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My Most Memorable 2011 Gaming Experiences

By Kevin on Dec 31 2011 09:30 PM
Each year, we find the inattentiveness of gaming technology embedding itself deeper and deeper into our traditional gaming roots. The way we once played video games, many years ago, has rather quickly evolved into a new and powerful gaming experience. With that, I leave everyone a list of the most memorable games that I've had the pleasure of playing throughout this year. I've played many more games, but these are the ones I've spent the most amount of time with. These are
not necessarily pinned on my all-time favorites list, but they're ones enjoyed this year. Many of you will, perhaps, agree that these are in fact great games. In no particular order, here are the picks for my most memorable games of 2011.

Pokémon HeartGold (DS)
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Surprisingly, this is the first Pokémon game I ever played. After researching and learning about Pokémon, I quickly became interested and decided to play Pokémon HeartGold. The last time I checked, I had about 90+ hours logged into my game. That's not a lot of time compared to that of a Pokémon fanatic, but I'm not trying to "catch 'em all," either. I just enjoyed playing this game and I'm certainly thrilled it was the first one in the franchise I chose to play. Pokémon HeartGold pretty much gave me a really great introduction to the meaning of Pokémon. From there, I was pretty hooked. Because of Pokémon HeartGold, my Pokémon video game collection has now grown to nine titles.

Pokémon Black (DS)
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With some basic Pokémon knowledge learned from playing Pokémon HeartGold, I was able to enjoy the brand new 5th generation lineup of Pokémon in the Pokémon Black version. Not only was there a new generation of new Pokémon to be spoiled with, but there was an entirely new region to explore. The mechanics and gameplay were the closely the same experienced with Pokémon HeartGold, but with some added new flavor. That added new flavor gave me enough satisfaction to log in another 90-100 hours of gameplay.

Pilotwings Resort (3DS)
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Pilotwings Resort was my first 3DS game. I played it constantly until I completed each level. You're not just required to complete the levels though; you score points. By scoring big, you can unlock different features in the game. For me, the unlocking part became very addicting. I mean, seriously, who wouldn't want to swan dive from the highest peak on Wuhu Island, soaring through the crisp air while wearing a squirrel suit? The PETA people didn't seem to have a problem with it! This game has great 3D effects and visuals. There's even a level where you can take pictures and save them to your SD card.

Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)
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This was, by far, the most impressive 3DS title I had the opportunity of experiencing this year. From start to finish, every stage was different and managed to uncontrollably force a silent chuckle (and sometimes audible) from my mouth. If you own a 3DS and haven't had the opportunity to play this game, you're truly missing out on a tremendous 3DS gaming experience. If you're not even a Mario fan, find someone who has this title so you can see how the game takes advantage of the 3DS' glasses-free 3D visuals and effects.

Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS)
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This was the second 3DS title that I purchased. In addition to that, it was the first time I ever played Ocarina of Time. I never played the original Nintendo 64 version of Ocarina of Time. This was another awesome 3DS experience that will remain memorable for many, many years. Aside from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, for the Super Nintendo, this is my next favorite Zelda title to date. I really enjoyed the rich storyline that OoT offered. It was enough to keep me immersed and interested in completing the next required task. I thought The Ocarina of Time had just the right amount of challenge and fun factor.

Other notables include Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 (GBA), Pokémon Rumble Blast (3DS), Super Paper Mario (Wii), Crystal Defenders R1 (WiiWare).

What games were most memorable for everyone else this year? The games you enjoyed don't have to be Nintendo by any means.

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Comments: 7

I guess for this year, my most memorable moment was beating Secret of Mana for the first time.
The first game I got into in 2011 was Mortal Kombat(PS3). After a long period of decay, the MK series went back to its 2-D roots a delivered the reboot it desperately needed. It retold the stories of the first 3 titles and brought back all the characters from those games. The fighting was absolutely superb and visceral.

After a while, I started playing Borderlands(X360). Essentially, it's Diablo with guns, but the visual presentation was unique. The game doesn't take itself very seriously, either, there's tons of jokes thrown in. Probably the best co-op experience I've had in a while.

The game I spent the most time with, though, is Pokemon Black(DS). I was initially disappointed with the Pokemon selection, but after a while the Generation V Pokemon really grew on me. I liked the slight upswing in difficulty, in that everything wasn't a complete pushover. The story included quite a bit of speculation on the morality of training Pokemon.

My 2011 game of the year goes to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim(X360). The scope of the game is absolutely staggering. Combine that with the attention to detail and love Bethesda put into it, and you have the most immersive game I've ever played. It's absolutely beautiful to look at. Not only is there tons of content, but since you can make a successful character in many different ways, the replay value is huge. Whether you're fighting a dragon or shouting someone off a cliff, there's tons of ways to have fun in Skyrim.

Other games I put a lot of time into in 2011:
Fallout: New Vegas(X360), Pokemon Crystal(GBC), The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past(SNES), Mario Kart 7(3DS), Super Mario 3D Land(3DS), Ogre Battle 64(N64)
What a great reply, Chris. Thanks for sharing all of those gaming moments. When you say "shouting someone off a cliff," what exactly does that mean? Whatever it is, it sounds like a lot of fun!
There are special abilities called shouts in Skyrim. The most well known one is the first one, Unrelenting Force(better known as Fus Ro Dah).

Here's a video of it in action:
Holy shit. That was awesome. I liked watching the chic bounce off the ledge at the end, after offering up her service.
my memorable moments are:
Finally beating Megaman X (SNES)
Beating Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep (PSP)
Getting a Pentakill in League of Legends. (PC MMO)
Beating Final Fantasy Dissidia. (PSP)
and much more but to lazy to type.
Only regret I have is not playing and beating Sonic Generations before 2012. T.T it would of been my most memorable for sure.
Games I beat over the year.

Phantasy Star for Sega Master System (Second time I've beaten it).
Dragon Warrior for NES (For the umphteenth time).
Dragon Warrior 2 for NES.
Legend of Zelda for NES (For the umphteenth time).
Super RC Pro Am for GameBoy
Secret of Mana for SNES (At least half a dozen times on that one).
Legends of the Diamond for NES.
Chrono Trigger for SNES.
TMNT for GameBoy.
Crystalis for NES.
Pokemon Blue for GameBoy.

I'm not sure if I beat any Wii games this year, but I have some good ones to work on for 2012.  (Picked up Metroid: Other M for 5 bucks yesterday).  The last two I beat on December 30th and 31st two of my bigger gaming achievements.

Planned for 2012:

Finish all stars for Luigi's quest on Super Mario Galaxy
Beat Metroid: Other M
Beat Pokemon Rumble with my daughters.
Beat another GameBoy Pokemon game
Beat all three of the Final Fantasy Legend games
Beat Dragon Warrior III & IV
Beat Shining Force for Sega Genesis