Finally, i have a console of my own!
Hey, my GOTY is here!
When I first finished this game, I really loved it. As I played the game even more, it grew on me exponentially, and as I realized how much this game appreciates the fans of the series, I just can't help but love it even more.
I thought all the missions were interesting and unique in comparison to each other, with a few classic Ace Combat mission scenarios (like flying through a narrow pathway in a stealth mission). Even the worst one here (mission 10 I think? The one where you have to escort a certain officer) was still so much fun, backed up by good banters and a wonderful dark-foggy atmosphere. It's really hard to pick favorites since I have like 5 missions in my mind right now.
The story, while can be hard to follow since there are multiple characters to follow in the cutscenes (not to mention trying to follow the dialogues during the missions), is still quite memorable and has that classic epic and cheesy feel that other Ace Combat game has. Most of the characters aren't actually well developed, but rather they're easily identify-able through their super standout quirks, like the one guy that keep saying he'll "tell this story to my kids", or the one officer that keeps threatening everyone to go into solitary. This is what made it so entertaining for me, even with the epic level stuff happening in the main plot, there's still a lot comedic moments to be had.
The gameplay itself is superb, with it accurately representing the stats of the plane you are using in how it controls and moves in the sky (which makes upgrading and buying new planes much more meaningful). Not to mention, the new progression system they have here is pretty great. It doesn't let you get the best stuff outright, and it makes you think about what kind of advanced planes you want to get first since you can't get all the best stuff in one go. I haven't even unlocked all of the planes, I'm still investing on multiplayer upgrades which have their own upgrade tree.
Speaking of the multiplayer, it's very barebones but also quite a fun time. You can set limits on how good the planes people can have in a match, which makes it more fair to everyone. I rarely have been good enough to actually win matches, but most of the time I'm still having a blast.
What cemented this game as my GOTY is when I played the campaign for the second time in harder difficulty. Now I have the knowledge of each mission and what to do in them, and boy oh boy it was so satisfying to completely wipe the heck out of these missions. No joke, I was like completely on zen mode or something during my second playthrough, I keep getting S Ranks and it was so unbelievable to me. I never felt this kind of satisfaction in a game before, it's just so liberating to conquer past obstacles so easily. This is not exactly unique to this game, but I never felt this effect so profoundly. I don't even care usually for harder difficulty playthroughs. It's like the enemies' fear and my comrades' awe of the main character is actually warranted, it's so cool to finally feel like you deserve all of that.
I can gush about this game for hours, but I got some stuff to do, so I'll just condense all the smaller details that I love in the following bullet list.
I have no problem proclaiming that this is my favorite game of this year, and easily one of the best games of this console generation. I hope more games are to come from the AC series, and also I hope for the return of the flight combat genre's glory days. If this game is the start of it, it's one heck of a running start. Writing this whole thing just makes me want to play it again, which I will do right now.
Shoutout to @Bigdude1 , @Lotias , @Tearju-Engi , and @Gurrzilla for also giving this game points! Also, shoutout to Huber, Damiani, Blood and Ben for giving the game some love during the 2019 deliberations.
Game Informer's exclusive coverage of this game. I recommend at least watching the 131 rapid fire questions, it's very entertaining.
There's allies on Reddit, Resetera, Discord (the unofficial group). Although i love how "small" this forum feels (so cozy), new active members are definitely a good thing. We need forum shoutouts on the streams and shows or something like that.
This is one of the most entertaining and painful HoG session for me.
Kyle's presentation is both kinda convincing and super funny. Ben always showed great passion everytime he brings a game here but it's never been clearer than today. Damiani's presentation opening is a stroke of genius that got me hyped for a game I don't even like that much (I loved Kyle's rants too). Huber using his Huber Syndrome format for the presentation panders right to me, as a fan of his unrelentingly sincere positivity.
On the other hand, Ian's negative presentation is just... ugh. I hope the allies ban negative presentations like this in the future. It's not cool to just present games in a bad way just to get them banned. I hate this so much, and I haven't even played FF7. I hate it when Skyrim got similar treatment (although the presentation was genuinely good), and I hate this one even more. I get it, you don't like it as much as others do. Just pick another game. If you want to be quirky, look at Kyle, he did a great presentation. I know HoG is not like a super serious thing, this just set me off really bad.
I kinda miss the confessional style picks but also enjoy the new method of revealing the winner more. That three way tie though, wow. I hope you patrons dont stress over that poll too much. I wish I'm a patron right now.
Holy shit KS got in! Clutch @Exist-2-Inspire with that full 5 points.
To put it simply, It's a visual novel dating sim game set in a school for disabled people. There's 5 characters to date, which basically means the game can go in 5 different main routes (and 1 extra one if you're a dumdum). Each route are handled so differently in tone, moral, and writing style. One of the routes is quite depressing and surreal, while one of the other ones goes for a cliche romantic movie feel (and it's my favorite one). There's not one that I disliked. I think I shed at least a tear during each of them.
The biggest strength of this game for me is that those 5 characters are actually well written and memorable. They all have their own virtues, struggles, secrets. It's hard not to get invested in learning more about them in their respective routes, and care for them more as it goes. There's some cool supporting characters too, like your comic relief paranoid neighbor, or the shy but wise librarian. It's a fantastic cast overall.
I also like to give a shoutout to the music. Lots of great tunes here. The main menu theme (Wiosna) still makes me cry a bit to this day. The song itself is beautiful, but that's not really the reason it impacted me. It's just that after ending each route, you'll go back to the main menu, and that subconsciously makes me associate the emotional feels of the endings with that song, and boy it can feel a bit too much for me at times when I'm listening to it. Anyway, here's one of my favorites:
Considering how this game is made and came out to be, it still surprises me that I got so much out of it. Who knew that a free game that I downloaded because of pure curiosity would open my eyes to so many things in life? It did a lot to my 14 year old brain.
Just finished Persona 5... man oh man what a ride this turned out to be. I'm completely floored by how marvelous this game is. The bold art style, the menacingly creative palaces, the adventurous bass-heavy music, and everything in between is executed to freakishly absurd degree of quality. I can't believe a game can keep me engaged through 86 hours, but this game just did, effortlessly. I did really enjoy Persona 3 (haven't played 4 yet) but i find anything Tartarus related in that game to be quite a frustrating monotony, and that was a considerable part of the game. There's nothing in Persona 5 that made me bored, or mad because it's lack of quality. I can't say anything bad about this game.
The Phantom Thieves' changed my heart, for the better. (10/10)
I'm REALLY excited for Ghosts of Tsushima in particular, i have been a big fan of Sucker Punch and i can't believe that they're making a game like that. Hoping for a deep dive similiar to Horizon Zero Dawn in past E3s.
I'm also interested to see how Sony sets up their conference this time. Last year's E3 got some heat because of how it separates the PSVR section from the rest, making it clearly boring for viewers. Maybe this time they mixed it up and show games accordingly to their genre, for example: showing a shooter VR game after the obligatory COD presentation.
I'm not sure who will get to show From Software's game; Sony or Microsoft? There's also a rumor that Devil May Cry 5 will be shown at Sony's conference, that would be awesome.
The main deets about the console:
I have a lot to learn from my run this year. First thing first: extensive research so I don't pick another Left Alive, lol.
Since there no thread about Esports yet, how about we start one? If y'all are interested, this is basically a thread for general discussion about all Esports, whether it's CS:GO, LoL, Rocket League, Tekken 7 or everything else. It's free for all here. Post schedules about upcoming events! Discuss the latest news about the Esports titles you're following! Share clips of great plays! What I'm trying to say is, go crazy! Of course, it would help if you explain the context of your posts just a bit.
I'm mostly focused on following CS:GO, so I'm probably gonna post a lot about that. Of course, fighting games are always fun to watch too. Also, I've been trying to get into understanding LoL and Dota 2 recently.
Ah, Sekiro. I only played it for 5 hours and I loved how satisfying the combat and stealth feels, plus the verticality of the level design. It's so fun to zip around and strike enemies from far above. But... it was not enough to overcome my tiredness of playing Souls games. I know that it's quite different from those, but my mind can't help but think they're alike, and honestly I'm very sad about this. I would have loved to play the game more, but I just feel so bored and disinterested after the initial rush of adrenaline.
Thanks to the RE2 demo, I have tasted how well the game controls, and it's very sublime. Gunplay feels very strong too, thanks to the superb feedback when the zombies get shot. Unfortunately I'm not exactly a horror fanatic, so I skipped the main game and opted to watch Huber and Kyle's playthrough instead, which is very fun to watch. If I played only like 2-3 games this year and needed more games to put in to my vote for this Top 25, I would certainly vote for this game, despite never playing the main game.
As for my actual picks, they are:
I'm not surprised to see Concrete Genie nowhere in the list. I think it's a superb and wholesome small title that tugged my heartstrings harder than I would expect. I'm very glad that I played it early enough to be able to vote for it.
There's actually a small regret that I feel right now, because I didn't vote for what is probably my favorite fighting game ever: Samurai Shodown. I love it to death, the mechanics of the game is superb and every match is so goddamn intense. I still can't ignore how lacking the singleplayer content is, and the fact that the multiplayer still feels lackluster compared to other multiplayer games, despite the netcode improvements.
I also want to shout out River City Girls. I haven't played beat em ups in a while, but I was hooked with this game for a while. I love the art style and vibes of the game, it's super charming. The combat feels great as well, it's not too easy or too hard and punching enemies is fun as heck. Haven't finished it though.
Thank you @Axel for managing this whole thing, and to everyone else that participated!