Showing posts from April, 2022

2022 Games of the Year: LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

  LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a game I almost didn't even pick up.  My history with LEGO games has been extremely hit and miss, but I feel like there have been more misses than hits over the years. When this game came out, I heard nothing but good things about it.  Even that didn't convince me until I had a friend play the game and tell me that they had fixed most of my main complaints about past LEGO games.  Namely, the levels are no longer straightforward corridors and the combat has actual mechanics.  The game is still easy but that was never the problem.  Now it has just a little bit more depth and that makes a huge difference. The reason LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is making my list is because I had a fun time playing it with my daughter.  As a single player experience I probably would have bounced off this game after a few play sessions but playing it with one of my kids made all the difference.  The local co-op works great and we made a lot of our own fu

2022 Games of the Year: Triangle Strategy

Triangle Strategy is a game I'm feeling very mixed about.  I went into it wanting to love and but ran into a bunch of roadblocks along the way. At its core, it is actually a really solid tactics game.  This is one of the best tactical combat and tactical character progression systems that we've gotten from Square Enix in a long time.  Every time I found myself in a battle I was having a great time and truly enjoying the systems at play. Unfortunately, there are so many other things around  the battles that don't work as well.   The biggest of which is the way the story is delivered.  For every 20 minutes of fun tactical combat it feels like there's 40+ minutes of slow story delivery.  Characters talk and you have no direct control or interaction for long periods of time during it.  It's not even like old school RPGs where it's a true cutscene that feels like a reward.  Instead, this is more like taking most of the control away from the player but still making th

2022 Games of the Year: Total War: Warhammer 3

I gave Total War: Warhammer 3 a real shot.  I wanted to like it a lot.  And, honestly, there are parts of the game that I did.  This is another one of those games that is doing something interesting but didn't end up clicking with me. I really liked the battles in Total War: Warhammer 3.  I think I've liked the battling in most Total War games that I've tried.  I also thought that they did some interesting things with the factions in this game that were fun to explore on the battlefield. The part that constantly tripped me up was the strategy layer.  All of the things between battles are less interesting than the battling itself.  The strategy level of the gameplay ends up feeling like busy-work in between the fun of the tactics level gameplay.  I shouldn't be surprised since this is the same reason I stalled out when I played Total War: Warhammer 2. I think this is still a really solid strategy and tactics game, it's just not for me.  I'm sitting here wishing f

2022 Games of the Year: Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Kirby and the Forgotten Land was a quick playthrough for me.  It came out on a Friday and I had beaten the game by Saturday night.  But length isn't all that matters in a game.  This actually ended up being an excellently timed palate cleanser of a game for me. Coming off of playing Elden Ring, this was exactly what I needed.  A quick, fun, and easy platformer that kept throwing interesting new twists my way.  I feel like Kirby platformers never reach the heights of Mario platformers but they feel like a close cousin.  I could feel a lot of the design philosophy of Mario Odyssey while I was playing through Kirby and the Forgotten Land. Ultimately, this game was a little too easy for me.  I played on the harder difficulty mode, still cleared every level on the first try, and got almost all the secrets in my first pass through a level as well.  I never felt inspired to swing back through a level I had finished because I had already kind of picked the bones clean. That being said, Kir

2022 Games of the Year: Tunic

This is the first game that really made me think hard about what to include in this running list.  I've already decided not to include everything, but this made me define things further.  The place I landed is that I want to include anything I play that is either good, interesting, or both. Tunic is an interesting game.  It's a mash up of classic Zelda gameplay, an isometric action game, Fez, and has some Dark Souls DNA in it too.  You get to adventure around this isometric world exploring and defeating enemies while uncovering the core functions of the game. As you explore, you slowly find pieces of the game manual that have some illustrators on them but mostly are covered in symbols that don't (as of me writing this) map to a language we understand.  That's where some of the Fez elements come in.  It feels like a game that wants the community to come together to solve its mysteries.  If you're into that kind of community solving, this game might be for you. Did I

2022 Games of the Year: Elden Ring

I had an interesting journey with Elden Ring.  I almost bounced off the game a number of times in the first four to six hours.  Then, it got it's hooks into me and I kept coming back even though I wasn't sure if I was actually having fun  but I was having an interesting time and that made me continually return.  Sometime between hour 20 and 30 I fell in love with this game and felt that way almost all the way until the end... until the last boss caused massive amounts of frustration. After all that, where did I land?  Well... I think this may end up being my game of the year. The exploration and world building in this game is simply incredible.  I can't even begin to quantify the amount of times I saw something new and novel while exploring the world.  Elden Ring takes the sense of open world exploration wonder that Breath of the Wild gave me... but then ramps it up by constantly rewarding me with new and unique interactions.  Every time I saw something that looked vaguely

2022 Games of the Year: Horizon Forbidden West

Horizon Forbidden West is a pretty showcase for the PS5 and a really solid open world game.  But mostly, at it's core, it's a game that lets you fight giant robot animals and dinosaurs.  That alone pushes it up my list. I actually had a hit and miss relationship with the first game in this series, Horizon Zero Dawn.  I played it a little when it came out but stalled out on it and set it down.  I came back much later and found a lot of enjoyment once I set my expectations correctly. Horizon Forbidden West picks up right where that game left off, except it does a lot of things better.  There are quality of life improvements throughout and it's a gorgeous showcase of the PS5.  But my favorite improvements come down to the story and the characters. The sci-fi aspect of the story is what drew me in and hooked me.  In the first game that is buried much later in the game but in Horizon Forbidden West it is core to the story from the start.  This game also made me actually care abo

Geek to Geek Podcast S7E05 - Kirby and The Forgotten Land & More Elden Ring

The latest episode of the Geek to Geek podcast is now out in the feed.  You can listen or find links to listen in your podcast player here . This week we discuss Kirby and the Forgotten Land as well as wrapping up some thoughts on Elden Ring.  Geekery includes match-3 games, Mario Tennis, The Emperor's New Groove, 1Q84, Iron Widow, Turning Red, and Book of Boba Fett. You can also listen to the latest episode right here: