C-F GAME OF THE YEAR 2018

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Falcon Critical
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C-F GAME OF THE YEAR 2018

Post by Falcon Critical » 1 week ago

It's that time of the year again, time to reflect on the games we've played and arbitrarily rank them against each other mostly as an excuse to share our experiences and perhaps inspire each other to try out games we may have otherwise missed.

Feel free to bring up anything that doesn't fit into these categories, I basically tailor this each year into stuff I feel I can have interesting things to say about, and as always on the internet YMMV.

CATEGORIES:

:awesome GAME OF THE YEAR! :awesome
Pretty self explanatory - what game was the best!

:zoid BEST NEW CHARACTER! :zoid
Which character through voice/actions made you want to experience more.

:shibe SUCH MOMENT! MUCH INTENSE! WOW! :shibe
Wow! Such an experience! What specific moment in a videogame floored you!? (mark spoilers where appropriate)

:picard BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT! :picard
What were you hyped for, but ultimately unsatisfied by?

:pac DANG IT, I REALLY SHOULD HAVE PLAYED THAT! :pacdown
The reverse of the 'day late, dollar short' category - what were the games that came out this year that you just didn't get to, but still want to.

Here's a list!

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Bier_Engel
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Re: C-F GAME OF THE YEAR 2018

Post by Bier_Engel » 1 week ago

Game of the Year: Well, I have the usual issue of always catching up on mostly older games every year. So, I guess Deltarune (even though that's very short and not finished)? But the Persona dance games come out tomorrow. I can't imagine picking rhythm games as my game of the year, though, unless the soundtracks and character interactions really wow me. I was into the Strange Journey Redux for a while until it just got really hard near the end, and then I moved, and then I haven't thought about it for 6 months. Oops. But even then, that's a remake.

Most of what I played this year included the original Undertale, 3 older Tales Of games, replays of FE Echoes and FF9... yeah. Started back into Danganronpa again too.

Best New Character: I don't really have anyone for this yet.

Such Moment, Much Intense, Wow!: The Deltarune ending. Without spoiling anything, it literally shocked me and caught me way off-guard.

Biggest Disappointment: The Alliance Alive. I was *so bored* with that game pretty much right from the start. I heard nothing but good things from foreign players who got it first, and I guess it shared a team member who worked on Suikoden? I could not have cared less once it got into my hands, though. I got the day-1 edition and everything, and re-listed it for sale on Amazon very shortly after. The gameplay and battle system were just too slow and boring. It even took a long while to re-sell, which was sad, since it was the special edition with everything included like-new, and at a lower price because I opened it. That says a lot.

Dang it, I Really Should Have Played That: Pretty much any RPG on the Switch. Still very much interested in Octopath Traveler, among other things. I just can't justify getting a Switch yet with my backlog on my current systems.

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Falcon Critical
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Re: C-F GAME OF THE YEAR 2018

Post by Falcon Critical » 1 week ago

Hadn't heard of 'The Alliance Alive' so I looked it up quickly. It looks like a JRPG alright... granted I didn't watch much but there wasn't much to inspire me (which seems to be your takeaway as well).

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Bier_Engel
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Re: C-F GAME OF THE YEAR 2018

Post by Bier_Engel » 1 week ago

It got a lot of hype (again, from the Suikoden scene) so I pre-ordered it way in advance, and it immediately fell flat. Gene was a cute character, but not enough to make up for boring gameplay and a cliche story.

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Re: C-F GAME OF THE YEAR 2018

Post by Falcon Critical » 1 week ago

:awesome FALCON'S 2018 GAME OF THE YEAR! :awesome

NUMBER ONE!
The Banner Saga 3

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If you've played any of the games in this series or remember me mentioning them before, you'll recall that this is a game about just trying to do your best against an oppressive overwhelming force. The finale of this series digs further into the interpersonal issues that arise when all that is left of all the races from an entire continent try to seek refuge in the one city that has thus far escaped the impending doom.

Death is a big part of this game series, and it is cutscenes and typically your decisions which govern who lives and who dies. It stung me when Nid, one of my best archers told me that she was taking her children and risking a sea of acid because between doom here and doom there, at least that way she may outrun the darkness.

The story in this chapter is split between those trying to survive, and those trying to fix the world. It makes sense that all of the new characters and challenges are on the fix side, and it really helps reinforce how little the survivors can do that you don't get anything new to play with. You just have to do the best with what you have. But hey, the fixers give you some playable dredge characters, that is really neat.

NUMBER TWO!
Assassin's Creed: Odyssey

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I haven't enjoyed any Assassin's Creed a whole lot. I played a bit of AC2 (widely proclaimed as the series' best) and bounced off it hard... but Odyssey got me. Perhaps it was the fact that this has turned into far more of an RPG than a stealth game, but something here really clicked and I've spend a whole lot of hours playing. A big part of it probably is Kassandra, she's a sassy demigod with arms for days and a true true love for drachmae.

A lot of the characters here are a lot of fun, and you can bone your way around Greece almost as readily as you murder. It has an attempt at the Nemesis system with the named mercenaries, but it's a shame they didn't record entrances for them all. I know that you and they can't come back from the dead (which made a lot of that nemesis system personal), but even if they just showed up and shouted some insult or one liner at you it really would have helped because they did get the part of the nemesis system right where they love to show up at the worst times and throw spanners in your plans.

NUMBER THREE!
Epic Seven

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This years hot new mobile game, it uses the diamond hero formation coined by Valkyrie Profile and now common in other mobile gachas like FF:BE and that's an instant turn on for me. The VP part, not the FF part. Add to that well designed characters with FMV woven into their special moves and a FEH style hero recruitment system where I can happily build a wide stable of effective characters, and I'm in love. It may be that I'm still in the honeymoon period with this game, especially after leaving KOF'98 UM OL... but I can quite happily play this game till my iPad runs dry and then lament that I don't have a charger cable and socket on me at all times. Also Iseria is an elf who summons six swords, that's just cool.

NUMBER FOUR!
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit

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Life is Strange 2 is not on my list this year because we've only had one chapter, and unless they royally fuck up they're going to be in this list somewhere next year. The game that did start and finish this year however was Captain Spirit. Man this game brought back those LiS feels. On the one hand I was really into Chris' make-believe world and Sailor Moon transformations, but then DONTNOD come in and punch me in the gut with the abusive Dad who really is trying to do his best but is also a terrible parent. The sequence near the end where you try to cover for your father when that neighbour comes knocking was powerful stuff, and though I have never experienced anything like Chris had to deal with I really related to him and just want the best for the kid. I can't wait to see how this ties into Life is Strange 2.

NUMBER FIVE!
Shadow of the Tomb Raider

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I love Lara, and I love exploration adventure games, but damn you make it hard Tomb Raider. I found myself trying to defend this game more than promote it this year and I've realised that I too am tired of the new super-serious Lara. More on that later, I have some thoughts. The tomb raiding and exploration remain strong in this game, and the combat remains serviceable, Lara still fights scrappy but that's how she should fight. At least new!Lara. They introduced a new stealth mechanic this time, where you can cover yourself in mud to hide better against walls of foliage, but didn't really spread that around enough for me to have a lot of fun with it. Probably the lowest I've rated any Tomb Raider.

NUMBER SIX!
State of Decay 2

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Similar to the first game, you really need to make your own stories up to enjoy this. After encountering someone in a sick rabbit hoodie in my first game I immediately rerolled until I had a rabbit hoodie. It then just so happened that the other two characters I rolled were wearing pink, so I created the Pink Crew and set out to survive the apocalypse. This time around you can't cheese the system by not fully looting houses (which would make the loot respawn in a day or so), but to counter that you have all sorts of ways of making resources yourselves. I've had fun with this game, and having the ability to roll your initial survivors is really cool. With some months since I played this game I have forgotten the intricacies of my Pink Crew, but the three ladies in my screenshot were the OG team, now happily set up in a bistro. They dropped the resource decay happening in real-life days, so I may go back to my crew at some point.

NUMBER SEVEN!
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon

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It's a throwback prequel to the Igavania due out next year. While I never really played any of the Castlevanias that were as old as the aesthetic this one goes for, I had fun with this game and it goes to show that Iga can still create fun mechanics and cool boss fights. If you're way more hardcore than me, this game offers multiple playthroughs where it switches up the team and mechanics, but I had a hard enough time on the first go so I'm now just waiting for the SOTN-like Ritual of the Night!

NUMBER EIGHT!
The Shadows that Run Alongside Our Car

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This is kind of cheating because this game came out in 2016, but I didn't hear about it till Halloween this year, so here it is. This is a free, short (15 min) game about two people car pooling in a zombie apocalypse. You choose to play from either character's perspective, and it is basically just a conversation that takes place between these two strangers as they drive across the US with basically no direction or destination. The car runs out of gas in the middle of the night, miles from anything, and the strangers decide to just try to get some sleep. And that is the end of the game. It is designed for multiple playthroughs, as different levels of honesty between the two characters lead to different revelations. SPOILERS: Turns out one was already infected, and likely to turn during the night... but hey, there's nothing out there to look forward to anyway.

NUMBER NINE!
Marie's Room

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Very Gone Home, with a dollop of Life is Strange. You are a friend of Marie from high school, and you're invited to go and snoop around in her room. As you do it uncovers more about your friendship, and other relationships that happened back in those days. In a very Gone Home fashion you never see any people, and just interact with the room and objects to get your character's perspective on things from which you try to uncover what happened. Interesting in this case that your player character pretty much knows what happened, but you the player are learning as you go. The storyline is very Life is Strange, and I don't mean hella gay.

NUMBER TEN!
BattleTech

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I'm not huge into mechs, if I'm honest. I enjoyed what I played of this game, but I never got Austin Walker levels of into this game. I feel like maybe I miss the human element of XCOM here, you still have the pilots and personalities, but the abstraction of the giant tanks you roll around in makes it less personal for me. I opened this game up again today to have a quick look, and they've apparently done some balance changes to the pilot skills, resetting all the pilots so you can re-spec them... and that was enough for me to just go "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh" and I'm probably not going to play any more.

MISSED THE CUT
Pathfinder: Kingmaker
Far Cry 5
Last edited by Falcon Critical on Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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DHerder222
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Re: C-F GAME OF THE YEAR 2018

Post by DHerder222 » 1 week ago

Cool, I've played enough this year to participate!

:awesome GAME OF THE YEAR! :awesome

This one is kind of a no-brainer for me - Octopath Traveler. Sure, it wasn't 100% perfect, but it was the most fun I've had played a JRPG - or for that matter, any RPG at all - in over half a decade. I'm beyond thrilled it was a success commercially because I am totes ready to learn more about the game's world.

:zoid BEST NEW CHARACTER! :zoid

I wasn't too big a fan of the game overall, but I might have to go with Atreus from Thor of War. I thought the developers were being too obvious in their portrayal of Kratos, but Atreus was perfectly voiced and written as a pre-teen boy both enjoying the insanity unfolding around him and struggling to figure out what it all means.

:shibe SUCH MOMENT! MUCH INTENSE! WOW! :shibe

I don't know that I have a moment that will "wow" others, but one moment that wowed me was playing the Dissidia Final Fantasy stage that re-created Orbonne Monastery from Final Fantasy Tactics. It was a free DLC that came after the game's release, and seeing such an iconic location from a game I've played through at least five times was a rare nostalgia-gasm I really appreciated.

:picard BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT! :picard

Detroit: Become Human. I probably had unrealistically high hopes for the game, but this was a perfect example of how too much choice can be as limiting as too little. The game highlights all the choices you didn't make and the clues you missed, which caused me to begin obsessing over each scene and draining the fun out of it. I can't imagine I was the only person this happened to.

:pac DANG IT, I REALLY SHOULD HAVE PLAYED THAT! :pacdown

Tough one! I'll go with Valkyria Chronicles 4 - I've felt pretty burned by the series' releases since the first game, but everyone seems to be saying things are finally back on track.

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Re: C-F GAME OF THE YEAR 2018

Post by Falcon Critical » 1 week ago

Oooh it is cool seeing stages from other games pop up in stuff, and Orbonne Monastery is a good choice.

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Re: C-F GAME OF THE YEAR 2018

Post by Delthazar » 1 week ago

Man, I barely played any 2018 releases this year. Contrary to my GOTYs for the two previous years (neither of which I actually finalized and posted :pacdown ) 2018 is lookin' like a year where I'm gonna be a few games short of a topical top ten unless I crunch everything into the Christmas break funded by any Steam gift cards or PSN dollars I'm lucky enough to get in my stocking.

I did start categorizing games in my Steam library by release year just for this purpose. There's almost nothing in that category but freeware. Heh.

That said, I think I've played several 2018 expansions for 2017/16 releases, so that's something. I'll improvise my catagories and see what happens. Who knows, maybe I'll actually finish it and post it on time, for once. (Ron Howard voice: he didn't.)

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Re: C-F GAME OF THE YEAR 2018

Post by Falcon Critical » 1 week ago

:zoid BEST NEW CHARACTER! :zoid

NUMBER ONE!
Kassandra

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Gorgeous, a fun attitude, and arms for DAYS. After Ubisoft and Assassins Creed made headlines a couple of years ago with "women are too hard to animate", they really went the extra mile with Odyssey doing mocap with both voice actors, making even the protagonist's movements in some scenes unique between the two player characters.

Kassandra is kind of like "what if we had a Saints Row character running around Ancient Greece". An early highlight is when she steals the obsidian eye of a bandit king calling himself the Cyclops, waves it in front of his face, and then shoves it up the arse of a goat that happens by just to antagonize him.

On the one had she's a ruthless mercenary who murders her way across Greece with no loyalty to any faction other than the cool clink of drachmae... on the other she has real heart-to-heart moments, she sticks up for the little folk and is on a crusade to reunite her family. Even her brother who has been swept up in this cult, becoming truly deplorable - Kassandra wants to see the best in him, and continues to appeal to his humanity. She really is a use case in how to make a character fun without losing their heart. Also those ARMS.

NUMBER TWO!
Lyla

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Accused by some players of being too cool and therefore manipulative of their emotions, Lyla is your classic best friend character. Part of what elevates her for me is the platonic relationship between her and Sean, which is exceedingly rare in any kind of popular media; but more than that the way their friendship feels so natural and how you can build in-jokes with her during gameplay really help to cement her as a big part of Sean's life and a presence sorely missed as soon as everything goes to hell. Add to that the super well written text message history between the two characters, and the fact that she encourages but never really pressures Sean into doing anything - you feel like you've been friends with her for years and she only really features in the first 20 minutes of the game. The phonecall you make at the end of the first episode is heart-wrenching because of how easy and believable their friendship is, and how much you know Sean wants to just go back to how things were, impossible as that is.

NUMBER THREE!
Dekker (RIP)

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The most put-upon mech pilot in BattleTech. His character itself is kind of whatever, but the frequency with which he is killed in everyone's campaign and the stories that came out around his various deaths turned into a community meme and that was great fun to be part of. I don't know if it was intentional that he was so prone to expiration, but he is one of your first pilots and the one best specced to zip around in the smallest scout mechs. Typically you'll find yourself in a mission at some point where you're super out-gunned, and Dekker tends to be the punching bag when everything goes pear shaped. RIP m'dude.

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Re: C-F GAME OF THE YEAR 2018

Post by Falcon Critical » 1 week ago

Spoilers abound in this category! Read if you dare!

:shibe SUCH MOMENT! MUCH INTENSE! WOW! :shibe

NUMBER ONE!
The Banner Saga 3 - Peace with the Dredge

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It's a moment that doesn't have to happen, but so damned powerful.
Spoiler :
So Alette has led this caravan of humans, Varl, and Horseborn across the world to this city which sits on the coast. The seas have turned to acid and noone has survived crossing them. The darkness pushes across the land and the walls of this city are all that they have. The Dredge who you've fought throughout the last two games are here too, thousands of them gathered outside the city.

Alette and her companions have known for some time that most of these Dredge are civilians and not warriors, all the fighting that you've done against them has been because they too are fleeing the darkness, and you keep roadblocking them. They stand outside the city peacefully for a while, till one of their leaders shows up. This leader has a huge anchor on a chain, and is using it to tear down the walls of your city. You hatch a plan to take him down and execute upon it. The Dredge give up and just mill around outside the city.

Internal politics blow up between the humans, this Chieftain (Rugga) you brought with you murders the King of the city, and his loyalists coup to take control. Throughout this Alette has tried to be a beacon of hope and does her best to help wherever she can, accepting any comers who wish to join her caravan, and sending soldiers to help the people of the city wherever they are needed. Her caravan dwindles in number, but there is nowhere left to go anyway, so she gives up everything she can to help everyone survive.

It comes to a point where this Rugga delivers an ultimatum, Alette must swear her banner to his cause, or leave the city. Tired of this man's games and just wanting everyone to survive, she agrees. Her adoptive mother in the caravan Oddleif is incensed, but doesn't speak up.

There are altercations happening down at the gate, some people want to let the Dredge into the city, stating they are no longer a threat. Rugga is very much against this, but Alette argues for letting them in. Rugga challenges her then to step out of the gates and invite them in, calling her bluff. Alette accepts, and steps out of the gates alone carrying her banner.

The Dredge part as she advances, they know her as the leader who has slain all of theirs and from fear and respect do not attack. Alette places her weapons on the ground and then turns and returns into the open gate. The Dredge begin to follow.

A human somewhere objects, and a javelin slams into Alette's chest. She falls, dead to the mud. Who exactly threw this you never know, but Alette's kindness in this time of fear and darkness was what got her killed. As she drops to the mud, you see the reflection of her father Rook in the puddles in the foreground. He reaches out to his daughter.

It's a testament to the overwhelming bleakness of this game that my actions got Alette killed, and all I really feel is numb. I made her a beacon of light in this world of darkness, and her compassion got her killed. I would make the same decision again, it is who Alette is. Soon after this moment, the game tallies your resources and turns them into straight numbers. "Your efforts have earned you 9 days of survival. The rest is up to the others."

At the end of Banner Saga 1, one of the main raisins I chose Rook rather than Alette to make the sacrifice was Theoden's conversation with Gandalf on the grave of his son. "No parent should have to bury their own child." The death of Alette brings me back to this conversation, "The young die, and the old linger." Theoden mused. Alette was too busy trying to look out for everyone to truly look out for herself. It seems a very Norse ending.
NUMBER TWO!
Life is Strange 2 - Calling Lyla Back

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Yikes, that previous spoiler was a saga unto itself! This one also was a tug on the ol' heartstrings.
Spoiler :
It's been days since you fled your home. Your phone ran out of battery some time ago, but through the kindness of a stranger named Brodie, you're set up in a motel room for a night. "Get rid of that phone" Brodie tells you. It's a hard thing to do, we keep so much of ourselves in our phones. Sean heads out onto the balcony to get rid of his phone, and Lyla is blowing you up with text messages.

The option comes up, do you call Lyla back? I did, and the conversation perhaps wasn't the closure Sean was wanting, but a hard reminder of everything he had left behind. Lyla does everything she can to try and suggest ways that Sean can return, how she can help him.. but he can't trust the system, and he can't go back. It was a powerful moment listening to Lyla scramble and rationalise and brainstorm anything she could do to get her friend back, but we know it's never going to be that easy.

I hope it lit a fire under Lyla and she goes out of her way to try and track Sean down, but even if she doesn't, their friendship was owed that phone call.
NUMBER THREE!
Assassin's Creed: Odyssey - The Fate of Testikles

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After a couple of sad stories, how about one that is just dumb fun.
Spoiler :
Kassandra has to earn the favour of the Spartan Kings. One of the ways she can do this, is by finding their star athlete Testikles and escorting him to the Olympic games where he will win the wrestling for Sparta.

Kassandra finds him on a small island, and he is very drunk and a real lunkhead. Herodotus fanboys at him about how he won previous competitions, reading much more into strategy than the random choices this athlete made which earned him past victories. "Thinking is for people who can't hit hard enough" he says. You arrive in Elis and Testikles starts to wax poetic about how he likes to be oiled. He stumbles towards Kassandra who deftly sidesteps him, causing him to trip over a bowl of apples and plunge into the water.

"Don't tell me the Champion of Sparta doesn't know how to swim." Kassandra quips, but when your crew looks down there's a burst of red, and a shark swims away with something in its mouth. It's about what he deserved, and now you have to wrestle in his place. Almost sounds like an opportunity for gameplay! Also you can get oiled up to wrestle, which is great.

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Falcon Critical
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Re: C-F GAME OF THE YEAR 2018

Post by Falcon Critical » 5 days ago

:picard BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT! :picard

NUMBER ONE!
Lara's Characterisation

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This was supposed to be game that linked nu!Lara to OG!Lara. If they were going to link her into the quipping badass Lara from the original series, this would have been the time for her to try to cope with the shit she gets thrown into with gallows humour. The world beats you down, make stupid and fucking dark jokes man, that's how you end up the disassociated quip-monster of the original series.

Add on top of that the game tries to make points about how "hey it's actually bad that we're swooping into unknown civilisations and pillaging everything not strapped down" but then has Lara the antithesis of this statement, utterly obsessed with her 'save the world' objective and disinterested in the human nor cultural cost of her actions. AGAIN, throw some dark fucking humour in there, and hey you're on track to old Lara... but nope, completely lacking in self-awareness Lara stays serious and ultimately utterly boring.

Fix Lara! Justice for Sam! Why is Jonah more interesting than your protagonist! You fucked it up!


NUMBER TWO!
All of the Ideas Behind Fallout 76

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Who wanted this? What about the Fallout franchise said "hey lets get a bunch of players online together". The post apocalypse is about loneliness, and dwelling on the loss of everything that made life easy for human life. And then there's the whole "Now you can fire nukes at each other! Fun right?" Like... that's worse than the actual nuclear apocalypse. At least the nuclear war was about some stupid pride or hurt feelings, but hey, learn nothing from that world-ending disaster, nukes are fun, so fun! Fire them at each other! For no purpose really!


NUMBER THREE!
Women Still Barely Acknowledged in FIFA

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I'm going to have FIFA on this list every year, because they continue to pay the smallest amount of lip service to the women's game. They added international teams way back in FIFA 16, but since then there's been practically nothing. Where are the club teams? There are 4-5 women's leagues around the world that are at far higher levels than most of the men's leagues they feature. They did the hard work back in 16 to get the animations and commentary and such, and now here we are 3 years later and nothing.

Last year they expanded their story mode to have the main character's sister in a side plot, playing international games. This year, they have her again... still playing international games. SERIOUSLY, ONE LEAGUE IS ALL I WANT RIGHT NOW! It'd still hurt to get so little, but at this point anything is better than nothing.

I'm still not buying any FIFA game till I can play the women's leagues. The sad truth is that Pro Evolution Soccer is even further behind.

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Re: C-F GAME OF THE YEAR 2018

Post by Falcon Critical » 3 days ago

:pac DANG IT, I REALLY SHOULD HAVE PLAYED THAT! :pacdown

NUMBER ONE!
Dead in Vinland

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One part Banner Saga, one part Don't Starve. It's a game about a Norse family cast out of civilisation, who arrive on a small island and have to do what they can to survive. Seems like the kind of story-heavy game that I'd be into, and probably not a long one. It remains high on my list of games I really should get to.


NUMBER TWO!
Timespinner

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It's Symphony of the Night but with a female protagonist and unique mechanics. Sounds so much up my alley that just writing this I want to get stuck in. I really should get to this soon to put some distance between it and Bloodstained which is due out this year.


NUMBER THREE!
Star Traders: Frontiers

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One of the games that requires me to get invested, it's like FTL but without the time limit or impending doom. Also you have shore parties. As much as I want to dive in and develop a story with whatever crew I can grab, it seems kind of daunting because of that investment. From what I remember this game has plenty of help with developing personalities in your crew, but it remains one of those games I think I need to be in a specific mood for.

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Re: C-F GAME OF THE YEAR 2018

Post by True Perception » 3 days ago

Bloodstained still isn't out?! What the hell.

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Falcon Critical
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Re: C-F GAME OF THE YEAR 2018

Post by Falcon Critical » 2 days ago

They notified the kickstarter backers like 6 months ago that they were going to delay the release, and the overwhelming response was "take as long as you need". I don't think it will get to a Star Citizen point (will that ever come out?) but so many people still play and love SOTN these days that they would rather wait for this game and have something great. There's no guarantees of course, but people remain optimistic because it's the extreme polish on SOTN that really makes it endure.