Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

2012 RPG Watch Game of the Year Awards

Posted by Rampant Coyote on February 4, 2013

RPG Watch does the annual thing:

RPG of the Year 2012

Indie RPG of the Year 2012

Most Anticipated RPG of 2013

Sadly, there were no “editor’s choice” awards for this year. 🙁

I am somewhat astonished to see that Diablo III didn’t garner 5% of the votes to make the list. I can’t remember for sure if it was in the poll, but I would assume so. Or am I just blind?

Oh, did I play it? Actually… no. After some of the early complaints by people whose opinion I respect, I figured I’d wait a while before picking it up. The “always on” DRM thing really honked me off, in particular. And then… well, I was just so busy and have way too many fun games to play that I never got around to it. In retrospect, it didn’t look like I was missing much…

One issue I had with the poll was that many of the non-indie RPGs didn’t really feel like RPGs to me. XCom? Hey, I loved it, LOTS, and it actually felt more RPG-like than its predecessor. But I’d hesitate to call it an RPG. And Borderlands 2? I’ve played plenty of it – it’s definitely one of my favorite games last year – but I play it to scratch the FPS itch. And Dishonored? I’ve not played it, but it doesn’t look at all like an RPG to me. I love that it is unabashed in calling the Thief series its spiritual ancestors,   as I loved the Thief games (particularly 1 and 2).  But I didn’t think of them as being RPGs either.

Yeah, I know. I’m the first one to harp on having a ‘big tent’ and allowing games to push the boundaries of the genre. Maybe I’m being hypocritical here, but if we start calling every game with levels and player-choosable skills an “RPG,” we’re pretty much committing a form of ‘genericide’ on the category. It’s just as bad as getting too exclusive. But every time we try to create some kind of canonical definition of Role-Playing Game, it ends poorly.

Filed Under: News - Comments: 6 Comments to Read

  • Xenovore said,

    And Borderlands 2? …I play it to scratch the FPS itch.

    Dunno about you, but these games do a very good job of scratching my RPG itch as well. Sure, there’s a lot of FPS there, but there’s plenty of RPG too:

    * Character progression? Check. I do like watching my XP bar fill up, and getting that next level.

    * Skill development? Check. I get points to spend when I level up. More simplistic than some, but it’s there.

    * RPG combat? Check. Hit points, visible damage numbers, critical hits, DOTs, etc.

    * Interesting story quests, and multiple side quests? Check.

    * Multiple classes/professions? Check.

    * Appearance customization? Check.

    * Loot? Check. Love running around grabbing cash and finding new gear upgrades.

    * Shops/vendors to buy/sell gear? Check.

    * Exploration (definitely a key element of RPGs for me)? Check.

    Hmmm, yeah, sounds like a RPG to me. =)

    But just in case calling Borderlands a RPG rubs somebody the wrong way somehow, then sure, go ahead and call it a FPS with RPG elements if you must. (Ignoring the fact that if it has “RPG elements” there’s a pretty good chance it might actually be a RPG, even if it does not match your preconceived notion of what constitutes a RPG.)

    Oh hey, I know, let’s call ’em “FPRPSGs”! (Then everyone will know exactly what we’re talking about.) =D

  • Xian said,

    My son got Diablo 3 and I played a character on his account. Diablo 2 was like digital crack to me but Diablo 3 was unable to recreate that addictiveness. It wasn’t a bad game, but my first thought was “It took them 10 years to come up with this?” The always online requirement did kick me out a few times during my playthrough. The one saving grace is that the checkpoints are a lot closer together – it wasn’t like the 20-30 minute trek back for another shot after being killed by Duriel in D2 for instance. I preferred Torchlight 2 over D3.

    I enjoyed Mass Effect 3, which besides the disappointing ending, was a very good game. I also played a lot of Risen 2. I just picked up Borderlands 2 and X-Com on the Steam winter sales, so barely scratched the surface of those.

    I had tried Demon Souls on the PS3 and found it frustratingly hard. I don’t mind a challenge, but it just ended up being too much. I have been hesitant to pick up Dark Souls, wondering if I would get frustrated again.

  • Corwin said,

    There were no editor’s choice awards this year, since most of us didn’t actually play any of the games which were up for awards. Personally, I thought they were a poor lot and the ‘Indies’ and ‘up-coming’ were the only ones which got a vote from me. Bring on FK2. 🙂

  • Xenovore said,

    @Xian: I hope you’ve played Borderlands 1 first; Borderlands 2 won’t be nearly as cool if you haven’t — there are tons of references to the first game.

  • Modran said,

    Only played Borderlands 2, not the first one, because some friends told me it was a rather drab experience.
    Well, I’m sure I’ve lost some references, but the game was very cool in its own way (I spent 85 hours there, as many as in D3, but D3 was a mindless slog hoping for the game to get better, whil B2 was a mad grin stuck on my face wondering how they could outdo themselves).
    Problem is the main quest is over, TVH is just more of the same, and I fear to get the DLCs because I’ll surely be overpowered for them :/

  • Xenovore said,

    @Modran: Borderlands 1 drab? Naw… it’s a great game in it’s own right, and some of the DLC is pretty cool. I definitely recommend it; watch for a Steam sale, you could prolly get the whole bundle for cheap.

    B2 was a mad grin stuck on my face wondering how they could outdo themselves.

    Heh, totally! BL2 writing and design is excellent, but BL1 is very well done too. And I do think BL2 is an even better experience if you’ve played through BL1 first.

    I’d have to say, however, that the BL1 UI is much better; I’ll give it a 7 out of 10. BL2 UI looks “shinier” but gets a 4 of 10 for useability. Also, I did miss the weapon skills from BL1, but that’s a really minor gripe.