By MooseyMcMan 10 Comments
The time has finally arrived! Working with Mr. Tannen on these awards has been...interesting, to say the least, but I can honestly say it was all worth it to bring these awardsto the internet on today, December 21st, 2012. Clearly this will be a date remembered only for these Biff Tannen (by which I really mean Back to the Future, but don't tell Biff) themed awards. I feel obligated to say that I was able to convince Mr. Tannen to tone down the level of advertising considerably from what he wanted. I'm fine with advertising with his luxurious casino where money flows like water from the slot machines, but I am not fine with advertising for things other than that surprisingly affordable gambling establishment (with new locations opening soon!). But enough of me talking about the awards, here they are!
Einstein (the dog) Award for Best Use of Facial Hair.
Winner: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
The Witcher 2 might not have the highest number of beards, but the beards that are in the game are all excellently made, especially those of the dwarves. Everyone knows that dwarves are known for long and majestic beards, but The Witcher 2 takes dwarven beards to a new level (well, maybe the first one did it first, but whatever). It's like they have a giant river of hair flowing out of their chins and down their bodies. A beard river. There are other good beards in the game as well, but the dwarven ones put any other beards completely to shame. Well, to be fair, that wasn't a great picture I found, but I didn't feel like searching through hundreds of pictures online to find the right one. There are better beards in there.
Runners up: Gears of War 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Buford Tannen Award for Best Protagonist.
Winner: The Boss (Saints Row: The Third)
On paper, a character with six potential voices and user created face/clothes could lead to a super generic and poorly written character. But most games that give you that level of control over your protagonist don't have much voice acting for the main character, as a result of having so many choices. Saints Row: The Third throws that idea out the window and gives The Boss tons and tons of dialog. And while I can't vouch for every version of The Boss, I have to say that the British one is a truly great character, with plenty of hilarious lines. Though, I am contractually obligated to say that none of these characters hold a candle to fine upstanding citizens like Biff "Greatest Living Man" Tannen.
Runners up: Geralt "Whitey" of Rivia (The Witcher 2), Augustus "The Cole Train" Cole
Doc Brown Award for Best Supporting Character.
Winner: Burt "F***ing" Reynolds (Saints Row: The Third)
To quote The Boss in Saints Row: The Third, "He's Burt f***ing Reynolds!" 'Nuff said.
Seriously though, Burt Reynolds is in the game. And while he only has a handful of lines in the game, you can call him up and he'll go riding around town with you. And he doesn't carry a weapon, he only needs his fists to fight. Why? He's Burt F***ing Reynolds!
Oh, and I have a really funny story about the time that Burt Reynolds went to Biff's casino one night after.... ( Wait, what's that Mr. Tannen? I can't tell that story? Well then why'd you...?)
Never mind. NEVER MIND!
Runners up: Angel De La Muerte (Saints Row: The Third), Oleg (Saints Row: The Third)
Thomas F. Wilson Award for Best Voice Actor.
Winner: Logan Cunningham - Rucks (Bastion).
If you've played Bastion, then you know that the quality of the narration is a HUGE part of what makes that game as great as it is. And what makes the narration great isn't the quality of the writing (which is fine) so much as it is the quality of the voice acting, and Mr. Cunningham nails each and every one of his lines in the game. Bastion would still be a fun game without Mr. Cunningham's voice work, but it wouldn't be the awesome game that it is without it.
I'm not supposed to tell you this either, but Mr. Tannen is being distracted by donuts, and I can say that he tried to hire Mr. Cunningham to work at the casino for some sort of announcing job, but apparently the pay wasn't good enough. He's coming back now though, have to keep moving!
Runners up: Doug Cockle - Geralt of Rivia (The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings), Robin Atkin Downes - British The Boss - Saints Row: The Third
Cyber Ronald Reagan Award for Best Overall Voice Acting.
Winner: Saints Row: The Third
If it wasn't for the story and voice acting in Saints Row: The Third, SR3 would probably be a pretty disturbing game, given the level of violence and sexual "humor" in the game. But the voice actors realized just how insane and ridiculous everything was, and they turn characters that would be psychopathic maniacs in another game into likable characters. There aren't really any individual standouts, which if anything just shows how strong the cast is as a whole. However, if Mr. Tannen (or his otherworldly counterpart, Tom Wilson) was in this game, then either one would (of course) stand out among the others. (He was looking over my shoulder again.)
Runners up: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, Gears of War 3
"Let's have Tom Wilson play all the Tannens" Award for Best "Celebrity" Cast.
I have to apologize for the quality of this picture, because I was informed at the very last minute by Mr. Tannen that I had to include both Hulk Hogan and Burt Reynolds in the picture for this award.
Winner: Saints Row: The Third
Saints Row: The Third might not have the largest "celebrity" cast, but the combo of Burt f***ing Reynolds and True American Hero Hulk Hogan are more than enough to win this award. Admittedly, none of the other games nominated had large "celebrity" casts, but this one would have been pretty hard to beat in any case. I mean, it's Burt Reynolds and Hulk Hogan. The only way it could be any better would be if Biff Tannen and/or Tom Wilson were in it! (That I mean, and isn't just because Biff is looking over everything I write.)
Runners up: Gears of War 3, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
Mr. Fusion Award for Funniest Game.
Winner: Saints Row: The Third
While not all of the humor in Saints Row: The Third is to my liking (specifically all the sex/pimp humor), but the rest was pretty hilarious. And not just the writing, or even the mission design. Stuff like all the taunts in the game. The default one is John Cena's "You can't see me." That move isn't funny on its own, but given that it's the default one, I can't help but find that hilarious and amazing. There's plenty of other fantastic taunts in there too, along with tons of other super weird and hilarious things in the game. No other game even came close to being as funny as Saints Row: The Third.
I also have a long list here of "jokes" that Mr. Tannen "wrote," and he wanted me to put one in to show how much funnier he is than this game, but... Let's just say the list "accidentally" got "burned" in a "fire" before I could copy any down.
Runners up: Just Cause 2, Bayonetta
Parallel Universe 1985 Biff Award for Best Bosses.
Fighting with bosses in video games may be fun, but after a lengthy argument with Mr. Tannen about "fire safety," let me tell you that fighting with bosses in real life is much less fun. The rule of three does not apply to Mr. Tannen. It takes at least five hits to take him down.
Good boss fights are a dying art in video games. Most games these days don't even have boss fights, and those that do usually have pretty poor bosses. Bayonetta not only has boss fights, it has pretty good boss fights too. Of course a lot of that is the amazing combat that Bayonetta has, but the bosses are well designed too. Both in terms of being fun to fight, and their actual design. The bosses are ridiculous, to say the least. And speaking of ridiculousness...
Runners up: Saints Row: The Third, Just Cause 2
Jaws 19 Award for Most Ridiculous Game.
You know, I somehow managed to play what may be the four most ridiculous games of this generation this year (the fourth being Asura's Wrath, a 2012 game). And while Just Cause 2 or Saints Row: The Third could win handily against most games, they don't stand a chance against the insane fever dream that is Bayonetta. This is a game about a witch who fights a wide away of insane monsters with her magic hair, which also happens to be her clothing. And don't forget that (by default) she has guns tied to her feet. And I've just described the premise for the game, and haven't gotten into the level design, the "story," or any of the other completely ridiculous and nonsensical things in the game.
Also, it seems like when I knocked Mr. Tannen out in that fight, he fell onto the "Call Security" button, and now guards are storming up to his "office." I should probably get going...
Runners up: Saints Row: The Third, Just Cause 2
"A Fistful of Dollars" Award for Best Shooter.
Singularity is a fantastic game, and it's a real shame that it didn't get the sales that it deserved. You can certainly play this game like a normal first person shooter, and it would still be a great game. But what sets Singularity apart are the weapons in the game, specifically the Time Manipulation Device, or Time Glove as I liked to call it. Want to age someone into dust? Go for it! Want to create a time slowing down bubble? Sure, why not! It also has some light puzzle solving tied to the Time Glove, but it's the combat where it really shines.
I am now on the roof of the building (with my laptop) typing furiously while I wait for my ride to show up. I hope he can get here, given the lack of roads that lead to this roof.
Runners up: Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, Gears of War 3
Rocky 5000 Award for Best Melee Combat.
Let's be honest here, Bayonetta probably has the best melee combat ever put in a game. The "feel" of it is just right, and the combat flows so well that even if you don't take the time to actually learn the combos, you can still pull off some really cool stuff just by mashing. And then there's the whole Witch Time mechanic, which involves dodging at the right moment, thus putting all the enemies into slow motion, and allowing Bayonetta to tear them all to shreds. But Bayonetta is a game that has to be played to be understood.
Where is he? Biff's idiot guards are going to find me soon if he doesn't...
Runners up: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, Bastion
Delorean Award for Best Artistic Design.
Speaking of Deloreans, here's my ride! I owe you one, Doc.
Remember Outland? No? Well, it's the Ikaruga of side scrolling games, by which I mean that you can switch between two different polarities, and that affects various things in the game. While the game itself doesn't always work out as well as it could, the art design is never not amazing, especially when there are streams and streams of shots of the two different polarities on screen. It's a sight to behold, almost to the point of distracting from the game (but not quite).
Runners up: Bastion, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Time Paradox Award for Best Story.
Winner: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.
The story of The Witcher 2 is dense, to say the least. And I probably missed a whole lot of stuff by not playing the first Witcher game, or reading any of the books. But I'm not quite at the Vinny Caravella level of learning the back story for games. That said, Witcher 2's story is still pretty great, especially given all the ways that it can change based on choices made. Even to the point where a large portion of the game is can be in one of two different spots based entirely on player choice. Not many games have that level of player choice, especially not with this style of action-RPG game.
I shouldn't really be surprised, but Doc has some nice Wi-Fi in his car, especially given the speeds at which we're flying here. What's the speedometer say? Oh, of course, 73 miles per hour.
Runners up: Saints Row: The Third, Bayonetta.
Dick Cheney Award for Best Game that Refuses to Die.
Winner: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
I fully admit that I am a crazy person for replaying as many games as I do, and as often as I do. When I played MGS4 this year, it was my fourteenth time playing through of the game. Yes, I have played MGS4 to completion fourteen times. Admittedly, many of those were speed runs, and it had been several years between my thirteenth and fourteenth times, but that's still a lot of completions. The main reason why I decided to go back and play it again was that Kojima and company finally updated the game with Trophies, and of course they don't work retroactively. Now while that means I don't have many Trophies that I would have gotten had the game had Trophies from the start (or rather, if Trophies had existed when MGS4 was released), that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm going to play it a ton more to get them all. But then again, playing it a fourteenth time just showed me how much fun that game still is, and how easily I was able to get right back into the groove of the game. It's a great game that I definitely would not mind replaying again and again just to get more of those Trophies.
Runners up: Mass Effect 2, Batman: Arkham City
Old Western ZZ Top Award for Best Music.
Winner: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.
I'm not going to lie, out of the games I played for these weird "Retro" awards, there weren't many that had music that I was fond of. But even if that hadn't been the case, Witcher 2 would have been a strong contender, because the music in that game is absolutely fantastic (which is why I love that I got the soundtrack free with the game). To a certain extent a lot of it is just "typical fantasy music," but it's very well done. Dramatic and overpowering one second, mellow and lighthearted the next. It's a pretty great soundtrack, in other words.
Doc and I are now out of the city, and getting into the suburbs where his lab is. It was very sad when Einstein died, but I'm glad that Doc was able to move on and get a new dog, even if the new one is a different breed. Get it? Lab? I'll stop now.
Runners up: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Bastion
Hoverboard Award for Best Weapon.
Winner: The Apoca-Fists (Saints Row: The Third).
These are comically over-sized fists that make people explode with a single punch, and cars explode with a few punches. I think that says it all.
In other news, Doc and I have safely made it away from Biff's casino, and I am now creating a fake ID so that I can flee the state without him finding me. I don't want to wind up wearing a pair of concrete shoes like that McFly kid.
Runners up: Time Manipulation Device (Singularity), Bayonetta's Ice (magic) Skates (Bayonetta)
The "I wish Back to the Future Part II showed future video games so I could have a decent reference for this award" Award for Best Downloadable Only Game.
Those other games are pretty rad, but they don't hold a candle to Bastion. And while I didn't play Bastion last year, and get on the Bastion fun train back when the game was new, the game is still absolutely fantastic, and easily one of the best games on Xbox Live Arcade (and the other services it has since been put on). But at this point you already know about the great gameplay, the amazing narration, and all the other things that make Bastion the masterpiece that it is. So I won't bore you with that.
Okay, now it seems like when the cops came to investigate, they found large amounts of drugs in Biff's "office," and apparently some reporters were there as well, so he can't bribe his way out of this one. Looks like I won't have to flee the state after all!
Runners up: Renegade Ops, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
Biff Tannen, er, Doc Brown Presents The Moosies "Retro" Game of the Year 2012.
Winner: Saints Row: The Third
Ultimately, this award really came down to a decision between two of 2011's games that I missed in that year. This, and The Witcher 2. And while The Witcher 2 is a fantastic game, and probably better in a lot of ways, it doesn't have the sheer insanity and lunacy that Saints Row: The Third does. Whether it's stealing a bank vault with a helicopter, invading a virtual reality network, or taking part in the greatest wrestling match in video game history, Saints Row: The Third is constantly throwing you into utterly baffling and amazing scenarios that are pure madness. But in the best possible way. And on top of all that, the game itself is really fun to play as well, which certainly helps. The shooting is fun, the melee combat is over the top and silly, and the driving is fun. So is the flying, lest I forget to mention all the planes and VTOLs.
In other words, you should really play Saints Row: The Third.
Also, as you may have noticed, Doc Brown has picked up the sponsorship now that my former sponsor is on his way to jail, and I'm sure this will be a much more fruitful relationship.
Runner up: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.
Picking between Saints Row: The Third and The Witcher 2 was pretty tough, and I came very close to giving it to The Witcher 2, and I feel like I need to say a little more about The Witcher 2 before these awards come to a close. Even though I played the (inferior) Xbox 360 version of the game, it's still a beautiful, challenging, and thought provoking game. Choice matters, the characters are well written, the gameplay is mostly great (especially the combat), and it even has a little bit of humor here and there for good measure. If it weren't for my obsession with Saints Row: The Third, The Witcher 2 would have been the Moosies Retro Game of the Year.
Either way, both are truly great games that are well deserving of all the awards they received here at the illustrious Doc Brown Presents the First Annual Moosies Video Game Awards Retro!
Again, I have to apologize for the quality of this picture, as I threw it together at the last minute.
But that is it for this year's Retro awards! I hope you enjoyed them very much. Stay tuned next week for the nominees and awards for the regular Moosies! Those are still not sponsored, so it's open for buyers! (Nolan North still hasn't returned my calls.)