2011 Progress Report: Favorite games of Part 2

September 4, 2011

While the industry divides the year into quarters, we realize that there are really three parts to the year: the barren (maybe not this year?) early months, the gimmicky, convention-filled summer and the action-packed holiday season. This time, we look our favorite games of the last few months.

Shawn Vermette: L.A. Noire first hit my attention just a couple months before release while watching some of the trailers for it. Despite my limited knowledge ahead of time, or maybe because of it, Noire quickly became one of my favorite games of the year. The investigations, interrogations, story, voice, acting, and scenery all combine to make this a game that feels almost custom made for me.

Andrew Passafiume: Bastion is, without a doubt, one of the finest games I’ve had the pleasure of playing in quite some time. It’s a very smart, well-written, gorgeous game with a lot of personality and one I simply cannot recommend enough. The level of creativity and detail involved in this game is inspiring.

Chris Ingersoll: LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, I guess? Other than the Captain America games and some brief DSiWare titles, I played literally nothing else. Let’s hear it for only owning a Wii and DS?

Justin Last: The first Infamous showed us that a superhero game that isn’t tied to a comic book can be fun, engrossing, and keep you coming back for more. Infamous 2 shows that Sucker Punch didn’t just stumble blindly into a hit. The sequel refines wonderfully on the first game’s core concepts, and adds a lot of new concepts that make Infamous 2 really stand out as its own game instead of feeling like a long expansion pack. Melee combat is effective now, Zeke is a bearable character, and both the returning and new elemental powers feel balanced and well through-out. I admittedly don’t play my PS3 as often as my 360, but Sucker Punch reminded me why I have one: Sony’s exclusives deliver.

Bishop Tart: Most people will say L.A. Noire doesn’t deserve to be revered because of its repetitive gameplay. Well if the repetitive gameplay is fun and keeps you coming back for more, then it deserves recognition. Having played through the whole game and every DLC, I’ve come out wanting even more from Rockstar and Team Bondi. This pick might not hold up later in the year, but L.A. Noire was everything I wanted in a video game; great story, pacing, acting and, above all else, fantastic atmosphere.

Graham Russell: L.A. Noire was massive. Bastion was polished and great, and I even have a soft spot for Zelda 3D and Dungeon Siege III, but what summer release captivated me and my friends the most? Final Form Games’ downloadable shoot-em-up, Jamestown. With ’90s-era visuals, an absurd plot, fun level design and four-player local support, it was a blast to go through, even as it got ever more brutal. Check it out if you haven’t.