CJ’s five favorite games of 2021 that Destructoid didn’t review

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CJ’s five favorite games of 2021 that Destructoid didn’t review

CJ GOTY 2021

Because you can’t see them all again

Anyone who says 2021 has been a lackluster year for gaming must have slept in the past 365 days. Despite many titles launched on the road to 2022, there were plenty of games for every type of player last year. Like, so much so that you don’t even have to search that hard to find them.

On the contrary, there were too many good games last year. The cut ended in 2021, and like many sites, Destructoid was unable to cover all of them with a proper review. Luckily my real 2021 GOTY, The door of death, received a great review from our own Chris Moyse. I guess I could review all of these games right now during this incredibly slow month, but if my experience as a games blogger has taught me anything, it’s that very few people care about a game. review after the game’s release. So, I’m going to do the next best thing and collect the top five games that I played last year that Destructoid didn’t review.

CJ GOTY 2021

5. Artistic escape

One of the most disappointing aspects of the gaming industry for me is that there is more money being pumped into this hobby than ever before, but all we seem to be taking away from great developers are games that strive to present realistic presentations. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s cool that there are artists out there trying to make cheek skin and chin stubble as realistic as possible. But I grew up in a time when games were set in fantasy worlds with imaginative art direction where no one cared whether every blade of grass in a field was rendered individually.

Fortunately, independent developers have taken over in this regard over the past decade. And in 2021, there was no game more visually interesting than Artistic escape. Released in September, the side-scrolling adventure game developed by Beethoven & Dinosaur takes protagonist Francis Vendetti on a psychedelic journey to the stars to find his alter ego. It’s a nice little story, if a little too neat, about the creative process and breaking with your expectations. As someone always trying to find my voice in this world, that’s a great motivation to keep going.

If I’m being honest you don’t really have to play Artistic escape to get the full experience. Like many “story first” games that have become more mainstream in the independent developer age, if you can find a good Let’s Play where the YouTuber keeps their mouths shut, you should treat it like a long movie.

Hoa

4. Hoa

At the other end of the independent visual spectrum is Hoa, a lightweight puzzle platformer from Skrollcat Studios. contrary to The artistic escape, the game doesn’t try to blow your mind with its outrageous visuals. It is because nothing on Hoa is scandalous. Instead, this two-hour adventure starring a borrower cosplaying the Traveler from Journey is a quieter experience, with beautiful hand-drawn visuals and a calming soundtrack that keeps the whole thing in a quiet place.

It’s not going to wow anyone, but making my way through this world was the equivalent of a video game to meditate on last year. And if there was anything I needed in 2021, it was entertainment that put my soul at ease. I should probably keep this game ready on my S series, just in case 2022 turns out to be as much of a nightmare as it was last year.

CJ GOTY 2021

3. Selection of NeoGeo Pocket Colors Vol. 1

A few years ago, the developers at Cardboard Robot Games finally put the finishing touches on their longtime fighter. Pocket rumble. It was a pretty decent game, but what excited me more than anything was that it was a preview of an era of play that I had completely missed.

For most of my teenage years, we only had one console in our house at a time. Because I grew up in a fairly rural area, that meant we only had access to the biggest names in the industry, namely Nintendo and PlayStation. I didn’t even know what a NeoGeo Pocket was until I was in college and made the overwhelming mistake of wanting to be a games blogger. Having no financially feasible way to get my hands on the device, I figured the NeoGeo Pocket would still be something I would longingly see from afar.

But last year SNK threw a bone at me with the Selection of NeoGeo Pocket Colors Vol. 1. Bringing together 10 of what I hope are the best games in the handheld catalog into one package, it provided me with a kind of crash course in NGPC history, and I loved every second of it. From gal fighters at SNK vs Capcom: the match of the millennium at Big golf tournament, there isn’t a game in this collection that I haven’t spent at least half a dozen hours with.

Hopefully SNK continues to bring these games to Switch and releases enough to warrant a Theft. 2.

2. Melty Blood: Lumina Type

In my book, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: The Ultimate Stars is the greatest traditional fighting game ever. Unlike our own Chris Moyse or Chris Carter, I’ve never been deep enough into the genre to master all of the special moves and combos that pros like SonicFox and Tokido pull off with ease. That’s why i like Television so many. This simplified the formula enough that an idiot like me could not only understand how the combat engine works, but also become very good at it. Of all the fighting games I’ve played since, Melty Blood: Lumina Type is the only one who could simulate the feeling I felt the first time I threw the punches as Frank West or Jun the Swan.

I don’t know anything about the Tsukihime series and how the hell did that spawn a fighting game spin-off. All I know is that I love this game enough to see myself come back to the genre. While you have plenty of mechanics to consider when battling your enemies, including Magic Circuit, Blood Heat, Last Bow, and Moon Icons, it’s incredibly easy to access Lumina-type with user-friendly additions. for newcomers like the Rapid Beat auto-combo. As someone who regularly watches this genre from the outside to the inside, I can’t stress enough the importance of allowing new players to feel powerful even if they don’t fully understand all the mechanics of the game. Looking like a badass from the start only makes me want to learn about the finer details that this exceptional engine has to offer.

Despite being one of the few original fighting games from last year, it has gone so far under the radar that no version has an official Metacritic score. If you’re on the hunt for a new fighting game while waiting to find out how Capcom is going to screw up Street Fighter VI, this is not a bad choice. You might not care about the story or the characters, but just like with Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid, it’s the combat engine that counts, and the French Bread team have cooked up something really special here.

CJ GOTY 2021

1. Unpacking

One thing you should know about me is that I tend to move around a lot. I have moved to several different houses and apartments over the past decade as my job and living conditions have changed. I move around so much that I have stopped bothering with simple brown boxes to store all my crap and instead have a nice collection of plastic bins that most of the items don’t get removed when I carry them from. one place to another.

So it shouldn’t be surprising that Unpacking is one of my favorite games of 2021. I first heard about the game after someone like me on Twitter tweeted a short clip of the sounds objects make when you place them on different surfaces. . The curiosity that arose from watching this clip prompted me to finally try it over the Christmas holidays.

Unpacking Immediately spoke to me about the first room I decorated, if only because this room is an almost spitting image of my childhood room. I also had the bunk bed with the desk below, a dresser full of toys, and too much stuff on my shelves. As I continued to help the invisible protagonist unbox his life with each subsequent move, I remembered all of my past address changes and how every item I’ve kept with me over the years has a story explaining why it has not yet been donated to Goodwill.

This same story is told throughout Unpacking. Just like with a real person, you can learn a lot about the person doing all of these movements just by looking at the items they keep with them through every life changing event. Environmental storytelling at its best, I’ve played it three times now just to see if I can paint a full mental picture of who this person is, which I didn’t think I would do with this puzzle. Unpacking is by far the most human game I’ve ever played, and it’s such a shame I didn’t get to play it in time for our Game of the Year awards.

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