Hello everyone! Still here, still enjoying my gaming habits and still pumping my list out, 13 years and counting! I had a good 2017, Switch or no Switch. I'll hope for one in 2018. But it turns out 2016 wasn't quite done with me yet...

Honourable mentions / Clean-up

Fallout 4
Fallout 4


You know a game is fabulous when you give it your GOTY award one year and pour dozens of hours into it the next :D. I finally hit a point when I could save and reload mutiple times to see all the endings, picked one path I'd want as Aurora's "canonical" path and bought Fallout 4's season pass to continue her journey. ALMOST makes me wanna play Elder Scrolls online for more of my Bethesda fix.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
ACIV


This one was on the the top of my PS3 pile of shame. I spent 2 solid weeks playing it and cleaning it up and I remember why I was in love with the AC series. It may not be enough to make me want to return to the overall series (yet), but AC4 is still as solid as ever.

Rock Band 4
RB4


I will likely never stop playing Rock Band 4 ever. Just wanted my future self to know. ;)

Now on with it!

10.) Shantae: Risky's Revenge & The Pirate's Curse
Shantae


Shantae the belly-dancing half-genie stars in what were originally DSi and 3DS platformers, respectively. The platforming and puzzles are satisfying without being either too easy or too hard, the special attacks are great fun, the sound is fabulous, they are both very colourful and The Pirate's Curse greatly builds upon what WayForward started with Risky's Revenge. For all the accolades I've heard throughout the last few years for 16-bit-styled games I'd never found any I cared for until these ones. I'm VERY happy with these flash sale purchases. yes

9.) Rocket League
Rocket League


I've not been into sports games since a few years with the NHL series years and years ago. It took something as silly and yet engaging as rocket cars and a giant soccer ball to make me care again, but care I did. My Rocket League star burned bright and faded rather quickly, but I poured so many hours into it and loved the time I spent with it that I'd be remiss if I didn't include it here.

8.) Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
SC4


The platforming is solid, the characters are silly and likeable, the gameplay is fun and the PS3/Vita cross saving is the best I've seen. It took me years to get the know you, Cooper Gang. I'm happy I finally did. :)

7.) Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
EGTTR


A haunting, surreal journey that made me do a lot of thinking with an ending that really stuck with me. Zero replay value, sadly, but a great experience nevertheless.

6.) Resident Evil 7
RE7


Resident Evil 7 does its job too well in that it freaks me the f*** out, so much so that I had to put it down a few times before really starting to get into it. Switching to a first-person camera completely changes everything and puts the horror back into the series with quickened pulses, convincing jump scares and numerous spine tingles. I know I'm having a good experience with a Resident Evil title if I'm loudly talking to myself as I play, trying to keep myself from being too scared and give myself the balls to carry onward. I loved the original "trilogy" of five games (thanks, RE0 and Code Veronica!) and I enjoyed it when it evolved into the "shooty-bang" trilogy of RE 4 to 6, so regardless of the style change I knew I'd play this game regardless. That being said,  Resident Evil 7 is a worthy successor and a first-class game all on its own.

5.) Mass Effect


No, not Mass Effect: Andromeda. Mass Effect.

ME


Yes, that one.

A decade after its release and two years after buying it on a PSN flash sale, I needed a Star Trek fix and decided to finally boot up the first Mass Effect to see what all that hubbub was about. Even though I am certainly nowhere finished with it yet, I'm glad to say that I finally "get it". Granted, a lot of Mass Effect 1 has not particularly aged well (the driving comes to mind), but once I adjust my mind and accept a few things I see that the combat works, the universe feels real, the characters look great and are well-acted and the story is blowing me away so far, but not without two dozens side missions I also want to complete before even leaving the Citadel :O:D This is a fabulous game. I'm better late than never.

4.) Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist
SC6


The orginal Splinter Cell trilogy were some of my favourite games of yesteryear, but I fell off after Chaos Theory and never played Double Agent or Conviction. Having a Tom Clancy craving but also having replayed the original trilogy to death, I decided on a whim to try Blacklist and see how the series had evolved. To my great relief, they didnt mess with success. Plenty of stuff was added and refined, but I feel the gameplay core of Splinter Cell remained intact and brought up to speed for a new age (from my point of view, at least). I stuck to the highest difficulty because that's always what Splinter Cell was: stay still, move quickly, avoid everyone, get in and get out. Sam's recasting works and the new team dynamic make for a good spy story, and the addition of mission co-op and numerous side missions give Blacklist a very nice heft. A few missions pissed me off but I was never too annoyed to quit, I just wanted to get better. A shame that Ubisoft seems to be letting this franchise gather dust nowadays, because Splinter Cell: Blacklist is superb and everything a Splinter Cell game should be.

3.) Rise of the Tomb Raider
TR


Rise of the Tomb Raider is the perfect refinement of what Crystal Dynamics was going for with Tomb Raider 2013. The only true knock against it is that the world feels a little too open and filled with collectibles for the insane people like me out there, as opposed to TR2013's amazing areas that were not quite as populated with icons. Yes, RotTR is THAT filled with stuff. But that's a small nitpick at best. Lara controls well, everything looks great and you can easily stay in one place looking for collectibles or press onward to solve more fiendish puzzles, kill more bad guys and solve the mystery of the lost city of Kitezh. This is a great game.

2.) Life is Strange: Before the Storm



When Before the Storm was announced, all I could think was "what the hell are they doing?" I end 2017 thinking "I'M SO GLAD THIS EXISTS :D:D:D:D" Finally learning who Rachel Amber is and what she's like, learning what Chloe was like in the five years she and Max didn't see each other and having her solve a mystery while also dealing with the long aftermath of her father's death tugged greatly at my heartstrings. BtS also manages to be its own game while also being a prequel rather than just three episodes of fanservice and winks and nudges to the original LiS fans like me, which is something I greatly appreciate and admire. Chloe's "talkback" ability is good but nothing can compare to Max's time rewinding. I thought a Life is Strange game without powers couldn't work. I'm so glad I was wrong. :)

1.) Horizon Zero Dawn
HZD


Horizon Zero Dawn seemed like it wasn't going to leave a massive impact. I played it briefly and set it down for months, but it sat there, always in the back of my mind whenever I'd get frustrated or annoyed with another game. "Pop Horizon in." "See what Horizon's about." "Give Zero Dawn another shot." After running out of excuses I finally returned to the world of tribes, giant perdator machines and what starts as Aloy's quest to join the tribe she's been outcast from and find her birth mother, and it only got better and better the futher I went.

HZD

Horizon is a game that is greater than the sum of its parts. I can see the tropes and bits of inspiration from other games and series but it grows out of those and makes everything its own. When I initally found myself picking up leaves and branches and approaching my first enemy camp, it was very Far Cry. Swinging Aloy's spear, dodging charging enemies, riding a "horse" and using fire and ice arrows feels very Zelda. Finding and overriding Tallnecks was clearly inspired by the Ubisoft open-world tower-unlocking blueprint. Aloy's Focus feels very much like Batman's cowl. The crumbling ancient cities feels very much like The Last of Us or Fallout. The vastness and beauty of the scenery is a cross somewhere between Twilight Princess and Skyrim, as is the thrill of uncovering a new village or settlement and wanting to do all the quests that have opened up there. It all blends exquisitely together into a beautiful experience that I've never quite seen before.

HZD

Horizon Zero Dawn surprised me early on when Aloy meets some people she'd encountered years earlier and I could see some sort of "power of friendship" narrative forthcoming, only for the game to do a complete 180 and have most of them slaughtered by numerous invading attackers. The story managed to beautifully trick me, its scope widened considerably and the tiny map that didn't look so big at first started to stretch into the far distance, and the next thing I knew weeks had passed. The absolute terror of getting jumped by machines early on gets replaced with a fantastic feeling of satisfaction from learning different enemy attack patterns and dealing with them more easily the higher up you level. Soon enough I'd met all the tribes, I'd learned how the world came to be how it was and I had all purple weapons and was deliberately playing hunting missions to unlock half-suns!

HZD

All that remains to be said is that nothing engrossed me quite as much this past year, so much so that I had to tear myself away from it to write this list. The lush forests, the arid deserts and valleys, the freezing mountains and the numerous killer machines could not stand up to how much of a badass Aloy is and how good of a game they all star in. Horizon Zero Dawn is my 2017 Game of the Year. Thank you, Guerrilla.

HZD

Posted by T_Prime Tue, 30 Jan 2018 08:59:57 (comments: 19)
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edgecrusher said:travo said:I’m wondering if Mirror’s Edge is even worth its discount. Mirror's ... avatarT_Prime See comment >>
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Hmmm, World and Galaxy?... avatarT_Prime See comment >>
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😁 Mass Effect 1 beaten! Now should I jump straight into ME2 or maybe replay 1 for some more stuff... avatarT_Prime See comment >>
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On podcasts and on boards and such throughout the years I’ve heard all there is to hear about Mass... avatarT_Prime See comment >>
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Resident Evil 2 was a great bonding experience for me when I met who are now my very good friends ... avatarT_Prime See comment >>
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