YBL4DA Game of the Year Ceremony

Ok, the voting period is over and it is time to award the awards. It has been very interesting because some categories have has as many entries as voters, meaning two things, first that luckily there are many, many good games to be played and second that you are all wrong.

So on the results!

YWBL4DA Best Single Player Game Award

No game got voted more than once, so no game gets the award.

YWBL4DA Best MMO/F2P Game Award

And the winner is… World of Tanks!

It is truly a very fun game, the upgrade structure is very grindy but the fact that you can swap from battle to battle makes it very fast. The levels are nice and despite some graphics problems it looks very good. For me, the game has two flaws, the first is that the game becomes much slower in the high levels when you get to use tier 3 , 4 and 5 tanks, and the second is that in order to make a team and play together for a 24 hour period, you have to pay. Even that would be acceptable if group size was not limited to 3 players.

Still, for a game that is free, you get a lot. And it deserves our award!

YWBL4DA Best Indie Game Award

And the winner is… Sanctum!

Sanctum is weird. It’s graphics are weird, the guns are weird and the monsters are VERY weird. But it is the first game to make a successful combination with three very different elements: Tower defence, first person shooter and coop. All of these elements could work better, but the game is very enjoyable and when the onslaught comes and the system fails, it is epically fun. Also, the text to speech function is awesome.

YWBL4DA Best Coop Player Game Award

This is an important category, given that our group is mainly coop oriented. It was a close race between Dungeon Defenders and the winner, but at the end, a single vote gave the victory to… Portal 2!

What can I say about Portal 2? It is coop, but completely different coop from other games. It is puzzle solving coop. The two players not only collaborate in the actual actions that it takes to solve the puzzle, they also push their brains together in order to find the solution. Those moments when you think you have found a solution and want to explain it to the other guy, but it seems so crazy that you can not even put it in words are beyond what any other game has done before. I played Portal 2 coop with Labchimp and Johnny and both times we laughed so much that at the end I was crying and with a sore throat. The voice of GladOS, the very last puzzle once you are in front of the vault, the personality traits of both robots… a delight.

YWBL4DA Best Surprise Award

This one goes narrowly to… Bastion!

I cannot say much about this game, as I have not played it. It has had very good press and it seems that the voiceover is pretty unique. I need to get into it.

YWBL4DA Biggest Disappointment Award

Of course, YWBL4DA’s biggest disappointment this year was Battlefield 3.

This one was pretty much evident. We were all waiting for this game and unfortunately, politics got in its way. It is a disappointment because expectations were so high that factors that have nothing to do with the quality of the game itself have made it very divisive. A pity, because I am firmly convinced that the game is awesome.

YWBL4DA 2011 Game of the Year Award

Well, this one was hard to choose. There was a tie in votes between two very strong contenders, Portal 2 and Skyrim. They are both very different, excellent games. One of them is big, full of content and detail. The other is a miniature, a smaller detailed experience. One of them is an open world where you can do anything, the other is crafted to make you live very strong scripted moments. Both are awesome and very successful. It was a very difficult choice and it took me a while, but I did choose.

YWBL4DA 2012 Game of the Year, with a grand total of 0 votes is Saints Row the Third!

I know, nobody voted for it, not even me. And I don’t care, Saints Row the Third is the best game of the year.

You jump off a flying VTOL, parachute to the ground, land on a car, take out your giant pink dildo and use it to hit on a tank until it explodes, then you request a cluster bomb airstrike on a bunch of wrestlers.  What other game can beat that? The story is bonkers, makes no sense and yet when the end comes, it does make kinda sense. Every cutscene and mission will make you laugh out loud. I will not spoil anything but believe me, it is awesome fun. It is funny, yes. Really funny.

The graphics are very good, the weapons are awesome, the voice acting is incredibly good… It laughs at other games, it laughs at you, it laughs at itself.

It is the best game of the year and fuck democracy.

Games of 2012

Well, now that the the Steam sale is finally over, we can declare 2011 completely gone. I think it is a perfect moment to list the games I am most looking up to in 2012.

First of all, I have to say that I do not expect a lot of big titles in 2012. Many developers have put their best stuff on hold waiting for the new console cycle, so I expect this year to be an indie year. And yet, in spite of that, I am going to start the list with a non Indie title.

Stars Wars Kinect

This is probably the most important game of the year, at least concerning it’s impact on our community. The reason is obvious, our very own Dimmy is part of the hard working team and we all really, really want his game to do awesome so that his studio can thrive and make another game, although maybe this time Dimmy could convince then to do  something we can play on a PC…


This game has it all, it is indie, it is coop, it is class based and it is original. The idea is to plan a heist using the skills of 4 different types of thieves, each one controlled by a player. It uses top down perspective. It could be a real hit for us if the levels are well designed.

Project Zomboid

This one is really ambitious. It is a “realistic” zombie apocalypse simultaion. It is real time, multiplayer and very, very indie. I have played the demo and alpha versions and I have to say it is very good, but very hard. Think of it as the Dwarf fortress of zombie games, but multiplayer.

Dead State

Another zombie game, this one looks to be more focused on base management, interaction with characters in RPG style and specially, turn based combat. I do not think it will be multiplayer and I do not think it will be for everyone, but it certainly is in my top list.

World of Warplanes

This is going to be like World of Tanks but with me kicking everybody’s butt. I love flight sims and I will enjoy this one for sure. It is another one of the excellent batch of F2P games that is coming out lately.

Torchlight 2

This one is also known as “the game that killed Johnny”. It is Torchlight and it is coop. I am sold.

Planetside 2

Yeah Tokey, I know…

And that is my list! I am sure you all have loads of ideas, please post them here!

EDIT 1: Tokey’s ideas

World of Warships

Just grabs me more than warplanes, im basically hoping for a version of Battlestations Midway that isnt broken!

Guild Wars 2

Hopefully finally breaking that MMO mould and showing how things can be better

Aliens: Colonial Marines

Im hoping for this to be the next big 4 player co-op and Aliens is the perfect setting if these guys can pull it off

Borderlands 2

Not sure if this is due 2012?


Having never really delved into this style of gameplay which is now possibly the most popular genre right now this seems to be the time to get involved

Mech Warrior Online

Ive missed the mechwarrior series, hopefully this will be great!

Fallout Online

Interesting because its by Interplay and not Bethesda. Ive nothing against the new Fallout but it was the old ones I fell in love with. Im hoping for that same spark plus as you all know, I only play multiplayer games these days.


EDIT 2: MP’s ideas

Starcraft 2

This game needs no introduction. Ultra competitive multiplayer RTS made for superhuman korean teenagers, version 2.2

The new Left 4 Dead: Payday

Ok, let me see how can I put this:
Remember how in the forum I said that Payday looked bad and that I had no interest in this game and that is was derivative and boring and I hated it and I never, ever would ever play it in a million years?
Payday is excellent.
Yesteday Tokey, Johnny and me played two or three levels and we had a load of fun. I thought I would make a small review here so that you can see how wrong I was.

The first thing you need to know is that  this game is very, very similar to L4D. That is very high praise coming from me and my 200 hours of zombie shooting.

What these people have done is taken the basic mechanic of L4D (4 player FPS coop teamwork) and many of the core tools that L4D used to enhance it and THOUGHTFULLY changed the setting and tweaked the rules. And it works!

Just like in L4D, you carry resources like ammo bags that you need to share, you see the silhouettes of other team players when they are in other rooms, you can help up fallen comrades… it feels L4D.
However, it is not a complete L4D clone. The setting is very different, you are a criminal going through various assaults, sometimes on a bank, sometimes on a drug dealers den. It really tries to make you feel like a robber in the heist of the film HEAT, one of my most hated films of all time. I hate Michael Mann, even if I agree that HEAT is his best work. And the game succeeds in doing it. The weapons feel powerful, the levels are well designed, they are simple to understand and yet very dynamic, they are well illuminated, the sound is clear yet strong… this game has flavour.
The designers were very clever, because when they started designing all these missions, they realised that they were going to be extremely linear and guided. The game tells you all the time what to do: Go here and plant explosives, then go there and capture that guy, now go two floors down, kill one guy and steal his key. L4D does not really tell you what to do, it is usually very self explanatory and yes, it is also linear because the level design is linear, but it does not feel as linear as Payday does. In L4D, less is more, you do not backtrack, you simply push buttons to open a door or raise a bridge or something. Payday is more twisty but still exactly as linear. So what is the problem with linearity? That it can become a corridor shooter like COD or BF single player modes and that when you replay it it will get boring really fast. But Payday has got to be linear and guided, the bank heist theme imposes it. Are there ways to still make it fun in the L4D style of fun? Well, the designers have some very good answers for that question.

The first answer is that Payday is about following a path, yes. With emphasis on teamwork, yes. But it ALSO is about ammo management. It is designed so that even in the easy levels you will run out of bullets and need to share with your buddies. The most ammo that a group can carry will run out very fast if badly managed. The team needs to coordinate if they want to place the ammo bags in the right moments and spots so that everyone refills and the team can go on fighting. It means that you are constantly aware of how much ammo you have left and it introduces an extra task that feels very exciting.
The second answer is that although the game does not have the AI director of L4D, it has other tricks, specially the level design. One level is all about moving fast through a city. We did not manage the first two times because although we shot well, took cover and managed the ammo, we were too slow and ran out of ammo against the infinite respawns of the police. So the game is designed to keep you on your toes or you will be punished. The third element I noticed is that the levels are much more interactive than a typical L4D level, you can do things to affect the amount of police that tries to stop you, for example destroying security cameras in a bank. Or capturing and then freeing civilians in exchange of a captured member of your team (Although there is respawn, it is extremely slow, in the order of the 5 minutes).
Compared to L4D, each level is more complicated and much longer than a single scene of a campaign but it is still shorter than a full campaign and it cannot be divided in morsels, you have to play the whole thing through. That means that there is going to be a certain fatigue at the end, a certain feeling that you cannot keep this fight up for much longer because you are almost out of ammo, almost out of time and down on health. But it comes at the right moment and feels very good when you finish a level.

So as you see, the game has a lot going for it. I am really surprised at this game and I think they did many things right. On the bad side, the lobby is worst than L4D and I did not succeed joining a game in progress. Also, I do not know if the game is very long. We played 3 levels yesterday and they felt great, but I do not know how many there are. Still, as with L4D, game length is not easy to measure. L4D looks short but I clocked 200 hours on the first one. It is till too early to know if it is fun enough to be as replayable as L4D is.

A small note on the bots: they are like L4D bots, very good teammates but dumb enough that a team of 3 is much worse than a team of 4.

So to finish, I am going to say that this is an excellent surprise. It feels closer to L4D even than L4D2 and I for one intend to dive into it.

True Multiplayer – Co-operative games with more than 4 players

Our little group have now been hitting a bit of a wall recently where we have more than 4 players that want to play a game but can only find co-operative games that support groups of 4.

Obviously games like Bad Company allow you to have more on the same team however critically, squads can only be 4 players which makes co-ordination trickier and given that we are a friendly bunch we are mostly trying to avoid competitive games.

There has been some discussion in the forums about games that could allow us to play with more than 4 players co-operatively however our attempts so far have met with mixed results.

Any one else found a solution to this problem?

Below is a list of some of the suggestions our group has made so far:

  • Age of Empires (1, 2 & 3)ArmA
  • Artemis
  • Baldurs Gate
  • Burnout Paradise
  • Civilization (3, 4 & 5)
  • Counter Strike
  • Dawn of War (1 & 2)
  • DC Online
  • Diablo 2
  • Dino D-Day
  • Dungeon Siege
  • Hiddern & Dangerous 2
  • Icewind Dale
  • Killing Floor
  • Loki: Heroes of Mythology
  • Marathon Infinity
  • Mechwarrior 4
  • Open TTD (Transport Tycoon)
  • Rainbow Six
  • Sacred 2
  • Serious Sam (1, 2 & 3)
  • Silverfall
  • Supreme Commander
  • SWAT (3 & 4)
  • Team Fortress 2
  • Titan Quest
  • World in Conflict

The biggest challenge seems to be finding something that is readily available and isnt a complete nightmare to a) get running on modern machines and b) still has support for multiplayer

If there are any other suggestions I am definitely interested in hearing them!

YBL4DA Game of the Year awards!

The end of the year is approaching fast and I have to say it has been a very good year for PC games. We have had plenty of good stuff to sink our hungry teeth into but as always, the question is what did you like best?

I am going to open the discussion with a list of categories and I will comment my personal choices. Everybody is welcome to contribute their comments and their own favourites. At the end, I will make another post with some kind of consolidated results. So here are the categories:

1.- Best single player:

2.- Best MMO/Free to play:

3.- Best Indie game:

4.- Best Coop Game:

5.- Biggest surprise:

6.- Biggest disappointment:

7.- Best Game of the Year:


So what are your choices? Do not hesitate to vote, the more votes we have, the better.

Serious Sam 3: BFE is now out!

OK so Im a little late on this one but I do have a wife and child to feed!

CroTeam have provided a new launch video to celebrate the release which has got me itching to play it.  I managed to get it installed yesterday but sadly no game time yet.

The graphics and the environments look fantastic, I just hope its maintained the same level of humour as the previous games.

Cant wait to play this co-op…  Anyone else tried it yet?