With the closing of each year, it’s always good to take a look back at how the past 365 days went. In terms of gaming, I’d say 2020 was a little below average. There was some good stuff released, but nothing outstanding. There was also at least one major disappointment depending on who you ask. Like Cary and The Duck though, I managed to have plenty of fun with my games this year, especially since I, like many of us, kinda had no choice but to hang around my apartment more than I would’ve liked. Anyway, here are my gaming highlights for 2020.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore
This was my first game of 2020, and it honestly had me believing that we were in for a pretty good year as far as gaming was concerned. I’ve been a fan of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE ever since it released on the Wii U, so I was really psyched to play the expanded version. The game is sort of a crossover between Fire Emblem and the Shin Megami Tensei series, combining elements from both into its own unique RPG battle system. The characters all also work in the idol industry, which is itself kind of entertaining. It’s a game overflowing with positivity, bright colors, flash and enthusiasm. Honestly, it’s the perfect pick-me-up for any gamer who’s just endured 2020. Give it a try!
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Ah Animal Crossing: New Horizons. We all looked forward to it for the simple pleasure of relaxing in our own little island village only to completely absorb ourselves into as the outside world turned crazy. I poured so many hours into this game during the spring months, doing everything I could to get my island looking juuust right. I drew maps, downloaded patterns, and did who knows how many trades with other Animal Crossing enthusiasts as my island steadily came together. I sort of dropped it once I started playing Persona 5 Royal came out and my island was finished, but it was a blast all the same!
A Hat in Time
To be honest, I almost didn’t want to play this one. I’d heard so many great things about A Hat in Time over the years, and I kind of wound up comparing to other platformers like Yooka-Laylee. I was very disappointed by Yooka-Laylee, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to give A Hat in Time a chance and wind up disappointed all over again. However, the game released for Switch, and I decided to go ahead and do it. And… I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! This game is absolutely dripping with character! It’s controls are satisfying! It’s worlds are creative, and there’s so many funny little things to see and do! My only knock against it is that I want more. If it had come out this year, it would easily be my 2020 Game of the Year!
I’d been keeping track of Hades off and on ever since Supergiant Games put it on Steam Early Access. I wanted to play it right away, but Supergiant’s games are worth waiting for. No need to spoil it by playing the unfinished version. In the end, I’m glad I waited because Hades really is a solid game. Its artwork is gorgeous; its voice-acting and writing are top-tier; its music is a jam, and the combat is all kinds of addicting. With Hades, Supergiant Games has yet another masterpiece on its hands, and it’s definitely worth checking out even if you don’t necessarily like roguelikes or dungeon-crawlers.
Persona 5: Royal
Persona 5 Royal is my 2016 Game of the Year made even better. I absolutely love this game, and I firmly believe that this is the version of Persona 5 that everyone should play. The combat has been refined to a razor-edge, the characters all get a little more attention and backstory, and the new characters fit right in (as if they’d always been there). I also really enjoyed the extra bits at the very end as they were a chance to see the Phantom Thieves react to something a bit more morally ambiguous than out and out evil people and obviously twisted desires. It’s a look at the same problem from the opposite perspective, and I think the whole story is stronger for it. The game also came at a particularly difficult time this year, so it was nice to have something familiar to hold onto. As far as “new” games go, this one is hands-down my favorite of the year!
What were your favorites games this year? Why did they stick out for you?
Lede image from the PSN Store page