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Game of the Year 2021

Another year is on the outs. I'm thankful for my friends, my family, and a steady stream of good video games for getting me through once more.

I enjoyed these games too, but don't feel like writing about them at length!

  • Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game Complete Edition
  • Pac-Man 99
  • Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139...
  • Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection
  • Melty Blood: Type Lumina
  • Boomerang X
  • Mighty Goose
  • Unsighted
  • Halo Infinite
  • Kaze and the Wild Masks
  • Cruis’n Blast

Games of not this year

  • Quake
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection

List items

  • Metroid Dread

    MercurySteam and Nintendo have enhanced their free aiming 2D formula in the first new "mainline" metroid since 2002's Metroid Fusion. The gameplay is fast and smooth while the graphics impress on all levels: design, animation, and technical fidelity. As a bonus Nintendo has managed to push a greater emphasis on the game's story without going off the deep end like they did in Other M. Minor complaints like segments where you're locked into sub-regions of the map and some non-ideal control bindings don't stop this from being my game of the year.

  • Streets of Rage 4 Mr. X Nightmare

    How do you improve on 2020s greatest beat-em-up and game of the year? The answer is apparently an endless arena mode with some roguelike elements. Additional characters and new moves for the existing cast are also welcome addition. Perhaps the greatest part of all is the new tracks from Sonic Mania superstar Tee Lopes.

  • Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis

    For some reason New Genesis made the splash with me the base game of PSO2 didn't. The movement is probably what stuck it. Characters run like they're Sonic, jump super high, and glide like Knuckles. This is on top of the new Breadth/Genshin-ish open world and the standard PSO combat and aesthetics. The story is paper thin and the f2p mechanics are a pain in the ass, but the core gameplay still roped me into hundreds of hours of this sucker.

  • Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth

    Ladybug has a killer record of stuffing other people's licenses into their pixely metroidvania worlds and this year is no exception. Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth adds onto the classic Symphony of the Night formula with long range arrow combat and an ikaruga like color system.

  • Hot Wheels Unleashed

    The licensed game hits continue with this racing title. Hot Wheels pairs excellent drift based arcade racing with lovingly rendered toy cars powered by the unreal engine. I wish the music was better, and they could have done with a lot less loot box crap, but this is one of my favorites nonetheless.