the artistry and psychology of gaming


Top 10 Games of November

Top 10 Games of November

Again a new month, and again with the list of the best upcoming games of that month! Enjoy!

#10: Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Another Capcom crossover game, and an updated version of the previous game Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. Since Fujima disaster disrupted the DLC release of that game the company packed them all together in one and is going to release them as a stand-alone game. Since this is not a real new game it’s not much different from its predecessor, the gameplay, the graphics and the overall feel of the game will be exactly the same. Small changes are introduced, of course. “Heroes and Heralds” is a new single-player and multiplayer, team-based mode where players earn new abilities with upgrade cards, customize their characters with new powers, and compete in groups as either the Heroes defending Earth or as one of Galactus’ Heralds. Also, there are some new characters introduced: From Marvel universe: Dr. Strange, Ghost Rider, Hawkeye, Iron Fist, Nova, and Rocket Raccoon, and from Capcom universe we have Firebrand, Frank West, Phoenix Wright, Strider Hiryu, and Vergil.

Although the new characters are interesting and weird, I myself wouldn’t spend money on this game as it seems a bit of lazy video game making to me.

#9: The Lord of the Rings: War in the North

The fascinating universe of J. R. R. Tolkien has been a great source for video games for years now, although no game has yet fulfilled the promise this universe offers. Will this one be the great game Tolkien fans are hoping for? (I don’t think so). This one is an RPG. It is based on the events taking place in the northern regions of Middle-earth in the background of the main story of the canon universe. You will be able to control a hero of the war in the north, all three specific to the game. It’s probably going to be a game heavily drawing from BioWare style, as you can upgrade your skills, customize your characters and have dialogues in a fashion similar to the games of that company. You can play as a single player, while AI will control your friends and you can still issue commands to them, or you can play co-op. You have three classes which have different gameplay.

I’m a huge fan of both LOTR universe and WRPGs. So I can’t resist the mixture! I’m buying it!

#8: Saints Row: The Third

The third installment of the GTA-clone series. In the fictional city of Steelport you are the leader of a criminal gang called Saints and you have to fight for supremacy against the rival gang the Syndicate. Your gang, due to the events of the second game, is now nationally famous and people love you for some inexplicable reason. The police try to crack you down and arrest you and in prison you find out that the Syndicate is the part of a massive conspiracy including banks and police and controls them. The Syndicate gains full control of your city and now you move to a new one and start from scratch. The storylines between the gangs are interconnected, and decisions that you make may alter the behavior of the other factions towards the player or missions that may be available later. The game would be completely open-ended and non-linear, the majority of storyline missions can be completed in multiple ways, and the decisions that you make on these missions will ultimately affect the game’s ending. Apart from these, the game will be similar to its predecessors, so if you’re a fan of the genre or the previous games, try this one out.

#7: Sonic Generations

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, this game and was releasedin North America on November 1, and it will be released November 4, 2011 in Europe and for PC Download, and in Japan on December 1, 2011. Quoting Wikipedia:

“As Sonic celebrates his birthday with his friends, a mysterious new enemy called the Time Eater appears, sucking everyone through various ‘time holes’ and scattering them across different places in Sonic’s history. As Sonic searches for his friends, he ends up meeting his old self, Classic Sonic. Both Modern and Classic Sonic decide to collaborate and race through their history in order to save their friends and fix the time stream. […] The game features levels derived from 20 years of Sonic history, spreading across three eras: Classic, Dreamcast and Modern, which are played as either Classic Sonic or Modern Sonic. Classic Sonic’s levels are strictly two dimensional side scrolling stages, using classic moves like the Spin Attack and Spin Dash, while Modern Sonic’s levels follow a gameplay style similar to more recent entries in the series.”

So, for the Sonic and Sega fans, this is going to be porn, while others might find it entertaining too. I’m buying this one as well.

#6: Super Mario 3D Land

No Nintendo console is complete without a Mario platformer, and this one is for 3DS. Shigeru Miyamoto describes this game as a “3D Mario that plays as a 2D Mario game.” The game combines the elements of traditional side-scrolling Mario titles, such as linear-based levels, with those of the modern open world Mario titles, such as moving Mario in three dimensions and performing a variety of actions. Similar to the classic side-scrolling Mario games, the objective of each level is to reach and grab the flagpole located at the end before the time limit expires. Many elements of the traditional Marios will such as shrinking when receiving damage, and eating mushrooms and getting large, along with new power-ups. Some unique features of the new console are used, such as autostereoscopic technology, allowing you to perceive depth when viewing the game screen. While the game is designed to not require the 3D effect, some obstacles or points of interest are deliberately more noticeable or easier when the 3D is switched on, and also gyroscope for binoculars that allow players to search for Toads and earn additional power ups.The game will also feature StreetPass functionality, allowing players to exchange mystery boxes containing bonus items.

So, this also looks a lot like Sonic Generations. Cool, two games with a similar philosophy. However, you have to buy the stupid handheld.

#5: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

If Naughty Dog created the symbol of PS2 (Crash), it also created the symbol of PS3 (Nathan Drake). Nathan Drake is the Indiana Jones of video gaming, the Lara Croft of men, and the main protagonist of the one of the most critically and commercially successful games of all times. So, undoubtedly the eyes will be mixed on this new sequel. Since this game has already been released in most countries we can read the multiple reviews to find out if we like it or not. Metacritic gives the game a ranking of 93/100 out of 54 reviews and the game has received universal critical acclaim. The graphics have evolved since the second game, and the plot seems to be interesting and tense.

All this makes this game a must-try.

#4: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

I personally have disliked this series since they’ve become so insanely popular but one cannot deny the fact that any new CoD is at least a commercial event (and once it was a gaming event too). A direct sequel to Modern Warfare 2, and the eighth Call of Duty installment will most likely boom the market like its previous titles and it will feature great graphics and sound but will appeal to gamers with a taste for real gameplay? We will see to that, but I’m not optimist. I’ve put together the following from Wikipedia:

“The game will immediately follow the events of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, where the Russian Federation continues its invasion of the United States of America, and has also expanded its offensive to Europe, including England, France and Germany. Campaign stages are also planned for Somalia, Sierra Leone, Moscow and Dubai. […] Like its predecessors, Modern Warfare 3 is a first-person shooter video game. It will run at 60 frames per second, minimum. The player assumes the role of various characters during the single-player campaign, changing perspectives throughout the progression of the story. Each level is a mission that features a series of objectives that are displayed on the heads up display, which marks the direction and distance towards and from such objectives. Damage to the player is shown by blood shown on the screen. The player’s health regenerates as time passes.” Meaning: the same cliche gameplay. Co-op and multiplayer are available too.

#3: Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

A fan of AC games? This one (most probably) will be the best in the series! All the three protagonists of the previous games, Ezio, Altair and Desmond, are back in this one. It is going to be the last game to feature Ezio and Altair, and the final game to be set in the Renaissance era. Ezio goes to Istanbul during the rise of the Ottoman Empire, where the war between the Assassins and the Templars is still raging. He discovers that Altair has hidden an artifact which can end this war for good, and he has hidden the keys to this artifact all around Constantinople. Ezio reads Altair’s memoirs (during which you control Altair) to find the hiding places. At the same time you control Desmond in the modern day. Like the previous games various historical figures will be present. The game will follow the series’ standard open-world gameplay. New gameplay additions include an item called the hookblade, which can be used to zipline across the city or grab enemies to yank them in for a combo attack. Multiplayer gameplay is also back.

Definitely a must-try.

#2: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

How many years have the Zelda fans waited for a game such as this one? A lot. And the wait will be over this month. Lead by the legendary Miyamoto himself, the original Zelda team has gathered to make this game. The Link of this one was born and raised in Skyloft, a group of islands floating above the clouds. One day an evil skyward sword approaches this utopian setting. Using the sword to travel back and forth between sky and land, the mystery of why the two worlds became separated is gradually revealed to Link. Unlike in previous series installments, Zelda is not a princess in Skyward Sword, but a childhood friend of Link. Throughout the course of the game, Zelda disappears and Link has to find her. He is opposed on his quest by the Demon Lord Ghirahim, a mysterious and powerful figure who rules the surface world, who wishes to kidnap Zelda for unknown purposes. Skyward Sword connects to the story of Ocarina of Time. The style of the graphics was inspired by French artist Paul Cézanne and impressionist art. And indeed a look at the graphics reveals it to be really artistic. The gameplay of Skyward Sword departs from the Legend of Zelda series’ traditional flow of alternating overworld and dungeon exploration.The controls are revised, with swordplay based on the Wii MotionPlus peripheral, which allows one-to-one motion control between the Wii Remote and the in-game sword. In contrast to earlier installments, battles do not focus solely on timing attacks, but also on their target, such as the direction in which enemies are hit.

Will this game be as great as classic Zelda games? I’m very, VERY hopeful it will.

Our own David “BGH” Kempe has written on this game’s box art. Read it!

#1: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

I’ve already written a long article on this one, and you can read it here. I’m counting days before this one comes out, and I’m sure it’ll be great.


I’m 100% Positive that both Skyward Sword and Skyrim will be not only great games, but will be historically great, they will place themselves on the pantheon of landmark video games of the whole history. So far, many such games have come out this year, and if 2011 is not the most important year of the whole gaming history, it’s one of the top 3.

I’m certain of one thing. We usually like to look at present with a cynical eye and purify and glorify the past, but I’m sure that the golden age of the spectacular art of video gaming is right now.

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