Austin Creed (AKA Xavier Woods) is a member of the 10-time Tag Team Championship-winning crew known as The New Day, and the host of gaming YouTube channel UpUpDownDown. He's @austincreedwins on Twitter.
As the sun began to shine on a bright morning day, two kings were awakened...
Kenny: Ooo, I like this! So who's the other king? The suspense is killing me. Me ANNND?
Austin: Well, I was trying to imply that we were both kings...
Kenny: Wait, YOU'RE A KING?! Okay well, maybe I don't wanna be a king.
Austin: Okay fine, Kenny. What would you like to be?
Kenny: A... umm... I got it! A King Slayer!
Austin: It's a great idea Kenny. Really, terrific stuff, and I think it's got legs. But... can we just stick with my story this year, please?
Kenny: We always use your story!
Austin: And for good reason! Continuing on now...
Each had been tucked away in their respective kingdom, as was the agreed upon by mandate of the land. But today after self quarantining, testing, and appropriate meeting measures were taken, the two kings were to have their yearly duel upon the battlefield.
Kenny: Wait, wait, wait... I'm sensing a lot of parallels here, Creed...
Austin: Ugh.. That's kinda what I'm going for here, Kenny! ANYWAY
Everyone in the land knew of this yearly occasion, but no one was allowed to attend. This yearly event was simply for the kings, and if a soul was lucky enough to hear the tale that year, then blessings be upon them. And this year, my friends, that blessing shall fall upon you as our tale begins.
We find our warriors in full medieval armor approaching each other on a field of tall grass as far as the eye could see...
Kenny: Armor huh? I like your style, Creed. I want a chainmail vest with a black sleeveless shirt under that. And a moustache too!
Austin: That's... extremely specific. Wait... Are you trying to do a Bennett from Commando thing?
Kenny: I was trying to vibe with the narration! I wanted something appropriate for the era.
Austin: Commando came out in the '80s, dude.
Kenny: Exactly. We're going for a medieval thing this year, right?
Austin: Incredible. So, on another, more important subject... your test was good, yeah?
Kenny: All negative and self quarantined out the wazoo
Austin: So we don't have to skip this year then!
Kenny: Oh, this is the song that never ends, Creed.
Austin: And it goes on and on my... ahem. Nevermind. Hey! Congrats on becoming world champion!
Kenny: *puts up his dukes* What's your angle here, Creed?!
Austin: No angle, just, you know... sayin'.
Kenny: Oh... well in that case... congrats on the... uhh... G4 gig?
Austin: Why thank you, Sir. I'd also like to say congrats on the RedCon deal.
Kenny: Well I'd like to say congrats on that cool Gears of War collab. Oh, and congrats on the successful return to ring! And--
Austin: Whoa whoa... this is getting weird, man.
Kenny: Yeah, something here doesn't seem quite... kosher?
Austin: Yeah, whenever I see your face there's usually like the slightest hint of respect--considering you're one of the best in-ring performers ever--mixed with a ton of hatred, but I... I don't feel that right now?
Kenny: OK phew! I thought it was just me! But yeah, you're right. Normally I get a little red in the cheeks and feel all warm and tingly when I consider the fact that no one works harder than you at what you love. But then I remember I'm untouchable in the ring and I'll probably be your son's hero, so there's like that massive feeling of responsibility looming over my head.
Austin: Right? I normally wish ill fortune upon you, like hoping you wake up one morning and use a glue stick instead of chapstick, but not today.
Kenny: Exactly! Any other day I'd say you look like something I drew with my left hand. And let's just say it felt like someone else's hand!
Austin: I'm not quite sure that's how that one goes, but I see where you're going with this...
Kenny: So, we're doing this?
Austin takes a long, exaggerated breath of air, before unleashing a long dormant, and powerful attack.
Austin: BoooooyyyyyYYYYYYYYYY if you don't get yo sunglass wearing moldy ramen noodlehair lookin' assssssss up outta--
Kenny gathers his own air and strength before channeling his own energy right back at his friend.
Kenny: If you don't tuck that rusty-ass trombone between your legs and retreat back to wherever your hairline went this year--
Austin: THERRRRRREEEEE WE GO
Kenny: Yeah, that's the stuff. Much better!
Austin gives Kenny a noogie, which Kenny then turns into a shoulder throw, which Austin miraculously counters to a flip to his feet and tells him to bring it (symbolically) using the ‘come hither’ finger gesture.
The two kings stare each other down. Each grabbed the hilt of their respective swords, and slowly approached one another. The pace quickened from a walk to a jog to a run. Suddenly, they both sprang into the air, swords unsheathed and glinting in the pale moonlight. At that moment, two young children walking by caught a glimpse of this. Astonished, they instinctively knew they were about to witness--
Kenny: The intro to Ninja Gaiden!
AUSTIN CREED and Kenny Omega's Top 10 Ga--
Narrator: Talk to me. What? Yes, that's what I said... No, I absolutely am not doing it again. I already--Oh, double what he paid me? Well, when you put it that way. You got my Venmo, right? Perfect, thanks.
KENNY OMEGA and Austin Creed's Top 10 Games of 2020
Austin's 10. Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit
Straight up, some of the coolest technology I’ve seen in a minute. You can build your own course, and then race around your house against the CPU.
I know this game didn’t really pop off like crazy, but to me its one of the coolest video game ideas I've seen in ages.
Kenny's 10. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age
So, this is actually my first foray into the DQ universe, and aside from its charming aesthetic, what pushed me over the edge to take the plunge was the fantastic anime series that debuted this season, The Adventures of Dai. (Check it out, it's great!)
For those that love a classic JRPG tale full of heart, and prefer or enjoy turn based combat, this will be a fun ride. For myself, this was my game to help decompress in the evenings. It was relaxing to battle the way we all used to back in the SNES days. I'm perhaps a bit tainted by how the RPG genre has evolved over the years, but still very much appreciated Dragon Quest XI.
Kenny's 9. Ring Fit Adventure
Much like Wii Fit and the like, this is probably meant to be used as a "fun" way to exercise. I guess it can be fun when I'm not writhing in agony, but what keeps me coming back is the addicting quest mode where your exercises act as attacks and deal damage to the monsters. You learn new exercises (attacks), smoothie recipes for healing/buffs, and procure new training wear which also boosts your stats. I don't use it every day, but I do use it quite often, and it's definitely much more enjoyable than a standard garage workout. For me, anyway.
Austin's 9. Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Alright, great game, we knew that would be the case. My only gripe with it was the length. I assume there will be dope DLC as with the previous one, but overall it was a solid follow-up with enough added to it to make it feel different from the original game, while still keeping all of the things I loved about the first one.
Austin's 8. Streets of Rage 4
Obviously Streets of Rage coming back was going to be a big hit given it was under the DotEmu banner (they brought Windjammers back to us, so praise forever shall be). The story mode is exactly what a side-scrolling beat-'em-up should be. Its long enough to sink your teeth into, but short enough that beating it doesn't feel like a chore. I got a lot of fun out of the versus mode. The fighting mechanics, low key, make it a fighting game. The intense games of footsies that occur while circling pools of glowing poison are bountiful. Great to play with a few friends.
Kenny's 8: The Last of Us Part II
GOTY award winner in some circles, worst game ever in others. Me? It enters my top 10 (and strongly), but I wasn't crazy enough about my experience to place it higher. The action scenes are tight, the set pieces and boss encounters are also memorable, but the game works against itself in a way. As a player, I often felt conflicted and empty with the choices forced upon me. I got that there was an outcome the game wanted you to see and experience, but I also feel like there was an actual opportunity for the player to grow as a human if they were given a choice.
If the player were given that chance to control their own fate at pivotal points in the game, I truly feel like I would have connected more to characters. In any case, I tried my best to put myself in everyone's shoes, and the result was painful. Great game, but I can see how the fan base is so divided.
Austin: You prolly like Ellie, don't you?
Kenny: And what if I do, Creed, huh?! I’ll bet someone like you was happy to see Joel kick the bucket.
Austin: Dude, spoilers!
Kenny: I turned heel this year, Creed. Deal with it.
Austin: Yeah, like you were such a swell guy before…
Kenny's 7. Streets of Rage 4
I've been lucky to see support for some of my most beloved franchises of yesteryear, and I'll always support current day updates, remakes, remixes, or new entries into my favorite series. Back in the day, Streets of Rage was one of the few titles that made me wish I had a Genesis, and after playing the mini, I can easily say it stands the test of time. In Streets of Rage 4, the new character designs and art style take a minute or two to get used to, but the fight mechanics and combo system work well, the hit detection is on point, the music is very fitting for the series, and most importantly, it's super fun from start to finish. Bring on SoR5 in the same way and I'll pay a high price.
Austin's 7. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
I have now, and forever will have, a place in my heart for the Dynasty Warriors franchise. This year did not disappoint on that front. In this second iteration of the Zelda x Dynasty Warriors mash-up, we find ourselves doing the same exact thing that we always do: racking up a ton of bodies, unlocking characters, unlocking/upgrading weapons, and genuinely enjoying yourself in what seems like a mindless button mashing bliss. There are tons of abilities to choose from while fighting, which only adds to the replayability, considering all characters work differently. If you like Dynasty Warriors and Zelda, then yes, go play this.
Austin's 6. Fuser
Harmonix really stepping up yet again. I’m obsessed with music, which naturally leads to me being a sucker for rhythm games, and this is like a full-on DJ experience . You get to select from a plethora of songs from multiple genres, and you take pieces of the songs and configure them in different ways. For instance the lyrics of “Hot Stuff” with the bass line of “Satisfaction” with the drums from a Sean Paul song and then the rhythm from “Party Rock Anthem”. Yeah... it's an extremely musically satisfying game.
Kenny's 6. Nioh 2
I loved Nioh, and was really looking forward to seeing how this new entry would fare after titles like Sekiro and Ghost of Tsushima had been released. Sales figures, accolades, and critical reception aside, Nioh is my personal go-to for ancient Japan-themed combat. In my opinion, you feel more free in how you fight and build your character in Nioh. Another huge plus: online coop. With the world being the way it is, this game was great to play with a friend overseas to tackle some of the game's most challenging missions/bosses together.
Kenny's 5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - Warzone
I don't wanna know how many hours I've put into this game. It's addicting, and as of right now, my Battle Royale of choice. I can't in good conscience rank this game higher because of the many glitches and hacks I encounter on a daily basis, but I can't deny that it has me hooked, and I'm easily better than Creed or anyone he's every known at FPS games.
Austin: Wrong... wrong. Put on that VR headset and meet me...
Kenny: Oh jeez, I see that just because you play that “Valerie” game, you've grown too big for your britches.
Austin: It’s called Valorant, Kenny. Stop confusing top-tier FPS games with Steve Winwood songs.
Kenny: Wait, you... like Steve Winwood?
Austin: Who doesn’t?!
Kenny: We're friends, so I’ll let this one slide, Creed…
Austin's 5. Immortals: Fenyx Rising
I have a deep, deeeeeep love for Greek mythology, so this game really hits the spot.
Kenny: Dang, you don't say? Me too, Creed.
Austin: Oh, no way. For real?
Kenny: Darn tootin'. Eat the yogurt almost every day!
Austin: That's... not... So in this game they don't shy away from the fact Zeus is the absolute worst, which I appreciate a lot. They make little jokes that are fine to miss, but if you know mythology then they are hilarious. This made it into my top five because it's a fun action RPG with really satisfying puzzles that uses the backdrop of Greek mythology almost to educate people on the topic, while allowing them to explore this really fascinating open world.
Austin's 4. Doom Eternal
I've never played a game in my life that made me feel panicked from the instant I hit new game. Doom Eternal did that, the entire game felt like I was sprinting around trying to get away from demons in order to reload, and then shoot more of them while still on the run. By having to constantly be moving in order to not die, it really made me feel like I was always one step away from death. I loved it.
Kenny's 4. Resident Evil 3
"But Kenny, this game was too short and wasn't scary enough!"
Are you telling me this after you played it, or are you just parroting some garbage you heard online? Answer truthfully. Since I always call it straight, let me be the one to break it to you that this game kicks all sorts of ass. It never lets off the gas, and Raccoon City is more fun to tour than ever. And Nemesis wasn't scary? Uh, what? Are you having a laugh? They give you extra evolution forms of the abomination where, if you're expecting a straight up copy and paste from the original, it'll really throw you off. Sure, it got to a point where I never actually believed he was ever dead, but I felt like replaying the game all over again from the beginning once I was done. (Also, and this could just be me, but 6-8 hours to complete a run-for-your-life survival horror game is plenty for my tastes. I don't need 100 hour sandbox romps to feel satisfied.)
Kenny's 3. Hades
My Switch didn't see too much playtime this year, but Hades put it to work for a good 80 or so hours. Any other year this would have been my GOTY. I love great roguelikes that give you the feeling of progression, that make you feel like you're learning as you play. Not only are the play mechanics tight and the room clearing action fun, but you get better and better with every run. You develop interest in the Gods' stories and motivations. You want to help them and make the best possible living situation for everyone in the Underworld. This is all supported with incredible art, writing, and voice acting. if DLC ever becomes available for this game, I'm definitely hopping back in ASAP.
Austin's 3. Maneater
Someone said to me, "Hey try out this action RPG where you’re a shark and you get to eat people." At that point I was sold. You swim around eating smaller prey in order to become bigger. When you start the game, it feels like you're playing an updated version of Feeding Frenzy, so I was there for it. But then, when you upgrade to a size where you’re fighting gators and having lunch on the beach of your choice, then the game gets truly wild. You eventually get to upgrade your shark to have things like bone armor so that you have higher defense, and your ability to ram ships turns into the best attack in the game. Highly recommend sitting down with this one for a few.
Austin's 2. Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond
BEST MULTIPLAYER EXPERIENCE I'VE EVER HAD PLAYING VIDEO GAMES. Now, that could be because playing video games with my dudes makes all games better, but this game is on another level. I know, I know, you're asking me, "Austin, a VR shooter is really your number 2????" Yes. Now put your feet up and relax as I explain why.
So this is a normal first-person shooter in VR. Most of the time when I play these and I have to move around, my brain and body begin to split and I turn into a queasy mess. But the settings in this one make that a nonfactor, which is my favorite part about the game. Now on the subject of actually playing it, first let me pose a question. How may times have you been caught and killed in one of these games while mid-reloading animation? In this game in order to reload you have to dump the clip, reach to your hip to grab a new one, put it in the gun, then cock the gun, and then you’re ready to shoot. Getting caught while doing this feels way different than getting caught during a canned animation. Frantically going through the reload motions because you’re in the middle of a firefight, hiding behind a wall while screaming to your team that you're reloading and you need cover fire cause you’re gonna try to advance to the next vantage point while reloading just feels beyond intense.
I'll be honest, I haven’t even touched the campaign mode. I've just spent hours in the multiplayer, and I don't foresee myself getting bored of it anytime soon. So if you have VR, then I highly recommend this game. Like, highly. It’s also 171 gigs, and you need to be plugged up to your computer to play it because it’s way too much for the headset to do on its own. I recommend getting a 40-foot connector cable off Amazon or something. Play it ASAP. Also, if you have it on Occulus and your friend has it on Steam, then you can't play together. You have to have it on the same VR program. Go play it... now.
Kenny's 2. Final Fantasy VII Remake
A masterpiece. What a True Perfect 10 RPG looks and plays like. The only reason why it isn't in in my number one slot is because I'm not sure my bias towards FFVII in particular is swaying my judgment. We can pretty much call this a tie for my top slot, though. Both my 1 and 2 this year (or 1a and 1b) were games I took pleasure in getting platinums in. I sincerely can't wait to see where this story goes, and what twists we'll all encounter as we progress. Side stories and/or episode 2 can't come soon enough!
Kenny's 1. Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Okay, so call me petty, but I boycotted this series from Yakuza 5 until now, because... well...
Austin: Dude, it's okay, Kenny. Just say it. You'll feel better after, I promise.
Kenny: THEY PUT OTHER NJPW WRESTLERS IN THE GAME AND NOT ME!!!!
Austin: *chuckles under his breath*
Kenny: Yeah, I was hurt. I may or may not have cried... But the folks at Sega reached out and asked me to try this new one. I won't lie, it sat on my hard drive for months. Then I gave it a shot. From the opening scene, I cared about every character. Every completed side quest not only makes you feel stronger as a character/party, but that you genuinely helped someone in the world. Speaking of the world, lately I've been pretty much bouncing back and forth from Orlando to Jacksonville. I haven't seen my family in Canada or friends in Japan for over a year. To walk the streets of Kamurocho, Ijincho, and Sotenbori, I can visit places I've wrestled in, restaurants I've ate at, bars I've been to... I was able to play an extremely well-written crime drama with all of the quirkiness/silliness I remember from Yakuza 1-4 and feel a connection to the characters and cities. How about everything else? The graphics are incredible, sound design/music is as good as its ever been, and the minigames... Deeeeeaaaaamn. Yeah, all the favorites are back from the batting center, to karaoke, to UFO catcher machines, but the Dragon Kart mini game... It's pretty much a full game on its own. Super fun and a real cool addition to the Ryu ga Gotoku universe. Yes, I'm back on board, Sega, and it's not too late...
Austin: Let it go, Kenny!
Austin's 1. Ghost of Tsushima
After playing this game, it may be creeping into my top five all-time games list. I know that’s saying a lot, but this game hit me in a way that has not really been hit by a video game in a hot minute. It has just about everything I enjoy in a video game. The music is fantastic, and the use of silence is amazing as well. What I mean is that there are times where you’re riding your horse through a gorgeous field, the sky looks beautiful, everything is serene and there is no music playing, just the gentle sounds of your surroundings and then the wind blows and you hear it flowing through the grass. It’s so well done. Then once you’re rolling through the side quests and main quests you get a great understanding of each of the main players, and seeing each of their journeys through the story makes for really interesting revelations as you advance through the game.
I don't cry a lot, but when a game tells a truly emotional story, then they can get me. For instance, in the last Spider-Man, the end with Aunt May had me bawling. In Final Fantasy XV, when you realize that your bond of friendship is so strong that one of your friends goes blind in order to save you made me cry harrrrrrddddddd. At one point in Tsushima, no spoilers, I cried because I felt the main character's pain, and then not 10 minutes later I was crying at his pain again. And then ran a side quest with his nanny from when he was little, and I was crying again at the end of that! This game has side quests that are better than most games' main quests, and for that reason alone it deserves to be my number one pick for 2020. And I didn’t even reference the multiplayer. The multiplayer alone is worth the price of the game. It’s so addicting. Link up with your peoples and run co-op missions, and then run what is essentially horde mode. It’s extremely satisfying to play alone or with friends. Hell of a game.
Kenny: Wow. My friend, we have done it again
Austin: Yeah man, this past year a lot of things happened.
Kenny: Yeah, it was a pretty painful one
Austin: So many bad things happened, but a few good things happened in there as well.
Kenny: Are you gonna get sappy? Or better yet, cry? 'Cause you know I love me some Austin Creed crocodile tears!
Austin: I'm just saying that aside from all of the BS, its nice that you and I can still come together for this yearly battle of gaming wits.
Kenny: Yea, you said it. It's nice to beat you mercilessly in whatever we do.
Kenny: I'm sorry, I missed that. Street Fighter is the only game that I've ever whaaaaat?
Austin: Beat m--nope, nope not saying it again. Actually I'm just gonna head out and go play as myself in Gears 5. You have fun sitting by yourself crying about not being included in a Yakuza game.
Kenny: How fitting of you to leave your fans high and dry while you go and play with yourself!
Austin: First of all, people that rock with me know that I am a huge proponent for daily (sometimes multiple times in a day) self care, but dude I’ve met prepubescent 10-year-olds more mature than you.
Kenny: How noble of you to compliment your entire fanbase, Creed! I, for one, am targeting a more sophisticated audience.
Austin: I don’t know about that. I’d say you’re about one fart joke away from being the Michael Bay of video game top 10s…. And I don't mean Bad Boys Michael Bay either!
Kenny: You take that back!!!
Austin was already bracing himself for what he knew would be an incoming Kenny Omega attack. As the two men came within inches of contact, they raised their arms, raised their left feet, reared their bodies back.
THEN A SOUND CAME BOOMING FROM THE SKY
It was simply the sound of a man clearing his throat. Quickly Creed ducked out of the way of the lockup and began to strut off into the distance. Kenny stood looking over his shoulder, smiling. As he looked down at the ground, he noticed a box with wrapping paper on it. Kenny hastily opened the box, and inside there was a note that read…
“I hope this helps you with your belt collection.”
Kenny looked down and saw that Creed had gotten him a replica UpUpDownDown championship title, (which can be purchased at UUDDshop.com).
Kenny: *wiping one lone tear rolling down his heavily spray-tanned and baby oiled cheek* Until next time, I must bid you all adieu. For myself and my dear… friend…
Austin: Goodbye, and Goodnight.