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There's impressions, reviews, previews, games to be blended and a whole tonne of lists!
Friend Codes (12 digits! Woo!):
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Super Smash Bros. Brawl - 1161-1616-2929
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Mario Kart DS - 3737-2965-7653
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass - 2921-7846-5401
Clubhouse Games - 0602-2666-1904
Didn't read the first part of my mandatory awards blog? Can't be bothered to click on the "My Blog" tab and scroll down for a bit? You can read it here, you lazy bum. For everyone else, here are the rest of the awards:
Most Goodest Writing - Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
Granted, I haven't quite finished the game yet, so there's always the chance that the writers might jump the shark as far as the plot's concerned (there are already yeti-monsters, after all), but so far Uncharted 2's "cinematic" presentation owes as much to its solid writing as the realistic graphics and crazy camera angles. There are just a lot of nice little touches with the exchanges between characters, like when I made protagonist Nathan Drake jump into a rooftop pool only for him to start playing "Marco Polo," much to the distaste of his female companion. Then I got a trophy for it.
Runner up - Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse (PC) The Sam and Max series have always had great writing, and the latest season is no different. The highlight of the writing for me was when Sam turned all "bad cop" at the start of episode 3 and had to interrogate several informants - from a rat to a giant gorilla. It wasn't so much the interrogation that was interesting, but the addition of a "Noir" button that let Sam go off on several hilarious tangents.
Best Boss Fights - Gunstar Heroes (VC)
Picking a favourite boss from Gunstar Heroes is like picking which of my children I love the most. In the end I have to go with the kid that can transform into a gun, a tiger, a giant enemy crab, and four other forms. Yep, the giant robotic Seven Force (pictured above) would have to be the battle I enjoyed the most and one of my favourite boss fights of all time, but I feel obligated to give some credit to Gunstar Heroes massive range of awesome bosses, among them and a massive lobster-shaped mech, a disembodied face named Melon Bread, and M. Bison wearing a jetpack.
Runner up - Monster Hunter Tri (Wii)Because the whole game was pretty much nothing but boss fights. Insanely difficult boss fights that often took half-an-hour to complete.
Best Value - Little King's Story (Wii)
More a personal award than anything; I picked Little King's Story up for about $10 when my local GAME store was having a sale (in retrospect it was probably a closing down sale) and was not disappointed at all. There's a massive amount of depth here and despite its cutesy graphics, the game gets incredibly dark at times (I don't want to spoil the mindscrew ending, but there's a mindscrew ending).Even if it's for a much higher price than I paid for it, I encourage all of you to pick Little King's Story up. Its developers will thank you (if their company didn't go bankrupt).
Runner up - The Orange Box (PC)Yeah, this compilation of Valve-produced shooters is pretty good value, but it would've been better if I didn't already own Portal and actually cared about Half-Life in the slightest.
Fastest Game - F-Zero GX (GC)
I don't have anything interesting to say about F-Zero GX other than that its insanely fast, so please enjoy this cheesy rock ballad about Captain Falcon from the game's credits.
Runner up - Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 (WiiWare) Sorry Sonic, but it looks like this time... YOU'RE TOO SLOW!
Game I Won't Get Around To Playing Until This Year - Recettear, Gish, Super Meat Boy and a bazillion other PC games (PC)
Thanks to Steam sales, I now have a tonne of games I can't actually play due to me being a Mac user. I swear I'll get around to installing Boot Camp, but not right now. It's not like I don't have enough other games from Steam sales I could be playing.
Runner up - Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour (GC) If by this year you mean never. Can you say "impulse buy"?
Best Game I Can't Remember Playing - Gargoyle's Quest (GB)
So there was this game... and it was about gargoyles and stuff. It was sort of a platformer but also sort of an RPG... with gargoyles. I think Capcom made it. Probably. Oh wait, that might've been DuckTales. Didn't I buy them both at the same time?
Runner up: Bit.Trip Beat At least I remembered the proper spelling.
Well that's those awards over and done with, but as I said before, I wanted to use these awards blogs to show off all the games I played over the last year so you know what I have to work with when I do my inevitable top 5 games of the year. So here's everything else I played with some random, inconsequential awards:
Most Unforgiving Game:Etrian Odyssey (DS)
Best Villain:That one guy who clawed his face off at the end (spoilers, y'know?) - Phoenix Wright: Justice for All (DS)
Best Level: Love Lab - Rhythm Paradise (DS)
Worst Level: The Samba de Amigo table from Sonic Pinball Party (GBA)
Flat-out Worst Game: Columns Crown (GBA)
Best Licensed Game: DuckTales (GB) - but not as good as the NES one.
Cheapest Character: Saki from Tatsunoko vs. Capcom (Wii) - Beamspam? Check. Grenade spam? Check. Giant anti-air laser? Of course.
Most disappointing Game: A Shadow's Tale/Lost in Shadow (Wii)
Game That Most Deserves a Sequel: Mole Mania (GB)
Most Effective Use of a Gay Skeleton: Puyo Pop Fever (GC)
Obscurest Indie Game: Jolly Rover (PC)
Super Smash Bros. Melee Memorial Prize for Best Announcer: Soul Calibur II (GC)
Best Title: And Yet it Moves (PC)
Best Game To Play When You're Stuck On a Toilet In Thailand After Finding Out You're Allergic To Every National Dish: Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (DS)
Best Professor Layton Game Without Professor Layton: Puzzle Agent (PC)
Best Sequel: Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
Loyalest Dog: The one from Torchlight (PC) - Suck it, Koromaru!
Best Game That Sounds Like The Title Of A Pornographic Film: World of Goo (PC)
Best Port: Cave Story (WiiWare)
Most Surprisingly Good Game: Street Fighter IV (iPhone)
Best Victory Fanfare: Peggle (iPhone)
Best Game Developed In Iraq For The Commodore Amiga Only To Be Cancelled and Released On The iPhone Fifteen Years Later: Babylonian Twins: The Quest for Peace in Ancient Iraq (iPhone)
I think that's everything. So yeah, I played a few games this year.
Though you wouldn't know it by looking at my "Now Playing" list (that hasn't be updated since February), I've actually been playing a lot of games throughout 2010. Now it's 2011, I think it's time to tell everyone exactly what I've been playing - through a completely unnecessary awards ceremony with categories I thought of off the top of my head, of course! Like last year's awards, the games on here don't necessarily need to have been released last year, just that I obtained and played them at some point in 2010. Some of the categories are also the same, such as:
Prettiest Game - Odin Sphere (PS2)
Yeah, I did just get a PS3, but I wanted to give this award to a game that didn't necessarily need the most powerful graphics to look amazing both artistically and stylistically. Assuming they aren't the same thing. Anyway, I gave it to Odin Sphere for having some of the most gorgeous hand-drawn sprites of any game I've played (obviously I haven't played any games by the same developer). They're detailed, well-animated, and the actual environments look very pretty as well.
Runner up - Machinarium (PC) Also sporting a hand-drawn stile (can I write that word yet? Nope, guess not), Machinarium's steampunk world looks outstanding. Also, it's part of the second Humble Indie Bundle, so you really have no excuse not to play it.
Best Character: Pankraz (Dragon Quest V - DS)
Pankraz was the greatest dad I could've ever asked for. He attacked twice per turn, slapped the royal family and never ever wore a shirt. It's such a shame he ended up being SPOILERed by SPOILER.
Runner up - Sazh (Final Fantasy XIII - PS3) I hate most of Final Fantasy XIII's cast, but to me Sazh stood out as not just one of the most memorable characters in the game, but in the entire series. He was funny, relatable, handy in battle and actually had a decent backstory. But he had a stupid outfit so he only gets second place.
Worst version of a Great Game - The Australian Version of Left 4 Dead 2 (PC)
A shining example of censorship at its absolute worst, the Australian version of Valve's co-op zombie-shooting extravaganza didn't just cut out the blood, guts and corpses to meet an MA 15+ rating, it turned the game into a glitchy mess. Bullets clip through objects and zombies disappear for no reason whatsover... it's kind of an awful game. And I bought it!
Runner up - The PS3 version of Bayonetta Hang on, I just need some time to load this comment..................
Sexiest Character - Chihiro Fushimi (Persona 3 - PS2)
Didn't you just read that? Bayonetta already won an award! I try not to repeat games (trust me, I've got a lot to go through) so I'm giving the sexiest character spot to my Persona 3 main character's current girlfriend, Chihiro. Because sometimes all you need are glasses and a mutual interest in shojo manga.
Runner up - Zero (Mega Man Zero Collection - DS) What? I never said they had to be female! They could be man...robot...things......er, moving right along...
Biggest Timesink - Pokemon HeartGold (DS)
I SUNK 200 HOURS INTO THIS GAME! I HAD TO FORCE MYSELF TO STOP! AND I CAN'T WAIT FOR BLACK AND WHITE TO COME OUT SO I CAN DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN!
Runner up - Pix'n Love Rush (iPhone) Listening to music? I can do it while playing Pix'n Love Rush. Catching up on podcasts? I can do it while playing Pix'n Love Rush. It's the only game I've ever unlocked every achievement in.
Worst Character(s) - The Complete Cast of Mario Kart Wii (Wii)
I don't know what happened here. Either I got sick of these characters in between Mario Kart instalments or they just won't shut up nowadays. Every jump gets a "woohoo!", every item thrown gets a "weehee!" and every tiny snippit of dialogue gets me closer to throwing the Wii Wheel through my screen. Theoretically, of course. Like I'd ever use that plastic piece of
Runner up - Zack and Wiki (Zack and Wiki - Wii) Also seemingly designed with the purpose of being irritatingly cutesy were Zack and Wiki, the titular characters of a game I honestly tried to like and couldn't, due to the fact that I wanted to strangle everyone who opened their mouth.
Best Soundtrack - Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers
You're probably all thinking the same thing right now, but bear with me. This soundtrack is easily one of my favourite Final Fantasy scores and my personal favourite OST of the year. It's all about variation, with a weird mix of clasical (typo intended for dumbass formatting reasons), country, metal, techno, hip-hop, surf rock, big band musicand a myriad of other genres, all pulled off surprisingly well.Even if you wouldn't play the game in a million years (and I don't blame you), at least give the soundtrack a listen.
Best Game I Hated - Counter-Strike Source (PC)
I just couldn't get into it at all. There's definitely a good game here, but there's also absolutely nothing to ease new players in, so I was straight up against people that had been playing Counter-Strike for potentially over a decade. Being in a situation like that, I died a lot and hated the game because of it. Taking a few steps only to be shot in the head and forced to sit out for the rest of the round does not make for a fun game.
Runner up - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2) I'm sure it was an excellent game back when it was first released, but the ugly graphics combined with the clunky controls and horrible aiming made me give up on it too soon. I did spend well over an hour listening to the in-game radio stations, though.
Best Use of Motion Controls - WarioWare Twisted! (GBA)
Remember when Nintendo used to implement motion controls really well? It wasn't on the Wii - it was in WarioWare Twisted! Like any good WarioWare game, the games are fun and (almost) all make use of the incredibly responsive gyrometer in the cartridge in creative ways. So can we all get over motion controls seeing as though they were perfected about six years ago?
Runner up - No More Heroes (Wii) Charging your beam katana. That's all.
Anyway, it's getting late and the battery on my laptop is running out, so I'll leave the awards at that for today. I'll be back next entry with about thirty more winners. Yay?
Despite not being the most active member of GameSpot (and that's an understatement) I felt obligated to at least mention what I got for Christmas this year - a shiny slim PS3 with Uncharted 2, Final Fantasy XIII and the best, in no way broken version of Bayonetta.
My PS3 ID thingy is P_Grif, in case anyone else here has bought a PS3 since I decided to apparently leave Gamespot for good. It's not that I really want to play online multiplayer with any of you at the moment, it's just thatmy friends list is a little barren and adding people on PSN is a whole lot easier than inputting a sixteen digit code (I assume, having not actually added anyone yet). Besides, the only PS3 game I have with any online multiplayer is Uncharted 2, and I haven't really played much of it yet.
On an barely related note, I quite like what GameSpot have done with the Raptr integration while I was away (especially since I already have a Raptr account). Now I can view all my achievements and stuff that rarely syncs because Raptr doesn't really like working with the Mac version of Steam.
Also, a friend got me a preowned copy of Dragon Quest V for Christmas. It's a good game and you should all buy it or something.
My Recent Reviews
Two classic soundtracks and two classic platformers. Apologies to any Dragon Quest fans but this installment belongs to Donkey Kong Country 2 and DuckTales (woo-ooh!)
Choosing the best game music for C was difficult, but I eventually decided on "Vampire Killer" from Castlevania and "Babu Yetu" from Civilisation IV. Just missing out were Chrono Trigger and Crash Twinsanity.
This installment of my "great gaming music" series features the Banjoland music from Banjo-Kazooie Nuts & Bolts set against footage from the original games. B is also for bonus, so make sure you watch this video to the end...
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