Richard Lanci | Staff Writer
The year 2011 saw the arrival of quite a stellar and interesting lineup of games. It started on Valentine’s Day with a long awaited comeback, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. Fans had requested the game for a decade, and while some considered it a disappointment, it was a generally well-received game. It released a controversial expansion pack in November that fixed some of the problems. Nevertheless, while the game could’ve used more content, the gameplay itself was very fun and the roster was far more interesting than the previous entry.
Nintendo released its new portable, the Nintendo 3DS. As the name suggests, the device featured the ability to switch to 3D graphics- a huge improvement from the Nintendo DS’s graphics. Unfortunately, the 3DS had a rough start due to the $250 price tag and the lack of first party support for Nintendo. The 3DS handheld is picking up speed though, thanks to the decision late in the summer to reduce the price to $150. Of course, more actual Nintendo made games like Mario Kart 7 and bigger sequels/prequels from big game series such as Resident Evil: Revelations have also helped increase its popularity. Overall, the 3DS is actually a better start than the PSP or even the original DS. People just expected more for such a large price.
Then of course there were great fall releases. The year went out with a bang. One prime example is the sequel to the most successful comic book super hero video game, Batman: Arkham Asylum, which is none other than Batman: Arkham City. Arkham City took practically everything about Arkham Asylum and improved upon it, such as a free roaming city, more playable characters, more and better boss battles, and re-spawning enemies to beat up on. Most critics agreed that is not only the best superhero game of all time, but also the best licensed game of all time.
Then The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim came into play. Skyrim hooks its players. It’s so engaging, with so many options, and possibly the biggest world in any video game, that you can’t help but play it for hours on end. And these two blockbusters were only the tip of the iceberg of great games that came out in the fall of 2011.
Now as for the year 2012, many big sequels and spin-offs are on the rise this year. Look forward to Resident Evil 6 and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Resident Evil 6 takes place 10 years after Resident Evil 2-3, and for the first time features the two biggest protagonists, Chris Redfield and Leon Kennedy, in the same game. While many fans are heavily anticipating it, others think it’s continuing to stray too far away from the original survival horror genre of the old school Resident Evil games and becoming too much like an action/shooter game. Game enthusiasts are left wondering how the evolution of the game will influence sales.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is an even more controversial new entry into its series. Even though it’s only a spin-off, unlike Resident Evil 6, and features the secondary main character of the series, Raiden, many fans feel this plot also strays too far from its original genre of being a stealth game. Originally it was supposed to be a bit of stealth and action, but the company that makes MGS games, Konami, couldn’t find a way to make it work. So they handed it over to Platinum games. While the original idea is better, this new form of the game is certainly better than nothing.
Hopefully the upcoming games will do well, and players will learn to accept the changes of a constantly evolving gaming world. Check the A&E section of the Gleaner next week for a review of the first big fighting game of the year: Soul Calibur V!