Monday, January 1, 2024

Game Of The Year 2023

11. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shredder’s Revenge: Dimension Shellshock - This DLC adds 2 new characters and a survival mode with roguelite elements. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s only $7.99, and one of those new characters is Usagi Yojimbo. This little expansion adds a lot of replay value, and adds the final missing piece to the dream TMNT game. What more could you ask for? Well, I still want to play as the frogs, but this is still pretty awesome.
10. Double Dragon Advance - My favorite Double Dragon game and one of the best beat ‘em ups of all time, and after 20 years, it finally has a console port! The emulation options are kind of weird, with options that don’t seem to do anything different from some of the other options, but there’s nothing really wrong with the port. It plays well, it has the display options you need, and you can play 2 player co-op without 2 GBAs and a link cable. The game is awesome too! It’s a re-imagining of the original Double Dragon arcade game. It has all-new graphics, new levels, a deep combat system with lots of moves and no leveling up, new weapons, enemies from all the arcade games, new enemies, new cutscenes, and new music.
9. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor - Horrible performance aside, I really enjoyed this game. I think they improved on pretty much everything I had a problem with in Fallen Order. The only thing that I don’t think is better is the story, but that might just be that I see these games as non-canon stories. I just don’t trust that anything that happens in these games is ever going to matter to the rest of the Star Wars universe. I’m not even sure if the High Republic stuff is going to show up in the High Republic. And that’s in the past!
8. Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: The Secrets of Area Zero - Another game with horrible performance. This game would be much higher if the framerate was a steady 30. Regardless, the content in this expansion is pretty great. New stories, new battles, new Pokemon, returning Pokemon, and 2 huge new areas to explore. It’s a shame they never fixed the framerate because this might be the best Pokemon game ever made.
7. Advance Wars 1 + 2 Reboot Camp - It’s 2 very faithful remakes of the first 2 GBA games for the price of 1. They have 3D graphics, beautiful new versions of the soundtracks, and online play with friends. It’s honestly more Advance Wars than I could handle in 1 go because it’s 2 pretty big games. I got through the first game and haven’t really touched the second one. It’s a shame this game was delayed so many times because it would have probably gotten more attention if it was released earlier.
6. Vengeful Guardian Moonrider - Here’s a really cool game that went under a lot of people’s radar. It’s from the developer of the awesome Contra-like run ‘n gun shooter, Blazing Chrome, and it’s basically Shinobi III meets Mega Man X. It’s fast-paced, old-school, 2D Ninja action, with robot masters, special weapons, and a gritty 90s sci-fi-inspired story.
5. Gravity Circuit - This was a good year for games with big Mega Man X vibes. Gravity Circuit takes a lot of inspiration from classic action platformers, like Shinobi III, but I think the simplest way to describe it would be to say it’s like Viewtiful Joe meets Mega Man X. It has beat ‘em up-inspired combat, lots of Mega Man X-like platforming, and robots. That might sound a lot like Moonrider, but it’s actually very different. Gravity Circuit is colorful, light-hearted, and the beat ‘em up combat gives the gameplay a completely different feel.
4. Pikmin 4 - This one caught me by surprise. I liked the previous Pikmin games, and expected it to be good, but I didn’t expect it to be this good. It’s all the little changes they’ve made while still making it feel like Pikmin that make it so good. The dog mount, Oatchi, underground areas, new modes, and the removal of the day and juice limits are all great. It's also a huge game with tons of stuff to do. I really wasn’t expecting to be playing this for over 50 hours. This is hands down the best Pikmin game yet.
3. Gal Guardians: Demon Purge - I don’t know why Inti Creates made this part of the Gal Gun universe and not a Bloodstained game, and I’m not a fan of the comedic anime hornyness, but I can’t deny that this game is incredible. It’s the 16-bit sequel to the Bloodstained Curse of the Moon games I wanted. It’s the modern day Classicvania Konami won’t give us. It plays like a mix of Castlevania Bloodlines and Rondo of Blood, it has good music, lots of replay value, and it looks fantastic. It even has co-op. I think it’s even better than the 2 Bloodstained CotM games.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - This is a tough one. On one hand, I love this game. I like it even more than BotW. The new powers are fun, exploring the sky is fun, the remixed Hyrule is awesome, the Shrines are great, the story is much better, and so on. It also has one of the worst things I’ve ever seen in a Zelda game, the Depths. I hate dark sections in games, and they literally made a dark version of all of Hyrule. I spent hours and hours fumbling around down there trying to uncover everything, hating every second, and all I got was a medal! That’s worse than Korok poop! At least exploring Hyrule and doing puzzles to get all the Korok seeds was fun!
1. Super Mario Bros Wonder - The best 2D Mario game since Super Mario Bros 3, as far as I’m concerned. The controls feel great, the graphics are awesome, it has ALMOST all the playable characters you could want in it, it’s full of Mario fan service, it’s trippy, it’s huge, and it has some super challenging levels. I 100%ed it and enjoyed every second. This game is a masterpiece.