Hey, everyone! So, to let everybody get to know us a little better I am going to begin doing these posts where I ask everyone on That VideoGame Blog’s staff a simple question. Everyone who gets their response into me will be posted below word-for-word what they think. Every entry will be in order of who responds to me first.
Also, to make it easier to keep up on and work better with everyone’s schedule, we will be doing this once a month and I will aim for around the middle of each month.
Finally, if any games mentioned have a review or relevant news post on That VideoGame Blog I will be sure to include a link for you all to check them out. Check out our responses and be sure to comment with your own below!
With all of that out of the way, this month’s question is…
What is your favorite game of the first half of 2017?
Brad Meister, Author
Horizon: Zero Dawn brought us a unique experience that we have been craving, even if we didn’t know it. Add that to the smooth gameplay and the tremendous aesthetics and you have an easy answer from me for what is the best game of 2017 so far.
Alyssa Vaughn, Author
Definitely Little Nightmares for me! I’m a sucker for aesthetic to begin with and Little Nightmares has ALL THE AESTHETIC; I love the character designs, how the environment of The Maw becomes its own character, most of all I love how creepy and surreal it all is. I spent the whole time with this eerie feeling that I had seen all these things before in a terrible dream. On top of all that, they’ve got this complex story that they’re only giving bits and scraps of along the way; if they’re looking to hook people into buying the DLC and the tie-in comic series… well, it worked on me!
Garrett Mefford’s review for Little Nightmares is here.
Alex Southgate, Author
On the basis of pure addictive re-playability, I think my favorite game so far this year has to be Darknet. “He’s gone for a VR game and not a AAA title!” I hear you say. There’s two reasons for this. The first is that I probably play more indie games than anything, but PSVR is actually proving to be something completely worth watching and I’m now almost certain won’t be a fad. As a little self-plug you can also read the review I did on this one for this very blog if you’re interested in learning more.
That review is here.
Garrett Mefford, Author
My favorite game for the first half of 2017 would have to be Yakuza 0. I’ve been a longtime fan of the series and Yakuza 0 pushes the limits even further than what has come before it in the franchise. The cinematic moments are incredible, the side stories are more ridiculous than ever, and it has easily the smoothest controls of the series. If you’ve never experienced the Yakuza series before, I highly suggest you jump on it now because this series is amazing.
Garrett’s review of Yakuza 0 is here.
Cody Shults, Editor
Breath of the Wild may not be my favorite Zelda game of all time, but it is still a blast to play. This heartbreaking tale of Hyrule is both tragic and beautiful, and the surprises awaiting players with every turn is enough to keep you sucked in for many hours. Besides being an incredible game, the portability of Zelda has been what is most surprising. It’s crazy to know that I can pick this game up and play wherever, whenever, and the format works. It takes nothing away from how great this game is, and being able to digest small bits at a time has kept me engaged and always feeling like I am still making progress.
Jake Sapir and Bronson Earl have a team up review of Breath of the Wild here.
Griffyn Pilcher, Author
My favorite game of this year to this point has to be Divinity: Original Sin 2, a game which I just recently wrote an editorial on how exceptional it is. It is a gorgeous and well made RPG that tells an interesting story that provides more than enough incentive to stay up an extra hour to finish… let’s be honest, you’re gonna try to finish the whole thing and pass out at 4:00 am in front of your monitor. Music, visuals, and gameplay all show the absolute best of what PC gaming has to offer. At the risk of pontification, the offerings for PC have been entirely lackluster in games relevant to my interests. It’s a bummer, but at least we got an incredible star out of it.
You can find his editorial right here.
John Hansen, Author
My favorite game of the year so far has to be The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Never before has such a wide open world caught my interest like this one did. It wasn’t just that the gameplay, the story, and every piece of content in this game is fun, it is also put together with so much thought put into it. It seems every objective has a different way you can go about it. You can talk to anyone and they can tell you how their story of how they played the game differs from yours. The same exact game can be played so many different ways and generate a different experience every time and I think that is something special when a single player game can capture that kind of magic.
You can see my video review of Breath of the Wild’s first DLC on our Youtube channel here. (Also, PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!)
Derek Bartnett, Senior Author
Injustice 2. I was going to pick Horizon: Zero Dawn here because it’s also a top Game of the Year contender for me. However, a top characteristic of a GOTY is that it sticks with you well after you finished it, and as good as Horizon was I’m just not thinking about it anymore or have felt the need to go back and finish the open world. Now for my actual pick, Injustice 2. I just don’t know how NetherRealms Studios keep upping the ante for the fighting game genre. Injustice 2 has everything: great story campaign, great multiplayer modes, and a multiverse system (think MK towers) that keeps me coming back every week. It sets the new standard for what fighting games should be and for that reason it is my top game of 2017 (so far).
Albert Eres, Senior Author
My favorite game for the first half of 2017 would be Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. I’m such a Final Fantasy series nerd, but for some reason I skipped out on this iteration, so I am very excited that it has been remade for the PS4 with updated graphics and the gameplay from the international version (with the job system) added. The job system gives a little homage to earlier Final Fantasy games, and since this iteration is somewhat related to Final Fantasy Tactics, it just made sense. Very excited to play it, and knowing the fact that you can speed up the game gives me some peace, since I heard some people play this game for more than 500+ hours to complete.
Brian Corliss, Author
Unquestionably, my favorite game of 2017 so far has been Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In the mad dash to find a Switch during the first months of release, the only thing to curb my anxiety was gritting my teeth and purchasing both versions of the game. I tucked away the Switch cart, and dusted off my Wii U to journey through a fresh Hyrule once again. Zelda is my favorite series bar-none, and in the lead up to BotW‘s release, I had run through the entire series once again. Ingrained in the go to dungeon, get item, kill boss, formula, waking up in a disheveled Kingdom and being given the keys to the entire game a few minutes in tore down the concepts of what a Zelda game is–hell, the idea of a Nintendo game. The systems, the art design, the wanderlust, everything about Breath of the Wild far exceeded any expectations. With over 150 hours (between the Wii U and Switch version), I am still finding shrines, finding Koroks, and refusing to fight Ganon; there has not been a game where getting nothing done has enthralled me so much. Breath of the Wild is a tour-de-force, in vein with The Last of Us as a once-in-a-while masterpiece that diffuses itself through being a great game, an entertaining experience, and a true work of love and art.
Bronsen Earl, Senior Author
As much as I want to say The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it was actually a smaller experience that became my favorite game. Kamiko, an 8-bit game for the Nintendo Switch, is a Hack & Slash Action game in the style of Zelda on the NES. You spend your time cutting a path through enemies as you solve puzzles in order to get to the boss of each level. The game offers three different main characters, with three different fighting styles, in order to add a level of replayability. It was a great experience that may be light on story but it packs the fun. And, at only $4.99, it’s a must own Switch title.
Monique Sheldrake, Senior Author
I don’t think it would surprise anyone if I said my favourite game from the first half of 2017 was Persona 5. A lot of that is absolutely due to being so aggressively hyped for the game’s release, but once I actually had P5 it became so much more than that. Everything about that game’s interface, whether it be scrolling through your general menu, the world map, your smartphone, and especially the battle menu was just delicious, for both gameplay and design reasons. Persona 5 was one of the first games where I found grinding or even just general random encounters to be properly enjoyable. The battle system, with each of its basic commands mapped to a single button (trigger buttons, triangle, circle, etc.), made for such a quick ride through battles that it made me feel like I was personally dealing out an ass-whooping. The only downside to this miraculous battle system is that it cut short the wonderful main battle theme that is Last Surprise. While I’m on that subject – the acid jazz genre employed in all of P5‘s soundtrack was truly gorgeous, and the fan favourite boss battle theme, Rivers in the Desert, was on repeat on my phone and in my head (and my fucking heart, dammit) for months after I had finished the game. A friend has only recently picked up the game and any minute bit of conversation about the game makes me enraptured with it all over again. The second half of 2017 would have to be astonishingly impressive to take the year’s sexiest, most enjoyable game, Persona 5, from my personal top spot.
…YOU’LL NEVER SEE IT COMIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING
Monique’s review of Persona 5 is here.
Tabitha Baker, Author
Fave game of 2017 so far HAS to be Horizon: Zero Dawn. I’ve put far more hours into it than I’d care to admit and have been thoroughly invested in the storyline and game world throughout. It’s a rare game experience where everything it throws at you is interesting and entertaining – from finding ancient mugs in ruins of streets to coming across a nugget of story in the desert! I love Aloy as a character and the level of detail put into her animation, reactions to the world around her, and the world design itself is astounding. Plus, with combat gameplay that’s both intuitive and refreshingly creative you really can’t go wrong. This is how open worlds should run, and with a bit of luck Guerrilla have set a precedent many other open world developers will engage with in aspects of their own projects.
Ryan Wagoner, Author
The game that has stuck with me so far in 2017 is Horizon: Zero Dawn
. I was able to avoid the deluge of spoilers and hype by the time I picked it up, so the only detail I knew was that it’s a game about robot dinosaurs.
What I dived into was an immersive, absolutely gorgeous world packed with interesting details and experiences. I was more excited to see how Aloy’s story would unfold with each passing moment of gameplay. As someone who can easily get tired of the open-world format, Horizon hooked me in from the first hour.
Arthur Damian, Executive Editor
My favorite game of 2017 so far is Resident Evil 7. After becoming extremely disinterested in the series after 6, which is clunky and way too actioney IMO, 7 felt like the perfect return to the series’ roots. I was actually tense playing through the game and loved the return of RE staples like item boxes, limited ammo, and quirky puzzles. I also adored the Baker Estate because it is basically a recreation of the Spencer Mansion, with its doors that unlock with the use of special keys and its various shortcuts that connect the whole place together. The Molded enemies are a terrifying design to boot, though I do wish there was more variation with them, or even just different enemies to fight. Viewing different parts of the estate through video tapes is also one of my favorite methods of storytelling that Capcom added to Resident Evil, because they let you view the terror of what was going on with the Bakers through various different characters and time frames. Resident Evil 7 restored my faith in Capcom with regards to how they are treating the RE franchise. I feel like they are putting a lot more time and care into the franchise, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next for one of my favorite survival horror series.
Arthur’s review of Resident Evil 7 can be found here.
That is all I have this month for you. Be sure to let all of us at That VideoGame Blog know what is your favorite game of 2017 so far by either commenting below or you can visit our Facebook or Twitter. Until next month, good gaming!