My Top Ten Games of 2018: #8

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 Dead Cells

#9 Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden

#8 Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu/Eevee!

Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: The Pokémon Company, Nintendo
Platforms: Switch

I love my mainline Pokémon games but I typically skip the spin-offs. While I do casually enjoy mobile AR game Pokémon GO, I was fully prepared to roll my eyes at what looked like a dumbed down, Pokémon GO-ified RPG.

I was happy to be very wrong – Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! are charming and delightful recreations of the original Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow games. Adventuring through a fully 3D Kanto is a delicious nostalgia fest but it’s the little improvements that really kept me hooked, like being able to swap your party out on field, drop-in co-op, and not having to teach the critical Hidden Machine skills just to get around.

Random battles have been completely replaced with Pokémon GO‘s pokéball throwing minigame, and it’s honestly a really great change of pace. Collecting Pokémon becomes quick and rewarding rather than a slog, and we finally get to actually see Pokémon out in the field. I can be far more proactive and engaged in Pokémon hunting – with the benefit of also making the world of Kanto really come to life.

It’s a testament to how well designed that original 20 year old game is that this modern remake doesn’t have to change a whole lot to get me sucked in all over again. Yet all the changes and improvements are very welcome. I would love to see Let’s Go editions of each Pokémon generation.

My only complaint about the game – it released two weeks before Super Smash Bros. Ultimate!

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Review [Pixelkin]

Read the full review at Pixelkin

What started out as a goofy mashup of a handful of Nintendo characters having a What-If throw-down has spent the last two decades transforming into one of the most beloved, consistently excellent series on every Nintendo console since the Nintendo 64.

As the fifth game in the series Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is well deserving of its Ultimate title, featuring every fighter and stage from previous games while providing a solid balance of new and classic gameplay modes, though it’s still a series built for, and best enjoyed locally rather than online.

Read the full review at Pixelkin

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Unlock Guide [Pixelkin]

Read the full guide on Pixelkin

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a massive crossover fighting game, featuring an enormous roster of over 70 fighters. However, when you first start the game you’re limited to the eight fighters who appeared on the original Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64.

You’ll unlock more fighters just through playing, but it’s not as random as you think. There are multiple ways to unlock characters, and by adventuring through the World of Light single player mode or completing Classic Mode with certain fighters, you can be a bit more proactive and hunt for certain characters.

My Top Ten Games of 2017: #1

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
#8 Injustice 2
#7 Hand of Fate 2
#6 Battle Chasers: Nightwar
#5 Thimbleweed Park
#4 Cosmic Star Heroine
#3 Horizon Zero Dawn
#2 Divinity: Original Sin 2

#1 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I was a relative latecomer to the Zelda franchise. I’ve owned every Nintendo console, but never really got into the series until Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64. Ocarina of Time remains one of my all-time favorite games, but The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is demonstratively better, and one of the most overall impressive games I’ve played in years. Continue reading “My Top Ten Games of 2017: #1”

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”

Ranking All 21 Games of the SNES Classic Edition [Pixelkin]

Read the full list at Pixelkin

In lieu of a traditional review I’m going to do something a bit different with the SNES Classic Edition. I’m going to rank all 21 games included in the retro 90s emulator.

The SNES Classic Edition is a great little product that nails the original design of the console and controllers. It’s not without flaws: the short cord range (about 5 ft) can be a big annoyance, and in order to change games and use the rewind and save-state features, you have to physically push a button on the console. But those features also add a lot of modern convenience to classic games, greatly improving accessibility.

As the front-runner for greatest console of all time, the Super Nintendo had some pretty good games. The SNES Classic Edition does a near-perfect job of drawing from a wide variety of genres and gameplay styles to represent some (though not all) of the best games of the era.

Read the full list at Pixelkin

Metroid: Samus Returns Review [Pixelkin]

Read the full review at Pixelkin

The Metroid series is held in high esteem. It helped jump start an entirely new genre born out of platforming and exploration. Super Metroid (1994) is considered one of the best games ever made, yet Nintendo has been painfully quiet on any Metroid news or games over the last decade – until now.

Metroid: Samus Returns isn’t quite the new 2D Metroid game we were hoping for; it’s a remake of the second game in the series, 1991’s Metroid II: Return of Samus for the Game Boy. A lot of impressive went work into updating the old monochrome visuals into stunning 3D models and animated backgrounds, while the core gameplay of exploring a labyrinthine world full of secrets and power-ups remains just as compelling all these years later.

Read the full review at Pixelkin