With 2020 come and gone, there has been a lot to tackle this year both mentally and physically. Video games have always been something that has helped curb stress in my life and this year is no different. I was extremely thankful for the games that took my mind to new and exciting places. New adventures to be had and stories to be told. I also would love to give a huge thank you to all the developers that continue to work in odd circumstances this year and provided us with these releases. So without further delay, here are my favorite 10 games (in no particular order) that I played this year.
Another year and another great batch of games to come along. When the end of the year rolls around, it’s always hard to encapsulate just how many games made their way into my rotation. Those that left a lasting impact. Luckily for me, it’s been time to sit down and finalize the list for 2019.
Star Ocean is a series I never really appreciated when I was in my teenage years. I love RPGs, but something about this series just rubbed me the wrong way. Perhaps it was thinking the RPG was all about futuristic space. When in reality the series has mixed sci-fi with high fantasy. It’s something I adore now. There was one Star Ocean game I never had the chance to play though, the very first one. It never released in the US until a remake on PSP. Now years later, Square Enix has breathed new life into the franchise with the release on Switch and it’s everything I could have hoped for.
Well howdy there pardners! Let me tell you a story, one about a western game that once released digitally on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. A game about a lone gunslinger, coming into town to tell his story, much like I am right now. One filled with double barrel action, intense showdowns, and great variation. Now I know what you’re thinking “But how is the Nintendo Switch port?” Well, have no fear cowpokes as this is one western experience that does mighty justice to the genre and the system it’s on.
I’ve never been one for simulator games. I prefer more arcade like thrills. This applies for racing games and other genres. So when I heard about Bee Simulator, I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a parody game much like Goat Simulator, or an actual simulator. Truth is, it’s a little bit of both. Bee Simulator is a fun, unique look at teaching players about bee’s while not being a complete bore.
The revival of Jumanji has been bittersweet for me. I loved the original movie growing up as a kid. With much apprehension, hearing of a sequel, I wasn’t sure how to take it. Fast forward to how much I enjoyed that sequel and now were getting another entry, it was only a matter of time before an actual video game was released. One based on the new entries which are based on… a video game Jumanji. That would mean a game based on the movie is a perfect fit right?
The Wild West and horror are two genre’s I’m extremely into. The idea of the two crossing paths isn’t a new one, but it’s also one we don’t see all too often. Ritual Crown of Thorns tries to blend the two into a top down action shooter with a lot of challenge. I’d say they succeed overall, but of course like unworldly contract, there is a fine print.
I love retro games. Love them or hate them though, they’ve paved the way for what has become today’s video games. Often times hard, often times frustratingly cheap in design, we pushed through these experiences back in the 80’s and 90’s. What’s great to see over the last 10 years or so is the revival of these games. Games that try to recreate that feel but in today’s market. Sydney Hunter is one such game and I’m happy to report it brings all the feelings of old school titles along with some great modern convenience.
The month of October is the perfect time to release a horror game right? Spooky season in peak, horror movies sales increase, and candy everywhere. A new horror experience is right on player’s doorsteps this Halloween and it’s one I have been following for quite a while. So much, I originally backed Song of Horror on a Kickstarter that didn’t make its goal. They didn’t give up though. Now years later, Song of Horror has been released and aims to provide players with an episodic tale of suspense and nightmares with a unique twist.
I’m not a huge fan of rogue-like games. Admittedly that’s probably not the best way to start off a review of a game in the genre, but hear me out. Rogue-like games usually require some sort of replaying levels over and over with little gains. Perhaps those gains come from learning a level or how to better handle enemies. Each game with these elements and within this genre always seem to have varying degrees on how they work. For my, it feels like all the work I’ve done amounts to nothing in a lot of ways. Jumping into Children of Morta, like any game in this genre, had me a bit apprehensive. Hours later, one thing became very clear: I adored this game, its story, and its progression system.
It seems like every other day, we turn around and notice we’re getting more ports on the Nintendo Switch. More games to choose from is never a bad thing though. Just in time for the spooky season we have a port that I was honestly quite surprised to hear announced. An open world, creature of the night RPG, Vampyr is about to come knocking on players doors and it’s mostly a great experience on the little guy. As a fan of the original release, I was curious just how much bite this version had retained, or would it be better buried and forgotten?
Video games based around movies have never really been a grand experience. Sure we have had some exceptions to the rule but normally we expect the worst. In some cases this works out to its advantage and players walk away surprised. Zombie land unfortunately leans more towards the sooner than the later.
The Witcher 3 turned out to be one of my all-time favorite games after having completed a couple of years ago. The adventures of Geralt, the story of Ciri, and the Wild Hunt captivated me. I couldn’t stop playing it, and only did so when I have other responsibilities to handle. Fast forward to 2019 and the Witcher 3 has not only been released on the Nintendo Switch, but the complete version. Featuring all the released DLC and on one cartridge. The results are rather amazing.
Hey swashbucklers, as a fan of games like Harvest Moon or Rune Factor, I’ve always felt the genre could do well with expending its style. So many themes out there to choose from that could be applied to a casual life building sim. Well ahoy there, because Stranded Sails looks to do just that while offering a pirate themed adventure full of legends, treasures, and farming.
Sometimes a release from the past comes around that totally takes you by surprise. A treasured game that is re-done or re-released for current consoles. Today that game is Ninja Warriors, a SNES game that released back in 1994. So let’s jump right into the side scrolling brawler actions and see if it’s still a ninja kicking good time!