Game-Roundup 2022: A New Year's Resolution Met

Written by Rubin on Saturday, December 17th, 2022

Hello there, gamers!

It's been quite some time since my last Report - sometimes, life throws a couple of curveballs, and sometimes those curveballs include job hunting, moving to a new place, among other memery. But, after being in my new place for a bit, I've come to find that I've actually met a pretty important 2022 goal this year - to actually beat some games!

It's a silly goal, but after the massive milestones I set for 2021, I purposely set a smaller, more enjoyable goal to challenge myself - could I start to consume media again, and not worry about what others think? I wasn't an artist, job wise, anymore. I didn't have an audience that I needed to constantly worry about getting on the bad side of (even if the notion, looking back at it now, was very foolish of me). It was time for me to start consuming media because I wanted to, and to just have...well, fun with it!

With 2023 just around the corner, I can confidently say that 2022 ended up being a highly successful year! With seven games beat, several more in progress, and a few 'pick up and down' games to round it out, here's the games that I've played for my 2022 resolution.

Chrono Cross

Platform? PS1 Played? Single-Player

As the first game I played for 2022, I've already said quite a bit about Chrono Cross, but notably, it was the game I used quite a big deal to get myself out of bed in the morning. The 9-5 job I had at the time meant I could play it from 8-9, which gave me plenty of time to advance the story before clocking in.

Hilariously, this is the PS1 version, and I didn't know about the Switch remake until I was about halfway through. I'm curious if the Switch lives up to the same stylistic standards of the PS1 poly art that really made CC shine - but even it if does, I highly recommend looking at the environment for the PS1 as their color theory is by far one of the best for the time.

Would I Recommend? Yes, but only if you enjoy older JRPGs as is.

Stardew Valley

Platform: PC Played: With Cecil

I tried to play Stardew years back on my own, only to lose interest rather quickly. However, when in 2022, I learned you could play the game with friends, Cecil and I made a multiplayer farm as a way to spend nights together. Overall, the game does wonders as a 'low social' game. It's very easy to go and do your own thing, while still contributing to one of the many goals that the game has. There's also a number of events that you can do together, too - from seeing who can get to the end of a maze, to collecting the most easter eggs.

Would I Recommend? Yes, specifically for multiplayer.

Dragon Quest 11

Platform? Switch Played? Single-Player

This game was purchased be a friend some time back, and honestly, it's exactly the sort of game I needed? This wasn't a game that throws twenty plot lines expecting to me to solve them, or trying really hard to make a statement. It's not bad, but it's also not groundbreakingly good, either. Yes, Dragon Quest 11 is, in my eyes, a legitimate 'junk food game', and that's what makes it really charming.

I'll save the talk about the skill tree system for another report, but DQ11 does their RPG formula well. The characters each have a story to tell, some that I feel they do justice a little better than others, but the story also isn't especially deep, either. You're the protag, and you're going to save the day! Sometimes you need a game like that - and of them all, DQ11 is one of the best for it.

Would I Recommend? Yes, however - note that there's a pretty cringey 'character story' where an otherwise powerful girl gets put in compromising clothes, among other things, while being kept prisoner. It's luckily not a long segment, but it still REALLY sucks.

House in Fata Morgana

Platform? PC Played? with Cecil

After reading a certain other VN in 2021, me and Cecil wanted to continue our trend by picking up another. We chose the House in Fata Morgana for two reasons - the mysterious premise, and the rumored LGBTQ+ representation. And to start with a positive, HiFM does a wonderful job with setting the scene. Playing as someone with no memories of themselves, the mysterious maid who appears to know you, and the cryptic nature of the mansion itself instantly pulls the player into wanting to know more.

However, HiFM's execution...often had me wishing for more. While the two 'protagonists' get a well deserved ending, the stories surrounding them were often hit or miss. I think, ultimately, HiFM does better at writing their characters when they're suffering than when they have a moment of fresh air - if the character can afford not turning their entire personality into their most prominent insecurities.

Note: Please be advised that if you play this game, that there's A LOT of content warnings, from transphobia to assault to everything in between. While some is handled tastefully, some of it can be a tad too raw and at times insensitive.

Would I Recommend? ...Nah.

Breath of Fire 3

Platform? Playstation Played? Single-Player

Recommended by a friend, Breath of Fire 3 is another fairly old JRPG game. It's got a fairly standard formula - a protagonist with the mysterious power to turn into a dragon, you embark on a quest to understand who you are, and the dangers that are soon to come. The graphics have aged well, and the surprisingly jazzy tunes make the game stand out fairly well. The combat system, though simple, is explored further by having enemies take advantage of their tools - such as healing a character with an otherwise harmful thunder skill due to how resistances work - and the alternative win conditions some fights present the player with.

Though I've yet to complete this game, the only real glaring flaw that the game has is the unfortunate 'old JRPG syndrome' that Chrono Cross has, but turned up to 11. Figuring out where to go can be a bit of a hassle at times, and there's a couple of puzzles that had me tearing my hair out for being a little too particular on how you were meant to solve them.

Would I Recommend? Yes, if you're ok with old JRPGS! Otherwise ok to pass.

Legends: Arceus

Platform? Switch Played? Single-Player

Legends: Arceus was the first pokemon that I had played in quite some time, after coming out of Pokemon Sword and Shield feeling underwhelmed. While I haven't beat it, the game does a wonderful job creating a lively world to explore - who would think that someone would see a usually ignored Bidoof and go, 'wow, a guy!' and catch it? (Hilariously, this is how I managed to get a shiny early on).

Battling pokemon, meanwhile, is mixed - Agile and Strong styles are fun, and the changed statuses felt far less debilitating than the original counterpoints. The actual turn order, however, was a little strange, and wished they were a little more transparent about how it worked. All in all though, big recommend for anyone wanting to try a different kind of pokemon game!

Would I Recommend? Yes

Fire Emblem: Three Hopes

Platform? Switch Played? with Cecil

The 'what if' spinoff for Fire Emblem: Three Houses, this Warriors based game features the mysterious Shez, who alongside Arval, are guided along a story that'll reveal who they are, and why their fate is so tied with Byleth. Though I haven't beat it, the plot is fun, and I enjoy Shez as a 'talkative' protagonist.

However, Three Hopes suffers when taking the 'strategic' parts of the game too close to heart. Classic mode combined with the higher difficultly level feels uninspired rather than actually interesting. There's a weird balance of doing real-time battle and pausing the game to order units around - something that in multiplayer, can be a bit jarring for the player who's on the second controller. Still, even from what I did play, Three Hopes does the Warriors style game leagues better than the predecessor, aptly named Fire Emblem Warriors, and look forward to playing more. That said, I'll make sure to keep Classic off next time, so I don't have to worry about real-time character deaths happening off screen.

Would I Recommend? If you've played Three Houses, yes. Otherwise, it can be early passed.


Platform? Switch Played? Alone

(Me, leaning into a microphone) Before I say ANYTHING, no, I'm not being paid by Soda to say this!!!! Ahem. Anyway, if there's ONE game you need to play this year? LIVE A LIVE is my absolute recommendation of 2022.

The intro to LIVE A LIVE starts unassuming - you have 7 characters that you can pick from, each with their own story. The order that you play them in has no effect on what you'll learn, as they're all fairly self-contained - but that, to me, is what makes LIVE A LIVE so unique.

In LIVE A LIVE, each story brings you not only to a different time period, but additionally provides different gameplay from the last. From being fully narrative to combat heavy, gimmicky to straightforward, and lighthearted to tragic, LIVE A LIVE has a tale for everyone. As the stories average 2-3 hours, it's also easy to complete a lesser-liked chapter knowing it won't overstay its welcome, and provides easy means to pick up and play for busier folks. It's hard to point out flaws for the game - if anything, the latter half's choice of random encounters, for a game that pushes the boundaries of what a RPG so often, did feel a little goofy in hindsight.

Would I Recommend? YES PLEASE PLAY IT.

Splatoon 3

Platform? Switch Played? Multiplayer

This one's a small entry, but Splatoon 3 was something at first I wasn't sure I'd get into. I had played the first Splatoon a long time ago and loved it, but the 2nd game's terrible net problems (or, maybe it was our net?) made playing the game challenging and therefore, a hard skip for us. But when Splatoon 3 came out, and the matchmaking was actually doable, I found myself playing the game more - and got to experience something that I totally missed in 2, which was the more collaborative Salmon Run. The two modes feel like a great balance to introduce all sorts of players to the game - i don't think there's one I prefer over another.

Would I Recommend? If you have others who play it, yes!

Digimon Survive

Platform? Switch Played: Single Player

I haven't beat Digimon Survive just yet, and being a mainly narrative focused game, can't completely rate the story just yet. However, I can say that the story itself is engaging so far, and I've come to enjoy the cast that you're met to bond with. However, being narrative first, I definitely find that the combat can be a little out of place at times, sometimes showing up without much warning to save. I also find it odd to be able to tame Digimon in this game when, should you be able to, it's much better to deploy the Digimon your friends are partnered with for the once-per-battle bonus the duo can provide.

All in all, it's a fun little adventure that's been a neat way of bringing me back into Digimon - just don't expect the game to have any combat that challenges any existing systems.

Would I Recommend? I want to finish the story before giving a solid answer.

Pokemon Violet

Platform? Switch Played? With Cecil

I won't say much that hasn't been said about this game's well known and well documented bugs, but one thing I will point out is, if you have the means to play it locally with someone else in the house, you should absolutely do so. In fact, after playing through Violet, this game absolutely feels like it was built for multiplayer first. Cecil and I spent a lot, if not all, of our game connected. We'd go on our way to do our gym battles, catch pokemon, and so on - while knowing that, at anytime, if we wanted to show each other something new, we had the means to.

Being a game with bugs, I still advice to research the game before making the decision to purchase it. However, if you do, definitely make sure to bring a friend along, as it makes the experience far more enjoyable.

Would I Recommend: Only if you want to play with others - otherwise, i'd wait until they patch the game.

Hotel Dusk: Room 215

Platform? DS Played? With Cecil

After learning our new APT's laundry requires coins, Cecil and I started going to the laundromat and, while waiting for the laundry to finish, starting using the time to play games together. Hotel Dusk is the first of many we have played - - and one that ended up being a pleasant change of pace after a fair number of the games the two of us had played.

The atmosphere of Hotel Dusk is, by far, the selling point of the game. The characters are drawn in black and white (usually), and have beautifully drawn expressions and animations that expertly portray their feelings. The characters have their own stories, and their own troubles, but they don't feel too exaggerated, either - the game handles all of them rather maturely, and their motivations feel realistic and believable.

My only real flaw with the game is that, with many mystery based games, it can be very difficult to know what to do next. Sometimes we'd find ourselves trying something that only could be done after performing an unrelated task, and puzzles involving a unique use of the DS were sometimes a bit too far outside box to pick up right away.

Would I Recommend: Yes

And with that, that wraps up the games for 2022. I'm hoping to continue playing more games next year - and next time, going to see if I can start working on drawing more fanart for the games I play, too, for myself.