Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Destroyed Controller's Best of 2010 Game Awards

A little more snazzier than last year's, I'm going all out as I possibly can, as I have more time to do this than say the 3 days I worked on it last year.

As with last year, the same rules apply:
  1. GOTY for a specific platform must be a system exclusive title (ex: AC: Brotherhood cannot be awarded the Xbox 360 GOTY)
  2. With the aforementioned, multiplatorm titles have their own category to keep bitching to a minimum
  3. If a system was not played, a GOTY award will not be awarded
  4. Coincidentally, if there was only one game played on a system, that system will be disqualified (can't just give away awards)
  5. 2010's Eligible platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PSP, Xbox Live Arcade
  6. 2010's Ineligible platforms: PlayStation Network, WiiWare, DS, handheld multiplatforms
  7. Runners-up will be listed in the order of how well they permormed; the higher up the list, the more of a fight they put up.

I'm introducing a handful of new categories, however:

  • Biggest Surprise - Something that completely floored me that it has to be mentioned...and given it's own award
  • Digital Multi (XBLA and PSN) - Name's a bit wonky, but it's there for digital releases on XBLA and PSN (such as Limbo or Super Meat Boy)
  • The Demo Was so Bad, My Interest for the Game Fell off of The Face of the Earth - Yes. That is seriously the name of category, and it need not be explained.
  • I'm Kicking Myself in the Ass for Not Playing This Game (Yet) - Again, name of the title, self explanatory. This is a good way to get an idea as to why some games weren't just included.
  • Worst Game of the Year - This ain't just for the best game of the year, but I'm awarding a Razzie to the worst game of the year.
  • Most Anticipated for 2011 - We're not just reflecting on 2010, but looking into the future for what beauties 2011 can bring us.
  • Best and Worst Idea - Essentially, things that came from people's thought-processing pool of thoughts that either were awesomely epic, or epically horrendous.
  • Adventure, First and Third Person Shooters, Role Playing Games, Hack-n-Slash, and Platformers are all under the whole "Genre" moniker.
Without further adieu, here are your DestructiCon GOTY 2010 winners:


Adventure
http://www.theplaystationetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/rdr_coverart_xbox360.jpg

Winner: Red Dead Redemption

I want to get this one out of the way right off of the bat. Adventure games are, by far, my favorite genre. It's the bread and butter to my...well, whatever goes well with bread and butter. I love a game without linearity, with story, with merit, without walls, and Redemption hits that spot. I'm not one for the wild west (I fucking hate sand and barren wastelands), but something about the west in this game is captivating. Is it the expansive world? Perhaps the amazing weather system. Could it be something else? Whatever it is, it was an amazing fucking game. If you haven't played Redemption, fuck you. Seriously.


Runners-Up: Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Super Mario Galaxy 2, 3D Dot Game Heroes, Dead Rising 2

Platformer
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_P54DIsUnuz0/TIG76JrbXGI/AAAAAAAAACY/k8zlEX7F0gg/s1600/B003O65TC6.01._SCRMZZZZZZ_.jpg

Winner: Donkey Kong Country Returns

"D-K! Donkey Kong. D-K! Donkey Kong is here!"

Thank god I don't have to listen to that again. Donkey Kong County Returns 4 is, well, the sequel to Dixie's Double Trouble, way back on the Super Nintendo. Donkey and Diddy are reunited, along with features, weapons and moves that were first introduced in Donkey Kong 64. This game, made by Retro (you know, Metroid Prime), has given it's trademarked Breath of Life into yet another Nintendo franchise, and it is absolute astounding. It plays out just like the old-school DKC games, which were one of my favorite series while growing up. I seriously felt like a 9-year old again, as hopping, jumping and swinging through the jungle brought back memories of bringing the instruction manual to school, whipping it out during lunch time, and talking it over with my friends in elementary school. Nostalgia be damned, DKCR was one of the better games this year.

Runner Up: Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

First-Person Shooter
http://terminalgamer.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Halo-Reach-Box-Art.jpg

Winner: Halo Reach

Yes, Halo wins this. Not because it's Halo, but because, obviously, compared to the two, it had proven itself to have a more solid gameplay than the others. Yes, it was better than Black Ops. Hell, Black Ops isn't even a runner up. I got to the fourth campaign mission and sent that bitch back to GameFly. Halo, on the other hand, is more involving. The lore is a lot better than this twist on American politics. The only game that can do that while capturing my attention is Assassin's Creed or Metal Gear Solid. Bungie's brand new engine for Reach is so much better than others that are out there. The multiplayer is leaps and bounds above what previous Halo games have accomplished. Halo is such an amazingly crafted first person shooter on so many levels, that there's only one game that can best it, and it won't come out until next year. It's name? Rage.

Runners-Up: BioShock 2, Metro 2033

Third-Person Shooter
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2710/4299937696_be14e10db6.jpg
Winner: Splinter Cell: Conviction

This was a toughie. Between Sam Fisher's awesome combat beard, Optimus' fight for Cybertron and Alan Wake's...wake, Conviction takes the cake. It reinvigorated the series, and it was highly praised by just about everyone. So what if the Mark & Execute feature makes the game easier? It's a simple system that requires up-close-and-personal melee kills to actually earn the ability to do so, so you'll always have to kill a couple people with your bare hands. Last Known Position also helps give you visual aid to let you know your enemies have officially lost track of you. The weapon upgrade system is welcomed, but it's seriously lacking in overall use; only a handful of weapons can equip suppressors, and what's the point of having a non-suppressed weapon in a stealth-based game? Asides from the minor faults, Conviction takes the cake.

Runners-Up: Alan Wake, Transformers: War for Cybertron

Role Playing Game
http://purenintendo.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/6148fyOAL2L.jpg
Winner: Golden Sun: Dark Dawn

When Nintendo first announced that Golden Sun was being revived, I shat bricks. I beat the shit out of the first game, and, sadly, never played Lost Age. However, I love Isaac and Garet, and the Djinn. The world within the game is fantastic, and still being able to see the heroes from the original games, whom you play as the children of said heroes, really does add to the "we've been gone for so long" mantra behind this game. Between the competition, the others didn't really stand a chance. Golden Sun came, kicked ass, brought some nostalgia with it, and a much better experience than what you would have found in Fable and Final Fantasy this time 'round. The only problem with this game? That fucking commercial: "Djinn are for slaying monsters!" Sure they are. But they could have done something a little better than the son using said Djinn to beat up his family.


Runners-Up: Fable III, Final Fantasy XIII

Hack-n-Slash

http://media.teamxbox.com/games/ss/2017/1256618849.jpg

Winner: Bayonetta

Do you need an explanation? It's fucking Bayonetta! If you didn't know, the man behind Bayonetta is the same guy who brought us Devil May Cry. Yes, that guy: Hideki Kamiya is his name. Unfortunately, he no longer works on the DMC team. Fortunately, he brought us Bayonetta. And that ass. She's a witch, who wears her own hair as clothing, derives her power from said hair, and the more powerful her attacks become, the more hair is removed from her body to execute those attacks. With the most powerful attacks, she's completely nekkid (save for the hair twirling around her body, coincidentally hiding her bits and pieces). The story is pretty much for shit, the combat system is something to behold, but oh my damn, I could get lost in those eyes. And that ass.

Runners-Up: God of War III, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Dante's Inferno, No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise

Xbox 360

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2710/4299937696_be14e10db6.jpg

Winner: Splinter Cell: Conviction

That makes two for Conviction. The last Splinter Cell game was pretty bad. Wasn't too fond of Chaos Theory, either, but I've always been a Solid Snake fan, myself. Despite this, Sam Fisher came back in the limelight with his emo haircut, we made fun of it, he went and cried himself in a corner, cut his bangs off, came back with a badass attitude, and kicked ass. This game is the pinnacle of Sam Fisher's career, and, thankfully, Ubisoft won't let him die with his fifth installment. Sadly, I don't see how they can continue the story, but this be not the time nor place to whine.

Conviction did a stellar job of not only reinvigorating Sam's attitude and the game's action, but it streamlined everything into an amazing experience. One shot triple kills while hanging upside down from a pipe in a quasi-museum while the guards are investigation your Last Known Position after killing the power and crushing 3 guards using the world's largest chandelier? Oh, hell yes. [Ed note: I'm aware that Conviction was also available on the PC. However, when a game is released for the PC under the Games for Windows moniker with a 360 version as well, they are considered both under the Windows/Microsoft camp, hence exclusive to Microsoft platforms.]

Runners-Up: Halo: Reach, Alan Wake, Fable III

XBLA

http://www.el33tonline.com/images/cache/13998.JPG

Winner: Dead Rising: Case Zero

It's zombies. It's $5. It's fucking awesome. Thought it sucked? It was a marketing tool to buy Dead Rising 2. Bought Dead Rising 2? Well, it worked, apparently. Short, sweet, compact gaming with replayability (a lot of things to do that you won't get done in one run) with a couple of Achievements that will have you replay the story at least 3 times, Case Zero is a prologue that actually does well. And it's $5. Did I mention it was only $5?

Runners-Up: Super Meat Boy, Limbo
 
PS3

http://gamingdead.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Heavy-Rain-UK-box-art.jpg

Winner: Heavy Rain

Absolute, hands down, one of the best games I have played in a long time. Yes, this is not a game, but more of an interactive drama, as Quantic Dream puts it. Heavy Rain brought to the table what no other game could, and that was full immersion in a game, or as fully immersed you could be in a game. Taken from my review I wrote earlier this year, I fell this leaves a sensatiable taste in your mouth, having you longing to play the game, especially with the Move update:

"The interaction with the environment and the vast amounts of directions the game can take you [is amazing]. Halfway through the game, I felt that if I opened the wrong cabinet door, or turned a door knob the wrong way, it would set forth a Butterfly Effect that has yet to be seen. However, I do not say that in spite of the team, oh lord no. I wish there was more of this kind of interaction with the characters and environment in other games."

Runner-Up: God of War III

Wii

http://blastmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/500x_supermariogalaxy2_pkg.jpg

Winner: Super Mario Galaxy 2

Leave it to Mario to take the Wii cake here. It's quasi-classic Mario gameplay, but it vastly improves on what Galaxy was. Yes, granted, Galaxy 2 is essentially Galaxy 1.5, but those updates they did quantify a new experience, full price be damned. I never finished the first one (gasp!), but there wasn't enough there to keep me going. Here, there was a plentiful amount of activities and gameplay to keep me going. Perhaps it was the fact that the Throwback Stage was the Whomp's Fortress from Mario 64 that kept me going just so I could play it again. I don't care. SMG2 was the most fun I had on the Wii.

Runners-Up: No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition

PSP

http://www.examiner.com/images/blog/EXID6894/images/mgspw.jpg

Winner: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

It's Metal Gear Solid 5, what else could you possibly want? Naked Snake is back, as Big Boss, years after Snake Eater, in yet another interquel in the series. Playing out in Costa Rica, you take on Snake just prior to Outer Heaven setting up. The gameplay is more akin to Portable Ops than a traditional console release, however, the controls have been tweaked greatly to accommodate those home-console players like myself. The story is still just as bat-shit crazy and hard to follow until the very end, but it's the shit I love. Long live Snake.

Runner-Up: God of War: Ghost of Sparta

Best Multiplatform DLC

http://www.aussielowdown.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/red-dead-redemption-undead-nightmare.jpg

Winner: Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare

It's Red Dead Redemption, plus zombies. Zombie people, zombie bears, zombie big foot. What else do you want?

Multiplatform (Console)

http://www.theplaystationetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/rdr_coverart_xbox360.jpg

Winner: Red Dead Redemption

See [Adventure] to get an idea as to why this game was the best multiplatform game you could buy. If you're teetering on the edge of your seat, shouting at me because I have yet to pick Black Ops for anything, grow a pair of balls, spend some money on something other than rehashed horseshit - like, say, this game - then get back at me.

Runners-Up: Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Bayonetta, LEGO Harry Potter

Biggest Disappointment


Winner: Konami Screws up Castlevania. Twice.

What could possibly reign as the biggest disappointment of 2010? This was a bit of a doozy, but I had to go with Konami. They let two entries of Castlevania fail miserably. Harmony of Despair, the XBLA multiplayer driver game, and Lords of Shadow, the newest entry into the 3D pile of shit, both failed hard. Harmony was intended to be a throwback to original 2D side-scrolling Castlevania goodness, while Lords was intended to shit all over the previous 3D entries and "revitalize" both the series at the 3D games. Both games ended up being terrible wastes of time. With Castlevania's luster starting to wain, it's going to be hard to keep it in my top 5 franchises.

Runners-Up: Team Ninja Fuck up at Their Forté (Metroid: Other M), Microsoft fucks up Game Room, Yakuza 3's long awaited localization falls incredibly short, Skyward Sword Gets Delayed into 2011

Biggest Surprise

http://gameaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/inafune_capcom_wii.jpg

Winner: Keiji Inafune Gives Capcom Deuces

Being the last of Capcom's biggest developers to leave isn't good for business, especially when you were the man behind Mega Man, as well as the producer behind many - if not all - of Capcom's biggest IPs: Dead Rising, Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Lost Planet, as well as handle a damned good crossover, Zelda: Minish Cap. Keiji Inafune left near the end of October, whom was the last big name Capcom had under their belt (Shinji Mikami, Hideki Kamiya and Atsushi Inaba all left 3 years ago). It was sad to see him go, but seeing as his last words with the company weren't all that heart warming, I'm not surprised to hear we won't be working with Capcom on any future projects. Ever.

Runners-Up: 3DS Priced at ¥25,000 in Japan (~$300), Nintendo and Team Ninja Join Forces for Metroid, Team ICO Collection is Real

Best Idea

Image by ReddHedd (from Bungie.net forums)

Winner: 343 Industries Remaking Halo

Sure, it's a rumor, and Microsoft are downplaying the shit out of it, but their PR-speak translates into "Listen, we just put out Reach. We're supporting that right now and you just got your first map pack. Isn't that good enough for you? Wait for E3." They didn't say anything about E3, but I'm sure they'll blow the fucking doors off of it then, considering next year mark's Halo's 10th anniversary (both Combat Evolved and the franchise together). What better way to mark a momentous event in Microsoft's foray into the gaming industry than to revisit the game that helped their big black box give Sony's big black box a run for their money?

Runners-Up: Kratos is a Kombatant in Mortal Kombat 9, Konami Bringing Heroes' Paradise Stateside Next Year, Sony Sees "HD Collections" as a Viable Business Opportunity

Worst Idea

http://www.3dsbuzz.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/3DS-It-Prints-Money.gif

Winner: 3DS Priced at ¥25,000 in Japan (~$300)

We can't really blame them. As soon as it was announced, gamers - like myself - hit the comments on Joystiq and Kotaku and, collectively, announced to the world: 

"Dear Nintendo, Here's a blank check with my signature. You can write any amount on here and I will pay it. Love, Everyone"

Still, Nintendo priced the 3DS in Japan at ¥25,000, or about $300. That's fucking ridiculous. For the same price, you can get the 250GB Xbox 360 Slim. For $100 less, you can score a Wii. For $100 more, you can get the PS3 Move system bundle. For that same price, I can get my passenger side door and quarter panels repaired. Will the 3DS be worth it? I pray to your god that Nintendo drops the price down for the US market, because, let's be honest, who's going to pay $300 for it? 

Sorry, that should read "who's going to cringe when they hand over their credit card at Best Buy when they buy one?" Answer? Everyone.

Runners-Up: Microsoft Increases Xbox LIVE Price to $60, Activision Continues to Whore Out the Tony Hawk Franchise

The Demo Was So Bad, My Interest Fell off of The Face of the Earth

http://admintell.napco.com/ee/images/uploads/gamertell/dark_void_box_art_300.jpg

Winner: Dark Void

Oh my damn. Dark Void had a very interesting premise, in that it was on-the-fly switching between in-the-air and on-the-ground combat with the use of your jetpack. Being bombarded by a squadron of baddies? Fuck 'em, put that $10,000,000 device to use, spread your wings and fly away. Despite that dream, Dark Void fell short. Well, "short" is off. Way off. Dark Void was an abomination, and should never be thought of again. Unless Capcom wants to make a sequel that completely obliterates it's predecessor, then don't touch it again.

Runner-Up: Quantum Theory

I'm Kicking Myself in the Ass for Not Playing This Game (Yet)


Winner: GoldenEye 007

I'll have to admit, I was debating between the three runners-up. Then I remembered I have yet to play GoldenEye. Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with me? It's goddamned GoldenEye! Sure, it's Daniel Craig's version of GoldenEye, and they should have payed Pierce Brosnan double what he was earning to continue the legacy, because, let's be honest, Daniel Craig is not Pierce. He's definitely not Sean Connery. But it's still GoldenEye, and I can't wait to get my grubby little hands on it.

Runners-Up: Enslaved, Sly Collection, Vanquish

Worst Game of the Year

http://www.thegamingvault.com/wp-content/gallery/metroid-other-m-review/metroid-other-m-boxart-western.jpg

Winner: Metroid: Other M

You bet your ass I'm giving this to Metroid, and I dare you find a valid argument to defend it. Team Ninja seriously fucked up this on, as their bag of chips was the exact genre Metroid is in, and that is "run, shoot, kill, adventure". Ninja Gaiden - both 1 and 2, including Black and Sigma - were pivotal games on both Xboxes and PS3, despite the gigantic mammaries on Rachel. Some may say Ninja Gaiden II was a tad lacking - in that I didn't finish the game - but it's predecessor was an amazing game, helmed by Tobonobu Itagaki. Sadly, with his departed two years ago, if Metroid: Other M is foreshadowing Ninja Gaiden III's outcome, don't do it.

With Samus' incessant whining and bitching (not to mention her absolute fear of Ridley, despite killing him 5 times prior to Other M (twice in Zero Mission, once in Super, and twice in the Prime trilogy), Samus turned from seasoned veteran to the biggest pussy this side of Hope in Final Fantasy XIII. Nintendo, don't you fucking dare let Team Ninja touch Metroid again. Just because Capcom was able to rub out the beauties that were the Oracle duo of Zelda games doesn't mean it can be done with another studio with another franchise.

Runners Up: Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, Lost Planet 2

Game of the Year


Winner: Red Dead Redemption

I hate the wild west. I don't like the movies, I don't like the games. But holy fucking ass crackers, Red Dead Redemption was a hell of a ride. From beginning to end, it was amazing. There aren't enough words to describe how well this game is crafted. Sure, there are detractors that say it's "GTA IV, but in the wild west", but any good open-world exploration game like this is going to be compared to GTA. If it's a good game, they'll just say it's GTA in [Insert Time Period/Location Here]. John Marston is a great character addition to the history books for video games. Red Dead Redemption is a classic, and it goes well on my bookshelf with my 300 other video games, wedged in there between Ratched & Clank: A Crack in Time and Red Faction Guerrilla. Of course, those are no where near as good as this game.

Runners-Up: Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Heavy Rain

Most Anticipated Game of 2011


 Image by bradley from zeldadungeon.net

Winner: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Do you need an explanation from the man who made his own Zelda timeline when he was 14? The man who dedicated the Summer of '99 to finding the Triforce in Ocarina of Time? The man who seriously contemplated on tattooing the Triforce on the back of his hand? You need not. Skyward Sword will never leave my Wii, as I had wished the same for Twilight Princess. Considering this game is a prequel to Ocarina, as well as telling the story behind the Master Sword's origin and creation, you bet your sweet ass I will be all over this like stink on shit.

Runners Up: Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, Assassin's Creed III, Batman: Arkham City, The Last Guardian, Rage