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Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

I'm just goin' with the FLOW, baby.




10: The Lettuce Play Award
Inuyasha: The Secret of the Cursed Mask




One of my favorite guilty pleasure games, I finished a playthrough of this spanning a year and a half for a let's play in March. It is, let us be honest here, not a good game. And every word of the title that is not Inuyasha is a lie. It is, however, not a bad game. It is cheesy self-insert anime fanfiction of the kind that wouldn't come in vogue in video games until the mid 2010s. If you're looking for a not very hard to play game to laugh at, you could do worse.

9: The Double Kickflip Award
Tony Hawk's Underground




When the remake of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 got announced (more on that later), I got the bug to skate real bad, so I decided to revisit a couple older ones. Tony Hawk's American Wasteland is honestly probably the weakest of the Neversoft Hawks. The open world is half baked, the levels are all real samey, you can only play as a dude in the story, and the story itself has some forced drama, but I kinda didn't mind that when playing. I was just having fun playing the Tony Hawks. Underground is still pretty much a masterpiece and the best one, fight me. gently caress you, Eric.

E: For the rules, I have listed only Underground.

8: The Devil's Proof Award
Umineko no Naku Koro Ni episodes 1+2




Rounding out the replays, I've been enjoying going back to Umineko. What if Phoenix Wright was even more of a dipshit and Edgeworth was a witch and also a whole bunch of other metafictional poo poo happens. Without love, it cannot be seen. I'm still workin' on the question arcs, so I don't have much that I can actually say here.

E: The first four episodes of Umineko officially make up a single game and were released on Steam as one product, so I'm within the rules here.


7: The I Should Have Played This In High School Award
Sakura Wars (1996)




In anticipation of the soft reboot of the Sakura Wars series (more on that later), I decided to play the recently released English fan translation of the Sega Saturn original. I enjoyed the heck out of So Long My Love on the Wii and being able to experience more of it was a treat. Sakura Wars was iconic in Japan, and it hits literally every 90s anime note and it's so fuckin' delicious. Woulda loved this poo poo as a young weeb. Also the subject of a current LP which is on an unofficial hiatus. Kohran best girl.

6: The "Man Quarantine Is Gonna Be A While" Award
Animal Crossing New Horizons




Animal Crossing came around just as I started my two month furlough from work and helped to keep me sane. I haven't touched it in a fair while since getting the first KK show, but it was a nice daily check in. I'm not entirely sure how I like the crafting system, but it did give me something to do each day. A very comfy game, should pick my weeds.

5: The Golden Finger Award
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2




Aw yeah, now dis is a remake. Tony Hawk 1 and 2 gets just about everything right. Hey guys, skateboarding is fun. The new takes on the classic levels makes them feel just as new as they did in 99/00, and the soundtrack is excellent as always, even if I'm at the point where I just use Spotify for a few quick runs. My main gripe is the really half-rear end character customization, which I hope they fix in whatever comes next.

4: The Chicks Dig Giant Robots Award
Sakura Wars (2020)




Sakura Wars is back, baybee. What a fun little humble anime game. It really takes me back to the PS2 days where you could just get like a weird AA Japanese game that was just doing its own thing. I'm really glad I played the original before this so I could appreciate all the callbacks. I spent like 10 minutes just walking around the theater because it's the same drat layout as the original. I wish the combat was more challenging, but it's not like the original was Dark Souls either.

3: The Continued Service Award
Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers 5.x series




This is almost cheating because FFXIV is on my list every year. 2020 brought the end of the Shadowbringers storyline that started last year in the long awaited patch 5.3. And boy howdy, was it worth the wait. Shadowbringers is one of the best Final Fantasy games ever, just period. As we come into the next storyline and eventually the climax of the storyline set up back in A Realm Reborn, I'm sure the quality is just going to get better.

2: The Pair of Well-Worn Shoes Award
Final Fantasy 7 Remake




Talk about delivering. Even though it took 5 years, even though it's only Midgar, this game exceeded my every expectation. The combat system is fun and surprisingly deep, it's remarkable how much richer the characterization is despite them being pretty unchanged from the original, and the expansions to the story make Midgar feel more like a place people live and less like just a bunch of RPG maps. There were maybe some pacing issues in the latter half of the game and not everyone is gonna be a fan of where the story went at the end, but boy am I excited for what comes next.

1: The Hey What The gently caress Award/Game of the Year
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim




"There never was and never will be another game like 13 Sentinels." - Masahiro Sakurai

13 Sentinels is an experience. I've been playing this game for 17 hours and while I'm a good deal away from being done, I can already tell that this is something that is going to stick with me. The deep, multi-layered nonlinear mystery of the Sentinels and the kaiju attacking the Earth will have you thinking in five dimensions and have your jaw dropping constantly. Vanillaware's beautiful art shines as always in the novel segments, and the tower defense battle gameplay is surprisingly fun and snappy. There need to be more games like this.

Waffleman_ fucked around with this message at 04:03 on Dec 20, 2020

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Eugene V. Dubstep
Oct 4, 2013
Probation
Can't post for 41 hours!


These are the games that helped get me through a deeply lonely year. Some games will have to wait until 2021, because I haven't given them a fair shake yet: Sekiro, Outer Wilds, Crusader Kings 3, The Long Dark, Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, obviously Cyberpunk.


11. Overcrowd: A Commute 'Em Up is a hybrid puzzle/management game in which you build metro stations that meet targets like footfall, passenger satisfaction, and profit. It gets really tricky around mid-game as you begin to cope with stations on different levels and routing to inconveniently-placed entrances, but it's maybe a bit too simple once you've unlocked all the technologies and tools. It reminds me a lot of Rollercoaster Tycoon 1/2. I added the eleventh spot for it because, hell, it came out this year and I played it for a while and enjoyed myself.


10. I could never describe or sell Townscaper better than its own trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTt38k29gTM

It's six bucks. It works on your phone. Play around with it.


9. Exapunks is a Zachtronics hacking game. It has a manual presented as three issues of a hacker zine that you receive at intervals during the story. They come in A4 and letter sizes ready to print, fold, and staple. It's got histograms, it's got hacker battles. Best puzzle game I've played in years.


8. Europa Universalis 4 remains the GOAT in the strategy space, although Paradox seriously stumbled this year by releasing a patch that made AI nations drive themselves deep into debt, which in turn made them refuse all offensive calls to arms. The game was fundamentally broken for nearly three months until it was fixed. It's back to being good now.


7. Likewise, for the nth year in a row Natural Selection 2 is the gold standard for asymmetrical and/or class-based team shooters. Suck it, Overbotch. Hang it up, Team Failtress. There's nothing like leaping out of an air duct to chew a marine's face off. Thanks to the engine and art design, the game still looks fantastic, and the devs continue to release new maps and fine-tune balance.


6. While self-isolating in the spring, I ran a pretty fun modded server for Minecraft 1.12.2. Over the course of a couple months, my friends and I built half a dozen little magical factories in the woods and griefed each other. As the admin, I amused myself by adding aquatic creepers that swam almost as fast as boats, made all bees that spawned in jungle biomes aggressive, hid cursed enchantments on items, etc. Good times.


5. Untitled Goose Game has no need of my praise. I played it in March on Switch, and again when it came out on PC. Lovely and funny and doesn't overstay its welcome.


4. Frostpunk came out of the gate strong in 2019, and released two excellent, ambitious DLCs this year. In particular, The Last Autumn leaves the snowy hell behind for a comparatively temperate taiga. With the survival of your pioneers under no immediate threat, you must instead strike a tricky balance between the safety and contentment of your workers and the necessity of building a big steam generator before the apocalypse. Even if the management/building bit of the game wasn't drat near perfect, Frostpunk would make this list based on presentation alone. The art design and Piotr Musial's soundtrack together are something that everybody should experience. Zoom in! Watch orphans dig steel scrap out of the snow by hand! Follow religious processions around the city! Attend the public execution of a class enemy!


3. Kentucky Route Zero is, surprisingly, not the only game on this list that toys with the idea of itself as a stage play. Haveblue called it a 'danse macabre', and I think that's a good analogy. I can also see his point about its occasional 'indulgence', but unlike many games sold mainly on the strength of their writing ó Dear Esther, for example, or Where the Water Tastes Like Wine ó I found KRZ rarely hit a false note, nor did I ever find myself wishing an editor had looked at it.


2. Pathologic 2, easily the best RPG since The Witcher 3, almost, almost made GOTY. You, a doctor, have failed to contain the outbreak of a mysterious plague. Your friends are dead, and soon everyone else will be too. The army will take it from here ó soldiers with flamethrowers have begun the grim work while the artillery companies massed over the horizon await the order to bombard the city. You are too late. The curtain falls. Then someone asks: Would you like to try again?

The few criticisms I could level against this game are insignificant next to how much fun I had playing it, how novel it is, how far it advances the genre. Sure, go ahead, turn down the difficulty ó but not until you have to.




The game of the year is, of course, Hunt: Showdown.

https://youtu.be/71AtC_oFah8

Maybe Pathologic 2 is a strictly better game, but you can't make friends in Pathologic 2 like the friends you'll make cowering side-by-side behind a corral fence, taking potshots at bandits with a lever-action rifle and akimbo revolvers. Hunt is a multiplayer stealth game with Wild West-style shooting set in the Louisiana Bayou: that alone was enough to sell me last year, but if you're looking for an up-to-date and objective review I recommend this one. Although I couldn't make this claim in 2019, I can now say that Hunt is a well-balanced and scrupulously fair game. It continues to be tweaked and updated, with a new boss coming in the next major patch and another enormous map early next year (apparently in a more traditional "desert bluffs, tumbleweeds, and saloons" setting). The playerbase is growing, too, setting Steam records for concurrent users during its Halloween event. By completing in-game challenges, you can even unlock some shockingly well-written lore!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YcLpoJxIsQ

Eugene V. Dubstep fucked around with this message at 18:40 on Dec 10, 2020

Keegers
Aug 11, 2014





Flight sim winning a in a category with strategy games feels so wrong. Why is simulation and strategy the same award? Rts games are dead, and ck3 got robbed.

Overwatch Porn
Dec 22, 2006


First, some honorable mentions.

Clubhouse Games gets a shoutout for finally helping me learn how to play Riichi Mahjong. I finally see why it's one of the most popular tabletop games in the world, and I lost a huge number of hours to struggling to get Thirteen Orphans. One day.

Monster Train is, in my book, a more-fun version of Slay the Spire. It might not be quite as complex, but it has tons more personality, the multi-layer train adds a fun wrinkle, and all of the clans are so different from one another you can play for ages and get radically different runs every time.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands continues the trend of every other WoW expansion being good. After a tremendously disappointing Battle for Azeroth, Shadowlands is a huge breath of fresh air.



And now, the real list.


10. Doom Eternal


Doom Eternal is very much the followup to 2016's smash hit DOOM, and while it pushed the game into a much more intense loop of tightly crafted but overwhelming gameplay, it also removed the game further and further from the early 90s originals. Doom Eternal had a solid idea of what it wanted to do and what it wanted to be, and it absolutely achieved that; unfortunately, that identity is inherently very polarizing. Doom Eternal is fast, brutal, intense, and has a learning curve to rival DOTA, but when you figure out the proper flow of combat, there's nothing else quite like it. Curious to see where they're going to take the series next, because there's no way they can iterate on this concept without making it too stressful to play.

9. Disco Elysium


I only just played 2019's Games Forum Game Of The Year this year, and I loved every second of it. The plot itself, while standard mystery fare, is elevated by the absurdly well-crafted writing. Every line is a gem, every inner voice a character unto itself. I tend to shy away from games that force a male main character, but I'm glad I gave this one a try, because it is one of the only games I have ever played that required the protagonist to be who he was in order for the narrative to work. Amazing writing, amazing characters (Kim Kitsuragi best boy), fantastic worldbuilding and story. Just a joy to play all around.

8. Hades


Everyone has already said a lot about Hades, so I won't dwell too long. Beautiful art, great voice acting, great roguelike gameplay. All of the weapons are fun in their own way, every run feels different enough to keep me wanting to try one more time. All of the interactions between the characters are just stellar, and the fact that they wrote lines to cover so very many different permutations of gameplay is astonishing. Fantastic game.

7. ULTRAKILL


Ultrakill isn't technically out yet; it released into early access this year, and while only a third of the game is available right now, it's a staggeringly well-crafted third of a game. An absurdly-fast retro shooter where there is neither ammo nor traditional health pickups; you heal only by being covered in the blood of your enemies. This leads to a frenetic, fast-paced combat system that rewards taking risk unlike any other shooter I've played. I cannot loving wait to play the rest of this game.

6. Paradise Killer


Paradise Killer came out of absolutely nowhere for me, but it was described to me as 'danganronpa meets vaporwave', so I was instantly hooked. That does describe the aesthetic exceptionally well, and there are few games that are more fun for me to look at than this. Fortunately, it's backed up by a really fun mystery that just keeps unfolding layer after layer, a big island to explore, and amazing characters to meet and yell at and get yelled at by. The voice acting was pretty good across the board, but there was a dearth of actual unique lines, so you hear a lot of the same stuff over and over. Still, the character designs are great, the writing is fun, the mystery is satisfying to solve, and I can't wait for whatever this team does next.

5. Control


Another 2019 game that I didn't get to until this year, and the second I loaded it up I knew it was going to make my list. While Control lacks in gameplay on the occasion -- its combat flow is even harder to nail down and master than Doom Eternal's -- and a lack of checkpoints can make some sections frustrating, the game's peerless worldbuilding and sublime setpieces elevate it above so many other games. Never have I more wanted to just find out-of-the-way file after out-of-the-way file and read more about a setting than I have with Control. Special shoutout to Dylan Faden having some of the creepiest possible voice acting; it still gives me chills to think back on it.

4. Yakuza 7


Yakuza 7 was my very first Yakuza game, as brawlers were never my thing, but turning it into a turn-based JRPG absolutely tickled my fancy. What I got was an incredibly lovable cast of characters, a big world full of bizarre enemies to fight, a story full of heart and conviction, and just a fantastic experience all around. The dungeon design was somewhat lacking, with many of them being boxy rooms connected by corridors, and one of the only two playable female characters being not at all integrated into the story was kind of a letdown. Still, the wide-variety of minigames, the combat, and the heartfelt story kept me glued to the game for the sixty hours it took me to beat it.

3. 13 Sentinels


Another game that more or less came out of nowhere for me, as I had never played a Vanillaware game before this one. Again, however, I'm glad I took the plunge, to get a game that's half visual novel and half mech-strategy-RPG. Both halves of the game work exceptionally well together, but I always found myself wanting to hurry up and get through the combat sections to get back to the story bits, so I could dive back into a story crammed with more twists and turns than an Uchikoshi joint. I was kept guessing right up until the very end, and was even perfectly satisfied with the ending, which so rarely happens in games like these. Some of the 13 protagonists were more interesting than others, but all of them had their own amount of charm, and I wasn't ready to let this bunch of dweebs go when the credits rolled.

2. Persona 5 Royal


Hello, it's me, the Persona 5-liker. P5 was my 2017 game of the year by a huge margin, so I was slavering for this release since the second it was announced, and spent marathon sixteen-hour sessions playing this game until I beat it. It didn't reinvent the wheel by any means, and if you didn't care for Persona 5 before, it's likely that Royal would not change your mind. That said, it took the original game and improved on it in every possible way: the game is bigger, locations expanded, characters added, lines rewritten and improved, and even the battle system got several refinements that made it much more fun to play. It is, in every way, the definitive version of the game, and if you're on the fence, Royal is the version you should play.

1. Blood


Despite 1994's Doom II being my favorite game of all time, and being thoroughly ensconced within the realm of 'boomer shooters', cult build enging classic Blood was one game that simply slipped me by. I never got the chance to try it when I was younger, and it took until 2019's Blood: Fresh Supply remaster for me to finally sit down and try it. What I received was a classic shooter that, while absurdly difficult, rewarded mastery with a variety of fantastic weapons and amazing levels. Nothing this year quite compared to the sheer joy of throwing dynamite around a tight corner at a group of cultists and hearing their screams. Nothing this year was as satisfying as using a pair of napalm launchers to rapidly turn the contents of any room into ash. Blood is an utterly incredible game, and I can't believe I slept on it for so long.

Roth
Jul 9, 2016


Blood was at the top of my list last year. I hope we can get a yearly tradition of at least one person every year naming it their number one.

Josuke Higashikata
Mar 7, 2013




6. Final Fantasy 7: Remake
Too much Sephiroth, padded to gently caress. But pretty fun even despite significant flaws.
5. Genshin Impact
The gacha adds nothing to this game and it would be better without it. Still liked it.
4. Trials of Mana
Fun, probably over priced for the content but fun.
3. Ghost of Tsushima
Very fun, very pretty, don't have my PS5 yet but can only imagine that this game is even better at 60fps. Platinumed it and don't regret it.
2. Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Everything good about Yakuza with a very ballsy and successful combat system shake up.
1. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
Timeless classic. This game will still look amazing in 2040, it'll still sound amazing, it has a great story and the RTS elements are fun too, I'd even say they're perfectly paced.


Dishonourable mentions (i know negativity isn't technically allowed but gently caress crunch and gently caress transphobia):
1.Last of Us Part 2
Games made with heavy crunch that use trans people the target of abuse and dead name them should not be celebrated. This game uses the very real violence trans people use as set dressing and revels in it. It sucks and I hate that this criticism is drowned out by people rightfully calling out the fascist incels because this game has an LGBTQ+ protagonist and gets poo poo on because of that. It has drowned out the very real problems this game has with representation, where minorities are used to fuel drama for the white protagonists. It genuinely loves to show asian, black or hispanic characters getting shot out of the blue for shock value. gently caress that.

2. Cyberpunk 2077
I've not played this yet but it was made with heavy crunch and uses trans people as set dressing so that's a no from me. I will play it to educate myself fully on how it handles these issues but the crunch alone makes it a dishonourable mention.


Game of the Year Emeritus

Dragon Quest XI: S
Play this poo poo.

Josuke Higashikata fucked around with this message at 08:58 on Dec 11, 2020

BeanpolePeckerwood
May 4, 2004

BUT SATAN'S BOY
I COULD NEVER BE!



Pork Pro

neil fuckman has consolidated his power. his game awards are snapping onto his skeleton megazord style

Roth
Jul 9, 2016


I had a lot of fun with video games this year. I've finished 41 games in total, almost done with Yakuza 3 and considering I've been furloughed again, I can probably squeeze a few more into there before the end of the year. Despite how awful this year has been, not having to spend so much time at work at least gave me the time to focus on my hobbies a lot more than I normally would, so that's one way to look on the bright side for me.

10. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas



This is somewhat bittersweet in that I was in the middle of playing through this at the same time as when my work closed back in March. But, it was a great distraction from reality while that was happening at least, and I think really is just Rockstar's best work with only Red Dead Redemption 2 coming close. It's so low here because it by far had the most frustrating parts of any of these games (gently caress the flying controls on PC), but I really enjoyed this game on the whole.

9. Silent Hill 3



I really don't understand why this game is considered so weak compared to Silent Hill 2. It has every bit the meaning that Silent Hill 2 has, but it's a kind of horror that's more "feminine" in nature than what James had to go through. Monsters with grotesque body images, men that want to control Heather in various ways. I wish people wouldn't just disregard this because it brought back the cult plotline from the first game. I think it's also the best looking game on the PS2, because holy cow is it gorgeous.

8. Nier: Automata



Both the Nier games were things I was pretty sure were up my alley but just never seemed to get around to. Well, then lockdown happened, and suddenly I had significantly more time to play games. I blasted through the first Nier in about a week, and then I played some other games before moving onto Automata. While I'll get to the first game later, I have to say that this game is impressive for how much of a contrast it is playing this one compared to the first one. For one, the game is actually fun to play! I even came around to liking 9S' gameplay after being so put off by it that I thought I'd drop off on the game, only to come back a month later and finish the rest in a single sitting. Now I'm just sitting here ready to drop $60 on the remake of the first game.

7. Final Fantasy 7



The original! Another game that had been on the bucket list for a while, and I really got sucked into it. Not enough to bother with the Golden Saucer, but I still sunk a good 30-ish hours into this figuring out decent materia set ups. I ended up going with a party of Cloud, Yuffie, and Cid with their ultimate weapons and clowning on Sephiroth that way. I played Remake later in the year as well, and somehow managed to finish it despite not really enjoying myself.

6. Star Wars: Squadrons



I still find it hard to believe this game got made. A semi-hardcore space combat sim with VR and hotas support, with no microtransactions and paid DLC by EA is something I would not have believed if it had been leaked a year ago. But, it actually happened, and I got to essentially do the thing I always wanted to do which was to fly an A-Wing because who cares about laser swords when I have a space ship? Now, EA should stop being cowards and make a VR pod racing game.

5. Demon's Souls (2020)



Before the past month the only one of these games I was really into was Bloodborne, and I always had trouble getting into the earlier games. I bought this because I would have felt stupid getting a PS5 and not the big exclusive game, and what a great idea that turned out to be. I feel like with these games there's some difficulty with starting out, and then I figure out what works and that's what gets me through. For this one it was getting the Meat Cleaver which is the sickest weapon in the game.

Here's me fighting off the first guy that invaded me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05803h_OLLM

What I like about Demon's Souls especially is how experimental it is. Something I feel seems to be fading away from the series with each new installment in favor of more and more extreme difficulty.

4. Nier



This game sucks. The combat is best described as functional, with the best thing about it being that enemies don't level up for new game plus meaning you have less of it to do. The overworld is pretty much empty with not much to do other than just doing mediocre side quests, combat, and grinding materials. Yet, I enjoyed my time with it more than I did Automata's. I enjoyed this game's weird genre shifts, the characters, and how much it embraces video games in a sort of loving, but critical way. I like this game that I'm willing to suffer through Drakengard 1 because of it, and I think that's really the highest praise I can give it.

3. Doom: Eternal



This game is just pure adrenaline and dopamine production. Everything about it is just designed to make me enjoy all the pretty colors and gore, and I'm dumb enough to even find the increased emphasis on story and lore entertaining. I know a lot of people bounced off of this because of how the combat works, but I think what I like is that this game actually accomplishes what people say about the durability in Breath of the Wild: It makes you just use everything. I played on Ultraviolence on my first playthrough and had a really good time with what I felt like was a tough, but fair challenge that was really exhilarating. I still really need to play the DLC that came out.

2. Dark Souls



Right after finishing Demon's Souls, I pretty much immediately popped in Dark Souls and played through it in about a week. It's really hard to choose between those two games, but I think Dark Souls wins out just because it's a more refined game and I like the interconnected world more than I like the nexus. Oddly, it's kind of a reverse of my feelings on Nier and Nier: Automata. Demon's Souls also did a really good job preparing me for Dark Souls because I ended up having a lot smoother of a play session than I did with previous attempts, with Quaelag being the boss I died to the most.

Here's me beating Ornstein & Smough on my first attempt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ru9aJUiLskE

I'm not ashamed to admit that upon beating that fight I let out a deep breath I didn't realize I was holding before going on to hoot and holler.

Really I think I figured out what I was doing that kept me from enjoying these games like I did Bloodborne during this game as well: I was fat rolling in heavy armor and getting frustrated because that's just not my playstyle. Building a cleric that could midroll made the game so much more fun for me.

1. Half-Life: Alyx



It was going to be this no matter what for me. I spent my tax return on a VR headset, a new GPU, and a new SSD pretty much entirely for this game in particular, and it was so worth it. I even think it was worth waiting thirteen years for this, and I'm slightly upset with myself because I feel like this was so well polished and made that it's kinda just made other VR games less appealing by comparison. I'm rooting for the success of VR because this game really sold me on the concept when I realized that the sense of scale it had could just never be conveyed as easily as this. Nothing like seeing a head crab actually jump at my face.

Guillermus
Dec 28, 2009




Not going to do a longpost but basically a short list of my games of 2020:

1) Streets of Rage 4 (PS4): my GOTY 2020 without doubt.

2) Dusk: not a 2020 release but I played it this year. A FPS masterpiece.

3) Prey: again, not a 2020 game but was such an amazing experience and Mooncrash owns.

4) Resident Evil VII: not the biggest fan of the series but was great and drat scary at the start.

5) Metro Exodus: great game. Maybe could nitpick a few things but since leans more on the STALKER feeling than the pure corridor of previous game made up to this list.

GOTY every year: Bloodborne, more so since Veeg started to stream and made me appreciate it even more than before.

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


Te more I read this the more I feel my answers will be unfairly skewed by not having played every game that came out in 2020.

Eugene V. Dubstep
Oct 4, 2013
Probation
Can't post for 41 hours!


DalaranJ posted:

Te more I read this the more I feel my answers will be unfairly skewed by not having played every game that came out in 2020.

Maybe two good games and a couple more competent ones came out in 2020, don't sweat it.

The 7th Guest
Dec 17, 2003



DalaranJ posted:

Te more I read this the more I feel my answers will be unfairly skewed by not having played every game that came out in 2020.
It's fine, one of the games in my 2020 top ten currently is an Apple Arcade game so it wont get more than one vote lol

that list is currently at 22 games and I want to at LEAST get it to 25

Looper
Mar 1, 2012





DalaranJ posted:

Te more I read this the more I feel my answers will be unfairly skewed by not having played every game that came out in 2020.

I've got a silly romhack on my list lol, don't worry

Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

CUTEST IN THE WORLD
QUEEN OF THE SIMPS
RARITY-CHAN





I won't be listing any games from 2020 and I may be listing a Master System game from 1986, it's fine. Just enjoy what you enjoy!

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


I need to wait to write my top ten list until after collection of SaGa comes out.

Guillermus
Dec 28, 2009




The last 4 years I've gotten good at not buying games on launch day at full price to play them way later when they are heavily discounted so now except Streets of Rage 4, I play games that are both patched and on sale (more time to clear my backlog too!). So don't worry and just post the ones you enjoyed more in 2020.

VideoGames' GOTY is Bloodborne (as everyone's should!) and is a 2015 game.

cheetah7071
Oct 20, 2010


College Slice

A romhack of a game from 1998, which I've been playing long enough that it's in both of my previous goty threads, is my top game this year

if you played it in 2020 and you liked it more than all but nine other games you played this year, it belongs on your list.

Songbearer
Jul 12, 2007




Fuck you say?


2020 has been A Year, a rotten year nobody likes and we're going to gather around and throw rocks at it, yes we are indeed. I haven't even posted that much in Games because gently caress I'm so exhausted by all the bullshit and I'm a store slave so I've been working throughout this whole ordeal, but my wife, my catte and some choice games have kept me sane through all of it.



So thanks videogames, you were less awful than all the terrible crap that happened this year. Also gently caress Trump and gently caress Boris and gently caress the rise of fascism.



10: Project Zomboid (19 hours)
A slow burn and not usually my type of game, but the slow pace and feeling of isolation was very much my vibe for the start of this year. According to STEAM I played this in May, while the coronavirus shenanigans were in full fever pitch.

Project Zomboid is an open world sandbox RPG where you're a survivor facing the zombie apocalypse. So far, so standard, but the game has a lot of depth and your character has a The Sims style wants/needs/emotions simulator which means they can get anxious, tired, angry, ill and so on. Without any sort of structure it was initially hard for me to find motivation until I took a battered van, filled it up with gear, drove out into the countryside and liberated a house that appealed to me. From there, I built reinforcements, went on supply runs into a nearby town that went deeper and deeper as time passed, recovered cars and brought them back home to repair and replace damaged parts until I had a fleet of vehicles in tip-top condition for every purpose.

Other than some musical stings, the game is generally very quiet with just sounds of nature, movement and zombies roaming around. It really lends itself to a kind of zen style of play where you're just kind of losing yourself in the atmosphere, which makes the threat of zombie violence all the more intense when you do have to face it. Ultimately, you get out of this game what you put into it, but as a mood piece it was extremely fitting.



9: Terraria (36.9 hours)
My summertime game. If Project Zomboid was zen, this is transcendent. I've had it in my library since release but never played more than about 2 hours of it, mainly because I couldn't understand its appeal against Minecraft and the fact that they characters were literally ripped sprites from a Final Fantasy game to begin with always bothered me, even when they changed them later on down the road. Following a major update I decided to load it up and give it a shot and I finally get it now because this game will eat your time without mercy or emotion. Building your village from nothing and plundering items with wild and wacky abilities is captivating and there's a momentum to it all that just keeps pushing you to explore further, acquire more gear and perfect what you build. The sheer amount of capital C Content in this game is overwhelming and I can see how people have spent hundreds of hours in it.



8: Jets N' Guns 2


The sequel to the best 'Shmup ever. It's the best because I can play it and not be bad at it. JNG2's focus is on complete and utter audiovisual excess: When the ball gets rolling and your ship gets upgraded, there's never a quiet moment as you barf technicolour death everywhere while numbers, explosions and the screams of infantry give you the BrainPleasure. Delightfully wacky and unashamedly intense, JNG2 is a short but thrilling exercise in utter insanity. Everything loving explodes, more explosions means more points, more points means more money, more money means bigger guns which you can upgrade and modify to make bigger explosions and make more money. Also the music is by Machinae Supremacy who are awesome.


7: Titanfall 2 (13 hours)


I already played the everloving poo poo out of Titanfall 2 back on [spit]Origin[/spit] and then it came out for STEAM and oh look I get to have it on a platform I don't hate!! It's great and having it on STEAM meant there was a big upswell in players, at least for a little while. The best MP shooter you've never played with incredible movement mechanics and weaponary. The real reason it falls onto this list is that this was the year I actually completed the campaign, which is something I've probably gotten halfway through about 5 times until now but never finished. It's short, but it's one hell of a ride and the quality of it all makes it all the more disgusting that it's kind of a cult classic.


6: Monster Hunter World: Iceborne (Maybe like 60 hours for Iceborne, 504 hours in total since release)


I will always love Monster Hunter World and the allure of hunting monsters is a perpetual one, but I really was hoping this would be higher on my list. I think the biggest problem was how quickly my friends petered off playing it for other games and when you've been hunting monsters with a gang for a while, it's lonely by yourself. This didn't stop me from pouring hour after hour into it though because there's an official transmog system so you can always look cool! A zone where you PERPETUALLY KILL MONSTERS FOREVER! New, exciting bastards to turn into cool clothes for you and your cat! Some of those bastards are loving infuriating! More Switch Axes! More of them! MORE loving SWITCH AXES FOR MY COLLECTION! A HOUSE? YOU CAN DECORATE YOUR HOUSE! WHAT A PRETTY HOUSE TO STORE SWITCH AXES IN HURUGHHHHHG

No matter what I'm playing there's always a thought in the back of my head that tells me I should boot up Monster Hunter World again, but I never quite get there. I'll just keep promising the game I'll get back to it. I promise. I promise. I promise.



5: Yakuza Kiwami 2 (27 hours)


I completed Yakuza Kiwami 1 earlier this year after neglecting it for almost an entire year, and while the game was fun for the most part I didn't know just how dry it was coming from Yakuza 0 as someone new to the series. When it became clear to me that no, the game doesn't actually get all that weird, I kind of started to cruise through it as quickly as I could. I picked up Kiwami 2 after being convinced that was when the Yakuza ball really gets rolling and man the level of polish is night and day between the two games. Gorgeous graphics, a much slicker fighting system, more things to do. That's to be expected from a sequel.

But it's that loving Yakuza special sauce of being able to effortlessly switch from melodrama to comedy to out-and-out farce that finally starts showing its face in Kiwami 2. You can be embroiled in a high-stakes crime drama one moment and then be fighting a horde of adult diaper wearing Yakuza the next. Running a cabaret club is on the list of Things You Can Do right next to a special pissing game that requires you to drink and eat until your bladder is full in order to play it. It's something that only this game series seems capable of pulling off without it seeming cloying of lolrandom - it's just how the world of Yakuza works and it's a loving joy. I haven't completed it because I got sidetracked with a bunch of other games, which seems to be the way I treat Yakuza games, but coming off the end of Kiwami 1 I needed a break to avoid burnout.



4: Warframe (403 hours in total, probably 70 this year)


Mindless violence for the sake of numbers. Warframe is a treadmill disguised as a powertrip but man what a fun treadmill it is. Wade through hordes of soliders in a weird and wonderful world that's part claymation, part Sunday morning cartoon and part Escher fever dream. Audiovisually this game is three things: Lights, colour and screaming. Everything screams, everything dies violently, you get paid and your guns get stronger. Same reason I loved Jets N' Guns, but this is a third person looter shooter with some wonderfully slick controls and some absolutely gorgeous visual and world design. It's been years since I played Warframe - the last time was when they first introduced their open world area on Earth - and the amount of Stuffô they added since then is outstanding.

Warframe is a sort of gaming black hole that'll suck you in, wring you dry and then leave you wondering what the gently caress you were doing with your time. Got a cool hoverboard outta it, though.



TIED FOR 3: SYNTHETIK (72 hours) (This is my official choice for 3, just barely)



Thanks to maybe-problematic-but-I-hope-not youtuber SsethTezeentach's brilliant review this game was bought to my attention and holy poo poo was I blown away to find out it was released in 2018 with nary a loving whisper. I guess this year is the year of "Numbers based powertrips" for me because this game is another one of those, but differentiates itself by being a high-stakes one-and-done isometric shooter which is a complete blast in co-op, which is where 9/10ths of my playtime was spent. A huge arsenal of weapons and items with active effects and procs, a ton of classes to try out and level up, difficulty that's ridiculously adjustable so you can make the game as forgiving or punishing as you like (With appropiate rewards!) and that all-essential "One more run, go on" feeling that is the hallmark of a truly capitvating game. It's a simple premise for a game but one with a balance of variance and player control that means you're never truly put into a lovely, unfun situation - just one that might be difficult to wriggle out of.



TIED FOR 3: DOOM Eternal

DOOM 2016 polished to a shine and refined until pure. There's a lot of mixed feelings about it and I can see why some people think it's too much compared to 2016, but try to tear me away from the screen when I'm fighting at a knife's edge to survive an onslaught of ravenous demons. The game is beautiful, runs like a dream, combat flows like water and despite being Very Bad at it I never got frustrated. I like Marauders so gently caress you.

The purple gunk that slows you down also puts this on #1 of the Worst Games Of The Year gently caress whoever thought that was a good idea. It's only on that list while I'm stuck in that goo though. Transient list.



2: Trailmakers (71 hours)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2rMUeQxKME

I adore adore adore adore vehicle-making games because making cool-rear end guncarboats out of construction toys was almost my entire non-videogame childhood, so I've played practically every offering on the market. I say with no hesitation or hyperbole that Trailmakers is the best one of these games I have ever played.

The issue with these games is that sometimes they can get bogged down in the technical side of things, or their interfaces are confusing and take time to learn, or the surrounding game is janky or void of anything interesting to do. Trailmakers has none of these issues to the point that I'm certain even kids could play this with a minimum of coaching. The graphical style is simple and cute, which means that the things you build don't wind up looking dumb or messy: It's essentially a lego game without the branding and it is wonderful. If you remember Nuts N' Bolt's style of gameplay you'll get what makes this one so captivating, though there's a little less in the way of specific objectives to complete you'll be unlocking new pieces to make your vehicle capable of more and more things.

There's a beautiful transform system where you can equip several different blueprints on a quickbar and swap between any of them mid-drive, the vehicle reconstructing itself as you travel along. Multiplayer runs without any lag or weirdness even as you're blowing your friends vehicles apart, and you can even save their blueprints if you like them enough and play with them offline. There's workshop support where you can download a cubic shitton of vehicles from people way more talented than you and then crash them into a wall over and over again out of spite. There's a sandbox map that's full of stunt ramps, grinders, arenas and racetracks to zoom around in. Not happy with the way you've built part of your vehicle? You can literally click and drag a box over the parts you want to move, rip them off and glue them somewhere else. I can't stop singing the praises for this game because if you're a fan of this genre I just don't know of a game that does what it does any better, and it's still being updated.



1: Persona 4 Golden (2020 PC release, 103 hours)



My jaw dropped when I saw the STEAM announcement that this game was on sale. I've always wanted to play Persona 4 but I was convinced that having it ever come out on PC was a pipe dream and suddenly there it loving is. Having watched a lot of the Giantbomb Endurance Run in the past I knew what to expect out of the first half of the game, but being able to play it for myself felt entirely different based on who I hung out with and what I did. The cast of characters in this game are so loving lovable that even the ones I wasn't all that fond of (Sorry Yosuke, Teddie) were still a joy to watch and interact with. I spent over 100 hours playing this loving game and still felt that it was over too soon and immediately wanted to play Persona 5 afterwards so my Google history was just "Persona 5 PC announcement" "Will Persona 5 come to PC" "Persona 5 PC Release Date" over and over for weeks once I was done.

Are the dungeons repetitive? Sure. Is some of the content A Little Too drat Risque? Yep. Should I be focusing on making real, genuine friendships instead of anime videogame ones? gently caress you, trick question, those were real genuine friendships and they're all my friends and Yukiko loves me and wants to be my wife when we grow up yes I know I have a wife, gently caress you she'd agree. I don't know how to min-max Fusion and I don't care because I raised my Unicorn to be nearly L100. I get nothing out of it but the satisfaction of knowing I took a Persona I thought was cool and through hell or high water forced it to be the biggest badass it could be. Playing this game through the summer was the perfect time for it because it just recalls those hazy days of your childhood where everything is a Big loving Deal and it's just, I dunno, genuine? There's nothing quite like it and gently caress, Persona 5 better come to the PC too because I had such a good time.





Apologies To:

Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night: I bought you on sale and every day I intended to play you. You're still not installed and you're angry at me. I know, I get it. I'm so sorry. One of these days. gently caress

Pyre: Ditto with the added insult you're actually installed and have never been played.

Darkwood: Ditto and I meant to play you during Halloween and I loving didn't and now it feels out of season for you. I'm sorry.

BATTLETECH: Dit- Oh my god I'm the worst videogame parent ever and you all deserve better.

Hades: I did actually install and play this and I love it, but it's Early Access and if there's one thing I know about EA is that playing too much of it before it's actually released is a great way to burn out before the game is even done yet, so it's on the backburner until then. Also I keep thinking "Hades nuts ain't gonna suck themselves" and that's rude but I can't help it.



Honourable Mentions:

Hollow Knight: Adorable and fun platformer I sunk 11 hours into but couldn't get round to finishing and probably won't. Find out why in a moment.

Apex Legends: I've actually played this every day this year pretty much and still adore every moment, especially since it's on STEAM now, but I wanted this list to have games that are new to me. I know I love Apex but it had its time in the spotlight last year

Katana Zero: If I had played this game during my Hotline Miami phase I think I would've gone mad with pleasure. A simply brilliant game with incredible style.

Half Life: Alyx: Best VR game all year and probably one of the best high profile VR releases to date, but H3VR and Blade and Sorcery are still the ones I go back to instead. Kinda a one-and-done scenario.

Fission Superstar X/Death Skid Marks: MTV Cartoon visuals in snappy, fast-paced vehicle combat roguelikes. Short lived, but ooze style and a hell of a lot of fun.

Warhammer 40k: Mechanicus: So loving cool and so much fun, but ultimately I finished it more out of a sense of needing closure than actual drive to see the end of it. Goes insanely cheap on sale and definitely worth your time if you like turned-based games or 40k in general.

POST VOID: Can hardly be called a full game but this *is* an MTV cartoon and the simplest distillation of frantic FPS combat for less than the cost of a coffee. If you have 2 minutes to burn you should buy it because that 2 minutes will quickly become an hour. Your eyes will hate you, your brain will love you.

COGMIND: A superb turn-based robot roguelike that I really need to spend more time on.

Noita: "Aw, poo poo" the game.

Horizon: Zero Dawn: Fun game but feels a little dated. Aloy is great and I love the environmental design but it's bullshit I can't ride the cooler robots.

From The Depths: The opposite of Trailmakers, this is the most grognardy and least intuitive vehicle builder to date but holy poo poo the level of detail you're given to tinker with your creations. It'll take you a long time to figure out what the gently caress anything is but the naval warfare you get out of it is glorious.

NGU Idle: Goon-made idle game and the winner of The Only Idle Game I've Ever Put Any Time Into. It's pretty good.

Carrion: Very stylish and neat Metroidvania which is better as a style piece than it is a game, but ends when it needs to.

Cyberpunk 2077: Way too early in terms of time played and way too late in the year to qualify as a GOTY, but seems super duper cool so far.

Slay The Spire: Ate my February and I loved every second of it


Dishonourable Mentions:

Blasphemous: I feel bad about this because it was made with a lot of care and most of the gameplay issues can be waved off with "Git gud", but man this game broke me. I adore the beautiful, beautiful pixel art and animation and the wonderfully vague story but the platforming and boss fights felt like just so much bullshit to me that I had to use a trainer to beat the game and still felt affronted that anyone thought I should have been able to deal with any of these bosses. Death by a thousand cuts to my fun, sadly, and then I installed Hollow Knight which was basically everything I wanted from Blasphemous, but cuter. I felt so burned out that I just didn't complete Hollow Knight and that feels like a huge shame.

Dishonoured: I put this down as a funny joke but then it occurs to me I never got past like the second level and never returned to it and now I feel bad gently caress you Dishonoured.



gently caress you 2020 get outta here games are pretty good though and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. My love to Rarity

Songbearer fucked around with this message at 22:09 on Dec 11, 2020

Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

CUTEST IN THE WORLD
QUEEN OF THE SIMPS
RARITY-CHAN





Songbearer posted:

My love to Rarity

Didn't even do the OP this year and still getting all the credit

Songbearer
Jul 12, 2007




Fuck you say?


THE SPIRIT OF GOTY LIVES ON IN YOU but yes thank you Videogames for continuing the legacy

achillesforever6
Apr 23, 2012

psst you wanna do a communism?


I'm just going to go very barebones with my picks and not do all the fancy gifs and images what not

10 Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition: I miss the golden age of RTSs
9 Surviving Mars: Got a bunch of the DLC and having fun with it.
8 Disco Elysium: Would definitely be higher on the list if I could get in a good groove playing it.
7 Planet Zoo: I love zoo tycoon games and this was fun to play on the time I had off from the furloughs I picked
6 Total War Saga: Troy: Look I really love the subject matter and I'm just waiting for the DLC to add in Diomedes as a playable faction
5 Civ 6: Still playing it and like the editions they keep adding
4 Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition: It's Age of Empires 2 Nuff Said
3 Witcher 3- Finally got to playing it when it was really cheap on PS-Plus and was furloughed for a week so I got through it pretty fast! Understand the hype and will eventually get through the DLC when I can
2 Ghost of Tsushima - I actually haven't finished it (moved my TV and PS4 out of my room to the living room when my roommates moved out which demotivated me to playing games on the PS4); Got decently to ACT 2 and it's a really pretty game with fun combat and a decent story. Sucker Punch I always think lives in the shadows of Insomniac and Naughty Dog so I always root for them to get the recognition that they deserve.
1 Hades: I got this in Early Access when it came on Steam and as someone who never ever plays rougelikes I was hooked; it has a very Civ "Just one more turn" itch for me that I can't scratch, plot & characters that in this shitshow of a year that really made things not as dour for me as they could. The fact Supergiant did this game with anti-crunch measures and treating their employees like human beings (though they should still unionize) is the cherry on top. Also really love the subject matter This game is probably in my top 4 of all time along with Fallout New Vegas and RDR2 and Age of Mythology

Zore
Sep 21, 2010




I love this thread every year, it always gives you a good way to see a neat mix of new good games and older gems that people are still playing or just picking up!

10) Rune Factory 4 Special



One of my favorite 3DS games got a Switch port! This is a fun hybrid game that mashes up Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons style farming with a full action RPG dungeon diver with some ridiculous crafting/Monster raising and other subsystems. What sets it apart from a lot of the other games in the genre is how much personality and dialogue it is infused with. Every single character has hundreds of incidental lines of dialogue and dozens of mini-events which help the social side of the game feel incredibly alive which is one of my normal issues with this game. Being able to play it again without being locked to the 3DS screen ruled but man was I missing that second screen a bit.

9) Super Robot Wars X



The awkward middle child of the recent loose Super Robot Wars PS4/Switch trilogy, I gained a new appreciation for it this year by playing a draft of it with some other goons. It was a hell of a lot of fun and doing a chapter by chapter write up of my playthrough and experiences with it made me end up liking it a lot more than I had when I first played it a few years ago. Its pretty standard Super Robot Wars fare with all your favorite robot animes in one giant crossover clusterfuck, but its endearing as hell and X tried to go with a fairly mystical/supernatural theme for its original plot which was neat and a cool change of pace for the series!

8) Animal Crossing: New Horizons



Like the absolute definition of gaming comfort food and something that helped out a lot earlier this year when I was in lockdown. Animal Crossing has always held a huge amount of appeal for me since the first one back on the Gamecube, my brother and I bonded over it and played it for hours. It was really nice this year since we both got it and visited each other's islands a lot which helped us stay connected even though we couldn't always see each other

7) Rimworld: Royalty



Everyone's favorite warcrimes simulator Colony builder, Rimworld got its first big DLC release this year with the Royalty expansion which added psychic powers and a host of new insanity. The mod scene for the game is robust as hell and I played for dozens of hours trying out everything from having Wookies, Turians and Skaven loving up my colonies to total conversions that made it into a Lord of the Rings game. It hits exactly the right notes for me to just want to play around with.

6) Slay the Spire



A Deckbuilding Roguelike that I keep coming back to, Slay the Spire is a fantastic game if you're looking to scratch that roguelike itch. Runs are kept to a reasonable length for you to squeeze in a round when you can and I enjoy the hell out of its aesthetic and really tight overall game design.

5) Monster Train



What if you fused Slay the Spire with some Tower Defense DNA? Monster Train is a game after my own heart, fusing two of my favorite niche genres into something really unique and fun. The devs have been really active about supporting it since release and it has exactly the same kind of lizard brain appeal for me Slay the Spire does.

4) Darkest Dungeon



This game may have the greatest modding scene out of any game I've ever played including Bethesda's entire back catalogue. I did a really deep dive in and found like a hundred unique new classes with professional grade and rigged art and just spent a ton of time doing runs with dumb poo poo like Iron Man in my party along with more lore friendly stuff.

3) Wasteland 3



My big dumb RPG for the year, Wasteland is a series that originally inspired Fallout and since a successful kickstarter like a decade ago has made two new isometric games in the vein of old school Fallout 1 and 2. Wasteland 3 is a much better sequel to the fairly maligned Wasteland 2 which stuck a bit too hard to its grognardy roots and in general was an absolute blast to play. You can also do really dumb stuff, the screen shot shows off some of the maximum 11 combat pets I managed to get following my party of 6 around by the end of the game . It turned combat into a clusterfuck but like hell was I ditching my attack chicken.

2) Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition




An absolute monster of a game that got active DLC updates and re-releases for a pretty absurd amount of time. I own it 3 times across 3 different consoles (WiiU, 3DS, Switch) and it is one of my favorite games ever. Its got a frankly absurd amount of content and I'm still chipping away at finishing it, but its basically pure glorious Zelda fanservice that gives love to most of the franchise and combines it was the satisfying gameplay of Dynasty Warriors.

1) Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity


https://imgur.com/BNC40Xp.mp4

An iteration that builds on the original Hyrule Warriors and out-does it in every way. Subweapons are integrated a lot better, every character is fun to play... its an absolute step up in almost every way. Serves basically as a 'What if?' prequel to Breath of the Wild where things start going pretty wildly off-script and the story is surprisingly solid with some serious money and effort behind the cutscenes. They do the smart thing and make Zelda the focus protagonist while Link is the comic relief and it works really well. Cannot sing its praises enough and I'm sure I'll be playing it for months to come. Also for real they do a lot of great physical comedy with Link

Walrus Pete
Apr 16, 2008

Yo ho?



GOTY 2020: Hades, by Supergiant Games
I probably put just as much time into Hades last year as I did this year, but that's Early Access for you I guess! Supergiant is a truly special indie studio and in my opinion Hades is their best work yet. drat near everything about this game is best-in-class. It even has a compelling story that takes the foibles of the roguelike/lite/whatever genre and makes them part of it. As is usual with Supergiant, everything surrounding the gameplay is phenomenal, but luckily the gameplay itself is also fantastic. Fast as hell without being too frantic to follow or control, satisfying, and just fun.
Hades loving owns.

Honorable Mentions

2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
You don't need me to tell you about Animal Crossing. Perfect for filling 2020's endless lovely days with some sunshine, and making you forget about who's in the white house for 20 minutes every day.

3. DOOM Eternal
People who call DOOM Eternal a platformer are hilarious stupid babies. It is a fantastic shooter that makes you become a nonstop whirlwind of merciless violence lest you slow down and get chopped in half, and I loved every minute of it. Even the dumbass story. Rip and tear.

4. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
MHW turned me into a big Monster Hunter fan, and Iceborne made that game even better. Not a lot else that needs to be said, I think.

5. Ghost of Tsushima
It didn't do anything to revolutionize the open world action game format, but IMO it is a sterling example of the genre and just about everything in it was executed very well. I was also blown away by how gorgeous Sucker Punch was able to make it look on a baseline PS4, and the barely-there load times. Truly an impressive game.

6. Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers
Square-Enix has been quietly(?) making a much better "traditional" MMO than anyone else for years now, and I didn't really fully appreciate that fact until this year. FF14 kicks rear end.

7. Among Us
All the paranoia and friend-murdering of classic hidden role games, wrapped in a cute aesthetic and made effortlessly playable. What's not to like?

8. Disco Elysium
I still haven't put very much time into this game, to my great shame. What I have seen so far is superb, and I have immense respect for the people who made it. I'll get back to it, I swear!

9. Fall Guys
I like it when the funny little bean men fall down


And finally, my personal Endless Video Game Nightmare/GOTY All Years Award goes to...
10. MLB the Show 20XX
I have a brain sickness, and it can only be treated by virtual baseball.
Baseball!!

I am absolutely certain that there are other games I should have given accolades to, but I am an extremely forgetful person. Happy end of 2020, gamers.

secret "this will go on next year's list" 2020 latecomer award: Cyberpunk 2077. I'm enjoying it so far, but it's too early to put it on this list for sure yet.

Walrus Pete fucked around with this message at 15:07 on Dec 13, 2020

Help Im Alive
Nov 8, 2009



Zore posted:

1) Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity


https://linkeatingrocks.mp4

An iteration that builds on the original Hyrule Warriors and out-does it in every way. Subweapons are integrated a lot better, every character is fun to play... its an absolute step up in almost every way. Serves basically as a 'What if?' prequel to Breath of the Wild where things start going pretty wildly off-script and the story is surprisingly solid with some serious money and effort behind the cutscenes. They do the smart thing and make Zelda the focus protagonist while Link is the comic relief and it works really well. Cannot sing its praises enough and I'm sure I'll be playing it for months to come. Also for real they do a lot of great physical comedy with Link

I haven't finished it yet but Age of Calamity will make my top 10 too I think, I love it

I'm wondering if any of it's going to be canon in BotW2 because things are definitely playing out differently than I expected (I just did the two story missions where you get Sidon/Riju etc) but maybe I'll know by the end

Glare Seethe
May 15, 2004

Tenochtitlan, looking east.


Songbearer posted:

Hades: I did actually install and play this and I love it, but it's Early Access and if there's one thing I know about EA is that playing too much of it before it's actually released is a great way to burn out before the game is even done yet, so it's on the backburner until then.

It's actually been officially out of EA for a few months now! Go for it, it's phenomenal.

Morphogenic96
Oct 30, 2013


10. Kentucky Route Zero

A lot of it probably flew over my head but it was soothing to play and it felt deep and thoughtful which is nice every now and then.


9. A Short Hike

A nice optimistic gem. Glad it came in the Itch.io BLM bundle since I wouldnít have though to try it otherwise.


8. Timelie

A neat puzzle indie. Short, sweet with a vague but touching plot and puzzles that built on previous puzzles. The main game is on the easy side. The free DLC puzzles are Ö not. Playing this has resulted in Steam recommending me Cats games.


7 Super Robot Wars T

My ďgame I played on the way to workĒ before ďon the way to workĒ stopped being a thing. Iíll admit that after a certain point it became easy enough so as to be mindless but just carving through bad guys with awesome attack animations was a relaxing time waster.


6. Monster Train

Definitely a fun twist on the formula pioneered by Slay the Spire. Not quite as good in terms of tightness but the clan system gives it more variety.


5. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Metroidvania goodness with a nice story and great movement. By the endgame, just moving about is pretty fun in itself.


4. Yakuza 0

My first foray into the series. Badass protags, a moving story, wacky sidequests and minigames galore make for an awesome game. Brought down a bit by the combat though: Itís a nice spectacle but it overall just feels clunky.


3 Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth

The Summer blockbuster of VNs. High production values and a general lavish feel even if it does play things a little safe. The story and world build on the previous two games to make a grand narrative. Gameplay is a little easy but complements the story extremely well, especially the final map.


2.Hades

A perfect marriage of narrative and action roguelike gameplay.


1. Troubleshooter

Pretty much everything Iíve ever wanted in an SRPG, being an Xcom-like with unique characters in the vein of Fire Emblem and a plethora of depth and systems. Best part is how the mastery system makes each character ridiculously customisable but also distinct. Canít wait to get back in once all the post game content is added.


Honorable mentions:
Slay the Spire Mods: Played enough of the base game in 2019 that I got a bit bored of it but I probably got another ~100 hours out of the game just trying all the mods out.
Chrono Ark: Currently in EA. The base gameplay is great but itís still pretty incomplete. Definitely has has potential to be a great gem.

Samael
Oct 16, 2012




Reading this thread makes me realise how few games I have actually played this year due to... "things", but let's cobble a list together. (I hope mobile games count...)

10. Slay the Spire- Addictive card based deck builder with a bunch of interesting ways to make your deck and fight increasing difficult foes, this was definitely a game I popped on when I had 20-30 minutes spare to try a run and see how it went. Amazing little game if you haven't picked it up, it's also on XBOX gamepass if you don't want to spend much money.

9. Genshin Impact- I downloaded this on a whim to fuel my gacha addition of gotta try them all and well, it definitely surprised me in it's breath of the wild style gameplay and compelling story. I just wish there was more of it and there's absolutely way too much grinding and the rates are bad, but if you play it as a F2P experience, it holds up.

8. Among Us- I really enjoy this type of game and it's an absolute blast playing with friends and really helped my loneliness during COVID bad times, but I put it this low because I feel like playing with the wrong people who metagame the everloving poo poo of it makes it for a bad experience. Same for a lot of these type of games, it really helps when a good portion of the group is bad/new at it.

7. Terraria- I bought this game for pretty much nothing what feels like years ago and after watching a few videos I thought I would give it a go and it absolutely hooked me, the crafting, exploration and bosses make for a really fun game, but I feel like a lot of the fun is lost playing alone and is a lot better playing with friends (which unfortunately did not happen when I was very much into this game). Definitely worth picking up on sale on steam if you see it!

6. Dokapon: Monster Hunter- Been replaying this on a emulator because it was the first GBA game I ever got and it hooked me even though it's a incredibly punishing roguelike with childish graphics and has a very innovative use of a RPS system for attacks. If you have a few hours to spare and want to play something with a fair bit of strategy and heart, definitely give it a go.

5. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth- I had this game sitting on my shelf for a good part of a year before I picked up and been kicking myself not picking it up earlier. It feels like a cross between a Persona game without the daily life simulator and a Digimon game, the evolution and customization of the digimon makes for a really fun gameplay experience and the story holds up quite well, looking forward to playing the sequel!

4. Hades- I would have put this higher if I had much gametime into it, but first impressions rockets this up to number 4. The atmosphere, the gameplay has me hooked and I can't wait for more free time to play more.
3. FFXIV Shadowbringers- FFXIV continues to deliver this year and 4.3 put me under a rollercoaster of emotions I will not forget in a hurry. I'm sure everyone who is playing this game has said this, but if you haven't played this game and interested in the hype surrounding it, there's a free trial that includes the whole first expansion and that's a easy 200 hours of your time.

2. Arknights- Yes, its a gacha mobile game, but it's had easily the most playtime of games on this list for one reason. The tower defense gameplay combined with the absolute variety of units is such a fun game to mess around with on the move that it deserves it's a place so highly on this list. You can play it F2P quite easily and frankly, you will probably get more enjoyment trying to beat the increasing difficulty curve using the low rarity units you have. Great timesink.

1. Disco Elysium- I have played this game to death this year and I got to say every playthrough I do, I see new, thoughtful and interesting dialog choices every time. An absolute one of a kind masterpiece that everyone should play at least once, especially now a fully voiced version will be available soon.

Aedaxus
Feb 3, 2019


I'd vote for "Star Wars Squadrons (PS4, Xbox, PC)" but my love for EVE Online ( https://store.steampowered.com/app/8500/EVE_Online/ ) -which for me is the ultimate of space games- will never fade.

RazzleDazzleHour
Mar 30, 2016



2020 GAME OF THE YEAR: THIRTEEN SENTINELS













https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTz9p54X1bg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30Wwf2J9dMY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRV9mg84SmA

That's right, it's the post you've been waiting for. Finally, someone has come to sing the praises of 2020's best game in the way it deserves to be represented. Let's get right to the point: this game is a miracle. Every single thing about this game is worthy of an award show prize - the game looks absolutely gorgeous, the soundtrack is amazing, the characters are all memorable, and the story is one of the best video game stories of all time.

Thirteen Sentinels is evocative of 999/VLR but with all the rough edges sanded away. Placing the games in beautiful and lushly-painted environments, with the player in direct control of the characters, removes all the excess internal narration and keeps the playtime not just much more concise, but constantly moving. Each of the character's prologue introduce you to mysteries that would be considered endgame twists by pretty much any other thriller, and the stakes only increase from there. In the first three hours of the game, you're knee-deep in time travel, parallel worlds, giant robots, the apocalypse, memory erasure, alternate history, nanomachines, and yakisoba pan. The game engages in basically every sci-fi trope you can imagine, but the really unbelievable part of it is that it totally pulls it off. The game's intricate web of narratives and overlapping encounters all come together at the right times, and the surprises are always surprising. The game is littered with discoveries and reveals, but the big scenes still manage to shine - the reveal in Juro's final entry is one of my favorite video game twists of all-time. Honestly, I could spend all day talking about this game's story, but even getting into the prologues would be spoiler territory. If you haven't played this game yet, and you enjoy a good mystery or good science-fiction, you owe it to yourself to try this out.

Now, the most common criticism I see about this game is the combat segments. When you actually control the Sentinels, the game transforms into a tower-defense game that take place on a virtual circuit board. And you know what? This part of the game is dope too. One of the important plot points of the game is that being a Sentinel pilot causes a huge amount of mental strain and that prolonged exposure will cause permanent brain damage, and so to reflect this, your pilots can only fight twice before they need to take a break and will have to sit out a fight or two. However, on top of that, each map has bonus objectives you can complete for additional rewards, and so choosing which of your pilots you want to send out turns into a longform puzzle game in and of itself. Now, if you want to totally ignore all of this, you can just turn fatigue off, switch to easy, and use a full force on every map. But, playing on the hardest difficulty and following the game's rules made things really fun and tense, and the reward for doing this was by the end of the game I had a 3x multiplier on upgrade points that I could use on the really extensive upgrade system, and the final few maps became triumphant displays of accomplishment as the music swelled and I was launching screen-clearing framerate-buster missiles on thousands of enemies as the clock winded closer and closer to the end.

Long and short, this game is incredible. It just does everything right. There's not a moment of downtime in the entire playthrough, the pacing is perfect, and as I started to finish out character routes I dreaded that the game was coming to an end. This is one of those games that I would recommend to people who don't play video games if they wanna see what all the fuss is about.


GAMES I HAVE TO INCLUDE I GUESS

#2: Yakuza 7



In the ultimate irony, the singular turn-based Yakuza game stands above not just every other traditional entry in the series, but also head-and-shoulders above the series that the game constantly references as being its inspiration. In the leadup to this game, myself and many others were recommended Yakuza 0 as a great entry to the series, but were surprised to find that a series with such high acclaim is actually loving awful to play! Yakuza's combat system being broken and unfun and the worst part of the game seems to have been an open secret sitting behind any recommendations. So, what if you just scrapped it entirely and replaced it with a turn-based one? Turns out, they did a pretty great job for their first attempt. It's got pretty much all the Yakuza staples I'd been hyped up for - the comedy works, the side stories are fun and interesting, the minigames are wacky, and the story is a fun crime-story throwback. I think this game is basically the new entry point into the series, and I think my interest in Yakuza 8 is going to depend upon whether or not it keeps the turn-based combat. It's not a perfect game, and it does the thing I absolutely hate of locking higher difficulty levels behind subsequent playthroughs, but if future games build on the job system and iron out some of the difficulty curves, I could see myself sticking with the series from here on out.


#3: Hades



By 2020, the action-roguelite has pretty much taken over the genre to the point where you might as well just use "roguelike" to refer to games like Hades, and Caves of Qud become "hardcore roguelikes." The thing that really keeps me removed from the genre, however, is that I normally find these games really boring. Rogue Legacy was just too simple for me to invest any sort of time into, but that game is basically the template for all of the games that follow. The other big Roguelike release this year, Risk of Rain 2, was also a really big disappointment for me. The moment-to-moment gameplay was fun enough, but there wasn't really any sort of deeper strategy level to the game aside from when to move across levels. Choosing items basically comes down to looking at a tier list and picking the objectively best items, and not making those choices was pretty much ensuring an early run. Getting to those 1.5-2 hour runs felt like total luck, determined entirely by the game handing you the items you need to scale. Hades really stands apart from all the other roguelites in the genre just by nature of being so all-encompassing in conscious design decisions. The moment-to-moment action feels incredibly good, and there's enough variety in weapons to keep things constantly fresh. On top of that, the decision-making in choosing Boons and power-ups and room paths are not only satisfying on a strategic level, but also serve to significantly alter the way you play across the course of a single run. And there's just so MANY options. The game is one of the best examples of ways to mesh a strategic decision-making layer within an action game, and I think this game is going to be the new template for action roguelikes. My biggest complaint is kind of a major one and prevents it from scoring higher, but the escalating difficulty (heat) system is a little wonky and actually discouraged me from playing. Say you want to reach Heat 10 on a Sword. Well, if you just start there, you won't get ANY REWARDS for your run, because you haven't completed Heat 1-9. And you kind of want the rewards pretty bad. A run is 45 minutes give or take, so you're facing at LEAST ten hours, assuming you win every single run, to hit just rank ten for a single weapon. Looking at the huge list of things I was probably never going to unlock because they would take so long caused me to just sort of check out, but that was still only after 40 hours or so.

#4: Persona 4 Golden/Persona 5 Royal





Giving these a dual spot for being a remaster and re-release. Persona 4 was really a console-defining game and the start of a real sea-change within the JRPG genre. Persona 3 was fantastic (and in my opinion better than 4 as a whole), but P4 was what made the series a smash hit. Embedding a JRPG social simulator within a really really cool murder mystery was totally enthralling when I first played it, and I'm really excited that so many people get access to it now - specifically me, since Golden has been exiled to Vita Jail until now. P5 Royal, however, is the enhanced edition to end all enhanced editions. For an eighty-hour game I'd already beaten twice, the new content wasn't just a nice addition to the experience, it was so all-encompassing and constant and significant that I didn't skip through any cutscenes, didn't mash through any dialogue for fear of missing something new. It might as well have been a totally fresh playthrough. Unfortunately, they only did as much as they could, which means they didn't revise any of the core structure of the P5 story or pacing, so if you had significant issues with those, you might not enjoy this version of the game. But, if you really liked P5 or are just interested in the game, this version is worth the money.

#5: Animal Crossing New Horizons



I don't want to get too sappy here, but a social space that came out just a week after everyone I knew realized that we were being sent home from college to never see each other again was a welcome gift from 2020. I think just in terms of Animal Crossing games, this version isn't as good as New Leaf, at least from what I played. Once I hit the credits and got access to the island editor, I felt like I'd hit the endgame and didn't have anything left to look forward to aside from whatever insane cosmetics project I decided to take upon myself, but as everyone's collective interest sort of waned I too decided to peace out. I know there's been constant events and patches, but Animal Crossing is one of those games that once you're out it's very hard to get back in. I think if Nintendo hadn't hosed up the online service so incredibly badly and made the game an absolute nightmare to play with more than one or two people I would have also been more inclined to stick around, but the fact that this game is still so high on the list despite how badly I despise the functionality of the main draw of the game should say something about what sort of experience this game enables.

Best Game Not From 2020: Danganronpa 2



It's like 13 Sentinels but not literally perfect in every regard.

RazzleDazzleHour fucked around with this message at 01:36 on Dec 13, 2020

wuggles
Jul 12, 2017






RazzleDazzleHour posted:

2020 GAME OF THE YEAR: THIRTEEN SENTINELS

Hell yeah.

Help Im Alive
Nov 8, 2009



sadly your vote for 13 sentinels does not count as your list only contains one game RIP

RazzleDazzleHour
Mar 30, 2016



Help Im Alive posted:

sadly your vote for 13 sentinels does not count as your list only contains one game RIP

Im not voting Im telling you

Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

I'm just goin' with the FLOW, baby.




Yeah it's just facts.

Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

CUTEST IN THE WORLD
QUEEN OF THE SIMPS
RARITY-CHAN





Gonna be so funny when 13 Sentinels misses out on the #1 spot by less than 10 points

haveblue
Aug 15, 2005




Toilet Rascal

13/10 good sentinels

Looper
Mar 1, 2012





RDH please i'm begging you edit four more games in don't let that good post go to waste

Real hurthling!
Sep 11, 2001






Honorable Mention Awards:

Best game everyone loved but I thought was simply good: Hades
I recognize the innovation in storytelling for a roguelike, the richness of the characters and the world, the depth of the boon interactions and weapons for run diversity, and all the polish, but after 1 victory I was done with playing the same 4 levels over and over. I liked it way better than their last few games for sure. I think maybe i'm just in my own boat cause i work with greco-roman culture/languages and have huffy opinions about things and some degree of subject burnout lol.

Best game i didn't like but not for the same reason as everyone else: Tlou 2
This game plays exactly like the last one. I didn't like waiting in detective vision crouch mode for simplistic zombie patrol routes to pass around 8 years ago and I still don't loving like it. Let me hip fire a gun at these annoying rear end dogs that i want to murder remorselessly, neil fuckman! Great face and rope tech tho. very impressed graphically even after being wowed in uc4. Also I won't overlook the few actual additions to the gameplay that I liked: the wider outdoor levels with lots of routes and the 1 small open part. if the whole game was explorative i would have liked it more.

Best lovely sequel worth playing: Deadly premonition 2
DP2 is worse than DP in every way except its gunplay. it runs unacceptably bad on switch. it's way too simple and short in its plot. there's basically nothing to do in town. But at the end the game speaks directly to the player and if you ever loved York he makes you forgive him for being in such an unworthy follow up.

Best Fight Crab: Fight Crab
This game owns. sorry if you don't think so. good day, sir.

Best doom clone of 2020: Prodeus
Play prodeus. Crank the volume up.

The top 10 games of 2020:

10. Monster Train
I'm not the biggest fan of card games, roguelites, or tower defense but somehow this combo of all three was probably my most played game this year. Every run has you pick a primary and secondary race of monsters and figure out how to synergize their abilities together and arrange their units on each lane on the board to be most effective. This makes each race go so much further in terms of variety and replay-ability as their gameplan differs wildly based on who they are paired with.
All the races are super unique and the challenge is in a tough but fair sweetspot until you start cranking up the difficulty modifiers with each subsequent win.

9. Astros Playroom
Pure joy. A homage to playstation's past and a big introduction to the potential of its future. This game is the wii sports of haptics. It shows you the best of whats possible on the dualsense controller and leaves you wanting so much more. This is my first platinum trophy too, thanks to the ps5 hint system built into the game i cleaned up all the missing tasks without ever needing to look something up on my phone...the game just made it so easy. The game plays like an all time great 3d platformer too and the music is still in my head a month later. A free demo game more deserving of a full sequel has never existed.

8. Demon's Souls (2020)
This is the definitive demon's souls. Any personal feelings about the changes to some designs are blown away by the fidelity and performance that bluepoint achieved in their remake. The game design holds up as truly classic, the presentation is top notch, the gameplay is improved, and they even tossed in a mirrored mode to help make it feel fresh.

7. The Pathless
After not liking abzu very much beyond its visuals i was skeptical of this follow up but they delivered on gameplay for me big time. Movement is effortless, puzzles and secrets are challenging and satisfying, you can rub the bird...its a total package. The only thing keeping it out of the top 5 is its reuse of boss mechanics for every stealth or combat encounter. Having every boss be different would have gone a long way to fully capturing the shadow of colossus vibe they were going for.

6. Yakuza: Like a Dragon
RGG studios are masters of making their series feel fresh for another underworld saga and this time they made their most radical departure in terms of both character and gameplay. The rpg system isn't perfect, it has many of the same problems that the dragon quest combat and skill systems it is homaging have, but the party structure and growing stronger together serves the narrative themes of friendship and cooperation so well in a way that a beat 'em up couldnt.

5. Final Fantasy 7 (2020)
In an era of great remakes and reimaginings its rare to see a game so boldly reject the story of the beloved original version. Mostly its a big dumb Nomura-style disaster but it doesn't matter. The nostalgia is on point and new life has been breathed into formerly shallow characters. The total mess of a real time action combat system from final fantasy 15 has finally reached its potential and it was a joy to battle with every combination of characters. I can't imagine what is coming next, but i'm so fully satisfied with part 1 that I don't really care.

4. Ghosts of Tsushima
This was going to be on my list anyway but the free multiplayer dlc pushed it right into the top 5. The visuals of this game are insane; charging through a flowing field of flowering pampas grass on horseback, driving a screen-filling flood of grasshoppers and toads in front of you through the moonlight as the trees sway and ember particles fly through the air...its just overwhelming in particle density and color vibrancy. The gameplay feels great too and is adaptable enough for a fantastic class-based raid mode to have been designed from it for the legends dlc. Ghosts does suffer from standard open world problems and an uninteresting story, but it puts other games in its genre to shame in presentation, value, and fun.

3. Ghostrunner
This game pushes you to the limits of what you are capable over and over again and then asks you to exceed them. It gives you instant reloads after death, incredibly fun and fluid titanfall-style grapple/wallrun movement, and the ninja toolkit you need to murder all the cops in your way to the top of the tower. The plot isn't spectacular, the challenge can feel overwhelming at times, but it feels so good to be tested and triumph.

2. Desperados 3
I loved studio mimimi's last game, shadow tactics, and this is its spiritual successor. The pinnacle of realtime stealth tactics is here, pardner. This is the 1st game i've played that has an onscreen quicksave reminder flashing at you every 60 seconds since you last hit f5 because its so easy to get wrapped up in the next challenge on the map and forget. Voice acting and characterization is top notch along with graphics and map design that will test all your ingenuity and skill to survive to the end of the revenge story's excellent arc and final epic showdown.

1. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
This game is a triumph of narrative, characterization, and pacing. It effortlessly blends all the great 70's and 80's scifi films into one coherent and gripping story in a way that you could not imagine being possible. This isn't merely a tour of hollow E.T., Terminator, et al. nostalgia, it is somehow, against all odds, capturing the suspense, emotional connection, and impact of those films and imparting them on the otherwise very tiresome anime high school setting. The cast of excellent characters is massive, the art is gorgeous, and the combat mode is an great addition to the VN/adventure gameplay and is dense with customization to explore for all your sentinels. Vanillaware has finally come into its own by dropping the simplistic mashy combat that has been their hallmark and making its beautiful hand-painted art not just some set dressing for fights but a lived in place thats important in the lives of its characters.

Real hurthling! fucked around with this message at 22:54 on Dec 13, 2020

BeanpolePeckerwood
May 4, 2004

BUT SATAN'S BOY
I COULD NEVER BE!



Pork Pro

yeah, i was gonna say, any old goon can post a bunch of screenshots. it takes a brave and methodical goon to help realpolitik an anime game to the top spot

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Okay. I've read the thread carefully, and considered this high and sober for far too long. Here's the list.



10) Fortnite. Wait what? That silly kids game? You're really putting it as number ten? It's dumb. Well yes, it is, but it also does events better than anyone else, and in terms of sheer hours played with friends all over the country, it's unmatched. I've been playing now for two years because of that. At the same time, it's getting stale. Battle passes have lost a lot of value (skins are slowly getting worse and worse) and the map is also feeling old at this point. Every little kid thinks they can be a pro gamer and the match making means you fight totally monsters who think there's money on the line or literally bots. Frankly among gamers this game is still underrated though.


9) Modern Warfare. My other friends (aka the dad age dudes) are now playing this. I resisted, (and partly because this game would kill my PS4 pro every-time I booted it up to play till I got a PS5) but Loot game mode alone is a total blast and while I doubt this game will be there next year, for now it's a blast on a Saturday with stressed friends in rough relationships also all over the country.

8) Star Wars Squadrons. A good (though I'd prefer a classic remake and sequel to the rouge squadron games) Star Wars flying game? In 2020? I'll take it!

7) Super Mario All Stars Bundle For Switch I have never played the classic 3D mario's. So I'm going back to these with fresh eyes and I can see what classics they are. I have not beaten any of these three, but so far a few levels into each I adore this. I'm taking a month off in early 2021 (Either January or February) from playing any PS5 games and focusing on my switch back log, and can't wait to dig into all three of these.

6) Tetris Effect. Brillant Music. Brilliant game.

5) Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 Remake Classics that stand the test of time and remind me I was never good at these games but love them.

4) The Legend of Zelda Links Awakening (Switch) One of my favorite games of all time that is just as good if not better here. Love it. It would be one or two spots higher if not for frame rate. Hopefully a switch pro will solve this? Maybe?

3) Animal Crossing New Horizons. The game that saved a lot of goons and folks from depression this year. It's a great Animal Crossing game but maybe not the best game? I play far less than I did of course, but will be playing again at major events.

2) Resident Evil 2 (Remake). I've never played much RE. I've played through R4 on Wii, and this is my second full RE game. God. It's brilliant. Truly a top 10 for me of all time possibly.

1) The Last Of Us Part 2 Yeah. I know. That game. But hereís the thing. It is a truly masterpiece of a game. Masterpiece does not mean perfect. Folks around here like to poo poo on it for a lot of reasons. I think most of the criticisms here is because goons are overweighing the opinions of maybe a dozen people (at most) but there are criticisms Iíll address.

In my eyes (and again, this is all subjective) there are 3 main valid criticisms of this game. Iím going to briefly address them all before I jump into why this is GOTY. The first is the easiest. The requirement of the player to do violence when they donít wish to, for story sakes. I do agree itís a limitation I would agree with, until we dive more into the story of the game. I didnít love doing said things, but in terms of the scope and story they are trying to tell, it makes sense.

The next big criticism of the game is crunch to make the game. The industry has a problem here. They should be better. But every major game studio has this problem, and itís usually only cherry picked for gamers when itís a game they want to criticize in other ways but try to use this as a way of hearing more progressive than they actually are. See how many people in the cyber punk thread are in someways defending the crunch, even though the game itself at release was a buggy mass and clearly should've had another six months before they actually released it, but because it lives up to what that poster once, they make jokes about things like how it should've been released on seven-year-old hardware.


lastly, the third criticism is handling of trans issues. I'm leery of touching on this. If you are trans and you found the game offensive I'm sorry. Your opinion is of course more valid than mine because of your lived experience. What But I will say as someone who tries to pay attention to LBGTQ+ issues (because iím a writer, and want to include more inclusivity because thatís the way forward to tell stories) I did not find the game anything other than progressive. The main trans character in the game is arguably the best human in the game, and the only one that does not do anything wrong. (actually thereís arguably three people in this group, but they are the least questionable in their actions). Yes, they are dead named, but only by the religious zealots who were clearly in the wrong, and not often ( I think twice?). And while it was a plot point of the game, them being trans was not this central plot point.


So why is this game so drat good and the GOTY?

The gameplay. Dear God the gameplay of a stealth action horror game is perfection. There's no one way to go about the main areas of the game. You can be a stealthy little rear end in a top hat, a brutal murder machine fighter, or some combination of both. The game gives you these arenas and clearly does not have a bias of which way to go about it. As long as you understand the true mechanics up again, there's a lot of ways to skin this particular animal. Improved on literally everything in the first game and made it significantly better.

The music is also incredible, not to mention the acting and storytelling in general. All of these actors are giving Award were the performances and the animations of them are truly next gen feeling.

Finally, the story itself. Itís not the story a lot of gamers wanted.
What iíve noticed is that most of the great storytellers on twitter that I follow also think this is objectively a masterpiece.
Because it's a drat good one. It's a meditation on violence, and revenge.

I think often a lot of fans struggled with the story because at its core its rejection of general western Christian philosophy, which has seeped in and then been ingrained in so many of us, even those resist it or argue weíve thrown off itís shackles.
It takes a character that at the beginning you hate, and at the end at least in my case I came to deeply care about, which is truly impressive.

It is also thematically, a perfect mirror to the first game. Neil and Haley are truly two of the most underrated people in the industry today, at least by reddit, twitter, and these forums. I can't wait to see what they do next.

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BeanpolePeckerwood
May 4, 2004

BUT SATAN'S BOY
I COULD NEVER BE!



Pork Pro

LionArcher posted:

It is also thematically, a perfect mirror to the first game. Neil and Haley are truly two of the most underrated people in the industry today, at least by reddit, twitter, and these forums. I can't wait to see what they do next.

I think Neil is done directing because he was just promoted to co-president. Looks like ND will be allowing fresh blood to direct projects going forward.

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