2020 Sharkies Winners!
Game of the Year & Game Direction:
Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Final Fantasy 7 Remake managed to take everything great about the original game and expand or alter it to make it work in a modern setting. A fascinating world and characters, and a combat system that is a perfect hybrid of classic and modern JRPG’s, 7 Remake kept us excited and engaged throughout. Whatever it’s sequels have in store, we are fully invested.
Best Game Feel:
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Is there anything that feels more satisfying than swinging around New York as the greatest, most agile superhero there is? Nope. Miles Morales somehow takes the fluid gameplay of 2018’s Spider-Man game and refined and tweak it just enough to nearly perfect it. Every once in a while, we boot this game up just to swing around with no purpose because it just feels so damn good.
Best Animations / Graphics:
The Last of Us Part 2
This game is a technical masterpiece. It’s level of detail in absolutely everything has set the bar very high for the future of the industry, and it was a last gen game! From glass breaking, to character movement, to the most insane rope physics you will ever see, The Last of Us Part 2 never ceases to amaze with its graphical accomplishments.
Best Art Direction:
Ghost of Tsushima
The visual landscapes in Ghost of Tsushima are breathtaking. The particle effects in the game make for sunsets that can sometimes be more beautiful than real life, and creates visuals that we would easily hang up in our houses.
Best Narrative & Best Writing: Hades
Not only does Hades give us a fresh new perspective on the commonly tread ground of Greek mythology, but the way it does it through one on one conversations with it’s awesome characters is new and compelling. Having a great story that only enhances an already stellar gameplay loop makes Hades the new gold standard for Roguelikes.
Best Performance: Nadji Jeter
Nadji Jeter gave us a perfect performance of Miles Morales. His emotion, his wittiness, his charm, Nadji’s performance got us fully invested in Miles and made us fall in love with the character and we can’t wait to see him expand the role even more in future games.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Final Fantasy 7 has had some of the most iconic music in video games for the last 2 decades. Final Fantasy 7 Remake takes that music and makes it even better and adds new ones that rival the classics. Ranging from emotional pieces, epic fight themes, and the occasional EDM banger, FF7R runs the gamut and every song is great.
Best New Character:
On the surface, Jin Sakai is an emotionless Samurai bound to his duty. However, as you start to learn more about Jin and watch him form new bonds with the people of Tsushima, you start to see an emotional depth to him that’s hard not to fall in love with. Also, he's a bad-ass Samurai Ninja Warrior Assassin Ghost, and what’s cooler than that?
Best Moment: Beating Hades
Hades is a game that tells you exactly what your end goal is from the very beginning, but achieving that goal isn’t easy. It takes time and practice. Unlocking new gear along the way to make the job a little easier, all the while getting technically better at the game as well. When you are finally able to take down that final boss, the jubilation is overwhelming. Not only do you feel like you conquered Everest, but you are also rewarded with satisfying story content worthy of your achievement.
Valorant is one of the tightest FPS experiences we’ve played in a while. The round based tactical gameplay forces you to work with your teammates to win instead of aimlessly running around looking for kills is a preferred look for the FPS genre (at least for Jeff). Add in a cast of characters with unique abilities and every player feels like they can be useful to the team, even if their aim isn’t the best.
Best Remaster: Persona 5 Royal
Persona 5 Royal takes an already incredible game (2017’s Persona 5) and makes it damn near perfect. If it was eligible for other categories, it easily would have won a bunch of them. Anyone who is a fan of the JRPG genre needs to play this game> It’s in 2 of our top 5 games of all time lists.
Super Mario 3-D All-Stars
Man, do we regret buying this. It provided nothing more than the most low effort ports of 3 (depending who you ask) top tier Mario games that you probably still own if you're a Nintendo fan. Yeah, the games are great, but did we really need to pay $60 for it? And it’s going away forever in March 2021?! I sure hope our 35th birthdays aren't this lame.
Best Backlog Game:
If you don’t know anything about Outer Wilds, stop reading this and go play it without looking up anything about it. It is such an incredible experience filled with AH HA moments and fascinating in game world building, that we feel like it is a must experience game for any gamers out there.
Best Use of a Shark in a Game: Man Eater
Come on. You play as a F*%$ING mutant shark that eats people. Need we say more?