Tagged: Of The Year

2011. The Year in ShawnS

What a weird year in gaming 2011 was for me. Games continued to get chopped up into smaller, more annoying DLC chunks. Kinect, which I was pretty excited about in 2010, had only one or two titles worth even a glance. The “AAA” titles were mostly sequels to games I haven’t cared about this whole generation. The quirky Japanese stuff continued to dry up. I voluntarily skipped Uncharted 3! Between catching up with Fallout New Vegas and journeying to Skyrim I spent more time in 2011 with Bethesda games than anything else. I could go on and on about how I am at odds with the modern gaming populace but I think my ‘of the year’ winners below probably illustrate it much better.

Favorites of 2011 – Retail
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Portal 2
Saints Row: The Third
Dead Island
Test Drive Unlimited 2

Favorites of 2011 – Download
The Adventures of Shuggy
Orcs Must Die
Beyond Good & Evil HD
Age of Empires Online

Most Hours Spent
Fallout New Vegas (110)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (72)
Dead Island (53)
Test Drive Unlimited 2 (47)
Saints Row: The Third (37)

DLC I Willingly Paid For
Age of Empires
Bastion (Soundtrack)
Beat Hazard Ultra
Mass Effect 2 – Arrival

Best Undead Encounters
Dead Island
Dead Nation

I’ve kept track of the games I’ve played for several years but it wasn’t until 2011 that I broke them down into a multi-functional spreadsheet. Seriously, thanks to the magic of Google Docs you can check it out yourself. It’s not in exacting chronological order but the oldest stuff is at the bottom. I also have charts! Delicious and colorful pie charts that illustrate that I got way more games on the cheap than I paid full price for and that most of those were still brand new 2011 releases. Go me!

For a more traditional Top Ten list check out my Giant Bomb page where I’ve made similar annual lists for the past two years. And if you want to get even more granular than that spreadsheet, my Raptr page breaks it down by hours played and Achievements unlocked and more. If you’re going to those lengths you might as well take a look at my 401(k) and offer your investment suggestions, and while you’re at it could you take a look at this thing growing on my leg?

Just past the break is your bonus Close-Personal-Friends-of-Me Awards as shamelessly solicited on formspring! Never mind that thing on my leg, this should give you that blinding insight into the Me of Me.

My 2009 in Games

A good idea of how this year felt as well

So here we are at the tail very beginnings of 2010 and even though I didn’t keep track like I should’ve I managed to compile this list of pretty much every game I played last year. I tell ya, back in August it felt like I hadn’t played anything new but as this list proves I really did get to a lot of 2009’s releases. To be honest, that’s a very personal “a lot” because according to EEDAR GamePulse 1,099 games were released to retail alone in 2009. I played 63 of them. Doing some quick math (read: a Google search) that’s like saying I played 5.6% of all games released last year but I swear it feels like I played a lot of them!

The biggest revelation of 2009? That games rarely “do it” for me anymore. Almost all of the games here definitely entertained and even captivated me but thinking back on them I recall more angst, frustration, and disappointment than adoration and joy. Maybe it’s my failing body; my aching hands or bleary eyes that make playing games a physical challenge. Maybe I’ve just played too many damn games and everything seems samey. Or maybe I’m just a curmudgeonly old man who’s forgotten how to enjoy himself.

Whatever it is I hope I can break through it in 2010 or it may well be one of my last years at the helm of a joystick, and I don’t mean because motion controllers will replace them. Wow, that was depressing but, ya know, it’s how I feel. I’m hoping that looking back on this post in a year I’ll laugh at the old me sitting here right now typing this out and realize how wrong I was to doubt the creative freedom, fiery spirit, and carefree whimsy of gaming. Come on industry, prove me wrong! I suggest you start by flaying Bobby Kotick.

Ok. Before I drive everyone away I’ll shut up and get on with the listing. Many of the 63 games below are linked to significant coverage I wrote either here or at NfamousGamers and if you’re looking for some more insight check out my ridiculously extensive list of what I played in 2005 for comparison and my Top Ten of 2009 list at Giant Bomb. Also, comment your hearts out! Let’s make this some kind of discussion. Wanna know how Excitebike is? Ask me. Why did I play Damnation? Go on, ask me!

Wii and WiiWare
Dead Space Extraction
Deadly Creatures
Excitebike World Rally
Just Dance
Pokemon Rumble
Wii Sports Resort

Nintendo DS and DSiWare
Anno 1404
Art Style Aquia
Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island
Henry Hatsworth and the Puzzling Adventure
Legacy of Y’s: Books I & II
Need for Speed: Nitro
Peggle Dual Shot
Touchmaster 3
Treasure World

Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Arcade
1 vs 100
50 Cent: Blood on the Sand
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Brutal Legend
Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires
FunTown Mahjong
Halo Waypoint
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Kodu Game Lab
Ninja Blade
Puzzle Quest Galactrix
Raiden IV
Red Faction: Guerilla
Shadow Complex
‘Splosion Man
The Beatles: Rock Band
The Dishwasher Dead Samurai
Tower Blox

PlayStation 3, PSP and PlayStation Network
Assassin’s Creed 2
Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce
Killzone 2
Noby Noby Boy
PixelJunk Shooter
Trash Panic
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Battlefield Heroes
Captain Forever
Dragon Age: origins

Games I played IN 2009
Advent Rising
Tomb Raider Underworld
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Super Metroid
Scene It? Box Office Smash!
Guitar Hero World Tour
Bionic Commando: ReArmed

And here’s what you were probably looking for, my top and bottom games of 2009. These are only games that were released in 2009 although I’m sure there are some that would argue that Super Metroid was still the best game of the year. You old fuddy-duddy you!

Tops of 2009
Assassin’s Creed 2
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Shadow Complex

Bottoms of 2009
Brutal Legend
Trash Panic

You can hear some more detailed thoughts on all of our tops and bottoms of 2009 in our year-end wrap-up podcast right here! Thanks for checking this out and commenting. Here’s to a new year full of pixels and shaders and physics engines!