Video games that got us through 2020

By GYG Lounge staff

By now, everyone has done all of their Game of the Year stories. People are still bitching on Facebook and Reddit about The Last of Us Part II. We get it. You have strong opinions and have a hard time when people disagree with your views online. So we are going a different route because (obligatory 2020 was hard line goes here.)

We decided it was better to share the games we played this year that helped us escape from the drama and tragedy of 2020 while getting us closer to January 1. Here are the games that helped get us through 2020. Maybe you will find as much enjoyment out of them as we did.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Picked By Alex

I was apprehensive when this game first released. Fire Emblem mixed with Persona? Tea parties? Class lectures? Why? It sounded way too Japanese for my taste. No thank you.

When I picked up the game on sale for Black Friday I was pleasantly surprised. Honestly, I can’t tell you which I like more, the classic, turn-based combat or the class lectures and team-building exercises I get to choose back at the monastery. I haven’t binged a game like that in a while. Usually, I just play games through the prologue to justify the purchase to my wife. I mainly find more joy in collecting. 

Playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses reinvigorated my interest in gaming again (2020 mainly has me comatose in my bed watching YouTube). I’ve since dusted off a number of games since then, but I am always thinking about how I’m going to continue to develop my Fire Emblem team (I picked the Black Eagles), what characters I need to treat to a luncheon or tea time, and who I need to pair up more in battle to boost their support level. I do miss the support system of Fire Emblem: Awakening, but this game fires on all cylinders. If I seem chipper it’s because I turned permadeath off for my first playthrough.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

Picked By Joe

My game of the year’s name is truly an act of hubris. Crash Bandicoot 4 is not truly the fourth game in the series, nor is it the fifth, sixth, or seventh. By calling itself Crash 4, it’s basically saying, “all those games that followed the original PS1 trilogy no longer exist. This is the true successor to Naughty Dog’s platformer trifecta.” It’s a bold statement, and after spending over 40 hours with this game, I think it might actually be true.

Crash 4 is basically the 3D equivalent of the ultra-hard 2D indie platformers that became popular this past decade, like Super Meat Boy and Celeste. If you thought that the original games or the N. Sane trilogy were “the Dark Souls of platformers,” then this game will be a nightmare for you. The amount of precision required to beat some of this game’s levels is borderline absurd, and frankly, some of the collectibles are so well hidden that I have no idea how anyone could find them without a guide. It’s all worth it though to collect that next silly costume for Crash and Coco.

I’m not gonna argue that Crash 4 is the BEST game of the year. It’s a bit too bloated, and the vehicle segments are borderline broken with their hit detection. But I would be a liar if I said it wasn’t the game that I enjoyed the most. After dozens of hours played, I’m still only at 83% total completion, and I highly doubt I’ll ever get that coveted 106%. But I know I’ll come back to this game in the years to come to keep getting closer.

Mordhau

Picked By Spencer

Making a pick purely out of the sheer fun-factor, I have to go with Mordhau. If you can imagine a Battlefield sized map and style in a medieval era, then you can imagine what this game entails.

Up to 40 vs 40 player matches on a variety of beautiful maps means that you will never feel lonely or play the same kind of match twice. Mordhau’s horde mode has such a unique feeling to it, mostly due to the fact that no other game comes close to what Mordhau is trying to do. This game and its community also takes modding seriously, and that’s where this game got me through this year.

I have a couple of buddies who stream on Twitch most nights. Every Friday night ends up being community Mordhau horde night. Every Friday for months now, I have been able to rest easy knowing that no matter what is going on in the world right now, I can play as a dark ages Ned Flanders and throw rocks at knights. Maybe if you’re in the mood for something as spicy and fast-paced as it is stupid, you could check out the dodgeball map.

Mordhau seriously has something for everybody, and I’m so glad I was introduced both to it and the people I get to play it with.

Borderlands 3

Picked By Brian

Of all the games I’ve played this year (Red Dead Redemption 2, Death Stranding, etc.), Borderlands 3 has easily gotten the most playtime. 

It’s fun. It’s goofy. It can be challenging, but not throw-your-controller-at-the-wall frustrating. And, the co-op has been a great way for me to stay in touch with friends through the pandemic. 

Even my girlfriend, who has barely played a video game in her life, enjoys it.

A big part of this also goes to Gearbox and 2K Games. Just when I think I’ve finished every  mission and acquired every piece of loot I could possibly need, they release more content. I admit I was a bit skeptical on the first three DLC’s, but Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck and Arms Race have been a blast. Seasonal events also bring more loot, challenges and new maps.

I’ve already reached the maximum level on two characters and am working on a third, and I don’t see myself losing interest anytime soon.

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