I have two rules for “Kay Games”: make it cute as hell or make it violent as hell. Either one will hook me. Guess which way my list skewed this year?
Most feels: Wolfenstein: The Old Blood and The New Colossus
This is a bit of a cheating two-for to start with, but whatever, my list. I finally sat down with my 2015 Game That Got Away in preparation for Wolfenstein: The New Colossus and finished Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. I built such a connection with pipey, I was sad to let him go at the end of the game. Sure to some it was just a silly pipe that you used inexplicably for every aspect of that game, but to me, it was more. The New Colossus was just a roller coaster of emotions, from gut-wrenching sadness to just bonkers laugher. There were other games that touched me and made me cry, but collectively, Wolfenstein still has my heart.
Biggest disappointment: Syberia III
I don’t know that there’s much to sad about this disappointment of a game. I think it just suffered for my adoration of Syberia I & II and just didn’t have that “it” factor that those other games had. It also just, was unplayable for me. I think I might go back and give it another go if there’s a slow time in 2018, but then again, I might just leave my good memories of this series rest in peace without the third chapter.
Funniest: Wolfenstein: The New Colossus
Having never been in a war or a combat experience, I have to believe that Wolfenstein: The New Colossus does justice to that experience. One moment you’re just in the absolute shit, having to choose between a worse and worse situation, seeing the dregs of humanity on the battlefield and by the next moment you’re laughing at some mundane thing, just to keep a grasp on to your sanity. The tonal shifts in Wolfenstein were too much for some, but I found it perfect, the game never let you get comfortable, or too uncomfortable with its story. I have never laugh so genuinely at so many scenes as I did riding a panzerhund, having a birthday party on a U-boat or watching Hilter puke up his guts on a Venusian Nazi base.
I’d like to say I mean the scenery in this game, but…I don’t. I think this was a game with one of the coolest art styles I’ve seen in a while. It was haunting and Japanese as fuck and beautiful and chilling all in one. Playing as one of the protagonists for most of the game, well…there’s a reason there’s an achievement for trying to look up her skirt repeatedly.
Most addicting: PLAYER UNKNOWN’S Battlegrounds
Any given night, when I’m not working, all I want to do is just come home, get
theguys together and play this game for 5 hours straight. There were plenty of weekend nights where I could have been doing respectable “Saturday Night’ things, but all I wanted to do was play this damn game.
Best early access game: Slime Rancher
What even is “early access” anymore? I think I played this game in early access, but then it officially released, so
does that count? Slime Rancher is a really adorable game that I kinda hated at first if you heard me mention it on the podcast. Since then, I stumble across a whole section of the game that I didn’t know was there, and it opened up the whole game to me in a new way and I got sucked right back in. This was a great cute little relaxing game to play when I was indecisive about what to play next or when the guys weren’t on yet for PUBG.
The one that got away: Prey & Night in the Woods
I’m giving this to two games. Prey is the game I really wanted to play, but about my first run-in with a mimic I NOPE’d the hell out of there. Night in the Woods I had kind of heard about, but then as other sites started putting out their game of the year lists, the buzz for this game became deafening. I’m kicking myself for not playing this sooner, and I guarantee it will be on my personal list of 2018.
Of Course I’ll Rebuy that!: Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
I don’t understand why stored away in my cerebrum is all the details for the secret levels, gem locations, hidden boxes and other assorted strategies from a game I play almost 20 years ago. Hi brain, we need to have a talk about storing actual important information. I enjoyed playing through a polished and enhanced version of one of my most favorite games. Everything was exactly how I remembered it, including the fact that Crash 1 is just awful.
Shame : Diablo III
Nobody should know I played this as much as I did. Good god did I put a ton of time into this at the beginning of the year. I’m glad I picked it up again and explored the expansion Reaper of Souls, a bit after it came out and all, but still a good improvement to the game. I found it very daunting at first, there new currencies, new quests, rifts and torment levels, and the seasons… woof. I think in my time with the game I went through 2 or 3 seasons, and it kinda sucks to essentially lose a season character when the season ends but that’s possibly why I put so many hours in. I just had to keep chasing those set pieces each season.
different characters and locations and how the music enhanced the feel and vibe of the story. I don’t think I could hum any of the tunes from the game, but I kinda feel ok about that. This isn’t to say that the music wasn’t memorable or excellent, it was, it just did its job perfectly within the game and didn’t become an earworm when I stopped.
Best MultitaskGame: HQ
I don’t know, maybe this is a cop-out for this category. I can’t really think of a game I played much while doing other things like binging on Netflix or podcasting. HQ is a weirdly compelling trivia game that’s easy to flip on each day at 3pm and 9pm EST and answer questions while waiting to queue up in PUBG.
The Future is Bright: Dead Island
On the podcast when I gave Dead Island this award, my fellow bottlers gasped in shock tht this was still a thing, so maybe my future isn’t so bright after all. Dead Island would easily win the award for Best Game Trailer Ever inwhichthegamedidn’tactuallyliveuptothehype. It has been in development hell, with more than one studio shutting down or passing on the baton of this game, but I still have hopes for it appearing in 2018 in some form or the other.
I think from now on my 10 spot will be reserved and known as “yeah that game everyone was raving about last year but you didn’t get to play actually was really really good.
This game is certainly a few years old by this point, but there’s something simple and intriguing about it that holds my attention. Its part board game, part strategy, and part dice game. Its a beautiful game and is engaging to play using various play styles like domination, magic or fighting.
I swear, eventually I get into current games from this year. Old Blood was a solid pre-sequel to New Order, but mostly I played it get it off my “to-do” list and get me amp’d for New Colossus. The game was just as good as New Order and filled in a lot of interesting storyline gaps. Plus it had the character of the year, pipey.
This game snuck in at the end of the year, and its a bit a shame of that as it actually came out in April. Its essentially an adventure puzzle game that used some time-warping as a mechanic quite effectively. You have to solve the mystery of the deaths of all the people at the Sexy Brutal hotel. These deaths all happen in one night and the story unfolds one death at a time. The ending went some interesting places that really sold an already excellent game for me and was a serious “Woah” moment.
Goragoa was a game on iPad that I just stumbled upon while trolling for a time-killer game. What I found was a beautifully addicting hand-drawn puzzle game with too short a play time. You essentially tell a story by shuffling 4 panels around the screen. Sometimes the panels align in a certain way, or have cutouts to help you solve puzzles. When I solved a puzzle I was amazed and always felt like the smartest person in the room. I really wish this game was more substantial, at only an hour long, my time with it felt much too short.
A game that I put 120 hours into and about 3 months of my life coming in at the middle of my list says something about the games this year. Persona 5 was maybe nothing outstanding or unique in the way of JRPGs, but it was just so solid all around. It was so goofy at times, the music was so excellent, the fights were the right kind of challenge. The story line was insane, but the characters were delightful to get to know and I felt a little sad when I finally left this world.
4. Divinity: Original Sin 2
I’ve said it several times, this isn’t the game I asked for or wanted, but this is the game I needed. This came so out of left field (for me anyway) that before I knew it I was 70 hours into a game I hadn’t even heard of a few weeks ago. Early on there’s a side quest with Buddy the dog and finding his companion Emmy. This quest had me doing a serious ugly cry and I still actually tear up talking about it. Maybe this game just caught me at a particularly emotional moment, but I don’t think that was it. I made an instant emotional connection with this world and I was easily addicted to the plate-spinning aspect of the game. Just one more quest, if I go here, I can get this item and along the way work on this quest and well, while I’m here let me go right over here and get this item and let me go back and turn in this item and OMG HOW IS IT 3AM.
I don’t think I can say much more about this game that hasn’t already been said. Its certainly not the best technical game of the year. It has flaws, and I’ve had some really shit experiences with the game, but nothing, nothing compared to the feeling I had when I got my color Chicken Dinner, or even my 2nd place Chicken Dinner. There’s just… something unexplainable about this game that I just adore.
1. Wolfenstein: The New Colossus
I don’t even know where to begin with this game. It picks up directly where New Order left it with BJ Blaskowicz beaten, bloodied and his literal guts spilling out. The game starts with one hell of an opening sequence to recap and never lets up. I actually enjoyed the combat in-between the bonkers cut scenes. I thought that it allowed for different play styles. You can play a bit stealth or a use a bit of strategy, but really its all about going in guns blazing and just lighting up nazis. It feels good to just empty clip after clip, such a stress release. I couldn’t get enough of just the noise of the dieselkraftwerk and the very satisfying pop noise, followed by everything around you on fire. I could gush on and on about the cuts scenes and the story yanking you in so many directions from sadness into immediate hysterics. Its not so much that I want to spoil things for my dear readers, but it just doesn’t have the same impact to read it than when you experience Hitler killing actor Ronald Reagan and then pissing in an ice bucket before puking his guts up on the carpet on a Venusian moonbase while pretending to be an actor playing BJ Blaskowicz.
Crash Bandicoot: https://media.playstation.com/is/image/SCEA/crash-bandicoot-n-sane-trilogy-screen-04-us-03dec16?$MediaCarousel_Original$
Dead Island: http://cdn1-www.gamerevolution.com/assets/uploads/2015/04/file_10833_deadisland2.jpg
Persona 5: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/EPcDeB7ICV8/maxresdefault.jpg
Stawdew Valley: https://stardewvalleywiki.com/mediawiki/images/thumb/1/10/Shane_4_Hearts.png/250px-Shane_4_Hearts.png
Wolenstein TNC: https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/923670695591363116/56C7A1B40C9C765FE2BD35DD38A9EAE2E7BCB1D5/