By MooseyMcMan 7 Comments
But what are "The Moosies" you ask? Well, it's what I do at the end of each year instead of simply putting together a list of my top ten favorite games. I go all out with my own awards, and it's about time for the Third Annual Moosies. If you want to know what The Moosies have been like in the past, you can read up on previous award descriptions here, see last year's nominations here, see the general awards here, and see last year's Game of the Year here.
Much like last year, I'm not doing everything at once. I still have some more games to play before finalizing the nominations, but I should be posting the nominees this Friday or Saturday, the general awards will be on the 31st, and the Game of the Year will be revealed on the first of the new year. Assuming there aren't any emergencies, or the power doesn't go out. I do live in a small-ish town in Massachusetts. That happens way more often than it should (by which I mean it happens).
But, so coming here wasn't a complete waste of your time, here are all of my awards, plus descriptions of each one. Again, nominees will be revealed later, I wouldn't feel right about not nominating games I have time to play before the year ends but haven't started yet (specifically Assassin's Creed Revelations and Skyrim for full disclosure). Anyway, here they are, in an order close to what the order will be in the awards.
Oh, one more thing. Bear in mind that my awards are meant to have a comical edge to them. That's why they have silly names. Also, unlike the Giant Bomb crew, who have a strict "game genres are busted" policy (which, to be honest, I completely agree with), I still have genre awards. And they are totally dependent on my definition of them, and games may be up for more than one of them. Just so you know.
Oh, and one more thing (seriously this time). These are based solely on games I've played, so there will be games that aren't here. And I didn't play any 360, DS, 3DS, or PSP exclusive games, so there aren't awards for those. Sorry!
Abe Lincoln Award for Best Facial Hair.
Everyone knows that the reason why Abraham Lincoln was the best US President was because of his beard. The winner of this award is the game that made the has the best facial hair. What does best mean? Maybe most ridiculous. Maybe highest quantity. Maybe both!
George Washington Award for Best Returning Protagonist.
George Washington became a national hero by leading the American army to victory against the British. Then, he returned as an American protagonist to be the first United States president. This award goes to the protagonist who, much like President Washington, isn't new to the limelight, and is the best of the returning protagonists.
"Who's this guy?" Award for Best New Protagonist.
While it's always great to have an old "friend" as the playable dude in a game, sometimes you just need someone new to spice things up. The winner of this award is a character new to video games, but is also really awesome.
"Leonard 'Bones' McCoy" Award for Best Supporting character.
A strong playable character is always important, but almost as important (and often as important) are the supporting characters. They're always there to help prop up the protagonist when he's drunk, or horribly injured, or some third thing. And this award goes to be best supporting character. Bear in mind that may mean either the best character in terms of the character's, well, character, or in terms of best support for the protagonist. Or both.
Nolan North Award for Best Non-Nolan North Voice Actor of the Year.
As you might expect, an award simply for "Voice Actor of the Year" would go to Nolan North, hands down. I mean, this year he was Nathan Drake (again), Deadpool, and even The Penguin! Never mind the dozens of other characters he (probably) voiced this year. Thus, Mr. North is exempt from this award to make a level playing field for everyone else.
"I'm looking for some sailers" Award for Best Overall Voice Acting.
As the video game industry ages and "matures," story is becoming more and more important. And you can't have a great story without quality voice acting (and I mean that, NINTENDO. Actually, no I don't. Curse you!). This game is the one who rose above the rest to become the best. Rhyme intended.
Mel Brooks Award for Funniest Game.
Some people may think that video games are serious business. I disagree, I think there is plenty of room for comedy, and as such I love me some laughs. And the winner of this award is the game that made me laugh the most this year.
Mr. Spacely Award for Best Bosses.
Boss battles are a dying breed. They aren't in many games these days (or at least not as many as there used to be). And as someone who used to play a lot of games with boss battles, I kinda miss them. This award goes to the game that had the best boss battles this year. Also, if you don't get the reference, you haven't watched enough old cartoons.
Michael Bay Award for Most Ridiculous Game.
If Michale Bay knows how to do anything, it's how to make things ridiculous. And this award goes to the game that is more ridiculous than all the other games (that I played) this year. And I love me some ridiculosity. So much so that I made up a word. HUZZAH!
Machete Award for Best Use of Gore.
Not Al Gore, mind you (but as soon as he's in a game that I play, I'll make a best use of Al Gore award). Similar to being ridiculous, the best use of gore award goes to the game that, well, makes the best use of gore. That may mean quanity, or just most over the top-ness. Or both. Both is good.
"I need a cloth map to figure out where to go." Award for Best Open World.
With so many games being very linear, it's always refreshing to have games where you can just go off and explore, especially if it's big enough to warrant use of a map (especially the cloth variety). This award goes to the one that is the best realized world, not necessarily the biggest one.
"Split-Screen will never die!" Award for Best Multiplayer.
Playing games online creates a loss of the main reason why I like playing games with other people. Being able to phsyically assault them when I lose. Or brag in a lag and static free fashion upon winning. Anyway, this award goes to the game with the best overall multiplayer mode(s), not necessarily split screen (but good local multiplayer has an edge with me as the only judge).
"Great Scott, this is heavy!" Award for Best Game from the Past I Played this Year (for the first time).
You don't have to go 88 miles per hour or be fluxing to know that just because a game came out in the past, it can't get an award in the present. Of course, only games I hadn't played before are eligible.
Dick Cheney Award for Best Game that Refuses to Die.
Much like the former US Vice President, some things just won't die, no matter how much you want them to. But unlike Dick, I like the games nominated for this award, and no matter how many times I play them, I just want more.
"My, this Television is Highly Defined" Award for Best Graphics Technology
Some people try to claim that graphics don't matter. I respond by saying that if that were the case, we would all still be playing on Dreamcasts. Now, while we all are, of course, still playing on Dreamcasts (because the Dream will never die), I contend that graphics do matter, and that the game with the best graphics (as defined by me) should get an award.
"What the Hell am I doing judging art?" Award for Best Artistic Design.
Now, the technical proficiency of a game is important, but it doesn't mean as much if what is being rendered is boring to look at. I mean, a really well rendered trash can is still a trash can. But a really well rendered thirty foot tall trash can monster that has an Elvis wig is awesome. But now I'm going to have to go through life wishing there was a thirty foot tall trash can monster with Elvis hair in a game.
"The Dream will never die!" Award for Best Game that Should Exist, but Doesn't (Yet).
You know the feeling, there's a game that you really want to exist, but for whatever reason it's been in development forever, or they haven't actually gotten around to starting it yet. Now, for simplicity's sake, I'm not going to include games that I have dreamed up (even though those should exist), this award is open to things that other people know about. And I want them. Bad.
Bill Shakespeare Award for Best Story.
Now, what makes a good story is different for each person. So I'm not even going to try and elaborate what I like about a story. Well, I will say one thing: I like it when it's good. Also, Bill Shakespeare was awesome. Don't be hating on the Shake-meister. He wrote some pretty cool stuff. Lots of killing.
John Williams Award for Best Music.
Nothing sets the mood quite like a good soundtrack. Well, a great soundtrack does, and this award goes to the game that had the best music (licensed or original).
"The NDX is rolling into the station!" Award for Best Downloadable Game.
The Train may be docked for repairs, but it will fly again one day! And in honor of The Train, this award goes to the best game that is obtained solely through downloading. But not on a Nintendo system. I'm sorry, Conductor Jeff, but there just wasn't anything there for me.
"The TRAIN needs some renovations" Award for Best Overall DLC.
Downloadable content can be really lousy. Like when they charge for stuff like cheat codes. It's just shameful. But, when it's done well, it can add in meaningful ways to the game, and this award goes to the game with the best overall DLC.
"NOTHING STOPS THE NDX" Award for Best Individual DLC.
Like the last award, but more focused.
"If only I had more money..." Award for Game I Wish I Played Most (but didn't).
I may not be rich (yet), and because of that, I missed out on some really awesome games this year. This award goes to the one I wish I played most. I'll probably play it next year. Along with some of the other ones. Because I'll need something for the award with the title that references Back to the Future. How else am I going to give Christopher Loyd props?
Megaman Award for Best Box Art.
Box art is important. Because while you can't judge a book by it's cover, you can usually judge other things by their covers. Books too actually. It's not a good saying. Anyway, I'm giving an award to the game with the best box art. Note that best can mean both genuinely good, or awesomely bad. Also, the inside counts too. Sometimes there's art in there too.
"MOST MODERN PUBLISHERS ARE TERRIBLE" Award for Best Instruction Manual.
Now, I realize that most game players today are too impatient to actually read instruction manuals, but those people are jerks. Instruction manuals are great. There was a time when they were thick, full color, and filled to the brim with great information and art. I wanna say that the one for the original Legend of Zelda had all sorts of custom art and junk. Anyway, this award goes to the game that has the best instruction manual this year. That means both in terms of general looks, and informative-ness.
"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.
If there are two things I love, it's fighting games and Dragon Ball Z. This award goes to the best of one of them, and references (pretty obviously) the other. Also, punching.
"Always Be Jumping" Award for Best Platformer.
The days where platformers reigned supreme as the genre of choice for game playing people around the world may be gone, but that doesn't mean there can't be an award for the platformer that was the best of the best.
"They'll never check under the cardboard box." Award for Best Stealth Game.
Stealth games are also a dying breed, but only more so, because they were never as popular as platformers then, and aren't as popular today. Regardless, the winner of this award is the best stealth game to be released in the year of 2011.
George Romero Award for Best Survivor Horror-ish Game.
To be perfectly honest, the survivor horror games of today aren't really survivor horror games. At least not the ones I played. They're really just action games in a spooky setting. But whatever. That's what the genre (by which I mean Resident Evil (not nominated this year)) has become. Deal with it!
Bob Goddard Award for Best RPG.
Much like with the survivor horror category, I may be stretching the definition of what an RPG is for one or two of the nominees, but whatever. There's skill point allocation in these games, and side quests. That's enough.
"Never Not Shooting" Award for Best Shooter.
Now here's another genre struggling to get recognition amongst the masses. These games just aren't getting the sales they once did. I mean, it's not like Call of Duty 8 sold like 25 million copies this year. Wait...
Best of the Best of the Best PS3 Exclusive Game.
Like the name says, this one goes to the best game released only on the PS3 this year.
Best of the Best of the Best Wii Exclusive Game.
I'm going to be straight up honest here: I only played one Wii game that came out in 2011. I won't say what it is here, but if you've been keeping up with what I do (on Twitter, yes, I use Twitter!), then you know what it is. It rhymes with Schmyward Schmword. Well, not really, I guess the actual rhyme would be Schmyward Sword, but that's too obvious!
Best of the Best of the Best Multi-platform Game.
Best game you can buy on more than one platform! Buy as many copies as you want!
The Moosies Game of the Year 2011.
Game of the year. Doesn't necessarily mean best game of the year, just the game that I will remember the most, and had the most fun with. Deadly Premonition won last year, so expect anything from this award.
Woo. I think that's all of them. If you're still reading after all that, then go eat a cookie (unless you're on a diet, or don't like cookies, in which case, go to hell (for not liking cookies, being on a diet is fine), and replace it with some other snack). I will post the nominations in the coming days, and the actual awards after that. Stay tuned in! The answers may shock and surprise you! I know they shock and surprise me (and I haven't even finished them yet!).