Niche Gamer’s Games of the Year 2020; Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Hades, and Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition

Prime Benefit Spotlight: Free games and in-game content

The Niche Gamer selection for Game- or rather Games of the Year 2020 are Yakuza: Like a DragonHades, and Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition.

As explained in our Community Game of the Year poll and our Game of the Year 2019, our choice was all the more difficult from not just the wide selection of games, but the fact each fit into criteria that would make it unfair to compare against others.

After creating our Indie Game of the Year category last year, we introduced this to the community poll, along with another for both staff and community picks. Game of the Year is for AAA or otherwise “major” titles, while Indie Game of the Year are for smaller developer teams. Finally, the brand new Best Port/Remake of 2020 are for titles that were enhanced with a new release.

 

Yakuza: Like A Dragon
Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
Publisher: Sega
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S (reviewed)
Release November 10, 2020 (Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S), March 2, 2021 (PlayStation 5)
Players: 1
Price: $59.99

The major leagues saw battle between Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Doom Eternal; though Animal Crossing New Horizons and Wateland 3 were considered. Like many, we were initially apprehensive when it was announced the next entry in the Yakuza series would be an RPG. These fears were quickly cast aside.

The world through protagonist Ichiban’s eyes made perfect sense, and an ideal fit for a series that manage to marry serious drama with sheer absurdity. The gripping story, impressive graphics through the Dragon Engine and next generation of consoles, and oddly fitting RPG combat made it our Game of the Year 2020.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is available on Windows PC (via the Microsoft Store, and Steam), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and March 2nd on PlayStation 5. You can find our full review here, and suffice to say we cannot recommend it enough.

 

Hades 
Developer: Supergiant Games 
Publisher: Supergiant Games
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch (reviewed)
Release Date: September 17, 2020
Players: 1
Price: $24.99

In the indies, there was discussion over Carrion, Deep Rock Galactic, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, and Streets of Rage 4. Nonetheless, Hades easily cinched the crown. Yes we hated it was initially exclusive to just the Epic Games Store, but the game’s sheer quality (and availability on other platforms) shone through.

Supergiant Games combined their flare for art-styles, fast arcade and roguelike gameplay, and an engaging and witty take on Greek mythology. The constant stream of new content and features further encouraging more attempts to escape the underworld made it our Indie Game of the Year 2020.

Hades is available on Windows PC, Mac (both via the Epic Games Store, and Steam), and Nintendo Switch. You can find our full review here, we highly recommend it.

 

Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition
Developer: Capcom
Producer: Capcom
Platforms*: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: February 20, 2020
Players: 1 to 2
Price: $19.99

* Available as Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening, Devil May Cry HD Collection, and older editions of Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition on other platforms

Finally in the ports and re-releases, we considered Moon: Remix RPG Adventure, Rune Factory 4 Special, The Wonderful 101: Remastered, and Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition. The latter would ultimately win out. Free Style mode elevated the game to be equal to- if not surpassing- Devil May Cry V. 

High praise not only for being our community Game of the Year 2019, but because the original Devil May Cry 3 is 16 years old this February. Already solid gameplay was enhanced through this alone on Nintendo Switch, co-op bloody palace, and improved graphics (and the smaller screen helping out). So it became our Best Port/Remake of 2020.

Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition is available on Nintendo Switch. You can find our full review here, we cannot recommend it enough.

 

We still have some personal selections, and we all feel they are very much worth your time.

Here are some of our staff members’ personal Game of the Year 2020 picks:

Brandon’s Pick Yakuza: Like a Dragon

“Yakuza: Like a Dragon is not only an exciting change up for the already excellent Yakuza franchise, it refines and somehow even vastly improves the formula. While the previous games were enthralling action-adventure games with a gripping, continuing story – Like a Dragon throws RPG goodness on top of all that.

I really couldn’t put the game down from the moment I started playing it to the very end. Ichiban’s story is both sad and heartwarming, and chock full of homages to beloved RPGs from other series like Dragon Quest and Pokemon. It’s something else. I really love the game and hope we just get more Yakuza.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is available on Windows PC (via the Microsoft Store, and Steam), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and March 2nd on PlayStation 5. You can find our full review here (as aforementioned we cannot recommend it enough!)

 

Ryan’s Pick – Streets of Rage 4

“Streets of Rage 4 awoke something in me. I went from being unsure if I was fit to review it, to marathoning the game until the morning- and I don’t just mean 2 or 3 a.m. The developers’ revived Sega’s IP, and surpassed the originals while honoring them.

It encouraged me to experiment with the different characters, try different combos, and git gud at a genre I wasn’t passionate about. Which in turn made me more confident in my gaming overall. I’m still riding the rails in Monster Train, and picking out a present for Boomer’s upcoming birthday in Animal Crossing; but I want to get back onto the streets again.”

Streets of Rage 4 is available for Windows PC (via Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. You can find our full review here (we recommend it!)

 

Fingal’s Pick – Yakuza: Like a Dragon

“Yakuza: Like A Dragon proves you can make a masterpiece by experimenting with the formula. The gripping drama and care put into the characters makes it one of the most enthralling stories this year, and it’s compounded with tons of mini games and deep turn based gameplay.

It is more than just being the best Yakuza game yet, but also one of the best RPGs ever made. Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio did their homework, understand what makes a great JRPG, and combined it with their honed craftsmanship of decades of making some of the best crime dramas in video games.”

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is available on Windows PC (via the Microsoft Store, and Steam), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and March 2nd on PlayStation 5. You can find our full review here (as aforementioned we cannot recommend it enough!)

 

Frank’s Pick – Genshin Impact

“Thanks to a massive world that expands with frequent updates, fun elemental-driven combat, and gorgeous character designs; Genshin Impact manages to be a really fun game that you don’t have to invest money into… Though you’ll probably find yourself throwing money at it every now and then to chase the latest waifu.

I still play the game daily, if only for the 15 to 20 minutes it takes to complete my commissions and spend all my resin. I’d be lying if I said the endgame artifact and upgrade materials grind didn’t piss me off sometimes, but the general gameplay loop is just so relaxing that it has become part of my daily ritual.”

Genshin Impact is available on Windows PC (via the official website), PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, and coming soon to Nintendo Switch. In case you missed it, you can find our review here (we recommend it!)

 

Brandon Lyttle’s Pick – Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

“Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a breath of fresh air to the Battle Royale genre. Rather than being one among the dozens of shooting games out there, Mediatonic managed to take the formula to an entirely new genre.

Ultimately Fall Guys is indicative of just how innovative video games can be by taking the latest trends and running in a completely different direction with them.”

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is available now on Windows PC (via Steam), and PlayStation 4. You can find our full review here (we highly recommend it!)

 

Michael’s Pick – Wasteland 3

“When I first heard the rumblings a few years ago about a new Wasteland game, my hype meter was way up. Once I got my hands on the console version, it went way down unfortunately into disappointment overall.

Out of the 30 hours that didn’t crash, I 100% will boast that it’s a spectacular game with many layers of story, combat, dialogue, secrets, and more. I very much look forward to playing it when everything is fixed and optimized for all Xbox One consoles.”

Wasteland 3 is available on Windows PC, Linux, Mac (all via GOG, and Steam), PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. You can find our full review here (we recommend it on Windows PC!)

 

Did you see that Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Hades also won the community Game of the Year and Indie Game of the Year in our fourth community Game of the Year poll? However, your winner for Best Port/Remake of 2020 was Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition. Check the article to see how the results broke down.

What was your game of the year for 2020? Sound off in the comments below!

Prime Benefit Spotlight: Free games and in-game content

Add Comment