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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summer Awards for 2012

Summer is almost over for me and many others, so it's only natural to go back and recognize some of the things I've taken from certain games after the summer. If a satirical awards article is what it takes for me to express these things, then I'll make one. Note that there are basically no rules at all for these awards. I'll put whatever I want wherever I want (Note: Typically, giving me complete control of anything is considered a fairly bad idea.)

So here we go-
Best Console of the Summer - Sega Dreamcast
The Dreamcast typically wins any "Best Console" awards that I give out. It's great, and it's full of awesome games. The Dreamcast's four controller ports make it an excellent multiplayer console, as shown by games such as Unreal Tournament, Virtua Tennis, and Games and That Podcast favorite Power Stone 2. Also, it has Crazy Taxi.

Worst game of the Summer - Bubsy 3D
It's still awful. Hilariously awful.

Game I was Wrong About of the Summer - Wii Sports Resort
I always have dismissed motion controls as being gimmicky and unreasonable ways to control games. From Tony Hawk's Ride to the Kinect, I've never loved them. This summer, however, I got another chance to play Wii Sports Resort, the game that basically exists to sell the Wii Motion Plus. Initially, I never even wanted to try it out. However, midway through the summer, two friends out at the camp that I work at introduced me to the table tennis mini-game. Simply put, it's awesome. After watching them get unbelievably good at it, I actually tried my hand at it. I did poorly, but I had fun. It goes to show that motion controls can work well in the right situations.

Game that I forgot about but I remembered - Aggressive Inline
Though it represents the weird early 2000's trend of "Extreme" sports games inspired by (Read: taking ideas from) the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series, Aggressive Inline manages to do just about everything right. It even pioneered a few ideas, using the THPS4 style of timed goals placed in a sort of free skate a few months before THPS4 was released. It has nearly spot on controls, good level design, and a relatively awful soundtrack (minus The Vandals' "Idea for a movie"). If you still have your old XBOX, PS2 or GameCube and you like the Tony Hawk style, Aggressive Inline takes the formula and makes it work really well. I put this game here because I had played it around 2003 and I wasn't a huge fan of it because it was based around inline skating, a sport which I really didn't care for at that point in my life. (I was eight and couldn't comprehend anything other than skateboarding games.)

Best Sonic Game of the Summer - Sonic CD
Sonic Generations wasn't great. However, Sonic CD has some of the best level design ever. You can find it on Steam and on the XBox Live Arcade, and you should absolutely buy it. To put it in perspective for those who haven't played it, imagine a Sonic game with good level design, an awesome soundtrack, and a time travel aspect added. There's Sonic CD for you.

Summer Awards With the Least Continuity of the Summer - These
I mean holy shit who has a summer awards article and then mentions none of the games released in the summer?

Most Disappointing Game of the Summer - NCAA Football 13
When a developer's game is typically criticized for not attempting to innovate, you'd the developer would at least try to fix problems from the previous installment. Unfortunately for EA Sports, it seems that they released the same game as last year. It really feels like NCAA Football 13 could be the biggest waste of money for a sports game fan this year. The new Heisman Challenge mode is fun, but it's not worth the sixty dollars, especially considering the lack of innovation from 2012. As a game, it's alright, but if you've already purchased NCAA Football 12, don't bother.

Emptiest Venture of the Summer - When I wanted to play through all of the Final Fantasy games
I made it halfway through FFIX and then I saved myself into a corner and stopped playing forever because I'm the worst.

Best Multiplayer of the Summer - Super Smash Bros. (N64)
For whatever reason, every summer I seem to come back to Super Smash Bros. in some way out at camp. I played absolutely no Melee, and only a little bit of Brawl, but my Games and That Podcast colleague Clay and I played a lot of the N64 Smash Bros. I had forgot how much I really liked the old N64 Smash Bros, and this summer at camp reminded me.

Best Game of the Summer - Super Mario 3D Land
I had some problems with what it represents, and I had a few more problems getting used to the regression in moveset, but after I got over those problems, and almost perfect game stood before me. I love the level design, the controls, and even some of the 3D effects were great. It's an awesome game, and I'm really glad that I purchased it. I spent a lot of time on it, and it's absolutely any money that you spend on it.

That's about it for Summer 2012. Now that the non-summer session of the year is about to begin, I'm really optimistic about what I'll do on this blog. Stick around!

-The Count

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