forgive you. 2011 was a stupidly crazy busy year for videogames, and unless you
neglected sleeping, eating and
breathing, there was literally no way you could play every great release.
But! Whether you get to them now that the holidays are here, get to them in the
emptier early months of next year, or simply get to them at some point in your
life, you need to experience the following seven titles. While they may not
have sold as well as the likes of Skyrim, Modern Warfare and Batman, or
received as much attention as the likes of Portal, Mario and Uncharted, they’re
often just as amazing. Sometimes better.
7. Yakuza 4
few reasons you forgot to play Yakuza 4: it's the fourth entry in a decidedly
Eastern-leaning series that makes no apologies for potential cultural barriers,
it's about Japanese gangsters, and there are more characters in it than even
the most accessible Russian novel.
If you can still find the game on shelves, however, here are a few reasons it’s
totally worth checking out: you can pick up motorcycles and slam them against
yakuza-wannabe's jaws, try your hand at running a hostess bar, become part of
the foodie elite by seeking out every secret restaurant, or receive a sensual
massage (really). That’s in addition to the main story, which examines why four
people from wildly different backgrounds chose a life of crime, but doesn’t
take itself too seriously. You’ll
spend dozens of hours exhausting everything each character can possibly do in
this massive city.
Grand Theft Auto might be our closest approximation to Yakuza 4 in
America, but that's really an unfair comparison, as Yakuza is more focused on
keeping the action varied, interesting, and, well, warranted. From daring
rooftop chases with perverts in diapers to subdued prison breaks, Yakuza 4
offers some of this year's most memorable moments – for those who played it,
GamesRadar’s review of Yakuza
Was it the glut of XBLA
games that washed through your dashboard's ad space, or was it the fact that by
the time it dropped on PSN, you were already knee deep in free Welcome Back
games? Either way, Outland is a game that undoubtedly deserved to be on your
It's a game that
combines several proven gameplay mechanics to concoct a surprisingly stout
platformer. Imagine the best elements of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and
Metroid, then add a twist of Ikaruga's on-the-fly switching between color
coding to battle different shades of enemy, and you've got a pretty good idea
of how it plays.
Outland is also a
sleek-looking game with fluid animation and a unique art style. Its
shadow-puppet-themed presentation is a real standout, and it does a great job
of highlighting how important your palette switching is to surviving its
challenging environments. So, yeah, you should really feel terrible that you've
deprived yourself of such a fascinating action platformer for as long as you
have. Maybe you could remedy that?
GamesRadar’s review of Outland