The best Noisy Pixel games in 2021: some extra awards
Let’s not waste our time. On to the rewards!
Considering this game comes from the mind of Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, expectations were high. Fantasian builds its world through dioramas where players can interact with NPCs and explore dungeons. Battles feature a unique skill-based system where players can strategically plan attacks to hit enemy weakness. The narrative becomes more complex in the second of the adventure as players are taken on a real adventure that we wish was already available on other platforms.
Indie: The Gate of Death
It’s not every day that you see death and doom motifs combined with feathery sweetness in the same game. The two-person team Acid Nerve took clear inspiration from Studio Ghibli when designing Death’s Door, a small aesthetic indie game starring a young crow employed as a reaper of souls. Presented in a top-down isometric view reminiscent of old-school Legend of Zelda games, Death’s Door perfectly combines a dreary atmosphere and engaging narrative with smooth gameplay and unique puzzles. If you liked Acid Nerve’s first game, Titan Souls, then you’ll definitely be impressed with Death’s Door.
Remaster: NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139
Yoko Taro knows how to fuse harrowing narratives with comedic instances, and NieR Replicant exemplifies those traits. Although a remaster of a PlayStation 3-era title, this remaster feels modern with updated combat, progression, and overall gameplay feel. It’s a great entry point not just for this specific game, but for the NieR sub-series as a whole. If you loved Automata or are even curious about the tragic worlds born from the mind of Yoko Taro, Replicant is a definite buy.
Downloadable Content: Intermission from Final Fantasy VII Remake
Final Fantasy VII Remake receiving the DLC was an unexpected, but hesitant undertaking, one that many were uncertain about. However, Yuffie joining the fray made her existence worthwhile by default, and thankfully the quality of the DLC turned out to be undeniably phenomenal. Boasting a newly realized and addictive Fort Condor mini-game, all-new combat mechanics, and stellar boss battles, INTERmission is a great appetizer for the next stage of the remake effort. If you enjoyed the initial release of Remake, INTERmission is a straightforward purchase across the board.
OST: NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139
The exceptional quality of NieR is synonymous with its soundtracks. Automata received critical acclaim for a variety of reasons, and its songs were among the best reasons. Still, Replicant kicked this off after Drakengard, and the remaster’s updated arrangements are truly sublime. Much like Automata, Replicant somehow manages to deliver a range of comfortable background melodies and exciting, tense combat themes masterfully. It’s no wonder this was voted so high on the list, and we doubt anyone will complain about it.
Narrative: Judgment Lost
RGG Studio has developed an extraordinary knack for fast, consistent output that delivers tremendous quality in almost every way imaginable. Lost Judgment follows this admirable trend, raising the stakes of the original Judgment tenfold while creating its own identity. The story is truly engrossing, feeling more like a crime thriller than ever before, and it more than cements Takayuki Yagami as a hopeful mainstay for the Yakuza franchise moving forward.