Game of the Year 2017 Day 3 of 3

Best Old Game of 2017

Winner: Firewatch

Firewatch wins this category on a technicality because I simply didn’t play many older games in 2017. I was at odds with Henry’s cowardly ways; it’s very rare that I don’t find any redeeming qualities with the protagonist of an  game let alone an adventure game. He was a coward who ran away from his problems. I made it my mission to steer him back home and away from the allure of Delilah. I related to his growing infatuation with her even though she was nothing more than a voice. 

I came away reinforcing my own definitions of infatuation, love, and unconditional love. And for someone who was in the middle of a budding relationship, that proved to a bit helpful.

Best Game of 2017

Winner: Yakuza 0

Yakuza 0 is a masterful blend of wacky and touching moments. It took me on a wonderful journey through 1980’s Tokyo that left me wanting more. Giving Kiryu’s backstory more airtime was nice but transforming Goro Majima into a more than just a wacky nuisance was the real winner here.

I’ve played my fair share of Yakuza games starting with Yakuza 2 and the sheer amount of stuff to engage with in Yakuza 0 was astounding. Not all of it was of stellar quality but I found myself enjoying the journey and not wanting to end. I even flirted with the idea of returning to 0 to mop up leftovers.

Runner-ups:

2. Super Mario Odyssey – There may have been way too many Moons to collect but for the vast majority of the time, Super Mario Odyssey was a joy to play. My only complaint? It didn’t quite dazzle me like Super Mario Galaxy did but then again, how many games can live up to that masterpiece?

3. Persona 5 – I’m technically still in the midst of playing this game but I really enjoy it. I – like many others – have a strong affinity towards Persona 4 and its cast of characters, so I was curious what Atlus would do to win me over with a new cast of characters. After a bit of an awkward and rocky opening, I’m finally hitting my stride with the game.

I adore the music and style which they unsurprisingly nail. But I’m a bit surprised with how invested I am with the characters and their stories. They’re grabbing with their shocking nature but I’m sticking with them to see how they handle these “classic tales of woe” in these modern times.

4. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy – In a year filled with open world goodness, Uncharted games feel especially antiquated with their restrictive climbing mechanics and instant death pitfalls. But once I got my Uncharted legs back under me, The Lost Legacy was a wonderful way to revisit the mechanics of Uncharted 4 without the long commitment of reliving Nathan Drake’s final epic.

5. Metroid: Samus Returns – Almost any effort would have been seen as a success coming from Metroid: Other M. Metroid: Samus Returns not only successfully remade Metroid II: Return of Samus for 2017 but they also proved capable of taking the franchise forward with fresh new additions to Samus’ core moves.

6. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – There’s a lot of promise shown in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I think Nintendo struck gold with this new take on 3D Legend of Zelda. But I want something more than dazzle. I want more to do and I don’t mean more shrines. Creative types had a ball coming up with clever ways to torment the denizens of Hyrule. If only I had the knack for making my own fun. Then maybe, I would have loved Breath of the Wild a bit more.

7. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Mario Kart 8 was number 2 on my 2014 list and it still holds up 3 years later. It’s easily my favorite Mario Kart title and it’s even better with this refined package. This time around, I found additional joy playing the game with friends and family in 4 player splitscreen. It’s the first Switch game that I played like one of those Switch commercials.

8. Nier: Automata – I like many of the individual elements of Nier: Automata but as a whole, it felt short. The soundtrack is phenomenal — I still listen to it on a regular basis. But the bland world and basic combat left me wanting. And while I understand that playing the game multiple times to wring out additional endings is appealing to some, I generally dislike it. I don’t mind replaying exceptional experiences but unfortunately for Nier: Automata, it wasn’t one.

But that soundtrack? Keep that on loop.

9. Puyo Puyo Tetris – I didn’t get around to reviewing this game because I never got around to completing I did enjoy what I played of Puyo Puyo Tetris. The campaign is silly nonsense that overstayed its welcome but I admire their heart. It’s a fantastic game filled with nonsensical characters and great puzzling action. I know I will be returning to it time and time again which is why it currently sits as one of two digital purchases for the Nintendo Switch.

10. Yakuza Kiwami – I experienced the first Yakuza through Yakuza 2’s recap video so while I had an idea of how the adventures of Kiryu started, I didn’t experience it first hand. I rectified that this year thanks to Sega’s remake dubbed Yakuza Kiwami. It was certainly extreme but coming from Yakuza 0’s ridiculous panache, it felt a little toned down and disjointed. Granted this was faithful to the original game but I think they may have been a little too faithful. Still, it was good to see the likes of Yuya brought out of the dark ages of the PS2.

Game of the Year 2017 Day 2 of 3

Most Disappointing Game of 2017

Winner: N/A

I didn’t play anything that was disappointing this year. I wished certain games were a bit better in different ways but I didn’t find any title disappointing. It’s been that kind of year for me.

Most Surprising Game of 2017

Winner: Yakuza 0

 

I didn’t think I would be surprised by another installment of Yakuza. Yakuza 0 blew me away and reinvigorated my adoration for this franchise. It’s a fun, action packed, wacky adventure peppered with some of the most touching moments in games. It’s my fourth trip to Kamurocho but they somehow manage to keep it fresh with each visit. Also, who would have guessed Goro Majima was more than just a lunatic?

Runner ups: Persona 5, Metroid: Samus Returns

Game of the Year 2017 Day 1 of 3

What a year 2017 has been. It’s arguably one of the greatest years in gaming but I did not have the chance to indulge and enjoy it as much as I would like. Nevertheless, I did play games and it’s time to recognize some of the best 2017 had to offer.

The Game I Wish I Bought & Played in 2017

Winner: Horizon: Zero Dawn

I technically bought this game but unfortunately I didn’t get to play it yet. Guerilla Games’ open world game looks stunning and it apparently ranks as one of the top games of this generation. I made my choice early this year and decided to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild first but there’s a part of me that wonders maybe I should have started with this game first.

Runner ups: Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, Cuphead

Checkpoint: So That Was 2017 Edition

What a year 2017 was. It started out real shitty (literally) as I started off the new year battling a nasty stomach illness. I reached a low point in February of 2017 where I was exceptionally harsh on myself for taking early relationships too seriously. I recovered quickly and not long after, I met my very special lady. She’s the one.

I won’t get into the nitty gritty details but her and GameDealsCanada have been the primary reasons why the posts on this site have been sporadic. Life is getting in the way but that’s okay. I’m still finding pockets of time to express and jot down some thoughts here.

GameDealsCanada continues to break personal records and I’m finding myself interacting more with followers. Everyone have always been supportive of my work but 2017 felt a little extra special for whatever reason. While the website remains largely the same, the backend deals posting process underwent a significant upgrade thanks to my girlfriend.

In 2017, I unexpectedly entered the 4K HDR arena with the purchase of my LG OLED55B6P. The old LE8500 bit the dust and I’ve been basking in OLED for the latter half of the year. I didn’t really take advantage of the new screen until I watched Planet Earth II on UltraHD Blu-ray in early Decemeber. That’s a beautiful showcase for 4K and especially HDR. Gaming wise, I started to take advantage of the 4K HDR goodness with Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.

Speaking of delayed reactions to my new toys, I didn’t really take to Nintendo’s new platform until I brought it with me on a couple of Toronto trips. I didn’t really appreciate the hardware’s strengths until I sank my teeth into The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and I was able to play the game everywhere.

Health wise, I’ve been alright. I’m maintaining my weight and keeping up with exercise but I can do better. I need to get myself back in a rhythm and schedule with the stretching, pull ups, push ups etc but at least I’m staying on top of getting my steps in. Something is better than nothing, I guess.

Gaming wise, 2017 was light for me. I hear there are a lot of fantastic games but I just didn’t have the time to play many of them. I’m struggling to make a list of eligible 2017 games that I’ve completed let alone a top 10 list that I’m happy with. I might cut it down to top 5 for this year.

2017 was pretty awesome for me on a personal level and I hope the good times roll forward into the new year.

I’m currently working my way through Persona 5. I think it may end up being my last game before the 2017 game of the year cut off on Resetera. So far, I’m enjoying it very much but at the same time, I find myself getting sleepy inbetween targets.

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