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#1 2020-02-04 02:23:49

Rhete
Administrator
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 60

SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

It's time once again, to think about the games of yesteryear, gather our thoughts and jot them down into a forum post, and then smash them all together into a GIANT ASS LIST! (linked example of previous list)

This time instead of focusing on a single console, or generation on consoles, I think it makes the most sense to just focus on a period of time, that being of course, the recently ended decade of the 2010s.  Which games released between January 1st 2010 and December 31st 2019 are the best?  It's up to you to help us figure it out!

It's been a while since we've done one of these, and the forums were gone for a bit, but I think entering is pretty simple.  Here's the low down:

#1 - Compile a list of your favorite games released in the 2010s and rank them best you can with your favorite being #1. How many items should this list have? Since we're tackling an entire decade this time...  I feel it's fair to allow up to *deep breath* 100 games per list.  Yeah that seems insane, but that breaks down to 10 games per year, so you may run out of space faster than you think.  Of course your list can be shorter, but 100 is the max.

#2 - Take just a moment to write a bit about each game on your list. They'll be posted next to each game's ranking in the final results, so this entire article is written by you. Blurbs aren't required to be short (though short ones are still fine). I enjoy reading about why people choose a game, so if you need a few paragraphs to explain why a game means a lot to you, go right ahead. If a blurb mentions another game, try not to reference its position on your list, as when the lists are all combined, saying something like, "the number 2 game on my list" makes no sense and has to be changed.

#3 - Each place = 1 game. No full-series entries.  New modification to this rule though, since we live in the age of remasters and definitive editions, is that if every game in a collection wasn't originally released in this decade, you can vote for the collection itself.  Examples would be the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro trilogy remasters, or The Disney Afternoon Collection.  If some or all of the games in a collection were released this decade though, please vote for them individually.  An example would be The Nonary Games containing both 999 and Virtue's Last Reward.

#4 - For the most part we'll be going with local release dates.  No reason in excluding something that came out this decade for you simply because it took forever to get localized.  Basically if you can make any case for a game having come out in the decade, I'll allow it.

#5 - The cut-off for participation is MAY 10TH Be sure to give it some thought, too. You don't have to rush and do it the minute you see this post, but we'd appreciate everyone's participation in making this a nice fat list.

If you have any questions ask em here and I'll get to you as soon as I can.

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#2 2020-02-04 10:26:47

John
Lightning Edgeboy
From: Chicago
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 139
Website

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

Everyone please read the rules carefully, Rhete's covered a lot of the standard questions here! I'm very excited to see y'all's lists <3


"If history is to change, let it change! If the world is to be destroyed, so be it! If my fate is to die... I must simply laugh!!"
-Magus

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#3 2020-02-08 02:19:31

Rhete
Administrator
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 60

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

Ok so Shovel Knight, standalone expansions, DLC, and games within games were brought up.  This one is really tricky and I spent a while thinking about it, considering it from both angles, and I ultimately think that it makes more sense to just lump everything together under the banner of the original game.  So the best wording I can think of is something like this

#6 - If a piece of content was ever DLC (free or paid) for a game, it will be considered part of that game, even if it was later or simultaneously sold as a stand alone game.

So the big ones I know this affects are Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove (every character campaign and Showdown will be counted under this banner) and Xenoblade 2, which contained Torna The Golden Country in its expansion pass.

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#4 2020-02-08 20:48:02

Polly
Moon Pie Advocate
From: Pollyland
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 119
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Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

Also, given that you have 100 slots to play with, odds are you may run up against forum software post size restrictions. Create as many posts as you need to in order to get your full list posted.


You got a 25% at best at beat me.

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#5 2020-02-14 16:52:39

John
Lightning Edgeboy
From: Chicago
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 139
Website

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

Let's kick things off!

NUMBERS 101 TO 81

101. Awkward Dimensions Redux (2016)

A collection of abstract first-person Unity games! I really connected with the subtle adolescent angst of its perspective.

100. SWR JST DX Selective Memory Erase Effect (2015)

An intensely varied arcade-style set-piece platformer, one that consistently delights and surprises throughout its brisk run-time.

99. How Do You Do It? (2014)

Perfectly captures the innate comedy of budding adolescent desire.

98. Her Tears Were My Light (2016)

A lovely little queer fairy tale with wonderful art and some cute formal hooks.

97. Wire Wood Daughters (2017)

Sometimes you just have to let go.

96. The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories (2018)

A powerful visceral puzzle language married to an affecting story, my favorite of the decade's batch of mid-budget cinematic platformers.

95. Journey (2012)

Simple and affecting, and brief enough that its broadness doesn't become obnoxious.

94. Standstill Girl (2013, 2010)

Gorgeous and overly edgy RPGMaker adventure with a crunchy custom battle system... this kind of game is my lifeblood.

93. My Father's Long Long Legs (2013)

The closing sequence of this story has stuck in my brain for years.

92. Slice (2011)

Puzzling out the constantly changing rules for the blades' movements would be purely delightful if not for the game's visceral hook. Also a fun speedrun game weirdly enough!

91. Thirteen Gates (2012)

A puzzle game where the whole challenge is figuring out how to navigate a series of spaces. Mucks with your perception in a really unique way!

90. You Will Die Alone At Sea (2013)

A short eerie first-person poem, elevated by the accidental choice to leave debug controls in the release version. You can experience the poem as intended, or step outside its boundaries and contemplate it in a new way.

89. 4NR (2012)

Two nifty sets of compact platformer rules explored thoughtfully without wasting your time.

88. Thexder Neo (2010)

The gorgeous PC-98 predecessor to Alysia Dragoon, given new life with a classy 3D update that doesn't compromise the original's thoughtful rules in the slightest. It's a mecha game where every act of violence you can perform has a cost you have to weigh it against. In that sense it's closer to the genre's mournful storytelling roots than most mecha games ever get.

87. Polly Dungeon (2018)

The dream of Flash 4 continues... A super-ambitious comedy game that succeeds on the strength of its endearing aesthetic, pitch-perfect soundtrack, and across-the-board hilarious writing.

86. Experiment 12 (2013)

Twelve games by twelve authors, made sequentially, each developed in just three days. The first game (by Terry Cavanagh) is a mysterious open-ended launching off point, which the subsequent devs build off to great effect. Michael Brough's chapter is a highlight, but it's absolutely worth playing all twelve to get the full effect.

85. Celeste (2018)

Thorson drops the mic on a genre he helped bring to life over a decade ago with the Jumper series. The movement is nuanced and delightful, and it's elevated by a nice affecting story.

84. Fishing Minigame 2 (2018)

A full ninety minute VN with a tiny cast all set in a single room. A great example of communicating a massively ambitious and resonant story within tight formal constraints.

83. Cinco Paus (2017)

My favorite of Brough's recent roguelikes. It's much less overwhelming than Imbroglio, while still packing a ton of nuance into its 5x5 grid.

82. Spiders and Cubes (2012)

LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT SPIDERS AND CUBES.

81. In the pines, in the pines, where the sun never shines (2019)

Bitsy is my favorite new game making tool from recent years. Whenever I'm in the mood for a small intimate game I'll browse Itch for a bitsy game that catches my eye; I've probably played over a hundred of 'em at this point. This one is my current favorite, because of the beautiful art and very complete story it squeezes into a tight three minute run-time.


"If history is to change, let it change! If the world is to be destroyed, so be it! If my fate is to die... I must simply laugh!!"
-Magus

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#6 2020-02-22 21:52:12

Zeloz (Mark II)
Retired Ume Detective
From: TCELES B HSUP
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 35
Website

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

I swear, I didn't intend on this list to grow to the size it did, but when I thought about *all* of the games I've enjoyed from this decade, things got out of hand and... um, yeah.

I realize some of these entries seem a bit harsh for games I'm electing as Top of the Decade, but please believe me when I say I've enjoyed playing all of the games listed at some point (except the ones I say I haven't played. There aren't a lot of those, but they're there). Even if I remember #100 or so being a total slog, I can personally guarantee either 30 minutes of "this ain't so bad" from each game, and/or I just really like the fan art, fanfiction, or other such impact on its fans. These are all potentially Quality games!

anyway, here's my 100-77.

100. A2MR (2016)
It's a game I've admittedly not played entirely through, and honestly? I don't expect it to be better than the original Metroid II, even! The original stands as one of my favorite GB games, and probably my favorite Metroid game, and this work doesn't seem interested in delivering what that game had to offer. And, yeah, it comes off as a Zero Mission 2 of sorts at first blush, but it works in elements from some of the other entries in the series (like Prime's soundfont, to debatable effect) to give it a flavor all its' own. And while you could say that approach makes it less innovative or interesting than even the Nintendo-sanctioned remake for 3DS - with it's radically reconfigured fighting mechanics - I still find myself much more interested in this fan work. Honestly, that's mostly because this game's free and the other isn't, but, I mean, the game is also pretty emblematic of this decade of games in a few ways. Chief of which is just how it came to be after a long dev cycle, against all odds allegedly. This decade is pockmarked with sudden appearances from games that were rumored to have died in Development Hell: Versus XIII became Final Fantasy XV, Nioh and The Last Guardian moved up a generation, and Shenmue III... wait, were people actually anticipating Shenmue III before its announcement? Regardless, I'm genuinely glad AM2R came out. A small-ish creation with a limited dev team suddenly turning up after being presumed dead. Hell, maybe I'll give my decade-old OCs languishing in my mind a proper, readable novel one day. Hey, this fangame came out! Most anything's possible.

99. Xenoblade Chronicles X (2015)
If this does end up being the one notable Nintendo-published Wii U game to never migrate to the Switch, I might be the only one to mourn, but not really for anything concerning it's gameplay. I just really, really like the Hiroyuki Sawano soundtrack. You know what'll prolong some of the excitement coming out of a Promare viewing? 8 goddamn hours of Xenoblade Chronicles X's OST to tide you over for the following workday. Black Tar covers all my eyeballs and earholes.

98. XCOM 2 (2016)
Played this for a few hours on a Steam family account. It certainly seems like the almost Fire Emblem-esque strategy RPG I imagined it'd be, what with the lives of squad mates you'd form emotional bonds with (not to mention the resources sunk in them) being in constant danger of permadeath because of unpredictable RNG. Still, it ultimately seemed a little too hardcore for me to really get into seriously; modding Neptunia characters in your squad and trying to raise them into a competent task force without dying is a heck of an emotional roller coaster. It's the Conquest Ending all over again and, again, it's your fault!

97. Cladun: This is an RPG! (2010)
I never really got into this one much when it was new, mostly because I was expecting a simple rogue-type game without a lot of quirks. Thinking back on it now, though, I can appreciate the ways its equip system and combat freshened up the genre. You can equip your party members! Like, onto you! Kinda. And getting through dungeons require more understanding the game systems than just getting good RNG. Perhaps one day I'll give it another go, but it remains in my mind as one of the more interesting games Nippon Ichi's published.

96. Kingdom Hearts III (2019)
I watched my younger sister play through it, and I think I've gotten what I want out of it without playing! The combat seems to hearken to the cluttered button mash that was II (not inherently a bad thing, mind, though it gets tedious to watch), but like, I'm just glad the game came out after such a long time. Wasn't super-impressed by how the new worlds were integrated, and the lack of any Marvel/Star Wars/Square Enix rep was a little disappointing, but the game itself was a satisfying ending omnibus that threaded so much of the previous games' elements and antagonists into a satisfying climax. The game really felt like a love letter to the series' fans by the end, even to the point where not even my current apathy towards the series can keep me from feeling it.

95. Persona 4 Golden (2012)
I really liked the quality-of-life improvements the game made overall to the original, even if some of the new content seems to be largely insubstantial or bad (I've heard NO good things about Marie or any of the new music). But, at it's core, it's still Persona 4, which is a pretty good game. Portable even! A sorta Persona 4 Portable. Now with handy VHS-like fast-forward for the cutscenes! I don't see myself doing another P4 run soon, but if I do, it'd very likely be with this version.

94. Ys: Oath in Felghana (2010)
Haven't played a lot of this, but props to it for putting out maybe the best version of the best (80s-era) Ys soundtrack!

93. Lilly Looking Through (2013)
I played a couple of hours of this when I was bored on Steam, and was pleasantly surprised. The world with and without the goggles the titular character looks through is whimsical in a very storybook-ish way, and the item puzzles managed to stump me for a bit without feeling frustrating or arbitrary. I keep meaning to revisit the game, but for now it remains the best hour-and-a-half I've sunk into a random Humble Bundle get.

92. Canyon Capers (2014)
I'm... still kinda shocked this is actually a thing. When the DOS original was showcased during a Let's Play competition years back, I was shocked to learn that everyone's submissions made up the bulk of the game's representation on YouTube, but I didn't think this DOS game with shady origins that seemingly everyone except community member Nate seemed to have forgotten would ever get much more attention than that.
But, as fate would have it, other people felt the need to bring ol' "DinoJr"  back from wherever, and now we have a pretty bare-bones platforming game that honestly doesn't do a lot, but it plays pretty alright for what looks like a no-frills conversion from smartphone platforms. Yeah, it's kinda ugly and mediocre, but it plays alright and does the standard "jump around, collect the stuff" thing with a little bit of aplomb. Not much, but it's there, in the chintzy light bloom effects.

91. Fate/Grand Order (2015)
The writing isn't that great, and it gets pretty grindy when you can't rely on your max-level friends loaning their Servants, but it did kinda make Fate/ an acceptable topic of discussion in public? Anyway, we got Mash and Gudako out of it, and gacha games kinda live or die on how cute their girls are, so that alone makes it a historically relevant advancement in mobile games and mythology preservation.

90. Little Big Planet 2 (2011)
I don't particularly like how the Little Big Planet games play, but 2 is a slight improvement over 1. I can't really put my finger on why, but I do remember enjoying playing this game with my younger sister through to the end more than the first one. It's a pretty okay multiplayer game, especially with little siblings or cousins.
And, in the end, when you're living miles away and none of your siblings ever really talk to you anymore, isn't that all that matters?

89. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky FC (2011)
I haven't yet gotten past the prologue chapter (8 or 9 years after buying it??? Holy shit), but I'm really, really happy the series has taken off the way it has. I splurged on the Collector's Edition when it first came out, hoping to communicate to XSEED that we'd really like the other two games to come out here. And while that didn't exactly work as intended (SC came out years later, and the PSP is never getting III in English), the games found a new audience with the PC crowd, and while I can't say I had any involvement in that, I'm glad things worked out in the end for the series as a whole.

88. Fire Emblem: Three Houses (2019)
With as much Byleth/Edelgard content I've liked/retweeted, I can't not put this in, even if I haven't actually played it as of writing this list. The wholesome yuri content from the fandom sparks joy in my life.

87. Woah Dave! (2014)
Cute little 3DS arcade game that reminds me of Joust, but perhaps a little less aggravating to control.

86. Tokyo Jungle (2012)
The gameplay never really sank its teeth into me (get it? cuz' they're animals. with teeth), but I really like the premise of having to gradually expand one's territory while fighting to survive in a post-human world filled with larger animals. That it doesn't explain up-front what happened to the humans made for an intriguing plot hook.

85. Völgarr the Viking (2013)
Does the Rastan, Big Barb thing about as well as Rastan. Maybe a little better, if one were to play Rastan I and II music over it.

84. Fez (2012)
I dropped the game pretty early during when the old forum had their "Let's Play Fez" thread (the last thing my sun-baked mind wanted to do after 8 hours of pushing carts in the sweltering heat was solve logic puzzles, apparently), but it felt nice playing through the game with others, seeing the other forum members work out the game's many eccentricities.
Plus, the soundtrack still makes for real chill background music.

83. New Super Mario Bros. U (2012)
I'm not the biggest fan of drinking, but I've gotta admit this otherwise cut-and-dry Mario game gets 4x better with a friend and slightly inebriated. Super Mario 3D World might be the better-designed game, but this one doesn't require as much hand-eye coordination, making it a better drinking game overall.

82. Neko Navy (2017)
Just the cutest darned horizontal shmup to ever pew the pews. Or... mew the mews. Because they're cats.
It gets a little too bullet-hell-y for my tastes, but it's goddamn adorable through and through.

81. Chasm (2018)
A pretty standard... (forgive me) Metroidvania, albeit with a procedurally generated twist, a la Diablo.
Yeah, the premise is pretty stale, and it honestly doesn't do much outside of the standard set by Symphony of the Night (the control scheme and weapons seem lifted straight out of that game) besides the random room and corridor layouts for every playthrough, but it's a competently-made game with pretty good pixel art that makes for a nice distraction every now and then. Hard Mode just about turns the game into a proper action game with stakes.

80. 100% Orange Juice (2013)
Not exactly the Dokapon Kingdom successor I wanted it to be (they don't really play alike at all), but it was fun for the 4 or so hours I sank into it before giving up trying to finish the first board in story mode (because the CPU cheats, not because I'm weak-willed). It's a very cute board game with a lot of potential for shenanigans and backstabbery, and plus it's always nice to see Suguri in any game.

79. The Adventures of Elena Temple (2018)
A puzzle-platformer where you go around and collect the stuff and try not to die, even though you have unlimited lives. It really doesn't do much outside of what one would expect from a PC game from the 80s (aside from have an in-game automap), but there's a bit of beauty in the simplicity, and it feels better to play than, say,  a Spelunker or a Montezuma's Revenge. It's a relaxing little game that one can wind down with after a long work day, in bed with a Switch, tired but too restless to sleep (the Green-On-Black IBM PC-esque palette works really well for this). It's very close to what I imagine an ideal action game on, like, a smartphone would be like. Without the gacha stuff, anyway.

78. Metroid: Rogue Dawn (2017)
The game's a fascinating look at how ROM hackers can completely change the look and feel of a game. While being just as difficult - and sometimes just as obtuse - as the original NES Metroid, the dark and sinister air the locales have, coupled with the varied level layouts, give the game a feel completely unique from any of the other Metroid entry. It's truly an impressive fan work built within the hardware constraints of the NES.

77. Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness (2013)
Even when the game started to feel like a rehash/extended parody of the first game (or a 10th anniversary celebration of it, one could argue), I couldn't help but appreciate the quality-of-life improvements to the Disgaea engine it brought, making it easy to kinda slip into and play. Never finished the game's story, but for being the last time I felt compelled to play a Disgaea game, it was a pleasant note to go out on.
Not sure if the gender-changing Laharl bits have aged well, though.

Last edited by Zeloz (Mark II) (2020-04-21 18:33:15)

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#7 2020-02-23 18:41:26

Rhete
Administrator
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 60

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

Good start Zeloz!  When someone (may have been you) asked about rom hacks in the discord, Metroid Rogue Dawn was the exact game I thought of.

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#8 2020-02-26 16:46:53

eatthepen
Member
Registered: 2020-02-21
Posts: 1

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

Joining the forums just to post this... I could only think of 20 games from this decade that I was prepared to publically vouch for >.>''

20: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria (2012)
My best gaming memories of the 00s are heroic raid progression on Siege of Orgrimmar in the winter of 2013-14. Outside of that WoW ranges from the banal to the exploitative to the extremely racist, and Pandaria is in some ways the worst the racism got, but there is nothing like the methodical, detailed and careful communal attention required by progression raiding and I was lucky to be raiding with not just good players but excellent people. Shoutouts to Jeroen, Saradir, Shev, Caelnir and the rest of Raven Knights. And Cameron Diaz.

19: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Randomiser (2018)
Ocarina of Time is a system of locks and keys arranged in a carefully-curated order. The randomiser shakes up that order and makes every possible loot location feel like a free pull in a gacha game. The software is an incredibly complex accomplishment to make such a simple but effective change to the format and I suspect I'm going to be playing ZOoTR for many years to come.

18: Halo: Reach (2010)
Very few western AAA games have the conviction to tell actual tragedy stories. Tragedy is, on the surface, incompatible with the power fantasy that defines so much of the common image of The Video Game. But when you actually commit to telling a tragic story, an epic struggle against inevitable defeat, that counterpoint transforms even mediocre writing into something at least moderately poignant. Reach also benefits from the best Halo's shooting has ever suited me, and I still have every Firefight map memorised.

17: Geometry Dash (2013)
Not a lot to say about this, just good tunes, slick design, vibrant aesthetics and a well-tuned learning process. As satisfying as it's possible for a one-button rhythm game to be.

16: Grow Home (2015)
It's nice to play a game about growing things. It's nice to play a game about climbing things. It's nice to play a game about being nice. I really appreciated the simple acts of moving about the world that this game is built around, and I'd love to see more games take up its climbing system.

15: World of Final Fantasy (2016)
This game takes a long time to get going. It doesn't really work as Final Fantasy fanservice, or as Final Fantasy for kids, and taken in its own right the first half of the game is kinda sluggish and flat. Then, at about the three-quarter mark, the entire world just melts and the game launches into a scathing deconstruction of the Final Fantasy brand and its fans that's a feast for an attentive game critic. A fascinating product to have emerged from Square Enix late in the period of FFXV's development.

14: Tales of Zestiria (2015)
A game about happy, loving boys and girls going on an adventure to spread happiness and love… and getting put through the wringer along the way. This game is believable in direct proportion to your faith in humanity, and deeply rewarding if, despite everything, your faith remains high.

13: Tales of Xillia 2 (2012)
Tales of Xillia 2 is trying to be too many things at once and as a result felt to me more like a sprawling collection of good ideas than a coherent narrative, but it has some great characterisation and character interaction. Also, crushing medical debt makes a fascinating premise for an adventure game.

12: Heaven Will Be Mine (2018)
It took me a long time to understand what was going on in this VN, but once I understood it I learned some things about myself. I'd probably have got on board sooner if I understood any of the references or genre tropes. One of a very small number of games I actually go back and replay specific sections of as a way of coping with specific moods.

11: Thomas Was Alone (2012)
I wish this had been the indie platformer that everyone tried to chase the success of rather than Meat Boy. Imagine if the last eight years had been defined by 'how much can video games make you cry about a rectangle' instead of the invention (renaissance?) of masocore.

10: Yoku's Island Express (2018)
Every few months between the ages of about 8 and 30, I got the thought 'What if someone made, like, an adventure game that plays like pinball'. I don't know how many people have tried to do this along the way, but Yoku's Island Express definitely succeeds and now instead of that old thought I now just think 'I'm really glad Yoku's Island Express exists' and go back and replay some of it.

9: Even the Ocean (2016)
A game about processing the end of the world through learning to trust and respect those for whom your lack of trust and respect helped cause the crisis. I needed this, and I probably still need it, and probably a lot of people like me still need it. One of the best warnings about capitalism and the cultural norms it forces on us.

8: Tales of Berseria (2017)
The antagonist of this game is a certain kind of intellectual culture that just happens to be the kind of intellectual culture I grew up in and work in, and Berseria skewers that culture with righteous fury. It presents a breathtakingly clear analysis and deconstruction of the 'rationality' of oppression, and a liberating, cathartic burst of wild anger as a script for escaping that cultural logic.

7: Butterfly Soup (2017)
Generally I don't trust or like comedy very much, but I howled with laughter for the full length of this game without ever feeling uncomfortable. A nuanced and careful take on the intensity of adolescence, from highs to lows, as sharp on racial as on queer politics, and absolutely joyous. Also, regrettably, I am a Noelle and this game called me out real hard.

6: Final Fantasy XIII (2010)
The JRPG form – not really a genre, but close enough – went on a wander in the wilderness in the late 00s, through a jumble of attempts to adapt to increasing technology costs and the attendant expectation of ever-greater naturalism and realism. FFXIII is the clearest result of the lessons learnt on that wander. It repudiates those expectations and demands by identifying the core of specifically Squaresoft/Square Enix's lineage: precisely and comprehensively designed sequences of incremental progress and intense drama. This is maybe the finest-tuned game I've ever played, and I keep learning new details of how its systems underpin and back up its character stories. It's not 'realistic', it doesn't pander to western expectations of 'freedom', it does what it does on its own terms and nothing has ever done that better.

5: Final Fantasy XIII-2 (2012)
Time travel is messed up. It can be understood as the ultimate expression of the western fixation on 'free will'; a system that literally hangs the entire course of the universe on the actions of one Marty McFly. Very few time travel stories actually confront that, and my mind was absolutely blown out my ears when FFXIII-2 turned out to be one of them. It's the Majora's Mask of the Final Fantasy brand; a surreal jumble of reused assets from what is, in many ways, a much more polished game, corralled by some extremely brave and committed writers into a work both surprisingly cohesive on its own merits and viciously self-reflexive. I have no idea where the Square Enix of 2012 found the courage to actually go through with the ending of this one, but I salute them for it.

4: things that aren't real (2018)
Nowadays, when I'm sad, or lonely, or in a particular kind of stress that seems to be my default response to the horrors of the moment, I dig out this game and play the first four or five minutes, trying not to kill anything, and just let it wash over me. I'm fixated on the alienation of queerness from home, and this is a journey home that speaks to that exact alienation.

3: Depression Quest (2013)
I didn't play this game until after I'd come to understand my experiences with depression and to know, at least in the abstract, how to deal with them. At every choice the game presented me with, I knew the 'right' answer – keep taking the meds, stay in therapy, tell your loved ones honestly how you're doing – but I also found the game perfectly conveyed the feeling of reluctance to do so. I was able to fight my own battles over again inside this game and, ultimately, 'win' them; I cried more at the 'good' ending of this game than at any sad moment I think in any piece of media I've ever experienced.

2: Anodyne 2: Return to Dust (2019)
Too new for me to judge how well it will stand the test of time, but it speaks so perfectly and powerfully to where I am in my life and career right now, in its critique of capital within home and family, that I have to rank it very highly for myself. Anodyne 2 has strengthened my resolve and my work, has given me new tools to understand how I want to be in the world, and has helped me think about how I might ever feel at home again.

1: Nier (2010)
Nier is a glimpse of a better world, or at least a better videogames industry. It hints at what commercial game development could be if its extremely rigid genre system were broken, and all those resources poured into exploration of the full design space of Video Games. Even if you know how it ends, even if you think you've been 'spoiled', you owe it to yourself to play this one right through to ending D. I knew exactly what was going to happen and it still left me speechless. No-one gets to stop.

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#9 2020-02-26 17:01:32

John
Lightning Edgeboy
From: Chicago
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 139
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Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

Thanks for the great posts so far everyone, and good to see you Becky <3 Let's keep 'em coming!


"If history is to change, let it change! If the world is to be destroyed, so be it! If my fate is to die... I must simply laugh!!"
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#10 2020-02-27 01:43:50

AustinCHowe
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Registered: 2020-02-26
Posts: 3

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

As a precursor I'm gonna say that I'm only ever passively interested in games currently coming out with a few exceptions, but not many. Others not only have more awareness of what's happening in the indies, but also just broader palettes. I'll more than admit to being a picky eater with videogames, if a game doesn't impress me early I'm prone to move on. Suffice to say, the fact that my list is only 17 games is not me trying to pick "the absolute best" without any fluff, it just reflects what I played and cared about when I was done. Also I wrote these blurbs quickly and none of these games are getting the attention they deserve.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

These are games I didn't play, didn't like, or just don't fit the list. So we're getting rid of them now.

Metal Gear Solid HD - In an era where HD collections were consistently controversial, the stunning quality of these ports instantly and uncontroversially rendered the PS2 and PSP versions of the games collected totally obsolete. That's really a hell of an achievement. Also MGS2 is on this.

Marvel 3 - Hated this game, but there's no question Marvel 3 was the fighter of the decade from the people's perspective. Plenty of stories, lots of hype. A very important game in my local scene, much more loved than any version of SFIV even if SFIV was more widely played due to "ease".

FFXIII and XIII-2: FFXIII is still just awful to me. Anytime I try to pick it up, I feel like there's something I'm missing. And that's just the gameplay, FFXIII also has some of the most baffling character writing and scene direction I can remember in a game. Suffice to say, the immediate and lasting impact of FFXIII was really quite negative, especially since it seemed to represent its genre stripped down to the elements people like least, and even then not done very well. It also has lines like "moms are tough." I still feel zero guilt to say this game was a disaster and that people were right not to like it.

XIII-2 is a game that, resultantly, many people (me included) hated before it ever existed because why in god's name is Square trying to franchise XIII, the worst major title they've made since Final Fantasy II? But, alas, FFXIII-2 ultimately feels like the "what I meant to say was" version of FFXIII. The battle mechanics that don't work there work very well here thanks to minor tweaks. There are actual places to look around, people to talk to. The soundtrack is also a lot of fun and has the best primary battle theme since X. I've only ever played this game once, and the reason it landed here is because I really can't remember much of the story, but I do remember enjoying being along for the ride while I was playing and not feeling out of place or confused, which, once, again, is very different from XIII. If you played XIII and didn't like it but also saw potential existing, play XIII-2. If you're a JRPG nerd you should probably try to play XIII at least once, because at the very least it will make you ask what you like about FF, JRPGs, and videogames. And in the interest of fairness, some people really like it! (As seen here in the thread!)

Minecraft - Game of the decade. It's aight.

Skyrim - Game of the decade. It's . . . ok.

Dark Souls - I've said it before and I'm saying it here again, I have my opinion on GOTD but in the genre/styles of game I fixate on, single-player narrative titles, Dark Souls is far and away the game of the 10's. I'm not gonna do everything I hate about Dark Souls. But it's ending here because, in terms of single-player narrative videogames, none had a bigger impact since its release, for better and mostly worse, as Dark Souls. Dark Souls mechanics ended up in *Shovel Knight* because Dark Souls was so popular. I'll be brief: Dark Souls is a type of cruel towards the player that mainstream games of the 90's and 00's wished to do away with because it wasn't really useful. Making players cross pits of unavoidable poison doesn't really achieve anything. Dark Souls has a long tradition building up to its release of dungeon crawling RPGs by From Software, which feature many of these tendencies that I describe as not very useful, but I point out that tradition because Dark Souls did not all of a sudden create a mass of people that needed complex 3D dungeon crawlers in the style of King's Field, it created a mass of people who wanted to Play Harder Videogames. The From Soft that resulted from Dark Souls has slowly de-emphasized almost all elements of its role-playing traditions with variances of character builds being less reliable a means of mitigating challenge and challenge itself being cranked to what is perceived at an all-time high with Sekiro. I could go on about my issues with how Dark Souls tells its story, or the way its always-online function toxified its community at a rapid pace, or the fact that it alternates between scenario designs that are either boring or just downright unacceptable, often in close proximity, and some of the worst bosses in the history of videogames, but it's just a game that I can't stand and one whose influence, subtle and unsubtle, follows me in all the games I'm trying to like.

GAMES OF THE DECADE

NIER (2010) - I'm going off the US release here which I believe is NIER: Gestalt. Nier himself is one of the most interesting depictions of masculinity in a game, if only for the brutal honesty. Nier is a fairly typical videogame protagonist (especially by today's standards) but the primary difference is that the game's entire plot is hinged on his inability to accept the failure of his worldview. His worldview, as it were, is similar to all JRPG protagonists: "Supernaturally awful things are happening to my loved ones and the human race overall, but I will use the power of sheer will to overcome it." However, instead of overcoming, Nier's insistence to keep pushing generally speaking makes situations worse. This is not a happy game. This is a game about how, at the end of time, your time is best spent holding your loved ones instead of rallying against your inevitable demise.

Deadly Premonition (2010) - I never finished this, but the surface-level charm really works for me. You won't realize how much they're cribbing from Twin Peaks until you actually play it. I need to finish this. The main thing is that this is sorta "supposed" to be a GTA-style open-world game set in a town like Twin Peaks and . . . there you have it, the two concepts are fundamentally at odds, and that conflict makes for a really interesting game.

Stanley Parable (2011) - THE STANLEY PARABLE DID NOT COME OUT IN 2013. The Stanley Parable WAS a mod for Half Life 2 that originally came out in 2011, and the vast majority of the routes and endings available in "Stanley HD Remix" as it was sold at the time are in the original mod. The Stanley Parable is a playable piece of games criticism exploring the relationship between the player and developer. Whereas the original 2011 mod seems to ultimately more sympathetic towards the player's desire to express themselves within fundamentally limited systems, the 2013 expansion added a number of fascinating routes that re-explored the issues from the developer's side and comes out actually seeming to repudiate some of the original game's attitude, as the endings more sympathetic to developer viewpoint are the ones that, in a videogame sense, are more traditionally "challenging to pull off." I highly recommend watching the original Stanley mod and then playing the standalone game yourself.

Spec-Ops: The Line (2011) - This is the best version of Heart of Darkness even if that really isn't saying much. To be honest, this game is known by its stereotype and I would encourage you to actually play it yourself. Nolan North does a very good job playing the "evil" version of himself here.

Portal 2 (2011) - The conciseness of the original Portal is really overrated, it's not like there aren't still a few rooms that just suck to get through. Portal 2 is an already-classic example of overexplaining the backstory of a simple situation and removing a great amount of mystery from the original scenario, but to be honest, I just really like the bizarre backstory you eventually Environmental Storytelling your way into figuring out. There's a nice contrast between what the fervor and enthusiasm of the dialogue you hear and the truth of what you actually see with your eyes. Cave Johnson is also still just really, really funny.

The King of Fighters XIII (home console patch, 2011) - King of Fighters is the best 2D fighting system of any I've played, and XIII was my favorite iteration upon that system. I could talk about this game for days. Upfront on negatives: lots of stages full of really offensive racial stereotypes that are totally worth avoiding by just picking one of the good stages. (There are a lot of really good ones.) However: the soundtrack manages to strike the classic KoF balance of excitement and finesse. The smaller selection of characters compared to the current KoFXIV gives it a significantly more balanced tier list. Budget issues caused creative and good ideas to be implemented into old characters, giving every single character in the game for the most part a unique flavor that makes it worth having the entire cast in your back pocket. This is just a fantastic competitive fighting game with very few design flaws, most of which are overstated. Play King of Fighters XIII.

The Last of Us (2013) - As a critic I have to be honest when something like The Last of Us comes out. The story is, of course, seriously unoriginal and (almost resultantly) not nearly as compelling as Naughty Dog would like it to be, not aided by the fact that the game is, from a genre perspective, basically the same as the much lighter-hearted (and better beloved) Uncharted games. However: there's some really excellent and memorable scenario design in this game that perfectly sells the story it's trying to tell, and the world is fully-realized with minor details that make things come together (best cataloged by James Howell in a now-defunct video essay series), and as such, this is one of those games where the storytelling techniques are of significantly fresher vintage than whatever tripe the story actually is. (Think Dragon Quest.)

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (2013) - Not really a character action game, more of just An Action Game. This game is proof that if you take a B-tier Metal Gear script and combine it with a potentially B-tier Platinum game, sometimes magic can happen. The basic plot here is that, in a world where Metal Gear refuses to end, "Jack" the family man devolves back into "Raiden", a supposedly deterrent warrior of peace. But in a world where Metal Gear continues to exist, "Raiden" is merely a transitional state between a healthy, happy Jack, and a delusional, horrifically violent "Jack The Ripper" that comes into play when "Ripper Mode" is unlocked. What brings this home is that Raiden was more or less a mask for Jack the Ripper the entire time, and when his battle is over in Metal Gear Rising, he simply returns to the battlefield, where he was born, and where's destined to stay. Rising is, like much of late Metal Gear, a knowing prod to the player. "Do you *really* want to know what happened to this guy? You can't just rock with the happy ending? Aight, you asked for it." Also the soundtrack was a top 5 metal album in a 2013 that was overstuffed with great heavy metal. The parry system in this game is more satisfying to use than any whacky combo move Dante has. (And also Royalguard, you heard me.)

Bayonetta 2 - In the world of character action games, the one you play most is the best. For a long time, this was my best character action game after finally playing it on the Switch. I have no clue what the story is about from a beat-to-beat perspective but, much moreso than even the original game, Bayonetta 2 is a game that visually depicts the triumph of (Bayonetta's particular brand of) femininity over the powers that be that hold that femininity down. Tweaks to the combat system were controversial but much in the same way that implementing Devil Trigger was ultimately important to how DMC tells its stories, the implementation of the Umbran Climax aesthetically reinforces what the game is about while also giving you something actually useful to spend your magic meter on. As a result, because Umbran Climax is so powerful at controlling hordes of enemies, the game is then open to introduce difficult situations where Umbran Climax (and knowing how to get to it) are crucial to moving on. I just felt like this was a lot better than the original.

Shovel Knight (2014) - This review pertains to the vanilla Shovel Knight as I did not play any of the expansion content for this: the original Shovel Knight is one of the finest platformers ever made. It's well designed, it's colorful, the aesthetic gets into your head in a way that similar Retro Ripoffs simply haven't, and maybe the biggest credit to give there is to composer Jake Kauffman who, I think it's fair to say, has completely and totally mastered chiptunes as an aesthetic. As well, the game seems to see and understand the narrativistic elements of something like Castlevania 1 and how this style of game makes an emotional connecting to the player by finding ways to remind them what they're fighting for. In Castlevania, you can always see Drac's tower off in the distance. In Shovel Knight you can constantly relive a metaphor for whatever your greatest failure is as the game asks you to catch Shield Knight and yet again refuses to assuage your guilt, as it always does. Did I mention that the soundtrack slaps the taste out of your mouth?

Lightning Returns (2014) - Whereas XIII-2 is an iteration on XIII that manages to make a legitimately enjoyable videogame out of the absolute mess of XIII's design rubble, Lightning Returns feels like the breath of fresh air that I'm sure XIII was intended to be. I'm sleep-deprived and suffice to say the story and storytelling is not exactly on the level of prior FF titles, but LR gives us often legitimately interesting looks at each of the major characters we came to know and "love" during FFXIII, giving characters that were previously completely insufferable narrative arc endings that are not only satisfying but also are aware of the gap between how the XIII cast was presented and how they were actually received. This is a really smart game. Also a very solid OST, I might call it better than XIII-2's if XIII-2 didn't have such a banging primary battle theme.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - I'm just gonna come right out and say it. If you don't like Metal Gear or Hideo Kojima, just don't touch this. It's not a good entry point, and it's not the series strongest showing either, (it's 4, you know it's 4,) but if you like Metal Gear, or if you like me *love* Metal Gear than I'm not sure how this could fall flat. To me, it doesn't. The writing of women sucks and I expected that going in, but yet again, the twists that were commented upon as being cartoonish and silly really resonated for me, even knowing the twists ahead of time, because the game did such a good job at making the whole picture. An element that has received particular criticism is the ending, which is unfortunate as I believe it belies a misunderstanding of the game's structure. Take the dive into MGSV and you will be thrown into an amoral quagmire where you are constantly fighting for shreds of human decency that have long since left the building. The way this thing brings together the themes of the previous Metal Gear games, coming at them from the perspective of The Villains makes this an unforgettable one for me. I'm sorry to have to tell the truth, but this is one of the best games I've ever played.

DOOM (2016 reboot) - It's way too long, and the game's self-hatred of its own narrative context is almost embarrassing, (if being a space marine on Mars is so dumb stop making DOOM be about a space marine on mars, this isn't hard!) but god damn, rip and tear. I really didn't want to like this game enough for it to end up here, but all DOOM 2016 is doing is giving you too much of a good thing, which is the games vastly different form of combat presentation to the original games. Combat in DOOM 2016 honestly reminded me of playing MGR (see above), specifically via its mechanical desire to keep the players close to enemies, as using the melee takedown rewards goodies not otherwise dropped, often including desperately needed health.  DOOM 2016 is one of the only games I've seen where pure, undiluted escalation of the "now there's two of them" flavor actually works, if only because the games new focus on one-on-one interactions makes avoiding every other monster in an area feel so much more vital and dangerous. This was just a blast. As well, also like MGR, it's soundtrack was a singularly great metal record, combining Djent with Industrial to create a really terrifying atmosphere that suits DOOM perfectly. (Though as always, DOOM works best with the classic metal records of your choice.)

Forza Horizon 4 (2018) - Racing games are in a weird place. In a world where Ridge Racer is dead, I may as well find some other ludic autos to bump around in. What makes FH (4 is the only one I've played) unique for me is that, as compared to an obsessive tuner game based exclusively on events like Gran Torismo, this is a game that genuinely invites casual play through that now tried and true chestnut, the open world structure. Maybe that's because its UI for doing game events is so butt-ugly, but whereas Ridge Racer 7, the nearly perfect arcade racing game, satisfies my fantasy of drifting accurately at over 200MPH, Forza Horizon 4 more accurately reflects how I thought about driving when my own actual car was in better shape. Relax! Take a load off and come drive. You can whip out a sports car if you want to, but it's usually easier and more pleasurable to, as Regular Car Reviews would say, "make the slow car go fast than make the fast car go fast." As such, combined with the offroading and other elements, games like Ridge Racer and Gran Torismo feel like racing game. Forza Horizon (4), to me, is just a game about driving and that itself being pleasurable.

Bloodstained: Curse of The Moon (2018) - I'm a really big fan of Castlevania III, the final game directed by series creator Hitoshi Akamatsu. There are scenarios with questionable decision making, but in my estimation its atmosphere and aesthetic more than make up for it, with some really incredible color choices and one of the better individual soundtracks in the entire series, especially if you're playing the VRC6 version, which is unreal.

Bloodstained: Curse of The Moon is more or less a fanfiction romhack of Castlevania III that, in my estimation, is probably better in almost every way, which, like Shovel Knight, makes it one of the better 2D platformers almost by default. That said, CoTM still has a lot of its own individual flair, like an incredibly memorable Sand Pyramid third level that ends with a boss made out of stacks of coins. Boss fights are a category where Curse of the Moon trounces the game it's formatted on soundly, and as well, thanks to technical advances, you can easily switch between the playable characters, which the game encourages you to do as you can combine the effects of multiple characters to more easily complete a stage or fight a boss, giving good reinforcement to the game's simple theme of cooperation that the sparse dialogue centers on. (Likely coincidental given most of the cutscenes are the main character speaking to somebody who is about to join the party.) In particular the third character you get is an old wizard who has a terrible physical attack and low max HP, but some incredibly powerful subweapon spells to protect himself with if you have the ammo, as well as support spells that will actually stay on your other characters if you switch to them, allowing you to achieve things like the Bat Flight mode while protected by a ring of fire. Not to mention there's basically an unlockable Ninja Gaiden mode. Guess who has two thumbs and like Ninja Gaiden. As well, although the sound quality and production is not quite as good, Michiru Yamane's compositions arranged as chiptunes will also slap you silly.

I really didn't expect to like this game as much as I did, but in the end, I think it ended up far outdoing the game it was intending to hype up.

Devil May Cry 5 (2019) - Very likely the best character action game ever made, which puts that genre in a troubling place. On the plus side: playing missions as Nero enforces that character action games come from just regular old action games, and the limitations placed on him make the game feel at least a little more challenging, whereas the limitations on V can make the game very challenging. Bloody Palace will let you play your favorite character forever without having to worry about the stinky other two if you don't want to, and they finally figure out that some players actually liked the 2-weapon/sidearm limitation from DMC3 since it removes mental blocks towards doing what you need to get done in DMC, whereas toggling through each weapon Dante has in a massive inventory feels neither fast, nor fun, to me. They finally gave Dante a sword that can attack in the air without swordmaster style, allowing players to more easily build a vocabulary of air combo sequences. On top of all that, air suspension in this game is ridiculous, you can spend a very long time in the air without jump-cancelling and still not accelerate your momentum towards the ground.

These are all mechanical features. As a piece of "art" or at least as a piece of media, DMC5 frankly can come across pretty soulless after they year I've spent with it. Again, it all comes down to this story's obsession with its original protagonist, Dante. Dante breaks the balance of DMC5 clean in half, which is also what he does to the narrative. Characters are having thoughts and feelings, and then Jack Sparrow shows up. The narrative attempts to position Nero as being just below Dante's level, but if you play the game it's simply not there to believe, when Nero has 12.5% the amount of weapons Dante has to use and has to expend resources to access the full movesets of his mechanical arms. Nero is a good character and I hope he actually gets the full starring role someday so crazy red coat pizza man can go retire somewhere. The ending of this game seems to imply that but I doubt that will follow through if another game is made.

I have very mixed feelings about DMC5 and what its unquestioned celebrations says about where its genre and style are going, but suffice to say, it's a blast and you should play it.

LUCAH: Born of a Dream (2018-19) - (In the interest of full disclosure not only am acquainted with the lead developer of this game, who gifted me a copy of the game, but they're also a fan of my work which I didn't even know until LUCAH was released.) Play this! LUCAH is a lot of things but the way I like to describe it most is sort of like Kingdom Hearts shoved inside the Diablo engine. This gives its combat the capacity for wild brawls as well as tense one on ones and memorable bosses. Story wise as well, this is a compelling game with a scratchy minimal look that matches the decaying, recursive, and collapsing nature of the world it takes place in. The collapse these characters are desperately trying to survive is a relatable tale through and through. In the overall this is my favorite game of the decade.

RANKING: I wouldn't take these placings very seriously aside from the top two.
1) Lucah(/The Descent)
2) NIER
3) Stanley Parable
4) Portal 2
5) Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon
6) Shovel Knight *(vanilla)
7) King of Fighters XIII (this is an extremely sentimental placement for a fighting game)
8) Metal Gear Solid V
9) Devil May Cry 5
10) Bayonetta 2
11) Metal Gear Rising
12) Spec Ops: The Line
13) Lightning Returns
14) DOOM
15) Forza Horizon 4
16) The Last of Us
17) Deadly Premonition *(Only ranks this low because I didn't finish it, obligatory)

Last edited by AustinCHowe (2020-02-28 19:13:58)

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#11 2020-02-27 21:25:40

Carmichael Micaalus
Terrible Fanfic Writer
From: City of Venture
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 7
Website

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

I gave myself the self-imposed rule of I had to have beaten the game to put it on my list (or in the case of sandbox/endless games, play to the point of satisfaction).  That said, here is Carmichael Micaalus' Top... 71 games of the Decade, starting with 71!

71. Magicka - Magicka’s strength lies in multiplayer.  It can be a real good time, but you also need to understand that ‘Friendly’ Fire is not simply something the game has, but is honestly a core mechanic of the game.  And that’s fine, but I do need to be in the right mindset for such play.

70. Code of Princess - A beat ‘em up with many a character to choose from.  I am a person of simple pleasures.

69. Samus Returns - Having never played much of the original, I didn’t really have a problem with the remake.  It had some bullshit moments, sure, but I find that to be in line with the Metroid series itself. I had more fun than I didn’t, and that’s all that matters to me.

68. Shantae: Risky’s Revenge - The games that followed this one are much more refined and focused on what they were trying to accomplish, but I still enjoyed playing this one.  (Might have been a little higher if they didn’t reverse the A/B Yes/No dynamic, though.)

67. Divekick - DIVEKICK!  It’s a fighter even I can play, and that’s pretty cool.

66. Super Laser Racer - Top down racing game with simple graphics and nice music.

65. Bejeweled 3 - Pretty much the pinnacle of match-3 style games.  Easy to pick up, easy to set down.

64. Torchlight II - The Torchlight series is my main exposure to Diablo-style games; the second game being moddable helped make it far more approachable for me, and the cartoony style of graphics is a style I just love in games.

63. FEZ - One of the big draws for FEZ was the story you had to work out yourself by decoding the game’s alphabet.  Unfortunately that kind of stuff isn’t really my jam, but luckily the gameplay doesn’t suffer for that.

62. Electronic Super Joy - The game is loud and crass with a great soundtrack and generally fun stages.  It does have a few levels of utter bullshit though.

61. Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet - Good use of colour in this game.  Fun to explore, figure out puzzles, and fight bosses.

60. McPixel - Very strange, very goofy.

59. Ys Origin - This game probably would have had a higher rating if not for the fact the game spends the first half of itself kicking you for losing a fight you’re supposed to lose.  Yes, I’m still bitter.

58. Pokémon X - The core of Pokémon doesn’t really change from game to game, so you generally know what you’re getting into whenever you play one. People complain that X & Y had the worst rivals, but to be honest, I never saw any of the others as your rivals as much as just a group of friends with you on their first Pokémon adventure.

57. Specter of Torment - While Plague Knight had the better story, Specter Knight’s controls were far easier for me to handle.  It was (understandably) the more melancholic of the Shovel Knight games, both in setting and writing, but the humor you’ve come to expect from the game still shines through.

56. Iconoclasts - Someone on the writing teams fully believes in the trope of “never give them what they want until it’s what they no longer desire” and they use it… effectively.  The game is beautiful, and I enjoyed the story, but I didn’t care for how the game would introduce new mechanics for every boss that were basically “well, figure it out!  Whoop, you died.” (I have a real low tolerance for that kind of stuff, though.)

55. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel - Space jumps are always fun.  It may fall under “more of the same” for most people, but for the most part I do enjoy Borderlands gameplay and humor.

54. Hob - This game was just very visually pleasing to me.  Vista points are always nice in a game like this, and the wordless telling of the story was an interesting way to go about it.

53. The Disappearing of Gensokyo - This is one that could have used just a little more time in the oven, I think.  Some of the later spell card transitions can very well lead to an undodgeable kill, and some of the core mechanics don’t… feel right to me.  That said, it was still a fun game.

52. Ys I - I’ll be honest:  I kinda liked the bump fighting.  The game does suffer from “if you’re stuck, go get a level or two to crush it”, but at least it’s an easy problem to solve.

51. Ys II - People say this game has some brick walls that force you to grind.  However, if you’re like me and play like Adol, then you don’t have to worry about that.  How do you play like Adol, you ask?  Easy!  You get lost and accidently overlevel yourself as you try to find your way out of whatever helldungeon you’re in.

50. Ys: The Oath in Felghana - I will forever call this “Oath in Flargenhargen.”  A remake of the first Ys game I played, which probably makes it the whole reason I picked up the Ys series on PC. Unfortunately, the Ys games are a series where Normal difficulty remains just a tick or two higher than my own skill level, leading to a lot of rage.

...

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#12 2020-02-27 21:50:09

Carmichael Micaalus
Terrible Fanfic Writer
From: City of Venture
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 7
Website

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

Hot off the presses, it's Carmichael Micaalus' Top 71 Games of the Decade, continuing with 49!  'Cause I stopped at 50 instead of 51 in my last post, whoops!

49. Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim - “I think the healing items made this one too easy-”  Fuck you give me ALL THE HEALS.  YES… YES…!  With these herbs, the bosses shall fall bef-OW FUCK THIS IS STILL HARD.  Seriously though, being able to use healing items helped people like me a lot.

48. Super Neptunia RPG - The Neptunia humor carried this one for me.  I can see what they’re doing with the combat, but without knowing the fights ahead of time, being unable to change your moves in the middle of combat could lead to some real slogs.  (But in standard Neptune fashion, they built in ways to cheese the combat later in the game, which can help things along on that front.)  I did enjoy it, but the standard Idea Factory jank is there.

47. Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure - A cute 3D rpg platformer that looks like it came from the N64/Gamecube era.  A cute game with a cute story.  And a drill.  (The drill is pretty cute, too.)

46. Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed - I have no problem admitting this game can be mindless.  The thing is, sometimes that’s just what I want:  I can run around, beat the shit out of enemies with a sword or spear or shrimp or whatever, and just tune out for a bit.  Could have done without the clothing damage, though.

45. Mini-Ghost - An addon/promo game for Ghost 1.0.  Unlike 1.0, this isn’t a stealth game, so I was able to beat it.  Short and fun.

44. Princess Remedy in A World of Hurt - You’re Princess Remedy, and you heal people!  WITH THE POWER OF DANMAKU.  Originally created from a game jam, this is now a free game on Steam.  I was really glad I played this one.

43. LYNE - A relaxing puzzle game.  There’s no timing elements, so you can go at your own pace and back up as much as you need.  It’s also $2.99.

42. Shatter - For how much I like Arkanoid games, I’ve played remarkably few of them.  Shatter mixes things up with different board types, boss battles, and various power-ups, not to mention the incredible soundtrack.

41. Rogue Legacy - The words “rogue-like elements” have always been a bit of an anathema to me, enough to make me give a hard pass on games people will heap praises upon.  Rogue Legacy is one of the very few exceptions to the rule, allowing you to unlock things to use for later runs, so venture into the castle is a complete waste.  (Or if they were, you likely only lost a couple minutes instead of 30 or 40.)

40. Borderlands 2 - If it wasn’t for the fact that a) I had to update my BIOS to play this, and b) the new game plus suffers real bad from exponential power creep, this probably could have broken into my top ten. (But the fact it does suffer from that made creating this list a lot easier, so hey - silver lining.) Still though: vast improvements from the first, controls feel good, still a lot of fun.  Gaige is awesome.

39. Donut Country - I’ll admit it’s a little hard for me to place this one accurately as it’s one of the most recent games I’ve played.  It’s a short, cute game that has a silly little story to tell you… about donuts.

38. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon - This.  Is a game.  A game about a man.  A man… who hates demons.  Like, a lot.  But yeah, from what I understand, this game was made to tide people over until the other long-named Bloodstained game came out… and it was pretty fun!  A little beyond my skill level at times, but yeah.  One of the only Castlevania games I’ve beat.

37. Terraria - Terraria would be way higher up on my list if it didn’t piss me off so much at times.  One of the very few games to just skate the love-hate line with me for so long without ever actually falling to one side or the other.  I absolutely love the graphical style, the controls feel right when moving about, and just the general mechanics of the game are what I’m after in a building-style game.  But some of the difficulty jumps and forced invasions just piss me off like nobody’s business.

36. Polly Dungeon - A fun little dungeon clicker game; just mind the bear traps.

35. Forward to the Sky - A game about a girl climbing a floating tower to stop an evil witch!  A fun little game with a nice soundtrack to go with it.

34. Hate Plus - An excellent conclusion to the story Analogue started, serving as both a sequel and prequel simultaneously.  There’s some real strong gut punches in some of the paths.

33. River City Girls - The game that made me realize I’m not all that great at beat ‘em ups!  (Mostly ‘cause I haven’t played too many.)  Despite the moments of frustration at times, I still had a lot of fun with this.  The humor and clean graphics helped carry my lack of skill and rougher-worked parts of the game.

32. Shantae: Half-Genie Hero - The newest reboot/rehash of the series, Half-Genie Hero is a pretty fine game.  It doesn’t break the mould, but at the same time, it doesn’t need to.  The main game was plenty fun to play, and the DLCs I tried were fun as well.

31. Secret of Mana Remaster - A lot of people I know like to dunk on Secret of Mana.  Like, all the time.  Then Squonx said “hey, we remade this game,” which gave me a chance to replay it and realize “no, this is still a fun game.”  It’s a very faithful recreation, and entirely voiced as well.

30. LOOP:  A Tranquil Puzzle Game - Turns out I like puzzle games that just let me go at my own pace; who knew?

29. Axiom Verge - Probably the best Metroid-like I’ve played in a long while.  It’s the right mix of grim story, excellent music, weird secrets, and good controls.  It could be easy to argue there’s too many weapons, but to me, it just lets you find a playstyle that works for you.  I had three or four favorites and generally just cycled through those.

28. Fire Emblem: Awakening - You got your dating sim in my strategy rpg!  You got your strategy rpg in my dating sim! Yeah, I liked the dating elements, I liked the casual mode, and I liked being able to grind if I felt I needed to, all things which a lot of others hated, I guess!

27. Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds - If Nintendo set off to make another game with the SNES Zelda feel, I’d say they pulled it off.  While A Link to the Past didn’t need a sequel, they did a pretty good job with this one.

26. Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse - Other devs: hey, here’s double jump!  WayForward: Hold my beer, y’all.

25. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - I can appreciate a game that eventually gives you workarounds for bullshit low % drops.  I’m usually not all that big on the Castlevania aesthetic, but this one just clicked right with me.

24. Catmaze - Look, I’m not saying that you need to go and slap the shit out of the personification of sickness to prove you love your mother… I’m just saying it’s a badass way to do so is all.

23. MarisaLand Legacy - This game is really, really cute!  It’s friggin’ adorable!  And it’s super hard!  Seriously though; I really enjoyed this one.  Both playthroughs are real good.

22. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;birth2 - Poor Nepgear. It’s not her fault she had to follow up Neptune without any real introduction or fanfare to start with.  While this one is the weakest of the trilogy, I still enjoyed it for the most part.  (Would have enjoyed it a lot more without Trick, though...)

21. Plague of Shadows - Plague Knight was really hard for me to control!  Even after I got used to it, it still gave me trouble up to the end.  That said, it was still fun, and had a very cute story.

...

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#13 2020-02-27 22:09:52

Carmichael Micaalus
Terrible Fanfic Writer
From: City of Venture
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 7
Website

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

What's that?

Is that blasphemy you hear?

You betcha, Carmichael Micaalus is here with his final Top 20 Games of the Decade!  Here we go!

20. Superdimension Neptune VS Sega Hard Girls - I don’t know, this one felt like a mainline Neptunia game to me, so I had a good time with it.  I need to go back and play through it again, really.

19. SMASHING THE BATTLE - As I have said before, I am a simple person of simple pleasures. Scantily clad women wearing glasses and kicking ungodly amounts of ass all over the place just happens to cover a lot of those pleasures.

18. Princess Remedy in A Heap of Trouble - The sequel to World of Hurt, Princess Remedy keeps the same combat and graphical aesthetics while adding a new buddy system.  Really enjoyed this one as well!

17. Blaster Master Zero - Having played this game in the last couple of months, it’s really hard for me to gauge where it really should be overall.  What I can say is from start to finish, I had far more fun with this than I ever did with the original.  Anyway, this is an excellent remake of Blaster Master, tying in elements of the Worlds of Power book (yeah, there was a Blaster Master book), and actually making some sense of the overall BM plot.

16. Shovel Knight - It’s Shovel Knight!  It’s fun!

15. Rune Factory 4 - The only Rune Factory game on the 3DS, RF4 brings us full circle with the story and enemies of the series.  While incredibly fun, I do wish they hadn’t locked the extra chapter behind RNG.

14. Analogue: A Hate Story - *Hyun-ae did no wrong.

13. Drunken Robot Pornography - Me: I wonder how crazy it would be to play a Touhou game in first person.  Dejobaan Games:  Pssst.  Hey.  Hey buddy.

12. Megadimension Neptunia VII - I think I’ve said my piece on this in a 3 hour spoilercast.

11. Blaster Master Zero 2 - If I had not played this less than a month from making this list, there’s a strong chance I would have placed this even higher.  It builds on the first in both refinement and story, and was probably some of the most fun I’ve had recently.  And the true end?  Goes hard.

10. VA-HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartending Action - This was one of those games that was just what I needed.  The graphics, the music, the overall aesthetic, and the terrific writing make for a great game.

9. Undertale - I think this is one of those games that just struck a chord with a lot of people deep inside.  It was a story that needed to be told, and was done so beautifully.

8. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;birth3 - Takes everything from the first two and distills it into utter joy.  Anyone who says this is the best Neptunia game wouldn’t be wrong.

7. Rune Factory 3 - The pinnacle of the Rune Factory series, the third entry added a lot of stuff that just worked so well for it.  The town feels much more organic than the first two, and the tweaks to combat and farming were just what the game needed.

6. Remyadry - If I ever turn out to have a time travelling friend, then I’ll know this game was made just for me.

5. Kingdoms of Amalur:  Reckoning - It’s not too often that I’ll go back and play a 90+ hour rpg, but KoA:R is one of the few I’ll do it for.  This one clicks with me in a way that Skyrim didn’t, and I have a feeling I’ll probably come back to this one every few years for another play.

4. Final Fantasy XIV - I have saved lives and I have killed gods.  I have protected countries and I have performed coups.  I have broken thousand-year wars, and I have shattered player markets.  I have put over 7,300 hours into this game and I still need to collect a few more tomestones before the weekly reset.  This game taught me how to play with strangers on the internet, and has a playerbase that will help you far more often than not.  While I do wish my friends weren’t split across databases, this game has been a consistent amount of fun for me.

3. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;birth1 - While I stand by my statement that anyone who thinks re;birth3 is better than 1 is right, I feel a stronger connection to 1 since it was the first Neptunia game I played.  Not only that, but whenever I replay any of the mainline games, I always start with 1, and I always enjoy it.

2. Timespinner - I kickstarted this one on a whim, and gods am I glad I did.  This controls perfectly, and I absolutely love the story and the characters within.  When I started playing this one, I didn’t put it down until I had 100% the game, and it had been a long time since I’d done that.  Highly recommended.

1. Labyrinth of Touhou 2 - Carmichael Micaalus’ Game of the Decade.  The metric I’ve used for my own list is how much I enjoyed the game, and how much it had an effect on me.  Labyrinth of Touhou 2 is responsible for jumpstarting my Touhou art, which lead into writing a series spanning over 180,000 words and still going.  While I won’t say this game changed my life, it certainly has had an impact on keeping my creative energies strong.  The game itself is basically the perfect dungeon crawler for me; it’s hard, but it doesn’t confuse hard with punishing.  Even when I hit walls, my eventual victories felt good instead of frustrated and wanting to move on.  If you like Touhou and you like dungeon crawlers, look into this one.

And there we go, my games of the decade!

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#14 2020-02-28 00:56:02

LastZimOnEarth
Member
Registered: 2020-02-27
Posts: 3

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

I limited myself to 20 games for my list to make it easier on myself. This isn't meant to be a best games list but more games that I either think are incredibly interesting in some way or enjoyed a lot. Here's #20-11.

20. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

While it's among the messiest games in the series, overstuffed with systems galore that over-complicates the otherwise straightforward KH combat system, it's also one of the most interesting from a thematic standpoint. The way it handles the conceit of dream dropping, while frustrating from a gameplay standpoint, helps the game create the sense of dissociation that one feels when they're dreaming. Playing this in 2017 pretty much confirmed to me that I'm still into the beautiful mess we all know as Kingdom Hearts.

19. Wandersong

An incredibly charming game that espouses the importance of being able to be hopeful in the face of a potentially dire crisis, which is a very good message for these trying times.

18. Yakuza Kiwami

While it is flawed in ways that betray the remake's PS2 origins, I still really appreciate how Kiwami works as an extended epilogue to Yakuza 0 and more Majima is always welcome as far as I'm concerned.

17. Game Dev Story

I'm not really much of a mobile game person but this game development simulator is one that I go back to every few years or so. The sense of accomplishment I feel when my made-up dev team manages to make a game that really takes the world by storm is the kind that I could only dream of in real life.

16. Rayman Legends

Arguably the best pure platformer of the decade, Rayman Legends improves on its solidly executed predecessor to become what I can only describe as the closest thing a video game can be to pure joy. In other words, Origins walked so Legends could run.

15. Four Eyes

A really cute RPG Maker game that revolves around the gay romance between a bespectacled cargo spaceship captain and a four-eyed alien that end up marooned on a deserted planet. I really like how the game demonstrates the equality in their relationship by forcing the two characters to use their special abilities to get past obstacles that take the force of simple yet effective puzzles.

14. LUCAH: Born of a Dream

This beautiful combination of an oppressive atmosphere and challenging yet incredibly satisfying combat form a remarkable experience through a nightmare-ish world. The fact that I still haven't actually finished this is the only reason it isn't a lot higher on my list.

13. Sword & Fairy 6

Probably the only game that's on my list purely on the basis of having a great story because frankly, as a game, it's not very good. Suffering from constant framerate drops during combat that are borderline unbearable, some annoying crashing and even the occasional game-breaking bug, there is a constant jankiness to the game in a lot of areas that make it easy to dismiss on first impressions. And even disregarding that, the game's systems are pretty much ripped off from Final Fantasy XIII. Yet looking beyond those problems, I found an impressively dense narrative filled with some of the most nuanced and fascinating characters I've seen in any game. The story manages to have a lot of moving parts that come together beautifully in ways that justify the game's 40-50+ hour play time.

12. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

When I first play FFXII when it first came out on the PS2, I tried my best to play through it over the course of three years yet gave up after my PS3 ate the virtual memory card, which left me with lukewarm feelings towards the game for years. It was playing this remaster that made me finally fully appreciate everything that it does right. I really love how the Gambit System allows the characters to perform actions depending on the conditions that are programmed so to speak. Not to mention the fantastic environments and the refreshingly grounded political narrative. Also, Vaan is fine and a necessary character in the story despite what other people say. The newly added fast-forward and auto-save features don't hurt, though.

11. Odin Sphere Leifthasir

Having never played the original Odin Sphere, despite owning it via PSN, I was really captivated by the experience that Leifthrasir provided me. While the game is pretty much a cakewalk on normal difficulty and having some noticeable repetition in spots, I was still enthralled by the gorgeous art and compelling storytelling that manages to capture the feeling of a dark fairy tale.

Will post the rest of my list as soon as possible.

Last edited by LastZimOnEarth (2020-02-29 14:41:50)

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#15 2020-02-28 06:27:56

AustinCHowe
Member
Registered: 2020-02-26
Posts: 3

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

Curse of the Moon! I knew I was forgetting something!

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#16 2020-02-29 08:43:09

Zeloz (Mark II)
Retired Ume Detective
From: TCELES B HSUP
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 35
Website

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

Here's my 76 to 52:


76. Adventures of Mana (2016)
A 3D remake of one of my most cherished games ever, designed primarily to run on smartphones, wasn't ever going to convey the grand cinematic experience I imagined in my head in 2nd Grade. But it doesn't matter whether or not Adventures of Mana met my steep expectations for a remake, because at the end of the day, it's still a really cute and fun Action RPG, now with a translation that clears up some of the ambiguities and awkward phrasings the original script had. Plus, with touch-screen controls (even in the Vita version), the game feels much more accessible.
I mean, the 3D engine not being utilized to give the characters gestures and emotions and depth is still a *little* bit irksome, but I'd still recommend it to any newcomer to the game.

75. ShellShock Live (2015)
It's more-or-less the Scorched Earth of the current era; you got your tanks, you got a selectable loadout, and you got online multiplayer to blow up friends and others in turn-based combat, all with a spiffy neon-ized look. The single-player missions are also pretty nice, though solving some of them does seem like exercises in 4-dimensional chess at times.

74. AlphaBear (2015)
I liked making the bear say the naughty words. One of my favorite smartphone word games from the decade.

73. Pier Solar & the Great Architects (2010)
My failed attempts at sticking with this game to the end, nor WaterMelon's shady business dealings, have diminished my respect for this game.
Okay, maybe it's diminished it a little, but I love it when "new" games are published and distributed physically for old systems, and this is the only RPG I know of that nature. It takes some kind of alchemy to take what began as the pet project of a Genesis/Mega Drive fan forum and blow it up into (allegedly) one of the largest games on a GenMD cartridge, with ports to Steam, Dreamcast, and two generations of PlayStation and Xbox hardware after that.
This is the game that put the whole concept of new physical releases for old consoles on the map for me, and perhaps for many others. And while groups like Columbus Circle and Super Fighter Team likely would've put out their games even if the Pier Solar project hadn't seen completion, I doubt they or anyone else selling "modern" releases an re-releases would've gotten as much traction if WaterMelon hadn't made such a big deal out of their game.

72. Sonic Generations (2011)
This game is (as of this writing) around 9 years old, and yet it still (as of this writing) looks goddamn gorgeous. Not the biggest fan of how it's structured or how it plays, but the game is an audiovisual delight and a heartfelt homage to 20 years of Sonic; even Crisis City's fantastic here.

71. Tobu Tobu Girl / TTG DX (2017)
Just the cutest little Game Boy Homebrew I've ever played. The promotional art and premise would have you believe it's a riff of Nintendo's Balloon Kid/Balloon Fight GB/Hello Kitty World, but it plays more like one of those old Flash or phone games where you control a jumpy character scaling increasingly ridiculous heights. The game is no more complex than that, but it's got an addictive quality to it that's reminiscent of old arcade games.
It got a commercial cartridge release and, more recently, a fully-colorized re-release (Tobu Tobu Girl DX), but you're really not missing much just playing the freeware monochrome original.

70. Long Live the Queen (2013)
The primary reason this game intrigues me is that, on a purely functional level, it's a dating sim; you plan your days, raise stats, pass or fail story flags depending on those stats, and receive an ending depending on what story flags you hit.
But it's not really a dating sim, because you don't really have to end up with any of the suitors. Instead, you're just trying to not die horribly in a world where most everyone has a reason to make you dead. The game doesn't make it easy to take the moral high ground or grind up the "correct" stats, either; there are a lot of choices, especially in the beginning, where the game outright refuses to let you do the "right" thing (unless you're minmaxing from the get-go).
Despite the so-so audio and visual presentation, it's a fantastic subversion of the traditional dating sim formula and comes highly recommended.

69. Rolling Bird (2018)
It's not much more than wide-screen Rolling Thunder with an online leaderboard, but for the asking price (which is any price on itch.io), it's a nice game with a goofy name, and it stands proudly with hijong park's other arcade-y itch games.

68. Adventure Bar Labyrinth / Adventure Labyrinth Story (2013)
I can't say the game does anything especially innovative or special; it's an off-brand Mystery Dungeon spinoff of an RPG series that mostly stayed on late 00s Japanese cell phones, and it deviates very little from Chunsoft’s games.
Regardless, I have put in a large chunk of my time into the game, specifically the PlayStation Vita port (which was delisted along with the other titles on the ill-fated “PlayStation Mobile” platform), simply because of its simple pick-up-and-play nature. Not a lot stands in between opening the game and starting up a new attempt at the dungeon, and from then on it’s just your wits and RNG that'll determine how far you progress.
The protagonist being a total cutie might also have some impact on my vote.

67. Puyo Puyo Tetris (2014)
As a fan of both games (moreso Tetris now than Puyo), I'm still shocked the game manages to blend the two as well as it does. Also, the Tetris crew's all adorable and I love them.

66. TxK (2014)
Even as a Vita fan, there aren't a lot of Vita exclusives I can point out and say "Yes! THIS is totally worth owning this console for!" TxK is essentially Tempest 2000 for the PlayStation Vita, and though the thumbsticks aren't the best analogue replacement for, say, a rotary knob or a mouse, the controls are workable. And, in line with other Jeff Minter works, the visuals and sounds are completely out of control and maybe just a little overwhelming. Not Space Giraffe overwhelming, but it gets close.

65. 3D Galaxy Force II (2013)
Best use of 3DS 3D. No, seriously! Adapting Sega's amazing Super Scaler arcade games to the 3DS's style of 3D is one of the best decisions ever made during that decade, and Galaxy Force II is easily the most impressive and ambitious of those games. There's even the option to have the view of the game rotate, with simulated mechanical noises, to simulate the experience of playing the game on a Super Deluxe sit-down cabinet (though it can get to be pretty harsh on your eyes if the 3D's not set just so, or if you're not using a New 3DS). I cannot recommend this experience enough.

64. Pac-Man Championship Edition DX (2010)
Gee, who would've thought combo systems could improve maze games, too?

63. Micom Slayer (2017)
There isn't a lot here for those not super-into old Japanese 8-bit computers, but for nerds like me who often find themselves salivating over impossibly expensive old PC-88s on Yahoo Japan Auctions or who frequently listen to old Ys and Dragon Slayer soundtracks, this is pretty great stuff. Every stage being based off of a different Japanese PC (and having the graphics to match) is just a cool concept in itself, but the cameo appearances of heroes and villains from popular (in Japan) old PC games is also really cute. There's a whole lot of background information on the systems themselves to collect if you're able to read Japanese, but it's a joy to play even if you aren't.

62. NES Remix (2013)
As light and insubstantial as this game is, this really was one of the first games that really made me go "damn, kinda want a Wii U now." Playing this on a friend's system and showing him just how actually godawful I am at old videogames and how salty that fact makes me was a reliable source of amusement. Turns out, it doesn't really matter if Ice Climber is trash (it isn't) when the frustration's the point.

61. Snipperclips (2017)
A surprisingly fun multiplayer game from the Switch's launch lineup. Needing to carefully cut bits and pieces off of each other to solve puzzles requires a lot more back-and-forth between players than I'm used to, and introduces a lot more in the way of possible screwing of each other over, leading oftentimes to both players laughing at just how much of an asshole the other player is.

60. Gunpoint (2013)
A game that teaches us that sometimes, when faced with adversity, you just need to throw yourself into the thick of it. And sometimes, you need to throw yourself over it entirely. Or against it.
The missions vary enough to where the experience doesn't ever feel repetitive, and there's almost no "right" way you're supposed to go about your business; slip in and out like a smooth criminal or break all the windows and necks in the building. Go nuts, they're your boots.

59. Super Hexagon (2012)
The only way I can really explain the appeal of this deeply frustrating game is that it probably pumps endorphins or something in through your eyes while you're playing, and cuts it off suddenly when you die. The immediate buzzkill and withdrawal compels you to play more, and more, and more, until you have achieved perfection. And then you do it again, but it's even more irritating.

58. Super Road Blaster (2012)
byuu, pioneer of the cycle-accurate SNES emulator, designed a new expansion chip near the beginning of the decade, the MSU-1, that would allow SNES games to stream music and video of a certain size from the cartridge to the system itself, much like a CD add-on unit. I don't know if this chip has ever been made physically, but using certain cycle-accurate emulators or an SD2SNES flash cart, one can play SNES games enhanced with streamed music or full-motion video, and the result is pretty nifty!
Of course, the best utilization of this chip has got to be 2012's homebrew port of Road Blaster/Road Avenger, a Data East FMV anime from 1985 that is just a series of increasingly improbable car chase scenes where you fight your way through a road gang led by not-Haman Karn. It was one of the best Sega CD FMV games when it was on that system, and the increase in colors might actually make this port better than that one.

57. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game (2010)
It's not as good as the books, but it's better than the movie. The way the fighting feels takes some getting used to (and a bit of money grinding, if we're being honest), but the game's just too vibrant and overly-animated for me to really hate. The Anamanaguchi tunes pair perfectly with the game, too.

56. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2: Sisters Generation (2014)
Terribly balanced, kinda gross in parts, and largely made up of R;B1/mk3 parts, Nep Re;Birth 2 is stilll a fun time through and through. Nepgear is certainly a less-compelling protagonist than Neptune in several respects, but I find her relatable and just really goddamned cute. The other characters are also a delight with how they interact with each other, even if their personalities are even more trope-y than they were in R;B 1. Really not a bad game to drop 70+ hours on.
Just, if you decide to try and 100% the game, be emotionally prepared for [Neptune has left the party.]

55. MarisaLand Legacy (2018)
It's SMB1-style Mario, but with Marisa Kirisame! Not terribly compelling on its face, even for Touhou fans, but platformers that really convey the same weight and structure of the original Super Mario Bros. are few and far between; most tend to ape more of Super Mario World's style, with branching paths and an overworld and comparatively lax platforming. And while MLL doesn't really exceed SMB1 in any regard, there's just something charming and admirable in its adherence to antiquity.

54. Game Center CX: Arino's Challenge 2 / Retro Game Challenge 2 (2014)
One could argue that the game selection here doesn't measure up to the same quality of the original's, but there is an undeniable charm to the wider variety on display here; I strongly disliked playing the crime mystery game included, but I absolutely love how it parodies old Famicom Disk System releases that were put out in two separate parts. In fact, most of what puts this game over its predecessor for me is just how committed the devs get with rounding out their parallel 80s-world with systems other than their Fauxmicom machine. It's a little suspect that the not-Super Famicom seems to still sound like the not-Famicom, and one must wonder how that universe found a way to make portable color games battery-efficient so quickly, but the added details are charming nonetheless.

53. Polly Mario Bros. (2015)
Andrew Kellogg's excellent Super Mario Builder was just too good for this cruel world, but it (and Super Mario Maker later) brought an excellent set of tools to creative people to whom traditional SMB1 ROM hacking was too limited or difficult to get into. And, with that, came Polly Mario Bros., still one of the most devilishly clever SMB1 level sets I've played. The 5 worlds are difficult, moreso than the original game, but there aren't any mean Lost Levels tricks or Kaizo-level requirements to get through the game. The game really uses the unique physics of SMB1 to create its challenges, and mastering Old Mario's weight is a challenge, but finishing it was a rewarding experience almost on the level of finishing Mega Man Zero for the first time. I mean, it's not as difficult as MMZ, but the sense of accomplishment and mastery is still there.

52. Divekick (2013)
This game is utterly frustrating. It taught me so much about how fighting games are played, distilling the genre's essence to an absurd degree But it also removed my desire to ever play any other non-party fighting game ever! Ugh.

Last edited by Zeloz (Mark II) (2020-04-21 18:37:08)

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#17 2020-03-02 00:02:24

TenguGemini
Member
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 1

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

Special Mention    Shinobi (for 3DS)    OK, this isn't even in my top 50, maybe not even top 60, but I have NEVER seen anyone else mention this game. It's pretty good and deserves at least this mention. Check it out if you ever get a chance.

42    Donut County
A very simple and very funny game.

41    Splatoon
The only online shooter I have ever cared at all about.

40    Double Dragon Neon
Take Double Dragon but turn the dumb up to 11.

39    Dust: An Elysian Tail
What a cool game. 2D action platforming at its finest.

38    Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap
This is literally just Wonder Boy 3: The Dragon's Trap, but with a new coat of paint. It is maybe my favorite remake?

37    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Smash Bros is a great party game, and this is the best Smash Bros. The spirit battles are brilliant.

36    Bastion
This was one of the games that helped launch the indie revolution, and it does a lot of neat stuff.

35    Freedom Planet
This game does "what if Sonic had a Saturn game" better than Sonic Mania imo, and is just excellent at being that. It also has a boss directly based on Seven Force (the best boss in all of gaming) so props for that.

34    Blaster Master Zero
Forget Wonder Boy, THIS is my favorite remake. It keeps everything I love about the original and removes pretty much everything I don't. It also performs a weird fusion of the japanese Meta Fight and the World of Power book. Cool stuff.

33    Her Lullaby
Extremely good short little VN by a couple of pretty rad people.

32    Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Nanomachines, son.

31    Mega Man 10
I am a huge fan of Mega Man, so it should be no surprise that this is on my list. I had a blast with this game.

30    Bayonetta
I REALLY hate dying instantly for missed QTEs, but otherwise this is Platinum Games at its finest.

29    Shovel Knight
Just a very good 2d platformer, and quite a treasure trove of content.

28    Gravity Rush
A very weird superhero origin story.

23    The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
This is the most fun I have ever had exploring an open world in a game.

26    Asura's Wrath
The ending being DLC really sucks, but I adore everything else about this game.

27    DOOM
Killing demons feels REALLY good.

24    Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3: V Generation
Plutia has the best priorities. Naps are good. Also, this is a very good game.

25    Megadimension Neptunia VII
Uzume's story is very moving, and Big Nep is always a plus. (Please donate to Polly's Big Nep Figure Fund)

22    Dragon Quest Builders 2
DQ Builders 2 improves on 1 in pretty much every conceivable way. It's cute as hell, and having actual goals and characters helps make the Minecraft formula work for me.

21    Valkyria Chronicles 4
This improves mechanically over VC1 in all kinds of ways. I still like VC1 a tiny bit more, but this game is great.

20    Kirby: Triple Deluxe
Excellent game all around, and it has my favorite series of final boss fights in the series.

19    Ys Origin
Yunica tries her hardest to kick demon ass. This game is also how I learned about After5, so there's that too.

18    Ys Seven
Backtracking aside, a very good rpg. It's Ys, I don't feel like I need to say much more.

17    Ys: The Oath in Felghana
This game introduced me to Ys and Falcom in general. A very solid game that is just balls to the wall action all the time.

16    Cave Story +
It's Cave Story. It is excellent. Nicalis kinda sucks, though.

15    Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
An "enhanced" port of one of my all time favorite games ever. I personally prefer the PS1 version, but this is still FF Tactics. It had to be on my list.

14    Kirby's Epic Yarn
Distilled cute and comfy.

13    Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Just a really really good VN. DING DONG BING BONG. A body has been discovered!

12    Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
This is only the second Igavania I have ever played, and it makes me crave more.

11    Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
An excellent end to an excellent series.

10    Wandersong
One of the most positive games I have ever played. Miriam is the best witch.

9    Kid Icarus: Uprising
OK look, I KNOW this game can physically hurt your hands to play. It doesn't matter. The writing in this game is hilarious, and the gameplay is (despite a weird as fuck control scheme) really good.

8    AI: The Somnium Files
So this game fucking rules. Mizuki is the best.

7    Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
The best Danganronpa. My favorite VN. Chiaki must be protected.

6    Kirby: Planet Robobot
One of the best Kirby games ever made. It has some of the best fanservice in the series, some of the most fun abilities in the series, an EXCELLENT soundtrack, and is just all around amazing. The only Kirby game I like more is Super Star, and I don't know how much of that is nostalgia.

5    Undertale
The music, characters, story, and meta narrative are all done expertly. Undertale is one of the most charming games I have ever played.

4    Nier: Automata
This is some really good fucking scifi.

3    Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
The best Ys game. If you need to know more, ask After5 about Dana's tummy.

2    Trails in the Sky SC
I have a very hard time separating this from FC, because they are both parts of the same larger story. This is only #2 because you really can't play it without having completed FC.

1    The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky FC
Falcom prove they are the best in the business with one of the most fully realized fantasy settings I have ever seen in a game. This also has some of the best character writing around.

Last edited by TenguGemini (2020-03-02 01:05:34)

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#18 2020-03-05 00:58:45

Zeloz (Mark II)
Retired Ume Detective
From: TCELES B HSUP
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 35
Website

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

51 to 43


51. Pokémon X/Y (2013)
While I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the series’ first venture on the 3DS, I have to admit much of my distaste for it didn’t hit until months after sinking 70-some odd hours into its main story. And, granted, it’s probably one of the series’ weakest stories, but mechanically it’s just as fun as any of the others. Some of the monster designs to come out of this generation are also pretty great (Espurr is just the cutest). Along with Animal Crossing, this game made up my early experience with the 3DS, and as far as RPGs on the platform went, it made a pretty strong argument for them.

50. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018)
Gonna go ahead and vote in this one even though I’ve technically had more experience with the Wii U entry before it, but what’s the difference between these games, really? Not to mention this game is just ridiculously packed with content, much of it Nintendo-centric but a large part dealing with franchises that, honestly, you wouldn’t associate with the brand (not since the SNES days, anyway). Regardless of whether or not you think the actual mechanics of the game are up to the hardcore competitive reputation it’s garnered, the Smash Bros. series is an amazing celebration of video game culture, and Ultimate is probably the best summation of the series.

49. Mario Kart 7 (2011)
While it doesn't quite hit the same adrenaline highs as its immediate successor, Mario Kart 7 is still a fine racing game in a series whose entries age about as well as a car past its warranty. Controls are tight, drifting feels delicious, and some of the stages are pretty impressive for an early 3DS title. All things considered, it's still one of the best kart racers to come out of this decade, and that's even considering how good Sega's own entries in the genre got.

48. Fairy Bloom Freesia (2011)
I don't see much talk about this cute, eco-friendly beat em' up that's only a handful of stages long and plays like Super Smash Bros. optimized for single-player and built around a system of knocking your enemies into each other, and it's a bit of a shame. Fairy Bloom Freesia was the first Steam game I really latched onto, with its easy-to-learn fighting system that can be upgraded to fit a more seasoned brawler's tastes, and it's one I'd implore fans of character action and/or Koei-Tecmo's Warriors/Musou games to check out if it ever pops up on sale; it's no Platinum game, but knockin' around blobby manifestations of Man's apathy for Nature is fun for an hour or so.

47. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D (2015)
Wow, what a memorable entry in the Zelda series, subverting so many tropes of that series while also coming right after the game that codified 3D action RPGs (and 3D Zeldas, especially). I've had more experience with this 3D port than the N64 original, so I can't say how much this port's changes improve or detract from the game's original mood, but Termina still maintains a more lively, yet more sinister, air than did 3DS Hyrule, and the touchscreen and gyroscopic controls feel really nice to use besides. I just wish I'd have went and finished the game while I still had it new; starting years later from just receiving the Zora mask is a bit difficult, at least in my experience.

46. Spider's Hollow (2017)
I could really take or leave Soukoban and its various iterations; the games often require more time and effort to solve than the likes of Sudoku or Picross/Nonograms, but they don't feel nearly as satisfying to play. John Thyer, an avid Soukoban fan, has and I imagine would still disagree, and I probably would too if most Warehousevanias had the charm, wit, and atmosphere of Spider's Hollow. There aren't many puzzles, and the ones that are there are easy enough to be solvable by any Soukoban beginner, but it's all wrapped around a delightful fairy tale with a unique sense of humor.

45. Splinter Zone (2017)
One of my favorite things Mega Man 9 introduced was the Endless Mode, and many of my favorite Mega Man hacks simply reconfigure sections of a given game into a randomly-generated series of level segments and boss battles that loop endlessly. Splinter Zone takes the idea of Endless Mode and, rather than relegating it to an optional mode of a larger game, centers itself entirely around this idea of running through segments of disparate levels in a largely-unpredictable endurance run. The result is an excellent iteration on the Jump-n-Shoot with a dystopic, glitchy flavor all its own, and enough screen shake to make a Vlambeer blush.

44. Zaccaria Pinball (2016)
For a free pinball simulator on the Switch (with 90% of the tables purchasable via DLC) I really wasn't expecting to pour as much time into this as I did, primarily because Pinball FX 3 and The Pinball Arcade are also Free (with DLC tables) on the Switch. Yet, I often found myself shooting for those score achievements on Time Machine while in bed, the warm glow of early 80s neon on my face, the simulated sounds of a thunderstorm in the background, waiting for sleep to ease into my eyes. I think what really elevates this collection of pinball tables more than the others is just how much it appeals to my fascination with old tech; Zaccaria's pinball heyday was quite a bit earlier than Bally or Williams, and they didn't have the clout either, which may account for how old-fashioned their pinball tables feel even compared to their contemporaries.

43. STRAWBERRY CUBES (2015)
To call this a creepy, glitchcore metroidvania would be doing the game a disservice; the jittery, red, white, and black garden of STRAWBERRY CUBES feels less sinister than the visuals would have you believe, tending more towards warm and cozy than anything.
Just... don't go in expecting an objective or anything. Take in and enjoy the surreality.

Last edited by Zeloz (Mark II) (2020-04-21 18:38:18)

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#19 2020-03-08 17:13:25

Polly
Moon Pie Advocate
From: Pollyland
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 119
Website

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

POLLY LIST! PART ONE! ENGAGE!

100. OneShot
Recency bias may have put this game onto my  list, but that in no way takes away from just how brilliantly put together everything about OneShot is.  From its warm tale of a poor soul thrust into being the savior of a world they don't even know to the meta shenanigans that go above and beyond, there's honestly not much I can think of that would improve this already stellar narrative-focused experience.

99. One-Finger Death Punch
On paper, this game should not be as satisfying and fun to play as it is, but I promise you it's the truth.  Frantically mashing two buttons while all sorts of stick figure carnage and mayhem happens on screen is some of the most fun you can have in short bursts, and I'll not hear any differently.

98. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
Brothers is a game that fully encapsulates the feeling of being on a big-budget Disney'esque adventure as you guide two brothers on a journey to find a cure for their ailing father.  From its humble beginnings in the opening village, to its emotional climax set deep in the heart of darkness, Brothers charges confidently into its vision, effectively making you feel like a part of the experience with its dual analog/two-character control scheme. 

97. Super Mario Galaxy 2
When I played Super Mario Galaxy 2 for the first time I had next to 0 interest in 3D Mario games at all.  Galaxy 2, while I now feel is inferior to the original in a lot of ways, is still a goddamned delight though, and I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as did, nor expect that it'd leave the impression that it did.  Hopping, flipping, and flying through point-A to point-B obstacle courses is still fun, even if it's not the most inventive or freeing the Mario formula's ever been. 

96. Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir
Pulling this beloved PS2-era action RPG to the modern era of PlayStation consoles and giving it a spiffy HD upgrade would have been enough for most, but Vanillaware COMPLETELY reimagined how this game functions from top-to-bottom and created something even more action-packed and frantic, and...dare I say, a bit more fun?  Even cooler though, is that they still included the PS2 original in this package, making Leifthrasir an even more impressive get just for preservation. 

95. SWR JST DX: Selective Memory Erase Effect
This is a game that I bought in some bundle at some point in time, completely forgot about, and for some reason streamed it in its entirety on a whim.  What happened next was finding myself and my audience delighted from start to finish with this psychological ninja kitty-themed platformer for the next two hours.  There's so much variety, character, and charm in this little package, and it's a shame that it's so unknown.

94. Fishing Minigame 2
I'm that bitch that hates minigames. ESPECIALLY fishing minigames. That said, I don't hate or dislike Fishing Minigame 2 by scitydreamer at all!  (Because... I mean... It's not a fishing minigame...) In fact, its charming cast of characters, witty dialogue, and cheeky method of progression through the story make it one of the smarter and more interesting RPG Maker projects I've ever played. 

93. Kikai
An auto-scrolling nightmare from John Thyer taking direct inspiration from Ecco The Dolphin's hellish penultimate stage "Welcome to the Machine." It captures a lot of that same atmosphere and is just as claustrophobic, but thankfully plays about 255x better!

92. Sleeping Dogs
Sleeping Dogs' blend of undercover cop crime thriller and martial arts movie shlockiness come together to create one of the more fun and easy to recommend open-world games of the 2010s.  Sleeping Dogs might be smaller in scale and lacking in a lot of the bells and whistles that other games in the genre have, but it makes up for all that with a satisfying narrative and combat and vehicle sequences that still feel more fresh than probably anything else I've encountered in open-world games. 

91. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
While Hotline Miami 2 might not be quite as strong as the original game from an overall level design and player expression standpoint, the stronger focus on narrative and writing are what still make the game a winner for me.  Like the first game, it's easy to just let the creepy drugged-out vibes wash over you as the ultra-violence carries you toward a fitting finale. 

90. 868-HACK
I became familiar with Michael Brough's work through our resident John Thyer, and though 868-HACK is really the only work of his I've indulged in, its one that I can easily recommend to just about anybody.  It's a roguelike that's simple to pick up and play and difficult to master.  The vocabulary for this game is VERY small, and runs aren't likely to last more than ten minutes, making it a perfect lunch break or before bedtime indulgence...which may end up sucking you in for "just one more," before you're able to put it down.

89. Nuclear Throne
Roguelikes don't often come as swift, punishing, and frantic as Nuclear Throne's strongest moments do.  This is a game where everything is dialed up to 11 at all times and the full breadth of the Vlambeer just drowns everything else out.  It's a game where you're always scrambling for survival, and when you get that first Throne kill you REALLY feel like you've earned it after the sheer hell this game can put you through. 

88. Volgarr The Viking
Volgarr The Viking is a love letter to old arcade games like Rastan and Ghouls and Ghosts.  You're playing a game where the odds are so ridiculously stacked against you that each victory comes in learning another 20-60 second stretch of a stage and feeling a sense of accomplishment. This game's big, mean, and chunky in all the right ways if you're a sucker for hard-nosed arcade-type games like I am. 

87. 2064: Read Only Memories
A queer, throwback cyberpunk graphical adventure game that takes so much influence from games like Snatcher and Policenauts that it'd seem a bit gratuitous if it wasn't doing its own thing and its creators' love for cyberpunk wasn't so startlingly genuine.  There's no shortage of interesting characters and fun charming dialogue to interact with as you wind your way through the game's layered narrative and assist your new robot companion (who literally steals the show at all times) come to terms with the nature of their existence.

86. Freedom Planet
This was Sonic Mania before Sonic Mania was Sonic Mania, and as fate would have it, it's about 100 times better.  Freedom Planet wears its origins as a Sonic Fangame on its sleeve, and the vigor with which it throws itself headlong into its far-too dense narrative is admirable.  What really makes the game shine however, is the gameplay, which is as fast and frantic as you want from your 2D Sonic-likes, but combines that with over the top Treasure-influenced melee combat and screen-filling bosses that really lets the game establish its own identity despite where it comes from.

85. Oniken
JoyMasher burst onto my radar with the release of Oniken, a game that wears its Ninja Gaiden and Fist of the Northstar influences proudly for all to see, and is gutsy enough to ask you to also judge it on its own merits.  That's proven to be the key for what I think of as "The JoyMasher" Style.  Present its influences, then find their own ways to make those ideas fresh and fun.  JoyMasher just GETS what makes good crunchy retro games shine and are good at both emulating that and continuing to be inspired and excited by it, and Oniken is the perfect place to dive in and experience that.

84. DiveKick
The fighting game community meme that literally became THE. ONE. TRUE. VIDEOGAME.

83. Expanse
John Thyer is good at looking at the things he enjoys and breaking them down to appreciate their basest components and simplest verbs.  Expanse is the logical result of breaking down modern and retro shmups into one small, succint, and sharply focused sub-10 minute experience that brings to the surface everything that's ever felt fundamentally "good" about the entire genre.

82. The Swapper
This atmospheric body swapping puzzle platformer was an almost immediate hit once I grasped the concept and immersed myself in its eerily quiet and well-realized world.  Bonus points for the narrative actually tackling the very nature of its own game mechanics in a way that makes the idea of how you're engaging with the videogame just a bit horrifying, or at the very least, very disquieting.

81. Sonic Colors
Sonic Colors, while maybe not the most strictly Sonic of Sonic Games, is a solid and colorfully charming take on what modern Sonic had become.  It's the first modern Sonic I played that felt like it was fully embracing its Saturday morning cartoon campiness, while also delivering on a solid platforming experience, enhanced by the addition of Wisps that kept the game play fresh and varied throughout.

80. BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
The original BIT.TRIP Runner was minimalistic and simple rhythm-based platforming distilled down to the most basic elements.  Runner2, by comparison, is on an entirely new level, fully embracing its place as a sequel with an entirely new blown-up presentation, loads of new moves and stage gimmicks to play within each stage's rhythm, and a glut of content that'll take you more than just a little while to get through.  Runner2 is just reveling in joy at all times, and even when it's hitting you with its hardest challenges, it's easy to keep a smile while playing it. 

79. Sonic Generations
Sonic Generations was the first Sonic game I played since the mid-90's that legitimately struck a chord. With Generations, they'd finally gotten a handle on how modern Sonic's boost mechanichs and automation should work, and the idea of replaying older levels in the series in classic or modern Sonic mode made unlocking each new world exciting.  It's the celebration that an iconic and long-standing series deserves, and Sega's not likely to hit on that kind of gold again for a long time, unfortunately...

78. Super Mario 3D Land
Super Mario 3D Land basically functions as the missing link between Super Mario World and Super Mario 64.  The isometric 3D take on standard Super Mario obstacle courses with a smaller verb set than other 3D entries proved a perfect fit for the 3DS, and there's enough content here to keep your portable Mario fix going for a good long while.

77. Rayman Origins
Having never been the biggest Rayman fan in the world, this one came as a total surprise. Rayman Origins picks up on all the cues being given by indie-released masocre platformers at the time, and just bloats it up to its logical AAA extreme with a ridiculously charming and lovable art style and some of the most satisfying/teeth-grinding precision platforming you can get your hands on. 

76. Lonely Wolf Treat
The first game of the Lonely Wolf Treat series fittingly introduces us to its titular sad wolf girl, documenting her arrival in a new town where she is in no way welcome.  The first game is good setup for the drama that is to come and also gives just the right amount of light hearted warmth to keep it from being a total bummer.

75. Child of Light
An unexpected artful and pleasant take on JRPGs by Ubisoft, taking its influences from fairy tales and a good chunk of its battle mechanics from the Grandia series.  Child of Light's insistence on an entire script being written in rhyming couplets may not set well with everyone (or even work well at making sense sometimes), but it gives the game its own unique voice, and the whirlwind journey  protagonist Aurora embarks on is defintely one worth experiencing for those looking for some light-hearted whimsy with a tinge of darkness in their adventures.

74. Friendly Bunny Mochi
The second game in the Lonely Wolf Treat series gives us a more thorough introduction to Mochi.  She spends much of the episode comedically trying to convince the ACTUAL best girl in the series not to freaking eat her and overall succeds in both somehow not being eaten and being the sweetest little cinnamon roll ever.  The added tension near the end of this episode is a clear jumping-off point that spearheads events important to the remainder of the currently available episodes. 

73. Double Spoiler:  Touhou Bunkachou
Double Spoiler is the sequel to ZUN's earlier danmaku photography game Shoot The Bullet and, note for note, it's simply a better game top to bottom.  Subtle changes to the camera mechanics and a stronger showing of bullet patterns with unique and fun gimmicks make Double Spoiler an easy one to sit down with and be wondering where the damn evening just went four hours later. 

72. The Beginner's Guide
Sometimes videogames are too real.  The Beginner's Guide is too real.  It's a game that's hard to explain and understand unless you're a creator in some space, but throughout this game's very short runtime I felt myself doin' a BIG RELATE to a lot of what was happening and being said or implied and it left a pretty big impression.

71. Fugitive
This is a game that when I finished playing it the first time my first two thoughts were, "holy shit, that's real good," and "holy shit, my friend made that!"  Fugitive takes a fun concept and a solid set of platforming challenges and strings them together to create a satisfying as hell thirty minutes you won't regret having experienced.

70. Odallus: The Dark Call
JoyMasher's follow-up to Oniken is a hugely ambitious take on games like Ghouls & Ghosts, Rastan, and Castlevania.  While it may not reinvent the wheel in any way, JoyMasher are masters at taking established formulas and adding their own flavor to them, and in Odallus' case that'd be with clever and engaging level design and huge, tough, grotesque bosses that don't know when to quit.  Odallus is more than mere imitation, it leaves its own bloody mark in the world of dark and moody platformers.


You got a 25% at best at beat me.

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#20 2020-03-09 10:11:31

FreezingInferno
Hard Game Beater
From: The Negative Zone
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 7
Website

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

FREZNO LIST PART ONE: 75-51


75- Super House Of Dead Ninjas
A flashy and fun little roguelike with a good sense of action and an enjoyable way to kill time.


74- Gunman Clive
It's breezy and bite-sized but it has some good action platforming a la Mega Man and a unique art style.


73- Nihilumbra
Artsy and evocative puzzle-solving that really opens up once you unlock the expanded challenges within it.


72- Castle In The Darkness
A pretty cute exploratory platformer that can get a little retro-referential, but is still pretty solid.


71- Bit.Trip Runner
It's a rhythm game but also a Turbo Tunnel like. What's not to love?


70- NES Remix 2
It's like old Nintendo games with weird twists and goals attached. Feels like a spiritual successor to Warioware in a lot of ways. The second's better since the first has NES black box games which are kind of jank, so that's why it's here.

69- The Mummy Demastered
The licensed game is way better than the movie. Wow. A Wayforward exploratory platformer that isn't the greatest thing they've ever done, but still has its charms.


68- Hotline Miami
An... interesting thing, whatever it may be, full of ultraviolence and trippy visuals and a whole bunch of other dark shit. Challenging and fun, though.


67- Portal 2
7 hours or so of portal puzzle solving with some interesting lore and neat challenges. Like, it was pretty good.


66- Sonic Mania
I'm not a big Sonic person so this didn't light my world on fire, but it's still good and the soundtrack is great. I appreciate it being there for the people who are into Sonic, but it definitely belongs on here.


65- Fez
Artsy, cryptic, and just plain weird... but half the fun was discussing it with friends back in the day and cracking the mysteries of this Rosetta Stone.


64- Terraria
It's like 2D Minecraft, only I actually gave a shit and really got invested in this back in the day. I hear it added tons more stuff over the years, so that's lovely if you want to get your creative fix on.


63- Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
Some of the most fun I've ever had with a racing game. There's a whole lot of shit in here to open up, and the variety of options makes one wish that Mario Kart had more to it than just "now race".


62- Fire Emblem Warriors
Warriors games can be relaxing timekillers, and adding the Fire Emblem flavor to this one gives it some interesting twists. If it had more variety in weapon users and characters then it'd be wonderful, but as it stands it's good.


61- Star Fox Zero
Look, I got it on clearance for 30 bucks and it's fine, okay? At full price I can see how one might be let down, but this game was fine personally. I got the controls down pat and only struggled in a few places, and what I got was fun enough. It's not the devil. It's fine.


60- Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3
The best Neptunia game of the 45 that released this decade, and also the only one I actually finished. And wrote a giant screed on. That alone gets it on the list, but it's like okay. If you like the Neptunia thing, I mean.


59- Ducktales Remastered
In the brief period between this and Shovel Knight coming out, this thing lit my world on fire. Shovel Knight kind of blew it away for me, but I still cherish the memory of this. A breezy and cute little game that still means a lot to me. (Hey, it came back on digital storefronts too recently, that's nice.)


58- Oniken
Joymasher does some damn good "new old" retro games, and this is one of them. Taking cues from Ninja Gaiden and its ilk, it's short but really damn fun and challenging.


57- Splatoon 2
I haven't even delved into the single-player or the DLC on this, but the multiplayer alone and the various Splatfests I got to enjoy were enough to put this on the list. It's a really fun and unique take on the arena shooter, and even if I'm bad at it I still got a lot of enjoyment from it.


56- Spelunky
One hell of a roguelike, and a game which encourages "one more run" to blast through and maybe get deeper than you ever have before. The depth on display here is staggering, and it's a game you can play for hundreds of hours.


55- Danmaku Unlimited 2
A really stylish and elegant shmup that's simple to pick up, but is also challenging as hell. It's stuck with me all these years, so here it is.


54- Saint's Row The Third
It's just so goddamned fun as an open world crime game, and it's unafraid and unashamed to be the goofiest goddamned thing on the planet. You've gotta admire it.


53- Super Hydorah
A really engrossing shmup in the Gradius vein that I personally felt enough joy from to want to get better at it and get the best ending. What a ride that was, and what a game this was.


52- Metroid Samus Returns
Look, it's the best official Metroid game that came out this decade. It kind of wins by default, and while time has dulled how impressive it was at launch, I still kind of respect the sense of play and willingness to shake things up that it adds to the structure of an old black-and-white Game Boy game. It's not a replacement for it, but it's neat enough as its own thing.


51- Fairune
What if Hydlide was good? A loving letter to a particular game style of yesteryear that manages to be self-contained, breezy, and good on its own merits while also staying true to its inspiration. It's a marvel.

Last edited by FreezingInferno (2020-03-11 12:41:15)

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#21 2020-03-09 17:54:26

Polly
Moon Pie Advocate
From: Pollyland
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 119
Website

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

POLLY LIST PART 2!

FINAL PART COMING IN 1-2 DAYS!

69. Dreaming Treat
The fifth entry in the Lonely Wolf Treat series finds our titular sad wolf girl struggling with how to express and finally act on feelings she's been (badly) hiding for some time along with some very cute and sappy optional dream sequences that allow her to subconsciously act on those desires.  What follows is an almost sickeningly sweet push toward confession and a shocking end to the episode you might not even see coming.

68. Zero Escape: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
Believe it or not, I wasn't sold on my first trip into the world of Kotaro Uchikoshi. It took another go and a better mood for me to fully appreciate what 999 was doing.  It may not be a story you connect with on a personal level, but the atmosphere and tension are cranked to 11 and the finale is one that has to be seen to be believed.

67. Super Xalaxer
Rhete's original Xalaxer was a revelation.  Polly said, "MAKE IT BIGGER AND COOLER," and then he did and Polly is always right is the lesson to learn here, and also that Super Xalaxer is some of the most manic shmuppy fun you'll ever have.

66. Clever Fox Moxie
The third game in the Lonely Wolf Treat series actually focuses on ACTUAL best girl Moxie and her attempts to keep the Foxy Lodge from going under. The moment she shares near the end of the episode with Treat and Mochi begins to solidify their relationship and begins crucial character building for all involved for the series moving forward. 

65. STEINS;GATE 0
STEINS;GATE 0 is an interesting "sequel" of sorts to the original work.  It's a story that takes place in an alternate reality where the insane "true end" plan from the original game failed, leaving protagonist Rintarou  Okabe emotionally and mentally destroyed. The game tastefully explores this headspace, dragging us through the muck from Okarin's perspective while also incorporating points of view from new and old characters alike to keep the whole affair from falling into 100% moping. If you liked the original as much as I did, STEINS;GATE 0 is definitely recommended reading. 

64. Spelunky
Spelunky is that game you throw in with all the intention in the world of playing it for about 20 or so minutes, and before you realize, it's been three hours, and you've still not cleared the ice caves this session because this game is a son of a bitch.  It's a son of a bitch you come to love through those failures though, because the eventual success is so goddamn delicious.

63. Pid
Pid hit at an awkward time where we were really awash in difficult indie puzzle platformers, and having a nearly unsearchable name didn't help much either.  Pid's gravity mechanics are a joy to engage with, and level design is built cleverly around every tool in your arsenal, all that and I haven't even mentioned its unique sense of place and visual style and the smoky bar jam band'esque soundtrack. Might & Delight survived this game going virtually unknown and have had a string of hits that connected with their audience, but Pid is the one that stuck the most for me.

62.  Shantae and the Pirate's Curse
Woops! We accidentally made the best Shantae game the one where she uses her rival's powers instead!  Also, the most consistently humorous entry in the series as well as home of the best level and boss design hands down.

61. Alice: Madness Returns
It's almost hilarious that Alice: Madness Returns launched against Duke Nukem Forever.  Madness Returns is the sequel I'd been waiting on for years, sustained similarly on only rumors and hearsay, so when it finally materialized, it truly was a wonder.  Madness Returns continues our dark dive into Alice's frayed psyche and realizes its world with more stunning detail than ever before. On top of that, the game PLAYED like a modern game, and featured a solid mixup of ranged and melee combat options that were as vicious as they were fun with level design and gimmicks that were a fun mix of old and new school design. When it released, there really wasn't anything quite like what Madness Returns ended up being and its unique identity has stuck with me since.

60. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel
Coming to Trails of Cold Steel after the whirlwind that is Trails in the Sky can be somewhat dizzying. It's a welcome change of scenery as we begin becoming more intimate with the inner-workings Erebonian Empire, but it does stumble a bit out of the gate trying to get its legs under it.  Like Sky FC, it takes a while to get going, but once Cold Steel is firing on all cylinders, it's a ride you're gonna wanna immediately ride into its sequels.

59. Life is Strange
Dontnod's take on the psychological thriller about time travel is an emotionally engrossing highschool tale starring a character who's just about as elegant with a time travelling power as you'd expect.  The game explores some truly dark territory with a cast of characters that feel believable enough for you to care how things end up for them. Discussing the long-running choices you make in this game that ultimately matter quite a bit with friends proved to be an eye-opening experience that left me with quite a bit to think about once the final credit had rolled.

58. Deadly Premonition
Admittedly, this one wasn't on my radar until Giant Bomb too notice of it, but once I'd spied only a few videos in their double Endurance Run, I knew it was a game I had to experience myself.  Deadly Premonition is the most bonkers take on Twin Peaks and survival horror you'll ever see.  It's surreal how far SWERY went out of his way to make this game both as realistic and esoteric as he could. It's a game that feels every bit the identity of its creator, and even if it's not the most pleasant thing to actually PLAY, the narrative is worth seeing this through for. Just grab the Director's Cut for a somewhat better time in that regard. 

57.  Blazing Chrome
JoyMasher are great at leaving their mark on genres and riffing on games they love, and that holds true for their send-up to Irem's Gunforce series and, of course, Konami's Contra.  It has all the button mashing, controller throwing satisfaction of those games with a fun over-the-top 80's post-apocalyptic coat of paint that's charming through the very end. If Konami's not gonna bother releasing any Contra games worth a damn, the indie crowd's probably got that lane covered.

56. Hotline Miami
Raw. Literally everything about this game is raw and crunchy in a way that tickles the ultraviolent receptors in our brains. It's a perfect marriage of top-down shooter and masocore quick-retry design. Throw on that neon 80's coat of paint and one of the best soundtracks of the decade and you've got an absolute banger.

55. Phantasy Star Online 2
Starting out, PSO was the evolution of PSO we were all hoping for from PSU, but didn't get.  Even though it had its issues, the fast-paced hack and slashing gameplay just felt great and kept me and my friends engaged for hours.  What really puts this game on the list, however, is the time spent with friends and having met new people that would become infinitely important to me as years went on.

54. Hard Corps: Uprising
Arc System Works' spin on the Contra formula is just as over the top, loud, and chaotic as you'd expect from the company that brought us Guilty Gear and BlazBlue.  The dash, air-dash, and vault mechanics made learning this monster of a game feel more akin to a Mega Man X game, but it gave the game the type of speed and pace it needed.  The netcode being solid also let me finish this game multiple times with friends online with many lasting moments in our playthroughs still lingering.  (FUCK YOU FOREVER FOR TAKING THE CHOPPER WITHOUT ME, JOHN!)

53. Ys: The Oath in Felghana
Oath in Felghana is essentially where modern Ys found its legs.  The Ark of Napishtim was a good foundation, but Oath builds on that in subtle, sensible ways that make everything feel much tighter.  The level design and boss fights also carry just the right level of challenge, and getting back to where you ate shit is never too hard because the game is just so damn brisk and pleasant to engage with.

52. Persona 5
"Winter 2014" took its damn time getting here, but the wait was mostly worth it.  Persona 5 is a bit of a trainwreck of a game. It's a case of too many cooks in the kitchen not communicating if I had to address the game's narrative, but that old familiar loop that worked in Persona 3 and 4 is executed better than it ever and easier to engage with.  The combat is as tight and strategic as you'd come to expect from the series, and the amount of money thrown at this game's production shows from top-to-bottom. 

51. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky FC
This is where my love of an entire series began. Its humble and low-key introduction hardly bears mentioning now as I feel it's pretty obvious to most of our readers and listeners that this series absolutely goes places.  Estelle Bright is one of the most endearing and well-written protagonists in the genre, and getting to know her here is a BIG part of why her later payoffs work.

50. Mass Effect 2
The first Mass Effect was...alright, I guess. With Mass Effect 2, the series became playable in a satisfying way and the darker narrative the previous game had only shown glimpses of came into full view.  This game starts and ends with an absolute bang and rarely ever lets up in between.

49. Final Fantasy XIII
Final Fantasy XIII may have its issues, but as the decade went on, the initial hostility this game received waned a bit and I feel it's more appreciated now than ever.  This is a game that tickled the Xenosaga receptors in my brain in the best possible ways. I'm that bitch that's here for technobabble, in-game databases, awkward and challenging battle systems, and straightforward dungeoning that's just really pretty.

48.  Dust: An Elysian Tail
Dust: An Elysian Tail is proof that if you put your mind to it, you can do anything.  This game was largely created and produced by one person, but with how well put together it is and how stunning it is visually top-to-bottom, you'd swear it had much more behind it.  The game is just a joy to play. The sword swinging/flying around/filling the screen with millions of projectiles gameplay feels solid and the narrative is surprisingly touching.

47. FEZ
FEZ is a fun little puzzle box in and of itself, but what brought the game to another level was experiencing its world-turning, codex deciphering mechanics with a group of people all working together to figure the mystery out.  More than that though, the game is just a delight to play. It's breezy and fairly low-stakes, and the visuals and audio make sure things always stay at a nice comfy pace while you're wracking your brain trying to figure out how to get that next cube.

46. The Last of Us
Robbing the player of catharsis and putting them in the shoes of an almost entirely unlikable protagonist are two of the main reasons The Last of Us hits the way it does.  It's a game where you never feel comfortable, whether it be during gameplay or the next awful scenario the narrative has thrust Joel and Ellie into.  It's a game that's unnaturally confident in what it is and the story it's trying to tell, player be damned, and I admire that a lot.

45. Jazzpunk
Jazzpunk's non-sequitor off-beat humor may not be for everyone, but for those of us into that kinda thing, this game is a goddamned treat start to finish.  It's not often videogame humor lands, so I feel this game should be applauded for just how often it had me laughing out loud. 

44. Mochi in Frosting
The sixth entry in the Lonely Wolf Treat series once again follows Mochi, who must now deal with the aftermath of the cliffhanger in the previous game.  We finally get to see Mochi sticking up for herself and her relationship with Treat in a big way, but the outcome may not be what she expected...

43. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
XCOM is... a lot.  It's a pressure cooker in videogame form, and there is no time during the game's campaign where you won't be feeling the heat. Resources are tight, you can lose units permanently, and there's a lose state that will force you to play the entire thing again. It's scary, but it's also INTENSELY satisfying once you find your rhythm and understand the game.  Then in spawn 20 fucking chryssalids and FUCK YOU XCOM!

42. Super Meat Boy
Super Meat Boy is one of the games (if not THE game) responsible for the indie scene taking off in the early 2010s, and for damn good reason. Sometimes all you need to make an almost endlessly engaging game is a solid set of platforming physics and good levels built around them, and that's exactly what Super Meat Boy is and then some. 

41. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3: V Generation
By this point we were already bought into the Neptunia idea and after the slightly disappointing Re;Birth2, Re;Birth3 comes out swinging with some of the best writing the series has seen.  And Plutia.  We love Plutia.  Top that off with a series of quality of life improvements and you've got the overall best package of the Re;Birth series.

40. The Stanley Parable
Ahh yes, the game that inspired no less than 6,972,438 big-brain articles about player agency in videogames and what choices really mean.  The Stanley Parable does all that with a cheeky sense of humor and a lot of lovingly crafted setpieces that make it one of the most entertaining and engaging videogame analyses ever.


You got a 25% at best at beat me.

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#22 2020-03-10 15:35:38

Polly
Moon Pie Advocate
From: Pollyland
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 119
Website

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

And here it is, THE SHOCKING FINALE!

39. Bastion
Nine years after the fact and Bastion is still as gorgeous, haunting, and as fun as it was when it first launched.  The fast-paced melee combat and unique narrator-driven storyline are enough to carry it, but this game is just breath-takingly gorgeous at times and the soundtrack is easily one of the top-ten best of the decade without question. 

38. Wandering Wolf Trick
The fourth in the Lonely Wolf Treat series is a bit of a surprise as we're now given the perspective of another wolf from Treat's pack who has gone to track her down after she ran away.  In this episode we become more intimate with the series' world through the eyes of a naive and kind wolf named Trick.  Trick's little adventure and what we learn about Treat's past are the clear highlights here that help make the events of Dreaming Treat land as solidly as they do.

37. Crimzon Clover: World Igntion
Put simply, one of the most satisfying and well-balanced shmups to come out in the last ten years.  Crimzon Clover is all about giving the player MAXIMUM FIREPOWER (FUCKING DOUBLE BREAK MODE OH MY GOD!) and then showing that it can still beat your ass if your danmaku chops aren't being sharpened.  It has a satisfying difficulty for everybody and a good variety of play modes that'll keep you busy long after the credits roll the first time. 

36. Doki Doki Literature Club
An incredibly put together deconstruction of the visual novel genre that you just have to trust is going somewhere.  This one's hard to talk about without spoiling, so all I'll say is the written poems' writing is underrated and that you're either gonna "get" this game or you're not. 

35. Portal 2
Portal 2 expands on the ideas that made the first game fantastic and adds a whooooole lot of AAA polish.  This one gets credit for consistently giving me reasons to laugh at a time when laughing and smiling again felt impossible.

34. Celeste
Celeste is a game that I initially bounced off of in a pretty hard way.  It took a second playthrough and better mindset to fully appreciate the game's near flawless platforming mechanics and incredibly touching story about taking that first step toward overcoming one's own self-doubt, anxiety, lack of self-esteem. 

33. Hunters: Relic of Stars
Rhete's magnum opus is a take on everything that has ever inspired him in both anime and videogames.  It revels in its influences and it never comes across as shallow imitation, but rather a celebration of those things.  This game simply has everything I love about videogames. Great platforming, lots of explosions, and loads of fantastic boss encounters that always made me stop and wonder, "how the hell did he do that in Flash 4?"

32. Rhythm Heaven Fever
No rhythm game has ever been as fun as Rhythm Heaven.  The style, the presentation, the music, the minigames.  It's fun dialed up to 255 at all times and it just never stops.  Other rhythm games just lose me entirely with their beat maps never feeling right or bouncing between a song's rhythm and melody, but with Rhythm Haven, it's ALL about the beat all the time and there's just not a bad minigame or song in this thing. 

31. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Danganronpa was only something I'd heard people talk about for years and for some reason decided never to investigate what it was.  Damn good thing too, or I'd have ended up spoiled on one of the finest visual novel/court drama adventure game series in existence. Danganronpa oozes style, it embraces the absurd, and does things with the genre and anime tropes that turn the entire shit on its head in the best ways possible.

30. STEINS;GATE
It's been called "the best visual novel ever," and I think this twisted time travel tale definitely makes a good run at it.  STEINS;GATE is full of solid characters and a winding narrative that dives deep into the supposed "taboo" of time travel and actually deals with its consequences.  The game frontloads a lot of science and build up but the payoff is ultimately worth it.

29. The Walking Dead
Never was a fan of the comics or TV show, but Telltale's first season of The Walking Dead series of adventure games is an experience that stuck with me.  A strong and well-written cast of characters all-around are fed to the meat grinder of a zombie apocalypse and the cards fall where they may.  Your choices carrying from episode to episode was a neat magic trick that made you feel like your experience was special, and even if the magic kinda wore off, the impact the game left is still there.

28. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Dude, I slice apart a fucking Metal Gear in the first five minutes of this game, OF FUCKING COURSE IT'S ON THIS LIST!

27. Shovel Knight
Shovel Knight is easily one of the biggest successes of the last ten years.  Yacht Club's dedication to finishing out the project they promised, continually adding more and more content, is nothing short of admirable.  This package earns a spot on my list for Plague of Shadows alone, but Shovel of Hope and Spectre of Torment aren't any kinda slouches, either.

26. Dark Souls
Dark Souls, the first one.  While it may lack the quality of life changes that would come with later entries, the first game is still head and shoulders above the rest due to how steeped in its dark atmosphere and lore that it is.  It's literally the most "The Legend of Zelda 1" game I've probably played SINCE the original Legend of Zelda.  Exploring and failing was suddenly fun again, even if the penalty could sometimes turn one hollow.

25. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II
Cold Steel II picks up right where the first game's explosive climax leaves off and finds our protagonist, Rean Schwarzer, knee-deep in a world full of shit neither he nor his classmates were ready for.  This game digs deeper into Erebonian lore in the most satisfying ways, and as factions are formed and alignments change, it's clear Erebonia is a country ready for some very big things to go down, and by the time this game's ended, the scope of said things is almost dizzying.

24. Helen's Mysterious Castle
Forget the RPG Maker part of this game, because that qualifier is usually only used to discredit games made in creation engines. Helen's Mysterious Castle is just straight up a fantastic RPG with an incredibly inventive battle system and a story that ends up being quite a bit more than its early going may indicate.  This one is wholly Sockscast approved for a reason.

23. Ghost Trick
Absolutely brilliant, clever, and touching. Top-to-bottom, Ghost Trick is a LOT.  Style, substance, and grace.  I could spend all day heaping praise upon this game in three-adjective format and be at it for a damn long while.  Not a lot of games aspire to be as smart, funny, and warm as Ghost Trick is (FUCK! I KEEP DOING IT!).  It's a game whose entire narrative stuck with me throughout the entire decade.

22. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight
I hadn't really engaged much with Momodora prior to Reverie Under the Moonlight, and frankly I still think this is the best and most worth playing in the series. The combat is super satisfying and crunchy (play on Hard please) and the world map is EXACTLY as large as it needs to be. No more, no less.  Not a single moment of RUtM's runtime is wasted and if you give it a shot, I'll guarantee the same for you. 

21.  Megadimension Neptunia VII
Meganep, for our group at the time, was like a fucking event. Most of us didn't have PS4s at the time (except Rhete) so we all waited patiently for the PC release.  It was a really fun time to be a Nep fan in the Socks community.  But this game, even with its squishy middle chapter, is the high watermark for the Neptunia series. Re;Birth3 was great, but I feel the storytelling and character writing chops of Meganep are the best that series will ever see, and no character introduced in the series since has topped Uzume, Big Neptune, and Umio.

20. Mark of the Ninja
Mark of the Ninja is the standard by which I judge all stealth ANYTHING these days. It's the smartest and most fair implementation of stealth I've experienced anyway. There's just so many fun ways to approach this game, from going straight up murderface on everyone in the vicinity, to being as quiet as you can, to achieving all the mini goals on each level.  You're backed up by a set of unique equipment and abilities that only make the environments and enemies more fun to interact with, so the game's also pretty big on player expression, making it an even easier recommend.

19. Hyperdimension Neptunia: Re;Birth1
It's almost hilarious how I ended up starting the decade hating the PS3 originals and loving this series to pieces by the middle part of the decade (then completely disavowing Idea Factory/Compile Heart by the end of the decade...).  Re;Birth1 hit at the right time. A time when I just needed something to laugh at and with, but also came packed full of some warm and sappy themes to complete the package. Add in RPG mechanics that are just fun and simple enough to engage with and you got yourself a pretty breezy way to spend 35'ish hours.

18. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC
The game that cemented Estelle Bright as one of the best protagonists ever. She's headstrong, stubborn, and stumbles from time to time, but her conviction and determination are undeniable, and this game cements her as someone you absolutely wanna get behind. Shoutouts to Liber Ark and this game's entire finale for being some of the best over-the-top anime bullshit ever, and I mean that in the best possible way.

17. The Legend of Heroes: Ao no Kiseki
The stunning conlcusion to the Crossbell chapter of the Trails series does not disappoint or slouch in any way.  From start to finish it's a rollercoaster ride of LITERALLY ALL OF THE EVERYTHING HAPPENING!  Even if the conclusion wasn't as amazing as it is, one very important scene in this game stands out as one of the most touching and heartfelt moments I've ever experienced in a videogame, and that alone would be enough reason for it to be on my list.

16. Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
The final chapter of the Danganronpa saga goes appropriately hard as it trots into the room with the biggest balls imaginable, dropping the series' classiest and most over-the-top finale.  Danganronpa is a series that's always dealt with escaling levels of absurd, and it's more on display in the climax of V3 than any other entry in the series.  Its meta commentary on the nature of how we look at the media we consume makes for fitting subject matter given the message V3 is trying to impart onto its audience.

15. Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma
The conclusion to the Zero Escape series is exactly all it needed to be.  While it may not handle all of its threads with the most grace, it gets the points its trying to make across all while delivering an intense and bloody good mystery whose biggest secrets are often in plain view the entire time.  Not bad for a game that was canceled in early development and resurrected thanks to overwhelming fanbase support. 

14. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
I will always vividly remember my time with this game being binging the last twelve hours of it on Election Night 2016.  Needless to say the next day was the weirdest mix of emotions I've had in a long time. Danganronpa 2 is simply a masterpiece. It brilliantly takes your expectations and gives into them, but twists them in such a way that every new twist is still somehow completely out of left field and at the same time believable.  The last two chapters of this game alone had me screaming at my monitor in disbelief at what I was seeing, and I goddamn loved every minute of it, even the parts that hurt a whole lot.

13. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III
Cold Steel III is dizzying with how fast it immediately gets to "the good shit."  It's paced similarly to Ao no Kiseki in that it's very unlike a Trails game and hits the ground running.  The story is CONSTANTLY escalating as Rean and the new Class VII dive deeper and deeper in the muck that's working its way through the Erebonian Empire.  By the time we reach the end, it's impossible to even begin imagining how and where Cold Steel IV will start because the final hours of this game go so fucking hard that I had to play them twice to fully absorb everything.

12. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
I don't know what I can call Ys VIII other than a perfection of the formula they've been working on for a while.  Everything about playing Ys VIII feels so effortless and meaty all at the same time.  The combat and fights with huge bosses just always nail the feeling they need to and it's so consistently fun unlocking new parts of the island and new castaways to interact with.  Above all though, is the story and writing. Falcom knocked an Ys story out of the park, taking some cues from the Trails series tone-wise.  This is Dana's story and her's is one absolutely worth experiencing. 

11. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
This game was the source of endless hours of entertainment for a good two years running while it consistently updated and the race to achieve that coveted 1001%.  Rebirth is an upgrade to the original Flash release in every conceivable way.  It's still that same game, just MUCH MUCH bigger and smoother.  With the larger item pools come even crazier synergies and chances to absolutely break the game in the most satisfying ways.  Despite the fact that I rarely play it anymore, this is a game that will always have potential to be a good time no matter what. The gameplay loop and feel are just so incredibly satisfying, and with runs barely needing 20-35 minutes to finish, it's a no-brainer when a quick-fix is all you need.

10. AI: The Somnium Files
I was not ready for the experience I had with AI: The Somnium Files. All I knew going in was that it was Kotaro Uchikoshi's newest game and that it had something to do with dreams.  For reasons unknown, I decided that I'd stream the first part of the game the night it came out. What happened was I ended up streaming the game in its entirety over the course of about 10 evenings, and even though the game's story, characters, world, and pacing are all top-shelf, 255% A+++++, would play 100 times again, it was the experience I had with an audience that elevated the experience.  EVERYONE seemed to be hanging out and wanting to know where this absurd tale was taking us, and by the time we reached the finale at after 2-3:00AM, September 28th, 2019, it was clear that the journey was worth it, both because the game had wrapped itself up so elegantly and because the shared experience was such an amazing time within the community.

9. VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action
VA-11 Hall-A is a visual novel/adventure game that was so engrossing and engaging that I literally finished it, managing to grab all of its endings, in almost one sitting.  It's a 10+hour game if that tells you anything about how quickly bartender Jill Stingray's story pulled me in.  It's all about the conversations and glut of interesting folks you meet along the way and how, by helping them sort through their own emotional baggage, Jill is able to start learning more about herself and maybe beginning to finally pry herself out of the rut her life has her in.  It's touching, it's funny, it's crass, and it's unapologetically FEELS-ey.  This one also goes up there as one of the best damn soundtracks of the decade. 

8. Wandersong
If there's a game out there that exudes more hope, kindness, and optimism in the face of adversity then I certainly didn't play it this decade.  Wandersong can easily be confused with a game that's just "happy for happiness' sake" given how outwardly joyous and hilarious it is, but to me it feels more honest than that.  It fully embraces the darkness we can sometimes find ourselves wallowing in and lets you dwell there too, but it also makes the point that you don't have to be anyone or anything special to be a light for someone else in that darkness.  It examines these roles as thoroughly as you can with our hapless bard and best witch Miriam both going through satisfying emotional arcs that help them find that light within themselves.  I'm not sure we'll ever see another game that exudes as much honest hope and love as Wandersong does, but the fact that it exists at all is proof of its own lessons, I think. 

7. The House in Fata Morgana
I'm no stranger to the "cursed mansion where lots of really bad shit went down and we're gonna tell you all about it," type of visual novel, so I went into this game with a bit of hesitation.  The House in Fata Morgana is just... a lot, okay?  It's a game that can be so emotionally taxing that it required a couple day or two breaks to finish.  The mansion's bloody and traumatic history in and of itself is gripping enough, but the way the story ties together its cast of tragic characters and the stories they have to tell themselves is what elevates this above your standard bloody psychological horror fare.  On top of that it's a story that's not afraid of tackling heavy issues such as sexual abuse and gender identity. It handles these topics with an amount of understanding, empathy, and respect rarely seen in stories like this, while also turning your eyes to the harsh realities.  Fata Morgana is just a fucking master class in storytelling top to bottom. It may be a biiiit longer than it needs to be, but by the end I think you'll find it's one of the warmest and most honest tales in the genre.

6. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward
Of course my favorite of the Zero Escape series would be the most fucknutty of the three.  From the jump, Virtue's Last Reward doesn't even bother trying to lull you into a sense of familiarity.  Something seems "off" from the moment the game starts and continues to only get more "off" when you meet your fellow participants in the new Nonary Game.  The Prisoner's Dilemma framework for the game sets up an intense amount of interpersonal drama, and even though you know it's a visual novel and the routes are defined, each AB Game still manages to feel like it has stakes.  When you're in the final batch of endings and VLR is hitting on all cylinders is when it's at its best. It was hard not to be stunned silent as the game peeled back all the layers of its overly-complex narrative, but it was definitely enough to keep me excited for what HAD to come next for these characters to escape their terrible fate.

5.  Labyrinth of Touhou 2
Labyrinth of Touhou 2 is an improvement over the original in literally every way.  The presentation is lightyears ahead of its predecessor, as is the slightly retooled new combat system, and the various systems that handle character customization and progression. There's just a lot of really smart quality of life improvements that make engaging with the dungeon crawler genre feel less labored and clunky, yet all the customization you'd want is still there.  This game features some of the most fun, strategic, and incredibly difficult boss fights I think I've ever experienced in an RPG.  Nearly all of them are tough nuts to crack, and it'll likely take more than a couple tries, but it's the scurrying back to Gensokyo to revisit your team composition and skill point distribution that's going to matter in the end.  I felt every single major boss fight win in this game. Even if they can be frustrating at times, the elation felt when you see that boss sprite poof out of existence after a hard fought victory never once wore off.

4.  Undertale
I mean...I literally don't know what I can say about this game that wasn't already said in a freaking five-hour spoilercast edition of the Sockscast shortly after the game was released.  Undertale left a HUGE mark on games as a whole and its impact is going to be felt for years to come.  There is no one thing that makes Undertale the incredible piece of work that it is.  Between the inventive approach to combat, the incredible sense of humor and jovial tone the game's voice has at most times, the warmth its cast of characters exudes, and the layer of ridiculous meta nonsense that gets piled on (I mean this in a good way), there's just a lot of reasons for Undertale's deserved success. 

3. NieR:Automata
NieR:Automata is literally another one of those games where the discourse around it has been so fiery since its release that it's hard to come up with anything new to say about it that hasn't been already said.  Automata is just simply fucking fantastic though.  It's a story that's unique like Undertale in that it can ONLY be told by this medium due to player interaction being a huge part of why the big important parts of it work.  Also, soundtrack of the fucking decade.  Everyone else can go home now.

2. Hollow Knight
It's not often one game can come out and so loudly drop the mic on an entire genre, but not only did Hollow Knight do that to the *cough* *wheeze* *barf* "Metroidvania", it almost took down another in the process (and some might even argue that it did.)  Hollow Knight wears its Dark Souls influence on its sleeve, but not that fakey "HAHA DARK SOULS IS GOOD BECAUSE IT'S HARD" bullshit.  It takes its world building and in-world lore as seriously as it takes its gameplay, as Hallownest feels as alive (and...ya know...decaying and dying) and lived in as any human-populated world might.  It was astonishing to me that at the 35 hour mark, I WAS STILL FINDING BRAND-NEW LOCATIONS AND AREAS TO EXPLORE!  This game is MONSTROUSLY huge and I feel is the only modern exploration-based platformer that actually *gets* why the good games in this genre work. 

1. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky The 3rd
It's honestly hilarious that as I was digging my way through the original Sky trilogy that I'd been made believe that this was a "side story" of sorts, and had no interest in playing it at all (until...a big moment in SC's finale, that is.)  I was, in no way, prepared for what this game would do to me emotionally, as the final two to three hours left me a sobbing mess, with the climax STILL leaving an impression that I can vividly feel today.  That's not even counting the multiple times BEFORE the finale that this game left me reeling with a lot to think about.  The meat of 3rd is the side stories detailing characters' actions since the end of SC as well as their pasts, while at the same time trying to crack the mystery Kevin Graham has found himself in. There's a LOT to unpack here, and Falcom doesn't spare a single detail (even the uncomfortable ones) in making their cast of JRPG characters somehow feel more human and alive than any other cast, despite their anime JRPG trappings.


You got a 25% at best at beat me.

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#23 2020-03-10 16:42:50

FreezingInferno
Hard Game Beater
From: The Negative Zone
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 7
Website

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

FREZNO LIST PART 2: 50-26

50- Super Cyborg
An incredible 5-stage throwback to the glory days of Contra. Unfortunately it goes on for two more stages after that, and they're kind of jank and unfair. Nevertheless, it's that same high-octane hard as hell blow up EVERYTHING action that you want from a Contra-like.


49- Double Dragon Neon
A Double Dragon game that isn't complete jank. It actually feels great to play and doesn't throw bullshit at you like the NES games of old, its soundtrack is kickin' rad synthwave, and it's just self-aware enough to be unapologetically Stupid As Hell. It's lovely.


48- Spider-Man (PS4)
Pretty dang good for an open-world game with a million things to do. The swinging feels great, the combat has a learning curve but gets you into a good groove, and the actual plot on display here has all the high action and grand drama of one of the Sam Raimi movies. It was a wild ride, but one I don't regret.


47- VVVVVV
A simple graphical style and a solid "verb" for a gameplay hook help this game go far. Challenging as hell for a masocore screen-based obstacle course game, but it keeps you coming back. I got Veni Vedi Vici in like, 10 minutes. I'm cool and so is this.


46- Super Mario 3D World
It reminded me of after school days playing Super Mario 2 and 3, only with a grander scope and like a hundred massive levels. Just a really charming and fun Mario game with enough secrets and bonus levels to make you wanna blast through the challenges.


45- Volgarr The Viking
A game which takes its cues from shit like Ghosts 'n Goblins. Definitely a high learning curve of trial and error involved, and its "good" run basically requires learning the game inside and out with little wiggle room for practicing the harder parts. It's still solid, challenging, and quite fun.


44- Maldita Castila
Oooh, a Ghosts 'n Goblins homage? Don't mind if I do. Maldita Castila manages to be far fairer than its inspiration; less random shit popping out of nowhere to kill you, more planning and reflexes required. Getting its true ending is no mean feat.


43- Disney Afternoon Collection
Six good to great Disney NES games in one compilation, all cheaper than even the cheapest physical cart for one of them. The value alone is worth it, but the games themselves are also great.


42- Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night
I'm not that big an Igavania stan, so this didn't hit my nostalgia bones quite as hard as it might have hit others. Nevertheless, this is still a pretty solid One Of Those. If you swear by Symphony Of The Night or Aria Of Sorrow, this thing will be your jam. If not... well, it's perfectly fine.


41- Odallus
A wonderful Joymasher game in the style of, say, a Demon's Crest. Stage-based exploratory platforming with a fantastic sense of art detail and great powerup progression. Absolutely wonderful and well worth a play.


40- Ghost Trick
A fantastic story-based adventure game with a pretty unique puzzle mechanic of having to manipulate objects as a ghost to save people's lives and solve the mystery that continues to unfold. As expected of Ace Attorney alumni, the story and puzzles are absolutely On Point, and Ghost Trick's just fantastic.


39- Super Meat Boy
Hard as almighty fuck, but oh so forgiving on its respawn rate. It knows it's hard, it knows it's killed you, now get back in there and try again. Quick, snappy, hella hard, hella fun, with a whole lot of content to plow through. What's not to love?


38- The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Hey, some Zelda games came out this decade. This is a good one. It's Link To The Past 2 with a cute "painting" gimmick. It has some lovely innovations and neat puzzles, and it's just a solid-ass traditional Zelda game.


37- Mega Man 10
A bit of a letdown from Mega Man 9, as well as a last gasp of Mega Man for a good while there. Still, what is here is a nice Mega Man game, on par with something like the 90's NES Mega Mans. Even that level of quality is still wonderful, and so here's Mega Man.


36- Shantae And The Pirate's Curse
It's many people's favorite Shantae game ever, and they're not wrong to love it. The pirate gear adds a new (and some would say preferred) twist to Shantae, and its stage-based exploratory nature makes things quite interesting to go back to with your new arsenal of mobility tools. It's just fun. Shantae games are fun, y'all.


35- Kirby's Epic Yarn
Is this the most adorable Kirby game? It's a contender. This is just a chill and wonderful little easy breezy Kirby; hell, you can't even die in it. Its art style is absolutely gorgeous, and you really can just relax with it and have a wonderful time. What a lovely little game.


34- Pokemon Shield
It's pretty good. I really enjoyed the traditional Pokemon action, the quality of life improvements are lovely, and even some of the character arcs really hit with me. It also has Flygon in it, and Flygon is the best Pokemon ever. I love Flygon and I like this.


33- Saint's Row IV
It's Saint's Row The Third with the goofy dumb shit racheted up to 11. You've got superpowers and there's aliens and countless moments of just the Dumbest Shit happening. It's the kind of game to leave a dumb smile on your face. I dig it.


32- Kirby Planet Robobot
Kirby gets a giant robot and fights other giant robots and stuff. It's simply a solid traditional Kirby game, and the robot gimmick works great for this particular era of Kirby. What's not to love?


31- Mega Man 11
It's remarkable that the first post-Inafune Mega Man should be this great, but it is. Mega Man 11 is solid as hell, and the Gear system gimmick makes for some intriguing challenges designed around it. Clever use of it is key to winning, and even though the game's a bit short and lacking on extra modes it's still one hell of a great return to form for Mega Man.


30- Super Mario Maker 2
Mario Maker, on the go, AND I can still make and share levels online? Holy shit! It's a great revamp of an already great concept with some new additions (I enjoyed the story mode), and if I'd played more of it I might have put it higher. That's on me, but Mario Maker 2's still wonderful and something you can always come back to thanks to the robust community and endless content.


29- Ace Attorney Dual Destinies
It was a bit of a wait between Apollo Justice and this, but Ace Attorney hit the 3DS and it was wonderful. Some of the cases are a bit much and stretch themselves out a bit, sure, but as a return to this world and its lively characters and legal drama? It's wonderful.


28- Tomb Raider (2013)
As a casual Tomb Raider fan from the 90's, this game was a goddamned revelation. Moody, atmospheric, horrific in places, but still telling the triumphant story of someone overcoming despair and awful situations to save herself and those close to her. It was quite good!


27- River City Girls
Oh this game's just so stupid and fun. Beatin' the shit out of everyone with a bunch of cute girls. What's not to love? Other than the fact it's kind of short and some of the bosses are jank, it's an absolutely solid beat-em-up game and well worth your time.


26- Cuphead
Nowhere near the hardest game ever made, but still one tough little bastard. The animation is absolutely phenomenal, and the action is intense and superb. As a mainly boss rush game, it's challenging but fairly... fair in how it presents things. Easy Mode should have just let you beat the goddamned game in full, though, don't give me that gatekeeping shit. Everyone should be able to enjoy Cuphead.

Last edited by FreezingInferno (2020-03-10 19:35:16)

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#24 2020-03-11 09:17:39

FreezingInferno
Hard Game Beater
From: The Negative Zone
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 7
Website

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

FREZNO LIST PART 3: 25-1

25- Pokemon Alpha Sapphire
A surprisingly enjoyable Pokemon remake in a generation I had little experience with up to that point, and one that personally stuck with me because it's the first time I felt motivated enough to finish the Pokedex in it. For that, here it is.


24- The Legend Of Zelda" Breath Of The Wild
It was very very good at the time, but time's mists made it fade from my memory pretty damn quick. Nevertheless, it's an absolute masterpiece of a return to form for Zelda, merging its original ethos with current open-world trends to make something really special.'


23- Dark Souls 2
It's a little obnoxious with its difficulty in a lot of places, but that could just be how I played it. Even with that annoyance factor, it's still a Dark Souls game and it's still got that same level of craft and deliberate difficulty at its heart.


22- The Legend Of Zelda: Link's Awakening (2019)
It's very charming and adorable. It is also what it is, a very good Game Boy game with an amazing new aesthetic. Mileage may vary on if that's worth full Nintendo price or not, but since Link's Awakening is one of the better Zeldas, that gets it on the list.


21- Metroid Rogue Dawn
The best Metroid game released this decade, a game that refreshingly ignores Super Metroid nostalgia in favor of refining and updating the atmospheric minimalist nature of the NES original. An absolute technical marvel of a ROM hack, and somewhat overlooked in comparison to aforementioned Super Metroid nostalgia pieces that came out this decade.


20- Shantae Half-Genie Hero
Look, I really love this game, okay? I accept that popular opinion might like Pirate's Curse better, but this was my first Shantae and it's a game that I fell in love with on launch. Over time it got even more little bells and whistles added, some fun and others a bit ehh. It's just a really solid stage-based exploratory platformer, and a game I feel strongly about.


19- 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
One hell of a visual novel/adventure game. It took me a few tries to get into this, but thanks to the Nonary Games version which has a flowchart I got into it, and really wanted to uncover the mysteries within. Realizing certain things were features and not "plot holes" really made my mind open up to the possibilities within, and the big reveals are absolutely wild and intriguing to think about.


18- Super Smash Bros Ultimate
It really is the ultimate Smash experience. Everyone you could ever want and more is in it (Robin for life, yo), and the madman that is Masahiro Sakurai is still adding people to it. There's not much else to say here. It's the best Smash Bros. game, and that's a very good thing.


17- Blazing Chrome
Joymasher blasting it out of the gate with their best game this decade. A loving tribute to Contra (especially Contra Hard Corps) that is hard as hell but also fair as hell. It's so good that it managed to out-Contra Konami, as they put out a wet fart of a Contra in the same year. I'm glad for this, though. It's an incredible experience.


16- Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
An absolute joy of an experience that filled me with nostalgia for the 90's, when I played the SNES Donkey Kong Country games to death and practically memorized them. I'm grateful that the spirit was kept alive in the modern day, as this is one of the finest platformers I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing.


15- Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows Of Valentia
They'll never make a Fire Emblem like this again. The gonzo "black sheep" mechanics imported from the 1991 original this is a remake of, mixed with the accessibility of modern-day Fire Emblem, created a game that I bought on impulse and actually got sucked into. It helped me gain an interest in the series, an interest that still has me taking cautious baby steps towards the harder games in the series. There will never be a Fire Emblem with these particular innovations again, though, and while that saddens me it also makes this game very special to me.


14- Etrian Odyssey Nexus
The swan song to the long-running dungeon crawler series on the DS line, Etrian Odyssey Nexus is a celebration of its series at large. It's a massive dungeon crawl adventure, maybe too massive for its own good, but one I nevertheless cherish and am glad I perservered through.


13- Trigger Happy Havoc: Dangan Ronpa
An absolutely incredible experience, and a game with philosophies and clashing ideologies that actually changed me as a person and changed how I view media. In that regard, it's incredibly important to me along with its characters and mysteries... and this first one isn't even the best one. They got better as they went on. Even here, though, the first is amazing.


12- Stardew Valley
Perhaps one of the most relaxing games ever made. This, for me personally, was something I could unwind with in co-op with a friend on our evenings off and just enjoy together. Having an extra hand on the farm meant more time for just absolute relaxation and becoming engaged in this world and its townspeople. Is there anything finer than casual fishing on a Tuesday night?


11- Ace Attorney Spirit of Justice
The finest Ace Attorney game in years. It introduces thematic conflict via a foreign country which has abolished all lawyers, and uses that conflict to its fullest over the game's story; you see how the law negatively affects not just the citizens, but those in power as well, and you get to help the people of this country overcome their prejudices and shine a light on the truth of the matter. It's a well-constructed narrative, and though some of the legal puzzles are cryptic, it's still a masterpiece.


10- Bloodstained: Curse Of The Moon
Sure, its older sibling Ritual Of The Night is a loving return for the Igavania exploratory platformer game, but Curse Of The Moon is far more impressive to me. Ritual Of The Night is, to me, a very good game of its genre homage ilk. Curse Of The Moon is a homage to games like Castlevania 3, but its quality of life improvements mean that it actually surpasses its inspiration thanks to removing the clunky aspects and only leaving tight fast action platforming in its wake. It's a revelation, and one of the best pixel platformers to come out this year.


9- Sayonara Wild Hearts
An oddball choice, to be sure, but an underrated moving experience of a rhythm action game. Its stylized visuals are a joy, its soundtrack is absolutely on point and worth playing on its own as a standalone album, and its themes of love and loss and healing are incredibly poignant and resonant. It's a beautiful experience, and one everyone should enjoy.


8- Undertale
GameFAQs's official Greatest Game Ever Made is a masterful little game. Subversive, hilarious, and self-aware. There's a real heart to the craft of this one, even if it's short. Alternatively you can be heartless and create a goddamned nightmare for the denizens of the game and yourself. It has something to say about the way we play games, and it's an impressive enough message to make you sit up and take notice. It also helps that the game itself is pretty fun, no matter how you choose to play it.


7- Dangan Ronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
At first Dangan Ronpa 2 seems like business as usual, compared to its predecessor. Then everything changes. It's far more than just "another one of those", however. Its end game is filled with twists and turns and shockers, but above all else it's a game about staying true to your own ideals; a game about hope prevailing over despair. Inspiring stuff, and a contender for best game in the Dangan Ronpa series.


6- Etrian Odyssey IV
There's something about Etrian Odyssey IV that puts it a step above the other games in its series. I think it's the open world aspect of it. No longer confined to just waltzing into a deadly dungeon from a menu, now you explore the skies in an airship and find the deadly dungeons, as well as smaller deadly dungeons and other landmarks and treasures. The theme of overcoming a hostile and murderous world to discover the hidden beauty of its deeper depths, and solve its mysteries, is stronger than ever thanks to letting you soar the skies in your airship. With the dungeon crawl aspect as strong as always, this helps Etrian IV rise to new heights and be the finest in its series.


5- Shovel Knight
An absolute revelation of a game. A master class in spinning gold fron the nostalgia of NES games of yesteryear. Shovel Knight feels like the natural progression of that style of game, so finely crafted but also able to stand on its own legs without loudly shouting at you to remind you of a specific old game beyond some inspired mechanics. Its expansions only added to the variety of the experience overall (okay so maybe we didn't need that card game, but ignore that.) and made the final package stronger. Absolute brilliance.


4- Dark Souls
A nightmare in hard game form, but a compelling one. Trying to make your way through Dark Souls initially is horrific, a hellish world that wants you dead but refuses to kill you for good. An infinite purgatory of attempting to overcome hard bosses. Then you do it, and things open up further. Though it may lead to relief at first when you finish it, going back only makes you realize just how damn good this thing is. It may kick your face in at first, but "gitting gud", as they say, makes the whole thing worth it.


3- The Legend Of Heroes Trails In The Sky First Chapter
It's beautiful, and you're telling me there's like nine more of these things where that came from? This is a wonderful little RPG with great characters, and a true sense of exploration as you travel around your little country, itself one piece of a larger world. Solving problems and uncovering mysteries, helping people, hitting them with a very large stick... it's all so lovely. Its ending is bittersweet, but it does tease even more intriguing and hopeful adventures. One day I shall experience them, but I will always treasure this little experience on its own merits.


2- Dangan Ronpa V3: Killing Harmony
So personally resonant that it almost hurts. This game has even more mystery and intrigue than the others before it, and from the word go it pulls a hell of a shocker. Talking about this game in vagueries does it no favors, so let me just say that its final chapter and its main endgame twist are incredibly inspiring to me as a creator. It is a series definitively determined that this is its ending, and it goes out with a commentary on the nature of narrative itself that personally speaks to me as a creative type. For that, it's not only the best Dangan Ronpa game I've ever played, but one of the best games of this decade.


1- Persona 4 Golden
Perfection. A wonderful gem of a game about making friends in a new town, solving crimes, defeating monsters, and generally helping those closest to you with their anxieties and struggles. Primarily in the form of defeating monsters, but also in the form of growing closer to them and maybe even giving them a smooch. It was a joy to play, a moving and poignant experience, and one that actually made me cry as the credits rolled and I had to say goodbye to my video game friends I'd grown attached to. It's my personal game of the decade. It was that good.

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#25 2020-03-11 12:53:42

Ghosty
Spookmaker
From: The Other Side of the monitor
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 29

Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

So am I right in thinking that if a game was released before 2010, but it had content added to it 2010 or later, it still wouldn't qualify for the list?


The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
The hole is greater than it was a minute ago.
Wait, it's growing! Oh no! Run!!

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