DoFuss’s “Now So Cheap It Should Be Criminal” Games of 2011.

This is the final post in my “best of 2011” posts. These are the games that had their price dropped unfairly quickly, those games that should have done better but never got what they deserved. There are only four games on this list (though arguably Rayman could be in here too, or if I had played more of it Alice: Madness Returns) and they are all now so cheap you could easily pick them all up for the price of a new game. I would recommend you do.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution – This Eidos developed title had a whole studio constructed for it, and with the weight of Square Enix’s advertising force on side it, Deus Ex: HR was a tricky one to miss. Yet for all of its money, and quality, the game seemed to drop in price, and from people’s attention, far too quickly. It is a sad oversight for those who missed it, as it is an incredible experience that offers so many ways to approach its missions and story that replaying the game to see how else situations can play out proves a truly attractive proposition.

It did well, but Robocop mixed with Blade Runner should always do better.

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine – It may be the least imaginative name ever conceived but Space Marine offered a frenetic action that provided a wonderful blend of ranged and melee combat. Balancing the different combat styles and weapons is what makes this generic looking action title so different. Keeping Orks and the legions of Chaos at bay takes requires far more tactics than you may initially presume.

El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron – Any one who thought this game was going to be a commercial success was smoking crack, and then lending it to the designers to aid the creative juices. Crazy interpretations of Judeo-Christian lore I am used to, but not through the eyes of a (presumably) hard-drug abusing Japanese developer. Stylish and modern design, along with incredible characterisations El Shaddai was one of the years more refreshing titles. Dropping to impulse price sinfully quickly, it offers accessible gameplay in a world unlike any other.

If you haven’t played El Shaddai, you haven’t played anything like El Shaddai.

Shadows of the Damned – I have already written at length about this game from the who’s who of Japanese game development. It may not have delivered all I wanted, but it deserved much more than it got. Dropping in price depressingly quickly, Shadows of the Damned should have just done better. Of all the crazy Japanese games that should have worked in the West, its grind-house story and aesthetic with third person action should have caught more gamer’s attention. Despite my disappointment in it, I still have no pause in recommending it to damn near anyone.

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