Eric “Getty” Gettinger is host of Super GG Radio, and will play any game whose main character is a dog or cat.
Kena Bridge of Spirits
If you told me Kena Bridge of Spirits was the first offering from an indie studio, I would not have believed you from watching the trailers. What feels like a Pixar movie, including the emotional moments, is my game of the year. It’s hard to say what exactly did it for me but the gameplay is fluid, sometimes challenging, and the story is touching to anyone who has overcome grief. It might very well be the little cute rot sprites that follow you around mixed with a photo mode. Ultimately, I loved every moment and it will be a game I come back to while watching to see what else Emberlabs brings to the world.
The first time loop game I played this year and an amazing showing of a new IP. Returnal feeds on your skill and commitment to push and try harder in order to complete a run. Death is a fact you have to face and a main element of the story. Most of the story beats are picked up off of corpses, your characters’ fallen selves, as you find out what happened. Gameplay is very intense and difficult but well worth the trouble. The first person story elements in the mysterious house still haunt me.
Continuing the trend of time loops Deathloop drops you into the fray in the way that Arkane Studios knows how. With a variety of Slab skills to obtain, high intensity action if you choose, and a mystery to unfold Deathloop is easy to visit with high replay. The day cycle system helps you to try different things and while there is one preferred route to finish the game you can keep coming back to the loop. Multiplayer offers a fun alternative, and even more if you get to square off against a friend.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition
No surprise that Mass Effect was going to make my list, and I grouped it together so it’s three for the price of one. Even without the multiplayer functions on Mass Effect 3 the remastered versions come with all the stories, characters, and friendships needed. It’s always interesting to examine how much the series changed and having them in one package allows for an easy back to back playthrough. I made it through all three, platinum trophies, and once again felt N7 elite.
A surprising little game that allows you to experience someone else’s life through the simple task of unpacking. You get to see everything about the person including how they pack their boxes. There is a good amount of depth and not much direct story except what you can infer by playing. Those little things that stay with us or even having to come back home. It is really cathartic once it’s all said and done, as much as I myself hate to unpack and move.
Resident Evil Village
Holy hell Ethan Winters is back in another installment of Resident Evil even after the events of RE7. If you thought Ethan had it bad before they basically punt you in the gut from the get go. You have a creepy village filled with nightmares but get to do all the RE puzzles and hunt for items. The story goes places, gives us some freaking badass villains, and eventually sets things up to get even more out of control. If you are sitting on this series since they dropped RE7 don’t! Go play right now.
Yakuza: like a dragon
I have been told for a long time that I need to play the Yakuza series, and late last year I started Yakuza: Like a Dragon but due to the length I only finished it this year. Yakuza Like a Dragon gives you Ichiban, who is a crazy anime like hero, and is always doing what is right in his mind. He will do anything for the people who he loves and the story just grabs you from there. Combat is turn based RPG, there is a class system… The whole thing is bonkers and amazing. With twists and turns that take you into the heart of Japanese organized crime it’s worth a shot.
Persona 5 Strikers
It feels like only last year Atlus offered Persona 5 Royal, and this year we got to have Strikers. While the story continuity is not one hundred percent there Strikers is still a unique and fun entry into the Persona book. Going in I thought it would be a lot like a dynasty warriors game but it set itself far enough apart leaning heavily into the persona fusion system. The story continues for the main character and his friends, even allowing for individual ‘dates’ with the members of your choice. The music is still one of the best things about this game with remixes of the hits from P5.
One of the first betas/demos that I recall truly falling in love with while being on the Super GG Radio podcast was Cris Tales. With the innovative time systems and the cast of characters it’s an excellent play. There are multiple endings and quests where you can make different choices which keeps me coming back. The game itself was not received very well but all the heart and charm of the game really brought me back to the days of old school JRPGs.
Huniepop 2 Double Date
Here it is! My one allowance of perversion for the year. Huniepop 2 was delayed for a while as the dev went through a lot of personal things, metal wellness is important to everyone. Keep that in mind as you play games for yourself as an outlet. HP2 builds on the match three system from the first game but forces you to date two persons at the same time. It amps up the difficulty by throwing ‘baggage’ at you i.e. matching three hearts,which is normally good, may upset your date. The game is chessy, lewd, and well worth the wait. Not for every person but for those that know it’s a fun challenging match three game.