By Josh Speer / February 19th, 2019
Editor’s Note: There are no previous winners listed since this was not a category we voted on last year.
If I’m being perfectly honest, I’m still not sure exactly how to define action / adventure as a genre. It seems like a giant net to grab every possible thing that fits (and even some that may not). If I had my way, I would have split some of these nominees into a simple platformer category, but even establishing what is a platformer can be more complicated than you’d imagine. So instead we lumped it together as this – a odd assortment of 2D, 3D, supernatural mountains, angry gods, mighty robots, heroic octopi and time travelling mayhem. Let’s see who most impressed oprainfall’s writers in 2018.
NA Release Date: January 25th, 2108
Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, XBox One, Nintendo Switch
I’m gonna be the first to tell you that I should have jumped on the Celeste train way, way sooner. I love platformers, but this is no mere platformer. It’s a beautiful mixture of hardcore platforming and a story with real heart. I don’t usually feel such kinship to fictional characters, but I could really sympathize with Madeline’s battle against her crippling self doubt and hatred. When you mix that with beautiful and complex pixel art, a stunning score and more secrets than you can shake a stick at, you have yourself one amazing package.
God of War
NA Release Date: April 20th, 2018
Platform(s): PlayStation 4
I really feel like one of the games I most missed out on by not owning a PlayStation 4 was God of War. I loved the series back in the PS2 era, and even enjoyed the PSP outings. What most surprised me about the latest adventure was that Kratos was all grown up, at least maturity-wise. I’m used to him being a raging inferno of violence and debauchery, but now that he has a son, he’s trying his best to be a good role model. Which might seem strange to old fans of his, but it seems his recent journey was met with real appreciation. More than anything, I would have loved seeing him interact with his son as they face off against a new pantheon of monsters and gods. So I guess I can understand why God of War was a nominee for this category.
NA Release Date: October 2nd, 2018
Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
After a long, painful time without any new Mega Man in my life, Capcom finally delivered on fans’ wishes with Mega Man 11. Not only was this a fantastic return to form for everybody’s favorite robot, it also introduced cool new mechanics and challenged players with pitch perfect platforming. Mix in some interesting backstory for Dr. Wily and toss in a bunch of colorful and eclectic Robot Masters, and you have yourself one hell of a competitor.
Save me Mr. Tako!
NA Release Date: October 30th, 2018
Platform(s): PC, Switch
I’m still not sure exactly where Save me Mr. Tako! came from, but I’m glad it got made. Nicalis has a talent for finding quirky games and publishing them under their banner, and that’s definitely the case here. This looks just like a throwback to the Game Boy era, though it does have some modern conventions to ease your experience. Full of humor, challenge and beautiful, beautiful pixels, Save me Mr. Tako! is a reminder that retro is alive and well in the modern age of gaming.
NA Release Date: September 25th, 2018
Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Vita
As someone that helped back Timespinner, it was great finding the end result was worth it. Lunar Ray Games proved they knew what made a great Metroidvania, and managed to bring those key elements to the game while finding interesting ways to innovate. I’ve never really seen time travel in this genre before, but it was handled quite adeptly here. Sure, they borrowed some ideas from Castlevania’s Metroidvania outings, but nothing in the game felt like theft. It was more like they took inspiration from several places and found interesting ways to bring new life to them. When you mix in multiple endings and achievements, Timespinner proves it is a game with lasting appeal.
And the winner is…
Okay, I’m not saying Kratos doesn’t deserve any acclaim, but I do feel that perhaps the field wasn’t as level as I would have liked. Each of these games was truly outstanding in their own right, and at least two of them probably would have won in a Platformer category. But sometimes democracy is unexpected, as is the case today. Maybe this is the sign I need to go and buy a PlayStation 4…
Thanks to Brandon and Brodie for the awesome Featured Images
2018 oprainfall AwardsBest Action / AdventureCelesteGod of WarMega Man 11Save me Mr TakoTimespinner