My 10 Favorite Games of 2017

2017 has been a complete shitshow for a number of reasons, but there’s no denying that it’s been a pretty incredible twelve months for video games. We’ve seen big release after big release, a brand new Nintendo console, a late-generation upgrade from Xbox, an Early Access game destroy records, a free visual novel develope a cult following, and a plethora of titles from smaller teams that continue to provide unique experiences not found in the AAA space.

We’re mere mortals, of course, and there were plenty of games I didn’t have the time (or money) to check out. Night in the Woods and Tacoma are both narrative adventures that seem right up my alley, while Prey and >OBSERVER_ are likely to scratch that sci-fi/horror itch. I never got around to Tales of Berseria, The Evil Within 2, or Yakuza Kiwami, which are staring at me in disappointment from atop my game shelf. I’ve barely touched Stardew Valley, Wulverblade, Morphite, Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds, and Golf Story on my Switch, and I haven’t really scratched the surface of Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

Then there’s Uncharted: Lost Legacy, Horizon: Zero Dawn’s Frozen Wilds DLC, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s new DLC that just released on December 7th, Splatoon 2, and the 3DS remaster of Dragon Quest VIII that are still on my to-buy list. It never ends! But, I did manage to play a large chunk of 2017’s notable releases.

I’ve narrowed my ultimate list down to 10 games. Comprising this year’s list was tougher than any other before it. Enjoy!

Continue reading “My 10 Favorite Games of 2017”

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My Favorite Games of 2017: Honorable Mentions Edition

2017 has been a complete shitshow for a number of reasons, but there’s no denying that it’s been a pretty incredible twelve months for video games. We’ve seen big release after big release, a brand new Nintendo console, a late-generation upgrade from Xbox, an Early Access game destroy records, a free visual novel develope a cult following, and a plethora of titles from smaller teams that continue to provide unique experiences not found in the AAA space.

We’re mere mortals, of course, and there were plenty of games I didn’t have the time (or money) to check out. Night in the Woods and Tacoma are both narrative adventures that seem right up my alley, while Prey and >OBSERVER_ are likely to scratch that sci-fi/horror itch. I never got around to Tales of Berseria, The Evil Within 2, or Yakuza Kiwami, which are staring at me in disappointment from atop my game shelf. I’ve barely touched Stardew Valley, Wulverblade, Morphite, Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds, and Golf Story on my Switch, and I haven’t really scratched the surface of Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

Then there’s Uncharted: Lost Legacy, Horizon: Zero Dawn’s Frozen Wilds DLC, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s new DLC that just released on December 7th, Splatoon 2, and the 3DS remaster of Dragon Quest VIII that are still on my to-buy list. It never ends! But, I did manage to play a large chunk of 2017’s notable releases.

I’ve narrowed my ultimate list down to 10 games. These are the ones I really enjoyed that didn’t quite make the cut but are noteworthy and fantastic in their own ways.

Continue reading “My Favorite Games of 2017: Honorable Mentions Edition”

Planning Out the Rest of 2017’s Game Purchases

2017 has been uncharacteristically stacked, as far as video game releases go. Thus far we’ve seen an incredible array of games in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Persona 5, Horizon: Zero Dawn, NieR: Automata, Resident Evil VII, Splatoon 2, ARMS, Prey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Nioh, Injustice 2, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, and Yakuza 0, with smaller titles like Cosmic Star Heroine, Tacoma, Rime, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, and What Remains of Edith Finch? also winning over the hearts of many.

And the crazy part? There’s even more in the pipeline for the next five months — Super Mario Odyssey has “game of the year” contender written all over it, not to mention Metroid: Samus Returns on 3DS, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Life is Strange: Before the Storm, Destiny 2, Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, Star Wars: Battlefront II, Fire Emblem Warriors, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, The Evil Within 2, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Vampyr, Crackdown 3, and Horizon: Zero Dawn’s upcoming DLC, The Frozen Wild.

Yeah. That’s pretty fucking intense.

Continue reading “Planning Out the Rest of 2017’s Game Purchases”

[REVIEW] NieR: Automata

NieR: Automata
Developer: PlatinumGames Inc.
Publisher: Square Enix
Available on: PS4 (reviewed), PC
Release date: February 23, 2017 (PS4), March 17, 2017 (PC)

Yoko Taro’s Drakengard on PS2 was a bit of a mess, but underneath the mounting frustration was a sign of something brilliant. The way the creative director formulates dark tales and digs into the human psyche is unlike any other on the planet. NieR, Yoko Taro’s 2010 action RPG based on the 5th ending of the original Drakengard, suffered from similar issues, like repetition and unsatisfying combat, yet it’s a game that touched a lot of people and amassed quite a cult following along the way.

It’s been nearly seven years since NieR graced the PS3 and Xbox 360. In what seems to be a continuing theme, NieR: Automata isn’t the prettiest game on the market (sometimes resembling a late-generation PS3 release) and can be a little insane at times, but there’s no denying how incredibly special it is to me. It’s a rare gem that comes along every so often and turns everything we know about video games, storytelling, genre definitions, and the emotional engagement of its players upside down.

In short, NieR: Automata is not only a worthy sequel for a game many thought would never receive one, but one of the strangest, most compelling, thought-provoking, and beautifully heart wrenching games I’ve had the pleasure of playing. Continue reading “[REVIEW] NieR: Automata”