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Best Games Of 2012: Fair To Compare Dishonored And Journey?

This honestly may be one of the more interesting questions gamers (and critics) will tackle this entire generation.

Right now, the recently released Dishonored and the downloadable masterpiece, Journey, are two of the highest scoring games of 2012. In fact, here at PSXE, they both earned a 9.5, which is the highest we've handed out all year (Borderlands 2 is close with a 9.4).

But is it fair to compare the two top titles in question? Is it even possible? How does one go about judging two completely different experiences? Despite the complaints about too many sequels and not enough innovation, there's no doubt that gaming has never been more diverse in terms of the available genres. Furthermore, the blending of genres has become awfully fashionable and it has worked out extremely well in certain circumstances...just ask Dishonored.

But that makes it all the harder for critics, doesn't it? Wouldn't we be able to make legitimate arguments for both Journey and Dishonored? The two arguments would be completely different but they'd both be very valid. If you read the first paragraph of our Journey review and compare it to the first paragraph in the Dishonored review, you can easily sense the completely different tone and approach. The games demand a different analytical approach, after all. I love both and for very different reasons, and a great many others would say the same.

Sure, the year isn't over and right now, it seems like Assassin's Creed III might end up taking the grand prize. But even then; let's just say for argument's sake that ACIII scored roughly the same as Journey. Well, the same issue remains, doesn't it? How on earth do you compare two interactive experiences that are, in so many ways, polar opposites? Both satisfy very different parts of our minds, do they not? By the way, just to prompt more discussion, one of our polls showed very clearly that most gamers would have no problem whatsoever with a digital game winning Game of the Year.

Man, I'm not sure what to do here.

Related Game(s): Dishonored, Journey

Tags: dishonored, journey, best games, top games 2012, game of the year

10/25/2012 9:54:36 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (17 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 11:15:25 PM
Reply

I think it's all fair, I think we have a way to go before a downloadable gets full mainstream approval of the GOTY title but it's really just that good so that makes it just that simple.

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DeathOfChaos
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 11:59:50 PM
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I'd rather play Journey any day!

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Temjin001
Friday, October 26, 2012 @ 12:32:34 AM
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I haven't played either game. Well, I tried the Journey demo and it was purty, but I don't have a say on this matter.
But I will say Double Dragon Neon and Virtua Fighter 5: FS make dang fine download-only titles for my gaming needs. 10 out of 10 in Temjin value makes these two gems both goty buddies.. ah, okay DOA5 you can join them too ;)

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tes37
Friday, October 26, 2012 @ 12:39:02 AM
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I played Journey for the first time the other day and went through it solo, bypassing the few people around me. I played it again immediately afterward from beginning to end, but with one partner. I thought it was cool how you could help each other out. The game was a lot of fun.

I wouldn't see anything wrong with it getting a nomination for GOTY.

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Qubex
Friday, October 26, 2012 @ 3:15:40 AM

I will be picking up the game myself soon, when the holiday sales are on :) Can't wait to play it.

Q!

"play,experience.enjoy"

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___________
Friday, October 26, 2012 @ 4:11:45 AM
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how can you compare 2 games of total different purposes and delivery systems?
you would expect dishonoured to be one of the years best, its made by one of the most famous publishers out there, and made by a bunch of developers from this generations best games, ie bioshock, deus ex human revolution, ect, ect.
downloadable games should always have their own little catagory, you wouldent put a nissan GTR up against a F1 car and expect it to compete would you?

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bigrailer19
Friday, October 26, 2012 @ 10:19:10 AM

I think the point is that Journey did compete. I mean that's the point of the article. I cant say myself, I havnt played it.

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Rogueagent01
Friday, October 26, 2012 @ 5:12:05 AM
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Other then the car comparisons I have to agree with ________. A digital game should simply have its own category. Especially one that is small like that, it would be different for me if it was a full game. I would have no issue with a full-sized digital only game being put into the same category as ACIII and Dishonored. I feel that the smaller digital world would get overlooked if it didn't have its own category as some of those games are fantastic, as well I feel the full-sized games would be getting the shaft if asmall game took the GoTY title.

If Journey was a full-sized game I would have no problem picking which game deserves the title more, even with them being completely different, one is hands down better then the other. One offers something that makes the experience stand out more than the other, and that to me would be the way to give out my GoTY award. I wouldn't take into consideration anyone elses opinions other then my own experiences with the games. I would even sit down and play through them completely before making the judgement, seeing as something at the end or a certain type of grinding could be what makes up my mind.

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Vivi_Gamer
Friday, October 26, 2012 @ 6:21:57 AM
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I think you do have to take the two titles and think about them differently, just as you would when reviewing a PSP instead of a PS3 game. You would appreciate i the game pushed the console to te limits like Crisis Core but obviously Crisis Core's graphics are no way near the quality of a PS3 title.

As for game of the year, I'm still sold on the Wii's 'The Last Story'. My only problem is that it was on a Wii, which you can see limits the game from time to time.

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gumbi
Friday, October 26, 2012 @ 9:31:02 AM
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Comparing games across genres is always difficult, but we've already been doing it for years. Comparing RPG's to shooters to platformers etc... Whether it's a traditional genre or a new hybrid, we're still comparing games that are very different. The big new element to this equation is that now we have some stellar downloadable games that are just as good (or better) than their big blockbuster counterparts. But size isn't everything.

When it comes to Game Of The Year nominations I think the only qualifying conditions would be that it's a game and that it is truly great! It shouldn't matter how it's delivered, or how long it is. especially considering that games like Journey are typically only $15. If Journey was 4 times longer, and $60 then nobody would have a problem with it being GOTY nominated.

For me, Journey is still the best game of the year, regardless of its length. Assassins Creed is the only title that has a chance of changing that.

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Lawless SXE
Friday, October 26, 2012 @ 9:59:39 AM
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Didn't you face a somewhat similar problem in 2010 and resolved it by giving the GotY title to both Heavy Rain and GT5? Two very, very different experiences, though at least in that case both of them were retail releases. It ultimately falls to which game you found more fulfilling. Was it the freedom of Dishonored, or the experience of Journey?

But don't ask me, I don't really like the idea of GotY awards. Every game is different and each has flaws. Especially when you're someone who plays and enjoys a truly wide variety of games, how can you feel that you've made a completely objective decision on what you think is most deserving? I just find it impossible.

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bigrailer19
Friday, October 26, 2012 @ 10:25:50 AM

I too enjoy a very wide variety of games. For myself I usually would say the best game is the one that was the most fulfilling to me.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, October 26, 2012 @ 11:15:35 AM

Well, at least those are two relatively big-budget, high-concept $60 games. It really is even more different when a $15 downloadable, VERY subtle game is involved.

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jimmyhandsome
Friday, October 26, 2012 @ 11:58:11 AM
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I believe that a digital-only title should be in consideration for GotY. However, these two games are obviously very different so it's hard to compare them on a gameplay-basis alone.

On a semi-related note, have you had a chance to play the Unfinished Swan, Ben? I actually have been enjoying it more than Journey. And I loved Journey. Both of those games are also very different, but there is something about The Unfinished Swan's atmosphere and simplicity make it so enjoyable.

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Twistedfloyd
Sunday, October 28, 2012 @ 12:50:18 AM
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Don't think it should matter, a game is a game. No matter how different, just like a film is a film. They should be judged on the same level as to how successful they were in their design decisions, story presentation (if that's necessary) and technical aspects no matter how different or similar a game is to another game. That's just me though.

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Beamboom
Sunday, October 28, 2012 @ 5:08:03 AM
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I agree with Rogue and ______ and co, in that they can't and should not be compared.
A small downloadable gem should not be compared with a full size game. It's not fair to either game. They belong to different categories.

It's like comparing a short story with a full novel, or a short film with a full Hollywood production. There are dedicated short film festivals for a reason. The top products within each category are great within their own merits, but should - and *could* - not be compared.


Last edited by Beamboom on 10/28/2012 5:09:02 AM

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acolyte
Sunday, October 28, 2012 @ 8:08:32 PM
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Just give it to both. You can give one to retail and one downloadable if you must, but really just tell people what your games of the year top 5 or 10 and that's it. Who cares what the best game is, just tell people what you thought was worthwhile and they can choose as per their own tastes what is best for them.

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