Chi’s massive, stupid list of favorite things in the year of 2021

CHI’s TOP TEN GAMES OF THE YEAR

10. NEO: The World Ends With You by Square Enix CBU I and h.a.n.d.

9. 湯圓 [tong jyun] by npckc

8. Annalynn by Cruise McElroy

7. Deltarune Ch 2 by Toby Fox

6. Sunshine Heavy Industries by DaisyOwl Games

5. Unpacking by Witch Beam

4. NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… by ToyLogic and Square Enix

3. Rhythm Doctor by 7th Beat Games

2. FINAL FANTASY XIV: ENDWALKER by Square Enix CBU III

1. Chicory: A Colorful Tale by Greg Lobanov, Alexis Dean-Jones, Lena Raine, Madeline Berger, and A Shell in the Pit

my 100% playthrough!

General Honorable Mentions:

  • Guilty Gear Strive (PS4/PS5, PC): I love fighting games, and GGST is the new, cool kid on the block. Fantastic netcode, a roster of simple-to-pick-up but challenging characters, and robust training mode options made the genre more accessible and inviting than ever.
  • Halo Infinite (Xbox/PC): A strong, solid multiplayer and a shaky but consistently fun single-player campaign, it’s exciting to finally have a series that I grew up with back in the spotlight. Remember — if you make your max difficulty setting in your game actually fun, I am guaranteed to like it!
  • Shin Megami Tensei V (Switch): I haven’t gotten to finishing it yet, but SMTV is my first real foray into the mainline entry of ATLUS’s flagship franchise, and despite numerous grievances, it’s been a blast of a game. Fantastic, punishing combat and fantastic music highlight my 20+ hour playthrough of this one so far! Looking forward to finishing it in 2022.
  • The Legend of Tianding (Switch, PC): Shoutouts to my Taiwanese brethren for this one! It’s a fun side-scrolling action game inspired by a real, Robin Hood-esque legend who fucked up the rich and protected the poor. The polish and presentation takes cues from classic Chinese manga, and if that sounds up your alley, it’s easily worth picking up. You could do worse with 4–5 hours of your time, really!
  • Monster Hunter Rise (Switch, PC soon): It’s a different flavor than MHW, which I still hold crown as my favorite in the series, but Rise presents its own standout mix and brings fast-paced action to the series’ more classic style of games. It’s been way too god damn long since I’ve enjoyed MH on a portable.
  • Persona 5 Strikers (PS4, Switch, PC): It narrowly got beat out by NEO: TWEWY, so this would firmly sit at a “11th” place for me. P5S saves the original’s one-dimensional cast and throws together a fun story, banging music, and a surprisingly competent blending of classic JRPG dungeon-crawling and Musou action. If you love P5, you’re doing a disservice not playing this.

YOU SHOULD WATCH THESE ANIME

It’s hard to pick a favorite anime show this year, so I’ll quickly highlight three top-tier shows that are worth a watch:

SSSS.Dynazenon

ODDTAXI

Sonny Boy

THAT POPULAR TV SHOW WAS PRETTY GOOD

I WATCHED BASICALLY NO NEW MOVIES THIS YEAR

i just selected the first image i saw of note on google, it’s stupid and i love it

HERE’S SOME GOOD ASS MUSIC THIS YEAR THAT YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO:

I feel like these albums warranted a short blurb on their own, so I wanted to highlight some of my favorite things I’ve heard this year (although there were many, especially basically all of the soundtracks in my GOTY list. there’s just too many to go through!):

Sounds of Tokyo-To Future by 2Mello

Chicory: A Colorful Tale (Original Soundtrack) by Lena Raine

FINAL FANTASY XIV: Endwalker — Original Soundtrack by Masayoshi Soken

no way to listen to it online but here have this upload of footfalls that square enix will probably take down really soon

Adam & Eve by One Eye Closed

KAMITSUBAKI X MONARK Collaboration Album「Awake」by KAF, Harusaruhi, Koko, isekaijoucho, Koko, RIM, and CIEL

Time Goes On by Harvest (scythe x kabayama) ft. Sato Sasara

Bittersweet by Jamie Paige (ft. telebasher, Marcy Nabors, Bluffy, and Mattmatatt

Windrunner by Synthion

That incredible fucking Sonic symphony???

Fly With Me by U.N. Owen (ft. Tony Harnell and Emi Jones)

We by WINAMP BOYS (Synthion, AIKA, Kotori, Similar Outskirts, Aileen, Polarr, acaer, Aika, Slappy, Soba, Tenkitsune, Trifect)

And yeah! That’s basically everything!

I always love compiling these things together and this year, there was a incredible bounty of fantastic games and music out there, so if you haven’t checked anything on here — I suggest doing so as the year draws to a close! Here’s to a good 2022, everyone, and thanks for everything!

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