Top 5 games of 2017

Back in 2016 I looked at all the year-end lists and didn’t see many games I had played.  For 2017 I decided to try to stay current and play the big games as they came out.  This year was jam packed with quality games, which made this goal difficult.  In addition to the plethora of games on platforms I own, the Switch launched this year with plenty of cool exclusives that had to pass me by.  I still got to play plenty of brand new games, which I have narrowed down into a top 5 from this year.


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Mega Man Battle Network & Card Witch (Indie Game Revivals)

One of my favorite series on the Game Boy Advanced are the Mega Man Battle Network games. This series takes a unique approach to the Mega Man concept. Instead of being about robots, it’s focus is shifted to computer networks and AI’s. The most important concept in this setting is NetNavis, AI who live in their user’s Personal Terminal (PET) to help them navigate the internet, fighting off viruses, as well as general assistance in life. You take on the roles of Lan and his NetNavi MegaMan.exe as they explore the real and virtual worlds respectively.

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Tetris Effect in Open World Games

The Gameboy was launched into the world in 1989. Bundled with the handheld console was the addictive puzzle game Tetris. Alone they were both great products, but together they formed potent combination that quickly became a worldwide phenomenon.

The  new Tetris players didn’t just see it’s blocks on their Gameboys.  Tetronimos appeared on ceiling tiles, boxes of cereal, milk crates, floor tiles, or anything with squares. Playing Tetris trains its players to see it’s shapes everywhere, and how those pieces could fit together. This bleeding of the game’s mechanics into everyday life came to be known as “The Tetris Effect“.

tetris sign

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Battlerite Review – Arena Brawler

In 2011 Bloodline champions came out.  The concept was simple, turn World of Warcraft’s arena combat into an entire game. This was accomplished by taking elements from MOBAs, fighting games, and top down shooters.  I always felt like this game deserved more attention than it received.  For new players and viewers, it’s easier to understand than a MOBA or RTS, but features team based matches that fighting games lack.  By utilizing the best elements of other competitive games, this game seemed poised to be the next big thing.

But it wasn’t meant to be, for whatever reason the game never caught on.  Outside of a vague feeling that the game should be bigger than it was, the only other thing I remember about the game was its unique tribal art style and theme.  Fortunately, Stunlock Studios didn’t die out, and now they are back with BC’s spiritual successor Battlerite.  This game recently launched as a free to play title.  With fond memories of the old game I grabbed some friends to try it out.


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Weapon mash-ups in video games: Gun + Sword

Swords and guns are two of the most iconic weapons in games, swords being the go-to melee combat weapon, and guns the obvious answer for ranged combat.  But what about those time you need both?  I guess you could carry one of each, or try a bayonet.  If your feeling fancy you could try to combine the two.  In real life, this concept proved to be not very practical. Fortunately, in the world video games we don’t need to be practical. Let’s look at some of the most potent combinations of sword and gun that have appeared in some of my favorite video games.


P.S: Check out my friend’s latest blog post where he talks about his experience at Blizzcon this year.


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Defense through Offense: Aggressive Supports in Multiplayer Games

When playing multiplayer class based games, like an MMORPG or MOBA, I tend to play healers.  Healers, or Supports in MOBA style games, are critical roles, and the least popular one.  It’s easy to understand why, damage dealers get to pump out big numbers while doing cool things like tossing fireballs or slashing away with swords.  The Tank is the other critical role, but has more respect as their duty involves putting their virtual bodies between the rest of the party and whatever threatens them.  Leaders tend to take up the tank role as they are the ones who determine when to engage in a fight. Unlike tanks, healers are the furthest from danger, standing behind even the damage dealers.  Unlike the damage dealers, healers mostly just use spells on allies. Nothing too fancy, usually just the shine of holy light, or a soothing nature’s breeze.  Basically, their boring, but do they have to be?


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Five Hidden Gems for the PlayStation 2

I love the PS2, it’s my favorite console.  One the great things about PS2 was the vast number of games for it, covering a wide array of genres and experiences.  Because of the sheer number of games, many very interesting ones flew under people’s radars.  Here is a selection of 5 of my favorite games that you may not have heard of before.

ps2 hidden gems cover

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What makes Resident Evil 4 so special?

vs el gigante

When it comes to single player games, I very very rarely replay them. Heck, it’s not unusual for me to never beat many games that I claim to love.  I tend to play a game until I “get what it’s doing”, after which I’ll put it down and maybe never pick it up again.  When deciding what game to play, especially single player games, I like to seek out new experiences.  That said, there are a few games that break this mold: Bloodborne, some Final Fantasy games, and all the Metal Gear Solid games.  But the game I always come back to, the one I’ve replayed not once, or twice, but many many times, is Resident Evil 4.  With this blog post, I want to examine what it is about RE4 that makes it so memorable and repayable. What puts it above almost every other game* in my mind?

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The Importance of Sound in Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds


If you’ve played Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) before, then you’ll know what I’m talking about. This is a headphones only game. Turn off the music and avoid outside conversations, this game requires aural concentration.

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