NeoGAF Game of the Year 2018 |OT| Voting thread [Up: Closed]

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Feb 5, 2018
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#54
To me it was down to Hollow Knight or Celeste. Incredibly hard choice. I think I had more pure fun with Celeste, but I spent more time with Hollow Knight and also had an incredible amount of fun with that as well, so I gave Hollow Knight the slight edge. Also loved several other games like AC: Odyssey, God of War. Hollow Knight was so damn good though.
Did you play Dead Cell? amazing game
 
May 17, 2012
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#57
Been away sry. Do you want it adding? The list was posted prior to going live so I'd dial back the melodrama.
I already voted, I didn't see this posted prior. I doubt it would win anything, it is a fun game that is enjoyable if you like games like Dwarf Fortress, so do whatever. It was a bit of a joke since it has been in early access for half a decade and not an indictment of your list.
 
Likes: cormack12
Jul 14, 2018
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#59
As much as I like the idea, this does seem to discriminate against those of us who only played 4 games released this year :messenger_grinning_squinting:

Can you include my top 3 choices please...
1 - The MISSING J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories
2 - Celeste
3 - Shadow of the Colossus Remaster
 
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Likes: Underpants158
May 9, 2016
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#60
If I waited to vote until today:

1) Smash Ultimate would be #1 over Hollow Knight.... maybe.

I've played these games since the original, and it finally took a hold on me. I even find the community's appropriation of fighting game terms charming (recovery = lag, whatever thing they frame traps are, 'true' combos, etc.).

2) Into The Breach would be in the top 3. Holy shit is this my jam.

3) The Messenger would've got a better ranking. I listened to the double-disc OST today (twice) at work.
It's easy to overlook this game as just typical of what's happening in the indie space, retro pixel art, NES hard, blah blah blah, but it's something really special.
[Spoiler here when my phone works right]

I might wanna do a 2018 DX GOTY+ thread in March for all the "Gorogoa"s that arrived late, and fashionably 'late the the party' pickups from this year's lists.
 
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Likes: Underpants158
May 30, 2014
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#61
I've checked the list but most of my favorite titles this year were not on the list (*). Out of the more than 150 titles I own, here's my Top Ten.

1. Celeste (Switch)
2. FR Legends * (iOS/Android)
3. Bad North * (Switch)
4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch)
5. Bleed 2 * (Switch)
6. Starlink: Battle for Atlas (Switch)
7. Pokemon, Let's Go (Switch)
8. Sky Rogue * (Switch)
9. Diablo III: Eternal Collection (Switch)
10. Rogue Aces * (Switch)

Will cast my vote when the titles are added. Thanks. :)
 

gamer007

Neo Member
Dec 19, 2018
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#62
For me, that is Red Dead Redemption 2. Very nice picture and pure realism.
Pokemon, Let's Go is cool too. I am fan and the game seems to be even better than all previous ones.
 
Jun 1, 2014
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#67
Got my votes in
Glad I could remember atleast 3 new games I played this year, lol.
My list seems to get smaller every year since I spend more time (re)playing retro games.
 
Nov 23, 2018
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#70
I loved playing Detroit and it's the game I enjoyed more than anything this year. The thing is I don't believe it deserves to be GOTY though. It's probably number 3 or 4 in many lists and this is where it belongs. Trying to be as objective as possible I voted for GOW. This isn't my personal choice I enjoyed both RDR2 and Detroit more, but I truly believe GOW is flawless. The story, the setting, the game play, graphics, EVERYTHING in that game oozes quality.
GOW is,I think, the right choice
 
Mar 26, 2010
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#73
Well, 2018 was another great year for games. Oh, come on, don't pout. They can't all be 2017. I actually played a bunch of old games this year, like Splatoon 1, which still has a very active multiplayer community, and even some extremely old games, like Quest for Glory 1, because that's the kind of thing I do. But I still played enough new games to carve out a top 10 list.


1. Dark Souls Remastered - [PS4] Okay, "new" might be an overstatement. It's hard to put into words my feelings about Dark Souls. I spent more time in the PS3 version than any other game I've ever played - by far. I had a ton of great experiences in it and they've stuck with me all these years... The satisfying feeling of squishing a monster like a pancake with the Zweihander's 2-handed R2 attack. That tension you get when you slay one of the 4 kings bosses, and you're spinning your camera around trying to see where the next one will appear, not knowing left from right in the complete darkness of the abyss. The smug sense of superiority that seeps in after backstabbing a player, then instantly spinning around and parrying his friend. The dumbstruck awe you feel the first time you see Anor Londo at night - that most glorious city, once bathed in twilight, turned oppressively dim and deafeningly silent, yet still somehow beautiful. Or there's the satisfaction of casting crystal soul spear and watching it explode into an invader's back as he tries to run away. Man, I love me some Dark Souls!

One time, early on, I got summoned in the cat forest by a Japanese guy in Ornstein's armour. I was a newbie who hadn't gotten up to Ornstein and Smough at the time, so to me this golden lion man seemed cool and mysterious. I was a bit baffled that we weren't moving in the direction of the boss, but 3 or 4 murders later I realised "Oh, we're just gonna stay here and kill everybody that invades...Cool!" We back stabbed and spell spammed our way to a huge body count, painting the forest red with blood. Everytime we slew an invader, Lion Man would drop a shiny prism stone at the place they fell, as if to commemorate their death. After a while I elaborated on this ritual by kneeling in the prayer gesture each time he placed a stone. Seeing what I was doing, he joined in on the kneeling. So now every time we murdered somebody, we held a little prayer group to send him off, and filled the forest with pretty stones doing so. A guy we had killed many times invaded and, realizing who we were, hurled himself off a cliff instead of facing us again. Lion Man did the shrug gesture, but after a moment of thinking about it, I pointed down at the ground. That still counts as a death. Taking my meaning, Lion Man dropped a prism stone and we said a prayer over it, wishing our flying friend a safe landing. It was silly and fun. Weird to think that we were communicating exclusively through the language of Dark Souls gestures as we ganked the night away.


Another time I was summoned at the start of Anor Londo and helped a guy through the entire level, beating every enemy, getting all the treasure and fighting off many invaders, we must have killed 7 or 8 reds. I actually screwed up and died during the boss fight, and the guy I'd been helping ran over to where I lay dying and bowed to me. As my screen faded to black, Ornstein and Smough were charging at him and about to connect with their attacks, but he obviously didn't care what happened to him next. He just wanted to pay respects because we'd been through so much together during our epic run of Anor Londo. That's kinda cool.

I could go on with stories like this for quite a while, but the point is my memories of my Dark Souls adventures during days gone by are very dear and precious to me.

I've been able to relive them, up to a point, and even make new ones in the remaster. I've really gotten into Parrying and then swapping to dagger before the riposte, that's been cool. I never really used the 6 shooter crossbow much before, it's been fun to play with. Also, I have this thing where I became obsessed with giving all my builds 1 shoe. It's hard to explain my logic, but it's kind of a "reverse fashion souls weird flex." Beating a gank squad is always impressive, no lie. But beating them with 1 shoe on? Kind of a big deal.


But for the most part, though, I can't really recapture how things were when souls was young. For one thing, the game isn't as active as I'd like. It was fine for the first few months but it's dropped off a lot since then. You can't just put your sign down anywhere and expect to get summoned for any boss without a long wait. The PS3 version felt busy for years, perhaps because online was free, or because there weren't so many other games to choose from. There's also the issue that everybody knows what they're doing now. Perhaps because of how obtuse and strange the game is, for a good while after Dark Souls came out we were all kind of stumbling in the dark, like we were in the Tomb of Giants without a lantern. People would use weird spells and you wouldn't even know what they were, strange things would happen that you couldn't explain, theories would spring up about how mechanics worked and there were a lot of interesting discoveries. Not Anymore. Everyone knows where to go and what to do, they what's optimal and what's effective. It's all been comprehensively covered. Dark Souls has lost its mystique.

So I guess, what I really want, is the feeling of going back in time and experiencing what it's like to play Dark Souls in 2011. And not even the Dark Souls of remasters can give me that.



2. Divinity Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition - [PC] Oh man, what a battle system! At this stage I've played through D:OS2 3 or 4 times now on various difficulty levels together with different people, and I feel like I really know what I'm talking about with this game. The battle system is the star, although it's no exaggeration to say that the quality of the story elements and the depth of the characters has improved a lot since Divinity: Original Sin 1. It's weird to compare them though. D:OS1's battle and crafting system were so broken (in a creative, fun way) that using them optimally made you akin to a god, overflowing with destructive power, with the world as your plaything. And you know, that kind of makes sense thematically, since the game is about your character becoming divine. But there's no denying that the game became too easy once you knew what you were doing. A high level crafter in D:OS1 could take a seashell, some soiled underwear and a broken twig and magyver them into a railgun that could one-shot the game's final boss on impossible difficulty setting. In contrast, crafting feels relatively useless in D:OS2, and your power in combat has been toned down a lot too, which leaves me with mixed feelings. But there are still OP tactics if you dig deep into the game's mechanics. Archery skills on high ground can be insanely damaging, and clever use of Apotheosis can be too.

With regard to the specific changes the Definitive Edition has over 2017's Divinity Original Sin 2, I have to say that Sir Lora is a disappointment. Sir Lora is a little Squirrel Knight who accompanies you, not as a playable character but as a kind of animal sidekick. His dialogue is fun and enjoyable, as is every animal's in this game. Seriously, playing D:OS2 without the "Pet Pal" (talk to animals) skill would be a terrible mistake. Thing is, Sir Lora has a nasty habit of getting himself killed when you aren't looking. I kept him alive to the very end of the game, reloading everytime he did something stupid like walk into fire or poison, and it was a huge pain in the ass. It also served no beneficial effect, as when he dies you can continue to talk to his spirit, and all he is really good for is dialogue anyway. But I just can't let him die because I'm so obsessive, so this poorly implemented character lost me a lot of progress through multiple reloads. Hopefully by now Larian has patched him to have a big shield or infinite health or something.


Don't put yourself through the trauma of keeping this little dude alive, it's not worth it

But to speak more positively on the Definitive Edition, the hard difficulty setting felt more challenging and rewarding. And there were a lot of nice additions that improved the final big city you visit in the game, Arx. New battles that add satisfying endings to old quests, like a showdown with the demon who possessed the little girl in Driftwood, help enrich the game from a story and gameplay perspective. And the new setpiece battle with the kraken in Arx harbour is thrilling and intense. Really, unless you don't like turn based battle systems, I can't recommend Divinity enough, It's got some of the most enjoyable, addictive combat I've ever experienced. Plus you can play not just 2 player but 4 player with your friends! And from a story perspective, you get to hear hilarious anecdotes from the sexual adventures of Lizard-men and Skellingtons. What's not to like? So.... Larian Studios, I think you know what you have to do. You gotta make it a trilogy, baby! TRI-LO-GY!!! TRI-LO-GY!!!


3. Super Smash Bros Ultimate - [Nintendo Switch] I'll be straight with you. My idea of the ultimate Smash Bros game has a feature that this one is sorely lacking, and that's an epic, cutscene filled co-op story mode that's a complete fan service orgy. Something a lot like Subspace Emissary, the story mode from Brawl, but better executed. I know, I know, Sakurai doesn't want to do it because he poured a ton of effort into making Subspace Emissary, only to have millions of people watch it on youtube instead of playing the game. But to have this insane cast of characters and not have them go on a storied adventure is a huge missed opportunity like none other. Remember in Subspace Emissary, when Marth and Metaknight are chasing a flying bad guy with a bomb, and they both can't quite reach him with their attacks, and then you see this golden sword spinning in the air? With a cry of "GREAT AETHER" Ike appears out of nowhere and slashes the bad guy down with his signature move. I guarantee you people playing the game all over the world had an increased interest in and awareness of Fire Emblem in that moment. It's a long tail effect that's hard to quantify, I know, but these kinds of cross over moments have a special way of communicating the merits of a game character or series to the unfamiliar.


Isabelle is so CUTE!

Hell, it even works on me. I don't play Animal crossing. I just don't care for sim games where you fill a house with furniture or something and there's no real ending - that ain't me. But when I see Isabelle in this game? And she trips and drops a jar for her running attack, and gets totally surprised by the party cracker that is her own sidesmash, and does so many other funny things like this? I'm like, "damn, this is a great character!" Now imagine if the game had a huge story mode with cutscenes. Solid Snake is trying to rebuild Outer Heaven and Isabelle is working for him as mayor (she's the deputy mayor of animal crossing town or some shit right?) She's like "Snake this won't work! We can't afford to feed all these soldiers just because you're buddies with them!" and Snake growls back "Paper work, again? I'm paying you to make it work, Isabelle!! " "Well, then, it's coming out of your ridiculous cardboard box budget!" "WHHHHAAAAAT!!?? But I need all those boxes for my-" Suddenly everything turns slow motion as a Metal Gear Rex bursts through the wall behind an open mouthed, wide eyed Snake. Isabel does a commando roll and reappears with a bandana and an uzi in each hand, firing both as she dodges Rex's gunfire. Snake parkour style leaps off of girders and scaffolding and acrobatically lands atop Metal Gear Rex. multiple slow-mo shots show his astonished face from different angles as he turns to see the pilot. None other than....Tom Nook, the evil raccoon from animal crossing! Cut to gameplay where Snake and Isabelle team up to fight the enormous Metal Gear.


Man, what is happening to me? Should I get a dog or something?

Now I've never bothered to play Animal Crossing, but if they filled this game with scenes like that then I'd be on Amazon going "5 Animal Crossings please, shut up and take my money!" And you know if Nintendo spent the resources to do a big story mode they could pull it off because of how well they've done the character reveal trailers. The Simon Belmont reveal trailer where Luigi comes face to face with Death's scythe and Simon shows up just in the knick-of-too-late to save him was sensational! But imagine actually playing the adventure of this unlikely duo as Luigi and Simon took on vampires and werewolves together? An outing starring Simon as the straight man and Luigi as the very wobbly man could have all kinds of great moments. Sonic and Captain Falcon could have a race around the world in the spirit of Superman vs The Flash, Samus could use morphball form to enter Pacman's maze and assist him, Joker from Persona 5 could try to change Wario's greedy heart...there's so much fun stuff they could do and it's a shame to see the opportunity wasted. I don't say this as an indictment of World of Light either. It's okay. I disliked it at first... eventually it grew on me and I'm fine with it now. But it's a case of trying to do a lot with a little, mostly likely to make sure Smash got released by its 2018 deadline, and the game's adventure mode could have been soooo much more.

When it's the holidays, relatives are inevitably going to bring their kids over, and they're inevitably going to want to play Smash because it has Pokemans in it. But if you just let them play against each other, those little kids will get frustrated and get vicious with each other. It won't be long before (again, inevitably) a real fight breaks out, kids being kids, and they'll be screaming and whining and maybe worse. So you gotta have co-operative gameplay options ready. All-Star mode is okay. Having them play team vs bots is okay. But an epic, cutscene laden story adventure that's a fan service filled love letter to gaming's finest characters hits it out of the park like a perfectly spaced sidesmash with Ness's baseball bat. AND it does your marketing for you. That's all I'm saying.


"May I have this dance, hot space lady?"

Putting my rant aside, there's a very positive point I must mention that does fit my vision of the ultimate smash game. EVERYONE. IS. HERE! With such an impressive roster, Sakurai has got you covered, even if your favourite fighter is Young Link, or Snake, or Roy, or the other Roy from the Koopa kids...he brought them all back! And it's not just that all these characters are here, it's how much attention to detail has gone into including them. The way Simon walks on stairs is just like the old Castlevania games. Link's mastersword fires a beam when you're at zero damage. Pacman's level is just like his old platformer arcade game. True to their games, the Inklings from Splatoon take damage in water. And Ken Masters looks like his old self, instead of an escaped asylum patient with bananas on his head! Speaking of Ken, go at it as Ken and Ryu with your buddy, and when one of you does a frame-perfect shield, it will come out as a Third Strike style parry! How cool is that? The game has 75 lovingly represented characters... And that number is GROWING! That's pretty damn ultimate if you ask me.

Now let's add Tanooki Mario, Leon Scott Kennedy (RE4 version) and Artorias of the abyss!


4. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - [PS4] When I played through Dragon Quest VIII on the playstation 2 in 2006, it was a magical journey filled with joy and adventure, but it was also kind of a tedious grindfest. I'm an obsessive type, and I wanted to do everything there was to do, so my playtime was a whopping 288 hours! I did love DQVIII, really. but the memory of slow loading, drawn out battles against weaker enemies that required no other strategy than pressing x, waiting and pressing x again haunt me to this day. I've not touched another Dragon Quest these past 12 years...UNTIL NOW.


The game just looked too good. And It kept getting all these 9s and 10s...I couldn't resist the call to adventure. But I resolved to do things very differently this time, with minimal hours wasted grinding or being lost looking for things. So I rushed through dungeons fighting each enemy type only once. Unless I thought they had some loot I needed or that a metal slime would show up, I would just run past enemies I'd already seen. This kept me from having too many grindy battles, but it also had the bonus effect of making boss fights more challenging and strategic, since I was under leveled. By the time I reached the game's "final boss" I had spent just 80 hours adventuring and my characters were only level 49! However, that didn't mean much because the post game content was basically an entire 2nd game. They kind of do a time travelly thing that connects the story to older Dragon Quests, and you do an alternate adventure with different substories and much greater challenges. After adventuring in the post game for a while and deciding I needed some guidance, I shamelessly looked up videos on where to go and how to farm experience from metal slimes. With the technique I used it took about 6 hours of grinding to go from level 60 to level 99! My final playtime was 150 hours, but maybe 8-10 hours of that was grindy. The bulk of it was spent enjoying the story, playing minigames, exploring cities, crafting awesome weapons for my crew, doing quests and fighting challenging, enjoyable boss fights. I went and found every secret treasure and every hidden boss in the game, seeing everything there was to see in this enormous adventure... all without the regret of slogging through tedious battles the way I did in DQVIII.


If you want a wonderful jrpg quest filled with imagination and charm, I'd say Dragon Quest XI is a great place to look. It's got fun party members like the the Sassy know-it-all Veronica and the excessively flamboyant Sylvando. It's got whimsical humour like a Japanese style village where everyone speaks in haiku poems, or a town where everyone is cursed to do silly dances 24/7 until a dancing demon is slain. You'll escape spooky dungeons, walk on a bridge made of rainbows, even visit a kingdom of mermaids under the sea. "Just say NO" to grinding and you'll have a flying whale of a time.


5. Into the Breach - [Nintendo Switch] This is another case of a wonderful Indy strategy game that is perfect on the Switch. There's something peculiar about how addictive this game is, doing so much with so little. Each tiny map only has so many grid spaces, where your itty bitty army of 3 merely has to hold their defenses for 5 turns...It really doesn't sound like broad enough parameters for a deeply rewarding turned based strategy experience, but that's exactly what Into the Breach is. Those juicy bonus objectives, the enticing upgrades, and the interesting chess-like turns you take keep me replaying the game over and over. It's at the point where these few short sentences describing the game have taken me hours to type because I repeatedly decide to do "just one more map." Once more, into the breach dear friends!
 
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Mar 26, 2010
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#74

6. Persona 3 Dancing in Moonlight - [PS4] In 2006, Persona 3 came completely out of nowhere and absolutely blew my mind. Those gorgeous Shigenori Soejima character designs were like nothing I'd ever seen. The characters were not only so well written as to be likeable and relatable, but the social link mechanic meant that the relationships you built with these characters had a direct impact on your dungeon crawling. And the catchy, feel good music has stuck with me for the last 12 years! Come on, you know what I'm talking about.

OOH YEAH

DA NAN DA DA DA NAN DA DA

BABY BABY

DA NAN DA DA DA NAN DA DA

Oh, to have a karaoke bar that lets you belt out Mass Destruction, the energetic battle theme from Persona 3! Well, now we have the next best thing: a rhythm game built around the many memorable songs from this jrpg classic, with all of the beloved Persona 3 crew dancing along! Well... all except their dog Koromaru, unfortunately.


I see how it is. Persona 4's bear can dance, Persona 5's cat can dance, but a dog is asking too much

Persona 4: Dancing all Night went to great lengths to contextualize its fan service with a story, and I'm not sure all that effort was well spent. Well, P3D does away with all that and simply says "you're in a dream, let's have a dance competition!" which I appreciate. This is a game about taking the characters you love, putting them in beautiful (or silly) costumes and watching them bust moves to amazing Shoji Meguro music. A big ol' story twisting itself in knots to try and provide a believable reason these characters should do this from their perspective just gets in the way. Which isn't to say that there's no story at all - as you complete tracks you unlock short sketches where the characters interact with each other, kind of like progressing a social link. Some of these can be boring anime stuff about believing in yourself or whatever, or even mistakes. Ken-kun has a scene about how he can't appreciate coffee because it's a bitter drink for adults, but in Persona 3, Ken says he likes to drink his coffee black. (I've played Persona 3 too many times, so I remember useless trivia like how Ken Amada likes his coffee.) However, many of these story scenes lead to great gags, like jokes about Aegis wanting to incorporate heavy artillery into her dance routine. Elizabeth in particular is high energy and good for a laugh, she loves to be overbearing and pushy to the other characters and constantly jumps to the wrong conclusion. Usually a costume or accessory is unlocked upon completing one of these story scenes. I should mention you can also explore the dorm rooms of your fellow SEES members in virtual reality. That's pretty amazing.


While P4D's stages were often made to represent actual dance stages, where they performed in front of a crowd of shadows (for story reasons,) the stages in P3D are recreations of all the memorable locations from Persona 3, which is a great choice. You can dance at the entrance to Tartarus or in the middle of Paulownia Mall. You can do a relaxing, joyful dance with Aegis on the beach where you first met her. One dance stage is the coffee table in the middle of the Iwatodai dorm's living room, where you can have a tiny mouse sized Fuuka dance on the table while dressed like a Christmas tree! There are more Costume and accessory options than there were in P4D as well, thankfully. You can put a little moustache and thick glasses on the hero and make him look like a complete emo hipster. Dress Yukari in a zombie nurse Halloween costume, and she'll groan "tiiiiiime for yourrrr medicine" in her best horror movie impression. You can dress Aegis as a maid and she'll begin the iconic maid greeting "Welcome home, Master!" She is a robot killing machine though, so she follows up with a polite "Would you like to eat? Or have something destroyed?"


"Aegis, can you teach me how to do the robot?" "Yukari-San, I am 'doing the robot' at maximum capacity at all times."

I enjoyed my time with Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight a lot, but I wouldn't recommend it to most people. It certainly isn't superior as a rhythm game to something like Rhythm Heaven or Ouendan... but that's not the point. Consider "Metroid Prime Pinball" on the DS. It's not that I'm crazy about pinball. But Metroid Prime is one of the greatest games ever made. So when you make a good pinball game with incredible music from Prime, tables based on the cool areas you explore in Prime, and even boss fights that directly reference Prime, it ends up being more than the sum of its parts. The game works not just as a good pinball game, but also on that fan service level, as a kind of shrine to Metroid Prime. Well, this game serves a similar purpose for lovers of Persona 3 and its amazing music and characters, and serves it quite well. Not only that, the value you get with the Endless Night Collection, where you get P3D, P5D (which I've yet to play) and the entirety of P4D, ported to the PS4 from the Vita, is really amazing. I honestly thought about putting the port of P4D on this top 10 list as well, since it also has wonderful characters and music, but they seem to have removed some of the DLC - the skiing costumes, vacation costumes and girl's swimsuits have all been removed from the PS4 DLC for some reason, making it inferior to the 2015 vita version.


7. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze - [Nintendo Switch] Tropical Freeze on the WiiU was my 2014 Game of the Year. It's a fantastic game with lush visuals, enchanting music, and addictive platforming gameplay that surpasses the original Super Nintendo classics. The game provides an excellent level of challenge without going overboard and being too hard "just for the sake of it." There's multiple playable characters with different abilities, intriguing secrets, brilliantly crafted boss fights, Co-op multiplayer, you name it. So why isn't this game higher on my list? Because it's actually worse than the WiiU version of Tropical Freeze! "But Touch FuzZy, get BizZay..." I hear you protest. "How can the 1080p version of a platforming masterpiece be worse than the 720p version of said platforming masterpiece?" I'll tell ya how: with the inclusion of Funky Kong.

When a design committee from the 90s ran tests to see what character traits kids find appealing, their studies revealed that youth connect with primates who are "bodacious," "gnarly" and above all, "Funky fresh." 17 minutes later, Funky Kong was born. He's an unironic version of Poochy from the Simpsons... A righteous surfer dude with cut-off jeans, a groovy bandana, and tubular shades that let you know just how "radical" he is. And he's the founder of Isis. Don't believe me? Have you ever seen Funky Kong and the founder of Isis in the same room at the same time? Exactly. That's because they're the same person.


8. Darkest Dungeon - [Nintendo Switch] More like... "Dankest Fun-geon" am I rite? This is right up my alley with its bleakly desperate setting, turn-based strategic goodness and auto-saving perma-death! Really loving what I've played so far of this exciting game. I might have placed it much higher, but I've only done about 70 dungeons so far and I'm running into a problem that makes me think less of the game. This may be dealt with better on the higher difficulty levels, but Darkest Dungeon has this interesting "stress" mechanic where your characters can build up stress and eventually snap, leading to a mental breakdown. For example, they might become "masochistic" and start wounding themselves during battle. Or perhaps they become "paranoid" and won't accept healing from their allies. It's a really cool twist to the game but it's even more intense than it sounds - once a character snaps they are at risk of having a heart attack which reduces their health to 1 hp. But most importantly, tripped out characters tend to constantly increase the stress of their fellow party members. If one party member loses their marbles, he is likely to cause the rest of the party to have breakdowns as well. And this in turn is likely to make everyone useless for the next dungeon run, as you'll be spending a small fortune trying to rehabilitate them while sending a fresh batch of level 1 characters off to wet their pants in the darkest of dungeons.


So many dead. Too many. Would that I could have saved you, my friends

30 dungeons into my first playthrough, I had a full roster of characters suffering from insanity, no money, and no obvious way of turning things around. I thought about what I should do for a change of tack, and concluded that everything hinged on keeping stress levels down. I started a new playthrough and looked for characters with stress coping abilities. There's a guy with leprosy who can decrease his own stress, and the crusader can get an ability that lowers the stress of others. There's a jester who can play his lute and lower everyone's stress. I took characters like these and whenever the stress meters were beginning to rise I would wipe out all of the enemy party I was fighting except for one opponent and spam "de-stressing" abilities on my party while stunning him. And here's where we get to my problem with the game...This method worked way too well. 40 dungeons in and I haven't had a single breakdown for any of my characters. Everything has been really smooth sailing with none of the intensity and pressure that made my first playthrough attempt so exciting. The stress mechanic seems like such a brilliant idea, should the player really be able to just sidestep it like that? It went from being a stand-out feature to basically irrelevant. It would have been better if there was very little that could be done to keep stress levels down, but in turn, breakdowns were not quite so costly...for example, removing the heart attack aspect so that the player is dealing with the challenge of their party's interesting psychotic personality traits, but not their nearly instanteous death.

But this is just how it looks to me after some 70 or so dungeons...As I said, perhaps the later levels or harder difficulty settings will deal with my concern. Aside from that one issue, I'm loving the game. The classes and their powers are mostly really interesting, the setting is cool, the upgrades are rewarding - can't wait to play more. And man, how awesome is it on switch? Getting Indy-like games a few years later with all the dlc included and at a reduced price with the added plus of switch's portability feels like really good value.


9. Warioware GOLD - [3DS] For me, the original Warioware is a desert island game. I can keep coming back to it over and over and enjoy it years later. And I do! I happen to be a Nintendo 3DS ambassador, so I have Warioware on my 3DS and jump into it whenever the urge takes me. That means this new Warioware actually has to compete with the original game for my 3DS gameplay time. And you know what? It does pretty well. All the beloved old Warioware characters return, like Mona and Ashley, and the new characters seem to fit right in. The story parts are gold - I was legit laughing at many of the goofs, or at least charmed by them, like when 18-Volt has a rap battle with 13-Amp, or when Ashley summons a demon from hell who really just wants a meatball sub. Lots of the best microgames across all the old Warioware titles were cherry picked and remixed together in order to make this the ultimate Warioware game. So do I like it better than the original? no I don't. I think I feel this way because I don't like gyro controls and stylus stuff as much as good old fashioned d-pads and buttons. Don't get me wrong, the motion and touch stuff is well implemented, I just prefer buttons anyway. But I don't wanna get all negative as I really enjoyed my time with Warioware GOLD. Ya know what? It actually has a minigame you can unlock called Mewtroid, where you control a Kitty named "Sameow" who playfully rolls on the floor while shooting her blaster at approaching threats. How can I not love something so dumb?


10. Detroit: Become Human - [PS4] I've always been meaning to play a David Cage "game" and it's never quite come about. Heavy Rain certainly looked intriguing, more so than Beyond: Two Souls, but for whatever reason I just didn't bite with either. But when I saw Detroit's E3 2016 trailer, where Connor, a police android, negotiated with a defective android holding a little girl hostage atop a skyscraper, I was instantly sold. The beautiful graphics showing their standoff above that night time cityscape were truly amazing. The batman style clue hunting detective parts seemed to be well done. And at the center of it all was Connor. Noble, determined, yet also a little unsure and curious, he evoked for me a little something of the great robots of fiction's past, like Astroboy or Battle Angel Alita. "Touch him and I kill you!" The rogue android threatens. "You can't kill me!" Connor yells back. "I'm not alive!" For me, this Bladerunner-esque setup was just too promising and I pre-ordered the game, went on a media blackout, and sat back and waited until I could go on cyberpunk detective adventures with my boy Connor.


Of course not! The only ones spying on me are Facebook and Google. And Apple. And my ISP. And the NSA and Twitter, but not my android!

Soooo what happened? Well, let me just say, I still like Connor. His parts of the game are pretty cool - doing buddy cop stuff like interrogations, investigating dead bodies and fighting lesbian stripper androids. But Connor is just 1 of 3 main characters, and I really didn't enjoy my time with the other 2. Kara and Marcus's stories are heavy handed dramas that feel emotionally manipulative in their best moments and profoundly stupid in their worst. A good sci-fi story that deals with these themes gets you asking big questions without simplifying things into good and bad too quickly or easily. What does it really mean to be alive? How can I tell an android that looks like a human from a real human? If I can't tell the difference, does that difference matter, even though I can't see it? Or if an Android perfectly simulates human traits, it's still a machine with no soul, so a convincing simulation is ultimately nothing more than just that: a convincing simulation? How do I even know if I'm a human? Maybe I'm an Android that thinks it's a human? These types of ideas would be woven into the events of a good story with subtly and nuance. You won't find anything like that here. To David Cage, being human means showing emotions. And it feels like if I'm doing anything other than being super duper nice to these extremely emotional, angsty deviants, then I must be hateful and robophobic. Also, even if you make me do a hadoken motion in order to open a cupboard, opening a cupboard still isn't that interesting.


Imagine if your launch model xbox 360 RRODed, and instead of demanding a replacement for it from Microsoft, you granted it HUMAN RIGHTS

That beautiful trailer with Connor on the rooftop was really something special, and it got me pumped for what the game could be. Detroit did have its moments, that's why it's on this list. But Kara and Marcus "aren't the droids I'm looking for," to put it mildly. If you want to play an awesome cyberpunk adventure that channels Blade Runner, you better get yourself a Mega-CD, cause Snatcher is still where it's at.


Whew, got it done in time. This literally gets harder every year, lol... Might do a top 5 next time. Thanks OP, and thanks participants.

My 2017 Neogaf GotY Voting Thread Post
 
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