revengeance

Leviathyn’s Game of the Year 2013: Alternate Awards

2013 has been full of all sorts of amazing and memorable moments in gaming. The fruition of the next-generation launch overtook many stories as the one to remember, but we contest that there’s much more that isn’t talked about. Game of the Year conversations aside, we’ve set forth an established amount of games and material who’ve won our personal acclaim for… well, at least something. That’s right, these awards may not have a regal gold chalice of unemptiness to go with the winner, but they simply must be shared with the rest of the world. For 2013!

If you missed out on our embattled Game of the Year debate, anticipated titles for 2014 as well as our Characters of the Generation picks, look no further! Don’t forget to let us know your opinion of our Games of the Generation choices too. We’ve been pretty busy.

Because we have so many crazy and amazing awards to bestow, here’s a quick list so you can navigate quicker! You’re welcome.

Awards Hot-list
Best Worst Profession (real-life): Microsoft Employee overseeing Xbox PR
Best Worst Profession (game): Remember Me – Errorist
Worst Launch: SimCity
Funniest Moment Outside of a Game: Sony’s “Share” Commercial
Funniest Moment Inside of a Game: Saints Row IV Opening Sequence
Best Moment Out of Game: Sony’s E3 Press Conference Reaction
Best Moment In-Game: The Last of Us’ Conclusion
Best Reboot: Tomb Raider
Most Disappointing: SimCity
Most Awesome Feature: Rogue Legacy – Inherited Traits
Best Collectibles: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance – Left Arms
Best Visuals: BioShock: Infinite
Best Sequel No One Asked For: Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
Most Left Out Fan-base: Metroid
Best Obscure Indie Game You Never Knew About: Expeditions: Conquistador
Shakin’ Up the Formula Award: Mega Evolutions
Best Voice Acting: The Last of Us
Best DLC/Post-launch Support: Sanctum 2
Oh, wait, this came out?: Armored Core: Verdict Day
Best Free to Play Title: Path of Exile


Best Worst Profession (real-life): Microsoft Employee overseeing Xbox PR
XboxOnePR

Why it won: Marketing a new technological beast like the Xbox One has to be a hand full – probably several hands full. While the job to advertise this thing comes with staggering layers of unquestionable stress, within lay an unlimited ceiling of opportunity for the people involved. Think about it. Market this worldwide device correctly and who knows where the future could take you in seizing better, more lucrative opportunities. It’s a position many would envy, essentially allowing you to put your own future in your very own hands. Saying that, the Xbox One was a total PR disaster.

After its unveiling, Microsoft and the Xbox One came under tremendous amounts of criticism for its tied in DRM, among other questionable decisions. Various PR agents told different stories to reporters, showcasing that Microsoft’s own PR never had a gameplan going into the full reveal. Merely weeks later, after its metaphorical stoning, the Xbox One changed almost all of its initial policies, mimicking Sony’s superior set of guidelines with the PlayStation 4. When it’s all said and done, the Xbox One PR nightmare will always be remembered and the people, who had a chance to really make a name for themselves, ended up being the laughingstock of video game marketing – perhaps for all-time.


Best Worst Profession (game): Remember Me – Errorist
RememberMeErrorist

Why it won: Remember Me was one of our most hyped games of this year, until it actually came out. Disappointment aside, you play as something called an Errorist. Yes, that’s the combination of terrorist and error in one phenomenally made up word – kind of like containister. Anyway, Errorists are a radical group of people who are vehement in their hatred for something called the Sensation Engine, which deals directly with memories. Regardless, Errorists attack the system through social media and their implants because, well, that’s what they do.

Seriously though, there isn’t a better, more ridiculous made up job name in video games than this. Errorist, so bad it’s awesome.


Worst Launch: SimCity
SimCity Hotels Block

Why it won: Although plenty of people liked what it offered initially, it was obvious to everybody that the launch of SimCity was nothing short of disastrous. Besides going offline and dealing with pre-installed DRM issues, players were also limited to a slower game speed due to technical difficulties. The launch was so bad for SimCity that EA offered a free game to those who bought it. For a game that blew the top off of most conventions it appeared in, it’s too bad its technical difficulties limited its seemingly unlimited potential.

Funniest Moment Outside of a Game: Sony’s “Share” Commercial

Why it won: Having ‘won’ the war of words initially, Sony came out swinging with one of the funniest advertisements for the PlayStation 4 we’ve ever seen. Actually, this is one of, if not the most aggressive hilarity the industry has ever seen. While the point of this ad is now defunct (due to the Xbox One changing all of its policies) at 14 million views and counting as of this post, the world agrees; this is a moment to remember.

Funniest Moment Inside of a Game: Saints Row IV Opening Sequence

Why it won: At the onset of Saint’s Row IV, the Boss scales a nuclear warhead with “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith blaring. Its obvious and absolutely hilarious parody of the film Armageddon cannot be denied and must be witnessed if you haven’t had the opportunity to play it yourself. Full of references and other fantastic moments, Saints Row IV is better if you understand them and even then is still one of the best games of 2013.


Best Moment Out of Game: Sony’s E3 Press Conference Reaction

Why it won: Like any good news outlet, we remain neutral in our alliances with all video games. It’s how we sustain our journalistic integrity and provide our viewers (you!) with quality reading and video material. With that said, we had goosebumps when Sony made their announcements at their E3 press conference. The electricity in the room came together and burst forth in an applause you rarely hear at these types of events. Move to 1:39 of the video and watch as Jack Tretton unveils Sony’s no DRM policy; a deft blow to the already reeling Microsoft side that, surprisingly enough, also is never seen exchanged in this manner. The whole moment was captivating and it truly felt good to be a gamer, surrounded by people who felt the same.


Best Moment In-Game: The Last of Us’ Conclusion
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Why it won: The Last of Us not only received critical acclaim from us, but also won our Game of the Year and still managed to find itself in discussions like our Characters of the Generation debate. It’s only fitting that a game with such a strong narrative finds its way on the Alternative Awards page as well.

Without ruining anything too severe (just skip this if you haven’t beaten the game yet), know that The Last of Us surprises at the game’s conclusion. Joel and Ellie have gone through hell and still aren’t in the clear when the credits roll, but before they do Joel has a chance to let Ellie know what’s happened and lies about it. Opening up a whole new set of paths that the inevitable sequel will explore, this ingenious narrative mechanic fully shows that Joel truly isn’t the hero some would’ve hoped he’d become.


Best Reboot: Tomb Raider
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Why it won: Impressing us in ways we didn’t see coming, Tomb Raider has set a standard for how reboots should be done. Tossing out all the stereotypes and gameplay quirks of past titles, Crystal Dynamics did an incredible job making the game flow, allowing for more fun than any previous Tomb Raider can boast. While it had its own issues, the narrative and way Lara Croft presented herself made for a strong reason why gamers should give this new iteration a chance.


Most Disappointing: SimCity
simcity-2013-screenshot-3

Why it won: In case we didn’t cover everything already, SimCity left quite a bit to be desired. When people could play, the game was fun and, similarly, that fun was stripped away almost as soon as it was had. Simply put, SimCity was a complete PR and gameplay disaster right out of the gate. It took months for people to begin playing the game ‘correctly’ and even then there’s arguments present saying the gameplay was never that good anyhow. We rode the hype train like everybody else hard, but it crashed harder than when Marcus Fenix derailed one to deliver a lightmass bomb to the Locust lair. Yes, that reference just happened.


Most Awesome Feature: Rogue Legacy – Inherited Traits
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Why it won: If you haven’t played Rogue Legacy yet, you’re truly missing out on one of the better indie games this year has provided. Following the popular rogue-like formula, when you die in Rogue Legacy you don’t come back. However, while your last dude is perma-dead the traits that they possessed are not. Each time you die, and you will die, you choose another hero who can inherit traits you’d find both beneficial and mostly disagreeable. Have vertigo? Get ready to play the game upside down. How about being colorblind? Everything in gray-scale! What if you’re illiterate? Things people say to you are mostly illegible which is also hilarious. Play this game. Now.


Best Collectibles: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance – Left Arms
MetalGearRisingRevengeanceLARM

Why it won: Collectibles can be a funny thing and are usually insipid, heinous devices for prolonging and even padding the time it takes to complete a game. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, much like its whole design concept, takes that idea and smashes it with a three-armed, electrical station wagon full of claymores. Ridiculous as that description sounded, Revengeance’s idea of a collectible is equally baffling as they are the left arms of particular, unimpressive enemies.

One of the main features of Revengeance is being able to slice through pretty much anything you want to, including enemies. As anyone is likely to do, you’re going to exploit the hell out of that mechanic, but early on you’re given access to the ability to see flashing, glowing left arms that are key to obtaining upgrades. Kill an enemy too quickly and you’re out of luck, slice any bit of the left arm while executing them and you’re similarly left with a useless corpse. Silly as the mechanic seems, it’s simultaneously genius and hilarious as you’re cutting through legions of troops but have to be careful around specific ones. It’s one of the best, well used collectibles we’ve seen in years.


Best Visuals: BioShock: Infinite
bioshock infinite

Why it won: BioShock: Infinite ditches the confines and mysterious beauty of the sea for the brighter and aesthetically beautiful floating-city of Columbia. Glancing at this screenshot doesn’t do it justice as one must experience the beauty put into Irrational’s excellent title. There were plenty of great looking games this year, but the art-style of Infinite was just too strong to deny the winner. Go see for yourself.


Best Sequel No One Asked For: Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
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Why it won: We were just as surprised as everybody else to find out we were getting another Luigi’s Mansion game and you know what? It didn’t turn out half bad. Displaying great control and a fun environment to run around, we wish Nintendo returned to older properties like this more often! Ahem, Star Fox… *cough*


Most Left Out Fan-base: Metroid
metroid_prime_samus

Why it won: Star Fox is up there but what else is there to say? Nintendo, we need restitution for Other M, yesterday. Actually, can we finally get a 2D Metroid? Pretty please?


Best Obscure Indie Game You Never Knew About: Expeditions: Conquistador
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Why it won: It’s always a shame when a great game goes unnoticed and with the talent that’s out there today, that should never happen. In our glowing review for Expeditions: Conquistador, we put it simply – play this game. Exploring the rarely used time period of the Spanish Inquisition, Logic Artists manage to weave a captivating tale that’s part turn-based strategy, part RPG and part adult Oregon Trail. If it’s worth anything, the soundtrack is pretty damn good too!


Shakin’ Up the Formula Award: Mega Evolutions
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Why it won: Are you serious? Did you look at that picture? Enough said.


Best Voice Acting: The Last of Us
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Why it won: Naughty Dog, much like Rockstar, has always done well in the voice-acting department. Joel, Ellie, anybody you deal with in The Last of Us performs exceptionally well and with the direction the game was going, they really needed to. Without top grade performers, an emotional story like The Last of Us could never truly be taken seriously. Once again, if you haven’t had the chance to experience the atmosphere of this game, stop reading and go do it now!


Best DLC/Post-launch Support: Sanctum 2

Why it won: Downloadable content (DLC) is now a mainstay of the gaming industry, but there’s a difference between doing it right and doing it oh so wrong. Coffee Stain Studios’ Sanctum 2 is a superb example of the former; giving players more bang for their buck if they loved the game without punishing players who really only wanted the base game.

Giving players access to purchase a season pass right from the game’s launch, it seemed insidious things were afloat. Surprisingly enough, Coffee Stain delivered all four promised pieces of DLC before the year was up with every single one of them containing massive content. New monsters (Lumes), devastating weapons, useful perks, exceptional towers and four new maps came with every piece of DLC. Some of the more potent ones included a brand new character (Tsygan) and some favorable patches that made the game even more playable than it already was. We’ve taken a look at a few of these expansions and if you’ve been waiting to see how they’ve turned out, fear no more! Sanctum 2 is a blast.


Oh, wait, this came out?: Armored Core: Verdict Day
ArmoredCoreVerdictDay

Why it won: Uh, we don’t know anything about this game other than it apparently came out in September. Its lack of reviews are telling in itself. Great job marketing team! Promotions for everyone!


Best Free to Play Title: Path of Exile
PathofExiletree

Why it won: Grinding Gear Games has outdone themselves with the F2P wonder that is Path of Exile. Utilizing the stalwart Diablo formula that’s battle-tested and appreciated, Path of Exile is adventurous enough to go beyond the conventional means of Diablo III’s unfortunate shortcomings. Containing an absolutely enormous skill tree akin to Final Fantasy X’s Sphere Grid, each and every player can become what they want, when they want. Even the weapons in Path of Exile can be completely customized, relying on gems that give each character weapon a unique wave previously unseen in this genre. Oh, did we mention it’s completely free to play without it constantly hounding you to use microtransactions? It’s on Steam too? Yeah, goodbye free-time.




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