Author Topic: The 2016 Steam Awards

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Arvis

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The 2016 Steam Awards
« on: November 29, 2016, 10:56:28 AM »
For the first time ever, Steam users will choose the nominees for the year-end Steam Awards.  There are 7 different categories, plus an 8th "write-in" category option.  Any game in Steam's massive library can be nominated, regardless of age/genre/popularity/price.  So without further ado...

Which games did you nominate and why?


The "Test of Time" Award - FTL: Faster Than Light
This roguelike spaceship RPG is the reason I originally got a Steam account 3 or so years ago.  And to this day, I can't say I have played a better, more masterfully crafted game on Steam.  In fact, FTL: Faster Than Light is one of the greatest video games I have ever played, period.  And every time I go back to it, it feels just as fresh and addictive as when I first played it (due in part to the massive free expansion released for it about 16 months after it launched).

For $10, you get 100+ hours of content (easily pushing 200+ if you want to do everything) that can be run on even the most modest of PCs.  FTL offers a slick graphical style, genius soundtrack, and addictive gameplay.  What more could a gamer want?  This game will never get old.


The "I'm Not Crying, There's Something In My Eye" Award - To The Moon
For those of you who have played To The Moon, you know exactly why I've nominated it for this category.  For those of you who haven't, please do so.  It's inexpensive and, like FTL, can be easily run on most PCs.

While only just barely qualifying as a "game", To The Moon offers up a story unlike any you have experience in almost any medium; an exploration of human memory, identity, and experience that will leave you questioning what's truly important in your life.  Combine that with a soundtrack that can evoke tears by itself and you have a perfect storm of eye-watering emotion and the only true choice for this category.

While a huge part of me wanted to nominate Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster for this category, I felt like that title could be nominated in just about any category, while To The Moon was really tailor made for this one (although you could make the argument that To The Moon could be a deserving nominee for The "Whooooaaaa, dude!" Award as well).


The "Just 5 More Minutes" Award - Civilization VI
It feels like this category was invented for the Civilization series, renowned for its addictive "just one more turn" mechanics.  Once you start playing Civ, it's very difficult to stop until your campaign is over.  Civ VI is the newest game in the series, therefore it gets the nomination from me here.


The "Whooooaaaa, dude!" Award - Steins;Gate
This visual novel has the distinction of telling my all-time favorite time travel story.  Unlike most sci-fi time travel, Steins;Gate focuses on its characters rather than its plot gimmick, creating one of the stronger VN/VG casts in history.  I'll never forget my strong love for Okabe and Kurisu.  However, when it comes to the sci-fi hooks, Steins;Gate excels.  It doesn't break its own rules and adequately portrays real, tangible consequences for the actions of the main cast.  This story can beat you down and make you despair, but when it's all said and done, the triumphant ending of the true route is one of the more satisfying story experiences you can get on Steam.

In the interest of full disclosure, though, I have to admit that, if Ever17 were on Steam, I would have nominated that for this category.  But Steins;Gate is arguably just as worthy.


The "Villain Most In Need Of A Hug" Award - Final Fantasy VII
I feel like now is probably a good time for me to mention that you cannot nominate the same game for multiple awards.  One game, one nomination. 

Of all the categories that FFVII would be perfect for, I felt like this one was its best fit.  Yes, other categories are probably more appropriate for such a legendary title, but I really could not think of another villain who needed a hug quite as much as Sephiroth.  The guy goes insane from a combo of medical experiments and lack of normal childhood love.  If someone had just treated him like a human maybe he wouldn't have given in to the idea that he was beyond humanity.
If you see Sephiroth around, just sidle on up and give him a squeeze.  Besides, I've heard his hair smells fabulous.


The "Game Within A Game" Award - Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster
Blitzball!


The "I Thought This Game Was Cool Before It Won An Award" Award - Valkyria Chronicles
Back in 2008, just after the launch of the Playstation 3, one of the greatest RPGs of all time was quietly released for the system.  Valkyria Chronicles came out with little fanfare and even less publicity.  Reviews were stellar, but few in number, as nobody seemed interested in paying attention to this little anime RPG from Sega.  But a small handful of fans began to fanatically spread the word online about this hidden gem, which eventually developed a huge reputation and spawned a franchise.  While Sega predictably mishandled this new IP and ran it into the ground, they at least could not tarnish the reputation of the game that spawned it.

When Valkyria Chronicles was re-released on Steam nearly 8 years later, it garnered huge recognition and sold millions of titles.  It is the perfect nominee for this award.


The "Best Use Of A Farm Animal" Award - Stardew Valley
While the nominations for Goat Simulator will be pouring in for this category, I felt like a game that was not only about farm animals but also actually fun would be a more deserving nominee.

Stardew Valley is a beautifully crafted love letter to Harvest Moon and Rune Factory.  And although it owes all of its heritage to those two franchises, it managed to outdo the both of them.  The entire Stardew Valley experience is consistently smooth, fun, addictive, and intensely satisfying.  The graphics are bright, colorful, and charming, and each change of season feels wonderful.  The music, too, compliments these changes beautifully.  While the game was launched with a minimum of about 50-70 hours of content, like FTL, Stardew has also released a massive free content update, keeping the game fresh and pushing its value through the roof.  So, if you have yet to experience Stardew Valley (and its myriad farm animals), now is the perfect time.


WRITE-IN CATEGORY: The "Best Soundtrack" Award - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
I knew that I wanted to have a category for game music, so once I settled on "Best Soundtrack" as my write-in option, I knew that Skyrim had to be my nominee.  While the case could be made that other titles have "better" soundtracks (even some of the games I've nominated in other categories *cough*FFVII*cough*), I felt like no other game has a soundtrack as important as Skyrim's.  So much of the Skyrim experience is dependent on the music.  What would otherwise be a dull trudge through a forest is made into an emotional, wondrous experience.  What would be a slog through a bland zombie cave is transformed into an eerie, pulse pounding ride.  And how?  Almost entirely through music.
If you were to go listen to a random track from Skyrim's OST right now, I feel confident in saying that you will likely see, smell, and feel an experience from the game once the notes start playing.


And that's it from me.  Obviously, it's not necessary to write quite so much about your nominees, but I thought it would be cool to see where the RPG Fan community comes down on each of these categories.  And many may not have even known about the Steam Awards, so have at it!
"You know, you're pretty cool too, Arvis.  You like good music, good games, and good tennis." - Divingfalcons

Annubis

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Re: The 2016 Steam Awards
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2016, 11:48:12 AM »
All of mine are boring except

The "Best Use Of A Farm Animal" Award - Cook, Serve, Delicious!

=P

Arvis

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Re: The 2016 Steam Awards
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2016, 01:58:42 PM »
Wow.  I have never heard of that game, but the reviews are impressive.  And that's quite a clever nomination. :P
"You know, you're pretty cool too, Arvis.  You like good music, good games, and good tennis." - Divingfalcons