Puzzle Game Of The Year
2011 Hard Reset Game Of The Year
2011 was a pretty slow year for puzzle games with Portal 2 being the most glaring obvious inclusion. For our other 3 nominations we had to raid the Xbox Live marketplace, the slowly on it’s way out Nintendo DS and a game not even out in the UK. Good going Hard Reset. Shhh you, just because another version of Bejeweled came out on another platform, doesn’t make it new. Anyway, the nominees for the 2011 Hard Reset Puzzle Game Of The Year are…..
Even though it technically doesn’t come out over here until February (I love importing), Catherine is the puzzle game of the year. Yeah sure, Portal 2 is funny and confusing and epic and has a silly song at end and full of Gervais’ mate, just like I put in my review, but we seen it all before, in Portal 1. Catherine is full of things we don’t see in newer video games. A great story, a different style of puzzles and a colourful anime style that stands out the sea of muddy brown first person shooters. New, my friends, is always better.
Now this one is a challenge or is it? No it’s not the clear winner here is Portal 2. Improving upon the previous model; Adding better environments, co-op and a moderately pleasant acting turn by Stephen merchant. It has had its cake and eaten it, no lie.
Firstly it’s important to note that the impressive looking “Catherine” is yet to have been released in Europe, so it’ll have to wait another year before having the chance to make it into my GOTY nominations. Poor thing. So I’ve landed somewhat predictably on Portal 2. Visually clean and bright, instantly laugh out loud-able and most importantly, mind bogglingly brilliant. Slap on a sweet co-op mode and you’ve got yourself a winner. But as always, the cake is a- SHUT UP, MEME.
As puzzle games go, Portal 2 has to be the best, although the graphics are not “amazing” it has its own style that works, the gameplay can be challenging but fun and you still get to play with all the fun tools from the original game such as the famous portal gun and many more.
I find it crazy how underrated this game is. Although Atlus have many releases outside of the UK, Catherine is one that does not deserve to be missed. Mixing a clever puzzle system based around the pushing and pulling of blocks with a storyline that has you hooked till the very last scene, Catherine creates one of the most surreal and haunting experiences in gaming over the past decade. Moral choices are genuinely hard and you feel as though your spiralling into madness along side Vincent, the storys protagonist. The visuals and sound of this game are a delight, drawing you to the next chapter to see how the next tower is laid out. Each tower has a boss fight at the end of stage 3, which pushes you to the limits of your climbing ability. The adrenaline from racing away from your nightmares only propels you closer to madness along side vincent. If you haven’t got this game yet, buy it – it deserves a space in everyones gaming collection.