QT3 2012 Year-End Awards

I missed half the dialog in BL2 because I was busy shooting things / getting attacked. Well done, devs. Voice overs are free, right?

Best game that didn’t stop the action to force me to listen to the dialogue, seriously you guys, you want the Gears of War earpiece-and-walk system?: Borderlands 2

Best bargain surprise: Warlock: Master of the Arcane. I bought it on a whim for $7 during a Steam sale, and was pleasantly surprised to find this game I hadn’t heard of was 75% of what I want out of a Master of Magic-alike.

Most Improved:
Warlock: Master of the Arcane again. Since I bought it, it’s received several free AI improvements/feature additions/bug fixes, plus a bunch of DLC. So it’s now more like 85% of what I want out of a Master of Magic-alike.

Now all I need is time to actually play it…

The problem for me is I want to listen to the dialogue but can’t because they just started the 12 pages of dialogue at the beginning of a boss battle and the stupid thing is attacking me so I’m having to play the game and can’t listen to the dialogue effectively. It’s immersive and doesn’t break pacing but hell if I can figure out what’s going on.

Best reskin of a classic genre: Drox Operative.

Most legitimate use of crates in a game: Cargo Commander.

Most valuable nostalgia trip: Lone Survivor.

Most valuable acid trip: Hotline Miami

The “Holy shit I can’t believe they’re still releasing DLC” award: Magicka.

Most dangerous game to bring along on a train or bus ride: Polara

Worst Way to Die 2012: DayZ, when I broke my legs opening a door while prone. I pathetically shuffled backwards out of the room until I heard gunfire outside the building. I had just enough time to turn my head with TrackIR before someone blew me away with an automatic weapon. I’ll remember that story for a long time. Well, thanks to your reminder!

The Hazing Award: Dark Souls. One of the problems with this game is that it really does become too routine once you level up and improve your knowledge and skill at the game. The first playthrough is just a ritual that pledges have to go through so the brothers can drink the delicious tears. Aside from that, I think experienced players probably lose perspective. They forget why it’s difficult. I don’t think it’s a superiority complex.

Best reminder that Facebook games are not going to get better: Outernauts.

“Bundles love me, don’t they” lifetime award: Bit.Trip.Runner

“Best reason to stay indoors in the winter” award: Ski Safari

“Most deaths per second” winner: Super Hexagon

“Achievements from Hell” honorary achivement: Sine Mora

The “Life Isn’t Fair” Award: City of Heroes

The Biggest “Fuck You, PC Gamers” Award: Fez

The “Use Only One Skill for 50 Levels” Award: Torchlight II

The “More of the Same” Award: King’s Bounty: Warriors of the North

Best use of doors in a game: Faster Than Light

Best game where I had no idea what was happening but it was awesome: Frog Fractions

Best game that I totally enjoyed but don’t want to replay: XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Best subtitle: Dungeons of Dredmor: You Have To Name The Expansion Pack

Best subtitle: Unity of Command: Red Turn. It’s an expansion pack featuring a campaign for the Soviet Union after Stalingrad. Sorry: earnest, amusingly literal foreigners beat hipster irony this time.

Best expansion of a 13 year old game Everquest, Reign of Fear

The wait - this text-only social game is actually awesome award: Fallen London/Echo Bazaar. I devoured that game.

Best “What The Hell, Brian Rubin?” award: Sol Exodus

Best Brian Rubin redemption recommendation: Drox Operative

Worst “Give us all your monies” Kickstarter campaign: Old School RPG / Shaker

Least likely to meet its funding goal award: Grimoire

Best “space sims are not dead” moment: Star Citizen reaching $7m.

Best “I’m 14 years old again” moment: Firing up Legend of Grimrock for the first time.

What? Hey, that was a fun game for me and I reported it as such. :P

Um, yay? Had no idea I needed redemption, but…yay…

Now, for my nods:

Game that almost made me re-up my old anti-depressant med prescription: FTL

Game that made me wish every space sim used Freespace 2’s engine: SOL: Exodus (I liked the game, but Unreal for a space sim? Really?)

Most surprisingly awesome game using Freespace 2’s engine: Wing Commander Saga

Kickstarter campaign that made me the most angry: Elite: Dangerous (I still hate it. Bloody tossers.)

Best gaming moment of 2012: Winning a war in Distant Worlds: Legends when I totally wasn’t prepared for it at the start of said war. SO satisfying.

Saddest moment of 2012: Jumpgate being shut down. (RIP old friend)

Possibly best gaming purchase of 2012: My first-ever Playstation 2. Loving it so much.

Best game I was excited about initially, but have barely played since: Borderlands 2. It’s fun, but there’s so much else to play right now!

Game in which the soundtrack is better than the actual game: Endless Space. Love the soundtrack, game puts me to sleep.

Gawd, I’m sorry. :/

Best “running aimlessly for like 10 minutes only to be shot and killed in 2 seconds” - Planetside 2 (Honorable mention to Day Z)

Maybe we can just give them away? - THQ Humble Bundle

Jon Rowe’s annual game built for Jon Rowe game of the year - Frog Fractions

There are like 2 songs, but I can’t get them out of my head. - 10000000

The alt-tab, wiki, alt-tab, wiki, alt-tab, wiki award - Minecraft Tekkit

The “You’ve gotta be kidding me… there is more to this?” award - Xcom: Enemy Unknown First Alien Base level

Best use of a can of coke - Day Z

MMO game that made me realize I can never ever again reach that high of WoW circa 2005 - Guild Wars 2

Best game for learning russian curse words: DOTA 2.

The “Last game in a genre I love so I better at least like it (and I do)” award: Wipeout 2048 may be a bit sluggish for this Wipeout HD aficionado, but I keep coming back. RIP, futuristic racing games.

Worst update to a once great mode Early versions of Halo 4 contained Firefight with randomized objectives across multiple maps.vhttp://www.oxm.co.uk/47817/halo-4-spartan-ops-used-to-be-a-firefight-type-mode-was-meant-to-be-replayable/

Best case for scaled enemies: Dragon’s Dogma - because all combat encounters were mere busy work by the time I reached level 25. A limited application of scaling would do wonders for this otherwise great game. I still want to go back and see if it gets better.

Most frustratingly broken game: Twisted Metal - Great risk/reward action game design and and the kind of campy horror personality you don’t see outside of Painkiller sequels. NOT YA STANDARD SHOOTER. Console gaming in 2012 really could have used this, but it was undone by AI that can’t play the game and broken multiplayer.

The “Can’t possibly live up to its initial promise” award: Assassin’s Creed 3, for solving problems that have been with the series from the start and laying the foundation for an intricate, thematically strong econ metagame in the first four sequences. If the worst that happens as I continue to play is a lack of money sinks, I’ll still be really happy with what’s been done here. Ubisoft, here’s how to fix AC’s economy in future games: gate plot progression with money requirements if you can’t come up with meaninful gameplay incentives, and/or balance the economy around the presence of microbuyable currency (seriously).

Best first appearance of the hero at the king’s court scene: Dragon’s Dogma.

Best use of troll enemies who react ‘differently’ if you are playing a female character: Dragon’s Dogma

Best Soundtracks of 2012: Dustforce, XCOM, Hotline Miami