Bastion – I LOVE this game. I can’t believe it took me so long to play it. I’ve owned it for a couple years, I just never started it because I knew I had to listen due to the narration (I couldn’t watch TV at the same time). But wow is it good. The game is fun, it’s not overly complex, but it’s a perfect level of gameplay for enjoying the rest. And the rest is beautiful. The art is beautiful. The music is fantastic, reminds me of Firefly. The story is so cool, I love the end and the implications for new game plus. It is downright a nearly perfect game, I don’t know what I would change. I love Skyrim, but it’s a marathon, I loved it over 26 miles. I love it intellectually and in the way that you compulsively play it for hours. But I love this game in an emotional way, it was such a joy. This game is a perfect beautiful sprint; I suppose I could go play new game plus and get achievements and all that to drag it out, but it was great just like that.
The Last of Us – What is so astounding about this game is how great it is, despite being so normal. There’s nothing new here with the story. Zombie apocalypse, mcguffin potential cure, survive the zombies, survive the humans, make it through, same ole same ole. The gameplay isn’t anything to be excited about, it’s just Uncharted, except less-so because there’s no climbing stuff (not that that was that great). It’s not bad, it’s fun to play, but it’s nothing new (and aiming a gun with analog sticks is terrible). I guess the stealth is fun, and certainly preferable to trying to aim, but in the end not new. Yet, this game is amazing. It is just so freaking well done. The voice acting is better than any other game, ever. The facial animations are fantastic. Now, the words rarely match the mouths, which is really distracting and almost ruins the whole thing. But if you watch the eyes or something instead, it’s totally believable. The relationship between the two is probably the most honest I’ve seen in any video game, and in most of media. Despite being a totally normal story, I was captivated and couldn't wait to see what happened next. Pretty great.
Darksiders – I don’t know what took me so long with this game. I played an hour of it probably 2 years ago and I just never picked it up again. It’s fun, though. It’s just a god of war game, except with christian mythology instead of greek. But hey, christian mythology is actually really cool, as long as you aren’t talking to someone who thinks it actually happened. So you go around beating the shit out of various creatures, ripping their wings off (a la GoW), chopping their heads of (a la GoW), splitting them in half (I think you get it). You get a powers/weapons as you go, get to go new places (a la.. wait for it, Metroid. Ha, didn’t see that coming). Eventually you kill the bad guy. It’s all pretty fun, looks pretty good given that it’s 4 years old (on PC anyway). I’ll certainly play the sequel when it goes on sale.
Bully – I’m pretty impressed with this game, even though I didn’t have a ton of fun. It is essentially GTA in boarding school. The impressive aspect is it’s not just a skin, they did rethink aspects of the gameplay to fit the context. A lot of it is still in common, but it doesn’t just feel like GTA with kids. The class stuff is cool too. It’s an old game, so it looks pretty ass-y, but it isn’t its fault that I took so long to play it. In the end, I don’t find the game to be a lot of fun. At least half the point of GTA is mayhem, and there’s none of that in this game. You can start a fight, but it won’t really go anywhere. You can’t really fight the authorities. You can’t steal a tank and roll down the hallways. The very reasonable limitations of the game – no killing, class schedule, no fighting cops, etc – make the game restrictive and kinda sleepy. I still liked it, the story was fine I guess, I just got kind of bored pretty quick and wanted to get through it.