Top Ten Best Xbox 360 Games 2011

There are so many Xbox 360 games released in a year nowadays with some of these games never living up to expectation. In these dire times of economic crunch you need to know the best Xbox 360 games in 2011 and this is what I shall be doing in this article, reviewing the top ten Xbox 360 games 2011.

1. Batman Arkham city: is a sequel to the Batman: Arkham Asylum game. This adventure video game sets the scene in a new location – Arkham City, a year after the events of the previous game. Rocksteady studio is looking to build on the success of Batman: Arkham Asylum by introducing some new features such as Batman being able to dodge bullets and climb walls. The video game is due for release in September 2011.

2. Draon Age II: is an upcoming sequel to the 2009 Game of the Year and is set to be release in Europe on the 11th of March 2011. BioWare the developer of this game has chosen to focus is attention on developing a better dragon age engine and fix issues with the release of the first game like poor graphics quality.

3. Portals 2: This first-person shooter puzzle video game is due for release in April 2011. The game is a sequel to the well received title released in 2007. However unlike the original game which was released as a sort of mini game along side Episode 2 and Team Fortress 2, Portal 2 is here to stand as a video game on its own. Portal 2 will continue to test gamers ability to solve puzzles using the portal gun within the Aperture Science Enrichment Center.

4. BulletStorm: is another first-person shooter game schedule for release on February 22, 2011. The video game is developed by People Can Fly and centres on two Dead Echo members: Grayson Hunt and Ishi Sato who were betrayed by their commander for falling out with their employer. Now banished to a far away abandoned galaxy, Grayson is determined to fight his way off the alien eating planet and execute revenge on those that exiled him. The video game has a reward system based on a player’s ability to create and incite mayhem. Bulletstorm will be including a beta version of Gears of War 3 multiplayer with the Xbox 360 version of this game.

5. Gears of War 3: is a third-person shooter game scheduled for release in the last quarter of this year. The video game is a Xbox 360 exclusive title featuring new playable characters, weapons and a new four-player co-op mode. Gears of War 3 will also be including a new playing mode called Beast which would allow players to attack as Locust. It has been stated that this edition of the game will answer most of the questions that gamers have been asking about the “history of the world”

6. Dead space 2 : is a sequel to an earlier title released in 2008 – Dead Space 1. The game features the return of astro engineer Isaac Clarke who has the misfortune of landing slap bang in another alien territory called the Sprawl. Isaac needs to take on this new onslaught of zombies to survive in this third person shooter game. Dead Space 2 was released on the 25th of January in the US and 28th of January in the UK.

7. Mass Effect 3: is the upcoming sequel to the Mass Effect 2 video game. Mass Effect 3 will be the final game in the Mass Effect trilogy concluding the story started off in Mass Effect and continued in Mass Effect 2. Not much is known about the gameplay however you will be able to import decisions from the previous releases of the game. This action RPG video game is schedule for release in the fourth quarter of 2011.

8. Rage: is an upcoming action packed first shooter person video game. The game is schedule for release in September 2011. The game centres around the events that occurred in a post-apocalyptic world after the impact of an asteroid. The human race must now rebuild however they need defend themselves against a well organised set of enemies if they are to survive. It has been revealed that the uncompressed version of the game is about a terabyte in size and will ship on more than one DVD disc. joker123

9. Deus EX: Human Revolution: is the third game in the Deux series. Deus EX Human Revolution features Adam Jensen who was cybernectically augmented against his will. Adam uses his newfound powers to battle it out against other androidy types in this multiple plot conspiracy game. This first person shooter video game is a follow-up to two previously well received titles: Deus EX and Deus Ex: Invisible War.The game is schedule for release on March 8, 2011

10. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: This role play video game is developed by Bethesda on a brand new engine and scheduled for release on November 11, 2011. The gameplay is a continuation of the previous series with players playing the role of the last dragonborn in the race to save mankind from the hands of the dragons.

PC Vs Console Gaming

In the gaming world, there are several options to choose from when it comes to the platform the game is being played on. There are PC games, and there are console games. The difference lies within the way the game is played.

Gaming is literally a lifestyle choice so each person prefers a slightly different approach when it comes to the way they play a game. Some like computer games, because computers allow them to customize the way they play the game along with certain tweaks in visual details and controls.

Consoles don’t demand that you make such tweaks, since they’re built with only games in mind. So when a game comes out and it’s destined for PlayStation, then, if you own such a console, you’re certain you can play that game.

But when a game comes out and it’s made for PCs, then you have to check on what the system requirements that game has in order to be played properly. Since games rely heavily on the specs, or hardware of the “console” they’re run, for PC users this would mean there’s a constant struggle to stay ahead of the gaming developer world and build or purchase the ultimate gaming computer.

In certain cases, it’s a lot easier to escape this struggle by purchasing a console and not having to worry if your system meets the necessary minimum hardware in order to run a game.

The downside to consoles is, in my opinion, the lack of precision in movements and control. For instance, if you were to play a shooter game or FPS for short, it would be really hard to aim at the opponents using a game pad.

On the other hand, when using a computer, it’s really easy to aim using your mouse at the opponents since you can fine tune the mouse sensitivity and actually get the mouse to work at what speed you require.

Some peripherals allow you to adjust that sensitivity right in the gaming environment and those are called gaming peripherals. These are built only with PCs in mind.

Consoles on the other hand have developed in recent years to create a more engaging environment for the player.

We have seen a lot of new advancements in this area from the Wii remote, allowing you to physically “swing” a golf club, or in the Kinect world, actually detecting your body movements to interact in the gaming world. This means that a console user might get a bit more exercise than a regular PC gamer.

Also, there are certain games which might not work on consoles, like strategy games. These games rely heavily on the use of a computer mouse for unit selection and issuing commands.

There are a lot of advantages to PC gaming as well as console gaming, and there are specific games that can be played on both platforms, without the possibility of moving from one type to the other. It’s a matter of level of engagement or immersion that each gamer requires that he get from the game itself. slotxo

Santiago De Cuba Board Game Review

Game Overview

When I first saw the cover of the game along with a short description and photos of the components, I was immediately intrigued to play it. The title seemed attractive too, as Cuba is very far away from my country (I live in Greece) and that just adds to the exotic and mystery atmosphere for which the country is already celebrated. Let’s go through some basic information about gameplay:

In Santiago de Cuba you are a broker in the city of Santiago, the second largest city of Cuba. Your goal is to make profit by making deals with the locals and visiting (or even buying) buildings in order to gather goods and load them to the ships arriving in the city’s port. Available goods are: sugar cane (white) citrus fruit (orange), tobacco (green), rum (red), cigars (black) and wood. On the game board there are 12 building tiles, which are always shuffled when setting up the game and then placed on the appropriate boxes in the outskirts of the city. There are also 9 Cubans who will help you out and are also shuffled and distributed randomly on the 9 boxes in the center of the game board. A street runs in front of the Cubans in a loop. A car, used by all players, will travel through this street and its 10 stops (stars), one for each of the Cubans and a stop at the port (yellow star).

There are 7 ships that will reach the city’s port one after the other and for each one, the type and quantity of goods it accepts to carry are determined by rolling 5 colored dice and choosing 4 of them to place on the ship. The color of the dice indicates the type of good and the number, the quantity required. There is a value marker on the board in front of the ship, indicating the amount of victory points you receive for each good delivered to the ship (2,3 or 4 victory points). This marker is initially set to 2 and for each time the car passes from the port (yellow star) without stopping there the marker is moved one flag to the right. However if the marker moves from the value 4 to the checkered flag, the ship leaves immediately even if it’s not full. Once a ship has all items loaded, it leaves the port and another one arrives.

At the beginning of the game, buildings and Cubans tiles are shuffled and placed on the board, each player chooses a color and the first player is decided. Each player is dealt 3 coins (pesos), 2 victory points and one sugar cane, one citrus fruit and one tobacco. All goods and money are hidden behind special player screens. The car is placed at the port and the first ship arrives. The player to the right of the first player rolls the five dice to determine the ships cargo. Each round a player must use the car to go to a location moving clockwise by moving as many “star” spaces they like. Only the first step to a new place is free. For every space beyond the first one, the player must pay 1 peso. By stopping in front of a Cuban, you usually get goods, money or victory points. Then you immediately visit one of the buildings of the color indicated by the flower icon on the Cuban’s tile. In buildings, players do certain actions that help them advance in the game such as exchange different types of goods, get victory points or load goods to the ship. By stopping on the yellow star (last stop in the loop, port) players trigger a delivery round, during which all players can deliver goods to the ship. Players get victory points (the exact number is indicated by the value marker mentioned earlier) for loading the ship. Wood can always be loaded to the ship instead of any one other good but players receive only one victory point for each wood loaded. The game ends when all 7 ships leave the port. At that point any remaining goods are converted to victory points (1 vp for every 3 goods) and victory points are counted. The player with the most victory points, is the winner.

First Impressions

Upon opening the box, I was impressed with the beautiful artwork of the game board and tiles. Setup was pretty easy, following the well-written rulebook. Tiles shuffled and placed, colors chosen and here we go. The game flows smooth and turns are pretty quick as there are only 2 actions that must be made each round and choices are quite straight forward. Usually you don’t want to move many spaces forward with the car as this will cost a lot of money and then there is the choice of the building to visit that will depend on the specific needs of the player or may be a strategic choice as well. An interesting aspect is that players’ goods and coins are hidden behind screens, so one must be alert and try to remember what goods the other players have gathered. That is a big part of the game’s strategy. The game has great immersion due to excellent artwork and game mechanics. It all feels so much like Cuba! It also has much replayability due to the shuffling of tiles at game setup. สล็อตโจ๊กเกอร์

I haven’t played Cuba which seems to have a lot in common with Santiago de Cuba (the designer and the artist of Santiago have also worked on Cuba) so I couldn’t compare the two games, but after playing a couple of games of Santiago, I have a clear impression of the game which I am ready to share with you! Let’s go through our usual rating categories:

Components:

Game components are very nice and of good quality. The game board is like a painting, depicting the city and the port with great detail. The building and Cuban tiles are of similar quality from a design point of view and made of thick cardboard, as are victory point tokens, pesos (coins) and property markers. Playing pieces and goods are made of wood which feels very nice. All in all, the game components are all that one could hope for and even more. 9/10

Gameplay:

The heart of every game of course. Gameplay is fast and there is enough space for strategic thinking and planning ahead. Upon deciding which Cuban to meet, you must make a few considerations such as the deal you will make with them, the buildings that are available to visit afterwards and what stop the next player might choose. You also have to think about which may be the most profitable buildings to seize with Alonso (the lawyer) which is also an interesting aspect of the game. Your memory skills will be put on a test with Santiago because in order to do well in this game, you must remember what goods your opponents have gathered. That will be a crucial factor in order to decide if you want to stop at the port or not and a miscalculation may cost you a few victory points. Just a thought about the building tiles: I think it would be interesting to have a building tile, working in the just opposite way from the Customs Office, that is to be able to turn a dice of your choice on the ship to whatever number you want (except 0). The game seems very balanced in its mechanics and there seems to be no apparent strategy that would always lead to victory. Shuffling of the tiles at game setup guarantees that every game will be a completely different one. 8/10

Learning Curve:

The rulebook is very well written and only 8 pages long, along with some illustrations and examples. After reading through the rules and playing the game once you will feel very comfortable about it and maybe never need to consult the rulebook again. 8/10

Theme:

The theme of being in Cuba and act as a broker is very well supported by beautiful artwork as well as believable mechanics. The use of the car is a very clever idea that contributes to the theme too, making things feel more real. The buildings have been well thought, by linking the buildings’ use with an appropriate name. For example, it feels very natural and in-theme to go to the “Bank” building in order to get 2 pesos or go to the “Cigar factory” to trade tobacco for cigars. That is a great design element that enhances the feel of the theme inside the game. 9/10

Replayability:

Just a repetition here of what was mentioned earlier. Due to shuffling of the Buildings and Cubans tiles during setup, it is guaranteed that no two games will be the same. The general strategy of the game however will stay quite the same, as some buildings such as the Newspaper publisher or the Office and some Cubans like Alonso will always remain favorite destinations. I don’t think that is a minus though, it seems quite logical. All in all I think I will never be bored to play this game. 8/10

Fun:

I had much fun playing Santiago although there isn’t any interaction at all between players except when visiting El Zorro (each player must give you 1 victory point, 1 good or 1 peso). It will be fun at points, when speculating about each others belongings and surely enough whimpering will be present when someone visits the Newspaper publisher to make Alonso inactive. Short gameplay (~40 minutes) will not tire players and makes the game easily be used as a filler between longer games. A great game for the whole family too! 8/10

Pros:

  • Beautiful artwork and high quality material
  • Each game is different as building and Cuban tiles are shuffled during setup
  • Theme is implemented most efficiently
  • Easy to learn but also has enough depth
  • Fast-paced game

Cons:

  • No player interaction
  • I have some ideas about different abilities in buildings (not really a con)

Overall: 8.3

Learn more about Santiago de Cuba at: