It’s that time of year already. Time for every website occupying server space somewhere to churn out a ‘best of’ list as if they’d be permanently shut down if they didn’t. Well, im getting it out of the way early so i can spend my Christmas holidays sitting around in my housecoat, eating chocolate for breakfast and washing it down with a White Russian while watching Raiders of the Lost Ark & Trading Places. Fuck yeah Christmas!!
The Best of 2011
Minecraft is an oddity, in that there’s really no game to it at all. Sure you kill things and avoid enemies, but thats not the real game. The real appeal of Minecraft is when the giant manchild that you are suddenly realizes that you’re playing the best lego simulator never created.
Lego is amazing. Video Games are amazing. Yet there has never been a lego game to capture that ‘rooting around in a box full of lego looking for that fucking block thats only 2 bits wide and one bit high which you can never fucking find but AHHHH THERE IT IS now i need a lego tree and and a door and where’s the single bit block thingy gone oh man this house is gonna be awesome’ feeling quite like Minecraft does.
It also deserves massive Kudos for having the best multipalyer mode ive experienced all year, where the closest thing you get to killing people is encasing someone who’s AFK in Obsidian. Instead of shooting and killstreaks and the usual run of the mill multiplayer bollocks, Minecraft lets you build, play, and generally be massive, massive geeks together.
Marvel Vs Capcom 3
Fighting games are, to me, alot like sex. I fucking love it, but i’m terrible at it. Which is why MvsC3 is so fucking great. Even the most cack handed brain dead mong can hammer on a few buttons and pull off some amazing screen filling 100 hit combos which almost always finish up with some chick with large breasts waggling her bosoms about, or for the ladies and gays among you, Chris Redfield will flex his dick muscles.
Seriously, if more niche/shit genres included scantily clad women and/or awesome comic book characters in them i’d play the shit out of them. An RTS featuring Morrigan, Trish, Felicia and Phoenix?? Rhythm action dance central shit starring Deadpool? SIGN ME THE FUCK UP!
Much like 2d Beat em ups, Driving games are another genre i love, but i play like i’m severely mentally impaired, and not just moderately mentally impaired. My philosophy for racing games has always been ‘the faster i drive the more chance i’ll win, especially if i take every single corner at max speed’, a philosophy nurtured by the original Ridge Racer, and subsequently shit all over by modern racing games and their hard on for ‘realism’, and ‘physics’, and other crap that people seemingly love nowadays.
DiRT 3 was great in that it could take even the most inept drivers (me), and give you a consolatory pat on the head and a bronze star for even the shittiest driving. Yet if you actually didnt drive like a moron and play it properly it’s one of the most enjoyable racers out there. Even the gymkhana which at first seems like the product of a focus group comprised of redneck Americans and children with ADHD becomes an enjoyable, solid challenge. And when you see the stunts some people are able to pull off in it, you can see just how much skill is actually required to be good at it
WHY DID MORE PEOPLE NOT BUY THIS??
I honestly dont understand it. Was it too dudebro for people? Was it not dudebro enough?? What do you people want?!
Whatever the reason, Bulletstorm was sadly a bit of a commercial flop, but a roaring critical success. Gamers are constantly crying about the popularity of Modern Warfare, and how it’s single player is the same in every single CoD game, and is living proof of the retardisation of modern FPSes:
And while Bulletstorm might not have done anything to change the retardisation of map design, what it did do was change up how you play, thanks to its Skillshot system. Every encounter could pan out differently, and offer higher and higher scores depending on how well you played and what weapons you used, offering less points for reusing the same moves over and over but more points for mixing things up and trying new stuff. And then of course it had a larder full of dick jokes and childish humour to keep the less cerebrally gifted player guffawing and slapping their hands together like a trained seal, and managed to wrap all these elements around a story that was at it’s core, a well told and involving revenge tale. Yet hardly anyone bought it. Fuck the lot of you.
I’m gonna hold my hands up and say i fully expected Dead Island to be a complete load of zombiefied bollocks. The trailer released at the start of the year may have been an amazing bit of CGI, but it set alarm bells ringing for several reasons, firstly, it had no gameplay in it, secondly, there would not be any zombie children in the game (cause youll never be able to kill kids in games unless youre one of those weirdos who downloaded child killer mods for Fallout 3, and if you are, fuck off), and lastly, no game would ever be able to make a fight against a zombie horde as emotionally involving as that trailer made it look.
And while i was right about the trailer bearing as much resemblance to the final game as Michael Barrymore does to Straight men who never raped anyone to death in a swimming pool, Dead Island was nevertheless fucking brilliant. A perfect zombie film survival atmosphere, a unique setting, the terror of hearing an infected scream followed by the sound of running feet, Dead Island was the zombie game i’d been waiting for since Resident Evil stopped being good, sometime after Resident Evil 2. Yeah the end of it is shit, and iv’e actually still not finished it, but i got about 30 hours of enjoyable zombie head stomping, which is good enough for me.
I haven’t finished Stacking yet. In fact, i only bought it last week in the XBLA sale, and have put in about an hour and a half of game time. But if there’s another game released this year that features a single entity as charming and grin inducing as Charlie Blackmore’s adorable little face and the way he totters along, i’ll eat my fucking hat.
I don’t care who knows it. I am full on gay for this game. If this game were another man, i would be camping up a mountain with it herding cattle and secretly bumming each other in a Tent every night. Every time i see Charlies little face, i want to hug him. When i stack into the body of a little kid in a sailor suit and press A to make him puke, or stack into a Victorian Gent and Glove slap everything in sight, i grin like an simpleton. This is the most charming game of 2011. And possibly the best, and only, game about Matroyshka dolls ever made.
Alice: Madness Returns
Oh God. I honestly dont know where to start with this. Alice turns me into a squealing, giggling little schoolgirl with just how fucking wonderful it was. If i was gay for Stacking, i’m full on, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, leather daddy outfit, pushbroom mustache dick up ass homogay for Alice: Madness Returns.
So what was so great about Alice? Where to begin? From an aesthetic point of view, its beautiful. Possibly the most aesthetically pleasing game ive played that wasnt Stacking. Every level has a different theme, and not one of them is ‘gritty brown middle eastern scenario’. Each location is more bizarre and beautiful than the last. From a Victorian London straight out of something Tim Burton would have made before he got shit, to miniture Alice climbing a Fuedal Japanese styled Ant hill where the peace loving Ants are being Terrorized by Samurai Wasps, to a floating Castle made of playing Cards, Alice is fucking beautiful. It’s art style has so much imagination that a single level of Alice would put every single gritty military dudebro shooter this gen to shame.
I could wank over this game all day long, but seeing as i’ve already done that, ill just leave it by saying that Alice is one of the best games of the year, from a story standpoint, from a visual standpoint, and from a gameplay standpoint. Only the arrival of Dark Souls stopped it from being my uncontested GOTY. Sadly it seems EA didnt quite have as much faith in it and it was somewhat sent to die, with little marketing and little hype, but if you’ve any love for the medium of Gaming, and you actually want a game that is challenging, both gameplaywise and storywise, you owe it to yourself to play Alice. Also, Quintin Smith of Eurogamer is a CUNT.
Dark souls. Dark Fucking Souls.
At time of writing, i have spent 133 hours on my first, and NG+ runs of Dark souls. Plus another 33 hours on a new character. And now a further 10 hours on the 360 version. Because yes, i bought PS3 and 360 versions. Currently i feel like an Autistic child trying to crack an FBI code. Almost 200 hours and counting. And just when i thought i had finished my last PS3 run, i realized i hadn’t killed Stray Demon. Or crafted any boss soul weapons. And that i should really go back and kill all the NPC’s for their gear before i start another NG+…and so forth.
Like Alice, i have previously wanked myself dry over this game. So ill leave it by saying, buy this game. If you consider yourself a gamer, buy this game. If youre sick of dumbed down FPSes saturating the market, buy this game. If you hate the casual-fying of modern gaming and want a game that is 100% anti-waggle, anti-casual, and has no Kinect enhancements, buy this fucking game.
There it is Ladies & Gents, Dark souls, the hardest core swinging dick fuck Ubisoft and thier 3DS catlogue of imagine babies not a single flailing arm in sight and NO I WONT SHOUT “XBOX, PLAY DARK SOULS” at my TV because if Dark souls even thought i was using a Kinect it would hunt me down, oneshot me with a fucking backstab and steal my Humanity, game of the fucking year.
Coming tomorrow, Part 2 of our best and worst of 2011, The Agony.