Alec Parks’ Games of the Year

Alec Parks is the co-host and tech enthusiast of Super GG Radio.

Hey everyone! It’s time to make a list of my favorite games of the year. Much to my surprise, there is only one rogue-style game! Let’s dig in and see what another year of COVID, quarantine, and somehow no barely any time to game brought me.

Metroid Dread

As an avid Metroid fan (where’s my Prime Trilogy, damn you Nintendo!), I was amazed by how much I was waiting for this game and how wonderful it was. On the surface, it comes across as a horror game with the way you’re tracked, and probably insta-killed, by the EMMIs. In reality, it’s everything I love about Metroid games. Fluid game play, fast paced areas, being rewarded by skill. 

After beating Dread the first time, in just under eight hours, I immediately jumped back in and played through a second time. And then a third time. Despite having “one” ending, no unlockables, and no reward for beating it more than once, this game will still be in a regular rotation on my switch.

Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Series

The Final Fantasy series holds a special place in my heart. The first game I remember playing was Final Fantasy on the NES. When they announced that the games would be made with minor QOL updates, but otherwise true to the original releases, I immediately bought the bundle. Each game that I’ve played in the series has impressed me more than the last.

The most impressive so far has been Final Fantasy V (mostly – I hope – because VI isn’t out at time of writing), but not because of what has changed, but what has stayed the same. This is as close to the SNES version I remember so fondly when I was stumbling through the Japanese partially patched game and guessing at everything. Well, that and how amazing Syldra’s cries were represented in the game. It made me instantly tell anyone who would listen how excited I am for the opera scene in Final Fantasy VI.

Deep Rock Galactic

Well, I thought I got tired of DRG. I was very wrong. The new guns, new missions, and a battle pass sucked me riiiiight back in. Oh, yeah, and all this is for free. No paid content DLC. 

I don’t know why I stopped playing other than I wanted to play other things as well. This game is fun as hell. Go buy it. Buy it for your friends. Hell, reach me and I’ll buy it for you (this might or might not be a legitimate offer… try your luck).

Axiom Verge 2

Two brand new metroidvanias in one year?! Yes please sign me up. Axiom Verge 2 is completely familiar but also completely new. I really enjoyed the extra lore that was put into the game. I could have rushed through it and just hit the main points, but the exploration was such a blast. New powers, a new focus on exploration, optional bosses, the whole shebang. I can’t wait to see more work from Tom Happ, but hopefully it’s not five years away.

Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos

Who wants a multiplayer Legend of Zelda Link to the Past? Who loves roguelites? LET’S PUT THEM TOGETHER!!! I found this accidentally and could not wait to evangelize it to my fellow hosts and friends. I played many hours solo, but sadly only a few with friends.

The dungeons are fantastic and really make you be patient and skillful in how you play and use your resources. When you die, you get to build up your town, increase your life, and generally improve your character. I should go through and actually beat this one some time…

Dungeon Encounters 

Sometimes, you just want to move through a dungeon and kill things. That’s exactly what Dungeon Encounters gives you. Starting the game, you have a single member in the party and can choose the rest by going to a specific square on a crossword puzzle style board. All further exploration of the dungeon is done on this style of board, except for combat.

Combat is stripped down icons representing your characters and the enemies. Each combatant has a steadily progressing bar determined by their speed and when it fills, it’s their turn. There’s three major stats to keep track of – Physical defense, Magic defense, and HP. If either of the defenses are reduced to zero, you begin taking HP damage, and once your HP is gone, the character is knocked out. Defenses are then refreshed every battle, with HP only being refilled by certain events in the dungeon.

This is a fantastic coffee break game. Playing for ten minutes can progress you quite a bit, but be wary of specific monsters and traps – you will continue to lose money after you have none left and wind up with negative money and need to earn it back before you can buy things again.

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