2 Jan 2012

Joel’s Year 2011 in Gaming

Author: Grant | Filed under: Gaming, News

OK, so, Grant says that “I should do 5 categories because of blah!”  But screw that.  I didn’t play too many games this year, and forcing underqualified entries into being “good” just isn’t my style.

Note:  If your favorite games aren’t on here, there are two possibilities as to why.

1) I didn’t play them

2) They sucked.

These are just games that I can totes vouch for.

So, let’s rock.

Best Actually Fun Fighting Game Released This Year: Marvel vs Capcom 3

I didn’t really like MvC2, so I was not planning to have the least bit of fun with this game.  But, it all turned around the moment I finally decided to pick up James’ fighting stick and give it a shot.

To my surprise, the game was actually fun.  It is fast-paced, well-balanced game that was far more than I thought it was going to be.  I figured, going in, it was just going to be Magneto-Storm-Sentinel ad fatigum.  But, it turns out that there is a lot of teams that can work, and a lot of individuality you can get through choosing your very own team.

The comboing system is something that I actually like for once in a Capcom game.  It’s not very strict, and it’s actually very simple.  Naturally, over time, you can develop better, more customized combos, but the game makes it rather simple to get started doing some damage.  And, while I’m normally one to eschew combos and tell people to not worry about learning them, the initial ones are essentially basics of the game.

Naturally, there’s far more to the game than just “damage”—even doing full health on one character only removes 1/3 of the opponents’ teams total health.  Team composition, deciding who’s on point and who’s anchoring, how to deal with teleporters/zoners etc…  The game gives you a ton of options and a ton of opportunites.  But, the most important thing of all…

It’s fun.

Most Surprising Game:  Zelda: Skyward Sword

Let me start this out like this.  Zelda games have been real let downs as of late.  Pumped out repeatedly with the method of “boring gameplay, boring dungeons, boring plot, here comes Ganon, congrats!” have really just set a low, low bar.  Zelda games pretty much equated with, “Sigh, here comes another one, why did Ocarina of Time need to be so successful that people can’t make a game that doesn’t reference it/a different game that already referenced it?”  So, I can not stress this enough.  I was not looking forward to another Zelda game with gimmicky controls.

What I got instead was a game.  A real game.  While my friends who don’t play games for gameplay (Eddie) will knock the game for not having PS3 graphics and instead having this thing called “art”, I noticed the beauty from within.  The game starts you off with 6 hearts and two bottles.  It’s not the standard “nothing will ever kill you, so kind of just go with it,” thing that even Ocarina of Time had. Those two bottles and six hearts will prevent you from dying, yes, but, unlike other Zelda games, you’ll actually have a chance to use them from time to time.  Dungeons (well, most of them) tend to not be tediously huge, which is a nice change.  And, very importantly, there are more characters and more personalities than just Zelda and Ganon (let’s face it, many Links didn’t have a personality).

The game uses the Wii Motion Plus very well.  Some boring gamers might not react well to change from dual-analog sticks to actually having some control over your hand, but it’s really not a complicated switch.  Flying, falling, fighting—all use the Wii Motion Plus very well.  If only they had decided to come out with this game and Motion Plus first with the Wii, things might be very different nowadays.

My only huge problem with this game is that you have to unlock hard mode by beating the game once.  Hard mode makes the game far more entertaining—and it wasn’t boring in the first place.


Best Use of Your Money:  Pro Jumper! Guilty Gear Tangent!?

I have stupid friends.  They waste money, and they’re bad at video games.  That’s my logic behind why I’m the only one with the wonderful DSi-ware game called Pro Jumper! Guilty Gear Tangent?!  It’s also the reason why I don’t believe Dark Souls is as hard as people are claiming it to be, because a lot of the claimants are bad at games anyway.  I’ve got nothing against Dark Souls; I’ve got everything against my friends who are bad at video games.

I love hard games.  I really do.  I Wanna Be The Guy?  Beaten.  Guilty Gear XXAC?  I tend to dominate.  Kaizo Mario World?  Snore.  They’re all fun, and they’re all hard.  So, when I heard about a new Guilty Gear game on DSi ware, I was interested.  When I found out that it was actually a challenging game attached, I was all the more impressed.

The game is a mere 5 dollars, and it comes with 12 levels (6 unlockable), all with challenges that might make you want to stop.  You play as Chimaki, a hidden stuffed toy in Guilty Gear 2: Overture.  Your goal is to get to the bathhouse.  But there are many things in your way, and since you’re a lover and not a fighter, two hits will take you out!  Fortunately, although you start with 3 lives, the more apples you collect in a level, the more lives you get!  Which you’ll probably need, as the game’s difficulty ramps up into, “Now how could I have dodged that!?!”

If you can stand to have hours of gameplay potential for a mere 5 dollars, I say you should buy this game.  It’s really that fun, and a great buy at 5 dollars.  Be honest with yourself: you’ve probably paid more for worse games last year; why not start the new one off with something cheap and great?


My Favorite Game This YearGhost Trick

This game… is incredible.  It really is.  This, again, came from nowhere; I saw it at Grant and Eddie’s video game store and said, “I could give it a shot.”  And damn.  This game had me hooked in a way that basically no other game did.  And by “basically”, I mean, “My DS went from full charge to dead twice while playing this game nonstop.”  Only basic needs (school, food, etc) stopped me, and I didn’t want to.  I just wanted to play more, uncover more of the story, do more of those wacky Ghost Tricks.

Just play it.  Take my word for it.  It’s the best game no one played this year.  It’s also the best game this year.  Move over, Grant’s entire list, this is where it’s at.  This game alone.

Honorable Mentions:

None.  Any other game I had fun with this year had little to do with the game, and more to do with the people I was playing it with.