I played a fair number of games last year. I have all the systems, from a beastly gaming laptop and Steam Deck, to two Nintendo Switches, to a PS5 and Xbox Series S gathering dust under a TV on which their games look truly sumptuous.
Everyone has a backlog, but how many of you have an equally long list of games you’ve started, then let fall to the wayside because of the shiny new thing or life happening? It’s got so bad that I’ve started a spreadsheet to keep track of them. It wasn’t until towards the end of 2022 that the panic set in and I had a lot to get through for my Game of the Year list.
And so, my big New Year’s promise is to be more selective and see games through, starting with these five.
I started Yakuza 0 because of the rather deafening noise coming out of TheGamer Slack about the series. There’s an entire squad of Yakuza cheerleaders among the staff, one of whom even bought a yellow construction helmet. I really don’t understand it just yet, but after 15 hours of running around Kamurocho beating up thugs who are wailing on old grannies, the hype is starting to manifest.
So, this is the first game I will play in 2023, and I will not do anything else until it’s done. It’s ideal on Steam Deck, too, something I can mess around with while watching the football.
Turn-based JRPGs are my soul food, especially when they come with 16-bit era graphics. So why haven’t I finished Octopath Traveler? I really don’t know. Either way, I have to get it done before the sequel launches next month. I don’t think I’m even halfway through, so I really should get my skates on. To make it a Team Asano trifecta, I also need to finish Triangle Strategy and Live A Live.
Team Asano deserves to work its magic on every single classic JRPG we wish were remade, and yet I can’t finish their original games. That’s something I need to fix.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake
I need to get back on the FF7 train. I have actually finished the main story for this, but there’s the whole Yuffie episode sitting there waiting for me. As the biggest diversion from the original, it intrigues the hell out of me. I have a little more time to get that done, with Rebirth not slated for launch until the winter, but when I leave games too long I often need to restart them from scratch to remind myself of what’s going on. Big nope.
Thankfully, Remake is a lot more digestible than most open-world games, thanks to its chapter structure. I’ll get to it, eventually.
I have wanted to play Firewatch since before it was launched, and I’ve owned it on both Steam and PS4 for goodness knows how long. And yet, I’ve still not gotten past the first few minutes. I kept telling myself that it was a game I needed to be ‘switched on’ mentally to play, more focused than playing a game just to wind down. A bit of a lame excuse, really.
I suppose the only good thing about having not played it so far is that it’ll look fantastic on my telly once I do get going.
The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
I bought a Switch so long ago that I’ve lived in two different countries since, and when I picked it up the only logical choice for the first game was Breath of the Wild. And yet, the amount of time I’ve spent in the game doesn’t even register on my Nintendo profile.
I probably deserve to be made to crawl through the streets to the sound of a bell for this one, forced to reckon with the error of my ways. I have no excuses. But you know what they say, some things are worth waiting for. I hope this is one of them.
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