GOTY 2019

A list of every 2019 game I played in 2019, ranked in preferential order.

List items

  • Switch (docked)

    This was my video game junk food of 2019. A game to just let yourself sink into and mash away at enemies. The roster is solidly diverse and the gameplay loop is fun. Using your superpowers to go through hordes of enemies has not grown old in the 80+ hours I spent with the game in 2019. There is a ton of content here, so much so that I still haven't completed all the missions and I am still about 60+ levels away from the level cap on my strongest character. I have been playing it almost exclusively in local coop with my brother and it has been a lot of fun to continuously revisit it since it first released.

  • Switch (docked & handheld)

    I love a good horror aesthetic but I also love me some action. Overwhelm does a beautiful job of making an incredible horror experience with a minimalist pixel art style where the screen gets progressively darker and less visible every time you lose a life. A full run is pretty dang short and while the difficulty quickly ramps up as you reach the end of a run the game is pretty forgiving of the occasional dumb mistake. The coop mode is absolutely beautiful and I had a blast playing it both alone and with my brother.

  • Switch (docked)

    Contra of the Colossus. That is every bit as awesome as it sounds. Fight giant mech bosses by climbing up them. No other fluff gameplay in-between, just all bosses, all the time. Played through the whole thing in co-op and loved every minute. Some levels a bit more challenging than others but it never gets frustratingly hard nor does it ever feel unfair.

  • Switch (docked & handheld)

    An adorable and very short metroidvania. I absolutely loved the level designs and gameplay variety and was bummed when I reached the end. I am not a cat person but the smol pixelated Kiki the cat and the hilarious story provided one of my favorite experiences of this year.

  • Switch (handheld)

    Really fun platformer that scratched the right itch at the right time for me. You play as a RIFT agent (basically the space FBI) and levels play out but jumping/avoiding falls, using your gravity beam grappling hook, and fighting enemies with your hands and feet. A straightforward level selecter allows you to play through three worlds in any order you want. There is a light investigation story that takes place in the hub world where you select your levels. I found the story charming and entertaining, and the dialogue paths are by and large optional and never overstay their welcome. The collectibles are never too hard to find and the platforming likewise strikes a good balance where it never feels impossible nor does it feel brainless.

  • Switch (handheld)

    I was incredibly surprised by how story focused this was. I came looking for side scrolling Hotline Miami but the story ended up elevating Katana Zero above and beyond Hotline. Stylish as hell with a killer soundtrack to boot.

  • Switch (handheld and docked)

    A bullet hell arena shooter where you play as a demon killing other demons in short levels that can all be finished without ever firing a single shot. If you do want to fight back a bit more aggressively there are a slew of upgrades to purchase and an endless survival mode if you want to go for a high score, which I did engage in. The controls are tight and the simple art style and soundtrack are wonderful.

  • Xbox One X

    I am a huge fan of action Resident Evil (RE4-6) and was incredibly disappointed with the direction of RE7. RE2 feels like a compromise to satisfy everyone. I appreciated the familiar camera and controls, and the small environments that you get to know quite well as you repeatedly explore them, and how zombies who died would stay dead and those who didn't would stay alive until you dealt with them. Would I have preferred an actual, action-heavy followup to RE6? Absolutely. But this was nice too. Also, Claire's campaign > Leon's campaign.

  • iPhone SE

    I am not entirely sure how to describe this game. I guess it is a platformer, although not in the traditional sense. You play as an eyeball and navigate around enviornments, defeating enemies and battle bosses. The art is absolutely beautiful and the soundtrack is solid too. I'm not usually a fan of touch controls but this one feels fine. Simple to play and provides just the right amount of challenge.

  • Switch (docked and handheld)

    It has a simple art style that complements its simple gameplay. I absolutely loved the first game and actually felt it was a stronger game than the second, which added a lot more elements that didn't all end up landing. The different playable characters is a nice touch and encouraged me to run through these short games multiple times to get a different challenge.

  • Switch (docked and tabletop)

    Found this surprisingly enjoyable. Like DDR with your arms.

  • Switch (docked and handheld)

    I really liked Hotline Miami and I love me some jazz so this one should have been a match made in heaven. Unfortunately there is very little variety in combat which I found to be incredibly disappointing. I know that the point is not to fight but to dash for the exit but at least let me throw some of the desks and chairs and other things in these places. Anyway, the game is really short though and there is fun to be had with the short play time.

  • Switch (docked and handheld)

    This game looked adorable which is why I picked it up and while I played it through to completion I was a little disappointed it didn't do more with its potential. The game is incredibly simple to play and the design of everything and everyone is absolutely charming. That said, the story is barely there and doesn't really have anything profound to say. On top of that the drags on in spots despite being incredibly short. The game is carried by its humor and it does that piece very well.

  • Switch (docked)

    I had heard good things about this game last year and decided to pick it up when it released physically this year. It isn't as deep as I had hoped it would be which was disappointing but it is fun for what it is.

  • Switch (docked and handheld)

    Was fun and made me feel clever right up until it became frustrating and made me feel dumb.

  • Switch (docked)

    I have never played any games in the franchise but I heard good things. This one had coop too so it seemed like it would be a good time. The gameplay itself was braindead simple and it levels themselves felt pretty uninspired so my brother and I ended up just sort of never finishing it. I wouldn't mind trying it again at some point.

  • Switch (docked)

    I am a sucker for licensed games if it is a property I enjoy but this one didn't end up scratching that itch in the way I would have liked. Not terrible, but also not very good either. Played through a chunk of it in coop with my brother until we got bored and moved on.

  • Switch (docked and portable)

    I love love love 2D Mario. That said, I was throughly unimpressed with Super Mario Maker 2. I played the first one so the novelty of making my own levels has worn off by now and all I am left with are the mediocre unbalanced levels people make. I made some stages and had fun doing it but overall this one is a big meh from me. If anything it made me miss playing LittleBigPlanet 1 and 2 where you would group up with other random people and chat and mess around in goofy, often terrible levels. Nintendo needs to figure out a way to add that same kind of social element to these Mario Maker games.

  • Switch (docked)

    The graphics were gross and the controls were clunky so I quickly put this down. I honestly just wasn't in the right state of mind for it when I played it. I will probably come back to it at some point.

  • Switch (docked)

    I am always down for some local coop goodness, and on paper this seemed awesome. A 2D side scroller platform/shooter with several playable characters, what's not to love? Well, a lot, it turns out. The gameplay itself is bland and mediocre but the graphics are also aggressively ugly and the path to completing a level is not always intuitive. My brother and I spent a while wandering a few levels before figuring out what the fuck we needed to do to get to the end and eventually we just shelved it and didn't bother finishing it.

  • Switch (docked)

    This one looked so neat. That said I just did not like the way the game played at all. Everything from the physics to the controls actively gave me a headache and so I quickly put this one down.

  • Xbox One X

    I have gamepass so I figured I might as well download it. I spent like an hour creating my character and by the time all that was done I realized I wasn't really interested in starting a big time commitment with this game so I put it aside for the time being. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this game so I will be sure to jump back into it at some point in the future.