It's getting to the end of the year, and as usual we have the opportunity to look back and take stock. Rather than an official Hubris Mosaic 'best of the year' list, this year I've attempted to keep track of the games I've played, and write a couple of lines about each.
So I present to you now my list of notable games I played in 2017, in no particular order, with comments.
Not quite my game of the year, but still amazing. As someone who generally dislikes open world games, the sense of exploration and discovery in this game pulled me to every corner of its map. While I didn't quite finish every shrine, and certainly not collect every damn Korok seed, I still really enjoyed my time in Hyrule. Some fantastic ideas, a brilliant update to the series and for the first open world Zelda they really nailed it.
A new installment in a personal favourite series? I wish I had played this more but the time I've spent with it has been fun. Giant Bear grudge matches and series crossover demon warrior battles are good honest fun.
A fun and mad fighter, with some great mechanics and characters. Again, I wish I had spent more time with this.
Great. I preferred the cast of 4, but the gameplay, music, plotting and general style that this game oozes mark it as a great upgrade for the series and a must for anyone who likes JRPGs. One minute you're taking exams, then you're dating your teacher, the next minute you're fighting giant penis monsters, then infiltrating a pyramid. Mad and excellent.
For me, a huge improvement over 3. The reduction of ridiculous set pieces and introduction of a great partner in Nate's brother Sam makes this game a lot smoother and more focused. The animation, particularly in cut scenes, is fantastic.
I really enjoyed this but then made the mistake of overwriting my save file in the middle of a tough dungeon where there were limited opportunities for levelling up. Up to that point however, I really enjoyed the maps, which are generally more open than recent series entries, and the side quests.
Yep, I'm still just about hanging on with this one. 3rd Generation was released recently, and the introduction of Legendary raids this year was initially exciting, but not really my thing. I am also getting more errors the more I play (but that may be my phone rather than the game!).
So my first playthrough I messed up (no spoilers). I was told in no uncertain terms by my sister that I'd done it wrong, wrong, wrong. So I finally restarted and made it through and yes, what a game. Highly reccomended.
I missed the hype on this, and ended up pleasantly surprised. It's a lonely sci-fi explore-em-up, but the computer generation of the worlds and creatures meant there was always something new and diverse to see.
Fun for a while but ultimately repetitive.
Fun for a while but unless you are going to grind a lot you probably need to spend money on random lootboxes so NO THANK YOU.
Loved this. I've not played a Yakuza game before but the good mix of melodrama and ridiculousness worked so well for me. Never would I have guessed that one of my gaming highlights for the year would be running an 80s hostess club.
I enjoyed it. Not everything works but I think they set out to make a slightly cheesy teen horror and they succeeded.
Played through with the missus, I felt this was decent but certainly lacking compared to Borderlands 1 & 2. Level design was spotty, and the new oxygen mechanic was, for me, not particularly fun.
God damn how did they mess this up. NOT EVERY GAME NEEDS TO BE OPEN WORLD! Especially one where tight level design is a key factor. Luckily I breezed through the main story and ignored most of the open world stuff but I still spent far too much time running through the same areas. I enjoyed bits but overall a wasted opportunity.
This game is a great filler game, when you have a little time and just want to blast something for a while. Tight arcade action and impressive effects.
Dated, but still solid. Played the PS1 version on a Vita. This is a bit of a nostalgia hit for me.
Interesting touch based dungeon crawler with slashy puzzle style enemies. Didn't get all the way through this one but liked what I played.
One from Kickstarter! Pretty nice tactics game with a cool cards and dice element.It has a Final Fantasy Tactics feel with a bit of a twist. Unfortuntely didn't keep my interest all the way through.
My wife's game of the year! A good and well made party game with awkward questions and clever use of mobiles as you take photos, draw and nominate each other.
My game of the year! Absolute joy to play, the action and destruction nicely tempered by exploration and upgrading. The story contains discussion of some quite interesting ideas about conflict. Far from perfect but crammed with so many interesting, clever and utterly bonkers ideas.
See Resogun- one of the best twin stick shooter series and always a great one to fit in when you need a blast of action and colour.
I played this with our very own Matt, a nice and well made Diablo Clone with some nice ideas.
I played through this alongside one of the other HM guys, unfortunately he gave up but I finished. I always enjoy a good pokémon romp (see next 2 entries) but the first generation have aged horribly now. Lucky the nostalgia is strong in this one! I dumped my useless Pikachu pretty early on though.
I played Sun last year and fancied trying a run through with a randomly generated team. Unfortunately I think being stuck with this team didn't help my enjoyment, and it was a bit too soon after my Sun playthrough to really make the most of this. Still, great game!
And another one! Started to flag on this one. Too much 'mon for one year? As with Yellow, this has not aged well, and coming after a Moon playthrough it just seems dull and lacking. I made it through to the Elite 4 but stopped there without doing the second half of the game.
This blew me away. I am not a huge FPS player and tend to play slower and more methodical ones (See Borderlands). This is completely the opposite- vsiceral, in your face action the whole way through and I loved it. The mechanic of melee finishers giving you extra drops forces you to get in close and personal and really keeps you on your toes.
Nice game, not for me. I really liked the first one but this felt far too 'trail and error' based. I often found one mistake lead to death and there were several instances where stealth seemed to be a worse option than aggression. That said the world building is great.
Good fun! The combat ran out of steam for me towards the end as the 'match the move to the enemy colour' mechanic removed a lot of the creativity in the battles, but overall a very well made and well themed game.
Bah, this was not fun. I expect I would have enjoyed this more with a friend, but single player was far too grindy for me personally.
Pure videogame crack. Had to force myself to move on to Endless Legend (See below) to break the cycle. Absolutely amazing 'one more go' gameplay and so much hidden depth. Utter gaming heaven.
Mixed feelings on this. The nursery rhyme script felt very forced, and the gameplay was surprisingly punishing. To be honest I lost interest in this one.
I really want to like this. REALLY want to. But every time I see it on my phone I don't feel the urge to play it. It's fun and well made and cool but just lacks a bit of Mario sparkle.
Really interesting. As mentioned above, this was the methadone to Civilisiation V, and at first it was a rough transtition. However there are a lot of really cool ideas, the races are varied, the mini quests and race storylines are a great addition, and the ability to individually equip units is really nice. I came out really appreciating it as it's own thing, and as a result, really appreciating Civ V in return.
Gah. A great game, a weird and possibly self defeating release plan. My feelings on this game are very up and down. I'm looking forward to the release of the Arcade mode next year, a bit more single player content is very welcome, and I really hope to get back into this.
Another fighter, another set of characters to learn. Good fun, interesting characters and gameplay but not quite up there with SFV in terms of gameplay for me.
Clever mechanics and a nice, if silly theme. 2 or more players running about controlling a spaceship. It seems simple but works brilliantly.
One of my favourite games got released for free on PS Plus so I thought it was time for another playthrough! It's unfortunate that it is clearly unfinished towards the end and has a story that probably requires you to have played 7 or so other games to really start to understand. However the central gameplay is utterly sublime, and the slow accumulation of power and upgraded weapons is fantastic. Going from a rifle and a silenced pistol up to homing rockets, invisibility and a near naked magic sniper partner really gives you a great feeling of progression.
The usual yearly or so delve into Skyrim, this time a healy, mace and shield wielding lizardman with an interest in the daedra. Accusations this character may have been based on Rohandral from a certain D&D podcast are entirely unfounded...
Still playing this one, started off not sure of all the fuss about it but the more I've played the more I like it. Tough in places but also beautiful and clever.
Fun, and with a nice platform/action mix but the amount of backtracking is frustrating.
An interesting concept, build the dungeon around your AI controlled hireling and upgrade them, fulfilling quests and getting loot. Just hope you can persuade them to fight the weaker enemies first.
Over the top action, incredible enemy design, great music. Really liked this and looking forward to the recently announced 3rd iteration of the series. Fighting centaur angels on the back of a jet fighter flying acrross a city, is awesome, and that's just the prologue.
And there you have it, my non-exhautive pre-Xmas list of games I've played this year. Any thoughts on any of these? What games have you enjoyed this year?