Critical Teatime Awards 2015
Tea: Anise Fennel Tea (tastes as good as it sounds…)
Other than simply giving you my Top or Bottom 10, I thought it would be much more fun (and creatively challenging) to present you with some awards for games or companies that have made a big impact this year, be it positive or negative. At the end you will still find my personal Game of the Year, but as always there is not a single quantum of objective fact in this. This list is solely comprised of my personal opinion and should not be seen as anything else. Without further disclaimers, have fun reading about my praising and cursing of the year 2015.
Award for Best New IP that is not Actually Entirely New:
The first award goes to Bloodborne (*confetti*). A game that comes along as new and fresh, but is merely Dark Souls in a nice black leather coat and Victorian setting. However, almost everything about it works well and is a lot of fun. I sure as hell had more fun playing this than Dark Souls II, I can tell you that much. The game only gets better with the recently released Old Hunters expansion and I still go back to play in the pool of blood this game creates and therefore it gets its well-deserved award.
Award for Falling from Grace so Hard Even Satan Spits You out again
The not-surprising winner is Konami! If a company can be this disgusting and continue to outdo themselves in more and more disgusting deeds there must be a special award for it. Of course, I do not have physical rewards for this so I would advise to print this out, hang it up on the company fridge and start tying noses immediately afterwards.
Award for Game that was not actually Released this Year but I still Play so it is Totally Valid
This absolutely valid award goes to Platinum Game’s masterpiece Bayonetta. I still play this beautifully weird game and enjoy every second of it. If there should ever be game mechanics that need to be copied it is those. The combat is amazing and the attention to detail exquisite. It is a blast to play and a game that should find its way into every respectable gamer’s collection. Still haven’t got the hardware to play Bayo 2, sadly…
Green-Award for Best Recycling
The eco-award goes to Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and there dedication to our mother earth. They do not throw away old concepts and gameplay. They keep using it and using it until it is fully exhausted and then they keep using and using it. I have not played Syndicate, of course, but I do have a pair of good eyeballs that can tell me all that I need to know. So here you go Ubisoft, this is for you and your continued dedication to stick with something that works and never ever let go.
Award for Director I Hate that Should Carry on a Franchise I Like (but thankfully didn’t)
This award can go to no other person than the inept writer and overhyped director Guillermo Del Toro and his possible role in Silent Hills. Never, never would I have wanted this baby in the director’s chair to have any say over one of my most beloved franchises.
Award for the Game I have not gotten Around to Play but Will in the Next Year
This award goes to the seemingly endless Witcher 3 – Wild Hunt. A game is seldom intimidating in the size of its content, but Witcher 3 certainly scares me with his infinite hours of playtime, since I simply do not have the time right now. Yet, seeing as it was drowned in other awards I thought I would give a little drop to the ocean and settle for a meeting with the white haired monster hunter next year.
Award for the Moment I Saw Coming from Miles Away
Since I played the Tomb Raider reboot this year it technically counts into this year and there was this next-gen re-release and so on. Anyway, Tomb Raider wins this award for dual wielding pistols at the end to finish off the bad guy. I thought “when is she going to go full on old Lara” and sure enough right at the end she went through with it. It was obvious, but could have been done a lot worse. So if anything I will give a slight bit of recognition to a game I otherwise didn’t enjoy that much.
Award for Most Pretentious Bullshit
This is an easy pick: Life is strange. Nothing screams hipster-bullshit more like an indie playlist and the story of a photography student that can reverse time. It is full of plot holes, unbelievable bad writing, and an ending that robs you of any investment you might have had. So there you go, here is your well-deserved award.
Critical Teatime Game of the Year Award
Note: This game also wins: Moment that almost made me cry, Best Enemy Attack, Best Bossfight, Best Soundtrack, Best Writing, and Best Game Design. Sadly, there is no other game that would deserve all of these awards this year, or perhaps I should say thankfully. I am not quite sure. Anyway…
The Critical Teatime Game of the Year is, of course, non-other than the incredible Undertale by Toby Fox!
Before I go into praising this game for the second time I will round up these included awards: Moment that almost made me cry: True Pacifist Ending of Undertale. Best Enemy Attack has to go to the non-attack of Napstablook. I would give him his award, but I am afraid he is not feeling up to it right now. The best bossfight this year is the final boss of the True Pacifist Run, The Absolute God of HyperDeath himself, I leave you to figure out who that is exactly. The game’s soundtrack wins the overall award, but if I must name an individual track that should win this, here goes: Battle Against A True Hero (or should I say heroine). Best writing and game design should be obvious at this point.
What is left to say about this incredible game? Critics and magazines have praised it and for once they are actually right in doing so. Undertale touches something deep inside that is hard to describe. It is simply fun in its purest form. Never before has there been a game like this and there will not be one for a long time to come. Since Undertale was not given its proper Game of the Year Award by the VGA I am here to right the wrong and present Undertale with the first Critical Teatime Game of the Year Award. Congratulations, Toby Fox. You have made an outstanding game that has had a lasting impact.
And with tears in our eyes we say farewell to the old year and march boldly ahead into the darkness of 2016. Big releases already cower behind the horizon. The AAA industry is once again ready to sneakily grab your money while you are busy looking at the skybox. Let us all remember that the status quo in video games is nothing more than a grey mass in a dirty old tub, but a lot of people will stitch a bloody smile onto their face to make it seem like the essence of life in a golden chalice. We will be lied to, we will be disappointed, but we will play some games at least, I guess…
Happy New Year.
Image sources in order of appearance:
- https://media.playstation.com/is/image/SCEA/bloodborne-overview-coop-screen-01-ps4-us-25feb15?$MediaCarousel_Original$ (last date of access: 29.12.2015)
- http://www.geek.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/shslot.jpg (last date of access: 29.12.2015)
- http://static1.gamespot.com/uploads/original/778/7789540/2578641-3816832169-bayon.jpg (last date of access: 29.12.2015)
- http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/q1zomwuhvsq3on1rqswr.png (last date of access: 29.12.2015)
- http://cdn.wegotthiscovered.com/wp-content/uploads/guillermo-del-toro.jpeg (last date of access: 29.12.2015)
- http://static.cdprojektred.com/thewitcher/media/wallpapers/witcher3/big/witcher3_en_wallpaper_wallpaper_7_1920x1080_1433245915.jpg (last date of access: 29.12.2015)
- http://www.pixelegends.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/203160_screenshots_2013-03-07_00013.jpg (last date of access: 29.12.2015)
- http://www.ingame.de/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2015/11/Life-ist-Strange-Nachfolger-angekuendigt.jpg (last date of access: 29.12.2015)
- http://media.boingboing.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/undertale.jpg (last date of access: 29.12.2015)