The site maybe on its way out (yes I’ve confirmed that here) but it wouldn’t be December without writing out a better awards post than The Game Awards entire 3 hour advert. I’ve already shown you better awards in 2021 and every year since 2018. This year is likely not only to be the last but it’s also packed with fantastic games. Without further ado, let’s get this show on the road.
The BEST Soundtrack award for 2022
WINNER – Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream
Runner Up – Sonic Frontiers
I’m listening to this soundtrack as I write this post and it’s still the best music this year in games. What other game had the gusto to release the same day as Elden Ring and still get great scores? It’s a shame it was almost entirely forgotten by most as it’s easily the best in the Atelier series. Sonic Frontiers was a close second but the soundtrack stupidly launched before the game and given the drastic shift in tone and scope it’s not quite as much of a must have yet (when a version comes out with the best electro tracks and theme song it’ll be a no brainer)
The ‘Wait, that was this year?’ award for 2022
WINNER – Pokémon Legends: Arceus
Runner Up – Trek to Yomi
How the hell Pokemon Scarlet/Violet launched this year in such a state when Arceus came out is beyond me. The hubris to take such a stand out success that nails the collecting and open world aspects that Pokemon has craved for years and then fart out a broken Cyberpunk level of game instead of delaying (a company that couple easily afford that hit) just to make more greed fueled money before Christmas is astonishing. Arceus seems entirely forgotten in awards this year which is a shame as it’s almost the perfect Pokemon game (if it were on better hardware) As for Trek to Yomi, you forgot that game even existed until I reminded you didn’t you? It’s ok, after completing it (in one sitting) so did I.
The best ‘this was SOOO much better than the game’ award for 2022
WINNER – Cyberpunk: Edgerunners
Runner Up – The Last Of Us Tv
Trigger are a studio that makes great anime, that’s a fact. Even if you don’t really get on with Kill La Kill or The Twins you can’t deny they make high quality anime. Cyberpunk Edgerunners is frankly too good for its source material. The story is a unique and fantastic cyberpunk tale packed with twists and great beats. The aesthetics are uncannily great, not only for the setting and story but mirroring the games unique visual style and when paired with incredible music and performances this is top tier stuff. It’s not perfect mind, the middle of the series rushes hard and there’s a few episodes it could do with slowing down but it sticks the landing so hard you won’t care. Get it watched. The Last Of Us TV gets an honouree mention simply because the show can’t be any worse than the games.
The ‘Not quite GOTY but play it anyways you’ll love it’ for 2022
WINNER – Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Runner Up – Return to Monkey Island
Kirby is going to get absolutely battered in this years awards. It’s already only showing in ‘Best Family game’ as per usual for a Switch smash successes but it really deserves better. Personally I absolutely adored it and couldn’t stop playing until everything was 100% but here’s the thing, even people who didn’t feel that strongly had fun. You can give this game to anyone and they’ll have a chuckle, play it for a few hours and feel like they played a great game. I can’t think of many games this year you could do that with anyone gamers and non-gamers alike, you’ll get a kick from this and it deserves higher praise for that. Return to Monkey Island deserves a nod not only for the incredible writing and humour but the music is liquid nostalgia in the best way.
Kinda GOTY, it’s A GOTY for 2022 but you’ll be sick of hearing about it already
WINNER – Elden Ring
Runner Up – Xenoblade Chronicles 3
Look I love Elden Ring. I nearly bought the vinyl soundtrack in a heartbeat just because of how good it still is. I’ve looked at Elden Ring merch and thought, “hmmm could I justify this?” which is a thing I’d never consider before for a From Software title. It’s absolutely the GOTY this year but will anyone dispute this? It’s beautiful, fantastical and deserves every award it gets (a hell of a lot more than Horizon, that’s for sure) but let’s move on ok? There’s likely DLC for it coming soon so I’m sure we’ll be swept up in the grind again. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 gets a mention as it’s a fantastic JRPG on Switch that would be 1000x better if it was on another console that could pull off the scope it clearly wants. Switch owners will bang on about it being, “fine as it is” and, “it was robbed of awards” for months to come.
THE GOTY 2022
WINNER – Vampire Survivors
Runner Up – Immortality
There have been games such as Marvel Snap, Dyson Sphere Program and MTG Arena that have taken more time than I had planned but none have consumed my free time quite the way Vampire Survivors does. There’s nothing like it and there are already a lot of clones of the formula desperate to steal its thunder. Much in the way Dead Cells was the perfect 2D action roguelike first time around, Vampire Survivors is perfect and plenty are scrabbling for that gameplay style. On PC it can get so incredibly manic whilst being strangely soothing in a way Guitar Hero on the hardest setting when in the zone would feel. The port to the Xbox is beautiful and the writing and music paired with little quality of life tweaks has made it a must. A lot of journalists have been hooked on this one but will likely give awards to the big names, make sure you don’t sleep on this. It’s cheap and great and truly the GOTY.
Immortality however is a very marmite experience. It would be GOTY if the achievements worked and it had a better tutorial, most people will just mash through the view finder to find new clips and not understand early on the mysteries you’re trying to unravel. Sufficed to say I sat with pen and paper and scrolled backwards through 200+ clips just to see everything and still had questions. The actors deserve to get awards for this (especially Charlotta Mohlin as The One) They carry out some incredibly on the nose performances matching the times and themes of what’s happening to an uncanny level. Beautifully unsettling from start to finish, just be sure to check out the content warnings beforehand.