I, alone, will likely never play enough games released in one year to do any sort of Game of the Year list. I’m spread pretty thin across a variety of generations. Nothing I have to say about 2017 is all encompassing.
However, I do have a mix of thoughts from throughout the year that might be nice to sort of bundle into a weird list thing.
From the outside, it can be difficult to tell when a series has gone off the rails and into rehash territory. For years Call of Duty was criticized for being the same game released every 12 months, but almost everyone has a beloved franchise that only an active player can see the minute differences in. This is especially true when new ideas get buried in familiar elements.
If there’s one thing that stands above anything else for me in a game, it’s if they achieve something unique. When focusing on the most recent releases, this is largely limited to looking at what has come before it. However, sometime later you can also start to take into account what comes after. I’d say it’s similar to the whole phrase “____ hasn’t aged well.” Yet instead of from perspective of how the ever moving bar leaves some titles behind, it’s more about about how the level of iteration dilutes the original.
Like many 3DS owners, I sat down with The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds over the holiday season. My first Zelda title was A Link to the Past on the Super Nintendo, but for some reason the two-dimensional, isometric gameplay never resonated with me. The fully 3D titles, from Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64 and beyond, have always impressed me with their larger sense of scale and more in-depth combat features.
So while A Link Between Worlds fails to light a spark of gaming love in my heart, it makes me excited for what the next console entry in the Zelda series may have to offer.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword! Sure it may not be terribly old but these days, but it’s definitely a backlog item if your copy is still sitting around and collecting dust. The title is one of the few releases to actually make full use of the Wii’s Motion + controller. While there’s definitely some good content here, the game’s pacing and length is a bit questionable.