Backloggin’ the Year – Sam’s Sojourn, Year End Wrap-Up
Welcome to the final Backloggin’ the Year column for 2022! It’s been a busy few months for me, between running multiple library events and escaping to Thunder Bay for a wedding. My lovely sister-in-law finally got married, and I got to eat my fair share of Finnish pancakes and Persian donuts. Fun fact for readers: did you know that the Persian donut is unique to Northern Ontario and has nothing to do with the Middle East? A Persian is an oval-shaped donut that is lathered in pink berry frosting. It’s a must-eat when visiting. Although, why you may end up in a place like Thunder Bay is a different story.
It’s hard to believe we are at the end of 2022 and 2023 is just beginning. 2022 was such a great year for RPGs, and I cannot get over how many unique and engaging titles came out. I didn’t play as many older titles as I wanted, but I am still beyond happy with what I completed. I knocked out thirty-five titles from my backlog, with PC and Switch being the most dominant platforms for the year. I wrote seven reviews for the site (which is lower than in previous years), and I failed my “10 Games to Complete in 2022″ goal, with four games from the list not being completed at all. I will go back to them at some point, but that shows what a strong year we had for gaming. Below I have my 2023 selections for the same challenge, and hopefully I do better this time around!
As for what I reviewed in the last few months, it was not as much as I would have liked, but I’m still proud of what content I produced. Please consider checking out my review for Tactics Ogre: Reborn, and my Adventure Corners for Amnesia: Later x Crowd and Birushana: Rising Flower of Genpei for some otome goodess.
Thank you for coming on this year-long journey with me, and here is to playing some amazing new games in 2023!
The RPGs I Played
Soul Hackers 2: Soul Hackers 2 is the first SMT game I’ve played in a long while, and I found it to be a pleasant surprise. While I understand a lot of the complaints about this game in terms of how much it streamlines its content, I actually enjoyed that aspect. The story was ridiculous, MacGuffin-driven, and absolutely nothing special… but I loved the cast of characters and I thought they were a lot of fun. Ringo has the right amount of sarcasm and innocence that is very endearing to me. Saizo is everything I love in a character: he may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but he’ll do anything for love. I also liked the speediness of the combat, and I didn’t mind that it was a small pool of demons this time around. I didn’t care for the Soul Matrix, but I also didn’t find it fully offensive either. Overall, I had a great time playing Soul Hackers 2 and I don’t get the haters.
This Way Madness Lies: I am so excited to finally have a new Zeboyd game to play, and I have to say that This Way Madness Lies was well worth the wait. It combines two of my favourite things: eldritch horror and Shakespeare, two things I never would have expected to be fused together, but the end result is pretty fabulous. The game has fantastic dialogue, tons of hilarious moments, silly Shakespeare quizzes, and at no point outstayed its welcome. We need more short RPGs!
All the Non-RPG Goodness
I was a bit of an emotional mess from November throughout much of December, so fulfilling games that I wasn’t reviewing were hard to find. One of my coworkers had shared with me a game that brought him a lot of joy, so I grabbed it during the Steam sale. Wilmot’s Warehouse has players taking on the role of a cute square who has to organize items in a warehouse, and it’s all timed. You have to balance loading the right amount of orders, more products coming in, and limited warehouse storage space. It’s a game that can feel frantic when working through requests, but it also has calmer, zen-like moments when players get to do stock intakes. It’s easily one of my favourite non-RPGs I played in 2022.
I also completed Tengami, which was a great walking simulator. Admittedly, I had to play the game twice because I got a glitch where my boat appeared twice in one spot and I couldn’t progress to the next plot point. That part was a bit of a bummer, but in my second playthrough I had no issues. It’s short and sweet, with straightforward puzzles and beautiful origami artwork to look at throughout. I’ve owned it on Steam forever and I’m glad I finally gave it a shot.
Whatcha Playing Now, Sam?
I’m slowly working my way through Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth, currently deep into chapter 5. At this point, I’ve done all the requirements to get the best ending for the game. Replaying the game has brought up so many emotions, which I covered in a special love letter I wrote to it. I’ve also almost finished Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom, and this game is night and day from the first one. The quests are a lot easier to trigger, the story is very engaging, and the cast of characters is super adorable. I couldn’t even finish the first game because it was so difficult to trigger some of the major story events, and I found that to be so frustrating. It feels like a lot of the things wrong with the first game were definitely fixed here. I cannot wait to finish both of these games and share my thoughts with everyone once they are completed. It will also be nice to start the new year with two games completed!
Final 2022 Game Tally
Games Completed: 35
# of RPGs Completed: 16
# of Non-RPGs Completed: 19
# of Games Purchased: 11