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Author Topic: Squeezing in GOTY candidates  (Read 528 times)
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Teggy
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« on: January 01, 2014, 06:42:01 PM »

I spent the last week of the year trying to squeeze in as many short GOTY candidates as I could. Here's what I played:

Gone Home
I think the less said about this game the better, or else you start getting into spoiler territory. It only takes about 2 hrs to play, so about $5-$10 is all you'll want to pay, but I thought it was an experience well worth having. It's really more of an interactive story rather than a game, so just keep that in mind if you don't care for that type of thing.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
First of all, this is a beautiful game. I spent a lot of time just staring at the scenes. Another "experience" type of game, clocking in around 3 hours. It is a game, however, notable for it's two character control mechanic and some very clever platforming. Maybe I'm not quite co-ordinated enough, but I often found myself messing up which stick was controlling which brother. Again, get it for the right price and enjoy it.

The Swapper
A fun puzzle game with an interesting story and unique visuals (clay models scanned into the game). A nice challenge, although I did wind up having to look up 2 on youtube so as not to get stuck - one had me saying "duh", but the other one was a bit on the "what were they thinking" side. If you like 2D puzzle games that actually have a story, another game worth playing.

Papers, Please
I totally get the point of this game, but I was surprised it topped so many GOTY lists. Reason being that the part of the game that creates its length, the sort of text hunting minigame, is really tedious. The very interesting part of the game, the part that gives it its weight, is the decisions you have to make whose consequences can never be predicted. To me, the passport stuff felt like a crappy iPhone game. I think it is a very good game for what it does, but because of the boring nature of a large part of it, I don't think it should be so highly rated. I got a few of the different endings, but I finally stopped after my third ending on Day 29 because I just didn't feel like checking passports anymore just to get another ending.

Tearaway
Not GOTY, but such a clever game and a real joy to play. Rarely does a game find so many ways to put a smile on your face. All the way to the end the developers were still finding new ways to incorporate the Vita's features, so it never got boring. The paper-inspired graphics were also inspired and the tearaway.me site is one of the best conceived integrations and use of collectibles ever.

Gunpoint
I haven't actually finished this one yet, but have gotten a taste. Unlike the other games here, the story in this one looks mostly just for fun and the gameplay is the real star. It's very clever so far and I'm sure it's only going to get better.

So, overall I don't think any of these competed for the top spot in my GOTY, but I'm glad I played all of them, and they should all be available now at pretty attractive prices.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 06:43:42 PM by Teggy » Logged

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Lordnine
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014, 11:40:40 PM »

Nice to see a list of lesser known titles.  I greatly enjoyed The Swapper, Papers, Please and Gunpoint and consider all of them to be among the best games I've played this year.  Gone Home I will play at some point but I'm reluctant because I hated Dear Esther with a passion.  Tearaway sounds great but I cant justify buying a Vita for one game.
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Teggy
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2014, 02:54:48 AM »

Just updating this to add a few games I have finished up recently

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
I finished this game and I enjoyed it. But maybe because I don't have any nostalgic ties to the original game it didn't really blow me away. It was fun, but it didn't strike me as GOTY material.

Metro: Last Light
This, on the other hand, jumped into my top 10. Absolutely beautiful looking game with incredible atmosphere. This is a game you can take your time with, soaking in the world, or if you wish, you can ignore all that and just play. Sometimes it's moody, sometimes it's scary, and sometimes you're surrounded by gunfire and explosions. Many of the levels (often laid out with alternate paths) can be done with pure stealth or with guns blazing, your choice. The problem with the game for me, however, was that the story in the last 1/4 of the game just got a little too goofy. I think they really could have streamlined the ending sections of the game and it would have been much better for it. I played this right after Metro 2033, a game I was pretty ambivalent towards, and was really pleasantly surprised. Probably also the game with most close-ups of nipples in 2013 I suppose  icon_confused

« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 01:35:23 PM by Teggy » Logged

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leo8877
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2014, 03:05:44 AM »

I just couldn't get into Papers, Please at all.  It was not fun even a little bit.  Looking forward to trying out Brothers when it comes out on PS+.
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Gratch
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2014, 03:07:28 AM »

Quote from: leo8877 on January 09, 2014, 03:05:44 AM

I just couldn't get into Papers, Please at all.  It was not fun even a little bit.  Looking forward to trying out Brothers when it comes out on PS+.

Felt the same way about Papers Please.  I'm baffled at how people think it's fun, but to each their own.

Brothers, on the other hand, is brilliant.  It was my #1a (right behind Tomb Raider) for GOTY in 2013.
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2014, 05:04:48 AM »

Quote from: Gratch on January 09, 2014, 03:07:28 AM

Quote from: leo8877 on January 09, 2014, 03:05:44 AM

I just couldn't get into Papers, Please at all.  It was not fun even a little bit.  Looking forward to trying out Brothers when it comes out on PS+.

Felt the same way about Papers Please.  I'm baffled at how people think it's fun, but to each their own.

Brothers, on the other hand, is brilliant.  It was my #1a (right behind Tomb Raider) for GOTY in 2013.

Brothers I think has one really good level (giant's graveyard), and a good payoff in the ending but otherwise I was kind of underwhelmed by it.
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2014, 01:01:43 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on January 09, 2014, 03:07:28 AM

Quote from: leo8877 on January 09, 2014, 03:05:44 AM

I just couldn't get into Papers, Please at all.  It was not fun even a little bit.  Looking forward to trying out Brothers when it comes out on PS+.

Felt the same way about Papers Please.  I'm baffled at how people think it's fun, but to each their own.

Brothers, on the other hand, is brilliant.  It was my #1a (right behind Tomb Raider) for GOTY in 2013.

Loved Papers, Please.  Even if the "game" of it was a little tough to get the brain around, it was fully set in that world, and that made me giddy.
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Lordnine
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2014, 04:17:51 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on January 09, 2014, 03:07:28 AM

Quote from: leo8877 on January 09, 2014, 03:05:44 AM

I just couldn't get into Papers, Please at all.  It was not fun even a little bit.  Looking forward to trying out Brothers when it comes out on PS+.

Felt the same way about Papers Please.  I'm baffled at how people think it's fun, but to each their own.

I cared more about the green guard in Papers Please than I did about either of the brothers...
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The Grue
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2014, 05:42:23 PM »

I've played all the games on that list and loved them all.  I've beaten all of them except for Papers, Please and Gunpoint, but will get around to it.

Lordnine, trying to figure out why you hate Dear Esther with a passion.  I can understand it not being your thing or being indifferent about it and it's really just you pushing your character through the entire experience (which is also the same for Gone Home, though you get a little more interaction), but not sure how you can hate it with a passion.
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Lordnine
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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2014, 07:00:54 PM »

Quote from: The Grue on January 09, 2014, 05:42:23 PM

Lordnine, trying to figure out why you hate Dear Esther with a passion.  I can understand it not being your thing or being indifferent about it and it's really just you pushing your character through the entire experience (which is also the same for Gone Home, though you get a little more interaction), but not sure how you can hate it with a passion.
It’s because I feel like it wasted my time.  If I had booted it up, walked around for a few minutes and then shut it off I would have simply been confused about it.  But I HAD to understand why people thought it was great.  So I played it, and I started to get angry because it didn’t make sense. So I continued to play it, becoming more and more annoyed by the pretentious “narrative” that barely connected to anything within the “game”.  When I got to the ending scene, where something new actually happened, I was outright mad that THAT had been it.

Later, I looked up discussions pertaining to what the game was actually about, but since no two people could agree on what happened I just gave up.
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The Grue
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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2014, 07:40:47 PM »

Ah, ok.  I thought it was a neat little interactive experience, but certainly wasn't the greatest thing ever.  Gone Home is certainly better in all regards.
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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2014, 08:49:49 PM »

all this talk of Gone Home or To the Moon makes me inch ever closer to booting them up.  fwiw, I played a bit of proteus and saw no point to it beyond "ooh, this would be crazy to play on E". 
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2014, 08:52:31 PM »

Quote from: Caine on January 09, 2014, 08:49:49 PM

all this talk of Gone Home or To the Moon makes me inch ever closer to booting them up.  fwiw, I played a bit of proteus and saw no point to it beyond "ooh, this would be crazy to play on E". 

I played Proteus to "completion" and I don't quite get the praise on that one.  I liked that it was procedurally generated and it was neat to roam around, but it didn't do much for me.
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Blackjack
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2014, 05:31:28 PM »

I picked up Brothers during the Steam holiday sales. I agree with Teggy -- I completely would get confused on which stick controlled which brother.  Somehow my confusion was more amusing than exasperating.  icon_razz I am unable to finish the game though. I got stuck at the point where both brothers are...
Spoiler for Hiden:
fleeing from that invisible frost giant or whatever in the snowy village? I tried like 20 times, and the little brother doesn't seem fast enough to get away - get's killed every time.
So I quit playing it. Not sure I'm physically inept or just not understanding the trick in getting past that area.

Before that, I also got stuck for a time on the one where you have to get one brother to...
Spoiler for Hiden:
throw a gear across the bridge. The controller mechanic to do so just didn't feel intuitive at all to me. After much frustration I basically accidentally was able to toss it.  icon_razz

I'm hoping that some of my Steam Early Access/Kickstarter etc. faves like Door Kickers and Grim Dawn will become official releases sometime this year and I can push them as GOTY candidates next year.  icon_smile
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 05:34:48 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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Lordnine
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« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2014, 05:35:22 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on January 10, 2014, 05:31:28 PM


Spoiler for Hiden:
fleeing from that invisible frost giant or whatever in the snowy village? I tried like 20 times, and the little brother doesn't seem fast enough to get away - get's killed every time.
So I quit playing it. Not sure I'm physically inept or just not understanding the trick in getting past that area.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Hide behind the snowmen
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Gratch
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« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2014, 05:51:36 PM »

Quote from: Lordnine on January 10, 2014, 05:35:22 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on January 10, 2014, 05:31:28 PM


Spoiler for Hiden:
fleeing from that invisible frost giant or whatever in the snowy village? I tried like 20 times, and the little brother doesn't seem fast enough to get away - get's killed every time.
So I quit playing it. Not sure I'm physically inept or just not understanding the trick in getting past that area.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Hide behind the snowmen

Yup.  There's one that looks like each character.
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