Top 10 Games of This Generation – Honourable Mention: Grand Theft Auto V

I never understood the insanely high praise that Grand Theft Auto IV got from critics. Sure, it was a great game for its time, but I had some fundamental issues with its story and gameplay that stop me from calling it a masterpiece. I wasn’t much of a Niko Belic fan, whose empty words about chasing the American Dream meant nothing when his in-game actions reflected those of a cold-hearted sociopath. I thought the game’s story took too long to ramp up. I also hated driving in that game, as all of the cars were a nightmare to steer with any sort of precision.

Grand Theft Auto V goes well beyond simply addressing those faults to provides an experience that’s incredible in scope and detail.
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Top 10 Games of This Console Generation – Honourable Mention – Portal

(Original Review)

Portal and I didn’t get off on the right foot. My first encounter with it happened in the middle of my brother’s playthrough, where he was already halfway in. I picked up the controller just to try it out. Sure, the concept of creating and traveling through portals was immediately alluring, but I couldn’t have solved that level if my life depended on it. Based on that, I figured that I would always be too dumb for it.

Had I not watched my girlfriend play it from the beginning, I probably wouldn’t have given it a second chance. What a shame that would have been had I gone any longer without it.

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Top 10 Games of This Generation – Honourable Mention: Heavy Rain

“Silly Jett. Games are for kids!”

Though not expressed in those exact words, this is the stance my dad has taken on video games for many years. Though he spent much of his teenage years playing arcade games, and watched me grow up with the medium, he never understood why I’ve held on for as long as I have. The reality now, is that people don’t grow out of games, and games have started to grow up with us. Heavy Rain is a great example of the latter.

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Top 10 Games of This Generation – Honourable Mention – Batman: Arkham City

(Original Review)

Batman: Arkham Asylum surprised the world. Expectations for licensed superhero games were at an all-time low, and this was far from the usual crap. For many (myself included), Arkham Asylum was a legitimate game of the year contender. Instead of falling into the sophomore jinx, Batman: Arkham City builds upon a solid foundation to create the pinnacle superhero game.

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Top 10 Games Of This Generation – Honourable Mention – Gears of War 3

(Original Review)

If this was a list of the most influential games of this generation, the original Gears of War could very well take the #1 spot. It’s take on the third person shooter and cover mechanics became the blueprint for third person action games. However, despite enjoying it enough to beat the campaign 3 separate times (including on insane difficulty), I felt like that game was rough around the edges. Some of the action outside of its core mechanics felt sloppy, the last boss encounter wasn’t fun or satisfying and its dumb story felt tacked solely as a means of justifying the gameplay scenarios rather than being integrated at a root level.

Gears of War 3 cleans up all of the mistakes of its predecessors to finally reach the franchise’s full potential.

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Top 10 Games Of This Generation – Honourable Mention – Injustice: Gods Among Us

(Original Review)

Injustice: Gods Among Us won me over long before it came out. At Fan Expo 2012, I got to play an early build of the game featuring only Batman and The Flash. Though I didn’t have very long to play it, something about it just felt right. More right than even the Mortal Kombat reboot, which I also really enjoyed.

What I did not anticipate was how far down the Injustice rabbit hole I’d go. Having played virtually every major fighting game released this generation (most of which are good), most of them just fall out of my rotation while I continue to play the same old Street Fighter and Marvel. But once this game hit, I couldn’t put it down.

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Top 10 Games of This Generation – Honourable Mention: Mark of the Ninja

(Original Review)

I hate stealth games. I hate the myriad of artificial fail states that oftentimes come with it. I hate the oftentimes fake openness that really boils down to 1 or 2 options you may have at any given point. I hate the trial-and-error nature of the gameplay. I even hate the very conceit of stealth in video games. When i play a video game, I want the power fantasy. In most stealth games, you feel like a weakling who has no other means of getting through a scenario.

I hate stealth games, but I love Mark of the Ninja.

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Top 10 Games Of This Generation – Honourable Mention – Tomb Raider


(Original Review)

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve held a lifelong disdain towards the Tomb Raider franchise. At the time, I hated the fact that it played a major role in gamers adopting the PlayStation One in droves, which did not sit well with my Nintendo fanboy self. I also just thought that the few experiences I had with a few of the games in the series didn’t strike me as anything interesting or special. The last time I tried to play a Tomb Raider game was Legend on the Xbox 360, which I grew bored of after an hour of playing the demo.

Regardless of the validity of my claims against the Lara of yesteryear, they don’t apply here. The new Tomb Raider is awesome.

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Top 10 Games of This Generation – Honourable Mention: Left 4 Dead

Unlike many a gamer, who had no shortage of fond memories with Valve games, their catalogue of work was alien to me until Left 4 Dead. As an active avoider of PC gaming, I missed out on Half Life and Team Fortress completely, while being years late to Portal. Thankfully, I was there on day one for Left 4 Dead.

On a whim before the game’s release, I downloaded the demo on Xbox Live. I was not ready for the awesomeness that would ensue.

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