Video Games 2021 Review

Like many people from our generation, we love videogames.  Chaos is most into platformers, metroidvanias, action-adventure.  Confetti is mostly into sandbox games and RPGs.  We both have owned a wide variety of systems, between the two of us owning almost every Playstation, XBox, and Nintendo system over the last 30 years.  We both lean a bit more into Nintendo’s systems and franchises, but we’re not exclusive to Nintendo.  

Chaos grew up as the older sibling.  While he played plenty of games with his younger sister, who grew into her own big-time game player herself, he also had plenty of time with her watching his playthroughs.  Chaos is a completionist.  He loves to get every collectable and 100% a game as much as he can.  The main story says go one way and he’ll try to check out every blade of grass and side quest available.  

Confetti grew up as the younger sibling. She watched her brother play a lot of games and then learned to play herself. As a kid, that was mostly Ocarina of Time on repeat so she could keep unlocking Epona. As an adult, she has played a lot of Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon, and the Sims. She has probably never 100% a game in her life.

In our home, we’ve worked out a dynamic where Chaos tends to play and Confetti watches.  She likes to be his extra set of eyes.  She often jokes that she’s his gaming coach, helping him achieve his full potential and maximize his plays.  Confetti still plays games, but she okay letting Chaos mostly be player one.  It’s very sweet of her, since Chaos isn’t always the best at sharing and this prevents them from fighting over the controller.

Here are  our games from 2021:

  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PS4)
  • Hat in TIme (Switch)
  • The Last of Us 2 (PS4)
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch)
  • New Pokemon Snap (Switch)
  • Marvel’s Avengers (PS4)
  • Undertale (Switch)
  • Astro’s Playground (PS5)
  • Life is Strange: True Colors (PS5)
  • Metroid Dread (Switch)
  • Sac Boy’s Big Adventure (PS5)
  • Pokemon Go (mobile game)

Confetti’s #3: Life is Strange: True Colors

Chaos bought this game specifically because he thought I would enjoy it, so it’s not too surprising that it made my top 3. I had never played any of the other Life is Strange games, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect when we started playing. I quickly became invested into the main character, Alex, and I loved all of the small detail touches that were important throughout the game. Chaos and I became addicted to an arcade video game within the game – we didn’t rest until we had the high score.

 It’s a little hard to talk about Life is Strange and avoid spoilers, so I’ll just sum it up like this: if you like narrative choice stories, this one is worth playing. If you want to a game that you’re super actively playing, this one probably isn’t for you. I’m hoping we get to play the DLC Story in 2022. 

Chaos’ #3: Sac Boy’s Big Adventure

I never played any of the other Little Big Planet games, so I hesitated when grabbing Sac Boy’s Big Adventure.  I actually bought it because it was one of the few PS5 games I could get my hands on at the time.  Turns out I didn’t need a bunch of backstory.  The game’s plot was pretty straight forward: Bad man has plan; move about levels and collect magic orbs to stop him.  Go!

I can’t say no to a solid platformer, so Sac Boy pretty fit that space in my life.  Better yet, I was able to dress him up as a green and gold luchador which made my experience even better.  The main game wasn’t too difficult, but it was still a lot of fun.  The real challenge came in when I tried to 100% levels: getting every collectable, not dying, and scoring enough points.  I also really enjoyed the time challenges.  Nothing like dying over and over again as you figure out the perfect route and steps to finish a course just right.  Those runs are where I really upped my skill at the game.

Overall, Sac Boy’s Big Adventure is nothing groundbreaking, but it’s a solid platformer that gains extra points for being cute and providing enough bells and whistles to make everything just a bit more challenging and fun.  It really helped fill so time while I wait for some of my more anticipated PS5 releases to eventually come out.

Confetti’s #2: Sac Boy’s Big Adventure

This is the most recent game we’ve played. I played Little Big Planet on my PS3 and thought it was OK. I wasn’t overly excited about this one when Chaos brought it home, until he told me it was a platformer. I LOVE watching platformers and Sac Boy’s Big Adventures did not disappoint.

The levels were fun, although Chaos did die a decent amount trying to 100% them. I really enjoyed saving up to buy all of the outfits and getting to pick which one we would buy next. Chaos always wanted our Sac Boy dressed as a luchador though. 

I would definitely play a sequel and I’m excited to go back and get to play the two person levels. Baby’s arrival interrupted our two player plans.

Chaos #2: Metroid Dread

I adore a good Metroidvania game, so it only makes sense I would enjoy an actual Metroid game.  Metroid Dread may have been on the shorter side, but it still felt well worth the price tag.  The puzzles were solid and it always feels great slowly powering up Samus to get to the final fight.  

There wasn’t much to the game’s actual story, but it served its purpose enough to give me reason to move forward, solve puzzles, and collect power ups.  Of course I found every power up, upgrade, energy canister, etc.  

Metroid Dread did a good job of providing challenges that felt hard, but never impossible.  Some bosses and sections took a few tries, but it provided that right sense of flow that paid off in a feeling of accomplishment after success.  

Like I said, the game is short, but since I played it with a newborn at hand, I actually appreciated a quicker game to play.

Confetti #1: New Pokemon Snap

The only game (other than Pokemon Go) that I actually played this year! I never played the original, but Chaos got me the new version for Mother’s Day since he thought I’d really like it. Spoiler: I did! If you can’t tell from our gallery pictures, Chaos and I are both super into Pokemon. We play a lot of Pokemon Go and we sought out the Pokemon Cafe when we went to Japan a few years.

New Pokemon Snap is slow paced and it involves 0 conflict, just riding around taking pictures of pokemon. Different species of pokemon come out the better you play and the better your pictures are. I enjoy trying to complete the different picture objects. Overall, I find the game stress free and relaxing. I would highly recommend it if you’re looking for a fun, low effort game to play.

Chaos #1: Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Confetti’s love language is gift-giving.  She once surprised me with a new PS4, so I could play Marvel’s Spider-Man.  She even made sure I recently got a PS5, so I would be ready for the next Playstation Spider-Man (God of War and Horizon Forbidden West as well).  She knew how much I liked the first and wanted to make sure I got to play the second in the best way possible.  Spider-Man is my all time favorite superhero and I was so happy with the PS4 game.  Great story, game play, and challenge. When Sony announced the MIles Morales game that took place in the same world and in between the first and second Spider-Man games, I knew I had to get it.

As much as I wanted to rush out and buy myself Miles Morales’ game, I patiently waited until Christmas.  Technically, I started the game in 2020, but didn’t finish until the start of 2021, so I’ll still count it for this year.  

The new game gave me everything I loved about the first game but with Miles as the new lead instead.  While he played similarly to Peter, he came with some new mechanics and powers too.  Again Insomniac created a great blend of gameplay and storytelling.  What made it even better was that the game felt perfectly tied into Miles’ culture and experiences.  

My only complaint is that Miles Morales wasn’t a longer game.  I can’t wait to hopefully play as both Miles and Peter in the next Insomniac Spider-Man game.

Wrap Up

Overall, this was a slower year in gaming for us, but we still had a lot of fun.  Too bad we couldn’t write about 2020 though (God of War, Last of Us, Horizon Zero Dawn, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and more).  Here’s to 2022 and the many games it will hopefully bring!

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