Comic 1333 - My fave games and anime of 2020

29th Dec 2020, 9:23 AM in Special
My fave games and anime of 2020
Average Rating: 5 (5 votes)
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Author Notes:

Jocelyn 29th Dec 2020, 9:23 AM edit delete
Jocelyn
I don't think I usually share this stuff here, but hey, I have visuals this time. XD

It's the end of the year. Typically, I like to make a big thing of it, with lists of my top three whatevers of the year (usually games and anime). Maybe needless to say, but I watched and played a lot this year. I did try to keep a list through the year (but I did drop a few things that I may have forgotten to mark down, so do forgive me if I'm missing anything). ^_^

So here's a list of everything I remember playing (in as close to chronological order as possible), and a few words on the top three of each.

***

Fave games I played this year
3. Xenoblade 2: Torna the Golden Country
Fun fact: the base game of Xenoblade 2 was my game of the year in 2018. I'd been meaning to jump on this DLC campaign for years, but I just never got around to it. The Definitive Edition of the first Xenoblade earlier got me wanting more by the end, though, and I finally jumped back in and tackled this. Although Torna's story is a prequel to the base game, and features a new area and some new characters, I just immediately felt like I was home. It's been years, but I still love this world and everything in it.

I think I still technically prefer the base game, but everything this DLC did was still wonderful. The tweaks to the combat added even more to an already deep and satisfying battle system. The new areas are beautiful and fun to explore. All the new music tracks are bops. And this might seem like an odd thing to praise, but this might've been the best use of NPCs I've ever seen in a game. How Torna utilizes side quests and establishes reputation and community really made the world feel alive to me and did wonders for the immersion, in ways most games just don't (up to and including the impact of the ending, even when I already knew what was coming).

My only real complaint is that it's been like three years since I played Xenoblade 2, and while I remember a lot of the big developments, Torna's story seems to assume you're familiar with all the details (or that you're going to at least follow up the DLC campaign with the main game to get those details). The thing is, while I remember a lot, there were certainly numerous points throughout Torna where I thought, "I know this is significant, but I can't remember why." I think I have a lot of backlog left to attend to right now, but if I hit a lull at some point next year, I think a replay of base Xenoblade 2 may be in order (still never got all the Blades after all, and I think the DLC also adds new ones). ^_^


2. Final Fantasy 7 Remake
I want to give this disclaimer: I am a huge Final Fantasy fan, but original FF7 was never my favorite. I always liked it, but it was actually a somewhat middling entry for me (I prefer the SNES trio, myself). And if you go back to old posts, I'm pretty sure I'm on the record complaining about Square Enix wasting time and money redoing this game when they could've made either a cheaper, simpler, faster remake, or just focus on making a totally new game. Then Remake actually came out, and ten seconds in I was sobbing at the beautiful new rendition of Prelude on the title screen. I didn't realize I'd get this nostalgic.

I honestly loved Remake from start to finish, largely because of how it threw off so many of my original feelings. I was apprehensive to the change in battle system at first, but the new one was a refreshingly great time. I didn't feel open to changes in the story at first, but I don't think I'd have enjoyed this as much if it'd actually been one to one with the story beats. Even the ending, and seeing how this is to become a series - a point of contention, I know - I'm so totally behind this. I think I'm actually looking forward FF7 Remake Part 2 more than I am FF16 right now, and that's not a sentence I ever thought I would say at this time last year.

Especially since Part 2 should have Yuffie. If I have one complaint about Remake, it's that I've missed my sassy ninja girl. XD


1. Ikenfell
On the one hand, I felt like it was cheating to include this in my top three of the whole year. I literally started it a few days before Christmas, and it was the last thing I've played. But I have been thinking about it a lot in the short time I've known it. Particularly in how troubled I am that absolutely no one I know is talking about this wonderful game. It's so cute, so charming, so clever, and sooooo gay. So maybe putting this in my top three is just my way of bringing attention to it so more folks play it.

And maybe it's because I think it's actually that good! The pixel art is super cute and flowy, with tons of personality. The music is consistently catchy and/or beautiful. The battle system is like a perfect fusion of tactical game strategy and Mario RPG timed hits. The story had me invested, had me laughing, and had my crying. And I loved every single character; it's been a long time since I played an RPG where I truly agonized over how I wanted to set up my party because I didn't want to leave anyone out (and I think that's a great problem to have). ^_^

I love this game. And I think that if you're reading this because you're a fan of Rain and other things that I do, you may love this game too. Please do give it a shot. It's available on every current console and PC, and I believe it's on sale as of this writing. Also, expect fanart from me in the near future; I have to draw these kids. ^_^


***

Fave anime I watched this year
3. Re:Zero - Season 2
This third slot was a tough one for me. I technically like Re:Zero - Season 2 a lot, but I also felt very frustrated by it. I spent the whole season thinking "Anyone remember the Royal Selection? Or the Sin Archbishops? Or like 90% of the other characters and plot points from season 1? What happened to all that and where is any of this going!?"

To its credit, the whole thing so far has remained interesting and compelling the whole time. It's just that I've been waiting four years since Season 1 for resolution on things that still don't have resolution. Instead, I just have more questions. Fascinating questions, which were well presented, with some deep, interesting world lore, but still... questions. Hopefully, they're just going for the slow burn, and Season 2, Part 2 is gonna be where it's at. But either way, for as much as I'm complaining, I'm totally 200% invested and I can't wait to see where things go next.


2. My Next Life as a Villainess
I can't really explain what it was about this one, but I smiled through every second of it. I've felt tired of isekai storylines in anime, but this one charmed me. I also feel I've grown very weary of harem anime too over the years... but this one charmed me. Compared to my number one and three anime, this one is also very simple and straightforward too. But there was absolutely never a point where I watched this show and didn't feel completely delighted by it. It's made this probably the hardest one to right about. Like, I can't entirely explain why I think it's special, but I know I felt it was special. In a very difficult year, this show kept me smiling every new episode.

Also, Catarina x Maria is OTP. You can't change my mind. XD


1. Tower of God
Let me start by saying I still haven't gotten around to reading the original comic. I've been severely torn between wanting to just watch the whole thing as it comes, or if I want to read ahead so I can see what comes next. But during the 13 episode run of what I can only hope is just the first season of many, I don't think my spouse and I talked about practically anything else the entire time. It's just such a dense story with a ton of lore. Any other story like this, I might find it to be a bit unnecessarily extra. Maybe it just came at the right time, though. We were so invested, and there was so much to take in and think about and discuss.

That's not even to mention the beautiful art, the catchy soundtrack, and the fun and likable characters. There was always a lot going on. To the point where it was arguably kind of a mess at times. But it was a glorious mess, and I just loved every minute of it! ^_^

***

As with any year, feel free to share your top three whatevers if you like. It doesn't even have to be just games or anime or even things specifically from this year either. Tell me about your favorite books, movies, live action shows, or albums of any year (that you encountered for the first time this year). Or if anything on my list is catching your eye and you'd like to hear what I thought, feel free to ask. ^_^
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Comments:

LariUmbreon 29th Dec 2020, 10:46 AM edit delete reply
LariUmbreon
The fact that you keep this detailed of a record of the games and anime you've played astonishes me. I can barely imagine being able to keep such a concise list.

Out of all the new games this year, the Destroy All Humans! Remake takes the cake for my favorite release. But I think that's literally the only new game this year I've played.

I did finally start Uncharted from the first game. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I got majorly addicted to Red Dead Online. I played so much Sonic (Adv 1, 2, Heroes) I got sick. I'm working through FFX and Tales of Symphonia again like I do every year (might try to nab all steam achievements while I'm at it.) Of course I'm still on a New Vegas run I've been on since 2018. Skyrim keeps calling me back.
I did start a new Fallout 4 character too.

My completionist stats are as follows:
I 100% GTA SA again like I do every once in a while.
I 100% Red Dead Redemption 2
I unlocked all Destroy All Humans! Trophies on steam.
I got the Platinum in Ratchet and Clank Reboot.

My Multiplayer life:
I did a run of "For the King" with a cast mate from the Animation. She's also been trying to get me into new games, like Apex and Borderlands 3. Overwatch continues to be a source of annoyance. A friend tried to get me into WoW and HotS. Among Us came and went.

Overall it's been a really okay year. My memory is really blanking, but it's been fun nonetheless. @.@
Jocelyn 29th Dec 2020, 11:16 AM edit delete reply
Jocelyn
@LariUmbreon

"The fact that you keep this detailed of a record of the games and anime you've played astonishes me."

It's just valuable for me as someone with a bad memory, to be able to recall that I've done anything at all this year. ^_^

Honestly, I'm just one of those people that loves lists. There's something just pleasing to me about seeing a record of things.
LariUmbreon 29th Dec 2020, 11:56 AM edit delete reply
LariUmbreon
"It's just valuable for me as someone with a bad memory, to be able to recall that I've done anything at all this year."

...that's a really good way to look at it. I think I'm gonna keep more lists. XD
Tipsie! 29th Dec 2020, 12:14 PM edit delete reply
Tipsie!
Haha, maybe I should tart doing this! I already keep a list of webcomics I'm reading, so it's not that much of a stretch
Casey K 29th Dec 2020, 3:12 PM edit delete reply
Casey K
I try to keep lists of things... like games I've played.. but my lists get lost among the itty bitty space I call my "office" which is really just a small space next to my bed due to us not having enough space in our apartment.

I keep going back to New Vegas myself, in fact, just the other night. And yes, Skyrim too (gosh what gamer hasn't gotten lost in Skyrim? jk)

Yeah, Borderlands is another one... I still need to finish Pre-Sequel before I buy 3.
Jocelyn 29th Dec 2020, 8:55 PM edit delete reply
Jocelyn
@Casey K

If it's any help, I just use a list-making app on my phone. It keeps all my lists safe, and close at hand when I need them. I use "Ranked Lists" myself, and I recommend it if you (or anyone reading this) is interested in keeping lists for this or anything else. ^_^
AwesomeChan15 27th Jan 2021, 2:24 AM edit delete reply
... .. ... ... Are you a RDR and GTA SpeedRunner?
CosmaComix 29th Dec 2020, 11:54 AM edit delete reply
CosmaComix
BNA was the best, too bad it only had 12 ep.
William 29th Dec 2020, 1:06 PM edit delete reply
How did you manage to avoid Toradora for so long?
Jocelyn 29th Dec 2020, 2:42 PM edit delete reply
Jocelyn
@William

Honestly, it's one of those shows I always meant to get around to. People have telling me to watch it for years. Then one day, I noticed it happened to be on Netflix, and decided it was time to change that.

To be honest, I actually had kinda mixed feelings on it, but I am glad I finally watched it. ^_^
DawnRuby 29th Dec 2020, 1:27 PM edit delete reply
Top 3 Anime

#3: Erased
I have been so into the mystery documentaries that have come out this year, so I thought I might search the anime world for one, and Erased was exactly what I wanted. It introduces some very interesting elements between the time jumps and the unlikely allies. It really got me back into watching the anime I love.

#2: Attack on Titan: The Final Season

I know this is still in the process, but after almost a decade of this show's running, I am so excited to see the conclusion. The beginning episodes are also showing us a side of the story that we have not yet explored, which is very interesting in informing us on which side the viewer wants to align with (won't say more because spoilers).

#1: Ranma 1/2

I have always been a big fan on gender bender anime, partially because I'm a trans girl pre transition, and partially because I so enjoy the fun struggles and situations the characters must go through. It's been a genre close to my heart, and Ranma 1/2 does it right Showing us the wide variety of transformations people can go through, putting our main characters into many (ahem) awkward situations, and being both a drama and comedy, it is definitely making my all time favorite shows list.


Games Top 3

#3: Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edtion

Similar to you, I played the base game of Xenoblade 2 sometime last year, and from there, I hoped to find an opportunity to be able to play the original, but with better quality. Lucky for me, Definitive Edition was revealed and granted me that chance. From the moment the first battle began, I knew it was going to be a very different game from Xenoblade 2, but I also knew the storyline would be very fun. I was caught off guard by the story many times, and cried at a few points as well, but that was part of what made it great.

#2: Hades

I know this game is a bit more recent, but it was a chance for me to try my first rogue-like game. However, it isn't your conventional rogue-like. It felt much more like an RPG, and that made me enjoy lots more than I expected. Zagreus's journey throughout the Underworld is always different, and the relationships he has with everyone is quite interesting. You get to learn about everyone and create amazing bonds. For anyone who has gotten to the end (spoiler warning), it is so heartbreaking to see the Zag will never be able to fulfill his wish, which has kept me determined to get him back there as much as I can. I am sad it didn't win GOTY, but proud that it was nominated.

#1: Persona 5 Royal

I have had my eye on playing this game for a long while, but it was only on my birthday three months ago that I got it (even though there was a bit of a snafu in there as well :( ). Even though I have not made my way through the entire campaign, I have loved every second of it. It is such a cool idea to be able to create bonds that can affect your abilities (and new in Royal, the whole storyline!). The journey that Joker takes it very emotional, relatable in a sense to our world today, and is so well thought out.

That's my Top 3. Hope you enjoyed! :)
Jocelyn 29th Dec 2020, 2:53 PM edit delete reply
Jocelyn
@DawnRuby

I loved Erased! And Ranma was a huge inspiration to me growing up (actually part of my "weeaboo starter pack" like 20 years ago), and also a big inspiration of how I write (there's a little Ranma DNA in Rain, for sure). But as a kid I only really ever saw the first three seasons. So this year, with nothing but time, it became my mission to finally see ALL of it. Some of it didn't age super well, but overall, it's still a lot of fun.

Attack on Titan will probably be a serious contender for my top stuff of next year. There just hasn't been enough of this final season for me to make that call now. But I am very much looking forward to seeing how it goes.

And I picked up P5 Royal on sale earlier this year, but I haven't gotten around to it quite yet. I'm very much looking forward to it.
Angeldude 29th Dec 2020, 1:27 PM edit delete reply
So happy to see Xenoblade up there, with Torna taking 3rd place and base Xenoblade 2 being GotY for its year! With that in mind, I'm curious what your thoughts on Nia from the base game are. Myself and a few others have noticed some patterns that are particularly relevant given this comic.
Jocelyn 29th Dec 2020, 2:59 PM edit delete reply
Jocelyn
@Angeldude

Nia was best girl for me, if I'm being honest. I mean, Xenoblade 2 arguably has a lot of best girls, but I just loved about her.

If there's any patterns you could draw from her to something in *Rain*, it's probably unintentional and unwitting, but I guess I could see what you mean. XD
SpeedyQuidKid 29th Dec 2020, 3:06 PM edit delete reply
Oh hey, I've been playing Genshin lately. Breath of the Wild but anime lol, fairly fun
pkrankow 29th Dec 2020, 3:07 PM edit delete reply
pkrankow
A weekend game that fits your genres is Blossom Tales, the sleeping king. Quickish and fun on the switch. An obvious Zelda clone like the older top down
Drake Zephyr 29th Dec 2020, 6:25 PM edit delete reply
Drake Zephyr
Talking anime, BNA is S Tier stuff. The animation style is beautiful, takes a lot of inspiration from Gurren Lagann and Little With Academia I think. Also, God of Highschool was pretty good except for the pacing. It felt very rushed to me, and a lot of the manwha readers complained about plot.
(SPOILERS BELOW)

But I actually liked the apparent changes with Mira not getting her butt kicked by the weird swimmer dude and having Mori beat Ilpyo.
j-eagle12212012 29th Dec 2020, 7:54 PM edit delete reply
j-eagle12212012
What Remains of Edith Finch was such a unique game
It was well narrated and left me wanting more.
No spoilers of course it really is a game you have to experience with no prior knowledge
Tipsie! 29th Dec 2020, 8:23 PM edit delete reply
Tipsie!
Tomorrow's my birthday, and though my family tradition is usually to give things to the birthday person, I'm gonna do the opposite this time. I'm going to draw Rain fanart on stream tomorrow, and hopefully have it finished and ready to send to you by the end of it!
Jocelyn 29th Dec 2020, 8:56 PM edit delete reply
Jocelyn
@Tipsie!

Ooh~! GOod luck! ^_^
mewe0 30th Dec 2020, 1:22 AM edit delete reply
Have you heard of ascendance of a bookworm? very relaxing animé with great worldbuilding, i strongly recommend!
Xiane 30th Dec 2020, 6:35 AM edit delete reply
Yeah very surprised it didn't appear anywhere. Here's a ditto supporting checking it out especially if you like the Villaness anime, it's the same feel good cheese of anime :D
Kyle 30th Dec 2020, 1:49 AM edit delete reply
You should check out Moriarty the Patriot.
Nellie 30th Dec 2020, 9:17 AM edit delete reply
Making lists is fun, so a top three for me would probably be something like...
Anime: 1. Adachi and Shimamura
2. Rezero season 2 part 1
3. Tower of God, maybe? Somehow I had trouble remembering what I actually watched this year aside from the top two.

And then for stuff I've read:
1. Adachi and Shimamura (yes, again, but I really liked this series, unfortunately the anime didn't get to where the most important stuff really start happening though)
2. Machikado mazoku (this one is a manga. I tried reading it because I thought the anime was ok but everything just got so much better and also a lot gayer after where the first season ended)
3. 私の推しは悪役令嬢/I favour the villainess (at least I think the English title is something like that)

And the reason all of it is Japanese stuff is because I've been reading a lot in Japanese for practice since I got to a point where it's actually fun and not too much effort:)
DCorp123 30th Dec 2020, 9:59 AM edit delete reply
This was the year I just started to get into anime, so I haven't seen that much yet. My Top 3 so far would be:
1. K-On
2. Neon Genesis Evangelion
3. Toradora

As for video games, I played a lot of really great stuff near the end of the year. My Top 3 for that would be:
1. Touhou Luna Nights
2. Paper Mario: The Origami King
3. Pikmin 3 Deluxe
Queen Wolfen 31st Dec 2020, 3:14 AM edit delete reply
Personally, Animal Crossing occupies all three of my top spots.
Fourth Nate 31st Dec 2020, 10:03 AM edit delete reply
I keep seeing recommendations for the FF7 Remake and wondering if it would be my thing.
I don't know about top 3, but my notables for 2020 are:
Animated series:
1. Banana Fish (note: content warnings) - couldn't put it down
2. She-Ra - is too awesome. Just everything is good
2. The Promised Neverland - thought it was going to be low stakes and then it wasn't. Thrilled to hear Season 2 is coming
2021: I just want more stories for adults about adult characters, anything but another high school setting

Video games:
1. Deep Rock Galactic - consistently drags me out of bad moods. Rock and Stone!
2. Resident Evil (HD Remaster)
3. Baba Is You
2021: I Was a Teenage Exocolonist
I mostly play games socially, so it's hard to pick games and feel that they're *my* picks, not my friend's

Webcomics besides Rain: I don't think I picked up anything *new* in 2020, but Motherlover is so vibrant I have to mention it

Shoutout to the entire Resident Evil franchise, which I did not play/see/ interact with before recently, and my partner who puts up with my shipping and interpersonal relationship commentary
Curley 1st Jan 2021, 10:29 AM edit delete reply
IKENFELL!!!

I'm so glad to see someone else talking about this great game. I best it last week and still reeling with the feels. I originally stumbled across it cause the composers worked on the steven universe music so I knew I at least had that but then bam they just in with the epic collabs with other indie artists like freaking samsus for I'ma's theme. Absolute hot fire. I was hooked from the start with amazingly dense well written fully realized real characters and stories. Much why I love your comic ^_^ thanks for posting about it and also gilda is best witch. Would love some fan art of gilda haha.
Lemonado Girl 1st Jan 2021, 5:29 PM edit delete reply
Lemonado Girl
>Kirby Canvas Curse

If you haven't started yet, get on it! It's an absolutely fun and charming experience, and a shame that the formula got its all important follow up on the Wii U, that poor black sheep of a console.

Also Next Life as a Villainess absolutely got ahold of me via the fact that there is just. So much gay energy being tossed around in it. Like, it's everywhere and I love it.
Kikunojo 3rd Jan 2021, 11:11 PM edit delete reply
May I ask why you dropped Dandara?, I really loved it but would like to hear your opinion
Jocelyn 4th Jan 2021, 12:56 AM edit delete reply
Jocelyn
@Kikunojo

Technically, I liked what I played of Dandara; I just really sucked at it. XD

Like, on paper, the gameplay concept was really cool, and I imagine high level play would be super stylish to watch. But unfortunately, I really just couldn't get a knack for the movement, which led to frequent, clumsy deaths for me. I'm not inherently against a hard game, mind. But it felt like checkpoints were also very few and far between, to where it'd take a really long time to just get back to where I died, only for me just die again. Playing the same areas over and over (and having to be kinda steady and meticulous due to the movement), only to lose and need to do it again anyway, just made me impatient after a while and I had to step away.

So yeah. I liked the idea of the game, it's just that I was really bad at the execution of it. I'm glad you loved it, though! ^_^
Panoctu 5th Jan 2021, 1:40 PM edit delete reply
Pretty neat list with some of my personal favorites, too.
Especially seeing Toradora, Beastars, and Sakamoto as well as Final Fantasy 7 & 8 there... I strongly approve :-D

If you liked Toradora I can also recommend Clannad if you haven't watched it yet... though you might need some patience for this one 'cause it's whole beauty only shines after watching both seasons, and it's kind of a long, calm, mostly wholesome anime... mostly... you have to keep at it once you started ^^"

My personal favorites I played were Grounded, Animal Crossing New Horizons, and Phasmophobia (besides some stuff I've started to play again after taking a break).
And for Animes I watched: Demon Slayer, Jujutsu Kaisen... okay, difficult to remember what was this year, but probably Deca-Dence and Dr. Stone... ugh, too much to remember XD
(Beastars I haven't watched, actually, but only read the manga instead... it's pretty good as well ^^)
JD 15th Jan 2021, 2:06 AM edit delete reply
Oh man, Villainess was incredible. It is a hard to explain title, but we think it’s the kind and generous spirit of the series. It’s just a happy time.
AwesomeChan15 27th Jan 2021, 2:23 AM edit delete reply
... ... ... ... Where's Fallout New Vegas?
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