Video Game Review

The Top 10 Games of 2011

It’s the New Year so it’s time again to look at last year. 2011 was a good year for games. It wasn’t a particularly outstanding year but it did provide enough solid gaming to keep us entertained. What’s interesting about this list is that there is only one new IP throughout; the rest are all sequels (or prequels). Maybe the big reason why this hasn’t been a stellar year is because innovation is stifled by game companies sheltering themselves with familiar names to stay on the safe side. Even then, some franchises like Elder Scrolls offered up experiences that weren’t just about HD graphics but gave us games so large in scope that they seemed unimaginable five years ago. While the industry still waits for the next big thing, there were still plenty of great games (and a few instant classics) worth playing. If you haven’t played the following games in 2011, there’s nothing like starting the New Year right with these ten titles.


Weekly Video Game Newsletter–Issue 6

Weekly Video Game Newsletter - Issue 6

^Right click to download the latest issue^

The latest edition of the Weekly Video Game Newsletter is finally up.

In this Issue:

  • Video Game Sales Recap for December 17th, 2011
  • Year in Review: Q1 Recap
  • Review of Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony for 2011
  • Adventure Island (NES) Review
  • Centipede (Arcade) Review
  • Decimation X (Xbox Live Indie Game) Review
  • Donkey Kong Country (SNES) Review
  • Space Invaders (Arcade) Review

From now on, game reviews will appear in the newsletters first and then eventually be published on the website. Reviews will start appearing on the site again starting on New Year’s Day.

The next issue will be published on Saturday, December 31st, 2011. In that issue, this site’s games of the year list will be published. That list will appear on the site on Sunday, January 1st, 2012 (as per tradition).

PLEASE NOTE: There was an error with the review score for Donkey Kong Country. As much as I love the game, I cannot give the game the full five-star treatment for some of the issues associated with the game (the biggest one being that trying to complete the game 102% is next to impossible unless you get help from an outside source or have hours to kill to test every pit and make blind leap-of-faith jumps). The score should have been four stars. I’m sorry for any inconvenience that this may have caused. Don’t worry though, there is a five-star video game review coming up soon. Because of linking issues, I will not be making a change in the newsletter during the short term but when I eventually make a page on the site just for the newsletters, I’ll change the review score in the newsletter when I archive the newsletter there.

Weekly Video Game Post–December 25, 2011

Weekly Video Game Podcast – December 25, 2011 <77 mins (52.6 MB)>
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  • Jamie Gore and John Teodoro
  • Podcast delivered despite being pretty awfully sick all week
  • I don’t hate Nintendo but for this podcast, I really hate Nintendo
  • Seriously Nintendo, make with the games on the Virtual Console…and bring back IPs like Pikmin, WarioWare, Advance Wars, and Kid Icarus (no, that Sin and Punishment knockoff doesn’t count) 
  • Speaking of downloadable games and hate, I really tear Sony a new one; do they not want me to use my PSP anymore?
  • Microsoft got off easy…lucky them
  • Continue reading for sales figures from the week of December 17th and other stuff (all sales figures come from


Weekly Video Game Post – July 10, 2011

Weekly Video Game Podcast – July 10, 2011 <40 mins (18.8 MB)>
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  • Jamie Gore and Chris Karpyszyn
  • Slow news week so Chris decides to kill all chance for him to get a job in the games industry
  • We talk about E3 for the last time this year (hopefully)
  • Continue reading for sales figures from the week of June 25th and other stuff (all sales figures come from


Weekly Video Game Newsletter – July 7th, 2011 – Issue #5

Right click to download the Video Game Newsletter - Issue #5

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It’s finally up. The latest issue of the Weekly Video Game Newsletter looks at what came out of E3 and just how messed up the video game industry is at this point. There is also analysis of the video game sales for June 25th as well as a quick review of all the Game Boy games currently available in the 3DS eShop Virtual Console. This issue closes with an analysis of all the Zelda games to be released in the last ten years.

A Space Shooter for Two Bucks! (Video Game Review)

Video Game Review
A Space Shooter for Two Bucks!
Playstation Portable (PSP Mini)
Developer: Frima Studio
Publisher: Frima Studio

Few cheap games are actually worth their low price tag. The PSP Minis have been more miss than hit but there are still plenty of gems to be found. Frima Studio’s A Space Shooter for Two Bucks! is an incredibly fun game at its price point…which just so happens to be two bucks. It’s fun, enjoyable, and provides a cheap thrill that’s well worth it’s cost.


Dr. Mario Online Rx (Video Game Review)

Video Game Review
Dr. Mario Online Rx
Nintendo Wii (WiiWare)
Developed by: Akira
Published by: Nintendo

If the NES version of Tetris had multiplayer, then perhaps it would have been the king puzzle game in my house growing up. Instead, Dr. Mario was the game that caused intense battles between family members in my household as challenges were made and thumbs ached. With the exception of the Gamecube, Nintendo has ported Dr. Mario over to ever home console they’ve ever made. The Wii is no exception and it’s version of Dr. Mario, titled Dr. Mario Express Rx, is probably the best edition ever made.


Super Mario Land (Video Game Review)

Video Game Review
Super Mario Land
Nintendo Game Boy
Developed by: Nintendo
Published by: Nintendo

It feels like it is near-impossible for Nintendo to make a bad traditional Mario platformer. Even though Super Mario Land for the original Game Boy looks extremely primitive, it is still one of the best in the series. It might be a bit rough around the edges and looks and handles differently than most Mario games, but it provides one of the best platforming experiences on any system.


Orb 3D (Video Game Review)

Video Game Review
Orb 3D
Nintendo Entertainment System
Developed by: Hi Tech Expressions
Published by: Hi Tech Expressions

Pong like games have been the basis for some notable titles through the years. Breakout and Arkanoid are examples of games that have taken a simple idea, added a few gameplay mechanics and have ended up becoming great games. Hi Tech Expressions’s Orb 3D not only takes the key concepts of Pong and make it its own but radically changes what we’ve come to expect from the paddle-based games. It’s different and fun but not without its flaws. Still, Orb 3D ends up giving the player an enjoyable experience that is unique from other things on the NES.


Tetris (PSP Mini) (Video Game Review)

Video Game Review
Sony Playstation Portable (PSP Mini)
Developed by: EA Mobile
Published by: Electronic Arts

Tetris, in theory, would seem like a hard game to screw up but every year we are witness to a few horrible versions of the game. However, EA did an incredible job with their PSP Mini version of Tetris. The game plays extremely well. In fact, this is the best handheld version of Tetris since Tetris DX came out for the Game Boy Color in 1997.