Games of 2018

Twenty one games!? I did not expect I would have twenty one games for Games of 2018! My backlog needed clearing, and 2018 was the year to do it. In January of 2018 I created a category called “Play 2018” in Steam, and set a goal to get through most of the games in 2018; I ended up getting through half of them!

If you are new you might be asking, “What is this?” Well, “Games of” has evolved through the years. Its beginnings can be found in old posts titled “Games to the Video.” Here is where you can find 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7; you may have to scroll, because I am too lazy to add anchors to the old HTML code. At the time, the posts mostly highlighted upcoming releases. Near the end of each post I gave a brief blurb about games I did play from previous “Games to the Video” lists.

“Games of” really started taking shape in a 2011 post titled “Level 1 – 2010.” Coincidentally, Darksiders makes the list in 2018 as well. The basic format was there, but was missing stats and screenshots. In 2011, I started to experiment with the format, and started “Games of 2011: What I’ve Played” which covered games I played in the first half of 2011. It seems crazy that I had completed fifteen games in just half a year! It was similar in format to the 2010 post. I never did finish the three part series, so the second half of 2011 was lost. I started my downward spiral of not posting anything, so “Games of 2012” does not exist in any form. However, I started picking up steam for “Games of 2013.” Screenshots and the overall format took a more solid form. I have been religiously posting a new “Games of” post every year since, while tweaking things here and there. “Games of 2014” was very similar to 2013. “Games of 2015” saw the introduction of stats. Previous years can be found here: 2016, and 2017.

“Games of 2018” continues my weird obsession. It is my game-of-the-year list. Instead of being only games released in 2018, it consists of all of the games I played in 2018; it usually does not include games that have made the list in past years, but sometimes I make exceptions. The games are in the order I started to play them. Each game gets a fun title. I also present some stats about the game and my play through (now with more stats!). You also get a nice screenshot that I took while playing the game. Then, I offer up a paragraph or two on my thoughts about the game. Ready?

Inspired by Cypress Hill

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (PS4)

Release date:                  6/30/2017
Number of hours played: 42.25
Number of achievements earned: 60/77 (78%)
Number of screenshots taken: 124
Acquisition date: 10/5/2017
Acquired from: Gift
Purchase price: $0.00 (List $39.99)
Games of 2018 - Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Fuck those crates

My notes from Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy are not positive. My notes while playing Crash 1 starts out, “This is an awful remaster.” However, I recall having a lot of fun with the games. Sure, these games are frustrating; Crash 1 is a difficult game from an era trying to figure out how to do 3D platformers on the first Playstation. However, the remaster of Crash 1, and to lesser extent Crash 2, is frustrating for different reasons. The physics are not right, and the player’s hit boxes are misshapen from the original. I saw the “Continue?” screen a lot in Crash 1, and moved on to Crash 2. After dying a lot in Crash 2, I almost gave up on the N. Sane Trilogy as a whole.

I ended up skipping ahead to Crash 3; immediately my eyes lit up with joy. This is the game I remember from my childhood! The game is so much fun. The remaster plays just as good as the original, and it looks great. It helps that Naughty Dog found the sweet spot for its final sequel. Vicarious Visions uses the physics from Crash 3 for all three remasters. This makes the remaster of Crash 3 play as good as the original. After beating Crash 3, I tried Crash 2 again. Getting familiar with the physics helped a lot, and I was able to beat it. I moved on to Crash 1, and beat that as well. Although not as much fun as the Crash 3 remaster, Crash 1 and Crash 2 is fun to play through. If you are looking to revisit – or play for the first time – these classic games, I recommend to start with Crash 3, and move backwards; you will have a more enjoyable time. Also, look up how to max out your lives early on in each game. Overall, the remasters brought me back to the fun times of the original Playstation era.

3D Stealth with One Fewer Dimension

Mark of the Ninja (PC)

Release date:                  10/16/2012
Number of hours played: 18
Number of achievements earned: 29/38 (76%)
Number of screenshots taken: 6
Acquisition date: 7/16/2013
Acquired from: Steam
Purchase price: $3.74 (List $14.99)
Games of 2018 - Mark of the Ninja
We’re just going to paint a happy little blood swath right there

Mark of the Ninja has been sitting in my back catalog since 2013. I love stealth games, but I had never tried a 2D stealth game. I did not know what to expect from Mark of the Ninja. It controls greats. I ended up playing it through Steam Link with an XBox controller. The art styles makes the cartoony violence pop after taking out enemies. The movement in Mark of the Ninja is outstanding. Everything from climbing around the environment to lowering yourself down for the kill is a blast. I was able to play my way with different upgrades available to me. In a world with so many 3D stealth games like Dishonored and Metal Gear Solid, Klei deserves a lot of credit for creating such a well executed 2D spin on the genre.

Ghost Puzzles

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Redux (PC)

Release date:                  9/12/2015
Number of hours played: 3.5
Number of achievements earned: 12/14 (86%)
Number of screenshots taken: 25
Acquisition date: 12/28/2015
Acquired from: Steam
Purchase price: $5.99 (List $14.99)
Games of 2018 - The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Redux
Sir, you seem to be bleeding… and transparent

It took me a couple of months to complete The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. Not because it is long, but because I could not get past a section without some help. I really like Ethan Carter’s style. For the most part, there are no enemies. The puzzles are fun. It was really satisfying to recieve an “Ah ha!” moment after spending a few minutes banging my head against the wall. The game did not hold my hand, and I like that. I could have walked all the way to the end of the game without solving a single puzzle. Doing this is not recommended, as I would have missed out on such a great story.

So, why did it take me a couple of months to finish The Vanishing of Ethan Carter? The music and the general tone of the game gives off a great, albeit creepy, vibe. There is one enemy in one section of the game, and he is freaky as hell. The sound design is so eerie that even the anticipation of encountering the enemy made me turn off the game. I had to have a friend play through it while I watched. He did not even encounter the damn enemy! After the section, I completed the last leg of the game, and I got the whole story. I’m happy. The Astronauts (the developer) deserve a ton of praise for the graphics, atmosphere, and sound design in the game.

A Game Surprisingly Lacking in Tombs

Rise of the Tomb Raider (PC)

Release date:                  1/28/2016
Number of hours played: 46.75
Number of achievements earned: 92/143 (64%)
Number of screenshots taken: 94
Acquisition date: 5/29/2017
Acquired from: Humble Store
Purchase price: $23.99 (List $59.99)
Games of 2018 - Rise of the Tomb Raider
Huh. That’s a funny place for a boat

Rise of the Tomb Raider is more of the 2013 reboot, Tomb Raider. The combat and movement continues to be just as fluid and floaty in the sequel. It offers more platforming and stealth killing, which I enjoy. Everything from the original reboot is here, and it feels even better. Stealthy bow kills, run and gun combat kills, cinematic moments, etc. The story is pretty good and kept me interested. I liked that the Blood Ties DLC expands on Laura’s past. Really though, the gameplay is the star of the series, not the story. I am looking forward to playing the third game. If you enjoyed the 2013 reboot, you will like this one.

I have to give a shout out to the coop Endurance mode. It is really cool (ha!). My friend and I raided tombs while trying to survive the Siberian wilderness. We had to stay warm, combat hunger, and survive human and animal attacks. As the days progress, our food and heat became scarcer and the enemies became stronger. I had a ton of fun with a friend.

The Classiest Classic

Super Mario World (SNES)

Release date:                  8/13/1991
Number of hours played: 7.5
Number of achievements earned: 58/63 (92%)
Number of screenshots taken: 34
Acquisition date: NA
Acquired from: NA
Purchase price: NA
Games of 2018 - Super Mario World
I imagine Mario is very constipated after eating this balloon

I try to play through Super Mario World every year. I told myself I would not write about it every year, but here I am. I love the level design, the platforming, and everything that makes Mario, Mario. I discovered Retro Achievements, and had to show off my achievements. Some of them are darn-right brutal. It was a great excuse to revisit this classic game.

Most Educational About WWI

Valiant Hearts: The Great War (PC)

Release date:                  6/25/2014
Number of hours played: 8.75
Number of achievements earned: 17/20 (85%)
Number of screenshots taken: 41
Acquisition date: 3/12/2015
Acquired from: Steam
Purchase price: $8.75 (List $14.99)
Games of 2018 - Valiant Hearts: The Great War
In the end, Valiant Hearts is anything but light hearted

Valiant Hearts: The Great War is fantastic. The gameplay is pretty simple. It is an adventure game where I controlled a character to explore an environment to solve puzzles. What makes the game unique is the atmosphere. The music fills in the tone and mood of the game. A boss fight is cast in a more lighthearted aspect, because of the music. I found myself surrounded by death and destruction, but the music lifts the mood. The graphics also contribute to the atmosphere. They are very storybook style, and whimsical. Valiant Hearts, which follows four people in Europe during World War I, should be sad, but its presentation kept the mood light for the most part. As I got closer to the end of the game, the cheeriness of the music became gloomy, and the graphics took a dark turn. Ubisoft Montipillier, who also made Rayman Legends, is a true master of music and art style.

Fun: The Add-on to the Sequel

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider (PC)

Release date:                  9/15/2017
Number of hours played: 24.25
Number of achievements earned: 30/30 (100%)
Number of screenshots taken: 34
Acquisition date: 11/23/2017
Acquired from: Steam
Purchase price: $14.99 (List $29.99)
Games of 2018 - Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
Let’s find out if robots can die

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is more Dishonored. I have too much fun with these games. Death of the Outsider is a standalone DLC, but it is basically an add-on to Dishonored 2. It is more exploring and stealth-gameplay goodness. It follows a different protagonist, while expanding on the lore of the Outsider, which has been mysteriously shrouded in past games and DLC. Reaching the conclusion of the mystery is kind of bittersweet. The Outsider has always been intriguing in past games, and it was fun to speculate about him. However, it is satisfying to finally get straight answers about him in Death of the Outsider. If you are a fan of the series, definitely pick this one up. If you have never played any of the games of the series, pick up the first two games; they are on sale quite often, and they are some of my favorite games of all time.

Stealthing Around In Wet, Skintight Suits

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PC)

Release date:                  12/18/2014
Number of hours played: 2.75
Number of achievements earned: 2/16 (13%)
Number of screenshots taken: 8
Acquisition date: 11/27/2016
Acquired from: Steam
Purchase price: NA (purchased in bundle)
Games of 2018 - Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
Snake ass

I wanted to play Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, but I decided I should play the prequel mission, Ground Zeroes, first. Ground Zeroes really turned me off to Metal Gear Solid V. It has been a long time since I have played through Metal Gear Solid 1 and 2; a few years ago I watched one of those YouTube “Game Movies” for Metal Gear Solid 3. Ground Zeroes just threw me in the middle of the lore. I had no idea what was going on, or who all of these characters were, let alone why I should care about them. I really felt disconnected from the story. It is kind of my fault, because I do not remember much about the series.

I also did not like the gameplay, even when I ignored the story. Normally I love stealth gameplay, but Ground Zeroes does not support the kind of stealth that I enjoy. I enjoy sneaking around, and knocking people out. It is possible to do that in Ground Zeroes, but enemies wake up quickly. I ended up just shooting them with my silenced weapon. I am okay with that type of stealth as well. However, my silencer broke, and I could not find another one. No more stealth for me. I just went guns blazing, and it is not a fun way to play Metal Gear Solid games in general. Between the story and gameplay, Ground Zeroes turned me off of playing Phantom Pain. I might play it someday, but it will not be anytime soon.

Super Serious

The Beginner’s Guide (PC)

Release date:                  10/1/2015
Number of hours played: 1.75
Number of achievements earned: NA
Number of screenshots taken: 19
Acquisition date: 12/28/2015
Acquired from: Steam
Purchase price: $5.99 (List $19.99)
Games of 2018 - The Beginner’s Guide
Yes. Like, “Where the fuck is the rest of the environment?”

The Beginner’s Guide is made by one of the developers of The Stanley Parable. The Stanley Parable ties the dialog to the player’s actions. It has a greater commentary about the state of choices in video games, while also being incredibly funny. It is a very easy game to recommend to people.

The Beginner’s Guide is difficult to recommend. It is not a funny game. It is basically a walking simulator with a narrator. Like The Stanley Parable, the narrator commentates about the mindset of a creator, and the need for outside recognition. Later, it develops a deeper commentary, which I will not spoil. I respect the developer for accomplishing what they set out to do, but it is not for me.

Longest Title

Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist (PC)

Release date:                  12/4/2015
Number of hours played: 1.5
Number of achievements earned: 1/6 (17%)
Number of screenshots taken: 9
Acquisition date: 3/6/2018
Acquired from: Steam
Purchase price: $0.00 (List $0.00)
Games of 2018 - Dr. Langeskov
Yes I did, and now everything appears to be on fire

Dr. Langeskov is made by the other creator of the The Stanley Parable. If you like funny video games, and you have thirty minutes, download Dr. Langeskov from Steam; it is free. The game is a funny take on how video games work. I will not spoil anything, because there is nothing stopping you from downloading this game and playing it. It is a short game, but it does have some replay value if you can get the achievements to work; I could not.

A Little Bit of Feels with Your Violence

God of War (2018) (PS4)

Release date:                  4/20/2018
Number of hours played: 59.25
Number of achievements earned: 37/37 (100%)
Number of screenshots taken: 254
Acquisition date: 4/20/2018
Acquired from: Amazon
Purchase price: $47.99 (List $59.99)
Games of 2018 - God of War (2018)
Now, Kratos has face on his boot

I love the God of War series. When I saw the reveal trailer with Kratos walking through a snow covered forest with a child, I could not contain my excitement for the newest installment. The trailer left me with questions, of course, but I thought a reboot would be a good thing for the series. Later, I learned that the new God of War is not a reboot with a new Kraots; it is a continuation of Kratos’s story after leaving Greece! My excitement levels filled the charts.

There is so much I love about the new God of War. The combat is the best in any video game I have ever played. When Kratos swings or throws his axe, I feel it as a player. It has weight to it. I can spend several paragraphs writing about the combat alone, but I will not in this post. Cory Barlog crafted an outstanding story with his team at SIE Santa Monica Studios. It really refreshed the character of Kratos, without throwing away everything from the original games. I am looking forward to replaying this game.

Nubbiest Nub

Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)

Release date:                  11/13/2011
Number of hours played: 20
Number of achievements earned: NA
Number of screenshots taken: 55
Acquisition date: 12/9/2017
Acquired from: Target
Purchase price: $29.99 (List $29.99)
Games of 2018 - Super Mario 3D Land
Fireball, bitch!

I was excited to dive into Super Mario 3D Land. I heard nothing but good things about it. But, just like Super Mario 3D World for the WiiU, 3D Land left me unsatisfied. It is just a worse version of 3D World. The biggest cause of disappointment is the 3DS’s nub; it does not lend itself well to 3D platforming. I died so many times, because the nub misinterpreted the direction I meant to go. In later “Special” levels, I played through remixed versions of earlier levels. These “Special” levels might include something like “complete the level in 30 seconds” while allowing me to gain 10 seconds for each enemy I killed. Some of these levels are 3D platforming at its finest. For example, when the level is designed perfectly for a speed run, I could quickly platform my way through a level, and smoothly kill enemies without losing momentum. These “Special” levels can also be platforming at their worst. Shadow Mario spawns on some of these levels, and shadowed my every move. When he catches up, I die. This sucks on levels where I was waiting for a platform to move towards me, but I am also fighting the clock and the damn nub. I ended up beating the game with five stars, although, I can say it was painful to do. It is more than I did with 3D World.

Disappointing Nostalgia

RARE Replay: Perfect Dark (XOne)

Release date:                  8/4/2015
Number of hours played: 9.5
Number of achievements earned: 3/20 (15%)
Number of screenshots taken: 12
Acquisition date: 11/27/2015
Acquired from: Amazon
Purchase price: $19.99 (List $24.99)
Games of 2018 - RARE Replay: Perfect Dark
This is just a pretty screenshot

I have a lot of nostalgia for Perfect Dark. I had never beaten Perfect Dark on the Nintendo 64, but have attempted the feat every couple of years. The same thing happens every time I tried to play it: I would play for an hour or two, and then just lose interest. With the RARE Replay version on Xbox One, I decided to make it to the end.

During the first hour or two, nostalgia kicked into high gear; I was having a blast. After a few hours, I realized I was just running down a corridor, enemies would pop up, and I killed the enemies; rinse and repeat. It is your standard first person shooter during the N64 era of games. However, the gameplay gets stale quickly. I persevered, and finally beat it! There is a lot to like about the game. The weapons are still unique to this day. The story is bizarre, while offering a little bit of incentive to continue with the repetitive gameplay. I wanted to complete all of the missions on higher difficulties, but I cannot bring myself to do it; the gameplay is just too repetitive. I finished the story this time, and that is good enough for me.

Best Modern Classic Point and Click Adventure Game

Broken Age (PC)

Release date:                  4/28/2015
Number of hours played: 8.75
Number of achievements earned: 31/45 (69%)
Number of screenshots taken: 85
Acquisition date: 6/28/2014
Acquired from: Steam
Purchase price: $8.49 (List $24.99)
Games of 2018 - Broken Age
Gary is a prick… and a spoon

Broken Age released in two parts. Part one released in 2014, and part two released in 2015. I decided to wait to play it when the game was completed… then I waited a few more years. Tim Schafer and his team at Double Fine Productions knows a thing to two about classic point and click adventure games. Monkey Island, one of my all-time favorite games, was created by Tim. So, when he went to Kickstarter for an adventure game, I became interested. I did not contribute to the Kickstarter. There was some controversy, but both parts of the game were finally released. A documentary is also free on YouTube, which I highly recommend watching if you are interested in video game development.

The game is funny, well voice acted, and has everything I expect from a classic adventure game. I think the first half of the game is better than the second half. The first part has the perfect balance of story and puzzles. The puzzles are a little on the easy side, but I did not mind; I suck at figuring out classic point and click puzzles. The second half is where things start to get bogged down. The story is still great, but the pacing is slower, which was odd as I moved closer to a conclusion. Part of the problem is the puzzles start to feel like padding, and can be outright frustrating. A simple hint system, like the one implemented in the Monkey Island remasters, would have gone a long way. Overall, the story is charming and the conclusion is very satisfying. The voice cast is impressive. I cannot think of anyone better to play Shay than Elijah Wood. If you like old school point and click adventure games this game will satisfy that itch.

Best Exploration Gun

Prey (2017) (PC)

Release date:                  5/5/2017
Number of hours played: 58.25
Number of achievements earned: 48/48 (100%)
Number of screenshots taken: 152
Acquisition date: 11/23/2017
Acquired from: Steam
Purchase price: $19.99 (List $39.99)
Games of 2018 - Prey

Similar to the Dishonored series, the new Prey is an immersive sim. Usually, I play immersive sims all stealthy-like, and nonlethal. Not Prey. No, I entered each new room with my shotgun locked a loaded. Each new enemy met my shotgun/combat focus combo with prompt death. Prey should be a scary game. The music is eerie, which leaves the space station feeling desolate. If I were weak in the game, then the aliens would be something to fear. However, I always had the choice to kill them dead, and to show those monsters who should really be afraid of who!

Talos I, the space station in Prey, has so much to explore. Each area has loot just waiting around to be pilfered. It was important for me to pilfer said loot; it allowed me to craft more ammo and upgrade my abilities. The jump in the game is one of my favorite things about it. It can be upgraded to add a little extra boost and glide to it. Exploration is a lot of fun. If I could see it, then I could find a way to reach it. Overall, I got all of the achievements, because I loved spending time on Talos I.

Worst Database Search Engine; Thought Provoking Story

Her Story (PC)

Release date:                  7/24/2015
Number of hours played: 5.75
Number of achievements earned: 13/13 (100%)
Number of screenshots taken: 12
Acquisition date: 6/23/2016
Acquired from: Steam
Purchase price: $2.99 (List $5.99)
Games of 2018 - Her Story
It’s a L.O.G.I.C. Database system! I know this!

I completed Her Story in a few hours, but I was still thinking about it days later. It is a story centric game with very simple gameplay. I played as a person watching interviews recorded during a police investigation. The videos for the interviews are split up in a database. Each video only contains the response of the person being interviewed; I did not get to hear the questions asked by the police. Each video is a few seconds long, with a couple exceptions being a few minutes. I could only view the video clips by searching for a word or phrase transcribed from the video. For example, if I searched for the word “murder,” the database would return all of the videos where the interviewee said the word “murder.” The catch is the database only returns the first five videos. If my search returned more than five results I had to use a different word or phrase to view the remaining videos.

It is an interesting gameplay mechanic, but it does not make Her Story stand out. The mystery of the murder grabbed my attention. The point of watching these videos is to find out the interviewee’s story; her story. I did not hear her story in order. Instead, I got bits and pieces from the various stories she tells. After completing the game, I was still thinking about the story. The story comes to a satisfying conclusion, but does leave some loose ends that had me filling in the blanks. It is an interesting concept, and makes the game easy to recommend.

Orangiest Game

Firewatch (PC)

Release date:                  2/9/2016
Number of hours played: 4
Number of achievements earned: 8/10 (80%)
Number of screenshots taken: 41
Acquisition date: 6/23/2018
Acquired from: Steam
Purchase price: $4.99 (List $19.99)
Games of 2018 - Firewatch
So pretty… so orange…

The art style is the first thing that stands out in Firewatch. It is bright, and uses a lot of yellows and oranges. During the game I spent my time in the same forest, but the art style allows the environment to feel different as days turn into nights, and the fire gets closer with each day. It feels like a different environment as time progresses. The game is mostly just two people talking to each other over the radio. There are some minor gameplay puzzles, but not much. The dialog between the player character, Henry, and Delilah unravels an interesting story, while also diving into the backstory of Henry. It is easy to recommend to both hardcore and casual players.

The Best and the Worst

Transistor (PC)

Release date:                  5/21/2014
Number of hours played: 7
Number of achievements earned: 10/33 (30%)
Number of screenshots taken: 113
Acquisition date: 11/1/2014
Acquired from: Steam
Purchase price: $14.98 (List $29.99)
Games of 2018 - Transistor
Look, a reefer in the wild

Transistor is Supergiant’s second game. Bastion, their first, has one of the best video game soundtracks. Bastion is also known for its narrator. Transistor continues both of these trends. The soundtrack is out of this world, and the narration is top notch. The art style is absolutely gorgeous. I spent a lot of time just studying the backgrounds, and gawking at the animations of the environment. I was thrust in the middle of the story, which is a little disorientating. Once I caught up and filled in the blanks, the story started to grip me. It is satisfying to learn about the main character and how the world ends up in such a disastrous state.

I did not like the combat. I could attack in real-time, but it was difficult to play this way. Instead, I could pause time and queue up attacks, similar to Fallout’s VATs system. Abilities take up memory, so I was limited to how many and what attacks I could use. The game rewards experimentation by chaining together different abilities. It is interesting, but takes a lot of time to get used to. Because of the combat, I became very familiar with the unique death system. You do not die if you lose all your health; instead you lose one of your combat abilities. This sucks early in the game when I did not have very many abilities; actually, it sucks in general. I found it easier to restart from a previous checkpoint if I lost all my health instead of continuing without that ability. You do get your ability back after finding two access points, but it is a bitch later on to find them. Overall, I liked the game despite disliking some of the game’s aspects.

Biggest Money Sink

Hellgate: London (PC)

Release date:                  10/31/2007
Number of hours played: 37.5
Number of achievements earned: NA
Number of screenshots taken: 248
Acquisition date: 10/31/2007
Acquired from: Gamestop
Purchase price: $209.99 (List $49.99)
Games of 2018 - Hellgate: London
My Carnagor has way too many “R’s” in its name

Originally, I was going to write an entire blog post on Hellgate: London. It was going to be a retrospective piece, and I might still do it. However, I ran into an issue where I could not remember why I liked the game. I decided to replay it. I installed my old DVD copy of the game, downloaded the latest patches, and installed some mod patches from Hellgate Revival to bring the game up to multiplayer patch levels. Even with all that installed the game still has a ton of bugs. The game crashed if I played it for more than a couple of hours at a time. I would get stuck often. The randomly generated levels create the same corridors over and over, and the level skins get boring fast. The summoner class is still under powered, which makes soloing the game feel grindy. The story is interesting, but so poorly told; it is literally told through unvoiced dialog boxes!

However, there is an addictive gameplay loop here. Level up, get cool skills, get better loot, fight harder enemies, repeat. After all, Hellgate: London was created by some of the best action RPG designers in the industry. The gameplay loop is what really kept me playing. I cannot recommend it to anyone, but it does hold a special place in my heart. If you so desire to play it, it was just released on Steam.

More Important Than the End or the Start

Journey (PS4)

Release date:                  7/21/2015
Number of hours played: 2.25
Number of achievements earned: 1/14 (7%)
Number of screenshots taken: 133
Acquisition date: 9/18/2016
Acquired from: Playstation Store
Purchase price: $0.00 (List $14.99)
Games of 2018 - Journey
Dashing through the snow…

Journey made me smile. I was genuinely smiling with joy at times during my own journey with the game. The art style is charming, the movement is whimsical, and the music perfectly complements the gameplay. I do not have a lot to say about the game, because it would just spoil it. Everyone should play Journey.

Definitely (Not) the Best Game from 2010

Darksiders: Warmastered Edition (PC)

Release date:                  11/29/2016
Number of hours played: 24.5
Number of achievements earned: 33/43 (77%)
Number of screenshots taken: 124
Acquisition date: 6/11/2015
Acquired from: Steam
Purchase price: $6.00 (List $29.99)
Games of 2018 - Darksiders
War just looks badass on his horse

Darksiders is a weird cross between The Legend of Zelda with the original God of War. It is a product of 2010, unsurprisingly. Playing the game again in 2018 was kind of jarring, especially after playing the new God of War. The combat does not feel as responsive as it should be. I died a lot at the beginning of the game while I got used to it. Once I reverted to my 2010 gaming ways I got better at the game, but it did highlight something for me: action games have really improved in the past five to ten years.

Darksiders is not a bad game; I loved playing it again. I am a big fan of the Legend of Zelda, so the dungeons in Darksiders 1 are a lot of fun. I love apocalyptic lore, so a game that does a “four horseman of the apocalypse” story is aces in my book, and Darksiders executes it well. I love the comic book art style of the series, and Mark Hamil as a voice actor in the first game is a treat. I am looking forward to replaying Darksiders 2 as well. I am definitely glad I am replaying the series before Darksiders 3.

2018 Summary:

Total number of games played:       24 (Diablo III, Minecraft, 
  Mario Kart 8 did not make this list)
Total number of hours: 422.5ish (Minecraft not tracked)
Oldest game played: Super Mario World (8/13/1991)
Newest game played: God of War (4/20/2018)
Total Number of gaming sessions: 202ish (Minecraft not tracked)
Game with most achievements earned: Rise of the Tomb Raider - 92/143
Favorite game to Platinum: Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
Game with most hours played: God of War (2018) - 59.25 hours
Total spent: $429.00 (Hellgate kinda messes up
this number)
Personal game of the year: God of War (2018)

I really put a dent in my backlog. I played one game I bought in 2013; two games from 2014. A whopping five games bought in 2015! Three games purchased from 2016. And another five from 2017. I replayed Super Mario World and Hellgate: London. On top of all that, I also played three new games from 2018.

The industry is just as healthy as it was last year. AAA single player games, like God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and Red Dead Redemption 2 (although it has a multiplayer), are all critically acclaimed and sold well. Monster Hunter: World, normally a very niche series, broke into the mainstream. Indie games like Celeste, Dead Cells, and Into the Breach are all getting their due praise. Tons of multiplayer options for players, like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, released in 2018. Fortnite and Destiny 2 continues to expand their content well beyond their original releases. No matter your tastes you can find a game that fits your style.

I think the biggest problem for the industry is finding games. So many gems get buried. Developers might not have the marketing budget, or the game does not hit the right algorithms to get recommended. I saw a game mentioned on Reddit, and looked it up. It looked cool, and I thought for sure I would remember it later. When I went to look into it some more I forgot the name. I got home, and tried to find it. I thought I knew about when the release date was. I opened up the Steam store, sorted by date, and boy was I overwhelmed. Hundreds of games released each month. As I was going through the titles, I actually saw games that I had never heard of, but looked interesting. Granted, there are a lot of games that are in early access, or they are just shitty games, but it is surprising how many games with positive user reviews fall through the cracks.

I think I am going to start doing something different next year. At the end of each month, I will load up Steam, and go through every game released the previous month, and add any games that catch my interest to my wish list. Maybe you will see some of those games in next year’s “Games of” post.

Thank you for taking the time to read. I put in a lot of work on this post. All of the statistics are tracked manually, even though Steam does some of the work. I think the statistics add some context when determining if I liked a game or not. As you can see I capture a lot of screenshots. Finding the right screenshot to share in this post can be a difficult thing, but I like it. I hope you enjoyed reading this post. May your life be filled with fun games in 2019.


Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *