My top games of 2011

King of Fighters XIII: Just giving Atlus some love for releasing this game over here. I played a bunch of it, and it seems really solid. There’s too much text in Story Mode, and they left out awesome Kyo so they could sell him later, but hey, it’s a real sprite based 2D fighter that isn’t BlazBlue and rocks.

Catherine: Oh wait, there’s this too from the Atlus camp (up to game #3!). Catherine was a blast, flaws and all. I didn’t beat it, but really enjoyed the time I spent with it. That damn baby still gets in my head. Daddy? Play WITH ME!

Catherine is a pretty brutal old school game, but I enjoy it because of that. A lot like what I figure vertical I-Q would play like, Catherine sports some quick reaction heavy block puzzles that can truly confound in tight situations where you don’t even realize that that block you pushed instead of pulled 2 levels down might have screwed you completely. My biggest complaint about the game is that when you die you have to watch a game over screen a little too often, but beyond that it’s a true delight.

MOTHERFUCKIN’ SKYRIM: This game ended up in my lap because I forgot to cancel my preorder on Amazon, and almost over drafted because of it. It was worth it though!
Now, I’m only 6 or so hours in… but I fucking love the game.

I love the Bioshock-esque dual wielding of spell in one hand, melee in the other. And the environments are so detailed and immersive. I’m stuck at the first dragon right now, and I love how challenging the fight is. The game just has this quality to it that makes me want to continue soldiering on with a “Just one more quest” mentality.

Mighty Switch Force: Very late contender, but awesome nonetheless. The 3D mechanic is great (especially in a 2D sidescroller) and the gameplay is really spot on, despite some slight critiques by me (also the game should have been twice as long, imo). Greatness truly does come in small packages.

Mortal Kombat (9?): Mortal Kombat feels like exactly what I always wanted from fighting games in general; meaty single player and innovative online modes wrapped around a strong fighting engine. While MK isn’t the best fighter I’ve played because of a certain lack of individuality in characters fighting styles, the regularity of the same sweep and uppercut moves for most players, and a certain tiny core of tournament viable characters, these things don’t keep the game from being a ton of fun. I mean, at the end of the day, MK hasn’t ever really excelled because it was the best, but because it had a very different style from Street Fighter and other Japanese fighters and was at least playable.