Games of 2011


Little Big Planet by Cambridge Studio/Media Molecule [PSP]
A free game from Sony, given out after the security breach that brought down the PlayStation Network. Sampled it for a few minutes, but couldn't say I felt an immediate connection. Cute, sure, and then what? It needs a more thorough playtest for a grounded opinion.

ModNation Racers by SCE San Diego Studio [PSP]
Another Sony gift (each Network user got two freebies). ModNation Racers is - hey, what did you expect? - another Mario Kart clone. But lo and behold, a very good one at that. Fast, fun and diverting. Worth picking up!

DJ Hero by Exient Entertainment [Wii]
Wow. Just wow. Brilliant game. Once I unlocked the Daft Punk avatars, I could not resist spinning with Mr. Bangalter and Mr. de Homem-Christo. Great mixes, perfect learning curve and excellent production values. All that for $25, because the game flopped and stores cleared their inventory. If you can find it, don't hesitate.

MediEvil by SCE Cambridge Studio [PSP]
A PlayStation Store download. One of several games I wanted to play in the late 90's, when I only had a Nintendo64. It doesn't hold up all that well today, truth to be told, but it'll never get the 'MediOcre' label.

Michael Jackson - The Experience by Ubisoft Paris [Wii]
Unplayed as of today. Still shrinkwrapped. No opinion.

Tron Evolution by Supervillain Studios [PSP]
The Grid! On the move! Shallow? Yes. Cynical cash-in? No. Recommended? Yes.

Zelda Four Swords Adventure 25th Anniversary Edition by Grezzo [3DS]
Hurrah, a free download from Nintendo. A solid game, if a little jarring after playing Twilight Princess. I unfortunately 'lost' this game when my 3DS console had to be replaced.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess by Nintendo EAD Group No. 3 [Wii]
Finally. After 5 years of owning a Wii, I acquired this launch game in 2011. Not willing to spend $60, I just waited and waited. A wise decision, for friendly friend Peter De Voecht gave it to me as a birthday gift. Verdict? Brilliant game, but your companion is once again a pain in the behind. I'm not fully sold on the motion controls, either. Once the novelty of "Oh my, I'm wielding the Master Sword!" wears off, you're just slightly twitching your wrist. And it's no Ocarina of Time. Oh no.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword by Nintendo EAD Group No. 3/Monolith Soft [Wii]
Unplayed as of today. Still shrinkwrapped. No opinion.

DJ Hero 2 by FreeStyle Games [Wii]
Unplayed as of today. Still shrinkwrapped. No opinion.

God of War: Ghost of Sparta by Ready at Dawn/SCE Santa Monica Studio [PSP]
More of the same. Which is awesome. Best game of and on the PSP, the sequel.

Syberia by Microïds/Mindscape [NDS]
Second time played to conclusion (after the inaugural PC version). What a lazy port: no voice-acting, simplified puzzles, shaky framerate. But the excellent story stands tall. An artistic triumph - but do play the PC version first.


Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine
by LucasArts/Factor5 [N64]
Back in 2001, this major Indiana Jones-fan was looking forward to this game. Then it was cancelled in Europe without any solid reason given. In America, the Blockbuster Video chain got the exclusive rights to rent out (and sell very select copies of) the game. As such, it's a rare game (not a RARE game, though). For which I had to pay €81,01 ($107,56) on eBay! Ouch! Luckily, booklet and box are included, so it's almost brand-new. Now I just need a convertor cartridge to play this NTSC-game on my PAL-Nintendo64.

Hook by Ukiyotei/Core Design [Mega/Sega CD]
Unplayed as of today. No opinion. Still need a Mega/Sega CD console.

Operation Winback by Omega Force [N64]
Another game I desperately wanted to play back when it came out. I don't really know why I bothered, for it's quite mediocre. Sure, the stealth operations are fun, but it's very crude graphics-wise (remember: this came out around the same time as Perfect Dark!), very quiet and very average. Still, I couldn't code a game to save my life, so major props to the developers.

LucasArts Évasion: Loom, Monkey Island 2 & Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade by LucasFilm Games/LucasArts [Mac]
Found on a garage sale in Paris. Five floppy discs which, eh, don't seem to work anymore. Bummer.

The Secret of Monkey Island by LucasFilm Games [PC]
Unplayed as of today. No opinion. Couldn't get it to work on my PC.

Treasure Planet by Magenta Software [PSX]
My first PlayStation game (thanks, Daisy, for your console donation). Treasure Planet is what you've come to expect from late 90's/early 2000's Disney platformers: cute, but shallow. Fully translated to Dutch, which is quite nice for local youngsters.


Nintendo 3DS by Nintendo
A brilliant console, as we've come to expect of the Kyoto Boys. But. One big but. I dropped it from a 20 centimeter/8 inches height in August 2012 and it was damaged beyond repair. Whatever happened to the 'Nintendo: Built Like a Truck' adagium? Remember the first Game Boy? Mine fell thousands of times and it still works (only the screen has scratches). The 3DS can't survive a 20 centimeter drop? Shame on you, Nintendo. Luckily, they replaced it without charge or fuss, so my faith remains intact.

PSP Go by Sony
Sony's flopped redesign. It was bound to fail, due to the $250 asking price being way too steep. Dutch toychain Bart Smit did a clearance sale at the end of 2011, however, and offered a batch of unsold Go's for $99. It's a flawless machine, and very portable to boot. Recommended - when affordable.

Julian De Backer, 27 July 2013