2011 Award Winners

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It’s now time to enter the strange world of the 2011 gaming awards from yours truly.

BEST BEAT-‘EM-UP
When it comes to beat-’em-ups, I know what I like. It’s my favorite genre after all. I played a bunch of them this last year and Streets of Rage 2 is still the very best of what this genre has to offer.

To an extent Final Fight One on GBA is my preferred version over the arcade just because it isn’t as cheap and it has a few bonus extras like the Street Fighter Alpha versions of Cody and Guy to keep it fun.

The SNES version of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, while simple, has a great music and play mechanics to keep this game out of licence game hell.

Capcom’s Knights of the Round was never one I got into very much before, but last year I played a bit of the SNES port. I was surprised I liked it as much as I did. The character of Percival helped in this with his dashing ability.

Streets of Rage 2 (GEN, PSN)
Final Fight One (GBA)
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (SNES)
Knights of the Round (SNES)

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WORST BEAT-‘EM-UP
I also know what a horrible beat-’em-up is. Revenge of the Wounded Dragons is definitely that. Cheap tactics are the order of the day and instead of using Dragon Rage to kill enemies off faster, I was standing still gaining health back. It was a frustrating game and its memory has stuck with me.

The boss fight on stage eight of Streets of Rage against the two women without the backup puts this game here. Plain and simple.

Magic Sword and Rush’N Attack aren’t as bad. But they did have things about them which made them less exciting. The former made you feel like you had to hurry through the stages, but doing so only made you take more damage. The latter was just a bit too simple, but other than that I can’t complain all that much about it.

Revenge of the Wounded Dragons (PSN)
Magic Sword (PSN)
Streets of Rage (PS3)
Rush’n Attack (NES)

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BEST SCORE CHASER
Whether it’s shooting rocks or ice in Super Stardust HD, playing Plinko in Peggle, or block stacking in Tetris, there’s always a friend who’s score you’re trying to beat. With me it was getting over 348 million points in Alien Crush which was the most fun to score high in for 2011.

Tetris (PSN)
Alien Crush (PSN)
Peggle (PSN)
Super Stardust HD (PSN)

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MOST VISCERALLY SATISFYING
Beating down fools is fun in any game, but certain games do it with brutal style be it with hidden weapons in a stealthy fashion like in Assassin’s Creed or street brawling in Yakuza. The most satisfying moves to pull off this time was in Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2.

Yakuza (PS2)
Assassin’s Creed (PS3)
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (PS3)
Demon’s Souls (PS3)

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MOST SURPRISINGLY GOOD GAME
These games are the ones where you have very little, if any, expectations of them being any good. Duke Nukem: Time to Kill is a perfect example of this. It gets hated on for being a Tomb Raider clone and the critics are correct. It’s not a game I would recommend, but I somehow managed to scrape some fun from the bottom of this old crusty barrel.

One game I can recommend, however, is Run Saber. It’s a clone as well, but a decent one similar in most ways to Strider. Atlus even published great games back in the Super Nintendo days!

Duke Nukem: Time to Kill (PSX)
Run Saber (SNES)
Art of Fighting 2 (SNES)
Shadowgate Classic (GBC)

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MOST FUN VS. USAGI704
In one of the most odd award categories, but fitting for me, is which game did I enjoy the most when facing off against Usagi704. Is it the copious amounts of Mortal Kombat matches? What about the surprisingly good port of Art of Fighting 2? It was actually the matches we had on the Genesis version of Super Street Fighter II way back this time last year.

Super Street Fighter II (GEN)
Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (PSN)
Mortal Kombat 3 (PSX)
Art of Fighting 2 (SNES)

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MOST DISAPPOINTING GAME
There’s a number of ways for a game to be disappointing. Half-Life 2: Episode One is an example of simply not being as good or memorable as the previous main game. Rainbow Six Vegas was an unfortunate case of not being able to pass a boss which was glitched. It wasn’t a big deal once I viewed the underwhelming small amount of the game that was left.

NBA Jam was very disappointing in its Remix mode. The camera angle wasn’t good at all for 21 or Domination. Being a big fan of the original arcade game and still really liking the Classic Campaign in this new edition made this all the more upsetting.

NBA Jam (PS3)
Half-Life 2: Episode One (PS3)
Rainbow Six Vegas (PS3)
Robocop Versus The Terminator (SNES)

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DOWN RIGHT CRAP GAME
I’ve played some crap games in 2011. You’ve already met Revenge of the Wounded Dragons. Now meet GoldenEye: Rogue Agent. It would’ve won this category, but at least I could explain in my review what was wrong with the game. Then I played a game where I couldn’t. This pile of trash goes by the name of Army of Two.

Revenge of the Wounded Dragons (PSN)
Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (PS2)
GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (PS2)
Army of Two (PS3)

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BEST ACTION/ADVENTURE
It’s no secret I adore Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. In 2011 I bought the Prince of Persia Trilogy and got the platinum trophy for said game. With that said, I’ve played the game quite a number of times. I needed something new. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was new, but the experience was similar to the first game. How about new and fresh experience? Assassin’s Creed fit, but it was a bit too repetitive.

This is where Demon’s Souls came in. It was a risk since I usually don’t get into many games of its type. However, the risk paid off. I found the challenge to be overall less than hyped to be, but a challenge nonetheless. The boss fights were very memorable and gave me a sense of accomplishment. No other game I’ve played in recent memory can claim this.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (PS3)
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
Assassin’s Creed (PS3)
Demon’s Souls (PS3)

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ABSOLUTE BEST GAME OF THE YEAR
Continuing on the theme of fresh, new gaming experiences, each of these four nominees for 2011 Game of the Year delivered this in one way or another.

Gunstar Heroes is a run-‘n-gun which isn’t new to me, but the amount of variety in the stages and bosses of such a game is. I mean there’s a more traditional shoot-’em-up stage in this game. Treasure’s crazy, but good.

The ultimate winner is Yakuza! It has everything I like about such a game. The story is very good and the fighting mechanics are one hell of a brutally fun time. It’s not often after playing a game that I get a mental reminder to play the next game in the series. This has been the case with Yakuza.

Gunstar Heroes (GEN)
Yakuza (PS2)
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (PS3)
Demon’s Souls (PS3)

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