GOTY 2020

Found at least 10 games released this year that I actually played.

List items

  • Yes we can argue about collect-a-thons and some 3D platforming mechanics and anachronisms and how the Japanese discovered their cool looking but terrible swords couldn't cut through boiled leather during the real First Mongol Invasion but fuck it, this is one of the few games where I felt like a protagonist struggling to learn how to be a hero capable of more than just honorable samurai shit. The art design alone makes this game worth a purchase, and I've wasted quite a bit of time just setting up a few scenes here and there in the Photo Mode. The gameplay seamlessly blends in a mix of stealth action that I haven't seen since the Tenchu series but with some cool swordfighting action so that even if you do get spotted (or just want to rush in and attack the direct way) the game doesn't make you feel like it's a bad decision, unlike lots of other stealth-action games where you lose points or even your life for going in guns blazing (or swords swinging in this case).

    And hey, if Sucker Punch wants to make a sequel, there was a Second Mongol Invasion that got smashed by a typhoon. Plenty of time to do a "what if" scenario there too.

  • Who would've expected a game born from an April Fools Day joke from Ryu ga Gotoku Studio would be one of the best games of the year? Yakuza 7 has the mix of serious drama and incredibly dumb humor you love from the series, but this one focuses on a brand new cast of characters and a brand new himbo protagonist with a weird hairdo in Ichiban Kasuga. One moment, you'll be trying to investigate a fascist group connected to the [not]LDP that's running a candidate in Yokohama, then the next you'll be trying to help a guy named Mr. Masochist rediscover his passion. The JRPG-style combat takes some getting used to, and the weird sexist treatment the female characters get throughout most of the series is still prevalent here outside of Seong-hui (the only Jobs available to the ladies in your party are "service" jobs of various types). But if you love the Yakuza series, you'll love this game.

  • Ah this brings me back to younger days when skateboarding exploded in popularity, especially with a soundtrack that ensures you can't stream it on Twitch or Youtube without it getting taken down.

  • Technically this didn't have a global release until 2020 so I'm counting it here. Chinese-made tower defense gacha game with a bunch of cartoon waifus/huzbandos acting as the "towers." A surprisingly serious story keeps me interested in this world where nearly everyone has been infected with some kind of magical rock cancer. The grinding for rarer units can be annoying, but even with 3-4* units you can have plenty of fun.

  • You want more Persona? You got more Persona. An extra 20 hours worth of it just to appease the fans who wanted confirmation that Crow is (probably) alive. Not a fan of how they retconned the True Ending from the original Persona 5, and the gameplay feels a lot easier now with the extra battle mechanics they added in. Having said that, the game is very fun. You can swing through areas in the Metaverse with a grappling hook, play darts and billiards with your friends, fight with 1.5 more party members on your side, or even just chill in a new Thieves Den where you can watch music videos or play rounds of Tycoon against other party members. Fun stuff.

  • It's a free short puzzle game with fun drawings. Not much here but what there is does everything it needs to do perfectly.

  • I fucking love Granblue Fantasy, and I love fighting games, but the large amount of money you have to pay for DLC characters on top of the base game makes it hard to convince new people to play. Having said that, if you want a fighting game that's easy to learn or play with people who don't normally go for fighting games, the one-button special attacks are a nice touch that put more emphasis on spacing and pokes than memorizing combo strings so that you die the minute a skilled player gets in a solid hit and combos you for 20 seconds straight like in DBFZ (no I'm not bitter why do you ask).

  • Fun little multiplayer platforming game. Not much else to say about it here.

  • Rip-off of Zelda Breath of the Wild with exploitative gacha mechanics? Yes. But still a fun game where you can just chill and watch the scenery in between battles where you can combo different elements to gain advantages over various enemies.

  • The opposite of my feelings on Lawbreakers, where I love the aesthetics but I'm not yet completely sold on the gameplay. Having Run the Jewels play in the background is an unexpected treat. Not a fan of the part where at least one person quits or disconnects early on in a 4v4 game and then the team with one player short usually loses. Also not sure I feel like adding yet another item to my daily gaming grind just to unlock more characters without paying extra for them.