GOTY 2017 | Number 6 — Nier: Automata

Not often enough does a story in a video game leave you as speech­less as Nier: Automata left me when I played it this past year. Start­ing off as a fairly com­mon “how human are robots” type of tale, it esca­lates with each end­ing. Even­tu­ally, the places it goes will leave you a quiv­er­ing pile of per­son­i­fied exis­ten­tial dread that few nar­ra­tive media forms have been able to match up to this point. Nier: Automata also sports some of the best char­ac­ters of the year and man­ages to make good on their arcs more often than not. In a play of classi­ness, not often seen in huge games like this one, it will even let you buy any of the game’s tro­phies after you com­plete the game so you can enjoy it with­out wor­ry­ing about com­plet­ing every last thing. Many of the mechan­ics in the game can be used in sur­pris­ingly cre­ative ways and there are a few side-quests that are just as good as the main story. Nier: Automata def­i­nitely deserves the spot as the 6th best game of 2017.

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Wednesday Night Stream | Hand of Fate 2

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Join me for some digital-tabletop action at 10pm EST! Feel free to com­ment on this post directly or head off to my Twitch Page to chat with me as I play! Review code pro­vided by Stride PR.

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ESH | Atelier Firis Review

Alchemy has always seemed like one of those con­cepts that trans­fers into the world of RPGs per­fectly. Gath­er­ing resources and turn­ing them into equip­ment, med­i­cine and other use­ful items is a per­fect fit for both the game­play and fan­tas­ti­cal set­tings of these games. The Ate­lier series has been around for quite a while prov­ing this con­cept with some fun and cre­ative JRPGs. I per­son­ally hadn’t played any of the pre­vi­ous entries in the series before, but as a player who has par­taken in many through the years, I was excited to give this series a try. Ate­lier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mys­te­ri­ous Jour­ney cer­tainly has a lot going on, with sev­eral very inter­est­ing qual­i­ties I haven’t seen else­where, but isn’t par­tic­u­larly friendly to new players.

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Wednesday Night Stream | Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey

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Join me for some cutesy-alchemy action at 9pm EST! Feel free to com­ment on this post directly or head off to my Twitch Page to chat with me as I play!

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GOTY 2016 | Number 3 — Dark Souls III

Devel­op­ing some of the tough­est and most reward­ing games out there, From Soft­ware hit another one of out of the park with Dark Souls III. Using the same engine from Blood­borne, this game shines on both the PC and con­soles. This game ticked off every box I was look­ing for in a new Dark Souls game. Con­tain­ing a dark and gor­geous world filled with some of the tough­est bosses I’ve faced thus far, I’m look­ing at you Name­less King you bas­tard, this is eas­ily the game I sank the most time into this year.

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Wednesday Night Stream | Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae

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Join me for some Behemoth-hunting action at 9pm EST! Feel free to com­ment on this post directly or head off to my Twitch Page to chat with me as I play!

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ESH | ‘Odin Sphere’ Returns from Valhalla

Port­ing clas­sic games has become some­thing of an epi­demic dur­ing this con­sole gen­er­a­tion. What’s worse is that, more often than not, these ports act as a reminder of just how far graph­ics in video games have come across the years. Rare excep­tions to this rule do occur and when treated with the proper care, some games shine on the newer plat­forms. If I hadn’t played it back on PS2, and you told me that Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir was a brand new game I would likely believe you. The upgrades they’ve made to this clas­sic action RPG were smart and the gor­geous graph­ics, a trade­mark of Vanillaware, looks as good today as they did back in 2007.

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GOTY 2015 | Number 7 — Fallout 4

Back in 2008, just months before I moved to the Wash­ing­ton DC area, a lit­tle game called Fall­out 3 came out. Not sure what to expect, I dove right in and ended up putting quite a bit of time into the game. Seven years later and they’ve finally released Fall­out 4 upon the world. Sport­ing mas­sively improved shoot­ing mechan­ics and far more inter­est­ing com­pan­ion char­ac­ters than before, Fall­out 4 looks to be a sta­ple in my PS4 for months to come.

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