Has it really only been 12 months since the last avalanche of “Best Games of 200X” awards? Well, we all love a good list, and you won’t find a better barf bag of random praises than our own Platinum Chalice awards, the place to have someone else’s gaming opinions shoved upon you. How important are these awards? So important. Real important. What do the other guys have, gold trophies? Screw that.
In real life, war is messy. Mistakes get made, civilians get hurt, families are shattered and once-thriving countries are bombed back to the Stone Age, often because of the misguided actions of their politicians. Wars in videogames, by contrast, are a hell of a lot more convenient and clean. Because they’re (usually) fictitious, the justifications are clear, the goals relatively simple and the opposing forces completely, irredeemably evil.
But that’s not always the case. Whether by design or through slapdash writing, some of gaming’s most notable conflicts – when examined objectively – are completely meaningless, stupid exercises in futility for all involved. Here are some of our favorites...
Like flying piranha or sentient automobiles with a grudge, an apocalypse is something humanity doesn't want gate-crashing the cosmic party. Famine. Pestilence. War. Death. These are just four types of disaster commonly associated with an apocalypse and each one is guaranteed to kill the mood at any social gathering or LAN party. More catastrophically, they can also kill a significant proportion of the World's people population. Especially Death. Make no mistake - apocalypses are no fun. But would gamers be better prepared to survive one type of apocalypse over another? We find out.
Composers in games are always the bloody bridesmaids. While Kojima, Clifford Bleszinski the Third and Shigeru Miyamoto lap up all the credits, complimentary hookers and free mini muffin baskets, the men and women behind their games' epic music go unnoticed.
Steven Spielberg famously said that composer John Williams' score in Jaws was responsible for 50% of the movie's success. And when you consider the iconic tunes from Super Mario Bros. or Shadow of the Colossus' sweeping score, it's hard to underestimate the impact a well composed soundtrack can have on a title. That's why we're giving some of gaming's finest composers the long overdue recognition they deserve.
December may offer the true
climax of the holiday season, but in terms of new game releases, it's very much
the calm after the storm. Most of the giant blockbusters of the season made
their way out between September and November, but the final month of 2011 isn't
barren by any means: big releases like Mario Kart 7 and Star Wars: The Old
Republic lead the pack, while system-specific versions of some notable recent
titles also find their way to store shelves. But if you read this over and
don't see anything on the horizon that works you into a tizzy, surely November's overstuffed
lineup holds a few leftover options to consider...
Who doesn't love zombies? Well, apart from Jill Valentine, communists and possibly the Wolfman. It's also a well known science type fact that the living dead automatically make any game they appear in amazing. And who are we to dispute scienticians? That's why we've taken some games we'd love to see stuffed full of the undead and, thanks to Photoshop, made our zombie dreams so.
So what would happen if amoral Balkan sociopath Niko Bellic was in everyone's favourite cute and cuddly cartoon racer? Would Mario and chums accept him into the line-up with grace and humility? Would Niko keep the lid on all his murderous rage when Yoshi was firing red shells up his tailpipe? Of course, not. This is what would happen if the worlds of Liberty City and the Mushroom Kingdom clashed...
And that got us thinking. What
In the context of a game, Achievements and Trophies are harmless. They're just carrot-dangling tactics that we're happy to indulge for our greedy pursuit of intangible virtual rewards. We wouldn't think twice about nail-bombing a kitten orphanage if it meant five more gamer points.
But, let's say, purely for the purposes of this here article, that we take Achievements and Trophies out of their virtual world settings and reconsider them
It's a rare occurrence nowadays, but every once in a while, a game you’ve never even heard of comes along and absolutely blows you away. Sometimes it's a little indie gem that didn't get enough promotion. Other times, what appears to be a quick cash-in turns out to be an awesome game.
Champions are made of more than mutant powers and godly origins. Join as we pay tribute to the average men and women who rose above great odds in our countdown of gaming's top everyman heroes...