Whew, it’s been a while, but like a boomerang tossed into the distance, Side by Side is back!
It’s the Games of the Year 2021 Awards!
I forgot to do this last year to be honest, but it was 2020. Was 2020 even a real year for people? I feel like we all just took a mulligan on 2020.
Not that 2021 was a lot better from a global perspective, or really from an online one, but I at least tried to keep track of what day it was in 2021. I also played some video games. This list will contain no real surprises because it turns out I’m very basic in my old age and mostly liked the things everybody else liked. That said, hit the jump.
The first time I played Boyfriend Dungeon, I was actually pretty sure I wasn’t going to want to play the rest of Boyfriend Dungeon.
Something about it seemed too… wholesome, too focus-grouped for my taste. It wasn’t messy enough, and therefore, just wasn’t horny enough. As a connoisseur of sloppy pulp, I tend to turn my nose up at games that have the edges filed off. Those games that are so focused on Positive Representation that they don’t seem to have a coherent message, and instead seem to be aimed for the middle-of-the-road, frequently strawmanned, sensitive person on Twitter (who used to be the sensitive person on Tumblr), and therefore, don’t seem to be for anybody real, in particular.
But then I saw something miraculous on that same segment of Twitter: Everyone was mad about Boyfriend Dungeon. Apparently all the edges weren’t filed off, the trigger warnings weren’t strong enough, and people were outraged at the level of evil and villainy that went unremarked upon in this game.
Well, now that people were upset about it, I had to play Boyfriend Dungeon.
Well folks, the bad news is we’re going to have to change the title of this project to “Steerpike’s Demo Decathalon” since I’ve kind of run out of demos that work (well enough to count). In a way it’s for the best, though, because just as I didn’t really plan out the games I’d play, I also didn’t put much planning into the order I played them. As it happens, the last two we’ll look at are actually interesting, so at least we’ll end on a high note. If I stuck with twelve then it’d be more of a whimper than a bang. We want bangs, not whimpers.
Project Haven! Bang!
I avoided Stardew Valley for years because I knew perfectly well that it would swallow hours of my life with its mix of time management and socio-career simulation. Eventually I gave in and found it just as charming as I’d feared. Oddly, I didn’t fall nearly as deep into the Stardew Valley black hole as I could have, which I put down to the fact that I played in co-op with my friends Eric and McShane, and while E and I slaved away under the burning sun every day to keep I Say Mechro Farms profitable, McShane tapped every girl in town.
Yowza. My hands still haven’t recovered from Blaster Master Zero 3. I shouldn’t be doing this right now. At this point I’m risking permanent injury.
It might be worth it for Severed Steel, though. This game a waffle sundae of awesome.
Ah, Mars. We just can’t quit you, little red buddy.