Valve organized something new this year: the so called Steam Awards. I would probably have totally missed it if a friend wouldn't have asked me for advice on who to nominate for the Villain That Needs a Hug category (I'm a terrible advisor by the way, I had no clue!) and I would probably have skipped it if it wasn't such a nice thought experiment to fill in those categories.
Only when I read Jeromai's and Izlain's nominations, it occurred to me that this was a perfect topic for a blog post. Not only do you get to compare choices, you also get to find out about people's interests beyond MMOs and may even discover some new titles you want to play. So, without further ado, here are my Steam Awards nominations.
Test of Time: The Lord of the Rings Online - The first category was an absolute no brainer. Lord of the Rings Online came out in 2007. It's now 2016 and I still actively play: that's almost ten years! The game has changed a lot over time and most of it not for the better, but, no matter what, in the end I always find myself back logging into virtual Middle-earth.
My return to LOTRO (2016)
Or any other of my 114 LOTRO posts on Ravalation (2012-2016)
I'm Not Crying, There's Something In My Eye: Valiant Hearts: The Great War - The first game that came to my mind for this category was Life is Strange; however, I ended up using it for another category. Valiant Hearts: The Great War is perhaps even a better choice. I am so impressed by this game and cannot recommend it enough. Gameplay wise it's a charming 2D puzzle game in a second world war setting. The art is cute and beautiful, and, together with the playful game design, is responsible for the topic not being too heavy to handle. The ability to find hidden everyday life objects with unexpected stories behind them is a brilliant plus that strongly appeals to the inner archaeologist in me. However, I still haven't finished the last chapters because I am so afraid (more) sad things will happen.
The games I love to play (2015)
Just 5 more minutes: ARK: Survival - ARK: Survival is a 3D survival game with dinosaurs. For dino lovers, this game is just heaven. Tread with caution, though: ARK eats away your time, especially when playing with friends. I don't want to think about the amount of times I just logged in to do A, but then this really cool dino B turns up and we drop everything to chase and tame it - only to return hours later empty handed with all our resources lost and our flying mount C slowly dying in the air somewhere in the arctic zone. The unpredictability is what makes this game so addictive, but also so much fun.
How to survive your first day in ARK: Survival, Pointers for newbies (2016)
The misadventures of Conrav on the beaches of horror, or: the steep learning curve of ARK: Survival (2016)
Whoooaaaaaaa Dude: Botanicula - Botanicula is an Indie game that, indeed, blew my mind. Not because of its plot, but because its approach to gameplay is so different from any other game I've played. There is no voiced component in Botanicula. There is no written content either. You get dropped in a world without knowing who "you" and where you are. It's one big trip revolving around exploring the visuals and sounds to progress and figure out what is going on. Bewildering. Refreshing. Stunning. I cannot recommend this game enough.
Back from the mud, living in a tree (2012)
Villain Most in Need Of A Hug: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - This was definitely a hard category to come up with a title. Every huggable villain I thought of was in a non Steam game, so that didn't help. Eventually I decided to go with Visas Marr from KOTOR 2. She is the sole survivor of an attack that purged all life from the Miraluka homeworld. Darth Nihilus, responsible for that attack, then forces her into submission. She becomes his apprentice and is sent to ambush you. In my play through, I forgave her and turned her to the light side of the force.
I never wrote anything about Visas in particular on Ravalation, but I have written about my adventures in KOTOR 2.
Featured in:Fashion in the Old Republic (2013)
Strange new friends (2013)
I'm a saint (2013)
Game Within A Game: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - This one was really hard for me as well. I eventually decided to go with the original KOTOR game (what can I say? Need more Star Wars to compensate for not being able to include SWTOR), because I always enjoyed the swoop races and - of course - pazaak.
I haven't written any posts about the original KOTOR on Ravalation, because I played it before I started blogging.
I Thought This Game Was Cool Before It Won An Award: Life Is Strange - This was the absolute hardest category of all to fill in. If you know me, you know it's far more likely for me to start playing a game waaaay after everyone has hyped about it and already left (*cough* Guild Wars 2 *cough*) than the other way around. I just don't play that many different titles and I'm immune to bandwagons.
My brother introduced me to Life Is Strange at the end of 2015, when I returned from Sweden prematurely due to family matters. I hadn't heard of the game at all, but it conquered my heart right at the first episode. The game is witty, beautiful and, most of all, portrays the essence of what it is like to be a teenager exceptionally well. It also helped me through a tough period of my life and will therefore always be special to me.
Best Use Of A Farm Animal: Fable - The first game that came to my mind was Goat Simulator: even though I've never played it myself, I find it hilarious that it's a thing. I'm pretty sure it's going to win this category regardless, so I decided to nominate a more original one: Fable. The original Fable is among the first games I played, on my brother's Xbox (we're talking ancient history here). In it you can eat "crunchy chicks" (tooltip: high in protein, low in morality): alive baby chickens that give you evil points when consumed. There's a demon door that asks you to commit an act of great evil in order to pass through - eating 11 crunchy chicks in front of it does the job.
Back in the day I thought this was hilarious. I felt really bad when I once accidentally ate a crunchy chick, though, and never went through the demon door, just because I couldn't bear to eat all those chicks.
Most Original Use of Blood & Gore: Viscera Cleanup Detail - The last category was one you could title yourself. I came up with the "Most Original Use of Blood & Gore" award because of a game I discussed with some friends: Viscera Cleanup Detail. In this game, you get to clean up the mess left behind after your average gamer has 'cleared a room'. (Spoiler: it ain't pretty.) I cannot help but to be intrigued with games with such an original (and controversial) approach. My friend: "I bought it because I thought it was going to be funny, but it wasn't!" The predominantly positive Steam reviews disagree with her. It all boils down to what you enjoy doing in your spare time, I suppose.
What did you think of my choices? And what games would you nominate for these categories? I'd love to read your picks in the comments.
Note: the pictures of KOTOR, Fable and Viscera Cleanup Detail are official promotional images of their respective game companies. All other images are taken by me in-game. I only counted the latter for IntPiPoMo.
IntPiPoMo count: 52/50
IntPiPoMo count: 52/50