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My Top Lists for 2011
by Robert Boyd on 12/15/11 07:11:00 pm   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

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The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Since everyone's doing it, here are my top lists for 2011 (conveniently released before 2011 is over - take that people who release their games on December 30th like we did last year!)

Top 10 Favorite Games of 2011

10. Sanctum - Fun mix between FPS and Tower Defense that I found more enjoyable than other Action/FPS like Dungeon Defenders and Trenched. The devs have been doing a great job of supporting the game since release, both with major free and paid DLC.

9. Bastion - Fun action/adventure game with some wonderfully melodramatic voice acting. Not much to say that hasn't been said elsewhere.

8. Dungeons of Dredmor - Probably the most fun roguelike I've ever played. Nice mix between hardcore and accessibility. Good dev support as well. Oh and they helped me with the tech aspect of getting our games working on Steam so I owe them for that. :)

7. Anomaly: Warzone Earth - Wonderful reverse tower defense game where you're the invader. Fantastic production values for an indie game.

6. Tactics Ogre (PSP remake) - Take a great game, remove some of the annoyances, add a fantastic new translation and other features - what's not to love?

5. Sonic Generations - Never been a huge fan of Sonic games, but this one's a blast. The 2D levels are only decent but the game shines with the 3D levels - a perfect mix of racing, roller coaster, and platforming.

4. Corpse Party - Can be frustrating at times, but the expertly crafted interconnecting horror story kept me glued to my PSP. Best audio of the year.

3. Trails in the Sky - Feels like a novel in JRPG form. Best cast of characters in a game this year. Great cliffhanger ending. Hope the sequels come out.

2. Portal 2 - Dragged in a few parts but still an amazing game. Extremely funny & many good puzzles (though not as many as the first game).

1. Dark Souls - Someone called Dark Souls the 3D spiritual successor to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. That's accurate. If that definition doesn't make you want to rush out and buy it, I don't know what will.

-Best games from past years that I didn't play until this year-

4. Metro 2033 - I thought this was a straightforward FPS. If I had realized that it was an expertly crafted horror game, I would have jumped on it so much sooner. So good.

3. Demon's Souls - Would have been higher but then Dark Souls came out. :)

2. Siren: Blood Curse - The most accessible Siren game but also probably the weakest (#2 is my favorite). However, weakest Siren game still makes for an awesome game.

1. Dragon Age: Origins - I had avoided this game because I hated Baldur's Gate, but I gave it a try when the ultimate collection was on sale for $15. So glad I did. Fixes all the problems I had with BG and is one of the best RPGs I've ever played. Great combat & leveling systems. Shame to hear that the sequel is basically a completely different and inferior game.

-Games I own in my backlog that I'm looking forward to playing the most-

5. Blackwell trilogy - Picked this up in an Indie Royale. Looks like a really interesting old school adventure game. Haven't played one of those for forever - should be fun.

4. Gemini Rue - See Blackwell trilogy.

3. Fallout: New Vegas - Thought Fallout 3 was decent. I've heard New Vegas is noticeably better so I'm excited to try it out.

2. 3D Dot Game Heroes - Old school Zelda with silly modern effects? Sounds right up my alley.

1. Valkyria Chronicles - I've heard nothing but good things about this one. The demo for the sequel kind of threw me off but I hear the original is much better.

-Biggest disappointments of 2011-

(Note, disappointing does not necessarily mean bad.)

4. Arkham City - I really liked Arkham Asylum but when I finished it, I felt like I was done with its style of simple but fun brawler mixed with stealth and detective work. I was hoping Arkham City would be noticeably different but it's not. It's just the same thing but bigger, with a few new gadgets, and slightly less tight design. I understand how that could be really attractive to people who couldn't get enough of Asylum, but it's not for me.

3. Deus Ex: Human Revolution - This is a problem of misguided expectations. I was expecting an RPG and instead got a FPS/Stealth game. High quality game but again, not what I really wanted so when it started getting repetitive, I quit. Oh and I didn't care about the characters or story at all - talk about an unlikely group (though I guess that's not unusual for cyberpunk). Hacking minigame was awesome though.

2. Zelda: Skyward Sword - Gorgeous graphics and music, some clever puzzles, but I'm just not having much fun with it. I think the biggest problem I have is with the pacing - compared to the 2D Zeldas or even the Souls games, everything just feels like it takes forever. Not sure if I'll bother to finish it or if I'll just go and trade it in before then.

1. The 3rd Birthday - Seriously, Square-Enix? You're just punishing us for not liking Final Fantasy XIII, aren't you?

-Games I'm looking forward to the most in 2012-

7. Cherry Tree High Comedy Club - The US has a distinct lack of anime-style life sims where your goal is to create a high school comedy club. This should fix that gaping hole.

6. Pretty much everything that Carpe Fulgur is going to localize.

5. Sound Shapes - Everyday Shooter was a great game so I'm looking forward to seeing their next effort.

4. Bioshock Infinite - Loved Bioshock 1 & 2 and I hear they're trying to change up the formula with the new one. I expect great things.

3. Xenoblade Chronicles - A friend of mine at Nintendo showed the game off to me and I gotta say I was impressed, especially by the massive world. Not the JRPG I would make (I prefer my games turn-based and mostly linear) but high quality JRPGs that aren't on a portable system are a rare commodity.

2. Diablo 3 - Not many things I like more than a good hack & slash RPG. Got in the beta and really enjoyed what little there was to play. Can't wait for the full version. Definite Game of the Year contendor for 2012.

1. Gravity Daze - Unique art style, amazing gameplay concept (gravity manipulation in a 3D Action/Adventure game) on a brand new system developed by one of my favorite developers (Siren team)? Sold!

0. Rainslick Precipice of Darkness episode 3 - Because I like to eat. Oh and it'll be awesome too. :)

-Games I'm looking forward to the most that might not come out in 2012-

4. New Tomb Raider - The mix of classic Tomb Raider, a Metroidvania, and horror sounds great but it's so far off that I wouldn't be surprised if it gets pushed into 2013.

3. The Last Guardian - Starting to wonder if it's vaporware at this point; it's been in development for so long.

2. Grim Dawn - Loved Titan Quest and though Diablo 3 looks to be a lot of fun, I want my Titan Quest spiritual successor as well.

1. Desktop Dungeons - Hoping they have an official release soon and it doesn't just stay in Minecraft-style beta for forever.


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