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Video Games Are Good: 2021

Posted on December 28 2021

Okay, so like, let's take this a little seriously this time: 2021 has been excellent for games. It's been the best year since 2015. There are so many good games that I don't even think I have time for joke entries in this list like I did last year. I genuinely, seriously, believe that if you think this was a quote unquote "bad" year for games, then I think you should be playing more games; different games. Because holy crap despite having less hours in the day than I did a few years ago, I think I've played more video games this year than I have in recent memory... and like... they've actually been good? I don't believe it. What's going on here? There are so many games that could be on this list, that aren't on this list. Dota 2 is not on this list. Dota 2. I still played like a thousand hours of that game this year and yet I wanted to give another game the spotlight in its place.

Things I Liked: 2021

Posted on December 28 2021

Okay, so I wasn't going to make this. There's a lot of complicated reasons why, but let's get the preamble first: It's very cool to know and be a part of a community that is so welcoming to some random person on the internet like me that shows up saying that No Mans Sky actually sucks ass now. It really breaks through the myth that YouTube is full of people stepping on others to get to the top like some kind of horrific Renaissance painting. Instead it's people vibing out and making cool things and helping everyone out with stuff.

Bioshock (yeah, the one from 2007)

Posted on December 26 2021

Bioshock Key Art

Sometimes there are little gaps in your knowledge of video games. For example, I'm not a huge fan of From Soft games. I got about 6/8ths through Dark Souls and thought "yeah, this is cool, I see the point but it's not for me" and put it in the bin. Totally fine. But then there are other games out there, heralded as classics where you just... don't? You see all the craze and hubub about it but you're just not all too interested.

The magic of services like Steam is that our time lasts up until the point of our deaths. If you want to play a game from 2007 because you feel like it, then you can go right ahead. It is with this knowledge in combination with me being a big fan of PixelLit's current series on Bioshock that I was able to pick up the game for the price of a Terry's Chocolate Orange and then play it and then have a breakdown about authorial intent and then write words on the internet about it.


Posted on September 19 2021

dl cover

Ok so first of all, you know what Deathloop is about already. You've seen the trailers. There were so many of them. And the thing is, it was the same trailer. Over and over again. A little ironic when you think about it. You're stuck in a timeloop on an island with 8 other people and you have to kill all of them to break the cycle. The only problem is, 8 is a really big number and you only have a day to do it. Your super power then, is retention - poke as many holes in the visionaries' schedules as you can and force them to be in the same place for easy pickings.


Posted on August 27 2021


Every now and then I'm reminded that Civilisation exists and it's kind of like finding a fiver in your back pocket: a welcome surprise, but nothing that's going to change my life. It's amusing then, that earlier last week I started playing Humankind - Sega's response to Civilisation - and everything changed for the worse.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves though. It's probably easiest to consider Humankind as a new entry into the Civilisation franchise in all but name. You bring up a new empire from the cradle of the ancient era, to the apotheosis of the contemporary era, competing against others who are trying to do the same. Looking at the big picture, the majority of Civ enthusiasts will be right at home. Be it through military conquest, scientific prowess or simply running out the clock with the highest score, all the core tenants of Civ are still there. It's quite impressive just how much is there for a first attempt. If you stuck Sid Meir's name on the cover, you'd have me fooled.

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles

Posted on August 23 2021

The Great Ace Attorney Cover Art

Ace Attorney is a rather long-running franchise. I got the chance to play the original trilogy at the beginning of the year and it made me wonder how a series like this could evolve over time.

Not much it seems, which is totally fine.

That's putting a lot of hard work and attention to detail aside of course. The characters are now fully fledged 3D models - able to move with fluid animations instead of key poses. The courtroom itself is 3D too, with the imposing sense of gravitas that comes with it. The chiptunes of the Game Boy Advance have been replaced with a full-blown orchestra, playing some of my favourite music in the series. These advancements are largely technical, yes, but that doesn't stop them from being important.

This advancement in technology comes at risk of losing what made the low budget feel of Ace Attorney special. And while you can commend the effort to bring Ace Attorney to a more modern age, I think we should equally commend the effort made to retain the series' identity. The animations still have that charm that I loved so much, the many poses of Phoenix Wright being translated directly into his 3D ancestor. The music gently flirts with the line between a tribute to the old music while very much remaining its own thing. Mile's Edgeworth's equivalent still has that chiselled jawline and those dreamy eyes. We're home, baby.