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Winter-een-mas 2023, Day One

January 25, 2023 by Tim

January 25th is upon us! The first day of Winter-een-mas!

I like to spend Winter-een-mas playing games, obviously, but I also like to use the week to appreciate some of the great stuff I’ve played recently. So for this week, each day I’m going to post a page dedicated to a different game I enjoyed in the past year. There are more than seven, but I’m going to pick the seven that stood out the most to me when I think of the past year.

Sound off in the comments with your favorite experiences of the last year if you’d like to do the same, or let me know if/how you’ll be celebrating in your own way.


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ReaverRogue
ReaverRogue
5 days ago

I’d say finally getting on Sea of Thieves! I just got into it on a whim, and man oh man it’s the most fun I’ve had doing pretty much nothing. The emergent gameplay on that game is just nuts. Best experience on it would easily be when I was still very new, and some kids rammed their sloop into the brig me and a couple friends were on. We sank them, but not before they threw a SCREECHING fit about us camping their spawn. I like to think that we taught them a valuable life lesson of not starting what… Read more »

Xanthicirs
Xanthicirs
4 days ago
Reply to  ReaverRogue

Welcome to the SoT!

Zomby
Zomby
5 days ago

I got two friends into Deep Rock Galactic, so a big ROCK AND STONE there.

Flintlocke
Flintlocke
5 days ago
Reply to  Zomby

Rock and stone to the bone!

Tolrael
Tolrael
4 days ago
Reply to  Zomby

If you don’t rock and stone you ain’t going home!

But it is
But it is
2 days ago
Reply to  Tolrael

By the beard! Deep Rock seriously need to invest in some better equipment!

Joel
Joel
5 days ago

Elden Ring is the most fun i’ve had with a video game in years. I’m grateful i’ve gotten to experience it during my lifetime.

Michael Anderson
Michael Anderson
5 days ago

For me it isn’t just a game but the Steam Deck … I’ve basically moved all of my gaming to the Deck (minus a bit on the Switch) – as a PC gamer for decades it has been awesome replaying so many games this past year!

Misel
Misel
5 days ago

Yeah, definitely the Deck. I haven’t been playing much, not even with the Deck. But I certainly played much more than I would have without it.

PapaVanTwee
PapaVanTwee
5 days ago

I bought Forza Horizon 5 when it first came out, so getting the first DLC was… meh. The cars were kinda cool, but could have been better, and the map itself was fun for a hot minute. But the only reason I go back is to complete the weekly missions. I got in on the tail end of 4, which had Lego as it’s first DLC, and I still go back there to this day when I’m bored/done with 5 for the week.

ExWuschel
ExWuschel
4 days ago
Reply to  PapaVanTwee

You describe exactly my experience! Still, I’m looking forward to those weekly trips to Mexico, it’s still fun.

Casra
Casra
5 days ago

Not a big Elden Ring fan. The more I played it the more it irritated me. Not my bag, that style game.

leduk
leduk
5 days ago
Reply to  Casra

same about dark souls 3, so I did not even try elden ring, I feel you. It’s not for everyone.

lucac81
lucac81
5 days ago
Reply to  Casra

give it a change, the first dark souls on steam still has my hateful FXXK YOU review, I keep it as a memento, I tried again and fell in love with all games (is still a THUCK YOU game 😀 )

dankristy
dankristy
4 days ago
Reply to  lucac81

I second this – Elden Ring is worth a try even if you don’t like ANY of the other souls-type games… I am a PC gamer with wide depth of likes, but apparently NOT a souls-like gamer.   I forced myself to muddle through DS1 due to everyone raving about it for years, and finished, but didn’t enjoy it as much as I felt the hype said I should have. I gave up halfway through DS2 at a particularly LONG stretch without checkpoints and never managed to make myself go back – never played DS3, or Bloodborne and tried (but didn’t get into)… Read more »

kris
kris
4 days ago
Reply to  dankristy

There probably were bonfires.
But for some reason the devs started hiding them *rolleyes*
One was literally halfway down a stairway behind a hidden way that you had to press the A button on without any prompt.

DS2 is in my opinion also the least fun.
But it caters to the hardcore people. There are even items you can get if you finish the game without using bonfires or without dying. (Or both at once if you want to be a hardcore masochist)

MarthKoopa
MarthKoopa
4 days ago
Reply to  Casra

I’m a big Dark Souls fan but I hated Elden Ring. It wasn’t challenging, actually the easiest game FS has made to date, and the exploration was boring because everything is just the same copied and pasted ruins/catacombs/mines with useless and uninteresting rewards. 90% of the game is just running past everything on your horse because it’s simply not worth the effort to stop to fight things that aren’t going to reward you for it, so you just beeline to the few boss fights that are relevant and the game is done in 10 hours. Most of that is just… Read more »

Albertica
Albertica
4 days ago
Reply to  MarthKoopa

Mm, even if Elden Ring has the same certain core with Dark Souls, it’s still a different game to them. I really enjoyed more than the Dark Souls trilogy, which I liked a lot as well. Sure, after getting the horse, you can skip majority of the encounters in the open world. At times I got destination fever and didn’t stop to enjoy the sights. Which was one part I really liked – the beautiful sceneries that I could stop and admire. We were given tools that made bosses easy to defeat. Not automatic wins, but a lot easier. They’re… Read more »

Casra
Casra
3 days ago
Reply to  Casra

I played ER, I just… couldn’t get into it. It never “Grabbed me”

leduk
leduk
5 days ago

this explains exactly why I cant play that kind of game. I dont like to be hurt repeatedly!

Crestlinger
Crestlinger
5 days ago

Dragon Quest XI: The game the keeps on giving. *Twitches*
Beat that Timewyrm though and it Was worth the effort.

CaptainEricVGC
CaptainEricVGC
5 days ago

I know it came out a buggy laggy mess but Scarlet and Violet has genuinely been the most fun I’ve had playing a Pokemon game. I’ve already logged over 150 hours of gameplay in two months compared to 543 that I played the entirety of Sword and Shield’s lifetime

Jacob
Jacob
5 days ago

I’ll be dusting off some Bioware favorites (KOTOR, Dragon Age, Mass Effect). I was spring cleaning this weekend and found out that the discs still work in the Xbox One (albeit via verification and download).

Chris
Chris
5 days ago

I got Metroid Dread when it came out, but took a few months to get around to playing it, and that was probably my favorite “new” game I played last year. Elden Ring was spectacular to play, loved it enough to torture myself through three builds and playthroughs. Really looking forward to the DLC. Upcoming Resident Evil 4 Remake comes out exactly on my Birthday, so I am stoked about that. Looks like we are dead set in the middle of some great releases to have come, and will be coming.

Techbender
Techbender
5 days ago

Tim, I didn’t know you were into BDSM.

Dom
Dom
5 days ago
Reply to  Techbender

I know, right?

Techbender
Techbender
5 days ago
Reply to  Dom

Wait… We’re talking about the same thing right… Bingeing Death Sequence Mechanics, what were you talking about?

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
5 days ago

Since it’s a snow storm outside and I just got the game Grounded maybe I’ll stay inside and try to solo the game for much of it… unless the power goes out.

Dom
Dom
5 days ago

This is pretty much how I felt about Dark Souls 3. I went in lubricating my sphincter just in case and I could still feel the cactus. I never thought a video game would introduce me to involuntary S&M torture.

I am speaking in metaphors, to be clear.
10/10 after you get used to the dying as part of the learning process of the game.

Dom
Dom
5 days ago

My games of the last year must have been
Outward + DLCs,
Skyrim: Late 2 the Party Edition
Warzone 2: DMZ (EF Tarkov competitor)

That’s about it. I don’t play alot now that I am trying to not inhale and exhale video games day and night.

I do wish I could play Sea of Thieves or a similar pirate game more often though with friends… I also would like to finish Outward and make total conversion mods for it one day too.

Axiomite
Axiomite
4 days ago
Reply to  Dom

I never could get into Outward. I want to. It seems awesome. But it really likes to hurt you in the beginning even more than Dark Souls does. At least Dark Souls feels fair. Skyrim is always nice to go back to. Good lucky not including sneaking and archery into whatever playstyle you’re running. DMZ… Ooof — that little bastard is a major guilty pleasure because I’ve gotten so tired of the modern warfare gun-wanks, but this one is a cheeky little bastard that I can’t help but enjoy. Probably because, like Hunt: Showdown, the PvEvP approach means I won’t… Read more »

Zair
Zair
4 days ago
Reply to  Dom

>Skyrim: late to the party edition

Hello fellow behind the times gamer! Bought Skyrim on Switch during a summer sale, never tried it before. Was pretty good. I hit level 80 something with a mage, gave up because there wasn’t any remaining challenge to the game, started over as an archer, and beat it that way.

Witcher 3 was absolutely amazing! Also enjoyed Assassin’s Creed Black Flag and Subnautica/BZ this year.

Phaet
Phaet
5 days ago

I didn’t play it because it looked too much like dark souls to me.
Dark souls is that one game where I failed to finish tutorial.
Soooo… bad memories because I suck.

JustJoel
JustJoel
5 days ago

Wait, is this a video games focused comic? huh.

Dyna
Dyna
5 days ago
Reply to  JustJoel

Apparently its a strip about two guys who sit around and play video games..

Last edited 5 days ago by Dyna
Zara
Zara
4 days ago
Reply to  Dyna

It’s tried and true, but this particular comic has neat hook.

Joel
Joel
5 days ago

I got back into Assassin’s Creed Black Flag recently. I remembered how much fun it was, and now I’m doing kind of the “completionist” mode where I’m trying to get every chest, clear every town, get every fragment, et al.

I’m a pirate again, and it’s way more fun that any of the other games I’ve played lately on new consoles.

Pulse
Pulse
5 days ago

ah so it takes that kind of person to like those games

Not a Robot
Not a Robot
5 days ago

I finally started playing Skyrim for the first time. Pretty fun. Loved Cyberpunk and put a ton of time into that still. I mainly just waiting on Starfield though since Immersive World Wing Commander 13 is never coming out.

Glen
Glen
5 days ago

After horizon forbidden west everything else felt rather plain and repetitious.

The Legacy
The Legacy
5 days ago

Is this a pause in the Patience storyline? Or was it a very short chapter? Just curious. 😅

Rocketeer
Rocketeer
4 days ago

For better or worse, Darktide got me into it, and Vermintide 2, and honestly, I enjoy them both a lot! (I just ignore the cash shop thing, so many years of just treating transactions as mobile game scams led to a decent enough habit with money)
So much fun now to be able to specifically poke a dude in the head with a big sharp thing and for it to mean more than hitting their shin.

Squidfish88
Squidfish88
4 days ago

For me its Valheim. Its how I was able to spend time with my husband while he was mobilized for most of last year. Super fun game, I’m enjoying all the updates and we still play together now that he is home 🙂

Jack
Jack
4 days ago

The strip works equally well if you sub in wow

for someone, I’m sure…

Scarymother
Scarymother
4 days ago

Probably has to be Stray for me. Really stands out from the crowd.

DanVzare
DanVzare
4 days ago

Scribblenauts Unlimited, I played it again recently (the last time I played it was back when it first released), and boy is it still an absolutely great game.

Also, the entire Neptunia series. I’ve spent the past two years playing through all of the entries in the franchise. It’s not a series of games I’d ever recommend, but I have been enjoying them.

Tolrael
Tolrael
4 days ago

Happy winter-een-mas all! I’ve booked a week of work and am spending it inflicting 4X hotseat games on my mates

NobodyHadToSayIt
NobodyHadToSayIt
4 days ago

Disco Elysium. I think that was last year. But its dark goodness and (for my playthrough) sense of clawing back from the depths was much needed. The only game to really grab and hold my attention the whole way through in a long long time.

Honorable mention to Citizen Sleeper as well, for similar dreary reasons.

FITSniper
FITSniper
4 days ago

Forbidden West
What I’ve played of Miles Morales so far.

Cyrad
Cyrad
4 days ago

Outer Wilds: Echoes of the Eye was a great DLC to one of my favorite games of all time. Outer Wilds is a masterpiece Deep Rock Galactic occupied my time above all else last year. Sublime cooperative gameplay loop. A company that can teach AAA a few lessons in how to make an awesome game without nickeling and diming players to death. Elden Ring was a game that I thought I wouldn’t like but ended up adoring. Now I want to play other Souls games. A friend got me into Hunt: Showdown. Finally a battle royale game that doesn’t just… Read more »

Saixak
Member
Saixak
4 days ago

Happy Winter-een-mas! I’m glad it’s still going on. I enjoyed RWBY: Arrowfell more than I thought I would. My trial for this most sacred of holidays is getting the platinum trophy for Balan Wonderworld.

Xanthicirs
Xanthicirs
4 days ago

Sonic Frontiers was SO. INCREDIBLE. Until I got to the last boss and got major whiplash from the gameplay change.

Alex Pendragon
Alex Pendragon
4 days ago

Stray. It was short and sweet and I got to play as a f*cking cat!

GreatNate
GreatNate
4 days ago

The one that surprised me was Marvel’s Midnight Suns. I ended up sinking a LOT more time into it than I thought. Lately been trying to juggle that, God of War Ragnarök, Monster Hunter Rise, Overwatch 2, and Destiny 2. With some other smaller games with friends sprinkled around. Too many games, not enough time. Though I took off for Winter-een-mas Like I usually do!

Devil_Arcana
Devil_Arcana
4 days ago

I was so lost playing this one… I aimlessly wandered, died a lot and gave up about 5 hours in. I figure I will pick it up again when the urge strikes…

kaladorn
kaladorn
4 days ago

Phoenix Point – has the XCOM vibes. Quite enjoying it but it took a real fast jump in threat at one point. I have not the money to build stuff to capture the various aliens. I’m trying to work the other questlines of the background and the ancient ruins and such. But I am out of research which probably tells me that I need to break open something to get access to the materials to build ancient weapons or better non-ancient weapons. I’m about 30 hours in. Other than that: Terraforming Mars + DLC, Lord of Waterdeep + DLC, and… Read more »

HomerJ
HomerJ
4 days ago

I was so late, but I finally played Red Dead Redemption 2 this year… 100% completion the second time through. Best 6 months of gaming ever (Hey, I work too!)

Fafnir13
Fafnir13
4 days ago

One of these years I will dust off my Dark Souls 2 save and finish that game. I even recently picked up Dark Souls 3 on the cheap as added incentive.
Once I’m finally done with that one, maybe I’ll have a good machine for Elden Ring and can finally see what all the hype was about.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
4 days ago

Last year, I bought an Oculus Quest 2, mostly because I love VR but am far too cheap to ever invest in a gaming PC, and have zero faith in Sony to do more with the PSVR2 than they did with the Vita. And it’s been OK. Not bad. Not amazing, but what is? But then I picked up Into The Radius… and holy hell, what a ride that is. I’m not going to gush about it, because the one thing I’ve learned this year is that people who don’t play VR, *do not* like hearing about VR. To them,… Read more »

Last edited 4 days ago by Eldest Gruff
Chris j
Chris j
4 days ago

Assetto Corsa competizione for me. Late to the party I know, but that learning curve from it being undriveable on a gamepad to linking apex’s together at high speed on a force feedback wheel just feels soooo good.

Mirra
Mirra
4 hours ago

I didn’t find 2022 particularly great. The biggest excitements I had was WoW Dragonflight (finally a great WoW expansion again) and the release of Fallout 4 Point Lookout (the PL remake mod for Fo4).