Fakey's 2018 Games of the Year
2018 was a pretty good year for me, with games. I didn't play as much as I'd like, still, but I had some good peace around what I could play and what I did spend my time on. I'm hoping to have a little more energy in 2019 to play longer sessions with some games, and finally introduce my kids to games (I have very particular thoughts about when kids should start playing video games and spending very much time in front of screens, based on research, but, don't worry, I won't go into that). :D
I didn't feel quite as left in the dust this year, for whatever reason, though there are new games I didn't play that I wanted to, games from the last few years I still haven't played, and games on consoles I still don't own that I really want to play...
But, anyway, away we go!
I know this is a really weird one to have in a 2018 list, but the hype around Origins prompted me to start catching up in the series, from where I left off. I enjoyed Rogue more than I thought I would, and I definitely recommend it to anyone that wants to play more AC (the few of us there may be...). The controls work well (better than some of the other AC games), and it is more bite-sized than the other AC games, which means it is more focused. I also enjoyed having an Irish protagonist, though I'd still love an AC game set in Ireland in the medieval Celtic time period.
I really wanted to love this game, and there were definitely parts of it that pulled my my heart strings, but parts of the gameplay were frustrating, and parts of the story even hit a little too flat to make this as powerful as something like Edith Finch (which I did love). Still, if you like smaller games with depressing/heartfelt stories, Blackwood can be worth a play through.
This is the year I finally got to Deadly Premonition, and while I don't really have anything new to say that hasn't been said many times, I'll just say that there were definitely parts of the game I liked and a few I liked a lot. I was mostly counting the hours until I finished it, because it was very hard to get running consistently on PC without crashing too often, the controls are atrocious, and some of the pacing just really got to me, especially when I felt I was simultaneously wasting time I didn't know how to wisely spend due to the cryptic side mission system. I wish I could have seen all the side content, but the work to do so was just too much for a game that fought me the entire time between the crashing and bad controls. If this game got a good remake (not remaster), it could be a really great game, for sure.
I enjoyed my time with StarCraft II, which I really stretched out, mainly because strategy games don't fit into my life very easily anymore, due to the time and focus they take. I really liked a lot of the LotV campaign, but the SC story has always been cheesy, and that has worn on me more and more. I am going to play through the Nova missions early this year so I can finally uninstall SC2 after having it installed for years on my hard drive.
I feel a little bad labeling this game as "Disappointing," but it is entirely a personal thing. I really liked the first Emily is Away, which replicated my most nostalgic internet experience and had music I identified more with. However, I actually identified with the story of Emily is Away Too more, which really mirrored a relationship I once had. If I could replace the story of the first game with the story of "Too," and just leave all the music and design of the first game, it would be one of the most powerful nostalgia, young love/heartbreak experiences I've ever experienced based on how closely it would strike many chords with me.
I haven't finished Sunset Overdrive, yet, but based on the first third of the game, I can already tell this is where it belongs on my list, unfortunately... I almost bought an XBOX ONE for this game, and I waited (mostly without hope) for it to come on PC, as one of my most anticipated ports. However, when I finally got it, it didn't live up to my expectations, at all. I was hoping it would make me feel similar to how I did when Jet Grind Radio first came out, grinding and doing tricks around a city in a way I liked even more than the Tony Hawk series (though I did love the first few Hawk games). However, Sunset Overdrive just doesn't make me feel as competent as I want with the controls, making me feel like I'm fumbling more than succeeding, and the characters and story are grating the majority of the time. The more I play, I am getting better, but it still just doesn't feel very fluid or fun.
New Games that I didn't get to (but could have been contenders)
2018 was the year I thought I'd buy a new 4K TV and PS4, but I didn't (mostly because I had to do some expensive work on my house... I hate home ownership...)