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A Better List than Microsoft's "Best of 2011: Indie Games" - Destructoid

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Front Paged:
E for Effort: Mass Effect 1+2
E3 2010 Recap
Changes: Fatherhood
Technical Difficulties: What A Difference Time Makes
A True Opponent Stands Before Me
P2 Press Start: Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers
10 Games Captain America Would Play
Looking Out for the Little Guy

Front Paged on Flixist:
The Dichotomy of a Dark Knight
Not Understanding Your Audience
A True Classic: Superman Returns

Articles I wrote that I liked:
That One Mook: Gafgarion
My first playthrough of Resident Evil 2
Love/Hate: Operation Darkness
EVO 2010
Recettear Preview
Teh Bias: Nippon Ichi Software, Dood!
More Than Just Noise: Haunted by Final Fantasy
2010: Year in review and some other musings
Obligatory Destructoid Community Rocks Post
Groundhog Day: Stuck in a Book
A story from the Wasteland
PowerUp 2011
E3 2011: MS, Sony, Ninty, and AWARDS
Freedom: Jetpacks
Handhelds: East vs West
Labor Day: Player 2
Online Passes: Nickles and Dimes
2011: Year in Review and Top 10 XBL Indies



Twinfinite stuff I wrote that I liked:
Comics:
Before Watchmen: It's Not the End of the World
Retrospection: The X-Men vs The Avengers
DC Kills Again
Lists:
10 Reliable XBLIG Devs You Should Know
10 Disney Classics that Need Remastering
5 Best Moments from EVO 2013
5 Reasons Why the PS2 Was So Successful
5 Ways to Add Flavor to PS Allstars
Editorials:
Did We Really Need to Break Lara Croft?
Father's Day: Bass Armstrong
Why Do We Need Final Fantasy 7 HD?
Wormlight: A Group of No Name Losers
You Can't Fix Bad Parenting
You Don't Deserve Forgiveness
A Forgotten Hero
Future Diary: The Trial of the Father
Silver Haired Devils: Sephiroth, Magneto, Griffith
Sony Made Art Out of Ads
Celebrate the Ridiculousness of Games
The Graying of Gaming
What is Your Deserted Island Game?
An Opinion on How Value is Underappreciated in Gaming
Lazy Brain Games Legacy
Arkham Knight's Knightfall
Next-Gen Gamers: Kinect Party
Interviews:
An Interview with Adam Spragg
An Interview with Miguel Sternberg
An Interview with Nekros Lead Designer
An Interview with Divekick's Adam Heart
An Interview with The Behemoth's Ian Moreno
An Interview with Firebase Studios
An Interview with Lazy Brain Games: Part 1 / Part 2
An Interview with Fun Infused Games
Nonsense:
Should I Be Happy Sonic is Selling Me Insurance
Is the $99 Xbox Worth It?
These Games Don't Belong on Steam?
Quest for Sexy Seaside Beachball: Part 1 / Part 2


Comics in Games
Comics in Games: Games in Comics
Comics in Games: The Original Batman
Comics in Games: Fantastic Four
Comics in Games: Fantastic Four Deleted Scenes
Comics in Games: Superman
Comics in Games: The Best of Marvel 1994

Comics in Crossover Games
- Spider-man and Captain America in Dr. Doom's Revenge!
- Spider-man the Video Game
- Spider-man and the X-men in Arcade's Revenge
- Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems
- Iron Man and X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal
- Marvel Brothel
- Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold


It Came From The Quarter Bin

- 1st Edition
- Promised Vengeance
- Sarah's Story Remembered
- First Strike! Extra!
- Fluffie Kiss
- 2112
- The Holiday Spirit
- Days of GLX-Mas Past



Games Created:
Dariaia
Twinfinite Pirate Kart


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NJ EP 01: Neo Geo Pocket Color
NJ EP 04: Mega Man Legends


Episode 92: E3 09
Episode 73: Intro
Episode 71: Intro
Episode 70: Intro
Episode 68: Sonic the Hedgehog
Episode 67: Intro
Episode 66: Intro
Episode 65: Reader Questions
Episode 64: Intro
Episode 63: Neo Geo
Episode 62: Intro
Episode 61: Beat 'em Ups
Episode 60: Rhythm Games
Episode 36: Couples
Episode 34: TurboGrafx 16
Episode 32: SHMUPS
Episode 27: SNES



My Greatest Failure

"We constantly have to revisit 'Why would Donkey Kong do this?' or 'Why would this environment be like this?' And then we start thinking: 'We're making a game about a gorilla wearing a tie.'"
-Michael Kelbaugh of Retro Studios on Donkey Kong Country Returns



"I have to say it's kinda scary how much you know about this game."
-Nicolau Chaud creator of Marvel Brothel
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Microsoft showcased a major advertising promotion this week for what they referred to as the "Best of 2011." The purpose of this event is to highlight the best and brightest of Microsoft's online catalog and boost a little revenue as well. The banner has taken over Xbox.com and has a fairly large advertisement on the dashboard itself.

It wouldn't be Microsoft however if they didn't somehow mess up their Indie Games portion of an event. What we have been given is a Top 10 list of games that consists of 2 Lacrosse titles, 4 Minecraft clones, and 2 avatar RPGs. At one point there was even an XBLA title from 2009 on the list, which thankfully was eventually taken down and replaced.

Now I'm not usually one to criticize a group's "Best of" list, but I'm a bit shocked at the fact that 4 Minecraft clones can make a top 10 list. One can only be left to assume that this list was compiled as a biggest sellers list instead of trying to prove what is the best content on the system. With the complete lack of diversity being offered, I figured that I would share 10 Xbox Indie games that were not considered as the "Best of 2011". These however do deserve recognition.



240 MS Points


This is by far one of the best looking indie games on the marketplace. The visuals are great and the mechanics of the game are solid. It's essentially a futuristic take on an obstacle course and as your momentum continues to build the game gets harder and harder to control. T.E.C. 3001 is pretty and it's fun. What more do you want?

Game Description:
T.E.C. (Tesla Energy Collector) 3001 is 3D action single player game. You are guiding a robot through a virtual space to collect leftovers of energy for human kind. There are 20 levels and each one of them brings unique challenge to the player. Player will master in guiding a robot (T.E.C.) on level through series of trials and repetitions.







80 MS Points


I don't usually go out of my way to play violent games that are violent for no reason. Cute Things Dying Violently most certainly lives up to the name. It is however a very simple physics based sling shot style puzzler with a unique (albeit gruesome) take. If you haven't tried it out, the game is good enough to push past the pointless violence.

Game Description:
Flick hapless Critters around to get them safely out of each level! Dodge all sorts of lethal goodies like spikes, buzzsaws, and fire, and use a variety of wacky items to pull it off. Play through 60 mind-bending, reflex-testing singleplayer levels, 6 bloodthirsty challenge levels, and 1 murderous bucket-headed robot! Want more? Try out the local multiplayer and the built-in level editor.






80 MS Points


Astralia takes the standard top down shooter mechanic and adds minor RTS elements making for a truly unique game. You build ships and change weapons in real time to defend your base and fight off swarms of enemies. It takes a bit of getting used to, but is well worth a look.

Game Description:
Astralia is "A Real-time Strategy Shooter Experiment", a top down space shooter with RTS elements; in addition to your own ship you control a squad of drone fighters with multiple formations and weapons. You also get to manage a couple of capital ships that can be moved around to attack the enemy and can build other things like weapon platforms and bombs.







240 MS Points


Escape Goat is from the same creative developer that gave us the Soul Caster titles. The game offers the players a lot as a puzzle based platformer, especially once you create your own puzzle rooms. As a Goat, you have to escape your persecution with the help of a rat, a magical hat, and a lot of planning. It's shocking what one single developer can create and this is indeed a good game.

Game Description:
Imprisoned for the crime of witchcraft, you must use your skill and intellect to overcome the Prison of Agnus. Fear not, Brave Goat, for you have a friend on this journey...







240 MS Points


If I'm going to make a list about games that differentiate themselves from Minecraft, Blocks That Matter is the only one that truly uses one of the ideas Notch capitalized on in a creative new way. In the game, you drill through blocks of various qualities and utilize them to advance further in the level. The different properties of the blocks provides the game with some strategy needed in collection and positioning. It's a smart little platformer that many have overlooked on the indie games marketplace.

Game Description:
Combine your platforming and puzzle-solving skills in this incredible mashup! Playing as the Tetrobot, you can collect blocks of matter, recycle them into new shapes and trigger chain reactions. Contains 100% natural Slime extract.







240 MS Points


Sequence does so many smart things that it's hard to really fault the game in any form. The RPG based DDR style mechanics work wonderfully and the overall presentation this game has is shockingly good. If there is a highlight of the year from a creative standpoint, Sequence deserves that nod. All the work that was put in to Sequence paid off and you can see it throughout the game. It's one of the rare games fully voiced on the marketplace.

Game Description:
Sequence is a rhythm/RPG hybrid, featuring full voice acting and a soundtrack by Ronald Jenkees. Ascend the Tower and uncover the mystery surrounding the girl tracking your every move.






80 MS Points


If you are looking for a video game adaptation of Joe vs the Volcano, Volchaos is all you will ever need. The platformer controls much like Mario, but uses a high challenge system and level design similar to Super Meat Boy. This combination makes it as addicting as it is frustrating. For anybody that is looking for a cheap challenge, this game was made for you.

Game Description:
Volchaos is a challenging old school platformer. Playing as a heroic explorer, you must navigate through dangerous volcanoes in search of precious gems you can use to pay off your mortgage, bad investments, and alimony. To further complicate matters, the lava is continuously rising and an array of enemies stands in your path. Will you become rich? Heck, you will be lucky to survive.







80 MS Points


Hidden in Plain Sight is only good when a few friends have come over to play with you. The game is unplayable without a player 2. A local multiplayer only title has a high barrier of entry, but the game itself is worth it if you can fill the prerequisites. There are 5 distinct game modes that all play on the catch a thief concept the game creates. You and your opponents all are hidden among the multiple AI characters of the board and must find each other and accomplish the game task. If you have had any interest in games like Spy Party, this game is for you.

Game Description:
This game is local-multiplayer ONLY! A tense game of subtlety and intrigue... try out what some are calling the best local multiplayer game to hit the Xbox Indie channel!







240 MS Points


I've been jokingly running around Destructoid claiming that Wizorb is 2011's GotY. Well partially joking. I enjoy brick breaker games, but not much is usually done with them and they rarely come out on consoles these days. Wizorb is a fun, fantastic little game with actual RPG elements built in to really turn it in to something new. It looks gorgeous and you are missing out on one of the top games of the year by not playing it.

Game Description:
The once peaceful Kingdom of Gorudo is threatened by an evil presence. The only hope for salvation is Cyrus, a wizard versed in a secret magic art called Wizorb! Explore many strange places from the derelict monster infested town of Clover to Gorudo Castle atop Cauldron Peak. Danger lurks around every corner so you'll need to keep your wits about you and have quick reflexes in order to survive.






80 MS Points


Stealth, strategy and zombie rarely are paired together, but this game does it so well that I'm shocked I haven't played it before. You as a lone zombie must infect the humans on screen. Once infected they join your ranks and give you strength to overcome stronger enemies. It's a simple design style similar to an Angry Birds or other mobile game, but I found this to be much more satisfying. I, Zombie is one of the better Zombie games of the year.

Game Description:
Quite a different zombie game - this time YOU are the zombie! Command your infested comrades, fight your way to freedom and let the zombie kind dominate the world!




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