GOTY 2013 – Random Awards Part 2

Two down and two to go. We at Progress Bar have a treat for you with our deliberations for the best (or worst) games for 2013. In addition to the standard “Top of the Pops” lists, we have decided to create our own awards to showcase the various elements of each individual game’s quality, based on their own merits. There are 12 awards in total so take a load off and strap yourself in for this exciting GOTY experience.


Broken Controller Award

Awarded to a game that made us infuriated due to a single (or multiple) gameplay element.


Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS3)
There’s no reason to mince words: MMOs are damn confusing to newcomers. A myriad of genre-wide acronyms, dozens of toolbars and skill trees as deep as the Pacific create a daunting challenge for even experienced players. Using a keyboard and mouse helps mitigate the complexity, but attempting to shoehorn such a massive title onto a PS3 is a recipe for disaster. Ignoring the menus that obfuscate the entire screen and the blatant disregard for teaching new players what any of the terminology means, cramming so many different control options onto a Dualshock 3 is about as daft as buying your grandma a subscription to Zoo Magazine. Simple tasks, like trying to communicate with another player or using abilities in combat is a maddeningly frustrating experience of sub-menus and sub-sub menus, poor on-screen commands and significant input lag. There is a special place in hell reserved for the man or woman who assumed this was a smart idea.


Honourable mentions: Beyond: Two Souls, Dead Space 3 (PC). Metal Gear Rising: Revengence (Countering), Path of Exile, DOTA 2


John Laws Golden Microphone Award

Awarded to a voice actor that went above and beyond to deliver an amazing experience across all audiences.


Ashley Johnson for her portrayal of Ellie in The Last of Us
In a year filled with stellar voice acting, none stood out as strongly as Ashley Johnson’s phenomenal performance as Ellie in The Last of Us. Her transformative work as the teenaged survivor was immediately recognisable as some of the finest not only in gaming, but in all mediums. You notice the stress in Ellie’s voice during a tense scene or you pick up on the fact that she’s annoyed and stand offish at Joel during the many dialog heavy set pieces. For someone to portray every aspect of such a young character is amazing feat and should be recognised as the best performance in gaming.


In a game flooded with truly excellent vocal performances, for one to stand head and shoulders above the others is a feat in itself, but the praise is well deserved. Make no mistake, this won’t be the last time you hear from Ms. Johnson in the future.


Honourable mentions: Kevan Brighting (The Narrator – Stanley Parable), Troy Baker (Joel – The Last of Us), GTA: V


The Kim Jong-il Memorial Award

Not all characters are good and this is awarded to the best villain in gaming for 2013.


The Last of Us: David
An eerie, slow burn of a performance, David’s turn from ordinary survivor to the embodiment of pure evil makes him easily one of the most haunting villains of all time. Capped off with strong, out of character voice work by Nolan North, David represents all that is evil about the post cordyceps world. If your name is David, maybe come up with a pseudonym before the apocalypse.


Honourable mentions: Lysandre (Pokemon X/Y), Bloater #12 (The Last of Us), Senator Armstrong (Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance), Garlean Empire (FFXIV)


In the coming days there are still 6 more awards to give out and our GOTY lists to discuss so stay tuned!