Hey guys. Justin here and welcome to the Otaku Mind. 2017 was a great year for the gaming industry. Nintendo released the Switch which was a huge success, Sony released a slew of exclusives which were all great, and Microsoft. . .they officially announced the death of the Kinect even though we already knew it was dead about a year ago but thank you for acknowledging its official death. Since I’m in the middle of doing top 11 lists I thought it be fun to name my top 11 games from 2017. Why top 11? Because just like someone else, I too like to go one step beyond. Now this list may be a little bias seeing as how I don’t play the X-Box One or PC so don’t get too mad or offended if you don’t see those games on the list. With that said, let’s do this. These are the top 11 games of 2017.
#11. Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy
Crash Bandicoot is back! For many of us, Crash was the first game we played on the Playstation and showed us that this would be a key rival for the Big N in the years to come. N Sane Trilogy took the first 3 Crash Bandicoot games and remastered them for the PS4 giving a new generation of gamers access to one of the best platformer games of all time. The animation looked great, the gameplay was slightly improved, and it was just fun getting to play as Crash and Coco again. While the first 2 games still carry that level of frustration and rage I remember as a kid I still enjoyed playing them and I hope this will open the doors for Sony to do something big with Crash in the future. New game please.
#10. Horizon: Zero Dawn
This game was a big shock for a lot of gamers out there. It was more successful than the developers thought it would be. I originally skipped over it to focus on other games but when I saw the reviews and people talk about it I had to check it out and I enjoyed myself. Not only was the game fun but it added a whole new spin on the whole post-apocalyptic future genre by mashing together nature and technology. In your fight against machines and trying to figure out who you are, instead of using guns your main weapon is a bow and arrow along with a spear. As the game goes on the story becomes more intriguing and I loved the various machines you come across in your journey with each one requiring a different strategy to defeat. The game really did make you feel like a hunter deciding when the time is right to fight and when you should retreat for the time being. With the game being a huge success I hope to see the series continue in the future and see what happens next for our main character or the world as it showed in the post credits that there’s more to come.
#9. Fire Emblem Warriors
I love Fire Emblem. Ever since I first played as Marth and Roy in Smash Bros. I’ve been interested in playing a game from the series ever since. Unfortunately, I don’t have 3DS so the closest I ever came to playing a Fire Emblem game was in Smash Bros. until today. Not only was the mobile game FE Heroes fun but Warriors was great. If you’re a fan of Dynasty Warriors the gameplay is similar if not better here as you play as a number of characters from various Fire Emblem games and go around the battlefield slaughtering armies single-handedly. The game makes you feel like a badass as you go through foe after foe and using your special to take down armies that stand in your way. It just leaves you with a feel of satisfaction whenever you do it. While the story may be okay; the various characters, the gameplay, music, and animation more than makes up for it and it’s a fun game to play with a friend. While I’m sure there’s better Fire Emblem games out there to play besides this one, I really did enjoy this game and will remember it as my first Fire Emblem game.
Dark Souls with samurais. That’s the best way to describe Nioh. Set during the civil war years of the Sengoku Period in Japan, you are recruited to help vanquish yokai which have emerged throughout the country and restore peace all while trying to find a man who has stolen a valuable spirit guardian from you. The game is loosely based off the life of William Adams with a touch of the supernatural for good measure. The story is good, you have various weapons to choose from (i.e swords, spears, axes, arrows, guns, etc.), various guardian spirits who each have their strengths and weaknesses in battles, creative yokai to fight, and some good historical facts as you fight beside and against some of history’s strongest and smartest warriors. Now this game is not for the weak of heart. Just like Dark Souls this game is hard I mean really hard so if you’re a fan of Dark Souls you’ll really like this game and for those of you who were like me and not really into Dark Souls but wanted to play this game because it looked cool and interesting then you can always call in help from other players who are more than happy to help out. The difficulty level may be up there but for a game this interesting I’ll allow it.
#7. Sonic Mania
A Sonic game that everyone agrees was great. It’s a miracle. Created through the combined team work of Christian Whitehead, Headcannon, PagodaWest Games, and music done by the always great and phenomenal Tee Lopes (please subscribe to his channel) this was the Sonic game that we’ve been craving for years. Taking us on a trip to the past, this game returns Sonic back to his roots of 2-D running and platforming. There was just so much love put into this game. I felt like a kid again while playing this game, that’s how much I enjoyed it. The game incorporates stages from past Sonic games while adding a new spin to them while also adding in their own stages as well. Even if you didn’t grow up playing the original Sonic games you’ll quickly see why a lot of old school Sonic fans (like myself) love the old games so much and why we continue to stay loyal to Sonic after all these years. It was a wonderful experience and one that any fan of Sonic deserves and owes it to themselves to play.
#6. South Park: The Fractured But Whole
South Park returns with a follow up to their game the Stick of Truth. This time taking on a superhero theme, you are once again caught in the middle as the new kid in town where our group is in a civil war with each other on their superhero franchise and you discover a plot to take over the town. Once again, the game makes you feel like a character in the South Park universe and makes you feel like you’re watching an entire season of South Park with you as the main character. Various things have been improved on since the first game. For starters the town is bigger, you have a new battle system which in my opinion is better, more teammates to choose from and use in battle, various costumes to try on, and a better class system where you can choose various power ups and switch them out as often as you want. The only downsides I have with this game is that it’s not as funny as the first game, the enemies aren’t as creative as the first game, and the third act was weak. Another problem I’ve heard fans complain about is the kids actually having super powers. Personally, it didn’t bother me all that much because I saw this as them using their imagination and following the theme of superheroes but I can understand why this would make people mad. Is this game better than the first one? In some aspects yes, and if you’re a fan of the show it’s worth checking out.
#5. NieR: Automata
Hands down the most underrated game of the year. It is very hard to put into words how great this game is. It’s a game you really have to experience and see to understand why so many people praise this game so much. The game is just captivating with its characters, story, setting, and theme. Every moment of this game just feels like a street performance where the performer keeps exceeding your expectations only to reset them and then exceed them again and again. Set in a post-apocalyptic future where the world gets invaded by aliens, humans are forced to take refuge on the moon and have created androids to fight and reclaim the planet which is now infested with robots that were left by the aliens. Throughout the game you take control of these various androids each one showing a different side of the story but also connecting all of it together as you discover that there’s more to this world than what you originally thought. The game may look like your typical hack and slash game but there’s more to it than that, trust me. In the end, NieR will be one of those games people will skip over for now but in the future they’re gonna look back and realize how important this game left in the history of gaming. If you own a PS4 you need to check this game out.
Yeah, shocked, aren’t you? While I may not have an Xbox One or play PC games I’ve watched a lot of people play this game and after watching all the videos it would be an insult not to put it on the list. This run and gun shooter has you take control of Cuphead and his brother Mugman who gamble and lose their souls to the devil. Now the brothers must go around and collect the souls of other people indebted to the devil all while coming up with a plan to defeat the devil himself. This game just looks great. Done in the animation style of cartoons from the 1930s this game offers a unique feel no game has ever given us before. It may look friendly and innocent, but this game is as hard as they come. The boss battles are long and tough, it requires trial and error, the game taunts you every time you die, but when you finally do beat that boss and get the stage clear screen you get that sense of triumph and satisfaction that you’ve been waiting for. The music is also great too. Focusing primarily on band jazz this is a soundtrack that you’ll never get tired of listening to. While the game has its fair share of glitches, this game is still awesome and I’m jealous that it’s only available on the Xbox console. Maybe someday down the line it’ll come to the Playstation. But for now, I’ll let the Xbots have this victory (they need it).
#3. Super Mario Odyssey
This is the game that made the Switch worth buying. Even since the Switch was announced this game was advertised the most as the big seller and it didn’t disappoint. This game was hands down Mario’s biggest adventure to date as we get to explore various kingdoms from around the world and take control of various creatures such as a goomba, koopa, T-Rex, chain chomp, bullet bill, and even Bowser himself. The best kingdom was of course Metro Kingdom which featured New Donk City, the lovely Paulina (who has done good for herself after breaking up with Mario), and the best stage in the game. Once again Nintendo just poured so much love and attention to detail into the game that once you start playing you won’t stop. Super Mario Odyssey was worth the wait and it delivered on making the Switch a must buy item.
#2. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The first major game to come out on the Switch. This game tried out a lot of new things from previous Zelda games by making the world completely open. You could go anywhere you want, even take on Ganondorf right off the bat (if you can reach him). But why would you when there’s so much to explore and see? Once again you must go on a quest to defeat the evil Ganondorf and rescue Zelda. This game had a wide variety of puzzles which you could solve in various temples scattered across the world and you can go to various places and shops to continue the main quest and make things easier on yourself for the final battle. The animation looked great here and the voice acting was a welcome to the franchise. My only complaint about this game is that the final battle is disappointing and while lot of the new ideas work here there are some that fall short. Overall though this was a good introduction game for the Switch. If Mario Odyssey wasn’t a selling point for you than this game sure as hell is.
And the number game of 2017 is. . .
#1. Persona 5
Yes! Yes! A thousand and one times yes! Don’t get me wrong, I love Mario and Zelda but I have been waiting for this game for ages. Ever since I saw the trailer for this game I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and it exceeded all my expectations. In this game you are falsely accused of a crime you didn’t commit and put on probation for a year in Tokyo where you are told to be on your best behavior. But while in Tokyo you and your friends gain the power to enter the hearts of people and use this power to make the wicked confess to their crimes and make the world a slightly better place. This game just connects with you on so many levels. First off, we’ve all been labeled by society just like the characters in the game. Second, we see how these corrupt individuals abuse the system and use others for their own gain. If we had the power we would stop them and that’s what these guys do in the game. Everything about this game is so stylish and cool to watch. From the characters, to the fighting, to the transitions, everything about this game is stylish and cool to watch. And let’s not forget that amazing soundtrack done by Shoji Meguro who knocks it out of the park with this soundtrack and each of the dungeons are creative and a perfect target for our phantom thieves. While Breath of the Wild was great I really don’t feel compelled to play through it again after I’ve beaten it once. Even with all the DLC and extra stuff coming out I really don’t feel the need to return to the game. Persona 5 on the other hand, as soon as I got done with my first playthrough I wanted to play through it again because of how much I enjoyed it. This game just has so much to offer from a gaming perspective and personal perspective that you’ll keep coming back to it again and again. Just like the game has you stealing hearts the game manages to steal your heart as well.
And that’s my list, did I leave any games out? Let me know what your favorite games were in 2017. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj.
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