Best Pokémon: Carkoal, the literal moving mine cart.
Everything Worked But The Gameplay: Cadence of Hyrule because of my cropping roguelike allergy.
Best House: Black Eagles. (I would have said Blue Lions but Sylvain causes an immediate disqualification.)
Graphics and/or music: “Nothing Is Promised” (the Persona Q2 boss music)
Best NPC: Gatekeeper. The fact he’s not in the Fire Emblem Heroes character poll is criminal.
Best Party Member: Every day is Deduesday.
Best/Worst Use of Money: Thunderful (SteamWorld Quest) for best, Blizzard for worst (mainly for taking it from Blitzchung).
Best Remaster: Tales of Vesperia.
Best Game That Still Sucks: Final Fantasy VII, which I still haven’t been able to play to completion without the PC translation.
Missed Out Award: FFXII Zodiac Age.
Wish I Had Missed It: The Switch port of Pillars of Eternity, it’s a technical mess that I thought would be fixed by now. NOPE.
Biggest Surprise: Witcher 3 Switch existing and NOT being a technical tire fire.
Best Sex: The eternal champion, Ditto x everything in the Pokedex.
Best Story: Fire Emblem: Three Houses – Blue Lions.
Biggest Boneheaded Move: E3 doxxing me and several thousand of my colleagues.
Everyone Else Is Wrong: Persona Q2, which nobody played because it was a 3DS game in the year of our Naga 2019.
Best December RPG: Star Ocean.
Best RPG: Fire Emblem: Three Houses (also my personal GOTY).
Best 2020 RPG: Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore if we’re including remasters, the Zeboyd Shakespeare x Magical Girls project if not.
Won’t Live Up To Expectations: Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Least Likely To Be Released: Kingdom Hearts III. Oh, you’re pretending the mislabeled release of The Last Remnant on a disc counts? …I guess I’ll say the Switch version of The Outer Worlds.
The Backtrack Award – The best RPG from before 2019 you finally got around to: Final Fantasy X. I regret waiting 18 years to play it. Its gameplay was solid, its graphics/music hold up well, and its story was amazing.
The “It Sucked the First Time but I Gave it a Second Shot…& it Still Sucked!” Award Sponsored by Q&A Cast – Phantasy Star II (original version on various Genesis collections), which is soul-crushing hard and borderline unfinishable without help from online maps & FAQs. The Phantasy Star II remake is a massive improvement… that was never officially released in the West. 🙁
Missed Out Award – The RPG you most wanted to play but didn’t – Persona Q2. I really should just play it before the original Persona Q, but…
Biggest Bonehead Move – What was the dumbest thing this year either in an RPG or from the industry or press – Activision-Blizzard’s massive layoffs in Feb 2019, which ultimately did nothing but destroy employee morale.
Biggest Bonehead Move, Runner Up – Blizzard’s Hong Kong mess. It doesn’t win the award because multiple other game companies took a very similar stance in their own policies; the others just didn’t encounter the explosive situation that Blizzard did.
The “Everyone (wheels) Else is Wrong” award – the RPG that you can’t believe people like or dislike – World of Warcraft Classic. The original WoW was incredible for its time, but today? People actually like this massively dated, grindy, and content-limited game? O_o
Prediction: What game do you think will be the best in 2020? – Persona 5 Royal. The original was just that good.
And for some discarded categories…
Game You’re Glad You Passed On – Pokemon Sword/Shield. It looks cute, and deserves credit for introducing cooperative online PvE to the series, but there doesn’t seem to be anything memorable about its story.
Guilty pleasure – RPG you like despite its (perceived) faults – pretty much everything published by Kemco, whether it’s good, mediocre, or bad.
The Backtrack award: Grandia II (Loved the original Grandia on PS1, but never knew it had sequels until the Grandia II Anniversary Edition came out on PC. Finally got around to playing it. Haven’t finished it yet, but loving it so far)
Best Pokemon: Shiny Galarian Rapidash ftw
Best House: Golden Deer is best house. Period. End of Story.
Graphics &/OR Music: FFXIV Shadowbringers (La-HEE!)
Best NPC: Emet-Selch (FFXIV)
Best Party Member: FE3H’s Hilda (Not best girl (Petra) or best waifu (Dorothea), but on the battlefield she’s a BEAST and has won so many of my battles for me with her crazy defense and strength)
Developer with the Best/Worst Use of GP (Budget): EA for wasting their money having BioWare make and try to fix Anthem for so long instead of dropping it and moving on.
Square Enix Award – Best Story So Far (remaster): Tales of Vesperia
The “It Sucked the First Time but I Gave it a Second Shot…& it Still Sucked!” Award Sponsored by Q&A Cast: The Last Remnant (Played it on 360. I wanted to love it as on paper all it’s mechanics and systems seem right up my alley, but it never clicked. Got it on Switch when that was ported, and was like “Okay… here we go!” … … Nope, still didn’t like it)
Missed Out Award: Disco Party Elysium
Wish you had missed it Award: Anthem
Best Story of the Year Award: Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers
Best RPG to Appear in December: Star Ocean: First Departure (loved 2 and 3, hated 4 and 5, but never played the original. I’m happy to say I do, in fact, like more Star Ocean games than not now)
Best Overall RPG: Fire Emblem Three Houses
Prediction: Most Over Hyped of 2020 – Final Fantasy 7 Remake. I think the game will be great. I don’t care about the episodic nature (I bought all the .hack and .hack//GU games episode by episode at launch at full price each time, back in the day). I thoroughly enjoyed the original (warts, crappy translation, and all). I hope I’m going to enjoy the remake. It’s my most anticipated game of the year, so far. But there is no way it’s gonna live up to the extreme hype surrounding it and it’s going to get loads of flak because of it.
The Backtrack Award: Radiant Historia Perfect Chronology, kinda cheating because I started it in 2018 and technically still haven’t finished it
Everything worked for you except the gameplay: Sword & Fairy 6 (great story and soundtrack trapped in a borderline broken and poorly optimized game)
Graphics &/OR Music: DON’T GIVE UP: A Cynical Tale for music and I’ll throw a bone to Kingdom Hearts 3 because a lot of work went into its graphics as to be expected of S-E
Missed Out Award: Disco Elysium
Wish You Had Missed It Award: Oninaki (sigh)
Biggest Surprise of the Year: DON’T GIVE UP: A Cynical Tale
Best Story of the Year: Sword & Fairy 6
Biggest Bonehead Move: Google Stadia, ‘nough said
Best RPG to Appear in December: Heroland by default since it’s the only one I’ve played
Best Overall RPG: DON’T GIVE UP: A Cynical Tale
Prediction for Best Game in 2020: Yakuza: Like a Dragon or 13 Sentinels
Prediction for Most Overhyped Game in 2020: Cyberpunk 2077
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