Don’t worry. We aren’t giving any more awards to Angry Birds. At least not today. But we do have four more games for the best of 2012. If you haven’t seen the previous two days awards, click here for Monday’s and here for Tuesday’s awards. Make sure to check back tomorrow for our final specialty awards and then again on Friday for the ultimate award from The Flickcast and Bitcast teams, the Game of the Year.
New IP With the Most Potential – Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
With writing from R. A. Salvatore and art design by Todd McFarlane, many would have thought that Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning would have the makings of a surefire hit. With over 300,000 units sold by March of 2012, Reckoning gave a good showing for a brand new IP and had many people talking about it. Unfortunately due to financial problems with a loan from the state of Rhodes Island, 38 Studios was forced to close and with it went the possible future of the Kingdoms of Amalur series.
Despite coming from a brand new studio, Reckoning had all the makings of a hit game. Beautiful design, interesting and complex story with tons of back matter and, the most important, incredibly fun combat and gameplay. It was a huge world with tons to do that players could get lost in. Whether or not they even cared about the narrative, there were unending areas to explore and enemies to vanquish. Now, one can only hope that someone else picks up this IP and gives it a second chance to continue giving more people the chance to explore its epic world.
Fastest Blown Wad – Diablo III Launch Speed Runs
Thirteen years. That’s how long people waited for Diablo III to come out. After playing Diablo and Diablo II for hundreds or even thousands of hours in some cases because of their love for the series, the long awaited third installment to the franchise came out. So what did people do? They tried to beat it as fast as humanly possible of course. Once the servers were up and running, the most diehard Diablo fans took to the dungeons and wrecked havoc among Hell’s minions and completed the game in not only its first day but within six hours.
While most of us went through each nook and cranny, explored every corner and compared countless loot items, a “dedicated” few flew through the depths of Diablo III and completed it in just over a quarter of a day. We hope they aren’t expecting Blizzard to push out a new Diablo IV within the next few months to appease their appetite and wish them luck as they wait for whatever is going to come out next for them (so they can most likely speed run through that as well).
Most Mistimed Voice Casting – Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Don’t get us wrong. We at the Flickcast enjoyed Call of Duty: Black Ops II and the voice actors in the game did a fantastic job with their lines and delivery. But that still doesn’t change the fact that when you hear Michael Rooker’s voice come from Harper who is one of the game’s supporting heroes, you still kind of hate the guy a little just because of how much you dislike the racist redneck of Merle Dixon in The Walking Dead.
Had Merle stayed MIA since the first season, Rooker would have been the ideal casting for the character. But with Merle (spoilers) returning in the third season of the show in a very prominent role, all those old despicable feelings for Merle came rushing back. Especially with Rooker’s incredibly distinctive voice, it is near impossible for fans of The Walking Dead to not think of Merle when hearing Harper on screen in the game. For those few who haven’t given The Walking Dead a chance yet (there are probably only a few hundred left in the USA) and wouldn’t know Merle Dixon though, you’re going to absolutely love Rooker’s work in Black Ops II.
Best Use of Wii U Hardware – Zombie U
The Wii U controller has lots of different technologies integrated into it, some being more useful than others. While it is fun to use as a second screen for games like New Super Mario Bros. U, it doesn’t fundamentally change the way the game is played. There is one game in the launch lineup that uses the Wii U controller and its second screen in a very unique way.
In Zombie U, there are times when a player must make themselves vulnerable by going into their inventory to find items. In some games, players gain a “safe zone” when going through inventory menus. Not in Zombie U. Players must have the Wii U controller laid down flat and navigate through their pack on this screen as the world continues around them. It is impossible for the player to have a full view of both the screen on the controller and the television at the same time. In a horror survival game, this is a perfect use of the unique hardware of the Wii U. It doesn’t feel forced and actually adds suspense to the game. Games like Zombie U give hope to the hardcore gamer that the Wii U will begin to cater to them once again like the Nintendo systems of old and not just create the casual experiences of the Wii all over again.
Like we said, we still have one more day of awards before the Game of the Year comes out on Friday. Any predictions or opinions on what you think should earn the infamous GotY honors? Please let us know in the comments.