Welcome to The Hardcore Awards for 2017!
Part 1: Special Awards
Wow. 2017 turned out to be a decent year for gaming after all. We have the launch of a new system, another system that gets a much needed power overhaul, and a system that seems to be riding a wave of their success. But now that December is here it’s once again time for me to start my three part end of the year awards. As always, part one will consist of all the special recognitions that I felt were newsworthy and ripe for praise or ridicule. Do keep in mind that these awards are based on my own personal experience so if there is something you disagree with, chances are that I did not see it or play it. With that out of the way, let’s get started with…
REDEEMING VALUE AWARD
This is an award that I give to a game that somehow manages to keep me playing over the course of the year, whether it be because of excellent gameplay or DLC that I find to actually be a good value. I started playing this game in mid-November, when Gamefly sent me the PS4 version, but eventually I got the Xbox One version of Injustice 2 as a birthday present (much thanks to my girlfriend for that.) As someone who loved the first game they took everything done right about it and made it even better.
While the starting lineup was impressive to begin with, albeit having Darkseid as pre-order DLC and Brainiac unlocked after competing the main story, additional skins unlock alternate versions of certain characters (Reverse Flash FTW) and the three additional fighter packs increase the roster by up to 12 different characters, including Starfire, Sub-Zero, Hellboy and the freaking NINJA TURTLES!
Now I know some are going to go off on me and say it’s only nine downloadable characters, and they are right, but it also depends on how the Ninja Turtles are used. If it is done like Tri-Borg in MKXL, we’re looking at 12 different characters!
SURPRISE OF THE YEAR
Nintendo really needed a turnaround after the poor showing of the Wii U, and they got it with the Switch. I didn’t really think that a Tegra powered console/handheld hybrid would work out in this competitive market, but it appears to be doing something right, as it is still selling well through to the holidays.
Thankfully I am now seeing more stock in stores and I hope to get one after the holiday season is over. Even better, the system does seem to be getting some third-party support, namely from Bethesda. Sadly, some are still showing their hesitant stance on the Switch, such as EA, but I will be getting to them eventually!
LIARS OF THE YEAR
Before I say this, again I need to bring out a disclaimer. I love playing games on PC. In fact, my gaming laptop doubles as a portable gaming system to me. I almost said gaming console, but I know that will trigger a few of you. That being said, since the Xbox One X was announced at $500, all I heard from the PC Elitists (I refuse to use the other more offensive term they always use on this site) is how they can build a $500 PC that can kill the Xbox One X. It has been proven time and time again, unless using second hand parts, even if going through PCPartPicker.com, you cannot build a 4K 60fps gaming PC for $500. Even PCGamer admitted that it cannot be done, as a PC build with a Ryzen 3 and a GTX 1080i alone runs at least $700 (not including a controller, keyboard, mouse, and OS.) See for yourself.
CRYBABIES OF THE YEAR
Look, I understand going off on something when it deems worthy of criticism, but when people take it too far, then we have a problem. I dislike loot boxes as much as the rest of you, but the treatment that both Forza Horizon 7 and Middle Earth: Shadow of War received took it to a whole new level. Both of these games were wrongfully accused as being “pay to win,” but I have proven time and time again that you can beat both of these games and not spend a single dime on microtransactions. Injustice 2 also had loot boxes, but thankfully they are earned in-game, and not purchased. These games didn’t do anything wrong, but not everyone can be declared innocent…
SELLOUT OF THE YEAR
AND THEN ELECTRONIC ARTS HAPPENED, AGAIN! What has been said about Star Wars Battlefront II that we haven’t heard already? The way that EA messed the launch up will go down in history as one of the worst things Electronic Arts has done, and for a company that won Worst Company in America two years in a row, that’s saying a lot. We think they would have learned their lesson after that right? WRONG! They even thought it would be a great idea to add loot boxes to the UFC 3 multiplayer beta! Yes, they are now using BETAS to rip you out of more money!
DUMBASS OF THE YEAR
AND THEN ELECTRONIC ARTS HAPPENED, YET AGAIN! As if the loot box controversy for Battlefront II wasn’t bad enough, the way they handled it on Reddit was even worse. In response to someone asking why they must pay an additional $80 just to unlock Darth Vader, this was their genius reply.
As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we’re looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we’ll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay.
We appreciate the candid feedback, and the passion the community has put forth around the current topics here on Reddit, our forums and across numerous social media outlets.
Our team will continue to make changes and monitor community feedback and update everyone as soon and as often as we can.
Yeah, that’s going to go well, isn’t it? Congratulations EA, you just been award with not just my Dumbass of the Year Award, but also you are now the sole holder of the worst downvoted comment in Reddit history with over 400,000 downvotes. And to think last year it was Activision who got all the negative press over CoD Infinite Warfare while you got all the praise for Battlefield 1? I guess you just like going back to your bad ways after all, don’t you?
HOLY **** MOMENT OF THE YEAR
Nothing could prepare me for the insane moments that I was going to experience with Resident Evil 7. Several times during the game I thought I was going to die of a heart attack, an experience I haven’t had since playing the excellent Alien Isolation a few years back. But it is all worth it, not only did Resident Evil 7 return back to its survival horror roots, making it first person in some of the vilest settings I ever saw possible, made it one hell of an experience for me. I’m surprised I actually recovered from it.
BADASS OF THE YEAR
For several months I had one character in mind because of how brash she was, not to mention being able to drink a lot and still wield a killer minigun, like Daisy did in Agents of Mayhem. But sadly, for her she was beaten out last month when someone returned from near death status once, fought Nazis in a wheelchair, had his head literally chopped off, placed on a Nazi super soldier body, and still kill like he’s never killed before.
How else could I not give this honor to BJ Blazkowicz after Wolfenstein II? Even more so, what’s he going to end up like at the end of the third game? Is it going to be Frankenstein BJ vs. Mecha-Hitler once and for all? Bring it on Bethesda! I’m ready for the biggest rivalry to go up against Godzilla vs. Kong later on!
With that, this ends part 1 of my three part special. Join me in two weeks where I mention those good but not great games that almost made my top 5 list, as well as some of those that lucked out and were spared my bottom 5 wrath!
Currently Playing: Fallout 4K (Xbox One X)
Waiting For: TMNT in Injustice 2