The Twelve Games of Christmas 2011 – Day Twelve: December

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Electronic Theatre ImageAs we draw to a close on this edition of Electronic Theatre’s annual The Twelve Games of Christmas article series, we arrive at December. Some of the finest videogames on the current-generation had released in previous months, and in 2011 more than ever before, it was a considerable shock to the system when December offered so few big name releases. Every format had a star title of course, but few had two.

The release schedule in December was unquestionably quiet. It seems that the videogames industry has finally learned that in a poor economy, availability is more important than demand. Every gamer has several titles on their ‘must have’ list, and no longer is it a case one purchase making-or-breaking Christmas day. If you have to wait til December, fighting through the queues and adding another late gift to the list of forgotten friends and relatives, then it’s more likely that the return on investment will be significantly lower than if every supermarket, indie and videogame specialist store is advertising your title for a more than a month before the big day. In short, publishers are getting smarter every year, and until there’s new hardware on the books, November has become the month for the big wash.

 

Honourable Mentions:

 

 

Star Wars: The Old Republic

 

Super Pokemon Rumble

 

Puss in Boots

 

 

Runner Up:

 

 

Mario Kart 7

 

Since the very first instalment in the series, Mario Kart has always been a highly praised release for every format it has graced. Arguably Nintendo’s inspiration for its ‘evergreen’ software, being that just one version per console is enough to keep the series alive for the entire lifespan of the system; Mario Kart 7 does everything it should, and then some. Adding underwater levels and hang gliding that could’ve easily ruined the formula, yet have simply become another string to its bow, Mario Kart 7 has the right pacing, the right attitude and the right flavour to become a jewel in the Nintendo 3DS line-up. Surely, Nintendo wouldn’t have allowed anything less.

 

 

Best of November 2011:

 

 

Serious Sam 3: BFE

 

Although Serious Sam 3: BFE was primarily billed as a digital title, the retail release of the videogame shortly after it’s initial launch gave the latest adventure of Sam ‘Serious’ Stone the opportunity to get itself noticed by a wider audience. Chief among that audience are those who had fallen in love with Serious Sam a decade ago, but since lost touch with videogaming as a hobby. Just as Goldeneye 007 was designed for an audience that has stepped aside from videogames until the arrival of Nintendo’s Wii, Serious Sam 3: BFE’s retail release is intended for those with a PC that haven’t adopted Valve’s Steam as a near-daily program.

Serious Sam 3: BFE comes fully loaded with all the guts, gore and gruesome mayhem that the series become famous for. A few logic puzzles and a gateway to hell which sees hundreds of enemies pour at you out of every nook-and-cranny; Serious Sam 3: BFE is a balls-out action videogame. It’s not afraid to challenge the players, not matter how many of them jump into the campaign at any one time. It’s a visual treat, a co-operative comedy and a quick burst of adrenaline gaming in an industry that has become preoccupied with serious Hollywood recreations of war. Serious Sam 3: BFE is a breath of fresh air, and in December of 2011, that’s exactly what was asked for.

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