragon's Dogma
(360 & PS3) - Hated this the first time, but really started enjoying it on PS3. Got overly repetitious though, and the story was laughably bad. Interested to see what they do with the sequel. 34 hours.
- Lollipop Chainsaw
(360) - I was really looking forward to this one. It started out great, but once you got past the novelty of it, the game itself wasn't really all that good. It wasn't absurd enough nor was the combat fun enough to appeal in the ridiculous way Bayonetta did.
- God of War: Shadows of Olympus
(Vita) - For some reason, the GoW games don't click with me on handhelds like they do on regular consoles. I end up kinda bored with them. About 3 hours.
- Rainbow Moon
(PS3) - Started out pretty strong, but the battles got incredibly tedious and repetitive after a while. Too much grind without any real story or purpose to back it up. 12 hours.
- Tales of Graces F
(PS3) - Incredibly weak beginning, I had zero interest in the first 5 hours of the game while I was playing as a 10-year-old kid. I heard it got better once the "fast forward" happened, but I was bored by then and moved on. 7 hours.
(PC) - One of the most dull, boring, and generic shooters I've ever played. 1 hour
- Book of Unwritten Tales
(PC) - A very promising point-&-click adventure game. Great graphics, interesting puzzles, clever writing...and a massive, game-stopping bug at the 6 hour mark. Completed on iPhone FINISHED IN 2012
- Baseball Superstars 2012 - Another solid entry in the BS series, finished a 10-year career as a batter. Seems a bit more IAP-focused than previous installments though, which was a bit of a turn-off.
- Luxor Evolved - An awesome take on the marble-match formula. The retro-inspired graphics were very cool, as was the soundtrack.
- Dungeon Village - I'm typically not that big on the Kairosoft formula, but this one just clicked for me. Reminded me a lot of Majesty as a "hands off" RPG.
- Fairway Solitaire - Every bit as good as the PC version. Maybe moreso, since there's no Joe's Gas N Golf roadblock level.
- 10000000 - An absolutely awesome mix of Chuzzle and Dungeon Raid with retro style. Addictive as hell, although there wasn't much after the fact to keep interest.Played and Discarded
- Bumpy Road: Gotta be honest, I don't get all the fuss over this one. It's expensive (for an iPhone game) and the gameplay is average at best. I saw it on nearly every "best of" list for last year, but thought it was rather 'meh'.
- Monsters Ate My Condo: Crazy-ass match 3 game that was a complete blast.
- Triple Town: Another unique match 3 that was highly, highly addictive.
- Spelltower: A Bookworm clone that I thought I'd like, but the minimalist graphics made it feel rather boring.
- Ticket to Ride Pocket: Awesome adaptation of the board game. Poor AI and no MP kinda killed it's longevity, but I still go back for the occasional go.
- Pirates! (iPad)
- FF Tactics WOTL - Probably should finish this, since I got 40+ hours in, but I hit a wall and just don't feel much like pushing through for a second time.
- Tower of Fortune - Fun mix of slot machine and RPG elements with a Gameboy aesthetic, but about the only way to progress towards the end is a ridiculous amount of IAP.
- Avadon The Black Fortress - Great production and seemed like a good game...just couldn't get into it for some reason. Never really grabbed me like I thought it would.
- Velocirapture - Amusing in short bursts, but that's about it.
- Magic the Gathering 2013 - My first crack at MtG. Very fun and easy to get into for a noob.
- Small World - Enjoy the board game, but wasn't crazy about this version, for some reason.
- Ascension - Fun in small doses, never could wrap my head around the Mechina heroes
- Dominion - Another foray into CCG's, probably my favorite of the bunch.
- Montezuma 3 - A frantic match-3 that was fun for a while, but got way too hard.
- Ninjatown Trees of Doom - Cutsey jumping through trees. Fun distraction, but that's about it.
- ORC: Vengance - Terribly disappointing hack-n-slash. Uses a gesture-based system for movement and attacks which would trigger special attacks when simply trying to move around. A d-pad would solve 90% of this game's problems.
- Eyelord - A unique take on Zuma, projecting eyeballs with a heavy metal theme.
- Punchquest - Jetpack Joyride meets Castlevania. Crazy fun, but a bit repetitive.
- Puzzle Craft - An awesome match-3 combined with a city builder. Spent nearly 10 hours with it, only to have everything wiped due to the 'no string' bug.
- Dungeon Story - Could be the next Dungeon Raid. Match-3 meets RPG with a ton of customization options. Gets awfully grindy though.
- Epic Astro Story - I thought this one would be right up my alley after enjoying Dungeon Village so much, but it fell flat. Couldn't get a handle on some of the mechanics in this version...need to go back to it someday.
- The King - A crazy Peggle/Plinko/Kaboom hybrid where you drop barrels on invading knights, rogues, and such from the top of a tower. Lots of fun, gets very hectic.