Reflections on 2020 and Goals for 2021

Greetings and Happy New Year! It’s been 2021 for just over a week, but I still wanted to take a few minutes to look back on 2020. It would still be a bit of an understatement saying this past year was stressful, in what seemed like a never-ending barrage of calamity and catastrophe. For many, video games went from enjoyable hobby to coping mechanism in seeking a form of escapism from the realities of current events or simply as a means to pass the time while under lockdown in the earlier months of the year(and some facing this again in the final months).

Despite the overwhelming amount of negative things throughout 2020, there was quite a few things I was able to accomplish or keep working towards. I know I could write an even longer post if I were to discuss the constant events of last year, but I wanted to just take a moment from my usual, pessimistic self and focus on some of the positive things from 2020.

I consider myself fortunate through this past year, as my workplace had already transitioned from an office to work-from-home status in the beginning of 2019, so I had already adapted to a much shorter morning commute. There were times throughout the year when I was a little reluctant to continue posting the usual “Video games 24/7” type of things; being fully aware of far more serious issues taking place than what I thought about the new Final Fantasy game or PlayStation 5 reveal as it could come off as a little privileged, as if I had little else to worry about.


2020 was only my second year of blogging and….I’d like to think there was some progress made. While I still don’t feel overly confident in pure writing ability – something I’ve felt since high school, I do feel some improvements have been made. I also know the first, and most commonly provided tip to “get good” at writing is simply to keep doing so. I’ve made it a point to try and be as consistent as possible in putting down my thoughts and ideas in a notepad I keep nearby as I’m working during the day, whether or not it ends up being used in a blog post. I was able to get something written down and posted on a pretty consistent, weekly basis throughout the year, though I also stayed mindful about not just forcing myself to “come up with something” for the sake of maintaining a steady rhythm. I don’t see treating the process of writing a blog post as some sort of detention where I’m unable to leave my pc until I have something to show for it.

In addition to this very broad, basic goal, I have spent a fair amount of thought and energy in blogging as frequently as I feel able, as to gain a bit more confidence, which will in turn, have an effect on my writing. Something as simple(in concept, at least) as getting more comfortable and confident may not prevent typographical and grammatical errors completely, but my hope is to at least be happy with what I was able to contribute and not be quite as self-critical at every opportunity.

Another area in which I gave a more deliberated effort this past year was to participate in more collaborations and community events whether on WordPress or via social media, such as Discord or Twitter. When I started up this blog, my main goal was simply to have an outlet to talk about whatever gaming-related topic I wanted and at whatever length I wished. Since the beginning of my time on WordPress, I’ve been fortunate enough to interact and discuss all kinds of video games(or whatever else) with a number of people. It’s been a lot of fun, as well as fulfilling to contribute a few paragraphs or an entire post as part of a collabortive effort with others or in a few rare moments, coming up with something of my own to invite others to join in.


At the beginning of last year I’d mentioned I wanted to try live streaming or recording gameplay here and there. I created a Twitch account at the very end of 2019 with the intent of streaming a bit from my PlayStation 4. I did managed to stream a couple different times directly from my PS4, with one of those attempts thinking I had managed to combat my nervousness enough to actually talk into the headset mic…only to discover afterwards it had been muted the entire time. It was a few more months before I found the bravery to try it again after I built my PC in late May. It seemed to go ever so slightly better as I kept at it; typically it was just some late night Overwatch after I finished work for the day. It wasn’t until July or so that I began to devote a few days a week to streaming and I’d say it was late August or so that I can say that I was finally starting to feel more comfortable with hitting the Start Streaming button. I didn’t really have many expectations in regards to streaming, but in another 2020 twist, it’s turned into one of the highlights of my week and I’ve made a lot of fun memories while hanging out with others from around the WordPress/Twitch community. Over the holidays, I was even compelled to throw together something of a highlight reel containing some of my favorite clips from 6 months of streaming as a way to look back on a few of the laughs in a year that seemed overwhelmingly negative.


As I did last year, I’ve included a list of all the games I played at least an hour or two for the first time in 2020. I ended up playing 64 different games for the first time and completed only 21 of them, leaving me with a roughly 33% completion percentage, or one out of every three games I started. This is just the games I played for the first time throughout the year, I’m not entirely sure what those numbers would be if I included the games I had played before – a majority of games played on stream this year were ones I was already familiar with. I received an Xbox One X last February, which granted me access to all the titles available on Game Pass. A few of my favorite games I played in 2020 were ones I was able to play Day 1 on Game Pass – Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Streets of Rage 4. In addition to a pretty decent library of Xbox games on Game Pass, I was finally able to build my own PC – something I’d been interested to do for a few years but was a little apprehensive about until I had both the knowledge and funds to do so. I’d spent just about the last decade using a Mac, so being able to take better advantage of Steam sales resulted in quite a few pickups throughout the year.

I’d like to have finished more games than I did, but being able to say I’d actually finished a couple JRPGs like Final Fantasy 7 or Chrono Trigger, or a game like Bloodborne was pretty cool. Here are the games…

(* = completed)


There’s a few things that happened throughout the past year that I’m genuinely happy with and wanted to make note of…

  • Another year of blogging
  • Building a PC(first time experience)
  • Another month of spooky Blogtober posts(and streaming) this past October
  • Completed a few of my backlog goals – Final Fantasy VII, Chrono Trigger, Bloodborne
  • Creating a Twitch channel and routinely streaming over the summer
  • Collabs and blogging community events – Great Blog Crawl, Trophy Hunters, Pokémon(upcoming)
  • Received offers from a few publishers to review upcoming indie games
  • Managed to make friends through WordPress, Twitch and other social media – Discord, Twitter


For my goals in 2021…I haven’t come up with TOO many. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s how quickly our plans can be tossed aside by circumstances we can’t control. I was able to write down a few things that I’d like to accomplish/keep working on as I make my way through the year…

  • Keep at it – blogging & streaming
  • Work on improving blog site and Twitch channel(something neglected too often)
  • Try not to be as self-critical about every little thing
  • Keep working on backlog – Persona 5: Royal, Yakuza(any), Final Fantasy III(VI), Zelda games

That’s all for now. I also wanted to say a sincere thank you to everyone who has read, commented, watched, or shown any sort of interest in my continued nonsense here on WordPress and more recently, on Twitch. This has been a highlight of the previous year(s) and I’m looking forward to making more progress in 2021…

Thanks for reading!

My Games of 2020

We finally made it! 2020 is completed. Looking back at a tumultuous year filled with ups-and-downs, I can say one thing for certain – it was a damn fine year for video games(if little else). We got to see new DOOM and Animal Crossing games share a release date in March, some great new indie as well as AAA games, along with the dawn of next-gen consoles in the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. Hell, there was a new Half-Life game…even if it was VR only. As with just about every other person writing for a gaming blog, it’s become almost an expectation to release a list of favorite games of the year once it reaches the end of December, so…let’s give this another go!

I have a full list of my ten favorite games released in 2020. I wanted to also mention some of my favorites I played this year, regardless of release date; it’s absurd how often a game will only get recognition in its year(or month) of release, before being tossed aside for the next new game. Another aspect of this is considering how often games are released in a less-than-completed state and take a while to finally reach close proximity to the developer’s original vision for the game through patches and updates..which could be a topic for another ramble post. Anyways, here are my….

Five favorites NOT released in 2020

  • Doki Doki Literature Club
  • Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers
  • Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
  • Chrono Trigger
  • Yakuza 0

There’s a little bit of everything here: from the psychological-horror-meets-dating-sim of Doki Doki Literature Club, old school point-and-click adventure in Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father, an epic open-world voyage through Ancient Greece in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, traveling through time and saving the world in the classic retro RPG – Chrono Trigger, and the contrasts of serious/silly in Yakuza 0’s main story and side missions.

Let’s take a look at my favorites released in 2020…

Resident Evil 3: Remake

Capcom had somehow managed to create not one, but two remakes of Resident Evil games that managed to retain the horror of the originals but create a modern-day gaming experience starting with the original REmake on the GameCube and then last year’s remake of Resident Evil 2(my #2 game of 2019). I played through the remake of Resident Evil 3 this past Halloween and it feels very similar to the RE2 remake in terms of feel, but Jill and Carlos’ venture through a zombie-filled Racoon City didn’t quite make as much of an impression on me as last year’s RE game. You can still see the more action-oriented direction the series had begun to take with RE3(setting up 4-6), but I still enjoyed the game enough that I made my ten favorites of 2020.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

I wanted to write something about Animal Crossing’s inclusion on my favorite games of the year without using the phrase “the game we needed” that has been used endlessly since the game’s release this past March(though it seems like years ago), but it’s hard to overstate the impact Nintendo’s newest entry to the wholesome series provided…as the world seemed to be collapsing around us.

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla was announced this past spring after rumors had been circulating for a while that the next game in Ubisoft’s long-running series would be set during the age of Vikings. After the reveal, I was excited at the prospect of an Assassin’s Creed game in which you play as a viking, only to be a little underwhelmed when gameplay was first shown, and then once again eager to finally play it shortly before release. I admit the game, despite being impressive enough in its first couple hours, didn’t have me hooked quite yet, but I can now say that I’m thoroughly enjoying making my way across medieval England as vikingr Eivor.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

I woke up one morning to see Nintendo had announced another Hyrule Warriors game, this time taking place in the Hyrule from Breath of the Wild. The game was advertised as essentially a prequel to Breath of the Wild as we see Link and Princess Zelda working with the Four Champions – Mipha, Daruk, Revali and Urbosa to stop the release of Calamity Ganon. I had never played the previous Hyrule Warriors, or any “Warriors” game(Dynasty, Hyrule, Fire Emblem), but enjoyed the demo enough that I was willing to give it a chance. I had intended to write a post of my first impressions on the game, but started to hear how others’ opinion on the game had started to shift when reaching the final hours of the game, so I plan to hold off on writing much about Age of Calamity until I play my way through the entire game. I’ve been doing pretty much every available mission in the game, so it may take me a little while. From what I have played, I really enjoy the over-the-top action set pieces as you hack your way through endless waves of enemies and aside from differences in combat, it does feel reasonably close to more Breath of the Wild. Having a lot of fun playing this one…

Streets of Rage 4

I grew up playing the Streets of Rage games, so the long-awaited(23 years!) sequel was definitely something I was going to check out. Streets of Rage 4 is everything that made the original games great, but adds a few modern, quality-of-life improvements along with excellent animations and an awesome soundtrack.

Thoughts on Streets of Rage 4

Final Fantasy 7 Remake

A beloved PlayStation epic finally gets the long-awaited remake, well…the first installment anyway. Square Enix released part one of their Final Fantasy 7 remake in April after years in development, going all the way back to the PS3 days and was it worth it? Yes, in most ways. I really began enjoying the changes made to the combat system, which allowed for more action-packed, free-flowing battle sequences. It also allowed a lot more time to develop the characters and their relationships over the course of the game. The flip side to this being the fact that part one of the remake takes between 30-40 hours to complete, but only takes place in Midgar, roughly the first couple hours of the original game. Despite a few pacing issues and a convoluted, Kingdom Hearts-y story taking some generous liberties with the original, it was still one of my favorite games of 2020.

7 thoughts on the Final Fantasy 7 Remake

The Last of Us Part 2

In a year of many uber-hyped releases, two games – Cyberpunk 2077 and The Last of Us Part 2 – could be considered to have the most attention around them, not always for the most positive of reasons either. Developer Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part 2 was, for better or worse, this year’s The Last Jedi and proved just as divisive. After playing it this summer, I found myself on the side of the chasm that really, really enjoyed The Last of Us Part 2. I don’t feel the game is the flawless, greatest of all-time release that others have professed, and I do have a few critiques of the game, but there was something, some brief glimmer of introspection and beauty that I found amidst the game’s moments of oppressive bleakness. It’s a feeling I’d not had after completing a game in some time…

Some of my thoughts after playing The Last of Us Part 2

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

I had only just played Ori and the Blind Forest a few months before the sequel – Ori and the Will of the Wisps was set to release. Will of the Wisps doesn’t necessarily blaze any new trails from its predecessor, though I felt some of the mechanics were improved a bit, but its spirited story, emotive soundtrack and colorful areas to explore made it one of my favorite gaming experiences in 2020.

First impressions of Ori and the Will of the Wisps

DOOM Eternal

DOOM Eternal was one of the games I was most looking forward to this past fall, only to have to wait until March 20 after the game was delayed, it was definitely worth the wait. The game takes everything that made 2016’s DOOM great and adds even more – demons, levels, glory kills. I recently played through the game again a month or so ago, and it’s still just as good as playing it for the first time. It would have been my Game of the Year if not for the next game…

Thoughts on DOOM Eternal


What can I say about Hades that hasn’t already been said an endless amount of times since becoming one of gaming’s biggest word-of-mouth games in just a few months since its release? It has some of the most satisfying and addictive gameplay of anything I’ve played this year(years?), an epic soundtrack and well-written, interesting characters who you wanted to check in with after every time you met your demise attempting to escape the Greek underworld. As much as I loved DOOM Eternal, I have to give my Game of the Year to Hades – a game I struggle to come up with really anything I dislike about it….

Well, there you have it…my list(s) of favorite games that I played in 2020. What were some of your favorites that you played over the year? Here’s hoping for another year anywhere near as good as this one in 2021…

Thanks for reading!