Thursday, January 18, 2018

Anna Marie Privitere's #TeamHandheld Best of 2017

1) Mary Skelter: Nightmares (Vita)

I was a little hesitant to dive into Mary Skelter, as I don’t really like scary or creepy games, but it came so highly recommended as a solid dungeon crawler I decided to give it a try, and I have absolutely no regrets. An interesting class system paired with a challenging dungeon crawler, Nightmares chase your every move, and it’s up to you to decide between risking it all by diving deeper into the dungeon and possibly losing all progress or hopping into the rabbit hole and returning to town, having to retrace your steps before progressing further.


2) Ever Oasis (3DS)

It was cute, it was easy to play in both short bursts and long sessions, the goals were a mix of clear and challenging, you got to run around with bunny people, and it was all fun. Ever Oasis also reminded me of a 2D Zelda game, which is understandable considering the developer, and that’s a most excellent comparison for me.


3) Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ (Vita)

As one of my first forays into visual novels, one where you’re playing inside of an MMORPG (something I have enjoyed playing since the launch of FFXI), Period Cube provided a really good balance of direction towards each story path and the freedom to make interesting narrative choices.


4) The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Vita)

What’s not to like about this game? Excellent writing, lovable characters, fantastic pacing, interesting quests, lovely music, I really can’t think of any part of this game I didn’t love. I’m really glad everyone kept harassing me to play it. In fact I immediately dove straight into the second game, and it’ll no doubt make my top 10 games of 2018!


5) Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony (Vita)

Such despair, puhuhuhu! The plot twists were equally predictable and shocking, and the first case whisks you away in a direction that will simply stun you. Danganronpa V3 does a really good job keeping the longest cases to the middle of the game, bookending shorter trials at the start and the end when nerves are pulled tightest. And I am still very, very angry at him, that smug sanctimonious bastard.


6) 9 Persons, 9 Hours, 9 Doors (Vita)

The game utterly terrified me, but it was completely worth it. With the whole series finally available on Vita, I was finally able to dive fully into 999 for the first time. Every choice has consequences, but achieving each ending feels like an incredibly satisfying reward. The ending was definitely unexpected, and it kept me pondering the ins and outs and what-might-have-beens and whether there was still some truth to be discovered hidden away. With two more games in the series, there’s certainly more to explore in The Nonary Games.


7) Ray Gigant (Vita)

I admit it, I have a soft spot for dungeon crawlers which I got to thoroughly indulge in 2017 by diving into my Vita backlog. I liked the unique system of weak/normal/hard monsters of Ray Gigant and weighing when to tackle each type of enemy within a dungeon to clear new paths to explore. Being able to explore the game from the perspective of different teams kept things really fresh throughout and kept me on my toes as I got to explore different game mechanics and strategies. I liked the game so much I even finished the Platinum – and I actually only have three Platinum trophies total, all acquired in 2017.


Bonus Round:
Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy
EGGLIA: Legend of the Redcap
Final Fantasy Dimensions II

Even those these three games don’t actually count as handheld games, they’re still great and made my list an even ten.


By Anna Marie Privitere, cat-of-many-trades at RPGamer

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