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

Our picks for Most Ridiculous Use of FMV, Most Improved Franchise, Most Egregious Use Of Product Placement/In-Game Advertising, Worst Accent, and Best Wii-Only Game of 2010!

Don't miss our Day Three Deliberation Podcast, where personal and professional relationships are put to the ultimate test!

Most Ridiculous Use of FMV

 

Comic Jumper


As players of the 1990s, we'll probably always have a soft spot in our hearts for full-motion video in gaming... especially when it's used for something completely ridiculous. While we'll probably never get back to the heady days of stuff like Night Trap and Sewer Shark, there are still a few teams out there finding crazy was to incorporate real people and footage into their games. But none did it crazier and more over-the-topperest than Twisted Pixel did with Comic Jumper.

After spending some time fooling you into thinking that it's a fairly standard side-scrolling shooter, Comic Jumper goes off the rails completely with a hilarious video intro that sets the stage for what's to come. The human side of the game is revisited a few times throughout, going so far as to actually put members of the game's development team in as characters in the game. But it's the super attack, a strong pummeling from a collection of human arms, legs, and even heads, that sends it over the moon. Those Twisted Pixel guys are out of their minds in the most glorious way possible, and Comic Jumper's dedication to making the most out of every single megabyte of video is actually the best part of the entire production.

    
Runners-up: The Fight: Lights Out, Alan Wake
 

Most Improved Franchise


Need for Speed

 
Despite our half-ironic affection for Need for Speed: Most Wanted--or, perhaps, because of it--we've been increasingly disappointed with the year-over-year iterations that the Need for Speed series has been subjected to since. Even when it was revealed earlier this year that Burnout developer Criterion Games--arguably the best arcade-style racing developer in the world right now--would be taking the reins with Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, we were skeptical.
 
But Criterion destroyed any and all doubts with Hot Pursuit, a razor-sharp racer featuring gorgeous visuals, a solid sense of speed, and a smart progression system that encouraged you to play the game however you liked, whether that meant focusing on playing as the pursuing cops or the evasive racers, playing online or off, or any combination thereof. The Autolog feature was specifically a revelation, dynamically generating attainable challenges based on how good your friends actually are at Hot Pursuit. The Need for Speed name is stronger than it has been for a good decade now, thanks entirely to Hot Pursuit, which is why we choose it for Most Improved Franchise of 2010.

Runners-up: Red Steel, Just Cause

Most Egregious Use Of Product Placement/In-Game Advertising

 

Shaun White Skateboarding

 
We're not even sure how this happened. How, exactly, do you ship a game where the main story is all about "fighting the man" while simultaneously making room in your story for pervasive branding? Shaun White should be ripping down these Stride gum billboards, not "freeing" the oppressive billboards and allowing them to show this friendly on-brand message! Seriously, did anyone even look at this before putting it on shelves?

To take matters one step further, the game even has a branded achievement/trophy that unlocks when you complete this grim task. It's too bad, too, because there are certainly some interesting ideas in Shaun White Skateboarding. But this aspect is so incredibly misguided that I don't think any of us will ever find out how it all turns out in the end.

Runners-up: Alan Wake, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

Worst Accent

 

Heavy Rain 

 
A game so critically focused on story and characters as Heavy Rain really ought to nail all of its dramatic elements. It's not as though there are any upgradable skill trees or headshots or 10-hit combos to fall back on; making your way through the plot is the experience in Heavy Rain, and while Quantic Dream did significantly advance the art of interactive storytelling in its long-awaited PS3 exclusive, there were a few lacking elements that kept this game from fully realizing its potential. One of those elements was just, man, the way people talked was kind of weird. Just weird enough to throw off the natural feel of the story, at least.
   
Now, we're not trying to claim anyone speaks unintelligibly in Heavy Rain or anything. The acting itself is generally quite serviceable. It's just that, for a story that's so clearly set and grounded in a specific area of the northeastern United States, it's pointedly obvious every so often that many of the principal voice actors in the game aren't native speakers of American English. The largely European cast gets it right 99 percent of the time--but that makes the contrast all the more glaring when they subtly slip up. It's that stray inflection here or oddly enunciated syllable there that takes you out of the story and makes you think "Oh yeah, right, this game was made in a place other than where it's set." For such a narrative-driven game, every aspect of the production should enhance, and not distract from, the storytelling.  
 
 
Runners-up:  Call of Duty: Black Ops, Dead Rising 2

Best Wii-Only Game


Super Mario Galaxy 2

 
We'll admit, it's maybe a little on-the-nose to choose a Mario game as the best game on a Nintendo platform, particularly when it's a direct sequel to a three-year-old title that originated most of its clever ideas. But none of that really matters, because Super Mario Galaxy 2 is just that good. This is Nintendo at the absolute top of its game, delivering bracingly inventive polygonal platforming action that builds on the sturdy foundation laid by the first Galaxy and a lush, playful art style that makes any technical arguments about the Wii moot. This is pure, unadulterated video-game bliss, and our pick for Best Wii-Only Game of 2010.  


Runners-up: Kirby's Epic Yarn, GoldenEye 007
 
  
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Posted by Brad

Don't miss our Day Three Deliberation Podcast, where personal and professional relationships are put to the ultimate test!

Most Ridiculous Use of FMV

 

Comic Jumper


As players of the 1990s, we'll probably always have a soft spot in our hearts for full-motion video in gaming... especially when it's used for something completely ridiculous. While we'll probably never get back to the heady days of stuff like Night Trap and Sewer Shark, there are still a few teams out there finding crazy was to incorporate real people and footage into their games. But none did it crazier and more over-the-topperest than Twisted Pixel did with Comic Jumper.

After spending some time fooling you into thinking that it's a fairly standard side-scrolling shooter, Comic Jumper goes off the rails completely with a hilarious video intro that sets the stage for what's to come. The human side of the game is revisited a few times throughout, going so far as to actually put members of the game's development team in as characters in the game. But it's the super attack, a strong pummeling from a collection of human arms, legs, and even heads, that sends it over the moon. Those Twisted Pixel guys are out of their minds in the most glorious way possible, and Comic Jumper's dedication to making the most out of every single megabyte of video is actually the best part of the entire production.

    
Runners-up: The Fight: Lights Out, Alan Wake
 

Most Improved Franchise


Need for Speed

 
Despite our half-ironic affection for Need for Speed: Most Wanted--or, perhaps, because of it--we've been increasingly disappointed with the year-over-year iterations that the Need for Speed series has been subjected to since. Even when it was revealed earlier this year that Burnout developer Criterion Games--arguably the best arcade-style racing developer in the world right now--would be taking the reins with Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, we were skeptical.
 
But Criterion destroyed any and all doubts with Hot Pursuit, a razor-sharp racer featuring gorgeous visuals, a solid sense of speed, and a smart progression system that encouraged you to play the game however you liked, whether that meant focusing on playing as the pursuing cops or the evasive racers, playing online or off, or any combination thereof. The Autolog feature was specifically a revelation, dynamically generating attainable challenges based on how good your friends actually are at Hot Pursuit. The Need for Speed name is stronger than it has been for a good decade now, thanks entirely to Hot Pursuit, which is why we choose it for Most Improved Franchise of 2010.

Runners-up: Red Steel, Just Cause

Most Egregious Use Of Product Placement/In-Game Advertising

 

Shaun White Skateboarding

 
We're not even sure how this happened. How, exactly, do you ship a game where the main story is all about "fighting the man" while simultaneously making room in your story for pervasive branding? Shaun White should be ripping down these Stride gum billboards, not "freeing" the oppressive billboards and allowing them to show this friendly on-brand message! Seriously, did anyone even look at this before putting it on shelves?

To take matters one step further, the game even has a branded achievement/trophy that unlocks when you complete this grim task. It's too bad, too, because there are certainly some interesting ideas in Shaun White Skateboarding. But this aspect is so incredibly misguided that I don't think any of us will ever find out how it all turns out in the end.

Runners-up: Alan Wake, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

Worst Accent

 

Heavy Rain 

 
A game so critically focused on story and characters as Heavy Rain really ought to nail all of its dramatic elements. It's not as though there are any upgradable skill trees or headshots or 10-hit combos to fall back on; making your way through the plot is the experience in Heavy Rain, and while Quantic Dream did significantly advance the art of interactive storytelling in its long-awaited PS3 exclusive, there were a few lacking elements that kept this game from fully realizing its potential. One of those elements was just, man, the way people talked was kind of weird. Just weird enough to throw off the natural feel of the story, at least.
   
Now, we're not trying to claim anyone speaks unintelligibly in Heavy Rain or anything. The acting itself is generally quite serviceable. It's just that, for a story that's so clearly set and grounded in a specific area of the northeastern United States, it's pointedly obvious every so often that many of the principal voice actors in the game aren't native speakers of American English. The largely European cast gets it right 99 percent of the time--but that makes the contrast all the more glaring when they subtly slip up. It's that stray inflection here or oddly enunciated syllable there that takes you out of the story and makes you think "Oh yeah, right, this game was made in a place other than where it's set." For such a narrative-driven game, every aspect of the production should enhance, and not distract from, the storytelling.  
 
 
Runners-up:  Call of Duty: Black Ops, Dead Rising 2

Best Wii-Only Game


Super Mario Galaxy 2

 
We'll admit, it's maybe a little on-the-nose to choose a Mario game as the best game on a Nintendo platform, particularly when it's a direct sequel to a three-year-old title that originated most of its clever ideas. But none of that really matters, because Super Mario Galaxy 2 is just that good. This is Nintendo at the absolute top of its game, delivering bracingly inventive polygonal platforming action that builds on the sturdy foundation laid by the first Galaxy and a lush, playful art style that makes any technical arguments about the Wii moot. This is pure, unadulterated video-game bliss, and our pick for Best Wii-Only Game of 2010.  


Runners-up: Kirby's Epic Yarn, GoldenEye 007
 
  
Posted by Grissefar

 Good choices there, I agree with them.

Posted by AzHP

damn

Posted by Dany

Hell yeah Mario!

Posted by Make_Me_Mad

At least this lineup of choices looks like it can't start too many arguments.

Posted by Crunchman

I don't agree.

Posted by Protome

Just Cause 2 wasn't in worst Accent? That's a shocker.

Posted by Vinny_Says

might pick up Mario now that there's a wii in the house....

Posted by MrCellophane

Norman Jayden is not amused by this award

Edited by mutha3

 "The largely European cast gets it right 99 percent of the time--


 
No they don't. I'm not a native speaker either, but the VA work in Heavy Rain is atrocious in every sense of the word. Need I remind you?
 
-The kids
 -"Nahman jaydun"
 -the whore who sounds like she's got permanent braces.
 -FUCKING ASSHOLE

God, its terrible. The only decent voice actor was Shelby's(and Ethan I guess).
Posted by Teeknuts

I dont know what you guys are talking about, Norman Jayden has the best French-Boston accent of all time!

Posted by remixrunixlp
@Make_Me_Mad said:
" At least this lineup of choices looks like it can't start too many arguments. "
I'm eight minutes into the podcast, and the little red bar says I'm about 25% done. Think they intentionally stacked the day this way to avoid a third straight day of hatred?
Posted by ShadowKirby

I played Heavy Rain in french, solved the issue ;p

Posted by Jack268
@Protome said:
" Just Cause 2 wasn't in worst Accent? That's a shocker. "
I AM BOLO SANTOSI 
 
YOU ARE THE SCORPIO NO? 
 
Now that you mention it, it's fucking terrible. Maybe they forgot it was released.
Posted by Ghost_of_Perdition

Good picks, but now Danny Trejo will fuck you guys up for not winning that FMV award.

Edited by TadThuggish

Surprised Kirby didn't win best Wii-only considering the amount of love Ryan and Alex gave it.  Mario was fantastic, but felt lost in the shuffle this year. 
 
edit: and the little Nintendo fanboy in me is weirded out that GoldenEye took a runnerup spot over Metroid, Donkey Kong, and Sin & Punishment.  They're all great, however, and of course it's Giant Bomb's personal choice.  But yeah, this year's Wii-exclusives by far outshine this year's 360-exclusives.  It's kind of astounding.

Posted by Protome
@Jack268 said:
" @Protome said:
" Just Cause 2 wasn't in worst Accent? That's a shocker. "
I AM BOLO SANTOSI  YOU ARE THE SCORPIO NO?  Now that you mention it, it's fucking terrible. Maybe they forgot it was released. "
It's a runner up for most improved franchise. Time to listen to the podcast and find out their line of thinking! :D
Posted by benjaebe

I will agree that Heavy Rain has some pretty bad accents, but I grew to love Nawmen Jayden, FBI. Madison and Ethan did a decent job as well - the only accents that really threw me off were some of the children and Lauren.

Posted by PhatSeeJay
@Protome said:
" @Jack268 said:
" @Protome said:
" Just Cause 2 wasn't in worst Accent? That's a shocker. "
I AM BOLO SANTOSI  YOU ARE THE SCORPIO NO?  Now that you mention it, it's fucking terrible. Maybe they forgot it was released. "
It's a runner up for most improved franchise. Time to listen to the podcast and find out their line of thinking! :D "
I get a feeling it's more the terrible accents in a game where they shouldn't belong. Just Cause is deliberately using stereotypical accents because it's an over the top game and doesn't have much depth anyhow while the winner and runner up both have pretty serious dialogue.
Posted by Finstern

With regards to the accent GOTY, welcome to being from anywhere not in the United States and hearing someone try to do your accent. What is preventing these people from hiring other people who actually come from these places? 
 
The only decent Irish accent I've ever heard in all media that wasn't an actual Irish person was Atlas in Bioshock, and even then they relied on an older style of Irish accent, like my Grandad's but it fit the time period of the game.

Posted by Lord_Punch

Oh, Heavy Rain. With your schizophrenic pronunciations, and gaping plotholes.
Posted by bearshamanbro

Wow, I hope Mario gets GOTY or at least makes a solid push. Haven't played it but watching that video there is more game design in that just that video than most complete games released this year.

Posted by SSValis

I forgot about Heavy Rain. Damn French bastards why don't you just set the game in France next time so you don't have to worry about hiring horrible English voice actors. 
 
Good experience though I think its going on my top ten.

Posted by yoshimitz707

*sigh* Great another podcast where I can hear them pretend there's a Canadian accent.

Posted by Video_Game_King

Why wasn't Fragile Dreams considered for Best Wii Game?.....Fuck it, I'm tired of telling people how awesome it is.

Edited by Vitamin_Dei

Name dropping Tradewars and L.O.R.D. makes me very, very happy. :D

Posted by TripMasterMunky

Am I the only one never noticed any distracting accent in Heavy Rain? 
 
Also, Donkey Kong Country Returns.

Edited by mutha3

I don't think the person who wrote this is one of the main staffers. Because the GB staff was pretty adamant about Heavy Rain's VA sucking.
 
@TripMasterMunky said:

" Am I the only one never noticed any distracting accent in Heavy Rain?

Probably.
Posted by Klopek

The voice-over for Scoot in Hydrophobia was pretty grating. I have to agree though, the children in Heavy Rain were awful!

Posted by Example1013

I don't count anything after Most Wanted as a NFS game. Well, except for Carbon for GBA. That was actually a serviceable game, considering it was for GBA.

Posted by solidlife

i agree

Posted by TehFlan

Oh no, Luigi is a broken Game Room avatar :o

Posted by PLWolf

That was awesome. Now I gotta play SMG2. This also reminds me how fun it is to play these games with friends in the room.

Posted by Claude

Endless Ocean: Blue World was my top Wii game. Super Mario Galaxy 2 was cool too.

Posted by DanielJW
@yoshimitz707 said:
" *sigh* Great another podcast where I can hear them pretend there's a Canadian accent. "
There totally is. I'm Canadian and I can tell you there is. If you talk to Americans they can tell you aren't American. 
Posted by Curufinwe
@yoshimitz707 said:
" *sigh* Great another podcast where I can hear them pretend there's a Canadian accent. "
Of course there's a Canadian accent.  You're the one pretending.
Posted by WhiteBrightKnight
@bearshamanbro said:
" Wow, I hope Mario gets GOTY or at least makes a solid push. Haven't played it but watching that video there is more game design in that just that video than most complete games released this year. "
You have no idea how refreshing that is to here from someone with a green name, or one that isn't red or gray.  I think it deserves GOTY too, although it probably won't win. 
 
Also, did the GB guys ever unlock the green stars?  That save file only has 76 stars, and there are 242 in the game.
Posted by Vorbis

Singularity had some of the worst Russian accents in history, but it wasn't such a big deal compared to Heavy Rain which was a real shame.

Posted by MistaSparkle

I'm kinda glad I can't tell bad accents from good ones, but I also wouldn't care either way. So Heavy Rain should be pretty great when I play it.

Posted by Fantusta

I love the ridiculous categories.  Keep 'em coming!

Posted by MeatSim

Fight the man! by buying the man's gum and chewing it? 

Posted by august
@yoshimitz707 said:
" *sigh* Great another podcast where I can hear them pretend there's a Canadian accent. "
Oh hey, you're the crazy guy! I was wondering if you'd show up.
Posted by EoinMason
@WhiteBrightKnight: 242 sta... 
 
And I haven't even collected all of them in Galaxy 1 yet... 
 
Sweet jeez, I need some free time in 2011.
Posted by Spiritof

I finally bought a Wii (Red) on Black Friday, so my Wii GotY is 'No More Heroes' (the 2008 game).

Posted by ShadowMountain
@Video_Game_King said:
" Why wasn't Fragile Dreams considered for Best Wii Game?.....Fuck it, I'm tired of telling people how awesome it is. "
I dunno. I was looking forward to Fragile Dreams but it totally didn't fulfill its potential. IMO it was a dissapointing game. An ok game but certainly not one of the 'greats'
Posted by WhiteBrightKnight

It is also hard to watch ryan's skills at mario.  I find the lack of triple jumps, back flips, and long jumps disturbing.

Posted by Video_Game_King
@ShadowMountain: 
 
I will admit that the gameplay isn't its strongest point, but that doesn't make it bad. It's still passable, except for ranged weapons. Fuck them. However, the story was fantastic. I haven't seen a lot of games that can match what Fragile Dreams does with its world and tale.
Posted by RiotBananas
@Protome said:
" Just Cause 2 wasn't in worst Accent? That's a shocker. "
This. Seriously, I'll listen to the podcast before I pass judgement but that game's VO was terrible!!
Edited by Scrawnto
@WhiteBrightKnight said:

" It is also hard to watch ryan's skills at mario.  I find the lack of triple jumps, back flips, and long jumps disturbing. "

Huh, I just assumed those weren't in the game. I never did get to play either SMG. 
 
Anyway, in the podcast, they take Just Cause 2 off the accent list because Ryan was informed that the accent in the game is actually pretty appropriate. That seems crazy to me, but that's what he said. It's supposed to be Singaporean or something like that. 
 
But everyone has some sort of accent. Mine's a pretty generic California Central Valley/American Mass Media type accent with a nigh imperceptible smidge of Oklahoman, but it's still an accent. I also still haven't played Dead Rising 2, but there is definitely such a thing as a Canadian accent. I knew a family who came from Canada, and it was obvious that they were not from the US. Funnily, the father also happened to be the coach for the Oklahoma City Blazers, a hockey team. 
 
edit: Was until 2009, when the team ceased to be apparently.
Posted by takua108

It's a pity nobody played Art Style: light trax, because it is definitely the best Wii-only game out there right now.

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