Best Game - Sam and Max: Hit the Road
1st Runner Up - Darq
2nd Runner Up - Blaster Master Zero 2
This really was not a strong year for games for me, mostly because I blew so much of it grinding one game for a glorified pet. What games I did play tended to fall into the "Nice little story, shame about the game" category. Discounting the replays of Hypnospace Outlaw and Nightshade, the best rated were Sam and Max: Hit the Road and Darq at just 3 Skitties each. And when Blaster Master Zero 2 made it into the top 3, that's a poor showing.
Worst Game - Superfrog HD
1st Runner Up - King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella
2nd Runner Up - Kirby Star Allies
You might be surprised to see Superfrog HD edge out King's Quest IV when it's a forgettable 2D platformer with archaic mechanics while KQ4 was a slog of moon logic and frustration. But any game so nauseating I get motion sick just from being reminded of it deserves some sort of recognition.
And I at least got some amusement out of King's Quest IV's save screen.
Prettiest Game - The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince
1st Runner Up - Chasm
2nd Runner Up - Sam and Max: Hit the Road
2020 a decent number of nice-looking games, from Haimrik with its worn-out sketchbook style (even if the lack of color besides red was a bit of a downer), to Pinstripe's uncanny valley puppet aesthetic, to King's Quest VI's fantasy pixel art. I had to go with Liar Princess for the top spot after how much its paper and ink style carried the rest of the game.
Ugliest Game - Superfrog HD
I'm not saying this just because of the motion sickness, the backgrounds are also flat, generic Flash gubbins with smiley faces randomly coming out of the walls.
Best Soundtrack - Chasm
1st Runner Up - To The Moon
2nd Runner Up - Blaster Master Zero 2
Unfortunately the soundtracks this year were another round of shoulder shrugs, though maybe a little better than 2019. But I can't help but describe these three as "nice, but..." Chasm's soundtrack is nice, but lowkey. To The Moon's soundtrack is nice, but samey across all the tracks. Blaster Master Zero 2's soundtrack is nice, but that might just be in comparison to Zero 1's.
There was one game that did have a strong soundtrack for what I played of it, but I never finished it. We'll get into why shortly.
Most Pleasant Surprise (Games) - King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow
1st Runner Up - Blaster Master Zero 2
2nd Runner Up - What Remains of Edith Finch
Yeah, I was as surprised as anyone to see there's one King's Quest that - while still flawed - doesn't play like a parody of everything you shouldn't do when designing a point-and-click adventure game. Likewise, Blaster Master Zero 2 being sort of decent after Zero 1 shat the bed was nice. As for Edith Finch, well, it's a walking simulator that didn't piss me off.
Biggest Disappointment (Games) - OneShot
1st Runner Up - Kirby Star Allies
Maybe I expected too much from OneShot. I was hoping something in it would recreate that feeling I got playing Undertale five years ago, exploring Snowdin that cold November night, which may have been unrealistic. But I don't think it's unrealistic to not want to spend the last hour of a game watching it sniff its own farts.
Most Satisfying to Finally Finish After Tormenting Me For Years - Sam and Max: Hit the Road
My first experience with Sam and Max was Save the World, and have been gradually piecing together what came before that. First there was the cartoon I watched ages ago but don't remember much of, then the comic a few years ago, now this. I wasn't floored by it but after reflecting on it for a bit I think I'd put Hit the Road on par with The Devil's Playhouse, above Beyond Time and Space.
Game I Appreciated the Most After Replaying It - Hypnospace Outlaw
A bit of advice I'd give to anyone interested in this, play through it twice. It was more fulfilling the second time around when I could focus on the story instead of getting frustrated with the puzzles. It's startling how bleak this spoof of late 90s Internet becomes, and how the final section feels like treading the ruins of a dead civilization.
Game That I Put A Decent Amount of Effort Into, But Never Got Around to Finishing of the Year - Shantae: Risky's Revenge
When I come back to this I need to use a controller with a D-pad, such as my SNES controller with the USB dongle. Playing with a 360 controller was a nightmare because the up/down deadzone is so flimsy Shantae was constantly ducking while I was trying to walk anywhere. What made me pack it in was this part where you have to race up a tower in a time limit, but every fucking time I went through a door and tried to move on from it, Shantae would end up going back through the door, eating up several seconds. Shame, because otherwise it played fine, and looked and sounded great.
As for why I didn't switch over immediately, I kinda had my fill of gratuitous anime tits for the year from Blaster Master Zero 2.
Game I Watched the Most Videos of But Never Got to Actually Play - Among Us
Hell, I watched of video of people screaming at each other in this instead of the second presidential debate, confident that was the more nuanced discussion. Unfortunately, the night my WoW guild decided to play it happened to be the night I chose to torture myself with Rise of Skywalker, and I only found out what they were up to when I logged onto Discord to rage. After that, none of them were too keen on it and Shadowlands' release ended any chance of playing the cartoon astronaut game. And the thought of public servers scares me.
I never even got to find out if I'd make a really good or really terrible imposter.
Best Movie - Mune: Guardian of the Moon
1st Runner Up - Camelot
2nd Runner Up - Lilo & Stitch
Again, not a lot going on in the movie front. I would have liked Camelot more if it had toned down the singing, which I guess is my brain telling me musicals aren't my thing.
Worst Movie - Hop
1st Runner Up - The Emoji Movie
2nd Runner Up - Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker
I disqualified To Boldly Flee because that's about as much a movie as somebody beating their own dick is a drum solo. Although it does fit into the recurring theme here of "Mary Sues doing tedious shit nobody cares about."
Best Book/Comic - Thief of Time
1st Runner Up - The Immortal Hulk
2nd Runner Up - Blacksad
At least the literature front was more promising. As long as you're into body horror and the bowels of "civilization."
And if you're going to get tizzy over me calling comic books literature, fuck off.
The Only TV Show I Watched All Year - Ducktales 2017
Shit, I missed my yearly Samurai Jack season, didn't I.
Stuff I Didn't Do Quickies About For One Reason or Another:
Only Interstellar Pinball Lives Forever and Summer of the Chew Toy Soul - How exactly does one review an acid trip? Or two, for that matter?
The Channel Awesome Movie Trilogy - I already went over these in my AVGN Movie quickie.
Blacksad - The original comics, not the adventure game. They're good, but they delve into some heavy shit and writing about them just felt out of my league.
The Emoji Movie - This 90-minute smartphone advertisement has been thoroughly skewered by the Internet, and as well as having little to add to the conversation, it was like Pixels in that I went in inoculated to how bad it was. Also, it was Election Night and I was drunk when I watched it.
Weird Al's Mandatory Fun - It's a Weird Al disc, what else is there to say about it?
The Frog Princess - This was so incomplete that to review it I'd have to lump it with either its sequel or, depending on how much you need to read to get a whole story, the whole Tales of the Frog Princess series.
Do you really need me to tell you how shitawful 2020 was?
On purely selfish terms, I could have spent lockdown working through my Steam backlog, or dusting off my Japanese, or practicing digital painting on a Wacom tablet, or learning Unity, or any number of actually productive things. Instead I spent half the year abusing WoW's double experience buff and grinding out five million gold so I could stomp around on a brachiosaurus in a game I would have abandoned ages ago if it wasn't for my need for virtual companionship. I did get several raid mounts (including Mimiron's Head, the most overrated mount in the game. But that's a story for another day), armor appearances, and other nick-nacks along the way, but was it really worth it?
... maybe it was? Not because "Fuck yeah longboi is that awesome" although he has been handy when the team needed stuff off the auction house in the middle of raid. But because the grind eroded my interest in mount collecting, reinforcing my conviction to leave the game if anything happens to my guild. And with the way Shadowlands is going... well, that's a story for the March 2021 quickies, when I get around to them.
And this was the 10th year I've been doing these quickies, what an anniversary.