Thursday, January 28, 2021

11 games I want to play in 2021

I played a lot of games in 2020—44, at last count.

The vast majority were Switch games, though I played several 3DS and DS games, too.

In 2021, I want to branch out a bit. Specifically, I want to add at least a few PSP and Vita games into the mix—with the ones highlighted below leading the way.

Boku no Natsuyasumi Portable (PSP)

I've been itching to play this distinctly Japanese life sim since I first became aware of it ages ago. Actually, I've owned a copy of the original PS1 release for years now—I've just never played it. I'm hoping this portable port will prove a bit more attractive in that regard.

Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings (DS)

This Final Fantasy XII spinoff is one of those DS titles I've long wanted to experience but have also long dragged my feet on purchasing and starting. Why have I waited until now to try Revenant Wings? The main reason is that I've never had the best grasp of its gameplay, and that's made me a more than a tad wary of it. 

Hades (Switch)

I've spent a lot of time with roguelikes in the last few months—first via Void Terrarium, then via Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate and Etrian Mystery Dungeon. Am I really in the mood for more of this genre after all that? We'll find out shortly after I start Hades.

The House in Fata Morgana (Switch or Vita)

Visual novel fans on the internet have hyped up The House in Fata Morgana since an English Windows version released in 2016, and probably even before that. Thankfully, that hasn't impacted my expectations of the game, as I know next to nothing about it. Fingers crossed I dig what I eventually encounter.

Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk (Switch)

I have a great track record with Nippon Ichi Software-made games, so my hopes are high for this first-person dungeon-crawler. This is despite the fact that I'm hardly the biggest fan of into-the-screen RPGs—my mostly positive experiences with the Etrian Odyssey series notwithstanding.

Magical Starsign (DS)

Despite the fact that I've always adored the look of games made by Brownie Brown (now known as 1-Up Studio), I've only played a couple of them. And even those games, Mother 3 and Fantasy Life, were collaborative efforts with other developers. So, Magical Starsign will be my first real taste of this seemingly talented dev's abilities. Fingers crossed I like its gameplay as much as I like its aesthetic.

Poison Control (Switch)

Truth be told, I pre-ordered this game simply because it's coming from Nippon Ichi Software. OK, and because I previously asked the company to bring it to our shores. A few times. I only barely understand how it plays, and what I understand makes me think it might not be my cup of tea. I'm sticking with it anyway, though, as I loved Lapis x Labyrinth and Void Terrarium after being similarly unsure of them early on.

PoPoLoCrois (PSP)

I've heard that this PoPoLoCrois game is a kind of a mess, as it combines chopped-up versions of the series' first two releases with a connecting interlude. Normally, that would bug me. Since I'm mostly uneducated on these titles and so won't know what I'm missing, though, I'm barely bothered.

Project X Zone (3DS)

Don't bother telling me that this game is a dud. I've heard it all before—though I've also heard a few folks say they had a blast it. I recently bought a copy of Project X Zone based on my possibly delusional belief that I'll side with the latter group of fans. I mean, how could I not, with a cast that includes Arthur, Chun-Li, Ulala, and Valkyrie?

UFO: A Day in the Life (PS1)

Without trying to sound snarky, most of the games made by the crew of now-defunct Love-de-Lic have similar vibes and stories. That's fine by me, as I adore two titles fitting that description, Chulip and Moon. This 1999 offering sounds even more intriguing, though, thanks to its star—a super-cute, photo-snapping UFO.

What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord!? 2 (PSP)

Yet another PSP game that I always meant to buy and try but also always overlooked in favor of other titles. Like Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings and Poison Control, I'm a little iffy on its gameplay, but I'm sure to enjoy at least one of these games, so why not this one?

Are there any particular games you want to play—old or new—between now and the end of 2021? Tell me all about them in the comments section below.

Monday, January 25, 2021

How I spent my time with video games in 2020

It's starting to feel like at the end of every year I either say I played more games than the year before or I spent more time with games than the year before. (See my 2019 write-up for evidence.)

For 2020, both statements are true. Big surprise considering how locked down everything was last year, right?

Speaking of surprises, it may surprise some of you to learn that Animal Crossing: New Horizons wasn't the game I played most in 2020. In fact, I didn't even put 100 hours into it. I gladly poured hundreds of hours into previous entries, so bouncing off this one so quickly shocks me, too.

Not at all shocking to me is that I spent more time with SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions than I did with any other game last year. Even after I finished this most recent SaGa sequel, I didn't want to stop playing it. And although I nearly started a second playthrough right away, I convinced myself to move on to something else (The World Ends With You, I believe) before that happened.

As for the rest of my most-played games of 2020, feast your eyes on the following stats:

  • SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions (Switch) — 97 hours, 40 minutes
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch) — 95 hours, 30 minutes
  • Pokémon Shield (Switch) — 80 hours, 55 minutes
  • The World Ends With You (DS) — 39 hours, 15 minutes
  • Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate (Switch) — 36 hours, 00 minutes
  • Paper Mario: The Origami King (Switch) — 34 hours, 15 minutes
  • Void Terrarium (Switch) — 33 hours, 35 minutes
  • Raging Loop (Switch) — 29 hours, 50 minutes
  • Deadly Premonition Origins (Switch) — 29 hours, 15 minutes
  • Animal Crossing (GameCube) — 22 hours, 50 minutes
  • Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Travelers (Switch) — 22 hours, 15 minutes
  • Heroland (Switch) — 20 hours, 30 minutes
  • Moon (Switch) — 19 hours, 05 minutes
  • Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories (Switch) — 17 hours, 15 minutes
  • Kirby Mass Attack (DS) — 13 hours, 20 minutes
  • Clubhouse Games (Switch) — 12 hours, 40 minutes
  • Hey! Pikmin (3DS) — 12 hours, 35 minutes
  • Again (DS) — 12 hours, 20 minutes
  • Super Princess Peach (DS) — 11 hours, 50 minutes
  • Mad Rat Dead (Switch) — 10 hours, 20 minutes
  • Alice in Wonderland (DS) — 7 hours, 20 minutes
  • Yomawari: Night Alone (Switch) — 7 hours, 05 minutes
  • Time Hollow (DS) — 6 hours, 30 minutes
  • Part Time UFO (Switch) — 6 hours, 05 minutes
  • Cruel Bands Career (Switch) — 4 hours, 35 minutes
How did all of you spend your time with games in 2020? Feel free to share your own play-time stats, or simply list your most-played titles, in the comments section of this post.