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Top Games of 2017

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Top Games of 2017

By Kevin Galasso, Editor

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2017 for video games has been “interesting” to say the least. While this has been a great year with new consoles, games, and excitement throughout, there has also been many low points and controversies. Games that didn’t live up to expectation like Mass Effect Andromeda and Sonic Forces. Games that had great aspects but focused on microtransactions like Star Wars Battlefront 2, and overall games just not being finished. Countless times we see a mainstream developer make a game knowing all the bugs and glitches, and still send it out the door. It’s sad to see when a team of 10 people make better polished game than the huge Triple AAA developers with thousands of people working on the game.

But beyond that, the year wasn’t all bad. This was a great year for Nintendo. After the financial disaster of the Wii U (which I still liked), Nintendo got back on their A-game with the Nintendo Switch which became very profitable for Nintendo. It great to see that they learned from their mistakes and can attract the public with their new console.

But enough of the overview, let’s get into the list. Now a couple of things. I have not played every game that came out this year. Games such as South Park: The Fractured But Whole and Splatoon 2 have received great praise and acclaim from critics and players, but I didn’t have the money or time to play them. The other problem is that I don’t own a PS4. While I wanted so badly to play Crash Bandicoot: The N-Sane Trilogy, I couldn’t so that is why it is not on the list. With all that over with let’s get on with the main event.

7: Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

Now, I’m kind of cheating with the first two games. Both games did not first release in 2017, but they had enough improvements from their release this year, that I see them worthy for the list. Starting the list is Yacht Club Games love letter to old-school games. The big addition this year is the inclusion of the Specter of Torment DLC which lets you play as one of the villains, Specter Knight.

In my opinion, Specter Knight is the best out of the three characters to play as. While he can’t jump as high as Shovel Knight or Plague Knight, he makes up for that with his ability to climb walls and grind on rails. He has fun powerups and some of the best animation for an 8-bit game I have seen in ages. Throw in new level design and a tragic backstory and you have a great expansion to an already great game.

Available on: Xbox One, PS4, Switch, Wii U, 3DS, PC

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

6: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Now this can be considered as a port, not a new game. But, I feel that it includes and fixes enough problems that it can be considered for the list.

Mario Kart 8 was released for the Wii U and was considered a highlight of the system. Many players, including myself, would call it one of the best Mario Karts. While it had its problems, the presentation and gameplay more than made up for it.

With Deluxe, the game’s biggest problems are now fixed. The battle mode had a major overhaul and is a major improvement being made more in the classic Mario Kart style of battle mode. Graphics have been upscaled thanks to the processing capabilities of the Switch, and the game feels great to play. Add in new characters, karts, and the ability to play it wherever you go. This is the definitive version of Mario Kart 8

Available on: Switch

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

5: Injustice 2

My first foray into NetherRealm Studios, the company responsible for Mortal Kombat 9 and Mortal Kombat X. This time, the focus is on the world of DC and all the characters in the universe. A sequel to the original Injustice, Injustice 2 improves on many things. The story mode is very fleshed out with a compelling story, the visuals are vastly improved, and the game is a blast to play.

I didn’t think that I would enjoy the gameplay. Being a fan of fast paced fighters like Smash Bros. and Marvel Vs. Capcom, I thought that the slow-placed gameplay would turn me away. But, upon playing it, the slower pace allows me to truly learn the technicality and combos of each character. So far, my favorite characters have been Doctor Fate (my main), Scarecrow, Cyborg, and Black Adam. Almost all the characters have been very fun to try.

While Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite didn’t live up to expectations, I can always fall back to this game which is still receiving constants updates with new characters and moves.

Available on: PS4, Xbox One

Injustice 2

4: Sonic Mania

Oh man what a year for Sonic the Hedgehog. With 2017 being the 25th anniversary of Sonic, SEGA wanted to celebrate by releasing two games. One was Sonic Mania, a revival of the glory days of 2D Sonic and what a revival it was.

Led by famed Sonic Modder, Christian Whitehead, the game is a love letter to all things sonic. Everywhere you go you will find references to Sonic’s past. As a longtime fan, it was great to see some of these and some completely took me by surprise. These include past levels from Sonic 1 to Sonic and Knuckles which are new remastered with new mechanics and bosses. Along with the old levels, some new levels which steal the show with new sonic speed that we have never seen before (Studiopolis is the Best).

While the game may seem as pandering and fan service to sonic fans, the unmistakable quality of this game shines too much to overlook that.

I would mention the other Sonic game that came out, but we don’t speak about that game anymore “cough…Sonic Forces is bad…cough”.

Available on: Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC

3: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild

What is this! He didn’t put Breath of The Wild at number 1?

Well, I have some reasons as to why but first let’s talk about this masterpiece.

Breath of the Wild is a total change of the Zelda formula. Going from the dungeon to dungeon style to more of an open non-linear adventure and I think that the change works. I love being able to go and explore wherever I want to and every area is chock full of secrets and materials to find. While some people might have problems with the durability system and material collecting, I think it works well with this game. I never found myself without the ability to heal myself and I had so many weapons to spare.

The game looks beautiful. With impressive landscapes, lighting, and character designs. It is my second favorite looking Zelda game besides The Wind Waker. The music is very ambient which I’m not the biggest fan of, but some pieces such as Kaas’s Theme are great.

The story is different than your normal Zelda game, focusing on fleshing out the relationship between Link, Zelda, and the other champions of Hyrule.

Overall there’s a lot more I can say but you want to know why it’s only number 3. Short reason is that I just enjoyed these two games more. While this was a great game for the launch of the Nintendo Switch, these two showed me more hours of enjoyment.

Available on: Switch

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WIld

2: Cuphead

It’s been a long wait, but it was worth it for Cuphead. This game had me interested ever since its first trailer at E3 2015. I really like the style of old 1930’s cartoons and this game matches that to a tee. It becomes more stunning when you learn that everything was hand-drawn, which was a long and agonizing process for the developers, but it paid off. The game is so beautiful and so vibrant that it looks like I’m watching an old cartoon.

The gameplay is also fun. Sure, it’s hard, but it’s the rewarding type of hard. One that keeps you playing until you finally beat that boss. There were many times when I wanted to quit but I kept persevering and I eventually figured it out. The game is addictive like that where you are determined to finish. Never did I find a spot that was too unfair. It was challenging but fair for the entire time and for that I applaud Cuphead. I wouldn’t recommend it to everybody but if you like a challenge, Cuphead is your kind of game.

Available on: Xbox One, PC

1: Super Mario Odyssey

I tried, really, I tried. I didn’t want the obvious answer, but I just can’t help myself. Super Mario Odyssey is my favorite game of 2017. Many of the reasons why are located in my review, but for those who didn’t read it, I’ll summarize the main points.

Mario is back on top. With the shift back to open sandbox style levels and a brand-new set of moves and controls, he has felt better than he ever has before. Add the new mechanic of possession and some amazing and breathtaking worlds, and you have a game that rivals Super Mario Galaxy for my favorite Mario game. Honestly there is more I could say but I would be retreading at this point, so I’ll say this.

If you have a Switch, you should have Mario Odyssey. It is a great game for the console and it along with Breath of the Wild have put Nintendo back on the map and I am so happy for them.

Available on: Switch

Super Mario Odyssey

 

 

 

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Top Games of 2017