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When I was making my 'Favorite Stories in Fiction' topic, someone asked me if I'd played Night in the Woods. I said no, but that I'd heard good things, but was also hesitant to try it because of the effect it might have on my mental state. They then told me 'yeah don't play NitW'. I don't think I've ever seen a game where its most ardent supporters warn people not to play it.Yeah, I don't really know what more to add. It isn't for everyone, and i think that anyone who really loved the game and absorbed its messages and themes would intuitively get that. It's a little bit of a shame, because honestly a lot of the game is really silly and feel-good, but yeah the heavy stuff is weighty. I don't know - all I can say is that not every game is everyone's cup of tea just because I loved it, but it is my personal list
Top ten time! Finally getting to the end of this list. This is really getting into the good s*** now, these are all like all-time favorites from here on out.
Years of release: 2016 (3DS), 2017 (Mobile)
It's staggering to think that, as the previous decade closed out, I thought that the Ace Attorney series might really be done for. AA4 was a really disappointing follow-up to the trilogy of games I loved so much, and AAI1 - well it came out in 2010 but never mind that - didn't exactly recapture the glory days.
AA5 got us back to respectability, but it still never really quite hit the highs that the first three games did. After it came out, I was like "oh, Ace Attorney is pretty good again," but it hadn't quite hit that level of, oh we're BACK, yet. So my expectations for the next Ace Attorney were... let's say subdued. I wanted to play it, but I wasn't waiting on pins and needles for it. My anticipation level was moderate. I wasn't really expecting a whole lot. Maybe it's just because my expectations were low, but holy crap, it delivered.
I feel like there isn't much for me to go into detail about here. You guys all know Ace Attorney. I don't need to describe Ace Attorney to you. And I feel like getting into the nitty gritty here of why this game ranks so highly for me would be better saved for like, a ranking all the cases in Ace Attorney topic or something (which I wanted to do but then I waited too long and now I don't remember the cases well enough to do it lol).
A few things I can say - first, this game takes a risk and it delivers. Lacking for new challenges for Phoenix to face, it takes him to a new land with new laws, and this worked out really well, putting him back in an underdog role that would have been hard for him to find otherwise. The setting and the new characters it brings are all great. Second, the divination seance mechanic was a major game changer for me - it was such a new and unique way to present mysteries in this game, and every case that featured them was way better off for it. The way each one of them manages to trick you and reveal surprising new details was just ingeniously constructed. They're a small part of the game, but really added something when they were used. And third, the final case of this game just really hit that peak again - the high points of the original trilogy that the series had yet to reach again after that point, it hit them here. I didn't think it was possible; I didn't think they could pull it off or that there would be any story they could tell that would do it justice. But holy s***, they did it.
I think that's all I need to say about AA6. To be honest, it was good enough that if they never make another Ace Attorney game after this, I think I could be at peace with that. I THINK that we will get an Ace Attorney 7 one of these days, maybe somewhat soon, but it's hard to know for sure - it's a bit hard for me to imagine where the series goes from here, but I've thought that before, and they found a way to make it work, so they can pull it off again, I'm sure. AA6's DLC case does evoke a bit of a feeling of a victory lap - there's a sense of the idea that they know they can't keep doing this forever. With any luck we'll get some more Ace Attorney adventures, though. But if we don't, I'll be glad that they went out on a high note, climbing back to the peak that they reached in the first three games. I couldn't ask for more.
Years of release: 2012 (PC), 2014 (Advanced Edition)
Beaten?: With almost every ship on hard mode
You know, it's funny - it's been so long with this one, I don't even remember the origin story. I feel like, this deep on the list, I should have some sort of personal details to relate about my experiences with the game. But for FTL, I can't even tell you when I first learned about it, why I decided to buy it, what my first playthrough was like. All those details are just missing, and I don't know why. FTL just feels like it's always been there for me, somehow.
I have a measly 592 hours on this one compared to Slay The Spire's 1,144, which feels paltry by comparison, but I think I spent roughly the same amount of quality time with FTL as I did Slay The Spire, and it's my 4th most played game on Steam. (#2 is Team Fortress 2. #3 is... later.) FTL wins out by a hair for me, I guess, because something about the gameplay just feels a bit more satisfying. Having a spaceship with all these little crew members I can direct around, upgrading my systems and buying new weapons, being excited to see if I get any nice rewards on the next jump. Even though, after playing a game for hundreds of hours, you tend to exhaust all the possible things that can happen, FTL doles out its most interesting rewards rarely enough that it can be really exciting to go on another run and see if you'll get a really cool setup. At the same time, it gives you rewards that are good enough often enough that you never feel like any of your runs are totally screwed because of it. (I know that I've seen people complain about not getting enough weapons before, but you really need to be aggressive about routing to shops and looking for them in stores - it helps a lot.)
I think I remember why I don't remember my origin story with this game now - I think that originally I didn't actually like it that much. I think that before Advanced Edition came out, and before hard mode came out, the final boss was a little too simple to figure out and the total possibilities for your ship loadouts not quite interesting enough. Advanced Edition didn't add THAT much, but what it added was just enough to completely open up this game anew to me, somehow, with its new subsystems (Hacking is totally broken but hey) and its new ship layouts and its new weapons and events and all that, as well as hard mode. You know how I said that roguelikes live two lives, one in the first 50 hours of the game and one after the first 50 hours? The first 50 hours of FTL for me were surprisingly mediocre, but what I wasn't expecting was how this game would blossom for me after the first 50 hours. I don't really know what happened - I just got hooked on this game even I'd been at it for a while. I really wanted to master hard mode and complete it with every ship. I really wanted to do everything this game had to offer.
This game does still have some flaws. For one, I think some of the ship designs are super cumbersome and require a great deal of luck to get off the ground, and sometimes winning fights with them can take an excessive amount of time as you need to wait ages for certain systems to recharge or for health to recover as you painfully micromanage fights. There's some waiting in this game that feels unnecessary at times, but I give it a pass - it's all part of this game's surprisingly emergent gameplay, where fires and ship breaches can hit you from multiple angles when you're also fighting a ship at the same time, and there starts to get to be a lot of stuff to manage, and even after a fight's over you still have to spend time repairing the ship.
It's one of the most well-tuned roguelikes I've ever played - there's just so many different ways to win, so many different tools that will get the job done, and every run has an interesting story to tell, which is the biggest thing that I think sets this one apart. Every run has the potential for some funny situation or some kind of war story that I've never seen before, and that keeps me coming back. I'm sort of done with this game now but I still keep coming back to it every once in a while when I want something relatively easy to play - Into The Breach by the same dev has filled this role a little bit lately but it can't touch FTL.
This game has some really good mods for it too - I really enjoyed FTL: Captain's Edition, which changes just about everything in the game, events, weapons, whatever, but also adds some surprising new mechanics that take the game in some neat directions. That mod alone added a whole bunch more value to this game for me, and it was worth pointing out though I wouldn't rank it separately or anything.
I don't have any big points to end on. FTL is just really good and one of the definitive play-this-over-and-over again experiences of the decade. I'll keep coming back to it for a long time, probably.
Finished Bug Fables and I think my ranking for it is just about right. As a Paper Mario pastiche it's quite good and gets a lot of things right, especially in the gameplay and character designs, but it doesn't quite go all the way on some things. The plot is very bog standard even by Paper Mario's standards which is a bit disappointing and while it's very wholesome and cute I think it could have done a bit more to be unpredictable or bizarre like Paper Mario is, introducing more weird scenarios and situations and all that. It has its moments but some stretches of the game are a little too unremarkable and run of the mill and the final chapter wasn't as interesting as I was hoping it would be. But, the battle system's great, the characters are a sheer delight (this is an aspect where it outdoes PM), and the game does a really nice job in most regards. That's my final word on it I think. Remains a pretty strong recommend from me but with tempered expectations - it's more of a 'personal pick' than a 'I think everyone needs to play this game' kind of pick. If you're a big Paper Mario fan then it's probably a must play.
big ups to AA6. to me, it's literally all about
i loved the N64 paper mario and was content with the gamecube one. dunno that i have time for bug fables - how many hours would you say it is?
yet all sailors of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
FTL is probably the consensus best digital-only game ever at this point, right?
"A more mature answer than I expected."~ Jakyl25
"Sephy's point is right."~ Inviso
FTL is definitely one of my favorite games of all time.
I screwed up big time and deleted my save trying to get a mod to work, losing my stats and leaderboards, which really bummed me out.
"I'll just wait for time to prove me right again." - Vlado
I screwed up big time and deleted my save trying to get a mod to work, losing my stats and leaderboards, which really bummed me out.I have nightmares about this.
Happened to me once with a 100+ SO2 file and I've never been able to restart it
"A more mature answer than I expected."~ Jakyl25
"Sephy's point is right."~ Inviso
I own FTL. Have thought about playing it a couple times.
All the stars in the sky are waiting for you.
Spirit of Justice is really good. I prefer DD just because it's more consistently high quality, but 6-5 is excellent.