Cary’s Best Games of 2017 Awards Show!

2017 will probably go down as a very good year in gaming.  We got a new 3-D Zelda game, a new 3-D Mario game, 2-D Sonic and Metroid games…heck, we even technically got a new Animal Crossing game!  Well, we also got a new Bubsy game, but let’s try to stay positive.  It was a way better year in gaming than 2016, anyway.  So now it’s time for my Best Games of 2017 Awards Show!  Keep in mind that no outside opinions went into the making of this list.  It’s just my own picks.  And if a game is missing from my list, it either didn’t appeal to me as much, or I just simply haven’t played it yet.  Can’t play all the games out there, you know!  And I did kind of break the rules with my Game of the Year award, so expect some surprises.  Anyway, let’s get started!


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)

Yeah I know, big surprise here.  Actually as far as Zelda games go, this one was not one of my favorites.  I really prefer my Zelda games to have actual dungeons, and not have to worry about weapons breaking after using them a couple of times (and honestly my favorite Zelda games are the 2-D ones).  And really, this wasn’t even a Zelda game at all.  Sure it had Zelda elements, but it was really another game entirely, cleverly disguised as a Zelda game.  But I do appreciate it for trying to be different, and it still held my interest for the 60 or so hours I put into it.  So it gets the award.  Can you guess my favorite character?

Runners Up:

Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)

I know what you’re thinking, “Whoa!  Cary!  You didn’t give this the award for best 3-D adventure?”  No, but that doesn’t mean I hate Mario Odyssey.  I liked it a lot as well, and it’s a must-have game for Switch owners.  But I felt the game was a bit too short in the main quest, and while the initial post-game rewards were great, anything after wasn’t as eventful.  In the end, I felt it was a bit overhyped.  Still great, though.  I just enjoyed Zelda more.

Splatoon 2 (Switch)

The original Splatoon was my Game of the Year back in 2015.  The sequel is still a lot of fun, but since it’s more of the same, it didn’t have quite the impact on me like the first one did.  I also felt some of the new modes were not as good as everyone says they are (like Salmon Run).  Again, still a great sequel.

Gravity Rush 2 (PS4)

I played through the first game on Vita.  While I didn’t do the same on the PS4 sequel, it’s still a fun title and I like the main character.  And the worlds are more epic than the ones in Mario Odyssey.

Ever Oasis (3DS)

It’s just a fun little 3-D action adventure game.  I read it was made by the same guy who did Secret of Mana!

Ys 8 (PS4)

I love the Ys series.  While I think I enjoyed Ys Seven more, Ys 8 does a great job of making you feel like a castaway on an island, and it’s full of adventure.  Don’t pass it up!

LEGO City: Undercover (PS4)

It seems that we’ve had a resurgence of 3-D platforming adventures this year.  LEGO City: Undercover is one of the better LEGO games I’ve played.  Technically it’s been out for a while on the Wii U, but now that that system is dead, they’ve released it on all the current consoles this year, and I played it on the PS4, so it goes on the list.  It’s like a family-friendly LEGO filled GTA title, and it’s a lot of fun.  I liked it so much I bought the 3DS prequel.

LEGO Worlds (PS4)

A lot of people say it’s LEGO Minecraft, but I think it plays more like the Toy Box from Disney Infinity.  But it’s still a pretty creative little game and nice to see a LEGO property that’s based on the toys and not a movie parody.  I should also give props to the LEGO Dimensions packs I’ve been reviewing because they’re what’s keeping me from unplugging my Wii U and putting it away.


This neat little 3-D puzzle platformer is similar to games like Ico and The Last Guardian, with Zelda-like dungeon puzzles.  It also has one of the saddest endings in a video game that I’ve ever played!  Make sure you have a tissue handy before beating it!

Yooka-Laylee (PS4)

It certainly isn’t perfect, as it has some control, camera, and level design issues, but Yooka-Laylee is still a nice tribute to the Banjo-Kazooie games.


Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS)

I also enjoyed this game more than Mario Odyssey.  It was nice to see a 2-D Metroid again, even if it was a remake and the backgrounds were on the bland side (I prefer sprites).  But I thoroughly enjoyed this game from start to finish.  I’m glad they did remake Metroid 2 since that’s one of the few I haven’t played much of.  I hope they get to do more new 2-D Metroids in the future.

Runners Up:

Hey! Pikmin (3DS)

A lot of Pikmin fans hated this game, but I loved it.  But then, I’m not a big fan of the regular Pikmin titles.  It kind of reminded me a bit of Kirby Mass Attack.  It wasn’t very hard, but it was still quite an enjoyable little game.

Sonic Mania (PS4)

I’m not a big fan of most Sonic games, but this one played most like Sonic 3, which is one of the few I liked, so I enjoyed this one, too.  Only stumbling block I had is it only lets you save before the first act of each world.  So if you make it to the end boss of an act and lose all your lives, you have to start from two acts before.  I know older games were like this, but I’m an adult now and don’t have as much time to play games over and over like I used to.  Limiting how you can save your game is one thing from retro games that needs to die.

Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King (Switch)

It looks and plays like a 16-bit Zelda game such as Link to the Past.  This game is shorter and more linear and doesn’t control as well, but I still enjoyed it for what it was.


Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle (Switch)

So two things make this game weird.  One, obviously it mixes Mario and Rabbids characters.  But it’s also a tactical strategy game, a genre that Mario hasn’t been in yet.  I’m not a big fan of those kinds of games, but this one was surprisingly fun and of high quality.  A must have for Switch owners.

Runners Up:

1, 2 Switch (Switch)

It’s just a mini-game collection and it should’ve been a pack-in game with the Switch in the first place.  But it’s how they presented it and some of the things you must do that make it really weird.  Like holding the controller near your mouth and moving your mouth up and down to eat a bunch of sandwiches, or rocking the Switch screen to put a baby to sleep!

Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop (3DS)

The Cooking Mama games have been around for a while, but I still say they’re weird.  I mean, a cooking game?  Come on.


This game is so weird that I don’t think I could describe it well in my review.  It’s a puzzle game where you must push buttons and switches and levers in a particular order in little lunchbox like toy things that look like those baby activity centers you hook on the side of a crib.  And it was published by Double Fine, too.

SnipperClips Plus (Switch)

I haven’t played much of this game apart from the demo, as it is best played with two people.  But you are two pieces of paper that can cut out each other by overlapping them and pressing a button, and using the new shapes you create to solve puzzles and perform tasks.  But what’s really weird are the expressions on the characters’ faces!


I am Setsuna (Switch)

Technically this came out last year on the PS4, but it came out this year on the Switch, and that’s where I played it, so it goes on the list.  It plays a LOT like Chrono Trigger in how you view the world map and battles.  So much so that if they made a few tweaks to the story and characters here and there, it could almost be a Chrono Trigger side story.  But because the game has classic RPG sensibilities, it held my interest all the way though, so that’s why it wins this award.

Runners Up:

Stardew Valley (PS4)

I don’t know if you’d call a farming sim an RPG, but it does have RPG elements so it goes on the list.  Again, this actually came out on PC last year, but this year it came out on consoles and that’s where I reviewed it.  It blew a lot of people away but it’s really nothing different than a Harvest Moon game.  But it is a very good copy of a Harvest Moon game, and there hasn’t been one of those on a big console for some time, so it goes on the list.

Miitopia (3DS)

It’s a fun mix of Find Mii and Tomadatchi Life with RPG elements.  I just wish they didn’t force you to change your character class and allies after each chapter.  I liked my team of me, Zelda, Samus, and Cammy. 🙂

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions  (3DS)

A good remake of the first Mario & Luigi game, and the added optional strategy sidequest starring Mario enemies was a nice way (although a bit repetitive) to lengthen and add challenge the main adventure (which was easier than I remembered).  Both games have loads of humor in the text, too, and are very fun to read.


Mario Sports Superstars (3DS)

This really wins by default since it was the only sports video game I played this year.  But Mario sports games are good simple fun and I was surprised on how much I liked the horse racing parts.


The Disney Afternoon Collection (PS4)

I just adored The Disney Afternoon cartoons as a kid.  I even wrote a separate blog about them when I reviewed this one.  For me, I have better memories playing Capcom’s Disney games on the NES over Nintendo’s originals.  That’s why most of the games on this collection interested me more than most of the titles on the NES Classic Edition!

Runners Up:

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap (PS4)

Now THIS is how you do a remake.  The Wonder Boy titles were popular in the 8- and 16-bit days, and even had ties with the Adventure Island series.  But they’ve kind of faded into obscurity and they’re definitely not as popular in the US.  It plays like an early “Metroidvania” where you can switch animal forms to bypass obstacles.  If you enjoy the Shantae games, you’ll definitely enjoy this one.  I loved how they let you seamlessly change the graphics and sound from retro to modern.  Best of all, supposedly later we’re getting a TRUE Wonder Boy sequel!  I played it at PAX South and it’s awesome!

Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders (iPad)

I may not talk about them as much, but I’m a huge Taito fan.  They have as much history behind them as Namco or Nintendo!  I have a lot of respect for how Space Invaders impacted the arcade industry, and I have a lot of special memories playing Arkanoid as well.  So I thought it was cool how they combined both games in this neat little mobile title.  I especially loved how other Taito characters make cameos as power-ups!

Namco Museum (Switch)

It’s not the best or biggest collection, but it does have some obscure titles on here, which I can appreciate.  One of which I’ve never even heard of, which is rare for me and Namco!

Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 (PS4)

Even though these games should’ve been on the first Legacy Collection in the first place, these are still some great games, and Mega Man 8 is one of my favorites.  Can’t wait for Mega Man 11!

WindJammers (PS4)

It’s really the exact same game that was on the NEO GEO many years before, but they added online play and console friendly menus and such.  But it’s still an incredibly fun flying disc throwing game that combines elements from Pong, Air Hockey, and Super Dodge Ball!


Bye Bye Box Boy (3DS)

HAL Laboratory may be best known for Kirby and Smash Bros., but they’re no slouch when it comes to puzzle games, too.  Before Kirby, their ‘mascot’ was a little blue ball with eyes named Lolo that starred in his own series of block-pushing puzzle games.  HAL still shows they have puzzle chops with the newest BoxBoy game.  It’s a 2-D platformer where you can create blocks that can be used as stepping stones or even a shield.

Runner Up:

Puyo Puyo Tetris (PS4)

It’s an interesting combination of two popular puzzlers.  Kind of reminds me of Tetris vs. Dr. Mario on SNES.


Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite (PS4)

While the story mode is handled a bit differently and the roster isn’t quite as interesting (probably thanks to Disney), there is still a lot to like about this game.

Runner Up:

ARMS (Switch)

The only reason why this didn’t win is because I felt the Marvel vs. Capcom game had a bit more content.  But this is still a very creative new IP from Nintendo, and a must have if you own a Switch and like fighters.  I only wish Capcom or Namco would’ve helped make it, as they really know how to add that arcade flair to their titles.


Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp (iPad)

I rarely have a category for mobile games, unless they’re REALLY good.  But that’s the case with this game.  I even bought a new iPad so I could play it (well, and other games, too, as my last iPad was from 2012).  Best of all, the game is free-to-play.  And I haven’t spent a red cent on it yet.  I wonder how they’re making money off it?  Anyway, I plan to write a special blog about this later, as Animal Crossing is a very special game series to me.

OK remember at the beginning how I said that I was breaking the rules with my awards show this time?  Well, get ready for it.  This might upset or surprise people, but I’m going to do it anyway!

And now for my Best Game of the Year 2017.  Taiko drum roll, please…


SNES Classic Edition

Yeah I know what you’re thinking.  “Cary, that’s not a game.  It’s a console.”  Well, yeah, but like I said, I’m breaking the rules this time, and it is MY list, so I can do what I want.  Plus I like to mix things up every now and then and I haven’t done that in a while on my Game of the Year blog.  Usually my Game of the Year isn’t just a good game, but has special memories associated with it.  The SNES Classic Edition has special memories tied to it from the past, present, and future.  I have fond memories playing nearly all the games on this collection in the past.  My family worked together to get me this console for my birthday, so I have a good memory associated with it in the present.  And I can’t wait to share memories playing these games with anyone I may come across in my life in the future.  And that’s why it wins my award.  Plus I just REALLY like the SNES. And two of my top five favorite games of all time are on it.

And that’s my awards show!  Please let me know what you think of my picks in the comments section, and tell me YOUR favorite games from 2017 as well!  Later!  –Cary

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