My Choice: Video Game Awards 2017

The video game awards are almost here yet again. These award shows have not gone well. Many iterations have been made, and now video game journalist and head of these award show Geoff Keighly say this is the best, and biggest show yet. This looks like it can be what he has been striving for all this time. So, you may be asking, what is the point of all this? I will be giving my choices for this award show. These are not predictions exactly, but more of my preferences. Note that not all categories will be discussed since some I have no real knowledge of or have not played at all.

Category: Game of the Year- The best game across the board on a technical level and giving gamers the best experience out of any game this year.

Nominees:

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)
  2. Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo)
  3. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG Corp/Bluehole)
  4. Persona 5 (Atlus)
  5. Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Winner: Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

This choice is based on many factors. Guerilla Games are known for Killzone, a first-person shooter series that has been a PlayStation exclusive for a long time. Now they bring out a massive open world game. Horizon Zero Dawn delivers beautiful landscapes, a unique and interesting world and excellent gameplay. For the first entry to a new series, they blew everyone in the industry and your typical gamers away. This is arguably one of the most surprising successes of the year for AAA games.horizon

Category: Best Game Direction- An award based on the game with the most innovative and creative decisions along with the most excellent design

Nominees:

  1. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (MachineGames/Bethesda)
  2. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Capcom)
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)
  4. Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo)
  5. Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Winner: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Capcom)

Capcom was bringing one of their biggest franchises down to the ground. The last entry was a disaster, and the series was heading these even before that. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard revived one of the most beloved horror games out there. Nobody expected this game to take the direction that it did. This is one of the hardest categories for me because each game has a fantastic direction. Every game in this category made some innovative steps, but I was blown away by every aspect of this game. The more serious and horrific tone brought it back to its roots. A first-person perspective is a brand new to a main entry to the series, and it worked in a beautiful, but a horrific way. Not only is this game have a fantastic direction, the innovative new design from the rest of the games, but manages to be one of the greatest horror games I have played in years. This game is what nightmares are made of.RE7

Category: Best Narrative- This goes to the game with the best storytelling, writing, and overall world that helps gamers immerse themselves for a countless amount of hours.

Nominees:

  1. What Remain of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive)
  2. NieR: Automata (Platinum Games/Square Enix)
  3. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory)
  4. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (MachineGames/Bethesda)
  5. Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Winner: Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

The world and the way it was told in Horizon Zero Dawn is incredible. The world that was built is so unique. This post-apocalyptic world where these animal-like machines have conquered the world. Humanity is back to the stone-age in every sense of their lives. Aloy has been an outcast her whole life due to traditions and social norms about her past, but now that she has been accepted back in, tragedy happens by a group of people. She hunts them down and uncovers the truth of this mystery. There are so many details to search through every corner to find more information on the history of this world. So much of the world is fleshed out that it feels real, which is the most important thing to do with any piece of fiction.horizon

Category: Best Art Direction- Best creative and technical achievement in the design and animation of a game.

Nominees:

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)
  2. Destiny 2 (Bungie/Activision)
  3. Cuphead (Studio MDHR)
  4. Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  5. Persona 5 (Atlus)

Winner: Cuphead (Studio MDHR)

Each of these games is stunning in their own unique way, but Cuphead takes the cake. This game was not on my radar at all. I may have heard of it here and there, but I did not notice until the game was released. A style that was hand drawn and made to look like a 1930s cartoon in color. The style, animations, and color all go together so perfectly. Anytime there is footage online of this game I am still blown away. A different decision that worked out in a beautiful way that will always be remembered.cuphead

Category: Best Score/Music- The best overall soundtrack, score, or licensed music.

Nominees:

  1. Destiny 2 (Bungie/Activision)
  2. Cuphead (Studio MDHR)
  3. NieR: Automata (Platinum Games/Square Enix)
  4. Persona 5 (Atlus)
  5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)
  6. Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo)

Winner: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)

With over 60 songs, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild delivers a wide variety of interesting music that will provide the player with so many enjoyable songs for different situations. Music plays such an important role as certain songs get played for particular moments. Some of these songs are so beautifully made or some that go much faster to match the mood for an intense battle.Legend-of-Zelda-Breath-of-the-Wild

Category: Best Audio Design- The game with the best in-game audio and sound design

Nominees:

  1. Destiny 2 (Bungie/Activision)
  2. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory)
  3. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Capcom)
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)
  5. Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo)

Winner: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Capcom)

This game is stunningly beautiful, but not just from a visual aspect. The sound is so on point that you will be looking around to see if someone is around the corner to kill you. Sound design in any horror game is one of the most important aspects to get right. If every little detail in the sound is not correct, then the experience will suffer. With any horror game, you must use headphones to get every little sound that you could potentially miss. That will make the experience so much more immersive and terrifying. RE7

Category: Best Performance- This goes to the actor or actress who had an outstanding performance for their voice acting, motion and/or performance capture

Nominees:

  1. Melina Juergens, Hellblade. Played as Senua
  2. Laura Bailey, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. Played as Nadine Ross
  3. Claudia Black, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. Played as Chloe Frazer
  4. Brian Bloom, Wolfenstein II. Played as BJ Blazkowicz
  5. Ashly Burch, Horizon Zero Dawn. Played as Aloy

Winner: Laura Bailey

This standalone add-on to Uncharted 4 gives fans one last story in this world, at least that is what Naughty Dog says as they close the franchise for now. Laura Bailey’s character returns in this adventure. As players got to experience a lot of her previously, now we are given a closer look at her role. Her performance is excellent and brings Nadine to life.the-lost-legacy-feat

Best Ongoing Game- Recognition of the game that has had the more advanced quality of improvement after months or even years of its release.

Nominees:

  1. Warframe (Digital Extremes)
  2. Rainbow Six: Siege (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
  3. Overwatch (Blizzard)
  4. Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar Games)
  5. Destiny 2 (Bungie/Activision)
  6. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG Corp/Bluehole)

Winner: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG Corp/Bluehole)

Nobody is surprised that this is the winner for me, but I feel confident that this will actually win the real award. PUBG came out of nowhere and dominated. This game is not complete, it is still in beta, but has sold over 20 million copies. That number keeps growing as more PC gamers buy and as the game comes to console. A game is full of 100 players all set on killing each other in the style of Battle Royale. No game makes me shake with adrenaline and anxiety like this. If you want a strategic shooter that can go from the pacing of a snail, then high-intensity action then you must buy this game. The hype is so real, and this uncomplete juggernaut will continue to grow with new content that is always being added at a consistent pace.PUBG

Category: Best VR/AR Game- The best gaming experience on an AR or VR platform.

Nominees:

  1. Superhot VR (SUPERHOT Team)
  2. Star Trek: Bridge Crew (Red Storm Entertainment/Ubisoft)
  3. Lone Echo (Ready at Dawn/Oculus Studio)
  4. Far Point (Impulse Gear/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  5. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Capcom)

Winner: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Capcom)

Having a horror game in virtual reality is just evil. That is why Capcom decided that their new horrific game Resident Evil 7: Biohazard should be on VR. That distance you get from your tv that makes you feel slightly safer is gone. You are entirely immersed in this slaughterhouse and being tormented by this deranged family. VR will thrive on a few things as the debates go around on how it can survive, and one of those will be horror games like this one here. Bring yourself an extra pair of underwear.RE7

Category: Best Action Game- The best game in the action genre.

Nominees:

  1. Prey (Arkane/Bethesda)
  2. Nioh (Team Ninja/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  3. Destiny 2 (Bungie/Activision)
  4. Cuphead (Studio MDHR)
  5. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (MachineGames/Bethesda)

Winner: Prey (Arkane/Bethesda)

Prey is a reboot to an older game from 2006. After so much trouble with a sequel that they decided to reboot the game entirely. So many games were coming that this new vision of Prey was not on my radar. I can’t remember how it got my attention, but I was blown away. With good storytelling with a fascinating world. Solid gameplay that feels right in every way. The player is given so many options on how to tackle missions. Sadly, the game performed poorly regarding sales. This is the most underrated AAA game of the year by far.prey

Category: Best Action/Adventure Game- The game that delivers the best mix of action, exploration, and critical thinking through problems such as puzzles.

Nominees:

  1. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment
  2. Assassin’s Creed: Origins (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)
  4. Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo)
  5. Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Winner: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)

This might be shocking news, but I am not a fan of this series. I have never been interested or liked any Legend of Zelda title until this one. I was blown away by everything about it. Innovative in so many aspects that I hope changes most future open world games by any company. The excellent gameplay provides the best mix of action, traversal, and puzzle solving. This game is the definition of what it means to be an adventure open world game.Legend-of-Zelda-Breath-of-the-Wild

Category: Best Role Playing Game- The game with the best design for character progression and customization.

Nominees:

  1. South Park: The Fractured But Whole (Ubisoft San Fransisco/Ubisoft)
  2. Final Fantasy XV (Square Enix)
  3. Divinity: Original Sin 2 (Larian Studios)
  4. NieR: Automata (Platinum Games/Square Enix)
  5. Persona 5 (Atlus)

Winner: South Park: The Fractured But Whole Ubisoft)

Readers, this one probably has you pretty mad. I did have some issues with this game, as you may know from my review, but I love the simplicity of it. Not some massive RPG that the other games are. I liked the smaller scope and abilities that each character had. This short and sweet RPG is fun, plus will make any South Park fan happy.South Park

Category: Best Fighting Game- The game with the best head-to-head combat style.

Nominees:

  1. Tekken 7 (Bandai Namco Studios/Bandai Namco Entertainment)
  2. Nidhogg 2 (Messhof Games)
  3. Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite (Capcom)
  4. Arms (Nintendo)
  5. Injustice 2 (NetherRealm Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

Winner: Injustice 2 (NetherRealm Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

Injustice 2 is just as excellent as the first game. Made by the minds behind the Mortal Kombat games gives basically a less violent version with DC characters, and it is incredible! Any fighting game fan will love the combos and the variety of characters. The gameplay is tight and solid. The game runs and looks beautiful. NetherRealm are the kings of fighting games.DC

Category: Best Family Game- The best overall experience that a family has in a game.

Nominees:

  1. Splatoon 2 (Nintendo)
  2. Sonic Mania (PagodaWest Games + Headcannon/Sega)
  3. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Nintendo)
  4. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo)
  5. Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo)

Winner: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Nintendo)

Like many games this year, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a big surprise. My mind changed when I first saw the gameplay. A simple version of a turn-based tactical shooter that can get kids into these style of games in an easy way. The wacky cast of characters, solid gameplay and simplicity make it perfect for the whole family.mrkb-header-desktop-ncsa

Category: Best Strategy Game- The best experience in a real-time or turn-based strategy based game.

Nominees:

  1. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Nintendo)
  2. XCOM 2: War of the Chosen (Firaxis Games/2K)
  3. Tooth and Tail (Pocketwatch Games)
  4. Total War: Warhammer II (Creative Assembly/Sega)
  5. Halo Wars 2 (Creative Assembly + 343/Microsoft Studios)

Winner: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen (Firaxis Games/2K)

This expansion pack for XCOM 2 delivers more content for fans of the series in an excellent way. The XCOM series are some of the best turn-based tactical shooters out there. You get so invested in the characters you have that can easily die forever. The stakes are high in these games. This enhances the strategic elements to make sure every man and women on your squad survive. The skills of even the most harden strategy gamer’s will be tested.xcom2_war_of_the_chosen_logo

Category: Best Multiplayer- For the most outstanding gameplay for a multiplayer game or game mode whether the focus is cooperative or competitive.

Nominees:

  1. Fortnite (Epic Games)
  2. Call of Duty: World War II
  3. Splatoon 2 (Nintendo)
  4. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo)
  5. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG Corp/Bluehole)
  6. Destiny 2 (Bungie/Activision)

Winner: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG Corp/Bluehole)

I have never experienced a game like PUBG in my life. The only games to get my blood pumping and for me to be shaking are horror games, not shooter based games. This multiplayer action game is incredible with its gameplay and premise. A battle to the death whether it is on a squad of four people, a duo team, or solo. A future zombie mode will be added for even more variety which is the main issue to PUBG currently. Within a year it will be completely different, but just as amazing. PUBG

Category: Most Anticipated Game- Awarding a game that is upcoming in the years to come that shows the most amount of ambition and promise.

Nominees:

  1. The Last of Us Part II (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  2. Red Dead Redemption II (Rockstar Games)
  3. Monster Hunter: World (Capcom)
  4. Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  5. God of War (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Winner: The Last of Us Part II (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

This came down to The Last of Us Part II and Spider-Man. It hurt me to pick, but how can I not choose the sequel to my favorite game? The Last of Us delivered a compelling story that arguably has never done before. As Neil Druckmann, creative director of the games, has said, “If the first game was really about the love between these two characters, this story is the counter of that,” Druckmann explained early on. “This is a story is about hate, through Ellie this time.” As a game is about love was super depressing and violent, this will be blowing past that by miles if hate is being involved. I am beyond excited for this incredible journey and to be with Joel and Ellie once again. This is another category that I feel strongly will win the actual award.The last of us 2

Category: Best Independent Game- An excellent creative game that is the traditional publisher system.

Nominees:

  1. Pyre (Supergiant Games)
  2. Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)
  3. Cuphead (Studio MDHR)
  4. What Remain of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive)
  5. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory)

Winner: Cuphead (Studio MDHR)

Studio MDHR formed in 2013 by two brothers; Chad and Jared Moldenhauer. Their first game is Cuphead which has sold over a million copies. This success story with an excellent game on top of it all is worthy of this award. The development took forever because everything is hand drawn. When you put in the effort, you get a product like Cuphead.cuphead

Like I said, this is not every category. Some blend a little too much to me such as best debut indie game, which would be Cuphead. Also, this is the first time I have done something like this as I expand the blog. This year has been excellent for games and will continue to get better as we have seen with some of the games on the category for the most anticipated game. We will see how my list compares to the actual award show. What are your choices? You can view the award show on every major gaming and social media site for free on December 7th.

Get some of the best games of the year from Amazon:

Images via Sony Interactive Entertainment, Nintendo, Microsoft, Capcom, Studio MDHR, Guerilla Games, Naughty Dog, Bluehole Studio Inc., Firaxis, 2K Games, Ubisoft, NetherRealm, Arkane Studios, Pixabay/AlohaWorld.

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