Four Player Co-op 12.11.13: VGX, Favourite Games of 2013, More
Posted by Stephen Randle on 12.11.2013
Was Grand Theft Auto V the best game of the year? What will we most remember about the last generation of gaming? What was the dumbest thing in gaming for 2013? The 411 Staff debates these topics and more in this week's 4PC!
John Cash has joined the game.
Daniel Anderson has joined the game.
Dan Watson has joined the game.
Todd Vote has joined the game.
Greetings, and welcome to another edition of Four Player Co-op, the only thing in video gaming to be unaffected by the curse of the Year of Luigi. Maybe things will go better next year, which I assume is the Year of Yoshi. But then I always had trouble with those foreign astrological calendars.
Start the game!
QUESTION ONE: Well, the Spike Video Game Awards VGX went down this weekend and the result was…a horribly awkward studio show with a host who clearly didn't want to be there and a few underwhelming reveals, half the awards weren't given out over the three hour show…and it didn't even air on TV! I know for a fact that I've seen far worse ideas get far better televised awards shows (hello, People's Choice Awards), but is the idea of a legitimate yearly video games awards show that doesn't suck simply a pipe dream as long as Spike TV is the driving force behind it?
Yes. The Spike VGAs have never been good, and have almost always missed the mark on giving the award to the right game in nearly every category. On top of absolutely awful amounts of promotion (often times for things that weren't even video games or were only related because an actor was associated in some fashion with a game at some point), the painfully awkward celebrity appearances, and the "step-father-trying-way-too-hard-to-get-the-kid-to-love-him" way they tried to appeal to the gaming community was just vomit-inducing each year.
I think, like TNA, there are several problems that need to be fixed before the show can be better. First, I get the feeling that the people behind the scenes of the show don't care about what is happening and think people will just tune in because it has "Video Game" in the title. Second, you have the fact that the awards show has little credibility with most video game fans (example: Madden as GOTY on year). Then, you have the fact that most video game people are just not household names. Casual people are not going to watch the show if the only person they are going to recognize are the host(s). Finally, the awards show is at the wrong time of the year. I know it is at the end of the year, but how much big video game news comes out in December? Is Spike responsible for these issues, or are the people in charge of VGX the problem? In this case, I think (like with TNA again) Spike lets the people in charge of VGX make the calls and just provides a platform for the show to be aired.
Spike ruins a lot of things I feel. Remember the short stint that RAW had on Spike? They are programming killers. The awards show used to be great to watch and would have a ton of announcements. Now, no one even watches Spike and it has killed the show. Can anyone even tell me what Spike airs other than TNA on a regular basis? G4 should get the video game awards or USA. Hell USA even promotes the Slammys like they are the Oscars.
Wait.. Those were this weekend? Damn, I guess I missed them again. VGX isn't an awards show anyway, it's more like a 3 hour advertisement for what's to come as far as video games go. I've heard people state in the past that the awards are all purchased with advertising money. I won't go so far as to say that, but I do know there is seldom an agreement for what this show chooses as the game of the year. I don't see why getting an awards show that is actually worth our time is too farfetched, but may be out of reach as long as Spike TV is in charge.
Todd gets 438 points for the answer that I suspect many people would have come up with, namely "Oh, was that on this weekend?" Somehow, Spike thought that three hours of Cops reruns was a better use of Saturday night programming than VGX. They spent the whole summer with great coverage of video games between E3 and the console launches, but they pretty much threw it all away this weekend.
QUESTION TWO: And speaking of awards, it is mid-December, and with no major releases left to hit before the year ticks over, I suppose it's time to dole out some recognition. We're not going to take away from our official Year End Awards or anything, but for starters, while it might not have been objectively the "Best", we all have games that we enjoyed playing more than any other. So, what was your Favourite Game of 2013?
Well, that's a tricky question on my end, because I did a lot of backlog stuff this year. I was pleasantly surprised by Tomb Raider (as someone who had only played one Tomb Raider game before.) I jumped head-long into handheld gaming again this year and had a blast playing Code of Princess, Project X Zone, and Shin Megami Tensei IV. Cookie Clicker became a new addiction. Even the 30 minutes or so of Super Mario 3D World blew me away. I guess, gun to my head, I would say Project X Zone was my favorite game of 2013. Unless I can count Mass Effect 3: Citadel, then I choose that, because that was amazing.
I have played Bioshock Infinite, Assassin's Creed Black Flag, Ryse, Dead Rising 3, Injustice, Tomb Raider, Pokemon X/Y, Fire Emblem, Dead Space 3, Deadpool, and more I that just aren't on my shelf next to my PC right now as I type. Out of the list above, I have probable spent more time on Fire Emblem or Pokemon X/Y just because I can play it here and there and not have to sit in front of my TV and dedicate time to it. I have also played a lot of games that came out in previous years, just not this year (Skyrim), but didn't list them because I was asked about this year's games.
First it's Favorite, no "u." Second, my favorite sports title was FIFA 14 shockingly. Otherwise, I enjoyed Saints Row quite a bit even though it was short.
In a year where I avoided FPS games like the plague, and tried to get back to what brought me to gaming, I tried some new things, some I enjoyed, some I didn't. My biggest gaming surprise of this year was the fact that I actually enjoyed playing Diablo III. As far as my personal game of the year? I think I'll have to give that award to GTA V. I'm not saying there weren't better games released, but I will say it is the best game I played this year.
Best Next gen Experience: Finally getting my hands on Killer Instinct on the XBone. I only got to play as Jago, because I wasn't about to buy the game on a console that wasn't mine, but what I did play felt great! The gameplay feels deeper than it ever has before, and offers the chance for strategic battles, instead of just who can mash the buttons the best.
Worst Next Gen Experience: Ryse: Son of Rome. While this was one of the games I was anticipating the most amongst the next gen games, what we were given was a derivative, repetitive, game that was pretty to look at, but it stopped there. The game lacked a hook, or any reason to keep playing, beyond what was a decent story.
First of all, Dan, if we're going to be correcting spelling and grammar, the correct form is actually "Secondly", not "Second". Secondly, don't try and correct my far superior Canadian spelling and grammar. Just because you fought wars over not wanting to use the extra "u" like the rest of the civilized world doesn't make your way the right one.
QUESTION THREE: Of course, it's not all smiles and sunshine this year, which I guess made VGX strangely appropriate. Personally, I blame Luigi, since this was supposed to be his Year, but let's see what you think. What was the Dumbest Thing in Video Games for the year just ending?
Xbox Marketing Team. Could it really be anything else? It was like watching one of those American football plays in slow motion, where the team just can't keep their hands on the ball, and it just fumbles back and back and back... The only other thing that comes to mind that could maybe even step into their shadow this year would be the Dead Island: Riptide "Zombie Bait" Edition that quite literally came with a bust!
Aliens: Colonial Marines. Hands down. You had a franchise that has not had a good game since the Aliens vs. Predator games on PC in late 1990's early 2000's, yet still has fans wanting to buy and play a good game. You had positive press on the game up until the release date, and then it all collapsed. The game was horrible and then fans started suing the developer for false advertising and rumors came out that the money given to the studio went to develop Borderlands 2 instead. Just a horrible and stupid story all around.
Microsoft constantly putting its foot in its mouth and flip flopping based on consumers yelling. If they would've left things as is, the console still would've sold as well as it did this past month. Just terrible PR for the company.
Easily Saints Row IV. That is a game that never should have worked. Let's take a game full of gangbangers, put the leader in the White House and drop an alien invasion on them. Oh yeah, also, let's give them super powers. Such a far out idea, and one that never should have worked. But you know what? It did work, and it was a blast to play through. Don't get me wrong, I hope if the franchise continues, they take it back to more of what the second and third game were all about, but for a one off departure, Saints Row IV showed a great way to have fun with your characters.
1704 points to Todd for going at things a different way and actually getting the correct answer. Saint's Row IV is totally dumb, but that's why it works. He would have gotten more points if he hadn't gone and put his "negative" answer back in the end of Question Two, though.
QUESTION FOUR: But let's not forget the thing that 2013 will be remembered for: the end of one console generation and the start of another. As we wind down this year, it's time for you all to provide a few last words for the PS3/360/Wii console generation that officially came to an end in mid-November.
I will say this; I would have never in my wildest dreams thought that I would be happy owning an Xbox 360. I played fairly often at a friend's house, experiencing the myriad of problems the old models had, but I didn't actually buy my own until the Elites came out with the improved motherboard and larger HDD. One of the best purchases I ever personally made. I can honestly say that outside of maybe the N64 and Gamecube, I've put more time into the 360 than any other console I've ever owned. If the PS3 hadn't have been so expensive through its entire life, I probably would have got one over a 360, but even when the PS3 refurbished at GameStop was (at the time) still like $350-450, compared to the $250 + Free game I got with my 360. Also: my Nintendo Wii is amazing, and I will love it forever for games like Super Mario Galaxy, Animal Crossing: City Folk, Super Paper Mario, Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario Kart Wii, and especially The Last Story.
I think the last gen of consoles was one of the best. You had three consoles that all performed well. With the Wii you had the revolutionary controls (that worked better than anyone thought it would), PS3 had the slow start and strong finish, and the 360 had issues but overall had strong sales. There were a lot of games and franchises that were created this generation that will be looked back fondly on years from now.
This was the entertainment generation and online generation. Prior to this generation, consoles were actually used just for gaming. Now, we have bought PS3s as Blu-Ray players, we stream movies, and even chat with others across the world. This was a great generation.
We can argue all day long about who won this console generation, and who brought the most to the table. We can argue about who f*cked up what, or who did this & that better. But there is one thing that none of us can deny, once the bugs were ironed out, we were all fortunate to be gamers. From the Wii ushering in motion controls, to Microsoft's extensive online network, to the PS3's awesome exclusive titles. We were all winners when it comes to gaming. I hope that the next generation continues to foster new ways for us to play, and new ways for us to enjoy our favorite medium of entertainment.
Everyone gets 3964 points, because it's the Christmas season and I'm feeling generous or some crap like that. For myself, the previous generation can probably be summed up by one anecdote: Within a day of buying a Wii, I threw out my shoulder playing Wii Baseball. And that was only the start of how far I got into gaming last generation.
BONUS QUESTION: Well, now that it's over, I think we're finally allowed to declare a victor in the previous generation's console wars. So…who won?
The Nintendo Wii, hands down. 100 million units sold. Its two main competitors introduced very shoddy and worthless attempts at cashing in on what made the Wii special. Not only that, but because you could (mostly) surf the internet on it for free, and get Netflix/Hulu on it, it introduced the casual market to the idea of an all-in-one box for the living room, which helped it win Gen 7, but may have killed their chances in Gen 8 for anything but a dead last finish, since (despite their problems) PS4 and XBO do that much better and prettier than the Wii U. Then again, pretty much anything you can do on PS4/XBO you can do on a PC and better, but you can't play Mario or Zelda on PC, can you? (PROTIP: Not Legally.)
I think gamers are the winners from the last generation. I know a lot of people have their favorite consoles (and I do too), but it is very difficult to say one console beat all the others. Hell, the Wii sold better than the 360 and PS3 for most of the generation. I am just going to say that the winners of last gen were the gamers and leave it there.
Gamers were the winners here. We saw some of the greatest innovations in gaming this generation. I can't wait to see what the next one brings.
After the soap box speech I just delivered in Question 4? Now you want me to pick a winner? Okay.. Gamers, Gamers were the winners. No matter your console of choice, there was something for everybody.
PLAYER 1 WINS
HEY, HE ACTUALLY
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