Posts Tagged ‘red dead redemption’

It’s like the Oscars, only without anything of the glamour. Or the TV coverage. Or the stars. So, nothing like the Oscars, then.

Underappreciated Gem of the Year

Winner: Alpha Protocol

It’s buggy, occasionally clumsy and short. But where Alpha Protocol succeeds is its charm. Players are given control of a rogue spy and asked to choose how to interact with people and what order to play the missions in, but it all seems to have purpose. While Mass Effect might be a better, deeper and more meaningful RPG, Alpha Protocol clocks in at a meagre six hours and encourages its players to go back through and find out what happens when they do things a little differently. It’s not the best game, but by God is it deep once you discover the vast number of options at your disposal.

Runner-Up: Alan Wake

Once again a tight, well-written game is ignored. Seems that players want explosions and gunplay, not fantastic and memorable characters in an intriguing mystery with emotional depth. Tsk.

Highlight of the Year

Winner: GoldenEye 007

Why does this get the top spot? It’s simple. All the tension, the worry, the stomach-churning doubt that so many millions of gamers went through after it was announced at E3… it was all for nought. GoldenEye 007 is a fantastic remake of an undisputed masterpiece, far and away the best FPS title on the Wii and possibly one of the finest Wii games yet made. This award is given for the moment you realise, ‘Oh my God… it’s actually good!’

Runner-Up: The 3DS

If this was released in December as it should have been, it would be the winner in most of these catagories. Nope, we have to wait until next March to play games in 3D. Without glasses. On a handheld. With over one hundred games in development for it. Including TWO Resident Evil titles. *dribbles*

Disappointment of the Year

Winner: Red Dead Redemption

It’s good. It’s fun. The feeling of exploration and loneliness is second to none. But Marston’s a bastard and players aren’t given a single reason to care about his family. Even when you are reunited with them, they come across as total jerks. The best parts of this game are in the final third, when you visit the wonderous northern landscape, but that’s after around twenty hours of playing. Vastly overrated by the gaming press, this is definately not worth paying full price for.

Runner-Up: Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1

Sixteen years is a long time to wait for the continuation of a very simple story. The reason for this game, as good as it was, getting nominated as a disappointment is simply that it was too familiar to the original Mega Drive titles and not enough of its own thing. Also, it’s bloody expensive.

Bastard of the Year

Winner: John Marston

He has a problem with killing… but he’ll do it anyway. He wants answer, now, dammit… but he’ll wait patiently and get jerked around in the meantime. He’s the baddest mother in the West… but he’ll work for grave robbers with no incentive. He’ll do anything to protect his family… but if he doesn’t like how you’re raising your kids, he’ll talk down at you. Bastard.

Runner-Up: Sonic the Hedgehog

Sixteen years? You made us wait sixteen years while you figured out that what we wanted is to run left to right really fast? And then you release the sequel we always wanted (Sonic 4 Episode 1) and your first great 3D game in the same goddamn year? You bastard!

DLC of the Year:

Winner: The Passing (Left 4 Dead 2)

Not only are The Passing’s three short maps fun, but the game comes complete with ‘The Mutations’, a special feature that changes the rules on a (current) bi-weekly basis. At the time of writing, developers Valve are encouraging users to create their own Mutations on the PC and these are now being incorporated into the updates. For the first time ever, user-created games are arriving on the 360, and it’s a hell of a good thing.

Runner- Up: Undead Nightmare (Red Dead Redemption)

The add-on is funnier, faster and far superior to the entire game.

Dick Punch of the Year

Winner: Alan Wake

You pay forty pounds for a game, you’d expect there to be an ending. Nope, you have to buy that separately. Twice. Oh, and if you didn’t get the first edition of the game in the week it came out, you have to pay for both add-ons, not just the second. Way to alienate your audience, Remedy.

Runner-Up: The 3DS

Nintendo have recently become the masters of revealing a product just a few scant months before they release it. The Wii’s major releases for the past two years have followed a similar trend: usually revealed in the summer, out by Christmas. When the 3DS was unveiled, everyone placed it at number on their Christmas lists. But then Nintendo did the maths and realised that, actually, they won’t be able to make enough. So now we wait. At least March isn’t that far away anymore.

Piece of Shit of the Year

Winner: Just Dance

Just… just vile.

Runner- Up: Iron Man 2 (DS)

Although the copy reviewed was on the DS, this covers all version of the game. A terrible, terrible title with literally nothing going for it, clumsy controls horrendous graphics and a storyline that had nothing to do with the film.

Game of the Year

Winner: Deadly Premonition

Not everybody likes Deadly Premonition, but the reason it’s taken home the gold prize here is for one very simple reason: it’s different. It’s essentially a murder mystery, but it’s what it’s not that effortlessly turns Deadly Premonition into one of the most unforgettable games of all time. It is not very good. Badly animated, poorly voiced, appallingly written and just plain shit throughout and yet it’s so goddamn compelling. You’ll constantly stop and call your friends over to witness this game with you because it’s hilarious. A unique title and certainly one that deserves more recognition that it’s gotten. If that doesn’t convince you, this will:

Runner-Up: GoldenEye 007

Almost winning the title, GoldenEye 007 is an outstanding remake of one of the greatest games ever made. The fact that it manages to redo almost every aspect of the peerless original, in a brand new way, and throws in the modern gaming extras including stealth, online multiplayer deathmatches and local split-screen chaos add up to one of the most essential purchases of the year.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, one and all. We’ll return in 2011 for more sporadic updates and bitter humour.


Like many, I purchased Red Dead Redemption back in May, soon after it came out (my real priority was Alan Wake). Unlike many, I just can’t find the energy to finish it.

The problem isn’t the lush visuals, fantastic Western setting or even the wonderful exploration. The reason that I just can’t get together is because of its protagonist, John Marston.

Marston is a former outlaw, now settled down with a wife and child on a farm. However, the DAMN EVIL GOVERNMENT intrude in his life and threaten his family unless he goes out west and tracks down his former partners for them. It’s a simple enough motivation and it’s enough to convince me that Marston is a good man.

It’s soon after the opening couple of missions with the lovely Bonnie MacFarlane that things begin to go mammaries skyward, as Marston continually sides with a collection of absolute bastards in exchange for their help. Will they repay his kindness? Will they fuck. Everyone with eyes can see the plot ‘twists’ coming a mile off, making Marston a galloping retard in a rather fetching duster coat.

In order to gain access to the fort that Marston’s target Williamson is holed up in, you have to assist no less than three complete cock-ends. One is a grave robber/ corpse fucker who asks you to help him steal coffins before he’ll start aiding you. Another is a drunk Irish stereotype who attempts to GET YOU KILLED the first time you do something for him. The final dickhead is a roving conman, fleecing unsuspecting people of their monies in exchange for potions that don’t do anything for them. The best part is when he tells you to murder hundreds of pissed off customers while he makes his getaway.

What really made me want to punch Marston’s face off the planet is how he constantly moans about the fact that he doesn’t like killing, and the reason he left Williamson’s gang in the first place is because they started ‘unfairly killing people’. Yet he displays no such thoughts when asked to commit around a thousand murders in order to get inside the fort. If he just killed the conman, shot the Irish bloke in the arm after he was set up and completely ignored the grave robber, he could have been inside the fort in a couple of days. But, no, because he’s a ‘good guy’ and doesn’t kill people who don’t ‘deserve it.’

But it gets worse from there, as the story shifts to Mexico and Marston ends up working fo both the government and the revolutionaries in a civil war. This, naturally, has no consequences and the only decent part of this are the few short missions you complete with aging gunslinger Landon Ricketts, who is a fantastic character. After that’s done, however, he disappears and you end up slaughtering roughly half of Mexico.

Again proving that Marston is a massive twat, he somehow doesn’t realise that the corrupt, merciless, murderous, hateful Mexican government is going to set him up and try and kill him. It’s mind-boggling how this man has survived up until this point, given how many times he wanders into obvious traps and ambushes without thinking about it. Topping it all off is his sarcastic and condescending attitude towards anybody who he doesn’t feel lives up to his standards of proper parenting. It’s cheating to call it ‘morally grey’ because it just isn’t. It’s morally nothing – you aren’t forced to make a decision, you are told to go and slaughter and so you do, like a good little puppet, with absolutely no consequences.

It’s almost worth sitting through for the fantastic Northern landscape, with its lush forests, snow-covered vistas and truly epic bear fights (kill one and another turns up!), but you have to put up with Marston being, well, himself.

Maybe I’ll get around to finishing Red Dead Redemption one day. I’d like to play the Undead Nightmare add-on for it, but I dread to think what hypocritical bullshit Marston will wax about in that version.