For a while now I’ve known that I have depression and anxiety: I’ve known that I get tired easier and more often than most, and I’ve known that I get more nervous than most over more things. But I’ve also been gaming for as long as I remember; gaming since I was 5 if my memory serves me correctly. So with that, I know that my mental health has affected how I interact with and play video games.
Florence is a bittersweet game. Its narrative can be described as such as well, with its joyous moments being extremely touching and wonderful, while its lows are crushing and devastating. But the game as a whole feels to me as bittersweet as its story: it has so many good ideas and moments of gameplay that evoke the emotion and feelings of the story so well, yet the experience as a whole had left me wanting more.
Big announcements coming from the Japanese company in their online presentation
Sega released their new game accidentally for free via its demo
Their recent Royal Rumble performances are a good sign for Japanese representation in Vince McMahon’s Promotion
I was watching the 2018 Royal Rumble in a bar when it happened. Two native Japanese wrestlers shot to the top of the pecking order with respective wins in the two Royal Rumble matches that night. Those two wrestlers are Shinsuke Nakamura and Asuka- a glimpse of hope that maybe, just maybe, WWE will try and rectify their years of poor representation of superstars of Japanese descent.
So 2017 has been a busy year for me. I wrote a dissertation, graduated and got a day job. This led me to think that I hadn’t played that many games this year. But upon further thought, I had played more than I remembered I did; it’s just that some of the games just fell to the back of my brain. So with this list, I’m going to discuss which ones really stuck out to me during this hectic year and warranted being remembered by my tired, tired brain. Here are my top games of 2017 (In no particular order).
The 2012-2013 season of Kamen Rider, Kamen Rider Wizard may seem like a typical show about magic at first glance; hell the word ‘Wizard’ is even in the title. Its overall structure is the same as any toku series: a monster of the week appears up, the plot inches forward bit by bit until a big bad is found, and the world is saved. It has its pacing issues and its plot is rather rote, but there is this thing that draws me to it.
And that thing is how depression can be read into it as an important subtext.
I have very fond memories of Sonic. Some of my first video games ever were Sonic games, specifically Sonic and Knuckles which I played on some weird proprietary software running on Adobe Shockwave along with the Sonic Advance games. So when I saw the announcement of Sonic Mania last year, I was extremely excited. But then a little hesitant because this is the company who made Sonic ’06. However, as more and more was revealed I saw that his truly was a labour of love made with the utmost respect for the franchise’s roots. Thankfully, these hopes were paid off with a game that lives up to the hype, but with a few road bumps on the journey.
So as I was capturing images for my Splatoon 2 review, I noticed that a couple of the miiverse-esque posts in the game were about trans positivity and trans inclusiveness. The more I looked, the more I found and I started wondering why? Why was there so much wonderful trans positivity in a game that, on the surface, does not immediately seem like a space for trans people due to its lack of acknowledgement of queerness, let alone transness, and the fact that it comes from the traditionally conservative Nintendo?
Splatoon 2 doesn’t feel like much of a sequel. It honestly feels like an expansion pack or big update, something akin to the amount of content Overwatch has received since the year that has passed since its launch. However, the majority of its merits (and some of its issues) do come from the fact that it’s on the Nintendo Switch. So is Splatoon 2 as fresh as a new catch straight from the ocean? Quite likely, but it does seem a bit fishy.