Before I begin, I'd just like to point fingers and laugh at everyone here with a username that can't naturally fit into a GotY pun. What a grotesque lack of foresight on your part. It's embarrasing really.
Furthermore, I would just like to point out that this is not Game of the Year. It's Games of the Year. This is because I'm an idiot, and therefore a strong believer in participation trophies. Picking one video game to be "the good one" over everything else is super mean. Do you guys even consider how much work is put into making video games? How many people slave their lives away? The Lame Awards just dropped Red Dead Dedemtion on the floor like a crusty sock, even though over half the dev team reportedly died of starvation to get it out in time. I'll make sure their sacrifice wasn't in vain!
No, I do seperate categories based on the games I actually played this year.
But enough talk. Have... a list.
Best Game Design
I know this is a very confusing category for most people. This is because I, unlike those dried-up bureucrats that host the official awards, understand how video games actually work. Like, what makes them enjoyable. It's the design. It's the architecture. It's the mechanics. It's the little things that make every second of the experience special.
Hitman 2 is the most enjoyable game I've played this year, because simply being in the game is wonderful. Every mission is full of opportunities, scripted or otherwise. Every mission is a sandbox, as well as a seamless blend of public areas and traditional stealth levels. There's seemingly endless room for morbid creativity, and getting to actually discover and pursue is one of the most thrilling sensations. It's sex for your spirit. It put a wide grin on my face several times, and reminded me why I love video game in the first place. That last line is a total cliché, but damn if it isn't true. I doubt you'll find another game released this year that's as purely fun as this one. Ditching the episodic structure found in the last game, Hitman 2 gave me several missions in a row that I got to figure out on my own.
Combining all this with the ridiculous replayability makes for a game I'll probably always come back to.
God of War always had big, epic stories, but they were usually pretty nasty. Kratos was a failed attempt at an antihero in the first game, a successful attempt at a delusional villain in 2 and 3, and an equally succesful attempt at a remorseful old man trying to raise his only son in this year's release. It just so happens that the last one is by far the most compelling.
Well, the writing was buffed too. I feel like good writing has more to do with what you don't write than what you do, and this games is really good at shutting the fuck up and letting the story fill itself in. Movement, expressions and tone of voice are all used very well to make the characters feel alive.
I love that it's not a reboot either, and that it's basically one giant reflection on God of War 3, in which Kratos did the most damage in his entire "career". Atreus turned out a way better character than anticipated, so I was at the edge of my seat in every little scene that had him learning more about his father, which deserves massive props.
Best Boss Fights
Iconoclasts is a game that probably tried to also go for best story. Unfortunately, it made the fatal mistake of choosing anime as an inspiration, and so it's a bit of a mess tone-wise. It's essentially a saturday morning cartoon full of scenes that belong in a sci-fi horror film. For a game that looks this cute, it gets weirdly dark. Parents will buy this for their kids and come to regret it.
It still beats out God of War for best boss fights, however, and that actually says a damn lot! GoW had some unbelievably exciting encounters, but Iconoclasts keeps up both the quality and the quantity. It's pam jacked with unique bosses! Some of them are a bit too restrictive to be much fun, but I was overwhelmed how many times I got to fight something I had never seen before, and how often I had a blast doing it.
The game certainly has more going for it than this, but it's by far its greatest strength in this neanderthal's personal opinion.
Time to Spin!
Timespinner is a game about the gradual evolution of fidget spinners. It takes place in 2 different timelines and probably has like 5 thick books of lore written down somewhere that can explain the story better than I can.
Fun game though, and that music too! I think there's one track that didn't do much for me, but the rest is ace. Loved the upbeat lake theme, as well as the gradually more intense music that plays when you go deeper into the medieval castle. It's inspired by Symphony of the Night, and the soundtrack definitely have a similar energy.
Good job, development studio whose name I don't remember. Good job.
Onrush was released this June and made a free PS Plus title this December. Jesus ball-belching Christ! Holy asswanking thunderturd! Good gracious gonads!
The developers have every right to hate us after this. They try to bring back an old genre that people claim to want, and then nobody buys it. Ouch!
Best Non-Spider-Man Open World Game?
Red Dead Redeokay listen, I don't have that much disposable income, so I only payed full price for one game this year. I definitely assume I will like this more than most open world games, but I also haven't played Spider-Man, and that seems far more up my alley. So I made a safe category for it to occupy so I don't seem like a hypocrite due to what I said in my second paragraph.
Cowboys are alright. Never been hugely passionate about them, and I'm much more into pirates or international spies as a theme, but Read Dead definitely seems good for living out the fantasy.
Remade Game of the Year
Shadow of the Colossus! I gave Shadow of the Colossus another meaningless award, and there's nothing you can do to stop it!
It should win game of the year every year because it has the biggest enemies, just like the person of the year should always be the one with the biggest chin. It's just common sense!
Weakest Impression from a Free Demo
There's no better way to make an informed decision on whether to buy a game than getting to try a free demo. I wish all games had them.
While Hitman 2's prologue offered a great way to experience the title's new features for the first time, Shadow of the Tomb Raider's recent demo was a bit of a turn off. I wasn't a huge fan of the bland 2013 reboot, but it had some bright spots that I figured might carry over.
It's too bad that Shadow then decides to bombard me with everything that isn't fun about video games. Extensive QTEs, lack of camera options, uneventful cutscenes that can't be skipped because of loading, slowly walking through barely interacitve crowds, boring collectibles, and dying a thousand times because I didn't follow the non-existent script closely enough. Maybe it gets better once you get to the meat of it, but this demo did a really poor job convincing me to buy the game. I don't expect to pick it up even if the entire game becomes available for free, because I no longer have the patience for something this uninteresting.
So it's a good thing I didn't spend anything on it and can just delete it. Demos are awesome!
Guys, I'll have to be honest. I'm a fraud. I just wanted to give categories to every 2018 game I've played this year. You're obviously very upset by the way I wasted your time, but I think there's a positive message here. See, while this year has been pretty rough and bleak for me overall, I made some damn good video game purchases. Not a single game that I actually spent money on failed to entertain me, and while it might not be that many compared to some of you, I'm still happy with the time I've spent pushing buttons in front of my TV.
And that's literally the most important thing in the world.