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Maou
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"Game of the Year 2013: snakes!" , posted Tue 31 Dec 00:46:post reply

Don't look now, but it's Game of the Year 2013: Year of the Snake Edition!

Game of the Year: Dragon's Crown
George Kamitani literally tricked me into buying a PS3 about five years too late, and I'm perfectly happy. Even if my PS3 ends up being my "Dragon's Crown player" the way my Mega CD was my "Sonic CD and Lunar player," I just don't care! While I've only had time to dig in since December and am a lowly level 26 or so compared with Toxico, I haven't loved a game this much in years. I don't need to tell anyone here how fantastically fun it is, how wonderful the art direction and sound are, and how charming, funny, and interesting the world is. We should start the Madman's Guild (I wish there were guilds) and all play in January!

Other Game of the Year: Monaco
This charming little isometric thief caper game on Steam came out of nowhere and stole my heart. Did we talk about it here? I don't think we did? Maybe I forgot. It sounds so simple on paper, assembling coop teams either locally or online of various thief types and breaking into creative environments to steal all the loot, but the locations have such an infinite variety of elements that each thief can take advantage of that it's probably infinitely replayable, and it even has a neat little story! The best character is the Mole, by the way, if only because he can heroically screw everything up for the quieter thieves while still having a hilarious time. It probably doesn't need to have HD graphics that are still made out of squares, though (I step into the fire a lot thinking "gold$!!").

Game Writers of the Year: Super Nobi Bros.
A shining light in a sea of darkness, our own Nobi and Andy continue to write articles so artistically compelling that even the cretinous puritans at Kotaku might have figured out that Kamitani's art is the best thing in the business these days (hey Amano, where'd you go?).

Near Miss of the Year: Soul Calibur II HD Online
The best Soul Calibur, re-released with online play and extremely pretty graphics? I figured I couldn't go wrong and that it would be my second reason to finally get a PS3 of my own, but someone apparently forgot that "HD Online" meant that, uh, they should probably work on the "online" part, and maybe even release it outside of the US, or something. I hear that when playing with a specific friend rather than ranked matches, you get booted to the title screen after every match and have to re-invite them. Awesome.

Website of the Year: Madman's Cafe
Thanks to the Prof, still the best place to have a virtual conversation after all these years. Bring your (cool) friends!

Vegetarian of the Year: Karasu
I never noticed that Tokyo had such nice vegan restaurants before. Thanks, man!

Hypothetical Games of the Year: Super Mario 3D World, Last Story, Xenoblade
Hahaha, you aren't tricking me into buying you, WiiU, but if you did, I just know these would be my favorite games! I look longingly to reunite with dear (virtual) friend Sakaguchi Hironobu by playing all his Mistwalker games on ill-fated systems, and the new Mario looks so wonderful. Too bad!

POLLY BONUS: Gaming Moment of the Year
Actually, this goes straight back to Monaco. I love the fact that there is no "correct" way to play the stages, and the feeling of mayhem when you're sneaking along and some guy playing the Mole bashes through a wall and sets off an alarm and havok breaks loose and everyone yells "RUN FOR IT!" while laughing, yet it still all pans out more or less okay!





人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...

[this message was edited by Maou on Tue 31 Dec 09:53]

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Pollyanna
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"Re(1):Game of the Year 2013: snakes!" , posted Tue 31 Dec 06:10post reply

I'm still working on my list right now, but I have a request. Could everyone include a "Best Gaming Moment" of the year?

It could be as simple as "hitting 100% in some game" or like "losing to a drunk old cat lady in Street Fighter 2" or "loading my dead mother's save file for FFVI and crying" or "buying a used system full of porn" or whatever. Just that "this is why I love video games" moment.





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"Re(1):Game of the Year 2013: snakes!" , posted Tue 31 Dec 07:03:post reply

My favorite time of the year!

Game of the Year
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
I remember watching Fellowship of the Ring in theaters back when it came out a million years ago and saying "I love these environments. Why can't we have an MMO with a world like this, with iconic locations and a home you're happy to come back to?" Many years later, that dream has finally come true, perhaps ironically, in a game that rips off the theme song to the Hobbit in its woodland hometown.

I felt an extraordinary hope playing this game the other day. It gave me an infallible optimism. Playing through the rotten FFXIV 1.0 and watching it improve step by step with every promise met by the development team was exciting. Seeing them cash in on their creativity when ARR launched was even more exciting...but finally knowing that I can trust them to continue to do great things is sublime. I love games, but the industry doesn't fill me with a lot of trust and optimism with no caveats whatsoever. I know I'll like any game that Kamiya puts out...I know whatever they do with FFXIV will be good. That's about it.

I don't need to go into the details of every little thing I love about the game...the fact that I named an MMO as my game of the year without so much as a second thought says enough, I hope. However, I was struck with an interesting thought while playing the other day. One of the things I like the most about FFIV is the fact that so many boss battles require specific strategies and while the game is very limited in presentation, the actions that you have to perform during battle tell a story that excites the imagination and brings you beyond the simplistic pictures you see on the screen. Although the presentation in FFXIV is much more complex, obviously, the same principles apply, especially in the Crystal Tower (the same one as in FFIII, with many of the same bosses/music, in case you didn't know), where the creative teamwork hoops you have to jump through paint a fantastic picture and the battles are elevated to a sort of cinematic puzzle rather than a series of attack animations and flying numbers.

Portable Game of the Year
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Although I never play portable games on the go (so they might as well be console games to me) I'm grateful that I can justify this category if only to praise Zelda. Anyway, I've already written a bit about my love for this game and the clever way that it merges 2D and 3D. I'm continually amazed at how it manages to feel more 3D than many games that are actually in 3D. It's a compelling argument for the 3DS as a system in concept as well.

I've never been much of a Zelda fan, so it feels nice to be on the same page as the rest of the world for once with the series.

Best Compromise
The Last of Us

It's difficult to make a big budget game that isn't about shooting people and still make your money back. The Last of Us is certainly about shooting people, but it's also quite thoughtful. It has a good feeling of "this is what we'd really like to do" in the world of "this is what we have to do."

Best DLC
Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 is a great game. It has a lot to give and the DLC gives you a wonderful excuse to keep playing and playing and playing. It also (hopefully) embodies what you like about the game in the first place.

On a side note, for those who haven't played Borderlands 2, but are considering it, it's a great RPG. I'm not a fan of FPS games, but when you put the system in a larger world that gives you so much to do, it works out nicely, I think.

Tragic Hero Award
Super Mario World 3D

Although I still lament the lack of online multiplayer, the only negative thing I can say about this game is that it isn't Mario Galaxy. When I found out that it didn't even sell particularly well among WiiU owners, I was crushed. Although I didn't name this my game of the year, it's perfectly deserving of the award.

Rising Hero Award
Dragon's Crown

Vanillaware has always had great things about their games, but they've never made a genuinely great game until now. The wait was worth it and the sales were solid. Justice prevails this time.

Almost There Award
Wonderful 101

I actually enjoy playing this game as much as any other game on my "best" list...maybe even more. However, its often-stated inability to teach you how to play it properly really puts a stain on its would-be perfection in my eyes. I enjoy experimenting in the game and it offers a lot of freedom and opportunities to figure things out for yourself, but it still fails to explain some of the basics in a proper manner. This isn't something that I have a personal problem with, but it's definitely going to be a turn-off for some people in a game that doesn't need anything that pushes people away from it.

Best Soundtrack (Again)
Bravely Default

I don't care if "For the Sequel" only has one new song from Revo.When this is the song, it's good enough to make the OST #1 two years in a row for me. My apologies to Soul Sacrifice and Assassin's Creed 4, which both put forth admirable efforts.

Winning Trend
New Multiplayer Ideas

I've been too busy to play a lot of games this year, but I have spent a fair amount of time on Japanese ios games. (Divine Gate, Sangokushi Rumble, Street Fighter X All Capcom, Otoranger, others) I've been tempted to write about this, but I had a feeling no one really cared. Anyway, sadly, what makes or breaks these games has little to do with gameplay in my eyes. On the upside, however, some of them have some interesting ideas on how to implement online connectivity and connectivity to other players without providing actual simultaneous multiplayer. I'm seeing similar ideas in a lot of Nintendo games. Although there's no replacement for actually playing with other players, I do think these "persistent, changing world" additions to a game's environment are going to be important (and enjoyable) moving forward.

Losing Trend
Hunting Games

Monster Hunter 4 isn't bad by any means, but it is not only sinfully ugly, it's significantly uglier than other games in the franchise. Their HD versions are just upscales and MHOnline is just a pretty coat painted on top of a dated engine from earlier, inferior games in the franchise. Soul Sacrifice had a lot going for it, but felt empty to me thanks to the quickly-broken balance in multiplayer. I got God Eater 2 after hearing positive things from its demo/feedback/tweaking exercises before release, but the end result just feels like the usual choppy, sloppy "too anime" God Eater to me. Toukiden actually looks decent, but the way that they shamelessly ripped off the very distinct-looking icons and HUD elements from Monster Hunter was a big turnoff.

Sobering Realizations
I used to live in a world where there was a new KOF every year. Now, there may never be another KOF as I know it. Castlevania might as well be dead, too. I prefer to look forward fondly rather than backwards, but I caught myself thinking about this the other day.

Best Gaming Moment
I was playing Just Dance on PS4 with the camera and danced my way past a chair in the living room, causing the game to pick up a new "second player." The game is very good at recognizing your face and locking onto it. At the end of each song, it shows an "icon" of your face that follows it very accurately. Anyway, it turns out that the second "mystery player" it added was a giant plush penguin that was sitting in the chair and it accurately locked onto its face. So I had a lovely 2P penguin face icon after the song. Before I started the next song, I move the chair away, only to find that it followed it across the room and maintained focus on the penguin's face. After the song, it showed his face as an icon again and said "EXHAUSTED" underneath it. I suppose the penguin did come across as "exhausted," having not moved at all during the song, but it did rack up some points by virtue of being at the right place at the right time on several occasions.

Looking Forward To

-Smash Bros. (Nintendo is on a roll!)
-More FFXIV
-Something, anything good on next-gen

Wow, that's a short list. I must be feeling really pessimistic right now.

Still Haven't Played
Toukiden, Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider...uh...what other big-name Western games came out? I'm not playing GTA any way around... Someone remind me of what I'm missing out on.





I am undressed from 80ís style and recreated with modern sexy and beautiful style that amaze you and feel never been experienced world before.

[this message was edited by Pollyanna on Tue 31 Dec 17:30]

karasu99
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"Re(2):Game of the Year 2013: snakes!" , posted Tue 31 Dec 07:32:post reply

quote:
I'm still working on my list right now, but I have a request. Could everyone include a "Best Gaming Moment" of the year?



Good idea! I certainly will!

quote:

Vegetarian of the Year: Karasu
I never noticed that Tokyo had such nice vegan restaurants before. Thanks, man!


Hahaha, no problem, and I'm honored! Tokyo (and even more so Kyoto) is a surprisingly easy place to eat vegan food. Oh, and Professor, I somewhat embarrassingly still owe you a list of restaurants, whoops! I'll get that to you ASAP, otherwise my title might be in danger!

SO, okay. I struggle with these kinds of lists for a lot of reasons, so maybe I'll start with:

Best Reason Why Karasu Has Trouble Writing His 'Bests' List
While I buy plenty of games each year, many of them inevitably slip until the following year for me to play them since I've been in a game backlog since sometime around the GameCube era. I should probably nominate a 'best game of 2012'.

Polly, here you go:
Best Gaming Moment of 2013
I won't go on at crazy length about this, since it's just a personal thing, but I finally made it to Japan this year, which was an enormously emotional thing for me. While games were just a small part of my whole trip, it was enough to kind of re-energize me as far as games are concerned. In a lot of ways, this year was my best video game year of the new millennium. Thanks to Professor, Maou, and Maese for showing me the ropes in Tokyo!

Best Game That Everyone Loved But I Just Didn't 'Get'
It's cute, it's beautiful, it's cleverly made, but Tearway was just never any fun for me. Maybe it's that it has the same kind of feel as Little Big Planet, another game that I should like on paper, but just couldn't. There's a lot of innovation in it in terms of gameplay, but it was never fun to play. I know, that means I have no heart whatsoever!

Biggest Lost Opportunity
I find it really hard to outright dismiss a game as bad or as poorly made, hence the category name. But I'm not just hedging my bets. Knack is not a bad game, or even a poorly made game. It's beautiful, and it really lets you see how nice looking games on the PS4 are capable of-- and if they can look this good now, in a few years they'll be positively amazing looking. It's also a long game (which is a good and a bad thing, as I'll get to). At a few points when I expected the game was coming to a conclusion, it keeps on going. But I say 'missed opportunity' because it could have been a fantastic game, like a few launch titles for other consoles have been in the past. For one thing, its writing is flat-out awful. The storyline is hackneyed, all of the story's surprises are telegraphed laughably, to the point where I was predicting where things would go for like half the game. Knack is interestingly rendered but likewise poorly written. He's dull, his voice doesn't even remotely match his appearance, and his movelist is so short that it's ridiculous. And that makes the gameplay a serious pain in the ass. Enemies are weirdly strong, to the point where some tiny little dude can kill you in two hits, even though you tower over him. Sometimes a missed jump is fatal, but sometimes it's impossible to miss a similar jump since the edges of the platform form a barrier. There are about a thousand different power ups that you gather parts for you as you profess, but you never get all the parts for anything until most of the way through the game. The checkpoints are never at a consistent distance from one another. The game is long-- really long for this kind of game, and by the time I got to the final boss it was so dull yet suffered so much from 'SNK Boss syndrome' that I eventually just gave up on it. I'm not sure who they were targeting with Knack, since it's too hard for a lot of kids but too dull and simpleminded for someone like me. My guess is that in trying to appeal to everyone they ended up appealing to no one.

Best Moment When I Realized I Play Too Many Video Games
I loved Gone Home, not really enough for it to scratch my list of best games, but enough that I've suggested it to plenty of people. But what I was fascinated by is how I kept expecting a 'Resident Evil moment' during my first hour playing it-- you know, zombies, horrors, or dogs crashing through windows as I walked down a hallway and lightening and thunder raged outside. Or some terrible thing revealed when I entered a dark room and turned on the lights. I had no idea what to expect while playing it, since I deliberately avoided reviews and discussions of it to try and be surprised. Much like walking through a real life dark and scary house, my video game brain couldn't adjust to the realization that there was no classic horror elements in the game at all, just atmosphere.

Best Console Game of 2013
EDIT: May have to reassess now that I've been reminded of Wonderful 101!
When I first started thinking about this one, I thought it was a slam-dunk. Dragon's Crown and Super Mario 3D World were neck and neck! But then I realized I was cutting off my perception of the year sometime around August. So, after lots of teeth-gnashing, I've decided my game of the year is Metal Gear Rising Revengeance. From the moment I first played the demo (for the first of about a half dozen times) I think I knew that this would be the case. While flawed in a few ways (it's short, the last boss is a real stinker, the storyline is insipid), the game is flat-out fantastic to play. Like Bayonetta a few years back, gameplay is fluid, fun, and effortless, while still remaining challenging. I'm not a fan of Metal Gear in the slightest (I know, MMCafe membership REVOKED!) so like another game that was excellent but didn't rely on its series, Lords of Shadow, I think it's received much of its criticism in large part due to being perceived as inferior to Metal Gear 4 or whatever.

But since I had a lot of trouble deciding:

Best Handheld Game of 2013
I can't really add anything new to what's already been said here about Fire Emblem Awakening, but it was easily the best game I've ever played on the 3DS, and it's probably the best handheld game I've played this decade.






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[this message was edited by karasu99 on Tue 31 Dec 07:59]

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"Re(3):Game of the Year 2013: snakes!" , posted Tue 31 Dec 11:06:post reply

Best Gaming Moment:
Assassin's Creed 4 inadvertently creating a moment of sublime wonder and comedy.
I'd say the other best moment for me was starting up Ducktales Remastered, hearing the NES theme, which slowly blends into a remaster of it, hitting start, and hearing Scrooge McDuck talk. AC4 gave me the biggest laugh, and Ducktales Remastered gave me the biggest smile.

Most Beautiful Game:
The Swapper. Through some normal map trickery, a game that was modelled in clay in real life and then turned into sprites in the game is able to be lit like it was fully 3D the entire time... which the creator then exploits gorgeously. Many 3D games light things in ways that are functional and even thoughtful, but it has been awhile since I have seen a game where the lighting elevated the game so incredibly, filling the scenes with richness and depth and feeling. Yes, I was even more blown away by The Swapper than I was by Dragon's Crown, and Dragon's Crown was pretty damn pretty!

Best Game I Didn't Beat:
Last Window.
Maouuuuuuuuuuuu

Best Spectator Game:
DOTA 2. It's definitely something that takes time to understand enough of to appreciate, and I have the benefit of having played the game in its various forms for literally several years. I don't quite love it as much as SBO 3S, but for the first time I have a game I actually enjoy watching more than I enjoy playing or learning how to play.

Favourite Game (not Best Game):
Super Amazing Wagon Adventure. I like games that pop surprises at you in totally unexpected ways that somehow make sense in the world of the game. Frog Fractions and Chulip are examples of such games. Super Amazing Wagon Adventure is another.







[this message was edited by Spoon on Tue 31 Dec 11:09]

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"Re(4):Game of the Year 2013: snakes!" , posted Wed 1 Jan 15:20:post reply

I know I am putting this in last minute for west coast USA, but I wanted to make sure there were no last minute contenders.

Gaming Moment of the year: Evolution 2K13 UMvC3 Finals. Flocker vs Justin Wong
Commentary by Yipes that is not hindered by Magus(who did better than last year, but still has room to improve). I like this "moment" since A) It is the biggest tournament of the year and B) Had a none "top-tier" team almost take the title. The Street Fighter finals was a cakewalk for Xian so it did not provide nearly the same level of entertainment as Marvel. I hope the game evolves a bit more in the next couple of years since I don't like the current top tier of Zero or Morrigan/Doom.

Game of the year: Metal Gear Rising Revengeance
A pretty tough choice between this and Dragon's Crown, but I think I got a bit more out of this game. Rising was by no means a perfect game and in the end it is noticeable that this truly was a salvage job from the original Kojima production. The fundamental offensive gameplay was not as deep as Devil May Cry 3/4 or Bayonetta, but the reaction based combat as well as Zandatsu were able to keep me coming back. It also helped that the soundtrack and boss design were pretty spot on. This game really gave some new life to the MGS4 enemy designs. I always though Solid Snake seemed out of place in the world of MGS4 and perhaps that was the point, but with Cyborg Raiden everything congeals nicely. I recently replayed the game in Japanese when my brother came home and got a new appreciation for Raiden. His Japanese voice is far more reserved and does a much better "Jack the Ripper." Other than that, the English voices add so much to the other characters. I think they are probably the second best support crew in terms of personality behind Naked Snake's in MGS3. I haven't finished Wonderful 101 yet, but I am also enjoying that. Platinum designs their games in such a way that you get the basics right away, but once you understand it enough to string it all together you really break through a wall and your enjoyment of a game increases 10 fold. The DLC characters were pretty fun too. Sam was a bit more fun to play than Raiden in my opinion. The random reuse of game assets was comical though. The Mexican sewers in Denver in particular. It would have been great if we got DLC fights against the Beauty and the Beast corp from MGS4 since I think they would have been great fights, but would also fit the world as well.

Of course I should also state I haven't played half of the mainstream GOTY contenders. Bioshock Infinite and Brothers are coming to Playstation Plus in January and I am hoping The Last of Us does the same sometime in 2014 as well. I really didn't enjoy GTAV that much. It is the third GTA game where I beat the main campaign (the other two being GTA2 and Vice City), but nothing about the game really clicked for me. I appreciate it on technical level for sure though. The scale of the world with the level of detail is really impressive. I plan on getting Super Mario 3D World sometime in 2014 as well. I pretty much stopped playing Assassin's Creed after Revelations. I just started Tomb Raider a few weeks ago and it is alright. It takes a bit for the game to finally open up to you, but before then you have to get stabbed in the gut, have your head crushed by a boulder, get my leg trapped in a bear trap, shot by a couple of arrows and choked to death a few times. It is such a gruesome game that it turned me off.

Portable Game of the Year: Ace Attorney Dual Destinies
After having it for a couple of years, I was able to finally get invested in my 3DS and had a great time with the new Ace Attorney (as I do with every Ace Attorney really). In the end it is your basic Ace Attorney game with a new gimmick, but it is a great formula that I haven't gotten sick of yet. The 3D models really impressed me and having the anime cutscenes was a welcome addition. I was glad this was able to come out in the States, but would have preferred a physical release. Now if we could get the second Edgeworth game on the digital store I would be happy.

Most original story telling Killer is Dead
I got this a while ago and it is a game you can power through in a few hours and say "that is that", but the open ended nature of the story it something I haven't really seen in many games. A lot of it is ambiguous and left to the players interpretation, but it is a game that reveals a bit more in the second or third play through. I didn't even notice that you were playing as David in the first level. You reevaluate was happened to that boss at the end of the second level. You realize that your bosses anticipate this happening to Mondo as well and of course the ending has it coming back full circle. It leaves many questions unanswered in a way that doesn't feel cheap. I am still trying to figure out the whole Giant Head alien thing, but it is something I look forward to the next time I do a quick run through the game. Unfortunately, like Dragon's Crown, a lot of the press about this game was about the women, when there was so much more, ESPECIALLY for Dragon's Crown. Which reminds me, I also like the story telling in Dragon's Crown as well. I found the Dungeon Master style narrative by not only the default voice, but the character voices to be quite enthralling, but I didn't need to be told how many Talisman's I needed every time I exited a building.

Mobile Game of the Year: Ridiculous Fishing
Although I have had a smart phone for a couple of years, I really didn't game on it until the last couple of months. Ridiculous Fishing is an honest to goodness game. You pay 2.99 and that is it. No in game currency to buy, no cool down periods for missions that can be sped up by in game currency, etc. After playing some other mobile games this year (Simpsons Tapped Out, Sonic Dash) I got a new appreciation for Angry Birds. Sure you can buy stuff in the game, and there are ads, but it is still a game you can play through without having to really buy anything.

Playstation Plus Game of the year: Binary Domain
If you don't have Playstation Plus you are really missing out on some great games and discounts. Many great games came out this year, some of which I owned already (Sleeping Dogs, SSF4) and would have given the award to, but I played those last year. There are still so many games I haven't even started yet like X-Com or Dark Arisen. I usually don't like Third or even First person shooters, but the dialogue tree relationship stuff and team dynamic really got my attention early on and lead to some interesting conversations. I can't help but wonder what it would play like if I had a microphone of my own to talk to the team. To be honest I liked that dialogue tree/relationship status/whatever you want to call it better than the Walking Dead by Tale Tell. I understand they serve different functions, but I feel like the characters are really responding to my personal response as opposed to the predetermined split direction tree of Walking Dead. I really liked how damage to various body parts resulted in something unique. I hate the design of "below the neck is bullet sponge and head shots are insta-kill." With Binary Domain you can shoot the legs off and the robots will crawl to you, you can shoot an arm off and the enemy will switch weapons, you shoot the head off and the enemy switches to your side. However there are still many enemies that are bullet sponges, but they are spaced out far enough for me to not be too upset by it. XBL has "game with gold" which delivered a couple of nice gems from over the years. I FINALLY played Gears of War.

Worst Playstation Plus game of the year: Tell Tale Poker Night 2
How can a poker game run so badly? It's poker for crying out loud. I think the only game I have played that performs worse is Batman Arkham Origins which broke my heart as the framerate drops really significantly and the game is riddled with glitches. But back to Poker Night 2, some of the dialogue is also pretty dumb. The characters will call you a wimp for folding, but then they do it right afterword. Uncharted 3 on Playstation plus also left a bad taste in my mouth and is also a reason why I really don't have any interest to pick up The Last of Us.

Comedy Game of the Year: Wonderful 101
I always appreciate a good chuckle when I play games and Wonderful 101 delivers plenty of it. Every failed QTE gives a nice little Looney Tune cutscene Link here and check the channel for more and these characters are just great. I don't think it was as funny as Lollipop Chainsaw from last year, but it is pretty damn good.

Best Game Podcast: The Insert Credit Podcast
I have been listening since the beginning and I always enjoy each episode. Tim Rogers probably controls a bit too much of the conversation, but he usually has a funny story to tell. It kind of gets annoying when he interjects saying something like "I have been trying to respond for the last 4 minutes but you guys just talk over me." What I like most about the podcast is that it respects my damn time. I have only recently tried to listen to other video game podcasts and they are so damn long. Giant Bomb and Total Biscuits are both THREE HOURS each. Worse of all they get off subject all the time. With the way the Insert Credit Podcast is structured it allows for quasi-relevant news to be discussed in a manner that is both entertaining and focused. Their game of the year podcast got me to buy Ridiculous Fishing. Make sure you check them out if you like bad puns too.

Looking forward to in 2014
-Ryu Ga Gotoku Isshin
-MGS Ground Zeros
-Ultra SF4
-Possible Layton X Ace Attorney in the States since it is supposedly going to Europe in 2014.
-Finding time to play a Link Between Worlds
-The major Nintendo releases for WiiU





[this message was edited by GekigangerV on Wed 1 Jan 15:24]

Maou
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"polls are open" , posted Thu 2 Jan 01:32post reply

quote:
I know I am putting this in last minute for west coast USA, but I wanted to make sure there were no last minute contenders.
Never fear, MMCafe GOTY can go well into the new year. Vote now!
quote:

Best Game I Didn't Beat:
Last Window.
Maouuuuuuuuuuuu

Oh, right, I forgot to put a category for Unfinished Game Staring at Me Reprovingly from My Shelf of the Year! And it's beaten out a lot of contenders, given my perpetual lateness!
quote:
a giant plush penguin that was sitting in the chair and it accurately locked onto its face. So I had a lovely 2P penguin face icon
This is so wonderful. Juan material right there. Hopefully it was Badtz Maru.





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"Re(5):Game of the Year 2013: snakes!" , posted Thu 2 Jan 06:11post reply

Best Flop Sweat: Xbox One
The release of a new technological gizmo rarely go smoothly but few have been as entertaining as the latest offering from MS. There may have been good points to the Xbone but no one had the slightest idea of how to properly showcase that to the buying public. Instead, the initial view of the Xbone was as an all-seeing Orwellian television remote control that would not play used games. You could practically smell the panic in the news reports about 11th hour Xbone changes. I don't feel the need to buy a new system at the moment because there is no way any of the launch titles could be as entertaining as that fiasco.

Best Auteur Design: Dragon's Crown
While the looting and grinding is a serviceable enough mechanic to keep the game running, what made me love Dragon's Crown was Kamitani's designs. The six main characters had an amazing amount of personality. From the way the Sorceress would smile at the camera as she strolled along to the way the Fighter would solidly stalk forward every little motion and pose fleshed out the cast. After playing the game I not only wanted a DC2 but I wanted an anime starring this dirty half-dozen. These characters are too good to be limited to one game or one medium.

Worst Cover: Dragon's Crown
You can't win them all.

quote:
Gaming Moment of the year: Evolution 2K13 UMvC3 Finals. Flocker vs Justin Wong


Now that I think about it I managed to watch a lot of great matches this year. But if I had to pick one thing it would be the post-match analysis of Daigo's matches against Xian and Infiltration. It was great to see people go into exasperating detail about how the slightest changes in spacing and timing radically affected the matches. It was a totally poindexter way to approach the game but it was completely valid. Only video games can pull off that unique cocktail of art, narrative and spatial relation in an interactive package.

Oddest Gaming Moment: The man-love of Dragon's Crown
At one point I was playing the Wizard online in DC. That's a character whose entire look emphasizes brains over brawn. This was never made more clear than when I ended up in a room with three Dwarves. Here I was trying to cast my bookish little spells while everyone else was rolling, grunting, and flexing. It was the most butch thing I have ever seen in a game.





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"Re(2):Game of the Year 2013: snakes!" , posted Sat 4 Jan 04:38post reply

quote:
what other big name western game have I not played


The biggest and most relevant one to "come out" in spite of having been out for over 1.5 years in beta form is DOTA 2. It doesn't have nearly as many unique animations as the fighting games we're used to, but like League of Legends it is a western made game that understands that distinctive characters can really help a game, but without quite as much (but not none) of the odious pandering that LoL has. It is beholden to the basic designs of the original DOTA, which was itself derived from Warcraft 3, which was further derived from the stereotypes of western fantasy from 10 years ago. But it does have many monstrous male and female characters (not enough monstrous females, though) that have lots of personality and great voices and unique lines specific to other characters/items etc. The monstrousness of the cast also results in amazing character relationship fanart, like where the spectral horror that is a combination of a horse and a Giger alien is in love with a spectre that isn't even recognizably female.

It's a hard game to get into... at least as hard to get into as GG2 Overture, except that there are now 9 other players fumbling around with you that will berate you without pity or proficiency in whatever language they are attempting to speak in.





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"Re(3):Game of the Year 2013: snakes!" , posted Sun 5 Jan 00:44post reply

Metal Gear Rising is certainly worthy of all the praise it gets, but I chose Wonderful 101 as my Platinum favorite over it because it's more rich with ideas. W101 is so rich, in fact, that like eating cheesecake, I can only handle it in small quantities. It may be that Rising, which I could probably play from beginning to end unless someone or something stopped me, is the better game, though.

Although many people cite its length as a downside (and who wouldn't want more of those fantastic bosses at least), I think one of its strongest points is its density. Even if it's slightly shorter than other games of its type, it has just as much "game" packed into that time. You turn on the game and you're more or less guaranteed to be kicking ass solid until you turn it off. This is a lovely reversal of the "put everything farther apart" trend that seems to have run rampant in the PS2 era as an artificial way to lengthen games.

Also, I can't believe I forgot Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen! This game really deserves a special prize, because I haven't played it in months and I'm still thinking about it almost every day. I think the original DD was an embarrassing mess with some very high highs, but Dark Arisen cashed in on all the strong points of its "predecessor" and became one of my best gaming experiences of the year. I hope Capcom taps into the strength of dungeon crawling for their inevitable sequel.

quote:
It's cute, it's beautiful, it's cleverly made, but Tearway was just never any fun for me.

LBP never struck a chord with me either, so I'm glad that my relative ambivalence towards Tearaway is reciprocated in someone whose tastes are similar to my own. I felt dirty as a Vita advocate for not being more excited about it.

quote:
Best Spectator Game:
DOTA 2. It's definitely something that takes time to understand enough of to appreciate, and I have the benefit of having played the game in its various forms for literally several years.

It's a joy and a sorrow that some competitive games have such an unforgiving community that the best way for a large number of people to enjoy them is to watch others play them. I have a friend that plays RTS games only long enough to realize that the wall is too high to bother climbing, then becomes an enthusiastic spectator.

As you mentioned, there is a real joy in the strength of characters in LoL and Dota, though (at least as icons). Seeing the rage that these games put people into has discouraged me from ever wanting to play them, but I admit that I've looked at the characters more than once and picked favorites.

quote:
Gaming Moment of the year: Evolution 2K13 UMvC3 Finals. Flocker vs Justin Wong

Uwaaaaah. I had to watch that all over again. Win or lose, Justin made so many miracles happen. As cheesy as it sounds, he really embodied the feeling of "it's not over 'til its over" in his matches.

Speaking of fighting game matches, I've watched this one over and over again. Haitani is like a human hurricane.





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"Re(4):Game of the Year 2013: snakes!" , posted Sun 5 Jan 09:53post reply

quote:
Also, I can't believe I forgot Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen! This game really deserves a special prize, because I haven't played it in months and I'm still thinking about it almost every day. I think the original DD was an embarrassing mess with some very high highs, but Dark Arisen cashed in on all the strong points of its "predecessor" and became one of my best gaming experiences of the year. I hope Capcom taps into the strength of dungeon crawling for their inevitable sequel.

I was reluctant to list Dark Arisen since the original DD was my favorite game of the previous year and it seemed a bit much to list an upgrade to a previous game. Still, if I'm being honest with myself I ended up spending just as much time if not more with DA and had just as much fun as I did with the first DD. Continuing with that honesty, the moment a new DD is announced is the moment I go out and buy a new system. So, yeah, I guess I'm a fan of the series.





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"Re(5):Game of the Year 2013: snakes!" , posted Sun 5 Jan 12:44:post reply

quote:
Continuing with that honesty, the moment a new DD is announced is the moment I go out and buy a new system. So, yeah, I guess I'm a fan of the series.



How is it that people here have such excellent taste?

My theory (or at least my hope) is that Deep Down is Capcom experimenting with their next-gen graphics engine and online environment as basically a warm-up for developing a Dogma sequel.

Dark Arisen is probably what I played most of if we're counting by total hours even if I burned out fairly quickly on the high-tier loot grind the dungeon is great the first time through and exploring in new game + is always fun.

Having my pawn in the Top 100 may have been my favorite gaming moment of the year, actually.





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[this message was edited by Mosquiton on Sun 5 Jan 12:47]

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"Re(6):Game of the Year 2013: snakes!" , posted Mon 6 Jan 00:29:post reply

quote:
My theory (or at least my hope) is that Deep Down is Capcom experimenting with their next-gen graphics engine and online environment as basically a warm-up for developing a Dogma sequel.


Different team and different producer, so I doubt so.

Despite the tepid sales outside Japan, it would be surprising not to have a sequel to one of the few new successful IPs on the Japanese PS3 market. Capcom invested too much in this series to give up after one instalment and one update. I bought Dark Arisen last week so I hope I get to play it in Q1. The demo of the first game left me a bit cold but the constant praise all over the different Internet communities convinced me to give it a shot; I am surprised the game is not at AGDQ this year.

I kinda gave up on a making a GOTY post this year. I don't have any interesting angle to bring up this time... The most memorable moments were definitely work-related but even the "favourite gaming moment" question stumps me! I am not sure one specific moment really trumps the average fun I had over the last twelve months. It certainly was one of the best years in gaming I have experienced.

Actually, that would have been my angle: whether we are talking about games or other aspects of life, so many things happend that it felt like 2013 lasted forever. The footballer's fake girlfriend, Arrested Development and Breaking Bad on Netflix, the first 56 hours on Ugomemo 3D, the Dark Souls II beta, the evenings playing Nintendoland, the announcement of 2DS, the PSG - Barcelona game, Yamauchi's death, the rise of Jennifer Lawrence, Mad Men season 6, the blackout at the Superbowl, the Boston bombings, all the girls I met biblically, 4 trips to Japan (instead of one), the Xbox One's botched announcement, seeing the ghost being killed in Spelunky, the apex of Fast & Furious in popular culture, the very last world of 3D World, the first instance on FF14, the StreetPass update, the shooting at Liberation's headquarters, Primavera 2013, Internet's reaction to Lightning Returns' ending, the controversy about Dragon's Crown's boobs... Many of these events seem like they happened years ago.





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"Re(7):Game of the Year 2013: snakes!" , posted Mon 6 Jan 01:26:post reply

quote:
My theory....

Different team and different producer, so I doubt so.



I realize that, but I'm not saying it's directly related or a prequel here.

Obviously a company has a few things to learn when they begin development on new hardware. That's more or less what I'm talking about here. Deep Down is a free to play title and has some degree of procedural content generation, so I get the impression that it's more of a minor, "warm up" kind of effort.

Dragons Dogma 2 could already be in development for all I know. And I hope it is!

But regarding your "of the year" vague list you did manage to mention some games between all the pop culture references and stealth brags. Congrats on seeing the spelunky ghost die, anyway! That at least is a truly rare occurrence.





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[this message was edited by Mosquiton on Mon 6 Jan 02:53]

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"Re(4):Game of the Year 2013: snakes!" , posted Mon 6 Jan 08:10post reply

quote:
Metal Gear Rising is certainly worthy of all the praise it gets, but I chose Wonderful 101 as my Platinum favorite over it because it's more rich with ideas. W101 is so rich, in fact, that like eating cheesecake, I can only handle it in small quantities. It may be that Rising, which I could probably play from beginning to end unless someone or something stopped me, is the better game, though.


Well that's really the thing-- I can't claim that Metal Gear has much heart. It's cool and all, and you're cast as a phenomenal badass, but W101 just bleeds a good natured kind of optimism. It's the best feel-good game I've played in at least a decade.
quote:

Although many people cite its length as a downside (and who wouldn't want more of those fantastic bosses at least), I think one of its strongest points is its density. Even if it's slightly shorter than other games of its type, it has just as much "game" packed into that time. You turn on the game and you're more or less guaranteed to be kicking ass solid until you turn it off. This is a lovely reversal of the "put everything farther apart" trend that seems to have run rampant in the PS2 era as an artificial way to lengthen games.


I think this last thing in particular is a very good observation about what makes the game great-- things hardly ever stop happening, and there's never that moment where you're running from square room to square room with a set of grunts in each that every single God of War game seems to fall into.

This kind of 3D brawler has become very lazy, and it's taken Platinum, first with Bayo and now with MGRR, to tone it up somewhat.

I should also note that something else I've loved about MGRR is that, both unlike a God of War game, where you can beat the game in exactly one one (kick the shit out of everything), and something more open world like the also excellent Deus Ex Human Revolution, where you can complete a task in a dozen ways, MGRR gives you... maybe 3 ways to complete things, which for me is just the right number.

quote:
LBP never struck a chord with me either, so I'm glad that my relative ambivalence towards Tearaway is reciprocated in someone whose tastes are similar to my own. I felt dirty as a Vita advocate for not being more excited about it.


It's strange, because a bunch of other people whose taste I trust told me I HAD to play it since it was so amazing. So I played through the demo and it just kept throwing stuff at me that I wasn't enjoying, one after another. And this is when with some demos I end up loving it so much that I either buy the game immediately or play the demo over and over till the game is released. I'm sure it's great (and like I said I can tell it's beautifully crafted at least), but it's just not for me I guess.






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"Re(7):Game of the Year 2013: snakes!" , posted Tue 7 Jan 04:11post reply

quote:
many of these events feel like they happened years ago


2013 has felt like 3 years to me, at least.

I moved and started a job in Toronto that I knew I was going to ditch in May, ditched the job, visited New Zealand/China/Thailand, moved to SF and started a new job there. August to December represents the longest period of time that I have stayed in one city or one residence since May of 2012.





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"Re(8):Game of the Year 2013: snakes!" , posted Tue 7 Jan 07:43:post reply

Better late than never, I guess.

Game of the Year 2013: Dragon's Crown came out in 2013, so this is probably the easiest GotY I've ever decided. I'd say a few words about what I love about it, but I think all of it has been said here many times. So, suffice to say that it warms my heart to see Vanillaware finally succeed at both creating a complete package and a popular product while remaining true to their fantastic 2D presentation.

Gaming Moment of 2013: Xbone reveal aftermath. This is a bit unfair, as my moment is not entirely personal but I still take it rather personally. I am not anti-Microsoft and I'm not pro-Sony; I bought a 360 long before I got a PS3 and had an XBL Gold account for many years, which I actively used, and I even worked with MS for a while. But around the time of the pre-Kinect hype and the increased focus on "media device," casual gimmicks and crowded interfaces, I felt Microsoft had pretty much lost their minds or was listening to the wrong advice. Yet whenever I brought this up my friends just dismissed it, saying I was being overly cynical. So when Microsoft came out of their 3-year hermitage to reveal the Xbone I don't think I've ever felt more vindicated by a public reaction and a publicized retraction in my life. It wasn't so much about what they did wrong as the fact that they just couldn't have avoided screwing up with the way they were acting. Then over the course of the following week, you could see all of the lessons being learned as they eliminated suspect bullet points one by one. It was quite amazing.

Biggest Disappointment of 2013: Soul Calibur, why. What happened. I'm not going to retread my opinion on what a misstep Lost Swords is, but I do need to say that SC2HD was very disappointing. The netcode is so beyond help I can hardly believe it. I guess they really must have fired the people responsible for SC5's amazing netcode, because there is NO way that this is using the same methods. It can't even get the matchmaking right; I got matched up with someone from Russia 3 times in a row, the game claimed it was 3 bars but I pressed a button and the move came out 2 seconds later. Consistently. So the new feature is bad, and there's also no option for JP voices so it's not even a definitive offline version of the game. $20 wasted on this crap. I am so sad for this series.

Most Progressed Series 2013: Persona. No, I don't mean it has progressed beyond human comprehension, I mean for me this was the series I made the most progress in this past year. I started Persona 2: Eternal Punishment roughly at the year's start, and after completing that and both scenarios of P3: FES, at this time I'm nearly done with Persona 4. Why did I do this? I think it's because I planned to play P4 Arena for some time now but I was afraid that by playing it I would never get to play P3 or P4 without getting spoiled. And I wanted to finish P2 before P3. So yeah, I spent an entire year playing old RPGs on a series of knowledge fetch quests just so I could play a fighting game from a company that I'm not the biggest fan of. Maybe I'm stupid! But at least now I don't have to feel left out whenever the series comes up in conversation.





[this message was edited by Gojira on Tue 7 Jan 07:46]

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"Game of the Year 2013: Nidhogg!" , posted Wed 8 Jan 01:30post reply

Wait, I completely forgot I discovered Nidhogg in 2013.
It felt so long ago that I thought it was in 2012.
So let me change my stance on 2013.

The Game of The Year was the (alpha version of) Nidhogg.
The best fighting game of the year was Nidhogg.
The best Nidhogg was Nidhogg.
The best gaming moment was the night I was on a boat and discovered Nidhogg, surrounded by about 50 people as dumbfounded as I was with how fun the game was to play and, more impressively, to experience as a spectator. That night, I went through the emotions of Daigo x Justin Wong every 35 seconds. It was possibly the best game orgasm of my life.

In 2013, I became as unsufferable about praising Nidhogg as the Breaking Bad fans surrounding you and forcing you to listen about Breaking Bad. I am confident Nidhogg, which finally comes out next week on Steam, will be the GOTY 2014. Believe the hype! Nidhogg!





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"Re(1):Game of the Year 2013: Nidhogg!" , posted Wed 8 Jan 07:46post reply

quote:
Wait, I completely forgot I discovered Nidhogg in 2013.
It felt so long ago that I thought it was in 2012.
So let me change my stance on 2013.

The Game of The Year was the (alpha version of) Nidhogg.
The best fighting game of the year was Nidhogg.
The best Nidhogg was Nidhogg.
The best gaming moment was the night I was on a boat and discovered Nidhogg, surrounded by about 50 people as dumbfounded as I was with how fun the game was to play and, more impressively, to experience as a spectator. That night, I went through the emotions of Daigo x Justin Wong every 35 seconds. It was possibly the best game orgasm of my life.

In 2013, I became as unsufferable about praising Nidhogg as the Breaking Bad fans surrounding you and forcing you to listen about Breaking Bad. I am confident Nidhogg, which finally comes out next week on Steam, will be the GOTY 2014. Believe the hype! Nidhogg!



AFAIK Nidhogg has been GOTY for like 4 years now depending on who you ask.





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"Re(2):Game of the Year 2013: Nidhogg!" , posted Wed 8 Jan 09:28post reply

quote:

AFAIK Nidhogg has been GOTY for like 4 years now depending on who you ask.



All valid opinions!





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"Re(3):Game of the Year 2013: Nidhogg!" , posted Wed 8 Jan 09:52post reply

I like nidhogg! I've been playing it at tradeshows for a number of years now, and I'm glad it's coming out!

which reminds me that I should send my new WIP game to chaz.

I didn't have a new game of the year for 2013, but I did have a "best game moment" I guess.

for me it was in Ridiculous Fishing.



Spoiler (Highlight to view) -
when you fish the guy out of the bottom of the lake, and he flies up into the sky, it's an interesting moment - he looks so much like your main character, who is he? There was so much buildup to this, and the game was so tightly designed up to this point that it couldn't be meaningless. Then the whole scene is recast when you play again after the credits, and you've got a new hat, the one the guy you fished out was wearing. By calling it "dad's hat" it retroactively gave all these scenes a lot more meaning, and for me as a designer I found this really compelling. Such a simple way to make what you're doing seem worthwhile.

End of Spoiler







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"Re(1):Game of the Year 2013: snakes!" , posted Thu 9 Jan 04:47post reply

quote:
Game Writers of the Year: Super Nobi Bros.
A shining light in a sea of darkness, our own Nobi and Andy continue to write articles so artistically compelling that even the cretinous puritans at Kotaku might have figured out that Kamitani's art is the best thing in the business these days (hey Amano, where'd you go?).


Thanks so much for the shout out! I really really really appreciate it. I am currently still drafting my stupidly long EOTY list, but I just wanted to remind you that you still have an open invite to write about your love for Lunar on art-eater :D






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