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This is the end. The skies darken, the sea churn, the moon turns to blood, and Video Game Choo Choo chooses the best and worst games of the year. Like with the previous days, listen to the podcast links above to hear us deliberate both awards.
Worst Game: Wild Animal Racing
Runners-up: Haydee, Mighty No. 9
Steam has problems. Big ones. What was once an exclusive storefront that solely hosted games of high pedigree has seen itself become a laughing stock over the past two years, with wave after wave of digital diarrhea allowed to flow through it’s once impenetrable gates. Greenlight has been a spectacular failure, as a deluge of half-assed meme games, asset flips, broken amateur-hour projects and cynical attempts at being the “best worst game” have bombarded the service. Games like Kim Jong Un Simulator, Mortos and Operation Caucasus have poisoned the well and begun to actively harm the indie development community; with many genuine, polished games being lost among the shuffle. As bad as all these are though, no game is more cynical, more half-assed, or more broken than Wild Animal Racing.
I would rather be forced to remove my own teeth with a rusty butter knife in a darkened room while Brokencyde’s “FreaXXX” blared on an ever increasing loop and some mobsters worked my ribs over with a Louisville Slugger than ever lay eyes on Wild Animal Racing again. It is the embodiment of everything wrong with Steam, and the indie development scene as a whole. Fuck this game.
Only one award remains. Unlike our other awards, we will be choosing ten games and ordering them from ten to the best game of the year.
10. Dragon Quest Builders
8. Darkest Dungeon
7. Stardew Valley
6. Titanfall 2
5. Pokemon Sun/Moon
Game of the Year: VA-11 HALL-A
We brought up VA-11 HALL-A a lot throughout GOTY, so I’m not surprised we ended up with it taking our highest honors. Sure, it’s not a perfect game, but without a doubt it was this year’s most interesting. VA-11 HALL-A was a more refined, subtle take on cyberpunk, without the bombastic action scenes or end of the world scenarios we’ve become to accustomed to. It’s about surviving in a horrible environment, and helping others do the same. It’s about learning to move on, but not abandoning the past. It’s about mixing drinks and changing lives. And that’s why VA-11 HALL-A is our Game of the Year.