Please note that the title is games I PLAYED this year, not games that came out this year…excuse me for being a little behind the times with some of these.
1. The Walking Dead: When I first downloaded this game, I was put off by the graphics. They seemed more cartoon-ish than I had expected, and the way the main character’s eyes would bug out at given moments would make me laugh out loud. By the end of the game I was sobbing like a baby. This game made me feel connected to characters and a story in a way that I have never felt before. I also totally have a huge crush on the main character Lee…awkward.
2. Journey: I had heard a lot of hype about this title when it was first released on the PSN. I had played ThatGameCompany’s Flower in the past and was astounded by how pretty it was… so I had no choice but to give Journey a shot. I can honestly say that I never realized how much video games hold our hands in terms of “how” to play them until I was left with more or less no information on what I was doing, or what some of the controls even did besides making my character “sing”. While Journey is more of an experience than a game, it is certainly an adventure worth taking. Speaking of taking, the graphics in this are BREATHTAKING. Seriously. My god.
3. Ico: This title was re-released as a collection with Shadow of the Colossus. I purchased it because the reversible cover art amused me while I was putting it away at work. I beat the game in two sittings. I just want to give some props on how soothing the soundtrack to Ico was…even at times that I was infuriated to the point of wanting to throw my controller because Yorda kept getting herself kidnapped by shadows. The atmosphere and the quiet generated by this title was really something else. Oh, and this one made me cry too. Great story and all that.
4. Final Fantasy IX: This one might be cheating..a little…I started playing this when I was in 4th or 5th grade. I was on the fourth and final disc of the game, I was saving, and we had a power outage. I lost my file. Tears ensued (I cry a lot). I finally picked this back up after more than a decade and I was still blown away. There was something incredibly profound and existential to this game that I couldn’t have possibly picked up at, what, nine years old? FFIX is more a less a game about an unlikely group of people finding out that what they were supposedly born or “destined” to do/be is a load of bull. Then they all go on the most wonderful adventure possible to rediscover themselves. Oh, and save the world. Deep shit for a nine year old.