Welcome to the Alternative Game of the Year Awards, where we celebrate and berate the games, publishers, and developers, and reminisce all the silly bobbins that caught our attention this year. There’s been so much that’s happened this year – in fact, looking at the number of posts on TSA it’s been our busiest year ever so there’s a lot of nonsense to choose from – but let’s start with some returning categories from last year.
Best Animal Petting Award
It’s the second win a row for Ubisoft, but this time it’s Far Cry 5 nabbing the award rather than the Assassin’s Creed franchise. This is because in Far Cry 5 you can snuggle bears. Actual bears! Whosagoodboy?!
Weirdest Japanese Game That Miguel Reviewed Award
The winner by a long shot is Senran Kagura Reflexions, I’ll leave Miguel to explain why:
In Reflexions, the player is alone in a Japanese highschool classroom with one of the protagonists of the series, Asuka. She’s feeling flustered and confused and asks you to hold her hands. With her hands in yours, you can move the Switch Joy-Con or the sticks to slowly and awkwardly prod at every part of her hand. If you rub certain parts long enough, Asuka will start to fantasize one of a handful of different scenarios between the two of you. She imagines herself as a drill sergeant, or a volleyball player, or a student caught in the rain. No matter the scenario, though, the outcome is the same: she desperately needs you to touch her body.
Best Visual Downgrade That Wasn’t
A little bit of own trumpet blowing, here but also a lesson in why you should never believe what you read on the Internet, apart from TSA, obvs. Ten months ago someone posted a video showing a visual downgrade for Detroit: Become Human and it did look terrible. However, yours truly did some sleuthing and discovered the video they were using for comparison was a low quality, highly compressed stream ripped from the PlayStation Store.
Now you might be thinking that a certain web slinging game should have won this award, but it did not. Instead it has won…
What was the internet thinking? Getting annoyed that some puddles in Marvel’s Spider-Man had moved and looked slightly different? Have you looked at the news recently? All that crap going on this is what you getting pissed about? Jeebus.
Spider-Man turned out be one of the jewel’s in Sony’s crown this year, puddles included, and prompted EA to inform us the puddles in Anthem previews many not be the same as in the final game, and us to list our Top Eight Puddles in video games.
Best Use Of Terry Crews So You Don’t Have To Show A Game
The Crackdown 3 trailer from The Game Awards.
Least Hygenic Use Of Paper Bag Award
At Gamescom this year, a person queuing to play Fortnite and pick up an exclusive in-game item heeded the call of nature by crapping in a paper bag. The individual then left the bag on the floor, meaning everyone in the queue behind him walked over it and started spreading the poop all across Hall 8. The smell was so bad that a small child vomited and the hall staff refused to clean it up.
Best Canvas Bag
Congratulations to Bethesda for winning this prestigious award. The win is not for the terrible nylon monstrosity that they shipped with the $200 Power Armor edition of the game, but the gorgeous bag they gave away, for free, to ‘influencers’ (and eventually offered to Power Armor edition buyers).
Worst Use of Hololens
Microsoft finally found a practical use for their weird glasses and, in short, it’s to help kill people. They won a $480 million contract for augmented reality systems which will be used by the U.S. Army in training and combat missions. The headsets will allow soldiers to “increase lethality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide and engage before the enemy.”
Most Relaxed Looking Phil Spencer 2018
The Slightly Less Improbable Boobs Award
The times they are a changing; Improbable Boobs are appearing with less frequency in games with Koei Tecmo have said they have toned down boob jiggles and nakedness in Dead or Alive 6 due to a “global trend” for sexualisation to be toned down, “so everyone can play without being embarrassed.” This trend also lead to end of something else: RIP News Snatch.
Biggest Willy Award
Funcom thought they had this one locked down with the willy size slider in Conan Exiles, but fresh from having locked down the Best Animal Petting Award, Ubisoft set their sights on a much bigger prize with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Check out this rock hard ding dong!
Most Love For Nazis By A U.S. President
Donald, of course, spent a week having a go at video games and then, like everything else he does, he completely forgot about them. During that week, the White House released a video of violence in video games which they are very much against. The video featured infamous the ‘No Russians’ scene without context and also features Wolfenstein’s Nazis getting it in the neck, and then more Nazi’s getting killed in Sniper Elite.
Stop killing Nazi’s and Russians you nasty gamers; they are Donald’s friends!
All Walls Must Fall features a big gay bear (as in a husky hairy man, not a Grizzly), and is set in gay night clubs in Berlin. Of course I’m going to like it! I particularly liked the beards on display and they even noted this in the trailer they released.
The ‘Oh God, Make It Stop. Please Make It Stop!’ Award – Runner Up
The Game Awards 2018 made an entire industry want to commit suicide. They went on FOREVER, and 99% of the show wasn’t even awards. When they did give them away they did so in quick succession, announcing winners in rapid fire just so they could show another trailer or have Hans Zimmer wave his hands about a bit more. Truly the most excruciating event we have ever covered live at TSA.
The ‘Oh God, Make It Stop. Please Make It Stop!’ Award – Winner
There can only be one, and you know what it is. Bethesda’s Fallout 76 which began badly and turned not just into a car crash, but a motorway pile up that continued for weeks.
The Beta ran for just a few hours at awful times of day, it had a bug that deleted your entire save file and was followed by a Day One patch that was almost as big as the entire game. The reviews were awful, and followed by a 47GB patch meaning that by now people had downloaded over 150gb of Fallout 76.
Within days of release the game was on sale, law firm Migliaccio & Rathod LLP started investigating Bethesda for “Deceptive Trade Practices” and Bethesda finally got round to responding to the complaints by saying they “understand there are a number of frustrating issues.”
Understatement of the year.
Then we found out the nice Canvas bag that was meant to ship with the Power Armor edition had been replaced by a cheap crap nylon one and a Bethesda rep said they weren’t going to replace them but gave everyone $5 of in game currency instead, which obviously went down well, so they backtracked again and said they would send out the proper bags. Just when it had quietened down they started selling a Santa suit DLC for £16, and Amazon told us that, yes, PS4 owners should pay 250% more for their atoms “based on the agreements with the content owners.”
We’ve not seen such a monumental PR disaster since the days of Microsoft unveiling the Xbox One and it feels like it’s going to take Bethesda a long time to recover.