Editor’s Note: This is the first year we’ve combined the PlayStation platforms into one award. As such, we have included the previous winners of the individual awards below.
2012: Journey (PlayStation 3) & Persona 4 Golden (PlayStation Vita)
2013: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (PlayStation 3) & Tearaway (PlayStation Vita)
2014: Tales of Xillia 2 (PlayStation 3), AKIBA’S TRIP (PlayStation 4) & Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus (PlayStation Vita)
2015: Bloodborne (PlayStation Console) & Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & the Monster Seal (PlayStation Vita)
The PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation TV, and PlayStation Vita are home to some of the most diverse and niche video games in today’s North American market, thanks in large part to companies being willing to give these games a chance outside of Japan. This year, we rounded up a fair variety of video games for our 2017 PlayStation Exclusive Game of the Year Award, with the distinction that all of them are either substantive re-releases of the game or were sequels.
Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization
NA Release Date: November 11, 2016
Platform(s):PlayStation 4, PlayStation TV, PlayStation Vita
Set after the anime series, you play as Kirito on Sword Art Origin, a new VRMMORPG which was created on the game’s original server. You can recruit from among over three-hundred NPCs to join your team and, depending on how you praise them during combat, their stats will change and they will use certain abilities more often as a result.
As you play, you can really tell that Bandai Namco wanted to write a love letter to Sword Art Online fans and make as realistic of an offline MMORPG as possible for them. And for the most part, they succeeded. This is a fun adventure and definitely is something worth checking out if you’re a fan of the series and you want to spend just a bit more time in this VRMMORPG world.
Senran Kagura: Estival Versus
NA Release Date: March 15, 2016
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation TV, PlayStation Vita
The sequel to Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus, this is a 3D action fighting game that has thirty-four total characters and a single unified story that involves all of the characters in the game. The characters, all from four different shinobi schools, are transported to a mysterious tropical island where they are told to compete in a contest to both learn secrets of shinobi lore and to have the ability to lay the souls to rest of one’s dearly departed.
When you fight as a character, you use different attacks to make combos to pummel your opponent, and the more hits you connect, the more experience points you’ll gain. However, the more damage you take, the more your chosen outfit gets damaged, and sooner or later you’ll be down to lingerie and taking more damage than before as a result.
All in all, it is a fun and quirky fighting game and that is why it landed on our list of 2017 PlayStation Exclusive Best Game of the Year.
Superdimension Neptune Vs. SEGA Hard Girls
NA Release Date: October 18, 2016
Platform(s): PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV
A crossover title from the Hyperdimension Neptunia and SEGA Hard Girls franchises, IF and newcomer Hatsumi Sega travel across four different eras of SEGA’s console history to right the course of history and return what parts of history have been lost to the timestream.
Oh, and Nep-Nep is now a talking motorcycle.
This is a turn-based RPG, much like the main Hyperdimension Neptunia series, but in a unique twist on the franchise, each of your actions takes up a certain amount of a bar. And once that bar is depleted, that turn is over. With your team being made up of four characters, you can customize them all with different classes to suit your playstyle. Lastly, in something of a break from the classical Hyperdimension Neptunia series, there are action sequences that break up the more traditional RPG aspects of the game.
All in all, it is a welcome departure from the classic Hyperdimension Neptunia gameplay and was therefore included in this list of 2017 PlayStation Exclusive Game of the Year.
Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force
NA Release Date: July 26, 2016
Platform(s): PlayStation 4
A re-release of the PlayStation 3 exclusive, you play as Fang who teams up with a fairy named Eryn to revive the Goddess and bring peace to the land after he pulls a sword out of the ground. The turn-based combat is fast and fun and you can have up to six people in your party to fight with. As an update to the PlayStation 3 version, there are now additional diverging storylines after a certain critical story point where the game will now become radically different (I don’t want to spoil anything).
This is not a typical HD-remake where a new label and some updated textures are slapped onto a game and it’s called a day. This is a substantial and wholly worthwhile update to Compile Heart’s 2014 North American release and therefore earned it’s spot here on the 2017 PlayStation Exclusive Game of the Year.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II
NA Release Date: September 6, 2016
Platform(s): PlayStation 3, PlayStation TV, PlayStation Vita
Set just a month after the end of the first game in the series, the characters are scattered all over the world after that game’s events. As you slowly rebuild the team, you see the characters start to question both themselves, their families, and where their loyalties lie. It is a game that follows in the footsteps of the traditional JRPG genre, as you participate in turn-based combat and use the new link system to perform up to three different kinds of attacks a turn.
AND THE WINNER OF OUR 2017 PLAYSTATION EXCLUSIVE GAME OF THE YEAR AWARD IS…
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II
Congratulations to The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II for winning 2017’s PlayStation Exclusive Game of the Year Award!
All of the elements that I’ve discussed above for this title when put together, makes for an engrossing video game that simply should not be missed, and a shining example of why the PlayStation Vita is still relevant in this day and age. As a result, it was a natural shoo-in for 2017 PlayStation Exclusive Game of the Year.
And bonus: The third game of the series, Trails of Cold Steel III, is due out in Japan in late 2017.
So, what do you think of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II being our 2017 PlayStation Exclusive of the Year?
Do you think The Last Guardian should have earned a spot? What did we miss out on? Let us know in the comments below!