Cody's Top 25 Games of 2017 - Part 2 (15 - 6)

Firstly, thanks for everyone who read Part 1 of this blog series. I was pretty genuinely surprised by the amount of conversation that was sparked by the post. On that same note, I'd like to reiterate that this list is simply based off my own experiences which means there are a lot of games that released in 2017 worthy of serious critical acclaim, and games that have been highly recommended to me, that I just haven't been able to play. I'm only one man! Now that we're in my top 15, the amount of tweaking and thought I've put in has only gone up, so once again thanks to everyone taking the time to read through! Let's get started!

15 - Night in the Woods

Night in the Woods is an indie adventure game that just so happened to be fully kickstarted in around 26 hours, and was eventually 400% funded in 30 days, and I'm proud to say I was part of those stats! Despite Night in the Woods being populated with anthropomorphic animals, the narrative of said characters manages to be some of the most human interactions I've ever come across in gaming. The main character, Mae Borowski, and her friends struggle with real problems like depression, emotional turmoil, identity crisis, questioning their own worth, feeling stuck in life and working crappy dead end jobs with crappy bosses and more. The game can really hit home in one way or another, and it's hard not to praise Infinite Fall for using this media to create something so meaningful. There's also a kick ass soundtrack! Gameplay is meh, and the game's appeal is certainly the narrative, but either way, NITW is a very easy game to connect with.

14 - Battle Chef Brigade

Battle Chef Brigade has become a bit of a meme around the shop this last week, purely because of how much I've been seen playing it on Discord/Steam. The hand drawn, anime-esque, Iron Chef meets Shokugeki no Soma style is nothing of a masterly crafted meal. I could come up with a thousand metaphors about how a seemingly odd mixture developed by Trinket Studios is greater than the sum of it's parts, but I'll spare you the gourmet jokes. My only complaint is, like a fine meal, when I finished BCB I just wanted more, and I genuinely hope Trinket Studios delivers another helping in the future. (I could keep going...)

13 - Destiny 2

I played the original Destiny the very week it released and I really wasn't a fan. I'm aware that Destiny evolved a lot after the initial release, but nothing ever made me want to play again. Destiny 2 dropped and once again I honestly didn't really care, especially in a year crammed with game releases that I did care about. However, my friend and frequent guest blogger Dictator, bought me the game for my birthday this year, and I had a total blast playing it. I loved how guns felt, I loved the environments and most importantly I loved playing with my friends. I would seriously recommend Destiny for anybody looking for a great game to play with a friend group. The story was surprisingly well written as well; at least much better than I expected! Curse of Osiris (the first expansion) has released, and I haven't been able to play it yet, but I certainly look forward to the new content.

12 - Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

I wrote about Ys a few weeks ago, and since then I've played an additional 20 hours or so, and my appreciation only grows. Ys VIII manages to be something fresh and new but also remind me of a time in my life where gaming was just...simpler. As I said in my original post, Ys 8 won't be breaking any records of any sort, but it certainly deserves some credit. I implore anyone reading this to give the game a shot if you ever get the opportunity, the title certainly comes off as complicated, which is the exact opposite of how I would describe the actual game. Just play it.

11 -  Horizon Zero Dawn

Now I know you've heard of this one. HZD is pulling GOTY awards left and right and for very good reason. Guerilla Games' Horizon: Zero Dawn may have the best presentation I've ever seen in a video game. The way players are introduced and immersed in the world of Horizon is downright beautiful, and the narrative and game-play only benefits the immersive experience. In fact, Horizon is so damn good at what it does that I feel like no amount of combination of words does the game justice, one should really play or watch the game be played. You may ask, "If the game is so great, then why is it only #11?" Welp...despite the grand presentation, I enjoyed the next 10 games even more.

10 - Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

I actually reviewed Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus right after it came out right here on the blog, so check out that post if you haven't. Wolfenstein 2 definitely pushes the boundaries of what one would expect out of an FPS, and certain aspects of the game completely caught me off guard. Killing tons of Nazis? Check. Gameplay upgrades from the last game? Check. A monkey with a cats head named Shoshanna? Check.  Check out the full review!

9 - XCOM 2: War of the Chosen

It looks me a bit to decide whether or not I wanted to include War of the Chosen in this list because it is a DLC expansion, but that doesn't make it any less phenomenal. If you spend any time at the shop you've probably heard me mention XCOM 2 at one point or another, and that's because the game is pretty damn near perfect, and any small issues I had with the game are immediately addressed by WOTC. Not only is there a bunch of new additions for your XCOM team, there's some new and improved enemies that help make every mission even more tense and rewarding. Without the slightest but of exaggeration, I can comfortably say that War of the Chosen is the best DLC or expansion I've ever played for a game that I already loved. Killing aliens has never felt so good.

8 - Pyre

Pyre is a game that I had very heavy expectations for, mainly because SuperGiant Games has proven time and time again that they are very very good at what they do - making amazing indie games. Pyre not only meets the expectations I had set, it completely surpasses them. I'm definitely quick to admit that Pyre's game-play is extremely strange but the real draw of Pyre is the world building and atmosphere. Back in high school and even into college I wrote many papers relating to video game narratives and stressing that this media is indeed an art form, and Pyre is my new favorite example. Check out the full review, especially if you've never heard of the game until now.

7 - Cuphead

On that same note, Cuphead is a demonstration in how hard some game developers work to bring their ideas to life. Studio MDHR will forever have my unwavering respect for the sheer amount of manpower that went into making their indie title, and thankfully the world received the game incredibly well. Cuphead is staring down multiple awards for the end of the year, and with good reason. Check out my full review for more. 

6 - Digimon World: Next Order

If you read my Top 25 of 2016, you probably made note of a Digimon game in the top 10, and this year is no different. I definitely couldn't recommend Digimon games to everyone, especially not Next Order, but I seriously can't get enough of them. The plot is pretty simple, but creating a town and training your Digimon is the perfect formula for a fantastic JRPG, whether you're a fan of Digimon or not (I've only seen the first season and Tri). The way progression works in New Order makes it incredibly hard to put the game down, and I clocked over 125 hours in less than a month, which is pretty hard for me to do nowadays. Next Order also went back to the roots of the original Digimon World game, which made for a perfect modern day experience. Just talking about it makes me want to replay it all over again!

There we go, another 10 down! Just to keep everyone hanging, my next post may end up being the Top Guilty Games of 2017, but we shall see. Either way the Top 5 is coming up soon, and honestly it may have been the easiest part to draft so far. Anyone who knows me probably won't be too surprised, but I look forward to detailing why I believe they deserve the top spots. Thanks for reading everybody!
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