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2018 has been a rather wonderful year for gamers, with some of the most highly anticipated titles of recent years releasing to stellar reception. We got a sequel to Red Dead Redemption, the latest and perhaps greatest Super Smash Bros., and even a very large sample of an Undertale sequel (which I’m also counting as a game, even if it’s technically a demo). We even got a nice handful of critically acclaimed indie titles this year. How ‘bout that? Unfortunately for me, I haven’t exactly been able to play about 95% of all the games that have released for one reason or another. Bummer. Oh well, at least I’ve played enough to make a list of some sort, however small it may be. And I greatly enjoyed the five games I’ve managed to play from this year. So, at the very least, I’m more than happy to share with you what I enjoyed about the only five games of 2018 that I’ve played. It’s still ranked, though. 5) Sonic Mania Plus Kicking off this list is... not entirely a 2018 release. I mean, it is, but at its core, it’s merely Sonic Mania with DLC included. This is why it’s last on my list. I still loved it immensely, of course. I placed the original Sonic Mania in my Game of the Year 2017 list and even gave it a fantastic score in my review of the game. Sonic Mania Plus basically improves that amazing game, not just with some nice tweaks, but with two new characters, a new zone, and more. If you haven’t played Sonic Mania at all yet, I highly suggest you pick up this version. Or, you know, buy DLC for the original version if you’ve played it already. 4) Deltarune Here’s a game nobody expected. While it was teased the day before, Toby Fox released a surprise demo on Halloween for Undertale’s sequel, a game known as Deltarune (an anagram of Undertale, but that’s Unrelated). And yes, I did say demo. Why did I place it on this list? Well, because it’s a pretty damn good demo. It’s about three hours long if you play it quickly, but take your time to see and do everything and you’ll easily double that time, which makes it roughly the same length as a Neutral run in Undertale, and even a Pacifist run if you’re quick enough. And keep in mind that this is merely the first chapter of the game, which means Deltarune will be quite long when the full release is upon us. But it’s still a demo nonetheless, which is why it’s not higher on this list, even though it was insanely amazing. Toby Fox has yet another gem on his hands. 3) Detective Pikachu Many of you may have seen a trailer for a movie of the same name recently. Well, if you didn’t already know, the film is actually based on this fun little 3DS game. Basically, you play as a guy whose detective dad went missing and you’re now trying to figure out what happened to him while you solve various other cases. Also, your partner is a talking Pikachu wearing a little deerstalker hat like Sherlock Holmes. Well, only the main character can actually hear what he says. Look, it may sound like a crazy premise, but trust me, Detective Pikachu is a fun game and I would recommend it to any Pokémon fan or at least anyone looking forward to the upcoming film. Assuming you have a 3DS, that is. 2) Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu/Let’s Go Eevee Yes, two of the five games I played this year were Pokémon games. What can I say? I like Pokémon. Sue me. Actually, please don’t sue me. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how to feel when Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee was announced. On the one hand, it’s a remake of Pokémon Yellow. On the other hand, the game took the catching mechanic from Pokémon GO, only without the finger-swiping. Now you just have to swing your wrist. Well, unless you’re playing in handheld mode. I’m sure a lot of people were concerned when they found out you couldn’t fight wild Pokémon, much like I was. But you know, it’s really not that bad. They give you plenty of trainers to battle to make up for it. It’s also pretty nice to see Pokémon on the map for once. Overall, Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee are great games for any Pokémon fan and I highly recommend picking one of them up. If anything, you can consider it an appetizer to hold you over until the new generation finally comes out. 1) Super Smash Bros. Ultimate My favorite game of 2018 (out of the five I’ve played) is also my new favorite Super Smash Bros. ever. Seriously. It basically takes the best of all the other games and combines them to make the “ultimate” Super Smash Bros. experience. And that includes combining every roster to bring together literally every single fighter who ever appeared in the series. Not only that, but they included every single stage as well, in their normal, battlefield, and omega forms. The game is also balanced amazingly well, and the AI is… well, the CPUs are actually impressively smart, I tell you what. I’ve nearly pulled my hair out trying to max the intensity. I’ll get there one of these days. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate also has a highly addicting adventure mode to boot. It’s called World of Light, and while it’s not as story-heavy as Subspace Emissary back in Brawl, it’s a lot of fun and will last you a good while if you try to 100% everything. Its main focus is another feature exclusive to Ultimate known as spirits, which are basically a combination of trophies and stickers from past games. And while it’s a shame that we no longer have trophies to look at, collecting the seemingly endless number of spirits really adds to the game’s replay value, which is delightful. I could go on and on about how much I enjoy Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and why it deserves the top spot on my list out of the whopping five 2018 releases I’ve played, but I don’t want to bore you. I bet you’d rather be playing it yourself, eh? EH????
Jonathan Higgins posted a article in Individual ValuesWelcome to the fifty-fourth week of my PokÃ©mon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed the last one, check it out! Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday. Before I get things started this week: Anyone interested in grabbing the Limited Edition plushies available at GameStop may want to stop in sooner vs. later. Call your local store to check availability! -------------------------------- Detective Work As fun as it would be to steal the opening from A Study in Scarlet, and inject Pikachu as Sherlock Holmes into the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle...I“m not as well-read as I“d like to be. Ever since the announcement of Great Detective Pikachu came out of Japan, the Internet“s been running wild with it anyway. So much of what“s been presented to us in the initial trailer is way out of left field. Twitter went crazy; even I had some fun. Within hours, â€œDetective Pikachuâ€ all but became a meme. If a localization of the game wasn“t already in the works, you can bet your paycheck it will be now. Way back in 2013, we heard about a â€œtop-secret Pikachu game that [uses playfulness as a weapon to take over the world].â€ Before it had much of an identity, all we saw from the game was its emphasis on motion-capture. There were plenty of people unsettled by that image at the time. Eventually, â€œDetective Pikachuâ€ became something to keep an eye on, then faded into the shadows. Many assumed it had been canceled, until its surprise reveal earlier this week. It“s coming to the 3DS in Japan on February 3rd, with no other regions specified...yet. I've even seen a thread that suggests the game borrows from Boston, aesthetically. PokÃ©mon, as a franchise, doesn“t often venture outside of its comfort zone. Even its spin-offs like PokÃ©mon Ranger, PokÃ©mon Mystery Dungeon, and PokÃ©mon Rumble often borrow structures from other established series and intertwine them with the PokÃ©mon world and conventional gameplay mechanics. Even the obtuse nature of PokÃ©mon Conquest still stayed pretty grounded in what makes the Nobunaga“s Ambition games great, to some. But this? Great Detective Pikachu? I don“t recall PokÃ©mon going this far out on a limb since PokÃ©mon Snap. Here“s the deal -- a bossy, yet loveable... 'talking' Pikachu (that has the voice of a grizzled man in his late '30s) teams up with a kid to solve PokÃ©mon crimes. Just look at some of these screenshots. You“d think you were playing a pinball game, with how much this concept bounces off the walls. There“s plenty of infamous examples of games where Nintendo is experimental with one of its major characters. Games from the past come to mind like Super Mario Land and Link“s Awakening. And, at present, you can always count on Kirby to go a little crazy sometimes. But I don“t think PokÃ©mon has ever ventured this far from the norms before. I“m in love with the idea. I just hope the game gets localized sooner versus later! How do you all feel about Great Detective Pikachu? Do you think it“s just an overinflated meme, at this point, or is there potential for greatness?