My 2022 in Video Games

My 2022 In Games

OPENER The real excitement is over who came in second!

Looking at my catalog, I played 24 games, comfortably beating 2021 by four extra titles! It was the year of From Software in this household where I went through the entire Dark Souls series and Elden Ring which, combined, occupied, roughly six months of my year!

10. Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes (Nintendo Switch, 2022)


Best Game I Didn’t Beat, Most Enjoyed when Emulated (or so I’m told)

Fire Emblems: Three Houses was my number two game of 2019) so when Three Hopes, a Dynasty Warriors alternate-universe, adventure into the story of Three Houses, I was cautiously skeptical. I was burned pretty badly by Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity so I was hesitant. My hesitation seemed justified until I went and got some fruit.

After playing the first few levels on my Switch, I set up the Yuzu emulator on my laptop to see if I could get better performance. The short answer is, I did, and it played better, and I was able to start enjoying the game! From there, I could engage with the excellent adaptation of both combat & social mechanics from Three Houses. The direct combat style wonderfully satisfied my imagination that came from playing the original game. And so, I put in a bunch of more hours than I expected. I still haven’t finished it (I hear it’s a very long game), but I look forward to picking it up when I fancy it.

9. Callisto Protocol (Playstation 5, 2022)


Best 3D Sound, Most Good-Looking

I really like Callisto Protocol. I’m partial to the Space Horror (bonus points if there’s eldritch elements!) and this is wonderfully flawed game (that acatually bumped God of War: Ragnarok off my top 10) scratched the itch. There’s something at its core that resonates with me.

Enemy variety is low (I think there’s eight or so different types) and their creature designs aren’t used to their full potential (it’s hard to be scared when all the monsters just try and box with you). The melee combat takes some getting used to (just hold the stick LEFT or RIGHT to dodge the first strike, then alternate), and checkpoints are too inconsistent; however, after beating the game I was ready to keep playing more.

Minus a stealth level that went on a little too long, I really am looking forward to New Game+ when it’s patched in and hope that this team gets a crack at a sequel!

8. Splatoon 3 (Nintendo Switch, 2022)


Best Multiplayer, Most Educational

Splatoon 3 is a welcome addition to 2022. It’s “more Splatoon” which is a great thing. The multiplayer matches are short, and you’re rewarded with experimenting with new weapons and outfits. Not much has been added to the core formula so it’s one of those “you like it or you don’t” sort of things. That said, single player is definitely worth checking out for those who never really gave it much thought.

Not to mention, I learned quite a bit of young-person slang from Splatoon 3. “Drip,” a “nice fit,” have since been registered in my head and now I can better understand the youth that lie about their age on forums like Reddit!

7. Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut (Playstation 5, 2021)


Best Map Game, Most Time to Beat

I started Ghost of Tsushima back in the Fall of 2021, put it in the backlog about halfway through. Then, in late January of this year, I picked it up again and reached the final third. Then Elden Ring came out and I left Ghost of Tsushima again to go play that. Finally, in early October, I beat the main story (and made a lot of progress on the DLC campaign). This makes Ghost of Tsushima the longest it has taken me to beat a game (that I intended to finish).

Ghost is not a bad game by any means but it does feel rote at times. Combat can be clunky and optional side content doesn’t really enrich much; however, it was satisfying checking off “tasks” on the map, removing its red “paint” in the progress, and get pretty darn strong in the process. It doesn’t do anything revolutionary with its gameplay but it still has a solid foundation. This actually mirrors Jin, the main character’s story, in that the Batman-esque arc does reach its somewhat predictable conclusion and mostly hits the mark.

6. Dark Souls III (Playstation 4, 2016)


Best Dark Souls, Most Deaths

2022 is my year of From Software and I feel Dark Souls 3 is up there in terms of where I rank their games. It did not perfect the formula (I don’t think any “Soulsbourne” game has) but it’s gotten darn close; six years later, the game holds up remarkably well.

There is something very satisfying when you beat the game for the first time and consequently cruise through on the next playthrough discovering all sorts of quests, weapons, and items you missed along the way. The way the game treats its own lore as a sequel is something that’s relatively rare in gaming and I greatly appreciate it.

5. Two Point Campus (And Two Point Hospital) (Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series, PC; 2022)


Best Uniform Management, Most Laughs

I have a problem with management sims. They are extremely addictive and I lack the discipline needed to enjoy them responsibility. Thankfully, I had a couple of 10+ hour airplane rides this year which meant I didn’t need to have impulse control and could just sink my teeth into Two Point Campus (and its predecessor Two Point Hospital). This, unfortunately, led to me playing it for a lot more outside of those flights but you take the good with the bad!

While I enjoy Two Point Hospital more, the sequel (Two Point Campus) adds some nice quality-of-life-enhancements like how it deals with temperature, it dropped the friends-list-item-research mechanic, and has better camera controls. That said, I think I prefer Hospital more because it focuses on managing the hospital while Campus wants you to take care of the students in addition to managing the hospital. Maybe that says more about me than the games.

4. Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin (Playstation 5, PC; 2022)


Best Inappropriate Use of Licensed Music, Most Chaos

YOU DON’T KNOW ME! Ahem. That is, I liked SOPFFO despite its many flaws. It’s made by the team that made the Nioh series and shares a lot of the DNA. Adapting job-changing mechanics from other Final Fantasy titles, this Diablo-Soulsbourne is actually really satisfying to play once you get used to mastering the finisher mechanic, and the game drops tons of loot for you to sift through. I was delighted by the End-Game’s build variety in that there are various ways you can become a rolling dervish of obscene damage with top-notch survivability. I wish the game had more bad-luck protection but it wasn’t a deal-breaker.

I am fascinated by this game’s story. It knows it’s corny but the voice acting and pacing enhance this affectionately lame game. I am curious if Square-Enix considers this canon and I kind of hope it does – this game is special in more ways than one.

3. Vampire Survivors (Xbox Series, PC; 2021)


Best Casino-like Stimulation, Most Confrontations with Death Lost

Vampire Survivors is a treat. It’s an auto-shooter-survival-rouge-like where the character you pick automatically attacks as you move around. That’s the gameplay. The genius comes from all the dice rolls for pickups and items that you can collect which further enhance your character. The game is like walking through a casino. Your senses are bombarded with all kinds bits-and-bobs that make you feel all giddy inside.

The game rewards experimentation, exploration (there are so many secrets) and it does one of my favorite things: it respects my time with levels capping out at 30 (ish) minutes! Oh, and it’s cheap! No more than $5, it’s a total steal! In getting the screenshots for this post, I ended up playing way more Vampire Survovors than I intended!

2. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (Nintendo Switch, 2022)


Best Story, Most Tear-Jearking Music

This was my first Xenoblade game and it made a lasting impression on me. Despite it being the third entry in the series, I had no feeling of missing out nor did I think my experience would have improved knowing the other two games. The fact that it plays like an MMO meant I had little issues picking up the game with little context.

The main story had me hooked within the first 30 minutes (it’s a really messed up world!) and the Final Fantasy XIV job system deeply satiated the lizard part of my brain. While both the story and the game’s pacing were inconsistent, it didn’t stop me from crying massive amounts as it dealt with concepts like child soldiers, nationalism, and our own mortality. And yes, there is straight-up anime pandering in character design that’s less than okay.

1. Elden Ring (Playstation 4, Playstation 5; 2022)


Most Squeaky-Bum-Time, Game of the Year

I really don’t think I can contribute much to the conversation that is “why Elden Ring is fantastic” and I’m not really going to try here. Just know it’s a special game, and easily candidate for game of its generation and possibly a member of the “Best games of all time” pantheon. The game has drastically changed how I approach action games in general, to the point, where if it’s not mathematically impossible, I will take on challenges in video games, even if underlevelled, and try to see them through. No game has influenced me to such a degree since my college days playing World of Warcraft.