Matt Pascual is a digital marketing specialist at Activision, organizer of Giant Bomb’s annual Extra Life charity streams, and is still quite possibly the stonest-coldest killer at PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds we know (sorry Will). He’s @MattPascual on Twitter.
Game So Good it Made Me Forget My Job: Destiny 2: Forsaken
Full disclosure, at the start of November I joined Activision and now work on Destiny 2 full time. Now let me tell you how great Destiny 2 is!
Remember that Reaper of Souls patch that pretty much fixed everything in Diablo III? That’s how I view Forsaken for Destiny 2. Forsaken put the grind back in Destiny and that’s exactly what I wanted.
Game That Made My Impulse PSVR Purchase Somewhat Justified: Astro Bot Rescue Mission
If Astro Bot Rescue Mission wasn’t a PSVR game it would still be among my top games of the year. It’s one of the best platformers I’ve played in recent memory. Not to say that the VR elements don’t add anything. They’re used just enough to add a neat perspective on the whole thing.
Also, Astro Bot waves at you when you stop to look at them. It’s adorable.
Game Save I Most Want Back from My Stolen Switch: Yoku’s Island Express
Gamescom 2018, Cologne, Germany. I return to my hotel after definitely not drinking all night. The door to my room is ajar. I fear the worst. My Switch… gone.
Turns out I didn’t actually care that much about losing my Switch, as I only just replaced it several months later. The one game I cared about was Yoku’s Island Express. A metroidvania pinball hybrid about a bug that delivers mail. Genius!
I’d also like that pair of jeans back.
The “Pokémon Is Still Really Good” Award: Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu
Nothing about Pokémon Let’s Go stuck out to me before its release. Truth be told the only reason I bought it was because I wanted something to play on my newly replaced Switch.
What I ended up playing is the most refined iteration of Pokémon maybe ever. No random battles, you can see Pokémon in the wild, you don’t battle wild Pokémon. I considered these systems core to what Pokémon is. I think it’s incredibly smart to look at them and say “We don’t need these anymore” and they’re right.
Dark Souls Remaster of the Year: Dark Souls Remastered
I beat it again. It’s still really good.
Most Clippable Game of the Year: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Some people would say that Ubisoft overloaded Odyssey. It’s too noisy, too many carrots on too many sticks. They’re wrong.
I’m the type of person who wants a checklist to clear. I was constantly resetting my skill tree to try new builds. Seeking out specific loot to match up set bonuses. Enchanting and re-enchanting my weapons. I’m a systems kind of guy and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has all of them.
Also, Kassandra is the best.
Game So Good it’s GOTY: Dead Cells
Every time I come back to Dead Cells I find a new weapon, shield, or skill that changes how I play. There’s incredible depth in how you construct your character over the course of a single run. I bought Dead Cells when it first entered early access in May, 2017. I’ve been continuously playing since then and my enjoyment hasn’t dipped in the slightest.
Now that’s what I call Game of the Year.