Those Aren't "Games of The Year"

The nominees for 2020's Game Awards have been announced. Mike & Alex are here to explain why the bevy of western-style, anthropocentric games dominating the show in 2020 are inferior to last year's entries, and even to Japanese titles conspicuously absent from this list of 'Game of the Year' contenders. Including a discussion of why Half Life Alyx is awful in concept, the sentimentalism of God of War 2018 and why Nioh 2 should be GotY 2020.

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Joshua1351d ago

Honestly, I'm more baffled that One Punch Man is one of the nominees for best fighting games of 2020.

GreenDragonCVR51d ago

Me, baffled the American made samurai game is nominated for goty but not the infinitely superior nioh 2

phoenixwing50d ago

aren't the game awards a mostly western centric show with it's viewership/personnel? Most of the people who tune in aren't from japan. It's kind of like complaining at the Oscars that so many of the nominated films are from Hollywood.

phoenixwing50d ago (Edited 50d ago )

I also would argue that nioh 2 isn't infinitely superior. I liked both of them and they have wildly different gameplay and presentation styles. In nioh 2 you're kind of operating in mission type hub area thingy and ghost of tsushima is open world.

Christopher50d ago

Even Nioh fans don't agree with this.

fsfsxii50d ago

Lmao nah bro team ninja is irrelevant now, they havent made anything great in over 10 years

PhantomTommy50d ago

I can understand thinking Ghost of Tsushima is superior to Nioh 2 if you have never played Nioh 2 and I guarantee you 90% of the people downvoting you now have never played Nioh 2.

Nominating Ghost of Tsushima for game of the year is like nominating that Mad Max game from a few years back for game of the year, a decent but utterly unremarkable open world game game that no one will be talking about 5 years from now. But you can't say that because this is N4g and it's a Playstation game.

GreenDragonCVR50d ago (Edited 50d ago )

I understand the story in Nioh 2 lacks a depiction of the requisite daddy issues or moral finger wagging to appeal to certain western audiences, but @phoenixwing western-centric show or not, Nioh most certainly is the better game, which is (or should be) the point surely. This probably isn't the place to lay out the special merits of soulsborne gameplay, nor the aloof and "cosmocentric" narrative tendencies of "japanese" [style] games (see our website for lengthy discussions of such topics), but for these and infinitely more reasons, the claim is (to us) laughable that a game like Ghosts, (which is a fine work no doubt) is "better". More easily digested? Sure; but still quite like nominating the Mad Max game of a few years ago as @phantomtommy says (and featuring a similar, expansive, unresistant loop drawing on a similarly limited pool of open world activities that quickly become tiresome). Us? We prefer a total lack of distractions and a single, finely-honed totally resistant core conceit that takes the whole game to master, no chance for boredom. We also argue this is an objectively better way to build a game, akin to having the limbs of a body in order and working in unison for one goal, instead of bloated and struggling in different directions, like we might metaphorically find in an open world game where narrative, busy-work and side missions form an incongruous jumbled whole. Even Nioh's loot progression is too much fat for us. Thanks for the omniscient insight into the hivemind of nioh fans @christopher, which (even if they do prefer ghosts, doubtful) doesn't really prove much. Cheers and thank you all very much for your time! Have a wonderful evening. Edited for grammar

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Milkshake21250d ago (Edited 50d ago )

@PhantomTommy "But you can't say that because this is N4g and it's a Playstation game.""
Nioh 2 is, so far, a PlayStation only game. So, you are wrong on that. lol
I played both and I can safely say Ghost of Tsushima is a bit better.

P_Bomb50d ago

“Ghost of tsushima is much better than Nioh 2”

Not according to the reviews.

Hey, if they’re gonna pick a different fave, at least they picked a good one.

RPGer50d ago

@phoenixwing hollywood is hollywood, Final Fantasy defined RPG for whole industry and localisation is a thing here. Furthermore, didn't last samurai made it and it was heavy western movie? The same should had gone for Ghost of Tsushima. They are so biased and tasteless.

Chexs199050d ago

Nioh 2 was amazing, but there were some hardcore shortcomings in terms of storytelling and level designs.
It was more of a Nioh 1.5 with a customizable character, while Ghost was more tightly put together in most of it's aspects (outside of some repititive grinds).

Angyobangyo50d ago

That American made samurai game was praised by Japanese gamers, game critics and developers for its historical interpretation of the Mongol invasion of Tsushima. An American made samurai game has sold 5 million copies whilst Nioh 2 just over 1 million. Whilst both are fantastic games you don’t need to bring ethnicity into this simply because you like one better than the other. It’s petty.

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potatoseal50d ago

@ PhantomTommy, I platinumed Nioh 2 and Ghost Of Tsushima. They're both different games with different styles of combat. But Ghost OF Tsushima is much more deserving of GOTY than Nioh 2 is.

boing150d ago


Look at user scores and how many there is. Nioh 2 has 893 user votes at avarage 7.9 where Tsushima has 17670 votes at 9.2. Do the math and see what scores it has to have to get 9.2 at almost 18000 votes.

P_Bomb50d ago (Edited 50d ago )

“So im not sure why you would use metascore as a basis for your argument here”

You used them down below, talking about Demons Souls. What’s good for the goose...

“Look at user scores and how many there is.”

Meta’s user scores are plagued by zeroes and tens that start popping up the moment a game goes live. Made headlines for Death Stranding and TLOU2, deleting thousands of them.

neutralgamer199250d ago (Edited 50d ago )


News flash vast majority don't play souls type game where you die again and again that's considered fun by very very very small percentage of gamer


You completely lost this argument when you compared ghost to mad max. Name me one game that mad max developer made that was considered great? They have been living off the same type games for decades

Just cause average
Rage 2 average
Mad max average

While ghost is a great game and sucker punch in the past have made other great games

Also games are discussed/ nominated by game journalists who review games so they know a thing or two on what games deserve to be on the list. Every game yes even souls like games should have difficulty settings so those who want to experience the world and the story without dying again and again can enjoy the games. Make a default setting just for those who want the typical souls game experience and give noobs and casuals story settings like other much much much more successful games have done. In this day and age stop listening to a very small vocal minority who's against easy settings in games even though they can play on hard if they choose to

GreenDragonCVR50d ago (Edited 50d ago )

@neutralgammer1992 sorry we are still laughing at "games journalists know a thing or two on what games deserve to be on the list"; which, the journo that couldn't beat the tutorial in cup head? The one that thought there was too much water in pokemon? The pc gamer editor who (like Paul tassi at forbes, was too much of a baby to finish Sekiro and) thinks games are meant for narcotic amusement (and thus, of course, require an easy mode)? It seems like every conversation on this site at least one person attempts to posit that popularity or what "most people like" indicates quality. Heroin is more popular and no doubt more "fun" (whatever the value of that) than every game ever: if all one seeks (is not beauty nor integrity nor to be captivated but) the greatest pleasure for lowest cost, just resort to narcotics and stop demanding our games be destroyed to accommodate your tastes.

"Journos probably know what they are talking about". Thanks for making our day with that nugget of gold LOL. Edited for grammar

SmokinAces50d ago

"It seems like every conversation on this site at least one person attempts to posit that popularity or what "most people like" indicates quality."

That's a far more credible reason than all of us just agreeing with you attempting to posit your opinion as the indicator. You thumbing through the dictionary and finding words to make you sound smart doesn't make you right and it doesn't make nioh 2 the better game, the majority have decided and the better game is GoT, time to start dealing with it.

northpaws50d ago


Learn how to put together an argument, one word "infinitely" makes people ignore your statement right away.

I have never played Nioh 2, but if the universal praised Ghost of Tsushima (also my personal game of the year) is infinitely worse than Nioh 2, then it better scores at least 1 million out of 10 in every single review.

frostypants50d ago

I stopped liking Mario Bros. games when I discovered they aren't made by Italians. /S

Who cares who made it?

Christopher48d ago

***I can understand thinking Ghost of Tsushima is superior to Nioh 2 if you have never played Nioh 2 and I guarantee you 90% of the people downvoting you now have never played Nioh 2.***

First of all, two completely different games as far as overall gameplay.

Second of all, user reviews and critical reviews denote that Nioh 2 is inferior to the first and likewise similar show that Ghost of Tsushima was overall better than Nioh 2.

Third, no one is talking about Nioh 2 in the news. No one.

Now, while I can 100% get you liking it more, but the users and the media? They don't. And those users include people like myself who have experienced them both.

What I liked about Ghost of Tsushima didn't "shit" on Nioh 2. It was actually what it had in storytelling, presentation, and art direction that sold me. The hack and slash of Nioh 2 isn't the same as that in Ghost of Tsushima, but I don't necessarily feel one is better than the other.

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enkiduxiv50d ago

I agree that the nominees aren’t particularly strong this year, but Nioh 2 is not GOTY material. Most of what makes it a good title can be found in Nioh 1, it is not revolutionary. If anything, I’d say it was a step back for the series. It’s not bad but not great either.

phoenixwing50d ago

I mainly liked nioh 2 over nioh 1 for the character creator. Both games are good though.

Babadook750d ago

Yah. It’s not a strong year. It’s a very strong year.

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GreenDragonCVR50d ago

This is a fair opinion buddy; we would argue however that being revolutionary is only one of many markers of awesomeness (and some times things can be revolutionary-bad!). Our high regard for Nioh 2 stems from its refined, hyperfocused progression, the epic and mythological scope of its worldbuilding, its biggest improvement along with enemies/bosses on nioh 1 (mythological samurai alt history f yea, also featuring such historical personages as the Sakai clan); the breadth of rpg mechanics which enable you to do exactly what you want (amongst so many possible build optipns) without bogging you down systemically... and of course, how spectacular it feels to play. After finishing DeS, try a fight in Nioh! The feeling of taking multiple actions per second, switching stance, swing, dodge, pulse, the tons of practical judgements the mind is constantly making doing so. It FEELS like a soulslike by ninja gaiden bros. It isn't revolutionary, but iterative instead. Cheers man thanks for your comment!

potatoseal50d ago

I Platinumed Nioh 2 and Ghost Of Tsushima. Ghost deserves GOTY more than Nioh 2. Nioh 2 just has the great combat. But Ghost has a lot more of everything.

enkiduxiv50d ago

I will concede that it is far more deserving of a nomination than some on that list.

gamer780450d ago

these are all picked by a selection of games media, so that tells all you need to know. These aren't really GOTY, just their picks for whatever their agenda or reasoning might be. I don't really care about the awards, just watch some of it for the reveals.

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JEECE50d ago

Ah, the "I'm special and smart because Japan" argument. It never gets old.

Unknown_Gamer579450d ago

I can completely understand the frustration of really enjoying a game and knowing that it's underappreciated, but it seems like many individuals in that camp are total hipsters who don't play mainstream games and assume they're trash, or think they're special because they've played a lot of games that a good portion of people haven't. Wishing a great game was appreciated more is reasonable. Having a superiority complex because one's taste in games is different from that of the majority of people is not.

phoenixwing50d ago

Good games over time usually get acclaim if they're actually good. For instance, Persona and Yakuza games. They kept making them until they got popular with enough of the mainstream because they were consistently good. The souls genre only recently became popular in the past few years but took a steady amount of games and copying of the formula to become mainstream and it stuck because it is good. Of course public taste doesn't give meaning to quality but it usually is an indicator. People may knock on McDonald's but for the affordability to taste ratio its pretty good.

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Unknown_Gamer579450d ago

@phoenixwing Yes and no. It is true that the series you mentioned have gained a cult following over the years, and many games, even of the Japanese variety have the opportunity to make it big (relatively speaking) if they can make an impression, and I think that's great.

The games I mentioned in my above post are even more niche though, especially The House in Fata Morgana. I highly doubt they would ever be in a position to become known to most people. Even AI: The Somnium Files is no Phoenix Wright, and was never going to be. That's not a statement of quality, but of just how esoteric they are by their very nature. I do not hold it against people for not knowing of them though.

Not everyone lurks N4G everyday and comes across all the articles on upcoming niche titles (which is how I heard about those titles). Had I missed those articles, I probably wouldn't have known about them either. They definitely left an impression on me, but I seriously doubt their ability to reach new fans, especially now that they've been out for over a year. There might be a chance with the otaku and/or VN communities, but I sure as heck don't expect any of my friends to know about them. I'll take any opportunity to talk about them (within reason), but they're far from the only games out there, and far from the only games I've played, even in the year they released.

GreenDragonCVR50d ago

Who made that argument? We love McDonald's

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GamerBeast198250d ago

Nope they have the right games and Ghost Of Tsushima deserves to clean up, if not then The Last Of Us 2 easily deserves it too.

Rocketisleague50d ago

If you're a casual gamer ghosts gets it.

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nowitzki200450d ago (Edited 50d ago )

If you are a hardcore gamer the some mobile game get it /s

@billy You got something against RL? Come on bro, meet me outside.

Unknown_Gamer579450d ago (Edited 50d ago )

Dude, if I had my way last year's GotY nominees would have included The House in Fata Morgana: Dreams of the Revenants Edition, and AI: The Somnium Files, but I really don't expect niche Japanese games to make it into these mainstream awards in the West. I'm not surprised that 2020 is similar in that regard (even though they are two very different years in other ways).

I don't get too hung up on this stuff, because at the end of the day it's all just a matter of opinions. The only difference is some people are paid for theirs. It's also probably practically mandatory for those individuals to have played most, if not all of the mainstream stuff, but I doubt a similar requirement exists for everything else, if only because it's pretty implausible for someone to play absolutely every game released in a given year, even if their job is gaming-related.