That Hanging Feeling

22 05 2012

Right, okay guys, even though I should probably be working away right now, I thought I’d give myself a well deserved break 😛 I thought I could bring you another list article today. So without further ado, I bring you guys, ‘The Top 7 Games To Play When You’re Hungover’, I hope you like it 🙂

The Top 7 Games To Play When You’re Hungover

Okay, So we’ve all been there, (or at least, most of us have). Waking up in the morning, finding yourself half naked on the bathroom floor, with a horrid smell coming from the toilet, and a foul taste partying in your mouth. You attempt to stand up, only to find that the laws of gravity have 3x the power they usually do over you, and your head feels like a 100kg weight, throwing itself to the ground with every bit of energy it has. When you finally get up and get yourself back in (slight) order, you realize what a mistake last night was, and try to remember even the smallest details about the night before, most notably, how you got home. Then, after throwing a bunch of medicine down your throat in the hope that something helps, you vouch to never drink again, as the long  day looms before you. What to do, why, what else but game of course, but what to play. Your reflexes are almost none existent, and loud noises become echoing screams. This leaves your games collection considerably reduced, as the whining of teenage boys telling you ‘you’re a noob’ would burn your ear drums, and anything which requires too much energy, concentration or timing would melt your puny little dehydrated brain. Well, I am (hopefully) here to answer your prayers and give you a list of 7 games that are almost designed with this moment entirely in mind.

7. The Sims 3 (PC, Mac, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, 3DS, DS)

Only the beginning of their problems

Now, this is not quite the perfect game for a hangover, as you still have to put up with the whiny, annoying little sims whose lives you have to look after. However, the beauty of sims is that you don’t have to pay attention to them. You could spend all day in build mode, finding awesome and creative ways to build your dream home. If you’re anything like me though, playing The Sims whilst hungover becomes somewhat of a more masochistic affair, as I usually just spend hours trying to kill my little virtual pets, and all their friends too. First you start off small, and just stick a bunch of sims in an enclosed space filled with flammable objects, and start a fire, such a classic. However, you soon start to realize that there are much more creative ways to inflict so much pain upon those unsuspecting victims that it makes your hangover seem like a picnic. Why not lock them in a basement with not quite enough resources to survive, and see what they do. Or just invite your neighbours around, lock them in a basement, and keep them as hostages, then bring them out 1 by 1, with a challenge prepared for them. Start out simple and see if they can cook 5 meals without starting a fire, then ramp it up a bit more every time leaving them with near impossible tasks, like making their way through a flaming obstacle course. Don’t let me think of all of your ideas though, use your own imagination.

6. LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

Sackboy: the happiest sack I have ever met

Again, this is one of those games, which, in the wrong hands, can be horrible for a hangover, making you use your brain and reflexes if you decide to play some challenging levels. However, we’ll ignore that side of the game in this situation, but rather, we’ll focus on the creation aspect. If you can think of it, you can probably make it. Personally, I am not a big fan of using the LittleBigPlanet tool set to create entire levels, but that’s just me, you can go right ahead. I personally prefer to create little balls of furry fun for me to mess about in, why not just make a giant rabbit and see how high you can get it to jump? or maybe create some chickens and make them a race course, only to put a giant pit of lovely (and only slightly deadly) spikes at the bottom of a 100 foot drop, right at the end of the race, leaving that happy winning chicken some time to think about what he has done before meeting a timely end. Again, this is one for your imaginations (not my rather messed up one).

5. Viva Pinata (Xbox 360, DS)

They’re just so damn cute!

Viva Pinata is a game which has a bit of a slower pace than most, leaving your hungover self a very happy bunny. You are tasked with maintaining your very own garden, so that lots of cute Pinatas will want to come and live there. From the moment your very first Whirlm becomes a resident in garden, the enjoyment begins, almost every Pinata is cute as hell, and explodes with their own personality, all the way right down to their mating dances (that’s right, pinatas get it on by dancing). There is so much joy to be had when forging your garden from a small Whirlm patch, all the way up to a Sanctuary for your precious Elephanillas. The only issue for your slowly disintegrating mental health is the extremely annoying ruffians which insist on destroying your ornaments, filling up your pond and breaking your pinatas, sending them to Pinata heaven, a wonderful world filled with Ice cream hills, Chocolate fountains, ‘candy’ mountains and all without a single sour pinata in sight…they go straight to hell.

4. Minecraft (PC, Xbox 360)

…Not quite as cute…

Yes, we have creepers, pig-zombies and ghasts in Minecraft, however, turn peaceful mode on, or play in creative mode, and you have one of my favourite hangover cures to this date. Whether you are mining for resources, trying to build your perfect house (which always ends up with me trying to make an entire perfect city) or just exacting sweet, sweet revenge upon those damn chickens, you can literally sink hours upon hours into Minecraft. Stray away from the multiplayer and just dedicate the day to finally finishing your utopia project, and you’ll be saying goodbye to crippling headaches before you can say ‘there’s a creeper in my house’.

3. Journey (PS3)


What better way to forget about the journey that was last night, by starting a new one yourself. Journey is a delightful game, and at times feels more like a piece of art than it does a game. Simply put, everything about this game will make your brains retreat back into your skull. Whether it be the amazing soundtrack, or just the glorious sights that are to be seen. You can just focus on getting your little scarf clad self back on its way. This is one journey that you certainly wont want to forget, let’s just hope that the memory loss from the alcohol doesn’t spill all the way over to the (now rather beautiful) hangover.

2. Flower (PS3)

One of many calming moments you’ll be having

This is yet again another game which is practically just a piece of artwork. Heck, this game is so good, it even manages to make the six-axis controls feel useful. drifting your troubles away into a flurry of flowers and petals is a great moment, and suddenly all those dark, dank horrible colours from last night transform into a whirlwind of beauty and calm. I don’t know what else I can say about this really, other than it will relax you so much, you may forget that you are even awake, let alone hungover.

1. Animal Crossing (N64, Gamecube, DS, Wii)  

Laughter is Indeed the best medicine

The real world is one full of horrible crimes, foul people, and the most unrelenting and harsh creature in existence, mother nature. However, Animal Crossing lets you forget all about the real world and live inside a true utopia. Andrew Ryan had it truly wrong, to make a perfect world, all you need is animal neighbours. With your letter box full to the brim with letters about how wonderful the weather is today, and how much everybody loves you, nothing could make you angry or upset in this little town. Everybody’s smiles are almost tearing their faces in to pieces they are that big, and I can see why, this is a town built around being friendly, making everywhere look nice, and fishing, what’s not to be happy about. Heck even the most horrific face of the town, Tom Nook is still a nice guy, who runs around his shop laughing away (probably because of how much profit he’s making, but still). In a world of drunk people and hangovers, there is no better cure than to live in one filled with picturesque towns and happy animals…Just don’t forget to save…


Three Is The Magic Number

27 01 2012

Hello again, I hope this post finds you all in a good mood, because it certainly has me. A week has passed since a PS3 has been finally brought into my life, after many years of service from my Wii and 360. Let me tell you guys now, there is nothing quite like having all three consoles (albeit for a very short time, as the WiiU arrives this year :/). With the ability to now search out the best deals between 360/PS3, and buy a game I want on whichever console has more game content, I couldn’t find myself in a much better position, not to mention, I get to play all console exclusives now. The main thought coming from this was, in what world does a fanboy actually benefit? surely everyone would be better off if they left their petty arguments and grudges to die, and just had the best of all worlds. Anyway, that’s another matter entirely, as today I am bringing you my final part to my guide to gaming on a budget, in the form of a list of great game for under £10. Please, as usual comment below and tell me what you think, or if I’ve missed anything out. Enjoy 🙂

Top 10 games for under £10

Right, I’m going to start off with a couple of rules I’m sticking to, just so nobody gets all flustered about my selection. Firstly, I am going to stick to games from ‘this gen’ (PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii) as to try to stay relevant, and besides, most games from earlier are below £10 anyway. Secondly, I am going to be sticking to retail games only, as the amount of great games and DLC you can get on XBLA, PSN and Steam is huge, and mostly under the £10 price mark, yet again. Lastly, all games from the same series will be sharing the same spot, as to be able to fit more great games on this list for you guys.

10. Blazblue Calamity Trigger + Continuum Shift (PS3, Xbox 360)

Now, really, most fighting games of this gen could have been put in this spot, but for me Blazblue has trumped them all. Yeah, sure, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat may also be great fighters, but for me, none of them can match up to Blazblue’s speed, precision, balance, depth and unique style, making it a complete steal. Obviously the better choice is Continuum Shift, as it has more characters and stages, not only that, but as it is the later game, the developers have had more time to balance and refine the game to near fighting perfection. Also make sure to keep an eye out for Continuum Shift II, when it hits consoles later this year.

9. Metroid Prime Trilogy + Other M (Wii)

Two very different Samus based bargains this time. Metroid Prime Trilogy is a combination of the two gamecube classics and the third Prime installment on the Wii, all in one box. It also gives players the chance to play the first two for the first time with Wii-based controls, making them even better than before. You can’t possibly turn down not one, but three of the best Metroid games ever for such a low price point. Other M is an attempt to return the series to it’s roots, turning it back into the fast paced side scroller it became famous as, it also adds a first person perspective to the mix whenever you aim the wiimote at the screen, allowing you to take a look around for clues on the fly. Although not quite as good as the Prime trilogy, if you are a fan of the old fashion Metroid games, its worth more than a look at.

8. Bayonetta (PS3, Xbox 360)

With the fourth Devil May Cry game showing it’s age according to many, Bayonetta attempted to pick up the slack, and give Dante a bit of a kick up the arse, and boy did it. Although Bayonetta’s style didn’t go down with the masses as much as hoped, not many people can deny, in terms of gameplay, Bayonetta truly took things up a gear or two. Offering some great weapons, and the chance to equip two at the same time, the numbers of ways to kill your victims was truly awesome. With tight controls and combat, every single kill you get feels earned, as does every death. In Bayonetta, there is no frustration, if you fail, you’re just not good enough.

7. Gears of War 1 + 2 (Xbox 360)

With the original game bringing great cover mechanics to the masses, and the second bringing us the much imitated horde mode, it’s pretty easy to say that Gears has left its mark on many games over the past few years. Although these games don’t have all the refinements and modes that come with the third installment, they’re still a blast to play through with a mate by your side. If nothing else, the joys of shooting a torque bow into a locust’s crotch never truly wear off.

6. LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

Possibly the first game to ever make our own imagination our enemy, LittleBigPlanet brings us Joy around every corner, and just as you thought there was nothing more to discover or make, you’ll be wrong, with literally limitless combinations of things to make, no two levels are ever the same, and days can be spent just trying to make your own LittleBig masterpiece. It may take some time to learn the ins and outs of level making, but it’ll be worth it, and when you are making your very own answer to Mario, you won’t regret it.

5. Dead Space 1 + 2 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Just as we thought survival horror may have infected its last mansion, Dead Space came along. With a great environment, combat and weapons, Dead Space was bound to be a great game, but its story and atmosphere was what made Dead Space a true classic. Reviving the survival horror genre from a bleak future, these games have reminded us how to be careful with our ammo, and that our health won’t always regenerate, no matter how much we need it to. The second game also added a (really unnecessary) multiplayer mode, for all of you wanting to tear your friends apart with your bare claws. This is easily the best the genre has to offer over the past few years, and one that nobody looking for a good scare should miss out on.

4. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)

Although this game is essentially a gamecube game, disguised as a Wii game with some waggle action, Twilight Princess is still a stellar game, and still one of the best games out on the system, despite being a launch game. Probably even more impressive is that many fans regard it as one of the best games in the Zelda franchise, which is certainly a huge claim to make. With some very clever dungeon design, and its lengthy play time, this is certainly one hell of a bargain if you have yet to pick it up yet, and one that no Wii owner should miss out on.

Fallout 3 + New Vegas

Fallout 3 is to this date, one of my favourite games of all time, with a vast world to explore, and an engaging story that includes some fabulous characters and moments. This game gets even better with its DLC offerings, with broken steel ‘fixing’ the ending, and giving us a chance to follow on the story after the rather disappointing original effort, some of the best moments are hidden away in these, making the game that much bigger, if absolutely massive wasn’t big enough for you. Even though the sequel wasn’t quite the masterpiece that Fallout 3 was, New Vegas added many things like gun mods and factions to the game, and still has plenty of great moments that any wanderer of the wasteland would be foolish to miss.

2. Bioshock 1 + 2 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Easily on of the most atmospheric shooters ever, Bioshock offered us a trip under the sea to a place called Rapture, for a rollercoaster ride of a story, that offers beautifully creepy twists and turns that will have you questioning every character in the game from start to finish. Not to be forgotten are the big daddies and little sisters, these big brutes guard ‘their children’ with their life, and if you ever want the chance to save or harvest the little darlings, you’re going to have to get through them first. The sequel offered improved combat, and gave us the chance to be our very own big daddy, but was never quite the same as the first game. Whilst still a great title in its own right, Bioshock 2 will leave you wanting a bit more. This is where its DLC may prove handy, as the Minerva’s Den add-on returns the title to great form. Pick these two up if you already haven’t, and you’ll see why everybody is so damn excited for Bioshock Infinite to launch later this year.

1. Mass Effect 1 + 2 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

With Mass Effect 3 coming out in a couple short months, it’s never been a better time to jump into the boots of commander Shepard and try to save the universe from the peril of the reapers. With Mass Effect being much more a typical Bioware RPG, with a splash of extra awesome, and the second installment being focused much more on a great combat system, there is a bit for everybody in the mass effect universe. You’ll want to keep in mind every decision you make, as even things you decide in the first game will have ramifications in the third title. Chose to let a squad mate die, and you’ll never see them again, which can be tough when that stretches through three whole games, and trust me, you’re going to be reminded about it whether you like it or not. Make sure you’re the best commander Shepard you can be, the fate of the universe depends on it.

Skyward Sword Review

19 01 2012

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is the Wii’s one last big hurrah before it gets overshadowed by the impending launch of the WiiU in 2012, and let me tell you right now, this is one hell of a swan song and the perfect way to celebrate 25 years of possibly the finest gaming franchise of all time.

Skyward Sword actually takes place before any of the other games in the series, and tells the origins of the master sword, and the story behind it. This results in the world of Hyrule being transformed once again, this time, bringing a big chunk of the landscape into the sky, and it just so happens that, on this island in the sky is where our heroes, Link and Zelda call home.

Like most other Zelda games, we start the game as a humble little boy called Link, who is living a normal life, until a drastic event occurs, throwing our hero into the role he was destined for. This, however is where the similarities end. From the very start of the game, there is an emphasis on the relationship between Zelda and Link, telling the story of two childhood friends whose relationship is blossoming from the moment the game begins. Nintendo boldly went where they have never gone before with Zelda this time round, and I never want to go back. Despite a lack of voice acting, the amount emotion conveyed through the characters is unbelievable, leaving me genuinely caring for Zelda and Link’s relationship, after those few short hours they spend together at the very beginning of the game. It’s not just the main characters that will leave and impression on you either, every one of the characters in Skyloft, the games main (and only) town, makes a lasting impression on you, regardless of how little a role (if any) they actually play in the story. This is a testament to the sheer charisma that this game squeezes out of every orifice, everything you encounter in the game will feel like it has a purpose, and Nintendo have found a way to keep the wonderment going throughout the entire game.

The gaming couple of the year

They have completely nailed the story too, it follows a simple premise, save Zelda, and even though you are saving the entirety of Hyrule in the process, it feels like a positive side-effect of saving what you really care about. The aforementioned relationship that is formed between you and Zelda is enough to drive you emotionally through the game, and leaves you genuinely wanting to go ‘save the princess’. Nintendo have cleverly played to this in small ways throughout the game, for example, you are constantly aiming towards wherever Zelda may be heading next, there is no ‘save Hyrule’ to be seen, your one and only thought is you must save the girl you care so much about. However, the story is still fascinating, leading into tales of demons, goddesses and sacred swords, if rescuing Zelda is not enough to keep you going (firstly, you should feel ashamed), then the story will more than likely entice you through its twists and turns to the point of no return.

The antagonist of the game, Ghirahim, is a cocky, creepy and wonderful character. You’ll be wanting to slash your way through him from the moment you meet him, and unlike other games, the game gives you the opportunity. For the first time ever, you get to fight the antagonist on more than one occasion, at several points in the game. I love this approach, as it gives you a closer connection to Ghirahim, and makes you want to foil his plans all that much more, it also relieves some of the anger I always have for enemies in games, in which they encounter you several times, and never attempt to stop you until the end of the game. I also found myself loving your companion, Fi, who is charming in her own almost robotic way, try to think of Fi as Zelda’s answer (albeit a less funny answer) to portal’s GLaDOS, in the sense that the humour comes from the lack of understanding of human emotion.

You're doing it wrong!

Skyward Sword is the first Zelda to truly embrace motion controls, and after playing it, I find myself wondering how I have ever played a Zelda game without them. Utilizing the Wii motionplus add-on, Skyward Sword offers precision controls throughout, and lets us play around with Link’s sword. Using 1:1 control, we finally get unhindered control over the mighty master sword. This automatically makes the game better in more ways than I ever considered. The combat is now fluid, precise and can be rather challenging if you don’t pay attention to where you are waggling. Every slice, stab and spin you make is mirrored perfectly and can be the difference between life and death, as enemies now block and parry your attacks, and if you make a wrong move, prepare to pay for it, especially in the boss fights, which are easily some of the best bosses I have encountered ever (not even in just Zelda games).

One monumental change that has been made to the game is the layout of the world itself. Gone are the barren plains that have haunted previous games, and in place of them are concise areas of land, containing more puzzles, enemies and challenges than ever before outside of a dungeon in Zelda, so much so that the areas themselves feel like mini-dungeons. They act as training grounds for the real challenges that lay ahead in the beautifully crafted dungeons. These too have received a bit of a shrink in terms of size, taking less time than a dungeon in your typical Zelda game. However, they also contain some of the cleverest design ever seen in a Zelda game, with the clear, shining example being the areas which switch between two-time zones on the fly through the use of time crystals, that cause a small area around the crystal to revert to how they were in the past, which results in enemies being spawned from skeletons, puzzles being activated and even landscape to be changed.

Oddly enough, despite everything I just said, Skyward Sword manages to be one of the biggest Zelda games to date, replacing empty spaces with areas so perfectly crafted it scares me slightly. This game could easily last a person 50 hours when taking into account all of the hidden treasures, heart pieces and side quests, and I haven’t even started on the upgrade system yet. Also, to make things even better, the game adds a new game plus type feature into the mix, which makes the game more difficult if you play it through a second time. They have also added in a time trail mode where you can attempt a marathon of all the bosses in the game in one go and see how fast you can do it.

Now, we all realise that the Wii has been showing its age over the last couple of years, however, the art style of Skyward Sword is exquisite, and almost like a moving painting. I love it so much that I could easily see myself comparing it to the likes of uncharted 3 and more for the best looking game of the year. Simply put, the all around presentation of the game is something which I thought was impossible to achieve on the Wii. Stunning graphics, amazing set-pieces and not to mention a beautiful soundtrack (as always) that was performed perfectly by a full orchestra for the first time in a Zelda game.

Easily the best looking Wii game to date

The truth is, words cannot really do justice how amazing this game plays, feels and looks. This review has barely even scratched the surface of what this game has to offer. Not to mention the feeling this game gives you when you are playing it. If all games were this good, then the world would be a better place.For every tiny blemish, there are 100 moments of spectacle that nothing can take away from. If there was an award for ‘best everything’ this game would win it, without a doubt in my mind. This game is a love letter to all that is Zelda, and proves anybody who felt it was an aging title wrong. If all games series can last 25 years and still be this fresh, fun and rejuvenating as this game was to me, then I can’t wait for the next 25 years of games yet to come. Many people still believe Ocarina of Time to be the greatest game of all time, and if Skyward Sword hasn’t stolen the crown, then it has at very least come astonishingly close, and proved the perfect way to celebrate 25 years of gaming brilliance.

I’m back!

19 01 2012

hey guys, now officially able to give you goodies again. 🙂 had a rather hectic day again today. Finished off my assignment today, went for a bit of a shop, got my hair cut far too short, and then died it ‘ultra violet’. So really, a bad day that is starting to get better, but it’s fine, because I have this to take my mind off of things…until I catch my reflection in my laptop and remember how short the hairdresser destroyed my hair to. 😥

Oh well, on to business, first I’m going to give you guys another top 10, and then, after a nice coffee break, I’m gonna get cracking on that skyward sword review I promised you guys. 🙂 Well, I was shopping before and got told by a lovely assistant that, even though I’m the mammoth age of 19, I may be better off looking in the clothes section for children. This then set me in a somewhat nostalgic mood, and to stick with this theme in my head, I have decided that today’s top 10 is going to be “the top 10 games that ‘everybody’ can enjoy”, and I certainly hope that you all enjoy my list too. As usual, feel free to comment and tell me any games that you think I have missed/should check out. 🙂

Top 10 games that ‘everybody’ can enjoy

Right, just a few little things before we start, as usual. Firstly, this list has been compiled with the modern gamer in mind, so with that, I have tried to restrict the list to ‘this gen’ games, just to stop myself listing a bunch of games you may not even have consoles for anymore. The next thing is, I have used the term ‘everybody’, but obviously, I don’t quite mean every single person ever will enjoy these games, but more that these are the kind of games that son, dad and gran could all enjoy together. Lastly, these games all have some sort of multiplayer aspect to them, so that the family can enjoy them together without having to sit on the sofa for a couple of hours before getting a play. Right, let’s do this thing.

10.  Super Mario Galaxy 2

Now, this game is amazing in every sense of the word, however it is only number 10 due to the fact the multiplayer aspect of it is rather poor, only letting the second player control an icon on the screen, which they can use for things like freezing enemies, and shooting star bits. However, don’t let this deter you from playing, as I said before, this is a brilliant game, and is probably a better game than most of the remaining games on the list. The levels are imaginative, fun and at times very challenging. If anybody tells you that mario games have become to easy, just show them this game and it will shut them up. Plus, the star count is huge, with 242 stars to jump, hop and yoshi your way through, this game will last you so long, you’ll be playing it on the WiiU before you even know it.

9.  Plants vs Zombies

You thought nothing could be as fun with shotgunning zombies in the face? well, that’s where you are wrong, Plants vs Zombies combines funny cartoon-style graphics and disco zombies, what more could you want? A co-op mode you say? oh, well it’s funny you should say, because that’s exactly what is has, giving you control over half the amount of plants as normal, you’ll find yourself screaming in excitement (with a hint of rage) at each other as you make a manic attempt to catch all of the sun coming your way, and making sure your other half doesn’t put a plant facing the wrong way. One of the quirkiest and most enjoyable tower defense games I’ve ever played, just hope the other player doesn’t get to put off when they see a Michael Jackson zombie, thriller dance all over their plants.

8. LittleBigPlanet

Whether it’s creating your masterpiece, watching your sackboy burn to death as you try to survive somebody’s re-creation of hell, or just laughing around because you made your sackboy wear some bunny ears and a mustache, LittleBigPlanet is always more fun with an extra sackboy or two occupying your screen with you. LittleBigPlanet’s real genius is that it lets people make anything they can think of, and trust me, some people’s imaginations are messed up, but in some fantastic ways. I’m not even sure I can count the hours I’ve wasted trying to survive shark attacks and death trains, and I regret nothing. 😛

7. Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise

Not only did this cute but addictive sequel add more pinata’s into the mix, across your normal garden, and the new arctic and desert regions. It also added a co-op mode, letting you and your friends all share a garden online and give it the love it deserves. Depending on the friends you choose to share your garden with, the results can be…shocking to say the least. Sometimes you may find that your garden has become a house to a bevy of chewnicorns and a choclodocus. If you trust the wrong people though, well, you don’t get angry, you get even. With numerous ways to get back at your new-found enemy, from smashing his favourite pinata do death with a shovel, to filling their garden with hundreds of weeds and whirlms, getting you revenge can be just as much fun as playing the game ‘properly’, just make sure you are there to see the other person’s reaction.

6. Worms series

Well, okay, technically this is multiple games taking up one spot, but, I don’t really have a favourite, so you can take your pick really. All of the games follow the same premise, use crazy weapons to blow the other teams of worms up. Simple, yet effective. Each game differs in the environments, weapons (although the holy hand grenade and sheep weapons are a must), customization options, and even dimensions (with worms 3 and 4 being 3D versions). However this never changes the sheer giddiness you get from flying a sheep into your friends last worm, firing them into a watery grave. Pick your favourite worms game , stick it here, and you have yourself a number 6 spot my friends.

5. New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Well, the red plumber makes his return to this list, and for very good reason. New Super Mario Bros. brought mario back to a simpler time, when all he had to worry about was if the princess would be in any of these bloody castles. With 2D making a triumphant return to the series, it was only a matter of time before multiplayer was added to the mix. New Super Mario Bros. Wii gave us just that, as well as a side order of new items, levels and a return of the wacky koopalings. 4 player mario turned out to be even more fun, and more mayhem than we ever imagined, with the ability to pick up and jump on your fellow players, loving families can become sibling rivalries, but it’s all in good fun, right?

4. Minecraft

What could possibly be better than building blocky castles? how about building a blocky empire with all of your best friends…that is of course, until you all turn  each other and start finding ways of sabotaging each others masterful creations, that, my good sirs, is war. The great thing about minecraft is that, not only are there almost limitless ways to build structures, there are also near limitless ways to build traps. Surrounding your fortress with lava, setting explosives to pressure plates hidden in the floor, or simply trapping creepers in your entrance to greet any unwanted visitors, there are many ways to surprise your buddies, and if your feeling really cruel, you could steal all their belongings when they die…but that’s just cruel. Speaking of which, I am seeing a trend in these games, it seems that people rather enjoy killing each other, especially when you’re not meant to. 😛

3. Rock Band 3

Well this game is one which you will certainly not be sabotaging each other, in fact quite the opposite, with the right players, this game can turn into a marathon of rescuing one another from the brink of death (or in this case, being booed off stage). The Rock Band and Guitar Hero games have always been great fun for a groups of all ages, but until Rock Band 3, never have we been able to rock out on our beloved (plastic, but in our heads, real) instruments 7 people at a time. The ultimate party game, Rock Band 3 offers a great range of songs for every music taste (include the DLC count of over 2,000 and you’d have be in-human to not like some of the songs on offer). Simply put, if your looking to keep your neighbours up til 5am whilst having a bloody good time in the process, you can’t get much better than this taste of rhythm game heaven.

2. Super Smash Bros. Brawl

We all know that Nintendo are becoming synonymous for their ‘games for everyone’, so it’s only expected that their games make a few outings on this list. The funny thing is, they had a great formula for one before they probably even knew it. I mean really, what could possibly be better than a game featuring all of their best mascots (and a few obscure ones for all the hardcore fans out there). It was enough for most people who this game could settle those age-old arguments like could like beat pikachu in a fight, and of course, with the addition of brawl to the series, one of the oldest disputes in history was settled, mario vs sonic (mario won, obviously).  Clearly this formula was a winning one, three games have been spawned from it, three games that many people still play today. While many people claimed brawl was a step down from melee on a competitive level, there is no denying that it’s still a hell of a lot of fun, regardless of how balanced/unbalanced the characters are. Really, I mean, who could care less that link is a better fighter than jigglypuff when you’re having this much fun.

1. Mario Kart Wii

What could be better than a game with Nintendos best mascots? how about a fun, crazy, unbalanced racing game featuring the biggest mascot in gaming, and all of his bestest buddies (and enemies). Mario Kart is the definition of a game for everyone, and playing it one the Wii is the most manic one of them all, making it a race of 12 players rather than 8, adding in bikes and some simplified ‘twist to turn’ wiimote control scheme, the craziness and audience has been multiplied. Even though the control scheme is a bit too simplistic for the hardcore, and the blue shells keep on frustrating the skillful, this is what makes Mario Kart Wii truly a game for all people. They have different control schemes for different skill levels, and the items a set up so that the kids have a chance against their parents who have been playing the games since the days of the SNES (and still play it secretly whilst their children are at school). Turns out all you need to have fun with the family is a red plumber and 4 plastic steering wheels.

2011 was a great year for gaming

16 01 2012

Now then, as great as last year was for me personally, that’s nothing compared to how good a year this was for gaming. With Nintendo announcing and releasing consoles, and Sony releasing a handheld, we were not short on hardware for sure. Then there was the question of the games, not only did we have one of the best years of games to date, they came at us consistently throughout the whole year, leaving us almost no time to sit down and appreciate one game, before another game smacked us in the face with its awesomeness and made us play it. In fact, personally, 2011 left me with a backlog of games to play that I’m still chipping away at even now. So to celebrate this amazing year of gaming, I’m going to make a top ten of my favourite games of 2011.

Right, now before we start, I’m just going to clarify a few things, so nobody (hopefully) bites my head off about anything. Firstly, there will be no PS3 exclusives on the list. There is only one reason for this, and that’s that I do not own a PS3 (yet), so have not been able to play any of these yet, so unfortunately, games like inFamous 2, LittleBigPlanet 2, Killzone 3 and Uncharted 3 (and more) that I would have considered for the list, will not be on here, sorry. Secondly, this is a list of my ‘favourite’ games, which, essentially just means they may not be my top 10 games of 2011 if I had to give them all scores. Lastly, do not hate me if your favourite game is not on here, I am merely one person, I have had not had the opportunity to play every game this year, if you feel like a game should be on here, please comment and tell me, and I’ll try to get round to playing it. Right, now let’s get to it 🙂

10. Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes (DS, PSN, XBLA)

Okay, now first off, this is kinda cheating, because technically this came out on the DS in 2009, however, it was released on XBLA and PSN in 2011, and that’s when I picked up and play it, and well, this is my list, so it can count. This brilliant game is an RPG with puzzle battle mechanics, and wow, does it work well. It works on a fairly simple grid system, in which you just align your units in different ways to attack/defend. Simply put, it’s a game that will last you 30+ hours, plays great, and looks great. Plus, it will only set you back 1200 MS points, (roughly £10) so you’re getting plenty of bang for your buck. If you haven’t played it, I would highly suggest this great game.

9. The Binding of Isaac (PC)

The Binding of Isaac is the lovechild of the original Legend of Zelda, and a messed up imagination. Let me tell you right now, it works. With randomized dungeon layouts and bosses, multiple characters and hundreds of items, there is literally no identical playthroughs in this game. Throw in the difficulty and this game becomes devilishly addictive. I can’t even imagine how much there is for me to still discover in this game, not to mention the fact that DLC is on its way adding even more stuff to the game. Normally, a game being short is a bad thing, however, in The Binding of Isaac, it almost adds to the experience, and stops frustration occurring if you die, which I more than likely will. Plus, yet again, it’s rather cheap, so you really have no excuse to try this rather wonderfully disturbing game.

8. Batman: Arkham City (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Now, Batman: Arkham Asylum was one of my favourite games of all time, finally giving the dark knight the game he deserves. So, what could you do to top that, well, as a wise man once said, you make it bigger, better and more badass. That’s exactly Rocksteady did with the sequel, Arkham City. Adding more villains, awesome obscure references, gadgets, things to do and riddles to solve than we could have ever even hoped for after playing the original. Not to mention giving us a giant playground to play in, both as batman and catwoman, and my word did they make me one happy gamer. Oh yeah, and I almost forgot, this game has some of the best writers around, great story, witty dialogue and fantastic characters, this game is an absolute god send, to bat fans, and non-bat fans all around the world.

7. Dead Space 2 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

What could possibly be scarier than a zombie game? how about a zombie game in space. Okay, okay, I realise that they’re not zombies technically, but are in fact necromorphs, which, are like zombies, but faster, stronger and scarier. Dead Space 2 is a survival horror game, with a twisted, captivating story and some great characters too. With great re-playability thanks to the new game plus feature, which you will almost certainly need to complete the hardcore difficulty setting (3 saves only, punished with a return to your last save upon death). Truly a triumph to the survival horror game, dead space 2 took everything that made the original game great, and turned it up to 11. If you like to scare the pants right off yourself, no game will do it better than dead space 2.

6. Gears of War 3 (Xbox 360)

Gears of War 3  is all about blowing stuff up, shooting locust guts out and stomping their alien faces into the floor. You may be able to talk about the story, and yes, it was nice to see and ending to the trilogy, however, (for me at least) it was just an excuse to keep me going and kill more locust. With a great variety of game modes, including horde 2.0, which is definitely the standout mode of the game. Throw the versus, beast and campaign modes into the mix, and you have a great game which you can play for hours on end and have a huge amount of fun with. Let’s face it, there’s nothing quite like making a mans head explode into a million little pieces with your sniper rifle.

5. Terraria (PC)

Many people just say this game is a 2D minecraft clone, but it’s so much more. With an emphasis on combat and exploration, and building becoming a smaller part of the game, mainly used to make houses for NPC’s you unlock. There are so many things to discover in this game, from rocket boots to giant eye’s trying to eat you, this game will keep on surprising you every time you play it. Play this on multiplayer and let the good times keep on rolling, if you’re looking for exploration, combat and crazy, screen-filling enemies, then you can’t go wrong with this wonderful indie title.

4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Well, if you’re looking for exploration, combat and massive enemies, but aren’t so big on the 2D aspect of Terraria, then you may have heard of a little game called Skyrim. With a massive world, an unbelievable amount of quests and a huge amount of ways to play the game, it would be an understatement to say this game is big. Players can delve dozens and dozens of hours into this game and still not even scratch the surface of what this game has to offer. I mean really, any game that literally lets you become a dragon hunter…well, who can knock that?

3. Minecraft (PC)

Just one word, creepers. If any of you have played Minecraft, then you’ll know what I am talking about. If not, well, just play this game. Minecraft is an odd sort of game, in that you only get out of it what you’re willing to put in. If you’re not willing to spend time building little huts out of dirt and wood, then you’ll never get the chance to build that blocky empire you’ve been dreaming of…unless of course you play in creative mode, but that’s just cheating. 😛 This is a game which can be whatever you want it to be, adventure, resource gathering, level creator and survival horror (trust me, creepers and endermen can be horribly scary) all mashed up into one beautiful blocky masterpiece.

2. Portal 2 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

If you’re looking something to rattle your brain til your ready to explode (in a good way),  then look no further than portal 2. Nobody could have possibly expected how much valve added into the sequel to the already fantastic mind melter that was portal. They added all we could have hoped for and more, gels and lasers added more layers of complexity, the fantastic co-op let us test out the theory of ‘two heads are better than one’ (which mostly ended up in me and friends finder more complex ways of getting the other one killed) and the single player game gave us GLaDOS and Wheatley, two of the best, and funniest characters I have ever had the pleasure on encountering in a game. If nothing else, play this just for the sheer delight of listening to Steven merchant trying to get you to jump into a pit. 😛

1. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)

Well, let’s face it, to say the Wii has had a bad year would be an understatement. However Skyward Sword makes up for it and more. This game re-enforces everything I love about Nintendo, the game oozes charm and character, and even the smallest of characters are lovingly memorable. I can’t remember a moment of playing this game without a great big cheesy smile pasted across my face. Ocarina of Time is considered by man to still be the greatest game of all time, but let me tell you now, Skyward Sword gives it a run for its money, and only time will tell which one triumphs over the other. With the WiiU on the horizon, Skyward Sword gave us one last huge reason to dust off our Wii and show it a great time. This was also one of the first games which I have actually felt like motion controls enhanced the experience, With almost everything controlled with Wii motion plus, precision control is the word of the day, putting you one step closer to being the hero, with every slash and thrust being mirrored perfectly by the game. Although the wii is very dated, skyward sword manages to look astonishing, even on this aging system, managing to look like a moving, beautiful watercolour painting. Simply put, this game is a masterpiece, a love letter to Nintendo fans, and the perfect way to celebrate 25 years of one of (if not the) best game series of all time.

Honourable Mentions


LA Noire



Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3