What's the GOTY so Far?

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doctordonkey

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My current list is looking like this:

  • 1. Doom Eternal

  • 2. Final Fantasy VII Remake

  • 3. Genshin Impact

  • 4. Hades

  • 5. Ghost of Tsushima

  • 6. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

  • 7. Ghostrunner

  • 8. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

  • 9. Streets of Rage 4

  • 10. Nioh 2

1 and 2 are interchangable depending on what mood I'm in. Eternal is exactly what I wanted out of a DOOM 2016 sequel, it's faster and more demanding, and it's extremely well optimized on PC. FFVII because they've successfully merged turn-based combat and action combat in a way no other game has, as well as done right by all the world & all the characters in it. Genshin Impact is the biggest out of no where surprise, I wasn't expecting to fall in love with it. Hades obviously, it's just the best game Supergiant has ever done and everything about it is superb. Ghost of Tsushima is the Assassin's Creed: Japan everyone wanted, but with a story that's much more poignant that Ubisoft could never hope to do.

Age of Calamity I haven't played a ton of, but based on the demo and the insane amount of hours I dumped into the first Hyrule Warriors, I'm going to love it, despite the performance issues. Ghostrunner is lightning-quick, tight, focused and does not overstay it's welcome, despite the occasional jank. Will of the Wisps is better than the first game in every way I can think of, the controls are impeccable and the challenge is pretty good on hard. Streets of Rage 4 is a great beat-em-up, but suffers from some really annoying enemies and a combo system that punishes you too much for trying to be aggressive. Nioh 2 is my outlier here, I only played about 5 or 6 hours and haven't got much into it, waiting on the PS5 patch at this point.

I haven't played them yet, but I'm positive Demon's Souls and Cyberpunk would knock Streets and Nioh out of the list.

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brian_

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#102  Edited By brian_

Haven't gotten around to finishing (Nioh 2, Gears Tactics, Sakura Wars), or even starting (Last of Us 2, Ghost of Tsushima, Yakuza 7, Miles Morales, Demon Souls) many of the bigger games this year. So far, it looks like Ikenfell, Hades, and Spirtfarer are at the top of my list. A lot of the rest of the list looks like what I would call "More of a good thing". New Super Hot, RE 3 remake, Streets of Rage 4.

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webby

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  • Ghost of Tsushima
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Ry_Ry

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In no particular order:

  1. Hades
  2. Resident Evil 3 Remastered
  3. Final Fantasy 7 Remake
  4. Demon's Souls
  5. Murder by Numbers
  6. Animal Crossing
  7. If Found ...
  8. Astro's Playroom
  9. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 & 2
  10. Pokémon GO
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dantebk

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@inevpatoria: Yup, the twin bosses of Elysium is as far as I've gotten. I just spent 20 keys to get the next couple mirror upgrades, but now seeing them am not sure if they will actually make me any better at the game. Maybe I should just save up for the next death defiance.

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Ry_Ry

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#106  Edited By Ry_Ry

@dantebk: Be sure you're experimenting with both options in the mirror. There's a little toggle on the left that lets you switch "forms" of the bonuses. It may be an architect unlock, but I don't remember.

As for your current progress wall:

Every time I go against them I have to take out Theseus first. After that Asterius is kind of a push over.

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inevpatoria

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@dantebk said:

@inevpatoria: Yup, the twin bosses of Elysium is as far as I've gotten. I just spent 20 keys to get the next couple mirror upgrades, but now seeing them am not sure if they will actually make me any better at the game. Maybe I should just save up for the next death defiance.

I had the same thought abut the mirror upgrades. Reading the descriptions I didn't think any of them would have a measurable impact on my success. It's a slow-moving tidal wave, though, and if you start plugging resources into key perks (like the one where enemies take extra damage with a cast shard lodged in them) you can see huge results. Having the maximum number of Death Defiances will always benefit you as well.

I think that's probably my key complaint about Hades. There's a kind of uncertainty about the way it delivers mechanical information. My favorite instance of this is the trick question presented by "Would you like a flat damage boost or a percentage damage boost?" scenarios. You might think a 300% increase to special damage is enormous, but, because of the way damage works in combat, opting for the flat numerical boost ends up being the more effective option in most cases.

It would be truly great if Hades just showed your character's stats Diablo-style. That might clean up a lot of the mystery behind character builds and the choices you make in a dungeon-to-dungeon sequence, or at least give you a clearer arithmetic regarding why a player is slamming fruitlessly against a boss. Something beyond "get good."

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Obeast

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For me it's Animal Crossing on the Switch since it came out at the right time of the year, and I'm still playing it (I bought it a week or two after it came out) even though my island isn't as amazing looking as a lot of the ones I've seen, including my sisters-in-law's islands.

In terms of what I think the crew will pick, I'm betting it'll be Hades since I don't think I heard anyone say anything super bad about it. I still need to buy it (especially since it sounds like the Switch version is just as good, if not better with the handheld mode, as the other versions), but it sounds like something up my alley since I love a good rouge-like/lite that encourages you to keep getting better without it feeling TOO punishing.

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Haz_Kaj

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#109 Haz_Kaj  Online

For me right now Yakuza LAD

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Rohsiph

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mc kids

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gla55jAw

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I still can't believe I'm saying this, but I have to go back and finish FF7 Remake before year's end. Genshin Impact has ousted Ghost of Tsushima for me. Didn't see that coming.

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bigsocrates

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@obeast said:

I love a good rouge-like/lite.

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AKTANE

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Hay-Deeeez

is like my game of the generation lol

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BisonHero

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#114  Edited By BisonHero

@inevpatoria said:
@dantebk said:

@inevpatoria: Yup, the twin bosses of Elysium is as far as I've gotten. I just spent 20 keys to get the next couple mirror upgrades, but now seeing them am not sure if they will actually make me any better at the game. Maybe I should just save up for the next death defiance.

I had the same thought abut the mirror upgrades. Reading the descriptions I didn't think any of them would have a measurable impact on my success. It's a slow-moving tidal wave, though, and if you start plugging resources into key perks (like the one where enemies take extra damage with a cast shard lodged in them) you can see huge results. Having the maximum number of Death Defiances will always benefit you as well.

I think that's probably my key complaint about Hades. There's a kind of uncertainty about the way it delivers mechanical information. My favorite instance of this is the trick question presented by "Would you like a flat damage boost or a percentage damage boost?" scenarios. You might think a 300% increase to special damage is enormous, but, because of the way damage works in combat, opting for the flat numerical boost ends up being the more effective option in most cases.

It would be truly great if Hades just showed your character's stats Diablo-style. That might clean up a lot of the mystery behind character builds and the choices you make in a dungeon-to-dungeon sequence, or at least give you a clearer arithmetic regarding why a player is slamming fruitlessly against a boss. Something beyond "get good."

I think I partially see your point, but maybe I need a specific example. Overall, yes, sometimes it is hard to compare one ability against another, but I would reserve that for the Daedalus Hammers that are divergent gameplay styles which are deliberately hard to compare numerically.

Overall, what things are you thinking of that are giving you a flat damage boost? +300% to special is actually an enormous damage boost for most weapons, while not many things ever give a flat damage boost that competes with that, other than maybe the sword's World Splitter. The only things I can think of that are listed as a flat damage boost or base damage boost are Dash and Cast upgrades, or certain Daedalus Hammers. The vast majority of upgrades for Strike/Special/global damage boosts are percentage based.

I guess I generally agree that when you have a pomegranate upgrade, and the choices are like:

  • special damage: +121% -> +134% (no indication of the base damage unless you remember it)
  • cast damage: 70 -> 82

It's kinda unclear which one is really a better DPS value since the game mixes and matches numerical values with +percentage values, and I'm honestly kinda surprised that a user experience/UI person ever signed off on this. But I don't think of it as a trick question because frankly you're comparing apples and oranges anyway when your choices are Strike vs. Special vs. Cast. Pomegranate power scaling gets pretty bad quite quickly regardless, so usually I just level up whichever ability I think is most core to how I'm winning on this run, even if some other upgrade might technically give better damage scaling.

Overall I agree that the game could probably use a quick summary sheet somewhere that actually summarizes what your current damage is for each action, what your passive dodge chance is, etc. but I can see why they didn't want to clutter the UI any more, and just want players to not sweat it and keep the game somewhat fast-paced. Also so many of your abilities are temporary buffs/debuffs that only happen for 0.5-4 seconds, so your "character sheet" wouldn't have many permanent stats to show.

I'd say my bigger mechanical information issue is that a handful of boons/hammers simply have ambiguous rules text explaining themselves, where you kinda get the general idea but it could be better. There's a lot of stuff you have to go to the wiki to ask "wait, does this boon/hammer have this implication, or no?" Those caveats are only clarified on the wiki because the 20-word sentence in-game is insufficient, and there isn't some kind of codex screen that really gets into the nitty gritty of how abilities work.

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Obeast

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I was in a hurry typing this out! I swear!

Also, a rogue like-lite Sonic game does sound interesting in concept (but, I think if it were designed like Sonic CD where it's more exploration based, it could be at least decent)...

@obeast said:

I love a good rouge-like/lite.

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MightyDuck

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#116 MightyDuck  Online

At this point, I think it's still Animal Crossing?

I had never played one before and it hit when I needed something to get my mind off the world falling apart. I've put almost 90 hours into it since March, which is something I don't generally do for most games. Do I play it nearly as much as I did back in the Spring? Certainly not, but I still check in on it probably 2-3 times a week and see what's available in the shop, etc.

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fatmanpalmer17

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If Tony Hawk counts, it's Tony Hawk. If not, Hades. If card is subject to change, Fuser.

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icoangel

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Yakuza like a dragon by a really long way.

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Chikenxxfries

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Hell yea people talking about starcraft

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Junkerman

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Mine is Days Gone

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captain_max707

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I haven't seen it mentioned yet so I'll offer Crusader Kings 3 as my pick.

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Tom_omb

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#122  Edited By Tom_omb

Not sure where things will land for me yet ...

Ori and the Will of the Wisps was the most satisfying to play

Paper Mario has amazing variety and a great sense of humor

Animal Crossing is both the best and the worst... and the most time I've played a game (the reason why it's torture)

The Last of Us 2 has the best story and emotional heights

Sludge Life is the most pure, cut the crap give me the good stuff

...and a WoW expansion is coming out in 2 days

any one could make GoTY

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CreepingDeath0

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Ghost of Tsushima would be my pick, followed closely by Doom Eternal.

Most disappointing would have to go to Yakuza 7.

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Captain_Insano

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Hades by a long distance for me

Then further down I'd have FFVII Remake and Last of Us Part 2

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NTM

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#125  Edited By NTM

For me personally, and out of the games I've played, it's still The Last of Us: Part II. Even through some of its story faults due to them trying to tackle it in a more complex way, the story itself is better than most, if not all of the stories in games this year. It's a brutally enjoyable, beautiful game with a phenomenal soundtrack. The biggest issue is just that it's not quite as good as the first game overall, at least in my opinion.

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Asylumrunner

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For me, the list is something like this

Games That I Think Are Genuinely Amazing That Are GOTY Contenders

  • Necrobarista
  • Umurangi Generation
  • Yakuza: Like A Dragon
  • Demon's Souls
  • Hades

Games That I Think, Are, Like, Generally Good, But Have Something Holding Them Back

  • XCOM: Chimera Squad (game about murder cops aged real bad, also this thing was a buggy mess)
  • Murder By Numbers (lacks a lot of what I would consider "baseline" Picross features)
  • Superhot: Mind Control Delete (yeah, man, I played Superhot, still pretty good)
  • Spellbreak (lacks some special something to set it apart from the BR competition)
  • Bugsnax (the gameplay is pretty plain, no matter how much I love this game)

The Only Game From 2020 That I Played And Actively Hated

  • Doom: Eternal. It's like they turned the shitty third act from Doom 2016 that everyone agreed is where the pacing kind of died into an entire game of shitty pacing. And for the record I actually think the Marauder is fine.

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Gyratyne

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Hades is probably of my favorite game in the last decade.

The only other 2020 game I played was Streets of Rage 4 and I had fun with that, too.

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FrodoBaggins

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Apex Legends.

There,. I said it.

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CracklyKlover

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#129  Edited By CracklyKlover

Desperados 3 with Doom Eternal as runner up. Of course these are contingent on Cyberpunk being terrible. If not, will probably be Cyberpunk with Desperados 3 as runner up.

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JackieChansUncl

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So does Deep Rock Galactic count since it hit 1.0 this year? Just started playing that Friday with a group of friends, only about 10 hours in so far but just the overall style of that game is easily putting it up to my personal top 3 this year. No particular order right now it'd be Hades, AC New Horizons, or this. Loving the hell out of Deep Rock so far.

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Zero_3

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#131  Edited By Zero_3

Moon was my favorite game I played this year, and honestly might now be on my list of all time favorite games. I loved it. Kentucky Route Zero is an easy second place. I played that game early in the year, and still think about it very often. And then Bugsnax is probably in third place. Had a blast with that little game.

Shout outs also go out to Final Fantasy 7 Remake, THPS 1+2, and Demon Souls.

Also, played Judgment this year, and that game made me smile so often when I really needed something to smile about.

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yomamasbutt

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#132  Edited By yomamasbutt

1 - Animal Crossing: New Horizons is life now.

2a - Hades brought the nerdiness back to gaming.

2b - The Last of Us Part 2 delivered on the promise.

4 - Repackaged old games (Persona 5 Royal, Demon's Souls and Super Mario Galaxy) still slap.

5 - Miles Morales gave me that gushy feeling that I get from other great Spidy fiction.

6 - Kentucky Route Zero made me sad. So did everything else this year. At least this had Junebug.

7 - Spiritfarer was a cozy-warm blanket, until my game pass save corrupted. Then it was cold again.

8 - Bugsnax must be eaten responsibly.

9 - Paper Mario: The Origami King got the best Toads.

10 - Ghost of Tsushima is like an Assassin's Creed, if Ubisoft spent 5 years on an Assassin's Creed and left out the animus.

HM - FUSER, Genshin, Carrion, Astro's and In Other Waters

Cyberpunk will probably derail this thing, but what the hell. Shout out to the good games that I went back to: Hyper Light Drifter, SteamWorld Dig 2, Judgement, Everything and Dying Light. And shout out to NBA 2K for not being a complete laughing stock this year.

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youeightit

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Most Disappointing: Doom: Eternal

And it's not close. I could write an entire book about how much I loathe the game design going on here, but I'll just stick to the highlights:

  1. The general aesthetic of the game just sucks. It's nothing but garish, ugly, distracting colors that don't fit the universe or what you are doing beyond screaming "Arcade attract screen!"
  2. The UI and menu design is atrocious and alternates between too small to be useful, and unnecessarily cluttered and hard to parse.
  3. The enemy designs are far too comical and as a result you no longer feel like a badass when killing them. Remember how creepy the basic zombies in 2016 were when they just had that hole where their face was supposed to be? Yeah, neither did the folks at Id. You can't feel powerful when the stuff you are killing is played for jokes.
  4. There's no flow to the combat, partly because it is so f'ing rigid with what weapons you are supposed to use and partly because of its tedious focus on bespoke chainsaw and glory kills, both of which repeat far too often, take too long, and lose their novelty after about 5 minutes.
  5. Story? In a Doom game?
  6. Platforming? In a Doom game?

I hate this game.

I also hated this game, but not for any of the reasons you did. Except for the platforming, which I thought was cute at first but the nearer I got to the end the more fed up I got with it. It wasn't fun for me and it just felt like more busy work in a game that I already found to be more of a job than a good time. I think my biggest problem with the game outside of that was that it was too damn long. I was ready to be done with it about 10 hours before I actually was, but kept thinking "well I made it this far..." but now that I'm done I wish I just would have stopped when the good time came to an end. Life is too short to obligate myself to playing a game that I don't love. But yeah. Too long, and too much of everything. Too much story, too much platforming, too many missions, too many tedious enemy encounters, too many marauders...just everything was too much. too frequently. And I was so let down because 2016 Doom is still one of my favorite games of all time.

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Gundato

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In no particular order and probably missing a few because this year has been a decade:

  • Hades - Supergiant narrative and sound design (vocals and soundtrack) in one of the better roguelites of all time?
  • Doom Eternal - This was more bulletstorm than doom 2 but I still loved it. And the DLC may have been the most fun I have ever had with a hot bullshit DOOM dlc/expansion (and there have been a few...)
  • (New to me) Yakuza 0 - Probably doesn't count but played this on gamepass and holy crap. Spent years (decades?) ignoring the series because I thought it was Shenmue but worse. For a 40-50 hour game/experience that thing was insanely tight and while I fully acknowledge the world crumbling around me "helped", holy crap was this game emotional and well scripted.
  • MS Flight Sim - I didn't play anywhere near as much of this as I wanted to because of weird instabilities with trackir on my PC that I'll eventually diagnose (or hope doesn't manifest on my upcoming build) but this is basically everything I wanted out of a non-combat flight sim. Gorgeous, fly anywhere, and insanely accesible with a strong ramp.

Biggest "okay": Last of Us 2. Mechanically the game was good but it went on probably 5-10 hours too long and the narrative was the definition of nothing burger. it wasn't necessarily bad but it just reaffirmed my feelings that TLOU should have been standalone.

And award for "This game actually fills me with enough dread to register on my 'normalized for 2020' dread-o-meter": Genshin Impact. Jesus christ the way people are vehemently defending a gacha game and even encouraging people to play it because "you won't spend money and then you are just screwing the house over" terrifies me. We thought lootboxes were bad?

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maxilopez

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Hades?

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Colonel_Pockets

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I haven't gotten to play everything yet because I used most of this year to catch up on old games. The Last of Us Part II stands out for me as the one. I still have to play FF7 Remake, Ghost of Tsushima, Hades and Resident Evil 3 among others.

The Last of Us Part II was amazing for so many reasons. I can't wait to replay on PS5 with hopefully upgrades. Even if there aren't I won't have to hear my ps4 overheat again. Which was my main complaint of the entire game. That ps4 pro fan honestly hurt my experience.

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Demonsoul

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Resident Evil 3 Remake (not including Resistance which was bundled with it and is 100% garbage)

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Rejizzle

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Would easily be Hades's but truth be told, 90% of my play time was last year when it was in early access. Pitfall of early access games I guess.

I'm really enjoying Ghost of Tsushima. Playing on that Lethal difficulty and it's a great feeling of tension except for the boss duels which still take like, 10 hits to kill.

Haven't put much time into Crusader Kings 3 yet, but it seems very good as well.

Animal Crossing New Horizons might not get a lot of discussion here, but it helped me and a lot of other people through a tough time in lockdown. That game's great.

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Hades and its not particularly close. That game is flawless.

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Undeadpool

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Still haven't seen credits, but unless they bungle the ending worse than "Heavy Rain," I can't imagine it being anything other than Hades.

Pretty good year for games, despite the hellworld the rest of society became, so it should be a good GOTY podcast!

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cornbredx

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#141  Edited By cornbredx

Frog Fractions. It released on Steam this year with brand new content.

No, really. It did.

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Asylumrunner

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I would like to amend my list and say that, despite how insane this is, one of my top 5 games of the year might honest to god be Astrobot's Playroom

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mikachops

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#143  Edited By mikachops

I played a lot of games that came out this year and only a few I’d put on a list (planning on picking up Like A Dragon by the end of the year tho, can see that making it):

  1. Animal Crossing - hit at the "perfect" time as it came out at the start of the covid lockdown where I live. This was the game I played to stay in contact with friends during isolation.
  2. Xenoblade DE - I tapped out a couple chapters from the end and just looked up the cutscenes (gameplay doesnt hold interest for the length of the game sadly), but the time I spent exploring that world was unmatched this year.
  3. Final Fantasy 14 Online - look, it’s a game that absolutely can not sustain itself for more than one expansion I feel unless you’re super invested in a guild or something, the story is butt trash bad and the supporting cast is boring, but just being in that world wandering around was the chillest time I had this year, and I played Animal Crossing. The couple of weeks I was way into dungeons was fun too. Probably never playing this game again but the short month or 2 I spent with it this year was a memorable and positive experience.
  4. Noita - of the roguelikes this year this was the one that hit me. I’ll be picking it up again by the time the year wraps up.
  5. Umarangi Generation - its rough in places but its relaxing with some fun designs and visuals. It also lined up perfectly with me fixing a decades old broken camera, so there’s that.

The others that stand out to me that I spent a lot of time with were old games:

  • Among Us
  • Splatoon 2
  • Aria of Sorrow
  • Pokemon Sapphire
  • Metroid Fusion
  • Oath in Felghana
  • Suikoden 1

Of the big games I played this year that I would put no where near a personal end of year list:

  • 7R was a complete and utter disaster of a game. Just the absolute worst thing I’ve played in a long while outside of like 3 chapters maybe, I have a countless number of issues with this thing.
  • Hades was fine but it didn’t hit me. It’s something I can see myself coming back to though.
  • Spelunky 2 is great but didn’t hook me. Think these games are handheld to me so playing on the PC felt wrong.
  • Mordhau is fun but there’s too much cheating going on in it so I dropped it.
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bigsocrates

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For me it's probably FF VII Remake. It's not the game I would say is the objective best, which is probably Hades, nor the game I spent the most time with (Animal Crossing) but it's the game that hit me hardest personally. I did an all-nighter with it, which is something I thought I would never do again with a video game, and that experience of just staying up and playing until the sun rose was almost as nostalgic as the game itself.

I think this year was full of mostly pretty good games that were not quite as great as I'd hoped. I liked Ghost of Tsushima and I also liked Last of Us Part II, even though I got annoyed by people who insisted it was the best thing evar, but I didn't love either of them. Xenoblade Chronicles: DE was fun but had a lot of problems too, and Paper Mario: The Origami King was fun but far from magical. Hades is great but ultimately is somewhat limited by its repetitive nature, at least for me.

So FF VII Remake is my GOTY even though I understand why some people hated it.

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Capum15

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#145  Edited By Capum15

1: Genshin Impact. Gacha as hell with certain aspects of the game, but the game itself is damn fun to play. Been playing at least 30m a day since launch, usually 1-3 hours if I'm not too tired during the weekday, longer on the weekends. Recently got Team 2 up and running enough to kill open world stuff fairly easily, and that combination of characters is extremely fun. Just unlocked level 80 ascensions, but need to go farm some bosses for materials before I can push anyone past 70.

2: Command and Conquer: Remastered. They fucking nailed the music, and made that music player just so damn good. Rest of the 2 games are rad as well. Hope they do a second Remaster for Tiberium Sun / Firestorm and Red Alert 2 / Yuri's Revenge. But seriously that music player. Holy shit.

3: Iron Harvest. Company of Heroes but what with Dieselpunk Mechs and Shit. It's awesome. You get a fucking bear in the campaign. Go get 'em, Wojtek!

4: Watch Dogs: Legion. It's pretty fun, I like fucking around with hacking random shit. Also the story made me decide to recruit people with guns and just start murdering the gang assholes every mission that involved them, because fuck those people. Also only kind of the only other game I've played that released this year.

Edit: Oh yeah, 5: Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Forgot about that, my first AC game. Pretty fun and calming game.

Guessing Cyberpunk 2077 will be in there somewhere once that releases.

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cstrang

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Yakuza: Like a Dragon. It's not the best technically, and it can be cumbersome, but damn it's the game I needed this year.

(Hades is right next to it though.)

This captures my sentiments almost exactly. Yakuza 7 has a lot of little things that are technically not great, but the whole game is so much greater than the sum of its individual parts and I'm not sure why. When the credits rolled, I was absolutely buzzing and no other game has hit that high for me this year.

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slaughts

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#148  Edited By slaughts

2020 has been the first year in awhile where I haven't played much of the newer releases. I've been going back and playing games that were released long ago and/or have been sitting in my back catalogue. Games like American Truck/Euro Truck Simulator 2, Dying Light, Darkest Dungeon, Terraria, and the like have been grabbing me more so.

Out of the stuff I've played new this year, Crusader Kings III is my definite GOTY thus far, but again with the caveat that I haven't played many 2020 games.

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Y2Ken

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It's gonna be real tough for anything to top Spelunky 2 for me - it's gonna come down to how much chance I get to play Hades and/or Yakuza: LAD. Even then, I just adore Spelunky 2 so much; I'm pretty sure at this point that it's surpassed the original in my estimations, even though I think the added complexity might actually turn away some people versus HD.

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Hades, by an absolute stupid margin. Thought it would be closer but here we are.