My 2018 In Video Games


#1

I’m going to run down the games I (apparently) purchased and played or re-installed and played this year, with the caveat that I’m basing a lot of this on what dates Steam tells me. If it feels navel-gazing, its because I’m also just trying to piece together a sense of my mental landscape this year. In other words - what the Hell was I doing in 2018?

JANUARYISH

Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R

I’m not good at fighting games. I think I wanted to see what the single player story stuff was like, wrap my head around what the appeal of these games is, and also seek inspiration for a tabletop RPG game I would run later in the year. Ultimately, I put in a total of 74 minutes.

FEBRUMAYBE

Foto Flash

Hot babes, funky tracks - a goofy little horny adventure game. I liked it more than I expected, but it was real short.

Slay the Spire

This was a lot of fun. I think I got it based on Patrick or Austin streaming some of it? I always say I don’t like card games but when I actually TRY one (even a virtual card game like this one) I get hooked pretty bad. I don’t think I ever Slew the titular Spire, but I had quite a few hours of enjoyment trying.

MARCHLIKE - The Month of Too Many Games

The Evil Within 2

I hadn’t tried the previous game but word on the street suggested this was worth grabbing. I mostly enjoyed it - spooky and surreal environments, seriously scary enemies, and a little twist of Resident Evil cheesiness. I dropped off about 2/3 of the way through for unknown reasons, but the Hannibal-inspired murder art will haunt me.

SAMURAI WARRIORS 4-II

I dumped a lot of hours into this game, so I must have enjoyed it. It is a Podcast Game, which is to say a game you can play without paying a lot of attention to while a podcast plays in the background. But more than that, I guess I just like Historical Japanese warfare wrapped up in over-the-top nonsense. Even tried co-op play with a friend but the multiplayer is a bad.

Tropical Liquor

“But onii-chan, you’re just some part-time bum, aren’t you? On top of that, your age equals the years you’ve never had a girlfriend, right?”

The player (that’s you!) is a part-timer who lives an uneventful, boring life. - from the Steam Store Page

Street Fighter X Tekken

Again - bad at fighting games, but curious about them. And I think it was on sale?

Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster

I’ve been enjoying Mike Mahardy and Mary Kish’s Resident Kinevil playthroughs of the RE series on Gamespot, and I had never played this particular game. I was going along fine until a mid-game puzzle drove me to great and furious anger and I never went back. I should probably give it another go at some point.

Earth Defense Force 4.1 The Shadow of New Despair

Podcast game, but one I apparently sunk more hours into than any other game on this list. 148 hours. Wow. I think the loot shooter element combined with mastering the various silly classes and levels appealed to me. Also, you can make your dude start singing the EDF anthem and the NPC bots will sing along with you verse by verse, thus simulating what it is like to have friends. Five Stars out of Three.

APRILIGUESS

GOD EATER RESURRECTION

What a strange game. I had been curious about this and its sequel and must have grabbed them with some gift card money. I enjoyed it for the most part, a quicker and easier monster hunter game to get into than Monster Hunter - but also fairly shallow on content.

A Couple of Porn Games I Am Too Ashamed To List Here

I was going to be transparent about this stuff but on reconsideration maybe what you buy on sale in a poor state of mind should not always be made public.

MAYBE

PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS

I think I bought this last year? But played it again this year? I don’t recall. I am bad at it, but I did dip in and out when the mood struck me. I have fond memories of terrorizing the Waypoint crew as the zombie who busted one of their van’s tires. Ah, good times.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

This was probably the game I was looking forward to most this year, and while it didn’t amaze me I put a relatively guilt free 50+ hours into exploring the archipelago and messing with the gods and peoples of the setting. The density of the lore was more clumsily handled in the prior game, and tonally this one arced a bit more upward toward a hint of optimism as well, so it generally landed better. I found the ship-to-ship combat and narrative challenge scenes good additions to the formula, and the balance overall was better than many old-school isometric CRPGs I’ve played. Solid game.

JUNE? - started working on a character design online course this month!

Totally Accurate Battlegrounds

This was purchased on a whim and played for a whim-like 20 minutes. I think I hoped I’d be better at it than PUBG but I am still crap at Battle Royale, even if its mostly played for laughs.

JULY - still plugging away at character design

The Invisible Hours

I love the idea of Immersive Theater, but have yet to get to experience it in person. This was the next best thing, and the VR-element was entirely optional (though I’m sure it is that much more impactful if you can afford it). The story and the structure of things fascinated me, and while its ending(s) could be abrupt I still went out of my way to see all of the character’s arcs and find every little bit of virtual set-dressing to fill in the details. I also just like being in a make-believe place and knowing there’s something afoot just next door. I should really try The Sexy Brutale.

LEGO MARVEL Super Heroes 2

Hey, Lego Marvel - where’s Shang-Chi? Anyway, I assume this came out around the time Infinity War did in movie theaters, so I must have been in a superhero mood.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance

I’d played this long ago when it first came out and liked it a lot. It fared less well on this more recent playthrough. Not a Bad game, per-say, but I found myself wanted to speed things along in the story and it not getting there fast enough. Also, I think the Lego game spoiled me with how much there was to explore and unlock.

Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director’s Cut

I re-played this for the Waypoint 101 and enjoyed it maybe more this time around. It’s real well-written and I think I had a better handle on the gameplay, which made me more willing to prod around. Glory’s storyline (which I had not completed previously) hit me pretty hard, in a good way.

AUUGHHUST - In which I was running two or three online rpg campaigns a week to distract myself

Battletech

Another well-written, smartly handled Harebrained strategy game with light RPG elements - but I just couldn’t hang with it. I think I just got distracted by things, tbh, sorry everybody. Sorry.

Xenoblade Chronicles

I have this on the 3DS XL and have been trying to beat it for what seems like years. Its a bit like a single player MMO in terms of depth and breadth of things to do, and I keep letting my desire to complete every dumb side quest get in the way of finishing the main story - which, to be honest, had grown on me. Someday, Shulk. Someday.

REM-SEPT-EMBER - the month in which I got paid for work

Nintendo Switch

Having gotten paid for an odd job I put some of it on this console, my first non-DS Nintendo console in decades and my first console in almost as much time. And I like it a lot.

Breath of the Wild

I don’t have the same nostalgia for Zelda as other people, but this open-world game still impressed me with its little details and big ideas, and someday I will do a gut-check and try and actually finish it. I don’t know how long I’ve played it for, but I think I’ve helped all but one of the Divine Beasts and gotten the Master Sword.

OCTOBERSOUNDSFAMILIAR - I got and lost a job in one day this month! It was awful!

Yakuza 0

A friend encouraged me to try and finish this game this year, and I almost made it. I liked it a lot, what with its eccentric but authentic Japan-ness and mix of absurd and gritty storytelling. I had also started watching the Filmstruck (RIP) selection of the original Battles Without Honor and Humanity movies on Amazon and had fun drawing parallels between the characters of the video game and the film franchise. What stopped it for me was reaching a point where I realized I was mostly playing for the story - and I’d already seen what happens due to the Giant Bomb Endurance Run. So I’ll maybe go back to it someday, but even unfinished it was worth the ride.

Return of the Obra Dinn

Loved this game, top to bottom. It was another immersive sort of experience but with an actual investigation game element that rewarded you with more tragic scenes of strange fates on the high seas. I think it may be my favorite game I played this year?

Maximum Action

A John Woo movie emulator in first-person chunky shooter form. Got it real cheap, its unfinished but has a lot of potential. The attention to detail in paying homage to Hard Boiled in particular is impressive for a small (if not solo?) developer.

NOVEMBERISNOW - depressed and full of high blood pressure? play more games!

Pathfinder: Kingmaker

I don’t like Pathfinder the tabletop RPG, but the CRPG is okay. It leans into some grognard-ass bullshit here and there, but there’s glimmers of something new in the kingdom management stuff and some good writing. Once they wring out all of the bugs and balance issues, I’ll probably return to it.

Starlink

I got the digital version in a fit of boredom and, while its a pretty repetitive mix of No Man’s Sky (which I never played) and Destiny (which I never played) I like arcadey space shooters and like the kid-friendly setting and characters (except Levi - he’s the worst).

Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle

I like beat 'em ups; I enjoyed them in the arcade, and even with the obvious quarter-sucking design elements there’s enough fun art, music, and animation going on for me to still get a kick (har) out of them. I was especially happy to get to play some of the more obscure titles I’d never seen before.

Divinity: Original Sin 2

As a fan of tabletop games, CRPGs, and the previous Divinity (which I never completed), I picked up this game back when it first came out and completed it not too long after. The reason I revisited it this year, though, was to play it co-op, start to finish, with some online pals of mine over the months, working our way through the epic tale of gods or something. We had a lot of fun, especially when we screwed up; there was a hilarious session where the entire town of Driftwood attacked us and we got split up and started three MORE fights. And another session where I got pissed off with the Dwarves and just killed a lot of them at a wedding party - thereby failing to stop a terrible event later on. We’ve looked at the GM toolbox mode and found it a bit ‘meh’, but getting to play a well-made CRPG that let us roleplay our characters AND be in the same party was a blast.

another porn game i won’t name

im a sad

Crimson Skies

The original PC flight sim based on the old FASA tabletop game holds up Really Well. While its got some issues running on Windows 10 the main gameplay works well, the flavor of the pulp adventure setting was just what I needed, and zipping around in your own customized fighter doing stunts and taking down zeppelins just doesn’t get old.


#2

I keep track of what I played each year too. So far this year it’s only 31 games. I’ve finished 9 of them. Ten were games I’d never played before and seven were 2018 releases. That’s down from 44 games last year and 59 the three years in a row before that.


#3

Mind if I piggyback? I had to read through my twitter archive to remember what I played this year, oops.

January

Bloodborne - This was actually a second attempt. I got too overwhelmed by the constant body horror nastiness and gave up, but Waypoint’s content around the game made me want to give it a second chance. I got through the eye horror stuff fairly unscathed, but my plan to finish the game was foiled by…

Monster Hunter: World - a game where the big monsters made of meat are actually pretty cute. I loved playing this game a lot, but a big part of the replayability is checking out different weapons, and Gunlance ruined me for the rest of the roster. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get into anything else. So I never went back for any of the DLC, but maybe I’ll check it out one day.

February

Left 4 Dead 2 - My old computer that I used for several years longer than I should have had a mess of problems with overheating, crashing, and just doing all sorts of nonsense. When I finally got my new computer, I went straight back to my old fav that I hadn’t been able to play for a long time. It still holds up amazingly. I didn’t spend entire days just going from one campaign to the next like I used to, but that’s probably because I have a job. I still fire it up every now and again.

Slay the Spire - I’m sure we all know Slay the Spire by now. This game fucking rules. I kept up with so many more podcasts when I would just fire up StS and play for hours. I need to go back to it now that there’s more content.

March

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine - This was a weird one for me! As I’ve mentioned on this site a million years ago, I find the lonesome nature of the game extremely comforting. But I got overwhelmed by the encounters trying to play this game in more than small sittings, and eventually just the thought of starting it up again brought me anxiety. I want to try it again, I listen to the soundtrack regularly, I still have the icon on my desktop… But I never quite manage to double-click it. Awoo.

Dead Cells - Not really sure how I feel about Dead Cells. There’s a lot of great stuff in there and a lot that I could do without. I died to the final boss many times over the course of several months, noticed a mod on the front page that removed damage caps, made it to the final boss and won. I haven’t played again since. Another good podcast game though.

Tokyo Afterschool Summoners - I haven’t missed a login day since the English translation was added. I always feel weird rhapsodizing about this game because gachas are exploitative, among other problems, but you can be NB Satan and lightly romance a bunch of body diverse furries with deep emotional issues. I don’t plan to miss a login day for another year.

Fire Emblem Heroes - I expected to like this at least a little but I found no joy whatsoever in the battles. And as a Housamo player, that’s saying something.

Splatoon 2 - I love Splatoon. It’s the only Wii U game I own. Splatoon 2 was the same thing but better, which is a perfectly great approach. The only reason I’m not still playing it is that I’m in X rank, but I’m not good enough to compete with even mid-tier X rank players. I wouldn’t mind struggling my way forward, but it’s a team game, and I don’t like knowing that people are cursing their misfortune at being matched with me. Sorry, Splatoon 2.

April

Nope, nothing, literally just playing the same stuff as last month

May

State of Decay 2 - I decided to play this because Austin is a magician who made it look fun, besides, I had the Game Pass free trial. I, uh… got my money’s worth? Good podcast game? I don’t want to trash it entirely, because some fun things happened, but I think the way it fell off everyone’s radar so quickly after a few weeks is appropriate.

June

Celeste - Difficult games are exhausting. I wish I didn’t get worn out on this so quickly. Keep telling myself I’m gonna go back and finish it.

Hollow Knight - See above.

Changed - I’m not particularly into the specific fetishes this (fairly tame) game caters to, but I follow a couple artists who drew Puro real cute so I wanted to see what the deal was. The translation was pretty rough (though it’s since been redone, I think?) but there was some fun music and the Puro was good as promised.

July

Octopath Traveler - This weird compulsion to make RPG characters as dull as possible needs to die ASAP. I tried to enjoy this game but there’s just nothing there to be enthusiastic about. I need to be flipping off my screen, screaming about gap moe, and swearing that I’ll lay down my life to protect them. Otherwise what’s the point of having characters?

August

Mario Tennis Aces - I had a lot of fun playing this with my siblings and just clowning on them with my ancient Mario Tennis 64 skills. I never really got into the tournaments and stuff though.

September

Genderwrecked - I had this sitting around on my desktop for like half the year and finally just sat down and played it. It was as excellent as its name would make you think it is. It might be the first time a video game has ever sincerely used multiple pronouns for a single character in the same sentence.

Donut County - Needed to ramp up sooner, but it was still a fun cool thing to have played.

Battle Chef Brigade - A really cool game that is absolutely not for me. I have enough anxiety about normal gem-matching games, you don’t need to slot in fifty invisible layers of judginess and slap on a time limit and make me do a bunch of murder to try and find the secret ingredient to not being reviled for my nasty food. Thrash is really hot though.

Overwatch - I decided to finally try it. I don’t want to say that it was a mistake, or that my time with the game has been pointless. If nothing else, I’ve picked up an interest in the competitive scene. But I’ve never dealt with such an awful community in my life, and I haven’t even unlocked ranked. I don’t know if I’m going to play this much.

October

Crosscode - Gonna be waiting on that DLC for a while. :crying_cat_face:

Tacoma - I liked it, but don’t have much to say about it. I saw the things and had the appropriate emotional responses to them. Fuck capitalism, hell yeah robots, let’s go queers.

November

Deltarune - TAKE NOTES! This is what I want RPGs to be. Everyone, do more of this. It might be a little too short to be GOTY, but it’s definitely GOATY.

Soma - I talked about it here recently enough for me to find it, so I’m not saying it again.

Destiny 2 - I decided to hop back on because people were very positive about the Forsaken changes. I was immediately met with the story, which seemed like it had zero investment in making me care about anything. I didn’t play Destiny, but I can’t imagine that it would have been a terrible burden to show a picture of Uldren Sov and have my Ghost read the wiki for me. “Uldren Sov, he’s the prince of the thing, we interacted with him that one time, he got takened or whatever, now he’s wicked evil, oooOOOooo”. No, I have to go figure it out myself, after he’s already showed up and done the thing, when the moment for any sort of emotional impact has passed. This is supposed to be the onramp for new players, right? The entire story just progresses like this. I don’t know who these people are or why they’re doing anything. Here, fight the fucking Koopa Kids. Darkness. Light. Kingdom Hearts. I didn’t mean to write this much? Gambit is fun when the teams are reasonably balanced. I miss scout rifles being good.

Stepmania - I finally bought a dance pad! It’s been a lot of fun, even if it’s been kicking my ass just doing songs on medium difficulty. Most custom song packs don’t have the lower difficulties, but I found a bunch of Vocaloid and Touhou ones that do, so I’m pretty much set. Gonna aim for that 7!