Welcome back to my three-part series going over my thoughts on The Game Awards 2017. In the first part, I talked about my general impressions of the show. In the second, I talked about my feelings on the announcement made their. And now, I am going to look at the awards dished out and talk about whether I agree, disagree, or don't have an opinion on them. If you want to read the first two parts, I will have them linked right here: Part 1 Part 2.
Now what is hard with this list is that I haven't played every single game nominated, so that will leave a lot of award nominations with only one or two games I have played. I will try to make it as even as possible for the games I didn't play, but I will also have some games I will feel really strongly about. Without further-or-do, let's get into this list, starting with all of the awards that I don't care about to get them out of the way.
Trending Gamer- Dr. Disrespect/ Best Chinese Game-jx3-hd/ Best E-Sports Team-Cloud9/ Best E-Sports Player-Faker/ Best Student Game- Level Squared
I grouped all of these together because they all have one thing in common: I don't follow them. The only one I can really talk about is Trending Gamer and that is because I only recognized Dr. Disrespect out of the other five. Yeah, that's all I really have to say about it. Moving on.
For all of the others, I am choosing them in a random order except for a few combinations and GOTY, which will be at the end.
Best Strategy Game- Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle- Disagree
This was the only game I played that was in the strategy category, but it is one I actually disagree with. I can understand how this one tops this list. While all of the other games are sequels or follow closely to a formula, Mario + Rabbids took the turn-based formula and injected mobility into it. I really did enjoy this new style of gameplay, and I hope more games capitalize on it. So why don't I think the game belongs? While I thought the first half of the game was excellent, I found the second half monotonous and had to force myself to finish. The second half of the game was surprisingly awful to me despite the strong first half, and my view on the game deterred pretty significantly because of it. Also, I heard a lot of great things about XCOM 2: War of the Chosen. I heard it was an excellent piece of DLC that had enough content to be its own game, and its rank on OpenCritic makes it one of the highest ranked games of the year.
Best Ongoing Game- Overwatch- Disagree
Last year, Overwatch won for GOTY, and this year it was talked about a lot. So it was no surprise this game won this award, and I even agreed with the decision for some time. But looking back at it, I actually would've chose another game. I instantly disqualify PUBG and Destiny 2 for being 2017 releases. I get that they were looking into the future of the game and see it being ongoing, but I say let's wait until that actually happens. But I think that the other three choices were better ones than this. Despite my dislike for Rainbow Six: Siege, I can't deny its huge comeback and constant updates. I haven't played a lot of Warframe, but I know it is one of the most popular free-to-play games and they just released a huge update. And when it comes to GTA Online, I haven't played much of that one but I know of its constant content updates and an ever-expanding playerbase. When it comes to Overwatch, I know it has been updated over its lifespan, but the other games have been doing this for longer and I feel have better and more new content than Overwatch. I can't decide between the three I talked about, but I don't think it should be Overwatch.
Best Mobile Game- Monument Valley 2- Agree
I am no expert in the mobile gaming industry, but I know of how much people loved the first Monument Valley. So I would say I wouldn't say I agree with this award, but I am not surprised it won. The Nintendo games had huge download numbers, but they both under-performed. So it leaves Hidden Folks and Old Man's Journey. I have heard great things about both, but I also knew it doesn't resonate with people like Monument Valley did, so I just knew this one would win.
Games for Impact- Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice- Agree
I didn't play any of these games, but I know of the importance of Hellblade. I can't really talk about the impact of the other games, but I do know of the great lengths this studio took in depicting mental illness.
Most Anticipated Game- The Last of Us Part 2- Disagree (Last of Us 1 spoilers)
I really liked the first The Last of Us, but I thought it ended well. It put the two into a good ending where at worst, Ellie still questions whether or not Joel pulled her out of the surgery. That is one big reason I disagree with this award. The second reason I disagree with this award is how much hype surrounds Red Dead Redemption 2. A second Red Dead I feel has been talked about and wanted way more than a second Last of Us, and for that reason I think Red Dead 2should've been the pick for the winner.
Best Art Direction- Cuphead- Agree
Was their any question? I mean, all of the other art was great and all, but c'mon, a 30s cartoon style? All of the other art styles are cool, but are art styles seen in other games. Cuphead on the other hand is an art style not seen in entertainment any more. Not only that, but all of it was hand drawn except for the coloring, which is impressive. So of course I wholeheartedly agree with this choice.
Best Handheld Game- Metroid: Samus Returns- Agree
I honestly don't think this category should exist any more, or at least put in Switch games; but I agree with the award. This was the only handheld game that was talked along side the other big games, while others were given a brief mention then moved along. It's hard for these games to be talked about much considering the 3ds is now dying, and having Metroid be talked about that much shows a clear sign to me that this was the handheld game of the year.
Best Sports/Racing Game- Forza Motorsport 7- Agree?
I put a question mark because I have heard some bad things about all of these games overall. All of them had various issues (a lot of them being mircrotransactions) that made a lot of these be considered worse than their previous iteration. So I guess I agree with Forza because of everything else I heard about it. That is a lot of cars.
Best Family Game- Super Mario Odyssey- Agree
I thought of Odyssey as a great experience, and I think it is a great game for the family. I think this one is better than the others for various reasons. I thought that Sonic Mania was a nostalgia game more than anything, and I don't really consider a great family game. Splatoon 2 doesn't even have splitscreen if you actually wanted to play with your family. Mario Kart 8 is great but I feel shouldn't really be qualified considering it originally released in 2014. And for Mario + Rabbids, well, I wouldn't exactly say a swearing roomba and Yoshi "being on the war path" is exactly family friendly. I know Odyssey isn't great for its local play like I criticized Splatoon for, but I think Splatoon being a multiplayer shooter makes that impact greater than Odyssey. So in conclusion, if you want a good family-friendly game, then look no further than an industry icon and his talking hat.
Best Action Game- Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus- Disagree
Wolf 2 was a great game, no doubt about it. But I actually felt that the combat was the weaker aspect of the game, which is why I disagree with this choice. I don't know which one I would've picked, but I could honestly see any of them win over this one. Prey did a great job on making enemies and allowing you to dispatch them in any way you want. I actually can't see Destiny 2 being better action-wise than Wolf 2, but I know how much people love that style of action. I haven't played it, but I know Nioh takes a Dark Souls approach to combat but adds its own twist that is the highlight of the game. Last but not least, Cuphead has a lot of fun with bosses and run and gun levels alike, and its difficulty is perfect. I'm not surprised this game won, but I don't agree with it.
Best Action/ Adventure- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild- Agree
Honestly, this award should only be called best adventure. Anyways, I knew without a doubt that this game would win. BOTW'sstrength is in exploration and adventure, and with how strong the game is compared to the others, I just knew it would easily win.
Best Score/ Music- Nier: Automata- Disagree
I know I'm in the minority on this one, and I know how much people adore this OST. And that I am trying to include games I didn't play. But I honestly thought that Cuphead had the best OST of all time for a video game. That is the only video game soundtrack that I actually listen to, and its upbeat jazz sounds just like original jazz. This music always got me feet thumping and a smile on my face, and this mixed in with the game was a visual and aural treat. But I didn't play Nier, so I can accept that I am in the minority (I think).
Best VR/AR Game- Resident Evil 7- Agree
I don't have VR, but I can say that the choices this year were good. I have heard great things about all of them; one of them is even in the top rated list on Opencritic. But what makes RE7 stand out above the rest is that the game succeeds at being in VR despite the game not being build with it in mind. Where all of the other games were made with VR in its line-of-sights, this one is something that was built into a game that is normally not VR, and it works really well. In other words, this is the only pick that was an actual normal triple-a title that also got full VR support and worked well.
Best Narrative- What Remains of Edith Finch- Agree
The only game I played from this list was Wolf 2, and while that story was surprisingly good, I know it doesn't match to these games. As for the rest, I just knew Edith Finch would win. All of the other games had a great narrative, but I also know Finch was talked about a lot and how the game excelled above all others with that aspect.
Best Multiplayer- PlayerUnkown's Battlegrounds- Agree
All of the other games are good and all, but PUBG started the new battle royale craze. It is the big multiplayer game of the year, and for good reasons. One of the options on the list literally was the first game to follow the PUBG trend, and all of the other games are just sequels. PUBG didn't start battle royale, but it popularized it in 2017 and made an easy win for best multiplayer.
Best Indie Game- Cuphead- Agree
Their were a lot of great indie games this year, but it was Cuphead that stood out above the rest for me. It was a game that was hyped for so long and somehow managed to live up to the hype with its excellent art and gameplay. For me, this one was a clear winner but I know this one was a close one, with Pyre and Edith Finch coming close in my opinion. But Cuphead was the only one I played from the five, so I could be very wrong on this on.
Best Debut Indie Game- Cuphead- Agree
Essentially this is the same thing as I said for best indie game, because this category is essentially the same as best indie game. The biggest difference to me is that this list felt much closer than the last. I loved Slime Rancher, but I know it wouldn't reach the first place. But Golf Story, which is a game I played, and Hollow Knight, a game I didn't play, on the list made what I thought would win the award hard to choose. But in the end it was those two little cups again.
Best Fighting Game- Injustice 2- Disagree
I can definitely see why this game won. It pulls off a story pretty well, it has a great set of characters, and more. My personal favorite is that it looks like a great game for fighting game beginners to get into, which is the big reason I want to pick up the game. Despite all of this, I disagree. I haven't played any of these games, but one game I did play was Nidhogg, and I know how much people love that game and how much people love the sequel. I can see how I am wrong in this, but it still would've been nice to see Nidhogg 2 snag that trophy.
Best Audio Design- Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice- Agree
I am by no means an audio design expert. But I agree with this game winning this award because I can see how audio design can play an important role in portraying mental illness effectively, and I am sure it is something Ninja Theory took very seriously.
Best Game Direction- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild- agree?
This sounds dumb from me, but I honestly don't know how to take this award. I almost feel as though this is an award we can't know about because it is an award meant for the process of making the game, not the game itself. Because of that, I am just going to stick with BOTW for this one.
Best RPG- Persona 5- Agree
The only game I played from this list was Final Fantasy 15, and I didn't even play that game that long. But I could tell that this award seemed like a close one between Divinity, Nier, and Persona. But in the end, I just knew Persona would win because I feel that the game has more love in my opinion than Nier (not to say their is no love there). Now this is an award they should've shown in full, along with almost every other award.
Best Performance- Melina Juergens- Agree
I don't really agree or disagree with any of the options, but I am not surprised Hellblade won. Again, going back to conveying mental illness, you need someone to act as the person with the mental illness, and I am sure she did a great job based on how well I've heard about the conveying of mental illness. Still, I would've loved to see Wolf 2 win for its surprisingly great voice acting.
Best E-Sports Game- Overwatch- Agree
I am not big on E-Sports, as you can tell by my list way above on awards I didn't care about. But I wanted to still put this in because of how I feel Overwatch is doing things right in terms of E-Sports. The one big thing that keeps me from getting into E-Sports are the teams. In normal sports, we root for the closest team geographically and is someone we stick with through thick and thin. I never got that from E-Sports teams. All I see are a bunch of teams listed as 'U.S.' and I just pick one from a hat. For me, it was surprisingly hard to follow team without a local pride for that team. And that is what Overwatch is doing right; they made city-based teams so you can root for who is closest to you. So sorry Rocket League; despite you being a lot of fun to watch, I think Overwatch deserves it way more as for they are doing a big thing right.
Game of the Year- Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild- Agree
The list for GOTY was great, but it was BOTW that stood out above the rest. This is an award I both agree with and was one I knew would win. Honestly, I don't have much to say, but that is part the fact that I just knew and nothing else and part me being tired from all of this writing (look how great of a writer I am, getting tired from it).
Well, that is it. That is both the end of this writing and the end of this three part series. I feel like I started so strong and now I have ended so weak. Anyways, thank you for reading my thoughts on the Game Awards. Stay tuned as for the next thing I write will be my personal top ten games of 2017.