This week in video games, December 11, 2017: Canadian Cuphead and new Zelda win big at Game Awards

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      This week, Destiny players can now talk to their Ghost thanks to Alexa; Splatoon 2 and Mario + Rabbids get free updates; and the delightful Okami gets remastered. But first, Cuphead and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild were big winners at this year's Game Awards.

      Canadian-made Cuphead wins big at the Game Awards

      Cuphead, a platformer inspired by 1930s-era animation, won three awards in Los Angeles last Thursday night (December 7) at the 2017 Game Awards.

      The game, available for Windows and Xbox One, comes from Studio MDHR, which was founded by brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer. Creatives from across Canada helped make the game, which was recognized for best debut indie game, best independent game, and best art direction.

      Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a launch title for the Switch console, was named game of the year, best action/adventure game, and picked up the award for best game direction.

      Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice was also called up three times, notably for best audio design. The game, which puts players in the shoes of a character suffering a psychotic breakdown, masterfully uses audio to simulate the kind of hallucinations that are symptomatic of the experience.

      Melina Juergens, who played the character of Senua, was awarded best performance, and the game was recognized as the top "games for impact".

      Other winners at the event included:

      Best strategy game

      Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

      Best family game

      Super Mario Odyssey

      Best action game

      Wolfenstein II

      Best fighting game

      Injustice 2

      Best role-playing game

      Persona 5

      Best sports game

      Forza Motorsport 7

      Best handheld game

      Metroid: Samus Returns

      Best mobile game

      Monument Valley 2

      Best VR/AR game

      Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

      Best score

      NieR: Automata

      Best narrative

      What Remains of Edith Finch

      Talk to your Ghost in Destiny 2 using Amazon's Alexa devices

      I'm so glad that Amazon has officially released its Echo speakers and Alexa digital assistant in Canada, because it means we can take advantage of a cool new integration that comes courtesy of Activision and Bungie.

      The Destiny 2 Ghost Skill, an Alexa app, connects to your game profile so you can ask your Ghost, your guide in the game, a host of questions, including: "What do I do next?" and " Equip my raid load out."

      You can even ask your Ghost to tell you more about the world that's been created for Destiny. Talk about immersion. This all hits just as Destiny 2's first expansion, Curse of Osiris, has released.

      The app and integration are free, but if you want to up the experience a bit, you can get your hands on an actual Ghost, a Wi-fi speaker that will connect to your Alexa device and blur that line between fantasy and reality a little bit more. The Ghost speaker is priced at US$90 and is being released on December 19.

      Splatoon 2 free updates add new stages, gear, and battle modes

      Splatoon 2, the fun and freaky platform battler for the Nintendo Switch, is getting two free updates. The first, which released at the end of November, brought new battle stages, new gear, and new hairstyles for your Inklings.

      And hitting the interwebs at any time is a new battle mode, Clam Blitz, in which you need to collect clams from around the map and throw them into your opponent's base. You can steal clams by splatting your opponents with your ink.

      Mario + Rabbids gets local competitive mode

      As if it wasn't fun enough to run around the Mushroom Kingdom with the wacky rabbids, now you can play Mario + Rabbids against a friend or family member in Versus Mode.

      The free update to the turn-based strategy game pits you and a competitor against each other on maps that get loaded with random items to spur the battle. Each of you gets to pick three characters that you can customize for the player-versus-player mode.

      The game, from Ubisoft, is a Nintendo Switch exclusive.

      Games released or releasing

      • Okami HD, the beautiful, charming action game in which you play as a wolf and have to defeat enemies by creating brush strokes and refreshing the landscape, has been remastered for PS4, Windows, and Xbox One. The artwork in the original 2006 release was stunning, and with modern graphics it's an absolute wonder. Thanks for this one, Capcom.
      • Doom VFR from id Software and Bethesda brings the first-person shooter to PlayStation VR and HTC Vive.
      • Hello Neighbor is a weird little game about sneaking into your neighbour's house. Because you think there's something in the basement and how else are you going to find out what it is? The catch is that the house is equipped with an artificial intelligence that learns how you're getting in and tries to put a stop to it. It's coming to Windows and Xbox One.
      • Resident Evil 7 biohazard Gold Edition collects the game and all four downloadable content packs, including Not a Hero, which brings Chris Redfield back into the game. Available for PS4, Windows, and Xbox One.
      • Dead Rising 4 has made the leap to PS4 with Frank's Big Package, which collects the game released last year for Xbox One and all the extras released since.

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