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Across all platforms, what is your 2011 Game of the Year? [roundtable]
 
Now that our official awards are up, I'd like to know what you all personally chose as your game of the year.

2011 brought both a remake of my favorite game ever, Ocarina of Time, and a whole new Zelda game. Naturally, I assumed that my 2011 GotY would be something with "The Legend of Zelda" in the title.

Then I played Portal 2.


During the development of this game, I think someone at Valve said, "Hey, let's make a game for Secret_Tunnel." I loved the original Portal- its puzzles made me feel really smart (unlike puzzles in games like Ico, which make me feel really dumb). Shooting portals to get around might be one of the most fun things I've ever done in a game. Not to mention, it had great writing. Portal was genuinely funny. I love is when something appears to be one thing, but by the end it's something else entirely. Portal NAILED this.

Portal 2, by some miracle, improved on the original in every way possible. All the clever humor that used to be confined to GLaDOS was now expressed through several characters. Some people might poo-poo on the scripted sequences, but to me, they were some of the best parts. They don't feel scripted, partly because the characters are so lifelike. Portal 2 is the closest I've ever felt to playing a movie; the key word in that sentence is playing. Even when you're not doing anything, you still feel involved. The final ten minutes of the game are a roller-coaster ride of absurdity and emotions. Not only is Portal 2 my game of the year, it's also my second-favorite game of all time.

What is your 2011 Game of the Year?

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Posted: 01/24/12, 05:16:25  - Edited by 
 on: 01/24/12, 05:17:20
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My overall 2011 Game of the Year is, Kirby's Return to Dream Land. I haven't finished Super Mario 3D Land, and gave up playing Skyward Sword after the five thousandth time being sent to the desert, so I can't really qualify these as candidates. I'm sure I'll get back into Zelda again, especially since I believe I'm quite near the end, but for now, it can not best the power Kirby has over me.
Posted: 01/25/12, 04:58:57
gencid said:
@Zero
@anon_mastermind

Skyward Sword had no reason to be out in 2011. It basically plays and feels the way that a 2006 Zelda game on Wii should have played and felt. In other words, it is 5 years too late, 1:1 motion plus or not. Now that I finished SS, I posted my full opinion on SS and WM+ in its official thread here.
By that logic any game released this year is a 2006 game; your logic is flawed.
Posted: 01/25/12, 17:24:40
I can see where gencid is coming from. Obviously SS as it exists now could not have been done in 2006. That being said a game very much like it could have and should have come out then. This was the killer app for motion controls but only because it made use of them in a way that accomplishes things a traditional controller could not. The other point which is crucial is that the motion controls are used this way in a game that gamers care about beyond the novelty of the motion controls.

Pre-Skyward Sword I would have preferred regular controls over motion controls in my Zelda but now I'm not sure. I still like things about the traditional controller but the motion controls were at least used in a good way. Now I would probably be fine with either control style.
Posted: 01/25/12, 21:55:54
@Stephen\
Eh. That argument can be made for any game really. We had Perfect Dark and Lair and a ton of other shitty games not optimizing the hardware in 2006.
Posted: 01/25/12, 23:02:04
@anon_mastermind

Obviously as time goes on things get better but at least the 360/PS3 were touting increased online presence and HD visuals. Both of which were delivered on with even the first games.

With the Wii the controls were to be the big innovator, the reason why having PS2 era visuals would be acceptable. They would be for the tradeoff with the new style of gameplay made possible. That was a promise never fully realized until Skyward Sword.
Posted: 01/25/12, 23:47:36
@Stephen
Come on, Stephen. The promise of motion controls was realized with Wii Sports in the same way the HD/online promise was realized with CoD 2 or Perfect Dark.
Posted: 01/25/12, 23:50:29
@Stephen

Things the PC had last century. What year are you going to brand on those games then?
Posted: 01/26/12, 00:28:23
@anon_mastermind

Wii Sports is not a game gamers get excited about. The overwhelming feeling was one of satisfaction but eagerness to see these ideas applied to full games and not compilations/tech demos. That was never realized effectively until Skyward Sword. Sure, CoD2 and Perfect Dark have since been usurped but at the time they delivered on what the 360 was said to do from day one.

@Jargon

I'm not branding them any specific year. But you cannot deny that the 360 (and PS3) were promising better visuals, and better online integration which were both fairly ubiquitous. The Wii's promise was for a new control scheme that would be worth sacrificing the jump in power for. That was only delivered upon in mini-game collections, waggle substitutions, until Skyward Sword came out.
Posted: 01/26/12, 01:41:32
Stephen said:
That was only delivered upon in mini-game collections, waggle substitutions, until Skyward Sword came out.

That's... really inaccurate. But whatever.

The main point is that it's kind of silly to say game X or Y is a 2006 game just because it "could have" been done back then. In theory anything that came out this generation could have came out at the beginning of the generation. It's not like console specs increase with time, they stay the same until a new console releases And I haven't really seen any true progression in 2011 that had to build upon early gen stuff either. Most of what we are seeing now is essentially last gen gameplay repackaged.

Example: what the heck about Gears of War 3 makes it a 2011 game? Seriously? It's just Gears of War 1 and 2 all over again.
Posted: 01/26/12, 01:51:45  - Edited by 
 on: 01/26/12, 01:51:59
@Stephen

They were delivering better than the previous generation of consoles, yes. And Nintendo was delivering better than the previous generation of consoles in terms of motion controls, i.e. was better than nothing.

Stephen said:
@anon_mastermind

Wii Sports is not a game gamers get excited about.

Thank god you can speak for all gamers.
Posted: 01/26/12, 01:54:58  - Edited by 
 on: 01/26/12, 01:56:57
@ZeroYou are right, the point isn't that the game is 2006. The point is it (or again, something similar) should have come out in 2006. Gears 3 isn't a big leap over Gears 1 true but if we only got Gears 1 in 2011 after suffering through a bunch of stuff that wasn't online and wasn't HD then yeah, that would be stupid.

And I would say: "Well it took long enough and Gears should have come out much earlier. WTF was the point of this system again?"

The problem isn't necessarily that one game itself, but what it means for the rest of the generation. There are a ton of great games like Gears that do stuff like it on the 360. There is only one Skyward Sword for the Wii's whole lifespan.

That's the problem.

@Jargon

The difference is HD and online integration won't be a step backwards. Motion controls if not used in compelling ways are.

You can argue Wii Sports if you want, but you cannot honestly tell me that Wii Sports drives excitement from you the same way Zelda, Mario, or other traditional game releases do. Or maybe you can, in which case fine Nintendo catered to you, you filthy casual.
Posted: 01/26/12, 01:59:34  - Edited by 
 on: 01/26/12, 02:03:26
@Simbabbad

Wasn't part of the initial design of the controller bro.
Posted: 01/26/12, 02:05:43
@Stephen

So any game that you don't like is antiquated? That's pretty much your entire argument. Pretty weak.
Posted: 01/26/12, 02:06:08
@Stephen Neither was WiiMotion+ part of the initial design of the Wii remote, bro. Sure it was underutilized, but as far as what it was actually capable of doing, there were early Wii games that put it to good use. Boom Blox, LostWinds, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, No More Heroes, NyxQuest, Trauma Center: New Blood, and Zack & Wiki come to mind.
Posted: 01/26/12, 02:09:00
@Jargon

That's not the argument at all.

So what you are telling me then is that when Wii Sports came out in 2006 you were absolutely satisfied with that level of motion control and didn't feel any excitement for it's potential application in the future?
Posted: 01/26/12, 02:09:17
@Stephen

Kind of strange how some high profile games for 360/PS3 no longer run native HD resolutions in 2011, then.
Posted: 01/26/12, 02:09:50
@Stephen

The entire logic of your argument is based on what you just said, that motion controls were a step backwards. Without that, which obviously tons of people disagree with (probably much more than people who agree with you across all demographics), the games aren't antiquated. In other words, it comes down to your personal distaste for motion controls. Exciting new territory for you.
Posted: 01/26/12, 02:12:43
@Zero

I played a couple of those games and none of them came close to achieving what Skyward Sword did. And it's not because it was not possible either as evidenced by Wii Sports.

@missypissy

That's a fair point but it is upscaled to HD which certainly looks nicer than SD. The problem is that there do exist HD games whereas there exists one motion control driven game that achieved things not possible with standard controls. Which came out in 2011.

@Jargon

That is not at all what I said. If you honestly think that motion controls even when done poorly are a step forward that's up to you but it's clear you just have an axe to grind here.
Posted: 01/26/12, 02:20:29
So none of the games using the old controller years ago came close to what a 2011 game did with the new controller? What exactly is your point? If anything that just shows how silly it would have been to expect this on the old controller in 2006.
Posted: 01/26/12, 02:22:54
@Zero

You agree that Wii Sports could not have been done with a standard controller right? Like, there is no way you could replicate the amount of data generated by the Wiimote with a standard controller for swings and stuff. At least not in any feasible way?

Okay.

So then you could have had a game that made use of this data in ways that were not possible with a standard controller. This game needed to come out but it did not until 2011.
Posted: 01/26/12, 02:35:43
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