In an age when print is on the run from digital media, Time Magazine and its year-end awards are still noteworthy. The big news today was the publication naming Mark Zuckerberg Person of the Year, because apparently they only heard of Facebook after seeing it in a movie this year, but the periodical also posted their top ten games of the year. And while it’s a fine list, the top slot went to Alan Wake. Seriously?
Above: Alan seems to share my doubt in this screen
Now we gave Alan Wake an 8, which personally I mostly stand by. It certainly wasn’t a perfect game, as for every neat trick it did with gaming narrative, it took about two steps back with a derivative story, awkward dialogue supported by crummy lip-sync, and conspicuous product placement. On top of that you had to buy the real ending as DLC, and don’t even get me started on the Thermoses! I understand Time writer Evan Narcisse writing that Alan Wake’s “biggest triumph lies in turning metaphor into game play,” and that the game’s “meta-awareness and Hitchcockian suspense” are praiseworthy, but out of this year’s crop of games, Alan Wake’s top spot seems a bit off to me. Here’s the full list:
1. Alan Wake
Above: Of course this is better than Red Dead
2. Angry Birds
3. Red Dead Redemption
4. Halo: Reach
5. Super Mario Galaxy 2
7. Super Meat Boy
8. Super Street Fighter IV
9. Starcraft II
10. Mass Effect 2
Aside from casual iPhone game Angry Birds taking the number two slot (I mean yeesh, that didn’t even come out this year!), it’s actually a pretty good list. You’ve got to applaud Time for including smaller, amazing titles like Super Meat Boy and Limbo while ignoring familiar blockbusters like Black Ops and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. The authors really disappointed readers expecting a safe inventory that perhaps included Kinectimals, Just Dance, and Eyepet on the list instead.
Am I alone here? This strike you as a deserving award for an underrated and forgotten gem, or do you perhaps see it as a group picking the most ambitious game instead of the best? Let us know down below.
Dec 15, 2010