2017 has been what I probably would describe as one of the best years for video games in a long time. I’m absolutely astonished about the diversity in types of games as well as the depth that many fot hese games hav had. It sure was a tough year for my wallet though.
My game of the year
Nier: Automata is a ride that you’ll probably won’t forget if you’re willing to spend the time with it. Easily thrown away because of it’s doubtful choice of design for the female main character (which in itself is discussed within the game to an extent) it tells a story about what makes us human.
Few games have spoken to me to the degree that Nier: Automata has done in the past few years. Not only did the characters I met and played as make me laugh, but they made me feel and sometimes even cry. In the end, I was left with an ending that without a doubt left me breathless in so many ways.
Add to that a soundtrack that is just amazingly good and a gameplay system that really made the game a blast to play through, despite the games hefty length.
What probably makes me most excited about the success of Nier: Automata is that it probably will make us see more of Yoko Taro in the future.
There are a lot of articles all around the internet that discusses this game, but my favourite has to be the Waypoint’s spoiler podcast featuring Austin Walker, Patrick Klepek and Giant Bomb’s Alex Navarro. It’s a great listen, but please play the game. Should be clear without having to be said, but you probably shouldn’t listen to it if you haven’t played through the game.
I’m honestly so happy that this game exists and I hope more people experience it even after 2017.
Games that I spent too many hours with
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey both tingle that sense of exploration and the feeling of doing “/just one more thing/“ so well that they’re both very addicting games. Zelda took a very familiar franchise that has been stumbling on the same old tricks for a long while and made something completely different, while Mario perfected a formula to a degree I didn’t think was possible.
There’s always something in the corner of your eye while playing these games. They made many long commutes seem like they just passed by in an instant. They also made me realise how much I’ve missed playing Nintendo games which are filled with love and dedication to their characters.
Games I wish I had spent more time with
Considering this year was filled with amazing games, they certainly fought for attention. Deciding on what to play during weekends and evenings away from work always felt overwhelming.
In the end I felt like I missed out on finishing Persona 5, Horizon: Zero Dawn and Resident Evil 7. I’m hoping I have the time to finish them during next year, since I really enjoy all of the experiences I’ve had with them so far.
I ended up going back to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn during a month this year as well and I wish I had more time to play it. Square Enix really did a great job on making a MMORPG that works great on my PS4 Pro.
Best game from Japan
I’m really glad that Yakuza 0 got so much attention this year from most of the video game community. I always enjoyed the Yakuza games since I played the third game in the series when I bought my Playstation 3, but they always had some problems (first and foremost stories that took a long time to start and loading times from hell). So I was positively surprised when Yakuza 0 started with something that really grabbed me.
The story of how Kiryu and Majima came to be is interesting and filled with tense moments. The acting goes a long way. And in between the serious parts there’s a lot of fun to be had of the minor activities. I’m going to be completely honest saying that I really enjoyed the host club mini-game.
With Yakuza 6 just around the corner, completely built for the Playstation 4, I’m extremely excited to see where this game goes from here on. And not to mention that I still haven’t finished Yakuza: Kiwami. I’m glad seeing that SEGA really seems that there’s potential in this franchise here in the west nowadays.
I’ve been trying to avoid disappointments. But there’s something about how bare Gundam Versus is. Hearing that this game would come out in Europe made me really excited as I’ve played earlier entries in the series but always in Japanese. This was the chance of getting a bigger following with an English translation. But here, a few months after release, I feel like the opportunity got lost in the fact that the game didn’t have much of a translation. I really don’t have much more to say - the lacklustre tutorial which didn’t make much sense didn’t make me wanna play the game more. I bet it will come out at times, but at the moment, it’s on the shelf.
A runner-up might be the ending to Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus which I really just thought was kind of boring in comparison to the rest of the things in that game.
My favourite VR experiences
VR still lives! I’m impressed by the amount of games that has been out for Playstation VR during the year. But there are two experiences that I really enjoyed more than any else.
First of all - SUPERHOT VR sure makes you feel totally awesome. I’m sad that my room is a bit too small for this game at times, but the feeling of grabbing two guns out of the air, firing them off at two dudes and seeing their bodies just shatter into small pieces is great.
Second - having a friend over trying VR for the first time and solving puzzles in Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is so cool. We managed to get through a lot of the stuff and I really felt like it’s the best kind of team building game.
Game that had me staying up too late during nights
DJMax Respect really brought me back to my many days in bed with my PSP playing endless hours of fantastic tracks in so many genres. I feel very relaxed when I get to jam in front of my TV and feel the rhythm spread through my body as I hunt for a better score. Music games will always be something I enjoy and seeing one of my favourites on the big screen is great.
I love my Nintendo Switch. And I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t have guessed that I would’ve enjoyed it as much as I did during the beginning of the year. I did pre-order it but ditched it at first. After a month or two I decided to jump on and since then I’ve had it with me at countless occasions. What really impresses me is the fact that there’s been more than once that I’ve taken it with me and have shared the joy cons to let others jump in on the fun. Even better so has been the amount of games that have come out to it - not necessarily first party games either - but indie games.
A good complementary comeback would be Sonic Mania which was a perfect game to bring around and play on my Switch as well. It really brought me back to what I loved about the Sonic games and have missed so much.