Video Game Awards 2018 Predictions

The Video Game Awards are coming December 6. With Geoff Keighley’s big show coming, I will be giving my predictions to what I think will win. I will base my choices on my own experience and what I genuinely believe will win. Some will be wild guesses and others will be my own love for a title.

Before going in, I will skip some categories due to my lack of knowledge like anything to do with esports or not having certain consoles to play this year’s biggest exclusives.

Game of the Year

#1: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (Ubisoft Quebec/Ubisoft)

#2: Celeste (Matt Makes Games)

#3: God of War (Sony Santa Monica/SIE)

#4: Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games/SIE)

#5: Monster Hunter: World (Capcom)

#6: Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Winner: God of War (Sony Santa Monica/SIE)

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Image via Sony Santa Monica

I was blown away by the latest God of War. What wins for me is the game’s ability to balance satisfying combat and a gripping story that left me an emotional wreck. I came in as a newcomer, and now I need my fix for more adventures with Kratos and Atreus.

Buy now: God of War – PlayStation 4

Best Ongoing Game

#1: Destiny 2: Forsaken (Bungie/Activision)

#2: Fortnite (Epic Games)

#3: No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)

#4: Overwatch (Blizzard)

#5: Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

Winner: Fortnite (Epic Games)

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Image via Epic Games

Despite my feelings or anyone else’s, Fortnite still controls the lives of millions. The juggernaut of a game came in at the right time to claim the throne after PUBG.

Best Game Direction

#1: A Way Out (Hazelight Studios/EA)

#2: Detroit: Become Human (Quantic Dream/SIE)

#3: God of War (Sony Santa Monica/SIE)

#4: Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games/SIE)

#5: Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Winner: A Way Out (Hazelight Studios/EA)

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Image via Hazelight Studios

While I may have had issues with A Way Outthe game’s unique split-screen mechanic will be one of the most brilliant choices in gaming history. The perfection of playing with a friend on the couch or online while maintaining the same feeling will is unlike anything the world has seen. The perfect emotional rollercoaster to play through with a friend or loved one.

Buy now: A Way Out – Xbox One

Buy now: A Way Out – PlayStation 4

Best Narrative

#1: Detroit: Become Human  (Quantic Dream/SIE)

#2: God of War (Sony Santa Monica/SIE)

#3: Life is Stranger 2: Episode 1 (Dotnod Entertainment/Square Enix)

#4: Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games)

#5: Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Winner: Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games)

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Image via Insomniac Games

Despite some fierce competition for best narrative, Spider-Man wins due to its perfect pacing. A sweet, short story that pulls out every emotion you can imagine. I laughed at the hilarity of Spidey, I teared up throughout the final act, and I was full of joy when things got better for New York.

Buy now: Marvel’s Spider-Man – PlayStation 4

Best Art Direction

#1: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (Ubisoft Quebec/Ubisoft)

#2: God of War (Sony Santa Monica/SIE)

#3: Octopath Traveler (Square Enix/Acquire/Nintendo)

#4: Return of the Obra Dinn (3909 LLC)

#5: Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Winner: Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

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Image via Rockstar Games

2018 was full of games that I kept saying, “This is the best looking game ever.” Then Rockstar showed up everyone with the gorgeous look of Red Dead Redemption 2. The amount of detail with the mindblowing textures and a wide variety of locations that have a unique feel brought the world to life. When developers say they have made a living open world, nothing compares to what Rockstar has created.

Buy now: Red Dead Redemption 2 – PlayStation 4

Buy now: Red Dead Redemption 2 – Xbox One

Best Score/Music

#1: Celeste (Lena Raine)

#2: God of War (Bear McCreary)

#3: Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (Joe Hisaishi)

#4: Octopath Traveler (Yasunori Nishiki)

#5: Red Dead Redemption 2 (Woody Jackson/Daniel Lanois)

#6: Marvel’s Spider-Man (John Paesano)

Winner: Marvel’s Spider-Man (John Paesano)

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Image via Insomniac Games

John Paesano captured the right music to go alongside Spidey. An epic score that feels heroic and that you are inside of a movie from the MCU. Paesano captures the fun, heroism, and emotion that comes into Peter Parker’s life.

Buy now: Marvel’s Spider-Man – PlayStation 4

Best Audio Design

#1: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (Treyarch/Activision)

#2: Forza Horizon 4 (Playground Games/Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Studios)

#3: God of War (Sony Santa Monica/SIE)

#4: Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

#5: Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games)

Winner: Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

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Image via Rockstar Games

Besides being the best looking, the sound design in Rockstar’s open world western delivers that extra level of detail for a fully immersive experience.

Buy now: Red Dead Redemption 2 – PlayStation 4

Buy now: Red Dead Redemption 2 – Xbox One

Best Performance

#1: Bryan Dechart as Connor (Detroit: Become Human)

#2: Christopher Judge as Kratos (God of War)

#3: Melissanthi Mahut as Kassandra (Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey)

#4: Roger Clark as Arthur Morgan (Red Dead Redemption 2)

#5: Yuri Lowenthal (Marvel’s Spider-Man)

Winner: Yuri Lowenthal (Marvel’s Spider-Man)

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Image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore

While Tom Holland remains to be not only the best Spider-Man/Peter Parker, he is Spider-Man/Peter Parker. Yuri Lowenthal gets mighty close. He captures the witty hero while maintaining his personal life as the kind, nerdy young guy doing his best for his Aunt May. If we need an older Spider-Man in a future movie, then the man for the job is right here.

Buy now: Marvel’s Spider-Man – PlayStation 4

Best Action Game

#1: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (Treyarch/Activision)

#2: Dead Cells (Motion Twin)

#3: Destiny 2: Forsaken (Bungie/Activision)

#4: Far Cry 5 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

#5: Mega Man 11 (Capcom)

Winner: Dead Cells (Motion Twin)

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Image via Motion Twin

The most unique title out of the nominated games with its gameplay and visual style. Without the major controversy behind it, this indie title could have gone unnoticed by most of the world.

The difficulty action game is full of challenges to accompany its highly stylized visuals.

Buy now: Dead Cells – Nintendo Switch

Buy now: Dead Cells – PlayStation 4

Buy now: Dead Cells – Xbox One

Best Role Playing Game

#1: Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age (Square Enix)

#2: Monster Hunter: World (Capcom)

#3: Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (Level 5/Bandai Namco Entertainment)

#4: Octopath Traveler (Square Enix/Acquire/Nintendo)

#5: Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire (Obsidian Entertainment/Versus Evil)

Winner: Monster Hunter: World (Capcom)

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Image via Capcom

Monster Hunter took the world by storm with its fifth main entry. The most popular tend to win, especially with how much people still talk about hunting monsters after the release.

Buy now: Monster Hunter: World – PlayStation 4 Standard Edition

Buy now: Monster Hunter World – Xbox One

Best Action/Adventure Game

#1: Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

#2: Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games)

#3: God of War (Sony Santa Monica/SIE)

#4:  Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (Ubisoft Quebec/Ubisoft)

#5: Shadow of the Tomb Raider (Eidos Montreal/Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix)

Winner: God of War (Sony Santa Monica/SIE)

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Image via Sony Santa Monica

The category calls for the game with the best mix of traversal, combat, and puzzle solving. God of War has that and more. Every mechanic has a purpose. Rowing a boat across the water allows the characters to share stories or discuss events that recently happened. Some of the best combat I have ever experienced comes from an evolving system that delivers new moves and teaches new methods to handle the vast variety of enemies. The puzzles might be simple, but they maintain interest throughout the lengthy adventure.

Buy now: God of War – PlayStation 4

Best Fighting Game

#1: Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle (Arc System Works)

#2: Dragon Ball FighterZ (Arc System Works/Bandai Namco Entertainment)

#3: Soul Calibur VI (Bandai Namco Studios/Bandai Namco Entertainment)

#4: Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition (Capcom)

Winner: Soul Calibur VI (Bandai Namco Studios/Bandai Namco Entertainment)

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Image via Bandai Namco Studios/Bandai Namco Entertainment

The classic fighter series is back and making a killing with new characters and stages. Plus, the character customizations I have seen on Twitter are insane. When a game allows you to make Thanos, then it must be incredible.

Buy now: SOULCALIBUR VI: Standard Edition – PlayStation 4

Buy now: SOULCALIBUR VI: Standard Edition – Xbox One

Best Family Game

#1: Mario Tennis Aces (Camelot Software Planning/Nintendo)

#2: Nintendo Labo (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

#3: Overcooked 2 (Ghost Town Games/Team 17)

#4: Starlink: Battle for Atlas (Ubisoft Toronto/Ubisoft)

#5: Super Mario Party (NDCube/Nintendo)

Winner: Super Mario Party (NDCube/Nintendo)

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Image via Nintendo

Nintendo’s reputation for family-friendly games continues to this day. However, the Mario Party series shows a different side of the Japanese juggernaut. A fun way to tear friends and family apart as you utilize cutthroat strategies to earn the most stars. What is more family friendly?

Buy now: Super Mario Party

Best Sports/Racing Game

#1: Fifa 19 (EA Vancouver/EA Sports)

#2: Forza Horizon 4 (Playground Games/Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Studios)

#3: Mario Tennis Aces (Camelot Software Planning/Nintendo)

#4: NBA 2K19 (Visual Concepts/2K Sports)

#5: Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 (PES Productions/Konami)

Winner: Forza Horizon 4 (Playground Games/Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Studios)

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Image via Playground games/Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Studios

The Forza games always push boundaries for the genre. With stunning graphics and superb gameplay, it is hard to find a better racing game. Taking itself to the UK to deliver a new dynamic weather mechanic, Forza manages to push further into being one of the most spectacular games around.

Buy now: Forza Horizon 4 – Xbox One / Windows 10

Best Multiplayer Game

#1: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (Treyarch/Activision)

#2: Destiny 2: Forsaken (Bungie/Activision)

#3: Fortnite (Epic Games)

#4: Monster Hunter: World (Capcom)

#5: Sea of Thieves (Rare/Microsoft Studios)

Winner: Fortnite (Epic Games)

 

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Image via Epic Games

 

If Fortnite appears on a category, then the masses will vote for the free-to-play shooter to victory. Full of players who can enjoy the game’s PVP or the zombie survival mode that was the initial intention for Fortnite before all of the fame and glory.

You can catch the Video Game Awards on December 6. Vote here to see your favorite games win.

Header image via Video Game Awards/GameSlice

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My Picks: Oscar Nominations 2018

This time of year again to start predicting the Oscars. We have a few months before the actual award ceremony, but the nominations are out now. This list is purely what I am hoping for, so none of you will be that happy.  This is a tough year for the Oscars since some categories have multiple movies I love. I can say that this is one of the best lineups of films at the Oscars in years. Some of these movies I am shocked to see on there, but those same movies are what I wanted to see get a nomination since I first saw them back in 2017. If you read my list of top movies last year, you will know how happy I am by The Shape of Water, Get Out, Baby Driver, and Logan. Now let’s dive into the nominees now to see who will win my Oscars that mean absolutely nothing.

A side note: Some of these movies I have not had a chance to see, so things may be skewed certain ways for particular categories. For example, I did not see any foreign language or animated films, so that will be skipped. Sorry to say, but time restraints are there as a student and I just simply suck in every way for missing out on some of these movies, but I will do my best, only the best for my readers.

Best Picture

Call Me by Your Name
Peter Spears, Luca Guadagnino, Emilie Georges and Marco Morabito, Producers

Darkest Hour
Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten and Douglas Urbanski, Producers

Dunkirk
Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers

Get Out
Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm Jr. and Jordan Peele, Producers

Lady Bird
Scott Rudin, Eli Bush and Evelyn O’Neill, Producers

Phantom Thread
JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison and Daniel Lupi, Producers

The Post
Amy Pascal, Steven Spielberg, and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers

The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro and J. Miles Dale, Producers

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, and Martin McDonagh, Producers

My Pick: The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro and J. Miles Dale, Producers

A love story between a woman and a creature that a fish man sounds ridiculous, but it is easily one of the best love stories in years. The Shape of Water has everything from romance, comedy, drama, suspense, violence, and so much more. This will go down in history as a cinematic masterpiece.shapeofwater

 

Best Director

Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread

Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird

Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk

Jordan Peele, Get Out

My Pick: Jordan Peele, Get Out

Jordan’s debut movie, Get Out was not on my radar. Word of mouth got me to go with no idea what it is about. A horror comedy is all I knew. Get Out is so much more. The best movies tend to blend a lot more than just a pure comedy, or whatever genre that it is. There is a lot of humor, tension, suspense, and more. The story is unique, and every aspect is perfectly crafted. The most prominent accomplishment is Jordan’s attention to detail that gives the story and tone everything that it needs.
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Best Actress

Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie, I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

Meryl Streep, The Post

My Pick: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

The winner here did not have to say a word. Sally’s performance as a mute character was phenomenal. She was able to be funny, enthusiastic, and envoke so much emotion to the audience that was gripping throughout the entire movie. It is one thing to say a word the right way, but it is different when all you have is your facial expressions, posture, and hand gestures.
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Best Actor

Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name

Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread

Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

My Pick: Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Let’s add Daniel Kaluuya to the list of actors who seemed like a genuine American by his acting, but you realize after looking on IMDB that he is from England. How British actors do it will always be a mystery. Besides his great accent, his overall performance was incredible for his lead role in Get Out. You felt his true emotions from his painful memories about his mother, awkward moments with his girlfriend’s family, and his relationship with his friend back home (who was the real star of the film, if you saw this movie then you know what I mean). 33251490846_4e20637775_b

 

Best Supporting Actress

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound

Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread

Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

My Pick: Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Octavia is full of hits such as Snowpiercer, and more recently she starred in Hidden Figures. Like the rest of the main cast in The Shape of Water, Octavia is able to bring a lot to the table. This movie is full of different emotions and tones. Octavia brings a comedic side to her character while able to be grippingly compelling for scenes that are much more intense. There is no stopping her from continuing her great career as an actress._Hidden_Figures__Screening_at_the_White_House_(NHQ201612150008).jpg

 

 

Best Supporting Actor

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World

Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

My Pick: Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

Yes, another win for the cast of The Shape of Water. Richard Jenkins plays Giles, the next door neighbor to Sally Hawkins’ character Elisa. Quirky, funny, and a loyal friend that makes you care for him more than just about anyone else in the movie. One word to describe his character and performance is rememberable. Just like all of his past work. After one previous nomination that he lost out on, it is about time for Richard to take home his prize.
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Best Original Screenplay

The Big Sick (Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani)

Get Out (Jordan Peele)

Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig)

The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh)

My Pick: Get Out (Jordan Peele)

Get Out is unique and will stick with you forever. When I was trying to pry information out of people to know what this movie was about, I was glad that I got nothing significant out of them. Go in knowing as little as possible, and you will not regret it. The movies nominated here are all great and unique. Whether it is a woman falling in love with a fish creature, or a comedy-drama about a woman wanting the murder of her daughter to be solved. Yet, the disturbing comedy that Jordan Peele has created is phenomenal on all levels.
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Best Adapted Screenplay

Call Me by Your Name (James Ivory)

The Disaster Artist (Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber)

Logan (Screenplay by Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green; Story by James Mangold)

Molly’s Game (Aaron Sorkin)

Mudbound (Dee Rees & Virgil Williams)

My Pick: Logan (Screenplay by Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green; Story by James Mangold)

I am not sure how you will feel about any of my picks, especially this one. I am not a fan of Wolverine, but Logan is genre defining. Not only is it one of the best superhero movies, but it is also just great on its own compared to any genre. The Western style brings it a unique tone along with how dramatic it is. This story is compelling and brutal. Hugh Jackman is getting the perfect sendoff for his iconic role. logan

 

Best Cinematography

Blade Runner 2049 (Roger Deakins)

Darkest Hour (Bruno Delbonnel)

Dunkirk (Hoyte van Hoytema)

Mudbound (Rachel Morrison)

The Shape of Water (Dan Laustsen)

My Pick: Dunkirk (Hoyte van Hoytema)

Despite my overall negative opinions of Dunkirk, (I know everyone loves it, sorry, but I strongly disliked it) I loved the way everything looked. Hoyte did an excellent job shooting to make everything fit the movie’s tone. Beautiful shots that were breathtaking were filled throughout the entire film.Dunkirk_immediately_after_British_evacuation.jpg

 

 

Best Film Editing

Baby Driver (Jonathan Amos & Paul Machliss)

Dunkirk (Lee Smith)

I, Tonya (Tatiana S. Riegel)

The Shape of Water (Sidney Wolinsky)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Jon Gregory)

My Pick: Baby Driver (Jonathan Amos & Paul Machliss)

Besides excellent characters, acting, music, and action that made Baby Driver come to life, it was the editing. Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss. The cuts were perfectly done, and there was just a sense of style. The movie had style, so the editing cut everything in a way to showcase that.
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Best Sound Mixing

Baby Driver (Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin, and Mary H. Ellis)

Blade Runner 2049 (Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, and Mac Ruth)

Dunkirk (Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, and Gary A. Rizzo)

The Shape of Water (Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern, and Glen Gauthier)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, and Stuart Wilson)

My Pick: Blade Runner 2049 (Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, and Mac Ruth)

If you read my review of this movie, then you know my negative feelings. Just like Dunkirk, it does not matter how you feel about the film, you have to give credit where credit is due. Blade Runner 2049 is beautiful both from a visual standpoint to even the sounds. The sound mixing done by Doug Hemphill and Mac Ruth were both able to properly execute their job in a way to capture the essence of the movie and its overall tone.bladerunner

 

Best Sound Editing

Baby Driver (Julian Slater)

Blade Runner 2049 (Mark Mangini and Theo Green)

Dunkirk (Richard King, and Alex Gibson)

The Shape of Water (Nathan Robitaille, and Nelson Ferreira)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Matthew Wood, and Ren Klyce)

My Pick: Dunkirk (Richard King, and Alex Gibson)

For any war movie, you need excellent sound editing. Some of the best moments in Dunkirk was the sound itself. The various sounds from explosions, gunshots, and more from the battle scenes were tremendous. This movie sounded and looked just beautiful.Dunkirk-Teaser-Poster-640x949.jpg

 

Best Visual Effects

Blade Runner 2049 (John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert, and Richard R. Hoover)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, and Dan Sudick)

Kong: Skull Island (Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, and Mike Meinardus)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Neal Scanlan, and Chris Corbould)

War for the Planet of the Apes (Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon, and Joel Whist)

My Pick: War for the Planet of the Apes (Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon, and Joel Whist)

The Planet of the Apes trilogy is incredible on all levels. Visually it is stunning from the environment to the apes. Motion capture is no longer what is used, it is performance capture. The actors of the apes all do a phenomenal job while the special effects team make them look alive. The combination of actors and crew prepared for lifelike apes as they move through their journey.apes

 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Darkest Hour (Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, and Lucy Sibbick)

Victoria & Abdul (Daniel Phillips, and Lou Sheppard)

Wonder (Arjen Tuiten)

My Pick: Darkest Hour, Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick

The transformation for Gary Oldman to Winston Churchill is unbelievable. Gary Oldman typically has his look, but not here. I could not believe what I saw. Not just that, the makeup and hairstyling for everyone in the movie is fantastic. Kazuhiro, David, and Lucy did an outstanding job that needs this award.darkesthour.jpg

 

Best Costume Design

Beauty and the Beast (Jacqueline Durran)

Darkest Hour (Jacqueline Durran)

Phantom Thread (Mark Bridges)

The Shape of Water (Luis Sequeira)

Victoria & Abdul (Consolata Boyle)

My Pick: The Shape of Water (Luis Sequeira)

Any fan of Guillermo Del Toro knows that the movie will look stunning with its practical effects. This means that any creatures will be men in suites. Of course, some added CGI will be the final touches to bring the beast to life, but it is all in the costumes. Luis Sequeira knocked it out of the park. Not only does the creature look amazing, so does everyone else to capture the look during that era. This is a stunning movie from all aspects, especially the costume designs.shapeofwater

 

Best Production design

Beauty and the Beast
Production Design: Sarah Greenwood
Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

Blade Runner 2049
Production Design: Dennis Gassner
Set Decoration: Alessandra Querzola

Darkest Hour
Production Design: Sarah Greenwood
Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

Dunkirk
Production Design: Nathan Crowley
Set Decoration: Gary Fettis

The Shape of Water
Production Design: Paul Denham Austerberry
Set Decoration: Shane Vieau and Jeff Melvin

My Pick: Blade Runner 2049
Production Design: Dennis Gassner
Set Decoration: Alessandra Querzola

Blade Runner 2049 is a stunning movie. The production design perfectly crafted this fascinating world in such a beautiful way. I may not have found it to be the most interesting, but I was amazed by the way it looked. This movie is easily one of the prettiest movies of 2017.bladerunner

 

Original Score

Dunkirk (Hans Zimmer)
Phantom Thread (Jonny Greenwood)
The Shape of Water (Alexandre Desplat)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (John Williams)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Carter Burwell)

My Pick: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (John Williams)

How could I resist this one? Whether you like it or not, you can never go wrong with John Williams working on the song for a Star Wars movie. Fitting every moment of the film. The music in this franchise is a character of its own, especially in the latest installment of the current trilogy.Star_Wars_Episode_VIII_The_Last_Jedi_Word_Logo_-_White_teaser_poster_variant.svg

 

Those are my picks! I am sure I probably upset some of you. What are your choices for the Oscars? You can watch the Oscars on March 4th.

Images via Shutterstock and Flickr

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.

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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.