Hello, I’m new here.

My name is Tom, and I have a full-time job, a baby, an amazing wife, a gaming website and a podcast. I have decided to write a recurring column, so uh, here we are. Thanks for spending some precious leisure time on my site. I assure you, if you click to continue reading and stick with me all the way to the end, you will be rewarded handsomely.

I’m not sure where this inspiration is coming from – I am a big fan of Matthew Berry’s Love/Hate on ESPN. Game Informer has a number of outstanding writers who produce weekly columns on tabletop games, RPGs and science fiction. I hope to bring you a touch of all of these (and a few surprising but mostly pleasant touches) along the way.

After only beating four games in 2018, it’s been nice to see the credits roll on a couple big titles from last year in January.

Tom’s Triumphs!

First there was my favorite game of 2018 – Marvel’s Spider-Man. As a long-time webhead, this game delivered nearly everything I hoped for in a Spider-game, short of one badass symbiote. With an 87 on Metacritic I was hardly the only one enchanted by Peter’s adventure. In a younger time, when my hair had all it’s color and resources were harder to come by, this PS4 exclusive would have decided the console generation for me.

Thinking about my all-time favorite games, Spider-Man doesn’t instantly swing into the top five, but it may with another playthrough. In an era where I play a game once, trade it in, and never play it again, Spider-Man will be staying on my shelf, likely for as long as I have a system that plays PS4 games. Or until there is a remastered edition on Playstation 5 with four more suits and new side missions. Then I will own TWO copies.

Fun aside – you can read about Spider-Man’s history in games on Game Informer‘s website.

If Spider-Man is the bride for this console generation, then Kratos is the maid of honor, with Atreus serving as bridesmaid. I started playing God of War over the summer, took a long pause after my child was born, and kept it on the shelf after Spider-Man came out. It is arguably the best game I have ever cast aside for another title.

 

I had only dabbled with the first God of War game, so I came into the series without a lot of baggage. I knew a little bit of the titular character’s backstory, and learned more through his journey with his son. Along the way, I slayed a slew of troll and an army of Draugr. Given how big this game was, and the accolades it received, there are a couple of moments that I can’t believe weren’t spoiled for me. I won’t ruin it for you. Play God of War. Trust me.

The game landed a silly 94 on Metacritic and was named Game of the Year at the 2018 Game Awards. It was certainly an amazing game, and I can’t wait to see where the next one goes,  but for my personal game of the year I’ll stick with the wall-crawler. Also, on a completely unrelated note, you should definitely see Into the Spider-Verse

If I’m forced to interact with other human beings in a digital space while we sit in the same room, I found a  new favorite for multiplayer madness. Not being a big Smash or Mario Kart fan, I have a hard time getting into any non-hardcore multiplayer games. At our monthly nerd night in January, my friend Scott put in Overcooked, a zany game that has up to four cooks in a kitchen struggling to chop ingredients, and put together a never-ending stream of orders for imaginary customers.

The premise may not sound like much, but I literally had to spit my bourbon out on Scott’s porch when one of our friends yelled “Why the hell does this fire extinguisher keep popping up?” It turns out one member of the group was actively sabotaging us. He didn’t get to play after that, and the rest of us frantically yelled orders at each other as we chopped onions on a pirate ship, or threw lettuce across the highway on our food truck. If you have friends and haven’t checked it out, make sure you give Overcooked a try.

Alas, I couldn’t get to everything I wanted to in January. In addition to my triumphs, there is also a failure to note:

I blew it on the first leg of the Final  Fantasy Challenge. The end of January is here. I have three and a half hours left to find three crystals and see the credits roll in Final Fantasy I. I got about 16 hours into the game. My dudes are all around level 21. One or two more dedicated pushes, and I would have been there. My colleague Hobby Box Burns wins the first round. I’ll see what I can do with Final Fantasy II in February.

So here we are. It’s the end of the column. I promised to reward you handsomely, and payment is due. I turn out my pockets, and all they reveal are some magic beans. They are yours my friend, and I hope the lead you on a magic adventure.

Stay inside, kids!

Tom