Top Gaming Moments of 2011

December 25, 2011 0 By Christopher Jones

Christopher’s moments of 2011:

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All over the Internet, gaming journalists are proposing the idea that 2011 may indeed be the greatest year in video game history. It’s hard to argue against that point – just look at the releases we’ve seen in the last month. Uncharted 3. Skyrim. Skyward Sword. Modern Warfare 3. Super Mario 3D Land. I can’t think of a time that my wallet has ever begged louder for mercy.

With all of those new games swarming the market, it may not be so easy to remember that December followed 11 consecutive months of fantastic releases. There were a lot of sequels, prequels, re-makes, and nostalgic experiences to be had – but there were also some incredibly unique and unforgettable moments as well. In case you forgot about them, here are 11 of the moments I’ll never forget from 2011 – MAJOR SPOILER ALERT! (Spoilers are hidden with clickable tags that will unhide them, you are warned.. don’t click unless you want to possibly spoil some game elements.) Keep in mind that some of your favorites may be missing – I haven’t gotten a chance to play everything, after all:

Nailing an interrogation in L.A. Noire;
While L.A. Noire might not be the most fun I’ve had in a game recently, I do have to give the game credit for not holding your hand while investigating, and how it respected your intelligence. Which is why when you nail a case it makes it that much more satisfying.

I despised hearing that ominous clang of notes when you knew you got a question wrong; but the sense of victory when you correctly nailed an interrogation made me feel like a boss detective; especially in the late stages of the game when people became craftier and their answers more misleading.

Ahmed’s Opinion: This part is remember vividly, I actually didn’t care much for this game until my stupid younger brother tried to cheer me up, lost a dear close friend and was in a downward spiral from then. He bought me the game and actually dared me to get all the investigations correctly, not to brag much but I actually nailed 99% of the time. This game actually resonates for me both emotionally and spiritually. Good job Rockstar, you finally made a game that I care about.

The Cole Train (Gears of War 3);
Gears of War 3 was incredible; the campaign was a blast and Horde 2.0 mode is possibly the greatest addition to the series to date. Again, it’s hard to choose just one moment to rave about, but everyone loves the Cole Train – and in Gears 3, he really gets his time in the spotlight with one of the most unforgettable scenes of the year.In one of the campaign missions, you trek through Cole’s hometown, where he lived as a Thrashball legend.

 

After entering the Stadium, you take control of Cole as he plows through enemies on the Thrashball field, scoring a “touchdown” by planting a bomb and destroying the Locust. Jukingand shoulder-charging the drones reminded me a little bit of Backbreaker, only 100% more badass, thanks to the Cole Train. 

Gears doesn’t get enough credit for the quality of its story or its characters – Epic Games really changed that in the finale; and I applaud them for stepping it up across the board.

 

ReverEND’s Opinion: I have to disagree… I kindof hate Cole Train.  I completely understand that the game isn’t subtle about character typing.  But I always cringed whenever Cole Train spoke, he was just too close to the stereotypical, Token Black Guy.  with all his “Wooo Baby!, Here come da COLE TRAIN!..” I just always rolled my eyes and couldn’t wait for him to leave the screen.  I haven’t played the 3rd yet (I know, I know… shut up.) So I can’t comment on his role in the third.  But I hated him in 1…and I sighed out loud when I heard his voice again in the second.

Ahmed’s Opinion: After waiting so long to play Gears 3 I was fairly disappointed with the whole premise, yes what ReverEND said is true but what made me love the game was seeing the end, once and for all. Cole should’ve been dead a long time back but for some weird reason people love him and I would like to know why?

DRAGON! (Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim);
In my opinion, there’s no greater magic system in the history of gaming than stealing a dragon’s very Soul and using it to power your Thu’um, or Shout. When I got my first glimpse of a dragon in the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, it awoke a a hidden urge in me to hunt these things down and take their power for myself. When the game finally lets you fight a dragon face to face, it kicks on the main theme “Sons of Skyrim” and allows you to go steel to scale against a massive lizard straight out of medieval fantasy. Doing

enough damage to a dragon force it to crash land and then jumping on its head and embedding your axe in its skull is only topped by watching the monster disintegrate before your very eyes as its iridescent life-force flows into you, imbuing you with the immortal power of a dragon. Killing your first Dovah is only the tip of the iceberg and having these creatures appear at random in the wild gives you countless opportunities to test your mettle. Check out the review of Skyrim

Ahmed’s Opinion: This game was a time-sink, I (no matter how many times I say that I hate it) actually enjoyed each and every minute in there, the problems again was the glitchiness and how much I suffered from that. Looking back I can honestly say Bethesda crafted one hell of a game and should be congratulated for it’s success. Now if only they started doing better jobs on their patch of the patch of the game and release some DLC, I would be in heaven.

Being the Goddamn Batman in Batman: Arkham City;
More than any other super-hero, Batman has a certain flair to him, something that makes him unique against the backdrop of mutants, beings from another planet and mistakes of science. Despite being a normal (albeit rich and highly trained) individual, Batman manages to be more intimidating and effective than fifty Supermen. Arkham City allowed us to take over this role and do all those Batman things we know and love, like gliding through the shadows and picking off guards or outwitting a trap laid by the Joker with gadgets and guile. Developers Rocksteady made small improvements to how Batman handles and amplified the Free-Flow combat so being the Caped Crusader became an almost undefinable experience this time around. Although we can’t put words to it, we all know how it feels to be Batman, thanks to this game. Check out the review of Batman: Arkham City

ReverEND’s Opinion: Rocksteady really was a great game, and after the main story was finished, the Riddler puzzles continued the game into countless hours of trying not to go on the internet to cheat and find the answer.  I was a little hesitant of a sequel and it’s title.  “Arkham….City?. Really?. yeah, that isn’t going to suffer from Sequelitis at all.” I thought to myself.  But the game really shined with it’s story and just enough tweaks and level expansion to make it feel fresh the whole game through.  I can’t wait to see what Rocksteady has planned… like maybe the hinted “Arkham World”?

Makarov Ruins the Davis Family Vacation (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3);
At one point in the campaign, you assume the role of an unknown man – presumably

just another father, out with his wife and young daughter, enjoying a vacation in Europe. This scene is completely unrelated to the rest of the game, and for just a few moments, the shooting and killing subsides for a moment of peace. As you follow behind them, filming on camera as your child runs up to a flock of birds, you begin to feel an uncanny sense of dread. Something’s coming. And indeed, something comes.

P.E.T.A.  Attacks Mario!;
Through the years Mario has provided great entertainment. It’s one of the only games where there has not been a controversy. The red suited plumber has been a fixture for both hardcore gamers and family alike. Unfortunately, Mario is now tainted by PETA’s outrageous accusations. They claim Mario is no better than Michael Vick. Upon

hearing this, I thought, surely PETA couldn’t be upset about Mario jumping on all those turtles heads. Come to find out it wasn’t even about that. PETA was upset that when Mario grabbed a magical leaf, he instantly equipped with a tanooki suit of fur. PETA claims that Mario wearing the tanooki suit infers the murder of animals for their fur is acceptable.  they also attacked bf3, for stabbing a rat, calling it digital animal abuse.

ReverEND’s Opinion: Yeah, this was retarded, plain and simple…  They later claimed that it was all a joke and they don’t really think that about Mario.  But the fact that they linked Mario to there dislike for the slaughter of real Tanooki’s  (YES, They are REAL!. no SHIT!) is disgusting in itself.  They will try and take something that has a slight connection to what they want to bitch about and use it to there advantage.  I’m all for Animal rights, but I hate PETA for what they have become… exploitative to uncomfortable measures.  And the justify it, which is even worse.

Ahmed’s Opinion: I lol’d so hard when I saw this AD, I even tried it out and laughed so hard because of it. I mean first they attack Super Meat Boy and made Super Tofu Boy, now they went too far and called my hero a tanooki murder. When will this stop honestly? Yes it is funny but don’t they realize that Mario is just a game and I never even knew the name of the animal mario used to fly with. Always thought it was a Racoon for some reason.

 

FATALITY! (Mortal Kombat);
For the record, my first Fatality was with ermac – . I was absolutely thrilled to pull it off on one of my good friends, sitting on the couch beside me, who had just received a beatdown that rarely happens when I attempt to play fighting games. Topping it off

with a Fatality only made me grin from ear to ear. This is what Mortal Kombat is all about: brutally killing your friends, who are playing next to you. You couldn’t ask for more from the classic arcade games.

ReverEND’s Opinion: A lot of fans might say they were fearful when Midway went under and the franchise shifted to Warner Bros.  I reported on it WAY BACK.  I actually wasn’t worried about it, the franchise was killed with Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.  sure, the game may not have been bad.  But the removal of Fatalities killed what Mortal Kombat was about.  I was really surprised that Warner Bros. Not only kept the franchise going, But brought the series back from the grave and it now rivals Mortal Kombat 2 for the best MK ever!

Remote-Controlled Dinosaur Destruction (Bulletstorm);
If you didn’t get around to playing Bulletstorm, get the hell off of this website and rent it immediately! Without a doubt, the most exciting scene in the game is when you get to control an RC dinosaur, with all of the ensuing mass destruction and hilarious

dialogue. It’s hard to find anything wrong with a giant RC-controlled dinosaur, armed with rockets, lasers, and huge guns

– as long as you’re the one controlling it, that is. The rampage that you carry out is in this scene one of the greatest treats in this title, going up against drunken crash-landings, tossing enemies into the sky with your leash, and laughing out loud to the plethora of dick jokes and toilet humor.

ReverEND’s Opinion: *sniffle…* His name… was…. *sniffle* Waggleton P. Tallylicker..

Final Thoughts on the Gaming Year; 
As the year draws to an end, looking back now I think that this was one of the best in gaming history. With so many good games being released today, it’s good to remember that just because they may be last years game doesn’t mean its out of date. They’re full of good storytelling, amazing graphics, and full of amazing memories.  So drop the “hottest games” and play the ones that paved the road for future games taking their places, as time goes on!

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ReverEND’s Top Moments of 2011:

My Gaming experience was…. interesting this year, to say the least.  A stint as Xbox Tech Support, I was head deep into the world of how the typical gamer works and was held to keep up with gaming in order to serve them better, but with the amount of hours I had to work, I had very little to actually play them.  Then that job and I parted ways.  Leaving me broke and unable to afford games, but getting back into writing about them.. it’s a hard position to be in.  But here are some of my fav moments of 2011.

Right in your eye…  Dead Space 2;
I love the original Dead Space and was so excited when the sequel was finally released

at the beginning of this year.  The story became more fleshed out, deeper, more gripping, and gameplay was streamlined and expanded.  One particular scene was almost too intense to complete.  You are tasked with getting into a machine and inserting a needle into your eye a couple times without going too deep and getting it aimed right in the center. 

It was an intense scene that built into a very interesting but satisfying ending.  I can’t wait for the 3rd. (Yes, a 3rd is in the works.

Christopher’s opinion: Dead Space 2 was the only game to EVER actually scare me so much, that I actually felt the need to turn on every light in my house, but don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved this game, and the time I spent playing it, the DLC  for the game “Dead Space: Severed”  added even more horror to the game when the twitchy headed necromorphs chased you through the abandoned corridors, as the  desperation for ammo grew more and more as the game progressed.

4ft Purple dildo of Saints Row 3;
I didn’t make it any secret that I was not a fan of the original Saint’s Row game.  It was released in the shadow of Grand Theft Auto and really did it’s best and staying in that shadow while also trying to wave to say hello to everyone.  The Second did a much better job at peaking out of that shadow and saying something interesting…just enough to make people go “oh, look at you hiding behind Grand Theft Auto 3, come stand out of that shadow.”  and with SR3: that is exactly what it did…. and it was wearing a space helmet with a gorilla suit, swinging a giant dildo..

I was blown away by how much fun the Third Sain’ts Row was, I have to give made props to Volition for really shining up there game.  and I have to give credit to THQ as well for not killing off this series, which… They had every right to do after the first game.  Luckily it did make money.  Check out the Review for Saint’s Row: The Third.

Christopher’s opinion:I have yet to still play this game, there’s parts of me that like the idea, and parts of me too scared by the first game to ever want to play the 3rd, out of general fear, maybe one day when I get enough hope (and money) I will certainly check this one out!

The promises of the Wii U;
Nintendo promised a lot of amazing things for their new system.  a giant screen based controller?, Amazing Hardware Specs?. Promised 3rd Party Support?

….We’ve heard that all before though.  Sure, everything looks amazing and the

hardware is very intriguing and interesting.  it all looks amazingly fun.  But remember back when the first Wii was being hyped, all these things were mentioned too… it sadly all dissolved into what we know as the Wii of today.  It’s a system that you busted out once in a while when you had young kids over so they can all flail randomly.  But once the family is gone, you put it away, only to bring it back out to shut up the kids.  I really want to be excited about the Wii U, but I can’t right now, I have to wait and see what the software is going to be like this time around.

Christopher’s opinion: I still find it bloody hilarious that they decided to name their new portable system off a line from the movie kung pow! WIIIUUUUU!!

Disappointment of id Software’s RAGE;
Sweet Jesus id Software.  What the hell were you thinking?!  The PC community built your careers.  John Carmack bought (and sold on eBay.) a God Damned Ferarri thanks to us!, and this is how you repay us?. by releasing a game that you promised would

revolutionize to a PC Community that nearly the majority couldn’t play without huge, game ending issues.  Graphical glitches that made characters unrecognizable, character animation that flickered so badly it looked like they where in 2 places at once, crashes when trying to leave or enter new areas.  and Save game bugs that would deem customers saved progress unusable.  Only after several patches from both you and AMD and Nvidia did the problems finally subside enough just to finish the game.  Did you actually enhance it to the point that you promised us? I can honestly so no..

Christoper’s opinion: I played this game on the 360, probably only for an hour, followed by a headache, frustration, and the sneaking suspicion that they wanted you to be immersed in the game for so long, that they didn’t even add a mini map, making you wonder around towns aimlessly looking for the mayor to filter their water problem.

Final thoughts on the year and thoughts on the future:

This year was, in my opinion, a pretty good year for many.  I’m saddened by the lack of new and interesting IP’s that showed up, but many of the sequels continued there franchises into an exciting future or wrapped up their stories with amazing endings.  We see the age of the current gen systems finally showing, with the Xbox360 having a few games that required multiple discs such as Dead Space 2, RAGE, LA Noire, etc.  PSN getting hacked to bits and staggering to regain it’s stance as a gaming network.  Wii falling into obscurity nearly over night.

The future is still unknown for the most part, with rumors of a new xbox and Playstation system, and Nintendo confirming and showing in detail that they are going to make 2012 count.  We can only wait and see how gaming in the future continue to evolution.

 

Ahmed’s moments of 2011:

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For me 2011 was both a great and wonderful year but also a very dark one. I remember waiting till Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded, DCUniverse Online, Mass Effect 2 port on the PS3 plus Dead Space 2 & Little Big Planet II. The minute I received everyone of those games made me happy as a little school girl, spending nights with my best friend at his home, playing non-stop just to showoff and annoy him to a point where he wanted to kill me was great.

 

Then came Feb. with another slew of great games, ranging from Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, to Killzone 3 & You Don’t Know Jack. Sadly on the 14th of March I stopped playing, my best friend “Sultan” was spending the night over while we playing Pro Evo Soccer 2011 all night long then woke up at 10am just barely driving away from my home, when a speeding drunk driver in a truck slammed into him and crushed him. I stopped playing, to be precise living, for a whole 4 months. Never wanted to talk to anyone and feeling like life is so not worth living, I just gave up. My brother however never gave up on me and this is the turning point for me actually. He got me a copy of L.A. Noire and told me if I dared, to play the game and find every clue there is, plus make no mistakes in every interrogation. At first I was just not into it, 1 hour in and not realizing that I was still playing, I almost got every clue plus ever interrogation right. That game gave me back something to look forward too, spending what seems like days just sitting there and playing it non-stop, I loved video games again.

 

Portal 2 was my favorite game this year, once I made sure to get every achievement in L.A.Noire it was time to move on to better games. Seeing and listening to GlaDOS’s witty comments along with the stupid orb that shall not be named (Yes I Loathe Him A Lot!) pissed me off to a whole new degree. With InFamous also dropping this year I felt happy, PS3 delivered some of my favorite games that I still play and enjoy, KillZone 3 – InFamous 2 – Resistance 3 – Uncharted 3 – Ico/Shadow HD, no one would say that this wasn’t the year of gaming for PS3 owners. Sadly Skyrim came, and with it the destruction of my social life, for 541 Hours that I spent in it, I lost touch with my friends & even blew off work just to stay and play. That made me realize that video games are the devil! Yes I Mean It! Burn them all I say, Burn them all!

 

Alas I have ranted on enough by now and lets just say that 2011 has it’s ups and downs for me, I met a great bunch of people that I’m honored to call my friends, I will always remember those who were close to me but aren’t anymore, thank God for games and it’s wonderful escape from the mundane living we call a Life. If they weren’t there I would still be that person hidden beneath his blankets and just hating everyone around him for all the bad things that’s happening in this world.

 

Rant Done!