Snackbar’s 2011 Staff Picks: Gerry Pagan

December 30, 2011

10.The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
It’s Zelda. Probably my least favorite Zelda in a good long while, but by no means a bad game, and definitely good enough to earn a spot on my personal top 10.

9. inFamous 2
inFamous 2 is, simply put, a vast improvement over the often-cumbersome intial game. While there are still a few things missing from making it a truly great game, it’s still one of the better PS3 exclusives games this year, and definitely a prime example of how to mix things up within gameplay in an open world action game.

8. Radiant Historia
This time-traveling RPG introduces the often used time traveling mechanic in a method not used before, involving the constant back and forth between two parallel timelines with very different end results, both which stem from a single decision made early in the game. Along with one of the most original combat systems seen in an RPG and tons of epilogues for wrong choices made across the game, Radiant Historia is one of the most fun and interesting games released this year.

7. Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
The greatest crossover series returns in its newest installment, and the series turns in a new direction with newcomers and veterans drastically changing the way the game is played. UMvC3 is one of the most fast-paced, reaction-based fighters around, and despite the lack of much single player content, the deep gameplay within the fighting system itself and all the aspects that go into building a team make it a really great fighting game.

6. Dissidia [012] Duodecim Final Fantasy
The ultimate fanservice game, bar none. Sporting a revised combat system, more characters with different playstyles, and more refences than you can shake a moogle’s pom pom at, this game is a must play for any fan of the Final Fantasy series.

5. Dark Souls
Despite my own personal issues with the game, there’s no doubt that From Software have crafted one of the most unique experiences every made with Dark Souls. For all the praise a game like Skyrim will get (deserved or not), Dark Souls has gameplay qualities that trump it in spades, and is definitely worth looking into if you want to experience something truly different.

4. Corpse Party
This game came completely from left field and showed me what a horror game should truly be like. As much as other AAA “horror” titles rely on jump scares and the occasional creepy set-piece, Corpse Party can’t be summed up with the words creepy, disturbing or unsettling. Horror developers take note, you don’t need monster closets to make a good horror game.

3. Kirby’s Return to Dream Land
Arguably the best Kirby yet, Return to Dream Land combined the best out of every Kirby platformer ever released, added 4-player co-op into the mix and called it a day. You can’t not have a bad day while looking at how happy Kirby is in the game, and how cheery and upbeat everything is.

2. Portal 2
While making the original Portal look like a tech demo in the proccess, Valve’s masterful sequel delivered just the right amount of set pieces, puzzle solving, laughs, intrigue and suspense to keep players guessing at every turn, all the while making us question how we had ever made it through elementary school. Portal 2 is a blast to play from beginning to end, and with more DLC on the way, it’s likely going to take a while before people start forgetting about this game.

1. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky
It’s been a long time since I last played an RPG that thoroughly hit every one of my sweet spots. It has a deep lore and history for those who look for it, a diverse roster of characters without belonging into most of the awful tropes they usually fall prey to, a simple yet really customizable combat system, and one of the better narratives I’ve seen in a video game. It’s almost a shame that its two sequels are under uncertainty as to their fate in the US, but I can only hope we can continue Estelle and Joshua’s adventures in the near future.