NODE Gamers GOTY – 2022

Introduction

Welcome to NODE Gamers and our GOTY List for 2022. This list was compiled by community and staff members alike for fun. There may be some repeat games, but that’s okay. We hope you enjoy this list and have a happy new year, and a good year of gaming in 2023. Now let’s all get into it shall we?

Our Games

OniWalker – Staff Member

My pick for my 2022 GOTY is Caffeine: Victoria’s Legacy, which is surprisingly, a Visual Novel. Never have I had this happen before but this story blew me away. As Taka, you go into a different world searching for your mother, but get sucked into helping a coffee shop in your family’s old store. The story and world is all literally about coffee. The game made me laugh, made me cry, and I mean ACTUALLY cry, and kept me so invested in everything that I couldn’t put it down! If you’re a fan of visual novels, I can’t recommend this enough. Even if you’re not a fan of coffee, you should still read it!

Lilly – Community Member

My pick for GOTY is Shadowrun Returns, which is a CRPG originally a PC exclusive and hit consoles this year! This game just drips and oozes atmosphere in a future where technology and magic meet in a cyberpunk setting. From the writing, music, and atmospheres it was nearly impossible for me to not be totally engrossed in this world and it’s characters. You play as a Shadowrunner whose out to do a job for an old friend, and of course everything goes sideways. You go down the rabbit hole of this mystery of how your friend died alongside building up friendship and alliances with your new crew and those you meet along the way. With deep customization options for your character, you can truly play your character how you’d like both in and out of combat. From a charismatic elf with swords to a beefy orc with miniguns and even a human who can hack everything in sight, you’ve got plenty of options. Even if CRPGs aren’t your usual cup of tea, if you enjoy deep story rich games with engaging turn based combat that has multiple endings, several ways to build your character, and an atmosphere that drips with charm at every turn then this one’s for you!

Madbuk – Community Member

For years I’ve been seeing people hype Trails From Zero (and its sequel, Azure) up as two of the best Trails games in general, but honestly I’m not sure I agree with the hype. It’s certainly very good, as all Trails games are, but when compared to the likes of Cold Steel 3 or Sky the 3rd it’s not even close imo. Sky the 3rd in particular was just an absolutely phenomenal game. 3rd also had a lot of setup for this particular game, and I was interested to see how well it would get paid off. I’m happy with the results – I do think some of it could’ve been handled better (maybe Azure covers it in more detail) but for the most part it was a very satisfying story to watch unfold.

Vapeon – Community Member

My game of the year is MARVEL SNAP. MARVEL SNAP is a free to play card game on mobile and steam based around the characters and places of Marvel. It has addictive lane based gameplay that’s easy for beginners without being boring for players more familiar with the genre. One of the best parts of MARVEL SNAP is it can be played without spending a dime cards are instead unlocked by leveling up through playing and completing challenges. The more you play and complete the faster you unlock newer cards. If you’re looking for a quick pick up and play game where matches last a few minutes try MARVEL SNAP.

JaykVale – Community Moderator

I may be cheating a little but my GOTY 2022 is Resident Evil 2 Remake which released on PS5 June 14th 2022. Resident Evil 2 Remake is a 3rd Person Survival Horror Action Shooter. While I had only heard good things about the game it still took my by surprise just HOW good it was. You play as Leon S. Kennedy or Claire Redfield going to Raccoon City for different reasons and ending up in the Police Department where the real horror begins. Trapped in the PD you try to find a way out and on your way you discover what happened and why things are the way they are. Certain mechanics like an unrelenting pursuer, ammo scarcity and puzzles in a very point-and-click-like manner keep you on your toes trying to escape. The atmosphere is just perfect throughout the game and especially the police department captures the essence of what the original Resident Evil (Remake) was to me. If you can stomach atmospheric horror and some gore and are a fan of action shooters I definitely recommend this game on any of the available platforms if not specifically the next-gen versions for the ray-tracing, 3D audio and better framerate.

Getsu – Community Member

For my game of the year in 2022, I am going to pick Elden Ring. I have long been a fan of Fromsoftware titles, and this to me not only GOTY, but the studios magnum opus. They crafted an immensely beautiful game, and while the game is on par with being an easier to break into, that in itself is what makes it part of why it is the best work from this studio. A large world that has day night cycles with different interactions as different times pass. An amazing art style, while not the most graphically intense game of the year, it was rather fluid with little to no bugs (which seems rare these days). The music in each area felt like it was hand crafted to fit (yes I am aware it was designed that way). The sound design was on another level, with previous games having very unique sounds, this is one of the few times they incorporated them throughout the entire game, creaking of the trees when the wind picked up and blowing like crazy during a storm. The combat was everything I could ever want from a souls game, they showed the evolution of their experience in this design with incorporation from games like Bloodborne and Sekiro from outside Demon’s souls or Dark Souls. They did something I couldn’t have thought possible, they built the game I have always wanted to play without knowing it, and I logged close to 400+ hours on the ps5 and maybe a little under 200 on PC. Elden Ring, my game of the decade.

Cynthia – Community Member

My personal GOTY for 2022 was released very early in the year, only coming out in January. Pokemon Legends Arceus is an open-world remake/ reimagining of the fourth generation of the main games. Much like other entries in the franchise, you play as a young child who sets out on an adventure to document every pokemon of the region and deal with some sort of threat along the way. However in Legends rather than being a child who sets out from home you are picked by Arceus himself, seen as a deity in the Pokemon mythos, and sent to the region of Hisui which is in the distant past. Some familiar mechanics have been changed in order to fit the theme of being in the past such as the return of apricorns and pokeball crafting, and the pokedex requiring actual study of each pokemon by completing certain challenges instead of just capturing one. The gameplay is also changed, with random encounters being replaced by pokemon existing on the overworld with the player being able to either battle it or throw a pokeball to capture it without fighting. The story is relatively short, but does introduce a great cast of new characters as well as a few who eagle eyed players might remember from past games and 400 collectable pokemon including some new Hisuian forms of old favorites and new evolutions, and the first canonical appearance of Arceus who has been in the games since 2008 but never officially released outside of a few mystery gift events. In sum, Legends Arceus is a breath of fresh air for a franchise that has been relatively unchanged since 1996, and I hope that Nintendo finds it worthwhile to make another Legends game based on other mythical pokemon.

Emmagination – Staff Member

I have a tie with two incredible games for my GOTY 2022. My first choice would be Horizon Forbidden West – I absolutely love this series and can never get enough. The story is fantastic, engaging and lots of fun; it also has so much depth to it, you just keep unravelling layers the deeper you go. The characters are fascinating, and have been so carefully fleshed out that they make you just want to spend as much time as possible with each one. I adore this game so much. This game has a piece of my heart.

My second choice is God of War Ragnarok – like with Horizon FW, this game captures you entirely and you almost have to pay a piece of your soul to play it. The story, characters and gameplay is incredible and you can’t help but to fall in love with Kratos and Atreus over and over again every moment you’re with them. This game has another piece of my heart.

Cordawg411 – Community Member

My game of the year for 2022 is Elden Ring. As a gamer with thirty years experience, there have been a handful of games that have radically changed my expectations of what a game can be. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past blended a compelling story and various tools that were needed to explore and conquer the over world and the dungeons. Ocarina of Time took that blueprint and converted it to a 3D world. A few years after that, Super Mario Galaxy forever changed 3D platforming. Before Elden Ring, open worlds had become quite common yet only one was the gold standard, Zelda Breath of the Wild. The unique regions, the gorgeous art style, and the sense of adventure and exploration completely redefined what open worlds can be, until Elden Ring.
From Software completely upped the ante from Breath of the Wild with their first open world entry in the Soulsborne genre. The art and level design of each unique region/dungeon/castle is absolutely top-notch and immensely satisfying to explore, fight, and find secrets. The combat features incredibly satisfying weapons and the enemies require you to learn movesets and sometimes adapt your playstyle in order to succeed. Last, the soundtrack and sound design is phenomenal. From ambient over world themes to boss themes to the slashes and clanks of swords, Elden Ring’s sounds are so satisfying that they make the difficulty a little more palatable at times.
Having been a Soulsborne fan for nearly a decade, this is the definitive Souls experience and one that I highly encourage people to at least try it.

8BitsOfVelvet – Staff Member

Ok two recommendations – Powerwash Simulator got a retail release this year so qualifies in my opinion. Not only is it relaxing, but it also includes multiple challenges and the achievements as well add quite a bit of replayability to the game. There aren’t many games out where you can just pick up and play to relax for a few and even if you’ve washed the Firehouse 10 times, you can still wash it again to get the joy of seeing dirt and grime be cleaned away with just a swift stroke of the power washer.

For story, my goty goes to Endling. While it may lack a super open 3D world with loads of NPCs to interact with, the story it tells is clear to follow and as heartwarming as mom’s apple pie. The game can be considered casual based on the ease of gameplay, but the emotional journey it takes you on is what really stands out. The ending is something that still sits with me to this day and something I’ll think about any time I play any sort of animal in a game again. It was honestly a soul touching experience.

We all at NODE Gamers hope you enjoyed this fun little list, and have a fun year of gaming in 2023! Wonder what the picks will be for this year?

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