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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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