Top 10 Of 2018
Here is our top 10 for 2018. In ABC order as always…
Bloodstained: Curse Of The Moon (Nintendo Switch) ***Game Of The Year***
Bloodstained Curse of the Moon is extremely my kind of game. Koji Igarashi’s Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night should be out in 2019 (hopefully), but holding us over until then is this retro style prequel which sets up the story for the game. Curse of the Moon combines the best of eight and sixteen bit era Castlevania games with a bit of other side scrollers like Ninja Gaiden to create a really interesting, fun, and challenging, but not brutal or frustrating, game. There are a load of references to Castlevania games littered throughout the game as well. If there are more Bloodstained games, I hope they continue doing retro games in the series as well.
Fire Pro Wrestling (Steam)
At some point, we are going to do a long form episode about wrestling games of the past, but in more modern times Fire Pro Wrestling has been a dominant grappling game. The ability to add your favorite wrestlers from around the world, no matter what federation, is really cool. I had not played this series much before, but this version of it is really solid. Wrestling games have been so hit or miss over the years, but this one is a winner.
Iconoclasts (Nintendo Switch)
I was really sold on Iconoclasts after hearing it discussed on an episode of Retronauts last year. This is another “Metroidvania” game with a pretty aesthetic and interesting puzzles to discover and figure out. I am not super far into this game, but it is definitely one I can pick up from time to time and play for a bit to try and make progress. The Switch is absolutely the best system for this.
The Messenger (Nintendo Switch)
This game got a lot of hype for being a bit of a Ninja Gaiden homage, but there is also a lot of Castlevania influence in it as well. I first played this game right after defeating Bloodstained and I thought a lot about how similar the games are in some aspects. The Messenger has a good sense of humor about itself which is appreciated. The game play is really smooth and engaging with interesting puzzles. The big plot twist in the middle of the game is really cool too.
Monster Boy & The Cursed Kingdom (Nintendo Switch)
This has been such a great year for platformers. Monster Boy & The Cursed Kingdom is an exceptional entry in this long running series. Like in Bloodstained (and its inspiration Castlevania III), having to switch between characters to complete puzzles and levels is fun and interesting without much of the frustration I would normally associate with this genre.
Octopath Traveler (Nintendo Switch)
It seems some people are a bit down on this game, but I have really enjoyed it. Octopath Traveler is a beautiful homage to 1990s RPGs with an interesting battle system that evolves from the one seen in Bravely Default. The interconnected story lines are mostly interesting and wandering around the world collecting party members is pretty fun. This game also has a fantastic soundtrack. I did not finish Octopath Traveler yet, but I will come back to it at some point for sure.
Sega Ages: Phantasy Star (Nintendo Switch)
As we saw during our streams of Phantasy Star III during the summer, playing older, traditional, RPGs can be a bit of a, literal, grind these days. The Sega Ages version of Phantasy Star updates the game for modern times with maps, stat and power boosts (ala the reissues of Final Fantasy VII/IX) that make the game very playable and entertaining. We will stream our way through this game later in the year probably.
Sega Genesis Classics Collection (PS4)
There are some bugs in this collection, but I love having all Streets of Rage, Phantasy Star, Sonic, games plus Shining Force, Beyond Oasis, Gunstar Heroes, Sword of Vermillion, and so many others all in one collection. We will be using this as a source for the podcast for awhile.
Super Mega Baseball 2 (PS4)
Super Mega Baseball 2 follows up on the exceptional first game to offer a fun sports simulation. This game is very detailed and has deep statistics and a pennant race worth playing through. The best addition to the sequel is the ability to pause games and come back to them. Nine innings is sometimes too long for me to play, so it is nice to stop after say the sixth inning and then come back later. I would love to see Super Mega Football/Soccer/Hockey/etc.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 (PS4)
After two very flawed sequels to the first Valkyria Chronicles game, there are still some flaws with VC4, but it is, generally, a fine follow up to VC1. Like SMB2, the ability to save mid battle is super helpful as some of these battles drag on a bit. The addition of new character types greatly accentuates the game experience. The game play, which combines turn based play with real time action, continues to be one of my favorite styles of game play in the modern age. I cannot believe there are not more games that attempt this style.