The Most Awards 2017

Welcome to year two of The Most Awards!

Every year, people piece together lists of their favorite games, as well as the stinkers they’ve played. Around Christmas and the new year, gamers gush about their favorites because that’s what we love to do!

So re-introductions are in order. The Most Awards are all about honoring the best and shedding light on the worst. Of course, we have the official awards from The Game Awards and various publications, but their choices aren’t always the most enlightening. Mine always are; that shouldn’t come as a surprise. My wife is also here to offer her expert opinion, and provide valuable insight.

So let’s kick things off!

The Most Disappointing Game – Mass Effect: Andromeda

Mass Effect Andromeda Shit Boss
This game could’ve used a better architect

Mass Effect: Andromeda was… interesting (Jen: By interesting, he really means it was the biggest let down in all video game history. Maybe I am projecting). If you remember The Most Awards from last yearMass Effect: Andromeda was the game I was most excited to play this year. So imagine my disappointment when it turned out to be so, mediocre. It’s a little humorous that the original path the developers wanted to take with the game would’ve made it into something akin to No Man’s Sky, which “won” the title of Most Disappointing Game for 2016.

Jen: The Mass Effect original trilogy will always hold a special place in my heart. Which is why, when we waited five years to dive into the next segment of the Mass Effect world, our hearts were crushed almost immediately upon playing it. I have been nearly convinced to dive back into this game, only to remember that I loathed what little I played. I don’t think playing more of it will bring the sour taste I get in my mouth when I think of it. Blech, now I need some cookies and milk to wash it out. 

It’s unfortunate that a game I had been anticipating so greatly turned out to be such a letdown, but it did lead to one of the best collaborations that I’ve had the pleasure of working on, where Athena from AmbiGamingCorner and I discussed what went wrong with it. So there’s a silver lining to that dumpster fire smoke at least.

The Most Surprising Game – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Ganon Fodder
This is bound to go well

The Nintendo Switch launched in 2017 to incredible sales of the new platform, and I believe the inclusion of a major franchise being part of the launch lineup made a huge difference. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild blew away gamers and journalists alike with its departure from the standard structure of other games in the series, adopting a more modern RPG design and massive open-world.

And I really didn’t think I’d enjoy it. My favorite entries in The Legend of Zelda series have always been Link to the PastOcarina of Time, and Wind Waker, even though I’m rather terrible at them and have yet to finish their stories. That didn’t keep me from both appreciating and enjoying the structure and design of them however. Regardless of the strength of previous entries, I didn’t think I’d adapt well to the way Nintendo designed Breath of the Wild.

The open-world tropes are strong with this game, sporting towers, tons of minigames in the form of Shrines, collectibles like Korok seeds, and the worst implementation of equipment durability I’ve seen to date. Despite those shortcomings though, and my bias against the game, once I forced myself past the 20-25 hour mark and began finding much better equipment and more hearts, I found myself enjoying it much more. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a chore to get to know, but once you finally get to know it, you’ll definitely find yourself loving it… finally.

Jen: Shelby is a lot more forgiving for games that take a long time to get into. To pour 20-25 hours into something and not give up is a big deal.

Shelby: I honestly would’ve stopped within the first 10 hours if I hadn’t resolved to writing a review for Breath of the Wild.

Jen: I would’ve stopped probably after two hours. I don’t read books that take too long to get going, I don’t watch movies or TV shows that take too long to get into, and I definitely don’t play video games that have slow starts. I don’t have a lot of time to give to my video games, so, when I do play, I am going to make sure it is worth every second of that time. Which is why I am currently playing Horizon: Zero Dawn during my five-day staycation. 

The Most Likeable Character – Mario from Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey Emo Mario
I’m digging this new look!

Seriously, how could you not think that Mario is the most likeable character? Sure, Aloy from Horizon: Zero Dawn takes a close second by being a sassy, capable adventurer, but Mario never ceases to bring a smile to our faces. His latest adventure took him through all sorts of interesting locales, including New Donk City and its throwback festival celebrating Mario rescuing Pauline from Donkey Kong.

Even though he never speaks at all (or does he?), he still found his way into our hearts yet again. His adorable antics and ridiculous jumping skills, paired with Cappy’s ability to possess living creatures and inanimate objects, made Super Mario Odyssey what it is… a great game.

Of course, I’d love to give this honor to another character from Super Mario Odyssey, but he only plays a small part and I don’t want to ruin a surprise for those who haven’t discovered his inclusion in the game!

Jen: The only blemish I would give to Odyssey is that Yoshi is not in the game throughout the story. Yoshi has always been, and always will be, my favorite Mario character, so not having him by my side during the campaign was disappointing. However, every other aspect of Odyssey was absolutely brilliant! 

The Most Intriguing Villain – Everything in The Long Dark that’s actively trying to kill you

The Long Dark Luminance Fugue Valley
Just look at all the ways you can die!

Anyone that has the pleasure of following me on Twitter or has watched me on Twitch knows that I adore The Long Dark and the myriad of ways that death can sink its claws into your soul and rip it out. The Long Dark isn’t just unforgiving because enemies are so dangerous (even though they are), but because it’s just as easy to wander out in the snow to your death. Or fall through the ice and contract hypothermia. Or die from dysentery you got from eating a can of peaches

Jen: This comment comes from his own personal experience… Well, personal via the game.

In a way, the most intriguing villain of The Long Dark is your own ineptitude and foolhardiness. In a game about planning and gambling with your life, The Long Dark pits you against yourself, forcing you to try to not get yourself killed through your own stupidity.

Jen: I haven’t played this game at all. Mostly because survival is difficult enough for me in the real world, why would I want to test fate in a video game? I would die within minutes though, I can tell you that much. 

The Most Interesting Story – Horizon: Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn™_20170323215644
Building on the bones of a civilization

I’m in love with the lore of Horizon: Zero Dawn, and I’m sure it shows. There’s something about the background of how everything went to hell that’s intriguing to me. Guerrilla Games could’ve easily just stuck with the robo-animals and kept things unexplained, but they designed an entire premise of why there are robo-animals terrorizing everyone, why everyone speaks English, and why there’s a mix of high technology with primitive equipment.

Horizon: Zero Dawn‘s story is something that I’d love to explore further, which is why I’ve already played The Frozen WildsHorizon: Zero Dawn‘s latest DLC.

It definitely helps that I’m a sucker for science fiction though.

Jen: A lot like Odyssey, I have very little to complain about regarding Horizon. This game is fantastic! It draws you in with a terrific story that is intriguing from the beginning, its graphics are spectacular, and the main character is even more of a badass than Commander Shepard. Really, it is a phenomenal game, and you don’t have to play for 20-25 hours to get “into it”.

The Most Infuriating News – Star Wars: Battlefront II’s (and other game’s) loot boxes

STAR WARS Battlefront II Loot Boxes GIF
If only…

Any time that random chance is introduced to a game as a means of progression, I find myself backing away slowly. I went through the hell of waiting for my Judgement Helm to drop in Onyxia’s Lair back in the early days of World of Warcraft. Why would I want to subject myself to a game that doubles down on random chance and forces me to endure hours of getting slaughtered by other players in order to just give me a chance to get something worthwhile?

At least in World of Warcraft’s PvP, you could play in Battlegrounds to earn tokens that could be exchanged for whatever gear you wanted without the guesswork.

That’s why I’ve gone on to boycott games like Star Wars: Battlefront IIMiddle-Earth: Shadow of War, and any future installments of games that include loot boxes that can be paid for with real money.

It’s also why I’ve gone on to actively (and successfully) convincing people to not buy games like Star Wars: Battlefront II as well.

Jen: I always sucked at the original Battlefront, but seriously not even going to waste my time on a game, or games, that make me pay nearly seventy dollars just to play and then waste more money on top of that for “special stuffs”. No thanks. 

The Most Exciting News – Original Xbox backwards compatiblity

Original Xbox Backwards Compatibility.PNG
Not a huge lineup yet, but it’s a start

It may seem like a silly thing to be excited about, but the fact that I can play games from three different generations of consoles on one system as a built in software feature is awesome. I have great memories from playing games like Red Faction II and Sid Meier’s Pirates, and I’ve been forging new ones with games like Black while Jennifer dives back into Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic again.

Jen: I immediately dove back into playing KOTOR again. That game brings back some awesome childhood memories! There is something seriously special about playing a game as well thought out as KOTOR is. 

I’m looking forward to seeing what kinds of games Microsoft brings to the platform in the coming months!

The Most Popular Game That I Didn’t Play – PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds

PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds Title
PvP at its core

I get it. Battle Royale style gameplay is something that people like. Jumping into a map with 99 other players who want to kill you is exactly why games like RustDay Z, H1Z1, and Ark: Survival Evolved are so popular. PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds does away with the survival aspect of the formula and just pits players against each other without distractions like monitoring hunger and thirst, and fighting off hordes of zombies.

It make sense, but I just don’t think it’s for me. I’ll likely get around to trying it, but I can’t see myself really getting into the game. I’m not a PvP-minded person, and I can’t say that I’m interested in jumping on the PUBG streaming bandwagon. I’ll leave that to the PewDiePies and promoters with Microsoft who apparently can’t get enough of the game that’s a console exclusive on Xbox One that is coincidentally being promoted like crazy on Mixer, their own streaming service.

Jen: I feel like the title gives away my thoughts right now… Player what? 

The Most Best Game – Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey Happy Toad
What a joy this was to play!

Prior to getting a Nintendo Switch, Horizon: Zero Dawn stood poised to steal the trophy for The Most Best Game of 2017. I absolutely loved Horizon, but Super Mario Odyssey swooped in with its undeniable charm and amazing blend of 11 herbs and spices 2D, 2.5D, and 3D perspectives.

It’s just a great game, through and through. I feel like my review says it all, but I do need to say that any game that successfully lives up to my expectations after convincing me that I need a new game system just to play it has to be the best game of that year, hands down.

That’s something that No Man’s Sky wasn’t able to pull off.

Yes, I’m still bitter about that.

What about you?

What kind of games do you think deserve recognition? Famous or obscure, wonderful or infamous? Let us know, below!


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14 thoughts on “The Most Awards 2017

  1. Odyssey, Horizon, and Destiny are probably my three favorites of the year.

    I don’t necessarily disagree with you on the loot box issues but having now put in quite a bit of time into Battlefront II, the progression isn’t as random as I thought it was when I started playing it. It’s overly complicated and super ill conceived to be sure and while there is a random element with the loot boxes (which can’t be purchased anymore with real money and from recent statements, it doesn’t sound like the pay currency is going to return), the progression is static. New weapons are earned from completing challenges as a certain class. New abilities (star cards) are earned via the loot box and crafting. It’s a weird system and one I don’t think is very good but it’s not quite as bad as people initially made it out to be. Or at least I don’t think it is quite as bad as people initially made it out to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did enjoy Destiny 2 up until I hit the level cap, and now with the expansion, I feel like it may be a while before my wife and I return to the game.

      I can see that Battlefront II’s issues have been fixed somewhat, but they created a system that relied so heavily on random chance that they seem to be having trouble mending the problem. I might end up trying it someday, but it’ll likely only be once I find the game used for a reasonable price. I don’t want to reward EA for their initial choices.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The most disappointing game I’ve played this year is Breath of The Wild. It’s a bad Zelda game in my opinion and okay open world game. My three favorite games of the year are Divinity: Original Sin 2, Wolfenstein 2, and Mass Effect: Andromeda. Original Sin 2 is one of the best games I’ve ever played.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I need to try Divinity Original Sin and Wolfenstein 2. I sense that in my future!

      As for BotW, I can see your point. It’s a departure from The Legend of Zelda formula for sure; Nintendo obviously tried to bring The Legend of Zelda into the modern age of gaming.

      Like

    1. I think the biggest issue I had with ME:A was that I had expectations for the game that weren’t met. I didn’t feel that it lived up to the series that preceded it. While it may not be the worst game ever, and I feel that the majority of complaints against it were overblown, it definitely disappointed me.

      The ending bothers me because it’s such an obvious plot hook!

      Like

  3. Nice recap! I still have to finish mine and I agree with some of the choices. I’m absolutely in love with Horizon, its story and the combat mechanics (playing DLC right now). I’ve enjoyed Super Mario Odyssey a lot, it often put a smile on my face, and has some unforgettable moments. I’m also playing Zelda right now, but still have to play a bit more to have a proper opinion.

    I haven’t play Mass Effect or PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds. And I don’t have an Xbox, but Microsoft’s commitment with backward compatibility is exemplary. Sony and Nintendo should take note. And by the way (and a bit early), happy new year! 2018 looks promising (and I still have a lot of games in my backlog)

    Liked by 1 person

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