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Dec 31, 2018

Ed Acosta’s Top 10 Games of 2018


Let’s face it, Newport News TV has the best motion graphics thanks to Ed (give them a Like 👍). Aside from real-life obligations and settling into married life, Ed played a lot of games this year. The best ones in his opinion are ordered and numbered for your reading convenience.

10. Konami Pixel Puzzle

I would have put Tetris Effect or Pokémon Let’s Go on this list but have yet to actually play these games. I love Tetris and I really want to dive back into a remastered world of Kanto. But in the meantime, I’ve been completing puzzle after puzzle in Konami’s mobile Picross game, Konami’s Pixel Puzzle Collection. I don’t know the whole story around the naming convention and why some are called picross and some are called something else but this is a very competent picross game. The puzzles are centered around different Konami properties from the 8-bit era so you’ll find puzzles of Castlevania, Contra, Gradius, and more. They don’t make things too difficult with puzzles only reaching 15×15 but they load you up with a TON of them to do. I’m only slightly over 50% of the puzzles completed and I’ve been playing since it’s release this October. According to an update log, there’s even more to do after you finish the game now. I love how when you complete a line, they will fill in the blank Xs for you, saving on precious time. The sensitivity to finger presses can get a little unwieldy and I find myself accidentally filling in the wrong square from time to time. This is by far the best picross game on a mobile device, and the best part is it’s free with no ads!


09. Katamari Damacy: REROLL

What a great remaster! I’ve always enjoyed the first Katamari and remember fondly my day of talking to our EIC Scott about it while driving over to Best Buy to pick up a copy; taking it home to play all afternoon. This is as faithful a remaster one could make with all the content returning, but not forgetting the bonus of enhancing the visuals. Playing anywhere with it being on the Switch is a very nice bonus as well.


08. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

There was a lot of moaning and groaning coming from the fans regarding Odyssey. Some thought that Ubisoft were too quick to put out a sequel when they did such a great job with Origins. They utilized their longer development time to craft a very good Assassin’s Creed game. Once you play Odyssey though, any worries about the game quickly fade as this one takes the engine and formula from Origins and polishes it a bit more. Being able to choose a male or female protagonist right from the get go is a welcomed addition to the series and the quality of life improvements to tracking missions are much needed. I played with the assist of finding missions turned on but for those who want to engorge themselves into the world, the option to locate missions on your own will give you quite the satisfaction. I would still like more of the outside of the animus story because I find the whole technology future assassin angle so intriguing, but I understand that I’m part of the minority on that; so I’ll just enjoy what we get. I’m still not done with this world and would like to dive further in. Unfortunately for Assassin’s Creed, one game later on has taking a majority of my time.


07. Forza Horizon 4

Playground Games and Turn 10 just continue to raise the bar for Forza games. With Horizon 4’s online world, they’ve made something that we’ve only dreamed of since the promise of Test Drive Unlimited. Being able to find friends and matchup with other racers in real time is amazing. Having the option of doing online or offline races within the map and not having to choose different modes is quite convenient. The game looks as gorgeous as always and, at least on PC, is optimized better than Horizon 3 or even Motorsport 7 was. Horizon has pretty much taken over the genre and it’s hard to see anyone else challenging that crown anytime soon.


06. Monster Hunter World

Capcom has always been so hesitant to push Monster Hunted here in the states, but that was well founded. Their systems were not tailored to an American audience, even if some of the series titles had fans here. With World they did things right and designed a monster hunter game that people outside of the east could get behind. The mechanics and systems were streamlined, giving them that “in” they needed to grab up a western base. It also helped that World was designed to play on a TV with more power behind it than any handheld could ever produce and the monsters and environments look gorgeous because of it. Their biggest fault unfortunately was the ridiculousness of trying to play multiplayer. Nothing was ever clear how you’re supposed to meet up with friends and then trying to even get into a game with them was a whole other story. Even to its detriment, the game is loads of fun to play.


05. Yakuza 6

What an end to Kiryu’s chapter in Yakuza. The game built on what made previous Yakuza titles fun and focused on that. The silly antics meshed with a serious story in this series will always be a delight to me and seeing Kiryu react to all the people he meets will never be dull. The combat felt more laser focused and your upgrade tree felt more intuitive. This is by far the best in the series and one I try to recommend to anyone who’ll listen.


04. God of War

I was definitely ready for a new God of War but even more excited to see this new take on the franchise. It retains a lot of that God of War action even with moving the camera behind the shoulder. The relationship between Kratos and Atreus plays well with their storied adventure together. The game is good early on and once the world opens up to you, it’s a whole other beast. I can understand why the game got so many awards this year but it just didn’t click with me the same way these next few did.


03. Hitman 2

There were so many great releases this year, Hitman 2 nearly topped them all. Bringing back the same formula as the 2016 title and just adding more worked so well. Instead of giving us a season two they gave us a whole new game with a bonus of season 1’s content. The levels look sharp, the serious yet funny tone is still there, and the controls are tight as ever. The environments are fun to explore and the range of challenges gives the player a lot to do. The added difficulty and the new mechanics create a play field that entices you to come back for more. It’s a shame that an internet connection is required for unlocking challenges, decimating most of the game’s replayability.


02. Marvel’s Spider-Man

In any other year, this would have been my game of the year. Marvel’s Spider-Man does the web slinger right. From a near perfectly crafted Peter Parker to the ever so quippy masked hero I love, Insomniac knocked it out of the park-er. Anyone who knows me, knows that Spider-Man is my favorite superhero. This is the character I’ve always looked up to because I felt I could relate to him; as was by design! The underlying theme of With Great Power must also come Great Responsibility holds heavy weight in my heart. So to see a game bring out the best representation of Peter, aside from Tom Holland’s performance in the MCU, was heart warming. To see Insomniac get the folly’s of being in a relationship and out of one with Peter and MJ was perfect. From the conversations to the tone of their text messages, it just all felt genuine. Combat is sharp and web slinging feels second nature. In fact, this game still holds one of the most impactful moments in gaming to me this year. I got into the game, watched the opening cutscene, getting myself into character, and the moment your given control and start swinging through the city, a beautifully rendered New York mind you, I began to tear up. I don’t know what it was about that moment that was so powerful, the tight controls, the dialogue that was playing, or just the atmosphere of it all, but being able to be my hero, faithfully recreated, hit me with overwhelming emotion. I love this game and I can’t wait to see where it goes.


01. Red Dead Redemption 2

I’ve poured so much into this game since it’s release. At first, I wasn’t sure if it was going to be for me with its slow pace, but something clicked. There was a moment when I was traveling to a waypoint and I just decided to slow down. My horse, Assassino, slowed to a trot and I started to take in the landscape; it was all so beautiful. Instead of rushing to the next story mission, I began hunting and exploring the area. This became Arthur’s life for me. I wasn’t only just focused on the well crafted story, but now I was weaving my own tale. Arthur getting ambushed by wolves only surviving by the skin of his teeth. Arthur finding the legendary animals of this world to craft unique gear. Arthur saving the land from racists and raiders, it all tied into my overall narrative of what my Arthur was. The characters are likable and there are some I’ve grown attached to. So when the story takes hard left turns, the impact is felt immensely. I wasn’t too keen on the Arthur Morgan character in trailers, but that man sure has grown on me. Sure there are some odd decisions for controls but I found that, for myself, slowing down made them easier to grasp. I’m still playing RDR2, even while typing this, and I don’t see myself dropping off anytime soon.