I was working this morning and watching kids, so couldn't open any sooner :( Currently about 11:20 am EDT, turnips going for 487. Gates are open until the prices change at noon EDT if anyone wants to stop in. No tips necessary, but I'll never turn down bells if you want ;)
They Are Billions, easily. I had been really looking forward to that for a while, and the survival mode during the early access period sounded great. I held off until the full game came out eager to check out the campaign, but man... that campaign is just bad. It really took the wind out of my sails. The survival mode is still OK, but after 2 runs I didn't have any more interest in running that same loop again. Once you figure it out that's kind of it.
DMC5 and Bloodstained have also been disappointments for me so far, and Outer Worlds and/or Gears 5 may join them once I play more and my thoughts settle on them. I just started both of those.
I feel this has been a very strong year, especially its first half. Doom's delay sucks some wind out of the fall for me. But I got super into Sekiro, Fire Emblem, RE2, and Outer Wilds. Not many years have a quartet that strong for me. Plenty of other games I've enjoyed too.
As for the staff, that's trickier. I think Apex Legends is pretty easily the game they have all collectively played and talked positively about the most. If I had to guess, that'd be their pick right now. RE2 and Control will probably place highly too.
@mezmero: Thanks! Man, flamelurker. I have played all 4 "Souls" games + Bloodborne + Sekiro. Between the bosses across all 6 games, flamelurker is still the one that scares me the most. He's just so fast and intimidating. Maybe that's just because that was the first of these games I played, but still.
It's so fascinating how the nature of these games being intentionally confusing (or mysterious if you'd prefer...) has become more accepted over time. When Demon's Souls came out, the expectation was that games weren't supposed to be obtuse anymore, they were supposed to make everything very clear. One of the many ways this game turned things upside down, and now plenty of games have a similar philosophy.
@amlabella: Thanks! It really was a weird and unique game at the time, and even as someone who played and liked it when it came out, I was shocked to see it win Gamespot's GOTY. I think it was well earned though, and if anything it's proven to be one of the more influential games from 2009. I feel like games have trended more towards Demon's Souls than Uncharted in the past decade.
@arbitrarywater: @humanity: Thanks! It really is crazy how different the landscape is now than it was when Demon's Souls came out. We take all of those quirks and specific details for granted now, but in 2009 it was completely unique. It's one of those rare games that came to more or less define a new sub-genre, which doesn't happen all that often. Regardless of how well it holds up compared to its successors, I would definitely vote for Demon's Souls in a hall of fame for its influence :)
I love data. Great write-up though, it's always fascinating to me to look at these kinds of trends. You do a good job of slicing up and presenting the data, and also talking through a lot of the caveats. There's countless ways to do all of that. One thing I was curious about, did you filter out games for having too few critic and/or user reviews? Like, is 5 critic reviews too few? So many games come out nowadays, but reviewers can't review them all. So a high percentage of games end up with just a handful of critic reviews, where the big blockbusters can end up with hundreds. I wonder how all of these factors shift the average over time. Games have changed so much since 2000 haven't they? Kind of hard to even think about comparing "metascroes" of say, Fortnite vs Baldur's Gate 2.