Final Thoughts from the Capsule Computers Crew
Dustin Spencer – Senior Editor
What a fantastic year for gaming. It seemed like each month had something new, which is why it was so hard to decide between all the nominees. My personal favorite this year was Kirby’s Return to Dream Land. Being a Kirby fan already, I waited patiently to see the pink fluff’s prominent return to the classic platforming we all know and love. Thankfully, we got that and more as not only did Return to Dream Land deliver in full, but Mass Attack came out of no where and became potentially one of the best titles on the DS period. 2012 marks Kirby’s 20th anniversary, so maybe we can see a nice pink celebration next year.
I also have to give it up to the Dragon Quest series. Dragon Quest VI was utterly fantastic and it was great to see Nintendo of all publishers bring it to the west in style and with full promotion. While not quite as popular, Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 offered a refreshing and upbeat scouting experience as well and definitely held me over until the release of Skyrim. Since then, it’s been nothing but trolls and dragons for this editor.
Luke Halliday – Senior Editor
So here I am, sitting in my trusty arm chair at peace with the world, a pot of tea brewing with the scent of Earl Grey filling the air, reminiscing of the year that was and trying to find the right words to encapsulate my year in gaming. There is so many words that could be said, but not enough to express every moment of joy that has come my way through the wonderful medium of gaming. Instead of subjecting you to trivial frivolities, I’d like to detail which game’s left a lasting effect on me this past year.
First and foremost I’d like to urge you to note that the following three titles are absolute gems of gaming and that I personally treasure each of them dearly. Those three games are Bastion, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Rayman Origins. Bastion and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations already won awards, so I won’t spend too much time on them. However they are both masterpieces of gaming, Bastion for its taking what would in anyone else’s hands be a mediocre title and making it a work of art and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations for revolutionizing video-game storytelling with such carefully crafted plotting that it might as well be literature (as a matter of fact, it now is).
Rayman Origins unfortunately did not win any awards from this year, which is honestly a crying shame. It is a game that not only changes how I view the platforming genre but also one that harkens back feelings of my youth, without becoming overly preachy or nostalgic. It is a game with a focus, that is to change the face of platforming games and it succeeds in every sense of the term. It like Bastion and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is more than a game, it is art.
All in all, it has been quite a year, one that will mark a turning point in the history of gaming, a turn towards ‘change’. Now, if you’d excuse me I have some Earl Grey tea waiting for me. See you in 2012.
Joshua Spudic – Editor
I love my handhelds, I really do. I own a Playstation Portable and I did get a little upset that one Playstation Portable game out of a fair few was nominated for Best Handheld. With that said, my favorite handheld title this year was Dissidia Duodecim Final Fantasy. It is the prequel of 2009’s Dissidia Final Fantasy and boy does the second game impresses. It builds upon the combat system from the first one while adding new elements, the biggest addition being the Assist System, where players can call upon another character to assist in battle, whether it is to continue an assault or avoid damage.
Adding to the already epic cast from the first game are Lightning (XIII), Kain (IV), Tifa (VII), Laguna (VIII), Yuna (X) and Vaan (XII) plus a few secret characters. On top of that, the visuals are excellent, hearing remixed versions of Uematsu-san’s classic tracks and the ability to create one’s own quest, this has to be the PSP’s best action, fighting and overall game in 2011.
Michael Irving – Editor
2011 in gaming was a little strange for me. I haven’t played much of the big releases, instead focusing on either retro games or downloadable titles. My retro kick included some classics like the Oddworld saga, Crash Bandicoot 1-3, Shadow of the Colossus, with last year’s Left 4 Dead 2 being my multiplayer game of choice.
Fantastic downloadable titles which have eaten a large chunk of my gaming time include Ms. Splosion Man, Adventures of Shuggy, Orcs Must Die, and Back to the Future. The 3DS Streetpass Quest mini-games had me hunting down fellow 3DS owners, and the AR card games turned our coffee table into a top hunting and fishing spot.
My favourite big release of 2011 was Portal 2, which was one of the best designed – and by far the funniest – game I have ever played. Strangely, although I intended to play through games like Deux Ex Human Revolution, Dead Island, Dead Space 2, LA Noire, and Skyrim, I either played them for only a few hours, or I still haven’t gotten around to buying them yet. There were just too many big ones for me to get around to. I’ll power through 2011’s impressive lineup in the new year, pushing 2012’s impressive lineup back a few months.
There’s just too much to catch up on, but that’s ok. It’s an exciting time to be a gamer!
Claire Phillips – Editor
SKYRIM. FAS DO RAH, arrow to the knee etc. With the obvious out of the way, the other games that made me a little bit happier inside and that I will keep in my library for years to come are:
Rayman Origins – Happiness condensed and put on a game disc, a much needed revival of 2D platforming in retail titles, and a beautiful nostalgia trip for someone who grew up on the original. I will make you play it.
The Blackwell Deception – Proved that great, character driven point and clicks still exist. You don’t need a ridiculous pixel count or millions of dollars to create something interesting and intelligent – just a lot of care and attention to detail.
Trackmania 2 Canyon – A quietly released but insanely fast title of pure arcade racing with one heck of a creativity filled community that produces some truly mind bending tracks. I can still get lost in this for hours, months and months down the line.
Portal 2 – I haven’t played it yet, but I know in my heart that it belongs here anyway.
Jed Bradshaw – Senior Editor
This year was a tremendous one for gamers. Undoubtedly, one of the most exciting occurences was all the sequels. Indeed, 2011 was dubbed “Year of the Sequel” by many, and although some cried out in dismay that there was a lack of new IPs, I found it interesting to see how each developer strove to outdo their previous efforts while at the same time trying to top other sequels from other developers. It was quite an eventful year and very exciting. Nearly every sequel was of top notch quality. I highly recommend Dance Central 2 if you have Kinect. For shooter fans, you can’t go wrong with Halo Anniversary or Section 8: Prejudice. Crysis 2 was also amazing. Back to the Future was a hilarious romp through a totally new story.
Nevertheless, there were some standout new games this year, as well as some awesome indie games. Child of Eden is an incredible game, as is Outland. James Silva’s Dishwasher: Dead Samurai was a great indie game of 2011, as was Nitronic Rush and Frozen Synapse. There were so many great moments that I wish we all had unlimited time to experience them all. I can’t wait to experience what 2012 will bring us!
Julien Durand – Editor
2011 has been a banner year for gamers. The quality available across so many genres and platforms was astounding; between great all-consuming games like FIFA 12 or Skyrim, or great exclusive experiences such as Gears of War 3 and Uncharted 3, there’s one game in my opinion which took the cake in being my favourite game of the year.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution puts players in a fascinating near-future setting, gives them amazing variety in how to upgrade and play with their character, and puts forth a story that made me seriously question my own opinion on the questions it raises. It is nothing short of a masterpiece, and on top of that, it’s a masterpiece that has a ridiculous amount of replayability, and I look forward to plaing it through again next year.
Matt Vella – Community Manager
My favorite game this year surprises even me! Temple Run from indie developer Imangi studios is one of the most addictive games I’ve ever played, and breaks multiple boundaries I never thought I’d see happen in my life. Temple Run never feels like a freemium game, as buying things with real life money is like purchasing a cheat code to help you advance and nothing more. Your never pressured to pay for anything and instead a smart upgrade system is included that actually encourages players to keep playing, rather than giving up or just buying their way to victory. So basically you get the whole experience for free. Furthermore, Temple Run solves a problem many titles face of loosing flavor as they go along by using an upgrade system that upgrades the levels rather than the character, motivating you to keep on playing. It’s an intelligent formula and in my opinion the greatest game of 2011 due to it’s innovative concept and addictive gameplay.
Other titles I believe deserve reorganization includes Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition on XBLA by modernizing the game with straight-to-Youtube uploading as well as online play, and also Super Mario 3D Land for reminding me just how damn fun the platforming genre can be.
Benjamin “Linkage” Webb – Editor
This year has been ana amazing year in gaming, in fact, I’d wager that it was probably the biggest year for sequels in history. For instance, this year saw, not just sequels, but huge continuations in giant franchises; such as Zelda, Battlefield and Elder Scrolls.
For me the biggest poiont in the year was the fact that there were two major Zelda games, the Ocarina of Time 3DS remake and the newly released Skyward Sword. I ABSOLUTELY loved what Skyward Sword has done to the Zelda mythos and am completely in awe by the amount of lore in the Zelda universe that has been updatred by this game.
Huge for Zelda, huge for me!
Phillip Federico – Editor in Chief
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, geeks of all ages and their nerd friends, 13 year old Call Of Duty players that don’t do anything else apart from n00b tube all day long, internet trolls and anyone else I might of forgot to mention.
What a year it has been, I honestly can’t believe the amount of amazing and unforgettable titles that were released. For all you hard core Duke Nukem fans out there we FINALLY got our hands on DUKE NUKEM FOREVER after 14 FRIKEN YEARS! It was time once again to kick a$$ and chew bubble gum, I thought I was never going to see this in my lifetime but I did and it was well worth the wait. We also got to experience another amazing chapter of Nathan Drakes’ adventures in Uncharted 3, which must I say was a complete pleasure to play through, not just for the gameplay aspect but for the outstanding storyline as well.
We also dabbled in a number of fantastic iPhone titles some of which were fun and very addictive casual titles such as like Jetpack Joyride and Temple Run to some hardcore titles such as Modern Combat 3, Order and Chaos, Infinity Blade II and my personal favorite The Bards Tale remake on iPAD.
Oh and how can I not forget to mention a little hand held device by the name of 3DS that made playing games such as Mario World and Zelda Orarina of Time in 3D without the use glasses a reality for millions and millions of people worldwide. Also the highly addictive street pass feature built into the system had me at hello as soon as I encountered my first mii walking down the street. To this day I still take my 3DS with me everywhere I go, as you never know who you might meet down the street.
We finally saw a few chapters close on certain games/characters, we said goodbye to our good friend and deadly Italian assassin, Ezio Auditore da Firenze in Assassin’s Creed Revelations, which actually brought a tear to my eye when the final credits rolled. Another chapter that sadly closed was one of my most anticipated titles of the year – Gears Of War 3. If anyone knows me, I was extremely excited to get my hands on Gears 3, all I did in the weeks prior to it’s release was walk around the office with my Lancer in hands making revving chainsaw noises and yelling out “I’M IN THE ZONE BABY” & “SCRATCH ONE GRUB”. When I finally got to sit down and play it Gears made me happy, sad and pissed all the same time, I didn’t want it to end but when it did it completed me in every possible way, now I can sleep happy at nights knowing that Marcus Fenix has a full head of hair and isn’t bald like me.
Anyway, I could go on and on and talk about 50 other amazing titles released this year but I don’t want to bore you any further, so to every publisher / developer out there that we had the honor of playing, testing and reviewing your titles – we thank you and salute you and wish you all the very best of luck in the year 2012. Thank you and we are looking forward to everything you have coming in 2012.