The Nerfwire Game Awards: they’re here, the wait is over, and you can finally begin making informed purchases for games going into the new year. This year we say goodbye to some old categories, such as “Best Horse and Buggy Simulator,” and welcome in some new ones, which you’ll see as you continue reading.
Unfortunately, due to the global pandemic, we were unable to put on a live ceremony this year as both the Pantages Theatre and Tom Hanks had to cancel due to safety concerns. In lieu of Broadway’s and gaming’s biggest night of the year, however, please enjoy our picks this year for the Nerfwire Game Awards.
Best Overlooked Game
- Ori and The Will of The Wisps
- Streets of Rage 4
- Cyberpunk 2077
This category is new this year, and was not represented in the past forty-eight years of this award ceremony. Nerfwire wanted to focus on games that you might have overlooked or forgotten: those hidden gems buried by the sands of obscurity. If you give these indie developers a chance, we are sure that they will entrance you with their single-A charm, and their cute developmental bugs.
Winner: Cyberpunk 2077
Made by a boutique Polish studio that has traditionally focused on RPGs, Cyberpunk 2077 flew under the radar. Despite not getting much publicity, nothing is more fun than riding around in one of three different cars in their adorable little open world, cheerfully called Night City. You will run into a bug every now and now, and one of the main voice actors sounds mildly sedated the entire time, but if you can get past that, this is truly an underrated gem that we look forward to being posted on r/gaming in a few years.
- Crusader Kings III
- Final Fantasy VII Remake
- The Outer Worlds
These nominees contain enough pent-up sexual desire to fuel Rule 34 subreddits for decades to come. Every nominee here is very horny, so it was hard to choose a winner. We’d play all four in a glorious virtual orgy if we could, but Crusader Kings III is a fucking prude.
Basically every single run in Hades is entirely motivated by seeing more sexy gods in one of their three pictures saying something mildly erotic about Zagreus. Almost every objective is motivated by lust. At least once, we specifically remember Nyx saying, “If you clear the entire run with a bow and arrow, I will show you my tits.” We’re just looking forward to the inevitable DLC when we make it up to Olympus, so we can spend some quality time with either Dionysus or Aphrodite, we really haven’t decided yet.
Best Bean Game
- Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
- Among Us
- Overcooked! 2
- Mr. Bean – Special Delivery
Picking the best bean game can be tricky, but it’s a vital category for bean enthusiasts worldwide. While most everyone hated 2020, this year was a smash hit for bean lovers. From playing as a bean to eating beans to playing as a man named Bean, the only limit to this year’s digital leguminous crops is your imagination.
Winner: Overcooked! 2
When it comes to beans, nobody serves a savory saucer of soy quite like Overcooked! 2. Sure, any game will let you be a bean—we’ve seen that shit fifty times. Not only does Overcooked roast up a delicious plate of America’s favorite protein, it does so from the perspective of a tiny bean-shaped chef the whole time. Double the beans, please! How’s that for immersion?
Best Souls-like Game
- Mortal Shell
- Demon’s Souls (remastered)
- Pikmin 3 Deluxe
FromSoftware’s Souls series has attained a dedicated fan base thanks to their focus on difficult but rewarding gameplay, world exploration, and atmospheric storytelling. It comes as no surprise that other developers have taken heavy influence from these games in their own titles. Here we have listed our contenders for games that best fit this archetype.
Winner: Pikmin 3 Deluxe
This was a close call, but as far as what game suits that classic FromSoftware formula, Pikmin 3 Deluxe is the closest you’re going to get. Most every attribute that made Dark Souls a classic is present and perfected in this game. The non-linear map exploration, the lore that can be unearthed via data files, and campsites that allow players to blast off into the atmosphere in a ramshackle spaceship all perfectly echo Hidetaka Miyazaki’s original vision. Players must learn complex and subtle strategies to conquer the beast: way more complicated than “throw rock Pikmin at their eyes until dead.” There is a lack of any online co-op matchmaking, but this is more than made up for with the best dodge roll of any other Souls clone in the past decade.
Best Use of Jiggle Physics (Excluding Breasts)
- Gooigi – Luigi’s Mansion 3
- Glitched penises – Cyberpunk 2077
- Vanguard Demon – Demon’s Souls
The application of soft-body dynamics can do wonders in adding that extra visual flair to any video game, and we here at Nerfwire don’t want to see all that effort in physics manipulation go unnoticed. We have listed the most prime examples of jiggle physics we could find (minus that one certain anatomical use that would blow the rest of these out of the water).
Talking about jiggle physics and ignoring those magnificent mammaries would be like discussing the inventions of Thomas Edison and ignoring the light bulb (in that it was likely a member of his staff who perfected the design, not him). The holy grail of perfect jiggle physics has and continues to motivate man and science to build complex physics engines, revolutionary hardware, and anime fighting games. With jiggle physics where it is now in gaming, we look back at the developers who took a spring-system physics engine best used for rigid bodies and utilized it to bring bounce to what once used to be static, triangular titties. To them, we say thank you, and to those pushing the art of the jiggle further, we say godspeed.
Best Use of Jiggle Physics (Including Breasts)
- Player models – Totally Accurate Battle Simulator
- Under-inflated tires – BeamNG.drive
- Mochi – Cooking Mama: Cookstar
- Actual breasts, in real life
Okay, okay. Maybe that last category wasn’t exactly the most fair for the other nominations. So in this one, we will be selecting the cream of the crop in Jello jiggle technology to see who comes out on top.
Winner: Actual breasts, in real life
What else needs to be said? Melons are a healthy part of a balanced diet. And they win on a technicality as this category clearly states “Including Breasts,” so it’s perfectly fair as knockers in the real world fall within that Venn diagram. Anyone else notice that a Venn diagram kinda looks like a pair of hooters pressed together? I know I have. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Nerfwire’s HR department is calling me into a behavioral correction seminar.
Best Season Pass that No One Asked For
- Sea of Thieves
- Dead by Daylight
- Mammoth Mountain Skiing Season Lift Pass
- Civilization VI
Sometimes, a studio will stick around until they’ve made their game into something really special—like the No Man’s Sky crew, or for SEO reasons, Fortnite. But sometimes, a game will come out, and its further development feels less like innovation and more like loitering. This category is for that game.
Winner: Mammoth Mountain Skiing Season Lift Pass
Fifteen unique destinations. No blackout dates. Unlimited days on the mountain, and fifteen percent off in the pro shop. Want to bring Tanner along because he’s your only ride to go skiing on a mountain that’s five hours from your house? He’ll get twenty-five percent off a day pass, which you can use to negotiate down gas money. It’s the perfect gift that you’ll Google to see the cost of and bemoan how much cool shit you could have had instead. We’ll see you on the mountain three times until the binding on your ski stops working and you decide it isn’t worth repairing.
- Train Simulator: Northeast Corridor: Washington DC – Baltimore Route Add-On
- Train Simulator: Western Maryland Railway Retro Pack
- Train Simulator: Frankfurt – Koblenz Route Add-On
- Train Simulator: Union Pacific Gas Turbine-Electric Loco Add-On
We know that when you think Nerfwire, you think the best of the best. True gamers may be wondering why we passed over iconic DLC like Suburban Glasgow Northwest: Springburn – Helensburgh Route, letting nostalgia glaze over the route’s obvious flaws. The service stops at Bellgrove and doesn’t even go east to Carntyne. Unlike some people, we take gaming seriously.
Winner: Train Simulator: Western Maryland Railway Retro Pack
If you’re coming for the king, you better not miss. The Western Maryland Railway Retro Pack is everything you want from a DLC and more. With three brand new WM diesel locomotives, this pack takes you back in time to 1960s and 70s-era Maryland and its historic railroad. Not only is it boasting a variety of authentic period-accurate liveries, but the retro pack also features ten realistic career scenarios based on actual Western Maryland operations. Sure, we would’ve liked a route down to Baltimore, but in the face of what the Wild Mary gets right, that’s the least of our concerns. It’s not like the service stops at Bellgrove or anything.
Game of the Year
- Browsing through r/cyberpunkgame
- Trying to purchase a PS5
- Watching people with at least nine friends play Among Us on Twitch
- Whatever battle royale game would make the most people click this article
And finally, we have the big dogs. The crème de la crème. Every boy band has its Timberlake, and friends, here he is. 2020 had its ups and downs for sure, but we know you came here for the ups. You’ve caught enough downs already.
Winner: Browsing through r/cyberpunkgame
There’s nothing quite like watching the world burn, is there? If you’ve ever let your marshmallow fall into the campfire, you know the feeling well. Cyberpunk 2077 may have failed to live up to its impossible expectations, but hey, at least the memes are good. That alone is worth sixty dollars at least, but r/cyberpunkgame comes at the super-low cost of just your sanity.
Nerfwire would like to thank its millions of readers for another year of instilling absolute trust in us to act as the moral and intellectual backbone of the games journalism industry, and we ask you to aid us in the new year as we continue our crusade. Oh, and follow us on Twitch.