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My Best / Favorite of 2011

29 Jan

Best Video Game:

Portal 2 (Developed by Valve)

Portal 2 is a video game masterpiece.  From the beginning to end it delivers on everything that it’s going for.  This game has challenging mind bending puzzles, clean sharp visuals, great dialogue, humor, and great sound that fits the game perfectly.  I had a great time playing the single player and co-op.  It’s everything a sequel should be, building upon the strengths of its predecessor while adding great, but completely different content that helps it develop into its own entity.

The story of the game was very interesting and the turns and twists were done very well.  I won’t spoil anything but I must say the ending was also great.  My wife and I also had a great time with the co-op.  After completing it I must say it was the best implementation of co-op that I’ve ever experienced.  You really have to work together to get through the puzzles and teamwork is key to completing them.  It was fun bouncing ideas back and forth and experimenting with those ideas in the game and seeing the outcome turn successful or unsuccessful.  The story is separate from the single player but it was also neat.

Like Portal 1, Portal 2 made me feel like a genius.  Now I’m not saying the game was completely easy to me, but I felt a real sense accomplishment when I completed several of the puzzles and after I beat the game.  Some puzzles can take a relatively long time to figure it out, but once you figure it out and complete it the feeling is euphoric.  Sometimes I could walk into a test chamber and almost instantly figure out a puzzle and then there were other times were it would take longer or I would have to use trail and error to come to the conclusion.  If you like the idea of using your brain to solve creative puzzles in a video game I highly recommend playing this game.

The graphics and art style are both impressive and they help create a great immersive atmosphere that fits the story and gameplay well. This was also one of the most polished games I’ve ever played.  I never ran into any glitches or bugs.  In a land were some developers ship games with numerous bugs, Portal 2 set itself above and beyond by shipping a very clean game.  The main protagonist doesn’t speak, but the dialogue throughout the game is great.  I know that sounds a bit odd, but it’s completely true.  Glados, Cave Johnson and Wheatley deliver the goods when it comes to dialogue and I found myself laughing and smirking several times while playing.  The voice acting is awesome, and the music and sound effects were great and definitely add the icing to this delicious cake….

In my opinion 2011 was the best year for video games so far.  I’ve been gaming since the Atari, and the original Nintendo is the system that thrust me into becoming a gamer, but 2011 was a golden year.  There were several great titles released for several different genres and there was something special for every gamer.  I’m a fan of several genres so I was swamped with great release after great release this year.  

I still have a backlog of some 2011 titles that I actually own but haven’t had the time to play yet like; Bastion, Rayman Origins, and Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet.  I’m also no were near completion of Skyrim or Saints Row The Third but I played enough to know that they are both awesome games but not my personal GOTY.  I was very impressed with several games this year and my decision for GOTY was hard mainly due to my runner-ups.  However, I could go on and on about how great Portal 2 is, and scrolling up I can see that I have kind of already done that so I’m going to stop now.  Portal 2 is my 2011 game of the year!

Runner-ups: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim & Batman: Arkham City

Honorable mentions: Mortal Kombat 9, Saints Row The Third, LittleBigPlanet 2

Up next after the click–Movie, album, and mobile game best of the year picks, runner-ups and honorable mentions………

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