Greetings, one and all, to Kakuchopurei’s very first (and hopefully ongoing) Best Of 2018 Awards.

In this ongoing feature, we hand out accolades to the best video game things and tidbits of the year using the power of democracy among our humble team. We also condemn the worst practices & games too because some shenanigans need to be called out.

Normally we would have this feature start at the beginning of the week but you can thank the 2018 Gregorian calendar for messing it up for the last week of 2018. So from today until the 31st December, you’ll be seeing a lot of “Best of 2018” features from us and from our friends.

Without further ado, here’s Day One of our list. And on Boxing Day too, where the day is usually celebrated either with Christmas leftovers or people making forts out of Christmas present boxes. What’s the best racing game? What’s the best RPG of the year? Which 2018 robot is bae?

We added a few screenshots of 2018’s Malaysian army propaganda piece PASKAL so that you won’t be spoiled prematurely by our list.

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All good? Let’s go.

Best Racing Game

Forza Horizon 4

_Forza Horizon 4_ Previews - Flying Scotsman

Let’s start this end-of-year list with something a little more “default-ey”. Truth be told, there really isn’t any other remarkable racing game out there this year; we’re pretty sure no one’s going to miss out on The Crew 2.

Of course, that doesn’t discount FH4’s quality as an awesome racing game set in the London countryside that you can tear up at will. The four seasons system open up new avenues and shortcuts on certain parts of the road, while the online live events help boost up the co-op competitive aspects. And it runs on PC just great and dandy too.

While it’s not a game-changer like Forza Horizon 3 -Mr Toffee can’t shut up about that game- part 4 is still a masterclass racing game. It’s a fascinating open world racing simulator in its own right, to the point where we’re not even sure if the Gran Turismo series can keep up with Playground Games when it comes to a fun racing game with a s***ton of cars to collect. And an English countryside to terrorize.

Runner-Up: F1 2018.

Best Landing Spot In Call of Duty Black Ops 4’s Blackout

The Red Barn just outside the Firing Range

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Treyarch’s take on the battle royale genre is, to put it mildly, friggin’ brilliant. So we really need to dedicate an award for the most-treasured spot in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4‘s Blackout mode.

And the award for best landing/camping spot goes to that red barn. This game’s mode is all about vantage points and quick access to loot. Ergo, the red barn gives quick access to every other spot on the map. You get access to the chopper, quad bike and even the truck from the Red Barn while remaining safe against flanking enemies. As far as great advantage-heavy spots go, it’s a no-contest.

Runner-Up: White building on the outskirts of the Train Station.

Best Battlefield 5 Map

Arras

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Despite the high pings for online play and the “unfinished state” of the game, we still love us some Battlefield 5. And if we had to pick a favourite map to play in for copious amounts of time, we’re going to pick th3 pretty-looking-yet-practical Arras.

We won’t lie: this map brings back the old school Battlefield feel. We love all the new maps here that showcase not-so-common WWII theatres of war, limited as they are at this point in time.

However, Arras takes the cake & stands out among the already-unique map set. It looks pretty, is tactically viable, spacious and vehicle-friendly, and very balanced. Fjell comes close thanks to the unique “claustrophobic” feels it gives, but it can get unwieldy to navigate in a full game.

Points got to Arras for giving us the “battle” and “field” in the fifth game’s namesake.

Runner-Up: Fjell 652.

Best Android In Detroit: Become Human

Connor

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Connor can befriend Hank, arguably the best human character in the game who owns a giant-ass St. Bernard. The other androids cannot. Ergo, Connor gets this award.

In all seriousness, this bot’s struggle for some semblance of humanity is rather poignant. Throughout his multiple deaths, is he even capable of developing a “soul” and help his fellow rebel androids like Markus?

That’s up to you to decide when you play him. Somehow or other, we felt more compelled to keep him less “androidy” than usual. It may be his deadpan tone when he’s talking to humans. It may be his determination to do his cop duties. It may be his rapport with Hank. All three of these qualities somehow make up a pretty cool android cop buddy that reminds us of Pero from Metropolis.

The 2001 anime, not the 1927 black-and-white film.

Runners-Up: Kara, Luther, Alice.

Best Mega Man 11 Robot Master

Tundra Man

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While we’re on the subject of androids, it wouldn’t be fair not to include the new Robot Masters on this auspicious list in some shape or form because we liked the new Mega Man game. Not as much as Mega Man 3 or 9, but we still adored it.

This is because of the eight new Robot Masters we get to fight against. Each one of them is cool-looking and has challenging thematic stages that balance the line between fun and f***ing frustration. However, there’s one clear winner who accentuates style and substance: Tundra Man.

Tundra Man has style. He’s made by Dr. Cossack, he has life goals, and aspires to become a professional ice skater. And his powerup is pretty useful when you have the power gear turned on; everybody loves a screen-clearing attack in their tough-as-nails 2D platformer, right?

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It was a tough call to make: Acid Man looks cool and has an effective shield/acid shot combo and Torch Man knows martial arts and is voiced by the Honest Game Trailers guy. However, Tundra Man has that extra touch of fanciness and that je ne sais quoi the other Robot Masters lack.

Runner-Up: Acid Man, Torch Man.

Worst Tease

Death Stranding

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Please stop, Kojima. It’s been years since Konami booted you out; it sucks. And you’re clearly the godfather of stealth games, this we know.

But all these Death Stranding teases mean that PlayStation is being really, really patient with you. We’re very sure they have their limits. We don’t speak for most gamers who love your work, but even they seem to be wondering what your company’s end goal is.

Can we at least get some proper gameplay and some form of a release window next year? Thanks!

Runner-Up: Kingdom Hearts III.

Best RPG

Dragon Quest XI

Dragon Quest 11 Ensemble 2

This year’s RPG offerings were crazy. We got the unique but incohesive Octopath Traveler, the stand-alone prequel Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country, the awesome-yet-familiar Valkyria Chronicles 4, and the Pillars of Eternity sequel that’s fleshed out in all the right places. Oh, and Ni no Kuni 2 charmed us in the right places & right its past gameplay wrongs.

We even got Thronebreaker: A Witcher’s Tale which is part CCG and part text-based RPG, but we had no time to fully play it, unfortunately. It’ll be on our “Best 2018 of 2019” nomination though, you can bet on that.

There can only be one “Chosen One” this year in this category, and Dragon Quest XI stands out. Why? Because of its adherence to the old-school (initially) while adding in a few new layers here and there as the game progresses. It doesn’t do anything completely new, but what it does well, it does very, VERY well. Your 100+ hours completing the game and getting through the multi-spanning epilogue will be worth the effort.

To quote the review:

“There’s a certain charm to the game that makes [Dragon Quest XI] unique amongst all other modern JRPGs. The fact that the game holds so closely to traditional JRPG tropes may push some gamers away, but that’s also the reason why this game is the king of JRPGs. This game sets a precedent for other future JRPGs by proving that there’s nothing wrong with sticking with the classics.”

Runners-Up: Octopath Traveler, Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Age

Stay tuned to Kakuchopurei tomorrow for Day 2.

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