Joseph Hallenbeck
November 23, 2011

Top Picks for X-Mas 2011

Filed under: Literary Criticism

I suppose it’s not really news that the 2011 Christmas season for game releases is somewhat excellent this year around. Studios always seem to hold out on their big-budget titles until around this time of the year, so let’s examine my top five picks for this year:

4. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

I played Elder Scrolls Oblivion back when it first came out. The graphics Skyrim’s predecessor blew me away and I spend countless hours wandering about the countryside in search of herbs. Unfortunately, collecting herbs and perfecting non-combat skills in Oblivion just got you killed as your opponents would all level up to match you’re supposed new combat prowess. Later mods for the game would resolve a lot of the launch issues, transforming it into a much more enjoyable experience. For this reason, I’m sticking away from Skyrim until the mod community has had a swing at it. That said, the graphics and in-game footage that I have seen so far blows me away.

3. Super Mario Land 3D

I have yet to pick up a 3DS, and I most likely will not be picking one up anytime soon on account of the plethora of unopened DS titles on my shelf. Handhelds have always been in my sweet spot for games, and a lot of experimental titles seem to hit handhelds – and thus by wallet. If I had a 3DS, I would most likely be picking up Super Mario Land 3D. The previews that I have seen so far make the game out to be the successor of Super Mario 64. Anything that gets us more of the traditional Mario experience and away from Miyamoto’s more experimentive (Mario Sunshine?) titles would be good in my book.

2. Mario Kart 3DS

Maybe I ought to get a 3DS, there seems to be a lot of items on my list that are coming out for it. I’ve played the Mario Kart series all the way back to the SNES and I have found every iteration of the formula to be refreshing and extremely fun.

1. Legend of Zelda, Skyward Sword

You should’ve seen this one coming. I am extremely excited about Skyward Sword. Accounts from friends say that it is reminiscent of Ocarina of Time and with a story of equal measure. In particular, I am excited for the first Zelda title that was designed for the Wii hardware.

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