Should I Apply My Wife and I’s Academy Awards Tradition to Video Games?

Every year, in anticipation of the Academy Awards, Steff and I make the effort to watch every movie nominated for best picture. I’m far from the target audience for Oscar bait, but it’s an opportunity for us to bond over her love of movies. Along the way, this journey has exposed me to some of my favourite films in recent memory, such as La La Land, Whiplash, and Mad Max: Fury Road to name a few.

As we wrap up the 2018 crop of best picture nominees, it got me thinking. Would I consider taking the approach of playing every major game of the year contender?

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Celeste – Chapter 7: The Summit

This is it! Does Madeline have what it takes to finally reach the peak of Mount Celeste? And what will she do if she gets there?! One more time in the world of Celeste let’s go!

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Celeste – Chapter 6: Reflection

After a lovely fireside chat with Theo, Madeline directly confronts Part of Me. Is she making the right choice by attempting to divorce herself from her other half? Join me for the penultimate level in Celeste!

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Game Soundtracks I Want to See in Concert

In the past, I have had the privilege of watching Video Games Live twice and The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddess once. All were fantastic concerts that brought my favourite video game music to life. If more video game soundtracks went on tour, what would I like to see live?

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Celeste: Chapter 5 – Mirror Temple

Even after numerous fails and getting stuck for far longer than I should, we found the strength within to power through the Mirror Temple in Celeste!

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Celeste – Chapter 4: Golden Ridge

This windy level in Celeste culminates in one of the most crucial scenes in the game! Breathe!

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Celeste – Chapter 3: Celestial Resort

We come across Mr. Oshiro and his hotel in third chapter of Celeste! I love how the mess in the hotel and the bags strewn about represent the emotional baggage that keeps Mr. Oshiro tied down to this hotel. One of the best levels in the game with phenomenal music that builds up with crazy drum solos!

I apologize for the encoder crapping out towards the end of this clip, which threw my voice out of sync. Still trying to sort through that issue, but I think I’m getting closer to squashing it once and for all!


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Celeste – Chapter 2: Old Site

We meet the “pragmatic” side of Madeline in this dreamy second chapter of Celeste! This level has some of my favourite music in all of video games, as well as the awesome chase sequence!


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Celeste – Chapter 1: Forsaken City

After climbing the mountain a year ago, I return to the base of Mount Celeste to do it all over again! We start our journey in the spike-filled Forsaken City. Join me in this new adventure through Celeste!

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My 2018 Game of the Year is…

What criteria do you use when determining your Game of the Year? Is it the game you played the most? The game with the best story? The game you spent hundreds of hours mastering every nuance of? For me, many factors are at play, including those just mentioned. But the one defining thread between all of them is the sense of lingering impact they gave me in the moment and beyond. In many cases, those games still have an active presence in my mind and heart and aren’t going away.

Mass Effect 2 might have had to share the spotlight with Super Street Fighter IV in 2010 when I used semantics to try and give both the nod in their own way, but I still remember the former fondly as being one of the single greatest adventures I ever embarked on in a game, while the latter was a phenomenal fighter that served as a turning point for my fighting game career. Skyrim was the consensus pick in 2011, but I don’t regret honouring Catherine instead. The latter still holds a special place in my heart for its novel gameplay and a mature story about infidelity; a subject almost never covered in games. Overwatch is a fantastic shooter that has made a resurgence in my life in recent months, but in 2016, Pokemon Go was the easy Game of the Year choice for me based on how much the game shifted my in-game and real life. I don’t write about the game much now, but I still play Pokemon Go every day with a fervour to catch ’em all.

In 2018, there were a number of games that excelled in many different ways. But when I think about this one particular title, it ultimately stood above the pack for the profound impression it left on me. Long after playing it, I still think about the joy I felt in the moment, as well as the message it conveyed through its experience. My Game of the Year in 2018 is…

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