I played a couple games last year but mostly replayed some games to settle my mind. THOUGHTS AHEAD.
Last year, I took a look back at my Top 5 gaming moments as a good alternative to a true Top 5 ranking. In what’s probably a self-serving situation, I’m back at doing it again because of what felt like a 2020 Part Deux throughout 2021. I spent time early in the year catching up on 2020 gaming but also going back in time for comfort gaming. Towards the end of the year, I finally started getting into more truly recent gaming. So with that, my Top 5 gaming moments:
5. Game Pass Ultimate Making it Easy
I’ve had Xbox Live Gold for years and years, but I haven’t necessarily taken much advantage of it. This year, I decided to switch it up to Game Pass Ultimate and man has it fit my style much more – even if I’m incredibly late to the party. Having limited time to spend on games, it’s been a lot easier to jump into games without stressing so much about dropping the full money on each, especially if I’m not going to have time to finish it or just end up not caring about it. But recently, it kind of tricked my mind into thinking I got Halo Infinite “for free” because I didn’t drop $60 directly on it). NOICE.
4. Revisiting the World of Mass Effect with New Perspectives
Mass Effect has been one of my favorite all time series, so I was pretty jazzed about the Legendary Edition. After revisiting the Bioshock trilogy in 2020, Mass Effect was a perfect one to come back to as well, especially with some of the DLC that I hadn’t played before. Similar to my Bioshock experience, it was great to experience the games with an older mindset. I understood the story to greater depths and could see the parallels with our world even clearer. The constant squabbling, the impacts of war, insidious politics, xenophobia, and more. It made me love the series all over again. Even the much maligned finale – not as bad as I remembered! I thought it was a total cop out originally, but now, eh, not the best, but not the absolute worst.
3. Getting Them Nook Miles through the GRIND
My tendency to be incredibly routine-based has been a good and bad thing throughout the pandemic, as it’s allowed me to find some normalcy but also dive way too deep into that. Tom Nook took FULL advantage of that when we picked up Animal Crossing: New Horizons early this year after finally getting a Switch. The simplicity of setting up my part of the island and decorating was fun, but the grind of menial tasks to generate Nook Miles was my absolute jam. Catch 5 fish? Done and redeemed. Take a pic? Boom, next. Over and over again. Nearly 200K Nook Miles later, I was spent. The grind just didn’t do it for me anymore, and I was a part of Animal Crossing’s Great Resignation. But ’twas fun while it lasted and something I can still go back to from time to time.
2. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Making Me Want to Wang Chung Tonight
Guardians was an absolute blast from Square Enix and a needed hit after last year’s Avengers game (you can read my thoughts in my review). But the fun absolutely extended into my music listening habits because I was hooked on this game’s soundtrack, possibly even more so than those of the movies. 80s bangers! And that they made an entire soundtrack from the fake band, Star-Lord? AND it’s good? I mean, come on. Hair metal perfection, baby.
1. Wave Break Absolutely Breaking Me and Probably Giving Me the Gaming Yips
This one gets top billing for being the worst gaming situation for me this year. I was meant to review this earlier this year. It was a challenge I wanted to take on because I’m not always good at racing games, but the premise was fun. Then I played the tutorial, a requirement for moving into the game itself. And then I played it again. And again. And again. I could NOT get past it. What the hell was wrong with me? I could swear I had the yips. It was like I forgot how to play video games. Such a situation had never happened to me and I had never felt so unconfident about a game. It was sad, especially for someone who has spent years reviewing games. I couldn’t ultimately review it for an obvious reason – I literally could never do enough to get out of the tutorial. The only time I had a chance to do something else was a free Weezer themed level that repeated the same song over and over. I believe this is a fluke, as nothing else made me suck this much at games. Maybe I can do it in 2022, but I’d rather smash my Switch.