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Quarterly Report: Part I

Welcome to the Xbox Team’s new feature that myself, Jay
Malone, will post every three months. In this, I’ll discuss the games released
in the past three months (the months being January, February, and March in this
installment), specifically the games’ quality, and at the end make a list of the top 5
Xbox games of 2011 so far. Now I know not everyone cares about my opinion so to
get readers a bit more involved, I want you all to comment with your own current
top 5. If you haven’t played 5 Xbox 360 games, just list the ones you have
played, as long as you enjoyed them. And then at the end of the year, I will add
up all the games mentioned in the comments section and we’ll have an official
Player Affinity fan voted Xbox 360 Game of the Year. And hell, while you’re here,
mention some games you’re anticipating in 2011. Let’s get started, shall we?

As almost all January’s are, there weren’t many notable
games released. But one cute little puzzler did pop its head out and demand
attention. Upon the glorious ilomilo’s release, it mesmerized critics and
average gamers alike with its adorable charm and mind-bending puzzles. Some
could argue that ilomilo came out in 2010 because of the fact that you could
achieve a full download code by jumping through some hoops on the ilomilo
website, but it was not officially released until January 4th on Xbox Live.

While ilomilo is fun and all, without a doubt the biggest
release in January was the horrifying Dead Space 2. Featuring a captivating
story, solid characters, and controller-clenching scares, Dead Space 2 is a
game to remember. The most memorable sections of that game definitely happen in
the final hour, including the perfectly done ending that featured a satisfying
call back to the original Dead Space.

 

February featured a few flops from games such as Test Drive
Unlimited 2
and de Blob 2 but it was an overall decent month for video games. It had
everything from the crazy fighting game to the small, enjoyable downloadable
experience. And then there was Bulletstorm, which is in some nonexistent
category of bat shit craziness. Bulletstorm threw (or should I say tethered? No
I shouldn’t) a ton of enemies, a ridiculous yet surprisingly enjoyable story,
and most important of all, gameplay mechanics that keep Bulletstorm from
feeling like just another Call of Duty clone.

The biggest shocker to be released in the first three months
is by far You Don’t Know Jack. A trivia game based off the old trivia games
that came out of nowhere and made everyone burst out laughing in the process.
The wacky announcing by Cookie Masterson and the even wackier writing in You
Don’t Know Jack
are just a few of the reasons you should whip out You Don’t
Know Jack
at every party you go to.

Sadly, I’m not the biggest fighting game fan. I enjoy the
concept but it is way too hard to break into them. I definitely tried with
Marvel vs. Capcom but failed every single time which resulted in obvious
frustration. Stacking, though. Man did I
love that game. It was so unique yet accessible to almost anybody because of
the nice addition of the quest hint system that would help both the 20-somethings
and small children navigate through its many puzzles while still remaining very
entertaining for both.

Speaking of great games, Dragon Age II was the first big
release in March (landing on the eighth). 
Where the first Dragon Age seemed to lack, Dragon Age II does not. It
fixed nearly all of the terrible UI issues from the first game and even innovated
on the already fine combat. Dragon Age II sadly had quite a few bugs that held
it back from being incredible but it’s still a damn good game.

 

You may all be getting slightly spoiled by these great
games; don’t worry though, because then Homefront arrived. Homefront was
anticipated by many but seemed to be enjoyed by mostly none. The multiplayer is
fun for a few days but the single-player is a jumbled mess. While March was
definitely a good month for gaming, there always has to be a nasty raisin in
the glorious cake. Homefront is the raisin in this March cake.

The week after that raisin we got Crysis 2, the much
anticipated Crytek shooter that was thankfully coming to the Xbox 360 this time
around, as its predecessor only released on PC and was known for being an
incredibly hard game to run. Sadly, Crysis 2 seems to be no more than just
another shooter. It has a few interesting concepts such as the stealth sections
in the single-player but it’s dragged down by the abysmal frame rate and
lackluster story. Crysis 2 was a competent enough shooter, but in 2011, we want
more than just another competent shooter.

Now, without further ado, here are the top 5 games of 2011
so far:

5. You Don’t Know Jack

4. Bulletstorm


3. Dragon Age 2


2. Stacking


1. Dead Space 2

What are your favorite games of 2011 so far? Disagree with
one of my opinions? Sound off in the comments below
!

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