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What games did you complete? 2020 Edition


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Previously...

Spoiler

1) AM2R - PC - 2016 (1991)
2) Ecco The Dolphin - Mega CD - 1992/3
3) Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - 3DS - 2012/14
4) Mega Man X - SNES - 1993
5) Super Metroid - SNES - 1994
6) Donkey Kong Country - SNES - 1994
7) Chrono Trigger - SNES - 1995
8) Star Fox 2 - SNES - 2017 (1995)
9) Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island - SNES - 1995
10) Xenogears - PS1 - 1998
11) Sonic the Hedgehog - Megadrive - 1991
12) Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - SNES - 1996
13) Kirby Super Star - SNES - 1996
14) Earthbound - SNES - 1995
15) R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 - PS1 - 1998/9
16) Tomb Raider III - PC - 1998
17) Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation - PC - 1999
18) Tomb Raider Chronicles - PC - 2000
19) Shenmue HD - PC - 2018 (1999/2000)
20) Shenmue II HD - PC - 2018 (2001)
21) Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy - PS3 - 2012 (2001)
22) Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness - PC - 2003
23) Jak II: Renegade - PS3 - 2012 (2003)
24) Jak 3 - PS3 - 2012 (2004)
25) Tomb Raider: Legend - PC - 2006
26) Tomb Raider: Anniversary - PC - 2007
27) Uncharted: Drake's Fortune - PS4 - 2015 (2007)
28) Tomb Raider: Underworld - PC - 2008
29) Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice - 3DS - 2016
30) Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - PS4 - 2015 (2009)
31) Final Fantasy Adventure - GameBoy - 1991
32) Alpha Protocol - PC - 2010
33) Day of the Tentacle Remastered - Vita - 2016 (1993)
34) Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game - PC - 2011
35) Star Fox 64 3D - 3DS - 2011 (1997)
36) Limbo - PC - 2011 (2010)
37) The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D - 3DS - 2015 (2000)
38) Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception - PS4 - 2015 (2011)
39) Super Mario 64 - Switch - 2020 (1996)
40) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Arcade - 1989
41) Alan Wake - PC - 2012 (2010)

42) Warioware Gold - 3DS - 2018

43) Alan Wake's American Nightmare - PC - 2012
44) Super Mario Sunshine - Switch - 2020 (2002)
45) Quantum Conundrum - PC - 2012
46) Super Mario Galaxy - Switch - 2020 (2007)
47) The Last of Us Remastered - PS4 - 2014 (2013)
48) Grand Theft Auto V - PC - 2015 (2013)
49) Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy - 3DS - 2013

50) Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - Megadrive - 1992

51) Lifeless Planet - PC - 2014


52) Sonic 3 Complete - Megadrive - 2013 (1994)
My annual Sonic-a-thon continues. This is a fan-made ROM-hack, a version of Sonic 3 & Knuckles with all the bugs fixed and lots of customisation for changing music and moves and so on. It's still my favourite Sonic game, although I'm now so familiar with it that I can almost play it on autopilot. If you haven't tried the Sonic 3 Complete version before, give it a try, it's fabulous. I have also recently become aware of another Sonic 3 mod project called Angel Island Revisited (AIR), which offers widescreen and achievements and other stuff, so I may have to check that out soon. Gosh, what an exciting time to enjoy playing a quarter-century old platformer!
EDIT: And now I've completed Sonic 3 A.I.R. several times and it's magnificent! I'm not counting it as a 'new' game, though.

 

53) Abzû - PC - 2016
I love Flower, I love Journey, and within minutes of starting Abzû, I knew I was going to love this too. Several members of Thatgamecompany (not a placeholder name) moved to Giant Squid Studios to make this, including the director and composer, so it's absolutely born of the same DNA. The underwater world is full of real sea creatures, but the whole thing is just as abstract and colourful and arty as the previous games, and the way your diver uses some sort of magical energy to bring things back to life and changes the world around them is very reminiscent of Flower, as is the interplay between nature and technology. And like Journey, you go on a journey, through changing waters and different environments, as it tells a story through the gameplay and clues in the environment without needing to ever speak a word. It's not a hard game (in fact I don't think it's actually possible to die), but it is very engaging and satisfying. Most games with underwater sections are a chore, but swimming around in Abzû is such a pleasure and so elegant. The game is utterly beautiful, expertly using colour and light to bring the magical underwater world to life. It's one of the most strikingly beautiful games I've played through, and clocking in at less than two hours, it just makes me want to play through it all over again. I do wish my PC was a little more modern, as I did experience a fair few framerate drops. That said, since I got the game for free, I'm pretty tempted to buy the PS4 version and then have the whole beautiful trilogy on one console. A real delight, absolutely unmissable.

Edited by Sprite Machine
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Just wrapped up TLOU remastered. I know I know but given that this is the second game I have completed this year this is a big thing here. Add this to UC4 which I wrapped earlier this year I guess I have found my game type as I usually play driving games. The game I completed before these two was Modern warfare on the 360!

 

Anyway, what a game. There were so many simply amazing parts and while the set pieces were just incredible for me the parts where you just wondered around ruined houses getting a picture of the lives that were lived there got me the most. I guess I should take on the sequel next? Then again I have yakuza 0 in my pile of shame which I think may be a nice change of mood!

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Dishonoured: Death of the Outsider - My main takeaway from returning to this 2017 release was 'man, Karnaca was a great setting'. I never wholly meshed with the Dishonoured games (loved Prey though), but this is a fun stripped-down version of that template, a smaller range of all-new abilities and a couple of new levels to experiment with them in. But yeah, I'd forgotten how gorgeous and well-realised the environments of this game were.

 

BJQKxY8.png

 

Disco Elysium (again) - I enjoyed this so much that I went back through it as opposite-cop. Even though the main quest is pretty linear, the sheer ability to define your own personality, down to the running jokes, and have that reflect in all your dialogue makes it feel like there is more freedom, and on the whole this just reinforced how well put together it is.

 

Spoiler

Disco Elysium

Halo 4

Tetris Effect: Connected

Eastshade 

FFXIV: Heavensward 

Forza 7

Microsoft Flight Simulator

FFXIV: A Realm Reborn

Muse Dash

Tell Me Why

Hypnospace Outlaw

The Touryst

Carrion

Mario 64 (PC)

Gone Home 

Observation 

A Short Hike 

Age of Wonders: Planetfall

Yakuza Kiwami

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

Gears Tactics

Grandia 3

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Wave Race 64

Slay the Spire

Halo 3: ODST

Halo 3 

Halo 2: Anniversary

Halo CE: Anniversary 

Crackdown 3
Kingdom Come: Deliverance + DLC

God of War (2005) 

Resident Evil 2 RE

Grandia 2 

 

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33. Bugsnax (PS5) - A really strange one this and a tricky one to navigate given I was playing through it with my 4 year old as his first 'proper game' on a console. On the face of this it is a fun cartoon-like sandbox puzzle game involving a race of creatures (Grumpus) catching other creatures (Bugsnax) and then feeding them to other Grumpuses resulting in body transforming comedy (raspberry noses, carrot legs, etc...). In this mode it is a lot of fun with some great creature design, voice acting and animation. My son absolutely loved sandboxing it and just exploring, finding things and making the characters look funny. However behind this is actually a pretty dark story about the collapse of society/community, addiction, depression, repressed sexual orientation, body confidence and gluttony. The final act in particular steps that up a gear and fully changes the tone to something quite sinister, so much so I ended up skipping most of the dialogue and ad libbing an alternative explanation of what was going on for my son's benefit. Ultimately we had a fantastic time with it and my son really got a lot out of the experience and we stuck with it to unlock his first ever platinum trophy. But it is one of the weirdest juxtaposition games I've ever experienced.  - 7/10

 

 

Quote

1. Jedi: Fallen Order (XB1) - 10/10

2. Untitled Goose Game (XB1) - 8/10

3. Gorogoa (iPad) - 9/10

4. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice (XB1) - 8/10

5. Abzû (PS4) - 6/10

6. Braid (XB1/360) - 10/10

7. A Plague Tale: Innocence (XB1) - 8/10

8. Quantum Break (XB1) - 6/10

9. Oxenfree (Mac OS) - 7/10

10. Monument Valley 2 (iPad) -  7/10

11. Sniper Elite 4 (XB1) - 8/10

12. Marvel's Spider-Man (PS4) - 10/10

13. Fractured Minds (XB1) - 5/10

14. The Last Guardian (PS4) - 8/10

15. Journey (PS4) - 10/10

16. God of War [2018] (PS4) - 10/10

17. Superhot (XB1) - 8/10

18. Deliver Us the Moon (XB1) - 7/10

19. Virginia (XB1) - 5/10

20. Journey to the Savage Planet (XB1) - 7/10

21. Ori and the Will of the Wisps (XB1) - 8/10

22. Thief [2014] (PS4) - 6/10

23. Tacoma (XB1) - 7/10

24. The Gardens Between (XB1) - 8/10

25. The Talos Principle (XB1) - 7/10

26. Carrion (XB1) - 7/10

27. Tetris Effect: Connected (XB1) - 8/10

28. Journey (PS5) - 10/10

29. Astrobot's Playroom (PS5) - 9/10

30. Bound (PS5) - 5/10

31. Abzu (PS5) - 8/10

32. Ether One (PS5) - 7/10

 

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Spoiler

 

1. Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order (XB1) 7.5/10

2. Jurassic World Evolution (XB1) 7/10

3. No Man's Sky (XB1) 8/10

4. Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons (XB1 - Game Pass) 8/10

5. The Last of Us: Remastered (PS4) 8.5/10

6. The Last of Us: Left Behind (PS4) 8.5/10

7. Overcooked 2 (XB1) 7.5/10

8. Journey (PS4) 8/10

9. Untitled Goose Game (XB1 - Game Pass) 6.5/10

10. Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4) 8/10

11. Streets of Rage 4 (XB1) 8/10

12. Mortal Kombat X (XB1 - Game Pass) 7.5/10

13. Spider-Man (PS4) 10/10

14. Moving Out (XB1 - Game Pass) 6.5/10

15. Marvel v Capcom: Infinite (XB1 - Game Pass) 6/10

16. Doom (2016) (XB1) 8.5/10

17. Carrion (XB1 - Game Pass) 7/10

18. Gears of War 4 (XB1 - Game Pass) 8/10

19. Borderlands - GOTY Edition (XB1) 7/10

20. God of War (PS4) 9.5/10

21. Uncharted - Drake's Fortune Remastered (PS4) 7/10

22. Forza Horizon 4 (XB1) 8.5/10

 

 

23. Star Wars Battlefront 2 (CAMPAIGN MODE) (XB1)

 

Important to note that this is only the campaign mode - I've not gone online with this.  I will do because I hope my overall experience is improved by it!

 

Well - this is crap I'm afraid.  And it seems like a very lazy game - with the amount of detail thrown into the presentation, the exemplary Star Wars 'feel' with the visuals and sounds, it's like EA forgot to actually spend any time at all making this playable.

 

I even enjoyed the plot - as a Star Wars nerd, there are some very cool little nods to different aspects on the franchise.  It actually serves a really good purpose as a prequel to Chuck Wendig's Aftermath trilogy in the new canon novels.  That's pretty neat TBF.  So it's jarring that the actual video game aspect of this is so unforgivably poor.

 

But this is a video game so I need to judge it on how it plays.  Unfortunately, it plays like a wet flannel.  Massively linear, uninspiring levels, a total lack of any puzzle elements that are thrown aside, instead favouring a impressive visual set piece where some actual thought could have made some section really quite memorable.

 

There are a few missions where you take control of a 'hero' character but they're absolutely bloody awful, requiring zero skills to complete.

 

I don't think I played a single level where an enemy didn't start glitching and stuttering into the surroundings which made an attempt at a headshot impossible.  The 'loadout' for each character doesn't seem to have warranted any thought whatsoever.

 

The best sections of this were the flying sections - good fun to fly around in an X Wing or Tie Fighter, and I did enjoy these sections.  But when 75% of the game is a FPS, that's not exactly well balanced.  (Although it did make me excited to try Squadrons.....)

 

EA manage to nail the polish of Star Wars games every time I play them.  The galaxy has never looked better, the familiar orchestral score swirling around and 'pew'ing of blasters  mixed with a great mixture of nostalgia-strewn battlegrounds is very impressive.  Even the balance of new and familiar characters with an intriguing story is cool.  But that's all for nought if it's essentially empty from a game play point of view.    

 

A huge disappointment but thank god for Game Pass because I wouldn't have wanted to buy this outright, especially just for the campaign experience.  

 

I'll give multiplayer a go as I enjoyed the first Battlefront game.  Hopefully it'll be a tad more satisfying!

 

4.5/10

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Two investigation games - one a GOTY, the other a disappointment:

 

34. Paradise Killer
This is one of those games that I just want to talk about a lot. But I also don't because I'd want anyone who's going to play it to know as little as possible. It's the latest in what's becoming an incredibly strong genre of open-ended investigation games, after the like of Obra Dinn, Outer Wilds and Telling Lies. Yet it's also like nothing I've played before with its lurid, disorienting vibe and mix of exploration, 3D platforming, evidence collecting and suspect interrogation. At first it's just too weird to get your head around, but after a couple of hours you get how the world works and how the single island map links together. I don't want to say much more. Except every aspect of it just harmonises so perfectly together and I hope more people play it. A little confusion and slow progress in the early stages is well worth putting up with for what comes after.

 

35. Twin Mirror
Dontnod's latest is a bit of a mess. Originally meant to be episodic but now released as a single piece, and it feels kind of unfinished and shorter than it should have been. It just isn't really up to standard at any level - cliched setting and story, bland script, wooden character models and animation, a non-event of a murder mystery, and lots of potentially interesting themes that don't really go anywhere. The one element of note is the 'mind palace' mechanic, where the main character reconstructs scenes in his head, which looks rather nice. But that's pretty undercooked as well. Life Is Strange this ain't.

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On 07/12/2020 at 09:12, Boothjan said:
  Reveal hidden contents

 

1. Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order (XB1) 7.5/10

2. Jurassic World Evolution (XB1) 7/10

3. No Man's Sky (XB1) 8/10

4. Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons (XB1 - Game Pass) 8/10

5. The Last of Us: Remastered (PS4) 8.5/10

6. The Last of Us: Left Behind (PS4) 8.5/10

7. Overcooked 2 (XB1) 7.5/10

8. Journey (PS4) 8/10

9. Untitled Goose Game (XB1 - Game Pass) 6.5/10

10. Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4) 8/10

11. Streets of Rage 4 (XB1) 8/10

12. Mortal Kombat X (XB1 - Game Pass) 7.5/10

13. Spider-Man (PS4) 10/10

14. Moving Out (XB1 - Game Pass) 6.5/10

15. Marvel v Capcom: Infinite (XB1 - Game Pass) 6/10

16. Doom (2016) (XB1) 8.5/10

17. Carrion (XB1 - Game Pass) 7/10

18. Gears of War 4 (XB1 - Game Pass) 8/10

19. Borderlands - GOTY Edition (XB1) 7/10

20. God of War (PS4) 9.5/10

21. Uncharted - Drake's Fortune Remastered (PS4) 7/10

22. Forza Horizon 4 (XB1) 8.5/10

 

 

23. Star Wars Battlefront 2 (CAMPAIGN MODE) (XB1)

 

Important to note that this is only the campaign mode - I've not gone online with this.  I will do because I hope my overall experience is improved by it!

 

Well - this is crap I'm afraid.  And it seems like a very lazy game - with the amount of detail thrown into the presentation, the exemplary Star Wars 'feel' with the visuals and sounds, it's like EA forgot to actually spend any time at all making this playable.

 

I even enjoyed the plot - as a Star Wars nerd, there are some very cool little nods to different aspects on the franchise.  It actually serves a really good purpose as a prequel to Chuck Wendig's Aftermath trilogy in the new canon novels.  That's pretty neat TBF.  So it's jarring that the actual video game aspect of this is so unforgivably poor.

 

But this is a video game so I need to judge it on how it plays.  Unfortunately, it plays like a wet flannel.  Massively linear, uninspiring levels, a total lack of any puzzle elements that are thrown aside, instead favouring a impressive visual set piece where some actual thought could have made some section really quite memorable.

 

There are a few missions where you take control of a 'hero' character but they're absolutely bloody awful, requiring zero skills to complete.

 

I don't think I played a single level where an enemy didn't start glitching and stuttering into the surroundings which made an attempt at a headshot impossible.  The 'loadout' for each character doesn't seem to have warranted any thought whatsoever.

 

The best sections of this were the flying sections - good fun to fly around in an X Wing or Tie Fighter, and I did enjoy these sections.  But when 75% of the game is a FPS, that's not exactly well balanced.  (Although it did make me excited to try Squadrons.....)

 

EA manage to nail the polish of Star Wars games every time I play them.  The galaxy has never looked better, the familiar orchestral score swirling around and 'pew'ing of blasters  mixed with a great mixture of nostalgia-strewn battlegrounds is very impressive.  Even the balance of new and familiar characters with an intriguing story is cool.  But that's all for nought if it's essentially empty from a game play point of view.    

 

A huge disappointment but thank god for Game Pass because I wouldn't have wanted to buy this outright, especially just for the campaign experience.  

 

I'll give multiplayer a go as I enjoyed the first Battlefront game.  Hopefully it'll be a tad more satisfying!

 

4.5/10

I'm playing this at the moment as well. As a fellow Star Wars lore nerd, I'm definitely enjoying the setting and story aspects. Just as with other expanded universe media, it's brilliant to see legendary events play out from an alternative viewpoint and get references dropped in from the other books/games/comics - Operation Cinder, Admiral Sloane etc. Also, Luke Skywalker is in it briefly and although there is very little gameplay in his level, I did like his little episode - it's nice.

 

Elsewhere, the game does a really good job of depicting the chaos around and after the Battle of Endor from the Empire's point-of-view - it's basically Call of Duty: Star Wars, with all the bombastic set pieces and jet-setting around barely stopping to draw a breath. I usually hate that stuff but as it's Star Wars I'm all for it - in fact I wish Fallen Order and Squadrons had more of it. You can tell that out of EA's three most recent Star Wars games, BF2 had by far the biggest budget, with lavish CGI cutscenes and a huge range of environments and models. Graphically, it's superior to Squadrons despite Squadrons being a much, much better game.

 

So it's a shame the gameplay is so basic! Boothjan nails it. Luckily each level is very short. In fact, it really reminds of one of those Star Wars arcade games that comes out every 10 years or so. Worth it for the spectacle, but nothing more.

 

@Boothjan if you liked the space combat in this you will LOVE Squadrons. It's so much better. The ship handling in BF2 is incredibly twitchy - Squadrons is much more of a proper skill-based simulation, with much more thought required to do well (thinking mainly of multiplayer here, though). Also, Battlefront 2 is a really good multiplayer game. It's worth giving it a go - it's not particularly hardcore so you'll likely get a good few kills!

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31/10 - Mafia II (Xbox 360) - I picked up a cheap second hand copy of this on disk after playing the excellent remake of the original Mafia. This isn't as good. The story simply isn't as memorable; and there's a lot of driving from one side of the map to the other, seemingly to pad out the story - there's one chapter which only involves driving to several points of the map to trigger a cut scene before driving to another location. The pacing is also off, with each chapter revolving around a day in the life of our hero - so some of the early chapters are very short, whilst some of the later ones contain several missions. I enjoyed it, but a definite step down over the remake of the original.

 

20/11 - Spider-Man Miles Morales (PS4) - I didn't particularly like the original and this largely feels like more of the same. Thankfully it's a lot more streamlined at around half the length of the original with a lot less padding. All the insta-fail stealth missions have gone too, which was a pleasant bonus. Overall it was ok, and thankfully doesn't outstay it's welcome. 

 

27/11 - Dirt 5 (Xbox One) - It's Forza Horizon Rally, with none of the open world. It's bright and in your face. Very much a game pitched at the more casual racing fan (me!). It could do with a bit more structure (the single player largely revolves around picking a race, completing it and then moving onto the next race) and whilst there's a huge variety of races, the lack of proper point to point rallying is disappointing. All the same I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this.

 

 

Previously:

Spoiler

01. 01/01 - Persona 4: Dancing All Night (PS4)

02. 03/01 - Sayonara Wild Hearts (PS4)
03. 11/01 - Yakuza 3 (PS4)
04. 11/01 - Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (PS4)
05. 12/01 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan (PS4)
06. 21/01 - Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox One)
07. 24/01 - Storm Boy (Xbox One)
08. 10/02 - One Piece World Seeker (Xbox One)
09. 10/03 - GRID (Xbox One)
10. 01/04 - Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F (PS3)
11. 07/04 - Resident Evil 3 (Xbox One)
12. 11/04 - Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (Xbox 360)
13. 12/04 - Duck Tales Remastered (Xbox 360)
14. 14/04 - Song of the Deep (Xbox One)
15. 15/04 - Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd (PS3)
16. 25/04 - Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Future Tone (PS4)
17. 08/05 - Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (PS4)
18. 17/05 - Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4)
19. 17/06 - Maneater (Xbox One)
20. 18/06 - Coffee Talk (Xbox One)
21. 27/06 - Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X (PS4)
22. 30/06 - One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows (Xbox One)
23. 11/07 - 1979 Revolution: Black Friday (Xbox One)
24. 04/08 - Ghost of Tsushima (PS4)
25. 10/08 - Fast & Furious Crossroads (Xbox One)
26. 15/08 - AER: Memories of Old (Xbox One)

27. 28/08 - Asura's Wrath (Xbox 360)

28. 10/09 - Marvel's Avengers (Xbox One)

29. 29/09 - Mafia Definitive Edition (Xbox One)

30. 13/10 - Minoria (Xbox One) 

31. 13/10 - She Sees Red (Xbox One) 

32. 16/10 - Inertial Drift (Xbox One)

 

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Doom Eternal - Yes, everything people complained about here is true, the plot is incomprehensible and cringey, the ammo restrictions are daft, particularly at the start, and the difficulty is nuts, I found this harder on Normal than 2016 on Hardcore.

 

But, I really enjoyed it, that flow of dashing around, switching between weapons, and hitting your cooldowns in opportune moments is super satisfying, even if it's also a bit exhausting and you need a break after an hour.

 

Overall, it's probably not as easy to recommend as 2016, but even with those complaints this is a very good game - expertly designed, a technical marvel, and polished to a mirror sheen.

 

Spoiler

 

Dishonoured: Death of the Outsider

Disco Elysium (twice)

Halo 4

Tetris Effect: Connected

Eastshade 

FFXIV: Heavensward 

Forza 7

Microsoft Flight Simulator

FFXIV: A Realm Reborn

Muse Dash

Tell Me Why

Hypnospace Outlaw

The Touryst

Carrion

Mario 64 (PC)

Gone Home 

Observation 

A Short Hike 

Age of Wonders: Planetfall

Yakuza Kiwami

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

Gears Tactics

Grandia 3

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Wave Race 64

Slay the Spire

Halo 3: ODST

Halo 3 

Halo 2: Anniversary

Halo CE: Anniversary 

Crackdown 3
Kingdom Come: Deliverance + DLC

God of War (2005) 

Resident Evil 2 RE

Grandia 2 

 

 

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Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (+ dlc)

 

I already gave my thoughts a few posts back, but I've finished it off now. In short, if you love Star Wars and want to see some stunningly-realised Star Wars locations, models and ships with some perfunctory gameplay, this is worth giving a go. Perhaps even stick it on Easy so you can blast through it, as this is not the kind of game where dying and re-doing bits is fun, and it can be annoyingly hard even on Normal. As I mentioned before, the missions are short and the locations are varied, so it works well as a Star Wars 'experience' more than a game. The crossovers with ROTJ, the new EU stuff and (if you play the free 'Resurrection' DLC) the new films are significant and well-done - more so than Jedi Fallen Order and Squadrons, in my opinion.

 

The space bits are probably the highlight in pure spectacle terms alone. Compared to Squadrons you get more bombastic engagements, in-atmosphere stuff and a greater variety of capital ships to fly round and marvel at. Gameplay-wise it's more Rogue Squadron (not as good though, don't get your hopes up), but it does look good.

 

Only for die-hard Star Wars fans. I'm still amazed that with all their amazing tech Dice can't design a decent single-player game.

 

Quote

 

1. Jedi Fallen Order

2. COD Modern Warfare

3. Outer Wilds

4. Dishonored 2

5. Trials HD

6. Trials Rising

7. Streets of Rage 4

8 The Last of Us pt 2

9 Forza Horizon 4

10 The Division 2

11 Hitman 2

12 Prey

13 What Remains of Edith Finch

14 The Turing Test

15 Tacoma

16 The Gardens Between

17 Untitled Goose Game

18 Tell Me Why

19 Deliver Us The Moon

20 Star Wars Squadrons

21 God of War

22 Star Wars: Battlefront 2

 

 

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Death Stranding

 

If you'd asked me at the 20 hour point what I thought I would have unequivocally called this Game of the Generation but though it didn't drop off a cliff (thank you) it certainly started to stumble downhill thereafter.

 

The loop of taking on missions, navigating the terrain and enjoying the stunning vistas just started to pall. I think the combination fussy and clunky menus - forever loading, unloading, ticking boxes, cancelling, ticking more boxes, then watching the same cutscene of Sam loading, unloading, you get the point - plus literally walking through tar when things went bad took the edge off a brilliant, brilliant game in so many other ways.

 

Plus the 5 hour ending - oof.

 

At times it was thrilling but at other times it was Princess Beach.

 

Glad I played it, so glad it (finally) ended.

 

Can't really score it. Let's just say it is somewhere between 4 and 10.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Mawdlin said:

Death Stranding

 

If you'd have asked me at the 20 hour point what I thought I would have unequivocally called this Game of the Generation but though it didn't drop off a cliff (thank you) it certainly started to stumble downhill thereafter.

 

The loop of taking on missions, navigating the terrain and enjoying the stunning vistas just started to pall. I think the combination fussy and clunky menus - forever loading, unloading, ticking boxes, cancelling, ticking more boxes, then watching the same cutscene of Sam loading, unloading, you get the point - plus literally walking through tar when things went bad took the edge off a brilliant, brilliant game in so many other ways.

 

Plus the 5 hour ending - oof.

 

At times it was thrilling but at other times it was Princess Beach.

 

Glad I played it, so glad it (finally) ended.

 

Can't really score it. Let's just say it is somewhere between 4 and 10.

 

 

 

I felt the exact same way. 30-40 hours or brilliant, emergent, open-world gameplay bookended by 10 hours of shite. MGSV was similar.

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On 03/12/2020 at 13:03, keptbybees said:
Spoiler

 

Piczle Colors (Switch) - I've always enjoyed Picross style puzzles and this is a collection of colour based Picross puzzles, a couple of trickier ones by the last few levels but this was fairly straightforward. Iit comes in a triple pack with two line puzzle games which seem much harder to 100%. Nice to play in short bursts or on journeys though.

 

Gears 5 (Xbox One) - I nearly didn't play this as I wasn't that enamoured with Gears 4 but I'm glad I did as this felt like a big improvement on the series to me. There are a few rough edges and some annoying insta-kills,  especially for one boss that I've talked about in the main Gears 5 thread, but overall it is still a great cover shooter and additions worked well. I don't really play much online anymore but this has got me tempted to jump in with some of the extra modes. I imagine it would be an even better experience in co-op but I'm happy to move on to other games now. 

 

Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Now Climax (360/Xbox One) - This is a game I have half played through a few times and across different platforms so I finally decided to get to the end of the game when I saw it sitting in my games list. I had a save that was most the way though the first mode so I picked up from that, I haven't done all of the modes but I got to the end of the main story thread. It still plays as well as I remembered but it is a shame that they shortened four of the game modes for this release as the levels in their place aren't the best, if I had known before that they have been part restored on the PC version I'd have gone to that instead. Good pick up and put down game that has a lot more to it than you'd think if you want to complete it 100%.

 

Wandersong (PC) - I absolutely loved this. Yes it is easy to play through and some of the platforming sections are wonky as anything but the story and characters really stand out. Genuinely made me laugh in places and I made sure that I talked to everyone as often as I could to get as much out of it as I could. It has also some of the implements music through out in interesting and different ways. As I said earlier, it isn't really a challenging game and it won't be to everyone's tastes but I thought it was charming and definitely worth a look, especially as it is available on Gamepass now and you won't have to put too much time in to work out if it is for you or not.

 

Sayonara Wild Hearts (Switch) - After my first half hour with the game I was not that impressed and I stopped playing as I found the bike annoying to control. I went back to it and finished the rest in one sitting and loved it, the build up to the end was great and I could finally see what everyone had been raving about. One of the most stylish games I've played, it is wonderful when you are in full flow and I wish I hadn't cared so much about the rankings on my first playthrough. I'd definitely recommend trying to play it all in one sitting first time through. That said I still have some gripes with the game, such as the bike controls, and it feels like getting the gold ranks will be down more to trial and error/routing repetition rather than the rhythm-action game I was expecting.

 

Untitled Goose Game (Xbox One) - This was my second playthrough having already completed it on the Switch last year. Obviously it was a lot shorter to complete but it is still fun seeing the reactions to your antics, definitely going to go back and possibly even have a go at the timed challenges and extra 'to-do' bits which I haven't done before.

 

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Switch) - Another game that I'd played before but it had been long enough that I had forgotten the main story line and most of the cases. I enjoyed it a lot more that I did first time through, not sure if it was down to knowing exactly what I was getting into/less hype but I found its flaws less annoying. Though don't get me wrong, it is still annoying that you have to do it in the exact order that the game wants you too or when you pick an option that should work but doesn't despite the underlying logic. Overall I'm looking forward to playing though the rest of the trilogy, I think I played 2 or 3 cases in the second before and none of the third game, definitely going to have break first so I don't get fatigued from the style.

 

Feb

 

Gris (PC) - I think this definitely suffered from going into this with all of the hype I had heard about it, which meant the first 30 minutes of  fell a bit flat for me and felt like fairly standard platform fare, abeit very beautifully made. I think this was definitely down to going in with having heard so much hype about it. Once it picked up though the pacing becomes much better and the game becomes more into its own. Its an easy game to play through and I liked the narrative but I don't feel a need to go back and get all of the collectables anytime soon.

 

Phoenix Wright: Justice for All (Switch) - I can see why I never finished this game the first time round when I played it, the first introduction case is easily the worst from the first two games with lots of inconsistencies and jumping logic. The story through the rest of the cases is good enough to make up for the slow start and, as after finishing the first, I'm looking forward to finishing the trilogy off. I've heard the second is the weakest game as well so hopefully Trials and Tribulations hits the ground running.

 

Outer Wilds (Xbox One X) - I don't think I could add anything to Pob's brilliant write up on page 3 and to say too much would be to spoil it, I have put some thoughts in the main game thread. I didn't find my self as attached to it as some but it really is unique experience and a game I'm very glad I played to the conclusion. 

 

Feb/March/Time has lost all meaning

 

Old Man's Journey (PC Gamepass) - Played this through after reading someone on this forum's thoughts on it, I could have sworn it was in this thread but I've looked through and can't find it again. Pleasant and short story with some very light puzzling, a nice way to spend 1.5 hours of downtime.

 

Children of Morta (PC/Xbox One) - Really enjoyed playing this through, the ranged characters are by far the best with Linda controlling more like a twin stick shooter. Towards the end you do get a bit overpowered but I liked it enough to get all of the achievements bar the co-op ones after beating the game. Looking forward to the promised DLC that should ramp up the challenge a bit.

 

Pikuniku (Xbox One) - What an odd game, but one I'm glad I played through. Another game where there isn't much challenge but it was a nice game to unwind with at the end of the day and just enjoy the journey. I wasn't a big enough fan to look out all of the extra bits and there are challenges you can't return to post game which is always a bugbear of mine. I'd love to find out what the co-op mode is like but that won't be happening anytime soon!

 

Ori and the Will of the Wisps (PC/Xbox One) - I've already written up my thoughts on this in the main thread, overall I enjoyed it but not as much as the first game.

 

April/May

 

Borderlands 2 + all DLC (PS4) - I've been playing this through on co-op with a friend for a while now and we finally got the Platinum Trophy, we finished all of the DLC on Ultimate Vault Hunter mode (I think)  but didn't quite get through the main story on UVHM as we got burned out on the game. It's a fun game to play through and this is especially true in co-op but it does tire after multiple play-throughs especially when we had to do some grinding to get the Platinum trophy. That said we just used those points as something to do while we talked about other things and had a catch up.

 

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel +all DLC (PS4) - We then jumped straight into the Pre-Sequel and had a lot of fun with it, again I think playing through in co-op makes a big difference to the experience and we happily played through most of it again in TVHM. We didn't bother trying to get the Platinum trophy for this though as the grind was just too much! Whoever thought having challenges linked to the equipment grinder was a good idea needs to be fired. Also it is worth mentioning that we had a ton of golden keys for both this and Borderlands 2 which helped reduce the grind in finding useful weapons a lot.

 

There is No Game (PC) - I downloaded this after reading @Unofficial Who's write up and I'm glad I did. A short, fun experience that can be downloaded for free, so why not give it a shot?

 

Defunct (PC) - Picked this up in one of the recent Xbox sales for 89p and while I got my money's worth I'm not sure I could recommend it to others. It has an interesting control scheme but while it can be fun to zip along in I didn't feel compelled to go back to it afterwards to try out other routes and some of the jumping is just annoying to do. It was a pleasant enough diversion and it is short but I'm not sure that is enough. I do feel though that the general mechanics could be refined and used to make a better game, I got the feeling of the downhill levels from Tony Hawk 1 in some sections and a tighter focus on that aspect would make me much more likely to go back to it.

 

Horace (PC) - I've written up my detailed thoughts in the main thread but overall I loved it, though it can be damn frustrating in parts. The writing is great though and if you are a retro games fan than you really should give it a try.

 

Alienation (PS4) - Another game I have played through in co-op and it works well with a few rough edges. It's a solid twin-stick shooter but I don't like that enemies sometimes hide behind the scenery or that they only have health bars once damaged, making it easy to overlook them. The fact you get different drops for each player is a nice touch and you can set the challenge as you like it. We've completed 1.5 playthroughs and we'll definitely go back to it, but we've taken a break to start on Diablo3. I'm looking forward to giving it a shot on single player to see how it is as well.

 

May/June/July - I need to remember to update these more often
 

Super Mario Maker 2 (Switch) - Finally got to the end of Story Mode but I still have a lot of the pre-built levels to finish. At it’s best it perfectly distills the Mario template, but there a re a few items I’d happily see the back of. The angry sun and the moving skull platforms that I found too slippery for two examples. I wish you could remap buttons as well, it would be a pain as it has so many different styles but not having the Run button on a trigger shouldn’t be an issue these days. Definitely be going back and trying out some user built levels.

 

What the Golf (Switch) - Kept me glued to my Switch until it had been 100% completed, wonderfully inventive and simply a lot of fun to play. Some of the challenges are more annoying than others though I’d recommend trying both control methods if you do get stuck. I used the touch controls for 95% of the game, and this seems the best way to play, but there are a few challenges that are made easier with the stick control.

 

Minecraft Dungeons (PC Gamepass) - Enjoyed it enough to play though once but I got bored by the repeat grind pretty quickly. It would have been nice to be able to just jump up a difficulty setting once you reach the end of the main quest. I have gone back today to play the new level which is more of the same really, I’m not sure how much more I’ll play of it though due to….

 

Diablo 3 - Eternal Collection (PS4) - I’ve completed this in that I have played through the main story to the end. I’m still putting a lot of time into the post-game content mainly due to playing co-op, we’ve started Season characters as well so that’ll be many more hours. There have been a few moments that have felt repetitive and I’m not sure I’d still be playing this as much if I was only playing solo. It is still fun trying out new builds though, something that isn’t really doable in Minecraft Dungeons.

 

Don't move (PC) - I got this as part of the huge Itch.io bundle. It is one of those procrastination games which takes place mainly on one screen and you have to work out how to unlock achievements and trophies to progress. Helped as something to mess around on when I needed a work distraction but I couldn’t recommend it.

 

Kids (Itch.io) Another game that was part of the Itch.io bundle. It’s a 30 minute art piece that has some nice moments but didn’t really resonate with me. Still it’s always good to try something a bit different and it filled a lunch break nicely.

 

428 Shibuya Scramble (PS4) - Loved this, though I am a big Zero Escape and Danganronpa fan so this was right up my street. Using real actors to tell the story  though photos works really well, in both world building and keeping the story going and the cast full commits leading to some of my favourite WTF endings ever. The extra content is a mixed bag, it would also have been good to know before you start it that one extra section is basically 1.5-2 hours of only reading.

 

Seasons after Fall (PS4) - Nominally a metrovania game but with no enemies to fight so it is all about the platforming and puzzling. There isn’t really much challenge and the jumping can feel off sometimes but it was a nice relaxing game as something to switch off to.

 

Some updates with more to come as I haven't done an update in a while:

 

Carrion (PC Gamepass) - Moving the monster around and killing everything that moves is fun in the most part and it doesn't outstay it's welcome. The lack of map meant that I gave up on trying to 100% it but it kept me coming back to the end.

 

The Touryst (PC Gamepass) - I played this in short game breaks which helped keep it fresh as I was playing through, nicely presented and the exploring is fun and I ended up 100% it. It isn't very challenging except for the trying to beat all the arcade games, proper relief on finally nailing the F-Zero clone. A good relaxing game, though the moving balls in that one area can fuck right off.

 

Glass Masquerade (Switch) - Simple puzzle game where you are rebuilding stained glass window designs like jigsaw puzzles. Something casual to switch off to in short downtime periods, I used the touch screen to play it and it would be a perfect phone game for 15-20 minutes journeys.


Aether (PC) - This is an old Edward McMillen game that is included on the Basement Collection where you navigate an alien between planets using its tongue as a propulsion mechanism. The whole thing is very slight and can be played through very quickly, about 15 minutes, which gives you enough time to play around with the movement controls. A nice distraction


Battletoads (PC Gamepass) - This has great production values but the gameplay is bang average.  It did enough to keep me going for one play through in very short bursts (drop in and out games have been making up a lot of my gaming time) but it was deleted as soon as it was finished with and I won't be returning to it, even for easy to get achievements.


A Way Out (PS4) - There is a lot to admire with this game in terms of scope and when it all works it is an interesting experience, but it really didn't stick the landing for me. I've put some more detailed thoughts (with big spoilers included) in the spoiler box below:


The Messenger (Xbox One Gamepass) - This was right up my alley and overall I really enjoyed it, some of the boss fights were too long though but there was a real satisfaction when you do take one down. There were enough frustrating bits (especially long traversal rooms over bottomless pits) that I didn't want to go back through it again to get all the seals but it is definitely worth giving the game ago.

 

 

 

Catch-up Picross Special

 

Konami Pixel Puzzle (Mobile) - Pretty good Picross game but there are a few issues with the way in which in controls. It is sometimes nice that it fills in X's for you but I'd prefer to have had it as an option you can turn off and on or a button you could push to fill when you are happy with it. Likewise it was annoying that you couldn't drag a line to fill it is quicker as it will overwrite any square that are already filled in. The worst part was the countdown timer for some of the levels which really isn't great when you want to do more than one puzzle a session. The Expert mode was pretty good and a nice challenge, thankfully the boss mode cooldown is removed and they even throw in a couple more puzzles. The pictures are well done and it's a nice trip down memory lane in the main.


Murder by Numbers (Switch) - Long story short, I loved this and I hope they make another. There are some really good puzzles in terms of difficulty and they are framed really well. I thought the story was pleasing enough if nothing outstanding but it did genuinely make me laugh in some places and it moves along nicely, the pacing seemed spot on and there was never a point where it felt too long for cutscenes with no puzzles. That said, the detective side of things is really fluff to hang the puzzles off of and it felt more like moving a story along than solving a crime. Personally I was fine with that but some people may prefer that they can just pick a picross puzzle and go rather than having to go through the story in-between.

 

Picross S1 and Picross S3 (Switch) - The best series for Picross gaming on the Switch that I've come across so far, which controls really well and they keep adding more for each iteration. I started off on S3 until I got stuck on a few of the Mega Picross puzzles so jumped to S1 and kept going between them. I've also got through most of S2 and started S4 as well, but sometimes it really is best to leave a puzzle for a bit and come back to it later. My one complaint is that I wish the Mega Picross puzzles weren't the same pictures as the normal Picross puzzles, but the games are big enough that it isn't too much of an issue. Can't wait for the Sega version to finally be finished, maybe one day they will port the Zelda ones as well.

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December:

Persona 5 Royal - Persona 5, but more! Some QOL improvements, but can't fix some of the fundamental issues with the depiction of relationships between characters (still can't quite wrap my head around the bit where the game so thoroughly undermines its own 'abuse of power' message by having the player granted the option to pursue romantic relationships with a variety of adults including their doctor(!) or teacher(!!), or equally to date a severely vulnerable teenager. It's all pretty gross). A shame, because excise those 'features' (and the slightly-tweaked-but-still-shit gay stereotypes on display) and you have an enjoyable JRPG with fun life simulation aspects and a reasonably satisfying conclusion. Even if the new dungeon feels very much bolted on.

I enjoyed myself, and even platinumed the game (not really very hard in this one), but it's very flawed, and overall, even this version of P5 remains weaker than 4 and 3.

Astro's Playroom - finished and platinumed, and a delight from start to finish. Would recommend to anyone with a PS5... not least as everyone with a PS5 owns it by default.


Previously:

Spoiler

 

On 23/10/2020 at 14:53, Wiper said:

Completely failed to keep track of this all year, so I'm likely forgetting things, but what I can recall so far, in chronological order:

 

January:

Neo Cab - this was an enjoyable little visual novel. Nice visual style, simple but effective story, solid characterisation. I had a nice time playing through this.

 

May/June:

Minecraft - inasmuch as you can 'complete' Minecraft, but I went into the multiplayer for the first time ever at the height of the first wave, as a way to stay in touch with friends. We built up our village and infrastructure, got rare resources, made it to the End and defeated the Ender Dragon, so I'll consider this as complete as is possible.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons - as above, inasmuch as it can be completed. Another game largely engaged with due to lockdown and wanting to stay in touch with a friend. Fully upgraded house, village packed with villagers I like, everything set up as I want. And then abandoned to ruin, naturally.

 

September:

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim - inarguably completed this one - full platinum (not that that's particularly hard, to be honest, given the lack of challenge to the strategy segment of the game). It was decent, if a bit of a missed opportunity.

Hades - perhaps 'complete' isn't quite the right word, but I've completely cleared the game a few tens of times now. There's more story to extract, but it's so drip-fed (and, well, a little predictable for someone with a Classical Civilisation master's degree...) that I think I'm done for now.

 

October:

The Solitaire Conspiracy - finished the campaign. It was fine.

 

 

 

 

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1. Resident Evil 7(XB1) 8/10

2. Batman Arkham Asylum(XB1) 7.5/10

3. Halo: CE Anniversary(XB1) 5/10

4. Life is Strange(XB1) 8/10

5. Luigi Mansion 3(Switch) 8/10

6. New Super Lucky’s Tale(Switch) 7/10

7. Catherine: Full Body(PS4) 8.5/10

8. Untitled Goose Game(Switch) 6/10   

9. Sleeping Dogs(PS4) 9/10

10. Doom 2016(PS4) 9/10

11. Peggle 2(PS4) 7/10

12. Spider-Man(PS4) 9/10

13. Crash Bandicoot(PS4) 7.5/10
14. Resident Evil 3 Remake(PS4) 8/10

15. Spyro the Dragon(PS4) 6.5/10

16. The Order 1886(PS4) 6.5/10

17. Resident Evil 2 Remake(PS4) 9.5/10
18. Sayonara Wild Hearts(PS4) 8/10

19. Resident Evil Revelations 2(PS4) 7/10
20. Donut County(PS4) 6.5/10

21. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition(PS4) 8.5/10
22. Ratchet and Clank(PS4) 8/10
23. Crash Bandicoot 2(PS4) 6.5/10
24. Crash Bandicoot 3(PS4) 7/10

25. Dragon Quest XI S(Switch) 9/10

26. Super Mario Odyssey(Switch) 9/10

27. Super Mario Galaxy(Switch) 9.5/10

28. Pikmin 3 Deluxe(Switch) 8/10

 

29. Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order(PS4) - Started this last year on Xbox One but the combat didn’t click with me however after getting in the mood to play a Star Wars game decided to give another go this time on PS4 and I’ve ended up loving it, once I realised that I can block most attacks the combat clicked and I loved the story, it really nailed the Star Wars feel and I loved the ending. 9/10

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38. Remnant: From the Ashes (PC)

 

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Like Abzu, this was another Epic Games Store freebie that I expected to be pretty throwaway, but which I ended up enjoying a lot and seeing through to the end.

 

It's a third-person post-apocalyptic sci-fi shooter that owes a lot to Souls when it comes to certain mechanics, such as the finite healing potions it gives you and checkpoints which cause enemies to respawn, but in practice the feel of the game is very different from the claustrophobic, deliberate design of a Miyazaki game. Here, the randomly-generated level layouts and enemy placements, as well as the predominantly ranged combat, all prevent it from being just another Soulslike. If anything, I'd say it's more like a horde mode shooter: you typically encounter lots of enemies at once, most of whom will attempt to rush and overwhelm you, and a lot of the gameplay involves you managing your reloads and cooldowns, as well as shooting everything as efficiently as possible. The gunplay itself is excellent - satisfying and crunchy, each gun having its own distinct flavour and uses in different situations, but seeing as you can only have one handgun and one long-gun equipped at a time, you'll find yourself swapping on the fly (without a pause menu) to choose the best weapon for the enemy you're fighting. It all works to make combat encounters feel successfully tense without being frustrating. Like in Souls, whenever you cock up, you know it's your fault.

 

The entire game is also playable in up to 3-player online co-op, accessible from the main menu. I spent a good portion of my 10 hour run through the campaign playing this way, and for the most part it's good fun. From what I can tell, there isn't a huge amount of level matching going on: I was paired up with very high level characters at the beginning of the game, who just mowed through everything, while towards the end I was getting visits from people who obviously were just starting out, and who, unsurprisingly, weren't much use against the later-game encounters. A lot of the time, though, playing with others works well. I had some great boss fights with two other people, each of us focusing on different enemies, reviving each other, covering one another's backs, using our various weapon mods (i.e, special attacks) strategically to eventually bring the boss down and then having a collective cheer at the end. 

 

The game also adapts to the number of people in your party: the more there are of you, the more enemies spawn, the more health bosses have and the wider the variety of their attacks (I believe, anyway). This works well, for the most part, but (again, like in Souls) if you get matched up with someone who's of a low level, or is a troll, or just isn't very good at the game, immediately they become a hindrance rather than a boon, as you're left with more enemies, with more health, than you would have encountered playing solo. Limited interaction options don't help much, either - there's no voice chat, so you're left with a handful of emotes which aren't much use. A stock of pre-written chat lines would have been welcome, including one that said 'Thanks for helping me, but I'm off to bed now'; as the host, there were lots of times where I just had to turn the game off, immediately kicking the people I was playing with out of my session, with no way of warning them.

 

The game is just as playable offline, solo, as it is in co-op. Playing with others definitely makes some encounters easier, but the last section of the game, including the final boss, I played more or less entirely by myself and didn't find it too difficult. Checkpoints are more frequent than bonfires and you don't lose anything when you die, so death here isn't as disheartening as it is in Souls.

 

Upon completing it, the game gives you the opportunity to 're-roll' the campaign, or different sections of it, so you can play it on harder difficulties for better loot and the chance of encountering different bosses from your first play-through. I was actually quite tempted to do this as I enjoyed the base game so much, but, as ever, my stack of other games to play is enough to pull me away for the time being. Some better co-op options and a wider variety of levels may have been enough to keep me playing, but I've since discovered that there's a DLC chapter which came out earlier this year that adds new levels and enemies, so I think I'll get that instead.

 

Overall, recommended for anyone looking for a tense shooting experience with some fantastic monsters and striking boss encounters. As a free game, the price was definitely right, but I'd have happily paid the RRP and not felt short-changed.

 

8/10

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Dec

 

13/12 The Turing Test (PC) Yet another game I bought on Steam an age ago only to see it come up for free on game pass this time. I seem to be playing a lot of hard sci fi fiction games this year and this one is very much a portal style puzzle game. It's rather rudimentary at first but then it gets a little more complicated only to go through a twist mechanically later on. It's a bit sterile but the voice acting is neat, especially the AI.

 

10/12 Hades (PC) This is the reason I haven't completed many games over the past two months. I was addicted to Double Fine's R.A.D. earlier this year which was a bit let down in respects to end game content (fortunately or I'd still be playing it.) Hades is a lot like R.A.D but just better in every way. It's a real masterclass in focus in game design. No cut scenes. No fancy character animations. The drama is all played out using character portraits, 2D animation and amazing voicework and music. The "game" part of the game is brilliant as well, hard but fair on beginners with practice turning from fumbling about to a ballet of violence and spectacle. Boons granted by gods are lost every run but this just creates a dynamic playstyle where every run is your best run with the best build until the next and the next. Easily the best action rogue like ever with plenty for beginners and experts alike with the cherry on top being the efficiently told story, characters developed in short two minute conversations. Despite finishing the game and finishing post game content there's still new plot and speech...80 hours in. It just never gets boring especially with the post game addition of being able to tweak difficulty for rewards. Easily my game of the year and the only reason I'm not playing it right now is I've had to ease off playing it so much as I'm at risk of injuring my hands.

 

tl:dr Just buy it. It's the bargain of the year even when it isn't not on sale. (And yes, the  Switch version is just as good.)

 

Previously

 

Spoiler

70. 29/11 Astrologaster (PC)

69. 21/11 Glass Masquerade 2:Illusions (PC) 

68. 26/10 Hyper Dyne Side Arms (Arcade/360)

67. 21/10 Deliver Us the Moon (PC) 

66. 17/10 Tacoma (PC)

65. 15/10 Children of Morta (PC) 

64. 29/09 Wolfenstein:Youngblood (PC)

63. 26/09 Carrion (PC) 

62. 19/09 Glass Masquerade (PC) 

61. 08/09 A Short Hike (PC) 

60. 06/09 RAD (PC) 

59. 05/09 Super Mario Bros (SNES/Switch)

58. 22/08 Assassin's Creed:Unity:+Dead Kings DLC (PS4)
57. 02/08 KIDS (PC) 
56. 24/07 Close to the Sun (PC) 
55. 23/07 Thunder Cross (PC/Arcade/Switch)
54. 18/07 SKYE (PC) 
53. 18/07 Metal Gear Solid:Ground Zeroes (PS4) 
52. 18/07 Erica (PS4) 
51. 18/07 Symphonia! (PC) 
50. 12/07 Life is Strange:Before the Storm (PC)
49. 05/07 Assemble With Care (PC) 
48. 04/07 Mushroom Cats 2 (PC) 
47. 04/07 Outer Wilds (PC)
46. 20/06 Diamo XL (PC
45. 16/06 Bing Bong XL (PC) 
44. 16/06 Duke Grabowski, Mighty Swashbuckler (PC)
43. 15/06 Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge (Browser) 
42. 13/06 Shinobi (Switch)
41. 08/06 Final Fantasy 7:Remake (PS4) 
40. 08/06 Missile Command:Recharged (PC)
39. 07/06 Star Wars Battlefront 2 (PS4) 
38. 07/06 Orbt XL (PC) 
37. 07/06 Ding Dong XL (PC)
36. 30/05 Tales from Off Peak City:Vol 1 (PC) 
35. 27/05 30 Miles to Barnard Castle (PS4/Dreams) 
34. 24/05 Super Bit Blaster XL (PC)
33. 22/05 When the Past was Around:Prologue (PC) 
32. 15/05 Mushroom Cats (PC) 
31. 09/05 deltarune:Chapter 1 (Switch) 
30. 21/04 Donkey Kong Jr (NES/Switch) 
29. 21/04 Donkey Kong (NES/Switch)
28. 21/04 Super Mario 2 (NES/Switch)
27. 13/04 Black Mesa (PC) 
26. 11/04 Arcade Moonlander Plus (PC)
25. 10/04 There is No Game (Jam Edition 2015) (PC)
24. 10/04 The Adventure Pals (PC)
23. 30/03 Bioshock Infinite:Burial at Sea (PS4)
22. 23/03 Bioshock Infinite (PS4)
21. 15/03 Bioshock 2 (PS4)
20. 11/03 The Supper (PC)
19. 08/03 Devil's Kiss (PC)
18. 07/03 Time Gentlemen, Please! (PC)
17. 04/03 Bioshock 2:Minerva's Den (PS4)
16. 01/03 Bioshock (PS4)
15. 27/02 Ben There, Dan That : Special Edition (PC) 
14. 21/02 You've to to be Kitten Me! (PS4/Dreams) 
13. 17/02 Art Therapy (PS4/Dreams) 
12. 16/02 Art's Dream (PS4/Dreams) 
11. 12/02 Juanito Arcade Mayhem (PC) 
10. 08/02 Wolfenstein 2:the New Colossus (PC) (plus The Freedom Chronicles DLC) 
9. 03/02 The Outer Worlds (PS4) 
8. 27/01 Quest of Dungeons (PC) 
7. 21/01 Feather (PC)
6. 20/01 Paperbark (PC)
5. 09/01 The Cat and the Coup (PC) 
4. 09/01 1979 Revolution:Black Friday (PC) 
3. 08/01 Wolfenstein:the Old Blood (PC) 
2. 03/01 Wolfenstein:the New Order (PC) 
1. 01/01 Detroit:Become Human (PS4)

 

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39. Stories Untold (PC)

 

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This was an original and interesting puzzle game with an engaging narrative and great sound design. Unfortunately it's let down slightly by some finnicky sections towards the end, where you know exactly what you need to do in order to progress, but you first have to type in exactly the right command in order to do so. This led me to have to look at a guide a couple of times, which I never like to do, especially for this type of game. Overall, however, I enjoyed the experience enough to complete it in a couple of sittings tonight and this evening - it's only 3 hours long. The first episode, which takes the form of a text adventure, a genre I've read about but never actually experienced for myself, was probably my favourite of the four, although using the microfilm in the third episode was pretty cool as well.

 

If you're looking for something different to fill a few hours, then grab this when it's next on sale.

 

7/10

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Wave Race 64 (1996) *****

 

The mid to late 90s was a fantastic time for racing games. We had Sega and Namco putting out excellent arcade conversions on the Saturn and Playstation, the pop cultural sensations of Wipeout and Gran Turismo, and Nintendo delivering a string of superb titles that still have fans clamouring for sequels 25 years on.

 

Wave Race 64 was the first of these. It's not a game I had a huge amount of time for on its release, and while I didn't know it at the time, I blame the horrendously slow PAL conversion for this. Sure, even in its original NTSC form, it's a relaxing game compared to the 60fps thrill ride of say F-Zero X, but there's still a brisk pace to the racing that is rendered utterly pedestrian by the slowness of the PAL conversion. At its intended speed, the racing is sharper, and you acutely feel the weight and impact of each wave, even if you're not playing the rumble pak supporting version.

 

The game reportedly started out as a tech demo of the wave programming, which so impressed Miyamoto that he challenged one of his EAD teams to make a full game out of it. It really shows - the water animation and physics remain a marvel to this day. There are a number of great stages, but more than the changing layouts and scenery, it's the variety of wave patterns and the rising and lowering tides that test your skills and make the racing so compelling. These can change in the midst of a single race, with each lap presenting a subtly different challenge.

 

Like Super Mario 64, it's a game that's impossible to imagine without the N64's analogue stick. Your control over your jet ski is pin sharp, with a level of precision that would have been impossible to achieve with a d-pad. Misjudge a turning angle after you land a jump and you only have yourself to blame. It feels great today even playing with a slightly loose stick on a controller that has seen better days.

 

Between the blue skies of Sunny Beach and Southern Island, the characters' brightly coloured outfits, and the announcer's unstinting enthusiasm, there's a feel-good vibe to the game that would feel quite at home in a Sega game of the era. But while the racing does get more challenging when you bump things up to Expert, there isn't the arcade intensity here of an Outrun or Daytona USA, and it's all the better for it. After a few hours play you'll have mastered your jet ski, and have each stage's buoy placement loosely committed to memory. It's here that the game is arguably at is most enjoyable, as you settle into a rhythm that affords you the luxury of properly admiring your surroundings. The fog rolling off Drake Lake, the lights reflecting in the dark of Twilight City's waters, the dying embers of the day casting a calm orange glow over Sunset Bay - this was impressive stuff in 1996, and there's still a primitive beauty to it all these years later that all the high-resolution textures in the world could never hope to recreate, the way an oil painting and a watercolour will never look alike.

 

Previously played:

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Previously...

Spoiler

1) AM2R - PC - 2016 (1991)
2) Ecco The Dolphin - Mega CD - 1992/3
3) Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - 3DS - 2012/14
4) Mega Man X - SNES - 1993
5) Super Metroid - SNES - 1994
6) Donkey Kong Country - SNES - 1994
7) Chrono Trigger - SNES - 1995
8) Star Fox 2 - SNES - 2017 (1995)
9) Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island - SNES - 1995
10) Xenogears - PS1 - 1998
11) Sonic the Hedgehog - Megadrive - 1991
12) Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - SNES - 1996
13) Kirby Super Star - SNES - 1996
14) Earthbound - SNES - 1995
15) R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 - PS1 - 1998/9
16) Tomb Raider III - PC - 1998
17) Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation - PC - 1999
18) Tomb Raider Chronicles - PC - 2000
19) Shenmue HD - PC - 2018 (1999/2000)
20) Shenmue II HD - PC - 2018 (2001)
21) Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy - PS3 - 2012 (2001)
22) Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness - PC - 2003
23) Jak II: Renegade - PS3 - 2012 (2003)
24) Jak 3 - PS3 - 2012 (2004)
25) Tomb Raider: Legend - PC - 2006
26) Tomb Raider: Anniversary - PC - 2007
27) Uncharted: Drake's Fortune - PS4 - 2015 (2007)
28) Tomb Raider: Underworld - PC - 2008
29) Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice - 3DS - 2016
30) Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - PS4 - 2015 (2009)
31) Final Fantasy Adventure - GameBoy - 1991
32) Alpha Protocol - PC - 2010
33) Day of the Tentacle Remastered - Vita - 2016 (1993)
34) Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game - PC - 2011
35) Star Fox 64 3D - 3DS - 2011 (1997)
36) Limbo - PC - 2011 (2010)
37) The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D - 3DS - 2015 (2000)
38) Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception - PS4 - 2015 (2011)
39) Super Mario 64 - Switch - 2020 (1996)
40) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Arcade - 1989
41) Alan Wake - PC - 2012 (2010)

42) Warioware Gold - 3DS - 2018

43) Alan Wake's American Nightmare - PC - 2012
44) Super Mario Sunshine - Switch - 2020 (2002)
45) Quantum Conundrum - PC - 2012
46) Super Mario Galaxy - Switch - 2020 (2007)
47) The Last of Us Remastered - PS4 - 2014 (2013)
48) Grand Theft Auto V - PC - 2015 (2013)
49) Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy - 3DS - 2013

50) Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - Megadrive - 1992

51) Lifeless Planet - PC - 2014

52) Sonic 3 Complete - Megadrive - 2013 (1994)

53) Abzû - PC - 2016


54) Tacoma - PC - 2017

Played through twice, the second time with the developer commentaries turned on (I highly recommend doing this, as it's easy to miss some details on the first play through).

For their second game, indie developer Fullbright moved from the nostalgia of the past to the speculative fiction of the future. Where Gone Home only presented characterisation through writing, audio and discarded belongings (mostly for budgetary reasons!), in Tacoma we get to actually see 'augmented reality' simulations of their bodies and voices that the space station has stored in its memory, helpfully colour-coded so you can tell them apart, and these recordings give clues as the fate of the crew. It's a little bit like the crime scene recordings in Batman Arkham VR/Knight and I would like to try more games that play around with this sort of thing.

Most of the backstory and character depth comes from reading personal messages, emails, letters and other correspondences that you find lying around, and there is a ridiculous amount of detail in the environment - especially impressive when you consider the small size of the development team. Tacoma station feels like a place that has been lived in, with what feels like hundreds of objects you can pick up and look at, and the station is structured in a believable way with nods to sci-fi and real concepts like generating gravity through rotation. With many windows out into space, you can get a feel for the layout of the station from each of the three departments that shoot off from the central zero-gravity hub.

For me, Tacoma doesn't reach the quality of Gone Home - it doesn't have the '90s nostalgia factor to rest on, it doesn't have the sense of discovery nor atmosphere of the former's large house in a stormy night. You get to see what's been going on directly, so less is left to the imagination, while the futuristic environment ends up feeling kind of sterile. However, it's still a compelling narrative and the core concept works really well. The characters are diverse and believable, and the plot and gameplay engaged me enough to care about them and want to see their stories through. I also think it's important to highlight games that take positive steps towards representation, diversity and normalisation of LGBTQ relationships, particularly in a world that seems to be embracing intolerance in frightening new ways every day. I recommend Tacoma, but I don't think it's going to stay with me like Gone Home did - your mileage may vary. All the same, Fullbright have become a studio I will make time for and I look forward to their next game, Open Roads.


55) Sonic 3D Blast (Director's Cut) - Megadrive - 1996 (2017)
This is not a good game, but it's one I associate with Christmas and it makes me feel nostalgic, so I generally play it every couple of years around this time. The 'Director's Cut' is the work of programmer Jon Burton, who went back to the game twenty-odd years after its release and patched the ROM so that it doesn't suck quite so much! Improved controls, better camera, a new enemy type, level select, password system, and even a hacked-in SuperSonic feature! It doesn't completely change the game but it does make it more bearable, and it's hard to argue this wasn't a technically-accomplished title back in the day. Nice music, too.

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15 Dec 2020 - The Sinking City

 

All glory to the wonk! Another oddball, euro-RPG, Lovecraft themed wobblefest completed. Went on onger than I expected and waaaaaay longer than it should have done but I enjoyed it. Christ knows how long it took, there's no timer and they didn't track it by the Xbox function. Probably 25 hours? Genuinely don't know.

 

Better than Call of Cthulhu, more of a game than Call of Cthulhu but still shonky as fuck. I have a soft spot for these kinds of game. The investigation mechanics were interesting, I liked the story and side cases, so yeah. Worth the 13 quid I paid.

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A few more from me.

 

Astro's Playroom - 20/11

The FOMO was real and I ended up being in the wrong place at the right time on PS5 launch day. 450 quid and one day later I was excavating some room for a new ginganta-console. The reason for this fail in the most basic of willpower tests was, of course, the reports of how great this little game was. And they weren't wrong. While I don't think it quite reaches the heights of Nintendo's best or indeed the its VR forebear, it's still a beautifully constructed game chock full of things to make you grin like you've just spent £900 on new consoles after you promised you wouldn't and are explaining this to the wife.

 

The Last Campfire - 22/11

Re-subbed to Apple Arcade to give this a go and it didn't disappoint. A lovely, chilled out puzzle game with a very nice message behind it. Never got harder than 'a couple of minutes thinking' but it wasn't an issue as the journey was great.

 

Lego City Undercover - 22/11

Another one I've been playing with my daughter who is now getting obsessed with Lego. Was nice to return to this game with it's very funny script and easy going charm. I really need to teach the nipper how to control the cars tho.

 

Batman: Arkham Origins - 24/11

Had a right old hankering to play this again. I always though it got a raw deal. While not as good as the Rocksteady games it was still a solid, fun Batman game (the Hotel level is pretty great to be fair) and I enjoyed blasting through the story again, though it did finish a bit more abruptly than I remember.

 

This will probably be my last entry this year as I'm on AC:Valhalla now and this fucker seems like it never wants to end.

 

Previously

Spoiler

01/01 – Lego Builder’s Journey
28/01 – The Outer Worlds
01/02 – Untitled Goose Game
04/02 – Wandersong
11/02 – Ghostbusters

28/02 – Darksiders Genesis

04/03 – Slay the Spire

27/03 - GTA V

03/04 - Tomb Raider Go & Monument Valley 2

10/04 - Journey to the Savage Planet

24/04 - Ori and the Blind Forest

28/04 - Murder by Numbers

29/05 - Battle Chasers: Nightwar

13/06 - Picross S4

19/06 - Xcom 2

06/07 - Thronebreaker

07/08 - Paper Mario - Origami King

04/09 - Ghost of Tsushima

23/09 - Super Mario 64

02/10 - Super Mario Sunshine

09/10 - Super Mario Galaxy

23/10 - Fables 1 -3

07/11 - Supraland

17/11 - Spider-Man: Miles Morales

 

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12/12/2020 - Call of the Sea (PC)

 

I really enjoyed this. I always used to like Myst and games like it, solving grand puzzles and operating arcane machinery in a cool setting, and this game is basically a more focussed version of that, with a splash of walking sim on top. 

 

The game is split into chapters, so there's never any chance of trying to apply the wrong clues to the wrong puzzles. Everything you need to solve the immediate puzzle is given to you in the chapter you're in, and to make things even more straightforward any relevant clues are automatically added to your in game notebook as you discover them. Despite this, it always manages to hold just enough back to make you think, without stumping you so much that it harms the pace of the story.

 

There was one point where I feel the balance wasn't quite right however, seeing as lots of people seem to have found themselves stuck in the same place. I eventually looked up the solution online, and found I'd been overthinking it due to the way the clues were presented. 

 

Outside of the puzzles it's a lovely looking game throughout, mainly thanks to a beautiful art style, and I enjoyed the story as well. It made for a refreshing take on its inspiration with a satisfying conclusion. It could perhaps have left a little more to the imagination however, with your character explaining every photo, letter and clue you find. One of things I enjoyed about the Myst games was figuring out that sort of thing for myself, but like the puzzles I think it helped create the more streamlined experience the devs were clearly going for.

 

I'm really looking forward to seeing what the devs do next, and it's reminded me that I should probably check out Obduction at some point.

 

Spoiler

January

07/01/2020 - Control (Xbox One)
26/01/2020 - Final Fantasy X (Switch)

February

10/02/2020 - Disco Elysium (PC)
22/02/2020 - Frostpunk (PC)

March

10/03/2020 - Darksiders: Warmastered Edition (Xbox One)
29/03/2020 - Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox One)

April

07/04/2020 - Yakuza Kiwami (PS4)

May

04/05/2020 - Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4)
09/05/2020 - Streets of Rage 4 (PS4)
23/05/2020 - Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (Switch)

June

05/06/2020 - Vader Immortal (Oculus Quest)
07/06/2020 - Red Matter (Oculus Quest)
17/06/2020 - Beyond Blue (Xbox One)
18/06/2020 - Life is Strange 2 (Xbox One)

July

03/07/2020 - The Last of Us: Part II (PS4)
15/07/2020 - Control: The Foundation DLC (Xbox One)

August

23/08/2020 - Alan Wake (PC)
29/08/2020 - Alan Wake's American Nightmare (PC)
30/08/2020 - Control: AWE DLC (Xbox One)

September

10/09/2020 - Tell Me Why (Xbox One)

October

17/10/2020 - Hades (PC)
19/10/2020 - Raji: An Ancient Epic (PC)

November

20/11/2020 - Tetris Effect (PC)

December

12/12/2020 - Call of the Sea (PC)

 

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04/12/2020 - Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2 (PS2)

 

Man, I really shouldn't have played this straight after X-Men Legends 2 - what a chore this was. That I stuck with it, despite the feeling it was never going to end, is either sheer stupidity or, well, actually it's just that.

 

This may have been good back in 2004 but now, not so much.

 

Being one of the early ARPGs, the first game was received pretty well back on release in 2001 and I guess was seen as an exciting new extension to the Baldur's Gate universe. It obviously did well enough to get this sequel but then it just all went dead. Who knows if Baldur's Gate 3 could spark any interest in a revival of this franchise? Probably not.

 

Anyway, controlling one of 5 heroes that fit the usual archetypes you have to run around each map biffing enemies, boshing bosses and occasionally picking up an item or flicking a switch. It's all very perfunctory and to a degree you do need to be able to play it with a mindset of "This is what games were like then". Again, through the joy of emulation it doesn't look terrible at 1440p, though that PS2 blurriness remains and the controls are a bit sticky.

 

One of the reasons I like ARPGs is because it lets you use all the great, powerful skills you're used to in RPGs in real-time and a more tactile fashion. For me, then, these games largely live or die by the skills on offer, both the variety and whether or not they actually make me feel more powerful as I progress through a game. Sadly, then, the skills on offer here are worse - much worse - than found in X-Men Legends 2 (which I also criticised that game for). Picking a Cleric I had two offensive spells, some buffs and a (really weak, even at top level) summon. It wouldn't have been much better had I gone for the mage or barbarian, either. Worse, the skills did nothing to make me feel like I was getting stronger as a character - those increases basically came through my weapon (and a sword I got just after half-way was by far the best weapon I found throughout the game).

 

There's a rudimentary crafting system but the effort, cost and faffing don't seem particularly worth it and loot in general is poor and stock in the one and only shop seems to cap out really early on, too - so there's little reason to keep visiting.

 

The story is pap, too. There's some guff about a vampire lord wanting to destroy/rebuild the world for some reason; I don't know, I got bored pretty early and it didn't grip me or make me think I was doing anything other than for arbitrary reasons. There are some brutal difficulty spikes too, where I honestly don't know how you'd kill a couple of bosses if you have no ranged options - which then become a real battle of attrition due to the low damage output of said ranged weapons (because I had no ranged spell to fall back on). The final boss was cheap, too, with his ability to damage you and heal for a hefty chunk in the same move. No fun.

 

All in all then, it wasn't the best investment of my time. I kept playing more out of some sense of duty to my completion list than enjoyment; I hoped that at some point the class-specific quests would open new and exciting skills (they didn't, though a couple were useful - but they come far too late in the game to change things up in any meaningful way).

 

Whilst I therefore look back at the 15-20 hours or so I spent with it with a tinge of regret, the positive spin is that it is realistically another game - and quite likely the last of the year - added to my pile, which has been the most productive by far in all the years I've recorded such things on here - and probably ever. It also made me really think about those middling games that I had on my Steam wishlist that I'd probably take a punt on if really cheap, and whether, actually, they would be good uses of my time. For a lot I have decided most certainly not - so indirectly this game will help me be even more selective in future in what I start; I just need to continue being a more brutal on abandoning things, which is something I've got a lot better at over the last 12/18 months but, as evidenced here, am not quite ruthless enough with.

 

Roll on what 2021's gaming brings!

 

Previously completed:

Spoiler

06/11/2020 - X-Men Legends 2: Rise of Apocalypse (PS2)

23/10/2020 - Ember (PC)

13/10/2020 - Midas Gold Plus (PC)

30/09/2020 - Hellenica (PC)

23/09/2020 - One Night Stand (PC)

19/09/2020 - Blackguards 2 (PC)

16/09/2020 - Destiny 2 (PC)

02/09/2020 - Combatribes (Arcade)

18/08/2020 - South Park: The Stick of Truth (PC)

16/08/2020 - Marvel's Avengers Beta (PC)

15/08/2020 - Deliver Us The Moon (PC)

06/08/2020 - Bombshell (PC)

01/08/2020 - World War Z (PC)

01/08/2020 - For Honor (PC)

30/07/2020 - Soda Dungeon 2 (PC)

17/07/2020 - Swords & Souls: Neverseen (PC)

05/07/2020 - Hellpoint: The Thespian Feast (PC)

04/07/2020 - A Short Hike (PC)

22/06/2020 - Late Shift (PC)

22/06/2020 - Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (PC)

21/06/2020 - Final Fantasy XV (PC)

14/06/2020 - Bright Memory (PC)

11/06/2020 - A Normal Lost Phone (PC)

09/06/2020 - The Outer Worlds (PC)

07/06/2020 - Sin Slayers: The First Sin (PC)

26/05/2020 - Astrologlaster (PC)

25/05/2020 - Demon Stone (PC)

23/05/2020 - Stories Untold (PC)

03/05/2020 - Streets of Rage 4 (PC)

29/04/2020 - Inside (PC)

21/04/2020 - Call of Duty WW2 (PC)

19/04/2020 - Wheels of Aurelia (PC)

15/04/2020 - Sword Omen: Legacy (PC)

02/04/2020 - Mother Russia Bleeds (PC)

29/03/2020 - Operencia - The Stolen Sun (PC)

20/02/2020 - Ruzar: The Life Stone (PC)

20/02/2020 - Alder's Blood: Prologue (PC)

17/02/2020 - Universal Paperclips (PC)

15/02/2020 - Gris (PC)

21/01/2020 - Gears of War 5 (Xbox One X)

19/01/2020 - Diablo 3 - Reaper of Souls (Xbox One X)

05/01/2020 - Night Call (PC)

02/01/2020 - Remember Me (PC)

 

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@Jamie John Ha, yeah. I have gotten a lot better at it and will now tend to drop things quite quickly if they don't grab me after a few hours, but sometimes I do fall into the sunk cost fallacy and get to that point where I've spent x hours on it and figure there's only y hours left, so I'll stick with it.

 

In the case of both X-Men and Dark Alliance I did enjoy the loop of fight->XP->level up and, in fairness, X-Men was decent at showing me the power of my characters. Here, though, in those early few hours I did moderately enjoy the same gameplay loop, but controlling only a single character with a limited skill tree lost exacerbated the issues. I should've dropped it, for sure, but - and I know this is going to sound stupid, especially as I was emulating rather than playing on native hardware - there was a strange (purely nostalgic) appeal in playing through a PS2 game, you know? I've no doubt if this was on PC I would've abandoned it and hidden it from my Steam library to boot.

 

What it has done though is made my mind up on playing Champions of Norrath at some point - another single-character ARPG that was well-received back in the day - and I think on reflection I'll be giving that a miss. So some progress at least!

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34. Demon's Souls (PS5) - I came into this blind having never played the PS3 version, however Bluepoint have done a frankly unbelievable job reworking the genre defining classic into a genuinely astonishing next generation game. It looks and sounds better than anything I've seen on consoles before, it's buttery smooth throughout and stupidly fast on loads times. The gameplay is (apparently) identical to the original, however if like me you have never played that it feels every bit the "new" game. There is tons of flexibility on character build, weapons and way of playing, the creature design and art direction is wonderful, and it just oozes quality throughout. Yes, it is brutal, punishing and just 'hard' in places (although less so than Bloodborne) but it always plays fair and feels very rewarding when you overcome the challenges. Basically it's brilliant and a much much much better than the usual console launch title. Bravo Sony, you smashed it. - 9/10

 

 

Quote

1. Jedi: Fallen Order (XB1) - 10/10

2. Untitled Goose Game (XB1) - 8/10

3. Gorogoa (iPad) - 9/10

4. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice (XB1) - 8/10

5. Abzû (PS4) - 6/10

6. Braid (XB1/360) - 10/10

7. A Plague Tale: Innocence (XB1) - 8/10

8. Quantum Break (XB1) - 6/10

9. Oxenfree (Mac OS) - 7/10

10. Monument Valley 2 (iPad) -  7/10

11. Sniper Elite 4 (XB1) - 8/10

12. Marvel's Spider-Man (PS4) - 10/10

13. Fractured Minds (XB1) - 5/10

14. The Last Guardian (PS4) - 8/10

15. Journey (PS4) - 10/10

16. God of War [2018] (PS4) - 10/10

17. Superhot (XB1) - 8/10

18. Deliver Us the Moon (XB1) - 7/10

19. Virginia (XB1) - 5/10

20. Journey to the Savage Planet (XB1) - 7/10

21. Ori and the Will of the Wisps (XB1) - 8/10

22. Thief [2014] (PS4) - 6/10

23. Tacoma (XB1) - 7/10

24. The Gardens Between (XB1) - 8/10

25. The Talos Principle (XB1) - 7/10

26. Carrion (XB1) - 7/10

27. Tetris Effect: Connected (XB1) - 8/10

28. Journey (PS5) - 10/10

29. Astrobot's Playroom (PS5) - 9/10

30. Bound (PS5) - 5/10

31. Abzu (PS5) - 8/10

32. Ether One (PS5) - 7/10

33. Bugsnax (PS5) - 7/10

 

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40. Half Life 2: Episode 2 (PC)

 

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This is about the third or fourth time I've completed this. I was due to play it again anyway, but I'm coming to the end of Half-Life Alyx and wanted to remind myself of the overall plot of the series before I got to the credits; something tells me the events of this game will be important when it comes to the ending of Alyx, despite the fact that it's a prequel, and I want to make sure I pick up on any allusions.

 

Even though the opening hour in the mines with the antlions is a bit dull, overall this is a better game than Episode 1: the set pieces are more exciting; the rural (as opposed to urban) environments encourage more exploration; it's less linear (however slightly); and the narrative is more interesting, not to mention more emotionally affecting. It still very much has the feel of an expansion to Half Life 2 and doesn't really do anything that you haven't seen done already in that game or in Episode 1, but when the fundamental gameplay is as strong as it is here, I can't say I especially minded.

 

Will the cliff-hanger ending of this ever be resolved? I'm hoping that the success of Alyx, even if it is still relatively niche, means that one day we will see a third episode. And yet, seeing as this game was very highly acclaimed when it first game out 13 (!) years ago, when it comes to Valve, history has shown that success, both critical and commercial, in no way guarantees a sequel, so who bloody knows?

 

Still, BELI3VE, and all that.

 

8/10

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