2021 Dream of Waking Video Game Awards

2020 Part 2 is over and Part 3 is well on its way. It’s time to look back Ln the year that was, at least as far as video games I played go. I apparently didn’t call it quits. I even fixed my WordPress and maybe blogged more in this year than I have in the last decade. What I didn’t do was finish a lot of video games.

I touched a lot of games, maybe even made significant progress in them, and then, for whatever reason, stopped playing. I can’t say I’m going to dedicate more time to finishing games in 2022, and my selected winners this year prove that I should finish some games, but life is too short to force yourself to play something you’re not into. This year I’m dipping my toes back into the negative award waters, not because I want to crap on games, but to crap on myself. Heed my warnings to avoid regrets.

2021 Game of the Year

Metroid Dread

I can’t say I saw this coming. I’ve been a huge Metroid fan since Fusion, but I underestimated Metroid Dread. I thought that it wasn’t going to be the same since it was developed outside of Nintendo proper. I was wrong. Metroid Dread is amazing.

My runner-up, Devotion, technically didn’t release in 2021, but publisher problems caused it to be yanked from digital storefronts soon after its original release. 2021 is the year it came back for the rest of us, and it’s amazing.

Runner up: Devotion

2021’s 2020 Game of the Year

Prey (2017)

I didn’t give Prey my full attention when it was first released, and that’s my fault. Prey is an excellent successor to the System Shock/Bioshock formula. If you didn’t finish it this year, go back and get it.

My runner up, Dishonored 2, is a lot of the same. I guess what I’m saying is that Arkane makes great games, I’ve known that for a while, and I should give them more attention.

Runner up: Dishonored 2

The Most Pleasant Surprise Award

Marvel’s Spider-Man

I knew Spider-Man was good. Everyone said Spider-Man was good. But when I got a PS5 and finally got an opportunity to play it, I was still surprised by how good it was. On another note, I had no idea where Cruelty Squad came from, it looks like ass, and it’s still fun.

Runner up: Cruelty Squad

The “I’m Never Going to Finish This” Award

Inscryption

This one hurts a little to admit. Not the part that I don’t enjoy card games. That’s easy to admit. No, it’s admitting that I’m unlikely to finish a Daniel Mullins game. I like the trappings surrounding Inscryption and never is a long time. I might go back and finish it. But I left off on a good run and if I get stopped by the next boss and have to start all over, I might just uninstall.

My runner up here is a game I wanted to enjoy, and I’ve heard enough praise for to give it a couple shots, but I have no artistic skill. I’m just playing a no-violence FPS where everything is stationary.

Runner up: Umurangi Generation

The “Why Did I Play So Much Of This?” Award

Marvel’s Avengers

I completed Avengers. I played it from beginning to end. It’s just a mediocre beat-em-up. Nothing about the gameplay or gear collecting or any part of the video game kept me going. I was playing to see the story, and the story wasn’t good. I’m mad about the amount of time I spent playing it. Likewise, Resident Evil 6 is a big, expensive waste of time. It’s so long, and I didn’t even finish the first act/chapter/story arc.

Runner up: Resident Evil 6

Other Awards

Movie of the Year – Bo Burnham: INSIDE
Runner Up: Arrival

Album of the Year – INSIDE (The Songs) by Bo Burnham
Runner Up: N/A

Book of the Year – Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
Runner Up: Truth of the Divine by Lindsay Ellis