This year has seen a lot of really great games that are truly shaping our growing community of gamers around the world. So many games, in fact, that I have not had the chance to play a good number of them. While I had the chance to come up with enough money to afford a fraction of the great releases this year, I spent a lot of my time looking back on the past and reintroducing myself to the world of multiplayer gaming. It was a world I had tried to avoid in order to fit in all of the JRPGs that came around in the years past, and I thought that it was finally time to jump in once more. Despite that, I still did manage to play a number of really great titles that really shocked and surprised me. It seems that gaming is starting to become really diverse, and the choices shown below really exemplify how I feel that the community we have built together has shaped together.
Favorite Game Released Before 2018, Played in 2018: Dead by Daylight
Dead by Daylight is a 4v1 multiplayer survival horror game. The idea is simple, yet the execution is complex; one player plays as one of the many killers that you can choose from, while the other four players activate a set amount of generators in order to power the exit gates and escape. The catch is that if the killer finds you, he can strike you down and place you on one of the many meat hooks located around the map. If your friends don’t save you in time, you’ll be sacrificed to the entity and no longer be able to participate in the game. What makes the idea more complex and interesting are the various perks and items that everyone can use, ultimately manipulating the gameplay by changing the way your character works. It’s so much fun to be able to try different perk builds and attempt to confuse the enemy killer or survivors, especially when playing with friends. I would highly recommend giving Dead by Daylight a try as it has occupied hundreds of hours of my time with its infinitely fun and everchanging game-world.
2018 Honorable Mentions
Mario Tennis Aces, Mega Man 11, Monster Prom, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon
Top 5 Games of 2018
5. Soul Calibur VI
Fighting games are very tough to put on a Top 5 Games of the Year list. Soul Calibur VI, on the other hand, has seemingly ressurected everyone’s love for the seemingly forgotten Bandai Namco franchise; myself included. The package is all there: an interesting set of story modes, arcade mode, well working online play, and one of the best character creators in video game history. Everything feels extremely fluid and satisfying with every dash and button press, and even though it’s covered behind a base structure of a fighting game that is known to be historically repetitive, every second of the game remains fresh and fun no matter how many times I boot it up. That, and the ability to recreate some of my favorite anime characters helps quite a bit.
4. Dragon Quest XI
One of the most remarkable and well-known gaming franchises in Japan comes back for another entry, once again in the third dimension. While the game itself doesn’t really do anything new, it is an absolute joy to see Akira Toriyama’s vibrant and colorful artwork attatched to some extremely developed characters and locales. Every moment from the beautiful sound to the artistic design had me humming and buzzing away at the nearest slime enemy I could find. This quest is a long and interesting journey that strikes me as unique, despite the lack of innovation from the typical JRPG format. Toriyama really outdid himself with some of the most beautiful art direction I’ve seen in many years, and with so many side quests to do on top of the already lengthy campaign, it truly makes Dragon Quest XI worth your money.
3. Monster Hunter World
Let’s be honest; who hasn’t dreamed of slaying a monster that’s at least a hundred times your size? This game is a young kid’s fantasy come true. There are a large variety of monsters to hunt down and take back home to brag about. Whether it be in the lush fields, the harsh desert, or the freezing snowy mountains, each map is very open and detailed and filled with areas to explore and gather from. You’ll be able to take what you found from your hunt to craft bigger and better weapons and armor in order to complete your next quest against a monster twice the last one’s size. Be it alone or with a friend, you simply can’t go wrong with the deep and interesting level of skills, items, and mechanics that make up a great and unique open-world role-playing experience.
2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
At my core, I am a Super Smash Bros. fan. There is nothing more satisfying or important to me than Super Smash Bros. I was and still am extremely excited to play the game that I spent so many years of my life playing with friends and family, and eventually strangers and professional gamers. This rendition of Super Smash Bros. is the best one yet. It is truly accessible without throwing away the deep mechanics that fans of the older games have come to appreciate over the years. It is the competitive game that has no skill curve, but rather a fitting and adjustible sleeve that the player can wear to feel the reward of victory over a good player. Beyond that, it is a celebration of Nintendo’s life and existance over many generations of their life. It is an experience that can only be felt and not explained. From Duck Hunt to Super Mario Odyssey, not a single beat has been skipped, and I can feel the rhythm beat within my heart.
Every once in a while, a game comes around and really surprises you. Celeste is very much this game. From a first glance, it looked like nothing more than another platformer that attempted to use the charm of nostalgia against its victims in order to make sales, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth. Celeste is a game that not only manages to be mechanically simple and complex at the same time, but it manages to reach our hearts in a way we never would have expected from a 2D platformer. Depression is a topic that is often talked about among people, but for it to be the undertone of a game in this style is simply remarkable in every way imaginable. It makes you feel, think, and learn through every step up the seemingly impassible mountain, and the climb is absolutely filled with passion and love all the way to the top. It’s remarkable; truly and honestly remarkable.
Most of my time is dedicated to tearing apart games and movies, then telling you what I think about it. I've been a gamer since birth, practically born with a controller in my hand. I've always spoke my mind, so critique was a natural fit. Twitter: @Jsrf38