As the saying goes: “What’s old is new.” Remasters (and “Enhanced Editions,” as they are sometimes called) let us revisit classic games of yesteryear with some new improvements, and it’s always fun to see these cherished games get attention from new audiences.
It’s hard to believe that it has been a whole decade since Xenoblade Chronicles first released for the Nintendo Wii. To celebrate the game’s ten-year anniversary, Nintendo released an enhanced version, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, on the Switch earlier this year, complete with improved character models, newly-recorded music, and a smattering of other beneficial changes. The game holds up remarkably well after all this time; the combat is still engaging, and the story remains one of the best in the genre. This is a must-play for any JRPG fan.
A game as fantastic as Persona 5 hardly needs any changes, yet Atlus have outdone themselves by adding some significant improvements in Persona 5 Royal. Not only do you get a new playable character, but the game also sports new collectibles, quality-of-life features, and revamped boss fights. If for some reason you missed out on the base game when it first released a few years ago (or if you’re just looking for an excuse to replay it), now is the perfect time to check out one of the most beloved games of the generation.
Storytelling can make a huge difference in a game, sticking in the mind long after the experience is over and generating countless discussions and debates. Below are our picks for the two most compelling gaming narratives of 2020.
The Last of Us Part II sees Ellie, now a young adult living in Jackson, set off on a quest for revenge after losing a loved one. The game’s character-driven storytelling takes bold risks as it weaves a cautionary tale about the high cost of revenge.
In Ghost of Tsushima, you play as Jin, a Samurai whose life is turned upside-down when Mongol forces invade his homeland. In order to save his people, Jin must abandon his traditional Samurai code, grappling with concepts of right and wrong, honor, and respect. This compelling premise, combined with complex dynamics between the game’s characters, results in an epic tale that leaves you wishing you could spend even more time roaming ancient Japan.
This year has been an incredible year for video game soundtracks. So many games came out this year accompanied by killer tunes that it almost feels criminal to only award two. Alas, among the bounteous harvest of music we must still identify the cream of the crop, and the following two nabbed our top spots.
DOOM Eternal‘s pulse-pounding soundtrack meshes perfectly with the game’s intense FPS action. Composer Mick Gordon once again composes the music, delivering some truly exhilarating rock pieces that get you hype for all-out demon slaughter.
Final Fantasy VII Remake proves itself to be worth the hype, and the soundtrack plays no small part in that. Grand orchestral and rock tracks permeate the entire experience, featuring modern revisions of classic songs from the original as well as some brand new tunes to delight the ears. It’s a fantastic blend that suits the dramatic tale being told here.
2020 has seen a number of pandemic-related game delays, and while that disappoints us in the short-term, it also means that there are even more games to look forward to in the future! On top that, the capabilities of the new console generation raise the potential of upcoming games to new heights. While there are plenty of games we are looking forward to, the following have particularly caught out attention.
The runner up spot is a tie between two games: the AAA behemoth God of War Ragnarok, and the indie platformer Hollow Knight: Silksong. While on opposite edges of the budgetary scale, each of these games has the potential to pull gamers in for many hours, and both development teams have proven their ability to create beautifully-realized worlds and polished gameplay systems.
Final Fantasy, one of the biggest franchises in gaming history, has announced its next mainline installment, Final Fantasy XVI, this time taking place in a medieval setting. Given how much we’ve enjoyed FFXV and FFVII Remake, we cannot wait to sink our teeth into this next-gen action-RPG adventure.
Next page: Game of the Year!