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The Game Awards 2016 Nominees, My Picks, & the Winners

21 Nov

The Game Awards 2016 will be held live on December 1st at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. My picks are highlighted in teal. Actual winners are now underlined. I don’t pay much attention to trending gamers or eSports so I didn’t list those categories.



For a game that delivers the absolute best experience across all creative and technical fields.

  • Doom (id Software/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Inside (Playdead)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
  • Titanfall 2 (Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts)
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment)



Recognizing a game studio for outstanding creative vision, game direction and design.

  • Blizzard Entertainment (for Overwatch)
  • EA DICE (for Battlefield 1)
  • id Software (for Doom)
  • Naughty Dog (for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End)
  • Respawn Entertainment (for Titanfall 2)



For outstanding storytelling and narrative development in a game.

  • Firewatch (Campo Santo)
  • Inside (Playdead)
  • Mafia 3 (Hangar 13/2K Games)
  • Oxenfree (Night School Studio)
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment)



For outstanding creative and technical achievement in artistic design and animation.

  • Abzu (Giant Squid/505 Games)
  • Firewatch (Campo Santo)
  • Inside (Playdead)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment)



For outstanding audio, inclusive of score, original song, licensed soundtrack and sound design.

  • Battlefield 1 (EA DICE/Electronic Arts)
  • Doom (id Software/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Inside (Playdead)
  • Rez Infinite (Enhance Games)
  • Thumper (Drool)



Awarded to an individual for voice-over acting, motion and/or performance capture.

  • Alex Hernandez as Lincoln Clay, Mafia 3
  • Cissy Jones as Delilah, Firewatch
  • Emily Rose as Elena, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • Nolan North as Nathan Drake, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • Rich Sommer as Henry, Firewatch
  • Troy Baker as Sam Drake, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End



Honoring exemplary games that take on real-world issues and advocate for social change.

  • 1979 Revolution: Black Friday (Ink Stories)
  • Block’hood (Plethora Project/Devolver Digital)
  • Orwell (Osmotic Studios/Surprise Attack)
  • Sea Hero Quest (Glitchers)
  • That Dragon, Cancer (Numinous Games)



For outstanding achievement in a game made outside the traditional publisher system.

  • Firewatch (Campo Santo)
  • Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
  • Inside (Playdead)
  • Stardew Valley (ConcernedApe/Chucklefish Games)
  • The Witness (Thekla Inc.)



For the best game playable on mobile phones and dedicated gaming handhelds.

  • Clash Royale (Supercell)
  • Fire Emblem Fates (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo)
  • Monster Hunter Generations (Capcom)
  • Pokémon Go (Niantic Labs)
  • Severed (DrinkBox Studios)



For the best game experience playable in virtual reality.

  • Batman: Arkham VR (Rocksteady Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
  • Eve: Valkyrie (CCP Games)
  • Job Simulator (Owlchemy Labs)
  • Rez Infinite (Enhance Games)
  • Thumper (Drool)



For the best game experience focused around first or third person combat.

  • Battlefield 1 (EA DICE/Electronic Arts)
  • Doom (id Software/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Gears of War 4 (The Coalition/Microsoft Studios)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
  • Titanfall 2 (Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts)



For the best game experience that combines combat with traversal and puzzle solving.

  • Dishonored 2 (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Hitman (IO Interactive/Square Enix)
  • Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
  • Ratchet & Clank (Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment)



The best game designed for rich player character customization and progression, both offline and online, including massively multiplayer.

  • Dark Souls 3 (FromSoftware/Bandai Namco Entertainment)
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Eidos Montreal/Square Enix)
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine (CD Projekt Red/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
  • World of Warcraft: Legion (Blizzard Entertainment)
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X (Monolith Soft/Nintendo)



For a game designed primarily around head-to-head combat.

  • Killer Instinct Season 3 (Iron Galaxy Studios/Microsoft Studios)
  • The King of Fighters 14 (SNK/Atlus USA)
  • Pokkén Tournament (Bandai Namco Studios/The Pokémon Co. International)
  • Street Fighter 5 (Capcom)



Best game focused on real time or turn-based strategy.

  • Sid Meier’s Civilization 6 (Firaxis Games/2K Games)
  • Fire Emblem Fates (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo)
  • The Banner Saga 2 (Stoic Studio/Versus Evil)
  • Total War: Warhammer (The Creative Assembly/Sega)
  • XCOM 2 (Firaxis Games/2K Games)



Best game for family play, including toys-to-life, rhythm/music/dance, and other genres.

  • Dragon Quest Builders (Square Enix)
  • Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens (TT Fusion/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
  • Pokémon Go (Niantic Labs)
  • Ratchet & Clank (Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Skylanders Imaginators (Toy for Bob/Activision)



For traditional and non-traditional sports and racing games.

  • FIFA 17 (EA Vancouver/Electronic Arts)
  • Forza Horizon 3 (Playground Games/Microsoft Studios)
  • MLB The Show 16 (SIE San Diego Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • NBA 2K17 (Visual Concepts/2K Sports)
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 (PES Productions/Konami)



For outstanding online multiplayer gameplay and design, including co-op and massively multiplayer experiences.

  • Battlefield 1 (EA DICE/Electronic Arts)
  • Gears of War 4 (The Coalition/Microsoft Studios)
  • Overcooked (Ghost Town Games/Team17)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
  • Titanfall 2 (Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts)
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)



An upcoming game that has shown significant ambition and promise in moving the gaming medium forward.

  • God of War (SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda (BioWare/Electronic Arts)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Studios/Rockstar Games)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)



For fan-created content, such as mods, fan films, and other player content.

  • Project A2MR
  • Pokémon Uranium
  • Brutal Doom 64
  • Enderal: The Shards of Order

Video Game Awards 2015 Picks

3 Dec

The Game Awards 2015 will air live on December 3rd at 9PM EST. My picks are highlighted. Actual winners from the show will be underlined.

Bloodborne (From Software/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Fallout 4 (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (Kojima Productions/Konami)
Super Mario Maker (Nintendo EAD Group No. 4/Nintendo)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt Red/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

Bethesda Game Studios
CD Projekt Red
From Software
Kojima Productions

Axiom Verge (Tom Happ)
Her Story (Sam Barlow)
Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios/Microsoft Studios)
Rocket League (Psyonix)
Undertale (tobyfox)

Downwell (Moppin/Devolver Digital)
Fallout Shelter (Bethesda Game Studios|Behaviour Interactive/Bethesda Softworks)
Lara Croft Go (Square Enix Montreal/Square Enix)
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (Capcom)
Pac-Man 256 (Hipster Whale/Bandai Namco Entertainment)

Her Story (Sam Barlow)
Life is Strange (Dontnod Entertainment/Square Enix)
Tales From the Borderlands (Telltale Games)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt Red/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Until Dawn (Supermassive Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Batman: Arkham Knight (Rocksteady Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Bloodborne (From Software/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (Kojima Productions/Konami)
Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios/Microsoft Studios)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt Red/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

Fallout 4 (Inon Zur/Bethesda Game Studios)
Halo 5: Guardians (Kazuma Jinnouchi/343 Industries)
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (Ludvig Forssell, Justin Burnett, Daniel James/Kojima Productions)
Ori and the Blind Forest (Gareth Coker/Moon Studios)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (Marcin Przybyłowicz, Mikolai Stroinski, Percival/CD Projekt Red)

Ashly Burch as Chloe Price (Life is Strange)
Camilla Luddington as Lara Croft (Rise of the Tomb Raider)
Doug Cockle as Geralt (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt)
Mark Hamill as The Joker (Batman: Arkham Knight)
Viva Seifert (Her Story)

Cibele (Nina Freeman)
Her Story (Sam Barlow)
Life is Strange (Dontnod Entertainment/Square Enix)
Sunset (Tale of Tales)
Undertale (tobyfox)

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (Treyarch/Activision)
Destiny: The Taken King (Bungie/Activision)
Halo 5: Guardians (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)
Splatoon (Nintendo EAD Group No. 2/Nintendo)
Star Wars Battlefront (EA DICE/Electronic Arts)

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (Ubisoft Quebec/Ubisoft)
Batman: Arkham Knight (Rocksteady Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (Kojima Productions/Konami)
Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios/Microsoft Studios)
Rise of the Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics/Microsoft Studios)

Bloodborne (From Software/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Fallout 4 (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
Pillars of Eternity (Obsidian Entertainment/Paradox Interactive)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt Red/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Undertale (tobyfox)

Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- (Arc System Works/Aksys Games)
Mortal Kombat X (NetherRealm Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Rise of Incarnates (Bandai Namco Entertainment)
Rising Thunder (Radiant Entertainment)

Disney Infinity 3.0 (Avalanche Software/Disney Interactive)
Lego Dimensions (TT Games/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Skylanders SuperChargers (Vicarious Visions|Beenox/Activision)
Splatoon (Nintendo EAD Group No. 2/Nintendo)
Super Mario Maker (Nintendo EAD Group No. 4/Nintendo)

FIFA 16 (EA Canada/Electronic Arts)
Forza Motorsport 6 (Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Studios)
NBA 2K16 (Visual Concepts/2K Sports)
Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 (PES Productions/Konami)
Rocket League (Psyonix)

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (Treyarch/Activision)
Destiny: The Taken King (Bungie/Activision)
Halo 5: Guardians (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)
Rocket League (Psyonix)
Splatoon (Nintendo EAD Group No. 2/Nintendo)

Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games/Sony Computer Entertaiment)
No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)
Quantum Break (Remedy Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)
The Last Guardian (GenDesign/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/Sony Computer Entertainment)


Ok that’s it for my picks. There are more awards & nominees below, but I’m not familiar enough with them to pick my personal winners….



Kenny “KennyS” Schrub (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive/Team EnVyUs) 
Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok (League of Legends/SK Telecom T1)
Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive/Fnatic) 
Peter “ppd” Dager (Dota 2/Evil Geniuses)
Syed Sumail “Suma1L” Hassan (Dota 2/Evil Geniuses)

Evil Geniuses
Optic Gaming
SK Telecom T1
Team SoloMid

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Sledgehammer Games/Activision)
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Valve)
Dota 2 (Valve)
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment)
League of Legends (Riot Games)

Total Biscuit
Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles
Greg Miller

GTA 5 – Targets (Hoodoo Operator)
Real GTA (Corridor Digital)
Portal Stories: Mel (Prism Studios)
Super Mario Maker e-Reader Levels (Baddboy78 / theycallmeshaky)
Twitch Plays Dark Souls (Twitch Community)

Top 8 Favorite Mobile Games of 2014

8 Jan

Honorable mention: Timberman – It’s a challenging quick in & out arcade game that you’ll probably want to play multiple times to beat high scores. Great retro inspired art style. 

#8 – Run Sackboy Run!

Fun endless runner with great LittleBigPlanet style visuals and smooth gameplay. Sackboy still has the floaty jump that’s in the LittleBigPlanet console games, but after playing a couple of times I became familiar with it.

#7 – Crossy Road

Another fun quick in & out game that’s challenging. The art style is very neat, and I like how bright & vivid the colors are. Great take on the classic Frogger game. Neat gameplay that makes you think quickly.

#6 – Monument Valley

It’s a neat experience based artistic game. It’s kind of short, but I appreciate the work that went into this game because it looks like a lot of attention to detail was used while developing it. Excellent sound design.

#5 – Leo’s Fortune

I’m a big fan of retro art styles, and various other minimalistic art styles, but I also really appreciate good games with highly detailed graphics. Leo’s Fortune is an exquisite mobile platformer with appealing graphics.

#4 – Framed

Framed is a unique narrative puzzle game. I don’t play a ton of mobile games, but I have a sense there’s not much else like this game out there. I’ve never seen or played anything like it. It’s an innovative game, and I totally respect that.

#3 – Lyne

Lyne is a great challenging puzzle game that makes me feel slightly smarter after I play it sometimes, but it’s somehow kind of relaxing too. It was officially released at the end of 2013, and I didn’t discover it until 2014, so it deserves to be on this list.

#2 – Threes!

Threes! is awesome. It’s a challenging puzzle game with a simple gameplay mechanic that feels really natural. Great audio, charming characters, and the overall design is ace. Easy to pick up and play, and it always leaves me with a feeling that I should have spent more time with it after exiting.

#1 – Trials Frontier

Trials Frontier is the mobile game that I played the most in 2014. I’m a big fan of Trials HD and Trials Evolution, haven’t played Fusion yet, but I was skeptical of Frontier because I wasn’t sure how it would control on a touch screen. While I prefer Trials with a controller, Trials Frontier on the iPad was still incredibly fun. The free to play aspect of it never really bothered me. When I play mobile games it’s usually only for a few minutes at a time so I didn’t mind waiting on this or that. I actually make sure to watch ads on it to support the developers, which also gives me a gem, so win win. Awesome gameplay, excellent visuals, nice sound, and the updates have been great.



My Game Awards 2014 Picks

28 Nov

The Game Awards 2014 will be broadcasted live on December 5th 2014. The categories are listed below, and I’ve highlighted my winning picks in green out of the nominees that were chosen. The Most Anticipated category was the hardest category for me to pick one winner. Also, I think there should be separate categories for Sports and Racing games. If there were a Publisher of the Year award I would definitely give it to Nintendo. They weren’t the developer of some of the great games that have their name by them this year, but they were the publisher, so that’s why I didn’t choose them for the developer award. All winning pick opinions are my own. Looking forward to seeing some game developers, new trailers, and the rest of the show. 

[UPDATED – The actual winners are underlined]


Best Action/Adventure

  • Alien: Isolation – Creative Assembly/Sega
  • Assassin’s Creed Unity – Ubisoft
  • Bayonetta 2 – Platinum Games/Nintendo
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Monolith/Warner Bros.
  • Sunset Overdrive – Insomniac/Microsoft


Best Role Playing Game 

  • Bravely Default – Square Enix
  • Dark Souls II – From Software/Bandai Namco
  • Divinity: Original Sin – Larian Studios
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Bioware/EA
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth – Obsidian/Ubisoft


Best Shooter

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Sledgehammer/Activision
  • Destiny – Bungie/Activision
  • Far Cry 4 – Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft
  • Titanfall – Respawn/EA
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order – MachineGames/Bethesda


Best Fighting Game

  • Killer Instinct: Season Two – Iron Galaxy Studios/Microsoft
  • Persona 4 Arena Ultimax – Arc System Works/Atlus
  • Super Smash Bros. 3DS – Nintendo
  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U – Nintendo
  • Ultimate Street Fighter IV – Capcom


Best Family Game

  • Disney Infinity 2.0 – Avalanche Software/Disney Interactive Studios
  • Fantasia: Music Evolved – Harmonix/Disney Interactive Studios
  • Mario Kart 8 – Nintendo
  • Skylanders: Trap Team – Toys for Bob/Activision
  • Tomodachi Life – Nintendo


Best Sports/Racing Game

  • FIFA 15 – EA Canada/EA Sports
  • Forza Horizon 2 – Playground Games/Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft
  • Mario Kart 8 – Nintendo
  • NBA 2K15 – Visual Concepts/2K Sports
  • Trials Fusion – RedLynx/Ubisoft


Best Online Experience

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Sledgehammer Games/Activision
  • Dark Souls II – From Software/Bandai Namco
  • Destiny – Bungie/Activision
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – Blizzard
  • Titanfall – Respawn/EA


Best Mobile/Handheld

  • Bravely Default – Square Enix
  • Monument Valley – Ustwo
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – Blizzard
  • Super Smash Bros. for 3DS – Nintendo
  • Threes – Asher Vollmer, illustrator Greg Wohlwend, and composer Jimmy Hinson


Best Remaster

  • Grand Theft Auto V – Rockstar Games
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection – 343 Industries/Microsoft
  • Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire – Game Freak/Nintendo
  • The Last of Us – Naughty Dog/Sony
  • Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix


Best Narrative

  • South Park: The Stick of Truth – Obsidian/Ubisoft
  • The Walking Dead Season 2 – Telltale Games
  • The Wolf Among Us – Telltale Games
  • Valiant Hearts – Ubisoft
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order – Machine Games/Bethesda


Best Score/Soundtrack

  • Alien: Isolation – Joe Henson and Alexis Smith, The Creative Assembly/Sega
  • Child of Light – Coeur de pirate, Ubisoft Montreal 
  • Destiny – Marty O’Donnell, Bungie/Activision
  • Sunset Overdrive – Boris Salchow, Insomniac Games/Microsoft
  • Transistor – Darren Korb, Supergiant Games


Best Independent Game

  • Broken Age Part 1 – Double Fine
  • Monument Valley – Ustwo
  • Shovel Knight – Cellar Door
  • Transistor – Supergiant Games
  • The Vanishing of Ethan Carter – The Astronauts


Games for Change

  • Mountain – David O’Reilly/Double Fine Presents
  • Never Alone – Upper One Games
  • The Last of Us: Left Behind – Naughty Dog/Sony
  • This War of Mine – 11bit Studios
  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War – Ubisoft


eSports Player of the Year – (To be voted on by fans)

  • Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larsson – League of Legends
  • Xu “Fy” Linsen – Dota 2 
  • James “Firebat” Kostesich – Hearthstone
  • Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund – Counter-Strike: GO
  • Matt “NaDeSHoT” Haag – Call of Duty


eSports Team of the Year – (To be voted on by fans)

  • Samsung White – League of Legends
  • Evil Geniuses – Dota 2
  • Edward Gaming – League of Legends
  • Newbee – Dota 2
  • Ninjas in Pajamas – Counter-Strike: GO


Trending Gamer – (To be voted on by fans)

  • Evan “Vanoss” Fong
  • Jeff Gerstmann
  • PewDiePie
  • StampyLongHead
  • TotalBiscuit


Best Fan Creation – (To be voted on by fans)

  • BEST Zelda Rap EVER!! By Egoraptor
  • Luigi Death Stare by CZBwoi and Rizupicorr
  • Mine the Diamond (Minecraft Song) by Tobuscus
  • Minecraft – TITAN City by Colonial Puppet
  • Twitch Plays Pokemon by Anonymous


Developer of the Year

  • Blizzard
  • Monolith
  • Nintendo
  • Telltale Games
  • Ubisoft Montreal


Best Performance

  • Adam Harrington as Bigby Wolf, The Wolf Among Us – Telltale Games
  • Kevin Spacey as Jonathan Irons, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Sledgehammer Games/Activision
  • Melissa Hutchison as Clementine, The Walking Dead: Season Two – Telltale Games
  • Trey Parker as Various Voices, South Park: The Stick of Truth – Obsidian/Ubisoft
  • Troy Baker as Talion, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Monolith/Warner Bros.


Most Anticipated Game – (To be voted on by fans)

  • Batman: Arkham Knight – Rocksteady/Warner Bros.
  • Bloodborne – FROM Software/Sony
  • Evolve – Turtle Rock/2K Games
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – CD Projekt
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – Naughty Dog/Sony


Game of the Year

  • Bayonetta 2 – Platinum Games/Nintendo
  • Dark Souls 2 – FROM Software/Bandai Namco
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – BioWare/EA
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – Blizzard
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Monolith/Warner Bros.

2013 Game of the Year, Runner-Ups, & Honorable Mentions

18 Jan

Game of the Year:
Super Mario 3D World


Fun. Innovative & unique game design. Sometimes simple, without being too simple. Sometimes challenging, without being too frustrating. Awesome platforming gameplay. Colorful. Charming. Engaging. Silly. Nostalgic without being overly nostalgic. Nice music and sound effects. Great replay value. Oh yea and again…..FUN. Those are the reasons why Super Mario 3D World is easily my 2013 Game of the Year. Super Mario 64 was my favorite Mario game, but now that honor belongs to Super Mario 3D World. This game basically solidified itself as my favorite 2013 game after only playing it for a short amount of time. Congratulations Nintendo.

Runner Ups: 
Grand Theft Auto 5
Tomb Raider

Honorable Mentions:
BioShock Infinite
The Last of Us
Lego Marvel Super Heroes
Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition     Guacamelee!

My Top Games of 2012:

My Best of 2011 Picks:

Top 8 Most Used Apps in 2013

8 Jan

Well I’m going to begin my personal “Top 8” lists with the top 8 apps I used the most in 2013. My other top 8 lists will be for media that was released in 2013, but this app list won’t have a release date requirement. This list will not include any of my own apps because that wouldn’t be fair. If I did it would probably be filled with 8-Bit Avrin Apps because of testing time, and because they’re awesome. Anyways, here are my top 8 most used apps in 2013;

8. Rayman Jungle Run – I haven’t played a ton of them but it’s the second best endless runner mobile game I’ve ever played. Jetpack Joyride is still number 1, but I didn’t play it as much as this game in 2013. Great visuals with a sharp art style. Controls are simple and they work very well.

7. Wordament – I actually don’t play many mobile games, mainly due to lack of time. I usually play console games when I have time to play games at home. However, Wordament is a really neat app that I had fun jumping into when I had a few minutes to spare while waiting somewhere and etc.

6. MLS Matchday – This app helped me stay up to date with the happenings of this past Major League Soccer season. It’s also received a nice update that made it more functional.

5. Epocrates – Great health/medicine app. I also use it to help myself learn more about the medicine I’ve learned about in school.

4. Twitter – It’s the social media outlet I use the most and it’s an excellent source that I use to find interesting articles about technology, health, video games, finance, science, and etc. It’s received a few prominent updates that have moved it forwards, but also backwards a bit in some areas.

3. Clear – My favorite to-do list app. Neat, efficient and simple.

2. Camera + – Easily my favorite photo editing app. It’s also been improved greatly throughout last year with new updates.

1. Spotify – Great app that does what it needs to do. This free service lets me listen to a ton a different music without using up a ton of space on my phone. I use it in my car, in the gym, at work, at home, and etc.

My Best / Favorite of 2011

29 Jan

Best Video Game:

Portal 2 (Developed by Valve)

Portal 2 is a video game masterpiece.  From the beginning to end it delivers on everything that it’s going for.  This game has challenging mind bending puzzles, clean sharp visuals, great dialogue, humor, and great sound that fits the game perfectly.  I had a great time playing the single player and co-op.  It’s everything a sequel should be, building upon the strengths of its predecessor while adding great, but completely different content that helps it develop into its own entity.

The story of the game was very interesting and the turns and twists were done very well.  I won’t spoil anything but I must say the ending was also great.  My wife and I also had a great time with the co-op.  After completing it I must say it was the best implementation of co-op that I’ve ever experienced.  You really have to work together to get through the puzzles and teamwork is key to completing them.  It was fun bouncing ideas back and forth and experimenting with those ideas in the game and seeing the outcome turn successful or unsuccessful.  The story is separate from the single player but it was also neat.

Like Portal 1, Portal 2 made me feel like a genius.  Now I’m not saying the game was completely easy to me, but I felt a real sense accomplishment when I completed several of the puzzles and after I beat the game.  Some puzzles can take a relatively long time to figure it out, but once you figure it out and complete it the feeling is euphoric.  Sometimes I could walk into a test chamber and almost instantly figure out a puzzle and then there were other times were it would take longer or I would have to use trail and error to come to the conclusion.  If you like the idea of using your brain to solve creative puzzles in a video game I highly recommend playing this game.

The graphics and art style are both impressive and they help create a great immersive atmosphere that fits the story and gameplay well. This was also one of the most polished games I’ve ever played.  I never ran into any glitches or bugs.  In a land were some developers ship games with numerous bugs, Portal 2 set itself above and beyond by shipping a very clean game.  The main protagonist doesn’t speak, but the dialogue throughout the game is great.  I know that sounds a bit odd, but it’s completely true.  Glados, Cave Johnson and Wheatley deliver the goods when it comes to dialogue and I found myself laughing and smirking several times while playing.  The voice acting is awesome, and the music and sound effects were great and definitely add the icing to this delicious cake….

In my opinion 2011 was the best year for video games so far.  I’ve been gaming since the Atari, and the original Nintendo is the system that thrust me into becoming a gamer, but 2011 was a golden year.  There were several great titles released for several different genres and there was something special for every gamer.  I’m a fan of several genres so I was swamped with great release after great release this year.  

I still have a backlog of some 2011 titles that I actually own but haven’t had the time to play yet like; Bastion, Rayman Origins, and Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet.  I’m also no were near completion of Skyrim or Saints Row The Third but I played enough to know that they are both awesome games but not my personal GOTY.  I was very impressed with several games this year and my decision for GOTY was hard mainly due to my runner-ups.  However, I could go on and on about how great Portal 2 is, and scrolling up I can see that I have kind of already done that so I’m going to stop now.  Portal 2 is my 2011 game of the year!

Runner-ups: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim & Batman: Arkham City

Honorable mentions: Mortal Kombat 9, Saints Row The Third, LittleBigPlanet 2

Up next after the click–Movie, album, and mobile game best of the year picks, runner-ups and honorable mentions………

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My Best/Favorite of 2010 List

17 Jan

Best Album:

The Black Keys – Brothers

This album is truly amazing.  From start to finish every song has its own feel, but all of them have a dash or more of grime and soul.  This album sounds like it could have come from decades ago, but somehow it still feels fresh and new.  My absolute favorite tracks from the album are The Only One, Too Afraid To Love You , and The Go Getter.  Honestly though you can’t go wrong with any of these tracks.  In the land of music where some albums only have a few good tracks this album breaks through and gives you a full dose of magnificent music.  Two guys delivering this much music with this much soul is intense especially with lyrics like “Stumble home in the pouring rain.  Let the water ease my worried brain.  Some days I just can’t get alone.  I need a head to lean my shoulders on.”  Wow.

(Runner Ups for Best Album:  Gorillaz – Plastic Beach, Interpol – Interpol, Foals – Total Life Forever, Local Natives – Gorilla Manor, Daft Punk – Tron Legacy Soundtrack, Kings Of Leon – Come Around Sundown, The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards)

Best video game goes to…. Continue reading