Saturday, 12 May 2012

Games of my Teenage Years - 2011


And so we are finally here, the last full year of my teenagedom. And by the time this is posted I will have officially entered my third decade of living. So, what did 18/19 year old me love to play in 2011? Well, both games are hardly obscure, though the latter one is more of a cult classic then anything else...

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Of course. It was, in my opinion, the best game released last year. Between this game's release and New Year I managed to clock up over 70 hours of gameplay, and yet by the time I decided to take a break I still felt that I was barely halfway through the on-disc content. Skyrim, if you haven't played it (why?) is HUGE. And yet one of my favourite parts of the game? Going from one place to the next. It is a beautiful game. I'm not as familiar with the Elder Scrolls series as I'd like (100% Oblivion (not including expansions), played a little Morrowind and that's it), but I knew that this game would pretty much blow all other games I'd play in 2011 as soon as it was announced. I really don't need to say much more, most of you reading this should know all about it. So instead, I'll leave you with pretty much the best thing I've seen this year:

Macho Dragon Mod - YEAH!

Deadly Premonition

To call Deadly Premonition a good game would be lying. It's not. At least the combat stages aren't. Combat is long, it's boring and there's very little variation in it until you get to a boss. Which you don't get any until near the end of the game, where you get four or five. The other side of the game, the exploring and questing can be just a tedious, yet it's worth it. You see Deadly Premonition may not be a great game, but it is a hell of an experience. 

You play as FBI Agent Francis York Morgan (I'll just call him York. That's what everyone calls him) and you're investigating the murder of a teenage girl in the otherwise quiet town of Greenvale. Much like Alan Wake, this game is influenced by Twin Peaks. Unlike Alan Wake...this game IS basically Twin Peaks (from what I've heard). In fact at one point they had to change aspects of the game in fear of a lawsuit. The combat in the game is very survival horror, except you're never really in much danger of dying or running out of bullets (since no matter what you'll always have at least your starter gun, with it's infinite ammo). Some enemies get harder later on, but 'harder' in this game means 'takes more hits'. However, in between all that, you spend most of your game driving around Greenvale doing various side-missions of the eclectic inhabitants of the town. 

Of the best details of the open-world section of the game is that each character has their own daily routine, if you're just driving around you will see various characters driving place to place. In fact the in-game map let's you see where they are at all times. Their routine and dialogue also changes as you progress through the game. This game did not have a large budget, so it is impressive that they put in so many little details to really flesh out the town. "Swery", the game designer who judging by his Twitter account is the nicest person in the world, wrote a story that was charming, funny and at times pretty damn creepy. But if you let yourself be absorbed by the story and the characters then the game will provide a surprisingly great experience. The end-game in particular is where everything goes bonkers but by then I was completely hooked and emotionally invested in what was happening.

The game was very polarizing, but for me, it was pretty much close to perfection. Rubbish as an actual game but an amazing experience. Isn't that right, Zach?


So, for the past week I've rambled on and on about all of my favourite games I've played as a teenager. As I've gotten older though, I haven't quite had the same excitement about video games. I'd been stuck in a rut of sequels and 'safe purchases'. Sure, I already knew before I bought it that I was going to love it, but Deadly Premonition exceeded every expectation I had, purely by being an experience. This blog may have started as a way to amuse myself, as a way to whittle away at my games collection. But I hope that one day this will morph into a way where I can have more of those kinds of experiences, share them with other people and maybe play some damn fine games along way.

So sure, this is about justifying all the money I've spent on video games in the past by playing as many of them to completion before I stop, but more than that, I hope that this blog will be my little tribute to gaming. 

So long, and goodnight!

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