Well, it is a new year, and as usual, I’ll be going over my activity at That’s All Games. This year, I’ve had to slow down a bit, due to some health issues on my end. They happened to be light sensitive migraines, so for obvious reasons, it makes it hard to write on a computer, and even harder to play video games to review or discuss for the site.
Thankfully, I do a fair amount of prewriting on paper, so I can get back into the game really quickly. In fact, some articles are already prewritten, and simply need to be typed onto the blog for next year. Others are still in the works as I review games, so stay tuned for what may be next. Now let’s look at the top 5 and bottom 5 games reviewed this year, both old and new:
#1: Metroid Dread (9.4/10)
This is the best Metroid game I’ve played in a while, and is up there on a lot of the top games of the year in other publications. It’s even one of my favorite Switch games so far, and if you like sci-fi 2D platforming, you can’t go wrong with this game!
Read the review here: Review: Metroid Dread (Switch)
#2: Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury (8.8/10)
While I missed the Wii U original, I was pleasantly surprised by this game and its new content. With 4 playable characters, clever level design, and great replayability, this is a fun romp for the whole family.
Read the review here: Review: Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury (Switch)
#3: Bravely Default II (8.6/10)
It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that an RPG made this list, considering that I play a lot of these. Bravely Default II is a complex, lengthy game, with fun characters and good quality of life features. I had to fight through migraines as I played this, so the lengthy review process was even longer for this one, but it was worth it!
Read the review: Review: Bravely Default II (Switch)
#4: Super Mario Galaxy (8.6/10)
Here’s the Third game covered as part of the Super Mario 3D All Stars collection. This game aged really well, and relied a little less on motion controls than the original did. Again, a good family game with a good amount of content here.
Read the review here: Review: Super Mario 3D All Stars, Part 3: Super Mario Galaxy (Switch)
#5: Super Metroid (8.5/10)
Time for a retro review of a classic that defined a subgenre. Super Metroid is a game with great visual and gameplay based storytelling. I wrote this in anticipation of the release of Metroid Dread, and only found a few flaws holding it back (mostly the controls). It’s a good game for many of the same reasons as Metroid Dread, so give it a go if you like that game and have access to it!
Read the review here: Retro Review: Super Metroid (SNES)
First, let me preface this with fact that I thought most of these games are still quite good. I only reviewed 14 games this year, but I still had a good enough year to have played good games. Now let’s see what didn’t do as well this year.
#1: Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (8.0/10)
The second game included in the Castlevania Advance Collection, Harmony of Dissonance was the most forgettable game here. It still isn’t a bad game, per se, but it is both a little easy for my tastes, and a little awkward in design. If you aren’t familiar with Castlevania, you may still want to try it out.
Read the review: Review: Castlevania Advance Collection: Part 2: Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (Switch)
#2: Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl (8.0/10)
Okay, as a ravenous Pokémon fan, this one hurts to put in the bottom 5 I played this year. You can see from this score, it is still about as good as many Pokémon games. My main issue is how similar it is to the game it is a remake of. I stopped playing it a week after I finished it, but those who haven’t played Diamond or Pearl may still want to try it out.
Read the review here: Review: Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Versions (Switch)
#3: WarioWare: Get it Together! (7.6/10)
This game is still fun, but I felt it didn’t motivate me to play much more after I finished it. The character switching made the game a fresh take on the series, but there needed to be some extra content to keep it going.
Read the review here: Review: WarioWare: Get It Together (Switch)
#4: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game (7.5/10)
The Scott Pilgrim movie was one of the first video game themed movies that was fun for me to watch. The fact that this game was rereleased on all systems, including the Switch was something I had hoped for. The game’s power up system was a little clunky, and required more play time than I would have liked, but again, still a good game.
Read the review here: Review: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World – The Game (Switch)
#5: Pokémon Unite (7.5/10)
Pokémon looked like a cheap League of Legends clone. While it mostly was a clone of that game, it isn’t cheap. This one is mostly at the bottom of the list based more on personal preference (I don’t like free-to-play games), and the limited gameplay variety, but I know this game can still have a following with the right crowd, so don’t overlook it based on my score alone.
Read the review here: Review: Pokémon Unite (Switch)
Coming Soon to That’s All Games:
There were a few articles that didn’t quite make it this year, but will still go on the site when I get the chance. Here’s a quick look at where they are:
- Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
This is the next review from the Castlevania Advance Collection, and will get the highest score in the collection. This review is already prewritten, but the migraines came back before I could type it up.
- Castlevania: Dracula X
I finished this game earlier than expected (I thought the final battle would be impossible for me). No prewriting has begun, but I plan on giving the fourth game listed in the Castlevania Advance collection the lowest score in this compilation.
- Game Builder Garage
Despite starting this game earlier than the others, I haven’t got through the tutorials yet. Since this is a game that becomes very free form after that, the score may not be accurate for every player.
- The Pokémon Starter Challenge: Sun Version Results
This challenge is only one third complete, as I finished the game with the grass type only so far. I just started with the fire type, but the headaches flared up before I could get into the swing of things. This one could take a while.
- Game Story Case Studies: Season 2: Final Fantasy IX
This one will also take a while, but I haven’t forgotten it. There are a lot of scenes here, and a ton of images, so there will be multiple multi-page articles for this one. Stay tuned!
So with the headaches flaring up this year, the videos are on hiatus, for now. They require more time to make or upload, so it could take some time to get into the swing of things and bring them back to the site. An update article will go up if and when they will come back to YouTube, maybe Twitch, and the site. Full disclosure, no promises that they will come back.
Next year’s games:
Here are a few games I hope to play next year:
- Pokémon Legends: Arceus
- Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon
- Kirby and the Forgotten Land
- Advance Wars 1+2: Reboot Camp
- Tetris Effect Connected
- Splatoon 3
- And more as they release.
Before I go…
I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m writing a book! It is still in the prewriting stages, and has nothing to do with video games. This novel should be quite unique, but it isn’t ready to be fully revealed to the public, yet. An article and separate page will go up when more details are ready to go.
So that’s what I had done last year, and what is planned for next year. Have a Happy New Year readers! I hope that my health will be better next year and I can more consistently write more for my audience! New articles will go up on Fridays, based on my health, so stay tuned!
And that was how my 2021 went. How was this year treating you? What games did you play? What are you most looking forward to next year? Do you want me to post more about the book I’m writing? Let me know in the comments below! If you enjoyed this reflective article, then click that like button and share on social media. To keep up with That’s All Games, you can subscribe via email or WordPress. Until next time, Have fun gaming!