In 2020, humanity as a whole has suffered a great deal and in various ways; be it financially or mental health. However, I believe that if it wasn’t for the entertainment industry, things would be much worse. The video games that we’ve seen released have eased us through this turbulent time. While we found comfort, titles have continued to break records, and that is despite this pandemic. For instance, Animal Crossing has soared through the competition and into the charts. When I think about it, I’d be so bold as to claim we’ve had a strong year all things considered.
So, I thought it would be fun to get some of the NookGaming staff to choose their personal Game of the Year. Much like our Top Visual Novels of 2020 list, it didn’t have to score high or be critically acclaimed. After all, I‘ll always maintain that Lollipop Chainsaw is a fantastic game. It just needs to be fun, and all members have written a blurb to accompany their choice. I’ll also link up storefronts where possible for your convenience. To say these are worth your time and money would be an understatement. You owe it to yourself to go out and experience these masterpieces, but let’s stop this chatter and just get into it!
“My game of the year would have to be In Death: Unchained for the Oculus Quest – released in July of 2020. It’s a revamp of the PC game with additional content. I really like how it takes full advantage of the freedom that the Oculus Quest grants. Cables were no longer holding me back from dodging and spinning around since the device lacks them. In Death: Unchained never seems to get old because it’s constantly adding new elements and increasing the challenge. In fact, it’s even added more content as free DLC recently. You can read more in my review of the game here. If you own an Oculus Quest, I’d say to go pick this game up, but only if you enjoy archery and challenges. I don’t tend to enjoy rogue-likes much myself, but this somehow made it’s way to the top of my list”
Where to purchase: Oculus Quest Store
“Yakuza: Like a Dragon is one of the best Yakuza games to date. The charm, story, and world all come together to make a perfect game suitable for both long time Yakuza fans and newcomers. It manages to change many aspects for the better without losing any of its Yakuza charm. The world is blooming with life and culture and the characters have thought and life put into them. They’re relatable and thus helped me become attached. The turn-based combat – which is a first for the series – is both fun and wacky – in a good way. What really makes this game amazing is the main character Kasuga. He’s loveable and has desirable traits that together make the game even more amazing. He’s up there with one of my favorite characters in video games. All in all, I couldn’t put my controller down because the uniqueness and personal charm where Yakuza’s world, characters, and story all come together and become a one of a kind experience. This is why it has the honor of being my favorite game of the year.”
“It’s kind of obvious that everyone else’s Game of the Year sucks. Thankfully, I am here to tell you that the objectively best game to come out in 2020 was Hades – by a country mile at that. Forged in the reportedly pleasant pits of Supergiant Games, Hades not only redefines what it is to be a Roguelite, but also what an Indie Game can be. The mad lads managed to not only craft gameplay so tight it would make a nun jealous, but also weave a tale that made it impossible to put the game down. My lawd, don’t even get me started on the voice acting and music, both of which are beyond imagination. These are characters worth interacting with; a world worth rampaging through; it has systems worth mastering; the music especially is worth headbanging to.”
“My game of the year has got to be Genshin Impact. I’ve had barely any time to play video games this year thanks to cram school, but I kept coming back to this game. Genshin Impact had good enough writing to keep me entertained and wanting to see more of these characters. The gameplay felt fulfilling in short bursts and my brain was satisfied with the gacha aspects regardless of what the results were because everything was new. It surely has it’s flaws – the whole community can agree with that – but the constant shower of updates give me hope it can work itself out over time”
“When Canada officially went into lockdown, Persona 5 Royal was mere weeks from release. As the day drew near, I was fortunate enough to be able to grab it. Simply put, I loved – no, I adored everything about this. The soundtrack is hypnotic and I get goosebumps each time I hear it. It’s music that transcends gaming and could legitimately pass as mainstream radio. I’d even say it’s better than a lot of it. The voice acting is sublime, and the amount of sheer style oozing from its pores is overwhelming. It has turn-based combat for old-timers such as myself. Persona 5 Royal is a classic and it has blessed me with 245+ hours of unadulterated fun this year. It always kept my attention and Kasumi is adorable – she’s so good. The story overall has a blunder or two, but the good far outweighs the bad. The story is relatable, it tells it’s narrative expertly, and I’m still buzzing over the new semester added. It’s. Really. Good. Period. Buy this and you’ll be banished from society – kiss your loved ones goodbye.”
Where to Purchase: PS4
CONCLUSION AND HONOURABLE MENTIONS!
The above games are a minuscule amount of the great games released this year. A few honorable mentions include: Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen from NIS America; Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin by Edelweiss and published by XSeed; Paradise Killer developed by Kaizen Game Works and published by Fellow Traveller. The list could go on but I don’t want to waste time with my ramblings – the reviews are enough. So I’ll conclude with this; 2020 was a hard year for all of us. We struggled and lost many to the virus that ravaging the world. Let’s make 2021 the year of positivity, coming together, and enjoying quality games from fantastic developers.
And remember, support indie developers and support each other. Cheers to the new year!
We here at NookGaming just want to say be safe out there. Y’all are important and let’s be real, we wouldn’t exist without any of you and are grateful for the support. From the bottom of our hearts – thank you.
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Painfully single, but still somehow a master of dad jokes. If asked, he’ll answer it’s for his inner child. Fabio enjoys JRPG’s and has embraced his anime love.