Game of the Year 2012 Part 2: Special Awards

There will always be a handful of highly anticipated games every year that just don’t quite live up to expectations.

By azn_pride, Posted 01 Jan 2013

In case you missed it, here is part 1 of NoobFeed’s GOTY 2012 awards. That said, onto part 2!

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

There will always be a handful of highly anticipated games every year that just don’t quite live up to expectations. These titles aren’t exactly terrible, mind you. We wanted to love these games, but there were just some significant aspects that made those experiences less-than-stellar. In short, these games make us sad.

Resident Evil 6 (PC, 360, PS3)
Final Fantasy XIII-2 (360, PS3)
Painkiller Hell & Damnation (360, PS3)
Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault (PS3, Vita)
Dragon’s Dogma (360, PS3)

And the “winner” is…

Resident Evil 6

Resident Evil has earned a reputation for being one of the best survival horror franchises on the market. It’s obvious there were only high expectations for one of Capcom’s most prized possessions, especially when trying to recreate the great success of Resident Evil 4. When Resident Evil 6 was first announced on January 19, 2012, people were amazed with the graphics. At E3 2012, Capcom put the icing on the cake by showing another trailer that further described the plot and we wondered if it would alleviate the pain that Resident Evil 5 caused. RE6 simply didn’t deliver. Instead, the final product was nothing more than uninspiring with loads of quick-time events and a cinematic flair that did nothing to pull us in. It attempts to remain loyal to its survival horror roots but strays too far, building on both foreign and similar territory to accommodate loyalist and action junkies.

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

As we are slowly experiencing a trending shift to the digital age -- where consumers nowadays would rather get their games on-the-go than run out to the nearest electronics store and purchase them on disc -- we also saw the quality of downloadable titles rise. There were surely a ton of them in 2012, which put some of the year’s big-budget blockbusters to shame.

Journey (PS3)
Spelunky (PC, 360)
The Walking Dead (PC, 360, PS3)
Dust: An Elysian Tale (360)
Fez (360)

And the winner is…

The Walking Dead

Lee Everett’s journey to protect the young girl Clementine was an emotional roller coaster that had fans smitten from beginning to end. The wait for the next episode to finally come out had us anxious, to say the least. Throughout the episodic adventure The Walking Dead, you’re introduced to a cast of excellent characters that were molded based on the decisions and relationships Lee made, allowing shifts from reliable friend to potential adversary. Many of these choices question whether morality or survival is more important. What made The Walking Dead truly stand out was seeing the consequences of your decisions. The Walking Dead is an emotional journey that has you caring for the characters throughout this odyssey in ways that other games can only dream of doing. Telltale Games have truly crafted a masterpiece. 

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

One thing we all should take to heart: While it’s easy to dismiss a game you either have no interest in or have very low expectations for, those hidden gems can turn out to be better than you were initially anticipating. Here are the five nominees we thought were going to be garbage, but had a great time playing them.

F1 Race Stars (PC, 360, PS3, WiiU)
Blades of Time (PC, 360, PS3)
Naruto Shippuuden Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations (360, PS3)
Planetside 2 (PC)
Saint Seiya: Sanctuary Battle (PS3)

And the winner is…

Planetside 2

On the surface, Planetside 2 seems like a recipe for disaster: A massively multiplayer, first-person shooter (MMOFPS) that follows a sleazy free-to-play model. But don’t let that description turn you off; Planetside 2 is greater than the sum of its parts. Its giant continents (three in total) can house up to 2,000 players at once, taking the intense action to extremely overwhelming heights. It takes patience to understand and get a feel for the game’s mechanics, but it’s worth going through some frustrating deaths the first time around to get there. Planetside 2 also has fantastic visuals that you can’t help but be in awe every time you jump in. The time we spent with Planetside 2 is one that’s simply breathtaking, and one you should try for yourself.

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

A great storyline often moves a video game from the ordinary to the remarkable. It plays a large part in how we react emotionally, leaving one shocked, elated, and even depressed. Each of our nominees for the Best Story category did such, making enjoyable gameplay even better with an extraordinary narrative.

Spec Ops: The Line (PC, 360, PS3)
Dishonored (PC, 360, PS3)
Guild Wars 2 (PC)
The Walking Dead (PC, 360, PS3)
Assassin’s Creed III (PC, 360, PS3, WiiU)

And the winner is…

The Walking Dead

Telltale's episodic series kept us waiting month after month. Each episode ended with gamers wanting more, anxiously anticipating the next episode. What kept people coming back to the point-and-click series episode after episode? Its story. The Walking Dead’s narrative gave us various reactions; smiling at some brief but happy moments, sobbing like babies in the game’s most dramatic moments, and nearly emptied our stomachs from fierce, gory segments. These nauseating, tearful moments led to one of the most emotional endings to a game this year.

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

This year has been an especially good one for video game music.  From the sweeping orchestral score of Journey to the varied musical stylings of Sound Shapes, developers have poured some fantastic time and effort into game music this year.

Hotline Miami (PC)
Assassin’s Creed III (PC, 360, PS3, WiiU)
Sound Shapes (PS3, Vita)
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP (PC)
Guild Wars 2 (PC)

And the winner is…

Hotline Miami

Hotline Miami’s soundtrack makes Hotline Miami such a strange, surreal experience. Its music acts in concert with its pulsating visuals to make it feel as though you’re undergoing some really strong, crazy drug-fueled trip. The soundtrack is a major part of what makes Hotline Miami such a memorable experience. Without it, the game would be just another intense, fast-paced game of trial-and-error excellence. Music is key to Hotline Miami’s identity. That’s not something you can say for most games. It’s for that reason that Hotline Miami wins this award.

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

Our nominees are all well-written characters, each with their own distinctive traits that make them unforgettable at best. Their compelling personalities and interactions with the world they inhabit and other people help flesh these fine individuals out and bring out the best in them. We hope to see more of these characters in future games.

Martin Walker (Spec Ops: The Line)
Wei Shen (Sleeping Dogs)
Haytham Kenway (Assassin’s Creed III)
Samuel Beechworth (Dishonored)
Lee Everett (The Walking Dead)

And the winner is…

Lee Everett (The Walking Dead)

A man on the verge of imprisonment gets a second chance when the zombie apocalypse arrives. Assumed to be violent and unable to redeem himself by many, Lee Everett proves that even the worst mistakes can be forgiven through love and loyalty. Lee Everett is NoobFeed's Best New Character because he was selfless throughout, making decisions based only on how they would affect one little girl or even an entire group. He has often put himself and others in danger, even letting others die. Lee Everett evoked many feelings in gamers. If not for him, the experience in TWD surely would not have been the emotional rollercoaster that it was.

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

Let’s face it: Many games feature poor voice work. Whether it’s “actors” speaking only in monotone, failing to get a certain accent right or a script so bad they’re compensating with what they have, terrible voice acting is everywhere. Still, there are plenty that actually do fantastic voice work, making characters they portray believable and memorable. These games prove it.

Sleeping Dogs (PC, 360, PS3)
Assassin’s Creed III (PC, 360, PS3, WiiU)
The Walking Dead (PC, 360, PS3)
Guild Wars 2 (PC)
Far Cry 3 (PC, 360, PS3)

And the winner is…

Sleeping Dogs

There was something about the rampant cursing and occasional excerpts in Cantonese that stuck with us while playing through the game formerly known as True Crime: Hong Kong. Sleeping Dogs isn’t one of those games that try too hard to be “edgy” or “dark” just for the sake of being edgy or dark. The near-perfect delivery of lines and a well-written script were convincing enough to make you feel like you truly were experiencing Hong Kong at its best…and at its absolute worst. All the more impressive when you’ve got a cast consisting of Will Yun Lee, James Hong, Tom Wilkinson, Kelly Hu, and others. In a time when developers are hiring celebrities to lend their talents in games but deliver mediocre performances, Sleeping Dogs does the same, but does it right. Heck, even Emma Stone -- who is only in the game for 10-15 minutes -- did well for herself.

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

Art direction is a key part of a game’s graphics. Technical prowess is meaningless without a good art style to back it up. It’s why so many games that strive for realism look so dull: because they focus squarely on technical proficiency. It’s what gives games their identity, visually speaking, even when they are otherwise identical to their peers in terms of gameplay or setting or what have you.

Dishonored (PC, 360, PS3)
Guild Wars 2 (PC)
Planetside 2 (PC)
Journey (PS3)
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (PC, 360, PS3, Vita, 3DS, WiiU)

And the winner is…

Dishonored

Dishonored wins because its art sets a compelling stage. The city of Dunwall is equal parts breathtaking and dreadful. The populated districts exhibit a vibrant, lively landscape full of winding roads and interesting people, whilst the slums depict an abandoned, desolate wasteland, lending as clear a picture of the horrid effects the plague that threatens Dunwall’s citizenry. Their strange, almost cartoonish features -- slightly oversized hands, for instance -- lend a unique touch on the otherwise dark, gritty world and atmosphere. It all works to add to the mystery and allure to Dishonored’s unique world.

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

Humor may be highly subjective, but it can’t hurt to have some laugh out loud moments with games that don’t take themselves too seriously. They don’t necessarily have to be the best playing experiences, but when your day suddenly brightens after being in a depressed state, the game has done its job well.

Lego Lord of the Rings (PC, 360, PS3, Vita, DS, 3DS, Wii)
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (PC, 360, PS3, Vita, DS, 3DS, Wii)
Retro City Rampage (PC, PS3, Vita, Wii)
Lollipop Chainsaw (360, PS3)
Borderlands 2 (PC, 360, PS3)

And the winner is…

Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

Solid voice acting, crazy banter between characters, slapstick moments, fourth wall jokes, and an overall lighthearted tone are what make this game the funniest of 2012. From Vicki Vale’s fairly sarcastic news broadcasts to Superman dragging Batman around with his cape, Lego Batman 2 produces some ridiculous moments you’ll end up chuckling to. What works surprisingly well is that Lego Batman 2 is fully-voiced, which actually gets the humor across better than mere gestures and facial expressions could.

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

Daav cares about informing our readers about whether or not a game is worth their time. Therefore, it’s not unsurprising that all these mismatched, glitched, and broken piles of release abortions were reviewed by him. The things he does, so you don’t have to. Make sure you thank Daav next time you see him. He has seen dark times.

Ravaged (PC)
Legends of Pegasus (PC)
Planet Crashers (3DS)
Jane's Advanced Strike Fighters (PC, 360, PS3)
Smash 'n' Survive (PS3)

And the “winner” is…

Legends of Pegasus

Let’s be honest: Everyone loses in this category. Yet none are sadder than Legends of Pegasus; a game with tremendous potential that had a horrible start and quickly crashed and burned down in a nightmarish spin of events. From an unplayable and shot release build to dozens of patches, it didn’t solve the fact that the game was simply unfinished and a source of frustration for everyone. Saves disappeared, campaigns broke down, planet customization was vague and insignificant, combat features didn’t work, the in-game intelligence was dead and the ambitious multiplayer was non-existent. It’s not surprising that the game eventually got pulled from sale by Steam. In a teary sob story, the developer even went out of business, so the once promising game of elaborate ship designs and space conquest will remain as shredded ruins floating in space: A lost and long forgotten relic of what was once a bright idea.

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

Indie games can be defined by the size of their development team. Indie developers are usually no bigger than a small handful of people, unlike the hundreds upon hundreds of major development houses. The difference is becoming less obvious, however, with the independent works getting better and better each year.

Waking Mars (PC, Android, iPhone)
Dustforce (PC)
FTL: Faster Than Light (PC)
Hotline Miami (PC)
Legend of Grimrock (PC)

And the winner is…

Hotline Miami

No game signified this better than Hotline Miami. Its electric mix of grimy, psychedelic, pixelated visuals, and rocking techno beats and guitar riffs create a very strange, unsettling, murderous trip through 1980s Miami. The fast-paced, trial-and-error thrill of killing swiftly and efficiently is intoxicating. The narrative is compelling, questioning both yours and the character’s motivations for these massacres. It’s deliciously violent and endlessly addictive. You’ll likely feel disquieted by how quickly you gleefully relish each and every kill, but that won’t stop you from going through it one, two, maybe three or four more times.


Also, Happy New Year to all of you from NoobFeed! Game of the Year 2012 coming soon!


Also check,

Game of the Year 2012 Part 1: Genre Awards

Game of the Year 2012 Part 3: GOTY Winner

comments powered by Disqus

  • Planetside 2, son! Get some!



    In all seriousness, even if it's in a "surprisingly" good category, I'm pleased to see that underdog game receive the commendation it deserves. Also, Sleeping Dogs and the parts where it's probably dismissed the most. The interactions between Wei Shen and Jackie Ma really stuck with me on how they go from boyish antics in the beginning to truly dark and troubling insights later on. Jackie played a terrific side role in that game that centered the morality aspect, which also gets overlooked for simply being bars on a screen. Subtle game design I feel deserves recognition.


    Posted Jan 01, 2013

  • @Daavpuke: I couldn't agree more in the Jackie Ma and Wei Shen interactions. There are quite a few things that stuck with me as well, that included. Another one for me would be the wedding events. That was pretty brutal, and I really felt bad about the fate of Winston and Peggy.





    I should go back and play that game again. Sleeping Dogs is fun as hell.


    Posted Jan 01, 2013

  • It's heartbreaking to see Final Fantasy XIII-2 in that  category. I personally loved it. 


    Posted Jan 04, 2013

  • @Grayshadow: I really wanted to be in the same boat as you, but there were just some things for me in FFXIII-2 that bummed me out. I think, in some respects, it's a better game than XIII, but some things they add and try to improve on didn't sit well with me. To an extent, the side quests are fun, but that fun didn't last in the long run. In fact, some ended up being incredibly frustrating for me. I didn't like the story (I personally thought it was terrible) and characters.



     



    XIII-2 is not a bad game though; not even close. It just makes me not look forward to future FF titles now. Not interested in Lightning Returns and slowly believing more that Versus XIII will never come out. At least in this day and age.


    Posted Jan 04, 2013

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Game of the Year 2012

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC, WII, 3DS, Vita, Mobile
Publisher(s): NoobFeed
Developer(s): N/A
Genres: N/A
Themes: N/A
Release Date: 2012-01-01

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