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The Official Rllmuk Awards 2019 & Games of the Decade - VOTING CLOSED


Benny
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2 minutes ago, mdn2 said:

We might as well just call BotW Game of the Decade already. I mean, it's already won our coveted Best Game Ever award.  :P

 

Like in Breath of the Wild, it's not about the destination, but enjoying the journey you take to get there.

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Where do we stand on HD remasters for the Games of the Decade? Resident Evil 4 came out in the 2000-2010 decade, for example, but its HD remasters came out this decade.

 

Personally, I think remasters of pre-2010 games shouldn't be allowed in the Games of Decade. Remakes, however, like Shadow of the Colossus last year and Resident Evil 2 and Link's Awakening this year, should be as they constitute enough of a departure from the original game to be seen as new games in their own right. Much as a like it, I don't want to see Resi 4 in this decade's list.

 

And, as ever, thanks for doing this @Benny! It's my forum highlight of the year :)

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35 minutes ago, Jamie John said:

Where do we stand on HD remasters for the Games of the Decade? Resident Evil 4 came out in the 2000-2010 decade, for example, but its HD remasters came out this decade.

 

Personally, I think remasters of pre-2010 games shouldn't be allowed in the Games of Decade. Remakes, however, like Shadow of the Colossus last year and Resident Evil 2 and Link's Awakening this year, should be as they constitute enough of a departure from the original game to be seen as new games in their own right. Much as a like it, I don't want to see Resi 4 in this decade's list.

 

And, as ever, thanks for doing this @Benny! It's my forum highlight of the year :)

 

Agreed. Remakes are allowed for GotD, but not HD re-releases and remasters.

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19 minutes ago, RaoulSilva said:

What about something like Rare Replay, is that classed as emulation and not allowed? 

 

Not allowed. It's been a big few years for re-releases and emulated versions of old games, and flooding the awards with them isn't really going to be in the spirit of celebrating new stuff.

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A tricky one this year - nothing that completely stood out, but a large body of great games which are difficult to pick from. And then there's the games of the decade, which was horrendously difficult to whittle down. I foresee changes.

 

Game of the Year

A1. Disco Elysium

A2. Sayonara Wild Hearts

A3. Ace Combat 7

A4. The Outer Worlds

A5. Fire Emblem: Three Houses 

 

Honourable mentions to AI: The Somnium Files, Astral Chain, Blazing Chrome, Crackdown 3, Judgment, The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors, Observation, The Occupation, The Outer Wilds, Outward, Total War: Three Kingdoms, Untitled Goose Game and Wargroove.

 

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

Z1. Resident Evil 2

I feel bad having to put this here, because it was a really impressive, by all accounts very good reimagining. It was just massively personally disappointing because it took my favourite game of the series, made it absolutely gorgeous, then rendered it unplayable for me by upping the terror factor past my ability to cope with it :(

Z2. Valve absorbing companies so that they can share their new and exciting attitude towards ensuring no game is ever finished, resulting in the inevitable cancellation of In The Valley of Gods

Z3.

Z4.

Z5.

 

Sound Design of the Year

S1. Sayonara Wild Hearts

S2. Ace Combat 7

S3. Untitled Goose Game

 

Honourable mentions to Disco Elysium, The Occupation and Resident Evil 2

 

 

Visual Design of the Year

V1. Sayonara Wild Hearts

V2. Shenmue III

V3. Control

 

Honourable mentions to Ace Combat 7, Blazing Chrome, Disco Elysium, The Eternal Castle, Knights and Bikes, The Outer Wilds, and Total War: Three Kingdoms

 

Writing of the Year

W1. Disco Elysium

W2. Pathologic 2

W3. Tangle Tower

 

Honourable mention to AI: The Somnium Files, Judgment, Observation, The Occupation, The Outer Worlds

 

Gaming Format (System) of the Year

F1. Switch

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

P1. Sega

"I don't like to pick a developer for this one, as that tends to just translate as 'game of the year', again. Publisher is more interesting to me, as it makes me think about who has put out the best, most interesting range of titles in a year, and this time around Sega pipped things for me with their eclectic set of releases - a fantastic new Total War in Three Kingdoms; a refreshing take on the Yakuza style in Judgment; a lovely nostalgia trip in Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove; and, at last, an actually decent MegaDrive Mini. Great stuff."

 

Best Supported Game (released pre 2019) of the Year

B1. No Man's Sky

 

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 2018 or earlier)

X1. Day of the Tentacle.

Thought I'd replay it to celebrate (at last) once again owning a physical copy; turns out it's still the best point and click adventure ever made!

 

Best game character of the year

C1. Kim Kutsuragi (Disco Elysium)

C2. Kaito-san (Judgment)

C3. Goose (Untitled Goose Game)

 

 

And the big one:

 

Game of the Decade

 

D1. Gone Home

D2. Rock Band 3

D3. Virtue's Last Reward

D4. Disco Elysium

D5. Life is Strange

D6. Alpha Protocol

D7. The Witcher 2

Just to be clear, that's not a typo. I loved The Witcher 3... but I loved The Witcher 2 more. For all of W3's grandeur, its scale, its endless deep side-quests to enjoy and flesh out the world, I actually prefer W2's tighter format, its focus on a single story, its bravery in completely locking major sections of its narrative and world away depending on your choices. They're both great, but 2 is the game I find myself returning to.

D8. Prey

D9. 80 Days

D10. Undertale

 

Honourable mentions to Ace Combat 7, Astro Bot, The Banner Saga (all of the series), Binary Domain, Celeste, Dishonored 2, Divinity: Original Sin 2, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, Ghost Trick, Her Story, Mirror's Edge Catalyst, Night in the Woods, The Outer Worlds, Persona 4: Golden (excluded from consideration as a remake/expansion of an earlier title), Rez Infinite (see Persona 4: Golden), RIGS, Sayonara Wildhearts, Shadowrun: Dragonfall, Tacoma, Tales From The Borderlands, Torment: Tides of Numenera, Undertale, What Remains of Edith Finch, Wipeout VR (see Persona 4: Golden), The Witcher 3, and The Wolf Among Us. 

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I've added a poll because some might prefer to be able to pick more games. I prefer keeping it to 10 to force people to be draconian with their choices, but it's been a long decade and you might want to list more games. I'll leave it open a few days.

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Can a mod sticky this please?

 

Also..

 

6 minutes ago, Benny said:

I've added a poll because some might prefer to be able to pick more games. I prefer keeping it to 10 to force people to be draconian with their choices, but it's been a long decade and you might want to list more games. I'll leave it open a few days.

Keep it fucking 10, for your own sanity, man!

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Game of the Year

A1. Noita

A2. Baba Is You

A3. Slay the Spire

A4. Untitled Goose Game

A5. Superliminal

 

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

Z1. That subset of gamers. Again.

Z2. The lack of Noita love - it should be huge.

Z3. Disco Elysium.

Z4. Loot boxes.

Z5. Overland.

 

Sound Design of the Year

S1. Noita 

S2. Untitled Goose Game

S3. Ape Out

 

Visual Design of the Year

V1. Untitled Goose Game

V2. Ape Out

V3. Baba Is You

 

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 2019) of the Year

B1. No Man's Sky

 

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 2018 or earlier)

X1. 

 

Best game character of the year

C1. Goose

C2. The island (Fortnite)

C3. Baba

 

 

And the big one:

 

Game of the Decade

 

D1. Sleep is Death

D2. Bloodborne

D3. PES 2018 (the one I played most of)

D4. Dark Souls

D5. Inside

D6. Fez

D7. Into the Breach

D8. The Witness

D9. Noita

D10. Portal 2

 

There's at least one Switch exclusive I know would break this ten, had I had chance to get stuck into it.

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I think we should all collectively not discuss the 2013 awards, where in a year Witcher 3 and Mario Kart 8 were on the radar, Rllmuk put Watch Dogs 4th, Dark Souls 2 second, and decided Destiny was top of the year.

 

Spoiler

In the most exciting upcoming games category

 

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A couple of pending things at the moment - Celeste could end up in the best supported slot if the DLC's as good as it's looking... and Indivisible is still on the way... Also, comments to follow.

 

Game of the Year

A1. Katana Zero

"Take the spirit of Viewtiful Joe's slow-motion bullet-dodging action, drop it into a gorgeous neon pixel world and set it to a wonderfully synthy soundtrack and you get one of the most rewarding and entertaining 2D games in recent times. The story is a bit try-hard and can get in the way of the action sometimes, but the core loop of the gameplay never gets old, and every victory makes you feel like a badass. The team has also been quick to flesh out the experience with free DLC in the form of the hard mode and speedrun mode, and the unlocks and secrets are worth checking out after you've gone through the regular story."

A2. Indivisible

"I kind of had my doubts after playing the prototype and the backer demos, but Indivisible is a great little Metroidvania RPG thing. Battles are fast and combine tactical thinking with simple commands, the Iddhi meter-building and incentive to open up enemies for big combos is a great touch, the story is simple but charming and often quite amusing, the abilities you gain are fun to play with and the game reaches a superb climax in the closing hours. I do think some things like quest markers and objectives could have been a little more clearer, and some boss battles did slow the pace down a bit after one too many retries, but these are minor gripes.

A3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

"Sekiro has a lot of problems - spirit emblem farming, some awkward detection of deathblow range, items encouraging variety but being ignored by bosses (e.g. stealth sugar), boss encounters where you're in a walled arena and can't use the environment to your advantage - but when it works it's pretty satisfying to play. The blocking and parrying give each battle a unique rhythm and there's enough going on to make you keen to continue exploring. I do think the dying and resurrection could have felt more empowering or been integrated into battles more - as it is, it feels like two parts of a health bar - but I don't mind how it's used."

A4. Devil May Cry 5

"I was never amazing at the DMC games - I'm probably still far from great - but I blunder through bits and pieces of them from time to time. I played 4 in Human mode and a bit in DH mode, but I think my own ineptitude stemmed from an inability to embrace the combat options. DMC5 was a lot more straightforward in DH mode and a lot of this comes from the wealth of things you can do to keep your rank high and keep the orbs flowing. The different characters each demand different disciplines but they prevent the gameplay from getting stale, and it's easily the best in the series."

A5. 

 

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

Z1. Gambling in games

"This includes a number of things - loot boxes, slot machines, in-game casinos, whatever - but I'm hoping that @Benny will do the sensible thing and combine any overlap into something like "gambling in games". However it's implemented, it's hell for parents to keep tabs on (because why should this stuff be expected in anything that isn't PEGI 18), it preys on people who have had trouble with gambling outside of games, and even if you have the willpower to resist their methods you still end up with a worthless mountain of DLC you won't buy... because you don't want to have to purchase credits for virtual dice rolls. And yet this is where we are today."

Z2. "X Meets Dark Souls" still being used by everyone unironically.

"It's the space year 2019 and this is still happening. It's fine when people use it knowingly and sarcastically, but when anything with a slightly grim atmosphere and a hint of challenge is slapped with the label it's a bad look for everyone - it would probably be an insult to From's game, it dismisses the other games' attempts to actually innovate and do their own thing and it shows gamers as simultaneously criticising anything for ripping off the series but still making shallow comparisons. An equally shameful offence is when From try to deviate with a new IP and people still end up calling everything Eldritch Souls, Samurai Souls or Norse Souls. But like I said, using it in jest is fine."

Z3. Anthem

"My disappointment here comes not as a player of the full game but as an outsider who watched all of this unfold. Then again, I did play one of the public tests. As fun as it is to make fun of Anthem, I want there to be decent alternatives in the multiplayer persistent world space - I have a bit of a Destiny 2 habit and that game is far from flawless but I’d like to see other people taking a look at what they might do differently. But when Anthem goes from breaking consoles to having fundamentally broken loot and more (not to mention the producer leaving and a player count dropping), there was a time when bad news was being followed by... more bad news...”

Z4. Blizzard’s response to Blitzchung, etc.

"Again, this is something I caught as an outsider who doesn’t play the games, but it still seemed like a messed up scenario. From what I understand, Blitzchung showed support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong during a post-game interview and then got kerb-stomped by Blizzard and had his money taken away. This was then followed by suits pumping out the driest corporate statements that shied away from actually mentioning anything of substance. The discomfort was real, the statements were daft and the feeling of people trying to keep the investors/shareholders/whatever happy was so transparent : P”

Z5. Huge game patches

"Watching a progress bar isn't how you'd want to spend a spare evening where you'd hoped to get some gaming in, and I appreciate that they're a necessary evil, but when games themselves are getting packed with more and more content and expansions it feels as though there's more and more to patch, and it can be kind of disheartening when you want to throw a game on but end up waiting for some update or another. At least the dashboards and things in modern consoles mean that you can do other bits and pieces while you wait for the update to do it's thing, but it can still eat away so much time..."

 

Sound Design of the Year

S1. Katana Zero

"I seriously thought I'd be tired of synthy electro music in games by now. It was fine in Hotline Miami but that was *checks game of the decade list* back in 2012 and now everyone's been doing it to death. Or at least that's what you'd think, but in some games it still feels like a perfect fit. Particular favourites of mine include the energetic and appropriate "Chinatown" theme, the slow and catchy earworm that is "Sneaky Driver" and the backdrop for the epic Bunker mission, "Overdose". Oh, and all of the splats, crunches and sword swipes are perfect too."

S2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

"I know that some of the battle theme music can get a bit much, but generally the sound design fits Sekiro pretty well. In a game about being sneaky and using the terrain to your advantage to get those surprise deathblows, it's important to be aware of things happening around you, and Sekiro is almost as good at making use of quiet moments as it is when creating a dramatic soundtrack for a forced boss encounter. Also, I'm usually not a huge dork when it comes to subs and dubs, but using Japanese voices feels entirely appropriate here, even if I miss out on MY NAME IS GYOUBU MASATAKA ONIWA."

S3. Indivisible

"A lot of the music in Indivisible is typical twee RPG fare, but it's never anything less than catchy and tuneful, so it deserves a mention. It's all pretty inoffensive stuff, but you'll never get bored of hearing a region's theme as you return to it again and again to clear up any unfinished business you may have. In addition to all of this, the little quotes and soundbites that the characters have during battle are great, and having so much voiced dialogue in an RPG is always appreciated. Some of the battle sounds seem a bit run-of-the-mill, but nobody ever expects too much from those anyway, especially when the battles in this game happen so quickly!"

 

Visual Design of the Year

V1. Katana Zero

"As with the synthy electro music that I mentioned in my sound design nomination, I was fully prepared to be bored of the moody neon pixel-art look by now, but it all works really well here. From the way light is cast on people who patrol with torches to the black silouhettes when you're skulking around in the dark, everything enhances the mood and atmosphere. As the main character dashes around and slices things up there are flashes of cyan and magenta... and of course plenty of blood gets spilled around each of the environments as well. Meanwhile, the slow-motion does exactly what it needs to in a game like this - everything irrelevant fades to darkness and only the onscreen characters and hazards remain as they are, allowing you to get rid of the "background noise" as you focus on your next manoeuvre."

V2. Indivisible

"I feel kind of guilty putting this in the second slot - both Katana Zero and Indivisible do a very specific thing with their graphics, and they do it well. Whilst Katana Zero specialises in pixel art and neon, Indivisible treats us to some of the best looking sprites and animations since... well, since whatever the last release of Skullgirls was. I never get bored of things like the lighting affecting the way the sprites look in different environments, and each incarnation is packed with charm and character thanks to all of their little battle animations. There are also some great stills used to tell the story, and even the interface is clean and easy to understand."

V3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

"Whilst some could argue that you kind of know what you're in for when it comes to samurai, I still appreciate the level of commitment to the aesthetic seen in Sekiro. The architecture is often impressive to take in; when you first approach Ashina Castle there's so much of it - with so many potential foes hiding in dark corners - that it feels suitably intimidating. Meanwhile, somewhere like the Fountainhead Palace is striking and beautiful, but inside it hides some truly challenging opponents. Elsewhere, character design ranges from safe to inventive, but generally it's all good."

 

Writing of the Year

W1.

W2.

W3.

 

Gaming Format (System) of the Year

F1. Switch

"Again I don't own one but it's going to win everything anyway"

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

P1. Devolver Digital

 

Best Supported Game (released pre 2019) of the Year

B1. Destiny 2

"Support is kind of expected in a persistent game like this, but the Season of Opulence - and specifically, the Menagerie - was a nice chunk of content for a game that's already full of various things to keep players coming back. I'm a big fan of epic multiplayer PvE experiences like Escalation Protocol and Blind Well, and the Menagerie was another great addition to those kinds of experiences, with a little bit of platforming, some regular shooting, some collecting and depositing and some big bosses with bigger health bars. It took a while for it to show its true colours because I was underlevelled at first, but now it's a lot of fun. And I'm writing this before Shadowkeep gets released and adds even more stuff for players to enjoy."

 

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 2018 or earlier)

X1. Astro Bot Rescue Mission

 

Best game character of the year

C1. The Psychiatrist (Katana Zero)

"To talk about The Psychiatrist at length would be to head dangerously close to spoiler territory, but I can at least say that the character you play as for most of Katana Zero's duration often makes visits to The Psychiatrist at the start of each level; as your character collects his latest briefing they can also indulge in a short conversation about conduct in the missions. Again, I don't want to say too much about these dialogue exchanges, but the Psychiatrist's various moods make him a character who is intimidating, intriguing, reassuring and sometimes plain funny... and those meetings are always worth soaking in before you head off to cause chaos."

C2. Ajna (Indivisible)

"Well who else could I mention from this game? Indivisible is a very personal journey for the central character - despite the fact that she runs around with all of these incarnations inside her - and seeing her grow and develop as you - the player - develop and improve your skills... well, it's one of the things that keeps you playing, as you're keen for Ajna to succeed. Whilst she seems like the typical bold heroine type, she still possesses a lot of very human characteristics; she can be funny, sarcastic, fearful, determined and more besides. And of course, it's nice to explore a world (or areas of the world, at least) where people know you, rather than everyone treating you like the new guy."

C3. Genichiro Ashina (Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice)

"Arguably one of the first major hurdles you'll encounter when playing Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Genichiro Ashina is someone that you'll quickly become very familiar with. The first encounter was all about studying his moves and finding his openings (I opted for a waiting game where I let him fire an arrow, roll and swing, as this left him vulnerable for a moment) and then learning the lightning counter - the later encounter involved studying mortal blade attacks and exploiting the recovery on his leaping stab thing. He earns a slot here for getting players up to speed with how Sekiro wants to be played - learn the moves, know when to guard and go in when it's safe to do so..."

 

And the big one:

 

Game of the Decade

 

D1. Bloodborne (2015)

"Whilst the Dark Souls series often left me cold with its clunky combat and nods to medieval fantasy, this is an entirely different beast - pun intended. The shift to cosmic horror is complemented with outstanding environments, and the gameplay is more fluid and better for it. The concept of Insight is thematically brilliant - opening your eyes to a world people choose to ignore - and I like how the multiplayer components are integrated. The  game even has one of the best DLCs of this decade in The Old Hunters, giving players a hugely generous amount of additional content and some unmissable boss encounters."

D2. TxK (2014)

"I've mentioned it before, but "it's just Tempest again" is a bit unfair when people have essentially turned the formula into a subgenre of its own - the tube shooter, the tunnel shooter; whatever. I admit that when I first bought it I wasn't expecting a whole lot, but the presentation is perfect and the 100 levels in the regular mode throw all sorts of new concepts and hazards at you... yet somehow you're able to keep up with the game and deal with it all. Furthermore, the game's soundtrack is excellent (Noise Pulse is the standout but I also like things such as Consciousness is Feedback) and I appreciate the humour sprinkled amongst the madness."

D3. Half-Minute Hero (2010)

"My favourite RPG that isn't a Persona game? I'd have to think about that, but I was really impressed by how charming and enjoyable this game ended up being. I haven't really looked at the sequels and spin-offs too much, but the original still holds up today. The genius of Hero 30 comes from being able to pay to reset the clock, but also having the reset fee increase every time you do it, so you're always hoping that you can level up and kill enough things for the next reset. The other modes might not draw you in at first but they're equally fleshed out with neat ideas, and it all helps to create a worthwhile overall experience."

D4. Vanquish (2010)

"I wasn't really very good at Vanquish, and I struggled with it a little more than other Platinum games at the time, but even when I was bumbling through on whatever difficulty I ended up picking I still ended up being in awe of everything that's going on. Whenever I talk about the appeal of Vanquish I tell people that it's like playing those much cooler firefights you always see in the backgrounds and skyboxes of other games. Everything is blowing up around you and there's complete chaos happening, and it creates one of the liveliest 3D shooters seen this decade. And I still need to get on that Windows port... (if my ageing PC can deal with it!)"

D5. Hotline Miami (2012)

"The original edgy indie action game thing. Well, one of them. Synthy electro music, pixel art, trippy experiences and violent gameplay have all been thrown into various indie games since Hotline Miami, but there weren't a whole lot of experiences quite like it when it was first released. Outside of the style, the gameplay concept is great - most things die in one hit but you can survive if your reflexes are on point - and the fast restarts mean that you continue persisting with whatever mission you're on for however many minutes or hours it takes. The sequel maybe got a bit too ambitious for its own good, but the original is still a fun time."

D6. Virtue's Last Reward (2012)

"How daft was I when I ignored this on the original release day? The aesthetic seemed a bit drab to me and I didn't know if a game full of logic puzzles would really hold my attention for too long, but Virtue's Last Reward is much more than that. For one, the logic puzzles are quite involving and encourage you to play around and see how things work... and the little jingle when you succeed never gets old. But then plot stuff happens and you realise you're in a twisted game of certain death with the Prisoner's Dilemma being used to determine the fate of the characters. VLR does a fine job of showing just how engaging visual novels can be."

D7. Ghost Trick (2011)

"I was originally nervous about a more puzzle-oriented game from Shu Takumi and Capcom, but this remains a joy to play. All of the little interactions make sense and instantly make you think about how you can manipulate the scenario to your advantage, and the little thought bubble nudges players in the right direction without being patronising. (And then there's Missile...) Outside of the gameplay, it's full of charming and humorous writing, and some genuinely sweet scenes - little moments like Sissel giving Lynne an umbrella as it rains. The music is great, and there are still those Takumi plot twists that make you keen to see what's happening next..."

D8. Riptale (2017)

"Here's the curve ball that I know won't make it into the final list of Game of the Decade results - unless Benny decides to list absolutely everything. I think last time I checked this on Steam nobody on my friends list had played it, but I enjoy it a lot. It's a combat adventure where you can run, jump and slash, but everything is lightning fast and one-hit kills are the order of the day. Being able to get new attacks to slot into a string of three hits offers lots of variety, and the roguelike format gives you an excuse to return to it over and over again. The presentation is also great - everything is monochrome aside from the blood, and the chiptune music always suits the frantic pacing."

D9. Gravity Rush (2012)

"It's kind of funny that one of the early Vita standouts is one that doesn't feel too gimmicky - the game got remastered for home consoles so it doesn't need the Vita-exclusive features - no, Gravity Rush is just an incredibly fun game that happens to be on a handheld that didn't last very long. Moving around the world feels clumsy at first but quickly comes into its own, and there's a satisfying Crackdown-style appeal found in gathering gems to increase your flight speed and decrease the speed of the gauge decreasing. The story seems pretty shallow when observed as a whole, but there are some touching moments in places, and the characters are all pretty likeable. And no, I still haven't played the second game. Oops."

D10. Superbeat Xonic (2015)

"With my former #1 disqualified, I have a free slot to do something with... so I may as well bump everything up one place and throw this in. I appreciate that it doesn't have the "personality" or "charm" of your PaRappas or Gitaroo Men but the Vita version is one of the most satisfying touchscreen rhythm games out there. Placing the tappable areas on the outer edges of the screen and having notes emerge from the centre mean that your fingers never cover the action, and the flick/hold/trace notes offer plenty of variety. The soundtrack may not be for everyone but it covers a wide variety of genres, and there's tons of stuff to unlock as you play. This originally came out on Vita but later saw releases on home consoles - since most of the enjoyment comes from the touchscreen interaction, this is more of a vote for the Vita original."

 

Honourable mentions to Persona 4 Golden (it would be at No. 1 but the remake/remaster angle kind of goes against the spirit of the poll), Rez Infinite (it would be at No. 2 but... see P4G), Ultra Street Fighter IV, Nier Automata, Dragonball FighterZ, P4 Ultimax, Bayonetta

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21 minutes ago, bear said:

Does this make Spelunky (360 release onwards) eligible? 

 

As the remake is fundamentally new, I would say yes. Spelunky HD is a new game with unique content and graphics and more like a sequel than anything else.

 

Another good example would be Final Fantasy 8: this would be eligible for GotY 2019 because it's a remastered release of a classic game, where work has been done on the game to release it again. It would NOT be eligible for GotD because it's not a completely new game or remake, and is essentially the same as it was on release.

 

SNES releases on Switch are NOT eligible for either category, because they are emulated classics, and no additional work has been done on them or changed them from how they were in their original incarnations. I would say to be honest Mario Kart despite being playable with a friend online now has not changed the core 2-player experience at all so it's not eligible.

 

Rare Replay is also not eligible - they might have higher resolutions, but they are still emulated and not reworked remasters in any way.

 

I think if people were falling over themselves to put old games on their lists they should probably have a rethink anyway, or make a game awards for the Retro folder.

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Just been looking back at my top tens throughout the decade...Fuck, its been good! 2010 and 2017 are contenders for the best years ever and I fully expect some absolute classics to fall outside of the top 20 which should get us all deliciously outraged. I'm also going predict that the From Software's games will split the vote and appear lower than expected, resulting in a fierce and bloody war with losers on all sides (except the Bloodborne fans who are right and the best, obvs).

 

Sorry to bog you down in the specific criteria for qualification @Benny, but does SEGA AGES: Virtua Racing qualify for the 2019 awards? I can't quite figure out if it counts in my own head (the thread was a total love in too so it's probably a good one to preempt). 

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Alright, I think I'm done. HERE WE GO!

Game of the Year


A1. Untitled Goose Game

I hate to say it, but even after playing The Outer Worlds, this is still the better experience. There's a lot to be said about a game that just comes along out of nowhere, puts you in front of something that's both fresh and familiar  (The Katamari series was also a short-lived game about terrorising people in a comical fashion), stays anywhere between a couple of minutes to a couple of days, drops a solid punchline, and then simply drops the curtain. Grand Opening, Grand Closing.

There's not a lot of games that do that - And some of the few that do turn out to be some of my favourite games ever, ones that remind me that videogames aren't supposed to be about collecting a load of shit, hours of side missions and drip-feeding content to generate more interest. Games like Wario Ware and Katamari consoled me in times where I grew tired of the medium, ran down by hours of JRPGs and Online Services, and simply provided something fun and new.

And in 2019, sometimes, it's just better to be a bad-tempered goose.

 

A2. The Outer Worlds
This will likely get higher than Untitled Goose Game the more I play it, but I've played enough to know what we always knew about Obsidian making Fallout - all the fault laid with Bethesda's engine. There's blemishes in some of the QoL stuff, but make no mistake - This is 3D Fallout as everyone wanted it, and it's scratching an itch I've missed following Fallout 4's disappointing release.
 

A3. Pokémon Sword/Shield
Yes, the wild area's performance is ropey, Gigamaxing means fuck-all and it's a shame that everyone's favourite Pokémon got axed, but I've honestly had more fun with this than most games this year. The whole 'stadium tour' theme is a fresh take on a familiar gym badge format, a lot of the characters are charming, and there's been some wild area encounters and trainer fights that really did surprise me. Doesn't hit the heights of Gen 1 & 2, but it sure has me entertained a lot more than anything else after that.
 

A4. Dicey Dungeons 
Hey, you like Slay The Spire? Yeah, that shit is old now. The NEW Early Access hotness is Slay The Spire, but with dice - Produced by Terry Cavanagh, who did VVVVVV and Super Hexagon. This clone-but-hang-on-its-fucking-better combines a very intricate and chance-based battle mechanic that's just as appealing as cards and twice as mind-bending, some very funny dialogue, a full suite of playable character archetypes that turn the combat system on its head, and an absolute fucking banger of a soundtrack by Chipzel.
 

A5. Tetris 99
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.
 

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

Z1. Anthem
Honestly, the game was actually fine to play. It's just there was fuck all to it after the campaign.
 

Z2. Tom Clancy's The Division 2
...Honestly, this had the same problem as Anthem after you hit World Tier 5. Just didn't feel compelled to go back after it was done.
 

Z3. Borderlands 3
Gave it a blast over the free weekend it had. It does a lot of stuff right and adds conveniences where it was needed (fast travel, etc), but like pre-sequel, a whole catalogue of improvements doesn't end make making a game that's fun. The more I played it, the more I felt that perhaps Borderlands 2 really was at the right place at the right time in terms of videogame history instead of being a good game in its own merit.
 

Z4. Torchlight 2 (Console Version)
Torchlight felt great on console. Diablo III and PoE came along, and felt great on console. Torchlight 2 didn't, and the sad truth after all these years, was that it was because it wasn't that good of a game.
 

Z5. Destiny 2: Shadowkeep
Kind of a tough one, as this is very much a live service these days - I enjoyed my time in Year 2, and this is... more of Year 2's expansion pass. Welcome updates (Especially Season of Dawn), but not the huge redemption everyone was singing from the rooftops about as of this moment.

 

Sound Design of the Year

 

S1. Dicey Dungeons
https://chipzel.co.uk/track/step-right-up

 

S2. Sayonara Wild Hearts
Yep, that's a pretty great soundtrack.

 

S3. Pokémon Sword/Shield
Just a very pleasant soundtrack. Trainer themes having different versions across the game was also a great choice.

 

Visual Design of the Year
 

V1. Mortal Kombat 11
It looked fucking lovely, and even better when people fixed the 30fps cinematics on the PC.
 

V2. Sayonara Wild Hearts
Have to admit, I nearly fell off my chair when the 'Made in Unity' bit in the credits popped up. Incredibly fluid and vivid art direction, and never dropped a beat. A proper good job here.
 

V3. Untitled Goose Game
Very simple, very clean visuals, with fluid animation full of character.

 

Writing of the Year
 

W1. Disco Elysium
You can stick a fork into every other game this year, it's not even close. Just hours and hours of exposition, dialogue, and telling people you want to 'make fuck' with them.
 

W2.  Destiny 2: Shadowkeep
Not for the campaign especially, but for the fact that Bungie are more than dedicated to stuffing dozens and dozens of lore pieces all throughout the world. It's always been commendable.
 

W3. Metal Wolf Chaos XD
RICHARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRD

 

Gaming Format (System) of the Year
 

F1. PC
Always the same. Even better with PC Gamepass.

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year
 

P1. Microsoft
They picked up companies I like (Double Fine, InXile, Obsidian), made Metro Exodus and The Outer Worlds available on PC without relying on Epic's exclusivity deals to run out, Gamepass Ultimate is incredible value and they're helping out with bringing Pantasy Star Online 2 to the west.
 

Best Supported Game (released pre 2019) of the Year
 

B1. Hitman Series
I've only just recently started exploring this series - considering all the flak IO Interactive took for the always online aspects, There is something incredible about the a la carte modularity of the series, how especially generous IO are (get the original Hitman, play it in 2's engine for free), and the constant monthly roadmaps they push out for actual content.

It also helps that the game is a proper hoot.
 

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 2018 or earlier)
 

X1. Danganronpa V3
This is technically a vote for the entire Danganronpa series - I played through the entire lot throughout 2019 after having it shelved for so long, and it's ended up being one of my favourite franchises of the decade.

Although Danganronpa 2 *should* be here instead of V3, it's hard to justify from a game perspective - DR2 was where the developers started making minigames that were sort of fun outside of the main trial mechanic, but V3 perfected it AND added a bunch of new trial sections, let alone attempting to shoehorn some hot takes in terms of plot (most likely attempting to follow up how brilliant DR2 was at the end of the game).

In all, the HD lick of paint, an outrageously great soundtrack, and some ultimately fun mechanics elevate Danganronpa V3 to be the best in the series if you take all the games at face value. But the whole franchise? we'll get into that one.. 

 

Best game character of the year
 

C1. The Goose (Untitled Goose Game)

Untitled Goose Game's lead character doesn't have a story. doesn't have a narrative. Completely controlled by you. No voice acting outside of a honk button.
But, somehow - somehow - the animation of this particular goose, combined with the interaction of NPCs in the village he terrorises, and that faint bit of lock-on with those other characters and the world, just makes him look like such a dick. Probably the best 'pure' characterisation I've seen since Doom 2016.

 

C2. Sirfetch'd (Pokémon Sword)
Quite literally the reason I ended up getting Pokémon Sword - an evolution to the dumb bird holding a leek that's been in the Pokémon games since generation 1 on the Game Boy, turning it into the Chad Thundercock of the 8th Generation that literally has enough crit chance and damage to one-shot STAB attack most trainers into the fucking bin, while looking like an absolute smug cunt at the same time. Fartech'd finally has its time in the sun, and it's absolutely glorious.

 

C3. SAM (The Outer Worlds)
Honestly, Parvati has the same hooks as Veronica did in New Vegas, which makes her just a super-nice person with some nice dialogue. SAM, on the other hand, is merciless on germs and is here to clean every motherfucker in the universe. Typically, by jumping on them and spraying acid on their face.

 

And the big one:

 

Game of the Decade

 

D1. Fallout: New Vegas (2010)

The zenith of the Fallout series - amazing multi-faceted quests that are excellently written, wonderful characters and sidekicks that diverge from tropes, engaging combat and character building systems that let you get through the game in all manner of styles, and a series of additional downloadable stories that should be straight-up considered the gold standard of DLC. 

 

D2. Super Mario Odyssey (2017)
An absolutely emphatic 3D platformer, that builds and celebrates what made every other 3D Mario game so great, along as the Mario series as a whole. The most intuitive and fun platforming mechanics since Mario 64, a bright colourful world that really brings out the best in the Nintendo Switch's hardware while not missing a beat in terms of framerate, and even wasn't concerned about changing the mood for some worlds and boss battles.

 

D3. Grand Theft Auto V (2013, 2014 for PC version)
To date, this is the only GTA that I played through entirely - Every activity that's core to the GTA experience along with a lot of the silly little minigames like cycling and flying school just felt right and intuitive, kept my interest through every single mission (the series of missions where the game transitions to Trevor and keeps with him until you get to the mainland is hands-down my favourite part of GTA in its entirety), and was an absolute joy in terms of story, along with being a technical marvel through 2 seperate generations.

 

D4. Nier: Automata (2017)
It's hard to really describe what makes this game so great without ruining it for someone who wants to go ahead with playing it themselves - but really, it's Platinum Games action meets a completely engrossing story. The way the game requires multiple playthroughs really gets you into looking at perspectives you wouldn't normally see, and challenges the player into reading into the story a lot more than most games are designed to do, which is wonderful.

 

D5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)
It took me a while to get myself into it (seriously, two formats and via emulation). But when it clicked, it fucking *clicked*, and I couldn't stop playing until it was done. A very different Zelda, but ultimately one of the scant few I really picked the bones of (The others being LttP and Link's Awakening).

 

D6. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (2012)
V3 was the better *game*, but 2 was the best of the series, all things considered. Slightly worse courtroom interactions and minigames, but combines what you knew from the original Danganronpa and elevates it with some equally excellent characters, and ramps up the narrative to my favourite part in the entire series, and after that it goes wildly into Metal Gear Solid 2 territory in terms of wacky plot hooks. And I bloody love it, I tell you.

 

D7.  Undertale (2015)
A properly wonderful, subversive RPG with pitch-perfect writing and a soundtrack that I keep coming back to.

 

D8. Yakuza 0 (2017)
An absolutely phenomenal story, brutal beat-em-up mechanics and side stories/minigames that you just can't stop playing.

 

D9. Doom (2016)
Quite literally the only game where I have to physically stop after a level because of the intensity of the action. Incredible FPS with a banging dynamic soundtrack.

 

D10. Hotline Miami (2012)
A lot of games are here because they're good fun to play or have great stories. This is more of the same, but the main hook is the soundtrack which got me into listening to more Dark Synth and Electronic music.

 

Also-rans:

I've taken out Path of Exile. I love the game, but I can't support it due to their relationship with Tencent and how shit China is. Sorry.


Persona 4 Golden (it's a remaster, as much as I want to argue it), Borderlands 2, Diablo 3, Forza Horizon, Tekken 7, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown, Tekken Tag 2, Destiny 2, Bastion, The Darkness 2, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Skyrim, Portal 2, Spec Ops: The Line.. 

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