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Posted on Dec 31st 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (Disposed Hero)
Posted under Gaming, 2019


With 2019 coming to a close, we can expect to see all the obligatory GOTY lists rolling in. Rather than do the usual Top 10 GOTY list myself, I wanted to reflect on all the games I played instead of just the new releases. 2019 turned out to be a very productive year for me gaming-wise, as my number of games beaten for the entire year sits at 125 games, so I wanted to do more of a stream-of-consciousness reflection of the highlights from my year.



RFGeneration 2019 NES Challenge

The new year started off with a bang for myself and many others on the website with the commencement of RFGeneration's group effort to complete every licensed North America game released for the Nintendo Entertainment System. I dove headfirst into the challenge and completed dozens of titles for the system throughout the first six months of the year. The NES was my first video game console during the very early years of my life, so it was extremely gratifying to finally discover and experience so much of the system's library. From completing old favorites from my childhood such as Double Dragon, Duck Tales, and Ninja Gaiden, to finally playing classic titles such as Crystalis, Dragon Warrior, and Kirby's Adventure, to discovering more obscure titles such as Shatterhand, Power Blade, and Vice: Project Doom which have become new favorites of mine, the early half of my 2019 is heavily characterized by the NES.


New Releases of 2019

Even though I've stated over the last couple of years that I wanted to focus more on my backlog and less on new releases, services such as Xbox Game Pass keep me pulled in with their consistent offering of more and more new release titles. Titles such as The Outer Worlds, Blazing Chrome, Metro Exodus, and Blair Witch were all available on day 1 (with the exception of Metro Exodus) via Microsoft's subscription service and were all games that I really enjoyed. Other titles such as Resident Evil 2 and Fire Emblem: Three Houses were games that I decided not to sleep on and picked up at release, which is a decision that I didn't regret since both games are among my favorites from this year. And a new year just wouldn't be complete without a trip back to Kamurocho, which I got via the Yakuza spinoff title Judgment, and although I didn't enjoy it quite as much as most of the standard Yakuza titles, I still found it to be a very good game overall. I was also able to fit in a last-minute playthrough of Death Stranding which I enjoyed much more than I thought I would.


I'm already looking forward to visiting Kamurocho in 2020 with Yakuza: Like a Dragon!

Playing With Others

I've also jumped in and played several games with my old friends at the Playcast and my new friends at the Cartridge Club. The Playcast gave me the perfect opportunity to finally play one of the most classic entries in my favorite genre with Dragon Warrior, which I enjoyed much more than I thought I would considering its age and dated mechanics, and also to revisit the Castlevania-inspired throwback Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, which I really dived deep into and gained an even greater appreciation of the game than I previously had. With the Cartridge Club, I revisited some retro classics with Chrono Trigger and Castlevania III, and also some modern classics with Uncharted 2 and Batman: Arkham City. I also got the chance to revisit Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater which is a game that I never cared for after playing it back in the day, but finally giving it a second chance gave me a greater appreciation for it.


And the Rest

Fortunately, I was able to dip into my backlog a bit as well. I played through Metro 2033 a few years ago and have always wanted to play its sequel, so the recent release of Metro Exodus was the perfect excuse to play through the entire series. Another group of games that I have always wanted to dive into is the GBA/DS Castlevania titles. I finally got around to playing three of these six games this year, with Aria of Sorrow standing out as the clear highlight. And, with the recent release of Shenmue III, I finally had the perfect excuse to revisit the original two titles in the series after more than 15 years, and, while I was disappointed with the long-awaited third entry, I still enjoyed the original games and all the awkward 'Shenmue charm' that goes along with them. I was also able to fit in a last-minute playthrough of Final Fantasy V on the GBA which I really enjoyed.


2020 and Beyond!

I say this at the end of every year, but next year I plan on really attacking my backlog and focusing less on new release titles other than the absolute must-play titles that I don't want to wait on. I feel like this will be easier to stick with going forward with the loss of my Best Buy GCU membership, meaning I'll have to start paying full price for games again which is a hard pill for me to swallow. My backlog mostly consists of the many classic JRPGs that I've missed over the years, but there are also titles from other genres and even some more recent releases that I missed out on and really feel like I should play.


A potential 2020 game for me? It's likely!

And that pretty much wraps up my 2019! I'm already looking forward to diving into some choice titles from my backlog, as well as some of the handpicked new releases that I know I don't want to wait on. I've also got my eyes set on some of the upcoming playthroughs from both community playthrough camps and am looking forward to having some great discussions with some great people. Here's to a great 2020!


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Comments
 
Awesome man!  Thanks for joining us in the playthroughs. Hope to see you even more in 2020!
 
@singlebanana: Thanks man! Always happy to join in when the game selection aligns with my backlog. Keep those RPGs coming! Wink

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