Posted by MooseyMcMan (10990 posts) -

Here are the awards! And unlike last year, there are no ties!

Abe Lincoln Award for Best Facial Hair.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: I actually wrote up a lengthy description for another game winning this, then I played about ten more hours of Skyrim, and decided that Skyrim needed to win. The actual beards in the game aren't necessarily of the highest quality (because even with a "new" engine (well, I think the graphics part is mostly new) it still looks not great (at least on PS3 (yes, I played the PS3 version, shut up))), but the quantity is spectacular. Like any good fake Vikings, there are beards everywhere in Skyrim. And while the game may be primarily first person (or behind the back if you like having your character block a large chunk of the screen, but without a good over the shoulder view), you can give the playable character a sick beard as well. Again, the game may not have the best facial hair, but it has the best use of facial hair.

Runners up: Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Mortal Kombat.

George Washington Award for Best Returning Protagonist.

Nathan "Nolan North" Drake: Picking Nathan Drake may seem like the "mainstream" or "obvious" choice, but if you care at all about the story and characters in the Uncharted games, and have been with the series from the start, then the things that happen to Drake, and the things revealed about his past are extremely impactful. I don't want to go into details (because of potential spoilers), but trust me when I say that there are some really awesome "character moments" for him. And, I would be committing a crime if I didn't mention Nolan North's fantastic voice acting. He sells each and every line. No one can fake falling off something as well as he can.

Runners up: Bruce "I'm the Goddamned Batman" Wayne, Kazuma "Dragon of Dojima" Kiryu.

"Who's this guy?" Award for Best New Protagonist.

Cole "Facial Animation" Phelps: The thing about Phelps that won him this award is that he's kind of an a**hole. The man yells and screams his way to confessions from suspects, whether or not he has evidence. But, even at his lowest moments (and he has some pretty low moments where he does some things that were completely unjustifiable and illogical), I still liked him, and I was still rooting for him. Really, I find it hard to pinpoint what exactly I like about him. Maybe it's that he is such a jerk. And, quite possibly, a psychopath. By which I mean if you apply his personality traits to a psychopath "test," (spoilers) he pretty much passes it. And it's crazy that a psychopathic a**hole could be a well realized and likeable main character. But he is.

Runners up: Garcia "F***ing" Hotspur, Shun "Crazy Legs" Akiyama.

"Leonard 'Bones' McCoy" Award for Best Supporting character.

Johnson: No joke, this was probably the hardest award for me to decide. But ultimately I decided that Johnson is the better support character, whereas Sully is his own man, he just hasn't had the lead role (yet, but don't get me started on my idea for an Uncharted game starring "young" Sully). Garcia wouldn't get anyway without Johnson. Literally! He serves not only as Garcia weapons (including guns and a torch (with some amazing colored lighting)), but also as a motorcycle. Garcia literally would not get to the underworld without John. At least not in a timely manner. And once there, Johnson always has something useful to say, whether it's about the uses of strawberries, or what demons are like. They're "buttholes," according to Johnson.

Runners up: Victor "Goddamn" "Well I'll be go to Hell" "Sully" Sullivan, Frank "Francis" Pritchard.

Nolan North Award for Best Non-Nolan North Voice Actor of the Year.

Mark Hamill (The Joker): This was a tough one to decide too. But as this is Mark Hamill's last run as The Joker (he's said as much, at least), he decided to go all out with the crazy. The end result was a masterful performance from the man that I think (and have always thought) was the best Joker of them all. The Joker's final lines in the game are especially good, given the circumstances of what happens at the end of the game (again, no spoilers). It was a fitting end for Mark Hamill's best role.

Runners up: Richard McGongle (Sully), Aaron Staton (Cole Phelps).

"I'm looking for some sailers" Award for Best Overall Voice Acting.

LA Noire: The gameplay of LA Noire may be paper thin in some spots, and the final few hours of the game were a little disappointing (to me at least), but one thing that is consistantly excellent in the game is the voice acting (complemented by incredible facial animation). This is partly because instead of hiring the usual voice actors that are in every game (Nolan North, Yuri Lowenthal, Steve Blum, etc) they went out and hired a bunch of name actors. Nothing against those guys, but it was great to have a game where everyone didn't sound like Nathan Drake or Wolverine. And thankfully they hired good actors like Aaron Staton, and not bad actors like...Well, I won't name names. But the cast in LA Noire is excellent, and the only way it could be better would be if Nicolas Cage, Gary Oldman, and Jeff Goldblum were in it.

So RockStar, when you're casting the next game in the Noire series, I've already picked out the main cast for you.

Runners up: Uncharted 3, Batman: Arkham City.

Mel Brooks Award for Funniest Game.

Shadows of the Damned: Aside from one unforetuneate sequence where Garcia repeats the same line non-stop for ten minutes, and a few "serious story moments" late in the game, Shadows of the Damned is a pretty hilarious game. This is mainly because of the great dialog between Garcia and Johnson. Garcia is a bada** who just wants to kill his way to his kidnapped girlfriend, and Johnson is a knowledgable ex-demon who's afraid of his own shadow (well, not really, because with all of his colored lighting, he doesn't really have a shadow). And the situations they find themselves in are hilariously absurd, like when the game turns into a sidescrolling shooter for no reason, or when Johnson breaks the forth wall and mentions the game designers (to Garcia's confusion). And, lest we forget, the storybook sequences are some of the funniest things I've seen in a game, period. Garcia is not a good reader.

Runners up: LittleBigPlanet 2, Uncharted 3.

Special Mention: Portal 2. For reasons I disclose below, Portal 2 was exempt from all awards, but it was a fairly funny game.

Mr. Spacely Award for Best Bosses.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Skyward Sword's controls really shine during the battles. Yes, there is some repetition (particularly how you have to fight the worst boss three times), but when the bosses aren't that boss, they're pretty awesome. They're fun to fight, great to look at (because the boss designs are awesome), and they make great use of the WiiMotion Plus. Sure, they all kinda devolve into figuring out what the weakness is, waiting for a moment to exploit, it, and then repeating that (but not three times, the rule of three is not in effect all the time). But that doesn't stop the "AHA!" moment of figuring it out from being any less good.

Runners up: Batman: Arkham City, Shadows of the Damned.

Michael Bay Award for Most Ridiculous Game.

Shadows of the Damned: Let me describe for you, the reader, the set-up for Shadows of the Damned. You play as Garcia "F***ing" Hotspur, a demon hunter who travels to Hell along with a talking (British) skull who transforms into guns, a torch, and a motorcycle in order to rescue Garcia's kidnapped girlfriend from a demon lord named Fleming. One of the core game mechanics invovles removing "darkness" from areas by increasing the light in the area. And, of coures, you do this by shooting living goat heads (who have candlabras for hats) that are mounted on walls. And instead of keys unlocking doors, you use strawberries/eyes/brains to feed baby heads on doors. And the sound that plays when doors open is the greatest game sound ever. It's right up there with the Mario coin noise. And that's pretty darn ridiculous.

Runners up: Uncharted 3, Mortal Kombat.

Special Mention: Saints Row the Third. I didn't play it, but man, that game is CRAZY. I should really play Saints Row the Third.

Machete Award for Best Use of Gore.

Mortal Kombat: Noob Saibot's starter Fatality involves him grabbing one leg of the enemy kombatant by the leg whilst a ghostly clone of him grabs the other leg, and which point the two pull the person apart like a wishbone, and then the two halves of him/her are left dangling like meat in a butcher shop. It's insane. Also, there are a lot of other fatalities in the game. And a game variant where they fight by launching limbs/heads off of bodies as projectiles. And then there's the X-Ray attacks! Technically not "gore" in the literal sense, but still pretty slick. If that isn't the best use of gore in a game in 2011, then I don't know what is.

Runners up: Dead Space 2, Shadows of the Damned.

"I need a cloth map to figure out where to go." Award for Best Open World.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Remember when I said Skyrim wouldn't necessarily win? I lied. Sure, there were other games this year that had huge worlds that felt and looked real, but they didn't have the substance. The LA of LA Noire looked authentic, but there was nothing to do. Same thing with Assassin's Creed. Skyrim, on the other hand, is both huge and filled with stuff to do. From towns and cities to mountains and dungeons, everything feels real, and there's something to do everywhere. And, much like last year's best open world (Red Dead Redemption), Skyrim features a large number of animals in the world (everything from cute bunnies to large elk, and even dragons), and while they might not interact or animate as well as the ones in RDR, it's only the second game I can think of to have random yet somewhat convincing critters roaming about the world.

Runners up: Assassin's Creed: Revelations, LA Noire.

"Split-Screen will never die!" Award for Best Multiplayer.

Mortal Kombat: "Encourage throws!" There's nothing quite like forcing other people to activate a stupid thing in a game that doesn't actually affect the gameplay at all. Such are the joys of Mortal Kombat. And then there's the Test Your Luck mode, where the game picks all sorts of weird modifiers, some great (like infinite super meter, or random meteors), some terrible (flipping the kombatants upside down), but regardless, playing it with friends is incredibly fun. Of course, none of that would matter if the kore gameplay wasn't up to snuff, but thanking Ed Boon and krew ensured that it is. And no, unlike the GB krew, I'm not disqualifying this because the online was busted at launch. I've been very clear about how it's local multiplayer that I care the most about.

Runners up: Uncharted 3, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds.

"Great Scott, this is heavy!" Award for Best Game from the Past I Played this Year (for the first time).

Alpha Protocol: The thing about Alpha Protocol that really impressed me is that the choices made in the game actually matter. Lots of games try to give off the appearance of choice mattering, but usually all it does is move some morality meter and effect how the main character looks. But not only do choices matter in Alpha Protocol, but you never have enough time to properly think out what you should do, and you're never exactly sure what's going to happen. This results in a game with a ton of variables in how it can play out. For example, because of the choices my friend and I made (we played it Endurance Run style), we ended up with no one but Nolan North supporting directly on the last mission. Sure, the actual gameplay isn't great, and some of the bosses are straight up broken, but the story stuff is some of the best I've seen in a game. And it contains one of Nolan North's finest performances to date. He's completely insane. INSANE!

Runners up: Zettai Hero Project: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman, Yakuza 3, Enslaved.

Dick Cheney Award for Best Game that Refuses to Die.

Mass Effect: Mass Effect is a game that was busted and not particularly great to play back in 2007 when it was released, and those parts haven't aged well. Yet I still find myself going back and replaying it, again and again, despite having S-Ranked it long ago. And to be clear, I think that Mass Effect 2 is better in just about every way. But when I first played Mass Effect, the game seemed magical. It had almost everything I loved about Star Wars (which, for the record, is not fantasy or about magic) and Star Trek (which, if anything, is more fanciful than Star Wars, but that's a blog for another day), but it was a game, so I was in control. There was a huge galaxy to explore, and huge open worlds to drive around on with the Mako. Sure, none of the story choices really change how things play out in Mass Effect, and they don't really have any meaningful impacts on Mass Effect 2 (aside from different lines of dialog, or a different character appearing in a few spots (so there's one choice that matters, and you know what I mean, the one where there is clearly a right choice, and clearly a wrong one, Shepard)). But there's just something magical about the game. It's like the Unified Mario Kart Alpha Theory. Kind of.

Runners up: Mass Effect 2, Deadly Premonition.

"My, this Television is Highly Defined" Award for Best Graphics Technology.

Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception: Sure, some internet trolls will see my choice and respond with a "It's not a PC game, so it looks terrible," but as we all know, people like that are barely people, so their opinions don't matter. What does matter is that Uncharted 3 is an absolutely gorgeous game. From the dirty back alleys of London, to the lush jungles of France, and vast deserts that go as far as the eye can see, Everything in this game looks astounding. The detail is mind-blowing, and the scale! There's a level where Drake is on a ship, and the mad-men at Naughty Dog decided that the best way to do it was to make a real time ocean simulation, so the ship never rocks the same way twice. And add to that the fact that the framerate is almost always solid (I did see a little choppiness once), and you get a game that is, without a doubt, the best technical achievement of the year. If anything, the fact that this is being done on five year old hardware makes it that much more of an achievement, because as other games have shown (cough, Rage and Skyrim, cough), managing memory on the PS3 can be hard.

Runners up: Rage, Dead Space 2.

"What the Hell am I doing judging art?" Award for Best Artistic Design.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Speaking of running on old hardware, it's crazy that a game like Skyward Sword looks as good as it does today, as the Wii is only about as powerful at the Xbox "180," so ten year old hardware. However, the wizards at Nintendo crafted a magnificent art style that transcends the limits of the Wii and they made a Wii game that I honestly think is beautiful. Yes, it'd look a better running in HD, and with more polygons and some better textures in a few cases, but this is a game that will still look nice ten years from now. And Nintendo should be applauded for it.

Runners up: LittleBigPlanet 2, Shadows of the Damned.

"The Dream will never die!" Award for Best Game that Should Exist, but Doesn't (Yet).

Half-Life 2: Episode 3 and/or Half-Life 3: You will notice that Portal 2 was not nominated for any awards. Part of that is that I was underwhelmed with the game, but the main reason is that I have a long-standing boycott against Valve games and services until they reveal concrete information about the next Half-Life game. Because of that, I had to borrow my friend's PS3 copy of Portal 2, create a new account on my PS3 that was not connected to the internet, play the game, then delete the save and the account so as to not add to any sort of number of players Valve/Sony has for the game. No, I'm not doing a good job of hiding that I played it by revealing that I played it, but there's no proof, and I doubt anyone working at Valve is reading this (and if you are, please tell us about the next Half-Life game). This is how much I want the next Half-Life game, and why no other "game" "deserves" this "award."

Runners up: Shenmue III, Two Human.

Bill Shakespeare Award for Best Story.

Uncharted 3: The first two Uncharted games didn't really have much in the way of story beyond, "Let's go get some treasure, oh, and there's relationship problems with Drake and Elena." Both of those are still in effect, but this time it feels far more personal than it ever did. Drake isn't just in it for treasure, or the historical value of what he's after. And the game does a fantastic job of showing why this time it's so important to Drake. There is one moment in the game where my jaw literally dropped, but it wasn't from some big action sequence. It was from a story bit near the end that I literally did not believe just happened. I won't even hint at what it is, because I don't want to spoil it, but I think it's one of the greatest moments in video game story-ing, and that everyone should experience. Maybe I'm over-selling it a bit, but it was a great moment.

Runners up: Yakuza 4, Batman: Arkham City.

John Williams Award for Best Music.

Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception: And one of the reasons why the story-telling in Uncharted 3 works as well as it does is because the soundtrack is constantly spot on. Whether it's a quiet moment where Drake is walking through a market in a Middle Eastern city, or he's running from gunfire and explosions, the music always hits the right, er, notes. I won't go any further after that, other than to say that the Uncharted main theme continues to be adventurous and great in all the right ways.

Runners up: Batman: Arkham City, LA Noire.

"The NDX is rolling into the station!" Award for Best Downloadable Game.

Beyond Good and Evil HD: I never got around to playing Beyond Good and Evil back when it was originally released, but I couldn't resist the new downloadable version, especially at the bargain price of $10. There definitely are a lot of things about the game that don't hold up, and the lack of proper camera inverting options were disgruntling (it was either nothing or both x and y inverted, which is terrible to someone like me who only inverts y (like the pros)). But overall it's a great game that mostly holds up, with an intriguing story.

Runner up: PixelJunk Shooter 2.

"The TRAIN needs some renovations" Award for Best Overall DLC.

LA Noire: Yeah, LA Noire was the only game I played any DLC for this year. And that's kind of a shame, because apparently the DLC for Deus Ex is pretty good. I should have played that. Oh well. I will eventually. But back to LA Noire, there was some really good stuff. The cases were pretty good, and reasonably priced (at least if you got the season pass early).

Runners up: None!

"NOTHING STOPS THE NDX" Award for Best Individual DLC.

Nicholson Electroplating Case (LA Noire): Speaking of great content, Nicholson Electroplating is my favorite case in the game. Yes, I liked it more than all of the cases on the disc. If this case had been in the game where it takes place in the story (second to last case), it would have dramatically improved my thoughts on the last few hours of the game. It starts with a bang (literally), and keeps the tension going. Not only that, but it incorporates some historical "things" and people exceptionally well, and kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end.

Runner up: The Naked City Case (also LA Noire).

"If only I had more money..." Award for Game I Wish I Played Most (but didn't).

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings: The Witcher 2 is a game that was on my mind for most of the year (due in large part to one Vinny Caravella, and his quest to beat the original, and that), but I never really thought about too much because I don't have a PC that can run it. But then a 360 version was announced, so I became super pumped for that, and almost forgot that it was a 2011 game, and not a 2012 game. So what I'm saying is that expect either Witcher 2 (360) to win big in The Fourth Annual Moosies, or (if I somehow get a gaming PC), expect Witcher 2 (PC) to win the award with the dumb Back to the Future reference. Maybe it'll be something about manure. Or the Cubs.

Runners up: Saints Row the Third, Gears of War 3.

Megaman Award for Best Box Art.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Yes, now I'm getting into the silly awards. Whatever. Skyrim wins because the cover is simple and nice, and on the inside of the box, there's some art of mountains and stuff. It's very nice.

Runners up: Uncharted 3, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

"MOST MODERN PUBLISHERS ARE TERRIBLE" Award for Best Instruction Manual.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds: MvC 3 may be a lot of things (including very infuriating because I wish I had waited and bought the version with Frank West), but the instruction manual is great. Not only is it full color, it's thick, and even includes move lists for all the non-secret characters in the game. Not full combos or anything, but lists of the hadoukens and super moves. You know, useful stuff to have.

Runners up: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

"I'm about to destroy the world, but let's have a fighting tournament because I'm a DBZ villain" Award for Best Fighting Game.

Mortal Kombat: Sadly though, it was the fighting game without a manual that ended up being the best fighting game of the year. Why? It has a story mode. With voice acting and kutscenes. Not only that, but it's lengthy, and really good. Plus, it has all the multiplayer options mentioned above, and even options for things like two-on-two fights. It's not a komplete landslide in MK's favor, because I think I might like the kore fighting of MvC3 more, it just doesn't have anywhere near as many options and other things as MK.

Runner up: Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds.

"Always Be Jumping" Award for Best Platformer.

LittleBigPlanet 2: I love me some LittleBigPlanet, especially the second one, what with all the additions to the level editing stuff. Things like deeper vehicle control options, and lots of other things I vaguely remember Stephen Fry telling me about in tutorials. And everything from the first game carried over, which meant I was able to play the whole game with my Old Snake outfit.

Runners up: None!

"They'll never check under the cardboard box." Award for Best Stealth Game.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Don't take the fact that Deus Ex hasn't won many awards to mean I didn't like it. In fact, the opposite is true. I really liked the game. Definitely the best stealth game in years. Yes, I know you can play it non-stealthily, but then you run into things like poor AI, and the not-so-great aiming. But it's always awesome to be able to beat a game without ever killing anyone (except for the bosses, which weren't great). But overall, the game was awesome, and the tons of options as to how to tackle any given situation make the game great for multiple playthroughs. At least for me. I like playing games more than once.

Runner up: Assassin's Creed: Revelations.

George Romero Award for Best Survivor Horror-ish Game.

Dead Space 2: Let me be clear: Video games do not scare me. But, the creepy atmosphere, incredible graphics (including some of the best colored lighting out there), and pacing of Dead Space 2 is about the closest any game has ever gotten. Yeah, it's more of a third person shooter than anything else, but some of the things in that game are...scary good! Okay, my wordplay is getting worse, but don't let that stop you from playing this fantastic game if you haven't. If I had an award for best new enemy type, then the raptor/stalk you enemies in this game would win (partially because of the Jurassic Park reference in the Trophy/Achievement you get for the first encounter with them). Their AI works in such a way that they actively stalk you, and will run off if you see them, until they think you don't know where they are, and then they charge in. And then there's the scene late in the game involving Isaac's eye...I don't want to spoil it, but it's certainly a "horrifying" thing you have to "survive" ... Hey, don't leave, I still have more awards!

Runner up: Shadows of the Damned.

Bob Goddard Award for Best RPG.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Skyrim wins this award hands down. Deus Ex may have tons of alternate routes and paths to success, and Yakuza 4 may follow the over-world structure of JRPGs to a t (wander around, take part in random battles, get XP), but Skyrim is the one with the highest amount of character customization, the greatest diversity of play styles, and the largest world with the most quests. And the Elder Scrolls XP system of improving skills by using them really shines here, unlike the other games where you get XP by defeating enemies and doing other things, like most RPGs. It always seemed a little weird that someone could hack into a computer, and then use the "experience" from that to improve gun wielding.

Though, the alternate Bob Goddard Award for Best Rocket Propelled Grenade goes to Deus Ex, because the rocket launchers in that game are pretty big, and pretty effective.

Runners up: Yakuza 4, Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

"Never Not Shooting" Award for Best Shooter.

Rage: Rage is a weird game. Before it came out, I (and I think a lot of other people) thought it'd be this big open world game with tons of quests and things to do. What it turned out to be was Borderlands light in the overworld (couple of towns where you got quests, and then drove to areas), and a straight forward shooter once you got to those areas. But the core shooting is spot on, and every weapon in the game is satisfying to use. Rage easily has the best gun noises of 2011 (at least in the games I played), and probably the best overall sound design (an award I forgot to include). Not only that, but most guns have alternate ammos, and not the ones you expect. Shotgun slugs? Why use those when you can just put grenades in that shotgun? And I know it doesn't involve a ton of shooting, but I thought the driving in the game was also really fun. The vehicles had a nice arcade-y feel.

Also, Rage wins the John Goodman Award for Best Use of John Goodman, because John Goodman is in it.

Runner up: None!

Best of the Best of the Best PS3 Exclusive Game.

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception: This was the easiest award to decide (not counting the ones with one nominee). And that's saying something, because the other nominees were pretty awesome. But, to be honest, Uncharted 3 achieves the goals Naughty Dog set out to do perfectly. And "perfectly" is not a word I throw around lightly. The last game I felt achieved its goals this well was MGS4. And because of that, there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that Uncharted 3 is not only the best PS3 exclusive game to be released in 2011, it's the best PS3 exclusive game. Again, it is the perfect form of what Naughty Dog was trying to do. Yes, the game is difficult, and some would say frustrating, but whatever. The blend of insane, over the top action sequences and slow, quiet character moments is so perfect that Uncharted 3 is something special that everyone should play, and is easily the best PS3 exclusive game of the year.

Runners up: Yakuza 4, LittleBigPlanet 2.

Best of the Best of the Best Wii Exclusive Game.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: I'm going to make another, probably less bold, statement here: Skyward Sword is the best Wii exclusive game. Yes, it has some flaws, including a slow opening (that I didn't think was too bad), too much filler (which, to be honest, any filler is too much), and I still think it would be better with voice acting. But the brilliant level design combined with the best use of motion control in a game (ever) made this game a blast to play. Playing this game made me think of my youth when I was playing games like this where the focus was on solving puzzles in the environment to proceed, rather than just running and gunning your way past dozens of nameless thugs. And it shows that despite how easy it is to make fun of the Wii, or mock Nintendo for focusing too much on appealing to "softcore" gamers (as I call them) instead of hardcore gamers, Skyward Sword shows once again how Nintendo is still the best there is at what they do, which is craft amazing games that aren't just about killing dudes. Or in other words, Nintendo is the Wolverine of video games, bub.

Runners up: None!

Best of the Best of the Best Multi-platform Game.

Batman: Arkham City: There is a moment in Arkham City where Batman punches a shark. Nolan North voices a British Penguin. Mark Hamill is as insane as ever. The game finally did what no other game ever did: Get gliding in an open city with Batman right. No, I don't know if any other game actually attempted that, but that's beside the point. I've been a fan of Batman for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a small child, I've wanted this game to be a thing. Arkham Asylum was good, but it always felt like it was too restrictive. The Batman I grew up with wouldn't be stopped by some prison walls. Well, Arkham City changes that, and does it is the best way possible. The first time I was able to start gliding around, and grappling up and then into a glide, I had a huge smile on my face. This game is the most Batman thing that has ever Batmaned. It captures every aspect of what Batman is. There's detective-ing, stealthing, and beating up thugs, which, by the way, is even better than it was in Arkham City. There are more gagdets than ever before, and side quests. There are side quests in a Batman game! Really, the only aspect of Batman this game doesn't cover is the Batmobile, but that's something they can do in the next one, assuming they use my idea and have there be multiple cities San Andreas style. But you can read about my idea of Batman going to Metropolis to punch Lex Luthor in the face some other time.

Runners up: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

So those are the general awards. If you read all the way through them, then thank you very much! Go have a cookie. Now, if you want to know what the Third Annual Moosies Game of the Year is, then you'll have to tune in tomorrow. But there will be a slight change from last year's Game of the Year reveal. Last year I wrote about the winner, and the top two runners up, whereas this year it shalst take the form of a full-on top ten list (an idea that I admit I stole from a friend of mine).

And I'll give a little hint: Unlike last year, when Deadly Premonition had a surprise win over the games that won the actual "best of" awards, this year the big winner will be one of the "best of" winners. But which one? TUNE IN NEXT TIME!

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#1 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10990 posts) -

Here are the awards! And unlike last year, there are no ties!

Abe Lincoln Award for Best Facial Hair.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: I actually wrote up a lengthy description for another game winning this, then I played about ten more hours of Skyrim, and decided that Skyrim needed to win. The actual beards in the game aren't necessarily of the highest quality (because even with a "new" engine (well, I think the graphics part is mostly new) it still looks not great (at least on PS3 (yes, I played the PS3 version, shut up))), but the quantity is spectacular. Like any good fake Vikings, there are beards everywhere in Skyrim. And while the game may be primarily first person (or behind the back if you like having your character block a large chunk of the screen, but without a good over the shoulder view), you can give the playable character a sick beard as well. Again, the game may not have the best facial hair, but it has the best use of facial hair.

Runners up: Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Mortal Kombat.

George Washington Award for Best Returning Protagonist.

Nathan "Nolan North" Drake: Picking Nathan Drake may seem like the "mainstream" or "obvious" choice, but if you care at all about the story and characters in the Uncharted games, and have been with the series from the start, then the things that happen to Drake, and the things revealed about his past are extremely impactful. I don't want to go into details (because of potential spoilers), but trust me when I say that there are some really awesome "character moments" for him. And, I would be committing a crime if I didn't mention Nolan North's fantastic voice acting. He sells each and every line. No one can fake falling off something as well as he can.

Runners up: Bruce "I'm the Goddamned Batman" Wayne, Kazuma "Dragon of Dojima" Kiryu.

"Who's this guy?" Award for Best New Protagonist.

Cole "Facial Animation" Phelps: The thing about Phelps that won him this award is that he's kind of an a**hole. The man yells and screams his way to confessions from suspects, whether or not he has evidence. But, even at his lowest moments (and he has some pretty low moments where he does some things that were completely unjustifiable and illogical), I still liked him, and I was still rooting for him. Really, I find it hard to pinpoint what exactly I like about him. Maybe it's that he is such a jerk. And, quite possibly, a psychopath. By which I mean if you apply his personality traits to a psychopath "test," (spoilers) he pretty much passes it. And it's crazy that a psychopathic a**hole could be a well realized and likeable main character. But he is.

Runners up: Garcia "F***ing" Hotspur, Shun "Crazy Legs" Akiyama.

"Leonard 'Bones' McCoy" Award for Best Supporting character.

Johnson: No joke, this was probably the hardest award for me to decide. But ultimately I decided that Johnson is the better support character, whereas Sully is his own man, he just hasn't had the lead role (yet, but don't get me started on my idea for an Uncharted game starring "young" Sully). Garcia wouldn't get anyway without Johnson. Literally! He serves not only as Garcia weapons (including guns and a torch (with some amazing colored lighting)), but also as a motorcycle. Garcia literally would not get to the underworld without John. At least not in a timely manner. And once there, Johnson always has something useful to say, whether it's about the uses of strawberries, or what demons are like. They're "buttholes," according to Johnson.

Runners up: Victor "Goddamn" "Well I'll be go to Hell" "Sully" Sullivan, Frank "Francis" Pritchard.

Nolan North Award for Best Non-Nolan North Voice Actor of the Year.

Mark Hamill (The Joker): This was a tough one to decide too. But as this is Mark Hamill's last run as The Joker (he's said as much, at least), he decided to go all out with the crazy. The end result was a masterful performance from the man that I think (and have always thought) was the best Joker of them all. The Joker's final lines in the game are especially good, given the circumstances of what happens at the end of the game (again, no spoilers). It was a fitting end for Mark Hamill's best role.

Runners up: Richard McGongle (Sully), Aaron Staton (Cole Phelps).

"I'm looking for some sailers" Award for Best Overall Voice Acting.

LA Noire: The gameplay of LA Noire may be paper thin in some spots, and the final few hours of the game were a little disappointing (to me at least), but one thing that is consistantly excellent in the game is the voice acting (complemented by incredible facial animation). This is partly because instead of hiring the usual voice actors that are in every game (Nolan North, Yuri Lowenthal, Steve Blum, etc) they went out and hired a bunch of name actors. Nothing against those guys, but it was great to have a game where everyone didn't sound like Nathan Drake or Wolverine. And thankfully they hired good actors like Aaron Staton, and not bad actors like...Well, I won't name names. But the cast in LA Noire is excellent, and the only way it could be better would be if Nicolas Cage, Gary Oldman, and Jeff Goldblum were in it.

So RockStar, when you're casting the next game in the Noire series, I've already picked out the main cast for you.

Runners up: Uncharted 3, Batman: Arkham City.

Mel Brooks Award for Funniest Game.

Shadows of the Damned: Aside from one unforetuneate sequence where Garcia repeats the same line non-stop for ten minutes, and a few "serious story moments" late in the game, Shadows of the Damned is a pretty hilarious game. This is mainly because of the great dialog between Garcia and Johnson. Garcia is a bada** who just wants to kill his way to his kidnapped girlfriend, and Johnson is a knowledgable ex-demon who's afraid of his own shadow (well, not really, because with all of his colored lighting, he doesn't really have a shadow). And the situations they find themselves in are hilariously absurd, like when the game turns into a sidescrolling shooter for no reason, or when Johnson breaks the forth wall and mentions the game designers (to Garcia's confusion). And, lest we forget, the storybook sequences are some of the funniest things I've seen in a game, period. Garcia is not a good reader.

Runners up: LittleBigPlanet 2, Uncharted 3.

Special Mention: Portal 2. For reasons I disclose below, Portal 2 was exempt from all awards, but it was a fairly funny game.

Mr. Spacely Award for Best Bosses.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Skyward Sword's controls really shine during the battles. Yes, there is some repetition (particularly how you have to fight the worst boss three times), but when the bosses aren't that boss, they're pretty awesome. They're fun to fight, great to look at (because the boss designs are awesome), and they make great use of the WiiMotion Plus. Sure, they all kinda devolve into figuring out what the weakness is, waiting for a moment to exploit, it, and then repeating that (but not three times, the rule of three is not in effect all the time). But that doesn't stop the "AHA!" moment of figuring it out from being any less good.

Runners up: Batman: Arkham City, Shadows of the Damned.

Michael Bay Award for Most Ridiculous Game.

Shadows of the Damned: Let me describe for you, the reader, the set-up for Shadows of the Damned. You play as Garcia "F***ing" Hotspur, a demon hunter who travels to Hell along with a talking (British) skull who transforms into guns, a torch, and a motorcycle in order to rescue Garcia's kidnapped girlfriend from a demon lord named Fleming. One of the core game mechanics invovles removing "darkness" from areas by increasing the light in the area. And, of coures, you do this by shooting living goat heads (who have candlabras for hats) that are mounted on walls. And instead of keys unlocking doors, you use strawberries/eyes/brains to feed baby heads on doors. And the sound that plays when doors open is the greatest game sound ever. It's right up there with the Mario coin noise. And that's pretty darn ridiculous.

Runners up: Uncharted 3, Mortal Kombat.

Special Mention: Saints Row the Third. I didn't play it, but man, that game is CRAZY. I should really play Saints Row the Third.

Machete Award for Best Use of Gore.

Mortal Kombat: Noob Saibot's starter Fatality involves him grabbing one leg of the enemy kombatant by the leg whilst a ghostly clone of him grabs the other leg, and which point the two pull the person apart like a wishbone, and then the two halves of him/her are left dangling like meat in a butcher shop. It's insane. Also, there are a lot of other fatalities in the game. And a game variant where they fight by launching limbs/heads off of bodies as projectiles. And then there's the X-Ray attacks! Technically not "gore" in the literal sense, but still pretty slick. If that isn't the best use of gore in a game in 2011, then I don't know what is.

Runners up: Dead Space 2, Shadows of the Damned.

"I need a cloth map to figure out where to go." Award for Best Open World.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Remember when I said Skyrim wouldn't necessarily win? I lied. Sure, there were other games this year that had huge worlds that felt and looked real, but they didn't have the substance. The LA of LA Noire looked authentic, but there was nothing to do. Same thing with Assassin's Creed. Skyrim, on the other hand, is both huge and filled with stuff to do. From towns and cities to mountains and dungeons, everything feels real, and there's something to do everywhere. And, much like last year's best open world (Red Dead Redemption), Skyrim features a large number of animals in the world (everything from cute bunnies to large elk, and even dragons), and while they might not interact or animate as well as the ones in RDR, it's only the second game I can think of to have random yet somewhat convincing critters roaming about the world.

Runners up: Assassin's Creed: Revelations, LA Noire.

"Split-Screen will never die!" Award for Best Multiplayer.

Mortal Kombat: "Encourage throws!" There's nothing quite like forcing other people to activate a stupid thing in a game that doesn't actually affect the gameplay at all. Such are the joys of Mortal Kombat. And then there's the Test Your Luck mode, where the game picks all sorts of weird modifiers, some great (like infinite super meter, or random meteors), some terrible (flipping the kombatants upside down), but regardless, playing it with friends is incredibly fun. Of course, none of that would matter if the kore gameplay wasn't up to snuff, but thanking Ed Boon and krew ensured that it is. And no, unlike the GB krew, I'm not disqualifying this because the online was busted at launch. I've been very clear about how it's local multiplayer that I care the most about.

Runners up: Uncharted 3, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds.

"Great Scott, this is heavy!" Award for Best Game from the Past I Played this Year (for the first time).

Alpha Protocol: The thing about Alpha Protocol that really impressed me is that the choices made in the game actually matter. Lots of games try to give off the appearance of choice mattering, but usually all it does is move some morality meter and effect how the main character looks. But not only do choices matter in Alpha Protocol, but you never have enough time to properly think out what you should do, and you're never exactly sure what's going to happen. This results in a game with a ton of variables in how it can play out. For example, because of the choices my friend and I made (we played it Endurance Run style), we ended up with no one but Nolan North supporting directly on the last mission. Sure, the actual gameplay isn't great, and some of the bosses are straight up broken, but the story stuff is some of the best I've seen in a game. And it contains one of Nolan North's finest performances to date. He's completely insane. INSANE!

Runners up: Zettai Hero Project: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman, Yakuza 3, Enslaved.

Dick Cheney Award for Best Game that Refuses to Die.

Mass Effect: Mass Effect is a game that was busted and not particularly great to play back in 2007 when it was released, and those parts haven't aged well. Yet I still find myself going back and replaying it, again and again, despite having S-Ranked it long ago. And to be clear, I think that Mass Effect 2 is better in just about every way. But when I first played Mass Effect, the game seemed magical. It had almost everything I loved about Star Wars (which, for the record, is not fantasy or about magic) and Star Trek (which, if anything, is more fanciful than Star Wars, but that's a blog for another day), but it was a game, so I was in control. There was a huge galaxy to explore, and huge open worlds to drive around on with the Mako. Sure, none of the story choices really change how things play out in Mass Effect, and they don't really have any meaningful impacts on Mass Effect 2 (aside from different lines of dialog, or a different character appearing in a few spots (so there's one choice that matters, and you know what I mean, the one where there is clearly a right choice, and clearly a wrong one, Shepard)). But there's just something magical about the game. It's like the Unified Mario Kart Alpha Theory. Kind of.

Runners up: Mass Effect 2, Deadly Premonition.

"My, this Television is Highly Defined" Award for Best Graphics Technology.

Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception: Sure, some internet trolls will see my choice and respond with a "It's not a PC game, so it looks terrible," but as we all know, people like that are barely people, so their opinions don't matter. What does matter is that Uncharted 3 is an absolutely gorgeous game. From the dirty back alleys of London, to the lush jungles of France, and vast deserts that go as far as the eye can see, Everything in this game looks astounding. The detail is mind-blowing, and the scale! There's a level where Drake is on a ship, and the mad-men at Naughty Dog decided that the best way to do it was to make a real time ocean simulation, so the ship never rocks the same way twice. And add to that the fact that the framerate is almost always solid (I did see a little choppiness once), and you get a game that is, without a doubt, the best technical achievement of the year. If anything, the fact that this is being done on five year old hardware makes it that much more of an achievement, because as other games have shown (cough, Rage and Skyrim, cough), managing memory on the PS3 can be hard.

Runners up: Rage, Dead Space 2.

"What the Hell am I doing judging art?" Award for Best Artistic Design.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Speaking of running on old hardware, it's crazy that a game like Skyward Sword looks as good as it does today, as the Wii is only about as powerful at the Xbox "180," so ten year old hardware. However, the wizards at Nintendo crafted a magnificent art style that transcends the limits of the Wii and they made a Wii game that I honestly think is beautiful. Yes, it'd look a better running in HD, and with more polygons and some better textures in a few cases, but this is a game that will still look nice ten years from now. And Nintendo should be applauded for it.

Runners up: LittleBigPlanet 2, Shadows of the Damned.

"The Dream will never die!" Award for Best Game that Should Exist, but Doesn't (Yet).

Half-Life 2: Episode 3 and/or Half-Life 3: You will notice that Portal 2 was not nominated for any awards. Part of that is that I was underwhelmed with the game, but the main reason is that I have a long-standing boycott against Valve games and services until they reveal concrete information about the next Half-Life game. Because of that, I had to borrow my friend's PS3 copy of Portal 2, create a new account on my PS3 that was not connected to the internet, play the game, then delete the save and the account so as to not add to any sort of number of players Valve/Sony has for the game. No, I'm not doing a good job of hiding that I played it by revealing that I played it, but there's no proof, and I doubt anyone working at Valve is reading this (and if you are, please tell us about the next Half-Life game). This is how much I want the next Half-Life game, and why no other "game" "deserves" this "award."

Runners up: Shenmue III, Two Human.

Bill Shakespeare Award for Best Story.

Uncharted 3: The first two Uncharted games didn't really have much in the way of story beyond, "Let's go get some treasure, oh, and there's relationship problems with Drake and Elena." Both of those are still in effect, but this time it feels far more personal than it ever did. Drake isn't just in it for treasure, or the historical value of what he's after. And the game does a fantastic job of showing why this time it's so important to Drake. There is one moment in the game where my jaw literally dropped, but it wasn't from some big action sequence. It was from a story bit near the end that I literally did not believe just happened. I won't even hint at what it is, because I don't want to spoil it, but I think it's one of the greatest moments in video game story-ing, and that everyone should experience. Maybe I'm over-selling it a bit, but it was a great moment.

Runners up: Yakuza 4, Batman: Arkham City.

John Williams Award for Best Music.

Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception: And one of the reasons why the story-telling in Uncharted 3 works as well as it does is because the soundtrack is constantly spot on. Whether it's a quiet moment where Drake is walking through a market in a Middle Eastern city, or he's running from gunfire and explosions, the music always hits the right, er, notes. I won't go any further after that, other than to say that the Uncharted main theme continues to be adventurous and great in all the right ways.

Runners up: Batman: Arkham City, LA Noire.

"The NDX is rolling into the station!" Award for Best Downloadable Game.

Beyond Good and Evil HD: I never got around to playing Beyond Good and Evil back when it was originally released, but I couldn't resist the new downloadable version, especially at the bargain price of $10. There definitely are a lot of things about the game that don't hold up, and the lack of proper camera inverting options were disgruntling (it was either nothing or both x and y inverted, which is terrible to someone like me who only inverts y (like the pros)). But overall it's a great game that mostly holds up, with an intriguing story.

Runner up: PixelJunk Shooter 2.

"The TRAIN needs some renovations" Award for Best Overall DLC.

LA Noire: Yeah, LA Noire was the only game I played any DLC for this year. And that's kind of a shame, because apparently the DLC for Deus Ex is pretty good. I should have played that. Oh well. I will eventually. But back to LA Noire, there was some really good stuff. The cases were pretty good, and reasonably priced (at least if you got the season pass early).

Runners up: None!

"NOTHING STOPS THE NDX" Award for Best Individual DLC.

Nicholson Electroplating Case (LA Noire): Speaking of great content, Nicholson Electroplating is my favorite case in the game. Yes, I liked it more than all of the cases on the disc. If this case had been in the game where it takes place in the story (second to last case), it would have dramatically improved my thoughts on the last few hours of the game. It starts with a bang (literally), and keeps the tension going. Not only that, but it incorporates some historical "things" and people exceptionally well, and kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end.

Runner up: The Naked City Case (also LA Noire).

"If only I had more money..." Award for Game I Wish I Played Most (but didn't).

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings: The Witcher 2 is a game that was on my mind for most of the year (due in large part to one Vinny Caravella, and his quest to beat the original, and that), but I never really thought about too much because I don't have a PC that can run it. But then a 360 version was announced, so I became super pumped for that, and almost forgot that it was a 2011 game, and not a 2012 game. So what I'm saying is that expect either Witcher 2 (360) to win big in The Fourth Annual Moosies, or (if I somehow get a gaming PC), expect Witcher 2 (PC) to win the award with the dumb Back to the Future reference. Maybe it'll be something about manure. Or the Cubs.

Runners up: Saints Row the Third, Gears of War 3.

Megaman Award for Best Box Art.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Yes, now I'm getting into the silly awards. Whatever. Skyrim wins because the cover is simple and nice, and on the inside of the box, there's some art of mountains and stuff. It's very nice.

Runners up: Uncharted 3, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

"MOST MODERN PUBLISHERS ARE TERRIBLE" Award for Best Instruction Manual.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds: MvC 3 may be a lot of things (including very infuriating because I wish I had waited and bought the version with Frank West), but the instruction manual is great. Not only is it full color, it's thick, and even includes move lists for all the non-secret characters in the game. Not full combos or anything, but lists of the hadoukens and super moves. You know, useful stuff to have.

Runners up: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

"I'm about to destroy the world, but let's have a fighting tournament because I'm a DBZ villain" Award for Best Fighting Game.

Mortal Kombat: Sadly though, it was the fighting game without a manual that ended up being the best fighting game of the year. Why? It has a story mode. With voice acting and kutscenes. Not only that, but it's lengthy, and really good. Plus, it has all the multiplayer options mentioned above, and even options for things like two-on-two fights. It's not a komplete landslide in MK's favor, because I think I might like the kore fighting of MvC3 more, it just doesn't have anywhere near as many options and other things as MK.

Runner up: Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds.

"Always Be Jumping" Award for Best Platformer.

LittleBigPlanet 2: I love me some LittleBigPlanet, especially the second one, what with all the additions to the level editing stuff. Things like deeper vehicle control options, and lots of other things I vaguely remember Stephen Fry telling me about in tutorials. And everything from the first game carried over, which meant I was able to play the whole game with my Old Snake outfit.

Runners up: None!

"They'll never check under the cardboard box." Award for Best Stealth Game.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Don't take the fact that Deus Ex hasn't won many awards to mean I didn't like it. In fact, the opposite is true. I really liked the game. Definitely the best stealth game in years. Yes, I know you can play it non-stealthily, but then you run into things like poor AI, and the not-so-great aiming. But it's always awesome to be able to beat a game without ever killing anyone (except for the bosses, which weren't great). But overall, the game was awesome, and the tons of options as to how to tackle any given situation make the game great for multiple playthroughs. At least for me. I like playing games more than once.

Runner up: Assassin's Creed: Revelations.

George Romero Award for Best Survivor Horror-ish Game.

Dead Space 2: Let me be clear: Video games do not scare me. But, the creepy atmosphere, incredible graphics (including some of the best colored lighting out there), and pacing of Dead Space 2 is about the closest any game has ever gotten. Yeah, it's more of a third person shooter than anything else, but some of the things in that game are...scary good! Okay, my wordplay is getting worse, but don't let that stop you from playing this fantastic game if you haven't. If I had an award for best new enemy type, then the raptor/stalk you enemies in this game would win (partially because of the Jurassic Park reference in the Trophy/Achievement you get for the first encounter with them). Their AI works in such a way that they actively stalk you, and will run off if you see them, until they think you don't know where they are, and then they charge in. And then there's the scene late in the game involving Isaac's eye...I don't want to spoil it, but it's certainly a "horrifying" thing you have to "survive" ... Hey, don't leave, I still have more awards!

Runner up: Shadows of the Damned.

Bob Goddard Award for Best RPG.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Skyrim wins this award hands down. Deus Ex may have tons of alternate routes and paths to success, and Yakuza 4 may follow the over-world structure of JRPGs to a t (wander around, take part in random battles, get XP), but Skyrim is the one with the highest amount of character customization, the greatest diversity of play styles, and the largest world with the most quests. And the Elder Scrolls XP system of improving skills by using them really shines here, unlike the other games where you get XP by defeating enemies and doing other things, like most RPGs. It always seemed a little weird that someone could hack into a computer, and then use the "experience" from that to improve gun wielding.

Though, the alternate Bob Goddard Award for Best Rocket Propelled Grenade goes to Deus Ex, because the rocket launchers in that game are pretty big, and pretty effective.

Runners up: Yakuza 4, Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

"Never Not Shooting" Award for Best Shooter.

Rage: Rage is a weird game. Before it came out, I (and I think a lot of other people) thought it'd be this big open world game with tons of quests and things to do. What it turned out to be was Borderlands light in the overworld (couple of towns where you got quests, and then drove to areas), and a straight forward shooter once you got to those areas. But the core shooting is spot on, and every weapon in the game is satisfying to use. Rage easily has the best gun noises of 2011 (at least in the games I played), and probably the best overall sound design (an award I forgot to include). Not only that, but most guns have alternate ammos, and not the ones you expect. Shotgun slugs? Why use those when you can just put grenades in that shotgun? And I know it doesn't involve a ton of shooting, but I thought the driving in the game was also really fun. The vehicles had a nice arcade-y feel.

Also, Rage wins the John Goodman Award for Best Use of John Goodman, because John Goodman is in it.

Runner up: None!

Best of the Best of the Best PS3 Exclusive Game.

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception: This was the easiest award to decide (not counting the ones with one nominee). And that's saying something, because the other nominees were pretty awesome. But, to be honest, Uncharted 3 achieves the goals Naughty Dog set out to do perfectly. And "perfectly" is not a word I throw around lightly. The last game I felt achieved its goals this well was MGS4. And because of that, there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that Uncharted 3 is not only the best PS3 exclusive game to be released in 2011, it's the best PS3 exclusive game. Again, it is the perfect form of what Naughty Dog was trying to do. Yes, the game is difficult, and some would say frustrating, but whatever. The blend of insane, over the top action sequences and slow, quiet character moments is so perfect that Uncharted 3 is something special that everyone should play, and is easily the best PS3 exclusive game of the year.

Runners up: Yakuza 4, LittleBigPlanet 2.

Best of the Best of the Best Wii Exclusive Game.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: I'm going to make another, probably less bold, statement here: Skyward Sword is the best Wii exclusive game. Yes, it has some flaws, including a slow opening (that I didn't think was too bad), too much filler (which, to be honest, any filler is too much), and I still think it would be better with voice acting. But the brilliant level design combined with the best use of motion control in a game (ever) made this game a blast to play. Playing this game made me think of my youth when I was playing games like this where the focus was on solving puzzles in the environment to proceed, rather than just running and gunning your way past dozens of nameless thugs. And it shows that despite how easy it is to make fun of the Wii, or mock Nintendo for focusing too much on appealing to "softcore" gamers (as I call them) instead of hardcore gamers, Skyward Sword shows once again how Nintendo is still the best there is at what they do, which is craft amazing games that aren't just about killing dudes. Or in other words, Nintendo is the Wolverine of video games, bub.

Runners up: None!

Best of the Best of the Best Multi-platform Game.

Batman: Arkham City: There is a moment in Arkham City where Batman punches a shark. Nolan North voices a British Penguin. Mark Hamill is as insane as ever. The game finally did what no other game ever did: Get gliding in an open city with Batman right. No, I don't know if any other game actually attempted that, but that's beside the point. I've been a fan of Batman for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a small child, I've wanted this game to be a thing. Arkham Asylum was good, but it always felt like it was too restrictive. The Batman I grew up with wouldn't be stopped by some prison walls. Well, Arkham City changes that, and does it is the best way possible. The first time I was able to start gliding around, and grappling up and then into a glide, I had a huge smile on my face. This game is the most Batman thing that has ever Batmaned. It captures every aspect of what Batman is. There's detective-ing, stealthing, and beating up thugs, which, by the way, is even better than it was in Arkham City. There are more gagdets than ever before, and side quests. There are side quests in a Batman game! Really, the only aspect of Batman this game doesn't cover is the Batmobile, but that's something they can do in the next one, assuming they use my idea and have there be multiple cities San Andreas style. But you can read about my idea of Batman going to Metropolis to punch Lex Luthor in the face some other time.

Runners up: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

So those are the general awards. If you read all the way through them, then thank you very much! Go have a cookie. Now, if you want to know what the Third Annual Moosies Game of the Year is, then you'll have to tune in tomorrow. But there will be a slight change from last year's Game of the Year reveal. Last year I wrote about the winner, and the top two runners up, whereas this year it shalst take the form of a full-on top ten list (an idea that I admit I stole from a friend of mine).

And I'll give a little hint: Unlike last year, when Deadly Premonition had a surprise win over the games that won the actual "best of" awards, this year the big winner will be one of the "best of" winners. But which one? TUNE IN NEXT TIME!

Moderator
#2 Posted by thebatmobile (981 posts) -

I'm guessing you didn't play Dark Souls. You should!

Other than that, it was a very entertaining read.

#3 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10990 posts) -

@thebatmobile: That is correct. I did nominate it for best game I didn't play, but I wanted to play that one less than those other ones. But such is the way of things when you don't have the resources to buy everything.

Moderator
#4 Posted by ze_ro (181 posts) -

spot on sir, spot on.

#5 Posted by rmanthorp (3943 posts) -

These awards are just INCREDIBLE

Moderator Online
#6 Posted by CJduke (788 posts) -

Perfect right up about Dead Space 2! Those enemies were the best, and that eye scene.....Also completely agree with your thoughts on Batman. But leaving out Portal 2 for funniest game (I know, I know, Valve boycott) is a crime. I'm picking Arkham City for your GOTY

#7 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -

I'm 25 hours into Skyward Sword and it is gorgeous. The motion controls are the best I've ever laid my hands on. I hadn't turned on my Wii in a while and thought I would get Wii fatigue from playing, but this hasn't been the case. There's a few things I would change, but overall, it feels good to be playing a Zelda game again.

#8 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

This is the best awards blog I've read in my life.

#9 Posted by Sinclose (90 posts) -

Very late to comment on this, but I have to say: this was a beautifully written blog and the type of award piece that would be fit for publishing on a website. Still love those award names, but personally I think it's better when titles do not have a full stop in them, but that's your presentation choice.

Looking forward to what the end of 2012 will bring!