For both review and private purposes, I keep track of what games I have played this year. I thought that it would be fun if I shared this little list with you all, but with a few adjustments.
"Horizon Forbidden West is, just like its predecessor, a darn good game. A game that gives you more of the same: a well-crafted AAA open-world game that is thoroughly enjoyable with its well-written narrative and breath-taking world. Perhaps a bit too samey but it's up to you if you take issue with the lack of innovation or not. Even so, with the quality of this game and the advancements the game brings, the improved exploration and combat and the lovely performance and visuals and you have the PS5´s second killer app right after the launch title Spider-Man: Miles Morales."
"I think that by now, I made my feelings on God of War (2018) clear. It's an excellent game thanks to its incredible story and is supported by its solid and entertaining gameplay. If you have a PS4/5 or PC you've got to give this game a shot. It didn't become Game of the Year 2018 for no good reason and nowadays, you can pick it up on the cheap under the PlayStation Hits line."
"Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is an excellent JRPG. It's the best game in the series, though admittedly not my personal favourite, thanks to its accessible and refined gameplay, great story and an awesome soundtrack. It's a fitting conclusion to the trilogy or rather, with how the Xenoblade name has been growing, the chapter of the Xenoblade series. JRPGs can be daunting and not very welcoming to newcomers, but if you've never played a JRPG or Xenoblade game before but are interested then this is not a bad place to start."
"Horizon Zero Dawn is a darn good game. A well-crafted AAA open-world game that is thoroughly enjoyable with its well-written narrative and breath-taking world. It’s not the most innovative game in the open-world genre but hey, nothing is perfect. This game is worth checking out if you haven’t already. For just 20,- SRP you can get the definitive edition, including some extra goodies and The Frozen Wilds expansion so you really don’t have to spend a lot of cash if you want to give the game a go."
"Pokémon Legends: Arceus takes the 25+-year-old franchise and puts a new spin on things. It moves the series in an exciting new direction by going semi-open world, combining lots of elements that make these games so appealing with Pokémon. The result of this is the most refreshing and best Pokémon game in years, one that streamlines a lot of elements while honing in on what makes Pokémon so very appealing. It has its flaws, yes, but none of them will get in the way of playing and enjoying the game unless you're a real stickler for them."
"Marvel’s Spider-Man is an excellent time. With an engaging narrative and excellent gameplay, it’s a fun action romp in which you get to be Spider-Man, with everything that entails. It’s a well-made game that, while not perfect of course, is the quintessential Spider-Man game. Not only that, it’s just a fun and well-made game in general."
"Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a great game. It’s a fun, easy to pick up and play 3D platformer with lots of charm. It succeeds as both the first 3D Kirby game as well as someone’s first Kirby game in general. As far as I can tell, it brings pure Kirby goodness to the table and has quite a bit of content to keep you busy with even far after the campaign has ended."
"Rise of the Tomb Raider is a very good game. It distils what worked in its predecessor and addresses the feedback gamers gave it while bringing in more traditional Tomb Raider elements. Its story is fun if a bit too similar to what came before, the gameplay is rewarding and much snappier and the game looks and runs excellent. I would go as far as to say that I would recommend this game Tomb Raider 2013. Why? Because it’s a much better ‘Tomb’ Raider game, is more representative of what the series is all about."
"Triangle Strategy is a well-made, fun and approachable SRPG. For fans of the genre like me, the gameplay gives exactly what I wanted along with some nice additions to make it all feel a little different from the likes of Fire Emblem. It is simultaneously welcoming for players new to the genre, making it a good starting point for them. Tie this all up with an interesting, if flawed, story, lots of replay potential and the beautiful HD-2D visuals and you’ve got yourself a winner of a title on your hands!"
"Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 are a fun experiment and perfectly good Pokémon games. Seeing how the Unova region has grown and changed over 2 years is a novel experience in the Pokémon game series and while it doesn’t quite stick the landing, the story leaves a lot to be desired and the game is too similar to its predecessor in a lot of areas. They’re not as unique as their predecessors. Yet, in return, you get an experience that’s bigger but more basic."
"Super Mario 3D World is, if you ask me, a better Super Mario 3D Land. It has better visuals, level design, and music and utilizes its gimmick of a 2D/3D Mario hybrid much better. On top of that, multiplayer makes this the Mario game for the Wii U and Switch to play with friends. The stages are well-designed and fun. The music is upbeat and catchy, the graphics pop, the game runs well and the multiplayer is a lot of fun (I think)."
"Bowser’s Fury is an interesting little addition to the Super Mario 3D World Switch port. A proof of concept for an ´open-world' Mario game that's short but sweet. Fun gameplay with some nice changes and a thrilling atmosphere. It’s very short though, at around 4-5 hours which is understandable and keeps most of its flaws from becoming actual problems but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. The short length helps the experience this way, keeping things from overstaying their welcome."
"Playing Avatar: The Burning Earth again was a fun and smooth ride through memory lane for me. Even after all these years, it was like riding a bicycle. Short, flawed, but very sweet and I’m happy I went back to it. Speaking more objectively the game is good for what it is; a tie-in game for kids. It is simple but it understood the assignment. It nails the atmosphere of fun gameplay for young kids with some good visuals and sound design."
"I can see why, looking back at the game well over a decade later, it was a big factor in making the 3DS successful. Super Mario 3D Land is a well-crafted and fun Mario game whose 3D touch gives rise to some well-designed levels. With more content than you’d expect and a low bar for just picking up and playing it. It’s big issue however, its blandness, has kept it from being a very memorable game. It gets confused a lot with 3D World, which smartly took the 2D/3D bland while ditching the hindering 3D effect. It’s not a must-have Mario game but if you’re looking to grow your 3DS library before the EShop closure it’s not a bad one to pick up."
"I think Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl are better than the originals, are enjoyable games and are a fine purchase for the younger crowd and/or if you know what you're getting into. They are better than Diamond and Pearl in my opinion. However, if you can, Platinum is still the definitive way to experience Sinnoh."
"Spider-Man: The City That Never Sleeps is a fine add-on. It gives players a new story, some new activities to tackle as well as some spiffy new costumes. That’s, however, all it adds. The story isn’t bad, but underwhelming and not the strong hook the narrative of the base game is. There are no big gameplay additions or new features. The stuff it does add (the activities) is fun but nothing you haven’t seen before. The add-on isn’t bad mind you but it doesn’t make for a ‘must buy’ expansion."
"Fire Emblem Warriors is a good game, but one that fails to live up to its potential. It’s a solid Warriors game and a solid Fire Emblem spin-off but more so for the hardcore fans than the more casual ones. The core gameplay loop is fun and the celebratory element of the game is neat but the title got some problems that, to me at least, way down the experience. It’s not a game that resonated with me, partially because of my own preferences yes but also because the game just leaves something to be desired."
"Where the other Shantae games I've covered were easy recommendations, that's sadly not the case for the game that started it all. I can see why at the time of its release it garnered positive in 2002 but I can't do the same now. The game hasn't aged well, with lots of small problems that weren't a big deal back then feel much worse due to the improvements games have made in the last 20 years. The additions made to the game in this port, the suspend feature especially, ease the pain so to speak but aren't enough to make up for all the shortcomings that make it a much more frustrating experience than it should've been."
"The Last Airbender for the DS is better than I thought it would be considering the movie it’s a tie-in/adaptation of, it’s better than the said movie, but it’s still nothing remarkably. Nearly everything it does competently and it builds on the game before, but nothing it does is all that great or remarkable. The story is fine, the gameplay is fine, and the level design is fine. The graphics aren’t fine, nor is the soundtrack/sound design, but those aren’t super bad. Just normal bad. It’s not a game worth remembering or hunting down nowadays but were some of the other Avatar games felt like a drag to finish this one is pretty breezy."
"Avatar the Legend of Aang for the Nintendo DS got middle-of-the-road reviews but was overall better than its console counterparts. I can get behind this. The game is better than you’d think when you hear ‘tie-in game for kids. The game is simplistic but it understood the assignment. It nails the atmosphere and has a neat story with some good visuals and sound. The lacklustre, outright broken, combat is its biggest issue. It makes the fights, which are roughly half of the game, a hassle, an annoyance and a frustration all at once."
"For little kids back in the day, think 5-7, Avatar: Into the Inferno is fine. The gameplay is easy to grasp, the cartoon/humorous style is appealing to them I imagine and the lack of text and quick pace and general difficulty is perfect for kids. Nothing too taxing though nothing too special either. For anybody older than, say, 9, I wouldn’t bother with the title. Too simple, too rough around the edges and quite frankly too boring. It has bright spots, better integration of the touchscreen and multiplayer features, but even nostalgia won’t carry this one, unlike the first game."