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The Buy it/Avoid it Report's Awards - 2011


Hello gamers! Welcome to the year 2012!

For those who don't know, I write a semi-regular blog series known as The Buy it/Avoid it Report which features mini-reviews for a handful of games I'm playing at the time. Now that 2011 has come to a close, it feels like the perfect time to take a look back and hand out some pointless awards! You aren't sick of these types of blogs yet, are you?

Over the last 12 months I've covered over 40 games in the B/AR. In all honesty though, I played even more than that. Some don't hold my attention long enough to get mentioned and others get left out due to time constraints. For the sake of these awards I'll be focusing only on the games that I included in the B/AR over the course of 2011.

I only mention this because two little games known as Skyrim and Skyward Sword haven't been featured yet. For this reason, they will not be winning any awards and won't even be mentioned outside of this paragraph. Needless to say, they are both fantastic games and are already showered with enough praise as it is. Okay, enough disclaimers.

Let's do this!


>> Bulletstorm?! Fuck. Yes. While the entire FPS genre dissolves into a bunch of multiplayer-focused clones, Bulletstorm stands alone as a glorious example of what can happen when you think outside the box. The mix of unique weapons, kill-with-skill scoring system and crazy sci-fi story all blended together to not only create one of my favorite games this year, but one of my favorite FPS games of all time. If you skipped this one because of the sloppy marketing campaign, you missed out on something really special.

Honorable mentions:
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Battlefield Bad Company 2: Vietnam


>> Choosing between this and Dead Space 2 was freaking tough but I had to go with my heart on this one. It's no secret: I love Gears of War 3. The 4-player campaign is a blast, even after multiple playthroughs. Beast and Horde mode satisfy my co-op urges and the competitive multiplayer is, to put it simply, the best. For me, its the complete package. I love it so much that I find myself playing it even when most of my friends are online playing other multiplayer games. Yes, I enjoy this game more than human friendship. Sad but true.

Honorable mentions:
Dead Space 2
Shadows of the Damned


>> Sure, Portal 2 may seem like the obvious choice but it's really the only choice. I mean, what other puzzle game delivers such a high quality experience? What other game has such fantastic dialog? What other game has a better trio of characters than GLaDOS, Wheatley and Cave Johnson? It's insane. For a game that is essentially about shooting holes through walls and pressing buttons, it completely blew me away. Portal 2 simply has no faults and I don't care if you agree with me or not!

Honorable mentions:
Blocks That Matter


>> By blending some of the best aspects of the 2D and 3D Mario games, Super Mario 3D Land managed to find that magical sweet spot between new and nostalgia. What I found most refreshing was the game's use of 3D. The added depth gave subtle clues as to items hidden in the background, made it easer to judge jumps and worked really well with the game's colorful pallet. I'll let you discover it for yourself but unlocking Secret World was one of my happiest gaming moments this year. If you've got a 3DS, you need this game!

Honorable mentions:
Monster Tale
League of Evil


>> Such a great game. Though the premise of a chunk of Gotham City being walled off and turned into a giant super-prison is perhaps a little farfetched, it serves as the perfect backdrop for some classic Batman action. Arkham City features hands down the best combat system for dealing with groups of enemies that I've ever used. It's so fun that I would often swoop in on some thugs for no reason other than to beat the piss out of them. On top of all the great action, Arkham City also has an engaging story and features so many villains that I eventually just threw my hands up and stopped counting.

Honorable mentions:
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves


>> The Binding of Isaac is like no other game I've ever played. As Isaac ventures deeper into the basement he comes across wire hangers, lipstick, prescription medication, tarot cards, slot machines, satanic literature, women's underwear and an insane amount of other strange items he must use to help him survive. With completely random dungeon layouts and enemy placement, no two Isaac playthroughs are ever the same. I'd say infinite replayability is a good thing, wouldn't you?

Honorable mentions:
Infinity Blade


>> If you're asking yourself "Why should I play Regengade Ops?", you need to examine the screenshot above. Can you tell what's going on? Me either! Not since the amazing Just Cause 2 has pure destruction and insanity brought me such joy. It's the perfect game to load up when you just don't want to think anymore. In fact, it's a real shame that I didn't played this more over the busy holiday season. It would have been the perfect stress reliever.

Honorable mentions:
PixelJunk Shooter
Sin & Punishment Star Successor


>> I was excited when I heard that one of my favorite modes from Resident Evil 4 was getting a dedicated game on the Nintendo 3DS. After playing it for about 5 minutes, I felt betrayed. As I played further, I got angry. The lack of new content, poor execution and overall apathetic approach shows that this game was rushed out the door with little regard for the player. What could have been a jeweled crown of excellence ended up being a horrible smelly turd. What a waste of time.

Dishonorable mentions:
Alice: Madness Returns
Pilotwings Resort


Honorable mention: BIT.TRIP RUNNER


Honorable mention: Pokemon Black/White


Honorable mention: Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet


Honorable mention: God of War III


Honorable mention: Batman Arkham City


Honorable mention: Nope, just L.A. Noire


Honorable mention: the dude from Deus Ex: Human Revolution


Honorable mention: the other eyeball scene in Dead Space 2


Honorable mention: Superbrothers Sword & Sworcery EP


Honorable mention: Steel Diver


Oh man, I think that's enough.

Wow, it's been a great year! I now turn my thoughts to all of the awesome games that loom on the horizon - Soulcalibur V, Diablo III, Fez, Trials Evolution, Spelunky HD, Bioshock Infinite and Mass Effect 3!! I can't wait! Of course I'll keep you all updated on what I'm playing as long as you keep reading.

See you around!

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About Phoustone of us since 2:05 AM on 02.11.2010

(Banner crafted by the amazing COM 01)

My name is Eric. I'm 34.
Here are some random things I'm into:

The Buy it/Avoid it Report - back issues
#001 - Ilomilo, Uncharted 2, Infinity Blade, Pac-Man CE DX, Battlefield BC2: Vietnam, PixelJunk Shooter
#002 - Batman: Brave & Bold, DJ Hero 2, Dead Space 2, Bionic Commando Rearmed, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Bulletstorm
#003 - Pokemon Black/White, PixelJunk Shooter 2, Monster Tale, God of War III, BIT.TRIP RUNNER, Torchlight
#004 - Portal 2, Steel Diver, Sin & Punishment Star Successor, Pilotwings Resort, Crysis 2, Blocks That Matter
#005 - L.A. Noire, Alice Madness Returns, Resident Evil Mercenaries 3D, Shadows of the Damned
#006 - GoldenEye 007, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, AC: Brotherhood, Sword & Sworcery EP, Trenched
#007 - Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Jetpack Joyride, Gears of War 3, The Binding of Isaac, Renegade Ops
#008 - Dark Souls, League of Evil, Uncharted 3, Batman: Arkham City, Super Mario 3D Land
#009 - The Buy it/Avoid it Report's Awards - 2011
#010 - Spelunky, Max Payne 3, Trials Evolution, Mario Kart 7, Escape Goat
#011 - Super Hexagon, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Lollipop Chainsaw, Mark of the Ninja

The Play it/Avoid it Report - back issues
#001 - Bioshock Infinite, Darksiders II, Dead Space 3, Far Cry 3, Sleeping Dogs, Tomb Raider
#002 - Dishonored, DKC: Tropical Freeze, Grand Theft Auto V, Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, Rogue Legacy
#003 - The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, Mario Kart 8, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Sunset Overdrive

Secret Moon Base - episodes
Subscribe on iTunes - a podcast about video games and other stuff with my pals knutaf and Occam

Spelunky HD - blogs
Mega Guide - part one
Mega Guide - part two

The Binding of Isaac - blogs
Blood, Shit and Tears - a love letter
Instruction Manual - w/ tips and tricks for beginners
Unlocking Godhead - tips for playing as The Lost

Social Network(s) - ugh
Twitter - @corduroyturtle
Xbox LIVE:Corduroy Turtle
PSN ID:Corduroy_Turtle
Steam ID:17wizards
3DS Code:4639-8962-6190


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