2019 and gaming for me...

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I feel like I bounced off more games than I finished in 2019, so in turn, I don't feel like a top 10 or 5 would be appropriate for me. Instead, I'm going to talk about games I played, both new and old-ish, their design and why I bounced off them (if I did indeed bounce off them).

Death Stranding: Total Play Time 10-ish Hours

Gotta hand it to Kojima for conveying 'gamers' as reclusive, anthropophobic, Monster Energy guzzling, grizzled men and for having the theme of the game revolve around building connections to others. In all seriousness, I dig the theme of this game so far; a world that seemingly fell apart due to technology taking over face time with people and the idea that rebuilding society so that it could seemingly go back to the way it was might not be the best answer is totally up my alley. I'm gonna come back to this one for 2020, the reason I kinda slept over it is because the loneliness and balancing weight mechanics weren't up my alley, but not too bad that I would stop playing it.

Darksiders 3: Total Play Time 4-ish Hours

It's like a Dark Souls, but without the combat variety. It's like a Zelda, but without the cool puzzles and dungeons. I stopped playing this one because I beat the Greed boss because he got stuck in a pillar, which allowed me to whip him to death. I felt like I cheated the game. Not gonna come back to this. Thank God for game pass.

The Crew 2: Total Play Time I Dunno...

I made a blogish post about this game sometime ago and the game just continues to baffle me in that they possibly made the biggest open world game ever and it's more empty and lonely than Death Stranding. At the same time, I like the racing, bar the rubber banding because the track design and the creativity is well done. I /might/ come back next year if there's an update or something.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint: Total Play Time 20-ish hours

I spent more time in this rubbish than Death Stranding. I like open world stealth shooters (well except MGS5, which makes me the devil apparently) so I'm a sucker for these things, even the bad ones. I think i made it through 3/4ths of the story before calling it quits. I feel bad because I doubt we'll get a true single-player(ish) open world stealth survival shooter that isn't Fallout 4 survival. Ah well. I could talk more about how the game was made for money's sake more than anything and how that reflects in its design, but nah. Skip it.

Mass Effect 1&2: Completed, Total Play Time 30-40ish (1) 50-ish (2) Hours

I skipped the side quests in Mass Effect 1 so I could quickly get to Mass Effect 2, which was a little jarring considering my Shephard knew who Cerberus was in the second game despite never meeting them in the first game (they were mentioned in a side quest in the first game). Despite me not liking the controls on PC and having issues getting them to run for some reason, I liked playing through these games again. Since I don't have Premium on the site, seeing Alex play through them and having them cordoned off from me got me wanting to see these games again. These games are ambitious for wanting to tell a large scale galaxy story with personal moments, but I feel that technology here wasn't up to snuff in terms of facial animations and combat flow. It needed to be more tactical or more bombastic, in my opinion. Andromeda, with its poor facial animations, empty sandbox worlds, and lack of meaningful personal stories aside, at least chose the latter in terms of its combat design and was better for it. I hope this franchise comes back, or rather, I hope Bioware can come back and make something great. I'm not sure I want another Mass Effect, but something grand, yet personal could make for something special. Perhaps leave the end of the world plot out, though.

Other games I played this year that I don't feel like writing much about:

The Outer Worlds (completed, but was unimpressed, it's a weaker New Vegas)
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (played this with friends a lot, not much else to say)
Red Dead 2 (completed, good when it isn't being a Rockstar game, bad when it is, which is too often)

And the reason I made this blog (and my GOTY) is:

WOW Classic: God Knows How Many Hours

I'm not a very sociable person, but I don't consider myself an asshole. I like helping people, which is why I tend to choose the healer role in games that have such a role. Part of me not being a very sociable person is my fault. We're all human, we all make mistakes and figuring out things is hard. My philosophy is that since we all suffer, why not ease it? The world can be a mean, cruel place, so let's make the best of it.

My very best gaming moments of the year are with this game. I grouped up with people, made friends, and tackled Wailing Caverns, Ragefire Chasm and those damn elite quests. Of the hundreds of times I grouped up with people over the course of the year, I may have had one bad experience, sure (that Ogre elite quest in Redridge Mountains), but that made the good times stick out more. We wiped in Wailing Caverns because of a mob that ran away and pulled too much, but we didn't yell at each other, we grinned and laughed. These were complete strangers, mind you. I have so many examples of people just helping each other, whether it be Mages giving food and drink to people, to buffing each other based on our class roles and thanking. Every class is unique and can bring something the other can't to the table, which I find good game design, even with the drawbacks.

Now is everyone who plays WoW friendly? Nope. But the assholes I feel don't get as much traction as those who want to help. The world is an asshole, let's work together and make the best of it. One of the reasons I don't like retail is the lack of community and the lack of threat the world in World of Warcraft has to offer. People can be cruel, but if there's good, there's hope. All the trolls in WoW and online gaming combined can't take away the good experience I had with people in this game. Granted, I only played PvE servers, so I can't comment on PvP, but on PvE, I had a great time.

I started out this blog post with Death Stranding, which couldn't be a coincidence, a game about the joys of forging connections and I end it with WoW classic, a game where I did forge connections. WoW classic is awesome because people are awesome. And if you're reading this, you're awesome. Happy 2020!