Day 2's coverage is live and once again everything was top notch. No surprise - however it is still impressive nonetheless.
Skylander of the Year
I really feel Chop Chop got snubbed in this category, especially if you have listened to previous bombcasts that have followed the Skylander coverage. Chop Chop was thoroughly discussed on previous episodes with a lot of positivity so his loss to Drobot was a bit of a surprise for me, even with Drobot's pedigree. Plus, Chop Chop looks way cooler. We had enough dragons this year and while it's true that Skeletons are as old as time itself, Chop Chop managed to take a tired and old trope and make it feel new and fresh. I mean just look at him:
Bastion was definitely an awesome game but to me it wasn't the best debut. It has a lot of strong points but it doesn't do anything all that new. What Bastion does do, it definitely does extremely well, but it wasn't anything that pushed the envelope. That said, I gotta say the narration in Bastion is awesome. I actually was surprised by the list that ended up as the top 3 as I really didn't like L.A. Noire a whole lot. The story was a lot of fun but everything surrounding the story was bland. The game was just boring to play overall and I had to be in the right mindset anytime I approached it. I think Stacking could have easily replaced L.A. Noire, personally.
As for me I really liked Terraria. Like a lot. The game launched with so much to do and covered the adventuring, exploring, and building aspects really well and has improved about 10-fold since its release. I have sunk about 80 hours into Terraria so far and I still play it with my friends on occassion. Barring that it is fun for a wide audience. I'm a pretty 'hardcore' gamer and I think its great - meanwhile my girlfriend has played about 20 hours more of this game than I have and she rarely plays games. Terraria has sold well over a million copies over the course of the year and while this category might not be based on numbers you can't deny that such things show that Terraria had a powerful debut: keep in mind it was independently developed by a very small team in the course of a handful of months.
I didn't play WWE All Stars but I did play Dead Island. I don't feel too strongly about Dead Island, personally. It didn't engage me as much as I was led to believe it would after hearing so many people talk about it. I think people just like zombie games, really. I enjoyed it but I didn't fall in love with it and I didn't feel like I needed to go out of my way to spend time playing it. But I am curious about checking out WWE All Stars. A wrestling game that is actually good/fun? Count me in.
Best Sky Game
I really want to play Skyward Sword but having sunk in over 70 hours on Skyrim I have to agree with the choice. Skyrim is addictive if you get into the fiction. If you have been playing Bethesda's open-world RPGs then you will recognize the huge step up that Skyrim is immediately. Is that enough? Well the game is more ambitious than most games can ever hope to be. Sometimes its ambitious, massive scope works against it because it is a jack-of-all-trades in a lot of regards so no one particular thing feels 'great' but when you consider all of the pieces as the whole it is a tremendous game that offers an experience unlike any other. I normally only play multiplayer games, but Skyrim feels so massive and alive that I had no qualms about putting my time aside for it in lieu of actually playing with my friends. I expound my thoughts on Skyrim a bit more in Day 01's Best Mission/Level.
Best Use of a Licensed Song
Day 2 was as good, if not better than, Day 1. I have been on Giant Bomb since day 1 and I am still surprised at how great the discussions go even for jokey categories like 'Best Sky Game' Day 3 feels forever away now. Can't wait!
I just got done consuming all of Day 1's goodness and I am once again impressed by Giant Bomb's freshness. After listening to the articles, watching the podcast, and reading the videos I felt compelled to use the blog feature and share my thoughts... Gotta hand it to Whiskey Media, the presentation of everything has been absolutely amazing and I am really looking forward to the rest of the end-year content. Thanks for everything, guys!
2011's 2010 Game of the Year
I think that StarCraft 2 is the perfect choice for this category. StarCraft 2 does a lot more than just exist as a game - it pushes the envelope on what multiplayer games will be like as more and more games are developed. The game is revered for its multiplayer scene and it seems more people end up watching the high tier matches than actually playing the game. StarCraft 2 marks a point where Western gamers were ready to start embracing the idea of games as an "e-sport" by hitting a much larger and varied audience than any game has been able to in the past. Can you think of any other games that have had such wild success that they would inspire their own, completely themed events at sports bars across the US?
I have not played the level in question in Saints Row: The Third but having seen the video I can understand why it won. That said, my favorite mission/level of the year that I actually played for myself comes courtesy of Skyrim. The mission in question is in the Thieves Guild and while I can't remember the name of the quest, it is the quest in which you must complete many trials to become a fabled Nightingale. I did not even complete this mission until around 50 hours in and I think that says something for it to have such an impact that late in the game. I felt like I had really found out the truth to something that was never supposed to get out. The fact that it was all amongst thieves just added to the mystique of the whole story. Everything from finding out you had been duped by the REAL 'bad guy' to the escape from a watery-grave made this mission great... not to mention the way they play up the treasure, how it had all been expertly stolen, and the fact you are joining a secret covenant of the best of the best. All of these components were expertly meshed together to create a mission that really makes you forget you're playing a game and instead makes you feel like you're living out a real adventure.
Disclaimer: I'm not Dave Snider. That said I was shocked he didn't pick The Witcher 2, however, his argument was spot on. Although no one cares about Crono's Eastern Bloc Game of the Year I would have picked The Witcher 2, personally. I only played Dead Island and The Witcher 2 out of the whole list but The Witcher 2 offered a complete experience, with amazing fiction, fun missions, and a world that you could get lost in. The characters are deep, the game is fun at its core, and there is no shortage of things to do. Meanwhile, I got bored of Dead Island rather quickly and it didn't have enough to keep me interested.
Bastion is an excellent choice. This category is extremely difficult for me because I like so many different tracks across so many games. Like in the discussions about Skyrim's music - I feel the same way as the guys do. It was inspiring and got you pumped - it was thematic and perfect for the game. I really enjoyed the Saint's Row menu music as well... for me it got me in the mood for a crazy ass 'gangster fantasy' as they put it. I didn't play Rayman: Origins (do intend to at some point) but it sounds really awesome. I know that the Uncharted music is rehashed but I have to give a shout out to it anyway... the music on the title screen is so great. Much like Skyrim's music, its thematic and perfectly aligned with the feel and style of the game - it gets me excited every time I boot the game up.
I found myself agreeing a lot with the decisions on today's categories. Usually I am a lot more opinionated but it was hard to argue with a lot of the major points and decisions. I just wanna say again how awesome all of the content has been - including the guest articles - and while the videos more than speak for themselves I have to reiterate: They are fucking awesome. Once again, thanks Giant Bomb, I am really looking forward to tomorrow's update.
Well aside from only needing 1 more blog post to finish that quest dealing with blogging, this also works as a good excuse to show off a little project I have been working on relating to TF2.
It's finally done and for the most part I am satisfied with how they all turned out. Anyway, I hope you like. I am considering going back and redoing Scout and Sniper and perhaps adjusting the medic just a tad.
Hey all, I recently found a copy of Tetris Evolution while moving. I went ahead and wrote a review for it it if anyone cares. But I got to thinking. There is a small handful of other reviews written for various Tetris games as well... but I got the thinking, why doesn't everyone write a Tetris review? There is no doubt in my mind that nearly everyone has played Tetris. So I am here to try and rally the Giant Bomb community to all write at least 1 Tetris review for any Tetris game that you may have played.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I am still playing through some of last year's hits and 2008's to boot! I don't know where some people find the time to play as many games as they do but I know I sure am envious. Starting tomorrow I go back to school and will have very little time for games as a result. That said, I am still excited about many of this year's releases despite the games I already have on my list that I would like to play/beat.
I have decided to continue with this project after not making anything for a month. With the new semester starting tomorrow I decided I would relax today since I had off and made this in my time. Being that school begins again for me tomorrow among the other things that go on in one's life, the next entry won't be done for awhile I would predict. Anyway, I like how this one turned out a lot more than the Scout. I hope you like.
Start the Conversation
I play games while school is in session because it is a lot easier to stop and play a game between doing stuff for school as opposed to reading a little bit and still getting something out of it.
For me, personally, I like to read a lot if I am going to be reading. I got a lot of really interesting books for Xmas and I am excited about hunkering down with them; which is what I have been doing. I got a few games as well, and I am really excited about playing them - and have - but I know that they will get more of my time once school is back in on January 11th.
The other reasons I prefer to read for my own pleasure during the breaks are 1.) Relaxing on the couch and just reading a good, interesting book feels like a vacation to me and 2.) I have to read so much when school is in session that I abhor the idea of reading on my own time because of it.
I don't like to use two-dollar words too often. With inflation I suppose they're now four-dollar words though and somehow that makes it even worse - so I try to avoid words like "nomenclature" a word I only used with a vague amount of understanding and chose because I didn't want too long of a title; I realize that many people don't have the attention span to read a long forum title but I fear that in shortening my original title of "Why does the video game industry have such strange naming conventions?" with its current form I have already scared off most potential readers and with this overly long digression of an introduction I have just lost even more. That said, I have been thinking about the way things are named in video game industry and I figured, why not write it down? Who knows, maybe one of you might actually enjoy reading this. If not, at least I got some satisfaction out of this. Maybe I am too late with these musings, but I still claim them as my own since I came upon them independently. That is my disclaimer by the way - don't take this too seriously and it might be fun! Oh boy!
So to kick things off, take for the Xbox 360 for example. People call it the 360. When you see that, you don't say Three-hundred and sixty. You say Three-Sixty. But why wasn't it the Thirty-Six-Oh? What about the the Three-Six-Zero? I mean people call Robert Bowling's alias Four Zero Two. They say each number, why's that guy get special treatment of having each of his numbers pronounced and the 360 is shortened to two numbers when spoken. Also, does anyone else find it somewhat ironic that three 60s would actually be 180? Probably not, but I do. The fact that when I say Three-Sixty out loud and I think of three instances of sixty and, when added together, create only a 180, half of 360, I can't help but find that kind of ironic.
Beyond that, why is it called a 360 anyway? The only instance of a circle in its design is around the gigantic power button that it uses to indicate whether you are player 1, 2, 3, or 4. Also, if you do a 360, you end up where you started - is that really what we want out of a new device?
What about the PS3? It is the third of the PlayStations - but outside of video game consoles, how many electronic devices are there that get "sequels" to their originals? I guess the term sequel isn't very good use of the word because it would indicate that there could be the possibility of a prequel and I doubt we're going to see a Playstation .5 at any point. That said, I still don't get it. I mean, sure, I realize that PlayStation is a recognizable brand now. A name that people know, even old people who don't understand things. It's a household name. But guess what? So is Sony. Why is Sony stuck on the PlayStation name? Nintendo has changed their console names up a bit. In the beginning it wasn't so, but they are now. PlayStation just sounds so generic and they know it, too. Why do you think they insist on calling it a Pee-Ess-Three instead of calling it by its full name? Acronyms and abbreviations rule the day anymore and a good name should be no more than 3 characters long. That is why I am shortening my name from Crono to just Cro. Since it ends in an O with no closing vowel (like an e) that makes it look even more catchy. Damn I'm cool.
So now we get to the Wii and well, would you look at that? It has three characters in its name too! So now we have the 360, the PS3 and the Wii. I hate looking at that name by the way. The Wii just doesn't look right. Sure, that works in their favor. People see the name "Wii" and think, "How fucking corny can you get?" And Nintendo is fine with that because they're laughing all the way to the bank and back again. It is obvious why they picked the word "We" but why they made it look so atrocious is beyond mii. I think they did it, quite honestly, just so they could make the 2 "i"s look like little people bowing like dipshits before their God, the Wii.
You know what? I think that's brilliant, really, because have you ever seen some of these people play a Wii? I have friends that don't play games all that often - but they own a Wii! And they DO treat it like a God. They swear by it! In fact... I'm not certain, but I think I caught one of my friends kneeling before it before. He claims he was changing the disc, but he only owned Wii Sports at that time - anyway I digress. People that don't play games too often but have "experienced" the Wii or own a Wii treat it as though it is a God and I find it kind of strange. I guess the name Wii works great in this regard though because, if you say it enough times (go ahead and try it!) it really does start to sound like a religious mantra or chant. Anyway, I really hope I am not the only person to have seen this sort of person before - if I am, I feel like I am associating with bad people now and I'll hope you forgive me for that.
But think about how dirty that name sounds. Wii. "I'm gonna go play with my Wii!" "I can't wait to get home and unwind by playing with my Wii." I realize my jokes here are becoming more and more infantile but I can't help but get strange images in my head when people talk about playing with their Wii. I don't think of it as "Weeeee!" like a sound a child might make being swung by their arms through the air, and I don't think of it as "We" as in, us, collectively, when people talk about "playing" it. It sounds like something they shouldn't be doing - or at least telling others they're going to go do. And this is a console that is marketed mainly to children but also considered a family console and great for old people... so now we have children, families and old people playing with their Wiis with reckless abandon; don't people know you can nearly go blind if you play with your Wii too much? Ok, I think I have made enough cheap masturbation jokes to make my point.
TL;DR version - You suck and have no attention span. Now go post your one liner and be gone.
No. They are great time wasters for when you are waiting around to go somewhere, waiting for a friend, waiting to get somewhere... or any other micro-minute-waiting situations... or for on the crapper if you're that kind of person. But really, mobile games have earned LESS interest from me than last year - especially after the disappointment that was Scribblenauts. Yeah, that's right, I bought into their hype. I knew better than to listen to a developer talk about their own game - but damn it, the IDEA of Scribblenauts was so awesome I couldn't help myself!