So I was watching the recent TGS podcast, and they did an impromptu awards show between TotalBiscuit, Dodger, and Jessie Cox. I decided I’d throw my relatively insignificant 2 cents in using their categories as well. Enjoy!
The categories will be as follows:
- Game of the Year, defined as “Given the most personal enjoyment
- Surprise of the year
- Biggest Disappointment
- Worst Game Played
Game of the Year
I am vehemently declairing my game of the year as Crusader Kings II, by Paradox Interactive. I really have to hand it to those guys, they know how to make a strategy game. In fact, they seem to be one of the only companies left even attempting to do so! I only recently got into their ultra-complicated brand of Real-time Historical Simulation games with Sengoku late last year, which is a great intro to Paradox games by the way. I loved the extra complication over the flashy combat of Shogun 2 (Also a great game!) and it laid the basis for my eventual love of CKII. My room-mate of the time had been playing Crusader Kings 1 and the stories he would tell blew my mind. Murder, court intrigue, ravenous expansion, brother VS brother wars… it seemed way too cool to be in a video game, and especially procedurally generated. The only problem was… it looked like total crap, being as old as it was… not to mention it didn’t even run on my huge, modern monitor even after mucking about with the resolution.
So I waited a couple months and ate up the Dev blogs of Crusader Kings II like crazy. When the game finally came out… I didn’t launch it for about 3 months due to the intimidation. When I finally did… I lost about 2 straight weeks to what I call “Maps: The game”.
No matter how many games I play (Or ragequit 200 years in), there’s always more to do. New nations to control. New families to lead to prosperity or ruin. And Paradox is consistently delivering appropriately priced and extremely full featured DLC/Expansions for the game in a timely manner. The game that came out in February of this year has at least doubled it’s feature set through expansions, with many of the features even added to the vanilla game in the DLC-day patch if you’re too tight walleted to drop money… and of course deep Steam sale discounts don’t hurt the wallet if you decide to wait a bit.
**Protip: Only ever buy the fluff DLC (Visual unit packs, Music additions) on Steam sale! They end up only costing you cents instead of dollars.**
Surprise of the Year
This one is easy for me: Faster Than Light. This strategy/space sim came out of absolutely nowhere for me. I never saw their kickstarter, or heard any word of mouth about it. My introduction was a “WTF is…” TotalBiscuit made a few days before launch which made me interested, but I had no idea how completely addicted I’d become to this indie, $10 game. It has random generation, a multitude of ships to unlock (Not DLC, mind you! Good ol’ unlocking! With specific requirements to get you to play the game and everything), and very pleasing art and music. Whether you’re panicking over your suffocating man-sized Preying Mantis named Matt, or monitoring 4 different weapon systems as well as timing your cloak to avoid a hailstorm of missles, Faster Than Light rarely makes any missteps. Much like Braid or Limbo of years past, FTL has become THE sleeper indie hit of 2012, and I’m so glad I’ve been involved.
And I still haven’t unlocked the damned crystal cruiser… or even beaten the end boss on Normal difficulty.
Tune your intertubes here soon for the thrilling conclusion, including the worst of the worst (IMO, of course) of 2012.