The best of 2020: Astro’s Playroom, and Tom’s other GOTY photos

I thought Astro Playroom was going to be a throwaway packaging title. I was wrong.

With the PS5 Spider-Man Miles Morales having big hits and Demon’s Souls arriving alongside him, Astro Theaters is my favorite starter game. I figured it would be a gimmick-fest: a few bleeps and bloops out of the DualSense speaker, the controller turns to move a robot’s head from side to side, sort of. What I found was a wonderful ode to PlayStation and the best example yet of how future video games would feel.

Astro Playroom is no doubt what Sony would have used to showcase the PS5 to its press and to the public at the events that would have taken place this year had it not been for the Covid-19 it was. It’s the perfect demo title, easy to play right away (both in terms of ease of play and loading speed), full of ingenuity, and just plain super fun to work with. around. What’s not immediately obvious is how Astro Playroom taps into PlayStation nostalgia with such aplomb that you can’t help but believe that the development team is staying and breathing. Sony.

Each new area in each zone of the game delivers a treat for your senses. Whether it’s a decent shower of water felt through the DualSense, the forward-looking bow thanks to the gyro controller, or the pressurized pressure of the R2’s pull when a robot arm presses a ball hard reward, I never felt a greater sense of connection to a game outside of VR. The DualSense made me really excited about the PS5, even before I played any of the most exciting titles in the system.

The other side to the Astro Playroom, and really what made me fall in love with it, is its many submissions to PlayStation history. Hidden around the world are collectibles, often unveiling models of PlayStation hardware from across the years that are housed in a large museum. But even better are the images of famous games executed by cute little robots. Everything from Vib Ribbon to Days Gone is aped here, and as I played through each one it gave me great pleasure. Some may see it as a basic fan service, but I’m not worried. I really liked it.

Screenshot of Astro's Playroom PS5

Every time I would come across a new reactivation my son would ask about it, and I would explain, and it felt like the game was taking a crash course in the games of my life. And if a game finally comes to a more fitting end through the upcoming token generation I will be shocked. The only downside to Astro’s Playroom is that it’s over, but for a few things to lose and speed to run, after a few hours. I paid for more, if Sony felt there was more to add.

If you had told me at the beginning of 2020 that my favorite game would be a neat robot game included with all PS5s, I would have laughed (at least inside, for a brief moment ), but ultimately this will hardly record on the 2020 scale of events. I’m not sure I’d say it’s worth buying an Astro PS5 Playroom for it, but it will make you happier about buying it.

Splatoon 2 – Nintendo Switch

I know this came out years ago, but I bought it for my son’s birthday this year and it has been a regular part of my house ever since. I just dabbled on my own, but I usually want to shout out the amazing soundtrack. It is, as I am sure the children used to say, completely banging. It is also the best game for kids (and adults) who want to feel hunter-free without the violence that usually accompanies it.

Screenshot 2 inc Splatoon

The whole thing is a Nintendo classic, which will never just follow the trend, and instead create its own path. Get hold of the controller and you’ll be greeted by a control scheme that goes against how your brain is now hard to expect a third-person shooter to play, but it does. finishes perfectly suited for ink spray play.

Adventure Ring Fit – Nintendo Switch

Like many people, I used locking earlier in the year to try to stay healthy. I started this by buying Ring Fit Adventure, probably the best fringe game ever (and owned Samba De Amigo and SEGA Bass Fishing on the Dreamcast). Gamifying fitness is nothing new, and of course Ring Fit didn’t even release in 2020, but Nintendo did. I felt like I was going on an adventure and I had to do those wide squats to beat Drago. I ended up getting my time too short and turned to YouTube fitness videos, before Lockdown One ended and the school run took over my recorded fitness slot. It’s fair to say that the last few months haven’t been so healthy, but for about 10 weeks I’ve never been so happy or so willing to push a hard plastic ring into my abs that I wasn’t. there.

Ori and Dedication of Wisps – Xbox, PC, Nintendo Switch

It’s only fair that I also include a reference to another game that was released in 2020. Ori and Will of the Wisps might have taken my Game of the Year slot if not was for Astro Theater. I rarely played a game that felt so right.

Screenshot by Ori Will of the Wisps

Ori is happy to look forward to it, and the new mechanics introduced in this sequel are excellent. And well, the team at Moon Studio delivered another exciting adventure. I feel like Ori isn’t getting the credit they deserve because it’s an “Xbox” franchise, so try to give it away and the original if you can. I don’t think you will regret it.

We will be posting individual staff over the next week, so check back for more.

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