6 Games I Spent the Most Time in 2019 and My ExperiencesDec 8, 2019 | 1 Votes by Mikhail 10 rate I spent a lot of my time this year playing video games. Here are some of the titles I played the most and got to enjoy.
This year, I probably spent nearly a thousand hours playing video games, which is more than a month. I know it’s insane and borderline unhealthy, but it was worth it, well hey, gaming is both a job and a passion.
Of course, we all have our favorite games we can’t get enough out of. Here are some of mine, along with some comments and experiences:
Europa Universalis IV
Time spent: 450+ hours
Yes, you read that right. I spent nearly 500 hours playing Europa Universalis IV THIS YEAR ALONE, having bought it last summer.
In a nutshell, EUIV is a rather historically accurate grand strategy game where you play as one of the countries in the world during the medieval period and the Renaissance. The in-game events are inspired and even follow the things that transpired in the past. For example, you can play as the Byzantine Empire and try to survive, or do an England playthrough and fight France in the Hundred Years’ War. You don’t only fight wars: you also manage your nation’s diplomacy, trade, and finances. You can even play as your home country.
As someone who is a huge history lover, it’s absolute bliss to play. Each playthrough is about 20-40 hours long, more if you play using the Extended Timeline mod. Currently, I’ve managed to do a couple of England and South East Asian runs, as well as play as the Byzantines, managing to survive until the 1500s (note that they fell in 1453).
The downside is that you may need to buy rather expensive DLCs in order to fully enjoy it. The vanilla version is rather bareboned and learning even the basic mechanics may require you to watch two-hour tutorials. Regardless, once you have all the essential DLCs, you’ll definitely fully enjoy it if you’re a grand strategy enthusiast.
Time spent: 130 hours
Despite the many flaws the game has, Conan Exiles is an absolute blast. The game centers around building a large impenetrable base by yourself or with a clan and by raiding others clans or players.
I played in both official and player-owner servers. My experience with the latter is better: it’s boosted and you’ll be able to finish your architectural masterpieces within days. Unfortunately, the drama I experienced in a couple of boosted servers was enough to make me stop the game for a bit. A lot of players are extremely ruthless and those who own servers almost always favor their friends over the rules they set.
Regardless, Conan Exiles is fun with friends and the people you know. Just beware of pairing up with randoms!
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Time spent: 125 hours
Personally, Fire Emblem is my game of the year. I spent over 125 hours finishing three out of four routes. In a nutshell, you’ll play as a mercenary-turned-instructor who is in charge of educating young students in a prestigious church-run military academy. It follows the typical Fire Emblem tactical turn-based gameplay though it has a few unique additions like the battalions mechanic.
To me, the main draw was interacting with most of the characters, learning their backstories and motivations. Some have tragic pasts while others try to make a name for themselves or are trying to prove a point. Though some characters fall into several anime tropes, they are incredibly well-written have several sides to them, making it a joy to watch them interact with you and each other. To add to that, the impeccable voice acting and localization
In my first playthrough, I chose the Blue Lions squad and was immediately enamored with the cast and how well they’re written. One character of noble disposition had grudge-fueled racist views and couldn’t come to terms with a classmate who was the subject of her hatred. Though this is a side thing her journey towards changing her perspectives was eye-opening. The same can be said about the stories of the rest of the cast.
And yes, Annette is the best girl.
Trails of Cold Steel III
Time spent: 85 hours
Trails of Cold Steel is the 3rd game in the Cold Steel trilogy, and the eighth in the Legend of Heroes: Trails series. It continues half a year after the events of the 2nd game where most of the characters, including Class VII, have their own respective careers. Once again, you’ll wear the mantle of Rean Schwarzer.
Cold Steel III is arguably one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played to date and is better than its predecessors. It still uses the signature Trails series combat system, though with a number of additions like Brave Orders, better controls, and quality of life improvements. Dungeons are larger and character models are significantly better which is to be expected since the first two Cold Steel games were on the Vita. Moreover, the game has improved dungeons and a larger and more detailed world you can roam. Oh, and the world-building and ever-changing NPC dialogue still remain.
Without diving deep into spoilers, you’ll interact with and play as some of the old characters of the old cast, including a few from the Sky and Crossbell series. In any case, it perfectly sets up the fourth Trails of Cold Steel game, End of Saga, which is already out in Japan.
Ace Combat 7
Time spent: 40+ hours
Ace Combat 7 is the first - and likely the last - Ace Combat game in this generation, especially since new consoles are coming out in a year or two. It’s probably the most underrated title this year and as a long-time fan, its lack of fanfare is a bit frustrating.
Ace Combat 7’s acts as a bit of an indirect sequel to Ace Combat 4 and 5, featuring the countries Osea and Erusea as the main belligerents. The story centers around the themes of technology in warfare, a country’s identity, and of course, the horrors of war. Like its predecessors, it follows anime-type storytelling and features references, characters, and locations in the previous games. You’ll face hundreds of enemy planes, nimble drones, large aircraft, and a lethal enemy ace.
If you just want to fly jets and blow stuff up while flying an A-10 or F-22, this is the game for you. Personally, I spent 12-15 hours finishing the main campaign and spent the next 25 repeating the levels, trying to get an S rating.
Time spent: 40 hours
Despite the numerous controversies hounding its release, Pokemon Sword (and Shield) is a fantastic Pokemon game. Though I do agree with the complaints by long-time fans that it feels safe and provides the same old experience, the game is extremely fun and is more than worth the price tag. However, please note that I’m saying this as someone who hasn’t played a Pokemon game since Pokemon Emerald and Let’s Go Eevee.
Personally, I had a blast with the new Pokemon League format, as well as participating in raids and in online battles. In addition, the character customization is sublime, and I probably spent more than five hours designing my character’s look. I had reservations with the Dynamax mechanic, yet it exceeded my expectations. To top it all off, the music is hype inducing. Kudos to the people who composed the gym leader music.
Overall, my 2019 in gaming has been quite productive, though I really wouldn’t recommend spending the number of hours I did. In any case, it opened up a lot of experiences and lessons. Every game you play is a journey. Though it may not be real life it’s still as fulfilling.