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SpecialYear in Review

Gwonam’s TOP 5 Games of 2017

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Another year is almost gone, and it was amazing for every videogame fan! There has been something for everyone, and every month was full of games to play! Plus, there’s also the new console made by Nintendo (Switch) that stole the scene immediately!

I didn’t manage to play every major title that came out this year, and I tried getting as many as I could, but there were just so many this time! Without further ado, here’s my TOP 5 Games that came out in 2017 (and that I’ve actually played, of course).

5. Sonic Mania (PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Switch)

Sonic Mania is the closest thing we’ll ever get to a real Sonic the Hedgehog 4, and it looks (and plays) almost exactly like it would if it was actually released on a SEGA Console (it probably would have come out on Saturn). I grew up with the old Sonic Games, and playing this has been an absolute blast: I kept smiling from the beginning until the very end, and I actually wanted to collect everything and find out every little easter egg and secrets, which are things that I usually don’t care about when playing a videogame. This is a game made by fans who love the series, and it shows. It absolutely deserves a spot on my list, considering that it doesn’t even cost that much for what it offers, and it’s probably the best game I’ve had the pleasure of officially reviewing. Bravo, Christian Whitehead and friends!

4. Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)

“WHAAAAAAT?!?! IT’S ONLY NUMBER 4?!? YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT VIDEOGAMES!!”, that’s what most of you are probably thinking, and I won’t blame you for it. Before you start throwing rocks at me, please let me remind you that this is my personal list and it’s absolutely fine to disagree: but with that out of the way, hear me out, ok? Super Mario Odyssey it’s an absolutely incredible game, and a love letter to those who grew up with 3D platform games, especially Super Mario 64. This is the real spiritual successor that fans were waiting for, and let me also add that it has great graphics, even in portable mode you can’t help but admire the game world you’re playing in. So why only in 4th place? Well, I was never a big fan of 64 to begin with, I prefer a more linear style (the perfect Mario game for me is Super Mario Galaxy, just to give you the idea). I also wasn’t a fan of certain moves locked behind motion controls: it’s entirely playable without them, but more limited. For most of you, it’s probably the best game of the year, while for me it was an amazing game and experience, but that can’t go further than this placement because of personal tastes.

3. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Switch)

Being a huge fan of the original chapter released on the Wii, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this other chapter of the series. But don’t go in expecting the same experience of the original, because it changed up a lot of things, even the combat mechanics and the artstyle are completely different from what we were used to. I admire the courage that Monolith Soft has in implementing new ideas, even if they end up being a little controversial (looking at you, blade summoning!), but of one thing you can always be sure: they put all of their heart into making quality games. There are some issues, like the horrible graphics if you play in portable mode and a perhaps excessive focus on grinding, while also adding the fact that the game starts really slowly, something that might put off those who don’t love the genre, but if you’re willing to stick up and give it a chance your journey to Elysium will be a pleasant and unforgettable experience.

2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii U & Switch)

If you want to think of a perfect example of how to reimagine yourself, how to throw away your old stuff just to throw yourself into a new world, look no further than on this authentic gem. A great way to go out with a bang on the Wii U and also a great way to celebrate the launch of the Switch, Breath of the Wild is absolutely stunning and manages to capture you in its world immediately. It isn’t an easy game, but never frustrating, you never want to give up and keep moving forward. The exploration of Hyrle has never been more fascinating and the rich game world continued to surprise me. It also manages to combine old and new mechanics perfectly, without being boring or repetitive along the way. If you need a reason to get yourself a Switch (or, why not, a cheap Wii U) then this is it. This is the excuse you were waiting for. I would have gladly put this at the top of my list, but there’s been another game that you could say… stole my heart.

1. Persona 5 (Playstation 3 & 4)

If you couldn’t tell already, Persona 5 is my official Game of the Year! As you probably already know, I love RPGs so it was impossible for me not to fall in love at first sight with this masterpiece! Very few games have made me say “ok, just a few minutes then I quit”, watching back the clock and realize it’s not been a couple minutes, but over an hour! Persona has a literally addicting gameplay: once you’re hooked, you never want to go back. At least, that’s how it was for me: I realize completely that it’s a particular game and not suited for every gamer out there (then again, which game is suited for everyone?), but what I can tell you is this: if you have ever liked even a single RPG, then you can’t hate this game. I guarantee it, 100%. Thank you, Atlus, for having taken your time while developing this game: it was well worth the wait.

I wanna also add a few lines about my top 2: I don’t think it’s random that my 2 favorite games have been in development for a long time and that they even released on older consoles as well. It shows that developers should NEVER be afraid to delay a game, if they feel like there’s still work to do: the results always pay off. Always.

 

Bonus: The year of Fire Emblem

This was also a great year for all Fire Emblem fans in the world because we got 3 titles worth mentioning! Fire Emblem Heroes has become the most popular game in the series, surpassing even Awakening and Fates, with absolutely crazy numbers! It has also been the first time I’ve actually spent money into a free-to-play game: Intelligent Systems listens constantly to its fanbase and it’s trying to please everyone, while also gaining a huge profit that no one could have imagined! Fire Emblem Echoes is a remake that managed to turn the black sheep of the series (Gaiden) into one of the most beloved games in the franchise, thanks to a fully (and amazingly) dubbed story and relatable characters. There have also been a few additions to the original game, like the post-game and some of the new characters (Berkut has become one of my favourite villains of the series, which is saying something). It’s a different take on the FE formula, but one that any fans shouldn’t miss. Fire Emblem Warriors has become what most of us consider the best Musou game ever made: it has some problems (like a disappointing roster) but the gameplay is wonderful, running costantly at 60 FPS if played in 720p or in portable mode. If you like this genre of action games and are a fan of the series, don’t be scared by some critics and definitely buy this game too: you won’t regret it.

Best Console: Nintendo Switch

If you couldn’t tell already by the Top 5, the Nintendo Switch has been released in one that will be forever remembered as one of the greatest years in gaming ever. And large part of the merit is because of Nintendo itself: this console has already managed to sell more than half Wii U did in its entire life span! Nintendo can look at the future brightly, and Wii U and 3DS can rest well knowing they found a worthy successor. Here’s to another great year in gaming, and Happy 2018 to all of you!

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