Peer pressure has compelled me to compile one of those end-of-the-year lists that all the major gaming sites have. Everyone else is doing it, so it must be a good idea, right?
Best Use of DRM to Punish People for Buying a Game: Bioshock (PC)
Best Way to Ruin Christmas: The Wii shortage
Best Game Where You Die Like, Every Twelve Seconds: STALKER
Best Game Reviewer to be Fired for Doing His Damn Job: Jeff Gerstmann
Best Game for the PC You’ll Own Three Years from Now: Crysis (Note: It will probably still run like crap.)
Best RPG: Jade Empire from Bioware
Best Assimilation of a Great Developer Into a Monolithic Corporate Crapfactory: EA Buys Bioware
Best Pricetag: $3.74 for STALKER, can you believe it?
(Runner up: $20 for Portal.)
Best Atmosphere: Portal
Best Voice Acting: Portal
Best Music: Portal
Best Level Design: Portal
Game of the Year:
If we judged purely by hours I spent playing, then this award might end up going to X-Com. It’s sort of pointless having me choose a best game from this year, since I tend to shop for stuff two years old. Having said that, if I had to pick a favorite it I would probably agonize over the choice between between Jade Empire and Half-Life: Episode Two.
The Opportunity Crunch
No, brutal, soul-sucking, marriage-destroying crunch mode in game development isn't a privilege or an opportunity. It's idiocy.
Grand Theft Auto Retrospective
This series began as a cheap little 2D overhead game and grew into the most profitable entertainment product ever made. I have a love / hate relationship with the series.
In Defense of Crunch
Crunch-mode game development isn't good, but sometimes it happens for good reasons.
The Best of 2011
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2011.
Who Broke the In-Game Economy?
Why are RPG economies so bad? Why are shopkeepers so mercenary, why are the prices so crazy, and why do you always end up a gazillionaire by the end of the game? Can't we just have a sensible balanced economy?