Top 5 Best Gaming Moments of 2019
Spoilers below for Death Stranding, Kingdom Hearts III, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and The Outer Worlds Reader beware.
The following Top 5 list was compiled by Dylan Blight, Ashley Hobley and Ciaran Marchant.
There are a ton of cool moments from Kingdom Hearts III, even specifically in the game’s last act. But none of them is as visually stunning as this one. As a giant tornado Demon Tide develops on the Keyblade Graveyard, I could only marvel at the size and ask how I could possibly defeat that. As Sora runs to attempt to do something against the overwhelming odds, he is met by a vision of Ephemer, a character from the Kingdom Hearts mobile game, Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross].
Ephemer asks Sora if he needs some help and Sora awakens to see thousands of discarded keyblades come together to form a wave, one that Sora uses to take down this enemy that had already defeated him once before. It is awe-inspiring to look at and emotion-evoking, especially as you see the list of user names of players who’s keyblades you are using.
– Ashley Hobley
When watching movies, there has always been a part of me that desires the chance to explore the worlds that they take place in, to live in the moments. Star Wars has always been one of those movies for me. Jedi: Fallen Order gives you the opportunity to live in one of those moments in its very opening level. Panning over the landscape of Bracca, a ship graveyard that is home to large ship eating monsters is shown in the opening moments. You spend the following minutes traversing through the ship graveyard, exploring through the husks of iconic spacecraft from the series, climbing up and looking over the desolate landscape. Even though this area is filled with sorrow for this moment in Star Wars history, the fall of the Jedi and the rise of the empire, players get the chance to exist at this moment, before the story really kicks off. Respawn gives players this moment of melancholy to let the Star Wars universe envelop them and pull them in for an Epic Adventure that is about to begin.
– Ciaran Marchant
This is a showcase of the amazing writing in The Outer Worlds and Ashly Burch’s performance as Pavarti. It is just a side mission, but it’s a side mission like no other I’ve experienced in a big-budget game like this. After meeting the Junlei, captain of the Groundbreaker, Pavarti develops a huge crush. The two message each other between missions, which leads Pavarti to asks you to take her out to have her first drink.
What follows is a beautiful exchange between you and Pavarti, with the occasional bit of input from your other companion. She lays out her fears as an asexual who is in love and is scared that Junlei, or anyone, won’t love her because she doesn’t want to be physically intimate. This whole scene is just wonderful and a really progressive moment in gaming, but is still really relatable even if you aren’t exactly like Pavarti. Ashly Burch does an amazing job as Pavarti in general (her Game Awards nomination is evidence of that) but her performance here is just on another level.
– Ashley Hobley
I’m very much one of those high school kids that were obsessed with the Kingdom Hearts games. With that came my first shipping arguments prior to the days of Tumblr. Some people were team Rikku, others were team Sora — I was obviously on Sora’s team. The ending of Kingdom Hearts III very much pulled on my team Sora heart.
After defeating Master Xehanort finally and seemingly saving the universe and the many-worlds across it, Sora has one thing on his mind at the end of Kingdom Hearts III and that’s saving Kairi with his power of waking. He’s warned by King Mickey and others that his repeated use of the power could cause him to lose his heart, but he doesn’t care so he lifts his Keyblade high into the air. In the game’s final moments before the credits, we see Kairi returned and sitting on the tree at Destiny Beach with Sora beside her; a tear slides down her cheek and then Sora disappears.
– Dylan Blight
There are a lot of easy moments to pull from Death Stranding as big moments. Big story moments, big boss moments or even just stick the entire last two hours in here as a quote, un-quote moment and call it a day. But the moment that I think of most from those final hours of Death Stranding is the delivery of Lou and that final package delivery journey.
As you leave the base for the final time in Death Stranding your mission is to destroy your BB named Lou. It’s not functioning currently you’ve been told by Deadman. So you head for the incinerator and the huge orchestral song ‘BB’s Theme’ starts playing with the beautiful voice of Jenny Plant lulling you into the feeling that this is it, the final delivery, I’m destroying this BB… But just as Sam Porter Bridges does when he arrives I quickly started feeling off about the whole thing. I didn’t want to throw Lou into the incinerator. I’ve spent this entire journey with Lou, and he’s my closest friend in the world of Death Stranding at this point.
As I approached the incinerator I stopped for a moment as I prepared for the worst and also realised how attached I had become to Lou, a baby in a bottle that I had made fun of throughout the entire pre-release period.
Of course, when you read the end of the game just a few hours later, this moment is all that more powerful and a key point for my Death Stranding experience.
– Dylan Blight