TE’s Top 7 Games Beaten in 2017

Hello! 2017 is over, so like everyone else on the internet, it’s time for me to do a “Top X Y’s of 2017” list. Video games seemed fitting this year, because 2017 was like the best year for video games ever. And I chose to do 7 because 17 is way too many and 10 is too mainstream.

If you’re new here, how I do my year-end lists is different from most. In the case of video games specifically, I don’t choose from games released in the year, but rather from the pool of games that I’ve beaten during the year (that said, 5 out of 7 are 2017 games). This is partially because I split my time fairly evenly between new releases and retro games, and partially because I like to go against the grain. Also, games that I’ve beaten before are excluded (or else the list would just be Mega Man X and Shovel Knight over and over).

Preamble complete! Back to adventure! …I mean, article!

This is easily the one that sticks out as the weirdest of the group. An action-heavy road-trip rogue-like? Actually, it may even stick out as one of the weirdest video games period. Or maybe not, because there’s all sorts of insane junk on Steam these days.

More to the point, Death Road to Canada is about, well, a road-trip to Canada in a world where zombies have taken over. Maybe not the most compelling or unique tale, but that’s not the real meat of the game. During your travels, you will have to stop off at various locations, like abandoned apartment buildings and grocery stores. Here, you will face down endless hordes of zombies while searching high and low for supplies. You’ll be able to use nearly anything you find as a weapon, and sometimes you’ll even pick up other survivors to join your pilgrimage.

That’s nothing especially new; in fact it feels a lot like a 2D version of Dead Rising. What sets Death Road apart is the RPG bits in between action sequences. It works almost like a choose-your-own-adventure, in that you’ll be given random events along the road. Maybe you run into a band of thieves, maybe one of your party stumbles across an angry moose, maybe you decide to stop off at a mini-golf course. Often, you’re given a choice of how to deal with these situations, and depending on your choices, you could end up with extra supplies, or someone leaves the group because they were blamed for a particularly nasty fart, or your entire team ends up dead in a flaming car wreck. These events give the game a very unique flavour, especially since all the while, your band of travellers will be making snarky comments to and about each other.

There are so many variables at work in Death Road to Canada, so many events, weapons, game modes, weird random jokes and randomly-generated characters, that you could play it for weeks upon weeks and not see everything. The amount of content is only made that much sweeter by the fact that the game is always fun. Smacking up zombies and finding treasure is always a great time, even when you’re under pressure by a particularly thick horde or a looming nightfall. Survival in the face of impossible odds is the greatest feeling, and what’s even better is that there’s a two-player cooperative mode that lets you and a friend tackle the trip to the Canadian border together.

How did Super Mario Odyssey, possibly my most hotly anticipated video game of 2017, end up only at number six? To be fair, it was nearly impossible to actually rank these last seven games, but what set them apart is that every game that ranked higher made me feel something. They hit nerves, toyed with my emotions, frustrated me the best ways, and truly absorbed me. The only thing that I felt throughout Odyssey was “WHEE! I’M HAVIN’ A GREAT TIME!” Which is still great, of course, but it probably won’t really register as an especially strong memory for me.

That said, if I were ranking the games completely objectively, I’d likely slot in Mario at #2, so.

Let’s start again. Super Mario Odyssey is amazeballs. I don’t like to use that word, but I literally can’t think of anything else that quite perfectly describes how excellent this game is. It is the purest example of what I think a video game can and should be. It’s a massive, glorious adventure into worlds that toys with your preconceptions of what Mario levels should be and what kinds of challenges you’ll face in said levels, and it never stops being fun. It never stops being suprising and exciting, and I absolutely cannot wait for the inevitable DLC kingdoms.

I think the most important aspect of the game’s appeal is its unexpected simplicity. And to that end, I would like to direct you to the video at this link. It is a wonderful analysis of Super Mario Odyssey’s mechanics, and how even though they are simple, they can lead to endless possibilities and countless hours of fun. Go on, drink the Kool-Aid.

If Super Mario Odyssey fell behind the rest of the pack because it “only” made me feel pure elation, Resident Evil 7 edged it out because it made me feel absolute terror. It made me feel some other things too, like complete despair and a desperate need for more hours in the day, but mostly just the terror.

To properly describe that, we need to start at the very start. Specifically, the initial reveal of the new gameplay style. After the mostly despised Resident Evil 6, Capcom had to seriously re-think what they would do with the main series going forward. Their solution was to dial it back to a smaller-scale story, focus more on horror than action, and put the player in a first-person perspective. I was highly wary of this at first, but it turned out for the best in all the ways. I absolutely consider RE7 to be up there with RE2 and RE4 as one of the best games in the series.

I’ve written about this game several times before, but I guess it’s worth summing up again. RE7 is a horror masterpiece. Most of the game is spent quietly sneaking around spooky environments, hoping that monsters aren’t going to pop out and murder you. They inevitably do, and it’s much, much worse when those monsters are replaced by stalkers who will relentlessly prowl around, looking to find and kill you. The story is much smaller in scope than the last few main games, putting you in the shoes of a man looking for his assumed-dead wife in a creepy swamp mansion. Of course, there’s more to it than that, and the fun twists and reveals are very impactful, and very much in the classic Resident Evil style.

I also want to make a small mention that RE7 has some of the best DLC I’ve paid for. The two “banned footage” packs contain alternate game modes like an escape room and an ultra-hard remix of the Baker mansion. I haven’t played the second pack yet, but I got a real kick out of the first one. Two new story episodes were released right at the end of the year, and I haven’t made time to play them (or even room on my PS4 to download them), but one stars the one and only Chris Redfield, so I’m very eager to give it a go in 2018.

I’ve already written a huge spiel about this one, so maybe give that a read and then come back to check out the rest. If you need a TLDR, here are a the main bullet points:

  • A great evolution of classic Mega Man gameplay
  • Generally excellent boss battles
  • The game that Mighty No.9 should have been
  • Insanely thorough weapon customization features
  • Eight playable characters (though five are paid DLC)
  • Tons of extra content (collectibles, achievements, modes)

Honestly it was an incredibly difficult choice whether to include this or Hollow Knight as the 2D platformer on the list. They both really deserve it, but I am biased toward run-and-gun action. If this were a Top 8 list, however, rest assured that the extra spot would belong to Hollow Knight.

Like Mighty Gunvolt Burst, 2016’s DOOM washed over me like a wonderful wave of nostalgia; a terrific modernization of a classic franchise. Both are shooters -albeit of a different perspective- that build on their inspirations, though their modern incarnations couldn’t be more different. While IntiCreates took the retraux road, Bethesda brought DOOM fully into the current generation of gaming with all the fancy bells and whistles.

But bells and whistles are where the upgrades ended. Sure, the game looks gorgeous, gives you permanent power-ups, is rendered in full 3D and has all sorts of nonsensical DLC packages, but at its core, DOOM is still DOOM. It is pure and simple, unlike the vast majority of modern shooters. You won’t see any cover mechanics or regenerating health or annoying attempts at realism here. Doomguy can carry all of his guns at once, and never has to reload. Doomguy jumps like a video game character and can clamber up ledges. Doomguy can collect crazy powerups like Berserk, which imbues him with the strength to smash even the largest monsters to giblets with just his fists. It is my perfectly idealized first-person shooter.

I think that what really sold me on DOOM, however, is that as much as it feels like classic DOOM, it also feels strangely reminiscent of Metroid Prime. The game is segmented into stages, but each one is a massive area full of secrets that can be freely explored. There is a ton of verticality in every level, which I think is what really makes it feel like Metroid; you’ll be hitting the jump button just as often as the shoot button. Combat isn’t about hiding behind cover and taking careful potshots. You need to constantly be moving, because the enemies will follow you relentlessly and trying to hide will only get you pinned down and killed. Fighting is fast and active; every encounter is legitimately thrilling, and there is a very real threat of being killed at all times. It’s just got a really nice flow that Call of Duty and Halo have never nailed.

Literally the only thing that I didn’t like about DOOM was the bosses. While they are a tick above classic DOOM bosses, they still brought the game’s pace to a screeching halt by being significantly harder than anything else the game throws at you. But everything else was perfect! The lightning-fast combat, the focus on exploration, the adrenaline-pumping glory kill system, the sweet weapon modifications, and let’s not forget the bumpin’ death metal soundtrack! Yes, DOOM was a very strong contender for the #1 spot on this list, and I thoroughly regret having waited so long to play it.

I’m not really sure where to start here. I think we all know by now that the original NieR is one of my favourite games ever, on the strength of its characters, narrative, and soundtrack. The gameplay is all about deconstructing video game tropes, and the true ending contains a twist that you just don’t see in mainstream games (or any games that aren’t NieR, for that matter).

I went into NieR: Automata expecting more of the same, and I was not disappointed. It started up with a world that prompted so many questions; the far future of Earth where the last remaining humans live on the moon while their android army battles the mechanical forces of alien invaders back on the planet. Only, after a few hours, you start to wonder why you never see any humans or aliens. It’s a typical Yoko Taro game, with plenty of haunting themes and so many events that exist just to punch you in the gut and break your heart. It’s an examination of the nature of people and why we’re so friggin’ obsessed with violence and war. My advice to any considering playing this game is to not get too attached to any of the characters. Especially not any of the more immediately lovable ones.

Like NieR before it, Automata likes to toy with genre and perspective, but not nearly as much as the original game did. There’s no top-down Diablo-style level. There’s no text adventure segment to the game. Fishing is significantly less complicated and not at all important to your quest. But by focusing on two genres (third-person action and shoot-em-up), Platinum was able to polish up the gameplay to a level far surpassing that of the first game. That and it’s really nice to see those two particular genres mashed up, as it’s a very uncommon combination in our modern world of genre-bending indie games. The dappled-in RPG elements are a nice touch, too, as the androids’ chip system makes way more sense that Nier’s word system ever did. I just wish that they hadn’t felt the need to make it more like Dark Souls by having to recover your body if you get killed.

What separates it from the original NieR and its sister series, the Drakengard games, is that it actually isn’t completely hopeless. After all those hours, when I finally finished Ending E, I found myself tearing up in joy, at the beauty of what was happening on screen in from of me. And that song, Weight of the World; I still get a little misty-eyed when I listen to the “complete” version, and I listen to it quite a lot. The soundtrack in general is just phenomenal. The original NieR’s soundtrack might be one of the very best in video games, and Automata’s is absolutely up there too. It’s maybe not quite as good, but it’s still unbelievable. There is so much feeling baked into every track, and you really just don’t get music like this in… anything, really.

Of course it’s the new Zelda game. I mean, come on now.

What really makes Breath of the Wild extra special is that it’s probably the first game since Xenoblade Chronicles X that I’ve really gotten lost in. Like, the “I came home every day and just played until I fell asleep” kind of lost in it. It was my second life for a solid month, and continues to be something that I think about even when I haven’t picked it up in a while.

It wasn’t until only a couple weeks ago that I started hearing that a lot of folks, even fellow Nintendo fanboys, aren’t too keen on the game. And, you know, I get it. I really do. It’s so vastly different from every other Zelda game (except maybe the first) that I can see why people wouldn’t dig it. But I really, really do. I love that openness, that lack of direction. Zelda games have been so linear for years now that it’s nice to finally have a game that absolutely feels like Zelda, but lets you do whatever you want whenever you want. I think what really seals it for me is that I can just enjoy the world for itself more than most other video game enthusiasts. I don’t need a little trinket as a reward every few steps. For me, the importance of the journey far outweighs whatever is at the destination.

The vast world is only the main draw, though. All the little things within it are gravy. Fighting monsters is always fun and varied because your stock of weapons is constantly changing. The shrines are almost all very fun little things to find and solve (but the motion-control shrines can frig right off). The divine beasts are shorter than the more complex dungeons of games past, but I found them to be very cool little jungle gyms to play around in. Truth be told though, I still haven’t even beaten them all. Towns mean more than ever now that there are real sidequests and shopping is a much bigger part of the game. And honestly, just poring over the in-game map to try to find all the little references and cool geography is like a smaller game unto itself.

If there is one thing that I could change about Breath of the Wild, I think I’d like for there to be just a little more randomness to it. Like in Skyrim, how a dragon can come out of nowhere to wreck your day. I’m not asking for a lot, just a little something so that even once you’ve spent your entire life exploring every nook and cranny of Hyrule, there’s still something that can surprise you once in a while. Though I think that may be exactly what Master Mode is for. I still haven’t given it a try.

Breath of the Wild isn’t perfect. Of course not. But it’s easily the most impactful game that I’ve played all year. Some day, when there aren’t five billion other games to play, I really hope to finally get back into it and check out all the DLC. I hear that the extra story content is really quite good. Maybe that’ll be my game of the year for 2018.

Office excitement

Sir Ben Kingsley visited my office today. Yep. It’s a thing that happened. And honestly, the way people around here reacted was like one notch short of how the characters on TV’s The Office would have acted if a celebrity had visited their workplace. Pandemonium all day. Personally, I tried to play it cool, but I got infected by everyone else’s excitement. I’m a little ashamed. At the very least, I did my best to stay out of the crew’s way.

As the story goes, he was shooting a short additional scene for the upcoming film Nomis. Just a 30-second snippet. He was in and out in ten minutes, but I think that maybe the more impressive thing was the crew’s set-up and take-down. We had about 20 people on the film crew milling about for about two hours, setting up and preparing for the shot. Once it was over, they were gone in under five minutes. It’s kind of fascinating how much more quickly they were able to tear down the operation.

It’s also important to note that in their hustle and bustle, the film crew made a significant mess on our freshly-cleaned carpets and dinged up a bunch of walls. And the office was just renovated last summer. Le sigh.

Anyway, if you care, you can watch that movie to see the Winnipeg skyline outside the window I almost never look out of. It’s got Mr. Kingsley talking on a phone or something in front of a window. I don’t know if I’ll care enough to actually watch the film right away just to spot the scene. I think it’s more likely that I’ll be looking through old blog posts a few years from now, and stumble onto this one, which will inspire me to finally check it out.


My New Year’s resolution for 2018 is not a glamorous one. In fact, it’s something that really shouldn’t have to be a resolution. It is quite simply that I want to make a habit of flossing my teeth.

Don’t get me wrong, I am otherwise on top of my dental hygiene. I brush my teeth every day, sometimes twice, and use mouthwash more often than not. It’s just the flossing that’s a big hurdle for me. For some reason, I could just never be bothered.

Now we’re almost through January and honestly, I still haven’t been doing great. I just look at that little dental floss container most nights and think “It’s already really late, that’s another two minutes, I’ll start tomorrow.” However, I am definitely flossing better than usual, as I had a dentist appointment this morning, and my dental hygienist told me that my gums are looking significantly better than last time. So hurray!

Also I had no cavities this time so it’s really quite a big win for me. That’s how you know that I’m the most boring fella on the face of the Earth (I’m okay with that).

Thinks and thoks: Nintendo Labo

So, okay. Nintendo teases a new something-or-other a couple mornings ago. This is a week after the Mini Direct, so it’s… weird. The first word that comes to mind is weird. Because why hold a separate thing for a single thing when you just did a big fancy thing for a bunch of things just a week before?

Oh. Because it’s something completely different.

Enter Nintendo Labo. What it is, as far as I can surmise, is a bunch of accessories for your Switch that make the games that go with them more immersive. Basically a much crazier extension of the whole Wiimote idea. The difference here is that all these accessories are made of cardboard, and you get to pop out the pieces and assemble them yourself. So now Nintendo is selling large-scale papercraft to accessorize their games with.

My knee-jerk reaction was something along the lines of “this is going to be an even bigger money sink that regular video games and also it’ll be a heck of a lot of cardboard clutter.” Actually, I think that’s still pretty on-point for how I feel about Labo a few days later. Only now I know the price of these Labo kits and LOLOLOL no way José. $100 for the starter kit? There’s no friggin’ way.

That’s not to say that I don’t think this is kind of neat. I could see myself buying into Labo anywhere as recently as five years ago. Heck, I’m sure that as I kid I would have died for these overpriced cardboard gimmicks. But now, I just don’t have the money or space to care (huh, exactly why I don’t care about VR). Plus, we still really have no idea what the games are going to be like. Labo is being marketed directly at actual children, so I’m thinking these are going to be pretty simple affairs. It’s not like I’m ever going to need a cardboard Master Sword to play the next Legend of Zelda.

What I think would make the whole thing more attractive -and it’s something that Nintendo (specifically) would never do- would be to make the Labo software free, and just charge more reasonable prices for the cardboard kits. Kids are going to ruin that stuff and need to buy replacement kits, so it’ll still be a fountain of income if consumers take to the idea. Unless, of course, the software is perfectly usable without the accessories, in which case that idea falls apart completely.

Anyway, those are my brief thoughts on Labo. Frankly, I don’t much care. But that’s okay. It’s not meant for me. I think it’ll probably be great for those who are interested in it.

But then again, it’s me. So don’t be surprised if I write up a post about how I love my new Labo Toy-Cons on the day after launch.

Migraine Watch – January 17, 2018

It’s been quite some time since my last migraine, in fact I don’t even remember it. Which kind of makes yesterday a sad day. I was hoping deep in my heart that they would just be gone forever, even though I knew it would be too good to be true. Bad things happen to mediocre people.

Let’s start at the start: perfectly normal day at work, I was actually feeling slightly less exhausted than usual, so maybe I got a decent sleep the previous night? Then, at around a quarter to four, I notice that words and numbers are getting hard to read. I’m still functional, but it’s taking a lot of effort to read anything on either paper or screen.

I immediately poured myself a glass of water and popped two ibuprofen. Twenty minutes later, my vision is restored. However, I do notice a mild pain on the right side of my head. I pray that I was swift enough and that it will not get worse. It does, but not anywhere near as bad as my migraines usually get. It persisted through the evening, though at the less intense level, I remained perfectly functional and went about my daily business as usual.

Weird thing: I actually had some “aura” after the headache part started. On the bus ride home and lasting even about an hour after that, I had a mild numbness along the left side of my body. I worried briefly that my supposed migraine might actually be a stroke, but I don’t think I ever actually believed it could be true.

As far as probable causes, this was my third consecutive day caffeine-free. Normally if I go a day without coffee, I get a pounding headache by around 2PM, but I hadn’t had any issues at all up until this point. So I don’t know if it was just my physical dependence catching up with me or an unfortunate coincidence, but we’re going to blame this one on the lack of coffee. I have also been sleeping worse than usual for the last two weeks, so that may have something to do with it, but there’s no way to be sure.

Nintendo Direct Mini reactions!

Nintendo shadow dropped a little Nintendo Direct this morning. I mean, sort of. The date leaked online a while ago, and Nintendo had been making vague tweets in the days leading up to it, but it was never formally announced. So as a Nintendo-focused blogger, I feel like it’s my sworn duty to go over it and write up some thoughts.

The World Ends With You: Final Remix – I bought the original version on DS, and played it for roughly an hour before it got lost in the tide and I sold it due to lack of interest. I can tell you definitively that this port would suffer the exact same fate, so I’m surely just going to take a pass on this one.

Pokkén Tournament DX DLC – I didn’t buy Pokkén DX, because I have the original on Wii U. And while adding Blastoise is a very effective hook if you’re trying to get my money, it’s still just not enough to get me to buy this game a second time. I didn’t get into it as much as I hoped I would the first time around, I doubt the second time will be the charm.

Kirby Star Allies – Okay, now we’re talking. I love Kirby games, obvi. But to be honest, I was thinking about skipping over this one. I mean, I know that I’ll enjoy it, but Kirby side-scrollers are all pretty samey, so I was thinking maybe just play Planet Robobot again and save myself the $90. Can you believe that things have gotten so bad that new video games cost $90? (After tax, that is.) That’s just ridiculous. I need a cheaper hobby.

I’ll probably end up buying it anyway. It’s just to gosh-darn pretty!

Some demos – I have zero interest in Kirby Battle Royale, and I already have Dragon Quest Builders on PS4. Pass. Pass.

Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition – I already own this game on Wii U and 3DS. I’ve purchased the DLC packs on both versions. I’ve spent approximately $185 on this game already. And yet, I can’t help but desperately yearn to buy it again on Switch. I’m going to do my best to ignore it, but don’t be surprised if one day I write a blog post about how I couldn’t afford food for two weeks because I bought friggin’ Hyrule Warriors a third time. I don’t mind buying a game a second time if there’s some added value, but when you get to a third or fourth purchase, that’s where I have to start drawing lines. This version adds nothing but Breath of the Wild costumes. Not exactly a major draw.

Mario Tennis Aces – I like that Camelot seems to be putting some heart into this one, after the last three or four Mario Tennis games were half-assed disappointments, but the fact of the matter is that I never really get into these Mario sports games. Likely because I have no friends to play them with.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana – I won’t lie, 90% of the appeal here is that Dana character and her excessively skimpy outfit. I don’t usually care for the terrible costumes that female characters get in JRPGs, but this one really clicks with me for some reason. Other than that… ehhhh. I don’t know enough about the Ys series to care, and my budget just doesn’t have room for something that I don’t get an immediate urge to purchase.

Super Mario Odyssey: Luigi’s Balloon World – It’s a free update for a game I already own. So yeah, I’ll probably give it a go. Don’t see much appeal, though.

SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy – Meh. I have a King of Fighters game on my Switch. I already never play that enough.

ACA NEO-GEO Art of Fighting 2 – What did I just say?

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle DLC – I love this game and I love this trailer, but I don’t think I’ll be buying this DLC. I’ll give it an honest consideration if I ever get around to finishing the main game. But, that’s not looking too likely.

PAYDAY 2 – Don’t care.

Fe – Sorry, I stopped watching. What was this?

Celeste – I was only half paying attention while this game was on. I don’t know what it’s about, but the visuals certainly smack of something that I would dig.

DKC: Tropical Freeze – Oh hey look another Wii U port that I’m not going to buy. Don’t get me wrong, Tropical Freeze is a magnificent game in every regard, but I haven’t even finished it. And the Funky Kong mode looks like a good way to give players an “easy mode” without shaming them like Super Kong. Still. Unless it’s coming in at half-price, I can’t see it happening for me.

Dark Souls RemasteredUH HUH YES DAY ONE.

Praise the sun! To think that a port of a game released in 2012 is the thing that excited me most from this presentation. But, it’s Dark Souls. Dark Souls. In Japan it’s been confirmed that it won’t even be a full-price release, so woop woop here I go again to Lordran! Gonna be prepared to die on the bus! On my lunch break! On the toilet! Prepared to die everywhere!

Plus I never bought the DLC for my 360 copy, so there’s even some new-to-me content in there!

2017 Video Games Stats

I keep a big Excel spreadsheet of all the video games I buy (it’s much easier to keep updated than The Backloggery), and I thought that it would be fun to break down all that info into numbers. Because I’m a big old nerd and I love organizing data and determining statistics. There’s really not much else to say about it, so let’s jump right in!

Acquisition Stats
Video games “purchased” in 2017 : 148
That’s a lot! Like, too many! But let’s look at some numbers that might make it seem less crazy. (Please note that neither this figure nor any below take into account the SNES Classic Mini.) Things seemed to be going well (aside from “Switch mania”), but then I bought two Halloween bundles, and the year-end sales really got to me, and the number just got really inflated.

Games that were free : 26 (18%)
Games that came in bundles : 51 (34%)
The term “free” covers several cases. Mostly free-to-play games and monthly PS+ downloads. But there’s also at least one cross-buy counted, and games gifted to me are included there.
“Bundles” don’t only mean Humble Bundles and the like. I also included any instances where multiple games were purchased for one price, such as Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove.

Double-dips : 18 (12%)
Paid DLC / microtransactions : 7 (5%)
On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are a lot of games purchased that I already own on another machine. Simple ports and HD remasters are counted, but full-on remakes are not.
Thankfully, I didn’t spend very much money on additional content or premium currencies in freemium games. A lot of games supplied free DLC this year, which is awesome!

Physical games : 19 (13%)
Digital games : 129 (87%)
I can still remember a time where I was a staunch supporter of buying physical as often as possible. And now… there are so many advantages to buying digital that I can’t help myself. There’s only one tax, you can usually get a really good sale, they don’t take up room on the shelf, I don’t have to go to the store… I often wonder how much money I’d save if digital distribution’s ease to impulse buy wasn’t a thing.

Completion Stats
2017 games played : 82 (55%)
2017 games beaten : 45 (30%)
2017 games done : 40 (27%)
Keep in mind that these stats are only relative to games acquired in 2017. Does not include any games purchased in a previous year. There’s also an important distinction between Beaten and Done. Beaten signifies that I have “rolled the credits” or whatever the equivalent might be. Done is a little looser, as it means that I am completely done with a game. This could mean that I played it to 100% completion, or that I gave up after 20 minutes and never intend to return, or that I lost access to it because I cancelled my PS+ subscription. Or something else along those lines.

I did give my figures a somewhat questionable boost with a few games that can’t be beaten or completed in any measurable factor, like Namco Museum, and immediately filed them under both Beaten and Done. Still, I think the fact that I didn’t even get around to trying 46% of the games I bought last year is rock-solid evidence that I bought far too many games.

System Stats
3DS games purchased : 15 (10%)
DS games purchased : 1 (1%)
Wii U games purchased : 12 (8%)
Switch games purchased : 36 (24%)
PS3 games purchased : 3 (2%)
PS4 games purchased : 33 (22%)
Steam games purchased : 40 (27%)
iOS games purchased : 8 (5%)
There are a lot of little notes that come out of this data…
For one, I didn’t think I had bought that many PS4 games, but then I remembered that a third of those games were free with PS+ and I likely never would have bothered with them otherwise.
I also went a little nutty in March-August, buying up any Switch game that even vaguely piqued my interest. Such is life with a new console in a world where game rentals no longer exist.
If I hadn’t bought any IndieGala bundles, I would have paid for exactly 4 Steam games last year.
I considered breaking down all these numbers by played/beat/done, but there’s just no way to display that nicely in WordPress without a significant amount of effort. So the totals will just have to suffice.

Finally, because I love to compare statistics…

2016 Comparison!
Video games purchased in 2016 : 184 (19.5% decrease in 2017)
2016 games played : 82 (44%)
2016 games beaten : 47 (25%)
2016 games done : 49 (26%)
Holy crow! No wonder I couldn’t afford to keep my house! I bought way too many games in 2016! And I didn’t even boot up half of them! It gets even worse when you consider that all of these numbers continued to increase in 2017. Perhaps my goal for 2018 should be to stop impulse-buying video games. Also to unsubscribe from the Humble Bundle and Indie Gala newsletters.

(If you really wanna know, I’ve only bought one game in 2018 so far.)

Last Month in Movies – December 2017

Patchwork – Important disclaimer: this is a Canadian movie, so keep you expectations to a reasonable level. Whenever I give an opinion on it, reduce that opinion’s weight by about thirty percent. And then make any other necessary adjustment on personal taste.

Patchwork is a film about three women who have been chopped apart, and then put back together as a sort of Frankenstein’s Monster. Except somehow all three of their minds inhabit the body. And somehow the creature’s head is normal-sized. I dunno, maybe two of the brains are in the boobs? I guess it doesn’t really matter. It’s a horror-comedy, so it’s obviously not going to bother making perfect sense.

The film then follows the three-as-one ladies, who decide to track down whomever it was that is responsible for their current situation. To that end, they go on a bloody rampage of murdering everyone that might have been involved. This story is intercut with scenes of each of the women’s lives the night before they all got mashed into one, giving you a little glimpse into their backstories and personalities. There is a bit of a twist in this one, and I thought it was a pretty good one. It’s hinted at very strongly about halfway through, but I think the gradual reveal was fairly effective.

But is the movie good? That’s… I can’t see Average Joe/Jane getting much out of it. I certainly liked it, but probably not enough to recommend it. The horror was almost all centered around the “three people sewn together” premise, but it was significantly less disturbing than say, The Human Centipede. The comedy was light, at best. There were plenty of moments that I thought were funny, but not once did I laugh out loud. I think that the strongest praise I can give Patchwork is that it held my attention from beginning to end. No pause breaks to go do something else for a while. No phone or Switch to keep me otherwise occupied. Just me and the film for an hour-thirty.

Die Hard – Do I need to… I mean, you know this. It’s Die Hard. My second-favourite Xmas movie of all time. (The top spot goes to Gremlins.)

Krampus – Well, I watched the middle of it, anyway. From the point where the Jack-in-the-Box eats the daughter to the point where the gingerbread men start attacking. It had to be turned off then because small, easily-frightened children arrived, and I really only included it on this list because I needed some filler.

I can’t remember if I wrote anything the first time I watched Krampus, and I don’t care enough to check. I would place it squarely in the “perfectly average” category. I love the creature effects and obviously this is my favourite genre of film, but it’s just so formulaic that I can’t give it full points. There were literally no surprises in the plot. Maybe the fact that the daughter got eaten for real right away. I figured she’d somehow make it. Also I just don’t like David Koechner.

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up – December 2017

End of the line, 2017! It’s been a good’er, I’ll miss ya!

~ Game Over ~

Hollow Knight (PC) – If you’re looking for a Metroidvania that is expertly crafted and hard as balls, this is your game. I look forward to playing it again when it releases on Switch.

Mega Man X (SNES) – Couldn’t remember if I had already run it this year. Had to make sure.

Shovel Knight (3DS) – Sometimes you just need to close out the year by replaying a couple of your favourite games.

Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria Simulator (PC) – FNAF6 came out and I didn’t know it until three weeks later. Such is the downside of living in relative isolation. But hey, FNAF6! Hooray!

Chiptune Champion (PC) – A nerdy alternative to Guitar Hero. I may try to rip the music because it’s pretty good, but playing Guitar Hero on a keyboard just doesn’t have the same appeal.

~ Now Playing ~

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Switch) – It’s not quite as perfect for me as Xenoblade X was, but I’m still having a Goddamn ball. Read more thinks and thoks here.

Hammerwatch (Switch) – Yeah! Hammerwatch! I thoroughly enjoyed playing through this on PC, and I have been waiting for something similar to come to Switch. The real deal is even better!

Pokémon Ultra Sun (3DS) – Trying to play through it with poison-types only. I’ve never done a mono-type run before, and poison is probably one of the harder ones to start with.

Pokémon GO (iOS) – Might as well mention that I’ve been playing here and there to catch some of the new ‘mons. Gen 3 has a lot of my favourite guys, after all.

Skyrim (Switch) – I have barely touched it because Xenoblade 2 is eating all my video game time.

Yooka-Laylee (Switch) – I have barely touched it because Xenobalde 2 blah blah blah….

Volgarr the Viking (Switch) – I have barely touched it because… it’s super difficult and I can’t even get past level 2. But it’s really cool and I’ll deffo give it some more time in the future.

Super Mario RPG (SNES) – Long overdue for a replay. This run is more leisurely and taking advantage of infinitely-spawing monsters and emulator 30x speed abilities to level up quick.

Life is Strange: Before the Storm (PC) – For some reason, I just don’t care. The original game was excellent, but I cannot be bothered to give even half a shirt about Chloe.

Nine Parchments (Switch) – Just played the demo. Ramblings here.

Adventure Capitalist (PC) – I thought I’d kicked this habit, but then accidentally opened the game (damn Steam taskbar thing) and got sucked into another stupid event for a weekend.

A short review of the Mega Man X series

Capcom recently revealed that they’re working on Mega Man 11, which is due out late next year. I have a lot of different opinions about that game, but that actually wasn’t the thing that I was most excited about. Capcom is also finally going to be bringing the two Mega Man Anniversary Collections to Switch, as well as every Mega Man X series game. That’s nineteen Mega Man games on Switch next year. I’m going to be so happy.

All that said, I think what pleases me most is that I’ll be able to get all of the X games together in one spot. Oh sure, I have the X collection on GameCube, but a) that’s not portable and b) it’s missing X7 and X8. Probably something about bad porting quality too? I don’t know. The point is, today I want to talk exclusively about the Mega Man X series and what makes each game special.

Before I start, I’d also like to point out that I haven’t played most of these games in a decade or more, so I’m coasting on memories here. Some facts may be mixed up or flat-out wrong. Enjoy!

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