Welcome to the fourth edition of The Slim Opinion, and your final edition of 2011 where our writers muse about their picks for the year.

Yes, before you mention it, we are aware it’s now 2012, so this edition is slightly (read: very) late. Still, I bet you’ve gone without any sleep since the last Slim Opinion was published, keeping a vigil by your laptops in heady expectation of the latest update.

You haven’t? Can’t blame you. Here it is anyway…

What’s your…

Game of the year?

Slim Opinion 1

How this doesn't win every year is a mystery.

Charles D. “NoSkill McGrill”, SlimGamer.com:

Portal 2. A great twist, new characters, and new enemies was more than what I expected the next Portal game to deliver.

Hayes Madsen “Uber Popsicle/Solfleet”, SlimGamer.com:

Game of the year for me is without a doubt The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. it reminded me why Zelda is one of the best series of all time, while also taking the series to heights it hasn’t reached before. In other words I was completely blown away.

Kevin Moore “Dr Eagle G”, SlimGamer.com:

For anyone that knows me this is obvious: Batman: Arkham City. I’m a massive Batman geek, (seriously, I weigh 20 stone) so it couldn’t be anything else.

Mike Smith “Skith”, Screaming at a Joypad:

Oddly – and nobody is more surprised by this than myself, it’s NOT Skyrim
It was actually Portal 2 – Don’t get me wrong, I’m not taking anything away from Skyrim, it’s still a wonderful game but Portal 2 felt more like a presentation about the simple joys of video games than an epic sprawling adventure like Skyrim which you can make your own.

 

Game moment of the year?

Slim Opinion 7

GAME's moment of the year. Guaranteed $$$.

Charles D. “NoSkill McGrill”, SlimGamer.com:

I loved the ending of Portal 2. No spoilers!

Hayes Madsen “Uber Popsicle/Solfleet”, SlimGamer.com:

The death of Dom in Gears of War 3. As much as I knew it was coming, the shock of it was still high for me. The way the scene was written made it one of my most memorable moments of gaming. A beautiful, emotional scene that came from a game I really didn’t expect to have it.

Kevin Moore “Dr Eagle G”, SlimGamer.com:

Modern Warfare 3‘s London Underground level. Pure disaster movie chaos. I can confirm that the London Underground is exactly the same when I go to work every morning.

Mike Smith “Skith”, Screaming at a Joypad:

Alas, I feel this may be a running theme in this piece but going back to Portal 2, I feel the ‘Lunacy’ moment (avoiding any spoilers) stands out as a great moment in recent gaming history for me.

 

Soundtrack of the year?

Slim Opinion 8

Googled 'Braid'. This is what came up. Pretty sure this isn't it.

Charles D. “NoSkill McGrill”, SlimGamer.com:

NBA 2K12. The soundtrack gets you pumped for a game of hoops.

Hayes Madsen “Uber Popsicle/Solfleet”, SlimGamer.com:

Deus Ex: Human Revolution. This cyberpunk story had a soundtrack that instantly wove its way into my head and my list for greatest soundtracks of all time.

Kevin Moore “Dr Eagle G”, SlimGamer.com:

Once again (and this is going to become a running theme), the soundtrack for Batman: Arkham City was a brilliant mash up of the Hans Zimmer Dark Knight Score, Danny Elfman’s score from Batman Returns and even a hint of Batman Forever, all mixed with an orignal sound from Nick Arundel and Ron Fish. Had me jumping off a few rooftops this Autumn.

Mike Smith “Skith”, :Screaming at a Joypad:

Seeing as my absolute favourite video game soundtrack was released in 2008 (Braid – wonderful soundtrack if you haven’t heard it) I think I’ll have to return to Portal 2 as I find myself listening to a personally made ‘best of’ from the albums.
You can download the soundtrack for free from the following site http://www.thinkwithportals.com/music.php

 

Graphics of the year?

Slim Opinion 13

Forget sexy graphics, what about sexy graphs? Phoaarr.

Charles D. “NoSkill McGrill”, SlimGamer.com:

COD: Modern Warfare 3. This game looks great. I know the multiplayer and co-op are where it shines, but the single player looks beautiful.

Hayes Madsen “Uber Popsicle/Solfleet”, SlimGamer.com:

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. Make whatever case you want for Crysis 2 and Battlefield 3, The Witcher 2 is the first game I’ve ever played that has literally made my jaw drop because of how good it \looked.

Kevin Moore “Dr Eagle G”, SlimGamer.com:

Skyrim. Who needs an expensive holiday when you can load vistas like that straight onto your TV? On second thought, it’s not quite the same as a holiday to Greece, but you get my point.

Mike Smith “Skith”, Screaming at a Joypad:

Veering away from Portal 2 for a moment . Whilst those graphics are great we have had some real diamonds this year, games such as RAGE and Skyrim, I think for character details, my hat is tipped firmly in RAGE‘s direction but for sheer wow-factor for vistas and scenery I have to go with Bethesdas Skyrim.

 

Hero of the year?

Slim Opinion 14

May have to hit the treadmill before Arkham III comes out.

Charles D. “NoSkill McGrill”, SlimGamer.com:

Duke Nukem – Duke Nukem Forever. His one liners never get old.

Hayes Madsen “Uber Popsicle/Solfleet”, SlimGamer.com:

I really liked Cole Phelps from L.A. Noire. He was an average man with some serious flaws, that I really ended up caring about by the end. L.A. Noire is a lengthy game and I felt incredibly bad about the turn events took for him.

Kevin Moore “Dr Eagle G”, SlimGamer.com:

Take a guess.

Mike Smith “Skith”, Screaming at a Joypad:

Batman! Getting to play as the caped crusader again in Arkham City was such a treat! And having an entire city to run around in only intensified the fun.

 

Villain of the year?

Slim Opinion 15

Somewhere in Gotham, there's a kid with a cap gun having one hell of a game of cops and robbers.

Charles D. “NoSkill McGrill”, SlimGamer.com:

The Joker – Batman: Arkham City. Batman just isn’t complete without him.

Hayes Madsen “Uber Popsicle/Solfleet”, SlimGamer.com:

Lord Ghirahim- Skyward Sword. It’s a rare happening for me to find a villain that just completely unnerves me. Ghirahim does it with flying colors, and some of my favorite parts of the game feature him. His flamboyant but murderous personality is a perfect fit for a Zelda villain.

Kevin Moore “Dr Eagle G”, SlimGamer.com:

Read my last suggestion. Begins with J and ends in R, and it’s not The Janitor.

Mike Smith “Skith”, Screaming at a Joypad:

I think it would have to be the end encounter of Gears of War 3 – without offering too many spoilers – finally getting to ‘that point’ was very intense and afterwards it left me with a great sense of satisfaction which is exactly what a boss battle is supposed to do.

 

Downloadable game of the year?

Slim Opinion 11

I'll give you my answer in six or so hours...

Charles D. “NoSkill McGrill”, SlimGamer.com:

NBA JAM: On Fire Edition. This is the best version of NBA JAM to date in my opinion and I was thrilled to get this in downloadable form.

Hayes Madsen “Uber Popsicle/Solfleet”, SlimGamer.com:

Bastion without a doubt. Just read my review, I don’t call many games a “masterpiece” but Bastion easily gets the title.

Kevin Moore “Dr Eagle G”, SlimGamer.com:

I’ve done the bulk of my downloading this year on iOS, and the cream of the crop there for me has to be GTA3 on the iPad/iPhone. Never would’ve thought in 2001 that you could be playing this on your phone. Vice City next, pretty please!

Mike Smith “Skith”, Screaming at a Joypad:

Has to be Bastion! This game completely blew me away! From the art style to that fantastic narration to the music and even the gameplay. It’s a great downloadable game.

 

Multiplayer of the year?

Slim Opinion 12

Now that's what I call a Multiplaya.

Charles D. “NoSkill McGrill”, SlimGamer.com:

COD: Modern Warfare 3. No explanation necessary.

Hayes Madsen “Uber Popsicle/Solfleet”, SlimGamer.com:

I’m still a fan of good old Call of Duty. Say what you want about it. I still find COD the most enjoyable and addictive of multiplayer games, and I’ve already sunk a good chunk of hours into Modern Warfare 3.

Kevin Moore “Dr Eagle G”, SlimGamer.com:

FIFA 12 is the only multiplayer experience I’ve lost real money on. That tells you everything you need to know.

Mike Smith “Skith”, Screaming at a Joypad:

This is always going to be a difficult one for me as I don’t usually play traditional ‘multiplayer’ outside of LAN parties and the occasional game of Red Dead Redemption with one of my old friends. I think I’m going to have to choose my Game of the Year, Portal 2. It’s co-op mode – built from the ground up as a completely separate campaign – is the most fun I have had with co op in a long time.

 

Game of The Year Runner up?

Slim Opinion 3

See what I did there?

Charles D. “NoSkill McGrill”, SlimGamer.com:

Gears of War 3. The Gears of War franchise was the reason I bought an Xbox 360, and the third game holds its own.

Hayes Madsen “Uber Popsicle/Solfleet”, SlimGamer.com:

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Bethesda’s latest game was one hell of an experience. Skyrim is another masterpiece of gaming and a one of a kind experience that I absolutely adored.

Kevin Moore “Dr Eagle G”, SlimGamer.com:

Deus Ex: Human Revolution. If Batman: Arkham City hadn’t come out, I’d be dedicating my contribution to this column, as well as my newborn baby to this game. And I don’t even have a newborn baby.

Mike Smith “Skith”, Screaming at a Joypad:

Has to be The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, a simply wonderful game and a real treat of an experience to play! Bethesda have done it again with this one, despite its bugs and inevitable flaws it will remain a great game for a long time to come.

 

Remake of the year?

Slim Opinion 5

This was a pretty good remake. Wait, we're talking about games? Oh.

Charles D. “NoSkill McGrill”, SlimGamer.com:

MGS HD Collection. It’s in my backlog, but I happily picked it up to play through some of my favorite games again.

Hayes Madsen “Uber Popsicle/Solfleet”, SlimGamer.com:

Halo Anniversary. Not only did it provide the biggest overhaul in graphics for any of the remakes, but it also provided a set of new Reach multiplayer maps and added bonuses like skulls and terminals. This all gave Halo an update that felt more than merely “upgraded graphics”.

Kevin Moore “Dr Eagle G”, SlimGamer.com:

Not exactly a remake, but I was very happy to see Another World released on iOS. It brought back great memories of the early 90’s when gaming was a lot more innocent, and when I’d be hurling my joystick at the wall because this game was, and still is, SO BLOODY HARD.

Mike Smith “Skith”, Screaming at a Joypad:

Whilst I was excited about the Crazy Taxi remake (until I found out the trademark music had changed), and ecstatic to hear that ICO and Shadow of the Colossus was being re-released in HD (until I remembered I don’t own a PS3), I think the best ‘remake’ I have played this year is probably Bionic Commando Rearmed 2. I realise that this isn’t really a remake but unfortunately it’s the closest example I have!

 

Surprise game of the year?

Slim Opinion 2

This clearly has nothing to do with our surprise game of the year.

Charles D. “NoSkill McGrill”, SlimGamer.com:

Portal 2. Again, I expected more Portal levels and puzzles, but got so much more.

Hayes Madsen “Uber Popsicle/Solfleet”, SlimGamer.com:

Deus Ex: Human Revolution came completely off the map and ended up being a highlight experience for me this year. Going back and playing the original two games before Human Revolution has made me an instant fan of the series and I’m totally excited to see where it goes next.

Kevin Moore “Dr Eagle G”, SlimGamer.com:

Batman: Arkham City Lockdown for iOS. Came completely out of the blue (I didn’t realise it was being released until two horus before it hit the Appstore – my Batcomputer must not have been working properly), a very nice surprise for someone who dresses up like Batman every Thursday.

Mike Smith “Skith”, Screaming at a Joypad:

Managing the different games in The Indiegarden here on Slimgamer, I’m in a unique position to play different games from very different publishers and I think that one of the most surprising games I’ve played this year has to be Swing Swing SubmarinesBlocks That Matter. Reading about it won’t do it justice, go onto the Xbox Live Indie Channel and download the demo to see it for yourself. http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-GB/Pr…5-d8025855085b

 

Letdown of the year?

Slim Opinion 4

Couldn't find anything for letdown of the year, but apparently this was the Touchdown of the year.

Charles D. “NoSkill McGrill”, SlimGamer.com:

Duke Nukem Forever. I still enjoyed myself, and it was still a fun game, but I was hoping to be blown away.

Hayes Madsen “Uber Popsicle/Solfleet”, SlimGamer.com:

This might be a roundabout answer but the PSN attack was severely disappointing. The fact that someone could do that much damage to the network, and how Sony left us in the dark really was surprising to me. I lost my trust in Sony with that event. In terms of games though, Duke Nukem Forever was definitely my most disappointing.

Kevin Moore “Dr Eagle G”, SlimGamer.com:

The 3DS. Defend it all you want, but I know that you know that Nintendo knows this thing is dying on it’s feet when they release a hideous looking thumb pad add-on less than a year into it’s release. PANIC MOVE.

Mike Smith “Skith”, Screaming at a Joypad:

I think I know what a lot of people might say in this position- Duke Nukem Forever, which frankly was a letdown for a lot of people. I never personally played it (aside from the demo) so I think my personal letdown of the year had to be Dragon Age II. I was expecting so much more from Bioware, unfortunately DA2 just didn’t live up to my (albeit sometimes lofty) expectations for the sequel to one of the best RPG’s I’ve ever played.

 

Most awaited game of 2012?

Slim Opinion 9

Shouldn't this be like, the most waited game EVER?

Charles D. “NoSkill McGrill”, SlimGamer.com:

NBA Elite 13? EA Sports needs to release a basketball title before the NBA 2K franchise has no reason to improve.

Hayes Madsen “Uber Popsicle/Solfleet”, SlimGamer.com:

Mine is Mass Effect 3. The Mass Effect series is my favorite series of the last decade, and I get giddy with excitement thinking about what awaits me in Mass Effect 3.

Kevin Moore “Dr Eagle G”, SlimGamer.com:

I’m very interested to see what the Ghost Recon franchise has left with Future Soldier, especially as it was one of my favourite shooters back in the early days of the 360 before COD turned into the monsterous bully it is now. But of course, it’s surely not possible to look past GTA V. Wait, let me confirm that…yup, I just tried, not gonna happen.

Mike Smith “Skith”, Screaming at a Joypad:

With so many games to look forward to it’s hard to pick a single one. I’m most looking forward to Guild Wars 2, I was privileged to play that at the Eurogamer Expo 2011 and it really impressed me.

On top of that I am also excited about Darksiders 2, Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite, Diablo 3, Borderlands 2, Prey 2, Mass Effect 3 and The Darkness 2 to name but a few!

 

What gaming gift are you hoping for this Christmas?

Slim Opinion 6

Still no Nintendo Power Glove then.

Charles D. “NoSkill McGrill”, SlimGamer.com::

I was hoping for a racing wheel, but got gift cards, so I guess I’m on my own.

Hayes Madsen “Uber Popsicle/Solfleet”, SlimGamer.com:

I’m hoping to get The Old Republic and a few paid months for it. As if the games I have now didn’t suck away enough of my time….

Kevin Moore “Dr Eagle G”, SlimGamer.com:

I was hoping for an iCade, or failing that, at least some quality time alone with my 360. I got: thermal vests.

Mike Smith “Skith”, Screaming at a Joypad:

To be honest, I think my other half is planning on getting my Super Meat Boy on Xbox Live Arcade – a game I have admired for a long time from afar but never purchased the full version so fingers crossed on that one.

 

Your new year’s gaming resolution?

Slim Opinion 10

More of the one on the right.

Charles D. “NoSkill McGrill”, SlimGamer.com:

Get all of the trophies/achievements for more games.

Hayes Madsen “Uber Popsicle/Solfleet”, SlimGamer.com:

Can’t really think of anything besides keep doing what I do best and play more games.

Kevin Moore “Dr Eagle G”, SlimGamer.com:

Play more!

Mike Smith “Skith”, Screaming at a Joypad:

I think my main one would be to play more games! I know that sounds crazy from a video game journalist but given the amount of games I play on a regular basis for work it leaves less time to play them recreationally. I think I should start setting time aside to work through my pile of unplayed games (the Pile of Shame) which I purchased on release date. I think my other Gaming Resolution would be to attend the Eurogamer Expo 2012 and try to (throughout the year) obtain some juicy exclusives for Slimgamer and our readers.