2012 was a great year for gaming. It brought a lot of promised titles that the gaming community had been waiting on. It also brought more of the same cookie cutter releases that much of us have come to malign. Game of the Year is a prestigious award, but it doesn’t do justice to the myriad of titles that came out. Conslayer has created the Epic Awards in an effort to not only reward all those titles, but to also blow off some steam and make some jokes at the expense of worthwhile titles. Remember, these are intended to be humorous and not a slam against any specific titles except maybe Call of Duty. No, but really. Jokes!
The Best Game I Never Played When My Friends Were Home – Final Fantasy XIII-2
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is like a scooter. You’ll ride it and have a great time but won’t tell anyone about it. The second people appear in your home, you’ll frantically turn it off because no matter what they hear they’ll think less of you. The game can be a lot of fun, but the dialogue hinges around a couple of core concepts: feelings, the power of friendship, the power of friendship feelings, also friendship. None of it can be easily explained away. Once your friends know you’re playing this J-RPG, there’s no turning back.
Best Game Based on Inceslimate Weather – Rift: Storm Legion
Rift is an MMO based on a world consisting of different elemental planes. Death, Water, Fire, and others will constantly tear the barrier between their worlds and that of mortal realm of Telara and try to force their way in. Many of the big baddies of the planes were dealt with in the original game, but the new expansion is based mainly on the plane of Air and its leader, Crucia. We have no idea what exactly makes Air stronger than most of the other plans, but the lead-up to the expansion was filled with storm-based events while the new souls (classes) are focused around air, wind, and other forms of gusty destruction. All joking aside, Rift: Storm Legion has been a pretty solid expansion, especially for the meteorologists of Telara.
Best Proof That the Colonial Era Needed More BETA Testing – Assassin’s Creed III
Assassin’s Creed III, for all intents and purposes, id a pretty solid game. I just never knew the revolutionary war was so buggy. I had horses get stuck in walls, I had a British soldier freeze up during a cinematic while his rifle continued its scripted path (Watching a haunted gun abuse a poor colonial butcher was actually pretty great), and Connor would sometimes use a knife as if he was still wielding his hatchet. I mean, I guess you can kill someone by beating them with a knife, but stabbing works better. Assassin’s Creed 3 is rife with bugs but like many open-world games, there’s a decent number of entertaining ones.
Best Pickup Line of the Year – Touch My Katamari
So it’s Friday night and I’m rolling downtown with my boys and I’ve gotta have a pickup line ready to drop in the clubs. Emphatically exclaiming, ‘Touch My Katamari!’ seems like it should work. It probably won’t. Don’t say this to anyone, ever. What’s there to say about Katamari games that hasn’t already been said? They’re all fantastic. You roll a Katamari around and pick up things while outlandish Japanese music plays in the background. Anytime Namco finds a reason to publish a new Katamari game and have the King of the Cosmos berate me, I am absolutely overjoyed. The Vita hasn’t had a lot of great titles, but this is definitely one.
Best Reason to Dislike Your Friends – Dungeon Defenders
When the boys in blue show up at your home because the neighbors report hearing sounds of a struggle and possible gunfire, you’ll be able to explain quite honestly that it is not your fault, but the fault of Dungeon Defenders. If Dungeon Defenders had just had some kind of civilized loot system, you would not have had to become violent towards your friend because, despite being a Monk, he picked up ALL THE KNIGHT GEAR. Dungeon Defenders is a fantastic multiplayer game that will make you wish your friends weren’t such unreasonable people.
Best PayPal Based Dungeon Crawler – Diablo III
Do you ever pick up a game and go, man, I wish I could just pay someone else to beat this for me? If you’ve ever thought that, please stop playing video games. If you must though, Diablo III can be your game of the year. So, from level one on, the very second you enter the game, you can just buy gear on the auction house. If you decide, ‘meh, finding gear in a game about gear progression is too tedious’, just buy it. I mean, I don’t know what you do with gear you find while actually playing. You could sell it on the Auction House, but what respectable person spends real life currency on gear in Diablo III? Whoops.
Best Game You Swore You Would Not Play Like GTA But Then Did Anyhow – Hitman: Absolution
Hitman: Absolution is an interesting game. It has a lot of cool features when it comes to taking people out. In that respect, it seems almost cruel that the objective of the game is stealth. You walk into a room and see a plunger. You don’t need to pick that plunger up. You don’t need to bludgeon some gangster to death with it. You should just duck and take cover and make your way to the next room, but when are you ever going to get the chance to bludgeon someone to death with a plunger? Before you know it you have -14,000 points and everyone in the seedy hotel has been slain by a bald man in a suit with a plunger. That sums up Hitman: Absolution.
The Eh, You Could Have it Worse Award – Max Payne III
Hey, sorry to hear that you’re sad. Have a tissue and let me tell you a story that might help you feel better. It’s a story about a man named Max Payne, a former cop who’s wife and child are murdered by a heartless pharmaceutical corporation. He then becomes an undercover officer but gets framed for the murder of the only man who knows that he’s actually a cop. After clearing his name, he starts to fall for a new girl but guess what? She gets killed too, by another one of his friends. Now an alcholic and prescription-drug addict, Max finds himself on the run from the mafia for killing a member in a drunken bar shootout (yeah, not a brawl, a shootout), working as a bodyguard in South America and nothing bad ever happened again. Just kidding, his life gets way worse. You should play Max Payne 3 to see how good you really have it. Or just because it’s actually a pretty fun game, your call.
The It’s Not You, It’s Me Award – Guild Wars II
Guild Wars 2 has all that makings of one of the best MMOs out there. It rewards group interaction with minimal competition, the dungeons are challenging enough without being impossible, the pvp rewards strategy over gear progession, and the story is… well to be honest, the story was awful. Either way, it did everything right that needs to be done to make a lasting game. For some reason, you left anyway. You don’t know why, but the spark just disappeared. You keep telling yourself you’ll go back eventually, but you never take that first step. Something is always holding you back, and you’ll probably never know exactly what it is.
The Best New MMO That Will Surely Defeat WoW – Mists of Pandaria
Since World of Warcraft rose to prominence in 2004 it has earned the ire of everyone in the MMO community, even those playing it at the time. Prophets of doom foretell the coming of an immaculate savior who will toss down WoW into a great lake of lava and usher in a new era of peace of prosperity. Great heroes such as Warhammer Online, Rift, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Guild Wars II have all challenged Blizzard’s flagship MMO but have found the strength of WoW too great. Sometimes hope comes from the most unlikely of places. Mists of Pandaria, the newest expansion for WoW, complete with a Pokemonesque mini-game, bipedal Pandas and new, scintillating dailies may be the title that finally ends the World of Warcraft.
The Participation Award – Medal of Honor: Warfighter
EA is that parent who is convinced that their kid should be considered the best at whatever he does. They send him to the fanciest camps, buy him the best equipment, and constantly blame the other kids for their son not getting the chance he deserves. Then, when he’s still terrible, they’re the loudest voice that he still deserved some kind of recognition. Medal of Honor: Warfighter was EA’s latest middling attempt to overthrow Call of Duty, and the best thing that we can think to say about it is that it tried.
The Maybe Online Dating Isn’t For You award – Halo 4
Online dating’s come a long way in the past few years. What was once the last bastion for the hopeless, Online Dating has become a somewhat normal thing for individuals who just don’t have the time to meet that special someone. The Master Chief was a great candidate. Always off world fighting the Covenant to save all of us, it seems logical that he’d peruse eHarmony. Things with Cortana started out great. Both had mutual interests in slaughtering all the Covenant and not letting earth blow up. By Halo 4 though, things had become a bit tense. As the game ends, I like to think the Master Chief might just consider meeting a girl at Barnes and Noble like the rest of us.
The Best Call of Duty Game of the Year – Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
I mean, how do you top Call of Duty: Black Ops? Apparently by putting the number 2 at the end of it. Call of Duty has joined the likes of Madden in how formulaic its releases have become. For 2013, we’d like to get involved with the creative process. Maybe something like Call of Duty: Modern Ops or Call of Duty: Bla .. Okay, maybe we’ll just go with Modern Ops. In the long run it probably doesn’t matter what the next installment is called, you’ll probably just end up buying it anyway.
The Game of the Year For All Years Award– Borderlands 2
Look, we really have nothing mean to say about Borderlands 2. As far as we’re concerned it did everything that a game should, and it made our job here even harder by constantly poking fun at itself. Honestly the only award that should be given in relation to it is to people who have yet to try it, maybe the “Hey, Stop Living Under a Rock and Play this Damn Game” award.
Year after year we complain and lament about the lack of creativity in the video game world, and for the most part we’re proven right. Big franchises release the same games with different names, and according to sales numbers, we’re just thrilled to hand them sixty bucks. From time to time a game like Journey comes along which really shatters the mold and does something innovative and I play it for 15 minutes and then go play an MMO or something, not because it’s bad, but because I’m just too dense to understand it.
The Bad Time to Be A Silent Protagonist Award – Dishonored
The silent protagonist is a time honored staple of video games. Some argue that allows the player to impose their own idea of the character’s personality, while others argue that it’s laziness. Either way, we can all assume that Dishonored’s main protagonist, Corvo, would have been a lot better off if he would have been willing to open his damn mouth. Sure, Link has done just fine without ever saying a word, but he’s also never been accused of murdering Zelda.
The People Only Remember When I Mess Up Award – Mass Effect III
Say what you want about the ending. Yes, it was riddled with plot holes. Yes, it took the Deus Ex Machina literary device, amplified it the nth degree, and crammed it down our throats, effectively killing any desire to replay the entire trilogy like we all planned to. Yet it really was such a small portion of the game. Everything else was fantastic, from the combat to the hopeless struggle against an unstoppable foe. Perhaps that’s why the ending hurt us so bad. We should maybe try that in a Call of Duty game and see if anyone cares.
Best non-Paypal Based Dungeon Crawler – Torchlight II
While Diablo III might be the actual sequel to Diablo II, Torchlight II feels like it is in fact the true spiritual successor. Get this. Torchlight II begins with an Alchemist (totally not Diablo) blowing up Torchlight (totally not Tristram) with the hero being forced to set out and stop an evil that seems to perpetually be a few steps ahead. Unlike Diablo III, players in Torchlight II do not have the option to buy gear via debit card or Paypal, something we consider to be a resounding success in terms of enjoying the game. There’s something about earning that slight gear upgrade that makes the time sink feel less pathetic.
(Disclaimer: None of these awards are real obviously, but they totally should be. This was a chance for our team to have a little fun after a hectic year and hopefully bring you a smile. Here is to an awesome 2012, and even more epicness to come in 2013!)
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