game of the year

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Jalexbrown's Game of the Year Awards

By: jalexbrown Dec 13, 2011 | 112 Views | 3 Comments

Jalexbrown gives his picks for the best games that he played in 2011.

(Author's Note: My "Game of the Year" awards are different than most.  Instead of evaluating all games that came out in the current calendar year, I evaluate all games that I played this year.  Other than my PS2 category and the Game of the Year category - which can consist of any game that I've played in 2011 - all categories are restricted to current-gen games only.  That just makes sense.  I wanted to get that out of the way before the inevitable "That game wasn't released in 2011!!!!" comments.  It's worth noting that I can't give out awards for genres or systems I didn't play any of or enough of for there to be any real competition - that's why no sports games or Wii games, for instance.)

ACTION-ADVENTURE

Nominees: Battlefield 3, Batman: Arkham City, Resident Evil 5, Uncharted 2

And the winner is...

Batman: Arkham City

While all of these games are good in their own way, Batman: Arkham City just stands above the competition.  The story is intriguing, the combat is amazingly fluid, it feels like an improved sequel, and the feeling of actually being Batman is just something that no other game can match.

MULTIPLAYER SHOOTER

Nominees: Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Crysis 2, Uncharted 2

And the winner is...

Battlefield 3

Battlefield 3 is an example of a game that just plain rises head-and-shoulders above its competition.  Sure all of these games can be a lot of fun to play, but Battlefield 3 is just so freaking polished that it's hard to go back to any of these other games after playing it.  Perhaps the most note-worthy aspect of the game's mutliplayer is that teamwork actually matters; running around like a vigilante rogue won't get much accomplished.  The vehicles should also be mentioned, because they're awesome and a whole lot of fun to use.  A shining example of multiplayer goodness?  I think so.

ROLE-PLAYING GAME

Nominees: 3D Dot Game Heroes, Demon's Souls, Fallout: New Vegas, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey

And the winner is...

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey

This is one of my favorite game series of all time, and Strange Journey is definitely deserving of the title.  The story is a bit weak compared to other Shin Megami Tensei games, but Strange Journey more than makes up for it with awesome gameplay.  Combat is a lot of fun, and the negotiations - while a staple of the series - never fails to feel extremely cool to me.  If you like RPGs, you should definitely consider this game.

RE-RELEASE

Nominees: Chrono Trigger, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Metal Slug 2, Persona 2 PSP

And the winner is...

Chrono Trigger

While Chrono Trigger definitely isn't the most changed from its original entity (in fact none of them are groundbreakingly different), I think Chrono Trigger was the best in the first place.  The story is amazing, the soundtrack is gold, and the gameplay is a great example of why the 16-bit era was hailed as the generation with some of the best Japanese RPGs ever.

GAME THAT WASN'T RELEASED

Nominees: Final Fantasy Versus XIII, Guild Wars 2, Max Payne 3, Torchlight 2

And the winner is...

Guild Wars 2

I would've loved to have seen all these games released in 2011; hell, I would've loved to have seen any of these games released in 2011.  But none of them have me itching for a release more than Guild Wars 2.  Now, I wasn't honestly a fan of the first Guild Wars, but I'm definitely buying into the hype that ArenaNet is selling for Guild Wars 2.  The Old Republic is the cinematic and story evolution of the genre, and I believe Guild Wars 2 will end up being the gameplay evolution of the genre.  Now if only it would get released...

HANDHELD GAME

Nominees: Chrono Trigger, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Persona 2 PSP, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey

And the winner is...

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey

Not only was it my favorite role-playing game of 2011, but it was also my favorite handheld game of 2011.  There's not much I can say here without rehashing, so I'll just congratulate the game and move on.

PLAYSTATION 2 GAME

Nominees: Final Fantasy XII, Indigo Prophecy, Okami, Persona 4

And the winner is...

Persona 4

This game rocked my life when I started playing it.  I played Persona 3 to death and knew it was awesome, but after playing Persona 4, I realized that a game just has no right being this great.  I don't mean to sound like I'm writing a love letter to this game, but I can't help it.  Story, soundtrack, gameplay...it's all here, and the game rarely seems to faulter at all.  This game will be the reason I keep my Playstation 2 hooked up for a long, long time to come.

PLAYSTATION 3 GAME

Nominees: Battlefield 3, Demon's Souls, Marvel vs Capcom 3, Uncharted 2

And the winner is...

Battlefield 3

This was a tough one, because in truth Battlefield 3 might not be the most well-rounded of the nominees; the single-player campaign is pretty average in my opinion.  But I can't help it...this game shines for me.  To be fair all these games are great and every one of them could be argued as deserving of the award, but when I turn on my Playstation 3, I keep going back to Battlefield 3.

XBOX 360 GAME

Nominees: Alan Wake, Batman: Arkham City, Eternal Sonata, Resident Evil 5

And the winner is...

Batman: Arkham City

Much like with the Playstation 3 nominees, arguments could be made for all of these games.  But Batman: Arkham city definitely feels like the most polished and complete game of the bunch.  Rocksteady games was on spot with Arkham City, creating a follow-up to Arkham Asylum that definitely deserves its namesake.  Now...Arkham State?  Arkham World?  Arkham Universe?  I don't care, Rocksteady; just make it happen.  But there will always be a spot in my Xbox 360 for Arkham City.

GAME OF THE YEAR

Nominees: Batman: Arkham City, Battlefield 3, Chrono Trigger, Persona 4

And the winner is...


Persona 4

This was the hardest choice of the bunch; it's supposed to be by definition, I suppose.  And to be perfectly fair, every nominee is, in its own way, the best of the best.  These are the games that give us a reason to be gamers.  And if any one game that I've played this year gave me that spark, that exhilerating feeling that made me say This is why I'm a gamer...it had to be Persona 4.  Everything about this game reeks of excellence.  The amount of time that you can spend playing this game will make you laugh at even the most exciting multiplayer game.  If I could've only picked up one game all year, rest assured it would be Persona 4.

 

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