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  1. Last week
  2. DarkCobra86

    heyo, not new just taking a swing by

    I am always around
  3. I also saw Bleach live action. I think it was as best as they could make it to be. Frame for frame for the most part it was very similar to the same as the manga but of course it all can't be. Oh and I don't like the guy they cast as Byakuya haha. I need to rewatch that and also watch the live action too. I heard the live action was good but don't expect it to be amazing.
  4. Bizarre Monkey

    heyo, not new just taking a swing by

    I'm surprised there's ANYONE still here, kek. Also you flatter me, but virtually none of the art for Fantasia is made by me, it's my artists who do that, unless you mean those pieces i put in the game podunk art gallery, then yes- guilty as charged. I've been really enjoying art lately. When I enjoy art i do it a lot, and when i do it a lot i get better without even really trying. I've continued to use virtually no references, it's a slow but much more independent learning process. I don't get hung up if i can't find a decent reference, i just guess and reshape until it looks about right. I have taken to drawing a guide layer, which is just a very rough and vague pose reference i draw for my own sake. I also sometimes have to check another drawing to check if the character details are right. So yeah there's a couple recent drawings. Just as speed draws so you can see my unseemly and impractical drawing practises, lel.
  5. Bizarre Monkey

    GP New Years Resolutions

    FOOL. YOU MIGHT WANT TO THINK AGAIN. Sillyness aside, my resolutions for this year are easy to keep too, do tai chi lessons when-so-ever I can afford them, get Fantasia Demo 2 released, and do a bunch of art. Last year one of my resolutions was to up my animation game, and that went very well. She's such a sweet.
  6. Jason Clement

    What have you seen recently and what did you think?

    I finished Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood recently and I gotta say, it's amazing. Possibly the best anime I've ever seen. The pacing is great and never lets up, and even the more character-centric episodes are really good. But man, the last 15-20 episodes are pretty dang epic. Also, its epilogue episode is also one of the best I've ever seen; I wish more anime (and TV shows in general) would dedicate an entire episode to what happens after the final conflict.
  7. Though Yacht Club Games originally were planning to release their final Shovel Knight campaign, King of Cards, along with Shovel Knight: Showdown (the multiplayer competitive mode), an amiibo 3-pack (featuring King Knight, Plague Knight, and Specter Knight), and a physical version of Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove (the complete collection of every piece of Shovel Knight content in one package) on April 18, the indie developer has now announced one last delay for all of the content. The reason for this is because the team needs more time to polish off the gameplay and make sure everything is in tip-top shape before they're satisfied with the final result. As for the amiibo, Yacht Club Games mentioned that their functionality is tied to the launch of King of Cards, which means it only makes sense to release them when that campaign is ready to go. Due to all of this, Yacht Club Games is not announcing a new release date until they're certain of it, but insist that the delay should only push the release back several months. Here are a few other interesting tidbits that the team revealed: A new screenshot showcasing King of Cards reveals a brand new side-character named 'Traitorus,' who happens to be King Pridemoor's former advisor. Another King of Cards screen reveals what the world map looks like; quite a bit different from Shovel of Hope's. A new story screenshot shows Specter Knight rushing off to confront The Enchantress. King of Card's levels are shorter than previous Shovel Knight levels but are more numerous (with more than 30). At one point, Yacht Club wasn't sure if King Knight would fit on the 3DS due to his size, but that problem has since been solved. Words of Magic and 8-4 Games have helped translate the game into 9 languages now. In the meantime, stay tuned for a final release date for the rest of Shovel Knight's upcoming content. Source: Yacht Club Games
  8. I finished Terminator 1 and 2. Also I saw The Commuter which was basically taken again. Also got to see John Wick 2. I really like it and I think it was better than the first John Wick. Can't wait for the third movie. Lego Movie Part 2 I think was also better than the first movie. Batman was hilarious per usual.
  9. I watched Overlord it was pretty good I liked it. Lots of bad reviews complaining but they are just idiots. It's WW2 with Nazi experiments, not a zombie movie. If you enjoy a good war movie and Wolfienstien games then you will enjoy this.
  10. GP should get a Discord that's what all the cool kids use these days. :P

  11. Earlier
  12. DarkCobra86

    heyo, not new just taking a swing by

    Derailing thread but we need more activity haha.
  13. Bleh, getting over a sore throat right now. Hope everyone else is doing well!

     

    Also, hi DarkCobra. Thanks for sticking around and keeping tabs on things here every now and then. Going to try and see if we can get some life back into the forum again sometime.

  14. Jason Clement

    heyo, not new just taking a swing by

    Your art is getting better over time. Nice job. Like DC said, it's neat to see you sticking with this.
  15. DarkCobra86

    GP New Years Resolutions

    And now you are back for a one time visit lol
  16. DarkCobra86

    heyo, not new just taking a swing by

    Pretty cool to still see you doing this. Keep it up.
  17. Developer: Atlus Publisher: Atlus USA Platform: PS4 and PS Vita Release Date: December 4, 2018 ESRB: T for Teen It was inevitable that, after so many years of Persona 4 spin-offs, 2017's critically-acclaimed RPG sequel Persona 5 would eventually follow suit. But of all the spin-offs to kick it off with it is bizarre to not only make the rhythm game titled Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight but Atlus even decided to simultaneously release another one for its less popular predecessor with Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight. By bundling the two games, as well as a PS4 port of Persona 4: Dancing All Night, one would think that even the most devoted Persona fans would be sated by the Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection, but does this bundle really serve fans well or does it end up extorting their goodwill? Of course, whatever flaws this collection has are not immediately discernible because of how captivating each game is from the get go. It does not really matter whether one starts out with either P5's Dancing in Starlight or P3's Dancing in Moonlight as each of them are absolutely striking from their stylish anime intro, the fluid dance movements of beloved Persona characters, slick menu interface, and plenty of other nostalgic bits and pieces. It is immediately inviting to anyone who has any reverence toward Persona 3-5 in raw aesthetic. By being seemingly aware of its primary demographic Atlus included what is essentially several minutes of visual novel-esque exposition almost immediately upon starting either P3's or P5's rhythm title. This makes it quite reminiscent of their highly verbose role-playing game adventures, right down to familiar ambient cutscene music and sound effect chimes. Character models also look gorgeous; so much so that it can be argued the Persona 3 and Persona 5 cast members have not looked better in a 3D space (well, for P3 members there should not really be any argument, to be honest). The pure visual treat is almost enough to make one forget how that they have have next to nothing of actual substance during these scenes. Almost. Unlike, let's say, Persona 4: Dancing All Night, which had a fairly in-depth visual novel story mode, the character interactions are put on the immediate wayside in both of the Persona 3/5 counterparts beyond the intro. The narrative context is such an afterthought that the setup for the entire game(s) is pretty much a vague competition and everyone involved can now magically dance based on the power of their feelings (even if some had zero experience before). Which, say what you want about the quality Persona 4: Dancing All Night's story context (...and I did at some point), but the P4 cast at least earned their sweet moves through weeks of actual dance practice. The piecemeal interactions that are there are quite disappointing, especially from the Persona 3 side, which is ironic given that the original game has several really well-developed characters. This is a recurring theme of the Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection where once you get over the charming visual veneer it is actually an extremely shallow and disappointing rhythm game experience. For example, those that played the Persona 4 Dancing a few years ago will be hard-pressed to notice any changes whatsoever to the actual central gameplay itself in either of the new iterations. While P4DAN was acceptable at the time as a first effort Vita-exclusive with fairly comprehensive gameplay, it had a lot basic rhythm game problems such as a lack of feedback for missing note presses, cluttered presentation for "scratch notes" that is much more glaring on higher difficulties, a broken scoring system, and a thin overall song selection. And frankly, all of these problems remain, including some new ones with the progression. The most vivid disappointment of all is that the song selection is not only paltry by having twenty six songs for each retail release (two songs being locked behind a massive amount of side objective grinding), but the song remixes themselves are really underwhelming. While the P3 side feels the weight of this slightly less due to more song variety to draw from over the years, the P5 side has several songs used three times to shamelessly pad out the total and each remix frequently blurs together in their listlessness. It is very easy to go through most of the playable content for either Dancing in Moonlight or Dancing in Starlight at just around two hours. To make the total song selection feel that much more insulting Atlus has the gall to sell a twenty-five dollar season pass for more songs. Which, by the way, the season pass does not even include every DLC song as there is an additional thirty dollars worth of character specific songs sold separately (each being five dollars). This means that if one bought the already premium priced "Endless Night Collection," Atlus still wants to exploit those same fans out of fifty-five more dollars to have a reasonable song selection alone. Although, to their credit, at least the titles have a decent selection of clothing/accessories choice already thrown in to contrast the exploitative approach of playable songs. For as awe-striking as Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection is in visual flourishes, it does not take long for the disappointing gameplay experience to remove the hollow mask and show its true form. The collection ends up being little more than mediocre rhythm games laced with exploitative business practices on its would-be fandom. It does not matter if one is a rhythm title enthusiastic, or a passionate fan of recent Persona titles, neither Dancing in Starlight or Dancing in Moonlight deserve the money or attention for how little is offered, even when they are combined in a collection. Pros + Hits a lot of the P3/P5's nostalgic notes from amazing looking character models, slick interface, and iconic songs + Lots of positive reinforcement throughout that is especially enjoyable to hear with nearly all English voice actors reprising their former character roles (...except Fuuka's?) Cons - A lot of ho-hum remixes and paltry amount of playable songs for each game in an obvious attempt to sell more DLC - Vapid, dull character interactions that are especially disappointing from the P3 side - A huge amount of random objective "grinding" required to unlock the last couple of songs/character interactions - Pretty much all the inherent gameplay problems back in P4:DAN remain unchanged Overall Score: 4.5 (out of 10) Below Average Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection is much better at presenting its list of disappointments as a rhythm game experience than it is at rewarding the passionate Persona fans that would attempt to enjoy it Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable PS4 code provided by the publisher.
  18. Bizarre Monkey

    heyo, not new just taking a swing by

    Over a year later hi I'm back! :0 I don't think that will ever stop, I think this is the first time I've come back and haven't finished that project and moved onto a new one, wow. Released Demo 1 of that on 3/14 of 2018, (who'da thought rite?) and Demo 2 is underway, this game got WAY ambitious WAY QUICK. Okay this uses the LINE BREAK LIKE A CHEEKI BREEKI UNTIL THE VIDEO SHOWS UP formula, forgive me there's a lot of variant embed methods. If you're blown away by how impressive this looks well thats why it takes so long to develop, it's very resource intensive and my artists are working round the clock to butt out the placeholders with the premium standard of their art. I also have my own website now for quick easy access to all my big games and their trailers etc. https://www.crazychimps.biz/
  19. Bizarre Monkey

    GP New Years Resolutions

    Then i completely forgot all throughout 2018, how impolite! Dx
  20. Last month, Nintendo's Damon Baker, who had become synonymous with the publisher's efforts to spearhead indie and third-party content, announced that he was leaving the company to take on a new role elsewhere. Today, Baker officially revealed on Twitter that he is now the new Head of Portfolio at Xbox. The rest of his tweet indicates that his role is still pretty much the same as it was at Nintendo, with him evaluating 2nd/3rd part content for Xbox's overall strategy. Still, a big congratulations to Baker on his move, especially as Xbox continues to make key moves that could indicate a brighter future for the console giant in the coming years as the next generation of gaming looms ahead. Source: Damon Baker (via Twitter)
  21. Nintendo's Shinya Takahashi dropped a bomb on unsuspecting Metroid fans today via a short video on the company's Youtube channel, saying that Metroid Prime 4 would be delayed and its development restarted. Takahashi stated that Nintendo was not satisfied with the current state of the game and that it has "not reached the standards" they seek in a sequel to the Metroid Prime series. Thus, the game is being handed over to the series' former steward, Retro Studios, and development will be restarted. Metroid Prime 4 was previously being worked on by Bandai Namco Singapore. When will we next hear about the game, then? Takahashi stated that "it will be a long road until the next time we [Nintendo] will be able to update you on the development progress," indicating that it could be years. The last new game Retro Studios completed was Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze in 2014, and it took about 3.5 years for that game to be finished after its predecessor, Donkey Kong Country Returns, released in late 2010. Considering Retro's average timetable for developing games, then, it seems likely that we may not see Metroid Prime 4 until 2022 at the earliest, especially if all previous development is completely scrapped. Former Retro Games Environment Artist Eric Kozlowsky revealed on Twitter that the company's former project may not be in production anymore if the studio has now taken on Metroid Prime 4 unless there are now two development teams. Retro had been rumored to be working on a racing title called Star Fox: Grand Prix, though the game had not yet officially been announced. In the meantime, legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto's famous words come to mind: "A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is bad forever." Source: Nintendo (via Youtube)
  22. Developer: The Bearded Ladies Consulting Publisher: Funcom Platform: PS4, Xbox One, and PC Release Date: December 4, 2018 ESRB: M for Mature Note: This review is based on the PlayStation 4 version of the game It does not take too much effort to find a game that's heavily inspired by the challenging turn-based tactical title X-COM: Enemy Unknown nowadays. But there is something to be said about encountering one that's well-made and reminds you why the X-COM formula is often so compelling. Based on a fairly old Swedish pen-and-paper RPG, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden intends to do just that by taking its source material to the strategic, turn-based video game realm. It is a title that has some fresh ideas, even if its road to paradise is anything but neatly paved. As one would guess from something strongly influenced by the late XCOM titles, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden boasts gun-centric turn-based tactical combat as well as plenty of oppressive difficulty options, such as permadeath or autosaving after every turn for those masochistic enough. But, beyond that obvious parallel, Mutant Year Zero revels in its post-apocalyptic world-building far more than X-COM. One of the primary distinctions is that the units the player has control over are mutants (referred to as "stalkers"), such as the on-the-nose titled "Dux," who as one likely guessed is an anthropomorphic duck, to the less obvious ones like the human-like Selma who can do stuff like bind enemies to the ground with tree roots despite looking relatively normal otherwise. The more inspired aspects of the game come into play rather quickly as there is a heavy emphasis on stealth and gathering resources throughout the various zones. Most enemies have bright red vision cones and it is up to the player to wisely, or not, attempt to thin down enemy numbers before they can attempt to call reinforcements and likely start up a prolonged and difficult turn-based combat scenario. It creates an intriguing blend of real-time and turn-based elements while also encouraging thorough exploration for a new gun, piece of armor, or maybe even an old "relic" to bring back to the home base, referred to as the Ark, for various permanent upgrades. While the player feels woefully equipped for most things early in, including stealth (with only one member able to use a silent weapon at the start), the game eventually starts to balance out as one garners new levels, skills, and equipment. There is a fair amount of flexibility in tactical options such as lopping a grenade to destroy enemy cover to the more supernatural mutant-specific skills like sprouting wings and taking potshots at foes at higher ground. Despite there being a small amount of playable characters there is enough flexibility in their skill trees to encourage a diverse approach to each confrontation in addition to attempting to wisely utilize stealth options or gathered resources when one is able to do so. The least inspired aspect of all is likely the storytelling itself, unfortunately. While the post-apocalyptic title most certainly has a heavy emphasis on atmosphere (and is generally better for it), the narrative plot twists are not only signposted long in advance but also leave one feeling like so little happened by the end journey with its shallow sequel tease. At the very least, however, it is somewhat amusing that the lead cast like to treat "ancients" throughout (or rather those akin to modern civilization in our world), by poking fun at the impracticality of many pieces of their technology or outright misinterpreting the usage of much of it. More important than story qualms, though, and perhaps the biggest problem I had with playing the game at launch was its various technical issues. The biggest issue had to do with enemies being called in as reinforcements yet being unable to reach me (...or some taunted by one of the skills that I enjoyed using) and, conversely, I was unable to reach them, which left the title in a game-breaking state that made exiting combat impossible beyond being forced to reload an old save. Thankfully, despite happening a couple of times near the beginning, it was mostly patched out in recent updates. A few other technical quirks did consistently surface elsewhere, such as awkward load times and frequent visual stutters on PS4, which can distract from the experience. As a first debut Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden gets a fair amount right with its rewarding tactical gameplay and generally well-implemented stealth/gathering systems. Where it stumbles, unfortunately, is in its technical implementation (especially at launch with some game-breaking bugs) and a narrative/cast that is not all that compelling. There is still enjoyment to be had in this adventure despite its rough edges, however, and for those looking for a solid X-COM-like that tries its hand at some new ideas, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden should certainly fit the bill. Pros + Creative take on turn-based tactical gameplay that also includes stealth/gathering gameplay systems + Unit variety, as well as weapons/gear, lend themselves to many strategic options + Characters that amusingly treat "ancients" with the amount of respect they deserve: none Cons - Occasional technical performance hiccups that are really jarring - Stealthily picking off foes one by one can get somewhat tedious in the latter half - Storytelling/cast are quite predictable and does not do much with either by the end Overall Score: 7 (out of 10) Good Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a rewarding, turn-based tactical title that gets plenty right in its first debut, but it has just enough rough edges, and narrative teasing, that one may find themselves wondering if a sequel could turn the brand into something truly special Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable PS4 code provided by the publisher.
  23. It's been a long time coming but the the third entry in the Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is finally making its way to North American territories. However, unlike the first two games, which were published by XSEED, Trails of Cold Steel III is being published by NIS America instead. While some might be put off by this change due to the translation issues with Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (which NIS America also published in 2017), the publisher is attempting to nip this in the bud by mentioning that some of the localization staff that had worked on the previous two Cold Steel entries have returned for this one as well. Trails of Cold Steel III features a new Class VII led by "Ashen Chevalier" Rean Schwarzer, who is now an instructor at Thors Branch Campus. The story follows the cast as they journey into the Empire's recently acquired land and find themselves embroiled in another plot that could result in war or an even worse calamity. Also new to this installment is the "Break System"; expect to hear more about that in the lead up to the game's release. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III is slated to release exclusively on PlayStation 4 in the Fall. Source: Press Release
  24. Digital versions of Nintendo's games seem to be showing up in more and more places for purchase these days and, as of today, Humble Bundle can now be adding to that growing list. Right now the selection features a mix of 40 different Switch and 3DS titles, from recent games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the Pokemon: Let's Go titles to even Virtual Console titles like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. All titles are selling at their full MSRP, and none qualify for charity contributions either. Nintendo titles are eligible for the $5 discount you get with Humble Bundle monthly subscriptions, but beyond that, there doesn't appear to be much of a difference from any other retail store (online or brick and mortar). Humble Bundle has not stated whether third-party and indie Switch and 3DS titles will be offered at some point, so hopefully we'll hear more regarding that sooner versus later. Source: Humble Bundle
  25. Fans of niche Japanese games publisher NIS America might be aware that the company had announced a console port of RPG Maker MV for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2019. Unfortunately, it looks like you won't be getting your hands on it anytime in the next few months. NIS America announced today that it is delaying the title due to ongoing issues with the development and that it won't release until later in 2019 now. No details have been given regarding the development issues, but suffice to say that porting a game to consoles isn't always a clear cut process. RPG Maker MV originally released on PC back in 2015 and features the ability to upload and share your RPG creations with others. This new console version is slated to have twice as many assets, including brand-new voices, music, and lyrics; making it the most comprehensive version of RPG Maker to date. We'll be sure to update you on a new release date as soon as it's announced. Source: Press Release
  26. Happy new year everyone!

    1. Jason Clement

      Jason Clement

      Woo, 2019! Hoping for a good year!

  27. Jason Clement

    Game of the Year 2018 - Jason's Picks

    2018 always had an uphill battle going for it. After all, how do you compete with an amazing year in video games like 2017 had? And yet, even though it predictably did not reach those lofty heights, 2018 still had its share of good video games. Especially indie games, which really seemed to get more of the spotlight thanks to a lesser amount of super high profile AAA games out on average. A few of the titles that didn’t quite make my list but deserve shoutouts include No Man’s Sky, which had a great update that added a lot of content and made the story way more meaningful. Surviving Mars is an excellent simulation game where you attempt to build and sustain your own colony on Mars. Swords of Ditto is a neat little game with a creative twist in that you play as a new hero in a changed world (100 years in the future) each time you die. Runner 3 is great fun and much improved from its predecessor. Miles & Kilo is a neat, 8-bit-esque runner that could almost be summed up as “Uncharted action setpieces if they were attempted on the NES.” And The Gardens Between is one of the most creative games I played this year that I didn’t get to spend quite as much time with as I wanted. But I digress. Here are my top 10 games of 2018. 10) Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido If I’m being completely honest, Sushi Striker almost didn’t make my list. I didn’t fully understand the nuances behind the gameplay until maybe about halfway through, meaning I was coasting on my knowledge of the basics until that point. That said, developer Indieszero did an admirable job creating something entirely new and fresh. Amidst the fast-paced (and admittedly stressful at times) puzzle gameplay there is a full-blown anime that has a completely ridiculous yet fun and self-aware story about sushi and a resistance that is fighting against an empire trying to control it. Sadly, Sushi Striker is likely a one-and-done deal since it didn’t sell well, but I’ll cherish my time with it as one of the more interesting chances taken in gaming lately. 9) Kirby Star Allies Star Allies is the first game since Kirby’s Return to Dreamland to really make me feel like a kid again. Having three allies fight alongside you seems like an unnecessary gimmick at first since Kirby titles aren’t usually known for their difficulty (at least not upfront). But HAL really found a way to make having four characters on-screen at once compelling, and it’s just plain cool to see Meta Knight or other series stalwarts fighting alongside Kirby (especially in boss battles). This might also be the most beautiful game in the series to date (Epic Yarn and Rainbow Curse aside), thanks to the increased capabilities of the Switch. Also, this particular entry has the most Dragon Ball Z-like ending ever and it’s something you need to see to believe. 8) Mini Metro Mini Metro is a great example of a game that’s simple to play, yet difficult to master. I love how simple it is; you literally drag your finger across the screen to create lines for trains. And... that's pretty much it. At first, you’ll have only a few trains to work with, but as both the city and your infrastructure grow, you’ll need to allocate your resources in such a way that you can meet the needs of all the people needing to get to their respective stops. I do wish the game had more achievements and was more goal-oriented, but the basic score attack mode is so addictive that I lose hours at a time just trying over and over to create the best train system I can. If you love strategy games, you can’t pass up Mini Metro. 7) Overcooked! 2 Somehow I didn’t play the first Overcooked! until shortly before 2 came out. I think it’s because I always viewed it as a multiplayer-only title and since I don’t have many other people to play with locally, well, you get the picture. However, the critical acclaim of the first original spoke to me and I was determined to play the sequel when it launched. And I couldn’t have been more wrong about it. Even as a single-player experience, Overcooked! 2 is a blast to play. You’ll need patience to master controlling two characters by yourself; just imagine it as a sort of relay race that goes on for a few minutes each time. Preparing each meal and keeping up with each order is fast and frantic fun, especially when combined with the way each level throws different curveballs at you and tries to impede your progress in different ways. Overcooked! 2 is easily a strong contender for the best co-op multiplayer game of the year; it’s that good. 6) Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom I grew up in a Nintendo household so I really had no experience with the Wonder Boy/Monster Boy series until last year’s excellent Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap. Playing through it made me feel like I had pretty much experienced all I needed to from that series, but boy was I wrong. Although Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom still feels like a SEGA Master System/Genesis game at its heart, it’s also a much more in-depth experience. It’s a happy marriage between Metroidvania and Zelda 2 with so much exploration, new skills and abilities, and puzzles to solve that it’s impossible for me not to love every moment of it. Cursed Kingdom is also gorgeous; I can now see why it took some 5+ years for this game to finally come out. All of the callbacks to previous games in the series, whether through new musical arrangements of older themes, visual nods, and cues also help make this one of the most memorable and charming games of 2018, if not a bit difficult in spots. 5) Octopath Traveler Going into 2018, I thought Octopath Traveler had real potential to be my favorite game of the year. Upon playing it, there are a few things that unfortunately prevent this, but I really can’t complain too much since most of the characters have compelling stories to tell and the game features one of the best battle systems and possibly the best soundtrack of the year. Octopath Traveler is that rare game I couldn’t put down because I just had to see what was next; hopefully its success means it won’t be too long before we see another entry. 4) Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Super Smash Bros. Ultimate absolutely lives up to its name as the best Smash game to date. An insane 74-character roster (at least starting out) with great new additions (shoutout to King K. Rool in particular) gives this game tremendous replay value. It also offers some of the most entertaining, challenging, and creative fights I’ve played thanks to the new Spirits mode and World of Light, which acts as the game’s single-player campaign. We might not get another Smash for a long while now, but that’s okay because Smash Ultimate will be played for a long time to come. 3) Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion + Season 2 content With over 750 hours of game time and counting, Splatoon 2 is still my most played Switch title by far, and it’s gotten even better in its second year. The free updates that have been provided for the main game have added everything from new levels to new weapons and gear, great Splatfests, and even new Salmon Run stages. But let’s talk about Octo Expansion for a sec. To date, it’s the single best piece of DLC I’ve ever played. It’s what Super Mario Galaxy 2 was to its predecessor. Forget the main campaign -- the creative scope of Octo Expansion’s 80 levels is nothing short of incredible. Not every level is a winner, mind you, but most are thoroughly enjoyable. Octo Expansion also adds a great new piece of lore to the Splatoon universe with the Deep Sea Metro and all its weird inhabitants. If you thought Splatoon had a weirdly cool, urban vibe to it before, the DLC dials it up to 11. And the story and final boss make up one of the most memorable and unique moments in the series so far. If you’ve ever been a fan of Splatoon 2, Octo Expansion is a must-play. 2) Yoku’s Island Express Every year there is at least one game that resonates with me in a deep way, usually because it has a great atmosphere that I connect with. Yoku’s Island Express is that game in 2018. I can’t fully express to you why, but it hits all the right notes for me. The art style is superb, the characters are charming as heck, the gameplay is a wonderful marriage between Metroidvania adventure and pinball, and the plot is like something out of a Pixar film (even if it’s a bit anticlimactic in the finale). Even the soundtrack is possibly my favorite from the whole year, borrowing from more lighthearted Polynesian/Hawaiian fare to trip-hop and more; it’s wonderful. Heck, I even platinumed the game, which is only my second time ever. Yoku’s Island Express is an incredible debut for developer Villa Gorilla and I can’t wait to see what they do next. 1) Marvel’s Spider-Man I knew Marvel's Spider-Man was going to be a good game. Heck, I even imagined it’d be great. How could it not be after those incredible E3 demos, two years in the running? What I didn’t expect, however, was for it to completely shatter my expectations and give us the best cinematic Spider-Man story to date (save for Into the Spider-Verse, which just recently released at the time of this writing and is amazing, no pun intended). Spider-Man really is the complete package. It offers a fully-explorable New York, tons of sidequests and enemies to fight (too many, some would even say), lots of collectibles, and a combat system that is extremely fluid and well done. But at the end of the day, it’s the story that really makes the game special for me. To explain why would delve into spoilers, but there’s an emotional narrative that’s pulled off extremely well, and the climax and final battle are a huge payoff for the story arc that slowly builds throughout the game. This is the single best representation of Peter Parker as Spider-Man and, without a doubt, the best superhero game to date. Bravo, Insomniac Games.
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