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My Favorite Games of 2018

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My Favorite Games of 2018

By Kevin Galasso, Editor

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When I look back at 2018 in terms of video games, I see a year that was full of both ups and downs. While there were many great games that released in 2018, there was also a lot of subpar and disappointing games. Games like Fallout 76 and Metal Gear Survive left gamers in disgust over their poor quality and it seemed like you couldn’t escape 2018 without seeing a Battle Royale game. Regardless, I personally think the good outshines the bad in 2018 and to prove it, I’m going to talk about my personal favorite games of 2018.

Now a couple of ground rules. First, I am only listing games that came out in 2018. Second, unlike last year’s list, I am not including and remakes or remasters. As much as I wanted to put Spyro: Reignited Trilogy on this list it is a stretch calling this a new game. Also, I have not played every game that came out this year including many of the more popular ones. For that reason you will not see games like God of War, Monster Hunter World, and in the case of Red Dead Redemption 2, I own the game, but I haven’t put enough time into the game to form an opinion. With that out of the way, this is my top five “personal” favorite games of 2018.

Honorable Mention: Persona 5

This isn’t part of the list, but I need to talk about this game. Out of the many games I missed out on in 2017, my biggest regret was not picking up this game. Persona 5 has to be one of the greatest RPG’s I have ever played. I was able to pick up this year, and I immediately fell in love with it.

The game is about an unnamed student who has moved to Japan under probation. While there, he gets sucked into this alternate world created by people’s distortions of themselves. Using his “persona” or awakened self, he must combat evil monsters and change the hearts of the evil individuals causing problems in society. I won’t give any specifics to the story as even the first chapter is full of many twists, so I don’t want to spoil it for all of you interested in the game.

What I can talk about is how good the presentation of the game is. The game is so stylized and unique with both is UI and Battle Interface. No two areas look the same, and the designs of the enemy and characters are all great.

In terms of gameplay the game has two parts. One part is going into these distortion worlds and this is where the fighting takes place. The fights consist of your typical RPG turn-based combat. Now normally this would be a turn away for me as I can’t stand how slow turn-based combat is and that is why I can’t get into most RPG’s with the exception of Pokemon. For this game however, I don’t mind as much because the game makes it combat very interesting, having you look for a weakness in order to speed up the combat. It in turn makes the combat very fun to do and I actively enjoy battling in this game.

The other half of the game is in the real world. In this part you do things like go to school and hang out with friends. While it may seem dumb, the actions that you do outside of the combat can affect your abilities during combat. By building up friendships and working on your stats, you gain more power and experience in the combat section of the game. It gives you incentive to work on these relationships and you also get the added benefit of seeing great character moments.

Add all of that and an amazing soundtrack, and you have a game that I am so glad I was able to play. Would recommend to anyone even if you hate RPG’s the game is that good.

Available on: PS3 (for some reason), PS4, Xbox One, PC

5: Super Mario Party

The Mario Party series is one that is very close to me. I have fond memories of playing Mario Party 7 on my GameCube and since then, I have kept up with the series. That was until I played Mario Party 9. Sure, it wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t the same as the older Mario Party’s as now the focus went from board game where you could go anywhere to a game where you are on a fixed path. It was lackluster, and I didn’t even bother with Mario Party 10 as it had the same problems as 9.

Luckily, Nintendo realized the mistakes and for the next installment on the Switch, Nintendo went back to the basics. Super Mario Party is a return to form for the series and it brings back all the things we loved about the older games in the franchise. The game itself can be described as a board game where each player moves their own character to complete an objective (in most cases acquiring a star). This formula worked for the rest of the games so I’m glad to have it back. At the end of each turn, there is a minigame and the winner receives coins to use towards purchasing the stars.

While the formula may seem simple, that simplicity is what makes it good. This game is the perfect game to play with the family as it is super easy and understand. The game is very fun when played with four people and at turns can turn your best friends into your worst enemies.

My one problem with the game is the lack of content. The game only has 4 boards and about 70 minigames. It doesn’t take long to see everything the game has. But besides that, this is a great party game and I hope that they continue improving with the next game.

Available on: Switch

4: Mario Tennis Aces

A bit of a weird choice as this game has some problems, but I can overlook those because of how fun this game is. After the disaster that was Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, Mario Tennis Aces redeemed the Mario Tennis series with this instalment.

The game shakes up your typical tennis match with a couple of new features. The first are the Zone Powers. This is a bar that increases while you play the match. With this power you can do crazy maneuvers such as slow down time in order to reach the ball or jump up and manually aim a shot.

With the addition of these two skills, the game turns into your average game of tennis, into what almost feels like a fighting game, using your Zone powers in order to overpower and outwit your opponent. It makes the matches so much more exhilarating and the matches often turn into a spectacle.

But, like I said earlier, there are some glaring problems. The game is kind of “starving” for content. Besides a basic story mode, and a tournament, that is it besides online. If you are looking for things like minigames and crazy modes, they don’t really exist in this game. However, if you are looking for fast, frantic, tennis matches, then I can happily recommend this game.

Available on: Switch

3: Dragon Ball FighterZ

Man, the hype around this game before it came out was crazy. There have been many Dragon Ball games before this, but this was the first time that I was excited for a dragon ball game. I remember first seeing this game at E3 2016 and I was shocked. The graphics looked like I was watching an episode of the show and the gameplay just looked so fast and frantic.

Fast forward to March when I finally got the game and all my excitement was justified. Out of all of the 2D fighting games, this might be my favorite.

The game is a 3 on 3 fighting game in the style of Marvel vs. Capcom allowing you to switch between all three in order to combat your opponents. This allows the combat to be quick and opens up many opportunities to expose your opponent and counterattack.

The character roster is great featuring all the best characters from the show. Favorites of mine include Yamcha, Frieza, Goku Black, and Captain Ginyu. What I like about the characters the most is that they aren’t too complicated. My main problem with most fighters is that the characters have too many moves and too much to remember. In this game, the characters have less moves, and in turn makes it easier to have an understanding how they work.

On top of the gameplay, you have the best graphics I have seen the whole year. It is evident that the developers have made sure to stay true to the art style of the anime including as many key poses and specific angles that is sometimes one to one. It overall brings the entire game to another level increasing the enjoyment.

Overall, if I were to recommend a 2D fighting game to someone, I would recommend this one as I believe it to be the most accessible for new players.

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

2: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Out of all the taglines of 2018, there is one that will be etched into my mind. That being “Everyone Is Here”. When I saw these words while watching E3 2017, I freaked out. I was excited when they announced a new Smash Bros game for Switch and after seeing more about it on E3, I got ever more excited. Never would I have thought that characters like Snake and Pichu would return to the series, and I am glad that they have come back.

That is the main draw of this new game. They have brought back every single character from all the games and many of the original stages. Along with that, they have 10 newcomers adding up the total roster to a whopping 74 fighters. As great as it was to see old favorites like Wolf coming back, the newcomers has became one of my favorite lineups of all games. Shout out to the Incineroar, my new main and the most fun character to play in this game. Imagine a mix between Macho Man Randy Savage, and Fire, and you have an amazing character. I’d like to say more but I believe that this game is best to be played without anyone telling you what happens. Overall, Smash Bros Ultimate has to be my favorite fighting game of 2018.

Available on: Switch

1: Spider Man (PS4)

Without a doubt I can say that 2018 was the year of Spider-Man. With him being successful in movies like Avengers Infinity War, and the amazing Spiderman Into the Spider Verse, the web crawler has been more prominent than ever. Among all these masterpieces, is a game that came out and became my favorite game of the year. I know, its shocking that a licensed game became my favorite, but as soon as I played it, I knew it was an amazing game. The game focuses on a Spiderman who has been stopping crime for over 10 years. Instead of retreading old ground with the origin story, they wanted to focus on a new story with newer villains. Because of that, the story is fresh, and it delves into many aspects of Spiderman that you don’t see in mainstream media. I would say more, but the story is so good I don’t want to spoil anything.

In terms of gameplay, the controls are perfect. Swinging around the city is so much fun that for the first hour, I just spent it swinging around all of New York. The combat is also super cool feeling like the Batman Arkham games but with more gadgets and movement. It was the best part of the game and I never got tired of it.

Overall, while I could talk more about the game, I think that you should just play the game. I can guarantee that you will enjoy it.

Available on: PS4

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