Gaming Year in Review – 2016

2016 is quickly drawing to a close, and so, I’d like to reflect on the gaming highlights of the year.

In board gaming, the big highlights of the year were Netrunner, and Pandemic: Legacy. I was a little later to the party on both of those, but they were both a lot of fun. Netrunner a buddy and I got pretty into for a while in the spring, meeting pretty regularly for games (and to show off the new cards we bought) for about 2 months. I kinda got busy and so we didn’t keep getting together for regular things, but man did I enjoy the really durdly decks I made with it. Pandemic Legacy has continuously been amazing, with the only fault being that we just haven’t gotten together enough to complete it. I love the group of people I am playing with it, but actually getting all 4 of us together is a pain in the butt.

This year in video games was mostly about sequels and old franchises for me, Pokemon Sun & Moon are almost certainly the best Pokemon games in a while, and the new Ace Attorney game is finally something that can stand among the original trilogy after the mediocre 4 & 5. XCOM 2 was pretty amazing and kept me hooked through several runs until I beat it on Ironman! Star Fox Zero also gets special mention, the new controls worked for me, although I can see how they didn’t for others. I also FINALLY went back and beat Valkyria Chronicles, which might not have been notable except it has been one of those games on my list for YEARS, and it felt good to clear that off.

I’d have to put Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE as my game of the year. Despite it not being what anyone (myself included) expected from a SMT/FE crossover game, AND the unfortunate changes done during localization, it is actually a wonderfully done JRPG with a lot of heart put into it, I actually still have the vocal CD in my car’s CD player.

This year in Role-playing was actually pretty good, all things considered. The first part of the year involved finishing up an Age of Rebellion (FFG Star Wars) game, as my new job at the time made continuing to run it unfeasible. The ending was a bit rushed, but it was an ACTUAL ENDING, which I hadn’t had a chance to do as a GM before then. Also this year, was the Burning Holy War of Succession, a Burning Wheel game I was a player in, that lasted a good 18 sessions to the completion of the main arc. That gave way to my Revenge of the North game (the postmortem here being one of my first posts on this blog), which didn’t last very long, but also had an ending.  After that, this same group is taking a break from Burning Wheel and has been playing The Good Shepherds, a Blades in the Dark game, which we’ll sit down for a new session of on the first!

As for RPG books, this year I bought, Tenra Bansho Zero, Torchbearer, The Burning Wheel Codex, and (just recently) Sorcerer.  Haven’t got a chance to use all of those yet, but would totally like to!

The big things I am looking forward to in 2017 are:

  • Getting that Devil Survivor Game I mentioned in my post here going.
  • The Nintendo Switch and Breath of the Wild
  • Finishing Pandemic and then starting SeaFall
  • Getting my Wooden Copy of Inheritance I backed for from when I was feeling rich with job money.  Hopefully I’ll get to play it, but getting 9 other people together may be tough!

I’m not too likely to post again this year, so I hope you all have a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Let’s all have some good gaming in 2017!

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Happy Thanksgiving! YAMIAT Gives Thanks 2016

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We celebrate Thanksgiving today in the States. This holiday is, buried underneath all parades, the food, the shopping deals, and the four day weekend, about counting our blessings and listing off the things we are thankful for. I’d like to use this opportunity to talk about some of the things I am thankful for, at least in the context of gaming.

  • My Current Groups: Most board and role-playing games are worthless without other people to play with.  And, while the current groups I play with aren’t exactly perfect, I’m thankful for the times we manage to put aside, and get together to play the games we play!
  • The People I Met Through Gaming: I don’t make friends that easily, never really have. I’m not really that great at meeting new people or just hanging out either. Playing games with other people, however, gives me a shared experience with them, and really helps me get to know them. Sometimes the people are assholes and really aren’t worth continuing to play with, but more often than not they are good people who are fun to hang out with. Most of the time, we go our separate ways after the game (be it a one-off board game or a full RPG campaign) ends, but I am still thankful for the chance to meet them. I’m even more thankful for the couple of folks that have stuck around after the games are over and I’ve counted among my true friends ever since.
  • The Internet: There’s lots to be said about the internet, but right now I am thankful for its ability to bring gamers from all sorts of different places together. As much as I love my meatspace friends, they can be almost impossible to corral into a regular meeting schedule for some regular gaming (we’ve been working on a game of Pandemic Legacy for over 8 months now). Thanks to the internet, I’ve been able to meet some great people and have some really fun games even when my current circle of friends has been lacking.
  • The Community: Like any community, us gamers have our fair share of bad eggs. It doesn’t help that we love to argue, sometimes even about who those bad eggs are! But even through all the jerks, trolls, and people who insist you are having fun in the WRONG WAY, I love the creative and generally helpful nature I find to be in abundance in all healthy gaming communities. I’m thankful to be a part of it, and for having been turned on to some really cool games through it!
  • The Opportunity to Play: This is huge. I’ve got a safe, comfortable space to play in, and the free time that I don’t need to dedicate to making ends meet, or simply surviving. I have electricity to power my video games, and I have disposable income to buy frivolous things like video, board games and RPG rulebooks. I don’t get to play as often as I would like, but all that goes into being able to play at all makes me a lot better off than a lot of people in this world are.

I’m sure there are plenty of wonderful gaming goodness that I am forgetting to be thankful for, but I think those are the big ones! It is nice to stop and think about this sort of thing now and then. What about you? What gaming things are you thankful for?

Turkey image found at Good Free Photos