Anniversaries, mobile Pokemon, and racing headlines this week.
Games are fun. Games are awesome. And as we all know, we can get excitable about them. Hyperbolic if you will. With that in mind, we're going to lean into it. Here's our Games of the Year of the Week, or GOTYOTW for short.
We'll venture to do this each week, but we will be experimenting with the format. It's going to be a loose format, while most will be recent releases, but it might just be a game a staffer has been loving recently. Let us know what you think of this and also let us know your Game of the Year of the Week.
GRIP: Combat Racing
Having always been a big fan of combat racing, going back to the Commodore 64 days of Racing Destruction Set, I’m always down to check out new ones that show up. I originally got a chance to check this out back at PAX East as well as when it launched on PC and was curious how they’d manage to maintain consistent performance out of a fast-moving title that looked great. While GRIP on Switch has some obvious visual compromises it generally performs well (though it’s a bit foggy, certainly) on the system. While the pure racing and Carkour modes that remove the combat don’t work so well when you’re grabbing power-ups and trying to blow people away it has its moments. Not a perfect title by any means but I’ve been enjoying the result. - Justin Nation
Pokemon Go captivated me the summer of its 2016 launch. I wandered my town with old and new friends, capturing gyms, catching Pokemon, and having a ball. I explored new parks, walked so much I lost a few pounds, and lived my life by where the Pokestops were. A lot has changed since then - for one the game doesn’t crash all the time - but I still have an affection for Pokemon Go, just not an obsessive one. I play it every day, toying with it while walking my dog or going to work. I keep an eye out for different events and occasionally make deliberate trips to my town’s downtown to fill up on Pokeballs and Eggs. With Pokemon Let’s Go now available, Pokemon Go will work its way into my Switch playing and I’m excited that a enjoyable mobile game will feed back into my main console. And hey with the new Adventure Sync option, I can hatch eggs while the app is closed. Progress. - Neal Ronaghan
Sky Force Anniversary
Sure, it hasn’t been that long since the solid Sky Force Remastered hit the system but while this a grind-heavy shooting franchise you can’t knock its overall quality. Looking even more gorgeous before you’ll again be flying over enemy territory blowing things up, accumulating stars, rescuing soldiers, and trying to earn your objectives by flying as impeccably as possible. In order to progress you’ll need to replay the same missions, use stars to upgrade your ship, and then slowly improve your runs so you can unlock more missions. Not remotely something you’ll burn through quickly there’s plenty to blow up and improve, and it looks amazingly good as well. - Justin Nation
SNK 40th Anniversary Collection - Crystalis
Crystalis was the main reason I picked up the SNK Collection at launch, and I’m sure the controls made sense in the original NES version, but the default setting is incredibly unwieldy on the 40th anniversary collection. (Thank Arceus for remapping.) The hit detection is spotty at times, and poison is incredibly overpowered, killing my hapless hundred-year sleeper multiple times. It’s a fine action RPG, and enough of a historical curiosity that I don’t regret picking up the collection for it, but Crystalis doesn’t exactly make a good first impression. - Donald Theriault
If you’ve ever thought that the exploration and crafting elements of survival games sounded fun but were a bit turned off by their sometimes cruel level of difficulty Crashlands may be a great match for you. With a less grim and gritty tone and the fact that when you die you simply respawn at your home base and can recover what you’ve lost it’s a survival-lite of sorts and I appreciate that options being available. Don’t mistake that for it being easy, combat will have you hitting and then dodging quite a bit just the consequences for failure aren’t of the normally crippling variety. - Justin Nation