Abstract Game of the Year Awards 2010

In continuing with last year's list, the premise for these game of the year awards is simple: Absolutely every game that's come out within the past year is a winner in some regard if you think hard enough. It doesn't matter how arbitrary or inherently uniquely tailored to the game the award is; deep down, there's something every game does to merit an award, good or bad. This list takes a yearly ritual that can already be pretty trivial, subjective, and has little bearing on anything at all and makes it even more irrelevant and irreverent. If there's any game of the year award list that recognizes it's bullshit from the get-go, it's going to be this one.

List items

34 Comments Refresh
Posted by Daveyo520

Ghost trains!
And really NMH2 came out this year? It seems soooo long ago that I played that.

Posted by Video_Game_King

Actually, it's really common for companies to make huge-ass discs with nothing but an old game on it. In fact, let me go choose a few games that do just that. Do not ask how:
Mega Man: 75 KB normal, 128 MB disc
Final Fantasy VI: 2 MB normal, 192 MB disc
Mega Man X3: 1 MB normal, 336 MB disc
Samurai Spirits: Kenkaku Yubinan Pack (it's just the first two games on one disc): 22 MB normal/total, 373 MB disc

Posted by SecondPersonShooter

I will argue that Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is the best NES game released this year
Apart from that, this list is looking to be just as awesome as last year, you have amazing creativity.

Posted by Hailinel

Who in the world is mistaking Sengoku Basara for actual history?  The same people that believe giant enemy crabs roamed the Japanese countryside?  (I can't believe I just made a Sony press conference reference near the end of 2010.)

Posted by Pepsiman
@Hailinel: I have seen threads on here and on GameFAQs where people imply as much. This is the Internet we're talking about, after all. Really, even if all of that were true, my personal favorite thing about Sengoku Basara is the very cheery picture it paints of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Last time I checked, he wasn't really in it for peace and sure as hell didn't get in a fight with the Toyotomi clan over good and evil. He was a lot more psychotic than the game's superhero image of him would like to give him credit for.
And some guy from the development team behind Genji 2 actually attempted to prove the existence of those crabs at one point after that presentation. It was a fantastically bad attempt.
Posted by Hailinel
@Pepsiman:   Yeah, I know.  I mean, I like Sengoku Basara, but it makes the Samurai Warriors series look like a Ken Burns documentary on the era by comparison.  I mean, when you've got heroic handsome teen Tokugawa flying around on a mechanized Tadakatsu Honda and Oichi as an insane member of a demonic Oda bloodline, I might just give consideration to the fact that what I'm seeing shouldn't be used for reference on a history term paper.
But I do have to give the guy that tried to prove the existence of giant crabs credit.  I mean, when you're backed into a corner by a ridiculous claim that someone else said, what harm could it do?
Posted by rargy

Started RoF not too long ago and ended up at gamefaqs before the tutorial even ended.  Enjoying it now that i figured out the combat. 

Posted by RelentlessKnight

how dare ET rate Kirby a B! Blasphemy!

Posted by Capella

-Except of course that as long as Strange Journey isn't called SMT IV, people will keep whining.
-When I completed the arena tutorial for Resonance of Fate, I still had to get my friend who'd already beaten the game to show me how to play it. God damn. 
This is the most significant game of the year list a far as I'm concerned. Keep up the good work!

Posted by dietmango

Great list :)
I'm still conflicted in Resonance of Fate. I just hope that I can get used to the combat system and enjoy it through and through. But ah well, still picking it up tomorrow.

Posted by PatVB

Ha, I actually bought Costume Quest BECAUSE it was so adorable about convincing you to download the demo. I was sold when one of the kids mentioned that it would be the best $15 I ever spend. Also, this was a great list through and through. Great work!

Edited by Spacetrucking

You're aiming for 100 right ? Can I suggest Mafia 2 for the "Best Nolan North Monologue by Nolan North Starring Nolan North":  

DAO Paradise should probably get an award for making ESRB come out with this little blurb, which was deemed too judgmental and had to be retracted/mellowed down a week later.
Posted by Pepsiman
@Killjoi:  Oh my god, how the hell did I forget about those two? I'll be taking those suggestions to heart!
Posted by Ossi

You should rename yourself to Crazyman! Great list!

Posted by Video_Game_King

Wait, Birth by Sleep is beating around the bush? Have you seen re:coded? Granted, I haven't played Birth by Sleep, but I know for a fact that the plot isn't "Jiminy Cricket's diary has missing pages, let's play mini-games based on other games."

Posted by bonbolapti

HEY PEPSIMAN, How about a "Game of the Nier" award for best Nier in a leading Nier. and give it to Kaine for being a Hermaphrodite~
tee hee

Edited by mutha3

oh jesus i think i just read the entire list

 You're either a bad person or Jim Sterling

I'm sorry, but I'm not really seeing a difference between these two statements.

Award: "The Screw Persona, Thank God Atlus Finally Made a REAL MAN'S Shin Megami Tensei Game Award


 Award: "The Capitol Hill Award for Beating Around The Bush," because why make a proper Kingdom Hearts game when you can just keep making endless side-stories that flesh out plotlines the fans may not have even wanted elaborated in the first place? Oh, right, because these games still sell despite all that.

This should have been named "the Kojima award ">:(

 Award: "Best Game That Isn't Just About the Boobs," for reminding players that, at some point in history, Lara Croft actually had good gameplay to back up her looks before developers just relied on the latter entirely to sell copies. There's something to be said when you can still have both cakes and eat them, too, you know.


I don't know man, Lara's boobs are significantly smaller in guardian of light compared to the previous Tomb Raiders. I'd also like to point out that her boobs got larger and larger as each of her games got increasingly crappier. Her boobs size have an inverse effect on the quality of the game. so we have a  challenge to eidos.
why not make a tomb raider game where lara has breast cancer? imagine the drama of a vulnarable lara croft
it need fleshing out - no pun intended - but we guarantee the gaming world will be shocked, stunned, and moved by lara croft's illness

we love lara croft but it's time for the gaming industry to have a big shock for a change.

Posted by snake911

 Venetian Blinds?!  Never heard of it, but it made me laugh when I saw it :D

Posted by Pepsiman
@snake911:  Go check out the most recent Game Room Quick Look and just watch the last ten minutes of it. You'll be heartily enlightened about it and THEN SOME.
Posted by Dalai

I wish I had about 6 hours to post my response, but sadly I don't. 
List of the year!

Posted by EpicSteve

Dude this is crazy!

Posted by LordXavierBritish

Having Zettai Hero Project on this list already makes it great. 
Also it is funny, so that probably helps.

Posted by dragonzord

I'd really love to see a 3DS Strange Journey. Aren't they doing like a 3DS Devil Survivor with more stuff?

Posted by JokerSmilez

Was Winterbottom really $0.50 this year? That is sad. That was one of my favorite games this year.

Posted by Pepsiman
@LordXavierBritish:  Despite not having yet played it myself, it seems like outside of super niche sites, it got little to no real coverage whatsoever, so I thought it should get a little love at least somewhere. I hope to play it eventually at some point, though. The premise seems pretty charming.
@zoner: Yeah, they're more or less doing a port to the 3DS with, I believe, higher resolution art assets, full voice acting (YES), and an extra chapter for "Day 8." Knowing how that game ends, I'm not entirely sure how you pull off that last part, but I'm certainly interested.
@JokerSmilez: It wasn't always 50 cents, since I bought it for $5 when it came out on Steam, but yeah, I saw it hit that low towards the end of the year. I never finished it myself, but based on what I played, that game didn't deserve such a hardcore bargain bin fate.
Edited by ArbitraryWater

I give this list the "Pepsiman award for being awesome and slightly quirky while still knowing a whole bunch about Japan but not sounding like a white gaijin weaboo who eats pocky sticks all day" 
But I have to say: Hardcore mode in New Vegas isn't nearly as hardcore as people seem to pretend it is. Ammo weighs hardly anything, you really just need to drink water, a readily available item, on occasion, and then carry around some Doctor's Bags if you need to heal your limbs. Know what's actually hardcore? Fallout 1 had no autosave. Chew on that for a while.

Posted by dragonzord

Also how could I not notice you put Basara up there. God that series is so much fun, Basara 2 heroes had an amazing roster which kind of hurt Basara 3 for having a better combat system, but weaker cast. 
I'm really hoping for a Basara 3 Heroes in America with optional JP voices, and a better translation job. Or I'll just import it for PS3. Whatever.

Posted by LordAndrew

Ooh, I've been looking forward to your Abstract Game of the Year Awards, but forgot to check for them.
Sakura Wars actually inspired me to attempt to create a list of the top 10 PS2 games of 2010. Here are some of the interesting things I learned:

  • There really were more than 10 PS2 games released in North America this year.
  • Eight of them have at least one review listed on GameRankings.
  • Nobody bothered reviewing Madden NFL 11.
  • Silent Hill: Shattered Memories was released on PS2. I think I knew this around launch, but quickly forgot as people really only cared about the Wii version.
  • In October, Toy Story 3 was released for PlayStation 2. It is available as part of a PlayStation 2 bundle. Yeah, they're selling new PS2 bundles in 2010.
Seriously, they released a new PS2 SKU in a year where only eight titles were deemed interesting enough to review. That shocked me more than any of my other observations.
Posted by Pepsiman
@LordAndrew:  As someone who really enjoyed the original Wii version of Shattered Memories, you bringing up the PS2 version reminds me of my desire to check it out. I was always curious how that panned out and got reviewed, especially considering the original version's control scheme. Still, while I'm not entirely surprised that more than 10 new PS2 releases came out last year, I can't really think of anything notable aside from Shattered Memories (maybe) and Sakura Wars. Was there anything that stood out besides movie licenses and (still maybe?) sports games?
Posted by Claude

I just saw Fragile Dreams on sale. Crap, should have pulled the trigger on that one.

Posted by Skald

I don't know. Gran Turismo, at it's core, is a niche game. The physics are near perfect, the cars look and sound great, and races are as dry and repetitive as they are in real life. Sure, it makes for a bad video game, and the video game-style progression is sinfully mismanaged, but to a certain audience, the game is everything it needed to be. 
Deadly Premonition, on the other hand, looks and plays poorly. The design and storyline, however, give the game some appeal, and between the two, that is a recipe for a possible cult darling.
I mean, Tiger Woods might be boring, but that's because it's a golf game. I'm sure there is a way to make it more interesting, but the hardcore Tiger Woods fans probably wouldn't like that. 
Although, maybe Tiger Woods wasn't the best example for a game that adheres to reality for the sake of it's hardcore fans... 

That, and I enjoyed hardcore mode in Fallout New Vegas well enough. It was the lack of food that annoyed me the most, truth be told. Other than that, I agree with all of these, particularity the one about Recettear. If Reagan were a Japanese video game character, "Communism, no!" would make a pretty awesome catch phrase.
Posted by Pepsiman
@extremeradical:  A good chunk of these are just me trying to parody popular opinions and just drive them to their logical conclusions. Having not personally played GT5 myself, that award was given as an outsider looking in towards the reception and controversies. I'm aware that it's a very satisfactory experience to a niche group of people.
Posted by Skald
@Pepsiman said:
" @extremeradical:  A good chunk of these are just me trying to parody popular opinions and just drive them to their logical conclusions. Having not personally played GT5 myself, that award was given as an outsider looking in towards the reception and controversies. I'm aware that it's a very satisfactory experience to a niche group of people. "
Yeah, but Sony still tried to sell it to everyone, so saying that it's a bit dull for the average person is actually pretty fair. Plus, Sony fanboys are literally the worst for defending games they won't even play two weeks after they come out. Killzone 2 proved this for me. 
  • Also, the one about Catherine made me laugh. 
  • The one about Saw II actually made me watch the Quick Look for it.
  • And the one about Scott Pilgrim made me want to play through that game again.
Posted by Dysrianism

Loved this list, made me laugh quite a few times. Good job!