Welcome to Kazamatsuri, a city in Japan that has devoted itself to trying to promote a greener Earth. The city is surrounded in forests, is home to companies devoted to afforestation, and holds a massive annual festival devoted to nature.
It is in this city that our story begins with protagonist Kotarou Tennouji awakening from a strange nightmare. In his nightmare, he is running through a ruined version of Kazamatsuri and when he enters the forest on its borders, he encounters a strange girl with ribbons, who promptly kills him. After he awakens, he starts seeing this girl for brief moments, and one day he wakes up with bitemarks on his arm. In his pursuit of some explanation, he’s drawn to the Occult Research Club at school.
Summer’s anime season is at its end, which means a few things. It means Winnipeg now has to brace for snow. It means that game releases are about to start hitting fast and furious. But most importantly, it means it’s time to start reviewing anime!
New Game is a slice of life anime about a young woman who decides to apply for a character design job at the company who made one of her favourite games. We start the show with Suzukaze Aoba showing up for her first day at work and having to come to terms with the odd-ball personalities of Eagle Jump Software’s eccentric design team.
August and September were… strange for me. I was dealing with exhaustion, stress, and motivation issues for a long time there. I’m still struggling with some of it a bit, but for the most part it’s all cleared up. I won’t bore you with the details but I am very pleased that a lot of it has been dealt with, and I’m back on track. I even managed to finish my spring reviews and do my winter and spring anime review roundup!
Last month we finally finished my year-long introspective on my life of gaming. For those who haven’t seen it, please check out my Shadow’s Sixty if you’d like to see the best games I’ve ever played. It’s been an amazing journey, and was a lot more difficult than I expected. If you take a look, I’d love to hear about your lists or if there were any big surprises on my list for you. There were also a few game reviews that made their way out, for Abzu, I Am Setsuna, and Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness.
This has been a long time coming. When I started brainstorming for this list at the beginning of the year, I never would’ve imagined how difficult it would’ve been to try to recall and rank every game I’ve ever played. I spent weeks brainstorming the list, and my original first draft had around 110 games overall. I spent an agonizing month gradually narrowing the list down from those 110 to the 60 here – I used every trick I could think of to rule some of them out. Some games I went back and played again, watched footage of them, tried to see how much I could actually remember about them, and if I could write a convincing argument for why they were awesome. Afterall, if I couldn’t convince myself, then maybe they weren’t as good as nostalgia painted them, right?
These final 6 games were always on the list. While the rest of the Shadow’s Sixty changed dramatically from draft to draft, very little about the Top 6 has changed from the start. These games are the best I’ve ever played, and there was very little question in my mind about which games belonged up top. And that is why I am so pleased to reveal this list to you – the final entries in this, my Shadow’s Sixty. So let’s get to it and unveil gaming’s greatest, as I see it.
After creating one of the most unique games ever made, some of the fine folks responsible for Journey split off from ThatGameCompany to work on a new project on their own: Abzu. Literally meaning deep water, this game delivers on that by offering a unique oceanic experience. In Abzu, you play as a diver and are given the opportunity to swim around at your leisure and enjoy a beautiful underwater playground.