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A Decade in Review; Shoggy-11


2011 was a really weird time for me, I was living at home with my Mom and siblings, trying to build up enough money to move down south to make a long-distance relationship into a not-at-all long distance relationship. I made it happen too, kinda...I started working at Target, got my license, and lived in Georgia briefly. In between uprooting myself, moving around, and doing everything I could to not save any money whatsoever, I tried to keep up with gaming in 2011! I feel like I mostly failed though, since (like with the previous part, and like with future parts) I didn’t play some of these games until after 2011. That being said though, I have another batch of good games to talk about, another lukewarm bowl of day-old ‘meh’ to talk around, and some crap to complain at. I’ll keep the format from last month going by starting with the worst thing.


I love The Legend of Zelda series. I’ve been playing those games since I was a small child and the main motivating factor for me to buy any Nintendo console is to eventually play the Zelda game that launches on it. The Wii, however, was one console that I just didn’t get and it’s mainly due to its focus on motion controls. As time passed I saw that Nintendo was happy to allow players to use the classic controller to play their first party games. New Super Mario Bros Wii, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Kirby: Return to Dreamland; these were all perfectly playable for me. When Skyward Sword launched though, it was clear that motion controls were going to be put front-and-center, and at first it looked promising (well, except for that one E3 presentation where the motion controls didn’t work properly).


Actually playing Skyward Sword worked fairly well too until I started encountering enemies who would automatically block my sword strikes. I didn’t think too much of it at the time, but I kept running into more enemies who would pose one way so as to expose themselves for a specific strike, only to automatically shift their defenses right as I was about to land a blow. The farther I went into the game, the more likely I was to encounter more aggressive enemies and it was during faster-paced fights that the Wiimote would lose track of what I was trying to do and desync. The fact that there’s a dedicated button to resync your wiimote is troubling, but let’s not dwell on the shortcomings of a control scheme that doesn’t work 100% of the time in the best of conditions. 


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Skyward Sword takes place in Skyloft, a floating island, where Link is part of an academy where he’s training to be a knight and Zelda is essentially his girlfriend. One night, Zelda is kidnapped and brought down from Skyloft to the land under the clouds. Link is guided to the resting place of The Goddess Sword by the absolute worst companion character in the Zelda franchise, Fi. Link must follow Zelda to the surface world, collect 3 of a thing, bop the head of a sock puppet several times, collect a few more things from the same places he’s been before, bop the sock puppet a few more times, have one incredibly good boss fight, travel through time kinda, and save the day from Akuma of Street Fighter fame.


If I didn’t make it clear earlier, the controls in Skyward Sword are inconsistent: You move Link using the nunchuck and swing your sword by swinging the Wiimote itself. If you swing too wildly in real life, or if Link has his swing interrupted in-game, then you’re likely to desync, and need to resync before you can continue on. Items like the bow, slingshot (yes, seriously), the dowsing machine, and the beetle require you to use the Wiimote’s pointer control, which I’ve also had a lot of trouble with and which can also desync if you aim too far away from the center of your TV. 


Another of Skyward Sword’s issues is its padding. I don’t remember if the cutscenes are skippable or not, but seemingly every time you’re told something by an NPC Fi will repeat the same information. Every time you collect the boss key in a dungeon, you have to do a short gyroscope-based turning puzzle to use-key-on-door. If you’ve played for hours, collected a lot of crafting material, quit out of the game and come back later, every time you collect an additional crafting item (a thing you already have and know about), Fi will stop everything to tell you what you just picked up. She does this for bugs you collect, she does this for rupees valued at five or higher, she does this every time you boot the game up no matter how much progress you’ve made.


Skyward Sword holds your hand to a degree that would seem excessive for a game meant for toddlers, and yet this is the seventh major console release of this series. Skyward Sword has enough that I like to really make the bad aspects of it shine through all the brighter, like mold on a strawberry. It may not be my most hated game of the decade, but Skyward Sword is definitely the game I most dislike from 2011. 


The 3DS had a really uneasy launch, but once it picked up some momentum it really made a name for itself. Mario Kart 7 was the first Mario Kart I spent any significant amount of time with since the Nintendo 64 entry, Mario Kart 64. I didn’t own a Gamecube while Double Dash was relevant, and I hated the motion controls and weapon spam of Mario Kart Wii, but Mario Kart 7 felt like a much more forgiving and accessible title in the series. I never felt like there were instances where the computer would just pound me into the dirt with a triple-shell and lightning combo, but I definitely felt pressured to drive as skillfully as possible (ie: drift, drift, drift, and drift again), to maintain my lead on higher difficulties.


There are fewer playable racers in 7 than there were in Mario Kart Wii, and the motorcycles are gone too, but customization has been emphasised with the addition of about 17 different karts, 10 types of tires, and several different gliders. The weight of your racer, their carts, their wheels, and their gliders combine to make every character play differently enough that you could populate a race with 8 different Bowsers and have them all play differently. Online multiplayer featured in Mario Kart 7, but I don’t remember using it all that often so it was either unremarkable, or I couldn’t get it to work for me. Gyroscope-based motion steering was also an option in Mario Kart 7, but I couldn’t turn that off quickly enough. The steady stream of unlockable content, the fun core gameplay, and the fact that I had multiple instances of 12+ hour commutes in 2011 kept me playing Mario Kart 7 a lot when it was new. 


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Dragon Age Origins was a lot of fun, wasn’t it? I think the worst thing I could say about it is that it started to drag after the thirtieth hour or so, but it was definitely a great concept. Dragon Age 2 is disappointing from the title: Even the expansion of Origins had a proper subtitle, and Dragon Age 3 (for whatever faults it may have), also has a subtitle. My first impression, based on nothing but the name, is that Dragon Age 2 just isn’t trying as hard, and when I found out that you have to play as a human named Hawke that suspicion is confirmed. Dragon Age Origins unique selling point was how the plot changes based on your class and character race: wealthy dwarves have a different origin to poor dwarves, they have different origins to forest elves, and on it goes with six different origins for your potential character.


Hawke of Dragon Age 2 is always a refugee fleeing to the town of Kirkwall with their hot sister. Once safely in the city, Hawke embarks on a number of quests that enable them to grow in power and influence while also surrounding themself with hangers-on who aren’t as attractive as their sister (except maybe Varric, but you can’t romance him so why bother). Like with the previous Dragon Age, you choose what kind of character Hawke is, be they a thief, a warrior, a mage, a dude, or a guy-dude, but unlike the original, Dragon Age 2 has a real-time combat thing going on that boils down to you mashing ‘A’ or ‘X’ or (I assume) ‘Left-Mouse-Button’ to attack until your enemies fall down and bleed EXP. You can still form a party like in the previous game; up to two additional people can join Hawke on their journey to kill brigands or bugs or whatever.


Unlike Origins though, I can only remember 2 companion characters off the top of my head: Hawke’s hot sister, and Isabela; a hateful, unlikable, filth-encrusted, pirate cosplayer who I really wanted to kill, but I couldn’t figure out how to, and I wasn’t about to play this game twice. I know I name-dropped Varric earlier, but I had forgotten about him until I checked out the Dragon Age 2 wiki to look up the one and only town Dragon Age 2 lets you explore. In addition to Kirkwall being the only town you can wander around in, the dungeons and coasts you explore are basically just the same rooms and corridors copy-and-pasted together in slightly different configurations, and with slightly different mobs. According to howlongtobeat.com, Dragon Age 2 takes just over 26 hours if you only want to beat the main story, but within the first few hours you’ve already seen everything the game has to offer.


The story is where things don’t seem as lazy; instead of playing through one grand adventure, Hawke and co embard of three major quests with side-content in between them. One year after fleeing to Kirkwall, Hawke joins Varric on a treasure hunting expedition to a cave. During the expedition, everything goes off without a hitch and Hawke returns to Kirkwall a wealthy person. Three years after the cavalcade of success that turned out to be, Hawke is asked to help deal with the Qunari in Kirkwall. Unlike in Dragon Age Origins and Awakening, the Qunari look like a fantasy race rather than tall humans with red-tinted skin. Three years after dealing with the thing you may have recognized from the marketing campaign, Hawke has to deal with the Templars, who are ruling Kirkwall with an iron fist and oppressing anyone who can use magic. I can’t recall when I lost interest in the plot exactly, but it was probably after episode 2, when I had dealt with the Qunari and was regretting outing Hawke’s hot sister as a mage to a Templar.


What I do remember about the last act of Dragon Age 2 is this: I chose to blitz through the main story missions and focus on nothing else. I was clearly under-level, but despite that I was able to beat the final boss with relative ease and end the game. Over time, I’ve come to see Dragon Age as the weakest Bioware series. I liked Origins enough to play through it twice. I remember starting Awakening, but I don’t remember anything that happened in it. Dragon Age 2 was so dull though, that it completely tanked my interest in the world, the characters, and everything surrounding it. I haven’t played Dragon Age 2 since 2011, I definitely overpaid for it since I bought it on day 1, and I don’t see myself ever trying Inquisition.


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(Booo, Hiss)


Face Raiders was fun for about 10 minutes, wasn’t it? The novelty of shooting balls into your friends’ mouths was kind of fun, but once the initial wonder dies away you’re left wondering what else there is to do with that new Nintendo console, the 3DS. In the summer of 2011, I was lucky enough to find a 3DS with a reduced price and a copy of Ocarina of Time the very day I was supposed to be catching a train north. I set up my 3DS before departing and spent a majority of my 12 hour commute sleeping. While I was awake I played the latest release of Ocarina of Time. Originally released on the Nintendo 64, Ocarina of Time is about Link, the Hero of Time, collecting 3 things, growing up, collecting 6 more things, then killing the pig demon who destroyed Castle Town, and is implied to have done other evil things.


The first, most noticeable thing about the 3DS remaster is how every character no longer looks like they were made out of painted lego and origami. The texturing on everyone, and everything, looks fantastic, and the frame rate also seems to have been raised somewhat (30 on the 3DS instead of 20 on the N64). Another improvement made on the original is how the menus and item swapping work: In the original, you needed to pause the game to access the item menu. This breaks the pace of gameplay, and in the water temple (to choose a dungeon at random), rapidly switching between items is a necessity. The 3DS is a dual-screen console, so while the top screen is dedicated to gameplay, the bottom screen is dedicated to either the map or one of the item menus. By tapping and dragging an item from the menu onto another part of the menu, Link equips and is ready to use that item almost instantly. Ocarina of Time on the 3DS is the same game as it was on the Nintendo 64, but with these visual and quality of life improvements I would call this the definitive version of the game, and one of the best of 2011.


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When was the last time you played Monopoly? Any variant of Monopoly will do; Star Wars, Mrs, Xtreme Beach Volleyball, there are more types of Monopoly than one can reasonably keep up with. What they all have in common though is that none of them are really fun. Monopoly is a game of luck and attrition, a game where RNGsus gives and takes away with a roll of the dice. Fortune Street can very easily be called digital Monopoly, but unlike Monopoly, Fortune Street takes the concept of an economy and expands upon it hugely. It’s not enough to hoard cash and properties, you’re also playing the stock market. By adding in stock options, it’s possible to purchase properties on spaces that you don’t completely own, thus the time it takes to get through a game of Fortune Street is exponentially longer than a game of Monopoly since it takes that much longer to bankrupt your fellow players.


If you were suckered into buying or playing Fortune Street, it’s probably because you get to play as familiar Super Mario and Dragon Quest characters. Other versions of Fortune Street have featured playable Final Fantasy characters too, but the Wii release seems to have been the first to feature Mario, Donkey Kong, and other familiar characters from the Mushroom Kingdom. I categorize Fortune Street as a ‘bad’ game rather than a ‘meh’ game because of just how drawn out and boring the experience is, even if you chose to play a short game. Roll the dice, land on a property, spend/collect money, maybe draw a card, repeat. The presentation is fine, there weren’t any bugs or glitches that I noticed, but this is one of those games where I felt like I was in it for several hours only to check the time and see that I’ve only been playing for about 20 minutes. 


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(Boooo, yawn)


I need to admit something: I’ve never actually watched Blade Runner or its recent sequel, Blade Runner 2049 (edit: I watched Blade Runner for the first time a couple of days ago). The first time I watched Robocop was about 4 years ago too, and I really liked it, but I still feel ashamed for not having watched it sooner. With that out of the way, Deus Ex: Human Revolution was really, really, really good. In seven years from now, Adam Jensen will get shot to Hell and brought back from the brink of death with a number of augmentations including, but not limited to, a snazzy pair of sunglasses, and spify forearm-mounted blades. From then on, Jensen will be tasked with stopping terrorist attacks and finding out who would want to attack Sarif industries in the first place.


The course the story takes can change drastically based on decisions you, the player, make. No matter what you choose you will always get the chance to explore Detroit, Hengsha, and a number of sprawling enemy bases, and research centers as you progress through the plot. Progression through the story and completion of tasks grant Jensen Praxis kits (unlocked with EXP, found in the world, or given by NPCs after quests sometime) which you use to unlock new abilities and make the ones you already have available more effective. You can also find mods for weapons which can do the standard things: scopes for improved range, higher ammunition capabilities, more power per shot, etc. There are non-lethal weapons that you can use if you don’t want to get blood on your hands, and if you want to, it’s possible to make it through the whole game without killing anyone at all...well, except for a handful of mandatory boss fights. 


I may talk about Human Revolution again during the course of this little project of mine, because it does have a remastered edition, because I’ve played the Directors Cut more than once, and the first edition of the game featured unskippable boss fights. It’s very jarring to ghost past three-dozen guards, cameras, and security networks only to run into a walking tank of a man who shoots propane tanks out of his forearms. It’s just as possible to play Human Revolution aggressively as it is to play stealthy, and those types of players probably didn’t have any major issues during boss fights, but my playstyle was quiet and sneaky so the boss fights gave me trouble. It makes me wonder how late in development the bosses were even implemented: the final boss for example, seemed like it was easier to take down through stealth and hacking but I could be misremembering. The first boss felt the most out of place but again, I could be misremembering. Bosses aside though, Deus Ex: Human Revolution was one of my favorite games of 2011, and definitely my favorite home game. 


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(Yay! (I never asked for this))


I categorize Duke Nukem Forever as ‘meh’ instead of ‘bad’ which is probably weird since most other people categorize Duke Nukem Forever as, ‘get that thing the Hell away from me’. The quick reason I can’t call DNF bad is because I played through it three times in a row when I first got it. I don’t play bad games three times in a row, I only play bad games all the way through once if I feel personally insulted. Duke four didn’t insult me though, in fact it entertained me. In some ways, Duke Four shows that it gets the character: instead of having a health bar and armor rating, Duke lives and dies based on how full his ego is.


Duke’s ego can be increased by lifting weights, shooting hoops, looking at himself in the mirror, and interacting with other in-level objects. The earliest part of the game lets you play around with this feature a lot too, giving you maybe a little bit too much time to mess around in Duke’s penthouse. You scribble in a book an apple-cheeked child asks you to sign, scribble on a whiteboard, get talked at by NPCs...The first alien you can kill has to be killed by throwing things at it, and if you hold onto Duke’s golden pistol for the whole game you get an achievement! Speaking of guns, the original release of Duke Four limited you to only being able to carry 2 guns, just like in Halo. This baffling decision was patched out later, but replaced with the ability to carry 3 guns which is a step in the right direction, but still not exactly right: you don’t give players more choice and variety by limiting what they can use.


Duke Four is varied in terms of levels and setpieces: you fight aliens on the streets and neon, gaming places of Las Vegas, there’s a Duke Burger level that cleverly uses the shrink ray, there’s a disturbing sewer level, with a tone-deaf cave level soon to follow. Duke Four ends at The Hoover Dam, but it’s not much of a climax. There’s definitely sequel bait, but Duke Four performed so poorly, and was raked over the coals by so many critics, that there likely won’t be a Duke Nukem Five. It’s a shame really, Duke Four wasn’t the best looking game but I liked what it did, and the shooting felt fine. The bosses were alright, and while there were maybe one too many turret sections, the level design on the whole seemed fine. Duke Nukem Forever could use polish; shorter load times, better texturing, the ability to carry and use all of your weapons instead of copying Halo, a consistent tone, a good ending, but I can’t call it a bad game so it’s the best of the Meh’s.


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(You're not great, but you're better than people say you are)


Last month, I talked about Pokemon Black and White since I imported a copy of White from Japan. It officially launched in the west in 2011, and I played the Hell out of Black when I could buy it here. Since I talked about it in my last entry though, I’ll leave it at that: Pokemon Black and White are great. I placed Bulletstorm in my good pile because, unlike Rage, Bulletstorm encouraged you to murder dudes in fun new ways and scores you on your murder skills. It was more engaging than Rage, Crysis 2, and Duke Nukem Forever, I also liked the writing, and the character progression more.


I don’t know if there are any differences between Dark Souls, Prepare to Die, and Dark Souls: Remastered, and since I didn’t play it until the Remastered edition, I’ll hold off on my gushing until my 2017 blog (which I anticipate to be about half a million words long). Skyrim is good, despite the narrative, quest design, character progression, character interactions, load times, and a million other nits I’m sure I could pick. What I liked about Skyrim was wandering around the wilderness and being the victim of giant attacks and racism since I only ever play as an Argonian or a furry. 


The anniversary edition of Halo is the exact same game as the original release of Halo but with better graphics. Halo: Combat Evolved was a great game, but I wouldn’t give it a gold, silver, or bronze medal in 2011 since it was also great a decade earlier. What makes me call Marvel vs Capcom 3 good instead of meh is the way the fighting in that series works verses how Netherrealms does their fighting: Mortal Kombat always has a feeling of stiffness to it, but even the bad Capcom fighting games have a greater sense of flow and speed to them. I also like how I can beat the stupid out of Chris, Jill, and Wesker as Dr. Doom, or Viewtiful Joe.


I really liked Portal 2, and I’m sure if I look on the Steam Workshop for about 60 seconds I can find a mod that changes the voice files of Cave Johnson and GLaDos into Ricky Gervais and Karl Pilkington. It’s really interesting to watch Aperture Science rebuild, then go underground and see what it used to be. Also, despite my musings 2 sentences ago, the writing for Cave Johnson was really funny, to the point that I could just listen to those lines podcast style and be satisfied. I kind of wish there were more puzzles, and it does feel a little bit too long as contradictory as that sentiment seems, but Portal 2 is really good, even for a friendless jerk like me who didn’t really interact with the multiplayer mode. 


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(I'm bitter about Exposure)


Rock of Ages combines all of the fun of knocking over bowling pins with the irreverent comedy that comes from Terry Gilliam’s Monty Python animations. You earn money by breaking things, and use that money to either make better balls or setting up better defenses. The first person to knock down the other’s giant doors win, and it’s more challenging than one might expect, but still a lot of fun. Saints Row the Third plays like a Saturday Morning Cartoon: I played this open-world, murder sandbox as The Punisher who was tricked onto a murder gameshow, and eventually had to stop not-S.H.I.E.L.D. from deploying a zombie virus. I remember liking Saints Row 2 more, but Saints Row the Third offers a large city to annoy, a lot of fun weapons to annoy people with, and that awesome insurance fraud side mission. 


Take a quick look at Solatorobo on Amazon then weep for me because I probably lost my copy forever. What IS Solatorobo: It’s a game about a steampunk furry, using his mecha to judo-throw other mecha and sky pirates. I didn’t beat it when I had the chance, but the core gameplay of grab, toss, throw, is incredibly satisfying. Stacking is a fun and quirky puzzle-adventure game wherein you play as the smallest member of a family of matryoshka dolls. Since you’re the smallest one, your main means of solving puzzles and progressing through the game is to enter larger dolls and thus, use their skills to open up paths. If you need to fix a fuse box for example, you’d better possess the matryoshka electrician.


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(Check out an LP of this, it's very charming)


Stacking was made by Doublefine, it’s usually $10 on Steam (it launched on consoles first in 2011), and I strongly recommend everybody to buy it. Super Mario 3D Land is a 3D Super Mario game on the 3DS, and it’s really good. It doesn’t have the kind of freedom you might expect from games like Super Mario Sunshine or 64, in fact it plays more like a 2D Super Mario game, but in 3D space. For what it is though, 3D Land brings back the tanooki suit and that’s about it from past entries. I would place this on the meh end of the good spectrum though, because it’s an easy game with bland bosses, but it’s well made and a great addition to the 3DS library. 


Most of the games I’ve put into my Meh list are games that I played for a short amount of time, or games that I recognize are well made, but which didn’t appeal to me. I played through Alice: Madness Returns which has a great aesthetic, but mechanically it’s just an action platformer that forgot to include boss fights. Cartoon Network: Punch-Time Explosion on the 3DS is an unapologetic Smash Bros clone but you’re playing as Cartoon Network characters of the era instead of gaming superstars. Steven Universe, Jake and Finn, Mordecai and Rigby, The Watersons...none of those are present you silly iGen children; the roster has classic Cartoon-Cartoon alums like the Powerpuff Girls, Grim, Samurai Jack, Chowder, Dexter, and Captain Planet for some reason. A majority of my fun from that game came from beating the snot out of the Ben 10 cast as Monkey, Mac, and Bloo.


L.A. Noire is a meh game for me, not because I got bored half-way through, but because IT did. I like the overall plot, and how the story ended, I just wish we got there through other means; like a really long private investigation by a new character that leads to a suicide that you don’t know is a suicide until after you investigate the crime scene. Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, and Mortal Kombat are both fighting games, so I played those for a bit, didn’t do very well, cursed them for not including Steiner from Final Fantasy IX (yes, both of them), and forgot about the experience within a week. 


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(I wanted to play Dat-sidia, but instead I chose Dis-sidia)


Crysis 2 and Dead Space 2 are games that I definitely didn’t beat and they’re both games that look great and feel fine to play, but the narrative and level design didn’t do much for me. For Crysis, I recall enemies taking too many shots for me to care about fighting them. I also recall the stealth setting on my suit allowing me to walk past 90% of all enemy encounters anyway. For Dead Space 2, I recall the atmosphere and tension being shattered before I took control of Isaac Roddenberry, and I just didn’t care to keep playing. To paraphrase a point Yahtzee made, horror isn’t putting a man under a spotlight and stripping his skin off while he screams in your face. I liked Dead Space 1 enough that I might give Dead Space 2 another chance, but I have match 3 puzzle games to play in the meantime.


Rage is another shooter that didn’t do anything for me: unlike Crysis 2, you’re in a desert instead of alien-invaded, quarantined, heavily diseased New York-New York. I remember Rage and Borderlands having been announced around the same time, and I remember anticipating Rage much more than Borderlands because I have no friends and I don’t like MMOs. Unfortunately, for all of its fun gunplay and boomerang action, the bland setting and enemies didn’t entice me to keep on playing. John Goodman is in Rage, and that’s the only thing that makes me want to boot it back up.


Shadows of the Damned is a game about saving your girlfriend from a giant, demon monster using a gun that might also be your penis. I don’t remember why I stopped playing it after having written that sentence, but I do recall the gun-dong having an annoying voice and I remember the gameplay being insultingly easy. Sakura Samurai and Gabrielle’s Ghostly Groove are 3DS games that I probably borrowed from my then-girlfriend which would explain why I don’t remember them now. I know the one was a rhythm game, and I feel like the other was as well. 


Sonic Generations and Star Fox 64-3D are both titles that I bought far after their release date because spending more than $20 to play reimaginings of gen 4 console games seems like a really bad idea to me. Star Fox 64 3D is Star Fox 64, but with better graphics and the option to use motion controls, fun for 30 minutes once every six to eight months. Sonic Generations (the console version) is an unholy mix of 2D Sonic action and 3D Sonic spectacle. It’s great playing a 2D version of a level from Sonic 06, but playing 3D versions of Sonic and Sonic 2 levels isn’t as charming, especially when I’m given a bad grade for it.


Finally, there’s Spacechem...I can’t wrap my mind around Spacechem like I could with a game I’ll be talking about in a few blogs from now. You’re basically using conveyor belts to move molecules. Then you’re asked to assemble those molecules into atoms, move them from one reactor to another one, and use those atoms to make yet more atoms, all in real time. If something messes up, going back and looking at all of your reactors and conveyors take just long enough to annoy me more than drive me to optimize my puzzle solutions. Apparently Spacechem has boss fights in it too, and I just can’t comprehend the concept of an open-ended puzzle game that also throws bosses at you.


Image result for Spacechem


For the fun of it, I'm going to put my breakdown of the games of 2011 into a three-tierd list. The 'good' games are games that I absolutely enjoyed playing. They may be flawed, you may not like them personally, you may not have even heard of them, but these are the games of 2011 that I had fun playing. The three games that I'm calling 'bad' may be perfectly fine, and bug free. They may be games that you or other people enjoyed playing. For me though, the bad games I've listed are games that I don't want to look at or think about again. The games I've slotted into 'meh' are games that could be called good or bad by people who aren't me. They could be objectively well-crafted, they could have even been interesting enough that I was happy to play them from beginning to end. The difference between 'good', 'bad', and 'meh' though, is that 'meh' games are the ones that came and went for me. They're not so bad that I wouldn't play them again, they're not so good that I have fond memories of them aside from a set-piece of two. 



    • Bulletstorm
    • Dark Souls
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
    • Halo: Combat Evolved -Anniversary Edition
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
  • Mario Kart 7
  • Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
  • Pokemon Black/White
  • Portal 2
  • Rock of Ages
  • Saints Row the Third
  • Solatorobo: Red the Hunter
  • Stacking
  • Super Mario 3D Land



  • Dragon Age 2
  • Fortune Street
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword



  • Alice: Madness Returns
  • Cartoon Network: Punch-Time Explosion
  • Crysis 2
  • Dead Space 2
  • Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy
  • Duke Nukem Forever
  • Gabrielle’s Ghostly Groove
  • L.A. Noire
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Rage
  • Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword
  • Shadows of the Damned
  • Sonic Generations
  • SpaceChem
  • Star Fox 64 3D


2011 wasn't the biggest year for me when it comes to gaming. It could have been a whole lot worse, but the peaks were also not as high as they could have been. Any year with a Dark Souls launch AND a 3D Mario launch simply can't be considered completely bad, but again, it wasn't the best year of the decade. Next month I'll be talking about 2012, the year we were all supposed to die horribly because Nostradamus said so. What Nostradamus wasn't expecting though, was the launch of several consoles. Looking at my notes, 2012 is going to be a pretty big year with a whole lot more to like, and a whole lot more to hate. I hope you've made it this far in my retrospective and if you have, I hope you're looking forward to the next one. Until then, have a great year. 

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About Shoggoth2588one of us since 6:55 AM on 06.03.2013

Hello all! I'm Joe, from Maryland! I released five days before Enix launched Dragon Quest 3! I started playing games around the time I was 3, with some very early memories of myself playing Duck Hunt in my Dad's office and Golden Axe in an arcade at what might have been an airport (It was a weird memory). I'm mostly harmless so if you wanna talk to me, send me a message. I'll be around, making horrible puns though not quite as horrible as Gus' is able to do. I'll lurk on the Discord too and if you want to be my friend there, than come at me!

Discord: Shoggoth88#1113

Ryzen 5 1600
6 core 3.2GHz
Radeon RX 570
24GB Ram
Windows 10 Home 64bit