Favorite Games I Played in 2018
I played very few games that came out in 2018, and rather my year was filled with either very small indies, or things that came out in previous years. Regardless, there’s a lot of stuff that I really enjoyed! The full list (in order of completion) is at the bottom.
Yakuza 0 / Yakuza Kiwami
Why didn’t I play these earlier? I had wanted to get into the Yakuza series back in 2014 when I bought Yakuza 3, but I quickly fell off it. Starting back up with 0 makes me even more excited to go back to the entries I already own (3, 4, 5) with a newfound appreciation for the series. The effortless blending of goofy comedy and explosive crime drama mixed in with wholesome characters and varied gameplay makes for truly wonderful games.
As Matt Kessler put it on twitter:
Yakuza 6 is a power fantasy, but the fantasy is that no one—-not the gangsters, the joke characters from two games ago, the kids who don’t know better—-is so far gone that they can’t set themselves on a path to be better people.
While a weird comparison, this game reminds me a lot of Inside mechanically. Each level has a unique twist or mechanic that gets just enough time to feel fully realized while never overstaying its welcome. It’s the perfect length for the kind of game it is (I think I finished it in around 5 to 6 hours). The plot isn’t anything incredibly unique, but it gets the job done.
Not only is the single player great, but the multiplayer has probably my favorite progression system in a game ever. You get consistent unlocks with every level, in addition to randomized cosmetic rewards, and you get a currency to spend on unlocking anything you want (even high-level guns and cosmetics), and you get extra unlocks for completing milestones with weapons/classes/etc. This means you end up getting rewards every few matches, giving a constant sense of reward.
Fallout New Vegas (+ DLC)
I played Fallout 3 in high school and enjoyed so much about it. The intro, the unique side-missions you stumble across completely separate from the main story. NV came out a little while after I played 3 and it didn’t appeal to me at the time, it felt too similar to 3, and the intro felt flat and almost too open-ended in what you’re supposed to do. In college I played Fallout 4 and found it incredibly monotonous and bland, with really nothing going for it outside of the companions and their quest-lines.
Then, I decided to give New Vegas another try. I already owned it on Steam from a sale a while back, and I kept hearing good things about it, like this incredible review on Killscreen (rip). After I got through the first few hours I started to really love it. The different groups and factions all felt so real and believable. All had their own motives and vision for what they wanted New Vegas to be (I wish I could have spent more time with the Followers of the Apocalypse). Sadly, I didn’t really enjoy Caesar’s Legion as an antagonist as they felt too blatantly evil. Obviously things like that have existed, but I guess I would have preferred something with more subtlety. For a world filled with so much political nuance, their brand of fascist dictatorship felt a little too direct.
Most of the DLC was a nice bonus too. Honest Hearts was one of my favorite parts of the game, and one of the few aspects of the game that made me truly question my choices. Old World Blues was definitely my least favorite (if there’s one complaint I have about the game, its sense of humor is seriously not to my taste).
I played this game with Sabrina for close to a year. We started in October 2017 and finished it in August 2018. We clocked in 145 hours by the end. It’s much too long. It’s rare that I feel truly burnt out on a game by the end but WOW was that the case here. I absolutely loved the first few hours, but the lackluster character development, uninteresting (and weirdly difficult) combat, and poor writing just left a lot to be desired. There were so many cases where the characters just straight up explain something to you when they absolutely didn’t need to. I don’t want to be too down on this game, there’s a ton I loved! The art and UI design were flawless, the music never got old, even 140+ hours in, and the pacing is solid. But in the end, it just left so much to be desired.
SUCH a good soundtrack. Loved this game, Ben Espisito’s sense of humor is 100% my thing and the Trashopedia is one of my favorite parts of this game.
There’s a bunch of other games that I loved this year that I don’t really have a lot to say about other than “this is great”, so I’ll just end this with the full list of everything I played, in chronological order.
- Mario Odyssey
- What Remains of Edith Finch
- Un Pueblo De Nada
- All Our Asias
- Fallout: New Vegas (and all DLC)
- Yakuza 0
- Yakuza Kiwami
- Titanfall 2
- The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit
- Persona 5
- Donut County
- DELTA RUNE
- The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game
- There is Never Enough Space!