As I went over in my update post, I haven’t done much ‘new’ in 2022 aside cook and make more Let’s Plays due to a lot of things. I only played about 5 new things this year and one of them is sort of arguable to include, but I’m going to anyway. Since that’s all there is though, I figured I’d also talk about the other stuff I played this year that either wasn’t a new release (but was new to me, personally) or that I re-played. We’ll start with the old new-to-me/replayed stuff first, then get into the 2022 releases and what my favorite was. This ended up longer thanks to including all the other stuff, so there you go.
Oh and another issue and why I post less is that writing on here is laggy as fuck now for some reason. Typing, erasing, anything you do has like a 5+ second delay which makes it infuriating to try and write anything, let alone proofread it as you go. They sure fucked up wordpress over the last few years and ever since they introduced the ‘block’ based writing system. If you care, I played a lot of this (or reviewed it) on my Youtube this past year as well!
New To Me In 2022
Cook Serve Delicious 3
Absolute shit game. You lose out on the ‘comfy’ atmosphere of running a restaurant and growing it – or in 2 doing that AND going around to others themed as real world fast food and restaurants – and instead are stuck in a fucking truck where 90% of the screen is just the interior of the truck and 10% is the customers…who you rarely see, because the truck keeps driving after you give like 5 orders to people. Gone too is the actual “cook” part of this, all you do is prep, prep, and prep. You don’t actually do any real orders in this one so even the fun of the gameplay is missing. Plus, the ‘prep’ is all for food nobody on the planet has ever heard of for the sake of MUH DIVERSITY. YOU’RE SEEN AND VALID BECAUSE I INCLUDED CHING CHONG NIP NONG IN THE MENU and a bunch of faggot bullshit to decorate your truck with before driving it off a cliff because FUCK making a good video game, we just need to make sure blacks and queers are validated.
I’ve wanted to play this one since it was in that contest of indies trying to get funding from Square Enix and it won, which was years ago. Turns out it’s a broken and buggy (including a game breaking bug I ran into and had to restart to get around) yet enjoyable mystery suspense story that actually works pretty well for what it is and has some real emotional moments regarding the antagonist. I actually liked it a good bit, but the constant glitching and bugging out is hard to ignore, the game itself also plays in a very obvious step by step fashion over and over repeating the same steps with new story/different characters (talk to x to tell you to talk to y who then tells you to do a thing so x will tell you a thing). Still, enjoyed the story and the women are all cute however I wonder if it would have been better without the resolution of it being so heavily based in supernatural even though that did add to the emotional factor at the end.
Harvest Moon Back to Nature (PS1)
Haven’t played harvest moon in awhile, and don’t think I ever played this one, so it was fun to get around to. Frustrating at times, and EXTREMELY disappointing at other points, but still overall fun. Maybe I’ll get around to a more recent one in the coming year, I think the last I played a new one was on the wii.
Jurassic World Evolution 2
The first game got so much hate but when I finally played it it was pretty fun, so I was excited when they finally announced and ultimately released 2. This follows up on all the best parts of 1 while fixing all the problems with it. It still has issues of it’s own and some features that could beef it up, a lot of things this same dev has done (and could probably just port over) in their other games are missing yet would make it so much more fun. However, even with certain things lacking, the overall experience is a lot of fun, the dinos are cute, and there is some good challenge. The one thing I miss from 1 that they did remove is the more story focused, well, story – there is still a campaign (which is also better than in 1) but it lacks the same motivation of an actual plot line, this time it’s basically just like older tycoon games where the campaign is simply a set of things to reach to unlock the next level.
Never got anywhere with this, I still have it I just don’t see the point in games like this and never have. I am a creative person, but not in the normie way games like this require you to be. I’m too autistic to just be told “do whatever” and expect to actually have any fun from that. Running around collecting things and avoiding zombies for no purpose, with no goal, with no destination, no anything at all really makes it difficult to stay interested. They’re adding in NPCs to join your group or something I think, maybe I’ll try again some day and see if that adds anything, but I doubt it.
Sakuna of Rice & Ruin
I was so excited to play this and it turned out to be a complete piece of shit game. Obnoxious attempts at storytelling that are made up of nothing but sitting there to eat and having to listen to characters REPEAT THE SAME SHIT OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER before the ‘gameplay’ has the camera fucking destroying any attempt at being able to fucking play. This is shit.
Played Again/More In 2022
It shocks me I have touched this at all again, but I’ve played quite a bit this year. Surprisingly enough they’ve patched the hell out of this game, making it actually sort of fun occasionally and, at times, even feeling like a real Battlefield game. Is it where it should have been or needs to be? No, not even close really, but it’s finally actually fun and a lot of the terrible decisions are being undone (they’re even reintroducing normal classes soon). Still runs like shit though, but at least hit registration doesn’t punish you for it as often.
Final Fantasy 7 (Original PS1 Version’s PS4 Port)
It’s FFVII; it hasn’t aged at all and even visually it still works really well with the beautiful drawn areas and those chunky polygons running around on it that you can’t help but find cute. Every single time I return to this I expect something to be less good but it never really happens. The sole issue I’ve got is the final dungeon which, with me, is unsurprising – though the final battles were way better and more balanced than I remembered. Another thing was just remembering how little most of the cast is developed and how little relevance any of them have to anything.
Final Fantasy 7 Crisis Core (Original PSP Version)
I forgot just how much I fucking hate the last dungeon of this game, but aside that it was nice to return…though it hasn’t been that long for me, as I only played this a few years back for the first time. The impact is a little diminished, but it’s still arguably more emotional than FF7 in entirety just in it’s last moments alone. Zack will forever be a true hero, and both Why and even moreso The Price of Freedom will remain some of the best music from 7. Not really interested in the remaster/remake, the graphics now have everyone with hugely chubby stupid fucking cheeks and retarded looking mouths, plus it sounds like the animations are still the old ones so it looks clunky and awkward, though I might play it sometime anyway.
American Truck Simulator
Still fantastic, though I can’t stand having to deal with remapping controls nearly every single time I launch it and for some reason it thinks the same controller is yet-another-new-controller and also somehow ends up resetting all my keyboard hotkeys to default shit. If not for that I’d play it more like I used to, but I still do enjoy it…it just takes literally around 45 minutes to make playable with a billion pauses to go “oh now THAT key isn’t right” and having to go find it and change it every few seconds of play. They’ve added more trucks and they’ve progressed a lot deeper into the country with recent DLC releases.
It’s both sad to say and a big relief to finally get away from it, but VRChat has fallen off a massive cliff the past year. It was going bad since the Quest released, even worse since the Quest 2 did, and over the past couple years has become essentially unplayable thanks to being overrun by children. I don’t mean “immature retards” type children, I mean if you get on the game now you meet nothing but 5-8 year olds who can’t even speak properly (literally pronouncing R like W, “bwead” “weewwy???”). This means you sit there with the one or two people you knew before this happened wondering why you’re even on – so the fact is I simply don’t get on anymore almost ever aside to record reviews, anime season picks, etc.
Even if you find anyone that isn’t a kid, the only things left aside kids on there are drug addicted and/or alcoholic trannies or people going out with trannies who then bring their trannies along so they can have pretend sex with their tranny while drinking and doing drugs. It’s fucking garbage. Any time I DO try to get on I end up sitting with the very few people left that I know on there who aren’t trannies and we just sit bored and then I just end up getting out of VR soon after anyway. VRChat went the same way the internet did; (((they))) put out smart phones to destroy the internet, and now (((they))) put out cheap garbage headsets so single White mothers who Tyrone ditched can toss it on their kid to get more time to try and hook up with the next Da’quarius they can find which results in absolutely no playerbase aside children and drugged-up/drunk/abused trannies and suicidal edgy teens. These are not the complaints of a jaded old man who can’t handle change, that LITERALLY IS THE CORE DEMOGRAPHIC NOW.
All I really do on there now aside record is mess with people’s relationships, I don’t do anything but I piss off simps/boyfriends by getting overly comfortable with their girl of choice/girlfriend when they’re both strangers to me and then pointing out she’s choosing me and the guy always gets pissed and it kills time, I guess.
Still a beautiful looking, wonderful sounding, and really enjoyable game. The whole package has remained fantastic even years later and made me even happier with the worlds I made for VRC inspired by it. Doing it for Youtube, just like FF7, definitely added a little something to it too to make the experience slightly different than last time, but no less fun. Hopefully more people can find out about this amazing little gem, it’s too bad 2 looks kind of bad, I still haven’t tried it.
Lego Jurassic World & Lord of the Rings
Both of these Lego games are still fantastic fun, not much to say aside that. The Lego games are always a simplistic joy that feels rewarding to the point that I always 100% them and it was no different doing it a second time either.
There’s a few other things I don’t remember off the top of my head or don’t feel like wasting time on, but that’s most of the old stuff.
New In 2022
Final Fantasy XIV : Endwalker
Fuck off. Yeah, I know it’s technically an expansion. And yes, I know it came out in 2021 – but it was fucking December and this, even pre-patches, is a 100+ hour game plus is still ongoing with patch updates adding more main story as usual. I’m including it because it deserves to be treated as a full game just like every other expansion of FFXIV aside Stormblood which doesn’t deserve to be treated any better than Darrell Brooks. Just be glad I didn’t make this a real GOTY thread or this would be it and you’d have more to be bothered by because for me Endwalker really was the Game of the Year.
Ironically, Endwalker is the first expansion that wouldn’t work as it’s own stand-alone game. All the others would be able to hold up as a singular release of it’s own (aside Stormblood) if you tinkered with it a bit and removed the connections to the overarching FFXIV plot and characters, but Endwalker stands alone in that it relies on EVERYTHING built up the past decade of XIV even back to the original launch and failure of the first release. It is the culmination of everything and the final conclusion to that decade long storyline, and without the rest as context it simply wouldn’t work because the entire point is concluding the entire history of what has happened in this game.
As the conclusive expansion/sequel to the rest of XIV it is near fucking perfect. There are a few parts I dislike, and the first 10-15 hours is some of the worst just outright boring as fuck content in Final Fantasy XIV as a whole (aside ala mhigo), but once you get to Garlemald, which is right at the end of that boring beginning, things never let up and you never want to stop playing. It is unbelievably good and paid off on everything in every way it could even down to the fucking narration and every music track tying back to prior themes. For once, instead of referencing other Final Fantasy games, Endwalker sticks to referencing XIV itself and tying up practically every loose end, every lore thing you weren’t sure about, every character’s story that needed a true ending to it, all while letting you go everywhere you ever dreamed, and this with a decade of build up and amazing handling by the staff it is phenomenal. Heavensward still stands as my #1, but this is so very close to being right alongside it and overall was the PERFECT ending to the epic (in the proper use of the word) journey we took with our WoL whether we just got into it recently or were there since 1.0.
Endwalker is exactly as it says, walking through the end times, and they don’t let up at all on that theme. Every step of the way it is unbelievably blackpilled, depressing, and devoid of any hope or positivity but without ‘edginess’ which would actually work against what they’re trying to do. It’s a realistic depressing, an empathetic lack of faith in the future, and it gets darker and heavier than any Final Fantasy has and really beyond what most stories do in anything. The rest of XIV is similarly fighting near helplessly against things as you tend to do in adventure stories and JRPGs in general (though in amazing ways in XIV, even with the simplest sounding plots), but in Endwalker they don’t have that small light at the end of the tunnel that keeps everyone from giving up. Endwalker just tells you to give up, it’s done, you’re fucked, the world is fucked, the future is fucked, the past is fucked, it’s all fucked. Telling you isnt’ enough though, so then they prove it and you’re forced to experience it before an amazing climax to an amazing near flawless decade long story that ties back into always fighting on. Throughout the entirety of Endwalker comes the signature huge twists FFXIV has throughout it’s entire story, but here they come so often and fast it never lets you feel like you can rest for a second; adding to the desperate hopeless feeling of it all.
Without spoiling anything I can’t say much else, but this has to be one of the few games where there were parts that genuinely shocked me and truly moved me emotionally as well. Not just the story and events that happen to the cast, but even down to the places you end up going that they even made sure never to spoil in their trailers. Getting to those when I thought I had been everywhere Endwalker had to offer was just mindblowing and overwhelming in the best way. One of those places is one you’d always wish to see and experience but even the THOUGHT of that happening was something nobody had, and the other, well the other is just a really amazing surprise and the way they handled it was incredible with evolving music as you progressed through one of the most bleak and depressing locations in fiction. It’s incredible.
I also want to mention how much I love that FFXIV got animated this year in the strangest form possible; Pop Team Epic.
Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S
Never ever tried my hand at nonogram/picross before because numbers really mess with my head and stress me out, sometimes literally causing panic attacks, but I tried this out anyway for some reason and found it to be really enjoyable and even relaxing. It’s just a laid back game, with basically zero consequences for being wrong, of trying to fill in the right boxes based on the numbers in each column and row. I dunno, I like it, but for me having it vocaloid themed is a big addition – as in I don’t see myself touching any other nonogram games when I’m through with this even though I like it.
Gran Turismo 7
Gran Turismo was always a fantastic car game and racing series, 7 really keeps that going both in the beauty of the visuals and the tight controls of the gameplay. The races do become a bit too challenging later on but by then you’ve had enough fun to be fine stepping away if you want to anyway. I know when this came out there was a lot of complaining about loads of cars requiring real money to afford, but this didn’t seem too big of an issue for me; I’m not saying it’s okay they even ALLOW you to spend real money on anything, just that I found the game loads you with in-game currency to afford basically anything you’d want plus they give you new cars constantly, and that’s totally enough unless you’re after collecting EVERY car which at that point it sucks how they made things impossible to afford without years of grinding or just spending real cash. The addition (as far as I recall) of customizing the livery of cars is huge to me too, driving around in a lan evo is fun and all, but doing it in a car covered in dumb anime shit is way more enjoyable, and you can even upload your own images to use on the cars if I remember right (I haven’t played it in a few months). Really like it, a great addition to a fantastic legacy series and I love that (I feel they had them a long tim ago too) there are a few pickup trucks again, mostly for rally racing which is the most fun to do anyway. The biggest negative of this game is that it is fucking massive and takes up nearly half of the harddrive on the PS4 plus gets bloated updates constantly that are required to even play on your own (not just multiplayer stuff) as it’s a forced always-online game.
Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origins
Your Warrior of Light in FFXIV aside, Jack might just be my very favorite Final Fantasy protagonist and one of my favorite lead characters in something in general. Aside the fact he’s based as fuck – fighting against a small group who is controlling things from the shadows and even sacrificing himself to make sure the whi- the humans can win without even knowing who they really are preparing to fight – he is just fucking hilarious and is more like your typical video game player rather than protagonist. Cutscenes play and it’s revealed he’s just listening to his fucking spotify playlist with earbuds the whole time, enemy bosses introduce themselves and he cuts them off because he doesn’t give a fuck and he even says so himself. Jack is damn fun but over the course of the story he also does become a genuinely good MC as well who does grow to care about what’s going on – not out of a sense of righteousness and good, but because it pisses him the fuck off, so he still keeps that air of being a based badass even once he gives a shit. I love Jack and I really hope more games from time to time – not too often though – will take inspiration from his personality and way of leading a story, I thought it was really fun. The gameplay in this is also addictive and very enjoyable, though the harder difficulties lack any fun and are just filled with damage sponges that can one hit you.
Trails From Zero
Haven’t finished this yet, but I have to before the end of the year or I won’t for years or possibly ever because I’m playing it for free through Amazon Prime gaming which I realized lets you play those ‘luna’ games (well like 4 of them) for free and saw this by chance right when it went up as one of the free games of the month. Anyway, within what I’ve played (which I feel is at least 2/3rds by now) I totally love this. Trails in the Sky FC and SC are some of my favorite ever JRPGs, still waiting on playing 3rd (it’s always full price), but then Cold Steel happened…and I absolutely hate it, I played 1 and tried to play 2 and I just couldn’t stomach it anymore and have since fallen out of the Trails series because of it.
Zero was released before Cold Steel though and you can easily tell; first the visuals and gameplay are identical to Trails in the Sky thanks to originally being another PSP title (unlike Cold Steel’s attempt to ‘modernize’ the series by making it look like a PS2 game) and then the writing is back to what I remember as well instead of the trash Cold Steel was. The characters are actually lovable again instead of abysmal intolerable faggots like Cold Steel, and the story is really engaging. This time you’re a branch of the police trying to work in the same way Bracers do while also taking on tasks only the police can, such as trying to keep an international mafia organization from becoming too problematic for the people of Crossbell. All the while Estelle and Joshua are actually in town too on-loan to the Bracer guild there, so there are some fun cameos and comradery built with the prior leads, Renne is also nearby and appears throughout the story. It feels like a natural progression from Trails in the Sky, unlike Cold Steel which is just shit.
Even things like running around town talking to the same NPCs every time the story slightly moves forward is here and still just as rewarding as in Trails in the Sky, with every NPC having their own little lives progressing alongside yours and even some hidden sidequests among them.
I really am loving it so far and if you have ever played Trails I really recommend it – I wouldn’t do it through amazon’s shit now that you’d have no time though. If you’ve never played a Trails game I think this would be a fine start too, just be prepared to hear place names and references to events you don’t know much about, with Renne being one of the only things you’d be left in the cold on given they just say “Estelle told you about ‘The Organization'” and moved on…how relevant that group will be now, who knows, but luckily the characters in this also don’t know much about what was going on in the world outside of Crossbell aside what they reveal in this game anyway so you don’t miss out too much on anything important at all.
And that’s kind of it aside random small little stuff I’m forgetting probably. I’ll leave you with these AI FF7 images I had it make.
The Crisis Core remaster/remake did the unthinkable and actually made me a fan of CC, the gameplay improvements fixed almost every issue I had with the original, the only exception being the encounter rate. And while I still don’t like the new characters or the changes made to the old ones and story, I’ve mellowed out on them since when I last played the original so w/e. Definitely recommend giving it a shot though.
Also I know you’ve sworn off Star Ocean forever but I’m playing The Divine Force and it’s really good so far, love the characters and story and the gameplay is very well done too, it certainly feels more like tri-Ace’s original vision for the franchise than anything since the PS2 era at least.
I was thinking about going back and playing the first two SO games again at some point (I used to do SO2 near yearly, it’s been like a decade now though) so maybe if I do that it’d lead me to wanting more again and if it was like 15 dollars maybe I’d jump to it. It’s difficult for me to go back but I’d say at this point it’s more that I have 0 interest in the series rather than hatred for it like I used to have, so it’s definitely something I could try eventually for the right price especially if I just considered it as some stand alone game. The same happened with Trails recently after I completely swore off the series due to Cold Steel being such a disgusting pile of shit that destroyed everything Trails in the Sky had done so amazingly and then I played trails from zero because it was free when it came out on amazon and I fucking loved it – but I probably wouldn’t have bothered with it if it wasn’t that cheap. So maybe some day, but a long from now some day. Hell, I haven’t even played Tales of Arise because it just seemed like a bad game even though Tales hasn’t done anything to upset me really and it’s gone on sale for ~25ish a few times and I get closer to getting it each time it does.
As for the new version of Crisis Core, I’ll very likely play it eventually but replaying the original and dealing with that horrific final dungeon really made me not want to bother for at least a good chunk of time. It’s not like I don’t want to, it’s more that I don’t want to spend money on something I only played for the first time a couple years ago and did again already just last month. Unless it has a bunch of new story stuff for now I’m gonna wait awhile, I only played it for my first time in 2020 and I really enjoyed even most of the gameplay – but maybe when the second part of Remake is near release I’ll try the remade version.
If you do play Star Ocean 6 make sure you avoid the PC port like the plague, as per Steam’s usual standard it’s rife with severe performance issues.