How did it get to be the end of the year already? Didn’t I just write a game of the year list for 2021? Instead of game of the year, here’s a list of games that occupied my precious gaming time in 2022!
Final Fantasy VI (Pixel Remaster)
This was the last of the Pixel Remasters to come out and it was well worth the wait. The full orchestral score and all of the amazing nostalgia of an amazing SNES game. This game has one of the most compelling and complex stories, especially given its time. Knowing everything that was coming and having played through multiple times, it still was worth every moment – with the crowning experience going to the fully voiced Aria scene in the Opera House. If you haven’t played the classic Final Fantasy games, this is an excellent place to start your journey.
Deep Rock Galactic
Deep Rock Galactic has continued to impress with additional seasons, more new weapons, and all the same dwarven glory. This happens to be the third time DRG has been on my GOTY list, and probably won’t be the last. Why aren’t you playing it right now? FOR KARL!
Vampire Survivors is a quick game on the surface. The main idea is to survive for 30 minutes with weapons and kit randomly given to you every time you level up. This game keeps pulling you back in though with depth – weapons can evolve with the right combination of item, or other weapons, there’s also unlockables and buffs! This game has all the right things to get you hooked if you enjoy idle games, roguelikes, or bullet hell games, all of which have my number.
Record of Lodoss War-Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth-
Having no history of any Lodoss War game, I bought this on a lark. It has some story, but nothing too deep. It really scratches that Castlevania itch – gameplay reminds me exactly of Symphony of the Night. The bosses are vicious, but very pattern oriented. I’m glad this game doesn’t have a death counter that I’m aware of, because each boss battle has killed me at least twice. I haven’t beaten this one yet, but it is fun to play in half hour chunks and make a little progression.
Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 3 Professional
This is the most recent installment in the Dragon Quest Monsters series of games. It hits all too familiar elements, save the world from certain peril, pass exams to unlock new abilities. But the world feels fresh and there is plenty to explore.
On top of that is the ever present monster breeding system. I had to stop some of my monster progression because I was keeping pages upon pages of graph paper with lineage traced out to get the monsters I was looking for. What the Professional version brings to the table is a whole extra campaign based on the world of the Incarnus, post game content galore. Well worth going through the game a second time just to get to it.
Final Fantasy Randomizer
Does it count for game of the year if it’s the same game over and over again just with items placed in random locations? I say so! Final Fantasy 1 randomizer occupied a lot of my time this year. It’s comfortable, relatively short (can complete it in about two hours), and infinitely replayable.
Randomizing Final Fantasy also makes for an excellent course in frustration tolerance – when you start a new game and imps have NUKE or ZAP! to wipe out your entire party without you having a chance to survive, all you can do is trudge on and pray to RNGsus!