Well, that’s another year! And…I somehow just realized that it’s actually been a year since I blogged on here. Whoops! Between tons of work trips, features, Replay and Reiner & Phil videos, and my first cover story, 2011 was an insanely busy year. But in-between all of that work, I still managed to finish a solid 34 games, up three from last year’s 31.

I decided to expand on my list a little bit this year. Below you’ll find each title followed by the primary platform I played it on, my score (what I would have given it on Game Informer’s scale if I didn't officially review it or with a link to the review if I did), and a few sentences of my thoughts.

Dragon Age: Origins
Platform: Xbox 360
My Score: 9.25

I kicked off 2011 with some serious RPGing, finally wrapping up my long-running playthrough of Dragon Age: Origins to prepare for the sequel. Despite some bugginess and a less-than-optimal console port, this really is BioWare at its fantasy finest. Interesting characters, difficult choices, and a complex, tactical combat system.

Dragon Age: Awakening
Platform:
Xbox 360
My Score: 9

I actually enjoyed some of the characters and plot hooks in Awakening more than in Origins, but the whole package was definitely even more of a technical mess. Still, I’m really hoping they pick up on some of the plot threads from Awakening in the next Dragon Age game.

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
Platform:
Nintendo DS
My Score: 7.5 (Read my review)

When reviewing this in December, I got to the final boss but realized it was one of the only points in the game where I was actually going to have to grind out some levels before I could win. On one of my many plane trips this year, I did just that, grinding five or ten levels and wrapping the game up. The disappointing ending sets up for a sequel that I don’t exactly have high hopes for. Fun puzzles though!

Dead Space 2
Platform:
Xbox 360
My Score: 8.75

I enjoyed the hell out of Dead Space 2, but I didn’t like it quite as much as the original. In particular, I feel like the game gets a little too action-heavy as it progresses, spilling out into some terribly frustrating parts near the end, and I also think the ending wrapped up a little too tidily. For a game that constantly  toyed with the main character’s sanity, I would have preferred a more ambiguous ending or at least a cooler final boss.

Ghost Trick
Platform:
Nintendo DS
My Score: 8.5

I know Joe didn’t like this game much, but I feel like if you go in with the right mindset, it’s a blast. Recalling old-school adventure games, you move through colorful environments attempting to solve a bizarre murder mystery by manipulating objects as a ghost. You will inevitably run into some puzzles where you have trouble figuring out the right order to manipulate things, and that will lead to replaying segments and fast-forwarding through dialogue. That’s definitely a deal-breaker for some people, but it barely touched this game’s charm for me.