2017 was in incredible year for video games. Personally, it was a year where I worried less and played more of what I loved.
It was awesome.
But that was just one part of what made this year so special. Here are the nine things that defined my year with video games.
1. I Shared Video Games With My Kids
This has been the greatest revelation of the last two or three years for me, but 2017 put it into sharp focus. More than ever I am sharing the video games I love with my oldest son.
Super Mario Odyssey was probably the best example of this. We watched the trailers together, we talked about it. Vaguely I think he sort of thought I was actually making it. One afternoon he told me to "hurry up and finish the new Mario" because he wanted to play it.
When I brought it home he went buck wild.
Super Mario Odyssey is, I think, the first video game my son played from start to finish all by himself and he adored it. For the longest time he was actually ahead of me in the game. I was constantly getting spoiled.
"DADDY CAN YOU READ THIS"
Piss off son, I haven't unlocked this world yet!
2. I Got Into 4K Gaming I Guess
This year I got a 4K TV (an LG OLED which I love very much). I also got a hold of a PlayStation 4 Pro and an Xbox One X.
First impressions are... pretty good I guess? Although it definitely feels less about the resolution and more about the implementation of HDR and having a pretty awesome new TV with good contrast ratio.
The Xbox One X feels like the grander step up obviously, but it's still all about the games. Horizon: Zero Dawn remains my favourite thing to play when I need to show off how pretty my TV is.
Speaking of which...
3. I Properly Fell In Love With Horizon: Zero Dawn
Horizon: Zero Dawn was an extremely very good video game that I loved very much.
It's not perfect, but it feels to me like the most refined, distilled version of what a modern open-world video game can do. Wrapped in a universe and story that somehow manages to make sense despite its ridiculous high concept.
Surprisingly, it was the combat that ended up hooking me. Just a great set of internal rules that can be exploited to your advantage in extremely satisfying ways.
It's also insanely gorgeous.
4. I Played Less Games For Longer And It Was Awesome
This was a good idea. Less stress about keeping up with the Joneses, more time with games I was actually enjoying. The majority of my time this year was spent playing three video games and I wouldn't take that back.
Case in point...
5. I Played The Best Game I've Ever Played In My Adult Life
I spent 200+ hours with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I've written so much about the game already so I'll keep this short.
It's the game of the year. It might be my favourite video game ever. It's an open world where the strings remain hidden. It's a seamless universe built for exploration. It is adventure in the purest sense of the word.
6. I Fell Completely In Love With Nintendo Switch
The Switch is so good. I described it as the console that gave me back my video games. It's a console that pours itself into the cracks of my packed schedule. It's a beautiful, simple device. I love it.
7. Mario + Rabbids Surprised The Absolute Hell Out Of Me
I did not expect to be spending a lot of time with a Rabbids real-time strategy game in 2017 but here we are and it's probably in my top video games of the year.
Actually not probably. Definitely. In one of the best years for video games ever a Rabbids game is in my top 5.
What the hell is going on?
7. I Forgot Mobile Games Existed
I'm not saying good mobile games weren't released. They were. I just didn't play any of them. Soz.
8. I Got Really Annoyed About Everwing
Jesus Christ will everyone stop sending notifications about this?
Sure it's good. Sure everyone is playing it. But my crappy Oppo can't handle it so I don't want to be pinged about it every waking hour.
To me this is even more obnoxious than the dark days of Farmville notifications, because this thing infests your goddamn DMs. You think someone's trying to hit you up personally, but nah.
It's just Everwing.
9. I Lost A Lot Of Video Game Stuff Because Of My Kids
I mean yeah. Let's take stock of the wreckage here...
• Switch controller chucked in bin and taken to dump before I noticed.
• Splatoon disc snapped in two.
• Scratch on Switch screen I can never unsee.
• Mario + Rabbids now doesn't work, most likely because my one-year-old tried to eat it.
• Original PlayStation 4 on life support.
• I have no idea where my copy of Uncharted 4 is. I suspect foul play.
• Multiple 3DS cartridges wedged in Wii U, but it's Switch all day baby, so I can live with this one.
Yes, I know I am a bad parent. Go nuts in the comments people, water off a duck's back.
All in all, it was a very good year.