A few weeks ago, I injured my neck, which has made it difficult to write since and has delayed OKAK a little. You will be pleased to know that I have since achieved sweet revenge against the bear that wounded me, which has aided in the healing process.
So since I don't have a lot of progress to share, here's a post I wrote at the end of 2019 and never got around to posting: Will's Top 10 Games of the Decade!
A couple of rules:
First, these are my favorite games according to how much they meant to me or how attached I was to them. Not necessarily the ten games I'd say are the best of the decade.
Second, only games released in 2010-2019 count.
Third, the rankings are flexible. They're mostly accurate in relation to one another, but whether something is my fifth favorite or my fourth favorite could change pretty easily depending on the day.
Finally, League of Legends isn't on the list. It was my most-played game of the decade, probably by a massive margin, but it's hard to call it my favorite game. It's more like a hobby.
Without further ado, here's my list of my favorite games from last decade!
10.) God of War (2018)
AKA God of Boi, Dad of War, Dad of Boi. I don't finish many linear story-driven RPGs because my single-player game time is limited and often I don't get engaged in the story, but this one sucked me in all the way until the end. Also the world and gameplay are great.
This one narrowly edged out Spider-Man for the tenth place slot, mainly because God of War didn't have any sections where you were forced to play as the main character's superpower-less girlfriend and watch from the sidelines as the actual protagonist did fun things without you.
9.) Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
I really hope open-world games start copying from Breath of the Wild, because it's the most fun I've ever had just running around a huge, gorgeous world. And the combat is surprisingly fun and deep.
It could easily be higher on this list in terms of how much I enjoyed it, but most of the titles with higher numbers have some connection to me personally. This one isn't special to Will Wight, it's just an excellent game.
8.) Dark Souls
The original. Not the sequels.
People talk about the "Dark Souls feeling" as that feeling of mastery you get when you slam your head against an impossible boss fight until you finally get better and defeat it and get that sense of euphoria as you overcome a challenge with your own skill.
The original Dark Souls made me feel that, and I try to chase that to this day. Most of the sequels, spinoffs, and Soulslikes I didn't enjoy as much...mainly because they don't have navigational mechanics, and I am the world's most directionally challenged being. Instead of being frustrated by the game's difficulty, I'm frustrated because I can't find where I'm supposed to go and I've run around this courtyard thirteen times killing the same zombies over and over.
The original Dark Souls didn't have a map either, but the maps are so compact and well-designed that I had a much easier time getting around. I'd sacrifice newer graphics for a more straightforward level design any day.
7.) Doki Doki Literature Club
Excellent storytelling. No joke.
6.) Stardew Valley
I never enjoyed these chore-a-day type games until Stardew, which sucked me in with the addictive Harvest Moon gameplay and kept me there with charm and personality.
I once joked that when multiplayer Stardew Valley came out I would never finish a book again, and I now realize that it wasn't a joke, please someone help me.
I can't say anything about this game that a thousand screaming children haven't said on YouTube already, but in spite of the hype it's a genuinely excellent game with inventive mechanics and deceptively relatable characters.
I was lucky enough to go into the game without too much spoiled for me, and that's how I recommend it. Even the moments that were spoiled still landed, and now I carry Undertale with me wherever I go on my Switch. For when I need an emotional punch to the gut so I can cry on an airplane.
I initially didn't have Skyrim on this list at all.
I thought, "I haven't played Skyrim that much, but for the sake of science, let's see how much time I've put into Skyrim on Steam. Huh. What about on Xbox? Interesting. And on Switch..."
Now it's #4.
This should honestly be #1.
I put it down two places because Minecraft doesn't need any more hype. This is probably the only game that rivals League of Legends in terms of the amount of time I spent playing it last decade, and since I was lucky enough to get into the alpha before the game's reputation skyrocketed, it is one of those games that I feel a real personal connection to.
As does the whole generation of middle schoolers that has now grown up playing it. Way to make me feel old, Minecraft.
...but since we're talking personal preference here, I do prefer Terraria's style to Minecraft's.
Honestly, the first three games are all in contention for my favorite game of all time. I find Terraria so charming and engaging that I do a fresh playthrough probably twice a year.
Unlike Minecraft, where the lure of playing comes from huge projects like remodeling a mountain to look like your childhood bully's face and then blowing the crap out of it with TNT, Terraria lures you in with projects like "Build a better magic gun so that you can blow up a titanic mechanical worm-god and build an even better magic gun."
It's packed to the gills with content, and it's pure fun.
Yes, it's Subnautica. Of course it's Subnautica. Go play Subnautica.
I don't recommend books very often because it's rare that I find a title I really enjoyed that doesn't already have a lot of recognition.
But here's one!
Aching God by Mike Shel is a dark fantasy epic full of creeping dread and a fully realized world of adventure with deadly threats lurking around every corner.
If that sounds like your thing, go read it now.
If it doesn't, allow me a moment to convince you.
Right off the bat, let me start by saying that this is not a lighthearted book and it's obviously not intended for young children. It doesn't go overboard IMO, but it doesn't shy away from frightening or violent elements either. If that bothers you, then this might not be the title for you.
However, this is used by the author to the advantage of the story. The very first scene follows the main character, a retired adventurer, suffering from violent nightmares spawned by an old encounter with the undead.
This story reminded me that zombies used to be scary, and if I lived in a real world where I watched my friends being torn apart by the walking dead, I'd be scarred for life too.
I started off impressed by the life (pardon the pun) Mike Shel breathed into the undead, but as I kept reading, every new development in the story raises the stakes and adds a whole new dimension of danger to the main character's mission.
[Vague story spoilers from here on out! I try not to spoil anything that isn't mentioned in the synopsis or the first few pages of the book, but if you're completely spoiler-averse, be warned.]
You see, there's a cursed artifact that is spreading a plague in the capital. The protagonist, Auric Manteo, is brought out of retirement to return the artifact into the horrifying temple from whence it came. He's haunted by the gruesome death of his previous team and he doesn't want to return, but his only daughter is among those cursed. She will die if the curse isn't lifted.
That's just the premise, but what that doesn't communicate is how dire and desperate the situation feels. Auric isn't sure if returning the cursed artifact will even work, so he's confronting his greatest fear in what's essentially a gamble. But what else is he going to do? His daughter is dying.
Every new element adds realism, depth, and danger to the world. In order to leave the country and go back to this cursed tomb, Auric has to get the permission of the Queen, but the Queen herself may or may not be a god-cursed cannibalistic undead witch.
Traveling to the tomb is a harrowing experience on its own, and even if they arrive safely, they're delivering themselves into the mouth of a bloodthirsty demon-god.
If that doesn't sound awesome to you, then I don't know what to tell you.
P.S. This is a review of the first book, but the second book is also out and the third (and final) book in the trilogy is out soon! DON'T WAIT! HOP ON THE MIKE SHEL TRAIN TODAY!
"Then he felt a reaction from his cores."
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