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Alright next batch of write ups are ready and then we're officially halfway!


Last Year


(Box) Art



Tales of Xillia 2

So funny story, I have a Day One edition of this game sitting on my shelf… that I bought brand new maybe 3 years after release from a regular retailer. Yeaaah, I don’t think this was Bandai’s biggest hit in the west (releasing here in 2014 exclusively for the PS3 probably didn’t help), and that’s quite a shame because in my eyes it’s still the best Tales game since the 00s. It’s a bit of a unique entry in several ways both for its more fragmented mission-based structure, allowing each character to have their own side stories, and for being centered around player choice, an element I definitely liked even if your choices rarely had long lasting consequences. The storytelling is generally excellent with emotions running high at times and on the gameplay front the game fully delivers as well which, at least to me, is nearly a given with Tales titles.



God of War: Ragnarök

Late last year Santa Monica released the highly anticipated sequel to God of War 2018 and well they did it again. Like its predecessor Ragnarök is an excellent action adventure that excels in both gameplay and storytelling. This is definitely the more ambitious of the two games building on top of the combat of the first, having two playable characters and a bigger story with more characters and to be entirely honest that ambition was a double-edged sword. While nearly all elements of the game were great, I can’t say everything came together quite as neatly as an overall experience as in the first game. The different structure of the game and a more uneven difficulty curve also made me notice some annoyances with some of its systems that I hadn’t really in the first game. But criticisms out of the way we’ve still got another hard-hitting emotional story in a game that feels amazing to play and my third highest debut in a year where I’ve played some incredible games.



Diablo III

A bit of a divisive title for sure, but personally I always liked Diablo III and after the Reaper of Souls expansion there was a while were I really loved it. I think the main reason I enjoyed it so much is that the combat itself just feels head and shoulders above other top-down RPGs I’ve played. There are tons of abilities to choose from with variations to each one, and while I know a few were against it I very much enjoyed that you could respec on the fly since it let you try out everything and allowed you to go for a completely different build if you found some gear that complimented it. It also serves to the game’s credit that I felt compelled to create characters of every class and get them to high level. It’s been a few years since I’ve played the game now, but maybe one day I’ll pick up the Necromancer DLC and give it another go.




Like the Mother games that inspired it, Undertale manages to combine a wacky world and wacky characters with some really powerful and emotional moments in a way that somehow fits; but it also does more than that. It’s quite original turn-based “combat” system (which also allows you not to fight) works really well by moving all the focus onto the enemy’s turn where you have to actively dodge their attacks, which to me makes the things more engaging. This combined with unique dialogue makes the fights more different from enemy to enemy than is often the case in turn-based games and even more so when it comes to the boss fights. And what boss fights they are! With excellent music for pretty much each one and some of them feeling like absolutely epic showdowns. Finally, the 3 different paths you can go down are also brilliantly implemented and worth experiencing all three, even if one of them can indeed lead to a bad time.




And here we have the successor in the making and one of the best games I’ve played in recent years. As of currently these games are so neck and neck for me that they might as well share a spot, but when forced to choose I’m putting Deltarune on top. They each have their strengths and weaknesses when put side by side: Deltarune has funnier writing in my opinion, which is saying something, and the greatly expanded combat is very welcome and adds some strategy to what was mostly a question of skill in Undertale. On the other hand, while Deltarune certainly has had some powerful moments like its predecessor, it hasn’t quite reached the same levels as the final showdowns and ending of Undertale yet, though there’s still plenty of time for that in the future with the game only having 2 out of 7 chapters completed. In short, Deltarune is already an amazing game now and has the potential to climb even further up this list if future chapters deliver. I’m certainly crossing my fingers.

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2024 OpenCritic Prediction Leagues:

Nintendo | PlayStation | Multiplat