Community Question: What was your Non-2018 Game of the Year?

If you are anything like me, you spent a large part of 2018 catching up on games from years past. Sure, I love to keep up with all the latest releases, but I’m also always discovering older titles I missed out on initially. Perhaps a sale made me give a game a shot I wasn’t sold on buying at full price before. Maybe I just couldn’t manage to squeeze a release into my time or monetary budget when it first came out. Perhaps a friend recommended something to me that went under my radar in the past. So, my question for you, the reader, is this:

What was your favorite game not released in 2018
that you played for the first time this year?

For me, it was Dishonored 2. I played through the entire Dishonored series during the course of 2018 and I fell in love with it. Level design this intricate is rare these days. The wealth of options for getting from point A to point B seemed endless — hopping over rooftops, crawling through sewer pipes, using one of your powers to get somewhere you might not be able to normally and so on. This same level of freedom is afforded to you in how you approach any given scenario. Ghost, stealth assassin or full-frontal assault. Using distractions or sniping enemies from afar. Even taking out your main targets in a lethal or non-lethal fashion often necessitated different styles of play. And the Blink maneuver — along with its analogs — is such a perfect tool for a stealth game like this. Whether you were trying to slip past guards, put yourself in position for a kill or escape from enemies in chase, Blink was your best friend. I was also fascinated with the world they created in Dishonored. From the whale oil-driven industrial revolution to their version of the afterlife, I loved learning more about the universe developer Arkane Studios created for Dishonored.

Dishonored 2 1

While these compliments apply to all three of the games, the second entry was my favorite. For starters, it made the non-lethal approach a lot more viable compared to the original, giving you knockout versions of previously deadly takedowns and gadgets. The level design overall is the series’ best with the kind of levels I’d come to expect — including one of my personal favorites The Grand Palace — as well as changes of pace in the form of The Clockwork Mansion and A Crack in the Slab chapters. Exploring the new region and seeing how the world of Dishonored had changed during the time jump between the franchise’s two main installments meant the world-building was as good as ever. Dishonored 2 now ranks among my all-time favorite stealth games. Upon finishing up Death of the Outsider, I felt a pang of sadness knowing my time with the series was done – a sure sign of these games’ quality.

So what about you guys? Was there a game that you knocked off the backlog this year that particularly stuck with you? Let me hear about it in the comments, on Twitter or in a blog response of your own if you feel so inclined. And thanks for reading!

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7 thoughts on “Community Question: What was your Non-2018 Game of the Year?

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  1. My favorite was Final Fantasy XII. It had one of the most addicting level up systems and equally compelling combat and customization. Mega Man X4 came very close but I spent over six times the amount of hours in FF and still want to replay it so I’m going with that

  2. A lot of my gaming goals for a given year have to do with playing older games that I never played, and I always fall a little short from completing them all, but this year I managed to do a really good job with the goals I set for myself. There was a lot of older games I finally beat that I wanted to like Resident Evil Code Veronica, A Link Between Worlds, A Link to the Past, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Oceanhorn, Kingdom Hearts 2.

    I think Super Mario Galaxy 2 would have won if it wasn’t for the motion controls, but I’m just not a big fan of them and it takes away from the fun of the games because they’re frustrating as a left-hander. I loved all of the games I beat for the first time besides Code Veronica, which shows a lot of age, and is way too long for it’s own good.

    Overall, I guess I’d have to say I had the most fun with Oceanhorn. Nobuo Uematsu’s score, the mixture of 2D and 3D style Zelda gameplay, and the touching story were all a hit with me. It’s a straight up Zelda ripoff, and I loved playing it. I’ll have to really think if there were other games I played for the first time, because sometimes I always draw a blank on games I played for the first time over the course of a year.

    All in all, I think I played too many Zelda-esque games this year, I really like the franchise, but sometimes the games vague hints as to what to do next really grind the fun out of them for me.

      1. Well isn’t that just a brilliant idea! I kept a pizza journal in 2018, maybe I should do a video game journal this year!

        To be honest, I’m not even sure if I played A Link to the Past this year or the year before. Definitely tried to play 3 other ones in Tri-Force Heroes, Oracle of Ages, and Oracle of Seasons. Tri-Fore Heroes just isn’t fun as a single player game, but seems like it would be really cool with 2 other friends.

  3. I’m going to have to say Hollow Knight. While it did technically come out on Switch this year, the game itself has been around longer. I loved everything about it, from the Burton-esque characters and charming music to the difficult bosses and enticing gameplay.

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