Ordinarily this is my favorite time of year, where I spend most of my free time preparing my Game of the Year post. I compile thousands of words devoted to dozens of categories, in an attempt to single-handedly out-write all the GOTY posts from all the major sites, while also attempting to justify and rationalize the hundreds of dollars I spend on games (and the hundreds of hours I spend playing them). SFTC is a one-man operation, after all, and since I’m operating in a vacuum, I try to be as comprehensive as I possibly can. It’s a labor of love that I’ve always looked forward to.
Until this year.
This year sucked.
Between the increasingly toxic nature of the gaming community’s worst elements, and the fact that quite a lot of this year’s AAA blockbusters were either HD remasters of games I played last year or games that were straight-up broken, I’m looking at my Google spreadsheets and categories and I’m mostly just shaking my head. I’m not even 100% sure that I can compile a rock-solid Top 10; I don’t know that there were 10 games that I enjoyed that much. I have a pretty solid top 3, and after that it’s mostly just clutter.
So look forward to reading a few thousand words about sadness, coming maybe next week?
I’m 35 hours into Dragon Age Inquisition. I’m around level 14 and kinda just biding my time, leveling up and grinding until I’m ready to take on the next main story mission. I have successfully romanced Sera, so there’s that.
I still wish the game was clearer as to what the recommended level was for each area you enter; I’ve been spending the last few hours traipsing around the Emerald Graves, and for the most part I’ve been handling myself quite well although there are a few Fade Rifts that are straight up impossible, and I also stumbled across a gigantic dragon that happened to be looking the other way, and there were also some giants that were chasing me around for a bit.
You know what game it reminds me of, more than anything else? I mean, besides other BioWare games? Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the ill-fated action RPG from a few years back. The writing in DAI is much better, of course, but the general vibe of the experience feels very much the same; the environments are similarly varied, the sidequests are stumbled upon in similar ways. I liked KoA:R, too, even if it was beyond massive and I never came close to finishing it; indeed, I think I liked KoA’s combat system more than I do DAI.
Getting back to the GOTY post – I feel like I can’t start writing it in earnest until I finish a few more things, or at least spend some more time with them. I’ve had Danganronpa in my Vita for a week and a half and I haven’t had a chance to even turn the thing on, let alone play it. Meanwhile, now that there’s this new patch for Alien Isolation that tweaks the difficulty a bit, I’m wondering if I should go back to it and try to finish it. I still want to give Shadow of Mordor the benefit of the doubt, though I suspect I’ve been away from it for too long; I also want to give Sunset Overdrive another go before I totally forget how to play it. And I also want to go back and revisit some games from earlier this year, just to make sure I still feel as strongly about them now as I did then (i.e., Wolfenstein). Will you notice the difference if I don’t? Does anything matter?
To borrow from today’s AV Club article about Top 10 lists:
Sometimes, we get so focused on our lists and defining ourselves that we forget to take a moment and think about what all of these pieces of pop culture mean to us and to others. TV shows, films, video games, and books aren’t something to be categorized like manila envelopes at an insurance firm. They’re art; and art, at its best, is an experience, and it’s best shared with others.