Video games may be super lame, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been a very important part of my life in the 2010s. So with that in mind, I’d like to feature some of the very best the past ten years had to offer. It won’t be comprehensive and it won’t be ranked, so don’t try and argue with me because I left off Dark Demon Hunter X 🙁 It’ll mostly be limited to one game per series/creator/whatever so that I can talk about many different types of games.
First, honorable mentions for very good games that I liked a lot: Mario Odyssey, the excellent adventure platformer; Shovel Knight, the superb adventure platformer; Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which could theoretically be a platformer; and Fire Emblem Awakening, Game & Wario, Stardew Valley, and Into the Breach, none of which are platformers in any shape or function.
The only time in my life I can say I had anything resembling clinical depression was in Summer 2016. My semester at university had ended, my little baby brother had graduated high school, and I was free for three months to do whatever the hell I wanted until I went off to Nagoya, Japan to study there for a year.
But due to massive compounding anxiety and heartbreak as a result of being cheated on and emotionally toyed with as I struggled poorly to handle myself, I fell into a pretty dark place.
It’s honestly pretty silly looking back that you have these simplistic 8-bit or 16-bit graphics, and the way you think you can accurately represent that in marketing is by making some clay models of the characters. It’s surely expensive enough that 2D art, or even live-action actors, surely would have been a more sensible option.
But all these years later, and I look at the clay promo art for video games as some of the coolest stuff ever. Just look at all of this:
This is something I locked away in the recesses of my mind until recently, but as I was stumbling around old computer files looking for something to blog about, I remembered that I accidentally predicted the future of video game consoles. I even posted about it in my high school-era blog, which you can read here.
It was April 2011, and I was thinking about the next Nintendo console, which I figured would be announced at the upcoming E3 press conference for a release in 2012. I figured what the essentials would be for a new system, what Nintendo absolutely needed to survive in the field after the Wii’s lagging end-tail sales, then what I thought might be able to be enhanced from the Wii era. That brought me to the idea of new controller designs, and thinking about how Nintendo loves to try new innovations, I ruminated on just what they might to to differentiate themselves.
Turns out, for all my teenage weirdness I was a bit of a prophet about the future direction of console video gaming.