Best Games of 2017

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Best Games of 2017

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:01 pm

It's too early for me to do a movie one of these (with SW still to come out), but since there's nothing else I'm particularly interested in playing this year and it's been a kinda weak year if you're not really a Nintendo fan, here's my list for best in games of 2017:

1. Resident Evil 7.
Way to rediscover horror...makers of the only video game horror property with as much prestige as Silent Hill. What's next, SquEnix is gonna have to rediscover how to make good JRP—oh, right. Maybe FF16 will finally do it.
Anyways, I had originally dismissed this(and I was pretty vocal in my loathing of both what this and FF15 were shaping up to be) as desperate grasping by combining True Detective: The Only Season that Matters and Outlast. How very surprised I was to find a tight--if familiar--story, a few fun boss battles (and one very familiar boss battle), a couple of memorable villains that were silly but menacing, and a very tight and tense shooting over it that helped amplify the horror of the game rather than drag it down as most shooting in horror games does.
I won't pretend that some of the reason this is here isn't because I grew up with RE and hated what it became. Even as much as I enjoyed 4, I hated what it did to the franchise. Still, this game was surprisingly Resident Evil. Though Umbrella and one particular character at the end are the only tethers to the franchise, the game design is incredibly familiar to veteran Resident Evil players, bringing a breath of fresh air to the series while keeping it more-or-less grounded in the traditional game play.
So here's to you, Capcom. Good job not going the way of SquEnix and becoming completely irrelevant to me these da—
2. Nier: Automata.
Oh, right. I always forget that Square Enix supports games that AREN'T Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest. How does it feel to be near the top of my top five for the first time in well over a decade, Squenix, are you proud of being here on some rando's list? And not for your mediocre FF15 game, either (although that Florence + the Machines cover of "Stand By Me" was worth getting), which I thought came out this year but actually came out late last year, but it was released in that span of time where Trump was elected president and now, and everything in that time has somehow been simultaneously a horrified blur and a never-ending nightmare.
Anyways, Nier the Second was a title I was wary of picking up, and you can read my review and find a lot of problems I had with this game, but what it did well it did so well that I couldn't help but stick it in the top five. While the next three I was more lukewarm about, this and RE7 are the only games that I would put in a top 5 even in a strong year. There have been dark, philosophical games before, but some of Nier:Automata's incredibly existential, bleak, and thoughtful story stuck with me in a way that--for all its faults--Bioshock Infinite's did. So for that, if nothing else, it's worth putting in this spot. Plus, it and RE 7 are the only ones this year I've gone back to play again.
Apparently, it's sold so well that it literally saved Platinum Games from being dissolved, a studio I actually rather like. Hats off to you, nihilistic, robot-ass-loving, crazy creator of Nier: Automata. May your next game be as bleak and weird.
3. South Park: the Fractured but Whole
I've always been a fan of South Park's humor more than any other show: it could be deeply offensive if in lesser hands, but Trey Parker and Matt Stone somehow make it funny and oftentimes quite thoughtful past the crude humor.
The combat is better, but the jokes don't hit as hard as they did in the last game (except for the entirety of the police station level, which was both hilarious, disturbing, and political--in typical South Park style) but I wonder if that's for the same reason that I was kind meh about GotG 2 (spoiler for the movie list): I knew what I was walking into, so it didn't hit as hard the second time around.
Frankly, this and the next two wouldn't have made the list in a better year (btw, 2013 was the best gaming year on record, in my eyes) but this still kept me chuckling and was fun enough in combat that I didn't feel bad about going full price on it.
4. Little Nightmares.
Oh yeah, time for the indie pick(I'll admit, the reason you're not seeing a lot of the biggest AAA games up here is because unless I really want them, I'm never prepared to spring for them until they go on discount). Anyways, Little Nightmares is a horror game, and damn it's been a horror-heavy year in both entertainment and real life. And also, my list.
This is a more artistic game, with an abstract story that could admittedly be about many things, but I suspect is about power and the way it corrupts even the most innocent and earnest of people. Anyways, if you like your children at risk of being turned into sausage and eaten, if you like a story that's one giant allegory of the lure of greed, power, and gluttony, then you'll love this.
5. Persona 5.
I agonized a bit over whether to put this or Original Sin 2 here. Persona is the kind of game that isn't usually my speed, but once I got into the first story—about an Olympic medalist coach abusing his students both physically and sexually, I was surprised to find many of the kids' stories either particularly well-grounded in the real world or relatable rather than what I usually expect.
The turn-based RPG combat, a favorite of mine ever since FFX, is also a plus. In a better gaming year, this probably wouldn't have made the list, but my special mentions just weren't good enough to be here and nothing else really ate up my time.

Special mentions –
Battlechasers: Nightwar.
I like me some party turn-based JRPGs, and this one based on a comic (and also, styled like a comic) was really good. The story was good, the characters were fun, but the gameplay just didn't have enough variety for me to feel it exceeded similar games.
Divinity: Original Sin 2.
Like the last one, I was entertained enough by this game. I do have an affinity for CRPGs, but this one feels too straightforward and lacking in the freedom of its predecessor that it just couldn't be elevated to my top 5.
Pyre.
I always love Supergiant's work, but where Bastion and Transistor were like reading a heavy story while listening to your favorite soundtrack, this one was just a small adventure book with some nice enough ambient tunes. A good game, but I was hoping for something meatier with consideration to your first two titles.

Biggest “Meh” of the year that everyone else loved
Horizon:Zero Dawn. Considering the fatigue I have with the Ubisoft Game—that is to say, THE Ubisoft Game, the one they keep making again and again and again—I wasn't sure why everyone was hailing this game that felt like it was copying off of Ubisoft's homework. To me, it was the same exact game as Assassin's Creed or Watch Dogs, just with robot giraffes instead of radio towers. Sure, the novelty of killing robot velociraptors was cool the first couple of hours, but then everything grew stale and rote. There was little customization, the story was “eh”, it was just running around and setting traps for robots until you get bored.

Things from this year I still wanna play— Fire Emblem Echos: Shadows of Valentia, Prey, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, The Evil Within 2.

Thing I don't care to play that everyone else loves and whose lack of inclusion will inevitably piss someone off - Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Hero of the Year - The kid from Little Nightmares. I don't know if she even has a name. However, hers is a favoritism born of her storyline, which can be read pretty easily about the corruption of greed and power.

Villain of the Year - Jack Baker. An axe/????/shovel wielding redneck from Louisiana, campy as shit and funny, but carrying a sympathetic ending. In the hands of a lesser voice actor, this would've come off like RE5 Wesker (In fact, the same goes for Lucas and Marguerite, who were also very well voiced). Instead, I was left with a villain not quite up to GLaDOS levels of memorability, but like...in the next tier, with the likes of the Illusive Man and Andrew Ryan—if for a different reason: being one of the most fun villains in quite some time.

Best Soundtrack - Nier: Automata. There weren't a lot of great soundtracks this year, especially since Supergiant's entry decided to go more with ambient music than their usual Musical-style tunes.

So, if it's not too early for you guys, go ahead and share. What do you think was the best this year?

*EDIT* Forgot a crucial word in the last sentence.
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Last edited by Doodle Dee. Snickers on Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Best Games of 2017

Postby iMURDAu » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:34 pm

Metroid: Samus Returns scratches an itch I've been dealing with for like 14 years. Definitely deserves a mention here.

I've not played many new games this year.
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I loathe gaming on my laptop because of various reasons, the biggest being how it constantly faints if it's not plugged in. I don't own a current gen console. I want a Switch and a PS4 but there's nothing I need on them. Plus Nintendo keeps pissing me off by putting Xenoblade in the title of games that deserve Xeno in the title but have no connection to the game titled Xenoblade which happens to be my favorite game of all time. If Xenoblade 2 was a sequel I would have put two Switches on a credit card this week. *shrug*
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Re: Best Games of 2017

Postby Anglerphobe » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:48 pm

I have to nominate Hollow Knight - The gameplay is unexpectedly, impressively deep and the world and boss encounters are well designed, the score is beautiful, the art and design is really nice, and above all the atmosphere is fantastic. Emphatically recommended.
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Re: Best Games of 2017

Postby KleinerKiller » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:47 am

There's still quite a bit I have left to play or watch others play, but I think my top marks are set in stone. LENGTHY POST TIME

5. Sonic Mania

As Sonic Forces would go on to perfectly embody the worst of what the Sonic franchise (and fandom) has become, Mania embodies the best of what it was and proves this is still what it could be. The lush and creatively designed levels, the earworm soundtrack that throws out the Hot Topic tween rock Sonic's adhered to since going 3D, the utterly INSPIRED boss battles that remind me why I hate how gaming at large seems to be slowly doing away with the traditional boss fight... everything works so well and it's crafted with such visible love. It even tells a straightforward and unintrusive story better than the "real" anniversary game that was shat out a few months later, even if the forced connection to said shit at the end is a black mark on it. This year gave us more than a few incredible throwback platformers, but I enjoyed none as much as this one.

Can't wait to see Sega learn absolutely nothing and keep leaning into the edgy elementary-school fanfic storylines and customizable OCs.

4. Resident Evil 7

Serves me right for being so cynical -- much as I hated the idea of this game and its marketing, and how much it appeared to be cribbing from the tragic case of Silent Hills, this was a goddamn blast that kicked a year of legendary games off to a great start. Doods has lain out most of what I would have said -- I love the perspective and how they use it, I love the scares, I adore the Bakers as villains, etc -- so I will say that the lack of non-boss enemy variety, the third-act plot points (excluding the part about who that particular character was all along, which is fantastic), and my desire for more elaborate puzzles in the vein of Lucas's mid-game deathtrap keeps it in fourth place, but still. Keep it coming, Capcom. Resist the siren call to put arcade multiplayer in again. Long live the horror gaming renaissance!

3. Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony

Admittedly I'm only about halfway through this one, so I haven't reached the parts people have apparently found really contentious, but even if there's an ME3-level throbbing middle finger waiting for me at the end, I have a hard time seeing how it could knock DRV3 down from its spot. This game is so far everything I love about the Danganronpa series refined into an increasingly perfect formula: the overarching mysteries and murder cases are so dense and weird that I'm still constantly being thrown for a loop even as a series veteran, the story is only getting more riveting by the hour, the protagonist is a breath of fresh air from the previous two generic vanilla guys, and the trial gameplay has eliminated most of what I've found frustrating in the past and perfected what remains. Some of the characters are annoying, as is an unfortunate tradition, but the rest of the cast makes up for it well. It's just a great, intense, polished experience and I hope it finishes strong.

2. Yakuza 0

I am so glad this game brought more attention in the West to the Yakuza series, because otherwise I might have remained blissfully ignorant of one of the finest, densest, most enjoyable open-world action game franchises out there. When someone says this game has everything, they mean everything: a dark and emotional crime thriller for a main story split across two distinctly different POV characters, hundreds of strange and playful sidequests packed with entertaining objectives, a fun combat system with eight different styles and numerous unlockable abilities, two complex management subgames with their own running storylines, numerous more games within games (including a whole adorable questline about RC car racing and customization), a bizarre amount of mocapped porn stars, shark fishing, hilariously elaborate karaoke scenes, etc, etc, etc. And in the many hours I've sunk into it, I haven't come across a single notable glitch. It's unbelievable how much there is to go around, and how much attention to detail is put into every aspect of it. And I haven't even gotten to Kiwami yet!

That would be my Game Of The Year for sure, if not for...

1. NieR: Automata

What can I say about this that I haven't already said? I love the original NieR despite its incredible amount of mechanical flaws, and I love Platinum Games. I expected good things to come of the collision between the two. I never expected to find not just my Game Of The Year, but my new flat-out favorite video game.
Save for the serious misstep of Route B, the product of one of Yoko Taro's recurring eccentricities being ballooned into heavier focus because of the higher budget and more mainstream attention, every single thing about this game kept me on its hook from the first moment to the last. No game I've played this year has it beat in terms of storyline complexity, emotional depth and maturity, across-the-board character development, gameplay intensity, unexpected unique scenarios, kickass music, etc. I just love it, and as much of a shame as it was to see it end, it goes out on the perfect note at just the right time. And especially if you're a fan of the first NieR, the callbacks here and there are some of the most beautiful moments of the whole piece. This was one of my favorite things in 2017. Yoko Taro is a mad god of a creator and I'm dying to see what he does next.

Runners-Up: Outlast II, Night In The Woods, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Honorable Mention: Metroid: Samus Returns, just because we got a "new" (technically a remake, but so expanded and different that it's barely related to its original) Metroid game that seems quite good and is finally getting people back into Nintendo's best franchise. Hopefully I can actually play it myself soon.

Heroes of the Year: 1) 2B (NieR: Automata), 2) Goro Majima (Yakuza 0), 3) Senua (Hellblade), 4) Mae Borowski (Night in the Woods)

Villains of the Year: 1) Jack Baker (RE7), 2) Tetsu Tachibana (Yakuza 0), 3) The Machine Network (NieR: Automata), 4) Hiroki Awano (Yakuza 0)
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Game Review: TALES OF XILLIA

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Re: Best Games of 2017

Postby gisambards » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:15 am

Looking at the list of games that came out this year, I realise I have only played five: Horizon Zero Dawn, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Mario Odyssey, Outlast 2 and Resident Evil 7. Mario Kart shouldn't really count since it's just a port of a game that came out earlier, I think I have to exclude Outlast 2 because I've only played the first fifteen minutes, and I'm going to exclude RE7 because, while I won't go into details here, I hated literally every aspect of it. So that leaves two games.

Super Mario Odyssey comes 2nd, as it's definitely a lot of fun, but I feel like it's not actually as original as people were making it out to be - the worlds are beautifully rendered, but I honestly felt there was very little I hadn't seen before. The new possession mechanic has some fun stuff done with it, but I think they actually overuse it - there are surprisingly few segments where simply platforming as Mario (which is the core of the appeal of these games) is the focus more than using the ghost hat - and yet the mechanic isn't actually quite interesting enough to justify that - you get a lot of "oh that's neat moments," but then once you've worked out a possessed enemies abilities few of the puzzles using those abilities have any real challenge. Nothing wowed me as much as some stuff did in Mario Galaxy, although I was 10 when I first played Galaxy so that might be a factor.

This means my top pick is Horizon: Zero Dawn, although I think in a year where I'd played more games it probably would have only just scraped into a top 5. It's interesting, very original setting, mostly engaging gameplay (I really enjoyed fighting the robots, but generally didn't enjoy fighting the humans). Most of the story is weak, which is a shame because I think it does actually have a very strong opening in terms of character and world-building but then completely fails to maintain that quality: I really liked the first area and felt I had a great sense of it and its inhabitants, but then everything beyond that felt pretty meh. But overall it's very solid, whilst trying something pretty new in a very original setting, and so I think, in what was rather a weak year, that wins it.
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Re: Best Games of 2017

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:39 am

KleinerKiller wrote:
-snip-



Between RE7, a game I was certain I was going to hate, and Nier: Automata, a game I was very uncertain about playing, it's funny that the games I ended up liking far and away (there's a massive gap between the top two and everything else) were the games that I was most 'eeeeeehhhhhhhhh' about. I've been thinking about picking up Automata again, and I think once I do the proper story DLCs for RE7, I'm gonna take a shot at Madhouse Difficulty.
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Re: Best Games of 2017

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:04 am

Life is Strange: Before the Storm has been pretty great so far. Batman: The Enemy Within was also pretty good.
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Re: Best Games of 2017

Postby Grimstone » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:51 am

Cuphead: Haven't bought/played it yet but it has the coolest animation I've ever seen in a video game.

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Re: Best Games of 2017

Postby Absentia » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:17 pm

I don't play that many new games these days, but my number one would have to be Breath of the Wild. The world is so big and richly detailed and beautiful that it's honestly one of the most impressive achievements I've seen in a video game. The fact that it's also a lot of fun is almost secondary.

Honorable mentions are Sonic Mania and PUBG. And I'm sure I'll love Mario Odyssey as soon as I get a chance to play it.
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Re: Best Games of 2017

Postby Grimstone » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:11 pm

Horizon Zero Dawn: Gameplay was boring and I thought the robot animals were kind of stupid but I really liked the story so I ended watching the full 5+ hours of cut-scenes and dialogue on youtube.

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