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X-Play Best of 2011 

Welcome to X-Play's Best of 2011 Awards.

X-Play has, once again, undergone hours and days of testing, in an effort to determine which of the games of 2011 had the right stuff to be considered the best in a number of categories. There were arguments, votes, and a few deaths, but we've finally got a handle on the best games of the year, and, without further ado, here they are.

Do you want to know what the nominees were?  For a look at all the nominees, click here.
 

GAME OF THE YEAR

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Best of 2011: Game of the Year »


 

MOST ORIGINAL GAME
Minecraft
 
BEST GAMEPLAY INNOVATION
Rocksmith - Teaching Real Guitar
 
BEST MULTIPLAYER GAME
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
 
BEST ACTION/ADVENTURE GAME
Batman: Arkham City
 
BEST MULTIPLAYER CO-OP
Portal 2
 
BEST SHOOTER
Gears of War 3
 
BEST ART DIRECTION
Batman: Arkham City
 
BEST ANIMATION
NBA 2K12
 
BEST WRITING
Portal 2
 
BEST SOUNDTRACK
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
 
BEST SOUND DESIGN
Battlefield 3
 
BEST DOWNLOADABLE GAME
Stacking
 
BEST DLC
Fallout: New Vegas - Old World Blues
 
BEST RACING GAME
Forza Motorsport 4
 
BEST SPORTS GAME
NBA 2K12
 
BEST PUZZLE/STRATEGY GAME
Portal 2
 
BEST ROLE-PLAYING GAME
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
 
BEST MOBILE GAME
Infinity Blade 2
 
BEST FIGHTING GAME
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
 
BEST HANDHELD GAME
Super Mario 3D Land

BEST GAME
THAT USES MOTION CONTROL

Dance Central 2

VIDEOGAME DEATHMATCH WINNER
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword  

 

BEST PERFORMANCE BY 
NOLAN NORTH

Nathan Drake - Uncharted 3

BEST PERFORMANCE NOT BY 
NOLAN NORTH

Stephen Merchant - Wheatley - Portal 2

 

BEST REMAKE/RETRO RELEASE
Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection

BEST TRAILER
Dead Island

 





Video Game Deathmatch Is Coming!

The Video Game Deathmatch Best Games of 2011 is ending soon and it’s up to the two last people in the universe to duke it out to help you decide which game has earned the most respect, the most love, and the most adoration between The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Without further ado, grab some popcorn, and some of Jake’s wife’s delicious baked goods, and let the Nerdfight begin.

After you read both Leah and Jake's arguments, be sure to cast your vote in the Video Game Deathmatch!

Leah: Jake, it’s plain and simple. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is the whole reason that the Wii exists in the first place. Nintendo didn’t make the Wii to make games, they made this game so that the Wii had a purpose. Here’s what I think happened. When the Wii was originally conceptualized, the hardworking people at Nintendo thought, “Aside from making people flail around in their living rooms, if there’s one good game we can make on this system, it would be Zelda,” and that’s what happened. They wanted to make a game with a good story, amazing motion control, beautiful music, and and that’s what they did. How can Assassin’s Creed: Revelations stand up to the game that defined an entire console?

Jake: True. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations doesn’t feel terribly necessary and has some unfortunate design elements (cough…tower defense…cough), but at least a whole lot of people haven’t been waiting five years for it to finally deliver on expectations that far exceeded what was actually possible at the time it was first revealed. Also, it’s a bit unfair to compare Zelda to AC in terms of “defining a console” considering Nintendo made both the game and the hardware and Ubisoft is simply a publisher. If we were talking about Halo, it would be a different story.

It is impressive that Skyward Sword came about as close to meeting expectations as fans could have hoped, but then again, it’s Zelda. Really, how high are those expectations at this point? As long as Link looks like Link, the swordplay is decent, and there are decently crafted dungeons and puzzles, fans will eat it up and ask for seconds. I also think most Wii owners have come to terms with the shortcomings of the console, so anything that is even remotely passable is considered a triumph. Not to say that Zelda is merely passable, but when the bar is set so low, it makes it hard to have an honest response to something that may not be as triumphant as it would seem otherwise.

Read More »

Kid Icarus Uprising Developers Testing Online Multiplayer

With the end of 2011 now clearly in sight, Nintendo is looking to get gamers set for its early 2012 releases. A morning press release runs through a variety of Wii 3DS, DS and eShop release dates and windows for both first- and third-party games, including hotly anticipated titles like Kid Icarus: Uprising.

Pit will reclaim his bow and arrow in Uprising on March 23, 2012, bringing yet another classic Nintendo character to the 3DS platform. Also confirmed is a February 7 release date and $19.99 price tag for the Circle Pad, the 3DS attachment that adds a second analog nub and additional shoulder buttons. It's confirmed to be compatible with both Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater (Q1 release) and Resident Evil: Revelations (2/7 release).

On the Wii side, Nintendo notably confirmed release dates for Rhythm Heaven Fever and Mario Party 9, for 2/13 and 3/11, respectively. Those are the highlights; you can see the full list over on Nintendo's website. Bear in mind that dates and titles both are subject to change.

LEGO Batman 2 - Super Heroes Confirmed By LEGO Toy Sets

We first heard rumors of a second LEGO Batman game at the end of last month from an apparently leaked promo image that suggested the next game would be casting a wider net into the DC Comics superhero and supervillain pool. While there still hasn't been a formal announcement about the follow-up from TT Games, you can go ahead and consider today's news a confirmation.

Ads for a video game called LEGO Batman 2 - Super Heroes are printed inside the instruction manuals for LEGO's Super Hero line of playsets, MCV reports. The ads feature images of various DC characters, including Superman and Wonder Woman. They also reveal that the game is coming to Xbox 360, Wii, 3DS and unspecified Sony platforms, presumably both the PlayStation 3 and Vita.

There's no release date or any other information listed, and these LEGO Super Hero sets TECHNICALLY aren't out until next year (some retailers apparently have them already), but I think we can now safely stop thinking of LEGO Batman 2's wider DC Comics focus as a rumor.

Source: MCV

Who says platformers are a dying genre? This year saw the rise of several epic installments to the library of platforming greats – some new face, some familiar, but all of them every bit of fun, like a great game should be. Below we've got a sampling of what we think are five of the year's best. Whether you’re simply curling up with a cozy old franchise or taking a chance on a newcomer, you can’t go wrong with these fantastic platformers of 2011.

Jetpack Joyride

Jetpack Joyride

There have been so many addictive mobile titles released this year, it’s hard to choose only one to represent them all (like Lord of the Rings of the mobile game world). But if hard-pressed to make a decision, we gravitated toward Jetpack Joyride, which isn’t a traditional platformer per se, but a delicious morsel of blue-sized fun perfect for that long commute to work. Your only real concern is keeping protagonist Barry Steakfries from harm as he hurtles through a seemingly neverending laboratory avoiding laser deathtraps and other malevolent speedbumps. This is all accomplished via touching and holding a spot on the screen to propel Barry upward or letting him fall to the ground, avoiding the hazards that would otherwise befall him. It’s insanely fun and the coins collected along the way work to make this 99 cent gem as rewarding as any triple-A title. It's a testament to the fact that spectacular graphics and explosions don't mean a thing if you don't have a solid premise, and Joyride has it.

Read More »

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Modern Warfare 3 Cover Art Revealed?

Unsurprisingly, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim topped the video game sales charts in November, according to the NPD analysis group. MW3, from Publisher Activision Blizzard, sold $775 million in its first five days on the market so it's not too surprising that they came in at the number one spot. Battlefield 3, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, and Just Dance 3 rounded out the top five.

According to the NPD Analysis group, “This November marks the best November on record for sales of new physical content.  November 2008 was previously the best November on record.” They went on to mention that, “In one month, Elder Scrolls 5:  Skyrim is just about half a million units shy of matching Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion in lifetime sales.  Its first month performance was a five-fold increase over Oblivion’s first month sales," and they attributed the high sales to "outstanding review scores" like the our own Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim review.

To check out the rest of November's Top 10 check after the break.

Read More »

Nintendo head Shigeru Miyamoto said in an interview with Wired that he is interested in retiring from his current position and stepping into another role at Nintendo. Nintendo, on the other hand, says everything for old Shiggy will be staying pretty much the same. So who should you believe? As always, you should believe Adam Sessler.

In this special, collectors edition of Sessler's Soapbox, Adam discusses this whole "retirement" thing and the culture of Nintendo. Click it, won't you?

 

Sessler's Soapbox: Is Miyamoto Leaving Nintendo? »

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Nintendo logo

In statements made to G4tv.com, Wired magazine has defended its reporting of the “stepping down” of Nintendo visionary Shigeru Miyamoto, as presented in a recent interview.

The interview sent tremors through the gaming world and financial markets when Miyamoto said that he was retiring from his current position as head of Nintendo’s game design department and changing his role within the company in order to focus on creating smaller games than his most recent titles. Nintendo responded to the interview with a statement that seems to contradict Miyamoto’s words, saying, “Video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto's role at Nintendo is not changing.”

We spoke to Wired editor Chris Kohler who confirmed that Miyamoto’s statements were reported accurately. “Miyamoto’s comments as presented in our story are exactly what Miyamoto said, and presented with the full context of his remarks,” Kohler said. “We are absolutely standing by those statements as reported.”

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We have the first 15 minutes of The Adventures of Tintin: The Game! The game begins with a plane (that looks like the Sea Duck from TaleSpin) flying through a stormy sky. It then follows the movie, which was based off of a French comic strip. That's not the important part though. The real story here is Snowy. How cute is that dog?

The First 15 - The Adventures of Tintin: The Game »


The Adventures of Tintin: The Game is out now for the Xbox 360, PS3, PC, 3DS, and Wii.

Nintendo 3DS Gets A Flame Red Paint Job On September 9

CheapyD at CheapAssGamer.com scours both the online and offline world for the best deals on video games, and to help out your wallets, we're bringing his weekly recap to you!

Best Buy is throwing in a $50 gift card with Nintendo 3DS purchase and is holding a Buy 2, Get 1 Free Sale on $29.99+ Games . Buy the Playstation 3D Display and get any 160gb PS3 for $100. Kinect drops to $99.99 and the Nyko Zoom is $19.99. Gears of War 3 is $39.99.

Kmart provides a $15 gaming coupon with Mario Kart 7, and to Shop Your Way Rewards members, a $50 coupon to who buy a Wii or Xbox 360 250GB console, and a $30 coupon for those who buy a Nintendo 3DS. Save $10 on any 3DS game (excludes Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land).

Target offers a Buy 1, Get 1 Free Sale on PC Sims Games.

Toys R Us is holding a Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off Sale on all games and accessories. All 3DS systems and bundles include a $40 gift card and free bobble head stylus.

Amazon matches the Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off Sale, Xbox 360 Kinect Holiday Bundle + $75 credit, and the Buy 1, Get 1 Free Sale on PC Sims Games.

Visit CAG for more details and the rest of this week's Sunday ad deals.

Best of the Rest
19 Days of Deals at Amazon
Risen $5.99 + $5 credit at Amazon
PlayStation Move Mayhem Bundle $99.99 at Best Buy
Nightly Used Game Deals at GameFly

Follow Cheap Ass Gamer on Twitter at videogamedeals and ukgamedeals.


The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword

A game-breaking glitch has been discovered in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. The problem occurs during the Song of the Hero quest. If players get the song of the Thunder Dragon from Lanaryu Mine, speak with the Goron, beat the Thunder Dragon mission, and then speak to Golo the Goron again, an error somehow occurs. If players complete this sequence of events, it will be impossible to continue the game with that save file.

Nintendo is aware of the situation but sadly there is not a solution, nor is there any indication a patch will ever be issued.

Keep reading for Nintendo's response and words of advice. 

Read More »

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Videogame Deathmatch Finals

This year's Videogame Deathmatch has had its share of upsets and surprises, including the upset of Skyrim, the death of all FPS' and the inexplicable non-inclusion of Thor. But today, we've finally paired 2011's video game releases down to a single fight. This last contest is a true battle of the Titans that pits Assassin's Creed: Revelations against The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. One of these two games will take home the title of G4's Videogame Deathmatch 2011 Winner!

"How will the better of these two titles be decided?" you may be asking. You, the reader, will decide. Just go to our Videogame Deathmatch page and cast you ballot for your favorite.









Platformers are not as common today as they were ten years ago thanks to the advance of gaming technology. However, there's something to be said about an enjoyable, brightly colored, solidly animated platformer. Rayman Origins fills that roll perfectly, and Adam Sessler can't get enough of it. In this week's Soapbox the Sess will break down exactly why Rayman Origins is such a fantastic game and why you should be playing it right this very second. 

Sessler's Soapbox: Rayman Origins and the Classic Platformer »


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On December 14 X-Play will be presenting their Best of 2011 Awards at 6:00 PM ET, honoring some of our favorite games of the year. In their special one-hour episode of X-Play, hosts Adam Sessler, Morgan Webb, and Blair Herter will take you through each category to reveal the champions, and we'll all get to find out which game won the highly coveted Game of the Year award. Today, we have a list of the nominees so you can see which games have a chance of winning one of these prestigious awards.

 

X-Play's Game of the Year 2011 Nominees »


 

To whet your appetite, here's our Game of the Year nominees:

Game of the Year

    Batman: Arkham City
    The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
    Gears of War 3
    L.A. Noire
    Portal 2
    Saints Row: The Third
    Super Mario 3D Land

Check after the break for the full list of categories including Best RPG, Best Multiplayer, Best Shooter, Best Trailer, Most Original Game, and many more! Also, don't forget to vote in the final rounds of our Videogame Deathmatch to make your voice heard during the episode.

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Xenoblade Chronicles is coming to America in April (finally!) and we have a trailer for the Wii exclusive to show you just how epic this role playing game actually is. It shows the main characters Shulk and Reyn starting off on their epic journey for revenge and to save the world, while also displaying the variety of gorgeous landscapes that the game has to offer.

Xenoblade Chronicles Trailer »



The best part of the trailer, to me, is that it seems as though Nintendo is keeping the English voice acting, which I thought was phenomenal. What did you think of the trailer?

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