In case for some reason you guys haven't had enough of these year end game lists, I decided that I might as well throw mine into the mix, despite the fact that we're already a month into the new year. Honestly, throughout many of the blogs that the community has put out during the transition from 2018 to 2019, one in particular inspired me to write my own year end blog. Thanks JPF720 for your well written and thoughftul list. Lots of community members wrote great year end lists, but that one in particular really stuck with me.
So without further ado, here is a list of the games I managed to play in 2018!
Creating Memories - Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (PS3)
My girlfriend and I forged some really nice memories together in the beginning of 2018. She moved into a new place, and one of the things we did was finish Sonic 2 together. Now I'll always remember Sonic 2 as the game that we started in her old apartment, but finished after she moved into her new place. And, since the Genesis was her first console as a kid (mine too) we got to play a game that we both remember playing when we were younger. It was a wonderful exerpience all around, and I look forward to playing more classic Sega games with her in the future.
I have a personal goal, and that is to become better at the Sonic games. I will admit that we utilized the save feature way too much, and that was something that allowed us to beat this game with minimal pain. But despite that, I would really like to try my hand at beating the game on its original console. The nice thing about save states is that it is an excellent way to practice a game. Simply saving the game before each boss battle is a great way to practice those bosses in order to perfect them.
Game I Most Want a Sequel From - The Order: 1886 (PS4)
If the Order has a cult following, then I am most certainly a member of said cult. Having played this game several years after its initial release, I missed a lot of the negative press surrounding it. From what others have told me, the game was one of the most hyped launch titles for the PlayStation 4, yet many players were dissapointed with its short single player content. The Order may have been a lesson for other game developers: if your game takes roundabout eight hours to beat, then perhaps rethink the sixty-dollar price tag.
But despite its brevity, The Order had so much going for it. I know I'm probably dreaming in hoping for a sequel to this game, but I'm going to keep hoping. The cliffhanger ending was not satisfying enough. I want to know what happens to Galahad in the year 1887. I'll keep dreaming of such a thing.
Every Game Deserves a Second Chance - Diablo 3 (PC)
A few years ago, I played through the entirety of the first act of Diablo 3 on PS3, then promptly turned it off and never touched it again.
Nick, one of my main gaming buddies, finally talked me into playing Diablo 3 again, this time as co-op with him on PC. Nick was obsessed with Diablo 2 back in its prime, and he has a lot of stories to tell from the land of Tristram. Most of what I know about Diablo I know through him, so if there is anyone I would want to play D3 with, he's the guy.
Before playing the third entry in the series, the only other Diablo game I had played was the original. I would not consider myself an expert on the series, but slowly over time they have grown on me. At first I was hesitant, but the more time I spent with Diablo 3 the more I fell in love with it. I enjoy a mixture of console and PC gaming, but I have to admit that Diablo 3 feels right at home when played on a PC.
The Diablo games are addicting to an almost dangerous degree. The click and loot system feels so fluid in Diablo 3 that we would play for several hours at a time, and I would increasingly stay awake longer than I planned to. The color scheme at first was a turn off for me. I missed the dark and twisted atmosphere that I recalled from the first entry, but as time moved on, I accepted the direction that Blizzard took with Diablo 3. In all of its splendor, and despite it being a major dissapointment for a lot of Diablo 2 fans, Diablo 3 is its own unique beast. It takes the series in a new direction, and I look forward to playing Diablo 4 whenever it finally comes out.
My Top Indie Game for 2018 - Bastion (PS4)
Bastion is a hack and slash game from the same studio who created Transistor. Nick (my Diablo 3 co-op partner, see above) recommended this game to me. Since he doesn't normally play indie games, I decided to give this one a go. I rather enjoyed my playthrough, and as always, a short game is often refreshing.
The unique feature about this game is the way that the ground appears before your character as you run towards it. This was an unexpected yet interesting addition, and it was something I had never seen before in a game. I would definitely recommend this game to any fans of games built in an isometric perspective.
My Personal GOTY - NieR: Automata (PS4)
NieR: Automata is like a fever dream. Its almost monotone color scheme, coupled with the astonishing soundtrack, makes for something really memorable. I've also never played a game that uses erotic elements the way NieR: Automata does. I would sometimes wonder what female players thought of that side of the game. Did it bother them? Do they not care? Should I not care and just enjoy the game?
I think what I love most about NieR: Automata is how fluidly it transitions from genre to genre. Running around in the third person perspective was fun, but suddenly the camera slowly shifts to create a 2D side scroller. As somebody who played NieR: Automata before any of the other games by Yoko Taro, this element was truly novel to me.
But I have to admit, the erotic elements weaved throughout the game really captured my attention. I suppose this goes without saying, but something that was unique was the way the game weaved sexual elements into a game with such a dark and serious atmosphere. This is something I have never encountered in a game before, and I will shamelessly admit that I love everything about it. I am more than aware of the Senran Kagura games, for example, but even those games are more like bubble gum, whereas NieR: Automata manages to create something erotic while maintaining a level of seriousness that stands apart from other Japanese RPGs.
The Game I Still Won't Shut Up About, aka My Top CO-OP Game of 2018! - Dying Light: The Following (PS4)
If you love cooperative games and haven't played Dying Light, then message your favorite gaming companion and get on this game as soon as you can. From the dark, synth-ridden soundtrack, to the Middle Eastern inspired architecture and characters, this game is something truly special.
Zombie games are a dime-a-dozen, but the way Dying Light adds parkour to the mix is something different. It makes all the more sense, too, that to escape a group of zombies the best place to go is "up." Climbing in this game gave me thrills that no other game has, and to say that this game made my palms sweat is an understatement. Dying Light is the fast-paced, cooperative action game that I had been craving for awhile now, and in a sea of games where co-operative campaigns are becoming harder to find, Dying Light stands apart as the cooperative campaign that many gamers are craving. I can't wait for the sequel.
The Game I Should Have Played 15 Years Ago - Onimusha (PS2)
Onimusha recently received its release on the PS4. I hope the re-release sells well, because Capcom needs to know that Onimusha has a dedicated fanbase, and that there is a craving for games that are so straightforward and trimmed down the way Onimusha is.
There is little to no fluff in Onimusha, which is something I love about it. Simple weapons, simple progression, and straightforward combat mechanics, yet amongst its simplicity there is still a challenging game that requires the precision and attention of the player at all times. I look forward to jumping into Onimusha 2 soon. I always love flipping on my PS2, for whatever game brings me back to it. Check out Chris Carter's review of the PS4 re-release, where he states that, "Onimusha's virtue is that it's a breezy action game with almost no filler to speak of."
If you find yourself getting tired of games that have too many gameplay elements to the point that they are oversaturated with filler content, then I highly recommend playing Onimusha.
Hitting a Low Point - Demon's Souls (PS3)
Demon's Souls was a game that I started several years ago, and after sinking about 30 hours into the game, I gave up on it. I decided to revisit it, because with all of the buzz surrounding the three Dark Souls games and Bloodbourne, I was afraid that if I started a new Souls game then I might never return to Demon's Souls to finish it. I'm glad I did, and although I replayed this game after its servers were shutdown, it was still a wonderful experience. If you are a Demon's Souls fan and you haven't revisted this game since the server shutdown, go to the Nexus and run upstairs. The sadness I felt was astonishing, and I imagine you will too. What was once the trophy room is now just a brick wall, sealed off from entry. It's quite a strange experience, and it only makes the entirety of the Demon's Souls world feel even more lonely and cutoff than it ever was.
I played Demon's Souls at a low point for myself. I will keep this brief, as I don't want to bore anyone. But the short version is that I spent the majority of 2018 going to school to in order to change jobs, something that ultimately didn't work out, so I wound up dropping out of school in September of last year.
While I am making other plans for my career, for a few months I was feeling low. I put the majority of 2018 towards balancing work and school with almost no gain, and dropped out of school a month before my 30th birthday. I have had a wide variety of jobs throughout my 20s, so this is not the first time I have gone through such a change.
Throughout all of that, I had Demon's Souls to accompany me, and what is now one of my favorite games is also the game I will remember when I think back on attempting a career change, failing, then trying again. Try, fail, try again? Come to think of it, Demon's Souls is a lot like that, isn't it?
My Most Memorable Game of 2018 - Shenmue (Dreamcast)
My girlfriend will tell you that for a solid three weeks, I wouldn't shut up about Shenmue. The fact that she deals with this side of me is something I need to consider in the future. To say that she is a champ is quite an understatement.
I did not grow up with the Sega Dreamcast, yet because the Genesis was my first console, I can honestly say that I am a Sega fan. During the transition between 1999 and 2000, I was still experiencing PlayStation games like Gran Turismo 2 and Final Fantasy VII. The Dreamcast did not escape my attention though. I would see the CDs at Electronics Boutique, Babbage's, and KB Toys, always with an edge of curiosity. There really was something unique about the Dreamcast, and I am happy that all these years later I managed to score a unit for myself, with a small collection of games, including the classic Shenmue.
Despite the awkward controls, I found Shenmue to be incredibly absorbing. The control scheme bothered me for maybe the first few minutes of gameplay, but I quickly forgot about it and found myself lost in this small, Japanese suburb. The atmosphere of this 20 year old game was mind-blowing to me. I felt so transported to another world in a way that few other games have managed to do for me. Ryo's hometown felt so real, and anytime I think back on this game, it will always be the atmosphere that I remember the most.
My Biggest, and Only Dissapointment of 2018 - Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4)
Out of all the games I played last year, only one of them did not meet my expectations. I wrote a cblog detailing my opinions about Horizon, but the short version is that in playing this game, I came to the personal realization that I am not a fan of the direction that open world games are headed. Especially open worlds RPGs, which I find to have too many gameplay elements that ultimately lead to a diluted end product. Maybe I need to give this game a second chance, though. I will take some time and eventually revisit it in the future, but for now, my opinion on the game remains the same.
All in all, 2018 was a productive year for me in gaming. As I move into the future, and look into changing careers, I don't forsee myself being able to play as many games as I have in the past. While this does make me feel sad, given how darn many games are coming out in the near future, I will always find time to experience games, both new and old, and to write down my thoughts about them. I hope you enjoyed my year end list. Have you played any of these games? If so, what do you think about them? Lemme know down below!
Ace Combat 5 (PS2)
Metal Slug X (PSOne Classic)
Gravity Rush Remastered (PS4)
Assault Suit Leynos (PS4)
Star Wars Bounty Hunter (PS2 Classic)
Riptide GP 2 (PS4)
Wolfenstein 3D (PS3)
Shadows of the Empire (N64)
The Last of Us (PS3)
Valkyria Chronicles (PS4)
Rainbow Six: Siege (PS4)
Battlefield 1 (PS4)
Age of Empires 2 (PC)
Civilization 3 (PC)