Dafdiego777's 2018 GOTY Spectacular

Not a lot of personal comments from me. This was a year with a few good ups, a lot of terrible downs, and a 2019 resolution to make my life more positive. Thankful for the GB community (specifically the Goldman Shaxx friends) for making gaming a brighter place. Now onto the list!

10A. and 10B. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Diablo 3 Switch

There’s nothing meaningful I can add to the conversation about either of these games. Great ports and thrilled to have both games in my backpack for any moment where I need some ARPG goodness. There’s a certain joy I get from doing the alchemy -> enchanting -> blacksmithing loop and totally breaking my Dovahkin. I’ve never played a console version of D3 before this, but I now think that controllers are more fun to use with that game than M+KB.

9. Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is the spiritual successor to one of my favorite PS1 games, Harvest Moon: Back to Nature. The treadmill of planting -> watering -> farming -> mining -> improving equipment and starting the cycle over again was enough of a hook to make it through Year 3. I enjoyed wooing Leah (a bohemian artist that was into my homemade wine), but I never found the character interaction engaging with the rest of the townsfolk. I wish the gear treadmill was longer, because there’s not much to do in Winter once you’ve farmed enough iridium for sprinklers to cover your entire farm. Overall, a very enjoyable game for a Thursday night flight home while traveling for work.

8. Forza Horizon 3: Hot Wheels DLC

I loved Hot Wheels as a child. This game let me race giant Hot Wheels cars in an already great racing game, and the cars weren’t even the best part. I was more impressed with the way Playground Games nailed the style of everything surrounding the cars. Vertical loops and speed boosters looked just like they do on the toys. Fantastical race courses emerge from the sea fully formed like something out of The Birth of Venus. If mainline Forza games are a day at the track (a serious motorsport one might say) and Forza Horizon games a straight racing games (through city streets, beaches, vineyards, and beaches), then this DLC pulls Forza to the closest it’s ever been to a driving game, not unlike Burnout Paradise.

7. Super Smash Brothers: Ultimate

I found a Dr. Strangelove sticker in the World of Light mode. Why is there a Dr. Strangelove sticker in Smash Ultimate? I still don’t know, but this and hundreds of other collectable stickers drive me to see what other weird callbacks this game makes. My days of long multiplayer sessions are long over, but this is the most engaging single-player content in any Smash game.

6. Pokémon Lets Go: Pikachu

My most surprising game of 2018. I go back to the original game boy games every few years (most recently with the virtual console rerelease on the 3DS), so I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of integrating Pokémon Go when this was announced. There are some obvious quality of life changes that were made in Gen 6 and Gen 7, but I think this is the game that finally made me realize I’m over random battles. Turns out, the ability to not have to commit a genocide against Zubats to make it through Mt. Moon makes Pokémon a lot more fun. Side note: Pokémon are fucking terrifying when you can view them in a 3D space. There’s no way a Snorlax should cuddle my player character and Pikachu like that.

5. Factorio

This game should at least be classified as a schedule II drug, because I don’t think a game has done a better job of bringing out my worst tendencies. I had a 20 tab excel workbook dedicated to production ratios, what-if analyses, and demand forecasting. I’m not sure that any of that is required to launch a satellite into space, but man did I enjoy making them.

4. Assassin’s Creed: Origins

I was quite surprised how touching I found the interpersonal story between Bayak and his wife Aya. AC:O was everything I wanted in a soft-reboot of the Assassin’s Creed formula, visually stunning, well written, and had side quests that reflect the culture and environment of Hellenistic Egypt. I liked the move towards a more RPG-style progression, but I thought the implementation of leveled equipment wasn’t as meaningful as it should have been (also, armor was visual only). A good foundation for the franchise for the next half decade.

3. Super Mario Odyssey

Hot statement: I don’t like Mario Galaxy 1 or 2. Those games never grabbed my attention in a way that Super Mario 64 did. 3D Land and 3D World are…fine. Was there another Mario game between Super Mario 64 and Galaxy 1? I’ve always really respected those games, but they’ve never been engaging enough to me to play all the way through. Super Mario Odyssey changed that. I don’t think any game is as happy, as straight up joyous, as Odyssey. I find the difficulty of the game to be just about right. I’d be really into a follow up that blows out the platforming challenges into a 3D World / Galaxy 2 hybrid.

2. Persona 5

A better game than Persona 4. Makoto (best girl) has a fucking motorcycle persona. The instrumental version of Life Will Change that plays during a heist rocks. You kill a god with a bullet made from the seven deadly sins. This game is cool as shit, and I’m glad they went for a more meaning plot than solving a simple country murder. Some editing decisions besides (I thought they could have gotten rid of the fifth palace), P5 was a blast to play from start to finish.

1. Destiny 2: Forsaken

There’s a handful of games that I poured a lot of time into over the last handful of years. Dark Souls. Breath of the Wild. Titanfall 2. Skyrim and Metal Gear Solid V. Never has a game given the obsessive pull that I’ve felt since Wrath of the Lich King came out. I’ve put in at least 300 hours over the last 3 months, and I look forward to putting at least another 300 more over the next year of content.

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