2011 Calvin Awards: Best Videogame

February 14, 2011

Spoiler: It doesn't end well for Noble Team.

Rounding out the top five this year are two small scale triumphs. Given the Final Fantasy discussion above, BOP obviously loves RPGs with one of our favorite unheralded titles earning a spot in fourth place. The videogame is Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, a release that had a small but passionate percentage of our staff counting down its release date for most of the year. Taking place 30 years after Golden Sun: The Lost Age, it allows players to see the wide reaching impact their triumph in that game has had on the world. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, on the other hand, celebrates what feels like gameplay from 20 years ago, the long lost River City Ransom style of RPG wherein two dimensional fighting gives gamers the opportunity to wipe out all of Ramona Flowers’ seven evil exes. With four player co-op play, this is one of the best group games of the year, even if it is stubbornly 8-bit in design.

Sixth and seventh place go to a couple of classic franchises. We previously celebrated the triumph of Super Mario Galaxy three years ago when it finished in third place in Best Videogame. While we don’t love Super Mario Galaxy 2 quite as much, its sixth place finish is well deserved for an evolutionary title that grows organically from its predecessor. SMG2 doesn’t bring a lot of new ideas to the table, but playing three dimensional Mario never gets old. Nintendo’s level designers continue to dazzle with each new iteration of their core product. With regards to seventh place, we reinforce the idea that this was a banner year for RPGs as Final Fantasy: Four Heroes of Light earns a nomination. Dismissed by some critics as being too much of a grinder, we found the game to be a perfect way to fill the time when we were traveling or working the treadmill at the gym. Yes, beating the every boss does grow laborious over time but most of the game is fabulous. If you can only pick one, we favor Golden Sun, though.


The rest of the top ten is comprised of Bioshock 2, Red Dead Redemption and Mass Effect 2. All three of these games are brilliant and well worth your hard earned time and money. Bioshock 2 features sublime boss battles with Little Sisters, each of which is an adrenaline rush. Red Dead Redemption lets every player feel like Rooster Cogburn if only for a little while. It also deserves a lot of credit for being one of the most morally complex videogames ever made, which is oddly also a compliment I may place upon Bioshock 2 as well as Mass Effect 2. Bioware's game goes so far as to actually determine the flow of gameplay based upon Renegade/Paragon choices the user makes. A character becomes either beloved or feared by his crew based upon their in-game behavior. We at BOP are suckers for games that require ethical decision making choices, which is why all three of these games are favorites of ours.

Narrowly missing the top ten are Super Scribblenauts, God of War III, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, Gran Turismo 5, Civilization V, and Pokemon Heart Gold/Silver. Did I mention BOP’s staff loves RPGs? (David Mumpower/BOP)

The Calvins Introduction
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Album
Best Cast
Best Character
Best Director
Best Overlooked Film
Best Picture
Best Scene
Best Screenplay
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best TV Show
Best Use of Music
Best Videogame
Breakthrough Performance
Worst Performance
Worst Picture

Top 10
Position Title Total Points
1 Halo: Reach 66
2 Final Fantasy XIII 64
3 Alan Wake 62
4 Golden Sun: Dark Dawn 40
5 Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game 38
6 Super Mario Galaxy 2 36
7 Final Fantasy: Four Heroes of Light 32
8 (tie) Bioshock 2 30
8 (tie) Red Dead Redemption 30
10 Mass Effect 2 24

Continued:       1       2       3



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