(originally displayed on my homepage...)
Inspired by an episode from my friend Ben's podcast, One Controller Port.
Let's round up all the games I played this year of 2022, give my thoughts on them, and a few bonus things as well!
Here we go!
When a game is appended with "(with the besties)," it means I did not play the game directly, but watched my friends play it while also kinda contributing to the gameplay by backseating.
This game is gay. Surprisingly, after enjoying the whole trilogy, I can't particularly say I'm a fan... But like, not in a hateful way. Perhaps playing it with friends makes the puzzle solving feel easier, or the contradictions easier to spot, thus taking away the challenge... But, despite all that, playing AA once or twice a week with my friends is a time I hold dearly in my heart - no matter the quality of the game. It's good to gather with friends and just go ham, and I reccommend doing that greatly.
I have had great fun going through Fromsoftware's ADV Player, so much! There's a huge variety of silly sample games, more in-depth stuff, and it tickles my From Brain greatly. From the ASCII dating sims, to the "Atsushi Taniguchi goes around Japan" bits, to the guest games made by others. I've had fun with all of them, with all their quirks, and I've enjoyed practicing my Japanese doing so. A must-play for Fromsoftware heads. I hope to translate the Enchanted Arms visual novel in the new year, who knows...
Hold Baroque inside yourself. This is 100% a game I need to hop on by myself and enjoy, because I already had so much fun with my friends playing it. From the vibes, the gameplay, the charming characters, and the backstory - just a super interesting experience. And of course, da wittle babey jumpscare Koriel twinsies. The way they explore that... Concept of the self, plurality, and simply the connection you can have with another... Very compelling stuff to me. We played the PS2 version, and I know that's not everyone's favourite (just look at the Nerve Tower ahaha) but we enjoyed it nonetheless. I hope to try the game out on my own one day, the Saturn version too, and perhaps... Dedicate a year of study to Baroque alone. Fun stuff.
England is fucking scary. This was a one-off with my boyfriend on stream, but, you know? It was a fun time, with the closest I'll ever get to modern Fromsoftware. I'll develop my skills one day, going further beyond just, erm, hit and run.
It was cool and funny how my friend's play strategy was like mine in Bloodborne PSX. I can't remember much else except pretending it was Evergrace, because we hopped on Baroque quickly and kinda forgot to go back to ER... I really appreciate all my friends who fed me information about the game, though. It's got some interesting story bits to it, and the callbacks to older games (maybe I'm just imagining it), but hey
ARMORED CORE IS COMING NEXT YEAR WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
I know, same company and team, but playing Ghost Trick felt like Ace Attorney in a way, but BETTER. I HAD A LOT OF FUN!!! Even if... A certain friend spoiled me on the biggest plot twist of the game... I think this game showcased the unique gameplay that the DS can offer, and also takes home the prize of the "most difficult game to explain to your friends but DAMN if they gotta play it." Charming characters, charming dynamics, the way everything intertwines in the end... A game dripping in intention and style. It's a Hachiko for a new generation.
Also, I would still like to see fanart of Sissel getting pegged.
My boyfriend was busy playing Sonic Frontiers so I decided to kill time by winding up some yarn for my blanket and playing Meet'N'Fuck Kingdom. Um... I can't remember much about it... Not a stimulating game for me.
This is a flash game series that's close to my heart. Pre-rendered CG graphics, comfortable music, and point-and-click puzzles that aren't too hard... Maybe. But, more than just a game, it's a piece of my childhood.
My strongest memory of it was playing the game right before going over to visit my God-grandmother's house for a one day road trip. I kinda... Had a crush on the alien thing for a good few days there. Did we drive up to Chiliwack? Or was it further? Did we visit her new place...? I don't think so. We played with our God-cousins, had dinner, marvelled at my God-uncle's tropical fish hobby, my God-grandmother's farmland, and took home apple crisps made by someone. I miss my God-grandmother, like a real grandmother, and I hope to find one day to memorialize her on my website.
Quirked up girls with the weird sauce. This is Ghost Trick for lesbians if Ghost Trick wasn't already for lesbians. I have no idea why this hasn't hit off with a cult following, but I guess Funghi hitting it big kinda counts. Weird writing, weird gameplay quirks, weird characters - all these weirds are in a good context, by the way. It has its own logic, its own little world, and I love it all. I'm glad I finally got to play the second game, after beating the first Touch Detective many, many years ago. Like, 2006. And, I hope to mod my 3DS to play the third game soon.
My only complaint? Mackenzie and Penelope need to hook up.
This is kinda like Ace Attorney to me. The game itself is alright, but it's the friends that make it fun. It doesn't matter whether I win or lose, because I have so much fun with my friends anyways. I don't need more to it, but, OK, I guess... Nintendo, where is the fucking DLC?!?!?!
A very mixed reception to this game by my friends. It's certainly not a game you stream for excitement or hijinks - like, I played Yume Nikki 7 years ago by myself and enjoyed my time there greatly. You really gotta take your time with it and find your own reason to explore this dream world. It's still fun to suddenly stumble across a new area, though. Also, the multiplayer Yume Nikki experience is fun as hell.
I like Lewdle better. Did you know I suggested "navel" as a word and it got in?
It's fine. Nothing to complain about. It's a game that serves my daily needs.
Yet again comes another wave of being hopelessly in love with Clubhouse Games for the Nintendo DS once more... This time, I got the hang of Koi-Koi finally, and GOD is it fun. And pretty! My favourite hands are Moon Viewing and Rainy Four. My favourite cards are tied between the Crane or the Moon. Also, shout out to Hasami Shogi, despite being difficult for me to start with. I quickly got the hang of it and I basically have an unbeatable strategy I use against the hardest CPU. I like winning, OK?
And also this came the year that I got really, really into Solitaire. I mean, so into it that I started playing Solitaire in real life, too. I love that I don't have to worry about any CPUs or cheap tricks - the only opponent and ally I have is myself. Truthfully, I picked up Clubhouse Games because I put Ghost Trick on my R4 and wanted to replay it... But then, well... Cards. The fucking best. Nintendo truly perfected such a simple concept, one that nearly feels like it edges on shovelware, but god is it more than just that. You need Clubhouse Games in your fucking life.
Everyone's always divided on Forever Kingdom in comparaison to Evergrace, but really? We all had a lot of fun with it for what it was, and the stages are truly wonderful to look at. I was touched to hear that my friend liked Faeana a lot, and it was a great experience to see the game again with fresh eyes. We laughed at some line deliveries, we enjoyed the funny Sharline backpack, we took photos of emulation errors, veni, vici, vidi. Cozy game.
If we're talking about games dripping in intention and style, my god, OFF. It was very fun to poke at all the things OFF's story had to offer, while also basking in the memories of its Tumblr community days. A game with a story to tell, and a way it wants to tell it, and a visual style it successfully pulls off while telling it. And knowing about more games as I get older, the inspirations are just as strongly felt, too. Further more, looking at it as an artist now, it is so fucking funny to contrast its strong artist intention with the fanbase it garnered online. Batter is a lesbian though, despite everything.
I can't say I particularly learned anything new from replaying the Layton series after 5-6 years. It's a nice story they lead us through, and I adore the puzzle-solving (most times...), and the art style is simply pleasant. I do think Last Specter really had a feeling of Level-5 wanting to prolong the series, though it was fun, just felt... Funky. Some parts of the plot could've been utilised better.
Unwound Future was not part of the replay because I would cry like a fucking baby.
It's Super Mario Sunshine. What else should I say? Perfect cozy game, enjoyed trying out some new glitches, enjoyed the blue coin hunt, I love everything about this game. My childhood in a game.
A lovely manga adaptation of Baroque that feels a bit more conventional, but also still so mysterious, but has a lot of heart. I appreciated the clearer backstory to the Archangel, to the scientist lady (sorry I forget your name!), and to Koriel 12 and 13... I think I felt it in my heart quite a lot seeing Koriel... 13? Pet the head of his brother, telling him not to blame himself for their separation. You know, I like the vagueness of the game, but I do love adaptations when they tell things as it is. I think the author told a good ending, though a bit different to the game, felt like the same moral was being told. The world is twisted, we're a little twisted - and thus, we continue on with twisted hope.
And I like the romance between Koriel 12 and Alice. Hee hee.
Just for giving me the single line where baby Darius says that he loves Sharline, I can live another 10 years.
Nah, but really, I feel so sad for Lestea... And my heart felt heavy seeing Darius treat Ruyan so unfairly, because he sees a bit of Sharline in him, and the image of baby Darius struggling to hold Sharline in his arms... Mie Takase really hits hard. This is a prequel with no winners, and for that it turns my opinion of the light novel a bit lower than the novelization... But, I do think I've just simply missed too much of the context because I suck at Japanese. My rating on this is tentative until I finish my properly translated document.
It's tradition for Alayna to get attached to one obscure video game lady per year. This year, I really enjoyed Hellhound 13th's playthough of the lovely Kowai Shashin English translation by SnowyAria. With the vibe of telling ghost stories around the campfire, I didn't expect to get scared, but... I DID! When Hiori exorcised her childhood friend, my god... And the feeling of Hiori shut up in her house, and how it slowly becomes dangerous for her... Or maybe she's becoming dangerous to herself... Or the photos that keep coming make her more dangerous... Horror that deals with safety turning into danger is always good. And plus, Hiori's a good girl, I can't help but cheer her on when she goes into the world. Amist all the urban myths and infamous whispers about the game, is a genuninely cute and scary story. I LIKE GIRLS OKAY
Um, I can't remember this too much, but I love Waxworks. So it was really nice to know more about the backstory between you and your twin brother, and the description of him is much scarier than what he looks like in game. Funny how that is, huh?
And that's all I can recall for now! Thanks for looking! Let's have a great 2023, together!