Hi guys, this is Iyane. 2020 disc 2, also known as 2021, was an incredibly strange year for me on several levels and I’m sure I speak for everyone. Luckily, it had some good games to compensate for that. And hopefully 2020 disc 3 will be the true ending without a true last boss.
If you’ve read my previous top 10s, you know what to expect. Japanese niche games, some of which have not actually been completed yet due to lack of time. Which is fine as they still reasoned enough with me to be above the rest.
Even with a purely subjective list like this, with my predilection for each game as the only rating criterion, it’s hard to compare each game coherently when they are so different. I have to rank each game in several categories to get a more accurate representation of what I enjoyed.
If you take that into account, you can pretty much consider that top 5 to 1 games are interchangeable with each other. They are all my top 1 games. Plus, there are more games that would probably be on this list if I had time to play them. Mainly ADV games such as Buddy Mission Bond, Jack Jeanne, Tsukihime remake, or Asatsugutori.
10. Yûyoku no Fraulein: Wing of Darkness
I’ve been waiting for years The wing of darkness to release. It finally happened in 2021. The wing of darkness is a super fun 3D flying shooter. As the previous demos suggested, the gameplay is fast and responsive. I never get tired of repeating the missions.
Klara and Erika’s story is pretty short, but that was what I expected and they are good protagonists. The game also has a pretty high replay value, and it’s always fun to return to it after a few months. I look forward to what Production Exabilities will do next.
9. Ouritsu Anapoko Gakuen
Another game I’ve been waiting for since December 2018. Ouritsu Anapoko Gakuen finally released on December 16, 2021, it’s the latest game by Ancient, led by Yuzo Koshiro.
Anapoko Gakuen is a Shiren / Mystery Dungeon-like RPG with several changes to the formula. Most remarkable how you always have a party of 4 characters. The matches also have an extra layer of twists on top Shiren-like turning system. You can also predict the monsters’ next move, so there’s a pretty good sense of strategy over it.
Anapoko Gakuen is a really simple and addictive game with a lot of charisma. All the characters designed by Ayami Morinaga is super cute. It also has a lot of original ideas, such as the short manga that appears after a run. I did not play that much since it was just released, but it’s generally a really good game, perfect for Switch’s portable state and a busy schedule.
8. Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operation Code Fairy
Code fe was pretty much announced out of nowhere in October 2021 after the Tokyo Game Show and released shortly after. it’s the perfect game for someone like me who enjoys the slow mecha gameplay Combat operation but got tired of his multiplayer.
Code fe starts basically just before the events leading up to Gihren’s speech in the middle of the original Gundam series. It has a very similar feel to dozens of Gundam spinoffs manga covering Zeon during the One Year War.
The story is funny and the interactions between the team, which consists exclusively of women, Noisy Fairy, are pretty good. The game is also fully tuned Beautiful series‘Ayane Sakura expresses the protagonist and NasuverseKana Ueda speaks to the captain.
7. Star song Yumemi Dreamer
I hesitated a lot between this and Melty Blood Type Lumina. I settled for Star song Yumemi Dreamer as it is the lesser known of the two.
Yumemi Dreamer is the new game from Kuroneko Team at Kogado Studio. The same team that did Symphonic rain: the first visual novel I’ve ever played on a pc.
Just like Symphonic Rain, Yumemi Dreamer mixes rhythm game elements with ADV / visual novel. And as you can guess, it’s a Mahou Shoujo themed game.
Star song Yumemi Dreamer is also a rather peculiar case as the game is not quite released yet. There are 12 episodes, and like an anime series, a new episode is released every week at a discount. We are currently at section 9.
Kogado Studio also teased early in 2021 that it will release a new one do not be sad project in 2022 for the series’ 20th anniversary. So now is a good time to get into the series and other Kogado works like Yumemi.
6. The Idolmaster star season
While I have known Idolmester series since its inception, it is actually the first time I myself play a game in the series. And it’s been pretty amazing so far.
The raising and administration simulation is top notch, the game is fully tuned, the scenario is fun. And the rivalry between the original characters Kohaku and Aya is typical idol drama. I’ve actually never been that much into idols, but the characters in Idolmester franchises, especially the originals from 765 Production, have always been fun to follow.
Idolmester Starlight season is over 100 hours long and I’m far from reaching the end, but I see no reason why it should not be on this list.
5. Runefabrik 5
Runefabrik 5 is actually quite different than I had imagined. When the game was first unveiled for the Switch with full 3D environments, I was expecting a spiritual sequel to Rune Factory Oceans. Instead, Runefabrik 5 is still quite close to the numbered games in the series and Runefabrik 4 Particular.
However, this is not a mistake, and Runefabrik 5 is by far my favorite RPG on Switch right now. All the new characters are incredibly cute and cool and there is a seiyuu star. Unfortunately, the game is not fully tuned, but everything else makes up for it.
It is also interesting to note that Runefabrik 5 via a free update, recently added same-sex marriage. The hype for the update was incredible on Japanese Twitter, with many saying they would buy the game specifically for this. The update will be included in the western version from the beginning.
Most The history of the seasons games already included same-sex marriage since 20 years ago on GBA entrances. But this is the first time it’s in Rune factory, which started as a spinoff from The history of the seasons. It’s pretty funny to see how Western morality turned around, because back then it would always be censored when The history of the seasons games were released outside of Japan.
Hopefully we see both one Runefabrik 6 and a spiritual successor to Rune Factory Oceans one day.
4. The Legend of Heroes: Kuro no Kiseki
Kuro no Kiseki is the latest entry in Trails / Kiseki Series and the start of a new arc with a new main character, Van Arkride. Who’s a mix of Battler from Umineko, Gintoki from Gintama, and Kamen Rider.
While I have far from played every past Kiseki games, I’m pretty familiar with all the characters and plot of the franchise thanks to friends and let’s play streams. And Kuros new cast was enough to make me fall for the FOMO and grab the game at launch. However, I’m still not done with it, and I honestly doubt I’ll be done when the sequel launches in late 2022.
Kuro no Kiseki is interesting in how you can feel all the new ideas suggested by the younger staff at Falcom. The game also retains an old-fashioned RPG feel where you can almost get in and explore any building. The script is also quite different from all Kiseki games so far. Gone are the long panning camera images when a character is introduced. The dialogues, narrative and interludes are generally much more stylized and dynamic.
3. Super Robot Wars 30
No surprises there for those who have actually read this list so far. Super Robot Wars is still one of my favorite series and the 30th anniversary game is pretty good.
The way the scenario is written, in a completely non-linear way, is particularly impressive. Although I have a feeling, it was at the expense of a larger number of character interactions. Overall, I feel that the dialogues regarding SRW 30, unlike the rest of the series, you do not feel superfluous.
You might think that’s a good thing, but for someone who plays the games for their stories and crossovers, it means fewer comic and cool moments between the characters. Hopefully I will be proven wrong when I reach the end.
2. Uma Musume: Pretty Derby
Uma Musume, called Umamusu, is the game that had the biggest impact on my otaku life in 2021, despite the fact that I hardly played myself (I can not get myself to skip the dialogues and focus only on the simulation parts). It’s also a megahit in Japan, so I’re regularly exposed to discussion, fan art, and cosplay by its characters through my acquaintances. Majin Obama’s #GFGR streams off Umamusu April was also the funniest I have seen this year.
Uma Musume managed to prove that raising simulators still have a place in Japan. Bringing back a genre that largely disappeared with the PSP. When you look at the demographics of the game, you will see that people of any gender or horizon are playing it. Everyone likes to train cute horse girls.
Uma Musume also showed that another development cycle model is possible for mobile gaming. They tend to drop rushed and intercepted. Cygames preserved Uma Musume in the oven for years. With tons of delays. To the point that even though it was a media mix project, two anime seasons were aired before the game was even released. Only Inazuma eleven has a higher record on that front.
But as a result Uma Musume launched without major flaws and managed to remain as one of the most popular mobile games in Japan. Even surpasses FGO, Twisted Wonderland or Genshin.
1. DoHna DoHna Let’s do bad things together
DoHna DoHna is the latest PC eroge by Alicesoft, featuring RPG elements, released in December 2020 in Japan following its first unveiling in 2017. The game got a surprisingly English localization of Shiravune in late 2021.
Like many other games from Alicesoft, which now has 32 years of history and experience, there is so much to learn from DoHna DoHna – be it in its history or its game systems – that I feel sorry for those who would look down on it for being eroge.
The stylish images, the amazing characters and the fun combat system are all top notch. But the incredible story and setting is what makes it truly incredible. DoHna DoHna follows a group of young people fighting against a mega-company, Asougi, in its own city-state. And it’s handled as well as it does DoHna DoHna one of the best, if not the best game of the last 10 years dealing with anti-imperialism and rebellion against injustice. In an even better way than Person 5, which was a direct inspiration.
See the rest of DualShockers ’employees’ top 10 lists below and our official award winners of this year’s games:
December 20: Jo Craig (Staff Writer)
December 21: Natalie Schmidt (freelance writer)
December 22: Dean James (Freelance Staff Writer)
December 24: Kyle Knight (Staff Writer)
December 25: Shivam Gulati (Senior Staff Writer)
December 26: Mehrdad Khayyat (Senior Staff Writer)
December 27: Md Armughanuddin (Content Manager – India)
December 28: Iyane Agossah (Head of Japanese Content)
December 30: Sam Woods (Editor-in-Chief and EIC)
December 31: The official winners of this year’s game 2021 revealed
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