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|OT| NeoGAF GOTY 2020 |OT| Voting thread (Up: Expired)

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Marvel14

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Sep 30, 2020
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It's a million to 1 shot but Pikmin 3 for the win.

Inventive original and addictive. Also so cute

So satisfying when you see your planning and execution improve with repeated tries as you learn by doing.

Love it.
 

Kadayi

Probable Replicant & GIF PIMP
Oct 10, 2012
11,988
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Discord : Kadayi#0650
I know, i know its a much older game from an earlier console generation but with Wii U sales numbers it never stood a chance of being recognised...so it is now or never.

season 3 episode 23 GIF
 
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Sep 7, 2011
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10. Monster Train
9. Streets of Rage 4
8. Clubhouse Games
7. Tony Hawk 1+2
6. Borderlands 3
5. Persona 5 Royal
4. Animal Crossing
3. Hades
2. Yakuza Like A Dragon
1. Cyberpunk 2077
 

bosh

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May 17, 2016
380
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  1. The Last of Us 2
  2. Demon’s Souls
  3. Ghost of Tsushima
  4. Yakuza: Like a Dragon
  5. Nioh 2
  6. Hades
  7. Animal Crossing
  8. Huntdown
  9. Streets of Rage 4
  10. Murder By Numbers
My list for the year. Wrote full thoughts here (External site fyi)

Overall I was happily surprised with Ghost of Tsushima. I wasn't entirely sure going in, as open world games can turn bland fast, but GoT was a breath of fresh air in the genre. Huntdown was a sleeper hit for me (And a sleeper game to vote not being the dropdown) but i hope more people have a chance to play it in 2021. It is already on most platforms and releasing on PC this year. Yakuza: Like a Dragon was 4th on my list but could easily be number one. It was my favorite story of the year and another fantastic entry into my favorite series.
 
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Enzo88

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Oct 25, 2016
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1) ff7 remake
2) Hades
3) streets of rage 4
4) Spirit farer
5) Doom eternal
6) desperados 3
7) the last of us 2
8) Nioh 2
9) paper mario the origami king
10) ghost of tsushima


Too bad i haven't played Ori and Half Life yet, i am confident they would have made it in.
 
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Fat Frog

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Mar 21, 2019
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1.Streets of Rage 4
2.Yakuza LAD
3.Cyberpunk
4.Half Life: Alyx
5.Ori
6.Astro
7.FF7R
8.Hades
 
Mar 26, 2010
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For those of you relieved that 2020 is over, you're adorable. Brace yourself for a decade of insanity and suffering that once seemed impossible not long ago, characterized by economic collapse, tyrannical tech monopolies, and a complete breakdown of trust all around. Man, that 0rwell was such a dumbass. Imagine accurately predicting everything that will happen in the future in detail, but then totally getting the year wrong. What a loser. Anyway, we still have some time before the moon turns to blood and the four horsemen saddle up, so let's reflect on the escapist's opiate we call videogames while we still can. And who knows? Maybe humanity will get lucky and we'll get the Tracer Tong ending.

One more thing before I start, obviously Demon's Souls Remake is the real game of the year, we all know that. But a PS5 and 4k television are just not on the cards for me, I'm sad to say. Remember that when you're getting welded inside your own house to slow the spread. Sure, that sux for you, but I didn't get to play Demon's Souls Remake. I'm the real victim here. Save some of those tears for me.


1. Super Mario Bros. 35 - [Switch] Ah, yes... the Battle Royale genre. Chicken dinners and flossing and all that. I appreciated the concept intellectually while not playing any of the shooters at all...I seem to have a reflexive aversion to whatever the kids are into these days. Like an old geezer dismissing rock and roll as the devil's music, whenever some free-to-play fad is on the lips of every kid who is actually influenced by "influencers" I keep my guard up and steer clear of it, mistrustful of a generation that seems lost and loony to me. But hold up. Did someone say Mario? Like, Super Mario? Cause that's my jam. Well, it's my childhood, but also my jam.

Like Tetris 99, Mario 35 takes a beloved, familiar classic and breathes new life into it by adding mechanics from the Battle Royale genre. Thrown into the ring with 34 other players, you each run through the levels of 1985's Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System, trying to outdo each other by being the last man standing. Actions that would normally award you points now add precious seconds to your timer, and as fewer players remain in the game, the timer drains ever faster, escalating the frantic nature of the race to each flag pole.

While enemies are most easily bested with a fireball attack, one must weigh this option against trickier but more rewarding methods of turtle extermination. Kicking a shell into a line of enemies will multiply the time bonus received with each enemy struck, making it way more beneficial than using fireballs. Just be careful it doesn't ricochet off a pipe and hit you. Bouncing artfully from one goomba's head to another without ever touching the ground will also keep increasing your time bonus in a similar way. But enemies don't just award you time when defeated, they are sent into other player's games similarly to how one might send blocks to an opponent in a competitive game of Tetris. This allows for ridiculous situations like having Hammer Bros in places you'd never expect them, or 5 Bowsers on the screen at once! If things get really crazy you might find yourself in the most hectic hellscape of them all - an army of Lakitus!


Real talk: might not make it outta this one

Although the whole Koopa empire might descend on you all at once, there's always a way out as long as you have coins. Coins can now be used to purchase randomized power-ups while on the run, and even 100 Bowsers can do nothing if Mario gets a star. This adds another consideration to keep in mind. As important as building that timer up is, having the coins to purchase power-ups may be more important depending on what's around the corner. It might be best to slow down and focus on money, at least until you feel like you've got a nice piggy bank going. As joyful as it is to run and jump with Mario's classic moves, there's really a lot more than that to keep in mind when it comes to Mario 35's multiplayer mayhem.


Am I so good at Mario 35 because I like it so much, or do I like it so much because I'm so good at it? I don't know. A real chicken and egg situation.

I've had a total blast playing Mario 35. But you know, it's funny. This game is so much the classic game that it always was, there's very little about it that's actually been changed. It's more like it's intact with a few things taken from those Battle Royale games and added on top. But those new pieces that are in place are totally transformative. Mario feels like a whole new game. No, it feels like the same old game and a whole new game at the same time. This unlikely merging of ancient 8-bit awesomeness with these kids and their craaaazy Fortnite is a match made in heaven. I see no reason Nintendo couldn't or shouldn't do this with Mario 3, with Mario World...Hell, I bet you could do it with Zelda.

So now...let's make it official. The Italian stallion wins the medallion. Super Mario Bros. is the game of the year!

what year is it.gif


2. Yakuza: Like a Dragon - [PS4] There appears to be a sort paradox at work in how I experience the Yakuza series. This confounding contradiction is consistent across every single entry in the franchise that I've played. Firstly, that I feel a sense of exhaustion at the mere thought of running around those same streets again, to fight those same punks, with that same simplistic battle system, only to go heal afterwards by eating at those same restaurants before playing those same minigames again and again. And yet... each Yakuza seems to sweep me up into its world like no other game can. The characters connect with me and tug at my heartstrings in a way most big budget titles could only dream of, and the narrative has me on the edge of my seat. Somehow all those complaints about how the gameplay can be a drag for long stretches seem to fade away, and I'm left remembering only the exciting highlights. When I try to understand how Yakuza games can be so damn good despite this sense of fatigue that inevitably accompanies them, all I can come up with is that Yakuza has heart. There's an earnestness, a love, a passion poured into these games that's so intense you can feel it. And then what else can you do but fall head over heels for the game?


A dominatrix and a chef use love to subdue a ferocious tiger. It might seem weird to us, but this is probably a weekly segment on a Japanese gameshow

I remember when I first heard that the next Yakuza would have turn-based combat. Many people reacted with concern but I was intrigued by this shake-up to the formula. Such a drastic change might be just what the series needs to overcome this constant feeling of tedium that seeps in, I reasoned. So how does Yakuza fare as a Jrpg? I'd say: pretty good. An experienced rpg player will find very little in the way of challenge for most of the game, unfortunately, but its classes and abilities are interesting and fun to use, so it's nice to mix things up and play around with a different combat system. I say interesting and fun but...really they're just fukken funny is what they are.


She's throwing her business card as a weapon! And the ensuing paper cut can cause the bleed status effect! Ya gotta love it

Lovingly mimicking Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, Yakuza: Like a Dragon features a job system where characters learn new abilities by leveling up in their chosen field. So how do the developers transpose such a classic Jrpg mechanic into a modern Japanese setting? They have you literally go to an employment agency to get hired as a chef or a musician or a construction worker or what have you, at which point you begin to amass a range of combat abilities that, while thematically tied to your new career, are really just a bunch of stupid attacks with delightfully goofy animations. Say you get a job as a host, that allows you to perform attacks like spraying enemies with champagne to hopefully activate status effects such as getting them drunk or giving them a cold. Or if you're a professional break dancer you can do a windmill and hit multiple enemies at once with your flailing legs. The crowning jewel of all these funny combat careers has got to be "Homeless Guy." Don't underestimate the homeless! They have the ability to regenerate their HP by sleeping anywhere, even a crowded pathway, just by laying down a cardboard sheet. And they can use their smelly breath attack to disorient the enemy. The pay is pretty shocking though. What job will they think of next, "Crackwhore Trainee?"


As refreshing and fun as this Yakuza take on Jrpg classes is, does it actually solve Yakuza's problem of wearing the player out with repetitious, inconsequential battles? Actually, no. If you think about it, this problem Yakuza has of tediously samey battles whose outcomes are a foregone conclusion, well....that's the same problem Jrpgs have. Jrpgs, even good ones, tend to have a ton of grindy battles that demand little of the player in the way of strategy and much of their time, just like Yakuza. So changing to this totally new battle system with the same underlying problem turns out to be a massive step sideways.


Although it is translated, the business management minigame somehow brings back memories of what it's like to play a game in another language

Those same old minigames return too. It's kind of comforting to have classic minigames like darts and baseball back I guess. But it also brings that exhausted feeling of "am I really doing this again?" to the forefront. The rewards are good though, like powerful weapons or XP multipliers, so of course I'm gonna save scum to win at blackjack again, like I always do, like I've been doing forever in Yakuza. There's great new minigames too, however. No one is gonna mistake Dragon Kart for Mario Kart 8, but it's a fun little distraction. And there's a corporation building minigame that I found shockingly addictive. In 1 short hour I went from being completely baffled by its 4 pages of obtuse instructions and not sure it was worth my time to utterly obsessed with it and unable to put it down. Actually, this business management minigame serves as a perfect microcosm of this whole bizarre "Yakuza paradox" I've been describing. There's so many good reasons not to commit to it holding you back, but when you push through that and dive in, you have an amazing time.


At the end of the day, Yakuza: Like a Dragon tells an incredible story that easily switches tones between silly humour and gripping crime drama without missing a beat. A noble, likeable hero sets a lofty example as he holds onto his ideals and trusts in his friends even as his whole world falls apart and he is faced with impossible odds. It'll make you laugh, it'll make cry, and it'll make you collect shiny objects off the ground and fight a zillion random battles. In short...it's another awesome Yakuza game.


3. Final Fantasy VII Remake - [PS4] Man, I really liked this one a lot. Its reception among fans seems to be quite mixed indeed, however, so let me explain where I'm coming from. I'm a lapsed Final Fantasy fan who used to adore getting lost in the enormous adventures Square made, which seemed to excel both in quality and quantity compared to other games with their stunning visuals, moving music, and memorable journeys. Once upon a time. Nowadays I wouldn't say Square Enix has jumped the shark so much as jumped the megalodon. Pretentious, indulgent stories starring over-designed, preposterous looking characters whose personalities are bland, annoying or otherwise off-putting seems to be the new norm. After releasing so much trite trash for so long I just can't get excited for Square's new output. But. Final Fantasy VII ain't exactly new. It's a beloved classic that pushed the genre forward and inspired legions of devoted fans who've been asking for this remake for years.

I'm not one of them though. I started playing the series with FFVIII, and as sentimentally attached as I am to that game, I'm not at all attached to the original FFVII, although I am generally knowledgeable about its contents, characters and legacy. I "know of" Cloud, but I don't really "know" Cloud. If you grew up with FFVII and feel like you know Cloud, there's so many ways this remake can disappoint you. Maybe his voice doesn't sound how you imagined it, or the things he's saying seem out of character to you. But for me, to get Cloud right, you gotta have pointy hair, a big sword, a motorcycle...and...actually that's all you need. When I see Cloud popping tricks on his hog and spinning wheels in the bad guy's faces, I'm not bothered about whether this scene is true to the original game. I'm fist pumping and yelling "Hell yeah, you're the guy, Cloud! get'em SOULJA boy!!" It seems I have the exact perfect amount of nostalgia needed to love this game.


"I am the reinforcements." Oh wait, that was "Vagrant Story." My bad

It's not just my carefree attitude to the original that's working in FFVIIR's favour. Remaking an older title from back when their games were good places serious constraints on how much idiotic Squeenix bullshit can be crammed into this game. For 1 thing, these characters were all designed before Square jammed its head up its own ass and Nomura started drawing sketches that looked like someone else's parody designs intending to mock him. Barret is Mr T with a machine gun arm. That's plenty going on already. If Nomura designed him today, he would have a giant Willy Wonka hat, a rainbow mullet, and lady Gaga's goldfish shoes...and yet Nomura would still be sitting there clicking his pen, complaining: "it's just not enough... He doesn't stand out!"


These characters designed in the 90s, while fantastical, are nevertheless grounded enough that our brain doesn't reject their existence on sight. Thank God. So does that mean we're spared the insulting excesses of modern Square? For the most part. There is a douchey character that bears all the markings of a current year Squeenix character so I assume he is new. He's a SOLDIER on a motorcycle called Roche. Flashy, loud and irritating, he zips around hollering like Speedy Gonzales, smirking it up and saying literally nothing that isn't an empty cliche. But this is just one character. In a way, the contrast just helps you to appreciate the classic characters all the more.

I'd be lying if I said Square's attempt to sabotage their own cash cow ended there. I love this game so much when they're following the events of the original story, however loosely, but then these pompous geniuses have to try and get clever and add the spectres. I'm not gonna pretend to understand what the spectres are any more than I'll pretend to care. But I know some Kingdom Hearts level bullshit when I see it, and whatever dream/ghost/flashback/fate changing nonsense the spectres represent, Squeenix can shove it right back up their ass where it came from.

Sephiroth is a problem as well. I know he was everybody's favourite villain at one point after burning down a village and killing Aeris or whatever, but at least since Advent Children, he feels more like a meme of guy who dies all the time and then just comes back instantly. I felt no satisfaction killing him, any more than I felt surprise at turning around and seeing him already back. The dude just has no impact anymore, and I very much doubt that Square can ever undo the damage they've done to the character with all these meaningless deaths.


Gorgeous graphical effects

Those are the low points. And if Final Fantasy VII was an important part of your formative years, I really can understand how even the slightest imperfection feels like an assault on your childhood. But if we base our current expectations of Squeenix on their more recent offerings, this is actually a lot less cringey nonsense than they usually dish out. Having them mostly "stick to the script" and recreate one of their good old adventures greatly diminishes their biggest weakness of being totally full of vapid pretentious drivel. And then you remember their actual strengths: Square are still the kings of visual splendor and finely polished production, combining elite technical brilliance and godly artistic talent to make the PS4 sing. From the dazzling graphical effects during battle to to every luscious, lovingly lit cutscene, this game is a visual orgy that will get your eyeballs pregnant with fat chocobo babies.


Right from the start with the green glow of Midgar's gritty cyberpunk gutters, the atmosphere totally sucks the player in. Seeing the downtrodden slum dwelling eco-terrorists fighting the corrupt corporations and media that are smearing them makes it so easy for me to get invested in the heroes and their plight. It's such an intriguing setup and so different from anything Square would come up with today. Playing it is almost like being in an alternate universe where Squeenix never lost their minds. Every stunning set piece, whether it's a giant robot fight or a daring escape from an exploding reactor, or Cloud's hilarious rhythm dance sequence at the Honeybee Inn, has weight for me because the world has me immersed and I don't loathe all of the characters like I normally would if this was an original Square game.


Oh, so they screwed up the ending and destroyed your childhood, huh? Well I see your ruined childhood, and I raise you: HD Froggy with sword. Check. Mate.

Square being Square, the scene is set with that confusing ending for them to go way more off book and totally screw everything up with some dumb meta-commentary about how the characters are remaking the story, not the developers, or some such nonsense. Here's hoping they generally stick to the script and only indulge their more pretentious urges in the periphery, as they did in this game.


I guess she was aiming for my heart. Jessie Rasberry, waifu for laifu!

Can I just say one more thing? I can't get enough of the Avalanche members! Technically they're eco-fascists who commit violent acts of terrorism. But their personalities are more like a church youth group who all just donated blood and so they're excited because now their pastor is gonna treat them to McDonalds. They're all super besties for life, giving each other thumbs up and hugging it out all the time, you almost wouldn't think that they live in a garbage dump. I actually spat my drink when Jessie slapped Wedge's fat ass after inspecting it for a gunshot! Just who are these people? Can they have an expanded role in part 2 please?
 
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4. Super Mario 3D All-stars - [Switch] Mario is the quintessential video game. Where once it might have seemed appropriate to call him the Mickey Mouse of gaming, Mickey's best work, like his relevance, is increasingly a thing of the past while Mario keeps dropping masterworks like Mario Odyssey and Mario 35. Better to say that Mickey wishes he could be the Mario of cartoons. And now Mario's branching out into theme parks? One look at those beautiful real world recreations of the mushroom kingdom and Mickey must be peeing his pants. It's only a matter of time before the mustachioed madman inevitably takes his rightful place as the king of all entertainment. As proof of his worthiness, we got 3 of the all-time greats right here... talk about value!


Super Mario 64's brilliance has not faded at all. There's an indescribable pureness to the creativity here, more so even than other Mario games, and I think it's because of this entry's trail blazing nature as an early 3D platformer. There were no established norms back then, no obvious template to follow for how 3D platformers were put together. Rather, those things were being defined right before your eyes as Nintendo unlocked a whole new dimension of fun. While a typical developer might have tried to translate 2D Mario games straightforwardly into 3D and simply have Mario run to the end of a course to reach a goal post, Nintendo boldly strode forth into this new frontier and built playgrounds of possibility. That's how we got magic moments like an icy slide race with a penguin, surfing over lava on a koopa shell, and a giant eel swirling above us with a tantalizing star on the tip of its tail.


I've always been a Mario Sunshine apologist. I have a deep love for the game and often come to its defense. But over many years of constantly doing that, my protests have gotten weaker as I've gradually been gaslit into thinking it can't be as good as I remembered, not with so many detractors. After my first playthrough in 15 years, I'd say there's a great lesson here. Don't get swept up in groupthink, trust what you know and especially what you can test. Mario Sunshine is still awesome.

Mario's moveset is so empowering in this game. Just by doing a flip jump into a wall bounce and then activating Fludd's hover nozzle you can land precisely on a tight rope crazily high above your starting point. Or you can swirl the analog stick like you're Zangief doing a spinning pile driver, and just spray water omnidirectionally at all the bad guys and mud in the area. You can keep spraying and spinning to keep winning, or turn that spin into a higher than normal spinning jump, which lets you come down slower for a precise landing or hell, you can just cancel that into the hover nozzle as well and float outta there to wherever you please. You can even just spray water in front of you and dive into to it, sliding for miles and miles on your belly like a kid using a hose and tarp to make their own slippery slide in the heat of summer. It's Super Mario funtimes!


More so than the other games in the collection, Sunshine benefits greatly from the jump to HD because it has huge, lovingly detailed environments to explore filled with beautiful graphical effects. It's breath taking to climb high atop whatever lush part of Delfino island you find yourself in and look down to see red coins and patrolling enemies spread out far below, each of them reflected in the shimmering water. The game looks great in HD, but this new visual crispness also brings to light something else. Looking down from the Bianco Hills one can see quite clearly the floating girder platforms of Ricco Harbour. Cast your gaze about while standing atop those girders, and it's easy to make out the Ferris wheel of Pinna Park off in the distance. All the different explorable regions of Isle Delfino are beautifully connected, in a way that makes me think of Dark Souls, and how you can stand atop a hill in Lordran and clearly see the other areas of the game from your vantage point. And that got me thinking. What if the similarities don't end there? What if Mario Sunshine is the Dark Souls of Mario games? And all its haters need to do... is git gud. Praise the sun(shine!) :messenger_sun:


While still great, Mario Galaxy was actually the weakest part of this collection for me. It looks superb in HD, and the Switch's pro controller does an excellent job of using its gyro capabilities to simulate the Wii remote's waggle powers, but that's just the problem. This game has way more waggle than I remembered! In my memory it was typically brilliant Mario platforming with the added joy of leaping between the competing gravitational pulls of different planetoids, and then a few segments focusing on motion control tossed in to increase variety. In reality, waggle is ever present, and Mario's pimpin' platformin' powers take a backseat to pointing at and collecting star bits, pointing and shooting star bits at things, pointing at and grabbing stars to pull Mario towards them, balancing on a ball, and constantly spinning to deflect/activate/attack/jump/pretty much everything. It's not that the motion controls are poorly implemented, they're fine, but I've hung up my Wii remote and never looked back. I'd prefer challenges centered around Mario's moveset than the wii remote's features.


To get the final star, you have to collect every single star a second time as Luigi

But there's another elephant in the room when it comes to Super Mario Galaxy, and it's not just a problem with that game, it's the biggest problem with this whole collection. It's a little something called Super Mario Galaxy 2. Galaxy 2 isn't just better than Galaxy 1, it does everything so much better that it makes Galaxy 1 feel like it's not even a game anymore - Galaxy 1 is reduced to a proof of concept for what Galaxy 2 will be. Galaxy 2's omission from this collection is a glaring one, and I can't in good conscience rate this game any higher on this GotY list with such an important 3D all-star missing. Putting that one blatant flaw aside, there's not much to complain about. Each of these games has camera issues to varying extents, and they're basically unchanged when very minor changes like increasing the draw distance on red coins in Mario 64 would have really improved the player's experience. Even so, this collection is well worth picking up, whether you're returning to these classics after many years or experiencing them for the first time.


5. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition - [Switch] It's been 10 years since this Jrpg masterpiece graced the Wii, and reassessing Xenoblade after all this time, it has carved out an even bigger place in my heart. I now consider it not just a modern classic but a game that is personally very dear to me, and I reflect on its cast and story and environments and music and even its battle system with a gentle fondness usually associated with important real life experiences. Xenoblade is a game where a genuinely lovable party of heroes journey together on an adventure that starts in their quaint little colony and takes them across a spectacular world before escalating to a crazy interstellar finale. Along the way there's touching moments of joy, sorrow, humour and awe. It's a truly amazing experience, so it's no surprise our official Neogaf hypethread got carried away and overhyped the release of this game.

Which isn't to say the game doesn't deserve a lot of hype, but while this release is the best version of this game that exists, it has a crucial flaw that prevents it from being the true "definitive edition" of Xenoblade, or I would have ranked it higher on this GotY list. I'm talking about the visual experience. Not the anime character designs, which look great. I know some people are upset about that, but hating anime in Jrpgs is like being a sports fan who can't stand the site of athletes. Characters, textures and effects all look good or good enough, as you can see from these screenshots. The problem is that while the switch is capable of making a high definition version of Xenoblade, this isn't one. The game runs at 720p, but only when the camera is still and nothing crazy is happening, once you swing the camera around or a lot of action occurs on screen the visual output drops to a fuzzy 540p. Now I'm not the kind of person to get all snooty about tech, but we've had an SD version of Xenoblade for 10 years. The implied promise of releasing a definitive edition on the Switch is that the game will be updated, and in most areas it is. So what the hell happened with the graphics?


You can tell there's a beautiful game here, despite everything. If they port XCX from the WiiU and drop its resolution, I'll be so pissed off

Coincidentally, I played through Xenoblade Chronicles X on the WiiU quite recently. I dropped the game when it first released way back in 2015 because I was so disappointed with how inferior the characters and story were compared to the very same Jrpg classic we're discussing now, but I loved XCX for what it does differently when I came back to it with fresh eyes. The true stars of XCX aren't the cast but the Overdrive battle system and the beautiful planet Mira, which is another incredible Xenoblade world you can get happily lost in. Except in XCX, you get to pilot a mech, soaring above its vastness to find mountaintop secrets and floating islands. Or you can transform and roll out as a car, zipping around Mira's beautiful fields, forests and deserts. The whole time you're doing so, the game remains both sharp and smooth, despite being on the crusty old WiiU hardware.

When you play both titles and compare them, it's pretty obvious how the 2015 game looks so much better than the 2020 game. XCX, like so many games with massive worlds, loads the geometry, objects and enemies around you as you move through it, and you often hear the WiiU straining loudly as it frantically reads from the disc in an attempt to load everything fast enough to keep up with your exploration. Frankly, it can't keep up - it's not rare to run over to where you know an npc character hangs out and find yourself standing there for what feels like 10 seconds before they load in. So it looks sharp and runs great, but compromises were made. No doubt the more powerful Switch could give us an amazing looking definitive edition of Xenoblade if it was custom built for the platform using similar methods and trade offs.


But that's not what we got. Whether it's Giza Plains or Eryth Sea or Valak mountain, you can warp around any of these huge locales faster than you can blink, because every enormous map in this game is fully loaded in all the time when you're exploring it. Rather than faithfully but efficiently recreating Xenoblade's world for the Switch's hardware, they copy-pasta'd each huge environment from the Wii and tried to brute force a HD version. Nintendo hardware not being known for raw power, the result is that the game cannot even maintain 720p, the lowest res that can possibly be called HD. A tragedy when one thinks of how beautiful and engrossing Xenoblade's world is, and how much its gorgeous scenery deserves to be glorified in high resolution. Yet not all hope is lost, I guess. There's a lot of rumbling about a "Switch Pro" that may address this, and there are various third party Switch graphical enhancers that mitigate the problem somewhat, I'm told. But it's not right to call this the definitive edition. In an age of 4k, I'm being incredibly reasonable by setting the bar as low as 720p for being the acceptable update to the visuals of a 10 year old game, and Nintendo still didn't meet those expectations. A better name would be Xenoblade Chronicles: Cashgrab Edition.

And yet it's still the best version of this Jrpg classic. Xenoblade's enchanting music is remastered, sounding even better than it did before. The inventory menu is prettier and more user friendly. Crucially, this is also true of the HUD during combat. It's so clean and easy now for you to see how long an enemy will be toppled, or what status effects are active, or whatever other information would be useful when making your decisions. One crucial improvement to be thankful for with the new HUD relates to something called "spike" damage. Some enemies reflect damage back at their attacker when struck. In the case of certain monsters, the effect may be so strong as to insta-kill you, leaving the player confused as to what actually just happened. XCDE solves this by having a graphic around the enemy's name showing that they have the spike effect active so the player can plan accordingly. All these quality of life improvements help make the game more enjoyable, and it also has new content like a time attack challenge mode that rewards you with new outfits for your characters, and Future Connected, a playable epilogue story.


"Born in a world of strife! Against the odds....we choose....to fight! Blossom Dance!"

If I have to explain just why Xenoblade is so special, it seems to be many good things combining together a little too perfectly to amount to more than the sum of their parts. Each environment you explore has its own excellent theme music, but the game also has a day and night cycle. So wherever you are, after you're treated to a beautiful sunset, a night time variant of that area's theme music will play that is appropriately spooky or tranquil depending on the location. Maybe it wouldn't all seem just right the way it does if the level design wasn't so full of secrets and surprises and minibosses and other cool things to find, but since it's a joy to explore these levels, that joy that is enhanced by the music and its variations. Similarly, the story is a grand old tale, but would it be so enthralling if the characters you journeyed with weren't themselves so well defined and endearing?


Your party members in Xenoblade Chronicles are some of the best characters to ever grace a Jrpg. Sometimes it feels like the same 5 American actors do the English dub for every single Japanese game, so it's refreshing to hear the unique and charming British voices that breath life into Xenoblade's cast. But it's not just how great they sound, it's what they're saying. I really like when characters have good banter between them during not just story scenes but also in combat. Persona does this quite well, but I think Xenoblade might be the best game there is when it comes to this sort of "battle banter." Whether they're encouraging, praising, ridiculing or chastising each other, Shulk and the gang sound like a bunch of friends getting along. Their combat narration really contributes to defining their personalities and relationships.

There's more than just the way they talk to each other that establishes who these people are though. One of the disappointments that initially made me put down XCX when I first tried it was the fact that character classes were handled in a more generic way compared to Xenoblade. In Xenoblade, the character IS the class. What I mean is, each character has a totally unique moveset and the way those abilities are used in combat seems to translate smoothly from everything you know about their looks, personality, and role in the story.

Take Shulk. He's got the Monado, a magical sword of destiny so powerful it can see the future, but he's also a skinny little tech geek. So that leads to him playing like something of a glass cannon. He has all these damaging or useful battle arts, but since they're likely to draw aggro from enemies, you have to be strategic about when to use them because Shulk is so squishy that he doesn't want enemy attention if he can avoid it. That's where Reyn comes in. Shulk's big, dumb, muscular friend is the perfect tank, and Reyn has all sorts of abilities that draw enemy aggro to him and allow him to protect Shulk and others. Which isn't to say you're confined to only playing Reyn that way. If you set up his equipment, gems and skills properly, Reyn can be a devastating damage dealer. But that also works logically for his character. It makes sense that a big, beefy, hothead who can tank a lot of damage can also be a great fighter. Or take Riki - a furry little mascot critter known for being bizarre and funny, Riki's range of abilities also capture these traits. He can do things like play dead to trick enemies into ignoring him or do a silly dance of encouragement that charges everybody's gauge up. His battle arts are still powerful and interesting, they're just weird. Like Riki.


There's a level cap of 99 - for you. There are 5 superbosses that exceed your limit and you will need special gear and a strategy to defeat them

Beyond the way each character's unique abilities fit into the battle system, another brilliant aspect of how combat works in Xenoblade is the way it incorporates real time and turn based elements. Many games try to take the deep, satisfying strategic payoffs of turn-based combat and combine them somehow with the sense of immediacy and action that comes from real time combat, with varying results. It's hard to make work - These are things that just don't naturally fit together. But Xenoblade does it pretty well, because of the Chain Attack mechanic. The normal flow of combat is real time, with auto-attacks and battle arts being used by you and your enemy as you duke it out. Once the party gauge is filled, however, you can Activate Chain Attack, a kind of team super move where the action pauses and you get to make turn based decisions. It also refreshes all your arts from cool down and starts building the chain multiplier, which allows to keep increasing the damage you do more and more as long as you can link arts of the same colour together in your Chain Attack.


A lot of Chain Attacks end with Reyn's ridiculous Sword Drive attack

There's a lot of amazing stuff you can do with Chain Attack and the other combat mechanics in the game, they really are another aspect of what makes Xenoblade so special. But that comes with an asterisk, unfortunately. The battle system is super deep and rewarding, but also complicated and obtuse. I don't think I ever would have understood all the power that was at my fingertips if I didn't watch experts on youtube break down the nuances of how combat works. Unless you're quick to understand complex systems, I'd recommend you do the same. Many youtube creators are careful to avoid serious spoilers, and once you grasp how everything works a little light bulb will go off in your head and you'll be inspired to dive deep into the game and try out various tricks and combinations.

As for Future Connected, the epilogue story, it's...okay. The name may suggest grand implications, but this isn't some story Monoliftsoft have been dying to tell, it's more of a "what can we do with these things?" story. None of the interesting stuff foreshadowed in the original game regarding Melia's destiny is explored, and the whole adventure basically amounts to going back to her city and killing a monster that has taken over it before she is coronated. That's it. You don't get to hang out with all your beloved party members and see what they're up to, except of course for Shulk and Melia. Even the setting for the game, the Bionis shoulder, was chosen because it was a location that had already been created for the original game and got cut. It's just a hunk of explorable territory, it has no special connection to the story or anything. Anyway, I don't want to be too harsh. It's still a beautiful area, and it has amazing music, especially the new battle theme that incorporates jazz flute. There's lot of bosses and some superbosses to fight, and the new nopon are cute and funny. It's worth playing if you've already purchased XCDE, but it doesn't amaze the way the main game does.


And the main game truly does amaze. Coming back to Xenoblade after all these years, I really did enjoy it even more than the first time. That's the mark of a true classic. And hey, if they ever make a real definitive edition, I'll probably triple dip. Guess I'm a Xenophile like that.


6. Streets of Rage 4 - [PS4] I'll forever love the old school beat'em up. From your Double Dragons and Final Fights to The Simpsons arcade game and Combatribes, I've got a soft spot for them all. There was nothing more magical for me as a kid than being surrounded by arcade machines and seeing all their beautiful glowing pixels portray the most brutal and satisfying street violence imaginable. The screams, the blood, the chime of inserted coins jingling in my ear...ah, youth. But times change. The once satisfyingly simplistic punches and crunches of classic beat'em ups now seem dated and shallow. Maybe this beloved genre is best left in the past? Lizardcube says no.

A few years ago, Lizardcube brought Wonderboy 3 roaring back from the 80's with a gorgeous new art style. Returning to that timeless classic was a joyous nostalgia trip, and I'm happy to say they've revitalized another Sega treasure this year, not just as a remake with amazing visuals but with a totally awesome new entry. Streets of Rage 4 lovingly cherishes the past with tributes, references and inclusions that prove they "get" what was so great about the old games. But at the same time, it brings something new in the form of a Platinum-esque combo and ranking system. The result is a game that can be enjoyed on multiple levels. You can play through it casually in one afternoon with a buddy for a few laughs, or you can obsessively master every stage and do advanced techniques like bouncing an enemy off a wall and catching him on the rebound to keep your 70 hit "Out of this World" combo alive and achieve the coveted S-rank as you pursue that tantalizing platinum trophy. Fine work by Lizardcube here. And if they want to make it a hat-trick, there are plenty of dormant Sega franchises that could use some love.
 
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7. Persona 5 Royal - [PS4] I'm big into Persona. I've played through P3 and P4 5 times each across their different versions like FES, P3P and Golden, and I loved every second of it. I've even got Chie Satonaka on my keyring - I'm all about the Persona, yo. I waited 9 long years for Persona 5, and when it finally dropped, it exceeded my expectations in all departments accept one: the localization. The more I played the game the more of a gap I felt in my attachment to it compared to previous entries in the series. No amount of gorgeous character designs, stylish menus, or energizing music could satisfy me if I felt like what the characters were saying was gobbeldygook. As I put it in my 2017 GotY ranking, I wanted to love my P5 crew the way I love my party from P3 and P4, but the most I could do was like them a lot because sometimes I have no idea what in the actual fuck they're saying.

Everything is fine early on. But I think the localization deteriorates gradually over the course of this insanely long game. Replaying it a second time, if I had to pinpoint where in the story everything seems to get noticeably worse, I think I'd say around September is when things sound increasingly like a first draft and an overly literal translation. To use some examples, characters will say things like you've "repelled an ordeal." You ever use that one at the water cooler? "Johnson, how'd you go with that ordeal?" "Oh, I repelled the ordeal." "Repelled it, eh? Good for you. See you tomorrow!" Or how about "even Akechi-kun's face has stiffened!" Who says that, exactly? Maybe if you were stung by bees or just had plastic surgery, but I think the common English equivalent would be something like "his expression froze." And there's a guy who makes an analogy about getting across a mountain, rather than over it." I mean, I get it. Fuji is a really wide mountain. But over here in gaijin land, mountains are more commonly referenced for their height.


I guess you could say that...Persona 5's localization was "too steep a bridge for me to climb." (puts sunglasses on)

All these Babel Fish sentences bothered me a lot and held me back from feeling close to the characters, but many other people weren't as troubled by it as I was, so your mileage may vary. Certainly, it didn't irritate me quite as much this time, because it wasn't an unpleasant surprise the way it was the first time I played the game. In fact, P5R is actually a game filled with a good number of pleasant surprises. If you've played Persona 3:FES or Persona 4: Golden, you might think you have some idea of what to expect: a new major character, a new dungeon, a few more social links, some story scenes, a new opening cinematic and some new music. Persona 5 Royal does have all those... and quite a bit more.


The refinements to the combat are extensive

The combat is revamped much more than I would have expected. The way guns work is greatly improved, and so is the way Status effects work. Both are much more relevant strategic considerations when planning your turns. The "baton pass" mechanic is also enhanced a lot. The battle system really does feel like new, but so do a lot of the battles - every major boss fight now has some kind of extra phase added to it to keep things fresh. Your crew also have big team-up super attacks where a cool animation plays and they deal some major damage. There's a lot of new stuff to do outside of dungeons too. You can now visit Kichijoji where there's great new activities like an awesome darts mini game and a cool Jazz club, amongst other things. You'll even be able to unlock a 3rd version of your friend's personas, beyond the 2nd version you unlock by maxing out their social links.


Oh no! Morgana's been killed by the Grim Reaper! Who will send me to bed early now?

There's a ton of great new stuff to play around with like Will Seeds and fusion alarms, but they also present something of a problem. In short, all of these cool new mechanics are so empowering that they're broken. Will seeds can be crafted into OP accessories, and fusion alarms let you max out all of your persona's stats once you understand how to use them efficiently. Even the darts minigame I mentioned, (while it's a delight to play in its own right and better than the darts minigames in Yakuza or FFVIIR) is broken because it gives your party crazy powers like SP regeneration. This problem is further exacerbated by the free DLC. Now all the DLC from P5 vanilla is free, and I agree with this inclusion, but it's bundled so that there's no separating the cosmetic DLC like costumes and songs from the cheating DLC like overpowered personas. Even if you make the decision not to use the overpowered personas, you still have to take care not to create them when experimenting with fusions, and even if you do that, you still might get stuck with them through a fusion accident and be forced to load a previous save. I know they dropped the megaten prefix, but come on. I recommend everybody increase their difficulty level to try and combat the game's balance issues. If you usually play on normal, play on hard, and if you usually play on hard, play on merciless.


So am I a hater now? No. I can't look at how adorably Makoto snoops around with her head in a manga while attempting to spy on you, or the cute way Haru jogs on the spot during a baton pass, or the delightful little touches like each character's phone avatar and the quaint pretend Famicom games you play to improve your stats, and honestly say I hate this game. There's too many lovely touches, I know a lot of heart was poured into it, even if everything didn't come together just right. Despite how disappointed I am by the moments of borderline "Engrish" and the game's broken challenge, I can't help loving Persona 5 Royal. Soejima's peerless art direction provides lush character designs and reimagined versions of real life Japanese locations so charming and stylish that they make my heart burst. Meguro's music is still totally invigorating and catchy, and the new characters and story scenes set after the events of the original game make for a thought provoking scenario, something that can't be said for the story in many a game. This is undoubtedly the superior version of P5 and while it has its flaws, it's worth playing through even if you've already played the original game.


8. Fire Emblem: Three Houses Cindered Shadows DLC - [Switch] well I certainly went through an emotional roller coaster playing Three Houses in 2019. I chose the Edelgard route, or "Evilgard" as I came to know her. Helping my megalomaniac mistress massacre our innocent friends we went to school with just because they disagree with her politics might have worked story wise if our downtime between slaughterfests wasn't spent having tea parties, cooking and saunaing like a goofy crew of superfriends instead of the world burning wonderkids we really were. This tonal paradox got stuck in my craw somethin' fierce, and almost ruined my enjoyment of the game's excellent tactical strategy combat and character customization. Almost.


Anna the crafty merchant is a playable character in this game. When she lands a critical hit on the enemy, she yells "I sell bandages!"

Well now the DLC is out and it's quite chunky, bringing a new side story, more characters and more classes. What better time for a second playthrough, with all these great additions? This time I chose Claude and the Golden Deer, and his story line works a bit better. You still have to kill most for your friends, you still have to hear their dying words as weepy music plays, but... at least you aren't the instigator, I guess. There is another knife twist to this though, which is that I have to kill the friends that I know really well, because they're the ones I allied with on my first playthrough. All My lovable pals who followed Edelph Hitgard on her genocidal jaunt are up for execution now. Most tragically of all, I'm forced to kill my ESL ninja assassin waifu babe: Petra! That just ain't right. Putting aside killing your besties, there's some good stuff about playing through this route. It shows what Rhea is all about, so you can understand her perspective on the story, which contains some shocking revelations. And even better, in Claude's story line you actually get to pursue the creepy necro-dudes who are pulling the strings from the shadows, a loose end that irked me on the Edelgard route.


As for the new content specifically, it's gravy. The DLC characters didn't impress me at all at first glance, but I guess the same is true of the great characters in the base game. The new crew are actually quite likeable and interesting people, including a reverse claustrophobe and a deadbeat milf hunter. And I had a great time using new weapons, classes and abilities on those huge super monsters that take up many squares. So...am I gonna do a third playthrough, and go through the trauma of falling in love with everybody and then killing them all over again? Yeah, I'll put myself through that to see what the Blue Lions route is all about. Eventually. I need to give it some time first. I also need to set it to maddening difficulty, after getting really comfortable on hard mode. I strongly advise that Nobody play this on normal difficulty, Nintendo have made it too easy. Remember, no need to fear a more tactical challenge in this game when you have the Divine Pulse, a mechanic that lets you undo previous turns like Ctrl-Z and reverse bad decisions. But what good is it if it can't bring my waifu Petra back?


9. The Wonderful 101 Remastered - [Switch] Full disclosure, I didn't play the remaster, I actually played the WiiU version which I've had in my backlog for a long time. I just wanna say, Platinum deserves so much credit for making scores have meaning again. The satisfaction you feel when you replay a level you once struggled through and find yourself awarded that coveted platinum trophy is the best. But now that I finally got around to trying this aging action classic, it dawns on me that Platinum's famously replayable action combat sequences aren't the only draw here. I think this game totally works for a casual player as well, with a fun roller coaster of a narrative and multiple different easy modes that could help anyone find the right balance. I particularly love the ever escalating scale of game, to the point where you're fighting giant monsters in space in a masterfully crafted Punch-Out tribute. Everyone should give it a try, unless you despise light-hearted super hero spoofs for whatever reason.


10. Cyberpunk 2077 - [PS4] Man, Bladerunner is so cool. It's not actually a good movie, if I'm honest, but it is extremely cool. The setting they created, the world they brought to life... it's powerfully beautiful. Bladerunner's grim dystopia captures the glorious achievements and pathetic limitations of humanity at the same time with its wondrous futuristic technology offset by gritty, rain soaked alleys where the downtrodden die miserably as gaudy neon lights illuminate their forgotten corpses. Cyberpunk (the genre) is just the coolest setting, and I can't get enough of it. So it's no surprise I've gotten excited in the past about games just because they channel Bladerunner's feel, most recently with Detroit: Become Human which looked amazing and started great but was ultimately kind of stupid. Does this mean I was among the overhyped masses determined to believe that Cyberpunk 2077 would inevitably prove itself at launch to be the undisputed greatest game of all time and maybe cure corona along the way?

Nah, I was just a little bit hyped. I am by no means a Witcher worshipper, you see. I don't even think Witcher 3 was the best game released that year what with Bloodborne existing and all. But I will say the standard of characters and writing in Witcher are amazing, and the gameplay is totally okay enough to get me through that enormous game when the world they've built and the story they're telling are of such an impressively high standard. Well surprise, surprise, this is exactly the case with Cyberpunk as well. Great story, characters and setting...okay gameplay. That's without taking into consideration all the bugs and crashes, of course.


Let me just gush about the game's positive traits for a bit. This is a kick-ass cyberpunk world! Pristine skyscrapers and grimy ghettos clash in the background as trench coat wearing gangs fight using katanas and motorcycles, when they aren't hacking into each other or netrunning like fucking Neo jacking into the Matrix up in here. Oh, speaking of Neo... there is a breathtaking guy you get to hang out with in this game who is a really cool hero. His name is River Ward and he is the bestest damn future cop that there ever was. He's tough and brave, yet also has a vulnerable side to him - it feels like his whole life is falling apart around him as he desperately tries to cling to his ideals on a police force even more corrupt than the scum he's trying to bust.


River Ward is an awesome side character

River is a perfect example of the impressively high bar Cyberpunk sets for side characters and sidequests. I'd say they're a bit better even than those in Witcher 3. Panam, a hot headed, free spirited girl is another great side character with a great story line. She's got a problem with authority but she's destined for a leadership role. These excellent supporting cast members have subtle nuances to how they're written and acted out that really bring them to life in a way rarely seen in videogames. Even the animations these characters idly perform, such as the way they lean back in their chair while chatting with you, or how they might puff on their cigarette before talking, make them feel more expressive and alive than the npcs in other games. That is, assuming a glitch doesn't cause them to fall right through their chair during your little chat, or the cigarette doesn't disappear completely leaving the npc taking a drag of air. Maybe you've heard already? Turns out this game has a lot of bugs.


Wait...There's bugs??? Why am I just hearing about this now

I've encountered innumerable bugs, little things like T-poses and floating objects, and big things like falling through the floor into an endless void on a story mission and having to restart it. I will share a few here, just because they're funny. I did a side mission where an AI ran a taxi business and his multiple personalities were going rogue and causing cars to create havoc. Upon completion of the quest line I had to make an interesting decision, because again, the writing in the game is good. After making my choice there was one thing left to do and the quest was fulfilled: simply get in the AI car and drive away. The only problem? The car was upside down and on fire! Even trying to get in caused me to take damage! Another intriguing side mission saw me snooping around a couple's house for signs of an intruder, only to find that they were under heavy surveillance with all kinds of cool technology hidden in their house that was actually being used to do even more than spy on them. I then tracked down the bad guys to their van, initiating a car chase. They took off, hastily driving through what appeared to be a closed garage door. "Aha!" I thought, "More cool spy technology...the garage door is a hologram!" I gave chase and headed for that door at full speed on my motorbike. Then I slammed into it with a neck breaking impact. My Bike was flung into the air and I ate pavement while the perps escaped and I failed the mission. I guess their van being able to drive through solid objects was just a glitch. I wanted the game to be like Bladerunner, but in that moment I felt more like I was in Roadrunner.


While bugs can be funny and usually resolved by loading a saved game, framey, chuggy performance and crashes are nothing to laugh about, and you gotta hold it against CDPR for how this game launched on PS4. It's not the dirty console peasants fault for their system being too weak, if you can't run it on the base consoles then you cancel that version and miss out on that sweet holiday money from that huge install base. I really feel bad for all the little kids who got the game on Christmas morning only to find that they had to wait 2 days for all the updates and fixes to download, at which point the game was still buggy and chuggy anyways, and to top it all off they only had 3 customizable penis options. Sit the fuck down Samurai, we got more patches to wait for.

I'm a little less sympathetic to people who completely bought the hype and now they're shocked that CDPR's first "driving cars in an open world" game isn't superior in that regard to GTA, a multi-billion dollar franchise whose focal point has been driving cars in an open world since its inception 23 years ago. If you're young, you get a pass. But those of us who've been burned by the hype for a new game before really don't have an excuse for letting fanboys and marketing get around the rational side of our brain. Every big game says it will have a living breathing open world like never before. The benchmark to measure Cyberpunk 2077's open world against isn't your wildest dreams, it's Witcher 3. That's the last time CDPR took a crack at an open world, and you should be expecting them to be working on improving from that starting point. As it happens, exploring Witcher 3's open world was actually one of the weaker parts of the game. It's beautiful to look at, but that ubisoft formula of little white icons everywhere to tick off like a shopping list is pretty shallow. You're gonna kill something and get some worthless loot or read a note somebody left. like, a hundred times. Great.


Similarly, Cyberpunk's world is immersive because it's atmospheric and stylish, but it's not deep except from a lore perspective. You're not able to get a job driving a forklift or to have your character take yoga classes or whatever the fuck you were expecting. It's got a great story and characters, a cool but limited world, and gameplay that is serviceable. It's fun to shoot things and hack turrets, especially at first, and levelling up and getting new weapons and powers is good enough to hold up for the duration of the main story line and the game's well written sidequests, but the longer you play Cyberpunk beyond that the more the gameplay wears thin. Again, aside from bugs, the game is a lot like Witcher 3 in terms of both its strengths and its weaknesses. It's not GTA 6 in the future or the second coming of Deus Ex. Can we stop comparing it to Deus Ex? When I take a step back, they have everything in common, from a cyberpunk setting to gunplay to rpg elements, augmented body parts, hacking, strong characters and dialogue. So...yeah, I understand, it makes sense why people would compare them. But I don't even feel right comparing the other Deus Ex games to Deus Ex. They're not worthy and they're in the same franchise.

So after all my rambling, where do we stand? To date, the best "Bladerunner game" is still Snatcher. And Cyberpunk 2077 also isn't even the best game in a cyberpunk setting from this year, that would be Final Fantasy VII Remake. But it's not the end of the world for CDPR. Cyberpunk 2077 is a flawed but great game, worthy of being mentioned in people's GotY lists despite its sinful launch day kerfuffle. The real question now is what will Cyberpunk's legacy be? When everything is updated and fixed, Will it be remembered for the game underneath, with its Witcher level writing, characters and setting? Or it will be remembered as the bug filled, crash-tastic launch failure that promised to make GTA its bitch and instead lights your PS4 on fire when the disc is inserted? The only thing we know for certain is that CDPR's reputation as the gold standard for game development will be forever lost in time, like tears in rain.

Well, that's everything. Wish I could have played Demon's Souls Remake and Baldur's Gate 3 Early Access, and some other titles, but there were plenty of great games within my grasp to be grateful for. Til next time.

My 2019 Neogaf GotY Voting Thread Post
 
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Roufianos

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May 14, 2015
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Damn, how the fuck did I not see this thread sooner?

Anyway:

1. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2
2. Demon's Souls
3. Final Fantasy VII: Remake
4. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
5. Spider-Man: Miles Morales
6. Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time
7. Ghost of Tsushima
8. Mario 35th Anniversary Collection
9. Yakuza: Like a Dragon
10. Immortals: Fenyx Rising

Never thought I'd beat a Souls game and just as unlikely, never thought I'd get back into COD MP.

Yakuza and Immortals might have been higher but not finished either yet. Shout out to Horizon, Death Stranding and Days Gone which I also finished this year and absolutely loved.

Mario Sunshine was awesome on the collection. Loved going back to that.
 
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TheBigG753

Member
Aug 4, 2011
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10. Call of the Sea
9. Doom: Eternal
8. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
7. Final Fantasy VII Remake
6. Astro's Playroom
5. Paradise Killer
4. Cyberpunk 2077
3. Demon's Souls
2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
1. The Last of Us Part II
 
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