Weekend Gaming Review – Delays & DLC

It’s been a little while since I’ve written about recent happenings and general news within the gaming world, but there’s been no shortage of things to follow(or try to ignore) on social media. I figured I would throw in my two cents from the luxury of my own WordPress soapbox rather than within the 280 character confines of Twitter.

Delayed Expectations

Remember how crowded the release schedule for this spring was looking, with what seemed to be highly-anticipated games getting released nearly every week? Well…the months of March and April aren’t quite as crowded as they once were.

It first started with both Animal Crossing New Horizons and Doom Eternal being delayed from a Fall 2019 releases to both games ironically announcing a March 20 2020 release date. I’m having a hard time explaining precisely why I love the thought of buying a new Animal Crossing game at the same time as a new Doom game…I dunno. The release date of mega-hyped The Last of Us Part 2 was given a release date of February 21 2020 during Sony’s State of Play presentation this past September, but only a few weeks later the game was delayed and slated for a May 29 release.

In the past couple weeks another barrage of delays were announced by Square Enix with the Final Fantasy 7 remake being delayed from March 3 to April 10 and also Marvel’s Avengers was pushed from its planned release of May 15 to September 4. The FF7 remake wasn’t much of a suprise to me, as the development of the game has been ongoing for years with speculation for a long time about whether not the project would see light of day. The Avengers game also isn’t suprising, considering how little anyone knows about the game other than the cast portraying Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and that the game has been hinted as being a living, open-world game. Coincidentally enough, the Iron Man VR game for PS4 has also been delayed from February until May 15.

And finally, another game delay that, while not as much SURPRISING as disappointing was the CD Projekt Red’s announcement that Cyberpunk 2077, their follow-up to The Witcher 3 has been delayed from its intended release of April 16 to September 17. Cyberpunk is one of the games I’m most anxious to play so I’m a little bummed to hear of a delay, but coming from CD Projekt Red, delays are never all that surprising.

I’m completely fine with the recent delays, most people have expressed a similar feeling and mentioned the words of Shigeru Miyamoto himself as he stated “A delayed game is eventually good. A bad game is bad forever”. Another common reaction to the news was that of being disappointed to hear a game is delayed, if it means the dev team isn’t put under as many crunch hours. This is where I applaude publishers and developers for agreeing to delay a release and mention nice things like employee work-life balance, but what I fear is this becoming something said solely to maintain goodwill as we’ve become more aware of the strain of crunch hours on developers and testers. The delay of Cyberpunk 2077 was quickly followed CD Projekt Red confirming that it will still be requiring extra crunch-time hours from its dev team. Maybe I’m just being too cynical? Progress has been made in bringing awareness of crunch and its effects on those creating the games we love to instantly consume, but there’s still more to be improved upon. I’ve linked an article articulating this far better than I can.

https://kotaku.com/game-delays-cause-more-crunch-1841065204

Pokemon Sword/Shield DLC Announced

Over the past few years Nintendo has been on a wildly successful streak starting with the release of the Nintendo Switch in February 2017 and continued all the way through 2019. As we entered 2020, much specualation had begun as to when Nintendo would announce another Direct presentation to announce new games, features, or even a rumored Switch Pro. Within the past couple weeks Nintendo has indeed hosted two Direct broadcasts, the first being Pokemon-related and the second announcing the fifth and final DLC fighter for the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass(more on that in a minute).

The first Nintendo Direct was held on January 9 and was specifically Pokemon-centered(…get it?). During the presentation a paid DLC bundle for Pokemon Sword & Shield was announced; each containing a brand new area to explore with new Legendary Pokemon as well as over 200 others returning from previous generations. The first pack – Isle of Armor will release in June, with the second – Crown Tundra to be released later this Fall. The announcement was met with a generally(?) positive reaction as those who already enjoy the game will be simply offered more of it, but also noticed others who still felt that Game Freak had betrayed their loyalty. Some felt add-on DLC with more Pokemon is simply a way to squeeze extra money out of gamers when CLEARLY Sword/Shield should have contained every one of the 800+ Pokemon. Those who were felt they were being railroaded into buying the same game AGAIN to “catch em’ all”. I find being upset about DLC coming to Sword/Shield a little humorous as if you REALLY want to scrutinize, you could come to the conclusion that we’ve been buying 3 versions of essentially the same game since 1998. I think adding DLC to Sword/Shield is perfectly fine and in a broader way shows Nintendo and Game Freak are slowly, but surely entering the modern era of gaming in regards to post-release content.

Smash Bros. 5th DLC Fighter Announced

Another Nintendo Direct presentation was announced for January 16 2020 to cover the fifth and final DLC fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. At any given time there’s a consistent swirl of rumors and speculation as to just who Mr. Sakurai will announce as the newest addition to what is already the greatest-selling fighting game in history. Being the final fighter in the Fighters Pass, there was an even bigger frenzy of guesses, wishes, or demands, so Smash fans were more than eager to see who would receive the latest invitation. Many fans wanted to see a character representing other games like Sora from Kingdom Hearts or Dante from Devil May Cry, there were even those rumors of Master Chief or the Demon Slayer from Doom. The possibilities seemed endless as the Smash community had been treated, to the point of being spoiled by some outrageously awesome additions like Joker(Persona 5), Hero(Dragon Quest), Banjo(Banjo-Kazooie), and Terry Bogard(Fatal Fury/King of Fighters). So when Sakurai announced Fire Emblem: Three Houses main protagonist Byleth as the next fighter, many fans felt disappointed and frustrated and quickly voiced their opinions via social media, as trending hashtags on Twitter indicated.

I completely understand being disappointed with the newest Smash character announcement, but when it turns into the inevitable bickering and fighting is when I’m unable to empathize. It’s only a couple months since we went through the EXACT SAME thing when Terry was announced and a large portion of the fanbase went “who’s Terry?”. Many fans look at Byleth’s inclusion to the Smash Bros gigantic roster as completely uneccessary, “There’s too many Fire Emblem characters!!” or less deserving than others ” ANOTHER anime sword-fighter??”. Fire Emblem: Three Houses was one of the best of Nintendo’s many great 2019 releases and I have no issue with Byleth being part of the already incredible roster of characters in Smash Bros. Ultimate. For those complaining about the over-representation of Fire Emblem characters(8) in SSBU; if there was a game that warranted an abuncance of FE characters it would be Smash Bros. How many of us may not have ever been inroduced to the Fire Emblem games if not for Roy and Marth’s inclusion to Smash Bros Melee back on the Gamecube. Also, how awesome does that Cuphead Mii Gunner outfit look?

Smash fans: No more sword-fighters
Also Smash fans: We want Dante!

In addition to Byleth joining the Smash roster, Sakurai announced a second Fighters Pass which contains 6 DLC fighters that will be introduced throughout the year and completing in January 2021. So for all the fun we’ve had with the first 5 fighters, we can look forward to 6 more….along with another year of the…healthy discourse within the Smash community.

I think that’s all for now, what do you think of Nintendo’s recent DLC Directs? Are you disappointed with the recent game delays? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Resident Evil 4 – 15 Years Later

The Game

Resident Evil 4 was the end result of a lengthy development process that began in 1999 and with the intention of being a direct sequel to Resident Evil 2, released the prior year for the Playstation. The development team at Capcom included Resident Evil 2 director Hideki Kamiya as well as series creator Shinji Mikami. Resident Evil 4 underwent many changes in concept and gameplay over the course of its development; one of the earliest versions of the game Hideki Kamiya had for the project would emphasize stylized action over the established horror elements of previous RE games. He envisioned a “cool” main character with superhuman intelligence and abilities in a game with a unique style and attitude. Shinji Mikami felt this strayed too far from the established nature of RE games and persuaded Capcom to set it aside as a new IP on the Playstation 2. While Mikami took over as director of the Resident Evil project for the upcoming Playstation 2, Kamiya took on the task of directing another project that began as a gaiden or “side story” to Resident Evil 2. The result of this was what we know today as Resident Evil 3(the highly-anticipated remake releases April 3, 2020). Kamiya also went on to see his original concept for Resident Evil “3” come to fruition on the Playstation 2 in 2001 with his cool protagonist – Dante, starring in the first of the successful(and very stylish) Devil May Cry series.

Meanwhile Shinji Mikami worked through mulitple versions of what would now be billed as Resident Evil 4. The development team felt a change was in order for the series and the project suffered numerous changes in setting and gameplay with Mikami admitting in an interview that they were occurring nearly every day. The team wanted to expand on the story of Leon S. Kennedy, the protagonist of Resident Evil 2 and went through mulitple settings in which he would make his way through fighting anything from traditional zombies to spirits and otherworldly monsters. Perhaps the biggest change to the upcoming RE title would be a change in camera perspective from the fixed camera angles of the first entries to an “over the shoulder” camera, this allowed players a greater range of movement than the traditional infamous “tank controls” and would make for greater action sequences within the game. The setting was also moved to an unnamed village in Spain where Leon has traveled in search of the President of the United States’ daughter Ashley and would encounter villagers infected not by the T-Virus but by a parasite known as Las Plagas.

In late 2002 Capcom announced five separate titles that would be released as exclusives for the Nintendo Gamecube. These games came to be known as the “Capcom Five” and included Killer7, P.N.03, Dead Phoenix, Viewtiful Joe, and Resident Evil 4. Shinji Mikami had previously stated his intention of creating exclusive titles for the Gamecube previously as the remake of the first Resident Evil game was released for the Nintendo’s diminuitive console and as the series prequel Resident Evil 0 released as an exclusive in November 2002. The 3rd person shoot ’em up Dead Phoenix would eventually be scrapped and all other games would be ported to other consoles, with the exception of P.N.03. Despite the fact two of the Gamecube (then)exclusives – Viewtiful Joe and Resident Evil 4 garnered rave critical reviews, but still could not Nintendo strengthen its third-party support among publishers; a problem going back to Nintendo’s release of the Nintendo 64 and it’s reluctance to embrace disc-based software and choosing to stick with cartridge format for its games.

Resident Evil 4 was released after many changes and delays for the Gamecube on January 11 2005. It received rave reviews from gaming outlets, praising the updated camera angles and controls as well as its sleek combination of action and horror. RE4 was held up as “the reason to own a Gamecube”, but despite its critical success as a Nintendo exclusive, it was subsequently released on the far more successful Playstation 2 in October 2005 and went on to sell more copies as a PS2 title than Gamecube.

Memories

My first knowledge of the game came through various gaming magazines like EGM or Nintendo Power, I was instantly intrigued at the amount of buzz the upcoming Resident Evil game was getting. I had known of the series since its early days on the Playstation and had played a little bit of Resident Evil 2 at a neighbor’s place, but it wasn’t until the Gamecube remake of the first Resident Evil that I was completely engrossed in the acclaimed zombie series. I played the REmake and a few months later played Resident Evil 0 and loved the setting and atmosphere within the eerie confines of the Spencer Mansion and Umbrella Research Facility; I was very eager to see how Capcom could possibly follow these up.

I had just turned 19 and was working at a local Kmart store when Resident Evil 4 first released in January 2005. I was still living at home at the time, but with even a part-time job I had a bit of extra income to pick up the ocassional game here and there. RE4 was initially slated for a Q4 2004 release but was delayed until the following January, this worked out well enough for me as the final months of 2004 were jam-packed($$$) with great games like Metroid Prime 2, Metal Gear Solid 3, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas AND the world-stopping event that was Halo 2. I remember working back in the electronics department the day that RE4 was set to release, but my shift ended before any new product was brought up from the store room in back. I arrived at work the next day and saw it had been placed behind the sliding plexiglass doors with all the other games. I then anxiously made it through my shift before hurrying back to the game case to grab my copy of RE4 and hurry on home to pop the tiny Disc 1 of 2 into my platinum silver Gamecube. I spent the next few weeks glued to my tv, completely blown away by what I was playing. I had never played a game that was able to fuse together the adrenaline rush of an action-shooter with the Resident Evil brand of terror I’d come to know. The over the shoulder camera really did allow for a greater sense of your surroundings and mobility, and did you ever need it.

It was evident playing through Resident Evil 4 that the series had ventured more into action-game territory than traditional survival-horror, though the locations and boss battles made for some genuinely scary moments. The first time you attempt to cross the lake before realizing that you’re directly over the gigantic monster known as Del Lago(you’re gonna need a bigger boat) is as terrifying as it is memorable. There’s also the first sequence of the game where Leon finds himself being swarmed by villagers, so he quickly barracades himself inside a nearby house before hearing the upstairs windows crash as the ganados have started raising ladders all around the building. An already tense moment was made even more horrifying(and instantly memorable) the second you hear a chainsaw revving and have to fight off this Jason Voorhees wannabe wearing a burlap sack over his face alongside the horde of villagers with an instant death(and gruesome death animation) awaiting you if you let Chainsaw Man get too close; this has since become the most vivid memory of Resident Evil 4 for many players. One of my favorite things to do in the game is quickly shooting a stick of dynamite while still in an enemy’s hand, taking them out, along with anyone nearby…that never gets old.

Legacy

Since first playing Resident Evil 4 back in 2005, it has been one of my all-time favorites and a game that I’ve been countless times on…many different consoles; I can start it up anytime and still be completely lost in the game. RE4 went on to win many Game of the Year awards and is regarded among the greatest games of all time, becoming as recognized as the original Playstation game.

For as many fans like me that absolutely love the game, there are those who have grown to resent RE4 for representing such a shift in tone and gameplay as the Resident Evil series would soon grow further and further from the atmospheric survival horror in which the series began. The game proved almost TOO successful for Capcom as its sequels inevitably became more and more action-oriented to the point of being near unrecognizable to longtime fans, save for a few consistent names – Chris, Leon, Wesker, Umbrella. Capcom did successfully shift the series back to its horror roots with the release of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard in 2017. Another element of Resident Evil 4 that was fresh and innovative at the time, but quickly became a tired gimmick was the use of Quick Time Events which consisted of sudden button commands to coincide with specific cutscene sequences. A memorable moment in RE4 is the knife duel cutscene between Leon and Krauser which players would have to quickly press the A or B buttons at particular moments as to assist in Leon’s movement and keep just out of harm’s way. This was a gameplay element only otherwise seen in Sega’s Shenmue games, but due to the copycat nature of successful series, quickly became just another tired gimmick.

Resident Evil 4’s influence cannot be overstated however, when it comes to modern gaming. Take a look at any third-person action game released since 2005 and it will undoubtedly utilize the very same over the shoulder camera angle that made RE4 so fresh at the time. 2018’s immaculate God of War utilized a similar camera setup and added a dash of exploration to the mix, the result was a breath of fresh air to the popular franchise that mirrors RE4 in many ways. Director Cory Barlog has stated as much that the game served as a huge inspiration and the 2018 Game of the Year winner wouldn’t exist without it.

Resident Evil 4 was released as a “system-seller” exclusive for the Gamecube, but has since been ported onto nearly every console since then with perhaps only Skyrim rivaling it for the most ported game of the past few console generations. I, myself am guilty of purchasing this game numerous times and play it at least once every year. The game after 15 years has started to show its age in places, but the game at its core still showcases greatness. If only I had bought one of those chainsaw controllers….

Twenty-Four Seven

A new challenger approaches! I’ve been tagged by the fine folks over at Normal Happenings for the Daily Inklings #7 topic – Twenty-Four Seven in which the daily topic is twenty-four talking points you would have in conversation with yourself from seven years ago or teaching yourself something you have learned since then. Of course, a #realgamer like myself is never one to turn down a challenge so let’s do this! I have decided to deviate slightly from listing the main talking points of the hypothetical conversation and my final offering is a rundown of what an interaction of my past and present selves would probably be like….I’m sorry in advance.

2020 Me: <burst through doorway> Dude, we gotta talk….

2013 Me: Who the hell are you? I’m trying to play PS3 here!

2020: Who does it look like? I’m YOU from the year 2020. I’ve come back in time to give you some pearls of advice for a blog post I’m working on.

2013: Wait, what?!? <laughs> a blog site? But you…erm…I…we suck at writing.

2020: Spoiler – you STILL suck at writing, I’m just here to impart some knowledge I’ve gathered along the w-

2013: Yeah, yeah….hang on….I’m trying to save my game quick. Stupid internet…is service any better in seven years?

2020: Meh, it’s about the same…anyways about my advice. You’ve made it this far and have learned a few things that I wish I would have practiced a little earlier in life, the fir-

2013: <interrupting> why didn’t you go back further than seven years then?

2020: …the first advice: Try to keep track of your spending and manage money a little better, you and I…WE both know balancing a bank account isn’t exacly our strength.

2013: <nods> never heard THAT one before but, sure

2020: Just a few minor steps can go a long way in keeping on top of bills and with some better money management you’ll see there’s even MORE money left for buying games $$$

2013: <nods> I can pre-order GTA 5, it looks like it’s going to be awesome…

2020: It’s gonna be huge!

2013: k…

2020: Number 2 – Drink More Water.

2013: <rolls eyes>

2020: Number 3 – Try to eat better. You will find out just how easy it is to lose a significant amount of weight just by cutting out all those bottles of Coke and by not eating out at fast food places all the ti-

2013: I DON’T EAT FAST FOOD ALL THE TIME!

2020: The Wendy’s drive-thru guy knows your name!

2013: …….

2020: Yeah. Number 4 – Make the effort to stay more active during the day. Combine this with eating better is gonna go a LONG way in improving how good you feel during the day

2013: But I…YOU’RE still fat…how did you you travel back in time anyway? Did you show up in a DeLorean?<laughs>

2020: No, it’s actually a CyberTruck

2013: <looking out window> it’s weird looking…

2020: It’s a Tesla, Elon Musk’s company

2013: Who’s that??

2020: That’s right….you haven’t seen him in that Simpsons yet. He launched a car into space and now mostly posts memes on Twitter.

2013: So….he’s like Grumpy Cat?

2020: Sure…..

2013: Can I go back to Borderlands now?

2020: One more thing…don’t do what comes naturally to you and get complacent with things. You’re 27 and have a comfortable online customer service job, but don’t think nothing can happen and screw it up!

2013: pffft….I won’t! They just bought Twitch, how does that work out?

2020: Freaking huge! It’s one of the biggest platforms on the internet; there was over a million people watching the last Game Awards and the Fortnite World Cup.

2013: What’s Fortnite?

2020: …..gotta run!

Resolutions and Goals for 2020

With 2019 firmly in the rearview mirror and 2020 in front of us, we are presented with a renewed opportunity to contemplate and evaluate our ambitions for the year ahead. For today’s post I’ve created a list of things that I would like to focus on or improve as it pertains to blogging and also a few other things I would like to accomplish this year.

Blog

Keep going! – I’ve been writing on my blog site for just under a year now and I’ve become much more comfortable with posting my assortment of video game ramblings and feel like I’ve improved since taking the first steps(maybe a little bit?). I aim to keep pressing forward throughout the year, sharing my boundless enthusiasm of video games while hopefully leveling up any writing skills I possess along the way.

Stay focused! – As much a personal goal as writing, I want to continue to improve in various ways in 2020. One of the most prominent things would be to stay on track and focused on whatever I have in front of me at the time. In regards to blog posts, I want to work on sticking to a main point or purpose to a given blog post rather than excitedly(incoherently) going on and on without really saying anything.

Games

Final Fantasy VII – Another goal in 2020 is to FINALLY complete some games that I’ve either been slowly working on for a while or games that I’ve started a few times but have always failed to get very far into them, Final Fantasy VII is one of those games. The first game of 2020 I began playing was FFVII and I have a greater sense of determination to finally see this one through.

The Witcher 3 – I finally started playing The Witcher 3 for the first time just this past year, with many hours of adventures still ahead. Giant, sprawling RPGs like The Witcher 3 tend to come off as daunting tasks, so I’d always set that aside for when I was ready to devote the countless hours to one single game. I’m going to give the game a serious effort in 2020.

Try not to spend as impulsively Chrono Trigger – My next goal was to try and curb some of my impulsive game-buying habits in part to concentrate on my already enormous backlog of games, and also due to the fact there is going to be a landslide of big releases starting in March with the Final Fantasy VII remake so saving my precious pennies is a smart idea…..that didn’t get very far. I just happened to check out my local used game store and they quickly informed me they are currently having a Buy 2 Used Games Get 1 Free sale. In short, I…uh…..added a few hundred more hours of JRPGs on top of my backlog, but I DID finally get ahold of Chrono Trigger(again), the one game above all others I regretfully had never played. Three days into the new year and I failed one quest but took on another, so, there’s my silver lining…

Other

Build a PC – I grew up primarily a console gamer, as I generally didn’t have either 1) a powerful enough pc or 2) adequate internet to play many online games, so the idea of building my own pc has always been an intriguing idea. I’ve always found a greater understanding and appreciation of things through being able to build/assemble it myself, so I have been doing lots of reading and research as to the best way to go about assembling what I’ve read many refer to as “putting together an expensive Lego set”. The nearly endless game options are definitely appealing and I’m hoping to get the project completed sometime this year.

Try streaming gameplay– This kind of coincides with building a pc and itsn’t something I intend to simply jump headfirst into, but I think it would be fun to try something along the lines of streaming on Twitch/YouTube or just recording some gameplay-related videos that I can upload to my site. This is maybe a more long-term goal than just finishing off some of my backlog games. In the same way I nudged myself out of my comfort zone and started my own blog site I think it would be fun to dabble in and serve as another outlet for my love of video games.

Those are my primary objectives for this year! There’s many more things I would love to take on, but decided to keep a shorter list of manageable things rather than create an enormous list that winds up being more discouraging than helpful. Now that we are through the holiday season and beginning a brand new year I plan on getting back to posting about specific games after the last several weeks of creating lists. What’s something you want to accomplish this year? Or how about some of the games you plan on crossing off your list? Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading!

2019 Gaming In Review

With the year winding down and my games of the year list completed, I wanted to finish in stride with a review(kinda) in my gaming experiences of 2019. The past year was quite productive in the number of games attempted and completed as well as endeavors such as taking the first steps in starting my own gaming blog. I recently began keeping a list of some of the gaming-related memories that stood out the most over 2019, beginning with the completion of Red Dead Redemption 2 in January just before the anticipated release of the Resident Evil 2 remake. Other memorable moments would be my quest to complete everything in Breath of the Wild or the stress-inducing first encounter with BTs in Death Stranding. I’ve also included all the games I played for the first time in 2019, complete with info from my year-end Nintendo newsletter. A more competent blogger may provide a comprehensive breakdown of statistics at the end of the year, I’m gonna show all the games I played this year…enjoy!

2019 Gaming Memories

  • Being emotionally wrecked by the end of Red Dead Redemption 2 and Marvel’s Spider-Man
  • Leon’s terrifying first run-in with Mr. X in the Resident Evil 2 remake
  • Battle Royale victories in both Apex Legends and Tetris 99
My highest achievement in gaming…
  • Starting a gaming blog on WordPress
  • Nintendo’s 2019 dominance – Smash characters, 2 Zelda announcements, new Switch model
  • Playing through Cuphead on Nintendo Switch
  • Collecting every Korok seed and completing every shrine in Breath of the Wild
I did EVERYTHING in Hyrule and all I got was this lousy tunic…
  • Participating in A Geeky Gal’s 30 Day Geek Out Challenge
  • The early morning run to my local Target to pick up the Link’s Awakening remake & Amiibo
  • Counting down to the Halloween release of Luigi’s Mansion 3 with spooky-themed Blogtober posts
  • My first encounter with BTs in Death Stranding
  • Hiding from the Great Serpent in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Nope.

Games I played in 2019


Nintendo Switch

Ape Out
Back in 1995
Blazing Chrome
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Captain Commando
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
Castlevania Adventure
Celeste
Coffee Crisis
Cuphead
Dauntless
Final Fantasy IX
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Gato Roboto
Gris
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition
King of Dragons
Kirby's Dream Land 3
Layers of Fear
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening(2019)
Luigi's Mansion 3
My Friend Pedro
Pokemon Sword
Rolling Thunder
Slain: Back from Hell
Splatterhouse
Starlink: Battle for Atlas
Super Mario Maker 2
Super Mario Party
Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack!
Tetris 99
Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair
Playstation 4
Apex Legends
Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
Assassin's Creed: Origins
Blasphemous
Borderlands 3
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare(2019)
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Control
Death Stranding
Destiny 2
Devil May Cry V
The Division 2
Far Cry: New Dawn
Far Cry: Primal
Guacamelee 2
Hotline: Miami
Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix
Mass Effect: Andromeda
MLB The Show 19
Mortal Kombat XL
The Outer Worlds
Persona 5
Rainbow Six: Siege
Resident Evil 2(2019)
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Sonic Mania
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Wolfentstein: The New Order
Nintendo 3DS

Star Wars: Lethal Alliance
Vampire: Master of Darkness

Game Boy Color

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons

Sega Genesis

World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse

PC

System Shock 2

I don’t really have anything else to add for my year-end review, I’m looking forward to 2020 and an utterly STACKED lineup of game releases this spring before the release of a couple new consoles later in the year. I intend to write up a post of things(resolutions) that I aim to accomplish this year(The Witcher 3) which should be coming up within the next weekend or two. Lastly, I want to give a big thank you for reading these posts and taking even a passing interest in my weekly ramblings. Well…I’m off for some snacks, Simpsons episodes and a few video games. Happy New Year!

Games of the Year 2019

In what seems obligatory for anyone with a gaming-related channel or site, I’ve finally created my list of ten favorite games of 2019. After what seemed like hours of discussion and lists, not to mention the countless hours of playing research, I was able to devise a definitive list of favorites released in 2019…until I change my mind anyway. I know of many out there that felt underwhelmed with the year’s offering of games, but I feel this year has still been a great one. No, we didn’t get near masterpieces like in 2017 with Breath of the Wild or Mario Odyssey or with God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018, but there’s still been a sizable crop of quality games. What I have found so interesting this year is the fact there hasn’t been the one game held above all the others as the unanimous choice for Game of the Year. If you were to read/watch/listen to any one of the vast sea of GOTY pieces online, you would be hard-pressed to find anything remotely close to a consensus on which game was “best”. Each and every game nominated for end of the year awards has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, which I find fascinating as some of the most memorable games may be the ones whose flaws merely add to their uniqueness and charm. Someone may favor a game like Control, while the next person found a game like The Outer Worlds to be the most engrossing experience this year; a third individual may have generated their greatest enjoyment of the year in the created chaos of Untitled Goose Game. I’d also like to point out before beginning that while lists like this are fun for the sake of discussion, they are completely subjective with no right or wrong answers. My list contains the games that have provided either a completely memorable experience, pure gameplay joy, or a mix of both. First off, I have a few games that for me fell just outside of my ten favorites, but greatly enjoyed nonetheless.

My 5 Runners-up

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Super Mario Maker 2

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair

My Friend Pedro

Blazing Chrome

And now my 10 favorite games of 2019….

10. Tetris 99

9. Ape Out

8. The Outer Worlds

7. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

6. Control

5. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

4. Luigi’s Mansion 3

3. Fire Emblem: Three Houses

2. Resident Evil 2

1. Death Stranding

And there we have it, my 10 favorite games of 2019. What are your favorites from 2019? Let me know in the comments or provide feedback as to how my list could have been better. We’re in the final few days of what was a pretty productive year and I still have just a little bit more to accomplish blog-wise before celebrating the new year. I plan on following up my games of the year post with another collection of some of my gaming memories from the past year as well as all the games I played for the first time throughout 2019. Thanks for reading!

Games of the Decade

We are in the final stages of 2019 and are nearing the end of another decade in video games. Yes, I know it’s “not actually the end of the decade” and all that, but for convenience I’m going to make up this list a year “early”. The past decade has been great for gaming; our wonderful hobby is enjoyed by more people every day and we have seen new ways video games can be pushed in terms of technology and as an interactive artistic medium. Video games as an industry have surpassed movies and music in terms of revenue and I would even dare to say popularity as gaming is light years away from the niche hobby of basement-dwelling loners as nearly everyone partakes in some aspect of video games; I haven’t even mentioned the rise of platforms like YouTube or Twitch. I have, after much deliberation and numerous lists scribbled on my desk, created two separate lists for my games of the decade; one list with my favorite game of each year of the decade and another simply comprising of my 10 favorites of the decade. After looking through all(well, pretty much) the releases of the decade it’s hard to not point out 2015-18 as being downright amazing years for gaming. The early years of the decade saw some great games like the first Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect 2, Skyrim or The Last of Us, but outside of a few big games I don’t feel anywhere near as enthusiastic about 2010-14 as I do 2015-19.

2015 – the year that saw releases like Bloodborne, Metal Gear Solid 5, Fallout 4, Undertale, and The Witcher 3.

2016 – we received the phenomenal Overwatch and Persona 5, along with the revitalization of beloved franchises with the release of Resident Evil 7 and Doom.

2017 – the year began with a brand new Sony-exclusive in Horizon: Zero Dawn, only to be eclipsed by Breath of the Wild and the surprising success of the Nintendo Switch(yes, it was a surprise for most of us), with Super Mario Odyssey capping(get it?) off the year.

2018 – I don’t even need to say much further than – God of War, Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

***I will point out right away that while both The Witcher 3 and Persona 5 are looking to be INCREDIBLE games, I feel like I haven’t played enough of them at this time to accurately include them in my list, not entirely at least. Without further ado, here are my favorite games of each year of the past decade…

2010 – Red Dead Redemption

2011 – Batman: Arkham City

2012 – Far Cry 3

2013 – Grand Theft Auto 5

2014 – Destiny

2015 – Bloodborne

2016 – Overwatch

2017 – Super Mario Odyssey

2018 – God of War

2019 – Death Stranding

Here’s my personal favorites games of the decade. I included Red Dead Redemption 1 & 2 as a single pick, NOT sorry, I DO make these rules…

Super Mario Odyssey

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

Far Cry 5

Marvel’s Spider-Man

Bloodborne

Overwatch

Horizon: Zero Dawn

Grand Theft Auto 5

God of War

Red Dead Redemption(1&2)

That’s my list! What are your favorite games from the past decade? Let me know in the comments or just let me know how much you agree or disagree with any of the included games. I have also been working on a 2019 Games and Moments of the year that I will post soon. I’m heading back to re-watch more Star Wars movies! Thanks for reading!