Looking back at the past 12 months of gaming, I actually have to wiki the release dates just to remember what came out when, and what I actually played versus what I kept on my radar, but never pulled the trigger on.
While still owning noobs on Black Ops, I was waiting eagerly for the release of Dead Space 2, having played through the first game a few times, and it being one of my favourite games of all times, I pre-ordered like most fans. I played through it, beat the game, but had no desire to go back and playthrough at higher difficulties, or to complete other challenges. It felt like more of the same, but also less on some fronts. There were less boss battles, and because I've already gotten used to the usual scare tactics of the game, it definitely did not live up to expectations. It eventually felt more like a chore to play just to finish up the storyline. Perhaps I was hoping for too much, but its still a decent game, and expands on the dead space world even more.
Having left underwhelmed by Dead Space 2, and still entrenched in Black Ops, and a sunday night Gran Turismo racing league, I was not in a rush to get Test Drive Unlimited 2. Playing Gran Turismo made me realise that I as a gamer, have changed, and I just can't do racing games anymore. So also on the release schedule was Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Having played the crap out of Marvel vs Capcom 2 in the arcades, back when they still existed, I was eager to jump back into a fighting game. I went on craigslist and found a fighting stick. I was somewhat sad to find out too late about the change in controls for the game, but it was still fun. Looking back though, I probably should have waited given how little I played it, and the eventual release of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Damn you Capcom, damn you to hell.
A week later, a new IP was released. Bulletstorm, backed by the people who develop the Gears of War series, buying the game, also gave me a code for early access to the multiplayer beta of Gears of War 3. Bonus! I was actually on the fence about the game, and just used the code as an excuse to buy. Another somewhat dissapointing game. It was an interesting concept, but it definitely got old fast. Multi.. Co-op was fun for a while, but got stale as well. Second regret of the year.... Didn't even finish the single player mode.
I also skipped out on Killzone 3 in February. I did not want to pay full price again for a game that I'll only play for the single player campaign, and only have it end in less than 10 hours. The multiplayer did not appeal to me and I knew it could not topple Call of Duty for my game time.
Not much on my radar this month. Homefront was being showcased as a new shooter, but I waited for reviews before deciding to buy, and after reading the reviews, I decided it was a pass. Plus I had a few friends that played early builds of the game, and it wasn't that popular with them. Crysis 2 was also released this month, I got to play the multiplayer demo/beta, but was not really feeling the gameplay on console, and decided it'd be something I'd eventually get on PC if there was a good enough deal. Same thing went through my mind about Shogun 2. I loved playing the other games in the series, but again, could not justify the price for the amount of time I had to put into it. I still had Civilization V to keep me entertained.
The only game I actually did end up buying in March was Need for Speed Shift 2. I played the first one, and enjoyed it, but that was before I got into MW2. So this time around, with Black Ops still taking a good chunk of my time, I ended up not getting far in the the racing game, as usual.
Mortal Kombat and Portal 2 were on the radar this month. I ended up waiting for better deals on both, and eventually I picked up Portal 2 on discount at Walmart. Finished the single player and Multiplayer in a few nights. It was fun and a different experience. But I ended up trading it in real fast once I completed the game and a few of the odd achievements. I eventually picked up Mortal Kombat later on in the year, great game, and I am glad they went back to the old formula. I didn't play it very much, but I still own it. Its a very deep fighting game, lots of combos and such to learn and memorize.
In May, Brink and LA Noire were slated to come out. I pre-ordered LA Noire, but waited on reviews on Brink. Brink was just an "ok" title from what I read, so I skipped it. LA Noire was very good. It delivered what it promised. Although there was a bit too much driving, and the gameplay eventually did get reptitive, I got into the story, and played it through. I have yet to try any of the DLC yet, but I did get the season pass. I'll probably go back one weekend to do those cases and finish off some of the side quests. If you haven't bought it or played it, I definitely say its worth it.
I was on the fence with Infamous 2, I played the first one, it was ok to me, wasn't anything spectacular compared to other sand box games. I finished the story, but didn't feel the desire to go back and play as the bad character to try the different powers. So when it came to Infamous 2, I decided to hold off. There was a lot around the horizon in the fall season, so I wanted to focus my money on those titles. Duke Nukem was released this month too, but having never played any of the original games, I had no urgency to go out and get it. Judging from the reviews, It was a good thing I skipped it.
The summer is normally the "calm before the storm" for gaming. Luckily I got beta access to Call of Duty Elite, so that was nice way to keep my interest. The various map packs and zombie maps also helped a bit too. Going after the convoluted process to complete easter eggs was quite a time killer. Catherine was also released, an interesting puzzle based game, but having already decided where my money is going, Catherine had to wait.
Deus Ex gameplay looked really good, and I was considering buying this game. But winning free trip and a spot in the tournament via Call of Duty Elite competition meant that most of my time in August was spent practicing 4v4 tactics, and with bigger games around the corner in september, meant this was going to be a pass as well. El Shaddai was also a title I was keeping an eye on, but I downloaded the demo, and although the art style is nice, the game play was just plain to me, so another pass.
Coming back from LA after attending XP2011. There was only a few weeks left till Gears of War 3 and Dead Island was released near the begining of the month, but at that point, I felt I was zombied out. I also am not a fan of first person perspective in non-shooters. Maybe later I'll pick up a copy and go through it. But at that point, I was done with killing zombies. I got Gears of War 3 knowing that I would barely touch the online multiplayer, except for the Horde and Beast modes. I played through the campaign in co-op with friends, and made it through the story. But after reaching wave 50, and completing the story, there wasn't much left for me in the game. So it got traded in for a game with an October release. Battlefield 3 released their beta at the end of September, so I got to try out operation metro on my PC. The release of Gears also marked the begining of my "off-season" from Call of Duty.
Dark Souls, Battlefield 3 Beta, and Batman Arkham City. It was going to be a busy month. Dark Souls brought back painful memories of Demon's Souls, which I played for a month straight when that was released for PS3. Having spent some time in the Battlefield 3 Beta, it took some adjustment on my side to get used to the graphics of Dark Souls on the xbox. In my review blog, I felt that it was somewhat inferior to the PS3 versions. But after getting into the game, that feeling had completely passed. Getting in as much time as possible into Dark Souls, I actually considered skipping out on Battlefield 3. But after getting a decent squad going, and seeing some extra gameplay footage, I took the plunge and pre-oredered it the sunday night before release. By then, I was switching between Dark Souls, Battlefield and Batman.
November - December,
I needed to power through Batman before the release of Call of Duty. I completed Batman and all the side quests just in time. I had a few vacation days left to use, and I had no seniority to use them during the xmas break as co-workers have taken those days. I decided to take the few days off and actually go to a midnight release. Even though I was getting a free Hardened edition of the game, it proves to be a good decision for me to pick up the MW3 xbox console on launch date as my free copy would not arrive till a week later. Potential disaster was averted. LOL. I also pre-ordered Assassins Creed Revlations and Saints Row the third, but did not get around to playing them till mid-december. Fully focused on levelling up in Call of Duty, I played as much as I could.
And that was my 2011. Looking forward to 2012, and the official launch of this blog, and my youtube page. Stay tuned!