With 2020 coming to a close, and Christmas just around the corner, most game companies have taken the next few weeks off.
“OH MY GOD?! IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS!!!! What do I do? My kid/wife/husband/secret santa wanted some game about…I don’t know, talking animals, or fungus monsters, or robot punks, or maybe something that had all three. Do those exist? If they don’t exist what can I get?? HELP ME!”
Okay, okay, stop fretting, I got you covered. I will be giving you a buyer’s guide for each month with my top picks in BOLD. What were the best games to come out; which ones sucked, and which ones flew under the radar and deserve your attention? Get ready to find out!
Since this guide tends to be on the long side, and in the interest of keeping your attention, I have split it into two parts; January to June and July to December. Get your pencils ready folks, the games are coming and you better be taking notes.
- Best – Carrion (PC/Switch/Xbox One), Beyond A Steel Sky (Apple Arcade/PC), Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One), Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing In Disguise (Switch), Ghost of Tsushima (PS4), Marvel’s Iron Man VR (PSVR), Orcs Must Die! 3 (Stadia), Paper Mario: The Origami King (Switch), Superhot: Mind Control Delete (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
- Avoid – Waifu Uncovered (Switch)
- Hidden Gem – Creaks (Apple Arcade/PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One)
Since the middle of 2020 I have been grappling with what my favorite game of the year was, and it was between just two titles; The Last of Us Part 2 and Ghost of Tsushima. I would eventually settle on TLoU2 as my favorite because of the risks it took in its storytelling, but Ghost of Tsushima was the game I probably had more fun playing. In this open world epic, players take on the role of Jin Sakai, the last surviving samurai on the Japanese island of Tsushima after a brutal attack by invading Mongols. Nursed back to health by a woman well versed in the art of stealth, Jin begins to adopt her more unorthodox, and dishonorable, methods of combat in order to reclaim his homeland. With some of the best graphics the PS4 has ever produced, Ghost of Tsushima’s world is fully engrossing and an absolute joy to explore.
July was a bit of a breath of fresh air after getting very few new game releases for roughly three months. Nintendo had two major titles come out for the Switch, the first being a sequel to Swery’s surrealistic Twin Peaks homage Deadly Premonition, a game that continued the batshit crazy plot of the first game, but this time with a southern gothic flare that gave the title a bit more of a True Detective feel this go around. Nintendo’s second big title of July was the fantastic action RPG Paper Mario: The Origami King. With its unique combat system and hilarious script, it made up for the less well received Sticker Star and Color Splash. In “exclusives I don’t give a shit about” world, PSVR got a game where you played as Iron Man, and Stadia received the third entry in the Orcs Must Die! franchise. There were four fantastic indie titles this month as well; the sci-fi Thing inspired title Carrion, the wonderful Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2, surprise sequel Super Hot: Mind Control Delete, and, oh, yet ANOTHER surprise sequel (and another reason to have Apple Arcade), Beyond A Steel Sky.
If you need something to avoid this month, why not ignore Waifu Uncovered, a shoot ’em up game where you have to blast the clothes off poorly drawn anime women. Pornography is free on the internet, okay, just Google it if you’re horny. Alas, if you’re not trying to nut while you play video games, check out Creaks, the new title from the developers of Machinarium. Set in a surreal underground world, your nameless protagonist must manipulate light sources in order to solve puzzles as they advance through a dilapidated structure and avoid monsters. Once again I’m going to sing the praises of Apple Arcade here as Creaks is one of the titles available for your five dollar monthly subscription. This game also reminds me of titles like Another World and Abe’s Oddysee, which won’t be the only hidden gem in this column with that comparison.
- Best – Battletoads (PC/Xbox One), Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions (PC/PS4/Switch), Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout (PC/PS4), Fast & Furious Crossroads (PC/PS4/Xbox One), Kandagawa Jet Girls (PC/PS4), Madden 21 (PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Series S|X), Microsoft Flight Simulator (PC), Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time (Apple Arcade/PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One), Surgeon Simulator 2 (PC – Epic Games Store), Tell Me Why (PC/Xbox One), A Total War Saga: Troy (PC – Epic Games Store), Wasteland 3 (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
- Avoid – Anime Feet (PC)
- Hidden Gem – Teenage Blob (PC)
One of the more uplifting things to see happen in recent memory is not just the continued acceptance of the LGBTQ community (by most people at least…), but also seeing it be normalized. Instead of homosexuals and trans people being seen as “episode of the week” stuff, or being the catalyst for a straight white person to come to grips with acceptance, we’re now seeing content that treats them as just another normal facet of life. While this month’s top title Tell Me Why does use the issue of transgender acceptance in its story, it isn’t told from a straight cis person’s viewpoint, instead it is from the viewpoint of a trans person. They’re just another normal person in this world, and we get to perceive the events through their eyes for a change. In Tell Me Why, the latest narrative adventure from Dontnod Entertainment, players take on the roles of twins Tyler and Alyson who are reconnecting after ten years apart because of a tragedy that happened when they were kids, something that has haunted the both of them; Tyler killing their mother in self defense. As the twins grapple with the years spent apart, Tyler’s gender reassignment, and selling their childhood home, they discover that the events of the most traumatic night of their lives might not have actually happened the way they remember. Told through a series of flashbacks, players will help paint a clearer picture of what took place the night their mother died, and in the process will reveal long kept secrets culminating in one of the most touching, yet heartbreaking moments I’ve seen in a video game. Released as three episodes, Tell Me Why is a fantastic game that will draw you in as much as any HBO drama has, a true gem of 2020.
August was pretty stacked with notable titles, however there wasn’t one gigantic, AAA release to rule over all of them except, I guess Madden 21. Perhaps the most well know title of the month was Devolver Digital’s Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, a cheeky battle royale game that sees players competing online in these insane obstacle courses in order to be the last person standing. After a long absence, Microsoft and Rare gave us a new entry in the Battletoads franchise, even if they kind of dropped the ball on it with poor controls and a juvenile tone. For you licensed game fans out there we got a title based on Samurai Jack, another based on Fast and the Furious, and in a first for U.S. audiences, we finally got an officially localized Captain Tsubasa video game. Anime fans, as well as racing fans, were also treated to a new title in the Senran Kagura franchise with the release of the jet ski game Kandagawa Jet Girls. The Epic Games Store continued to flex by being the exclusive distributors of Surgeon Simulator 2 and A Total War Saga: Troy, even giving out Troy for free for a limited time. Rounding things out where a couple more PC games, Microsoft Flight Simulator and Wasteland 3 (which also came to consoles). August offered plenty to choose from, but with new consoles on the horizon we didn’t really see some of the bigger titles we are used to, a theme that will continue for the next couple months.
Like our title to avoid in July, August’s is also an unnecessary horndog joint called Anime Feet. In this “puzzle game” you must match falling tiles to complete an image (that you can already see) of an anime girl’s feet. It’s as simple as it sounds. Again, if you need to get off just google search “anime feet”; it’s cheaper. As for this month’s hidden gem, I am incredibly honored to bring to your attention the title Teenage Blob. While it’s not the longest game of the year, clocking in at roughly 30 minutes, it is one of the most fun and emotionally impactful. Created as a split EP between punk band The Superweaks and indie developer Team Lazerbeam, Teenage Blob is played over a series of levels that have been tailor made to compliment each song on the album. As an angsty, bloby, teen, you must complete a series of odd jobs in order to afford a pair of new boots to wear to a concert you are attending later that evening. Underneath this simple premise, however, is a touching story of self identity and tragic loss, with the final song in the game giving me more chills, and tears, than I can remember any other game this year giving me (Tell Me Why is a close second). I can’t recommend Teenage Blob enough, please, PLEASE, go play this game.
- Best – 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim (PS4), Crusader Kings III (PC), Genshin Impact (Android/iOS/PC/PS4), Hades (PC/Switch), NBA 2K21 (PC/PS4/PS5/Stadia/Switch/Xbox One/Series X|S), Serious Sam 4 (PC/Stadia), Spelunky 2 (PC/PS4), Super Mario 3D All-Stars (Switch), Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
- Avoid – Marvel’s Avengers (PC/PS4/Stadia/Xbox One)
- Hidden Gem – The Sims 4: Star Wars – Journey To Batuu (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
While many people would have likely named Hades as their top pick for September, I can’t ignore the sheer spectacle that is 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. This critically acclaimed title is a mix of visual novel and real time strategy game that features more twists than a pretzel. Primarily set in 1980’s Japan, you follow a group of high school students who slowly discover that many of their classmates and faculty are from different time periods, from as far back as the 1940’s, to as far forward as the 2100’s. It’s a mind bending trip that is best left unspoiled but to give you a sense of the tone, the game features heavy inspiration from multiple sci-fi stories, most notably Neon Genesis Evangelion and The Terminator. If you’re a fan of cyberpunk stories, and don’t want to play Cyberpunk 2077, then you should absolutely check out 13 Sentinels.
As I mentioned above, September also gave us one heck of a great game with Hades, the latest title from renowned developer Supergiant Games. If you haven’t had a chance to check out this fantastic rogue-like game then you are missing out, it’s one the best titles 2020 has to offer. As for big AAA titles, we got a fantastic remake (again with the remakes) in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, and the latest entry in the NBA 2K series was released, also being one of the first titles to confirm that upcoming games on the PS5 and Series X|S were going to be $69.99. PC devotees got a couple of big, long awaited sequels with Crusader Kings III and Serious Sam 4. The movements and camera in Serious Sam 4 was so bad that I started to get motion sickness while playing it and had to request a refund from Steam, but maybe it won’t bother you. Speaking of long awaited sequels, Spelunky 2 came out for PC and PS4 to widespread critical acclaim. The free to play MMO Genshin Impact made a, well, impact on gaming this year, being one of the bright spots for a lot of people in an otherwise dour year. Our last title was one of the few games that forced Nintendo to acknowledge that the Game Cube exists with the release of Super Mario 3D All-Stars, featuring Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. While this seemed like a great announcement, Nintendo pulled one of their trademark bizarre moves when they indicated that the title would only be available until the end of March in 2021, meaning that if you want these games on your Switch then you need to act fast.
It’s not easy seeing a game that has an ambitious roadmap fail to gain any traction. We saw this with last year’s Anthem, then again with Amazon’s Crucible, and now we’re seeing it again with Crystal Dynamic’s Marvel’s Avengers. A hybrid single player/multiplayer third person brawler, Marvel’s Avengers was seen as a possible fourth quarter tentpole for publisher Square Enix, thinking that it would help bolster their company for months, maybe even years, to come. However, a less than exciting storyline, awkward controls, and boring graphics made this game dead on arrival. This also doesn’t take into account the Spider-Man controversy, with the character being exclusive to the Sony PlayStation version of the game, alienating PC and Xbox players. Their roadmap quickly fell apart, with promised DLC being delayed, and some perhaps cancelled outright. Square Enix has even gone on record to say that Marvel’s Avengers was a massive money loss for the company, somewhere in the range of $63 million. While Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics were having trouble with one Disney property, another company, EA, was doing wonderfully with a different Disney property; Star Wars! Okay, I know I mentioned earlier that hardcore Sims devotees were upset with the DLC releases for The Sims 4, but this new DLC pack, Journey to Batuu, is really something special. With COVID-19 shutting down many business and entertainment venues, Disneyland fans (who didn’t want to go to the Florida parks) were able to re-visit the fairly brand new “Star Wars Land”, The Black Spire Outpost on Batuu, even if it was just a virtual version. Having not been there since last December, it was an absolute treat to walk around this digital version of the park, hanging out in the cantina (with no line!), meeting the various characters, and of course, having a crazy amount of sex. “HUH!?“, yes, for some strange, strange reason, developer Maxis added sleeping quarters to Black Spire Outpost, allowing you to engage in as much theme park coitus as your heart desires. Now, you might be thinking, “is this the only reason you picked this as September’s hidden gem“, and the answer is a resounding, “yes“.
- Best – Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time (PS4/Xbox One), Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit (Switch), Pikmin 3 Deluxe (Switch), Star Wars: Squadrons (PC/PS4/PSVR/Xbox One), Super Mario Bros. 35 (Switch), Watch Dogs: Legion (PC/PS4/Stadia/Xbox One)
- Avoid – Leisure Suit Larry – Wet Dreams Dry Twice (PC)
- Hidden Gem – Gonner 2 (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One)
Without a new Star Wars movie to promote, what the hell was Disney going to do to make sure we didn’t forget the property existed? Ah, yes, video games. Luckily for us, the big game in 2020 wasn’t that bad, in fact I’d even say it’s one of the best titles of the year, even if it seemed to fly under the radar, no pun intended. Star Wars flight simulators have pretty much been around since the Golden Age of arcades, but I’d wager that for many of us in our 30’s and 40’s it is the X-Wing and Tie Fighter series of games released on PC in the mid 90’s, as well as the Rogue Squadron titles on N64 and Game Cube that come to mind when you start talking about Star Wars flight simulators. With EA’s latest Star Wars entry, Squadrons, players can choose to fight for either the rebellion or the empire, taking on a series of missions that will task them to do everything from escorting passenger ships, to chasing down enemies through asteroid fields, to taking out huge Star Destroyers, it’s a ton of fun. For those of you who enjoy virtual reality, the game is also compatible with your PlayStation VR, giving you the ability to fully immerse yourself in the Star Wars universe.
As noted in August and September, things were still slower than usual in October due to the upcoming new console releases. Most companies took a break, however we did get another Wii U port from Nintendo when Pikmin 3 Deluxe headed to the Switch, and Ubisoft was kind enough to put out Watch Dogs: Legion to keep us occupied. Pikmin 3 wasn’t Nintendo’s only offering in October, also putting out Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, an AR game that has you driving a real kart around your house as you try to beat digital opponents on courses you can design yourself. Nintendo also continued to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. by releasing another title that you can only play until the end of March, the battle royale game Super Mario Bros. 35, one of the more bonkers entries in a genre that has likely hit its peak. Lastly, Activision gave us a brand new entry in the Crash Bandicoot series with It’s About Time, which is a game that came out…and that’s it.
With Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Dry Twice I am now seeing a pattern where I tell you to avoid the overtly horndog pandering games, and I just want to put it out there, I’m not against sex or sexual entertainment, okay. I’ve played Nekopara, I know what’s up, but if I need to pick something to ignore it’s easy to say these games because, at the end of the day, they’re usually not that good. Leisure Suit Larry also has the distinction to be pretty low brow and crass, with jokes that skirt the line of good taste, so your enjoyment of the series is likely closely tied with how much that kind of humor bothers you. If you’re looking to play something that features far, far fewer penis jokes, try out the indie shooter Gonner 2, a surprising sequel that is just as good as the first game. Using a variety of weapons and replaceable heads, you will run, jump, and gun through a variety of procedurally generated levels as you help the goddess of death rid her world of a mysterious force that threatens to unravel the afterlife.
- Best – Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (PC/PS4/PS5/Stadia/Xbox One/Series X|S), Astro’s Playroom (PS5), Bugsnax (PC – Epic Games Store/PS4/PS5), Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War (PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Series X|S), Demon’s Souls (PS5), Fuser (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One), Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. (Console), Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (Switch), Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory (PS4/Switch/Xbox One), PlayStation 5 (Console), Sackboy: A Big Adventure (PS4/PS5), Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PS4/PS5), World of Warcraft: Shadowlands (PC), Xbox Series X|S (Console), Yakuza: Like a Dragon (PC/PS4/Xbox One/Series S/X)
- Avoid – Godfall (PC/PS5)
- Hidden Gem – The Pathless (Apple Arcade/PC/PS4/PS5)
After months of speculation we, er, some of us, were finally able to get our hands on the new Xbox Series X|S and the PlayStation 5. A bunch of games released for both consoles, but the one title that stood out the most to me was Sega’s latest entry in the Yakuza franchise, Like A Dragon. Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s flagship series had released several games that featured protagonist Kazuma Kiryu, but for their seventh game they decided to go a different route, not just with just the protagonist, but also with the genre. Typically, Yakuza games are open world brawlers that would feature light RPG elements, not unlike Shenmue, but if you played through one there was no mistaking it as a third person action title. With Like A Dragon, players would now find themselves living the story of Ichiban Kasuga, a low level thug who is asked to take the fall for a higher ranking officer in the Tojo Clan’s Arakawa Family. After spending 18 years in prison, Kasuga is released and discovers that not only has he been abandoned by his own family, but they’ve joined with their rivals, The Omi Alliance. Determined to find out why, Kasuga enlists the help of multiple people to…fight along side him? Yes, that’s right, Yakuza: Like A Dragon is no longer an action brawler, but is instead a full blown, turn based JRPG with party members, equipment, and “spells”. Kasuga is an avid Dragon Quest fan, so you are, essentially, living out his RPG fantasies as he tries to be the hero in this crazy Yakuza world. Previous games were over the top, but Like A Dragon takes things to a whole new level, with a protagonist that is equal parts stuffy Kiryu as well as wildcard Goro Majima. Currently the best version of the game is available on the Xbox Series X, while PlayStation owners will have to either play the PS4 version or wait until early next year when the PS5 version hits stores.
As your Twitter feed will constantly remind you, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X both released in November, and since then they have been harder to get than a Cabbage Patch Kid in 1983. Still, that doesn’t mean I won’t tell you about the great games that came out, most of which still (mostly) work on your PS4 and XBone! The best of this bunch is probably Spider-Man: Miles Morales a game that is NOT an expansion to the 2018 game that came out on PS4, alright, it’s totally a brand new game that is fully built from the ground up to be stand alone and you can finish it in three hours. You know, typical AAA game stuff, three hours, fifty bucks, totally worth it. PS4/PS5 fans also had the opportunity to pick up Sackboy: A Big Adventure and had the console rights to Bugsnax, but perhaps the best game (and this is not a joke this time) was the PS5 exclusive Astro’s Playroom. This platforming adventure game is mostly a tech demo for the PS5’s brilliant new controller, but it is also a charming piece of software that is a love letter to the Sony PlayStation’s 26 year history. Oh, and another PS5 exclusive came out, the (here we go again) remake of the PS3 classic, Demon’s Souls. If you’re an Xbox fan, well, there wasn’t really a big exclusive to choose from, but you did get access to a couple of cool third party titles with Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War and the very fun Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, which is basically just a Viking game that sometimes has you jump off a building to stab somebody. “What about Nintendo?!“, you might be awkwardly screaming at your screen, okay, chill out, The Big N put out some good stuff too; the Dynasty Warriors influenced Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, as well as their own new console, the Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros., a new version of their classic line of handheld titles that celebrated a 40 year anniversary this year. The Switch, as well as the other platforms, also got a couple of decent third party entries with Harmonix’s new music game Fuser, and Square Enix’s new music game Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory. Finally, in PC releases, Blizzard released Shadowlands for their long running MMO World of Warcraft, and it has been doing phenomenally well for the company. Subscriptions are way up and people are engaging with WoW in numbers not seen for several years. If you’ve been off the wagon for a while, or you’ve never played and want to see what the hype is all about, well, now might be the best time.
Usually launch lineups are full of duds, but with this renewed focus on backwards compatibility and the general consensus that these consoles don’t look too much better than the previous generation, most of the games have been just fine. Yet there’s still one new title I think you should avoid, and that is the generic snoozefest Godfall. A sort of Monster Hunter clone, Godfall doesn’t seem to have an identity of its own, with uninspired design and repetitive gameplay. It’s not really bad, per se, just dull. If you need a PS5 exclusive grab Demon’s Souls, or you can grab this month’s hidden gem The Pathless. This indie title from Annapurna Interactive is yet another great offering on Apple Arcade, as well as PC, PS4 and PS5, which finds players taking on the role of a nameless protagonist as she tries to bring light back to a forest and its guardian beasts by ridding them of a darkness curse. Aided by an eagle companion, you will have to solve puzzles in order to collect keys that activate beacons in each stage, allowing you to pierce the darkness that resides in the beasts hearts. Once the darkness is weakened you will then be able to fight the giant creature in some really intense boss fights, ultimately cleansing their soul and bringing light back to that part of the forest. It’s a short game, but incredibly satisfying; big thumbs up from me.
- Best – Call of the Sea (PC/Xbox One/Series S/X), Cyberpunk 2077 (PC/PS4/Stadia/Xbox One), Dragon Quest XI S – Definitive Edition (PS4/Xbox One), Empire of Sin (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One), Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light (Switch), Immortals Fenyx Rising (PC/PS4/PS5/Stadia/Switch/Xbox One/Series X|S), Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond (Oculus/Steam VR), Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 (PC/PS4/PS5/Switch/Xbox One/Series X|S), Sam & Max Save The World Remastered (PC/Switch), Twin Mirror (PC/PS4/Xbox One), Worms Rumble (PC/PS4/PS5)
- Avoid – Going to the mall and big box stores
- Hidden Gem – Unto The End (PC/PS4/Stadia/Switch/Xbox One)
There has already been a lot of ink spilled on December’s top pick, and I’m sure plenty more to come, as CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 continues to be a controversial game. Hyped to the heavens for the last eight years, Cyberpunk 2077 was famously delayed in public…TWICE! Originally set for an April, 2020 releases, then a November release to coincide with the new consoles, and then finally put out on December 10th, 2020, Cyberpunk 2077 was greeted at the gates by three groups; a fervent band of alt-right incels that worship CDPR, a fervent band of socially conscious left leaning gamers who despise the business practices and gender identity politics of CDPR, and everyone in-between who hadn’t really been paying attention to any of the hoopla. To say that Cyberpunk 2077 is a divisive game is a bit of an understatement, but when it came out everyone seemed to agree on one thing; it was a fucking buggy mess. “Andy, if this game is so divisive and broken, why is it your top pick?”, well, dear reader, because the game is fun as hell to play. Aside from that, it is visually striking, unlike almost any other video game I’ve seen (if you play it on PC, PS5, or Series X). The few bugs I’ve encountered in the game on my PS5 are mostly minor annoyances (so far), none of which detract from the story or this complex, fleshed out world that CDPR has created. I know that the gender identity issues are going to be a hard “no sale” for a lot of people, and I can respect that decision, we all have a choice to make about what we consume and bring into our lives. If you’re a fan of big RPGs with a lot of choice and stuff to do then I say give Cyberpunk 2077 a chance…on PS5 or a very, VERY, high end PC; do not play this on a PS4 or Xbox One.
The rest of December isn’t quite as controversial as Cyberpunk 2077, nor are they as good either, but here they are. In AAA land we have the latest Ubisoft open world adventure Immortals Fenyx Rising, another Dontnod narrative called Twin Mirror, a rare Xbox console exclusive Call of the Sea, and for you VR fans out there we have EA’s latest entry in the long running Medal of Honor series, Above and Beyond. Fans of tactical strategy games can pick up Empire of Sin, the latest game from designers Brenda and John Romero, although reviews have been tepid at best. The Worms franchise made a comeback this month with a battle royale-eqsue version of the game, although it does also feature a deathmatch mode, so really it’s just an online shooter. Anyway, it’s pretty fun, you should check it out. December also wasn’t without it’s ports/remakes as Sam & Max Save The World: Remastered hit PC & Switch, Dragon Quest XI S came out for PS4 and Xbone, and Nintendo once again gave us a new version of an old title, but this one is special because it is an NES game that never made it to North America, the very first Fire Emblem game. Still sporting its old school 8-bit graphics, the title was officially localized and given the treatment that a lot of these older games get, namely save states and the ability to rewind. Oh, and we of course can’t forget the sequel that everyone was waiting for, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2.
December has been a hard month to find anything to ignore because it generally doesn’t have a lot to pick from. I thought about saying to stay away from Dragon Quest XI S because it is apparently a port of the Switch version to higher spec’d consoles, but reviews are off the charts for it, so you know what, I’m going to tell you to avoid going out to gigantic stores to do your holiday shopping. Find a small business to visit (while wearing a mask), or better yet SHOP ONLINE. Yeah, it’s probably a bit late to get your gifts before Xmas, but were you really going to see people on Xmas anyway? Plan to meet friends at the park, or spend the week after Xmas dropping off gifts at their door, just please, PLEASE, do your best to slow the spread of COVID, we’ve got to get back on track here, folks. Another way to do this is to buy digitally, yes friends, digital games are pretty much the norm nowadays, with every new title available on your favorite digital store front (most of the time), including this month’s hidden gem Unto The End. In this game you play as some kind of old world warrior in a fantasy land that is incredibly harsh and unforgiving. Taking inspiration from Dark Souls, and featuring level design and puzzles that are reminiscent of titles like Flashback and Another World, Unto The End is a very tough game that rewards patience and ingenuity, and is a wall I’ll be banging my head against for many months to come.
Oh boy, we did it! That’s all twelve months recapped and dissected. I hope you were able to discover a few titles you missed over the year, and that I might have steered you clear of a few of the stinkers. As 2020 comes to a close I am again reminded by how much I enjoy writing these columns every week and seeing all of your wonderful, happy avatars in the comments. Next week our special coverage continues with the notable events from 10, 20, 30 (AND NOW) 40 years ago. I’ve already begun writing it and holy cow, some really cool stuff happened in the past. See you next week!