GBAtemp Exclusive 2018: A Year in Review

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Daisies, Jan 1, 2019.


    Front-page GBAtemp Exclusive
    2018 has been a massive year for GBAtemp reviews, with 139 products reviewed since last January. We've reviewed games, hardware, and even books! Here are some of the highlights of our 2018 reviews, featuring some of the most influential products of the year.

    Nintendo Switch

    A majority of our reviews this year were for the Nintendo Switch, with a grand total of 43 games reviewed! That accounts for 31% of the products we reviewed this year, which increases to a whopping 45% when we factor in our hardware reviews. The Switch sure is popular! It may not have had the one-two punch of 2017's Zelda and Mario, but it's still a lineup to contend with. Here are some top picks of 2018's Switch library.

    Kirby Star Allies, Jakub Kowalski

    "Kirby Star Allies is the first installment of the series on a brand-new console and it bears all the signs of a somewhat rushed game that's testing the waters on new hardware. That being said, it has a gem of classic Kirby gameplay, it's nostalgic and immediately enjoyable from the moment you pick it up to the moment you put it down. If you enjoy Kirby, pick Star Allies up, but keep your expectations moderate - it's not a perfect game, it's just a good one, and that's fine."

    Octopath Traveler, Scarlet Bell

    "Octopath Traveler fills a gap in the Switch's ever-growing market, putting forward a full and refined traditional JRPG experience in a way that will appeal to both experienced and new fans alike. Presenting a unique and visually enticing graphical style, alongside eight storylines and a plethora of bonus content, it is a game I unreservedly recommend for Nintendo Switch owners."

    Pokémon Let's Go! Pikachu & Eevee, Scarlet Bell

    "Pokemon Let's Go Eevee and Pikachu are fine additions to the series, albeit different to what we're used to seeing. Presenting a more casual and relaxed environment to stroll through and appreciate, they offer a new Kanto. One of exploration, one of cooperation, and one of catching them all. It isn't without its faults, but as a way to bridge the gap between mobile and main series, it succeeds brilliantly."

    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Scarlet Bell

    "Super Smash Bros Ultimate lives up to its namesake. Putting forward a refined and polished console Smash experience in a form digestible both on the go and through all-night marathon sessions, it succeeds in bringing each unique joy of the series to the Switch. Though lacking a few iconic modes, it stands as one of the best games released for the console, whether playing alone or with friends."

    Nintendo Switch: Honorable Mentions

    PlayStation 4

    Trailing not too far behind the Switch is the Playstation 4, with 31 games reviewed this year. The PlayStation 4 perhaps had a more impressive lineup than the Switch this year, with exclusive hits such as Spider-Man and God of War, as well as a healthy number of big multi-platform titles.

    Monster Hunter World, Christopher Otero

    "Monster Hunter: World stands high as top dog in the series. Tight gameplay, impressive visuals and great online only make up a small fraction of this fantastic game. A must play for vets and those new to the series alike."

    God of War, Jakub Kowalski

    god of war.
    "I said it once and I'll say it again - God of War is one of those few rare games that truly define a platform. I'm confident that many years from now it's going to be one of those titles you see scoring high in the Top 10's of our current gaming generation. The game truly pushes the hardware where it matters and the resulting product is nothing short of perfect - a must-buy for a PlayStation owner."​

    Spider-Man, Krista Noren

    spider guy.
    "Insomniac's Spider-Man takes the best elements from previous Spider-Man games, and gives it a level of polish that will leave you stunned. Swinging from towering skyscrapers is an absolute thrill, and this game sets a standard for impressive visuals. However, a lack of content and the repetitive nature of the game hold it back from true greatness."

    Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Scarlet Bell

    "Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a fantastic game, this much I have no doubt. While I might not be able to compare it to the other games in Lara's modern trilogy, I can say with certainty this game does enough to stand proudly alone. Through great visuals, fun puzzles, and an unexpected degree of replayability, this is a game worth playing for any fan of the series, or anybody just looking for a great journey."

    PlayStation 4: Honorable Mentions

    Dragon Ball FighterZ, Krista Noren
    Shadow of the Colossus, Tom Bond
    Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, Krista Noren
    Moss, Shaun James
    Yakuza Kiwami 2, Jakub Kowalski


    Good PC exclusives are hard to come by, and 2018 was no exception. Where PC excels is in the multi-platform titles, and last year was full of impressive and hard-hitting games such as Hitman 2 and Yakuza 0, all best played on PC.

    Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, Prans Dunn

    "Adorable graphics, a lively world, a perfectly orchestrated musical score, and charming gameplay all culminate to make Ni no Kuni II feel like playing a gorgeous anime."

    Yakuza 0, Prans Dunn

    "Serious, hilarious, serious, hilarious. Yakuza 0 segues between those two adjectives surprisingly well in a poignant narrative with fluid gameplay. It is the perfect opportunity for PC gamers to finally invest hours of their lives in the world of Yakuza."​
    Hitman 2, Prans Dunn
    "Stealth gaming done right."​
    Katamari Damacy: Reroll, Daisy May

    "I'd wholeheartedly recommend Katamari Damacy. I was expecting to enjoy the experience, but to my surprise, I ended up loving it. It's unique, it's fun, and it's only £16. There is a lack of new content though, so if I'd already owned this game elsewhere, I'm not sure it'd be worth it. That said, since I hadn't played it before, I'd have definitely picked it up."

    With the Switch selling so well in the first two years of its life, hardware manufacturers are leaping to create cheap alternatives to official Nintendo offerings. This year, we reviewed a ton of Switch accessories. We also became CHAIRtemp, with a grand total of 4 gaming chair reviews.

    8BitDo SN30 Pro Wireless Controller, Scarlet Bell

    "I struggle to find reason not to recommend this controller. While not much cheaper than the official Switch Pro Controller, the seamless support for PC and Android sets it apart. From design, to form factor, to attention to detail and support, it is fantastic through and through."
    OPSEAT Gaming Chair, Krista Noren

    "When one buys a gaming rig, and sets up their space to accommodate it, they tend to focus on the hardware aspect of things, which means sometimes people forget to pay attention to one of the most integral pieces to their setup: the chair. A chair is the centerpiece to your entire gaming experience, and if you want to play your games in comfort, you'll want to have the best chair you can get for your money. If you're looking for the best, then look no further than OPSEAT."

    PowerA Wireless Gamecube Style Controller for Switch, Daisy May

    "PowerA's wireless Gamecube controller isn't bad by any means— it's just expensive. I love the controller, but I have to admit that the £40 asking price just isn't worth it. If you want a Gamecube controller for Smash, either get a first-party one, or pick up PowerA's wired version for £20. For £40, it just doesn't deliver when you consider that modern games can feel impossible to play."​
    New AceNS dongle, Scarlet Bell

    "It is no understatement to say I cannot fault this dongle. Between its fantastic design and improvements over the previous iteration in its internal battery, I firmly believe there is no better option for Switch users at the moment."

    :arrow:GBAtemp Review Center
    Charli, Prans, Sinon and 8 others like this.
    Discussion (7 replies)
  1. H1B1Esquire

    H1B1Esquire RxTools, the ultimate CFW machine.

    Nov 2, 2016
    United States
    Earth, bro-dude.
    Good jerb!

    You even separated software from hardware; I'm tickled magenta.
    Bernhard and T-hug like this.
  2. kuwanger

    kuwanger GBAtemp Maniac

    Jul 26, 2006
    United States
    A review of reviews. That seems appropriately meta enough. In a few years, you can do a review of reviews of reviews.

    Just remember, don't buy the Super Retro-Cade.
    Last edited by kuwanger, Jan 6, 2019
  3. Costello

    Costello Headmaster

    Oct 24, 2002
    Awesome work from the team! you all rock guys, well done!
    There were a bunch of major games this year.
    We didn't produce a RDR2 review but I'm not sure how that one would have turned out. I'm only about 30% done with the main story but not sure I really enjoy it.
  4. Ric-Are-Those

    Ric-Are-Those GBAtemp Regular

    Jan 2, 2018
    United States
    Where's Xbox? /s
  5. T-hug

    T-hug Always like this.

    pip Chief Editor
    Oct 24, 2002
    38% here :rofl2:
  6. |<roni&g

    |<roni&g GBAtemp Regular

    Nov 18, 2010
    United States
    2018 was a hugely negative year for us console gamers with Nintendo putting up a pay wall for their historically free online and adding nothing but nes Roms which are worthless. The community should never of let it happen, now you’re forced to bleed $20 a year to receive something that was always free.
    You can say that ps and Xbox charge for online but they offer much more multiplayer games than Nintendo ever could or will.
    2018 was the end of an era, no longer can you fire up you’re latest Nintendo system and go straight online without entering card details or buying some BS code first.
    Screw 2018, looking forward to the progression of xlink kai on switch and some NEW top titles, not recycled wiiu games, then I may actually buy Nintendo’s newest console.
  7. bandithedoge

    bandithedoge Advanced Member

    Aug 23, 2018
    IMO the single thing responsible for so much traffic and many new users in 2018 was the insanely fast-growing Switch scene.