Noisy Pixel Picks: Angelus’ Top Five Games of 2021

Hoo! And with that, 2021 is now dunzo. Gosh, where does the time go? And of course, we had many stellar game releases over the year, and while I did not play through many games, I can still fondly remember my five best gaming experiences of 2021.

So here we go. This is Angelus Victor, or Ryuji (in case my real name is a mouthful)’s top 5 games of 2021. Please note that for my case, the order here does not necessarily mean the one at the top is worse than the one at the bottom. On the contrary, all of the titles you see here gave me an equal amount of pleasure.

5. NEO: The World Ends With You

Neo The World Ends With You

NEO: The World Ends With You was one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had when it came out. Not only was it a great sequel to a series I’ve loved playing back on the DS, but it is also the first game I acquired for full price in recent memory.

This is because I am not someone who usually drops full price for video game releases and would rather wait for discounts, but I straight up do not regret ponying up the 60 bucks for this game on PS4. The story was just as impressive, and it kept me engaged for hours on end. And, of course, we absolutely cannot forget how much of a slap the soundtrack is. As much of a pipe dream as that might sound, I want these series to continue.

4. Scarlet Nexus

Scarlet Nexus 2

At first, Scarlet Nexus left me pondering whether if I should play it or not. When I first asked my friends about how good Scarlet Nexus was, I got mixed reviews from them–some hated it, and some liked it.

But I just went with the comments of those who wanted it and attempted to see if it would charm me or if it would end up back in my digital library. And I’m pleased to say it was the former. The story was engaging, and it was a pretty good experience, as I’m a massive fan of cyberpunk-styled games. The voice acting and combat are great, and the story makes up for my rather meh feelings on the soundtrack.

3. Cupid Parasite

Cupid Parasite Screenshot 4

All right. I’ll admit that I did not expect Cupid Parasite to make it into my list of Top 5, but here we go. Even after braving through the localization issues when I played it (which, as of right now, have been fixed completely), I still laughed and enjoyed the rather absurd and engaging story.

You know a game is good at keeping you hooked when you realize you’re already at the end of a route, and it hasn’t even been a day since you started. All of the characters’ quirks are so different from one another, and I learned something new about them as I progressed into their routes. If you want a visual novel that’s quirky enough to keep you on your toes with its funny comedy, then by all means, please play it.

2. Buried Stars

Buried Stars

Yes. I know what you’re going to say. Buried Stars was originally a Nintendo Switch game released in 2020, not 2021. But the version that I played was the Steam version, which was released for PC in 2021, so I can include it in this list. I could not resist.

This has to be one of the most engaging visual novel adventure-style games I’ve experienced, and I definitely understand why our staff writer Jacob gave it such positive regards in his review. The depth perception of how the characters layered with each other created a very satisfying 2.5D effect. Not to mention the plot twists that had me shaking in confusion and fear at the end of it.

1. Tales of Arise

Tales of Arise

Similar to Scarlet Nexus, I played Tales of Arise after consulting a lot of my friends and, after much consideration, gave it a try. It definitely holds up to its title as one of the best Tales of games in recent memory.

The only thing I did not like about the combat system, but that wasn’t a negative point strong enough to make me completely hate the game. The story (not to mention the fun skits) left a significant mark on me, and I hope many get to play this game.

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