Rio Starwind’s 2018 GOTY List & More!

With a new year on the horizon it seems like the time to list out a bunch of games is upon us. I could just do my usual list of 10 but why not highlight pretty much every game new game I played this year? Since I enjoyed playing every new game I played this year for a slightly different reason. So let's start off with a few that didn’t quite break into my top 10.

List items

  • Best use of Pikachu

    This is just a really charming little adventure game. It may not do anything special yet solving crimes with the help of Sherlock Pikachu was amusing. Seeing what Pokemon do in a non battle situation was fun to see too.

  • 2018's Best Yakuza Game

    It is hard to follow up the amazing Yakuza 0. Yet this one still retains all the charm of this series. Plus I very much like the simpler style of the combat combat although I did miss changing up styles occasionally.

  • Most Anime

    Arc System Works animation with fighting games will never not be impressive. Emulating the style of 2D animation into 3D continues to look amazing. Plus the entire presentation just oozes DBZ in every way. If only the single player wasn’t just a grindfest I would have liked it more.

  • Best Use Of a Luchador

    Nothing new to see here other than the addition of chicken combat. Which is a great addition and the combat retains a good rhythmic flow that I enjoy. Body slamming fools never gets old to me.

  • Best chaotic fighting game

    The pure madness that is 4 player smash just feels great. Items flying everywhere, supers blasting off and assist trophies adding even more stuff to keep up with. That may sound impossible yet it comes off with some fun moments throughout each battle. With Smash Wii U being one of the best this one just improves on what they started there and made it better.

  • #10

    Playground Games haven’t really pushed any sort of limit that made me want to come back and check out their open world racing game since the first Horizon. Much of what was done before remains a constant in this one. Yet it mixes up things visually and in terms of gameplay with the addition of seasons. But really at its core it just remains a fun racing game that straddles the line of real with the unreal well enough that I kept coming back for more.

  • #9

    2 games did something I didn’t think was possible. With this one I couldn’t believe they could change the rage god himself Kratos into a believable very flawed dad. Along with a more strategic combat focus this take on the series was very well done. A new mythology to explore was a welcome addition since it produced some unique moments. Overall this might be the most well rounded game on this list.

  • #8

    Unless you count the fact this is the most well rounded game literally since you play as a hole in the ground. With the real protagonist being BK the racoon who is sending his “Donut” around to take out the entire town. While the gameplay doesn’t mix things up that often it does require some unique uses of the hole other than dropping things into it. Plus all the characters you meet in this game are written well that I enjoy just watching their interactions between levels.

  • #7

    It’s simple, the reason why I like this is that drumming on the Switch touchscreen is fun. This is a rhythm game that has a focus on a variety of Japanese Pop and game soundtracks. It just does that well and that is why it appears on this list.

  • #6

    It really does seem like fighting games have been firing on all cylinders lately. Namco has once again brought back a classic fighting game franchise and made it enjoyable to mash some buttons again. Visually it looks great too although the story mode feels a bit simple compared to the highs of the past. But it makes up with the blandness with a ton of content between short stories for the entire cast and a crazy long custom character story.

  • #5

    A last minute addition to this list. Although I remember some discussion about this game when it came out. Unfortunately it was drowned out by everything else. Which is to bad since it has quite the compelling storyline. Along with a more puzzle focus that makes it stand out a lot more compared to the cavalcade of similar games that came out this year. Additionally almost all the bosses were really cool and used the mechanics within the game well.

  • #4

    Capcom did what I thought was impossible. They made me like a Monster Hunter. For that alone this has to be on this list. It brings what seemed like a convoluted mess down to something that I could play. Doesn’t hurt that this is the best a MH game has looked in years since it’s been on portables for a long time. The fact it even tried to tell a story was a surprise as well. It may not hit all the notes perfectly yet it was a fun ride while it lasted.

  • #3

    I’ve certainly been a fan of Castlevania for a while but no real attachment to the original foruma. Yet this game takes it in more of a modern context. AKA it isn’t built to kill the player all the time. Easily beatable in a few hours yet it has multiple modes that switch things up. Plus being able to swap between 4 characters at once is cool and useful. It even ends on a twist that I hope they follow up on in some way.

  • #2

    I didn’t expect this would be my favorite fighting game this year since so many came out. Yet out of all of them I enjoyed playing this one the most. It was the start of Arc System Works strategy of making their games a bit more simpler to play but that also means it is possible to pull off some cool combos with little effort. Additionally even though 4 different fighting games got mixed together they all blend together in a good way. While still keeping the core of what made each fighter unique from the game they came from. That is pretty awesome to see and I just really liked the gameplay in this one so it is in a much higher spot than I expected.

  • #1

    Hollow Knight really impressed me on every level. The combat is at a fast but reasonable pace that gave me plenty of time to learn boss movesets. Even when I fail a boss battle the trip back is never painful to do. All the different sections of the world stand out and the different upgrades open up new areas to explore. Even the way the story was told with minimal dialogue was interesting as I made my way through the goomly legions of the Hallownest. All of this really made a game that stood out in my mind compared to every other game I played this year. It was just that good.