I know I haven’t been blogging much lately, and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon. See, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom releases tomorrow (but I’m getting my copy tonight), and if it’s half as compelling as its predecessor, I will be fully lost in it for at least a solid month. Honestly, it’s kind of okay that I’ve been completely failing at dating lately, because I ain’t gonna have time for no woman.
To say that I have been strongly anticipating this video game would be one heck of an understatement. Yeah, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet were massive hype machines, and the Resident Evil 4 remake was pretty high up there, but both Pokémon and Resident Evil are effectively annual franchises now, which kind of undercuts how exciting a new release is. Zelda, though? It’s been six years since the last new game in the series. Sure, Skyward Sword HD happened, but that wasn’t even a remake. It was a port that looked a bit nicer and added traditional controls. It barely counts.
I feel like this is the part of the blog post where a good writer would be driving home some kind of point, but… I think I already got there? But just in case: Zelda, man! It’s gonna be amaaaazing!!!
Ghost of Tsushima (PS5) – I wasn’t too sure about this one for the first few hours, but it really grew on me over time. An excellent game in most regards, though it does feel very repetitive, as open-world games usually do. My favourite parts by far were the side-stories of Jin’s allies. Folks who ignore side-quests in games would absolutely be missing out on the best parts of this game. Norio and Masako in particular were characters that I really liked adventuring with. Platinum trophy’d.
Super Mario Land 2 (GB) – Yes, again. But this time, the colourized romhack! It’s… the same game, but looks nicer. Also, you can be Luigi!
Resident Evil 4 (PS5) – Everything I could have hoped for. It’s generally a very faithful remake, but remixes a lot of the content in different ways to keep veterans of the original on their toes. That plus a whole bunch of new elements, and MUCH improved boss fights across the board. Basically exactly what a remake should be, in my opinion. It also fleshes out the story and characters way more than the original, which is definitely a nice-to-have. I’ll absolutely be playing this a few more times before the year is done.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was already my most anticipated video game of 2023 by a very wide margin. Then Nintendo went and released the trailer embedded below and I… I don’t think I can wait another month!
Zeltik already has an incredibly thorough analysis video up (nearly an hour long!), but rest assured that I’m going to be obsessively watching him, BanditGames, MonsterMaze, NintendoBlackCrisis and other Zelda-focused YouTube channels as I soak in as much discussion of this footage as I possibly can until the game proper launches in May.
Uh, so this happened over a week ago. I watched it on my work laptop, to take advantage of the second screen, but I also can’t access WordPress from said laptop. So I wrote down all these notes while watching and only now have gotten around to publishing them.
Pikmin 4 – I like the music. New onion design? Ice pikmin… cool. Ooh! A pupper pal! Dungeons are back? Overall, it looks like another Pikmin, which is good since we haven’t had one in 10 years.
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.
I played every main game in The Legend of Zelda series last year, and recorded those playthroughs for YouTube content. This is old news. But in the highly unlikely scenario where this is someone’s very first TE post, that sentence provides important context.
What’s news to everyone, though, is that I’ve kept all of those videos on my hard drive all this time because I wanted to look at some of the technical stats of that whole situation, and just haven’t gotten around to it. But I need to reclaim some of that hard drive space, so now is the time! Firstly, I want to look at how long each game took to play:
Yep, it’s that time again. Time to read my knee-jerk reactions to all the games that appear in Nintendo’s newest hype commercial. Let’s-a go!
Fire Emblem Engage – I like the trailer, and it looks amazing, but I just don’t really care about Fire Emblem that much. However, there’s only room for Square-Enix TRPGs in my life.
It Takes Two – Released on every other platform last year, it was a big hit, but I just can’t be bothered. It’s a co-op game, after all, and I have no co with whom to op.
Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse: One day, I’ll get into the Fatal Frame series. I’ve always been very interested, but never made the time. Probably won’t happen in 2022, though. Fun Fact: My ex-wife who wasn’t really into video games had played more Fatal Frames than I have.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 DLC – A new Hero character, challenge battle mode, and… swimsuits… of course. Dammit, Japan. *smh*
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!
For each year that passes, I become more and baffled that this website still exists. Like, I have immense difficulty focusing on anything for more than about 10 minutes at a time, and a list of unfinished projects that could wrap around the Earth. How am I still doing this???
I don’t have an answer to that question. But Nintendo recently asked themselves a similar question, in relation to keeping the ol’ 3DS family of systems relevant. Their response was “We’re not.” and earlier this week, it was announced that the 3DS eShop will be shutting down in March of next year. To be more specific, you’ll no longer be able to make purchases at that point. Presumably, the shop will still exist so that people can still download all the games they’ve paid for. Presumably.
“But Ryan!” you shout, incredulously “Where was Part 3??”
I’ll tell you where Part 3 is. It’s here. I just didn’t add it to the post title, because I didn’t want to. There you go. There’s no lost chapter or anything. Just me being silly and inconsistent.
Anyway, just for kicks, here is the list of video games that I had considered for my 2021 Top 10 list, but didn’t quite make the cut. I think that these are all great games, but they just didn’t affect me the same way that the winners did. I would absolutely recommend any game from this list.
Ys Origin (Switch)
Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished ~ Omen (PC)
Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished ~ The Final Chapter (PC)