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Cary's Best Games of 2024 SO FAR Awards Show!


On 07/06/2024 at 08:07 AM by Cary Woodham

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Around this time of year, I like to make a list of my best games SO FAR, because usually the AAA titles are released later in the year during the holiday season, and the titles that came out earlier tend to be forgotten.  So here’s when those games get their due.  Keep in mind that this is my list only and no other outside opinions contributed.  And if a game isn’t on this list, it either just didn’t appeal to me as much or I haven’t had a chance to play it yet.  Ok with that out of the way, let’s begin!

BEST 2D ADVENTURE

Freedom Planet 2  (PS4)

When I first started playing Freedom Planet 2 for my review, the first thing I thought of was how much things have changed since then, as it’s been nearly ten years since!  Gaming-wise, I reviewed the first game on a totally different console generation.  Also, Freedom Planet was meant to play like a classic 2-D Sonic style game, at a time when there wasn’t a whole lot of good 2-D Sonic titles around.  But since then we’ve got Sonic Mania and Sonic Superstars, both of which are fairly decent (although I still like Freedom Planet 2 more).  My life has also changed a lot since then, as I have a different job and live in a different place than I did back then.  Even the world has changed, thanks to the COVID pandemic and whatnot.  And now we finally have a sequel to Freedom Planet, and it’s vastly improved over the original game.  Also I’d like to add that I’m so thankful for XSEED, the publishers of this game, as they’ve always been supportive of me and this site since they’ve been around.

BEST 3D ADVENTURE

Princess Peach Showtime! (Switch)

A lot of reviewers have complained about this game, saying it’s too easy and made just for kids.  But I don’t see anything wrong with that.  Kids deserve good games, too!  And I still had fun with it.  Is it Game of the Year material?  No, but not every game has to be.  It kind of reminded me of some of the GameCube’s more experimental titles like Luigi’s Mansion or Wario World, and I thought that was pretty cool.  Despite the sales numbers, I thought that era was a great time for Nintendo.

Runner Up:

Little Kitty, Big City (Switch)

In this unique game you play as a regular old house cat.  You are lying on your favorite windowsill when you accidentally roll over and fall out.  You land safely via a string of comical incidents, but now you must figure out how to get back up to your owner’s apartment.  So you must explore the big city below, helping out other animals and causing cat-like mischief as well.  This game reminds me of a mix of Untitled Goose Game, as well as a PS2 game I played a long time ago called A Dog’s Life, which was kind of the same premise except you were a dog doing dog things.  The game also has a bit of a Katamari Damacy vibe with the simple graphics and the Japanese style city setting.  It’s a bit short, so it only gets runner up status, but it’s still a fun time.

BEST PUZZLE GAME

Picross S Namco Legendary Edition (Switch)

It’s a couple of Picross games for this category.  Ultimately, this one won out mainly for the theme.  Because you know how much I like my Namco characters! 

Runner Up:

Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons (Switch)

Even though this one didn’t win, it’s still pretty good.  In fact, the presentation might even be better here than in the Namco one.  But yeah, both are great Picross games!

BEST CLASSIC COLLECTION/REMAKE

Pac-Man: Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs (Switch)

Of course this one’s going to win, it’s Pac-Man!  Have you ever heard of the Google Stadia?  It’s OK if you haven’t.  It was a cloud based game console that came out a few years ago and bombed.  Well, Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle was one of the exclusive games for it.  I really wanted to play it, but I wasn’t worried because I knew the Stadia would fail and we’d probably get this game after that.  And I was right!  It’s not the best Pac-Man game in the world, but it’s a neat take on the battle royale format as you can use warp tunnels to go to other players’ mazes.  Plus you can play as Pac-Man wearing a Klonoa hat while chomping dots in a Mr. Driller maze.  So yeah, Namco knows how to push my buttons.

Runners Up:

Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! (Switch)

This was originally a 3DS game and a really fun one at that.  It was later ported to Apple Arcade and the Switch version is based off of that.  The game combines solitaire with…horse racing?  Yeah it’s a weird one, but incredibly fun.  Even weirder is it was made by Game Freak.  They made another little game series you might’ve heard of before called Pokémon.  You know how in horse races, sometimes the horses have funny names?  Well in this game, some of the names of the horses you compete against make references to Pokémon, like “Bulba Soarer” or “Volt Tackle.”

Mario vs. Donkey Kong (Switch)

I have to make a confession.  I haven’t played this one yet.  But I have played the original GBA game so I know it’s good.  It’s kind of a sequel to the Game Boy Donkey Kong game, which was one of the best arcade updates to this day.  This sequel isn’t quite as good, but still fun.  I’ll probably wait and ask for it for my birthday or Christmas or something.

And now for the best game of 2024 SO FAR.  Taiko drum roll please…

BEST GAME OF 2024 SO FAR

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (Switch)

This was easily one of the best games on the GameCube, and certainly the best GameCube RPG (sorry Tales of Symphonia fans).  The battle system was so much fun, with a unique audience feature.  Lots of great set pieces.  My favorite is the third chapter’s wrestling theme.  And I don’t even like wrestling!  And the script text is just as lively and fun to read as it was back then.  They touched up the graphics and sound, but if you don’t like the new remixes, you can have the old GameCube songs, too.  Really glad they remade this one so more people can play it.

And that’s all for now.  There were a couple of games I wanted to put on this list because they technically came out in the first half of the year.  But they only came out like, a week before I wrote this and I haven’t had a chance to get them yet.  They may also be games I save to ask for on my birthday or Christmas and those games are Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD and Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble.

I have to say that this first half of the year was pretty slow.  It could be because we may be nearing the end of the Switch’s life cycle.  But I waited till after the June Nintendo Direct to write this article and boy, the rest of the year will be way better!  I’m most excited for Mario & Luigi Brothership, the new RPG in the series.  Also the Ace Attorney Investigations Collection because it has one game that never made it to the US before now.  It wasn’t in the Nintendo Direct, but I’m also looking forward to Ys X: Nordics and Visions of Mana.  But the game from the Direct I’m MOST excited for is the new Zelda game: Echoes of Wisdom.  Not only does it share the same style from the Link’s Awakening remake, but  you finally get to play as Princess Zelda and that’s really cool!  And of course there’s also Hello Kitty Island Adventure and Metroid Prime 4, but those won’t be out until 2025 so I’ll talk about them later on.

Anyway, in the comments section, let me know what you think of my list, and tell me what YOUR favorite games of 2024 SO FAR are.  Later!  --Cary


 

Comments

KnightDriver

07/06/2024 at 09:59 AM

I really want to play more of Pocket Card Jockey. 

I've been too busy playing retro or games that came out a year ago to have a feeling for what's best this year. I'd like Endless Ocean Luminous to be good though. I bought it but haven't have time to play it. 

Cary Woodham

07/07/2024 at 09:42 AM

The only reason why I have been able to play so many games is because I review them.  And even then I can't play all the ones I'd like to.  That Endless Ocean game is a good example.  I never played the one on...Wii I think?  And I didn't feel like spending the time or money on this one either.  That's just the way it goes sometimes.

KnightDriver

07/10/2024 at 10:16 AM

There were two Endless Ocean games on Wii. I really love exploration in games, especially ones involving photography and ecological field work. One of the few day-one purchases I made on Wii was the second EO game Blue World.

Cary Woodham

07/11/2024 at 07:34 AM

Because I was juggling both Wii and 360 titles, as well as the PS3 eventually, I probably chose to skip out on the Endless Ocean games.  And it's probably why I'll skip out on the new one.  Come September, my gaming schedule is going to be PACKED!

KnightDriver

07/13/2024 at 09:39 AM

I bet. The start of the holiday season when so many games get released. 

Cary Woodham

07/14/2024 at 07:53 AM

Yeah here's my schedule:

September has the Ace Attorney Investigations Collection and Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom.

October has Visions of Mana and Ys X: Nordics.

And November has Mario & Luigi: Brothership.

And in between I'd like to squeeze in the two games that came out earlier this year I haven't gotten yet: Mario vs. Donkey Kong and Luigi's Mansion 2 HD.  And whenever Capcom releases the Marvel vs. Capcom collection.

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