Tuesday, February 14, 2012

2011 Games of the Year #1 - Terraria

There are two things I like in video games: I like making stuff, and I like blowing stuff up. Terraria offers both options in spades, so I like Terraria. A lot, in fact. Enough to net the #1 spot on my games of the year list for 2011.

Terraria is reminiscent of Minecraft, but it's got a few aspects that I think set it apart, positively. First, Terraria has a bit more direction for you. There are feats to accomplish, and rewards for doing so:
  • Build a house? You now have somewhere safe from zombies when night falls, and a place for NPCs to hang out.
  • Shatter an evil orb? A meteorite may fall from the sky, giving you access to a unique resource to craft better armor and weapons.
  • Defeat Skeletron, a floating skeleton head and a pair of bony hands? The tailor is free of his curse, and can offer you his wares.
Additionally, Terraria is 2D, rather than Minecraft's 3D nature. Certainly there is value to the 3D system, but adding the third dimension also adds another level of trickiness to the game, and at least in my limited experience, another level of frustration in building. Also, by using a 3rd-person point of view, with a standard mouse cursor, it's much easier to be able to build what you're actually trying to build, without having to constantly mine and place blocks (I cite my crafted version of Air Man as an example).

Finally, and I may get some detractors here, but I think Terraria's just a better-looking game. The graphics are eye-pleasing if simplistic, and everything is crisp and easy to see. It may run on basically Super Nintendo graphics, but the Super Nintendo did alright. I don't remember people ever complaining that Final Fantasy III didn't look good enough.

Terraria's got a nice flavor when played multiplayer, as it adds in that level of panic that all good multiplayer needs. You can work together to take down bosses, and cover each other while harvesting the lands resources. It's also got a PvP option, though I've never used it. But I could see it being fun, in the right circumstances.

More than anything, I like Terraria's potential. The game has received two huge updates since I purchased it last year, and I've read plenty of articles of people talking about their gaming experiences, and sharing their creations. I've really enjoyed what I've seen so far, and I'm excited about how much more it can be.

Oh. And as always...fuck Valentine's Day.


Chip said...

I knew this would win after seeing Dead Island at #2.

When are we getting the server setup again?

Congratulations on finally choosing a game that is actually awesome. (You missed the mark last year).

Nick Engle said...

Don't listen to Chip, you pick a good game EVERY year. And fuck Valentine's Day to you as well.

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