If you want to know if this is a good videogame, just look at the first paragraph. It does exactly what it says on the tin. If you want to know how fashion can enrich your life, here’s my advice: you, too, should just buy this game. Just get it already. And maybe that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing. You earned it.
Pac-Man, Dark Souls, the best Metroids and Marios and Zeldas—the true classics, the cornerstones of the medium that have made an indelible impact on how we play and think about games. Thumper is right up there alongside them. It is an essentially perfect realization of its own unique goals and concerns, and a game we’ll be playing and celebrating for decades, even if it leaves us afraid and confused.
Will you like Shenmue III? I can't say. This is likely the last new game I'll play before the year ends, and it's a sure win for my Game of the Year. Shenmue III spoke to me on a level few games have. I thought about giving it a 10/10, even began gearing myself up to argue that with my editor. But Shenmue isn't perfect. It defies real perfection, because life is imperfect. Shenmue III is knobby and requires tremendous, repetitive effort before it gives up the special, unique warmth.
The depth you expect, the open exploration and constant sense of discovery the series is known for, are here in perhaps greater effect than ever before, but with the systems and mechanics that drive the moment-to-moment action heavily overhauled. The result is a Zelda that feels unmistakably like a Zelda, but that also breathes new life into the venerable classic. It’s too early to fully weigh it against the historical record, but if forced to rank the entire coterie of Zelda games, Breath of the Wild would come in near the very top.
The key to games is what they do in response to our actions. We put ourselves into these things through button presses and the decisions that we make, and how we feel about them is dictated by what we receive in return. Ideally, that receipt will be something we can classify as fun, no matter how vague that term is. Like so many Nintendo games, fun is definitely the primary product of Super Mario Odyssey, and the sole reason it exists. Cool: The Mario game is good.
Persona 5 might not be for you—maybe you've no love for the anime aesthetic, or maybe the notion of an 80-hour game with no open world isn't your bag. Maybe you don't like JRPGs! But maybe, if you're anything like me, you'll spend eighty-three hours with this game over the course of a month and sit there as the credits roll with an empty feeling in your chest, turning your year in Tokyo over and over in your head, thinking of the friends you spent time with and the struggles you endured together.
The player, a gun, and things to kill. That has always has been DOOM, and id's legacy has been rekindled with DOOM (2016). You may argue that a good sequel's job is to iterate on past successes, to further develop mechanics, or to evolve a title to the next step in its life cycle. But DOOM (2016) isn't a departure or a reimagining. It's something much better, much more pure. DOOM (2016) is a homecoming. And boy, does it feel good to be home.
My sole criticism is its length. Given how tied up I was in the suspense, Tacoma's short play time seemed almost merciful, but I would have liked to have spent more time with each of the characters (even the AI, Odin), or get a more thorough exploration of the game's intriguing conclusion. That being said, Tacoma is remarkable and I look forward to the impact it will have on narrative devices in videogames.
Titanfall 2 is a constant delight. There were many points in the game where I audibly exclaimed how cool and awesome something was. I am hyped to play more of it and I definitely want to play through the campaign again. With a glut of first person shooters being released this season, Titanfall 2 stands out as something that should be played with its fantastic campaign and enjoyable multiplayer.