Hey, It’s Your New Favorite Awards Show: The Ramblers

by Christopher David Lawton

Hi Everyone, what a year it has been for video games. Games were released, and some critics liked them, and some didn’t. Some video games made a lot of money for their respective companies, and pretty much all major game companies shit on their employees. Unionize, people, unionize. I, for one, haven’t played a ton of games this year, though I think I’ve played more than previous years. And, just being real, I haven’t played any major releases. Admittedly, this makes handing out awards an interesting idea, since I haven’t played a lot of games that topped other publication’s best of 2018 lists. God of War? Won’t be anywhere near these awards, because I didn’t play it. Same with Red Dead Redemption and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. As I’ve said elsewhere, I have nothing against any of these games. They’re just not what I want to spend my time on.

So, let’s talk about what I did spend my time on. I played a lot of indie titles this year. With the indie market exploding on the Nintendo Switch, I took full opportunity to play both new indie games and discover older indie games I might have missed. As such, I think I’m going to debut my awards show with four awards. After all, if I learned anything from the Video Game Awards this year, it’s that no one cares about the awards really, we just really want to see some celebs with tangential connections to video games making jokes about video games. Yes, please.

(Though, I think we can all agree that SonicFox accepting his award in his fursuit was fucking tight.)

Without further ado, let’s hand out some awards.

Award 1 – Favorite Game of 2018: Celeste

I played some great games this year, but nothing stuck with me quite like Celeste. As someone who has dealt with mental health issues for many years, joining Maddie on her quest up the mountain and to confront her own issues felt like a game tailor-made for me. Additionally, how the game portrayed and dealt with mental health issues felt more accurate than any game before it. Lastly, the game was freaking fun, and I still love booting it up on my Switch periodically just to get one more strawberry. With the release of additional levels in early 2019, I look forward to even more thumb-numbing platforming, as the developers have said these levels are the hardest yet. If you haven’t had a chance to play Celeste yet, I cannot stress this enough: You have to. It’s an experience that appeals to a lot of different people, and one that most people should experience. I can’t wait to see what these guys do next.

Award 2 – Favorite Discovery of 2018: Hue

With as many game releases each year as there are, especially in the indie market, I’m bound to miss some. Thankfully, most of these games don’t go anywhere, and I usually have the opportunity to play them at some point long after they’re released. This brings us to Hue. I’ve already written quite a bit about this game, but I’ll add this: I had an absolute blast playing this game, and if you have not played it yet, please do. It is worth every second. From the fantastic story to the wonderful platforming to the unique game mechanic of interacting with the world through colors, Hue was a pleasant surprise through and through. I didn’t know what to expect when I downloaded it and installed it, but I know I didn’t expect to have as much fun as I did. And that, to me, is worthy of note.

Award 3 – Game I’m Most Looking Forward to Playing in 2019: Hollow Knight

I’ve followed this game quite a bit, and judging by what people who have played it have said, it’s worth the wait. I actually got this game for Christmas this year, which means it will soon be added to my backlog to be played, and I intend to make that playthrough happen soon.

 

 

Award 4 – Game I’m Most Looking Forward to Finishing in 2019: Final Fantasy XV

I know this is a major release, but I’ve been working on this game for over a year, guys, and I feel like I’m barely a fraction through it. I like it, but there’s just so much to do in this game, and for someone with a short attention span, it’s really hard to stay on task. The story is good, and I want to play the story, but hook me up with some of those side quests, baby. I’ll just do those for a while.

 

And there we have it, everyone. The first-ever Ramblers. I’d like to say this will become an annual event, but due to my aforementioned short attention span, it might not. Let’s just assume that if I remember to do it again next year, I will. Thanks for joining me, guys. It’s been a helluva year. Here’s to a better 2019.