Most people pick their favorite games of the year based on criteria such as gameplay, story, etc. For 2022, I’m doing something different and instead choosing my favorites (in no particular order) based on protagonist fashion styles.
After Manafinder‘s protagonist Lambda is forced into exile from the protection of her home city, she adopts a new life in an outpost community of exiles. Lambda’s new role comes with a fresh new outfit. Seriously, her cape is cool! But it’s not the clothes that make the person, it’s the person that makes the clothes, and Lambda literally and figuratively wears her new mantle with power and grace. Oh, and she’s joined by a bullmastiff-esque dog named Scar. I don’t often see those kinds of dogs in video games, and their distinct look is just as cool as the more trendy wolven or Doberman-like dogs more often seen in gaming. How could you look at Scar’s face and not want to pet him?
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
In Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, you create your main protagonist avatar with tons of clothing and hairstyle options to choose from in the character creation module. Still, Tiny Tina is the one whose name is the face of this Borderlands spinoff. Ergo, I place this tabletop fantasy-themed bundle of wacky fun here based on Tiny Tina’s fashion choices. How could I NOT want to play a tabletop adventure with an eccentrically ebullient girl dressed up as a purple cyberpunk witch serving as the game’s equivalent of a dungeon master? I love how Tina’s outfit is both whimsical and badass at the same time, just like her. There are also tons of great little details to her outfit, which show that she and her world are more than meets the eye. Tiny Tina is confident in who she is, and her boldly unique fashion choices reflect that. We could all learn a lesson from this.
Pinku Kult: Hex Mortis
Pinku Kult: Hex Mortis is the brainchild of the Pinku Kult fashion brand. I love that pieces of artwork used in their apparel and accessories are characters in the game. I spent a lot of time playing dress-up with my protagonist and enjoyed seeing the stylish outfits everyone else in the game wore. Playable characters, NPCs, villains, and everyone else in Razore City all have cool clothes, and the fashion boutique is my favorite in-game place to visit. But I don’t have to wish that cool clothes like that exist; I can literally buy a piece of Pinku Kult merchandise to wear in real life.
I’ve been following Jack Move since 2020, and what immediately drew my eyes to it from day one was the outfit Noa Solares wears. That fitted magenta jacket with grey accents and a happy skull design is something I would confidently wear when out on a two-wheeled adventure with my bicycling club or on stage playing my bass guitar. I love that in a world where people try to keep a low profile under the radar of their corporate overlords, Noa’s fashion choices reflect the rebellious boldness of someone who not only fights the power, but makes sure you know who she is.
My “It’s About Time!” RPGFan Moment of 2022
It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I’m an overly enthusiastic bass player whose soul bleeds music. Yet prior to 2022, I had NEVER appeared on the Rhythm Encounter podcast! Shocker right? Well, that oversight was rectified in 2022 when I appeared on two episodes of Rhythm Encounter (one discussing the music of Masafumi Takada and another discussing Persona series music), and I would love to appear on more.
My “favorite JRPG moment outside of gaming” in 2022
Erika Harlacher (the voice actress who played Ann Takamaki in Persona 5) living out her Phantom Thief life during her honeymoon!