Fifteen awards, six podcasters, and countless surprises. You'll be stunned by our pick for Game of the Year, and by the vigorous debate that follows its reveal. Plus: we announce the two winners of our Holiday Contest! Thanks to everyone for entering! With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, Daniel Weissenberger, and Tim "Maybe Next Year" Spaeth. From all of us at GameCritics, have a fantastic holiday, and we'll see you in 2012!

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Tim Spaeth

Tim Spaeth

Cleveland native Tim Spaeth grew up in a happy household – a household with a father whose major client happened to be an Atari games distributor. This led directly to Tim's first nickname: "The kid who got Atari games before anyone else." Indeed, he knew Pac-Man and E.T. were colossal bombs weeks before the rest of the world, and the resulting celebrity brought him great pleasure.

Through the years every aspect of Tim's life has been touched by gaming. He mastered typing thanks to Space Quest, honed his poker skills on The Sierra Network, and learned to hate after a particularly traumatic game of Tecmo Super Bowl.

Today, Tim lives in Chicago with his three kids and strives to find that perfect balance between family, career, and Warcraft. He enjoys broadcasting, martial arts, rock and roll, growing and shaving his beard, singing show tunes to the homeless, and losing at Mario Kart to his lovely, talented, and amazing girlfriend.

In late 2008, Tim became the producer and host of the GameCritics.com Podcast, and he's thrilled to be bringing GameCritics' unique editorial voice to a brand new medium.
Tim Spaeth

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30 Comments on "GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 66: 2011 Awards Spectacular"

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Anonymous
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Anonymous
4 years 8 months ago

Nice podcast and nice remix on Megaman & Bass for your break song

Michaela
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Michaela
4 years 8 months ago

[quote=drewman]
I agree wholeheartedly and I am still waiting for my letter of apology from Bioware.[/quote]

Ha! It would take major brain surgery to make me forgive and forget! ^^

drewman
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drewman
4 years 8 months ago

[quote=Michaela]Dragon Age II snapped me out of love with Bioware, too. Shocked and disgusted I searched the Internet for a review that wasn’t one of this “Perfect! 95%” crap. And then I came across GameCritics, fell in love with Brad and am a happy reader of your site ever since.
Brad, thank you for your “steaming pile” rant. It warmed my sad old gamer’s heart.[/quote]

I agree wholeheartedly and I am still waiting for my letter of apology from Bioware.

Eric Bowman
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Eric Bowman
4 years 8 months ago
[quote=Alv] As I said, doing podcasts is fine – I have no problem with that at all. But, not having an accompanying textual version is not. It’s lazy journalism if you ask me – anyone can easily sit around a table with 6 of their mates and discuss GOTY, but not anyone can thoughtfully summarize or edit a piece for publication, and that’s precisely what I come to this website for – the written reviews. Gamecritics is still a website last I heard, not a radio station, so put up some text! Besides which, all [B]other review sites that do… Read more »
aHei
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aHei
4 years 8 months ago

[quote=Alv]
Besides which, all other review sites that do a GOTY will do a very extensive textual piece, most, after much considered internal debate and discussion, the very best will also have a piece on each of the nominations – why can’t Gamecritics do the same?
[/quote]

Because for one, maybe those other sites are doing their main (full-time) job?

Alv
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Alv
4 years 8 months ago
[quote=RandomRob]Alv, if you don’t like the podcast, that means you arent interested in the group’s opinions… so why then would their picks for GOTY even matter to you? The whole point of having a game criticism website is EXACTLY that you get to experience what someone’s thoughts and feelings on a subject are… if you just want a score, go to a aggregate review site, and skip the human element that you ‘don’t have time for’. [/quote] As I said, doing podcasts is fine – I have no problem with that at all. But, not having an accompanying textual version… Read more »
RandomRob
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RandomRob
4 years 8 months ago

Alv, if you don’t like the podcast, that means you arent interested in the group’s opinions… so why then would their picks for GOTY even matter to you? The whole point of having a game criticism website is EXACTLY that you get to experience what someone’s thoughts and feelings on a subject are… if you just want a score, go to a aggregate review site, and skip the human element that you ‘don’t have time for’.

on that note:

GREAT PODCAST GENTLEMEN, I ENJOYED IT IMMENSELY. KUDOS FOR A FINE YEAR AND BEST WISHES FOR THE NEW!

Alv
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Alv
4 years 8 months ago
[quote=aHei] You sound like you’re being forced to sit through the podcast πŸ˜‰ [/quote] Quite the opposite, I never listen to these podcasts as I have other things to do with my 3 hours. Not saying this site should not do podcasts, but for the majority that are just interested in knowing what games to try out, rather than interested in passively listening to a subjective debate to which they cannot contribute, this site needs to start summarising these podcasts – a far wider audience will be reached. As for the comment that I can fast forward – where exactly… Read more »
Crofto
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Crofto
4 years 8 months ago

Kinda late to the comments section here, but finally managed to finish listening to the podcast today and just wanted to echo what others have said by congratulating you guys not only on this podcast, but on all of them (along with your work on the website itself); your opinions on gaming are so much more refreshing, insightful, and credible than the majority of gaming media out there, so big kudos from me.

aHei
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aHei
4 years 8 months ago

[quote=Alv]Quite honestly, most people don’t actually have the time or inclination to sit through a three hour podcast on a subject as clearly susceptible to bias and opinion as GOTY. Seriously, I’d rather spend my precious spare time actually trying out the games!

[/quote]

You sound like you’re being forced to sit through the podcast πŸ˜‰

Brad Gallaway
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Brad Gallaway
4 years 8 months ago
Hey Sleeve. Just to clarify, I intentionally waited a year to play New vegas because I knew it was so buggy, so my only experience with it was after all the patches had come out. If I’d played it back when it was new, I imagine I’d have raged a fair amount. Also, most of the “rushed” parts of Dark Souls aren’t things a patch would have fixed… It was lackluster level design and a general low quality to the mid-to-late game areas that weren’t up to the standards I expected. That said, the game should have NEVER gotten out… Read more »
Eric Bowman
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Eric Bowman
4 years 8 months ago
[quote=Alv]Quite honestly, most people don’t actually have the time or inclination to sit through a three hour podcast on a subject as clearly susceptible to bias and opinion as GOTY. Seriously, I’d rather spend my precious spare time actually trying out the games! Please can you start summarising your discussions – isn’t that what most other media sites do – put out textual content off the back of internal brainstorming sessions? [/quote] If picking the best games of the year from the perspective of six different people isn’t worthy of a long podcast, I don’t know what is. Plus, you… Read more »
Michaela
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Michaela
4 years 8 months ago

Dragon Age II snapped me out of love with Bioware, too. Shocked and disgusted I searched the Internet for a review that wasn’t one of this “Perfect! 95%” crap. And then I came across GameCritics, fell in love with Brad and am a happy reader of your site ever since.
Brad, thank you for your “steaming pile” rant. It warmed my sad old gamer’s heart.

Alv
Guest
Alv
4 years 8 months ago

Quite honestly, most people don’t actually have the time or inclination to sit through a three hour podcast on a subject as clearly susceptible to bias and opinion as GOTY. Seriously, I’d rather spend my precious spare time actually trying out the games!

Please can you start summarising your discussions – isn’t that what most other media sites do – put out textual content off the back of internal brainstorming sessions?

Anonymous
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Anonymous
4 years 8 months ago
Hey, Richard just an FYI on Red Orchestra 2: Apparently the reason why a manual was not included was because the devs thought it wasn’t necessary. “People don’t really read them anyway so why bother?” was supposedly the thinking. They did release a draft PDF manual because people complained about the slew of unexplained features, game modes, etc like you complained about. It’s a sticky in the official Tripwire forums. The link is here: http://forums.tripwireinteractive.com/showthread.php?t=68622 BTW, that thing you selected as an engineer that blew you and your teammates up was a demolition charge used to wreck building and take… Read more »
sleeve
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sleeve
4 years 9 months ago
Solid podcast, guys. I appreciate the diversity of viewpoints, and Tim does a great job as moderator/host. Some clever categories, too. Mike Bracken: I’m sure people have told you this before, but you need to stop swearing so much. You have some really interesting things to say, but the constant profanity is really distracting. I know this is hard to keep under control sometimes. In my experience, nerves often have something to do with it. Bear in mind, I’m not saying this because I’m ultra-religious and somehow offended (quite the contrary). I just think it will improve the podcast if… Read more »
Anonymous
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Anonymous
4 years 9 months ago

Great podcast.

AusHaki
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AusHaki
4 years 9 months ago

I was very glad to hear “The Witcher 2” come up during the podcast. I’m hopeful that its popularity among the readers will lead to some in-depth discussion of the game and its elements in the future because while I think it can probably best be described as a hot mess (based on playing it until about halfway through the second chapter) it is an incredibly ambitious game in pretty much every way imaginable and, therefore, I think it’s noteworthy, even if one’s opinion of it is not very high.

Zolbrod
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Zolbrod
4 years 9 months ago

You’re in for an absolutely wonderful ride, Mike!
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it here!

aHei
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aHei
4 years 9 months ago

[quote=Nightdreamer]
Best proof that iOS loves Richard Naik: Aquaria and Machinarium for iPad

[/quote]

The fact that you mention these is interesting because I almost hate Aquaria but I consider Machiarium one of the best point-and-click adventure games ever made.

Btw, video game podcast of year: Gamecritics.com.

AusHaki
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AusHaki
4 years 9 months ago

This was the most quotable GameCritics.com Podcast ever. So much fun listening to it. Please keep up the good work, gentlemen.

Mike Bracken
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Mike Bracken
4 years 9 months ago

I wish I’d gotten a chance to play Rayman: Origins before the show. I’m hoping to get to it in the next week or so, but there were just too many games in November/December this year to play them all in time for the podcast. I got almost everything, but that was the big one that I missed. I’m disappointed Ubisoft released it in this quarter, too, where it was certain to be overshadowed by all these other big games. Apparently, they learned nothing from Beyond Good and Evil.

Pedro
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Pedro
4 years 9 months ago
Hey Guys, Nice show and at almost three hours you’re spoiling us. Well done though, and the effort is much appreciated. The Readers’ votes were bizarre, frankly. Witcher 2 second and Skyrim joint worst? I’m ascribing this to the Disaffected PC Gamer vote, and their sinister motives*. The Skyrim vote in particular is reminescent of the infamous Metacritic zero user ratings. Luckily the console gamers baled out you guys and gave us some credibility back by voting in the obvious game of the year, Dark Souls. πŸ˜‰ Looks like I’ll have to pick up a lot of these contenders in… Read more »
Zolbrod
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Zolbrod
4 years 9 months ago
Excellent, excellent show, guys! This is why you’re the only podcast I listen to religiously πŸ˜‰ The hours just fly by! I must admit I’m quite surprised at the GotY pick. Maybe I should try it myself, but all the negative stuff I keep hearing kinda scares me off. I never liked Dead Rising either, and this sounds like an even buggier version of it but with prettier graphics. My personal choice for GotY was Rayman Origins. It’s a damn shame the game hasn’t even been so much as mentioned at this site, but it’s flown under many a radar,… Read more »
crackajack
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crackajack
4 years 9 months ago
wow, if that game is GOTY this must have been a terrible year for gaming. Their 2007 game was the only one i consider really good and were i was slightly interested but since i did not like the stealth part of the game i never played more than the demo. This was at least pushing limits visually, in the gameplay mechanics and had a damn great main character. Not the wannabe mainstream they release since then. I really hope this is not close to what this type of game can be like and i really hope that studio releases… Read more »
Richard Naik
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Richard Naik
4 years 9 months ago

@Alan

I actually have checked out the tutorial for Witcher 2, and while that does address a lot of the problems with the opening segment, the flaws themselves are still there, like sluggishness, targeting problems, the potion system, etc.

I want to like Witcher, especially now that I’ve read the first book, so I’ve still got a sliver of hope for Witcher 3.

Matt
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Matt
4 years 9 months ago
Guys, fantastic podcast! Just finished listening. The problem I had with games in 2011, besides most AAA games ending up being nothing extraordinary, was that too many games were released in the last quarter of ’11. I know this happens every year, but the release schedule felt incredibly crowded. I love Dead Island, but I didn’t feel I could vote it Game of the Year after only playing for about 7 hours. Why did I play for only 7 hours? Because then Gears of War 3, Dark Souls, Battlefield 3, Batman: Arkham City and a crap ton of other titles… Read more »
Nightdreamer
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Nightdreamer
4 years 9 months ago
Great. I still have two more work days left for 2011 and I’ve already consumed the last GC podcast episode of the year. What am I gonna do in the meantime? Listen to music while working? Pshaw! Great work from you guys, as always! Although I still wonder what happened to the Adventure Game show you guys said you were gonna record last March/April. I have a sneaking suspicion who couldn’t follow thourgh. πŸ˜‰ Anyway here are my picks: Please take a break: Street Fighter or ANY Capcom fighting games not named Darkstalkers. Good grief, wasn’t it just two years… Read more »
Eric Bowman
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Eric Bowman
4 years 9 months ago
Excellent podcast, as always. Just for the hell of it, here’s my picks for the awards: Best New Franchise: Catherine Nail in the Coffin: Dragon Age II Indy GOTY: Grapple Boy (XBLI) Worst Story: Warhammer 40K: Space Marine Best Story: Ar tonelico Qoga Too Human Award for Inexplicable Excellence: Ar tonelico Qoga The Internet is Wrong Award: Portal 2 Worst Part of an Otherwise Fabulous Game: Batman: Arkham City’s ending Non-2011 Game of the Year: Lost Odyssey, by a landslide Biggest Disappointment: Deus Ex: Human Revolution WTF Moment of the Year: True Crime: Hong Kong being cancelled (Although it has… Read more »
Alan
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Alan
4 years 9 months ago
Hey all, Thanks all for a great 2011 Awards podcast. Always one of my favorite listens of the year. As usual, your podcast is a delight because of the substantive discussion of the games themselves. Here’s an assortment of comments in no particular order: Richard, I wasn’t the listener who called you a philistine but The Witcher 2 was my GOTY pick. I just want to chime in here to let you know that, while I do think it’s a title that definitely brings out the PC elitist crowd in spades, there’s a lot to love about the Witcher 2… Read more »
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