2011 Game Of The Year Nominees

No way around it folks, it’s that time of year. As the nights grow longer and the days grow colder, we begin to reflect on the year that was.

In just two weeks, we will be announcing our winners for 14 different end of year awards, including our pick for Game of the Year. In making our nominations, Jeff and I each nominated up to three games per category. In two weeks time we will debate over each on our podcast and come to an agreement on each one. Should be fun.

In the mean time, we are proud to present the award categories, and our nominees for each. Feel like weighing in on our choices, or who should win? Leave a comment!

Unplayables GAME OF THE YEAR:
Mike: Saint’s Row: The Third, Skyrim, Portal 2
Jeff: Skyrim, Yakuza 4, Witcher 2

Best Console Experience:
Mike: Dead Space 2, Batman: Arkham City, Saints Row: The Third
Jeff: Yakuza 4, Uncharted 3, Dark Souls

Best PC Experience:
Mike: The Witcher 2, Skyrim, Minecraft
Jeff: The Witcher 2, Skyrim, DC:UO

Best Downloadable Only Game:
Mike: Minecraft
Jeff: Ms. Splosion Man, Cthuhlu Saves the World, Pinball FX 2: Vengeance and Virtue

Best New IP:
Mike: Gunstringer, Shadows of the Damned, Superbrothers
Jeff: LA Noire, Gunstringer, Outland

Best Reboot:
Mike: Mortal Kombat, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, You Don’t Know Jack
Jeff: WWE ‘12, Mortal Kombat, Deus Ex: HR

Most Underrated Game of the Year:
Mike: Yakuza 4, Tropico 4, Shadows of the Damned
Jeff: Yakuza 4, Warhammer: Space Marine, DC: UO

Biggest Surprise of the Year:
Mike: You Don’t Know Jack, The Witcher 2, Saint Row: The Third
Jeff: Saints Row: The Third, LA Noire, Portal 2

Biggest Disappointment of the Year:
Mike: Red Faction: Armageddon, X-Men Destiny, A Game of Thrones: Genesis
Jeff: inFamous 2, EDF: IA, Dragon Age II

Worst Game of the Year:
Mike: Sword of the Stars II, Stronghold 3, Alice: Madness Returns
Jeff: Dragon Age II, Catherine, Rise of Nightmares

Best New Character
Mike: Garcia “fucking” Hotspur
Jeff: Akiyama, Ms. Splosion Man, Vernon Roche

Best Performance in a Game:
Mike: Mark Hamill as The Joker, Stephen Merchant as Wheatley, Nolan North as Nathan Drake
Jeff: Aaron Staton as Cole Phelps, Richard McGonagle as Sully, Stephen Merchant as Wheatley

Most Anticipated Game of 2012
Mike: King Arthur 2, Mass Effect 3, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Jeff: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, WWE ‘13, Yakuza: Of the End

About Mike Cantor

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6 Responses to 2011 Game Of The Year Nominees

  1. eBusiness says:

    I kinda feel like I haven’t played enough games to really be eligible to vote. Except for:

    Biggest disappointment: Being the only game I really looked forward to there is in my mind little to contest that Sword of the Stars II is the years biggest disappointment. I didn’t waste my money, but that doesn’t make me any less disappointed that the game I looked forward to essentially isn’t there. I’m kinda surprised that you didn’t nominate it for that category.

    Most underrated game: Can’t say which one it should be, but it shouldn’t be Tropico 4. It’s a damned copy of Tropico 3, perks and flaws alike being transferred from the predecessor, yet it received a Metacritic score of 78, it didn’t even get bashed that hard.

    Most anticipated: Where is Diablo III?

    • Mike Cantor says:

      Sword of the Stars II was terrible, but I wasn’t really anticipating it so I didn’t feel like it warranted being the biggest disappointment. I didn’t have monumental warm and fuzzy feelings about SOTS 1, after all, so while SOTS II’s problems were awful, they were not entirely unexpected.

      On Tropico 4, I agree it’s similar to Tropico 3, but the innovations they made in the campaign mode put it above and beyond 3. It’s just a better game all over. Check out our review if you want to see our take on it. I really loved that game.

      Anticipated: Diablo III looks like it’s going to be great, but it isn’t one of my top 3 for next year. Going to get it, probably going to love it, but there are other games I am looking forward to more.

  2. Jeff Fischer says:

    Based on your phrase “It’s a damned copy of Tropico 3” I think proves Mikes point. You’re are right the game didn’t get bashed, but most of the reviews I saw said It’s just Tropico 3 move along, however that’s selling the game very short. Tune into the show to hear Mike defend fully his position.

    Also, Diablo III neither of us could care about I imagine. The category is kind of tough as it’s a straight up opinion choice. You can give you eBusiness Most Anticipated Game of the Year award to Diablo III though, that’s cool!

  3. eBusiness says:

    Did Tropico 4 solve the very simple production lines where processing goods at factories before selling is totally optional. Do these production lines differ substantially in any other way than cosmetics?

    Did Tropico 4 provide a challenging gameplay where simply building a standard economy and then pursuing some simple victory conditions in a straight forward manner is not enough for winning?

    Did it come up with an exciting way of differencing the economy from mission to mission?

    • Mike Cantor says:

      Really not interested in getting into a long and detailed argument here. It’s apparently that I enjoyed Tropico 4 more than you did, and that’s fine. I felt that Tropico 4 solved a great many problems that Tropico 3 had, but that it also was terribly similar. In many ways, it is the game that Tropico 3 should have been.

      I think that part of the reason that I like it so much is that these sorts of games are just becoming rarer and rarer. There aren’t any SimCity’s or Caesar’s to satiate my desire for classic city building, so Tropico has to suffice.

      Also, I very much enjoyed the story campaign, as rudimentary as its objectives were. And actually, yes, I did think that Tropico 4 differentiated the economy quite a bit mission to mission, through shifting commodity prices, resource availability, story events and natural disasters.

      Remember. These are just the nominees. Winners will be announced soon, and I think you made a good point insofar that Tropico 4 may not be as underrated as I originally felt.

      Thanks for reading.

      • eBusiness says:

        Yeah, the market for economic management games isn’t what it has been. It seems to me that some of the good games didn’t get the attention they deserve, one of my all-time favourites Railroad Tycoon 3 I got in a cheap game pack along with the pretty shitty Sid Meier’s Railroads. I had no clue about the difference until I played the games. Why? Because reviews didn’t differentiate a lot.

        That is one reason why I have grown fond of GameSpot user reviews, the writers of those ain’t afraid of saying what needs to be said.

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