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  1. I was looking up the lyrics to the songs in Sayonara the other night and now my eyes have been replaced by hearts. But the right words Never come It all comes out Silly-dumb And all the things I need to say And all the big words seem to stay On the inside On the inside
  2. He like...re...butts and he can not lie!
  3. This is exceptionally embarrassing, but I'm going to have to hold my hands up. When calculating the results we split the pages in the voting thread between us to share the load and it would appear that I somehow managed to record my share of the votes incorrectly. I can only apologise to the forum, and especially to Benny, for managing to fuck it up so spectacularly, and at the first time of asking too. Thankfully, the top 20 is more-or-less the same so the write ups are mostly still relevant. There will be a full corrected list posted shortly. But for now, let's try and put that behind us and celebrate. Fool's Gold Award 1. Gears 5 13.7 billion years ago, existence happened. 3.5 billion years ago, life formed. 2.8 million years ago the first human looked to the stars and questioned his place in this unfathomable universe. And 4.5 months ago, Gears 5 was released and that question was finally answered. Despite not having owned, played nor even really heard of the sixth installment in the franchise, I knew; as I expect we will did; the moment that it was voted one of the best games of a given year on some internet forum, we were in the company of something truly special. In order to reach this spectacular position, it surely garnered somewhere in the region of seven votes, (I can't be bothered to look it up and I suspect to do so would be extremely disrespectful). An almost incomprehensible number; but to put it in perspective, if you were to line these people up side-by-side they would span a distance greater than that of my sofa and armchair combined. When you couple this with the fact that some members of the forum possibly even placed it as high as *third*, you start to gain a greater appreciation of the situation. But even then, I doubt our pathetic ape brains can even begin to fully grasp the magnitude of what we're dealing with here. The story, of which I know literally nothing about; is undoubtedly the single greatest piece of fiction in the history of language. Despite not being able to confidently tell you the name of a single character, I will now be dedicating my life to campaigning that we carve the plot, verbatim, into the surface of each space faring object in the hope that our first contact will be a direct quote from the game. I don't even know what the fucking baddies are called, but I am having the entire transcript tattooed on my body at great financial, personal and medical expense. 20 hours it's going to take. They've suggested that I do it in shifts. But I don't want to wait a moment longer than necessary. I quit my job tomorrow. I am now blind. I am actually fucking blind. And all because I looked at a still of the game earlier in the thread. I will never again see my children laugh. I will never again look into the eyes of the woman I love. But I would gladly suffer this fate again if it meant I could have one more glimpse of those luscious greys and exquisite slightly lighter greys. Truly The Coalition have captured the image of God. The Australian wildfires... Coincidence?! Ha, I say. HA! I can't be the only looking to the these and seeing them for what they are: divine retribution for our blasphemy. But I say, fuck the koalas. Fuck them in their stupid squashed up faces. We are all Prometheus and we have the fire now. I will never score the winning goal in the World Cup final. I will never hear a hundred thousand people sing my own songs back to me. I will never take heroin and simultaneously have sex with absolutely everyone I have ever fancied. I will probably never play Gears 5 to be fair, but I confidently proclaim that it stands proud above these other experiences. Which one of us doesn't read the words 'sixth installment in the third person cover shooter series' and immediately ejaculate all the fluid out of our bodies at the possibilities that concept affords. I have heard tale that this is actually one of the best in the series. If I could once again put this in perspective; if you imagine each game as a game and put those games in ascending order of quality it would be nearer the best game than the worst game. Almost unfathomable, isn't it? I pray that I have that managed to convey but a fraction of the reverence that this game and this occasion affords. But fear I have been unsuccessful. Tomorrow at noon I will lie naked in the centre of Trafalgar Square. Bring as many rocks as you can carry. Thank you everyone. Thank you.
  4. Thanks dude - it's from my head. Hopefully it goes some way to make amends for the following
  5. Silver Award 2. Tetris 99 ‘What next?! TETRIS battle royale?!?!’ Well, yes replied Nintendo before casually dropping this banger with all the confidence of the world’s finest butcher at your local sausage festival. A glorious celebration of fiercely competitive and obscenely intense tidying up, that made all the contrary aging fuckers hold back on their sneering to realise that perhaps this last person standing thing the young’ uns have all been going on about ain’t that bad. Appearing with zero fanfare and with literally just one mode my initial reaction was that this would be something of a flash-in-the-pan. Surely a unique and endlessly surprising take on one of the most enduring games in the history of the medium couldn’t hold an audience for more than a few weeks? Funnily enough that most tepid of takes proved to be astronomically incorrect. It may just be all the other hairy-bellied dads that I end up forming online friendships with, but my social media as been a constant stream of last second victories and hilarious bollock dropping all year. And Tetris 99 is a truly magnificent spectator sport. It’s success lies in the fact the you can see the entire game from the perspective for all 99 players all at once. It’s like an aerial view of a Royal Rumble; your elevated position giving you the chance to unpick the drama from all the ADHD madness. But this bombardment of easily digestible information doesn’t just make it great to watch. To play, is to finally put hundreds of hours of training into practice, to strategise on the fly and rain cubic death on your enemies. It helps that Tetris is stupidly easy to follow and games unfolds in a way that you inherently understand. It’s like the lyrics to the Neighbours theme tune; we all just know it. We’ve all felt the chest-tightening, toe-curling stress of frantically spinning a piece in the just-too-small space you’ve left yourself at the top; desperately attempting to buy yourself the precious second needed to make a fucking decision. We’ve all hard-dropped a L or T piece one column out of place so stands proudly on top of your carefully curated field like they dedicated the Angel of the North to your fat-fingered stupidity. And of course, we’ve all felt the agonising wait for one of those tall thin dudes to come along and make everything neater. I pretty much attribute this last shared experience to the miracle that I managed to secure a wife. It’s a game that sounds like a punchline, but it’s brilliance only goes to confirm that we don’t have a fucking clue what we’re talking about. One of the most celebrated games of all time, meets the mode that defined a generation courtesy of godamn Nintendo. How could it not work? Siri I get the appeal of Fortnite, but it's not for me. This is, however - a bloody good Arika Tetris, combined with that instant gratification that Tetris DS's online mode had. Delicious, and makes the Nintendo Online sub very worthwhile as the NES and SNES services ramp up. GokouD This came out of nowhere and is just so good. Pure, refined, digital crack, and I've never even won a game. Benny I was playing barely anything else at the start of this year. mdn2 I'm at about 45 hours now. I've won once. But I just can't stop playing. It's such a simple, well realised idea. Danster A beautiful and wonderfully addictive version of the all time classic pitting you amongst the best of the best and secret geniuses called 'Kacey's mum' or 'Bill'. Marvellous and well worth the price of admission. MW_Jimmy The Tetris grandmasters Arika returns! I never thought myself as much of a Tetris fan and yet here I am, back again, after Tetris Effect last year putting it top of the gaming tree. Competitive Tetris was something petrified me - I like the feeling of just playing Tetris, the ebb and flow of the growth of the stack, the gaps that form and the clean-up operation to fix the mistakes and so the low stakes scenarios of other games has always suited well. However something about this concept instantly grabbed me from first seeing it on the Nintendo Direct. This game forced me to buy a Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Online and, for the first time in 30+ years - I've gotten better a Tetris. No longer chasing the Line shape my new favourite shapes are L, J, Square and of course - T
  6. Beyond being quite funny, I thought Goose was pretty shit. Ha! Have a taste of that medicine. Who's Wiper now, Wiper?!
  7. As inconspicuous as a bombable crack in the wall
  8. Yes. This thread is very much like The Oscars.
  9. We regard to the tone of some of the commentary, this comes up most years and I'm never entirely sure what the alternative is. Would you rather the poster just made shit up?
  10. 8. Luigi's Mansion 3 Just a little caveat before I start rambling for paragraphs about a personal story loosely related to the game and then finish with about ten words of actual critique like all my other contributions, I've not played an awful lot of this. In our top secret #teambenny thread where we all talk about you guys behind your backs, we realised that none of us had actually played Luigi's when it came to divvying up the games. I did, however, have a copy in the house given that we had bought it for our seven year old for Christmas (it was definitely all for him, I didn't want to play it at all, honest, why are you looking at me like that). In order to have something to write, I've had to have an extremely quick blast on it. The timing has been terrible given that it's our year end at work and I'm completely stacked, but if I end up getting fired at the very least a few hundred, thirty or fourty-something year old strangers know what I think about their 9th favourite game of 2019. Win-win. I have also consulted my son and will be cunningly disguising his more nuanced opinion as my own. And in the wonderful tradition of GCSE English book reports, I have read the blurb on the back and will be stretching that out to breaking point. Luigi's Mansion 3 is the third entry in the Luigi's Mansion series after Luigi's Mansion 1 and 2. It is a game that allows you to switch between Luigi and Gooigi in single player or control one in two player co-op (two player co-op on one console can be played with one Joy-Con™ per player). The product contains technological protection measures and may require a system update to play. Also, you, like, screw on this rainbow thing on your torch and it let's you get the scientist out of a painting now can I have a snack. One thing is for sure, this is a truly gorgeous looking game. The environments are wonderfully chunky and tactile (like Lizzo) and there's a pleasing weight and physics to each of its parts (like Lizzo). To see it there in your hands is really quite something. Nintendo has a bit of run on these worlds that feel like you're peeking into a little physical place; like you're watching a little toy theatre or looking around a diarama; and this is one of the best expressions of that. Of particular delight is the fogging up of the Switch screen when you use the Poltergust on the fourth wall. I love that shit. It all just feels like it's an offshoot of Playmobil, and just effortlessly oozes charm from every orrafice (like, erm...Lizzo). Luigi, in particular is magnificent. His reactions to the world around him extending to being scared stiff, which helpfully adds more double entendre potential for potential reviewers who feel like they've exhausted everything from all the sucking and blowing that's going on. And you've got the aforementioned Gooigi, whose name sounds like a new and exciting category on Pornhub (not from the back of the box or my kid that one). If I know videogames that introduce an alternative playable co-op character, I strongly suspect his alternative skillset and vulnerabilities will form the backbone of the rest game. It's far from an original idea, and not one that particularly fills me with excitement if I'm honest. That kind of sums my time up with the game I'm afraid. It's something that clearly has a lot of love and attention lavished over it. And the Saturday-morning-kids-TV vibe of the cutscenes in particular is a welcome addition to the wider world of Nintendo characters. But I'm not really in any great rush to go back. I've got one of those stupid brains that means I'll be spending hours obsessively trying to interact with every single, miniscule object for a couple more coins; and not even the pleasing chaos of the ZR/ZL 'Fuck Shit Up' button can completely alleviate that curse. As with all second tier 'tendo, it will find an audience and sincere apologies to those that fell for this game that you got lumbered with me rather than someone who can goo lyrical about it. In summary, please do not dispose of this game card in the household waste. After Fortnite and Breath of the Wild it's, like, the third best game in the whole world ever ever EVER. BabelRich A totally org(ecto-pl)asmic, scarily good time was had with this. Completely erased the spectre of Dark Moon” Hylian Outrageously charming throughout. I enjoyed it pretty much from start to finish
  11. I completely couldn't play for all the mind breaking. It always seemed a little too much like hard work to me(I recognise the irony in saying this a few short hours after espousing the virtues of Koji's Delivery Service).
  12. Unless I'm losing my mind, I don't think anyone else made any comments on this so you'll just have to live with me shouting into the wind(fish). 15. Link's Awakening Back at the dawn of time, before we established this vast repository of knowledge that you see before you, if you were stuck in a videogame you had to ring a premium phone line for assistance. I grew up with fuck all money on a council estate in Essex, so my parents were far from enthusiastic about me using the house phone for anything, let alone spending the gas money on someone pointing me in the direction of some make believe gravity boots. As such I was allowed to call the Nintendo Helpline a grand total of once, and it was for the original Link's Awakening. I had been stuck for fucking weeks, exhausting every inch of that bastard map, sucking absolutely all of the fun out of the thing, leaving bite marks round the edge of the Game Boy as a testament to my frustration. Finally, FINALLY, my red, raw eyes and voice wavering with the weight of childhood trauma pulled enough on my Mum's heartstrings to let her permit me to give Nintendo a ring. I excitedly took the machine with me, away from my usual gaming bean bag in the living room to our hall where the phone was kept. I composed myself and dialed the number, half expecting Shiguru himself to take the call. The guy on the line listened carefully and kindly to my predicament like the Hylian Samaritans. 'Just go up one room, there's a bombable crack on the right hand wall'. 'Nah, nah, I've been there. No there isn...'. Turns out there was and I'd been past it approximately one billion times but had been unable to see it because of the lighting in our living room and that's the story of how I had my first nervous breakdown. Given the deep, long-lasting emotional scars this ordeal had caused me it was perhaps an usual idea on my part to pick up the remake earlier this year and I'm afraid to report that I thought it was...alright. I realise making beef burgers out of gaming's sacred cows is usually the remit of one of my fellow presenters in this thread, but I really didn't think this had aged that well at all. In the style of games of that time it's just all so bloomin' vague, like that over there. And unfortunately I just found the whole experience a little bit frustrating rather than challenging. It looks rather nice. In fact it looks so much like a long lost British children's televison show from the early eighties I half expected Marin to be voiced by Bernard Cribbins. I also think the arrangement of the overworld theme is the best version of it there's every been. Oh! And, the range of footstep noises are absolutely *magnicent*. Possibly the finest selection since this was introduced as a major videogame rating metric just before the turn of the mellenium. But...Gah, I don't know, I just didn't gel with it. I'm starting to get a bit worried about this to be honest. I didn't really gel with Breath of the Wild either and if this trend continues, I'm going to have my membership to the top secret Nintendo fanboy cabal revoked and they won't let me in the den anymore. Sorry for being the ghost at the feast. Anyway. At least when it comes to the Zelda series, we can all agree that Link to the Past is definitely, DEFINITELY, the best. There's nothing contentious about that.
  13. 17. Death Stranding I distinctly remember first watching the Death Stranding announcement trailer. I’m quite the fan of Kojima, The Mad Bastard, so was obviously super excited to see what he would do after his rather acramonious split from Konami and Metal Gear Solid. Turns out, it was the guy from The Walking Dead lying naked on a beach surrounded by dead crabs attached to a disappearing baby by an oily black umbilical cord. Obviously, OBVIOUSLY, this would translate three years later into a game about building a trans-American logistics network. I mean, the signs were all there. In those intervening years, for those of us who follow The Mad Bastard (in Definitive Capitals) on Twitter it just seemed like he was spending his time having a laugh with a couple of mates. Occasional bits of game dropped in between black and white pictures of Hideo Kojima, Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkleson smoking on a bench like they’re about to release 1998s freshest trip-hop album. Turns out that the finished game is rather like his timeline; snippets of actual videogame, surrounded by self-indulgent non-sequitur, all told by a pervert struggling to express himself concisely. But somehow, somehow, it’s completely brilliant. At least I’m 80% sure it is. Death Stranding is so unlike anything else I’ve ever played, it’s sometimes a bit difficult to pinpoint exactly why you’re enjoying it. It certainly has a flashy eye for the cinematic and some absolutely barnstorming visual design going on. Cheerful babies in jars giving you the thumbs up and blowing heart-shaped bubbles. Acres of landscape devastated by a rain that fast forwards time. Ghostly black apparitions connected to the sky by umbilical cords leaving huge, thumping hand prints wherever they go. A woman with spiky shoulder pads and a really fucking cool umbrella. It’s a world that drags you in and demands that you pay attention and explore. Sure, it occasionally and inexplicably decides to throw all that in bin so that it can briefly advertise a real life television series about giving interviews on a motorbike but these things happen. The vast majority of the gameplay is compelling in the same way that I often like to nick my wife’s tweezers and pull hairs out of my chin. Objectively painful and boring, you have to rearrange a hilariously tall backpack and then make your way across a grassy bit of rock without falling over. But then, I really like going on a bit of a walk and there’s something in the contemplative, beta-mind state that I experience popping to the Co-op that this game replicates perfectly. And it’s hardly like maintaining a nicely ordered inventory is a new pleasure; just ask anyone who correctly played Resident Evil 4. The strangely stand-offish way it makes you collaborate with it’s community is totally my jam; you can contribute to each other’s worlds and pass on thanks without ever actually speaking to anyone. It’s almost like its solved the paradox of being socially anxious but terribly lonely at the same time. Told through a story about human connections and isolation, it would almost seem like this was intentional were it not for the fact it’s also a story that has you making grenades out of your own shit. This is also a game that has made me punch the air in delight at building a road. It’s a game that’s made me spend an evening happily driving around in a painfully slow van dropping off boxes. It’s about the joy of gradually being more punctual and tidying up. Doesn’t exactly tie in with the rockstar developer persona that Hiddy Cent has tried to cultivate for himself, but it proves to be complete catnip for a total square like myself. One of my absolute favourite bits in the entire Metal Gear Solid series is the part in 3 when you climb a really long ladder. Death Stranding is like that bit, except it’s ninety hours long. A completely baffling waste of time and money, that makes you question just what the fuck you’re doing with your precious little time on the planet each and every time you turn it on. But at the same time it’s hilarious, uplifting, compelling and unquestionably original. It’s a game that allows you to equip your penis and generate holographic mushrooms from your piss. I think that probably tells you all you need to know. Alex W An indie-game pitch with a corporate budget and sensibility. I still don't know what to make of it. Me too, bro, me too. I've now reached a tipping point where I seem to think less of it the more I play it. Pretty divisive game all told. I WONDER IF IT WILL APPEAR ELSEWHERE?!?!
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