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2020 Resolution Recap and 2021 Hopes

Content of the article: "2020 Resolution Recap and 2021 Hopes"

I know many people may be getting tired of these year in review posts, but they are some of my favorites every year! I made a resolution for 2020 to beat one game per month. Sounds simple enough, but I struggle to finish games and often choose to watch Twitch or read reddit instead. I finished one game in January and then failed to complete another until May (Magic the Gathering is a hell of a drug). That being said, I successfully finished 14 games this year, averaging out to over one game per month, and want to give some quick thoughts on the 8 patient ones and maybe a few thoughts on a couple of the not-so-patient ones. I'm going to list them in order from least favorite to favorite within each group, but honestly I was lucky and largely only played awesome games this year.

Patient Games:

8) Firewatch/B- The game is beautiful and the wonderful soundtrack always chimes in at just the right moment. The voice acting is of course the highlight. But I felt the game was fighting between telling me the tale of Henry and his character vs. allowing me to make the decisions and role play. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had less of a hand in his choices so that they could lean more into particular themes rather than mixing some of my personality with his. Or maybe that doesn't make sense. I'm still trying to put into words exactly how I felt. I also wanted more moments that highlighted areas of the map. It was such a cool area, but the only time I really stopped in awe was the reveal towards the end. I wish there were a couple more moments that caused me to stop and stare and let the environments to center stage.

7) Hyper Light Drifter/B- Beautiful to look at and to listen to, and did not overstay it's welcome. The combat wasn't quite as crisp as I was hoping, but overall I enjoyed the progression and never got too frustrated. Enjoyed some worlds more than others (the East being my favorite), but was happy to finally play through it. Story did not hit me particularly hard.

6) Mass Effect/B Frankly the gameplay here was a little tough to stomach at times. However, I played as a soldier, so maybe if I had biotic powers it would've been better. But the shooting is the worst part of the game in my opinion. That said, the story of Saren and Sovereign is super super cool. The big reveal is one of my favorite story memories from the year. The story was the perfect depth and length for a video game. The universe and crew are the reason to play, and are not something I will soon forget. Maybe I will play through the remaster to see if they fix up the combat or if another class would suit me better. If so, I could see this game hopping over the sequel for me. Plus I didn't mind the Mako driving 🙂

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5) SOMA/B Another game that is all about the story. Some may have found the way the story unfolded to be obvious, but it caught me completely off guard and left me totally satisfied. The story is constantly hinting to you how it's going to end in creative ways, but I have a tendency to not try and guess where a story is going. Excellent voice acting, atmosphere, and overall sound design. I liked the simple "puzzles" and interacting with the environments. I also found it funny that the underwater segments were the least scary considering how scary that is in principle. Great game!

4) Spiderman Remastered/B+ This is actually only my second platinum trophy, but it was quite the grind at the end. I didn't enjoy the latter two enemy types, but overall loved this game. While some of the side tasks were tedious if you chose to do them all like me, the main story is exciting and full of great character moments. The gameplay is tight and absolutely beautiful on the ps5 (played in performance mode). I know the remaster is technically not patient, but the OG version is, so I'm counting it.

3) Mass Effect 2/B+ Played as an adept this time, and the combat was way better. Actually enjoyed combat scenarios. The game is effectively a bunch of one-off tv episodes that intertwine into the same overarching story, but it worked for me. The last mission was fun and I really liked the Illusive Man as a character. The twist of the story was cool but in a different way than the first. Overall I enjoyed playing this game a lot more than the first, but the story was probably a small step down. Will finish the third eventually, but need a break.

2) Witcher 3/A Finished this one over the course of the 5 years it has been out, but my time to completion had nothing to do with the quality of the game and everything to do with me burning out by going after every question mark. Damn you Skellige! We all know the story and side quests are excellent, but I actually enjoyed the combat unlike most. By the end of the game I felt truly powerful while I struggled at times in the beginning. For me that marks good RPG combat development. The inventory management/quest management are both a bit clunky, and overall I didn't use the alchemy much, but those are the only real knocks I have for it.

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1) Katana Zero/A+ The last game I finished of 2020, and frankly I have no real issues with it. The combat is perfect. Failure never feels frustrating. The story unfolds in an interesting way and was surprisingly emotional. The soundtrack is BANGING. And to cap it off it did not overstay its welcome. I loved this game and it is the only 10/10 of these games for me.

Non-Patient Games:

2) Final Fantasy 7 Remake/C+ I loved the characters and music, and the Wall Market section was one of my favorite gaming moments of the year, but overall I didn't enjoy the combat consistently and the story fell flat as someone who has not played the original. It was all pretty straightforward until the final third or so, and then seemed to want to tell a different story than it had been. I can see why people love it, but I played a lot of great games this year!

1) Last of Us Pt 2/S+ I don't want to dive too much into this one, but for me this is the best game I have ever played both technically and story wise. I loved Abby as a character so the game of course worked for me.

For 2021 I'm hoping to average two games a month. A buddy and I have been picking a game to play through simultaneously each month and then record a review, so I also hope to post 12 video reviews this year. And finally, with this sub as an inspiration, I'm hoping to record at least 30 solo videos just to talk about video games I'm playing and any relevant news. This sub is a haven from a lot of polarized video game discussion (most of the time), and I want to capture that same positivity and general love of video games for myself and any random people who stumble upon it. You guys rock, and I hope you all have an awesome year!

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