2018 Games Of The Yeeeeezus

Poopy-di scoop:

10) WarioWare Gold is the "best of" version of this series I've been hankerin' for. There's just endless fun and joy in this package. My only wish is that there was a Switch version. Someday, Dr. Crygor.

9) Donut County is the first game my 3yo son beat before me. He picked up the ipad, stole my saved game, and went to town. And he can't read, so he missed the best part of the game, the Trashipedia. He did catch the second best part, though, Quack Anthem.

8) Yoku's Island Express is the pinball/Metroidvania mashup I never knew I wanted. Don't make people watch you play, this, though, it's maddening when you can't hit the shot exactly right and you try 1000x and they lose their minds.

7) Overload is a beautiful rebirth of Descent, one of the reasons i was hashtag pcmr in my teenage years. Oh, if 14-year-old me could have seen it in 4k. I'm so happy I got to Descent again.

6) God of War is the fatherhood tale that showed up during a critical time in my own fathering of my aforementioned son. It's amazing for all the reasons you've heard, and also, because it helped me realize that sometimes I sound like Christopher Judge to my kids and that it's probably a little much.

5) Dead Cells was on my list last year but it was in early access. I think I enjoyed the game more then, but I played it more after it went 1.0 because it was on the Switch. I could take it anywhere. And I did. And that made me get frustrated and give up on it much more quickly when I realized, I love this, I love the loop and the minute-to-minute action so much, but I'm never gonna want to sink enough time into it to finish it. I loved it while it had me in its grip.

Side note, ATM, Hades is shaping up to dethrone Dead Cells' place in my heart.

4) Marvel's Spider-Man was really hard to put down after I finally got the hang of the combat. I was really unhappy with it for the first few hours. I was kind of bored with it in the last few hours as well as I strove to eliminate every task icon off the map. The middle 20-25 hours were darn fun. It gave my son a nice playground with which he can take his slowly growing Spider Man fandom for a spin, to boot.

3) Tetris Effect is, on paper, the culmination of many personal gaming storylines. I fell in love with Tetris in 1989 when I opened up my Game Boy on Christmas morning. I've kept up my skills and feel halfway decent at it. I also picked up a PSVR this year and I enjoy the work of Tetsuya Mizuguchi. And so Tetris Effect did really satisfy, but I was soured initially with technical issues in the VR version. Despite that, I still envision myself taking it out for many regular spins (heh).

2) Hitman 2 is so good for the same reasons that Hitman is. The simultaneous super-serious storyline and delightfully wacky scenarios and objectives are chocolate and peanut butter. I can't wait for tons more content in this engine and in these maps. And I still have a few dozen hours left to play around in Miami and the suburbs, racking up more objectives.

This year I realized my benchmark for a longtime favorite games: how many times will I say "OMG, this game!!!" out loud while playing it? The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild had a whole lot of 'em. So did Half-Life 2 and Super Mario Galaxy. Hitman 2 had probably 2 or 3 of them, a pretty decent showing. And that's when I knew...

1) Astro Bot Rescue Mission gets first place on my list because it had more "OMG this game!!!" moments for me than any other this year. I wouldn't be surprised if ASOBI Team had poached talent from Nintendo EAD. ABRM is as polished as any 3D Mario title from the past 20 years, as innovative, creative, and delightful. Nintendo's gotta be kicking themselves for letting Sony put out the best Mario game since Super Mario Galaxy. I can't wait to replay this game a bunch of times, and eventually let my kids at it and watch their faces light up (literally and figuratively) in the same way mine did the entire time I was in the world. Bring on a sequel.

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I was most disappointed in Sea of Thieves, it had so much promise and delivered on almost none of it. The sailing was outstanding. Everything else was empty and meaningless. I didn't want a multiplayer game, but I bought it thinking, maybe they'll add compelling single-player story content. They didn't, and I'm sad.

I gave Return of the Obra Dinn a few good swings but I just couldn't get into it. The graphical style grated on me a bit too much and every aspect of it felt laborious, and while I'm sure there are folks to whom that will appeal, it ain't me.

I enjoyed Celeste and Moss, they almost made the list, but I haven't finished either as of this writing. If Astro Bot is Mario in VR, Moss is Zelda. I'm really, really glad I got a PSVR. I thought it might be a bust but I've had a ton of fun with it.

I loved the Shadow of the Colossus remaster, it was my first time through it, and it bowled me over.

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