Monday, January 1, 2018

GOTY 2017

#10. Fire Pro Wrestling World - The saviour of wrestling games. Here to save us from crappy WWE games. I hadn't played a good wrestling game since the N64 days, until I played this. We might never get a new AKI wrestling game, but at least we have Fire Pro. This game has more customization options than anything this side of Super Mario Maker and RPG Maker. It’s downright overwhelming. You can make pretty much any wrestling related thing you can think of. I’m talking title belts, rings, managers, wrestlers, refs, feds, factions, you name it. The actual gameplay isn't bad either.

#9. Shantae: Pirate Queen’s Quest - Thi is actually a better version of the game it’s an expansion for! It cuts out the fluff, and it’s better because of it. Risky Boots has more moves available at once, and she doesn't have to do fetch quests for a town full of NPCs. Risky is also one of the most lovable villains ever. She’s so vain and evil, it’s comical. She’s like Jesse from Team Rocket meets Skeletor. Risky’s first adventure was a long time coming, but it was worth the wait.

#8. Cuphead - What is this? Why, it’s a love letter! And it’s addressed to Contra, Gunstar Heroes, Sunset Riders, Gradius, Parodius, Life Force, Twinbee, Metal Slug, Popeye, Mickey Mouse, Porky Pig, Woody Woodpecker, Tom & Jerry, Bugs Bunny, Betty Boop, Little Toot...

#7. Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment - The Ninja flavored Shovel Knight expansion. It has all new levels, and a prequel story that sets up the original Shovel Knight, Shovel of Hope. Specter Knight is Death, Ryu Hayabusa, Zero, and Strider rolled into one. He can run up walls, wall jump, grind rails, and slash everything with his scythe. He is flashy, acrobatic, and a ton of fun to play. I can’t wait for King of Cards.

#6. ARMS - I remember seeing this when it was revealed and thinking it was the dumbest thing ever. I thought, “What is this, a game built around Wii Sports boxing?”. It’s actually a unique 3D arena fighting game that wouldn’t look too out of place in a Sega arcade cabinet with a gimmick controller. It’s easy to pick up, yet has enough depth to be played at Evo. It has a colorful cast of new characters, which sadly, we didn’t learn much about. It’s just too bad we didn’t get more story tying everything in this world together.

#5. Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap - I’m a big fan of the Monster World games, but I had never played this one. I was floored by the beautiful cartoon-like graphics and incredible new soundtrack, and the mix of arcade and action adventure gameplay, while definitely 80s as hell, is still a lot of fun.

#4. Splatoon 2 - It’s quite a feat for a multiplayer game to stand out when it's released within months of Mario Kart 8 and ARMS, and on the same system. Splatoon 2 did just that, though. This game is oozing with style, and filled to the brim with things to do. Everything about this game just gels together.

#3. NieR: Automata - I have never seen an off-the-wall anime story be realized in game form as well as in this game. It’s the kind of story that seems completely bonkers when you start, and makes complete sense by the end. The Bayonetta-lite and Treasure shooter action is just the icing on the cake.

#2. Super Mario Odyssey - This game is pretty much everything I could ever want out of a sequel to Mario 64. It has huge levels full of platforming challenges, beautiful graphics, an amazing soundtrack, and nods to nearly every game Mario has ever been in. The only thing I think could make it better would be a playable Luigi.

#1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - I have more issues with BotW than I do with Mario, but this is still my favorite game of the year. It’s the way they keep giving you that Zelda puzzle solving feeling over and over again that makes it so great. It takes all that stuff that was exclusive to the dungeons, and spreads it all over the world. It actually does the outdoor dungeon thing Skyward Sword tried to do, the right way.