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RPGamer - Best of 2011

MacstormMacstorm Ysy St.Administrators
edited February 2012 in Latest Updates
2011 was one of the most diverse years ever for RPGs. Because of that, it was a year where tastes were so varied that no one game seemed to dominate the genre. Without further ado, let's take a look at the best of 2011.

2011 Awards!

Disclaimer: After much discussion and then a North American release announcement, Xenoblade was moved out of 2011's list and onto the 2012 eligibility list.
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Comments

  • Zeboyd GamesZeboyd Games Member Full Members
    edited January 2012
    Disappointed that Dark Souls got so little recognition (it was GotY for me) but other than that, I enjoyed the various awards and anti-awards. :)
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  • shoptrollshoptroll Have towel will travel Full Members
    edited January 2012
    Zeboyd Games said:
    Disappointed that Dark Souls got so little recognition (it was GotY for me) but other than that, I enjoyed the various awards and anti-awards. :)
    It's weird seeing no Dark Souls or Skyrim on that list.

    Also, Skyward Sword over Bastion? Don't get me wrong, Zelda has a good OST but I haven't even played Bastion and I've listened to that OST numerous times since release. It's that good.

    Also Also, why isn't the Console / PC tab written as "Console / PC"?
    So long & thanks for all the fish!
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2012
  • 7thCircle7thCircle RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2012
    shoptroll said:
    Also Also, why isn't the Console / PC tab written as "Console / PC"?
    That was a last minute change to the Console page this morning because we decided the clarity was needed. It used to just say Console. We wanted to post the awards now and not bug graphics people to change the tab to make it match. Didn't think it was a big deal since most of the tabs are abbreviated anyway. DS/3DS says "DS", and that was planned.

    EDIT: Regarding Dark Souls in the Best Console award, I went back to the results spreadsheet and Deus Ex, Totori, Skyrim, and Dark Souls were incredibly close. By the rules we've been using for the last few years, Deus Ex barely came out on top and the other three were exactly tied. Totori won the numeric tiebreaker we use. So after Zelda crushed everything else, it was close; Dark Souls lost a tiebreaker to be #5. Every now and then Mac and I alter the results from the cold, hard calculations or disagree about how to crunch the numbers, but we didn't in this case.
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  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited January 2012
    shoptroll said:
    Also, Skyward Sword over Bastion? Don't get me wrong, Zelda has a good OST but I haven't even played Bastion and I've listened to that OST numerous times since release. It's that good.
    That's the problem with democracy, people get it wrong when allowed to vote. Go Team Bastion! ;)
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  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2012
    Please note that all angry mail related to this Game of the Year feature should be forwarded to our Complaints Department at [EMAIL="wheels@rpgamer.com"]wheels@rpgamer.com[/EMAIL].

    As for Dark Souls, it apparently didn't appeal hugely to all the staff who played it, though it certainly has fans amongst our staff. As always, because our GOTY awards are the result of staff voting, there are many and varied reasons why one game was chosen for a particular award over another. This year has been particularly interesting because more staff played more games than usual, but had quite a few diverse picks.

    Edit: I love both the Bastion and Skyward Sword OSTs, but I personally give Skyward Sword the edge for the sheer diversity of the music and the many creative ways it was used in the game. Bastion wins my best vocals award by a long shot, however.
    Becky Cunningham, Staff-at-Large
    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance
  • ErcomanErcoman New Member Full Members
    edited January 2012
    I completely support the "Most Anticipated" picks, solid across the board. Tales of Graces f in particular looks fantastic.
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2012
    Ocelot said:
    Please note that all angry mail related to this Game of the Year feature should be forwarded to our Complaints Department at [EMAIL="wheels@rpgamer.com"]wheels@rpgamer.com[/EMAIL].

    As for Dark Souls, it apparently didn't appeal hugely to all the staff who played it, though it certainly has fans amongst our staff. As always, because our GOTY awards are the result of staff voting, there are many and varied reasons why one game was chosen for a particular award over another. This year has been particularly interesting because more staff played more games than usual, but had quite a few diverse picks.

    Edit: I love both the Bastion and Skyward Sword OSTs, but I personally give Skyward Sword the edge for the sheer diversity of the music and the many creative ways it was used in the game. Bastion wins my best vocals award by a long shot, however.
    This is one of the coolest things about the Skyward Sword soundtrack:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDDAXsgoc5s
  • Confessor RahlConfessor Rahl Member Full Members
    edited January 2012
    I am absolutely flabbergasted about this year's choice of GOTY. To each their own and all that, and clearly there was a majority of people who agreed. But wow. Just wow.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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  • QuinQuin ne cede malis RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2012
    Ercoman said:
    Tales of Graces f in particular looks fantastic.
    It -is- fantastic, a very strong entry in the series.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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  • shoptrollshoptroll Have towel will travel Full Members
    edited January 2012
    Ocelot said:
    I personally give Skyward Sword the edge for the sheer diversity of the music and the many creative ways it was used in the game.
    Well the article highlights the "transitions" between variations of a theme which isn't really something new in the industry and I'm pretty sure it's been done before in the series itself although I could be wrong. I vaguely recall them talking about their use of midi instrumentation over orchestral recordings is what allowed them to have the music react to the on-screen action in past games and they had to figure out a way to make it work with the full orchestra.

    If the game is doing anything else interesting or novel with music I haven't gotten to it yet. Skyward Sword's music is very appropriate for the game and its locales/events but I don't think it stands on its own outside the game. Although that's always something I've found with the majority of the series' music.
    Wheels said:
    This is one of the coolest things about the Skyward Sword soundtrack:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDDAXsgoc5s
    That's pretty cool.

    EDIT: If you want to see something else kinda nifty check out what Yoko Shimomura did with Bowser's Inside Story:

    Dimble Wood
    Dimble Wood (Inside Bowser)
    Merged Version
    So long & thanks for all the fish!
  • risingsunrisingsun - Fancy Title - RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2012
    Macstorm said:
    That's the problem with democracy, people get it wrong when allowed to vote. Go Team Bastion! ;)
    I am also a proud member of team Bastion! It's the only video game soundtrack I bought in 2011.
  • TwinBahamutTwinBahamut Staff Healer RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2012
    shoptroll said:
    Well the article highlights the "transitions" between variations of a theme which isn't really something new in the industry and I'm pretty sure it's been done before in the series itself although I could be wrong. I vaguely recall them talking about their use of midi instrumentation over orchestral recordings is what allowed them to have the music react to the on-screen action in past games and they had to figure out a way to make it work with the full orchestra.

    If the game is doing anything else interesting or novel with music I haven't gotten to it yet. Skyward Sword's music is very appropriate for the game and its locales/events but I don't think it stands on its own outside the game. Although that's always something I've found with the majority of the series' music.
    Okay, time to respond as the person who wrote that part of the blurb. :)

    Sure, it is common to use music in such a way. Games try that kind of thing all the time. Many other games released this year do so as well. The big difference is that Skyward Sword is the rare game that does it well. It is not a matter of innovation as much as it is raw skill and care. The truly impressive diversity of music and instrumentation is fairly unique, as well.

    Generally, I'm not one to judge a game's music based on raw quality of the OST, anyways. The most important aspect of a game's soundtrack is how much the soundtrack contributes to the experience of playing the game. I mean, Skyrim's main theme is flat out my favorite single music track released this year, but the way music is used in Skyrim is absolutely terrible. It picks up at the wrong times, drops out when it shouldn't, is quiet most of the time and repetitive in others, and lacks variety. All of those things matter a lot, and those are the places where Skyward Sword is superb, despite the somewhat lower quality of some of its tracks. In the end, music in games is just as much a matter of technical execution as it is musical quality.

    Anyways, on a totally different subject... I'm sorry that I was unable to contribute any votes to Dark Souls this year. I spent most of 2011 on Demon's Souls instead. I'm still stuck on King Allant. :P
  • Fowl SorcerousFowl Sorcerous Dread News Editor RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2012
    wait a second; best tabletop of 2010 were an evil hat prodcution a supers game and a re-release from pinnacle...I call BIAS! rpgamer are terrible reviewers? :-P
  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2012
    Fowl Sorcerous said:
    wait a second; best tabletop of 2010 were an evil hat prodcution a supers game and a re-release from pinnacle...I call BIAS! rpgamer are terrible reviewers? :-P
    Take it to Ask Wheels, buddy.
    Becky Cunningham, Staff-at-Large
    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance
  • DarkRPGMasterDarkRPGMaster A Witness to Destruction Moderators
    edited January 2012
    I'm glad to see a few looked over RPGs being on some of those lists, though the only thing that shocks me is that Trails in the Sky won so much.
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  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2012
    DarkRPGMaster said:
    I'm glad to see a few looked over RPGs being on some of those lists, though the only thing that shocks me is that Trails in the Sky won so much.
    Heh, you hadn't noticed that TitS was a bit hit amongst our staff? :)
    Becky Cunningham, Staff-at-Large
    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance
  • DarkRPGMasterDarkRPGMaster A Witness to Destruction Moderators
    edited January 2012
    Ocelot said:
    Heh, you hadn't noticed that TitS was a bit hit amongst our staff? :)
    I know some of you guys were vocal, but I didn't expect EVERYBODY on staff to like it.
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  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2012
    DarkRPGMaster said:
    I know some of you guys were vocal, but I didn't expect EVERYBODY on staff to like it.
    Everyone loves TitS
  • PawsPaws BEARSONA RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2012
    Plus, the people that were being vocal were the ones that don't normally speak up quite so liberally. Go fig.
  • Zaku77Zaku77 Member Full Members
    edited January 2012
    I can't help but feel like Zelda doesn't belong on a best of 2011 RPG list lol. Also, detractors or not, it's weird that Skyrim isn't on there. I definitely agree with Radiant Historia though, that game was fantastic!

    (Just referencing the main top 3 list, not the whole thing)
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  • ShayminShaymin The Gratitude Pokemon Full Members
    edited January 2012
    I hope Wheels has one hell of a flame shield equipped... I love how it turned out, but I have to wonder how many people played the Skyrim beta on PS3 :p
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  • MinneyarMinneyar Member Full Members
    edited January 2012
    Out of curiosity, was Xenoblade not a candidate for 2011? I'm a little surprised to see no mention of it, but I can understand if it's on the 2012 list because it didn't get a US release in 2011.

    Edit: I am blind and apparently missed the disclaimer. >_>
  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2012
    Minneyar said:
    Out of curiosity, was Xenoblade not a candidate for 2011? I'm a little surprised to see no mention of it, but I can understand if it's on the 2012 list because it didn't get a US release in 2011.
    Xenoblade is on the 2012 list because of the April US release. If the US release hadn't been announced right before voting started, we would have covered it this year. I know several of us on staff are European or imported, but it'll be nice to have all of us voting on it at the same time next year.
    Becky Cunningham, Staff-at-Large
    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2012
    Shaymin said:
    I hope Wheels has one hell of a flame shield equipped... I love how it turned out, but I have to wonder how many people played the Skyrim beta on PS3 :p
    I did, which is one of the reasons it disappointed me

    Also I haven't received any flames yet, come on people, give me your best shot!
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited January 2012
    Minneyar said:
    Out of curiosity, was Xenoblade not a candidate for 2011? I'm a little surprised to see no mention of it, but I can understand if it's on the 2012 list because it didn't get a US release in 2011.
    Exactly. I posted a disclaimer about this in the first post here. It was debated, but we decided to give more people a chance to play it before voting so it goes on 2012's list.
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  • TwinBahamutTwinBahamut Staff Healer RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2012
    Shaymin said:
    I hope Wheels has one hell of a flame shield equipped... I love how it turned out, but I have to wonder how many people played the Skyrim beta on PS3 :p
    I've played both console versions! And lost my first, beloved save file to a really stupid bug. A bug I'm fairly sure is also in the Xbox 360 version...

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  • HeideggerHeidegger New Member Full Members
    edited January 2012
    Looks like I need to hunt down a copy of Radiant Historia.

    I'm a little surprised to see Atelier Totori as the winner of most overlooked, mostly because I didn't realize it had garnered staff-wide praise. I picked up Rorona last summer because of Nyx's rave review, but I had trouble getting into it. I'm a huge fan of turn-based combat and deep crafting systems, so it seems like a good fit on paper, but I'm a little reluctant to dive back in. Is Totori a big enough improvement to merit a second look into the series?

    Also, no Indie RPG category? You guys do a better job following Indie titles than many of the other sites I visit. I'm surprised not to see this among your awards.
  • AzilisAzilis Member Full Members
    edited January 2012
    I'm guessing The Witcher 2 would have done better had it been a multi-platform release. And Dark Souls is only going to appeal to a certain audience with its high difficulty level (though the reason I haven't played it is I really hate using a console controller for this type of game . . . release it on the PC with mouse/keyboard controls, and it'd monopolize my gaming time for quite a while).

    I guess it's logical that an accessible, unique indie game won this year. Haven't played Bastion yet, but I'll get to it eventually. The art style, music, and narration all look appealing from the videos I've seen.
  • watcherwatcher Veteran RPGamer Full Members
    edited January 2012
    Heidegger said:
    Looks like I need to hunt down a copy of Radiant Historia.

    I'm a little surprised to see Atelier Totori as the winner of most overlooked, mostly because I didn't realize it had garnered staff-wide praise. I picked up Rorona last summer because of Nyx's rave review, but I had trouble getting into it. I'm a huge fan of turn-based combat and deep crafting systems, so it seems like a good fit on paper, but I'm a little reluctant to dive back in. Is Totori a big enough improvement to merit a second look into the series?

    Also, no Indie RPG category? You guys do a better job following Indie titles than many of the other sites I visit. I'm surprised not to see this among your awards.
    Good luck. My biggest problem with Radiant Historia is that when I went to buy it, my order got cancelled because they oversold and I couldn't find it anywhere after that. It literally sold out everywhere in about 9 months. I'm hoping Atlus runs a reprint for this one, so I can pick it up without being gouged.
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