The Splash Damage Bros. Year in Review

It’s been a busy year for the Splash Damage Bros. We’ve hit gaming events, (E3, GamesCom, DreamHack, MomoCon) had incredible arguments (that you need to listen to) and generally did our best to cover some of the most important corners of the gaming world.

One of the cornerstones of our Podcast are our monthly game deep dives. Let’s take a look back and these absolute bangers we reviewed/discussed/argued about in 2019. We’ve provided all the links here for your listening pleasure.

Please leave a review and rating if you can, cheers! See you all in 2020!

January: VAMPYR

We started the year with an especially interesting title. A game that was successful enough to jump to the Nintendo Switch just a few months ago, the vampire action game, Vampyr.

We had a few negative comments about the combat, but mostly this game is excellent. The moral choices give this game another level of depth and with four different endings the replay ability is high.

February: PREY

Prey is one of the most underrated titles we covered this year. The immersive sim genre is constantly looked over despite having some absolute 10’s. In Prey you’re on a space station (TALOS 1) in an alternate future where alien life forms are discovered and naturally things get WILD. Like many immersive sims, the environment often dictates your next move rather than the story.

This game features a wide ranging ability tree, space walks that are legit amazing, and foes that are huge bullet sponges especially at the higher difficulties. Fans of sci-fi space horror won’t want to miss out on this one.

Have a listen if you’d like to know more about black goo aliens and how you can kill them.

March: Deadly Premonition

In March we released a Podcast episode about Deadly Premonition having literally no idea that it was about to be re-released on the Nintendo Switch. Our timing may have seemed incredible, but it was mostly a fluke.

Deadly Premonition is easily one of the most opinion dividing games in the history of gaming. It seems that now the tide has turned to mostly positive fan base that’s wildly eager to get back into this world.

Part Twin Peaks, part Japanese ghost lore, part really unfortunate combat mechanics, DP has firmly landed in the “If you know, you know” camp. We recommend at least 3-5 hours with this game just so you can keep up in conversation should this game come up.

Have a listen at the link above to hear this one!

April: Asura’s Wrath

Take a swimming pool of testosterone and pour it into a swimming pool of fantasy/sci-fi characters then take that mixture and dump it into the ocean of Buddhist lore and you have something that looks extremely like Asura’s Wrath. The poor sales of this game was a surprise to many when it was released and we like to occasionally look at video games that did “commercially poorly” and examine what happened.

Asura’s Wrath is that game for us this year. While it under-performed for the Xbox it’s still worth a quick play through as there’s not many games out there like it.

As Asura you battle your way through a pantheon of God’s who betrayed you and killed your wife. All other button mashing games are JV compared to this experience. If you haven’t yet tried Asura’s Wrath take like four dollars to the store and find a copy. It’s a ride.

May: Cuphead

Cuphead is a straight up phenomenon and if you haven’t tried it you should. Along with expanding to more platforms this game has also inked a deal with Tesla, and will soon be a streaming cartoon on Netflix. There’s merchandise, an expanded DLC, and more internet meme’s than you can squirt milk at.

This game is, in a word, hard. The creativity is undeniable and the game does lean into the art style sometimes at the expense of the game play. But no matter if you just try the first level 4 times and then toss it, this game deserves at least a few minutes of your time. Check out our episode here.

June: Odallus The Dark Call

This was probably our “deepest cut” of the year. We wanted to not only show off this game but also show off the Brazilian developer Joymasher. For the past few years Joymasher has been turning out side-scrolling indie games that all feel vaguely like the hits of the 90’s many of us grew up on.

In Odallus you play as a warrior who’s struggling to understand a curse that has taken over your village. It’s got all kinds of Castlevania vibes (I mean that as a compliment) but it also feels new. It’s a great meeting point of old classics and a totally new experience. Have a listen if you’d like to hear about this one.

July: Metal Gear Solid IV: Guns of the Patriots

The marketing for Death Stranding started ramping up big time in the summer of 2019. We decided it was a perfect opportunity to review of Hideo Kojima’s best video game products he’s ever made. This was an episode for people unfamiliar with this name that half the gaming world is dropping. MGS4 is one of the more celebrated titles in the titular Metal Gear series and for gamers who hadn’t yet played a “Kojima Production” this is a great first toe in the water for them.

August: Return of the Obra Dinn

There really isn’t any other game out there like Obra Dinn. We first found this game before it expanded to consoles and the experience was something we had to talk about.

Armed with a magical item you board a ghost ship called the Obra Dinn and investigate what killed all the passengers aboard. The game is 2-bit and looks like one of the original MAC OS games from back before you were probably born. The game is rich, much deeper than it initially appears, and incredibly fun. One of several different endings await you depending on how successful your investigation is. Have a listen to our episode if you’d like more info.

September: Frostpunk

Take Sim City, then make it the 1800’s and a steampunk world, then put a blizzard over the entire thing and you get Frostpunk. Add in a system of laws that help you guide and design society and you get something special.

Frostpunk’s morality elements make it fascinating. Enjoy this episode and I hope you make it further in the game than John and Thomas.

October: DUSK

So writing this article I realized the summer and early autumn were mostly somewhat indie and/or obscure games for the Splash Damage Bros. In October we came at you with maybe the perfect Halloween game, DUSK.

DUSK is an homage to the old school FPS games like DOOM. It drops you in and tells you to start shooting and then never lets up. Impressive and unexpected level design keeps this game a joy to explore, and wildly fun combat mechanics make it a pleasure to kill evil cult members. Have a listen here if you dare.

November: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

The immersive sim series that paved the way for games like Prey is certainly the Deus Ex series.

As our November pick we played through this futuristic vision of Prague and updated our listeners on the future of this franchise. Have a listen here.

December: Pokemon Fire Red and Leaf Green

Our final review episode of the year was one of the biggest gaming franchises of all time. We reviewed Fire Red and Leaf the Green which is the remake of the original Pokemon game.

Our conversation quickly shifted to the general Pokemon franchise and then I SHOCKED John with a Pokemon Pop Quiz for the ages. Hear how we ended our year here.

Nathan is the co-host and co-creator of the Splash Damage Bros. podcast. His favorite swords are Buster, Mana, and Soul, in that order.

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