Thursday, January 3, 2013

The SuperPhillip Central Best of 2012 Awards - Day Three

Welcome to Day Three of the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2012 Awards! If you're just joining us, we have been through eight awards already. Just browse the front page of the site for the days you missed. Regardless, today we just have three awards to hand out, but they are important ones. I am handing out the awards for Most Overlooked Game, Developer of the Year, and the lead up to my Game of the Year award, the Multiplatform Game of the Year. Put on your seat belt, folks. The ride is about to get wild!

[Most Overlooked]

As I do with my Most Overlooked recurring segment on SuperPhillip Central, this category gives titles that many did not get a chance to play another chance in the spotlight. These five nominees are most worthy of your attention. And the nominees are...

Gravity Rush (PSV)


Play as Kat as you enjoy a world ripe for exploration. Take on story missions, side quests, optional bosses, and level up your character as you alter the flow of gravity. Gravity Rush was even called niche by its developer, so it isn't that much of a stretch that it would sell in niche quantities. Regardless, that doesn't give anyone with a Vita an excuse to not own this game!

Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure (3DS)


A Professor Layton-like adventure except only with rhythm games instead of puzzles to advance the story, Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure was released over the summer (like many of the nominees in this category) in North America to little, if any, fanfare. That's a shame, too, because the game features some really entertaining games, including some nods to Sega franchises like Samba de Amigo and Space Channel 5. It is my hope that more people get a chance to play this overlooked 3DS game.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (3DS)


Released in the summer, and one of the first 3DS games supporting downloadable content, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is a franchise fan's dream. It has a multitude of music from all thirteen mainline games, RPG aspects, and loads of content. An iOS version of the game released, and while it is missing a good portion of the content of the original 3DS release, it is another chance for Theatrhythm Final Fantasy to get some attention.

The Last Story (Wii)


XSeed, the publisher of the game in North America, stated that The Last Story was their most successful title. That's great news, but their games tend to sell to a niche audience anyway, and The Last Story is just another one of those. Released at the end of the Wii's life, the game, with Hironobu Sakaguchi (the mind behind Final Fantasy) at the helm, has been glanced over by many of the mainstream press. Too bad for them as the game is rather good, if not outside the norm of your standard JRPG.

New Little King's Story (PSV)


Take the poor selling Wii original, spruce up the visuals and give it more content, and you get New Little King's Story for the PlayStation Vita. The game was only available via digital download. I can only imagine how badly the game would have been overlooked had it been a full retail title. Regardless, Vita owners could do themselves a favor by heading to the PlayStation Store and downloading this delight of a game.

And the winner is...










New Little King's Story (PSV)

While the Wii original version of Little King's Story featured a more childlike aesthetic, New Little King's Story presented players with taller characters. The Vita version of the game gives a lot more reasons to love it. There is a great level of charm that the game exhibits, and it is a doggone shame that many Vita owners and press members let this title fall through the proverbial cracks.

Runner-up: Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure (3DS)

===

[Developer of the Year]

You can't have a game made without a developer who pours their heart and soul into the titles they make. The five nominees of this category have performed the best this past year. And the nominees are...

Sony Bend


Sony Bend is well-known to Sony handheld fans. They have created a lot of the most memorable PlayStation Portable titles. Now they have made the transition to the Vita, and with that transition, they made Uncharted: Golden Abyss, a possible Best PlayStation Vita Game contender. Sony Bend's quality is consistent, and that is all you can ask for with a developer.

Thatgamecompany


The makers of such popular independent games like Fl0w, Flower, and this year's Journey, Thatgamecompany's ability to create simple yet beautiful and thought-provoking games is unmatched in the indie developer industry. They have somehow made a downloadable game that is taking Game of the Year wins from retail titles, something that would have been unheard of years ago. For the above reasons, that is why Thatgamecompany is a nominee this year.

343 Industries


Taking over the reins of a super-popular series is no easy task. Just ask Treyarch regarding Call of Duty. 343 Industries had a huge overtaking ahead of them when they moved in to develop Halo 4 after Bungie and Microsoft parted ways. Seeing as Halo 4 is an absolutely killer game, 343 Industries successfully got the job done and impressed many, including yours truly, in the process.

Nintendo EAD Software Development Group No. 2


Nintendo EAD is split up between multiple development groups. Nintendo EAD Software Development Group No. 2 are the minds behind the Wii U launch title Nintendo Land. The numerous uses the Wii U GamePad does is without a doubt fantastic. This group of Nintendo EAD made it so the GamePad had a purpose and now Wii U developers, Eastern and Western, can now imagine new ways for the GamePad to be utilized, and it's all thanks to Nintendo EAD Software Development Group No. 2.

Monolith Soft


The makers of the brilliant Xenoblade Chronicles, Monolith Soft created one of the best Wii games the console has seen, and one of the best RPGs of the generation. Xenoblade Chronicles was a truly ambitious project for the under-powered Wii, and it was met with universal critical acclaim. Just how Monolith Soft managed to fit the game on a Wii disc is nothing short of remarkable.

And the winner is...










Nintendo EAD Software Development Group No. 2

Nintendo Land has given my family and friends hours upon hours of enjoyment. The myriad uses of the Wii U GamePad create new and exciting gameplay that other platforms just haven't been able to do. It is because of the hard work of Nintendo EAD Software Development Group No. 2 that the tremendous undertaking of Nintendo Land saw release and works so wonderfully well.

Runner-up: Thatgamecompany

===

[Multiplatform Game of the Year]

The third-party exclusive seems to be going the way of the dodo in most cases, so multiplatform games are the most prevalent in the industry now. This is the first of seven categories where the winner will duke it out for the prestigious SuperPhillip Central Game of the Year award. Let's see what multiplatform games have a chance to make it to Saturday's Game of the Year category! And the nominees are...

Assassin's Creed III 


Bringing with it a new game engine, new setting, and new main playable character, Assassin's Creed III was an action-adventure game with elements of stealth and an open world to explore to the player's content. The actual game world was much larger than past games, and discovering new areas was a treat. The modified free running allowed players to be much more elegant with their maneuvers, the naval battles added to the game, and multiplayer made for replay value after the lengthy campaign was completed.

Far Cry 3 


Speaking of open-world gaming, Far Cry 3 presents players with a large island setting and a compelling narrative that will keep them enamored till the ending credits. The open-ended nature of the game allows for players to earn experience and follow different skill trees and plot attacks on enemies with varying strategies. Far Cry 3 is an engaging and wondrous first-person shooter that makes those who play it remember why they love sandbox gaming.

Darksiders II 


Take one part The Legend of Zelda and one part God of War, and you get Darksiders II. The game released in August originally, but it received a Wii U port with the DLC from the 360, PS3, and PC versions already on the disc for free. Zelda-type games are rare, and those of which that try their hand at the genre and succeed are even rarer. Vigil Studios managed to make a sensational game with Darksiders II.

Borderlands 2


Gearbox Software brought Borderlands 2 to the market, and it satisfied many gamers with its first-person shooting, action RPG gameplay. The game was made up of various mandatory quests, optional side quests, and contained features such as randomized loot, online cooperative gameplay for the main campaign, and the ability to evolve one's character a la RPGs. All of this added up to create one of the more intriguing multiplatform games of the year.

Dishonored 


I'm noticing a trend here with the last few nominees. The first-person perspective is quite popular. Well, Dishonored continues that previously mentioned trend with a series of assassinations that focus on player choice. How a player proceeds to finish each mission determines how the story unfolds and what missions are available to him or her. This type of player-affected gameplay makes Dishonored a worthy nominee to Multiplatform Game of 2012.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed


Let's get colorful, shall we? Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is Sumo Digital's second outing with Sonic and the Sega gang. No matter your level of proficiency with the game, there is a difficulty setting for you. With colorful courses with great variety, a prodigious number of nods to Sega franchises, and tight racing action, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed speeds ahead of a lot of racers this past year.

And the winner is...










Borderlands 2

The highly addicting nature of building up your character, gathering loot, and teaming up with friends online all made Borderlands 2 the prime pick for Multiplatform Game of the Year for 2012. I didn't even touch on the gorgeous cel-shaded graphics, something not generally seen in first-person shooters. All of this creates the best game that you can get on multiple platforms.

Runner-up: Dishonored 

===

We only had three awards this evening, but that was to give me a breather until tomorrow where I will be posting the results of six-- count 'em-- six awards. We'll be looking at the best Vita, 3DS, Wii, Wii U, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 games. Please look forward to that. Until then, we'll see you tomorrow for more of the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2012 Awards!

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