The (Lost) Game Awards 2018
Published on December 31, 2018
Another year, another missing invite to The Game Awards produced by our best friend Geoff Keighley. Not to worry, we were once again able to to find a list of missing awards that weren’t shown off at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Best Game That Got Me To Interact With My Friends: Battlefield V
Battlefield has always been a staple group game for the viewport team, starting all the way back with Battlefield 3 (at least with me, I know Albert and Alex have been playing for much longer than that). After the mediocre Battlefield 1 in 2016, with its lack of weapon diversity and frustrating gunplay, the viewport team was thirsty for something better. The newest release from DICE solved that problem, bringing the series back to its WWII roots, with an upgraded engine and fantastic feel.
Putting all the surrounding controversies aside, Battlefield V has put a considerable emphasis on cooperative play, making squad cohesion the make or break factor in many of the matches. The scarcity of ammo, changes in the revival system, and squad point bonuses have moved the game away from rewarding one-person armies to working together as a team.
As for myself, it’s been a great way to get some quality gaming time in with my friends who I haven’t had much time to do so this year. Getting in a tank together, capturing a couple of points, then blowing up to a mine has never felt more fun.
Best Game I Keep Coming Back To Again And Again: Final Fantasy XIV
If you have listened to any episodes of our podcast, Viewport Relay (and you honestly should), you will know that I love Final Fantasy XIV. I’ve been playing since the Realm Reborn days, subbing on and off, usually coinciding with the patch releases.
2018 was the year I truly got sucked into the game: selling materials on the market, leveling up different jobs, and training for savage PUG groups. With the upcoming release of the Shadowbringers expansion that is unleashing a whole slew of new content, I have prepared myself for the fact that I will never be able to have free time ever again
But really, Final Fantasy XIV is probably the best MMO to play at the moment: exploring the beautiful world and chipping away at the enormous amount of content that the game has to offer. Give it a try if you get the chance (and join Cactuar!)
Best Western brought to you by Best Western: Red Dead Redemption 2
FYI: We’re not sponsored by Best Western (I wish we were?)
Red Dead Redemption 2, after 8 years of development, has indeed delivered on its expectations. With universal acclaim from critics and gamers alike, the game has pushed the boundaries of cinematic storytelling and Rockstar’s superb open-world gameplay.
As for me, I found it too much of a slow burn. I appreciated the characters and the world that the game created, but having to manage a camp, hunt for food, and my health, it felt like having to live a second life. To top it off, having to play a shooter on a controller is a bit frustrating, especially when it is the bulk of the gameplay.
With rumors that the PC version will be released... soon, I’ll be waiting patiently to experience Rockstar’s masterpiece from beginning to end.
Most Disappointing Game: Kirby Star Allies
When I heard that a new mainstream Kirby game would be released on the Switch, I was ecstatic. The series was what opened the world of video gaming for me, and I have followed it along for most of its life. Unfortunately, Kirby Star Allies wasn’t able to meet the expectations I had for the game, with its short length, basic difficulty, and lack of replayability.
Nintendo has done a fantastic job in giving fan service and providing continuous updates for the game via extra playable characters that come from Kirby’s varied 25-year history. However, the additional modes don’t add much and are over before you know it.
This is not something new, as Kirby has had its share of good and bad games throughout his history. I cross my fingers that a new mainstream game will be announced soon.
Biggest Guilty Pleasure: Bloons Adventure Time TD
Sometimes, you want to take a break from a 10-hour mining session in FFXIV to sit down with something a bit more casual. That game for me has been Bloons Adventure Time.
Although it wasn’t necessarily explicit during our PAX West coverage videos, but any time we weren’t playing a game at the convention, I was on my phone, popping Bloons with Jake and Finn. The combination of the classic Bloons gameplay combined with the unique additions of leveling up characters, equipping them with various loot and calling in different helpers was something that hooked me and wouldn’t let me go.
Fortunately (?), the game introduced one of my biggest gaming pet peeves: microtransactions. A lot of the maps and characters were gated behind purchases, which freed me from this addiction.
Best Worst Game: Metal Gear Survive
In 2015, Hideo Kojima and Konami had a falling out and the future of the Metal Gear series was in the air (and Silent Hills was dead. RIP.). The series had a quick stint with pachinko in Japan, remastering MGS 3 in the fantastic Fox Engine, but the latest outing brought it back to its roots for a... zombie survival game?
Many fans and critics were prepared for the potential disaster of a game, and they absolutely correct. It completely ignored the previous entries of the series and had a simple gameplay loop. It was almost insulting to long-time fans, and the game felt like a quick cash grab for those who weren’t familiar with the situation and was purely going off the franchise name.
On the other hand, it was still a functioning game, and the team still tried its best to provide it with interesting events and updates well after the release date. It’s not clear where the series will go after Metal Gear Survive, but it won’t be hard to top this game.
Best Game that I never ended up getting better at Sound Voltex
Alex and I still love frequenting the arcade, and it’s usually for one reason: Sound Voltex. It’s a rhythm game that’s DJ Hero on steroids: you press buttons and turn knobs to the beat to keep the music playing. It’s a bit overwhelming at first but can quickly get addicting after a couple of rounds.
Unfortunately, it’s not a game that you can easily play on a keyboard, and controllers are fairly expensive to purchase. This means the only way I was able to play the game was to embark on a 1.5 trip to the nearest arcade to play it in person.
I had planned on being able to complete harder songs this year (I made it up to level 12 out of 20), but couldn’t find the time to play the game throughout the year consistently. Perhaps I’ll buy a controller of my own like Alex did and practice at home.
My Game of the Year: Monster Hunter: World
Outside of being one of the few games that was able to receive a 9/10 on viewport this year, Monster Hunter: World was able to steal my heart right away with its updated features, huge amounts of content, and seamless cooperative play. This was the Monster Hunter game I’ve been waiting for since I’ve discovered the series with Monster Hunter 4: Ultimate.
Even after dumping close to 100 hours into it, I was excited to play it while I was at work, thinking about the different gear sets I could be farming. The amount of variation and challenge that it was able to bring is what propelled the game into a worldwide phenomenon and one of Capcom’s best selling franchises.
With an excellent PC port and a new expansion (Iceborne) on the way with G-Rank and new monsters I’m excited to be returning to the Gathering Hall in the new year.
With these remaining awards, we can finally wrap up the actual Game Awards of 2018. Once again, I know you’re watching us, Geoff, so we’ll be on the lookout for tickets to the show next year!