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Giant Bomb's Game of the Year 2010: Day Six

SO I WAS AT THIS CLUB LAST NIGHT AND I WAS STANDING NEXT TO A SPEAKER AND THIS DUDE STARTED HASSLING ME BECAUSE I DIDN'T HAVE A WRISTBA--OH, HEY, DUDE YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT OUR LAST DAY OF AWARDS!

We ring in the new year with two-and-a-half hours of head-splitting deliberation in this, our final day of awards!

Best Game Room Release


Food Fight


Having spent hours of time playing and dissecting every single game that Microsoft has released for its Game Room service, it seems like we've unwittingly become uniquely qualified to discuss the issue. And let's not mince words here: most of the games released on Game Room are complete trash by today's standards. Hell, most of the releases don't even have any real historical significance. But near the end of the year, Game Room started coming on, well, stronger than it normally does. Some of the arcade releases from Atari and Konami started seeming pretty good, and not just when taken in comparison to the wasteland of ephemeral Intellivision releases. The best of these is Atari's 1983 arcade classic, Food Fight.

It's essentially a shooter, with you, as the big-mouthed Charley Chuck, running from right to left, stopping over various foodstuffs to toss them at four chefs that are trying to prevent you from reaching the other side, where an ice cream cone awaits. It's got great little musical bits, fun graphics, and unlike plenty of other Game Room releases, it also controls really well.

As much as it's tempting to make a last-minute substitution and slap Venetian Blinds into this space to make it all more jokey, Food Fight is absolutely the best thing to happen to Game Room... even when you take into account the weird bug that's messing up its leaderboards. Hey, it wouldn't be Game Room if there wasn't something sort of broken about it, right?

Runners-up: Jackal, Pitfall II: Lost Caverns
 

Best Motion-Controlled Game

 

Dance Central


It's fairly safe to say that for all the ridiculous talk Microsoft and Sony did about their new-fangled motion technologies, neither the Move or Kinect showed their full potential with their first salvos of games. At the very least, one game among these launch lineups did manage to show us something beyond some broken attempts at innovation and predictably safe minigame collections. 
 
That game was Dance Central. Developer Harmonix, rarely one to half-ass it when introducing a new franchise to the world, made the absolute best use of Kinect's body tracking tech, creating a dancing game that was, in fact, a dancing game. Unlike DDR, and even more recent contemporaries like Just Dance, Dance Central keeps track of, and requires the use of your entire body. The moves the game teaches you are fairly rudimentary in the realm of true dancing, but that they are legitimate moves, and involve every limb working in time to the rhythm of the excellent soundtrack, makes Dance Central something of a revelation.  

Runners-up: Sports Champions, Wii Party
 
 

Worst Game of the Year

PowerGig: Rise of the Six String

 
Ugh. Ugh. Where to even start? PowerGig is just so bad. Here you've got this half-ass, low-rent knock-off version of Rock Band or Guitar Hero, except that because of its main gimmick that they sell this "real" electric guitar that you can play the game with, it's as--if not more--expensive than the name-brand rhythm games. The real guitar thing could've been cool, except that the game aspires to teach nothing, so it's just uncomfortable.  The track list is 90 percent power-pop-punk dreck that you've never heard of, and the other 10 percent are acts that have thus far refused to license their music to rhythm games out of some misplaced sense of integrity. You know, real chart-burners and crowd-pleasers like John Mayer, Kid Rock, and Dave Matthews! Even if these guys are your jam, they don't even get the songs you might want.
 
Never mind that the noodley lines make the note paths needlessly difficult to follow, or the joyless, pointless mythology of rock warriors that the game spins around the single-player game, or the fact that  the game only supports three instruments, having willfully ignored the existence of the bass guitar. 
It's a bad, lazy take on a style of game already being dominated by two fierce competitors who are more skilled, more experienced, and better funded. It's not just really, really bad, it's unnecessary. Yeah, there was a lot of shovelware BS out there, but this was the game that offended our senses the most, which is why PowerGig: Rise of the Six String is our pick for Worst Game of the Year. Seriously, just look at it! So bad.

Runners-up: Motion Sports, Tony Hawk: SHRED
 
 

Most Disappointing Game

 

Fable III


It's certainly not that Fable III is a bad game, but there are two things about it that really let us down. First, Fable II was such a surprising improvement over the ambitious but flawed original adventure, we naturally expected this third installment to even further build on the great work Lionhead did two years ago with that first sequel. Instead we got a diminished role for our hero's pet dog and a bunch of quests involving the same balverines, hobbes, and hollow men we remembered hacking up and setting on fire in the last game.

Second, despite a slight feeling of deja vu, there was still plenty to love about Fable III's return to Albion, and this would still have been a good solid sequel if Lionhead hadn't made a wide array of baffling design decisions that made it less fun than it should have been to engage the gameplay. The lengthy and overly complex process of accessing the inventory and map, the utter uselessness of that map, unwieldy property management system, largely redundant weapon upgrades, time-consuming character interactions, bizarre endgame design... well, the list could go on, but all these relatively minor complaints combined into one major disappointment. Fable III isn't anywhere close to the worst game of the year, it's just the one that fell the shortest of what we wanted it to be.      
 
    
Runners-up: Crackdown 2, Alpha Protocol 
 
 

Best Multiplatform Game & Game of the Year, 2010

 

Mass Effect 2

 
When BioWare said that you might not make it out of Mass Effect 2 alive, it was hard to picture what, exactly, the developers could be talking about. The idea of having your lead character die at the end of the second game in what's at least going to be a trilogy seemed completely crazy. But after seeing the different ways the game's finale can roll out, it's clear that the Edmonton-based studio has a pretty firm grasp on this whole sci-fi shooter-RPG thing.

Mass Effect 2 makes great improvements over the original game, streamlining where necessary and managing to make the action feel, well, a lot more action-y. But it's the universe and the characters that are the stars here, with enough great side missions to let you get to know the entire cast and a main quest that, despite ending with a sort of lame-looking boss, feels intensely rewarding. Even getting your crew together manages to excite, with large portions of the game feeling like some sort of intergalactic Ocean's Eleven as you traipse around the stars, picking up new members of your suicidal running crew and completing tasks for them to ensure their loyalty.

Very few game universes feel like real, fleshed-out places that you could actually spend time in. But you get the impression that the developers have spent an insane amount of time actually thinking about what this universe contains, the various alien races that inhabit it, and how they interact. This is all backed up by the codex, a gigantic in-game tome of knowledge that you don't actually need to know to enjoy the game... but seeing that Mass Effect 2 takes place in a robust world just makes it that much better. It also opens up a world of possibilities for the future, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Right here, in 2010, Mass Effect 2 is our pick for both the best multiplatform game of the year as well as our overall choice, making it Giant Bomb's Game of the Year. You should play it!

Runners-up:  Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Red Dead Redemption StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
     
      
205 Comments
Posted by Brad

We ring in the new year with two-and-a-half hours of head-splitting deliberation in this, our final day of awards!

Best Game Room Release


Food Fight


Having spent hours of time playing and dissecting every single game that Microsoft has released for its Game Room service, it seems like we've unwittingly become uniquely qualified to discuss the issue. And let's not mince words here: most of the games released on Game Room are complete trash by today's standards. Hell, most of the releases don't even have any real historical significance. But near the end of the year, Game Room started coming on, well, stronger than it normally does. Some of the arcade releases from Atari and Konami started seeming pretty good, and not just when taken in comparison to the wasteland of ephemeral Intellivision releases. The best of these is Atari's 1983 arcade classic, Food Fight.

It's essentially a shooter, with you, as the big-mouthed Charley Chuck, running from right to left, stopping over various foodstuffs to toss them at four chefs that are trying to prevent you from reaching the other side, where an ice cream cone awaits. It's got great little musical bits, fun graphics, and unlike plenty of other Game Room releases, it also controls really well.

As much as it's tempting to make a last-minute substitution and slap Venetian Blinds into this space to make it all more jokey, Food Fight is absolutely the best thing to happen to Game Room... even when you take into account the weird bug that's messing up its leaderboards. Hey, it wouldn't be Game Room if there wasn't something sort of broken about it, right?

Runners-up: Jackal, Pitfall II: Lost Caverns
 

Best Motion-Controlled Game

 

Dance Central


It's fairly safe to say that for all the ridiculous talk Microsoft and Sony did about their new-fangled motion technologies, neither the Move or Kinect showed their full potential with their first salvos of games. At the very least, one game among these launch lineups did manage to show us something beyond some broken attempts at innovation and predictably safe minigame collections. 
 
That game was Dance Central. Developer Harmonix, rarely one to half-ass it when introducing a new franchise to the world, made the absolute best use of Kinect's body tracking tech, creating a dancing game that was, in fact, a dancing game. Unlike DDR, and even more recent contemporaries like Just Dance, Dance Central keeps track of, and requires the use of your entire body. The moves the game teaches you are fairly rudimentary in the realm of true dancing, but that they are legitimate moves, and involve every limb working in time to the rhythm of the excellent soundtrack, makes Dance Central something of a revelation.  

Runners-up: Sports Champions, Wii Party
 
 

Worst Game of the Year

PowerGig: Rise of the Six String

 
Ugh. Ugh. Where to even start? PowerGig is just so bad. Here you've got this half-ass, low-rent knock-off version of Rock Band or Guitar Hero, except that because of its main gimmick that they sell this "real" electric guitar that you can play the game with, it's as--if not more--expensive than the name-brand rhythm games. The real guitar thing could've been cool, except that the game aspires to teach nothing, so it's just uncomfortable.  The track list is 90 percent power-pop-punk dreck that you've never heard of, and the other 10 percent are acts that have thus far refused to license their music to rhythm games out of some misplaced sense of integrity. You know, real chart-burners and crowd-pleasers like John Mayer, Kid Rock, and Dave Matthews! Even if these guys are your jam, they don't even get the songs you might want.
 
Never mind that the noodley lines make the note paths needlessly difficult to follow, or the joyless, pointless mythology of rock warriors that the game spins around the single-player game, or the fact that  the game only supports three instruments, having willfully ignored the existence of the bass guitar. 
It's a bad, lazy take on a style of game already being dominated by two fierce competitors who are more skilled, more experienced, and better funded. It's not just really, really bad, it's unnecessary. Yeah, there was a lot of shovelware BS out there, but this was the game that offended our senses the most, which is why PowerGig: Rise of the Six String is our pick for Worst Game of the Year. Seriously, just look at it! So bad.

Runners-up: Motion Sports, Tony Hawk: SHRED
 
 

Most Disappointing Game

 

Fable III


It's certainly not that Fable III is a bad game, but there are two things about it that really let us down. First, Fable II was such a surprising improvement over the ambitious but flawed original adventure, we naturally expected this third installment to even further build on the great work Lionhead did two years ago with that first sequel. Instead we got a diminished role for our hero's pet dog and a bunch of quests involving the same balverines, hobbes, and hollow men we remembered hacking up and setting on fire in the last game.

Second, despite a slight feeling of deja vu, there was still plenty to love about Fable III's return to Albion, and this would still have been a good solid sequel if Lionhead hadn't made a wide array of baffling design decisions that made it less fun than it should have been to engage the gameplay. The lengthy and overly complex process of accessing the inventory and map, the utter uselessness of that map, unwieldy property management system, largely redundant weapon upgrades, time-consuming character interactions, bizarre endgame design... well, the list could go on, but all these relatively minor complaints combined into one major disappointment. Fable III isn't anywhere close to the worst game of the year, it's just the one that fell the shortest of what we wanted it to be.      
 
    
Runners-up: Crackdown 2, Alpha Protocol 
 
 

Best Multiplatform Game & Game of the Year, 2010

 

Mass Effect 2

 
When BioWare said that you might not make it out of Mass Effect 2 alive, it was hard to picture what, exactly, the developers could be talking about. The idea of having your lead character die at the end of the second game in what's at least going to be a trilogy seemed completely crazy. But after seeing the different ways the game's finale can roll out, it's clear that the Edmonton-based studio has a pretty firm grasp on this whole sci-fi shooter-RPG thing.

Mass Effect 2 makes great improvements over the original game, streamlining where necessary and managing to make the action feel, well, a lot more action-y. But it's the universe and the characters that are the stars here, with enough great side missions to let you get to know the entire cast and a main quest that, despite ending with a sort of lame-looking boss, feels intensely rewarding. Even getting your crew together manages to excite, with large portions of the game feeling like some sort of intergalactic Ocean's Eleven as you traipse around the stars, picking up new members of your suicidal running crew and completing tasks for them to ensure their loyalty.

Very few game universes feel like real, fleshed-out places that you could actually spend time in. But you get the impression that the developers have spent an insane amount of time actually thinking about what this universe contains, the various alien races that inhabit it, and how they interact. This is all backed up by the codex, a gigantic in-game tome of knowledge that you don't actually need to know to enjoy the game... but seeing that Mass Effect 2 takes place in a robust world just makes it that much better. It also opens up a world of possibilities for the future, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Right here, in 2010, Mass Effect 2 is our pick for both the best multiplatform game of the year as well as our overall choice, making it Giant Bomb's Game of the Year. You should play it!

Runners-up:  Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Red Dead Redemption StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
     
      
Posted by spree4567

Awesome

Posted by GiantBatman

 </GOTY>

Posted by zombie2011

the only game of the year deliberations i payed any attention too.    

Posted by Winsord

Can't wait for the day six podcast, awesome choices as per usual.

Posted by UberExplodey

fuck. yeah. MASS EFFECT.

Posted by funkpanda

Fuckkkk no soulja boy award this year

Posted by bigcess

Awww, Venetian Blinds nor Jungler won Best Game Room Release

Posted by Dany

go mass effect!

Posted by RobotHamster

Finally, it's over.

Posted by ShadowKnight508

Sweet...with Mass Effect 2 winning the overall GOTY of 2010 from Giant Bomb, I can not wait for it to arrive on the PS3 so that I can also enjoy the masterpiece that is ME2.
 
How bad was PowerGig, you ask? My sister got it for X-mas this year (I feel bad for her xD) I played through one song and promptly never touched it again. It has since been returned to Target and my sister got 2 Nintendo Wii games instead.

Posted by Phished0ne

is it really fair to call ME2 the "Best multiplatform game of the year"?  i mean, sure Xbox and PC.  But the PS3 version isn't even out yet.  What if it ends up being a terrible port? 
 
i know its nitpicky but *shrugs*

Posted by Darknaut

Definitely a deserving GOTY winner. Effing love that game.

Edited by EuanDewar

Starcraft 2 Multiplatform? Is that because its on mac aswell?
Posted by NoXious

Yes! I was worried that with Brad being anti-Mass Effect 2 for GOTY it might not have made it.
Glad it did make GOTY 2010! Grats Mass Effect!

Posted by phrosnite

YEAH! Mass Effect 2 wins not only GotY but multiplat too :)

Posted by SquirrelGOD

Cannot agree with today's list anymore than I do.  Fuck yes ME2 for GotY for being so damn awesome, and fuck Fable 3 in general for being such shit.  Awesome job guys, see you on Monday!

Posted by Fjordson
Was really hoping for Red Dead Redemption, but ME 2 ain't bad either.
Posted by Beomoose

Woo, MASS EFFECT! Great pick, GB

Posted by MarioBoza

John Drake's picture is HILARIOUS.

Edited by AllanIceman

Mass Effect Is in full Effect! 
I love it when Vinny just goes renegade in the video. Straight Dumping!!   

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Mass Effect wins! Hooray.

Posted by SubwayD

Oh dear. Well, I'm having a damn good time with Fable III anyway. 
I'll have to leave the deliberation podcast for a bit, I guess. Those guys will no doubt spoil the shit out of it. I'm really looking forward to seeing this super divisive ending!

Posted by Ghost407

ME2! I'm not surprised...

Posted by Biddy

Sooo... no best PSP game?

Posted by Tearhead

Why can't I watch the Day 06 recap in HD??

Posted by Kjellm87

I hate when the GOTY is not my kinda game, feel so left out.
But fair enough

Posted by wolf_blitzer85

I hope the podcast is them screaming at each other for 3  hours.

Posted by Korolev

YES

Online
Posted by piderman

Dammit, now I have to go play ME1 so I've got the story to play ME2.

Posted by AlwaysBeClothing

Mad love for Mass Effect 2  
 
Thank you again for locking yourself in a room for 8 hours and giving us the best damn GOTY on the internet 

Posted by FritzDude

Duder, it's over.

Posted by chocolaterhinovampire

happy that mass effect 2 got goty

Posted by Civraz

I should probably get around to finishing ME2 one of these days...

Posted by ZeroCast

Ah yes. Mass Effect 2. 
 
Great choice gents even though I have yet to beat the amazing game called ME2.
 
Mass Effect 3 GoTY 2011? 
 
Who knows :D.

Posted by PhatSeeJay

MASS TO THE EFFIN EFFECT! Yes.

Edited by Teaspoon83

Awesome, loved Mass Effect and can't wait for the next one. What a great space epic! 
 
 
 
Man, didn't know the 360 had to swap discs. Love that I have this game on the PC. Another good point made by Ryan. I am okay with the default male Shepard and with custom lady Shepards, but when I see a custom male Shepard, I don't like it. In my mind, that person doesn't exist. I like MY Shepard.

Edited by zepp

There was no way that Red Dead Redemption was going to get it, considering how much Jeff seems to despise that game. So I'll gladly take Mass Effect 2 as their Game of the Year 2010. It was truly an awesome experience,  perhaps a bit less memorable than Red Dead. All in all great list, I have throughly enjoyed this weeks content. I think some people on here tend to take things a bit to seriously. I mean it's their opinion after all...

Posted by Shard

YAY to Mass effect 2!
Posted by jollywhitegiant

watching the video makes me want to go back and finish my second playthrough on insane. Great picks this year! 

Posted by Dany

A video of Day 6 recap? Late I guess

Posted by BUCK3TM4N

good choice great game

Posted by stinky
@shadowknight508: glad they let you return that. 
Posted by DriveupLife

boo ya

Posted by Lukeweizer
@zombie2011 said:
" the only game of the year deliberations i payed any attention too.     "
Amen to that.
Posted by perfectlyretro

Streamlined

Posted by bybeach

As said, fair enough. Mass effect 2 was good.
Posted by KillyDarko
Posted by Claude

Party's over. I wonder what this year will be like?

Posted by CecilPhilpot

I approve! Mass Effect 2 is quite possibly my favourite game ever.