Since we're at the end of November, I'm curious what thread related lesser known games that other people in this thread have played and really enjoyed in the last year. I'm talking about the games that don't get big recognition such as Persona, Tales of, Final Fantasy, Nier, etc. Since it's technically not the end of the year and I doubt many have played much of November's games, I'll say the release window is from last November to current. If you could also give a small blurb for the game too and mention one thing you didn't like or thought the game could do better as well. It's not a requirement though.
2017 Releases I Completed: The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild, Final Fantasy XV (+DLC 1 & 2), The Fractured But Whole, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash, Collar X Malice, Zero Escape: The Nonary Games, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk, Fire Emblem Warriors
A lot of these were surprisingly disappointing (my personal opinion obviously), but here are my top three:
3. Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash: Aside from the obvious "plot", it's a surprisingly solid third-person shooter. I tend to dislike what I refer to as "squad-based shooters" (Overwatch and the like), but PBS was a light-hearted romp that wasn't online-only and offered a pretty complete experience offline. Customizing gear and trying out different loadouts was fun and the mechanics felt surprisingly solid for what I expected to be a generic spin-off title.
2. Zero Escape: The Nonary Games: Zero Escape is a solid VN franchise that doesn't get the love it deserves. TNG was my first exposure to the franchise, and the polish on 999's remake was excellent. Virtue's Last Reward was a little clunky in comparison, but I enjoyed watching the series unfold. I typically don't play games in a series back-to-back (I get burned out too easily), but I marathoned The Nonary Games and Zero Time Dilemma shortly after. It's a great value (which I'm always a fan of) and one of the best stories I've experienced in video games period.
1. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice: I feel like it wasn't advertised very well, because I was expecting more of a third-person action/adventure game and in reality the game is more of a walking simulator with puzzles and occasional combat sections. Ninja Theory did an incredible job with this title. Each of the different components feel great; combat is super-fluid, the puzzles are interesting and work well, the story is thoroughly engaging, and it all fits together perfectly. I don't want to go into too many details for spoiler reasons, but they take a very serious subject and address it in a thrilling and immersing manner. If you do play this, heed the warning to play with headphones; it makes a world of difference.
And just for fun, my biggest disappointments:
3. Berserk and the Band of the Hawk: Berserk is one of my favorite franchises of all time. I thoroughly enjoy muosos as well. This game manages to bastardize both. The first major arc of Berserk (The Golden Age) is handled fairly well, but each subsequent arc skims the story quicker and quicker, and some smaller arcs are omitted completely. It's also just a bad muoso. You're alone most of the time, there's very little variety in the gameplay, surprisingly few characters (and even fewer who are relatively viable), and the extra mode is a horrible grindfest.
2. Final Fantasy XV: I almost feel like it's cheating to put this on the list, but everyone knows the issues by now. Great worldbuilding, interesting characters, and it all flounders out halfway through the game. The first DLC (Gladiolus) was pretty great - felt a bit like a FF/Dark Souls crossover and had some pretty challenging aspects to it. The second DLC (Prompto) was just decent, but with a God-awful snowmobile minigame mode. Seriously, the physics are laughable. I don't know how the minigame made it through quality assurance.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: I love Zelda. Majora's Mask is my all-time favorite game. The series has been near and dear to me since I started playing games. BotW did not feel like a Zelda game. It felt like successful pieces of major games from the past five years were pieced together into an incredibly polished, but ultimately generic and non-unique experience. It really feels like each Zelda component was added as an afterthought; the game could be reskinned and sold as a completely new IP. Dungeons are gone, getting new equipment is gone, story is (mostly) gone, and instead we're left with a vastly empty, almost too open world.