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As far as video games go, 2017 was one that was special in a way that’s next to impossible to replicate. The Switch launched with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and was followed throughout the year with a slew of high-quality releases ranging from Splatoon 2 to Super Mario Odyssey. The Yakuza series was reintroduced to the west with a bang in the form of Yakuza 0 and a high-quality remake of the original in Yakuza Kiwami. And there was plenty of RPG goodness across the board, from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Persona 5 to my personal Game of the Year of 2017, Nier: Automata. The sheer quantity of incredible releases last year that may be remembered as generation-defining, if not some of the greatest video games ever made, would be hard for 2018 to top. And truthfully, this year never did hit the absolute highs of 2017 for me. That’s not to say that there weren’t plenty of great games this year, but none hit me with the impact of last year’s incredible slate. However, there were still a couple of incredible Yakuza games released this year, as well as a Fist of the North Star-themed Yakuza spin-off that’s still sitting in my backlog. So maybe some of last year’s magic still managed to rub off! Regardless of how quiet or not 2018’s march of releases was, I still had plenty to play, had plenty of fun, and on that subject, that’s all that really matters. 10) Fortnite Though Fortnite was released last year, I’m including it here at the tenth spot on my list because, like so many other people, there was a period of about two and a half months where it was literally the only game I played. Both on the PS4, and later the Switch, the Battle Royale game was one I just couldn’t put down, often ending late nights after just “one more game.” For the record, I was terrible. I only ever came in first place once, but it was through the semi-tactical fluke of managing to win a round without ever firing shot and letting the only remaining opponent get claimed by the encroaching storm. Truth be told, any experience I had with Fortnite after that oddity was a bonus. 9) Attack on Titan 2 Click here to read GP's official review The first of three Koei Tecmo games on this year’s list, Attack on Titan 2 really captured the feel of the anime, but with the twist of inserting the player into an original character slotted into the narrative’s existing events. In a year with an actual Spider-Man game (that I haven’t played yet), Attack on Titan 2 still satisfied that urge to swing through cities and forests with grace and ease. Now if Koei Tecmo would just consider localizing the Ruby Party Attack on Titan game. 8) Warriors Orochi 4 Warriors Orochi 4 was seen by a lot of Musou fans as something of a mea culpa from Koei Tecmo after the generally negative response to Dynasty Warriors 9. While it does introduce new mechanics involving magic and gave powered-up divine forms to select characters, the game doesn’t do much to rock the boat. And if you’re a Musou fan like I am, that’s fine, and it’s comforting, but it also left me with some mixed feelings for reasons that will become clear later down the list. That said, it’s a solid, fun continuation of one of the best Warriors series out there, even if it doesn’t feature the crazier crossover characters from last year’s Warriors All-Stars. 7) BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle Click here to read GP's official review Calling BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle a BlazBlue game is something of a misnomer. It is a BlazBlue game, but it’s also Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In-Birth, and… the Rooster Teeth animated series RWBY?! As crazy a mash-up as the game is in concept, it’s a frenetic fighting game of intense, fast-paced tag battle-style matches that can end in the blink of an eye. The game also holds a special place in my heart for serving as my introduction to competing at EVO. (I didn’t advance very far, but I didn’t go 0-2, either!) 6) Octopath Traveler Octopath Traveler is one of the more unique RPGs to come out of Square Enix in years. On the surface, it might strike people as a cousin to the divisive SaGa series, as it features eight playable characters, each with their own story and path through the game. Unlike the typical SaGa title, however, the gameplay is much easier to learn and understand, and all eight characters become part of the player’s party through natural play (but by no means is the game a cakewalk). Combine its gameplay and engaging characters with a visual style that feels like a pop-up book version of SNES-era RPGs, and it’s the sort of experience that’s right up my alley. 5) Soulcalibur VI Soulcalibur VI feels as much like a return to form as it does something new. After having so much fun and spending so many hours in Soulcalibur II, the third, fourth, and fifth games all had significant issues or gaps that left me wanting. It didn’t help that the guest characters the series brought in could never match the fun feeling of playing as Link from The Legend of Zelda, or even the goofy inclusion of Heihachi from the Tekken series. Soulcalibur VI in some ways takes a back to basics approach with its story, returning to the storyline of the first two titles and exploring it in depth with not one but two different story modes. The game mechanics feel sharp and polished, and the cast of classic characters has never looked better. Even the guest character, Geralt from the Witcher series, fits right in. And hey, 2B from Nier: Automata is joining the fray around the time that I’m writing this list up, so it’s only looking better as time goes on! 4) Dynasty Warriors 9 Click here to read GP's official review There’s no question that, to many, Dynasty Warriors 9 was a disappointment. The mechanical and systemic changes brought about by setting the game in an open world were bold experiments by Omega Force; the boldest shift taken by the series in many, many years. And the game launched with some technical flaws that required several patches to address, many of which were no doubt due to the game not getting enough time in the oven before it launched. And so I can understand where the disappointment comes from. But… I was never truly disappointed. While Dynasty Warriors 9 is flawed, I loved my time with it. I played it for over a hundred hours, and currently sit one trophy short of earning my first platinum trophy for any title I’ve played on a PlayStation console. I’m generally not a completionist by nature, but when I have more time, I’d like to go back and get that last one, because really and truly, I think Dynasty Warriors 9 is a lot of fun. In particular, the new combat system it introduces is a major step forward from the tried-and-true charge system that has existed in most Dynasty Warriors titles since the earliest entries. If anything, I would love to see more of this type of gameplay in a more refined entry, whether that be Dynasty Warriors 10, Samurai Warriors 5, or something else. But given the general response Dynasty Warriors 9 received, I won’t be surprised if Omega Force backtracks and makes more titles of the old form, like Warriors Orochi 4, for example. I’ll be disappointed, but not surprised. 3) Yakuza Kiwami 2 Click here to read GP's official review Like last year’s Yakuza Kiwami, Yakuza Kiwami 2 is another remake, this time of the second and last entry to grace the PlayStation 2. Built on the Dragon Engine originally developed for Yakuza 6, Kiwami 2 takes an already wild adventure and makes it even better. Punching man-eating tigers in the face has never looked so beautiful! While Yakuza 2 is often credited as the game where the series truly found its voice, Kiwami 2 refines the experience, adding more of what works, taking away a few things that don’t really work anymore, and as a bonus, tying in new sidestory elements to act as a direct sequel to Yakuza 0. Fans of the 80s-era prequel will absolutely love the callbacks, both goofy and heartfelt. 2) Yakuza 6: The Song of Life Click here to read GP's official review Billed as the game that ends the long and melodramatic tale of Kazuma Kiryu, Yakuza 6 contains everything that Yakuza fans love, from the action and drama to the more absurdist and comedic set pieces. If it truly lacks anything, such as meatier or more meaningful appearances from several fan-favorite characters, it’s only because the game’s plot is written with Kazuma and the now grown Haruka front and center. As the series has progressed, both star characters have grown older, and their arcs have taken them in some unexpected directions. But good things deserve to come to a proper end, and the Yakuza team elected to do just that. The game tells a story that ties a fitting bow around what has been a long journey for Haruka, and particularly for the lead character Kiryu. And that’s something that very, very few game series that have gone on for as long as Yakuza has can claim to have done as well. 1) Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Super Smash Bros. Ultimate really does feel in many ways like the ultimate Smash Bros. title. With a roster featuring every playable character that ever appeared across the previous entries, including third-parties, in addition to a few brand-new characters, the roster has something for most everyone. And though the size of that roster is the likely reason for why some traditional features aren’t present in Ultimate, like Home Run Contest or trophy collecting, the game has a host of deep, quality features that doesn’t make it feel slimmed down in any way. As someone that’s played Smash Bros. since the original N64 title, it’s fair for me to say that Ultimate may end up being my favorite entry. Not just due to the breadth of its gigantic roster that’s due to grow even further with coming DLC, but with the dev team’s reverence for the source materials that the roster comes from. Even the Spirit Battles, challenges themed after hundreds of characters from Nintendo’s past, as well as some special guests, are as creative and humorous as they are challenging. One battle I found particularly amusing cast three female Corrins with jetpacks as the Elite Beat Divas from Elite Beat Agents. The surprise in how these depictions are crafted, and how they translate specific references, make the battles as enticing as the actual challenge of fighting them. That the game’s Adventure Mode, World of Light, is entirely based around these Spirit Battles, makes for some of the best single-player content in any Smash Bros. game. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has everything it needs to keep me playing it well into the foreseeable future, both alone and with friends and strangers. And being packed with such quantity and quality, it’s easily my personal Game of the Year.
Jason Clement posted a article in Industry NewsLove it or hate it, The Game Awards has become a pretty integral night in the game industry for a few years now due to it being a platform for publishers to tease their upcoming games with world premieres. This year's show was no exception, with some of the biggest game announcements we've seen since The Game Awards was first started. Just a quick note here -- we're not covering every trailer shown. Just the ones for the biggest and newest games. With that, here's a look at the night's biggest announcements, starting with... Soul Calibur VI Though rumors of its impending announcement were fairly abundant beforehand, Soul Calibur VI's unveiling caused a huge splash with fans last night. Soul Calibur V released in 2012, so it's been a solid 5 years without a new entry, and 2018 looks to be rectifying that in a big way. Details remain sparse so far, but we do know the game is set in the 16th century and a few returning characters have been confirmed, such as Sophitia and Mitsurugi. Also new is a gameplay mechanic called "Reversal Edge," which allows players to clash with each other while following up with a powerful counterattack based on their opponent's actions. Aside from that, you'll have to stay tuned for more info on the popular fighter in 2018, during which time it'll release on PS4, Xbox One, and Steam. Bayonetta 1+2 and (yes) Bayonetta 3 Despite Bayonetta 2's critically acclaimed reception on Wii U, the series' fate appeared to be up in the air, mostly due to the uncertain airs around the poorly-selling console. Any fears of about future entries were quickly forgotten about last night, however, as Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime not only announced a Bayonetta 1+2 dual release pack on Switch next year but a teaser for a full-blown threequel. There's no release date or window yet, so you'll have to wait for more info, hopefully, next year. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Champion's Ballad While it was all but confirmed that we'd see the second half of Breath of the Wild's DLC at The Game Awards, it was still pretty exciting to see the announcement unfold, complete with producer Eiji Aonuma appearing on-stage to pull out a master sword in the stone. This new DLC focuses on the history of the four champions that aid Link in his quest, in addition to providing new shrines, armor, items, and even a brand spanking new motorcycle Link can ride. Death Stranding Just as confusing as ever, a new trailer for Death Stranding did no new favors for anyone trying to understand exactly what it is about. Also, it ends with... a baby inside Norman Reedus' character? You'll have to see the trailer to believe it. Also, game creator Hideo Kojima and Norman Reedus also showed up on-stage afterward to talk a bit as well. With no release date in sight, it could easily be a couple of years more before we get an idea of when it's coming out. World War Z I'm not quite sure why a game based on a film from 2013 (which in turn was based on the book) is just now being announced, but there you go. The trailer doesn't show much that we haven't seen in the movie (such as super fast zombies) but interestingly enough, it is "coming soon." Perhaps a 2018 release is right around the corner. From Software's untitled project Death Stranding might have had the most confusing trailer, but equally odd and unusually short was the reveal for From Software's upcoming game. Essentially a 10-second clip that centers on what appears to be a bloody, twisting rope, the only other thing the clip offers is the phrase "Shadows Die Twice." The message is unclear at the moment, though there are some people who believe it be a sequel or successor to From Software's Shadow Tower games. If not, Bloodborne 2 is widely speculated as well. It's likely we may hear more at PSX 2017 this weekend. In the Valley of the Gods It's been nearly two years since Campo Santo's critically acclaimed debut Firewatch released, and now they're finally showing off their latest project, In the Valley of the Gods. Slated for a 2019 release on PC (and likely consoles thereafter), the game focuses on two female filmmakers, Rashida and Zora, as they set out in the 1920s to uncover the lost tomb of Nefertiti. Like Firewatch, it appears to be a first-person "walking simulator" with a heavy focus/narrative on the characters themselves. Witchfire The latest game from the developer behind The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Witchfire is a first-person horror game set in a dark, gothic world of monsters, zombies, and the like. We'll likely get much more info on it in 2018. Dreams It's been a long time coming for Media Molecule's Dreams. Having first been revealed in 2013 as a tech demo/platform, it's been unusually quiet for the past 3-4 years, causing many to wonder if it had been scrapped or reworked entirely. We now have confirmation that it's still alive and coming out in 2018, and boy does it look ambitious. Expect to hear way more about it this weekend at PSX 2017. Which of these new game announcements was your favorite or most surprising to you? Let us know in the comments below!