Qt3 PRESENTS:Create your own year-end awards, 2015

2014! 2013! 2012! 2011! 2009!

As imagined by forgeforsaken, (and carried on by Tim James and Giaddon) now is the time of year when we can all gather and create our own awards for our favorite, least favorite, and random games!

The only rule is: if you disagree with another poster, share that in the form of an award.

Best (and worst) console to portable port: Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. On one hand, I can’t believe I’m roaming around this huge world, fighting monsters and where are the loading screens? Unbelievable! On the other hand, OMG THIS GAME LOOKS HORRIBLE. Like atrocious. Eye-bleeding terrible. The colours are washed out, the text is small, everything is pixelated and there always seems to be some kind of weird shimmering on the screen which makes me feel like there must be a thick layer of fingerprint oil all over my screen. I applaud the developers for getting the whole game on the 3DS but I can’t help but feel that a version with more stylized version with different graphics would have worked better.

Take it away!

Best character where I thought “I hope we see more of her”, and unexpectedly, I kept seeing more and more of her for weeks: Keira Metz from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Character who I’m most hoping to see again when I go backward in the series and play Witcher 2: Keira Metz.

Best Fast Travel Method: Whistling up a Vertibird in Fallout 4.

Best Localization: Witcher 3

There’s an odd little post up on one of the notice boards in The Witcher 3. It’s written in broken English, and it cryptically talks about “Bulk Prose Shipments.” I assume it’s a little in-joke by the game’s overworked text localizers about their job, which is one of the most thankless in the game industry. Get a translation wrong and people are quick to mock. Get it right and you’ve done your job perfectly … but no one notices.

The Witcher 3 falls into the second category. Indeed, if you didn’t pay careful attention to the credits and the Internet, you’d never even know that the game was written in Poland. There’s an occasional poorly chosen phrase (there’s no way “cut to the chase” works in a medieval setting) but no more than you’d expect to see in game written by native speakers. So raise a glass of Redanian Lager to CD Projekt Red’s localizers, who worked very, very hard to make sure you didn’t notice them!

The Yes, Games Are Absolutely Art Award: Everyone’s Gone to the Rapture

An extended meditation on the nature of human mortality, there’s certainly no denying that Everyone’s Gone to the Rapture aims at and achieves the status of art. It’s undoubted goal is to explore the human condition, and not just get the old adrenaline pumping.

As it happens, it’s a so-so work of art. It’s overlong, the main characters are more annoying than insightful, the NPCs are poorly laid out (the last quarter of the game spends an inordinate amount of time on the NPCs giving implausible explanations of why they are where they are,) and some of the choices just didn’t pan out (wandering around an abandoned city center is eerie; but wandering around an abandoned exurban countryside just makes you feel like you woke up early on Sunday morning and no one is up yet.) There’s lots of talent on display, but it’s submerged into a overstuffed, lumpy whole.

All of which is perfectly fine. Acknowledging that games can be art just means acknowledging that not every piece of art turns out to be a masterpiece. Some of Shakespeare’s plays were pretty crappy too.

The Glass Is Half Empty/Half Full Award: Mad Max.

Critics: “It’s a solid open world game, set in the Mad Max universe, with car combat and nice graphics. Eh.” Fans: “It’s a solid open world game - set in the Mad Max universe! With car combat!! And nice graphics!!”

David and Goliath Award: Cities Skylines

Tiny little devs manage to outdo lumbering giant corporation, earn well-deserved success. It’d make a great feel-good Hollywood movie if game development wasn’t so incredibly uncinematic.

Most Annoying Character: Chirpy in Cities Skylines

Kill it! Kill it with fire!

M. Night Shyamalan Award for Best Twist: Bloodborne

It’s more of a slow, multiple-step process than one big reveal.

Best Trend: Shoot 'em ups invade PC

Publishers like Degica are bringing all the classics to PC and it feels like there’s still a healthy wave of new releases. It’s not my favorite genre, but it warms my heart to see these fine works brought over and saved from dusty PCBs and old consoles.

Biggest Misunderstanding of Your Own Game: Hotline Miami 2

I thought it was okay overall, and there were some worthwhile high points, but the huge maps and proliferation of guns makes this a frustrating experience, rather than the tight, non-stop melee chaos it should be.

The Drizzt Do’Urden Fan Fiction Award for Most Ridiculous Purple Prose: Pillars of Eternity

Readceras, animancy, Woedica, Aumaua, Eir Glanfath – did anyone think about how awkward these names sound when read out loud?

Best Roll Dodge of 2015: Bloodborne

The step-dodge while locked on to an enemy feels perfectly tuned. It’s quick but it doesn’t cover much distance, so you have to be on your toes. It feels great against overhead slashes and thrust attacks. This is one of my favorite game mechanics and Bloodborne makes it feel fresh.

Best Bit Character That is Better Than the Cast of Most Videogames: Graden, from The Witcher 3

Everyone talks about the Bloody Baron story, but it was the incidental characters in that questline that made me realize this game was something special. He only has a handful of lines but feels like a real person, and he’s more interesting than the over-written Cool Videogame Characters we usually get.

And my favorite award in this series, Stupidest Fun: Transformers: Devastation

It’s so limited as a game, but I forget about all the shallow open world mechanics when I’m hurricane-kicking Megatron and Starscream.

I’m Truly Not Ashamed To Admit I Finished This Award: Regency Solitaire

I Keep Restartin’, Though I Know I Shouldn’t Award: (tie) Darkest Dungeon & Massive Chalice

Same Game, Different Wrappers Award: TIS-100 & Human Resources Machine

Charitable Kickstart With The Biggest Payoff Award: Orion Trail

Kicking Myself For Avoiding It For Years Award: Tetrobot & Co.

Most Charmingly Bad FMV Sequences: Roundabout

Best Game I Couldn’t Bring Myself To Enjoy Award: Prison Architect

Most Obscurely Morbid Game Award: Cities:Skylines

The Coveted (By No One) Game I Wish I’d Made Award: Invisible, Inc.

Someone clearly didn’t play Contradiction: Spot the Liar!.

Exhibit A.


Game Which Proved Most Uncomfortable to Start Playing in Front of My GF: Witcher 3

"Ah, man, this is a pretty cool CGI sequence. Man, magic seems pretty badass here. Wait, feet? OH SHIT VIDEOGAME DEMI-NUDITY OUT OF NOWHERE.

It’s actually not all that bad, but looks a little weird out of context. Still better than having to sit through a sex scene in a movie with your super-Catholic parents.

Why do I keep buying these games when I know they’re stupid award: Hyperdimension this, Hyperdevotion that. At least I’ve mostly stopped trying to play them.
I know it’s a dancing game, but why is that singer’s voice actor so unbelievably shrill award: Rise Kujikawa, in Persona 4: Dancing all night
I don’t regret hanging around after the PS3’s funeral until the bar closed award: Yakuza 5

Most annoying character that just won’t stay dead: Warden Ethernal (Halo 5)

Looks like I won’t be playing the Witcher 3 any time soon then…

Biggest Game Reveal I Got Immediately Hyped For - Stellaris (2016)
Game I Got the Most Enjoyment Out of Consistently - Pillars of Eternity
Best Board Game 2015 - Runebound 3rd Edition
Best Game I’m Glad I Bought After All - MGS V

Highest CRANK THE MUSIC Factor award: Rebel Galaxy
Game Most Likely to Cause You to Ragequit and Swear to Never Play Again Twice in the same Day award: Darkest Dungeon

Game I Thought I’d Hate But I Can’t Get Enough Of - Crypt of the Necrodancer

2015 Games I Bought That I Combined Spent Less Time Playing Than Warhammer Quest (!?!): Shared between Fallout 4, Mad Max, Sorcerer King, Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide.

Not sure if Sorcerer King counts as I bought that back when it was Elemental 2015 Founder Program or somesuch.

Context Award For Games I According To Steam Played For 12 Hours: Warhammer Quest.

Most Best Facilitators of Horrible, but fun-fun: CraigM and Knightsaber, resident BSG-Forum game runners.

Game Everyone Gushed About But I Have No Interest In Playing As I Have Yet To Play The Previous Instalments In The Series, Even Though I Have Been Informed I Should Skip Them: The Witcher 3.



MY GOD IT IS FULL OF BROWN!-award for use of BROWN! in art design: Brown Grim Dawn.

I’ve only played it an hour or so, so maybe it becomes more colorful. I seem to remember Titan Quest having colors.

Game most likely to get your driver’s license revoked: Dirt Rally.
Biggest Purchase Regret: Anno 2205
Most Pleasant Surprise: Dying Light
Most Overrated: Cities Skylines
Game Most Likely to Make You Depressed: Telltale’s Game of Thrones
Best Hunchbacked Character in a Post Apocalyptic Video Game: Chumbucket

The Now You See It Now You Don’t Award - Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell.
Despite the “Johnny Gat vs. Satan” angle, the too-cute Disney song number, and one of the best angelic flight mechanics made, this game came and went with almost no notice in January. Even with a bargain launch price, people just weren’t ready to cough up the cash for another activity grind in the increasingly tired Saints Row engine.

The No, Really, Traditional RTS Games Are Dead Award - Grey Goo and Act of Aggression.
In one corner you have Grey Goo, Petroglyph’s take on the StarCraft formula, and in the other corner you have Act of Aggression, Eugen’s take on the C&C model. Both games were made with a lot of heart, but gamers as a whole just didn’t care. Was it the sometimes wonky mechanics? The questionable balance? The mediocre production values? Whatever it was, the audience didn’t give either game a chance.

Oh Wait, Traditional RTS Games Aren’t Dead Award - StarCraft II: Legacy of The Void.
It’s not clear how many copies of Legacy of the Void were sold when it launched, but what is clear is that if you string fans along for three chapters over five years, you can make money if your name is Blizzard. Fans finally got the wrap-up they were waiting for, and the MP community got more toys to play with.

The Energizer Bunny Award - Diablo III
Speaking of Blizzard and longevity, let’s take a look at Diablo III. At the start of 2015, Blizzard’s ARPG had successfully turned around from a controversial launch in 2012, to a vibrant and healthy PC and console game with regular substantive updates. In 2015 alone, Blizzard added Kanai’s Cube, the Ruins of Sescheron, new Treasure Goblins, new Legendary Items, new Sets, four Seasons of competition, and a zillion balance changes. All this with no subscription fee or F2P doodads. With Diablo III, Blizzard takes “software-as-service” to heart.

The You Reap What You Sow Award - Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
After the monumental fumble of Assassin’s Creed: Unity’s launch, it was high time that gamers pushed back on Ubisoft’s ninja parkour franchise. Unfortunately, for both Ubisoft and gamers, Syndicate is probably the best of the series so the lower sales feel petty. The game took everything Ubisoft learned from Unity and implemented an exhaustive list of fixes, scaled back on engine-crippling NPC crowds and cosmetic geometry, while creating an evocative and convincing Industrial Revolution London. Plus, Evie Frye! Oh, Lawd!

The Who Didn’t See This Coming Award - Evolve
A new IP. Multiplayer only. Tons of DLC announced pre-launch and all of it was expensive. Asymmetrical MP in which everyone wanted to be the monster and a bad group of Hunters meant a frustrating, pointless match. So yeah, despite the assessment that Evolve could be lots of fun if everything went just right, the game had no staying power. Smooth move 2K.

The 28 Days Later Award For The Best Zombie Apocalypse Game That Didn’t Have Zombies - Total War: Attila.
Detailed here. Playing as any faction other than Attila is pretty much like a non-zombie Rebuild. It’s all about balancing what you’re willing to lose with what you can build up before the teeming hordes of Hun get to you.

Weirdest technical issues in a PC port of the Year - The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky
So yeah… guess what, hope you have weird video codecs that work with japanese avi files, or the game will crash after the 5 minute intro at the cutscene.

Hardest to remember generic game name - The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky

“Best” game to implement a F2P Mechanic of rewarding launching the game as well as pretending to be an MMO (when it isn’t) by displaying 5-10 “MOTDS” every time you launch the game: Hideo Kojima’s (Not Konamis) Metal Gear Solid V.

Showing how microtransactions can be used in new “exiting” ways on full price mostly-singleplayer game: Konamis (Not Hideo Kojima) Metal Gear Solid V

Is it out yet? Award: DayZ