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December 24, 2019
Jamie Galea
New Game Plus / Features

2019 has been a hell of a year, capping off a stellar decade for gaming. To give you an idea as to how big this year was, we had two tied entries when compiling our list of 2019’s best games! With a new decade and generation on the horizon, here’s our list of the Top 5 Games of 2019, and some great last-minute Christmas gifts or Boxing Day ideas!


5. TETRIS 99


Available on Nintendo Switch (Requires Nintendo Switch Online)

Tetris 99 was a game that came out of nowhere. It was announced and released shortly after a bumper Nintendo Direct back in February (which announced another of our GOTY finalists), and proved to be popular amongst our team. Tetris 99 takes the eternally popular game and provides a new spin on it – turning it into a Battle Royale game!

Battling against 98 other players made for some intense puzzle action, enough that the best advice one can give is to avoid certain times of day if you want to stand a chance.

Throw in some fantastic post-release support, and you’ve got one of the most compelling (and exclusive) multiplayer games out there.


5. THE OUTER WORLDS

Available on PS4 / Xbox One / PC (via Epic Games Store)

Sometimes you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to make a great game. It’s by far the best way to describe The Outer Worlds, the latest game from Obsidian Entertainment. The Outer Worlds takes place in a far off future where the corporations have taken over, and you’re thrust into this world and need to make sense of it all.

There’s heavy choices, wonderfully well-written NPCs (Parvati!) and some shockingly good gunplay. It makes for a game that feels familiar, but not too familiar.  It comes together well and makes for a comfortable experience, and one that’s a perfect fit for Xbox Game Pass.

It’s not to be confused with The Outer Wilds, which despite sharing similar names, is a very different and very good game.


4. THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: LINK’S AWAKENING

Available on Nintendo Switch

Link’s Awakening was mindblowing back in 1993. Not only did it bring Zelda to handhelds for the first time, but it was an incredibly weird and unsettling game, taking inspiration from David Lynch & Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks. Link’s Awakening isn’t quite as mindblowing in 2019, but the weird and unsettling tone still remains one of the most fascinating ever seen in a Zelda game. Announced as part of that bumper Nintendo Direct from February, Links Awakening is a remake that seeks more to improve on the base game than add to it.

And yet it doesn’t add that much; by far the biggest addition comes with the Switch hardware, as the game uses all its buttons to remove most of the hassle from inventory management. It’s a testament to how strong the game design is that it doesn’t need to change or add too much to still be a great game some twenty years later.

Much like with The Outer Worlds, Link’s Awakening doesn’t reinvent the wheel, and the remake doesn’t change all that much, but it refines what was already a good game and presents arguably the best version of it.


4. DEVIL MAY CRY 5

Available on PS4 / Xbox One / PC (via Steam)

It’s been a very exciting time to be a fan of Capcom again. 2017’s Resident Evil 7 divorced the series from all its lore bloat and reinvented itself marvelously. 2018’s Monster Hunter World took one of the most indecipherable and challenging games and made it palatable. 2019 was by far the biggest year of this refreshed Capcom, with three major releases.

Devil May Cry 5 was only the second of these, and it’s by far one of the best games in the series. Each of the three playable characters (Dante, Nero & V) play differently, but allow for enough freedom to explore a heap combat and style options, aided by a new training mode allowing you to get a feel for the character and their combos.

It also comes with one of the best bits of DLC in a game this year – the ability to replace the stellar in-game cutscenes with the live-action versions used as pre-visuzaliation footage for the animation team. They’re incredible, and worth purchasing the deluxe edition for.


3. RESIDENT EVIL 2

Available on PS4 / Xbox One / PC (via Steam)

Resident Evil 2’s remake turning out as good as it did is a testament as to where Capcom is at the moment. It was announced way back in 2015, when Resident Evil was at its worst. Four years later, Capcom is one of the most exciting publishers and developers in the world, and the remake of Resident Evil 2 kicked off the year in terrifying fashion. Unlike Links Awakening, the RE2 remake seeks to take the spirit of the original and make it more palatable in 2019, with better and clearer mapping, the removal of some enemy types and a striking visual aesthetic.

This, in turn, works with the terrifying atmosphere and the genuinely terrifying zombies, where encounters are much tenser than ever. You can purchase the original soundtrack to the game as DLC, and it works unbelievably well with the new aesthetic.

It’s also a game that’s given birth to some incredible memes. Mr. X, the Tyrant that stalks you throughout the Racoon City Police Department, is terrifying in his own right. With the right mods, those encounters become nothing short of hilarious. It’s the game that keeps on giving, and with a Resident Evil 3 remake on the horizon, it’s going to be great to see what Capcom does next.

While Resident Evil 2 wasn’t our pick for Game of the Year, our viewers voted it as their Game of the Year!


2. CONTROL

Available on PS4 / Xbox One / PC (via Epic Games Store)

Quantum Break was a game that a lot of people wanted to love but near-universally didn’t. The mechanics took right up to the end of the game to really click, the characters and story weren’t that compelling, and the TV show segments that bookended each chapter felt superfluous.  Remedy Entertainment’s follow up, Control, couldn’t be any more different and it’s better for it.

Gone is the linear structure, the game now has a bigger emphasis on backtracking and exploration. The mechanics take much quicker to click with you, and the characters and story work much better. The brutalist aesthetic also deserves mention for creating a striking and unique look to a game that already has a strong atmosphere.

Couple that Remedy’s worldbuilding and charm (full-motion video is in force!) and you’ve got one hell of a game. With Remedy promising some fascinating DLC in 2020, Control is certainly something we’ll be coming back to throughout the year.


1. SEKIRO: SHADOWS DIE TWICE

Available on PS4 / Xbox One / PC (via Steam)

To say that From Software has had a hell of a decade would be an understatement. They’ve gone from a developer of obscure and cult classic games to one of the most important and culturally relevant developers in existence. The studio’s latest work, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, is yet another refinement of their style of difficult, yet rewarding style of game.

Unlike their previous works, Sekiro drops the stamina bar and RPG mechanics and instead focuses on tighter and truly faster combat mechanics. It feels unbelievable to pull off a successful fight, thanks to an intricate block/parry system that’s incredibly satisfying. To say Sekiro would be closer to something like a Ninja Gaiden or a fighting game because of how technical its combat gets would be a fair comparison.

Congratulations to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, as it joins games like God of War (2018), The Walking Dead: Season 1 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt as our Game of the Year!

 



January 11, 2020

CouchWarriors QLD first Ranbat of 2020 was held on Saturday the 4th of January at George St Brisbane. Here’s a summary of the results in every game and how the top matches played out. A complete listing of match results and brackets for each game can be viewed on Smash.gg here. Results for SFV, MK11, Tekken 7, and Smash U count towards the standings for the BAM Path To EVO series for that game, which can be viewed here. Street Fighter V Willing Foe Antaresxv Happy Marco “Antaresxv” Encina wasn’t been able to make a lot of ranbats over the back half of 2019 – but wh...

January 1, 2020

Wondering where you can find details for all upcoming CouchWarriors events for the month in one place? Well, it’s always a good idea to check our Facebook. But now these simple roundup posts will also serve as a quick reference here on the site. Check out what we have for January, and look forward to a fresh update on the 1st of each month! QLD CouchWarriors QLD Ranbat – January 4th, 9AM-9PM. QUT Gardens Point Campus, 2 George St Brisbane, P Block Level 5. twitch.tv/couchwarriors SFV, Tekken 7, MK11, DBFZ, Smash Melee, Smash Ultimate, Melee Doubles, Ultimate Doubles, SamSho, USFIV...

December 30, 2019

Another month of fiercely contested events saw the conclusion of the BAM Path To EVO Season 2. The last few points on the line in each of Street Fighter V, Mortal Kombat 11, Tekken 7 and Smash Ultimate then decided which players received sponsored travel to the season-ending Major, CouchWarriors Crossup! So who ultimately emerged on top to be crowned the season champion for their game across Australia & NZ? Here’s your monthly breakdown of all the BPTE results and rankings for December. For more information about the upcoming Season 3 BPTE events, current standings and the points system ...

December 29, 2019

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone across the AUNZ FGC! 2019 has been a year of big tournament turnouts and big tournament performances, capped off by the year-ending mini major CouchWarriors Crossup. Full results from the event have already been reported here, but there’s so much more that goes on at any event like this than those results can really tell. To make sure we can celebrate everything great about our community and the events we put together, this will be the first of a string of tournament recaps focusing on the best moments, images and personal achievements from ...

December 18, 2019

For the fifth year running, The Game Awards has transpired to celebrate the year that was. And like years past, it was yet another forgettable show that seemingly felt worse than in years past. There were highs for sure, but they were brought crashing down by some painful lows. Though the question I ask myself every time The Game Awards happens is just who exactly is this show for? The Game Awards isn’t the sole awards ceremony for the video game industry, but it’s by far the biggest and most well known. It’s been described as “The Oscars of Gaming” by the New York Times, and it’s...

December 17, 2019

The second edition of CouchWarriors Crossup, our end-of-year Mini-Major, was held December 14th at Bayview on the Park in Melbourne. Here’s a summary of the results in every game and how the top...

December 13, 2019

The Dark Alliance series holds a special place in people’s hearts as one of the best ways console fans of Dungeons & Dragons could experience the Baldur’s Gate and Forgotten Realms settings without playing the Baldur’s Gate PC RPGs. Nowadays, with those games on console and D&D more popular than ever, Dark Alliance is coming back in 2020 with a familiar setting, famous characters and an all-new name –  Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance. Announced at The Game Awards, D&D: Dark Alliance is described by its developer, Tuque Games, as a spiritual successor to the Baldur&...

December 13, 2019

There’s always a major announcement or three at The Game Awards, but Microsoft may have upped the ante with a full-on system reveal. The console previously known as Project Scarlett is now officially called the Xbox System X, and we got a look at its unusual design. Microsoft is still touting this as the most powerful console they’ve ever built, and even gave a quick look at its controller. It looks similar enough to the Xbox One controller, but with the much-needed and welcomed addition of a Share button. No further details about the console were revealed, except that it’ll...

December 12, 2019

The second edition of Big Cheese, the South Australian Major, was held over the weekend of December 6th-8th at Union House in Adelaide. Here’s a summary of the results in every game and how the ...

December 11, 2019

It’s a big news week in games as 2019 winds down, but one thing you may have missed are some major updates to venerable MMO MapleStory and its mobile version MapleStory M. If you haven’t played for a while or itching to get back in, publisher/developer Nexon has announced some cool new features and additions to the game. First off, MapleStory has been updated to version .209, titled Glory: Strengthened Alliances. Taking place after the fall of the Black Mage, the Maple Guard is tasked with rebuilding Maple World, and with this, a new character joins the ranks: Hoyoung! Described a...

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