I never thought I’d get to write one of these, it has been super surreal working for Giant Bomb. Everyone in the office has been absolutely great to work with, Jason has been an amazing teacher with all the ins and outs of the studio. I feel so lucky and fortunate to be in the position that I am in. Also a special thank you to the the community for the warmest of welcomes when I came aboard.
To be honest games kind of took a backseat for the first half of the year for me. I almost thought I wouldn’t have played enough this year to compile a list of the top ten games but I managed to cram a bunch of random stuff in before the year was over.
I cannot wait for all the #content we'll put out from this point on!
(Thanks to @ruugard on Twitter for the beautiful photoshop from some Extralife shenanigans!)
I’m a tactics type of guy. I’m the Jan with the master plan. This game totally has its flaws and the puzzles aren’t the best, but this definitely has been scratching that turn-based itch that i’ve been having. I used to get annoyed by the Rabbids, but they were surprisingly tolerable paired up with Mario characters. Oh, AND MARIO HAS A FREAKING GUN!
I will preface this by saying that this is not my normal type of genre, and that I didn’t get the chance to play Dream Daddy.
HOLY MOLY. WOW. I was not expecting to get invested in this game, and maybe I can convince the team to take another look at it, but this went places I did not expect it to. If you’re like me and dating sim/visual novel games aren’t your cup of tea, take a sip of that anyway! However, this game does come with a warning about the topics that it tackles, so carefully drink that tea.
I used to shoot video for a company building a giant robot, so I’ve seen how complicated building one is. I appreciated all the different details in the machine animals, like the hoses, different components sticking out, and sounds of the metal scraping against each other. I don’t normally like stealth, but I loved preparing traps for the different confrontations you’d come across. The combat felt very satisfying once you leveled up your skills enough that you weren’t getting killed by one hit from enemies. And damn, that first time you climb one of those giraffes and hack into it was amazing.
I dig this a lot. I have always enjoyed the art style behind SteamWorld and this was every bit as charming as the first game. I was initially turned off by having to go back and forth to the town to deposit my loot and refill my lantern, but once I leveled up enough and opened up enough fast travel tubes I was loving digging around the caves. I love how you’re able to mindlessly dig around for treasure, but you’re also paired with funny writing that helps you go along.
I hate the rain. I hate the cooking. I hate that everything breaks. I hate the motion controls.
But you know what, Zelda: Breath of the Wild? YOU JUST MADE THE LIST!
Shadow of the Colossus is one of my all-time favorite games, but I always wished there was more to do in that world. BotW fulfills that for me. Despite all the frustrating bits of this game, I really liked exploring and running into all the random things the game would throw my way.
After watching Brad and Ben do a Quick Look of this game I was intrigued. I did not expect to get into it because of the voice acting and some of the character designs, but I wound up diving into it pretty deep. Once you get your party going and you get the hang of the very complicated combat system it gets super rewarding, but that doesn’t really kick in until a couple hours into the game.
I don’t know man, maybe I like anime?
I’m not all that great at first-person shooters--I like playing them, but I’m kind of garbage. Admittedly, I wasn’t having the most fun trudging along playing Wolfenstein II. Shoddy shooting aside, this game is packed with moments that pushed me to continue playing, despite dying a lot. I don’t remember the last time I yelled “NOOOOOO!” at a game and was shaking from what I had just witnessed. But the messed up thing is that it kept happening. There were odd parts that affected me personally and others that lit a fire in me. I can't wait to see how the series wraps up.
2. Sonic Mania
I mentioned on a Bombcast episode that I grew up a Sonic guy and I got some weird looks around the room. That’s fine, I can live with that. Fellow Sonic fans can attest that on top of getting shit from other people, we also just get shit releases. I don’t think that I’ve actually enjoyed a Sonic release since Sonic Advance 2 on the GBA. But as soon as I hit the start screen on Sonic Mania, I was smiling ear to ear. This was a great callback to what made me a fan when I was a kid.
This game is so tight. Tight controls and well designed worlds. But it’s also tiiiiiiiiight. As soon as I got the hang of the jumping around and the added mobility with Cappy I was having so much fun. I loved going for jumps that I didn’t think were possible, only to barely manage to make it. Yeah, some of the moons were too easy to get, but it was a breadcrumb trail for me to keep playing and exploring. All that said, it's weird for me to rank a Mario game above Sonic. Oh well, Mario does a spin dash in this game so IT IS FINE.