It’s the time of year when all of the major online journalists start spewing out their “Best of 2010” video game reviews, and as subjective as they might be, they provide a nice framework with which to look back at the year and say “That was sweet!” I’ve played many enjoyable games this year, and although I’m not ready to review my favourite game of 2010 (yet), I do want to spend a moment looking forward.
2011 is going to be an amazing year for games. Not because the giant fad that is 3D will continue to demand your attention (and wallet) like the needy child that it is, but because we’re in the wonderful age of platform maturity. The X-Box 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, and iPhone have all been around for a long time. Developers have been given plenty of opportunities to master the bunny hill and make their way down the black triangle. That’s right: the final years of a console’s life are often the sweetest, where fresh ideas and hardware limitations are pushed to deliver the most exciting experiences to gamers. 2011 will be that year.
Here’s why I’m so excited:
I don’t know many fans of Batman, but I can tell you that I’ve played almost all of the Batman games in existence. Batman: Arkham Asylum was a stupendous achievement for superhero video games in that it was the first one that not only managed to not suck, but provided an amazing story, refreshing and clever gameplay, and easily the best all-around Batman video game experiences ever. Arkham City is the highly anticipated follow-up that I just can’t wait to play!
Dissidia: Final Fantasy is quite possibly one of the best fighting games I’ve ever played. The combat is simple yet deep, finely nuanced, and retains the charm and style that you’ve come to expect from watching your favourite Final Fantasy characters kicking ass. Dissidia Duodecim 012 is the sequel that promises more characters, new storylines (including–finally–one centered on the villains), and if its predecessor was any indication, more unlockables and items than you could ever have time to acquire. In less than a year’s time, I’m going to be kicking Vaan’s irrelevant ass and enjoying every second of it.
inFamous is easily one of the best games I have ever played. Words just cannot do enough justice to a game where you can wield lighting and fire it at enemies, use it to hover or ride railway tracks, or create lightning storms. The moral choices may have been shallow, but they were effective in changing the gameplay style in radical ways. Seriously, Storm has nothing on Cole McGrath. inFamous 2 seeks to up the ante in every way, and when it finally hits store shelves, Final Fantasy XIV will be the sad boy in the corner getting no love from me. Give me lightning any day of the week.
If you haven’t played Little Big Planet, you’re missing out on one of the most charming gaming experiences you will ever have. At least, until the sequel comes out in January 2011. For a game that requires the use of two buttons and is designed to be a platformer, Little Big Planet is an unforgettable experience. The levels are unique, the customization is massive, and Sackboy is the cutest gaming icon since Kirby. But Little Big Planet didn’t just refine a genre: it refined the ability for players to make games, which means you always have something new to play and experience. Little Big Planet 2 will do all of that and more, and just the thought is enough to make me giddy like a schoolgirl. ^_^
If you thought this series was over, you were wrong. Dead wrong. The rebooted Mortal Kombat returns in 2011, saved by the Warner Bros. Studio following the unfortunate bankruptcy of Midway Entertainment, founding home of the most brutal and entertaining fight games ever conceived. All the favourite characters return (think Mortal Kombat II), classic arenas, and the most horrifyingly disturbing fatalities ever seen in the series. It’s going to kick ass, and I’m going to make all of you watch.
If Dissidia: Final Fantasy is one of the best fighting games I’ve ever played, then Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is the best. Take all of your favourite comic book and video game characters, mash them together, and watch the mayhem! Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is easily one of the most highly requested games ever (you know how fanboys are :P), and with more characters, cleaner and sharper graphics, and streamlined gameplay, this is going to be the fighting game that people will be playing for the next 10 years.
With a scheduled release date of “2011”, I had to include this here. I’m going to play “Silent Hill 8” at 1:00 AM with no lights on and be too terrified to sleep for weeks afterword, and it will be worth every. single. moment.
Only one friend of mine knows just how obsessed I am with the Diablo franchise, and I can tell you right now, she’s not going to be a happy camper to see this one on here. Why? Because I played Diablo II for 5 years non-stop. Ever wonder where my carpel tunnel came from? Diablo II. Ever wonder why I adore Blizzard Entertainment? Diablo II. Ever wonder why every other dungeon crawler is modelled from Diablo II?
Because it’s freaking amazing.
Oh yes, there will be lots of time for Diablo III when it’s finally released in late 2011. All other games are nothing more than overpriced dust collectors.
And there you have it! Eight wonderful reasons why I’ll be broke and friendless by the end of 2011. And that’s not even considering the games that I don’t know about yet! :D