93 points, 7 votes
jon /via/ chi 2.0: For an ubiquitous app game, Angry Birds is incredibly designed and thoughtful.
Dayo: Do not not not understand the appeal of angry birds
HI DERE: Angry Birds is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too addictive
Autumn Almanac : Angry Birds is the sort of game you play out of compulsion, not necessarily for enjoyment.
Forksclovetofu: I’ve referred to Angry Birds as “the game non-gamers like” which i guess is sorta… gamist? Bottom line is that it’s a poor man’s Boom Blox with noxious sound design. I’ve not been able to play more than ten levels cause it bores the hell outta me.
Ledge: I played this a hell of a lot so i must have got some kind of enjoyment out of it… the birds are fun characters and it was a challenge to beat all the levels but ultimately i ended up frustrated, feeling like luck played too large a component in whether or not you got the pixel perfect placement necessary for gold starring a level.
JimD: I can’t explain why I haven’t got bored of this, because in a sense I was bored as soon as I started playing. It really doesn’t feel very different to any number of flash games that have gone before, but perhaps it’s one of those situations where the game is just a perfect fit for the format. Angry Birds is exactly the kind of non-game you want for a 15 minute train journey and that’s where most of my gaming happens these days. The constant drip feed of new levels is a plus too.
Polyphonic: I bought Angry Birds for some reason and regretted it immediately. So joyless.
ilxor: I’d be kidding myself to deny it: this game has its moments.
Zappi: Angry Birds is boring as hell, wtf people
39 points, 3 votes, 1 TOP GAME vote
Will M.: I feel weird voting for an old game first overall (one I may have voted for in the past) but this is finally the first version I’ve completed, and apparently, the best version (discluding its discluding of the epilogue) and goddamn if it didn’t actually rekindle my love for jRPGs. Not that any others will make me want to play like this did, but damn. 70 hours and I’m on my SECOND playthrough now.
if: Playing this for the first time after P4, there were a couple of spots where I could see how things were later improved on and there wasn’t the same novelty value to its social mechanics or its particular line in lightly gothic weirdness. Despite that, the actually interesting and likeable story and characters (ok, likeable apart from Junpei, but I guess that’s deliberate), the perfectly streamlined old school combat, and the endless options to spend your days as you choose and advance both stories and abilities as a result still make it stand out as a class apart from other JRPGs. There’s also still the fun of having one bizarro alternate world of Shadows and Personas (‘The Midnight Hour’) built on top of another bizarro alternate world where you get a day off school to respect your elders and getting high exam marks makes you more popular (‘Japan’).
Lamp: atlus’s persona 3 FES is a gothic-tinged rpg that came out in the waning days of the PS2. the player takes on the role of a silent, mysterious transfer student to a japanese high school. on your 1st night in your new dorm you and your housemates are attacked by a slinking inky mass of arms and faces called ‘shadows’. after shooting yourself in the head you summon an otherworldy spirit guide – classically allusioned and perfectly art-designed – to defeat the shadows & save yourself and your housemate. all of this takes place after about 35 minutes of introductory cut-scenes, expository dialogue and cryptic visitations.
so persona 3 divides its time btw the world of shadows & the day-to-day life of a japanese high school student. & as you make way through both of these worlds, studying for exams, building friendships, occasionally venturing into the shadowlands to defeat monsters and gain strength the two worlds begin to build inwards upon each other, permeating their counterparts in strange & unexpected ways. like twin peaks P3FES does an incredible job of portraying a mundane world that is constantly under threat from the unknowable & mysterious horrors that underlie our everyday world. but unlike twin peaks the ‘regular’ existence never feels like an afterthought, the pleasures of simply being in this world & the social link mechanic are equal to the pleasure of dungeon crawling & the story-driven mystery elements of the game that mostly take place in the hidden shadow world.
it seems kinda crazy that a part dungeon-crawler rpg part japanese dating sim game can be summed up using em forster’s famous maxim ‘only connect’ but persona 3 FES is above all about the longing for contact & the terror of isolation. its most meaningful moments take place in the spaces btw how we see ourselves & how the other characters see us. i think its a mistake to want the game’s dialogue trees and social interactions to function in the same way as they do in d&d-influenced western rpgs. in a western rpg the focus is on developing a character & so the best games give a sense of true possibility and naturalism. whereas with persona there is always a right answer, a correct path. the point isn’t to give the player a blank slate to write his intentions on, to chose a ‘good’ or ‘evil’ path & then make descions based upon your character’s intentions. in P3FES your character is a mirror held up to the npcs. you reflect their vanities & insecurities, their hopes & fears. and so the player is forced to consider them, who they are & at best you can understand and help that person. your goal, your job is to build relationships, not a character.
finally – finally! – the combat in P3FES is one of the most tactically interesting mechanic of any turn-based rpg. every npc is self-directed and their actions will often – frustratingly – shadow their reallife personalities. as battle leader you can give them directives but you cant control their actions perfectly. so combat begins to double the social link aspect of the game, you’re forced to predict the actions of your comrades to know their strengths & weaknesses & so to understand them as people. the difficulty of this makes what is a very grind-heavy game both more fraught and more engaging. never a game to miss an opportunity death literally haunts the game’s dungeon & his shadow is always present in P3FES. even regular combats are perilous & you will die. a lot.
the best that i can say for P3FES is that unlike almost any other game the memory of its events stayed with me. although its mechanically frustrating, overlong & exacting it manages to create a plausible, engrossing world like no game before or since.
20 points, 2 votes
Will M: Another game I sunk a zillion hours into (at last count, triple-digits) this year. The story’s stupid (but all videogame stories are). The battle system, though, is EXACTLY what I’ve been hoping for/trying to invent in my head for about a decade; a third-person turn-based strategy, like Gears of Jagged Alliance or something.
20 points, 2 votes
a passing spacecadet: “Play, create, share”. Uh, actually, it’s just a 2d platformer with a really unwieldy level editor. Which is fine by me, since I like 2d platformers. Game of the year? I’m sure it really shouldn’t be but it’s definitely the game I had most fun playing, new or old.
Autumn Almanac: Not as featureful as the PS3 version but just as much fun. That is, not terribly.
15 points, 1 vote
Euler: I loved Pure and Split/Second is like that but sorta more 2D until you start falling through the freeway because some wise guy decided to blow up half the board. It’s the first worthy Burnout 3 successor I’ve played, with just enough non-linearity to make it ~next gen~.
jjjusten: Oh man u guys, Split/Second fucking owns!
10 points, 2 votes
Captain Lorax: I’ll rep for any Ys game from Oath in Felghana onward. Ys has basically nailed the winning formula for top-down action-RPGs… and it’s more action than RPG. If you enjoyed the gameplay for A Link to The Past then you will like Ys games.
7 points, 1 vote
if: While there was decent humour in Half Minute Hero’s retro-parody style, the surprise was that it actually succeeded in being an excellent 8-bit RPG (or rather 50 8-bit RPGs) with all of the boring bits taken out.
goole: Thought this was TMI for a sec…
5 points, 1 vote
EZ Snappin: World Cup corrected the most broken bits of FIFA 10. Shame they broke new stuff in FIFA 11. Sold this, bought PES, am happier man.
Jeff LeVine: This seems unsurprisingly solid. Passing felt the same as it’s still easy to ping pong the ball along (at least with Real Madrid). Defense felt slightly better w/ additional jockeying for possession animations. Maybe minor improvements to the computer AI when they’re on offense? I didn’t like the factoids popping up on screen during the game. The only “major” difference I noticed was with throw-ins and goal kicks; they’ve gone back to a magic circle that you can’t move your player into, like in old PES – an improvement to the weird jerky animation that was going on there in the last few games, I guess.
Onimo: Kind of hard to keep control with this new 360 jostling thing – seems like anyone who gets close to my guy gets the ball. Are they trying to make it like real modern football where no-one dribbles anymore?
baaderonix: Ball dynamic feels very different; seems far too easy to steal the ball. The ballyhooed personality thing actually seemed noticable (eg. Barca playing in a Barca style).
Roberto Spiralli: If EA devises some bullshit for each year’s new FIFA they are WAY more interested in showing it off by shoving it in your face all the time than in whether it makes the game more or less fun to play; e.g. ball hitting the ref, defenders stopping and raising their arm instead of pursuing a through ball. OMG IT’S SO REALISTIC I AM DELIGHTED THAT HAPPENED WHAT FUN I AM HAVING NOW
cozen: I’m addicted. They’ve done a great job of making fatigue and stamina meaningful this year and having the star players play like stars. It still doesn’t quite have the ~soul~ or individuality of PES quite down but it’s getting there.