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)
Kathy Rain: the Director’s Cut (PC) – Probably my favourite point-and-click adventure game of all time, and there’s some tough competition! Features a good story, great characters, very good voice acting, and a complete lack of nonsense puzzle solutions. I think it says a lot that I had watched an LP of this one, yet still felt it necessary to play it myself.
Mega Man X (SNES) – Tradition demands it!
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (PS4) – This is a Very Good Action RPG. It builds on the foundation laid by SEVEN and Memories of Celceta, and really did a great job of refining what made those games good. It also adds a number of quality-of-life features, a player-controlled camera, and a fishing mini-game! My only major beef is that the broken equipment that powers up for every so many monsters you kill was nerfed in this one.
Pokémon Shining Pearl (Switch) – Pokédex completed.
~ Progress Notes ~
Cyberpunk 2077 (PC) – *shrug emoticon*
Pokémon Legends: Arceus (Switch) – Unlocked third area.
I’ve been playing a lot of Pokémon Shining Pearl lately, in an effort to complete the game’s Pokédex. Because going through all that trouble once for the original game just wasn’t enough for me, I suppose. Gotta do it all again!
And as I sat on my couch a few nights ago, grinding away countless hours to complete my checklist of digital creatures, it dawned on me that Sinnoh is not the worst region in the Pokémon series because of its HMs, or its confusing and inconvenient map. No, Sinnoh is a pain in the butt because it has, by volume, the highest number of stupid gimmicks for finding pokémon.
I like that Nintendo sends out little summaries of your gaming statistics at the end of each year now. Well, I don’t like seeing the actual figure of hours I’ve wasted on video games, but I’m a big fan of data! Unfortunately, their 2021 website is a little less printscreen-friendly than it was in 2020, so you only get to see the highlights:
Keeping in mind that this is only effective as of December 14, so we can probably add another 10 hours of Breath of the Wild on there (nice).
Otherwise… shocking revelations! 48 hours of Fitness Boxing 2 is fine, but it should have been double that, in my opinion. I’ve really been slacking off as far as exercise goes, but it’s just so hard to care, you know? 47 hours in Monster Hunter Rise is nigh unbelievable to me. I typically log between 200-300 hours in any given MH game, and for my money, Rise is the most fun game in the series to date. So what gives? Probably too much Zelda.
The January spike would have been due mostly to Picross S4. March was when Monster Hunter hit, but I also spent what felt like forever playing Pixel Puzzle Makeout League. April was all about Ys Origin and Picross S5. August saw high numbers thanks to the plodding The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. I spent a lot of time in October playing all of the games in the Castlevania Anniversary Collection, and it’s safe to say that November and December were split between Breath of the Wild and Pokémon Shining Pearl.
How many of those would I have remembered if not for my handy-dandy month end posts? Fewer than you might think!
Ys Seven (PC) – I wrote about how I was struggling a bit near the halfway point, but the difficulty of Nightmare mode kind of cleared up after that. At least until the final bosses, which required a heck of a lot of grinding to beat. Still a very good game, just not one you should play on the hardest difficulty setting.
The Room (PC) – Having no relation to the infamous movie of the same name, this is a game about solving a series of puzzle boxes. It was a lot of fun, though the puzzles were maybe a little bit on the easy side. Took less than two hours to complete all five chapters, and I look forward to playing the sequels.
Castlevania: Bloodlines (Genesis) – Much faster than the ‘Vanias on Nintendo consoles, but still feels slow because so many enemies are tanky. It brings back the “whip gets powered down when you get hit” mechanic, which suuuuucks. There are a lot of cool graphical things happening in this one, and I like that it has two fairly different playable characters (of course I played through with both).
Resident Evil 4 VR (Oculus) – Played to record for YouTube. (Twice!)
Alisa (PC) – You can see my full impressions in this YouTube playlist. TLDW? It’s a 90’s survival horror throwback that really nails the presentation and stumbles just a little with the gameplay. Also it’s a Kickstarter project that is not quite finished.
I was poking through my chest of forgotten video games, systems, and accessories the other day, just looking around at things. No practical reason or whatever. Just the semi-annual “maybe I’ll find my lost GBA SP this time” rooting around. During this particular adventure, I pulled out the Ziploc baggie that holds all of my GBA cartridges. Wanting to look at the beautiful collection, I spilled them out onto the floor and lined them up. What I found was nothing short of shocking.
Somehow, I only own nineteen Game Boy Advance games. As someone whose GBA was as good as attached to his hands, I find this very hard to believe. I know that those were days when I was poor, rentals existed, and far fewer video games were actually being made, but it still seems unreasonably light. At some point I could have sold some to lighten the load, but… these are GBA cartridges. They take up virtually no space, so there’s no big incentive to sell, other than desperation for cash.
The Void (PC) – Artsy horror-ish game that I may have liked if not for three factors: 1. Gesture-based commands that don’t work very well. 2. Overcomplicated gameplay systems that make no sense. 3. Your character moves slower than molasses – at running speed. Into the bin with ye!
Stories Untold (Switch) – A text-based adventure game anthology that takes place over four separate mini-episodes. Each one introduces some new gameplay element and a new scenario. While the gameplay can be a little tedious, the stories are great and go off in wildly unexpected directions. I bought this on sale for $7 and I kind of want to give the developer the difference because it was fantastic. Likely to be on my 2020 GOTY list.