Thursday, January 17, 2019

Ben's Game of the Year 2018

I know I'm a bit late, but it's that time of the year again! Time to look back on 2018, and pick out what was my personal "Game of the Year." Now 2018 was a pretty hard year for me for a lot of reasons. I was let go from my job at the end of 2017 due to a lack of work, and shortly after my dad's brother passed away. He had been in a nursing home for quite awhile due to his stroke some years back, but it was negligence that ended his life early... After the funeral I did have a few months of a "break" while I searched for a new job, but even this time was cut short. My grandpa suffered a stroke and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. I spent the next few months running back and forth to the hospital with him, but sadly he too passed away last September. During this time I did manage to find a new job however, and I even met some new friends there! So things weren't all bad, but with how crazy everything has been I haven't had too much time to play video games. Things have gotten better since my grandpa's funeral however, so I did get at least some gaming in this year. Even so, it makes it a bit difficult to choose an actual GOTY because of this.

Although a lot of really good games came out in 2018, there's only one I can call my personal GOTY. Before I get to that however, I'd like to just mention a few of the others.

Dragon Ball FighterZ -

This is the game I basically started my year off with. It's a very solid fighter by ACW, and one of the best Dragon Ball games I have played. Really worth checking out if you're into fighting games at all, or if you're a fan of the series.

Radiant Historia Perfect Chronology -

This one wasn't exactly a "new" game, but it's a good one none the less. Perfect Chronology is a remake of the DS classic JRPG "Radiant Historia." The game features a unique time travel mechanic where you can jump between different branching paths to help shape the future. This time around many quality of life improvements have been made to the game's systems, story scenes now have voice acting, and a new story path has been added into the mix. It's a game 3DS RPG fans shouldn't pass up.

Sea of Thieves -

Despite the initial hate for the game, SoT is actually a really fun online game. It's one where you get to create your own stories, and because of that you never know what'll happen to you out there. It's a game that is completely depended on the other players playing it, so people's experiences with the game will vary. Of course since it's launch the game has received multiple updates and expansions, so it's not exactly the "same" game it once was. While I can't call this my GOTY, I will say that I enjoy playing it, and will continue to come back to it throughout the years.

God of War -

A really fun one, but also one I haven't had the time to finish. It's something I'd like to talk more about in the future, but for the time being I'm going to pass on it. All I will say is that it's a pretty fascinating adventure across the world of Norse Mythology, and it's a game that only continues to get better the further you progress. Even without finishing it I can already see why many would consider this one of the best games to come out this year.

Detroit -

This is a game based off of a tech demo I posted about all the way back in 2012. Following in the footsteps of their previous games (like Heavy Rain and Beyond), Detroit is an interactive movie that asks the question "what is human?" It's a unique story with many branching paths, and it is one that is packed full of shocking and emotional moments. Well worth checking out if you're a fan of these types of games -- especially considering how cheap it is now days. (You can even buy it in a bundle with the two previously mentioned games.)

Muv-Luv and Muv-Luv Alternative -

Not even kidding. It's an old PC VN in Japan, but we finally got it on the Vita here in the west. It's a story well worth seeing, but that's all I'm going to say about it here. Instead you can check my review over here if you want more info.

Octopath -

Really solid JRPG, but also one I haven't been able to finish. Following the story of 8 unique characters, the game is both a throw back to classic 16 bit style games, and something all it's own. It's one of the few games I'd consider a "must have" for Switch owners.

Spider-Man -

Simply amazing. Spider-Man PS4 is a game we waited years for, and it was worth it. This open world sandbox game is the Spider-Man adventure fans deserve, and is a must have for PS4 fans of the series. Honestly I could sit here all day talking about how great this game is, but I'm going to leave it at that.... If it wasn't for my actual choice of GOTY, it would've been this game for sure.

BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle -

A BlazBlue fighting game with Persona 4, Under Night, and RWBY? All of these series are special to me, so this game was a dream come true. Might not be as good as other BlazBlue games, but it's still a solid game none the less.

Dragon Quest 11 -

A game I wish I had more time to really give it a chance. Earlier in the year I played through DQ5 while my grandpa was in the hospital (downloaded it on iOS), so DQ11 was a game I was really looking forward to trying out. Sadly it came out the day he went back to the hospital for his final time... Afterwords I only managed to pick it up a handful of times, and so far I really like it. Could've been my GOTY, but I still don't think it would've topped my number one choice.

Red Dead Redemption 2 -

Getting closer to the end now! Red Dead Redemption 2 is the sequel to the game I wished I could've played. That's right, I never got to play the original RDR (Redemption, not Revolver), but I always wanted to. RDR2 was my chance to finally jump into that world, and so far I'm really enjoying my time in it. Maybe I'm not as into it as others, but I still think it's a fun game, and it's something I'll keep playing off and on for quite awhile.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate -

ANOTHER game I couldn't wait for. Smash Bros Ultimate is the game I wished Smash 4 would've been. All the characters, nearly all of the stages, characters like Chrom being included, and actual single player content. It's pretty much the "perfect" Smash Bros for me, and it's a game I'll continue to play as the years go on. Even so... Monster Hunter World is what takes the cake for me.

Monster Hunter World - 

It's not really that surprising is it? Monster Hunter is one of my all time favorite series. I got into it back when Tri first released, and I've played every release (including some Japanese exclusives) since. When this game came out, I was simply blown away. I loved the quality of life improvements, I liked the new SOS system (which let your friends join you on your hunts at any time), and I loved the new mechanics. Although the game is quite a bit different (and easier) than past entries in the series, it quickly became my new favorite out of all of them. In fact I liked the game so much that I bought it for myself twice, and even got it for a friend! Just everything about World had me hooked for hours on end, and it's a game I plan to continue to play off and on like I did with all the others. On the flip side, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate also came out this year, and it too is a really solid entry in the series. While I still prefer World over it, it too is an amazing game. It's a game that lets me go back to the classic style of Monster Hunter whenever I want, and it has thousands of quests to complete. With these two games together, I'm pretty much set for quite a long time! Then you have the fact that MH World will continue to receive free updates, and then a full expansion is on it's way later this year! It's just a really good year to be a Monster Hunter fan, and I can't wait to see what 2019 brings to the series as well.

So yeah, I think that's about all I can say about this one. Mainly because I've already said it all during my review of the game! Man, it's such a good one. Completely blew away my expectations.

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