This blog may be dead, but the tradition of me listing my five favourite games of the past year lives on. See below for the titles I enjoyed playing the most in 2018.
5. Batman – The Enemy Within: This sequel to Telltale’s 2016 release kicks off with the Caped Crusader battling a version of the Riddler, who wouldn’t look out of place in a Saw movie. The later episodes however focus on Bruce Wayne’s love/hate relationship with the Joker. Harley Quinn, Bane and Mr Freeze also make an appearance in what has to be one of Telltale’s better interactive stories. I love their take on this DC Comics property, so it’s a real shame that the developer has since gone bust. Their storytelling and easy platinum trophies shall be missed.
4. Super Mario Odyssey: Unlike most people, the Switch has yet to win me over. Believe it or not, I still play the Vita more than Nintendo’s console/handheld hybrid. Many of the games I bought for the system (Xenoblade 2, Breath of the Wild and Octopath Traveller) have disappointed me. On the flip side Super Mario Odyssey exceeded my expectations. Once again Princess Peach has been kidnapped by Bowser, so it falls upon a mustached plumber to rescue her. Aiding our hero in this adventure is a sentient cap who is capable of possessing Koopa’s minions.
3. Doki Doki Literature Club: I seldom play PC games, but I am glad that readers convinced me to give Doki Doki Literature Club a try. At first glance this looks like another of those generic visual novels that clogs up Steam’s marketplace. Get past the first two hours however and you will soon discover that there is more to this VN than simply deciding who, out of the club’s four waifus, the player will end up with. It’s hard to believe that a release of this quality is available to download for free. I highly recommend giving Doki Doki a go… or at the very watch a Let’s Player tackle it. Their reactions to the twist are certain to amuse.
2. Tales of Berseria: This is only the second Tales game I have ever managed to finish. On paper I should love this franchise, but the combat system has always put me off. Berseria is no different in that regard. In order to complete the game I set the difficulty to easy and automated all of the battles. Despite disabling a good chunk of the gameplay I still had a blast with Berseria. I enjoyed exploring the world, engaging with the characters and most of all the story. Unlike other Tales titles, where a group of plucky youngsters save the world from evil, the protagonist of Berseria is out for revenge. She will stop at nothing to secure vengeance, even if it means murdering the kingdom’s saviour.
1. Valkyria Chronicles 4: It’s great to once again play a Valkyria Chronicles game, after the west was denied a localization of the third installment. Part of me fears that this may end up being the series finale, as poor financial results are forcing Sega to scale back on their games output. From what I hear they may be pulling a Konami to cut costs. If you ask me they should just stop butchering Sonic’s legacy and focus more on creative titles like VC4 instead. The blend of anime cell shaded visuals and military strategy is right up my alley. Still, who am I to criticise Sega? They have technically won my Top Five contests two years running. Valkyria Chronicles 4 follows in the footsteps of 2017 champion Persona 5. Perhaps, if I can clear my PS4 backlog and play Yakuza 6, Sega will complete a hat trick in 2019. Time will tell.