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Games of the Year 2017: Honourable Mentions

In 2017 I managed to play 13 games that were released. 5 of them were good, 4 of them were bad and the remaining 4 were somewhere in the middle. They did not manage to wow me but at the same time they did not have enough glaring defects for me to write them off as a game I would not recommend.

The following are those games of 2017 that I can really only give a 🤷🏻‍♂️ to. I'm sure some people love these games and others hate them. For me they fall right into that that neutral middle ground.

Destiny 2

I put over a hundred hours into Destiny 1 but the end game left me wanting so I honestly didn't think I would play Destiny 2. However the release on the PC made me take a chance and I am glad that I did.

The feeling of shooting in a Bungie video game is still absolutely top notch. I wish I could vocalize what it is about it but the gunplay is just so fluid that every time the crisp controls let you pop off that perfect headshot you just keep wanting more.

The story is improved over Destiny 1 and is much more fleshed out through actual gameplay. It still isn't great and is a fairly tropey video game story but it is nothing that I can harp too much about. Don't go in expecting much and you will probably be pleasantly surprised.

Also, sweet Jeebus this game is a stunningly beautiful. You can tell that dropping support for the PS3 and Xbox 360 just let the artists and animators go absolutely bonkers in Destiny 2. It is without a doubt one of the prettiest games that was released in 2017.

So reading all of this you may be asking yourself why isn't this on my list of good games for 2017 and the only reason I can give is that I basically forgot about Destiny 2. I put in about 15 hours, beat the story, tried a couple strikes and PvP and then put the game down and never picked it up again. Even after the first expansion, Curse of Osiris, was released I couldn't be bothered. I actually played the Monster Hunter: World beta instead of Curse of Osiris so that should give you an idea of how interested I was.

Destiny 2 is not a bad game by any stretch and I can easily see how some people would get hundreds of hours of entertainment from it. I don't regret the 15 hours that I put into it but I do regret paying full price. Knowing what I know now I would have probably just picked it up on sale, enjoyed Bungie's amazingly gunplay for a dozen hours or so and then put the game down.

Fortnite

As early as 2011, Fortnite was billed as Minecraft meets tower defense and seeing as how I am a person who loves both of those things I had to give this game a shot.

I played the game solo for about an hour before the mind numbing grind became completely obvious and made me regret picking up the game. Then three of my friends joined in and, like most video games, playing with other people instantly made it 10X funner. But very similar to Destiny 2, after a couple dozen hours we just put the game down and stopped playing. It was very organic. It wasn't like one person said they didn't want to play anymore. We just all stopped asking almost at the same time and never booted the game back up ever again.

Again, like Destiny 2, I can see how some people could get hundreds of hours of entertainment of this. Grinding in video games is nothing new and some people like the progression they see from it. For myself the grind was just too obvious and the payoff too small that I didn't want to continue.

I should mention all of this happened before Epic Games released their Battle Royale mode for Fortnite which seems to have done much better than the original game. It is quite amazing to see a company release a game they have been working on for over half a decade and then in the span of a few months pivot to something entirely different. Honestly, I am not even mad. Props to Epic for creating a foundation that allow them to experiment with their game like this.

Dauntless

Another early access game like Fortnite, Dauntless was billed as Monster Hunter for the PC since, at the time, there was no indication that Capcom was ever going to bring Monster Hunter to the PC. Then at E3 2017 Capcom blew everyone's socks off by announcing that not only was Monster Hunter: World coming back to the home consoles but they were also going to release it for PC. At that point I had regretted buying early access to Dauntless but figured I should at least give it a go and get my moneys worth.

You can see the influence of Monster Hunter on this game but everything feels like a knockoff version. Not a cheap knockoff but you can see how an inexperienced company is trying to mimic the feel of Monster Hunter and everything is off just enough that it feels weird. The weapons, the combos, the locomotion, the dodging, the crafting. It is all there but isn't as engaging as it is with Monster Hunter. The best comparison would probably be the Souls series. Dark Souls is the the king of the castle for these types of games. But that hasn't stopped copycats like Lords of the Fallen, Nioh and Code Vein from trying to replicate the magic but just not quite getting there.

Also because it is in early access I experienced quite a number of bugs. The game would routinely crash and the servers were not very stable. The game launcher changed numerous times which made loading the game a chore. Also the UI was incredibly rough and difficult to navigate. Since it is early access I tried to let these things slide but again when you compare this to Monster Hunter it just makes you want to give up on Dauntless and go play Monster Hunter instead.

Since Phoenix Labs is a small independent game developer it would be ludicrous to expect them to match Capcom with respect to content but unfortunately it is a comparison that is going to happen. I played the Monster Hunter World beta and felt that it was more engaging than Dauntless because of its weapon options and monster variety.

The one thing Phoenix Labs had going with Dauntless was that they said they were going to go into open beta before the end of 2017 which is essentially the release of a free-to-play game nowadays. Releasing this early could maybe pull some of the gamers who couldn't wait for the release of Monster Hunter: World on January 26, 2018. But then they delayed the open beta to sometime in 2018 and essentially lost the war before a battle was even fought.

I really was pulling for Phoenix Labs. I would love to see some competition for Monster Hunter but it looks like I am going to have to search elsewhere.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart 8 is the perennial example of 🤷🏻‍♂️. It is exactly like the original Mario Kart 8 on Wii U was. Still a lot of fun but since it was exactly the same as the original I got bored after a few hours since I had already put hundreds of hours into this game on the Wii U.

If you have never played Mario Kart 8 and own a Switch definitely by this. If you've played it before and aren't super stoked to unlock all of the carts again maybe wait for Mario Kart 9.

#GamesOfTheYear

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