Saturday, 17 January 2015

2014: The In A Timely Fashion Released Game Awards

Welcome to the next annual HYTIB's 'Game Awards'! You should know the rules by now, we don't actually rank all the games that came out last year, instead we just talk about any games the two of us actually played last year, old and new... which is as always a total pot luck selection rendering the whole thing pointless. And great. You'll laugh. You'll learn. You'll be a little butthurt that we only seem to play Nintendo and PC games. 


Best character

Bayonetta (Bayonetta 1 & 2)

Kim Kardashian broke the internet, but how many gods has she killed?

There’s been a lot of debate as to whether Bayonetta is an out of date character designed around sleazy male gaze appeal, or something else somehow. I’m here to tell all those people who clearly haven’t played Bayonetta that they are wrongooooooooo. Yes, making needlessly sexualised characters is a trope of misogyny, but sexy and sexist are not the same thing. Bayonetta is glamorous and powerful in frankly ways that are unconventional to the usual ‘female character’ cliches, because I really don’t think they ARE targeting an exclusively male-identifying audience. Bayonetta has a large, athletic body and magic jewelry and magic glasses and magic everything and you the player runs around collecting lollipops, talking about makeup and shooting your high heels at people. That’s not even the best bit about Bayonetta either. The fact is even though she is this exaggerated pornographic power fantasy, she is also this likeable character who puts on a tough guy facade, but can’t resist helping humans and children even though she doesn’t feel she has much maternal instinct. She and her BFFs Jeanne and Rodin have their own very distinct fashion sense and style. Also she can turn into a panther wearing jewellery and that is just so sweg.

I'm not really ‘power fantasy game’ kind of person, but when it works, it just works. It’s hard not to get swept up in Bayonetta and her own flavour of marianismo. Everything about her game is dialed to 11, and she is no exception. Bayonetta starts off as a character that is quite impatient and uninvested in anything that doesn’t directly concern her. You can see her grow as a person as the game goes on, and opens up to others as she literally finds herself. It’s also hard to talk about Bayonetta without disclosing how in your face her arsenal goes. Bayonetta is not shy to strap chainsaws to her feet and uses it to move faster, while also duel-wielding flame-throwers. It’s all a bit silly, but in the best “Bayonetta is a hard dude with the biggest guns and doesn’t afraid of anything” kind of way.

Runners up: Impa (Hyrule Warriors), Faris (FFV), General Zelgius (Fire Emblem: RD)

Worst character

Lana (Hyrule Warriors)

Something something DANGER ZONE

Picture this, OK? You’re in charge of making a tribute fanservice game of a popular IP. The big draw of the product is being able to play with the characters of said popular IP, and you are tasked to compile the line-up of playable characters. If you were thinking “What about new original characters that no one knows? Can we make these them the most important characters of our story?” at any point during that explanation, you are in the right mindset that created Lana. Lana is an annoying giggling toddler whose closest ties to the Legend of Zelda series is to take up precious slots of more deserving characters. The only reason why she exists is to pander to creepy people that won’t touch a video game unless it has bubbly 13 year olds that skip around in the shortest skirts imaginable.

The thing that is weird about Lana is when her concept art first game up, fans were pretty darned sure she was going to be some interpretation of Nayru, an already canonical blue haired character who’s the occasionally incarnated goddess of water and wisdom. Instead we got an entirely new character for some reason who seems to exist mainly to balance out the cast of actually cool and non-lolita warrior women with a few token prancing teenagers in crop tops. To her credit, Lana’s weapon movesets (a spellbook that creates walls and a deku stick that summons plants and water) are really cool, but I could write you a massive list of beloved Zelda characters that they could have given those weapons to. It might i guess seem like I am being unfair to this character just because of her design and maybe she is just meant to be an innocent prancing teenage sorceress created to enable the game’s ‘original storyline’. But you gotta play the game, man. I don’t want to spoil it but she basically exists to have a super kawaii face and the story is she hella wants to bang Link. She’s not just designed for the appeal of creepers, she is one!

Runners Up: Claptrap (Borderlands 2), Random (Laxius Force)

Best Soundtrack

Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze

I'm not a huge fan of the SNES Donkey Kong games, but I did always have an appreciation of their music. They were pieces that made such good use of the hardware that I just couldn't imagine them working with any other, potentially better instrumentation. That's the bar the series had set, and through the dark aural blood sacrifices, they met that bar and then some. The game struck a perfect balance between atmospheric and catchy, while never drawing too much focus to distract you from a challenging game. This is one of those soundtracks that I expect to with the people that have played the game.

I didn’t get around to playing or even purchasing this game this year. I actually really thought Transistor was my favourite soundtrack of the year but Tobi doesn’t like it </3. Anyway, Tobi made sure to link me loads of DK:TF songs throughout the year and I gotta admit they are all really blissful and just super nice tunes. The DK franchise has had a long history of great music, particularly back when the games were developed by Rare. Those were some of the first midis I used to download on my dial up internet to listen to. There’s a fun fact for you. As I said, DK:TF is full of these great blissful atmospheric chill out songs that remind you of rainforests and perilous adventures. It kinda fits in somewhere between the soundtracks of Last of the Mohicans and Nier.

Runners Up: Transistor, Shovel Knight, Braid

Best art direction

Mario Kart 8

None of y'all have ever flown before but there's a reason I wear goggles.

When Mario Kart 8 came out, everyone was expecting.. well, Mario Kart. You’d think they were all pretty much the same game with updated graphics, new vehicles and tracks. They all follow a pretty strict formula, and yet… everyone I’ve spoken to about it declares it to be a really amazing Mario Kart sequel. I think it’s because it just feels really top quality in all aspects. The new levels are memorable, the balancing seems right, and the performance and graphics are just sublime. Everythings so shiny and vibrant and yet so clear and crisp, and they put a load of effort into the replay system to detect the best bits of a race and use a variety of camera angles so that even watching a replay of the race you just did is surprisingly entertaining.

I don’t think anyone expected them to go this far for a silly racing game. The Mario “house-style” has taken the HD jump for a while now, and thus you expect that you’ve seen what the Kart spinoff would look like. Weirdly enough, the game instead mixing up the lightning, shaders and texture quality to make it stand out from the other Mario games. You can tell effort was put into place when mustaches physics are a thing. A lot of the detail just goes by you because of the speed you’re going at, but even when coming to a stop, the game holds up. It’s not just the core game that got the royal treatment either. Even the DLC courses look went above and beyond, creating a lovely and consistent looking package.

Runners Up: South Park: The Stick of Truth, Bayonetta 2

Best Story

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

Ike has never heard of a patisserie.

Gotta be honest, I don’t think either of us actually played many good story-games this year. At least, not compared to the last few years, which had at least a handful of chilling indie puzzlers and tear-jerking adventures. I think Radiant Dawn was not a bad choice though. It might be pretty full of JRPG cliches but it had a lot going on, an awful lot of likeable characters (someone get me Oscar’s number pls) and you got to play on both sides of a conflict, with each character having their own loyalties and leanings which gave it a surprising depth.

When I played this, I didn’t think it was going to be to be listed in our list either, let alone out top spot. It’s not a bad story per se, just a rather weird one that is driven more by characters than by ideas. The game is a direct sequel to Path of Radiance, where a small kingdom rose up against its tyrannical oppressor and fought for its freedom. This sequel is largely about the aftermath of it all. The repercussions the war had on the civilians of the invaded nation, and their exploitation in their moment of weakness. The game ties this then into racist scapegoating, creating some World War 2 parallels. As ham-fisted as anime-racism sounds, and it is, it did turn out to be one of my more memorable elements though. It’s a surprisingly common subject in RPGs, but it is usually painted as a villainous and hateful trait, rather than an ignorant one. Radiant Dawn attempted to portray it with the nuances of ignorance and misguided objectification. It’s super uncomfortable to see a scene play out where your allies try to discuss the merits of discrimination, but it made the conclusion where everyone tries to get along feel more genuine and human, for better or for worse.

Runners Up: Final Fantasy V, Half-Minute Hero : The Second Coming

Best original game concept

Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime

Have slimes ever been so metal? Well, yes actually.

Sometimes ideas just write themselves. If you make a game about a slime (as you do), you’ll naturally have to make mechanics around shooting yourself around like flicking a rubber band. If you hit something or someone during this, they of course shoot up in the sky, and if they land on your head, you own them. If you then connect the logical dots to using this mechanic to supplying ammo to tanks and abducting your enemies through an elaborate railway system, then you end up with Rocket Slime.

Um, sure.. Yeah, it’s obvious really. When Tobi recommended this obscure DS game to me where you have real time Tank Battles I was like well, that can’t be as fun as it sounds. IT WAS THOUGH. You do a bit of simple top-down action-rpg looting around kirby-esque garden areas to collect ‘ammunition’ (yknow like apples, anvils, fire potions, etc obviously) for your tank and then you have this showdown where you and your enemy shoot all your cannons at each other and try to get them more rekt faster and then when they get rekt enough you actually have to walk across the battlefield and finish them off mano a mano. If you like fun, it would be wise to seek this game out but it’s pretty rare now so maybe just harass square enix until they make a new one. pls.

Runners Up: Recettear, Impossible Creatures, Tomodachi Life

Funniest Dialogue

Tomodachi Life

I'm sorry WHAT did you just ask me?

It’s genius really, Tomodachi Life is a sort of...  sandbox game for randomly generated soap opera drama. It’s like a cross between the sims and a tamagotchi, except the little people just talk shit to you and each other all day. Like horoscopes, a big chunk of the appeal is seeing how these random-ass statements match up to the realities of the people your Miis are based on. But it has also been made with an intentionally absurdist humour to try and push that further. You get to watch stupid dreams, local news reports, declarations of love, interventions and just neurotic musings from your friends and family. I guess in a weird way this award is a victory for computer generated humour. I welcome our new robot overlords.

I like the comparison to a horoscope, because that’s basically what it is. Semi-randomly attributed traits being applied to your custom made characters and watching it all play out like a silly soap opera. The game doesn’t contain a ton of really traditional jokes, but it’s the statements and situations your Miis get forced in that make it hilarious. The amazingly corny text-to-speech systems that read everything out are just the cherry on the cake. It basically provides all the drama and entertainment gossiping can provide, except you don’t have to feel guilty about it. 

Runners Up: LEGO City Undercover, Half-Minute Hero 2, Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright

Biggest Surprise

Hyrule Warriors

Hyrule Warriors answers the question: WHAT IF ZELDA WAS A GIRL?

I never thought I'd ever give a Dynasty Warriors game another shot, especially not after that lacklustre reveal of Hyrule Warriors. Yet here we are and I'm also putting it on my list of favourite games of the year. There's a simplistic type of joy where you can put yourself on auto-pilot and just feel time melt away around you. The game's mechanics may not have changed dramatically over the years, but they have been polished up considerably. The only real thing I was missing was an online multiplayer mode, but given by how much content was already in the game, it feels silly to complain about. They are continuously updating the game add more to it all the time too.

I never played a Dynasty Warriors game so when I heard there was a Zelda spinoff, at first I was like ‘Meh, maybe I’ll try one of those DW-type games sometime’ And then I noticed it was done by Team Ninja and I was like ‘Oh dear.. not really known for their quality or handling of beloved characters.’  As it got closer to release and I saw more info on it, I kinda got more interested as it seemed to look… strangely appealing? I did not expect a good game, but I had to know. I mean, it had gorons and the great fairy and impa looking cool as heck. Yeah turns out it’s really fun and addictive, looks and plays pretty well and has an absolute fuckton of content. The story mode might seem relatively brief (and a bit stupid) but then start getting into adventure mode and it’s a whole other game. But also the same game.

Runners Up: Don’t Starve, LEGO City Undercover, Mario Kart 8

Biggest Disappointment


Well it delivers on torches.

People told me this was a really awesome fun dungeon crawler game. Or at least I got that impression. And shit yeah, I love dungeon crawlers. Remember when I got really into every roguelike I've ever played? This game started out looking nice, it had pretty graphics and a sense of humour. I went into a dungeon and i started clicking enemies and then i clicked on more enemies and I made my way through a bunch of branched corridors and I realised 2 floors in I was already bored. Entertainment is a delicate thing. To the untrained eye, a lot of games seem like clicking a bunch of things to kill enemies and get loot over and over. But a good game actually has a system that works, it has to have layers of mechanics that keep you hooked and makes your choices seem meaningful. And this one just didn't seem to have any fun mechanics. I literally played it all the way to completion because it seemed so easy and I heard it was short that I figured I could tick it off my list. The absolute worst bit was the final boss battle, which spawned literally infinite units but balanced that out by killing them all a minute later… except any ones that happened to be off screen. Wha?

Cheap, simple and did what it set out to do. I wouldn’t call this a fantastic or amazing game, but I thought it was fine. I had the benefit of not having any sort of expectations or hype though. While I’ll never be a huge fan of Diablo-esque games, I had a decent time with it.

Runners Up: Altered Beast, Transistor, Wallace and Gromit Grand Adventures

Most Time Wasted

Recettear - 226 hours

Said everyone on my steam friends list, sarcastically, for like 5 months.

Recettear starts off with a game mode where you have to make a lot of money in a really short space of time, which can be kind of annoying if you don't, cause then you just have to go back in time on a grindy sim game. But after that you open it up to making money, crafting items and exploring dungeons in your own time which is super addictive. And then as you get to more advanced dungeons, they start getting suuuuuuuuuuuper long. I clocked over 200 hours and I still didn’t manage to find all the rare items in the game, and I don’t think I completed the very last dungeon even.

It should be no surprise that a solid, and fresh take on the dungeon crawling genre would result in a lot of wasted time. Collecting loot it written directly into its story, about running an item shop, tying it all together nicely. While Allie spent twice as much time on this as I did, I completely understand where all those extra hours went.

Runners Up: Minecraft, Tomodachi Life, Monster Hunter

GAME OF THE YEAR (released in 2014)

Bayonetta 2


Follow-ups on some of your favourite games are always tricky. Good sequels should serve a point in the overall world, improve mechanics, yet also keep everything you loved about it before. Bayonetta 2 does all of that and then some. Playing it revealed to me just how much polish the original could have had. An absolute blast to play and a masterclass in its genre. This game almost did not get made, but I'm thrilled that it did.

I insisted on playing the first Bayonetta game first, and it’s a good thing I did because this game feels far more enjoyable and easy to pick up. On the surface it might seem like an easier game than Bayonetta, with more plentiful items, easier to read enemies and much easier challenge modes… but in truth it feels more like they’ve just rooted out all the needlessly frustrating parts and kept in the high-speed, high-demand combat making the game all-round better. The original game was known for its drama and spectacle, and this game manages to deliver more of the same while still feeling fresh and having wow factor. I loved the enemy designs, with memorable centaur-like angels making up the majority of the paradiso foes, while introducing demons of all kinds of shapes and sizes for a whole new can of worms. I was even surprised by the story, which picks up right from the first game and is very much intertwined with it, so I highly recommend playing the first game or at least watching the cutscenes if you want the ending of the second one to seem satisfying. It was kinda hard to decide this year’s GotY, apart from the fact that I don’t play a huge majority of new games, I think people generally felt there was a shortage of AAA titles that really delivered (yeah never heard that before) this year. I think I found a handful of games, particularly on WiiU that I really enjoyed, and I guess Bayonetta 2 for me was the more fresh and memorable experience of them all.

Runners Up: Hyrule Warriors, Shovel Knight, Mario Kart 8, Half-Minute Hero 2

DINOSAUR OF THE YEAR (released before 2004)

Final Fantasy V

Names That Make Allie Chuckle: The Video Game.

We already kind of discussed some of our impressions in a previous post, but it can’t hurt to summarise it again here. All in all its a pretty decent and fast-paced 16-bit adventure with likeable characters, solid mechanics and great music. While I’m usually not a fan of RPGs where I can’t get invested into the story, I could appreciate what it was doing. The entire thing felt like a saturday morning cartoon with a running story. Everyone’s a stereotype, but people still play dress willy-nilly and when the recurring villain gets blasted off into the horizon, everyone learned a thing or two about love and friendship. Also that Cara is tough as nails.

Yeah turns out most of the good games I played in this year released around 2005-2007. But of the ones that qualify, it can’t be denied that FFV is a good game. While FFIV was a big step up from the previous games (far as I know), FFV was a big step in the right direction in terms of being a more relatable and enjoyable adventure. One of the best ideas it had was having a changing class system instead of changing characters, allowing more much-needed character development while still having tons of variety for combat.

Runners Up: Devil May Cry, Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons

Craziest Amateur Game

Winnie the Pooh Home Run Derby

100 acres of cold, hard wood.

I’m going to have to resist typing this one out in all caps. Winnie the goddamn Pooh’s Stupid Home Run Derby is a deceptively simple licensed Flash game intended for children about Pooh and Baseball. All you do in the game is wait for one of the Hundred Acre Wood residents to pitch a ball at you and you just click at the right time to knock it out of the park. Sounds simple, so where’s the catch? The catch is that the difficulty curve is just a straight line up, making it just way too flippin’ hard. The pitchers get all these weird patterns that throw you off and even if you manage to hit the ball, half the time you didn’t hit it far enough or you knocked it too far to the side. It’s an exercise in frustration and it really makes you feel like you honour is on the line. 

Haha yeah, the thing that makes this game ‘crazy’ is how it became an internet sensation. This flash kids game was unexpectedly insanely difficult, and yet simple and quite possibly achievable, making it the perfect setup for some kind of viral internet tough-guy challenge. If you know where to look you can find a whole ton of memes dedicated to the mercilessness of christopher robin and the ferocious rivalry between him and Winnie the Pooh. Go ahead and try the game if you don’t believe me. We can wait. You’ll be back.

Runners Up: Laxius Force, Recettear


The Prophet (Bayonetta 2)

Good thing he can fly cause he sure as hell ain't walking.

This game knows a thing or two about bold fashion choices… but this dude in particular is a nude man wearing a translucent rhombus. Bravo.

The Prophet is basically naked man wearing a jacuzzi-suit. I honestly don’t know what I’m supposed to be seeing here, but I feel like it belonged in my christmas tree. It's guys like him that continuously justify and necessitate this award category. There's always one each year.

Runners Up: Tear (Recettear), Yusha (Half Minute Hero 2), Cia (Hyrule Warriors)

Headache of the Year

Borderlands 2

Still don't know why he was called 'Handsome Jack' tbh.

Borderlands 2 is constantly loud, flashy, first person and disorganised, just like its predecessor was. All are key ingredients into ensuring that a game is out to fry my brain. It featured characters that think screaming is a substitute for humour, and sometimes it just may as well, since its sense of humour was pretty dire. Its interface design is just a mess, and crucial audio clips routinely got cut off because we were simply playing the game. However it liked to go the extra mile by making sure it was confusing too. Borderlands 2 is one of those games that can give you a map, a minimap and an objective description, and you sometimes still don’t know where to go. A good example of this was a  DLC mission where had to go to an “X marks the spot” type of dealie, and even though we were at the place the game told us to go, it still took us quite a while and a Google search or two to pull it off.

Haha yeah. FPS games are almost always a shoe-in for this award because they are headache-inducing by nature. This game manages to be that and so much more. It’s intentionally really in-your-face with obnoxious characters and scenarios. In spite of that, Tobi and I really enjoyed playing this together and stuck it out for quite a while (though it sure does stretch itself out pretty far). It’s a really solid game to play with friends if you like grinding and shooting and more grinding. I won’t judge.

Runners Up: Devil May Cry, Terraria, Doom 3

Worst Trend of the Year

‘The big problem with journalistic integrity is that sluts are everywhere except on my lap, and it makes me so angry that I’m going to hold my breath until I get a free cupcake.’

She's brought a whip! I knew it!!

Sigh. Yeah, the obligatory Gamer Gate mention. What started out as a misguided and unjustified attempt to call people out on corruption, spiralled into the 2014 oppression olympics. If we pull away all the pretense, it just boils down to roughly the same hissy fit a certain subset of gamers felt when “casual gamers” were encroaching on -their- hobby. A broader, more diverse target audience is of course a bad thing because it means less products will be directly targeting people like me, and I’m the specialest snowflake and the gravitational pull of my ego makes the universe revolve around me and my objectively best tastes.
In this instance these goons were being intimidated by “social justice warriors”, which is code for “anyone that isn’t a straight white cis male”. Occasionally they tried to connect this back to integrity in video game journalism, but any sort of point that could have been made couldn’t escape the intolerant and selfish framing they set up themselves.

‘#gamergame’ was a kinda massive internet-wide argument that kicked off because some woman on the internet who made arty farty experimental games was a bad girlfriend to somebody. Strangely, it gained so much traction and people seemed to think that it could be redeemed as a legitimate justice movement despite being actually founded on the irrational intense loathing of a small number of women who might have had sex with some men at some point. This is supported by the fact that this small number of female games developers and journalists were sent so many death (and sexual) threats that some had to be relocated, cancel jobs and project and leave social networks. There seemed to be little regard for the idea that perhaps if an industry is corrupt and exchanging professional favours for blowies, it might be at least partially the fault of the ones in a position of power looking to sell jobs for sexual favours, and not just the ones with the sweet irresistible vaginas. That of course would be worth considering if this whole ‘scandal’ wasn’t utter bollocks. 

Runners Up: ‘Ship broken game now, patch it later… maybe.’, 'Season pass: We’ll make more content as long as we don’t make too little money or too much money or can’t be arsed really.'

Dumbest premise

‘Humans are destroying nature, and we will put a stop to this by flooding the entire’ world. (Pokémon Alpha Sapphire)


I don’t get it. I don’t get how this could have been an idea a character would come up with, and I don’t understand the mindset of a writer either. It is 100% stupid because it completely hinges on a complete inability to connect dots that even a child could connect. What also grinds my gears is that these goons do not suffer any consequences for it either. They go AW SHUCKS MY BAD THANKS FOR CLEANING UP MY MESS BYE and then the game continues like none of it happened. To top it all off, there's a sidestory after the main game that sets up the Poké-multiverse with parallel dimensions or timelines I don't know, but it's stupid.

This certainly wasn’t the first or last time the pokemon games had a bunch of organised criminals/radicals who wanted to do something reeeeally fuckweird and glaringly hypocritical. But it’s ok because all you have to do is show up and beat up all their pets. You’d think as the strongest trainers in town, the gym leaders might be able to sort this out, but they don’t give a shit. Maybe they didn't take the idea seriously either.

Runners Up: Bayonetta, Borderlands 2, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

Most awkward moment

‘When Tobi rejected my romantic advances and then asks out my friend right in front of me, questions his own choices and then marries my friend the next day.’ (Tomodachi Life)

Tobi can attest that I was genuinely troubled by how this all went down. I got Tomodachi Life and made myself, Tobi, and my good buddy Leanne. Miis in this game are unsettlingly eager to shack up, but when Leanne wanted to ask out Tobi, I thought it’d be fine cause I was gonna give her some real gnarly advice. Heh heh. So Leanne awkwardly makes her move, and then TWIST, who should show up? That’s right, the rightful heir to hugs kingdom, yours truly. BAM. Choose wisely, imaginary Tobi! And then Tobi went ahead and picked Leanne. Shit. And then later, hes all ‘I wonder if I made all the right decisions with my life?’ I chuckle bitterly and take a screenshot. The next day, he wants to get married. I pretend really hard like I don't care whatever happens in this game its all random anyway and doesn't bear any sort of basis for examination of my own life. To this day, Tobi and Leanne are still happily married with like 8 depressingly adorable children.

You have to admit. Tomodachi Life knows how to create drama. 

Runners Up: Waiting literal weeks until a blood moon appears so we can finally progress, only to find out we didn’t need it at all. (Terraria)

Most terrifying moment


Often times does happen.
New category! I like to play at least one vaguely scary game each year. At Halloween, I played Bayonetta 2 which isn’t really ‘scary’, and I also played Doom 3 which kinda was reasonably scary. But you know what’s even more nerve wracking? The terrifying unknown that lurks all over the place in Don’t Starve. This game is a survival game with some good intuitive instructions and logic that allow you to enjoy figuring out what to do and what the rules/dangers are all on your own. You’ll get killed by spiders Killed by Pigmen. Killed by war hounds. Killed by vengeful spirits and weird things you found under the ground and weird things that came out of swamps! And creepiest of all? You better finish what you were doing before nightfall and build a campfire stat, because if you get caught in pitch darkness fumbling around trying to light a torch, something unknown and invisible will come and kill you no matter where you are.

It’s always something you forget. Don’t Starve is a game where you have constantly have to desperately scramble to meet your short-term goals, and while you are doing that, you are slowly losing track of other important stuff. If it’s not keeping a fire lit, it’s lacking food, shelter, or means to defend yourself from wild dogs. It all so slowly creeps up to you that you get caught off guard every time, and gives you ample time to stress out between your realisation and inevitable demise.

Runners Up: Doom 3

Deja Vu award for ballsiest ripoffs

Games from a few months ago in H-er D.

Now with 10% more grunty noises!

2014 was the year of the remaster. We had lots of remasters before, but the excuse then was that HD would be the big factor that legitimised the re-release. Nowadays we are getting remasters of games that were released only a few months ago, with another slight resolution bump. I’m not even against a re-release or a remake, but let’s call it by its name. These are not remastered releases. They are pricey late ports.

Ooh. I didn’t think we’d have anything for this category this year, as nothing really caught my eye. Especially since freemium gaming has replaced shovelware, and shameless clones have become more of a genre with too many to name. But you’re right, T. Games are sorta taking the piss with calling a PC port or a nextgen version a ‘remaster’ these days. That is if they’re not using some other lame cinema-humping terms stripped of all meaning like ‘director’s cut’ or ‘definitive edition’. What exactly did you remaster in the 6 months between this and the original game’s release? You got the graphics to look somewhere in between the existing packaged product and the footage you used to advertise it? Ballsy, I guess. Have a medal on us.

Bognor Award for Exemplary Fucking-Shit-Up-itude

‘Facing off with a 3-faced angel that grows dicks out of its mouth that have baby-faces on it, ripping knobs off and and dodging its lunging testicles like it’s no big deal. Then rocket-surfing towards the big city where people literally not only throw and kick rockets, but also drive up the side of them with bikes.’ (Bayonetta)

If you have a better description I'm happy to hear it.
Some crazy shit happened in the games I played this year. But really if Bayonetta didn’t win this award she might disembowel me with a centipede made of her own hair. Everything Bayonetta (and her body-double/BFF Jeanne) does is out of control and unnecessarily gruesome, audacious, sacrilegious, sparkly, and naked. 

We could list basically name most scenes of Bayonetta 1 or 2 here. Bayonetta embodies Bognor-i-tude so well that it could have been named after her. Bayonetta dials everything to eleven and even breaks the dials off by attempting to go further. I’m not sure if the particular highlighted instance needs a lot of explaining. 

Runners Up: Shooting catnip and anvils from tanks (Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime)


Congrats to all the winners this year for being games that we played. It's been a good year for being a crazy as shitballs game and turning out pretty good. And it's been a bad year for STRAIGHT CIS WHITE MEN. 


2564BC - 2014

Killed by good videogames with challenging and interesting narratives and designs.

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