(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this editorial/list!)
2017 was an interesting year for games. We got the arrival of the amazing Nintendo Switch, the PlayStation 4 got a slew of amazing exclusives, and Microsoft got a few exclusives worth talking about. Oddly enough, the year started off well, but then it dipped, because third-party studios couldn’t stop getting greedy, and hurting their games because of it. I mean, when you get to the point that different countries’ governments are looking into the loot box and microtransactions, you know you got too greedy for your own good. Luckily, there were enough games I played this year that were simply amazing, and were the most fun I had with games this year. Heads up, some bigger games are going to be left off of the list because I didn’t play them, or didn’t have enough time to play them. This includes The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Persona 5, Resident Evil 7, The Sexy Brutale, and I’m sure I am missing a few others. However, as a new goal for this year, I’m going to review more games both old and new. Oh, and this list won’t be in any order. Let’s begin.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
In terms of pure shooting and story, The New Colossus was easily the best shooter of 2017. No loot boxes, no microtransactions, and while it had DLC, it was good DLC. It continued the story of our lead, and expanded on new environments, while keeping the gunplay and gameplay philosophy from the first game intact. While it might not have the impact that the original had, it was still a great shooter that I can’t wait to play again.
Super Mario Odyssey
If I was going at this list in a certain order, I would definitely put Super Mario Odyssey as my favorite game. It just expands on the 3D Mario design in such creative, challenging, and entertaining ways. The levels are large, but are not void of activities to do like a lot of open-world games, the music is fantastic, the controls are tight, and I love the hat gimmick. It’s even fun finding each world’s currency to buy the different outfits for Mario. It’s one of the best games of 2017, and probably going to bump Super Mario Galaxy 2 off one of my favorite games of all time thrones.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
While I think the franchise is starting to show some wrinkles in its overall design, I still really loved playing this RPG. It might take a bit to get going, but I liked the characters, the revamped combat system, and the world was still massive and atmospheric to run through. I wish the designs weren’t so anime-inspired, but it’s a fantastic RPG that anyone who owns a Switch should get. Oh, and it’s also refreshing to have an RPG with no seedy triple-A garbage attached to it.
It was fantastic to see not only Platinum Games back on top with their amazing action games, but also to see a sequel to an alright game be so amazing. The different story aspects are interesting, mature, scary, and layered, the characters are memorable, the combat is 31 flavors of satisfying and exhilarating, and the music is once again gorgeous. It was easy to say that this is one of my favorite games from last year, with no second thought to such an observation. I can’t wait to see what Yoko Taro does next, and I can’t wait to see Platinum Games get back on their feet.
While I am fully aware that they are making an easy mode for the game, I still found Wulverblade to be a fantastic beat em’ up. The combat was fast, brutal, and well-animated. It was also nice to have an actual story with characters to invest in. I just wish it wasn’t such a brutally difficult game, and it wasn’t tedious to get through certain levels.
One of my favorite surprises from last year, Golf Story, was just an awesome indie game that came out of the blue, and won everyone’s heart. It was legitimately funny, challenging in all the right ways, and fun! In an age where we are simply getting bad highly-realistic sports games that are bogged down by corporate greed, it’s good to see a sports game with a personality and satisfying gameplay to boot.
Dragon Quest Heroes II
I loved the original Dragon Quest Heroes on the PlayStation 4, and I had to buy the sequel. I still found the combat’s simple, yet complex system of fighting enemies fulfilling, the story was kept simple and not confusing, and the characters were all immensely likable. It even had an open world done right, which for some reason, Omega Force can’t do with their main Dynasty Warriors franchise. I wish there were less bring-back characters from the franchise that were in the first game, and I didn’t like the designs of the two leads, but if you want to avoid the panned Dynasty Warriors 9, then definitely check out Dragon Quest Heroes II.
Fire Emblem Warriors
While I am not the biggest fan of the franchise, I found this spin-off delightful. It felt different enough from Dragon Quest Heroes II for me to put it on the list. Sure, it has the same fun/satisfying action-focused gameplay, but I also liked commanding allies to different parts of the map, and how they implemented the iconic weapon system from the franchise into the game. I know more hardcore fans of the franchise gave this game some flack, but this isn’t their list, it’s mine, and I loved Fire Emblem Warriors.
Horizon Zero Dawn
While I get the critical acclaim that came with this game, and I did really love it, I didn’t like it as much as others. I felt like the story lost steam in the final part, the last boss fight was underwhelming, and while it was overall executed well, it was another open-world game. Don’t get me wrong though, this game does open-world design wonderfully, and I had a blast traversing across the land, taking down robot beasts, going through special dungeons, and being able to hack the robots to be on my side. It was definitely one of the best games of last year.
I’m so happy this franchise is finally starting to get its due. It also helps that Yakuza 0 might have the most polished combat out of the entire franchise. It truly did feel gratifying to fight enemies in this game. I think what helps is that it ran consistently smooth, and the three different fighting styles made the fighting more interesting. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that we have a good story with interesting characters alongside the amazing combat. I definitely need and want to pick up a copy of this game when I can.
This was a charming little surprise for me. I loved playing this fun, if somewhat finicky at times, puzzle game with my sister. We accomplished multiple puzzles with ease, and had a blast every time we played the game. It’s definitely a must-own for any Nintendo Switch owner looking for a great co-op puzzle game.
Blaster Master Zero
While this is my first official foray into the franchise, I’m glad I chose an amazing game to get into. While it does rely on a lot of retro nostalgia, you also get a well-polished game that’s tough, but a lot of fun to play. I found myself playing this for hours on end, and I adored the additional characters you could play as. It’s another game that’s perfect for the Switch’s portability. It’s a game that I highly recommend anyone who loves retro-style games, but with more modern design decisions to check out.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
This was probably one of the biggest surprises, and one of Ubisoft’s better games of recent years. You can tell a very dedicated group of tactical RPG fans and Mario fans wanted to make a crazy idea work. Thankfully, it does! The combat is easy to get into, but complex in execution, the graphics are very pretty, and I found myself playing this game while playing on the go. While it is a bit lacking in content, and I wish the whole game could be played in co-op, there is definitely enough here to be worth your time!
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand why so many decided to skip on this game due to some rather tasteless shock for shock value sake, and the fact Ubisoft is not a wholly trustworthy company right now, but thankfully, they didn’t do a lot of their business bullocks with this game. It still has a lot of great humor outside of the bad jokes, the new tactical RPG combat is complex and is full of gratifying combat, and it feels like a full-fledged game. I’m glad Ubisoft didn’t do a whole lot to this game, and I hope the DLC for it is worth my time. I’ll definitely have to review this game in the future, and maybe pick it up again on the Switch.
While Nintendo definitely needs to be careful about how they handle this franchise in the future by not making this a yearly franchise, I still find Splatoon 2 to be a shooter that I have gone back to multiple times. It’s a lot of the awesome paint-shooting gameplay with new weapons, and an interesting take on the horde mode. I hope they don’t milk this franchise, and they improve upon the fantastic gameplay with a third game in the future.
While I am not the biggest fighting game fan, something about ARMS kept me coming back to it time and time again last year. I think it was its creative spring-arm mechanic, the fist customization, and the large amount of personality within each character. Sure, some players could simply button mash like any fighter, but it’s a blast to play when you are with friends.
SteamWorld Dig 2
And finally, one that I wish I reviewed back when it was launched, SteamWorld Dig 2. While I love the original, SteamWorld Dig 2 is simply better all around. It has a larger and more interesting world to explore, a more interesting mystery, more fun gadgets to use, and it’s the perfect game to play on the go. It improves upon a really solid foundation, and makes a hugely entertaining game I recommend anyone get on the Nintendo Switch.