noiseredux vs.

Posted on Dec 30th 2017 at 01:00:00 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under lists

What a super weird year for my gaming habits! So let's see... after several years of pretty much playing everything on PC, I bought a Switch and barely played it for more than a month, dusted off my Xbox One and remembered how much fun it is to play games on a couch and using a controller. Since then I sold off a bunch of stuff, bought a new 4K TV, shoved my PC in a closet somewhere and still haven't really taken the Switch off its charging dock. (The Switch is a great console by the way - and great piece of tech. But I prefer it as a handheld rather than as a docked console, and to be honest I just don't play handhelds all that often lately). Anyway, yeah it's been a weird year for my gaming habits, but it's also been a pretty stellar year for games. Once again I struggled to actually keep up with everything I really wanted to play. So of course this is just a list of my favorite games that I did manage to play this year. Oh, the places I've been!

1. Destiny 2
Y'know what's great about Destiny 2? Everything! Everything is great about Destiny 2. I'd say that this is a fine example of how to make a sequel. Functionally, everything just works so well. The platforming is precise and the shooting is just so satisfying. Destiny 2 takes everything I loved about Phantasy Star Online and Diablo III, puts it into first person perspective and sets it in a sci-fi world. So basically, it's a perfect game for me. There's been some recent drama with I don't know... loot drops or something. I wasn't really paying attention because it's just not going to bother to me. I treat the Destiny games just like Phantasy Star Online now. Meaning even though I've beat the base game, I'm glad it's sitting there on my shelf so that every few months when I think of it I can pop it in and play a side-quest or just go off exploring or whatever. Heck, I suppose I could even make a new character! Or start the expansion! I've been dabbling with the holiday event this month. Yup. I'll be playing this game for a while.

2. XCOM 2: War Of The Chosen
It's been astounding following Firaxis' rebooted XCOM series over the past five years. With Enemy Unknown they brought back a beloved series and made them accessible to modern gamers, revamped them to work in a console setting, and yet totally respected the roots of the original series. Enemy Within built on that formula while adding more urgency and new threats. When XCOM 2 finally hit last year it was miraculously more of the stuff we all loved, and yet somehow also oozing with newness. I'm not sure how they managed to deliver this new expansion just a year later, though. Because it is the epitome of XCOM. At least for right now. The inclusion of the Chosen hunters and the new factions and all the new... everything, is just beyond impressive. The momentum this series has gained is fantastic, and I look forward to each new entry with open arms.

3. Madden NFL 18
I know it seems funny to put a football game that has annual iterations on an end of year list like this, but Madden 18 is here for good reason. Even when held in comparison to last year's release, this one feels monumental. First off, it's the first Madden game to use the new Frostbite Engine. What this means is that although there have been a few Madden games on Xbox One (and PS4) already, this year's is the first one actually built for the new generation of consoles. Oh, it looks phenomenal. As it happens this is also the first year in the history of the Madden franchise for an entry to receive an actual story mode entitled Long Shot. I'd recommend even non-Madden fans to play Long Shot as it is pretty much "Football: The Telltale Game," although it is rather brief clocking in at just three or four hours. I can tell you that I played a TON of Madden this year, and it never got old. With the regular franchise mode, online modes and story mode there just always seems to be something to keep you busy here. Heck, I just started my third season.

4. Paladins
Alright so I've played quite a bit of Overwatch since it was released. And if this list were based solely on how much I played a game this year regardless of when it was released, then Overwatch would be number one. So when Paladins came out I thought that maybe it'd be a good excuse to take a break from Overwatch. And I did just that - I took a break that lasted over one hundred hours for some reason. Paladins is basically, well, Overwatch. Except it's free-to-play. And it's still in Early Access. And it's pretty buggy. Nothing about it is nearly as good as Overwatch, and yet I couldn't seem to stop playing it all summer. I'm not even quite sure what to say about it. Maybe it was getting in on the ground floor - sort of a big fish thing - but I kind of sort of loved it, and yet I really don't need it. So now I'm back to playing Overwatch. But I don't know. I have a soft spot for Paladins. I'm sure I'll play it again for some strange reason.

5. Guardians Of The Galaxy
I can say with confidence that Telltale's Guardians Of The Galaxy is the only game - involving a choice between flying out of a worm's... uh, front or back sides - that has managed to make me cry. For the record it wasn't that decision that made me cry, but my point is that this game really was able to capture what was so special about James Gunn's cinematic takes on the comics. It is fun and funny, but there is loads of heart under the surface. So while this is a game with the usual QTE's and light puzzle solving that Telltale is known for, it's also got a fantastic story about family and loss. I'll tell you this, I've never had a raccoon make me feel so terrible about myself. Highly recommended!

6. Friday The 13th
The first (and only) game I've ever Kickstarted was this one right here, and I wasn't disappointed. I spent a lot of time playing Friday The 13th this year, but I also spent a lot of time just thinking about it. It's a fascinating game, really. It's basically something like Evolved done right. But the thing is that it's just a brilliant execution of the entire slasher genre. It feels so absolutely true to the source material. I guess you make the argument that Dead By Daylight beat them to the punch here (and even added Michael Myers later) but this just really feels like it's title says it is. You feel like you're inside Crystal Lake here and it's amazing. Each time you play you will feel as though you're walking away from a fifteen minute movie that had rising tension and a plot that you can retell. Just a fantastic game and perhaps it was the time I spent with this one that made me slightly less interested in picking up PlayerUnknown's Battlefield this year even though it was the talk of the town. I'm sure I'll get around to that one at some point.

7. Halo Wars 2
I'll admit that this one was a big surprise to me. I never did play the first Halo Wars game, and I was never a huge fan of real time strategy games to begin with. But something told me that I should play this game, and it stuck its hooks into me really quickly. While the campaign wasn't super long and the difficulty wasn't too hard to handle on default settings, maybe that was exactly what I needed. Really Halo Wars 2 became the perfect intro for someone who had never had the patience to figure out how to successfully play RTS games. This was really a lot of fun and I'll most likely be picking up the first expansion soon as well.

8. Resident Evil 7
I'm a big fan of the Resident Evil series and as such had been looking forward to the seventh mainline game for quite some time. I for one was thrilled about this new first person perspective. And guess what? RE7 did not disappoint. Instead it consistently scared the crap out of me to the point that I've yet to finish it. Instead RE7 has become a horror game like Alien: Isolation - which is to say games that I absolutely love and yet absolutely am terrified by so I end up only playing in small spurts from time to time. Kudos to Capcom!

9. Puyo Puyo Tetris
Alright so this game technically was out earlier than this year, but in fairness 2017 was the first time it was localized. So I'm calling it fair. Puyo Tetris is kind of a dream puzzle game. I mean Tetris is TETRIS, y'know? It's classic. It's a gaming language that we all speak - even non-gamers like my mom. And Puyo Puyo is probably my favorite puzzle series of the last decade or more. This game is a mash-up of those two things and it's beautiful in its execution. And it lets you blend those two games into all kinds of crazy combinations.

10. Sonic Mania
I've long been a Sonic Apologist. Which is not to say that I think Sonic is perfect, but just that he gets more flack than he deserves. Even when his games are "bad," they're often interesting for the crazy chances they take. But Sonic Mania is a totally different beast. Sonic Mania is great for taking no real chances - instead Sega recruited a bunch of longtime Sonic fans to create a sort of Sonic mixtape that celebrates Sonic Team's history high points. Most importantly they got the 2D platforming physics JUST RIGHT which is something that things like Sonic "2006" and Sonic 4 dropped the ball on. The result is a victory-lap return to form for the series that is chock full of fun easter eggs and cameos that I don't want to spoil.

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I love it Noise! Great write-ups!
Nice. I really want to try Halo Wars 2. I am also not a huge RTS fan, preferring turn-based, but this looks like I might enjoy it.
Man, Puyo Puyo Tetris is the only game on this list I played last year.  I'm so out of touch Tongue

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