By Quentin H. / December 23rd, 2019
30) Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Publisher: 505 Games
Platform(s): PlayStation 4 / Xbox One / Nintendo Switch / Microsoft Windows
Release Date: June 18, 2019
Marisa Alexander says:
Castlevania is perhaps one of the most beloved classic franchises out there in the game industry. However, players hasn’t seen a new game since Lord of Shadows 2, which was back in 2014. Even more troublesome was how the last classically-styled game in the series that wasn’t a remake or port was Order of Ecclesia from 2008. As such, the series was effectively seen as dead, along with its gothic style and flare. Suddenly we come to 2015, and along comes Koji Igarashi launching a Kickstarter for a new game called Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Starring Miriam, a Shardbinder who has only recently awaken from a coma, she must venture through a newly risen castle to confront her old friend Gebel, in order to save not only her companions, but Gebel and herself.
What makes Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night a true modern legend is how Koji Igarashi reinstated his place in the industry, especially from a Kickstarter. With wonderful exploration, gameplay customization, and presentation, the ‘Igavania’ was revitalized, avoiding the fate of numerous other Kickstarters such as Mighty No. 9 and Shenmue III. Not to mention it oozes with the brilliant gothic charm of the original games Iga was involved in, blending elements from not just Symphony of the Night but even extending as far as Order of Ecclesia. This was made for fans of both Castlevania and the genre, where Igarashi can indeed say “Have at you!” at his modern rivals.
31) Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: July 26, 2019
Patrick Aguda says:
Fire Emblem: Three Houses takes place in Fodlan and follows a young mercenary, Byleth, and the students of the Officers Academy. After certain events, Byleth is made a professor at the Officers Academy and must teach and lead the students through the mysterious events which occur shortly after their arrival at the monastery.
Three Houses is the first entry in the popular strategy series for Nintendo’s new system. In terms of characters, all the students in the game are well developed, and it’s easy to get attached to any of them. The support conversations for each student really helped to develop each character’s personalities and even helped delve into some of their back stories as well. In terms of gameplay, it removes the child system showcased in Awakening and Fates and adds a split gameplay system, which is easiest to compare to later entries in the Persona series. During the school time segments, players can improve their relationship with students through various activities such as eating lunch or having tea parties with them. You can also help improve Byleth’s own abilities by training with other professors, and if you get tired of that, you can even go fishing or go on a free mission to help level up your characters. Players can continue to do these activities throughout the month until the date of the mandatory story mission, which is where the fruit of all your training from that month will be put to use.
Three Houses did a great job of introducing brand new gameplay mechanics to the series while keeping the tactical battle system hardcore fans know and love. The music is fantastic as usual, and all of this combined with great characters and three different story paths, I believe this is the best entry in the series released in a long time. If there is any game from this decade that you should play, Three Houses should definitely be on your list.
And with that, our top thirty-one games of the past decade has been revealed! A final, special, thank you to everyone who contributed to this series of articles.
What do you think of our final selections for 2018 and 2019? Do you think the just-released Death Stranding or 2018’s God of War should have been included in our best of the decade list?
Let us know in the comments below below!
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