GameINation’s Video Game Awards!

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Welcome to the first annual GameINation Video Game Award. This is where we look at the greatest games of the year, and we commemorate them for their unforgettable experiences. Let’s start this off with the best games of the generation, after all, a new generation of consoles is here!

Shooter of the Generation: Battlefield 3 (EA, DICE) PC, Xbox 360, PS3

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Battlefield 3
is the definition of a shooter. Insanely well put together shooting mechanics, stong multiplayer, and great singleplayer. While the singleplayer lacked an entertaining story, it delivered enough explosions and fire fights to entertain the heck out of you. The multiplayer is the best on any shooter, PERIOD. With phenomenal game modes, maps, and weapons, DICE proved they can deliver a one-of-a-kind experience.

Action-Adventure of the generation: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword(Nintendo) Wii

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Skyward Sword is without a doubt, the best Zelda to date. With phenomenal visuals, revolutionary controls, strong story, jaw-dropping world, and incredible scope, this dominates every game of the genre. WIth limited hardware, Nintendo proves it brilliance once again.

Platformer of the generation: Super Mario Galaxy 2(Nintendo) Wii

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What can I say? The Galaxy games raise the bar for an entire genre. Not only is this game the best in it’s genre, but the best on it’s platform. The Wii was home to many great games, but Super Mario Galaxy 2 is by far the BEST game available for the little white box.

RPG of the generation: Xenoblade Chronicles (Monolith Soft, Nintendo) Wii

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Honestly, this is the greatest RPG ever conceived. While it surely isn’t the prettiest game out there, is sure makes up for it in story and gameplay. Monolith Soft went from a slowly dying Square Soft, to a juggernaut of the JRPG genre. This game’s large and dangerous world paints a brilliant image of war and despair, It touches the soul’s heart strings with devastating moments. You love each character, you truly hate many. This game further proves that video games can be art as much as entertainment.

Game of the generation: Portal 2(Valve) PC, Xbox 360, PS3

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Yeah. Hell, what can be said about Portal 2? It has beautiful visuals, impressing me more than ANY “Next-Gen” title. Controls? Please, no game has ever done them better. The only game that comes to mind that rivals the controls of Portal 2 would be Half-Life 2, and that is the greatest game ever created. With ingenious design, rivaling that of Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Valve has proved time and time again that it is the greatest video game developer ever. The characters of Portal 2, while few in numbers, they feel real. GLaDOS is the greatest video game character ever conceived. You develop a love and hate relationship with her, she follows you through your journey through the Aperture Science labs; giving you time to digest her evil jokes. Wheatley is also up there with GLaDOS. The relationship you have with Wheatley is also a strange one, you begin with a strong love for the character, to the extent that the sight of him excites you, and then you begin to despise him at the end. It is this kind of design that makes Portal 2 the best game this generation.

Studio of the Generation: Valve

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Valve has proven to be the greatest developer in history. Valve yet again solidifies this generation that they aren’t kidding around. They enter this generation much stronger than the one before it. With games like Portal, Portal 2, Dota 2, Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive, they prove that they are not some one-hit wonders. I tip my hat to you Gabe, well done.

Now that we finished with these awards, let get to THIS years Video Game marvels.

Shooter of the year: Battlefield 4 (DICE, EA,) PC, 360, PS3, XB1, PS4

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What can be said about Battlefield 4? While the game isn’t better than it’s predecessor, it still proves that Battlefield is more than ready to overthrow Call of Duty. Although the game such a large amount of bugs on PC, when the game works, it’s amazing. From crazy vehicle moments, to making a building collapse, Battlefield 4 proves to be an exceptional experience.

Action-Adventure of the year: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds(Nintendo) Nintendo 3DS

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With every entry, the Zelda franchise raises the bar on what a Zelda game is, A Link Between Worlds is no different. While the world of Hyrule and Lorule are small, they definitely show that ingenious design is always more important. This is the first Zelda game where you can do everything at your own pace, and it feels damn good to know there isn’t any hand-holding.

Fighter of the year: Injustice: Gods Among Us (Netherrelms, WB Games) Wii U, 360, PS3, PS4, PC

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Injustice: Gods Among Us is one of the best fighters ever made. Netherrelms has proven yet again that they are more than capable of delivering a superb fighter. With their reboot of Mortal Kombat, we knew it could only get better from there.

RPG of the year: Diablo 3 (Blizzard Entertainment) PS3, 360, PC

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Yes I know, Diablo 3 came out in 2012 on PC, but the console re-release is a great sign of Blizzard showing some love for the console space. Diablo 3 on console is by far one of the best ports I’ve seen in a while, and one of the best comebacks for any developer.

Game of the year: Super Mario 3D World (Nintendo) Wii U

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Super Mario 3D World is by far the best 3D Mario since 64. With Galaxies incredible design, but predictable environments, 3D World changes up everything in each level. This gives you a breath of fresh air in every new level. The multiplayer is finally worth playing, and it’s fun as heck. The multiplayer elements has never been good in Mario,(excluding Mario Party and Mario Kart) but 3D World changes that and makes it an excellent addition to the vast amount of content in 3D World.
Review of Super Mario 3D World: https://gameinations.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/super-mario-3d-world-review-in-progress/

Studio of the year: Nintendo

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Nobody could out do Nintendo this year. With extremely memorable releases, there is no doubt the best platforms this year were the 3DS and the Wii U. The 3DS got games like Fire Emblem: Awakening, Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Pokemon X and Y, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon.The Wii U also got huge releases making it the platform for this holiday season, with games like Super Mario 3D World, Zelda: Wind Waker HD, Pikmin 3, and the long awaited re-release of Earthbound. In 2014, Nintendo seems to be coming back even stronger with games like Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros, and many others.

Thank you all for reading. We anticipate next years marvelous titles.

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Super Mario 3D World Review

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Nintendo hasn’t released a full 3D Mario game since 2010 with Super Mario Galaxy 2. The Galaxy games brought the best of the Mario franchise and the Platforming genre; 3D World isn’t shy either. With many new power-ups, beautiful visuals, incredibly fun multiplayer, this is easily the best game on Wii U.

The Presentation: 

Super Mario 3D World begins with a very cliche introduction in the franchise. Bowser is up to no good, and he captures a princess, or many princesses I should say. Princess Peach isn’t the damsel in distress this time around, the Sprixies are. There are a total of 7 Sprixies you have to save, each of them being held captive in different worlds. This gives Nintendo the ability to let you play as Peach again. The first time we saw a cast larger than 2 in a Mario game was in 1988 with Super Mario Bros. 2. Here we see a returning cast, Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad. Each of these characters have very unique abilities that change the flow of the game depending on you character of choice. Mario is the balanced character, Luigi jumps higher, Peach can float for a few seconds, and Toad runs the fastest. Keep your Killzone: Shadowfall, 3D World is the most visually stimulating game this year. I couldn’t keep count of all the “wows” that came into mind while playing. With beautiful art direction, and great lighting effects, this is surely the best looking game on ANY next-gen machines; yeah, I said that.

Gameplay:

Seriously, this game plays beautifully. Mario has always had an extremely simple button layout, yet it has always worked for veterans of the franchise as well as the news ones. My only issue with the controls is the locked 8-way movement, not allowing you to actually make an entire geometric circle; it’s always a rounded octagon. Thankfully, this never affected my jump accuracy in the game. Multiplayer in Mario, when has it ever been good? (This does NOT include Mario Kart and Mario Party) The 2D platformers have always had horrendous multiplayer experiences. Nintendo finally found the multiplayer formula that fit Mario. The 3D landscape allows up to 4 players on screen having a non-stressful blast. I found myself rofling (yeah, I said that too) more than I think I should have, it’s just fun. Each character gives you an entirely different feeling; Mario gives you the signature “balanced” speed and jumping, Luigi gives you his signature sky high jump height, Peach gives you here very memorable floating ability from Super Mario Bros. 2, and Toad runs super fast. These options fit the needs of all players, new and old. It’s remarkable how Nintendo got 3D multiplayer right on the first go, it’s really something.

The Verdict:

Man, this is a great game. Every single Wii U owner should have this game in their library, it’s the best game on the platform. Super Mario 3D World proves that Mario is the strongest franchise in gaming, even after all these years. 3D World blends all the greatness that was Super Mario Bros. 3, Mario 64, Galaxy, and 3D Land. I was surprised with the caliber of this game, it’s the strongest game this year by far. The visuals are beautiful and put the “Next-Gen” games to shame with superb art direction. The gameplay is amazing, they perfect 3D Mario platforming with 64, since then it’s just minor improvements and tweaks that only better the experience. Super Mario 3D World is not only the strongest game this year, but it seems to be the strongest game in a long time. The only game that really beat 3D World in art direction was Skyward Sword in 2011. Super Mario 3D World is a masterpiece, it perfected the Mario formula, and then some. This is why GameINation gives 3D World a solid 4/10. Ha, gotcha! GameINation gives the game a well deserved 10/10.

Pokemon X/Y Review

It’s finally here. The promise of a fully 3D Pokemon game on a handheld. Pokemon X/Y is a 3DS exclusive, thankfully Nintendo plans on releasing “Pokemon Bank” which will allow you to transfer your Pokemon from Black/White 2. Okay, let’s get this party started, here is our review (We are using a new reviewing format, please give us feedback on your opinion of the new format) :

EDIT: We initially gave the game an 8/10

The Good:
I am happy to say that Pokemon X/Y delivers on it’s promise of an open world, 3D Pokemon adventure, with more depth than ever. I am also happy to say that this game has broken the nearly-decade long record of uninspiring character design. Ever since Ruby/Sapphire/ Emerald, I’ve been longing for a Pokemon experience that felt fresh, and it’s almost here, almost. The new Pokemon look great, and heck, the old ones too. Overall, the game is good, just not what I wanted it to be. Now let’s move to the bad.

The Bad:
Okay, I have a few issues with the game, 3 to be exact. Never have I ever seen such lazy use of the 3DS’s innovative 3D. Only available in 1v1 battles(Yeah, not double battles, or triple battles). It wasn’t available outside of battles, only in certain caves and things as such. Want to hear the big kicker of the 3D during battles? The framerates drops so low that I thought I was playing on a Commodore 64. What else was bad? You’re probably gonna disagree but, honestly the Mega evolutions were pretty half-assed. It’s not that the designer were lack luster, or that they were over powered. It was the fact that they lacked depth. I was never once pressed to actually plan out how I was going to use them. Once they were out, I was unstoppable. The only restriction was that you could only use one per battle. They had no time limit, or turn limit. Last, but not least was the story. It was so generic I could have modded any of the Pokemon games, and got the same story. Pokemon has lost its magic, simple as that. I remember being a kid and re-playing Pokemon Blue/Red/Yellow over 20 times (I’m not kidding). I found myself shoving this game to the side after I reached the 8th gym. Not only is it a drag at times, it has no re-playability, which was something it has in the Kanto and Johto regions.

The Decision:
Pokemon X/Y, while having a few flaws, proves that GameFreak is still a very capable developer, and isn’t losing steam, in fact, they are gaining. Coming from a person who hasn’t purchased a Pokemon game since gen 3, this game makes me happy to play Pokemon again. While GameFreak is heading towards the right direction, they aren’t quite there yet. This is why GameINation gives Pokemon X/Y

6.5/10

Pokemon X/Y is a good game, okay at times, and rarely ever is it mediocre. Although this isn’t the Pokemon game I’ve been hoping for, this is surely the best Pokemon game in nearly a decade.

Wind Waker HD Review

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The Legend of Zelda is arguably the most prestigious franchise in gaming history, Wind Waker is a game that proves Zelda is like water, adjusting to it’s container. While Wind Waker has been bashed for it’s controversial art style, it is definitely the most refreshing Zelda game. I almost that Wind Waker was made for Wii U, while the Gamecube version is still beautiful by today’s standards, the HD boost that the Wii U gives multiplies that by 100. If you guys haven’t played the original, this is a must-have, unfortunately, it doesn’t do enough to make a veteran feel like the adventure was fresh.

Presentation:

Wind Waker on its own is a gorgeous game, adding the breathe-taking HD visuals that the Wii U offers, it makes it not only the best looking Zelda, but one of the best looking games to date. Add on the smooth feeling of 60 frames per second, and clean look of 1080p, you’re in for a very immersive game. Let’s stop talking about resolution and FPS for a second, and let’s talk about textures. The Wii U not only upgrades textures, but it also adds shaders, and they do this so well, it almost feels native to the game. My only gripe with the shaders is when light hits Link directly in the face. Specifically when you open a chest, Link looks plastic and it just looks weird and odd. While this rarely happens, it is a big set back to a nearly perfect visual presentation.

Gameplay:

Responsive, smooth, and just plain fun. Not only does Wind Waker have the best combat in any Zelda game, but the best in the Action-Adventure genre. From swift swings, to agile dodging, Wind Waker makes to be the best combat any Zelda has ever offered, unfortunately, the HD version does nothing to improve on it. People argue that the touch screen adds strategy with great on-the-fly swapping of weapons, while that is true, it think Nintendo did it best with Skyward Sword and the Wiimote. 

Verdict:

Wind Waker is great game on its own, but Wind Waker HD just improves the experience a bit. If you own the original on the Gamecube, don’t bother purchasing this game unless you are a huge Zelda fan and/or a graphics junkie. 

+ Great Visual Update
+ Touch Screen Adds Some Dimension To Strategy
+ Miiverse Functionality

– Feels The Same As The Original
– Textures And Shaders Fight At Times
– No New Addition To Combat

Overall, Wind Waker HD is a great game, but not a must-have for veterans.

Wind Waker HD for the Wii U gets a 7/10

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Half-Life 3 Trademark Has Vanished; Don’t Lose Hope Though

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Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Half-Life. Recently, Valve registered a trademark in Europe for Half-Life 3. A few hours.after that, a Valve Bug Tracker leaked to the public. This bug tracker basically confirms that yes, Half-Life 3 isn’t a dream. Unfortunately, it may actually be a mirage. Valve has taken down the patent and claimed it was likely a “hoax”. They still have yet to talk about the bug tracker, however. Let us hope it will come, after all, they are launching SteamOS, Steam Machines, and the Steam Controller next year; I think they will need Half-Life to not only dominate the living room, but Windows as well.