Welcome to Boss Fight Friday, a weekly video game hot stove where the writers of Game Savvy give their take on video games and where you, the reader, get to start the weekend off right.
Last week we discussed everything that happened at E3 2019! From games to conferences to surprises, there was a lot to cover and we kept it all in one spot, just for you. This week, we discuss games of 2019 as we hit the halfway mark on the year. Everything from our biggest surprises, our biggest let downs to our game of the year votes so far. Let’s get into it!
Q1: What’s been the most surprising game to you in 2019 so far?
Tyler: Because Assasin’s Creed Odyssey was released in 2018, I can’t spend this paragraph gushing about it so I’ll take a turn here and say Kingdom Hears III and not in a good way. The gameplay was solid but the whole Disney side of the game seemed forced and the conclusion seemed irrational? The lead villain was like “I have seen the error of my ways” and Sora was all like “As long as my heart is strong and my friends blah blah blah” but they just FORGOT about all the people he’s killed along the way? Dude is a psychopathic serial killer who kind of had a happy ending. Like k. Anyways, Kingdom Hearts III was kind of a disappointment which was surprising.
Em: Dauntless. For a free game, it took a fun concept that I found just a bit hard to stick with (monster hunter) and made it easy to jump into for quick games. It had decent character creation, fun monster varieties, and cross play!
Dennis: I think after the reveal of Watch Dogs Legion and getting my hands on Watch Dogs 2 while discovering a really great game was most surprising. That came out in 2017 though so I guess that doesn’t really count. For this year a game I’ve played that was surprising to me was Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. It’s a game I actually backed back in 2015 and I just recently got my hands on it. Playing through it, I’m actually really shocked how great it is, I knew it was going to be knowing Iga and his story with the Castlevania games. If you’re a fan of the Castlevania games then Bloodstained really answers the question of what a modern Castlevania plays like with visual novel conversations in the game with voice acting, merchants to buy and sell equipment, RPG level progression and so much more.
Steven: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. It’s the first FromSoftware game that I’ve spent a good amount of time with and I went in expecting to loathe it with every fiber of my being, but the amount of fun I had playing and talking about it really surprised me.
Q2: What game has been the biggest let down of 2019?
Tyler: I said Kingdom Hearts III already so I’ll have to say Anthem. I don’t think there was a game more hyped than Anthem coming into 2019. I would say my expectations were high but tempered at the same time. I wasn’t expecting a Destiny 1 type game, more flash than substance but wasn’t expecting that much flash and such a lack of substance. I don’t even see them rebounding from this as Destiny has.
Em: Rage 2. I was so looking forward to this one, because of how it was marketed as being wild and crazy fun, and found it to be pretty mediocre.
Dennis: This one is hard because I haven’t played a lot of games I was let down by. Kingdom Hearts 3 is a game I knew exactly what it was gonna be. More of what I love about Kingdom Hearts in a rush wrap up of the Dark Seeker Saga. As far as games coming out in 2020, I was pretty let down by Square Enix’s Avengers reveal, I really hope they polish that game in the next less than 11 months it has until release because the character design does not look that great, the voice actors they chose for the roles were impressive so I hope they get updates to live up to caliber of those truly talented individuals.
Steven: Anthem 🙁 As much as I enjoyed that game it was still incredibly disappointing, it was a great idea that was executed very poorly. Actually, I think Anthem and Rage 2 tie for the biggest letdown.
Q3: What game are you most looking forward to, either for the rest of your year or beyond?
Tyler: I’m kind of pumped to see how Fire Emblem: Three Houses fairs. I’ve never played a Fire Emblem game and Sterling’s Game Savvy Ghost won’t shut up about them so I might have to check this one out and see what it’s all about. ALSO, Blair Witch. What a random but pleasant surprise at E3. That’s definitely a case of beer and a pizza all-nighter game for me.
Em: For 2019 it is Call of Duty Modern Warfare. I’m always going to be crazy excited about Call of Duty, as we know. Obviously, I’m looking into the future for Elder Scrolls 6 and Dragon Age 4, but those will be a ways off.
Dennis: I think I already mentioned Watch Dogs Legion, that’s a game I’m very excited to get my hands on especially as I’m near the end of Watch Dogs 2. Final Fantasy VII Remake need that too in my busy March too. I don’t know just all the games I saw at E3 that made me hype, to be honest. As far as upcoming games this year, I gotta say Fire Emblem: Three Houses, I never cared for/played a game from this series but it has a Valkyria Chronicles 2 vibe to it plus all the anime tropes that I’m like ‘I gotta get my hands on this game.’
Steven: For 2019… yikes where to begin… I’m a big fan of games with a Lovecraftian style so The Sinking City has my attention. The Call Of Duty Modern Warfare remake looks really good, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is another one I’m interested in, Psychonauts 2 if it actually comes out this year, and Death Stranding… I think that’s all the ones for this year. I don’t think I even want to look at next years line up yet… ANIMAL CROSSING!!!!
Q4: If the game of the year 2019 was awarded today, who in your opinion would win?
Tyler: If I were picking today, it would probably be Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. It’s not my type of game but the praise was universal and everyone that played it loved it.
Em: I honestly haven’t played anything that has come out this year and I’ve found to be particularly noteworthy. Hopefully, that changes.
Dennis: I mean as far as indie game of the year, gotta give it up to Bloodstained. Overall, I don’t know. I haven’t really played a lot of Game of the Year caliber games this year so far. I played Days Gone but that’s just a kind of game that I like but I wouldn’t call GOTY because it has its issues but still a great game in my opinion but still not GOTY. So I’ll just not give it out today save it for another day in December I guess.
Steven: Well because I’m not allowed to say Spider-Man, I’ll go with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice or maybe the Resident Evil 2 remake. Both of them really impressed me in terms of gameplay and atmosphere… but something could come along and beat both of them, we still have a lot of year left.