Twelve Things I Played In 2011
by FreezingInferno

Well, well, well! How the time does fly! Seems like only yesterday we were welcoming 2011 with open arms. Now it's almost done. Farewell, 2011, how we became acquainted with thee. It's a strange effect, isn't it? Right now, the year 2012 (at least to me writing this) is a foreign alien year with unknown potential. 2011 was much the same, back when we were hanging out with our best bud 2010. Now look at us, all familiar with 2011 and nearly ready to ring it out. But we're not here to talk about years. We're here to talk about video games.

We saw a lot of big names come out this year. Arkham City, Skyrim, Uncharted 3, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3... just a few of the games that I'll not be talking about in this article! Ha hah! While I'm sure all of those are fine video games that can be enjoyed by fine people, I am a dirt poor bastard retro gamer at heart. There are some games on this list that actually, you know, weren't made 20 years ago. But the majority of these are going to be old games I finally discovered this year, and became enamored with. I have twelve of them. Because there are twelve months to the year. And this is a year-end retrospective of games I played this year. Makes sense to me. Does it make sense to you? I sure hope so because we're going on anyway.

The Revenge Of Shinobi (1989)

I have decided that for every one of these year-end retrospectives, I'll talk briefly on how I came to play each of these games. For the Shinobi games, it started in April when I picked up a 6-in-1 cart for my old Sega Genesis. The thing was lacking in games and I wanted to give it a boost; why not 6 early Genesis games on one cart? Sonic The Hedgehog, Streets of Rage, Golden Axe.. but the one that stuck with me was the Revenge of Shinobi. Now I'm no stranger to ninja games. Ryu Hayabusa and I have worked together quite a few times. Revenge of Shinobi, however, had the same effect on me as another Sega game that came out a year beforehand: Phantasy Star. To sum it up, for a 1988 Sega Master System game Phantasy Star looked god damned incredible compared to JRPG contemporaries like Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy. In the same vein, I found myself realizing that Revenge of Shinobi and the first Ninja Gaiden were out in North America at the same time. When it comes to graphics and sound, Genesis definitely did what Nintendon't. Oh, and that sound? Composed by none other than Yuzo "THE GOD DAMNED MAN" Koshiro. That should tell you how good the tunes are here.

The gameplay's another story, though. Revenge of Shinobi is pretty fuckin' hard. And not entirely in the good way, either. It didn't help matters that I was playing it with an old controller with finicky buttons for jumping. Despite all that though, this game is brutal. Almost harder than Ninja Gaiden in a way, because there's limited continues. Of particular note is a rage-inducing jump in the penultimate stage that is pretty much pixel perfect. I hate pixel perfect jumps in video games. The first time I got to that jump, I drained like 10 lives on it. It's that bad. Then the final level that you've fought so hard to get to is a god damned MAZE. And after all that you can still get a bad ending! Good god! All in all, I like Revenge of Shinobi, but it's the worst of the three Shinobi games on the Genesis. The two that came after did it so much better, but each one did it in different ways. That leads us to..

Shadow Dancer: The Secret Of Shinobi (1990)

I'll keep this one really brief, because Polly has already discussed this one fairly well. Shadow Dancer is the "odd one out" of the Shinobi games, so to speak. Even though it's a sequel to the actual arcade game when it comes to gameplay, it's the only one that doesn't have you fighting the Neo Zeed organization. Instead you're fighting some fuckers called... Union Lizard? Whaaat? It's also the odd one out of my collection; I own the other two Shinobi games on a cartridge, but not Shadow Dancer. This saddens me, as it's a really great little action game. It's very arcade-styled, meaning you have to play to learn and one good hit will kill you. Nevertheless, I popped this on after finally beating the Revenge of Shinobi around May or so, and I had my god damned balls metaphorically rocked off. Though the game's only five stages long, it's amazingly fun. You've got multiple difficulty settings, the option to play without shurikens, and A NINJA PUPPY. Who the fuck doesn't want to play a game with a NINJA PUPPY in it? So, with my body rocked from what a great Shinobi arcade sequel can be, I moved on to..

Shinobi III: Return Of The Ninja Master (1993)

I'm so sorry, Sonic 2. The Sega Genesis has a new champion in my heart, and it's Shinobi III. Holy. Fucking. Shit. I know I've already spouted excited curse words already (and will likely do so even more as we go on) but I honestly mean it this time. If Shadow Dancer rocked my metaphorical balls off, then.. I don't even know what the hell Shinobi III did to me. Going back to the style of Revenge of Shinobi, Shinobi III's mission in life is twofold; to first make the Revenge of Shinobi completely obsolete, and to rock your fucking dick while it does so. Yuzo's not at the musical helm for this one, but fear not. This game's soundtrack is still incredible! The graphics, too! But when it comes down to it.. how's she play? Oh good god, it's beautiful. This, boys and girls, is the simplest sort of pleasure that I live for. A tough but fair action platformer made 15 to 20 years ago. The new moves added into the game, like the dash and the dashing slash and the FLYING JUMPKICK.. they all gel together with the familiar framework of throwing kunai at enemy ninjas that made Revenge of Shinobi work. It eliminates all the bullshit that soured me on Revenge of Shinobi. Not once in Shinobi III did I feel like the game had gotten unfair. The final stage is a constant danger with the looming threat of bottomless nothing at nearly every part (which frankly, scared the hell out of me and made me tense as all hell as I played), you've got exciting action and great boss battles at every turn.. why, there's even a maze near the end of the game but it's not designed to destroy you outright like that other maze. This is now my favorite Sega Genesis game, and I'm so glad I discovered it this year, along with the other two Genesis Shinobi games. That's all I have to say about it. Okay, on to games that don't involve ninjas.. but this one feels like it kind of should.

Vice: Project Doom (1991)

If it wasn't for a Mr. Karasu, I would never have played this game. It was a bit earlier in the year when he suggested I play this one.. around February or so. Now, I've talked a lot about video games that are hidden gems, but I've always been clever enough that, whenever I dive into one, I generally already know about it; that it exists and it's an underrated video game because of this and that and whatever. Vice: Project Doom was a complete unknown to me when I fired it up. I suppose that's how it left such an impression on me; not only is it a good game, but it's a good game that I had no idea even existed! This one cribs quite a bit from the Ninja Gaiden playbook; namely animated cutscenes between levels that advance a plot full of intrigue and mild twists and noble sacrifices, as well as tricky action platforming where you control a protagonist who uses a sword. Oh, but there's more to it than that. You can select between the sword, a gun, or grenades.. but much like good old Gaiden, the gun and grenades run on ammo that you collect as you go through the stages. Very helpful for taking out bad guys from a distance. Peppered throughout the game are driving sections a la Spy Hunter, and shooting sections that feel a lot like.. well, the only thing I've played with shooty bits like the ones here is The Adventures of Bayou Billy. No Zappers here, though. If you like Ninja Gaiden or action games for the NES in general, fire up Vice: Project Doom. It made this list by impressing the hell out of me. Sorry I didn't play you sooner.

Little Nemo: The Dream Master (1990)

Unlike Vice: Project Doom, Little Nemo is indeed a game I had heard about before picking it up, because I'm clever like that. Up until this year, however, I had actually never given it a shot. The reason I did is pretty novel (to me, anyway) and since I'm sharing all the other backstories for me playing these games, then why not? This one was actually a challenge! There's a double meaning to that, but we'll get to that. Both Little Nemo and the next game on the list were both posted in a retro game challenge thread on a big old forum I hang around on. As several people (including a friend of mine) posted about their trials and struggles with the game, I decided it was high time to go to it myself. What I found was another great gem courtesy of Capcom. Capcom may have gone all bitter and unkind this year, but back then they were the gift that kept on giving when it came to great and challenging action platformers. Little Nemo is no exception. It's both great AND challenging. Really. Really. Challenging. I went into it expecting something kind of tough, but good GOD! Very early on, the game begins escalating the difficulty. It's a decent curve (well, except for the House of Toys; that shit could have been a late-game level) but it's also a very high curve. At its peak is the trio of "Nightmare Land" segments that honestly drove me bonkers. It almost felt like I was playing a weird cutesy version of Ninja Gaiden.

Oh hey, maybe we should talk about how Little Nemo plays. Well, you're some kid named Nemo having dreams and adventures in Slumberland. Your only offense is throwing an infinite supply of magical candy at monsters. Most of them are only stunned by it for a second or two, but then you have the friendly animals. You can actually feed them the candy, and after a few delicious sweets they fall asleep, allowing you to "ride" them and gain their special abilities. There's a frog that can jump high, a bee that can fly for a few moments, a lizard that can cling to walls.. it's one of those neat games where the goal isn't to run straight left to right, but to explore the stage and look for stuff; in this case, a set amount of keys needed to unlock the door at the end of the level. It demands a lot of looking around and using your head. Ride X monster, get one key! Use X monster to get yourself where you couldn't before, and now you can ride Y monster to get a second and third key! It's clever and it makes you feel clever when you finally get the sequence of events you're meant to clear the level with, and actually pull it off. Great action platformer, one of my new favorites. Oh, and I got better.

Clash At Demonhead (1989)

The second challenge of the aforementioned challenge thread.. but I actually beat the third challenge before this. It was Batman for the NES, but I played that game last year. IT'S A REALLY GOOD GAME THOUGH. But, by god, Clash At Demonhead! It was good enough for Bryan Lee O'Malley to shove a billion references to it in his little Scott Pilgrim comic book, but would it be good enough for me? Oh good god yes. I'd like to mention another stipulation of the challenge thread I played this because of. "Do your best to beat the game without using any walkthroughs!". I was still allowed to ask friends and the thread for hints, like any kid at school in 1989 probably would have done.. but when it came to playing the game itself and discovering its secrets, that was all up to me. Hey. Come here. I wanna show you something.

First of all you can stop snickering at the 30 year-old business that made my stationary. Just look at those! Every time Clash At Demonhead told me something important, I wrote it down. This is not only a testament to my ability to feel really cool and old-school by taking notes for 20 year-old action games on the NES. If I wrote this much about Clash At Demonhead, it shows that the game has a lot to say. The game world of Clash At Demonhead is actually pretty damn huge. You've got 43 interconnected "routes", and almost all of them have some secret for you to discover. As you run around each route, jumping and shooting, you'll more often than not discover some clue to lead you to something really neat. Whether it's an ally giving you helpful advice, or an enemy daring you to come to his fortress.. it's all information, and it all should be written down. Really, I mean that. I didn't write all that down just to be old-timey. Look at all the info that got dumped on me over the course of the game. That's way too damn much to keep straight in your head. Grab a pen, grab some paper, write that shit down. No foolin, though, this one's really really great. I love a good "exploration" platformer a la Zelda II or Castlevania II (THOSE ARE GOOD GAMES, I KEEP TELLING YOU THAT!) and Clash At Demonhead is no exception. You've got an actual plot with twists, great dialogue scenes, all sorts of secrets.. hell, there's multiple endings even. If you try it, give it a go without a walkthrough. Except I showed you the hints just now. Um.. shit.

Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts (1991)

Oh, now this was entirely an accident on my part. But a wonderful one. Those who followed the forums this summer probably watched my LP Summer Games competition. I won't go too much into the inspirations and stuff, but let's just say that it didn't go nearly as well as I had hoped. Sorry guys. Anyway, I was in charge of picking games for the contest, and for the final week I picked the most difficult (within reason) game I could think of. That happened to be Super Ghouls n' Ghosts. The inspiration for this mad quest actually came in April, when I went on a vacation. Looking out the window of a moving vehicle as we passed by rolling green hills, the first seeds of the Super Ghouls tree were planted. I decided to play the game. I wanted to beat it. Those April attempts didn't go so hot at all. So then we get to the LP Summer Games, and I try Super Ghouls out. Suddenly, things click for me. I'm... I'm doing good at this game?!? After the competition I kept playing it, advancing a little further each time I tried it. Then I beat it. Then I beat it again (and if you don't know that cute trick, where have you been all these years? I'll get to it.) and stared wide-eyed at my monitor. Holy shit. I just beat Super god damned Ghouls n' Ghosts. Then I beat it again on the GBA version.. just to make sure this wasn't a savestatey fluke. Then I started an LP of the game, and I beat it there too. THEN a good friend of mine (a very nice French lady) actually went and bought me the legit Super Nintendo cartridge. Guess what? I beat it on the console too. Oh, and in October I went back to the vacation place for a wedding and beat it again before going to the reception.

In case you couldn't tell I like this game a lot. Enough to beat it all those times. Part of me thinks it might be a video game form of Stockholm Syndrome.. but that's a different game. I might as well mention that one later. For now, Super Ghouls. No beating around the bush here; this game is fucking difficult and merciless and it doesn't like you all that much. Knight Arthur's quest to save the princess from evil is no easy feat. No matter what you do, two hits from enemies will kill you. You're committed to every jump you make, though you can do a double jump as well. The worst, though, has to be the enemies. They're strong, they're tough, and some of these bastards have the craziest movement patterns I've seen in a while. Red Arremer Ace you son of a bitch. Oh, and then there's the classic Ghosts n' Goblins trick where you need to play through the entire game twice to get the true ending. That second time around you need to beat the penultimate boss with the hardest to use weapon in the game. I hate that part. I despise that part. In fact, that October attempt? I checked my watch. Beating the next-to-last boss with the Goddess Bracelet took longer than it did to clear the six stages leading up to him. That's how much trouble I have on him. Despite all that, I kept coming back to Super Ghouls n' Ghosts. It's somewhat satisfying to beat this bad boy. I don't have it completely under my thumb or anything, but with some struggling I can clear it. So I guess if you want a really really challenging game, go for it. You'll swear a lot, but you'll learn through playing. Then get better. Then maybe even win.

Out OF This World (1991)

This one is also LP Summer Games related. At the end of it all, I gave the other winners a prize; their choice of LP done by me for their own entertainment. One was done privately for that person's eyes only, and I shall never reveal what it was, never ever! The other winner though.. Mr. Crono Maniac. He specifically requested that his choice be done for all eyes. The reason? He thought his game choice was really something, and wanted me to get its name out there so people would maybe try it out. So it was that I started playing Out Of This World. It belongs on this list, no contest and no nonsense. Funny that I tried to do a favor for Crono Maniac, but he ended up doing me a favor by having me play this game. Thank you very much, good sir. Oh my lord, where do I start with this one? Out Of This World (or Another World, as it's called in its native Europe) is quite simply a work of art. I don't know nothing 'bout no "games as art" stuff like Shadow Of The Colossus or Flower or whatever people yelled at Roger Ebert about that one time. Out Of This World, though, is a kind of art though.. I think. I really just have to sit back and admire what it's accomplished.. as well as its creator. Eric Chahi, who I can only assume is the most hard-working guy ever, made this game from scratch essentially on his own. It's got voxels or vectors or something like that. Point is, it looks really great and it's got a unique visual style that grabs you right away.

More than that, though, Out Of This World doesn't waste your time. There's nothing overly complex going on in this game. The opening cutscene sets it all up. You're a scientist named Lester. You're doing an experiment. The experiment goes wrong and you get teleported to another planet. The game begins, and you have but one goal driving you throughout the whole thing; Don't die. Easier said than done, though, because you're in a hostile unknown environment. One wrong move, and you're fucking dead. Try again. As you keep playing, you get the hang of how things go. You learn. You survive. It's not like controls are complicated, either. Run button, jump button, d-pad. Easy. Then there's the laser gun you get after beating the first section. Press the fire button (which is the run button, how 'bout that?), out comes a laser. One hit kills enemies, but they have lasers too. Hold the fire button down a bit, then! A little blue orb comes out of your gun. Release that, and it'll make a shield. You can protect yourself from lasers that way.. but the enemies can do that too! So that's when you charge your gun more, until a big blue orb comes out. That's a super laser. It'll break shields! Eric Chahi, you are a god damned genius. I don't have much more to say about Out Of This World. It's incredible and one of the best-designed games I've ever played. You have to play it. I'm serious.

Terraria (2011)

What? WHAAAT? A game that actually came out this year? Holy shit! The compromise is that the whole game looks like Final Fantasy V. Anyway. The backstory to this one is that one of my friends thought this game looked rad and that we all should play it together.. so he dusted off his credit card and bought it for all of us. This game. This fucking game, oh my lord. For a small time, it sucked me into its world and wouldn't let me go until I had finished most of the things to do. Now, Terraria gets a lot of comparison to that other minin'-and-buildin' indie game, Minecraft. I've never played Minecraft but I know lots of people who do play it.. and I know the differences between it and Terraria. It's more than "Terraria is 2D Minecraft". I've never played Minecraft, as I said, but the goal seems to be that there isn't really one. You get to do whatever you like, build a house, mine for minerals, then build anything you want. Giant replica of Pikachu? The earth itself? Penises as far as the eye can see? Minecraft allows all of this. Mind you, you can do all this in Terraria as well if you have the patience.. but there's a bit more.

Terraria's got a bit more of a killing things vibe to it. Of course, you only start the game with basic wooden gear. A pickaxe, an axe, and a sword. Use the pickaxe to mine the earth for stone, dirt, precious metal, what have you. Use the axe to cut down trees and get wood. Use the sword to kill the many enemies trying to murder you. Eventually you get enough stone and wood and stuff to make yourself a little house. Now you'll need to make stronger stuff. Metal pickaxes and axes and swords, as well as different weapons. That means going underground and mining for precious metals. Eventually you make your house bigger, adding more rooms and stuff. That brings more NPCs to your house. Shopkeepers, nurses, arms dealers.. you can use money you find to buy cool new stuff. So you can survive underground longer, to mine stuff. Then you upgrade your gear, get some armor, find some heart containers to increase your health.. and now you're kickass enough to take out some bosses. After that? You can mine all the way down to hell, and try to strip mine amidst pools of lava while demons everywhere try to make you dead. Explore a dungeon and get even more items. Delve into the deadly underground jungle. Hell, you could even find a city in the clouds if you're lucky. Oh, and this bad boy's multiplayer. So you can work together with friends to find cool stuff (or they can blow up your house like a smartass, GOD DAMN IT BLAZE). Terraria's constantly coming out with new updates and items and junk. It's worth the ten bucks, even if you haven't got anyone to play it with. But you can probably find someone to play with. Go mine stuff and kill things. It's fun.

The Binding Of Isaac (2011)

Whoa holy shit another game that came out this year! Alright, here's the deal. A year ago a friend got me Super Meat Boy when it was on sale. I played it then so it doesn't count for this, but that game is not too bad. I also suck at it and it enrages me within moments. This coming from a man who willingly beat Super Ghouls n' Ghosts. Anyway. The developers of Super Meat Boy came out with another game this year; The Binding Of Isaac. Not knowing anything about it beyond that it was good, I was given it by another friend. DO YOU SEE A TREND? PEOPLE LIKE TO BUY ME VIDEO GAMES! So, blindly I go into The Binding Of Isaac. I emerged ten minutes later with one question; "What the fuck?". Let me just say it now; The Binding Of Isaac is FUCKED. UP. You are a little crying child named Isaac trying to escape his bible-thumping mother who wants to sacrifice him to the lord. (Hell, I didn't know until just now that the game was literally named after the Biblical story of Abraham. WELL THEN!) Your main attack is crying at your enemies, in four directions. As you progress, the dungeon gets more and more disturbing, with freaky enemies and power-ups that mutate you into some stronger abomination. That's right kids, I said "dungeon". Binding Of Isaac is what you get when you throw Zelda and a roguelike into a blender. You only have a handful of floors compared to bigger roguelikes like Nethack or a Mysterious Dungeon game, but I think that helps the game. It's just the right size for a roguelike.. and yes, this IS a roguelike. AIN'T NO SAVES IN THIS ONE! YOU DIE, YOU'RE DEAD, START ALL OVER! The interface, though? Straight-up Zelda. Not just from the obvious visual cues, but there are shops in the dungeons, secrets that you can find by bombing walls.. it's a match made in heaven. Like any proper roguelike, you'll have good runs and bad runs. There are plenty of great powerups and upgrades to be found or bought in the game. Stuff to increase your rate of fire or how many tears you fire, extra bombs, tarot cards with various magical effects (much like scrolls in a proper roguelike).. hell, you can even make pacts with the devil to get stronger at the cost of losing heart containers. There's a lot to get in this game, and it all depends on the luck of the draw. Like Terraria, this game sucked me in. Before you know it, you've been playing for over an hour just exploring the floors, trying to find everything you can before moving further down. Hell, just writing about it makes me want to go back to it. OH GOD THE DISEASE IS SPREADING

Actraiser 2 (1993)

Today I am going to type words about Actraiser 2. Wait. Wait, hang on. ALREADY DID THAT! Sorry to be a repeat, but I didn't know I'd be writing this when I wrote that. Pop that open in another tab or something. Or read it then come back here. Whatever you want. I will add that my experience with Actraiser 2 is an eerie mirror to the Super Ghouls n' Ghosts one. I initially thought it impossible, but with persistence I was able to get competent at it and win. A well-earned victory. I don't own a copy yet but I've got my eye on one.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (2008)

Alright, I'm going to come clean with you. I haven't beaten this video game. But you know what? Fuck it. Doesn't say anywhere that I have to have beaten the game to write about it. Well, it'd help, I'm aware.. so just count this as a first impressions sort of deal if you want. My opinion is subject to change as I go through the game, but I doubt it'll alter too much with 9 hours in. Okay then. I don't have an eternal flame burning in my heart for Final Fantasy VII. No nostalgia here, I played that game like almost ten years after it came out. It was a good Final Fantasy, but the best game in all fucking existence it is not. Then comes this "Compilation of Final Fantasy VII" nonsense. Advent Children comes out, everyone is excited over an FF7 sequel movie. I don't like Advent Children at all. The last time I tried to watch it, I turned it off after ten minutes and put in The Hunt For Red October. Vastly superior movie, and this is in no way clever foreshadowing. Then there's a bunch of cell phone games or something to do with the Turks; did any of that shit even come out here? Maybe it was good for cell phone games. I don't know. Then we have Dirge of Cerberus, which happens after Advent Children and stars Broody McBroodface, Vincent Valentine. I've seen it played. It looks very silly and ridiculous and I do not wish to play it. So if I don't really like the rest of the Compilation, why would I play Crisis Core? Blind luck. I got a PSP a few weeks back, when I happened to be staying with a friend for a few days. I tried some of his games, and gave Crisis Core a shot because he had it and why not?

HOLY SHIT OH MY GOD THIS IS INCREDIBLE! Our protagonist has actual personality and is a smarmy cocky little scamp who I instantly become attached to. Yeah, this is a prequel and you're playing as Zack. Except he's got, you know, actual character! Holy hell it's a third person action game! Kind of like Shinobi but more like Kingdom Hearts! (again, no foreshadowing at all!) Jesus Christ this game is.. it's... really fucking good! Sadly I didn't get to play any more.. but when I got back I gushed to a friend who wouldn't stop talking about how good Crisis Core was.. and guess what? SHE BOUGHT IT FOR ME, BIG SURPRISE I KNOW RIGHT? I have good friends. This same person also bought me Kingdom Hearts, the first two, last year. Really good friends. So generous donations, good friends, now I get to play Crisis Core. Hooray for me! God, this game. This is the best thing to come out of Final Fantasy VII and its world. Hell, I think I like it more than Final Fantasy VII itself. What really helps it are the characters, I think. They have actual personality and charm instead of being all broody and morose.. which helps me, you know, give a shit. Plus it's an actual interesting game. Advent Children was just me watching people do Matrix-y bullshit for 90 minutes, Dirge of Cerberus wasn't a very good third-person shooter.. but Crisis Core nails it. Hackin' and slashin' at dudes with your sword, dodging their attacks.. and, since it's FF7 we're talking here, using Materia to do all kinds of stuff. Then you've got this thing.. a weird slot machine thing.. and when you match up numbers you get good things! Like levelling up your materia, or yourself, or matching three characters and getting a Limit Break to fuck the enemies right up. Oh, and there's SIDE MISSIONS. I've spent more time fucking around with those than I have with the actual story. Bottom line, this game's great and I hope it stays that way.

Well, that's twelve games for 2011. But I ain't done yet. I've got more honorable mentions that didn't quite make the cut, but I'd still like to talk about briefly. Okay, let's see.

Pokemon White (2011)

You stop smirking back there. I don't give no fucks. Pokemon games are fun as hell, and I've been playing them since the days of Red and Blue. They're addicting, too; when I get a new one, it'll be all I play for like a week. Just straight going through the world, catching cool little things to fight for me, slowly making them into a sextuplet of murder machines. Pokemon White is no exception. What's cool about this one is that, until you become the Pokemon League Champion, there aren't any of the previous older Pokemon to catch. You're encouraged to use the new guys they made for this game, and that's just what I did. This game also has an electric spider Pokemon. It is the new cutest Pokemon ever. Well, I enjoyed this one, and there's still lots of post-game stuff for me to go back to in it. Gotta catch em all.

The Hunt For Red October(1990)

Let's be straight with each other. No bullshit or big words to make me sound smart. This game is bad. You, the person reading this, will find little fun or enjoyment in this game. I don't suggest you should play it. You may wonder why I'm writing about it, then. The simple answer is because it was one of my most memorable games I played this year, because of the circumstances. See, I've got a friend (he didn't buy me the game, that's not how the story ends) who absolutely despises this game. One day we were talking about the good old NES and I joked "maybe I'll beat Hunt For Red October". Well, then he said I couldn't. He did more than that, he bet me I couldn't. A wager was made. If I could beat the game in one sitting, and record myself doing it.. he would purchase for me a genuine sonic screwdriver Wii Remote, based on the popular TV series "Doctor Who". That show is possibly my favorite show. The gauntlet was thrown, and I began playing the game. Three days later, I emerged the victor. The Hunt For Red October was bested. Hell, I even beat the game a second time on a stream. Oh, and that time? I was playing it on console. That's right, I bought the damn game. As a war trophy. I can look at it any time I want and say "You. Yeah, you. I beat you.". Lesson learned, kids; don't underestimate my fanboy love for Doctor Who. Unless it involves Battletoads, in which case FUCK YOU.

Shinobi (2002)

I picked up the PS2 Shinobi this year as well (for only FIVE BUCKS!). I have not beaten it, but it's got some pretty fast-paced action for one of them 3D hack and slashers. Tough, too. It picks you up and yells at you about how checkpoints are for babies. Move fast and kill things or else your sword will eat your life force. Kill them fast, stack up kills, make your sword stronger with the blood of your enemies. Oh, and god help you if you fall into a pit. YOUR ASS IS STARTING ALL OVER. I'll beat that water stage yet. This is fun and challenging. I like it.

Kingdom Hearts (2002)

Okay so the Crisis Core friend bought me these last year, but I only got around to beating the first one this year. Ah heh heh. It was pretty good, I thought. I think Crisis Core is a lot better because I like its protagonists more. Also so far I haven't had any laughs at CC's expense. Not so with Kingdom Hearts; there's some crazy silly melodrama going on. But it's a Square game, can I hold that against it? At least fighting was actually fun, HYAH HERE HUUUH HYAH HERE HUUUH HYAH HERE HUUH HYAH HERE HUUUH

Where was I? Oh. Yeah, it was fun. Really should play the sequel later, I've got it here. Or do I play that GBA one next? Or the PSP one, or the DS one, or... good god, Square, just make a Kingdom Hearts 3 already. Enough of this confusing side story nonsense.

Okay, I'm done. Go get a Coke or something, and goodbye 2011. See you all in what many crazy people call our last year on Earth. Then again the world was supposed to end twice in 2011 but it didn't. Right. Bye bye.

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