By Jimbo_N 5 Comments
Best Game That Nobody Played
nominees: Catherine / Child of Eden / Alice - Madness Returns
And by nobody I mean way too few people. Compared to the attention that the big AAA releases get, Catherine should have sold way more in my personal opinion. I was so excited for this I actually imported the Japanese version and played through it with almost all of the dialogue flying over my head. And yet, I still enjoyed the tone and atmosphere of the game. I also really liked the gameplay mixes and the puzzlesolving. Catherine is a game like no other, mixing a mature relationship theme with adventure, dating, blockpuzzles and loads of polish and attention to detail. Great characters and a kick ass soundtrack was just frosting on the cake. Catherine somehow drove me to challenge myself to lenghts I didn't know I could go to finish a game with extremely demanding puzzles towards the end. In a version of the game that did not have a patched in casual mode. The thing is tho, I enjoyed the puzzles so much I wanted to push myself to finish them and see how the fuck this twisted story would end. Now where is my Persona 5? Where is it!!?
Biggest Missed Potential
nominees: Hunted - The Demons Forge / Uncharted 3 / Dragon Age 2
WINNER: UNCHARTED 3 - DRAKES DECEPTION
Now stop and read carefully. I do not mean that "missed potential" means bad. So do not, even for a second, think that I mean that Uncharted 3 is a mediocre game that could have been good. The truth is that Uncharted 3 is a great game. I love the stellar presentation and the "best in gaming" setpieces. And thats just the thing. If Naughty Dog could handle 3rd person shooting like the companies that do that the best, Uncharted 3 would be one of the best games ever made! It hurts me that such polish and cinematic presentation feels frustrating and stumbles in its unbalanced and janky feeling action. The other nominees in this category had much more to work on to even come close to Uncharted 3's level but man, I like Nathan Drakes latest adventure so much I can't help but thinking about what a timeless classic this could have been had the actual gameplay felt better. I played through Uncharted 3 in one sitting and it is one of the best titles of the year, but just thinking about what it could have been gives me goosebumps.
Most Underrated Game
nominees: Duke Nukem Forever / Shadows of the Damned / Child of Eden
WINNER: DUKE NUKEM FOREVER
Duke Nukem Forever is not a great game, in fact it hardly even passes for good. But man did it get way more shit thrown at it than it deserved. The games' flaws are many but Duke Nukem is an ok shooter. It's a passable timespender where you get to ride a nostalgiawave and get to witness how this game finally played out after one of the craziest development stories of a game ever. This product is of historical value and the fact that it was released in a playable form is great! It was interesting start to finish to actually finally play this game for yourself. The sexist humor didn't really play, the loading times and overall performance was terrible, the feel of the gameplay was outdated and MAN was the game frustrating at parts. But taken for what it is it's cool to see and play an actual copy of this game that people thought was a ghost forever. On top of that I actually dare say that small sections of this game was fun and creative when it comes to FPS design. Duke Nukem Forever is a real rough game but I feel people took a way too big of a shit on it this year. Was it the wallboobs? Are people really so easily offended? I don't know. All I know is that the game was underrated, maybe not by much.. but still underrated !
nominees: TES V - Skyrim / Deus Ex - HR / Mortal Kombat
WINNER: MORTAL KOMBAT
Some of my favorite franchises made comebacks in a huge way this year. Games I played growing up and that had way smaller audiences then compared to what they will have going forward from here. Mortal Kombat was the biggest bomb here. MK have struggled for a looooong time trying to find its way back to some kind of excellence and this year they finally did it. After coming close with "MK vs DCU" they just nailed it in 2011. Mortal Kombat is back and is now bigger than ever before. It sold well, got great reviews and is now played on the highest competative levels next to giants like Street Fighter 4. Mortal Kombat has grown up and is finally taken seriously. Even the most hardcore Street Fighter players that have always shrugged MK off as silly and "for the people that aren't good enough for real fighting games" are now no longer in a position where that argument holds any weight. As someone who grew up playing MK I can finally start twisting that argument around and maybe, someday, it will be the completely other way around. And on that day we will look back on this game and rejoice.
That is all for this extra controversial edition of my GOTY stuff. I will probably jump into my overall top 10 pretty soon with some honorable mentions following shortly after. If I come up with another round of good awards I might try to get them in there first tho.
Stay tuned !