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Holy Jonathan, you guys! We’re into Part Two of Video Game Choo Choo’s Game of the Year awards, which is nuts. As I mentioned yesterday, these are the Technical awards. Tomorrow, we’ll be handing out some year-end wrap-up awards, before deciding on the Worst and Best games of the year!
Anyway, here’s some awards.
Hella Broken-est: DriveClub (Runner-up: Halo: The Master Chief Collection Multiplayer)
What made DriveClub a two-star game and not a one-star game was its online hooks: the titular DriveClub. Yes, the titular multiplayer component wasn’t exactly compelling, but it was something to latch on to in a game that lacked any kind of quality racing content. This all came tumbling down when DriveClub launched without the mode it was named after, locking away half the game’s available cars and transforming DriveClub from a crappy game into a borderline con job.
Most Remastering: Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Runner-up: Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire)
Look, even if the multiplayer stays broken forever (which might just be the case), there’s no ignoring the wealth of quality content available in the Master Chief Collection. If we’re looking at this category from a literal perspective, we’re looking at four bonus-length (because Halo campaigns have always been fairly meaty) video games, all gussied up for the new generation of consoles. There’s a lot of game here, and it’s never looked better.
Best Multiplayer: Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS (Runner-up: Titanfall)
There is absolutely nothing like Smash Bros. Items on, items off, Wii Remotes, Gamecube Controllers, no matter how you play, there’s a recipe for hours of fun. John has spent at least 100$ to get the optimal Smashing set-up, and in his opinion, it was absolutely worth it. Smash 4 has something for everyone, and with 8-player Smash, you can include everyone at once. Smash has never been this hectic, this inviting, and this fun.
Best New Mechanic: Movement from Sunset Overdrive (Runner-up: Titans from Titanfall)
Look, if the simple act of getting from point A to point B in a videogame feels so deliciously pop-punk that it makes you want to start yelling Avril Lavigne’s ‘Girlfriend’ at the top of your lungs, that’s a solid mechanic in my book. Designing open-world movement is a difficult balance between making it too easy (which makes traversal an eye-rolling obligation) and making it too hard (which assures your players will never see any of the side content). Sunset Overdrive eschews both options, instead making its movement system colorful and exciting. The actual movement itself is fun enough, but it’s the trappings that really send it into…overdrive.
Best Visuals: Forza Horizon 2 (Runner-up: Transistor)
This year, we decided to let the lighting engines and powerful shaders have their day in the spotlight. As much as we love art direction, sometimes a game pulls out all the technical stops and ends up looking damn great, better than just about everything on the market. This year, that game just happened to be Forza Horizon 2. There are so many gorgeous vistas and impeccably rendered sunsets that all but demand the use of the game’s Photo Mode, not to mention the jaw-dropping car models. Yeah, making a good-looking car game isn’t original. But let me be frank: this is a damn good-looking car game.