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That blog post about games of 2017

2017 has been what I probably would describe as one of the best years for video games in a long time. I’m absolutely astonished about the diversity in types of games as well as the depth that many of these games have had. It sure was a tough year for my wallet though.

My game of the year

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Nier: Automata is a ride that you’ll probably won’t forget if you’re willing to spend the time with it. Easily thrown away because of its doubtful choice of design for the female main character (which in itself is discussed within the game to an extent) it tells a story about what makes us human.

Few games have spoken to me to the degree that Nier: Automata has done in the past few years. Not only did the characters I met and played as make me laugh, but they made me feel and sometimes even cry. In the end, I was left with an ending that without a doubt left me breathless in so many ways.

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Add to that a soundtrack that is just amazingly good and a gameplay system that really made the game a blast to play through, despite the games hefty length.

What probably makes me most excited about the success of Nier: Automata is that it probably will make us see more of Yoko Taro in the future.

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There are a lot of articles all around the internet that discusses this game, but my favourite has to be the Waypoint’s spoiler podcast featuring Austin Walker, Patrick Klepek and Giant Bomb’s Alex Navarro. It’s a great listen, but please play the game. Should be clear without having to be said, but you probably shouldn’t listen to it if you haven’t played the game.

I’m honestly so happy that this game exists and I hope more people experience it even after 2017.

Games that I spent too many hours with

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey both tingle that sense of exploration and the feeling of doing “just one more thing“ so well that they’re both very addicting games. Zelda took a very familiar franchise that has been stumbling on the same old tricks for a long while and made something completely different, while Mario perfected a formula to a degree I didn’t think was possible.

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There’s always something in the corner of your eye while playing these games. They made many long commutes seem like they just passed by in an instant. They also made me realise how much I’ve missed playing Nintendo games which are filled with love and dedication to their characters.

Games I wish I had spent more time with

Considering this year was filled with amazing games, they certainly fought for attention. Deciding on what to play during weekends and evenings away from work always felt overwhelming.

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In the end, I felt like I missed out on finishing Persona 5, Horizon: Zero Dawn and Resident Evil 7. I’m hoping I have the time to finish them during next year since I really enjoy all of the experiences I’ve had with them so far.

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I ended up going back to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn during a month this year as well and I wish I had more time to play it. Square Enix really did a great job on making an MMORPG that works great on my PS4 Pro.

Best game from Japan

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I’m really glad that Yakuza 0 got so much attention this year from most of the video game community. I always enjoyed the Yakuza games since I played the third game in the series when I bought my PlayStation 3, but they always had some problems (first and foremost stories that took a long time to start and loading times from hell). So I was positively surprised when Yakuza 0 started with something that really grabbed me.

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The story of how Kiryu and Majima came to be is interesting and filled with tense moments. The acting goes a long way. And in between the serious parts, there’s a lot of fun to be had of the minor activities. I’m going to be completely honest saying that I really enjoyed the host club mini-game.

With Yakuza 6 just around the corner, completely built for the PlayStation 4, I’m extremely excited to see where this game goes from here on. And not to mention that I still haven’t finished Yakuza: Kiwami. I’m glad seeing that SEGA really seems that there’s potential in this franchise here in the west nowadays.

Biggest disappointment

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I’ve been trying to avoid disappointments. But there’s something about how barebones Gundam Versus is. Hearing that this game would come out in Europe made me really excited as I’ve played earlier entries in the series but always in Japanese. This was the chance of getting a bigger following with an English translation. But here, a few months after release, I feel like the opportunity got lost in the fact that the game didn’t have much of a translation. I really don’t have much more to say - the lacklustre tutorial which didn’t make much sense didn’t make me wanna play the game more. I bet it will come out at times, but at the moment, it’s on the shelf.

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A runner-up might be the ending to Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus which I really just thought was kind of boring in comparison to the rest of the things in that game.

My favourite VR experiences

VR still lives! I’m impressed by the number of games that have been released for PlayStation VR during the year. But there are two experiences that I really enjoyed more than any else.

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First of all - SUPERHOT VR sure makes you feel totally awesome. I’m sad that my room is a bit too small for this game at times, but the feeling of grabbing two guns out of the air, firing them off at two dudes and seeing their bodies just shatter into small pieces is great.

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Second - having a friend over trying VR for the first time and solving puzzles in Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is so cool. We managed to get through a lot of the stuff and I really felt like it’s the best kind of team building game.

Game that had me staying up too late during nights

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DJMax Respect really brought me back to my many days in bed with my PSP playing endless hours of fantastic tracks in so many genres. I feel very relaxed when I get to jam in front of my TV and feel the rhythm spread through my body as I hunt for a better score. Music games will always be something I enjoy and seeing one of my favourites on the big screen is great.

Best comeback

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I love my Nintendo Switch. And I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t have guessed that I would’ve enjoyed it as much as I did during the beginning of the year. I did pre-order it but ditched it at first. After a month or two I decided to jump on and since then I’ve had it with me on countless occasions. What really impresses me is the fact that there’s been more than once that I’ve taken it with me and have shared the joy cons to letting others jump in on the fun. Even better so has been the number of games that have come out to it - not necessarily first party games either - but indie games.

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A good complementary comeback would be Sonic Mania which was a perfect game to bring around and play on my Switch as well. It really brought me back to what I loved about the Sonic games and have missed so much.

2018 is just around the corner and I'm really excited to see what it brings! Thanks for reading this and I hope you're as excited as me to see what the next year brings.

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Games of 2016

I wanted to write something short about the games I've played during 2016, so here it is!

Best single-player

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The Last Guardian was a game I had been waiting for since it was announced. I'll admit, I never played ICO (still have that HD remake to get through) but I absolutely adored Shadow of the Colossus. The art and the gameplay mixed perfectly together in a touching story. The Last Guardian is no exception to this. Never have I ever felt such a connection to a character that's not even played by me. Trico's expressions and animations are really powerful in this story of a boy and his animal friend. While the gameplay can feel frustrating at times, I found myself accepting it more on a basis that Trico isn't human, rather than some mechanics in the game.

I do think this game delivered on the promise and expectations that was set when it was announced. I did however play this game on a PS4 Pro, which apparently has less frame rate issues (if that stands in your way that is) in comparison to the base model.

Best multiplayer

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I'll admit, I'm a complete sucker for FPS games. I like how frantic they can be and how a good match can make you feel like a complete champion. My favourite game this year was without a doubt Titanfall 2.

Titanfall 2 just manages to deliver something that feels snappy. When you're doing good in this game, you feel like you deserved it and earned it. The variety of play styles sure is noticeable as you both can customise your own loadout but also the loadout of your mech. And man, does it feels good to play as the mech.

I'm sad to see that I for some reason seem to be one of a few that picked this game up. Except it's multiplayer, it sports a really good campaign as well with some twists to its gameplay that are really smart.

Best soundtrack

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While I have my grudges with Final Fantasy XV, the soundtrack put together by Yoko Shimomura really stands as a highlight. The sense of exploration and wonder surely shines in the music as you go through the adventure with Noctis and his fellow dudebros. With fanfares ravaging the empty plains while you work your way to your destination, while somber tones of sadness and hope plays in moments of where you awe at the art direction.

Best VR experience

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Honestly, I hadn't touched a VR headset since trying it out at a design expo in Tokyo during my trip there in 2014, but I was already then sold at it. When Sony decided to bring a "slightly" more affordable headset out to the market I decided to get on the train as fast as possible. And you know what? Despite quite few experiences coming out so far that have caught my attention, I don't regret it a single bit. VR surely brings something new to the table. Which is why I was so glad to see that Rez Infinite brings back one of my favourite games in a new dimension. And then were just talking about the base game, while Area X really shows how immersive something that's out of this world can be. As with any VR game, it's hard to explain what's so good until you try it out yourself, but I hope more people can do that soon.

Worst gameplay experience

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I don't feel like writing a really long paragraph about this, but honestly; fuck you Overwatch loot boxes. What have I ever done to deserve to not get rewarded for my honest to god effort of playing good? Give me something god, not only sprays and duplicates that transform into so little credits that it's not even worth anything. I feel like this thing breaks my experience with an otherwise great game so much that I don't feel like coming back to it anymore.

Game I enjoyed watching others play the most

Let's be real, you don't always have time to play all the games yourself which is why it can be nice to just look at somebody else having a go at it. Hitman was definitively a highlight for me, especially the content from this sites staff. Thank you for a wonderful 2016 Giant Bomb!

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E3 2014 Press Conferences: The Best and The Worst

So, the press conferences of E3 2014 concluded after Nintendo having their "Digital Event" today. The show has just started and there's probably a lot more to be covered, but as the press conferences for many functions as the main highlight of the show, it's important to make a good impression on the people watching.

The Best

The focus was mainly on games (almost)

Hey! The new consoles are out for every console manufacturer so now we can focus on the important thing with these amazing machines; the games. Microsoft blazed through their hours with game after game. Ubisoft didn't have too many gimmicks (remember that laser tag thing?).

Sony started really good with game after game being showed off, but fell behind after the first hour of the show. Considering how much the pressure was on their part to actually stand up for the PS4, giving such a long time for a man standing talking about numbers and a "TV-series" that probably won't show up for us Europeans (at least not in Sweden) was crazy.

Indie games are not indie anymore!

Something that we can see on both the Xbox One and the PS4 is that it's becoming clear that indies aren't really indies anymore. The companys don't call it that anymore, and it's obviously beneficial for them to show it off at the big shows. Seeing Hyper Light Drifter, Cuphead, Below, The Witness and Hotline Miami 2 on stage is amazing.

No Man's Sky

Hey, this game just looks freaking fantastic so I thought I would give it is own point. Can't wait to see more of it.

A new Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain trailer!

Maaaaaaaaaan, am I excited for this? Yes, I am! I enjoyed every minute of Ground Zeroes and it really shows how good games Kojima and his team can make. The new theme song makes me so very excited!

Three new FPS games that makes me excited

I won't deny that sometimes, I'm a dudebro. I really like sitting in my couch, blasting guns away at other players over the internet. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, Destiny and Far Cry 4.

Other notable mentions of games that I'm excited for:

The Order: 1886, Grim Fandango, Bloodborne, Sunset Overdrive, Batman: Arkham Knight, Crackdown, Evolve, Tom Clancy's The Division, Shape Up (didn't see that one coming did you) and the new Zelda game for Wii U (no, not Hyrule Warriors).

The worst

EA not bringing much to the table

Hey, seriously EA. I appreciate that you want to make your fans please and all, but showing a lot of short videos where people talk about concepts and gameplay that's in testing doesn't really hold up to the standard that I was looking for. Especially not when you tease the fuck out of a new Mass Effect with such sweet tones.

Vib Ribbon. Oh, did I mention Vib Ribbon?

Seriously, who came up with the grand idea to tease us not just once, but twice about a new Vib Ribbon game when coming up to present more information about Sony's upcoming Youtube support, Playstation Now and Playroom DLC? That person is the biggest dick of the gaming community at the fucking moment.

Re-releasing games already?

Hey, sure, I understand this will be a part of the industry, but re-releasing Halo again on a new console isn't what I would consider a "wise choice" as your console hasn't even begun it's life cycle. But then, I know that the Halo: Master Chief Collection will sell tons and tons of copies. It just makes me a bit sad.

Nintendo needs to stop raising their Smash Brothers content to the top in every fucking digital thing they do

And I guess that title says it all.

The bads of the Sony Press conference

Man, I was so excited about Sony this year you know? Really, like, I was thinking all the time that "WOW SONY IS GOING TO JUST COMPLETELY BLOW US AWAY". And the it happened; A way too long presentation about LittleBigPlanet 3, people talking about EXCLUSIVE CONTENT more tha anything else, boring numbers, some guy talking about POWERS and a announcement about a Ratchet and Clank remake? Did Sony really think that this was the thing we came for?

Sony wanted to move away from their past of the PS3 and focus on the success of the PS4. But by giving room to the things that made me just despise the Sony conferences earlier years space again (in comparison to last year) just makes me unsure about where Sony wants their identity. Better luck next year.

In the end, E3 has just started. I'm currently way to excited about the news of Final Fantasy Type-0 finally finding it's way to the West through an HD release on the PS4. I actually thought that game was lost. It's going to be interesting to see what more this show brings us!

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Today is a day of mourning

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Ryan Davis was a person that affected everyone on this site, and many other sites as well.

I think that most of the people that actually found their way to Giant Bomb did so because of the fantastic personalities it has brought us. Ryan was certainly no exception from this, from the days when Jeff and Ryan talked energy drinks in the beginning of the Bombcast to today, where we recently shared his happiness of getting married.

It's weird how much a person that you knew not at all in your real life can affect you so much in the end. When the news reached me suddenly at work, I was nothing but shocked. The immediate reaction was that I wanted to cry.

Ryan Davis was a man that I won't forget in the first place. He was a man that made the world a better place through his laughs and his actions for us, for his friends and for his family.

There are no words that can describe how thankful I am to have been able to experience the wonderful persona of Ryan.

See you later cowboy.

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Sabering ( made me do this)

Sooo, after that FIERCE Happy Hour that happened a few weeks ago where Will decided to saber a bottle of champagne in the studio (which everyone, including me, thought would go really, really bad) I decided "Duder, I'm so fucking going to do that too".  So I did during this weekend. 
The video is entirely in Swedish, since it wasn't really meant for international viewers (I guess?) but anyway! 

  Dude, I'm a fucking wonderchild. First try!
(Also, I got a beard just like Will to be even cooler!!!)

Carl Sagan and Halo Reach

This video of Halo Reach cutscenes and Carl Sagans soothing voice over it actually made me feel touched. It's such an awesome combo! Can't imagine that they would fit together so well. 
However, don't watch this video if you haven't played the game, since it's spoiling pretty much (spoiling a game with an end that everybody knows from the start lol).