We are honored to have Super Eyepatch Wolf contributing to our 2021 Game of the Year guestlists. If you’re unfamiliar with Mr. Wolf, he has a supremely great YouTube channel where he makes videos that shake the entire internet with each release.
His most recent upload, “What The Internet Did to Garfield,” is not just perfectly on the nose for the GB Extended Universe, but has also been viewed over 2.5 million times.
But perhaps best of all, we’re currently working on a new podcast with John that will begin to air in February.
Inscryption, Shin Megami Tensei V, Metroid Dread, Little Nightmares 2, Binding of Isaac: Repentance.
10. The House of Fata Morgana
There is a moment in visual novel horror game “The House of Fata Morgana” that made me put down my switch, and speak aloud in my empty apartment:
“OH GOD, OH GOD NO, I AM NOT DEALING WITH THIS.”
I have not played it since.
9. Lost Judgment
One time while playing Lost Judgment, I was skateboarding down a busy Okinawa street, did a sick flip over a car, stopped to solve a mystery with my best friend who is a small dog who also enjoys solving mysteries, I then threw a bunch of street thugs into a river for fun, before helping my local dance troupe take first place in the school regionals.
This all happened in the space of about 40 minutes.
8. Resident Evil Village
I am unfortunately one of “those” Resident Evil fans.
People speak to me about how much they enjoy RE7 and the REmakes, earnest enthusiasm glinting in their eyes, I grumble how resident evil is not “real” survival horror, how RE4 was great, and also, the worst thing that could have happened the series, ruining whatever birthday/ family event/ social outing I am a part of.
I do not wish to be this person.
But I am.
What I love about Resident Evil Village, is it shut me up.
Resident Evil Village goes so far the opposite direction of what people like me “think” Resident Evil “should” be, it CACKLES at the concept of slow, carefully, paced scares, it HOWLS at the idea of introspective atmospheric horror. Instead, it SCREAMS at you to punch haunted dolls in the brain, it BERATES you in giant deadly robot wars, it DEMANDS you shoot giant dragons in the face with sniper rifles.
It is glorious.
But not as glorious, as Lady Dimitrescu, my beautiful giant terror wife.
More than just a horny twitter meme, Lady D is incredible. Her frantic and terrifying bursts of anger, her ability to choke slam me through several floors of a medieval castle, her… GIANT BATHTUB, so many things about Lady D are simultaneously charming, hilarious, and horrifying, the delirious image of this giant beautiful BECLAWED woman gliding murderously towards me through a hallway of golden opulence, this is the image will that float up from my subconscious whenever I recall RE8, and the perfect encapsulation of all the beautiful and occasionally horrifying insanity that is this game.
After I beat Adios I sat back and thought “oh god, I’m going to die some day, and I’ll probably know it’s coming, that’s gonna be weird.”
If for some reason that statement is enough to convince you to play Adios, then read no more and continue to my next entry.
You are a pig farmer.
A pig farmer, who helps the mafia dispose of dead bodies.
You have done this for many years.
You do not want to do this anymore.
You tell this to your longtime mafia friend.
He tries to convince you to reconsider.
He tells you that you know what this means, and that he’ll be back at sundown.
You have hours to live.
6. The Forgotten City
There’s a bald man in the Forgotten City called Galarious and he does your side quests for you.
5. The Great Ace Attorney
When I was 11, I remember catching my friend Michael in a lie.
Michael had rented the playstation 1 game “Digimon World”, and had told me. However, a little later when I asked him about it, he said “I never rented that.”
This is because we were now in the presence of our older, much cooler friend, and Michael was lying in an attempt to look more mature.
I liked digimon, and did not like the fact he was lying, so I called him out on it. The argument escalated until eventually he screamed-
“JOHN. DID YOU SEE THE DISC? NO? DID YOU EVER SEE THE BOX?? NO??? WELL THEN JUST SHUT UP.”
He had trapped himself. There were two different Digimon games, one for the n64 and one for the playstation. The specific information Michael offered about the game sealed his fate.
“Michael… I never said anything about a disk or a box. I never said anything about it being for the playstation.”
Our older, cooler friend, without looking up from his phone, murmured “Wow, he got you there”.
Michael, his face collapsing into a red mask of fury and shame, silently stormed towards his house.
I can still hear the slam of his front door.
The petty satisfaction I still feel from this memory is immense.
The Great Ace Attorney is the closest a game has come to letting me relive that feeling.
4. Guilty Gear Strive
I glimpsed heaven with Guilty Gear Strive.
Strives online rankings are divided into 10 floors, separated into a gradient of player skill, I spent a lot of this year battling up through this tower with the wolf wielding Giovana, each victory was exhilarating, every loss taught me something, until finally, I reached its top floor, Celestia, where I was absolutely DESTROYED in my first match, only to be immediately expelled from heaven, tilted so hard I lost my next several matches, causing me to go tumbling, CRASHING back down through its lower floors.
This is one of my favorite gaming memories of the year.
That should tell you everything about how good Strive looks, sounds and feels.
3. Deltarune Chapter 2
In 2015 I played Undertale and was left with a single feeling:
I wish I had made this.
I wish everytime I had some dumb idea for a story, a character, or a song, I wish I just… hadn’t been such a coward and just… did it.
Because here was someone who had. And It was sincere. It was hilarious. It was beautiful.
In 2021, Deltarune Chapter 2 made me feel that exact same way.
I am really going to try this time.
2. Disco Elysium
Disco Elysium feels like a game from an alternate timeline where Mario talked instead of jumped.
1. No More Heroes 3
No More Heroes 3 should have been a disaster.
I was in college when I played No More Heroes 1, and it shocked me, the game was so wild, so creative, so uniquely itself, everything else felt like it was trying to be a better version of something that already existed, No More Heroes felt the coma fantasy of a madman who’d watched all the same anime and wrestling I had.
I loved it.
14 years later I returned to No More Heroes, and man… it had aged. What I loved was still there… but I had to crawl through so many barren hallways, predictable boss patterns, and 2007 game design to get there.
It was a bummer.
This set the tone for my expectations for No More Heroes 3- a third entry in an iconic but forgotten video game series of an age gone, I had been here before… it had not worked out.
And then something crazy happened.
No More Heroes 3 felt in 2021, how No More Heroes 1 felt in 2007.
Trips to the ramen shop are accented by immaculately performed rap songs about Japanese cuisine, the seering red KILL that fills the screen at the conclusion of each fight, the DRAMATICALLY improved combat that layers strategy and mechanics onto the kinetic weighty action of no more heroes, to a story that ping pongs between melancholy, touching, and wildly insane.
I don’t think No More Heroes 3 is the “best” game on this list or even the one I’d recommend to most people, but it was the one that most thoroughly separated me from my reality, each and every time I sat down to play it.
And hell, in a year like 2021, if that’s not deserving of my game of the year, then what are we even doing here.