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THE AGGIE AWARDS

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If traditional adventures are defined as the basic formula of exploring, combining items/clues, talking to people and solving puzzles in a relatively straightforward manner, I don’t understand why Pilgrims meets the criteria for the category non-traditional.

     

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Yes, another game that could easily have gone either way.

But the manner in which puzzles are solved in Pilgrims is mechanically different than your more straightforward point-and-click. The difference may be largely illusory, but it’s still integral to the experience. Did it FEEL like just any other adventure to you while playing? Or did it feel like something familiar-yet-different? For us, it was the latter, and we decided to recognize the difference rather than the familiarity.

 

 

 

     

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Geez, it is really nice or see the definition of an adventure game expand. The wiki for adventure games I’d what I follow, for 2019, I see what I consider an adventure game and what this site consider an adventure game in close alignment.

One game loved last year is getting some Aggie love and that is Telling Lies. I loved this game and it is as out side the box as an adventure game can get.

Some great games are getting nominated and that is wonderful.  This site just keeps getting better !


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I enjoy playing adventure games on handheld systems- PS VITA, Nintendo DS and ipad mini.

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So honored to be nominated along with 2019’s finest! Many thanks!

     
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Every year there are a few non-traditional adventure games that manage to get noticed in the broader gaming press. Last year it was Return of the Obra Dinn, the year before it was What Remains of Edith Finch and this year it’s Outer wilds and Disco Elysium.

I haven’t played either, but I’m sure Outer Wilds and Disco Elysium are great games. However I hope they don’t win because they’ve already received a ton of praise elsewhere. This site is the only place where traditional point and click games are even talked about in the discussion around GOTY, let alone have a chance to win.

That said, almost all of my choices for categories are represented in the nominees so I’m glad that others are on the same page.

I also want to give another shout out to Yu-No. I played the original version of the game this year and the pre-epilogue part of the game was some of the best story I’ve ever encountered in a visual novel. The epilogue unfortunately ruined it and the protagonist’s behavior and extremely questionable content make it very hard to recommend and throw my support behind. I haven’t played the remake yet, so I don’t know how much of that has been improved.

     
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Thank you so much for the nominations!

And we thank you so much for the great games! Can’t wait to play your next one!

We are pulling for a Kathy Rain 2, that would be the best!

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I enjoy playing adventure games on handheld systems- PS VITA, Nintendo DS and ipad mini.

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TheLongestJourney - 26 January 2020 12:01 PM

Every year there are a few non-traditional adventure games that manage to get noticed in the broader gaming press. Last year it was Return of the Obra Dinn, the year before it was What Remains of Edith Finch and this year it’s Outer wilds and Disco Elysium.

I haven’t played either, but I’m sure Outer Wilds and Disco Elysium are great games. However I hope they don’t win because they’ve already received a ton of praise elsewhere. This site is the only place where traditional point and click games are even talked about in the discussion around GOTY, let alone have a chance to win.

I agree with this, but the traditional point and clicks have disappointed me for quite a few years now.

Where are the masterpieces? Over the last few years we got the non-traditional Return of the Obra Dinn, The Witness, Talos Principle, and quite a few others. The effort and detail and overall impact of those was astonishing.

This year the traditional fans got…what? Trüberbrook - which I never played but everyone agreed was about as mediocre as you can get. Smile For Me, Detective Di and Sumatra: Fate of Yandi were fun but hardly game of the year material. A few passable comedy games about Cthulu and the USSR. Even by previous years standards it’s a step down. Nothing even stands out now.

 

     

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Laukku - 24 January 2020 05:48 PM

Bummed to see YU-NO with no nominations despite being in the eligible list. Is it just because no one in the team bothered to check it out?

Honestly, Aggies have a history of ignoring japanese games so I don’t think it’s a surprise that neither YU-NO nor Somnium Files nor NG etc. got any mention. IIRC even one of Ace Attorney games that actually got reviewed at AG (not a trilogy remake) and got 5 stars wasn’t nominated for the best game that year. In my recent memory the only serious shout-out was for Danganronpa 3 in some random silver aggies award in the vein of “lol weird japan” that was made specifically for it.

And yeah, while YU-NO is seriously dated at this point in all aspects so even I wouldn’t nominate it, Somnium Files could easily take a spot, especially when there are so many nominations this year and the competition isn’t even that high. It’s not Uchikoshi’s best work but still extremely entertaining and infinitely better than something like DARQ which nomination probably surprised me the most as I thought it was a barely competent puzzler. Though I’m more bummed about the fact that Yuppie Psycho wasn’t included in the best game category, like how did that even happen Cry Oh well, at least it got into comedy writing.

At the same time it’s hard to blame AG staff for not playing Somnium Files (or YU-NO and NG for that matter) if they don’t have much interest in the japanese ADV scene, there are indeed a lot of games coming out and it’s very hard to at least cover the games staff is actually interested in, there are probably other sources if you want a more in-detail look into the japanese scene. Though you (as in, AG staff) should probably add 2019’s Master Magistrate (aka Ouka Sabaki) to the database, it’s a mighty fun AceAttorney-like game that has a misleading “early access” tag on steam but you shouldn’t believe it as they actually have pretty much the whole game translated except the post-story romantic stuff.

And now for the elephant in the room…

Erm… I just can’t even find any explanation for how Life is Strange 2 got into the classic adventures category. Like, isn’t it an epitome of “non-traditional”? For a decade games from Telltale, Quantic Dream and even the very same Life is Strange with other similar games were literally shaping the category. And now Life is Strange 2 is a traditional adventure? How? Why? Is this the real life? When it wins, which is very likely, as a fan of classic adventures I will be heartbroken and almost insulted. It just… makes so little sense that I can’t find the words. Sorry for the outburst.

     
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novurdim - 26 January 2020 05:55 PM

Honestly, Aggies have a history of ignoring japanese games

You mean like how we gave Last Window game of the year? And how Japanese games used to regularly win our “Best Handheld/Console” category back when there were enough of them to merit giving their own award?

Japanese adventures get every bit as much consideration as any other game, every year, period. 

For the record, we didn’t even get review copies of YU-NO and Somnium Files this year, because the companies behind them didn’t reply to our request. We cared; they didn’t. Feel free to lobby them to stop “ignoring” the adventure community.

Like, isn’t it an epitome of “non-traditional”?

What’s non-traditional about it? (Rhetorical question.) Player choice is well-established now, and the rest is standard adventure stuff. The fact that other games have been paving the way for a decade is precisely WHY it can be considered very traditional now, and it doesn’t have the heavy emphasis on QTEs or other unique mechanics of Telltale or Quantic that made those so different.

     

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Jackal - 26 January 2020 07:28 PM

For the record, we didn’t even get review copies of YU-NO and Somnium Files this year, because the companies behind them didn’t reply to our request. We cared; they didn’t. Feel free to lobby them to stop “ignoring” the adventure community.

I think this is important. As a developer, I would hardly expect to be covered by a publication for which I had no interest in replying to. In a perfect world, AG would have the resources to gather and cover everything all on their own, but I don’t think we live in that world.

Jackal -

]The fact that other games have been paving the way for a decade is precisely WHY it can be considered very traditional now

This is a fair point. I suppose AG sees the definitions of traditional vs non-traditional as “living.” There is an inclusive shift that happens over time. But of course, this approach almost requires debate (which I’m sure the AG staff has done plenty of). Ultimately, this is a time to appreciate the genre of gaming we love, and I believe AG is doing a fine job.

     
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minhta - 26 January 2020 11:33 PM

In a perfect world, AG would have the resources to gather and cover everything all on their own, but I don’t think we live in that world.

Not everything, but we do track the more notable games released without review codes and hope one day to cover them anyway. It’s still our intention to cover Somnium Files, for example, but that was never going to be possible unless one of our staff members picked the game up for themselves.

Aggies aren’t limited to review copies, of course, but again, with so many games and so (relatively) few people, the less-played, less-heralded games really need a strong advocate to promote them internally, and a reviewer is usually best suited to do that if they really enjoyed something.

I suppose AG sees the definitions of traditional vs non-traditional as “living.” There is an inclusive shift that happens over time.

Absolutely. At one point King’s Quest would have been considered non-traditional. At another time, Myst. Before long basic VR games will be run-of-the-mill. And these days, the so-called walking sims and visual novel-based adventures are commonplace, where just a few years ago they weren’t.

Ultimately, this is a time to appreciate the genre of gaming we love

Exactly this! It’s an inherently imperfect process with lots of subjectivity involved. No one will be completely satisfied with everything, but it’s all about celebrating a year’s worth of great games. Smile

     

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Jackal - 26 January 2020 07:28 PM
novurdim - 26 January 2020 05:55 PM

Honestly, Aggies have a history of ignoring japanese games

You mean like how we gave Last Window game of the year? And how Japanese games used to regularly win our “Best Handheld/Console” category back when there were enough of them to merit giving their own award?

W-well, yes? I’m not sure why you are proving my point. Firstly, 2010 is not a “recent memory”, more of an “ancient history”. Secondly, you’d be hard-pressed to even find a decent exclusive western portable adventure game so the category at times fully consisted of japanese games until it became a “console” category and even a horifically bad game like Beyond got a shot at winning it. Thirdly, I have a feeling that you had a DS fan on staff because once DS became history, coverage of japanese games took a serious dip and it was always a surprise to see even at least one game reviewed during the course of a year. Usually a game from ace attorney, danganronpa or zero escape series.

Like, geez, I wasn’t even trying to “accuse” you of anything and tried to be as gentle as possible with my wording, simply telling to the fellow man not to expect japanese games in the main Aggies because it’s fairly far from your expertise. Even when you did review them, even positively, it often felt like it was outside of the reviewers comfort zone. This is not a “how dare you not give japanese games more affection!” situation, more of a “it can’t be helped” one. And yeah, shame on Spike Chunsoft for not providing review codes, this is actually a common problem, they are new to the self-publishing in the western market and behave very… erratically.

Jackal - 26 January 2020 07:28 PM

What’s non-traditional about it? (Rhetorical question.)

Everything. Just like with the first game that noone ever thought about adding to the traditional adventures. Even the first Telltale’s Walking Dead game was much closer to traditional adventures than… this. We can also now confidently say that pretty much every walking simulator has a very fair shot at getting into the traditional category. (Not such a rhetorical answer.) And now I do to try to accuse you of extreme inconsistency and knowingly artificially forcing that game into the traditional adventures to make that category look “stronger” with a hyped up major release from a big publisher. At least I hope there was some reasoning of that kind behind the decision because otherwise it’s just a plain weird precedent.

Jackal - 26 January 2020 07:28 PM

The fact that other games have been paving the way for a decade is precisely WHY it can be considered very traditional now

Though not as weird as this statement, I unintentially laughed, I’m sorry for that. I guess a decade of similar games to the rest of the non-traditional nominees didn’t pave the way quite as obstinately in your eyes and we should still wait a few years for the rest of the bunch to join the ranks of the traditional adventures. I get your reasoning now.

But it’s true that it’s your list and you can do whatever you want with it, I just wanted to leave a loud disagree with the decision to sabotage a traditional category. I’ll definitely do it again when it wins, especially since at least half of even this year’s relatively not-as-strong traditional list are much better games and stories than that big budget mess.

     

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Jackal - 27 January 2020 12:49 AM

Aggies aren’t limited to review copies, of course, but again, with so many games and so (relatively) few people, the less-played, less-heralded games really need a strong advocate to promote them internally, and a reviewer is usually best suited to do that if they really enjoyed something.

Sorry for the double post but this simply illustrates my words too well so I wanted to respond. Somnium Files has 1300+ positive reviews on Steam which is more than any game on the Aggies except the runaway superhit Disco Elysium and very strongly marketed Life is Strange 2. I doubt it can be called less-played or less-heralded than the rest of the list in any way. But you are disconnected from the japanese scene and have little interest in it so it’s only fair that you wouldn’t know it. That’s what I’ve been talking about when I said “it can’t be helped”.

     
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I’d say just do away with the distinction between traditional and non traditional in the future. It just fuels pointless purity testing. There’s always been adventure games that buck the trends but are nevertheless clearly a part of the genre.

Games like Loom, Bladerunner or The Colonels Bequest wouldn’t fit the bill given some of the definitions I’m reading. Yet it still makes perfect sense to compare these games to something like Monkey Island. Even something like Myst, which feels traditional now, was a big departure in its day.

Not that I’m too hung up on the inclusion of these categories, but that’s just my two cents.

     

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Thank you AdventureGamers Team for the annual Aggies!

The whole awards process is always fun to follow and allows us (gamers) to check games that we could have overlooked (even if they were reviewed for the most of them).

Quick question / suggestion : This year add special 2010´s Aggies Awards for the whole decade !

What do you think?
Thanks : Laughing

     

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