Thanks for coming back for Part 2 of The Flickcast Presents The Bitcast Best of Gaming 2012. Click here to see yesterday’s part 1 and keep coming back the rest of the week for more awards including the Game of the Year being awarded on Friday.
Most Awkward Romance – Halo 4
So thankfully we got a year off from the awkward bromance of Gears of War between Dom and Marcus as well as a lack of fistbumping from Salem and Rios in Army of Two. What we did have was a love story between a stoic soldier and the lunatic AI woman living in his head. (I know, when I put it that way it makes it sound like I have no soul.)
In Halo 4, players were able to see a true evolution in the character of Master Chief, John 117, as he began showing actual human emotions due to his connection to the AI chip that had been living in his suit with him for the better part of a decade. Like most women that a guy has lived with for that long (while he spent most of his time asleep), Cortana has started to go a little crazy.
Despite that, there are some genuinely touching moments where Cortana’s humanity helps bring out the Chief’s to both build their bond even further as she knows the inevitable draws near and gives the Chief the kick needed to become more of a man and less of a machine in the time when he will be without her. Even during the final moments of the game as the two share a heartbreaking experience, you forget that one of the participants in this relationship is an artificial intelligence. But in the end you wonder what Cortana thought any time a dirty thought about another woman slipped into John’s head.
Best Use of Superman – LEGO Batman 2: DC Superheroes
There is no mistake, the Man of Steel doesn’t have the best rep to the gaming world. In fact, his reputation in gaming downright sucks. Superman 64 is widely considered by some to be one of the worst games ever made. So when Superman was shown to be a major costar in the newest LEGO Batman game, there was some worry that Supes might do more harm to the franchise than good. Luckily, this wasn’t the case.
Instead of coming across as an all powerful boy scout or a neutered version of himself as he has in previous games, the team at Traveller’s Tales for LEGO Batman 2: DC Superheroes was able to find a happy balance of the powers and absurdity of the character as they put him into the LEGO world. Between Batman’s begrudging acceptance of Superman’s help and Robin’s fanboy love for the last son of Krypton, Superman comes across as a blissfully unaware doofus just out looking to do the right thing. At the same time, the game never tries to unrealistically depower him to reduce him down to someone who can be beaten up by a common street thug either. The result is one of the most balanced and entertaining gameplay experiences ever created for Superman.
Most Successful Game Unlike Developer’s Previous Titles – Bad Piggies
Most people know Rovio from their hit franchise Angry Birds and its spinoff titles, Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Space and Angry Birds Star Wars. All involve a basic “slingshot” mechanic where birds with various abilities are flung across a map to take down towers of pigs. While new bird abilities have been added as the franchise has grown, the same basic “attack the tower” gameplay has remained. In Bad Piggies, Rovio changed it up completely.
Instead of the pigs just getting revenge and launching themselves like kamikaze pilots at towers of birds, Bad Piggies is an action puzzler that challenges players to build complex contraptions to transport their pigs across a map. Using explosives, motors, fans, umbrellas and springs, players must think outside the box as they drive and fly their way across levels. Even though the only connection to the Angry Birds franchise comes from the use of the pigs with entirely different gameplay, the title would find its way on the top of the Apple App Store alongside its feathery brethren.
Biggest Departure From Licensed Property – Battleship: The Game
Take one of the most beloved board games of all times where players take turns targeting squares on a ten by ten grid and turn it into an action movie involving aliens. Then take that movie and make it into a first person shooter with minimal ship to alien craft combat and no strategy involved. That’s the path that lead to Battleship: The Game. While the movie was an abomination (getting a 41 on Metacritic), the game somehow made even less sense. They could have literally made a downloadable game using all of the original Battleship board game mechanics and maybe added in some alien animations or clips from the film and it would have been not only a better game, but probably much more successful financially as well. Remember publishers, licensed properties can be awesome like Batman: Arkham City or Transformers: Fall of Cybertron but they need to be done right. We at the Flickcast are frightened to see what will happen should the Asteroid movie actually come to fruition and a licensed game is subsequently produced for it.
Make sure to come back tomorrow for more awards!