2021: A Year in Review
Oh man, do I have to type this up? Well, here goes.
January: Not going to lie, January 2021 was stacked. My PS5 had just arrived and I dove straight into some of the best exclusives Sony had to offer. I completed Demon Souls with relative ease thanks to previous PS3 knowledge and having my best friend Ellie as a walking encyclopedia. In 2021, I helped a total of 4 people get the platinum, 5 if you include a few item drops for Honda to help his journey. I also played the absolutely gorgeous Spiderman games.
February: I spent almost all of February playing Destiny 2. How and/or why I racked up 120+ hours of this game in Feb still baffles me, even with new content. I also got around to the fourth Steins;Gate game, which sadly did not have trophies. It was still fantastic, as are all of 5pb’s visual novels. Lastly, I cleaned up Win 8 Solitiare before the servers closed, and played another round of DMC V as Virgil.
March: Another deep dive into one of my favorite games of all time: Skyrim. I regret nothing. If Bethesda came out with a never ending Skyrim that isn’t an MMO, I would literally never play anything else. 10/10 once again, and there is now a PS5 stack to chase eventually when I need to scratch that itch once more. I also played the pile of shit known as Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Bleh.
April: GSL. Already did a write-up you can find earlier in the thread. Long story short I played 140 games on Xbox and completed all 140 of them for 157,000 Gamerscore. In just one month, I had already beaten my all-time yearly Gamerscore record, but even then it was only good for 2nd place in the tournament. The cooler accomplishment is that according to my records, I played my 1,000th video game of all time in April 2021, so that’s cool.
May: What a fucking awesome month. I nabbed the Serious Sam Collection as my 1,000th video game of all time and had a blast completing it. Serious Sam 3 was a lot more fun than I remember, TFE and TSE were nostalgic as hell, and Serious difficulty was quite the challenge I was motivated to overcome. Follow that up with Mass Effect: Legendary Collection and you have a month that flew by in what felt like hours. I even got a friend to play ME for the first time and he enjoyed it. 100% recommend, just have tissues nearby once you get to the third game.
June: I kept the momentum rolling into the summer with some VERY good games, including: AI The Somnium Files, Scarlet Nexus, Ara Fell, Control, and FF7R: Integrade. Each one of these games could have easily made a top 10 list for 2021 if I expanded it that far, so June was another great month for gaming, and flew by in an instant.
July: I spent most of July played Final Fantasy XII, which had been on my to-do list for quite a while. I thought it would be fantastic, but I was severely let down by just about everything except the banger soundtrack. I’m sure it would have been different news if I played XII on PS2 back in the hay day, but alas I did not. I also played Astro’s Playroom in July, which was a very enjoyable experience that I wish lasted longer.
August: August housed two of my top 5 games of the year, as well as the worst game I played in 2021. Funny how that works! Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory and Hades were so damn good. Despite stopping after KH1, the story summary was easy to follow and made me want to play all of them. Hades once again showed that SuperGiant is one of the best indie devs in the business. On the wrong end of the spectrum is Gravity Rush 2. I don’t think I’ve ever had a 20+ hour game where I was raging from start to finish. What a massive letdown compared to the first game. Other August goodies included the Zero Escape series. Spike Chunsoft hella delivers on their visual novel/adventure hybrids. I also did my 3rd or 4th playthrough of Demon Souls, can’t remember lol.
September: And thus began the random idea of grinding out six straight Far Cry games. Believe it or not, I didn’t get bored doing them all back to back. The open world formula is enjoyable and stress free for me. It’s actually the one type of game I can play without taking a break or wanting to go do something else. FC4 was a dip in enjoyment from 3, but 5 and New Dawn were very good and made up for it. I only wish that New Dawn was twice as long or something because I love post-apocalyptic games.
October: I made a potential mistake in picking up Far Cry 6 but it was hard not to when the XBA staff were talking about how much fun it was. I admit I did end up enjoying the game itself, but now with the stupid insurgencies and three seemingly similar waste of money DLCs, I’m agreeing on the mistake part. Would rather have waited to play it all together for cheap, rather than gamble on day one. My other big completion in October was Okami HD. Ended up being a bit aged, but still very fun as a Zelda fan.
November: After 40 attempts, I gave up trying to get an Xbox Series X the legit way and paid a Craigslist premium of $150 to a scalper so I could play Forza Horizon 5 on release. FH5 was stellar at first, but the story sucked balls and the broken online ruined a lot of my fun. Not to mention my 7 day ban for having “ass” on my car (if that was even the trigger) really pissed me off. Still, I made it to 500th on the accolade leaderboard at one point (out of 10 million players) and had some banging scores on PR stunts that I’m proud of, so I don’t regret the 120 hours I put into the game. November also released Halo Infinite multiplayer, but sheesh I had nothing but negative things to say about it. Other fun stuff includes Alan Wake Remastered, Doki Doki Literature Club Plus, Haven, and the Spyro Trilogy.
December: Just finished writing this up, but the takeaways were: Halo Infinite Campaign, Hades for the second time, and Robotics;Notes. All of these were 8/10 or 9/10 ratings, and even made my top 5 lists right at the end. Robotics;Notes DaSH has me hyped for the return of either series, but sadly nothing is announced at the moment.
Statistics and Top 5 Lists
My favorite part of the year!
On Xbox, I managed 3,594 achievements for 176,240 Gamerscore. Hell, just GSL alone shattered my records for most achievements and Gamerscore in one year, so these numbers are both new records.
On PS, I followed up with 3,042 trophies worth the equivalent of 139,275 Gamerscore. My platinum count was a very satisfying 100 on the nose for 2021. All of these are new records, mostly brought on by stacking. I don’t know how much I’ll be doing that in 2022, so I really don’t expect to beat these records without trying. With two new records here, that means my combined count of 6,636 achievements/trophies is a new record. Remember when I said 4,200 was a crazy, unbeatable number? Maybe I should go touch some grass.
My annual cost for gaming is lower than last year, coming in at $2,256.30. Even though I bought a $700 Xbox, I immediately offset it by selling three complete PS4/XB1 systems and 15 controllers lol. My gaming hours add up to 2,780 for 2021, or an average of 7.72 hours per day. These are very rough estimates, as it is annoying manually keeping track when shit like quick resume and PS5 power saving mode mess up my numbers. But, historically, 7 hours a day is about right.
My unique game count came in at 274, with 257 being new games played in 2021. No doubt that most of it is GSL trash and unique stacks for PS4/PS5 regions, but that’s another new record that will require serious work to beat. The breakdown of games:
What does an entire year of daily Destiny play look like? Well, its embarrassing. Here are my top 5 most played games by hours in 2021:
1. Destiny 2: 695 hours
2. Forza Horizon 5: 127 hours
3. Halo Infinite: 118 hours
4. Skyrim: 101 hours
5. Final Fantasy XII: 67 hours
As Thanos once said, reality is often disappointing. My top 5 most disappointing games I played in 2021:
1. Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania
2. Shadow of the Tomb Raider
3. Final Fantasy XII
4. Halo Infinite (Multiplayer)
5. Forza Horizon 5
I cannot explain in words how disappointing Super Monkey Ball was. This is a series I have literally hundreds of hours in as a kid, with all levels memorized and nothing but nostalgia. Yet I only played three hours of the remake for Switch before canning it and literally never turning it back on. Why fix what isn’t broken? I stuffed Shadow of the TR here because I really liked both of the first two TR game reboots. Only one minute-long section of TR was good, the rest was very forgettable and almost always frustrating. FF XII was disappointing because I was expecting a masterpiece like Final Fantasy X but it wasn’t even on the same worldline. Halo Infinite multiplayer’s letdown is 95% MMR at this point, making every game unenjoyable. Forza Horizon 5 rounds out the list with its broken multiplayer (which still isn’t fixed btw) and snowflake employees who autoban you for an entire week for the word "ass" and then ignore you when you inquire about the ban.
Lets go ahead and address the pile of shit in the middle of the floor. My top 5 worst games played in 2021:
1. Gravity Rush 2
2. Fearful Symmetry & The Cursed Prince
3. The Path of Motus
4. Radio Squid
5. Demetrios: The Big Cynical Adventure
Gravity Rush 2 could have taken 2nd on the most disappointing list, but I put it here instead. What a pile of shit. I can’t really put my finger on it, but it was non-stop frustration for 36 hours of literal hell. The next three games hail from GSL ’21. Cursed Prince took a controller from me with its extremely frustrating gameplay. Motus could compete for worst game of all time on the average gamer's list, and Radio Squid should be on every company’s whiteboard under “What not to do when making a video game.” Lastly, Demetrios and his 150,000 fart/poop/puke jokes got old faster than McDonald’s fries sitting on your counter for two minutes. If I could rewind, I would have deleted that game from my hard drive and refunded the 1000 Gamerscore I suffered through.
Time to wash the pallet clean! For my hidden gems, I try to include games you probably haven’t even heard of, or perhaps games I hadn’t even heard of before playing them. The list was very easy to make:
1. AI: The Somnium Files
2. Robotics;Notes DaSH
3. Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition
4. Project Starship X
5. Beyond Eyes
AI and Robotics were on my radar for a while simply because they are made by Spike Chunsoft and 5pb. With the sole exception of Chaos;Child, these two companies have never failed to deliver a very enjoyable story that keeps you engaged the entire time. Ara Fell was picked simply for the artwork, and I’m glad I played it. The story was quite good for a short game, the characters were relatable, and the music was relaxing af. Project Starship X was incredible, despite being clearly designed for achievement whores. I stacked it a total of 5 times in 2021 and enjoyed it every time. I really wish I could beat the entire game but it gets so difficult! Lastly I put Beyond Eyes, which I never heard of myself. Expected a trash GSL game but instead got a unique experience and a tearful ending that I still think about. I would hug her if I could.
If the subtle pictures weren’t enough, my top 5 games played in 2021 are all pictured above Here they are in order:
1. Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory
2. Mass Effect: Legendary Edition
4. Marvel’s Spiderman & Miles Morales
5. Halo Infinite (Campaign)
Not going to lie, I wanted to give it to Mass Effect but considering this was my third trek through the trilogy, I gave it a backseat to Melody of Memory. Melody is the only "new" game that I gave a perfect 10 to in 2021. I really enjoy rhythm games, and the Kingdom Hearts music is incredible. The story mode also gave a synopsis of each game in an easily understandable recap. It made me want to play them all, but sadly they are either difficult, 100+ hours, or both for each game. Hades was a no-brainer, considering I did it twice in just four months. RNG boned me pretty hard on both save files, but I still had a blast with the gameplay and story and would recommend it to absolutely everyone. I put both Spiderman games here because Miles was so short (and it’s my list, fuck you). Both games were incredible from start to finish on the PS5, and are must plays if you ever own one. Already excited for the next entry! Last on the list is Halo Infinite’s campaign. I had a really good time with my initial playthrough, and as mentioned above, the music really hit the nostalgia bones. How many times can one woman cry from just music playing? Yes. Even my LASO playthrough was enjoyable because I had to play with high alertness at all times. Frustrating? Yep, but it felt rewarding beating a section while flying around with infinite grapple and a mf tank cannon. Other honorable mentions include Serious Sam Collection, Control, Scarlet Nexus, and Skyrim for the 100th time.
I actually did well on playing my 2020 anticipated games, completing 4 out of 5 on the list. Fairy Tail is still like $50, so if I want to play it I’m just gonna have to bite the bullet. My top 5 games released in 2021 that I can’t wait to play in 2022 are:
1. Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart (Will literally be my first game of 2022).
2. Nier Replicant
3. Serious Sam 4
4. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
5. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD
Only played 1 out of 5 of my 2021 anticipated games, but that is because Ghostwire Tokyo and Horizon Forbidden West got delayed. The other two were Ratchet & Clank and Nier Replicant, which I will get to early in 2022. Here are my most anticipated 2022 releases:
1. Elden Ring
2. Horizon ZD: Forbidden West
3. Ghostwire Tokyo
4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2
5. Bayonetta 3
HM: Cyberpunk 2077 (PS5/XSX): I really want to give this another try without the 400 game-breaking glitches I experienced when I played it on PS4 in 2020. I’m willing to forgive you…Maybe…
If you made it this far, go do something more productive? Haha just kidding thanks for reading.