End of Year: 2022 Edition
Just like 2021, except we all just gave up.
Workwise, I ended the year still at the same company but promoted to a more senior role. There have been a number of bonuses and raises offered company-wide, as management starts understanding that, yeah, this new labor market is here to stay. There are apparently some more raises in store for my specific department, but we’ll have to see how that pans out. Despite spending literally $15,000 in daycare this year, my family is doing perfectly OK. Which means I made it, I guess. My options trading and crypto are most definitely not making it, but I’m in a position where I can realize some losses and at least not pay taxes on the gains this year, while still having some upside exposure. It has to rally again someday, right guys? Guys?
Family is doing great. My kiddo is potty training like a champ.
Enough real life. Let’s talk games. First is the Steam lineup:
- Meteorfall: Kromit’s Tale
- Black Book
- FAR: Lone Sails
- My Friend Pedro
- Per Aspera
- Borderlands 3
- Before We Leave
- Necromunda: Hired Gun
- Legend of Keepers
- Despotism 3K
- Core Keeper
- Sigil of the Magi
- Gordian Quest
- DOOM (2017)
- Slay the Spire
Although many of the games don’t necessarily have a defined “win state” (and many are Early Access besides), realistically I only finished Meteorfall, FAR, Per Aspera, and Borderlands 3. It was especially egregious with games like SOMA, wherein I played to the first area where the first monster appears, Alt-Tabbed to see what happens if they get you, realized that there is an EZ-mode with no real consequences, and then never actually booted the game back up again. At the same time, I have been trying to embrace the whole “Spark Joy” Kondo-ism a bit more than in years past. Play games when they are fun, stop when they aren’t. Just a shame that games stop being fun before they’re over.
For the Epic Game Store:
- Horizon: Zero Dawn
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Final Fantasy 7 Remake
I… think that’s literally it. And again, I only really finished FF7R from that list. Going forward, I think I’m going to have to start making a concerted effort to completely ignore side quests and such for the more open-world games. Or maybe not. Sometimes the sidequests end up being much more interesting than the main quest for a lot of those kind of games.
By the way, the Epic Store interface is still embarrassingly shitty in 2022. When I go to my library and choose “Sort by Recently Played,” I would expect the games to be sorted by, you know, how recently they were played. But they’re not. You can’t even have the games sort themselves by most played. Ugh.
For Game Pass:
- Amazing Cultivation Simulator
- Offworld Trading Company
- Citizen Sleeper
- Metal: Hellsinger
- Vampire Survivors
- Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion
- Hardspace: Shipbreaker
- Loot River
- Nobody Saves the World
- Sunset Overdrive
- We Happy Few
Once again, Game Pass is the de facto best place to try out games you wouldn’t otherwise play unless they were wedged in a random bundle. Of the list, Grounded was the clear winner here with a whopping 68 hours played… and I haven’t even beaten it yet. We’ll see if I ever pop back in.
For completeness’s sake, I also continued to play Hearthstone and Guild Wars 2 throughout 2022.
Looking at 2023, my goal is to actually sit down and play Red Dead Redemption 2, Disco Elysium, Death Stranding (played 7 hours and fell off), Chained Echos, Wildermyth, and… SOMA. Maybe Assassin’s Creed Odyssey or Origins. And finish off Cyberpunk 2077 and Horizon: Zero Dawn. According to HowLongToBeat, that lineup is 256 hours all by itself (main stories only). Which is like 5 hours a week, so not unreasonable even if I pretend to be a responsible father figure. We’ll see.
I really enjoyed Void’s “Games of the Year” schtick over at A Green Mushroom, where there was a running tally of games played and how they sorted themselves over the year. I’ve always struggled with “justifying” creating a blog post about some of the random shit I try to play (e.g. Nobody Saves the World, Metal: Hellsinger, etc), even though personally I enjoy reading every single article by anyone still posting on my blogroll. So, heads up, there may be some experimentation with that format in 2023. Or maybe I just continue doing my own thing, which apparently continues to work.
Well, “work,” for given definitions of work.
…which I’m defining as being awesome. See you in 2023.
Posted on December 31, 2022, in Commentary and tagged End of Year, Epic Store, Pandemic, Steam, Xbox Game Pass. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.
Playing Dying Light 2 right now (its overall fantastic if you enjoyed DL1 or games like it), but man it throws so much side ‘crap’ at you that I’m constantly telling myself to stop and focus on the main quest, especially because only the main quest unlocks tools and abilities that make the overall game feel ‘complete’.
On the other hand like you said, sometimes the side quests are great, so its a give and take.
Really enjoyed the first Dying Light. If I remember correctly, it was one of the first zombie games I played that actively discouraged you from killing zombies (no loot). Pretty inventive for its time and achieved the intended gameplay effect, e.g. zombies meant to be an obstacle to parkour over. I’ve held off on the sequel though, as 50% off isn’t good enough for me.
I’m thinking that I just have to assume non-RPGs have bad side quests. Fallout, Elder Scrolls? Do side quests. Action game? Probably fluff.
SOMA is very good, I played “real mode”, even dealing with the checkpoint save garbage, until reaching a level where the monster downright cheats, probably to increase the game’s stress level. I.e. even if you do it right and avoid it, it STILL runs after you. This is shit, so I switched no-death mode on and completed the game, as the story is really interesting.
“I’ve always struggled with “justifying” creating a blog post about some of the random shit I try to play (e.g. Nobody Saves the World, Metal: Hellsinger, etc), even though personally I enjoy reading every single article by anyone still posting on my blogroll.”
Treat that last part as a strong signal.
The feedback that the non-blogging readership can offer to a long-form blogger (particularly on a platform like wordpress which unlike Substack/Medium doesn’t center aggressively on engagement via subscriptions, likes, etc.) is very limited. If you think it’s a bit self-indulgent to post a brief chronicle of your time with Rimworld expacs or Horizon, recall how over-the-top vain it feels to write a comment basically saying: “Huh, cool post, but my experience (in this game that lives and dies by generating diverse experiences) has been drastically different.” So it goes relatively unremarked upon.
On the other hand, if you write a post on a subject inviting polemic (AI art, reactionary geezerdom, Disney’s moral descent), it seems like less of an imposition to offer some of it.
But the former kind of posts are invariably pleasant to read, and the more niche the subject, the better. There is a reason I like Bhagpuss’s blog as much as I do; even apart from enjoying the music, I can’t wait to see what exotic MMO with two thousand users he tackles next. And, for what it’s worth, just going with recent memory, I’ve added Citizen Sleeper and Slice&Dice to my (admittedly miles long) list of games to check out, and excluded Forever Skies, based on your ruminations.
So, yeah. A ranking gimmick might be fun, but I imagine it’s also easy to think a gimmick is needed. It’s not. Here’s to the Year of Konmari.
Thank you for the comment.
By the way, you may be interested in this article about Forever Skies. In particular, they appear to be adding more “under the dust” gameplay which would perhaps alleviate some of my misgivings from the demo. I am also getting more of a sense that this was indeed an “early-early” version rather than straight-up Beta, which makes it more possible to be good. Now, did they always plan it out this way, or did they pivot based on feedback? Who knows. I’m still concerned about the whole wacky virus schtick, but I’m curious as to where things go.