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2011 Game of the Year Media Picks Thread

kingschiebi

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I nominate the two best games of the year.

Dark Souls
Witcher 2

Not including these games in the game of the year discussion would be a joke.

Would also love to see those getting a bit more recognition.
If I had to settle down on one of them, I'd go with the Witcher 2 so far.
While Dark Souls is superior in gameplay and Skyrim's world may be bigger, in hindsight the Witcher 2 had the right balance of believable characters (as far as that can go in a fantasy world), a story that's ultimately about people with different competing aims (none of them being the archetypical "destroy everything - hurr") and engaging, tactical combat.
My perception may still be tainted by playing W2 right after Dragon Age 2, but it still stands as one of the very few games that I replayed this year.
It's also impressed me again with getting meaningful in-game choices right without going the polarizing evil/good route. As with the predecessor, everything is simply a choice with consequences which are ultimately judged by no other than the player him- or herself and not a developer that already color coded the good/bad/sarcastic answer for me.

As for Dark Souls, what else is to say than it being possibly the best envisionment of the metroid/castlevania in a 3D space.
Yes, there was Lords of Shadow (which I really liked), but that is more along the lines of Super Castlevania 4 where Dark Souls lends itself more to Symphony of the Night.

Personally, Skyrim should be on top of my list after a good 150 hours playtime, but despite all its improvements, the actual stories/quests seem a bit flat. It would be cynical to say that I enjoyed about 20-30 hours of gameplay, while spending the rest of the time in search for those 2-3 really great questlines (i.e. in comparison to Oblivion's Sheogorath questline), but it isn't too far from the truth either. Skyrim is certainly a great game, but it just didn't manage to capture me as much as either the Witcher 2 or Dark Souls.
 

Deadstar

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Would also love to see those getting a bit more recognition.
If I had to settle down on one of them, I'd go with the Witcher 2 so far.
While Dark Souls is superior in gameplay and Skyrim's world may be bigger, in hindsight the Witcher 2 had the right balance of believable characters (as far as that can go in a fantasy world), a story that's ultimately about people with different competing aims (none of them being the archetypical "destroy everything - hurr") and engaging, tactical combat.
My perception may still be tainted by playing W2 right after Dragon Age 2, but it still stands as one of the very few games that I replayed this year.
It's also impressed me again with getting meaningful in-game choices right without going the polarizing evil/good route. As with the predecessor, everything is simply a choice with consequences which are ultimately judged by no other than the player him- or herself and not a developer that already color coded the good/bad/sarcastic answer for me.

As for Dark Souls, what else is to say than it being possibly the best envisionment of the metroid/castlevania in a 3D space.
Yes, there was Lords of Shadow (which I really liked), but that is more along the lines of Super Castlevania 4 where Dark Souls lends itself more to Symphony of the Night.

Personally, Skyrim should be on top of my list after a good 150 hours playtime, but despite all its improvements, the actual stories/quests seem a bit flat. It would be cynical to say that I enjoyed about 20-30 hours of gameplay, while spending the rest of the time in search for those 2-3 really great questlines (i.e. in comparison to Oblivion's Sheogorath questline), but it isn't too far from the truth either. Skyrim is certainly a great game, but it just didn't manage to capture me as much as either the Witcher 2 or Dark Souls.

I have Skyrim and yes, the world is amazing but in my opinion the combat just isn't that fun. I'm all magic and I just hold down the fire button and back away until the enemy is dead. I can't put my finger on it but it just doesn't feel like there is any depth to the combat like there is in Dark Souls or even the Witcher 2.
 
Nov 30, 2010
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OTish but...
Cheesemeister said:
Current standings...

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - 42.5*
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - 6
Assassin's Creed II - 5.5*
Dragon Age: Origins - 3
Batman: Arkham Asylum - 2
Brütal Legend - 1
Demon's Souls - 1
Killzone 2 - 1
Left 4 Dead 2 - 1
Street Fighter IV - 1

Christ, Uncharted 2 annihilated 2009. I never realized it was so unanimously decided.
 

kingschiebi

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I have Skyrim and yes, the world is amazing but in my opinion the combat just isn't that fun. I'm all magic and I just hold down the fire button and back away until the enemy is dead. I can't put my finger on it but it just doesn't feel like there is any depth to the combat like there is in Dark Souls or even the Witcher 2.

Yes, that's also another "shortcoming", but it would certainly be something that I could live with if the story part would have been more engaging. It's almost a shame that Skyrim offers such a great canvas for stories, but all of those ultimately tend to boil down to "did you see how far the giant punched that bear?".
The game is certainly worth being a full price purchase, but if I would judge my favorite games of the year only by hours played or price/hours, my list would have Dungeons of Dredmor on first place, Binding of Isaac on second and Skyrim with Bastion on third.
As an overall experience, I'd say that it's Witcher 2 on first, Deus Ex:HR second and the third is determined after I finally get to finish U3, Batman and AC ;-)
 

Fjordson

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Poor Skyrim. GOTY awards for a game = years of talk about how it was actually shit. Bethesda better hope it gets dethroned before all's said and done.
 

MushroomSamba

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So does "media" mean any two-bit writer with a website or blog? Because some of the sources you're pulling these results from sure seem like it.
 

Derrick01

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May 9, 2011
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Poor Skyrim. GOTY awards for a game = years of talk about how it was actually shit. Bethesda better hope it gets dethroned before all's said and done.

It'd be the first GOTY I could agree with in a few years. I forget some of the choices the media picked but last year it was ME2, then Uncharted 2 and I'm pretty sure GTA 4 won 2008 (it had to, the media made it a freakin 98 on metacritic). 07 was a really big year so I don't remember what took it, probably COD 4 which I could have agreed with. Fantastic game.
 

Bigfoot

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So does "media" mean any two-bit writer with a website or blog? Because some of the sources you're pulling these results from sure seem like it.

Pretty sure if can't be a blog, but any gaming media (website, magazine, TV) counts. Look at the post 4 above yours with the results from 2009... there were around 60 media GOTY votes counted so it isn't limited to the few big media sources. I would guess this years count will have close to 100 votes.
 

NBtoaster

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It'd be the first GOTY I could agree with in a few years. I forget some of the choices the media picked but last year it was ME2, then Uncharted 2 and I'm pretty sure GTA 4 won 2008 (it had to, the media made it a freakin 98 on metacritic). 07 was a really big year so I don't remember what took it, probably COD 4 which I could have agreed with. Fantastic game.

Bioshock led in 2007 (well deserved)

Bioshock - 22
Super Mario Galaxy - 15
The Orange Box - 11
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare - 5
Rock Band - 4
Desktop Tower Defense - 2
Halo 3 - 2
Mass Effect - 2

but then the orange box is pretty deserving as well..what would I rank higher :x

Looking over the past threads I agree with what will probably come out on top in 2011, and 2009, and sorta agree with 2007. But 2010 should belong to New Vegas and 2008 should belong to Fallout 3.
 

Mooreberg

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Explain why I can put 80 hours into the game (much of that time spent in combat), enjoy the combat (which doesn't equate to "the combat is amazing" or anything like that) for that time, still have a strong desire to play the game and not have any regrets about the time I've spent playing it to boot?
Why the hell would anyone else want to explain your thoughts?

Anyway, this is more or less what I'd expect to see. Portal 2 came out too early in the year for the attention span. I thought it was going to be a big split between Skyrim and Zelda until I started hearing milder reactions to Skyward Sword on podcasts.
 

MushroomSamba

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Pretty sure if can't be a blog, but any gaming media (website, magazine, TV) counts. Look at the post 4 above yours with the results from 2009... there were around 60 media GOTY votes counted so it isn't limited to the few big media sources. I would guess this years count will have close to 100 votes.
Have you looked at the actual sources? A bunch of 'em look like crap. There's one that's an article in a student newspaper, another from a radio website, and this gem: Student's Blog, which isn't even a videogame-related site. It's some guy's blog about school life, that just happened to write up a 2011 list.
 

Mooreberg

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I don't want to live in a world where Witcher 2 doesn't get GOTY anywhere... :(
I'm not sure where I see it having a shot outside of PC exclusive sites and publications. Skyrim has had more marketing, recognition, and millions of people can play it on Xbox 360. It would be like expecting Red Orchestra to get as much hype as Call of Duty.

this gem: Student's Blog, which isn't even a videogame-related site. It's some guy's blog about school life, that just happened to write up a 2011 list.
Given the quality of gaming "journalism" this year I'm not entirely sure a student's blog could be disqualified. :-\
 

zlatko

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Dec 17, 2009
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I'm not sure where I see it having a shot outside of PC exclusive sites and publications. Skyrim has had more marketing, recognition, and millions of people can play it on Xbox 360. It would be like expecting Red Orchestra to get as much hype as Call of Duty.

What does hype and marketing have to do with game media publications giving the product game of the year?

These guys all got to play it, and can judge it accordingly. I'm not saying Witcher 2 should be scooping up more GOTY's than Skyrim or any other game, but it'll be a damn shame if it doesn't win a few, because I think it might send the wrong message to the developers.

Witcher 2 is a super quality product and a fun game that also helped raise the bar more in games with how it does its moral choices, and how varied the game becomes on more than one play through.
 
Nov 10, 2010
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I'm not sure where I see it having a shot outside of PC exclusive sites and publications. Skyrim has had more marketing, recognition, and millions of people can play it on Xbox 360. It would be like expecting Red Orchestra to get as much hype as Call of Duty.

Indeed, there is a lot of competition this year for pc sites. Witcher 2, skyrim, BF3, and other stuff I can't count off from the top of my head.

witcher 2 was fine, but a lot of little to big things hinder it (piss poor kraken boss fight, horrible UI that doesn't work right for M+K or gamepad, weird combat animation priorities)
 
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Deleted member 30609

Unconfirmed Member
As I feared, the amount of whining about Skyrim is only rivaled by the amount of miscellaneous quests in the game.
I don't like this narrative Skyrim fans are starting to build around the backlash that's starting to surround the game. There are very real reasons to be concerned by the precedent Skyrim sets. That's a very "zoomed-out" problem, sure. I've outlined those problems back on page two. But if you zoom-in, the loot scaling and enemy scaling, and how that directly effects everything from the combat through exploration through character progression is genuinely unsatisfied design if you see through it.

From my perspective, Skyrim works about as much as yore willing to invest yourself in the fiction of the game. I'm not even talking about the actual story here, I'm talking about the fiction of exploration or progression the game presents. If you're willing to believe that the loot you found is actually unique and not scaled, then you'll enjoy yourself. But if you see through the Matrix, the whole thing unravels very, very quickly.
 

UberTag

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While I had a problem with Skyrim winning GOTY at the VGAs due to their historic Bethesda bias, I don't have any problem with it dominating lists here as neither Oblivion or Fallout were overwhelmingly recognized by the industry as the best in the business.

2008 - Fallout 3 lost to GTA IV
2006 - Oblivion lost to Gears of War
 

Derrick01

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May 9, 2011
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Bioshock led in 2007 (well deserved)

Welp guess 07 is another year I don't agree with. 06 had to be Oblivion, I would have agreed with that since there really wasn't much that year being the first full year of the gen and all.

edit: Well shit, nevermind on that apparently. Just saw the post above mine.
 

mujun

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Why the hell would anyone else want to explain your thoughts?

Anyway, this is more or less what I'd expect to see. Portal 2 came out too early in the year for the attention span. I thought it was going to be a big split between Skyrim and Zelda until I started hearing milder reactions to Skyward Sword on podcasts.

I am interested to hear what he thinks of people who enjoy the combat.
 

MushroomSamba

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Given the quality of gaming "journalism" this year I'm not entirely sure a student's blog could be disqualified. :-\
Oh, I'm sure these fine folks can write and reason just as well (if not better) than some "gaming journalists" out there, but I think the spirit of the poll is to get a sense of what the so-called professionals think, regardless of whether you agree with them or not. It's interesting to see what people who get paid to write about games pick, and who (I assume) have actually played a large share of the suitable contenders.

In this case, I'm not really interested in what the average joe thinks is his favorite game of the dozen or so he's played (and when I do, I'd rather take a look at the GAF picks instead). When I visit a thread like this, I want something broader scope on the industry as a whole.
 
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Deleted member 30609

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Also Durante, I didn't play a spell caster in Dark Souls, but I did in Skyrim. While they be mechanically similar, in Dark Souls I can find an amazing spell early on and have a chance of using it. In Skyrim, I wont even see a spell book for that spell until I spend hours upon hour using the same shitty fireball spell to kite enemies repeatedly. It's a gigantic problem.

That's without mentioning all the other problems many of the quests face, such as the obvious becoming the grand-master of the guild with apprentice level spells and a basic axe. In a game with a real difficulty curve, you have to earn that. Skyrim does not have a difficulty curve. It's just a straight line.

All very valid, non-"whiney" reasons to be less than thrilled about the game being held up by the community as an example of the best the medium can offer.
 

Reallink

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Jan 7, 2008
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As someone who played Oblivion for literally 400 hours, I'm also not too convinced Skyrim is deserving of all the accolades. Hard to put my finger on why exactly, but I think it's the loot mechanic. There just doesn't seem to be any incentive or reward once you reach a certain point. After the relatively short main story, a handful of stand out quests, and once Smithing/Enchanting is leveled, I find myself pretty much done and am struggling to find any reason to continue. This is a real shame, because I feel like I've only touched maybe 20-30% of the content in the game. The remainder (the vast majority) is just cookie cutter fetch/kill quests and random dungeon hopping propped up by the relatively weak combat system. This would still be enjoyable if the game had (say) the loot system of Borderlands, but it doesn't. This was a critical design oversight IMO, creating such a large game, but ignoring the base systems designed keep people engaged and playing.
 
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If nothing else, I am glad Skyrim exists because otherwise the review sites would feel pressured to give an award to Dragon Age 2 because they need to give something to a WRPG and acknowledging the Witcher 2 would physically pain them.
 

Khezu

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Well skyrim isn't my GOTY, I enjoyed it greatly and don't mind everyone giving it awards.

However it still baffles me just how popular bethesda has gotten with mainstream audiences. ES games are all kinda crazy games that sacrifice so much to be what they are, that they just really aren't for everyone, and yet they sell gangbusters and win awards out the ass.

Deep down though, there just an old school B tier PC dev in way over there head trying to cater to the xbox crowd, and eventually everyone is going to turn on them unless they try and fix there shit, which I don't think they can do, with out a complete overhaul of everything they are, and then would just end up going down the bioware path.

Either way, heavily modded Skyrim will be the game of the generation.
 

Kenshin001

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I'm starting to wondering if the "OMG bugs" response to Skyrim is being made by people that haven't played the game but are grasping for a reason that it shouldn't win GOTY. Yeah, I know about the PS3 problem, but the bugs on other platforms don't seem that game breaking. Maybe the PS3 version should be ignored when it comes to the media GOTY discussion because most of them are playing on PC or 360.

I haven't played it myself but whenever I hear it discussed on various podcasts, all I hear is positive discussions, and barely any mention of game bugs that destroy the experience. Along with that, the comments I read hear from people that play it here are positive as well and these are from people investing 30+ hours in to the game.


Side note: I can't remember the site but I think a cheat code website gave Uncharted 3 their GOTY. I think it was mentioned in the Uncharted 3 OT but I can't find it now.

It was cheatcodecentral.

http://www.cheatcc.com/extra/2011codyawards/goty_winner.html#.Tuajn5hoVSV
 

Xilium

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It saddens me that the Witcher 2 won't be winning many (if any) awards. Hopefully some European publishers will give it its due.
 

linko9

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I've gotta question the inclusion of some of these site in the OP... Dragon Blogger? In which the number 2 game of the year is......... Diablo 3? I know there's no easy way to determine which sites are "big enough" or "respectable enough," but I'm pretty sure we can write this one off, even though it happens to be the only one that agrees with my GOTY choice (tied with Dark Souls).
 

Derrick01

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May 9, 2011
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I've gotta question the inclusion of some of these site in the OP... Dragon Blogger? In which the number 2 game of the year is......... Diablo 3? I know there's no easy way to determine which sites are "big enough" or "respectable enough," but I'm pretty sure we can write this one off, even though it happens to be the only one that agrees with my GOTY choice (tied with Dark Souls).

It should be disqualified for picking a 1998 game for goty but from what I remember last year pretty much every media outlet known to man was included, for better or worse.
 

Conciliator

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Apr 21, 2011
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Well skyrim isn't my GOTY, I enjoyed it greatly and don't mind everyone giving it awards.

However it still baffles me just how popular bethesda has gotten with mainstream audiences. ES games are all kinda crazy games that sacrifice so much to be what they are, that they just really aren't for everyone, and yet they sell gangbusters and win awards out the ass.

Deep down though, there just an old school B tier PC dev in way over there head trying to cater to the xbox crowd, and eventually everyone is going to turn on them unless they try and fix there shit, which I don't think they can do, with out a complete overhaul of everything they are, and then would just end up going down the bioware path.

Either way, heavily modded Skyrim will be the game of the generation.

In what universe are people going to stop buying Bethesda games because they're buggy and overambitious? We'll all be in here psyched as ever when they announce Fallout 4(hopefully). The only way that has a chance of happening is if someone else comes along doing games with as much scope as theirs, but with much, much better execution.

And yeah, something about Skyrim didn't quite click with me either. A got a couple dozen well-enjoyed hours, and it just kind of petered off.

My instinct says that GOTY has to go to either Minecraft or Dark Souls.
 

mujun

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Deep down though, there just an old school B tier PC dev in way over there head trying to cater to the xbox crowd, and eventually everyone is going to turn on them unless they try and fix there shit, which I don't think they can do, with out a complete overhaul of everything they are, and then would just end up going down the bioware path.

So what is one of your GOTY candidates then?

I don't agree with what you wrote at all.

First off, Skyrim is (my opinion of course, as is all that follows) equally as brimming with quality as say, Uncharted 3 so I don't see how they are B tier.

Second, what is "xbox crowd" about their games. I thought that the xbox "crowd" was all about Modern Warfare and GTA. You know, the stuff the same little potty mouth racists play on Live.

Finally, I don't see people turning on them. I assume the fans are people like myself who (and I think this is pretty logical and obvious to the average person) understand that if you pack a game full of so much content and offer so much freedom then the cost is going to be stability. I hope they stick with the (more) buggy content and continue to offer lots of content and freedom.
 

okenny

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Nov 10, 2007
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Well skyrim isn't my GOTY, I enjoyed it greatly and don't mind everyone giving it awards.

However it still baffles me just how popular bethesda has gotten with mainstream audiences. ES games are all kinda crazy games that sacrifice so much to be what they are, that they just really aren't for everyone, and yet they sell gangbusters and win awards out the ass.

Deep down though, there just an old school B tier PC dev in way over there head trying to cater to the xbox crowd, and eventually everyone is going to turn on them unless they try and fix there shit, which I don't think they can do, with out a complete overhaul of everything they are, and then would just end up going down the bioware path.

Either way, heavily modded Skyrim will be the game of the generation.

You call it game of the generation because the modders are gonna make this B-tier game you don't don't think makes GotY-snuff into God-tier expeirence that will win this whole generation (one of the longest on record). Seriously, you hate Bethesda. I get it.
 

Brandon F

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Terrible and embarrassing.

Did no one in this industry play Saints Row 3 or Witcher 2?
 

Derrick01

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Terrible and embarrassing.

Did no one in this industry play Saints Row 3 or Witcher 2?

I played both. W2 will be on my list but SR3 is a complete joke. Less options than 2 and they still haven't nailed the high quality feel that the ps2 GTAs had in their missions and story.
 

BeeDog

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Aug 2, 2007
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I personally don't agree with the choice of Skyrim as the GoTY, but I also fully understand why others would love the game so much more. In my opinion, the game has too many problems to be able to take the top place:

- The levelling system for both mobs and items is worthless in this day and age. It reeks of laziness and makes it completely unrewarding to go out of the obvious path and explore, since you're basically never rewarded in any sense. After 5608426 Adept chests with only gold and potions in it, you get fed up.

- The dragons, while initially very cool, really are the new cliff racers. Too many of them around, and their ease compared to a goddamn mammoth/giant is laughable. It's also very annoying when they attack an unwalled city.

- The overall bugginess of the game is an issue, seeing as how some quests cannot be finished without tinkering in the console.

- The complete lack of personality among the companions. New Vegas spoiled me hard in that regard, so I can't accept it here. The poor and repeating voice acting for most characters is also a typical annoying Bethesda trademark.

- Mechanically, it's still very much a Gamebryo RPG game. Aside from the fancier graphics and art (which is still repeated waaay too much in dungeons), it still plays pretty much in the same way as earlier Bethesda-published games.

I can't with a good conscience agree with Skyrim as the top pick, but I'm not actively bothered by it either.

It's still a better game than The Witcher 2.
 

Aaron

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Terrible and embarrassing.

Did no one in this industry play Saints Row 3 or Witcher 2?
I got bored with Witcher 2. Not sure why either. Finished the first game and that had a share of problems, but the combat was better in the first and the game as a whole felt less clunky. The combat in Witcher 2 felt tedious to me for some reason, even after playing for five hours. Not hard, just bleh.

Portal 2 would have been a great game if not for the puzzles. Seriously, A+ in personality but the puzzles on the whole felt a step down from the first game even with the new additions.
 

AniHawk

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[3DS] The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D


Dragon Blogger
no, fuck you
 

Codeblue

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So what is one of your GOTY candidates then?

I don't agree with what you wrote at all.

First off, Skyrim is (my opinion of course, as is all that follows) equally as brimming with quality as say, Uncharted 3 so I don't see how they are B tier.

Second, what is "xbox crowd" about their games. I thought that the xbox "crowd" was all about Modern Warfare and GTA. You know, the stuff the same little potty mouth racists play on Live.

Finally, I don't see people turning on them. I assume the fans are people like myself who (and I think this is pretty logical and obvious to the average person) understand that if you pack a game full of so much content and offer so much freedom then the cost is going to be stability. I hope they stick with the (more) buggy content and continue to offer lots of content and freedom.
We shouldn't have to trade stability for scale, at least not on the level Bethesda is asking. Other developers have shown that it is possible to release a huge game that isn't broken.

Bethesda is certainly a top shelf developer, but when I look at other developers in their league (like the people at Naughty Dog, or Nintendo, etc.) I can't imagine those studios putting a game out that was so fundamentally broken on one platform especially since the problem was preexisting.
 

NullPointer

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If nothing else, I am glad Skyrim exists because ...
... it reminded me of what I would dream games could be as a kid. Its not perfect but gaming would be at a disservice if we didn't have somebody showing us the other end of the gaming experience spectrum. One that doesn't rely upon taking away control or forcing QTEs or other "my movie is a game" conventions. The gaming world needs something like this every once in a while just to give us some equilibrium.