My Top Games of 2019 (as of Jan 2020)

I couldn't put together a blog this year, but thought I'd throw this together at least. 2019 was a year I focused primarily on backlog and revisiting old games so I haven't played a lot of the big releases yet. I may update this in the future.

List items

  • EO is my favorite series in which I've never actually beaten any of them. Fantastic games, but they're always a bit too slow of a burn for me to see through to the credits.

    That statement held true until this year. What's different with Nexus? Variety. Between the the large roster of character classes, sub-classes, different environments, and music, it keeps mixing things up to keep things from getting sloggy. It still goes a labyrinth or two too long, and some of the classes may more op, but still enjoyed it quite a bit. Still kinda bummed we'll never see Untold 3 (3 still being my favorite in the series probably), but the throwbacks in this game a least softens it somewhat.

  • I have dabbled with some Samsho collections in the past but never really clicked with me. Now though I get why this series is still be fondly remembered because this is a great rebirth for the series with a pretty distinct feel. It is not about combos, this game is all about neutral, and knowing each player has very strong buttons, as well as strong answers to some characters buttons, which means you...fudge around the middle trying to bait a mistake from your opponent. Very tense, very cool.

  • The 3DS had a surprise resurgence for me this year, and this one might be the biggest surprise. As a Persona fan I did enjoy the first Persona Q, but had some flaws that soured a bit for me by the end. Q2 rectifies most of those flaws. Characterizations are much better and feel more genuine, the tweaks to battles and character balance is better, and the settings are pretty good. The central mystery isn't as good as the first game though.

  • My most anticipated game of the last couple years, Cold Steel III is exactly what you'd expect from a Trails game, both in positives (top class world building, characters that are more multidimensional than typical jrpg characters, intriguing antagonists, lots of plot threads being spun and interwoven, some political machination here and there) as well the negatives (repetitive and predictable story blocking, occasional anime antics feel out of place, feels long for its own sake at times). The later has started to wear on me the more of these games I have under my belt, because I think a lot of these games could be a lot better if the blocking wasn't so rote in structure. And while I'm fine with the slow burn nature of the story telling, it does feel like the story is being stretched a bit too much, especially when a lot of the big plot points are back-loaded. Gripes aside, another enjoyable visit to Zemuria.

  • A great remake of a classic, in fact maybe THE, survival-horror game. Critically it might be the game that most accomplishes what it sets out to do. The only reason it's not high on this list is because as much as I appreciate the survival-horror genre on paper, it doesn't really resonate with me that much. BUT, it's still polished enough for me enjoy regardless.

  • This year's winner of the "indie roguelike" sweepstakes, the twist here being it's a card game, as in you're building your deck as you go along. Yeah, that's a pretty good take on a roguelike, and lo and behold it is.

  • Putting the Iceborne expansion here as a special mention. It's more MHW, ie maybe my favorite game of the generation. By adding a substantial expansion it increases the variety of monsters (and therefore armor and weapons to build) and adds an endgame that feels more engaging than the base game's, the one sore spot the original game had in my opinion. Gonna keep enjoying this, and the next gen follow up to world is my defacto most anticipated next gen game.