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Jason Oestreicher's Top 10 Games of 2020

Many have asked the question: what is a Jason game? Here are some games you can use as examples the next time someone asks you that.

10. Maneater

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Oh, Jawsie. My sweet, Jawsie. It’s been such am honor watching you grow from just a pup to the murderous killing machine intent on extracting revenge on your mother’s killer that you are today. We challenged and beat the apex predators from the bayou to the open ocean. We’ve chomped entire beaches full of people until the sand was stained red with blood. Heck, I was there for all your mutations; your early bone stage, the shadow phase, and the awkward bio-electric years. It was all good fun and you helped make this year bearable for a bit.

Chompfully yours,

Jason.

9. Astro’s Playroom

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As a free pack-in game, Astro’s Playroom is so much better than it has any right to be. It’s over-flowing with fun nods to the PlayStation hardware and software of yesteryear and ends up becoming a celebration of the platform, of sorts. It’s a solid little platformer, chock-full of humorous winks and nods, and showcases the potential that the DualSense’s capabilities can achieve.

8. Ghost of Tsushima

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I don’t know what’s up my uncle’s ass here, but I saved his and many others because I deviated from that bullshit Samurai Code of Coduct document that I never signed or even saw in my inbox. What, it’s cool to shoot an unsuspecting guy in the face from across a field, but I can’t drop a Ninja Vanish smoke bomb and backstab someone? C’mon, man.

The game was super fun in the first half. They tried to double-up in the second, but I already had my fill. Regardless, the visual aspects, imagery, and aesthetics were so striking and stand-out that I couldn’t help but put it on my list this year.

7. Granblue Fantasy: Versus

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If I had infinite money and wanted to make a fighting game, I’d probably recruit Arc System Works to do the work. That’s likely also what the owners of Granblue Fantasy thought when they wanted to make their Free-2-Play mobile game into a competitive fighting game. But why ArcSys? Take a look at their track record. They’ve made drop-dead gorgeous hand-drawn games coupled with innovative gameplay.

Granblue Fantasy Versus is beginner friendly enough to entice the casual, mobile market, and deep enough to intrigue fighting game veterans. That’s a hell of a line to skate and ArcSys did it, yet again.

6. Streets of Rage 4

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Hey, I know. Streets of Rage? Hallowed ground. Y’all, like myself, put many hours into doing grand uppers with Streets of Rage 1-3. Who the hell is Lizardcube and Guard Crush Games? Apparently someone who did just as many Grand Uppers as you…

Lizardcube earned their cred from the beautifully re-rendered Wonder Boy--they knew hand-drawn graphics. Guard Crush...lesser known. But, man did I have a good time with their previously released, lo-fi, side-scrolling beat-em-up called: Streets of Fury. It was doofy looking, but fun to control. The gameplay was there, and solid. And it gave me hope.

Once released, Streets of Rage 4 delivered in the visuals and gameplay and I couldn’t be happier with it.

5. Nioh 2

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I was already an unstoppable killing machine, but now you gave me new powers? This game rules!

I’m on record as saying that Nioh has a nice addicting combat loop. Attack from one of three heights (high, med, low), dodge or ki-pulse (to recover stamina), rinse, repeat, win. Usually. Sometimes. Actually, to hell with this game. I’m terrible at it.

4. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

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Like a wizard, Animal Crossing is never late, nor is it early. It arrives precisely when he means to.

Honestly, could this game have come at a better time? Maybe a week earlier? Even so...I’m thankful for when this game released. It got me through some shit.

3. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Yo, I think this Miles kid might be better than the OG Spider-Man.

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2. Yakuza: Like a Dragon

I want someone to look at me the way that Kasuga looks at everyone.

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1. Hades

A lot of what goes into my liking of a game is the controls and general feel. The fighting. The combat. The loop. The moment-to-moment gameplay is what keeps me interested and the incremental rewards are what spur me onwards and keep me invested. Hades epitomizes this circle.

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