Gaming’s bests get the thumbs up

Danial Norjidi

Rogue-like dungeon crawler Hades from Supergiant games, which garnered a total of five awards, including the event’s highest honour, the Big Apple Award for Best Game of the Year, was the biggest winner of the 10th annual New York Game Awards announced during a virtual event on January 26.

Hades also won the Herman Melville Award for Best Writing in a Game, the Tin Pan Alley Award for Best Music in a Game and the Off Broadway Award for Best Indie game, while the acting performance in the game was also honoured with the Great White Way Award for Best Acting in a Game for Logan Cunningham’s role as Lord Hades, Poseidon, Achilles, Charon, The Storyteller and Asterius.

New York Videogame Critics Circle (NYVGCC), a not-for-profit multicultural organisation comprising 40 videogame critics, reporters and bloggers, organised the awards ceremony.

The awards celebrate the NYVGCC’s non-profit work in underserved communities, as well as the best games and game developers in the industry.

Former President of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aimé and NYVGCC President and founder Harold Goldberg hosted the event.

“It was a terribly rough year during this pandemic, but it’s been a stellar year for games. Games just seemed to mean more than last year,” said Fils-Aimé.

Genshin Impact claimed the A-Train Award for Best Mobile Game. PHOTO: MIHOYO

Supergiant Games’ Studio Director Amir Rao said, “We are very grateful to the New York Videogame Critics Circle judges for honouring Hades in a variety of categories during tonight’s awards.

“Our team is all the more thankful to be able to safely work during such a challenging time. We also want to thank our players who helped make Hades what it’s become, and who will ensure we can keep making games together for a long time.”

Meanwhile, the NYVGCC Founder and President said, “All of the nominated games were extraordinary, but Hades touched our critics in many ways, and we all kept coming back for more.

“From the superb acting, to the compelling writing, to the wondrous artwork, to the stirring music, to the balanced gameplay, Hades very much deserves to be the 10th Annual New York Game Awards’ Game of the Year.”

Another accolade presented during the event was the Statue of Liberty Award for Best World, which went to Sucker Punch Productions’ action-adventure game Ghost of Tsushima, a PlayStation exclusive that follows the fictional story of one of the last samurai on Tsushima Island during the first Mongol invasion of Japan in the 1270s.

The Coney Island Dreamland Award for Best AR/VR (augmented reality/virtual reality) Game went to Valve’s first-person shooter Half-Life: Alyx, a VR return to the highly regarded Half-Life series set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2, which tells the story of a fight against a vicious alien race.

Nintendo’s ever popular life simulation title Animal Crossing: New Horizons added yet another notch to its list of accolades as it earned the Central Park Children’s Zoo Award for Best Kids Game.

The event also put the spotlight on mobile gaming with the A-Train Award for Best Mobile Game, which went to Genshin Impact, a free-to-play open world action role-playing game by miHoYo, which sees players embark on an epic fantasy adventure.

Another award was the winner Freedom Tower Award for Best Remake, which went to Square Enix’s role-playing game Final Fantasy VII Remake, the long-awaited re-imagining of the classic 1997 role-playing game, Final Fantasy VII.

The Shea Stadium for Best Esports Event went to Overwatch League, while the Captain Award for Best Esports Team went to Red Bull OG: CS:GO and Jason Schreier won the Knickerbocker Award for Best Games Journalism.

An additional highlight of the New York Game Awards was the Andrew Yoon Legend Award, which recognises “individuals and organisations that exhibit a significant, sustained body of work that shows exceptional achievement and innovation”. The recipients announced earlier this month, are Jerry Lawson, Brenda Romero, John Romero and Hideo Kojima.