Louis Hughes’ Top 3 Favorite Games of 2019
1. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition (Switch)
The reason I chose this as my favorite game for 2019 had a lot of factors going into this. I
originally had no intent to play this game despite all the praise I’ve heard about the series.
The main reason being that I don’t have time to play a long story-driven game. That all changed
when the demo was stealth dropped on the e-shop. I decided to give the demo a try since it
stated that your progress will transfer over to the full game. Just like Valkyria Chronicles 4’s
demo, I was instantly hooked. Unlike their demo, DQXI’s demo was much longer, giving me
more time to get lost in the story while getting a feel for the combat system.
Because of this, I went from having zero interest in playing this to having a hard time taking
a break from this. Out of all the games I picked for my favorite game of the year, I never
thought it would be a game I was dead set on not playing. But thanks to the demo, I realize I
almost missed out on this gem.
2. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair (Switch)
This is one heck of a redemption story. While I waited for the Switch version of the previous
game, the reactions were mostly negative. I didn’t want to believe it until I paid full price when the game finally released on Switch. Had I played it then, it would have easily landed
on my most disappointed list.
Now, as a spin off, but not a sequel, Playtonic Games took what works (side scrollers) and
put their spin on the genre to much success. They even got their old pal David Wise to
compose the soundtrack. I had a blast playing this and it’s no secret this was inspired by
their previous work on the Donkey Kong Country series, while adding new elements from
Retro Studios’ games (Donkey Kong Country Returns/Tropical Freeze). I had a blast playing
this side scroller and I hope people can overlook the first game and give this second helping
3. Shenmue III (PS4)
October 28, 2002. That is when Shenmue II was released in America for Microsoft’s Xbox
console and the sole reason I bought it. After the cliffhanger, it felt like reading a book that
was unfinished. After years waiting for an update, I decided to accept that the franchise is
over. That was until rumors were leaking of a surprise at E3 2015 and boy were the rumors
right. After more delays and controversy surrounding the PC version being an Epic Game
Store exclusive, the game was released to mixed reactions.
My time with the game has been great, since it was the equivalent to meeting a high school
friend you haven’t seen since. From playing it, I can say this game is strictly meant for the
fans, as the gameplay and pacing may be off-putting for people who haven’t played the
recently released HD ports of the previous two. If that’s the case, I highly recommend giving
the Yakuza series a try, most notably Yakuza 0.