The money tree I planted in my backyard never really payed dividends, so I couldn’t fiscally find a way to play everything I wanted to this year. So in no particular order, here are 15 games I wanted to play but couldn’t, because I’m not made of money.
CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE
I like Call of Duty well enough, but hearing the positive reception it’s been receiving really ramped up my desire to play it. The original Modern Warfare was responsible for some of my favorite gaming memories with my buddies, and while I know I can’t ever recapture that magic, it would’ve been nice to revisit it.
14.) LUIGI’S MANSION 3
I’ve only ever seen other people play any Luigi’s Mansion game with the exception of playing some terrible mini-games in Luigi’s Mansion 3 with friends. I never owned a Gamecube or Nintendo DS, so I was pretty excited to get the chance to play this newest release on a platform I actually owned. But like most of the games on this list, life happened, and I had to prioritize other things. The reception on this one has been mostly positive with some people taking umbrage with the controls. From what I’ve seen, Luigi’s Mansion 3 seems charming as hell, and I definitely want to check it out.
13.) POKEMON SWORD & SHIELD
Okay, I’m not the biggest Pokemon fan, so I can’t say I was actively looking forward to playing this latest entry at all. But I was curious about what a Pokemon game on a more or less, home console, would actually look like. Not curious enough to drop sixty big ones on, but still curious. With this one, I was more just window shopping.
Combine my mild desire to play a Pokemon game with the very mixed and sometimes angry reception of this latest entry, and I think I’m good on never playing it.
12.) DEATH STRANDING
Despite the miles of coverage on this game, I still just wanted to try it for myself if only out of pure curiosity. Most people are pretty split on it either loving it or hating it, but after seeing some of the stuff floating around the internet, mixed with my general dislike of most Kojima games, I’m 100% positive I made the right choice for me. If you like the game, great, but it doesn’t look right for me.
11.) HYPNOSPACE OUTLAW
I’ve been so close to pulling the trigger on this game 3 or 4 times now, but still haven’t for some reason. It’s this adventure game set in these facsimiles of old 90’s GeoCities pages where you play as a cyber cop that cracks down on infringements and infractions of cyber-law. It sounds great, but I just never found the right opportunity to go through with buying it. Luckily, one of my dear friends gifted me Hypnospace Outlaw for the holidays, which means I no longer have an excuse to not play it.
10.) SEKIRO: SHADOWS DIE TWICE
I’m not a Dark Souls guy at all, but people told me that Sekiro, while still being tough, wasn’t as brutal as a traditional Souls game. Whether they’re telling the truth or not is pretty subjective, but deep down I knew what they actually meant was that this game would still relish in any opportunity to whip my ass. So I kinda decided to save myself the hassle and just skip it. Looks really cool though.
9.) FIRE EMBLEM: THREE HOUSES
Speaking of games that I definitely wouldn’t be into, the Fire Emblem series is an extremely popular role-playing, turn based RPG with an emphasis on crafting relationships with various NPCs in an effort to make them better fighters… I think. It’s certainly not a game I would enjoy, but all the praise people were throwing at it did make me curious enough to consider throwing money at it. Yet after hearing that the game could take upwards of 70-80 hours, I politely declined and moved on.
I really wish I had some friends who would’ve played Mordhau with me. I enjoyed games like Chivalry back when they came out, and Mordhau just looked like a more refined version of it which was a very appealing proposal to me. But it isn’t a game I would play unless I knew that I had a crew to roll with. Buying multi-player focused games is a pretty tough sell for where I’m at in life, but if my friends were down, Mordhau wouldn’t be on this list.
7.) CADENCE OF HYRULE
Crypt of the Necrodancer was so cool and unique that I’m surprised it took them so long to make another one. I’m even more surprised it came in the form of a Zelda-themed game. For those who don’t know, just like its predecessor, Cadence of Hyrule is a top down dungeon crawling game that has you move and act to the beat of music to attack and move around and all that. It’s such a neat concept, but I just never got around to picking it up.
6.) THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: LINK’S AWAKENING
Two things basically stopped me from actually picking up Link’s Awakening. The first being that I couldn’t afford it at the time, and the second being that the performance of the game looked really bad. On top of that, people who had finished it were pretty lukewarm on the later game content. I’d still like to try it for myself, but probably never will.
5.) ANCESTORS: THE HUMANKIND ODYSSEY
This is just like Death Stranding to me in that they’re both fairly inscrutable. I really wanted to play Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, but after seeing it in action my desires quickly subsided. There appears to be no direction in how to play or progress which isn’t super enticing for me. I was ready to approach this game like I was on a fact finding mission and I would report my findings back to all of you. But yeah, I don’t know that I’m ever going to buy this game.
4.) ASTRAL CHAIN
So here’s the thing about Astral Chain that can probably explain exactly why I didn’t play it. Up until I went to make this list, I forgot it had even come out this year. I’d heard mixed to positive things about it, but I was on the fence to begin with. It looked like a cool action game and reports of the satisfying combat definitely piqued my interest, but it just kind of fell off of my radar so hard and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything big.
I have wanted to like the games that developer Spiders have made in the past, like Mars: War Logs and The Technomancer, but found them to be clunky and mostly uninteresting. But Greedfall looked like the most comprehensive of all of their offerings and certainly showed well in trailer form. When it came out, the response was pretty mixed, but there’s still a part of me that wants to give it a fair shake. There’s also my weird desire to play a big meaty action RPG even though I know that I have a hard time seeing games through to the end. That is unless they’ve really grabbed me, which is something I doubt Greedfall would have done.
Also, Greedfall? That’s the name that comes out of an idle game name generator. It’s a very bad title is what I’m saying.
2.) DISCO ELYSIUM
A lot of people have been singing the praises of Disco Elysium and even giving it their top honors this year. Since it released that’s kind of been the tenor of the conversation around it, so I was definitely intrigued. But seeing it in action quickly reminded me that it isn’t my kind of game. A CRPG is most definitely not what I’m looking for, and Disco Elysium looks to be a CRPG-ass CRPG.
I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t feeling some sort of FOMO with this game, especially because when I hear it described, it sounds awesome. I just know that Disco Elysium isn’t a game for me.
1.) SHENMUE 3
I just… like… I gotta know. I need to see this stupid game. I need to see if after almost twenty years this game is worth a damn at all. I don’t hate Shenmue games, they were impressive at the time, but they didn’t age well at all. Hearing that Shenmue 3 feels like a game made in the late 90’s but today, is a wild prospect. It sounds like the creator of the game, Yu Suzuki, stopped playing games after releasing Shenmue 2 back in 2001, and decided to make another one without looking at any advancement in the industry since.
Give me infinite time and money, and I will give you the review of Shenmue 3 that you all deserve.
Now even with an unlimited budget, I don’t think I would have had the time to dedicate to playing all of these games anyway. It’s a shame I missed out on some of these games, but I’m not balling out in a way that I can buy them all. Anyway, thanks so much for checking out my list, check back tomorrow for my Game of the Year list.