2021 Quarterlies! Vote for Qt3’s Best Game of 2021: “All these worlds are yours. Except Europa. Attempt no landing there.”

This is how I worded it when I voted for it.

  1. Returnal
  2. Pawnbarian
  3. Death’s door
  4. Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

My number one pick is way ahead of the others.

We now have three different spellings for Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous.

Wrathfinger: Path of the Rightaeious

Impending industry consolidation: Warhammer d20,000: Pathfinder Secession - Wrath of the Writers.

Yeah, I wouldn’t worry about this at all.

Well, maybe he would!

I don’t see how someone who didn’t play the original version could care.

The changes are minor / insignificant with all the hub-bub over a minor character you talk to only once or twice. I actually think the changes for Cuno are an improvement.

Well I mentioned more than that. I don’t like the narrator/skill voice. It’s slow and uninflected. Disabling it, however, disables a couple of really great voices, too. Anyone who plays the current version could care about that, and Left can make his own determination about whether he does.

  1. Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous
  2. Lost Judgement
  3. Ys IX: Monstrum Nox
  4. The Forgotten City
  5. Boyfriend Dungeon

Thanks for the help @Left_Empty and @geggis and @wavey!

List is updated on the second post with the current game list and voter list.

  1. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
  2. Midnight Protocol
  3. Old World
  4. Gloomhaven
  5. Trials of Fire

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
I’m a sucker for games with a likeable cast of characters, entertaining banter, exposing their insecurities. There were so many funny moments, some touching moments, and a good ‘we gotta save the universe vibe’ that it was joyous to play through the entire game. The biggest weakness was the too frequent, too lengthy combat. The combat itself was good, just too much of it.

Midnight Protocol
So glad Tom brought this one to light. He can obviously express what is so good about the game better than me. The missions are thematic and bite sized, so it’s easy to play as many or few as I wish - or play one, get up for 5 minutes, play another.

Old World
4Xs used to be my favorite genre, but have gotten kind of stale for me after the 1000s of hours I put into Civ IV. Sure I’ll still play some of them, but they usually let me down. Old World manages to introduce enough changes to make it feel fresh again. The orders system and the economic changes are the big ones for me. I feel the character based game play has grabbed too much of the attention - both discussion outside the game and the attention it demands within the game. I think the other systems are the stars - but I’m in the minority and that’s OK because it is still a great game. I really hope that Soren tackles an epic, history spanning 4X because I love that grand scope and I have a feeling he can being many of these ideas to a larger game and introduce more innovations.

Gloomhaven
The PC implementation is really good. This is probably more of an emotional vote since I didn’t play a ton of the PC version, but I loved the board game so much. I love how the game plays and the different classes. There is a lot of tension each turn, trying to make the best use of my cards and items. But, this is also a bit of a drawback - it can be a little fatiguing to play a mission, so I need to be very much in the mood. Otherwise it feels like stress.

Trials of Fire
The implementation of the tactical battles is just so good, the enemies varied and the environments good looking. I played this a ton a while ago and is a game I mean to go back to. The overland map aspect of the game isn’t up to par with the battles, but it is good enough to hang the battles on.

I feel like this year had a lot of very good games, but only a couple of great games. Here are some honorable mentions that I enjoyed a lot. In order from best to worst…
Tainted Grail: Conquest
Hitman 3
Forza Horizon 5
Solasta: Crown of the Magister
Death’s Door
Inscryption
I Expect You To Die 2
It Takes Two
Roguebook
Wildermyth
Mini Motorways
Urtuk: The Desolation
Imagine Earth
Psychonauts 2

  1. Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous
  2. Hitman 3
  3. It Takes Two
  4. Gunfire Reborn
  5. Monster Hunter Rise
  1. Valheim
  2. Drox Operative 2
  3. Caster of Magic for Windows
  4. Remnants of the Precursors

I forgot about this game!

Urtuk would not be pleased!

I have pending to play Resident Evil Village, from the AAA games of the past year. Interesting that only one person has voted it, when it was chosen on the Steam awards as game of the year, from what I remember.

I voted for RE8 because I am an RE4 nut, and it is the closest RE4 experience I got until the remake comes out.

  1. Eastward – Adorkable pixel art side-scrolling ARPG with Zelda mechanics and post-apocalyptic shonen anime vibes with incredible chiptune music, fabulous animations, and a surprisingly dark and sad storyline tracing along behind the cute blobs you control around the gorgeous maps. I never actually finished the last chapter or two, but will one of these days.

  2. Super Auto Pets – Mindless autobattler with cute animal emojis that syncs progress between the phone app and Steam version. This consumed the end of the year for me. There’s just enough strategy to the synergies between pets to keep it interesting, and the whole vibe is very cute and chill – Pets don’t die, they faint. They are called Friends, officially (e.g., “when another Friend is bought, do X” as an ability). My GF hates the breaking plates sound effect of upgrading a Friend to the next tier. The Youtubers that I watch play this are so bad. I hate myself for continuing to consume this content.

  3. Vampire Survivors – Technically still Early Access. Consumed really the start of 2022 but since when have I let that stop me? The Youtubers I watch play this are almost as bad as the SAP ones. Anyway, hello retro pixel art 2D side scrolling roguelike horror survival game, you are the most absurd bundle of gaming buzzwords imaginable but the continuous cascade of XP gems exploding out of your endless throngs of baddies are digitized dopamine and I can’t quit you.

  4. Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl – I didn’t actually play this, and I won’t, but I got it for my gf for Christmas and it was fun watching her play it and helping her find secrets and stuff as her own portable Google machine as she was focused on the game itself.

  5. Wanderhome – I also didn’t play this incredibly sad, gentle, and contemplative TTRPG about anthropomorphic animals working through their individual grief and tragedy by traveling to and fro across a pastel-shaded pastoral landscape trading tales and meals on the road with any they pass by, but listening to my friends who did play it describe their games was one of my favorite highlights of the year.

I also played one other 2021 release, Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, but I don’t actually like it very much. An ambitious and relatively sophisticated digital interpretation of my least-favorite tabletop RPG system. I streamed the opening section of the game on Twitch to a modest audience, including some Qt3ers, who put up with my rambling complaints.

I suspect that some combination of Boyfriend Dungeon, Disco Elysium - Final Cut, Inscryption, Mass Effect Legendary Edition, Tales of Arise, and Unpacking would all make the list over virtually any of the things I wrote down, but alas, didn’t actually play any of them yet.

Actual GOTYs for me would likely be Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Final Fantaxy X Remaster, and Tales of Vesperia, all on my Switch, but none of which are 2021 titles.

Honorable mention to my own TTRPG, Hopepunk: Cosmica, which is very much in Early Access and also bad, but version 2.0 coming this year might actually be worth sharing with y’all more broadly.

No! Bad Armando! :D