The Evolution Revolution

MrVonAwesometon’s Favorite Games of 2011 (Last Edited January 21, 2012)

Someone aka MrVonAwesometon forgot to post this. I went ahead and did so, 4 months later.

Best Shooter

Gears of War 3

If you overlook the fact that the Gears franchise is built around nothing more than shooting and chainsawing dudes, Gears of War 3 is a surprisingly content filled shooter. The gameplay is the same cover based shooting that we have come to expect from the franchise, though little tweaks and additions such as the Hammerburst iron sights and the Retro Lancer, are just enough to keep the gameplay as explosive and hectic as the previous Gears games. There is a great plot (for the steroid pumping space marine genre at least), some fun vehicles sequences and boss fights, and just more mindless shooting and killing then I previously thought possible. With one of the strongest and most fun campaigns of the series, enhanched Horde mode with the addition of a locust counterpart called Beast mode, and a stellar online multiplayer being backed by solid DLC updates, Gears 3 is shaping up to be the most unnecessarily bloody and undeniably fun shooters in a while.

Other Picks:
Battlefield 3
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Uncharted 3

Best Adventure

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

I have to say that it was really hard to choose between Zelda and Uncharted 3, but one thing about Skyward Sword that can make me overlook the finicky motion controls; Skyward Sword is a work of art. There are not many games that I would say that about, save Limbo, but Skyward Sword is truly deserving. Every frame of gameplay looks like a moving water color painting, Skyward Sword being undeniably the best looking Wii game save the Galaxies, not to mention a magnificent, sweeping, fully orchestrated soundtrack that rivals that of Wind Waker and even the Mother series. On the topic of gameplay, the worlds are more open than other Zelda games, though the dungeons are the same standard Zelda formula, though the added motion swordplay add a whole new demension to both boss fights and general dungeon crawling. While the motion controls are very touchy and mess up just enough to occasionally get on your nerves, I wouldn’t have chose this for my pick if the sheer beauty of the game didn’t outweigh these slight annoyances. If you have a little patience, Skyward Sword is truly one of the most beautiful games of not just 2011, but of all time.

Other Picks:
Uncharted 3
L.A. Noire
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

Best Platformer

Rayman Origins

Rayman Origins is pure platforming bliss, but was sadly overlooked in the wave of big name releases in November, coming out within a week of Skyrim, Call of Duty, and Assassin’s Creed. While Origins was on of the most overlooked titles of 2011, it was also one of the best. The platforming is smooth, fast paced, and the perfect level of difficulty, not to mention featuring the hilariously fun 4 Player competitive/Co-op made popular by New Super Mario Bros Wii. Every world has a wonderful, distinct art style that makes every second of playing filled with sweet sweet eye candy, not to mention one of the most fun and quirky soundtracks I have heard in recent years. Rayman Origins is one of the prettiest, most fun platformers I have ever played, possibly as good as Super Mario World, and is the breath of fresh air that the 2-D platformer genre needed. Developers need to stop making constant modern shooters and take a hint from UbiSoft; gamers need variety.

Other Picks:
Super Mario 3D Land
Sonic Generations
LittleBigPlanet 2

Best RPG

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

I’ve never played any of the previous Deus Ex games, but if they are anything like Human Revolution. I can assume that they’re fantastic. The world of Deus Ex is a wonderfuly realized, and frighteningly plausible, future spread across several locales, from a poverty struck Detroit, to a research facility in the Arctic Ocean, to, my personal favorite hub world, a multitiered Chinese metropolis. The actual gameplay generally has you going through various research facilities and labs, but perhaps the strongest part of Human Revolution is the many ways to tackle each mission. One can take the stealthy route, silently killing enemies, run in guns blazing, or perhaps bypass killing entirely by using non-lethal takedowns or hacking. Deus Ex is obviously not your typical turnbased jRPG, as it in general wRPG fashion is foremost an action game with strong RPG elements such as leveling, upgrading, multiple paths, and moral decisions sprinkled throughout, which I personally prefer to standard RPGs. To call Deus Ex perfect would be an overstatement as it, like any game, has it’s flaws, though they are fairly easy to overlook. The only major annoyances that actually hinder gameplay are the stiff cover and occasionally stiff gunplay, along with trite boss fights, though the otherwise fantastic gameplay, stellar soundtrack, and plathora of gameplay choices make it one hell of a great game.

Other Picks:
Pokemon Black/White
Radiant Historia

Best Port/Remake

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

I shouldn’t have to sing Ocarina of Time’s praises, as most people (except for a couple of DUDES) know how great of a game it is, and it is my favorite game of all time. Ocarina 3D is not just another port though, it is by far the definative version. The visuals are leaps and bounds ahead of the N64 version, looking more on par with a Gamecube game, with completely new textures, leaving the land of Hyrule looking even more magnificent than ever. The gameplay is the same as the 64, though touch screen menus vastly improve areas like the Water Temple by making every item a couple of taps away, while the addition optional gyroscope aiming feels perfect for the game and is smoother and quicker than using analog aiming. All in all, Ocarina 3D is an amazing port of a perfect game that, in a rare turn of events for a port such as this, greatly enhances the experience of it’s source material.

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