games / Columns

Working Title 01.12.13: The 2012 Working Title Awards

January 12, 2013 | Posted by Jordan Williams

New Year. Still No Name.

Welcome back to the #1 Column to remind everyone that there was a far more superior movie that came out last year about a Slave that is freed and is doing everything in his power to save the world and his love that wasn’t named Django Unchained, WORKING TITLE.

The movie, in case you are wondering, is called The Man with The Iron Fists and it is one of the best (yet admittedly cheesy) movies I saw last year and I just got around to watching it on New Year’s Eve.
So…how was everyone’s New Year? Did good? Got drunk? Got laid?

It’s okay…you can lie about it. I totally won’t judge you. Most people actually strive to get their Game of the Year stuff out before the end of that actual year…But most people also strive to do things on time and in a timely manner and as we all know I am just not most people. So this is why for the second year in a row the first week of the January will be devoted to The Working Title Year End Awards.

Two weeks ago you got the list of nominees, this week I am going to post the list of winners. Is the Walking Dead going to win another (yet completely meaningless by award standards) GOTY award? How about the manliest character of the year?

Who knows.

Well…technically I know. And by the time you reach the end of this page you’ll know, too. We can share this together.

It’ll be our little secret.

Working Title: The 7th Annual Working Title Year-End Awards

The Max Payne Award of Manliness

Lots of great male characters this year. But one of them has to stand above the rest as a shining example of all things badass and awesome in the digital world. Who was it going to be? I’ll give you a hint.

It’s a male.

I didn’t say it would be a good hint.

Max Payne
One of the original dual-pistol badasses returns in a big way and this time he plays the Stranger in a Strange Land game. Oh, and he got a haircut.

Vass (Far Cry 3)
The first villain ever to be nominated for the award and deservedly so. In game full characters you’re supposed to like that you end up hating he is one of the few bright spots.

Salvador (Borderlands 2)
In case I didn’t make it abundantly clear last time. The only real reason he is on this list is because he can fire two guns at once while humming Call of the Mountain King. That’s it, really.

Lee Everett (The Walking Dead)
The only person to win Father of the Year without actually being a father.

Corvo (Dishonored)
Fool Corvo once? Shame on him. Fool Corvo twice? He’s going to stab the shit out of everyone you have ever cared about.

Master Chief
When most men wake up from a long nap, they take a piss and probably fart. When MC wakes up from a long nap he saves the fucking world. Again.

Manliest Man of 2012

Sure, there are other guys on this list that have accomplished more than Lee in their respective games. But when I am looking at this award list the only person whom of which I actually felt like was a character were Max Payne and Lee. Everyone else could easily, with the exception of Vass, but just stand in for yourself. Yes, you do influence Lee’s decisions and his tone but he was still a character before you got to control him. He still had his own set of values and personality quirks that will still bleed through no matter what your choices are. Lee took control of a completely dire situation and tried his hardest to get everyone he cared about through it. And you know what? He did a pretty decent job all things considered.

The Dormroom Dominator Award

I like Multiplayer games. Everyone likes multiplayer games! Even developers who primarily make single-player games like multiplayer games! That’s why they keep shoving it into every goddamn piece of sh—
No, this isn’t the time for that. This is the time to recognize the games that actually had GOOD multiplayer.

Diablo III
You see, when Diablo III won the Halftime Award it was back when the multiplayer was actually new and fun…but just like that Blizzard sort of shit the bed and if it were up to me I wouldn’t have even nominated it. But the rules are the rules.

Borderlands 2
Borderlands 1 was an actual multiplayer tour de force. It was a game you could play through on single player but just like with any other bad habit, it’s always better to drag as many friends and possible into it. More raid bosses, harder raid bosses, and an actual reason to use the other weapons and classes. People were a bit disappointed that there was no real PVP, but the Borderlands is all about being friends. Friends who constantly bitch and moan about someone picking up the loot you were trying to get.

Halo 4
A lot of people didn’t seem to care for the multiplayer in Halo 4. They felt it cribbed a bit too much from Call of Duty and sort of lost its own identity. I think they are wrong. Halo 4’s multiplayer is different from the other Halo games…but it’s still Halo. It’s still less about “Who shot first” and more about “Who shot smarter”. I sort of like that everyone is a bullet sponge because it allows for actual fire fights to happen. In too many other shooters it’s pretty much a death sentence if another player sees you. In Halo (and Halo 4) you can actually retreat and plan shit. So yeah, Halo 4 is nominated. Quit crying.

Persona 4 Arena
I’ve said it before. I know about fuck-all about Persona. With that being said it is still an easy enough fighting game to get into and unlike pretty much every other 2D game that isn’t King of Fighters or a Capcom game it’s actually managing to maintain a bit of a community. Lookin’ at you, Skullgirls

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
Last year I disqualified Call of Duty because it was still the same old shit. This year it’s back on the ballot.
Spoilers: It’s the same old shit…but better this time.

Best Multiplayer of 2012

While I personally still love Halo 4’s multiplayer, there hasn’t been a game that I played more this year with friends than Borderlands 2. Of course, the game is MEANT to be played with multiple people but that doesn’t change the fact that I have beaten the game 10 times with five characters and gotten them to level 50 and didn’t get bored. It was still fun. We got to share loot and fight monsters and trade and play your role. Couple that with a steady flow of DLC that keeps coming out RIIIIGHT as I start to get bored is a surefire way to keep my multiplayer game of choice running strong.

Not a Bang, But a Whimper Award

Now they all can’t be winners, and with the current generation running on sped up development and heavy reliance of patches and fixes there is no surprise that some of the more hyped up games of this year have some out to drizzling shits. These games may not have been terrible (although most of them are) they very well could just be disappointing experiences over all. They were hyped up before they came out with pre-release coverage and when the game actually ended up in everyone’s hands…well…we wished that it just lived up to the hype that it created for itself.

Ninja Gaiden 3
How the mighty have fallen. Once heralded as what a beat-em-up should be has become an example of just about what a sequel shouldn’t be. Toothless combat, terrible camera, inexplicably direction changes just turned the one great Ninja Gaiden franchise into a joke.

Street Fighter x Tekken
People love to think that Capcom can do no wrong it comes to fighters. For the most part they MIGHT be right…but SFxT proved that while Capcom can do no wrong they can definitely do too much. Useless systems added upon useless systems turned what was supposed to be the biggest fighting cross over ever into a joke of the community.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter
MoH: W is getting a bit more of a bad rap than its deserving, but it’s still a bad rap. The game is on this list more because it’s boring, dull, and unneeded. We proved with the last Medal of Honor game that we didn’t really need a third modern-military shooter clogging up the game space. Especially when EA already has one out there that is better than it in almost every single way. I’m not even going to touch n the fact that the game shipped essentially broken. Just Google the patch notes for this game.

Resident Evil 6
Resident Evil changed forever after Resident Evil 4. Some people hated that…I was one of the people that was okay with it. It had a reputation that was changing to fit with next (at the time) generation. Then Resident Evil 5 happened…I was still okay with it. Survival Horror at that point had a new savior to the masses in Dead Space so Resident Evil was moving onto being an action-horror type thing. But Capcom wanted to try to make everyone happy…and ended up shitting the bed massively. Tried to be a Jack of all Trades and blew it all.
New Super Mario Brothers U
I’m gonna need more room for this one.

Biggest Disappointment of 2012
New Super Mario Bros U.

Mario. Mario used to fucking MEAN SOMETHING. Whatever Nintendo console or handheld you had you knew that when fuckin’ Mario was coming to down shit was about to get FUN. What happened to that feeling? New Super Mario Bros. Now don’t get me wrong. The first NSMB was a great game. It had the perfect amount of nostalgia coupled with great level design which made it a wonderful treat for older players who grew up with Mario and younger players who wanted something simpler than the deceptively complicated Mario games we have now.

And then they made another.

And another.

And before you know it “New” Super Mario Bros became it’s own franchise where they kept trying to pass off the same goddamn levels and mechanics as “new”. NO. IT’S NOT NEW. IT’S SOULLESS. New Super Mario Brothers seems like the type of ass-shit that you would get if you sat someone down and told them to make a basic Mario game. There’s no creativity, there’s no new stuff. There’s nothing to entice you to keep playing. That’s all illustrated by the fact that the Mario Series PROPER has been evolving. We got Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 which were great departures from the norm. We got Mario 3D land which actually made 3D WORK ON THE 3DS. So when you are launching a NEW CONSOLE you decide to have this copy and paste BULLSHIT to be the flagship Mario title that everyone gets pick up on day one? Really Nintendo? THIS is the type if shit that pisses fans off. THIS is the type of shit that makes it hard to convince people to buy into your imaginary land. THIS is what is killing you Nintendo. You are too busy throwing all of your creativity into console gimmicks and hardware instead of throwing it into what made you this successful in the first place.


So while New Super Mario Bros. U might be the ‘winner’ of this category, it’s really just more of a stand in for Nintendo as a whole right now. People are finally starting to see through your bullshit, Nintendo. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

The Poison Award for Womanliness

The guys ain’t the only ones who are in on this also. A few years back I decided to go ahead and give the ladies of video games a bit of a chance to get some badass points and a badass award of their own. While it is infinitely harder because we do have a lack of female protagonists (and antagonists) in games, I still managed to get together a list of ladies who are more than badass enough to get nominated for this award. And yes, for the last time. Poison is a chick, alright?

Poison (Street Fighter x Tekken)
Poison won this award earlier in the year not as a joke, but honestly because out of the crop of female characters we had so far she was the one that kicked the most ass. One might want to get all Meta and stuff and say that the very idea of Poison being as widely accepted (finally) by Capcom is a victory in its own right…but I am just going to say that I am just happy anything about Final Fight is still good.

Clementine (The Walking Dead)
Clementine is nominated for some of the same reasons that Lee is. She is a realistic character dealing with unrealistic shit. Also being the youngest character nominated and the youngest character in the group it just works that much more that she is one of the more sensible and level-headed characters around. When shit went bad she didn’t pull some “I’M A CHILD FEAR ME” bullshit like other children in these scenarios would do. She sat down, shut the fuck up and let the adults handle what they needed to handle. #ForClementine.

Mila (Dead or Alive 5)
It’s not a secret that I am a fan of the Dead or Alive games. I actually like the gameplay instead of the random fan service and titties it likes the throw in your face. So I was actually really happy when they finally put a character in the game that wasn’t solely about boobs and skimpiness. While she hasn’t unseated my favorite female character in the franchise (Tina) she is an actual fighter first and a fan service object second. I like that.

Tiny Tina (Borderlands 2)
Probably the most divisive character in Borderlands 2. She has her haters and her lovers…and I am one of the latter. On the surface Tina is just another stereotypical annoying teenage girl who is overly hyperactive. But once you dig deeper into WHY she is fucking crazy you realize she fits in with the Borderlands story and the Borderlands mythos better than some of the other characters they’ve added to the game. I’m talking about you, Gaige.

Womanliest Woman of 2012
Tiny Tina

This winner is purely just what I liked the most out of this list. While Borderlands 2 went out of its way to actually give some character to the other members of the cast, I feel that Tiny Tina (and Handsome Jack) were the ones I came away from feeling the most good about. She might be annoying to some people, but the few parts of her that were in the game were some of the funnier parts of the game.

The Left Field Hit Award

This award is for the games that came out of nowhere. They were surprising, engaging…and to be honest looked like they were going to fail. Seeing as this is pretty much on the same level as Game of the Year award, I don’t like typing up blurbs for these games. You’ve heard them talked about enough that you’ve either already played them or already formed your own opinion on them.

Binary Domain
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Sleeping Dogs
Mark of the Ninja
The Walking Dead
Hotline Miami

Biggest Surprise of 2012
The Walking Dead

Yeah, this game has been winning Game of the Year left and right and everyone has been talking about it non-stop. But people are forgetting that NO ON thought an episodic-game with a cartoony art style from Telltale who had just released the stinker that was Jurassic Park was going to be good. Let alone GREAT. TWDG might be controversial for some people who don’t think it’s a game, but I am not here to argue that. I am here to point out that TWDG has not only brought Point and Click Adventure back to the gaming world, but also has proven that Episodic Games CAN work when handled right. While there might’ve been bigger underdogs this year, none will have such a lasting mark on the industry as The Walking Dead will.

Game of the Year
Same thing as before, all of the games on this list you have already heard enough about. I’m just going to list them off.

Mass Effect 3

Assassin’s Creed III

Borderlands 2

Far Cry 3

The Walking Dead

XCOM: Enemy Unknown


Game of the Year 2012
Borderlands 2

Surprised? I don’t blame you if you are. But while The Walking Dead was a great game, probably fantastic…and while I am one of the very VERY few that didn’t hate Mass Effect 3…I still had problems with them both. With Borderlands 2 I got everything I had wanted out of a video game. I got fun, I got cooperation, I got a game I could play for hours on end by myself or I could hop online and play for hours with friends. Each year we point out how much that games are becoming art and how much we are elevating. That is a wonderful thing. A GREAT thing. But you know what? For me video games are still that hobby I do at the end of the day to unwind. They are still that thing I do to escape from life for a little bit. They are still that thing I do for fun.
That’s right. I said it.


Why is Borderlands 2 my Game of the Year? Because I had the most fun with it. Plain and simple. Cut and dry. I might not be aspiring for a loftier goal of raising the genre or the art of virtual entertainment. It might not be a game that will one day be entered into the Smithsonian. Hell, it might not even be a game people are playing by the end of the year. But I still am.

I’m still having fun.

And you know what? That’s all that matters to me.

Now before we go…

Working List: 5 My Personal Top 5 Games of the Year

5.Sleeping Dogs
4.Halo 4
3.Mass Effect 3
2.The Walking Dead
1.Borderlands 2

Until next time, I’m Jordan Williams…and is the Steam Box really going to work and change gaming as we know it? We’ll find out next week.


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