Tuesday, July 31, 2012
7/31/2012 04:38:00 PM Battle Vs Chess , Daggerdale , Dungeons and Dragons , Fortune Street , Lollipop Chainsaw , Ninja Gaiden , Pandoras Tower , Rainbow Moon , Shinobido , Top 10 , Warlock Master of the Arcane
There’s also been a few genuine surprises. Games I really did not expect to be worthwhile when I started playing. Games I often expected to suck, but games I ended up loving.
Below are ten games released this year that turned out to be far better than the hype behind them suggested they would become. Click on the links to read Digitally Downloaded's full reviews (and thoughts) on these games.
Naturally I’m suspicious of any game I haven’t heard of prior to release – if it’s that great why wasn’t there a greater marketing campaign behind it? Luckily for me I took a risk and downloaded it anyway, because this is one of the most addictive grindfests I’ve played in years.
Battle Vs. Chess
Battle Vs. Chess turned that notion on its head. Here is a game with reasonably challenging AI and some really great alternative ways to play Chess. I play a lot of Chess games. This one somehow managed to land at the top, against all odds.
Boom Street (Fortune Street)
Luckily it turned out to be one of the deepest Monopoly clones you’re ever going to find.
But it was. Pandora’s Tower has the most breathtaking, heartfelt plot in a game that I’ve ever experienced and I lost a lot of that thanks to a weak understanding of Japanese. And now Pandora’s Tower us up there with my favourite Wii games of all.
So I was more than pleasantly surprised when I realised that Lollipop Chainsaw was a fine example of post-modernism self-referential plotting. Everything about the lead character, Juliet, is empowered, intelligent and genuinely funny.
Oh, and the game is pretty wild too.
Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen
Following on from the PSP game, I really didn’t expect the improvement that we saw in this game. I’ve got my fingers crossed for a third game, because I really think it could go places.
Farming Simulator 2012
Luckily the opposite was true. There is something therapeutic from the game’s casual pace and travelling around an environment that looks a little like a model diorama.
The best comparison I can have to this game is the model train hobby. To most people it seems quite dull, but for the niche, there’s something compelling about the abstract recreation of the life of a farmer.
Ninja Gaiden 3
But it wasn’t. It is simply misunderstood – likely because of the name. People expected a hardcore, difficult game thanks to that “Ninja Gaiden” name. What they got was a graceful, elegant study in movement that was more about the spectacle than the challenge.
Which played right into the kind of game I like to play. I think this is the game where my personal opinion has differed the most to the game’s critical and mass-market opinion.
Warlock: Master of the Arcane
Considering how good Civilization V is, being an inferior clone is not really a good place to be. Thankfully, Warlock was more than a mere clone of the strategy giant. It shared some similarities, yes, but at the time time it had a soul and personality of its own, and thanks to some superb balancing, it was a great game to play in its own right.
Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale
And that’s at for me, time to turn it over to the comments – have you ever started playing a game you expected to be quite bad, and then discovered that you actually quite enjoyed it? Let us know!