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The Official Rllmuk Awards 2018 - Get Your Votes in Before January 14th!

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4 hours ago, Dinobot said:

So there's sound design, visual design, writing awards.

 

Why no game design?

 

You can have a game that's not the best thing ever, that still has some amazing design. Perhaps the longevity or visuals let it down?

Yet there can be core aspects that really stand out.

 

A game with some amazing design elements in it might not be the best game of the year, yet it can be lauded for what it does.

Surely that's what you're voting for in your games of the year category - overall  game design. 

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It depends on what you consider 'game design' to be, I suppose; if you see it as a separate component from a game's visuals, audio, writing etc., then you could consider a game to maybe have reasonably generic 'design' but be elevated by its other components. Maybe you'd argue, for instance, that Virtue's Last Reward is a pretty generic combination of visual novel and room escape game, elevated by fantastic writing.

 

Personally I wouldn't do that - I'd consider game design to be the exact opposite, to be the overall, and thus equivalent to plain old Game of the Year, which I'm guessing is your perspective too - but I can sort of appreciate the argument.

 

See also: Best Director categories as distinct from Best Film. The argument that you can be the best person at putting a film together in a year, and yet your film wasn't actually the best, always sits a bit weirdly for me, but I can see where the idea is coming from.

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Yeah I'm not against it or other categories based on design, but I think when choosing GOTY we should consider that the most. You might have a game like Celeste or Into The Breach which both have rudimentary graphics (although I personally enjoy them) but the games themselves are just so good.

 

Likewise you might have a game which looks and sounds great but doesn't play as well - so you can vote for them in those categories, but GOTY should always be overall design and execution, IMO.

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Oooooh boy, think I'm going to have to kick a game out of my top 10 as I've just started playing SYNTHETIK and it's fucking glorious. Everything from the sound design to the gunplay is just sublime and I've got no idea why there aren't more people talking about this. Based on the two hours I've played alone it has already skyrocketed up my top-down shooter/roguelike list!

 

Quote

“Synthetik turned out to be an amazing surprise - It's probably one of the best rogue-lites that I've played in recent times, and I'm sure I'll keep coing back to it”
9/10 – Bonus Stage UK

“Synthetik is a rare kind of game and an even rarer kind of roguelike”
Third Coast Review - Chicago Arts and Culture

“Without a doubt, Synthetik is a game shooter fans owe it to themselves to play.”
VG24/7

 

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ss_89529b512dde838d2cd22920850ab6d165ed1

 

ss_7a8c5dd4bb0aa577cc2c4d1c33a6e1e2ffc29

 

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"You love repetitive low skill one-button shooters? You don’t bother with Character progression and tactical decisions, your RNG is great anyway? Enjoy using the same few low damage weapons which all feel the same? We neither. Synthetik may be your game!

With Synthetik we wanted to bring new depth and mechanics to the genre while leaving a lot of freedom for experimentation and different playstyles. It is inspired by the late 90’s Era of games when people put in all the Features they enjoyed without streamlining to the bare minimum."

:omg:

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Game of the Year

A1. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission

It's our duty as PSVR owners to be like that bloke in Lord of the Rings, who lights the big bonfire on top of that snowy hill: we have to keep the VR flame alive and draw people to it. Our job's a ton easier when a game like this pops out. Astro Bot is a pure ray of joy in a gloomy world. It's funny and it's lovely. It not only makes you use the touchpad and the sixaxis gyrometer... it makes you adore them and clamour for more. Charm by the bucketful and an incredible sense of presence - of 'thereness' - turns it into a small wonder.

 

Trying to explain what the experience is like is the hardest sell, but I'm going with 'Pikmin meets Captain Toad'. That combinaiton of saving the little guy along with full 3D thinking is the closest I can get, and it still doen't do the game justice. As good as any 3D Mario, Astro Bot's good enough to make you hope - fervently pray - that Nintendo move their plumber into the virtual dimension for his next outing. In the meantime, I'm hoping and dreaming for more of this little automaton fella. He needs to be the poster child for VR: bright, sweet, fun and minty fresh

 

A2. WipEout Omega Collection VR

The only thing I'll add to what everyone else has said in their praise, is how fantastic it is to see Psygnosis's designs like this. Sharp curves leading to some bright piece of fake advertising; runs like toboggan courses; precipitous twists and drops, all of which are shiny, high contrast and uttery spellbinding. It's as utterly comprehensive a fake universe as we've ever had in gaming, and with VR you're actually in it. Like, properly IN IT.

 

It's one of gaming's most perfect successes and should be played by all human beings.

 

A3. Moss

A children's illustrated novel come to life! Moss got slightly overlooked for a few reasons (released early in the year, was too expensive, came out before the big headset price drop) but deserves to be widely embraced. It's an adventure game similar to The Last Guardian and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, but much lighter of heart.

 

You guide and help dinky mouse Quill around Sylvanian Families-esque areas in a flick book style, fighting monsters with her needle-like sword. All the while, you're moving objects around as a human sized, benevolent meta-character. Picture ICO but where a god-like hand is moving objects instead of the horny lad. It's the sense of immersion in the story that sets it apart; yet another game that wouldn't work at all in 2D, but is transformatively brilliant in VR.  I'm sure it'll get reappraised in the trail of Astro Bot and reach more gamers, which it richly deserves.

 

A4. Spider-Man

An action game you could rave about until the cows come home, the stand-out aspects of this fabulous open world game for me are the writing, which makes every side quest feel like an important part of the narrative. Secondly the action, which takes Batman: Arkham Asylum's counter-attack system and adds tons of combat possibilities. Basically it gets everything about the character of Spider-Man right, and injects that into an exciting and tightly-focused detective/scientist/ex-boyfriend/pigeon-chasing/web-slinging adventure.

 

A5. Hollow Knight

Dev 1: "You know what they haven't made before?"

Dev 2: "What's that?"

Dev 1: "Get this... a Strider game that's a Metroidvania!"

Dev 2: "Erm, didn't Capcom do one in twenty fourt..."

Dev 1: "Shut up"

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year (game, hardware, or anything else)

Z1. Lack of unionisation in the games industry/The Crunch still being a thing

Z2. Mario Tennis Aces

Z3. Street Fighter V

 

Sound Design of the Year

S1. Tetris Effect

S2. Hollow Knight

S3. Astro Bot

 

Visual Design of the Year

V1. God of War

V2. Moss

V3. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission

V4. Battle Princess Madelyn

Such a good year for games, BPM gets squeezed out of the main list but deserves a shout. And its comprehensive updating of Super Ghouls 'n' Ghosts amazing cutesy ghost drama graphics are the reason why. As a side note, as the Switch release is 2019 I expect to see it start showing up on people's best of lists at the end of this year - it's very good!

 

Writing of the Year

W1. God of War

I loved everything about the new GoW... except the game play! It just didn't click with me. The writing, though, was excellent. Ok, so it adheres to the The Last of Us template pretty rigidly, but that just means there are now two well-written action games ever made instead of one. I'm exagerrating for effect (a bit, anyway) but yeah, Sony should be proud of the digital world Santa Monica Studio - and the man they call 'The Balrog' - created.

 

W2. Spider-Man

 

Gaming Format (System) of the Year

F1. Playstation VR

I admit, when it was released I honestly thought the future for PSVR was doomed to be full of tech demos and down-ports of older, popular games. Thank god, then, that 2018 proved it's entirely the opposite. We're seeing Sony do what any company with such a fantastic opportuniy should do but so rarely does: handing a free rein to the developers.

 

We've had the likes of Déraciné, Blind, Firewall, Sprint Vector, Beat Saber, Moss and Apex Construct, plus small matter of GOTY Astro Bot - a wealth of invention for mainline releases. Long may it continue!

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

P1. Sony

Including the stunning achievements of their virtual world hardware, Sony managed higher quality exclusives than either Nintendo or Microsoft. Spider-Man and God of War sewed-up your 'best of' AAA exclusives, and the remake of Shadow of the Colossus is very special. Their stuff also has more sophisticated stoytelling and world-building than even a few short years ago. The industry's slowly maturing, and Sony's in-house output is arguably the most progressive of the major players.

 

Best Supported Game (released pre 2018) of the Year

B1.

 

Your game of the year that didn't come out this year (basically what is your favourite game you played this year that came out in 2017 or earlier)

X1. Superhot

VR An incredibly hard one to choose for this category but the 'gun to my head' choice was Superhot, as it's a complete game-changer. God, I hope there's a sequel soon.

 

Best game character of the year

C1. Quill (Moss, PSVR)

C2. Astro Bot

C3. Atreus (God of War)

C4. Peter Parker/Spider-Man

  • Upvote 4

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Finished Vampyr. Overall I enjoyed the game, and liked how it autosaved straight after some decisions, giving you no option to reload. But overall I feel this should not be anywhere near anyone's GOTY lists for any category. It's a good story, poorly told. With crap combat, and some utterly maddenning design. 

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Game of the Year

A1. Hollow Knight

A2. Into the Breach

A3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

A4. God of War 

A5. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year (game, hardware, or anything else)

Z1. Gamers being dickheads to basically everyone, but mostly to women.

Z2. Shitty treatment and exploitation of developers by certain AAA publishers.

Z3. Shitty microtransactions, lootboxes and artificial grind in games by certain AAA publishers.

Z4.

Z5.

 

Sound Design of the Year

S1. Hollow Knight

S2. Detention

S3. Octopath Traveler

 

Visual Design of the Year

V1. Hollow Knight

V2. Un Pueblo de Nada

V3. Red Dead Redemption 2

 

Writing of the Year

W1. West of Loathing

W2. Un Pueblo de Nada

W3. Subsurface Circular

 

Gaming Format (System) of the Year

F1. Nintendo Switch

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

P1. Team Cherry

 

Best Supported Game (released pre 2018) of the Year

B1. Splatoon 2

 

Your game of the year that didn't come out this year (basically what is your favourite game you played this year that came out in 2017 or earlier)

X1. Nier Automata

 

Best game character of the year

C1. Zote the Mighty (Hollow Knight)

C2.

C3.

  • Upvote 2

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Game of the Year

A1. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission
"Pure joy distilled into a videogame and injected straight into your eyes. A wonderful game full of humour and surprises, the sense of scale that VR allows is unprecedented in a platformer."

A2. Wipeout Omega Collection
"This and Asto Bot should probably take joint first place but the template doesn't offer that. Wipeout in VR is simply jaw droppingly stunning. To this day I can't actually believe that this is running on PSVR, it defies belief, and yet here it is, I am actually sitting in a Feiser Speed. Another game that is enhanced significantly by the sense of scale that VR provides and actively benefits from it. The future is now."

A3. Tetris Effect
"Who knew Tetris needed to be updated! Mizuguchi does it again, at times hypnotic and mesmerising but never to the detriment of the purity of Tetris, pure zone gaming in VR when the world outside you really does fall away to be replaced by explosions, whales, moonscapes accompanied by a soundtrack just as varied."

A4. Beat Saber
"Who knew a Jedi disco could be this much fun. This is what waggle was made for. The go to game now for introducing people to VR."

A5. Destiny 2: Forsaken
"Not sure if this is a big enough update to count as a new release but I'll give it a go including it! Managed to fix pretty much everything that was wrong with Destiny 2 while also introducing some great new elements to the Destiny formula and finally giving me a reason to get back into the game"

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year (game, hardware, or anything else)

Z1. Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris

Z2.

Z3.

Z4.

Z5.

 

Sound Design of the Year

S1. Tetris Effect
"How could it not be!"

S2. Wipeout Omega Colletion
"The positional audio when in cockpit in VR is fantastic and just heightens that sense of immersion"

S3. Astro Bot
"Again lovely use of positional audio along with great sound effects and joyful tunes"

 

Visual Design of the Year

V1. Tetris Effect

V2. Wipeout Omega Collection

V3. Astro Bot

 

Writing of the Year

W1.

W2.

W3.

 

Gaming Format (System) of the Year

F1. PSVR
"Still amazed every time I load into a VR game. This year has seen the actual catalogue of games expand and include some bonifide classics."

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

P1. Sony Interactive Entertaiment

 

Best Supported Game (released pre 2018) of the Year

B1. Warframe

 

Your game of the year that didn't come out this year (basically what is your favourite game you played this year that came out in 2017 or earlier)

X1. Warframe

 

Best game character of the year

C1. Astro Bot

C2. 

C3.

  • Upvote 3

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  On 10/12/2018 at 15:00,  Darwock said: 



Game of the Year

A1. Astro Bot Rescue Mission

A2. Tetris Effect

A3. Wipeout Omega Collection (VR)

 A4. Shadow of the Colossus

A5. Lumines Remastered

 

 

(yep, only four 2018 released titles for me this year so that kind of makes these choices a foregone conclusion.

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year (game, hardware, or anything else)

Z1. Ace Combat 7 got bumped to 2019

Z2. No Spa-Francorchamps in Gran Turismo Sport (yet)

Z3. No Laguna Seca in Gran Turismo Sport (yet)

Z4. Finding out I suck at Tetris and will never earn the platinum trophy

Z5. Only having Japanese subtitles available in Shadow of the Colossus from the Japanese store. Whyyyyy????

 

Sound Design of the Year

S1. Tetris Effect

S2. Lumines Remastered

S3. Astro Bot Rescue Mission

 

Visual Design of the Year

V1. Tetris Effect

V2. Wipeout Omega Collection (VR)

 V3. Astro Bot Rescue Mission

 

Writing of the Year

W1. Shadow of the Colossus

W2. Astro Bot

W3.

 

Gaming Format (System) of the Year

F1. Playstation 4

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

P1. Polyphony Digital 

 

Best Supported Game (released pre 2018) of the Year

B1. Gran Turismo Sport - monthly free updates are one thing that would already win them this accolade, but the tremendous FIA-GT world championship events seal the deal.

 

Your game of the year that didn't come out this year (basically what is your favourite game you played this year that came out in 2017 or earlier)

X1. Gran Turismo Sport (see above)

 

Best game character of the year

C1. Astro Bot

C2. Astro Bot's soccer bot enemies

C3. Astro Bot's octopus boss

 

 

Second edit to my list follows (the quoted one above is the previously updated version):

 

Gaming Format of the year: Changing from Playstation 4, to PSVR (I did not realise it was a valid choice as a system of its own).

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Game of the Year

A1. Red Dead Redemption 2 (Xbox)

The game of the generation for me. The world is a simply incredible place to exist in, I'm still not that near the end 91 hours in. It's breathtaking the way the environment and the systems work together to create something that, certainly for the first 20 odd hours, feels so far ahead of anything we've had before. Once the systems have revealed themselves a bit more it settles into a groove and isn't quite as "oh my GOD" fantastic but then the story and the characters take you through the rest of what is a genuinely epic adventure.

It reminds me of Mass Effect 2, my favourite game of all time, in all the best ways. It gives you a diverse and interesting cast of characters and just lets you chat. You're genuinely excited to hear what Pearson thinks about X, or how Micah will react to Y. Even more impressive than ME2 is the way these characters interact with each other. As gamers we're so used to being the driving force behind all of the narrative in everything we play, but in this you catch snippets of character moments that don't even really concern Arthur. It's genuinely inventive and the mind boggles at how much work it must have taken to get it all working in the way that it does. More of that in my disappointments I guess...

That aside it's my game of the year. It's my game of the generation and once I've finished it and the dust settles I can decide if it's troubling the great Mass Effect 2 as my top pick of all time. 

A2. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Switch)

The best 2D platformer since Mario World, possibly even better than that Opus. People balked at the fact it was a port and it cost £40 but I'd have never played it had it stayed on WiiU and got more than my money's worth for it. 

A3. Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox)

Some of the most fun I've had online this year, paired with a fantastic driving engine. They Destiny-ed Forza and made the best one yet. 

A4. Sea of Thieves (Xbox)

Derided at launch by people who I feel kind of missed the point of it. Relaxing when it wants to be, tense and exciting when it needs to, it's given me some of the most memorable gaming moments of the year. The ghost ship fight in particular. Superb with mates.

A5. God of War (PS4)

A fantastic, surprising story, brilliantly told. It maybe ever so slightly outstayed its welcome, but it's a brilliant package overall. 

 

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year (game, hardware, or anything else)

Z1. Rockstar's Working Conditions

Z2. David Cage.

Z3.

Z4.

Z5.

 

Sound Design of the Year

S1. Red Dead Redemption 2

S2. Astro Bot

S3. Sea of Thieves

 

Visual Design of the Year

V1. Red Dead Redemption 2

V2. Forza Horizon 4

V3. Sea of Thieves

 

Writing of the Year

W1. Red Dead Redemption 2

W2. God of War

W3. Celeste

 

Gaming Format (System) of the Year

F1. Xbox One X

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

P1. Rockstar

 

Best Supported Game (released pre 2018) of the Year

B1. Halo: The Masterchief Collection for all that 4k goodness. 

 

Your game of the year that didn't come out this year (basically what is your favourite game you played this year that came out in 2017 or earlier)

X1. Hollow Knight

 

Best game character of the year

C1. Arthur Morgan

C2. Kratos

C3. GAVIN!?!?

  • Upvote 4

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Game of the Year

A1. Red Dead Redemption 2

A2. Frostpunk

A3. Hitman 2

A4. A Way Out

A5. Climb VR

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year (game, hardware, or anything else)

Z1. Fallout 76

Z2. Assassins Creed Origins

Z3. Farcry 5

Z4. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon® Wildlands

Z5. UBISOFT for making clones

 

Sound Design of the Year

S1. Red Dead Redemption 2

S2.

S3.

 

Visual Design of the Year

V1. Red Dead Redemption 2

V2.

V3.

 

Writing of the Year

W1. Red Dead Redemption 2

W2.

W3.

 

Gaming Format (System) of the Year

F1. PC (Steam)

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

P1. Rockstar

 

Best Supported Game (released pre 2018) of the Year

B1. Subnautica VR

 

Your game of the year that didn't come out this year (basically what is your favourite game you played this year that came out in 2017 or earlier)

X1. The Witcher 3

 

Best game character of the year

C1. Arthur Morgan

C2.

C3.

 

Bloody hell this was hard work.  I used to be a hardcore gamer and I was struggling to remember what I have played this year, I guess I just can't keep up anymore.  Thats family life for you.

  • Upvote 2

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Game of the Year

A1. Astro Bot Rescue Mission

A2. Celeste

A3. Beat Saber

A4. Guacamelee! 2

A5. Mario Tennis Aces

 

Sound Design of the Year

S1. Celeste

 

Visual Design of the Year

V1. Astrobot Rescue Mission

 

Writing of the Year

W1. Celeste

 

Gaming Format (System) of the Year

F1. Playstation VR

 

Best Supported Game (released pre 2018) of the Year

B1. Mario Plus Rabbids Kingdom Battle

 

Your game of the year that didn't come out this year (basically what is your favourite game you played this year that came out in 2017 or earlier)

X1. Stephen's Sausage Roll

 

Best game character of the year

C1. Astro Bot

  • Upvote 3

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Game of the Year

A1. Spiderman

 

“This may not be the deepest or cleverest game of the year, but it is charming, polished to perfection and has been the most consistently entertaining for me. A large part of this is that you can play in very short chunks and still achieve quite a lot. In the time it would take to get through a cut-scene in most AAA titles I can catch a pigeon, foil a mugging and do some amateur photography. The long list of things to do on the map I find is also compelling rather than a chore. It makes me want to tidy up New York in much the same way the best Dynasty Warriors games make me want to tidy up maps of China. Spiderman done right.”

 

A2. Wipeout Omega VR

 

“I almost didn’t get the original release as I’d ploughed dozens of hours into the PS3 versions, which still look amazing. Eventually the retro PSone style packaging from Base.com convinced me, and it was good. Then the VR patch came out this year. Holy shit. It really was the most transformative thing I’d seen since the very first Wipeout knocked me sideways. A truly next-level experience and a huge leap for gaming. It takes the series into another dimension, let alone the next-gen. Astonishing.”

 

A3. Red Dead Redemption 2

 

“Although this isn’t my GOTY it might end up my game of the gen because of the fact that it takes me years to get through and fully appreciate Rockstar games. This year I completed GTAV for the first time having got it on release for PS3 way back in 2013. The arguments that there isn’t enough to do in Rockstar games falls flat for me as these are games you inhabit rather than burn through missions. For the time I’ve played it’s already thrown up some of the most memorable gaming situations I can remember, and it looks absolutely stunning. Looking forward to playing it for years to come.”

 

A4. Astrobot

 

“That the developers took one of the generic robots from a tech demo and transformed it into a beloved hero is amazing in itself. But that was only possible because this game is of such high quality, and really quite revolutionary in its use of VR. It feels like a game Nintendo should or would have released if they had the resources, and although nowhere near as in depth as something like Mario 64, the astonishment at the new dimension on show is very similar, as is the polished gameplay. Can’t give much higher praise than that.”

 

A5. God of War

 

“There are games where ratcheting up the difficulty level makes it a chore (Bioshock Infinity) and there are games were ratcheting up the difficulty makes it a joy (Goldeneye, Ninja Gaiden). This is the latter. The combat is so satisfying! It also helps that it looks beautiful and has an interesting take on the whole gods thing. I’m not a huge fan of its hub World, but it can be immersive outside of this. A pretty stunning achievement.”

 

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year (game, hardware, or anything else)

Z1. Fallout 76

 

“I feel sorry for everyone who worked hard on this and saw it rushed out to ridicule and critical trashings. Also sad to see another once great franchise as good as destroyed in this way.”

 

Z2.

Z3.

Z4.

Z5.

 

Sound Design of the Year

S1. Wipeout Omega VR

S2. Tetris Effect

S3. Red Dead Redemption 2

 

Visual Design of the Year

V1. Red Dead Redemption 2

V2. Spiderman

V3. Astrobot

 

Writing of the Year

W1. Red Dead Redemption 2

W2. Spiderman

W3. God of War

 

Gaming Format (System) of the Year

F1. PSVR

 

“Indistinguishable from magic. The update of Wipeout and the ground breaking Astrobot this year are truly revolutionary gaming experiences, the kind you only get once every few decades. The price of the kit seemed steep at first, but once you experience it you wonder how they can do it for the money.”

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

P1. Sony

 

“Spiderman, God of War and the continued support and innovation of its VR games. They just aced it this year.”

 

Best Supported Game (released pre 2018) of the Year

B1. Wipeout Omega

 

“OMFG. Not so much supported as reborn.”

 

Your game of the year that didn't come out this year (basically what is your favourite game you played this year that came out in 2017 or earlier)

X1. The Witcher 3

 

“My most played game of the year probably, and according to the algorithms, my third most played game of all time. Still nowhere near finished.”

 

Best game character of the year

C1. Astrobot

C2. Arthur Morgan

C3. Spiderman

  • Upvote 6

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A1. Red Dead Redemption 2

It definitely has problems. I never found the controls to be an issue but the mission structure is certainly outdated. I can see why this it’s a divisive game because it’s meant to be played slowly and that’s not for everyone. But luckily it’s for me. I just love moving around in the world. On my horse, on foot, picking up things, opening drawers, doors and the pockets of dead bodies. I think the camp mechanic is absolutely brilliant and I love most of the characters. In open world games I usually start off trying to roleplay, never fast travelling, walking around town instead of running, matching my clothes to the scenario that kind of thing, and without exception I give up after several hours. I’m currently at 153 hours in RDR2 and I am still walking in towns and getting hair cuts when I want to put on a fancy suit. Stunning game and it replaces the original on my top 5 games of all time.

A2. God of War

Love the feel of the combat, how the combos work, throwing the axe and using Atreus in the background. Enjoyed the story too even if I wasn’t overly fond of the places Baldur’s family arc went to. Enjoyed the father son thing for the most part but felt it was a bit ham fisted in places. And boy is it lovely to look at. I’ve disliked every other Gow game and so for this to be #2 on the list is saying something.

A3. Pillars of Eternity 2

I’m a pretty big CRPG fan as you can probably tell with my avatar. The first game really disappointed me. Combat was lacking something, the itemization system was crap and the main story line was a snoozefest. They changed all that in the second game. They scrapped the stupid itemization system and gave us some really good fights. The multiclassing system added a huge amount to character builds and made levelling up really interesting. The story was also miles better, the gods went from being the most boring bits of the first game into by far the most interesting bits in the second. Eothas especially was a really hard cut for my character of the year. Best crpg since Baldur’s Gate 2 (yes even better than the Original Sins)

A4. Spiderman

What I expected: Good swinging, fun Arkham-esque combat.

What I didn’t expect: An interesting story full of genuinely good moments and one of the best character arcs of the year.

A5. Vermintide 2

The first 4 games are all locks for me and the fifth slot really could be any of about 5 games but I think Vermintide just edges it (that said Monster Hunter World has only just started to click with me). Vermintide 2 improves on just about everything in the first game except arguably level design. The combat is just so satisfying, swinging a giant hammer into rats will never get old. The individual character specialisations also offers a ton more diversity and replayability.

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year (game, hardware, or anything else)

Z1. Artifact’s lack of popularity

I really like the card game but the way I play these ccgs is with a community. I’m not the sole ladder grinding player and unfortunately the community completely abandoned Artifact after about two weeks and now I’m left with a game I enjoy playing but with no one to play it with (tear reaction please)

Z2. Sea of Thieves

To be fair I expected I’d grow tired of SoT pretty quickly as it really had that No Man’s Sky vibe during development. A really impressive first showing but developers who would just constantly dodge the question of what do you actually do moment to moment. So I went in thinking I’d get about a month’s worth of enjoyment out if it. What I didn’t expect was to be bored after a day. I’m still baffled at how a game this big can be released with so little to do. What makes it even more disappointing is how lovely a lot of it is. Sailing a ship is great, it looks amazing but that should be all background stuff in service of the main game but that was the main game. I could go on and on about identikit islands, an idiotic, grindy progression system, the godawful pvp that had players you just killed respawn 20 seconds away from you. Ugh.

Z3. Total War: Thrones of Britannia

Following a long lineage of bad Total War Games following a really good one. That means Kingdoms will be good though so hurray for that.

Z4. Fallout 76

What’s there even to say.

Z5. Far Cry 5

This one is my fault. I got hyped on the initial PR and thought this game would have something interesting to say. Before it even released I knew by then it wouldn’t have but I was surprised by how much I loathed the writing in this game. Everything is just so hateful and bad and they way the force you to interact with it when you’re trying to squeeze whatever joy you can out of the open world is one of the worst design decisions I can ever think of in a game and I have played a lot of games.

 

Sound Design of the Year

S1. Red Dead Redemption 2

Kind of reminded me a little of BotW with the amount of ambient music it has but I think it goes just that step further with some really good moments where the music moves to the forefront. There are two moments in particular, one sad and one funny that really stand out.

S2. Celeste

I thought this would be a lock until Red Dead came out. Lena Raine is just super talented, there are a lot of really good tracks but the way they change as the level progresses is a real achievement. I do feel bad about this not being #1 tbh.

S3. God of War

The music is pretty good for the most part, I think it can get a bit generic at times. Lots of male choir and trumpets. The big reason it’s on my top 3 is the voicework is brilliant and the ambient sound is also great. The monsters, the gods, the thunk of the axe. All really good stuff. I’ll never get tired of hearing “Boy”

 

Visual Design of the Year

V1. Red Dead Redemption 2

Still baffled at how they manage to get that out of a normal PS4. I played this and AC:Odyssey at the same time and they’re both games with really impressive draw distances, but that can sometimes work against AC:O on a normal PS4 anyway as the draw distance doesn’t render the really distant stuff properly and it takes you out of the moment. RDR2 never allows that to happen and it always looks picturesque. The people over at Rockstar are wizards at times.

V2. Return of the Obra Dinn

This is a weird one as I think the art style at times hindered my enjoyment of the game as I was trying to identify blotchy faces. But there’s no doubt that it’s memorable. Very much Pope’s style but a huge advancement from Paper’s Please.

V3. Sea of Thieves

Best water 2018

 

Writing of the Year

W1. Red Dead Redemption 2

Really great characters, excellent moments and an interesting arc. There were times where the writing fell down (usually when a big shooty mission followed) but there was enough really great stuff there to top the list.

W2. Pillars of Eternity 2

Huge improvement on the main story, a very interesting antagonist and factions/side quests that were actually given a lot of time and effort. I think if the companions were a bit more interesting it’d be pushing up against RDR2 for me but it’s just not quite there.

W3. God of War

Mostly liked the Kratos + Atreus stuff. Really liked Mimir and his tales. The God of War take on the Norse pantheon was great and I enjoyed every moment I spent with Brock and Sindri.

 

Gaming Format (System) of the Year

F1. Playstation

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

P1. Sony

 

Best Supported Game (released pre 2018) of the Year

B1. Battle Brothers

 

Your game of the year that didn’t come out this year (basically what is your favourite game you played this year that came out in 2017 or earlier)

X1. Dota 2

 

Best game character of the year

C1. Dutch van der Linde (RDR2)

C2. Arthur Morgan (RDR2)

C3. Dr. Octavius (Spider-Man)

 

C1. Dutch van der Linde (RDR2)

My favourite thing about Dutch is although the narrative arc of the game is very much tied up in his character you never actually know if his character has changed or if he was just that good at hiding it. I think I as a player felt a lot like Arthur did, a part of me never stopped liking Dutch and I wanted him to succeed. That’s a testament to how good the character is written, it would be so, so easy to turn Dutch into a bastard but it never happened, for me at least.

 

C2. Arthur Morgan (RDR2)

Up there with Geralt as my favourite protagonist of all time. Arthur has some real heart to him and I really enjoyed his arc. I liked him from the start but he really comes into his own towards the end of the game. His conversation with the nun at the train station is one of my moments of the year. Incredibly good voice acting doesn’t hurt either.

C3. Dr. Octavius  

 

With the amount of build up they gave Doc Oc I thought his reveal was going to be saved for the next game so when he ended up being the big bad I was really caught off guard. To me he’s the comic book version of Dutch  and the time the game put into showing both of his sides really paid off.

 

 

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Game of the Year

A1. Red Dead Redemption

A2. Spiderman

A3. Forza Horizon 4

A4. Battlefield 5

A5. PUBG

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year (game, hardware, or anything else)

Z1. Sea of Thieves

Z2. Below

 

 

Sound Design of the Year

S1. Red Dead Redemption

 

 

Visual Design of the Year

V1. Red Dead Redemptiom

V2. Forza Horizon 4

V3. Shadow of the Tomb Raider

 

Writing of the Year

W1. Red Dead Redemption

W2. Spiderman

 

 

Gaming Format (System) of the Year

F1. Xbox One X

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

P1. Rockstar

 

 

Your game of the year that didn't come out this year (basically what is your favourite game you played this year that came out in 2017 or earlier)

X1. Enter the Gungeon

 

Best game character of the year

C1. Arthur Morgan

C2. Dutch Van Der Linde

 

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Game of the Year

A1. Red Dead Redemption II

A fantastic game, that's slightly let down by clunky controls and for being a bit too long in length.

A2. Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise

I've never watched the Fist of the North Star anime, and to be honest I only purchased this because it was made by Sega's Yakuza team. Quite simply it's Fist of the North Star Yakuza and it's brilliant. The best Yakuza since Zero. Exploding heads never gets old.

A3. Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom

The first RPG that I completed since Suikoden V in 2006.

A4. Yakuza Kiwami 2

Probably my favourite game series. This isn't as good as any of the multi protagonist ones (4, 5 and 0) but arguably the best of the Kazzy only entries. Majima is still one of the best videogame characters ever.

A5. Shadow of the Tomb Raider

The third entry in the rebooted Tomb Raider series and in my opinion the best. I adore Latin America, so the setting in the Peruvian jungle, but combining Aztec, Mayan and Incan lore ticked all the boxes. There are even jaguars, capybaras and llamas to hunt! Lara has a much wider repertoire of moves, the increased focus on swimming and some excellent optional tombs and crypts to explore make this by far the most Tomb Raidery of the reboots. There's less focus on shoot outs, and it definitely feels less linear than it's prequels, where you could argue all you need to do to progress is press forward and occasionally jump and shoot. It's all the better for these changes. Other than the storyline which made next to no sense, this was great.

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year (game, hardware, or anything else)

Z1. Mario Tennis Aces

An overcomplicated mess of a game. Nintendo should hang their heads in shame.

Z2. Nintendo Switch

A year to forget after a sensational launch year. I barely touched the machine, and most of what I did buy ended up being hugely disappointing (see entries 1 and 5).

Z3. Forza Horizon 4

Not a bad game, but very disappointing. This was top of my list until being partially redeemed by the release of the excellent Storm Island DLC. It's more of the same but with absolutely no structure to the single player side, and in the UK a pretty uninteresting landscape. By far the weakest game in the series.

Z4. Nintendo 3DS

It's dead

Z5. Octopath Traveller

So slow moving

 

Sound Design of the Year

S1. Tetris Effect

S2. Red Dead Redemption II

S3. Octopath Traveller

 

Visual Design of the Year

V1. Read Dead Redemption II

V2. Detroit: Become Human

V3. Tetris Effect

 

Writing of the Year

W1. Read Dead Redemption II

W2. Detroit: Become Human

W3. Yakuza Kiwami 2

 

Gaming Format (System) of the Year

F1. Xbox One X

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

P1. Sega

 

Best Supported Game (released pre 2018) of the Year

B1. Forza Motorsport 7

 

Your game of the year that didn't come out this year (basically what is your favourite game you played this year that came out in 2017 or earlier)

X1. Uncharted 4

 

Best game character of the year

C1. Arthur Morgan

C2. Goro Majima

C3. Kazuma Kiryu

 

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Game of the Year

 

A1. Florence, iOS.
Ok, so it's a visual storybook with light game elements. But those light game elements perfectly fit in with the story being told, and the story of a relationship in all its facets is something that doesn't break out into the mainstream of the App Store that often.
Of the games in this list, it's certainly the one that's stayed with me longest.

 

A2. Assassins Creed Odyssey, Xbox1X.
It is a Game. You get to do Game things.
I started this before RDR2, then as RDR2 got bleaker, returned to it to complete. Bizarrely, it was a breath of fresh air.

Your character has motive!
Your character responds to your controls, rather than laboriously doing something different!
You can do missions however you want!
You can respec your character to try different skills in different situations, whenever you want!
The modern day elements are minimal, and one is even a bit of a shock.

Ubisoft have taken their template, stretched it out for miles, and smoothed off all the rough and annoying edges that stop you having fun. This is to be applauded.
And I thought, before I played it, that it was released too soon after Origins. It wasn't.

 

A3. Sea of Thieves, Xbox1X.
The HDR sunsets are amazing, but the early days of this tended to be odd. You could have a fairly boring time, or an utterly amazing experience: where you're in a crew with randoms, steal a fortress key from inside another crew's ship, then spend the next three hours trying to keep it.
Tacking, hollering, skirting the wind, shooting cannonballs, stocking up supplies, patching your ship, dodging incoming fire, trying to draw unsuspecting passersby into your clusterfuck, firing crewmembers out of cannons on suicide sabotage missions, sneaking off the ship and dodging skeletons to ..
Quite unlike any game I've played before, but desperately needed a decent tutorial and some of the matchmaking options they put in later at launch.

 

A4. Forza Horizon 4, Xbox1X.
Beautiful, but Playground Games have also nailed the weekly seasonal content. Each week you've got different routes, in a different environment (spring, summer, autumn, winter all make a difference), with different themes or constraints.
I *know* intellectually that much of the weekly content was in previous games, but it was hidden in a rivals menu or elsewhere where it was easily skipped.
As it is, each time you turn it on, there's something new to do. And, unlike your Destinys or Call of Duties, there's not really a feeling of slipping behind the pack, if you don't have 5 to 6 hours a night, every night, available to play: you'll always be able to afford a new car if you want one.

 

A5. Beat Sabre, Oculus Rift.
I can't play for long, because my Rift's headphones have started to break (a common hardware fault), but perfect match of form and function.
And you're not going to get motion sick.

 

A6. God of War, PS4
Sorry Benny - this was A5, until I remembered the best evening's gaming I had this year on Sea of Thieves.
Just beats out Spider-man from my list because I expected Spider-man to be great. I didn't expect God of War to work quite so well, and I certainly didn't expect to be gripped long enough to kill all (ish) the Valkyries. Only really went a bit pear-shaped with the last but one story twist, which didn't really land for me.


Biggest Disappointment of the Year (game, hardware, or anything else)

 

Z1. Red Dead Redemption 2.
It's an amazing world. An astonishing creation. But if I wanted to be an actor taking instructions from an arsey Director with no love for improvisation, I'd have gone to drama school.
There is no player agency. Half the time, there's no player control. I'm a reasonable way through Chapter Five, and feel little desire to go back and complete it.
(I'm also struggling to think of any story beat that wasn't entirely predictable).

 

Z2. The continued deterioration of the App Store.
Do you remember when it was all new? When there were new concepts? When it wasn't a microtransaction hellhole?

 

Z3. Xbox exclusives.
State of Decay? Though if there was a "bargain of the year", it'd be Xbox Games Pass, without question.
(I might have had some great times with Sea of Thieves, but its hard to argue that there aren't some gaping holes in the first party lineup)

 

Z4. Fallout 76.
I thought it would be shit. Hey, it was! But it was presumably a disappointment for a lot of folk.

 

Z5. Astro Bot
Because I don't own a PSVR ;-)

 

Sound Design of the Year

 

S1. Florence.
I've been humming the main theme all year; but the soundtrack is inherently part of the overall journey.

 

S2. Beat Sabre.
Lightsabres. VR. Music. It's somehow shocking that it took so long. What it really shows, though, is how even songs you've never heard are great if they're well mapped (and how even great songs are shit if they're mapped by an idiot).
And the sound when you're crossing those sabres is perfect.

 

S3. Return of the Obra Dinn.
I hope you're listening carefully, because we shall play this only once.
(Unless you go back in time again).
 

Visual Design of the Year

 

V1. Into the Breach.
There's a hell of a lot of information presented extremely clearly via bitmap graphics. Of the three of these games, this is the one that could have been created at any point in the last decade and a bit. It's also the one in which every pixel is serving a purpose: to help you understand what the game needs you to know.
A clarity of design often missed (cf. Shadow of the Tomb Raider, etc.)

 

V2. Forza Horizon 4.
1080p/60/Open World/Console. Amazing use of HDR. But, more importantly for this category, it picks up that sense of place: it *is* Britain.

 

V3. Red Dead Redemption 2.
Amazing sense of place, detail and a scale that's not really felt in most open worlds: but with detail in every corner. The only problem is that you're "playing" a Rockstar game.

 

V4. Sea of Thieves.
The best use of HDR in games so far, bar none. During a starry night, you could sell OLEDs with it.

 

Writing of the Year

 

W1. Return of the Obra Dinn.
Ok, it's an adventure. But it's using all kinds of tricks in its writing to make up the puzzle box, whereas most game writing is skippable: you can quite happily play Assassins Creed or Destiny without paying much attention beyond go here/kill that. Half the writing in Obra Dinn is environmental, or a sound effect, or...

 

W2. Florence.
There's writing AND then there's integrating your writing/story into the game mechanics.

 

W3. Spider-man.
Half of it - I liked Otto's story. The other half - every other bit, including Miles, including the various bad guys, including Osborne, including Black Cat, etc. was a huge letdown in comparison.
 

Gaming Format (System) of the Year

 

F1. PS4.
Spider-man + God of War > Xbox's FH4 or Nintendo's Smash. 

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

 

P1. Sony.
Quite clearly - Spider-man and God of War were both fantastic first-party games. I'd love to play Astrobot, but can't justify a PSVR when I've a Rift upstairs attached to a far more powerful PC.

 

Best Supported Game (released pre 2018) of the Year

 

B1. No Man's Sky.
Each major update has been a new game. This year's major update, with multiplayer, far more diversity of planets and base building, actually working quests, and 4k/HDR or 60fps modes on Xbox1X was transformative.
And the updates have been free. 

 

Your game of the year that didn't come out this year (basically what is your favourite game you played this year that came out in 2017 or earlier)

 

X1. Threes, iOS.
At least, it's the game I've played the most this year that didn't come out this year. Has to mean something.
Also, I've cracked my Puzzles and Dragons habit!


Best game character of the year

 

C1. Kassandra, Assassin's Creed Odyssey.
You spend hours with this voice actress, and the script  - however much it's not tailored to Kassandra or Deimos being the player's character - is given life by the inflection.
And, unlike Tomb Raider, it's not just torture porn.

 

C2. Otto, Spider-man.
The introduction of Otto over many hours, with the enthusiasm for Pete's work and ideas, and the hints that he's hiding something, works wonders in freshening up a story you've seen and heard a hundred times before.

 

C3. Florence, Florence, iOS.
For all the reasons that the game is in my list above - the character's story, and reactions through that story, is rooted in the character and relatable: which isn't something you can really say about the usual cast of archetypes (looking at you, RDR2).

Edited by footle
Putting some carriage returns in...
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21 minutes ago, footle said:

C2. Otto, Spider-man.
The introduction of Otto over many hours, with the enthusiasm for Pete's work and ideas, and the hints that he's hiding something, works wonders in freshening up a story you've seen and heard a hundred times before.

FINALLY! Someone else gets it!  Dock Ock is fucking amazing in Spider-Man, all that's down to the brilliant writing, and performance by William Salyers. 

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10 hours ago, footle said:

The continued deterioration of the App Store.
Do you remember when it was all new? When there were new concepts? When it wasn't a microtransaction hellhole?

 

That’s a really good point actually. 

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Game of the Year

A1.  Spider-Man

A2.  Lego DC Super Villans

A3.  

A4.

A5.

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year (game, hardware, or anything else)

Z1.  No price cut for the Switch

Z2.

Z3.

Z4.

Z5.

 

Sound Design of the Year

S1.  Spider-Man

S2.

S3.

 

Visual Design of the Year

V1. Spider-Man

V2.

V3.

 

Writing of the Year

W1.

W2.

W3.

 

Gaming Format (System) of the Year

F1.

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

P1.

 

Best Supported Game (released pre 2018) of the Year

B1.  SW Battlefront 2 (because everybody expected EA to drop it hard and they didn’t)

 

Your game of the year that didn't come out this year (basically what is your favourite game you played this year that came out in 2017 or earlier)

X1.  Zelda BOTW

 

Best game character of the year

C1.

C2.

C3.

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Game of the Year

A1. Yakuza 6

A2. Tetris Effect

A3. Return of the Obra Dinn

A4. Raft

”multiplayer survival game on steam”

A5. Red Dead Redemption 2

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year (game, hardware, or anything else)

Z1. Far Cry 5

Z2. God of War

”I found the characterisation of the main relationship to be so extreme it was just laughable & alienating.  Especially coming off the back of Yakuza 6 which explores relationships (family & otherwise) much better, imo”

Z3. Read Dead Redemption 2

Z4.

Z5.

 

Sound Design of the Year

S1. Tetris Effect

S2.

S3.

 

Visual Design of the Year

V1. Red Dead Redemption 2

V2. Tetri Effect

V3. Return of the Obra Dinn

 

Writing of the Year

W1. Yakuza 6

”The secret really was a jump the shark moment, but the rest was a fitting last outing for Kiryu.  I’ve being playing these games for over a decade, since the first was released in the UK, and I will admit to shedding a tear at the end”

W2. Red Dead Redemption 2

”the world is beautiful, the systems are (for the most part) impressive but meaningless, and the core game design is stuck firmly in the past.  But the characterisation & relationships are where it shines.  Sure it’s a bit heavy handed at times but seeing how those characters change over time and how their relationships change was the high point for me.  As someone noted above my feelings towards Dutch very much mirrored Arthur’s.  One of the great bits with Dutch is easily missed



Just after you’ve moved to the final camp & Moly’s dead, and you’re all at a real low you can find Dutch outside his tent giving his ‘we will survive’ speech (from the start of the game) in a very broken manner to no one

” 

W3.

 

Gaming Format (System) of the Year

F1.

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

P1.

 

Best Supported Game (released pre 2018) of the Year

B1.

 

Your game of the year that didn't come out this year (basically what is your favourite game you played this year that came out in 2017 or earlier)

X1. Nier Automata 

“I only did the first play through at launch, then did the others at the star of January which made it my GOTY last year.  And that week at the start of Jan is enough for it to be here too.  None of this year’s heavy hitters have resonated with me in the same way as that game did.”

 

Best game character of the year

C1. Kassandra 

C2. Kazuma Kiryu

C3. Dutch van der Linde

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Remember, this closes at midnight tonight. Get those votes in.

 

The scores are close this year, so every vote counts.

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Final changes, then! Celeste leapt in after I played further into the game and discovered that it wasn't just that the music was good, it's that the whole soundscape was perfectly matched to the levels; Obra Dinn is something I finally played last week, and is just good enough to push out The Council with its ingenious narrative challenge; Paratopic and Prey just came from reconsideration.

 

Removals:

On 08/12/2018 at 11:26, Wiper said:

Sound Design of the Year

S2. Red Dead Redemption 2

S3. Persona 3: Dancing Moon Night

 

Writing of the Year

 

W3. The Council

 

Your game of the year that didn't come out this year (basically what is your favourite game you played this year that came out in 2017 or earlier)

 

X1. Rock Band 4

 

Additions:

 

Sound Design of the Year

S2. Celeste

S3. Paratopic

 

Writing of the Year

 

W3. Return of the Obra Dinn

 

Your game of the year that didn't come out this year (basically what is your favourite game you played this year that came out in 2017 or earlier)

 

X1. Prey

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Yeah, Obra Dinn is the one game of last year I would have liked to play.

 

I did manage to get through Into the Breach and Mega Man 11 recently. ITB wasn't far off changing things, but just outside my top 5 in the end.

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Game of the Year

A1. Hollow Knight (Switch)

"The amount of content and incredible standard throughout this cheap fucking game simply astounds me. The love that has been poured into the fascinating lore, the ingenuity of the level design, the seemingly simple, yet deep combat system, the boss pattern choreography, the character design, the standard of writing, the music and the sound effects, the beautiful background art - all of it is absolutely god tier to me. The balance between humorous whimsy and unsettling horror throughout is deftly handled. It's a Grimm Fairytale as Metroidvania. A deceptively massive wee game that demonstrates a standard of interlocking design and craft that I'd usually only expect Nintendo or the likes of Fumito Ueda to be capable of delivering, all wrapped up in this wee download that cost me less than the price of a cinema ticket. A fucking classic that I love."

 

A2. Tetris Effect (PS4 / PSVR)

"Tetris is arguably the best game of all time. With Tetris Effect, soundcunt Rez Cunt has turned the best game of all time into the best (only?) fully immersive interactive electronic concept album and light-show. The high dose of earnest, seemingly sincere New Age considerations and celebrations of all things pertaining to human evolution, technological advancement, the beauty of nature and the ways in which each of these facets connect caused me to fill my PSVR headset with tears. It played me like a fiddle while I played it like some futuristic Rubik's Cube from heaven. Intertwined and connected, having syneasthesic cosmic trance sex with the quintessential computer game. Fucking yes."


A3. Shadow of the Colossus (PS4)

"As someone who doesn't really give too much of a fuck about contemporary massive budget AAA games, I'm not usually privy to the latest graphical advancements, and it's not really something I particularly care about, despite working in the visual arts sector in my own career. I'd only played the 'original' SotC within the last couple of years (actually streamed the HD version via a free PS Now trial), and knew it was a great game. Ueda to me is an artist. His design-through-subtraction approach resonates, and I can recognise his Fine Art sculpture training in his game design. I was worried all the souped-up bells and whistles of the PS4 remake would diminish his original vision, but I was amazed to find the game genuinely lifted and improved by the extensive reworking. I spent even more time just roaming the desolate landscape, headphones on, immersing myself in an even more tangible version of Ueda's world. I just remember feeling thankful that BluePoint were afforded the opportunity and budget to lavish so much gloss into remaking such an artistic game. We should feel privileged at being given an adaptation of (what is, in many respects) a pretty clunky old game with a level of polish usually reserved for all the bloated shiny AAA shite that I usually couldn't give a fuck about :lol: Biggups, all involved (not least of all for the very reasonable price point as well. Respect).

 

A4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch)

"It is indeed the Ultimate version of Smash, and pants were pished this Christmas as a result. Big baseball-bat-connection-to-the-face sound-effects all round!"

 

A5. Astro Bot (PSVR)

"The '3D platformer done right' is a rare thing indeed, but when one comes round, I often think it must truly be my most favourite gaming genre of them all. Well, this is the most 3D of 3D platformers, and the platforming itself is done right. This is basically the game I always dreamed of playing as a 9 year old boy, and now its here I can actually run around a living cartoon world with a cute little robot buddy, jumping about a land of colour, collecting shiny gold coins. The game I always wanted, and now I want more. Cannot wait to see how this type of game might start to look and feel in the generations to come. It's a milestone."

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year (game, hardware, or anything else)

Z1. Nintendo's E3 Direct

Z2. Sony's E3 Conference

Z3. Labo dying a death

Z4. Playstation Classic

Z5. Lack of a decent Virtual Console equivalent for Switch

 

Sound Design of the Year

S1. Tetris Effect

S2. Hollow Knight

S3. Super Smash Bros Ultimate

 

Visual Design of the Year

V1. Shadow of the Colossus PS4

V2. Hollow Knight

V3. Tetris Effect

 

Writing of the Year

W1. Hollow Knight

W2. WarioWare Gold (3DS)

 

Gaming Format (System) of the Year

F1. PSVR

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

P1. Team Cherry

"I paid 'full price' for Hollow Knight at around 15 quid or something like that, and many others will no doubt have been able to buy it for the absolute steal of around 7 banger in recent sales, so I'm giving these boys my Publisher/Dev of the year on the back of that sheer generosity alone. The amount and standard of content within the game (chucking in free DLC to boot) just seals the deal. Just wish there was a physical release of the game that I could buy for the next 3 or 4 loved ones' birthdays that come round. I want to continue supporting this mob for as long as they remain a going concern, off the back of Hollow Knight alone. Can't wait to see what they'll be doing next."

 

Best Supported Game (released pre 2018) of the Year

B1. WipeOut Omega Collection (PS4)

"That free VR patch is the kindest gesture in gaming that I can think of. They would have been perfectly within their rights to charge full whack for the experience that is WipeOut VR. It utterly transformed the game and delivered the equivalent of a fucking actual top standard theme park ride into my flat, at the cost of nothing. I'd only bought the disc for 11 quid or something last year as well."

 

Your game of the year that didn't come out this year (basically what is your favourite game you played this year that came out in 2017 or earlier)

X1. The Witness

 

Best game character of the year

C1. Zote the Mighty (Hollow Knight)

C2. Hornet (Hollow Knight)

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