My 2020 in Gaming

I’m’a drop this real quick here. This was recorded in my notes, and I thought it would be nice to share here. My notes are even more casual than I usually am, so sorry if it’s a little erratic. Enjoy!

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My top 12 games of the year in no particular order.  These are games that I’ve played in 2020, not necessarily released in 2020.  Asterisks mark ones that are actually from the year 2020.  

Honorable Mentions:

DiRT Rally 2.0

  • I can’t really tell when I started playing this, but I think it was January/February.  So I’ma put it on here.

Celeste 

  • Nor can I tell with this one, since Epic Games doesn’t tell you, which is why it is here, because I think I played it like, the last week of December. But if it is from this year, most darn definitely it should be on the actual list.  This game made me cry and I love it, because I can relate to the story so well.  Number 9 on the ULTRA.  This game can boast the most absolutely perfect difficulty curve.  Tells a super super good and mature story through a platforming game.  Also, I’ve been following Matt Thorson’s games since Jumper 2.  It was his games that got me through the era of “I’m Too Young to Buy Games for Myself”, and his free indie games got me through life.

Path of Exile

  • Because I still play this wonderful game.

Fallout 3

  • This is a super good open world game, but I have very little emotional attachment to it.  If you want a good sci-fi open world game though, play it.  It even rivals Skyrim for me.  

THE ACTUAL LIST:

Crysis

  • Man.  This game.  I thought it was just going to be a show off of graphics, but it’s more than that.  The attention to detail is what makes this more than “graphics”.  There are a lot of unnecessary details that they have in this game that they just weren’t lazy enough to do.  Also, the gameplay proved to be quite fun.  The super suit really makes you feel like The Predator.  It mixes up the gameplay and makes it really unique.  The weird silly-movie-ish storyline is really fun as well.  

Dishonored series

  • Oh my goodness.  I can’t… I can’t.  Dishonored 1 and 2 slashed their way to the top of the ULTRA, getting 5th and 3rd place on the entire list respectively.  The world-building and lore are so insanely well done, and the level designs are definitely some of the best game designs I have ever seen in my entire gaming life.  The stealth mechanics are done very crisp.  Things react the way you expect them to react, making plans feel great when you pull them off.  Problems do not happen for arbitrary reasons, it’s because of planning.  But they also designed it well in the way the game plays after problems happen.  I actually do not flip out when I get caught, because the way the game moves after you’re caught is designed well.  If you want a good stealth series, or just a game with an awesome world, play this series.  Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is also great, but it’s definitely a smaller punch than 1 and 2.  I’m counting these as one game.  HA!

Kero Blaster

  • This game is made by Studio Pixel, the creators of Cave Story.  Amaya Daisuke STILL GOTS IT.  This is such a good 2D shooter, but you might have noticed it never got on the Top 12 Games list.  BECAUSE IT’S TOO DANG SHORT.  It’s such a tease because Amaya does such a good job at making these funny little 2D shooters.  

Psychonauts

  • Psychonauts is an…unexpected game.  I usually play these cult classics to see what the fuss is all about.  The controls are a little bit janky, and the graphics are old, but it’s still a great game.  The music is quite nice, but the thing that really gets me is it’s super progressive (at the time) approach to mental illness.  I also really love Rasputin, because his voice actor does a good job and also because Ras is someone who genuinely cares about the people who are suffering mental health or trauma.  The way the level designs are conveyed accordingly to each person’s experience are very inspiring.

Resident Evil 4

  • I’m not good with horror games.  You’ve heard me say it before, but… I really really really really really love a fun story.  And it turns out, the gameplay is really good.  The way you shoot is unique and feels great, which in turn I think would be terrible on a controller.  A small spoiler, [[[[[[[[[[]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]   

    NPCs that you have to guide around are NOT annoying.  Seriously, this is like a huge plus.  It’s one of the few times where I felt like the NPC didn’t actually feel very helpless and glitchy.

    [[[[[[[[]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]

    Inventory management turned out to be kind of fun, and some of the designs of the monsters are really cool (and scary).

Transistor

  • Uhm…  this game is more like an experience.  I admit I had a hard time with this game, as in it was just difficult for me to play, because I suck at the strange and cool system they have for combat.  The art style is absolutely fabulous, as Supergiant Games is wont to do.  The story, characters, and world murder my soul.  If you want a top-tier indie experience, play this.

Borderlands 3 Super Deluxe Edition***

  • Ah, Borderlands.  I love the Borderlands series so much, but it kind of petered out for a little bit, until I finished the campaign and started playing the seasonal stuff.  I’ve explained before but I must say it again; the core of the new gun designs and gameplay mixed with the funny and well-written content for the seasonal stuff is what I’ve been wanting for a new Borderlands experience.  It’s a lot of good fun, and I’m lucky enough to have experienced it with someone who I very much enjoy playing games with.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons***

  • Probably the best in the series.  Every time a new Animal Crossing in the main series (sorry Amiibo Festival) makes a big jump (sorry City Folk) I feel like I fall in love with Animal Crossing all over again.  However, lately I’ve been pushing myself to finish more games, and so my play time with Animal Crossing has decreased, but whenever I play again, especially when I play with my siblings, I have a ton of fun.  We goof around a lot and do silly stuff but it’s a fun time.

Fire Emblem: Awakening

  • A weapon durability system that doesn’t annoy me?  Great turn-based combat?  Characters and story filled with emotions and dialogue?  Art style I friggin love?  Amazing music?  This game checked all the boxes.  I also just really love the art.  Also I love all the characters.  I want to hug them all.  This one is definitely up here more because of my love and emotion than the gameplay (although that’s good too).

Genshin Impact***

  • This thing.  Another surprise I was not expecting.  I gotta be honest, a huge part is that I’m so darn proud of a good Chinese game, and one that is (mostly) not battered by racist or typical comments about Chinese products.  And of course the other part is that I love all the characters and story.  The exploration and combat are fan-friggin-tastic.  Although if you get to the late game it gets kind of grindy and mobile-gamey, but the demand for your money concerning the gacha is not really there unless you desperately want a different character.  Some of the story elements in this game are really, really good.  The characters, I want to hug them all.  I feel all chummy because of all the story arcs.

Final Fantasy VII

  • OKAY.  Why did I play so many emotional games?  Final Fantasy is one of the long-standing gaming goals I have to play them all in order.  I’ve heard people throw their opinions of the ones I am going up against. Ever since Final Fantasy IV, this series has been slicing onions in front of my face and FFVII was no different.  I LOVE THIS SERIES SO DARN MUCH.  oof.   There are a few designs from FFVI that I prefer would be brought over, but it’s still such a darn good game.

Paper Mario: The Origami King***

  • Last one.  Maybe it’s because it looked severely disappointing.  Maybe it’s because I still hoped in my heart still even after all that.  OR MAYBE.  Maybe it’s just because Nintendo and Intelligent Systems actually made another darn good Paper Mario game.  It’s different, yes.  And the next one after this will also probably be different.  But, for now let us savor the fact that this game is really darn good.  Music and writing/jokes in the Paper Mario series has ALWAYS been up to snuff, even during the Sticker Star / Color Splash era.  That checks off here too (I REALLY love the music).  I’m surprised the world and characters are built so well even after the no non-standard Mario lore restriction.  And the puzzle attack gameplay turned out quite all right.  I never would’ve thought, but this game turned out to be one of the best ones of the year.  

Maybe it’s because of quarantine or something, but I finished a ton of games.  There are still more that are not on this list, but I didn’t put them because I’ve already eaten a ton of your time.  Here’s to another year of gaming! 

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