2011 Gaming.SE Picks

2011-12-27 by . 4 comments

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2011 Gaming.Stackexchange Picks

 

It’s now the end of 2011, and it’s time to look back on some of our most memorable gaming moments of the year.  This has been a great year for gaming, with so many excellent AAA titles such as Deus Ex Human Revolution, Skyrim, Uncharted 3, and Portal 2, along with many indie hits such as Bastion, Frozen Synapse, Terraria, and last but not least, Minecraft.  We asked many Gaming SE users and blog writers to share their most surprising moments, most enjoyable games, and the games they are most looking forward to in 2012.

 badp:

What was the most surprising game you played this year?

TF2. No seriously. My backgrond in FPSes was Quake Live, and I thought I had a taste of Valve’s take on multiplayer competitive fps in Half Life 2: Deathmatch. A very disappointing, confusing shooter: unclear death notifications, no hit sounds, unsatisfying weaponry… I was turned off. I want to clearly see who I’ve killed dammit! I also disliked a few of the ideas in the game (I still don’t understand why you’d spend money that could buy other games in hats).

Then Powerlord, bless his soul, saw the error in my ways and gifted me TF2. Actually, he gifted me the entire Orange Box. And I played the game, and found that many of the issues I had had been addressed, and that the game was so good and the playerbase so helpful and friendly, it really was a special game that ended up sucking roughly 500 hours of my life this year. And it keeps getting better!

What was the best game you wanted to play this year but didn’t?

Bit Trip Complete and/or Saga! I’ve seen the four non-PC Bit Trip games and, while I’m not sure they can be meaningfully ported to mouse and keyboard (and I really don’t like to use anything else), I love the art style and the music in the games. (Obviously, Bit Trip Runner 2 is going in a completely opposite direction. Heh.)

(What? You expected me to say MW3? or BF3? or Skyrim? or the latest Zelda? or whatever blockbuster (you name it, I’ve probably skipped it)?)

What was the worst game you played this year?

The award for shortest time between first launch and uninstall has to go to APB: Reloaded. I was getting 10 SPF (…that’s seconds per frame). In the main menu. With no 3D drawing whatsoever.Okay, perhaps that’s not fair, then the award goes to Duke Nukem Forever, which bought me a few seconds in the game. Put in a mirror to show off the main character’s terrible, terrible animation from the very start of the game, yeah baby. He looks stiffer than a broom. A broom of steel. (Oh, and I couldn’t finish the boring boss fight in the demo either due to the low fps.)

What game are you looking forward to the most next year?

Valve’s hinting at Half Life 2 Episode 3, if that isn’t Half Life 3 directly. I don’t think I need to add anything to that. Otherwise, I’m not really looking forward to anything in particular.

What is your Game of the Year?

The Stanley Parable.

 agent86:

What was the most surprising game you played this year?

The Binding of Isaac. I wasn’t expecting it to be something I’d want to play, and every time I played it I felt really icky, what with all the disturbing yet cartoonish imagery. The gameplay though, was just sublime. Very addictive and the randomness added a depth element I just wasn’t expecting.

What was the best game you wanted to play this year but didn’t?

Skyrim looks like a heck of a lot of fun, and I’m a total Bethesda addict, but I really want to wait until it gets patched up before I dive in. The first few months always yield any number of crashing bugs that would ruin my enjoyment. Plus, I’ll probably be able to pick up a good combo pack with some of the early DLC if I’m lucky.

What was the worst game you played this year?

Sword of the Stars. I think it’s not a terrible game, but it was a terrible disappointment. I was really hoping for a re-imagining of Master of Orion for the modern era. It’s been a good long while since I played a solid 4X game. It’s just a mess, with far fewer tutorials than it needs, and confusing game mechanics.

What game are you looking forward to the most next year?

Mass Effect 3, no doubt. I’ve enjoyed the first two parts of the franchise, and its plot has only become more compelling as time wears on. It manages to take a cast of believable characters and turn them into a cohesive team. I think it will be a good game for the site too – its open-ended nature means that guides and wikis don’t always fit the bill when you’re looking for advice.

What is your Game of the Year?

Saints Row: The Third. It’s full of crude humor and frat-boy level jokes, but I view it as the Transformers of video game franchise – it’s over the top, it knows it’s over the top, and it uses that to make an excessively fun experience for everyone involved. The plot missions manage to one up one another even though the first one ramps the crazy dial all the way to 11. The side missions are fun and funny, and the game is just damn fun to play. It manages to take your character from slob to god-like, and still keep the difficulty just right the whole way, which is no mean feat. It’s also got the best co-op experience ever.

 

 Dave McClelland:

What was the most surprising game you played this year?

This is going to sound silly, but Saints Row: The Third. I hadn’t heard anything about it until it came out, and then it seemed to be brushed off as a GTA knockoff (full disclosure: I hadn’t played the first two, either). When I played it, though, I realized it was an incredibly well-made game that was incredibly fun to play. SR3 didn’t feel like a cheap GTA clone, but an improved version. It really blew me away.

What was the best game you wanted to play this year but didn’t?

Skyrim. Unlike the whole world, I’m waiting for it to go on sale, as some sort of boycott of $60 PC game costs. My firm stance has been difficult to maintain through all the related gaming questions and reddit posts, but I’ve held out this long. I’m sure I’ll get it when it hits $40, and I’ll enjoy it, but for now I’m happy with what I have.

What was the worst game you played this year?

Brink. While it probably wasn’t the absolute worst (I play a lot more flash games than I’d like to admit), it was by far the most disappointing. The game had been getting so much publicity among my friends that I expected it to replace TF2 as my go-to game. Within a couple weeks of playing, though, all my friends had given up, and it seemed like the community had died. The game just wasn’t as fun as it was made out to be, and it was just a huge disappointment.

What game are you looking forward to the most next year?

Diablo 3. I’ve been in the beta for a couple weeks and have enjoyed myself tremendously. The crafting system makes inventory management a much less agitating experience, and the gameplay is outstanding. Now, if only Blizzard would announce a release date…

What is your Game of the Year?

I’m going to go with Portal 2. The potato-pack ARG that Valve led added a sense of excitement around the release that I rarely feel anymore when games are released. The game was outstanding, and Valve did such a wonderful job of getting the community involved and excited for its release, there was really no other contender for the spot in my mind.

 

 Ivo Flipse:

What was the most surprising game you played this year?

Surprising is probably supposed to mean some Indie game or a game not everyone thought would be a hit. But what surprised me was how much I liked Skyrim, because I threw away Oblivion Lost after only getting through the opening sequence.

What was the best game you wanted to play this year but didn’t?

I think Minecraft. The more videos I see of you guys chit-chatting away while doing crazy stuff reminds me of the good ol’ days in World of Warcraft. I think I got to play most other games that are worth the time, but I dare not start with a time sink like Minecraft…

What was the worst game you played this year?

Rage: take all the elements that make other games great, implement them subpar, juice them with hyped, but great looking graphics and you end up with Rage. That I made it to the end is more because of OCD then because it’s a good game.

What game are you looking forward to the most next year?

Diablo III, no doubt. I’ve played nearly every Blizzard game and they rarely let me down, I expect Diablo III to be just as awesome. I only worry getting hooked even more so than with Skyrim and hate to think what that would do with my productivity…

What is your Game of the Year?

This should be a choice between: Portal 2, Uncharted 3 and Skyrim. But given that I’ve played the latter 41 hours and even bothered to start all over after losing my savegames, this is definitely the game of the year for me. Nothing else this year has come even close to keeping me engaged for over 20 hours and that says it all to me.

 

 DMA57361:

What was the most surprising game you played this year?

I have a habit of over researching games before I buy them – I hate getting a crap game unexpectedly – so it is rare that a game really surprises me.

However, Bastion managed just that. It is the first game in a very long time I’ve picked up almost on a whim. In fact it managed to convince me to buy it based almost entirely on the first few minutes of its demo. It grabbed my attention with its unusual narration and beautiful visuals, then held on to it until I’d played the game end to end, twice.

What was the best game you wanted to play this year but didn’t?

I’ve actually managed to play pretty much all of what I was interested in this year. I’ve a few big Christmas-season releases outstanding (Batman: Arkham City and Assassin’s Creed Revelations), but I’m in no rush to pick them up, and all the various indie bundles have pretty much satisfied me from that direction.

What was the worst game you played this year?

Brink. It’s not really a bad game as such, but it was rather disappointing. The gameplay ended up being quite bland and it failed to deliver on the quality of narrative promised in the build up. Murmurs before release about it being a challenger against TF2 were ultimately wrong as it ended up being fairly mediocre all round.

It’s such a shame too, with the world they’ve crafted they could do so much better…

What game are you looking forward to the most next year?

There’s plenty of big titles coming next year: Mass Effect 3, GTA5, Tomb Raider and Borderlands 2 are all sitting on my radar at the moment, and I’ll probably play them all but I’m not giddily enthused about any at the moment.

What I’d really like, however, is another awesome indie game to crop up and really hit the spot. This year has been the first that I’ve seriously played a wide number of indie’s (partly thanks to Gaming.SE inadvertently advertising them to me) and will be playing many more from here on in; there’s just so many interesting things to find here.

What is your Game of the Year?

Portal 2 was funny and clever, but just didn’t feel as special as the first (though the co-op was fantastic). Skyrim’s a great huge time sink, but has a few too many issues bogging it down. Deus EX: HR was good, but the ending tainted the experience for me. SpaceChem is just down right clever. But frankly can be a little bit forgettable. Frozen Synapse is probably the most fun multiplayer I’ve played in years, but rather niche. Assassin’s Creed is great, but growing a little formulaic (I’ve not played Rev yet, but the rest this year). Zelda is fun, but massively formulaic and has a little too much hand-holding for my tastes. L.A. Noire is turning out pretty interesting, but took too long to really get going.

So, I think, this has to go to Bastion from me. Clever, unique, beautiful and fun. It kept me gripped end-to-end, twice, and even convinced me to buy the soundtrack (an extremely rare occurrence as I rarely listen to music).

 

 Cyberskull:

What was the most surprising game you played this year?

It’s hard to be surprised in this Internet age. The amusing narration in Bastion perhaps?

What was the best game you wanted to play this year but didn’t?

The L.A. Noire complete edition. I want to finish all the DLC quests.

What was the worst game you played this year?

Not a game at all, but the Fall 2011 “Metro” update to the Xbox 360 Dashboard has just made it horrible to use. Netflix has gone from my favorite non-gaming application on the 360 to my most hated. I could angrily rant all day about autoplay, bad UI, it’s unresponsiveness and other bad features. This is why youdon’t outsource to Microsoft without some kind of approval process to ensure they don’t give you a POS.</rant>

What game are you looking forward to the most next year?

Currently it is a tie between Mass Effect 3 () and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (), as those are the only 2 games I have pre-ordered for 2012.

What is your Game of the Year?

That is a tough call. Nothing this year really stands out despite there being several good titles. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword overall has great gameplay; _Catherine is a head trip; Portal 2 is funny as hell; L.A. Noire makes me hate Los Angeles even more; Batman was a solid game with terrible DLC;

So I will probably say The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is my GOTY.

 

 bwarner:

What was the most surprising game you played this year?

SpaceChem. I bought the Humble Bundle for Frozen Synapse, but instead I’ve mostly just played SpaceChem. As a programmer, the game’s puzzles are a ton of fun, and it is even something that other members of the family have gotten into (including my 6 year-old).

What was the best game you wanted to play this year but didn’t?

Portal 2. I enjoyed the first one when it came out for free, but I didn’t feel like paying full price for this when I still had other games to complete. I just got it for 75% off though, so I’ll get to it next year.

What was the worst game you played this year?

Dungeon Siege 3. As a big Diablo fan, this seemed like a no-brainer. But playing it made me appreciate all the fine touches that make Diablo great and were missing from this game. I still haven’t completed a single playthrough.

What game are you looking forward to the most next year?

Diablo 3 of course. I haven’t managed to make it into the beta, but that’s probably a good thing as far as having free time goes.

What is your Game of the Year?

Skyrim. It’s a great game that has really raised the bar for open-ended story driven games, not to mention the huge impact it has had on this site.

 Sorean:

What was the most surprising game you played this year?

Dungeon Defenders. This game combined really interesting aspects of a tower defense and first/third person shooter. A very awesome twist on two classics that I enjoy.

What was the best game you wanted to play this year but didn’t?

Skyrim. I’m not a huge open RPG fan, didn’t like Fallout, Oblivion, Gothic, etc. Just can’t get into those games, but the people that I know that play it, absolutely love it. Don’t know what it is about that genre that I just can’t get into.

What was the worst game you played this year?

Tie between Dungeons and Dragons – Daggerdale and Hunted – The Demons Forge. Both these games didn’t really a strong story driving the character (I gave them both 5-10 hours each) and ended up uninstalling both.

What game are you looking forward to the most next year?

Hands down this will have to be hopefully Diablo 3, or Heart of the Swarm expansion for Starcraft 2. What can I say other than I’m a blizzard fan boy? Well that and they make really excellent games.

What is your Game of the Year?

I’d put Starcraft 2, but that was released in 2010 so I don’t think it qualifies. So I’ll have to go with Dungeon Defenders.

 yx.:

What was the most surprising game you played this year?

Dead Island.  After watching the epic nonlinear teaser trailer for the game, I had to get my hands on this game.  Unfortunately, the initial launch was quite terrible, but after all the mess was sorted out, I did find myself enjoying the game quite a bit.  There is something that’s very enjoyable hacking and slashing away at zombies, and I was willing to turn a blind eye to the game’s shortcomings after a while.  A close second for surprise is the release of a new X3:TC DLC called X3: Albion Prelude.  It was a very pleasant Christmas bonus from Egosoft.

What was the best game you wanted to play this year but didn’t?

L.A. Noire.  I’m not a big fan of adventure games and crime solving, but I keep hearing great things about the game.  I’ve been meaning to snag this game from one of the various Steam sales and try it out, but it got lost in the shuffle of all the other games that came out in Q3 and Q4 of this year.

What was the worst game you played this year?

Brink, by far.  Although the idea of parkour style FPS looked very interesting, the implementation and the mechanics of the game left a sour aftertaste in my mouth.  There was also a lot of hype around this game (some people thought it would replace TF2), but it certainly does not even come close.

What game are you looking forward to the most next year?

Man, there are a lot of titles coming out next year that I want, Diablo 3, Mass Effect 3, StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm… But the game I’m most looking forward to is X: Rebirth.  I am a sucker for the X series from Egosoft, and I can’t wait to get my hands on this game.

What is your Game of the Year?

This was a tough choice for me between Deus Ex:HR and Skyrim.  I have many fond memories of the original and the fact that Deus Ex:HR stayed faithful (mostly) to the style of the original definitely helped me enjoy the game that much more.  In the end though, I have to give the title to Skyrim.  Just by comparing sheer hours alone, I’ve spent 10 times the amount of time in Skyrim than Deus Ex:HR.

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  • Nick T says:

    This looks like a forum thread. It should be edited so it’s grouped by category. Oh, and none of the game titles are italicized ;)

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