Normally around this time of the year, I put together a list of the ten video games I’m most looking forward to in the following year. After some reflection, though, I’ve decided to stop doing that because, frankly, those lists aren’t exactly timeless. They get outdated so quickly, whether it’s because some of the games in question wound up not coming out or turned out to be bad. Plus, sometimes I struggle finding 10 whole games that I’m super excited for and we never know what the coming year’s full release schedule looks like.
I’d prefer to write something that holds up a lot better; something that can be read years down the line and not feel hilariously outdated. So, I’ve decided to follow the crowd and put together a top five list of my personal favourite games of 2022.
This week on The Entertainment Dome, we catch up on all the announcements from the last State Of Play, as well as the three new Yakuza/Like A Dragon games, and quickly run through our time at EGX this past weekend.
I feel like it’d be an over exaggeration, if not outright inaccurate, to say 2021 was a bad year for video games. Quite frankly, there were plenty of awesome new games or updates to existing ones. On a personal level, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart properly demonstrated the potential of the PlayStation 5, both Great Ace Attorney games finally made it to the West, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate truly made the impossible possible by completing its roster with Sora from Kingdom Hearts.
But I will admit the industry itself has made it hard to be optimistic about 2022. Over the last twelve months, we’ve seen outright abysmal releases like the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy remasters, the likes of Ubisoft and Square Enix committing to incorporating NFTs (the newest environmentally damaging grift) into their games, and then there’s just everything about Activision, which has once again highlighted how horrible the industry can be behind closed doors.
While it is important to acknowledge all the bad parts of this industry, even if it’s painful to do so, that doesn’t mean there’ll be no joy to be found in it either. As always, there are already a number of select games I’m looking forward to this year and I’m sure there are a number of amazing titles that haven’t been announced yet. Plus, this is a yearly tradition at this point so let’s get on with things and get to my ten most anticipated games of 2022.
In a world where so many big-budget video games feel rather homogenised, to the point where most new releases can be easily described by just comparing it to another (e.g. Avengers is just Destiny but with Marvel), Balan Wonderworld really stands out from the crowd.
Wonderworld is thefirst title from new Square Enix subsidiary Balan Company, which is being directed by Yuji Naka (one of the men credited with creating Sonic the Hedgehog). Balan Wonderworld wears its inspiration on its sleeve and is quite clearly meant to evoke a sense of nostalgia from players despite being an original IP.
I’m sure you’ve seen every other outlet make obvious comparisons to old Sega games like Nights and Billy Hatcher, and you can hardly blame them. Watching the announcement trailer made me feel like I had stepped through a wormhole back to the late 90s or early 2000s but despite some trepidation about the whole thing I was admittedly quite charmed by just how strange this game seemed. The world could desperately do with more 3D-platformers that aren’t Super Mario or crowdfunded indie projects like A Hat in Time.
So, with a surprisingly sizable demo now available, it made sense to investigate this new world of Balan and let Naka and his team try to convince me to give this new (planned) franchise of theirs a look-see. Unfortunately, those aforementioned trepidations turned out to be justified.
This week on The Entertainment Dome, we run through our thoughts on last week’s PlayStation 5 showcase and the announcements, including Final Fantasy XVI, Hogwarts Legacy, and Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition.
This week on The Entertainment Dome, James and I complain about Spider-Man being exclusive to the PlayStation versions of the Avengers game, before remembering that we never covered the Xbox Games Showcase.
Ever since its initial reveal at E3 2019, I have wanted desperately to like Square Enix and Crystal Dynamic’s Avengers game. Unfortunately, nearly everything about it seemed to be forcing me to be sceptical about it.
The plot was uninteresting and a culmination of some of my least favourite ‘event comic’ superhero tropes, the gameplay appeared average at best and monotonous at worst, the hyper realistic graphics made for a grey and bland-looking world, and its mere existence as a service title akin to something like Destiny meant that this was Square Enix attempting to capitalise on a trendy market by using already existing characters as the poster boys to help push it.
I wanted to give the game a chance, though, so when I was granted the opportunity to try out the game’s beta, I took it. Sometimes, you really do need a hands-on approach to better judge a product and I’ll be detailing my experiences and first impressions here. Continue reading →