The 50 Most Talked About Games of 2011: Part IV

Today I’ll look at the next 10 most talked about games of 2011, starting with October releases. Some really well received games are on this list, but a lot of these were targeted at other types of gamers than myself. If you missed yesterday’s column, click here. Games are listed in order of date of release, the number following the title in parentheses is the Metacritic score at the time of this writing, and I’ve identified some of my personal favorites regardless of what the critics said.

10/4 Dark Souls (89)

 

 

 

 

 

The sequel to the Playstation exclusive Demon Souls, Dark Souls is just as punishing as its predecessor.  I don’t appreciate insanely difficult games, so I passed on this one. A certain subset of gamers  absolutely loves this game, however,  so if you’re willing to put up with dying hundreds of times to finally vanquish that difficult boss, this might be the game for you. Dark Souls does offer some unique ways to play the game cooperatively.

10/4 NBA Jam: On Fire Edition (84)

 

 

 

 

 

The path of this game to its rightful home on Xbox Live was long and detailed (and boring), so I’ll skip it for now. What you should know is that if you liked NBA Jam back in the day, this is the definitive version of the game. You can play online and the game is as much fun as ever. The delay of the NBA season tempered my excitement for this one, but I can see myself logging a number of hours in the future.

10/4 Rage (81)

 

 

 

 

 

Billed as the best-looking game on the Xbox, and considered by reviewers to be one of the best-looking games ever made, Rage did not disappoint in that category. Unfortunately, it would seem it missed the mark in a decent number of other categories. I did not pick this one up because of my shooter fatigue and because with a number of big name games around the corner, I didn’t feel it necessary to buy this one at $60. According to reviews, the world is not as open as it would seem, the landscape is a bit played out at this point (nuclear wasteland, see Borderlands, Fallout 3-, etc…), and the multiplayer is a bit of a mess. While it certainly won’t get game of the year consideration, it is still probably worth checking out if you love shooters.

 

10/11 Seasame Street: Once Upon a Monster (79)

 

 

 

 

 

Another Double Fine game, Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster is aimed squarely at kids. In fact, if you’re reading this blog, I can pretty much assure you that you will not like this game. If you have little kids who like Sesame Street, however, you might want to look into picking this one up. Playable only on Kinect, the game allows you to interact with your screen and Elmo, making the story really come to life. The game was used on multiple occasions to show off what you can do on the Kinect.

10/11 Forza 4 (91)

 

 

 

 

 

Turn 10’s racing simulator seems to have taken over from Gran Turismo as THE serious car owner’s game of choice. I’m more of an arcade racing fan personally, but I still really enjoy playing Forza. The graphics are spectacular, and the difficulty can be tailored to your personal driving style. I’ve played this quite a bit, but I hope to go back to it once I finish with some of the other titles I’m playing.

10/12 Scribblenaughts Remix (84)



 

 

 

 

Scribblenauts originally appeared on the DS; it was a great idea but a broken game. Scribblenauts Remix is now available on iOS as a fully fleshed out, working product. I was able to pick it up on sale for $0.99, which coincided with the first time this year that a game not named Angry Birds was the top-selling game on the App Store. In Scribblenauts, you solve puzzles by typing in a word and that item will appear for you to use. Is a cat stuck in a tree? Type “ladder” and a ladder will appear, which you can climb to get the cat down. Or type “chainsaw” and cut the tree down. Just about anything you can think of is possible in the game. It’s a cool idea and a fun game.

10/16 Skylanders (80)

 

 

 

 

 

If I were eight years old, I think I’d be completely addicted to Skylanders, which is a combination of Pokemon and the Lego games. That is, you can collect and buy toy figures from your local Walmart (or Amazon) and then plug these into your console. From there, the figures come to life, and you hack and slash your way through enemies. Any progress you’ve made is saved on your real-life figure, which you can take to your friends’ house to play. The truly revolutionary thing about the game is that these figures are compatible across all three systems (Xbox, PS3, and Wii). The game can get pricey if you have a true addiction, as it’s $80 to start (you get three toy figures) and then $8 for each additional toy.

10/18 Rocksmith (77)

 

 

 

 

 

If you have an electric guitar and you’re interested in learning how to play it,  Rocksmith is the game for you. With this game, you plug an electric guitar into an adapter and then into your Xbox and the game will teach you how to play rock songs. Reviews tended to slam the presentation and the overall instruction aspect of the game. My feeling, having learned how to play an instrument, is that I know it’s a lot of hard work, and it’s not exactly what I’m looking to do when I’m playing video games. If you’ve always wanted to play guitar, however, check out Rocksmith.

10/18 Batman: Arkham City (94)

 

 

 

 

 

The sequel to the surprise hit Batman: Arkham Asylum, Arkham City has been getting incredible reviews. I tried but never got into the first game, so I skipped this one. The reviews are glowing, however, with the only criticism being with the excessive amount of gadgets Batman uses. At times it can be overwhelming. If you picked this game, up let us know what you think of it.

10/25 Battlefield 3 (Top Games of The Year: Number 8; Best Multiplayer Game) (89)

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t buy into the Battlefield vs. Call of Duty hype that seemed to be the biggest video game story of the year. In fact, having played the last versions of Battlefield and Call of Duty, I had made up my mind  that I was going to buy Battlefield. I enjoy the ability to contribute to the team without having to pay too much attention to my kill/death ratio. The multiplayer in Battlefield is great, allowing for many different play styles on giant maps. If I had one complaint, it would be that it feels a little too much like Call of Duty in that you die more often and are thrown back into the fight rather quickly. The single-player game stinks, but that’s not why you buy Battlefield.

Check back tomorrow for the last 10 games on my list. If you have any you think I should have added, please let me know in the comments!

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