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The Unofficial RLLMUK Awards 2013 - the polls are CLOSED


Wiper
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Game of the Year
1. Resogun
2. Super Amazing Wagon Adventure Turbo
3. Tearaway
4. Anarchy Reigns
5. Soul Sacrifice
6. Killer Is Dead
7. Rayman Legends

8. Brothers
9. Velocity Ultra
10. Mount Your Friends

Most Wanted Game of 2014

1. Destiny

2. TxK

3. The Witness

4. Child of Light

5. OlliOlli

Thanks for putting the thread up Wiper! Some thoughts of a few of my choices:

Resogun is my clear favourite of the year. It's a game that initially feels messy and flash, but when the systems reveal themselves you start to realise just how incredibly balanced all of it is. How they subtlety overlap each other and force choices to be made at every turn. How the waves follow a learnable pattern, and very clear audio and visual cues make it obvious what is happening at any time. I'm not a massive fan of shumps by any means, but by avoiding the niche tropes of Cave, and eschewing design nods from the likes of REZ, Space Giraffe and Gradius IV it remains accessible and fun. Having a clear 5 level structure and some brilliantly designed bosses a session never outstays its welcome. I always expected this would be a great game, but never expected an utter classic.

Among the others, Super Amazing Wagon Adventure Turbo deserves its high place for managing to do that most difficult of art: comedy. Tearaway has had me smiling with it's inventiveness (a game that uses the back touchpad well!) and general playful tone. It's a game that makes you feel like you are back in kindergarten making things out of tissue-paper and glue. Somewhat slight at times, but it's a game that makes a better impression if you just go with it. Anarchy Reigns came very early last year and for the first few hours I thought it was utterly terrible, but once you understood what the game was trying to achieve (a proper multiplayer arena beat-em-up), it came into it's own. Team tactics could be employed and it had a level of depth akin to shooters. And Mount Your Friends was far more than a cheap joke and is one of the best pass-the-pad multiplayer games around.

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Game of the Year
1. The Last of Us
2. Tearaway

3. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

4. Goat Up 2
5. Brothers
6. GTAV
7. Tomb Raider
8. Hotline Miami
9. Resogun
10. Guacamelee


Hall of Shame
1. Xbone reveal
2. Me not having played Super Mario 3D World or Bravely Default
3:


4. Freemium games
5. Wii U sales

Surprise of the Year
1. Tearaway
2. 8GB DDR5
3. PS+
4. Boogie2988
5. PS Vita

Most Wanted Game of 2014
1. The Evil Within
2. Fallout 4
3. Destiny
4. The rest of A Wolf Among Us
5. The rest of The Walking Dead Season 2
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Game of the Year
1. Shadowrun Returns
2. Rogue Legacy
3. Super Mario 3D World
4. Resogun
5. Desktop Dungeons
6. Steamworld Dig
7. Fire Emblem: Awakening
8. Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm
9. LEGO City Undercover
10. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Hall of Shame
1. Microsoft
2. Pinball Arcade

Most Wanted Game of 2014
1. Elite: Dangerous
2. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
3. Chaos Reborn
4. No Man's Sky

5. Wasteland 2

It's been an odd year, because by far the best stuff I've played has been either PC versions of stuff that came out previously on console (Fez, Spelunky), or beta / early access stuff that isn't really released yet (Hearthstone, Nuclear Throne, Wasteland 2). Still, I've had a pretty good gaming year.

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Game of the Year
1. Bit Trip Presents... Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
2. Rogue Legacy
3. Animal Crossing: New Leaf

4. The Stanley Parable
5. Pokemon X/Y
6. Volgarr the Viking

7. Super Mario 3D World

8. Resogun
9. Game Dev Tycoon
10. PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX+

Hall of Shame
1. Microsoft
2. Sonic Lost World
3. Game & Wario
4. Ubisoft Rayman Legends delay/multi-platform
5. Iwata

Surprise of the Year
1. The Stanley Parable
2. Game Dev Tycoon
3. Ducktales
4. NES Remix
5. Hearthstone

Most Wanted Game of 2014
1. The Witness
2. A Bird Story
3. Mario Kart 8
4. Mew-genics
5. Binding of Isaac Remake

I'm surprised that I actually did play (more then!) 10 different titles released this year, figured I hadn't. My biggest guilt is not getting to play Zelda (also I'm sure I've missed a few indie gems on Steam this year), and I nearly forgot about Animal Crossing (despite not devoting as much time as I'd like to it), but that's about it.

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Game of the Year
1. The Last of Us
2. State of Decay
3. Grand Theft Auto V
4. Tearaway

5. Pokemon X/Y

6. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

7. BioShock Infinite

8. Luigi's Mansion 2

9. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

10. Tomb Raider.


Hall of Shame
1. Microtansactions
2. Xbox One reveal

3. Nintendo's Online Network

Surprise of the Year
1. State of Decay
2. Tearaway
3. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
4. Tomb Raider

Most Wanted Game of 2014
1. Game of Thrones
2. DayZ
3. Broken Age
4. The Order: 1886
5. Watch Dogs

There are some games that I haven't had the time to play yet that I really want to such as Papers, Please, Gone Home and the Stanley Parable so my list may look pretty shit. I can't think of anything else to add to the hall of shame, especially with games as I enjoyed all the games I bought this year, some more than others. I put microtransactions ahead of Xbox One's reveal since Microsoft has since reversed a lot of their decisions that put me off the console but microtransactions seem to be growing. Also Nintendo's online network still feels behind although they have made slight improvements. Also since DayZ is only the alpha release, I'm including it in my most wanted for 2014.

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Game of the Year
1. Super Mario 3D World
2. Last of Us
3. Legend of Zelda A link Between Worlds
4. Lego City
5. Skylanders Swap Force
6. Edge
7. Duck Tales Remastered
8. Pikmin 3
9. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
10. Animal Crossing New Leaf

Hall of Shame
1. Batman Arkham Origins
2. Xbox One
3. Grand Theft Auto V
4. Knack
5. Killzone Shadow Fall

Surprise of the Year
1. Wii U's poor sales
2. NES remix
3. Game Dev Tycoon
4. Starbound
5. PS4's excellent sales

Most Wanted Game of 2014
1. X by Monolith soft
2. Super Smash Bros
3. Bayonetta 2
4. Monster Hunter 4
5. Hyrule Warriors

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Game of the Year

1. Last Of Us

2. Forza 5

3. Animal Crossing New Leaf

4. Resident Evil Revelations

5. Football Manager 14

6. Tomb Raider

7. FIFA 14

8. Dead Space 3

9. Pokemon X/Y

10. COD Ghosts

Hall of Shame

1. Bioshock Infinite

2. GTA V

3. Ryse

4. Dead Island Riptide

Surprise of the Year

1. Tomb Raider

2. State Of Decay

3. PS4's next gen dominance

Most Wanted Game of 2014

1. Titanfall

2. Fallout 4

3. Destiny

4. The Division

5. The Evil Within

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Game of the Year
1. Tearaway
2. Bioshock Infinite
3. Resogun
4. Metal Gear Rising: Revengence
5. One Finger Death Punch
6. The Wonderful 101
7. Stealth Inc
8. Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
9. Hotline Miami
10. NES Remix

Most Wanted Game of 2014
1. Bayonetta 2
2. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
3. DriveClub
4. The Witness
5. Super Smash Bros Wii U

(Hotline Miami is the Vita version, so I reckon that qualifies!)

Justifications in the spoiler below...

10) NES Remix (WiiU)

Attention deficit gaming for children of the eighties, this constantly finds new ways to reinvent 8bit Nintendo classics, and smothers it in the lovely, cuddly nostalgia. The game itself is simple; pick a NES classic and complete a set of short punchy challenges that play around with the basic mechanics. It's snappy, clever and funny and the inevitable SNES remix will probably be the best game evah.

9) Hotline Miami (Vita/PC)

Good job this drug fueled, murder simulator looks a bit like it was made 20 years ago or the tabloids would be blaming it for the inevitable downfall of society. Hotline Miami is easily the most violent game I've played all year, but more interesting is the way it can make you feel like Dexter Morgan one minute and that you're coming down off all of the drugs the next. Enter a building and kill everyone; it's that simple. Also worth mentioning is the truly outstanding music which sounds like the soundtrack to the dirtiest night out possible.

8) Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (3DS)

Bastard rock hard with the fanciest 3D on the system, Returns doesn't do anything particularly new but what it does do it does polished to within an inch of its life. It may look like 'just another Nintendo platformer' but where Mario has a clean, precise clarity, Donkey Kong has a delightfull ragtag knockabout flavour that sets it apart from other games in the genre.

7) Stealth Inc (Vita/PC)

Wears its Portal influences not so much on its sleeve but tattooed across its face, Stealth Inc has enough of its own ideas to make it one of the most charming games I've played this year. New ideas are introduced and dismissed in the blink of an eye as you sneakily make your way through the factory, being relentlessly teased by messages projected onto the walls. One of those lovely, little Indie games that doesn't overstay its welcome, with a final punchline that is simply inspired.

6) Wonderful 101 (WiiU)

Pretty incomprehensible in videos or screen shots, W101 looks a bit like Command and Conquer but actually plays like Devil May Cry. Controlling a hundred super heroes at once and transforming them into everything from swords to hanggliders takes some getting used to, but once it clicks opens up one of the most satisfying combat systems you're likely to find. Colourful, relentless and funny this is one of those games that just gets better and better the more time you spend with it.

5) One Finger Death Punch (360)

Playing a bit like a cross between Street Fighter and Guitar Hero and looking a bit like a stick man in a Bruce Lee costume, One Finger Death Punch may lacking in variety but when the core game is this good it doesn't really matter. Somehow managing to make basic inputs and simple visuals into the most epic, explosive kung fu fight scenes imaginable this is exactly the kind of thing I was dreaming about back when rhythm action was the talk of the town. It also costs something ridiculous like 80p on the Indie Channel so there is really no excuse.

4) Metal Gear Rising: Revengence (360/PS3/PC)

Robot ninjas are literally the coolest thing possible so it's baffling that you don't have the chance to be one more often. Even if you did, they'd struggle to meet the high standards set here. The story is typically batshit for a Metal Gear game (a senator is stealing kids brains. Seriously) but it's the glorious control you're given over cyborg Raiden that steals the show. Run across the top of a missle before jumping up a twenty foot bipedal lizard tank, chop its legs off, slice the whole thing in two, remove its needlessly spine shaped motherboard then crush it in your hand and pose to camera. Nobody does OTT action like the Japanese.

3) Resogun (PS4)

Yep, it's pretty much a prettier version of Defender but it's also my favourite launch title since Monkey Ball on the Gamecube. What initially seems like a relatively straightforward scoring system soon reveals terrifying depths as you desperately try to juggle a hundred things at once. It also looks completely amazing; all blistering neon and a million exploding pieces. It doesn't quite hit the heights of Geometry Wars (a game it obviously holds in high regard) but it makes a bloody good case.

2) Bioshock Infinite (360/PS3/PC)

From those first moments wandering around the God fearing, extreme nationalist, city in the sky of Colombia I knew I was playing something special. By the time I got to the total head fuck of an ending, I completely besotted. Managing to combine discussions on quantum mechanics, a study of rampant Americanism and 1920s versions of Tears for Fears songs in one game is quite something. I can't wait to find out where this series takes us next.

1) Tearway (Vita)

Shoot these guys. Jump up that thing. Go faster than this. Sometimes, just sometimes, gaming can seem in a bit of a creative rut. Then you play something like Tearway and it asks you to decoupage a moose. The setup is inspired; you are 'You'. Your actual face peering out of the sun using the feed from the Vita's front facing camera (incidentally, I must have spent well over an hour pulling 'vengeful God' faces). Tearway's world is completely made of paper, so as you guide the little envelope with arms and legs, you're able to fold, bend, cut and burst through using the touchscreens. Before you know it, you've made the land your own. Creating snowflakes, crowing the king of the squirrels, sticking your face on giant records before scratching it to change the background music. It crams more originality in its short playtime than everything else I played this year put together. Plus it has a truly beautiful ending. It's the freshest game I've played in years, endlessly creative and really rather touching.

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Top thread and some interesting choices already. Mine would be....

Game of the Year

1. The Last Of Us

2. Ac4

3. Ni No Kuni

4. GTA 5

5. Persona 4: Golden

6. The Legend Of Zelda: A link to the past

7. Tomb Raider

8. Tearaway

9. Fire Emblem: Awakening

10. Killzone (judgement clouded by launch madness ftw!)

Hall of Shame

1. Nintendo's apparent head-in-the-sand approach to the WiiU

2. People not buying Tearaway

3. Whatever the hell Microsoft have done to friends lists / parties on the Xbone

4. Aliens; colonial marines

5. Remember Me

Surprise of the Year

1. Tomb Raider reboot being brilliant despite a serious lack of tombs to raid

2. The PS4 pad's utter brilliance after always lagging behind in the comfort stakes to MS

3. The 3ds's unbelievable lineup of software

4. How quickly the entire gaming community turned on the xbone

Most Wanted Game of 2014

1. Watchdogs

2. Driveclub

3. Thief

4. Titanfall

5. Witcher 3

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Game of the Year
1. Persona 4 Golden
2. GTA V
3. Persona 4 Arena
4. Tearaway
5. Bioshock Infinite
6. Killer Is Dead
7. Divekick
8.
9.
10.

Hall of Shame
1. Fanboys
2. Xbox One
3. QTEs
4. IAP-driven mobile games
5. The messy 360 dashboard

Surprise of the Year
1. Tearaway
2.
3.
4.
5.

Most Wanted Game of 2014
1. Ultra Street Fighter IV
2. Persona 5
3. Watchdogs
4. EDF 2025
5. Half-Life 3

Reasons:

I've gone on about P4G far too much in the past, but it's a new release of one of my favourite JRPGs of all time, with an enjoyable battle system, an extremely well-judged difficulty curve, meaningful character arcs and relationships that are given a sense of interactivity with Social Links and excellent presentation throughout. It pretty much sold me on a Vita as soon as it was announced and I don't regret it one bit.

GTA V is the first game in the series that I've actually enjoyed from start to finish. With every other game in the series I inevitably hit a difficulty spike of a mission with no alternative way of progressing, but GTA V makes some really smart design decisions, from brave innovations such as the multiple protagonists, to sensible concessions such as mid-mission checkpoints and regenerating health. Hopefully this is the start of a rebirth for GTA :)

P4A is a strange beast and I probably haven't played it as much as I would like to - my beat 'em up diet is usually exclusively Capcom-based, so going back to Arc was a bit of a risk for me. However, the game combines some excellent gameplay mechanics (that integrate Persona skills brilliantly) with an enormous story mode that I ended up playing to completion with all characters. The netcode is also stunning and online matches are unbelievably smooth, so it bodes well for P4A2...

I wasn't intending to get hold of Tearaway straight away, and to be honest I was a bit nervous about doing so after my experience with LittleBigPlanet, but having received the game as a Christmas gift I've ended up enjoying it a lot. Sure, the puzzles and missions aren't too taxing and people will point fingers and cry "style over substance", but the game is as much of a joy to play as it is to look at, and the gimmicky moments with touchscreens and microphones never feel too out-of-place or overstay their welcome.

Bioshock Infinite has a few flaws, sure - some of the battles aren't that much fun, Booker's justifications for his actions are shaky, Elizabeth's attitude towards Booker can be inconsistent with the gameplay ("oh no you killed all of those people but I'll still spawn this gun turret for you") - but the gameworld is a joy to explore, the vigors and skylines make the gunfights a little more lively, and Elizabeth is still an excellent AI companion who's up there with HL2's Alyx.

At this point in the list I'm just remembering that I only bought a handful of games in 2013 and so I'm trying to fill the rest of the list. Killer Is Dead does a lot of things wrong - certain missions have so much going on that you don't know what you're supposed to be attacking, QTEs are a chore, the characters are dumb and the story's confusing, some of the environments are a mess to look at - but the combat is such a joy that I almost don't mind. It rips off Bayonetta's Witch Time and Dante's Royal Guard and makes each battle feel awesome as you dodge to safety and then mash out hugely damaging counters, and every time you mess up it feels like your fault. Which is how it should be.

Divekick's mainly there because I backed it on Kickstarter and then the developer found a publisher to fund the game but still chose to honour the backers' pledges - it's why you can see Qazimod in the "Special Thanks" section if you wait on the credits for long enough. Even so, it's a hugely enjoyable game once you get your head around the air and ground techniques of each character, and the netcode is pretty solid for such a fast game. It's also great for quick sessions during the day, whereas with most other fighters I only indulge in marathon lobbies. Oh, and I watched a lot of the eSports hours that detailed the current progress of the game and I guess that helped me respect the awesome team that was behind it all. :)

My hall of shame is fairly self-explanatory, but QTEs really hurt Killer is Dead for me - they're all button-mashing exercises but I had to mash harder than in other games and it actually caused me to fail QTEs on or two times. No fun. The "fanboys" vote refers to the next-gen console war bickering from both sides, although I might be a bit guilty of that myself, especially with that Xbox One vote, which mostly refers to Adam Orth's twitter outburst and the attitude changes regarding always-on, game trading et al. IAPs just bug me generally, particularly when they're rammed in your face every 30 seconds rather than relegated to a "store" tab or something, and the 360 dash is still a nightmare to navigate and takes too long to start up.

Since I had planned to buy fewer games than usual this year I really only wanted to buy games I genuinely had an interest in, rather than picking up things because they were cheap. However, Tearaway was a Christmas gift to me and I didn't have that many preconceptions about the game besides the association with Media Molecule, but it turned out to be a really likeable platformer with some great presentation and imagination throughout.

The top of my Most Wanted list should be fairly self-explanatory to forum regulars who know me and my posting habits - Street Fighter and Persona are two of my most-loved franchises, and so of course I'm keen to play the next instalments of those series. And... I couldn't really think of much else to put in the other three slots, but I managed it in the end. ;)

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Wiper, are 2013 platform-specific releases of games previously available on other platforms eligible? I'm thinking specifically of the PS4 version of Flower.

It's been an odd year, because by far the best stuff I've played has been either PC versions of stuff that came out previously on console (Fez, Spelunky), or beta / early access stuff that isn't really released yet (Hearthstone, Nuclear Throne, Wasteland 2). Still, I've had a pretty good gaming year.

You're both welcome to include games that were only just released on your format of choice - you're right not to include early-access games, though; hopefully Wasteland 2 will be propping up next year's charts :)
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Game of the Year

1. Grand Theft Auto V (PS3)

2. Persona 4 Golden (Vita)

3. Papers, Please (PC)

4. Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)

5. Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS)

6. Tomb Raider (PC)

7. Hotline Miami (Vita)

8. Spelunky (Vita)

9. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies (3DS)

10. Saints Row IV (PC)

Hall of Shame

1. Microsoft finally showing its true colours with the whole Xbone debacle

2. The Vita not selling despite being a brilliant machine with great games

3. The Last Guardian's further descent into vapourware territory

4. Mismanagement of the Broken Age kickstarter

5. Microtransactions

Surprise of the Year

1. Sony returning to form with the Playstation 4

2. The Wii U actually being a good machine

3. The indie scene booming on the Vita

4. Nintendo's generosity with free game giveaways on the 3DS

5. The continuous good deals on PS+

Most Wanted Game of 2014

1. Grand Theft Auto V (PC or nextgen version)

2. Elite Dangerous

3. Uncharted IV

4. Broken Age

5. The Last Guardian

Some background noise about the top 3:

Grand Theft Auto V

The most difficult decision was the number one spot, and it was a really close race between Persona 4 Golden and Grand Theft Auto V. Eventually Grand Theft Auto V wins out because of its excellence in every area. The ambition just shines through in every detail and it pays off handsomely. The world Rockstar crafted is nothing short of breathtaking, and I absolutely love the story and gameplay. I've been playing this on and off since release, sometimes picking up a few quests but more often than not just cruising around, listening to the music, watching the scenery and dick around the game world. Grand Theft Auto is my favourite series of games, and this is the best GTA game yet with most flaws of previous games ironed out. So it had to be GOTY.

Persona 4 Golden

I hate JRPGs. I can't stand them. From the cliche ridden plotlines to the endless grinding. That you can't take three paces without being thrown in a random battle. The walls of text with terrible dialogue. Every once in a while people start gushing over a new JRPG and I pick it up because "this one is different". But it never is. It's just not for me. Then Persona 4 Golden was released in a time when I wanted something substantial to play on my Vita and picked it up after it was praised by people who, like me, claim they don't like JRPGs. At first I thought I had been tricked into a snorefest again, but then somehow everything fell in place. The modern day real world setting, an intriguing murder story, characters discussing their emotions and insecurities, innuendo, bonding and friendship. And even the dungeons and combat were great fun. What was this? 85 hours later I knew. One of the best games ever made.

Papers, Please

This caught my eye when it popped up in the Edge games of the year feature so I read up on it a bit. A very simple but genius idea; play an immigration officer of an oppressive state and make sure to only let desirable persons into the country. Where it starts off as a rather basic 'spot the mistake' search game, it soon escalates into a monstrosity where you juggle loads of papers and slips, get to decide whether or not to accept bribes, line your pockets by detaining people instead of sending them home or let your bureaucratic formality slip to save human beings without the proper paperwork who would be fucked if you didn't turn a blind eye. Combined with the lovely retro presentation, amazing sound effects and great scripted events, this deserves to be in the top 3.

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You're both welcome to include games that were only just released on your format of choice - you're right not to include early-access games, though; hopefully Wasteland 2 will be propping up next year's charts :)

Well, I'm kind of bloody-minded about that myself, so I'm going to stick strictly with 2013 premiers. Otherwise I'd just say Diablo III on PS3 was the GotY ;)

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Game of the Year

1. Assassin's Creed IV

2. The Last of Us

3. Grand Theft Auto V

4. Dishonored DLC

4. Saints Row IV

5. Tomb Raider


Hall of Shame

1. MS thinking we'd all be amenable to their dreadful ideas.

Surprise of the Year

1. I had fully expected, this time last year, to be enjoying Next Gen Xbox. That didn't really work out.

Most Wanted Game of 2014

1. Watch Dogs
2. MGS 5 (although I highly doubt it'll be out this year)
3. inFamous Second Son
4. The Evil Within

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Game of the Year
1. Dota 2
2. The Last Of Us
3. Gone Home
4. War Thunder
5. Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag
6. Wargame: AirLand Battle
7. XCOM: Enemy Within
8. Europa Universalis 4
9. Grand Theft Auto 5
10. Bubsy 3D: Bubsy visits the James Turrell Retrospective

Hall of Shame
1. Total War: Rome 2
2. Misogynistic gamers (cont.)
3. Xbox One
4. E3 conferences in general
5. Aliens: Colonial Marines

Surprise of the Year
1. Crispin playing Dota
2. State of Decay
3. Tomb Raider
4. Papers, Please
5. Videogamer.com

Most Wanted Game of 2014
1. Witcher 3
2. The Wolf Among Us
3. Telltale's Game of Thrones
4. Wargame: Red Dragon
5. Broken Age

Game of the Year
1. Dota 2 - You're goddamn right. I voted for it last year but now it's officially released so I'm counting it as eligible this year too. Still the best game. STILL.
2. The Last Of Us - Easily the best game I played this year that wasn't all about the multiplayer experience. Production values through the roof, of course, but all that money goes into serving the experience rather than being empty whiz-bang nonsense. Rarely for a game of this kind, the gameplay and storyline are integral to each other and each serves the other - in a way that Bioshock Infinite doesn't manage at all. The scrappy combat, the scavenging and limited crafting, the Manhunt-style predatory stealth - it all contributes to the feeling that Joel is capable and competent at surviving, first and foremost. The game is also content to let itself breathe, and there are plenty of leisurely, exploratory segments where you can just absorb the atmosphere of a dead world. Just lovely to play, basically. Glad I got a PS3 if only for this.
3. Gone Home - Not A Real Game. No Zombies or Guns or Patriotic Soldiers. Badgame. Disqualified.
4. War Thunder - I keep looking at this and thinking it's an oddly high placement but I think I'm happy with it. A very relaxing game to play, impossible to get stressed out by it more than momentarily, but it's a nigh-on perfect representation of WW2 dogfights that's found the exact sweet-spot between realism and arcadiness. Also an amazing UI and the only time I've ever felt mouse controls work in a flight game.
5. Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag - Back on form. Takes what worked from previous AC games and smooshes it together into a cohesive whole, in spite of the split between land and sea bits. Not perfect at all, and it gets very repetitive by the end, but it's compelling the whole way through. It helps that the storyline is legit good this time, for me beating out even AC2 since it avoids the trap of historical figures popping up for no reason other than being famous historical personages - the ones who do appear are well-integrated and even the Assassins/Templars thing is necessary for the plot to work as well as it does (which has literally never happened before).
6. Wargame: AirLand Battle - Best RTS of the year. Immensely wide-ranging large-scale Cold War gone Hot thing, utterly beautiful, one of those games that creates its own stories from the ebb and flow of its battles. Also surprisingly easy to get into in spite of its scale and having some 900 different units and covering logistics and all the interlocking roles of the different branches of the military.
7. XCOM: Enemy Within - Technically an expansion pack only, I suppose, but it changes the game so much that it deserves inclusion here. Totally rejuvenated XCOM for me and held my attention all over again. Tonally the game changes a bit, becoming more cartoonish than before, but this isn't really a negative - merely a difference. Loads of lovely little touches proving that Firaxis know how to do XCOM even if they're sort of shaky on Civ.
8. Europa Universalis 4 - EU3 but better, and takes the Crusader Kings 2 model of being a platform for modular DLC rather than necessary expansion packs. Give this another couple years and it'll be an even more massive and involved game than it is at present, in the best possible way.
9. Grand Theft Auto 5 - Lovely sandbox world and loads of fun to be had in the missions. The heist setup/organisation mechanics are underused and underexplored but it's still excellent, and any game that includes a band whose name is an acronym for Fuck It Dog, Life's A Risk on the soundtrack deserves acclaim, honestly.
10. Bubsy 3D: Bubsy visits the James Turrell Retrospective - Just play it you bastards.

Hall of Shame
1. Total War: Rome 2 - Awful. A step back in every single way from Shogun 2 - partly explained by being released a good 6 months too early under pressure from Sega, but also just full of bad design decisions. Even though patches have fixed some of the most egregious bugs and failings, it remains too broken at base to be worth anyone's time if they have access to the other games.
2. Misogynistic gamers (cont.) - The continuing Sarkeesian response has exemplified this but also stuff like the widespread reaction to Gone Home. Misogyny is absolutely rife in 'the gamer community' and even if it's just a vocal minority the tolerance of this minority really needs to end. Kill all men. Misandry for life.
3. Xbox One - Actually I don't know if this should be here because at least this console has provided me loads of enjoyment this year from laughing at it.
4. E3 conferences in general - Someone please put E3 out of its misery. Please.
5. Aliens: Colonial Marines - Yes.

Surprise of the Year
1. Crispin playing Dota - Seriously guys I can't get over this.
2. State of Decay - Reportedly pretty broken on its 360 release, I got this on PC and loved it. Great little game and I intend to check out the sandbox DLC for it, as I think that'll address some of its flaws.
3. Tomb Raider - Yeah it's basically an off-brand Uncharted game. Yeah it's nothing like the original Tomb Raiders. Yeah this doesn't bother me in the slightest, it turns out, and in spite of its shortcomings it's a great romp.
4. Papers, Please - I really didn't expect a game about bureaucracy to be this compelling.
5. Videogamer.com - In a year where I more or less swore off games journalism as useless, up pops Videogamer to prominence with lots of approachable video-journalism (and comedy videos) to fill the gap. Rock Paper Shotgun has been filed in the 'go fuck yourself John Walker' category for at least two years now so it's nice to have a new British gaming site that's enjoyable to read (and generally spot-on).

Most Wanted Game of 2014
1. Witcher 3 - CD Projekt have improved with every game they've made. Let's hope they continue the pattern, because Witcher 2 was great and the sequel looks like it could be even better.
2. The Wolf Among Us - Episode 1 was amazing and I will happily wait as long as necessary for the rest of them. Hopefully it'll be complete before 2014 is out, though.
3. Telltale's Game of Thrones - We have no details on this yet but based on Telltale's recent output I'm pretty confident about it.
4. Wargame: Red Dragon - Wargame but with even more stuff. This basically can't go wrong.
5. Broken Age - The only good thing to come out of the VGXes was to see how good Broken Age looked. Glad I kickstarted it.

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Game of the Year


1. Animal Crossing: New Leaf.


2. Super Mario 3D World.


3. Pikmin 3.


4. The Last of Us.


5. Grand Theft Auto 5.


6. Wii Sports Club Tennis.


7. Luigi's Mansion 2.


8. Fire Emblem: Awakening.


9. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.


10. The Wonderful 101.



Hall of Shame


1. Selling my Vita.


2. Too poor for PS4.


3. Xbox becoming what it's becoming.


4. Wii U Sales figures.


5. Next Gen game prices.



Surprise of the Year


1. Running back to Nintendo and flipping loving it. (see no.4)


2. MiiVerse addiction.


3. Pikmin 3 Mission Mode addiction.


4. Re-buying a 3DS and buying a Wii U. (see no.1)


5. Falling in the deepest, dirtiest love with my first ever Animal Crossing.



Most Wanted Game of 2014


1. Mario Kart 8.


2. inFamous Second Son.


3. Destiny.


4. Wii Sports Club BASEBALL.


5. Octodad: Dadliest Catch.


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Well, I'm kind of bloody-minded about that myself, so I'm going to stick strictly with 2013 premiers. Otherwise I'd just say Diablo III on PS3 was the GotY ;)

Aye, it's your prerogative if you want to include them or not, but the option is there. Even if you would have used it to vote for a silly game :P
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Here we go

GAME OF THE YEAR

1 - GTA V

2 - THE LEGEND OF ZELDA A LINK BETWEEN WORLDS

3 - THE LAST OF US

4 - POKEMON X/Y

5 - TEARAWAY

6 - BATMAN ARKHAM ORIGINS

7 - BIOSHOCK INFINITE

8 - SUPERMARIO 3D WIIU

9 - GEARS OF WAR JUDGEMENT

10 - BEYOND TWO SOULS

HALL OF SHAME

1 - ASSASSINS CREED 4 GRINDING ON SHIP SECTIONS

2 - LARA'S TERRIBLE NEW VOICE ACTOR

3 - LACK OF SAVE SPOTS ON LUIGI'S MANSION 2

4 - XBONE REVEAL

5 - KNACK

SUPRISE OF THE YEAR

1 - GEARS OF WAR JUDGEMENT BEING ACTUALLY GOOD

2 - DEAD SPACE 3 BEING A RETURN TO FORM

3 - TEARAWAY BEING BRILLIANT

4 - NOT REALLY LIKING PIKMIN 3

5 - WONDERFUL 101

MOST WANTED GAME OF 2014

1 - DESTINY

2 - WATCH DOGS

3 - THE REST OF WOLF AMONG US

4 - UNCHARTED 4

5 - GAME OF THRONES

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Game of the Year
1. Volgarr the Viking
2. Super Mario 3D World
3. The Stanley Parable
4. Mount Your Friends
5. The Wonderful 101

Surprise of the Year
1. Street Fighter X Tekken ver. 2013 being really, really good!

Most Wanted Game of 2014
1. Ultra Street Fighter IV
2. Dark Souls 2
3. Bayonetta 2

4. Half Life 3

Thoughts:

I can't tell you how good Volgarr is. It's the best new game I've played since Dark Souls (it's an obvious comparison but one that only stretches so far - they share only vague similarities). I made a thread about it (http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?/topic/275112-volgarr-the-viking/) featuring some more description - plus a silly poem I wrote half in the style of Seamus Heaney's Beowulf translation because it got under my skin so much while I was playing it - and it would be really cool if more people gave it a try. It's a proper game - none of this interactive narrative/audiovisual experience/innovative features nonsense that people talk about all day long nowadays for no good reason, just simple consistent mechanics, unforgiving and inventive levels, and that brief feeling of triumph when you do something right. Plus of course score attack and time trial leaderboards. You can finish the game in 30 minutes, apparently; my first playthrough took about 12 hours.

I haven't played Mario 3D World yet but what can I say? I'm a poser/it's obviously going to be amazing (delete as appropriate).

I also can't really put into words how much of a surprise it was that SFxT ver. 2013 is so good, given how similar it looks to the original game when you break down what's changed. The original game was competent, well-rounded and almost entirely dull, with its saving grace being that 2v2 battles with three friends (or, even better, one friend on your team vs the anonymous online masses on the other) is the most fun. Really: the most fun. The 2013 update made a series of really quite minor changes which somehow turned the game into a compelling fighting game even in 1v1 play. It's still fair and unforgiving and all that old-school good stuff that was present in the first game, but somehow it's now actually fun to play as well. It's still not as enticing a spectator sport as the other current Capcom games, because the focus is more on the honest stuff (spacing, conditioning your opponent, managing your resources) than the flashy gimmicks that get the hype-addicts in the crowd shouting, but - let's be honest about this - spectators are boring people at heart whose gratification we shouldn't worry about too much. This is a game for people who play (as such I'm obviously terrible at it, but whatever!).

I don't know which of the three games I listed for 2014 is actually the one I want most. I play Street Fighter a lot so I've put that one on top, but I would honestly be happy if none of those games ever came out because the existing versions of all three are so good. It's just going to be cool to spend time exploring what's different about the new ones for a while.

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6. The Legend Of Zelda: A link to the past

I'm guessing you meant A Link Between Worlds, as opposed to the SNES game?

Hall of Shame

2. Pinball Arcade

Out of curiosity - what's the issue with Pinball Arcade?
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Game of the Year

1. Bioshock Infinite
2. Gone Home

3. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

4. Guacamelee
5. The Stanley Parable

6. Bit Trip Runner 2

7. The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 1

8. Rogue Legacy

9. Saints Row 4

10. The Wolf Among Us Episode 1

Hall of Shame

1. Microsoft's Xbox One reveal, DRM plans, and subsequent "guess you weren't ready" backpedal
2. Aliens: Colonial Marines
3. The Last of Us
4. PS4 and Xbox One launch titles
5. The menus in Grid 2

Surprise of the Year

1. PS Vita being amazing
2. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
3. The Walking Dead Series 2 not being rubbish
4. Guacamelee
5. Microsoft fucking things up so royally

Most Wanted Game of 2014

1. The rest of The Walking Dead S2
2. Titanfall
3. The rest of The Wolf Among Us
4. No Man's Sky
5. Half Life 3



Would it be worth having a separate thread to discuss our number 1s in each category? That might allow everyone to chat about it while keeping things tidy for Wiper to parse, collate, and then take the piss out of

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Game of the Year
1. The Last of Us - PS3
2. Spelunky - Vita
3. Guacamelee - Vita
4. Tearaway - Vita
5. Resogun - PS4
6. Hotline Miami - Vita
7. Killzone Mercenary - Vita
8. Beyond: two Souls - PS3
9. Tomb Raider - PS3
10. Stealth Inc - Vita

Hall of Shame
1. My collection of unplayed PS+ freebies
2. The PS Vita sales figures
3. Only finally playing Demon's Souls and Dark Souls this year. My God!!
4. Xbox One reveal
5. No loadout customisation in BF4 unless you're in a match (or on the app)

Surprise of the Year
1. Tearaway
2. Dualshock 4
3. Knack outselling Mario on release
4. No Man's Sky
5. Joel from TLoU doing the Banderas GIF

Most Wanted Game of 2014
1. The Division - PS4
2. Destiny - PS4
3. Borderlands 2 - Vita
4. Dark Souls 2 - PS3
5. The Last Guardian - unknown (please please please)

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