Happy Listmas, one and all! It’s that grand time of year where gaming lists rule! We are very pleased to celebrate this blogging holiday once again, and hope that you enjoy the plethora of lists that we have in store for you this month, some of which are themed, while others are of our own nefarious doings (bwahahahaha!). This week we’ve been talking all about our favorite memorable moments from games we’ve played this year. I s’pose I’ve got a …few…to share. And the more that I think about, the more that come to mind! So let’s just stick with five and hope for the best.
My Top 5 most memorable gaming moments of 2018
#1: Completing Dragon Age: Inquisition, Game of the Year edition
Finishing this game marked the end of a long sequence I had spent replaying the Dragon Age games, and it was totally worth it. Not only did I really milk DAI for everything that it was worth (which I didn’t do the first time around), but the DLC proved to be pretty darn great. And if you’ve played through Tresspasser, in particular, you know that it helped answer a number of lingering questions from the base game’s story. Putting the series to bed just felt really good…and it certainly made me reconsider the story possibilities that could abound in Dragon Age 4!
#2: Proving that I’m not dead inside
While I didn’t play tons of games this year, in looking back, I’m struck by how many affected me emotionally. I’ve never been one to get overly sappy with games; maybe I’m just finally growing up or something (haha). There were three standouts in this regard. Taking first prize was Ori and the Blind Forest with its story that was somehow both uplifting and heartbreaking. Just thinking about the game’s opening scenes is enough to make me tear up, let alone what happens in the game’s final throes. Second prize goes to Persona 3 Portable. Death in games is a thing that happens, but losing my character at the end was unexpected and overwhelming. Bastion takes third prize. It’s not a sad game, but it’s story is poignant and poetic.
#3: Bidding farewell to Nathan Drake
Of all the games in my PS4 backlog, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was the most gnawing one, mainly because I knew it was Nathan Drake’s swan song, and I really wanted to see if/how his story came full circle. It didn’t, or at least it didn’t in the manner I expected, but the prologue to it was fantastic, complex, and a joy to play. Everything about the game came together in a beautiful and seamless manner that perfectly wrapped up Drake’s adventures. Indeed, treasure hunting has been never so darn complicated, and yet, so fun.
#4: Embarking on a new adventure in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
I had seen plenty of footage of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild before playing it myself, and I thought I knew well what to expect. But nothing could have prepared me for that moment when Link ascends from the shrine in which he awakes into Hyrule. Gazing across the fields and forests and mountains was absolutely magical, and in that view laid only a taste of what was to come. If first impressions matter, Nintendo ailed it with that opening scene.
#5: Overcoming anxiety in Neverwinter
Of all the things I experienced in gaming this year, playing the MMORPG Neverwinter solo is far and away the most important one for me personally. Before it, I had been utterly resolute in my anti-online-multiplayer stance. I didn’t do multiplayer; online game was not for me. Now, I’m not saying that I’m suddenly also about online gaming, because I’m not, but Neverwinter provided the crutch I needed to overcome my fear of doing so. Indeed, not only did my control issues prevent me from accepting online gaming as a thing I could do, but severe anxiety over looking stupid to others did as well. It took me awhile to get over myself in that regard, and I still don’t like being on a crowded server in the game, but in Neverwinter, I’ve found a certain degrees of freedom, power, and welcoming. It’s not a perfect game, but right now, somewhat unbelievably so, it’s the perfect game for me.
Lede image © Naughty Dog LLC, Sony Interactive Entertainment (2016), captured by the author on the PlayStation 4