The Best Games of the Year Thus Far

It is now July, which means half of 2017 has somehow vanished. In the past six months we’ve seen failed sequels, overhyped titles and some authentically incredible games. Here’s a quick rundown of what I think are the best, worst and most mediocre games of 2017 thus far.

Best: Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Yes, I know this is a remaster, and when the end of the year comes It won’t be up for my overall Game of the Year award, but holy wumpa fruit this game is incredible!

Some are calling it “The Dark Souls of platformers” but I hesitate to relate those two games in any way. As a reddit post asserts, Crash 1 simply suffers from an identical level design while borrowing the jump mechanics from Crash 3, making the game a literal balancing and timing nightmare for some.

crash me up(Courtesy Playstation.com)

Have I cursed at my television after falling into a pit more times than I count? Yes. Have I also had a gigantic nostalgia filled smile on my face while yelling at said television? Absolutely.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is more than a treat for nostalgic gamers. The mechanics of the original trilogy have stood the test of time and when paired with incredible new visuals, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy becomes a must-own for PS4 players.

Worst: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I believe The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (BOTW) is the most overrated game I’ve played thus far. Overrated doesn’t always mean bad, but in this case, It unfortunately does.

Before you click away or a riot starts, let me explain my reasoning.

Nintendo Switch owners have used BOTW as reasoning to purchase a $300 console. I’m here to tell you that Breath of the Wild simply isn’t worth your time or money.

The weapon system sucks, The open-world format sucks and there aren’t any true zelda style dungeons, just shitty shrines that throw out the illusion of difficulty. I’m all for innovation and changing the formula, but in this case, very few inclusions turned out for the better.

zeldur(Courtesy Gamespot.com)

I can compliment the art style but not much else here. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has frankly been an unpleasant gaming experience.

Best: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the best game on Nintendo Switch.

mk8(Courtesy hardcoregamer.com)

Yes, Mario Kart 8 originally came out on the Wii U and as such, won’t be up for my overall Game of the Year award, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t mention how incredible this game is.

New karts and characters have made what was old new again, and for the large majority, Mario Kart 8 was never a game they sunk too much time into because the Wii U was a console no one cared enough to own.

I can’t recall the last time a game made me so purely joyous that playing a race or two could make my entire day significantly better. It’s a remarkable game alone and even better with friends. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is currently the best argument to own a Switch.

Mediocre: Mass Effect Andromeda

I never thought facial animations could tank a game so much, but Mass Effect Andromeda proved me wrong.

If we’re being honest, the animations were and sometimes still are the definition of cringe, but I believe some may have been hyperbolic about facial animations being the sole reason for the game’s failures.

Combat is lackluster and boring, the story is the literal definition of “Meh” and the graphics looks like they’ve regressed to 2010 again.

mass erect(Courtesy usgamer.net)

Hearing the background on the game’s troubled development cycle shed some light on how this mediocre mess came to be, but troubled development doesn’t mean the game gets a pass from me on quality.

Mass Effect Andromeda is a 7/10 in a year full of 9/10 games. It simply doesn’t stack up to what else has released this year.

Best: Telltale’s The Walking Dead: A New Frontier

In 2012, Telltale’s The Walking Dead received numerous Game of the Year awards. It’s focus on story and character development enthralled the gaming community. Since then, Telltale has released multiple new games set in different universes, each in the same style, and each receiving a varying set of reviews.

While I still think Tales from the Borderlands and Season 1 of their The Walking Dead franchise still share the Telltale Games crown, I believe The Walking Dead: A New Frontier is one of this year’s best games.

walkers.jpg(Courtesy gamespot.com)

 

New characters blend with familiar faces to create a world I didn’t want to leave. Unlike in Season 2, I cared for every character Telltale actually wanted me to care for and I found myself truly heartbroken when one wrong sentence or action caused someone I cared about to die.

Telltale Games are masters of the Episodic story game genre, and The Walking Dead: A New Frontier is further proof of this notion.

Worst: 1-2 Switch

Screw this overpriced tech demo. This game should have been included for free as you maybe get an hour of genuine enjoyment out of it, if you’re lucky.

The nuance fades quickly, but the regret of your purchase lasts forever

The Unfinished and Untouched:

I’ve played a lot of games in 2017, but many I have yet to finish. Resident Evil 7, Horizon Zero Dawn and Arms have all seen some play time but I’m in no rush to beat them at the moment. I also hope to play Prey, Injustice 2, Tekken 7, Nioh and a few other titles that released earlier this year. But I am a poor college student and very few games I play I actually own anymore.

Regardless, Here’s to the next 6 months of good, bad and mediocre game releases.

 

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