GlitchUp’s Favorites of 2018, the final chapter! As we get older, we have less and less time for our favorite form of entertainment, but we still enjoy every moment. The theme this year was mostly multiplayer experiences, as online gaming becomes more and more popular. What can we say, we’re social people! Read on for our favorite video games of 2018, and hopefully get a few ideas for your next gaming obsession!
Pat: In a world where the two companies that made the term “Metroidvania“ a reality not actively making them, indie developers are picking up the baton and creating their own homages to the genre that inspired them. Hollow Knight is Team Cherry’s love letter to this genre and is not only my favorite game of the year but is probably in my top 10 favorite games of all time. The fact that Hollow Knight beat out both Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu as this die-hard Nintendo fans top pick tells you how in love with this game I am.
Hollow Knight’s moody atmospheric visual and sound design complement a brutally difficult, but extremely fine-tuned souls-like Metroidvania that sinks it’s stinger into you and keeps gets better the more you play it. With deep mythos and a story that mostly unfolds in the background of a forgotten kingdom, Team Cherry’s attention to detail in crafting this moody masterpiece is as sharp as your platforming skills will have to be in order to see all aspects of it.
In an increasingly crowded market, any take on the genre either has to be something truly unique, or polished to a degree that would make a diamond jealous. Hollow Knight manages to do both and has stuck with me in a way that very few games do.
Honorable Mentions: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate; Monster Hunter World; Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!
Super Mario Party
Chandler: Unfortunately the Mario Party franchise has hit a lull lately with many critics feeling the recent games lack “lasting appeal” and “wear thin too quickly” – mostly due to some poor design decisions. However, it’s refreshing to see that Super Mario Party is breaking this trend and has taken a step forward in the right direction to focus on getting back to the traditional game play that made the older games so enjoyable.
The attention to detail stands out from the moment you boot up the game and are thrust into a hub world where you can run around and interact with your favorite Mario characters. Yes, it’s not necessary but it’s a much better alternative to the clunky menus you had to navigate through in the past. You will see just how much variety this game has when selecting the desired game mode. There’s Partner Party, River Survival Sound Sage, Mini Games, Challenge Road, Toad’s Rec Room and much more! But the best and our classic favorite is definitely Mario Party. It’s the whole reason we love these games while also causing countless arguments, cramped hands, and a few fractured relationships. Most importantly, this mode simply doesn’t disappoint. There’s plenty of mini games to enjoy and I found the joycons work fairly well here using them either horizontally or vertically depending on the situation.
Thankfully some of the cheap random moves that plagued other versions have also been reduced, but don’t worry you’ll have plenty of opportunities to screw over your friends, either by stealing their stars or punishing them some way on a turn to steal victory from the jaws of defeat. Literally a whole game can change in less than a minute. It’s hilarious, fantastic and wow does it make me want to snap my Nintendo Switch in two when I’m on the losing end!
You will all know that familiar feeling. So next time you’re looking for something to do on a Saturday night, just grab some friends, sit down and watch the hilarity and/or frustration ensue.
Honorable Mentions: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate; Monster Hunter: World
Monster Hunter: World
Andy: The Monster Hunter franchise has been around for a long, long time and I’m legitimately sad that I waited until 2018 to step foot into this massive universe. For the uninitiated: You know how most video games have a structure like: 1.) progress through level fighting little enemies, 2.) enemies get slightly bigger as the level goes on 3.) eventually fight a ‘boss’ every few levels or chapters? Think about a game where every single enemy you face is about 10x as big as most video-game bosses you’ve ever taken down.
I already wrote a handful of impressions about Monster Hunter World a while back, but my journey has come so far since then. I’ve scaled mountains, built out badass armor sets, and even taken down the final boss: Xeno’jiiva. In the few hundred hours I’ve put into this massive game with my GlitchUp crew, we’ve had so many incredibly satisfying boss take-downs it’s hard to recap them all. You know that feeling when you beat a final boss in a video game for the first time? That happened about 20 times during my time with MH:W.
Monster Hunter: World takes the best parts of an adventure game and mixes it with the most satisfying parts of ‘grind-it-out’ role-playing games, and the result is an accessible but VERY deep game that I’m so glad finally is making waves with Western audiences. Now if only they would cancel the terrible movie in development by Paul W.S Anderson of Resident Evil movie fame.
Honorable Mentions: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate; Rocket League (it still counts! New seasons!); Hollow Knight
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Austin: You know what’s fun? Saying you hate a game and then spending the majority of Christmas Eve playing it. Or, saying you hate a game and then immediately saying yes every single time someone asks you to play it. These are things I do with Smash Bros.
I think the reason I say I hate it is that I’m not particularly good at it (that is until I found WALL-E aka R.O.B. and his glorious, apt-to-spam spinning move), which angers me as someone who can generally get good at something after spending a few hours playing it. This is why I only play sports video games, it’s easy to identify the most successful tactics and leads to success in minimal time (totally-not-embarrassing note to mention that I once won 200+ games in a span of 7 months of FIFA), without necessarily needing wild reaction time or deep skills, like say someone no-scoping left and right in a shooter.
Anyway, deep down I love Smash Bros. It’s the ultimate party game, ultimate hanging out with a couple friends game, ultimate “kinda bored, you guys wanna kill some time?” game. It’s obviously fun to play as a variety of characters that we know from various forms of entertainment, but ultimately I think that Smash is most fun because of the camaraderie it entails and environment it is generally played in.
Honorable Mentions (these are games I haven’t played because I played ~2 new games this year but sound fun): Red Dead Redemption 2
We hope you’ve enjoyed our favorites of 2018, next up, our most anticipated of 2019!