This award goes to a game that was released in a year prior to 2015, but that I didn’t play until 2015. The alternate “Secret of Mana” title comes from the fact that I first played Secret of Mana in 2012, a good nineteen years after its original release. Secret of Mana is a game I hold in high regard, yet I knew very little about it until I had a go at it on the Wii’s Virtual Console.
It’s true, there are other games I played later than their original release (including another favorite, Symphony of the Night). But the “Secret of Mana Award” just has a nice ring to it, don’t ya think?
Though somewhat ironically, this inaugural award goes to a game that was only released a year before I had the chance to play it. A far cry from nineteen, to be sure…
Winner: Shovel Knight
Shovel Knight, as it turns out, was one of 2014’s very best video games. It’s only a shame I was unable to rank it in my list of top 5 games from 2014, seeing as I didn’t play it until well into 2015. Oh well, better late than never.
Shovel Knight is one of the best indie titles out there. A loving tribute to the 8-bit days of gaming, what makes Shovel Knight so special is how well it would fit in with the greats of its inspirational era like Castlevania, Mega Man, and Super Mario Bros. 3.
Shovel Knight boasts terrific gameplay, fantastic music, and a steep challenge that makes it one of the best indie games. And a worthy successor to the NES games it evokes.
2 thoughts on “Video Game Awards 2016: The Better Late Than Never Award (AKA The Secret of Mana Award)”
I’d likely be calling this the Planescape: Torment award. I didn’t play that game until eleven years after its original release (I played it in 2010), so it’s not quite as large a gap, but I was still very impressed by it.
I want to say that Shovel Knight is the game which truly got me interested in the indie scene. Rather than being Artistic Platformer #61 (in E-Minor), Shovel Knight knows that it’s a video game and succeeds at being a great experience. Another thing I like about it is how the writing is surprisingly forward-looking despite its simple premise. It takes an old-school mentality and mixes it with modern-day sensibilities to create something new.
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