Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for coming to tonight’s Gaming Class of 2010 Awards Banquet. Let’s get started right away, shall we?
“Most Likely to Play Over and Over Again” Award
I played it through 3 times – solo and co-op, heroic and legendary – and I still would probably play it again on legendary co-op. I’m not a multiplayer fan so I can’t get my fix that way. It’s going to be a long dry spell until we get more Halo goodness.
“It Came Outta Nowhere” Award
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
I follow gaming stuff pretty closely. I read all the big blogs regularly: Kotaku, Joystiq, and the like. And I never heard a thing about this game until it was released. All the more surprising: I played the demo and it was good! Perhaps the only game I bought this year by virtue of playing the demo. Not destined to win many awards, but definitely worth a pickup if you find a good price.
“Game You Should Have Played But Didn’t” Award
I was tempted to give this to Metroid: Other M, but it’s got to go to Alan Wake. This is the category that beloved gems like Psychonauts and Beyond Good and Evil belong to. It definitely deserves a sequel, but did it sell enough to warrant one? Remedy is not saying. Pleeeease, Remedy!!
“Wanted To Like More Than I Did” Award
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
I kept playing and playing, waiting for that point at which I could think of little else until I completed it, and I actually finished it before that point ever arrived. Which was no small task, as it’s a looong game. Maybe a little too long? Not “Castlevania” enough? Because I suck at “God of War” style games? I actually stuck with it to the end, which says something about it I guess, but if I had it to do all over again, I might not have even played it.
“If Only It Was Achievements and Not Trophies” Award
Final Fantasy XIII
I didn’t hate this game nearly as much as the gaming press wishes I would have. That’s not to say it didn’t have its faults, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. So much so, in fact, that I put in over 100 hours on it. And I got every trophy you could get in it, except the one where I’d have to buy all of the equipment in the game (and hence the platinum trophy as well). I calculated that I’d have to grind for 6+ hours to make enough gil to do that. If I had played the Xbox version, I might have done that, to have a complete game and 1000 gamerscore (something I’ve only done twice before). But you gotta play Final Fantasy on the PlayStation, right? That’s been a rule since FF VII, hasn’t it? And I don’t care a fig about trophies, so I never got there.
“It Came Too Early To Win Major Awards” Award
Mass Effect 2
The integration with your save game from Mass Effect 1… awesome. Nearly all the changes were improvements. Nearly. (I’m looking at you, planet scanner!) It set the bar high for 2010. But it came out January 26, 2010. Will it garner any Game of the Year awards with the short term memory crowd, or will Call of Duty overshadow it by virtue of release date?
“Made Me Schlep To The Store With Other Geeks” Award
Dragon Quest XII: Sentinels of the Starry Skies
No, I’m not talking about a launch event. Just look at Black Friday… people will stand in line in the cold for hours for $5 off a jacket. I’m talking about standing around an electronics store with my DS open hoping that someone else that’s doing the same will sync a treasure quest to my game. DQ XII has an interesting online quest sharing function, but it’s local wireless only, which might work fine in DQ obsessed and people packed Japan, but not so great in the suburban US midwest. So I went to an event to try it out, and got a few quests that were way above my level that I still haven’t been able to do yet.
“Would People Give It Such High Praise If The Graphics Were So-So” Award
I get it. The graphics look great. But in 15-20 minutes you’ve basically seen what you are going to do in the whole game, and then you do it over and over again. Why is everyone raving about this game? Has everyone really turned into such graphics whores? I mean, I like the game in general, but The Second Coming of Portable Gaming it is not!
“Who Knew Michael J. Fox Had A Twin” Award
Back to the Future Part 1 – It’s About Time
Great Scott! That “not Michael J. Fox” guy does an awesome Marty McFly, doesn’t he?
But enough with the silly awards… what is my top game? I only pick from games I’ve played, and the critics and I usually do not agree. To me, it boils down to a choice between five games, and they all have their merits.