First Annual Potaku Game of the Year Awards: Ynefel’s Choices

2012 comes to an end and Potaku wraps up it’s GOTY community choice awards!

This year is a tough one for me. For most of the year, I was cursed with that most terrible of afflictions – paralysis caused by severe indecision on what game to play. Played a lot of games, but don’t think I gave a lot the time they really deserved.  That being said, there were several standouts that should make this list relatively easy to write.

The “Why the Hell Did They Release This Garbage” award for Super Shittiness: It’s a rare thing for me to be struck by just how terrible a game is, and thankfully I haven’t been struck in quite some time. This year, I actually can’t think of anything that deserves this, to be honest.

Most Bomb-Ass Character: I’m going to say Death from Darksiders 2. Wouldn’t have thought myself naming this guy, but he just oozes style and coolness, without overdoing it. He’s also voiced by Michael Wincott, who is pretty darned cool himself.

Coolest “HOLY SHIT” Moment: Maybe not the ‘coolest’ HOLY SHIT moments, but Spec Ops : The Line held the most ‘HOLY SHIT/OMFG’ moments of any game I’ve played this year. I can’t say too much without affecting the story for anyone who hasn’t played, but anyone who has will know what I’m talking about. Wish I could elaborate further, but some powerful stuff in that game.

Most Kick Ass Multiplayer: DayZ. Does this count? I mean it’s an Arma 2 mod, but is destined for standalone country. This presented an entirely new aspect of multiplayer for me – people often complained of DayZ degenerating into team deathmatch, but I rarely found that to be the case. The tension of seeing someone and not knowing if you should be shooting at them, attempting to make contact or just slip away unnoticed created some insanely tense and very unique situations. Couple this dynamic with DayZ’s ‘permadeath’ scenario, and shit got real, very very quick.

The “This Music is Making Ear Love to Me” award for Best Soundtrack: Last year had some AMAZING choices, but this year, I wasn’t so aurally entertained. If anything, I found the Diablo 3 score pretty amazing, and after attending Video Games Unplugged in Melbourne with MSO, it cemented this one as a pretty classy choice. Epic sound, suiting the game perfectly. Whilst Diablo 3 wasn’t everything I hoped it would be, the music was definitely up to standard.

Keanu Reeves’ “Whoa” Trailer of the Year: Call me strange, but Armored Core V. As a long time fan of the series, From Software make some incredible trailers and sequences for their games. Combine their talent with huge-ass mechs wielding insanely large weapons and engaging in wholesale destruction, the results are goosebump-inducing. I watched this trailer until the goosebumps stopped occurring, grinning like an idiot each and every time. Nobody does mecha like the Japanese, and I mean nobody.

The Outta Left Field award for Most Surprising Game: Spec Ops : The Line. This one leapt out of the brush, kicked me in the nuts, stole my wallet and ran away flashing me it’s junk as it went. I disregarded it when it was released, assuming it was just another 3rd person, cover based, possible dudebro shooter. It wasn’t until I heard the extensive rumblings on Twitter some months later I decided to make the plunge, after spotting it cheap on one of our favourite digital distribution sites. Totally caught me off guard, smashed it out in a day, then spent the next several hours pondering the game. Normally such musings are reserved for thought-provoking films.

Best Use of Your Money award for DLC: This is a tough one. Can I suggest the best value DLC was that included in the cost of my Arkham City Armoured Edition for Wii U? Because, you know. It was included. And stuff. I honestly think that Dawnguard for Skyrim was pretty great, but then it did ruffle a few feathers with it’s price on release. $20+ for DLC was a little unheard of, but I honestly felt for the amount of content, it was justified. So maybe not remarkably great value? But great DLC regardless.

The “Someone Painted This With a Goddamn Rainbow” award for Best Art Style: Rayman Origins Vita. This game looks amazing. The character design, the colors, the levels, everything. It’s nigh on impossible to play this without a smile breaking out on your face at some point. Thoroughly enjoyable!

Most Dick Kickingest Game of the Year: Spec Ops : The Line. Holy. Shit. Anyone who listens to my drivel on Twitter will be familiar with my ravings on this game. Entirely unique, entirely unexpected and just downright amazing. It ‘s a shooter with a conscience, and does things I’ve never even seen anyone attempt in a video game. The fact it tried, and very much succeeded wins this for me. Not just for innovation, but pulling it off so well. I can’t elaborate too much, as I don’t think we’re past spoiler date yet, but just wow.

All in all, it was a pretty solid year for video games on the whole, and I’m looking forward to seeing what next year brings us as we (hopefully) approach the end of the current console life cycle. History shows us that some of the games we see at the very end of a console’s life cycle can be very surprising, and often some of the best.

Vidja gaems! \o/

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