My 2019 in Gaming

After seeing Belghast (Tales of the Aggronaut) do it, at the beginning of the year, I created a spreadsheet to help me keep track of all the games I played. Here are the categories I landed on:

  • Own – Easy enough: games I own (and intend to play) but haven’t played yet.
  • Playing – Games I am currently playing.
  • On Hold – Games I was playing that I have placed on hold. I mostly used this one to feel slightly better about games I knew I was going to drop.
  • Finished – Games where I felt like I got all I wanted to get out of them. For the most, that meant some kind of end screen, but not always.
  • Dropped – Games that I stopped playing and never finished.
  • Wishlist – A category I used track games I wanted. I swore I would only buy games that had been on this wishlist for a month or more, but that quickly fell apart.

At the time of writing this, I am at 26 Own, 3 Playing, 1 On Hold, 16 Finished, 9 Dropped, and 5 Wishlist. We’ll ignore everything but Finished and Dropped for the rest of this post.

In order from least favorite to most, here are all the games I finished:

16. Alliance Alive HD (PS4, 2019)

Do not recommend. The wife said it wasn’t fair to include this game in the “finished” column since I quit it on the last possible fight. In all honesty, I am surprised I made it that far. For all the reviews that sold me on it having similarities to Bravely Default, I only found a bland JRPG.

15. Forager (PC, 2019)

Do not recommend. I was utterly hooked on Forager when it first came out, but its an incredibly shallow game. I recently read an internet comment about Diablo-likes where the person said they felt “dirty” for spending so much time on an otherwise bland genre. Forager isn’t a Diablo-like, but that feeling applies here.

14. Snipperclips: Cut it out, together! (Switch, 2017)

Recommend with qualifications. Snipperclips was a fun coop experience for Diane and I, though we had long breaks between beginning it in late 2018 and finishing it in late 2019. It was also surprisingly short, even with the year break. Good for coop only.

13. Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds (PS4, 2017)

Recommend. I sold my copy of Horizon Zero Dawn before its one and only DLC hit. After tracking down the Game of the Year edition for a fair price, I went back. Horizon was already a game I platinumed, so more of the same was absolutely more of what I wanted.

12. SEVERED (Switch, 2017)

Recommend with qualifications. SEVERED is a unique experience, to say the least. After seeing it originally on the app store, I waited for it to come to Android, but it never did. When I had a chance to play it on my Switch, I jumped at it, played it for about an hour, and then forgot about it. Once I finally got hooked on it, I realized it was good enough, but nothing amazing.

11. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (PS4, 2019)

Do not recommend. In a post-Hollow Knight world, Bloodstained needed to be perfect to compete, and it just wasn’t. For me, it was the worst parts of the Game Boy Advance Castlevanias (mostly convoluted anime stories) with nothing particularly noteworthy about it.

10. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (PS4, 2016)

Recommend. Uncharted is one of those series I like in small doses. As the oldest game on this list, I bought it cheaper, but also just after marathoning 1-3. It was fun though I am especially burnt out on the series now.

08. TIE The Outer Worlds (PC, 2019)

Recommend with qualifications. Like Pokemon Shield, The Outer Worlds turned out to be a disappointment in the end. Its still a good game, but far less than I wanted (or expected). You could do worse, as far as RPGs go!

08. TIE Pokemon Shield (Switch, 2019)

Recommend with qualifications. Like The Outer Worlds, Pokemon Shield turned out to be disappointment in the end. I was never bothered by nonsense like “Dexit”, but I was hoping Game Freak might play it less safe with their first main series console generation. Instead, they played it really, really safe.

07. Hades (PC, 2019)

Recommend. Hades was awesome when I first played it, if a bit too hard. Its only improved since, and do intend on returning, but for now I fondly remember it.

06. Pyre (PS4, 2017)

Recommend. Pyre was so cool. I fell in love with the setting hard. I actually bought it around the time it came out, but I kept putting it off. I would love to see a sequel someday, but I am obviously happy Supergiant went on to make Hades since you just read my thoughts on it.

05. Ghost Giant (PSVR, 2019)

Recommend. Ghost Giant is less a game and more an excuse to cry uncontrollably in your expensive VR headset. I actually thought the gameplay was pretty boring, but damn if it was not a totally charming experience regardless. Easily my emotional gaming experience of the year.

04. Astro Bot Rescue Mission (PSVR, 2018)

Recommend. Astro Bot Rescue Mission, like Super Mario 3D Land, is one of my favorite platformers of all time. Its also one of the best VR games I have played that didn’t involve repetitive gameplay.

03. Slay the Spire (PC, 2018)

Must play. This one feels like cheating because I marked it as “finished” in February and picked it up again a few months ago. At this point, I am maybe 60 hours shy of hitting the 1,000 hours played mark on Steam. Slay the Spire is a rogue-like on par with Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, a game I obsessed with for years.

02. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PC, 2013 – Present)

Must play. Before 2019, Final Fantasy XIV and I had an on-again/off-again relationship. Now that I have finally gotten a character to max level in current content, I think I get it. This is the MMO I will go back to now, regardless of what happens in World of Warcraft. I marathoned the base game and all three expansions over eight continuous months this year. Of all the games on the list, this is the one I played the most in 2019.

01. Golf Story (Switch, 2017)

Must play. Golf Story was a bit of a sleeper hit for me. I bought it cheap after seeing a few recommendations but kept ignoring it. One day, when I was sick and staying home, I decided to finally give it a go. I didn’t put it down for a few days. Its sequel, Sports Story, is due out next year, and it will be a day one buy for me.

Dropped Games

In the Dropped category, we have:

  • Bloodborne
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2
  • EverQuest (Project 1999)
  • Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice
  • Iconoclasts
  • Nuclear Thone
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  • Warhammer: Vermintide 2

I have decided Dark Souls likes are not for me – Super Smash Bros. either.

Hellblade was interesting, but a bit dull and I forgot I was playing it. Nuclear Throne was heavily recommended, but it did not grab me.

Both Divinity and Warhammer were “play with a friend” games, but after a few sessions for each, we stopped.

EverQuest should’ve probably been treated as “Finished”, since I got about what I was expecting. I kept intending to play it more – and I was actually enjoying it – but I am just not setup to play something that slow.

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