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LONG BLOG

My Retro GOTY Awards 2020

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Another year, and this backlog doesn't seem to finish. 2020 sure meant a lot of changes and difficulties for many, and while some found peace of mind and distraction in TV Shows, movies, or any other medium, we over here did that and of course, went with video games to spend our lockdown without losing it. Whether The Game Awards 2020 was good or not, it's up to each one of us to decide which games were the best of either retro ones (like me) or new releases. Without further ado, let's scroll down to reveal the winner for each category but most importantly, the runner ups.

Best Narrative:

Florence

Florence (video game) - Wikipedia

Taking into consideration how unexpected life can be, to have a game presents such a story with ups and downs to be played by anyone in a matter of minutes on their smartphones is something else. Love, self-love, letting go are among the themes this game tackles with simplicity and humbleness. 40 minutes I could spend playing again for sure.

Runner up:

Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker

Being as extend as this series is, Portable didn't feel like a follow up to Metal Gear Solid 3, and neither did Metal Gear Solid 4. However, Peace Walker released to give us a great direct sequel to the PS2 masterpiece. Likable characters, great twists, and great writing make this a must-play among all of the other titles.

Best Character:

Laguna

Laguna Loire - Chrysalis

If you read my review on Final Fantasy VIII you know that game didn't do it for me in many ways. Nevertheless, when controlling the protagonist of this game's side story I couldn't help but turn my attention to what was going to happen on Laguna's side rather than Squall's. Seriously, I consider Laguna to be the cut off protagonist of this game.

Runner up: Miller

Having played all of the Metal Gear Solid games, I didn't think that Snake could actually have a partner with whom listening to their discussions was such a nice treat. He argues about mostly anything that is going and believes in his hunch always. Having to listen to Miller's pieces of advice and rants felt refreshing for the series.

Best Antagonist

Chaos

MMD Dissidia/012 - Chaos - Final Mix (+ Stage) by renzo-senpai on DeviantArt

When I played the first Final Fantasy game back in 2010 I couldn't enjoy the antagonist past the final battle. Later, when I played Final Fantasy IX and saw Garland out of the sudden I hope that iteration would give the villain another life but that didn't happen either. Come Dissidia and I finally got to enjoy the root of all evil in this universe to a better understanding. Also, his final boss battle in Dissidia is as climatic as it can get.

Best Soundtrack:

Paper Mario

Runner up: Dissidia 012

Best Protagonist:

Snake (Peace Walker)

Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker, Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake  Eater imagen png - imagen transparente descarga gratuita

This came as a surprise even for me. Why even nominate a character who already knows it all or doesn't give a lasting insight into the events that are happening? Wait, that was Snake from previous games. Sure, he had his monologues in Metal Gear Solid 2 but other than that it wasn't until key points in MGS3 that I could see his human side. In this game, the design is kinda ironic as his face in-game doesn't change due to hardware limitations but, the character portrayal he puts from beginning to end does the job just right. Guess the game's story helped, too.

Runner up: Gene (God Hand)

The good protagonists are chosen due to their strong personalities and focused resolves. Gene, on the other hand, is a kinda carefree guy with a sense of justice unmatched only with his charisma and will to beat the hell out of the bad guys. He may have his convictions and all but he goes straight to the point while taking each situation as something that can be solved, without all the drama. A hero I didn't know I needed.

Biggest Surprise:

The Legend Of Zelda II The Adventure Of Link

This often happens to me: I hate a game, don't want to even try it out, and put it in a forgotten list instead of in a backlog one. Silly, huh? Enter 2020 and the time to do and try out many things knocked on my door giving me a video game I now hold dear. Why? Its approach toward losing and the great scope it possesses. Super Mario Bros. 2 also was a revelation, but Zelda earned that place for giving me plenty of a challenge from start to finish.

Runner up: God Hand

Do I like violent games? No. Do I good production values regardless of what the game may expose? I do. That was my case with this one. Sure I have played games with guns and stuff but that's mostly monsters and other creatures, not humans like in this one. Well, demons dressed as humans. The point is, I managed to put aside some weird beliefs of mine in order to appreciate this game for what it is: an anger management with satire and lots of comic mischief.

Best Ending:

Dissidia

Runner up: Super Mario RPG

Best Graphics: Paper Mario

Runner up: Metal Gear Solid V

Best Multiplayer:

Dead Nation

Dead Nation Ps3 Digital

I'll make it quick: to spend the night figuring out how to get to the next level and cursing each other is priceless. Missing gem.

Runner up:

Castle Crashers

Best Console:

PlayStation Portable

Runner up: Nintendo Wii

Best Moment:

Disc 4 (Final Fantasy VIII)

Because it's finally the end of a game that took me forever to beat. And actually, the most focused one.

Runner up: Prologue (Metal Gear Solid V)

How to hook players in: checked.

Best Gameplay:

Metal Gear Solid V

I believe I haven't written a review on this game, so I'll talk about the game's gameplay over here. Through my playthrough, I thought: "Ok, can I do this? Surprise, yes I could. Can I do things my way? Hell yes." This, plus the combined gameplay from previous titles in one package which also gives players dozens of options to keep going more than justifies winning best gameplay. Thank you, Quiet, D-horse for making missions memorable.

Runner up: Paper Mario

The Nintendo 64 might not have a diverse genre of titles at its disposal, but the few that made the cut are pure excellence. Survival horror? Resident Evil 2. Fighting? Smash. RPG? This one. For starters, it does follow a similar structure to that of Super Mario RPG but to a greater extent with risky decisions that only help the game more and distinguish it from other role-playing, platformers, or Nintendo games in general. I'm eager to play The Thousand-Year Door now.

Best Theme:

The Man With The Machine Gun

Again, the best of Final Fantasy VIII was Laguna, hands down.

Runner up: Peace Walker 2

"Face me" alongside this energetic boss battle theme would have been the perfect finale, but it wasn't.

Biggest Innovation:

Fulton (Peace Walker)

Runner up: Party Swapping (Paper Mario)

Best Boss Fights:

God Hand

Runner up: Peace Walker

Best Sequel/Prequel:

Peace Walker

Runner up: Shovel Knight King Of Cards

Best Series:

Metal Gear Solid

Runner up: Shovel Knight

Best Final Boss:

Metal Gear Solid V

Runner up: God Hand

Best Opening:

Dissidia 012

Most watched video of 2020 in my book. Totally deserved.

Runner up: Persona 3 Portable

Best Song:

Heaven's Divide (Peace Walker)

I lost when this started playing in the game due to how intense it is and how well implemented it is. Art at its finest.

Runner up: Wiping All Out (P3P)

Most Replayed Game:

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call

Best Controller:

PSP

Best Screenshot:

Ivy The Kiwy?

Best Game:

8: Metal Gear Solid V

BLES02102 - Metal Gear Solid V – The Phantom Pain

My situation with this game is an odd one. On one hand, I could easily put it in a lower position but, this is an incomplete game that in the end suffers from it and that hurt my time with it. Veterans of the series beware, the story doesn't do much to how Peace Walker and Metal Gear Solid 4 ended things. Still, the gameplay is the best the series has to offer.

7: Super Mario RPG

Super Mario RPG - Wikipedia

Taken from my review:

"A game that mixes the best from both worlds? Check. A special one at that? Double-check. Now I know why this game is regarded as one of the best games of all time. It is not because of the companies which made it or the character involved but the execution of all of its ideas and how it can appeal to most gamers due to what this gem has to offer. Wish the game had been a bit longer and not so difficult at times. Other than that, this is a must-play for fans of both genres."

6: Persona 3 Portable

Persona 3 Portable Cover. | Persona 3 portable, Shin megami tensei persona,  Playstation portable

Taken from my review:

"I have played every Persona game except for the dancing ones, and when it comes to remakes or enhanced ports within the series, this has been my first one. P3P feels more like an original port for the PSP rather than anything else, and while that can be seen as something negative, it clearly isn't. I knew the series thanks to this game and since then I have been recommending newcomers to start with Persona 3 FES, but now that I have played this version, I can recommend both. By doing this, newcomers will experience a little bit of what Persona 4 has in store for them, and that's a good thing."

5: The Legend Of Zelda II The Adventure Of Link

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link - Wikipedia

Taken from my review:

"After writing all this and reflecting on the past, maybe I wasn't ready to play this game until this year. Having beaten most Zelda titles and non-Zelda titles sharing gameplay mechanics similar to this one really helped me to find my way in Zelda II. An action RPG with 2D side-scrolling as its main gameplay mechanic, yeah I see why it doesn't align with what its predecessor introduced before it and why some don't actually like it as much. As for me, I like changes and when those are well implemented and merged with an already well-received formula, I'm all in."

4: Paper Mario

Shiver Mountain song from Paper Mario | Paper mario, Paper mario 64, Mario  nintendo

Super Mario RPG introduced me to Mario RPGs and this game more than solidified my stay within these series. Paper Mario defied everything I had against it before even playing: the fear of lame graphics, copy paste from the previous role-playing game they took basics from, and a predictable story but it wasn't any of that. Truly a well crafted game for a console that could have done things like this and more.

3: God Hand

God Hand - Wikipedia

Taken from my review:

"A fitting description for God Hand would be a hell of a game, in a good way. This is the first time a beat em up ends up getting nominated for retro GOTY in my yearly awards, and with good reason. Controlling Gene while having a blast with how the game develops the more you play it has been the funniest and most hilarious experience I've had with a game in a long time. However, its pushing difficulty and a very questionable camera turn the fun into frustration."

But before, here a list of all the game I played this 2020:

  1. Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker
  2. Minecraft
  3. Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops
  4. Florence
  5. Shovel Knight King Of Cards
  6. Dead Nation
  7. Castle Crashers
  8. Persona 3 Portable
  9. Shovel Knight Specter Of Torment
  10. Shovel Knight Plague Of Shadows
  11. Dissidia 012
  12. Ivy The Kiwy?
  13. Okamiden
  14. Dissidia
  15. Theatrhytm Final Fantasy
  16. Castlevania Dracula X Chronicles
  17. Super Mario Bros 2
  18. Covert Ops Nuclear Dawn
  19. Super Mario RPG Legend Of The Seven Stars
  20. Balloon Fight
  21. Fear Effect
  22. The Legend of Zelda II The Adventure Of Link
  23. MotorStorm Arctic Edge
  24. Final Fantasy VIII
  25. Bit Trip Runner
  26. God Hand
  27. Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon
  28. Strider (2014)
  29. Kirby Canvas Curse
  30. Fear Effect 2
  31. Silent Hill Origins
  32. Metal Gear Solid V
  33. Persona (PSP)
  34. Metroid Prime 3 Corruption
  35. Paper Mario
  36. Metroid Prime 2 Echoes
  37. Luigi's Mansion (3DS)
  38. The Legend Of Zelda The Wind Waker

Runner up:

2: Dissidia 012

Dissidia 012[duodecim]: Final Fantasy's Box Art Is A Bit Busy - Siliconera

Taken from my review:

"Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy is that game fans of the series didn't expect but at the same time, didn't know they needed. Take it as an homage to one of the most enduring Role-Playing game series to this day, as a fighting game that challenges and rewards you big time, or as another Final Fantasy game that lives up to its namesake, spin-off or not. I played this game without having played Final Fantasy VIII before, but Dissidia 012's story builds upon itself just fine and it may even encourage newcomers to go and play the original titles."

1: Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (2010) box cover art - MobyGames

Taken from my review:

"While with all of the written above Peace Walker deserves a perfect score, nothing is without, or at least for most cases, without a flaw. The button mapping did an excellent job, just that a little refining could have been better. Still, once you master its controls the game is a joy to play. However, what is not a joy to play is the post game content which tells you something must be done, but what happens after you do that? You get the real final boss fight which by all means feels more of an anime extra episode than something related to the Metal Gear mythos by a longshot. Why after witnessing the anime influence do its job, we have to listen to a Japanese song totally not fitting for the occasion? In the end, I was satisfied with when the game showed me credits, not after this, and this I don't forgive nor forget."

I knew this game would end up being my Retro GOTY back in July and while yes, that true ending is something I don't forgive nor forget, I don't acknowledge it. Something similar happened with Persona 5 in 2017.

Having said that, my next blog and first for 2021 is going to be all about my retro goty runner ups up until now.

Thanks for Reading.

- As expected, video games made this possible.


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About Exberone of us since 7:47 PM on 04.07.2020

I guess these would be considered as my stats, so here I go:

I'm Exber, not related to my name by any means. I'm from Venezuela and I'm an English Teacher.

I have been playing video games since I was 4 years old. Goldeneye 007 for the Nintendo 64 are among my first gaming memories.

Console gamer. I play on PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 3DS, DS, and many retro systems. However, PC is not out of the picture.

Resident Evil and Persona share the spot as my favorite gaming series. Following this, here are my favorite games per year:

2006: The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time

2007: Resident Evil 2

2008: Persona 4
Runner Up: Resident Evil 4

2010: Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater
Runner Up: Final Fantasy XII

2011: Radiant Historia
Runner Up: Okami

2012: Klonoa Door to Phantomile
Runner Up: Tomb Raider Anniversary

2013: Fatal Frame 3 The Tormented
Runner Up: Silent Hill 4

2014: Onimusha Dawn of Dreams
Runner Up: Resident Evil Zero

2015: The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword
Runner Up: Final Fantasy IV

2016: Final Fantasy IX
Runner Up: A Link Between World

2017: Persona 5
Runner Up: Brothers A Tale of Two Sons

2018: Skies of Arcadia Legends
Runner Up: Zelda Spirit Tracks

2019: Persona Q2 New Cinema Labyrinth
Runner Up: Ghost Trick

2020: Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker
Runner Up: Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy

I try to learn the most I can with every video game, thus my Retro GOTY winners won a place in me. Best examples are Persona 4 (2008) and Final Fantasy IX (2016)

GameSpot and GameInformer were the sites that granted me the opportunity to blog prior to coming here. Good times.

I'm currently 26 years old. Come May 10th and I'll level up.

Favorite color: green.

Favorite number: 4.

Favorite video game genre: Survival Horror. RPGs come second.

Favorite movie: 13 going to 30.

Favorite game of all time: Persona 4.

And, that's about it for now.