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.
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.
Better late than never some might say but these podcasts are disgustingly late. Hopefully these will be the last items to ever be massively delayed on this site again. There will be a bunch of new content popping up on the site this weekend as the site once again returns to normal. Starting today, all the normal features are back and there will be daily updates (mostly) on a regular basis everyday.
I finally got my new audio equipment in so the podcast quality starting with the Day 2 Recap should be much better (at least when it’s me on the mic.). I re-recorded the Day 2 Recap so I could try out the new equipment. I still have some tinkering to do but it still sounds great. In fact, the quality is so good that I was able to finalize the recording at 64kbps instead of 128 to save on space and there doesn’t seem to be any degradation of quality. If you notice any problems or have some suggestions on how I can improve the audio, please leave me a comment below or send me an e-mail at email@example.com
Thanks again to Chris Karpyszyn and Steve Wood for helping out with the Day 1 recap. If you’re interested in Chris’s ramblings, head over to his site at www.chriskarypszyn.com.
– Jamie Gore and Chris Karpyszyn – We review E3 which could either be a dud year or very exciting – There are decent odds that Sony and Nintendo screw up their respective system launches – All the while, Microsoft continues to ring in new system sales.
Video Game Review
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Nintendo Entertainment System
Developed by: Nintendo
Published by: Nintendo
There’s a lot of undue criticism thrown towards Nintendo’s Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Because it’s so drastically different from previous Zelda titles both before and after its release that some turn their head at it. However, at the time of its release, it wasn’t like there was much of a precedent set. While the original Legend or Zelda was quite different from its sequel, many sequels on the NES seemed like radical departures from pre-set notions of what their games were supposed to be (Super Mario Bros. 2 is a perfect example of this). With that being said, Zelda II is a great game. It has a near-perfect blend of RPG and platforming elements. It provides some of the most intense gameplay on the system. Still, it has its issues. Grinding is a necessary evil in this game and the score, while decent, is forgettable. Otherwise, it’s one of the better games on the NES.
Moments after the show ended tonight I received a bunch of compliments and people wanted the MP3 file of the show. Show here’s the unedited version of the show for everyone to enjoy. Chris and I had a lot of fun doing the show where we just rambled on about how great and crappy Super Mario Galaxy 2 is, how we think Natal will be a bust, how great the Move can be, and the potentially awesome games that might come from Nintendo for the 3DS (but will most likely never show up because they never support their handhelds with a major launch title so we’ll most likely see a port of Super Mario Sunshine).
I get distracted by a menu for Marco’s Restaurant in St. Laurent and we reminisce over another Marco’s Restaurant that had existed in Ste. Anne’s (the two restaurants have nothing to do with one another other than having the same name). We also get a bit distracted by the Chicago Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup. However, for the most part, we’re on top of our game for the entire two hours.
Just be warned though…this show is uncensored. Chris does have a bit of a potty mouth. Listener discretion is advised.
Towards the end of the show, I talk about the revised schedule. There will be both a video game podcast and a movie podcast up tomorrow (Thursday). I’m going to try to finish the video game newsletter for tomorrow but I’m not 100% confident I can do that. There will be a movie newsletter up on Friday. So two newsletters and two podcasts up in the next 48 hours. Plus tons of reviews and other assorted nonsense.
One last thing, the site will be receiving a design overhaul. It will be something similar to how the site used to look before I moved over to WordPress. It may feel a bit awkward at first since the sidebar will be moving from the right side of the screen to the left but I think most people will enjoy the new look of the sit. If not, I promise to give you a full refund to whatever you’re paying me to look at my site.
Video Game Review The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Nintendo 64 1998 Developed by: Nintendo Published by: Nintendo
While Super Mario 64 had opened up the transition from 2D games to 3D games, many were worried about how other noteworthy franchises would handle the addition of an extra dimension. Some franchises, like Castlevania, fell flat on Nintendo’s fun machine. People were frothing at the mouth for a new Zelda experience and every precaution was taken to make sure that the jump to 3D would be a solid evolution for the series. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a fantastic game that really makes the Zelda universe feel almost real. Nintendo took great care with their property and it showed.
Video Game Review The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past Super Nintendo 1992 Developed by: Nintendo Published by: Nintendo
If there was any series that people had really big expectations for after the release of the Super Nintendo, it was The Legend of Zelda. Super Mario World was the largest Mario game to date with much upgraded visuals. Unlike Mario, which was a linear experience, the open-world nature of Zelda had people salivating at the potential experiences that could happen. Nintendo did not disappoint and with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, offered one of the best action-RPG experiences on the system.
Video Game Review The Legend of Zelda Nintendo Entertainment System 1987 Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo
While most think that Grand Theft Auto created the sandbox style of gaming, a strong argument could be made for The Legend of Zelda inventing the genre. Shigeru Miyamoto’s pet project about a boy exploring a world to get all the pieces of the Triforce and save the princess was one of the most innovative titles for its time. Even years after its release it’s still interesting and feels fresh. Perhaps Nintendo had no idea what they were about to unleash on North America in 1987 but it definitely changed how people looked at the way games can be played. It also helped that it was really good.