The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it.

(Shepton’s) Scathing Accuracy Awards 2022

By Shepton on December 30, 2022 in Blogé

Alright so I figured I had to post SOMETHING else before the end of the year. Which is a great feeling, feeling obligated to do a thing nobody gives a shit about just because. No good reason. Anyway, here it goes.



Didn’t Release This Year Award

Winner: Disco Elysium
Clever, dark and introspective in just the right amounts to fall short of being pretentious. Thoroughly enjoyable experience that left a lasting impression.

Dishonorable Mention: Hades

Took The Entire First Quarter Of My Year Award

Winner: Elden Ring
Look I still think Demon’s Souls is the best one by a mile but I’m not gonna talk much shit about a game that gave me 300 hours of invested time that I enjoyed every moment of.

Dishonorable Mention: Ain’t nothing else absorbed my time like this

Speaking of Which Award

Winner: Demon’s Souls Remake
What else came out in completely different years that I can give 2022 awards to? Anyway, it was really good to have an excuse to play this game again. I replayed the original and then the remake pretty much back to back. The remake provides some good quality of life changes while still maintaining a few fun quirks from the original.

Dishonorable Mention: Demon’s Souls (OG)

Shepton Plays Another Old Game and Includes it in the SA Awards Award

Winner: Nightshade
This game was a lot of fun. Weird, often esoteric in that way that classic adventure games always were, but with a really cool visual style and setting. It knew it was clichéd as fuck and leaned into it, though the writing and humor were often TOO self aware to the point of reaching cringey levels.

Dishonorable Mention: Ristar. s’pretty good.

Fucking Shit I’m Playing a Mobile Game They Finally Got Me God Dammit Award

Winner: Marvel Snap
It’s actually really fucking good and fun. And the paid elements are cosmetic with a randomized system of obtaining new cards that can’t really be made easier by just buying currency, so the actual competitive side isn’t ruined by whales. I’ve entirely ignored all paid aspects of the game and it’s been completely fine. As for the game itself – the location mechanic and random order in which you draw cards also ensures a huge amount of variety which keeps the gameplay fresh and forces you to think on your feet and adapt constantly.

Dishonorable Mention: The PSP emulator I have on my phone because it’s the only other game app on here

Anyway that’s enough. You want more, go bug Renegade or something. He’ll only mind quite a lot. I’ve got more shit planned to write soon – I’m gonna get one of those really good premium upscaling devices soon, the kind that actually work really well and have no latency. The OSSC most likely, but maybe a Retrotink. We’ll see once I’m done with my research. But definitely expect me to write about that once I have it.

Comments

  • I got a gay-ass question. Do you have a strong preference one way or the other for the Demon’s Souls remake or original version?

    Sometimes I’ll play a sequel or remake, and find that it’s technically better than the original in every way, but somehow not as good. I always wonder if I’d feel the same way if I played the remake or sequel first.

    • Honestly I really like the remake overall. I think they did good. I’m the type of old fashioned asshole that will almost always prefer the original of anything over the remake, but I LIKE the demon’s souls remake a lot. Bluepoint clearly put tons of love and effort into it and I have a huge amount of respect for that. They maintained gameplay quirks all the way down to things that were unintended glitches in the original.

      The quality of life stuff they did is fantastic. For instance, it’s now a little more convenient to turn the areas pure white/pure black world tendency without having to jump through hoops and play offline etc etc. There’s a lot more than that too, and they added some fun stuff that didn’t detract from the original. Like you can find secret hidden coins now and trade them to Sparkly the Crow for a secret key that opens a hidden area that people always speculated in the original was some hidden area, so it’s kinda neat they made something out of it. But also in a way that takes you multiple plays through to even see it – so it doesn’t adversely impact any standard play through.

      The graphics I can take or leave. I think the original still looks fine, but hey, nicer graphics and stuff are cool I guess.

      Sorry to give a shitty answer but I really like both the original and the remake. If I was forced to choose, I’d go with the original only because it’s… Well, the original. And like I said, I’m the kind of asshole who will always default to the original because I have more basic respect for anything that came “before” and blazed the trail or whatever.

      Oh – original has better and more memorable voice acting, too. The remake is good, no real problems with it or anything, but it lacks the quirks and some of the unique charm of the original.

      Actually the audio in general is a little bit of a step down – especially in the Tower of Latria. The enemies there were supposed to have these really eerie bells that they ring when they move that are just haunting and terrifying, but in the remake the bells sound like little cat collars or something. And the spooky song that the merchant there sings is far less intimidating and scary in the remake. It’s still good, but something of the atmosphere is lost.

      That said, I’d play the remake over and over if it was my only option. If I had to rate them vs each other it’d be like a 51-49 split in favor of the original. It’s a damn good remake, it keeps the charm while improving quality of life, but does lose a couple of small things.

      • That was a very good and thorough answer, actually. I have the same sort of bias for anything that came first, so I can relate. Remakes always lose some of the “little things”. I think the same level of passion and flair that the original had just can’t be there when you’re remaking something, even if the original was sorta crappy and needed fixing.

        • Yeah, part of the reason the remake is as good as it is, is simply that the team who worked on it clearly loves the original game. It maintains much of the little stuff that made it so memorable.

          Obviously a few things are lost or different, but other stuff is improved as well, and overall it’s really solid and I appreciate the care that was put in to make it feel identical functionally.

  • This was so nice of you! Love any of your content because your writing and voice are just so strong.

    I just got done watching the “first hour” new video for Megaman X Corrupted. That fan game looks better than anything I’ve seen in an extremely long time.

    I’m huge about good writing and I’ve heard a lot about Disco Elysium. Just completed a strong brand new computer and remembering all my old tricks so now I can play anything on PC. Disco has been on my list for a long time. I got a lot of good recommendations from you two over the years like Persona 5 and Hollow Knight.

    You have a way with words, even short ones like describing DE. It inspires me to write again too. I won some very minor review accolades a very long time ago like Dark Souls 3 on gamefaqs.com. Came with a 50 dollar gift card. So that was something. Some petty pedophile mod deleted my work though over some petty BS with them in the wrong so you can only see them on the wayback machine. Crazy how many mods on crap social media are pedos.

    I haven’t played Hades, but can you give a soundbite why it’s a dishonorable mention? I’ve heard near universal positivity but I’ve had my reservations regardless so that’s interesting to see.

    I also liked original Demon’s Souls better than the others in the franchise. I’m reminded of your other reviews of this series. It was fascinating to read your and SA’s dueling reviews about DS2 back in the day and the debates you had in the comments!

    I have mixed, leaning negative feelings on Elden Ring. It’s spectacle is second to none, but it’s been miserable to play for the most part and I’ve played all the others so that’s been weird. It’s honestly TOO big. I’ve always loved Nioh combat much more though. Maybe my time with games is just ending and I need to move hobbies. I feel compelled to make my own elden ring video though. But that’s just feeling the sunken cost fallacy of how much footage of Bullshit I’ve clipped in that game. I simply have to do something with it. It has some important problems in various aspects and I’ve had a bit of a hard time nailing down this feeling of why.

    I also got a Retrotink 5x Pro this year. I have nothing to compare it too, so my opinion on it matters little. I think I like it but I wonder if I’m using it right. Even after all the time I’ve had it and tried the different configurations, I didn’t get the effect I wanted but maybe my expectations were misplaced or I’m still not using it properly. Tested with Sly Cooper 3 mainly. I feel like I’ve seen emulated ps2 games with smoother textures though.

    It was cool to see something from you on here! Take care!

    • For clarity on Hades – we’ve always called our runner-up awards dishonorable mentions but in the context of whatever we’re awarding it can be good or bad.

      Both Renegade and I really fucking love Hades. It’s genuinely so good on basically every front. I haven’t played it anywhere near enough to give it a fair shake, but I thoroughly enjoy it. The writing is spectacular, the setting is cool, the rogue-like nature is implemented really well and the gameplay remains fresh every loop. Excellent art, too. Thrilled that a sequel is coming.

    • Oh, and as for your comments about the retrotink – it’ll never do the same thing as emulation. It’s not meant to. Emulation offers the ability to really go crazy with tweaking the visuals of old games. Personally I think that makes them look wrong – it was never intended to look that way.

      Devices like the retrotink basically just output the game largely in its original state, just upscaled to suit modern TVs better. They do have settings to enhance certain aspects or add fake scanlines etc, but they can’t literally modify and improve the actual textures or settings of a game like an emulator can.

      • I appreciate the clarification about Hades. Didn’t even know about the sequel. I’ll add them to my list, thanks.

        I also appreciate your comments about the retrotink. Yes, my expectations were misguided. In that case, it works well enough for me. Channels like RetroRGB and Modernvintagegamer on youtube are what helped me make my decision between the retrotink and Ossc if that helps you in your own research and decisions.

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