Top 10 Games From the First Half of 2022
Six months have passed us already, which means choices need to be made to deliver you our picks for the best games released in the first half of 2022. Now, other notable and outstanding games have been released, but we wanted this list to be more general and include a variety of genres and budgets. That way, there might be something for you here, no matter which genre you love.
Variable Barricade is a unique rom-com game in more ways than one, yanked from the PlayStation Vita’s sarcophagus of visual novels with a very nice localization on the Nintendo Switch. It’s one of the very few visual novels that feature a fully-voiced protagonist and delivers a very engaging and funny story thanks to its charming cast of characters. So this is an easy recommendation we can give if you’re looking for a change of pace and want to indulge in some comedy romance shenanigans.
If you give us a cute protagonist, 2D-meets-3D cyberpunk world, and fast combat, you can bet we’ll love it. Anno: Mutationem gives players control over Ann, who finds herself facing off against some pretty powerful baddies. It’s a good thing she can wield various weapons and cut down anything that stands in her way. Other enjoyable features include taking on side jobs at the bar or just talking with the NPCs around town and understanding more about this world. So much work went into piecing together this wonderful experience that we had to have it on our list.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus
The isekai anime genre has finally found its way into a Pokemon game in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Taking on an adventure in a unique setting with new systems can seem daunting, but Arceus takes on the challenge. This is a Pokemon adventure with a darker tone but a ton of cute Pokemon to catch. The act of sneaking around the grass to catch yourself a Pokemon friend adds to the immersion while you seak out powerful new boss-type encounters. It’s a unique adventure that works in an undeniably fun way. It’s also cool to see some of the systems implemented in the upcoming Pokémon Scarlet & Pokémon Violet, but which title will be better. Hmmm.
The King of Fighters XV
Fighting game fans had to wait patiently for this one, but when The King of Fighters XV launched, it was totally worth it. This game seems to have it all, a packed roster, new and beloved characters, a refined fighting system, Mai Shiranui, and a ton of style. The development team isn’t done with this game either, as new characters and updates have been released with more on the horizon. So we’re looking forward to seeing this entry evolve because it’s one we’ve been returning to since launch, only to get our butt kicked during online match-ups.
Ghostwire: Tokyo is everything you could want in a horror-action game. It has suspense, challenging enemies, light puzzles, excellent environments, great characters, and the list goes on. Every moment of gameplay encourages players to utilize their entire arsenal to survive encounters. It’s hard not to get lost playing random side-quests as you save the lost souls. Plenty of moments require skill and a bit of courage, but we couldn’t help but fall in love with killing ghosts through the streets of Tokyo.
Square Enix knows how to satisfy nostalgic nerds everywhere, as seen in the release of Triangle Strategy. Although they could have simply given us a Final Fantasy-Tactics-like adventure, they decided to do a bit more with a choice-based feature that affects the game’s story. Magic plays a significant role in both defensive and offensive strategies, and players can utilize the combat system to flank enemies and unleash multiple attacks on foes. It’s a game that deserves your attention, but we still wish it had a better name.
Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream
There’s nothing quite as soothing as an Atelier release. The laid-back nature of the game’s characters and presentation can be deceiving, though, as Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream delivers an emotional JRPG adventure on top of everything the series is known for. There’s so much innovation in this entry that makes it an enjoyable time for returning fans looking to catch up with their old friends or new players just trying to hang out after getting their first taste of the Atelier series with Atelier Ryza. It’s a game that should be enjoyed by all fans of cute characters and grand adventures.
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin
There’s something very strange about the Square Enix and Koei Tecmo-developed action RPG Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. Still, the strangest thing about it all is how awesome it is. There’s something so satisfying about making your way through dungeons with your bros and cutting up monsters. The over-the-top chaos-killing narrative becomes an engaging plot that begs you to complete the adventure, if only to see if Jack really has it in him. So regardless if you think it’s strange or not, this game is a must-play.
AI: The Somnium Files – Nirvana Initiative
If you ever for a second thought that the mystery adventure genre was even close to dead, you likely didn’t play AI: The Somnium Files. Well, if only to prove that case, even more, developer Spike Chunsoft has delivered AI: The Somnium Files – Nirvana Initiative to us as a follow-up. Not only does this entry improve the gameplay mechanics of finding clues from people’s memories, but we also get to meet more characters who deliver one of the best narrative adventures we’ve played to date. Each moment of gameplay is a true experience of what makes this genre so great, and we can only hope we see more from this series.
The frustrating gameplay from developer FromSoftware in Elden Ring arrived and completely stole our attention away from everything else. This joint venture between the minds of Hidetaka Miyazaki and writer George R. R. Martin is a must-play for anyone looking for a genuine and challenging adventure. It seems the team pulled out every stop to make this an unforgettable test of courage and determination to get through this fantasy world. From enormous foes to annoying wolves, this game provides the ultimate satisfaction once completed, but it’s sad to look back at all the controllers you broke along the way.
And that’s our list. Let us know which games made your top list this year in the comments below.
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