Dang. I thought voting was ending at the end of the day today, not at the start of the day. Tried to slip in my vote last minute but couldn't.
DevourerOfTime's forum posts
Top 7 Games of 2020 Ranked
|. Doom Eternal|
#7 - DOOM Eternal I like DOOM Eternal. I liked it so much that I wanted to play it on my new TV that I was finally able to afford after somehow getting a job mid-pandemic. I liked it so much that I didn't want to have to strain my eyes to watch it on the Playstation tv they showed at E3 2011 that my friend lent me because I mentioned I didn't have a TV of my own for two years and his was just sitting in his closet (Thanks duder, I really appreciate it. I just have to sit 5 inches away when I'm playing FPS's tho). That unfortunately meant that I only got two hours in before I had to return it to the library. Which is why its in my least best spot.
#6 - Helltaker Helltaker is a game that takes a misogynistic, overly played anime trope ("Man goes to fantasy destination and starts a harem with beautiful fantasy girls") and somehow makes something wholesome out of it? For one, all of the demon ladies in the game are overflowing with personality (so much so that you'll be shocked how little dialogue is actually in the game.) and make it known that they have their own agency in all of this (literally every demon girl can and will kill you if you don't answer their questions correctly). Secondly, the ending scene is the best description of a healthy polycule I've seen in video games? It's heartfelt and sweet and it's just a bunch of people (well, err, a human, an angel, and several demons) living in a house together and caring for one another. You know, in their own way... Also, it's nice to see something acknowledge Heroes of Might & Magic 3 as an absolute classic and the pinnacles of strategy games.
|. Monster Hunter: World|
#5 - Monster Hunter: World - Iceborne Is Iceborne a different game? Every other generation of Monster Hunter would have released the "G rank" as an "Ultimate" version of the game. Iceborne is sold as both an expansion and as a full package with the base game (arguably something the series should have been doing all along, but I understand the limitations on previous portable consoles made that... difficult). But, ultimately (HA!), does it matter? It's my list and the new snow location is a blast. It's more Monster Hunter World and that game fucking rules. How could it not make my list?
|. Granblue Fantasy: Versus|
#4 - Granblue Fantasy: Versus Granblue Fantasy: Versus is in contention to be my favourite fighting game this generation. Theoretically. Because I haven't actually *played* this. GB:VS launched and, by the time I was able to get a copy from the library, the pandemic hit. So I've never actually got to rush down people with my small potato where it matters: shoulder to shoulder at a local meetup, a tournament, or someone's basement for 5 hours straight. I mean, the online was... okay... when people were actually playing it.... and you could find someone who wasn't a wifi wimp. Plus, I'm not exactly convinced that the newly announced Battle Pass is going to reinvigorate the community the same way that, say, rollback netcode would (note: go play Guilty Gear +r) . That being said the fundamentals of this game are nearly perfected despite being shockingly simple for an arcsys game. It's closer to a Street Fighter than a Blazblue or Dragon Ball FighterZ. It is simply a joy to play. What's more is that it single handedly proved to me that tying special moves to cooldowns in fighting games can be used in a way that both make the game accessible (by using single button inputs for them like Rising Thunder) and adding depth not only to the input (weirdly by finding the same solution as Smash Ultimate: doing the input properly will produce a stronger version of the move while the single input allows you to do combos not possible otherwise (like using a charge move instantly)), but the implementation of the cooldowns themselves (do I use an EX version of this attack right now to push more damager or get myself out of a situation and lock myself out of this attack entirely for several seconds? Or do I risk just using the normal version now to use the normal version again to apply more pressure later?). This makes every situation in the game mean that to have a set gameplan, you have to hold yourself back. If you lose your ability to do your powerful combo ender or your DP by using it in a combo, you naturally need another way to finish that combo or another out if you get caught in an unfavourable situation. So not only are you looking to find the optimal combo for a situation and executing it, you're finding an optimal combo with the moves you have available to you. I find this so much more interesting to put into practice vs just metre management. It becomes less about comparing the marginal benefits of combo path a vs combo path b when you have 2 bars and becomes "well what can I do when I have my fireball, but not anything else? What if I have my fireball, but I know my tatsu is about to comeback mid-combo?" This change alone makes putting the time into training mode not become a slog of numbers and covering edgecases that most combo experimentation has become today for me, but fitting puzzle pieces together to find a solution that gets you the best outcome, both going forward in the match and for damage. Granblue Vs is a game that both pleases my game designer brain and lizard brain by playing it. I really wish I got a chance to *actually* play it this year.
|. Animal Crossing: New Horizons|
#3 - Animal Crossing: New Horizons If you would have told me at the start of the pandemic this wasn't going to be game of the year, I would have called you a fool. "It's perfect!" I thought, naïvely. And it's not like I didn't have precedence for Animal Crossing being a perfect escape. 2013 might still be the darkest year of my life (yes, maybe even darker than 2020) and Animal Crossing: New Leaf, in some ways, saved me from it. I played that game every day without fail for a large chunk of that year, stopping only when I felt like I was ready to rejoin society. But what I failed to understand is how much different it is to be in the deepest depression of your life, trying anything to avoid the world around you, and being in a bunker, wanting desperately to rejoin society, but being unable to do so without significant personal risk (especially considering my partner is immunocompromised). In 2020, Animal Crossing wasn't an escape to a world that was better than the one I was in like in 2013, Animal Crossing was a constant reminder of what I was missing out on. Friends, family, being able to walk into a store and get something you need. The small things in life. Hell, even just getting the swimming update filled me with the strongest desire to go swimming I've ever felt in my entire life. And when I was 11 in Disney World I wasn't able to go to the water parks that my parents promised me we could go to because it was """too cold""". Anyway, I'm not trying to say Animal Crossing: New Horizons isn't a great game. It's probably the best game in the series. It's just not the right game for me this year. I needed escapism, not constant reminders of the things I can't do.
#2 - Hades Hades will probably take the top spot barring some sort of storytelling shenanigans or awful last act game balance spike, both of which would be uncharacteristic of Supergiant. I just haven't beaten it yet so I don't feel comfortable putting it at the top spot. Hell, if this was a normal list in a normal year, I wouldn't even put it on the list yet. But considering the only game on this list I've "finished" is Helltaker, putting it on this list feels natural.
|. Spelunky 2|
#1 - Spelunky 2 Just last night I reached the "final boss" of a normal Spelunky 2 run for the first time. I died, naturally, having expended all my resources and desperately flailing at the boss with my whip, under so much pressure, and not knowing their patterns, attacks, etc. This might sound like I'm bad at Spelunky (I am) and inexperienced that I'm only not getting to the final boss, but I've been playing the game since release almost daily. This is a feat I wouldn't compare to getting to Olmec in Spelunky 1, but getting all the way through Hell. Spelunky 2 pulls no punches and, even if I am nowhere near ready to start working on (or even spoiling myself of what the mechanics are of) "the Quest" and what lies behind it, it is still out to kick my ass and send me back to 1-1. No shit, right? This is Spelunky we're talking about. It'll do that. But I feel like, this time around, I'm at peace with that a lot more. I feel like Spelunky 2 is an evolution of the original that lost nothing along the way. While the original I've had numerous problems with and been very vocal about through the years (why are the ice caves so much easier than the jungle?! Why?!), I'm hard pressed to find a part of the game I dislike... or at least disagree with from a design perspective. Like Hades, I don't know where this well cement itself in my list once my time with it is over, but I think I'm ready to call Spelunky 2 the word so many used for the original: perfect.
Delete Request for Krem Test concept page.
Reason: Was made earlier today and refined collaboratively on twitter throughout today. The creator of the test requested it be deleted after becoming unhappy with it. I defer to her request.
Ys VIII made it on the list obviously considering I used your list. Actually... why don't I just post the rest of the results. I was going to make a thing out of the runners-up, but the idea of what has changed pretty significantly over time, so I guess there is no harm in posting more than the 40 runner's up here.
These are all the games that got 4 or more points. Reminder that most of these are ties. but I didn't actually go through them all and mark them. They should be pretty obvious though.
@pessh: I... I think Jan has her beat...
In 2014, XSEED began localizing entries in the Bokujō Monogatari series rebranded under the Story of Seasons name. Until this point, the games in the series had been named Harvest Moon in the west, but that name belonged to the original localizer: Natsume Inc. Natsume, having one of their biggest money-makers taken from them, began making new games under the Harvest Moon name with developers like Tabot.
Since then, the Story of Season and Harvest Moon series have, essentially, been competitors for the same "cutesy farming game" market, but are considered in the same franchise on the wiki. Understandably it's a confusing topic, as you have 90% of the games named "Harvest Moon" in the west not actually be within the "Harvest Moon Franchise" as it exists now (as they were originally Bokujō Monogatari games just like Story of Seasons games are), but I don't think the current solution is correct.
Personally I feel the Wiki, as a place to both catalogue and provide information on video games and their histories, should show the reality of the situation instead of erring on an easier solution. I propose we split the two franchises into what they are called currently: A "Story of Seasons" franchise page containing every "Bokujō Monogatari" game and a "Harvest Moon" page containing all the western developed games under that name by Natsume, each with their own retelling of this weird history. I would do this myself, but I feel like I should ask the mods and greater giant bomb community before upending the entire work of the current Harvest Moon (Franchise) wiki page.
So: should the Harvest Moon (Franchise) page be split in two franchise pages.
The thing is that, there's the crash, but nothing before the crash really holds up that well, so it's hard to say that, from a purely modern player perspective, that it was a dark age. It's just that video games were a burgeoning art form that needed to find its legs.
So if we take a purely post-NES launch perspective... it's really hard to point out a like dark age...
Like I at first want to jump to like the PS1 era. It's a system that, beyond a few genres like 2d platformers and RPGs, does not hold up well at all. And, at the same time the N64 has some classics on it, but they were super few and far between. Game Boy was really showing it's age and there were so, so many flops, like the Saturn, the PC-FX, the 3D0, the Jaguar, the Nomad, the Virtual Boy, the Pippin, etc.
But, even until 1996 there were just some true classics coming out of the SNES. The Game Boy saw a revitalization with Pokemon and, eventually the Color gave the system a last gasp at life. The N64, again, was dripping out games, but there are a ton of classics on the system. And even though 99% of the PS1's 2413 library is very of it's time, there are still fantastic games on the system that hold up. Hell, even the Saturn was a fantastic little system with it's own niche, reminiscent of the Wii U today.
But the biggest reason to dismiss that time was the PC, which would see it's biggest boom during this time until after the later PC crash until the mid-late 2000's. You had Warcraft II, Diablo, Starcraft, Grim Fandango, By the time the millennium rolled over, we were getting the last great games on the Game Boy, PS1, and N64 and then the Dreamcast just hit the ground running.
And let's not forget about the arcades. They would see a similar fate to the PC, dying by the early 2000's (yet never quite resurrected), but it was the last golden era of PC games with a ton of stellar fighting games, puzzle games, and, of course, Dance Dance Revolution.
My second gut reaction is the early Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii. The Wii launched with a mediocre zelda game and Wii Sports, but severely lacked software for a long time. The PS3's lineup was a joke for at least the first three years of it's release. And Xbox Live Arcade had not really hit it's stride yet, leaving Xbox 360 owners with a mediocre initial retail lineup lead by games that haven't exactly held up.
But portable games are what save that time period. PSP was becoming a system with a healthy number of must-have games and the DS... oh man, the DS. The DS was red hot following the 2005 holiday season, producing what I would argue is the finest library of any console to date, home or handheld. Just nonstop great titles hitting the system until it petered out in 2011.
The PC didn't have a breadth of quality, but a single genre seemed to keep it as a staple for games: the MMO. What I would consider the golden age of the genre gave us a ton of diversity in the genre and its biggest players, like Final Fantasy XI, and, especially, World of Warcraft, seeing their best years.
But the home console that picked up the slack when the HD era was finding its groove was the PS2. Some of the best games to come out on the platform came out well after the 360, like both Persona games, Okami, God Hand, Final Fantasy XII, Guitar Hero 1-3, Odin Sphere, and the Yaukuza games. By the time Persona 4 sang the PS2's swan song, the HD era was on it's feet and dishing out great games on all fronts.
The only other time in games I can think of is maybe the start of this generation? But the Wii U was fantastic after it's first year, the 3DS was amazing, the Vita had a lot of great titles, and the PC was putting everything else to shame, so it's hard to justify saying it.
tl;dr: there wasn't one, as long as you paid attention to all sides of gaming.