We now move into community choices for our game of the year awards! We start with BlueMaxima and his Vita Obsession (AKA Blue’s Top Games of 2012)
Before I begin, the Vita was pretty much all I played this year, and I do not regret a second of it. The thing is a portable powerhouse and I love pretty much every game I played (note, PRETTY MUCH…don’t remind me about Pinky Spots Leg Massage). So all of my awards for this year are going to the completely underrated and mostly ignored Vita game library this year. DEAL WITH IT (meme image).
The “Why the Hell Did They Release This Garbage” award for Super Shittiness: OK, the one thing I need to point out is that the game I am going to mention does NOT deserve a lot of the bad rap it gets. Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified is something that was made in 9 months off the back of a different engine – the fact that this game is PLAYABLE is actually amazing. Not to mention you can actually ENJOY the multiplayer once in a while – the maps have decent design and issues are actually not that common if you do the smart thing and open a DMZ to your Vita (a lot of people do port forwarding for PC and console gaming, why does the Vita get flack for needing it?) But the AI is clumsy, the graphics aren’t that great and the campaign is pretty sucky (but no-one in their right mind buys CoD for the singleplayer and not the multiplayer, come off it). So can I have this award be the “Best game released with a 9-month development window with Activison not willing to spend any money whatsoever” award? No? Fine, it goes to Pinky Spots Leg Massage. Diahrrea? Really?!
Most Bomb-Ass Character: Can I give this award to 9 or 10 characters in Virtue’s Last Reward? The other prisoners each have their own cool points about them – suave Dio, luscious Alice, secretive Clover, ball of joy Quark, old wise ass Tenmyouji, pretty and polite Luna, mysterious Phi, and guy in a damn robot suit K. Can’t forget about Zero III as well. “SIGGY! PHIDO!” They’ve all got their own little secrets, which you spend most of the game finding out, and if you have a connection to the returning cast (such as Alice or Clover) then you’ll just grow to love them even more. There’s many more to love in VLR as well but I dare not mention in case of spoiling it. It’s basically the best cast of bastards I’ve had the pleasure to meet in a game since, well, 999. Not to mention the voice acting is freaking excellent throughout the game. Runners up go to Crow and Alias in Gravity Rush.
Coolest “HOLY SHIT” Moment: The ending to Virtue’s Last Reward was the biggest mindscrew I’ve had in YEARS. I’m not even going to remotely mention ANY plot point in case I end up spoiling it for people, but the game basically decides to mind screw you with talk of many scientific principles, more connections back to the first game in the series than you’re aware of at that point, a massive set of revelations about the world, and then, if you get 100% completion, the mind screw is taken about 10 levels higher, and then you need to take a day or so to figure out what the fuck just happened. It’s amazing, rewarding, confusing, fantastic, mindbending, astonishing, revealing, and truly a “HOLY SHIT” moment not only for the year, but for the ages. Runner up moments go to DJMax Technika Tune for a literal “HOLY SHIT” moment when you have to use both fingers, and that moment when you first open your Vita and play a game of Uncharted Golden Abyss. “Wait, a handheld can really do this level of graphics? HOLY SHIT!”
Most Kick Ass Multiplayer: Unfortunately the Vita doesn’t have much in the way of multiplayer – a lot of games omit multiplayer probably due to time constraints (Uncharted Golden Abyss and Rayman Origins) or have unusual forms of multiplayer (Assasin’s Creed 3 Liberation pops to mind). But there are a fair few traditional experiences on the Vita – Need for Speed and PlayStation All Stars come to mind, but my favorite has to be Call of Duty Black Ops Declassified on this one. Put your Vita in a demilitarized zone and shoot some fellas – it feels like Call of Duty through and through, although smaller. Which is the way it should be. Runners up are NFS and PSABR – NFS has lag issues (I’ve ended up on top of someone’s car more times than I’ve made them crash) and PSABR has many issues (such as random character switching and non-international parties).
The “This Music is Making Ear Love to Me” award for Best Soundtrack: “Doo-doo-doo-doo-doooooo…doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doooooo…” Anyone who has played Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward knows exactly what track I’m talking about here. That intro is so soul-stirring it drives me nuts. The rest of the soundtrack isn’t quite as awesome but for the experience it gives at each point in the game, it does perfectly – tension to light hearted moments all get an extremely appropriate track, and it’s better to have a fitting soundtrack instead of a good soundtrack in my opinion. A well deserved third win. Runner up has to be DJMax with it’s awesome K-Pop selection and Persona 4 Golden…”Heartbreak, Heartbreak”…
Keanu Reeves’ “Whoa” Trailer of the Year: The Vita doesn’t get that many trailers which kind of sucks – the trailers are always reserved for the bretheren on the consoles or generally aren’t that good, so let’s rename this award to Keanu Reeves’ “Woah” Intro Movie of the Year, and THAT honor has got to go to Wipeout 2048. It does the best job in getting you ready – great music, lovely visuals and ending out on a lovely shot of the game logo. Or, if we replace “Opening Movie” with “Best Background Visualization”, Lumines and DJMax are neck and neck, both having awesome soundtracks and awesome visuals to go with it.
The Outta Left Field award for Most Surprising Game: Persona 4 Golden. Please stop flipping tables at me and give me a chance to explain. I’m not the biggest stranger to Persona, since I did put a few hours into a copy of Persona 3 Portable before my PSP died. Saw this coming and didn’t feel much for it, but of course, me being the Vita whore that I am, bought it day one and got hooked. The character development and story crossed with fun as bollocks dungeon crawling just melded into something that I didn’t remotely expect to be anywhere as good as it was. Hence, how it perfectly deserves the “Outta Left Field” award.
Best Use of Your Money award for DLC: The best racing game on the Vita is without a doubt, Wipeout 2048. This game was fast, furious and didn’t let up for a second. Nevertheless a lot of people including myself don’t have it as game of the year, but hot damn did the DLC surprise me. The DLC added all of Wipeout HD AND Wipeout HD Fury on the PS3 to the Vita version – 24 tracks, 36 ships, and both campaigns for both games. How much did it cost? $13. And if you owned Wipeout HD and Wipeout HD Fury already, the DLC was FREE. And if you owned a PS3, buying the DLC on Vita gave you access to the PS3 games as well. I think this counts as the best use of your money? Runner up has to be Escape Plan – the game has had one free DLC adding extra levels, and one DLC only cost 99 cents the first two weeks it launched.
The “Someone Painted This With a Goddamn Rainbow” award for Best Art Style: A lot of games could have won this award thanks to the Vita’s kickass screen alone, admittedly. There’s plenty of games that manage to look amazing on the Vita – you’ve got Uncharted with it’s jungle bliss, Need for Speed with it’s giant open world, Gravity Rush for somehow managing to look good while flying through at 50kph, LittleBigPlanet having a level of graphics exactly on par with either of the console games, and Sound Shapes proving simplicity is pure bliss. But I think I need to give the award to BlazBlue Continuum Shift Extend – the absolutely amazing animation and arena work in the game looks truly beautiful on the Vita screen. It never gets boring to look at, and that’s just a massive win.
Most Dick Kickingest Game of the Year: Did you read the awards I gave out? You already know. Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward is my favorite game since 999. An amazing set of characters, a truly mesmerizing plot, amazing puzzles, and the best ending to a story that I can recall in a long time, Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward is the one game that justifies the thousands of dollars I have spent on my Vita alone, and the thirty-five hours I have spent on it will never leave my memory. Runners up are any other game that has gotten a mention on this list, even in passing. Hell, there’s a fair amount I’m missing just because I can’t fit any of them into these categories.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments! Want to write your own article like this? Get in contact with us! We’re looking to run these lists from anyone in the community!