The 2016 Technobabble Game Awards

tbabblelogo2017Welcome, welcome, one and all to the eagerly anticipated first annual Technobabble Game Awards!

Okay, so I know it’s that time of year when everyone and their brother floods the internet with “Game of the Year” awards and the like and you may be sick of it all, so we thought…why not add our own arbitrarily chosen and chaotically selected awards to the mix? This time you get to hear it from your favourite soon-to-be-famous-but-still-very-obscure tech podcasters!

Brilliant, right!?

First, let’s set the ground rules. We love to bend those, so you’ll see some games in here that were played in 2016, but not necessarily released in 2016 (for example: a lot of slightly older Final Fantasy from my JRPG-inclined compatriots). It’s okay – just go with it.

The second rule is no biting.

The third rule is okay, fine, biting if you want to, but keep it to a minimum.

And that’s it!

Now, let the show begin!

 

The “Why Is It Morning Already?” Award (Most Time Played)

Jeff – Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn – Heavensward (Square Enix)
In the beginning of the year before I started RedBlueGreen and the Technobabble podcast I was playing a ton of this game. It’s a beautiful, challenging and fun MMORPG. It blows World of Warcraft out of the water.

Dan – Stardew Valley (Concerned Ape/Chucklefish)
I absolutely loved this game and could not put it down. Indie clone of Harvest Moon? Yes, yes it was…but that did not stop me in the slightest.

Cynthia – Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn – Heavensward (Square Enix)
For me, I had been spending lots of time on FF XIV: A Realm Reborn – Heavensward. Played the heck out of that game with Kevin and Jeff- easily until crazy hours of the morning, if my lazy eyes could handle it. Beautiful world. Beautiful atmosphere. Fun gaming.

Kevin – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition (Bethesda)
This might seem like a cop-out, but this definitely is hands down the remastered Skyrim. I’m still addicted, and I also have way to many dragons to kill…wait what? It’s 3am?

 

 

The “Everything Seems More Epic Than It Is” Award (Best Soundtrack)

Jeff – Final Fantasy XV (Square Enix)
The best soundtrack this year has to be from Final Fantasy XV. Though I haven’t gotten too far in the game yet the music has been spectacular and Yoko Shimomura deserves some pretty high praise. Though it’s not really a stretch for Shimomura to make a great soundtrack as she has had her hands in most of the Kingdom Hearts series since the beginning.

Composer: Yoko Shimomura

Dan – Darkest Dungeon (Red Hook)
A game that I really haven’t played much but had the soundtrack on an SD card in my car. Great pump up music with a creepy undertone.

Composer: Stuart Chatwood

Cynthia – Final Fantasy XV (Square Enix)
THE BATTLE MUSIC. AND THE FEELS

Composer: Yoko Shimomura

Kevin – Furi (The Game Bakers)
Play it. Feel it. Hate it. I don’t care what you think, but that soundtrack is ballin’.

Composers: Carpenter Brut, Danger, The Toxic Avenger, Lorn, Waveshaper

 

 

The “Is This Real Life Right Now?” Award (Best/Most Interesting Visuals)

Jeff – Forza Horizon 3 (Playground Games/Microsoft)
Need I say more?
Honourable Mention – Black Desert Online – Pearl Abyss
Yep, yet another MMO. But this one has something that others don’t. Absolutely gorgeous graphics, an action oriented battle system and the most in-depth character customization I’ve ever seen in a game. Even better than one’s included in games by Bethesda. If you haven’t tried this game out it’s worth the money just to play around with the character creator let alone the game itself.

Dan – Star Wars Battlefront (DICE/EA)
I had originally written Uncharted 4, and it would have easily been deserving of this award. Naughty Dog has always pulled miracles out of the PlayStation’s hardware. However, Kevin reminded me that Battlefront came out this decade and I had to make the switch. For all of its many, many faults, Battlefront was a beautiful game that captured visuals and sound perfectly from the old Star Wars movies. I’m still upset at EA/DICE for how the game actually turned out, but I give them full props in this category.

Cynthia – Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/Sony)
Easily Uncharted 4. Very little can compare to this fun, interactive movie! Honestly though, no spoilers, but the ending fight scene is one of the greatest visuals I’ve ever seen of all the video games i’ve ever played.

Kevin – Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege (Ubisoft)
The gameplay graphics are pretty incredible just like any first person shooter, but the cinematics are INSANE. Seriously, I thought that there was a legit actor on my TV in RL, but then I realized that I was RL and the game was not… or is this just some twisted reality where I’m actually the video game, and the TV is the true reality. Mind. Blown.

 

 

The “This Game Is Silly But I Love It” Award

Jeff – Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+ (Mine Loader/Namco Bandai)
Okay this isn’t the most recent edition but I felt I needed to include it here and since it’s second edition is now out it’s not a huge break in protocol is it? This game is a great take on Pac-Man and playing it with friends is so much fun.

Dan – Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander
I featured this one in the first “Oddball Game of the Month” I did. I sunk many an hour into this glorified mobile game, but it really did catch my interest. The combination of the light RPG-style battles with the simplistic and yet not easy management system was a lot of fun.

Cynthia – Sailor Drops
I’m very ashamed to be in love with this version of bejewelled, yet I am on it every day.

Kevin – Robot Unicorn (Spiritonin/Adult Swim)
I just learned about the existence of this gem just a week ago, and I was blown away. Adult Swim was apart of making this masterpiece of silliness. Please save your comments of me living under a rock to yourselves. I already know.

 

The “I Wish I Was More Anti-Social” Award (Best Game You Barely Played)

Jeff – Dishonored 2 (Arkane/Bethesda)
I bought the collectors edition with the intention to play through the original remastered game but with the release of so many games recently I have not had much time to play the remastered game let alone Dishonoured 2. I played a quick bit with Cynthia over Twitch and, well, she rage-quitted. Hopefully I can get in to this next year.

Dan – Titanfall 2 (Respawn/EA)
I picked this one up to play with a couple buddies, and it did not disappoint. The multiplayer is pure hoppy havoc with mechs, but ever since I got over how obviously horrible I am at it, I have really enjoyed it. I’ve barely scratched the surface of multiplayer, and haven’t even had more than a whiff of the apparently great single player campaign.

Cynthia – Dishonored 2 (Arkane/Bethesda)
I loved Dishonored, and now the the second out, i’m like dying to play it more. However, it is a bit harder than i remember in Dishonored. I will need to practice more patience.

Kevin – Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn – Heavensward (Square Enix)
I don’t know why I am explaining myself on this one. The game is beautiful. The customization is incredible. The in-game rewards are awesome. And you can easily get lost in the large world with your friends and family for hours on end! FANTASTIC!

 

The “Sean Murray Memorial” Award (Most Disappointing Game)

Jeff – Forza Horizon 3 (Playground Games/Microsoft)
I think many people would say No Man’s Sky but I think those people are stupid. Yep I said it. If you believed the hype train on this game you deserved to be disappointed. Yeah, harsh I know.
No, I would have to go with something else. Something actually disappointing. Forza Horizon 3. It’s more of a tactical error on Microsoft’s part really. I ordered the VIP ultra whatever version of the game and it while what is included is nice Microsoft should have included a code for the digital copy of the game. Honestly, I have to spend another 80 dollars to play the same game on my PC? No. That’s stupid. I get penalized for buying the physical copy of the game. If I had purchased the digital copy I receive access to the PC and console versions of the game.
Honourable Mention – World of Warcraft: Legion – Activision/Blizzard
As if Blizzard had some kind of attention deficit disorder they released what I would term the most convoluted, game-story breaking, time-travelling mess of a new expansion to the dismay of one of it’s greatest fans. I was in on the beta. Yes, finally after 10 years of playing this game they let me in on a beta. I then bought the expansion. I then proceeded to get my paladin to level 102 or whatever it is and got my ashbringer. The mobs are now totally impossible to kill on their own even though they are supposed to scale with you. Absolutely not impressed. Is the Ashbringer truly this weak? Anyways, incredibly disappointing.

Dan – Tom Clancy’s The Division (Ubisoft)
This was a game that I was really looking forward to. I was disappointed by the release of Destiny as it was about 1/8th the game I was expecting, so I looked to the next game of this type – The Division. Unfortunately, The Division somehow felt even more barebones. Boring, tedious open world game play as only Ubisoft can do was only made better by the interesting PvP style dubbed the “Dark Zone”, but even that grew tiresome after a short while. I still believe this “new” genre of first-person shooter/MMO hybrid has a ton of potential that has yet to be realized. Maybe Destiny 2?

Kevin – Star Wars Battlefront (DICE/EA)
Why Dice? Why are you so cruel? Don’t get me wrong. Battlefront looks fantastic, and the gameplay is really fun. Nostalgia! Here’s the problem, where are the heroes? Where are the true space battles where you can fly around AND jump into one of the Empire’s ships and capture nodes? Just saying. That was all I played on the old one, and all I wanted on the new one. Sorry, but not sorry.

 

 

The “Whatever, Whatever, I Play What I Want!” Award (Guilty Pleasure)

Jeff – World of Warships (Lesta Studio/Wargaming)
I have been playing the heck out of World of Warships. It’s really simple but I love ships and I find World War II a sad but fascinating time in history. Shooting giant guns. Pretty great.

Dan – Pokemon Moon (Game Freak/Nintendo)
Okay, so it’s not that guilty of a pleasure, but an almost-thirty-year-old playing a game designed for kids always raises an eyebrow or two. Nevertheless, Pokemon Moon is one of the best games to come out this year in my personal opinion – despite its love for unnecessarily long cutscenes and tutorials.

Cynthia – Dragon Age: Inquisition (BioWare/EA)
I’ve played it way too many times, but it is a favorite. The scenery is stunning. The characters are dynamic. And the potential facial hair!!! Just perfect.

 

The Game of the Year Award

Jeff – Life Is Strange (Dontnod/Square Enix)
This game came completely out of left field for me and knocked me off my feet. Technically I haven’t finished it however I have played enough to know that this game is something special. After the episodic releases of the game, Square-Enix released the game as a Limited Edition with a neat art book, the soundtrack and the game on PS4 and I believe XBOX ONE.

Dan – Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/Sony)
For me, this was a neck and neck race between the plucky indie underdog made by one guy in Stardew Valley and the beautiful AAA title from one of the best in the industry in Uncharted. In the end, it could go either way, but it’s hard not to give a nod to what is likely the last hurrah for a frankly fantastic series.

Cynthia – Final Fantasy XV (Square Enix) / Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/Sony)
I feel it necessary to say that I’m torn. I’m 6 hours into FF15 and I’m hooked. However, I also give a lot of props to Uncharted 4.

 

And that’s our show!

…Wait, what’s that I hear? ENCORE!?

 

BONUS ROUND

The “Mass Effect: Andromeda” Award (Most Anticipated Game for 2017)

Jeff – Persona 5 (Atlus)
I would say that Mass Effect: Andromeda is my most anticipated game of 2017 but I’d be lying. I am most eager to get my hands on Persona 5. After Playing Persona 4 The Golden on my Vita I have fallen in love with the style of gameplay and the music contained therein and while I am excited for the newest chapter in the Mass Effect series Persona has my number one spot.

Dan – Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar)
Since I wrote most of the categories, my first choice is pretty obvious. Just for fun though, I’ll throw in Red Dead Redemption 2. Despite a generally “meh” attitude on my part towards the beloved Grand Theft Auto franchise, RDR was one of my favourite games on the Xbox 360.

Cynthia – Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerilla Games/Sony)
Andromeda of course. Also, I’m excited to play the Horizon Zero Dawn game.

 

The “WHY OH GOD WHY” Award

Kevin – Dark Souls III (From Software/Namco Bandai)

Death… Death never changes. EXCEPT FOR IN DARK SOULS III!! I hate you Dark Souls! But somehow I love you. Only because you’re a jerk.

 

The “Clearly Game of the Century” Award

Dan – Duck Game (Landon Podbielski/Adult Swim)

Because Duck Game.

 

 

Feel free to add your own winners in the comments, and Happy New Year!

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