Two men met on neutral ground (the rolling hills of The Netherlands) for their yearly meeting where they argue, eat, play video games, almost fight, and talk about their top 10 games of the year... This is their 2017 story.
Kenny: Another year and another top 10! Last year, my good friend Austin and I had so much fun working together, we thought we’d do it again in 2017. I anticipate our lists will be a little different from each other, so this should fuel some very fun and... friendly debate.
Austin: Yes, fun and friendly are the words that I would use for it. I’ll start off by saying that I am honored to be doing another top 10 list with one of the greatest, creative, and most charismatic performers that I have ever met in my life. The one, the only, KENNY OMEGA!
Kenny: And I am glad to introduce a man with the greatest YouTube gaming channel going today, one of the most versatile, intelligent, and talented humans on this Earth… AUSTIN CREED! And you know what...? I’ll say it. I thought you were all just trombones, pancakes, and shenanigans... but heck, you’ve been no slouch in the ring this year either!
Austin: Thank you for the kind introduction good sir!
Kenny: Let’s start with some honorable mentions!
Austin: Agreed, I definitely need to talk a bit about some things that were awesome, but didn’t make my list.
Kenny: Now, these are being brought up because they’re technically invalid. They’ve been released in prior years and would technically make this a non-2017 list. Don’t want that.
And some of mine are from 2017 and I feel need to get at least a mention so...
Austin: Let us begin! After you, sir.
Kenny: What’s old is new and what was new to me was playing this co-op with a friend. Such a great game, easy top 10 if it were valid. But alas, it ain’t. Not at all. Only an idiot could put it in a legit top 10...
Austin: It's been years since a new version dropped and this one definitely didn’t disappoint. What gets me about this game is the awesome animations mixed with the retro look. Definitely one of the most fun wrestling franchises out there.
Kenny: This would be Top 5 if it weren’t released in 2016. Most fun I’ve had with couch co-op since... wow, I don’t know. A long time.
Austin: If you know anything about me then you know that I stay jammin’ that wind. The re-release dropped on PS4 and Vita this past year, and its been awesome playing such a fun game online. I actually left a show I was doing and ended up at these random dudes' house in Delaware (shoutout east coast jam) and had a blast playing. I'm like a child and candy when it comes to Windjammers, I just cant leave it alone.
Kenny: Visuals, music, gameplay, all A+. Heck, my company collabs with Tekken, so you can finally rep Bullet Club while you fight! So why isn’t it on the top 10...? Let’s face it, any game Creed can beat me in is broken to the core so... disqualified.
Austin: Hysterical game made by amazing people, and the voices were extremely well done. But I digress, Kenny, so then the only game that's not broken to you is Street Fighter V? Your statement also means that Def Jam: Fight for NY is broken. Don’t be mad cause my Lil' Kim hurt your feelings
Kenny: First of all, it’s not only SFV that isn’t broken... USF4 is just fine too... SECONDLY, as hurt as I was that your Lil' Kim beat my Bone Crusher, I was more hurt for the dude’s controller you were using. The last time I’ve seen mashing that vigorous I was watching Martha Stewart prepare her potatoes.
Austin: Kenny, you can take your broom, sunglasses, and tight leather wannabe biker pants…
Kenny: This is starting to sound more erotic than it should, and quite frankly you should be ashamed of yourself, Creed!
The two men clench their fists and begin to circle each other about to strike in an instant...
Two voices rang loud in the distance in unison. One from the far east speaking english and the other from the far west speaking Japanese...
ENORMOUS BOOMING VOICE: Unless you both wanna be looking for new jobs digging ditches then we suggest that you do not lay a finger on each other!
K & A: Yes Boss...
ENORMOUS BOOMING VOICE: Now get on with it!
Kenny: Alright, here are my top 10 games of 2017...
Austin: And more importantly, here are mine!
Austin's #10: For Honor
I really enjoyed this game for the story mode. Cutting heads off as a viking, knight, or samurai is something that was beyond pleasing to me. The online aspect is pretty fun as well, especially when you’re winning. Kind of like Dynasty Warriors with a more advanced battle system.
Kenny's #10: The Mummy Demastered
This was a last minute entry into the top 10 but I’m so glad I gave this a shot. WayForward makes the best of a mediocre license and gives us a visually/aurally appealing Metroidvania style game. Highly recommended, and better than this year’s Metroid. Yeah, I said it.
Kenny's #9: Sonic Mania
They had me at "hello" with the opening screen, and kept me partying with the classic gameplay, challenge, and fantastic soundtrack.
Austin's #9: NieR:Automata
What got me immediately was the soundtrack. I had zero preconceived notions about it before I dove in, and I think that helped me enjoy it as much as I did. The huge serene fields with random monsters littered around them, plus the relaxing music really made this a game that I was able to play for hours on end without getting burnt out.
Austin's #8: Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Alright so this game was another one that surprised the hell out of me. I was heading overseas and just wanted something to casually play on the plane. This was the complete opposite of a casual game for me. I became immediately immersed in this super childish, super fun, super well done tactics game.
Kenny's #8: NieR:Automata
I’ve heard some people call this a GOTY (as well as BOTW) and... well... for me, I don’t see it. I see it as a great game, of course, but I felt the environments a tad too lifeless and "chill" for me. What’s there is great, and the design/way of progressing is ingenious. I just never got as invested as I’d anticipated.
Kenny's #7: Blaster Master Zero
Another Metroidvania game! Kinda...? And it’s also a remaster/reimagining of a classic NES game that I’d always wished I’d played. 100%-ing this game never felt like a chore, and this was a real fun ride while on the road. A ton of cool DLC characters too!
Austin's #7: Injustice 2
I'm really into this series as a whole. The comics are amazing, and NetherRealm does a great job mirroring it in their story mode. Using the same engine as Mortal Kombat X made it pretty easy to get used to the controls. The DLC characters that have dropped so far have been pretty stellar, and TMNT coming next year will only help bring more casuals into the FGC that could possibly turn into the kinds of devoted players that bring life to the community.
Also, in the WWE NetherRealm universe I’m Raiden. That's a real thing, something I legit called my parents to tell them.
Austin's #6: Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment
Kenny: A-HA! I knew you’d find a way to screw this all up, Creed! This game didn’t come out in 2017, and here we are now, looking like a couple of frauds. I told you to run your list by me first! Oh jeez... Well it’s been fun Giant Bomb, but thanks to my uninformed friend we’ll surely never be back...
Austin: Okay, let’s not get overly dramatic here, I was actually waiting for this, Mr. Omega. If you were grinding making content for a gaming channel, or kept your nose to the ground on things of this nature--rather than galavanting around Japan like a wild man--then you would know that Treasure Trove was released in 2014 and Specter of Torment was released in 2017. Two different games, two different releases. Checkmate.
Kenny: …oh so you wanna come at me with chess now?!
Austin: Kenny, it’s over.
Kenny: Son of a...!
Kenny's #6: Nioh
Had this one suggested to me by a friend and I never would have played it otherwise. A great ‘Demon Souls’/‘Bloodborne’ style game with a feudal Japan flare. Combat is as shallow or deep as you want it to be and the story is equally as enjoyable. Playing with a friend online is great fun too! Easily put near 100 hours into this bad boy. If any of you play it, the true ending/last boss is worth it!
Kenny's #5: 2064: Read Only Memories
For those that know, know. I’m a huge Snatcher fan. This game captures that same cyberpunk feel while providing a fun mystery to solve with memorable characters. The fantastic writing, music (especially), and voice work also aid in creating a very believable world. (Well, there was this one character that almost ruined it for me, but I mean, I understand throwing amateurs a bone every now and then...) This game was the biggest surprise of the year for me. It may not be for everyone, but old school adventure game fans with an open mind will love it.
Austin: Trust me, I was upset that I had to work along side Dan Ryckert as well, but don’t let that ruin the amazing game that I did voice work on for you. His one redeeming factor is that he won that Taco Bell wedding.
Kenny: Actually I liked Dan, I was more talking about y--
Austin: Whoa, wouldja look at that, it’s my turn again! Continuing on now...
Kenny: SON OF A--
Austin's #5: Fire Emblem Warriors
HELL YES DYNASTY WARRIORS GAME! Dynasty Warriors games may be the greatest games that this universe has ever created. You can take literally anything and add Dynasty Warriors and it's guaranteed to be amazing. Fire Emblem is a great franchise of its own, so these two giants coming together really just felt right. Just waiting for the day when we get a Dragonball Warriors… you'll never see me again
Austin's #4: Sonic Mania
I grew up on Sonic, so this hit a ton of heartstrings for me. When I was a kid, Sonic 2 was the first game that I ever beat. I called my entire family into the room when I made it to Robotnik’s space station. Honestly, it was one of the most fulfilling moments of my childhood because my entire family was there cheering as I played a video game. This game brings a lot of that feeling back for me, and adds a lot of new things, too. It looks amazing and the music is spot-on, but with an updated feel to it. Plus it has all the bonus stages! So many frustratingly satisfying hours spent trying to get through all of them!
Kenny's #4: Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
So, I’m late to the party. I had no idea just how great Ys games were until now. If it weren’t for the folks at Game Sack or YouTube reviewer Spida1a, I may never have known about the Ys series at all!
Anyway, Ys VIII is, in many ways, NieR without a wellness policy. Faster, more fluid combat, brighter colors, fun enemies and bosses, larger than life cast of characters... oh, and the music... yeah, people praise the NieR soundtrack, but there isn’t one track on that game that beats anything the Falcom sound team puts out here. Don’t believe me? Just look up Sunshine Coastline and proceed to kindly rock out.
I could go on forever about this game (especially since no one talks about it), but it’s damn good. Falcom knows how to do this stuff and I suppose that’s how they’ve created such a loyal following all these years. Play it if you enjoy action RPGs.
Kenny's #3: Persona 5
Here’s one of the rare JRPG games that does get a lot of chatter and rightfully so. Stylish from start to finish, and it tackles a ton of themes that most games wouldn’t have the balls to. Combine that with a great battle system with fun dungeon crawling and day to day life, and you’ve got a top 3 game!
Austin: I will start this by saying that I put 96 hours into Persona 4 Golden on my Vita. I was beyond excited to play Persona 5 when it dropped. I wanted to play through it with the people that subscribe to UpUpDownDown (my YouTube channel, go subscribe). But then they dropped the info about catching strikes against your channel if you streamed certain things, 'cause it would spoil it for people. I get not spoiling things purposely for people, but my thought is that if people don’t want it spoiled then they won't watch it. So that put a bad taste in my mouth, and it was hard for me to get past the first few hours feeling that way. But maybe I'll have to try and go back and play it at a later date, 'cause Atlus does do amazing work.
Austin's #3: South Park: The Fractured but Whole
This may not be the most popular statement ever, but, well, here goes: I do not believe that the South Park franchise has ever put out a bad game. Even Chef's Luv Shack was OK! But the last two South Park RPGs have been incredibly good. Not just because I'm a huge South Park fan, but because the gameplay mechanics are so spot-on. The stories are so immature, but there is such a serious line taken on them that you become fully immersed in this world, and nothing ever feels like a chore. There are tons of missions, and each time it feels like the game is wrapping up, it keeps on going. If you like RPGs, South Park, or just think farts are funny, then this is the game for you.
Austin's #2: Battle Chef Brigade
This is literally the closest thing that we currently have to Food Wars: The Game. If you don’t know Food Wars then get on Crunchyroll and start watching. This game is the video game equivalent of Iron Chef. You go kill monsters, collect their body parts, then cook them up using a 3-in-a-row style puzzle game. The better you do in the puzzle game, the better your meal comes out. Once it's done, you serve it to the judges and they rate you against your opponent. I had to rewrite my entire top 10 list because this game dropped right before I turned it in. If you have a Switch then please, please, please do yourself a favor and get this game. There are few things more satisfying than being able to say that you served the judge a 200+ point dragon heart dumpling meal that won you the match.
Kenny's #2: Super Mario Odyssey
What?! Not #1?! blasphemy, right? Well, hold on... this is, probably, technically the #1 game of the year. You know it and I know it. It’s a perfect 10 game. BUT, this is a personal list, and at the end of the day I had to choose the game I felt most emotionally connected to...
Austin: The game was really good, as Mario always is. Yes I kept my nose in it and beat it in like two days. Yes, the music is amazing. Yes, controlling the bad guys is amazing. Yes, being able to change outfits is hysterical at times.
Kenny: Uhh... your point?
Austin: Oh, nothing, I'm just agreeing with you. Please continue
Kenny: Well, jeez, thank you soooo much for the insightful input, Creed. What would i do without you?
Austin: Long for a counterpart in the States who makes you question what you’ll be doing when you’re done wrestling??
Kenny: ANYWAYS, on to #1
Kenny's #1: Resident Evil 7
Never since playing the original Silent Hill on release day have I ever been so terrified and engrossed in the story and world I was playing in. I thought carefully about every step, every choice, and I essentially became Ethan while I was playing. During my first play-through, progressing through the story was the highlight of my day. Lights off, surround sound, and official RE7 mood/aroma candles every night. Best gaming memories of the year.
I was skeptical at first of the new engine and style, but it works and then some. Even the quirky DLC all works. This is the true first home run Capcom’s hit in a long time, and I can’t wait for the DLC dropping shortly after I submit this text.
Austin's #1: Tekken 7
Alright, so, Tekken 7 has been my jam since its arcade release. There is a Round 1 about 40 mins from my house, and before my son was born I would go everyday that I was home in Atlanta so I could work on getting better at it before the console release. Finally it dropped on PS4, and I still have not been able to get enough of it. It's easily the game that I've played the most this year, and the majority of that time has been spent online just tying to find matches with other people so I can get better.
The biggest draw for me is that this game is fun even when you're getting your head taken off. I was lucky enough to play against Knee (one of the best players in the world) in my first round match at Evo this past year. I got two rounds off him, but otherwise he slaughtered me. But even that was one of the most fun times I've had in my life. Just being able to be around so many super talented players, and being able to talk to them and learn from them, makes this my favorite game of the year. It's been more than a game for me. It's given me the ability to open new doors that I didn’t know existed, and helped me to make friends that I otherwise wouldn't have. So, not to be a weird sap about Tekken, but this game rules because its community rules.
Kenny: *checks wrist watch and yawns* uh, Are you done yet?
Austin: Wow! A man cant have a moment?
Kenny: You know what, you’re right. Since Tekken is really your only source of any gaming glory, be my guest.
Austin: Oh! What an interesting choice of words! Yes, next time maybe I'll indeed “Be your guest” and dress as Belle to go with your Princess Jasmin!
Kenny: You know, your holier than thou attitude is really getting on my nerves, Creed. Forget Belle, you preach so much you might as well dread your hair, wear a tunic, and go as Whoopie Goldberg from Sister Act.
Austin: First of all: GREAT MOVIE! And second: Our glorious Whoopie is a queen and I WILL NOT HAVE YOU BESMIRCH HER NAME.
Kenny: THEN LET'S SUIT UP.
Austin: KENNY OMEGA!
Kenny: AUSTIN CREED!
K & A: I HATE YOU!!
Kenny: Wow, man.
Austin: Dude, you hate me?
Kenny: I only said it 'cause you said it.
Austin: Nah man, I said it cause you said it!
Kenny: OK, I guess we were a little too harsh.
Austin: Yeah, I guess I don’t actually hate you.
Kenny: Same, I don’t hate you either.
Austin: But I definitely want my runback.
Kenny: Any time, any place.
Austin: Alright, pal.
Kenny: Now we’re talking! But I ain’t your pal considering I can’t stand you.
Kenny: I’m your damn friend... but... your enemy...
And with that the two men went back to their respective sides of the planet knowing they would meet again next December… and probably at CEO, on opposing sides, in an upcoming Bandai Namco game based on a really popular anime that features dragon balls...
Thank you for reading!