Top 100 Games of the ’10s: #100-91

So if you haven’t been listening to the Make Me A Gamer podcast, you’ve been missing out on the fact that I’ve composed my top 100 games of the decade list – from 2010-2019. I’ve been doling out a few numbers here and there as part of our Countdown Cauldron segment and while I won’t be going over every number in the podcast, I did promise to write up companion pieces that outline all the games.

In the podcast we’re working through sets of 10. We started with 100-91 and in the most recent episode moved to the 81-90 set, which means now it’s time for me to release the first group of ten. I tried writing up my Top 100 games of All-Time a few years back and ended up burning out in the 60s, so I’m going to try and keep the descriptions a little more brief so I don’t fall into the same trap. I will note the ones that were discussed on the podcast (and link to the related episode) and keep those even briefer.

Without further ado, #100-#91 of my personal favorite games of the 2010s.

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Post PAX Game Impressions

Last year I was only able to go to PAX East for two days out of the four so I wrote up each day separately. This year I was able to go all four days and used that time to go to panels, games, and meetups.

I may write about the panels and meet-ups in another post, but this one will exclusively be about the games I played. I got to 18 different games over the 4 day weekend. Is that a lot? I don’t really have a perspective, as I also watched about a dozen other ones without actually having any hands-on. I’ll try not to wax poetic too hard on each and every game as I don’t want this to take forever, but without further ado here’s all the games I played at PAX East this year!

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The 2019 Manatees – Written Companion

So if you haven’t listened yet, last week myself and my partner in crime HarveyZ recorded our Game of the Year podcast where I handed out my Manatees for 2019. In that I outlined my top 5 games of the year and talked a little bit about each. Like last year, I also wanted to put up a companion blog post to add some written words about why I enjoyed each game and also flesh out the games to a full top 10 and a few Honorable Mentions.

Most of these are going to be games I’ve talked about already this year, but a few are games that I always meant to talk about but slipped through the cracks (at least on the writing and podcast side). I hope you enjoy this last blog post of 2019 and I’ll see you in the new year with all sorts of new games, posts, and ideas!

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Movie Theory: Return to The Last Jedi

This weekend I watched The Last Jedi for only the second time – and the first since I originally saw it opening weekend in theaters. I’d stayed away from it because, well let’s face it, Star Wars discourse has gotten heavy over the last two years. I’d enjoyed the movie and for a bit was a hell-or-high water defender against the trolls. But eventually it wears you down and my enthusiasm for everything Star Wars diminished. I wrote posts on my initial feelings on The Last Jedi and about some of the harassment that Kelly Marie Tran faced last year.

But between The Mandalorian and Jedi: Fallen Order this year I’ve gotten the Star Wars bug again. So going into episode 9 I thought I’d refresh myself and rewatch The Last Jedi to see how I felt about it two years later. And I’m pleased to report that it’s still a good movie. In fact, it’s a great movie.

Let’s dig in, shall we? (Spoilers for The Last Jedi, obviously.)

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The Force Awakens: Repost

A few weeks after The Force Awakens released in 2015,  I wrote a blog post summarizing my thoughts on it for a different blog. As The Rise of Skywalker is about to hit theaters on Friday, I thought it would be pertinent to look back at my feelings on it. I’m reposting it in its entirety, unedited, here to start what will hopefully be a week of Star Wars blogging leading up to the movie’s release on Friday.

So here’s a look back at what I wrote in January 2016. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing my thoughts on The Last Jedi after I rewatched it this weekend, then on Wednesday and Thursday I will be talking about The Mandalorian and Jedi: Fallen Order. I’ll probably have thoughts on Episode 9 as well, but likely not until the new year as I’ve waited a bit after each movie before posting my thoughts. Anyway, enjoy this blast from my writing past:

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The Case Against Fail States

So I’ve been thinking a bit and I’ve decided that video games need to rethink the “game over.” In fact, I think the idea of a fail state in games is an unnecessary holdover from the games where you had lives and continues. Yes, having a game over and having to restart from a certain point adds challenge to the game. But in general, with the way games are developed nowadays, often times the fail state just adds aggravation to what is otherwise a wonderful gaming experience.

The problem, of course, is that most games are based around death. Killing enemies to progress is a large chunk of gameplay loops, and the easiest way to add challenge to the loop is for the enemies to, you know, kill back. Health bars/indicators/numbers are the main tracking agent and when you hit 0, time for a fail state to show you didn’t live up to the challenge!

But, and bear with me here, what if that wasn’t the case? What if we figured out a way for games to keep their challenge but eliminate the need to make the player feel bad because they didn’t shoot the guy with the one-hit KO attack fast enough? What if we eliminated the silly QTEs that if you missing pressing a single button you have to do an entire sequence over again?

I’m going to talk about some games that have recently opened my eyes to how good a lack of a fail state is, and how some games have been hindered because of fail states, and how some games have given you an illusion of a fail state but don’t actually have one and that’s what games should try to live up to.

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Plot of Thrones: Stumbling At The Finish

I didn’t watch Game of Thrones until the eighth season. I’m watching this final season because my girlfriend is semi-invested in the finale and wanted a companion to watch with. “But why would you spoil yourself?” C’mon son. The internet has spoiled me on every major event and most characters, so I know all the big plot points and characters already.

I know about all the weddings. Red Wedding, Purple Wedding, White Wedding (hey little sister). I know what happens when Oberyn and The Mountain face off. I know Tyrion drinks and knows things. I know Jon Snow doesn’t know anything.

So I’m not coming into this final season completely blind. And after watching the penultimate episode and witnessing the fan aftermath on the internet, I have some thought about this season both from a writing perspective and from a perspective of observing fans of the show for seven seasons without watching the show.

(Spoilers for everything Game of Thrones up until the episode that aired yesterday will follow, along with minor spoilers for some other shows.)

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PAX East 2019: Sunday Round-Up

And now here’s my round-up for Sunday! I was unfortunately unable to get a ticket to the floor on Saturday, however I did get to go to the What’s Good Games Podcast meetup which was absolutely amazing. The women from the podcast are as genuine in person as they are on the podcast, and the community is welcoming and very friendly.

But enough about how awesome What’s Good Games is. Let’s talk about PAX East and video games!

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