This past weekend hosted Spikes VGAs (aka Spike's 2 hour commercial for pre-rendered trailers) and like every year, I didn't watch it. I generally hate all forms of prestigious award ceremonies like the Oscars and the Grammys, because A.) I rarely agree with the choices for winners and B.) most of it is bullshit meant to boost sales so the box covers can say "Award Winner" on it (even though I don't think that actually boosts sales). The VGA's are following suit and this year made some horrendous decisions, going so far as to nominate games that hadn't even been released yet.
Well you can take a sigh of relief knowing that a truly honest and unbiased awards list has arrived from Uncle Abortion. Sure you probably still won't agree with all the winners but you can rest assured that I'm in no way getting paid for these nominations nor will any game box ever sport the phrase "Game of the Year -Abortion Fist". Although that would be pretty awesome and sales boosty.
Now onward to the winners!
I'll begin with my top picks. These are the awards for games that accomplished something good in my eyes. These are more obvious and less amusing to write and read but they're obligatory and still fun to bait arguments with.
GAME OF THE YEAR
Batman: Arkham City
Runner Up - Skyrim
I did this completely on my own, without your help.
This was a no brainer for me. Although I've already played Skyrim more than Batman, Batman still gets the top honor. No game was as satisfying, polished, and fun from beginning to end like Arkham City was. Every aspect of this game was perfected: the story was compelling, the controls were flawless, the design was clever and the content was nigh endless. Skryim is loaded with bugs and tediousness, Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 rely solely on Multiplayer (which is as frustrating as ever) and Uncharted 3 just failed to top part 2 in my books. With the exception of the optional Catwoman missions, I have absolutely no complaints with Arkham City.
BEST SENSORY STIMULANT
Watch this fullscreen at 1080p if you need convincing
I lumped all the sights and sounds into one category here and BF3 bulldozed the competition. No games on the market right now look or sound as good as Battlefield 3, end of discussion. The fact that Spike didn't even nominate this game for Best Graphics goes on to show how illegitimate their opinions are.
BEST GAME EVERYONE FORGOT
Dead Space 2
Dead Space 2 came out at the beginning of the year and topped the original but no one gives it any buzz anymore. Despite having a thrilling single player campaign, the best atmospheric lighting I saw of any game this year, and some of the creepiest sound design ever, I bet you won't be seeing this game on any nominations list this year.
Honorable Mention: Battlefield 3
I'm over the 300-esque scores in movies and games these days that feature metal guitars with a nonstop bombardment of tribal drums (Check out the Diablo III trailer for an example). That's why I found Skyrim's soundtrack to be refreshing with all the barbarian chants and medieval orchestras. It sounds very fitting, especially when you're fighting the dragons. An honorable mention goes to Battlefield 3 which went in a completely different direction and did a unique 90's sounding all electronic score.
SURPRISE HIT OF THE YEAR
The trailers leading up to MK's release looked so dumb to me. It was like the makers hadn't learned from it's previous 6 or 7 titles that their formula for fighting games wasn't working and that unnecessarily violent games went out of style in the 90's, like giant fake tits and home phones. However, by embracing the 90s and recreating their original hit 3 games in the classic side-to-side fighting style with over the top violence, giant fake tits, and a cheesy Bloodsport style storyline, they created something special.
BEST RENDITION OF AN ATTACK ON NEW YORK
Game developers sure love blowing up New York in this post 9/11 world. Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3, Resistance 3, and even the aforementioned Mortal Kombat feature scenes of New York being attacked. But I think Crysis 2 wins this one for its insane attention to detail, with correct street layouts and even going so far as to include an accurate creation of the new World Trade Center that hasn't even been fully constructed yet. Too bad the rest of the game wasn't as impressive.
Fallout New Vegas - Old World Blues
In the age of DLC, its disappointing that most of the add-on conent for games is worthless. Rehashed retro map packs, extra costumes, and Catwoman side-missions, its ludicrous how much bullshit is churned out on the virtual marketplace. All developers who want to make money on their games, post release, need to take a note from Fallout's extra chapter - Old World Blues. The story was was funny, the campaign was lengthy and it added a ton of useful shit, like a Dog Brain powered gatling gun.
BEST GAME WITH SHITTY GRAPHICS
Runners Up: Minecraft and Amnesia: Dark Descent
Shitty graphics are back in style! This is another one of my Fuck You's to the VGA's because they nominated L.A. Noire for best graphics. All Rockstar games look like shit (but are awesome none the less) and I wasn't nearly as impressed with the facial animation technology as everyone else was. It didn't look like the faces had muscles, it looked like a video of a face being projected on a blank mannequin's head. Like those stupid singing statue heads on Disney's Haunted Mansion ride. Minecraft and Amnesia also get honorable mention here too but I didn't play either of them sadly and they're more forgivable since they're indie titles.
HARDEST WORKING STUDIO
Traveller's Tales (TT Games)
Traveller's Tales released not one, not two, BUT THREE Lego games in one year. LEGO Star Wars III, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, and LEGO Harry Potter years 5-7. I had a blast with Pirates and have heard nothing but similar praise for the other two titles. I may have my facts screwed but I believe these were all developed by Traveller's Tales alone, unlike the COD games which only release once a year with alternating studios. I respect that even if the games aren't nearly as advanced.
Saints Row: The Third
I loves me some modern day shooters but I'm growing pretty numb to the endless real world weapons that essentially do the same thing. I hate how weapons in all genres are taking a more RPG approach with guns where the only real discernible difference is a statistic on DMG or ROF. That's why Saints Row deserves a round of applause for including entertaining weapons like "Fart in a Jar", a chummer that lures a shark to rise up from the asphalt and eat people, and a summon for a school bus filled with zombies.
Tune in next week for Part 2 where I spout righteous retribution on all of this years worst games.