My Top 5 Games of 2011: #5 Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine (360)

Developed: Relic Entertainment
Published: THQ
Genre: Third-Person Action
Platform: 360 (reviewed), PS3, PC

In my honorable mentions of 2011 article, I had a list at the end of games that I had yet to play but am interested in and Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine was among them. Soon after I posted that, I saw it for $20 new on Glyde so I picked it up. After beating it a number of times, I just knew it had to be in my top 5 of 2011, so my list has changed a bit since my previous articles about games from 2011.

My knowledge of the Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40k universes is pretty limited. I've never played the tabletop games or read any of the books, but I have played two previous video games based on 40k: Space Hulk, back when I was still a kid, and more recently, Fire Warrior, which I didn't really enjoy that much. My point is, this article is coming from the point of view of someone who is an outsider to the Warhammer 40k universe, so I apologize in advance for any inaccuracies in this article. Just wanted to get that out of the way before the article proper.

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine follows the exploits of Ultramarine Captain Titus and his squad mates, Sidonus and Leandros as they fight to take back an industrial planet from an army of invading Orks.

My Game of the Year 2001: Silent Hill 2 (PS2)

Developed: Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo
Published: Konami
Genre: Survival Horror
Platform: PS2 (reviewed), Xbox, PC, 360, PS3

I said at the end of my Persona 4 article that my favorite game of all time was released in 2001. Well, I thought about it a lot since then and I changed my mind. I do that a lot. Silent Hill 2 is my SECOND favorite game of all time. I'll do my top ten list one of these days.

Silent Hill 2 tells the story of James Sunderland. He receives a letter from his wife, Mary, telling him to meet her in the small resort town of Silent Hill, in their "special place." There's a small problem with that. Mary has been dead for three years. Regardless of that fact, he goes to Silent Hill to search for her and finds things that he could have never imagined. As always, this article will spoil the entire game so be warned.

Game Music Showcase: First Level Music Part 2

In Top 5 Game Songs, I list my 5 favorite game songs in a particular category, like Top 5 Battle Themes, or Top 5 Title Screen Songs. I love video game music and find that it doesn't get the respect it deserves, so this is my way of spreading awareness of how great it is. (EDIT 3-7-12: feature change lol)

In Game Music Showcase, I take a look at a few songs from a particular category, like battle themes or title screen songs. The songs are listed in no particular order, except for the last one which is my personal favorite of the bunch.  I love video game music more than any other genre and with this feature, along with game music appreciation, I hope to help you understand why. 

So why bother with having two music features? Game Music Appreciation is more in depth while Game Music Showcase is more of a microcosm of one category of video game songs.

I already talked about 5 great first level songs in the last Top 5 Game Songs I did but there's so many great opening level songs in gaming that this category deserves a second look. Here are 5 more great background songs from the first level or area of each given game.

Endings: Metal Gear Solid 3 (crosspost from Destructoid C blogs)

This is an article I posted on the Destructoid Community Blogs today in response to a "Bloggers Wanted" post. They do those every week (I believe) with a theme in mind and this was the first one where I really had something to say. In this case, the theme is great game endings and I couldn't think of a better example than one of my favorite game endings: the ending of Metal Gear Solid 3 (MGS3 will get a full article some day too. This one is special.) Anyway, here's the post, exactly as it appears on Destructoid. Here's a link to the Destructoid version as well.

Jamestown Extended Edition Part 2

I love the music of Jamestown quite a bit. So much so that I made a second extended edition from one of its songs; this time it's War Upon the East Frontier, the first level's music. Same deal as last time: Buy Jamestown. You can get it on Steam or on the game's website. Anyway, here's my extended edition of War Upon the East Frontier:

As with last time, I did not compose, nor do I own the copyright to this song. If anyone from Final Form Games wants me to remove this, just ask!

My Top 5 games of 2001: #2 Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PS2)

Developed: Konami Computer Entertainment Japan
Published: Konami
Genre: Stealth Action
Platform: PS2 (reviewed), Xbox, PC, 360, PS3

As you may already be aware, I'm a pretty big Metal Gear fan. Of course at the time that this one came out, the only game in the series that I had played was Metal Gear Solid. I didn't even know that Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2 existed back then, in fact. Regardless, Metal Gear Solid was my absolute favorite game at the time so I was pumped as hell for the sequel. Every trailer that came out was just mind blowing. Just like with Max Payne and Final Fantasy X, I couldn't believe how good the game looked. Of course I thought the same thing about Donkey Kong Country and Chrono Trigger but you get my point.

Metal Gear Solid 2 is the continuation of the story of Solid Snake. In the first Metal Gear Solid, he stopped a terrorist uprising in a remote Alaska nuclear disposal facility, but between that game and this one (which takes place only 2 years later), he and his best buddy Otacon have gone rogue to combat the sudden boom of Metal Gear (the series titular giant robots) designs that hit the black market. They have dedicated their lives since then to eradicating the threat that Metal Gear poses on the world in hopes that people will one day live free of the fear of such destructive weapons.

Jamestown and Breath of Death VII Extended Editions

Here's a couple more extended editions I whipped up. Both are from fantastic, criminally under appreciated indie games with incredible music, though I recall Breath of Death VII and its spiritual successor Cthulhu Saves the World got a bit of buzz on a few gaming sites. You can buy Jamestown here and here, among other places. Breath of Death VII you can buy here bundled with Cthulhu Saves the World for $3! BoDVII and CStW are also on Xbox Live for 80 MS points each I believe. Anyway, here's my extended versions of Prisoner of the Badlands from Jamestown and the battle theme from Breath of Death VII:
As always, I didn't compose, nor do I own the copyrights to either of these songs so if any of the copyright holders of these games or their music want me to remove these videos, just ask.

Game Music Appreciation: Bloody Tears (Castlevania Judgment version)

In game music appreciation, I take a look at a song from a game that I probably wont be writing about in any other fashion. I always feature one or two of my favorite songs from each game in my top 5 articles, but not every game gets an article. To put it bluntly: this is where I put good songs from games that I either dislike or am apathetic about.

Castlevania Judgment was a game with a lot of promise. A fighting game based on freakin Castlevania? Sign me up! Oh. Wait. It turns out it was a pile of shit. One thing the game had going for it however was AWESOME covers of songs from previous Castlevania games, one of which is Bloody Tears from Castlevania 2 (Another game I have little to say about.) This song is the theme of Carmilla, the totally not a knock off of Ivy I swear guys character(in this game at least). I'm sure that many of you are familiar with the song's NES version but I think this one is just so amazing that anytime I hear the NES one, I just wanna hear this version again instead. Just give it a listen for yourself.

Video brought to us by YouTube user MegaVideoGameMusic:

Attention every gaming site on the entire internet:

This guy:
I'm tired of him and I'm tired of his stupid face. He looks like he belongs on a poster for the next Jackass movie. There doesn't need to be a giant close-up shot of this moron's face every time you do a Far Cry 3 related story. Stop it. Just stop it. That is all.

And yes I realize the irony of the fact that I used a giant close-up shot of his face. Shut up.