Transvaal’s 2023 Games Of The Year List πŸ“…πŸ… #GOTY #goty2023

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The legend of Games Freezer that is Transvaal gets to grips with a list of 5 wonderful video games that crossed his path in 2023. 

Our man loves himself some JRPG shenanigans topped off with some mainstream and indie horror scares...
5- Baten Kaitos 1 and 2 RemasteredπŸŽ–
Baten Kaitos 1 and 2 Remastered
I recently saw a debate on X regarding whether remakes and remasters should be eligible for ‘game of the year’ (GOTY) nominations and I looked at two replies before my brain kicked in and I realised, “Wait! I really don’t care about this” so here is Baten Kaitos 1 and 2 Remastered kicking off my GOTY list, games that I loved back on the GameCube and still love now that they are both on the Switch. I’m not one for nostalgia usually, though looking at this list I’m sure many of you will raise an eyebrow at that statement! Regardless, playing this game - and one that appears higher up on list - brought me back to being fourteen years old, playing games with free abandon. A JRPG where you battle with cards is my dream, I say this as someone who plays Final Fantasy 8 just to play Triple Triad. I was all over this game, throw in charming characters and an engaging plot with a fascinating world and you have a game that will squeeze my heart and take about 60 hours of my life.

4- Final Fantasy 16πŸ…
When I said I only play Final Fantasy 8 for Triple Triad, it was a slight lie as I do love the rest of the game. In fact, FF8 is the best in the series and if you don’t agree you can find me and Ben Starr waiting in your nearest car park ready to throw down! Well, I’ll definitely be there and Mr Starr might be their if he’s not busy... but at least one of us will be there to defend FF8’s honour.

Now, back to the Final Fantasy at hand - FF16 got me hooked within the first hour, I really enjoy dark fantasy and anytime a game can open with a huge slaughter is fine by me. The darker tone combined with the usual Final Fantasy trimmings made for hours and hours of joy, I enjoyed the gameplay as I like both turn based and action orientated gameplay, so luckily for me I’m always happy with whichever route Square Enix goes down. Its like old Baten - it has an an engaging plot with a fascinating world but adds in great voice acting and all the wonderful charm that this series is know for.
I could really put any Puppet Combo game here as I’ve loved everything I have played from them this year. Christmas Massacre and Night at the Gates of Hell were both amazing, but this was my first and you always have a soft spot for your first, funnily enough Final Fantasy 8 was my first but lets stop talking about that game and lets start talking about why you should never enter a stranger’s house and go straight to the basement. You know why you shouldn’t because - as Stay Out of the House shows you - there might be a murderer living there, and they might not take kindly to your presence. 

Christmas Massacre also taught me you shouldn't listen to a bloodthirsty talking tree encouraging you to go on a killing spree, that's what these games are about - helpful lessons that will get you through life. They are also wonderfully designed horror games that kept me on edge even when I played the killer. Amazing music, dripping with atmosphere - I can’t say enough good things about them other than whatever they release next - I will be there day one.

2- Baldurs Gate 3 πŸ₯ˆ
Yes, I’m being edgy and going against the grain, ha! ha! Gaming world - I disagree with your choice of game of the year! Ha! Ha! Look at me, I’m so different! No,,, this is my fault, I’m playing Baldurs Gate 3 with my cousin in person once a week and only for about three hours, so I’m just not as far in as I would like to definitively put this at number one on my GOTY list. Do I think this will go to number one after finishing it? 

Probably yes, but I can’t 100 percent say it is, but from what I’ve played - it is fantastic. So many engrossing characters and just a fantastic plot, I love the way there are so many ways to do things, I look forward to playing it every week. So I’m sorry Baldurs Gate 3, you will just have to make do with all the other awards you have won, I know this one will sting but your 6 Game Awards - including best game of the year - and my number 2 spot will just have to do.

1- Resident Evil 4 Remake πŸ₯‡
Well, well, well look at old ‘I’m not really bothered about nostalgia’ - and here you are putting this at number one because it brought you back to being fourteen and reliving the experience of playing one of your favourite games of all time again.. and yeah, it really did. 

I played all 12 hours of this game with a massive grin on my face, I loved it! It felt new enough to feel different and yet kept what I loved about the original, it did everything a remake should, I really loved the Dead Space remake as well but Resident Evil 4 just made my heart grow 3 sizes, I knew this game was special when I finished it and my first thought was ‘I could just replay this game again... so I did, and I had never done that for any game, ever.

Transvaal's Final Thoughts... πŸ’­

My final thought I want to leave you with going into 2024 is *ahem* - Square Enix SHOULD REMAKE FINAL FANTASY 8. You’re doing 7, and now 9 has been rumoured... how could you leave out 8? Yes I know some people didn’t get on with the junction system but look, I will pay you a ridiculous sum of money for a collectors edition that comes with Triple Triad cards, don’t make me throw down in the car park again, because I will.

Sincerely yours

A man who claimed he is not one for nostalgia.

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