My Top Ten Games of 2017: #9

My top ten favorite games of the year, presented in ascending order each day leading into the holidays. Look for my full Top Ten list with categories and awards on December 24!

#10 Fire Emblem Heroes

#9 Metroid: Samus Returns

metroid

Old school Metroid fans like me have been clamoring for a 2D Metroid game for years – the last proper entry was 2002’s Metroid Fusion on the Game Boy Advance. Metroid: Samus Returns isn’t technically an all-new 2D adventure but a remake of the second game, 1991’s Metroid II: Return of Samus. And it’s pretty damn good. Continue reading “My Top Ten Games of 2017: #9”

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My Top Ten Games of 2017: #10

My top ten favorite games of the year, presented in ascending order each day leading into the holidays. Look for my full Top Ten list with categories and awards on December 24!

#10 Fire Emblem Heroes

Last year saw my first ever mobile game inclusion in my annual Top Ten Games of the Year list with Pokémon GO. Yet another Nintendo-adjacent property squeaks into my list this year with Fire Emblem Heroes.

Unlike Pokémon GO, Fire Emblem Heroes is a reasonable facsimile of its venerable tactical strategy-RPG series. By smartly condensing battle maps into the exact size of a phone screen (or tablet), the series was translated reasonably well onto the mobile platform. Continue reading “My Top Ten Games of 2017: #10”

Arena of Valor Class Guides: Know Your Role

While I have been (and still am) creating hero-specific guides for mobile MOBA Arena of Valor for ZAM’s new AoVStats website, I’ve now begun creating class guides.

These guides will tackle general strategies for the various roles that each hero is categorized as, such as Tank, Support, and Mage, as well as explaining how various hybrid classes work.

The first guide, Know Your Role: Tank, is live now. More to follow!

Sadly Arena of Valor is still not available in the US (I’m using a special Euro code to get in and play), and its US release has been delayed into 2018. But if you enjoy MOBAs and fancy playing one on your phone or tablet, it’s a good one, and I’ve enjoyed writing guides for it.

A Hat in Time Review [Pixelkin]

Read the full review at Pixelkin

While I lack much of the fond nostalgia for the 3D platforming genre, I was completely enthralled by A Hat in Time. Its bright, cheery art and music, witty dialogue, and grandiose level designs instantly catapulted Hat Kid among the upper echelon of the late 90s Golden Age classics.

Simply put: A Hat in Time is the most fun I’ve had with a 3D platformer since Psychonauts.

Read the full review at Pixelkin

Battlerite is Bite-sized MOBA Mayhem [PC Gamer]

Read the full quick look article at PC Gamer

Battlerite knows all about big teamfights. Regardless of any given MOBA’s peculiarities, they all come down to a series of dust-ups. These carefully coordinated battles are often the determining factor in a match, and they’re a significant part of what makes MOBAs compelling as a spectator sport.

The appropriately named Stunlock Studios have taken those big moments of a typical 30-60 minute match and transformed them into a 10-minute single-elimination arena brawl of pure adrenaline-pumping chaos. It’s tense, challenging, enjoyable, and free-to-play.

Read the full quick look article at PC Gamer

Pixelkin 2017 Holiday Gift Guide [Pixelkin]

Read the full holiday gift guide at Pixelkin

This was one of the best years for family and kid-friendly gaming, thanks in large part to Nintendo. The Nintendo Switch, which released in March, has been a huge success this year. We’ve seen big titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey cement Nintendo as the premiere resource for family-friendly gaming.

The Super Nintendo Classic Edition also makes a great holiday gift for families nostalgic for early 90s gaming.

We’ve gathered all the best and biggest games of the year for each console, organized by younger kids (under 10), older kids (10-16), and mature teens & parents (17+).

Read the full holiday gift guide at Pixelkin

Arena of Valor Hero Guides – Thane, Taara, Mganga [AOV Stats]

Something I’ve been contributing to over the last month is writing hero guides for upcoming MOBA Arena of Valor. The new website, AOV Stats (by ZAM), just went live this week. You can see my work here, with three guides of mine up so far.

Arena of Valor is a mobile free-to-play MOBA that’s huge in China and Europe. It’s scheduled to release in the U.S. later this month.

It’s basically a slightly watered down, mobile-friendly version of League of Legends or DOTA 2. There’s ranked play, items, lanes, etc. It’s actually a lot of fun and I definitely don’t normally play mobile games.

I’m continuing to master more heroes and crank out guides. The website is still brand new and very much a work in progress. It’s eventually going to get fancy graphics, widgets, and videos. Keep this game on your radar if you enjoy MOBAs.