The year 2013 has been huge for gaming. We got sequels, originals, remakes, revamps, and everything in between. In fact, this year has been one of the most debated since the beginning of Front Towards Gamer – so much came out, and so much deserves recognition.
To manage the sheer amount of awards we have to give this year, the 2013 Golden Claymore Awards are being spread out over the course of seven days. It’s day five, and here are today’s awards.
Best Indie – Gone Home
Experimental, personal, grounded, and oh-so-short – those words strike what indie gaming is known to do. Gone Home simply represents how we can treat gaming and its stories as more than self-aggrandizing quests of megalomania and extermination, allowing immersion to take over and lead into a journey to something a vast majority don’t experience. At its core, Gone Home pushes gaming to the next metaphorical level, because it’s not an explosive blockbuster or whimsical fantasy. It’s about people, and the house they live in is the greatest character of all; seemingly commonplace items found inside unveil three stories of people we never met. I never understood why improved graphics equal realism. In reality, game realism doesn’t lie in the amount of pixels: it resides in the world and what you do with it.
- Robert Beach, News Editor
Best Handheld – Pokemon X/Y
The transition from 2D to 3D proved to be a fantastic move for this staggering JRPG giant. The new perspective, added on top of the 3DS’s hardware, made this entry into the franchise the strongest yet. With more monsters to collect, a fantastic array of online features, and cloud storage, Pokemon X and Y stand tall as the biggest and best of handheld gaming. Even after you’ve put dozens of hours into the main game and become the Pokemon Champion, your true adventure has barely just begun.
- Dylan Tierney, Features Editor
Best Wii U – Super Mario 3D World
With the Wii U struggling to find its audience prior to the Xbox One and PS4 release, Nintendo needed to knock it out of the park with their first 3D Mario game for the HD console. Super Mario 3D World is undoubtedly the home run that they needed. Drawing from the best parts of Mario’s past, Super Mario 3D World is like a “greatest hits” album for the venerable franchise. Various playable characters with unique abilities combine with multiplayer and some of the best visuals seen on any console to make a solid excuse to start taking Nintendo’s troubled console seriously.
- Kyle Hanson, Associate Editor
Best PC – Gone Home
What can we say about Gone Home at this point without A), saying what everyone else has already said about it and B), spoiling everything the game holds that makes it our best PC game of 2013? It’s an experience – maybe not the best “video game” experience, but like The Stanley Parable or even 2012’s Dear Ester, Gone Home stands as a testament that you don’t need a big budget to be a massive but simplistic success. A meek setup but engrossing narrative helped make Gone Home instantly memorable for a lot of people in the gaming community, and with its incredible story-driven arrangement, Gone Home brought a lot of us to an emotional level very few games have ever reached. You owe it to yourself to check out what the Fullbright Company did, and to play the best PC game of 2013!
- Curtis Stone, Associate Editor