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The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

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The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

Old 01-04-22, 10:08 PM
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The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

Another year in the books so time for a new thread. 2021 was a down year for video games (for obvious reasons) with lots of stuff getting delayed but the cream of the crop titles that did come out were fantastic. Normally I feel like their are still games from that year that I didn't play that I want to play when I make my lists but this year with the limited number of games that released I feel like I played pretty much everything I had any interest in. This year was by far the least amount of games I played since I've been doing these which was a combination of less games released that I was interested in and getting heavily into reading/collecting manga which took time away from gaming. But still I feel confident with my choices and like always these are my favorite games so your mileage may vary.

I also normally don't put remaster/re-releases in my list but I do have one this year. I'm including it because I hadn't played it previously and really enjoyed it and I would feel bad not including it. So on to the list...
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Old 01-04-22, 10:22 PM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

20.Kaze and the Wild Masks (PS4) (system I played on)


Kaze and the Wild Masks is heavily inspired by the Donkey Kong Country games so if you like that series you will probably enjoy this game also. It looks and play great with a level of polish that isn't always there in indie platformers. They nailed the controls and I had a bunch of fun playing through it's 5-6 hour runtime. I almost skipped this one because some reviews I read talked about it being a difficult game but other than the occasional difficulty spike I found it pretty average in difficulty as far as platformers go.
Old 01-04-22, 10:25 PM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021


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Old 01-05-22, 12:04 AM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

19. The Artful Escape (XBSX) (Currently on Gamepass)


One of the best looking games I played in 2021 The Artful Escape is definitely style/story over gameplay with its Ziggy Stardust vibes. At it's core it's a pretty basic platformer with some "Simon" style rhythm game sections mainly for boss battles but the story is the main draw with some top tier voice acting (Jason Schwartzman, Carl Weathers, Lena Headey to name a few) and fun dialogue options. The soundtrack also stands out which is must needed in a game so heavily focuses on music.
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Old 01-05-22, 07:17 AM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

I’m always 50/50 on dialogue/story based games (struggling to get through Lake right now), but I burned through Artful Escape. Great story, music, and art design.
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Old 01-05-22, 08:14 AM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

I always look forward to reading your year end reviews Quest!
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Old 01-05-22, 08:55 AM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

I saw Artful Escape demoed at PAX South a few years ago. Blew my mind back then. It's on my list of games to play.

Truly an artful game.

Also, I'm a big fan of your lists.
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Old 01-05-22, 04:14 PM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

18. The Magnificent Trufflepigs (Switch)


Two reasons I decided to play this game that most of you will have never heard of. Number 1 is because it is by the lead designer of Everybody's Gone to the Rapture which is one of my favorite games of the last ten years and number 2 is because I am a huge fan of the UK show Detectorists and with this being a British game about metal detecting gave me a similar vibe. So unfortunately the storytelling in Trufflepigs is nowhere near as high quality as Rapture but it still has some nice writing and twists (even though pretty predictable). The gameplay revolves around searching a field trying to find an elusive earring for your ex-girlfriend and while you're playing you'll dig up all sorts of junk and have conversations with your ex over walkie-talkie. The voice acting is again fantastic and does a lot of the heavy lifting for the game which unfortunately otherwise is a little rough around the edges. It's not a very graphically intensive game and on Switch it still runs and looks pretty mediocre which is disappointing. If you enjoy story driven games give this a shot when it's on sale but otherwise probably not for you.
Old 01-05-22, 04:56 PM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

Cheapy D and Shipwreck on CheapAssGamer also put The Artful Escape in their top 5 of the year, IIRC. I was almost on board with their praise, but now that Quesyen has put it on his list, I can now safely say I need to check it out.
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Old 01-05-22, 11:49 PM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

17. Balan Wonderworld (PS5)


I feel like I plead my case for Balan Wonderworld over in the game's thread so check that out if you want more detail on my feelings about it. I'm still not sure why it ended up being the "hated" game of the year because even at it's worst it's just a mediocre 3D platformer and there are far worse platformers that come out each year and most are generic, boring, and buggy. Balan at least has a bizarre story and heart. Even though it doesn't wholly succeed (and would have been greatly improved by a few small fixes) I can at least tell what Yuji Naka was going for and I applaud him for trying.
Old 01-05-22, 11:55 PM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

I'm eagerly awaiting for a conflicted Oldboy to chime in.
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Old 01-06-22, 09:59 AM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

16. The Wild at Heart (XBSX) (currently on Gamepass)


So for anyone who doesn't know the Pikmin series is one of my favorite video game series of all time. But unfortunately Nintendo likes taking their sweet time making games in the franchise so thankfully occasionally another developer makes a Pikmin-like game (the Overlord series, Hotel Transylvania 3: Monsters Overboard) and that is what The Wild at Heart is. The artstyle is great and the world they created is fully realized and fun to explore. You switch between two characters one who has a Luigi's Mansion-esque vacuum to suck stuff in which is fun to use. The creatures you control work in the exact same way as in Pikmin with different colors having different abilities, picking up collectibles and bring back to your base, and fighting monsters. So with all that said why isn't this higher on my list? It's hard to pin down but it's just missing something that makes the Nintendo series stand out. I feel like they put a few too many systems in the game besides all your normal Pikmin stuff and collectibles you're also dealing with resources, crafting, upgrades, potions, and a fairly annoying day/night cycle. But after saying all that it's still fun to play and if you're a Pikmin fan I can't imagine that you won't enjoy this.
Old 01-06-22, 03:32 PM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

15. The Forgotten City (XBSX) (currently on Gamepass)


For anyone unaware of the back story this game started as a Skyrim mod that got so popular it was built out into it's own full-fledged game and has won all kinds of story awards. It's a first person time loop mystery game with some combat but most of your time is spent talking to residents and piecing together why you are in this ancient Roman city and how to get out. I don't want to get too deep into the plot because it goes places and should be played without spoilers if possible. One of the most intriguing stories I've experienced in a videogame with great dialogue and fully voice acted.
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Old 01-06-22, 07:44 PM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post
I'm eagerly awaiting for a conflicted Oldboy to chime in.
i can wait till GP. I’m over it. Although…
Old 01-07-22, 10:20 AM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

14. The Gunk (XBSX) (currently on Gamepass)


If you've seen any of my past lists you know that I love the Steamworld series and The Gunk is the developers most recent game. It's a third person action-adventure game where you play as a space hauler/scavenger who lands on a unexplored planet looking for stuff to scavenge and sell and end up finding quite a bit more. It's a really nice looking game and the core mechanic of sucking up Gunk feels great (I love games where cleaning up areas is involved ex: de Blob & Luigi's Mansion). The planet is fun to explore and scan and overall it's a pretty chill experience. It's a pretty straightforward game so I assume if they make a sequel we will see stuff fleshed out more but I had a lot of fun with it even with it being not as good as their Steamworld Dig games.
Old 01-07-22, 11:13 AM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

I LOVED The Forgotten City. It really was such a fun story to play through, and I have Gunk downloaded through Game Pass so I will have to actually open it up and start playing now.
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Old 01-07-22, 11:54 AM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

Originally Posted by The Questyen View Post
This year was by far the least amount of games I played since I've been doing these
Can you make a wild guess about how many games you play in a normal year and how many this year?
Old 01-07-22, 12:22 PM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

Originally Posted by Jeremy517 View Post
Can you make a wild guess about how many games you play in a normal year and how many this year?
I generally finish around 100 games a year. This year was around 70 with only probably 40 or so that were 2021 games.
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Old 01-07-22, 03:51 PM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

13. Archvale (XBSX) (currently on Gamepass)


Archvale is the most recently played game on my list as I just finished it today but it was so good I had to get it in. If you've played Link to the Past then you have an idea of what they are going for with this game with a similar look and feel but combined with bullet hell shooter enemies so you're constantly dodging around the screen to avoid projectiles/attacks. The controls are perfect and I never got tired of exploring the world and dashing around enemies. I played it on easy and it had still had some challenging parts but nothing too tough I'm sure it would be a nightmare on higher difficulties.

Last edited by The Questyen; 01-11-22 at 05:01 PM.
Old 01-07-22, 03:53 PM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

Ok I'm leaving for Disneyland in about an hour so I won't be posting anymore entries until Monday night.
Old 01-10-22, 10:02 PM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

12. Tales of Arise (PS5)


I'm always down for a well made JRPG and even though I generally don't like the Tales games this one had enough positive buzz that I gave it a shot. The cast of characters is great with some fantastic voice acting and a much improved battle system from the previous Tales games I've played. They really nailed the fast travel system which was a welcome quality of life change that made returning to areas and doing side quests not the chore it usually is in JRPGS. Story wise the plot really sucks you in during the first half but kind of loses it's momentum for me in the second half but still was worth seeing through to the end. If you're not a JRPG fan I don't see this game changing your feelings on them but if you like them then give this one a shot.
Old 01-11-22, 09:58 AM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

11. Returnal (PS5)


Returnal might be the first game to make one of my lists that I never finished. I knew full well going in that based on reviews/previews discussing it's difficulty it was unlikely I was going to complete but even so I still had quite a bit of fun with the 10 or so hours I put into it. It looks fantastic and the core dash/combat is really fun to do. The biomes and enemies are well done (at least through the 3 biomes I encountered, could never get past the 3rd boss) and the world/plot is amazing. If Returnal would have been a standard action/adventure game without the procedural generation and had easier difficulty levels/accessibility options it probably would have been in my top 3. But obviously that is not the game they were looking to make and people are loving it as is.

Last edited by The Questyen; 01-11-22 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 01-11-22, 05:00 PM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

10. New Pokémon Snap (Switch)


I absolutely loved the original Pokémon Snap so I've been waiting forever for a remake or sequel. It's a pretty simple concept and would have made a perfect Wii U game with that controller but thankfully we find got a sequel on the Switch. While the first game was only an hour or so long they added in tons of paths, camera options, unlockable areas, an actual story, and day/night cycle with different Pokémon in New Pokémon Snap which greatly extends the playtime and I ended up playing around 10 or so hours of it. A very well done sequel.
Old 01-12-22, 09:42 AM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

9. Kena: Bridge of Spirits (PS5)


I knew this was going to be a game I would enjoy from the first trailer they released of it. Kena is a third person action adventure and is the first game by studio Ember Lab. It definitely gives me similar vibes of some of my favorite game series combined into one (Zelda, Pikmin, Ratchet and Clank) but manages to be it's own thing. They do a great job doling out abilities/weapons slowly as you go so you don't get too overwhelmed and the environmental puzzles while not incredibly challenging were fun and rewarding. The graphics have a nice cartoony look to them and the Rot are adorable. Also the game is quite polished for a studio's first game and I can't wait to see what they do next.
Old 01-12-22, 04:38 PM
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Re: The Questyen's Favorite Games of 2021

8. Lake (XBSX) (currently on Gamepass)


This game out of any on my list is probably the one that I wouldn't recommend to just anyone. It is a very slow moving (literally your run in this game is probably 10% of a normal walk in any other game) chill game that involves delivering mail in a small town and meeting all the residents. There are no time limits for your mail delivery and your day ends when ever you feel like it ending. And that's exactly what I loved about it. I loved it's slow chill pace. I loved meeting and interacting with all the weird residents. I loved the silly side quests they'd send you on. The movie rental store has a pretty extensive amount of parody movie VHS covers in it that were fun to go through. But the biggest surprise for me was when I was driving to a farmhouse and saw someone doing metal detecting in a field so I hopped out to talk to them and it was literally Mackenzie Crook's character from Detectorists (I bet no one expected 2 references from a 5 year old British tv show on my top 20 list) doing a cameo in this random videogame. If you've seen the crowd reactions when the surprises happen in Spider-Man: No Way Home that was my reaction when Mackenzie Crook started talking. So why is this game not higher? It doesn't run great and had some annoying bugs. But otherwise it's missing a little more substance. Some more stuff to do/residents to interact with could have helped flesh it out immensely. With those things this might have been my favorite game of the year. Even still Lake is quite the experience and made by a small team so I can't fault them too much.

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