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#51 2020-05-09 19:20:49

Zeloz (Mark II)
Retired Ume Detective
From: TCELES B HSUP
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 36
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Re: SnS on 2010s: The Top Games of the Decade According To SnS

Okay, let's put this thing to bed.

26. Pokémon Black/White (2010)
This is quite simply the most stylish, best-written mainline Pokémon generation to date. Having flat 2D sprites interact in a 3D world with shifting camera angles gave Unova a look and depth that even now makes it unique when compared to the mostly-flat games before it and the mostly 3D games after. Plus, N and Team Plasma's Ghestis are still some of the most memorable mainline Pokémon villains.

25. Dark Souls (2011)
I love Demons' Souls. It's likely my favorite PS3 game. But I can't deny the improvements the follow-up brought to the table, as well as the massive impact the game had on opening up dark, gothic RPGs into the mainstream.

24. GRIS (2018)
The decade was filled with platformer-type games with hand-arted graphics, but I'm certain this was one of the most lovely. A watercolor trek through loss, grief, and acceptance, with a healthy smattering of puzzle platforming, GRIS is pretty incredible.

23. Mega Man Unlimited (2013)
I feel I may be a bit biased, having briefly tracked the development of this back when it was still "Mega Man 10" and was just art and mockups on DeviantArt, but the time I spent trying to no-death this fairly long (too long, arguably) fan game really got me to appreciate just how much MegaPhilX understands the appeal of the NES Mega Man games and the satisfaction of slowly negotiating their challenges.

22. Animal Crossing: New Leaf (2012)
My first 3DS game is still probably the most time I've spent on a 3DS game. New Leaf was also my first Animal Crossing, so discovering the sheer joy of taking care of this virtual garden, changing in real-time and easily accessible as a handheld game, was amazing.

21. Cookie Run: OvenBreak (2016)
My favorite gacha game, and my favorite endless runner. Devsisters puts so much charm and a surprising dose of queerness and body positivity into what essentially boils down to a twitchy score-attack game with a plethora of modes and a wealth of characters whose playstyles vary.

20. Khimera: Destroy All Monster Girls (2016)
Just a really silly, somewhat queer platform game where a monster girl beats up a bunch of other monster girls and just has a fun time of it all. The game plays a bit like a less-polished Shovel Knight, and it looks more like a DOS freeware game than something from an 8- or 16-bit console, but even if this weren't a free game, the utter charm of this game really sells it.

19. YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of This World (2017)
My opinions on this game seem to shift with the weather, but it's one that's had an undeniable impact on my own views on science fiction, time travel, and character writing. Part visual novel, part point-and-click adventure, this erotic game from 1996 does a whole lot and manages to pull off most of it, despite an initially abrasive/cliche-filled cast of characters and some very uncomfortable subject matter being fumbled.
It's ambitious, unforgettable, and has what is perhaps the best soundtrack to ever be put to FM synthesis.

18. Rhythm Heaven Fever (2011)
This game is pure, sweet, rhythmic bliss pressed to a Wii disc. The game is an improvement on its DS predecessor in every conceivable way, has perhaps the cutest character designs this side of Kirby's Epic Yarn, and the soundtrack is just a bouncy, poppy delight for its entire 4+ hour runtime. Heck, even the English covers of the vocal tracks are really good this time around!

17. Neko Atsume (2014)
No lie, this is probably my favorite city simulation game. There's not a lot to playing the game, with sessions lasting an average of a minute, but there's an undeniable satisfaction to checking in to find a cat you haven't yet seen before, and playing around with combinations of items and food to find more of the blob-like felines.

16. her tears were my light (2016)
An impressive and absolutely adorable concentration of emotion; it took about 30 minutes to reach 100% completion, but that's all it needed to turn on my tear ducts. It's an impressive work of yuri/GL/WLW warmth that also delves into the pain of abandonment and the shortsightedness of infatuation. Also, time travel.

15. Rockman 3: Burst Chaser (2013)
I've played a lot of Mega Man romhacks. A lot of them I've never finished because I am a mere mortal with limited patience, but Burst Chaser is not a demanding work. Far from it, the level design fits the central conceit of the game (you move almost twice as fast horizontally) perfectly, giving the game a vastly different flavor than vanilla Mega Man 3 without it being too spicy for an NES layman.

14. The Walking Dead: Season 1 (2012)
I remember, when I first played this at a friend's house, I was nearing the end of the second episode and was goaded into killing an NPC I didn't need to. I'm normally an avoidant person who hates conflict, so this threw my friend for a loop. Hell, I got kinda freaked out when I realized the gravity of my actions.
The entire season is just filled with moments like that, presenting you with choices that, even long after you've made them, make you really think about your own moral compass and where it points when shit really hits the fan.

13. Sonic Mania (2017)
As someone who experienced pre-SNES games primarily through emulation, collections, and pirate famiclones, my take on "nostalgic" videogame moments has always been a bit skewed in comparison to others who've grown up with the systems or arcade machines in question. But this game, specifically playing the Steam version on keyboard, struck me with such a profound longing for the summer afternoons of playing the Sonic and Knuckles Collection on my dad's Windows ME PC, and for the autumn evenings playing Sonic CD on my own mid-90s Packard Bell before that.
One could argue game itself not being as "good" as S3&K or CD, or Generations, but the way the game so perfectly resonated with my initial experience with Sonic makes Mania feel like a game specifically tailored to me.

12. Atop the Witch's Tower (2017)
A darkly cute yuri story communicated through the limited toolset of am ASCII DOS game from 1991, the game demonstrates an incredibly clever use of space and a quirky sense of humor to communicate a touching story of love and overcoming self-doubt, all in the space of 15 minutes.
For a game that I initially played to get through a slow work shift, I think about it quite a lot still.

11. Shovel Knight (2015)
One of the most technically polished videogames to have come out of this decade, Shovel Knight does an incredible job of communicating the NES action-platformer aesthetic while adding just enough modernity to keep frustration at bay.
Playing this and Plague of Shadows during a particularly stressful holiday season and a despair-inducing election cycle kept me hopeful; its catchy music and clever level design often gave me something to look forward to in the time between gruelling work shifts with bigoted coworkers.

10. Katawa Shoujo (2012)
Sometimes, I wonder how much better a visual novel based off a footnote in a Nausicaa doujinshi a bunch of 4channers found could've turned out. It's really no exaggeration to say the game had an incredible impact on me when I first read it; its slice-of-life world and well-rounded characters provided an escape from overnight shifts and stressful college classes. More importantly, though, watching each of the heroines inspire main character Hisao to better himself made me want to also improve myself, whether through physical activity or having empathy or curbing the desire to "fix" others. The experience really opened my eyes to the emotional effects videogames and stories in general can have on the reader.

9. Fugitive (2013)
A sharp, excellent platformer that uses the Game Boy action-platformer aesthetic to carry a sense of mounting dread as the little spaceman descends into a well-fortified planet to rout out the titular character, losing bits and pieces of themself along the way. It's equal parts fun and thought-provoking, and the ending hits real suddenly if you're not careful.

8. Mario Kart 8 (2014)
I can't think of another racing game, another multiplayer game even, that's managed to provide as much fun as this one, and this is coming from someone who doesn't normally like competitive multiplayer for the most part. 8 takes the core of MK7 and both adds to it and refines it considerably, turning what was once a respectable racer on the 3DS and turning it into a breathtaking, chaotic thrill ride for the Wii U and Switch. While it's not exactly the second coming of F-Zero or anything, racing down snowy mountains or propelling through clear seas reminds me plenty of some of the first hours I spent with SNES F-Zero, racing through impossible and impressive-looking landscapes to some great music while trying desperately to keep a lead.

7. Grapple Force Rena (2018)
What if Umihara Kawase had been developed by Treasure for the Genesis? It's a fascinating question, I'm sure, but I doubt even such a hypothetical game would measure up to the irreverent goofiness and charm of this game. While the game is pretty short and the ending a little iffy, the rest of the game feels amazing to play, whether that be with a keyboard only or with a mouse-and-keyboard setup.
Also, the music is just astounding.

6. Spelunky HD (2012)
I like Rogue, and I like Mystery Dungeon, and I like a lot of procedurally-generated games which claim to borrow from these two. But the way Spelunky adapts this gameplay style to an action-platformer with a fragile protagonist is amazing, even if 9 out of 10 of my runs still end in embarrassing death in the mines. The problems the generated level layouts present players often encourages creative thinking and experimental play to get around, making playthroughs still feel different even if they end in similar, face-palming ways.
Spelunky HD was what really sold me on playing games online, with its Daily Spelunker levels and its rather ridiculous (but doable!) achievements. While, shamefully, I can't say I've ever finished the game, this game is still the finest "roguelike" (or "rogue-lite," if you prefer) I've ever played.

5. WE KNOW THE DEVIL (2015)
I went into this not really knowing what to expect. A lot of my Twitter mutuals seemed real excited for it, it touted itself as a queer horror visual novel, and after moving away from my parents for the first time, I was very much in the mood for a visual novel.
And then I played it, and got through all the endings, and teared up a little. And then I read other people's reactions to the game and teared up a little more. At the time, I also felt a little strange for being so moved by other peoples' (particularly trans folks') reading of the story. It seemed REALLY weird feeling some sort of kinship with the gender-ambiguous Venus and relating a lot to their experiences and self-doubts. "This is a game by queer people, for queer people," I thought to myself, "why do I, a heterosexual cis male, feel so moved by it?"
Well, that got me to thinking some more, particularly thoughts that I felt were unthinkable when I lived in an ultra-conservative household, and that thinking led to questioning, which led to experimenting, which led to a bunch of other messy stuff and essentially, what I'm saying is this game more-or-less kicked off a slow journey that led to who I am now: a useless lesbian with a newly-found capacity for self-appreciation.
So, yeah. I don't know if its held up in the half-decade it's been since I last played it, but it's kind of an important game for me.

4. Super Mario Maker 2 (2019)
I could easily talk about the first Mario Maker here, as my memories of that game feel quite similar to the feelings I have for this one; there's an undeniable excitement to seeing what levels your online friends have made and dialing them in to try them out, and to watch GIFs of impossibly clever hacks of the game's engine, and to watch speedrunners race each other on ridicuous courses designed specifically to frustrate and create tension.
What is unique about SMM2, however, is how much more widespread this wave of user-generated Mario madness became when it was introduced to the Switch, and how subsequent updates have expanded what kinds of levels can be made. Even just speaking as someone who plays custom levels rather than creates them, this game is an incredible testament to the power of not only user-generated content, but to its propagation through social media as well. It's a nice snapshot of what makes games of this generation so unique to that of past generations.

3. SeaBed (2016)
I initially felt iffy about mentioning this game when my experience with it, and the context that contributed to my attachment of it, were distinctly 2020; I gave it a go at a time of coronavirus lockdown, simply looking for more cute romance stories on the afterglow of yuri eroge. At that moment, I thought I was handling the weeks of social isolation fairly well.
I was so, so mistaken.
This visual novel is a memoir within a slice-of-life, within a supernatural mystery, within a romance story, that slowly turns into a most complete permeation of the psyche and emotions I've yet experienced in fiction, with tearful effects lingering weeks after finishing it. Not only is SeaBed a meditation on love and loss, its a subtle celebration of just idly spending time with loved ones through various stages of life. It's a love story that's grounded in more adult sensibilities, with its primary characters being women in their late 20s trying to make sense of life. It's a game that's made me cry for vacations long past, for friendships and love relationships long dissolved, for a time when it seemed like love and hard work could make most any dream come true.
I'll repeat what so many other reviewers before me have regarding this game: it's not one for everyone. Even for a 30-hour game, it's an incredibly slow burn, and the climax may not be worth it depending on what expectations you have going in. But, at least in my case, its a touching story that brought to light my own loves and fears and insecurities, and I'm so very thankful to indie dev Paleontology for it.

2. Undertale (2015)
I can hardly think of another game with a wit so sharp and a style so ridiculously tailored to my JRPG/Anime/Queer/Cartoon/Touhou-loving self. Even though my love for the game has cooled as the game has gone through the memetic life cycle over the years, I can't deny that every layer of this veritable emotional onion, even when it's at its absolute nastiest, is beautifully designed.
Jesus, and to think this would come from the same person that made fucking Arn's Winter Quest.

1. Minecraft (2011)
This game has become so many goddamn things in the 10 years I've known of its existence. It's a game that I can't say I've played heavily - never was organized enough to build that diamond armor, make ridiculous automated structurs, craft a portal to The End, and beat the Ender Dragon - but it's been such a constant presence for me during this decade. Whether it be solo on some vanilla build of the game, or on a server with some magic/cyberpunk/Pokémon mod pack and people I barely know, my experiences with this game have been many and varied. If there is a single game that defines the 2010s, it's this one.

Last edited by Zeloz (Mark II) (2020-05-10 06:48:20)

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#52 2020-05-09 19:50:11

Atamine634
Member
Registered: 2020-05-08
Posts: 4

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

50. Detention
Red Candle Games' debut horror title was what I would call a mix between Fatal Frame and Silent Hill, but leans more towards the Silent Hill side of mature storytelling. Which is good because the psychological horror story Detention has to tell is worth the time for horror fans and you might learn some world history you didn't know before.
   
49. Kikai
Devilishly cheeky and terrific use of claustrophobic level design.
   
48. Donut County
A simple gimmick explored exceedingly well in just under 2 hours. DC is charming as heck with a great minimalist aesthetic and actual themes about gentrification and being complicit in it. Also it's 110% My Brand of stupid humor.

47. Final Fantasy XIII-2
A shockingly good glow-up. XIII's battle system always had potential and XIII-2 extends that system in fantastic and engaging ways. The story is very charming with emotional stakes attached and the two leads are adorbs with good chemistry. It's not just a good time travel story, XIII-2 is one of the better time travel games I've played.

46. PT
Kojima made a game that went on to be the most influential horror game of the decade when it was nothing but a playable teaser for a cancelled game that Konami removed the demo for after only 7 months of availability. Props.

45. Yakuza 0
Yakuza 0 didn't need to have a story as good as it did, but I'm glad it did. Yakuza is a fantastic red-light district simulator, but what makes 0 so special is the emotional weight behind the story it's telling. There's actual issues addressed in the story that lets me know that Yakuza is a series that cares about people. I love the idea of a dark setting filled with heartwarming moments and that sense of optimism in a corrupted world is what makes Yakuza so likable as a series to me. Kiryu is one of the best stoic bois in all of videogames and 0 also works as a great period piece.

44. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
A strong contender for best Kingdom Hearts. All of the series' strengths are shown here with a cohesion and bite that none of the other games have. It's selection of Disney worlds are thematically connected in a way none of the other KH games are, it leans the hardest into the series' surreal aspect, it's combat is robust and the difficulty is great, and it focuses on the most developed relationship in Kingdom Hearts. Honestly, Kingdom Hearts 3 Part 1 is actually a better game than Kingdom Hearts 3 Part 2.

43. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
The roughest of the XIII games with some of the worst writing, but all that is offset by the inventive time-pressure set-up that I don't think has been tried by a AAA studio since Majora's Mask. This time-sensitive type of play where every move matters while fitting in moments of waiting and free-time where you’re just taking in the world is one I relish and cherish. LR's writing might be subpar but the thematic cohesion in its side-quests and over-arching narrative was so strong it elevates the material. The free-form gameplay mixed with the intriguing world give it a personalized experience the other XIII games do not give resulting in one of the best role-play action-adventure games I've played. It leans hard into the humanist elements the series is known for and it's as grand as a fantasy epic about a Messiah living through the end of the world can be making it my favorite Final Fantasy next to XII. It also helps it features my favorite combat system in a JRPG. Designing a game around Fashion Model Jesus is inspired.

42. Bioshock 2
The original Bioshock took the skeletal framework of System Shock 2 but gave it none of the meat. It takes the design language of a survival game and makes it a power fantasy instead. The dissonance and annoyance I have at the borderline self-plagiarism has made me sour on the first Bioshock, but Bioshock 2 fixes this. It not only compliments the action-oriented gameplay by putting the players in the body of a Big Daddy, but it also greatly improves the level design and action-RPG elements. I also love it for being a game with actual positions and subject focuses that peaked my intellectual curiosity. It's also one of the more thoughtful implementations of a moral choice system I've seen in a game. Instead of ending the game with a cutscene reflecting your choices, your choices are replicated by the one who looks up to you most. Your Little Sister. Minerva's Den is also one of the best pieces of DLC I've played, with game design and mad-science levels of weird that defines the early Shock series more than the Bioshock games ever managed. It's a terrific side-story, and honestly a better Shock game than Bioshock 2, as well providing some narrative closure on Rapture.

41. Witcher 3
I really enjoyed my time with Witcher 3, but I didn't fall in love with it. Still, it has to be recognized for setting the gold-standard for AAA open-world games. DLC is excellent and getting the tragic ending gave the adventure a final note that actually made me care about Geralt for a moment. There are other open-world games I'm more fond of, but all credit where credit is due. It's genuinely as good as it is.

40. Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Deserves its reputation as THE horror game of the 2010s. Frictional was already exploring their style with Penumbra, but Amnesia was a far more exciting roller coaster and execution of its craft. It's also great that this tight presentation of horror game design was complimented with an above average story regarding ethics and identity.

39. Dark Souls 3
Dark Souls 3 is special to me because the whole of the thematic narrative of Dark Souls is special to me. I love the polish and completeness of 3 compared to the rest of the series, but what I really adored was the thematic linchpin it wanted to end the series with. As someone who's watched family suffer from degenerative mental illness I've been haunted by the question of what life is and when it's best to end it and that drove my love of Dark Souls' mythology of fatalism. Dark Souls landed its finale as pristinely as it could.

38. The Terrible Whiteness of Appalachian Nights
A short and terrible look at a broken family unit. 10 minutes long, but extraordinarily powerful in what it conveys in those short minutes. 18+ warning.

37. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
The first Danganronpa is a game I think was succeeded in every way by its sequels, but the original game that started the series is still a fantastic and impactful title in its own right. As someone whose high school experience was less than nice where trust issues got beaten into me, this is a game I wish I had with me earlier in life, and that's not something I can say about many games.

36. AI: The Somnium Files
Stylistically inspired, gorgeous and totally on My Brand of bullshit comedy, AI is one of the most likable games I've ever played with a straightforward sci-fi mystery offset by it's wonderful characters and the interpersonal relationships they weave. The theme of family was what I took away most from AI and it's a beautiful story of finding family in dysfunctional ways, but it also deals in some existential examinations of identity that I admire from this type of science fiction.

35. Hollow Knight
Pretty basic in terms of what it mechanically put forward, but it perfects its genre in a way I immediately appreciated. I adore it's aesthetic and it takes its Souls inspiration from my favorite place. The obtuse but empathetic worldbuilding. True End landed for me as hard as it did because I CARED about this cute and tragic little bug kingdom.
   
34. Bloodborne
Bloodborne is an aesthetic in-and-of itself. It was such an inspired stylish retooling of a patented formula that the unique gothic, cosmic horror experience of Bloodborne is elevated almost entirely by its aesthetics. It reframes its combat around the thematic idea of not being afraid of things you should really be scared of which is part of Bloodborne's great subversion of Lovecraft. Lovecraft's depiction of eldritch aliens seemed defined by their incapacity for empathy, but Miyazaki's twists that into a more compelling and sympathetic narrative. It's also one of the only good action-horror games that manages great combat with actual dread and fear. It's Miyazaki's favorite and probably for good reason. It might be his most unique creation.

33. Devil May Cry 5
It was really really good and told me I wasn't silly for thinking Devil May Cry 3 had a good story. It's the best one-up I've seen a AAA series accomplish and it gets double points from me for being the most goth punk and horny entry in the franchise.

32. Anatomy
One of the best and most inventive horror games of the last decade and one of the best ghost stories in the medium.

31. SOMA
Frictional's masterpiece. Its moment-to-moment gameplay is not as thought-out and clever as Amnesia, but the sci-fi horror story it has to tell is built on existentially dreadful questions that give it a narrative weight that off-set all of that for me. As someone who fears neurodegenerative illness from family history, SOMA is a hard-hitting examination of what it means to preserve life that I deeply appreciated. The addition of Safe Mode was also appreciated and it had at least one encounter that was incredibly inspired by its redesign.

30. Tamashii
Tamashii is a short puzzle platformer than leans hard into glitch horror and sacrilegious Christian and Gigeresque imagery, intentionally going for the feel like you’ve found a cursed game on the internet filled with inscrutable secrets. It is gleeful in its toying of the player, but beyond the surface level edginess hides thoughtful theming about how a fixed and rigid world view affects our perception. It is a work of inspired sacrilege and cursed erratic software.
   
29. LUCAH: Born of a Dream
An angst driven survival-horror action game with an inspired timer gimmick, LUCAH takes after the obtuseness of Silent Hill and Lynch and weaves a story of trauma and healing in the brutal path of religious salvation. The greatest thing I can say about LUCAH is that it's a game most people wish they could make. Can you imagine how many people WISH they were skilled enough to make Kingdom Hearts meets Silent Hill?
   
28. Zeroranger
I'm always reminded of DBZ when playing shmups, especially Touhou, and Zeroranger is terrific execution of close-quarters melee combat mixed with high-octane beam battles that gave me the greatest realization of that idea. The final boss is one of my favorite final bosses ever and learning how to fight it almost entirely in melee mode was one of the most satisfying times I've had with an action game. It also implores a special meta-element I've seen from only two games, but I never saw it executed as a MANDATORY requirement for True End. It's the most inventive shmup I've played.
   
27. The Last Guardian
The way people talk about Ico and Shadow of the Colossus is how I feel about The Last Guardian. I respect and appreciate those games, but they never gripped me emotionally like so many other people. This was the one that had me emotionally pinned against a wall. It's also a game I caught myself calling a film in my head. I've played many cinematic "film-like" games, but The Last Guardian more than any other captured the passive feeling of watching a film. While watching a film all you have to do is exist in the moment. The only reason it completely makes me forget I'm playing a game is that, personally, enjoying an animal's company is something that puts me in-the-moment more than most things. For this and the interesting subtext in the narrative, I really felt like I had played a masterpiece after finishing it.
   
26. Ghost Trick
Charming as heck and it's good reputation is more than deserved. I thought the whole experience was lovely and its lo-fi 3D aesthetic inspired, but that last third of the game left me floored and it was one of the few games to make me waterworks cry.

25. Journey
After I finished my only playthrough of Journey I spent some time online looking up stuff about it and one of the things I found out is that it became customary for players to send messages to their companions after finishing the game. I turned on my PS3 and yep, there was a message. A message from Japan. It was written in semi-broken English saying how much the experience meant to them while saying sorry for their broken English. This wonderful game where I communicated with a person through pinging noises let me have an extraordinary journey with someone who couldn't even speak my language. That transcended feeling from game and life experiences colliding has stuck with me for years. Journey's execution is phenomenal.
   
24. Prey
My personal pick for AAA Game of the Decade for taking the design ambition of System Shock 1 and giving it the big-budget treatment. Prey's accomplishment as a Shock title earns it my love as one of the best made for its great distilling of the immersive sim concept, sci-fi storytelling around ethical and existential themes, and bringing the design of Shock games back to a survival game approach. It's an extremely smart streamlining of the more complex features of Shock titles and probably the most intelligent Shock game ever made because of it.

23. A.L.T.
Being a sneaky little cheat by including a Doom 2 WAD, but this truly was one of the most unique and creative experiences I've had in the last decade. The attitude toward design decisions on display make it only something that could be found outside a commercial space. It features the most interesting level design in any FPS I've played and the abstract narrative exists as an interesting subversion of Doom. Doom is a game meant for power fantasy, A.L.T. does everything to take that security away from you. It leans into the surreal horror element that Doom's lo-fi aesthetic made possible and the lack of narrative reason for The Dead's existence give a sense of dread that can only come from the unknown. The polar opposite sensations Doom and A.L.T. seek out of the player are made more interesting and clear when knowing the history and context of their country of origin. A.L.T. is something that could only be found and made on the internet. It's my favorite First-Person Shooter.

22. Oikospiel, Book I
A surrealist dog opera about game devs spending 100 years struggling with the development of a single videogame while enduring poor work conditions under their employer, Donkey Koch, and the effects of catastrophic climate disaster. And all the game devs are animals and it shamelessly rips assets from Ocarina of Time. It's one of the wildest, boldest projects I've seen from the medium and I've never played a game that captured the disjointed experience and perspective of a dream more than this one.

21. Future Unfolding
One of the most unique exploration games I've ever played, Future Unfolding is a surreal top down procedurally generated exploration/puzzle game interspersed with philosophical musing about our place among nature. It's a must play if "psychedelic surreal logic puzzle-solving exploration" sounds neat to you. It's one of the best games about the wilderness I've played.

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#53 2020-05-09 20:43:15

Beepner
Phil Collins Appreciator
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 63

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

Had to edit my list to include 7th Dragon III Code: VFD. D'oh.


Twitter: Beepner | Switch: SW-2320-6114-8445 | Pokémon GO: 5128 3209 0512

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#54 2020-05-09 22:40:29

Atamine634
Member
Registered: 2020-05-08
Posts: 4

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

20. Dark Souls
It might be undercooked compared to its successors, Souls 1 still resonates the most for me because of the unique sense of 'journey' that came from the first Dark Souls being the only one brave enough to limit fast-travel until the mid-point of the game. This brutal relationship made with the bulk of Lordran at the start of your adventure is some of the fondest gaming memories of the last decade for a lot of people and it's certainly true for me. The lore drew me in for its compelling mythology around tragic, fatalistic thematics and while trying to piece together the puzzle that is Dark Souls' lore is fun, Dark Souls' greatest accomplishment with its implementation of lore is its empathetic worldbuilding. Sorrow and sympathy are meant to be the feelings you take away from Dark Souls and FromSoft has done good keeping that compelling edge to its games, but the first Dark Souls gave me a sense of adventure and wonder that none of its successors have.
   
19. Miasmata
As someone who enjoys exploration, wilderness, and the monumental efforts of indie devs, Miasmata was one of my favorite games to come out last decade. Miasmata is a pure exploration-driven survival-adventure game set on a small island in search of a cure for your illness where the minimalist design choices improve the immersive quality of the experience. You must nap, hydrate, collect plants and create medicine to survive your journey. There is *one* creature that hunts you and it is one of my favorite monsters in the interactive medium. The developers studied their cat to simulate and program a AI that stalks like a real predator and it leads to moments that turn a serene exploration game into survival horror in a heartbeat. If you know what it's like to jump and force yourself around terrain in games like Skyrim or Fallout, Miasmata is a game whose mechanical identity is based on that sense of pushing against your surroundings. Miasmata is one of the greatest hiking simulators ever made with a momentum system that requires body awareness and careful footing so you don't trip and fall and the unique cartography system requires you to fill out the map yourself with the use of markers and triangulation. Miasmata captures the beauty of nature extraordinarily well for a game made with an in-house engine built from scratch. Miasmata is made by 2 people, but it sure doesn't feel like it and I can't imagine the effort it took to create the density of detail and level design of the island. Miasmata is one of the greatest triumphs I've seen from a small development team with a story that's minimal and incidental to not interrupt the core gameplay experience, but surprisingly prescient.

18. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
"Grounded" is probably a confusing word to explain why SDR2's cast and narrative felt more relatable and impactful than the first game for me, but Danganronpa is always about exaggeration. Compared to D1's cast, 2's Ultimates feel less like elites and more like regular kids who just happen to be REALLY good at something. The continued examination of self-confidence is focused around a more compelling "nobody" protagonist and a foil whose role and archetype are something I wonder why I haven't seen more of in fiction. The first Danganronpa is a great game with a message I deeply appreciated, but Danganronpa 2 gave the message of Hope vs Despair the weight that I needed for it to really affect me. Danganronpa 1 was a story I wish I had in high school, Danganronpa 2 was a story that made me want to live.

17. NieR: Automata
I didn't know what to make of Automata when I saw Ending E. It took me over a week to come around and see it as the fantastic game that it is. The series of events in Automata feel so disjointed and pieced together that it's disorienting to follow the 'story,' but Automata succeeds as, for lack of a better word, an existential collage piece. The ruthless gameplay actually matched harder with its narrative thematics than the original NieR with the implication violence is pleasure for the androids. I understand the perspective that games about why violence is bad shouldn't feel good to play, but I don't think an honest exploration of violence can be made without confronting the fact it can be a source of pleasure and satisfaction. It's an action title that became a horror game during the course of my playthrough. It’s the kind of thoughtful, off-kilter experience I wish I saw more of from AAA games so let's all thank Yoko Taro for being That Guy.

16. Rain World
Rain World made me appreciate Super Metroid's uniqueness among its genre for its secret mechanics that could sequence break the game, because Rain World is a metroidvania made up entirely out of the hidden mechanics you discover while playing. Rain World's handholding is bare minimal and there's no real power-ups, but it features an impressive array of mechanics that let you interact with its world which feels more like a simulation than a designed series of obstacles. The interactivity with the world is so good I would say Rain World deserves to be called the immersive sim of 2D metroidvanias, but that would undersell how masterful its fusion of thematics and mechanics is. It's design ethos is to replicate the feeling of being an animal caught in an inhospitable environment, trying your damnedest to survival in a space you don't understand. Rain World is frustratingly unfair in its design, but the hidden Buddhist subtext gives its lore and mechanics a context that formed a cohesion that I would call the best, most unique 2D metroidvania ever made.

15. Outer Wilds
Majora's Mask meets No Man's Sky. A solar-system puzzle box that explodes every 21 minutes. The mix of exploration and puzzle-solving is marvelous and the execution of its inventive concept was phenomenal. Outer Wilds is a special game for those who love the exploration genre.

14. Minecraft
I'd be lying to my soul if I said I didn't believe Minecraft was one of the best games of the 2010s. Minecraft sparks that part in my brain that likes to play pretend more than any videogame I've played and the weight of how special that is to me is heavy. I've had some of the most childlike enjoyment from the last decade in Minecraft and the lonely worlds I inhabited. The range of possible playstyles and moods that Minecraft's systems allow for make it one of the most expressive games ever made.

13. Even The Ocean
I'm a narratively focused gamer so 2D platformers have never been my thing so finding a platformer with inspired worldbuilding and emotional hooks felt special, but was even more special was the weight of the story it was trying to tell. The clever light and dark mechanic that allows you to adjust your vertical and horizontal jumping capacities mix great with the puzzle platforming, but what makes Even The Ocean truly prescient is that it wants to leave a bold warning to humanity that our world desperately needs to hear.

12. Fallout: New Vegas
As a fan of Triumphs of Jank and Ingenuity, I thought New Vegas was one of the most spectacular games made in the last decade and ended up being not just one of my favorite RPGs and immersive sims, but a big part of my political journey. It's one of the best role-playing games out there because its flexibility among a complex political skirmish allows for a more thoughtful reflection of self and political identity than a typical RPG would. It has the greatest grasp of compelling interconnected side-quests in an open-world game I've seen that are not only narratively compelling but highlights the functionality of New Vegas' infrastructure. New Vegas is an impressively realized setting where the freedom to progress leads to truly unique and memorable experiences. It's also the first game I played completely modded and funnily enough that played a big thematic role in my journey. My mods would occasionally break leaving me with something unplayable until I figured it out, feeling the greatest rush of accomplishment when I fixed the issue. Being a mechanic for my own game actually drove home the thematics and tone of Fallout. By the end, I felt like I had the most completely personalized journey I've gotten from a role-playing game and through that journey my acceptance of the possibilities made by collectivist ideals bloomed.

11. Facets
John's grimdark masterpiece is at once one of the most tightly designed games I've played from the last decade and also one of the best games to examine what it means to kill. Killing a person's mind piece by piece is an unnerving experience that drives home the weight of what you're killing while also diving into distressing existential horror about the nature of identity and self. What I love most about Facets is how restrained it is regarding the darkness of its subject matter. This could have been so much crueler, drawn out, and exploitative, but Facets is about doing a job. It is simple and direct with the kind of human evil it's examining and it doesn't need to hammer in how dark the situation is, because simmering in it can be more powerful than shoving it in your face. It's one of the most On-Point experiences I've had with a game.

10. All Our Asias
All Our Asias is a haunting trip framed as the story of a son entering his dying father’s dream world carrying a narratively challenging story examining the fragility of familial bonds and race, the difficulty of immigration and business, the challenge of political activism and implementation of utopian collectivist ideals, and the life changing effect of loss and grief, all centered around our protagonist’s quest for identity. All Our Asias deconstructs things many find comfort in, but it doesn’t provide comfort in any of them, making it one of the bravest games I’ve played for forcing this self-reflection on the player.

9. Anodyne 2: Return to Dust
An emotionally intelligent coming-of-age story about existing in a hostile world, my favorite Zelda-like found a unique identify for itself while succeeding the games it takes inspiration from. Anodyne 2 is an existential road trip made up of emotionally raw vignettes with a density of narrative themes ranging from personal to societal with a boldness of subject matter that elevates the experience above almost every story told in the medium. It's a triumph of small indie development and lands every emotional beat it wants while keeping the gameplay varied and complex the farther you go in.

8. Everything is going to be Ok
A surreal, glitched-out interactive zine filled with pages of life affirmations and dark humor. I remember the first time I saw it. I was at IndieCade 2017 and I was walking by as someone was playing a bit where a rabbit gets impaled on a tentacle and you have to give it encouragement to hang on. I had to do a double-take. The glitch-hell aesthetic is strikingly bizarre in the best ways and compliments the intensity of the game and its subject matter. Anxiety and trauma is baked into the core of EigtbO and it wants to create a space that acknowledges those anxieties, but offsets them with absurdity, humor, and earnestness. It's a game meant for healing, for its creator as well as its players. Its nihilistic humor won't be for everyone, but good lord was it an odd place of comfort for me. Special mention to Page 10 where a small worm wanting to get back into the dating scene is given anxiety-inducing advice from friends and every response from the worm is spoken in screams of pain. Few things in a videogame have fucked me up to the point of uncontrollable laughter.

7. Problem Attic
Problem Attic remains the most powerful use of very little I've ever seen in the medium. It's one of the most troubling, anxiety-inducing experiences I've had with a game, but the sense of catharsis Problem Attic leads you too was one of the most impactful moments I've had with a game last decade. Story time: First time I played Problem Attic I played through an hour until I got stuck on a particularly hard puzzle with some of the most dread inducing music I've ever heard in a game. I was impressed, but was so emotionally intimidated that I decided not to come back to it until "the right time." A few months later I start deteriorating mentally and emotionally and on one particularly bad mental health day I got the bright idea to return to Problem Attic because fuck it, if I'm feeling this anxious I guess there's no point putting off Problem Attic if that's just gonna be my mood for the night. And I experienced something I never had before. This intense and antagonistic game eased my troubled mind in a way I still think about. Perhaps it was a mental anxiety conduit that made me forget my own anxieties by being overwhelmed by the game's anxiety. For one, this is an endorsement of the capacity of abstract art to allow a person to bring their own experiences to the work, but also how emotionally powerful a work of abstraction can be.

6. NieR
While Automata was defined by its dark comedic irreverence that asked "what is human" while tonally and thematically detached from its own humanity, NieR is defined by the humanity found in its characters and their struggles. Automata is about questions, but NieR is about a person. A particular type of person. A person just like any you could know. Cares about their family, strong sense of community and altruism, but buried deep within an acceptance and willingness to use violence without thought when it comes to protecting His Own from The Other. The kind of person I've been uncomfortably surrounded by my entire life. Yoko Taro's desire to comment on the global zeitgeist installed by 9/11 resulted in what I would call one of the greatest tragedies ever written. It's about someone who will live the rest of his life in comfort knowing he protected his own, in ignorance of the destruction he caused. NieR is overwhelmingly bleak, but the final note it wanted to go out on with Ending D left me in tears by its beauty. I knew EXACTLY what I was supposed to feel because the game felt so grounded and human. Even beyond the narrative, NieR is actually an interesting experiment in game design that proves how limitations can lead to creative breakthroughs. Automata may be better in a mechanically thematic way, but NieR's ambition and execution make me look at it as the more important title.
   
5. Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
Danganronpa is about breaking you down and building you up, but V3 does something most stories don't. It's a game that wants to not just inspire us, but radicalize us to change. Its social commentary is the heaviest the series has been and of course THIS was the one where they'd tackle religion and the psychological safety net it is. My love for V3 is gushing and I adore every facet of it for hitting me so personally. Danganronpa V3 is the kindest thing a multimedia franchise entity has ever done for its fanbase. A Pop Art Masterpiece.

4. Devotion
As a person who's spent an embarrassing number of hours on Silent Hill forums trying to solve the small minutiae of every mystery it left me, Devotion is the most intelligent psychological horror game of all time. Devotion is horror as social commentary on universal themes that affect broken family units across cultures while taking the style set by PT and complimenting it with a narrative that would make Team Silent proud. It’s the realization of what PT promised and it lands the hardest catharsis I've ever experienced in a horror game. Devotion is the best horror game ever made and Red Candle Games deserves all our attention as the new reigning champs of the interactive horror scene.

3. The House in Fata Morgana
Emotionally grueling and thematically dense, the wealth of subject matter explored in The House of Fata Morgana is more than I ever could have expected from a visual novel, and much more than almost every game I've ever played. What I entered for a compelling story was an extraordinary commentary on the human condition. It's an intense tale of vulnerability, abuse, trauma, betrayal and discrimination mixed with an examination of class, religion, and gender relations. The theming around Christianity was more than just window dressing and the message it wanted to send and HOW it did it left me awestruck. I'm drawn to dark and bleak media because there's sometimes a therapeutic element to finding a work of art that shares your anxiety, but The House in Fata Morgana is so psychologically dark I cannot recommend it to someone in a bad mental state, and I'm saying this from experience. Beyond this deep pit of misery hid the greatest love story that’s ever fucked me up and a strange sense of reaffirmation as a person.

2. Undertale
Undertale is a multi-faceted game meant to be seen from different angles and perspectives and something that can mean different things to different people. I hadn't experienced anything like Undertale when I first played it and fell in love with its humor, characters, charm, and thematically precise game mechanics, but tear away its smiling façade and what you have is a game about suicidal children who are at risk for sociopathy. I believe Undertale is a hopeful and optimistic game that wants you to follow the pacifist route, but Undertale is made with the cynical expectation that this sentimentality will erode and the player will follow the Path of Flowey. There's a nihilism and doubt at the core of Undertale that's impossible to overlook that's brims out when you experience the Genocide route, the one part of the game that felt Yume Nikki-ish in its isolation and unnerving, distorted musical score. Undertale's use of discomfort is one of its greatest strengths, but the Genocide route is particularly special and not an experience you can get by just watching a Let's Play. Undertale's mechanical identity communicates the importance of communication and connection, but it also has the dark flipside of allowing you to cause more hurt with that knowledge. There's this idea I keep seeing that Undertale is about unconditional love in the face of all adversity, but I don't believe that's true. The Genocide route is the counterargument to this that balances out the game's sincere hopefulness by making the monster who can't be reasoned with you. The horror of Undertale's Genocide route is that it's made with the idea that once a person has been stripped of all capacities for joy and satisfaction they'll do whatever it takes to find it elsewhere. Undertale is made with the assumption that it will be abused. Undertale wants to love you, but it will crush your nuts if you push it too far. Undertale's message is at once about the importance of communication and communal love just as much as it's about the existential threat of going numb. It's one of the best RPGs ever made because Undertale is about exploring what a person is capable of, from all the good intentions in the world to perfectly imaginable cruelty. Undertale took its RPG variable, killing people, and took it as far as it could to a place of self-reflection. I only find it more impressive and impactful that its exploration of empathy, killing, and the power dynamics involved in violence revolves around the psychology of children. One of the most apt descriptions I've heard of Undertale is that it's not a happy game, it's a sad game filled with happy people who just want life to work out. Few works of fiction have gotten under my skin and touched my soul than Undertale.

1. Pathologic 2
Pathologic 2's Haruspex route was everything I could hope to find from the interactive medium. It's the most thoughtful use of meta-elements I've seen from the medium, owning the "toy-box filled with puppets" feel of so many games like it and using it to its narrative advantage. It's a game that inspires self-care in its mechanics, responsibility in its freeform structure, resilience in its difficulty, and intellectual curiosity in its multi-layered themes. It's a game examining nature, society, and the contradictions within them. It's the most powerful use of time-pressure mechanics and the most inspired narrative implementation of role-playing I've ever seen in a game. It's a story about what it takes to keep a society together that uses the open-world side-quest format to highlight that struggle. It was the most intellectually stimulating experience I've ever had with a game. I needed the complete story so bad that I played the original to get the full context, allowing me to appreciate how much more emotionally driven Pathologic 2 is. I believe it might be the greatest game ever made for engaging the player so thoroughly. To get a little personal, I've never been diagnosed with autism but I've reflected enough to believe I may have a mild form of it and this came right after learning one of the children the Haruspex adopts is autistic and finding her strangely relatable. After hearing a person with autism articulate how the Haruspex could be on the spectrum my mind rushed with thoughts not just about why I related to Artemy's disposition and people's attitude towards him, but also the overarching thematic narrative of Pathologic. What I love the most about Pathologic 2's Haruspex path is that it's a story about trying to understand a world made up of contradictions from nature, existentialism, and society. As a person who's spent much of their life thinking about these things because of my own difficulties connecting with other people, the story of a man reconnecting with the heritage he was alienated by to adopt the tribal wisdom of his people and repair the broken connections of society is the most impactful work of fiction to actually improve my life. Materially, existentially, and spiritually. I've never felt such comfort from a game meant to be troubling. It's an anxiety-driven game that soothed my soul.
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PHEW, that was some effort!

I gotta say, it's an honor contributing to the site like this. Y'all have influenced so much of my gaming tastes since discovering the site in late 2011 that I'm thankful to be a part of this <3

Last edited by Atamine634 (2020-05-09 22:46:26)

Offline

#55 2020-05-09 23:13:38

Rhete
Administrator
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 61

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

Geez y'all been busy since I posted my 50-26 earlier today lol.  Great lists everyone, god damn this list is going to be HUGE

Anyways here's my final part, I'm not too happy with some of these blurbs but I wanted to have something out there as a start.  I can cheat and elaborate on mine later anyways~

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#25 - XCOM 2
I really liked the first modern XCOM, but this sequel just improved on it in every single way for me.  I played through the campaign twice, once vanilla, and then once with a suite of mods to smooth out some of the rough edges, but also add in things like harder enemies and more maps, to keep things feeling fresh.  Oh and there are also mods to add in Neptunia character heads and voices, which makes everything extremely hilarious.  Look out, Plutia's got a grenade launcher!

#24 - The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC
One of the greatest adventures ever.  The first chapter spent an entire game introducing you to it's characters and world, so when shit hits the fan and things become perilous, the game KNOWS you care by this point. 

#23 - Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
How many times can a game break your heart?  Play Danganronpa V3 to find out!  This game has the most absolutely crazy ending in anything ever and I LOVED it.

#22 - Astro Bot Rescue Mission
This game left me smiling ear to ear the entire time I played it.  The way VR brings you in and makes you apart of the world is absolutely amazing, making this my favorite VR game to date. 

#21 - Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
The Metal Gear Solid 2 of the Danganronpa franchise.  A game that assumes you've played the first one (which you should have!) and then perfectly fucks with your expectations start to finish.

#20 - Rocket League
Yeah sex is great but have you gotten a goal in Rocket League.

#19 - Phantasy Star Online 2
The original Phantasy Star Online is my favorite game of all time, so expectations for a sequel were through the roof.  Then Phantasy Star Universe happened and was bad, so expectations were significantly lowered.  PSO2 doesn't have a ton in common with the original, but it makes smart choices that were needed to keep the game relevant it today's times.  I played an ungodly amount of the game and somehow the combat never got boring.  The story mode, at least the first three episodes, were really good as well.  This game is a great time when played with great friends.

#18 - Megadimension Neptunia VII
Megadimension has highest highs of the Neptunia franchise, that it may sadly never hit again.  The story of Uzume is incredibly touching, and the main cast is on point as always, joined by some great new characters like the gentleman fish Umio.  Rarely do I think playing through a game twice is worth it, but the way Megadimension does so with how its normal ending plays out, it made me immediately speed through the game again to get that true ending and seize victory.

#17 - Monday Night Combat
I did not expect to like, let alone love this game when it was gifted to me around launch.  Monday Night Combat was a mix of online shooters like Team Fortress 2, and tower defense like DOTA.  Two tastes I hate, together!  AND YET, I got completely hooked with this game, learning most of the classes, and at times being good enough to lead a lane push strong enough to take out the enemy team just a few minutes into a match.  Another favorite moment is using the stealth class to immediately hide inside the enemy teams bot dispenser (lane creeps) and just killing them all from behind.  A few minutes later, the enemy realize they have nothing guarding their lanes, and by then it's too late and they're overrun.  Great game, shame about the sequel.

#16 - The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd
There's really nothing else I can say about this game that hasn't been said either right above this blurb, or on the many many times this game has come up on the Sockscast podcast.  Either way I'll just say that this game made me love JRPGs again.  Having to say farewell to this cast of characters was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

#15 - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Easily the most fleshed out and completely realized, "feels like a real place" game world I've ever seen.  The side quests in this game are better written than most other games, they are consistently great and nothing is filler.  Throw in two huge expansions, and you've got an insane amount of game here.  I originally told myself I would pace myself with this game, but then I got completely absorbed into it for several months, never once wanting to stop.

#14 - Bloodborne
Easily my favorite of FromSoftware's games post the original Dark Souls.  Bloodborne pushes many players out of their comfort zone by speeding things up and dropping shields, allowing for a much better balanced and speedier combat than the Souls games.  The bosses in this game are all great, and the game oozes atmosphere due to them really playing up the horror elements that had not always been at the forefront of Souls.  I got so stupidly into this game that I played through it five times and did the chalice dungeons twice.  It's the good shit.

#13 - Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3 V Generation
Probably the funniest game I've ever played.  The game feels like the best realization of the whole "video game consoles as anime girls" concept as they travel back to an alternate 1980s to really see the console wars from the start.  The characters dunk on and tease each other other for a good 30 hours straight, but deep down you know they're the best of friends.  As cheesy as it is, this game made me think about my own friend circle differently, and appreciate them more.

#12 - Yakuza 0
I'd already played Yakuza 4 and 5 when I got to this one, so I knew what to expect but was still completely blown away by how much I liked this game.  The storyline is fantastic and it made me really care about both Kiryu and Majima.  The combat feels better than ever with 3 different styles for each character you play as, and the way money flies out of enemies as you defeat them is hilarious.  The final hours of this game are some of the most exciting I've ever seen.

#11 - The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series
One of the finest and most heart-wrenching stories in games.  This game really puts you in the shoes of a man trying to do his best in an awful situation.  You're not choosing between good or bad options, but choosing between different shades of grey because there are no right answers here.

#10 - Pid
Just a great goddamn platformer.  The game seems simple at first, and just goes all out with inventive ideas and variety as you travel all over the planet and then eventually to the moon.  Pid is a journey, and one that I went through twice thanks to them also including a ridiculously challenging hard mode.

#09 - Wandersong
A game about positivity and optimism defeating negativity and cynicism.  The cast of characters you meet in this journey is delightful, and Miriam may be the realest character I've ever seen.  The message of this game is simple but really wholesome: When given a choice, choose to put something positive out into the world.

#08 - Spelunky
Spelunky isn't a game where you learn the levels, but rather the rules of the game itself.  It's a strict teacher, as each mistake has a chance of being fatal with how a chain reaction can cause a situation to spiral out of control in seconds.  Getting good at Spelunky is incredibly rewarding, as you get more and more consistent at it, and can see that nothing is ever out of your control.  Getting all the way to Hell and defeating the true final boss was one of the most exciting things I did in a game this generation.

#07 - Fez
A mysterious world that begs you to explore it and uncover its secrets.  No game has even captured the feeling of mystery quite like Fez did for me.  Having a notebook full of symbols and drawings from the game, and discussing things with friends on the forum was one of the coolest moments of this generation.  Fez managed to recapture the magic of hearing rumors about a game on the school playground, which in a way makes it the best NES era tribute of all.

#06 - The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
The best roguelike ever.  An infinitely changing and evolving dungeon that never gets boring after hundreds... hell thousands of runs later.  What always stood out to me most about Isaac were the "tears" that you fire as your main weapon.  There are loads of items that modify how they work, that will then stack on top of each other, making every run feel unique as your main weapon ends up different every time.

#05 - Celeste
Platforming perfection.  When this game came out to massive acclaim I brushed it off thinking there was no way it could be as good as people said.  Turns out it's even better.  Celeste is the perfect game where the story and gameplay work together to enhance each other.  The struggles Madeline faces climbing up the mountain mirror the difficulty of the gameplay, and the whole thing is tied together by one of the greatest soundtracks ever.

#04 - Hollow Knight
Hollow Knight took a genre that has been under utilized for decades and finally fulfilled its potential.  Instead of just following an intended path of required items, Hollow Knight offers a world that is truly open and ready to be explored at your own pace.  It's a game that learned the right lessons from Dark Souls, making exploring incredibly rewarding and fun.  To get the true ending you'll have to explore nearly every corner of this absolutely massive world, every inch of it fantastic.

#03 - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
I've never had as much fun exploring a world as I did with Breath of the Wild. 

#02 - Dark Souls
The mood and atmosphere of this game is unmatched.  It's a world that does not revolve around you the player, and you have to fight tooth and nail for every inch of progress.  The lack of fast travel in the first half makes you think a lot about how you progress though the world, and the ascent to Anor Londo is a great triumph for the player.  The back third of the game relies a lot more on gimmicks, but I thought things like the invisible platforms were a fun throwback to the "NES hard" games Dark Souls feels inspired by to begin with.  Cap it off with a great final boss and you've got one of the best games ever made.

#01 - Undertale
Undertale is a game I legitimately consider to be perfect.  I've never seen a story and world so immaculately constructed.  The cast of characters is fantastic, the soundtrack is genius, and the writing is incredibly good.  Undertale has a lot to say about the human condition, and the way we engage with violence, both fictional and real, that still sticks with me today.  There was a moment for me during the night I finished the normal AND pacifist endings, that I realized "oh, this is just my favorite thing ever now huh" and that feeling hasn't left me.

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#56 2020-05-09 23:25:08

John
Lightning Edgeboy
From: Chicago
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 140
Website

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

NUMBERS 80 TO 61

80. Fjords (2013)

The best teleport in videogames, goddamn. I had a blast exploring and mapping out this world, it's just a really cool space and you have such interesting tools for navigating it.

79. Gone Home (2013)

The history of queer non-violent story games did not begin with Gone Home... but it's still a very nice example of the tradition. It's a sweet intimate romance that lands just the way it needs to, and for a commercial studio release in 2013 it was a huge breath of fresh air.

78. Sabbat: Director's KVT (2013)

Unabashedly queer and angry, a visceral journey that wears its heart, identity, politics, and kinks on its sleeve.

77. Tiny Sorceress (2012)

Interactive slapstick comedy is one of those formal conceits that seems really demanding to pull off. Tiny Sorceress does it expertly, with minimal assets and animation and no sound, in under five minutes of play-time. Subtly, an inspiring masterpiece.

76. Kirby's Epic Yarn (2011, 2010)

It's just delightful!! I always think of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElP7wul9hFQ">Melody Town</a> first and foremost, but the game is full of really lovely levels and adorable interactions.

75. Mouth Sweet (2016)

Haunting deliberate political game with strong writing and a powerful formal language. Makes its point beautifully and dramatically, it's just a super-purposeful vision.

74. WitchSpring 3 (2017)

Proudly boasts "a story-based RPG with no additional in-app payments!" on its store page... it's a shame that's as novel on the app store as it is. The Atelier-inspired crafting was fun enough to hook me at the start, but ultimately the story and characters are what connected me to it, to the point where I was sobbing through its closing moments.

73. The Floor is Jelly (2014)

Super-cute gentle platformer. It's very fun to bounce around on the jelly.

72. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (2013)

That opening man... it's so goddamn cool. The rest of the game mostly maintains that energy, and it's further elevated by the story's furious politics.

71. Hard Corps: Uprising (2011)

This game absolutely blew me away in 2011. I'd never played an action game that went This Hard before. The climactic levels knocked me flat on my ass, and getting to experience it all with a friend through the online co-op made it that much more joyous.

70. Lonely Wolf Treat (2016)

This is the first game in the Treat series, and it's wild how many things it gets right right off the bat. The Treat series is one of my favorite serial stories in videogames, and this first chapter introduced me to its wonderful cast beautifully.

69. Promises (2012)

The decade belonged to Increpare more than any other games artist. He's not only endlessly prolific, but he enabled others to create countless works of art with Puzzlescript and Flickgame, two of my favorite game-making tools ever. And as much as I love some of his grander and more ambitious work, this tiny navigation puzzle with an evocative framing device is the game my brain jumps to first when I consider how important his work's been to me.

68. Clever Fox Moxie (2016)

The Treat games really start to mature with this game, I think this is when they ascend from being cute and nice to also being genuinely super-touching. It helps that Moxie's one of my favorite characters, and this one adds all sorts of nuance to her psychology.

67. Ruff and Ravi Defeat the Plutonian Vampires (2019)

Extremely cute and funny Chip's Challenge reinterpretation with hilarious hand-crafted cutscenes between levels.

66. Faux Amis (2018)

Wonderful puzzles and a really neat world structure, I love how the levels twist in and around on themselves. It even works in a nice little story! One of my favorite ZZT adventures.

65. Comforting Sounds (2016)

Gorgeous moving music video videogame. I love this "genre" to bits, and this is one of my favorite ones out there.

64. Dismal Anhedonia Land (2016)

It's Mario :)

63. The List (2019)

Oh my god the TEXTURE. The flavor of the game would be enough to make me love it on its own, but it's elevated further by the consistently funny writing and warm nice worldview. Pure joy from start to finish.

62. ALLTYNEX Second (2010)

ALLTYNEX Second feels like a victory lap. After spending nine years on their hour-long masterpiece shmup RefleX, Siter Skain released its action-packed twenty-minute follow-up just two years later. It's obviously not as ambitious narratively as RefleX, but it's even more dense with gorgeous inventive action set-pieces, and the sword/laser mechanics are a blast to play with.

61. Things That Aren't Real (2017)

I think this is the only game I've ever used to emotionally self-harm. That sounds harsh but it's not the game's fault. It just speaks to the tremendous power of its stories. It struck a nerve in a major way, but even though it hurt at the time I feel I'm better off for having wrestled with those feelings and grown from them.


"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

Offline

#57 2020-05-10 01:35:12

John
Lightning Edgeboy
From: Chicago
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 140
Website

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

NUMBERS 60 THROUGH 41

60. YOU ARE A WIZARD (2019)

Heather's games are just getting better and better over time for me, this is my favorite one yet. Funny and cohesive with a strong voice and vision, and I just love how it feels to exist in its dream.

59. Downwell (2015)

There were a lot of rogue-like-y action games released in the last decade. This is the one that grabbed my attention and kept me playing until I finally managed to win. The simple scenario and tight pacing helps it transcend the absence of hand-crafted level design, and every attempt feels kinetic and exciting and fair.

58. The Shadowland Prophecy (2012)

Never underestimate the power of a single Very Good Joke, pristinely executed. A good joke can wiggle its way into your brain and stay there forever, and make your life just a little bit brighter for doing so. The Shadowland Prophecy is my favorite McClure game, and it's a VERY good joke.

57. Queen's Wish: The Conqueror (2019)

My first Spiderweb Software RPG and it made a super-positive impression. It gave me everything I knew I wanted and a lot of things I didn't know I needed. The story is thoughtful and well-written, the fighting and resource management never stop being fun and strategic, and the climax is incredible. The haunting last lines of the story are still echoing in my head months later.

56. Dreaming Treat (2018)

A season finale of sorts for the Treat games, and one that touched me deeply. The catharsis of its climax is tremendous, which makes the darkness immediately after that much more heartbreaking.

55. Anodyne 2: Return to Dust (2019)

The overall story is really lovely and ambitious, but what's most endearing to me are its imaginative spaces and the gorgeous varied episodes that make up its casts' inner worlds. The gargoyle, the wrestling match, the not-quite-out-of-bounds space behind the beach, the Dragon Quest riff complete with baroque chiptunes; the game's constantly throwing new ideas and aesthetics at you that could easily work as individual complete games. I admire Anodyne 2 deeply for that generosity, and for its beating heart.

54. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (2014, 2010)

Danganronpa is an emotional reaction engine. The always-contrived setups are designed expertly to extract feelings out of you. You always know something awful is coming, but there's just enough sleight-of-hand to keep you in the dark on exactly what flavor the awful is going to be. And so it hits you like a train, over and over again.

The first Danganronpa is the shortest, simplest, most tightly-paced incarnation of the formula, and the purest distillation of its appeal.

53. Ys: Oath in Felghana (2012, 2005)

This was my very first Falcom game, years ago! I didn't stick with it at the time, so finally coming back and closing the book on it after playing through a bunch of other great Falcom games was cathartic. Oath's setting and story feels a bit simpler and more videogame-y than Ark of Napishtim's, but it might have the best and most refined action of any of the Ys games.

52. Room of 1000 Snakes (2013)

Esposito has obviously worked on a ton of notable games the last decade (including Bubsy3D, Sonic Dreams Collection, and Donut County) but this early one has stuck in my head for years... it's just a very very good joke.

51. VIDEOPULP: Super Carty's Dread (2019)

Searing and necessary political game. Pointed righteous spitting fury at nintendo and all the other corps with a stranglehold on our art and our culture.

50. Luminous Corridor 0 (2017)

Exciting brilliant arcade action cellular automata game from Loren Schmidt. One of my favorite score-attack games of the decade, I had a lot of fun learning its nuances and upping my high score.

49. Grassfires of Veldstar (2013)

Tense unrelenting war game. It's a very cute and well-communicated game vocabulary, but the framing makes it haunting.

48. REDDER (2010)

A very tasty puzzle-box with an eerie framing device. One of my favorite meta-texts about "exploration as colonization" in games.

47. Kero Blaster (2014)

What a fun little game! It's beautiful and feels great, the levels are short and non-repetitive, it's everything I want in a platformer. I know it disappointed some folks because it's obviously much less ambitious than Cave Story, but this game's only endeared itself more and more to me over time.

46. Romancing SaGa 2 (2016, 1993)

It's wild to think that as of 2019 every non-mobile SaGa game is officially available in English. Unlike RS3 this one wasn't even fan-translated, the iOS release was the first time the game was available in English in any form.

Thankfully it didn't disappoint. The Seven Heroes and your relationship with them is the strongest core story thread of any of the SaGa games, and it's carried me twice through a sprawling open-ended adventure across a dozen generations. Don't jump in if you don't know what you're getting into -- the first GameBoy SaGas are still a better entry point -- but this might be my favorite in the series.

45. We Know the Devil (2015)

A short, dense visual novel with four endings. Three are oppressive, real, inevitable. The fourth is sublime catharsis. We Know the Devil is the world as it is, and the world as it can be, if we’re willing to reach out for it.

44. Trails in the Sky FC (2011, 2004)

Trails in the Sky is one of my favorite stories, and this slow-burn first entry is a large part of its appeal to me. Other RPGs begin explosively and then fail to deliver on their promises. Trails starts quietly and then slowly builds your relationship with its cast and its setting. When the explosion finally happens it's all the more powerful because of the intimate build-up.

43. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (2014, 2012)

Nagito is my favorite Danganronpa character -- maybe most people's favorite. SDR2 could've been a standard unnecessary videogame sequel, but the crazed nightmare energy Nagito brings to the story elevates it into something more. The explosive finale capitalizes on that energy beautifully, subverting and upholding everything the first game stood for in equal measure.

42. All Our Asias (2018)

Melos's solo game isn't as warm and overtly cathartic as his collab work with Marina, but that's not necessarily a problem. It's just a different flavor, one I really agreed with personally. All Our Asias is subtle and meandering, a deliberate unsentimental exploration of identity that ends as quietly as it begins. It's also completely gorgeous -- the dream Chicago locations are some of my favorite spaces I've ever explored in a game.

41. Wandering Wolf Trick (2017)

My favorite of the Treat games. I feel very close to Trick, and of all the games this one feels most like a complete journey.


"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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#58 2020-05-10 16:26:17

jetstorm4
The JRPG Person
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 10
Website

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

Hello! It's me! Late to the party, here's 100-61!

100. Sonic Generations (PS3/360)
Honestly, Sonic Generations has gotten worse for me every year, but I cannot deny the fact that the game came out running early on in the 2010s and remains a loved game still. There are many things I still like about it! Levels are typically fantastic and the soundtrack is great, but I think the flow has always felt rough to me. Its best levels are infinitely replayable though, which is why it still makes the list.

99. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (WiiU/ Switch)
As time has gone on, I think of this game less and more towards the Rare platformers, but that does not mean this game is bad at all. It is a very well made platformer that succeeds in adding to the mechanics and gameplay style of Returns. I thought it was fun.

98. Mario Kart 8 (Wii U/ Switch)
Mario Kart just keeps getting out there and continues to be my favorite variety of Nintendo Party Game. Mario Kart 8 is a fantastic time with a group of friends either online or in the same room yelling at each other after you eek out a win from the other people over and over again. Wait was that just me who got that from everyone?

97. Kingdom Hearts III (PS4)
Now this was a fun time. As much as I enjoy Kingdom Hearts I'm not a huge fan of the series, I've not played them all. But Kingdom Hearts III was a fun, frantic, enjoyable Action-RPG with some really good setpieces (The Monsters Inc. world was fantastic). The story is its own brand of silliness that I would not change for anything.

96. Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)
A well-made, well controlling platformer that feels more like a Banjo-Kazooie than a Mario 64 sequel at times? Mostly with how level and collectibles work but this game is better than the Rare platformers. While not the grandiose experience Galaxy is or as good as 3D-World, it's a fun time all around still.

95. Octopath Traveler (Switch)
This game got (and still gets) a lot of love from a couple of groups I've noticed: One is everyone who loves the art style and wants other games to look like it (I'd prefer a little less bloom personally), The other is the RPG Maker community that seems to have taken many of this game's mechanics for projects of their own which is something I can appreciate! This game is very good! It has a couple of structure issues and could use some actual dungeons but when it's in the thick of things it's a very good RPG!

94. Trauma Team (Wii)
A later Wii game that's different from the other Trauma Center games for the multiple gameplay segments and the more down to earth (but still weird) story than the other games. A real fun time to work your way through in whatever order of story you wish.

93. Bravely Default: Where the Fairy Flies (3DS)
Probably Square-Enix's most important game for the 2010s and the moment I think they realized what many look for from them. While many don't like where this game goes gameplay-wise at the end, I like the twist this particular story takes, and appreciate some of the inconsistencies for the sake of tension and overall dread the game always felt to me it had from the beginning. I mean, if you can't see the subtitle's hint from the beginning...

92. Tomodachi Life (3DS)
This game is just loads of fun, a good time for just the wackiest things your collections of Miis to do is just a lot. Giving them oddly creepy voices with generated speech while watching them worship a Virtual Boy is just part of the weirdness this game has. The Song maker is worth the price of admission.

91. Bayonetta (PS3/360/Wii U/Switch)
The first game that put Platinum Games on my radar, while I enjoyed it the first time I played it on PS3, it was its other versions (that were much better than the PS3 version) that elevated the game for me later down the line. While not as 100% full force as its sequel, its moments hit hard when they decide to, making an incredibly fun time.

90. Final Fantasy XV (PS4)
While going to be known now as an unfinished experiment by Square-Enix, I think the base of this game is still a good, if flawed, time. The later part of the game is where it really is. Once the game becomes more linear, it feels stronger, if not rushed from time to time. Still a good road trip all around.

89. Mass Effect 2 (PS3/360)
This might be a bit of a surprise knowing my tastes but take my word for it, Mass Effect 2 is the only BioWare game I would ever recommend! The story isn't quite there but its settings, world, and style is very nicely done and the game itself is very solid and well built. Funny how they started with 2 and never made another...

88. Etrian Odyssey IV (3DS)
In my opinion, the best form and the culmination of why I think this series sticks out to a lot of people. This felt like the game that really got how this style of game, a Wizardry-esque setup, combines with the stylings of the modern JRPG.

87. Fire Emblem: Three Houses (Switch)
While I think the multiple second halves can lose some of the appeal of this game, the first half of the game is a very well paced game and gives you multiple things to manage as you raise your students to become vengeful war machines by the journey's end. The fantastic soundtrack gives this a wonderful feeling as the game goes on.


86. Legend of Legacy (3DS)
This is an odd one. Of the 3DS RPGs that came out, this is probably one of the most difficult of them. After choosing your main character out of eight choices (and gathering the rest quickly as party members), you're given little direction on the adventure there is, which is definitely there and quite worth it. I recommend it to anyone looking to fulfil that SaGa fix or someone looking for something with less straight narrative.

85. Yoshi's Wooly World (Wii U/ 3DS)
Do not sleep on this game. As far as Yoshi platformers are concerned, Yoshi's Island and this are the ones to play. While cuddly looking and adorable, it's more intense than the game initially lets on. The surprisingly rockin' soundtrack elevates it too.

84. Freedom Planet (PC/Wii U/Switch)
Now here's a fun one. A borderline Sonic fangame with its own OCs, a fantastic villain, and wonderful levels and boss fights that feel more like a combination of a Treasure game along with some of Sega's best. A wonderful game every time I replayed it.

83. Digimon Story: Cybersleuth (PS4)
Cybersleuth was given this weird sort of clout for its animations and quality during 2019 when Pokemon Sword and Shield were shown and I wasn't sure why because I had already played Cybersleuth. The game is great, a wonderful loop that shares a bit with SMT in themes but also serves as its own season of Digimon but as an RPG instead. There are some issues, the game requires grinding and does make you repeat several areas and concepts in order to complete it. The localization could definitely have used some work as well and
the animations are more repeated than people were saying. I think it's a grand time, but I'm also sure the people who were giving it the praise at the time hadn't quite played the whole thing or not at all.

82. Yo! Noid II: Enter the Void (PC)
DON'T SLEEP ON THIS. THIS GAME IS VERY GOOD. It's a 3D platformer made in Unity for a Game Jam and a love letter to the mascot-based food platformer. While that sounds weird, it's quite the fun, short time.

81. Super Amazing Wagon Adventure (PC)
Name Three Characters, set what they look like, Pick your wagon, and GO. Work your way through the frontier with random events! Get eaten by bears! Move your way through herds of buffalo! Forge the River! Fly into space! Maybe you'll get to the west! Maybe!

80. Tetris Effect (PS4)
It's Tetris but the music is fantastic. Not that other Tetris music isn't good, but this one feels very well done. It's not the best Tetris game I've played but it does what it does very well.


79. Crimson Shroud (3DS)
A mixture of visual novel and turn-based RPG, Crimson Shroud uses choice and dice rolls to determine actions of characters while describing their journey down into a ruin looking for an artifact. The graphic style is wonderful- each room is a miniature fantasy set and every character and monster is a miniature with a base and only one dramatic battle pose. Wonderful little game.

78. DanganRonpa v3: Killing Harmony (Vita)
The most Danganronpa, it's middle section is unfortunately quite weak, but it's all in service to the fantastic opening and the incredible ending this game provides. A fantastic closing to this strange, wonderful series.

77. Rhythm Heaven Fever (Wii)
Fantastic Rhythm game. I can still see the final Remix in my head for how many times I had to play it.

76. Kirby: Planet Robobot (3DS)
Of all of the Kirby games released in this decade, this is the one that Absolutely Does It. The Mecha gimmick this game has is one of the most fun, delivering level design that just nails it every chance it gets. Such a good, fantastic game.

75. Ys: Memories of Celceta (Vita)
The second of this specific style of Ys game, and while its followup, Lacrimosa of DANA, improves on this style more, Celceta takes Adol on a reimagining of events of multiple versions of Ys IV, giving a good, cohesive story that follows some great dungeons and boss fights.

74. Tales of Berseria (PS4)
After the lackluster, yet still enjoyable, Tales of Zestiria, I was nervous where this special RPG series would go next, especially hearing it was related to Zestria. Fortunately, the team behind Tales of Berseria took what was good about Zestiria and made something really special. Velvet is a wonderful lead in this darker take on the Tales series, and as I described once before, it is a personal story with just a bit of grandeur. Definitely something special, and I hope it means something for future Tales of games to come.

73. Sonic Colors (Wii)
Now here's a game that was a surprise, a very well paced, well made Sonic game that sort of brought new life to the series after tepid launches of previous games (though I enjoy Secret Rings and Black Knight still). While the game is quite short, it's a fun ride from start to end that stays that way.

72. Shovel Knight (Everything)
Shovel Knight got AROUND this decade huh? Not only into every indie game, but onto almost every console too! Hell I think every console this decade! Not a bad thing though because Shovel Knight is a solid piece of work from start to finish and the updates and extra content only added to the full package as time went on. As far as indie games go for the decade, I can't help but think of this as one of the most important in the larger sphere of indie games.

71. Tokyo Xanadu eX (PS4)
Tokyo Xanadu showed me the benefits of a developer reusing assets from another game to do something completely different. TX uses a lot of elements and ideas from Cold Steel but shakes things up to be its own thing. Combat feels good and punchy and the plethora of options to play with makes it a fun game to just play around with in dungeons to experiment with. The soundtrack rules too.

70. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii U/ Switch)
Breath of the Wild is an odd game for me. On one hand I dislike many of the things this game represents, what it takes away from the potential future Zelda projects may have if they keep with this style, and what this does to the thing I love the most: Zelda Dungeons. On the other hand, I do love the puzzles in this game, I actually enjoy the world it sets up and allows me to explore, and it finally realized that we want piano music, not boring orchestra soundtracks! BotW is something I have gone back to and have had fun with overall and while not my favorite Zelda of the decade, it is something I can find enjoyment in and hope that something interesting can come from it.

69. Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS)
Probably still one of the funniest games I've played. Each chapter is a well written comedy with several serious moments sprinkled through. A game that knows it's a game, and knows it's kind of silly. That's something I can fully respect these days, especially when the game is as good as this.

68. Bayonetta 2 (Wii U/ Switch)
A fun, high energy action game that at the time of release was one of the best games I had ever played. I'm a bit more muted on it these days but I still love the hell out of this game and the setpieces it delivers at full blast the whole way through.

67. Persona 5 (PS4)
Persona 5 is a game that does a lot of things right, but misses the mark in narrative themes from time to time. It's a game that starts strong and delivers great moments throughout but does lose some of that as the game goes on. But I cannot deny I had a lot of fun with this game and even revisiting it I've had a blast. Give me these solid dungeons and SMT Demons with negotiation over the randomized dungeons and Shadows any day.

66.  Sonic Lost World (Wii U)
This game is good. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The platforming mechanics work very well and when you've set up a wall run to go it goes very well. While structured more like a Mario game for some odd reason, it works for the feeling this game is going for. Don't skip on it just because it doesn't have a boost button.

65. Hollow Knight (PC/PS4/Switch)
Now here's a surprise a Metroi--- *Thom was taken out during this writing and corrected at this time*

Ahem, a Exploratory Platformer on my list? A surprise for me since I'm not huge on this particular game style but Hollow Knight charmed me a lot with its wonderful art style and movement. Every powerup and ability in this game added to your abilities, and aside from my own problem with weapon upgrades only making enemies more resilient, it is a pretty game and a good game overall.

64. A Game With a Kitty 3 (PC/Mobile) (2011)
I've been following OrigamiHero's games for quite a long time, who has always had a good hold of platformer and exploration mechanics to make their games just right. In my opinion, their earlier 2011 game, A Game With a Kitty 3 is still the one I come back to a lot and have fun with. A funny, cute platformer with the best kitty(?) wearing a funny hat.

63. Wild Guns Reloaded (PS4/Switch)
A remake that takes the original SNES game, widens the background field of view with new, incredible looking art that was apparently taken from the original assets and unused concepts from the original game, and makes something that feels absolutely incredible to play. Give this a shot if you haven't done so, it's a WILD ride.

62. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)
I am that person who likes Skyward Sword, and thought it was a well-playing and responsive game too. While the linearity was a turn-off for many, most other Zelda games and RPGs are exactly like this. This was one of the only Zelda games where the plot became something significant, and allowed the team to create set pieces (some used more than they should have been) to further that story along, something Zelda doesn't do much of these days...

61. Shadows of Adam (PC/Switch)
A game that advertises itself as an "RPG for people with jobs", but it's actually a clever twist on the style of RPG that SaGa III or Final Fantasy Mystic Quest Presents except it's difficult and the story has meat on it. As Kellan searches for his father Orazio, he finds a legacy that Orazio, a sad, pathetic individual has left behind in his quest for revenge, and the people (party members) who have all been affected by his quest for power. It's a fast-paced, beautiful looking RPG that's also a quick 10-12 hour playtime. Go play it!

Last edited by jetstorm4 (2020-05-13 17:20:47)


"Send in the Clowns"
- Ghaleon

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#59 2020-05-10 16:39:19

jetstorm4
The JRPG Person
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 10
Website

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

Here's 60 - 1!

60. Mega Man 11 (Switch/PS4/PC)
My Blue Boy came back to me for a moment. A moment was all I needed I suppose but I'm glad it was a game as good as Mega Man 11.

59. Fire Emblem Awakening (3DS)
While it might not be the best Fire Emblem game, it's probably the most important of the 2010s, as it's the moment the series became what it is now. Whether you like that or not... that's up to you I suppose. Still a solid game in its own right.

58. ZeroRanger (PC)
I really should just say "IF YOU LIKE SHMUPS, PLAY THIS" but I will also say "IF YOU LIKE VIDEOGAMES, PLAY THIS"

Also: Unstopping, The Sea Has Returned, Sky XXXX Days, Sky Echo

57. Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)
The best Mario game of this decade. The choice to go back to 3D Land's gameplay and expand it to a fanastic platformer is something special to look at. This was the Mario game I showed to my little brother as his first and I know it's still one of his favorite games (he even had his first "accidental save erase incident" with this game). WHen this game came to the climax, it was a moment I didn't know Mario could still deliver for me. I hope this comes to more people one day, this is the Mario game to play.

56. Blaster Master Zero 2 (Switch)
Blaster Master Zero 2 is special to me because of what it represents. Aside from the PlayStation Blaster Master which is better than it seems, Zero 2 is the first time a Blaster Master was followed up on and successful in delivering something that felt new to the series. Using new mechanics and focusing more on tank side-scrolling segments, this game is a wonderful time that leads to an incredible true end and climax.

55. Afterward (PC)
This is a followup to Her Lullaby and serves as what I think is an epilogue to where that story goes thematically. While structured differently, it's a somber story that took my mind into thinking about the original game in a different way. Go play it for free, after you play Her Lullaby.

54. Metal Gear Rising: Revengance (PS3/360)
A game that only became more cathartic as the decade went on. A game where parrying becomes the most important element and every setpiece and fight work around this mechanic to make a satisfying game and probably one of the best Metal Gear games overall.

53. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker (3DS)
My personal favorite of the Devil Survivor games and one of the main Atlus rereleases I think is better than the original release. While a pretty standard story plays out, the battles and situations make this game quite tense as it goes on, and even gives the best alignment choice with The Anguished One!

52. Undertale (PC/PS4/Switch)
This was probably the biggest indie experience I can think of that happened this year (besides Shovel Knight) that was also quite a bit of a surprise that came out of nowhere. An incredible RPG that uses the base mechanics of an RPG to tell an incredible story with a fantastic journey and a wonderful twist to rend your heart in half. Wonderful game.

51. NieR Automata (PS4)
Heartbreaking, but satisfying, NieR Automata is a game I am more grateful for as time has gone on. I will apply the same words as I said for the GotY entry in 2017: If there was a more confident, holistic experience released this decade, I didn't play it.

50. NieR: Geshtalt (PS3/360)
NieR is a special beast. While not the most well playing game, it is a game with a lot of heart, a lot of love, and a whole lot of
suffering for both the cast and you! I've always likened this game to being the Ocarina of Time formula with a twist and I still describe
it like that, where each area of the game has its own feeling and gameplay elements instead. Hopefully its remaster will get it into
more hands.

49. Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir (PS4)
I didn't put many remakes on this list, mostly because I feel they exist in the times they came out. This game is an exception. SUCH an improvement over the original game in every way and direction. Plus the original game is here if you want that too!

48. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (3DS)
The Actual best Fire Emblem game from the 2010s. As a remake of the second Fire Emblem game, Who knew how to make Fire Emblem good was to remove the Weapon Triangle, add dungeons, make the cast good, remove the children, and make the story solid as hell!

47. Sonic All-Star Racing Transformed (Wii U/ PS3/ 360/ PC)
This is a fantastic racing game. Each track makes its own story as the race goes on for each lap, changing things up and having your vehicle change for those moments in big setpiece moments. If you enjoy Sega and that feeling, you need to play this at some point.

46. Shin Megami Tensei: Soul Hackers (3DS)
I told myself I wasn't going to put many rereleases and remasters in my entries, but I couldn't ignore this one. I love the style this game has, preferring it over the modern day settings of Persona and the Post-Apocalyptic designs of the main series. The game is a fantastic look into older SMT and how that series had paced itself at the end of that era.

45. VOEZ (Mobile/Switch)
This rhythm music game is just a good time. While sure it's mostly just tapping points on the screen or pressing buttons to the beat and rhythm of the song playing, it's just a good feeling when you score a really high combo on a higher difficulty. A game I have gone back to multiple times as time has gone on.

44. Blue Reflection (PS4)
Let me preface with this: Blue Reflection is not what you would call a "good game". It's sloppily put together, has no clue what "pacing" means, and its "dungeons" are a meandering of maybe 14 different rooms that makes the factories of Neptunia seem like completely different areas. But it is one of the greatest games I have ever played. A fantastic story (baring really bad localization), tied together with the best soundtrack, incredible boss fights, and probably the hardest cry I've ever had for a group of Magical Girls, Blue Reflection allowed me to live my dream- to be a Magical Girl and lead an army of schoolgirls into battle against Giant Eldritch Abominations that
want to tear down a Japanese High School to become the next God.

Basically the Dream.

43. Facets (PC)
I tested this game for John Thyer, being one of the last people to test it for him, and found it was facinating take into the protagonist, and what it would take to BREAK them mentally. A fantastic, well paced game with 10 fights all culminating into an incredible final boss that just keeps going until it finally gives up and
submits.

42. Ys Origin (PC/PS4)
There's a lot I could say about this game, but as a huge fan of Ys 1 I can say this game has a lot of merit to me. All the little callbacks and enemies brought into a game that plays like Ys VI and Oath in Felghana? Fantastic. Wonderful soundtrack too but that's usual Falcom.

41. Pier Solar and the Great Architects (Genesis)
Of the independent RPGs that came out this decade, this one is probably my favorite, and the most important for me. Without this game I would probably not have thought making my own game these days would be possible. If a Genesis RPG can happen on a cart in this decade, and be good? I can make my own RPG for a PC.

40. Fairune (3DS/Switch)
Fairune is kinda the Hydlide I want to go back and replay. While I enjoy Hydlide, this is more of a puzzle take than an actual Action RPG but that's the point, to look at the map and the world and discover things that feel out of place and play with them. Studying the map and poking around are the key to enjoying this game and I think that's something that doesn't come up enough these days. I like it.

39. Her Lullaby (PC)
You're reading the site of the creator of this game so I'm going to be a little careful here and not say much. Her Lullaby is a real interesting piece of work that goes into the thoughts of two people trapped in a terrible situation. I won't say much more, just go play it for free.

38. The Longest 5 Minutes (Switch/Vita)
Here was an NIS developed surprise! Not a Disgaea game! Instead we have a JRPG with a cute story gimmick and a cute, if minimal art style. The story goes quite a few ways during its short playtime, and the chapter based progression lets you play it in short bursts if you need to.

37. Pokemon Black 2/ White 2 (DS)
The moment Pokemon stopped with the traditional "3rd Game" with a full-on sequel within a generation. Black 2 and White 2 add to the world of Black and White, adding older Pokemon and balancing the game to be a bit of a different twist than the original games.

36. Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon (Wii)
A Tri-Crecendo made Adventure game that borrows some survival horror concepts such as limited inventory and a flashlight that strains
against dark areas. The combat isn't quite the best, but acceptable. The game's atmosphere, story, and characters are the reason to play this fantastic game.

35. Virtue's Last Reward (3DS/Vita)
Believe it or not, I played this game, the second of the Zero Escape games, first! Why? Because it was the one available and I kinda had no idea it was pretty much a full sequel, adding to the concepts and ideas from 999. Yet I still think this is a fantastic game all around. Play them in order if you can though...

34. Tokyo Mirage Sessions (Wii U)
Well this was a surprise. Instead of a boring-ass crossover with Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei characters in a half-hearted game like all other crossover games, Tokyo Mirage Sessions turned out to be a creative, stylized, turn-based RPG with a lot of character and heart. It takes Fire Emblem story elements and SMT mechanics and spells to make something different, and something special.

33. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (Vita/PS3/PS4)
The major sequel to Cold Steel, Cold Steel II reuses many assets from that game but smartly builds on its story and themes to an incredible climax. The intermission alone, which allows the main character to converse with the main villains to get their perspective on the events, is worth the writing and buildup alone, let alone the bombastic finale and the somber ending.

32. Azure Striker Gunvolt (3DS/Switch)
IntiCreates actual Mega Man-based followup. While not exactly a Mega Man game, it uses that same formula to make an action game that speaks in its own language. The tagging mechanic makes a very neat lock-on system that keeps the game flowing and gives it its own identity. One of my favorite 2D action games in this decade, and one I've played multiple times already.

31. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (PC)
A game I started several times, but wasn't until later that I finished it. Trails in the Sky starts as a simple journey of two young people finding their place in the world, and figuring out their feelings for each other, building up to them discovering what they mean to each other and ending at a point where that possibility could be shattered. A beautiful game.

30. Tears to Tiara 2: Heir of the Overlord (PS3)
I picked this up randomly and did not regret it once I popped it in. This is a mixture of a visual novel with turn-based strategy sections where your two main characters are very very powerful and unite to take back their kingdom. Turns out the turn-based sections are from Sting! This is kinda the last I know of them right now but they're a favorite of mine and this is quite the interesting game!

29. Ys Oath in Felghana (PSP)
A remake of Ys III, Oath in Felghana takes that plot and puts it into an Ys game that plays like Ys VI, giving that game the love it really deserves. For a lot of people, I bet this was their first exposure to Adol's adventures, which is a good one because this game is a fantastic time still.

28. Zero Time Dillemma (3DS/Vita/PS4/PC)
The third of the Zero Escape games and the most divisive of them. While many did not quite get why it ended the way it did and the twists it took to do so, I find it an incredible experience, one that I still think about from time to time.

27. VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action (PC)
A visual novel with a striking art style, incredible soundtrack, and excellent character interaction. The thing I love the most about this game though is Jill herself. Her story, perspective, and the events that surround her development made me love this game more. A game I appreciate more as time has gone on.

26. Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey (DS)
One of my favorite games in the SMT series, and one of the first I played. The dungeon crawl here feels good and each area does well in delivering a story that shows while humanity may be destroying itself, the mission is the most important. Mastema is still my favorite.

25. LUCAH: Born of a Dream (PC/Switch)
One of my new favorites, this action game is just an incredible time, with some of the best customization of abilities and gameplay styles that I've seen and some fantastic boss fights, and that's before the visual novel sections show up and give this game even more to love.

24. deltarune Chapter 1 (PC/Switch)
Toby Fox's followup (sequel) to the game Undertale, deltarune Chapter 1 is only a small preview as to what is most likely to come. While a short quest, it's a fantastic update to the mechanics and themes of Undertale, taking a twist to what occured in that game and making something special. It's free, and the soundtrack is incredible.

23. Sonic Mania (Switch/PS4/PC)
Of the Sonic the Hedgehog media that came about in this decade, Sonic Mania is the one I will point to and say "That's It, that's what I want right there." While it's only problem is probably too many reused level themes from past games, each level is it's own space in some way, every moment in the game feels tightly constructed and meaningful in the celebration of Sonic the Hedgehog, and every encounter with Dr. Eggman, the minibosses, and the Hardboiled Heavies is the best set of boss fights any Sonic game, 2D or 3D, has ever had. Still one of my new favorite Sonic games and one I have gone back to multiple times already since its release.

22. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Vita/PS3/PS4)
Of the RPGs I've played this decade, I think this is the most important of all of them (this and Pier Solar). Trails of Cold Steel is what got me into this series of turn-based Falcom games, knowing them mostly for their action-RPGs, and got me to really like this flow of battle system, getting me to play the rest of this series over time. Cold Steel is still one of my favorites, not only for what it means to me, but for also that it's an incredible game throughout.

21. Tales of Xillia 2 (PS3)
Of the Tales of games in the 2010s, this is my personal favorite, while the "2" does make this a sequel to Xillia, the story quickly becomes its own thing featuring that same cast plus a few new additions, including a new main character who may be one of the best in the series. Also has some of the best music in modern Tales.

20. Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX (PS4/Switch/PC)
This was the Azure Striker Gunvolt sequel I was looking for. Something that changed the mechanics and ideas just enough to give something new but also allow the story and character concepts to evolve, which is something that disappointed me with Gunvolt 2.

19. 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors (DS)
The first of the Zero Escape trilogy and a very strong game on its own. Whatever version you play you're in for a ride with long conversations about various concepts that eventually come together for an incredible finale.

18. Ar no Surge: Ode to an Unborn Star (PS3/Vita)
A sort of sequel to a Japanese only Life Sim RPG Ciel no Surge that also acts as a prequel to the Ar Tonelico series. While that sounds... odd, the game is a fantastic journey, inserting yourself into the minds of two vessels as they each go through their intertwining stories, all while diving into girls to make magic. Yep. It's a JRPG from the 2010s.

17. Shin Megami Tensei IV (3DS)
There's a lot about SMT IV I love, its pace, setting, character design and development, the dungeon design, the overall feeling of progression the whole thing had, it's a lot. I'm glad this game is around and is still one of my top choices of 3DS RPGs. I'm glad they only made one of these.


16. Solatorobo: Red the Hunter (DS)
This is a very special game to me. I picked it up on the last day of Air Force basic training at the Lackland AFB Base Exchange (these days I'm glad I did becasue HO BOY this game shot up in the price people ask for it). This is a sequel to a PlayStation action platformer called Tail Concerto, and makes an action RPG with a level-based flow. It's a very fun game that keeps going after it seems like it's done and quite well as the story takes a drastic turn after the halfway point that makes its world quite fascinating. One of the best late DS games in my opinion.

15. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (Vita)
Of the Danganronpas, this is probably the best of them. It's the one that I think takes from the first game the most and expands it enough to be saying its own thing. Nagito Komaeda is still life.

14. Dragon Quest XI (PS4/Switch)
I said before this is the greatest JRPG from Square-Enix (Emphasizing the name Square-Enix, not Square or Enix ;D) and I still stand behind that. Dragon Quest XI
is incredible, one of the best RPGs I've ever had the pleasure of playing. While it's quite long, especially for its true ending, it's a journey I'm willing to go
back to at one point for sure.

Still, Fuck Koichi Sugiyama.

13. AI: The Somnium Files (Switch)
The game that finally delivered the same feeling I got when playing through Snatcher for the first time- even better so as I believe it has exceeded that game to become one of my favorite adventure games.

Protect Kaname Date.

12. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA (PS4/Switch)
The moment I stepped onto the Isle of Seiren and heard "Sunshine Coastline", I knew this was going to be something special. Ys VIII uses the form Falcom developed through the later Legend of Heroes games and applies it to Ys, making a much longer game than normal Ys games, but a more rich, fulfilling game than I thought it could be.

Thank you for Ys VIII, Falcom.

11. The Legend of Heroes: Ao no Kiseki (PSP)
The moment to moment events of this game just decide to GO. This game is one of the speediest, most masterfully paced RPGs I have ever played. I say that a lot, but this one is fantastic. Play Zero no Kiseki first of course, but just put this one on and let it go.

10. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd(PC)
Play the first two first, as this serves as an epilogue of sorts to finish off several themes and ideas as well as setting up events and concepts for the series future games. It's a fantastic final twist to Sky's gameplay and helps to round off everything else about this trilogy.

9. Xenoblade (Wii/N3DS)
What was originally a game that I did not like eventually turned to a game I fully enjoy now. While it's still my least favorite of the series, it's still a very fun time to go through, filled with twists and turns that I still love to see people react to, and I'm looking forward to wahtever MonolithSoft has for us next.

8. Sin and Punishment: Star Successor (Wii) (2010)
A sequel to the Japanese only N64 game, Star Successor takes that form, gives it the perfect Wii-Remote/Nunchuck controls,
and makes every moment in the game substantial and meaningful to me. Still one of my favorite action games ever and one of
my favorite Treasure games.

7. Xenoblade X (Wii U)
Since its reveal, Xenoblade X was a game I was waiting for. I still think it was completely worth the wait. Of the games this decade, I probably spent the most on a single playthrough with this game (and maybe the most time I put into any game). The improved battle mechanics of Xenoblade combined with the mechs made it a mix I haven't gotten from another game since. I would love more of this at some point.

6.  Rune Factory 4 (3DS)
I don't think there's a more "good feeling" title on my personal entries or even among games at all in the 2010s. A special game in my heart for a series I now love more as I've played others. I'd still say 4 is the one that does it for me the most and is my favorite life-sim game I have ever played.

5. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Second Chapter (PC)
Masterful. Quite possibly one of the best JRPGs I have ever played. From narrative flow, world-building, exploration, battling, and  emotional impact, Trails in the Sky SC succeeds from the outset all the way to the finish. It is an experience I am proud to have finished, and hope others will find it as incredible as I have.

4. The Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki (PSP)
This was the second Legend of Heroes game I decided to play, and what a choice. This was the one that shook me and gave me the feeling I was absolutely looking for once again after playing Cold Steel 1. It's setting, characters, story, gameplay elements all melded into a perfect form for me and gave me a very heartfelt game and I had to discover what else was there for me on the continent of Zemuria.

3. Blaster Master Zero (Switch)
My favorite IntiCreates game. While it is more or less a remake of the NES Blaster Master, it serves as a combination of multiple elements from the NES and Famicom versions as well as the bad World of Power book? As a fan of the series (for the most part) I enjoyed the different callbacks to the NES and PlayStation game as well as the new story elements that made this one something special as I reached its true ending.

2. Xenoblade 2 (Switch)
The best of the Xenoblade name, and the series finally accepting it's a Grandia sequel instead of a Xenosaga followup. While the mechanics of obtaining blades is kinda bad (it's a gatcha but without the begging for cash), the actual skill and leveling mechancics of blades were pretty great. The character development and world were incredible, the best of the series, and the turns that both Xenoblade 2 and Torna took were both incredible to experience and heartwrenching. I think this may be my favorite game from MonolithSoft, and I'd put it right next to Baten Kaitos 2 if not above.

1. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III (PS4)
The moment to moment playing of Cold Steel III, I realized Cold Steel was specifically the realized promise of what Xenosaga and other multi-part RPGs that didn't quite make the mark or the full promise. While those are still incredible, Cold Steel uses its assets in smart ways to create its world, set its narrative, build its villains, and break and build its main characters. Cold Steel III is the moment that the whole series builds to and is a fanastic time from start to end. Making it my favorite RPG of this decade.


"Send in the Clowns"
- Ghaleon

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#60 2020-05-10 16:53:15

John
Lightning Edgeboy
From: Chicago
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 140
Website

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

40. Hero Core (2012)

Remar's most incisive game, and a masterpiece of structure. The final boss is available to you from the word go, but for most players it's far too hard to take on without first exploring the space station and making your avatar stronger. It feels great, the bosses are a blast, the screen construction is well-considered; it's just a very strong and cohesive story.

39. Ziggurat (2012)

The Action Button ethos solidified into a singular jewel of arcade bliss. I'm immensely proud that I reached the end of Andrew Toups's <a href="https://actionbutton.bandcamp.com/track/ziggurat-theme">incredible track</a> for the game and witnessed the end of the universe. I mourn that as the game is no longer available on the App Store I will likely never taste victory against one of the Archenemies, the resilient super-bosses that only show up minutes after the world's end.

38. Even the Ocean (2016)

A moving, deeply political tragedy about identity and culpability. A story about living in a system that rewards you for doing exactly the wrong thing. It's not dour of course -- like other Analgesic games it's cute and funny and romantic and sweet. Which makes it all the more admirable that it doesn't flinch when it needs to get dark. Melos and Marina's most incisive and biting story, and for that it's my favorite of the bunch.

37. The Last of Us (2013)

The rise of weightless checklist-focused open-world games in AAA means there's been a tragic absence of "linear string of expensive set-pieces" games. Of the ones that managed to make it through last decade, The Last of Us was my favorite, for its strong character psychologies and its haunting story.

36. Wandersong (2018)

What a warm kind-hearted journey. The game is syrupy-sweet from the jump, but it always balances it out with a dose of reality. The conversation with Miriam on the dance floor always jumps to my head when I think of the game, because it best shows how the game avoids being saccharine and slight by building real human connections between its characters.

35. Corrypt (2012)

Brough's take on Sokoban is one of his best puzzles and also one of his most narrative-heavy games. Corrypt is a tragedy; you can't uncover all the secrets of its world without also destroying it. It's the most emotionally affecting to me of Brough's work, and for that it's one of my favorites.

34. Super Xalaxer (2013)

Rhete's most perfect game, a pristine 15-minute journey of meticulously considered encounter design that pushes its fantastic conceit as far as it can go. Stage 7 is transcendent.

33. Fairune II (2016)

Builds on the first game's vocabulary to tell a more epic and moving story. It felt a little redundant to me for the first couple hours, but the strength of the relationship at the story's center completely won me over in the end.

32. English Country Tune (2011)

The first of Increpare's two Sokoban mega-opuses, and the one I managed to connect with and complete. It's a fantastic set of brain-melting puzzles. There's one stage in the mid-game that completely broke me for a while -- it's still one the most creative and mind-bending individual puzzles I've ever experienced. Finishing this game was a deeply satisfying challenge, and I'm really proud of myself for making it through.

31. Doki Doki Literature Club (2017)

One of my favorite choices this game makes is the fakeout that happens before the big turn. You visit your classmate's house, and you know something is wrong. And because of that little warning at the very start of the game, you have a pretty strong suspicion it's going to be something awful.

But then you open the door, and she's there like normal. She's just feeling low today. You have a frank conversation about it. Then you make a choice, and you leave, not knowing your choice won't ultimately matter. You go do some other stuff for a while. Then you return, and you walk down the hallway again, and you open the door, and the worst thing that could happen happens.

The game could've just had The Big Awful Thing happen suddenly with no build-up, and it would've maybe been more shocking. But by building to it once, by giving you that relief when it doesn't happen, by using that time to build a deeper and more human connection with your classmate... it makes the end of it all so much more horrible.

30. Touhou 12.8: Great Fairy Wars (2010)

The freeze mechanic is just so cool and fun! The game does such a good job playing with and expanding it, and the brisk three stage run-time means it doesn't wear out its welcome. It's a very unusual structure and flavor for a Touhou game, but it's one I immediately vibed with.

29. Hollow Knight (2017)

Takes all the right lessons from Dark Souls and brings the metroidvania genre much closer to its classic dungeon crawler roots. You don't always have a map. The world is large and open-ended, and power-up gates are rare. Enemies and boss encounters have teeth and often require many tries -- sometimes you'll want to leave an area and come back later after accruing more resources.

The game makes all those smart structural decisions, and marries it with a well-considered setting and story, an intensely cathartic finale, and a joyous bundle of movement and fighting rules to play with. It's just a great package, a journey I'm very happy to have taken.

28. TIS-100 (2015)

Zachtronics games aren't about solving puzzles. "Puzzle" implies a prescriptive solution thought through ahead of time by the designer. These games are about solving <i>problems</i>. You have a lot of tools to play with, and the levels can be approached in countless different ways. It's likely that some later levels in Zachtronics games have never been solved exactly the same way by two different people.

TIS-100 is the only one I've finished so far, and it's magnificent. These games are immensely satisfying to me, and I want to play all of them.

27. Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP (2011)

One of my favorite videogame climaxes ever. Where a similar but weaker story like Hyper Light Drifter fails by sacrificing its emotional impact at the altar of player empowerment, Sword & Sworcery makes you deeply feel the sickness of your avatar. You feel how much she hurts, and you know just how many others have made it exactly as far as her and then failed during the final steps of the journey. It all makes the ending catharsis that much more resonant.

26. 868-Hack (2013)

Still my favorite of Brough's roguelikes. Cuts to the core of the genre's appeal with a stripped-down and considered design language. That's really the most inspiring thing to me about Brough's games -- he doesn't take any genre convention for granted. If something's in his game, it's because he thought very hard about whether it was worth including and tested a bunch of variations on the idea until he found one that worked. I want to bring that energy to my own work, and every time I play his games I'm reminded why.

25. Builder (2010)

I've uncovered the secrets of most of my favorite glitch logic dream games. At this point I basically know how Yume Nikki, Problem Attic, Fjords, and the Game Titles all fit together. Builder still eludes and frightens me. I've finished it of course, but the game is clear that the first ending doesn't give you the full picture.

I've made several earnest attempts over the years. I explored the world outside the walls, I found her shoe, and I saw what seemed like the true exit, just barely out of reach. I plan to keep trying until it all finally clicks for me. I want to grow into a person that can navigate this world.

24. Hunters: Relic of Stars (2013)

Rhete's transcendent space shooting epic across six SWFs. The screen-by-screen structure suits it well. Every new screen gifts you with a hand-crafted arrangement of the game's countless unique enemies, or one of the game's numerous and fantastic bosses. Rhete's action design has inspired me over and over throughout the decade, and this game is a decadent feast of it.

23. With Those We Love Alive (2014)

Longer and more grounded than Howling Dogs, which means you have more time to soak in the gut-wrenching violence of its setting. It may all be a dream, a nightmare... but dreams are real as blood and bone.

22. LUCAH: Born of a Dream (2018)

This is the game that made both parry mechanics and also Kamiya-style 3D beat-em-ups make sense to me. It's stuffed with amazing enemy set-pieces and boss fights, and for the first time I actually dug deep into reading beat-em-up enemy animations and learning parry timings. The high-stakes play language in the second loop once the timer comes into play in earnest spoke to me, and I spent a lot of time mastering each chapter of the game and doing them in one clean attempt.

That the game also works in such a moving story on top of the S-rank action design is miraculous. It introduces full-on twine-style text game interludes in the second loop, and they're as tense and visceral and affecting as anything I've played in that style. That's as much thanks to the excellent writing as it to the <a href="https://nicolotelescaost.bandcamp.com/album/lucah-born-of-a-dream-original-game-soundtrack">fantastic soundtrack</a>.

A year after its release the game added an arcade-style gauntlet mode with its own story and bosses, prompting me to revisit the game and fall in love all over again. It's a generous beautiful treasure of a story, and I'm very excited for whatever its creators make next.

21. The House in Fata Morgana (2016, 2012)

I don't think there's any medium in art better at depicting the realities of violence and trauma in art than language. This makes visual novels (and other kinds of interactive fiction) uniquely well-suited in games for engaging with those subjects. Unfortunately, many do so towards exploitative ends, depicting violence pornographically while only superficially caring for the characters suffering that violence.

The House in Fata Morgana feels like a deliberate rebuke of that kind of exploitative storytelling. It is, in large part, a game about violence and trauma. When it needs to be, it's just as effective and unflinching at depicting those topics as in the work of authors like Kinoko Nasu, Kazutaka Kodaka, and Gen Urobuchi. But it never dips into voyeurism -- you're always meant to empathize with the victims, not consume them.

That difference in lens would be a challenging balancing act on its own, but then the game goes a step beyond even that. It asks you to empathize with the abusers of its story. It's a big ask, all the moreso because the game makes you care so deeply for the characters those abusers made suffer. It's important that it doesn't excuse the abusers. It doesn't apologize for them, and it doesn't forgive them. But it wants you to see them as people.

Because that's what Fata Morgana is about: people. A bunch of miserable, suffering, sometimes-noble, sometimes-monstrous people. The game's worldview is extraordinarily kind and mature, and cuts close to the actual reality of trauma, all in the context of a visceral, moving, and impossibly romantic story. It's the perfect antidote in a genre so often full of the most poisonous kinds of immaturity.


"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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#61 2020-05-10 20:23:36

Peaches the Rayven
Member
Registered: 2020-05-04
Posts: 2

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

Wow, talk about coming down to the wire. Fashionably late as usual, here I am back on the forums where I belong...

I want to offer this with the caveat that there are many community games that deserve a spot here, but I've always tried to avoid giving shout-outs to a game multiple times... I want this to be 'games you should play if you haven't', not 'here's what my silly self put hours of my life into', so honorable mention goes to all of you, really. My brain is mush or I'd give more shout-outs to you all.

20. Assassin's Creed Liberation
    In the decade that has Assassin's Creed 2 and Brotherhood, I know this is more of Peaches being contrary.
    But I think a smaller Assassin’s Creed installment actually works on a certain level. I like the mechanic that while you're running across rooftops or slinking in alleyways, that the baddies are always on the lookout for someone who... I dunno... LOOKS LIKE A FREAKING MURDERER, so there's not just the incentive to lay low but also you can disguise yourself as a normal person. You think some of the other stabby-sleeve characters would try it from time to time, instead of always wearing the Murderer Hoodies.
    I don't like the quicktime, and it's maybe a little short and easy, but I'd say that means it doesn't overstay its welcome and they don't bother trying to make us get emotionally invested in the bland pile of anti-character that is Desmond.

19. Cute Demon Crashers
    What is it with me and fluffy dating sims?
    This one normally wouldn't be too notable, except that it does try to teach something important, something that I, as a socially awkward and lonely type, should have learned long ago – consent.
    The plot follows a young woman who is alone at home but somehow summons a quartet of cute, friendly demons who just want a bit of lust energy to feed off of – and respect that your character's shyness means they'll have to work for it!
    Getting to know their different personalities over the course of the weekend the game takes place in is fun, but the real meat comes from the final 'hentai' scene which presents the player with the option of changing, proceeding, or stopping at several points. It may seem odd that this fiction asks this, when naturally the most lewd encounter is just agreeing to whatever is proposed... but I like the idea of mixing up some chaste and some intimate options, it was cute and reminded me of my own bumbling first times.

18. Galaxy Trucker
    So why would you play a mobile game that's based on a board game? Much less one that was designed specifically to have you and your friends squabbling over little cardboard tiles?
    I won't say this game captures that, but to be honest, swiping those little virtual tiles one by one around my phone screen just felt a lot better to me, having now played both and probably sank more hours into the mobile app version.
    The premise of this game is that your spaceship is also cargo – so you have to race to piece it together one part at a time, which includes stuff like engines and lasers but also some stranger things like alien life support – and then see who managed to actually make it to the ending of your trucking route.
    The major improvement to this is that there is a campaign mode, which does a good job of teaching you the basics and then adding on more and more kinds of tiles until you can juggle what your ship needs or what kind of strategy you are trying to build on. It's grindy, but also kind of satisfying when you see yourself improving. The AI isn't stellar, but when there's no direct competition you'd hardly notice (sometimes you want your opponent to blunder into Space Pirates before you do!)

17. Mark of the Ninja
    There aren't many 2D stealth games, are there? I mean, they tried with Assassin's Creed Chronicles and maybe the earliest Metal Gear games, but how do you move in a flat space and really feel like you're exploting the world to hide yourself from ruthless guards or angry, heavily-armed thugs.
    But this game... I think this game pulled it off very nicely. Using a limited number of tricks familiar to the genre (distracting noisemakers, unconventional hiding places, quickly stashing bodies etc) each level does have its own ways of navigating. I felt a surge of pride at making it through without so much as having a single enemy glance at me, but also a smug satisfaction at getting the same mooks to gun each other down in terror at the warnings I brazenly left them.
    As with most of the entries here, there's a meaty story to be had as well, with your supernatural powers granted to you by poison tattoo ink that means your bloodthirst increases until your career in ninjitsu becomes... well, let's just say you're gonna end up with a lot of blood on your katana, you just pick whose it is.

16. Bastion
    This game is important to me because it showed how there can be a good game conceived in a hybrid of modern tech and classic style. It didn't need a ginormous brown and grey hellscape to feel big and challenging. But it did bring action, story, and even a craft system where you could customize weapons just to your playstyle. Not much that other games hadn't done before, but this game does it to near-perfection and blends those elements in just the right way.
    This game really started winning me over when I found myself getting more choices of weapons as the game went on, and playing and replaying the bonus stages. It was genius how those side stages not just train the player how to use new weapons, but also challenge them to take full advantage of each tool. And aiming the ranged weapons made the game feel so three-dimensional, even if you were locked into that isometric point of view.
    I find it hard to describe just how great the storytelling is. Like many others, the game is mostly told via narration, with a few sparse cut-scenes, but the way it makes that narration work could get this thing in a museum. I still get chills from the level where you are forced to relive the game's opening sequence, but from a skewed perspective.

15. Artemis: Spaceship Bridge Simulator
    There are at least a few games that try to put you on a spaceship – mostly, what they get right is dogfighting or tactics sprawling across galaxies with planets and stars as strategic linchpins, maybe they add bonding with your alien cohorts as a side mechanic. =
    That's all well and good, but this is probably the only game that gets your favorite sci-fi tv show right – you need a group of friends, each one taking up a different battlestation. That's not the multiplayer mode – you need almost one person for each part of the ship. Do you fly your spacecraft dangerously close to the enemy, load and fire the star torpedoes with deadly accuracy, manage the damage control teams as they scramble to keep your oxygen inside your ship, or are you the captain – who may or may not even get a screen? We played with the captain usually just in a chair, hollering orders and trying to control the chaos.
    This game was popular at my old university (Like a few other weirdos, I hung out at the gaming club long after I graduated). It took a few borrowed laptops to get the experience right, but we would have hours of fun taking turns trying each kind of station, laughing even as we bungled our way to certain doom. Or maybe not laughing, maybe shouting to be heard over each other – I had a tendency to hit the 'Red Alert' alarm for no reason (ha ha!).
    Somehow, it got the feel of the chaos of a ship's bridge down just right. Shame it takes so much equipment to run, or so many players to get the feel right, but it was worth it and deserves recognition for what it did.

14. Borderlands 2
    I don't always consider myself an FPS fan. I sank many hours into Halo 1 and 2 as an Xbox fankid, of course, but the Doomensteins don't always really, really stick in my mind as grand storytelling or addicting gameplay. I poke at them, have my fun, and I'm finished.
    But not here. I loved levelling up the various characters, tweaking their special abilities as I learned how to best use them in combat, quoting the game's darkly humours dialogue, and crashing the vehicles. It felt kind of off at first, knowing the endless waves of baddies would always be in the same places and digging through various rewards that felt like so much randomly-generated trinkets, but it did pull me in and I found myself carefully deciding my four favorite guns, switching to new classes, and provoking the Goliaths for fun.
    For as much crap as I give MMORPGs, apparently all it takes for me to plunge into one is for there to be a lot of guns and cute sci-fi girls. Maybe I should have gotten into Phantasy Star Online...

13. (Tim Schaffer/LucasArts Remasters)
    Imagine, if you will, that you're a single-digit age and your favorite way of bonding with your 20-something relatives is for them to tell you secrets about NES games. To this very day I can hear their voices telling me where the warp zones are.
    There... weren't that many secrets to Maniac Mansion. In fact, I found on my own a glitch that makes the game unwinnable (and ended up getting a frustrating ending several times with that), and had to learn just recently that one of the characters doesn't even have all of their puzzles properly scripted, so there's that.
    But with my relatives, they did tell me you're not supposed to let Weird Ed pick up his own package.
    Several years later and when computer graphics had gotten a facelift, I discovered other point-and-click adventures, and by this time the LucasArts folks have cleaned up their act and learned that sticking a 'game over' screen to disrupt your exploration and puzzle-solving doesn't really add to the fun. Instead, they gave players fun but challenging puzzle games packed with memorable characters and witty writing.
    My favorite from this time period was Grim Fandango, which even in the early aughts was considered a cult classic, with game magazines advising readers to keep an eye on bargain bins and used game stores for this hidden gem.
    I only recently played Day of the Tentacle, which revisited the setting of Maniac Mansion, and while the three settings in time (past, present and future) that the game spans doesn't compare to the original's massive house with many rooms to get lost in and explore, this sequel has the same bizarre movie logic but with a cartoon gloss that really brings out the absurdist humor that this genre seems to demand. Plus, this re-release includes the original as an Easter egg.
    I think this wave of unlikely re-releases are a great tribute both to another era, but also to the idea that games could be actually pretty funny to play.

12. Doki Doki
    I wish I knew what this game is trying to say. Interviews state that the designer just wanted a game that told a story that couldn't be imagined any other way – the characters only fit into a dating sim, the choices you have to make do creatively involve the game engine in new ways, and the emotional connection really did demand the visual novel genre.
    But I'm not so sure there isn't something lurking deeper in there.
    Is this game about how the straight male player yearns for easy wish fulfillment that is impossible in real life due to the actual complexities lurking underneath us all? Is it about how they are ultimately unprepared to be viewed as objects to possess, even though that is how they view women?
    Maybe it's just a game that disguises itself as being about cute girls.

11. Don't Starve & Don't Starve Together
    You can keep your Minecraft, this is my buildy survival game.
    It's a deceptively simple premise: hunt and gather food from the surreal landscape so that you... well, you know. But it quickly gets more twisted. There's the grizzly Meat Effigy, which can resurrect you when you die, and Pigmen whom you can recruit. These myriad creative goals for carving out a niche in this world come all wrapped up in the Edward Gorey-esque visual style.
    The trial-and-error can be a bit frustrating, for example does wooden armor give you enough protection against something like the towering Tallbird? But that aside, the game does tend to hold your hand just enough by giving you crafting recipes and allowing you to build out your branching tree of available items.
    While the cast of characters, both as real and surreal as the rest of the game, seem like icing on a cake, their subtle changes in abilities mean a big change in your strategy, such as utilizing Wendy's ghost sister. And I like the tweaked improvements in the multiplayer version, such as giving a craft recipe so that you can remake character's signature items, like a lighter for the pyromaniac Wendy.
    It is a game where you must embrace failure, but it also gives a great sense of wanting to try again and again.

10. Skyrim
    Get it out of your system right now and make your jokes about physics glitches and Todd's endless ports.
    Elder Scrolls seems to be the series that you either hate to love or love to hate, but I... well, I like that I love it or love that I like it. I don't know what gives a game that feel of a great adventure to me, but I can tell you that this one definitely does. I loved exploring the frigid landscapes, feeling out how this fantasy version of Scandinavia felt different than anything I've played before as two factions of a proud warrior kingdom disputed how to handle becoming a part of a cosmopolitan Empire.
    This one is hard to talk about. I've heard so many stories about people learning to use magic in one hand and an axe in another, laughing even as a giant knocked them flying like a 250-yard golf drive, or even effortlessly assassinating someone right in front of a town guard through the use of a Fury spell. There are just too many moments, and the game sets you up to encounter them in unique ways each playtrhough, that I can't sum up how satisfying it was to sink into this game world.
    Morrowind will always hold a place in my heart as my first great 3D RPG, and this game got smaller in some ways, but the ways it got bigger earn it a very strong place on this list.

9. Fallout New Vegas
    I'd like to put Fallout 3 here, but since the realse of the two games straddles the start of the decade I'll side with NV this time.
    While maybe not my favorite RPG of all time, it definitely earns a shining spot for how very well-made it is. The skills all seem balanced, the characters are intriguing, and the smartass, gritty plot hooks you and keeps you playing. In a lesser game, the sprawling storylines of three factions all competing for the city of New Vegas would feel spread too thin, but here the player gets caught up in the machinations and slowly becomes the driving force in the story.
    The DLC isn't bad (my favorite being the low-tech and wilderness-focused Honest Hearts), but even on its own this take on the dieselpunk apocalypse has more polish than many other games I've had the pleasure of playing.

8. Hustle Cat
    It's hard to sell a game about dating cats.
    I'll start with the bad – it is almost twee at times, with a cast of anime love interests designed to appeal to nerdy players – one Extremely Online girl, two big lunks with dark pasts and hearts of gold, and two aloof boys who turn sweet on you once you know them. But they are all written in a witty way, the odd fantasy aspect of the game does shine through, and a few years ago it very much appealed to my then-in-denial, non-binary heart when I could get my little self-insert referred by they/them pronouns.
    The game is pure fluff, but it's well-made fluff, and it has a few tricks up its sleeve to increase some replayability. I was poking fun but the characters are genuinely adorable and do have multiple layers under their cliché exteriors. I'm very glad I learned to identify with the doofy main character and get to know the story about how there's potential in everyone.

7. Undertale
    I thought I knew what I was getting into, playing this game about making friends with monsters.
    I didn't know what I was getting into.
    The central mechanic of this RPG is that you must use a bullet hell to dodge enemy attacks. Which seems so simple, it's actually kind of genius – even if they have to abstract it as somehow protecting your Soul from things like drops of water or a parade of bones.
    Beyond that, what's surprising is how the game achives its aims with rather basic means. The graphics aren't what I'd call retro – they're just simple and low-resoultion, not trying to imitate the RPGs of yesteryear but instead, perhaps, becoming an offshot into something else instead of a remake.

6. Kentucky Route Zero
    A surreal visual novel/interactive fiction disguised as a point-and-click, about the thin veil separating reality and imagination but also the upper and lower economic classes.
    It's hard to describe and I'm sure it's saying something important about something but I just liked playing it. It was released episodically and every episode had a moment of awesome, from learning how to navigate the 'Zero' highway, to hearing the lyrics to the musical sequence being sung as you chose them, to the game's shifting perspective as you use an in-game computer to predict the future.
    It had its fair share of complaints due to delayed release of new episodes, which is fair, but each one was bigger and weirder and had more care in it than what came before. I'm no musical genius, but if you like a song that helps tell the story, this game will give you more than one blissful moment.

5. XCOM Reboot
    I'm counting Enemy Unknown and Enemy Within as one entry, since it's not a complete game without both.
    In many ways, this is kind of a throwback – not just because of the vintage series it brought to the 21st century, but it seemed to keep one foot firmly planted on the idea of grid-based, turn-based combat, which is actually not too bad sometimes. Real-time and free-roaming has its place, but sometimes you just wanna play chess, where the pieces fly around and use plasma throwers at each other.
    It gets a lot right, but the crowning achievement is how it gives the feeling that you almost can win, despite the overwhelming odds. Even playing on Easy mode to grind achievements like I did, I found myself pausing to reflect on how best to complete missions, where to play it safe and where to risk my favorite alien-killing commandos. The game really needs the expansion to add another level of play, but once you have that and find yourself deciding on badass cyborg mechs or genetic supersoldiers, you're in business.
    My resolution this decade is to try more new games from this series – they'll probably be in my top games of the 20's.

4. Katawa Shoujo
    Let's assume that you're a user of a certain imageboard full of internet tough guys and fedora bros, on the cusp of becoming a snowflake SJW but still not ready to break free of your smug weeaboo cocoon.
    Then you find the hot new viral anime pic – not fighter planes drawn like cute anime girls this time, not another meme – it's just five girls with disabilities, each given a personality quirk and a short description of how they might fit into a visual novel dating sim.
    I can't explain how this affected my brain, but it did. Maybe I wasn't used to something that seemed so wholesome and good-natured, from the stinkiest parts of the garbage dump internet. But something stuck in my mind, and when a few decent people from that garbage dump came together, they made that concept into a game.
    The writing... isn't great, and for a very long visual novel I know that's a flaw that's hard to overlook. But the characters do go through their high points – strong establishing moments, character arcs, and though there's not much in the way of choice (do you want a good ending or a bad ending, it boils down to) the amount of effort put into this game shows through, from the fun and unique character designs to the simple but memorable world-building environments.
    I can't say that it's good disabled representation, but when a game with hentai scenes gets reviewed by the freakin' AV Club, you know it's something else – a wholesome spot in a sea of rotting garbage.

3. Downwell
    Shoot stuff and don't get hit.
    The classic formula gets the freshest take I've seen this decade with a simple twist in mechanics – instead of flying right endlessly through space, or up over an endless ocean or cityscape, you're just falling. Your 'gun' also acts as a kind of brake, which you can use to control yourself better during the fall as well as dispatch baddies.
    And when you realize that you can Goomba-stomp some of these enemies or bits of the environment to rack up a combo and keep in a continuous fall – well, a bare-bones bullet hell becomes a heck of a fun challenge.
    To complain, I tend to dislike the overwhelming buffet of quirky powerup choices – which kind of turns me off of the similar mechanic of Binding of Issac – but here, you do have at least one play mode where those upgrades get swapped for cheaper ammo and health, which suits me fine.
    If you like it short and sweet when you're learning it but dang near impossible when you're finishing it, here's your game.

2. SpaceTeam
    Time to give the devil his due. The devil, in this case, being game apps for smart devices.
    I didn't even start this decade with an iPhone or its ilk, but since it's the timeframe these games came into their own, why not acknowledge a genuinely free game? No, not a gacha game where you pay for a chance to see punk band anime girls or get a billion versions of Captain Kirk on your starship (yes, I played both those games, too) – this game is free as in you can pay for it if you want, but it's genuinely free.
    In SpaceTeam, you basically get the hectic, action-packed party version of Star Trek. Your device is turned into a panel of switches, knobs, sliders, and numberpads while your friends will get the intructions for how those need to be set (try not to shout at them that they need to 'Set the Blastometer to 3!' when you're the one with the Blastometer). As the game proceeds, it naturally becomes faster-paced and will require you to move your device like a motion-sensitive controller.
    I seem to like games with a simple premise but infinite variations, and this delivers. It's dumb fun but it's a cute idea that can while away several minutes, or just kill time until Kevin finally shows up for board game night (we were going to order pizza anyway, Kevin, you didn't have to stop off at Del Taco like you always do!).
   
1. Fire Emblem 3H
    When I saw the gorgeous fantasy world, the unique anime-inspired character designs, and the tactical battles of this game that my favorite streamers were into, I knew I had to have it.
    I haven't beaten this yet so I may have one of my usual temperamental judgment swings, but so far I think this game is earning the hours I have sunk into it. Personally, I picked up my first Switch cartridge to kill time while recovering from surgery, and damn did it make the painful hours fly by.
    I also remember feeling genuinely devastated at the first huge plot twist, so the characterization feels very well-made, though larger-than-life. This is very much an anime that you can play.
    The strategy isn't too deep – hit the baddies before they hit you, make sure your tanks soak up the inevitable counter-attacks – but it does take some grey matter to come out without making yourself look like a fool, and the leveling up system means that even if you turn off perma-death there are consequences for your actions. This game left a major impression on me as we closed out the decade, and I will be playing and dreaming of it throughout this next decade.

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#62 2020-05-10 20:54:20

Rhete
Administrator
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 61

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

Peaches the Rayven wrote:

13. (Tim Schaffer/LucasArts Remasters)

Since Zeloz already voted for Day of the Tentacle Remastered, I'm going to count this as a vote for that as well, is that ok?

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#63 2020-05-11 00:35:12

Remnant
Member
Registered: 2020-05-10
Posts: 4

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

Hey everyone. Long time, no see.

So I'm going about life when I suddenly wonder, "What are the old SMPS crew up to?" So I wander over and not only are there new forums, but there's a GOTD thing going on with a deadline half-a-week ahead. 

Challenge accepted. 

First off, the "things in my backlog that would, in all likelihood, be on this list if I'd gotten around to playing them" Mentions: Super Mario Galaxy 2, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Undertale, Papers Please, Dragon Quest Builders 1 and/or 2, The Talos Principle, Pillars of Eternity, Persona 5, Bastion, Spider-Man (2018), Spec Ops: The Line, Hollow Knight, Nier: Automata, Life Is Strange, The Outer Worlds, Horizon: Zero Dawn.

Honorable Mention: Skyward Sword

Whoo boy, this may be my "Most Ambivalent Game of All Time."  The Zelda series holds a place in my heart like no other, and there are some things about Skyward Sword that make it my most favorite Zelda game...and there are also things about it that make it my least favorite Zelda game.

The good? Cool story and world that avoids the sort of prequel pitfalls that Star Wars fell into, good dungeon and boss design, really cool new items, bomb-bowling and adding the arc to bomb-throwing, and gorgeous music (some of the best in the series).

The bad? Almost everything else, but mostly the wanton hand-holding and tutorilizing, the more narrow, dungeon-like overworld areas, and the re-treading of those more narrow areas...all in all, the game could often feel a chore to play, especially in long gaming sessions, which is exactly how I want to dive into a new Zelda experience. A good Zelda game should never feel like a chore to play.

The meh? The visual design.  Objects at a distance are not bad at all, but close-ups of characters are...eh… It looks like nearly everyone is suffering from an allergic reaction to a bee sting and has swollen lips.  It turns out that splitting the difference between Windwaker and Twilight Princess doesn't have the charm of the former, nor the grit of the latter, and just ends up...meh in a lot of ways.

Next: #49-26

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#64 2020-05-11 00:36:49

Remnant
Member
Registered: 2020-05-10
Posts: 4

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

49) Captain Toad Treasure Tracker

A wonderful platform-puzzle game overflowing with charm.

48) New Super Mario Bros. 2

The "New" Super Mario Bros. series stopped being innately appealing after the Wii installment, but this one has a very personal edge.  My son and I have "game time" every night before bed: 15 minutes or so of something on my phone or his 2DS.  This was a game that he got for his birthday and he wanted us to "100% it" together. So we did. And I loved every minute. This was also the year that we went through his first experience of Chrono Trigger together. It's a magical time.

47) Super Mario Maker

Another game that we got for my son, but I really liked dabbling in it. I didn't go deep into the game's modes and features, but just seeing what was possible and seeing the way that amateur-friendly-game-design tools have blown up in recent years...if I could give this game to an 8-year-old me, he'd crap his pants.

46) Kirby's Return to Dreamland

The first traditional, console, Kirby game since Kirby 64 and it ROCKS.  Kirby Triple Deluxe and Kirby Planet Robobot were great too, but this one set the new Kirby standard in my book.

45) Lego The Lord of the Rings

At it's best, the LEGO games walk the line between shameless homage and riffing parody and this was no exception.  As a fan of the original book and the Peter Jackson movies, this was a treat to go through with my son.

44) Super Mario 3D World

This was one I couldn't put down for weeks until I'd beaten every single level.  Didn't go for every collectible though.  I don't have the skill nor time for that kind of dedication.

43) Dishonored

There was a lot...off about this game. But the fictional world that the game builds is unlike anything else. I haven't yet played the sequel and it's been well over five years since I touched this one, but Dunwall sticks in my memory like few game worlds do.

42) Geometry Wars 3 Evolved: Dimensions

The first two games were excellent in basic design, but they lacked the sort of gameplay loop to keep me engaged. This variance in modes and challenges and stage designs and unlockables and progression...yeah they put a lot into this one to keep the core gameplay from falling into the old, arcade-like leaderboard chasing. (Not that there's anything wrong with that; it's just not something that keeps me really invested in a game.)

41) Rayman Legends

The main reason I can't muster up a ton of enthusiasm for 2D Mario games anymore.  This is the best 2D platformer I've ever played.  No contest.

40) Super Smash Bros Ultimate

It's Smash Bros. There's been one on every Nintendo console since the late 90s. Either you're on board at this point or it's just not for you.

39) Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep

There was a stretch where I was kind of "over" the whole Kingdom Hearts...thing. The third full-entry was nowhere in sight and the post-KHII spin-offs weren't grabbing me the way Chain of Memories did between KH and KHII.  But then this game--which should have been called "Kingdom Hearts Zero" because that's what it was and that's how essential it was to the plot, especially by the time we get to III--brought me right back in. The battle and progression systems were great, and the story is the only one aside from the first Kingdom Hearts that has some ability to stand on its own.

38) Skyrim

This was definitely my Game of the Year for 2011. Well over 200 hours across all characters.  Other open-world fantasy RPGs have since left it in the dust for me, but damn if it wasn't addictive and engrossing in the early part of the decade.

37) Child of Eden

You familiar with Rez?

Yes? Well, this game is like that, but prettier.

No? Well, we're gonna need an evening with some special edibles for you to really appreciate the works of Tetsuya Mizuguchi.

36) Kingdom Hearts 3

After almost two decades of games, nearly a decade and a half since the last "proper" installment, a development track of six years, and a convoluted lore spanning twice as many "required-viewing" spin-offs as there are core entries...could Nomura really deliver on this finale to the "Dark Seeker Saga"? 

Umm...sort of? 

I was one of those fans who was on board with the lore all the way through to the penultimate entry--Dream Drop Distance--and then Nomura just had to throw in some time-travel nonsense, probably as an excuse to have all the villains from the previous games show up for an encore in KHIII. And then there just had to be some half-baked and rushed-at-the-end-of-III's-story developments…

(SPOILERS)

...to cheaply bring back all the lost heroes from previous games, rendering their sacrifices less meaningful in the full scope of the story. While I had a ton of fun following all of the convoluted nonsense in this nearly-two-decades-long narrative, it crossed just a bit too far, even for me, right in the homestretch, and only partially stuck the landing. Oh well...

All that said, it was still damn fun to run around in my daughter's favorite Disney worlds. It's a rare game that has the entire family gather around the TV to take it all in together, and it's wonderfully insane to see a conclusion to a story that I've been following closely since before I could legally drink alcohol. And hey, a half-decent landing in 2019 is much better than a crash-and-burn landing in 2019. (coughgameofthronescough)

35) Diablo III

I never played Diablo or Diablo II, and I never touched this one until the console port came and all that auction-house drama was long-gone. Just looking at this one, it's damn fun. Best couch co-op I had in the seventh generation.

34) Pokemon Go

"There's a Scyther in the neighbor's yard!  Let's go get it!" (my kids and I throw on our shoes and run out the door)  Seeing this game unfold at launch was a unique moment in gaming history.  And in getting back into it in 2020, it's been an invaluable tool for making socially-distanced walks around the neighborhood more fun.

33) Destiny

By the end, Destiny became an expansion-pack-fragmented-mess that was all-but-invalidated by its too-soon sequel, Call of Duty style, but I had a ton of fun with this game and a couple of friends at launch during a troubling personal time. Bungie built an interesting world (even if their approach to exposition was bizarre and ineffective), and I don't regret a bit of time I spent in it during the rollout of this IP.

32) Uncharted 4

The popcorn-game series of the 7th-gen gets "one last ride" on the 8th, and it was a good one.  I love complex RPGs and turn-based strategy games and games that make me think and feel and all that. But it's also nice to indulge in the sort of pulp-adventure fantasy that has made Nathan Drake a fun character with which to defy logic, biology, and physics. Uncharted is basically "Indiana Jones as written by Joss Whedon," and I'm fine with that.

31) Tomb Raider (2013)

Crystal Dynamics: "Uncharted ripped-off Tomb Raider, so now let's rip-off Uncharted...we'll keep the overall gameplay style, but let's take out the pulp-adventure and make it a deadly serious survival-horror scenario. Yeah, that'll work."

30) The Last of Us

When is the cost of survival too much to bear? In a deadly survival situation, who gets to decide who lives and who dies? When people do decide what lines can and cannot be crossed, decide who lives and who dies, what, if anything, gives them the right to make those decisions? And does anyone have the moral high-ground to tell them that they don't have that right? These questions underlie The Last of Us, and the game doesn't leave us with any clear answers after we've guided Joel and Ellie through a hostile and compelling world with smart stealth and survival gameplay that demands care and strategy without bogging itself down.

29) Darksiders II

There's originality, there's doing tried and true things well, and then there's combining lots of things that people like into one without making the flavors clash or cancel each other out. Darksiders was Zelda meets God of War; only the lore and art design were fresh. Darksiders II adds Diablo-style RPG-elements and Prince-of-Persia-style platforming into the mix and somehow it just...works. For me anyway. I can see how the derivation could turn people off.

28) Dark Souls III

After Dark Souls changed my gaming profile forever, it was always going to be a hard act to follow. Dark Souls II was...off...in many ways. Bloodborne was a fine game, but I couldn't get into the lore; as well, the constant Victorian-Lovecraftian setting and the streamlined gameplay sacrificed one of Dark Souls' best features: variety.

Dark Souls III didn't reach the heights of Dark Souls--maybe nothing can--but it was, for me, the best effort thus far. And as a companion piece to the lore of the original, it was quite the satisfying send-off for the series.

27) LittleBigPlanet 2

The first LBP was a bold achievement, but the core platforming engine was a bit wonky and unpolished. LBP3 was a fun game, and the different playable characters made lots of different levels designs possible, but it felt rushed out, probably because the PS4 needed a higher-profile exclusive early its lifespan.

LBP2 is the most well-designed, well-polished experience of them all. The core game is worth it on its own, and THEN you can jump online to see what crazy stuff other players have cooked up. Of all the 201X releases I could talk about, this was definitely my favorite "family game" to share with my kids.

26) Journey

thatgamecompany's work isn't for everyone. I'm in the camp that says the shoehorning of sixaxis makes Flow borderline unplayable. I enjoyed Flower, though it was short and maybe a little bit pretentious. But Journey was a very special...well, journey. The raw feeling of being a conscious being on an archetypal hero's journey is distilled within this beautiful game-as-art-piece that so many of today's "walking simulators" fail to grasp in their aspirations to be works of art.

Next: #25-1

Last edited by Remnant (2020-05-11 00:37:25)

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#65 2020-05-11 00:40:50

Remnant
Member
Registered: 2020-05-10
Posts: 4

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

25) Titanfall 2

One of the biggest surprises of the decade. I've never liked modern-military-shooters. At all. I was pushed by a friend to give the original Modern Warfare (2007) campaign a chance, and I ended up loving it. I then gave Modern Warfare 2 a chance and oh my gods is that campaign a load of pretentious plot-hole-ridden bullshit.

Not even jumping in and out of mechs could put that general style of game on my radar. As someone who is generally indifferent to multiplayer and partial to Playstation, the multiplayer-only XB1 exclusive that was the first Titanfall was a non-entity to me.  But then when the sequel came out, I kept hearing how amazing the campaign was, how some of its best moments rivaled something out of one of Valve's single-player games. I had to put these things to the test. And I'm very glad I did.

24) Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy VI, VII, IX, and X rank among my most beloved games of all time. I've re-visited them all relatively recently and they still hold up remarkably well for me despite the uneven or downright disappointing things that have come since them. I'd long-wondered if I was just over post-Sakaguchi Final Fantasy completely. But then Final Fantasy XV managed to really nail the basics of getting me invested in the characters and their world such that, by the end, I was genuinely touched as the fates of the characters unfolded.  Final Fantasy XV is a good game overall with some aspects and moments that are genuinely great. If Squeenix hadn't shuffled key plot and character developments off-screen in the core game to make a so-so movie and some character DLC (which may be good, I haven't played it), Final Fantasy XV may have been a fantastic game and much higher on this list.

23) Stardew Valley

I never played Harvest Moon as a kid, and anytime I heard about it, I didn't understand how that could be fun and interesting. Damn right I didn't understand. Poor, ignorant, younger me, you were missing out.

22) The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

As many things there were that were "meh" about this game--the story, the shameless redux of the world from A Link To the Past--it was just too much FUN for the "meh" stuff to matter to me in the end. The non-linear, breezy pace of the whole experience kept me hooked from beginning to end.

21) XCOM: Enemy Unknown

The way that this game synchronizes the overall feel and atmosphere to give every moment of management both in and out of combat this deep sense of immersion that you are the leader of a clandestine cross NGO, operating in a world somewhere between The X-Files and Men In Black...yeah, that all worked really well.

20) Dragon Age Inquisition

Dragon Age Origins was one of my favorite games. I played it all the way through at least 5 times. Dragon Age II was...Dragon Age II. I don't hate it, but it didn't make this list for good reason. Inquisition combines the best elements of both games, gives the player a huge world to operate in, and follows-up on plot and character threads from the previous games while titillating what could be coming in the future. Given everything happening at EA/Bioware during this decade, I don't think I could have asked for a better third Dragon Age game.

19) Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

Assassin's Creed was my most beloved series for a long time. I loved the historical settings, the modern-day conspiracy story, the stealth, the free-running; I didn't even mind the maybe-they're-aliens-but-maybe-they're-not twist at the end of Assassin's Creed II. After Assassin's Creed Brotherhood and the departure of Patrice Desiletes, something went wrong.  Assassin's Creed Revelations worked fine, but it was clear that some things we're going in a certain direction before and then there was a shift. And then...Assassin's Creed III happened. Damn if Assassin's Creed III didn't happen. Historical setting and protagonist both boring and bit nonsensical? Check. Conspiracy story stripped of all subtlety? Check. The final payoff to the Desmond story six years and five games in the making fumbled to end with a whimper instead of a bang? Big check.

But then Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag came along with interesting historical setting, a fun protagonist, making the modern-day Templars-as-Illuminati versus Assassins-as-guerilla-hacktivists fun and interesting again, and all this was the mere icing on the cake that is the BEST PIRATE GAME EVER. Yeah, that'll do.

18) Bioshock Infinite

How do you follow-up the surprise meta-commentary twist that defined the original Bioshock? Apparently by making a surprise meta-commentary twist on the very idea of making a sequel to the original Bioshock. Yeah, this game is a trip.

17) Infamous 2

The first Infamous was a ton of fun. I played it twice (once as a superhero, once as a supervillian) and enjoyed every moment.  I would have platinum'd the game if weren't for the stupid stunt challenge trophy. Those things always trip me up. Same reason I didn't platinum Prince of Persia (2008)...a 14-hit-combo? Really?!

But I digress.

The second Infamous took a formula that worked and followed-up with vastly improved presentation and storytelling. I played the heroic path first, and the characters and world were so much more fleshed out and well-done and resonant that by the conclusion, a tear was in my eye and I decided that I'd never play the villain side. The ending of Cole's (heroic) story in Infamous 2 was so unexpected, perfectly-executed, and satisfying that I walked away from the game and left it on that note forever.

16) Splatoon

"Nintendo is gonna make a brand-new first-party IP. And it's gonna be a third-person shooter. And it's gonna be online-focused." If you'd told me that before this past decade, I would've believed you less and less with each complete sentence. But they did all that with their signature Nintendo charm and it worked like gangbusters.

15) Mass Effect 2
This was the only Mass Effect game I managed to play all the way through, and it was worth every minute. Even the planet-scanning had a sort of zen-garden effect for me.

14) Shovel Knight

The "Captain Planet" of excellent NES games. "With your powers combined…"

13) Hue

I've spent a ton of time this decade studying the psychology of perception. This is a fairly straightforward puzzle-platformer in the vein of Limbo (and even has a basic visual style that you could say was ripped-off from Limbo) with color-changing gameplay, but it is peppered throughout with meditations on the nature of perception--"We don't see the world as it is; we see the world as we are."--that perfectly vibe with the gameplay experience. It was just a beautiful and thoughtful experience and a joy to play.

12) Red Dead Redemption

As a rule, I don't like Rockstar Games. I feel like their attempts at maturity often boil down to a teenage-boy sensibility of "let's see how much we can get away with." But during the 7th-gen their was a window when it seemed that they wanted to at least try more mature (actually mature, not stuffed-with-sex-and-violence-for-sake-of-sex-and-violence "mature") storytelling.  GTA IV was a mixed bag, but Red Dead Redemption was absolutely great, not only as a historical wild west epic, but also as a meditation on the nature of law and order, the tension between civilization and the so-called "uncivilized" honor-based cultures that came before, and the tension between the abuse of power and the pursuit of power in the cause of justice.

11) Another Eden: The Cat Beyond Time and Space

Is it possible to create a satisfying, story-based, single-player experience in the free-to-play mobile space? Is Masato Kato's writing and nostalgia for his work on Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross enough to carry an entire game? For my (lack of) money, the answer was a resounding "Yes." At least as far as the main story goes. The ongoing post-main-story content is more of a mixed bag.

10) SteamWorld Dig

The biggest surprise of the decade. Take the general exploration-to-upgrade loop of a Metroidvania and combine it with the resource collection-to-upgrade loop and the ability to dig your own paths from Minecraft. Top it off with excellent sprites and music. I'd never even heard of this game until I saw it on the dashboard of my friend's PS4, but as soon as I booted it up I never wanted to stop.

9) SteamWorld Dig 2

Everything that made the first one great, but with a bigger world, better upgrades items (like a hook-shot!), and more variety. Lacks the novelty of the first, but is ultimately more fun to play than the first, giving it the edge. 

8) Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

This was the first game that I platinum'd just because the trophy challenges gave me something to aim for and I didn't want to stop playing. The parkour and stealth of Assassin's Creed with the counter-combat of the Batman Arkham games plus the Nemesis system, which I won't explain here, but if you've never tried it, you have to see it in action for yourself.

7) Witcher 3

I admit it. I was indifferent to all things Witcher until I watched and enjoyed the Netflix show, and then I bought this game in a sale.

Wow. Just...wow. As a longtime fan of fantasy RPGs--both in video games and tabletop--this was the first video game RPG that made me feel like I was playing tabletop with a Dungeon Master who studied creative writing in college. Every location and every quest is dripping with the sort of well-written storytelling detail that shows CDPR clearly values the craft of storytelling and busted their asses to create an RPG world that feels alive.

6) Minecraft

The comparison has been made to death, but discovering Minecraft really did make me feel like a kid playing with LEGO blocks, except that there's an unlimited number of blocks! And the world spawns bad guys to fight! And look at my awesome sky castle! I envy the kids who've been able to grow up with this one.

5) Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Once the latter turns of Assassin's Creed left me cold, this became my go-to for stealth and conspiracy.  I never played the older Deus Ex games, but it didn't matter.  This game sucked me in like few others.

4) Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Human Revolution was a great game. Mankind Divided brought what made that game great to a more focused, more intimate scale. It wormed its way into my mind a way that very few non-horror-genre experiences ever have.

3) Portal 2

Valve's excellent, exploration-based storytelling at its peak, the return of Portal's excellent dark comedy, intriguing vistas, and excellent puzzles.  Doesn't quite reach the heights of the first (few sequels do), but still pretty much peerless in its own right.

2) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

It's a rare game that can break through all the years of experience and cynicism that have developed over time and truly make you feel like a wide-eyed, innocent child. When I first stepped out of the Shrine of Resurrection as Link and onto that ledge where the camera pans and you see the world laid out for exploration...I was 7 years old again, dumbstruck by the awe-inspiring breadth of the original NES Zelda game. The experience that followed lived up to that first impression and then some. Any gripes or constructive criticisms (the weapons are too fragile and a repair/upgrade system like Dark Souls would have been better) are drowned out by that raw feeling of awe and exploration that inspired the foundational 1986 game, and how that feeling was given new life in 2017.

1) Dark Souls

As a counterpoint to the broad expansiveness that was in the overworld of the original Zelda, re-captured in spirit in Breath of the Wild, Dark Souls captured the original Zelda's ruthlessness: figuring out where to go and what to do and how to handle difficult enemy encounters within the limited moveset and toolset at your disposal. It also brought a new style of video game storytelling to the table. All of that makes this game excellent from a more objective perspective, but a big part of what makes Dark Souls my #1 GOTD is a very personal factor, which I don't mind sharing. Consider the following:

You find yourself in a world that you don't fully understand. Just about everything seems dangerous and hostile. The few moments of respite are few and far between compared to the challenges and obstacles that are constantly before you. It can be tempting to just give up on it all. But...if you keep trying, you listen to the advice of those who genuinely want you to succeed, you reach out for help when you need it, and you never give up...you can surpass any obstacle that is placed before you, you can gain some understanding of the world around you (at least enough to make peace with it) and you can overcome the world. Maybe, just maybe--if you really dig through the depths and gain deep insight--you can possibly change the world.

This is a summation of the gameplay experience of Dark Souls. This is also a summation of the story of the "Chosen Undead."

It's also a summation of the experience of living with clinical depression.

This was a decade of the most intense lows and profound highs that I've ever gone through. I'm glad to say that I'm currently living my best life, but it hasn't been easy getting here. The process of getting the help I needed illuminated the fact that I've actually been struggling with high-functioning depression since my late teens; and this high-functioning depressed state was getting worse into my thirties before obstacles like a child's cancer diagnosis and the threat of family dissolution became a part of my reality.

Dark Souls was not only intensely cathartic to play, but it spoke to the sort of internal struggle I was dealing with at a deeply unconscious level. I didn't even consciously realize that there was an intense parallel between the game experience and my battles with depression until I was well into Dark Souls III and far along in the process of recovery.

This is not to say that Dark Souls is specifically about depression. Let's not, as Tolkien would say, "confuse applicability with allegory." While I've read others' stories about this same parallel with depression, I've also read the story of a former U.S. soldier who used the game to help him cope with his recovery from addiction and PTSD; I've read about someone who applied the Dark Souls metaphor to coping with social anxiety. This doesn't diminish my personal interpretation at all. It enhances it. That Dark Souls can be great game AND a powerful metaphor for the very nature of human struggle against extraordinary circumstances makes Dark Souls nothing less than an extraordinary game.

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#66 2020-05-11 00:45:43

Remnant
Member
Registered: 2020-05-10
Posts: 4

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

And yes, I was only able to come up with 49 games. 100-50 are not accidentally missing.

I have two young kids and a busy life generally, so don't have ton of gaming time (maybe 5-15 hours a week). This list is basically what's left if you took everything I played in the 201X years, took out all the things that weren't released in a 201X year (a whole lot; it'd probably be less than 100 just at this point), then took out everything I played briefly that didn't hook me at all, and then took out all the things I played extensively but ended up disappointing to me in the end.

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#67 2020-05-11 02:34:17

DoorCurtain
Member
Registered: 2019-08-31
Posts: 7

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

So, for my list, the game has to be something I completed, any game I thought was maybe good but didn’t return to so I could finish it is disqualified. Multiplayer games are exempt of course, but only a couple are on the list anyway.

As you can see, a lot of great stuff isn’t on the list. Blame this on my hesitance to try new games besides Nintendo games for most of my life until the past few years when I decided to be less vanilla. Also, the fact that I have a custom built PC I made specifically to check out a ton of cool computer games, but never bought a proper monitor, mouse, keyboard, or desk for, something I’ve only gotten around to fixing this year. Then COVID-19 happened and I quit my job to be safe and I dunno if I still feel like I am able to spend the money on all that, gah! I'll figure something out.

I realized that I never beat 100 different games that all came out in the 2010s, and I don't even have 69 entries. I do, however, have 64 of them. So, my list is in 4 sections. The first is games I liked well enough and don't consider outright bad. The second is games I think are generally pretty good. The third is games I think highly of. The last (and still the biggest) is games I outright love. I did this to make sure my posts are spread out and aren't just on one giant post, especially since I ended up writing very big blurbs for some entries.

64. Persona 4 Golden

I wasn’t a fan of a few of the changes made to the day-by-day formula from Persona 3 (which, due to FES not releasing in the 2010s, is disqualified) like the ability to beat dungeons in one sitting, or how characters don’t have meaningful arcs lasting the entire game like P3 did since they have social links that are ultimately optional now, or how Yosuke is probably the worst “bro” party member between P3, P4, and P5, or the very backtrack-y nature of the dungeon narrative arcs around Kanji and Naoto, but putting all my negativity for the game aside, it really is a joyous romp. It’s difficult to forget how much the game wants you to just be happy and enjoy being in this group of friends as you live in a very uneventful town, solving mysteries together. The battle theme is one of the happiest I’ve ever heard and honestly, after how grim Persona 3 could be, it felt like a breather to play something so comparatively delightful.

63. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

The internet turned on this game pretty quickly, huh? I know I did when I realized it was the Zelda game I dreaded the thought of replaying the most. Nonetheless, as overly handhold-y and guided an experience as Skyward Sword was, it still delighted me when I first played it. While Breath of the Wild felt like a love letter to people who missed the exploratory aspect of the Zelda series as it became more and more linear, Skyward Sword still had real love toward fans who loved basically everything else about the Zelda series. When the motion controls actually worked, the swordplay was very fun to mess around with, and at the time the control scheme felt real cool in general, like holding face buttons to summon a ring menu with which you used the Wiimote to pick something. Smooth and intuitive! The dungeons are genuinely great, which is something people forget about it, and the final “dungeon” with the rooms you could rearrange was super cool. Until Breath of the Wild came out, it had my favorite version of Zelda, too, even the bar for that was admittedly low (Spirit Tracks was also good, but ultimately her personality was just “what if you found out the princess was a regular girl?” Which still isn’t very original).

62. Persona 5

Though it keeps a few of the changes Persona 4 made that I didn’t like, like how (for the most part) you can still get the dungeons “over with” instead of steadily tackling them within a designated spot just for doing so, Persona 5 was otherwise a huge improvement from Persona 4 in terms of gameplay. The battles are far smoother and the decision to fight Shin Megami Tensei demons again instead of the weird but comparatively generic shadow enemies from P3 and P4 was much appreciated. The music is even catchier than P4’s was, which is an achievement. I don’t think the game nailed its theme of rebellion compared to P4 and especially P3’s themes, but I can’t deny feeling electrified when fighting some of the scumbags in the story. Overall, despite my numerous hangups with the game, the game should be on this list for its incredible sense of style alone. The graphical style is utterly gorgeous, and never have menus felt so cool to navigate at every level.

61. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

I loved the Wind Waker! Before Breath of the Wild, it felt like the truest vision of a 3D Zelda where exploration was the prime focus due to the Great Sea, even if the sea could feel pretty barren. The narrative of moving on from the loss of an older vision of something considered great was also done real well, and gave this game’s version of Ganondorf some real tragedy that has never been matched in any subsequent installments. The reason this game isn’t higher on the list is because the remake changed the art style from the original significantly, which I wasn’t a fan of, even though I liked the other changes like being able to unlock faster sailing.

60. Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Reverie (PAL DS Release)

The most delightfully broken Dragon Quest game in the series. You can learn so many overpowered abilities from classes that don’t require any MP! Annihilating the game’s difficulty just by changing around classes whenever appropriate was incredibly fun. I even beat the final boss in less than 4 minutes, with AI partners! Dragon Quest VI also had a very meticulous overworld that felt like one giant puzzle to solve, with numerous barriers that could only be crossed under very specific circumstances you had to solve riddles to bypass. Also, Ashlynn is a top tier Dragon Quest wife (ironically, Dragon Quest V released on DS before the 2010s, so the actual Dragon Quest wife game is disqualified).

59. Super Hexagon

Very fun arcade game. One of the few games I didn’t “beat” that’s going on my list anyway because of how stylish and intoxicating the gameplay is. It’s very simple: you’re a little triangle orbiting a hexagon, dodging obstacles going inward. Tap the left half of the screen to move counterclockwise, or the right half to move clockwise. You do this while listening to some *extremely* pumping music and as the screen rotates to challenge your sense of place. While the game is stuck on my old iPod Touch that doesn’t really work anymore, I’ll never forget the fun I had with this game while waiting for the doctor.

Last edited by DoorCurtain (2020-05-11 18:28:11)


"At some point, the world was destroyed. Naturally, it was humans who destroyed it.

Everyone had an inkling that it would happen at some point. And then it really did happen. And so, the world is no more." - Leder (Mother 3)

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#68 2020-05-11 02:46:51

DoorCurtain
Member
Registered: 2019-08-31
Posts: 7

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

58. Shovel Knight

I don’t love this game as much as the rest of the internet does, but there’s nothing really wrong with the game, either. It’s a fun call-back to old NES action games with modern sensibilities. I liked the tools you could get that gave Shovel Knight more abilities like fishing or stabbing horizontally through the air. I never checked out all the free expansions, but kudos to the team for working real hard on all those extra single player campaigns.

57. Snake Pass

You ever wonder what a platformer where you have no limbs and can’t jump would be like? Snake Pass is for you, starring, well, a danger Noodle. You move the control stick left and right to slither around, press a shoulder button to go forward (use the former technique to keep going), press a face button to *lift* your head, and the left stick to *aim* your head. Navigate the world by coiling your snakey body around poles and tightening your grip with a shoulder button. Really, the feeling of mastering the mere act of “moving around” is worth it alone.

56. Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword

Ever wanna play budget Punch Out, but with swords, and a bunch of regular enemies with designated boss levels? Sakura Samurai is a very interesting idea I was sad to see Nintendo abandon. Paying close attention to enemy tells, their sword trails, and the camera movements all work together to create a feeling of a samurai observing his surroundings to calculate his next move. Also, you can throw frogs at people.

55. Another World: 28th Anniversary Edition

I’ve heard legends of this game, hushed whispers on the farthest reaches of the internet, about how this game was basically perfect in how it teaches you everything you need without any heads up display. I finally played it, on Nintendo 3DS, and they were right, almost everything in the game feels intuitive despite the lack of overt direction. It didn’t set me on fire like for other people but man, what a cool laser gun you get to mess with. I thought the ending was real tense, too.

54. WarioWare Gold

I was never a big WarioWare person, instead I just wondered why Wario Land, one of my favorite platforming series, just kind of fell off the map after 2008. So on a whim, I dropped money on this compilation released a few years ago and had a grand ol’ wacky weird time. The microgames are endearing as hell and have amazing variety. Wario also got to be a villain in the story mode, which is hilariously embodied as being the head of a shady game dev jam. Recognizing famous game and anime voice actors as Wario’s employees was a huge treat too. Oh yeah, everyone’s voice acted! It was awesome getting to hear Charles Martinet cut loose with his extended take on Wario, with, like, actual sentences!

53. Fire Emblem Awakening

This is admittedly the only Fire Emblem game I played this decade, let alone finished, and it was due to Casual Mode which didn’t have any permadeath (which I still decently enjoyed in Fire Emblem 7 for the GBA). The story had a weird filler arc with fighting a beefy red-armored warlord, but overall I loved the narrative of fighting against destiny. The strategy required in many of the maps really made me think for up to 10 minutes at a time, so overcoming them felt like a real victory. The characters were fun to talk to and develop through the optional relationship stuff, which is to this game’s credit since I didn’t even realize I could do so until two-thirds of the way through the game. Three Houses is probably better than this game, but while I haven’t played it yet, I’ll still look back on my time with this entry very fondly.

52. Luigi's Mansion 3

While I still didn’t like it as much as the first game, the cartoony antics on display in this entry more than make up for it. Next Level Games was allowed to bring Mario and friends alive in this game with incredible animation, with the best work being done on Luigi. He’s never been more adorable and dorky, and seeing his Mr. Bean-esque reactions to everything around him was a real treat. I think the gameplay is a more fun take on what Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon was as well.

51. VVVVVV

I’ve never played a Commodore 64 game, but even I felt the love put into the system with this game’s graphical style. The game is a very simple platformer: press any button to flip gravity so you go up or down. It has awesome music and a fun atmosphere of adventure as you recover ship parts to make it back home. Death is a slap on the wrist, since you can immediately try something again as soon as you die, which is refreshing.

50. Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past (3DS remake)

You ever feel like playing a very long, very thorough collection of fairy tales and fables? If you can stand the very slow beginning (apparently sped up for the remake!), Dragon Quest VII is the game for you. Lots of nice little stories to experience as you slowly but surely piece together a world by saving its location in the past. The class system is open and free like Dragon Quest VI, but is only unlocked about 20 hours in and is far smarter about limitations made so that nothing is terribly overpowered. As glacial as the pace could sometimes be, it’s a game I felt very, very satisfied with beating by the time I hit the 100-hour mark. Did I mention the game is very long?


"At some point, the world was destroyed. Naturally, it was humans who destroyed it.

Everyone had an inkling that it would happen at some point. And then it really did happen. And so, the world is no more." - Leder (Mother 3)

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#69 2020-05-11 03:09:52

DoorCurtain
Member
Registered: 2019-08-31
Posts: 7

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

49. Pokemon OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire

Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire are my second favorite Pokemon games. I was astounded by the jump to GBA graphics and sound quality, as well as the much more diverse world compared to the more down-to-earth Kanto and Johto. I didn’t mind everything bad that the internet would endlessly point out when I hopped online and learned these games were everyone’s least favorite. Nonetheless, the remakes won a lot of them over. The updated X and Y engine brought the region of Hoenn to life better than ever, and the game’s wonderfully exotic and distinct locales were able to truly shine in 3D.

Also, before these remakes, I didn’t care too much about completing the Pokedex, but now that the bottom screen of each area displayed the Pokemon you caught there, along with a steadily-shinier crown icon showing your progress in catching them all in every location, I managed to completely catch every Pokemon ever for the first time. It’s thanks largely to this game that my Pokedex doesn’t take more than a few days to complete in whatever the latest Pokemon game is.

Really though, the remakes deserve credit for bringing a playground rumor I always heard in elementary school to life: “If you go to the space station in Mossdeep City after fulfilling a certain condition, you go to space and catch Deoxys.” I hooted and hollered as I did just that.

48. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice

While I still think modern Ace Attorney has a very rocky quality (my opinion on Dual Destinies is pretty low despite some good parts), Spirit of Justice is a promising start back onto making excellent entries in the series again. Apollo Justice is once again given a new backstory, unfortunately, but I like what they do with it far better than what they did with him in his first game (read: put him on the perpetual backburner despite being the player character because his game was ultimately Phoenix’s game). It has 3 of my favorite cases in the series (case 2, case 4, and case 5), the central gimmick where you watch videos is more engaging than the emotion meter thing from Dual Destinies, and the ending of the game is entertainingly crazy.

That said, without giving anything away, I’ll be disappointed if the next Ace Attorney game doesn’t star Apollo Justice or Athena Cykes. I think Phoenix Wright’s character had a good run, he doesn’t need to have a big focus in the main series anymore.

47. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

This game is basically an edgy murder story you wrote in middle school, except with superhuman care put into making sure every story beat and character moment is completely earned. That’s impressive, but the game has 16+ characters, meaning this game and the series it spawned is one of the best murder mystery stories ever told. Locked into a school together, different high school students with incredible talents must either survive together or murder someone else while getting away with it in order to leave. You know how these things go, except, you also don’t. Twists and turns where you don’t expect them at all, this game was full of impressive writing that earned my respect.

46. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D

I liked most of the changes the remake made. The textures are updated while still carrying the same intent as the originals, the most frustrating boss in the original was still frustrating except you had a clearer method of defeating it, and the sidequest notebook felt more intuitive. At its heart, though, it’s still Majora’s Mask, probably the closest a mainstream Nintendo EAD game has come to feeling like it has something important to say. In this case, it’s the faith that things can become better in the face of impending doom if we believe in ourselves enough, no matter how grim the odds feel.

45. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

I’m that one guy who genuinely likes Toad and thinks he’s cute. As such, it was a joy to play a game all about navigating Toad around little diorama levels without the ability to jump, but with the ability to capture my heart. Though the GamePad controls felt tacked on, like the wheel turning segments, it was hard to care with how adorable Nintendo made Toad and Toadette this time around.

44. BOXBOY

You’re a box. Extend your boxy body with more boxes. Drop boxes in different places as platforms or weights. Land your boxy extensions onto ledges, then reel yourself onto the end that landed onto it. Fun, cute, and at times brain-busting, BOXBOY is a delightful little gem of a puzzle game. I wish the protagonist, Qbby, was in Smash.

43. Super Mario Maker

While Super Mario Maker 2 has come out and made the first game largely irrelevant, I’m excluding it in favor of the first game because of how much more approachable making levels felt. The GamePad felt perfect for level making, as dragging things around and dropping elements onto a grid was the most intuitive thing in the world. Compared to the TV mode controls for the sequel, they are comparatively less clunky. I also miss the mushrooms that turn Mario into a different character: it was fun making a few levels where I played as Waluigi or a spring.

42. Super Mario 3D Land

Super Mario 3D World seems to have overshadowed its predecessor on 3DS. That’s a shame, because this game felt like a big breath of fresh air back in 2011. Mario gameplay with a Crash Bandicoot camera meant that the linear levels of Galaxy 2 could be made even sharper, especially since the control scheme was much more straightforward this time around. I love the music for the snow and beach levels a lot, very relaxing to listen to.

41. Kirby: Planet Robobot

There was a year where I focused on catching up on all the main series Kirby games I didn’t play. Out of all them, the one released this past decade that impressed me the most was Kirby: Planet Robobot. Its gimmick, for once, actually interacts with Kirby’s copy abilities: a giant mech that gains powers depending on Kirby’s ability. The game felt sharper than Triple Deluxe, and told a better story about Kirby’s home being exploited for resources and needing to fight back.

40. Super Mario Galaxy 2

I don’t have the same attachment toward this one as I do with the first Galaxy, but if I’m being honest, Super Mario Galaxy 2 was more fun than the first. The focus being primarily on linear levels this time instead of only partly a focus meant that they could be constructed with a similar attention to detail as the 2D Mario games. While nobody likes Lubba compared to Rosalina, Lubba’s game is all-around more fun. I commend this game for influencing Super Mario 3D Land and 3D World.

39. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (3DS updated port)

The music quality sucks! Which is unfortunate, because the soundtrack of Dragon Quest VIII is one of the best in the whole series. Fuck Sugiyama. Anyway, this game feels the closest to a realization of what everyone was imagining in their heads whenever they played a classic JRPG. There are overworlds to explore, but they’re in full 3D with hills, cliffs, rivers, and grasslands fully modeled and textured. Moving the camera around to see where everything was felt awesome after playing so many games where your character moved onto an overworld map with sprites representing towns and dungeons as big as the character sprite. I also liked the skill point system, which made your very few party members feel intricately and thoughtfully balanced against the rest of the game. Though, pro-tip: Make sure Yangus specializes in axes, not clubs, like I did.

38. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

I loved this game, and not just because A Link to the Past on the GBA was my first Zelda game, meaning I was already going to love a follow-up with a near-identical layout for Hyrule. No, I loved this game for how damn *snappy* it felt. Attacks come out instantly, your running speed feels pitch-perfect, and dungeons blaze by in the blink of an eye, as you determine what to do next far faster than in previous Zelda games. I don’t really replay games these days that much anymore, but I played this game three separate times because doing things even more efficiently each time became comfort food for a while.

37. Splatoon

What a super fresh concept for a game: a shooter where the goal isn’t to shoot the most people but to cover the battlefield as much as you can. Splatoon was one of the most approachable shooters I’ve ever played as a result: even if I sucked at shooting other squids, I could still help out in the most important way regardless. The game’s lore and sense of style oozed confidence, making it one of the few Nintendo IPs they didn’t decide to unceremoniously abandon. Stan Marie.

36. Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion

They changed the controls of this game so that the right control stick wouldn’t let you aim up and down anymore, now only gyro controls did that, if you had them on. This meant I couldn’t aim broadly with the right stick and “correct” my aim with the gyro like with Splatoon 1, so I basically never played the multiplayer. Thank goodness for the Octo Expansion, then. The mode was extremely beefy and told a far better story than the single player mode of the launch game. It was also maddeningly difficult, and because I otherwise never played shooters, the game kicked my ass ruthlessly. That said, the finale of the expansion was worth it, since getting to save the world from total extinction by coating an enormous statue with ink was weirdly visceral and satisfying. Also, Pearl and Marina are girlfriends, I don’t care if it isn’t explicitly confirmed, I saw the ending so I know what I’m talking about.

35. Celeste

This game feels like a rumination on the nature of difficult games. Celeste is incredibly tough, but it also really wants you to succeed. Death, like in VVVVVV, is often a slap on the wrist, and you can instantly retry whatever section you were working on. Little touches here and there are made to make sure Madeline is responsive and make sure she navigates the environment fairly. Whether or not you relate to the game’s vague diatribes on mental illness is up to you, but the game will be right there with you to be supportive, whether you do or not.

34. Kikai

John knows how to make good games, and his abstract artsy forced-scrolling shooter is very memorable. As I played, I felt my eyes dart around as I noticed yet another wall, yet another obstacle, yet another centipede to maneuver around to survive. It’s difficult to make games that, to me, feel easy, while simultaneously grabbing my full attention the whole time I’m playing, but John did it.

33. Moon

I’ve only played a couple of Thom’s games, but this one is memorable even if I found Silus better (the latter released this year so it’s unfortunately disqualified). In short: you’re navigating a base on the moon. With the power of floaty jumps, you maneuver to where you need to go within a strict time limit. The interesting thing is, the more you learn about the layout of the map, the less strict the time limit becomes...until you get to that *one* playthrough where you learn one last tidbit, that leads you to navigate the base with even more efficiency than you did before. So, the time limit seems strict, then it isn’t, then it is again. Cool!

32. WarioWare D.I.Y.

It was this game, more than any other I’ve played before or since, that got me to respect video game development on a very deep level.

The thought of making my own games was challenging, but a simple WarioWare microgame? That’s manageable! So I set out to create something simple: a game where you tap a block of ice three times to eventually reveal a Nintendo DSi underneath. Except, the work I needed to put in to program having three different sprites for the block of ice, the tricky coding I needed to do to make sure the DSi was always underneath the ice sprites, having the sprites reveal each other in sequence as the player tapped the block of ice three times; well all of that was way, way, *way* trickier than I thought.

“If making a microgame is *this* complicated,” I told myself, “then all the other games I play are unbelievable feats of engineering and problem solving.” I still want to make a game someday, but maybe I should start with finishing this dumb little microgame I abandoned all those years ago. Or Nintendo could bring it back for modern audiences, since the Switch also has a touchscreen (all WarioWare DIY games are played with simple taps on the screen, no buttons).

My personal story about this game aside, though, Body Rock is a fantastic song, listen to its uncompressed version in WarioWare Gold’s soundtrack.

(Sorry for posting this late at night. I had vertigo today which made it hard to type all day until I felt better. All the entries are done. I'm just converting them to the forum is all. I hope you can let this slide.)


"At some point, the world was destroyed. Naturally, it was humans who destroyed it.

Everyone had an inkling that it would happen at some point. And then it really did happen. And so, the world is no more." - Leder (Mother 3)

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#70 2020-05-11 04:00:58

DoorCurtain
Member
Registered: 2019-08-31
Posts: 7

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

31. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

I wasn’t really a fan of the 2D Mario games made in the 2010s, but I loved Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. It felt challenging, the levels were absolutely gorgeous, and the music was beyond incredible thanks to original compositions by David Wise. It’s just nice to play a 2D platformer with a Nintendo character that felt like it was really trying for once. Also, I liked the Snomads better than the Kremlings.

30. Untitled Goose Game

There are a lot of reasons people give for Goose Game’s success, but really, there’s only one: it’s a perfect elevator pitch. “You’re a goose. Be an asshole to proceed further into the game.” That’s it. Ir’s not a parody of simulator games, it’s not a re-thinking of the stealth genre, it’s not ushering in a new age of comedy games, it’s not any of the buzzwords people say. It’s a game where you are a goose. The game is so good because everyone who’s ever encountered a goose knows how horrible they are, so it’s fun to be one for a change. And for those who don’t know, they can play the game to honk. More games should let you honk.

29. Donut County

One of the most delightful 4 hours I’ve spent with a game. Some people called the game a “Katamari-like” but while you do control something that consumes things to grow bigger, that’s the only similarity. The focus is really on the narrative surrounding everyone’s homes and livelihood being literally holed away to benefit some out-of-towners with no respect for local culture. Also, the game’s writing is funny, even though it uses modern internet forum language in its dialogue, it never feels cringey because it understands the mechanics of why typing certain things in certain ways on the internet is as entertaining to us as it is in real life. I still want to replay the game, even though the game is very linear, because my time with it was just that delightful.

28. Polly Dungeon

It’s a shitpost generator, what’s not to love? There’s technically no real choice in it, but I’m still classifying it as a game because it’s clearly mocking roguelikes and the tendency for them to screw you over in such a way that you can’t reasonably beat it after a certain point. If you “stick with it”, though, you can “beat” it. The music by Ghosty in particular is so twee it makes me smile, I still listen to the complete soundtrack on Polly’s YouTube channel when I wash dishes sometimes. Lute boxes!

27. StreetPass Mii Plaza

Just putting this on the list to remind everyone that even though the Nintendo 3DS’ days are mostly behind us now, this aspect of the system shouldn’t be forgotten. I had a ton of fun collecting puzzle pieces from people I walked past, as well as journeying through a couple of fun RPGs with the Find Mii duology. I had fun exploring the haunted house game with Reggie Fils-Aime’s Mii. StreetPass Mii Plaza was core to the Nintendo 3DS’ appeal, and I think we all want something like that again someday. Maybe with a successor to the Nintendo Switch or something.

26. Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver

Pokemon Gold and Silver are my favorite entries in the series. They expanded upon the framework of the original, rounded out some kinks like having separate special attack and special defense stats, and had a fun theme about legacy and living up to expectations formed from the past. The remakes were a very tasteful update of the original games, and best of all, every Pokemon ever could walk behind the player to be interacted with, like Pikachu in Pokemon Yellow. It’s the closest the series has come to actually achieving the promise of having your Pokemon double as a pet. I loved all the easter eggs like being able to rematch all 16 gym leaders with much stronger fights, and the item that reverted the music back to its Game Boy original sound (they even made chiptune remixes for songs that weren’t in the originals!). While the frame rate being at 30 and the single-use move learning items bug me, Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver are otherwise my favorite games to go back to.

25. Super Mario Odyssey

This game finally brought back the exploratory 3D Mario we all missed. Mario feels his snappiest and most fluid in this game. Odyssey continued 3D World’s streak of inventiveness with almost completely original settings and locales for Mario to visit. I love how “French snail” is as valid and distinct a species as “1950s New York businessman and businesswoman”. The abilities Mario gains when controlling enemies are so fun that you could make whole games out of most of them. I love both vocal songs, too. Mario music with vocals was a risk, but both “Jump Up, Super Star” and “Break Free (Lead The Way)” rule. I spent an intense 2 month period 100%ing the game, and had a blast the whole way through.

24. Night in the Woods

Let’s forget about the unfortunate composer for the game for a bit and appreciate Night in the Woods for what it is: a heartbreakingly sincere meditation on a world cruel and indifferent to your existence. The game’s core cast of characters are great, and I found the strained relationship between Mae and Bea in particular very compelling. The ending may or may not work for you, but I think the rest of the preceding game is worth the price of admission alone.

23 / 22 / 21. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy

I am very wary of trying new games. Just look at the rest of my list, it’s almost all Nintendo games, because I am a self-avowed basic bitch. But this was one of my most memorable attempts to branch out, and this 3DS collection with the admittedly unimpressive official art “sprites” and sometimes empty-sounding music (listen to the lack of drums on Pursuit ~ Caught in the 3DS version versus the DS version) nonetheless got me hooked into one of the best mystery game series ever made. Following the tale of Phoenix Wright, defense attorney, as he solves seemingly-impossible case after case is incredibly thrilling due to the gameplay of pointing out the contradictions in people’s testimonies. The third game, Trials and Tribulations, is particularly masterpiecely.

Also, Ace Attorney games are fucking hilarious. Some of the absolute funniest writing in video game history. If you want to play a game that will make you laugh, and you haven’t checked this series out, please do yourself a favor and dive into the series with the trilogy. It’s available on 3DS, Steam, and Switch.

20. Katamari Damacy REROLL

Happiness and stress all rolled into one. Incredible music, too. There’s not much else I can say about this game that other people haven’t already voiced other than I’m glad I finally played it after making the horrible mistake of not getting a PlayStation 2 until years after most of the system’s library went out of print. Maybe if I asked for a PS2 instead of a GameCube for Christmas when I was 7 or 8 I would have developed interesting taste instead of being another Nintendo kid. Ah well. Katamari Damacy feels as well-thought-out as any Nintendo game regardless.

19. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

The first Danganronpa game was great, there’s no way the sequel is just as good, right? That’s where you’re wrong, *bucko*. The game somehow takes all the expectations you had from the first game, which was already about constantly breaking your expectations, and shatters them into a million pieces. The characters, writing, themes, *everything* is way better. Bravo to the team for successfully following up one of the coolest mystery games to debut in the 2010s.

18. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition

The original music made for the game sucks! Which is unfortunate, because the soundtrack of Dragon Quest XI is in part a compilation of the best songs from previous entries in the whole series. Fuck Sugiyama. Anyway, this is the best adventure the Dragon Quest series has given me. It almost feels like a metanarrative about what the nature of being a Dragon Quest game even is, which is fitting for a game meant to celebrate so much of the series’ history. The battle system is the best in the series, combining the skill point system of Dragon Quest VIII with a fun upgrade tree system that feels fair, if a bit stingy. This is the first RPG in a long time where I bothered to level everyone up to level 99, in part because I wanted to prove myself against the grueling superboss that tested the battle system to the very limit. Not many RPGs do that.

17. Facets

This is an RPG with no random encounters, only a few pre-existing ones. You have limited recovery items with no way to buy more, and those same items are the only ways to recover health and status effects for the entire game. Also, the encounters are only found within a few ruthless and brutal hell mazes. This game doesn’t fuck around, even with the two secret insta-kill items. While I think the active time battle system from SNES Final Fantasy games was annoying in this game, I sure did beat the game anyway. How ironic, considering that, considering your mission, the game actively wants you to fail. This pesky revolutionary is doing everything it can to resist your efforts to wipe her mind clean, you see. Too bad the player can learn, from trying over and over again, how to most effectively finish the job. Very grim. John should be very proud of what he accomplished with this game.

16 / 15. Her Lullaby + Afterward

This is a very dark, visceral tale of horror and the drive to kill. I don’t want to give too much away, just that Polly, John, and everyone else who worked on Her Lullaby did an incredible job with this visual novel. While I felt annoyed that I was doing the right thing, only to realize it was one of two routes I needed to do to unlock the rest of the game, made to basically make me exhaust all the other preceding routes with *very* unpleasant and uncomfortable dialogue and inner thoughts, I otherwise was on the edge of my seat as I made my way through Her Lullaby.

The follow up, Afterward, is also a fantastic post mortem on Her Lullaby, and even though it’s not as much of a game as Her Lullaby was (I think the correct term is “kinetic novel”, basically there’s no in-game choices, all you do is advance text), I related to it on a deeper level as it got me to reflect on relationships I left behind for my well-being and all the complex feelings that brings. You can beat each novel in one night, when it feels most appropriate.

14. AI: The Somnium Files

I didn’t play the other Uchikoshi games, sorry! But I did play this one, and man, was it a trip. You play as a horny himbo detective with a hot AI partner and an even hotter boss as you uncover mysteries surrounding identities and eyes. Soooo many eye things happen. The plot gets entertainingly out there as you uncover the mystery behind murder victims with their eyes removed. Great stuff about brains, perception, and connection in here. Invincible Rainbow Arrow is the cheesiest and best song ever.

13. Helen’s Mysterious Castle

There’s a glitch that hasn’t been fixed where, after a certain boss fight, if you go through the left half of a two-tile-wide door, the game crashes. If you play this game, save before every boss fight to make sure this doesn’t become a huge deal.

Otherwise, I have nothing but great things to say about this game. It’s an RPG Maker game with a unique and awesome battle system. You collect weapons and tools with their unique Attack, Defense, and Wait numbers. Attack is how much damage it will deal, Defense is how much damage it will block, and Wait is how long you will need to wait before you act. Simple, intuitive, and super fun. Any RPG that decides to do something fun instead of having a single generic “attack” command is awesome, and the one-on-one fights Helen partakes in to solve the mystery of the castle remain good for the brain the whole way through. Also: it’s like $2 on Steam! Just...go get it! Knock yourself out!

12. Super Mario 3D World

This game rules. It’s linear 3D Mario perfected. Yeah the worlds aren’t themed for the most part which takes some of the feeling of adventure out, but every single level felt incredibly fun to navigate. While “World” is in the title, it’s more like Super Mario Bros. 3 in terms of quality. The cat power up was super fun, even if the act of climbing a surface could momentarily feel a bit boring, it finally meant we had a power up that kept Mario and company at “small” size. I really loved the cherries that cloned you, as well, and I liked how you would always end up controlling the last clone standing. Despite being a follow up to a 3DS entry, it felt far more inventive than most previous Mario games up to that point.

11. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

No one ever talks about this game, because they don’t want to give anything away. All they ever say is “play Ghost Trick,” and squeal with excitement whenever anyone else mentions it.

Anyway, play Ghost Trick.

AND NOW, FOR THE TOP 10

10. Pokemon Black and White

There are a couple of Pokemon remakes on this list, and they are of my two favorite entries in the series. Despite this, I’m putting Pokemon Black and White above them because it is the most confident entry into the Pokemon series that has been released in the past decade.

No old Pokemon at all until after you beat the game. Items that teach your Pokemon new moves are now permanent and endlessly usable, but as a trade-off are far harder to find, especially the really good ones. Leveling up was much harder the higher level you were compared to your opponent, meaning the old trick of having one strong Pokemon and five weak ones that took the brunt of your attacks while you revived and healed your strong Pokemon when they fainted could no longer work.

The best part was the story. For once, a Pokemon game actually had a strong overt narrative about the nature of whether capturing and training Pokemon was morally okay or not (it is, the opposition is Pokemon PETA). It even has a shitty dad in it, you guys like those in fiction, right? Overall, when fans complained about all these great changes to the structure of the game, it resulted in follow ups that all felt limp or disappointing in their own ways, from the half-baked party of friends in X and Y to the Skyward Sword-level handhold-y nature of Sun and Moon to the unfocused and uncommitted narrative of Sword and Shield. I want Game Freak to be confident in its changes again, and for reasons beyond a smaller Pokedex made for pragmatic reasons.

9. Project M

Let me explain what Project M is. It’s a mod for Super Smash Bros. Brawl that began in 2011 to make the game play more like Super Smash Bros. Melee. I’m aware of the reputation Melee has gotten over the years, but whatever your opinion on it, this mod is very high up on my list because it’s what got me to start posting in online forums.

For a very long time, I believed the myths that online friends weren’t real friends, and yet, in my later high school years, I felt more alone than ever when almost no one around me shared my interests or seemingly had in common with me. Having heard of the mod through an IGN article highlighting the Skyloft stage, I found an old SD card, emptied it, and downloaded my first video game mod ever. The result was a game that played as sharp as I wanted it to while reimagining everyone’s moveset in fresh ways. Stages were redesigned to be more straightforward, with layouts that complimented the fighting rather than disrupting it. They programmed in an item that allowed whoever consumed it to cancel any attack on-hit into any other attack, forever, which in the right hands could make the game as ludicrous as Marvel vs. Capcom 2.

I played the game on a casual party level like Masahiro Sakurai (Smash’s director) preferred, but this mod was so fun to me even though it was ostensibly meant only for competitive Smash players that it motivated me to finally join an online forum just to find other people to talk about it. The result was a period in my life I...don’t look too fondly back upon, as I’ve since abandoned the friends I made there when they turned out to be bad company after getting to know them for a few years. But if it wasn’t for Project M, I never would have posted on Twitter, or joined Discord, or, most importantly, join and talk to members of the Socks Make People Sexy community. So, even if I know some people here don’t like Super Smash Bros., or Nintendo, or stuff like that, I hope I conveyed how important this mod was to me more or less learning to make friends online. And hey, I thought it was fun, too!

8. Gyakuten Kenji 2 aka Ace Attorney Investigations: Prosecutor's Path (fan translation name)

My favorite Ace Attorney game, by far. It’s the Japan-only sequel to the Miles Edgeworth game on Nintendo DS, and it tells a far more involved story than that game did. We learn more about Edgeworth’s character, his decision to become a prosecutor instead of a defense attorney, and an old friend of his father’s. The game’s plot is intricately set up so that all 5 cases tie perfectly into each other, meaning I think it’s just as good as Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations was. The final culprit is unforgettable, even if I was unfortunately spoiled on who it was beforehand. Definitely the most beautiful of the sprite-based age of Ace Attorney games, too. Best Pursuit theme by a mile, full-stop.

7. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Whereas Project M felt like a super fun reimagining of a game whose roster I liked but whose gameplay I didn’t, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was the actual creator of the series taking a good, long look at the series he made, and addressing everything fans have been voicing for years, while *still* managing to keep the fun party atmosphere he’s always emphasized.

The game feels as sharp as Melee again, after the baby steps that Smash 4 took! Directional air dodges are back! Battlefield forms for stages alongside Final Destination forms! You can turn hazards off for stages if you find them more disruptive than fun now (admittedly this wasn’t perfect, as it made certain stages boring rather than distraction-free, but, points for trying)! And, best of all, *every single character from the series came back, no one got cut*! This was all honestly a miracle, and the culmination of what I wanted from Smash as a series for so long.

I haven’t even talked about the roster! I love that we can play as Simon Belmont and Isabelle in the same game, and the heroes of Dragon Quest (I’m still miffed the female heroes of Dragon Quest III and IV were left out) can face off against Link and Cloud. Cloud Final Fantasy VII came back, too, what the fuck!!! That’s just scratching the surface, too. It blows my mind that we still have 6 more characters to look forward to in DLC at the time I type this.

What else? Tons and tons of incredible remixes of beloved Nintendo songs, as well as for the third-party guest characters like Mega Man and Metal Gear. Way better single-player content than any of the past entries (though admittedly the Adventure Mode is just "do you get the reference? I hope you do, otherwise the fight will be annoying probably" over and over again). Being able to use the game as a music player in portable mode, meaning I used this game frequently to study.

Finally, if you agree with Sakurai that Smash is best enjoyed as a wacky party fighting game, then crash landing into your opponents with a Warp Star before you get shot with a Steel Diver gun before you counterattack by summoning Knuckles the Echidna while they summon Pong (sorry, “Color TV Game 15”) and you throw a Poke Ball that summons Ditto to create a clone makes for the most delightful and chaotic experience you’ll ever have when playing a game juggling this many different IPs. It really makes me wish we could play with friends online in groups of more than four at a time so we can enjoy the same fun online that we can locally on the couch, but asking Nintendo to have good online experiences is a fool’s errand I suppose. Otherwise, damn, I love this game. Whenever I'm not driving around in my car, I play it to do something with my hands while listening to podcasts.

6. Return of the Obra Dinn

This mystery game beat my ass. It intimidated me so much that I was reluctant to continue it because I kept feeling like I was stuck, or missing something obvious, or in general felt like a complete moron. But I kept at it, and let myself uncover more information even if I felt like I wasn’t done gleaning knowledge from past information. Slowly, but surely (and with the help of an online hint guide to nudge me in the right direction), I cracked the case. The premise is simple: as an insurance investigator, your job is to discover how, exactly, everyone on a ghost ship died. To that end, you have a pocket watch that takes you to a fully 3D modeled snapshot of the exact moment a corpse died. It’s basically Ghost Trick except it emphasizes solving a mystery rather than watching a story unfold. Though you can piece together a compelling narrative about how the ship came back with no one onboard, and the tragic tale of how everyone passed away. When I finally beat the game and got the golden ending, I felt like the biggest genius in the world.

5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I get the strong feeling that, unlike NieR: Automata, which I initially ranked lower on my 2017 GotY list, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s foundation will be built upon so well in its sequel that it will seem like ameteur hour when the sequel comes out. Things like better sidequests instead of the filler “collect X amount of Y resource” that littered Breath of the Wild, or not labeling all the fun sidequests “Shrine Quest” to spoil ahead of time what the end result will be, or better enemy variety. Unlike NieR: Automata, I think Breath of the Wild will have a harder time standing on its own over time.

But while it may fall to the same fate Super Mario 3D Land did when 3D World came out, I’ll still never forget the sheer wonder I felt when I stepped out into the single most interactive overworld I’ve ever experienced in a game. All my misgivings about how the sidequests are filler or how in the late-game you become too powerful for much of anything to challenge your survival skills: all that melts away when I remember that I saw an island in the southwest and just... sailed there. I found a raft, a leaf to blow wind, and spent about 5 minutes just sailing in the open ocean to reach a new destination. I remember it raining, which people weirdly complain about, and deciding it was better to navigate around the mountain rather than over it for the time being. I remember being happy when I realized that I could drop some raw meat and have it slide down a mountain like a physical in-game object (because that’s what all those otherwise pointless sidequest filler collectibles should *be* in open world games *glares at Xenoblade*) and have the enemies gather around it, becoming a perfect target for my last bomb arrow. I remember taking off my clothes and talking to Paya, seeing her embarrassed reaction, and catching her taking a peek through her fingers at the body of the guy she liked. I remember being able to physically climb almost ^every* surface in the game (this was overpowered and I think the sequel may tone it down) and spending hours just climbing trees and looking for eggs to cook. I remember a lightning storm happening, a very tough enemy about to kill me, and lightning attracting a metal shield in a pool behind the enemy, so I used Stasis to freeze the enemy in place, build momentum, and knock the enemy into the lake where it was electrified and died.

So while I have a few hangups with the game, I just haven’t had this much fun with any adventure game, ever. The DLC giving Link a motorcycle to ride into the final battle was icing on the cake. The sequel has a lot to live up to, because even if Breath of the Wild wasn’t as cohesive as NieR: Automata, the parts of the game that truly shined are an incredible standard to match.

4. Hollow Knight

I didn’t play Dark Souls this decade but I played this. It’s probably just as good though, if not better. Hollow Knight is basically a side scrolling action-adventure game that actually plays nothing at all like Super Metroid or Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. This is because the game is far, far less about progress being gated because you don’t have the correct item or upgrade than it is about just...exploring the world.

Hallownest is not as interactive and toylike as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but it’s been pointed out that it has a better sense of adventure, and the observation is correct. An indie game made primarily by three people has a better sense of adventure than the AAA budget title made to bring a sense of adventure back into a 30-year-running series. Check it out, it rules, far harder than most games out there proudly touting their status as “Metroidvanias” in the market.

3. NieR: Automata

I’ve decided, over time, that I respect NieR: Automata more than Breath of the Wild. While I remember the fun I had with the latter, I remember *everything* about NieR: Automata. I remember the horror of the revelations regarding the machine lifeforms and the androids. I can’t forget the overwhelming difficulty of many of the boss fights. The image of little 9S having to destroy clones of 2B and his reaction to that is one that won’t leave my head. There really is nothing I can say about this game that other people haven’t already said. I’ll just say that, despite...well, *something* making it unlikely for me to replay the game soon, I still want to find the time to do so one day, because I skipped past many of the sidequests my first time through. Unlike the ones in Breath of the Wild, the ones in NieR: Automata actually tie into the story and flesh it out and the characters too. The soundtrack is one of the best I’ve ever heard, too. I listen to Copied City whenever I want to lie in bed and get chills.

2. Danganronpa 3: Killing Harmony

I don’t actually think this game is better than Danganronpa 2, because this game had a couple of comparatively unmemorable chapters. But I think the message of the finale is incredibly powerful. I won’t spoil what it is, and I can’t guarantee everyone will jive with it, but I thought it was very inspiring. When it comes to the final huge twist, I also fucking *called it*!!! My experience posting about the game with Frezno in Discord DMs made the game for me, and felt awesome enough to rank it above Danganronpa 2.

1. Undertale

I don’t think I’ve loved a game as hard as I loved Undertale when I played it completely blind. Everyone has said their piece on the game, so I’ll just say, Deltarune has a lot to live up to, because I consider Undertale to be basically perfect in every way. I was really thinking about if maybe another game could be #1 on the list, but even if it’s an obvious choice, it’s still the correct choice for me. It got me more driven to seek out other story-focused games that don’t focus on the player committing violence, so I can always thank Undertale for getting me into, say, the Ace Attorney games, for example. Hey, there’s a back-of-the-box quote: “Undertale gives you taste!”

Last edited by DoorCurtain (2020-05-11 19:22:50)


"At some point, the world was destroyed. Naturally, it was humans who destroyed it.

Everyone had an inkling that it would happen at some point. And then it really did happen. And so, the world is no more." - Leder (Mother 3)

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#71 2020-05-11 14:02:39

Iffy
Wind Walker
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 17
Website

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

Alright, I did it...and kept the blurbs as short as I could!

56. Superdimension Neptune VS Sega Hard Girls
    Disappointing. This game had good ideas, but it was leaning on a very tired system that just isn't fun to play anymore.

55. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2: Sisters Generation
    Not a bad game per se, but I don't think it can compare to 1 or 3. Felt repetitive and the humor fell flat in a lot of places, not to mention a few gross moments.

54. Soulcalibur VI
    A real disappointment. It was fun to play, but this game felt incomplete and the empty DLC characters aren't fixing it.

53. Persona 5
    I REALLY wanted to like this game as I was drawn toward its world and character immediately, but I found the gameplay to be dreadful. Never made it past the second palace.

52. Bastion
    A really great game--I'm just not sure it was quite for me. One of the most beautiful games on this list though.

51. RWBY: Grimm Eclipse
    I feel like this game COULD be really good if some time and effort were invested in it, but it's okay for what it is.

50. Soulcalibur V
    Disappointing in a lot of ways coming off of IV, but I did put a lot of hours into it and had tons of fun with multiplayer.

49. Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure
    Nothing special, but I have nothing negative to say about it either. Just a fun, cute lil title.

48. Dead or Alive 5
    I felt like this was a bit of a low decade for fighting games, but I felt this was the best of the ones I played. Introduced a lot of new characters while many games were cutting back their rosters for no reason.

47. Chantelise
    Charming little action RPG--not great, but still a lot of fun to play with cute art and music.

46. Ys: Memories of Celceta
    A game I enjoyed a lot more than its ranking would imply, but...it does feel like a slog to get through at times. Felt like it needed another month or two of work.

45. Super Smash Bros Ultimate
    I had my fun with it, but these games just don't grab me the way they used to. Still, it's hard to get bored with its roster.

44. Undertale
    For all the hype surrounding this game, I just didn't get it for the most part. I feel like people should talk about how good the music is more, and appreciate that this is actually a Mario Paint love letter.

43. Ys I & II Chronicles
    I'm not sure Ys I and II have aged incredibly well with me, but they are snappy and fun in their own way and the plot is surprisingly deep for an 80s action RPG.

42. Tales of Xillia
    This game felt pretty rough at times and felt rushed, but it smooths out near the end and it sets up a very well-executed sequel.

41. Helen's Mysterious Castle
    A unique little RPG that threw me for a loop many times. I wasn't expecting much going in, but it was very enjoyable to play.

40. Her Lullaby
    I couldn't finish it due to some specific scenes, but this is a fantastically-written visual novel from a place of brutal honesty. Not everyone's cup of tea, but it's very well-written and visualized.

39. Guild Wars 2
    Probably the most fun I've had soloing in an MMO. It has a great story and encourages exploration, in a world that's very easy to get absorbed into.

38. Tales of Berseria
    I found the gameplay, plot, and music to be mostly forgettable, but the characters REALLY make this one. One of the best, most unique rosters in any RPG.

37. Gravity Rush Remastered
    A bit rough in places, but this game was fun and innovative with very loveable characters.

36. Rocket League
    I'm not very good at it, but I've had a blast with this game. Soccer and cars is an awesome combo.

35. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3: V Generation
    I would like this game more if the middle of the game didn't feel like it was dragging on forever, and I was a bit bored of the structure and tropes at the time, but this really is a solid RPG. Really liked how it all wrapped up.

34. Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed
    Just a simple beat-em-up with Neptunia characters that was a lot more fun and relaxing than I was expecting.

33. Silus
    I haven't finished this game so I can't rate it much higher, but this has been a very nice love-letter to the classic JRPG and I've enjoyed it a lot so far.

32. Xenoblade Chronicles 2
    I had trouble wrapping my head around this game and felt it was kind of bullshitty at points, but it's carried by a wonderful story and characters you immediately care about. One of the bigger tear-jerkers on here.

31. Polly Dungeon
    F A R T S.

30. Ys SEVEN
    Falcom's first foray into the party-system Ys games. I enjoyed this game's story a lot and while it's a bit rough around the edges, it's a great title all-around.

29. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight
    A snappy 2D action game with a beautiful aesthetic. I feel bad putting it this low, but I do feel like it's in the same league as Touhou Luna Nights, Dust, and Hunters.

28. Phantasy Star Portable 2: Infinity
    One of the highlights of my PSP days, this was everything I wanted PS Universe to be and then some.

27. Hunters: Relic of Stars
    This would probably be higher if I weren't so bad at it, but I really enjoyed this game's characters and world, and the level design is fantastic.

26. Dust: An Elysian Tail
    A game I picked up because I knew the voice director, but I immediately fell in love with the gameplay and the artistry.

25. Gravity Rush 2
    Probably the most unique title on here, and a franchise that I hope returns someday. I knew the gameplay would be fun, but I didn't expect to fall in love with the characters as much as I did.

24. The Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki
    My lowest-rated Trails title, but only because the others are that damn good. It took me a while to warm up to this one, but the characters and world are really well done and the payoff is completely worth it.

23. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1
    This is where my Neptunia journey started, and it's one of the best. The humor was fresh and original, and it never seemed to over-stay its welcome.

22. Touhou Luna Nights
    One of the best 2D action platformers I've ever played, with very impressive art and gameplay gimmicks.

21. Minecraft
    I've sunk hours upon hours into this one and it has been a nice outlet for my creative side.

20. Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online
    A game I liked a lot more than most...I enjoyed it despite its many flaws. Let's just say there hasn't been a good Neptunia spin-off since.

19. Phantasy Star Online 2
    This game absolutely has its flaws, but its gameplay and aesthetic really jive with me and I met a lot of irreplaceable people through it. I'm looking forward to giving it another shot with the NA version. Underrated plot, too.

18. Tokyo Xanadu eX+
    Even if it was largely done by Falcom's B-team, I found this one charming and underrated. I enjoyed the characters and the gameplay a lot more than most.

17. Ys Origin
    Has the feel of Oath in Felghana, but functions more like a dungeon-crawler. I find it slightly less charming, but it's extremely fun to play and the gameplay has a ton of variety.

16. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
    My return to Mario Kart, and the most fun I've had with the series. This one hearkened back to my childhood nicely and just feels really good to play.

15. Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim
    If you're looking for a short, engaging, and challenging action RPG with fun characters and plot elements, this might be the perfect fit. Masterful OST by the late Wataru Ishibashi is very nice icing on the cake.

14. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky FC
    Pretty much the same opinion I have of Cold Steel, but CS gets the nod due to its gameplay. Still, this is the game that started me on my Kiseki journey and left me dead inside for five years with its ending.

13. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel
    This one took a bit to ramp up, but I very quickly fell in love with its cast of characters and the plot points it was setting up. This game's climax completely blew my mind.

12. The Legend of Heroes: Ao no Kiseki
    The only other game on this list that out-classes Ao in the "foot on the gas" rating is Cold Steel III, but this one is impossible to put down halfway through it. Very solid finale to an underappreciated story arc.

11. AI: The Somnium Files
    I didn't actually play this one, but experiencing this journey with Polly was incredibly memorable and impactful on my personal life to say the least. One of the best character casts of the decade and it isn't close.

10. Ys: The Oath in Felghana
    What I consider to be the pinnacle of 2.5D action games and was a fun, challenging reimagination of the first Ys game I played as a kid.

9. Tales of Xillia 2
    One of the most emotional, tear-jerking games I have ever played. It's rare that I feel for the main characters of a game this strongly, but damn.

8. Megadimension Neptunia V-II
    What happens when you combine Neptunia with a damn good story and well-written characters? You get this masterpiece. Has a bit of a weak middle, but the way this game wraps up blew my mind.

7. Tales of Graces f
    Another game that was very impactful on my life and had a story I resonated really strongly with. Probably my favorite iteration of the Tales battle system thus far too.

6. Final Fantasy XIV
    The best MMO I've ever played, and has a fantastic story of its own. I think it says a lot when this game's story alone puts it above any other Final Fantasy title for me.

5. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II
    Incredible OST, Class VII's growth, and fantastic boss battles. What's not to love here?

4. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III
    The culmination of the Trails series so far, and one that has me very excited for this arc's conclusion. One of my favorite casts ever, both new and old.

3. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC
    A game I waited five years for, and one that did not disappoint. The game that topped Chrono Trigger for my "best plot ever" title and probably the most complete, solid JRPG I've played front-to-back.

2. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA
    A very close second is my favorite action game ever, and one that surprised me with its characters and story. Dana might be the most well-written character ever conceived, and the gameplay keeps me coming back for replay after replay.

1. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd
    The top of this list should be no surprise--my favorite video game of all time, and the one that changed my life forever. Not only was it an amazing conclusion to my favorite trilogy of all time, it spoke to me in a very personal way that still inspires me.

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#72 2020-05-11 19:55:58

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

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

I never got around to writing or ranking so have a big list of games I played enough of to include in a best of list.

Nier: Automata
Gone Home
Danganronpa
Persona 5
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Bayonetta
Mark of the Ninja
Portal 2
Infamous 2
Kindred Spirits on the Roof
Undertale
Va11 hall-a
Civilization V
The Stanley Parable
Mass Effect 2
X-com: Enemy Unknown
Middle Earth: Shadows of Mordor
Max Payne 3
Heros Rise: HeroFall
Broforce
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
Batman: Arkham City
Crimzon Clover World Ignition
Revolver 360 Reactor
Dragon Ball Fusions
Shovel Knight
Super Hexagon
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Saints Row the Third
Saints Row IV
Shadowrun Returns/Dragonfall
Just Cause 2
Deadly Premonition
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Mass Effect 3
Hitman
Hitman 2
FTL: Faster Than Light
Dust: An Elysian Tale
Grand Theft Auto 5
Batman The Telltale Series
Hohokum
Spider-Man PS4
Until Dawn
Downwell
Hotline Miami
DOOM IV
Superhot
Dragon Ball FighterZ
Control
Final Fantasy XIII
Red Dead Redemption
Persona 3 Portable
Diablo III
Dragon Age II
Total War: Shogun 2
Mortal Kombat 9
Deus ex: Human Revolution
Katana Zero
Dying Light
Driver: San Francisco
Dark Souls
Bloodborne
Persona 4 Arena
Binary Domain
Gunman Clive
Proteus
Depression Quest
Rogue Legacy
Divinity: Dragon Commander
Drakengard 3
Sabbat
P.T.
Minecraft
The Swapper
Metro 2033
Metro: Last Light
Papers, Please
Batman: Arkham Knight
Dragon Ball Xenoverse
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
Mortal Kombat X
WWE 2k16
Valkyria Chronicles remastered
Hyper Dimension Neptunia Rebirth 1
Overwatch
Remember Me
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth
Splatoon
Fire Pro Wrestling World
Danganronpa 2
Resident Evil remake HD
Resident Evil 2 remake
Her Lullaby
Afterward
Kikai

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#73 2020-05-11 23:51:42

Rhete
Administrator
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 61

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

That is a great list of games, but I really can't count it as part of the eventual site list without rankings and especially without blurbs, sorry.  I hope you understand

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#74 2020-05-13 18:39:56

Ghosty
Spookmaker
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 33

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

So here's a critically late list. It's only a short list, because these are the only games I felt could be bothered to write something about. There would probably be more if not for them still sitting in my backlog.

----

25. Polly Mario Bros.
Excellent set of levels that far outdo the original game!

24. Fran Bow
Find Mr. Midnight! The visual style of this game is great. I like this game a lot. It has some little issues with the puzzles, like most point-and-click adventure games do, but I like it for what it is. Strangely hopeful, for the dark and Gothic thing that it is.

23. Tales of Berseria
“Iiiits Magilou!” Play this game for the characters, not the story, because the cast is top notch! The story is... There! The combat is also pretty fun.

Best nonsense banter in any game I’ve played!

22. Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse
Best Shantae game of the ones I’ve played! Makes you smile!

21. Afterward
A story that it seemed few people understood, and fewer gave the chance. I had no expectation of what Polly and John could possibly do to continue the story of Her Lullaby. What we got was entirely different subject matter, but still dealing with mental health. How do you move on from trauma? What do you do when relationships fail? While not as personally close to me as the first game, this game is still a quiet masterpiece.

20. Citrouille: Sweet Witches
Simple but fun arcadey gameplay, lovely art and style! Something you don’t see much of these days. Naturally, Réglisse is the best!

19. Touhou: Luna Nights
This game feels real good to play. The animations are nice and weighty, but never feel like they get in the way, the time slowing and time stopping feel real good to use and the bosses are a lot of fun! I think I prefer this game to Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight. (I need to finish that one.)

18. Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
So I have been thinking about this game off and on for some time. I felt this game did several things extremely well and that the devs had a lot of guts in making the series ending they did. While I felt that it was a game worth playing, it failed to really click with me. I felt I didn’t really ‘get’ this game. The ending - to me - felt like a swing and a miss. I tried talking about this game with Polly. I’ve heard others talk about this game. I have read reviews of this game. I still don’t get it. As I’ve started to understand WHY I didn’t get it, I also felt the game didn’t get me - I wasn’t the intended audience. So while still a very good game, I can’t place it higher than this.

17. Minecraft
This game was gifted to me by someone that later disappeared from my life and the internet at large. But I’ll always remember those early days of trying to pretty up the base while being bewildered at all the mods they tried.

While the ‘Survival’ mode wasn’t all that fun for long, the ‘Creative’ mode let me focus on the stuff that was actually fun. But looking at other people’s pretty things they made, eventually led to me getting frustrated with the game. I just wasn’t making things I was happy with anymore. I barely played it off and on before I eventually decided that I wasn’t going to stay at the level I was at. I was going to get better! So I started downloading maps off of the intertubes of cool projects people had built and I went around and looked at them hard. What, precisely, were they doing that I wasn’t? What made their designs look good when mine looked like shoeboxes?

Bit by bit I found the tools to make buildings and structures that I could feel happy with. I was no wizard that made giant awe-inspiring structures, but I made pleasing little houses and spaces that made me feel good. It’s probably the nicest achievement I have made in any game. Even if calling Minecraft a ‘game’ feels a bit contrived. I feel that Minecraft is a toy and not a game. A comparison not coined by me.

16. Stardew Valley
What I wanted Harvest Moon to be, back in the nineties. This game feels warm and sympathetic, and that is something we could use more of. The characters, while game-like in their... Function? Implementation? ... Still felt more real and grounded than I’d expected of this kind of game. A nice game to relax with.

15. FTL
I have put at least 250 hours into this game. There’s something strangely therapeutic about this game. It feels so chill and so hectic at the same time! I like the journey towards the final boss more than the final boss though. Thankfully, that is most of the game. But this is a game I have been able to play even when I feel so crap that other games have been too demanding to enjoy.

14. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
I love Shovel Knight. The original Shovel Knight, now referred to as ‘Shovel of Hope’. I just liked the whimsical vibe, the simple yet effective way the story was told, the simple but fun controls, the excellently designed stages that consider where you entered the room from.

Plague of Shadows was... A great, fun and quirky story that is oh so adorable. I felt like I could never get to grips with the controls, though. Maybe I’m just bad at videogames.

Specter of Torment I liked a good bit. Strangely, my favourite part was Horace’s Challenge, and the spoopy denizens of the Tower of Fate. The wall run and slash dash felt real slick.

The rest is nice to have, though I don’t care to mention much about it. The sheer amount of quality content you got out of that one purchase was amazing! Many thanks to Yacht Club Games.

13. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC
This is where the payoffs set up in the first game roll in, and some scenes are just so powerful and amazing, I don’t think I’ve experienced anything quite like it in any other game.

Sadly I didn’t feel as much for the plot in this game compared to the first. Where the first game’s plot felt more ‘grounded’ this one feels more like something out of an anime, and I can’t say I care for that direction much.

It was great to see some minor characters from the first game get more screen time and involved in the plot.

12. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky
This series has the best character writing I have encountered not just in videogames, but in any media. (Though admittedly I don’t consume that much other media.) Estelle Bright is the best protagonist in a videogame, period.

I really liked the plot of this game, and seeing the world today it made me somewhat uncomfortable. I love all the characters in this game. I love the richness of the world and how human almost everyone seems. The reason I can’t rate it higher is because of the combat, and the JRPG staple mechanics, even if the game’s combat had some neat ideas. I just have little patience for these things.

11. Freedom Planet
I ended up playing this game during a period I was dealing with a lot of anxiety. I wasn’t sure what the game was, but the art looked cute and screenshots looked 2D Sonic-ey. I don’t like Sonic, but I do like this game! The story and positive vibes and just fun platforming gameplay is what got me through the week, not to mention the awesome SOUNDTRACK! Cripes!

10. Dustforce
This game. What is this game!? The sort of game that breeds an obsession in those sensitive to it. Smooth, slick, stylish and ever so fluent. A real difficult game. Master of game feel.

9. Mark of the Ninja
A game where you don’t play as a ninja - you _are_ a ninja! And some ninja you are! Expertly executed stealth game.

8. CrossCode
A game that perhaps goes a little too hard for all it’s different gameplay facets; It still drips with love and care. The visual style reminds me of a certain online game by a certain Sega, but moved back a console generation or two. Something which I have a particular affinity for. It also feels like it draws on a particular anime whose art style was partially inspired by the mentioned game, and was rather slow and involved a virtual game world.

But the action is fast and fun, the puzzles border on just too hard in places, and the parkour is it’s own little game inside the game. In fact, ‘little’ would be an understatement. But I like all those things, even if I wasn’t so keen on the parkour at first, and one dungeon I just had to take a break from to get away from the puzzles. But it has a very particular charm and poise and while the plot isn’t too... Original? It still tells it in a very good way. Also, throwing balls! Seriously, I like the action in this game a lot! The story had some real good moments and I like all the characters.

7. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
It’s stylish, it’s savvy, and it is very Japanese. The setting, the framing, the characters all feels a bit out-of-this-world anime fare, but the way they keep things consistent is something to admire, something that even makes this crazy thing seem grounded and believable. Also, the cast is very memorable and unexpectedly good. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this game, but playing through this series in parallel with a friend was special.

6. Nuclear Throne
You pick a character! You pick up guns! You shoot things! You die! You shoot some more - and you die some more!

A game that is more fun than it has any right to be - even though it might not be that fun when you first try it! I love the character designs and the little world of this game, and the tidbits that tie it all together. Much more likeable than spaceships. Even though I like a certain game with spaceships a lot as well. Did I mention this game has guns? Out of all the “Rogue-lites” I played, this is the one I like best.

F**k Lil’ Hunter though!

5. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
So you’re on a happy summer school trip! With a talking animatronic bunny. And... You are doing... Well? Let me just say the writers really knew what they were doing here, and they really outdid themselves. The cast and character writing is the best in the series, the twists are the best, and- Oh Cod, how can it keep escalating like this!?

I mean the first game was great but this is even better!

4. Wandersong
A life-changing game. I know that sounds a bit much, but it’s true! This game really gave me the pickup I needed in a difficult time. Well that’s not really the best description. More like... It changed the landscape in my mind from an extremely bleak one to one that... At least has life. That, my friends, is more helpful than you know.

3. Undertale
So a certain someone gifted me a game called ‘Undertale’. I’d heard the title uttered before, but I had no notion of what it was. I started it up, and... It threw me off. What was this thing?? I was expecting an RPG from all the signals it was giving me, but it just seemed... Odd. Also, is this a MOTHER reference?

Going in blind like this set me up for one of the strongest gaming experiences I’ve had in an awful, awful, AWFUL long time! It was like being a kid again, not understanding how the game works.

2. Her Lullaby
This game manages to talk about something I thought was impossible to talk about. Something I could never find the words for. I still can’t find words for it, but it’s in this game. This game freed me from what felt like a small stone in my heart. A stone that made me feel alone. It’s not the only thing in the world to make me feel alone, but it was one of them. So I just want to thank Polly, John and the others for this game. Thank you for existing, Her Lullaby.

1. Hollow Knight
I adore this game! Whoever the people at Team Cherry are, they understand the appeal and downfalls of the old greats. They intimately understand tone in videogames, and most of all they understand that videogames should be FUN. (Also the art is fricken amazing!) Not just the best metroidvania game of all time, but the best videogame of all time!

----
Edit: Typos

Last edited by Ghosty (2020-05-15 10:06:07)


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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#75 2020-05-14 00:17:30

Rhete
Administrator
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 61

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

Great list Ghosty, glad you got it in smile

I think once John posts his final part tomorrow we're gonna lock this up and... hooboy, I got a LOT of xml editing to do..

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