I'm still not up to snuff, but I think I'm gettin' there. I spent half of today working on the Best Art Direction post for GotY and the other half workin' on an application for a job... too much work for a day spent being sick.
This year, I find myself struggling with the same sort of GotY doubt I did last year, when I couldn't help but tell you Mark of the Ninja was the best game to come out in 2013. It felt weird to be going against the general consensus to such a degree, but honesty is the best policy, so they say.
This year, I'm feeling that way about Dragon's Crown (you're shocked, I know. Gobsmacked.) As I worked on the Art Direction post, I decided this one should be done super-fast, so I didn't even do write-ups for anything in the "Acknowledgments" or "Honorable Mention" categories.
I put Dragon's Crown in "Honorable Mention," at first. But no, that was wrong, so I moved it to "Second Runner-up." But no, that was wrong, so I changed it to "Runner-up (Tie)."
But no, that seems wrong. Then I started trying to write about it, and instead spent the next few hours trying to find the right screenshots to explain why it's so bloody phenomenal. But literally no one else is talking about Dragon's Crown in their GotY deliberations, so it feels a bit weird, again.
The other day, this poll from a Japanese site called 4gamer came out, in which 150 Japanese developers call out their favorite game of 2013. In first place, with 14 votes, was The Last of Us - kinda' nice to see. In second place, tied with Grand Theft Auto V with 12 votes, was Dragon's Crown.
So yeah, that's... validating.
Today, on the PA forums, I wrote
"This year I keep buying new games and not finishing them because I keep on going back to Dragon's Crown. In the past two months, Ys : Memories of Celceta, Spelunky, Malicious Rebirth, Sorcery Saga : Curse of the Great Curry God, BioShock Infinite : Burial at Sea, XCOM : Enemy Within... all sit unplayed while I push past 150 hours played on Dragon's Crown.
Edit : oh, and Battlefield 4. And Contrast. God Dragon's Crown is awesome."...and I kinda' find myself in the same situation I had with Dark Souls and inFamous 2 in 2011. One of them is the "best" game to come out in a given year, and the other is the Game of the Year.
Yeah. I think I just made up my mind. Spoilers.
In the mean time, here - enjoy a screenshot of a skeletal soldier shooting at me with a crossbow, and me deflecting the shot back into his bony sternum with a perfectly-timed slash of my axe.