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Zwei: The Arges Adventure
After the previous release won Most Overlooked last year, Nihon Falcom’s Zwei titles seem doomed to being perpetually overlooked. This year’s entry certainly has plenty of things going against it, and being a PC exclusive originally released in Japan back in 2001 doesn’t generally attract much attention. Well, everyone who’s slept on Zwei: The Arges Adventure is missing out on one of the funniest and most entertaining RPGs released in years.
The Arges Adventure stars step-siblings Pipiro and Pokkle, two kids living in an ordinary town until someone steals the local temple’s idols. The two set out to find them and become renowned treasure hunters and claim a huge prize. While The Arges Adventure is a perfectly decent action RPG, the writing and characters are what set it apart. Pipiro is completely self-centered and has no filter which makes her an absolute hoot to experience. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much at a video game. Every RPGamer that values good, humorous writing should be giving Zwei a look.
Though it’s gotten a fair amount of love in our awards, lost in the shuffle of the indie games releasing on Steam was a little gem called CrossCode. Developed by Radical Fish Games, CrossCode borrows ideas seen in some RPGs of years past and spins new life into old mechanics for a fresh feel. Combat plays out like an action RPG with a ball mechanic that can be ricocheted around the map to help beat opponents and solve puzzles. Lea, the protagonist with amnesia, is brought to Cross Worlds, an MMO where a team of team of programmers attempt to help her regain her memories. The mix of the 16-bit look with the old-school music vibe makes CrossCode feel familiar, but the implementation makes it feel distinct. With the Switch version just recently being announced, here’s hoping even more RPGamers will be able to give this game a try.
While BattleTech just celebrated its 35-year anniversary and has spawned many video and tabletop games, it has been relatively quiet in the past decade or so, and a far cry from its heyday in the ’90s. The IP has also been more recently well known for its MechWarrior franchise, and so despite its well-established pedigree, it isn’t much of a surprise that BattleTech flew under the radar for most modern gamers. The series’ revival released on the PC in 2018, and is perhaps the best game to capture the tabletop roots of the series. BattleTech offers hours of fun for those who are fans of the series, mechs, or tactics games, and should be attracting many more players.
by Joshua Carpenter, Ryan Radcliff, and Johnathan Stringer
These awards are dedicated to the memory of our friend Michael A. Cunningham. Mac started at RPGamer in 2006 and would go on to become the long-running Editor-in-Chief. While Mac loved RPGs, he especially loved handheld games, founding the #TeamHandheld hashtag as well as running a personal project site, Pocket Console, where you can read more of his musings on portable games.
You can see Michael’s top games, which is to a Google Document because Mac loved organizing lists in spreadsheets, a tradition continued with our speadsheet-based awards voting form. You can also read the tributes to Michael from the community as well as a list of our favorite works by Mac as well as Francis Gayon’s musical tribute based on Mac’s favourite game, Final Fantasy IV. Also, a special thanks to our friends at RPGFan who dedicated their recent Top 25 Nintendo 3DS Games and Top 20 PlayStation Vita Games features to Michael’s memory.