GOTY 2017

2017 ended so quickly that I barely had enough time to PLAY ten games. In a year filled with misery and microtransactions, 2017 was still a great year for video games. 2018 should follow suit. Since I played 10 games or so, I wanted to give each titles an award.

Note - Nier: Automata does not make the list because I did not play past the first mission. I will write a review once I complete the game.

List items

  • Game of the Year: How is 2017 a great year for video games if PUBG, a game that was rushed out of early access, wins my 2017 Award?

    PUBG's provides a tension that is rarely found in the Third and First Person Shooter Genre. The objective of every game you play is simple: be the last player standing to earn a chicken dinner. Simple enough eh? Not at all. It's a game that combines on the fly strategy with team coordination (if you play with a squad). Execute your strategy well and you are reward an overwhelming sense of relief and fulfillment. When you fail to execute, you still earn an A for effort but also grief. It's hard to resist another try for that chicken dinner. PUBG delivers a challenging and rewarding experience.

  • Sequel of the Year: I will not have enough room describing the joy I felt playing another Persona game since Persona 4 Golden.

    Persona 5 expands on the RPG gameplay innovation of Persona 3 and repackaged old mechanics from the early Persona games to gain items, money, and more Personas to summon. Persona 5 also tells deeper side stories to each social link now called, Confidants. Confidants not only provide complex character stories but also additional skills and buffs to the core gameplay. Almost everything about the game feels well-crafted for good reasons. The game's stylish UI adds to the immersion in ways I did not think UI could before. The main cast of characters have similar experiences in wanting to ignite courage to those suppressed by others. While their interactions with one another are not as fun as the cast in Persona 4, everyone's side story explores different and complex humanistic experiences that everyone can relate to. The writers of Persona 5 continue the tradition of wanting the player to learn more about the problem and characters involved with the game's central theme. Persona 5 thrives with by building from traditional JRPG elements and its predecessor modernistic visual style.

  • Single Player Game of the Year: 2017 was a great year for open world game with creative mechanics. The sense of scale in its open world design was not overwhelming. The world design did not have enough to do in it but provided the dressing needed for the atmosphere. Horizon is a new franchise in a post-post-apocalyptic setting where human civilization mimicked the ways of old with the relics of the past impacting their culture. The plot and story of Horizon is fantastic. Tropes are explained well in codex and audio logs. The gameplay feels smooth. The game shows me why I have detective vision. The game shows me why the world is the way it is. The game has a unique vibe that no other game gave me. Every village has its own culture and beliefs. Guerrilla Games gave me more than I bargained for with this game. I harp mainly about the lore and plot because it's so masterfully described. Horizon: Zero Dawn is my single-player game of the year.

  • Shafted Game of the Year: Breath of the Wild is such a breath of fresh air. Every word I type about this game in this tiny box does not do the game justice. I have not played a Zelda game since Ocarina of Time. I believed that the Zelda franchise did not evolve in a way I wanted until The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I wanted an open world game like the Souls series. I wanted the puzzles, the Nintendo charm, the creative ways to tackle a problem, the diverse culture of each village, the plot rooted by the game's history. I wanted all of it. And Zelda should be my game of the year. But like most Nintendo games, I just do not have the need to sit down and play the game. It deserves my attention. I played a decent amount of the game. The characters I met are wonderfully depicted. I'm jealous of the worldbuilding of the game. It is difficult for me to play the game because I invested so much time in Persona 5 and Horizon. It's not fair to Nintendo or the Zelda franchise. Breath of the Wild evolves Zelda in a way that I never thought Nintendo could fully execute. And my goodness, they delivered.

  • Surprise of the Year: When I watched the first Unfinished video of Battle Chef Brigade, I immediately pre-ordered the game. The premise of the game combines the Iron Chef cooking show mixed with 2D platforming and match three puzzles mechanics. I was surprised at how well the game incorporates all three gameplay elements with additional depth from weapons, ingredients, and items. Battle Chef Brigade has its flaws with the lackluster plot, odd frames per second in character movement, and voice acting, but you can't help but feel prideful for the developers trying something fresh. They stick the landing in creating a world that revolves around cooking food. I want more Battle Chef Brigade.

  • Platformer of the Year: Cuphead has great style in everything it does. The character movement, the art direction, the boss designs, all feel interconnected with the retro cartoon vibe. It reminded me of my childhood, watching old Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry. The game is challenging and provides a sense of rewarding relief when completing a boss stage. It is a simplistic game with a lot being thrown at you. I wish I could play more of this game but platformers rarely give me the same experience that I once felt when I was child. That does not discredit the attention and awards that the game deserves.

  • Sports Game of the Year: Pyre is a fantastic game that innovates in combining visual novel-like storytelling and basketball. What? Now I did not complete the game. I may be selling the game short, but from what I played it is a deep, immersive, atmospheric game full of dim yet bright characters and a plot rich with lore. Supergiant Games continues to create wonderful experiences with art design as their main focus. I cannot stress enough how much I love Pyre, and if it weren't for other games that currently hook me, I would be playing more of Pyre.

  • Indie Game of the Year: Night in the Woods nails the whimsical atmosphere of living in a cartoon town with animals faced with real world issues. Your character is faced with a dilemma that many millennials face while graduating high school and entering a realm of high expectations and complex decisions. In high school you had to ask permission to go to the bathroom and now in college, you have to make ideal decisions that will impact not only your future, but the sacrifice of your parents to pay for you college tuition. Night in the Woods encapsulate the emotional turmoil of being a disappointment to everyone surrounding you. Squeezing your way into your friends' daily life makes you feel like you are interrupting their lifestyle. You have the innocent and righteous beliefs of what should be. While the game does not have the most immersive gameplay, the storytelling is fantastic. Play this game for the character arcs, the story, the inner disappointment.

  • Most Disappointing App: I love Animal Crossing because it has the Nintendo charm mixed with great, witty, and humorous dialogue. Animal Crossing is a combination of a fetch quest and a collection game. But the fluff around that framework is so enjoyable. Animal Crossing on smartphones would be a fantastic draw. Instead of getting New Leaf on the iOS, we got a hollow experience filled with microtransactions. Animal Crossing Pocket Camp is the definition of a fetch quest. A villager will only visit your campgrounds if you fulfill their needs of crafting particular furniture and items on your site. The tasks are made even worse as you can only craft one item at a time unless you expand your crafting slot with the ingame currency. While Pocket Camp still has the charm of an Animal Crossing game, it lacks the depth of items you can find for the sake of adding it to your collection and lacks the wit and enjoyable dialogue you would hear when talking to your neighbors. Pocket Camp is a disappointment.

  • Most Disappointing Game: I played over 200 hours of Destiny 2 on PS4 and PC. I loved the original Destiny despite its flaws. Why is it the most disappointing game of the year for me? Greed. Bungie and Activision are greedy scum of the video game industry that ruined a potentially great franchise in sci-fi for money. A sequel to Destiny was supposed to expand on the foundation that the first Destiny set. Destiny 2 is a butchered mess that ruins the power fantasy for the sake of balance. If everyone feels powerful, no one feels powerful. Destiny 2 is a game that I only play with my friends because of the impactful gunplay. Destiny 2 still has a good raid that requires more coordination than skill but that is 20% of the game. I will write a longer review on Destiny 2 on the site. But I can't described how disappointed I am in Destiny 2 and the hollow shell of Bungie.