2018 oprainfall Awards: Game of the Year

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oprainfall Awards

Game of the Year

Previous Winners
2012: Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)
2013: Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS)
2014: Super Smash Bros. (Wii U)
2015: Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U)
2016: Hyperdimension Neptunia V-II (Multi)
2017: Persona 5 (PS4)

It’s that time of year once again when here at oprainfall we pick our Game of the Year! This year we decided to make the winners from our genre and multiplatform categories the nominees. Picking a winner was a stressful ordeal as always, with only one being declared the winner. This is the tightest race we’ve ever had, so without further ado, let’s get to our nominees!

Valkryria Chronicles 4

Best Strategy

Valkyria Chronicles 4

NA Release Date: September 25th, 2018
Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One

Valkryria Chronicles 4 is the latest entry in SEGA’s Action / Strategy war saga. The game took the players by storm this year capturing the hearts of old fans and bringing some fresh fans to the series as well. The game featured improved combat and a new cast of crazy characters to follow as they battle the evil empire. The game’s touted Canvas Engine really brought the watercolor graphics into play and this one is just a joy to play.

Dragon Quest XI

Best RPG

Dragon Quest XI

NA Release Date: October 19th, 2018
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PC

Dragon Quest may be an old franchise, but the latest entry Dragon Quest XI proves it has still got a lot left in the tank. When Dragon Quest XI was announced it was a return to form for the franchise since Dragon Quest X was online only, and while the wait was long, Square delivered one fantastic title. It boasted amazing visuals in that Toriyama style, random encounters were replaced with seeing your foes on the map, and the story was top notch as well. This was already one of the best games of 2018 and when the Switch version rolls around later this year, it will be even better!

Octopath Traveler

Best Design

Octopath Traveler

NA Release Date: July 13th, 2018
Platform(s): Switch

Octopath Traveler won in our Best Design category this year. This art style is what Square Enix refers to as as HD-2D which they later trademarked, and we here at oprainfall really love it. The game has a very interesting story where eight different tales are woven into one story. Throw in some of the best turn based combat around and this one is certainly a GOTY contender.

God of War

Best Action / Adventure

God of War

NA Release Date: April 20th, 2018
Platform(s): PlayStation 4

God of War fans had to wait quite a while for the new sequel to hit store shelves. However, the wait was worth it. This reboot of the series takes place a couple hundred years after the events of the previous game. Kratos’ wife has passed away and he is left to raise their son, Atreus. Kratos will now to try to teach his son to be a better man than he once was, and not to let rage consume him. The game features some updated combat mechanics, a huge skill tree and plenty of secrets to discover along the way.

Dragon Ball FighterZ

Best Game Based on an Anime

Dragon Ball FighterZ

NA Release Date: January 26th, 2018
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, XBox One, Switch, PC

Arc System Works is well know for making quality fighting games, so everyone was very excited when they got a shot at the Dragon Ball Z franchise. The game features drop dead gorgeous animations and some of the most over the top moves ever found in a fighting game. Throw in some well balanced and slick combat and there’s no wonder this one is a contender for Game of the Year.

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

Best Story

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

NA Release Date: April 17th, 2018
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PC

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life was the final chapter in the saga of Kazuma Kiryu. His adopted daughter Haruka was in a terrible accident. Not only is she in critical condition, but it appears she has given birth to a child in her absence. Kiryu, who is stunned by both of these events, sets out to find the father of the baby and deal with whoever is responsible for Haruka’s condition. The gameplay here is a bit simpler than earlier entries in the series, but this is one hell of a swan song for what I feel is the baddest and most awesome man is all of gaming.

Soul Calibur VI

Best Fighter

Soul Calibur VI

NA Release Date: October 19th, 2018
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, XBox One, PC

Welcome back to the stage of history! Soul Calibur VI launched last year, and the team promised to fix all of the problems found in the previous game’s release. They also stated they wanted to focus on giving fans what they wanted. They have so far delivered on the promise with a fast paced and well balanced fighter that features tons of content for online play and single player modes. The create a soul mode is back and is crazier than ever, and you can snag up Nier’s 2B as a DLC fighter. That alone makes this Game of the Year, right?

Dead Cells (written by Josh Speer)

Best Indie

Dead Cells

NA Release Date: August 7th, 2018
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, XBox One, PC, Switch

Though oprainfall didn’t officially review Dead Cells, it made a strong impact on everyone who played it, including myself. I remember the rush when I got to play it back at PAX West. As a fan of Metroidvanias, this really drew me in with lush visuals, hardcore gameplay and unique mechanics. While I only played a very early build, I’m sure the game has only progressed and become more polished. The question is, was it impressive enough to win over our writers for GOTY?

And the winner is…..

Valkyria Chronicles 4!

2018 oprainfall Awards | GOTY Winner

Like I said in the intro, this is the closest vote we’ve ever had for Game of the Year, but in the end Valkyria Chronicles 4 slayed the dragon and came out on top. You just can’t go wrong with a great war story with some solid gameplay. There’s nothing else quite like Valkyria Chronicles 4 and the series is better off for it.

Thanks to Brandon and Brodie for the awesome Featured Images

About Steve Baltimore

Steve started with oprainfall not long after the campaign moved from the IGN forums to Facebook. Ever since, he has been fighting to give all non-mainstream RPGs a fair voice. As the site admin, he will continue to do this and even show there is value in what some would deem "pure ecchi." He loves niche games and anime more than anything... well, except maybe Neptune.