Ben’s PSN Games of the Year 2011
Crikey, has it been a year already? It’s been a good year for PSN games, and though I’ve played a fair chunk of them, there’s definitely some clear winners among the batch. Now, I’m going to keep my preamble as succinct as possible, so I can get to the real meat of this article, but know that there were more great games than I could possibly remember from this year. From games like Where Is My Heart to Okabu, there really was a variety of games this year to play. So, without further ado and in no particular order, here’s my picks.
Leave it to Double Fine to make a game that perfectly symbolises just how weird and creative downloadable games can be. In what can only be succinctly described as “saturday morning cartoon hitman”, Stacking has you running around a vague approximation of Victorian England as a small chimney sweep. Except this entire world is filled with Russian Dolls, and each of them has special characteristics that are going to help you make it through some thoroughly fiendish puzzles. An utterly wonderful approach to problem solving, you’re missing out if you didn’t play this game when it came out. Don’t make the same mistake twice.
Chime Super Deluxe
When I say that Chime Super Deluxe is the perfect rhythm puzzle game, I mean it. An effortless fusion of Tetris and Lumines, it manages to create a puzzle game so addictive that I found myself trying for higher and higher scores until the dead of night. Also, the soundtrack is incredible, which helps when your game is about fitting blocks to the beat of the music underscoring the whole game.
Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD
Most HD remasters are little more than a bumped up resolution and a reworked UI, so it’s refreshing to see such an overlooked classic brought into the modern age with about as many upgrades as you can think of. From bug fixes to remastered audio, Just Add Water has set a new standard for updates to classics. It helps that the underlying game is one of the finest westerns you’ll ever play, filled with intrigue and a rogues gallery big enough to fill a decently sized prison. Beautiful, adventurous and above all, fun, you should probably play it as soon as possible.
The “Sorry I could only fit 3 games on here awards”, for games that I couldn’t fit in the above list.
Okabu: It’s bright, colourful and fun. What more could you want? Now that the bugs are fixed and the missiles have been tweaked, I can’t recommend it enough!
PixelJunk Sidescroller & PixelJunk Shooter 2: I couldn’t pick just one to recommend, so I’ll tell you to buy both of them right this second. Shooter 2 is an amazing exploration shooter, as you explore a downright devious world, and Sidescroller is about as romantic a love letter to old school shooters as you can get. Don’t play it on easy.
Beyond Good & Evil HD: It was incredible when it came out, and time hasn’t dulled it in the slightest. Photography and espionage have never been combined in a more perfect way.
Outland: A metroid style platformer with a polarity switching mechanic? Just tell me where to sign. One of the most visually striking games of the year, you need to play Outland.
Might And Magic: Clash Of Heroes HD: Thanks, Capy. Thanks for reigniting my love of match 3 puzzle games, and all you had to do was provide a compelling story, a beautifully balanced combat system, and an incredibly robust multiplayer mode. So, no big deal really.
Back To The Future: The Game: As a whole, it’s a wonderful sequel to the films, although the adventure game formula does tend to get bogged down here in a whole heap of backtracking. Still, it’s worth it for the story alone.
Tales From Space: About A Blob: Equal parts Katamari and Gish and incredibly fun in co-op. It’s also a great ride solo.
Explodemon!: No, it isn’t a Splosion Man rip off. In fact, it’s more akin to what would happen if Mega Man X found his self destruct button. When you’re flowing through a level chaining chaos together, it’s hard to imagine anything more entertainingly destructive.