“The 1st Annual Mage Academy Awards”

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Hello and welcome to the 1st Annual Mage Academy Awards!

Sincerest credit goes to the Purple Prose Mage (aka Alex Sigsworth) for proposing the idea for these awards. It’s been so much fun, I look forward to hosting this every year! Not only does this event help TWRM commemorate reaching our 500th post but it also helps us celebrate the video games which made 2017 exceptional.

Here’s how this event is going to work. Unlike reader’s choice awards, these are writer’s choice awards where the nominees were selected and voted on by our team of excellent mages and our awesome patrons, the Warriors of Light. I invite you to check out the nominees in the twenty-nine categories below. We will announce the winners in a special post soon!

2017 was a solid year for gaming. Rife with controversies and nontroversies, yes, but the games themselves were rich and varied with strong showings from the big names and newcomers, AAA’s and indies and everything in between, and some really great exclusives. These awards are just one small way in which we can show our appreciation for all the great games that developers and publishers offered this year.

Do let us know what your choices are for these nominees in the comments, and enjoy!

In your service,
Well-Red-Mage-Black-sm
The Well-Red Mage

 

 

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.:Game of the Year:.

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Assassin’s Creed: Origins
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Cuphead
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Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
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Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice
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Horizon Zero Dawn
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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
390017-persona-5-playstation-3-front-cover
Persona 5
supermarioodyssey_coveret_2158443
Super Mario Odyssey

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.:Best Developer:.

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Guerrilla Games
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Ninja Theory
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Nintendo
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PagodaWest Games
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StudioMDHR

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.:Best Protagonist:.

NieRAutomata
2B – Nier: Automata
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Aloy – Horizon Zero Dawn
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Bayek – Assassin’s Creed: Origins
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Link – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
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Mae Borowski – Night in the Woods
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Mario – Super Mario Odyssey
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Noctis – Final Fantasy XV
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Rachel Amber – Life is Strange: Before the Storm

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.:Best Antagonist:.

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Bowser – Super Mario Odyssey
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Calamity Ganon – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
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The Devil – Cuphead
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Eveline – Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
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Rain – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
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Team Rainbow Rocket Giovanni – Pokémon Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon
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Zenos yae Galvus – Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood

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.:Best Supporting Character:.

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Brûz – Middle-Earth: Shadow of War

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Cappy – Super Mario Odyssey

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Daruk – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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The Charge Shot – Cuphead

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Gold Mario – Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

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Ignis – Final Fantasy XV

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Morgana – Persona 5

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.:Best Score/Soundtrack:.

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Cuphead

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Horizon Zero Dawn

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

CwPyJEkWEAARuar
Nier: Automata

68747470733a2f2f6661726d352e737461746963666c69636b722e636f6d2f343332382f33363133313136303334355f373132353563643361365f7a2e6a7067.jpg
Pyre

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Sonic Mania

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Super Mario Odyssey

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.:Best New IP:.

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Arms
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Cuphead

640x960_wallpaper
Horizon Zero Dawn

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.:Best Indie:.

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Absolver

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A Hat in Time

cuphead-500x539
Cuphead

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Golf Story

1
Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice

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Pyre
shovel-knight-cover
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

Slime Rancher

Steamworld Dig 2

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.:Best Storyline:.

C2nj6QqXUAAo7f5
Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood

1
Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice

640x960_wallpaper
Horizon Zero Dawn

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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Life is Strange: Before the Storm

CwPyJEkWEAARuar
Nier: Automata

68747470733a2f2f6661726d352e737461746963666c69636b722e636f6d2f343332382f33363133313136303334355f373132353563643361365f7a2e6a7067
Pyre

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.:Best Art Direction:.

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Battle Chasers: Nightwar

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Cuphead

1
Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice

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Horizon Zero Dawn

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Super Mario Odyssey

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Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap

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.:Best Mobile Game:.

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Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

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Fire Emblem Heroes

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Super Mario Run (Android)

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South Park: Phone Destroyer

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.:Best Handheld Game:.

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Ever Oasis

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Metroid: Samus Returns

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Monster Hunter Stories

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Pokémon Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon

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Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns

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.:Best Console:.

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Nintendo Switch

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PlayStation 4

Xbox-One
Xbox One X

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.:Best Exclusive Title:.

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Horizon Zero Dawn

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
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Persona 5

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Pokémon Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon

supermarioodyssey_coveret_2158443
Super Mario Odyssey

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.:Best of Nintendo:.

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Arms

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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Pokémon Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon

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Splatoon 2

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Super Mario Odyssey

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.:Best of Xbox:.

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Cuphead

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Forza 7

aasdasas
Rivals of Aether

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Super Lucky’s Tale

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.:Best of PlayStation:.

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Horizon Zero Dawn

CwPyJEkWEAARuar
Nier: Automata

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Nioh

390017-persona-5-playstation-3-front-cover
Persona 5

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.:Best of PC:.

cuphead-500x539
Cuphead

Divinity-Original-Sin-2
Divinity Original Sin II

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Hollow Knight

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Middle-Earth: Shadow of War

aasdasas
Rivals of Aether

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.:Best Port/Remake:.

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Axiom Verge (Switch)

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Bayonetta (PC)
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Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (PS4)

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DOOM (Switch)

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Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (PS4)

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch)

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Nioh (PC)

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Pokkén Tournament DX (Switch)

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Star Fox 2 (SNES Classic)

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Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove (Switch)

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.:Best RPG:.

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Divinity Original Sin 2

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ELEX

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Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

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Horizon Zero Dawn

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Persona 5

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.:Best Action/Adventure:.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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Horizon Zero Dawn

Knack1
Knack II

CwPyJEkWEAARuar
Nier: Automata

image1
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

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Yakuza Kiwami

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.:Best Platformer:.

cuphead-500x539
Cuphead

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Super Mario Odyssey

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Sonic Mania

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Sonic Forces

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Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

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Yooka–Laylee

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.:Best Strategy:.

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Disgaea 5 Complete

SQ_3DS_FireEmblemEchoes
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

logo
INVERSUS Deluxe

H2x1_NSwitch_MarioAndRabbidsKingdomBattle_EU
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

Total-war-warhammer-2-header
Total War Warhammer 2

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.:Best Shooter:.

Nex Machina

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Prey

PUBG
PUBG (Early Access)

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Splatoon 2

Star-Fox-2-Banner
Star Fox 2

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Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

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.:Best Fighting:.

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Arms

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Fantasy Strike

Pokken-Tournament-DX
Pokkén Tournament DX

aasdasas
Rivals of Aether

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Tekken 7

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.:Best Multiplayer:.

Divinity-Original-Sin-2
Divinity Original Sin II

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The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind

C2nj6QqXUAAo7f5
Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood

2017050117564600-16851BE00BC6068871FE49D98876D6C5
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

PUBG
PUBG (Early Access)

2951305-splat2nbox
Splatoon 2

shovel-knight-cover
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

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.:Best Family Friendly:.

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

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Snipperclips

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Splatoon 2

Super Bomberman R

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Super Mario Odyssey

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.:Most Anticipated:.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy_20170702132222
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Destiny-2-Official-Reveal-Art
Destiny 2

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

390017-persona-5-playstation-3-front-cover
Persona 5

spfbw-og-meta-image
South Park: The Fractured But Whole

supermarioodyssey_coveret_2158443
Super Mario Odyssey

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2

logo-yakuza6
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

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.:Worst Game of the Year:.

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Akiba’s Beat

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Infinite Minigolf

MEA
Mass Effect Andromeda

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Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas (Switch)

Super Bomberman R

TAT_Logo-ForBlack
Tokyo Tattoo Girls
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Troll and I

 

 

 

The suspense is terrible! I hope it’ll last…

Who will win? Who did we leave out? Maybe you already know. Share your thoughts on the victors in the comments! As always, thanks for reading.

 

15 thoughts on ““The 1st Annual Mage Academy Awards”

    1. I had that same thought, too! Nintendo has had a strong year and I know how my own personal list of nominees and victors would’ve played out, so I’m pleased to put together a list with a group of people submitting nominees. As for how it ultimately turned out anyway lol well….

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I can comment on two of these games specifically.

    Stormblood: Been playing FF14 now for 5 years and Stormblood was a really good expansion. The storyline was pretty gripping. Zenos is a punk, not on par with Kefka, but they tried. You still love to hate him. Battle mechanics vs. typical trash is common MMO stuff but the mechanics in boss battles is out of this world! I mean, you play through after watching a video or something and you come away thinking “How did someone figure that out?”. Great musical score and incredible armor/weapons design.

    Cuphead: Okay, I don’t buy a lot of games at full price, not even when they are 20$. I also don’t look forward to a lot of games that don’t have Final Fantasy in the title, but I knew I wanted Cuphead day 1, and I made sure I got it. It has been a riot to play with my son and I cannot remember the last time a game has been so challenging yet so simple. The art is beautiful, the score is fantastic, controls tight and the whole story is delightful and an instant throwback to when I was younger. Hats off to the developers!

    Now, I did play FF15 and I thought it was a phenomenal game in a number of ways and I may revisit it with another review now that I have gotten so much time into it (though I stopped playing because I don’t like fighting for the PS4). I thought Noct was a good character and one most men could identify with, since most of us go through that period of time where our dads are idiots (to us, at least) and we are saddled with responsibility we don’t really want to take, but eventually we have to grow up. The rest of the party was extremely well done all the way around from design to execution, with each member having such a unique and enjoyable personality. Sure gameplay was simplified overall, but I attribute it to FF115 essentially being the modern day Mystic Quest, with about 10 million coats of polish on it.

    Beyond that I don’t think I have played any of the other games, but I see a few on the list that caught my eye in the past couple of days, before this article even. I will need to check them out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stormblood I wish I played but there’s a lot of bad blood between me and online games hahaha! Not this particular game’s fault and it looks like something I’d enjoy. Maybe someday.

      FFXV, my thoughts are thoroughly documented on it and I really didn’t like a lot of that game, so not only am I not surprised it wasn’t nominated a lot on this list the mages put together but I haven’t seen it pop up too much in other games awards out there. I just thought the story and characters were really thin and the open world gameplay structure was too tedious. I still played it for over 100 hours but I do like the comparison to Mystic Quest. I actually haven’t thought of that before but yes, a Final Fantasy like XV where you can just hold down circle to survive nearly the entire game is the Mystic Quest of our times.

      And thirdly, Cuphead. I have never wanted to play a Microsoft exclusive so badly. I love ragtime music, for instance, and early 1900’s animation fascinates me. I felt like this game was made for me… on the wrong platform. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I meant to write an article on the FF15/MQ comparison, but essentially that what I got out of it after a few dozen hours of gameplay. Its a tech demo for the modern ages wrapped in an FF game. Its mean to be easy (easier) to get people hooked on future FF games and for that I think it works pretty well. Obviously they are going to be using the Luminous engine for some time, as it seems they are using it for the FF7 re-imagining (don’t call it a remake!). It seems like an extremely powerful engine and I have no doubt that with a few tweaks to add different gameplay elements it will carry SE far in terms of graphical output.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I feel you. I think that I would’ve enjoyed FFXV more had I played it with that mindset, or if it wasn’t a Final Fantasy game. The engine itself is fine and I’m glad to hear that. I think that’s the impressive aspect of the game.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. First things first: please start calling these The Magy’s as soon as possible!

    I’ve actually played very few of these, but it’s nice to see Sonic Mania and Nier Automata on there so much. I’d include Ruiner in the soundtrack category as it’s an absolutely perfect fit that demands earphones.

    I was surprised at the lack of Injustice 2 in the fighting category. I felt it was a pretty good package in spite of the loot box nonsense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I let out a chuckle at “The Magy’s”! This is such a fun idea. There are a lot of titles here I actually haven’t played as well, since these were all voted on by the mage committee. I think that allowed us a much wider net rather than if I’d put this all together myself.

      Injustice 2! So that is surprising nobody nominated it. I haven’t played it myself but I imagine someone has in our ranks.

      Liked by 1 person

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