I made some big decisions in 2010, but it was not until this year that I had to come to terms with what they meant. It has certainly been an experience so far and I am still adapting, I have hardly played any big releases for the last 8 months and I do not know if that is a cause or an effect. Originally, this made me reluctant to write this, but since year-end “best-of” lists tend to have more games released in Q4 it might be for the best that I got most of my playing done in Q1.

In direct opposition to how the development world is moving, I have actually played *less* smaller games this year. It is something that shall be remedied for 2012, but for now these are my 2011 favorites;

Bulletstorm, a lot of people whose opinions I respect have dismissed it as juvenile crap based solely on narrative and presentation. While I agree these are important parts in a videogame, I think they serve a purpose in providing a unified whole that allows for radio-controlled dinosaurs, giant monsters and killing by cactus. There is a skillfully designed shooter there, and I am not sure a more serious presentation would have allowed it to deliver such joy.

Dragon Age 2, I actually liked it better than the first game in all aspects. Sure, it lacked the gravitas of a plot essentially about saving the world but it was different. The story does not revolve around a person, group or quest but rather focuses on how different factions forced to live in the same town tries to coexist. It is more about Kirkwall itself than anything else, and I found this immensely refreshing.

Deus Ex – Human Evolution, no-one I know have argued that it is a bad game. It certainly could be – it is graphically inferior many other games,  the design is uneven both in terms of core functionality and levels and even the lauded story has some contrived parts. But it also has a intricate and well-built setting as well as the backdrop for a deep and meaningful story.

… An honorable mention goes to Radiant Historia, but I am not done with it yet and some JRPGs really turn sour towards the end so I’m playing it safe.

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Posted on Jan 04/12 by Saint and filed under Meta-blog, Reflections | No Comments »