The Fourth Annual Coint and Plick Video Games Poll - Part Four: #21 - 52

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

I keep trying to post the big list of games that have come so far but it's failing over and over again, so I am just going to move on to the games themselves.

polyphonic, Monday, 23 May 2011 18:17 (eight years ago) link

I'll try to add later on.

crazy donkey winger (forksclovetofu), Monday, 23 May 2011 18:21 (eight years ago) link

five-way tie for #47...

polyphonic, Monday, 23 May 2011 18:49 (eight years ago) link

#47: Deathspank – 360/PS3 – 20 pts – 2 votes
Official Game Site

Mitch Krpata: Comedy is the hardest thing for a game to do right. DeathSpank does it right.

Salsa Shark: This game was made for me. All the best elements of a Fable-esque adventure and a LucasArts point-and-click in one game? YES PLEASE. It feels like so much effort and thought and love has gone into this game that I almost felt bad getting it for only 600MP on a sale. However, I don't think this is for everybody; people who grumble at fetch quests and mock unsophisticated combat systems probably won't enjoy it. But for the right person (or for the right gaming mood) this is a swell little game. If I want full-on RPG capabilities I'll play Dragon Quest or any other proper, well-rounded, 80+-hour adventuring saga. Deathspank is for those times when you need a lighthearted, uncomplicated game to fill a couple hours.


polyphonic, Monday, 23 May 2011 18:50 (eight years ago) link

#47: God of War III – PS3 – 20 pts – 2 votes
Official Game Site

GM: God of War III is kind of amazing. one awesome set-piece after another. it's not especially cool when you basically have to murder a naked slave-lady, though.

Captain Lorax: I just think this is a good game even if I haven't played it yet.

Zero Punctuation


polyphonic, Monday, 23 May 2011 20:28 (eight years ago) link

#47: Little Big Planet – PSP – 20 pts – 2 votes
Official Game Site

a passing spacecadet: "Play, create, share". Uh, actually, it's just a 2d platformer with a really unwieldy level editor. Which is fine by me, since I like 2d platformers. Game of the year? I'm sure it really shouldn't be but it's definitely the game I had most fun playing, new or old.

Autumn Almanac: Not as featureful as the PS3 version but just as much fun. That is, not terribly.


polyphonic, Monday, 23 May 2011 20:44 (eight years ago) link

#47: Robot Unicorn Attack – Flash – 20 pts – 2 vote - TOP FLASH EXCLUSIVE
Official Game Site

silby: Canabalt plus colors plus Erasure plus robot unicorns plus rainbows equals pretty mesmerizing apparently.

Captain Lorax: Fun time waster.

Abbottt: a friend & I ended up talking about them over the phone and she said, "I was playing a lot of robot unicorn attack so of course I got super into Erasure."

polyphonic, Monday, 23 May 2011 20:59 (eight years ago) link

#47: Valkyria Chronicles 2 – PSP – 20 pts – 2 votes
Official Game Site

Will M: Another game I sunk a zillion hours into (at last count, triple-digits) this year. The story's stupid (but all videogame stories are). The battle system, though, is EXACTLY what I've been hoping for/trying to invent in my head for about a decade; a third-person turn-based strategy, like Gears of Jagged Alliance or something.

polyphonic, Monday, 23 May 2011 21:13 (eight years ago) link

More tomorrow!

polyphonic, Monday, 23 May 2011 21:13 (eight years ago) link

The battle system, though, is EXACTLY what I've been hoping for/trying to invent in my head for about a decade; a third-person turn-based strategy

Yeah, I haven't played the Valkyria Chronicles games, but I would really love to! They look like they're designed just for me.

Z S, Monday, 23 May 2011 21:18 (eight years ago) link

as a heads-up, Robot Unicorn Attack has an iOS version too so it's not a Flash exclusive

you penis-curling she-devils (jamescobo), Tuesday, 24 May 2011 17:15 (eight years ago) link

Did the iOS come out in 2010 or 2011?

I'm going by what forks compiled.

polyphonic, Tuesday, 24 May 2011 17:17 (eight years ago) link

late 2010; I distinctly remember because all of my non-gamer friends got hopelessly hooked on it & kept calling it Erasure Horse Running Game

you penis-curling she-devils (jamescobo), Tuesday, 24 May 2011 17:25 (eight years ago) link

mea culpa

crazy donkey winger (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 24 May 2011 17:53 (eight years ago) link

Three-way tie for 44.

polyphonic, Tuesday, 24 May 2011 17:58 (eight years ago) link

#44: Plants vs. Zombies – iOS – 20 pts – 3 votes
Official Game Site

jamescobo: If this isn't my favorite iPad game, it's damn close (and at the very least it's almost certainly my favorite iPad game which isn't really just a board game). The extra screen space makes the interface just sing compared to the iPhone (which, really, is perfectly fine, just not AS good), and the way everything is presented makes the experience the kind of thing you break out when bragging to other folks about how much fun you're having with your fancy new iPad. Michael Jackson's lawyers can eatadiccup though.

silby: First platform I played this on. It worked. Frequently experienced slowdowns on my 1G iPod touch due to zombie/projectile density, which felt almost quaint.

Autumn Almanac: I can see why games like this rule Facebook.

polyphonic, Tuesday, 24 May 2011 17:58 (eight years ago) link

#44: Professor Layton and the Unwound Future – DS – 20 pts – 3 votes
Official Game Site

Salsa Shark: I think the balance of difficulty of puzzles has been a bit off in the last two prof Layton games; I found many of the ones in Diabolical Box quite challenging (and even somewhat repetitive, ie lots of slidey puzzles), but there weren't too many puzzles in Unwound Future that I needed to shell out my hint coins for. I gave this 10 points because even despite the puzzles being less challenging than I may have liked and parts of the story seeming a bit familiar, I'm still a fan of the way the series never makes anyone purely evil, the cinematic cut scenes, and the minigames included in the main story (that ridiculous parrot minigame more than made up for many of the puzzles being on the easy side). I can always count on a Layton game to deliver 15-20h of good entertainment and my weekly wi-fi puzzle is an added bonus.

Craig G: This one might be getting a vote to make up the numbers as, although I enjoyed it, the series seems pretty tired now. It feels like I'm playing the same game with slightly different puzzles, only the puzzles, new as they are, are oddly familiar and therefore easy.

Joystiq review

polyphonic, Tuesday, 24 May 2011 18:13 (eight years ago) link

#44: Solipskier – Flash/Android/iOS – 20 pts – 3 votes
Official Game Site

silby: Fits perfectly on a touch device. Part of the joyful trend of really simple games turned into great experiences with the careful application of graphic design and soundtrack (see Canabalt, Robot Unicorn Attack, Eliss). The in-game tips note: "Sometimes Solipskier goes so fast he loses his headphones. Don't be alarmed, just listen to the wind and ride hard!

Touch Arcade review

polyphonic, Tuesday, 24 May 2011 18:24 (eight years ago) link

unwound future was definitely the best layton game. can't believe i played all 3.

hrm, I gave Solipskier 20 pts, did two other people vote for it with 0 points?

T.S. Eliot-themed roach fetish porn (silby), Tuesday, 24 May 2011 18:55 (eight years ago) link

nope, that's a typo and you were the only one to vote on it. Again, mea culpa.
Pretend that didn't happen.

crazy donkey winger (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 24 May 2011 19:10 (eight years ago) link

#43: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit – 360/PS3 – 25 pts – 1 vote
Official Game Site

Mitch Krpata: Just seeing the name sets my heart a-thumping. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit understands the thrill of the chase. It sets off something primal.

Gamespy review

polyphonic, Tuesday, 24 May 2011 20:20 (eight years ago) link

ok i just burned through the single player in split/second, and thinking i need a new arcade racer - this need for speed might be a decent choice maybe?

Midworst (jjjusten), Thursday, 26 May 2011 17:06 (eight years ago) link

still nothing i voted for! although a couple of things from my 2009 ballot have shown up #_# (Lamp), Thursday, 26 May 2011 17:07 (eight years ago) link

jjusten, I recommend Motorstorm Pacific Rift. Very underrated, and great multiplayer.

polyphonic, Thursday, 26 May 2011 17:23 (eight years ago) link

no ps3 :(

Midworst (jjjusten), Thursday, 26 May 2011 17:29 (eight years ago) link


Midworst (jjjusten), Thursday, 26 May 2011 17:30 (eight years ago) link

This next one is listed as top Wii Ware but is now available on Steam as well.

polyphonic, Thursday, 26 May 2011 18:06 (eight years ago) link

#42: Bit.Trip Runner – WiiWare/PC – 25 pts – 1 vote - TOP WIIWARE EXCLUSIVE
Official Game Site

silby: One of those games that people who don't know anything about zen will call "totally zen". Subverts the upwelling of anger that comes with a failure by only giving you four beats to yell at the screen before you start each level over again. Curious caterpillars and voxelated 49ers.

Destructoid review

Default Prime review

polyphonic, Thursday, 26 May 2011 18:07 (eight years ago) link

jjj, did ppl actually know about yr Target registry? I for one did not until just now

Tom Skerritt Mustache Ride (DJP), Thursday, 26 May 2011 18:11 (eight years ago) link

yeah idk, protip - target is kinda bullshit when it comes to registries - case in point despite all my efforts to the contrary, they appear to have decided to ship all our gifts to my house during the week we were on our honeymoon.

Midworst (jjjusten), Thursday, 26 May 2011 18:14 (eight years ago) link

so they are all uh somewhere? maybe one of them is a ps3, and i hope the kid who stole it gets electrocuted

Midworst (jjjusten), Thursday, 26 May 2011 18:15 (eight years ago) link

i should really get in on all this bit.trip stuff, ive dug the ones ive tried

just malorted a little bit in my mouth (jjjusten), Thursday, 26 May 2011 18:45 (eight years ago) link

#41: 2010 FIFA World Cup: South Africa – PS3/360 – 25 pts – 2 votes
Official Game Site

EZ Snappin: World Cup corrected the most broken bits of FIFA 10. Shame they broke new stuff in FIFA 11.

Euler: My son is playing this. We played as Spain and lost to the Faroe Islands, which gave the bitter lolls.

Eurogamer review

polyphonic, Thursday, 26 May 2011 18:48 (eight years ago) link

thanks again for picking up the ball and running with it poly. i'm just in over my head right now and ILX has to be a respite, not another project.
You saw that I already got most of the top 7 or so finished, right?

he he he what would i not eat? (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 26 May 2011 19:28 (eight years ago) link

Yup, I see it.

polyphonic, Thursday, 26 May 2011 19:29 (eight years ago) link

hey guys

just malorted a little bit in my mouth (jjjusten), Wednesday, 1 June 2011 22:04 (eight years ago) link

Oops, sorry. I'll do a couple now.

polyphonic, Wednesday, 1 June 2011 22:41 (eight years ago) link

I would totally be willing to take this on and post 5 a day for the next week. Just throwing it out there. :)

Z S, Wednesday, 1 June 2011 22:43 (eight years ago) link

Be careful what you wish for.

polyphonic, Wednesday, 1 June 2011 22:53 (eight years ago) link

two way tie for 39

polyphonic, Wednesday, 1 June 2011 23:05 (eight years ago) link

#39: Trainyard – iPhone – 25 pts – 3 votes
Official Game Site

ledge: Made me realise my favourite puzzle game is one where everything is controlled and determined, not random like bejewelled, or dependent on perfect timing and touchpad control like angry birds or cut the rope. It's all about thinking, not doing. Also a beautifully produced game, with a lovely look and feel and wonderfully tuneful sound fx.

Euler: A problem with puzzlers on this platform is the small screen real estate but this one gets it right.

MattD: A really cute little train puzzle game with a feature I don't see in many; most of the problems have multiple possible solutions. You can upload yours to the online database and see how other solved any given puzzle differently or more / less efficiently. It gives it some sold replay value as well as cutting down on the frustration that often ensues from trying to find the exact right way to solve a problem

Wired review

polyphonic, Wednesday, 1 June 2011 23:06 (eight years ago) link

If we were voting now for 2010 (heaven forbid!) I'd rate Trainyard much higher yet; I'd only really just started with it at voting time, but it's been a reliable standby ever since (still not quite finished with the bonus puzzles, but close).

Euler, Wednesday, 1 June 2011 23:07 (eight years ago) link

#39: Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes – DS – 25 pts – 3 votes
Official Game Site

Euler: En realidad I didn't play many 2010 games this year but I happily played a lot of this on a bunch of transatlantic flights so it ends up near the top kinda by default. (If this were "best of what you played in 2010" by contrast, the winners would be Pic Pic, Strategery & Civ Rev for iOS, and Assassin's Creed, but you go with the year you have not, not the year you had at some previous date.) But Clash of Heroes was worth the time because leveling! new units! fast improvement! kinda puzzly! plot a helluva lot better than Puzzle Quest!

abanana: puzzle rpgs still struggle with plot. but the puzzles were innovative here.

Will M.: I can't wait to try this out against other people whenever I end up buying the XBLA one.

IGN review

polyphonic, Wednesday, 1 June 2011 23:20 (eight years ago) link

#38: VVVVVV – Flash/PC – 27 pts – 3 votes
Official Game Site

a passing spacecadet: I have never had so much fun being so bad at a game. Thank you death counter for racking up just how bad I was. Thank you that one trinket with the 3-room-high jump which I spent over an hour swearing at. It was like being 8 and hunched over Jet Set Willy every evening for months all over again. Such beautiful wrist pain.

GM: No games hooked me as hard this year as genius throwbacks like ... VVVVVV.

Eurogamer revvvvvvview

polyphonic, Wednesday, 1 June 2011 23:31 (eight years ago) link

i very nearly voted for that

nuclear power, jet propulsion, radar, laser beams, cordless phone (abanana), Wednesday, 1 June 2011 23:41 (eight years ago) link

#37: Final Fantasy XIV – PS3 – 30 pts – 1 vote - 0.5 top game votes
Official Game Site

Princess TamTam: a daring reimagining of what constitutes "good" and "fun" gaming... boldly elects to regress in quality from Final Fantasy XI... fearless in the way that all great art is, will one day be seen as a Duchampian lightning bolt that forced a reassessment of the status quo

Kotaku review


Square Enix has sent at least two apologies to its customers, recognizing the poor quality of the game, asking for patience, and announcing free trial extensions and reshuffles in the development team.

polyphonic, Wednesday, 1 June 2011 23:48 (eight years ago) link

just tried out trainyard recently - good stuff!

Nhex, Wednesday, 1 June 2011 23:49 (eight years ago) link

#30: Minecraft – PC – 33 pts – 3 votes - 1 top game votes
Official Game Site

itt we minecraft

MattD: Like a box of cubic Lego. Minecraft's emergent gameplay is incredibly refreshing compared to most recent titles, which are full of pop-ups that prompt you when to press X to jump or B to trigger one of a barrage of quick-time events in which your character leaps, climbs and opines without any direct control or input. In Minecraft, you start with your bare hands. What happens when you punch that tree? What happens when you combine those blocks? What happen when you dig (too deep, too greedily). You will die to natural and man-made disasters, zombies, crumbling experiments, and exploding block monsters. You will probably set your house on fire. I enjoyed this game so much I set up a server for a few months so my friends and I could run rampant and explore each others creations.

CNET review

Jeff Vogel review

jamescobo: In all honesty my vote is more a recognition of Minecraft as a seismic event than it is of Minecraft as A Game Which Is Fun To Play; I'm not really one for building all kinds of crazy shit so I mostly just ran around getting killed over and over and over again. That being said, it's the biggest leap forward in terms of the sheer scale of the world games can present since GTA:SA, maybe even since Ocarina of Time.

Will M: I haven't played it since they put monsters into the multiplayer game, but when it was a collaborative LEGO game without punishment, it was brilliant.

Zero Punctuation

polyphonic, Friday, 3 June 2011 17:08 (eight years ago) link

i would have voted for minecraft, but i hadn't played it at the time.

Will M: I haven't played it since they put monsters into the multiplayer game, but when it was a collaborative LEGO game without punishment, it was brilliant.

there's a "peaceful" setting you can turn on in the options that turns monsters off. The very first time my meticulously crafted house was destroyed in the middle of the night by a gang of tnt dudes, i turned it on.

Z S, Friday, 3 June 2011 17:22 (eight years ago) link

#29: Dead Rising 2 / Dead Rising: Case Zero – 360/PS3/PC – 33 pts – 4 votes
Official Game Site

Mordy: Remarkable and awesome. The psychopaths are scarier, the zombies are more plentiful, the cell phone doesn't cripple you when you pick it up and -- probably the biggest and most significant change -- the survivor AI is great! You can run all over the place with a train of survivors following you who will protect themselves and, if you equip them with weapons, even help you! It's startling how a few mechanics changes can take a fun but flawed game and make it great! It has basically taken the DR1 mechanics, tweaked them to basically get rid of everything annoying (no more stupid paralysis-inducing cell phone calls!) to just leave the kernel of sweet arcade goodness. It feels like a classic Capcom game.

Gamepro review

CraigG: I don't have a lot to say about this, as I haven't played it loads, but it's impossible to not have fun when scooping zombies up in wheelchairs and beating them with whatever is lying around. Even the most basic of weapons, like a baseball bat with nails through it, is so satisfying to dish out some pain with. I really wish there was a free mode, as I don't like the time constraint, but the game is a lot more forgiving than the original, and infinitely more fun as a result.

1up review

Will M.: Case Zero was a spectacular bit of DLC/Arcade game and got me completely stoked on this title, which lived up to the hype I built in my head. Hilarious game and fun and removed a lot of the excruciating shit from the first one. Except for the kill 3195810980 zombies in one playthrough thing. I guess SOMETHING about it needed to be awful. The Case West DLC left me sour but DR2 and Case Zero? Amazing.

Kotaku Case Zero review

polyphonic, Friday, 3 June 2011 17:40 (eight years ago) link

#28: Vanquish – 360/PS3 – 35 pts – 2 votes - 0.5 top game votes
Official Game Site


cozen: P.N.03 and contra and viewtiful joe in HD. vanquish is genuinely brilliant but I will say I'm glad I waited for it to drop in price: I know much is made of the game's vaunted replayability but I was surprised the main campaign only clocked in at 4 and a half hours. no unlockables either, which this game is crying out for even just some cheats, badass guns and suit upgrades (even if just cosmetic). online co-op would be awesome too

Gamesradar review

Guardian review


polyphonic, Friday, 3 June 2011 18:31 (eight years ago) link

the neck buttons can be popped off and cleaned if that's the problem

No, the problem is that the strum piece just stopped registering. On all 3 of them. For no fucking reason. Yes I changed the batteries.

low-rent black gangster nicknamed Bootsy (DJP), Friday, 3 June 2011 18:33 (eight years ago) link

I loved watching my friend play Vanquish. I didn't enjoy playing it (not my thing) but it was gorgeous in the hands of someone who was good at it.

EZ Snappin, Friday, 3 June 2011 18:34 (eight years ago) link

two way tie for 26

polyphonic, Friday, 3 June 2011 18:48 (eight years ago) link

#26: Nier – PS3/360 – 35 pts – 3 votes
Official Game Site

so NIER and yet so far: itt "a game from square enix"

zappi: biggest surprise was Nier, has huge flaws but i loved the world & the way it kept switching up the gameplay - at one point it even becomes a text adventure!

Destructoid review

abanana: decent plot, decent fighting, fast walking speed. that's good enough for me.

polyphonic: Nier is reminding me more of Deadly Premonition than I would've guessed.

lol ny times

"Nier does many different things at such a high level of sophistication and accessibility that I cannot think of another single game of recent years that more faithfully represents the sheer intellectual breadth of modern video games."

polyphonic, Friday, 3 June 2011 18:49 (eight years ago) link

^^ replayed it over xmas and it was still as good as the first time. plus i knew to skip all the dumb sidequests :p
this guy recently discovered some interesting details in the game, huge plot spoilers of course

zappi, Friday, 3 June 2011 19:00 (eight years ago) link

is Nier the one that made one reviewer go insane because of a quest that had him fishing for like 3 hours because he was standing in the wrong spot

low-rent black gangster nicknamed Bootsy (DJP), Friday, 3 June 2011 19:01 (eight years ago) link

ya, he didn't look at the big red X on the map.

zappi, Friday, 3 June 2011 19:03 (eight years ago) link

tbh I almost bought the game solely because of that review

much lolling

low-rent black gangster nicknamed Bootsy (DJP), Friday, 3 June 2011 19:03 (eight years ago) link

#26: StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty – PC/Mac – 35 pts – 3 votes
Official Game Site

Starcraft 2: Mothership Connection

MattD: I can't speak for the single player campaign, as I generally only play RTS titles for the competitive multiplayer. It's the same game it was a decade ago, and it isn't - there are more options, tricks, tactics and polish, but the gameplay is still fast, tense, rewards intensive macro and micro level decision making / planning, and causes severe levels of stress and cardiac palpitations when played at the peak of my skill level. Which is why I stopped, because progressing beyond that point would take an inordinate amount of devotion and probably give me a heart attack. But there's no RTS out there that has such broad appeal or is so accessible yet rewarding. It is possibly the best way to earn the grudging respect of the teenagers your friend teaches; by 2v2 tandem 4-gating them into the dirt over and over and over again.

Wired review

PC Gamer

polyphonic, Friday, 3 June 2011 19:41 (eight years ago) link

yeah this is ace. but i didn't pick it up till 2011 so no vote from me.

Roberto Spiralli, Friday, 3 June 2011 19:45 (eight years ago) link

cozwn's description of Vanquish intrigues me....

Nhex, Saturday, 4 June 2011 02:23 (eight years ago) link

surprised that some of the big guns placed this early too

Nhex, Saturday, 4 June 2011 02:24 (eight years ago) link

#25: Darksiders – 360/PS3 – 35 pts – 4 votes
Official Game Site

Lamp: a derivative game made by people who take manga too seriously darkstalkers is also p fukken rad, you get to be a horsemen of the apocalypse preventing a premature armageddon and there some shit with sexy angels and forces of evil and who cares. there's puzzles! and gory-ass swordplay! its zelda with blood!

Giant Bomb review

jjjusten: Bash dudes, find treasure, bash dudes, retrace steps, boss battle, more treasure, cutscene, rinse repeat. It's better than it sounds, but no point in lying about it. Main character design makes me wish they would take everyone who has ever been artistically influenced by Gears of War and drown them in a well.


polyphonic, Saturday, 4 June 2011 18:06 (eight years ago) link


Muttley vs. Mumbly (CaptainLorax), Saturday, 4 June 2011 19:36 (eight years ago) link

#24: Persona 3 – PSP – 39 pts – 3 votes - 1 top game votes - TOP PSP
Official Game Site

Kids, shoot yourself in the head and gain super powers! The SMT / Megaten / Persona thread

Will M.: I feel weird voting for an old game first overall (one I may have voted for in the past) but this is finally the first version I've completed, and apparently, the best version (discluding its discluding of the epilogue) and goddamn if it didn't actually rekindle my love for jRPGs. Not that any others will make me want to play like this did, but damn. 70 hours and I'm on my SECOND playthrough now.

1up review

if: Playing this for the first time after P4, there were a couple of spots where I could see how things were later improved on and there wasn't the same novelty value to its social mechanics or its particular line in lightly gothic weirdness. Despite that, the actually interesting and likeable story and characters (ok, likeable apart from Junpei, but I guess that's deliberate), the perfectly streamlined old school combat, and the endless options to spend your days as you choose and advance both stories and abilities as a result still make it stand out as a class apart from other JRPGs. There's also still the fun of having one bizarro alternate world of Shadows and Personas ('The Midnight Hour') built on top of another bizarro alternate world where you get a day off school to respect your elders and getting high exam marks makes you more popular ('Japan').


Lamp: atlus's persona 3 FES is a gothic-tinged rpg that came out in the waning days of the PS2. the player takes on the role of a silent, mysterious transfer student to a japanese high school. on your 1st night in your new dorm you and your housemates are attacked by a slinking inky mass of arms and faces called 'shadows'. after shooting yourself in the head you summon an otherworldy spirit guide - classically allusioned and perfectly art-designed - to defeat the shadows & save yourself and your housemate. all of this takes place after about 35 minutes of introductory cut-scenes, expository dialogue and cryptic visitations.

so persona 3 divides its time btw the world of shadows & the day-to-day life of a japanese high school student. & as you make way through both of these worlds, studying for exams, building friendships, occasionally venturing into the shadowlands to defeat monsters and gain strength the two worlds begin to build inwards upon each other, permeating their counterparts in strange & unexpected ways. like twin peaks P3FES does an incredible job of portraying a mundane world that is constantly under threat from the unknowable & mysterious horrors that underlie our everyday world. but unlike twin peaks the 'regular' existence never feels like an afterthought, the pleasures of simply being in this world & the social link mechanic are equal to the pleasure of dungeon crawling & the story-driven mystery elements of the game that mostly take place in the hidden shadow world.

it seems kinda crazy that a part dungeon-crawler rpg part japanese dating sim game can be summed up using em forster's famous maxim 'only connect' but persona 3 FES is above all about the longing for contact & the terror of isolation. its most meaningful moments take place in the spaces btw how we see ourselves & how the other characters see us. i think its a mistake to want the game's dialogue trees and social interactions to function in the same way as they do in d&d-influenced western rpgs. in a western rpg the focus is on developing a character & so the best games give a sense of true possibility and naturalism. whereas with persona there is always a right answer, a correct path. the point isn't to give the player a blank slate to write his intentions on, to chose a 'good' or 'evil' path & then make descions based upon your character's intentions. in P3FES your character is a mirror held up to the npcs. you reflect their vanities & insecurities, their hopes & fears. and so the player is forced to consider them, who they are & at best you can understand and help that person. your goal, your job is to build relationships, not a character.

finally - finally! - the combat in P3FES is one of the most tactically interesting mechanic of any turn-based rpg. every npc is self-directed and their actions will often - frustratingly - shadow their reallife personalities. as battle leader you can give them directives but you cant control their actions perfectly. so combat begins to double the social link aspect of the game, you're forced to predict the actions of your comrades to know their strengths & weaknesses & so to understand them as people. the difficulty of this makes what is a very grind-heavy game both more fraught and more engaging. never a game to miss an opportunity death literally haunts the game's dungeon & his shadow is always present in P3FES. even regular combats are perilous & you will die. a lot.

the best that i can say for P3FES is that unlike almost any other game the memory of its events stayed with me. although its mechanically frustrating, overlong & exacting it manages to create a plausible, engrossing world like no game before or since.

polyphonic, Saturday, 4 June 2011 19:40 (eight years ago) link

nice writeup, lamp

Princess TamTam, Saturday, 4 June 2011 20:15 (eight years ago) link

Yeah really enjoyed reading it, gets at a lot of the best things about the game (meanwhile I managed to confuse the Dark Hour and Midnight Channel).

Since P3P gives the option not to, I didn't play it with everyone else controlling themselves in battle though, that's just too frustrating. Also I was only about half way through the game when I voted (I mean, it is 80+ hours long) and am pleased to say that the rest of it did live up to expectations!

[SPOILERS ahead]

I played as the female main character and was a bit disappointed not to end up daying anyone - Akihiko was kind of boring and Junpei was amazingly even more annoying than Yosuke in P4 so I was pleased when Shinjiro started turning out to be likable, and then he very soon died. Oh well.

if, Saturday, 4 June 2011 21:31 (eight years ago) link

im kinda o_O that 3 other ppl voted for darksiders i didnt think anyone else on ILG had even played it!

SEX-MEN: Worst Ass (Lamp), Saturday, 4 June 2011 21:52 (eight years ago) link

I played the first hour of it at a pal's house

polyphonic, Saturday, 4 June 2011 21:55 (eight years ago) link

its funny that i voted for it i think id probably finished it so recently that i was still pleasurably immersed in the gameworld but five months later its just as forgettable as all the other junk i played last year.

SEX-MEN: Worst Ass (Lamp), Saturday, 4 June 2011 21:57 (eight years ago) link

two way tie for 22

polyphonic, Sunday, 5 June 2011 20:02 (eight years ago) link

#22: Super Meat Boy – 360/PS3 – 40 pts – 3 votes
Official Game Site

if: Beyond basic functionality, I actually don't really care at all for the aesthetics of SMB (now there's a deliberate acronym). I think I may also, finally, have reached the point where I see '<Item> get!' and 'Sorry but the <person> is in another <location>' and feel absolutely nothing in response. Fortunately the controls, jumping/walljumping mechanics, sense of speed and level design were near perfect. The replays in which you watch a cloud of your failures gradually and harshly narrowed down to your success were also rightly praised. The number one thing above all of that that made this stand out and be so addictive, though, was the simple but ingenious idea to make all the levels so short. Coupled with NO RELOADING TIMES and the aforementioned speed and responsiveness, this meant that the difficulty could be ramped up to the level where winning often feels exhilaratingly like achieving the impossible, whilst barely ever suffering from un-fun frustration. And each level offering multiple routes with rewards for quick times meant that even if you spent twenty goes repeating the same first section of a level: i) it was really short anyway ii) It wasn't time wasted, as it could be used to whittle an extra 0.05 seconds off the time for that part and increase your chances of opening up a more sadistically hard level!


Giant Bomb review

silby: Only managed to spend a few minutes with this game so far, but since it combines brilliantly designed puzzle-platforming with an insane glut of content, by the time it's finally out on a platform that I have regular access to, I might actually bother to beat it.

MTV review

polyphonic, Sunday, 5 June 2011 20:04 (eight years ago) link

#22: Assassin's Creed Brotherhood – PS3/360 – 40 pts – 3 votes
Official Game Site

EZ Snappin: ACII was my game of the year last year. This is better in many ways -- the new additions to combat and collecting things to unlock items spring to mind -- but Rome is no Venice.

Assassin's Creed

Gamespot review

Guardian review

MattD: This is sort of a half-vote, as I havn't touched the single player, but that speaks volumes about the fantastic multiplayer. At its heart it's just a it's simple cat-and-mouse game to see who can sneak up on whom (everyone is simultaneously playing both roles). The better you do, the more people hunting you. It's tense and frantic, and maybe the only competitive implementation of a sneaking mission that works well for both the hunter and hunted.

polyphonic, Sunday, 5 June 2011 20:18 (eight years ago) link

#21: Civilization V – PC/Mac – 45 pts – 2 votes - 0.5 top game votes
Official Game Site

Civilization V

Gravel Puzzleworth: I think this will be an amazing amazing game when it's finished (2/3 years from now) but I'm not sure I'll ever love it as much as IV; it's a too little too facebook in a way I can't quite put my finger on - I really & honestly like almost every design decision they took and the 100% unifying thread of them seems to have been 'remove the things that aren't fun' - I'm just not certain I like fun as much as the game's target audience?


PC Gamer

polyphonic, Sunday, 5 June 2011 20:33 (eight years ago) link

That's it for this batch. My plan is to do 20-16 on Monday. Forks, open invite to jump in!

polyphonic, Sunday, 5 June 2011 20:35 (eight years ago) link

can i reserve the top 10? still slammed here (doing a conference call while i type actually) but would like to home stretch.

When Zeester Met Koffie (forksclovetofu), Sunday, 5 June 2011 20:37 (eight years ago) link

It's a deal.

polyphonic, Sunday, 5 June 2011 20:38 (eight years ago) link

civ 5 was my vote for most disappointing game of 2010 - too easy, and too easy to run out of shit to do. it'll be better after a few expansions though

Princess TamTam, Sunday, 5 June 2011 20:46 (eight years ago) link

What if you play it on the tougher difficulty levels?

polyphonic, Sunday, 5 June 2011 20:48 (eight years ago) link

two things -- one, Civilization (Danny Kaye + Andrew Sisters) is one of my fave songs ever so awesome. second -- I haven't played Civ 5 yet (tho I've played so many epic campaigns on Civ 4). I've heard the AI is basically totally broken. True?

Mordy, Sunday, 5 June 2011 21:02 (eight years ago) link

no, it's not broken. before they patched it the AI didn't seem to understand how combat works when positioning its units, which was a big early gripe, but they fixed that. i haven't encountered anything egregious since.

i disagree with PTT's comments but there is something of an issue with game balancing that i don't think is fixable the way the game is designed. i tried playing a game on slower speeds and you really do end up with nothing to do for stretches. i played one game on marathon - i was on a continent with 2 other civs. early on i had totally explored everything i could access and was still a long way off transoceanic travel. i expanded a bit and conquered one of the other civs, but i reached a point where to do anything more would've killed my civ because of happiness constraints that i was powerless to remedy without access to other civs, luxuries, etc. i did literally f all for a few hours waiting to crawl along the tech tree before i canned it.

but if i play on normal speed, or even better, fast, it's usually p frantic, with plenty to juggle exactly as you would hope. and if you keep to normal or smaller sized maps, the strict happiness-forced restrictions on growth at the highest difficulties levels are mitigated somewhat. but it's definitely contrary to how i have played civ in the past tho.

Roberto Spiralli, Sunday, 5 June 2011 21:42 (eight years ago) link

What if you play it on the tougher difficulty levels?

― polyphonic, Sunday, June 5, 2011 4:48 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark

i beat it on emperor, which i could never do with the previous games

the combat is good and the design is good - which is why i think it'll be a much better game with a few expansions under its belt

Princess TamTam, Sunday, 5 June 2011 23:01 (eight years ago) link

Which games are you all most surprised didn't make the top 20?

polyphonic, Sunday, 5 June 2011 23:07 (eight years ago) link

I thought ACII: Brotherhood would've been in the top. Really one of the best open worlders out there. They've really got a handle on this engine and bugs were few and far between.

EZ Snappin, Sunday, 5 June 2011 23:10 (eight years ago) link

we can't tell without seeing the top 20... unless you mean out of games that have already placed... in which case... none of them...

Princess TamTam, Sunday, 5 June 2011 23:10 (eight years ago) link

xp all i heard about it really was the PC DRM was atrocious

Nhex, Sunday, 5 June 2011 23:15 (eight years ago) link

Games I was at least a little surprised didn't make it to the top 20, given either general popularity, or even just their popularity on this board: Starcraft II, Assassin's Creed, Super Meat Boy, Dead Rising 2, Minecraft

Nhex, Sunday, 5 June 2011 23:18 (eight years ago) link

esp. the Crafts, Mine and Star II

Nhex, Sunday, 5 June 2011 23:19 (eight years ago) link

observations/predictions looking at the ballot as we move into the home stretch:

- by my count there's four missing heavy hitters from the iPhone alone left: 9 Innings, Angry Birds, Carcassonne, & Game Dev Story (which I assume will set the record for "most quotes & screenshots included with a C&P entry")

- shocked to see Mario Galaxy 2 cracking the top 20, that game seemed completely unnecessary to me after the first one

- looks to me like the big multiplatform titles left are New Vegas, ME2 (listed as 360 on the ballot but wasn't this on PC too?), Bayonetta, Just Cause, Blur (maybe? the only racing series I pay attention to is Motorstorm) and Pac-Man CE DX (which I think will end up placing really high since it was still fresh in everyone's mind when voting was going on)

- looks like a potentially strong finish for the DS - still no sign of DQ9, Picross 3D, Pokemans, Strange Journey, Golden Sun (maybe?), or Miles Edgeworth (ditto?)

- hoping Joe Danger makes it into the top 20, that game is fun as shit and I wish I could have found room for it on my ballot

- lol zero votes for Peace Walker

- I never would have picked Bejeweled 3 to be top PC/Mac exclusive but it looks like the only remaining candidate. ditto for Heavy Rain (COME ON) as top PS3 exclusive.

you penis-curling she-devils (jamescobo), Sunday, 5 June 2011 23:42 (eight years ago) link

chatter on the DS thread was pretty low this past year, I have a feeling only DQ9 and Pokemon will show, if even

Peace Walker was last year? feels like much longer ago

heavy rain not a surprise, there are still some fans here

Nhex, Sunday, 5 June 2011 23:45 (eight years ago) link

i voted for civ 5 on my truncated ballot this year partly to acknowledge that i spent a bunch of time playing it & partly because it gave me a lot of pleasure. im not really sure how i feel abt the game design itself if only because like 15 years of playing civ has created this impossible mental tangle of 'how a civ game should be' that no civ game every really manages. but i liked the basic feel of 5, the look of the maps in particular, but the interface and the streamlined cityscreen. i had a fair amount of fun playing the game, especially at first, almost uncompetitively & just letting the game wash over me - the simplicity & the downtime were enjoyable to me idk

otoh it is too easy & too neutered - i never really felt the same sense of possibility that earlier civ games gave me, there are really only a few ways to win & only a few ways of managing your empire. its much too limited a game to be truly challenging or worth thinking abt imo

SEX-MEN: Worst Ass (Lamp), Sunday, 5 June 2011 23:54 (eight years ago) link

xpost 3D Picross got votes on 2009's poll in import form so there's definitely some sentiment for it

you penis-curling she-devils (jamescobo), Sunday, 5 June 2011 23:56 (eight years ago) link

civ 5's ok but its no epic mickey or final fantasy xiv

Princess TamTam, Monday, 6 June 2011 00:01 (eight years ago) link

lol i wonder if i can find my 'most disappointing' writeup for final fantz

also iir my ballot c u shld be pretty pleased by whats still 2 cum

SEX-MEN: Worst Ass (Lamp), Monday, 6 June 2011 00:07 (eight years ago) link

when are we doing most disappointing?

Mordy, Monday, 6 June 2011 00:18 (eight years ago) link

nobody voted for carcasonne btw

When Zeester Met Koffie (forksclovetofu), Monday, 6 June 2011 01:09 (eight years ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.