My Year in Gaming

Happy New Year's Eve everyone!  Well... almost.  It's almost a new year!

I don't want to do a top ten list or anything so formal this year, I just want to talk about games that stuck out in my mind from the year.

Mario Maker has got to be the coolest thing that came out this year.  Infinite Mario levels plus the tools to make your own?  I'm in.  I love this idea so much and the execution has been fantastic.  Not to mention that Nintendo keeps updating and improving the game too.  It's nice to see them finally getting with the times and offering expanded content past a game's release.

Assassin's Creed Syndicate turned out to be my favorite Assassin's Creed game so far.  I was expecting some fun but most just another entry in the series.  That's generally what we get year-to-year.  But honestly, I love all the small changes that they made to truly tighten the game up.  It's now my favorite game in the series.

Hearthstone was a constant companion this year.  I did more traveling than usual in the last year and Hearthstone has been my game of choice on the go.  After giving up on it a month after release I'm been so surprised to get back into it.  I love all the new modes and that they're constantly adding to the game.  Tavern Brawls give variety every week and the Single Player adventures are a ton of fun too.  This is a game that will continue into the new year for me.

Persona 4 was my biggest find of the year even though the version I'm playing, Person 4 Golden, was released in 2012.  I played the first few months of the year in the game and realized that I wanted enough free time to truly give Person 4 my full attention.  So I put it on hold until I'm not so busy.  I'm still waiting for things to calm down because I really want to get back to this game.  It might become one of my favorite JRPGs ever.

Final Fantasy XIV took up a lot of the early part of my year.  It was the first time I seriously got into an MMO since before my kids were born.  Going into not expecting much I was blown away by how much this game earns it's place in the Final Fantasy mainline series.  The story is Final Fantasy through and through.

Having wrapped up FFXIV after beating all the content in the expansion I was finally officially caught up with my Final Fantasy Project!  A couple years ago I set out to play all the Final Fantasy mainline games in chronological order and this year saw the culmination of it!  I'm so happy to have done this project and it's only made my love for the Final Fantasy series grow.  I'm super excited to see what Final Fantasy XV holds.  Hey, it might even come out this year!

Indie games have become a mainstay in my life now too.  I love picking up little games released by small teams and experiencing new things from them.  There's so much more innovation in the space.  I still enjoy my AAA big budget gaming experiences but now I constantly have my eye on the indie scene as well.

PAX was one of the highlights of my year.  I got to go to a gaming convention for the first time ever and it was awesome.  It was especially great because I got to go with my brother.  I wish it could become a yearly thing, but being in the middle of the country means the cost of long flights to get to any PAXes.  Hopefully we'll do it again sometime in the next few years.

I have to end with my biggest gaming accomplishment of the year.  I cleaned out my Steam library.  I had hundreds of games that needed to be played and I gave each one at least 30 minutes of my time and tried them out.  I was able to separate out the really good games and give them the time they deserved but the rest of my library got organized into folders and hidden from day-to-day view.  It's so nice to look at my Steam library now and not feel overwhelmed.

Overall I had a really good gaming year!  How about you guys?


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