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#1 Posted by wumbo3000 (1011 posts) -

2013 was a weird year for video games, and I think these GOTY discussions prove it. In all of the years since GiantBomb started doing this thing, the discussions usually came down to 2 games that were fighting for the number 1 spot.

2008 - GTA IV vs. MGS 4

2009 - Uncharted 2 vs. Arkham Asylum

2010 - ME2 vs. RDR

2011 - Skyrim vs. Saints Row The Third

2012 - XCOM vs. The Walking Dead

But in 2013, the majority of the arguments stemmed from which games should be at 8, 9, and 10. The Last of Us was number 1 on only Alex's list. It seemed as though 2013 didn't have the huge heavy hitters that really captured the staff's hearts and minds like previous years. In conclusion, 2013 has been a pretty weird year, everything considered.

#2 Posted by Fredchuckdave (6173 posts) -

2013 beats the ever living shit out of 2012 and 2008, The Last of Us is just that good relative to the competition. XCOM was basically a lock before the discussions as was Skyrim so that's not too much different, they just didn't spend time finagling.

#3 Posted by JZ (2120 posts) -

@wumbo3000: most years only have like two super big great games. 2013 I think had like 20 super big great games, but that made each one seem less special. You know when the three stooges all try to walk in a doorway at once, then they'd get stuck or bump off each other? That is 2013 in video games.

#4 Posted by C2C (861 posts) -

Honestly, it boils down to the Last of Us being that friggin' good. There were plenty of real good games, which is why getting to the top 10 this year was so contentious in comparison to other years. A lot of diversity in how games were good also helped out.

#5 Posted by Brodehouse (10140 posts) -

Podcast discussions are different this year. Almost as if something's missing.

#6 Edited by TheMasterDS (2153 posts) -

I think this years top 3 are all way stronger than last years winner. I feel like last year's discussion was more along the lines of "Yeah Walking Dead is really cool... but it CAN'T win, I'm putting my foot down on that." If Jeff and Drew had pushed harder for Bioshock you'd have seen a Bioshock vs Last of US thing going with Patrick and Brad saying things like "It can't win" like last year. Only thing is Jeff was reasonable and immediately accepted Bioshock only getting #3. Hell, Brad/Patrick protested that for a while saying things like "Come on how about like 7?" Also while Zelda is great I kind of don't think anyone wanted it to win outright.

#7 Posted by cthomer5000 (879 posts) -

I actually agree with Jeff's sentiment that this was a weak year at the top. My #1 this year would come in behind at least 3 games from last year.

There were so few games they really all agreed on, and Last Of Us was just the most highly rated of them. This does feel like the only year I can recall in their debates where there basically was no debate.

#8 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4702 posts) -

I think Jeff not feeling strong about the year on the whole made the discussion like that. He did not wanna contest The Last of Us and by the time the cut to 10 was finished everyone was cool to just go with it. I bet if really wanted too he could of fought against The Last of Us a bit.

#9 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4899 posts) -

2013 has been a pretty mediocre year for games. I can't think of a single game I played this year that was legitimately great. A lot of games carried the "it was good but ___" like an albatross. Everything this year had a handful of caveats to get around in order to enjoy/appreciate it, including The Last of Us. In comparison to previous years where it was a showdown between two amazing titles... yeah, I'm not surprised that nobody in the room really fought for the top spot this year.

Hell I would've probably gotten behind a DOTA 2 filibuster just to see what would happen. The fact that Jeff more or less shrugged his shoulders is a pretty big indicator of how utterly average this year has been. At least he kept needling Alex and taking shots at Gone Home. That shit was too funny; those bits saved the podcast for me.

#10 Posted by RecSpec (3950 posts) -

It was like one of those football games where the last team with the ball wins. The Last of Us didn't sound like a winner by the end of it. If they bring up the hospital I bet Zelda could've taken the whole thing.

#11 Edited by Little_Socrates (5718 posts) -

I felt that they gave up on The Walking Dead almost instantly last year, too. XCOM had that conversation almost immediately. And I like the two-games duking it out format better, though that's just not where the staff is at these days. Nobody really cared to fight for their personal game to win if The Last of Us took the top spot.

Generally speaking, I like the best two games of last year (Spelunky and Fez, unordered) better than any game of 2013, but I think like my entire list better than the bottom half of my list last year. (not, uh, my list on this website, but my mental reordering of last year's besties)

#12 Posted by TheMasterDS (2153 posts) -

I don't think it was a mediocre year. I felt like there were at least 6 games that deserved to be in my top 3. For me it was Bioshock, The Last of Us, Starcraft 2 HOTS, Rogue Legacy, Zelda and Divekick. It felt bad putting Divekick in the bottom half of the list. I felt like it deserved higher but tough calls had to be made. I felt like a lot of tough calls were made. I also that, on the whole, while the top 3 were, for me, contentious the top 2 were not. They've always been Bioshock and The Last of Us. For me.

Way I figure if it was such a weak year picking a top 3 shouldn't feel like doing a disservice to 3 games. Also I hadn't play Gunpoint, Brothers, Papers Please or DOTA 2 when I made my list. If you have all of my top 20 plus those, plus others all vying for 10 slots... I don't think it's that bad a year at all far as games are concerned.

(Mind you you can say things like "some games weren't complete though!" I don't really think that matters much since if a game is bad you can just not buy it and not play it.)

#13 Posted by ElmerGlue (33 posts) -

This GOTY podcast was a real bummer. I wanted people to be out for blood. I preferred the way they did things last year were they went round the table and had everyone nominate a game to cut.

#14 Posted by JZ (2120 posts) -
#15 Posted by crithon (3458 posts) -

just never going to forgive the MK9 taken off the list in 2011. I punched a brick wall after that

#16 Posted by lazerface (9 posts) -

i LOVE their GOTY podcasts this year. i listened to day 3&4 at work today. they bring me happiness.

#17 Posted by HistoryInRust (6407 posts) -

The chasm between "Last of Us is a classic" and "2013 didn't have any true standouts" always makes me smile a little.

#18 Posted by wjb (1698 posts) -

I think Jeff not feeling strong about the year on the whole made the discussion like that. He did not wanna contest The Last of Us and by the time the cut to 10 was finished everyone was cool to just go with it. I bet if really wanted too he could of fought against The Last of Us a bit.

I feel like Jeff is always the odd man out every year since 2011. I haven't listened to it yet, but I'd imagine since there wasn't a Far Cry 3 or Saints Row 3 to champion, why bother?

This is the first year since Giant Bomb started where I didn't have a definitive number one, either. I think The Last of Us is great in everything except gameplay, so I wouldn't have put it at number one because of it, but since I didn't have my own game to champion, I also would have been ambivalent as well if everyone else wanted it in that spot.

#19 Posted by csl316 (9526 posts) -

So many great games kept the bar high. Those top games were so good that no one was willing to passionately talk bad about the top contenders.

By the way, Saints Row III should've beaten Skyrim, dammit. Skyrim barely even worked on PS3!

#20 Posted by Brodehouse (10140 posts) -

@jz said:

@brodehouse: ryan would have told brad to fuck off.

THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I WAS THINKING

#21 Edited by JZ (2120 posts) -

@brodehouse: the Ryan Davis memorial award for hating brad, goes to me!

#22 Edited by JZ (2120 posts) -
#23 Edited by cthomer5000 (879 posts) -

I'm not sure the outcome would have been different, but I think Ryan would have at least orchestrated a discussion over #1. He definitely enjoyed Bioshock, and IIRC he seemed pretty high on The Last Of Us, but never really got the chance to discuss it.

I'm thinking he would have been fine with either, and therefore pitted everyone against each other while ultimately siding with TLOU.

Edit: I miss that guy, and I was actually hoping they were going to bust out a surprise "Ryan's GOTY" list or category. Something they're pretty damn sure he would have been into.

#24 Posted by Milkman (17352 posts) -

For me personally, The Last of Us was just light years ahead of every other game that came out this year.

#25 Posted by johncallahan (621 posts) -

I'm not sure the outcome would have been different, but I think Ryan would have at least orchestrated a discussion over #1. He definitely enjoyed Bioshock, and IIRC he seemed pretty high on The Last Of Us, but never really got the chance to discuss it.

I'm thinking he would have been fine with either, and therefore pitted everyone against each other while ultimately siding with TLOU.

Edit: I miss that guy, and I was actually hoping they were going to bust out a surprise "Ryan's GOTY" list or category. Something they're pretty damn sure he would have been into.

I kept hoping. Really really hoping. That the GB crew was just running a long con, and right when Brad said no game was more innovative than DOTA 2, we would've heard that legendary guffaw followed by "Shut the fuck up Brad." I really hoped that. I knew it wouldn't happen, but god damn. I hoped.

#26 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3091 posts) -

That's because The Last of Us is the clear winner. It was in everyone's top 3 except Jeff, who is biased about zombie games. I found this to be a pretty good year for games, and much better than last year in particular.

#27 Edited by Darji (5293 posts) -

The most insane thing was Dota 2 and brad. Except for him no one even played it or wanted to play it and he still insisted it o be a top 3 game. The whole thing could have ended 30 minute earlier with cutting of Dota 2 and include Mario. Also really really strange that GTAV was not on the list but I remember everyone agreeing with GTAV being better than GTAIV.

As for Last of Us. I am really glad that it won because hat game had a bad standing here since release for obvious reasons of course. but damn this game deserved the GOTY award^^

#28 Posted by MjHealy (1877 posts) -

I think the Top 10 format doesn't exactly work. For the first couple of years, "Best Game" was like every other catergory in that there were only three nominees. With the expansion out to ten games, I think it is super difficult for them to create a list due to them not playing every game. I'd rather a Top 5, considering there is too much fuss over certain parts of the list that leaves no one satisfied.

ALSO DOTA 2 GOT SHAFTED. IT WAS IN IT'S CORRECT TOP 3 SPOT BUT THEN GOT SHOVED TO 6 OR SOMETHING.

#29 Posted by TheHT (11839 posts) -

It seemed as though 2013 didn't have the huge heavy hitters that really captured the staff's hearts and minds like previous years. In conclusion, 2013 has been a pretty weird year, everything considered.

Yup. A few months ago I was looking back and realized nothing really struck me as so far above the rest. I dunno if that's just because so many games came out earlier in the year or what.

Online
#30 Posted by Asurastrike (2175 posts) -

I forced myself to play through the first few hours of the Last of us, before giving up. I didn't like anything about it. So the fact that it won GOTY is a bit disappointing.

#31 Edited by HH (638 posts) -

there's no way Syndicate or ZombiU would've even gotten close this year. I mean GTA V didn't even make it. a great year for games.

#32 Edited by Winternet (8060 posts) -

Well, it wasn't that different. It was pretty clear what 2 games would be at the top going in, they just decided not to focus that much on that fight. (Uncharted 2 and ME2 also won without much contest either). Divekick continued the tradition of "this game is good and all but c'mon it's not that great, but oh well Jeff really likes it so I guess it makes the list" (well, I guess that only started last year with Syndicate).

I would agree though that there wasn't much fighting going on. C'mon Brad, you thought Dota 2 was easily top3 material but then all you can say when it moved to 5 was "yeah, I guess I can see that" and then the same thing when it went to 7. Disappointing. And Jeff, where's the Antichamber fight? Tss tss tss.

#33 Posted by Sammo21 (3580 posts) -

I found that this year I was pretty disappointed with how things fell on game of the year. More than any year before was I shocked certain games were on the list AT ALL. Gone Home, Brothers, Dota 2 all on the list? Dogs and cats living together...mas hysteria.

#34 Edited by Xanadu (430 posts) -

Ya Brad was definitely being a jerk for no reason. I guess no one else on the bombcast had felt strongly enough to argue otherwise but gta v's mission design was not "fuuuuuuuuuuuucking boooooooring". Brad also said before he's never finished a single gta game. I guess I'm a gta apologist though? I really loved that game and I think the voice acting and motion capture work was gravely under appreciated by most people.

#35 Posted by fuzzybunny566 (453 posts) -

@xanadu said:

Ya Brad was definitely being a jerk for no reason. I guess no one else on the bombcast had felt strongly enough to argue otherwise but gta v's mission design was not "fuuuuuuuuuuuucking boooooooring". Brad also said before he's never finished a single gta game. I guess I'm a gta apologist though? I really loved that game and I think the voice acting and motion capture work was gravely under appreciated by most people.

I think Brad does something like that every GOTY, where there is one game he is totally unwilling to concede anything to, whether to keep it or toss it. I think he was so close to literally whining that DOTA 2 wasn't the #1 pick on their list. Everybody else was content with the way the list was and he was still begging for them to bump DOTA up. Don't get me wrong, I like Brad a lot, but sometimes during the GOTY podcasts, he acts kinda like a baby.

#36 Posted by pyromagnestir (4339 posts) -

Most of those final vs. scenarios come down to Jeff and Brad, the two most bullheaded dudes about this stuff, being passionate for different games. This year Brad went off the deep end for Dota, which realistically stood no chance of getting the number 1 spot, and Jeff wasn't passionate enough about anything to argue for something over The Last of Us. So Jeff's big fight was getting a couple of his middle ranked favorites on the list.

The other guys are more mild mannered. Except for maybe Patrick. He seems mild mannered but really he's a shark. You gotta be careful around him. Just ask Alex...

#37 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

I got bored of hearing Patrick argue for Papers, Please very fast.

#38 Posted by Pr1mus (3956 posts) -

@jz said:

@brodehouse: ryan would have told brad to fuck off.

THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I WAS THINKING

+1

And it would have been for his own good too, what are friends for if not telling you when you're making a fool out of yourself.

#39 Posted by Vinny_Says (5721 posts) -

GOTY 2013 was a very linear game with a very set story and pretty boring gameplay. Anyone who thinks 2013 was an amazing year for gaming is delusional. Maybe less delusional than Brad's arguments for Dota 2 but still pretty delusional.

There was probably a reason everyone argued more about the placement of the games rather than which one was better. Hopefully next year the games that come out bring something truly special to the table and we will get back the discussions that made GOTY 2008 & 2009 so interesting. I'm really getting tired of this "getting your game on the list" arguments.

Either play the games that will be discussed beforehand (make a pre-GOTY list, have the staff play the games, and then start the GOTY deliberations, or come up with good arguments as to why you feel such and such game deserves recognition (sorry Dota 2 being the most innovative game is not a good argument, an it was delivered poorly anyway....props to Brad for trying at least).

#40 Posted by StarvingGamer (8560 posts) -
#41 Posted by Bulby33 (619 posts) -

I think 2013 was pretty weak, as well, but it was better than 2012.

2012 was just shit for games.

#42 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4702 posts) -

@bulby33 said:

I think 2013 was pretty weak, as well, but it was better than 2012.

2012 was just shit for games.

Don't get ahead of yourself there. 2012 was not bad at all. Journey, The Walking Dead, Fez, Sleeping Dogs, etc, etc.

#43 Posted by AlexGBRO (329 posts) -

The problem I think was that jeff was not fighting for gta5, that game could have been a top 3, he wanted divekick to be on the list so gta5 was sacrificed

#44 Posted by Cheesebob (1249 posts) -

"Everything was beautiful, so nothing was beautiful" springs to mind.

I feel that this year was mediocre for one main reason: Too many good games.

#45 Posted by NorseDudeTR (429 posts) -

I think the deliberations were less cutthroat than before. Which is fine, and not wholly unexpected. Good discussions, thought, I thought. Super interesting to hear Alex, that dude really served as a level head through the entire thing. Good going, duders. :)

#46 Posted by SomberOwl (731 posts) -

I've been saying this all over the forums but I'm still upset Ni No Kuni: Wraith of The White Witch didn't get more recognition this year.

#47 Edited by joshwent (2353 posts) -

Thanks for this thread, and the general round up of their discussion, as I have to avoid the 'casts for now to avoid spoilers. That is all.

#48 Edited by MightyDuck (1524 posts) -

The 2009 GOTY Podcast is still my favorite for some reason. I'm not quite sure why to be honest. Maybe because that was right around the time that I actually found the site.

#49 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (6012 posts) -

It did seem a little different. I think there was just a general sentiment of it being a lackluster year, which I disagree with. Some of the fervor from past years just wasn't as strong this year.

#50 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (6012 posts) -

I've been saying this all over the forums but I'm still upset Ni No Kuni: Wraith of The White Witch didn't get more recognition this year.

It's absence was particularly noticeable in the Best music. I was absolutely stunned it didn't even enter the conversation. I'd understand if no one played it, but Brad and Alex spent enough time with it to bring in Mr. Drippy for best new character. It was a Goddamned shame.