Everybody else does an awards story for their site, and hey, we’re conformists! Presenting to you the first annual Guilded Cask Awards.
New Drink of the Year: Maker’s Mark 46
2010 marked the first time in 52 years the Loretto, Kentucky distiller, Maker’s Mark, put out a new product. That product was Maker’s Mark 46, a bourbon that was highly anticipated and well-received. Close to Maker’s original blend, yet still distinct, the notes pop from the initial taste. The aroma is welcome to the sinuses and will open up one’s airways without fail. 46 is more brilliance from a group of distilling geniuses. Anytime something so prominent happens an award such as this must be expected. Maker’s Mark, your Guilded Cask shall stand as a monument to your ingenuity.
Bourbon and Ginger Ale Award (Best Idea): Kinect
Whether it be a hacked Kinect, complete with boob-touching technology, or just the idea of using a true motion-based control system, the Kinect is not without its brilliance. … … However… …
Bud Light And Clamato Award (Worst Idea): Kinect
A good idea? Sure, in principle. But everything else about the Kinect is all wrong. The reason behind Kinect: to try and take some of Nintendo’s casual gaming market (almost 5 years later). The games of Kinect: low-grade shit. No video game producer has made a motion-based game that truly deserves the money laid down for the hardware allowing it. And as far as we can tell, there is nothing on the horizon to suggest any differently.
Still Fermenting Award (Most Anticipated): 3DS? Skyrim? Mass Effect 3?
December’s Video Game Awards on Spike brought forth a couple of warm wishes in terms of video game announcements. Elder Scrolls V–yes, please. Mass Effect 3–already? OK! Those two announcements meshed with the announcement of the Nintendo 3DS to make a triumphant of anticipation. The 3DS provides a reason to play all your favorite N64 games again, along with, hopefully, some actual new content from Nintendo for the avid video gamer. 3D is an accessory, a peripheral, nothing more. It will not evolve to anything prolific in this current generation, though it is commendable that Nintendo shirks the usage of 3D glasses for the experience (unlike Sony and their “3D” TVs).
In all honesty, though, anticipation amongst serious video game players comes in the form of games that keep consumers waiting for. Skyrim and Mass Effect 3 both feature new engines, built off the bravado and brilliance of their previous iterations, to enhance already great gameplay and storytelling.
The anticipation is palpable.
Watered Down Award (Biggest Disappointment): Metroid: Other M
What else is there to be said about this travesty? This is the video game equivalent of The Godfather 3, a terrible effort of a hallowed series, one that had always excelled due to its simplistic ingenuity. Metroid was at its best when it wasn’t trying to recreate a genre but expanding it to the very limits; Other M is the exact opposite of that long-standing premise. Free-reign was the series’ raison d’etre, allowing the player to immerse within the experience, taking on the role of the epic bounty hunter. Other M pigeon-holes the player to an on-rails experience with an interface that allows for shoddy controls (another series staple turned on its ass). It also adds the most bullshit of stories into a series that excelled when the story was subtle, gatherable from random computer screens like in Prime. Samus was the solitary hero, not in need of assistance and certainly not in need to take orders.
So much hatred for this fucking game….
Regurgitation Award (Recycled Game(s) of the Year): Mario AllStars for the Wii/GoldenEye for the Wii
If Nintendo isn’t dry-humping a terrific series into oblivion (Metroid), it’s rehashing games from 10-15 years ago to sell for $40. Mario AllStars and GoldenEye bot sits in cart form for the SNES and N64, respectively, at GameDrunk HQ. They’ve been purchased once retail, so there is absolutely no reason to purchase them once more. This is Nintendo’s effort to bring back the core gamers to its terrible console by harkening back to the good ole’ days. The bawls on these dudes: “Not only will we not give them a new idea worth playing on the piece-of-shit system they waited in line to get and pay $250 for, but we’ll sell them back games that they already own for our previous systems, which were actually worth owning. They’ll love us for it.”
The past two “awards” hopefully convey the utter disappointment that Nintendo has created for GameDrunkers everywhere.
2AM Taco Bell Run Award (Best Video-Game-Guilty-Pleasure): Rock Band 3 Band Creator
Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t created your own band on Rock Band 3. We did, and again, and again, and again. The art management in Rock Band 3 became an obsession. Creating themed bands sounds stupid, we agree. That is why this is our guilty pleasure. The creative logo system in Rock Band 3 is simple enough–build a logo using various, pre-made images and layering them in your preferred order.
Whether it be T-shirt designs, like the Hylian Crest made by Wes (pictured above), or full-on bands, like We Are Error (created by Dave, pictured below), Rock Band 3 offered an improved continuation of the impressive customization abilities Harmonix had lay upon you in the previous Band iterations. We Are Error features the likes of Tingle, everyone’s least favorite character ever, as well as the chosen three of the Triforce saga (as evidenced by the Triforce tatoos on their arms) in Zelda, Ganondorf, and our fearless hero, Link.
If only it were possible to make a Master Sword-based guitar. Customizable instruments, Harmonix! Make it so.
Small Batch Award (Best XBLA/PSN/WiiWare Title): Puzzle Quest 2, Xbox Live Arcade
Puzzle Quest 2 is the ultimate drunk-playing game. Throw some music on, grab some bourbon, and just play. It’s so basic yet so complex. The producers have expanded upon the great product of the first title, adding a more adventure-based platform to the game, which doesn’t really grow the experience but certainly takes nothing away. Puzzle Quest 2 is definitely worth the money.
Single Barrel Award (Best Single Player Experience): Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 2 had a story rich with an interesting, fairly-intelligent plot while also building characters along the way and allowing for individual choices to make an impact on the expanding plot. Mass Effect 2 is as close as a video game has become to being a book, and I mean that as a complement. A good novel allows time for characters to become known by the reader. A broad picture is laid within the mind of the setting, the situation. Mass Effect 2 does this moreso than any video game prior.
Drinking With Friends Award (Best Multiplayer): Rock Band 3
Call of Duty, Halo: Reach, Red Dead Redemption–all of these games are so worthy of being mentioned in a category highlighting multiplayer action. The difference between those three and the winner, Rock Band 3, all has to do with who you are playing with. The three aforementioned games are best played online, maybe with friends, but likely with strangers (assholes). Rock Band 3 is to be shared with those whom you chum with most. The experience is all in the company you keep, and Rock Band 3 provides the best overall experience.
The Guilded Cask (Best of 2010): Mass Effect 2
But…when it comes to the best game of 2010, Mass Effect 2 takes the coveted Guilded Cask Award for Best Overall Game. As mentioned before, Mass Effect 2 has the plot, the characters, and the experience that all mesh together so well. The control is crisp and the RPG elements, although scaled way back from the first game in the series, still adds to the overall experience. The music of the game is intense, adding to the atmosphere. The mini-game of extra-solar prospecting is, for some reason, gratifying, with finding various ores expanding the capabilities of Shepard and the Normandy crew.
Mass Effect 2 beats out some heavy hitters, like Halo: Reach and Red Dead Redemption. Anyone that has played all three may have their preferences one way or another, but it is difficult to discount Mass Effect 2 as video game brilliance, one of the top 3 games of this current generation.