The end of the year is approaching, a lot faster than I would have thought. Looking back on this year, there are many games I've played, trialed, tested, and enjoyed. Many MMORPGs, some RTS games, some browser-based, others just single player PC games. Instead of making a "Top 10 games" list, I am going to simply reminisce like an old man sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch, with a pipe in hand and the birds whistling in the distance.
I think this column would be incomplete without mentioning SW:TOR. I started playing roughly one year ago and continued to play for almost 6-7 months non-stop. The game wasn't completely new in concept, it was definitely familiar, but I had a lot of fun in it with friends and guildmates. I enjoyed the different nuances and found things I liked about the game over other MMOs, including the instanced PvP combat. The raiding was okay, though extremely buggy in the beginning. I don't think I will ever be able to forget the line, "I have waited twenty thousand years, but I WILL WAIT NO LONGER!" Thank you Soa, thank you for engraving that forever in the depths of my brain. Never will I forget getting Soa to 2% health then him disappearing by some mysterious bug. That, my friend, was a rage-worthy moment.
Next we have Amnesia. Now, I know... I know that this game wasn't released in the past year, but I am going to mention it because I played it in the past year. This game was one of the first I played after SW:TOR. It was sort of a suggestion/dare from people who watched my stream on a regular basis. I agree the game was scary, though not as scary to me as it was to people like Day9 and Pewdiepie. There was something about Amnesia that was enthralling beyond the scariness and that was the lore behind it. It took me less than a day to beat the game, but I spent another day just researching the story (I sometimes geek out like that).
It is a shame that, while playing Amnesia, you tend to ignore the majority of what is going on in the beginning. Then once you get about half way through, you start to realize there is a real mythos to it. Perhaps it is the torture chambers, perhaps it is the notes you must collect, but the struggle between Alexander and Daniel is an amazing and intriguing thing. Then I learned that Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (SPOILER: a dead soul you stumble across towards the end) is a man that actually existed in the 15th century. I won't give any more spoilers, of course, but I will say that if you haven't checked it out, you really should. That is… should fear permit you.
This next game was another single-player game that I enjoyed more than I thought I would. Dishonored was amazingly fun and fresh for me. I watched others play it and thought that it looked to be a bit boring, but after starting it myself I couldn't put it down. I pretty much played that game, and only that game, till I was finished with it and the story was done. Naturally, the combat was amazingly fun and I liked strangling people and then hiding the bodies. I liked that if I wasn't careful the chaos would go out, or more guards would spawn, and I liked how I had so many different ways to kill, or "neutralize," a target. I think this game definitely deserved the praise it got and I look forward to seeing if they make a sequel.
The last game I really want to mention is Guild Wars 2. What kind of "end of the year" column would this be without mentioning this game? GW2 definitely took up a lot of my time. Exactly one month of leveling, which is longer than it took for me to level in SW:TOR. I don't want to talk about the leveling, the questing, or the WvW. I want to talk about what truly got my attention: the amount of detail put into the jumping puzzles.
Never before in a game have I spent so much time doing something so random and explorer-driven and actually enjoyed it. Granted some of the jumping puzzles had decent rewards at the end, like the Eternal Battlegrounds one, but most were just about saying you did them. The first time I ran the EB jump puzzle it took me a little over 2 hours to complete. Luckily, I had some extremely patient guildmates and was finally able to complete it and run it on my own afterwards.
I'd say the best, and biggest waste of time, was the Halloween puzzle. I cannot believe that I spent over 5 hours just trying to complete this. I could have been completing the achievements, questing, collecting candy, but nope! I was doing the jumping puzzles over, and over, and over... now THAT was fun. I can't tell you how much I started to rage by hour five, but once I finally beat it, it gave me that feeling of beating a game with a hint of mild disappointment that it was finally over.
So what about y'all? What are some grand gaming moments in the past year?
Hillary "Pokket" Nicole
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