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GOTY 2020

2020 will be remembered. Ah, the year that the next generation of PlayStation and Xbox launched - Maybe......? Video games have been simultaneously very needed for escapism and never felt more personally insignificant. I struggled more than any other year to collect 10 new (new including multiple remakes?) releases from 2020. It has been a year of quality over quantity with some of these games instantly rocketing themselves to all timers. I was lucky to get a new Xbox Series S, I have had a good time playing those old 360 games and games I missed from the XOne (that are now on GamePass!) and I'm having a wonderful time. I really like the whole system and the new controller! I got myself DMC5SE it is still incredible and now-so with more Vergil. The quick resume and SSD speeds are life changing. I want to play the new Spider-Man game. I love Miles, but I will wait until a PS5 shows up in my life. Video Games. The future is here. They've sure blah blah Pac-Man since Pac-Man.

2020 TOP 10 LIST:

1. Hades

I'm going to try and keep this one short because if you've been following me on anything, you know how much this game (and Supergiant in general) consume my being. My favourite genre of video game is the tricky always-changing-label roguelike (You'll see a few of those games on this very list). My favourite storytellers in the medium of video games are without a doubt Supergiant. Hearing back in 2018 that Supergiant's 4th outing would be their unique spin on the roguelike genre was already enough to get me enormously excited. Hades is a masterpiece. The storytelling and characters are so rich like Pyre. The gameplay is the best of Bastion and Transistor with the smart design choices that make the best of run-based games. The music and visuals are outstanding. When I started to choose boons that I knew didn't work as well for me because I wanted to talk to a specific god, I knew they'd done well. I've spent so much time absorbing videos about crafting builds, the wealth of artwork, and fan theories. Getting involved with speedruns. Watching the Noclip docuseries covering the development of the game. 200 hours into the game with over 100 runs - I see myself returning often. Damn me to escape hell eternally. I love Hades.

2. Spelunky 2

Spelunky is one of my favourite games of all time. It might be my favourite game of all time. When I go back and look at the GOTY list the year Spelunky released I think I put it as my 8th favourite game of that year? I said something about how it hates me. The seed was planted. I thought of it purely as this masochistic random platformer that I would never beat. Fast forward to 2020: I listen to a Spelunky podcast, play the odd daily challenge run, and am very excited for the release of the sequel Spelunky 2. Spelunky 2 releases and I start all over again. I am slowly progressing with Spelunky 2. Spelunky 2 will be in my life for a long time. Excited for the day I do whatever grand achievement is waiting for me. OH AND NOW IT'S ALL COMING TO SWITCH BABY!!

3. Disc Room

TWO WORDS. Disc Room. Two more words. Good game. The primary verb in the game is move. Aside from a few powerups introduced and activated with a button press. Movement is it. Single screen survival rooms with deadly one-hit kill discs. While getting high scores in each of the many levels seems like the real game (and a fantastic game that alone is). There is a meta-layer of an exploration puzzle game that I really don't want to spoil. Play Disc Room. The music from one Doseone RULES.

4. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

This game will forever be linked to the Covid-19 lockdown. Animal Crossing came out about 2 weeks into the initial "Stay At Home Everything Is Closed" lockdown - it felt like that was on purpose. Never had I needed an escape to a wholesome island adventure with new animal friends who have made such an impact on me? With older Animal Crossing titles, I would get bored pretty quickly. However, playing with my friends and sharing experiences drove me to play it more than ever. I'm so glad I did. Few unforgettable weekends spent island hopping with friends forever saved with 300+ snapshots saved to my Switch. Shoutouts to Wendy.

5. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2

Here I am. Doing everything I can! They really landed it!! I was excited and let down by THPSHD, I kept my expectations in check for 1+2. Hearing they had the tracklist, focused on the first 2 games, bringing back all the stages, and had Pro Skaters old and new. I was ready for it to take me back. It took a while to get my legs again but once it hit - I was grinding out million+ combos and clearing everything possible. One of the most attentive and consistent remakes I've played, Just Pure Video Gaming. Now THPS3 DLC!

6. Paradise Killer

My friends made this! I went to the guy who did the STELLAR soundtrack's house and recorded a podcast about high meat. I am so proud of my pals!! Paradise Killer is a game of confidence. Boldy knowing what it wants to be and achieving it with style. Mixing adventure games and visual novels letting you unwrap a mystery. Did not expect to be so hit with the same exploration vibes I got from BOTW. I want to (Stay Forever) in Paradise. Ridiculously excited for what Kaizen Game Works does next!

7. Final Fantasy VII Remake

Honestly, an achievement that it even came out? Then it seems that it is good??? Unfortunately padded out with some BAD sidequests that ruin pacing. However, (minus ps1 'throwback' backgrounds) it looks INCREDIBLE, it sounds great and features the best action RPG genre mix combat system. I didn't expect the gameplay to be my biggest takeaway. The tactical pause and use of magic and character abilities all need to be utilised. It all works, it rules. The story was..... yaknow - wild Nomura endings and bad side quests to one side - the characters are THERE. Spending more time with the gang and some of the side stories that explore more time with Jessie and exploring more of Midgar. That stuff was brilliant. Just less running around sewers and random fetch quests, please. Part 2 is going to be interesting.

8. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

Turn off your brain. Hit Y 4000 times. Have tones of fun with amazing Zelda music and BOTW visuals. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the "story" content a lot more than I was expecting and I'm beyond excited for BOTW2. Anyway, 120 hours on... I've done everything possible. Every main quest and collectible, every side mission, every somewhat tedious resource hand-in. I enjoyed it. Some of the late-game unlocks had me genuinely pumped.

9. Streets of Rage 4

I have never been a huge fan of beat em ups. I enjoyed X-Men and Turtles in Time but mostly for the properties and music. I played Streets of Rage 2 a few times, I can appreciate the soundtrack, but I never really enjoyed playing it. The reveal for Street of Rage 4 got me. I loved the style from the jump, even when others were cautious. I was happy to see it and really hoped they would do right by the biggest SOR fans. Seems like they did! The campaign was a ride. Loads of cool secrets. Smart gameplay changes. Keeping strong roots. Feels like everyone was happy with this one and I had a blast playing it. Sounded great as well.

10. Part Time UFO

HAL labs produce such relentlessly cute games it hurts. I remember the buzz when this game came to mobile, I always wanted to play it but seeing posts from others gave me a huge mood boost. The Switch release was such a welcome surprise. Part Time UFO is a fun, somewhat challenging UFO catcher stacking game that's a total joy. I can not play it without a smile on my face. Go on little UFO and become a legend!


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