AI: The Somnium Files is the standout game for me this year, and it was ultimately everything I wanted and more. I was afraid I was setting my expectations too high. However, this game took my expectations, loaded them into the cylinder of a gun, and shot them away into the heavens.
If I had to describe Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered in one word, it would be "magical". The game truly takes the player to a new world of exploration and discovery as you experience it through the eyes of a boy determined to fight for the ones he loves.
Most of my criticisms stem from whether or not The Game Kitchen focused on so much heavy lore that it affected the game from feeling more tangible or exploring more innovative gameplay mechanics. But if everything I said is not an issue, then you will have fun with this title.
Utawarerumono: ZAN is a condensed version of must-read visual novel SRPG that doesn’t quite stick with you as much as the original. Sure, you’ll get the gist of the characters and the situation at hand, but nothing really stands out in the game storywise.
I found Blair Witch to be one of the most stunning and scary games that I’ve played in a while, with the bonus of hanging out with Bullet. The thing I appreciated is that Blair Witch relies on creating an utterly creepy atmosphere instead of only relying on jumpscares, which there are plenty of.
Catherine: Full Body is the full Catherine experience and presents some of the best moments of gameplay and storytelling from any game I’ve played to date. The game’s newly added scenes and features will make it feel new to those who have played before, but if it’s your first time than you are playing the best version imaginable.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan presents some amazing steps forward in the narrative adventure genre made by Supermassive Games. They have truly outdone themselves with their attention to story development and overall design.
Oninaki is one of the best JRPGs I've played this year (so far). It's a heartwarming yet heartbreaking adventure that never, ever fails to keep you wanting more from beginning to end. After two worthy attempts, Tokyo RPG Factory has crafted something truly special that I won't stop thinking about for quite some time.
I find Slenderman to be a great time capsule for gaming’s history. When we look back on that phenomenon, we can see the impact a video game can have on the real world. It’s for that reason, plus the fact that it’s still frightening, that I can see why Blue Isle Studios wanted to port it to the Switch.
I feel like Super Neptunia RPG is a game every Neptunia fan will find adorably nostalgic. Sure, there is a clear lack of direction and side missions can become tedious, but in all honesty, I still can’t get enough of Neptunia, the Goddesses, and the pudding.
Judgment is a game that anyone will love playing through from the beginning to the end. I was completely immersed in Judgement’s world and could easily spend more time running through the streets and hanging out with the friends I’ve made along the way.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a true Igavania adventure and does a great job at bringing this experience to modern platforms. There are some low points here and there and some design choices can be a bit questionable, but honestly, there is just so much to love about this game that it really doesn’t matter.