PC, Android, GC/Wii, Switch, GB/GBC/GBA, DS/3DS, PS4/PS5, 360
🟡Accessible but not set up:
NES/SNES/SFC, N64, Wii U, PS/PS2
Current ⭐Game of the Year '23⭐ contenders: Ghost of Tsushima, Vampire Survivors, Theatrhythm Final Bar Line, Paradise Killer, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Current 🎵Soundtrack of the Year '23🎵 contenders: Steins;Gate 0, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Vampire Survivors, Pizza Tower, Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Future Redeemed, Paradise Killer
(not counting Theatrhythm for SOTY since that would make it too easy)
My ⭐GOTY⭐ for 2022 is Xenoblade Chronicles 3
. As someone who very rarely plays games (even ones I love) for more than 50-60 hours, the fact that I've played this for 130 hours
is a testament to how much it grabbed me. The battle system feels like spinning plates for the first few chapters, but finally grasping all its intricacies is so rewarding and it's my favorite combat in the series. The six protagonists are so relatable and human and there's not a single one I don't like. It's the perfect sequel, building on what worked in XC1 and 2 and throwing out what didn't (🙏NO MORE BLADE GACHA🙏). I played a lot of rad games this year, but this was no contest. It truly was the girl with the gall.
Runner-ups: Metroid Dread, Slay the Spire, Omori, Neon White
My 🎵SOTY🎵 for 2022 is Omori
. This vs. Xenoblade 3* was a painful choice, but I've gone back to listen to the Omori soundtrack more often. Playing it on shuffle is an emotional rollercoaster with catchy, silly, touching, and unsettling tracks in equal measure. You can hear where it was influenced by EarthBound and Yume Nikki, but it never loses its own identity. Favorite track is the prologue boss battle theme "You Were Wrong. Go Back.", though second place is "DUET" for making me want to cry every time I hear it.
* I concede XC3 was never going to win GOTY at the Game Awards, but not giving it Best Music is a crime. For shame.
Runner-ups: Hanaby's Summer Festival, Higurashi When They Cry Kai, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Chicory: A Colorful Tale
-- I played a hell of a lot of Resident Evil
! 7 was the first game I finished this year, followed by 5 and 6 (awesome games if and only
if you play in co-op), 1's remake, and finally a replay of 2's remake. Hoping to replay 4 soon for obvious reasons.
-- I read Higurashi When They Cry
this year, plus watched the Gou and Sotsu sequel anime. (If you're unfamiliar, it's a VN written by Ryukishi07, who's now working on a little unknown game called Silent Hill f.) I have a soft spot for the 2006 anime, the first I ever finished, and you should try to track it down if you don't have the patience for the VN. Don't watch the dub.
-- Pokemon Legends: Arceus
is the best Pokemon game in over a decade. I love nearly everything about it, from the FFX-style turn queue to the new Pokedex system to the larger emphasis on single-player over multiplayer. And Hisuian Typhlosion, my new favorite mon. Love that guy.
-- I got a PS5, my first new console since the Switch, and have since used it to play Astro's Playroom
and...the PS4 version of Steins;Gate 0
. Hoping to dive into more PS5 exclusives next year.
-- Finally an extra-special shoutout to Neon White
, which kept me sane when I caught COVID this summer. I recommend it if you're interested in speedrunning but unsure where to start, or if you're in the market for a fast-paced FPS/platformer unlike any other. Or if you catch COVID.
My resolution for 2023 is to beat my first software from From Software. Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Sekiro, Elden Ring, whichever one I feel like tackling. No more excuses.
Past years: [Link]