Favourite video games 2022
I think the last post I made on video games has been one of the most popular I’ve written on this blog, so thought I’d update you with some more recent favourites.
I didn’t play as many video games in 2022 as the past couple of years, but there were still a fair few I enjoyed.
Though, looking back,, there weren’t any games that really knocked my socks off like the previous list I made, and in general I haven’t felt like there were as many games coming out that I wanted to play. Maybe it’s a COVID-effect? Fingers crossed for at least one that blows my mind in 2023!
Let me know if you have any recommendations too.
The premise: you are stuck in a time loop, and play through the same day over and over again. There are four large levels you can enter at four different times of day, at the end of which everything resets, except for the information you obtain.
It’s generally well executed so it didn’t end up feeling too repetitive – though you play the same events through numerous times it’s usually with different goals. I thought the pacing made the middle of the game the most exciting, when everything is open to you and the levels are still fresh. By the end it gets a bit easy, but that’s often the case with these games, as the scaling in enemy difficulty rarely keeps up with your increased skill and in-game abilities/weapons.
When you finally work out how to break the loop, and see that you can do so from the initial set-up (as it’s always the first day), it does feel like a intricate mechanism has finally meshed correctly.
Overall I really enjoyed playing it, and there are some fun reveals/plot-twists. There was a nice mix of set-pieces and exploration, and the characters were unusually memorable for this kind of game. It feels like there’s more that could be done with the premise here, and I wonder if other releases in the franchise may follow.
I also thought that this is basically another Dishonoured game, and I liked Dishonoured 1 & 2 a lot, but with a few key differences: the story-line/setting is a lot more memorable, the graphics and level design are a bit nicer, and there’s no save scumming.
Slice & Dice (rougelike)
A late entry to my list as I only played this game for the first time last week, but definitely found it right up my street. Roll (and reroll) the dice to attack and defend against enemies also moving via dice roll, and slowly upgrade your dice sides over the levels.
It’s less punishing than games like Slay the Spire and Into the Breach which through my runs so far have made it a bit quicker and more dynamic, as I’m not agonising over finding the exact series of optimal moves (and there’s an undo button, which lets you play around with your options more). There’s more randomness too, which makes gameplay more frustrating at times, and more exciting at others. I would also say there’s less replay value than other rougelikes, as not a huge amount changes or unlocks after your first completion, but there is definitely enough content for a few plays through, and many more if you want to do the difficult modes.
It only costs a few pounds, and dangerously is also available for Android (I have stuck to the PC version for my own sake).
Kirby and the Forgotten Land (platformer)
The only new Switch game I played this year was a Kirby game, the first one I’ve ever actually played. It’s less good than Mario – and a big problem being that it’s far too easy. But the setting of a long-abandonded Earth-like world was both relaxing and varied. I enjoyed getting some of the hidden achievements, as well as the timed levels which let you unlock new abilities.
Just like Deus Ex, out of nowhere it gets pretty… anime? at the final boss, and actually probably had the most memorable ending of any of the games here.
Final Fantasy IX (JRPG)
I loved this game so much when it came out back in 2000, and it will always have a special place in my heart. I still feel like it stands the test of time better than FFVII and FFX which were probably ‘better’ games when they were initially released.
This is the second time I’ve played through the 2019 release. Somehow, they made the menus much worse to navigate than they were with a PS1 controller – and the menus are pretty much the best bit. However I’ll forgive it for the updated character models, and some ‘game boosters’ (cheats) which smooth the edges of the more tedious parts of the game.
Every few years I replay this game and feel like I know everything there is to know about it, somehow all the chest and item locations are safely stored somewhere in my memory1.
Halo Infinite (FPS)
Hopefully the last ’lockdown game’ for me, I had a great time playing this with friends as restrictions eased at the start of the year. And, let’s be honest, for some time after this. Ultimately, a bit too serious for me, and at some point I’d had enough of the same maps, and really games, over and over.
I only just got this game so can’t say too much about it (other than I am bad and had to lower to difficulty as I died multiple times at the first boss), but I mostly got it because I’d heard it was a good rendering of Manhattan. And while it didn’t include the first couple of places I looked for, check this out, which I used to walk past all the time:
If only the same could be said about the amino acid names amirite. ↩︎