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2012 Gunslinger Games Awards ~ Results Are In!

February 14th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

There was a shift in the genre of games that were published during 2012, which very well point towards what is in store for the gaming industry in the years to come. The explosion of digital indie game releases. The revival of action/adventure games. The marginalized success of handheld gaming consoles due to the popularity of tablet and mobile devices. The move from military shooters to science fiction entries. With the looming release of the next generation of home consoles, 2012 marked the beginning of the transitional period for developers and consumers alike.

We, the Gunslingers, have reflected such industry developments in both our dedication to our franchise favorites and in our interest in new gaming frontiers. We all cast our votes, and all of said votes (even the write-in ones) have been counted. It is time to see how we, as a community, felt about last year’s game releases with the 2012 Gunslinger Games Awards Results!

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Borderlands 22012 Game of the Year: BORDERLANDS 2
Last Year’s Winner: N/A
Notes: For a game that doesn’t seem like an obvious fit for a clan who normally gravitates towards competitive online multi-player match experiences, Borderlands 2 won and won with a commanding portion of the votes. Maybe it is because the sequel addressed all the issues of the first entry. Maybe it is because Borderlands 2 focused on working together rather than blowing each other up. Maybe it is because we finally had a first person shooter that dared make us laugh while plundering for more guns. Maybe Clap Trap rigged the polls. Regardless of the melee of reasons, the Gunslingers showed their appreciation over experiencing something new in the first person shooter genre by giving it our first ever Game of the Year title.
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halo-4-master-chiefBest Xbox360 Game of 2012: HALO 4
Last Year’s Winner: Gears of War 3
Notes: Considering that there wasn’t much for competition in regards to exclusive Xbox360 titles, it is no surprise that Halo 4 is the decisive winner in this category. That said, it is hard to imagine a title that could have knocked the crown off of Master Chief’s head. Some would argue that the early success of the Xbox is largely due to the Halo franchise, and it is a relief to see that the series can still muster a great amount of support by fans after even after the departure of Bungie. Halo 4 marks the first time that the Gunslingers had a group front for this franchise, but, based on our community interest and the promise of more entries by the developers, it won’t be the last.
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JourneyBest Playstation 3 Game of 2012: JOURNEY
Last Year’s Winner: KillZone 3
Notes: Journey, a digital download only title available on the PSN Store, marks the first time that write-in votes determined the winner. Heck, Journey wasn’t even an option in the polls (my bad!). The PS3 Gunslingers spoke and demonstrated their collective appreciation for the elegance of this title. Last year’s Awards may have celebrated a shooter like KillZone 3, but this year beauty prevailed. May that be a wake up call to all the publishing companies out there that find such titles too financially risky to support.

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MaroBest Wii U Game of 2012: NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. U
Last Year’s Winner: N/A
Notes: When the polls opened for the 2012 Games Awards, the Nintendo Wii U console wasn’t even a month old. Naturally, the amount of nominations for its first round of Awards was limited, but it is no surprise that the eternal Nintendo mascot, Mario, wins the vote. Generations of gamers now have fond memories of side-scrolling Super Mario Bros. action, and the Wii U adaption keeps those memories alive. If only there was capitol punishment in the Mushroom Kingdom, King Bowser may not be a re-occurring problem for the plumbing siblings…
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xenostoryBest Wii Game of 2012: THE LAST STORY and XENOBLADE CHRONICLES
Last Year’s Winner: Legend of Zelda: Skyword Sword
Notes: These two JRPG titles remained in a deadlock of votes at the close of the polls. In an odd way, it makes sense. Both games were published in Japan over a year before ever hitting North American shores. Both games got excellent critical reception. Both games are legitimate examples to point to and say, “See? The Wii still has a few surprises!” If you haven’t had a chance to play either of these titles, you are missing out. The Last Story and Xenoblade Chronicles are fantastic bows as the curtains fall upon the Wii generation.
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guildwarsBest PC Game of 2012: GUILD WARS 2
Last Year’s Winner: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Notes: Guild Wars 2 edged out Diablo III by a single vote. Unlike the year prior, this year was a battle between to role playing games that offered free servers. It is a feat in on itself to get GSers playing this game to pause long enough to cast a vote! Engrossing and accessible to gamers new and veteran to the genre, Guild Wars 2 provides an a solid argument for stopping payment on your World of Warcraft membership fees.
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Assassins-Creed-III-LiberationBest Vita Game of 2012: ASSASSIN’S CREED III: LIBERATION
Last Year’s Winner: N/A
Notes: Rather than simply porting Assassin’s Creed 3 onto the Vita, Ubisoft opted to created a game focused on a side story to accompany the events of the console release. The extra work paid off. Aveline de Grandpré, an African-French assassin, acts as a perfect protagonist for diving deeper into the rich history of North American strife. Just perhaps the success of this title will open the door for more female characters headlining the Assassin’s Creed franchise.
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kidicarusBest 3DS Game of 2012: KID ICARUS: THE UPRISING
Last Year’s Winner: Mario Kart 7
Notes: Edging out a couple Mario titles by a single vote, Kid Icarus, who hasn’t had his own game since the original Nintendo system back in the late ’80s, returns to grab the title for best 3DS game. Thanks to a solid story mode, bonus AR card content, and a competitive multi-player option, the game provides a sizable amount of content for its purchase price. Will the game’s success be enough to warrant future Kid Icarus games? Who knows, but it certainly makes it more likely that the character will appear in the next Super Smash Bros. Brawl title.
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assassinscreed3Best Action/Adventure Game of 2012: ASSASSIN’S CREED 3
Last Year’s Winner: Batman: Arkham City
Notes: Despite some buggy moments, Assassin’s Creed 3 succeeds at the gamble of changing the franchise’s historical time period and locale. The gameplay incorporated more open-world opportunities such as hunting and ship battles that wasn’t previously in the franchise. Considering that Assassin’s Creed: Revelations didn’t even come close to winning this category last year, Assassin’s Creed 3 winning this year’s title possibly foreshadows future successes for the franchise….as long as Ubisoft is still willing to take risks.
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masseffect3Best Role-Playing Game of 2012: MASS EFFECT 3
Last Year’s Winner: Elder’s Scroll: Skyrim
Notes: Love the ending of the trilogy or hate it, the journey of the Mass Effect storyline was worth the travel. In different hands, Mass Effect could have simply been another science fiction shooter clone, but, thanks to the frequent need of the player to make storyline altering decisions, the experience becomes a more personal, invested one that begs to be played through more than once. Mass Effect 3 got Kinect support, the whole trilogy has become available for the first time on the PS3, and the third chapter was a launch title for the Wii U. If you haven’t played this game yet, what was your excuse again?
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cod Best Shooter of 2012: CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 2
Last Year’s Winner: Battlefield 3
Notes: After Battlefield 3 upset Call of Duty’s reign for the best shooter title at the Gunslingers, Black Ops 2 headshots the competition to get its title back. The multi-player features tighter maps, zombie mode contains more, well, modes, and the campaign mode tells a tale of continued controversy and conspiracy, Treyarch proved that gamers are still eager to play the next COD installment. Also, having Trent Reznor compose the soundtrack didn’t hurt.
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jakBest Fighting Game of 2012: PLAYSTATION ALL-STARS BATTLE ROYALE
Last Year’s Winner: Mortal Kombat
Notes: The game’s title doesn’t roll off the tongue, but its familiarity to Super Smash Bros Brawl sure made the game quick to pick up, learn, and have fun. The whole Sony exclusive pantheon of characters meet up often for the first time in this game, and it is surreal to see Fat Princess globber Drake from the Uncharted series. PS3 copies of this title also included vouchers to the Vita version, which promoted cross-platform gameplay. Who do I use as my regular fighter? Jak, of course.
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fifaBest Sports Gamer of 2012: FIFA 13
Last Year’s Winner: FIFA 12
Notes: FIFA successfully defends its title of the Gunslingers clan’s favorite sports game. In a genre that often has publishers simply phoning in another annual installment of a sports game, FIFA 13 continues to polish and improve on the experience. Whether you call it soccer or futball, virtual grass stains are better than real life ones.
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luigiBest Platformer of 2012: NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. U
Last Year’s Winner: Super Mario 3D Land
Notes: Mario remains undefeated for best platformer in the Gunslingers community. Is that really all that surprising? The characters featured in this franchise are some of most iconic and readily recognizable figures in the gaming world. One thing is for sure. Luigi better be getting his cut.
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needforspeedBest Racing Game of 2012: NEED FOR SPEED: MOST WANTED
Last Year’s Winner: Mario Kart 7
Notes: Remakes of the more classic installments of Need for Speed have been good to EA. The strength of the Need for Speed franchise is its balance of arcade-style racing and chases with real sports car models and physics. This title will also be coming to the Wii U, which should further the general GS appreciation for Most Wanted.
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Theatrhythm-Final-Fantasy-SephirothBest Dance/Music Game of 2012: THEATRHYTHM FINAL FANTASY
Last Year’s Winner: N/A
Notes: This 3DS exclusive upset the more favored-to-win (based on sales) nominations to gain the GS title of best dance/music game. By combining the universe of Final Fantasy characters with beat-based gameplay mechanics, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy offers an unique experience in this genre full of flash-in-the-pan hits. Guitar Hero is dead. Long live Final Fantasy.
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bf3Favorite GS Clan Front of 2012: BATTLEFIELD 3
Last Year’s Winner: N/A
Notes: Black Ops 2 may have won best shooter and Borderlands 2 may have won game of the year, but, when GSers were asked what game they had fun in as a clan experience during 2012, Battlefield 3 returns to the awards ceremony. Considering that over 860 Gunslingers are still on the Battlefield 3 Master Lists for our clan front, it makes sense that folks are still looking to show their appreciation for this title. Via the platoons, through GS Forum discussions, or directly by in-game contacts, may the GS front of Battlefield 3 remain strong until, well, Battlefield 4.
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Thank you all for voting and reading the results for the 2012 Gunslinger Games Awards. May 2013 treat us so kindly as well!

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