It may be the fact that I´m getting older, anxiety, the voices in the drawer or that time is a crazy thing …. I´m not sure, but apparently, as thousands of calendars tell me, 2017 is almost over. It feels like I didn´t get used to write 17 instead of 16 …. Although. Who actually still writes a date?… It´s necessary … but most of the time it´s already there … Maybe that´s why I didn´t realize 16 became 17?… I don’t know, but I don´t need to talk about signs and dance steps right now … It’s time to open my mouth (my hands actually, unless you can hear me … which means you might have many mental issues). Let´s explore my opinion, ideas and short ramblings about video games. It´s time for the Matt Brickenson´s top 10 video games of this supposed year.
Being the master overlord of an independent video game entity, I feel it is important to clarify that indie games will be my main focus. I know that this year had incredible triple A titles. However, under that powerful media curtain, there´s a lot of video games (really good ones) floating around. I feel a strong connection and deep attraction for them … And it’s my list and that´s the way I want to do it. Having said that, it´s time to open those eyes and ears (for the handful of unstable persons that can hear me).
No-10: Battle Chasers: Nightwar (Nordic Games)
JRPGs other than Final Fantasy XXXXVVVIIIXVGXXX, Persona 9999999 or Kingdom Hearts: Final Prologue Epilogue Story of The End Beginning Again? …. (I know there´s a lot …) But maybe this colorful little bastard didn´t draw your attention. The game comes from a 90´s comic book, which I didn´t even know existed until I read a little bit more about this game ….. Also, more interesting than that, is the fact that it´s a Kickstarter funded game. The way I see it, a game born as a Kickstarter shows clearly a sincere and loving gesture from the community. It also means that the developers experienced massive amounts of stress, concern, possible episodes of dementia and suicidal tendencies. Battle Chasers has a very attractive visual style, interesting and eye-catching characters …. game mechanics … Well, they exist …. And they work …And you have experienced them before… A LOT…. But ignore that … It is a project with a lot of dedication and it deserves your love.
No-9: Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)
Yes … another Kickstarter …. There´s a lot of brave people out there as you can see. And, yes … it also has a 90´s nostalgia gimmick…. But in a very different way. Night in the Woods is colorful and dark, it is tender and dark, it takes time to appreciate it and it’s dark. I´ll be honest, it may not be the type of game everyone can enjoy. Its rhythm can feel heavy, but the soundtrack´s bass line does too (in a good way), it is a platformer (kinda) with varied elements.
Night in the Woods works like a gamish visual experience. The game mechanics and difficulty that attract Hard-core gamers do not exist here. However, you will find many dialogues that turn the game experience into something very personal, less innocent that it seems and probably tinged with some adult ideas. But it is still a game and there´s a lot of meticulous work and affection behind it. We find comfortable and familiar experiences all around us, maybe trying a bit of change can feel sexy.
No-8: Old Man´s Journey (Broken Rules)
The main character is a sweet old man …. a grandfather looking for his memories …. An adorable man in a perfectly decorated game with interesting mechanics …. a sweet and charismatic old man …. (well, maybe he has things in his past that he prefers not to remember. Maybe he is actually cruel and demented) … But we don’t see that!…. Play it!… It’s the adventure of a freaking OLD MAN!!!
No-7:What remains of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow)
I´ll state the obvious: it is not the easiest title to remember or say when you want to recommend it to a friend while drinking some beer. Nor does it sound like a video game title …. But, I digress …. Did you ever wish to experience a world and a story with Tim Burtonesque qualities (when he used to make good movies)? Personally, I wish it constantly…. Maybe I kind of do it already when I´m alone … Our imagination is extremely powerful when we let it loose … WREF (maybe this way it’s easier to remember the title and it sounds funny) it´s an elegant creation that tells stories masterfully and sinks you in a soft and pleasant way into the world it creates .It’s a house … the world is a house …. but the house is, in a certain way, a character, an experience and a place at the same time. WREF WREF WREF … Give it time and let it trap you … Just don’t stay there too long … Coming back is not that simple.
No-6: The End is Nigh (Edmund McMillen, Tyler Glaiel)
Oh Edmund McMillen … so much darkness behind your creative and amusing mind. Such a mastery to face difficult sentimental and psychological issues without leading us to trauma or a slight depression. For those who don’t know who I’m talking about (YOU SHOULD), Edmund is one of the creative masterminds behind Super Meat Boy and the Binding of ISAAC. What does the Edmund game design mark means? Simple …. his games have impeccable platforming level design that challenge any player´s skills in an intelligent and imaginative way. Elegant and silly humour helps you enjoy the experience further. His games look retro but modern and, if you haven´t played any of his creations, I do not know why the hell you´re wasting your time reading this instead playing one… In The End is Nigh, our friendly Ed presents a desolate and kind of terrifying world. This game follows the strong foundations of Super Meat Boy (game mechanics, challenges, controls, etc..) But this time, the game world is connected and it doesn´t follow Meat Boy´s arcade style. Edmund …. we´re very lucky that you love making video games.
I know that reading a top 10 list can be annoying so, I will stop here and upload the second half in another post. That way, you can start thinking what the hell am I going to put next and start hating or loving me for this.