Year of the Games: May 2011

One interesting thing about this series is how it makes you notice trends you didn’t before. For example, May seems full of games that flew under the radar or fizzled, with one notable exception.

Thor – A crappy licensed movie tie-in game? You don’t say.

Gatling Gears – The dual-stick shooter has been done to death, but adding a cool mech aesthetic and upgrades made this stand out as a fun diversion in an otherwise pretty dull month.

Radiangames Ballistic, Fireball, Fluid – To be honest, these all blend together for me. Radiangames makes really great shooters. They just make so many of them. But give one a try, they tend to just cost a buck anyway.

Brink – I know this game has its fans, but it just felt so obtuse to me. I loved the art style and I like class-based shooters, so I wanted to get into it, but it did a pretty poor job of introducing the mechanics organically. Oh well, it was a rental at any rate.

Lego Pirates of the Caribbean – Lego games put me to sleep. The latter two Pirates movies put me to sleep. These things are charming as they can be, but ever since the first Star Wars game I keep feeling deja vu.

LA Noire – If I had actually written these impressions during the month, I’d be loving this game. But I wouldn’t have been all the way through, since I forced myself to take it slow, and then lost interest. It’s overlong, the interrogation tonal shifts are jarring, and the plot feels disconnected. The facial animation has amazing implications for adventure games, especially when tasked with scanning a person’s face for lies. But those advances weren’t enough to make this more enjoyable on the whole.

Tomorrow: June. Will Duke Nukem Forever beat Ocarina of Time as the best game released in the month? Find out the answer…

… right now. No. The answer is no.

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