Biggest surprise for you in 2019

Just curious what everyones biggest surprise hits have been for you this year in 2019.

For me it would have to be Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled. now i loved the original CTR on the PS1 and already got excited for this when they first announced it back at the Game Awards 2018. everyone could tell it was going be a cool remake just like the Crash N-Sane Trilogy And Spyro Reignited Trilogy were.

But i don't think anyone actually expected this remake to be filled with as much love and care as Activision and Beenox have given this game. Not only did they give us a complete remake of CTR, it's campaign and all of it's tracks. but they also added in all of the Crash Nitro Kart tracks and all of it's characters fully remade too.
And if that wasn't good enough for Crash Bandicoot fans, they've also been constantly adding new tracks and new fan favorite characters every month such as N Brio, Nina Cortex, Spyro and Koala Kong. and if that STILL wasn't enough for fans they've also started adding completely new characters to the roster like King Chicken but also the more obscure characters too like Rilla Roo, Yaya Panda and even freaking Megamix is coming next month! and all can be obtained completely free too.

This game is not just a remake but a complete celebration of the Crash Bandicoot franchise and it's history and i actually think the amount of time i'm spending playing CTR: Nitro Fueled completely rivals the amount of time i spend with Smash Bros and that's a bloody lot.

Has there been any game in 2019 that not only met your expectations, but also just blew them out of the water and went far beyond what you could have ever expected from the game? CTR: NF was just that for me. :)

PC version of Red Dead Redemption 2. Rockstar was just like: "here you go. It's out in a month on PC". And then it ended up being more than I had hoped. Incredible wild west experience.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

A franchise I'm totally unfamiliar with, a turned-based tactical RPG, and anime visuals. The latter of which I especially have a dislike towards. And now it's my second favourite game of the year.

Golden Treasure: The Great Green
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It's a game that came out of no where. Tried the demo, really liked it, bought it at full price, which is super rare for me, and I've enjoyed the hell out of it. There are very few if any games out there like it, its not quite a vn, its not quite a text based adventure, but its really awesome.

Casual Shinji:
Fire Emblem: Three Houses

A franchise I'm totally unfamiliar with, a turned-based tactical RPG, and anime visuals. The latter of which I especially have a dislike towards. And now it's my second favourite game of the year.

i still haven't gotten around to playing that. or any of the fire emblem games fully.

i've started a few of then but then i'm always like, "so it's basically like chess?...uh huh" then leave and never come back to them. i really should give them more of a chance though.

Disco elysium came out of nowhere, literally only found out about it the day it was release and, hey it's amazing!

Yoshi178:

Casual Shinji:
Fire Emblem: Three Houses

A franchise I'm totally unfamiliar with, a turned-based tactical RPG, and anime visuals. The latter of which I especially have a dislike towards. And now it's my second favourite game of the year.

i still haven't gotten around to playing that. or any of the fire emblem games fully.

i've started a few of then but then i'm always like, "so it's basically like chess?...uh huh" then leave and never come back to them. i really should give them more of a chance though.

It's more like chess, but the pieces have personality that you grow to know. So that when the chessmatch happens you're not simply 'my pawn got the enemy pawn', you're 'Hell yeah Dimitri, kick his ass! You're my boi!' On its own the turn-based combat isn't much, but couple it with a whole bunch of very likeable and well-written characters that you watch as they grow stronger and more awesome under your care, and it becomes damn engaging.

Meiam:
Disco elysium came out of nowhere, literally only found out about it the day it was release and, hey it's amazing!

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Samurai Showdown
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I knew the game would be great, but surprised me even further by becoming the best fighting game of 2019, and the best Samurai Showdown since II.

The Takeover
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When the Takover first appeared on early access. It seemed underwhelming, even with the updates. The game was in development since 2014. The art style while awkward for me at the time, I got used it. Once I thought, if the graphics of DKC or Killer Instinct were a beat'em up, it clicked. The endorsement from Matt most likely helped. This a great Streets of Rage brawler until 4 comes out.

Meiam:
Disco elysium came out of nowhere, literally only found out about it the day it was release and, hey it's amazing!

This was mine. I normally catch wind of games a couple months out and the ones that look remotely interesting I tend to wishlist just so I know when they're out, whether or not I'm actually interested.

DE was like "Here you go, the Amnesiac Cop RPG with insane worldbuilding you never knew you wanted. Out now. Have fun and try not to die from the ceiling fan". I suspect the fact it was some previously unknown studio in estonia probably had a lot to do with that.

Dalisclock:

Meiam:
Disco elysium came out of nowhere, literally only found out about it the day it was release and, hey it's amazing!

This was mine. I normally catch wind of games a couple months out and the ones that look remotely interesting I tend to wishlist just so I know when they're out, whether or not I'm actually interested.

DE was like "Here you go, the Amnesiac Cop RPG with insane worldbuilding you never knew you wanted. Out now. Have fun and try not to die from the ceiling fan". I suspect the fact it was some previously unknown studio in estonia probably had a lot to do with that.

For the record I totally died from the ceiling fan, had to restart XD.

I'd normally have put Risk of Rain 2 on here, because the release came out of freakin' nowhere, and the game is an absolute blast even though it's technically not "done" yet. I don't care.

I'm still having way too much fun with it.

But sadly, that'll have to take second place.

Instead, I'll have to point my finger square at the Sonic Robo Blast 2 Version 2.2 update.

For those who have no idea what this game is:

A probably controversial pick, who puts 20 year old fangames (that just got a major update) on these kinds of lists?

I. Don't. Care.

After 4 years of very little news aside from one "hey look, there's totally a lot of cool stuff done so far" trailer last year (and a handful of gifs showing off a few little segments), they basically went "Yo, the big update hits in a week, here's a trailer, hope you have fun!"

And my god they did NOT disappoint.

They basically remade almost the entire game, redid all the music, added a boatload of secrets, and applied enough polish that the game no longer feels like a fangame, but something professional. Over the past 3 or so weeks since it came out, I've fallen in love with the game all over again.

Not only is it more fun to play than ever, but some of the secrets they've added to the game legitimately surprised me.

I'd be tempted to name this the game that made my year, but honestly, that's probably just my nostalgia taking an A- and trying to make it look like an A+.

That little fangame I've loved for around 10 years has finally (and suddenly) grown up into something truly incredible, and there's still more they're improving on.

I mean, seriously, look at this shit. It's freaking beautiful.

Meiam:

Dalisclock:

Meiam:
Disco elysium came out of nowhere, literally only found out about it the day it was release and, hey it's amazing!

This was mine. I normally catch wind of games a couple months out and the ones that look remotely interesting I tend to wishlist just so I know when they're out, whether or not I'm actually interested.

DE was like "Here you go, the Amnesiac Cop RPG with insane worldbuilding you never knew you wanted. Out now. Have fun and try not to die from the ceiling fan". I suspect the fact it was some previously unknown studio in estonia probably had a lot to do with that.

For the record I totally died from the ceiling fan, had to restart XD.

I succeeded on the ceiling fan but tried to "intimidate" Cuno outside. I ended up throwing a punch, missing and dying.

So that was awkward.

Probably A Plague Tale. Cool atmosphere, world and visuals with a clear vision of what it's aiming for. Excels in what AA games were always good at. To my surprise I also really enjoyed the sleuthing mechanic in The Sinking City even if the game was otherwise not that good. Still, some interesting, novel ideas in both games.

I didn't have any major surprises this year.

Which is weird, cuz the past 5-6 years there's always been that one new release I wasn't really interested in, but bought on a whim and then ended up loving to bits, often spending 100+ hours on them. Last year's was Monster Hunter World, the year before it was Stardew Valley, and so on.

There hasn't been a game that truly wowed me like that this year. There were some, like Hollow Knight and Return of the Obra Dinn, that I really liked, but those aren't 2019 releases. RE2make, Three Houses and Luigi's Mansion 3 were IMO all great, but I expected them to be good, so no surprises there. Haven't played any of the critic and/or fan darlings like Disco Elysium, Outer Wilds or Sekiro, so can't judge.

On the whole, I'd say the 2019 releases I played made for a pretty bland year, in the sense that there were no real exceptional ups or downs among them. On the flipside, no big disappointments either.

The only surprises have been on the negative spectrum, which is not what this looks to be asking for. I guess if one were to stretch the rules a bit, Agents of Mayhem wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. But it was free, so nothing gambled nothing lost. Apart from precious disintegrating time always slipping away. Oh deary dear. Hang on, Sniper Elite 4 wasn't too bad! Was that this year? Doesn't matter, it's positivity! For youuu! Tehehe. Me work is done. Byesiebye!

The fact that Vestaria Saga's localization actually managed to squeeze into the year by the slimmest of margins.

 

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