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VG247 Staff’s Very Serious Game of the Year Awards

Sunday, 22nd December 2013 21:19 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Following an exhaustive double-blind polling system and extensive consultation with a panel of expert judges, VG247 here presents its very serious and critical 2013 awards. Just like everyone else. Only better.

It’s that time of year; the time when a respectable games outlet must put forth, with all the authority of its critical expertise and popular affiliation, an official Games of the Year list. Once we, the highly-informed, academically-minded, outrageously handsome VG247 staff carve our selection into stone, the year is over; the die is cast; the verdict has been passed. Whatever we say goes, because we are a gaming news site, and that’s how this works, apparently; our opinions are sacrosanct.

You’d better come click through the individual pages we have devoted to each category spread across multiple posts; leave 47 comments outlining your own picks; start a flame war with a fanboy in the opposite camp; and alternately deride or praise us and your fellow readers depending on how closely opinions align with your own. Then we can all close out the traffic-drought end of the year on a high note. So without further ado, here are the VG247 staff’s very serious game of the year picks.

Forgotten Q1 release of the year

Winner: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

You wouldn’t know it to look at most award line-ups, but games do actually come out in months other than October and November. One of 2013′s loveliest releases dropped in January, so long ago that we’ve all totally forgotten the weeks we spent obsessed with its Pokémon-like monster management. It had the gall to be a PS3 exclusive, too, meaning its reception in The Land of Eagles and Apple Pie wasn’t as vocal as might be hoped. Level-5′s little gem is already a dusty artefact of the past.

Runner-up: Gears of War: Judgment

I didn’t put this one on the list because the VG247 crew think it is the shizzle; I put it here because even Microsoft appears to have forgotten all about it. This release just screams “lingering contractual obligation” – so much so that Epic palmed it off on People Can Fly and Microsoft’s promotional efforts are best described as “desultory, bordering on non-existent”. It’s like watching a couple at the end of a relationship when they’re both already secretly and guiltlessly sleeping with other people. You just have to sit tight and hope the dessert trolley makes up for the long silences and sniping.

Trailer best equipped to impart existential horror

Winner: Super Mario 3D World – Trailer 3 (Japanese).

The animations are bad enough, but it’s the genuinely creepy “meow” Mario voices that turns this fursuit-ed extravaganza into nightmare fuel. There’s also an English version, but it’s missing the alarmingly cheerful narration and the English voice actors can’t quite capture the same spirit of coy moustachioed tradesman that makes the Japanese trailer an excellent contraceptive.

Runner-up: Lost Planet 3 – Frozen To Death.

This Lost Planet 3 trailer explains, in detail, exactly what happens when a human being freezes to death. It arrived in the middle of Australia’s winter and Brenna spent the next week crying quietly and refusing to get out of bed. Thanks, Capcom.

Public relations disaster of the year

Winner: Microsoft – Xbox One

Regardless of who actually wins the console war this time (assuming we don’t end up with another tie), the first battle of next-gen was definitely a triumph for Sony. The Japanese Giant didn’t storm home solely on its own merits; it was Microsoft’s fumbling Xbox One reveal strategy that guaranteed a score for its opponent. Microsoft waited three months to show off the Xbox One after the PS4 was revealed, but even with this extra time to prepare it managed to drop the ball by announcing a series of features and systems which horrified the Internet. By the end of its E3 2013 showcase Microsoft had a breathtaking RRP, deeply concerning DRM, privacy concerns and an audience which could be heard grumbling over the live stream. Sony then quietly got up on stage and said “we’re not changing anything and it’s $100 cheaper” to tumultuous applause, and Microsoft spent the next five months furiously backtracking. Good times.

Runner-up: Ouya – everything it did

Oh, Ouya. Ouya, Ouya, Ouya. This was really not your year, and we’re very much afraid it may be the only one you get. The crowdfunded Android microconsole with an insistence on free-to-play is such a good idea on paper, but a disastrous launch and a series of errors has since turned the tide of opinion. Unshipped backer units and poor communication. Dreadful leaked marketing materials. A bizarre, exploitable funding system. About the nicest thing anybody’s had to say about it is that it’s “better than expected” profit-wise and that we should wait and see.

Best Celebrity freak out

Does look an ‘ell of a lot like her. Wha ha ha!

Winner: The Last of Us – Ellen Page on Reddit

The original character model for Ellie in The Last of Us looked quite a lot like actor Ellen Page. Later, Naughty Dog refined the design to have her look a little less like actor Ellen Page. Some people, including actor Ellen Page, still think Ellie looks a hell of a lot like actor Ellen Page, and she said so on Reddit, accusing the developer of ‘ripping her off’, to the dlight of conspiracy theorists everywhere. I’m no lawyer wizard, but I’m pretty sure Sony could have gotten legally indignant about this if it wanted to. Happily, it hasn’t yet gone batshit insane – actor Ellen Page appears extensively in Sony stablemate Beyond: Two Souls (starring actor Ellen Page).

Runner-up: Grand Theft Auto 5 – Lindsay Lohan rumour

This one ought to be the winner, but we don’t know if it’s actually true or not. Lindsay Lohan is believed to be marshalling her lawyers to address a couple of missions in Grand Theft Auto 5 which, not to put to fine a point on it, certainly do seem to take the piss out of the former child actor and her tabloid-favourite adult exploits. Celebrities suing developers isn’t a new thing but it’s always worth a laugh. Rockstar has quite a lot of money with which to pay its lawyers.

Shoehorn in as many features as possible because it’s all we want to play at the moment

Winner: Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag

Pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates.

Runner-up: Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag

Pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates pirates.

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7 Comments

  1. absolutezero

    “Australia’s winter”

    This is not a thing is it? I refuse to believe this is a thing outside of simply nomenclature of a time of the year.

    #1 9 months ago
  2. fengato

    ^ Believe it or not, we do go below zero celsius down south – but yes you’re right about the northern parts of Oz.

    #2 9 months ago
  3. SplatteredHouse

    Sessler’s bound to be gutted that he got pipped for Best Celebrity Freak Out, this year. I thought he was a shoe-in for that one!

    #3 9 months ago
  4. bradk825

    Gears was fun and the new mode was fantastic where you have to protect the cover etc.. Unfortunately despite the hard work of the devs to make something fun, it met with so little fan-fare and so little marketing that it was a shoe-in for this award.

    AC4: Yup. Pirates. ‘Nuff said.

    #4 9 months ago
  5. Ireland Michael

    I kinda get the feeling that Brenna got to the fifth award, then just threw her hands up in the air and said “Fuck it, it’s Christmas, I’m done!”

    #5 9 months ago
  6. Christopher Jack

    @2, No idea where you maybe from but I’m from SOUTH Australia (just North of Adelaide) & I can assure you days below 0 are about as common as days reaching mid 40s which is like pretty damn rare(early 40s still happen a few times per year though). I assume you mean South Eastern- Melbourne & Ho(mer-)bart in particular.

    #6 9 months ago
  7. Animeboy413

    Merry Christmas Brenna :D

    #7 9 months ago

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