Showing posts from November, 2022

Games of the Year 2022: Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

Pokémon Scarlet (and Violet by extension) was the rare Pokémon game that hooked me and kept me interested all the way through. I'm not doing a full review, but I do feel the need to call out how much this game struggles on performance.  It chugs along, has tons of bugs, and the frame rate is just brutal.  Although, none of that really detracted from my overall enjoyment.  Your results may vary. The two things that truly let this game get its hooks into me were the open world and the new quality of life feature auto battle feature.  The open world fairly quickly gave me three main story progression paths to go down and complete freedom in the order I wanted to pursue them.  The typical Gyms are here but so is a storyline about Team Star and a completely different storyline about Titan Pokémon. Given the freedom of the open world and the ability to do almost instant auto-battles for experience, I quickly threw on some podcasts and audiobooks while just running around the world.  It w

Games of the Year 2022: Marvel Snap

Marvel Snap is the best digital card game I've ever played on mobile.  In general, it's one of the best digital cards games I've played in years. Their are a few key factors here.  The two biggest of which are the speed of play (fast) and the monetization (cosmetic).  This isn't a trashy mobile pay to win game.  If you want to spend money, you can spend it on cosmetics but you can't spend it on power.  As you "upgrade" cards you're just upgrading how cool they look, you aren't upgrading how good they are against other players.  Which means this game can actually be balanced and fun for everyone. The speed of a single game is also super fast.  Most of my games last 2-5 minutes and that's just about perfect.  You only ever play six turns and then the game is over.  It's enough time to engage your brain and feel like you actually did something mentally stimulating, but short enough that it's not a big deal to lose and you never feel like y

Games of the Year 2022: Gotham Knights

Gotham Knights is an interesting entry on this list.  As much as any game can be measured objectively... this one isn't great.  It feels like a solid 7 out of 10 type of game and it's hard to argue for it to be rated much higher than that. But, for me, this is one of the 7 out of 10 games that just hit right and kept me interested.  I was craving an open world game and I enjoy the Batman/Gotham setting.  This hit at the right time and was good enough to keep me coming back to play more. It's extremely rough around the edges, doesn't always feel great to play, is full of compromises and odd decisions... but I had fun messing around in it.  Honestly, this is probably higher on my list than it would have been if any other open world game hit around the same time.  The release timing on Gotham Knights was right around the time we typically get Assassin's Creed games which tend to scratch the same itch for me.  Without one of those around this year, my attention was put

Games of the Year 2022: Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope was an interesting game to play around with.  I made it through the first world and a half before realizing the game wasn't what I was in the mood for.  It has a lot of interesting things going on with it, but ultimately didn't click with me. Which is interesting, because I could also see this game being the game of the year for certain people.  It's trying new and interesting things in the turn based strategy X-COM-like game space.  I loved the move away from a grid and instead having a certain radius distance you can run.  The addition of movement abilities that don't use your two "actions" each turn was super cool too.  It was consistently fun to do a slide dash through a bob-omb, pick it up, throw it at a group of enemies, watch it explode, and then realize I still had my two primary actions left to play around with that turn. In the end, it was the Rabbids and some minor annoyances that turned me away.  The game takes a long