Friday, January 6, 2012

The 2011 Durham on Games GOTY Awards

The Most Anticipated Game of the Year Awards are Here!

Now that 2011 is really dead and has had a few days to stop twitching, Durham on Games presents the only trustworthy Game of the Year awards! If you have not owned, played, or otherwise experienced one or more of the games within (except some of the Special Prize winners), consider yourself underprivileged.

Note that all of the games were PC versions (I'm too pathetic for publishers to send me requested console games), and I don't care if you thing some PS3 game deserves contention. I started as a PC gamer, and thus shall I go out. I don't hate my Xbox 360 or my PlayStation 3, but hey, if I don't have the software, I can't pass my clearly-superior judgment on its quality. to the awards. Pretend there's lots of glitter and lights and music and stuff. When you get to the final game, the GOTY winner, pretend the room you're in fills with balloons dropped from above.

The Why Couldn't This Have Been Duke Nukem Forever? Award:
Serious Sam 3: BFE
DNF sucks. SS3 rocks. The student has returned to destroy the master.

The Best Game that Makes You Wish You Owned a Fedora:
L.A. Noire
The old fedora rule went like this: you were cool enough to wear one if you went through this checklist and matched all the requirements.
1) Are you Indiana Jones?
If you said no to any of the above questions, you should never wear a fedora, ever.
Except thanks to L.A. Noire, there's another point on the checklist:
2) Are or were you a dapper cop in the 1940's?
The Coulda Been a Contender Award: Afterfall InSanity
I wanted to like this game, but couldn't. Not because of the bugs or anything like that; it's a capable, fun, intriguing, somewhat frighting psychological horror piece. The problem was the acting. The voice actors were so stiff, I wouldn't be surprised if this game developed a following among communities of plywood.

The Best Game I Haven't Finished Yet:
The Witcher 2
The Best Game I'll Probably Never Finish:

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
I'm terrible about finishing long RPGs, but each of these fantastic games deserves recognition on the Durham on Games GOTY list. The Witcher 2 is just too damn cool for its own good, while Skyrim is the most utterly playable RPG I've ever experienced. I'm not sure, however, if the latter actually ends. Maybe it's like the old Pac-Man arcade game and it errors to death after you play it for so long.

The Special Prize for the Game Most Likely to Train Me to Enjoy Life Once I Finally Snap and Turn to Serial Killing:
In this game - and I really mean that part about all this happening in a game - it has been loads of fun to yank people around on a whip, kick them into spiked metal walls, blow their heads off, and then revel in the resulting blood and gut storm. Of course, all this only occurs in Bulletstorm. It's only a game. It's only a game...

The Best Instance of an RTS Converted to an Action Game in History:
Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine
In fact, the main difference is, your Space Marine isn't expendable as it would be in the RTS. I've fed thousands of those poor little dudes into the grinder, but narrow it down to one and suddenly he lives through everything (unless you have to re-load now and then).

The Best Game for Smart People:
Portal 2
Short, sweet, and perfect, but not worth the hassle if you're not a thinker.

The Game that Makes You Wish You'd Put Down the Cheez-Ums and Get In Shape Award:
Assassin's Creed Revelations
If I could free run like that, I, well, I wouldn't be so fat. But I'd probably be just as crippled, if not more so. Since I am half-Italian (before you whine about my name being Durham, understand the WOP in me comes from my mom's side), I consider Ezio family. If I ever need a few people "whacked," I know who to call.

Special Prizes:

The Thanks for Shitting on the Entire Gaming Industry in the Guise of "Honoring" it Trophy: Spike TV

The Lifetime Achievement Award for the Piece of Software I Uninstalled Faster Than Anything Before In My Existence: Jurassic Park the Game

The Development Studio that Keeps Getting Awesome Press but that Doesn't Seem to Do Much Except Release Updates to a Game it Has Been Milking for a Decade: Blizzard

The Special Honor for the Sequel We Wanted the Most Way Back When We Last Played the Series, but Which We've Since Forgotten About: Half-Life [Episode] 3

And Finally....

The Game of the Year Award, and also The Prize for the Game Whose Main Character Your Inner Self Sees You as (but Which You'll Never Nearly Live Up to) go to:
Batman: Arkham City

If you've played it, you can't deny Arkham City is one stunner of a game. It takes everything good about Arkham Asylum, which itself is an award-winning title, and makes it awesomer. In fact, I only had one complaint, if this is even a complaint (I haven't really decided): Those final, Batman-knocked-out-the-bad-guy blows do not sound like kicks or punches. They sound like meteors the size of barges crashing into warehouses full of fireworks.

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