Video games, I still love them… I think. No wait, I absolutely still love them! It’s just modern games that are getting on my nerves. In 2018 I played fewer total games than any year in the past and fewer “new releases” than ever before. Instead, I spent most of my time playing older titles, timeless favorites, retro games, and some grindy stuff with friends online.
It’d be impossible to rank them in typical categories like Graphics, Story, or Game-as-a-Service so in lieu of all that I’m just going to recap everything I played in 2018 (just like I did in 2012). These are just some quick thoughts on the games I spent a reasonable amount of time with, or ones that stuck with me over the months. Let’s take this one fiscal quarter at a time, moving ahead with Q3: July through September or The Nope-too-hot-for-Outsides.
P.S. The 📅 emoji denotes a 2018 new release.
Bust A Move Dance Summit 2001 (PS2)
I played through the original Bust A Move games a few more times but the big achievement of the summer was finally tracking down a copy of the PlayStation 2 sequel that I had never laid hands on. Literally laid hands; I also found a pair of “clap controllers” that were made specifically for the game and they work like soft DDR pads for your hands.
You tap, slap, and smack the palms and backs of your hands instead of jamming on controller buttons. It worked well enough to have fun and after an initial tepid reaction the game’s dancers and songs really grew on me. I’m really happy to have finally found the game and controllers, and complete the series collection in 2018.
Elevator Action Deluxe (PS3)
I’ve had my eye on this game for a while but really only because I wish it was Elevator Action Returns from the Saturn. It was on sale for $5 and I expected it wouldn’t get any cheaper again so I finally jumped on it. It’s a decent little abstraction on the arcade original’s gameplay but I didn’t hang with it for long.
Also played in July: Tons more GTA Online (PS4)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)
The best thing about BotW was subverting all the things it wanted me to do. Cooking, crafting, hunting, fishing, fighting, riding horses, and even questing for NPCs. I hardly engaged with any of it, and actually thought a lot of it was rubbish. Instead I simply set out to explore the world, fill in my map — and most surprisingly of all — roleplay as Vegan Link. It’s totally possible and made for a far more interesting challenge than those puzzle shrines.
Despite ignoring most of the gameplay I still look back on my time with it fondly because unlike so many open world games, BotW actually let me explore. And explore, I did. The Switch says I spent about 95 hours with the game across August and September.
Also played in August: Mafia 3 (PS4)
Sparkle 2 (PS4)
Hey, didn’t you just read I spent most of two months and nearly 100 hours on Breath of the Wild? I didn’t play much else in September but I did check out Sparkle 2 for free as a PlayStation Plus offering. It’s a fun Zuma clone with some satisfying power-ups. Katy completed everything the game had to offer but I only stuck with it through a few dozen stages.