Games of 2022: Pokémon was the best vicarious experience

Surprising literally no-one, my Game of the Year is Elden Ring. It exceeded my Erdtree-sized expectations and, despite some absolute corkers being released this year, nothing else came close. The games that made me happiest, on the other hand, are games I’ve hardly played, if at all. Pokémon Legends Arceus and Scarlet brought me more joy than all the Elden Rings and Immortalities and Marvel Snaps put together.

I’m not a player of these games. I’ve tried a few, but I’ve never finished one, they’ve just never grabbed me. My fiancee Rune (yes, they’re non-binary, why do you ask?) on the other hand, absolutely adores them. Sun & Moon were the first releases after we got together and I’ve been dutifully ensuring they have every new Pokémon game to hit the shelves, even during some tough times.

It’s totally worth it though. Nothing compares to their delight as they experience the heady joys of something so comfortingly familiar liberally sprinkled with new surprises. I help with the all important starter selection and contribute to the names. (Would you believe that, as a games journo, I’m pretty good at puns?) Making them laugh is good. Making them groan and hit me with a cushion is even better!

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