2020 Quarterlies! Vote for Qt3's Best Game of 2020: "Ok, let's get down to it, boppers!"

  1. Phasmophobia - Generally I stay away from multi-player games with an occasional exception for co-op. Phasmo has become my default “hang out with friends and family” game in the last few months of 2020 and I really believe it has helped with my pandemic-fatigue. Virtually hanging out with my sister and a good friend of mine several times a week and hunting ghosts has been a great experience. The game itself keeps itself interesting, is still adding more maps, and is astonishingly developed by a single person. I look forward to this game continuing to grow and add more content.
  2. Microsoft Flight Simulator - I grew up flying in small aircraft frequently as my dad was a pilot. He passed away 5 years ago and Flight Simulator has really been a great experience of both nostalgia and has inspired me to take real Flight school lessons when COVID is over and kind of follow in my dad’s footsteps. The game also convinced me to spend way too much on a Honeycomb yoke & throttle panel. Haven’t tried out VR yet, but am excited to do so.
  3. Hades - Only started playing in earnest lately, but really enjoying my time with it on Switch. Cross play since I picked it up on EGS originally is a plus.
  4. Astro’s Playroom - What a pure joy to play. I expected this to be a neat looking tech demo of the PS5, but it’s that and more. Platforming is extremely well done and I hope they release more games in this series. Still trying to collect all of the trophies.
  5. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout - Similar to Phasmo, this has been a great spur of the moment play with friends especially in a pandemic year. Great gameplay and they keep mixing it up with more levels and remixes of existing levels.

Honorable mentions:

  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps - I loved the first Ori game and am really enjoying this as well. I haven’t finished yet, but it is an improvement of the first Ori in just about every way.
  • Ghosts of Tsushima - This would probably be in my top 3 but I’ve only just started.
  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla - Ditto. Not real far yet, but liking it a lot. Glad they reintroduced some AC meta lore back in to the story.
  • Cyberpunk 2077 - I really am enjoying my time with this game, but I can’t in good conscience put it in a top 5 until they work out more of the issues.

Games I thought for sure would be on my list but aren’t:
Spelunky 2 - I have a love/hate relationship with this game. I’m glad it’s Spelunky and has more stuff, I hate that it was designed almost exclusively for top tier players. I’m good at Spelunky HD, but I was never someone who could do a speed run or a no gold run. Spelunky 2 is just frustrating enough that I don’t want to keep playing it much beyond the daily run.

Oh man you’re going to love it. Flight Simulator is the perfect use case for VR. It’s seated, so no difficulty with play space and movement. You have (usually) a cockpit around you that’s static, which helps a lot with the VR sickness. Unless you want to, it moves pretty calmly too.

Only downside is that there’s no computer powerful enough to make it as pretty as 2D.

My only worry with my shiny new throttle quadrant is it’ll be hard to use (and no benefit from the indicator lights) when using VR.

It’ll be fine. You’ll feel your way around it and you have indicators in the pit

Well I haven’t played many 2020 games. I think the only games I’ve played extensively enough and liked enough to rate are:

  1. Microsoft Flight Simulator which is truly a phenomenal technical achievement, and which I particularly enjoyed as it let me feel like I was going places, even though we were stuck at home.

  2. Train Sim World 2 I played Train Sim World 2020 care of Game Pass and liked it so much I got the updated Train Sim World 2 and a bunch of add on routes. Like MSFS it was a great game to play while in lockdown, as it gave a sense of visiting new places (or old places I’d been years before) while staying locked down at home.

  3. Cyberpunk 2077 I’m playing on the Xbox Series X, and I’ve only experienced one crash in 50+ hours of play and very few graphic glitches. So I count myself pretty lucky. It’s a shame it was released in such poor condition on the base consoles, but the city is amazing and they did a great job creating a believable world with believable characters in it.

It was very difficult ordering the first three, while the fourth was locked in.

  1. Hades
    Not much more to be said on this but I’ve spent a long time wondering where to place this! While it’s a damn near perfect game, a personal issue later on was me being ahead of Zagreus’ understanding of what was going on so it took a good four full runs for him to ‘catch up’ and actually progress the plot, which was pretty damn tedious. Zag man, I love you, but come on.

  2. Doom Eternal
    One of my favourite things about Doom (2016) was the Doomguy’s utter indifference to the particulars of the plot. The early interactions with Samuel Hayden were hilarious and exactly what this gamer wanted from Doom. I didn’t play Doom for the story and, to id’s credit, I got to inhabitat a virtual rage golem who didn’t much care for it either. Doom (2016) could only fend the story off for so long before hell’s gates breached and Doomguy had to play along. Doom Eternal, however, takes the gates down entirely and replaces it with a chute, lobbing story, lore and even third-person cutscenes at you. There’s the odd flash of irreverence from Doomguy but, for the most part, he gets on the chute. Welcome to the Doom Cinematic Universe. So while the whole thing seems to be leaning much harder into the Doom mythos, it’s also bigger, louder, faster and sillier. I knew the game meant business when you start with the shotgun. Pffftstol. Eternal is also bloated with progression systems, currencies, collectibles, unlocks and always-on online profile cosmetic bollocks. Doomguy even has his own mancave. (The toys are very cute though.) It’s surprising then that this is still one of my favourite games of the year by the sheer strength of the moment-to-moment play. The tightened core gameplay loop is just such a thrill and coupled with the more diverse environments and enemies, the beefier weapons and a similarly rock solid soundtrack, I just couldn’t help but fall in love with it.

  3. Wide Ocean Big Jacket
    I knew next to nothing going into this but it was so… real and down to earth. And despite how short it is, it’s got such vividly drawn characters and numerous memorable moments too. More like this, please.

  4. Atomicrops
    On the surface Atomicrops looks like a frantic twin-stick shooter and friendly farming sim, but if you dig a little deeper you’ll realise that it’s more of a breakneck RTS roguelike where you’re balancing economy with firepower. It’s tough but rewarding with one of the best intros/trailers and soundtracks of the year and I dare say no other game had such mighty puns either. Parsniper rifle? Pea shooter? Gourds that block bullets? Selling your crops for cashews?

  5. Phoenix Point
    Given how long this has entertained me for so late on in the year, and how it addressed most of my issues with Firaxis’ XCOM, I think Phoenix Point has to go here. The more deterministic free-aiming, the VATS-like limb and weapon disabling, the action and will points systems, hybrid classes, overwatch cones, faction raiding and trading, mutating terrors from the deep and a more simulated, crunchier, weirder and harder science fiction post-apoc world all made this a lot more appealing to me. I’ve not finished it yet, and I wonder how much longer there is to go, but it’s been a really pleasant surprise for me.

  • Creaks
    I think this could be my favourite Amanita game. It’s a more traditional and rules-based puzzler, so gone is the exploratory pointing and clicking of pretty much everything else they’ve done before. It looks and sounds beautiful, as expected, but the puzzling was clever, elegant and satisfying too.

  • In Other Waters
    Beautifully presented and evocative underwater xenobiology game where you explore and uncover the mysteries of an alien planet. One of my favourite stories of the year.

  • Tenderfoot Tactics
    Relatively unknown, weird and wonderful minimalist open world exploration and elemental turn-based tactics. Thread with more impressions here, but I loved it.

  • Risk of Rain 2
    Played a lot in Early Access but this is one of the best translations from a 2D to 3D game. Great with friends too.

  • Tanknarok
    One of my favourite pick-up-and-play arena combat games that even features online multiplayer. Super slick, solid and snappy. Looks, sounds and feels great.

  • Journey to the Savage Planet
    The closest I’ve come to a new Metroid Prime but a lot less serious with a wacky and irreverent sense of humour. Funny comfort food.

  • Townscaper
    The chillest builder, by one of the developers behind the excellent Bad North.

  • Huntdown
    A very slick and stylish retro 2D run-and-gun game. Great fun co-op and home to one of the funniest bosses I’ve encountered.

I read this in Dionysus’s voice.

Hahah, perfect. I love Dionysus. The characters are great. Meg’s voice is just incredible and I could listen to her all day.

Tooooo much vocal fryyyyyy for me, but I got kind of used to it.

I am so happy that I’m completely immune to vocal fry, you guys always seem so bothered by it. I don’t even hear it.

YAY!

Oh man, I never saw that trailer. It’s amazing. I also never saw the tagline “Farm. Marry. Kill.” Very clever. I’m afraid that my love of cozy farming games will clash with the intensity this game gives off, so I just don’t know if I’ll like it, but it looks like a heck of a game anyway!

I’ve refunded AAA games because of it. I refuse to reward companies for hiring hack losers that speak this way,

I would also eagerly refund games if they frequently featured sounds of:

Chewing, crunching, slurping, cracking, pouring carbonated drinks from a bottle’s and cans, clicking, typing, snapping/popping gum, and oh my god so much more.

Vocal fry sits right up there with the worst offenders.

You do you I’m certainly not going to tell you that it’s no big deal or whatever, I’m just glad so I don’t lose out on some awesome experiences and voices.

I can’t tell if you’re joking or exaggerating with “hack losers”? I mean, some people just… talk this way? I’m sure many actors can emphasize it or diminish it, but you seem to be saying it’s bad acting or bad casting?

No they don’t. Genuine Today’s popular vocal fry fad is 100% an affectation.

Huh, well today I learnt what vocal fry is!

Cheers mate.

Meg’s actor definitely has a little fry going on in her voice, but for the game she cranked it up to fuckin’ 12.

The only person I’ve wanted to hear who I’ve been nearly unable to listen to due to vocal properties is chef John. He ends every part of every sentence like he’s asking a question. I can see how something could drive you nuts, it’s just funny when you can’t even hear it to listen to people going nuts. Like incredibly high pitched noises with my kids.

By her telling, it’s more about stripping away the “sing-songy” bits of her natural voice. You can call it an “affectation” (I might just call it “acting”) but it fits the tone of the role. I don’t blame anyone who just doesn’t like the sound of it–seems like it’s similar to abhoring the crunching of snow or eating of a popsicle–I just have a mild objection to saying it’s bad acting or bad casting.

The first time I heard it I was like, “is this lady coming on to me?” Or Zagreus, I mean. People don’t usually get that breathy unless they’re turned on. But I guess she does carry a whip around everywhere…