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Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

THE BEST EVER





cheetah7071 posted:

I'm pretty sure you could name chess or soccer your goty and rarity would allow it

If it was video game chess or soccer then sure!

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cheetah7071
Oct 20, 2010

honk honk



College Slice

Rarity posted:

If it was video game chess or soccer then sure!

top three non-video games I played this year:

3. Castles of Burgundy

My all-time favorite board game but it doesn't win cause it doesn't have recency bias

2. Spirit Island

I don't have anything clever to say, it's good

1. Down with the Monster Lords

My friend's making a board game and it's pretty fun, look for it on kickstarter in like, 2021 or 2022 probably

Extortionist
Aug 31, 2001

Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

I'm going to stick with rating new games, because there were a lot of deserving good new games this year, and I also spent a lot of time this year replaying some classics.

10. Eliza - One of the better examinations of AI and its implications I've seen, and it's neat to see Zachtronics breaking from their usual puzzle games (which I love) to do something different.

9. Code Vein - Anime Souls. Competent Souls-like but often too anime for my taste.

8. Phoenix Wright Trilogy - I played the originals years ago, but the port was well done and a lot of fun to revisit (circus-based cases aside).

7. Sekiro - Another solid From game. I didn't enjoy the parry-based combat as much as the Dark Souls style, but it's good to see them taking a different approach and still delivering a solid game.

6. Untitled Goose Game - A simple, fun, silly game. Great to play with family and people who don't play games much.

5. Amid Evil - Fantastic weapons, great enemies, crazy and beautiful level design. Best FPS I've played in a while.

4. Hypnospace Outlaw - Geocities, the game. Did a fantastic job hitting that old web aesthetic and feel and had a good story and good characters to go with it.

3. Baba is You - A whole new kind of puzzle game. Very challenging and very clever.

2. Death Stranding - A testament to hope, perserverance and human connection in a bleak, isolated and hopeless world. It's easy to see why the game might be divisive, and it does deserve a whole lot of the criticism it gets (Sam. It's Die Hardman. Let me re-explain everything that happened in the twenty minute long cutscene you just watched.), but I found the basic gameplay to be deeply engaging (as someone here called it, the Gran Turismo of walking sims), and the story (though extremely Kojima) ended up hitting way harder than I thought it could. Beautiful game.

1. Disco Elysium - Proof that RPGs can be deep and compelling without combat, and that they can have smaller, well-focused stories that don't require the player to save the world. The dialogue/inner monologue was always entertaining, and the worldbuilding was ridiculous and crazy while also feeling fresh and extremely relevant. I've been wanting to see a game like this for a long, long time and they absolutely nailed it--I hope it ends up being as revolutionary as it feels.


Honorable mentions:

- Telling Lies - It didn't innovate as much from Her Story as I'd hoped, and by the end the whole thing is pretty much plainly spelled out, without much mystery, but it was pretty solid and engaging throughout. I'd like to see more but I hope the next one takes more risks.

- Whispers of a Machine - Solid adventure game, an improvement over Kathy Rain.

- Elsinore - Neat ideas but I bounced off the actual gameplay at first. I'm intending to give it another go at some point.


Older good games I played this year:

- Pillars of Eternity 2 - I beat it very quickly after it first came out and revisited this year to see the DLC and do a turn-based/PotD run. It remains one of my favorite RPGs of recent years, though I have some nitpicks with how the turn-based mode ended up. Still highly, highly recommended for anyone who likes the old IE games, or would like them if they were turn-based.

- Deus Ex - The gameplay doesn't hold up super well but it's hard to think of any other games with such a crazy world and plot. Lot of fun to go through again.

- KOTOR 2 - Kreia remains one of the best characters in RPG history, though the game still feels rough in spots. I was suprised how easy it was to go back to, though, I'd tried replaying KOTOR 1 a few years ago and bounced off it hard.

- VTM: Bloodlines - Godawful gameplay (I ended up god-modeing most of the way through, just like back in the day--and the sewers were awful even to cheat through), but the story and characters were extremely good. I'd never actually made it past Chinatown in my original playthroughs and somehow remained entirely unspoiled on the ending, which ended up being just fantastic.

Extortionist fucked around with this message at 06:25 on Dec 11, 2019

Queen Combat
Dec 29, 2017


Lipstick Apathy

I spent most of my time this year in school (5 days a week of classes plus clinical rotations), so my games list is pretty darn short and includes stuff from the past. Me type bad no good so the reasons will be short and probably not clever, but here we go.

10: Dream Daddy, a Dad Dating Simulator: I am decidedly not the target audience for this. Or am I? I don't know. But, what I thought would be an afternoon of cheap laughs turned into an...actually wholesome, inclusive (love those binder options), heartfelt story? I'm crying at a VN that started as a Game Grumps joke? What is going on!?

9: River City Girls: I love myself a beat-em-up, despite being absolute garbage at them. This one came out of nowhere for me, and it was surprising, fun, and I love the aesthetic. My ligaments!

8: Baba is You: I can't believe anything that even comes within striking radius of these here forums can be good, but here we are. Amazing, amazing game.

7: Code: Vein: It's anime, it's weird, and it's pretty linear. But as babby's first soulslike game, I enjoyed it. Half the fun was parallel playing this with friends and sharing screenshots, but it oozes style and I have a Pretty High Anime Tolerance, so it all worked out in the end. I'll never play it again, though, and that's okay.

6: Link's Awakening: The Switch remake. Yeah, it's basically a nostalgia-bomb, but such a good one.

5: Cadence of Hyrule: I only picked this up a few weeks ago, but I blasted through all of it in just a few days, which is saying something considering my schedule. This is something that I thought would come out half-baked, but ended up better than I could have imagined.

4: Untitled Goose Game:

3: Celeste: Again, schedule and life, I missed out on this one until December 2018/January 2019. It was a big part of my personality for a bit, and the music is killer. Even if I hadn't played it, however, it would still be on this list simply for the SGDQ run of it Also Lena Raine (composer) is a personal idol.

2: FFXIV Shadowbringers: The story is self-contained, has the best villain in any Final Fantasy. Definitely my favorite Final Fantasy ever. Such a shame it's after, even with poopsocking, about 100 hours of pretty-good-but-not-mindblowing MMO stuff. Titania's theme has been on repeat in my head for four months now.

1: Heaven Will Be Mine: Yeah, it's from a few years ago, but I just got a chance to play it for the first time this year and, wow. I can't stop thinking about it. For a glorified visual novel, it has excellent sound design and the best story of any piece of media I've consumed this year (possibly ever?). Of course, I may be a bit biased because of personal circumstances (every girl bleeds eventually), and this one hit hard.


Ongoing: FE3H: still playing this, about 20 hours in.

Queen Combat fucked around with this message at 07:35 on Dec 11, 2019

Endorph
Jul 22, 2009

I may not be as cute as the other girls, but I'm the best at arm wrestling!


cheetah7071 posted:

This has been on my list for a while and hearing it got an enhanced version is probably enough to push it to the top

Is the complete edition also translated?
the fourth game still doesnt have a full translation (though there's a translation let's play and a menu patch) and i dont think complete has even a menu patch yet

Kay Kessler
May 9, 2013



Didn't get to play many games this year because most of the ones I did play were either time-consuming or I kept wanting to replay again and again. Then again, that shows how great a crop of games we got this year that I didn't feel the need to play so many.

10) Kingdom Hearts 3 - Like I said, not a lot of games played this year that this game could make the top 10. Much doesn't need to be said, it's Kingdom Hearts. The story's a bit of a mess but the Disney worlds are charming and the combat is simple but satisfying.

9) Fate Grand Order - Yeah it's a mobile game, but a game I spent this much time playing with writing I found enjoyable probably deserves a spot.

8) The Sinking City - Incredibly janky, but that's par for the course with these euro games like Vampyr or Plague Tale. And while the latter definitely is gonna make some people's lists this year, I'm gonna have to give the edge to Sinking City. Despite the huge amounts of jank and quite frankly poor gameplay, there's a kind of cheesiness to it I can't help but love.

7) Fire Emblem Three Houses - I love the Fire Emblem series, especially the characters. Haven't had the chance to play it as much as I'd have liked, only did one route (Blue Lions ftw), but had a blast playing what I did. Miss the weapon triangle and some of the writing fell a little flat for me, but I'm a sucker for dating sim style games and there's enough unit customization to keep the gameplay fan in me satisfied.

6) Monster Hunter World Iceborne Don't really like to put expansions on my goty lists, but MHW was my second favorite game of last year, and definitely the one I played the most of in 2018 so I thought I'd make an exception. It's MHW but even more of it. And something as tiny as a grappling claw became an instant game-changer.

5) Control - The SCP Foundation is a guilty pleasure of mine. And this game captures the feeling of those articles perfectly. Just exploring this complex structure filled with mysterious artifacts is a joy. Unfortunately I found the gameplay to be not fun at all and the actual story of the game was just blah, despite great performances by Darling and Ahti the janitor. Still, a good setting goes a long way.

4) Final Fantasy XV - The last of the game's dlc came out this year so I thought I'd give the game a shot since it was as complete as it was gonna get. The result? A pleasant surprise. Not as a Final Fantasy game or even an RPG though. The game fills the same void left by Animal Crossing and Deadly Premonition as a Dicking Around simulator. Just driving around, riding chocobos, getting some delicious-looking for or simply going fishing are all great fun. And like in DP, if you ever get bored of the plot you can go back in time to earlier and just relax. It doesn't hurt I found the boys all really endearing, and even wound up really liking the main villain. Probably the game I played the most out of this year.

3) Devil May Cry V - Now we're getting to the point where I'm having trouble picking a spot for these last 3 games. And the fact that a game I'd been looking forward to so much as DMCV is in last place says a lot about how fun I found the other two. I'd rate this as the best DMC game to date. All three characters are fun to play and entertaining in the own way. They also actually play like different characters, something I found lacking in 4. Combine that with no annoying platforming or puzzles, as well as the most number or bosses in a DMC game ever. And good bosses at that, too! Whether it's a piss-easy fight like Gilgamesh or a fight that really pushes your skills to the test like Cavaliere Angelo or the final boss, each one is a blast.

2) Disco Elysium - You ever find a game that's something that you've always wanted? For me, that's Disco. An interactive novel that adapts to your choices the most I've ever seen in game, and unlike Obsidian games there's no awful combat to get in the way; it's just skill checks. And the checks themselves are great, with interesting gimmicks like funny failure states that unlock new routes or punishing the player for increasing the skill too much. Plus, the game is just plain hilarious.

1) Resident Evil 2 - It's been a drat good year for Capcom games, and RE2 is the best of the bunch. Beautiful graphics, great sound design, and enemy ai that's predictable yet threatening at the same time. It's more about resource management even more than the original version of 2, with enemies taking entire clips to down for good and a subweapon system to protect yourself when things go wrong. And while I never found Resident Evil all that scary until 7, RE2 is loving terrifying. Taking a cue from Bloodborne the air is filled with ambient screams that leave you paranoid about what could be behind you or just around that corner. Honestly the only real flaw I have with the game is the lack of the giant spiders from the original, everything else is great. Resident Evil 3 remake was just announced today, so I wouldn't be surprised to see the series return to my game of the year list in 2020.

Kay Kessler fucked around with this message at 07:03 on Dec 11, 2019

parabolic
Jul 21, 2005

good night, speedfriend





10. Destiny 2: Shadowkeep - While the transition to f2p has not been completely smooth, and the inherent flaws of the game remain into its third year, I found myself drawn to the new expansion. This was a great point to return having missed nearly a year of content, and while it's unlikely the season model will maintain the same level of my attention for the coming year the bones of this game and its shooting mechanics remain rock solid.




9. Deep Rock Galactic - The co-op space mining shooter remains a staple for unwinding with friends, and has seen some significant content drops as it continues in early access.




8. Katana Zero - Relentlessly stylish and engaging despite its short runtime. Approaching each encounter as a dynamic puzzle is hardly new but executed with aplomb and a pulsing retro soundtrack.




7. Outer Worlds - Never reaches the heights of New Vegas but scratches a similar itch with a fun mishmash of influences on the art direction. Ultimately makes me excited for this team to continue to iterate and experiment with original single player RPGs.




6. Earth Defense Force 5 - The long running B-movie alien invasion simulator series is in top form this iteration, delivering the expected schlock and shooting alongside refinements to the way each class feels and plays. The shotguns of the Ranger rank with any of the most satisfying in games, and there's little quite like calling in apocalyptic airstrikes (often on your teammates) as the Air Raider. This game is all about scale, and it delivers.




5. Dragon Quest Builders 2 - There are many minecraft clones, but none that offer the tileset, mechanics, enemy variety, and systems of DQB2. If you could optionally unlock the meat of the co-op building on your private island without completing more of the charming but overlong story, its rank would probably be higher. Despite this, building businesses, homes and farms that your villagers actually use offers a level of engagement I don't get from similar offerings, with Dragon Quest trappings and art design wrapping it all together.




4. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Adding the school management layer to the usual string of combat encounters paces out the game in a way I personally found appealing. While many of the students and their stories play on usual tropes, teaching, equipping, and directing them in battle added a level of investment that helped carry the streamlined tactical combat mechanics.




3. Risk of Rain 2 - Streamlined and addictive, this co-op roguelike shooter has all the right elements of enemy and item design to sustain 40+ minute runs. Making decisions on the fly with your build and collaborating with your friends who are definitely not buying that one perfect item you desperately need provides the strategic frosting on the cake of dynamic gunplay.




2. Katamari Damacy Reroll - Released in 2018 and a remaster at that - but what can I say, I deeply love this classic and its amazing soundtrack. It's a joy to return to time and again.




1. Control - Remedy blew me away with their world building and environmental design in Control. They've taken themes and mechanics built in previous outings like Alan Wake and Quantum Break and combined them with the best of a bevvy of influences (including personal favorite the Southern Reach trilogy) into a compelling and intriguing package. A refined and at times inventive third person shooter is totally elevated by a setting that manages to advances its own narrative without destroying any vestige of dread or mystery. I hope we can return to the Oldest House, but either way I'm excited for whatever Remedy is working on next.


Mentions: Valkyria Chronicles 4 almost made the list but didn't quite manage. Division 2 didn't grab me for the endgame, which may be more my fault than its own. Pokemon Sword had some good music going for it, I suppose? And I've bought but haven't yet played Disco Elysium - I'm excited to give it a shot.

Endorph
Jul 22, 2009

I may not be as cute as the other girls, but I'm the best at arm wrestling!


im too lazy to find a gif for all my games and edit those in but i wanted to share this funny fgo gif

Kerrzhe
Nov 5, 2008


Brave. Loyal. Great hugs.




ah gently caress poo poo gently caress i didn't know we were doing pictures for our list

gently caress its 3 am i'll work on it tomorrow

Avalerion
Oct 19, 2012



1. Disco elysium (PC)
Like planescape : torment, but without tacked on terrible combat. You play a amnediac recovering alcoholic cop trying to solve a murder case in a weird but somewhat familiar world. Great characters and writing, really original character system where your skills are your party. (Kimís not your party, heís your friend)
.
2. Dragon Quest 11 Definitive edition (switch)
Just a really good take on a traditional jrpg (but with a lot of modern QL features), colorful world, fun characters, story and combat that while not groundbreaking, is more than good enough to make me want to keep playing.

3. Fire emblem : Three Houses (switch)
Really good turn based strategy / fantasy high school simulator. Great cast, fun combat, a lot of different opportunities for character development and shipping. Didnít need to be stretched over 3 (technically 4) routes but still a great follow up to awakening/fates.

4. The Outer Worlds (pc)
A smaller and much less ambitious fallout nv. You go around shooting up and kicking the crap out of bad guys in a satirical world where capitalism went bad. Gameís good, not great - but thatís sometime also just fine, if you ask me.

5. Pokemon Sword (switch)
Easilly the most disappointing pokemon game in a long while so I feel conflicted listing it here... but I canít deny that I did have fun with it so on the list it goes. Even with a short and almost nonexistant plot, ďbrexitĒ controversy, performance issues and an absent endgame itís still the same pokemon experience that I enjoy at itís core.

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


cheetah7071 posted:

top three non-video games I played this year:

2. Spirit Island

I don't have anything clever to say, it's good.

Spirit Island is real good, yíall. The moment your spirit hits critical mass is the best. Screw the colonizing scum.

Jay Rust
Sep 27, 2011



Everyone talking up FFXIV Shadowbringerís story makes me wish it wasnít a loving mmorpg

Mr E
Sep 18, 2007


Grimey Drawer

I'm not going to have gifs because I'm lazy and don't want to look for any, but here's my list.

10. Kingdom Hearts 3
I don't know if I actually loved this game or not but I'm putting it on my list because I can be done with the series even though they created even more loose ends at the ending(s). The worlds were mostly fun but the game never hit the peaks of KH 2: Final Mix's side content

9. Sekiro
I loved most of this game, even though it doesn't have the replay value to me of the Souls games. It felt like a rhythm game and except in one place winning boss fights made me feel like it was because I improved my skills in the game.

8. DUSK
Great game, and just kept getting better with each map. I'm loving the retro shooter resurgence and hope it continues for a while.

7. Destiny 2 Shadowkeep
There's a love/hate relationship with the game and Bungie for me. I loved 95% of this, but some of the challenges/quests do get bogged down by "do this activity literally 100 times to fill up a bar 1% at a time". The gunplay is still great and I never feel like I don't have anything to do in the game.

6. Resident Evil 2
An incredible game that I'm glad was made. It's nice to see Capcom deciding to just make really loving fun games again (besides Street Fighter), and this and DMC 5 makes me hopeful for any sequels they might make. I love the original game but the updated 3rd person controls felt great, Mr. X was terrifying the first time thru the game, and the graphics just look great.

5. Bloodstained
Just finished this last weekend, and it was nice to play a metroidvania again that felt more like Castlevania than something like Hollow Knight feels. Had some crashes and such on PC but overall had a great time and had a ton of nostalgia the whole time.

4. Devil May Cry 5
I didn't hate the "remastered" or whatever version of DmC on PS4, but it never felt like a Devil May Cry game. The huge gap between DMC 4 and this made me assume we'd never get a decent DMC game ever again, but this game proved me wrong, thankfully. I hated playing as V at first, but by the end of the game I loved all the characters. The level design could be way better and is probably why this game isn't #2 on my list, but just a ton of fun the whole time through. Plus, the extra mode where they have pre-production cutscenes was hilarious.

3. Fire Emblem: 3H
I loved this game from start to finish, and the only reason I'm not on my 2nd playthrough is waiting for all the DLC to come out. The story wasn't incredible or anything but it kept me interested the whole time I and I really enjoyed the character interactions more than other FE games.

2. Pathologic 2
A grueling, hard experience that I wouldn't change at all. The storytelling, music, and characters work together in a way I've never seen before, and I felt like I was actually playing a character in a world more than most actual RPGs. Please buy this so that the devs can finish the other two routes.

1. FFXIV: Shadowbringers
The best MMO expansion I've ever played. The characters and story was done incredibly well, and they made a sympathetic villain that I was happy to see on screen. The Nier raid they've added in the last major patch is fantastic and I'm hopeful for the rest of the expansion's content.

Ongoing: Ace Combat 7, Yakuza Kiwami, Path of Exile 2, Hypnospace Outlaw (all great so far)

I missed some games this year mostly because Destiny 2 and Shadowbringers took so much of my time up, but it was an incredible year for games. After my ongoing list is done I'll probably get Control next cause that game looks great and I love most Remedy stuff.

Very Honorable Mention I forgot about til this edit
Kind Words
Not a game to go on the top list, but sending and receiving messages this summer helped me through a tough time and my experience with it was wonderful and made me feel better about gamers for just a bit.

Mr E fucked around with this message at 16:29 on Dec 11, 2019

Samuringa
Mar 27, 2017

Best advice I was ever given?

"Ticker, you'll be a lot happier once you stop caring about the opinions of a culture that is beneath you."

I learned my worth, learned the places and people that matter.

Opened my eyes.


10) Warframe

There's a love and hate relationship here. On one hand, this is the fastest I've ever dug into a game and to such an extent as well. On the other, being at a particularly low point of my life and mental health probably played a part in how much I devoted myself to make the damage number higher . Regardless, I can safely say that this is by far one of the best free games available, despite its several nonsense mechanics that even long term players aren't fond of. Its a fast-paced, intoxicating serotonin-injector and being around such a great clan made the whole thing even better.



9) Katana Zero

It's rare that a short, arcade game makes an impression on me, someone that gets instantly turned off from a game when the credits roll, but sometimes you just have to give it another try. Katana Zero urges you to repeat yourself, which in a way might be extremely consistent with the tone of the story, and even on a second, normal playthrough, you can see why. The previous hardships that gave you so much trouble are a cakewalk, enemies that were a hurdle are now just another quick kill, sections that seemed like they were made just to infuriate you go by unnoticed. The challenge turns into how you can complete it, to how well you can improve yourself in such a seamlessly way that even our bathrobe wearing, clairvoyant protagonist couldn't see it coming.

8) Yoku's Island Express



Haha hi there little bug friend. I see you're our new postmaster, hope you can get used to the new job quickly! By the way, the GODSLAYER has awakened and has CARVED ITS MARK on our patron deity's body. With each second it grows weaker, and when it finally succumbs so will THE ENTIRE ISLAND AND ITS INHABITANTS. Could you deliver some mail to the village elders? We really should have a reunion about this, but no rush haha. And with this simple request, our little adventure begins in this Pinball/Metroidvania hybrid that somehow manages to work and be extremely charming at the same time. The island of Monokuma is a delight to travel through and the chill soundtrack does wonders to make this feel like a summer vacation that just happens to have a little deicide for breakfast.

7) Atelier Meruru - The Apprentice of Arland



Being infected by cheetah's contagious enthusiasm over GUST and the Atelier franchise, I decided to bite the bullet and see what's so good about making homemade bombs and pies with your friends. While Rorona is a solid start and Totori a mildly disappointing downgrade - technically the earliest game as Rorona is a remastered version and it shows - Meruru was a great romp, bringing back the best characters from the previous games - and some awful ones as well... - for one big capstone to the trilogy. Similarly to the previous entries, you are tasked to develop your abilities in a set amount of time due to shenanigans, except in this one you are helping develop your own Kingdom as the princess of Arls. This is one fantastic breath of fresh air, as now you not only can improve your own synthesizing abilities but completing your various task will see that the areas around you grow as well, earning you better ingredients, rewards, types of equipment while opening new places and changing visually, giving a really satisfying feeling that you truly are helping the people around you. Like a slice of life anime you can play, Meruru goes all the way into giving you a likable and extense cast of characters and multiple events to annoy and support the poor sods who have to go through this along with you.

6) Ace Combat 7

https://i.imgur.com/dvVLMde.mp4

Usually, I would brush off an entry such as this, since making a good game is nothing but the bare minimum they ought to aim for. I'll open an exception in this case because it's loving ACE COMBAT, ITS BACK BABY IN ALL ITS RIDICULOUS GLORY, the bonkers technology and politics, the impossible aces, flying into a thunderstorm to dogfight a single jet that's taking down your entire squad, everything that we could possibly want from a revival is here, and it's amazing and we are blessed to live in such times. Amen.

5) Wandersong



Heartwarming, positive indie games aren't anything new and Wandersong could've been just another one of those. Indeed, the first few acts of the game do set up a saccharine, lovable story about how just trying hard enough will solve everyone's problems and we can all ride with a smile towards the sunset. But it does not last long and the grim reality of the world ending threat flips both the player's and the bard's expectations, and yet somehow it lands on its feet. Something that could've turned into a mean spirited, pessimistic romp, instead turns into a grounded but still lovable adventure about considering ours and other's feelings, and what they really mean to us, without losing a beat.

4) Control

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0QsHKH77MI

There's hardly much I can say about this that hasn't been said in much better ways. Remedy had an ambitious project and it surpassed any expectations we could possibly have for it. A fantastic game that never lets down from its weird, engrossing premise and the fantastic world its set on.

3) Trails in the Sky SC



The second part of the extremely text-heavy series, SC takes place almost a year after the events and twists of the first game, with a more mature and level headed Estelle dedicating herself to improve and uncover the mysteries of the people behind the previous occurrences. Once again you travel around the country of Liberl, both tracking down the organization that is antagonizing the barely stable political climate and doing your own job as a Bracer, the guild tasked with helping the citizens in need around the regions. The main difference this time is that you're no longer a rookie, both the player and Estelle herself, and have a solid grasp on the landscape, its people and how to handle the entire dire situation that is happening all over the country. The cast of characters return, and its a joy when any of them reunites with the group, often with very heartwarming and well-earned scenes, fulfilling payoffs from the several setups that the first game laid around. It's amazing to have one story where the cast actually sits down and talks about their issues while supporting each other in meaningful, good-natured ways. Longer and much more dialogue-heavy than 1, this is at a lot of times very weary to get through but never unrewarding.

2) Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbrigers (Edited for better Accuracy)

(Video contains spoilers for up to the Heavensward expansion)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtuwltmTp9I

Working through this list, it just dawned on me that the reasons for having this game here are very similar to Trails in the Sky. A "sequel" that throws the previous lackadaisical nature of plot through the window and builds on a more serious, personal story while the characters experience loss, suffering but also mature and grow closer to each other. Except that it's a goddamn MMO that had absolutely no business doing any of this, or even doing it so well. Trappings of the genre aside, FFXIV has easily one, if not the, best current jRPG stories due to its continuous storytelling format that keeps building its characters and world, bringing both to life in a surprisingly engaging way. Not to mention how good even the optional content is, and all the little QoL mechanics added over the years that solidify it in a complete package, gameplay, story, OST, and, perhaps the most surprising aspect, a welcoming and lovable community.

1) The Outer Wilds



The hardest part of making this list wasn't choosing what would take the top spot, but how to properly do it justice. The Outer Wilds was a complete surprise, a space adventure involving a time loop taking place in what was recently, and very aptly, described as a "Little Prince Universe". The smalls worlds that make up the solar system you travel around sure fit into the metaphor, but so does the melancholic nature of your journey. Tasked with an archeological investigation of the Nomai, a long-extinct and extremely advanced race that met its end due to unknown reasons, you are suddenly thrown into millennia spanning history that dwarfs your very existence at the same time where you are one of the few constants of the dying and rebirthing universe. A search for knowledge and a way out of your predicament that takes you through the lens of the old explorers of your solar system, and your mission to explore all those lives, and understanding yourself that sometimes life just happens, and life has to end one day.

Samuringa fucked around with this message at 15:27 on Dec 24, 2019

A Sometimes Food
Dec 8, 2010

Relinquish your foolish
delusions of control.





7.Dragon Quest Builders 2

Terraria in 3d. No not Minecraft. This actually has progression and goals and poo poo to do.



7. Astral Chain Not quite as fun to play as it's genre brother DMC5 Astral Chain is still really goddamn fun and I loving love the 90s cyberpunk anime aesthetic. Shoot that into my veins.



6. Control

Good shooter with an inventive setting, completely bonkers powers and insane mobility options. Also I'm a weirdo who loves brutalist architecture and finds it comforting due to spending a lot of my early childhood around it due to public servant parents.



5. Devil May Cry 5

DMC is back! It's just a good hack and slash. Astral Chain was pretty great too, but DMC 5 is just all around more solid.




4. Resident Evil 2 remake

Capcom has been on loving fire the last couple of years. This is a classic remade into a game good enough and different enough it'll probably be considered a classic on it's own merits. Not sure I can think of another game with that to it's name.



3. Disco Elysium

Best, most reactive game writing ever. Like straight up. I think as CRPGs go I'll give Pillars 2 the edge based on how much I enjoyed it's combat even if it's writing while incredibly good is a distant contender to Disco's.


I DON'T HAVE A GIF HERE THE gently caress DOES CUNO CARE

2. Death Stranding

I've been going slowly on this, chipping away an hour here and there, but not because I don't like it. It's just a game where that feels like the best way to experience it. A lot of stuff has been said about it, but my take is the closest thing to it is combing MGS and Trucking Simulator. It's a logistics game where even the stealth and combat is something you plan to deal with before you even set out, by carefully plotting routes and balancing supplies and cargo against your ability to carry weight and the kind of terrain and issues you may encounter on your route. If that sounds like horrible work to you? I get that and that's why it has a lot of low scores. But as someone who sinks way too much time into old management sims and poo poo like Trucking Simulator, combing those games with Kojima's writing and combat and stealth really loving works and provides a unique experience.

I didn't search a gif for this one cause I'm still not done. So uh here have my favourite funny video of the year.

https://twitter.com/JordanRasko/sta...126357566144512

Edit: Beaten it now and the ending landed way harder than I thought it would so I've bumped the game up. Holy poo poo this might be Kojima's best. Definitely his best since MGS3. The characters and writing gets so much more alive and emotional and resonant as you go on I'm also sure it's loving deliberate, and the awkwardness at the start was in at least part to make the player be put off and distant the same as Sam and then get attached at the same time as he does. Or it's just Kojima Kojima but if it's not deliberate it's loving serendipitous.


1. Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers

Add me to the list for this one. FF14 is a game that has fully realised how to use it's status as a mmo to do long form stories unlike anyone else in the business. The character building, and the depth they give to everything is staggering and unlike say Destiny 2 the story moves and hits hard. It uses the time it has to build attachments and get you so deeply engaged with everything and then it has absolutely no mercy about using that wreck you. Or to make you piss yourself laughing. It's also really fun to play and has my favourite community of any game ever. If you're at all interested join up and roll with goons, we love helping out new members(links have spoilers for raid stuff from previous non current expacs if you really want to avoid spoilers). Also the music. And the voice acting.

A Sometimes Food fucked around with this message at 07:47 on Dec 26, 2019

haveblue
Aug 15, 2005




Toilet Rascal


While this is a fantastic song and I will take every excuse to listen to it again, I have to point out that the lyrics and video text are (obliquely) describing the plot of the entire game. And also that it's much better to encounter unexpectedly where it's used in context because everyone should play Control if they haven't already.

eric ciaramella
Aug 10, 2016

Hate to see it folks






it's this. goty.

MrMidnight
Aug 2, 2006



Funny to see an mmo expansion on so many lists here while you know it won't show up at all on most gaming websites or mags.

Disposable Scud
Oct 13, 2012

Live Slow Die Whenever

MrMidnight posted:

Funny to see an mmo expansion on so many lists here while you know it won't show up at all on most gaming websites or mags.

Critics don't even play more than five hours of the games they review. No way they're playing through the entire FF14 plotline.

Looper
Mar 1, 2012



i very much appreciate gifs or images in lists, keep em coming

Endorph
Jul 22, 2009

I may not be as cute as the other girls, but I'm the best at arm wrestling!


Endorph posted:

10 fate/grand order is a soul sucking slot machine but the writing is pretty decent. i really enjoy the way the narrative's unfolded over the years the game's gone on and speculating on what will happen next, even if i wish it was more player friendly.




9 yeah slay the spire is good. fun roguelike with a lot of unique mechanics and im usually genuinely excited to dive back in and try again even when i get owned, and theres a lot of options for how you want to play.




8 valkyria chronicles 4 wasn't as good as it could have been but it was a solid entry in a series that basically hasnt had a good game since the first one, 2 was awful and 3 was hamstrung even if it tried its best. i hope if they make a 5 theyre willing to take more of an overview o what works and what doesnt but 4 was good at being another valkyria chronicles




7 blazblue cross tag battle is a fun, fast fighting game where i can play as a giant tank. its fun seeing these franchises just get mashed together without much rhyme or reason and the game plays very fast and loose on a mechanical level, too, which gives it a manic energy i enjoy. a deviantart fighting game in the best possible way




6 kindred spirits on the roof full chorus is a cool lesbian visual novel that now has voice acting, god bless. pretty open and earnest, genuinely funny in spots, and i liked most of the couples. it's very easy to read too due to being split up into a bunch of little moments in the lives of these characters instead of a dense-rear end longform narrative like a lot of vns.




5 super robot wars t is a game in which gaogaigar punches workplace sexual harassment in the face. its also a legitimate exploration of both what people can get out of their office jobs and the ways in which they can feel super constrained by them, shows a lot of love and reverence for magic knight rayearth which im always a fan of, has some really good animations, and is very, very open and honest about sexuality in a way a lot of bigger games that aren't tied into mecha anime crossovers could really take note of.





4 trails of cold steel 3 was more cold steel, an interesting longform narrative mixed with pretty likable characters, cool music, and good combat mechanics. cold steel 3 dialed back the 'main cast' a fair bit which meant its characters got more focus and time to shine, which was cool.




3 fantasy maiden wars complete is still the best strategy rpg ever made gameplay-wise, with the first comprehensive solution to how to do boss fights in the genre, characters with distinct mechanical identities, stages that mostly dont wear out their welcome, and great music. and complete adds some nice QoL features even if I wish they'd added a bit more new content to go with it




2 idolmaster shiny colors 'cause someone tracked down the real world locations they use for backgrounds in the game and they're literally all next to vape shops. also its legitimately an innovative take on the 'anime girl mobile game' genre that kinda blends elements of roguelikes, management sims, and rhythm games. but also its only in japanese so rip.




1 and game of the year, always, forever, blaze union. a japan-only prequel to the vaguely-noteworthy srpg yggdra union, blaze union stars that game's antagonist and chronicles his rise to power and his many, many failures and sacrifices along the way. it's a heartbreaking game about what drives a guy to do some genuinely awful poo poo but also about how this dude was just trying to live a life and kinda reframes the events of the first game in a very interesting way. and it has cool music. also eater is cool. hope this thing gets fantranslated someday. theres no gifs of this game so here's my favorite song from it. here.

fine heres gifs

Samuringa
Mar 27, 2017

Best advice I was ever given?

"Ticker, you'll be a lot happier once you stop caring about the opinions of a culture that is beneath you."

I learned my worth, learned the places and people that matter.

Opened my eyes.


bullying works

Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

THE BEST EVER





Them some fine jifs

Jibo
May 22, 2007

Bear Witness


College Slice

5. Void Bastards


A "retro" FPS that doesn't actually look like an old video game. It's a rogue-like-like where you need to explore a nebula in your ship to find parts to fix your big ship which you get by boarding derelict ships filled with mutated passengers and crew. It's got some survival horror elements such as constantly needing to scrounge food, ammo, and fuel. I love the tiny details in this game and the gameplay itself is drat good. It makes good use of surround sound which is generally a must for me. When it released the game felt like it lacked any replayability but they've since added challenge runs in a free update which gives you a reason to keep doing new runs.

4. Outer Wilds


What else can be said about this game? It's charming as hell and has a great story. The game is stupidly immersive thanks in part to some exceptional sound design. Each time I would accidentally blast into the sun or crash my ship it would make me clench my teeth and sweat a little.

3. Bloodstained: RotN


I've never really been into Castlevania games but this really knocked it out of the park for me. There's just so much to explore, craft, and loot packed into this game. I never knew how much I wanted a modern SotN with a fresh story. Bonus points for Samurai Solid Snake.

2. My Time at Portia


Holy crap did this game come out of nowhere and blow me away. Think Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley only you run a workshop rather than a farm so you spend your time crafting rather than watering crops. This is exactly the kind of game where you will keep telling yourself "just one more day" and then staying up way too drat late playing it. The story is real weird (always a plus for me) and the characters are all pretty memorable. There's just a ton of content all around in this game and it oozes charm. Unfortunately the game doesn't appear to be made particularly well with infrequent crashes and a lot of weird edge case bugs that will probably come up a few times in a playthrough. Also I heard that the PC version has some terrible voice acting but I played on console and didn't have to hear it.

1. Slay the Spire


It's a card game and a rogue-like-like so I'm predisposed to love this game and yet it surpassed my expectations in every way. No other game has come close to this as my GotY. What really hooked me is the Ascension levels which gradually takes the game from a relative breeze to complete up to the kind of game where you have to plan every single action you take. I love that there is so much strategy that goes into things outside of the card game itself. I love how there is so much variety in cards, maps, items, and enemies that every game feels unique. I feel like this is easily the best designed digital card game I've played by a country mile.


HONORABLE MENTIONS

Yakuza 0

I was late to the party on the Yakuza games but I finally checked out Yakuza 0 earlier this year and it found its way into my list of all time favorite video games. The story and characters are great, the beat-em-up gameplay is probably the best I've ever seen in a 3D game, and oh god the side activities, there's just no end to them. I feel like I've been left out of an incredible video game experience with the series and I can't wait to get a PS4 so I can continue it from Kiwami 2.

Risk of Rain 2

The game is good but still feels a little lacking in terms of content to me. The way they've taken a 2D game and so faithfully built a 3D game based on it is astounding.

Looper
Mar 1, 2012



Endorph posted:

fine heres gifs

those are extremely good gifs

DC Murderverse
Nov 10, 2016

"Tell that to Zod's snapped neck!"



man i really want to post my list in here because i want to gush over my favorite games but there's still like 3 weeks left in the year and honestly i'm gonna have more gaming time between now and the 31st than i have in the last few months and i've got some things i want to try/progress in

Zaphod42
Sep 13, 2012

"I find my life is a lot easier the lower I keep my expectations."
-Bill Watterson


Sekiro has to be my GOTY. But Disco Elysium is probably the surprise runner-up?

DMC5 ruled, I didn't finish Hollow Knight until this year and I looooooooooooved it, so its my retroactive GOTY 2017.

Ion Maiden was amazing but the devs are terrible.

I'm too much of a coward to order these, but also they're art and different genres and comparing them objectively either on quality or personal appreciation is nigh-impossible.

But Sekiro wins because I'm a From fanboy.

E: Fine, I guess I'll make it easier for the OP and play along

1. Sekiro - amazing souls evolution, purity in that there's no weapons or builds to think about, just insanely tight balanced combat with the best swordfighting I've ever felt in a game. Clashing with bosses in this feels like a proper movie sword fight in a way that NO other game bosses ever have.

2. Disco Elysium - the best RPG ever? Yeah, I think it might be. Its a true RPG, a D&D style tabletop RPG where you can play a role and role play that role, instead of "game with stats in" as RPG usually means. Almost no combat, amazing, UNBELIEVABLY amazing writing. And everything about it feels fresh and creative and original and unapologetic. Its... mature, but mature in the adult sense, not in the "tits and blood" sense.

3. DMC5 - the opposite of the Disco, lol, this is tits and blood, but in the best way. Feast for your ID. I absolutely hated, hated, hated, DmC, so I was so pleased that 5 ignored it and went back to 4 but more. Good game.

4. Pistol Whip - Beat Saber + Superhot VR = John Wick Gun Dance Simulator. This is just loving fun. You dance, you shoot bullets, what's not to love. Its like DMC VR. Really colorful environments that unfold like you're playing Rez. But you have a pistol.

5. Ion Maiden - really great old school nostalgia trip, Duke but better in every regard. Only shame about it is the devs are trash. Great graphics, fun weapons, but the enemy variety was lacking.

Zaphod42 fucked around with this message at 02:57 on Dec 12, 2019

ShallNoiseUpon
Sep 10, 2010





Grimey Drawer

order the games zaphod

DMCrimson
Jan 2, 2005



Nap Ghost

I'm glad we get to include games beyond 2019, there's so much gold to catch up on every year that it's fun to reflect without taking release dates into account. I keep more games reviewed on my profile on Glitchwave but limited to the Top 20.




20. Blasphemous (3.5/5): The best take yet on sidescrolling 2D Dark Souls games, but I had to dock it points for keeping insta-death platforming qualities in a Souls game. The open world is also not quite enough to be fun while difficult.

19. Luigi Mansion 3 (3.5/5): I had this higher until I reached the Mechanic Ghost fight, arguably the worst level Nintendo has created in years. Every other floor is an absolute treat and there's always something new being thrown into the gameplay mix (except the fights with the same three or four ghosts types, oof). I do wish the writers didn't lean on Dreamworks/Ubisoft style of humor thatís forgettably generic, Mario Odyssey proved how to be legitimately funny with the same family-friendly limitations.

18. Bayonetta (4/5): I bounce off of most Platinum games, but Bayonetta joins Nier: Automata as the only exceptions to the rule thanks to the absolutely sincerity of it's absurd setting and characters and the relatively fun levels.

17. AI: The Somnium Files (4/5): A large leap over 999/VLR, both of which I found more annoying and eye-rolling than interesting. AI keeps the same decision tree design and greatly improves the narrative/characters. Random-clicking-around bad adventure games are better than lovely escape room puzzles but neither are ideal.

16. Later Alligator (4/5): There are two jokes I will never tire of: old GeoCities websites and anime dating simulators. Thank you, Alligator game. The entire minigame experience is really an excuse to write lots of jokes which fortunately land more often than not.

15. Killer7 (4/5): Such a bizarre and polarizing experience, but I canít stop thinking about it. Itís another game that you instantly imagine a sequel that solves the immediate gameplay issues but itís been enough years where itís just not likely.

14. The Last of Us Remastered (4/5): I like this game and totally understand the praise it receives. However, thereís so much that surpasses this experience that it felt like ďanotherĒ game rather than the iconic position it currently holds.

13. Yakuza 0 (4/5): As if aliens wanted to make their own GTA spin-off before understanding humans in any capacity other than past Yakuza game cutscenes. I never disliked a sidequest or story mission, no matter how conflicting in tone, but most of the minigames felt tedious.

12. Dragon Quest 11 (4/5): I've played Dragon Quest 8 before and knew the series was more of a comfort food refinement rather than a dramatic change. Still, the world needs a light, simple RPG to chill with occasionally in-between the take-this-seriously games that I usually seek out. DQ11 is probably the best attempt at that chill JRPG ideal ever made: auto-attack tactics, auto-run, and bright colors. Just remember to turn the music way down, it's far too bombastic to be enjoyable for longer sessions.

11. The Outer Wilds (4/5): I should like this game better, a lore mystery solved non-linearly by exploring an open world at your own pace is exactly how I play my favorite RPG games. Although I still love Outer Wilds, I think my demolition derby spaceship skills makes me dread exploring more than the game wants me to.

10. Deltarune (4/5): Toby didnít let us down! I guess nothing will quite live up to Undertaleís shadow but if youíre in the position, Deltarune is as great as you could ask for. The humor beats are just as good, the battles continue their fun iterations of gimmicks, and the battle system takes a good step forward in complexity. The only substantial thing that hurts is the chapter format, that this is a partial story reducing Undertale's sky-high ambition to work within the individual chapter rather than a satisfying total story. Iím excited about the next chapter.

9. Fire Emblem: Three Houses (4/5): Iíd call this a very good first step into Persona influence that doesnít learn all the right lessons. Thereís a huge quantity of fun, interesting characters but itís submerged underneath a friendship system that isnít fun to keep returning to or interact with. I loved the battles, especially when the difficultly ramps up and you grow attached to your students, but Iím more excited about the next FE entry since the social issues are obvious to fix.

8. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (4/5): The key problem I have seems silly butÖitís too hard. I realize From Software makes hard games and I loved Bloodbourne and DS3 but the bosses in this game were a step too far. The good news is that theyíve rediscovered their less-linear 3D Metroidvania influences and the joy of discovering new areas in a larger world felt closer to that same Dark Souls 1 feeling, especially with such satisfying movement tech. Props to implementing an interesting variation of the classic SoulsBourne combat but the parry-heavy combat sometimes gets cartoonishly impossible. I managed to get to the very final boss of the game and decided that I don't want to spend another 3-4 hours fighting another guy and uninstalled, that's not the result I would've predicted going into this game.

7. Persona 4 (4.5/5): After playing Persona 5, this seemed like an intuitive next step. I had to live with the missing quality-of-life changes and quintessential PS2 graphics but the underlying fun of characters you know bouncing off each other remained strong. The bland dungeons and lesser overworld felt especially painful after my experience with P5 set the bar so high.

6. God of War (4.5/5): The current best example of cinematic third-person games. More difficult than expected, good storytelling, and great feeling combat (if a little repetitious).

5. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (4.5/5): Metroid is the better half of ďMetroidvaniaĒ to me but Bloodstained is probably my favorite iteration of the Castlevania formula. The same game, yes, but this time more of everything! Unfortunately, I bought the Switch version and paused while waiting for the big patch to drop.

4. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (4.5/5): Playing this felt like watching a Pixar movie, insane polish even if it lacks a certain uniqueness. An easy game to recommend heartily, nearly a decade after it originally came out. I've never played the first Galaxy but I do own two used copies that my Wii can't read!

3. Cadence of Hyrule (4.5/5): ďThe ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitionerĒ comes true as the Zelda Rhythm game ends up being the best genre mash-up Iíve ever played. As someone who didnít take to Crypt of the Necrodancer, somehow it all clicked within the adventure/dungeon framework of Zelda games. The weird lingering feeling after beating the game is...where else can they go? They nailed the gameplay and combination so well that I don't know what a sequel could add to legitimately improve the end result.

2. Disco Elysium (4.5/5): Iím cheating a little, Iím six hours in and havenít progressed much (except become infatuated with communist thoughts and embarrass myself in front of Cuno a few times). What Iíve played is completely in my territory, this is the combat-less RPG that Iíve been searching for years.

1. Persona 5 (5/5): The musicís already in my head while writing this. Itís everything than an ambitious JRPG could be and wants to be: a dungeon crawler, a social simulator, a lesson on understanding others, a god-killing power fantasy, and a high school anime cartoon with a talking cat. As someone who didnít play the previous Persona games before, I didnít have the same numbness to character archtypes or gameplay that longtime fans expressed. This was a thrill ride the whole way through ~70 hours and an absolute blast for any RPG fan.



Just among 2019-released games, my list is below:
10. Blasphemous (3.5/5)
9. Luigi Mansion 3 (3.5/5)
8. AI: The Somnium Files (4/5)
7. Later Alligator (4/5)
6. The Outer Wilds (4/5)
5. Fire Emblem: Three Houses (4/5):
4. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (4/5)
3. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (4.5/5)
2. Cadence of Hyrule (4.5/5)
1. Disco Elysium (4.5/5)

DMCrimson fucked around with this message at 18:44 on Dec 16, 2019

Microcline
Jul 27, 2012

For every
volunteer
an opportunity.


Let's start with the best:

1. Disco Elysium: What if Planescape: Torment had mechanics that supported its gameplay instead of hand-me-downs from a 1980s tabletop wargame? What if you could choose relevant stats like how much useless trivia you know or how much of a drama kid you are instead of running every game with Wisdom (god stat), Charisma (slightly less god stat), and Intelligence (slightly less god stat) while dumping useless Strength, Dexterity, and Consitution? It manages to be at once fantastic and grounded, as if while PS:T is New Weird in the style of Roger Zelazny then DE is New Weird in the style of Raymond Chandler.

2. Outer Wilds: Outer Wilds is what exploration games like Subnautica are ultimately grasping for. I can see why people don't talk about the game much. There's no inventory, so knowledge is both exploration keys and exploration rewards.

3. Slay the Spire: I picked this up during the Steam sale and was absolutely blown away. It manages to adapt the balance/variety of deckbuilding board games like Dominion to the roguelite format. Disco Elysium and Outer Wilds might push storytelling in videogames forward, but Slay the Spire shows just what can be done with a mechanically strong game.

4. Baba is You: I don't know what I can say that goons haven't already said except that Baba is canonically a sheep.

5. Hypnospace Outlaw: There's a wide gap between the first four and this, and the gameplay often gets in the way of the concept and writing, but at the same time it's a new concept and demonstrates a lot of ideas about what interactive art can be.


Now we get to the stuff that I don't think belongs on a top 10 list but I enjoyed nonetheless:

Dragon Quest Builders 2: Minecraft, but with structure, is a great idea. The problem is that DQB2 chokes itself on structure. Build this exact thing, follow this path, mash attack against this enemy. The structure was getting old after the second world but it continued rigidly for two more. Then you're let out into freeplay where the game just becomes Minecraft with less structure.

Untitled Goose Game: Someone above said A+ concept, C+ gameplay, and that stands.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night: It's a new Igavania! But it also represents the worst of the Igavania design trends! Numbers go up, and they mostly go up based on experience points and random drops. Every special ability scales independently in number and power (i.e. exponentially), so you're encouraged to grind and discouraged from using abilities. On top of all of it the art and design is uninspired compared to Castlevania's Hammer Horror ecclesiasticism.


And finally we get to the disappointments:

Cultist Simulator: It works up until the point you realize the flavor text has nothing to do with the gameplay and it's just occult-themed solitaire, which is the exact opposite of the revelation you're supposed to have from cosmic horror.

Forager: I was debating whether to put this in the flawed but entertaining games or the disappointments, but it falls more on the side of disappointments. It's a game jam entry padded out to 10-15 hours and polished in some areas (but not a lot of important ones like user interface and quality of life), but it doesn't examine whether its many mechanics actually fit together.

Control: If there was a theme to the best games of the year, it's that they weren't afraid to buck genre convention to make story and gameplay into a seamless whole. Control is a great concept about a woman dealing with SCP-style reality warping objects while overcoming her self-doubts in order to take control. The gameplay is a third-person shooter about shooting wave after wave of identical dudes with generic guns, complete with 2010's obligatory tacked-on RPG elements.

(edited to add Slay the Spire, Hypnospace Outlaw, and Forager)

Microcline fucked around with this message at 17:59 on Dec 31, 2019

Grapplejack
Nov 27, 2007



Games of the Year
1. Disco Elysium - There's not enough I can say about Disco Elysium. It's incredibly well written, tightly put together, and it gives you an enormous amount of leeway to play in the space it provides you. Harry's arc throughout the game is perfectly understandable no matter what you decide on, and the world itself is so fascinating that you hunger to learn along with Harry what everything is. The writing is what makes this, and it really sets the tone of what will come in the future.
2. Hypnospace Outlaw (also wins best music) - A throwback to an era that I remember, surfing around geocities pages as a child. I loved this game, its aesthetic, the music, the layout, the people in it and the lives they present for you through their pages. The game is clever and fun, and I deeply enjoyed playing it.
3. Control - The gameplay was pretty fun, and the world they presented was fantastically put together and an absolute joy to play with the bizarre reality that exists around them. The SCP-style notes are fun to read and it's great to see how everything plays together. In addition, Doctor Darling (Matthew Porretta) really nails his role, and I loved every time he showed up. I look forward to more of Quantic Dream's games.
4. Bloodstained - It's a metroidvania. It's classic, in the style of Symphony of the Night. It's also loving fun as hell, and you love crawling around the castle, smashing monsters and getting shards and leveling yourself up to the point where you are wildly, horrifically broken and can kill everything in one hit. It's great!
5. Sekiro - Fromsoft made a new Tenchu game. The combat is fun and visceral, and the world is interesting to play around in, and the fighting has a neat little rhythm to it. When you get it down and you parry everything before murdering a boss with zero effort you feel like a loving god.

Honorable Mentions:
a. Void Bastards - It's like Wasted but good. The gameplay is fun and it's enjoyable enough, but it starts to drag near the end. The game could really use like, more room designs and 3-4 new types of ships and enemies to really become gold.
b. Creature in the Well - I really enjoyed this! It's a fun little pinball-esque game, with some fun puzzles while you bat balls around.
c. Outer Wilds - The exploration and discovery of this game was amazing. The flaw of this game, though, came in near the end, where you have to start loving around with the planet that's collapsing in on itself and they also really should have given you the meditation skip-to-reset when the game started (I didn't get it until the end and having to kill myself to reset the loop was annoying).

CharlieFoxtrot
Mar 26, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 12 days!


It's gonna be awkward trying toake a list this year since it's the first two weeks of January when I'll have more gaming time and lol if I remember any new game I play then come end of 2020.

Gonna try to play a few more new things before I lock in a top ten list which FF14 will undoubtedly take up 40% of the slots

No Wave
Sep 18, 2005

Yogg-Saron fan #1


Released this year:

4.) Messenger - Picnic Panic
The Messenger was an ok metroidvania sort of thing released last year with pretty uninspiring art direction that stuck way too faithfully to its retro feel, required a lot of backtracking but didn't give you fun fast movement options, and had really lame bosses. The free Picnic Panic DLC released this year fixed all of this - the environments felt more creative and modern, the challenges were better suited to your character and let you do cool things, the major boss added was phenomenal, the race challenge was just badass. Huge turn around, I was blown away.

3.) BBTAG (console release)
If this game wasnt so anime it would be a huge hit. The way they've simplified the characters while still keeping them distinctive is really beautifully done, giving everyone a reversal - but not always a DP - on a two-button input is borderline revolutionary. This is probably the most casually playable and fun 2D fighter since Melee.

2.) Sekiro
Very unique combat system that works exceptionally well, wonderful environments, fun movement. A 3D action game that feels like a 2D action game and doesnt play like anything else. In the running for best boss fights ever, in anything.

1.) Bloodstained - Ritual of the Night
You'd think making castlevania games is a simple formula but it's not. This game does everything important right and is extra extra fun on top of it. I have to restrain myself from playing it through a third time so I don't get tired of it before more DLC comes out and I never do that with games.


Other noteworthies played for the first time this year:

Yakuza 0:
Yakuza fans are nice people who recognize that the series has its foibles so i don't recall like an obnoxious push across the games forum to force people to play this like you see with some other titles. But this game is nuts, the only action RPG on the same level as this is Witcher 3.

Rabi-Ribi:
If you can deal with the art, you'll have a great time with metroidvania touhou. Great use of a pixel art style without feeling stale, fun bosses, neat combat system/exploration.

Dota Auto Chess
This game is dead now so you can't play it the same way but it was the most fun I've had playing a game online since Warcraft 3 customs. None of the others are really as fun sadly.

Crypt of the Necrodancer
Requires an insane amount of focus but a beautifully made game. An excellent usage of roguelike mechanics and just plain cool.

No Wave fucked around with this message at 13:24 on Dec 12, 2019

Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

THE BEST EVER





Quick reminder to everyone posting lists that they need at least 5 games minimum to be counted and they don't have to be 2019 releases. If you only want to list a few games and don't care about the scores then that's fine, obviously

Regy Rusty
Apr 26, 2010



Grimey Drawer

Rarity you're too lenient on these jokers

MrMidnight
Aug 2, 2006



1. Octopath Traveler - Short and sweet.
2. Yakuza 6 - Its Yakuza. Enough said.
3. Resident Evil 7 VR - First and last VR game I'll play. Awesome experience but the tech isn't there for me to continue playing more VR.
4. God of War (Latest release) - Excellent game all around. Can't wait for the eventual sequel.
5. Final Fantasy 14 - Never in a million years did I think I would play an MMORPG but here we are. Easily have sunk over 200 hrs. this year.

MrMidnight fucked around with this message at 13:45 on Dec 12, 2019

Saint Freak
Apr 15, 2007



I died on fleek, and so am cursed to roam the Earth forever, eternally on fleek...


Buglord

Technically no rule I can't submit multiple lists, or that I can't submit the same game in every position on the list. Time to spam multiple Top 10 lists where it's just Fire 'n Ice for the NES in all spots over and over.

Escobarbarian
Jun 18, 2004

an idol an idol an idol an idol an idol an idol an idol an idol an idol an idol an idol an idol an idol an idol an idol an idol an idol an idol



Grimey Drawer

Focusing almost entirely on 2019 games, with one major exception that I only played for the first time this year, and one game from the end of 2018 I didnít get to until the new year.

10. Untitled Goose Game
Very short and sweet with perfect implementation of concept. Annoying and taunting my countrymen has never been so fun.

09. Luigiís Mansion 3
Havenít completed it yet so maybe it would be higher if I had, but itís another awesome addition to the series and the animations are so ridiculously charming!!

08. The Outer Worlds
A really phenomenal RPG experience for the exact amount of time youíre playing it, and then two days later itís almost entirely disappeared for your mind. Still, a lot of excellent writing and characters, as you would expect from Obsidian.

07. RAGE 2
Realistically this game has a lot of issues and probably shouldnít be so high up but I found the core combat gameplay to be maybe the most fun of anything I played this year. The guns and abilities felt so ridiculously satisfying, even if the map, story, and other elements all paled in comparison.

06. Return of the Obra Dinn
A truly unique and incredible video game experience with amazing visuals - how can only two colours work so well????? - and an absorbing, fascinating story. The deduction is exactly the kind of hard work I like to do in games (as opposed to FromSoft boss battles etc), and taking the time to piece (most) things together without cheating paid off in spades.

05. The Legend of Zelda: Linkís Awakening
Had the original for the GBC as a kid but never played it much compared to Pokemon Red and Super Mario Bros, so it was fantastic to finally experience it for the first time. Might be my favourite 2D Zelda - I really love the stranger, Twin Peaks-inspired elements. And of course the visual style is just wonderful and a joy to look at at all times.

04. Control
Excellent brutalist design meets one of the best superhero games Iíve ever played and a healthy dose of surrealism. The gameplay wasnít the most original, but it made up for it with an excellent location and some awesome, if frustrating, boss battles. Most pleasant surprise of the year for me; glad to see Remedy back at their best.

03. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Took me a very long time to play this because of the knowledge of what a timesink it would be, but I finally got to it this year and it didnít disappoint! Even this many years later this is still easily the high point for open-world RPGs, with amazing, detailed missions/character work and beautiful varied locations (I played the two DLCs as well and drat Toussaint is the most gorgeous place Iíve ever spent time in in a game). I donít even want to think about how many hours I put into this one, and I grew to love so, so many characters, down to the point where making the final romance choice was a huge emotional moment for me. I ended up accidentally getting the bad ending which was gutting, but it also meant I made an emotional arc for myself/Geralt where he let himself get darker during HoS before redeeming himself again in B&W, and because of the freedom the game gives you it worked perfectly! The only reason this game isnít 1 is honestly because Iím not a huge fantasy fan and am thinking forward to what CDPR are gonna do with a world thatís more my speed in Cyberpunk, and because my top two I think are truly something special.

02. Outer Wilds
Ok I wrote too much about Witcher and now Iím running out of energy, but basically, this took the deduction enjoyment I talked about in Obra Dinn and multiplied it by a whole bunch. The different planets and rules for each are so unique and interesting, and the short sessions fit the concept perfectly, helping minimise the sprawl by allowing you to focus on short-term goals. The ship is janky in a loveable way, and every element of the game is clearly filled with such thought and love and care, all tied together with clever quantum physics ideas that allow for amusing experimentation while also hurting your brain. Definitely, in my opinion, one of the best indie games thereís ever been, and a shining example of the kind of ideas indie devs should be aspiring to.

01. Death Stranding
I want to preface this by saying Iíve never been a huge Kojima guy. Iíve always respected his stories and concepts, but the only game I ever completed by him was MGS3 (a lot of this is due to not owning a Sony console until this gen, but I also gave up on Phantom Pain somewhere around the beginning of Africa and regret nothing). I went into Death Stranding pretty skeptical about the core gameplay, and I ended up coming out with a truly revelatory, phenomenal, absurdly satisfying experience that ranks high among both my games of the decade and my favourites of all time. The way you navigate tough terrain to connect up areas to the central network is, simply put, perhaps the best single marriage of concept and gameplay Iíve ever seen in a game. The social elements, which I would have turned off in any other game, also slot into this idea beautifully, with the world genuinely actively improving because of everyoneĎs efforts. Itís truly genius, and massively commendable, especially because of the way it encourages the opposite of so many other games - itís certainly no coincidence that the top 2 on my list are the ones least about physical harm towards other beings (plus distress???? I guess???? just so goose game fits in there????). Add this to some classic bizarre and exciting Kojima set-pieces, characters that (eventually) become extremely complex and sympathetic, and one of the most loveable ďcompanionsĒ in any game, and you get, quite simply, a masterwork, and something that, if developers take the right lessons from it, has the potential to redefine the genre. Certainly there are some classic Kojima issues - the insane over-explanation of any subtext, the way characters are cyphers until it becomes their turn to spout their backstory and motivations at you, self-indulgence with cutscene length - but those flaws fall away for me when I think about the joy of receiving a nice email, or the satisfaction when you finish a particularly stressful path and plant things that will hopefully mean other players donít have to struggle through the same things you did. Kojimaís magnum opus, and the best game I played in 2019 by a country mile.

welcome
Jun 28, 2002

rail slut

Saint Freak posted:

Time to spam multiple Top 10 lists where it's just Fire 'n Ice for the NES in all spots over and over.

Word.

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MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012




Gun Saliva

Saint Freak posted:

Technically no rule I can't submit multiple lists, or that I can't submit the same game in every position on the list. Time to spam multiple Top 10 lists where it's just Fire 'n Ice for the NES in all spots over and over.

this is the objectively correct choice and I support it wholeheartedly

well no, I'd make 1-9 Fire 'n Ice but I think Solomon's Key 2 deserves the number 10 spot at least

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