Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bonesys - Gaming

So, it's been a pretty good year for gaming, with some especially cool games that flew under pretty much everybody's radar, and of course more glorious sequels that you can shake a Playstation Move controller at. I ended up playing through quite a few games on both the Xbox and PS3, thanks in part to my Countdown to 50k gamerscore mission. Enough time wasting, on to The Bonesys!

Best Downloadable Game

Big year for the XBLA, and not so much for the PSN for me. In fact I don't even know if I downloaded anything for the PS3 other than Punisher No Mercy, and well let's just say that the title of that game tells you ALL you need to know. The Xbox Live Arcade, on the other hand, gave me several contenders for my consideration. Once the dust settled, my Xbox Live Avatar's t-shirt tells the tale...

Best Downloadable Content

I really didn't spend much in the way of DLC until the end of the year. I bought most of the Borderlands add-ons, and they were all pretty good, I loved the Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, but I understand that the real fun to be had in Borderlands was in playing co-op with friends and sadly I never got to try that. I did the Alan Wake dlc, I've downloaded the Mass Effect 2 stuff but not played it yet, and I've been playing the hell out of the Viet Nam maps for Battlefield Bad Company 2 the past week or so. All of that pales in comparison to what I personally believe is not only the best dlc of 2010, but perhaps of all time...

Best Action Game

This is another tough category, but only because I'm not entirely sure how to categorize some of the games I played. Most of what I play has some form of "action" in it, so to me the term is fairly generic. Out of the ones I considered for this award, I pretty much narrowed my choices down to two games. Red Dead Redemption was hella fun, but was also a time-consuming BEAST. At times I found myself wishing it would just end already, and that's ultimately why I didn't go with it for the win. Instead I'm giving I'm giving the Bonesy to a game that left me wanting more at the end....
Best RPG

Yet another category that I never spend much time in. As a matter of fact, I think I played a grand total of 3 games that would be considered RPG's this year, and at least two of those I'm 100% certain didn't ship in 2010. No matter though, I didn't like either of them, which made my choice for the Best RPG Bonesy even easier than it already would've been....

Best Survival Horror Game

My favorite genre of game, which has sadly died down significantly over the years. 2010 wasn't a total loss though, and in fact offered up two very strong contenders for the Bonesy. Alan Wake was hands down one of the greatest games released this year, and did a fantastic job of telling a great Stephen King-esque horror story. Lots of memorable moments from my time in Brightness Falls, but it was going to take a LOT for any game to top the sequel to what is still my favorite Xbox 360 game to date. Alan Wake had a flashlight, but he never used duct tape to combing it with gems to create a light saber, Chuck Greene did though...
Best Shooter
My second favorite genre, and the one that year after year floods the market with the most games. This category proves harder to make a choice for best game in than any other for me. The list of shooters that I played is chock full of quality, and there are lots of others than I never even got around to picking up and playing. Out of the ones I did though, most had their strong points, be it campaign, controls, multiplayer, or whatever. I've decided to keep it simple and give the award to the game that was the best overall complete package though, and in my opinion that game was...

Best Sports Game

This one I hesitated to even bother with, as my favorite game in this genre is based on my favorite sport, and as such is the exact same almost every year. Doesn't matter how good the new NCAA Football, Madden, or 2K Basketball games are, none of those games have the hockey in them, NHL 11 does though...

Best Overlooked / Underrated Game

I had already made up my mind about the winner in this category long before I even knew I would be doing an awards blog this year. In fact there were no other games even in contention until last week when I started Singularity, which mixes Bioshock with Resistance for what has so far been a very solid shooter, and a nice surprise. Still, there was one game I played this year, that I encouraged anybody who would listen to give a shot. It started off slow, and the gameplay wasn't the most polished that you'll see, but the story and atmosphere were undeniably outstanding. Do yourself a favor if you haven't, and check out this year's Bonesy winner for Best Overlooked game, Metro 2033.
Best "Mister Bones Was Late to the Party" Game

This one I almost called "Best Why the Hell Didn't Anybody Tell Me" game. As a matter of fact, I would never have even tried this game had I not signed up for a subscription to the Official Xbox Magazine when they were $5 on Amazon. The first issue I got had some demos for the "Summer of XBLA 09" games, and it took me about 5 minutes to decide that not only was Trials HD awesome, but something that I simply couldn't go on living without any longer. 
Best Playstation Exclusive

Another fairly easy one, I think I only played maybe two games that were exclusive only to Sony's console. I have Uncharted 2 but I haven't played it yet, I did God of War III as previously mentioned, and then there was one of the most unique gaming experiences I had this year, and a representative of a genre that I would absolutely kill to get more of from developers. A choose your own adventure style interactive drama, with tight controls, a well written and well acted narrative, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing up until the reveal at the end. Not to mention the fact that one scene even made me a little uncomfortable as I watched it play out, and that's definitely rare for a video game. The Bonesys support interactive drama!

Best Xbox Exclusive

This one I'm anticipating the most eye rolls at, but you're just going to have to forgive me. I will fully admit to being a bit of a fanboy for this particular series. It also gets points for being one of the very few games that I enjoy enough to suffer through public multiplayer matches. Of course it's way more fun with friends. Bungie's swan song was everything I hoped it would be, and I dare say my favorite of the series. What can I say? In one game Noble Team managed to push the awesometer past where it took Master Chief 3 games to take it, and in the process earned itself the Bonesy for Best Xbox Game.

Best Game

You can look back up at every game in this post and just about any one of them could've been my favorite of the year. Yes, even Limbo. This is the category that I've spent the most time debating over, as is to be expected. The game that I finally decided on is one that for some reason I seemed to be in the minority in my excitement for. Everybody loved the first one, but this one I saw a lot of "meh" in response to, and I have no idea why. For all the sequels that I played this year, Bioshock 2 was the one that did exactly what a sequel is supposed to do, it took what was great about the first game and expanded on it, while adding it's own little touches to the formula ensuring that it could stand on it's own. It's also the only game that I drove out in a snow storm and waited in line in a very crowded Gamestop for. This year's Bonesy for Best Game is proudly presented to Bioshock 2. 

Whew! Now THAT'S how you kick off an Awards Show Blog! Big ups to other great games like Red Dead Redemption, Assassin's Creed II, and Scott Pilgrim vs the World,  that may not have gotten awards, but were still worth my time and heard earned monies. Tomorrow the good times roll on with Comics and Music!


Drake Sigar said...

Limbo – Horary for independent games!

Red Dead – Rockstar continue to show mainstream downloadable content can be a legitimate method of peddling quality extra content. Now if only all the other companies would follow suit instead of selling extra content that should have been in the main game.

Survival Horror – On the surface the premise for Dead Rising 2 seems to perfectly embody the genre, yet upon closer inspection weapons are plentiful, and the zombies are about as threatening as Woody Allen in a dress. Those who’ve played Amnesia: The Dark Descent would vote for that because you don’t get any weapons throughout the entire game (hence the survival aspect is more intense) and above all it’s terrifying.

Heavy Rain – I was so annoyed when this was announced as a PS3 exclusive, as it’s the only one I actually want to play. Big fan of Fahrenheit (named Indigo Prophecy in America) and it’s unique style.

Halo: Reach – My brother bought this and gave up after a mere thirty minutes. I ‘borrowed’ his copy and jeez, without a doubt the worst game I’ve played this year. The dirt brown textures, bland environments and militant hard-on punctuated by emotional music in scenes that did nothing to earn it made my molars explode. Worst of all were the character archetypes that could have been written by a six year old. I just don’t understand how anyone can play Mass Effect 2, then Halo: Reach, and honestly tell me Reach’s characterization is good.

Bioshock 2 is as unnecessary as Force Unleashed 2. The story was wrapped up nicely in the first ones. We don’t need to go back again and lose the sense of wonder we had exploring the underwater society.

Mister Bones said...

Yeah, I debated on calling DR2 "survival horror" as the zombies themselves prove to be little more than a nuisance generally, but the psychopaths all do a pretty good job of depleting your health bar, also toward the end of the game, you have soldiers and "Special infected" to deal with, plus Alan Wake's ending royally pissed me off.

I watched a trailer for Amnesia, it looks good but I don't game on PC at all, so all of the games I played were strictly from consoles.

You make valid points about Reach, but as stated I'm a bit of a Halo fanboy, and that's based primarily around the fact that it's still damn fun to play with a good group of friends. It's the series that I cut my multiplayer teeth on at lan parties and such. Plus, I didn't really want to call Mass Effect 2 an Xbox exclusive since its' coming to PS3 soon, which kinda narrowed down my choices.

I enjoyed running around in Rapture enough to want to do it again, and even after 2, I would go back for a 3rd. Although I am extremely excited for Bioshock Infinite.