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The Rllmuk Game of the Year Awards 2021 - Voting Thread!


Treble
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21 minutes ago, Calashnikov said:

Would FFXIV Endwalker count as 2021? 😜

 

Referendum got you covered ;)

 

Re-releases, remasters, release debuts on new consoles (eg MS Flight Sim), DLC for a game that existed prior to 2021 and director's cuts are NOT eligible for category 'A'. 

Please vote for these in category 'B'. 

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So just to clarify - in category B you can vote for games that had already been released in some form or other, on other platforms or whatever, but they still need to have had a release of some kind in 2021 right? You can’t just vote for anything? :unsure:

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6 minutes ago, Stanley said:

So just to clarify - in category B you can vote for games that had already been released in some form or other, on other platforms or whatever, but they still need to have had a release of some kind in 2021 right? You can’t just vote for anything? :unsure:

 

It falls under the list I posted: it has to have had a remaster, re-release, director's cut or DLC within 2021.

 

You can also include emulation released to stores (eg the shitty N64 releases on Switch) in cat B if you're so inclined, I'm not arsed :)

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I've edited my post to what I think is the right categorisation, @Treble. Couple of queries:

- Deltrarune - Chapter 2 classifies as DLC, right?

- Regardless of the main GOTY, do both groups A and B qualify for all other categories, providing there's actual justification? I mean, Hades looks the same on every platform it's released for, but obviously Deltarune loves shoehorning in absolute bangers each episode, same goes for the new Mr. X Nightmare DLC tracks for SOR4.

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I've not had any contact with Delta rune. Would be great if the fans/voters of the games could double-check the releases and dates then adjust by themselves so I don't have to go back and check every entry, cheers. 

 

I can't parse your second point at all, sorry. All DLC for games released prior to 2021 (such as Dr X's Nightmare) are B. Does that answer the question? 

 

Edit: @Siri

 

Edit 2: ah, I see what you mean. No, cat b stuff is not eligible for ANY other category in the list. Otherwise it doesn't make any sense - it'd just be a shadow vote for GOTY. 

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1 minute ago, Siri said:

Righto. I'll redact mention of Deltarune from other categories in addition to moving it to Cat B - Ultimately, it's a game that was out on PC in 2018, even if the new episode and additional music tracks are great.

It’s awkward isn’t it - I had to move Bowser’s Fury into cat B because it comes as a package with 3D World, even though the game itself is completely standalone, you just can’t purchase it separately so I guess it is classed as DLC here, or a remaster, or something. 

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37 minutes ago, Siri said:

I've edited my post to what I think is the right categorisation, @Treble. Couple of queries:

- Deltrarune - Chapter 2 classifies as DLC, right?

- Regardless of the main GOTY, do both groups A and B qualify for all other categories, providing there's actual justification? I mean, Hades looks the same on every platform it's released for, but obviously Deltarune loves shoehorning in absolute bangers each episode, same goes for the new Mr. X Nightmare DLC tracks for SOR4.


Delta rune chapter 2 is definitely  a sequel rather than DLC.

 

Its a game being released in multiple parts but on the two episodes released so far they are both independent games as much as each other.
 

Would be faintly ridiculous to use the 2018 release date given chapter 2 is a completely new game.

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13 minutes ago, Stanley said:

It’s awkward isn’t it - I had to move Bowser’s Fury into cat B because it comes as a package with 3D World, even though the game itself is completely standalone, you just can’t purchase it separately so I guess it is classed as DLC here, or a remaster, or something. 


We’re in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water here. As far as I’m concerned 3D World/Bowsers Fury is a new game and is nothing like the original concern of counting identical games being released on a new platform a la Hades.

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2 minutes ago, Majora said:

I feel like Bowser's Fury is an add-on to an old game that has been re-released this year so has to go in category B. It's not a standalone game.

 

I voted against this madness but everyone can have fun arguing what goes in category B now :coffee:

I mean we can categorise it however we want, but the point is that Bowser’s Fury is a brand new standalone experience released this year, you could play it and not even touch 3D World. 

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Game of the Year 2021

 

A1. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

 

A2. Kena ~ Bridge of Spirits

 

A3. Unpacking

 

A4. Bowser's Fury

 

A5. Guardians of the Galaxy

 

 

Game of the Year (premiered anywhere pre-2021) 

 

B1. Strange Brigade

 

B2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

 

B3. Ridge Racers 2

 

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year

 

Z1. A few big titles delayed due to the ongoing pandemic

 

Z2. All this hoo-hah about NFTs in games

 

Z3. Bobby Kotick is still running Activision

 

 

Sound Design of the Year

 

S1. Returnal

 

S2. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

 

S3. Unpacking

 

 

Visual Design of the Year

 

V1. Unpacking

 

V2. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

 

V3. Metroid Dread

 

 

 

Writing of the Year

 

W1. Metroid Dread

 

W2. Unpacking (in the loosest sense. The story it tells with minimal words is amazing!)

 

W3. Guardians of the Galaxy

 

 

Format of the Year

 

F1. PlayStation 5

 

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

 

P1. Sony. Ratchet, Returnal, Death Stranding Director's Cut, Destruction All Stars.  Not a bad year.

 

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On 29/12/2021 at 12:35, bradigor said:

A5. Ekstase

Not wanting to go gaming hipster on you all, but you've probably never heard of this before. However you really should have. If you like(d) Tetris, Lumines. Columns, Puzzle Fighter, etc then this should be on your list. It is a mix of Tetris and Lumines and it is a joy to play. It has been on Itch.io for a while, but recently got a Switch release. (Steam may have been 2021 too). What is lovely about this is the accessibility options too, that help those wioth visual and hearing impairments. The goal from the developer is to make this completely playable when fully blind. So kudos there too.


Just going back to this, it really is very good.  If a mix of Tetris & Lumines appeals then I’d encourage you to pick it up - it’s currently in sale on the Switch.  It’s obvious enough people aren’t playing it as I’m 20th on the leaderboard for the Flow A game mode.  The only thing I want from it is an explanation of what the game modes are.

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59 minutes ago, teddymeow said:

Game of the Year 2021

 

A1. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

 

A2. Kena ~ Bridge of Spirits

 

A3. Unpacking

 

A4. Guardians of the Galaxy

 

A5. Halo Infinite

 

 

Game of the Year (premiered anywhere pre-2021) 

 

B1. Strange Brigade

 

B2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

 

B3. Mario 3D World & Bowser's Fury!!!

 

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year

 

Z1. A few big titles delayed due to the ongoing pandemic

 

Z2. All this hoo-hah about NFTs in games

 

Z3. Bobby Kotick is still running Activision

 

 

Sound Design of the Year

 

S1. Returnal

 

S2. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

 

S3. Unpacking

 

 

Visual Design of the Year

 

V1. Unpacking

 

V2. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

 

V3. Metroid Dread

 

 

 

Writing of the Year

 

W1. Metroid Dread

 

W2. Death Stranding Director's Cut

 

W3. Unpacking (in the loosest sense. The story it tells with minimal words is amazing!)

 

 

Format of the Year

 

F1. PlayStation 5

 

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

 

P1. Sony. Ratchet, Returnal, Death Stranding Director's Cut, Destruction All Stars.  Not a bad year.

 

 

W2 can't go in, I'm sorry. DS:DC classes as a category B game, which aren't eligible for any other categories with the exception of F1 and P1 as ancillary examples of format/publisher's wares. 

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1 hour ago, Majora said:

I feel like Bowser's Fury is an add-on to an old game that has been re-released this year so has to go in category B. It's not a standalone game.

 

I voted against this madness but everyone can have fun arguing what goes in category B now :coffee:


Bowser’s Fury is an all new game. Its controls are different to the base game and everything, controlling more similarly to a truly 3D Mario a la Odyssey, as opposed to the 8-way directional input of the old 3D World base game.

 

Deltarune Chapter 2 is also a new game.

 

The old games that we had issue with people voting for as if they were new games were old games like Hades and Microsoft Flight Simulator.

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1 hour ago, Wiper said:

Unfortunately, it can't be bought alone, so it isn't a standalone release. Just an expansion. Into category B it goes, with Hades and Binary Domain and the other naughty children.


Bowsers fury is absolutely not an expansion. It’s a completely separate game with different mechanics. Nevertheless I will put it into the pre 2021 list and shove in something else not deserving. I guess the same goes for cruis’n blast. 

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1 hour ago, Wiper said:

Unfortunately, it can't be bought alone, so it isn't a standalone release. Just an expansion. Into category B it goes, with Hades and Binary Domain and the other naughty children.


What if 3D World was the bonus bundled-in old game  of the new Mario game, Bowser’s Fury, like when they put NES Metroid 1 in Metroid Prime? 🤷🏻‍♂️ 

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3 hours ago, Treble said:

@Qazimod(and anyone else who needs to know): Tetris Effect: Connected will have to move into the B category now. 

 

2 hours ago, Siri said:

Righto. I'll redact mention of Deltarune from other categories in addition to moving it to Cat B - Ultimately, it's a game that was out on PC in 2018, even if the new episode and additional music tracks are great.

 

Okay. Moved Deltarune Chapter 2 and TE: Connected from A to B, and removed them from any other categories. Thanks for clearing that up.

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Cheers for sorting this @Treble, it seems like an absolutely massive pain in the arse. My entries here, apologies as always for the massive writeups. 

 

Game of the Year

 

A1. Returnal. 

I'm going to come straight out and say it. Returnal is this generation's Bloodborne. I have to write 5 games in order here but Returnal is so many leaps and bounds above anything else on this list that it's almost a joke. It's two experiences in one; at first a slow paced horror tinged crawl of a game that forces you to learn every system and explore every nook and cranny whilst trying to work out what the fuck is going on. And then suddenly things click into place and game 2 opens up; a blisteringly fast arcade experience like no other. You'll pull off incredible moves without realising it as you duck and weave, shoot and destroy, and blast through incredible looking area after area taking names left right and centre. It's a bit like Neo learning the Matrix, if the third act of the Matrix also had Neo dying loads and then just about scraping through and having to go and have a cup of tea to calm down. 

 

A2. Resident Evil: Village.

It's just big, stupid, scary fun. I've enjoyed so many great games this year but none have made me smile like Village. It's kind of a greatest hits package of Resi, succeeding in that regard where Resi 6 failed. The scary bits scared me, the funny bits made me laugh, and a man's hands got absolutely decimated over and over again for ages. I loved it. 

 

A3.Death's Door.

A game that just gets better the more you put into it. I love the mood of it over everything else. It's brilliant both in the moments of intense action but also in moments of calm. Chilling out with a load of crows at a camp, chatting to a gravedigger as the music plinks and plonks along. It just feels like a really coherent fun place to plod around in uncovering secrets. A bit of a Zelda/Dark Souls mash up that uses the best parts of each to become something really fun and original in its own right. 

 

A4. Halo: Infinite.

I deeply, deeply love Halo and Halo Infinite gave me moments that I've wanted from the series from the very beginning. It's the bigger map, it's the grappling hook, it's the sheer number of options are your disposal at every moment in combat. It's a big stupid playground to mess around in and in that regard it's the best one ever. Now, it also gave me moments where I had to listen to fucking Cortana for hours again and squeeze a tank through a slightly wide valley being pummelled by bastards like a poo on the most wanted list, so it isn't actually quite the best one ever. If Infinite is a mixed bag in the single player that succeeds more often than it fails,  the multiplayer is consistently and constantly excellent. It's a clever modernisation of Halo that makes it feel like the original and a new experience at the same time and I'll be playing it for years. 

 

A5. Kid A Mnesia.

I love Radiohead and I loved this. A sensory experience like no other. Just pipped Artful Escape to 5th because Radiohead. 

 

Game of the Year (premiered anywhere pre-2021) 

 

B1. Death Stranding: Directors Cut

 

B2. Mario 3D World and Bowser's Fury

 

B3. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Lovely Edition. 

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year

 

Z1. Activision and Bobby Kotick. And Ubisoft. Games companies being shits, basically. 

 

Z2. GTA Trilogy.

 

Z3. Forza Horizon 5.

Or maybe Bittertoad. One of those two. I've always, always loved these games and have put well over a hundred hours into 2, 3 and 4. And I think that's the issue. I put 5 on and Mexico was lovely and it looked great but there wasn't a single original thing in it. The racing's great, the map's fantastic, it's all good, but there's nothing I've not seen before so I'm not in any way compelled to go back to it. A bit of a case of it's me not the game here, if it's your first one it's fantastic, but I felt let down by a series that always felt fresh and interesting feeling a little stagnant for the first time. 

 

 

 

Sound Design of the Year

 

S1. Returnal

 

S2. Kid A Mnesia

 

S3. Resident Evil Village

 

 

 

Visual Design of the Year

 

V1. Psychonauts 2

 

V2. Returnal

 

V3. Resident Evil Village

 

 

 

Writing of the Year

 

W1. Psychonauts 2

 

W2. Death's Door

 

W3. Deathloop

 

 

 

Format of the Year

 

F1. Xbox Series S

 

 

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

 

P1. Housemarque

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On 29/12/2021 at 16:59, mikeyl said:

The rules are arbitrary and fucked because let’s face it, it’s to accommodate people who only played Hades because it was free on Gamepass. By following the debut to new audience rules, I’m putting in 2 out of 5 as my GOTY because I love them so much even though I’ve not touched them on PC.

 

Game of the Year

 

A1. Returnal

 

A2. Days Gone  Guardians of the Galaxy

 

A3. Forza 5

 

A4. Halo Infinite

 

A5.  Final Fantasy Remake Outriders


Rereleases of the year

 

B1. Death Stranding DC

 

B2. Yakuza Like A Dragon

 

B3. Hades

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year

 

Z1. Not the creeps at the games companies, animals will always be animals. It’s the complete lack of consequences that’s disappointing. 

 

Z2. PS5 output apart from Returnal. Really barely touched the beautiful machine this year.

 

Z3. The second half of Halo Infinite after the excitement wears off

 

 

 

Sound Design of the Year

 

S1. Returnal

 

S2. Radiohead game 

 

S3. Outriders 

 

 

 

Visual Design of the Year

 

V1. Returnal

 

V2. Forza 5

 

V3. The Ascent

 

 

 

Writing of the Year

 

W1. Guardians of the Galaxy

 

W2. Hades (Xbox edition) Returnal

 

W3. The Grunt comms officer in Halo infinite and the Grunt comms officer only.

 

 

 

Format of the Year

 

F1. Xbox (ps5 had Returnal but Xbox had a near constant stream of Gamepass 7/10s to keep going all year)

 

 

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

 

P1. Housemarque 

 
Amended and done! Thank you @Treble for dealing with this administrative nightmare and sorry if you felt any of my comments were too mean x

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Game of the Year

    

A1. Old World

From the Lead Designer of Civilization IV comes the best 4X strategy game since… Civilization IV. 

 

On the surface, Old World looks like a Civilization game, but it doesn’t play much like one. It’s more narrow in scope (a standard game is 200 turns with each turn advancing time by 1 year) and the Crusader Kings style interactions with characters make for more complex and surprising playthroughs than “Gandhi has declared war on you” (again - but this time his words are backed by nuclear weapons instead of catapults). 

 

Wars (and other political conflicts) in Old World are sparked by plausible character relations. At one point, playing as Babylonia, my ruler was married to a Scythian who was of a different religious belief than the Babylonian state religion. The people of Babylonia called for the ruler to publicly condemn her heretic husband. I chose to condemn his beliefs (to win the support of the people), but the consequences turned out to be severe as it led to a war with Scythia. We had originally secured peaceful diplomatic relations through marriage, but religion (among several other factors) play into character relationships and ultimately form the political landscape in the game. 

 

Decisions you make, which seem inconsequential at the time, may become problematic later (or prove useful) in unexpected ways. Which probably sounds familiar to Crusader Kings players, but rather than the real-time-with-pause grand strategy of CK (make decision(s), press resume and wait for stuff to happen), the turn-based 4X style means that Old World plays out quite differently. 

 

It’s not turn-based in exactly the same sense as Civilization or other 4X games, however: Possibly the greatest innovation in the game is the introduction of Orders - essentially an abstract resource (similar to Culture in Civilization). Each turn, the available orders are used for movement and other actions you take (or can be saved up for the next turn), but since the orders are limited, moving every unit every turn is rarely a good strategy. This solves the issue of mid to late game tedium in 4X games where you usually have dozens of units all waiting to be moved around with a fixed set of individual movement points each turn. 

 

The use of orders in Old World means you have to make hard decisions on what to do each turn, because you can never do everything in the usual 4X sense. Every decision you make means not doing (or postponing) something else.  If there’s one thing I wish other turn-based 4X strategy developers take note of, it’s this particular mechanic. Combined with character events that always pop up with interesting decisions leading to (short term or long term) consequences, the end result is a 4X strategy game that is unusually engaging each turn and avoids the “glorified spreadsheet” feel of many other games in the genre.

 

     

A2. Wildermyth

I will admit I have not played this enough to say if its place on the list is justified.The blend of X-Com style turn-based combat with procedurally generated storytelling is intriguing so far and I like that character progression involves aging, relationships between characters, having children etc. Conceptually, the game is right up my alley.

     

A3. Trials of Fire

A great blend of a roguelite deckbuilder like Slay the Spire and a party-based role-playing game with hex-based combat. 

 

A4. Valheim

Got sucked into the hype around release and finally managed to get into one of these survival/crafting games. I ran around for hours, skipping sleep to collect wood, rocks, mushrooms etc., and somehow I was not utterly bored. Good times. Until my brain reverted to its normal state and I went back to playing something with more defined objectives and structure.

 

 A5. 

 

 

Game of the Year (premiered anywhere pre-2021) 

     

B1. Quake

I just want to state that after playing Quake again for the first time since, err, probably around 2000, I can conclude that it’s still one of the best first-person shooters on the market in 2021. Solid job on the remaster as well.

 

B2. 

   

B3. 

 

     

     

Biggest Disappointment of the Year

     

Z1. Activision/Blizzard

     

Z2.

     

Z3.

     

     

Sound Design of the Year

     

S1. Old World

It’s a great soundtrack by Christopher Tin. Very appropriate for the setting and style of game.

 

S2. Quake

     

S3. Trials of Fire

 

    

Visual Design of the Year

  

V1. Old World

The art in character portraits and events is just outstanding. The landscapes, cities, units etc. are nicely detailed as well. It looks at least as good as the most recent Civilization game, despite being made by about 6 people.

 

V2. Trials of Fire

Nice art style, detailed maps and lovely effects during battle 

     

V3. Valheim

I guess I just really like that mix of early-looking 3D graphics with modern effects. 

 

 

Writing of the Year

     

W1. Old World

     

W2. Wildermyth

     

W3. Trials of Fire

     

         

Format of the Year

     

F1. PC

     

         

Publisher or Developer of the Year

     

P1. Mohawk Games

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Treble is discovering now why democracy doesn't work for these things and at some point you just have to put your foot down and become lord of your domain.

 

Anyway category B is gonna be where the real good shit goes in mine of course.

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Game of the Year 2021

 

A1. Xenocider - a Dreamcast game that looks, feels and plays as good as any of SEGAs biggest hits of that era. In a time of endless bland AAA it’s was refreshing to play a game that felt like it was birthed in a different era. An onrail shooter in the mould of Charge n Blast with plenty of nods to other classics like Space Harrier and Rez, rock hard and stuffed full of modes. Even more impressive that this was created over seven years by a very small team of developers in their spare time. A love letter to the Dreamcast and SEGA of old. Deserves a port to current formats to give it the appreciation it deserves. 

 

A2. It takes Two

 

A3. Psychonauts 2

 

A4. WarioWare: Get it together! 

 

A5. Cruis’n Blast 

 

Game of the Year (premiered anywhere pre-2021) 

 

B1. Intrepid Izzy - Two Dreamcast releases in my list, doing it like it’s 2001.  A fun and colourful Metroidvania by  Senile Team. Released on PS4 and Steam last year, got its Dreamcast release this year. And what a banger it is! Full of character and charm and that unique Semile Team art style. 

 

B2. Skyrim Anniversary edition 

 

B3. Super Mario 3D World 

 

 

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year

 

Z1. GTA trilogy 

 

Z2. GTA trilogy 

 

Z3. GTA trilogy 

 

 

 

Sound Design of the Year

 

S1.

 

S2.

 

S3.

 

 

 

Visual Design of the Year

 

V1.

 

V2.

 

V3.

 

 

 

Writing of the Year

 

W1.

 

W2.

 

W3.

 

 

 

Format of the Year

 

F1. Evercade - gone from strength to strength and building towards the release of the VS which is a great bit of kit. 

 

 

 

Publisher or Developer of the Year

 

P1. Retro Sumus - What they achieved with Xenocider, a project of love and a great achievement for such a small developer. 

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