The Fifth Annual Coint and Plick Poll for Best Video Games of 2011 - Part One: 74-109

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Welcome to 2011, the year when EVERYONE was a gamer. The iOS revolution, the dropping prices in this generation's systems, the fallout from Angry Birds, the novelty of cross-platform motion controls, the continuing evolution of the "art" game, the proliferation of sequels, the broadest acceptance of gaming as a force by mainstream press that could attract eyeballs... pick your reason, but 2011 felt like the first time video games had accelerated into a post-acceptance mode and were simply a dominant media form. Not just for kids anymore.

Coint and Plick offers a peek into the mind of a cross-section of Joe Average gamers; forty guys and gals from their teens into their forties who still enjoy a good orc rampage/bullet hell/spaceflight/historical sim/roguelike/sports fantasy. Much more than giving the reader a definitive "top ten", Coint and Plick is meant as opportunity for the busy gamer to acquaint him/herself with potential missed highlights that are available at discounted prices at an e-store near you. That we are doing this poll WELL after the turn of the year is no accident; I wanted people to have time to really gather their thoughts and estimate what they love. We're not in it for hitcount, we're in it for history and, more immediately, the edification of our fellow gamers. After all, everything on here is good enough to make SOMEONE's top ten of the year. You can hardly go wrong.

The poll was taken in Pazz and Jop style vote/point format: all voters had 100 points to divide among any ten games released in 2011. The maximum number of points each entry could receive was no more than thirty. In the end, 128 games were nominated. Rather than just peel off the top half, I’ve opted to list everything that got a vote here, along with a few links, images and YouTubes of note. We'll have slightly more detailed entries for the top fifty games.

In case of a tie breaker, I went by number of people who voted for a game first and number of people who listed the game as their #1 of the year second. As in past years, in the interests of people's ability to load these image-heavy threads, I’ll be starting a new thread for every twenty five or so entries and interlink the threads.

Bear in mind that not every voter used the full amount of points they had at their disposal, so the numbers don’t crunch exactly. User comments for these games come from individual ballots as well as from past ILG posts; I’ve done a bit of editing to streamline but I’ve made every effort to maintain your meaning. My apologies if you feel misquoted; feel free to correct me on this thread.

I’ll be trying to add roughly between three and five entries per day. If you feel we're moving too slowly, may I recommend that you go play some of the games listed? That's what this is all about!p>

Let's begin by stirring the pot a little with some food for thought and discussion as ILG's own Mordy discusses The State of Gaming Crit in 2011.

little clouds of citrus spritz as i peel (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 16 February 2012 05:28 (eight years ago) link

Here are my credentials for opining on gaming criticism in 2011:

1. I read a lot of gaming crit.
2. It is mostly terrible.

I realized we were in trouble when reading Slate's 2011 end of year multi-part round table on the state of gaming. However many years ago it was that I read Slate's first round table, I was primarily thrilled that anyone would deem gaming worthy of writing about in the first place. I've had rich somatic experiences playing video games - addictive experiences where I play through the night, intellectual experiences where I solve puzzles or problems or develop strategies for handling challenges, emotive ones where I am touched and moved by a development. It has been clear to me for a long while that if writing can illuminate and convey serious phenomenological experiences to readers, then there should absolutely be great writing about video games by now. But it's 2012 already. The NY Times reviews AAA titles (and sometimes even iPhone titles). Andrew Sullivan runs ridiculous tripe about Angry Birds every other week. The AV Club reviews games every week (NB: their Sawbuck Gamer column is a bright light in a blighted field of subparcolumns). Even that bastion of cutting-edge gaming journalism, Time Magazine, had a list of top 10 games of the year. So I'm expecting a little bit more out of Slate than the regular, masturbatory "what IS gaming about, anyway?" schtick. But that's what I got.

Worse: All over that Slate piece were expressions of world-weariness and boredom. Tom Bissell, who seems like a nice enough guy but whose primary contribution thus far to gaming criticism has been a half-okay essay about how doing lines of cocaine increases the verisimilitude of GTA IV, decides to talk at length about how he can't be bothered to finish games anymore. He only needs to play them for an hour or two and then he's "got it," and doesn't need to bother. He treats this like a virtue -- that he's so sophisticated about the ludic elements of gaming that he grasps them immediately and doesn't need to waste his time. Not only does this ignore the précis that his big GTA insight was that a game can own your life - can invade your living space and imprint itself upon your imaginative space and basically take control - but it pretends as though he's an enlightened spirit for not caring that much. It's essentially taking the same tact I've been hearing about games for years - that they are a juvenile waste of time - and rephrasing it to sound fresh. This is a guy, by the way, who having been given free reign by Bill Simmons' Grantland to write about whatever he wants has chosen to write about Madden NFL, Skyrim, Uncharted 3, Batman: Arkham City, Catherine, Dead Island, Gears of War and Angry Birds. With the (kinda?) exception of Catherine, his scope of vision is confined to the biggest, most-mainstream titles being released. Some of those games are great, don't get me wrong; Skyrim and Arkham City are certainly high on my own Coint and Plick ballot. But with all the journalistic freedom in the world, this is how curious he is? What a missed opportunity.

Okay, now I feel like I'm just bashing Bissell, but it's hardly only his fault. Kill Screen, the independent gaming criticism site that not only stole Pitchfork's insider-deep model of reviewing music but actually signed up to publish game reviews on Pitchfork's website, is a source that does review interesting and new games but generally takes profoundly vapid approaches to talking about them. Apparently having decided that the only way to create legitimacy around video gaming is to engage in over-the-top sentiment, Kill Screen has become so embarrassingly pompous that even Proust (well, Stanley Cavell at least) would tell them to tone down the sappiness. If Bissell is constructing a secret history of dismissiveness, Kill Screen is implicitly suggesting that the only valid vernacular of games is one where we're barely talking about games. Instead we're talking about feeling up high school girlfriends, or about how this game is just like how life is like a game, dude.

There’s one guy that I think was doing it right in 2011 and that's Tom Chick. I first read Chick in Computer Gaming World, where he helmed Tom Vs Bruce. He'd take a game, often an RTS or a turn-based strategy war-game and play against his counterpart Bruce while recording their commentary about the game as it was being played. It was routinely amazing and not because Chick is an incredible writer (he's got journeyman chops but nothing flashy), but because the writing was about how gamers actually play games, what happens when different pieces of design and execution gel together. He described complex systems and how they affected his enjoyment of play. We saw him fail or succeed. He does much the same thing now on QuarterToThree. The telling point is that even though it’s rare that I agree with his opinion about games (he often seems to contrarily set himself against big releases), when he rewards a title with a great review, I feel like that’s reason enough to check it out. His obsession with gaming inflames my own. His personal website features numerous playthrough diaries and his forums are overflowing with fans who play together and organize massive season long Madden games where every in game player has a real world player controlling it. These are people who love Pinball FX2 with a passion generally reserved for fine wine, people who have formed a community around loving games because they love games. They're not trying to convince Ebert that games are art. They're trying to have fun.

In some ways, 2011 was my personal worst year for gaming yet. I had my first kid and, as any gamer with a kid can tell you, you don't get to game much for a long time afterward. I was really excited after we ferberized the little girl because that meant I might be able to sneak in an hour or two of gaming after she went to sleep. Even as a new father, I still played far more focused hours than the average casual gamer would consider healthy; my C+P ballot easily could have included twenty or more games. The problem is not the market. As far as I’m concerned, video games still offer plenty of thrills and anyone who was disappointed by this year’s crop was either not paying attention or just hasn’t figured out how to properly communicate natural enthusiasm through writing.

It's depressing that so much gaming criticism is depressing because the games certainly aren't depressing at all! They're beautiful and exciting and they take up way too much of my time and space... both my actual tactile manipulation space (I love holding an Xbox controller) and my mental space. Reading serious contemporary video game crit, I feel like I'm mostly reading the work of people who honestly don't care for or about games. They care about being at the forefront of a new body of critical literature so that maybe they can be considered the Lester Bangs of video games one day. Or they just want to develop a website where they can be a Pitchfork-style tastemaker. Or they're just so unsure about how to best address the new, wider, non-gaming market that they use methods of writing and language about gaming that ignores the intrinsic truths of playing games in the first place.

The secret is that what is appealing about gaming is the gaming, not the literary illusions or the intellectual property being exploited or that, ya know, this game right here (Braid! Limbo! Bastion! Passage!) might finally, seriously, actually, really be art and you love art, don’t you dear reader? So see? Games aren't that bad. But games are bad! They’re bad in the way that Woody Allen said sex is dirty; only if it’s done right. The things that most often turn people off to games are the things that make them great in the first place.

As a for instance: think about how difficult most games are to play, much less gain mastery of. I am sure the sequel to YOU DIED, Dark Souls, is going to place high on this year’s list and part of the reason it evokes so much love from its fans is because it's nigh on impossible right up until the point you figure out a personal, difficult, evolving strategy to cope and when that fails, you have to figure out another tactic until finally it all works and suddenly you feel like you're a better human being. You have gained an admittedly untranslatable skill (no one will ever get a degree in killing that particular demon in that particular corridor) but a skill nonetheless; you can do something you couldn't do before. Or another example of the seduction of difficulty that’s hard to translate to clean critical prose: when you game online against thirteen-year-old kids who yell sexual and racial epithets at you while they're shooting you in the head for hours, the frustration can be excruciating, but as you slowly grow better and better until you're fragging them, damned if it doesn’t feel good. As bad as it feels to lose is as good as it feels to win. That feeling is powerful. It matters. You can't tell the story of the game unless you tell the story of how it feels to play it.

The ideal literary critic doesn't provide a consumer guide and they're not supposed to judge the value of literature. A great critic creates a parallel paradigm that discourses with, not about, the material. That paradigm is what allows a thing to be great; essentially you can't have great literature without great literary critics. Critics establish an audience that allows the work to rise to the highest possible plateau, but they also can transcend, through properly articulated appreciation, what makes a work most gorgeous and significant. It's the second more than the first that is missing in video game criticism today.

The popular opinion is that we are in a pre-Cervantes stage of video gaming; still awaiting our proof of greatness. Ignore for a moment that there was literature of merit being written in the pre-Cervantes era and that, should we choose to pick up this gauntlet, the games we played in 2011 meet that standard. Focus instead on the possibility that if we want to embrace gaming’s Cervantes era that we may need writing gamers, not gaming writers, who can find the Cervantes in the games we have. And not just in games like Braid or Limbo that wear their artiness on their sleeves, but in games where one would never expect to find beauty or deeper meaning. We may discover that the beauty and joy we bring to gaming is the missing element that will elevate games, in spite of ourselves, to the level of art. You'll know you're reading great game criticism when the author evokes the joy of gaming, not of reading. They'll make you excited that you’re still a gamer, sneaking in that hour while your child sleeps. You’ll know you're reading great game criticism because when you're done reading, the first thing you’ll want to do is start to play again.

little clouds of citrus spritz as i peel (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 16 February 2012 05:31 (eight years ago) link

While we're waiting for commentary on Mordy's awesome piece, might as well get started with the poll.

It's a nineteen-way tie for #109.
These are the low men on the totem pole, games that only managed a single vote with the lowest possible tally. They are bottom feeders and afterthoughts but they still bear exploration.

little clouds of citrus spritz as i peel (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 16 February 2012 05:35 (eight years ago) link

http://i43.tinypic.com/sn2cz4.jpg
#109: Amazing Breaker – iOS – 5 pts - 1 vote
Official Game Site
http://i.appsafari.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/amazingbreaker.jpg
Metacritic
Touch Arcade Review
forksclovetofu: Amazing Breaker was among the first apps I bought when I got my iPad and it was absolutely the gateway drug that make me realize the potential for the touchpad + iOS as a legit game system. Think Breakout with sculptures instead of walls and a slingshot mechanism instead of a paddle and you’re most of the way there. The loose collision fields and just-right physics made this a joy to play and easy to return to so I could three-star every level. Even at 2x expansion, the graphics are crisp and pretty and the gameplay is miles beyond Angry Birds.

little clouds of citrus spritz as i peel (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 16 February 2012 05:35 (eight years ago) link

http://i43.tinypic.com/2whi9lh.jpg
#109: Brink – 360 / PS3 / PC – 5 pts - 1 vote
Official Game Site
http://download.xbox.com/content/images/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d802425307d9/1033/screenlg15.jpg
Zero Punctuation
Metacritic
Gametrailers
Will M: Overhated. I loved playing it until... well, at least until I had something else to play. I just wish the maps were more interesting, but overall fun art direction.

little clouds of citrus spritz as i peel (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 16 February 2012 05:36 (eight years ago) link

http://i41.tinypic.com/2w6w9wo.jpg
#109: Civilization V (Updates and DLC) – PC – 5 pts - 1 vote
Official Game Site
http://www.digitalbattle.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Civilization-5.jpg
Metacritic
Gametrailers
lamp: Since its release last year Civilization V has undergone a number of patches, sometimes simple technical upgrades but more often addressing game 'balance'. What this has created is an interesting experiment in game theory being conducted via the game's developers and its most fanatical player base. Every time the latter manage to discover the set of optimal strategies for winning the game the developer's release a patch that demands some new equilibria. As a fairly hardcore Civ nerd i enjoy figuring out what the most efficient path to victory, but these patches have also done a great deal to make the game more nuanced, better paced and more challenging.

little clouds of citrus spritz as i peel (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 16 February 2012 05:37 (eight years ago) link

Great intro, forks, and Mordy's piece is... wow, impressive. I don't really read much games criticism, so I can't adequately comment on that, but I'm not sure about the 'difficulty' assertion as anything other than a preference. And I could see a good argument for it being a requirement of 'good' games, but there are plenty of games developed now that are really for idling the time away, are marketed purely on the basis of the fact that they are placid, relaxing, that they don't have a win condition.

emil.y, Thursday, 16 February 2012 05:43 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, for sure. I didn't mean to limit the definition of a good game to one that is difficult. I was more trying to look at some of the things that make games good, and how they are things that directly run against the grain of what we might socially model as good or valuable. I play a lot of "casual" games and some of their biggest virtues in my eyes are how you can kinda get lost in the meaningless void and emptiness of playing them - that they are placid and relaxing. But instead of acknowledging the pleasure in that almost narcotic experience, Andrew Sullivan posts a hundred times about how Angry Birds is really about geopolitics. It's just totally missing the immediate phenomenological pleasures of these things.

Mordy, Thursday, 16 February 2012 05:47 (eight years ago) link

Nice work, Mordy!

polyphonic, Thursday, 16 February 2012 05:52 (eight years ago) link

yeah, echoing the accolades! i saw it before forks posted it, of course, but i held off on reading it until now so it would be more exciting. thanks so much for the contribution!

tmi but (Z S), Thursday, 16 February 2012 06:05 (eight years ago) link

gotta say, gaming jouralism isnt really too high on my list of embarassing things about the hobby. as shallow as it can be, it usually functions well enough as a consumer guide. thinking 1up or whatever.

original bgm, Thursday, 16 February 2012 06:12 (eight years ago) link

ringing endorsement, i know!

original bgm, Thursday, 16 February 2012 06:13 (eight years ago) link

Good stuff, Mordy! I'm totally with you in that I'll keep reading stuff like Kill Screen in the hopes that great communicative writing will appear, but am constantly disappointed by the approaches and styles these writers will take.

Nhex, Thursday, 16 February 2012 06:26 (eight years ago) link

Focus instead on the possibility that if we want to embrace gaming’s Cervantes era, we need gamers who are writers who can find the Cervantes in the games we have.

yesssssssssssssssssssss

the "intenterface" (difficult listening hour), Thursday, 16 February 2012 06:57 (eight years ago) link

i didn't vote in this poll because i looked at the list of suggestions and i hadn't played a single thing on it because i spend all my gametime trying to get like planescape torment to run on wine and even though i've now played through vanilla falloutNV four times i still haven't played any of the DLC, but this thread's prolly gonna make me want to start a website w/ yall

the "intenterface" (difficult listening hour), Thursday, 16 February 2012 07:05 (eight years ago) link

we need to get mordy's essay out to the wider internet. how do you make things go viral? do we need to put a hilarious cat jpg somewhere? maybe max can help

Roberto Spiralli, Thursday, 16 February 2012 12:00 (eight years ago) link

good call. i can see this one getting traction. if mordy is cool w traction of course.

original bgm, Thursday, 16 February 2012 13:20 (eight years ago) link

Really stellar essay Mordy. Definitely deserving of a wider audience.

EZ Snappin, Thursday, 16 February 2012 13:30 (eight years ago) link

Agreed. I've done a final round of edits on the piece (mostly clipping the cursing) with the intent of giving this the best possible chance of virality. Mordy, holler if you want anything else changed around.

little clouds of citrus spritz as i peel (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 16 February 2012 13:31 (eight years ago) link

What's your thoughts on the New! Games! Journalism! and how that's worked out, Mordy?

Andrew Farrell, Thursday, 16 February 2012 13:40 (eight years ago) link

he needs to give it a video rant like whiney did with his music journo screed. ooh maybe a colorful hat too.

bnw, Thursday, 16 February 2012 14:49 (eight years ago) link

Wow, thanks everyone. Tbh, I wasn't sure how this would be received esp since I'm still thinking through a lot of this stuff myself and it was def a vehicle of frustration (and probably more so before forks edited it for a PG-13 rating). Forks did a great job editing it and I am very appreciative that he didn't make me look like a total lunatic.

Re New Games Journalism that is kinda at the heart at what the problem is, right? It's the lazy way of taking New Journalism and applying it to video games instead of developing a new way of writing that actually works for video games. In some ways video games are kinda anti-New Journalism in that they ask us to leave behind a lot of our personal baggage to take on these avatars in these constructed realms. But instead you get stuff like Bissell trying to be decadent while he does coke and plays GTA. I don't even know how Hunter S Thompson would write about Skyrim if he were really trying to respond to the medium. Maybe he'd drink tons of Dragon's Breath Mead and run around screaming about how there are cliff racers in his hair? It's also kinda lazy because instead of figuring out how best to write about this stuff, you just take a journalistic model that has already garnered a ton of praise and secured its place in the critical canon and applied it to a new medium.

Mordy, Thursday, 16 February 2012 14:52 (eight years ago) link

Mordy what do you think of Yahtzee?

Also unknown as Zora (Surfing At Work), Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:16 (eight years ago) link

Pretty classic, I'd say.

Mordy, Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:18 (eight years ago) link

the game or the zero punctuation guy or both?

little clouds of citrus spritz as i peel (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:21 (eight years ago) link

Both, absolutely, and bonus points for recording a critique of yahtzee in the style of yahtzee.

Also unknown as Zora (Surfing At Work), Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:23 (eight years ago) link

A point that Mordy brings up about Demons'/Dark Souls that crystallizes my enjoyment of that game is that it gives you the inestimable joy that comes from learning a difficult skill in a comparatively short period of time. Learning is an endorphin rush and the Souls games provide a steady drip of that rush that is generally less frustrating than it is weirdly rigorous. Learning that comes easy gives no sense of accomplishment. Learning that makes YOU DIED ten times until you realize, "oh, step to the LEFT, dummy" is accompanied by an undeniable growth and the feeling that you are an intelligent machine after all.

little clouds of citrus spritz as i peel (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:38 (eight years ago) link

Okay I heart videogames full time, until I die, etc, but that's like saying McDonald's apple pies are good because they have Vitamin C in them - true but you should really be getting that shit elsewhere as well.

Andrew Farrell, Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:40 (eight years ago) link

I dunno, maybe it's because I'm shit at saving as often as I ought to, but I hate dying in games (well, actually, unless dying is an amusing thing to do in itself). But I guess the principle is the same in the style of gaming I prefer - instead of multiple deaths, it's poking this, combining that, examining everything, trying all combinations until you work out what "How appropriate. You fight like a cow" is the proper answer to.

xpost, Andrew - I think forks is not really intending to say that it's a conscious feeling of "oh, I'm an intelligent machine", rather that the process of learning is actually a stimulant in itself, without having to be reflected on. Though I might be wrong?

instead of acknowledging the pleasure in that almost narcotic experience, Andrew Sullivan posts a hundred times about how Angry Birds is really about geopolitics.

Okay, yeah, that sounds pretty stupid. I'm very much for imaginative interpretation and riffing off signifiers and connotations, but that just sounds like a pretentious 6th-former thinking they're clever.

emil.y, Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:50 (eight years ago) link

You fight like a dairy farmer.

Mordy, Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:50 (eight years ago) link

Not in the boss battle :)

emil.y, Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:52 (eight years ago) link

Andrew: I DO get that in other places (most notably of late in pottery) but when it's so rich in a game that it defines how I'm enjoying it it feels worth noting.

little clouds of citrus spritz as i peel (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:53 (eight years ago) link

and no, emily, you're right on. I like that high!

little clouds of citrus spritz as i peel (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:53 (eight years ago) link

you can't work out how to answer those duelling questions! the game won't give you the right replies until you've done whatever it is that the swordmaster wants that i've forgotten.

dayove cool (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:54 (eight years ago) link

Maybe we should save the soul talk for when it undoubtedly places tho.

Mordy, Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:55 (eight years ago) link

eh, i like open discussion.
Though i would like to urge everyone to shell out a buck and get Amazing Breaker; it is great fun and will keep you enthralled for at least a week.

little clouds of citrus spritz as i peel (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:58 (eight years ago) link

I would but I've heard that it's a "bottom feeders and afterthought" :P

Mordy, Thursday, 16 February 2012 16:00 (eight years ago) link

Haha, I think you guys are taking my MI reference too seriously.

emil.y, Thursday, 16 February 2012 16:01 (eight years ago) link

xp well hell, so is catfish and I'd give up caviar for that anyday.

NV: with Souls, you CAN intuit how to handle a situation. Sometimes it's blind luck, sometimes it is repetition and sometimes it's skill. What no one mentions about those games is that once you get through the first five hours of banging your head against a wall, the difficulty doesn't exactly ramp. It's consistent but YOU get smarter and better at understanding the confines and tricks. The potential for loss is great enough that you work harder to learn and harder to survive.

little clouds of citrus spritz as i peel (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 16 February 2012 16:01 (eight years ago) link

is amazing breaker playable on an iphone screen?

"renegade" gnome (remy bean), Thursday, 16 February 2012 16:02 (eight years ago) link

Amazing Breaker was made for iPhone actually; I keep waiting for a universal update but none on the horizon.

Also: Will ANYONE else rep for Brink? It looks like cookie cutter Halo to me.

little clouds of citrus spritz as i peel (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 16 February 2012 16:03 (eight years ago) link

nah i was just funning about Monkey Island but it's an obvious point that the puzzle solving in that kind of game never changes in approach, only in degree, and there's no real learning and grwoth taking place.

none of this makes MI not great, just different

dayove cool (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 16 February 2012 16:05 (eight years ago) link

Ok I have shelled out my first cold hard cash as a result of this poll for amazing breaker, didn't even try the free version first.

ledge, Thursday, 16 February 2012 16:07 (eight years ago) link

The puzzle that ultimately did me in for MI was opening the telescope and using the flint and the lens and the gunpowder to blow up the dam to flood the valley to lower to dead body so you can get the rope and climb down into the ravine to get the paddle for the rowboat so you can visit the cannibals. I couldn't figure out how to blow up the dam after solving every other puzzle in that game on my own and I finally broke down and bought the walkthrough (lol pre-internet walkthrough availability days).

Mordy, Thursday, 16 February 2012 16:08 (eight years ago) link

dude i probably rang a helpline at some point in MI

dayove cool (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 16 February 2012 16:09 (eight years ago) link

All my undergrad friends were playing MI at the same time; we sometimes went to the phone box and spent a night's worth of beer money ringing people to ask if they had answers.

Also unknown as Zora (Surfing At Work), Thursday, 16 February 2012 16:12 (eight years ago) link

it's an obvious point that the puzzle solving in that kind of game never changes in approach, only in degree, and there's no real learning and grwoth taking place.

I guess that's sort of true? But there is definitely a method of learning about what that approach is, how to solve the puzzles you're presented with. There's a conceptual framework being built - yes, you could brute force the game by trying to combine literally everything but it's better to think laterally (though actually, MI is a bad example here, as some puzzles I only ever solved through brute force).

emil.y, Thursday, 16 February 2012 16:13 (eight years ago) link

lol i deleted amazing breaker last night without ever playing it X:

radiant silverfish (diamonddave85), Thursday, 16 February 2012 16:14 (eight years ago) link

That was a problem I had with the newer Telltale Monkey Island games. I no longer have the patience for the kind of brute force trying to solve puzzles, or trying different things dozens of times until something worked (and hearing the same recorded dialogue each time). Maybe because the gap between those and the last MI game I played (number 3) was so large that I forgot how to enjoy that kind of puzzle solving? Interestingly I never lost my joy in playing IF maybe because you don't have to sit through prerecorded audio + video but can just scan the text telling you that the approach didn't work.

Mordy, Thursday, 16 February 2012 16:15 (eight years ago) link

yeah i only briefly looked at that last MI thing but it seemed like 10 minute unfunny cut scenes with a bit of pixel hunting in between

dayove cool (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 16 February 2012 16:19 (eight years ago) link

xxpost

not that long, xseed are bringing Falcom PC games over, already announced 2 Ys games & heavily hinted TiTs is next

zappi, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 20:16 (eight years ago) link

see I was just making an easy joke about that acronym

thuggish ruggish Brahms (DJP), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 20:17 (eight years ago) link

oh you

zappi, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 20:18 (eight years ago) link

tbh I have no idea why I haven't already purchased Legend of Heroes: TITS

thuggish ruggish Brahms (DJP), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 20:20 (eight years ago) link

so, who voted legend of heroes? lamp? wanted to play that but didn't get around to it.

yeah... twas me... i thought i wrote a little thing about it for forx idk its pretty much good in exactly the way you would expect it to be and tiresome in the same.

Lamp, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 20:35 (eight years ago) link

http://i41.tinypic.com/5do2yu.jpg
#76: Muchi Muchi Pork & Pink Sweets – 360 – 10 pts – 1 vote
http://i43.tinypic.com/294ns7p.jpg

1986 Olive Garden (Z S), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 20:37 (eight years ago) link

another shmup. btw, it seems to be impossible to find any high resolution images of this game on the internet.

1986 Olive Garden (Z S), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 20:38 (eight years ago) link

i loved mortal kombat for several days, but then realized that fighting games just arent really my thing, and i am slow and old, so it went back to gamestop

Thu'um gang (jjjusten), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 20:43 (eight years ago) link

anybody who is into fighting game stuff tho should pick it up for sure, it is crazy huge and FULL of content

Thu'um gang (jjjusten), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 20:44 (eight years ago) link

i forgot that mortal kombat even came out

Lamp, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 20:45 (eight years ago) link

i remember a time when a new mortal kombat game was a huge deal. now it's like one step above shovelware

Mordy, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 20:51 (eight years ago) link

http://i39.tinypic.com/iwk5yg.jpg
#76: Okamiden – DS – 10 pts – 1 vote
Salsa Shark: Cutest game of the year by far. The art style is almost exactly the same as Okami and a lot of the scenery is taken from the Wii version (with some removals and some additions) so even though it's a completely different platform the two games still feel very, very similar. As for the differences: the paintbrush mechanism works much, much better on DS than it ever could on Wii or PS2, but despite this enemy battles were one of the biggest downsides to Okamiden. It's too easy and tempting to just do 'pause-slash' over and over to defeat bosses, and in fact in a lot of cases it seems to be the most effective option. It's a shame because most of the bosses are enjoyable at first... and then they become a bit of a slog. The other downside is that the DS feels way too restrictive for an open-world style game with large landscapes; as much as I enjoyed Okamiden overall, I really wished I could be playing it on a proper television, even if it meant sacrificing the stylus for the wiimote.

1986 Olive Garden (Z S), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 20:55 (eight years ago) link

never sacrifice anything for the wiimote

Thu'um gang (jjjusten), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 20:57 (eight years ago) link

i would rather use the POWERGLOVE than the goddamn wiimote

Thu'um gang (jjjusten), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 20:58 (eight years ago) link

http://i40.tinypic.com/a09qog.jpg
#76: Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 – PS3 – 10 pts – 1 vote
EZ Snappin: Another PES, another batch of small refinements to keep me engaged. This time it is the much better AI scripting, and, as I only play single player "be a pro" modes in sports games anymore, that makes all the difference. Not perfect (not with these floaty shots), but good enough.

1986 Olive Garden (Z S), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 21:13 (eight years ago) link

http://i43.tinypic.com/35aj61d.jpg
#76: Scribblenauts Remix – iOS – 10 pts – 1 vote
http://i41.tinypic.com/2qc14k3.png

1986 Olive Garden (Z S), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 21:38 (eight years ago) link

I really want TiTs

byan wein (cozen), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 21:39 (eight years ago) link

i have tried so hard to enjoy scribblenauts but it just doesnt click with me - i am glad to finally get the chance to try it thx to iphone port tho

Thu'um gang (jjjusten), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 21:52 (eight years ago) link

It worked great on the iPad but I don't know, maybe the iPhone would be too small?

polyphonic, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 21:53 (eight years ago) link

http://i44.tinypic.com/2h5ih52.jpg
#76: World Cruise Story – Android – 10 pts – 1 vote – Top Android exclusive
http://i43.tinypic.com/1z2k8cg.jpg
agent hibachi: really, pick whichever game dev-style sim you feel like playing and drop a few bucks on it. i chose to herd doofy little pixelated tourists around a spreadsheet-driven world. i don't think it's possible to run your ship aground but a sick part of me wishes they would patch that in.

1986 Olive Garden (Z S), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 21:58 (eight years ago) link

http://i39.tinypic.com/nzf8u0.jpg
#76: Zen Pinball – 360 / PS3 – 10 pts – 1 vote

1986 Olive Garden (Z S), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 22:14 (eight years ago) link

#76: Muchi Muchi Pork & Pink Sweets

another shmup. btw, it seems to be impossible to find any high resolution images of this game on the internet.

― 1986 Olive Garden (Z S), Wednesday, March 14, 2012 1:38 PM

There are no high resolution images because those games have no high resolution assets. Their native resolution is 240 x 320.

JCL, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 22:49 (eight years ago) link

My zen pinball vote was partly for the iPhone version, and partly for the 3DS version, and partly for the new tables in the 360 version. Between them they've eaten up hours of my time this year (without me ever managing to rack up any half decent scores). It's just pinball done incredibly well.

JimD, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:07 (eight years ago) link

#76: World Cruise Story – Android – 10 pts – 1 vote – Top Android exclusive

lol something so sad about that

A Little Princess btw (s1ocki), Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:05 (eight years ago) link

sorry, I fell asleep! now I'm that I'm back in this other world of the living, let me finish up with the last two for today.

1986 Olive Garden (Z S), Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:10 (eight years ago) link

Two way tie for #74

http://i44.tinypic.com/dqyvn.jpg
#74: ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection HD – PS3 – 10 pts – 2 votes
CraigG: Shadow of the Colossus is one of my all time favourite games, and one of only a handful of games where I find myself wandering around humming the music (even in the years and years between when I completed it a couple of times on PS2 and buying this on PS3, and I never played it in between). Ico I only ever played the demo on PS2, so was glad when they HD'ed it too. It's a beautiful game, too. Again, I don't think there's much to say that wasn't said when it came out 10 years ago, or whenever that was!

polyphonic: The most artistic uses of 3D in a video game that I've seen. Two great games that are much improved in this edition.

http://i39.tinypic.com/156tgg4.jpg
#74: Wonderputt – In Browser – 10 pts – 2 votes
forks: everybody should try this, it is fucking great

1986 Olive Garden (Z S), Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:11 (eight years ago) link

I completely forgot Wonderputt! Great game.

EZ Snappin, Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:25 (eight years ago) link

i liked it when i played it but the fact i haven't thought about it since says something

Kony Montana: "Say hello to my invisible friend" (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:25 (eight years ago) link

IS THE ahem, is the ico collection good? i heard some complaints. from various quarters.

A Little Princess btw (s1ocki), Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:26 (eight years ago) link

Wonderputt is kinda the golf version of that guy who made all those little browser based evolve RPG toys. very pretty and cool looking, but not really much of a game (and now that i mention that guy, i realize that i don't remember his name or any of his games' names and can't find him in google)

Mordy, Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:48 (eight years ago) link

found it - this guy: http://www.eyezmaze.com/grow/v3/index.html

Mordy, Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:49 (eight years ago) link

yeah those grow games held my attention briefly too but they seemed like mostly just trawling thru trial and error

Kony Montana: "Say hello to my invisible friend" (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:53 (eight years ago) link

really striking visuals tho iirc

Mordy, Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:54 (eight years ago) link

I couldn't deal with Wonderputt at all. It's beautiful, but I couldn't get anywhere with it.

The Eyemaze Grow series contains some of my favourite web games ever. But yeah, I get that they're not really 'game' games. I suppose the thing I like the most is that failure is often just as awesome as success.

I almost voted for Kingdom Rush, but to be honest, I found it more annoying than a lot of TD games - if I get stuck I do like to be able to improve through grinding in that sort of game. Puzzle-based stuff I don't mind agonising over but anything aside from that I do like to be able to force my way through if I have to.

emil.y, Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:58 (eight years ago) link

holy crap ok maybe we're moving a little too fast now. the space between entries was to give us some room to talk, ya know...

honestly i'm kind of i'm the only one who voted for MK! along with Portal 2 it was the major AAA release in the early half of the year. if you have ANY fond memories of MK 1-3 you gotta play it, it's just ridiculous stupid fun in the single player modes, and the multiplayer is better than all the old MK games (not saying a lot there i know but still)

i mean, is there any other fighting game that unifies every single character into one coherent story mode, forcing you to play as everyone through the same plot? and they don't even cheat by making you replay events, the story keeps moving on as you move from chapter to chapter. yes, it is the dumbest story ever, but i'm still in awe of how hard tried with it (I heard MK vs DC might've done this but i didn't play enough of it to see
)

Scribblenauts: neat, worth a buck i'd say

Zen Pinball: i'm totally obsessed with this on xbox now, and the iOS version controls surprisingly well

Nhex, Thursday, 15 March 2012 03:02 (eight years ago) link

second paragraph: kind of surprised

Nhex, Thursday, 15 March 2012 03:02 (eight years ago) link

holy crap ok maybe we're moving a little too fast now. the space between entries was to give us some room to talk, ya know..

Yikes, sorry! Yeah, agreed it was a little fast today, but I wanted to move us forward in the results since I had been slow recently. Once we get into the top results, I'll definitely slow it down a bit (while trying to remain consistent in the rollout).

1986 Olive Garden (Z S), Thursday, 15 March 2012 03:55 (eight years ago) link

This is good. All good.

Jeff, Thursday, 15 March 2012 04:02 (eight years ago) link

it's cool man! i'm happy you're back yo

Nhex, Thursday, 15 March 2012 04:11 (eight years ago) link

trying to remember how many of my awesome choices i have left - spoiler: if i had played it before C&P voting i would have had rage in my top 5 for sure, but i have the feeling it might not place. DONT ANSWER THAT, i hope i am wrong, but if im not, its really worth a shot, dudes that kept saying that it is a short game are doing it wrong, because i am 15 hours in and havent even gotten to the second major settlement yet. and oh shit does it look O_Omazing.

see now if it does place you can farm this quote

Thu'um gang (jjjusten), Thursday, 15 March 2012 04:19 (eight years ago) link

So many games I have never heard of! <3 this

salsa shark, Thursday, 15 March 2012 10:24 (eight years ago) link

i voted for wonderputt! totally playable and fun imo. i want a sequel immediately.

40oz of tears (Jordan), Thursday, 15 March 2012 13:52 (eight years ago) link

i would have voted for ico/shadow of the colossus if i had a ps3. i'd love to play sotc again, and i've still never played ico.

40oz of tears (Jordan), Thursday, 15 March 2012 14:44 (eight years ago) link

I got ico/shadow of the colossus at xmas time. I've only played a small bit of shadow of the colossus and it's certainly beautiful but I have definitely had issues with the camera that make the game more frustrating than it needs to be.

treefell, Thursday, 15 March 2012 14:58 (eight years ago) link

i didn't mind it the first time around (on ps2), but maybe i've been ruined by decent game UI by now

40oz of tears (Jordan), Thursday, 15 March 2012 15:26 (eight years ago) link

this reminds me of my reaction to the beyond good and evil 360 port - super excited until i spent a bunch of time staring at walls or getting nauseous as the turn ratio ratcheted out of sync.

Thu'um gang (jjjusten), Thursday, 15 March 2012 15:36 (eight years ago) link

i couldn't hang with that one either

40oz of tears (Jordan), Thursday, 15 March 2012 15:40 (eight years ago) link

yeh i was a bit disappointed when i replayed SOTC over xmas
the clunkiness of the controls didn't help, but i think the main problem was that the game is at heart a puzzle platformer, and once you know how to do the puzzle part the rest of it becomes kind of rote - there was only one colossus i didn't immediately remember how to beat :/

zappi, Thursday, 15 March 2012 15:53 (eight years ago) link

#76: World Cruise Story – Android – 10 pts – 1 vote – Top Android exclusive

lol something so sad about that

― A Little Princess btw (s1ocki), Wednesday, March 14, 2012 5:05 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

haha i know, i would have played it ON IPHONE but i needed that 4G mang

it is literally the only game installed on my phone so it is sad, lol and appropriate

doc has never told me nothing that wasn't true (agent hibachi), Thursday, 15 March 2012 16:42 (eight years ago) link


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