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What games did you complete? 2021 Edition


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28/05/2021 - Mass Effect 1 Legendary Edition

 

Back when it was released, Mass Effect quickly became one of my all time favourite games. It pulled in everything I loved about KotOR before it, and combined it with an incredibly well developed original universe and what was, to be fair, a decent attempt at TPS style combat within an RPG. The story was exciting too, and built to a fantastic finish.

 

It's been a long time since then though, and times have obviously moved on. Even at the time, Mass Effect had a lot of issues which went on to be addressed with the sequels. The combat and Mako controls were tweaked for this release, and they do make a difference, but short of a full remake they still feel very, very dated now. The biotic powers were still quite fun to use, but everything else suffered from a lack of impact, with enemies rushing at you before falling over. A lot of encounters were so easy as to be almost mindless, only for the odd difficulty spike to pop up out of nowhere.

 

The game always suffered from some poor pacing, which was made worse this time with the knowledge that I had Mass Effect 2 and 3 lined up. This wasn't helped by the side missions, which were never this games strong point and are now utterly, utterly awful. The idea of exploring planets in the Mako sounded great on paper, and fit in well with the fantasy, but in execution they felt like an afterthought. The Mako handled like a cardboard box, which wasn't helped by terrain that looked exactly like a randomly generated height map with a texture applied. Traversing the maps varied from being dull to frustrating, and ultimately felt like a waste of time. Your reward for all that travelling would either be a bunch of relics and ore to find (all of which require the same, completely out of place minigame), or finally an identikit building of some kind to fight through. A few had a decent character interaction or two to spice things up, but this was rare.

 

Even some the plot locations felt a bit weak this time around. Novaria had a similar issue with all its cut and paste corridors and lifts, while Feros was, well, grey. The Citadel was as wonderful as ever though.

 

All that aside, this was still Mass Effect and I'm glad I played it through again. It was my first time playing as Jen Hale's female Shepard, which was cool, and I enjoyed taking the opportunity to be a little less paragony when the moment called for it. The final stretch of the game was still absolutely fantastic, and round off what now feels like a slightly dodgy pilot for the big budget series that followed in the form of the sequels. If I ever play this again though, it will be an Easy mode run with as few of the side missions as possible.

 

Spoiler

January

25/01/2021 - Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

February

21/02/2021 - The Room

March

06/03/2021 - Gorogoa
07/03/2021 - The Room 2

April

Nothing!

May

03/05/2021 - Resident Evil 3 (Remake)
15/05/2021 - Resident Evil Village
28/05/2021 - Mass Effect 1 Legendary Edition

 

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Pillars of Eternity 2 - The first Pillars was my first exposure to classic CRPG combat and I really enjoyed it, although the world less-so, it was all lore-heavy bullshit about abstract concepts that left you glassy eyed, like being expounded to by a rookie GM whose spent all his time worldbuilding and no time spent on why anyone should care. But after that I discovered Divinity 2 and skipped out on this sequel (as did most people, judging by it's sales), only picking it up because it got some glowing reviews in here. I'm not so positive, I'm afraid to say.

 

I still really enjoyed the gameplay, and the systems here are better than ever - the choice of a piratical setting felt unusual after the first's very generic fantasy, but you can see the goal was to improve the world map - there's actual exploration now, an open world with optional dungeons, crew members to recruit for your ship, resources to gather, bounties to hunt (and a bad ship combat minigame, which is thankfully optional), even if it's all pretty low-rent (you don't even get an animated sprite walking about the world map, just an icon). And this all ties together cleverly - your ship exhausts resources daily, so there's an incentive to avoid the D&D 'rest after every encounter' problem and press on and deal with it when characters are injured.

 

But I think it suffers from being a staid template - this and Outer Worlds both have a KOTOR ship between "planets" that all have a little plot to resolve, with you reaching the big Citadel environment after the tutorial planet, and Bethesda's open-world exploration and New Vegas factions are thrown into both. It feels like Obsidian are defining themselves entirely by trying to be ersatz versions of other, more successful developers, rather than creating their own identity.

 

It's also got that traditional Obsidian bugginess and roughness around the edges - the worst being the loading screens, which take 10 seconds on an SSD - might not seem like much, but it's clearly way too much for what they're actually loading, and when every building interior and every floor of a building interior is a separate load, this means traversing the big city you get to early you probably spend half of the time in a loading screen, even turning in a quest is a pain when you know it'll take a minute of loading. The UI is similarly painful, attacking an enemy requires clicking on three different tiny buttons located around the screen, sometimes with these buttons hidden behind expanders that you can't remove, and even finding characters to talk to in the open world is a pain.

 

And sorry, I'm not buying the writing being brilliant. Yes, their writing is better than Bethesda, but that's because Bethesda's writing is uniquely awful in the RPG space (never doing any sort of character arc and with the only memorable characters being one-note meme ones), rather than because Obsidians is particularly good. The story is still lore-heavy enigmatic bullshit with unmemorable characters, the ending is clearly supposed to be a big status quo change, but because it's all drenched in lore and cosmology and so on, the game is asking you what it all means and you're just like "I dunno how any of this works, you're the writer". It could really do with a more personal motivation for most of the game, and then introduce the greater scope concepts of the back of where that story takes you - instead the game thinks that just asking you what your personal motivation is when it failed to really give you one is sufficient, there's not a response for "because I have a lot of time invested now and want to see the end". 6.5/10

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12. Sea of Solitude

 

I had no expectations for this beyond seeing it mentioned positively once or twice on the forum. So here's another positive mention. Almost a western version of a Team Ico game, themed around loneliness and the pains of growing up. It looks fantastic, has some nice puzzles and can be polished off in a few hours. Excellent.

 

13. The Gardens Between

 

This is just lovely. Another short game (I played it in one afternoon), what's amazing about this is the way it restricts itself to the bare minimum of controls (forwards, backwards, interact) and one basic gameplay mechanic (when you move forwards or backwards, time moves the same way) but keeps adding and combining elements. Each level is a new and interesting puzzle that builds on everything you've done previously, and while none of them are particularly difficult, lots of them are very clever and leave you with a satisfied smile.

 

14. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

 

I only started this because the Game Pass app recommended it to me "because I played Nier: Automata." Well, it's nothing like N:A but I'm glad I gave it a go because it's fantastic. Part walking simulator, part puzzle game, part third-person hack-em-up, I absolutely loved it. I only played it on easy (as I do for all real time combat games as I'm rubbish) but even then hit a few difficulty spikes - but every time I went away and thought for a while, or gave up and looked at a guide, I realised that I already had the skills I needed, I just wasn't using them properly. So by the end I was timing parries and dodges perfectly, making full use of "focus" (like Bayonetta's witch time) and feeling like a proper bad-ass Pictish warrior woman.

 

If this was just a decent action game it would be fine, but what elevates it is the atmosphere, and in particular the sound design. The protagonist Senua suffers from psychosis and suffers a constant running commentary from multiple voices in her head, some encouraging, some undermining, some mocking, and so as a player you experience these voices swirling around you and responding to your actions. Senua's psychosis also manifests in visions and a blurring of what's real or not, and these form the basis of many of the stages and puzzles. If that sounds like it might be a bit cheap or exploitative, it turns out the game was made in collaboration with psychosis patients and academics, and there's even a short documentary at the end of the game that shows the development process, and how happy they all were with the end result. I didn't expect a game about a tribal warrior fighting demons to deliver a realistic and empathetic insight into sufferers of an extreme mental health disorder, but incredibly it did.

 

Spoiler

1. Dragon Quest XI

2. Donut County

3. Tell Me Why

4. Slay the Spire
5. The Medium

6. Final Fantasy XII

7. Night in the Woods

8. Wreckfest

9. Doom

10. Nier: Automata

11. Carto

12. Sea of Solitude

13. The Gardens Between

14. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

 

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Jun

 

09/06 Section Z (PC/Arcade) This shooter starts off in a manageable fashion but becomes pretty hard pretty quickly. Using rewind a bit I've discovered it is possible to 1cc it unless you're old like me and resort to cheating. It's a little plain to look at coming just before the prettier Capcom games. Cheaters never prosper though and I was stuck on the first boss for ages until I discovered that using autofire doesn't give the first boss space to realize it's dead! Looking forward to trying out the NES version sometime as I've heard it's pretty different.

 

671763-section-z-arcade-screenshot-gun-t

 

06/05 God of War (PS4) I've been playing this one and off since 2018 but it was in the last two months it finally hit with me. I don't know what I can add to all the praise given. It's God of War but with a more mature bent and a small world with a metroidvania bent, if you want to approach it like that. If you want to just mainline it like and old God of War game it will allow you to do that. The combat is crunchy, the exploration potential is excellent but it's the characters that really shine here. That and it's back up with stunning art direction and a fantastic score. I took a little while to warm to it but it's easily one of the best experiences on the PS4 and it's a crying shame it's exclusive, I want everyone to be able to play this.

 

god-of-war-new4.jpg

 

05/05 Ghostbusters (C64) Played through this for old times sake and did a bit of reading up on the design of the game. I knew the bones of the game was Car Wars which was converted to Ghostbusters once they got the licence. What I didn't know was this enabled David Crane and his team to make the game in six weeks!

 

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Looks primitive today but back in 1985 this was state of the art.

 

01/06 Beach Head (C64) This old thing was a bit of a graphical marvel in it's day, even sporting an end game animation. I've played this so often that I waltzed through this on muscle memory alone.

 

Beachheadnaval.gif

 

Previously

 

Spoiler

31. 30/05 Depanneur Nocturne (PC)

30. 30/05 Commando (PC/Arcade)

29. 30/05 1942 (PC/Arcade)

28. 30/05 Bionic Commando (PC/Arcade)

27. 29/05 If Found...(PC) 

26. 24/05 Final Fight (PC/Arcade)

25. 22/05 Sunset Overdrive (PC) 

24. 11/05 Batalyx (C64)

23. 09/05 Call of the Sea (PC)

22. 25/04 Carto (PC)

21. 24/04 The Little Acre (PC)

20. 24/04 Yorkshire Gubbins (PC) 

19. 22/04 Control:Ultimate Edition (PC) 

18. 20/04 Rain on Your Parade (PC) 

17. 02/04 Summer Games 2 (C64)

16. 16/03 Beach Head 2:The Dictator Strikes Back (C64)

15. 13/03 Assassin's Creed Chronicles:India (PS4)

14. 07/03 Alvastia Chronicles (PC)

13. 27/02 Oxenfree (PC)

12. 26/02 Assassin's Creed Chronicles:China (PS4)

11. 11/02 Beyond a Steel Sky (PC) 

10. 02/02 Stories Untold (PC)

9. 31/01 Katamari Damacy Reroll (PC)

8. 28/01 2020 Game (Browser)

7. 26/01 Observation (PC)

6. 25/01 Hades (PC)

5. 23/01 Donut County (PC)

4. 17/01 The Touryst (PC) 

3. 13/01 My Friend Pedro (PC)

2. 03/01 Tell Me Why (PC)

1. 01/01 Tales from Off Peak City : Vol 1 (PC)

 

Abandoned

Assassin's Creed Chronicles:Russia

The Medium (PC) 

 

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A roundup from my Microsoft Reward-inspired gaming from the last few weeks:

 

The Walking Dead Season 3

I've never played a Telltale game before. The Game Pass quest only required me to make a handful of decisions, but by the time I'd done that I was hooked in by the story. I didn't plan to play the whole thing but the writing did a good job of keeping me engaged. I nearly bailed at the first 'wander round looking at stuff' section, but luckily the majority the game is just watching events unfold and making dialogue choices to branch the story, which is what I enjoyed. I guess these games are a bit like regular action-based video games, but with the cutscenes strung together. That worked for me, to be honest. It's not amazingly acted or anything but it moves along at a fast enough pace that I wanted to see where it went. I liked that there were some genuine tough choices, and I don't just mean "let person A die / let person B die" - sometimes you just don't know what the best thing to say is, or what's the wisest course of action. I can see myself going back and trying seasons 1 and 2 at some point.

 

The Touryst

This was really good. Superb graphics and a stream of different gameplay challenges gave the overall experience a Nintendo feel. It evokes (and entirely rips off) a bunch of old 8-bit and 16-bit gameplay forms but puts it into a more modern 3D world, with a clever 3D pixel art aesthetic. I loved the little arcade game homages and the California Games-style surfing challenge. I got 1,000 gamerpoints, and nailing those mini-game challenges was really fun. It's just the right length as well. Recommended!

 

PikuNiku

I also enjoyed this a lot. I guess it's a Dizzy-style platforming adventure with added physics-based movement and puzzles. Again, I really liked the aesthetic and the music is particularly good. It also made me laugh out loud on several occasions. Short and sweet, it's perfect Game Pass fodder to play with your kids.

 

Rain on your Parade

I was a bit less sure about this. Although it really goes for it, it lacks the charm of The Touryst and PikuNiki, and the gameplay is pretty simplistic and not massively satisfying. I did appreciate the variety the designers managed to inject into the basic 'drop weather on people' gameplay, and once again it doesn't outstay its welcome. Overall though I as kind of going through the motions with this one.

 

All in all, it's been another welcome tour of games and genres I wouldn't usually have bothered with were it not for the extra carrot of the MS reward scheme.


 

Spoiler

 

Dishonored + DLC

Days Gone

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider

The Walking Dead Season 3

The Touryst

PikuNiku

Rain on your Parade

 

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May was a tale of two games (and a bit), as I picked up Mass Effect Legendary Edition and have solidly been making my way through it. I'll doubtless put together a full write-up in the relevant thread so won't add my customary multi-paragraph reviews here, but in summary:

 

Mass Effect (remastered) - the gung-ho militarism is a little more obvious to older me, the random planets remain janky, the loot/inventory systems godawful and the DLC a bit pants; but the characters, sense of scale, pacey storytelling and amusingly daft combat still carry this. In all, a very pleasant week was had, and I was very keen to revisit Mass Effect 2...

 

Mass Effect 2 (remastered) - this, alas, has aged less well. The combat remains peak Generic Third-Person Shooter, which feels even more tired now than it did in 2009. The storytelling remains an unpleasant combination of bitty and relentless; somehow unsatisfying and overlong. The attempt to avoid dealing with player decisions by sidelining major characters is cast into sharper relief by the knowledge of how far they'll take that approach come Mass Effect 3. And good christ the DLC missions; all bar Lair of the Shadow Broker would have been better for their removal. The characters remain enjoyable, if not given enough breathing space (and, in the case of one teammate, completely ignoring their potential character development in the first game to my great frustration); and the suicide mission conceit remains a highlight. Those come together to elevate the game to 'bearable', but this is dramatically worse than I remember.

 

Previously:
 

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Mass Effect 2, bearable? 
 

Ah Wiper never change.

 

(FWIW I am doing exactly the same thing this last few weeks and whilst I thoroughly enjoyed my time with ME1, free of any nostalgia as I bounced off it terribly when it was originally released...ME2 is so much better from the opening minutes onwards and really has not dated at all that I find it hard not to disagree with every word written above)

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Inside (2016)

Hot on the heels of Limbo and - wow! This is a game, alright. It’s a huge step up from Limbo visually, although the 30fps cap (on the Switch version at least) was a shame, but boy does it have some fun. A similar 2.5D platformer, but seen through a George Orwell lens, with a bit of body horror mayhem thrown in for good measure. Tonally bleak, mystifying and, by turns, funny; the fantastic visuals, smoothly animated little people and textured sound effects give the game a wonderfully tangible quality. 
 

The simple controls (run and jump; push and pull) allow the developer to drop a puzzle on the player with almost no explanation or training and let them get on with solving it in the knowledge that they’ll figure it out quite quickly - I think I got stuck once, turned it off and came back the next day; and immediately solved the puzzle. A bizarre, gorgeous and fun 5 or so hours. 
 

Spoiler

 

09/01/2021 - Bloodborne

10/01/2021 - Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

10/01/2021 - Halo 2: Anniversary

13/01/2021 - Little Nightmares

26/01/2021 - Donut County

27/01/2021 - Astro’s Playroom

06/02/2021 - The Medium

13/02/2021 - Paper Mario: The Origami King

21/02/2021 - Spider-Man: Miles Morales

28/02/2021 - Super Mario 3D World: Bowser's Fury

03/04/2021 - Dark Souls Remastered
03/04/2021 - Halo 3

15/04/2021 - Yakuza 0

08/05/2021 - Final Fantasy VII Remake

15/05/2021 - Resident Evil Zero

22/05/2021 - Blasphemous

29/05/2021 - Limbo

03/06/2021 - Inside

 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Popo said:

Inside (2016)

Hot on the heels of Limbo and - wow! This is a game, alright. It’s a huge step up from Limbo visually, although the 30fps cap (on the Switch version at least) was a shame, but boy does it have some fun. A similar 2.5D platformer, but seen through a George Orwell lens, with a bit of body horror mayhem thrown in for good measure. Tonally bleak, mystifying and, by turns, funny; the fantastic visuals, smoothly animated little people and textured sound effects give the game a wonderfully tangible quality. 
 

The simple controls (run and jump; push and pull) allow the developer to drop a puzzle on the player with almost no explanation or training and let them get on with solving it in the knowledge that they’ll figure it out quite quickly - I think I got stuck once, turned it off and came back the next day; and immediately solved the puzzle. A bizarre, gorgeous and fun 5 or so hours. 
 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

09/01/2021 - Bloodborne

10/01/2021 - Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

10/01/2021 - Halo 2: Anniversary

13/01/2021 - Little Nightmares

26/01/2021 - Donut County

27/01/2021 - Astro’s Playroom

06/02/2021 - The Medium

13/02/2021 - Paper Mario: The Origami King

21/02/2021 - Spider-Man: Miles Morales

28/02/2021 - Super Mario 3D World: Bowser's Fury

03/04/2021 - Dark Souls Remastered
03/04/2021 - Halo 3

15/04/2021 - Yakuza 0

08/05/2021 - Final Fantasy VII Remake

15/05/2021 - Resident Evil Zero

22/05/2021 - Blasphemous

29/05/2021 - Limbo

03/06/2021 - Inside

 

 

 

I knew you’d like it. What about that ending though?

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1 hour ago, JPL said:

I knew you’d like it. What about that ending though?


It’s weird, that’s for sure. It starts off like a war movie, in occupied Denmark, then morphs into an Orwellian nightmare; has a weird sort-of sci-fi horror-esque section before finally entering the world of David Cronenberg. Ending spoilers:
 

Spoiler

 

I mean, the part where you are absorbed into a giant mass of humanity and start romping through walls is just bizarre and slightly hilarious. And the very end - where you roll down the hill to your doom - wasn’t very satisfying in the way I think it was meant to be. You finally found peace… in accidental death. Your long, exciting odyssey is only concluded when you die - not through some heroic, meaningful gesture, but because you crashed through the wrong wall. 
 

But the world building is fantastic. I genuinely have no idea what kind of place I’ve been to in this game. Who was the boy? Why was he being hunted? Why are people being taken and turned into mindless husks? What was the weird killer shockwave place all about? Who was the girl in the water? What’s with the mind control experiments? Blob?!

 


 

It’s definitely the kind of game that encourages further reading. I’m not sure there are any answers to be had, all the same. I rather suspect the game gives the impression of the existence of a cohesive hidden narrative, but really it’s just a collection of themes that serve the purpose of whatever puzzle element the developers wanted to play with. Which is fine. 

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Bike Banditz - 1cc, Normal (10)

 

Spoiler

Solid State Survivor - 1cc, TLB (10)

Dangun Feveron - Fever arrange 1cc (10)

GG Aleste 3 - 1cc Normal (10)

Aleste - 1cc (8)

Power Strike II - 1cc (10)

GG Aleste - 1cc (8)

GG Aleste 2 - 1cc (8)

GG Aleste - Special mode 1cc (8)

Power Strike II - Hard 1cc (10)

GG Aleste 3 - Special mode 1cc (10)

Natsuki Chronicles - 1cc Arcade, Normal (10)

G-Darius HD - 1cc, Lambda route (10)

Cotton Reboot - Arrange 1cc (10)

Cotton Reboot - Arrange hard 1cc (10)

Assault Shell - 1cc, Original single (10)

Assault Shell - 1cc, Void arrange (10)

Assault Shell - 2-all (10)

Barrage Fantasia - 1cc Normal (7)

Barrage Fantasia - Advanced 1cc (10)

Patriot Dark - Normal 1cc (10)

Zenodyne R - 1cc Normal (10)

Zenohell - 1cc Normal (10)

Sengoku Youkai Daikassen - 1cc (10)

Maho Shoe - 1cc (10)

Hishou Ayu - 1cc, Normal (10)

Alien Death Mob - All stars (10)

Wolflame - Normal 1cc (10)

东方栖霞园 ~ Blue devil in the Belvedere - Normal 1cc (Sakuya) (10)

Gun-Nac - 1cc, normal (10)

 

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12. Mass Effect Remastered (2021) - Xbox Series X

 

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I bought the original release of this when it came out back in 2007. At the time, however, my 17 year-old self didn't have the patience to see it through, despite the rave reviews. And after a fairly turgid opening few hours, I thought the same was going to happen this time around. Although I enjoyed the writing and dialogue, the dated design, inane side missions, horrible combat and overall clunkiness of it all was making it something of a chore to play.

 

Thankfully, knocking the difficulty down to the lowest setting and ignoring any sidequest which meant I had to get in the godawful space car meant that I was able to push through and enjoy the game properly. In my experience it's pretty rare to find a videogame with an interesting narrative, but I genuinely found Mass Effect's tale of cyclical extinctions and galactic political tensions intriguing from the start, and it actually gets more compelling as the game goes on. The smaller scale heart-to-hearts you have with the various party members you pick up along the way are perhaps lacking some of the nuance and variety of more recent western RPGs, but after a shaky start this managed to keep my attention for the 17-odd hours it took me to get to the credits. I'm looking forward to playing 2, which I did complete (and enjoy) back in the day, but I might dip into something else first.

 

Recommended if you're willing to play on Easy so you can effectively ignore the combat, and if you're happy to cherry-pick which side missions you complete.

 

Completed this year:

Spoiler

 

1. Hades (2020) - PC/Switch

2. Ori and the Will of the Wisps (2020) - Xbox Series X via Gamepass

3. Tetris Effect/Tetris Effect Connected (2020) - Oculus/PC/Xbox Series X via Gamepass

4. Black Mesa (2020) - PC

5. Astro's Playroom (2020) - PS5

6. Return of the Obra Dinn (2018) - PC

7. Demon's Souls (2020) - PS5

8. Monster Hunter: Rise (2021) - Switch

9. There is No Game: Wrong Dimension (2020) - PC

10. A Short Hike (2019) - PC

11. Resident Evil Village (2021) - PS5

12. Mass Effect Remastered (2021) - Xbox Series X

 

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I finally completed one of my own games...

 

12. Ghost of Tsushima (PS5) - Well, this is an interesting one. There is a whole lot to love about this game. Graphically it is simply stunning, capturing the extremes of the extraordinary country that is Japan well, and leaning heavily into the visual aesthetic of the films it draws so much inspiration from (think red leaves tumbling over you as you stare into your enemies eyes awaiting the draw of blades). The level of polish really is top notch and arguably covers up some of the game's flaws. The biggest one being that if you stop and think about what you are doing in this big open world too long, you start to peel back the veneer and find something with a slight 'Assassins Creed: Shogun' whiff about it. However I actually think that is harsh and a bit reductive, I had much more fun with this than any AC/Far Cry game I've played but that is possibly because I just love the setting as it harks back to my teenage years of Kurosawa and the Chinese Kung Fu films. The stories are pretty decent, backed up with good cutscenes and voice acting, and the combat and stealth mechanics are both very easy to learn and fun to master. I had a lot of fun with it and stuck with it all the way through to the platinum trophy and clocking in 67 hours of play time. - 8/10 (teetering on a katanas edge of a 9)

 

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Quote

1. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (PS5) - 8/10

2. Gris (PS5) - 9/10

3. Fez (PS4) - 8/10

4. Horizon Zero Dawn (PS5) - 9/10

5. Horizon Zero Dawn: Frozen Wilds [DLC] (PS5) - 7/10

6. Maquette (PS5) - 5/10

7. Lego City Undercover (XB1) - 7/10

8. Lego Ninjago Movie (XB1) - 7/10

9. Phogs (XB1) - 7/10

10. Lego Marvel Super Heroes (XB1) - 6/10

11. Lego Marvel Avengers (XB1) - 7/10

 

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Redneg 3Stars - Normal 1cc (10)

 

Spoiler

Solid State Survivor - 1cc, TLB (10)

Dangun Feveron - Fever arrange 1cc (10)

GG Aleste 3 - 1cc Normal (10)

Aleste - 1cc (8)

Power Strike II - 1cc (10)

GG Aleste - 1cc (8)

GG Aleste 2 - 1cc (8)

GG Aleste - Special mode 1cc (8)

Power Strike II - Hard 1cc (10)

GG Aleste 3 - Special mode 1cc (10)

Natsuki Chronicles - 1cc Arcade, Normal (10)

G-Darius HD - 1cc, Lambda route (10)

Cotton Reboot - Arrange 1cc (10)

Cotton Reboot - Arrange hard 1cc (10)

Assault Shell - 1cc, Original single (10)

Assault Shell - 1cc, Void arrange (10)

Assault Shell - 2-all (10)

Barrage Fantasia - 1cc Normal (7)

Barrage Fantasia - Advanced 1cc (10)

Patriot Dark - Normal 1cc (10)

Zenodyne R - 1cc Normal (10)

Zenohell - 1cc Normal (10)

Sengoku Youkai Daikassen - 1cc (10)

Maho Shoe - 1cc (10)

Hishou Ayu - 1cc, Normal (10)

Alien Death Mob - All stars (10)

Wolflame - Normal 1cc (10)

东方栖霞园 ~ Blue devil in the Belvedere - Normal 1cc (Sakuya) (10)

Gun-Nac - 1cc, normal (10)

Bike Banditz - 1cc, Normal (10)

 

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Winged Gear - 1cc, Normal (8)

 

Spoiler

Solid State Survivor - 1cc, TLB (10)

Dangun Feveron - Fever arrange 1cc (10)

GG Aleste 3 - 1cc Normal (10)

Aleste - 1cc (8)

Power Strike II - 1cc (10)

GG Aleste - 1cc (8)

GG Aleste 2 - 1cc (8)

GG Aleste - Special mode 1cc (8)

Power Strike II - Hard 1cc (10)

GG Aleste 3 - Special mode 1cc (10)

Natsuki Chronicles - 1cc Arcade, Normal (10)

G-Darius HD - 1cc, Lambda route (10)

Cotton Reboot - Arrange 1cc (10)

Cotton Reboot - Arrange hard 1cc (10)

Assault Shell - 1cc, Original single (10)

Assault Shell - 1cc, Void arrange (10)

Assault Shell - 2-all (10)

Barrage Fantasia - 1cc Normal (7)

Barrage Fantasia - Advanced 1cc (10)

Patriot Dark - Normal 1cc (10)

Zenodyne R - 1cc Normal (10)

Zenohell - 1cc Normal (10)

Sengoku Youkai Daikassen - 1cc (10)

Maho Shoe - 1cc (10)

Hishou Ayu - 1cc, Normal (10)

Alien Death Mob - All stars (10)

Wolflame - Normal 1cc (10)

东方栖霞园 ~ Blue devil in the Belvedere - Normal 1cc (Sakuya) (10)

Gun-Nac - 1cc, normal (10)

Bike Banditz - 1cc, Normal (10)

Redneg 3Stars - Normal 1cc (10)

 

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07/06/21 - Mass Effect 2

 

A masterpiece. I was worried that it wouldn't hold up, but aside from a few graphical glitches, it's still superb. The story and characters are some of the best in vodeogames. It looks gorgeous. And I spent a ridiculous amount of times just charting every planet and doing every side mission in the game.

 

I'm going to take a little break before I start ME3 while I recover.

 

10/10

 

Spoiler

January

10/01 - Spiderman: Miles Morales

23/01 - Yakuza Like A Dragon

 

February

14/02 - Concrete Genie

18/02 - Mega Man 11

21/02 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered

 

March

21/03 - Persona 5: Strikers

31/03 - Mega Man X

 

April

17/04 - Mega Man X4

24/04 - Mega Man Zero

 

May

04/05 - New Super Lucky's Tale

20/05 - Cosmic Top Secret

23/05 - Mass Effect

 

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Redneg Allstars - 1cc, normal (10)

 

Spoiler

Solid State Survivor - 1cc, TLB (10)

Dangun Feveron - Fever arrange 1cc (10)

GG Aleste 3 - 1cc Normal (10)

Aleste - 1cc (8)

Power Strike II - 1cc (10)

GG Aleste - 1cc (8)

GG Aleste 2 - 1cc (8)

GG Aleste - Special mode 1cc (8)

Power Strike II - Hard 1cc (10)

GG Aleste 3 - Special mode 1cc (10)

Natsuki Chronicles - 1cc Arcade, Normal (10)

G-Darius HD - 1cc, Lambda route (10)

Cotton Reboot - Arrange 1cc (10)

Cotton Reboot - Arrange hard 1cc (10)

Assault Shell - 1cc, Original single (10)

Assault Shell - 1cc, Void arrange (10)

Assault Shell - 2-all (10)

Barrage Fantasia - 1cc Normal (7)

Barrage Fantasia - Advanced 1cc (10)

Patriot Dark - Normal 1cc (10)

Zenodyne R - 1cc Normal (10)

Zenohell - 1cc Normal (10)

Sengoku Youkai Daikassen - 1cc (10)

Maho Shoe - 1cc (10)

Hishou Ayu - 1cc, Normal (10)

Alien Death Mob - All stars (10)

Wolflame - Normal 1cc (10)

东方栖霞园 ~ Blue devil in the Belvedere - Normal 1cc (Sakuya) (10)

Gun-Nac - 1cc, normal (10)

Bike Banditz - 1cc, Normal (10)

Redneg 3Stars - Normal 1cc (10)

Winged Gear - 1cc, Normal (8)

 

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07/06/2021 - The Hex (PC)

 

The Hex is a tricky one to describe as it uses a mix of RPG, twin-stick shooter, turn-based tactics, puzzler and adventure, wrapped in a plot surrounding old video game characters. To say more risks ruining the whole (at times garbled) premise, but suffice to say you'll be getting snippets of different gameplay styles, none of which are particularly fleshed-out nor particularly fun.

 

Indeed, the common theme that runs throughout is that it is a game of big ideas but poor execution. I get that having each section polished isn't really the point, but even so, as a hook it still needs to be decent. The sections are all pretty mundane, too; plot is delivered slowly in the first half, with much of it not really making much sense (nor grabbing my interest), and then it's rather unceremoniously dumped on you in the last couple of chapters.

 

Despite being a brief experience - I completed it over three short sessions - it still felt quite slow. That, coupled with the rudimentary mechanics of each chapter, meant it wasn't an enjoyable use of my time, with my urge to complete it more fuelled by wanting to add something to this list than by the need to find out what happened - I certainly wasn't put under its spell.

 

Previously completed:

Spoiler

23/05/2021 - Renegade (Spectrum)

15/05/2021 - Lords of Xumila (PC)

09/05/2021 - Devolverland Expo (PC)

09/05/2021 - The Medium (PC)

02/05/2021 - Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms (PC)

01/05/2021 - Shadows: Awakening (PC)

21/04/2021 - Rain on Your Parade (PC)

20/04/2021 - Wasteland 2 (PC)

04/04/2021 - Secret World Legends (PC)

02/04/2021 - She Sees Red (PC)

27/03/2021 - Greedfall (PC)

26/03/2021 - Freedom Fighters (PC)

10/03/2021 - Breath of Death VII (PC)

05/03/2021 - Dungeons & Lesbians (PC)

04/03/2021 - Quantum Break (PC)

26/02/2021 - Marvel Avengers (PC)

20/02/2021 - Life is Strange (PC)

02/02/2021 - P.O.W. (Arcade)

28/01/2021 - Devil's Hunt (PC)

24/01/2021 - A Mortician's Tale (PC)

19/01/2021 - The Touryst (PC)

19/01/2021 - Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forrest (PC)

15/01/2021 - A New Life (PC)

05/01/2021 - Vostok Inc. (PC)

02/01/2021 - Call to the Sea (PC)

01/01/2021 - Suikoden (PS1)

 

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07/06/2021 - Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)

 

Bit late to the party on this one, having only got a switch for Xmas and the game for my birthday last month.  I found it such a different Zelda experience (although for some reason I haven't got beyond a few hours in Skyward Sword - so don't know about that one)

 

I'm so used to the normal - go to dungeon, collect new weapon, use weapon to defeat boss.  Repeat in all dungeons until you are completely tooled up and ready to rock.  But here's a game that doesn't give you an order, and that you get all the abilities you have in a the first few shrines.   Then off you toddle to get your arse handed to you repeatedly by monsters that will wipe out all your hearts in one hit.    I must admit I didn't quite know what to make of it at first, but that said it's the first game in quite a while where I'm saying "I'll just go over here and see what's going on" and then it's 1am.  Easily the most solidly played game I had for a long time.  My fight against the Ganon wasn't pretty - I'd become slightly few up of not finding the last 3 memories, so I decided to see how hard the fight would be and somehow got through it on my first go (mainly because I had so much food on me to replenish myself)  Now I've done the main game, I won't mind have a quick peak at some FAQs to find those last memories and see if there's much else worthy I'd missed.  I'm sure there is, the world and the game experience is huge - I already found so much that would be a massive set piece for many games, and yet in this one - you can easily not find it and carry on.

 

 

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So far:
 

Spoiler

 

1. Alba (Apple Arcade)
2. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (Switch)
3. My Friend Pedro (Switch)
4. Don't Look Back (iOS)
5. Bowser's Fury [Story] (Switch)
6. Super Ghouls 'n' Ghosts (SNES/Switch)

7. Yoku's Island Express (Switch)
8. Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Museum Collection Complete(Switch)
9. Donut County (Xbox Game Pass)

10. The Medium (XSX, Game Pass)
11. GTA V (XSX)

12. Monument Valley – Ida's Dream (iOS)

13. Gears 5 (XSX, Game Pass)
14. Resident Evil 7 (XSX, Game Pass)

15. Rain On Your Parade (XSX, Game Pass)
16. Titanfall 2 (XSX, Game Pass)

17. Batman Arkham Knight (XSX, Game Pass)
18. Call of the Sea (XSX, Game Pass)
19. The Walking Dead: New Frontier (XSX, Game Pass)
20. A Plague Tale: Innocence (XSX, Game Pass)
21. Tales from the Borderlands (Xbox One, GWG)

 


22. Batman: The Telltale Series – Season One (Xbox One, GWG)

Another TT game I've been chipping away at while on the exercise bike in the mornings and the worst one I've played yet. The story isn't very gripping, it's all so bloody obvious and FFS stop with the origin story. We get it. 
   It was also riddled with bugs. The game was usually out of focus with blurry character models, sometimes the character models would be missing their hair and just have a big hole at the top of the head and in one instance, an entire cutscene took place without one of the characters in it. Loads of horrendous frame stutters during the QTE sections which broke the illusion horribly. The detective bits were also naff. I found myself just pressing random answers to get through the thing in the end.

   I have started the second part which seems a lot more polished so far, but we'll see.

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Galactic Refugees - Hard 1cc (6)
 

Spoiler

Solid State Survivor - 1cc, TLB (10)

Dangun Feveron - Fever arrange 1cc (10)

GG Aleste 3 - 1cc Normal (10)

Aleste - 1cc (8)

Power Strike II - 1cc (10)

GG Aleste - 1cc (8)

GG Aleste 2 - 1cc (8)

GG Aleste - Special mode 1cc (8)

Power Strike II - Hard 1cc (10)

GG Aleste 3 - Special mode 1cc (10)

Natsuki Chronicles - 1cc Arcade, Normal (10)

G-Darius HD - 1cc, Lambda route (10)

Cotton Reboot - Arrange 1cc (10)

Cotton Reboot - Arrange hard 1cc (10)

Assault Shell - 1cc, Original single (10)

Assault Shell - 1cc, Void arrange (10)

Assault Shell - 2-all (10)

Barrage Fantasia - 1cc Normal (7)

Barrage Fantasia - Advanced 1cc (10)

Patriot Dark - Normal 1cc (10)

Zenodyne R - 1cc Normal (10)

Zenohell - 1cc Normal (10)

Sengoku Youkai Daikassen - 1cc (10)

Maho Shoe - 1cc (10)

Hishou Ayu - 1cc, Normal (10)

Alien Death Mob - All stars (10)

Wolflame - Normal 1cc (10)

东方栖霞园 ~ Blue devil in the Belvedere - Normal 1cc (Sakuya) (10)

Gun-Nac - 1cc, normal (10)

Bike Banditz - 1cc, Normal (10)

Redneg 3Stars - Normal 1cc (10)

Winged Gear - 1cc, Normal (8)

Redneg Allstars - 1cc, normal (10)

 

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XCUTE(me) - 1cc (2-5), Normal (10)

 

Spoiler

Solid State Survivor - 1cc, TLB (10)

Dangun Feveron - Fever arrange 1cc (10)

GG Aleste 3 - 1cc Normal (10)

Aleste - 1cc (8)

Power Strike II - 1cc (10)

GG Aleste - 1cc (8)

GG Aleste 2 - 1cc (8)

GG Aleste - Special mode 1cc (8)

Power Strike II - Hard 1cc (10)

GG Aleste 3 - Special mode 1cc (10)

Natsuki Chronicles - 1cc Arcade, Normal (10)

G-Darius HD - 1cc, Lambda route (10)

Cotton Reboot - Arrange 1cc (10)

Cotton Reboot - Arrange hard 1cc (10)

Assault Shell - 1cc, Original single (10)

Assault Shell - 1cc, Void arrange (10)

Assault Shell - 2-all (10)

Barrage Fantasia - 1cc Normal (7)

Barrage Fantasia - Advanced 1cc (10)

Patriot Dark - Normal 1cc (10)

Zenodyne R - 1cc Normal (10)

Zenohell - 1cc Normal (10)

Sengoku Youkai Daikassen - 1cc (10)

Maho Shoe - 1cc (10)

Hishou Ayu - 1cc, Normal (10)

Alien Death Mob - All stars (10)

Wolflame - Normal 1cc (10)

东方栖霞园 ~ Blue devil in the Belvedere - Normal 1cc (Sakuya) (10)

Gun-Nac - 1cc, normal (10)

Bike Banditz - 1cc, Normal (10)

Redneg 3Stars - Normal 1cc (10)

Winged Gear - 1cc, Normal (8)

Redneg Allstars - 1cc, normal (10)

Galactic Refugees - Hard 1cc (6)

 

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Yeah, they're all daft shmups apart from one.

Alien Death Mob is a twin stick shooter.

 

In shmupnerd lingo "1cc" means "one credit clear" meaning you beat the game on one coin without continuing.

That (2-5) up there means that particular game has a second loop and I got to loop 2, stage 5. I died at the true last boss (TLB)

I'm hoping to beat her tomorrow, if I do that'll be a 2-all.

 

Normal, hard etc is the difficulty mode I'm playing on.

 

The number in brackets is how much fun I had playing rather than an objective quality rating.

I should probably stop doing that since it's pretty much always a 10. Give me aliens to blast and I'm happy!

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13 minutes ago, ImmaculateClump said:

Yeah, they're all daft shmups apart from one.

Alien Death Mob is a twin stick shooter.

 

In shmupnerd lingo "1cc" means "one credit clear" meaning you beat the game on one coin without continuing.

That (2-5) up there means that particular game has a second loop and I got to loop 2, stage 5. I died at the true last boss (TLB)

I'm hoping to beat her tomorrow, if I do that'll be a 2-all.

 

Normal, hard etc is the difficulty mode I'm playing on.

 

The number in brackets is how much fun I had playing rather than an objective quality rating.

I should probably stop doing that since it's pretty much always a 10. Give me aliens to blast and I'm happy!

At least you’re having fun with most of them! What are you playing them on? I wouldn’t mind playing a few myself if they’re on console.

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What's your console of choice, JPL?
I could try and recommend a few games that might be a nice reintroduction if you're rusty.

 

Don't think I'm being rude if I don't reply until tomorrow night as I'll be abed soon and I don't think I'll get a chance to get on the computer until then!

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11 hours ago, ImmaculateClump said:

What's your console of choice, JPL?
I could try and recommend a few games that might be a nice reintroduction if you're rusty.

 

Don't think I'm being rude if I don't reply until tomorrow night as I'll be abed soon and I don't think I'll get a chance to get on the computer until then!

I’m on Series X, so anything you can recommend on there will be great.

 

Bear in mind I haven’t been into shmups since I was young. Stuff like R-Type, Nemesis, Salamander, etc. In fact, I think the most recent one I’ve played was probably Gradius V back on the PS2!

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8 hours ago, JPL said:

I’m on Series X, so anything you can recommend on there will be great.

 

Bear in mind I haven’t been into shmups since I was young. Stuff like R-Type, Nemesis, Salamander, etc. In fact, I think the most recent one I’ve played was probably Gradius V back on the PS2!

 

Aw man, I was hoping for any other answer! :D

The xbox bombed in Japan so it's a bit of a barren wasteland for shmups, but you do still have some decent options.

 

Natsuki Chronicles - https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/p/natsuki-chronicles/9n7jx1rb5tjz

Is excellent. I think it'd be good if you haven't played for a long time too because it's quite oldschool and you can play story mode instead of going for arcade. It let's you tackle the stages one at a time and upgrade your weapons and stuff.

You can take a look at someone playing easy mode here if that looks doable - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FS8Fwxb4g_Y

 

Dangun Feveron is nails but it has a novice mode and a fever arrange which is great fun and a nice halfway point between novice and arcade. Only on the american store though - https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/dangun-feveron/bzlxw6kx9935

Lad playing "super easy" here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGA3hwpBFcg

 

I think Teslapunk is a really good in. It has a demo you can try too - https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/p/teslapunk/c05g0ppf749l

Here's a lad playing on novice mode to see if you reckon that'd be OK - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSBI79Wia10

It's really good fun! You shoot the baddies and collect the blue things and that builds up your hyper and then you wait for there to be loads of bullets on screen and whack the hyper button and all the bullets disappear. Rinse and repeat.

Really good use of music and lots of variety between the stages.

 

Bullet Soul: Infinite Burst is great fun and has a pretty forgiving bullet cancelling mechanic. You should have fun with that. Will have to get that on the US store.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/bullet-soul-infinite-burst/bnp6jnf5k4mf


Guwange is great and it has this 360 arrange mode where you control your shikigami with the second stick, that might be a nice way of easing yourself in - https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/p/guwange/c5488tnpsq0f

Someone playing here if you want to check it out - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2c7HIyHXLNg

 

Ghost Blade HD is pretty bargain basement, but it a nice introduction I think. Bullets are nice and slow on easy mode - https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/p/ghost-blade-hd/bzzfjvtcwkr2

 

Pop your head in the shmup thread if you want some other recommendations.

I think there's a guy there who plays mostly on the xbox who might be way more help!

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