Eric’s PSN Games of the Year 2011
Prospero año, faithful readers, and welcome to another GOTY post. I’ve played a ton of PSN games this year. Some are to be remembered for their awful gameplay (Ghostbusters: SoS), some for their shocking yet humorous elements (Ugly Americans), and others for their simple, addictive, puzzling puzzles (Mercury Hg, Puzzle Dimension). I’ve played a ton of PSN games this year, but these are the three I consider to be the best of the best. They’re in no particular order, but then again, they pretty much are…
Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes HD
I’m not sure any of the other editors from the site were as smitten with this game as I was. I know Chris played a fair bit of it, and I’m sure others dabbled, but when this game released, it consumed much of my free time for the following few months. I was living with two friends at the time, and it was common to come home from work (or even from the bars) and find a challenger awaiting. All three of us played Clash of Heroes extensively. We even found ourselves talking about it when we weren’t playing: postulating strategies, debating the legitimacy of certain artifacts or hero abilities, or simply boasting over victories. I introduced a couple of friends to the game over the summer and each of them bought it based on the limited demo available on the PSN. I knew from the first few times I played it that this would be one of my GOTY contenders. As far as I’m concerned, it was the best game to come out in 2011, retail or not. I’m still eager to play, so message me if you’d like to get a train run on you by my Fiona + Spider Cloak + Wraith JP strat.
A few delays didn’t stop my from relishing in Dungeon Defenders’s enchanted mixture of Tower Defense and Action/RPG. For weeks I battled my way through hoards of enemies, leveling up my pets and items, bouncing between a few different character classes to benefit from their varied arsenals. This is another game that I coaxed a few friends to purchase. Unfortunately, they played on Steam and I on the PSN, and a PR misunderstanding led me to believe we’d be able to play with each other across different platforms. I’m looking forward to the day that Trendy Entertainment irons out the small problems, for then I can play with my buddies the way we originally intended to. Even without the company of people I had grown up with, I had a great time playing Dungeon Defenders. The amount of pre-packed content is practically staggering, and Trendy’s constant support for the game ensures me that I’ll be picking it up again sometime soon.
Hard Corps: Uprising
In perusing the list of games that released in 2011, I saw this title and stopped to think. You see, a LOT of games come out in one year, so some, however excellent, are bound to be glossed over. In my opinion, Hard Corps: Uprising is last year’s diamond in the rough. At first I didn’t play much of it. Brad was set to review it and I was probably still busy battling Chris in PixelJunk Shooter 2 or attempting to boost my scores in Explodemon!. One night, a month or so after its March release, I stumbled upon the game and started playing. I didn’t stop for a very long time, and the following weeks were spent leveling up my character and fiddling with different power-ups, trying to find the best combination to suit my style of play. I played online a handful of times and never had any problems with it. Unfortunately, none of my proximal friends were taken by Hard Corps’s retro run-n-gun hysterics. It’s the rebirth of Contra: Hard Corps I’ve always been hoping for, and I highly recommend it to anyone who isn’t susceptible to seizures.
I can’t make a list without mentioning a handful of titles that almost made the cut.
Slam Bolt Scrappers – A mixed drink that’s initially tough to get down but delicious after you acquaint yourself with its motley ingredients.
Section 8: Prejudice – My favorite FPS of last year; a fine appetizer for the entrée that will be StarHawk.
PAYDAY: The Heist – I couldn’t imagine playing this game by myself, but if you have a solid group of heisters to sign on and play with, PAYDAY offers a multiplayer experience unlike any I’ve had to date.
PixelJunk Shooter 2 – The polished single/local multiplayer mode is fine and dandy, but the online multiplayer mode is one of the most intense, controller-throwing times I’ve had all year.
Beat Hazard Ultra – A seizure-inducing, custom soundtrack supporting rave party of a twin-stick space shooter in a genre that has otherwise fizzled into the depths of mediocrity.