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Sean

What were some of the best games you played in 2017?

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Hey-yo in response to a lot of members' feelings toward Forces and/or the current state of the Sonic series (and also to the fact that imo 2017 has been really good with vidya), I thought it'd be a fun distraction having a topic where we can talk about what sort of games we played this year that we enjoyed a hella lot and want to discuss, either at length or in brief, especially for ones for which we don't have dedicated or active topics. The year may not yet be over, but I think at this point a lot of us have more or less decided on what our biggest contenders for personal GOTY are, so let's share what they are!

(Also you can talk about games that weren't released this year, just talk about whatever you played recently, whether it's for the first time or a returning experience.)

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Dunno if any of you guys played this one. Allegedly it's based on the now-cancelled Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series published by Archie Comics, and - get this - Sega actually hired the developers of Sonic Robo Blast 2, a well-known Sonic fangame, to work on it. Anyway this is tied with Space Hat as my personal favorite game released in 2012 and reminds me just what amazing heights the Sonic series can accomplish. There's an extraordinarily fresh take on familiar locales like Splash Hill Zone and City Escape, and then you have the new levels like New Donk City of which I wish there were more, but the entire game is such consistently high quality that I can't complain at all about the revisit to older levels. If Nintendo intends on making classic Sonic its own series then I hope Mania sets a precedent for what's to come.

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This game surprised me. I bought it on sale a while ago knowing very little about it other than that it was a gorgeous-looking Metroidvania, and I ended up with what is probably one of my favorite games of the entire genre. Like in the older Metroid games, you're left entirely to your own devices with very little to guide you, but in turn it's extremely gratifying to carve your own path and discover this game's world on your own. The graphics and music are fucking spectacular, and the world's inhabitants all feel like they have their unique personal stories, untold or otherwise, that play a role in making every facet of Hollownest feel organic and unique.

The game is also tough as nails (heh), with bosses that will make you invent new swear words yet provide you a sense of satisfaction and relief upon their defeat. Aside from a handful of utterly bullshit encounters, it's a mostly fair level of difficulty that is manageable with enough effort and dedication in learning the game's controls and fight tactics. If I had to cite one major complaint that slightly dampens the experience for me, it's how the requirements for getting the best ending are a tad fucking ridiculous. I haven't beaten the game yet, but having looked up spoilers and videos, I honestly can't see myself doing it and might just settle for the game's other non-worst ending.

Still, since I typically don't play immensely difficult games like this or Dark Souls, it's a mere matter of my personal tastes in what games I usually play, and the occasional difficulty spikes aren't a huge deal-breaker for me. I appreciate and adore what is there and the challenges I managed to overcome up to the point where I currently am in the story. It's by far one of the most memorable games I've played in a long time, and if my 20-hour playtime is any indication, it's a title I find myself easily lost in with little regard for having to beat it as quickly as possible.

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This is a game I pretty much forgot about until just this year, and in a way I'm glad I didn't get super hyped for it until it got closer to release. It gave me precisely what I've been wanting out of a non-Mario 3D platformer for years - crazy jump stunts, pitch-perfect controls, charming characters and unique locales, and a pleasantly manageable level of item collecting that provides you with decent incentive, ranging from new abilities and hat badges to cute cosmetics and level music remixes.

As okay as I thought Yooka-Laylee was, it was a disappointment for me for taking more inspiration from Banjo-Tooie and Donkey Kong 64 than it did from the simpler Super Mario 64 or Banjo-Kazooie. A Hat in Time beats it out in just about every regard, as it not only is a more polished experience but also possesses its own identity unique from its direct inspirations, and it's essentially the game I wish Y-L had been. Even after finishing it, I found myself revisiting plenty of my favorite acts in the game, such as the train levels in Dead Bird Studios or -shudders- Queen Vanessa's mansion. I wish it was longer and that certain characters had more presence in the storyline, but there is some free DLC coming in the future that I hope rectifies the former complaint!

(might post about more games later; it's 3am right now and my writing ability has severely downgraded since I started writing this topic up orz)

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Sonic Forces.

I mean.

I absolutely have to say Cuphead. It's tough, but not overly so, it's not for the casual crowd but if you have a slight grasp of videogames you can persevere and make it through. The game Forces you to "git gud" but if you manage to get better it feels SO FUCKING GOOD to finally beat that boss that has been pissing you off. It's extremely rewarding and just tons of fun. The game visually is a joy to watch and that god damn soundtrack ungh so good.

That bird can go fuck itself though.

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For me,it's a tie between Cuphead and Sonic Mania.Both of them are the best platformers i've ever played in a while.

Honorable Mentions goes to BOTW and Mario Odyssey.Both of them look amazing,but i still don't have a Switch.So,i can't give a full opinion on them.

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want it to be Forces as soon as it releases but for the new games I've played this year.

Yeah, I'm gonna have to say Mania. I know I'm not a Classic fan nor did I care about it pre-release but I really do genuinely love it for it's colorful visuals, fun gameplay, and all the love and dedication it took from beloved fans who've enjoyed the 2D games. 

Hell, what can I say? I did sort of semi grew up with the Classics thanks to Mega Collection, so while it's tough at times, I still get a kick out of it time to time.

Miitopia is a more minor example and it techinally released last year in Japan, but it should still count this year for everywhere else right?

I enjoy the game because of how charming and hilarious it is, the RPG is kind of different to get used to, but it's still a harmless experience for endless fun.

I would also say N.Sane Trilogy...but I'm piss poor at that game.

.....Yeah, 2017 gaming talk is limited when you don't have a Switch or an Xbox One for Cuphead.

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Cuphead is really high up as one of my favorites. As my friends in the RP already know, it's that love cartoons during this era. It was a time where they couldn't rely that much on dialouge, so instead focused more on visual gags, and the visual stuff they came up with were insane. With how much thought, love and effort put into this game, you can tell the creators really cared about what they were making. The gameplay is difficult, almost keyboard breakingly so. But in the end, the best advice I can give is not to mindlessly shoot and get the bosses finished as soon as possible... In doing so, that's just gonna distract you from all the stuff the enemy is throwing at you, and you could end up getting hit by a projectile that you didn't catch. I found that whenever I stopped focusing on trying to kill the boss, I would get a lot closer to the end.

what you thought I was gonna say git gud? no Eff that meme to hell. =P

Fun fact: The creators behind their game ended up remortaging their houses in order to get some kind of funding to make this game. It all seemed like it wasn't going to happen at some point, until Microsoft came in and helped them... In the end, the game recieved tons of praise and money. A very happy ending to developers who were at one point struggling to make their dream a reality. 

Now... I do feel like this is still a little early to say, but from the few hours I've played, I feel like Super Mario Odyssey is gonna be another favorite of mine as well. Basically, It's a collect-a-thon akin to Mario 64, but a lot more open ended. When it comes to games like these, exploring and wandering off the required path really pays off. I can't tell you how many moons I ended up finding just from wandering around. It's a lot of fun, and I'm expecting mroe fun in the future.

Speaking of Collect-a-thons, yes indeed, I can't make this post without mentioning A Hat in Time. I really enjoyed this game for the same reasons Sean listed, and I highly recommend you play this one as well (As with all the other stuff mentioned here.) I bought this game to which, much to my dismay, was too powerful for my dinky laptop. In the end, I managed to set the graphical settings as low as I could. Being someone who can take what he can get, I played it, I loved it, the gameplay (Another one where it pays to wander off path,) the art direction, the characters, all of it. Shame it's kind of short, but oh well, it's a great experience, nonetheless. In addition this is the first time I heard about the free DLC, I'm looking forward to seeing what they have in store for the future.

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Off the topic of my head...

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Good lord, Mario Odyssey. In an era where the majority of Nintendo was really getting bland because they were so afraid to step out of the box for once, Mario Odyssey is here to say screw the genericness of every game since Galaxy. I was so utterly bored of Mario before this game. 3D Land was alright with sparks of creativity but still pretty bland overall. 3D World fell into that same category while being really overhyped. Mario Odyssey though not only brings Mario back to an old gameplay style with freedom, but adds so much more to make it feel so fresh, as well as taking so many new turns and risks with this game. This is what a true successor to Galaxy should be. A game not afraid to be different from the norm. 

Instead of just generic mushrooms and koopas, you have a massive world populared with tons of really creative and cool designs, from the Day of the Dead characters to a variation on mermaids, the world feels populated with many different people and species. The game's graphics are fantastic, the music is brilliant, and the gameplay is great. I mentioned this earlier in a status, but I feel this does what BOTW was being praised for fifty times better. It's fun and rewarding to explore in Mario Odyssey. To mess around and see what you can pull off. It really feels like the sky is the limit in terms of solutions to puzzles. In contrast, Zelda's limited stamina system and weapon system made exploring feel like a chore to me, and feel ultimately less rewarding. Odyssey is a damn fine game, and hopefully the game to make Nintendo realise this standard should be the norm, not New Super Mario Bros or 3D World.

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Gravity Rush 2 is easily one of my favourites this year. The original Gravity Rush is one of my favourite games of all time. One with flaws, but with enough charm, wit, style, and pure beauty that it rose to my favourites, and Gravity Rush 2 succeeds in improving every single aspect of the original. Combat, while still slightly annoying has enough fixes and changes that it's a lot better than the original. The new open world is a delight to explore with it's various locales. The game makes enough changes from the original game in terms of the world building itself that you care about what's changed, especially with one of the premises being Kat and Raven vanishing for a year. The story is really great, split up into three main plots/acts that connect into one story. 

Not only that, but it amps up all of the charm, beauty and scope of the original. It explores a lot of the questions raised by the original and concludes them extremely well, and in some instances, really heartbreaking ways. The side missions are also incredibly fun to play through, a new addition for the GR series but one that's done well. Including making the player choose between characters that interact with the main plot, such as Kat wishing to help the poor who can't fend for themselves, or help the rich who offer her money for protection from the enemies. This game is brilliant, and I really wished more people got into the series. The music is also beautiful.

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Sonic Mania barely makes the list for me. I'm not a fan of Classic Sonic. I've admitted in the past that the only classic game I even liked was S3&K. The thing is, Mania is a damn good game. It's a game that could surpass S3&K for me frankly. It avoids the pitfalls of why I typically dislike Classic Sonic so much. The hazards and enemy placement feel fair. The speed feels geninue and awarded while still not being that difficult, there's so many easter eggs and references to other parts of the series. Knuckles and Tails are a total blast to play with again. The graphics are the absolute perfect inbetween Genesis and Saturn graphics. The animations are expressive and fun. There's so much charm in this game, and it's fantastic. 

I don't buy into a lot of the hype it's given as a perfect game. Blue Sphere stages suck, a lot of bosses are gimmicky and frustrating to fight, some stages outright suck, but it's still a damn good game at the end of the day.

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For me, it's been Crash N-Sane and Pokemon Silver. The former for fine-tuning a classic and giving it a new breath of life, the latter for reminding me just what was so magical about the 2nd generation in the first place. 

I also played Sonic Mania but man, that just did not cut the mustard for me, so it's not on my list. 

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Number one for me has to be Breath of the Wild. I actually bought a cheap second hand Wii U just to play it (though thanks to Odyssey, I might need to get a Switch somewhere down and end up buying it a second time).

The sheer scale of the world astounded me; I was constantly wandering off from my intended target to inspect the smallest of distractions. No fight was by-the-numbers, I always had to be alert. Shrines offered variety everywhere. There are some small issues (weapons breaking, dungeons were a bit lacking, some open spaces took too long to traverse and horses weren’t that useful), but I was absolutely engrossed for the 4-6 weeks it took me to finish my 100 hour journey. No game has grabbed me like that in years.

 

Life is Strange took me by surprise to be honest. I got the season for less than a fiver, expecting something mildly interesting, more as an alternative to Telltale as I’d become tired of their formula. The quirky tone of the first episode intrigued me, and by the end of the second episode hooked me. A true example of your choices making a real difference, even your standard playing style and not just your binary yes/no decisions. In fact, the rooftop scene might be my personal favourite gaming moment of the year.

It tailed off a little bit near the end, but really brought everything home in the finale.

 

To stop rambling on too much, honourable mentions for Uncharted 4 (including a rare foray into online gaming for me, I really clocked in more hours on that than I expected to), Super Mario 3D World, Bayonetta 2 and The Last Guardian. I haven't played Mania yet, waiting for a sale.

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I still need to play Mario Odyssey but I might as well give my baby a shout.
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Breath of the Wild isn't a perfect game, but it frequently has me immersed when I want to just walk around Hyrule and take the kingdom in. Nintendo finally made a Zelda title that had so many fan requests from over the years satisfied while also taking big steps of it's own that nobody even dreamed of. Not only can you go anywhere, but you want to go everywhere because there's always something interesting off in the distance. As someone who's been a Zelda fan for 10 years, I was overcome with emotion sometimes, seeing landmarks ton to shreds and looking more beautiful than they every had at the same time.

The game is dynamic enough for you to carve your own stories for how you decided to tear through the kingdom. For once, the kingdom gives you a lot of pushback. Instead of constantly policing where you can and cant go, this game welcomes you to the challenge of reaching the tallest mountains or crossing the hottest deserts. A lot of people didn't like the survivalist mechanics, but I loved that the world wasn't going down without a fight. 

It's not my favorite game or even my favorite Zelda game, but it's one of the most  fun games I've played in years in spite of it's flaws and I still turn it on sometimes for a walk through Hyrule, and the crazy part is that I almost always find something new.
 

...Half the fun I had was taking atmospheric screenshots tho, I won't front

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Ah, interesting. I haven't played a lot of games that came out in 2017, but I do have a few favorites. First, let's get the obvious one out of the way.

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Sonic Mania. Yep, this probably needs no explanation, but it's seriously the best Sonic game in 6 years. It's the first video game I've ever pre-ordered and I was waiting for the countdown timer to finally end on my PS4 so I can play this, and I had a smile on my face the entire way through.

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Persona 5. I've been introduced to the Persona series through Persona 4 Golden, and after playing it and loving it, getting Persona 5 was a must for me. Even though I still haven't beat the ridiculously long story (over 100 hours!), I still had a blast playing it and I will probably finish the story pretty soon.

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Next is Puyo Puyo Tetris. I'm not really a huge fan of puzzle games, so when I saw myself having fun with Sonic Mania's Mean Bean Boss and minigame, I just knew I had to pick this up, and holy shit it's a blast, especially with family or friends that know how to play. I now love both Puyo Puyo and Tetris thanks to Sonic Mania. lol

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Kingdom Hearts 1.5+2.5 HD ReMix. My first Kingdom Hearts game was Birth By Sleep, and it's one of my favorite games of all time. Getting this collection and playing through each and every game was rather tiring, but satisfying. Btw, Kingdom Hearts 2 is a masterpiece.

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Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana. The Ys series is an Action RPG series that is rather niche even among JRPG fans, but most people who have played almost any game in the series cannot deny its excellent quality and legendary OST. The combat is satisfying, rewarding, and fast-paced. You can switch between party members on the fly (similar to Sonic Heroes), explore, fight monsters, and go through the story. If you've never played this, I highly recommend it.

I simply cannot choose which is the better ARPG of all time, this or Kingdom Hearts 2. And that's it for this year so far.

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Recently I finally sat down and went through the entirety of Resident Evil 4. Despite its antique look, I ended up enjoying it very well! Its tank control, which is an artifact from PS1 game, is obviously intimidating to those used to modern control scheme, but once you get down to it it's pretty playable since the game is generously designed around it. The game's pretty good at throwing you fun, wacky stuffs to keep it interesting, such as the house defense against villagers, on-boat fight with lake beast, and minecart section (yes, minecart in shooting game!). It also has really Evil Dead-esque campy horror cheese lying here and there, the best one being ridiculous quips between Leon and Salazar. The game does run of steam on the island part where it tries to waste your ammo with absurdly strong enemies, but overall it was satisfying experience from start to end. I'd also like to try Separate Ways campaign someday.

The PC port (the one available on Steam) has a lot to be desired, though. For those who want to buy it, beware that you shouldn't judge it from what its ancient graphic may tell you. It can stutter and run like a slog if your PC isn't good enough.

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I’ve played a lot of games this year and luckily most of them have been really good! Here’s a list of some of my favourites;

Sonic Mania 

I’ll get the obvious one out of the way first. This is the best Sonic game I have played in years! It’s got great gameplay, amazing music and replay value that other Sonic games (particularly 3D ones) just don't have. It plays and feels like a Sonic game that came out right after Sonic 3&K, and that’s why it’s one of my favourite game this year. 

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

What can I say that hasn’t been said before? I didn’t have very high expectations for this game but woah, it blew me away. Beautiful visuals, addicting gameplay and world exploration and very pretty minimalistic music. I only wish it had more dungeons and a better ending! 

Horizon: Zero Dawn

I won’t compare this to Zelda (that’s not fair!), but I will say this; Horizon has great visuals, music and fun gameplay, but what it excels in is its story and world building. The lore of Horizon is incredible and yet so tragic at the same time. In fact the ending cliffhanger makes me even more excited for the sequel! Oh, and I can’t wait for the DLC either. 

Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy 

Crash 1 was shit, but Crash 2 and 3 just ?? perfect! I loved playing through these games, especially the latter two. Very nostalgic and visually a treat to look at. Also the added bonus of playing as Coco was wonderful! She’s such a cutie, I mean, look at her! X3

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I’m playing through Super Mario Odyssey now, and so far it’s really good! I think that game will be added to this list eventually too. =P

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Fun topic!

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)

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This game was my fucking jam this Spring and I dare say it lived up to the hype. In the beginning the game feels so overwhelming with how it presents its world and the amount of freedom it affords you, but at the same time it's so exciting. My first fifty hours were spent simply opening up the map, exploring areas in whatever order I pleased, taming horses, finding shrines and raising my hearts/stamina, and just soaking in the atmosphere of the world. The story isn’t as strong as other Zelda games, but the game excels at piquing my curiosity all the same.

I think what I love about this game above other 3D Zeldas, more than anything, is how it presents you with all the tools you'll need from the beginning. Most games in the OoT vein seemed like you would go to a dungeon, get a tool that will probably be at its most useful in that dungeon and then have its use minimized later on (bar maybe stuff like the hookshot or bow and arrow). BotW gives you everything you need to approach the game in almost any manner you can think of. There have even been some rather creative uses for the Sheikah runes out there that have made me pick the game back up just to experiment with the possibilities.

I also liked that any weapon is practically fair game and the variety of different types there. Reminded me of Wind Waker and how Link could grab any enemy's weapon and use it, though he was a bit limited on how far he could take them with him. Sure, the weapon breaking can suck, and it's definitely a bit rough going at first, but I've found this is where making use of the Sheikah slate becomes so important to your quest, and that's knowing where to find the best stuff and marking it, making use of the sensor, and paying trips to those spots every Blood Moon or so to restock (can't say I'd miss it if it were gone, though). After enough inventory upgrades, I honestly can't get rid of my weapons fast enough!

I wouldn’t mind if Zelda goes back to the OoT formula after this (though given the game’s reception, I sincerely doubt this is the last we’ll see of a game like this), but I think the formula can benefit from taking cues from this game in terms of exploration and puzzle-solving. And most importantly, whatever they do, Link better have a jump button!

Paper Mario (2001)

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"Oh man, this game looks phat!"~the Circuit City clerk who rang up my purchase of this game all those years ago. I will forever associate these words with this game.

I'm counting this for this year as I had finished back in January, though I had attempted to replay this twice last year. I had started one playthrough, got decently far, and then accidentally overwrote my file thanks to the Wii U’s save state feature, which set me back. I ended up taking a break until last October and then gave it another shot following some real life stuff. Maybe because of that, this replay became incredibly personal for me and I felt better as a result.

That aside, I think Paper Mario 64 holds up really well. I love the expansion of the Mushroom Kingdom, the characters, the story (it might be the typical Bowser captures Peach scenario, but it’s a very well told variation of it—the in-between chapters where Peach is collecting information for Mario gave me a new appreciation for her), and the storybook aesthetic. It all has a unique charm to it. When I first played this game, I remember being surprised at seeing friendly versions of familiar enemy types and being able to team up with them, drawing a clear distinction between Bowser’s forces and everyone else.

I’m currently replaying its sequel, the Thousand-Year Door, and while I still love that game as well, I’m not sure which I actually prefer. They’re both great, tbh (though I have to give it up to TTYD for the improved battle system).

Chrono Trigger (1995/2008)

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I was kind of straight obsessed with this game over the Summer. I wanted to do what I called "My Most Thorough Playthrough Ever". My goal was to actually log every single ending (I was always short a few when I played in the past, but I have all 13 endings now), log everything in the Bestiary (I'm one short still, but I can't do much about that until I've leveled up my characters to 99) and just plain learn the game and really understand everything it offers. I had quite a bit of fun observing and learning the bosses I didn't fully understand, or cross-referencing earlier playthroughs' Bestiary logs to figure out weaknesses I might not have realized or how certain bosses counterattack.

This was such a fun playthrough for me as I feel I gained a new appreciation for this game and found myself noticing details and random things I don't think I ever did in the past. Even with all the familiarity, it still felt so fresh and engaging. The cast is as lovable as ever (Marle <3), the music is incredible, and every area is interesting and worth exploring. I ramped up the ATB gauge time to give myself more of a challenge and it made the battles feel exciting all over again.

 60 hours well spent.

VA-11 Hall-A (2016)

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This one was a surprise, but after hearing Sean and Tara talk about it I wanted to give it a shot. While it can feel pretty monotonous, as you’re primarily mixing drinks (and changing lives), I love the atmosphere of this game and how well details of the world are conveyed through simple conversations with bar patrons. Really, the monotony is kind of part of the game—you’re just a bartender working to make ends meet. You’re not out there with the expectation of getting involved in the various crimes and drama in the city, you’re just there to lend an ear and serve some drinks. The cast of characters are all interesting as they come to vent about their lives and you find yourself caring about most of them the more it progresses. The music is also excellent. I enjoyed the time I spent with VA-11 Hall-A, but it’s also a difficult game for me to describe. I’ve been meaning to play the prologue chapter and maybe give the game another runthrough, which I’ll probably do in the coming months—I’d like to check out the other endings.

Honorable mention to Sonic Mania--while I don't love the game, it definitely surprised me more as I had incredibly low expectations for it. Turned out to be a lot more fun than I expected, and I got 70 hours out of the game with everything completed. I've tried going back to it a few times, but outside of messing around with level select/debug and replaying special zones, I feel like there's not much else for me to do after digging through it. I do think a well-made classic Sonic game in this age can offer up some clues on where to go with 3D Sonic, but I suppose time will tell if the game's success and reception helps that any.

There have been other games, and some I'm current playing/replaying, but so far, these have been the standouts and I wanted to write about them.

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2017 has been a pretty good year for vidya hasn't it?

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This game.  This fucking game.  I pity anyone who hasn't played this masterpiece yet.  The original NieR wasn't very good for a variety of reasons, most of which had to do with its gameplay being incredibly unfulfilling in just about every regard.  Automata was developed externally by Platinum Games, and holy shit does it feel great.  It's certainly not Platinum's best action game, it's nowhere close to Bayonetta1/2's depth, but it's just satisfying.  2B's character design is nothing short of stunning with an absolutely remarkable silhouette.  But the animation work done on her?  That's what really makes this game feel so good to play.

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Look at that.  Her run animation, how quick and powerful she moves with her blades.  Those pretty explosions and the effects from the portable laser cannon.  The visual and audio feedback you get from performing these actions are what really sells the combat.  When you slice at an enemy, destroy and enemy, dodge, run, shoot, you really feel it, and that's something that every action game needs to strive for.  The battles have a particular rhythm to them and it's a blast going into them every time.  None of what is displayed in the .gif is particularly complex to pull off, really just a few button presses, but its satisfying all the same.

But, just like the original, the combat isn't even the best part of the game.  The soundtrack for Automata is superb to say the least.  It even features new variations on the original's soundtrack in it.  Give it a listen sometime, it's really great. But the story?  Man the story.  Maybe not as good as the original, but it's up there.  Automata's story is the kind that can make you laugh, cry, feel absolute joy, screaming confusion, anger, and much more in an incredibly short time span.  All the sidequests in the game add little tidbits of character and world building, troubling foreshadowing that'll hit you like a truck when you finally realize what they were getting at with that sidequest you finished like 10 hours prior.  It's a complex web of emotions that Automata weaves; when I was finally finished I felt entirely satisfied and a weird sense of longing, and I gazed at the title screen like it was the first time I actually saw it.

It's an incredible experience all around and I definitely recommend it.  It's got a bit of jank, you can tell it didn't have the largest budget in the world, but it's a must play regardless.  This game being very successful is probably the best news the gaming industry has gotten this year.

----AND GALAXIES BELOW THE GOTY2017----

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Persona 5 is arguably one of the greatest turn-based JRPGs I've ever played.  The battles are swift, the UI design is top notch, character designs and environmental designs are equally as good, the soundtrack is jamming, and the story is pretty ok too I guess.  Persona 5 at the very least starts off as the greatest JRPG ever made; the first 10-15 hours still give me fucking chills whenever I replay through it, but then it just sort of drops the ball and becomes Persona 4-2. The first 10 hours are pretty much tutorials one after another, but the emotional build-up during those proceedings is phenomenal and got my expectations for the rest of the game soaring.  It's not that the rest of the game is bad... it's still really great, fantastic even, but it's just nowhere near as good, and it never gets back up to those highs no matter how good it gets (there are still some really good parts sprinkled about, believe me).  The cast of characters you're teamed up with is as fun and charming as you'd expect, you still do a lot of school and social life stuff like you'd do in Persona 3/4, and the combat is the best it's ever been, so it's a pretty safe No. 2 for me.

it's just

like

the first 10-15 hours were almost too good

and this game isn't Nier: Automata

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Cuphead holds a special place in my heart as a cartoon nut and a vidya game nut.  It reminds me of the times when I was a kid playing those shitty licensed tie in games, and going "man, why the fuck doesn't this look like the cartoons?"  Now, like 10-15 years later, with my knowledge of cartoon and vidya being exponentially larger than it was in my younger years, and I see this brilliant homage to cartoons from the likes of Fleischer and Disney in their infantry and a callback to those tough as nails shoot 'em ups from early video games.  Cuphead tip toes the thin line of "absolute insane bullshit" and just simply "hard" and does so with expertise.  The game made me want to throw my controller across the room because holy shit fuck you every airplane boss, but at the same time the sense of accomplishment that I feel with every one of my triumphs is second to none.  Those moments when you're stuck on one of this game's bosses and all of the sudden their attack pattern just finally clicks with you, those times when you just barely make it through the boss with one measly heart remaining, those times when you fucking trounce the boss only for them to reveal their final form and whoop your ass just as quick.  It's a tough game, but immensely satisfying.  From its visuals, to how the game plays, to its sound design and music; Cuphead is a clear labor of love from its developers.  Anyone who's sleeping on this game is doing themselves a massive disservice.

That's the top 3 anyways, maybe I'll add more.

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2017 was possibly one of the best year for gaming for me. In February I finally could buy a Notebook which run at least 2011+ Games. In fact, I became a bit deceptioned when I saw that there's almost no good games on nowdays, so you'll note some old games here too. If I would do a rank, it possibly be something like this:

6. Sonic Generations (2011)

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Does we have something we didn't know about Sonic Generations? Ok, in fact this game was the reason why I so wanted a Notebook/Gaming PC. I was wanting to play this game since it was released. The only "negative" point it's because Modern Sonic sometimes looks pretty similar as the 2.5D Classic Sonic with became repetitive. Unfortunately, SEGA seems to fail in the same way in Sonic Forces.

5. Burnout Paradise (2009)

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After spent hours and hours in Burnout Dominator in my old PlayStation 2, I decided to try something on PC. I've tried to play on my old PC but it was too bad for a game like this. Shortly, it's Burnout Dominator in Open World. It have a great soundtrack, and different gameplay modes, I just think sometimes became a little repetitive.

4. TombRaider (2013)

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I definitly didn't expected to play this, it was my introduction to the series. It's a pretty good game, with great story and characters, with a gameplay which I never saw something similar before, it was just a totally new experience, I don't know what I can say more.

3. Sonic Mania (2017)

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The well awaited Classic Sonic return finally came this year, not just one of the best games for me, not just for us, but for the videogame industry in general. Anyway, there's nothing more to say that we didn't know, it's just about the best Sonic game.

"The Two Games that always will be in the list"

I separate the 2nd and 1st places because are two games that I can't stop playing since I first played it, they are very old, but I simply love them! More even than the games said before:

2. Unreal Tournament 2004 (2004, duh...)

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Think in a good FPS game, now add "Unreal Tournament" in the name, in the end, put the year of the release just for style. Now put different ways of gameplays, create a frenetic gameplay style, and add many characters, maps and gaming ways, what you have? Unreal Tournament 2004! This game is incredible, I don't know how anyone don't talk about it on nowdays. It's just perfect. The only thing I add it's about the new UT Pre-Alpha which may tooks the place of best FPS and possibly the best game I ever played!

1. Need for Speed Underground 2 (2004)

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Oh yeah, Need for Speed Underground 2, so many memories... If there's some other word that not "perfect", I don't know how describe this game. It just have a Sountrack which I need to listen every day, many different types of gameplay. A big city Open World to explore, I can't even find words to describe how perfect it is. Just who ever played in the Childhood knows what this game is.

Please, don't notice the bad reviews, I'm not good at this and I'm a little uninspired.

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Zero Escape and Danganronpa.

Both of the games are brilliant in different ways. If you haven't already, I would highly suggest playing these. Trust me, you won't be disapointed.

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A Hat in Time is probably my favourite game I played this year. It's just such an adorable, charming game on top of incredibly solid controls and level design, it's like...everything I love about platformers, as hyperbolic as that sounds. I only wish there was more to do once you've beaten it, but there are new, free chapters coming and technically I still have some stuff to find (mostly tokens I think, maybe some yarn?) so I can't really complain too much about that. Hell, if my only huge complaint with a game is "I wish there was even more of it," that says something about what is there, eh?

Sonic Mania is also lovely but I don't need to explain that around here. ;P

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Just thought of a couple more:

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Before I played this game, my only exposure to anything Wonder Boy-related was Monster World IV on the Sega Genesis, and even then I only played that title briefly and didn't get far into it. This gorgeous remake of Dragon's Trap single-handedly got me interested in trying out the rest of the WB series someday; even without having played the Master System original, I had a blast and it kept me engaged longer than I expected it to. The gameplay seems quaint and simplistic today, yet it's impressive reading up on how extremely robust and polished this game was compared to its contemporaries, and the new graphics and music help make it stand out from the crowd once again. My only complaint is that it's a little too much on the easy side, though this could be because, it being an older game, I was expecting a more brutal experience as is the par for games from that era. (though there's no excuse for the final boss being THAT easy) It's easy to steamroll this game in a few hours, but it's likely I'll be revisiting this title again throughout the years.

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This game's quality shocked me, especially considering this is a rare example of a single-player game on Steam that's totally free. Don't let the (admittedly charming) MS Paint-like graphics fool you: this is a really fantastic game reminiscent of Shantae and Shovel Knight with an adorable self-aware identity and an insane amount of detail put into it. The solid, if average gameplay is backed up very well by its settings, character dialogue, catchy electro music, and plethora of easter eggs, references, and unlockables. Khimera also puts its own spin on some otherwise-traditional game mechanics - for instance, the checkpoint system takes the form of a serpent girl who has unique dialogue in every single one of her appearances, and the unlockable character bios are frequently ridiculous and tongue-in-cheek (sometimes you can read a bio and end up knowing even less about the character in question than before you read it). Anyway, this game is extremely good and if you're into platformers then there's no reason not to check this out since it'll set you back a grand total of zero cash moneys.

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There are 2 games that I have played this year which I have absolutely had a blast with: -

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As a number of folks have said, this game has just been brilliant. To sum it up in word - Fun. I loved picking it up every time I played it. The levels are great, the soundtrack is amazing and it was nice to play as Tails and Knuckles again. While it's not perfect, it is the most fun Sonic game I have played in years and really hope the team get another crack at a game because they fully deserve it. Well done Christian, Simon and all the team involved.

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While at stages, I was going to throw the controller at the TV, I just loved the trip back down memory lane. It was great to play Crash again, it didn't feel like the previous efforts which was just dull and boring. This was fun to play, especially 2 and 3 and brought back some awesome memories. Activision and VV did a fantastic job remastering these and I would happily give them another game to expand on what they did here.

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Hmm, while I did enjoy Super Mario Odyssey, I don't feel it's the holy grail that it's often described as, I felt disappointed by some things. The same is true for Sonic Mania, not enough new content to make it stand out from other games. Crash Bandicoot has the same problem, even if things had been improved, I've still been there before. While Nier Automata is also highly praised, I do own it but have not yet played it. I'd also like to play A Hat in Time.

Before I mention a typically obvious game, I want to make a shout out to a short but charming game I got on the early days of the Switch.

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SnipperClips: Cut it out, Together

It's a charming puzzle game and there was a free demo to try when I first got the Switch and I was hooked instantly. You play as two characters in single player or play co-operatively in a 2-player.

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Each puzzle gives you a specific task and there is quiet a variety as you progress. This one here is simple. Put the ball in the hoop. To do it, you have to use two characters to cut bits off each other to help perform that task. You can rotate your characters body completely and when you stand overlapping the other, you can cut bits off, like this.

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As the character that has been trimmed, if you hold a button, you revert back to your original shape. That's pretty much the whole tutorial. They added an expansion recently, adding new puzzles and replying completed puzzles as random shapes.

If you don't like puzzle games, then this probably wont be for you. It's visually uplifting and the characters cute little voices and facial reactions always bring a smile to my face.

Now for the predictable game.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

At first, I wasn't sure about the drastic formula change. No new items needed to traverse later areas, no standard sword and shield and worse of all...no green.

I grew to appreciate those elements as they brought a new challenge on the table. I don't think I've died as much as I have on Breath of the Wild if I added all my deaths in every Zelda game I've played since Ocarina of Time 64. That might be frustrating for some, but it also shows that my typical play style of diving in head first is not going to work in Breath of the Wild.

On a side note, the green is there, you just have to earn it. Or have a Zelda based Amiibo.

The sheer amount of stuff to do and things to explore are fantastic. It took me 10 times longer to 100% BOTW then it did with Odyssey, I like a game that has lots to do. Getting lost in the Lost Woods, bursting into flames on Death Mountain, approaching Hyrule Castle too soon and ill equipped, resulting in getting blasted into next week. Good times.

I guess I'd just wish for more dungeons. But maybe the DLC will fill that desire.

Honourable mention: Persona 5

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While it was tough choosing BOTW over Persona 5, there is one thing about Persona 5 I do want to mention. Or rather, one person.

Often you get into a work of fiction and you see similarities between yourself and the characters portrayed. For me, usually the similarities only go so far, but not with Futaba Sakura. A recluse with social anxiety that tends to do her own thing. Struggled to deal with the loss of a loved one and also displayed self hatred traits. Even her moral compass is more about what she needs rather than seeing the big picture.

It's all stuff I can relate too, she was even overwhelmed during a social outing in one of her confidant events. Something else I've done. Heck, she only really has hacking skills and intelligence as well as friends(and is really cute.). I don't have any of those.

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3. Sonic Mania

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Sonic Mania is a remarkable game. A thing of beauty and have waited significantly too long for a proper sequel again. A true step in the right direction towards bigger things for the hedgehog hopefully. Even if the game didn't hit all the right nostalgic places it'd still be considered a fun, solid platformer which could stand against Mario's finest 2D offerings. 

I didn't even think it'd be possible to get the best Sonic game ever - following so many games which were either just 'good' or 'mediocre.'

2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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This was incredibly close to being in the number 1 spot. The game which made people realize the Switch's potential. A massive and gorgeous open world packed to the brim with content. The one game which has you really fell that sense of adventure. So much so that I have clocked in over 220 hours and have not even finished finding all the shrines. 

One of the best Zelda games, and an approach I will be happy for Nintendo to build upon in sequels.

1. Super Mario Odyssey

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Never have I found a better game to have so much fun with. Throwing surprises at you all the time. The true 3D sandbox platformer which will be remembered as one of, if not the, best 3D games of all time. It builds upon everything from the original Mario 64, takes the fun bits from Mario Sunshine, Galaxy and 3D World to produce a massive game which literally defines the word 'fun'.

This is not taking into account the gorgeous artstyle, visual effect and insanely catchy soundtrack. And the memorable characters.

And goddamn 3D rolling physics, the approach Sonic of all games should be following... 

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