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 They get outdated so quickly, whether it’s because some of the games in question wound up not coming out or turned out to be bad.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to write something that holds up a lot better; something that can be read years down the line and not feel hilariously outdated.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.
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, 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.
I know I’m late in saying this but, damn, this really is a new decade, huh? I never even considered it until it was pointed out to me. A lot has happened in the last ten years, and after looking at some good-looking games that are coming in the future, I’d like to reminisce about all the awesome games from the past. And, boy, there were a lot.
So, since everyone else has done it and I apparently have as much originality as a live-action Disney remake, here’s a list of some of my all-time favourite games to have been released throughout the 2010s – one from each year (I’m using the European release dates BTW). Continue reading →
I may have mentioned this before, but if a videogame has actual lyrical songs in it, I’m much more likely to buy it. It’s weird since videogames featuring songs isn’t new or special anymore, but I can’t help but be impressed/excited whenever it happens. I very nearly bought River City Girls just because it had an opening song that was only four lines long, and I was somewhat surprised that it had more songs like it. Continue reading →
No, I don’t know why the ‘b’ in ‘big’ isn’t capitalised either. It drives me up the wall, honestly, but that’s not what I’m here to write about today. What I AM writing about is this awesome boss track from A Hat in Time. Continue reading →
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Steins;Gate 0
When it comes to the two Steins;Gate titles, I don’t find either of their soundtracks to be particularly amazing. They’re perfectly fine and atmospheric but not the kind that I could find myself listening to over and over again, with the exception of a few tracks. I’ve written about my favourite music piece from the first game before, so it’s only fitting that I do the same for my favourite piece from Steins;Gate 0. Continue reading →
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Steins;Gate
When I finished playing Steins;Gate back in 2015, I found myself in that state of mind where, even though everything was neatly wrapped up, I was hungry for more from its world and characters. Even if it was an entire story just about the characters living their lives, I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye yet. Fortunately, there was an anime adaptation to throw myself into and a movie that acted as an epilogue of sorts (both of which I loved). But then I found out that a full-on sequel was coming to Japan very soon and would be out in the West the following year… and I had no interest in playing it.
“But you just said you wanted more Steins;Gate!” you cry. True, but Steins;Gate 0 isn’t a sequel in the traditional sense, instead continuing the story in an alternate “bad” timeline. Considering how much I loved the first game’s ending, I was worried that the sequel could potentially undo how perfect it was. Plus, I didn’t want to see more bad things happen to the characters after they got their happy endings, so I skipped it.
Cut to 2018 and the anime adaptation began to air on Crunchyroll. I had an account at the time and when the first episode went up, I thought “Eh, why not? I’ll give it a shot.” And sure enough, I got completely sucked in. I’m not sure what it was but it did enough to make me see it through to the end, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But even I could tell that certain elements had been changed or removed in order to fit the narrative in an anime format (I even saw some comments complaining about how certain scenes were cut). Curious, I decided to play the game myself and go through the full unaltered experience of Steins;Gate 0 myself. Continue reading →