GOTY 2017

For more in-depth opinions about this year's games check out my quite extensive blog here.

List items

  • So what do we have here? Gameplay that’s somewhat akin to Devil May Cry (but not quite as good sadly), a story featuring melancholic robots discussing things like love, god and the meaning of existence itself and ending (or twenty) that’s actually worthwhile? Nice, so, I guess this is our game of the year 2017 then, right? Right.

    In all seriousness Nier is a pretty good game. The gameplay is just different enough in the 3 main sections to keep interesting (if it was just the DMC stuff the entire way through, this really wouldn’t have cut it), the characters are likable, if not relatable, the setting is pretty interesting (even with it’s history being as convoluted as it is) and the overall story is enjoyable and hits a good mix of funny, serious and philosophical scenes. Even the ending just nails it, which is something lot’s of games struggle with, and I felt satisfied and like I had no reason to go back to the game at all (which is a good thing here since the game deletes your save) after I was done with it.

  • Why is this a Zelda game? No, seriously, why? This has nothing to do with previous games in the series from a pure gameplay perspective, which is not a bad thing (even though I love the core Zelda gameplay loop), but still, why? Did Nintendo just think it wouldn’t sell as well if it didn’t have the Zelda name attached to it? I don’t get it.

    Anyway the world is beautiful, huge, well realized and full of little secrets, the Zelda connections are cool (I like the picture hunts for example), the puzzles are really fun and the fighting…well…sucks. Why the hell did the think breakable weapons would be a good idea in this, Zelda, game? Or any game for that matter? I feel hard-pressed to name any other game where weapons break that fast and feel that useless. Even the damn Master Sword turns useless every five seconds. Most of the time I just run by enemies and try to avoid combat altogether. That’s not how this should be. So the question is, why?

    The collectibles are also a joke. No really, they are, with your reward being a literal piece of…well…shit. Again, why?

    Why, why, why is the theme with this game and so it’s just good game, but a an amazing one for me.

  • Luckily Nioh turned out to not be just another Dark Souls clone, without any real ideas of there own. The mission structure is interesting, the setting is cool and the story is pretty much just a supernatural version of Richard Chamberlain's Shogun, which is fine too.

    Where Nioh actually shines though, is it's systems. The loot system could stand to be a bit more robust, especially the honestly very useless crafting component, but at least it all looks very stylish. What's really outstanding ist the combat system itself, featuring very different feeling weapons, with 3 also quite different stances for each one, and the player being able to switch it all up on the fly. Then there's Ki (Stamina) management, and things like Ninjutsu (magic) to think about. It's really just Dark Soul's combat at it's core, but refined in a very neat way and faster than even Bloodborne was.

    Also, like Dark Souls, it can be quite challenging, especially some of the optional boss fights, and that's a big plus in my book.

  • I never finished the first game, because the gameplay was so monotonous, but this sequel pretty much fixes all the problems I had with the original. The story is also amazing by the way. It’s Inception meets Silent Hill meets Resident Evil meets True Detective. Do I need to say more? A very atmospheric game, with an open world that’s not just for show (an exceptional achievement in a survival horror game) and a, let’s call it passable combat system? Good times.

  • One of the very few games this year, that truly managed to surprise me, The Sexy Brutale, is a neat and short, little puzzle game involving an infinite time loop. Ever since Groundhog Day that’s a premise I’m wholly on board with. The setting is cool, the story isn’t bad either (except maybe some of the finale) and the gameplay loops interesting. Thing is, it’s just way to easy. An adventure game were I’m never stuck for more than 20 minutes or so? Too easy. (Even though I realize that sounds kinda crazy, it’s still true.)

  • I actually agree with everyone, that this might just be the best 3D Mario game since Super Mario 64 , even though Galaxy continues to be a contender. It’s imaginative (even if it’s not the first game with a body snatch mechanic), it’s beautiful, it’s just a fun time all around. At the other hand, it’s just another Mario game, which is also why things like the retro throwback in New Donk City didn’t blow me away. It was fun, but just that. Also some of the moons are ridiculous to get. I’m at 750+ now, including the one for the finale challenge, but I’ll never get the others, not because they are too hard, but because they are just plain annoying. Repeat levels with the only difference being that you don’t have Cappy? No thank you.

  • A game I’ve waited a very long time for and it mostly delivered on what I’d hoped it would be. Mostly. First of, the game of course just has a ton of styyyyyle. The characters are cool and relatable, the setting for the story makes you angry in just the right ways (damn rich politicians, and teachers, and random art thieves!), the gameplay is as fun as always in the Persona series, but I still felt something was missing. It didn’t quite have the chemistry between the characters that PE4 or PE3 had and the story started to drag sometime after the fourth dungeon. Also why do we have to retread every plot-point dozens of times like complete idiots?

  • Truly a surprise to me is how much I enjoyed the newest Assassin’s Creed game. I used to be a huge fan of the series until AC 3 (which I don’t think was as bad as most people say, except for the ending), but fell of the horse real fast, since nothing ever seemed to change in this series anymore. That’s not the case for Origins. I mean, at it’s core it’s still very much an Assassin’s Creed game, but the combat system improved a lot, the loot system is fun (if limited), the world is well realized with a setting that hasn’t been done to death and the RPG-style progression makes for a fun romp. The side quests are also mostly passable and the main story, while nothing special, still delivers (except for everything concerning the modern times, that part still sucks).

  • A very stylish game that nails the aesthetic it’s going for. The aesthetic being Blade Runner. Just to run that fact home they even cast Rutger Hauer as the main protagonist. Sadly he doesn’t seem all that into it. The gameplay is okay at the beginning, but rather bad later on (this really could have done without the chase sequences). Still the setting and story alone are enough for this to land on the list.

  • More of the same game like last time, but I just still like South Park and I vastly prefer the superhero setting over the Lord of the Rings one. Also it’s still simply amazing to look at, since it’s really just an overlong episode of the show. Presentation wise they truly nailed this one.