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2012's Game of the Year Could Actually be a Digital Title

Walking Dead Journey Tokyo Jungle PSN PS3 Xbox 360 PC

This year has seen some pretty big game releases, and there's no doubt in my mind that there will be plenty of arguing when it comes time to crown the game of the year for 2012. I just think people will be arguing over the wrong games.

Sure, we've seen a lot of stellar $60 releases this year. But when it comes right down to it for me, the digital titles will reign supreme when it comes time to announce the game of the year. Just which digital titles do I think are most deserving? Read on to find out.

 

Journey


Let's just get right down to it. I loved Journey the most out of any game this year. The way the story was presented, the ability to explore and find more of the world's backstory through hieroglyphs, just overall everything about it was great to me. We even gave it one of our highest ratings of the year in our review.

But of course, people did find faults in the game. The main problem being that game completion times usually clocked in at about two hours and thirty minutes for most players. I'm not like most people when it comes to Journey however.

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Yeah, I loved it. So what!?


When Journey did release to the public earlier this, I went a wee bit overboard with it. I wrote three different articles about it, beat the story nine times and played for countless hours searching for anything else the game had to offer me.

In my mind, Journey is my personal game of the year, but when it comes to the overall vote of the gaming community, I'm going to have to count it out. There were plenty of people who disliked the length of the game or just couldn't get into the story. It was the same way with me for the Unfinished Swan.

When the game released, it was getting rave reviews. Nines across the board. Every review I read said it was like the next Journey and how it could even be game of the year. I played it and ended up hating it. The story didn't interest me and the gameplay was flat. Of course, my opinion of the game is the odd one out this time.

 

Tokyo Jungle


When I made the mistake of buying The Unfinished Swan, I also made the great choice of buying Tokyo Jungle. Now before we go any further, yes I'm aware of the fact that Tokyo Jungle came out on a disc in Japan. But here in America it was a digital title, so shut it!

No matter where I've traveled to on the internet, the one constant theme of every website (including our own) was the universal praise of Tokyo Jungle by its userbase. Even here at Game Podunk I was being told that I had to buy it first and foremost, which is just insanely strange...

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Let's just say things get weird


Not because it is a bad game, but because it is a weird game. Who would have guessed a game about random wild animals surviving in the apocalypse would turn out so popular? While I'll admit the game gets kind of repetitive due to repeating challenges, but there is no denying how addictive the game is.

After countless hours trying to get my pig to live for a hundred years I still haven't even come close to unlocking everything the game has to offer. Considering the price paid, it is one of the most worthwhile games on the PSN. But where it excels in fun, it lacks memorability. It is certainly a contender for GOTY, but I can think of one other digital title that could beat out both of the previous titles mentioned.

 

The Walking Dead


This is it. This is my personal choice for game of the year. For those of you that haven't played The Walking Dead yet, let me explain just why it is so great. First of all, the game's choice system. While I enjoyed the story in Heavy Rain for the most part, I never felt like my choices mattered in the end. I was watching a story play out, but I had little control over it.

In The Walking Dead, I feel like every single choice I make has an impact on the story and characters. I know that isn't always the case, but more often than not I'm in total control of how my story plays out. This has led to some pretty crazy outcomes.

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We shouldn't care so much about them, but we do!


The game, of course, has multiple paths, but if you were to go to a forum and say you were going to redo a part, you would be scolded. The player base believes you're only cheapening the effect of the game's story by trying to get a better outcome.

Along with having a story so great it's actually frowned upon to try to change it is a cast of characters you just might end up caring about. A rarity in most games these days. If you were to look at any website discussing the game you would find people actually arguing over their own choices, regretting that they lost people along the way and angry about being betrayed by others.

Everything that has happened to them on their journey is entirely because of they choices they made and it just kills them when they see they've failed their group in some way. Any graphical problems the game has are instantly trumped by the fact that the game has actually made people care. Sure they're problematic at times, but that's easy to overlook when the game is this good.

 
While it may seem far fetched to think a digital title could become the game of the year, I really don't see why they should be left out of the running. What do you think? Why not post in the comments below and let me know? As always, thank you for reading.


11 Comments

I didn't get the whole Journey thing. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed it but I didn't have that moving experience so many did. My personal game of the year is looking like it may also be a digital title however not any of the ones you have mentioned. I've been thinking a lot about my game of the year and while the verdict is not completely in, there's one title that I keep coming back to, Papo & Yo. The game's message resonated so much with me that upon finishing it I was left haunted by it and memories of my own childhood. Papo & Yo will always have a special place in my heart and it was one of the greatest gaming experiences I've had and that makes it a contender for game of the year even if it is a digital release and can be finished in one sitting.

I didn't get the whole Journey thing. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed it but I didn't have that moving experience so many did. My personal game of the year is looking like it may also be a digital title however not any of the ones you have mentioned. I've been thinking a lot about my game of the year and while the verdict is not completely in, there's one title that I keep coming back to, Papo & Yo. The game's message resonated so much with me that upon finishing it I was left haunted by it and memories of my own childhood. Papo & Yo will always have a special place in my heart and it was one of the greatest gaming experiences I've had and that makes it a contender for game of the year even if it is a digital release and can be finished in one sitting.


I loved Papo & Yo as well, and I certainly hope that it lands a place on some sites' Top 10 GOTY lists. It might be my #2 overall game this year. :)
I think it is possible for a digital game to be GOTY. I only finished episode 1 of The Walking Dead and like the story even more than the television show. I was skeptical going into the game because of how crappy Back To The Future was, but the game is stellar. I skipped over Journey because I just didn't feel an attraction to the game. I downloaded Tokyo Jungle but haven't played it yet.

My favorite digital download this year though would have to be Magic 2013.
Alright, while Tokyo Jungle and Journey are fantastic games, neither are GOTY material Besides, they're missing a serious requirement for being GOTY, being popular. The Walking Dead on the other hand has a great shot at winning, thought seeing as its getting a disc release it's not entirely digital now is it?
The other digital release I'd have to say is in the running is Hotline: Miami. It's simultaneously alien yet familiar, a pulse-driven affair with a knack for drug-trip moments and random plot twists.

Alright, while Tokyo Jungle and Journey are fantastic games, neither are GOTY material Besides, they're missing a serious requirement for being GOTY, being popular. The Walking Dead on the other hand has a great shot at winning, thought seeing as its getting a disc release it's not entirely digital now is it?


I highly disagree with Journey not being popular, Ludono. There's major buzz from most of the major sites that it's in their running for GOTY; also, it's been one of the most downloaded titles on PSN for a while now along with being the fast-selling PSN title. :)

Alright, while Tokyo Jungle and Journey are fantastic games, neither are GOTY material Besides, they're missing a serious requirement for being GOTY, being popular. The Walking Dead on the other hand has a great shot at winning, thought seeing as its getting a disc release it's not entirely digital now is it?


I highly disagree with Journey not being popular, Ludono. There's major buzz from most of the major sites that it's in their running for GOTY; also, it's been one of the most downloaded titles on PSN for a while now along with being the fast-selling PSN title. :)


I'm not a fan of judging GoTY by popularity. ACIII would win (and likely will), but it certainly isn't the best game in terms of quality. I wish these were judged not by popularity contests, but by how good a title was.

I'm not a fan of judging GoTY by popularity. ACIII would win (and likely will), but it certainly isn't the best game in terms of quality. I wish these were judged not by popularity contests, but by how good a title was.


That's exactly how we'll be deciding the GP Game of the Year. Not only by how good a title was, but also how it impacted the industry, how it moved the medium forward (if at all), and whatnot. ;)

That's exactly how we'll be deciding the GP Game of the Year. Not only by how good a title was, but also how it impacted the industry, how it moved the medium forward (if at all), and whatnot. ;)


Yeah, I know. :P Also, I just saw the poll now. I'm guessing you can tell what I voted on it! But it's probably because I'm just so:

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I'm not a fan of judging GoTY by popularity. ACIII would win (and likely will), but it certainly isn't the best game in terms of quality. I wish these were judged not by popularity contests, but by how good a title was.

Oh I'm not saying it should be based on popularity, but its hard to argue that 99% of the time the GOTY is a super popular game.

And Journey was popular among it's niche, I don't think it has quite the wide spread popularity among gamers as The Walking Dead or AC3 or whatnot. Like I said, I'll leave those GOTY picks up to mainstream shows/sites like the VGA's or IGN. Meanwhile here on GP we can nominate less popular stuff :D

I'm not a fan of judging GoTY by popularity. ACIII would win (and likely will), but it certainly isn't the best game in terms of quality. I wish these were judged not by popularity contests, but by how good a title was.


AC3 not being the best title this year, in terms of quality, is highly debatable and by no means certain :) I'd venture to say that Assassin's Creed 3's nominations (save for Spike TV's VGAs) go far beyond its immense popularity and are made by those who genuinely believe the game's quality is equal-to or above its fellow nominees. I will say that the franchise itself has always been divisive, but the game has a case for being the best in quality (despite not topping my own GOTY list).

Also, I'd encourage various award shows to use popularity as a component in their decisions. I'm not saying hand an Oscar to Kristen Stewart (unless they created a "Best Use of Cardboard" cardboard), but don't snub Johnny Depp's amazing performance in POTC 1 or Bill Murray.

 

 

 

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