Game Pass January 2022 Review – Starting the year with amazing indies

I’m Kinglink and it’s a couple of weeks into the new year so it’s time for the Game Pass January 2022 video.  2022, 2021… Ugh, not this again.  2022.. Ok, let’s do it. 

This month we had 19 titles released, and while it’s a smaller month than December, I mean what month is going to live up to Halo Infinite, it’s still packed with games, and I found many more of the titles interesting and completed quite a few already. 

At the same time there was massive news last week that may change Game Pass, but before we get there, let’s focus on this month first. We’ll start with…

Transformers: Battlegrounds.  Simplified XCOM with more than meets the eye.

Transformer: Battlegrounds goes down the well-worn path of taking a popular style of game and applying their license to it.  In this case, it’s the strategy genre, more specifically the XCOM franchise and of course, Transformers.  Transformer Battlegrounds makes some major changes with the formula though. The most notable is the removal of hit chance.  If you can strike the enemy, you will hit 100 percent of the time and apply that damage, that is a pretty massive change, but it also makes Transformers more deliberate instead of a game of dice. 

Still, if you hit the enemy there is some percentage chance of applying buffs or debuffs, but it’s a minor piece of the combat, rather than the entire combat.  There are also three difficulty levels.  The animations and story are good, and the game pushes players to use solid strategy as well as giving characters super abilities that they can use quite often. 

Pick this up if you’re a fan of XCOM or Transformers.  This is far more an XCOM game than a Transformers license, but it’s well done for both, and I think fans of either the genre or the characters will have a good time here.  It’s interesting how big a change the lack of percentage-based combat is to the formula, and I think it makes for a better game. 

Lake. Delivering packages in a sleepy town. 

Lake throws the player back into the age of 1986.  A programmer decides to go back to the town she grew up in and take on her father’s job of delivering the mail for two weeks.  She hasn’t been home in more than twenty years… This game looked and sounded like it was that opening scene of a horror game, but in fact that pretty much sums up the game.  The player delivers packages and gets to know the residents.

While that sounds simple, it’s just a chill relaxed experience of getting to know people and experiencing all that a sleepy town has.  The main character has a knack for getting a little too involved in everyone else’s life but also helps most of the people she meets.  At the same time, the game is a little janky.  This isn’t a Triple-A or Double-A title, but as a B-tier casual title, it’s rather laid back and thus enjoyable. 

Pick this up if you want a chill game.  The idea of the game is solid and while some of the game and animations are a little wonky, it’s still an experience I cherish.  I finished this game after about 6 hours of playtime, and don’t regret a minute.  It is a very chill experience, and yet still very much worth it. 

PAW Patrol: Mighty Pups Save Adventure Bay.  Puppy power! 

This might surprise some of you but I’m not familiar with the PAW Patrol tv show, that’s currently in its 8th season on Nickelodeon, so I can’t talk about the accuracy of the depiction, what I can say is PAW Patrol is a rather enjoyable game for what it is.  It reminds me a bit of the Lego Star Wars, where the games are a bit easy, but still enjoyable to see what will happen next.  

The main game is played as two different PAW Patrol members, each using their special power, such as a crane arm, or a drill, to complete tasks.  They get those powers from a magic meteor, which… I assume it happened somewhere in that TV show. It’s just a fun game that takes around 3 hours to beat fully, I earned 1000 out of 1000 gamerscore and had a good time with it. 

Pick this up if you have a small child.  Listen, I enjoyed this game, and if you want to chase gamerscore there are a lot worse ways to do it, but this is a kids game, and the whole point is for kids to see their favorite characters and control them.  If you have a kid, I can easily recommend this, if you don’t… Come on, there’s better stuff to play. 

Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth. I’m going to butcher that name. 

After a rather long opening, Lodoss War is just a very solid Metroidvania.  This is based on a well-established anime franchise from the 90s, but without that knowledge, after the opening cutscene, it doesn’t matter as much.   This can be played just like a normal Metroidvania and enjoyed in that way.   The controls are tight, there are tons of interesting abilities and skills, and the game is rather fun. 

Though the game isn’t that hard for a Metroidvania.  It feels very easy and there are a few abilities that Deedlit, I’m just guessing at that pronunciation, gets that lets her just regenerate health.  A couple of fights so far were challenging but in general, it’s on the easier side.  The fact the game relies on a lot of normal keys for progression is a shame.  There’s also a major stuttering issue on the PC GamePass version with popup text, that is not on Steam, and the PC Game Pass version is significantly older and the devs haven’t even answered anything about it or addressed it on the Steam Forums, so hopefully, they update the Game Pass version one day if they haven’t already.  Though, after about 30 minutes the stuttering stopped happening for me.

Pick this up if you want a Metroidvania, or know Record of Lodoss Wars.  It is easier than most Metroidvanias, but I still had an excellent time with this and might return to finish it.  The low difficulty though probably will upset hard-core fans of the genre, and it’s disappointing to have that stuttering. I’m a little annoyed that developers seem to pull this, the same thing happened with Kill it With Fire as the Game Pass version was a year out of date.  Come on Devs, you can do better. 

Race With Ryan.  When you make 29 million dollars a year, people make games based on you. Really that much? 

Let me start by saying, I had to learn what Ryan’s World is while making this video, and you know what, Youtube has a lot of interesting channels that get popular for any reason.  This review is going to avoid commenting on Ryan’s World as a channel, or the idea he got a game based on him, in fact, kudos to him. I hope he enjoys his game, and hopefully, it’s made him happy.  If someone gave me that same opportunity, you all would be playing Kinglink Reviews the game, which would almost definitely be a Raid Shadow Legend clone to make the most money.   Game Devs, ring me up. 

With that out of the way… This is an awful game on a purely technical level.  It’s a kart racer, where the kart takes up too much of the screen, some of the levels have too many paths to keep track of.  There are only 6 courses, 12 if you count reverse mode on each.  There was a little slowdown which I never have in games, and I had to reboot my computer to try to get rid of it, which mostly worked, but again, never had to do that in any other game this month or pretty much all of last year. 

Some tutorials don’t work.  The first tutorial is Learn How to Play, which doesn’t tell you anything and soft locks you into driving around a course, that required me to alt f4 to get out of the game.  The third tutorial doesn’t even operate and other parts of the menu don’t work either.  The game is also laughably easy, even on the hard difficulty, I was able to beat the game without using power sliding or any boosts.  Ryan also pops up almost every 5 seconds and shouts stuff. Eh. 

Pick this up if you are Ryan from Ryan’s World or a fan.  But at the same time, I bet you’d still enjoy Forza Horizon 5 more.  Or maybe try Trailmakers?  I think it’s clear this is a pretty weak kart racer but I’d recommend almost anything else.   However it does have an easy enough achievement list, but I couldn’t play it long enough to earn those.  The rarest achievement is to play the game for 3 hours, so the game doesn’t take long to complete. 

Mortal Kombat 11. There will be blood, a lot of blood. 

Mortal Kombat has been releasing games for almost thirty years, and Mortal Kombat 11 is the biggest, baddest, and most bloody, which is saying something.  With 22 characters and multiple fighting styles per character, there’s a lot to check out here as well as gear and augments.  There’s multiplayer, a large story, and the towers of time mode that’s similar to the multiverse in Injustice 2.

Personally, I prefer the single-player experience, and Mortal Kombat is extremely rough there.  The story is quite bad. But it’s the AI in the Tower of Time that ruins the experience.  Mortal Kombat AI has never been great, but here it’s clear it reads the player’s button presses and is extremely cheap.  You can abuse the AI system to win, but then the AI is just playing itself.  If you aren’t intending to play online, where the skill level is obviously, very high.  It’s going to be a rough time. 

Pick this up if you want to master Mortal Kombat, there is a great deep fighting system here.  If you just want to play with friends, you’ll have a good time, and see some gruesome sights.  If you’re going to go online and can prepare for it, this is a great fight.  But if you want to play single player or Towers of Time this is going to be a pretty weak experience, which is a shame because the content is there, the AI just ruins it. 

Broken Age.  Tim Schaefer’s Kickstarter adventure.

Broken Age was a major moment for the game industry, Schaefer asked for public funding and broke all the records, and then some.  Now I have some controversial opinions on a lot of the development, and Schafer’s history but we’ll only focus on the game here.  Broken Age is a point-and-click adventure where players control two protagonists with Schaefer’s level of humor.  At least that’s what people say.

I just didn’t find this game as hilarious as some people claimed.  The first half of the game was a solid point-and-click adventure, but the second half feels lazy at times and has an obvious issue that is also a spoiler, so I can’t talk about it.  At the end of the day, Broken Age is right in the middle of some rough years for Double Fine, and ultimately it kind of shows. 

Pick this up if you want to play a weaker point and click adventure or you find everything Schafer does is hilarious, but this one doesn’t live up to the legacy of Grim Fandango, Full Throttle, or Day of the Tentacle, and is nowhere near as good as Psychonauts or Psychonauts 2.   I’d probably play all of those first. 

The Gunk. An amazing platformer.

The Gunk is an exploration of an alien world and a strange substance simply called The Gunk.  The Gunk is a pollutant on the world, and the player and her NPC partner are working to remove it, and as they do it beautifies the world.  I can’t tell you how many times I got exhilarated as the world was restored in a sparkle of green, blue, and oranges sprung up. 

At the same time, much of the game is just sucking up The Gunk.  There’s platforming and minimal combat, but neither feels deep and while there are upgrades to the player’s arsenal they never feel necessary.  There were a couple of points where I was wishing the game had a navigation arrow to show where the next destination was, but that only occurred once or twice for me. 

Pick this up if you want to explore something new and different.  After about four hours it’s clear this is a shorter game, but it’s an enjoyable short journey and one I ended up completing after around 6 hours.  I had a good time playing through this, but this is much more about the journey than the challenge on the path. 

Ben 10: Power Trip.  An Open-World game based on a cartoon.

I again must admit, I don’t know Ben 10, and I don’t intend to change that, however, this game is quite good.  Players are given a large map, and then need to go get Ben 10’s aliens as I assume one of his main villains from the show steals them from him.  Seriously I don’t know this show but I still enjoyed the experience here.  It was well written, often funny, and interesting. 

The game reminds me a lot of the old Grand Theft Autos games, on the Playstation two.  You can approach any of the three mission arcs in any order.  There are side missions, and collectibles too.  The game is also reasonably challenging.  On the other hand, given you have three separate arcs, the characters you get in the first arc aren’t used in the second or the third, and while they are helpful it’s kind of sad that each story arc is limited to specific characters.

Pick this up if you like open-world games, or Ben 10.  If you’re a fan of the show, this likely means more to you, but as I said, this is well-written, funny, and clever, so you can approach it as someone who hasn’t seen the original show and still may enjoy it.  I have no reason to return but I’m still considering it because the game was quite fun. 

Firewatch.  A masterclass of story-crafting.

Firewatch is a game that shows how to tell interesting stories in video games.  It has an amazing narrative and intertwines it with the gameplay so players are constantly involved in the story as well as the experience and what they find.  That sounds rather easy, but it’s something that eludes even the biggest game, yet Firewatch makes it look effortless.

Firewatch’s gameplay though is going to be make-or-break.  When people talk about walking simulators I think many of them think of a game like Firewatch.  Firewatch pretty much involves the player hiking in the forest over and over across multiple days.   There are minimal actions, no combat, and it is a purely narrative-driven experience, but at the same time, as you’re exploring the game, the story continues on which will keep the player involved and that’s where Firewatch is the strongest.  It is also a three to four-hour game.

Pick this up if you love stories in video games, you need to play this.  This does have an amazing narrative, but also incredible voice acting that feels like you’re a part of the story.  It’s limited in its scope but it also masters what it sets out to do. 

Gears 5: Game of the Year Edition.  Meet the new Gears, same as the old, only with a lot more microtransactions.

I played the first three gears of war and I know these are heavy co-op games, if you aren’t playing with a buddy, you’re missing out on the game, so I ended up getting my buddy to play with me, we played through the first game a decade and a half ago.  And after playing for two hours, we both were ready to stop.  Gears 5 feels like the Gears franchise has barely changed, and after fifteen years that’s a bad sign.   

The story in Gears 5 just wasn’t that interesting, admittedly neither of us played Gears 4, but it was the gameplay more that bothered us.  Two hours and three chapters in Gears 5 were just going through the same motions as the prior games.  Walk a bit, have random discussions, find collectibles, shoot a bunch of stuff, walk on, and the fact is, nothing appealed to us.  If you’re already a fan of the franchise, that’s what it’s there for. 

But we need to talk about this.  Game of the Year Edition means what?  To me, it should mean everything is included.  I get that there might be future season packs and more, but in Gears’ case it’s just the expansion, the game is FILLED with requests for more money and that’s distasteful.  The fact the game doesn’t even download the full game so you’re sitting around the store waiting to play looking at everything you can buy feels scummy.

Pick this up if you’re already a massive Gears fan and can recite the lore by heart, I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of this one or already have.  But I liked those first three Gears of War games but found this to be just too similar to the previous titles,  I couldn’t find a reason to play on.  I didn’t care about the story, or characters enough, and they all were doing unlikable things.

The Pedestrian.  An amazing platform puzzler. 

The Pedestrian is just incredible.  It’s a typical platformer, where you have to go around and collect objects to solve puzzles, but everything is extremely well polished.  The level design is exceptional, and the gameplay gives the players a ton of freedom such as to rearrange the boards and connect the level up as they wish, but also hinting at the solution subtly.  The game is beautiful with each puzzle being part of a three-dimensional world. 

There are so many unique moments here, where the game expands beyond what a normal two-dimensional puzzle game would be able to do that I can’t recommend this game enough.  And then there’s the ending, the final section of the game was worth playing the entire game for.  While the game only lasts about four hours, I still can’t believe how well designed this game is.  This is one of those games that sets a new standard for what we should expect in a genre.  It’s up there with the Portal and The Witness in my book. 

Pick this up if you like puzzle games.  It is only 2D with several clever tricks, but at the same time, it shows how well-designed a puzzle game can be.   Check this one out if you like what you’re seeing here, there’s a lot more in this game that I’m not showing. 

Gorogoa.  A visual journey. 

From one beautiful puzzle game to the next. Gorogoa is a unique game where players move tiles around to progress the story and see beautiful imagery.  Gorogoa just is a consistently gorgeous wonder to behold, in such a way that it can remind me a bit of Artful Escape, where all I wanted to do was see what came next.

The puzzles in Gorogoa are usually a bit simple, where players just have to slide tiles around, manipulate them, and attach them in different ways, however with only four areas for titles, it’s usually pretty easy to figure out where and what players will have to do next to keep the story moving.   I have two minor complaints.  The first is that while the story is ok, the wordless nature feels like it’s easy to miss some of the experience.  The other issue is that the game is fast.  I was able to blaze through on my new playthrough in about an hour, and the first time it only took me 90 minutes.  Not huge negatives, but something to think about. 

Pick this up if you like what you’re seeing.  It’s such a beautiful game.  The experience is unique and I love the idea at the core here. 

Olija. I’m going to have to guess how to pronounce that.  Tip for Game devs, that’s a bad sign.

Olija is an interesting tale of a shipwrecked man who explores islands, finds resources, and tries to survive in an unknown land.  The main weapon in the game is a magical harpoon that can be summoned or allows the player to teleport to it.  There’s a large map to explore that keeps expanding, interesting bosses, and a continual story. 

But to be fair, I’m not a huge fan of this title, the art here is going to appeal to some, but Olija just never made me want to keep playing.  The teleportation was a different system but everything else felt like stuff I had seen before or art I wasn’t massively interested in.  It just became a rather boring game sadly, and I stopped playing after a couple of hours.  If you love the art, definitely play it, but it felt more like it was trying to be stylistic but I consistently was wondering what everything was because some of the visual choices here didn’t pay off. 

Pick this up as I said if you like what you’re seeing.  It’s a small indie game and that’s fine, if you’re a fan of unique art then you’ll be happy here, but where Out of this World or Flashback were unique in their gameplay, Oljia was just average. 

Embr.  Burn baby burn. 

Embr has the player taking on the role of a firefighter in an attempt to try to save people from burning buildings in a weird little game.  The first level is pretty straightforward.  Beautiful house, fire, people to rescue, and then extra money to find to try to perfect the level.  With good fire physics and a good style, Embr seems good.  

Though I think Embr’s main gameplay is overshadowed a bit by the alternate ways to play each level. My personal favorite was when Embr tasked me with destroying a building.  There was also extinguishing the fire, a mode to loot the house, and a final option to deliver food in the middle of the fire. The levels are also pretty varied, with many of them being different types of tenements, which are fun and challenging to explore.  There’s a good amount of levels here as well. 

Pick this up if you want something fun to play for a few sessions.  This game will last a bit but also is a touch shallow.  Most levels are just set up to save people in different places on bigger levels, but if you’re going to be going for 100 percent, you’re going to have to search these levels thoroughly , though it’d probably be easier to just look up where the key items are for the most part. I still had a very good time though. 

Mass Effect Legendary Edition.  Save the galaxy they said.  So I did. 

Oh man, this is the big one.  I’m going to need a little extra time to talk about this one.  If you ever wanted to be in a Sci-Fi Movie, this is the place.  Mass Effect Legendary Edition gives you the ability to explore the galaxy over three games, and take an epic journey.  You’re the captain of a ship and while you have a major storyline to go on, there’s a lot of options, choices, and dialogue for you to go through, as well as tons of aliens to shoot.  

Mass Effect 1, 2, and 3 are epic games, they’ll take 60 hours if you just play the main story, probably closer to 100 for your first time especially if you’re going to see a majority of the game, as the side quests here are worth it, and even more if you want to complete it as it’ll take two run-throughs. 

And there’s a lot of hate for the third game, but I like all three games in the series.  Is the ending of the third game perfect?  No.  But if you play through all three games you’ll find how your choices in the first two titles come back throughout the third game and give you a feeling like that game is your own personal journey.  These aren’t perfect games, but they are absolute epics. 

Though I do want to call out something here. I don’t think these are that amazing of a remaster.  It’s fantastic to be rereleased and now collected, it’s great that this is now available on all platforms, and seeing as it was a bit of a pain to get on Steam it’s good to collect it all in one place, but overall the graphics are about the level of Mass Effect 3, slightly better, but they don’t fix any other issues like problems with the story or how disconnected all three games’ gameplay are from each other.  There are small changes, but stories are pretty faithful to the original for good or bad.  My issue is this game came out last year and feels like it’s from the year of Mass Effect 3.  Perhaps that’s because I was playing on a PC which was the superior-looking platform as well. 

Pick this up if you never played Mass Effect, this is still the best version of the game, and I’m probably a little harsh on this title because this could have been better, still, if and when I decide to replay Mass Effect, there’s no question, I’m playing the Legendary Edition, and I recommend Mass Effect heavily to anyone who hasn’t played through the entire series, it’s a great story.  Yes, even counting the ending. Get over it. 

Outer Wilds.  Going from a AAA Space Adventure to an indie space adventure, this one might be better.

I adore Outer Wilds.  It was my second favorite game from 2020 after only Disco Elysium, and it is such an amazing trip.  You explore a universe you find yourself in and have to discover the major mysteries hiding among multiple planets.  This is a pure exploration game.  You start in a village of your people but then are told to explore the cosmos and each planet feels different, quite alien, and yet somehow comforting in strange and unique ways.  There’s so much to see, do, and discover. 

This is a masterpiece in world-building, or in this case technically galaxy building.  It is designed to keep the player wondering.  There’s always a question on the tip of your tongue, a little more information you need to have, and a discovery waiting to be found.  It’s such a magical experience and it will keep you wrapped up in it.  The game also has a time loop function but I’m going to avoid talking more about that, it’s one you should experience on your own the first time. 

Pick this up if… you’re human.  Honestly, this is so worth it.  The studio here made an utterly amazing game you should check out.  There are two things though.  First, this doesn’t come with the DLC, which is a shame but I think I like the base game a touch more than the DLC, still, if you enjoy this, support the devs. 

The other thing I wanted to bring up is about Mobius Games, the team behind Outer Wilds.  The founder of Mobius Games is Hiro from Heroes, Masi Oka.  Strange trivia but kudos to him because he helped to create a seriously impressive game. 

Spelunky 2.  It’s more Spelunky.

If you’ve played the original Spelunky and wanted more, Spelunky 2 is here, and trust me, you’re getting more.  This is the same game with even more content, dungeons, traps, enemies, and more.  They also changed the girl out for a dog, and I groaned at first, come on, that’s a cute doggie.  and he gives you a big old kiss. Muah. 

That’s all I can say.  I’m not good at Spelunky, I only beat the first area, and I believe Spelunky 2 is significantly harder.  This is one Roguelite that I’m not a huge fan of, not that I think there’s anything wrong, I just can’t talk about how the dungeon progresses, because I can only see the first area.  My friends who are fans of the first game love the second as well, and I see why.  Sorry, I’m not your Spelunky guru.

Pick this up if you enjoyed Spelunky.  Because of its enhanced challenge and difficulty, this is probably only for those who have beaten the first title.  There’s no assist mode or anything else, it’s just a harder version of a pretty hard game, and I think that’s perfect for this title. 

Anacrusis. A stylish romp in space… with a ship full of enemies.

Once again we end on a Horde shooter.  This time, it’s space aliens… Wasn’t that what we talked about at the end of the last Game Pass video.  This is a Game Preview or Early Access, same meaning, of a space shooter where you shoot a lot of enemies, it’s also one I recommend playing with other people you know because the three times I played, everyone else dropped out before the end of the fourth area, and there’s no way to matchmake back into a group at that point. 

The game is also decently hard, and I’m not sure if the AI isn’t good enough or the game is just brutal, but if you get two or three of the special monsters, you’re going to be struggling a lot.  The guns don’t stand out as well, and there are only, I believe, 3 or 4 of them.  The levels also don’t change and while the horde will be slightly different, it’s all the same game before a couple of hours are up.  There are good designs and aesthetics at least. 

Pick this up if you have a firm group that you want to play this.  I wouldn’t play this with matchmaking especially how once players drop they’re gone forever.   At the same time, this game makes me think Aliens: Fireteam Elite wasn’t that bad, and I definitely would recommend Back 4 Blood over this, but if you’re bored of those two titles, give this a shot.

And that’s what I have for the beginning of the year.  This was a pretty packed month and even stranger they dropped all of the first two weeks’ titles on the same day.  Still, after playing through it, there were a lot of indie games here and a few older AAA. 

Truthfully though, the AAA didn’t excite me as much. Mortal Kombat 11 is fine, but Gears 5 was underwhelming me as much, and Mass Effect Legendary Edition felt like just a repackaged version of the original.  A lot of people might be upset but also if you only want the biggest titles, the last three months had Forza, It Takes Two, Halo, and Age of Empires 4?  It’s ok for an off month. 

There were a lot more indie games, a huge variety there along with some major indie titles.  But still, there were quite a few young games, Ben 10, Paw Patrol and Racing With Ryan were a bit much all at once, however, people who want the subscription for their kids should be happy.

Someone on my Humble Choice Video left a comment that kind of rattled me, so thanks Kevin Haelterman.  Rather than focusing on the biggest or best titles, or heavily weighing value, I’m going to rate games more on what I enjoy and what I think everyone else should enjoy.  If you don’t have anyone in your life telling you to check out Mass Effect, well look around more, it’s popular. 

As for my list, we’ll talk about the top five games I think are worth checking out.  All five are indie titles, which is kind of nice. 

The fifth strongest of the month is Gorogoa.  This is a great game, it’s a fast play, but it’s also unique and interesting.  I love the puzzle aspect here, and the art is just beautiful.  It’s also short which is why it is only fifth on the list, but definitely give this game a go. 

The fourth strongest of the month is Lake.  I wasn’t expecting Lake to be as good as it is, but it’s just a very chill and enjoyable experience with interesting characters and great storylines.  The oddness of just getting involved in everyone’s life from the first moment pays off by the end and the experience was lovely.

The third strongest of the month is The Pedestrian.  This might not have made this list but again the ending nailed and the art design here is superb.  I love how there’s an exploration of the three-dimensional world without being a direct part of the game.   Also, the menus here are all shown on in world monitors which the camera shifts to when you pause.  That’s a great touch. 

The second strongest of the month is Firewatch.  I’ve talked a lot about the story but it’s so well told that I’m a little annoyed that Campos Santo, the developer, got bought up by Valve.  I really hope we get to see another game from these developers but I also think that time has passed, sad, but at least Firewatch is well worth the experience. 

The strongest of the month is… Outer Wilds.  I loved this game in 2020, I still do, this is just so well done and while I have to sit down and do another full playthrough of the game sometimes, I am very hopeful more people check this title out, I couldn’t put anything above it.  Outer Wilds is a fantastic journey and an amazing tale where I kept feeling I was discovering something new every loop, and before long was having amazing epiphanies every few minutes. 

And that’s what I have for January.  So what do you guys think, am I wrong, should I have included Mass Effect or Mortal Kombat 11, let me know down in the comments, or what do you think of the new focus of the best-of list. 

With this month out of the way, what else should we talk about?  Oh yeah, the big news.  Microsoft bought Activision, I think there’s a lot to discuss there.  I’m hoping the new management can fix some of those disgusting problems at Activision Blizzard.  Supposedly Phil Spencer was deeply troubled and I say he should be given a shot to fix the issues. 

I’m not going to go too deep into this for a couple of reasons. The big one is this deal is going to take at least a year if not more to go through, my guess is 18 months. So nothing is changing anytime soon.  My two predictions are that Bobby Kotick will almost definitely no longer be part of the company after the transition, though even still he’ll get out with a ton of money.  

The other prediction is that eventually after this a lot of Activision properties will stop releasing on Playstation.  I know they’ve hinted that they probably won’t do that, but they also made similar noises when Zenimax and Bethesda were bought, and yeah, they changed that tune fast.   Give it time and even Call of Duty might leave Playstation but that’s probably more like two to three years.  I look forward to cringing in five years when I’m proven wrong.  But if the deal does take a long time to go through I don’t expect Activision or Blizzard games to matter to Game Pass until then.   

We’ll take a quick look at What’s leaving soon, and Nowhere Prophet, Xeno Crisis, Cyber Shadow, and Prison Architect are leaving.  I will say Prison Architect is worth checking out, from one of my favorite developers, and Nowhere Prophet felt like a unique rogue-lite game, if you’re interested move fast. 

Finally, let’s take a look at the next two weeks and I’ll say I’m excited to see Taiko No Tatsujin.  Seriously I love that drum game.  But even outside that, it’s a packed month with tons of games. Danganronpa is a great visual novel, which also won my award. I’m looking forward to buying Hitman 3, so that’s great to see, but also two major Rainbow Six games sound great. 

Alright, all with that out of the way I think we’re good to go here.  As always, I have to say, consider subscribing, and ringing that bell, it’s important to the channel.  Like and comment to help out the channel and keep thinking of places to share this video, there’s a good momentum on this series and I’d love to see it continue to grow.  If you’re interested in hanging out, check out the Discord server, called the Roundtable. I run it, but it’s not intended to only be about me, it’s just a place to talk about games, and other hobbies and check out what’s going on. I’d love to hear from you there. 

I’ll pop up my best of last year, which has three Xbox Game Pass titles on the list for you to check out. As well as my first Humble Choice of 2022, to check out as well. 

See you next time.

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