Wednesday, January 4, 2012

EXP Podcast #154: 2011 Games of the Year

It's that time of the year again, folks: time to pick our game of the year! Jorge and I could never pick just one (or could we...?), so we each pick three of our favorite games from 2011 and talk about what makes them great. It was a great year, if I do say so myself, and our lists reflect the many diverse and memorable titles released over the past year. Of course, we don't come close to discussing all the great games of 2011, so we're looking forward to hearing your favorites in the comments! Happy New Year and thanks for listening!

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Show notes:

SPOILER WARNING: Our picks are included below

Jorge's Games of the Year:

Portal 2

Scott's Games of the Year:

don't take it personally, babe, it just ain't your story
Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars
Portal 2

- Run time: 34 min 53 sec
- Music provided by Brad Sucks


  1. My game of the year this year was Xenoblade Chronicles. It consumed me. Since August I have spent over 250 hours playing it. Gah!

    Xenoblade Chronicles was a game that compelled me to reassess what it means for a game to be a JRPG (it also got me to dust off my Wii, haha). It points to a bold future for the genre while, at the same time, nodding with respect towards the past. Xenoblade provides a whole world to interact with and explore, removing boundaries and convenient game design choices for the sake of fun and immersion. It's a towering triumph in so many respects. When it comes stateside this Spring you guys should definately give it a look!

  2. 250 hours! That's amazing.

    What you say about it sounds really interesting. It makes me sad to think that most people will pass it up, since the Wii is in its twilight year.

    By the way, was this the game that originally wasn't supposed to come to the U.S.?

  3. Yeah, up until recently NOA kept quiet and never declared a release date. Now it should come out in the US in April.

  4. Portal 2 is also my game of the year. Mostly because it was the one game that had me never wishing it was something else or did something else or did NOT do something.
    It's cleverly written, it's highly polished, the gameplay is expanded in meaningful ways and it's just the right length.
    However, as much fun as I had with it, it's only at this position due to the other games I've played this year being more or less disappointing in some way. Dead Space 2 had the terrible last chapter. I kept wishing LA Noire had more Mass Effect dialog trees and less GTA in it. The Witcher 2 kept screwing things up with badly signposted bossfights. Deus Ex Human Revolution did pretty much the same thing, only much worse. Skyrim was a fucking mess because I chose last minute to go for the PS3 version - but that's not all, the way I played the game left me with a character that totally broke the autoscaling. Portal 2 left me with... No disappointment anywhere close to these. Sure the puzzles could allow for a bit more experimentation. But that's pretty much all the criticism I have. It's this year's best overall experience presented in a tight package. And in a year as weak as 2011 was, that's all it takes.

  5. Thank you for another great year of podcasts! I have really enjoyed the Indiecasts, and I find it great that this episode's games of the year are 50% indie titles. I really enjoyed trying out many of the indie titles you recommended. My favorites of the indie games I tried from this year (in no particular order) thanks to Experience Points?

    - Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure
    - Trauma
    - don't take it personally, babe, it just ain't your story
    - The Cat and the Coup

    Inspired by the podcast, I also tried Braid, and "And Yet it Moves" - both of which I found rewarding.

    Thanks so much for bringing the indie games into the podcasts! Excellent choices of games to include!

  6. Pretty interesting summation of 2011: lots of good games, many of which marred by oversights and mistakes.

    Not to be too much of a downer, but this seems indicative of a larger trend in the industry: an emphasis on quantity or variety over quality, charging money for clearly broken games, incongruous design choices...

    Maybe 2012 is the year where everyone reins it in and focuses more on depth rather than scope?

  7. And thank you for listening, as well as the kind words!

    I'm glad we were able to spread the word about those games. Some of my favorite experiences from last year were of the unexpected and indie variety, so it's nice to hear others giving them a shot as well.