Video Games

After missing 2016 goals, Rory Appleton lowers the bar for his 2017 gaming resolutions

Reviewing scary games like “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard,” seen here, is among my gaming resolutions for 2017.
Reviewing scary games like “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard,” seen here, is among my gaming resolutions for 2017. Capcom

New year, exactly the same video games columnist.

At the end of 2015, I compiled a list of gaming resolutions – things I wanted to accomplish in 2016. They were a mix of both personal and professional goals, and for the most part, I failed miserably. The list seemed straightforward and simple as I wrote it. But after looking at it with an extra year of wisdom (let’s be honest, 2016 aged us all at least three years), I realized I aimed a bit too high. I am willing to give it another go, but first let’s recognize my failures individually.

I will finish “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt”: I am reasonably certain I did not touch this game in all of 2016. I am sorry, Polish gaming gods. I have forsaken you.

I will not let ranked “League of Legends” games affect my mood: I pulled this one off for the most part. That’s mainly because I spent most of 2016 playing “Overwatch” instead of “League of Legends.” They are currently splitting time, but I can’t say “League of Legends” has been affecting my mood. Depression, stress, the general state of my country and dating younger women certainly affect it, but not this game. Put one in the win column.

I will not let horrible players affect my “League of Legends” ranking: This is a catastrophic failure. My “League” ranking is currently lower than the chances we’ll get a “Half Life 3” announcement this year. There’s no silver lining here.

I will start (but probably not finish) “Batman: Arkham Knight” and “Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate”: Nope and nope.

I will start (and hopefully finish) “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain”: I am writing this column on Jan. 5, 2017, and I just realized that I still have an unclaimed PlayStation 4 code for this somewhere in my email inbox. Obviously, this one is another miss.

I will review more off-the-beaten-path games: I reviewed and loved “That Dragon, Cancer,” a crowdfunded mobile game about a family’s struggle to cope with the death of their youngest son. I also wrote about a few mobile games, which is not like me, so I am going to say I accomplished this goal. It was close, though.

I will cover a gaming expo: I had my press passes in hand for both the Electronic Entertainment Expo and San Jose Comic-Con, but I just couldn’t justify spending the money. Maybe I will crowdfund a trip.

I will mend a rift between myself and Electronic Arts: This was the only one I predicted I would not accomplish, and wouldn’t you know it? EA sent me several games this year, and employees responded to emails. We’ll see if the publisher delivers when “Mass Effect: Andromeda” comes out on March 21.

Now that I have seen the error of my ways, I present a new batch of resolutions for 2017:

I will play some games and write smug, probably unfair critiques of them: The mountain is high, but I will climb it.

I will play the same four sports games over and over, then replace them with newer versions: “Madden,” “NBA 2K,” “FIFA” and “MLB: The Show.” I am a man of simple needs.

I will go to San Diego Comic-Con: This is not super gaming-related, but it is the top entry on my nerd bucket list. It counts. I always forget about it until the week before – far too late to secure credentials and a hotel. I am going to make this happen in 2017. This is my year.

I will review some more scary games: I can’t stand horror movies or games. Being scared is a chemical response that your body is not meant to inflict upon itself. It is meant to tell you hey, you made some mistakes. Don’t do this again. So why people like that is beyond me. But there’s a new “Resident Evil” due out this month that promises to return the franchise back to its horror roots, so I should summon some courage. I reviewed no horror games in 2016, so this seems like an easy goal.

I will think about trying virtual reality: Many of you have asked why I have not written about virtual reality products or games. It’s simple: They make me sick. Literally, I vomit. I am happy to give up my free time for this column, but I am not sure I want to hug a toilet in the name of total coverage. We’ll see, though.