By Jenae R / January 13th, 2023
It’s a new year and here I am…not a new me. As is usual of late, up until now, I haven’t had a significant urge to write or any ideas of what to say and put off writing my own 2022 in Review. But this Wednesday morning as I’m typing this, I’ve gotten the urge to finally sit down and get to rambling. Fortunately for me, everyone has done more of a general favorite things they loved playing last year review, regardless of when the games came out. So I think this year even I’m going to throw out my own usual rules. Not only am I going to discuss some of my favorite games I enjoyed last year regardless of their release date, but I’m also not going to focus only on what I played for the first time. There are a couple games in particular I spent a lot of time on last year and it wasn’t the first time I played them. Also, I’ve kind of gotten back into a bad habit of rarely finishing any games as well. Some of my favorite non open-ended games, I spent anywhere from from around 40-60 hours or so on and had a ton of fun with, but I still have to actually finish them. Anyways, this isn’t in any order and I wouldn’t call it a “top games” this time around. Nevertheless, here you go, the games I most I enjoyed in 2022.
First up, is Triangle Strategy. This game came out at the very beginning of last year and I picked up a copy after my birthday, at the end of March. Seeing as it’s been quite a while, it’s not as fresh in my memory anymore. I do remember immensely enjoying Triangle Strategy though. What I love about Triangle Strategy is the deep story and really getting you to care about these people and worry about the choices you’ve made. I found myself desperately wanting to get to a point where citizens of the realm respect my party and no longer buy the lies of my enemies. However, it’s not a perfect SRPG. While I am absolutely absorbed into the story, there are a lot of characters and everyone is a unique story character. So between stopping for story content in between each main story stage, watching little scenes for every single character who’s filled up my army and grinding the mere one or two at level, side leveling stages that are provided, the game can get tiring after so many hours. I love what I’ve experienced so far, but I definitely had to put this one down and take a break after… I don’t know, maybe around 40 hours at least.
Tactics Ogre: Reborn
Next, I wanna discuss yet another SRPG I got into. This one I played a lot more recently and again, I’m still working my way through the game. I’ve never played any of the prior versions of Tactics Ogre. The Switch copy I pre-ordered of Tactics Ogre: Reborn is my first time playing. Now, I have played a smidgen of Final Fantasy Tactics before, which is a later game Yasumi Matsuno also worked on. However, FF Tactics was definitely more of a dated SRPG, with some mechanics that made the game a lot harder for me at least, and I never got very far into it. I do love various strategy RPGs, though, and with all the latest quality of life features added to Tactics Ogre, I decided it was worth trying out. I’m really glad I picked it up. The story and battle flow balance is a lot better than in Triangle Strategy, my first 2022 SRPG. Although, because of this, I wouldn’t say I’ve been quite as absorbed into the story. It’s still a decent story, I just don’t think it really pulls me in to the extent of other RPGs. Currently I’m in the final chapter, which I’ve read is supposedly the longest one with a lot to do. I’m looking forward to continuing the adventure later this year.
I’m gonna cheat a little here and make Atelier its own category. I enjoyed a lot of Atelier in 2022. At the end of 2021 I had just completed Atelier Sophie, having received the whole Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack in a Koei Tecmo giveaway. Thus, at the end of that year, beginning of 2022, I got into Atelier Firis. Firis I didn’t play as carefree and blind as I did Sophie, the time limit entries in the series always stress me out a bit. I still enjoyed a good bit of the game, though, and I’m really glad I finished it, because Atelier Lydie and Suelle so far is another really fun, more carefree title, much like Sophie. I believe I’m no more than halfway through Lydie and Suelle at the moment, I might not even be halfway yet, I’m not sure. What I love about Lydie and Suelle in particular, are the battles. The battle UI in Atelier L and S is fantastic. Even though I haven’t finished Lydie and Suelle yet, after how much I loved Sophie, I was dying to get my hands on Atelier Sophie 2. In late September I started my Sophie 2 adventure. In Atelier Sophie 2, I’ve gotten a kick out of putting Sophie in Ryza’s original outfit. Sophie is cute as hell in the outfit and I much prefer it to her usual, oversized dress coat thing she normally has going on; though I do kinda miss the little whale necklace she usually wears. I spent a good number of hours on the Atelier franchise in 2022, and that’s why it’s made this list. It’s typically a wonderful and relaxing time well spent.
Fourth, I’d like to discuss Stardew Valley. This is one of my additions to the list that isn’t something I was playing for the first time. Regardless, it’s another charming and fun game, and I love periodically going back to it. I actually got myself a digital Switch copy in the summer of 2021. I hadn’t played on PS4 since before all the larger update stuff finally came out on consoles, and I thought playing on my Switch with an 8BitDo controller would be a great time. Turns out I was right. I returned to my main/original Switch path and made a lot of progress. I started a new beach farm which is going to be my very first Joja path and I even did a bit of multiplayer farming. Sadly, my 8BitDo’s battery decided to kick the bucket recently, at only two and a half years old. Fortunately, however, I’ve just received a new 8BitDo controller as a late Christmas gift, so I’ll eventually be going back to enjoy more Stardew Valley and get to continue playing it how I intended to.
The fifth game I most enjoyed in 2022, is another older title I’ve played before, Mahjong Soul. Mahjong Soul is a mobile game where you play Riichi Mahjong in various ranked rooms with a bunch of other real people around the world. In my opinion, it’s the best way to play Riichi Mahjong. I love having a character who voices the things I call: Pon, Riichi, Tsumo, etc. And being able to get different tablecloths and tile backs and whatnot is pretty nice. I don’t have much of the cosmetic extras unlocked myself since I don’t spend money on mobile games, but I did unlock my very first non starter character in 2022. Overall, I’ve been having a blast slowly ranking up in Mahjong Soul and becoming more knowledgeable about the game of Riichi Mahjong in general. Feel free to check out my clip from Christmas Eve on Twitter of my latest Yakuman win, just pay no attention to the sound going out of sync, Twitter tends to do that nowadays.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3
Okay I know I said this list wasn’t in any particular order, but this last entry is by far the best thing I played all of 2022. If you want to read a more in depth review of Xenoblade Chronicles 3, you can find the review I wrote over here. Like I said in my review, it wasn’t what I expected. I expected a somewhat grander game considering it’s the latest Xenoblade title. It simply didn’t feel complete in the end. And with how they advertised it as the conclusion to the arc, which they started in the first title, I expected more. Still, with how simply burnt out and not in the mood for so many things I’ve been since 2021 and after all the games I didn’t finish last year, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was the breath of fresh air I needed. It might not have been what I expected and wanted in the latest Xenoblade, but I had loads of fun playing it anyways and it’s one game I had no problem finishing. Monolith Soft never fails to give us a good time that’s worth every minute played and every penny spent.
Well that’s it, that’s my 2022 in Review. These are the games I most enjoyed and spent the most time on last year. I hope maybe in 2023 I can possibly return to, and actually finish, some of the games I started this decade that I’ve left unfinished. We’ll see how things go though. I also hope to have many more fun new experiences. Right now I’m anticipating Harvestella which I wasn’t able to get at launch and is scheduled to arrive on the 20th, I adored the demo. I also look forward to playing at least a little bit of Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden which as far as I know, I will be buying for the fifth and fourth time. I’ve been sitting on some cash waiting for the chance to buy them again. What about all of you reading this? What games are you hoping to enjoy in 2023?
2022 in ReviewAtelierMahjong Soulnintendo switchPS4stardew valleyTriangle StrategyXenoblade Chronicles 3Year in Review