Press X or Die Game of the Year 2011

Our nominations have been put forward, we’ve each had our piece on what we think should be our Game of the Year, and why. After sitting down and deciding which of these games was most deserving, we came to a final conclusion.

And so, our choice for Game of the Year 2011 is…

Portal 2!


It looks like the right choice was made, there are many other great games on this list but it’s great to see Portal 2 as the winner. I’ve already said a lot about Portal 2 here so I’m going to talk about a few other games.

Skyrim was one of the most enjoyable games I played in 2011. I’ve tried to get into the Elder Scrolls series for some time but never really managed it, it usually ends with me having played Morrowind or Oblivion all night and then not touching it again for months, but I was going back to Skyrim again and again. While I enjoyed it immensely, I just couldn’t look past its flaws, especially the glitches.

Catherine was my first choice for Game of the Year before I settled on Portal 2. It was a very interesting game, it had a good story and pretty fun gameplay. It’s a great first entry from the Atlus Persona Team for this gen and I highly recommend it. You could see it as Game of the Year next year when it’s released in Europe.

I know it’s not really eligible since it’s an updated re-release but Ocarina of Time 3D is a fantastic game. It’s the original but with updated graphics, decent gyroscopic controls and, of course, in 3D. If you’ve never played the original, this is a brilliant way to experience it. It also includes the Master Quest, a more difficult version of the game which is a nice challenge to fans of the game.

Portal 2, for me, was a solid game for the start of the year. It was short compared to my usual favourites, but it was a dense experience of puzzles and comedy. The new gels worked well, and the old Aperture science and expanded back-story helped build upon the Portal mythos. And against my initial expectation they even managed to pull out a great song for the credits. I think one of the best things about Portal 2 is the PS3 and PC co-op, as well as the “Buy PS3 Portal 2, get it free on Steam” deal. I hope to see some more of that in the future. It also brought Steamworks onto consoles, and it’ll be interesting to see how that develops over time.

Here’s hoping we can get through this article without a cake joke. Honestly, I’ve a heap of gripes with the game, but that’s not what I’m here for. I’m here to celebrate a winner, and you, Portal 2, are a winner! I’d say the game shined most brilliantly through its use of clever dialogue—chiefly found anywhere GLaDOS was not. She’s lost her vim, that one. Well, there was the lemon joke. Elsewhere, the banter and heated, hysterical monologues were satisfying; Wheatley and Cave Johnson were wonderfully casted and scripted. If I had to glean a single element to define what made Portal 2 a success, it’d be one of those fellas.

Portal 2 was definitely among my favourite games of the year. In fact, I had considered nominating it myself. With sequels, fans tend to get worried. They fear their beloved original will be stepped all over in order to grab cash from the fans, and I struggle to remember a game more beloved by its fans than the original Portal. However, with the build up to Portal 2, all I remember was pure excitement. People knew that Portal 2 was in great hands, and Valve delivered more than anyone could have anticipated. It may not have been my personal pick for the best game of the year but it definitely deserves it.

I was one of those people who held off on Portal 2 when it first came out. I loved the first game and I really wanted the bigger and better sequel. Yet I held out. I did so because I knew sooner or later that Valve would offer it for a steal. And they did, so I put my money where my mouth is and bought it. Pound for pound – or in my case, euro for euro – Portal 2 was one of the best purchases I made all year and still would have been had I paid full retail price. Without a doubt, Portal 2 is deserving of the lofty title of Game of the Year.

While it wasn’t exactly my first choice, Portal 2 definitely deserves to be recognized. It successfully built on the elements that made the first game so brilliant by filling it with more puzzles, mind-bending mechanics, and witty characters. Much of Portal 2 felt like you were on a Tomorrowland roller coaster ride in Disney World, but that’s far from an insult; some of the best experiences happen in linear, scripted paths. That I’m even comparing a video game to a Disney product speaks volumes about the heart and soul poured into this one, from Stephen Merchant’s turn as Wheatley to Erik Wolpaw’s extraordinary writing. Congratulations, Valve!

Any of this year’s nominees could’ve legitimately won this accolade but Portal 2 is more than a worthy winner. Somehow, Valve managed to take what was already a wonderful game and expand upon it, and do something many thought impossible: make it even better. From fleshing out the rogue A.I. GLaDOS’ background to introducing new layers of Aperture for players to explore, with new gameplay mechanics to boot, Portal 2 delivered more of what the people wanted without diluting any of the experience.
Plus, it made Stephen Merchant remotely likable, which is worth an award on its own…


Public Vote

This year we also opened up the polls to our readers. And our inaugural readers’ choice is

Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel

When I returned from vacation, it was to a message from Dean; something about a massive combe between Ar tonelico Qoga and the rest of the reader votes. Well, I guess one cannot deny the fervor of the fans (and a certain image board, evidently). I won’t go on about the game as I’ve already went on quite vigorously when nominating the creature. I will go as far as saying I’m pleased by the outcome; there’s something about the concurrence required to win that brightens the feat.

My personal vote placed The Witcher 2 in second, and I believe the game deserves to be mentioned outside of its realm of nomination. It was a damn fine fantasy experience: the best of its kind I’ve had the pleasure of visiting in the last decade. This was truly a great year for gamers of all types.

By Group Post

Occasionally we combine our powers for something a little special.

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