Game of the Year 2019
As I write this it is December 31st at around 5:30 PM, and as I look out of my window I can see the first wave of fireworks lighting up the sky over Copenhagen. It's time to look back for a bit, and reflect over the year 2019. A year that a lot of people were disappointed about, when the early game of the year talks started. Some people felt there had not been a lot of games released. I couldn't understand what they were talking about. Yes, 2019 did slow down after two crazy years, but it's nowhere near the worst year in games. Remember 2014!?
To me 2019 was extremely solid. Sure it was a very empty summer between Crash Team Racing and Gears 5, but I think people forget how packed the Spring was. Summer was a perfect time to catch up on all the good games. Unlike 2014 I had no problem coming up with 10 games, and I want to mention some of the games that didn't make it on my list.
If you owned a Switch, 2019 was yet another great year. Nintendo's hybrid console, who also recieved a purely handheld brother this year, saw great releases both from Nintendo and third parties. Ring Fit Adventure, Yoshi's Crafted Adventure and Pokémon Sword/Shield are fine additions to the console's already impressive library. At the same time we got great ports of The Witcher III and Alien Isolation, showing that if you know how to work with it, the Switch is capable of great things.
Besides that we saw games like Kingdom Hearts III, Shenmue 3 and Crackdown 3. All games we had heard about for a long time that finally saw the light of day in 2019. Now to be fair, I had pretty much forgotten that Crackdown 3 came out this year. That game was unfortunately very disappoiting, and the original Crackdown remains the best in the series. Shenmue 3 turned out to be a game released in 2019, but played like a game from 2000. Which is great if you love Shenmue I guess. Kingdom Hearts III seemed to do the job it was meant to do.
There were pleasant surprises like Tetris 99 and Man of Medan. Fun online shooters like The Division 2 and World War Z. Halo Reach made it's way to the Halo Master Chief Collection, and Microsoft decied maybe it was time to buy a bunch of game studios. 2K blew our minds, with how low you can set the bar for a game being deemed ready for release with the extremely buggy WWE 2K20.
There was a lot more to 2019 than these little tidbids, but the we also keep thinking about what's next. As we are about to enter 2020, there were two key piece of news in 2019 that makes us all excited for next year. PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will be with out in the wild by this time next year. There's always something special about console launch years. The future is about to be revealed, and we will get an idea about where the next 5-7 years of gaming will go. I am very optimistic even if this current console generation had been a bit different. I own both a PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, and those consoles have made the end of the generation feel less technologically strangled. Remember how Xbox 360 and PS3 games could barely run by the end of that generation? Sure that seems to be the case on base consoles, (Control, anyone?) but if you have upgraded you might not be as desperate to see the new consoles just yet. That's why it's great to know we'll be treated well before PS5 and Series X arrive. 2020 has a lot of great titles coming up. The Last of Us Part II! Animal Crossing! Cyberpunk 2077! Resident Evil 3 Remake! The future looks bright. Both the immediate and the more distant future. At least in the world of gaming.
All I have left is to say goodbye 2019. Hopefully history will be more kind to you than some experts has been at some points. You were not a bad year for gaming, and there was something for everyone. I had great experiences but I am also very intrigued by what 2020 has in store.