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    Your favorite video games of 2018
    • All I found was a tournament game when I looked for a thread like this on Zelda Universe, so here's one where you can rank what you played and talk about as many of them as you want. So far I've only played six games and they've all ranged from quite good to really good. They've all had release dates in 2018 for the platforms I played them on, and that's what counts in the end.

      6. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! (Nintendo Switch)

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      I suddenly became interested in this game a couple weeks before release, because I finally saw a trailer that had trainer battles and not only that, but they were also turn-based like the series was always meant to be. It also started to become clear to me that it's structured like an adventure and more independent from Pokémon GO than I imagined. I've only played Pokémon generations 1 and 2 and some of 5 so I was fine with this game taking a back step towards the roots and missing some later mechanics that were never very familiar to me, and instead having some convenience features such as experience points being distributed across the entire party and the riddance of HMs.

      Then what is it doing at the bottom of the list under other good games? Catching anything controls like a nightmare, essentially forcing me to only play on handheld mode which in the past I've only done if I'm taking the Switch somewhere with me. Joycon waggle resulted approximately in an unacceptable three out of five pokeballs going where I wanted to throw them. It also felt more like playing a kid's game than a family game. It's mind-numbingly easy, even after setting it to hard mode where switching to another pokémon isn't prompted, even when I refused to feed them overpowered candies and even if my knowledge of Pokémon is only semi-encyclopedic. The game seems afraid to challenge you because it might hurt your feelings, your rival is now like a friend you're probably supposed to care about while Team Rocket remains at "We're a group dedicated to doing evil using pokémon!" level of villain subtlety (direct quote by the way) in case their role as the enemy is too complicated to understand otherwise.

      None of these non-gameplay issues are enough to ruin the fun of playing it, but they're mostly why this game would drop from my top 10 if the list actually extended there and beyond right now.


      5. Bomb Chicken (Nintendo Switch)

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      Bomb Chicken is a cute little one-button game if you don't count directionals, just about as simple as that sounds, both in good and bad. Instead of jumping in this platformer you lay infinite bombs for traversal, puzzles and combat alike. It's only a couple hours long and there's not much else to say about it, other than it's pretty fun.


      4. Crossing Souls (Playstation 4)

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      If you wish 2D Zelda was more linear and had several playable characters, please understand that's probably never happening and check out Crossing Souls instead. The atmosphere is very charming as you can probably tell if you watched the trailer. There are 80s references everywhere and those cartoon cutscenes are taken straight from the game. I got pretty immersed in the story too which isn't very typical for me when it comes to video games. I played it around the same time I started watching Stranger Things and that couldn't have been more fitting. The presentation speaks to my generation and it does that very well.

      The gameplay isn't bad either. There's some light platforming, combat and puzzles in a healthy mix, and the whole thing is surprisingly easy-going if you're expecting something like Hotline Miami or Enter the Gungeon when you see the Devolver Digital logo while you're loading the game. No two characters are the same and they each have unique abilities to use outside of combat as well. I was going to complain that some of those abilities were only ever used maybe twice in the entire game until I recalled that those were easily my most frequently used fighter characters in the party, so I noticed they actually balanced each other out quite nicely in the end.

      I would have put this higher if it wasn't for one random glitch that wouldn't let me move, which is a very bad thing in a game that has manual saving in save points. My lost progress only took maybe 20 minutes to replay, but still. As far as I know this game isn't notorious for technical issues, so don't let what happened to me turn you off from trying this wonderful game yourself because maybe it was something that happened to just me.


      3. Iconoclasts (Playstation 4)

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      I was impressed with Iconoclasts even before I found out it's developed by just one person, which probably explains why it took seven years to come out. This is a high quality metroidvania where almost everything is just right. There's some clever level design whether we're talking puzzle rooms or setpieces that you only see once in escape sequences and such, and the boss fights are varied, plentiful and all really fun.

      I prefer my metroidvanias open and sprawling instead of scripted, and that's where this game somewhat disappointed me because it's very heavily committed to telling a story. I guess it can work very well if you can focus your attention to it, which I eventually couldn't so it stopped being memorable to me pretty early on. I remember the sense of humor was pretty good in some parts, the drama stuff on the other hand not so much. I can't explain it any better at least without replaying it, which I might do eventually. What's good was very very good, including how it looks.


      2. Dandara (Nintendo Switch)

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      You would think Dandara played like a typical sidescrolling metroidvania if you couldn't look up other footage than static screenshots. Conventional things such as jumping or walking have been completely removed, and instead you stick and pounce from wall to wall in zero gravity. Like you're aiming a gun, but you're flying yourself as you pull the trigger. The levels and enemies are designed to answer this and the entire game feels fresh and unpredictable because of it. It's fascinatingly disorienting and not afraid to be challenging, so keep that in mind in case that sounds like a negative. I really enjoyed that aspect because it adds so much to the atmosphere of the game world, like I'm facing the unknown in sync with the game character facing hers. There's nothing like the feeling of exploring environments that are remarkably beautiful and dangerous at the same time, especially in a game like this that every once in a while lets you pick a direction and go as far as you dare.


      1. Yoku's Island Express (Nintendo Switch)

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      Metroidvanias have been my comfort zone in video games for a long time and apparently my favorite thing is when a game successfully expands it by bringing an unexpected element to it without breaking it. This time that element is pinball. I've never been into pinball, at least I thought I wasn't, yet here we are with my favorite game of 2018 so far and there's a lot of pinball in it.

      Yoku's Island Express is an extremely fresh, creative, quirky, fun, adventurous and adorable feel-good experience from start to finish. I had to immediately go for the 100% completion and I'm sure the island is still pretty exciting to explore even if you only really cared about finishing the main quest. Yes, there's even a story in there. I'm trying to think of something to complain about, so uh... the fast travel system could be improved quite a bit. Also if you happened to seriously hate pinball for some reason, maybe then don't try to play Yoku's Island Express. It would be frustrating to go anywhere if it wasn't also fun at the same time.

      I downloaded the demo as soon as I saw the trailer and not long after that I was playing the full game and it delivered on all fronts, despite some pretty high expectations. That's always nice, not something that happens every year when you're my age.


      If you were searching my post for the high-profile hard-hitters of the year and wondering where they are, you might find the names of some of them on the following list that got a bit longer than I expected, even after trimming it a bit. These are games released in 2018 that I haven't played yet but I'm eventually going to, with confidence that most of them have a shot at making it to the better half of my top 10. This year has been crazy with sales for games almost immediately after release, so once again I've been slower at playing them than buying them.

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      Celeste (PS4)
      Chasm (PS4)
      Dead Cells (PS4)
      Death's Gambit (PS4)
      The Gardens Between (NS)
      God of War (PS4)
      Gris (NS)
      Guacamelee! 2 (PS4)
      Hollow Knight (PS4)
      Into the Breach (NS)
      Light Fall (NS)
      Marvel's Spider-Man (PS4)
      Masters of Anima (PS4)
      Mega Man 11 (PS4)
      The Messenger (NS)
      Minit (NS)
      The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories (NS)
      Moonlighter (PS4)
      Octopath Traveler (NS)
      Owlboy (PS4)
      Pool Panic (NS)
      West of Loathing (NS)
    • I'm still playing through it, but I think Assassin's Creed Odyssey is my favorite 2018 game. I mainly love it as a game where I can explore through a beautiful rendition of Ancient Greece. I am a bit of a history nerd and really adore being able to see ancient civilizations reconstructed to the best of our knowledge/ability. I also love how they depicted music. There's not much music surviving from that era, but I was especially happy to see that they depicted a lot of instruments, including the double reed instrument aulos! Yay. (That made it GOTY for me. Just kidding! Maybe.).

      Gameplaywise I don't know how it stands up to the rest of the franchise as I've never played any before, but it's good enough for me. Just as long as I turn the blood off and pretend I'm not really killing anyone... lol

      Anyway, other 2018 releases I really enjoyed are Okami HD and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Okami HD would probably overtake Assassin's Creed Odyssey as its more up my alley, but it is a port and I don't ever include ports in my ranking, not even when I played the game for the first time through that port (and I did with Okami. Poor Okami.) Super Smash Bros Ultimate is... Super Smash Bros. I know people really like this entry and a lot of work and content was put into it, but I'm afraid it's just more of the same to me. The appeal just isn't really there anymore for me.

      Now for a non-2018 release that I played for the first time in 2018: Persona 5. This contends with even Okami HD as my technical favorite game I played in 2018, but at this point I don't even know. I just think I really like Odyssey, Okami HD, and Persona 5 all for very distinctly different reasons.

      Ultimately 2018's charm for me was in trying franchises that are new to me instead of relying on old favorite franchises (and aside from Ultimate, Nintendo pretty much had nothing else of interest to me this year). I think this may need to be the direction I keep going with gaming from now on. Kingdom Hearts 3 aside. It's a must-buy to me, and I bet it will be amazing. Its titles like Animal Crossing that I worry about me having too much franchise fatigue to really love.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Envy ().

    • My favorite game of 2018 is undoubtedly Smash Bros. I mean, come on. It's Smash Bros.

      But there's been a fair share of other games this year. I'll talk about them briefly, as I really can't be bothered getting into long dissertations on each one. Anyway, here we go!

      • Octopath Traveler: I really enjoyed this one. Put lots of hours into it and had a great time playing. The individual stories were of varying quality but all on the good side, with some being merely pretty good and others being really good. Travel banter was great, as was tavern banter. Most easily likable cast of characters this year.
      • Torna - The Golden Country: The Xenoblade 2 DLC came and it was good stuff. A tighter, more refined package than the epic original game, with a really fun combat system and more detailed sidequests. Even though we sorta knew where the story would end up, it was still a thoroughly fun ride through and through.
      • Spider-Man (PS4): I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this one, both because I'm a major Spider-Man fan but also because I'm a major fan of open-world games that make it fun to traverse the open world. And Spider-Man does this in spades. Add to that a magnificent story that rivals and even surpasses several of the movies, and you've got yourself a fine-ass Spider-Man game.
      • Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu: Didn't expect to get so caught up in a remake of the tried and true Kanto classics, but here I am. The changes made to how you catch and train Pokémon felt somehow much more addictive than the old standard of just fighting Pokémon in the grass. Walking through the grass was even a joy this time around, rather than a pain. I went out of my way to chase down wild Pokémon, instead of spraying Repel everywhere. All in all, I had a great time with this one.
      • Assassin's Creed Odyssey: All in all, I had fun with this game. I played as Kassandra, of course, and took every opportunity I got to romance anyone and everyone who I could. I also played as a blatant Spartan favoritist, because fuck the Athenians.
      • God of War (PS4): Never been much of a God of War guy, but I'm a Norwegian and Kratos is coming to fuck up my fjords so what am I supposed to do? I thoroughly enjoyed the axe-throwing in this game; there was something really satisfying about throwing it at someone's leg, make them fall because they just had a big fucking axe thrown at their leg, and then summon it back into my hand like mo-fuggin' Thor. Just too bad that the only god you fight that's worth a damn is... Baldur. The fuck?
      • A whole lotta Wii U ports: I remember spending the first half of 2018 playing either God of War or one of several Wii U ports that came out during that time. There was Donkey Kong, Bayonetta, and who can forget Hyrule Warriors; all of them made better by the fact that I can bring them with me wherever I go. Mostly to the toilet. Sometimes to my parents' house.
    • @Envy Not that it has anything to do with my nationality ( :ironic: ) but Odyssey is the first Assassin's Creed that I enjoyed playing. The series has changed a lot since the first few games which I hated and now it's almost RPG. Seeing if they got familiar places right is a huge bonus though.

      As for my own GOTY 2018, I honestly didn't play enough to be qualified for it, but I think I would pick My Time At Portia. It's something between Animal Crossing and Rune Factory, and very enjoyable without feeling very grindy for what it is. Runners up would be Hitman 2 and Pokémon Let's Go.
      "Can't post that on a Christian forum."
    • @Please Understand Oh, are you Greek? I'm actually curious to see how accurate the game is. I know some of the history (what I remember anyway, lol) and I know, being a music history student, that at least some of the songs that the street musicians/singers perform are legitimate ancient Greek music (although they're not necessarily period-appropriate, what can you do when so little music from the era is known?), but, of course, I'm an outsider to the culture so I don't really know.

      I've heard that the developers of AC games try their hardest to make their games historically informed. Clearly, a woman being respected like Kassandra isn't something that is too historically accurate from what I remember learning there is one mission with an Athens commander where it is hinted at that she could become a citizen of Athens if she got renowned enough in taking on the Spartans (IIRC) and that was definitely a no no from what I learned in history but I haven't let that bother me. If anything, I like seeing her become so renowned in a culture that was so misogynistic.

      Anyway, that's quite a tangent!

      I remember seeing My Time At Portia and being kind of interested in it, but eventually I just kind of forgot about it. I might look into it if it comes to the Switch. Which I thought it was going to but I haven't heard about it since I remember seeing it was going to happen someday.
    • Envy wrote:


      I've heard that the developers of AC games try their hardest to make their games historically informed. Clearly, a woman being respected like Kassandra isn't something that is too historically accurate from what I remember learning there is one mission with an Athens commander where it is hinted at that she could become a citizen of Athens if she got renowned enough in taking on the Spartans (IIRC) and that was definitely a no no from what I learned in history but I haven't let that bother me. If anything, I like seeing her become so renowned in a culture that was so misogynistic.
      As I recall, some of the most respected (or at least liberated) women in Athens were courtesans known as hetaira, who received a much more extensive education than most girls because they were expected to be able to have conversations with their male clients on a variety of subjects. Such figures as Socrates were known to have favorite courtesans.

      Anyway, I didn't play any games from 2018 last year, but of the games that I first played that year, my favorite was probably Dead Space. I especially appreciated the extent of the worldbuilding it included.
      When the gods drave me forth to toil and assailed me with thirst and beat me down with hunger, then I prayed to the gods. When the gods smote the cities wherein I dwelt, and when Their anger scorched me and Their eyes burned, then did I praise the gods and offer sacrifice. But when I came again to my green land and found that all was gone, and the old mysterious haunts wherein I prayed as a child were gone, and when the gods tore up the dust and even the spider's web from the last remembered nook, then did I curse the gods, speaking it to Their faces, saying:—

      "Gods of my prayers! Gods of my sacrifice! because Ye have forgotten the sacred places of my childhood, and they have therefore ceased to be, yet may I not forget. Because Ye have done this thing, Ye shall see cold altars and shall lack both my fear and praise. I shall not wince at Your lightnings, nor be awed when Ye go by."

      Time and the Gods
    • @Envy Indeed!

      There are not too many games that take place in Ancient Greece, there's God of War, Titan Quest and Apotheon for example but they are not trying to be accurate or realistic in any sense, they just focus on mythology. I would say Odyssey is the most historically accurate one so far by a very large margin out of the ones I've played.

      Ancient Greece obviously was not united, there were different city states and as such women also had different rights in each one. I know in Sparta they had more than in Athens, for instance. Kassandra being revered in the game or whatever doesn't really faze me personally, I mean, in these games the player is extremely strong at some point, and if there was indeed a woman that had accomplished those deeds in Ancient Greece she would be revered. There are Greek Goddesses and other deities after all, and they don't only represent... fertility.
      "Can't post that on a Christian forum."
    • i'm not sure if these are all favourites so much as just "they're new and i played them":


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      Dragon Ball FighterZ
      Even with much simpler controls and the like i'm still not too great at this nor have the drive to improve. I'm just glad to see Arc System Works get more recognition for their stellar visuals and presentation

      BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle
      Now this one on the other hand, i still enjoy a fair bit with its simple style. I'd play it more if i wasn't stuck with the Switch version.

      Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
      I haven't played Smash Bros. since Brawl so this was a nice bit of catch up. Not sure how much i'll get out of it in the long run, but it's another solid option for quick stuff with friends.

      Deep Rock Galactic
      This barely counts since i didn't get it til xmas but it's such a nice and chill change of pace that it's definitely a favourite already.

      Warhammer: Vermintide 2
      I'm not sure this counts as my main pick despite putting in 500 hours. There's a lot of potential and some genuinely good additions to the first game's formula, but just as many things absent or plain broken. Glad I took a break.



      now if i were to list off any games i actually played and finished for the first time this year:


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      Super Mario Odyssey
      i don't really remember my first run through. nothing super floored me and i got burnt out after beating the main story. i came back to it a few months later and had a blast rounding up more moons after.

      Tokyo Xanadu eX+
      I keep mentioning this game despite also willing to admit it's nothing groundbreaking. it's just more of the usual Falcom charm and detail in its world and characters. i think what hooked me is how well it manages to make things feel thriving and "lived in" for the setting, even for an average high school anime.

      OneShot
      This one is pretty short and easy but the story and emotion are top notch. I don't want to spoil much but it keeps the player heavily engaged and adds some real weight to their decisions. I highly recommend it the most of anything listed here.



      however my actual favourite new thing i played this year was the full game's worth of Thief fan missions.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Typhoon Sam ().

    • I'm kind of playing devil's advocate here, beyond the Athenian citizenship thing which I know is historically inaccurate (however sad that may be). I just remember getting a major misogynistic impression of ancient Greek culture as a whole from my studies. Even though I know ancient Greece was a bunch of separate city states, the culture as a whole had some recurring themes that I remember. Like women could not participate in music contests. I notice that vases portray women playing instruments (especially the aulos) a lot, but that must be in a casual/party setting. (and I am not claiming the percentage of women versus men playing the aulos or any other instruments in vases because I have not done that research! It's just a general impression I've gotten from looking at vases)

      It's nice to know that there are exceptions and that it is more complicated than I came to understand.

      But I've swung this topic really far off-topic and here the games @Please Understand mentioned piqued my interest to want to discuss more! I wasn't aware of Apotheon. The artstyle and game being based on the aesthetic of ancient Greek pottery art is super cool. After playing Okami HD this last summer I thought it would be neat to see what would happen if other cultures got games that tried going for the artistic aesthetic of their culture. My first thought was the middle ages. The middle ages is a common theme in games, but I think it's too often too much of the vague fantasy faux medieval. It would be neat to see a game with an artstyle based off the beautiful (and often bizarre) aesthetic of medieval illuminated manuscripts and other art.

      Anyway, I have gone way off on a tangent here. Sorry. That's been something I've been thinking of a while and have never got to express it.
    • I had a big list written out, and then realized basically every single one of those games came out in 2017....

      So, my game of the year is Spider-Man.
      I'm just such a huge fan of Spider-Man. And they nailed it in basically every sense of the word. The combat was fun. The story was compelling. The characters were fantastic.
      The character stuff is really where the game shines. Peter Parker and his relationships with the people he knows. How he interacts with everyone. How he handles all the shit he finds himself in. They did Peter Parker right. This is probably my favourite incarnation of the character.

      Shout outs to Pokemon Let's go, Octopath Traveller and Yakuza Kiwami (even though you're 2017 -_-), BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle.