Podcast Links: iTunes, Hipcast, Direct Download
Game of the year is officially, and finally, underway! John, Niall, Michael, and surprise guest Mike Cosimano all sit down and go over some of the best and worst from 2015. If you want to be surprised by our winners and losers then click the links above to download the first of our series of GOTY podcasts, where we deliberated and discussed everything.
Today we hand out awards for ‘Best Soundtrack’, ‘Best Visuals’, ‘Most Remastering’, and the ‘What The Fuck Award’. Every award will have one winner and two runners up. Let’s get to it!
Best Soundtrack: Party Hard
Runners Up: Undertale, Ori and the Blind Forest
Bet you didn’t see this one coming, huh? You’ll find little argument from your friends at Chooch that Party Hard is by no means a great game, but man, does that soundtrack shine. There’s not a bad song to be found on Party Hard’s OST, and while plenty of games in recent years have tried to ape 80’s music, Party Hard does it better than pretty much all of them. Absolutely every song on here is a banger, but it’s the Beverly Hills Cop-esque “Don’t Stop Party” that really steals the show, and fittingly, I don’t think this party’ll stop any time soon.
Best Visuals: The Witcher 3
Runners Up: Star Wars: Battlefront, Splatoon
Few games can make their worlds come alive. The Witcher 3 wasn’t just a feast for the eyes with accomplished technical effect that made the world pop and breathe; it was the little touches that really blew us away. The cities would sprawl out as you approached them, the landscape shifted and changed slowly as you rode along, and the stop-in-your-tracks vistas gave the world life. From the huge castles to the winding roads, Witcher 3 made sure everything felt natural and wonderful and worn. A master class in world building.
Most Remastering: Rare Replay
Runners Up: Grim Fandango, Mega Man Legacy
Several times we discussed getting rid of this award category. Looking back on 2015, it felt weird to award the practice of HD re-releases. They weren’t bad games, but we’d rather reward new games and new experiences. Luckily for us there were some amazing packages and remasters that earn our attention and praise. Rare Replay easily sets a new standard for old games coming to new hardware. Set around a wonderful shell of history and combined with series of challenges, Rare Replay packages thirty games that track a game company’s lengthy past. Not every game was worth revisiting, but the sheer love and attention given to every title and the games as a whole was a great gaming treat.
What The Fuck Award: Konami
Runners Up: Comcept, Shenmue Kickstarter
2015 was a good year for games, but it was also a weird year for games. There was a lot of head-scratching moments involving questionable crowdfunding bailouts, defunct indie consoles, and a stolen shipment of Splatoon amiibos, but the “What The Fuck” award undisputedly goes to literally everything Konami got themselves involved in this year. From the highly visible falling out with Hideo Kojima to the revelation of a terrible work environment, Konami bungled 2015 in such spectacular fashion that generations to come will use their name as a synonym for “PR disaster.” The cherry on top was the half-true news that they would cease AAA development, an announcement that spread much faster than they could correct it. Will Konami pull themselves out of the ashes in future years? Doubtful, but whatever happens, 2015 was truly Konami’s year to lose.