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MajorMitch

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MajorMitch • 

@slag: Interesting, I wasn't aware of the lineage of people working on the game. Either way, the way SR has its distinct sections that don't double back is less interesting to me. I'm in either area 3 or 4 (don't remember), and have never gone back to an area after I left it. Then within each area I feel like the path is laid out pretty directly in front of you. That means it doesn't feel like I'm exploring, but rather going through a straight-shot gauntlet, which feels more like a linear action game- not a bad idea, but that's not what I like about Metroid (I'm also not yet convinced it does the pure action thing super well either). What I like about past Metroid games is the web-like nature of their worlds, and how it all constantly wraps back in on itself. That made me connect with the worlds in a way I don't here.

As for the dousing, that also ties into world design. You use that to locate items, where in games with more intricate worlds it was paying attention to the world design that led to items. So the dousing seems like another piece that serves to funnel you through without engaging with the world.

Anyway, I also didn't like the original Metroid II as much, for similar reasons (plus some other technical stuff). It's one of my least favorite Metroids too. So there probably is a source material issue here for me. Then again, the story of this game is literally about Samus hunting Metroids, so in a way it makes perfect sense that it would be more linear and combat focused. Totally fine, just makes it not as much for me. I think AM2R did a great job at recreating that same general world and story, while also re-interpreting it and fleshing it out into a slightly more open, Super Metroid-style world. (It was also paced a lot tighter and shorter, SR seemed stretched out a lot, almost unnecessarily so.)

Apologies on the Metroid wall-o-text ;)

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MajorMitch

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@fakekisser: Haha, we can form our own anti-PUBG club!! But no, I think PUBG is really cool, just not going to be for everyone such as us. It is kind of insane how widely it caught on though, for me I'm just not into pure multiplayer games nearly enough to invest. Not worried about feeling left out though, we can form our own paths here! :D

@slag: It's interesting, to me Samus Returns barely feels like a Metroid game. I don't think it's bad, but it's different in a way that's not grabbed me as much. I think it has a lot to do with the world design, which I don't think is as strong. If I hadn't played AM2R last year I might actually have a more favorable view of Samus Returns, but when I compare the 2, it's very clear that one of them grabbed me a whole lot more. That makes it hard to not be disappointed with the other.

I think Edith Finch is a great game in that genre (with a few kinks), and I also think I'm less into those in general- sounds like you and I are on a similar page there. I also think I hold those kinds of games to higher standards over time. If all it does is tell another good story (which Edith Finch certainly does), that's not quite enough for me these days, unless it's like the best story I've ever heard (which it's not). I put Gone Home on my list the year it came out, and I'd still probably call it my favorite such game due to how meaningful the interactions were to me. Edith Finch comes close in some ways, but not quite enough in 2017. Still, definitely a good game worth playing! :)

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MajorMitch

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Cool list Slag! I'll be really curious how you feel on some of these games after you finish them, particularly those bottom 2 of Horizon and Nier. Especially if you do everything in them, they can be big games to 100%.

I really want to play at least one of the Divinity Original Sin games, but have just not found the time. I kept swearing I'd play the first from 2014, but other games kept grabbing my attention, and here I am now in the same boat with its sequel. If I do manage to find the time, which would you suggest playing? (Because playing both is almost certainly a pipe dream at this point.)

I'm still in the middle of Samus Returns, but I've struggled getting into that one so far. Hoping it turns around for me. Fire Emblem and Uncharted are also games I've considered playing, but maybe I'm a little burnt out on those franchises at this point, as I've struggled to muster up the enthusiasm to start them. Glad they hit the right notes for you, especially Fire Emblem, which is a franchise I really like. Might have to get around to that sometime.

You know, I thought you'd like this Zelda given your love of Dragon's Dogma :) Not only the climbing, but also the feeling of just going on an expedition when you set out across the world. Totally agree on that trailer too, it's wonderful.

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Edited By MajorMitch • 

@slag: Creating a list of my favorite years could be fun to figure out! I have a rough idea how it *might* go, but sitting down and actually inspecting it closely might be a worthwhile effort and help sort out how I feel, and see where my biases are like you say. Hmmm, perhaps a project for this year ;)

Ha, 2008 is a fun one, and this is probably where things get very subjective. I think that year had a lot of great variety, and a lot of games that really clicked with me. And I say this as someone who has never liked MGS or GTA- I didn't play either MGS4 and GTA4, probably the 2 biggest games that year. But I did play and really like all the following, in no particular order past the first 4 which are really big all-time favs:

  • Burnout Paradise (my favorite driving game ever, love this thing so much)
  • Dead Space (a very close second favorite 3rd person shooter behind RE4)
  • TWEWY (probably my favorite post-PS1 era JRPG)
  • Persona 4 (I didn't play it until Golden, but loved it, and probably count the original here. I also played the FES version of P3, which came out in 2008... count that for what you will)
  • BK Nuts and Bolts (so much fun)
  • Braid (one of the first indie games I fell in love with, and still one of the best)
  • Fallout 3
  • Gears of War 2 (first one with horde mode, which I got really into)
  • Ninja Gaiden II (not as good as the first, an all-time fav, but I still really liked it)
  • No More Heroes
  • Prince of Persia (the re-reboot, which I think I liked more than most)
  • the first Professor Layton (I really loved this thing)
  • World of Goo (this too!)
  • Sins of a Solar Empire (really great overlooked strategy game)
  • Valkyria Chronicles (another great one that was overlooked at the time)
  • Top Spin 3 (a game I played way too much and liked a lot as a tennis nerd)
  • Smash Bros Brawl

Those 17 are all games I really liked. I bolded what would probably be my picks if I had to make a top 10 right now. I also think there was a lot of variety in these games, and I remember feeling like it was one of the first years with that kind of variety. Before 2008 I felt like a lot of the big games where in kind of established genres or franchises. I think this was the year I thought stuff started branching out a lot more. I also know a lot of those are very personal picks, but I'd honestly take most of them over a lot of 2017 games. (Also, you mention Portal but I think that was 2007- amazing game though!)

Anyway, you're totally right that it's all subjective, and I think regarding some of these years like 2008 and 2017 my tastes are maybe a little different from the mainstream. It is a fun mental exercise though! :)

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Edited By MajorMitch • 

@slag: Thanks Slag! I definitely think a number of games got lost in the shuffle this year, and that's probably no more true anywhere else than on Steam. It wouldn't surprise me if folks like Supergiant are struggling more now than a few years ago, but I clearly think Pyre is rad and worth playing :)

As for Getting Over It, I still haven't figured out the controls for QWOP (a game I do NOT like), but was moving pretty well within minutes of starting this game. To me it wasn't that difficult to get a handle on the controls, but that could a varying mileage sort of thing.

About 2017, it's a lot of smaller things that add up to make it not immediately one of my very favorite years for games... though to be clear I do think it's a very good year for games, and I admittedly haven't sat down and tried to rank years or anything. First, I think a lot of other years are maybe better than others give them credit for. We heard a lot this year how there were "too many games," and I think that's true, but I think that's also true most other years. If anything, comparing directly to 2016, 2017 had less games I was interested in playing, and I also had more games I wanted to showcase on my top 10 last year than this year. 2003, 2005, and 2008 are some other years I remember off the top of my head having well more than 10 games I really, really liked. So maybe I value some other years more than most folks.

That kind of leads into the other big thing for me which is that some of the games from this year that are held up among the greatest ever didn't hit me as hard as they seem to most people. Games like PUBG, Mario Odyssey, Horizon, Nier Automata, Edith Finch, etc. were all games I enjoyed, but not on the level most seem to. That's where I think it gets into a lot of personal taste stuff, and makes me feel like I don't have a long list of games I truly love from this year. I remember a similar thing happening in 2004 (which I also remember people saying at the time was one of the best years ever) with MGS3, GTA San Andreas, Halo 2, and Half-Life 2 coming out, all games most people loved but I didn't. Though, I'd probably take 2017 over that personally :)

Anyway, I feel like I'm already rambling, and it probably sounds more negative than I really feel, which is not negative at all. And I would probably need to deep-dive into a bunch of different games (from this year and other years) to explain any better at this point! The tl;dr is along the lines of games from previous years maybe connected with me more, and games from this year maybe connected with me less, than a lot of other folks.

Maybe that conveys that sentiment a little better!

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MajorMitch

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@amlabella: Thanks! Pyre and Getting Over It are smaller games that really struck a chord with me this year. Pyre of course has all the great world-building, art, and music that their previous games have, but I think I connected with its characters and story more (I probably still like Bastion the best, but it's close). Getting Over It is a very particular thing that I think you're either going to love or hate, and I found myself further in the "love" camp than I could have possibly guessed!

@chaser324: Yeah, I'm not sure why that happened. I think Nioh came out during that early part of the year along with Horizon, Zelda, etc. and just kind of got drowned out. Not sure about Pyre though, that came out during the dead of summer but just seemed to pass people by. Both are good games though, worth checking out!

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Cool list Dan! Props for sticking through The Witcher, that's a really neat game that can be hard to go back to in some ways, but worth playing (if not entirely necessary) to pick up story for the later games. Also, reading your write-up for Pokemon makes me wish I had skipped playing through Moon last year, which I found disappointing, and only playing Ultra Moon this year instead. Because now I just feel too burnt out on Pokemon to do another one for a bit...

Also, rip and tear ;)

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@sparky_buzzsaw: @arbitrarywater: Thanks much! :) Hollow Knight is one of those games that I think can be a little hit or miss, but if it hits, it hits hard. If you're willing to dive deep and explore a huge, daunting world, I think its execution is top-notch. Otherwise I could see it feeling like a bit much, as it does demand a fair amount of investment from the player. It's one I think people probably just need to try to be able to decide where they stand on it themselves!

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Edited By MajorMitch • 

@marino: No problem, thanks for putting this all together!

Edit: Also, total cop-out from Brad to only list 8 unordered games ;)

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MajorMitch

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Thanks, I love stuff like this! At a glance something stands out though, what's up with Jan's column in the first table? There are 3 7-pointers for him, including one for Dead Cells which I don't remember being on anyone's list but Jason's.