My Year In Gaming 2022 | Big Daddy Digest

So, it is that time of the yea where I remind myself that my eyes and wallet are always bigger than my free time to play video games and I stare at all of the games I bought versus the ones I played and… sorry, got a little off track there. 

What I mean is that when your time is limited for gaming, then gaming has to count for you. And each year, we here at BDG take a look at what games we played this year that left an impact on us in some way. 

It was certainly a tough call for me this year, as I have been playing a lot of smaller games this year and my record keeping has been…lacking to say the least. But regardless, I have a list of some gems from this year for you to consider for your own gaming endeavours.

EndCycle VS

If there is one genre of games I like more than card-battlers it would have to be grid brawlers. Having grown up playing every single Mega Man Battle Network game, I am drawn strongly to this genre, perhaps simply out of nostalgia. That being said, the genre has seen a resurgence in recent years and EndCycle VS is certainly a must-play for fans of the genre.

While it can be overwhelming with the amount of characters and attack options available, it can be an enjoyable experience all the same. (Check out my review here.) Plus, you have an overwhelming community and developer engagement alongside a fantastic modding community to create something that transcends the game itself. This will continue to be a game I come back to for years to come and I am always up for some new competition.

TableTop Simulator

Okay, this one might be cheating as this is less of a game and more of a platform for hosting games, but with the recent pandemic, my D&D play group was forced to migrate to an online setting. And while Discord has bots that can handle die rolling for you, it isn’t the same as being at the table, with all of the visual elements that come with that.

So, TableTop Simulator has been a big change for my play group but it has been for the better. We have access to wider visual props than we ever could have physically stored, and more interactive elements such as sound cubes to help establish the atmosphere.

Also, if we are having a week where we just aren’t feeling game. We can easily just load up a different game table and play something else. Our favorite go to is Red Dragon Inn, which we never would have played without finding it on TableTop Simulator first. 

Also, I am aware of the transphobia and anti-LGBT issues that ran through the online chat within the game and why some might consider it problematic for me to list it as impactful. As a result, the in-game chat has been to disabled. While that sucks because it was implemented to help players find available games, it is probably the best course of action that could have been taken. 

Brotato

I am so late to the party on the Timed survival genre, which saw a resurgence with the release of Vampire Survivors earlier this year. But I picked Brotato out of a growing list because it really was my entry point into the genre. 

There was something I couldn’t quite place about Brotato when I saw it first announced. But when I finally got to play it I had a lot of fun. Not only does it have some of the familiar trappings for a timed survival game, but it shakes up the formula with an added layer of strategy that I can’t get enough of. (Check out my review here.) I am still playing this game for at least two hours a week, more when new updates drop. It is just so assuming to me and introduced me to a whole genre of gaming I ignored prior to it.

Elden Ring

It wouldn’t be a list if I didn’t sing high praises for the Souls series first open-world game. Now don’t get me wrong, I am in no way unbiased when it comes to games in this series. I absolutely adore them and have played all of them multiple times through, just to try a different build or relive the game.

Elden Ring is quite possibly my personal Game of the Year, with how much time I spent with it, and how even now I just want to go test another build or do one more run through. I eagerly await some substantial DLC for the title, and at time of writing we just got free PVP centric DLC in the form of the Coliseum that I have been sinking my teeth into. 

And yes, I admit that the Souls series is not easy to play through. And I will even admit that its established difficulty is a fault for the series, and the gatekeeping is another concern. I still feel that people should give Elden Ring a shot if they have been interested in a Souls game, as Elden Ring is the most accessible to new people by a far margin.

  Multi-Versus

Have you ever wanted to see Steven Universe shield bash Jack the Dog in the face? How about giving the caped crusader some just desserts with Harley Quinn and her mallet? Or perhaps you would like to see Superman and The Iron Giant go at it? Well, now you can thanks to Multi-Versus, the new platform brawler from Warner Brothers.

Multi-Versus has to be one of the best platform brawlers released to date, even comparable to Super Smash Bros. in its design and execution.

This made my list because it was a refreshing take on platform brawlers with quite the colorful cast of players, but also because I found countless hours just running doubles matches online, playing the kind of platform brawler that a childhood me would have loved. 

Yeah, there are some issues with the game, such as monetization practices like battle passes, but when the game itself is free, there isn’t much you can complain about. At least you can’t gain actual game play bonuses from these battle passes. So, if you are looking for a quality fun time, I would highly suggest you give Multi-Versus a shot for sure.

Pokémon Scarlet/Violet

It is about time these games came out and the inner child in me couldn’t be happier. Despite technical performance issues, this is by far one of the most enjoyable Pokémon experiences to date and something that a younger me could have never even imagined for the series.

I won’t go on too much about the new games here because I recently wrote a long form review covering them in detail. (You can check out that review here.) But I will say that not only was the open-world format refreshing for the series, but it also had what felt like a more adult story to cater towards the age level of who actually tends to play these games. Because despite my nephew getting into his own Pokémon phase (the proud uncle that I am here), he isn’t quite old enough to be playing the games. Just approach these games with an open mind and I am sure you will be swept up in the mass adventure that the Paldea region has to offer.

Bayonetta 3

Okay, I am going to be point blank, I did not play Bayonetta 3 and am including it here not based on its merits as a game. The reason I am mentioning Bayonetta 3 is because of the impact that the controversy around it has had on the industry and discussion of the industry.

While we at BDG have never been ones to pull punches, this is the last time I hope to be mentioning Miss Hellena Taylor. I am not going to cover the whole controversy here, as I have written a piece on the matter that you can find here.

But, this controversy not only made further claims seem dubious. Hellena Taylor has permanently impacted the discussion around wages in the game industry, and not in a positive way. We can only hope that the damage she caused does not last long and that unions step up and actually help those they claim to support.

Upcoming

Time for my favorite part of these pieces. Where I get to gush over upcoming releases that I am excited for. So here are some that I am truly looking forward to next year:

  • Marvel’s Spider-man 2 and Marvel’s Wolverine- I absolutely adored the other titles by Insomniac and look forward to these upcoming titles. While we don’t have a release date for Wolverine yet, I can only hope that it will be next year.
  • Front Mission Remakes- My love of tactical RPG’s is pretty big. Not only am I excited to experience the original Front Mission again, but to be able to play ones that we never got! Man are they making me excited!
  • Octopath Traveller 2- If you haven’t played the first one then you are missing out on some quality JRPG game play. Hoping that the story is a little less forced together at the end of this one but otherwise excited.
  • Mega Man Battle Network Collection- I mentioned it previously, but this is probably my most anticipated release of next year.