Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (PS2) – You know how in FNAF, there’s “the one you shouldn’t have killed”? Well this is “the one I shouldn’t have played.” To be fair, it wasn’t that bad, and while I did enjoy some of my time with it, it was an absolute struggle to play much more often than I would have liked. Also the ending was poop. The biggest shame of it all is that I likely would have been totally ga-ga for this game if I’d played it back in 2004, but it just feels rough in 2023.
Picross S6 (Switch) – What more can I say than “it’s more Picross”? No, like, literally, it’s exactly the same format as the last two but with different puzzles. Which is all I ask for, but it doesn’t make for a very interesting review.
Kirby’s Dream Land (GB) – With the release of the Game Boy Online app on Switch… I took the opportunity to revisit some old favourites.
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.
Mega Man X (SNES) – The annual tradition continues.
The Night of the Scissors (PC) – A very short -and surprisingly easy- hide-and-seek style indie horror. There are like three items to find, one puzzle, and a killer who just doesn’t seem to be around all that often. Needs some more meat on its bones.
Nightmare of Decay (PC) – Indie survival horror FPS that wears its inspirations on its sleeve. I really liked it, though it could be a bit frustrating at times. See here!
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.
Shovel Knight Dig (Switch) – A roguelite prequel to Shovel Knight, it’s not what I would have asked Yacht Club for, but it’s what we got. Looks great, sounds great, but unfortunately… roguelite. Somehow, I managed a winning run after only about two hours of gameplay, so that was a nice surprise. It’s got a few creepy enemies, but I wouldn’t call it even slightly spooky.
Resident Evil 2 (PC) – Played this many times, actually! Leon A (easy), Claire A (randomizer), Leon A (normal), and finally, the Kendo’s Cut mod. I wanted to get at least one B story run in, but just ran out of time. Needless to say, ’tis a fairly spooky game.
Power Wash Simulator (PC) – Finally loaded it up to play the last few stages added to the official release. Such a nice, satisfying way to waste time. Not at all spooky, though.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (Switch) – It was a Xenoblade, alright! And an excellent one at that. I’m writing up some additional thoughts that may or may not ever get published, but the most important takeaway is that I enjoyed every one of the 100+ hours that I spent on it.
TMNT: Fall of the Foot Clan (GB) – A fairly simple platformer/punch-’em-up. Short, easy, and not especially special in any way.
TMNT: Back From the Sewers (GB) – Graphically, a huge step up from FotFC. On the other hand, it’s so brutally hard (on normal!) that I would have lost my mind without rewinds/save states.
TMNT: Radical Rescue (GB) – This one’s a mini-metroidvania, though a little more linear than that descriptor suggests. It’s not quite as unfair as BFtS, except for the bosses, who will absolutely make you pull your hair out.
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: