It went by too quick…
Like, seriously. It got to a point where I looked at the games I had to play, and the weeks we had left and panicked. Alas, I still put a bit of time into some amazing games, a few that will be classed as my favourites of all time with some of the most memorable characters and stories. So, let’s begin with those titles that I couldn’t make room for:
Honourable Mention – Pyre
Supergiant’s latest release, Pyre, kinda caught me off guard. I enjoyed Transistor when we discussed it for our episode of RePlay, and was excited to hear of another game being released. When I finally got to play Pyre, I enjoyed it right off the bat. Its style, look, characters, and world drew me right in, however, when I eventually got to the end, I was happier that I got to strike it off the list than I was to have experienced it. That being said, despite thinking it should have been a few hours shorter than it was, I look back on it with a smile and a great memory.
Honourable Mention – Tacoma
Tacoma was probably the most unique experience I had this year, and with a story created by Fullbright – the people behind Gone Home – I knew I’d be in for a ride. The gameplay behind finding the truth was fascinating, as you could grasp a whole new meaning to a plan depending on who you followed around the ship. However, when the game came to a close, all I could do was shrug my shoulders at the result.
And now, the main feature:
#10 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
If you say the words “open world” around me, I begin to salivate. Known fact! So, when Nintendo announced an open world Zelda title, I was especially intrigued. Not being a fan of The Legend of Zelda titles as a whole, the concept of an open world adventure more-or-less sold me. And holy hell, I played that game non-stop for days. I listened to podcasts on it, I read guides for it, we even recorded a BOTW exclusive podcast.
I. Was. Hooked.
But then, something happened. I fell off it, and I fell off hard. At first, I didn’t have a reason. It was a great game and had so much depth to it, but I think I figured it out. Usually, when I get bored of the main missions in an open world game, I teeter off, but then I jump right back on to the story when I’m ready. In BOTW, I had no interest to do that. In the end, it was a sandbox for me. An enormous sandbox nonetheless, but after a while, you get sick of sand in your pants.
#9 – Tumbleseed
Tumbleseed is a rogue-like title for the Nintendo Switch that came out very close to the release of the console. The puzzle element and physics to it pulled me right in as I could see improvement with every death, something that sometimes takes a while to resonate with me. Despite the frustrating nature that comes with rogue-likes, I powered through each failure and made my way further than before.
However, the majority of players had a louder voice, calling the game “too hard”. Thus the developers brought out an updated version of the game; an easier challenge with more checkpoints and spots to put the game down and rest. Seeing a community race to put a game on their ‘completed’ list before it got lobotomised was kinda disheartening, and in the end, I was too late to finish the beginning product I loved.
The newer, updated version hasn’t altered the gameplay as a whole, but it just lost a lot of charm for me. I hope new players pick it up and experience the challenges with a smile as much as I did the first time.
# 8 – Super Mario Odyssey
I didn’t have as much as a childhood with Mario as a lot of people my age did, but that doesn’t stop any enjoyment I take out of the newer titles that come out. With the same appeal as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I was looking forward to this open-world(s) title, especially since starting my Mario journey with Super Mario 64 back around the year 2001. It definitely didn’t disappoint.
With the introduction of Cappy, your sentient hat friend that allows Mario to possess friend and foe, the gameplay within the worlds you travel to is super fun and I spent way more time in these kingdoms than was needed to move on. However, at the end of the day (and this isn’t a fault of the game, really) it was another Mario title. I was still saving a princess from an oversized snapping turtle, and ultimately, once I saw credits, I was happy to put it down.
#7 – Splatoon 2
I never played Splatoon, nor did I see an appeal in it. I really didn’t. Oh boy, was I wrong? Spoiler: I was. Splatoon 2 takes bite-sized chunks of your day and fills it with a colourful competition. Despite a few cons, Splatoon 2 took so much of my free time earlier in the year and I don’t even want it back.
The gameplay of the 3-minute online matches is super fun as you try to paint as much as you can while eliminating enemies, and the character customisation is right up my alley. Being able to dress the way I like AND having my clothes give me different abilities is a fun game in itself.
That paint is so thick, too.
#6 – PlayerUnknown’s Battleground
Now, this was a tough one. I’ve never been a fan of early access games. Not because of how they play, just their premise; paying money for an unfinished game, flush with bugs and glitches for an unnamed amount of time? I don’t buy it. I understand helping the developers finance their final product, and that’s fine, but the amount of early access titles that never make it out of alpha or beta is eye rolling.
Nonetheless, PlayerUnknown’s Battlefront was an early access game that kept popping up in my favourite YouTuber’s channels. I’d heard of it but thing else. After watching it be played over and over, I decided to give it a crack.
That first game, after dropping into the huge world, my heart rate went up tenfold. I’d never felt that way in a multiplayer game before, or really in any game before. Ever since then, I’ve played alone, with friends, and this game seriously never gets old. I’m still waiting for that chicken dinner though.
#5 – The Walking Dead: A New Frontier
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I’m hearing you.
But look, I’m a big fan of TellTale’s games. And by “a big fan”, I mean I enjoy The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us. And by “enjoy”, I mean that one time I played them. Anyway, The Walking Dead: A New Frontier came out, the third season for the main Walking Dead storyline. The first two episodes came out in tandem in late 2016, and it was a perfect set up for the story, filled with tragedy, cliffhangers, and awesome character development.
Then, the new episodes came and went, each bringing with them their own difficult choices, and by the end of it, I was more interested than I was the first time. Seeing how different a character can be perceived depending on actions calls for some impressive writing. And yeah, I get it. I get its flaws, I get the dumb characters and the stupid pacing, but it was the one game this year that I finished and instantly restarted happily to just listen to the characters talk.
#4 – Doki Doki Literature Club
Doki Doki Literature Club showed up in my house as an amusing way to pass the time for free. What came out of it was a hard time sleeping and many-a video seeking the multitude of Easter eggs and meanings behind this visual novel. I don’t want anymore Doki Doki, but I still want to find out everything about Doki Doki.
If you’re looking for some mind-blowing hours of anime action, please, just play Doki Doki Literature Club.
#3 – Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus
Having never touched the Wolfenstein series, I only knew to expect Nazis in an alternate-reality USA. Playing as BJ Blazkowicz is a powerful experience. The fast-paced action as a buff super soldier-like American hero is super enjoyable and the story that goes with it is close to perfect.
I’m no stranger to first-person shooters and if you’re looking for one to dip your toes into, look no further.
#2 – Night in the Woods
There’s going to be a special spot in my heart for Night in the Woods for all of eternity. I haven’t played a game with such amazing and witty writing… ever, I think, and it feels like it was written just for me.
The laughs matched with the deep frustration and empathy for Mae, a girl (cat) whose hometown grew up without her, hit hard as she tries to just make things go back to how they were before. I can see so much of myself in these characters, and I’m much better off now knowing that it’s in a game with such an amazing message as Night in the Woods.
#1 – Persona 5
2017 was the year of anime friends. With starting and finishing Persona 4 Golden for an episode of RePlay, I was hooked on the series for the release of Persona 5. I can safely say that that first palace, that first 10 or so hours, I was so in love that I almost started again just to experience it all immediately.
It didn’t end there either. I mustered a full 140 hours of pure enjoyment out of that adventure with my friends, and I will happily put another 140 into it just to explore the unventured parts of Toyko.
Persona 5 is my Game of the Year for 2017, a game, in the year before, I was criticising for its ridiculous sounding nature. And I think that’s one of the best things about Persona 5; you’ll never see it coming.