Here is a big ol’ list of all the video games that I spent a significant amount of time playing in 2022. It’s not a comprehensive list, as I left off a few little indie games that were more “experiences”, games that I gave up on after a single session, and games that aren’t really games (like Rocksmith and Fitness Boxing). If you’d like to know how I felt about any of them, I included the month in which I started playing each one, so you can conveniently look up the appropriate Month End Round-Up post.
Of note is that of the 75 games listed below, 53 were eligible for my “Top X of 2022” list. I’ve narrowed it down to the ones I liked best, and I was left with fifteen finalists. Now I have the unenviable task of deciding if I want my GOTY list to just be 15 games, or if I want to try to figure out which five to cut to make it a nice, round Top Ten. Or, should I add seven more games to make it the Top 22 of ’22? Find out in… I don’t know, like a week or two, maybe? I’m going to try to get it done before February, anyway.
Pokémon Scarlet (Switch) – Paldean Pokédex complete!
Mars Moose: Cosmic Quest: City Sights (PS1) – More of a curio than anything. It’s a 10-minute game for wee bairns, but still, I played it.
Trombone Champ (PC) – A wacky game that I don’t think really lived up to its potential. It’s not exactly the rhythm game it first appears to be, but nor does it go nearly as off the deep end as similar games like Frog Fractions or Inscryption.
I’ve grown to really enjoy how Nintendo compiles your play history and presents it in statistical data for the year. And apparently Steam did it this year, too!
Alas, Nintendo’s offering for 2022 was weak, with much less data than the last couple of years. What I got was a list of the 21 Switch games I played the most this year, and how many hours of each. No graphs, no in-depth breakdowns, nothing else. So, here are the top three…
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 takes the cake for sure, and I still have a ton of game left to play there. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s definitely going to rank high on my 2022 GOTY list. Monster Hunter Rise got second billing because the Sunbreak expansion came out this year and I spent a lot of time grinding away at that with my brother. Lastly, and just squeaking in there at the end of the year, is Pokémon Scarlet, which is even a few hours richer than what it says above, because I’ve played it a bunch since these stats were delivered. Also, the assertion that I only played Pokémon on 10 separate days cannot be right. It just can’t!
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA) – What? Halloween season is over? Sure, but Castlevania is appropriate at any time of the year. Plus, this is my favourite ‘Vania, so there’s that. Is it still good almost 20 years later? Yeah! A little creaky in some ways, but still solid. Got the good ending and 100% map completion, but I had no interest in grinding for 100% soul completion.
ElecHead (Switch) – A very fun retro-style puzzle-platformer. Charge up platforms with your body and see what happens! Throw your head to charge up far away platforms! Fall and die on spikes many times! You know the type.
The Turing Test (PC) – Sweet first-person-puzzler that is highly reminiscent of Portal and The Talos Principle. Sadly, it’s rather short, and maybe even a wee bit too easy. I suppose it’s a good thing, though, when a game leaves you wanting more.
We are less than two months away from the release of Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet, and that means that I’ve basically just got Pokémon on the brain at all times. The Pokémon Company has been slowly releasing details about the games, and it’s looking real good! In particular, the new Paldean Pokémon that have been shown off so far are awesome pretty much across the board. Especially Klawf! A new crab! And it’s derpy as all heck!
That said, I came here today not to write directly about Pokémon, but rather a YouTube channel that specializes in Pokémon. I started watching Lockstin & Gnoggin earlier this year, and have since caught up on a lot of their back catalog. The main draw of this channel is the analysis of Pokémon designs and theorizing about their inspirations. Many Pokémon are a lot more complicated than you might think! There are also plenty of videos about lore, moves, types, so on and so forth. What really sells it for me is that these are almost all educational videos presented through a Pokémon lens, which makes them a lot more entertaining than some dude just dryly blah blah blahing about whatever topic.
That said: here’s the video they did on Klawf! Go learn about crabs!
Hachiemon (GBA) – Do you remember Hachiemon? I finally went back and completed it (let’s play videos are on the way). I am bemused by the fact that I wrote an article about it, but had only played the first two stages.
Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished ~ Omen (PC) – Like Hachiemon above, I replayed this for a YouTube series. But also because I’ve been itching to play it again. I think I liked it even more the second time around!
Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Switch) – Definitely in my top three Kirby games. It’s still too fresh to say exactly where it lands on the scale, but it’s a contender, that’s for sure. The migration to 3D worked out great, and the new features are almost all excellent. Such a fun, adorable game!
Ragnarock (Oculus) – There’s no story mode or anything, so it’s not really a “game over” kind of game. Also I don’t usually bother to include rhythm game here, but this is a new one. I really like it.
~ Progress Notes ~
Triangle Strategy (Switch) – Chapter 12
Stranger of Paradise: Final FantasyOrigin (PS5) – Terra Tortura
Cyberpunk 2077 (PC) – Looking for one Adam Smasher.
Vampire Survivors (PC) – This game is still in Steam Early Access, so it’s likely not really over, but I’ve won a few rounds and unlocked everything, so… yeah. You can read more of my words about it here.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus (Switch) – A complete revamp like this is exactly what the kinda-sorta stale Pokémon franchise needed. It’s a little rough around the edges, but it’s still so much fun and I hope that Game Freak makes another one in this style, but with just a little more polish. I was going to write a full review, but then wrote about potatoes instead.
Horror Adventure (PS4) – So bad that my PS5 refused to run it. Quite possibly the worst $2 I’ve spent on an indie horror game, and I feel like that’s saying a lot! The gravest sin it commits is having terrible controls: your character doesn’t always move in the direction you press the stick, and the turning speed is atrociously slow and cannot be changed. At least it only took 20 minutes to play through.
Banjo-Kazooie (N64) – I haven’t played this game since it was released on Xbox 360 back in 2008, and it was nice to re-visit. For the most part, it holds up pretty well, but some camera improvements would be appreciated.
Donkey Kong Land 2 (GB) – Perusing my 3DS library after the notice that the 3DS eShop is going to be shut down, I decided to finally play this. It’s the only Donkey Kong game by Rare that I’ve never played before. It sticks a lot closer to DKC2 than Donkey Kong Land did to the original DKC.
There are a lot of things to say about the newest game in the Pokémon series, Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Alas, those things will likely have to be said by others, because I only want to talk about one very tiny aspect of the game today.
In this game, there is a character named Beni. He runs the Jubilife Village’s restaurant, and apparently makes a mean potato mochi. His potato mochi is so mean, in fact, that every time you complete a task in the story, your character and their friends go to the restaurant to celebrate and stuff themselves with it.
Being an uncultured North American hermit, I was completely unfamiliar with the concept of mochi before I started playing this game. I’d heard the word before, and I knew it was something you eat, but I didn’t really know what it was. I didn’t have a clue if it was traditionally made with potato, or if the potato variety was special. It was all a big mystery to me.
The image above is what sweet potato mochi is supposed to look like.
The image below is how my sweet potato mochi ended up looking.
Following yesterday’s remembrances of the Nintendo 3DS, I decided to open up the records app and take a good, long look at all of the games I played on the system throughout its lifetime. I definitely could transcribe the entire list of 254 games, but I settled on just listing any game or app that I used for over ten hours. That’s still 74 different pieces of software!