Airship Over Water / G2K Games Year End Awards

December 26, 2010 at 12:43 PM | Posted in (All Posts) | Leave a comment

Every holiday season is synonymous with “award shows” and recollections of just how good (and bad) things have been for that year. In terms of gaming and comics, 2010 has definitely been a good year. On the gaming side of things, it’s been a year with a Grand Theft Auto in the wild west, two chronological Final Fantasy games coming out just months apart, the unveiling of the first ever 3D handheld, and all three home consoles showing their hand at motion controls. For comics, we’ve seen the end of the “Blackest Night” and beginning of the “Brightest Day,” the fall of Asgard, a look at “one moment in time” for Spider-Man, and even the transition from comic to television with “The Walking Dead” TV series.

And with other websites throwing their opinions around on what they consider the best of the best, it’s only fair that we do the same. And before you get all mad at the nominees and winners, just keep in mind this is just “our” opinion and the games selected were limited to the games we played. I can tell you right now I did not play every video game or read every comic that was released in 2010. There were some great ones I’m sure I missed out on, but I simply chose not to devote my time and money to trying out every big release that hit the market. So if you disagree with some choices, just remember that none of this correlates to the end of the world and you still have your own opinion to be happy with.

Some awards will be accompanied by explanations and short summaries of why we chose what we chose. Some awards will speak for themselves.

Without further adieu — onto the show!

Video Game Awards

Biggest Announcement of 2010 –
The Nintendo 3DS Announcement at E3

More than anything, the most exciting thing about the 3DS to me was the fact that it was more-or-less a handheld gaming system with power comparable to the Gamecube (or arguably better than that). The lineup of games really sold me. I love the DS, but the touch screen controls were never a huge selling point for me. I just enjoyed playing great games on the portable system, and the 3D technology of the 3DS feels the same. I’m sure it will be great, but I’m mostly excited for games like the Ocarina of Time and Star Fox 64 3DS remake. The thought of playing a game that looks THAT good on a portable system? That makes me want one of these systems so bad. I can’t wait to get my hands on one in 2011.

Best Handheld Game of 2010 –
Pokemon HeartGold / Pokemon SoulSilver (Nintendo DS)

I can’t say with all honesty that 2010 was a year I will remember for the DS or the PSP. Maybe the iPhone and other handheld devices stepped up their gaming lineup, but Nintendo and Sony didn’t have many stellar releases — IMO. HOWEVER — with the long anticipated remake of Pokemon Gold and Silver, all was forgiven. I bought HeartGold right away and have been chipping away at it all year long. The fact that I can see my Chikorita walk around with me on screen similar to Pikachu on Pokemon Yellow? It’s a nice touch. And the Pokewalker? I thought it would feel very gimmicky, but it turned out to actually be quite useful. I felt somewhat guilty giving so much praise to a remake, but it’s been 10 years since Gold and Silver were first released — and this remake is very much worth of all its praise.

Best Sports Game –
NHL 2K11 (XBox 360, Playstation 3)

Best Multiplatform Game –
Red Dead Redemption (XBox 360, Playstation 3)

Rockstar Games is known for developing games that not only give vast amounts of freedom in their open environments, but also using their games to tell some of the best stories in the gaming medium. Red Dead Redemption is absolutely no exception — in fact, I would dare say it might have the greatest story among any game Rockstar has put out. Aside from the drama that makes the game warrant a purchase alone, the gameplay is just as fun any free-roam game. Words can’t justify just how fun the game is to play. If you missed out on Red Dead Redemption in 2010, you have to make sure you pick it up in 2011.

Game Of The Year Award –
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Nintendo Wii)

The definitive 3D platformer. Never before has a game in this genre even come close to being this perfect. A visual delight with a fantastic, orchestrated soundtrack and all the fun elements you’ve come to expect from Mario games make Super Mario Galaxy 2 not only the best Wii game, but the best game of 2010 all together.

Comic Awards

Best DC Series of 2010
Red Robin (Christopher Yost / Fabian Nicieza / Marcus To)

Best Marvel Series of 2010 –
Invincible Iron Man (Matt Fraction / Salvador Larroca)

Best Non DC/Marvel Series of 2010 –
Sweet Tooth (Jeff Lemire)

Jeff Lemire has a had a big year. “Sweet Tooth” is both written and drawn by Lemire, and this bizarre story has been getting more exposure with each new issue that comes out.  The writer also took on “The Atom” co-feature in Adventure Comics for DC, and is also the writer for the new volume of Superboy that just started up. But nothing shines quite like this original series about a boy with deer antlers in a post-apocalyptic world. Of course it’s a much more complicated story than that, but Sweet Tooth is so special because of how accessible yet different it feels.

Best Moment of 2010
The Resurrection of 12 DC Heroes & Villains (Blackest Night #8)

Although “Brightest Day” has not been as consistently good as I had hoped, the series has hit some very high notes and is always going to be a decent read. Perhaps the best piece to this story is that which occurred in Blackest Night when all 12 of the characters were brought back to life through the gift of the White Entity in Blackest Night #8. Seeing characters like Aquaman and Martian Manhunter and Firestorm get mainstream coverage is something I had been longing for. Their existence has been everything I had hoped for, but characters like Deadman and Captain Boomerang have also proved to be worth reading. I was puzzled by the choices they made when these characters returned, but there is no denying what a powerful moment it was in Blackest Night — a series that concluded in 2010 — and left me with no disappointments.

Best New Series of 2010 –
Hawkeye & Mockingbird

Best Writer of 2010 –
Peter J. Tomasi
(Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors, Brightest Day)

Geoff Johns gets a lot of praise now, and he’s every bit deserving of it. But his right hand man who isn’t in the spotlight quite as much is Peter J. Tomasi, and I think 2010 proved to a very crucial year for Tomasi. Not only did he wrap up Blackest Night and has been co-writing Brightest Day with Johns, but he wrapped up his run on Green Lantern Corps and helped bring in a third Green Lantern book with Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors. While the Green Lantern and Flash series from Johns have seen ups and downs in 2010, Tomasi’s writing has been solid all the way around. His characterization of Guy Gardner or any character he writes is always entertaining. Considering this man used to be an editor who stepped down to take up the writing role once again, Tomasi is very impressive and all of his work — especially this year — has been fantastic.

Best Artist of 2010 –
Marcus To (Red Robin)

Best One Shot / Graphic Novel –
Superman: Earth One (J. Michael Straczynski / Shane Davis)

Series Of The Year Award –
Red Robin

(Christopher Yost / Fabian Nicieza / Marcus To)

When a book has a writer change after 12 issues, that can sometimes be a sign that things need to pick up. In the case of Red Robin, Christopher Yost left the book to concentrate on his Marvel books as well as writing for the “Avengers” cartoon series that is currently on air. Yost helped Tim Drake evolve further in his character development into a detective on the same level as Dick Grayson (and arguably Bruce). More importantly, he has helped to make Tim step into this Red Robin mantle as everyone else in the Bat-family readjusts to their new roles. When Fabian Niciezea came onboard, the quality remained a consistent high. In nearly 20 issues, Red Robin has seen Tim Drake search for proof of Bruce Wayne’s existence, single-handedly take down Ra’s Al Ghul and infiltrate the League of Assassins, create a “hit list” of villains to take down in his return to Gotham, confront Captain Boomerang about his father’s death, and even interact with his Teen Titan friends like Conner and Bart now and then. For a fan of Tim Drake — and even any Batman fan — this book has been CONSISTENTLY great. Never before have I picked up an issue and felt let down. Perhaps the best part is the magnificent artwork from up and comer Marcus To. From issue #6, To has been the regularl artist on the series and I can’t get over how good his work looks. Characters look so proportionate and clear and every page transitions so well.

I could gush about the book all day. I have gone from being “pleasantly surprised” with Red Robin to continuously impressed with just how great the book maintains. Each week I read books that sometimes deliver home-runs and sometimes deliver fouls, but Red Robin always promises to be a super-high level of quality that has never faltered for one issue. For all 12 issues that have come out in 2010, Red Robin is definitely worthy of “Series of the Year.”

My picks were also featured on the Year End Awards with G2K Games. Check them out!


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