Today’s awards are a bit of a take on what I did last year. Instead of having days worth of categories, I kind of combined everything into one post and included way more categories than I normally would have.
Since I’m not going that route this year, I wanted to sort of pay homage to it and decided to kind of create a Superlatives style award post. Here, you’ll find some of the wackier award categories, but I hope you enjoy! My Game of the Year will be coming later this week so keep an eye out for that.
Now, without further adieu, let’s get to it!
The Late to the Party Award – Persona 5 Royal
Okay, this one is mainly on me. For years, I’ve heard only good things regarding the Persona franchise. For whatever reason, I just never bothered to investigate or check out why people seemed to be so enamored with it. The games seemed to always review well and they certainly had a passionate fanbase so it seemed like an easy thing for me to pay attention to. Following the release of Persona 5, my interest increased but again, never pulled the trigger.
Cut to Black Friday when I saw Persona 5 Royal on a massive discount, one that I really couldn’t ignore. I won’t lie, I haven’t finished yet because it has like over 100 hours of content, but I’m instantly hooked. The game is beyond stylish and is an absolute blast to play. The soundtrack and presentation are top notch and I look forward to continuing my journey through the metaverse. It can be a little overwhelming at first but once you get in the flow and out of the tutorial month, the game really picks up.
I Want to Play It But I Shouldn’t – Any Cross-Generation Game
Originally, I had Cyberpunk 2077 listed here, but holy crap is that game a debacle. It’s crazy to think that after 8 years and unbelievable fan hype, things turned out the way they did. I feel for the developers who put their blood, sweat, and tears into that game and I know with a little bit of time, CDPR can turn it around.
For this award though, I felt conflicted about a number of November and December releases. I personally don’t own a next generation console at this time so the tough part here is that I want to play many of these games but I find myself asking, should I? Am I going to play a game that I know is worse on current gen when I can wait to experience the best version of it on a next gen system? That is the question with many of these end of year releases. The other wrench being thrown into the mix is the relative scarcity of the systems. Who knows when you’ll actively be able to secure one so you may be waiting even longer than you initially realized.
So congrats to DiRT 5, Immortals: Fenyx Rising, Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Spider-Man: Miles Morales and all the other cross-gen games that come with a free next gen upgrade. You just made my life very difficult.
…Well, maybe not you Cyberpunk 2077. You’ve made it very clear that this should be a next gen only experience.
I Put A Spell On You Award – Destiny 2: Beyond Light
I’m a Destiny lifer. I’ve been playing this series since the Weekend Alpha test way back in 2014, so it’s hard for me to quit outright. I will admit that the series isn’t perfect, though I am enjoying the direction that Bungie is taking the series, growing pains and all.
The latest expansion, Beyond Light, really seems to have reinvigorated my love for the game though. There’s a new destination, tons of new quests, a new Darkness-based subclass, and new exotics to pursue. All in all, the game has kept me very busy, much to the chagrin of my backlog. I had plans to check out some games I’ve neglected but sure enough when I sit down to play something, I usually end up booting up Destiny 2. Beyond Light once again has me in a trance which certainly spells bad news for my other games.
Game With Unintentionally Hilarious/Amazing Bugs and Glitches – Cyberpunk 2077
As I mentioned above, I generally feel bad for the normal, everyday developers at CD Projekt RED. One of the most anticipated games of this generation, Cyberpunk 2077, had a horrific launch largely due to some poor decision making by the studio leadership. I have no doubt that through a number of hot fixes and updates, the game will look a lot better by the end of February. Perhaps these lessons learned will also have a positive impact on the true next-gen versions once they release sometime in 2021.
With all that said, I can’t deny that some of the weirdness, glitches, and bugs that have been reported aren’t down right hilarious. Someone compiled a bunch of them into a video and I couldn’t stop laughing. We’re talking cars falling out of midair, crashing a vehicle that changes the game’s weather pattern, a guy in a wheelchair getting punched then standing up and running away, the game seemingly crashing only to reappear with the player’s character hundred of miles above the game map, and so much more. I can’t get enough of any of it.
Biggest Surprise – Watch Dogs: Legion
Technically I could have given this to Hades for how much it captured my attention and heart in 2020 or maybe even Fall Guys for seemingly coming out of nowhere and being a really fun take on the battle royale genre. For me though, it was ultimately Watch Dogs: Legion.
The main reason why is because I completely counted out this game. I had no faith in it whatsoever. In fact, you probably saw the public conversation I had with myself on this site about the game, first dismissing it and then coming around on it maybe working. I had little interest in playing it however, though I was tabbed to review it for my other job. What I found really shocked and surprised me. This no protagonist thing actually kind of works. I did not expect that at all. I now had the freedom to tackle missions how I wanted, making them easier with the right NPC or even adding some challenge by not bringing in something perfect for the job. I had a task and the game let me experiment with how I wanted to complete it. It’s a level of freedom and creativity that the first two games didn’t offer.
Now, the game itself isn’t perfect. At launch, it had plenty of glitches and technical issues, including a very nasty case of crashing. Ubisoft has released a lot of patches since October and if you have a next gen system, I’m hearing it plays better there. After writing this one off, I’m glad I gave it a chance because it really surprised me.