2019 in gaming for this stay at home dad

OK so I know that we do top tens here on GB but I became a father in march so my game time whittled away to basically nothing. What follows are the games i DID get to play, or at least put any real time into. Possible spoilers? Also these aren't in order. So anyway here's my 2019 in gaming.

List items

  • Oh my god, this game. I am an absolute sucker for everything fromsoft has put out since I bought a copy of Demons' Souls to play on my friends ps3 (i did not own the console at the time). I loved Dark Souls once it hit PC and was at playable FPS. I dropped $400 on a PS4 for Bloodborne because I HAD to have it. I even like Dark Souls 2 despite the reused ideas and poor presentation (best NG+ of the soulsborne games though). There just isn't anything quite like them. Well at least there used to be nothing like them until the soulslikes came along.

    But Sekiro took a step off to the side to be a wildly different fromsoft game. Gone was the european medieval setting of Darksouls, or the english town of Bloodborne. Gone was the slow methodical combat. Yes you still had a tough learning curve and you took a steep penalty for death, but Sekiro demanded more from its players. For the first time you needed reflexes on top of managing enemy patterns and limiting encounters to 1-2 enemies or else you were SMOKED. For the first time your character had speed and mobility and you were expected to use them, or pay the price.

    It can not be overstated how much I love the combat in Sekiro. I love the poise/parry mechanic, I love the sword play, and I love the prosthetic weapons. The stealth sections are great for making you feel like a badass (you can even stealth blow some bosses!) and the boss fights provided the most frustrating/exhilarating experiences of any fromsoft game. (i'm looking at you, Genichiro, Owl, and Isshin.) My heart was POUNDING whenever I beat any of these extremely challenging bosses.

    By the time the credits rolled, I immediately dove back in to complete the game a second time but life got in the way and I only got 50% through my second playthrough. I'd still like that platinum though...

  • I refused to touch this game since i'm not normally a card battler kinda guy. But between the fervent support on the site and the option to play it on PC gamepass, i gave it a shot and then became hopelessly engrossed. Reaching the spire on a great run and then actually winning is one of my favorite moments on 2019. The switch version was the perfect way to take my new addiction on the go and I cannot recommend it enough to anyone.

  • Metro 2033 and Last Light are amazing, story driven linear First-Person games. Exodus tweaks the formula by taking Artyom out of the tunnels of Moscow and into the vast open world of Mother Russia. The combat still isn't the best part of the game, but you have so many tools open to you and paths to take now with the new level design that it really opens up more options. You can go stealth, or pick people off with a sniper rifle, or go guns blazing. The story and world are what keeps me coming back to metro and exodus is no different.

  • Hey, Capcom literally gave people what they wanted, how weird is that? While I'm in the camp of "give me a sequel to RE7, you cowards", this was a welcome change of pace and a game that is easily beaten in a handful of hours with one character, so for me it was a blessing. The map system is probably the best of any game that i've seen and hope to see it in more future titles.

  • Parvati Holcomb is to videogames in 2019 that Baby Yoda is to Star Wars. I will kill anyone who tries to harm my adorable, ace, backwater genius mechanic. Yes i will spend thousands of dollars on a casserole so she can impress her crush. Yes I will take her out drinking to talk through her feelings (and make sure she drinks water). Parvati never left my company unless i needed a specific stat bonus in my crew. She is one of my all time favorite characters in a game in FOREVER and i literally shed tears of happiness when she and Junlei became a couple. Oh and the game is pretty sweet too.

  • Gears 5 is at times better than gears 4 but also almost as disappointing. They tried a lot of new stuff there, and i liked a lot of it, but the interesting bits are cleared up too early and the game ends just as abruptly as 4 did, with anoter 3-4 years of waiting until we get another game. Until the end, though I was having a really good time and the shift to a more personal story with quieter moments was greatly appreciated.

    The game is also probably the single most impressive thing i've seen on a console in quite some time. It's scary that other games i've played this year also ran on unreal engine and didn't look, or run, nearly as well. The Coalition is doing some great work over there.

  • If i was actually attempting a numbered list, Control and Sekiro would be battling for that #1 spot. It's the second game that i immediately kept playing after beating it (mostly because the story just keeps going). I love the world, i love the powers, the obvious David Lynch influences, the SCP/creepy-pasta tie ins. All of it. It is the absolute best work that remedy has put out and the upcoming content for the game has me BEYOND excited to see what they do with this world.

  • I didn't back the kickstarter (crowdfunding doesn't have the best reputation in videogames). But I was very excited to see what Igarashi would be able to do without being under the thumb of konami. And? well he made another castlevania game, it was a lot like an evolution of what he had been doing on the DS before leaving the company. I got the switch version and couldn't be happier. Outside of the visual downgrade, the game just ran at 30fps instead of 60 but otherwise played fine for me (load times were the only real issue on my end). Great game from a guy who is responsible for what i consider the golden age of castlevania games.

  • I'm not a massive fan of smash but worked at a place that had a pretty big smash community and ended up playing with my coworkers everyday at lunch. They even gave me some eshop cards so i could buy my own copy when i left to be a stay at home dad.

  • I have the PSVR, it's cool for some experiences (astrobot is delightful) but the setup is SUPER annoying if you don't leave the thing plugged in all the time (i don't). oh and my move controllers are from the PS3 days and no longer hold a charge.

    Enter the Oculus Quest. I got this for my birthday this year and was completely blown away. No wires, just the headset and 2 controllers. You need a phone for setup but it took no time to get in and start playing some games in my small computer/office space.

    They also added the oculus link beta so i can play PCVR games too which is just an added bonus. SO below are some VR games that i've been playing a lot of.

  • almost broke a vase in my house trying to throw a ninja star at a dude. Super hot is really cool, and a great example of roomscale VR and the quest's ability to do full tracking without extra sensors or equipment.

  • I got to play beat saber once at a convention and really liked it, so naturally it was one of the first things i grabbed for my quest. This version is also compatible with custom tracks so there's thousands of songs out there and loading them on to the quest is easy.

  • I don't feel like this love letter to Alien gets nearly the love it deserves. It's one of my favorite games, and definitely the best Alien game, period. It also has a VR mod that is absolutely terrifying. totally worth checking out if you have a compatible headset. Oh and the switch port is really great. Really, just play this game already, it's on everything and deserves to be played.

  • It's quake, but in VR. it's super fast and might make you sick, but if you can stomach it getting to play this classic in full VR with motion aiming should not be missed.