Though I didn’t start this blog with the present in mind, it strikes me as a little odd that I’ve never taken a moment to review my own recent past in games. Is it time to fix that? I suppose so, especially since it’s already what I’ve got in mind as a writing topic. And also especially since, come any given year’s end, I usually feel quite deflated concerning games. I feel as though I didn’t play enough games, or enough of the games that I got to play, or that I’ll never get to all the games that I should. And this negativity seeps into a new year almost unheeded. So yeah, it’s time to turn that frown upside-down! Because honestly, despite any life/work issues, I didn’t do too bad last year gaming-wise.
Let’s start with my biggest highlight, which was completing, at long last, Xenoblade Chronicles. Goddamn if watching those credits roll didn’t send the most happy shivers up and down my spine. I’ll refrain from gushing about it, as I’ve already done that in droves, but it’s simply an amazing game. Whether or not I jump into Xenoblade Chronicles X any time soon remains to be seen. It looks like great fun, but the compulsion to revisit that universe isn’t strong enough yet.
Other than XC, I also finished Batman: Arkham Origins, which was surprisingly more enjoyable than I thought it would be (still, fuck you Slade), and Dragon Age: Inquisition, which was better the second time round, but not quite as memorable as I expected it to be. And then there was Bayonetta 2. Oh, Bayonetta…how you made me succumb. And how willing I was. My god…oh…my…. <<shudder>>
I also managed to finish a few other games: the new Tomb Raider (brilliant all around), Saints Row IV (I can’t even it’s sooooo bananas), and Yoshi’s Woolly World (too cute, really), all of which I will be featuring in the coming months.
Rounding out a slightly longer inventory are the games that I started last year but didn’t finish. Tops there is Chrono Trigger. But outside of games that I charged myself to play, there’s Fallout 4. I knew it would be hard to quit when I started it a couple weeks back, but just how hard, I had no idea. It’s pretty much all I want to play right now. Though Saints Row 2 is making a pretty strong run at that top current-favorite spot. I’m only a few hours into it, but it’s so much fun. And knowing what I now know from Saints Row IV makes it even better.
I’ve also made pretty good dents in Conker’s Bad Fur Day and Banjo-Kazooie from the Rare Replay. Neither possesses a must-play spirit, but I’ve enjoyed turning to them when I need a break from my RPG-heavy rotation. The same goes for Rayman Legends, a simply outstanding platformer. Recently I’ve been using this game as an appetizer to larger fare. Like, just playing a level or two is enough to whet my gaming appetite for something heftier. I’ve also occasionally done this with Stacking, a game that doesn’t require a ton of forethought before playing. Though, I think I’ve been trying to play Stacking for well over a year now. It’s a fine game, and sometimes I really enjoy it, but other times I don’t. I’m sure I’ll actually finish it someday.
As with any list-type thing, something’s got to be at the bottom, and here that’s Final Fantasy XIII-2. I still don’t know exactly what drove me to get this game at the start of 2015, but it just hasn’t stuck. I tried to play it several times over the past year, and each time has been fruitless. I hate ignoring games for which I paid money, but I’m not even sure I’m honestly interested in it to enough play it with a gun pointed at my head. (And if I happen to get into Xenoblade Chronicles X any time soon, that’ll be FFXIII-2’s death knell, fo sho.)
So what of my gaming intentions for 2016? Do I dare make any prediction? Hell naw! Although…well, okay…over on United We Game, I recently listed several games that I’d like to get my hands in this year, if they happen to be released, that is. (Please, Cuphead. Please!) And then there are games with release dates, like Uncharted 4, that pepper the calendar. Beyond the yet-to-come, I’d like to complete Fallout 4 and Saints Row 2, at least. And then I’d like to play through Saints Row the Third. I’ve also been thinking that I might try to play, again, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, a beloved game with which I never found a place. It’ll be celebrating its tenth birthday later this year, so maybe that’s the perfect excuse to give it another go. That said, my Steam library is overflowing, and, on consoles, I need to play The Witcher 3 and Batman: Arkham Knight and Shadow of Mordor and…
Holy shit, y’all …TOO MUCH! This is why I hate trying to plan for the future. I suck at managing things. So I’m going to stop. The look back was fun, and the look forward is hazy. But rest assured, it’ll contain at least one game, maybe two or three…maybe seventeen. However many games cross my path, all I can do is take the year to come one gaming day at a time.