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My Favourite Games of the 8th Generation: 7-6

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I'm writing a retrospective series about  the end of the 8th Generation  , which includes a Top Twenty Countdown of my favourite games. The Countdown  Rules. 20. Forza Horizon 4 19. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 18. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 17. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life 16. Mafia III 15. Undertale 14. What Remains of Edith Finch 13.  Ghost of Tsushima 12.  Assassin's Creed Odyssey 11. Death Stranding 10. Fire Emblem Awakening 9. Monster Hunter: World 8. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain 7. Red Dead Redemption 2 6. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End This 8G countdown is in large part a reflection of how games have faired in my head, how they've lingered on in my mind long since they went back on the shelf. This ability to stay with me is almost as important as my initial impressions.  Red Dead Redemption 2  (2018) is a supreme lingerer, a slow-burn in-game and out. The reason why it has retained head space, while several hundred other games are vying for attention, is t

My Favourite Games of the 8th Generation: 10-8

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I'm writing a retrospective series about  the end of the 8th Generation  , which includes a Top Twenty Countdown of my favourite games. The Countdown  Rules. 20. Forza Horizon 4 19. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 18. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 17. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life 16. Mafia III 15. Undertale 14. What Remains of Edith Finch 13.  Ghost of Tsushima 12.  Assassin's Creed Odyssey 11. Death Stranding 10. Fire Emblem Awakening 9. Monster Hunter: World 8. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Fire Emblem Awakening (2013) was my little treat during an extended stretch of restless nights. I'd be woken by my daughter, crying as only newborns will. I'd flop out of bed, retrieve her from her cot, get that nappy changed, and hand her over to her mum for what she really wanted. This would happen every hour or so throughout the night for those first, fractious few months. The whole process became automatic, and I barely needed to open my eyes. A nappy changing, baby-soothin

The End of Another Generation: Everything Was Rubbish

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I'm writing a retrospective series about  the end of the 8th Generation  , which includes a Top Twenty Countdown of my favourite games. Seattle, 2012. Don took a sip of his coffee. Colombian. "What if, and bear with me here, we introduced a draconian game licensing system for our new console?" Bill looked up from his hog roast. "Fuuuuuck" he gasped. Meat juices rolled down his chin and onto his collar, staining it a grubby yellow. He didn't care. He had a wardrobe full of spare Windows 95 polos in his office. The benefits of being a billionaire. "What exactly do you mean, Fabian?" Bill was notorious for misremembering names. "It's Don, my liege. We would force a system that binds physical copies of games to the user's Live account, which would all but kill-off the second-hand market. The console would be always-online." "Always-online, huh?"  "Hashtag deal-with-it, sir".  "I like it Samantha. Shit, I reall

My Favourite Games of the 8th Generation: 15-11

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I'm writing a retrospective series about  the end of the 8th Generation  , which includes a Top Twenty Countdown of my favourite games. The Countdown  Rules. 20. Forza Horizon 4 19. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 18. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 17. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life 16. Mafia III 15. Undertale 14. What Remains of Edith Finch 13.  Ghost of Tsushima 12.  Assassin's Creed Odyssey 11. Death Stranding I'm not really sure what possessed me to play Undertale (2015/2017). You see, a low-fi RPG wouldn't usually be my sort of  thing. Just look at the company it keeps in my countdown, and you'll see that it sticks out like a sore thumb. I know I'd heard good things, from internet beings and real-life people, some of whom had worked on the console ports. But I'm a stubborn bastard, and that wouldn't usually be enough to convince me.  I'm not sure why I finally relented and played Undertale, but I'm very glad that I did. Some kid travels undergroun

The Vita Had No Games, Except These Ones

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I'm writing a retrospective series about  the end of the 8th Generation  , which includes a Top Twenty Countdown of my favourite games. Illustrations by me (37 y/o), created on the Vita's Paint Park app. As has been well documented, the PlayStation Vita had no games. Except it did, just not the type we thought it'd have. The PSP had set the template for a high-spec handheld, one that could boast every type of game you could imagine. Crucially, it was home to blockbuster titles from AAA franchises, many of which you could only play on the PSP, at least at that time. Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker, Final Fantasy Type-O and Tactics War of the Lions, God of War Chains of Olympus, several Monster Hunters, and on and on we could go. When the Vita was first announced, those were the types of games we pictured. It only made sense that such a powerful piece of kit, sold at a premium price point, would be running the biggest games. It would launch with a standalone Uncharted, the anno

My Favourite Games of the 8th Generation: 20-16

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I'm writing a series about  the end of the 8th Generation  , which includes a Top Twenty Countdown of my favourite games. So it begins. Over the coming weeks, I'm going to be counting down my twenty favourite games of the 8th Generation, starting here with 20-16. I have already spent far too long considering the final order, because video games are important business and I like thinking about them. I also like ranking things, so I'm basically a pig in shit right now. Wallow with me? The rules: 1. My 8th Generation covers the PS4, Xbox One, PS Vita, 3DS, Wii U and Switch (up to winter 2020). 2. Remakes are eligible. However, ports and remasters are not, regardless of how expanded they may be. Apologies to Rez Infinite, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Persona 4 Golden etc. Right, games: 20. Forza Horizon 4 19. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 18. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 17. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life 16. Mafia III There is a lot of unnecessary noise in  Forza Horizon 4  (2018).

The End of Another Generation: The 8th and I

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I'm writing a series about  the end of the 8th Generation   (PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, Switch-ish, 3DS and Vita). It'll include a Top Twenty Countdown of my favourite games. My eighth generation started in England, and it ended in Japan. A fair bit happened in-between. We were living in the UK when the Nintendo 3DS came out in the spring of 2011. Newly married, my wife and I had left Japan just over a year earlier. While we were happy in England, and making the most of being near family, I missed our old life terribly. I wanted nothing more than to head back East, to resume our lives in a culture less-familiar. So we started making arrangements, putting out feelers in Japan for employment and whatnot. That all ground to a halt one March morning, when we turned on the TV and saw the disaster unfolding in Tohoku. We sat there horrified. I remember feeling sick to my stomach. That put a halt to our plans. We stayed in the UK, became more settled; more comfortable. A return to Japan be

The End of Another Generation - Intro

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It's once again time to look back on a generation past. As I did with the seventh gen back in 2013 , I'm going to write a series of posts about the departing generation. This series will include a top twenty countdown of my favourite 8G games, which I'm already losing sleep over. Why did people like Doom? Can I include Rez Infinite, even though it's an expanded port of a Dreamcast game? What the fuck was the Wii U? Does Assassin's Creed Valhalla belong to the 8th or 9th Gen? Did I lock the front door? My eighth generation is over. My Vita and 3DS are long since retired, my Wii U was abandoned years ago, and my Xbox One and PS4 have new owners. My Switch is still in heavy use, but we'll call that a 8G/9G hybrid. I've had an Xbox Series X and PS5 since November and December, respectively. Thanks to full, backwards compatibility, I was encouraged to sell my Xbox One and PS4. It feels weird making a clean break from that hardware, though I am still catching up o

The Best & Worst Games of 2020

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The Best & Worst of 2019 /   2018  /  2017  /  2016  /  2015  /  2014  /  2013  /  2012  /  2011  /  2010 The fucking state of 2020. This year, I was more grateful than ever for the comforting presence of video games. A place to escape; a place to be entertained. A place to be a Viking, do some eco-terrorism, swing a katana and partake in a cartoonish Sasuke. To match blocks, match colors and seek all-consuming revenge, in Seattle. A place to die and be reborn over and over again, get haptic-feedbacked to fuck, and help Jill get the hell out of Racoon City. A place to play, escape and relax. Thank Odin for video games. And we got new consoles too. After much frustration, I was able to get hold of both an Xbox Series X and a PS5. I've already gotten a lot of use out of the former, though I have hardly touched the latter. However, that's more down to the game(s) I've been playing the last two months rather than a reflection on the consoles themselves. It's been a hal