usagi704’s Game of the Year Awards 2010

THIS YEAR’S RULES FOR GAMES TO BE CONSIDERED FOR NOMINATION

(List of games eligible for this year’s awards)

– THE GAME MUST HAVE BEEN FINISHED TO MY SATISFACTION
– THE GAME MUST HAVE BEEN PLAYED FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS YEAR
– THE GAME DOES NOT HAVE TO HAVE BEEN ORIGINALLY RELEASED THIS YEAR
– THE GAME OF THE YEAR AWARD ITSELF IS ONLY OPEN TO GAMES FROM THE CURRENT GENERATION

BEST MUSIC
• Bayonetta (PS3)
• Cho Aniki (PCE)
• King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match – Tougeki Ver. (PS2)
• Codename: Tenka (PS)
• BlazBlue: Continuum Shift (PS3)

RUNNER-UP: Codename: Tenka

usagi10-music

I loved how the music in Bayonetta was so cheesy and didn’t take itself seriously just like the rest of the game to the point where Platinum even did a super cheesy cover of Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” and it fit with the rest of the game’s over-the-top feeling so well.

BEST SOUND DESIGN
• Halo (XB)
• Vanquish (PS3)
• Mirror’s Edge (PS3)
• BlazBlue: Continuum Shift (PS3)
• Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner (PS2)

RUNNER-UP: Vanquish

usagi10-sound

No game I played this year created a sense of immersion as well as Mirror’s Edge. The sound design really made you feel like you were inhabiting Faith’s body and doing all of the amazing parkour feats that she was capable of.

BEST GRAPHICS, TECHNICAL
• Resistance 2 (PS3)
• Bayonetta (PS3)
• BlazBlue: Continuum Shift (PS3)
• Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype (PS3)
• Vanquish (PS3)

RUNNER-UP: Bayonetta

usagi10-graphics-tech

Not only does Vanquish look great while rocket sliding around, it also has a lot of great animation like when you switch weapons and your gun morphs into the new weapon or when Sam opens up his visor to have a smoke. No matter what you are doing or what is going on around you Vanquish makes it look good!

BEST GRAPHICS, ARTISTIC
• Sly 2: Band of Thieves (PS2)
• Bayonetta (PS3)
• Cho Aniki (PCE)
• Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner (PS2)
• BlazBlue: Continuum Shift (PS3)

RUNNER-UP: Cho Aniki

usagi10-graphics-art

Gorgeous, intricately detailed, and full of crazy is what Bayonetta’s artistic vision truly is!

MOST IMPROVED SEQUEL
• Super Street Fighter IV (PS3)
• BlazBlue: Continuum Shift (PS3)
• Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype (PS3)
• Sly 2: Band of Thieves (PS2)
• Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner (PS2)

RUNNER-UP: BlazBlue: Continuum Shift

usagi10-improved

unstable framerate: check
frustrating minigames: check
short game length: check
All those problems and more were corrected in Sly 2 making for a sequel that was bigger and better in every way!

MOST SURPRISINGLY GOOD GAME
• flOw (PS3)
• Rygar: The Legendary Adventure (PS2)
• Solar Striker (GB)
• Timeshift (PS3)
• Cho Aniki (PCE)

RUNNER-UP: flOw

usagi10-surprising

I’m as surprised as all of you are, but yes, Cho Aniki was surprisingly good and fun to play. It has some janky hit detection at times, but overall it was a good deal of man-rageous fun that I went back to many times where as I didn’t with the rest of the nominees.

MOST SURPRISING REVISITED GAME
• Marvel Super Heroes (SAT)
• Gun.Smoke (NES)
• Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (PS2)
• Fatal Fury Special (NEO)
• Counter-Strike (XB)

RUNNER-UP: Fatal Fury Special

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Coming back to this 4 year old MK game proved to me that I was slightly too harsh on the game back when it originally came out. I played it much more this year than I did in 2006 and liked it much more than I did then too! After trying out a number of the characters again I found my favorites were Rain and Li Mei. The latter is especially broken because one launcher special usually equals a 50% damage combo or more unless they combo break out of it. The game was even still online with a number of players playing at any time I logged on and it still might be even right now! Definitely a game that is more fun than it is good, but fun nonetheless.

WORST GAME I PLAYED
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up (PS2)
• Crest of Wolf (PCE)
• Psychic Storm (PCE)
• GundeadliGne (PS3)
• Pokemon Pinball (GB)

RUNNER-UP: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up

usagi10-worst

I bought the trio of Japanese indie shmups in the Gundemonium Collection off of the PSN because I wanted to support the genre in hopes of more being released, but I still regret the purchase because outside of Gundemonium Recollection (which was only decent) the three games had horrible production values and gameplay that wasn’t all that fun. GundeadliGne was the laziest designed of the bunch because it was largely the same as Gundemonium Recollection, but also included the ability to turn around to fire at enemies coming from behind which I find to be a lame way of adding challenge to shmups.

STUPIDEST NEWS OF THE YEAR
• Over-blowing the problems of the PS3 version of Bayonetta
• Overreaction to the PS3’s Internal Clock Bug
• Implementation of “online pass” by some publishers
• EA’s changing of ‘Taliban’ to ‘Opposing Force’
• Stupid reactions to Samus in Metroid: Other M

RUNNER-UP: EA’s changing of ‘Taliban’ to ‘Opposing Force’

usagi10-stupid-news

The most aggravating trend of this generation of consoles are all of the ways many companies are trying to extract more and more money out of us and this online pass BS is just another way for some to try to get a hold of more ill-gotten gains.

BEST ACTION/ADVENTURE
• Bayonetta (PS3)
• Rygar: The Legendary Adventure (PS2)
• Yakuza 3 (PS3)
• Otogi: Myth of Demons (XB)
• Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner (PS2)

RUNNER-UP: Yakuza 3

usagi10-action-adv

Over-the-top is absolutely what defines Bayonetta and it is the epitome of the action genre. Move over Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden, and God of War, Bayonetta is here to rightfully claim her throne!

BEST ACTION/PLATFORMER
• Donkey Kong (NES)
• Kirby’s Dream Land 2 (GB)
• Streets of Rage 2 (GEN)
• Mirror’s Edge (PS3)
• Sly 2: Band of Thieves (PS2)

RUNNER-UP: Streets of Rage 2

usagi10-action-platformer

It may have some rough edges and may take time to get used to it, but forget all of the haters because Mirror’s Edge is the evolution of the platforming genre!

BEST SHOOTER
• Vanquish (PS3)
• Borderlands (PS3)
• Halo (XB)
• Quake III Revolution (PS2)
• Timeshift (PS3)

RUNNER-UP: Borderlands

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A fast-paced take on the genre that adds in an awesome new mechanic in the rocket sliding and you have one of the most unique and fun shooters to come along in years!

BEST FIGHTING GAME
• Shin Gouketsuji Ichizoku: Bonnou Kaihou (PS2)
• King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match – Tougeki Ver. (PS2)
• Ninja Master’s [from ADK Tamashii] (PS2)
• BlazBlue: Continuum Shift (PS3)
• Super Street Fighter IV (PS3)

RUNNER-UP: King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match – Tougeki Ver.

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As much as I liked BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger last year I just didn’t get into playing other characters except Ragna, but with Continuum Shift’s fairly major updates and additions I have taken even more of a liking to my main of Ragna as well as playing a few others like Bang and Jin. BlazBlue: Continuum Shift is the latest in the best and most hardcore fighter out there and I wouldn’t expect anything less from Arc System Works.

BEST SHMUP
• Gradius [from Gradius Collection] (PSP)
• Metal Torrent (DSi)
• Cho Aniki (PCE)
• Solar Striker (GB)
• Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype (PS3)

RUNNER-UP: Gradius [from Gradius Collection]

usagi10-shmup

For a small, $5 downloadable game on a handheld you’d think it wouldn’t win with all of the rest of the competition, but this little bullet-hell-shooter-that-could stands up to them and does everything right with the meager amount of content it offers.

BEST HANDHELD GAME
• Solar Striker (GB)
• TMNT (GBA)
• Kirby’s Dream Land 2 (GB)
• Metal Torrent (DSi)
• BlazBlue Portable (PSP)

RUNNER-UP: Metal Torrent

usagi10-hgoty

As impressive as BlazBlue is on a console, it is even more impressive that Arc System Works was able to port that same great fighting game to a handheld system with very few compromises!

GAME OF THE YEAR
• BlazBlue: Continuum Shift
• Mirror’s Edge
• Bayonetta
• Yakuza 3
• Super Street Fighter IV
• Vanquish

RUNNER-UP: Mirror’s Edge

usagi10-goty

Nobody knows action better than Hideki Kamiya. In 2001 he completely redefined the action genre with Devil May Cry and for the better part of the last decade DMC influenced and inspired all the big action hits like Ninja Gaiden and God of War. Kamiya has returned to the top of the action heap in 2010 with none other than the sublime Bayonetta! Stylish, over-the-top, kick-ass, and awesome. Those words describe Bayonetta perfectly. If you are looking for gaming at its finest, look no further than Bayonetta!

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