As the title of this post says, below are all the game I (cough*proudly*cough) finished in the year 2018 in the order that I completed them. I’d also like to note that not a single game here actually released this year and with that let’s move on to the first entry:
Fatehaven is essentially a digital “choose your own adventure” book with some stats that only tangentially affect its overall tale. Depending on your choices, you’ll reach a handful of epilogues whose only difference is the person you end up it. The story was a fairly short affair and decently constructed but a rote in execution. Still, I enjoyed my time reading and considering the fact that this was played on my phone, it was easily readable whenever and wherever, a fact that definitely bumps it a bit up in my book.
So, a fun little story with a decent romance that’s pretty cheap but not something I’d go through more than once.
Following Fatehaven, we have another mobile title, one that I somehow stumbled upon, one fine day, on play store.
Mind Construct is a simple game with a simple tale, all you do is move your uh... cursor (?) around the screen, trying to collect little memory fragments while avoiding various kinds of obstacles. Once you attain a certain number of fragments, you unlock some gorgeous artwork along with a little bit of the game’s story which centers around a budding human civilization and its eventual consequences. Mind Construct is the perfect representation of short and sweet sporting a very clean yet oddly charming aesthetic and relaxing atmosphere.
This is one I’d definitely recommend especially considering that it’s free so, here’s the play store link if you’re interested.
Ultimate Kept Man Life
So this is actually another mobile title and a clicker type game to boot which probably now has you wondering, “why is it here ?”, and well, I wonder that too, but the thing is this clicker does have a goal that you strive towards and eventually reach, which I did so here it is.
Ultimate Kept Man Life is another victim of my frequent forages though the play store and chronicles the efforts of this one guy in his quest to be the ultimate kept man (whatever that means) in which he basically does odd jobs around the house to earn some sweet sweet cash and prove to his girlfriend’s father that he’s not a waste of space and thus shouldn’t be kicked out (a very relatable situation sans the girlfriend’s father part (and the girlfriend as well)).
As such, in his quest, he slowly expands his field of odd jobs and soon find himself ranking in millions of dollars per sec (not so relatable anymore). As the rate of income goes up, hitting certain milestones allow you to unlock tidbits of an increasingly ridiculous tale that eventually ends in happily tied knot. I have already written way more than this kind of game probably needs though it’s pretty much all about the narrative as I think the term “clicker” is all that’s needed for gameplay description. Anyway, Ultimate Kept Man Life is a charming experience that, if you like or want to try to play clicker games, by all means check it out.
For this one (also 1st non-mobile game of the year), I’m just gonna (shamelessly) plug my previous post on the title as I think that more than covers my thoughts (and will add some extra views to my precious post as well (hopefully)). So anyway for my Blade Kitten thoughts, check here.
And back to the little rectangular box once again and much like Mind Construct, Monument Valley shines as a beautifully short and enchanting experience though one I feel is a more complete package overall. Like the previous entry (and the next couple as well), I had already jotted down my feelings on the title before and you can check those out here.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
And then right back to console or uh.... PC technically. Anyway, logistics aside, XMOW was in a word, well, “fun” and as stated previously, my thoughts on the subject are here.
If you want some bloody good 2D hacking and slashing, then have I maybe got a game for you. Also if you have a friend looking for some bloody good 2D hacking and slashing, then have I definitely got a game for you.
Alright, so I just noticed while writing that all the games so far have been fairly short by most gamer’s standards, all easily finished in less than 10 hrs and well....., Wulverblade’s gonna continue that trend (this probably explains why my completed games list is a lot longer than last year’s). So, as I was saying in the opening paragraph, Wulverblade is a bloody good time and allows you to take control of one of three Celtic warriors each with a different build focusing on balance, strength and speed.
The story is basically them going to slaughter some Roman soldiers in order to stop the invasion of Britain and contains a small supernatural twist at the end. The tale’s told through a number of comic style cutscenes which is also the general style of the game. Combat consists of a basic attack, block, dodge roll and throw, with pretty much anything you can lift from the ground (including severed limbs) being throwable. The stylized look of the game makes all the action pop and the controls and mechanics are generally satisfying, though the dodging and blocking did feel a bit off at times. Still by the end of it all (around 5 or so hours) I was more than happy with the experience and if you got someone to play with, I didn’t :( , and are up for rolling some heads, then go for it.
Batman - A Telltale Series
As in pretty much every Telltale game ever, you push buttons at times to progress certain story parts and the choices you make slightly alter the story at best. However despite those complaints, I’ve generally enjoyed all the games of their’s that I’ve played and Batman Season 1 just might be the best of the bunch.
One of the things I really loved about this story was its deviations from more traditional Batman mythos, I’m not gonna spoil anything but let’s just say certain plot threads and character arcs are some that I’ve never (though I don’t really read a lot of comics) seen in a Batman story before. It’s quite a riveting tale from start to finish and, unlike most other games staring the Caped Crusader, Telltale’s game also spends a considerable time on Bruce Wayne rather than the Dark Knight which is something I quite appreciated. Anyways, this is solid recommendation from me even though a season 3 (still gotta play 2) may never come
The first Sonic game I ever played, Generations was possibly the best one to start seeing as it marries and celebrates both the new and old aspects of the franchise. Here are my feelings on the game as a whole from a past article.
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney
Ok, so for starters, while I did complete Apollo Justice this year, I had begun the game almost a year ago and had already finished 3 of the game’s 4 episodes. Thus I contemplated starting again from the top but eventually decided to just continue on from where I left off. While my memory was a bit hazy, I managed to quickly slide back into the series addictive groove of investigation and court room battles as I made my way through AJ’s finale.
And it was great finale, I loved the whole the jumping back and forth between the past and the present in the 7 year gap, between the series’ third and fourth titles, to piece together the clues in what is possibly the franchise‘s best investigation (which generally aren’t that good) phase. Even with that though I felt AJ was defenitely the weakest entry in the series as a whole, mostly coming down to so-so prosecutor and not quite as strong cases as previous entries (mostly speaking about the finale though). But hey, the franchise’s charm has always been readily apparent and even through its flaws, that aspect made it worth playing (also it was great seeing Ema again who is now possibly my favorite detective, including her appearance in Spirit of Justice as well).
Final Fantasy XV
Already wrote about this one, but let me just say that despite all its obvious flaws, I really loved the adventure and would be more than happy to return to its world once again. As for the rest you can read it here.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
I loved the first game, loved the 2nd even more (for the most part) and hopefully I’ll love the 3rd entry too (despite its mixed reception). For more detailed musings, head on here.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Batman: Arkham Knight, definitely the best game in the franchise, at least in terms of gameplay. Honestly, I was kind of disappointed in the game’s story, I really expected something different, more unique, rather than, as it turns out to be, a road well trod with just the tiniest of twists. Still, it wasn’t bad I guess, and the game does a decent job of closing the Arkham
Playing through that tale though, was an absolute blast, a near perfect amalgamation of everything the franchise had built thus far and then throwing in the freaking Batmobile on top of that (those those tank sections do get a bit stale after a while). If this remains as the last of the series, then I applaud it for going out with spectacular bang.
Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies
The sixth entry in this series of ever increasingly ridiculous yet unabashedly entertaining tales and wonderfully charming characters, Dual Destinies marks the very welcome return of our spikey haired, blue-suited star, Phoenix Wright along with Apollo Justice, protagonist of Dual Destinies’ predecessor and spunky newcomer, Athena Cykes (pictured above). This entry brings with it a whole new dimension to the franchise (literally), enhancing just about every aspect of the game and thus breathing a sense of newness to every proceeding. Other than that though, Ace Attorney is the same as its ever been, throwing twisting turns and crazy antics around every corner in what’s the longest game in the series yet. Honestly, if you haven’t, go play Ace Attorney and if you have, well Dual Destinies is more of that sweet goodness.
By far and away, the best game I played all year and most definitely one of my favorite games of all time. Nier Automata is an experience quite unlike any other and if you haven’t played this masterpiece yet, stop reading this article and go freaking play it now.
Well, if you made it to this paragraph and still haven’t played the game, here’s a bit more convincing:
For starters, Nier Automta is probably the best example I could give when referring to games as art. Not only is it, fun, fast-paced and spectacularly dazzling in its combat (courtesy of the masters of the genre, Platinum Games), its combination of traditional hack-n-slash gameplay mixed with bullet hell components and a healthy dose of perspective shifting gives the player gaming experience unlike any other title on the market, a sort of mish mash of genres that just works quite well tighter. All this already marks it as a damn solid title but Automata’s true heart lies in its narrative. The narrative flows along a highly philosophical yarn and the events of the game do a incredible job of honing in on these threads and really making you think about the consequences of what transpired. Its a different angle on a familiar concept and it works wonderfully in the game’s world. So, its got a amazing tale to tell backed by great gameplay, that’s top tier, 9+ material right there but I said this game could be considered art unlike any other (game that is) and the simple reason for that is, these to quintessential parts exist as a whole.
The greatest aspect of video games is their interactivity, it allows for stories to create a sense of connection and reliability that, for me, is just not possible in any other medium. However, most of the games I play feel like their narrative aspect and game aspect exist alongside each other rather than together. There is ofcourse, a certain degree of enchantment to the story that exists because of the interactivity of the medium but overall, it still feels like the narrative could be translated to another medium with its essence more or less intact. But, I could never imagine the core of Automata’s tale existing anywhere outside the realm of video games. This is what makes Nier Automata so incredible, that every facet of its design bleeds into its larger narrative threads. It is a beautiful marriage of two sides that often minimally interact and a testament to the the underlying potential of video games to tell tales like no other.
(Also a quick applause for Kyle McCarley, Kira Buckland and Cherami Leigh for their absolutely fantastic performances in the game that undoubtedly elevated my experience with it)
My first and as of now only foray into the games of Supergiant, Transistor was an interesting experience to say the least. I’m not entirely sure what exactly makes Transistor work, its a some damn beautiful art, a solid and well constructed combat system, and a bit confusing yet enamoring tale. I’ve already used this phrase a couple of time in this piece already, but I cant nothing really think of anything else quite apt so here it goes (though with one word changed): Transistor is a beautifully short and enchanting experience, one that hauntingly lingers in the back of my mind.
Fault Milestone One
Fault Milestone One, a good story, just not the one I expected. For more on that matter, I’ve already chronicled my feelings here.
(For those who didn’t click the link, Ritona = BEST GIRL)
And here comes the phrase one more time: Ripples is a very short and nicely sweet game. Though this time when I say short, I mean SHORT like 15 mins of total playtime. As such there’s really nothing much to say though I will give props to the fact that the game is fully voiced by anime dub veterans, Micah Solusod and Apphia Yu (also the creator of this game).
If you want to check it out, its free and you can get it here.
Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright
Let me preface by saying that I really really like Awakening, it was my 2nd game in the series (after Sacred Stones) and loved all the additions including the whole marriage and child systems (and the introduction of casual mode). So, while I do agree that Fates at times feels like it tires too hard to hone in on those aspects that made Awakening so popular, I’m still undoubtedly delighted to receive a game that at its core is essentially Awakening 2.0.
I’ve so far put roughly 50 hrs in Birthright (and finished the campaign) and around 30 or so hours in Revelations (which I’ve unfortunately been forced to take a hiatus from due to the death of my 3DS’ battery) and have spent as much time waging war as I have reading to support conversation after support conversation to determine the best ships and my waifu (Felicia in Birthright). Like I said above, Fates’ unabashed recycling of Awakening’s elements, make it feel like lesser imitation at times rather than an individual title in its own right and as such even though it gives me more of what I loved, I just can’t love it on the same level as Awakening. Still if you liked Awakening, give Fates a shot.
One Finger Death Punch
One Finger Death Punch, the game so named as it takes but one finger of my mighty (pfft) hand to rain death upon my faceless foes. OFDP is, in a word, exhilarating. It is a concept so utterly simple yet so profoundly executed that there are no words to describe the experience. It oozes style and spectacle and will test very limits as you make your way through its various challenges. The feeling of perfectly executing your strike with that single press of a button is one of the best feelings you’ll have in a game. so go check it, it’s cheap as heck and oh so damn enjoyable.
The penultimate entry on this list and a game I’ve been meaning to play for years now but only recently spurred into doing so thanks to the anime adaptation Fate/Extra Last Encore.
Alright, so getting the bad out of the way, the combat sucks for the most part. Eventually, I did a bit of hacking (heh) to allow me to breeze through the combat and thus making the game a lot more enjoyable. Now, if such a critical component of a GAME is so flawed, is it really any good ?
Yes, it is, cause for all the flaws of the combat (and dungeon design), its alternate take on the infamous (at least to Fate uh.... enthusiasts) Holy Grail War and characterization of its MC and their was servant was immensely enjoyable. There’s a ton of story packed in here as even though I was cheesing through the dungeons, the game still took roughly 25hrs to complete. Its honestly more Visual Novel than RPG but really the former where strengthen lie so the focus makes sense. I’m not gonna really dig into the story but I think it’s one any Fate fan would enjoy.
Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice
And finally we’ve reached the uh..... final entry on this fairly long list. This title mark not only marks my last completed game of the year but also my completion of all main games currently released in the Ace Attorney franchise. Ace Attorney is generally consistent franchise, both in terms of flaws and strengths and Spirit of Justice continues on that consistency. This is by far the longest game yet and the first to take place outside of
Japan America (for a part of it at least). The newly introduced Insights system adds a interesting new dimension to the courtroom proceedings and this game’s prosecutor make quite an impact (though in more infuriating way than most). The middle potion, like most AA games, does feel quite fillerish especially Athena’s trail only episode (and only episode in the entire game) though like always the game bounces back for an invigorating finale and a slightly surprising change in status quo at the end.
And that my friends (or not) is the end, thanks a bunch if you made it all the way though or even if you just skipped to this final paragraph. This was the first time I was able to fully write out something like this and will definitely try to do so next year.
Once again, thanks for reading and if you’d like, please comment on my takes of these titles and I’d also love to see your list of finished games for the year.