Working Title 12.22.12: The Working Title Award Nominations
Worst Apocalypse Ever.
Welcome to the #1 Column to think that filming The Hobbit in 48fps is a terrible idea, WORKING TITLE. I usually don’t go on about movies in this space, but I just got back from seeing The Hobbit…and if the future is this whole 48fps thing then I think the film industry is in for some rocky moments. The movie was fine (although I don’t appreciate some of the padding they put in) but the whole thing just made the movie look less like a film and more like a big budget TV movie on the BBC. Have you ever seen the BBCs version of Merlin? It looked a lot like that. I am sure there are wonderful special effects in it and it’s all working really well…but when they filmed it like that it just doesn’t make the film look as good as it can. Everything looks really off model and fake. Which looks fine on smaller screens, which is why most videogames strive to hit 60fps…but on a blown up big screen like that it makes it really hard to suspend disbelief.
I don’t know I know a lot of films are showing the movie at 24fps, I recommend you do that instead of seeing it at 48fps; you’ll enjoy it a lot better.
Speaking of enjoying stuff…I know this column was supposed to be about all of the games I have been playing over my long break…but you know what? With the VGAs happening last week and pretty much every other side gearing up for similar things I guess it’s time for me to go ahead and start my Game of the Year stuff.
So this week we have the official ballot for the Working Title Year End Awards. A tradition that has been going on for the seven years this column has been around. I take games, characters, and other things that I liked from the year and decide which one I liked the best.
Why? Because it’s my column and it gives me a sick sense of self validation to be able to tell people what I like and what I don’t like. Isn’t that what the internet is about anyway?
Working Title: The 7th Annual Working Title Year-End Award Nominations
– All games nominated must be out and released by the time this column goes live.
– The Winner of the “Award of Manliness” and the “Award of Womanliness” gets their name added to the award.
– Winner of the ‘Halftime Awards’ are automatically nominated.
– Winner is chosen by me, because fuck that noise this is my column. I am willing to listen to votes, though.
– If I forgot/didn’t nominate something let me know.
The Max Payne Award of Manliness
Every year we have a lot of video game characters that come along that we control. They are our protagonists to take us through whatever journey we are going to be controlling with our minds, bodies, and hands. Most of these protagonists are male. Most of these protagonists also have the side effect of being fuckin’ terrible. But every now and then we get a few diamonds in the ‘bald, white, space marine’ rough that shine through. This award is here to honor those brave polygonal men. They are badass, they are manly, they do the impossible– They make you actually enjoy playing as them or in some cases…playing against them.
There’s a reason Max Payne won this award six months ago. The man puts up with some SERIOUS stuff during his life and it only gets worse in Max Payne 3. On top of being a stranger in a strange land he has to put up with some of the worst people he’s ever met…and THEY are the ones that are actually signing his checks. The worst part about all of this is that he has to put up with the majority of it while drunk off of his ass and high as hell on painkillers and gunpowder. Think about that one more time. There is a point in this game where he is drunk, high on painkillers, and hanging from the leg of a helicopter while shooting rockets out of the sky with a rifle. Yeah.
Vass (Far Cry 3)
Vass is the only person on this list that is not a protagonist and also not someone you play as. So why is he here? Because Vass is another in a long line of villains that are actually good at being evil. As much as I hate the silent protagonist there is one thing I hate more. I hate the concept that there is no such thing as evil. I hate the idea that ‘Evil’ is always the eye of the beholder and that Evil is always good to whom are perpetuating the evil deeds. Fuck that. Vass is evil. He likes being Evil. I like him being Evil. Evil deserves its day in the light also.
Salvador (Borderlands 2)
Lee Everett (The Walking Dead)
Lee Everett is a dude. I don’t mean that in a highly reductive way. I mean that in the sense that out of everyone else nominated on this list he is simply a dude. He doesn’t have an iron liver and the constitution of a dwarf. He doesn’t have any super powers or anything else. He’s just a normal guy living in a world that’s full of the scariest, most inhumane, vile, and evil things imaginable.
And what does he do? He makes it all work out. He gets his shit together, leads himself and others on an adventure of survival and for the most part does a great job at it. Lee isn’t so much here because of any awesome or astounding feats he has somehow pulled off. He’s here because when the world was at its very WORST he somehow still tried to do his best.
How do you describe a man that has had everything taken away from him and is wrong accused? Really fuckin’ pissed off. That’s pretty much Corvo in a nutshell. He was already a highly skilled and trained assassin before he was wronged…but now that he has wronged and PISSED he is a formidable badass NOT to be fucked with…and on top of that now he has magic powers. Everyone’s pretty much fucked at that point.
Master Chief may have gotten more depth in his fourth outing that he got in his entire series up to this point…but he is still probably the thinnest character on the entire nomination ballot. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that he was floating in space for a long ass time and woke up and went RIGHT back into business. From the get go we’ve always known The Chief has someone who doesn’t wait around for shit to go bad before he takes action and in Halo 4 shit had ALREADY gone bad and he showed what he does when he’s under pressure. Shoot stuff in the face. A lot. Like… A lot lot.
The Dormroom Dominator Award
The D.D award is the award for the game with the best multiplayer. There’s really not much else to it other than that. It doesn’t need to be played in a Dormroom to qualify, hell, in previous years it didn’t even need to be an actual multiplayer GAME to qualify. It’s just a combination of having engaging multiplayer, a good community, and most of it needs to be something that is actually FUN to play with others.
This just shows how starved we were for multiplayer in the start of the year. Diablo III pretty much ran away with the award in July because it really didn’t have anything to go up against. Now? It seems like Diablo III has come and gone and in a pretty shocking way. This was one of the most anticipated games coming into 2012 and it leaves 2012 with…pretty much no mention. I actually completely forgot that this game came out until I saw it on this list. That’s…not a good thing.
Some people have called this game ‘Morederlands’ for how closely it resembles the original game….but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. You don’t fix what’s not broken and Borderlands 1 simply worked. The improvements put in especially when it comes to how it handles online with the multiplayer is something that definitely needs to be recognized. The classes are different, the weapons are fun, and the end game stuff actually requires some pretty good team work…unless you want to ruin the fun for yourself and glitch it to hell. But hey, it’s your world.
People have picked on Halo 4’s multiplayer for taking a bit too much out of Call of Duty’s playbook with the load outs and the score-per-kill. I am not one of those people. While I have never been that big of a fan of Call of Duty’s multiplayer, I have always been a big fan of Halo’s. Halo just has a certain…touch to it that I’ve always liked. It wasn’t so much a war of “who shot first” but rather than a war of “who shot smarter”. While I feel that Halo 4’s multiplayer still has a lot of flaws, it’s still a multiplayer that I haven’t put down since it’s come out and still keep coming back to it.
Persona 4 Arena
And here’s the sole fighting game on the list this year. I have never played a Persona game in my life before I played P4A…and I probably will never play a Persona game again. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a fun ass time with P4A. It’s from a team that knows how to make a fucking 2D fighter and the best part is that it was ACCESSIBLE. I know that’s usually a dirty word when it comes to fighting games but P4A is an example of how to do it RIGHT. Sure, if you want to just wail like a scrub and button mash the game actually accommodates that and gives you simple combos to do…but it will never be enough to work in high level play unless you actually roll up your sleeves and get in there and work out the systems. Coupled with the great art and the great mechanics rolled in and I am pretty confident nominating P4A as the fighting game representative in this category.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
For the 7th year in a row, I am invoking one of the written rules of The Dormroom Dominator Award. If there is a Call of Duty game, it will be nominated.
Note: A Call of Duty has never won this award.
Spoiler: A Call of Duty game will probably won’t win it this year, either.
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
As much as I dislike Itagaki I think it’s pretty obvious that he was the heart and soul of the Ninja Gaiden franchise. Ever since he has left Team Ninja the game just have not been the same. There is no brighter example of this than the pretty fucking awful Ninja Gaiden 3. Holy shit. How did they fuck this game up THIS bad? A series that was once known for its brutal difficulty and combat pretty much had all of the bite (and gore) removed from it and turned into one of the most disappointing efforts of the year.
Street Fighter x Tekken
While I did not hate SFxT as much as the rest of the fighting game community, Capcom’s handling of the game and the game itself is just something that can’t be ignored. Shoddy gem systems, terrible U.I and TERRIBLE Balance (even for a Capcom game) pretty much ruined this game out of the gate. If this were some other Capcom game this might’ve been a little bit more acceptable, but this was the world’s most popular 2D fighting crossing over with the world’s most popular 3D fighter. Next to Street Fighter vs. Mortal Kombat this was THE BIGGEST thing to happen to fighting games and Capcom not only dropped the ball, they kicked that son of a bitch across the globe. They way they handled the DLC, the balancing, and the post-release of this game was abysmal and just another example of how Capcom is too stubborn to adapt the current game market’s GOOD quality’s. At least Capcom finally realized it’s mistake and is planning on a free update to fix most of the problems…but similar to another big game this year it might be far too late to have a massive effect.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter
…You know what? I really just needed an extra game to put on this list. I don’t think anyone was actually looking forward to MoH: W were they?
Sorry about that.
New Super Mario Brothers U
This game isn’t bad but it’s on this list for something far more egregious. It’s fucking BORING. How many New Super Mario Games do we need before the New stops being NEW? Mario is Mario. There’s no changing that and I am not bitching about that…but the fact that this came out right after yet another “New” Super Mario and they look and play almost identically is pretty goddamn sad. What’s the point of going back to this “New” format if they all look like the same cookie cutter game? Look at the first three Super Mario games. All three were radically different. Hell, if you want to lump Super Mario World in there you can say the first FOUR Mario games were radically different.
Now take notice that we’ve had four “New” Super Mario games across three different consoles and they are all the same exact game. None of which take full advantage of the unique features the consoles offers or change gameplay in a big way. That’s not a good thing. That’s why this game is on the list.
Resident Evil 6
Capcom tried to appeal to everyone with Resident Evil 6. They tried to drag back the Survival Horror hopefuls they lost with Resident Evil 5. They tried to keep the Action-Shooter fans they gained with Resident Evil 4. They tried to make everyone happy and in the end shit the bed. Resident Evil is NOT a terrible game…it’s just…very disappointing. It’s Capcom trying to make a game to appeal to everyone and in the end it ends up pushing everyone away. The ‘survival horror’ isn’t scary enough for fans of that genre; the shooting isn’t good enough to keep the shooter fans happy. It’s disappointing AND bad because for the first time in a long time this seems like a game Capcom actually TRIED on instead of just shitting it out and hoping the same brainless fans would pick it up and not question it. The production value was there, the heart was there…it was ultimately all pointing in the wrong place. Resident Evil went into this generation on a big high from RE4 and is leaving it with pretty much a squandered fan base. That’s a real goddamn shame.
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)
Earlier in the year Poison made history being the first character nominated for both awards, but she won for the female side. Yes, there’s all of the old ass shit about her being a tranny and blah blah. She’s woman, alright? If you keep arguing about it she’ll just slap you with her dick.
Clementine (The Walking Dead)
Clementine…man…Clementine. The worlds smartest 8 year old is definitely getting nominated because could you imagine being 8 at the end of the world? How would you handle it? She grew up faster than anything I have ever seen in a video game and the whole time it was because she was believable. While she might not’ve been the most physical badass in in TWDG’s cast (Molly was a very VERY close second here) she was one of the more stable members of the group and oddly the most mature. She never whined, she never played up to the fact that she was just a kid and didn’t know what the hell was going on. She showed more understanding of the situation than most of the adults in the series. And let’s just remember that until the events of the first episode she had made it out of her own house and lived in a treehouse for two days while the world turned to shit around her. Damn.
Mila (Dead or Alive 5)
People always love to make fun of Dead or Alive because it’s always seen as the game with the tits and the boobs and the fightin’. Well…none of that is exactly untrue but for the people that actually play the game there is an actual fighting game underneath the fan service for all of the other people to enjoy and like. Mila is a newcomer to the series and actually one of the better (in-canon) pure fighters in the game. Where ass most of the other fighters focus on flashy moves and flips Mila’s sole purpose is to just punch you in the face really, really hard. If that doesn’t work she’ll gladly take you don’t and break a bone. I’ve always had a soft spot for female characters in fighting games that don’t fight like the ‘female fighting game character’. Mila is just another in a long line of characters like Vanessa, King, and Leona.
Yes, I am well aware all three of them are from the same fighting game. That’s the problem.
Tiny Tina (Borderlands 2)
So apparently a lot of people hate Tiny Tina. I don’t know who the fuck these people are but I don’t think they have souls. Borderlands 2 might be guilty of having a lot of characters that don’t do much outside of spitting out memes but I swear Tiny Tina is the only character in the game outside of Handsome Jack that I actually felt like was a CHARACTER. Couple that with her backstory and the increasingly fucked up ECHO recordings you find that detailed it and it’s not exactly hard to see why the only fourteen year old on Pandora capable of blowing up half of the goddamn planet is on this list.
The Left Field Hit Award
Unlike the games that didn’t hit with a bang but instead hit with a whimper, there are some games that had next to no promotion when they started…or weren’t promoted nearly enough. These games came out of left field and pretty much hit all of us directly in the head with how great they were. Some of them were downloadable; some of them were full retail releases. The thing is that all of them, and I mean ALL of them are games that should not be missed this year.
I have been shouting Binary Domain’s name from the rooftops. This is a game that should’ve been promoted more because unlike most of the third person shooters that have come out not named Gears of War…this one actually had a story! A REALLY GOOD ONE, TOO. And it is possibly the first “Japan tries to make a Western” game that has gotten it right in a LONG time. The shooting is great, the writing is great, and there’s a ROBOT THAT SPEAKS IN A STEREOTYPICAL FRENCH ACCENT.
Nuff. Fuckin’ Said.
If you would’ve told me that True Crime: Hong Kong would’ve eventually turned into a game that I was still talking about at the end of the year I probably would’ve laughed at you. But whatever weird magic secret that Square-Enix has over there is working again because this is the second time they have taken over a game and churned out something that was beyond good…but great. It’s just a polished as a Grand Theft Auto game and just as quirky as a Saints Row game…and all of it with a completely different style of play. HAND TO HAND COMBAT. YES.
Mark of Ninja
Mark of Ninja is a great 2D stealth game. It takes all of the annoying things that have plagued stealth games for a long time and surfaces them. You know when you are making sound. You know when you have messed up. You would think showing off of these systems to you out-right would somehow cheapen the game…but no! It makes the game that much more difficult and that is where the fun comes in. From the makers of Shank 1 and 2 came one of the better, yet criminally under-promoted downloadable games of the year.
The Walking Dead
What is there really left to say about The Walking Dead? Sure, the series was running on a high after the return of the T.V Show and the comic hitting issue 100, but NO ONE thought that an Adventure game was going to be the right route for this. And on top of Episodic Games not really catching on at this point…no one thought this was going to blow up as big as it did. And it blew up.
Wanna know how big? The Walking Dead has been nominated AND WON Game of the Year in many publications.
And guess what? It’s nominated here, too.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
A motherfucking XCOM game came out this year.
Think about that.
Thought about it?
I don’t do this often, but I actually haven’t played Hotline Miami. So…why did I nominate it? Because for the last three months it has been the only game my mother plays on her PC.
My 57 year old mother.
That’s good enough for me.
Game of the Year
Alright. Here is where I usually break down why each of these games was nominated. But I realized about two years ago…when it comes to Game of the Year nominations…there really isn’t anything you can do to sway someone’s mind on way or another. So here’s what I’m gonna do.
I’m just gonna list ‘em. K?
Mass Effect 3
Assassin’s Creed III
Far Cry 3
The Walking Dead
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Now before we go…
Working List: 5 Games I Loved in 2012 that aren’t GOTY
5. Dragon’s Dogma
3. Sleeping Dogs
2. Dead or Alive 4
1. Transformers: Fall of Cybertron
Well there you have it, the nominations for the 7th Annual Working Title Awards. Vote now!
Either way I’m going to pick a winner.
And will you look at that! The world didn’t even end so I don’t even have an excuse as to why this column is late. DAMN. Until next time, I’m Jordan Williams…and just be lucky I didn’t nominate Duke Nukem Forever for GOTY like I did last year.