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As 2022 comes to an end, we here at Toonami Gaming Zone would like to look back and highlight some of the events that happened in 2022, list off some of the games we enjoyed in that year, and list off games we are highly anticipating in 2023!
Elden Ring came out on February 25th and has been a smash hit as the game sold over 16 million copies and has seen critical acclaim for its open world gameplay system and setting despite having performance issues upon release. It was a clear frontrunner for Game of the Year at the Game Awards despite God Of War: Ragnarok winning awards left and right, so it came as no surprise when it took home the top award of the night. I myself have played Elden Ring after it won GOTY, but sadly, I can’t sing its praises since I’m not a fan of games like Demon Souls and Dark Souls, largely due to constantly dying every few minutes. Some people could say “get good” but I don’t think I’ll be doing that anytime soon.
Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary
As many of you may know, it’s no secret that I am a huge fan of the Kingdom Hearts series going all the way back to the first game on the PS2 and have followed the series closely since then. The 20th Anniversary event, among other KH-related content, was announced on October 5th, 2021 around the same time that Sora, the franchise’s first main character, was announced as joining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as paid DLC. As part of the 20th Anniversary exhibition held in Tokyo, which included a mini concert and a live Q&A chat with the development team, they announced two new entries in the series which they are hard at work on. The two titles are Kingdom Hearts Missing Link, a mobile game, and Kingdom Hearts 4. As of writing this article, both games are in production, however, we are still waiting on the closed beta for Missing Link and we likely won’t hear any updates on KH4 in the short-term, but we may get updates at either E3 or the Tokyo Game Show. Either way, I don’t expect this game to get a release date in 2023 and instead expect it to be dated for sometime around 2024, if not 2025.
Masahiro Sakurai starts a YouTube channel
As Sakurai was wrapping up his final blog post for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, fans were eagerly anticipating his next project, however, we weren’t expecting him to start his own YouTube channel called “Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games.” Sakurai’s channel mostly focuses on game development, talking about topics like game design, work ethic, programming/tech, and game concepts, in which he’ll discuss games he’s worked on in his carrer like Kirby and Smash Bros. The series is incredibly engaging, to the point that I’m watching one of his videos while writing this article. I enjoy getting a taste of how game development works and definitely love the insight into the games he has made. If I had to pick a favorite video or two, they would be his video on the original Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64, as well as one no gaming-related that is focused on his cat Fukurashi.
A Very Buggy Pokémon game
The Pokémon Company announced its next mainline Pokémon game pair, Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet, on February 27th, 2022 and released them November 18th for the Nintendo Switch. While they have an open world environment and interesting new forms of Pokémon, there’s an elephant in the room that needs mentioning: performance issues. The games have problems with inconsistent framerates, they occasionally have environmental glitches, and the games sometimes crash entirely. I’ve also seen the ridable Pokémon turn invisible at times, but the only consistent issue I’ve experienced are the framerate drops. I also experienced a game crash once, bu despite these issues, I’m still enjoying the latest entry into the series.
Next up, I’d like to share with you a sort of “unranked top five” titles I’ve enjoyed in 2022. As a disclaimer, while I played a mix of older games and new games, I didn’t get the time to enjoy every game that came out in 2022. Despite that, I did enjoy a good number of games whether it be on or off-stream.
– Pokémon Legends Arceus
– Bayonetta 3
– Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
– Pokémon Violet
Lastly, taking a look ahead to 2023, here are five games we are highly excited to play that are slated for release this year!
– The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
– River City Girls 2
– Marvel’s Spider Man 2
– Star Wars Jedi Survivor
– GoldenEye 007 (Xbox Live and Nintendo Switch Online Plus Expansion Pack)
Before we end this article, I just want to acknowledge that 2022 was a challenging year for many, whether it be in animation, politics, corporate mergers, and in a personal case, losing the people we love. So lets do our best to make 2023 our best year!