CG's Annual 2021 Best and Worst of the Year!

CriticalGaming

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Welp it looks to be about that time again my friends. The holiday end of the year wrap up in which we all get together to lavish praise and spit hate upon video games that particularlly made us take notice for the year. A completely pointless post that holds no meaning other than having a small circle discussion because nobody important will read anything we say, much less actually give a shit about it. Nick might see it, but he wont care either so....moving on!

THE BEST OF THE BEST:

So 2021 in general was a pretty lackluster year, with most hyped big profile games getting delayed until early 2022, that left not a whole hell of a lot for the 2021 release window. Hard to blame the industry as a whole of this considering the whole working-from-home thing seriously interupted work flow and the ability to molest fellow co-workers with little to no consequence. Aparrently developers just work better after a daily non-consentual titty grab. Maybe we should all pitch in and buy development studios those anime mouse pads with fluffy boobies on them as a safe subsititute.

1. Persona 5 Strikers - This game actually led the year pretty strong all things considered. A Dynasty Warriors type game that managed to fuse together turn based JRPG elements with the satisfying feeling of mowing down hoards of crappy enemies, all told with a delightful sequel to the fantastic Persona 5. You know it's hard to make a follow up game to a lengthy 100 hour game and not have the character wear thin or act in unexpected ways. But Persona 5 Strikers managed to keep the Persona 5 cast intact while making the adventure with them feel fun and new. And I didn't hate any of the characters by the end of it which is a feat considering the last JRPG sequel I played with Final Fantasy 13-2 which made me want to murder every character in that game.

2. Resident Evil Village - I mean Resident Evil 4 was good and this game is basically like Capcom just copied a friend's homework and changed it just enough to be called plagerism. RE8 is good in the same way that RE4 was good. It was campy, intense when it neded to be, and doesn't outstay it's welcome. But above all else i think RE8 yields itself to be one of the most replayable RE games all told, with the currency system borrowed from the RE3 remake that let you save up to buy weapons that absolutely break the game in the most fun ways possible. And it has a 9foot tall lady to stomp on your balls, if you're into that sort of thing.

3. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart - I've only played one Ratchet and Clank game prior to this and that was the PS4 "reboot" that was supposed to tie into a movie that apparently released in theaters. I didn't like that game very much. But this new Ratchet and Clank game I really had fun with it. Maybe because it visually looked absolute mind bogglingly good and I'm a sucker for shiny things. But the gameplay concepts of tearing through reality I found made combat and traversing levels to be really fun. Puzzles and challenges all felt balanced and exciting, plus the variety of weapons and upgrades available gives plenty of options that never feel like there is a "right" weapon for any situation.

4. Kena: Bridge of Spirits - I don't have a whole lot to say about this one other than it was an adorable and beautiful Zelda-like game with fluffy little minions that were a joy to watch at every turn. Combat was solid, if not overly complex, some of the puzzles made by brain hurt but that's what Google is for, and the whole game is simply goregous. Not bad for a first game.

5. Metroid Dread - I've never gotten into the Metroid series as a whole and now that I think about it, I can't remember playing any Castlevania games either. But this game proves that the Metroidvania formula is actually really good. I now see what everyone had been banging on about all these years and it's good that it comes in a year that was so slow because otherwise i would have ignored it again by it being on the Nintendo Switch. I virtually never touch my Switch ever for any reason outside of new Pokemon games, but because there was so little this year I gave this a shot and, yeah it's good. I can't compare it to other Metroid games obviously, but I fould Dread a better game than both Bloodstained Ritual of the Night AND Ori and the Blind Forrest which both try to ape the established formula.

GOTY: Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade - Yeah yeah fuck you I dont care. FF7R got a PS5 upgrade with an entire two chapter story DLC that added another 4 hours to the game. With better textures, better frame rate, this rerelease made replaying FF7 again even more fun that last year. And since nothing this year blew my balls off, I'm giving my GOTY to FF7 again, so bite me.

Honerable Mention: Final Fantasy 14 for basically being my replacement for WoW and being a far better game in literally every single possible way. Too bad Endwalker didn't release in time to make this list officially.

THE WORST OF THE WORST:

Oh boy time to talk about the shit heap of 2021 because this year hasn't been bad enough already.

1. Balan Wonderland - I don't even know what the fuck this was supposed to be. What I thought would be a mascot platformer like Crash or Spyro or even Mario, was instead a pile of dogshit with designs that make no fucking sense. Costumes grant you a single power, and some levels have secrets that require specific powers from other levels but if you take a hit you lose that costume and power so you have to go to another level to re-get that required power then double back to try again on the level you want it on andAAAAARRRHHGGGHSHSHSH!!! Fuck this game, it's stupid.

2. Outriders - This is what happens when you copy someone's homework but accidently write all the answers upside-down and thus getting everything remarkably wrong. Outriders is a looter shooter that is trying to follow in the footsteps of Boarderlands and Destiny....also Anthem.....mostly Anthem. It's got broken loot, bad shooting, and stupid uninteresting gun ideas in the first place.

3. Returnal - What a game concept and something we haven't gotten in anyway that I can specifically remember. Returnal is a rogue-like, a genre of game that typically hails from the indie regions of our industry, brought forth and given the AAA treatment. Sadly the typical AAA-treatment is to take a good concept and completely misunderstand how it works and thus fuck it up as much as possible. Returnal is a Rogue-like/bullethell that does both those genres wrong. There is very little persistancy between runs and no build up system, which means entire runs are completely pointless if you don't beat the entire game in one-go as there is no currency or anything to buy that gradually gives your character more and more of an edge each time allowing you to get a little further with every repeating run. The entire game is so heavily RNG based that you are either overpowered and breeze through the game, or your buttfucked and I am saving my buttfucking for Marriage thank you very much.

4. Deathloop - Why the fuck do people think Arkane games are so good? Every game I've played is horribly balanced, filled with arbiturary systems, and pretty poor exploration. Yet these are supposed to be emirsive sims? Deathloop is an interesting concept, like most Arkane games, and is frankly held back by the gameplay. The AI is inconsistant either being capable of sniping you from across the map before you even have a chance, or being so stupid you'd wonder if they are just standing there sucking on a battery. The map layout is very limited and the overall world of Deathloop feels like it had a very indie budget. There are only like 4 areas and they aren't very big because the ultimate goal is to be able to zip through every map in a swift "loop" killing all the leaders and freeing yoruself from the cycle. Except it all really just sucks, it's buggy, it's got sloppy gameplay, and surprise surprise it's from Bethesda. I shouldn't really be surprised anymore.
 
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Dalisclock

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5. Metroid Dread - I've never gotten into the Metroid series as a whole and now that I think about it, I can't remember playing any Castlevania games either. But this game proves that the Metroidvania formula is actually really good. I now see what everyone had been banging on about all these years and it's good that it comes in a year that was so slow because otherwise i would have ignored it again by it being on the Nintendo Switch.
I'm kinda shocked you didn't see why people like Metroidvanias considering you're quite openly into Soulsborne games, which are very much 3D Metroidvanias. Hell, it's been convincingly argued that Souls games are 3D Castlevania games done right(We're not going to talk about Lords of Shadow).
 

Hawki

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Yeah yeah fuck you I dont care.
Well that's not very nice. :{

Anyway, don't have the time or inclination to do a long list, but if I'm making a list of the best and worst games I've played this year (not those that came out this year - usually I'm far behind on this), I guess I can nominate the following:

FIVE BEST

5: Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods (part 1)
4: Metroid Dread
3: Spyro: Year of the Dragon
2: Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
1: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back

FIVE WORST

5: Star Trek: Online
4: Battleborn
3: Gears POP
2: Sonic Forces: Speed Battle
1: Team Fortress 2

GOTY

Metroid: Samus Returns

AND THE REST

Gears 5: Hivebusters
Crash Bandicoot
Spyro the Dragon
Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage
Phantasy Star
Sonic Lost World
Overwatch
World of Warcraft
Sonic Unleashed
Castlevania
Command and Conquer: Rivals
Resident Evil 6
 
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BrawlMan

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I don't have a worst list as I don't bother with shit anymore (rarely ever did when given the choice), so it is nothing, but greats or what I consider my GOTY.

  1. No More Heroes III - GOTY
  2. Crysis Trilogy Remastered - With Crysis 3 being the the best.
  3. Super Monkey Ball Mania
  4. Cruis'n Blast
  5. Panzer Dragoon Remake
 
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Bob_McMillan

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Man, I'd forgotten that majority of those games even came out this year. I can't believe the year is almost over, I played absolutely no video games -_- Maybe if I can get Fallen Order or Ghost of Tsushima on sale I'll be able to get some gaming in during the holidays.
4. Deathloop - Why the fuck do people think Arkane games are so good?
In Dishonored, the art style felt deliberate. With Deathloop, it just looks cheap.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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Man, I'd forgotten that majority of those games even came out this year. I can't believe the year is almost over, I played absolutely no video games -_- Maybe if I can get Fallen Order or Ghost of Tsushima on sale I'll be able to get some gaming in during the holidays.

In Dishonored, the art style felt deliberate. With Deathloop, it just looks cheap.
One could say even the Dishonored games felt deliberately cheap though too.
 

CriticalGaming

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One could say even the Dishonored games felt deliberately cheap though too.
I think the difference is that Deathloop feels like a game that any AAA studio could fart out in 6 months. And something that you would see from an indie developer tbh.

It is short, buggy, and repetitive to an unfun degree that feels like someones passion project.

But the thing is, we heard about Deathloop FOREVER. game awards, several sony state of plays, even right up until release they were marketing the shit out of this game. Probably hoping to get hype sales before in feel off i to obscurity.

If this was any other year Deathloop would be ignored by the game awards and is only there because there arent a lot of options this year.
 
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