Gaming’s newest and least sought after prize!
The Golden Moustaches (or Stachys) celebrate the best and worst games I played this year. The exact phrasing of that description is important as you’ll see shortly. For more information click here.
Are your expectations set to a low level? Good, then let’s get started.
The Tom Selleck’s Moustache Award for Best Game
Winner: FTL: Faster Than Light
It’s a small mercy that FTL on GOG doesn’t show you your total play time. It tells you how many games you’ve played and from there you can make a guess. In my case that number would be less than half of the full story, I lost my original save file when my hard drive died but I gladly put in the hours to regain my process. Not something I’d do for every game. As it stands with countless hours put in I’ve only scratched the surface of this immense game which you can own today for only a tenner.
Put simply, FTL is brilliant. It’s varied and yet the concepts and ideas are all well executed. It’s incredibly tense even though the rate of the action is entirely under your control. It’s a game of soaring highs followed, most likely immediately, by crushing lows. No amount of appalling cliches can really convey how good it is.
Expect a slightly longer awestruck ramble some time in the future.
The Jerry and George’s Moustaches From That Bit In Seinfeld Where They Both Suddenly Have Moustaches Award for Biggest Surprise
Winner: That moment (you know the one) where Braid’s storytelling suddenly becomes fantastic.
Despite being utterly irrelevant early on, there’s a point where Braid changes gear, moves its plot to the forefront and leaves you reeling. Where will it go next? What more will you learn? (See below)
The Steve Martin’s Moustache in The Pink Panther Award for Biggest Dissapointment
Winner: Sam and Max: Hit the Road
All that nostalgia, an entire Telltale series, for this?
Honourable Mention: The point where, having taken your breath away with an incredible combination of gameplay, concept and storytelling (see above) Braid promptly gives you your breath back and returns to the comfort of its beloved boxes of abstract and pretentious text.
The Moustaches Of Various Historical Figures Award for Worst Thing About The Past
Winner: Manual game saving.
Nothing takes you out of the moment like opening a menu, imputing a file name and waiting for it to save. What were people thinking back then? *places finger to earpiece, pauses* The limitations of technology of the time? OK fair enough.
The Andrew Ryan’s Moustache Award for Biggest Mistake
Winner: Me for that time I switched off the life support in FTL to power the teleporter in the final sector.
I then promptly forgot I had done that and only noticed when my crew started to choke to death en masse. I was able to recover my away team but they were pretty lonely after that.
Honourable Mention: Me, again (look I haven’t won anything since I was chosen as “most likely to offend a foreign dignitary” in school, just let me have my made up award) for promising Memory Reviews on a weekly basis.
The Salvador Dali’s Moustache Award for What The Hell Was All That?
Winner: Gravity Bone
A game where you… honestly I think every element of that game is intended to mess with you in some way. Months later and I still don’t even know if the title is meant to mean something.
The Bat-Stache From Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice Award for Most Anticipated Game of 2016
Winner: No Man’s Sky
I’m being sincere here, it looks fascinating.
Honourable Mention: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
The Mario’s Moustache Award for Best Platformer
This award is currently under investigation by the Golden Moustache Ethics Committee
And now let’s take a quick look at some of the awards presented earlier this evening.
Best Graphics: Her Story. In a strong year for graphics, Her Story’s excellent character modelling and mo-cap work genuinely made me believe I was watching old tapes of a woman talking.
Best Music: The main theme of Papers, Please was so good it almost undermined the point of the game by making Arstotzka seem like a nice place to live based purely on its music. Here’s a rather nice orchestral cover. Special mention has to also go to Super Hexagon, the soundtrack to which is on Spotify but to be honest getting further and further into the songs as you get better at the game is part of the fun. Gunpoint also had some wonderful music.
Best Mobile Game: Temple Run (there’s really not much on Windows Phone)
Best Shooter: The gunplay in Papers, Please was pretty intense
Best RPG: The one in Uncharted’s decent.
Best Family Game: The Walking Dead. It’s a game about a group of people, a family of sorts. What better game to play with your real family?
Multiplayer: A few months back I played a few rounds of Mario Kart Wii U with a friend and it was one the best multiplayer experiences I’ve ever had. The guy barely understood how to drift, I wiped the floor with him and felt like The Big Man.
Voice Acting: The guy who plays that one Uruk in Shadow of Mordor who bucks the trend by doing the role in a slightly posh accent
Alright, that just about wraps it up for the inaugural Golden Moustaches. Be sure to collect your goodie bags on your way out, inside you’ll find some Cadbury celebrations and some old Lego figures I found in the attic. If anyone wants to help with the clean up there’s a free copy of Contact in it for you.
We hope to see you next year! At this point we’d like to apologise to the makers of Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Her Story who were due to win every single award by default until I widened the scope of the awards to include any game I played this year, regardless of release date.