I spent the last month playing every Mario game in preparation for Mario Odyssey (and an upcoming piece on the series as a whole!), and still ending up spending around 30 hours with Odyssey after its release. And I’m still going. This month was always going to be a fight for who’s in second place.
As for the struggle for second, hey October, you put up a pretty good fight! We had a packed month with indie games and AAA both bringing out their best. As I continue to try to finish October’s… and September’s releases (and I still haven’t finished RE7, oops) let’s see what stood out among the crowd. And hey, November, feel free to slow it down a bit if you feel like it. I promise I won’t mind.
1. Super Mario Odyssey
A game I still have a handful of issues with (shallow post game, devaluing the collectibles, etc.) but also one that I haven’t been able to put down over the last couple weeks. It’s a shining example of how Nintendo still has it, and how they’re cool with taking risks on a beloved franchise. Imaginative as ever, I’m glad to see my favorite development team in the business hasn’t lost an ounce of creativity over the years. It doesn’t take too hard of a look to see Breath of the Wild’s DNA cropping up in Odyssey, but the freeform exploration and massive amount of challenges fit Mario pretty well. I wish there were more areas with tough platforming challenges and linear design like 3D World and Galaxy 2, but for what’s essentially an open world Mario game, it’s almost as good as anyone could ask for. Almost.
2. The Evil Within 2
I’ve barely scratched the surface with this one, but if the opening hours are anything to go by, I’ll be loving my playthrough of this just as much as I did with the first. The open world elements don’t take away from the perfectly scripted sequences, and sometimes it even elevates them. When you’re exploring a random house and your eyes meet a body in the corner and it’s instantly dragged away… you know you’ve stumbled into more than you bargained for. I just wanted some loot, okay! Scary as ever, The Evil Within 2 is vying for my horror game of the year already.
3. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
It didn’t leave as much of an impact on me as the first one did. I know, that sucks! But it’s hard to compete with one of the best first-person shooters ever made, especially when you’re the sequel in direct comparison to it. While The New Colossus is a wild ride with a perfectly satisfying story, it never hits the highs of its predecessor. The scenes with BJ’s father come close, and that final scene is rad as hell, (except for the godawful credits song…I mean, how did they let that happen?) but The New Order was an incredible surprise that’s near impossible to replicate. This one’s still very good, though.
The Norwood Suite – I liked Off-Peak more, but if you want more surreal Cosmo D exploration, this one’s still a treat.
Universal Paperclips – The first half is one of the best clickers I’ve ever played, the second is not. Give this one 30 minutes and see it for yourself.
The Mummy Demastered – A well-done Metroidvania from a team who has proved that they know how this genre ticks.
The Jackbox Party Pack 4 – More Fibbage is always good, as is the new mode where you make your friends write the questions. Civic Doodle is one of my favorite drawing games they’ve done. Survive the Internet is pretty good. Bracketeering is silly and fun and I think I’m the only one who kind of likes it. Monster Seeking Monster is a cool idea and aesthetic that was somehow made into the least fun game imaginable, mainly due to its length.