• TheWebSwinger - December 9, 2013 3:39 p.m.

    I have to give it to Joel - that ending, in which you've enacting his desperate, coping-induced final plan (and then lie right to Ellie's face) was beautiful, unexpected, and made perfect sense.
  • universaltofu - December 9, 2013 3:25 p.m.

    Trevor! Though I feel an honorable mention should go the narrator of Battleblock Theater, maybe Bladewolf from Metal Gear Rising.
  • Cyberninja - December 9, 2013 3:22 p.m.

    Where is Milla Maxwell or Chrom? oh well I will settle with the twins
  • taokaka - December 9, 2013 3:12 p.m.

    There's something wrong with your poll, I tried refreshing a few times but it didn't seem to work. The problem is I can't vote for mr drippy, the greatest character of the year, instead I had to vote for the next best thing, Joel.
  • GR HollanderCooper - December 9, 2013 3:41 p.m.

    Working now?
  • BladedFalcon - December 9, 2013 3:10 p.m.

    Sam Greebriar shouldn't even be on this list, she and her story are the weakest and worst part of that overrated, critic-pandering game.
  • Sinosaur - December 9, 2013 3:47 p.m.

    I thought the game was an entertaining experience and that it was an interesting experiment in storytelling (stipulation, I got it for 75% off, I honestly don't think the game is worth $20). But we've all got our opinions, because to me Trevor feels like that crazy GTA side character, only now you actually get to play them. His personality exists to make jokes and be horrible to people. This may be partially because the humor formula of GTA has gotten really old to me, staying incredibly superficial and crass while attempting to tell more serious stories.
  • BladedFalcon - December 9, 2013 3:53 p.m.

    I never said the game was bad, and indeed, it IS a good experiment for storytelling. The problem is that the story they are trying to tell is mediocre at best. But it bothers the hell out of me that nevertheless critics ate it all up and claim it's "good" just because the game pushed their right buttons. To put it in another way, ever heard of oscar-bait movies? Movies engineered specifically to pander to the people that decide the oscar academy awards? King's Speech, Argo, Million Dolalr Baby? That's pretty much what Gone Home is for the videogame industry, and the fact that very few people have called the game out for it pisses me off.
  • Sinosaur - December 9, 2013 4:12 p.m.

    I went in looking for a quick, unique experience, and came out appreciating what it did accomplish. It managed to create a clear picture of people who could conceivably be real people (with some drama levels turned up), and managed to give me genuinely emotional moments. If you want to call out critic baiting stories, that's been nearly every AAA game that gives a shit about story since at least halfway through the past generation. The question become acceptable? Nearly every game is specifically engineered to appeal to specific audiences, so what about Gone Home in particular makes it more guilty than The Last of Us or Bioshock Infinite?
  • BladedFalcon - December 9, 2013 4:27 p.m.

    What exactly about Gone Home is challenging? And I don't mean gameplay-wise. I mean story and emotionally-wise. Yes, it's a unique way of telling a story, and I definitely applaud that. But that realistic looking picture that's painted in the game is just that, but none of it makes you think, none of it makes you re-asses the way you perceive the world. The Last of Us and Bioshock infinite isn't pandering to a very specific demographic like Gone Home is. Gone home very much panders to people born between the 70s and 80s and grew up as late kids or teens trough the 90s, it also panders to liberals, as well as writers. Join those elements and you have a very clear target of who they were aiming for: The majority of gaming critics today. Furthermore, Both The Last of Us and Bioshock Infinite DO have plenty of elements of their stories that challenges the player. In the case of Bioshock Infinite, it's a critique of political extremism, both left and right, it's a critique of using religion as a carte blanche to justify your own actions, and it's also a clever, if flawed way to present the possibility of multiple universe and choice. As for The Last of US, it uses a very familiar premise to ask a question in a very uncomfortable manner: How truly important are the needs of the many, versus the ones of the fw, specially when it's the people closest to you? I've you've been paying attention, you can read how a TON of people were left very damn uncomfortable by the ending of the game. What does that mean? it means it challenged them, it forced them to experience and think of something they weren't used to thinking about. That's what a good story does. So... how exactly is any of that pandering?
  • Sinosaur - December 9, 2013 4:59 p.m.

    Or the people behind Gone Home had a story they actually wanted to tell that appealed to themselves, and being of that age and that general sort of belief system, made a game that also appealed to that audience. I also disagree that Gone Home didn't challenge. Yes, Sam's story is the most straight forward, and if that's all you experience, then it would come out a bit flat, but the game also allows you to see into the lives and connections of the rest of the family. It gives you an opportunity to see more behind secondary character's motivations than the typical face value one-dimensional sort of person. So what it sounds like is Gone Home is pandering because it doesn't work for you, but Last of Us and Bioshock Infinite did. But they have their own serious narrative problems. Last of Us, despite its message, damages it by creating so many one-dimensional "rape and kill everything" bad guys that give you free reign to murder without guilt. The ending is a challenging moment, but that's mostly it. Bioshock Infinite, from all I've learned (I admit I haven't played it or otherwise gone through the whole story), suffers from that video game flaw of refusing to make an actual point and taking a weak middle of the road stance by equating those who oppress with those who want their freedom from oppression. It's inability to actually say anything is pandering to the widest possible audience. That's not to say there isn't good story elements in both games, or that they aren't worthwhile, but they're not perfect stories, just as Gone Home has its flaws. The key difference seems to be that those stories worked for you while Gone Home did not.
  • BladedFalcon - December 9, 2013 5:32 p.m.

    Yes, the insight to the other characters in Gone Home is interesting, but I failed to see your explanation of how any of that challenges you or makes you think? Also, I don't completely buy tat Gone Home is that way because that's the story the creators wanted to tell and that's it. If it was so, then it would feel more personal, more specific. Take To The Moon for example, another entirely story focused game. It works because the story DID feel personal, you could tell that the writer was channeling first hand things he experienced and went trough. I saw none of that in gone home, and that's what bothers me. All of the drama and conflict you see in the game feels interesting, yes, but again, general enough and with things that feel like they are meant to relate to others rather than something you experienced, or wanted to tell. Also, that is incorrect about the Last of Us, and a generalization. Yes, some of the groups portrayed there feel like they are worse than you, but not nearly all. The guards at the beginning and in the first act were super strict, but not evil, and they were like that for a reason , acting not unlike what many governments would probably do in such a scenario. David's group, despite the ugly warts they show you, they also show you that they ARE caring for women and children, and more helpless people, some of their methods are clearly wrong of course, but it isn't like the game painted it all black and white. And the Firefly group at the end specially, exactly what sin did they commit? They did what they felt were right for the better of most. And ultimately, is the portrayals of the people you are up against in the game unrealistic? do you really think those types of people wouldn't exist in such situations? Heck, they already exist in this world as it is. Your point would work better if they had stretched personalization to unrealistic proportions, like with games such as Overlord or God of War, but it didn't. Also... you SHOULD play Bioshock Infinite before reaching that conclusion. Besides, since when not taking a side and instead letting the player/viewer make their own choice is pandering? If you are poking holes into the uglier truths of both sides of an argument, you are not pandering to either side because both sides are gonna feel uncomfortable when their side is attacked, that's the point. I never said they were perfect stories, but they are definitely far more ambitious, and with a lot more to say without being afraid to say it than Gone Home.
  • Sinosaur - December 9, 2013 5:59 p.m.

    I felt that Gone Home's story web of connections was more of a relevant challenge to the player than you get from most video games because for the rest of the family (not Sam), you were given the opportunity to see that they were more than their face value, and you could see them for their flaws, but also get insight into those flaws... but only if you were willing to look. This is something I felt was effective in Gone Home, especially compared to the lack of depth in so many characters. I also disagree with your assessment that any group aside from the Fireflies was given any sort of sympathetic portrayal. There wasn't enough humanization of the guards to give them depth, and David's group ultimately gives such a monstrous impression that any sympathy for them vanishes and they become standard video game bad guys. The final section with the Fireflies was effective, but that was more standing out from the rest of the game's portrayal of your antagonists than in the same vein. To The Moon, on the other hand, is possibly the most emotionally affecting game I have ever played. It's extremely difficult for me to look at objectively because of that. It's definitely barely a game, but somehow still feels enhanced for what little interaction it has.
  • BladedFalcon - December 9, 2013 6:35 p.m.

    Well, there you go, To the Moon got you that way because THAT is how a truly personal tale works, doesn't matter if it's barely a game or not. It was a story worth telling, and it was told in a magnificent way. As for Gone Home... Yes, I was willing to look, and found those flaws on those characters, but I don't see the challenge there, said flaws are yes, thing that you can relate to because they are common, but that's about it. As I said in the beginning, it's interesting, and gone Home DOES deserve praise for the way it lets you explore that, but not to the degree that critics have taken it into. The guards weren't given any dept because they weren't the focus of the story, that doesn't mean they were monsters either. Besides... Now that I think about it, how exactly is it a flaw that the game doesn't make the people you kill at first feel sympathetic? In order to feel any sort of sympathy for Joel and Ellie, you couldn't make the other side sympathetic right away, you need to ease the player into the nature of what you were really doing. I don't see this as a flaw at all, it's an effective narrative device that heightened the weight of what you were actually really doing once you've become invested enough in the characters you were playing as.
  • Unoriginal - December 9, 2013 3:51 p.m.

    Hey now, loads of non-critics liked Gone Home. I personally loved that game. Sure, Sam may not be as good as Joel or Trevor but I know a couple of people personally who really identified with her. I can very well understand the gripes people had with the game (game? interactive 90's fest?) but that is no reason to disregard all the people who liked it or their collective opinions :/
  • BladedFalcon - December 9, 2013 4:06 p.m.

    Again, I am not saying gone home is a bad game per se, but it is most definitely overrated, and more to the point, how is Sam Greenbriar a good character? SPOILERS FOR THE GAME BELOW, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED She doesn't have a particularly strong personality, outside from the hormone filled teen traits stereotypical teens portrayed in Hollywood have. In fact, she's rather generic in that sense and hence why no doubt people that age or that acted the way she was when they were teens related to her easily. Thing is, relatable character =/= a GOOD character. And that other trait that no doubt is what makes her stand out for both critics and certain people? Her sexuality? That's part of what I meant with shameless pandering. Of COURSE people are going to relate to that, regardless of whether this is actually handled well or not, or if it was truly significant for the character or the story. More than that though, her actions are stupid, understandable enough for people her age... But there's a reason why teenager characters are seldom chosen or considered for being great characters in any list: most of us were idiots as teenagers, we didn't know what we were doing, and thus it's not a period that should be celebrated much.
  • universaltofu - December 9, 2013 4:34 p.m.

    This doesn't have anything to do with military man who stole your heart as a teen after ripping it out in mortal kombat does it?
  • BladedFalcon - December 9, 2013 4:54 p.m.

    Nope, it does not, nice way to word that, btw XD
  • universaltofu - December 9, 2013 4:57 p.m.

    " I've you've been paying attention " :p
  • BladedFalcon - December 9, 2013 5:13 p.m.

    ....Yeah, that was a screw up alright. I try my best to keep typos to a minimum, but I keep missing some >>;

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