2017 was a year in which video games were released, I think. Much better than all those years where video games were not released. Anyways, I did make an article like this last year. Last year I wasn’t fucking 2 months late, and furthermore that article was actually good. I also said last year that, “hopefully 2017 will have twice as many remakes of 90’s PC games, and re-releases of games from the previous gen that haven’t even aged yet”. And lo and behold we got more than ever (maybe, someone else can do the math). But I’m going to not write more about that stuff that makes me want to kill myself, and I’ll give out some good rewards:
1. EDF AWARD
EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!! EDF!!
EDF 5 came out this year, so it’s probably the best game this year. But since I have neither a PS4 nor a knowledge of the Japanese language, I have not played it. Maybe if it comes out in English in 2018 it’ll win again.
2. BEST GAME I GOT AROUND TO PLAYING AWARD
Exclusively for games not made in 2017, this award goes to games that I hadn’t played until 2017. Yes, this award is entirely objective and has nothing to do with my own personal opinions or actions.
Me & My Katamari. I’ve been a big fan of the Katamari series since I first played Katamari Damacy, and I’ve loved each and every entry since. I’d write an article on the whole series if I ever get my hands on a way to screenshot Xbox 360 and PS3 games (and the consoles themselves). Touch My Katamari was a small reason for buying a PS Vita, but nobody told me that game had microtransactions and suffered in the level design department. The only reason I had skipped over Me & My Katamari is due to the lack of a second analog stick on the original PSP. I couldn’t imagine ever playing a Katamari game without two analog sticks, and I still can’t. Mapping the face buttons to the right analog stick on the Vita, it feels almost like what Touch My Katamari should have been. Me & My Katamari has some great level design, despite a lacking variety of levels. You play through the same handful of levels each time, instead of a different level for each mission. But they’re good levels, which don’t get old, and have plenty of paths. Looking past the control issues, this game is still great, and I’m glad I eventually played it.
3. COOLEST GRAPHICS AWARD
Graphics are obviously the only thing that matters in a video game. Why bother with good gameplay or proper design when the game can just look good? All these things don’t matter, it’s just the graphics that make a game great.
Star Fox 2. Now I know what you’re saying, the game was made in 1996 but it was cancelled. This is the time for me to call Nintendo out on their bullshit, you heard it here first: Star Fox 2 was never in development, they never made the game until now. Everything – from press images, to prototype ROM dumps, to interviews and stories, all fake. I’m not sure what Nintendo’s angle was here, but the marketing fucking worked since everyone’s talking about Star Fox 2 now. It helps that the graphics are top-of-the-line, I’d be surprised if even the most expensive graphics card could handle it, and it’s hard to believe the game runs on a Super Nintendo. This is clearly some sort of black magic, I advise you never to play it.
4. SKYRIM AWARD
After Skyrim was released in 2011, the world has never been the same. Who could have imagined that such a game would end war in the middle east, abolish all violent crime, and thrust humanity into a golden age they have never seen before? And nobody could imagine the same happening again, until 2016 rolled around and Skyrim 2 came out.
Finally, after all these years of waiting painfully for another Skyrim game, comes Skyrim 3, the most technologically advanced game in the Skyrim series yet. Words cannot describe how incredible it is, and I believe, personally, Skyrim 3 has transcended the status of “game”. It’s a new art form, and I’m all-in for this new revolution. I don’t know if my patience can hold until the next entry in the Skyrim series, but we all know the more time spent, the more quality of a product.
5. GAME OF THE YEAR AWARD
What you’ve all been waiting for, here it is: the Game of the Year of 2017. What could it be?
I’ll cut the crap and get right to the point: Bomberman ’94. Improving off the well-established Bomberman games of the past, ’94 morphs the mechanics into a more complex and interactive game. The music is incredible, and each of the different themed worlds are unique and exciting. It’s just hard enough to not discourage those who suck at Bomberman (aka me), but it doesn’t hold back after the first few levels. It’s a fantastic PC Engine game that shows off the amount of quality to expect from the developers at Hudson
In all seriousness, Nioh and Hollow Knight are pretty good. Both of these games take some inspiration from Dark Souls, and I gotta be honest, I haven’t played more than a few hours of the first Dark Souls game. But Nioh has a lot more mechanics from Diablo, and has many new things going on, like Ki Pulse and stances. It’s got incredibly fast combat (I hear it’s faster than Bloodborne) but lacks a lot of exploration, with a linear, level-based structure. On the other hand, Hollow Knight feels a lot like Super Metroid, and I don’t throw around that sort of comparison often. The level design is as good as the art, which is to say it’s fantastic. Tonally, it goes all over the place, but handles the feeling well with proper music and sound effects. Hollow Knight is also getting free content updates, which expand the game way more than its $15 price tag should imply.
Also published on Medium.