Alex’s “Top 5 Games” of 2020

In a wild year full of ever changing items, something remained consistent for me in 2020: limited game time! Gaming took both a front seat and a back seat while I dealt with my end of the pandemic. Early on, I revisited some games I haven’t played in a long time. I reviewed a couple of games throughout, too, and sometimes used those games to just kill time with their repetitive nature. So, just like I did last year, I’m bringing back my “Top Games” by noting my TOp 5 Gaming Experiences with only a single twist.

Revising Rapture and Columbia with the BioShock Remastered Series

BioShock is one of my favorite games of all time and BioShock: Infinite gave me one of my personal favorite story reveals (on top of being a great game). I remember liking BioShock 2 enough, but I hadn’t played it since relief. It was wonderful to revisit the games so early on in the pandemic. It gave me a chance to get some good memories back when creeping around the halls of Rapture, but even get some new perspective on how Infinite worked in America’s racist past into its story.

Droning On and On with Marvel’s Avengers

This was one of the games I reviewed this year and, simply, it wasn’t very good. Even with the release of Kate Bishop’s DLC, it hasn’t gotten any better. I’ve read about all of the lost players, constantly slashed prices, and millions of lost dollars. But, what better for the monotony of quarantine than droning on and on within the game? Many of us have joked about living the same day over and over, and that’s basically what Avengers gives you. It’s the same AIM lab. It’s another clone of Abomination or Taskmaster. Then it’s that all over again. I spent a good few weeks after beating and reviewing the game going back to play the same type of missions. I at least used it to level up my Thor character. Was it for anything of note? No, but what the hell else was I going to do?

Feeling Horribly Uncomfortable with the Final Fight in The Last of Us Part II

Well, THAT was a game. I played through twice to get a Platinum trophy and it was well worth it. The game is fantastic, but I also recognize where it could have vastly improved it’s trans inclusion and its characterizations of both Ellie and Abby. That said, I enjoyed the story and the gaming experience – until the last fight between Ellie and Abby. The amount of savagery that you’re forced to enact on Abby just didn’t really hit me right. It wasn’t something that made me squeamish, but even with the darkness the two games had displayed, I still felt it was a little excessive.

The “SON OF A *&^@@$!!!” Moments of Fall Guys

I totally got caught up in the Fall Guys craze this year, decking out my Guy with a variety of costumes (currently rocking the Godzilla top). It’s a simple concept and, when the servers don’t crash with relative ease, it’s well executed in its simplicity. One of the added benefits of having the game was that it was one of the few my wife would play, too, so we had plenty of fun getting stressed or annoyed that we missed moving on because of that bastard or this a-hole. Nothing like marital bonding over hating multiplayer gaming!

Miles Morales/Spider-Man Being Called “Mi Hijo” in Spider-Man: Miles Morales

This is a hugely personal, very specific thing for me that I’d like to share. Growing up, my parents, but mostly my mom, would call me mijo (and still do). It translates to son and can often be a term of endearment for a special, younger presence in one’s life. It’s always just been one of those small things I find special, but at the same time, I’m just used to hearing. Then I played Miles Morales.

Overall, I loved the addition. It added a ton of Miles-specific flavor to the franchise and I loved being able to rock the Spider-Verse costume. But at one point in the game, Rio Morales uses the term mi hijo, the non-conjuction version of mijo, when she’s talking with Miles. I had to stop for a moment to collect myself. I guess I had felt seen? I felt represented? I’m not sure. But what I do know is that after years of loving Spider-Man, costuming as Spider-Man for Halloween or Disney races, and the times my mom was there at the end, calling me that. This was the first time I heard Spider-Man being called mijo. It immediately sent me into “I miss my mom” mode. Damn you, pandemic.

So, will anything change in 2021? Maybe! But we know how that old thing called “hope” goes. Let’s just see how things shake out, yeah?