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What games did you complete? 2021 Edition


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04/07/21 - Astro's Playroom

 

What a delightful little game this is. Amazing that it's free. A nice little tribute to the previous generations of Sony consoles (and handhelds), I ended up completing the game and finding all the collectibles. Might dip back in later to do some of the speed runs. Hopefully this isn't the end of Astro and this sort of nostalgie baiting adventure.

 

8/10

 

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

 

June

07/06 - Mass Effect 2

19/06 - Final Fantasy VII: Remake

 

July

02/07 - Mass Effect 3

 

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Been ages since I’ve had time to write up my completion thoughts so here’s a data-blast of all the things I’ve completed since my last update, some games don’t really need a lot of blurb.

 

FF14: Heavensward Quests

Did some more of this, it’s a nice timesink and I have yet to come across a single toxic idiot even when I’m shit. The story has improved since the ARR quests but how many times can they re-use those eyes?

 

Pikmin 3

Replayed the lovely Switch version, still the best-looking fruit in gaming.

 

Super Mario 3D World

Don’t really need to say anything about this one.

 

Lair of the Clockwork God

Wonderful game from the creators of Time Gentlemen Please. Half platformer; half Point and Click and a proper hilarious script. This is well worth your time and money.

 

The Touryst

I honestly thought I was going to love this. It started out nice and intriguing showing promise, but then became a little tedious with some terrible platforming sections, boring minigames and annoying fetch quests. It did look beautiful on Series X and the Arcade was quite fun.

 

Star Renegades

From all I’d heard I was expecting this to be an X-Com-alike but it was more like a cross between Into the Breach and Final Fantasy 7. The structure is pure Into the Breach, almost scandalously so, just with a more interactive map. Combat is akin to turn-based JRPG combat but with a lot more strategy and each team member with a very specific role. It’s really good and definitely worth checking out if you have GamePass.

 

The Wild at Heart

Cute as hell Pikmin-alike, can’t really say much more than that. Was good.

 

Outriders

Hmmmmmm, wasn’t a massive fan of this but played it online with my buddy as he was in love with it. It’s not terrible but is so bland and can be screen-punchingly annoying at times. The shooting is very nice but it’s just so samey for 12 or so hours. The end game is also utterly pointly and unrewarding.

 

Ratchet & Clack: Rift Apart

This was simply a super good looking Ratchet & Clank game. Graphics from 2021; gameplay from 2001. Enjoyable but not the paradigm altering entertainment product some members of the media would have us believe. A decent script well performed and, of course, dazzling to watch with your eyeballs.

 

FF14: Stormblood Quests

Yup, we continue to plod through this as some kind of meditation, great to play with the football on this month.

 

Whew, sorry some of the writeups were rubbish, but time defeats me constantly.

 

 

 

Spoiler

01/01 - Assassin's Creed: Valhalla

15/01 - Immortals: Fenyx Rising

22/01 - Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

27/01 - Yooka-Laylee: The Impossible Lair

19/02 - Cyberpunk 2077

06/03 - Final Fantasy 14 ARR Quests

21/03 - Final Fantasy 12 Zodiac Age

31/03 - Batman: Arkham Knight

06/04 - Sam & Max Save the World

13/04 - Avengers: A-Day

04/05 - Picross S 5

 

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Rangok Skies - 1cc (all characters)

 

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)

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

Satazius - Normal 1cc (10)

Espgaluda - 1cc

Touhou Kikamu ~ Elegant Impermanence of Sakura - Normal 1cc

Super Glitter Rush - All stars

 

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Previously...

Spoiler

1.) New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe - Switch - 2019 (2012)
2.) Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - Switch - 2018 (2014)
3.) God of War - PS4 - 2018
4.) Shenmue III - PC - 2019
5.) Sonic Mania - PC - 2017
6.) Abzû - PS4 - 2016
7.) Night Trap - 25th Anniversary Edition - Vita - 2018 (1992/3)
8.) Secret of Mana - SNES - 1993
9.) Rez Infinite - PS4 - 2016 (2001/2)
10.) Moss - PS4 - 2018
11.) Halo: Reach - PC - 2019 (2010)
12.) Papers, Please - Vita - 2017 (2013)
13.) Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary - PC - 2020 (2011/2001)
14.) Undertale - Vita - 2017 (2015)
15.) Halo 2: Anniversary - PC - 2020 (2014/2004)
16.) Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse - Vita - 2013/14
17.) Final Fantasy VII Remake - PS4 - 2020
18.) The Wolf Among Us - Vita - 2014
19.) Halo 3 - PC - 2020 (2007)
20.) Halo 3: ODST - PC - 2020 (2009)
21.) Halo 4 - PC - 2020 (2012)

 

22.) Black Mesa - PC - 2020 (1998)
Completed on normal difficulty (20 hours).

 

"Play Black Mesa", they said. "It runs on old PCs", they said.

....

*Reaches Xen, PC proceeds to shit itself*

 

So I think the developers pushed the Source engine to breaking point with this fan-made reinterpretation of Half-Life. Granted, it's not their fault my decade-old PC doesn't have the oomph to bruteforce it, however it ran fine for the most part, up to a point. That point being the final quarter of the game, where I had to regularly endure framerates descending into the single digits. Honestly, the bits where the floating brain things (Controllers) are flying all around you, mind-controlling Vortigaunts and telekinetically flinging explosive barrels while Grunts fire swarms of hornets at you... I can only describe it as a 'slideshow'. it made Perfect Dark look smooth! On top of some rather clumsy combat and torturously long sections with conveyor belts, alien machines and ponds full of killer fish, the Xen portion became a real grind to get through. Yeah, it's probably better than the original version of Xen, which I gave up on and never completed. I wasn't going to do the same here - but I came close to quitting a few times.

 

The prior sections of the game, within and surrounding the facility itself, are more bearable. Like the original, Black Mesa is just as much a survival horror or a hazardous obstacle course as it is a shooter, which is just as well. Coming off of the Halo games this year has spoiled me; the combat in Black Mesa is a real ballache in comparison. I know it's not optimised for controllers and I'm doing myself no favours by playing with one, but it's such a clumsy, awkward game. Movement is digital and therefore twitchy, aiming is hard work, switching weapons is cumbersome. And often, it's not the frantic combat scenarios that kill you - truly the most dangerous adversaries in Half-Life games are ladders.

 

Well, this turned out a bit ranty, and that's a shame. This is an amazing fan project, and on the whole it's probably the best way to play Half-Life. But man, Half-Life is a slog in 2021.

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On 02/07/2021 at 07:26, Pelekophoros said:

3/01: Night Slashers (Arcade)

13/02: Ghosts Of Tsushima (PS5)

20/02: Kitty Letter (Android)

21/02: Concrete Genie (PS5)

04/03: Maquette (PS5)

03/04: 198X (PS5)

07/04: Moonwalker (Arcade)

27/04: Apex Legends Season 8 (PS5)

29/04: Call Of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War (PS5)

08/05: Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order (PS5)

26/06: Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS5)

02/07: Necromunda Hired Hun (PS5)

06/07: Ratchet & Clank 2016 (PS5)

 

Yeah I know there's a new one out, but I already had this and hadn't ever gotten very far. I decided to knuckle down and crack on rather than drop £70 on another game. Based on this, I won't bother ever touching a R&C game again.

 

It's just...dull. It's slow, plodding, terrible animated story bits, the weapons aren't interesting (despite there being oh so many of them) and the difficulty is generally zero except for a handful of ridiculous spikes. Which included the final boss, which can fuck off because I was bored by then.

 

There were a few moments of exceptional beauty in the game - it can be stunning to look at - but gameplay wise it was just dire. The script and characters weren't endearing at all. There's one bit where you literally have to run around a room in circles. Eurgh. Did not enjoy, was relieved when it ended.

 

 

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Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2

I picked this up in a sale for a couple of quid because I remembered quite liking the first one. I won't lie: I rattled through this on a fairly low difficulty, so I don't feel qualified to give it any rating. It was quite good fun though.

 

Lara Croft & The Temple Of Osiris

Following on from my Shadow Of The Tomb Raider completion, we have this. Not, strictly speaking, a "proper" Tomb Raider game: it's an isometric twin-stick shooter arcadey-platformy-puzzle thing ... and it's pretty good. Much better than the dreary plodathons that recent TR games have become. There's plenty to do, with a variety of challenges across all the tombs, and it doesn't drag things out too long. There's a tiny bit of annoying lag on the controls, and Lara's "witty" quips throughout are like nails on a chalkboard, but otherwise, good game. 7/10

 

Spoiler

01/01/2021 - Syberia

07/01/2021 - Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince

11/01/2021 - Fe

13/01/2021 - The Touryst

19/01/2021 - The Gardens Between

22/01/2021 - Donut County

22/01/2021 - Virginia

23/01/2021 - The Witness

08/02/2021 - Trials Fusion

22/02/2021 - Streets Of Rage 4

14/03/2021 - Death Squared

08/04/2021 - The Medium

19/04/2021 - Control: Ultimate Edition

30/04/2021 - New Super Lucky's Tale

01/05/2021 - Kameo: Elements Of Power

08/05/2021 - Gravel

26/05/2021 - R-Type Final 2

15/06/2021 - Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2

26/06/2021 - Shadow Of The Tomb Raider

06/07/2021 - Lara Croft & The Temple Of Osiris

 

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Spoiler

1. Forza Horizon 4 - Lego Speed Champions & Fortune Island DLC packs (XB1) - 8.5/10

2. The Gardens Between (XB1 Game Pass) - 8/10

3. Sea of Thieves (XB1) - 10/10

4. The Legend of Zelda - Breath of the Wild (Switch) - 10/10

5. Luigi's Mansion 3 (Switch) - 8.5/10

6. Titanfall 2 (XB1) - 9/10

7. Super Mario Odyssey (Switch) - 9.5/10

8. Sniper Elite 4 - (XB1 Game Pass) - 8.5/10

9. Journey to the Savage Planet (XB1 Game Pass) - 7.5/10

10. Wolfenstein: The New Order (XB1 Game Pass) - 8/10

11. Hades (Switch) - 9.5/10

12. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch) - 9/10

 

13. Halo 5: Guardians (XB1)

 

I actually was bought this when it was first released, and it's been gathering dust ever since.  I can't explain why, one of those 'list of shame' things.  I really enjoy the Halo games, despite a) not really understanding what the hell is going on and b) not touching multiplayer at any time since spending hundreds of hours on Halo 3.  GREAT days.  So - thought I'd give this a whirl, and also spend a bit of time online with it.

 

Campaign first - seriously, what the fuck is going on?  Who are these people?  Am I supposed to know who they all are?  Why are some Covenant bad, and others good?  The cutscenes all look very pretty and all that, but they're essentially pointless and serve as a nice breather between levels so I can fill up my glass with wine/beer depending on my mood.

 

But I always like to look at the positives.  Halo 5 is a sexy game.  The vistas are beautiful, the levels appear to be far more interesting than previous games, and the cool little hidden rooms are a nice touch.  I always prefer the outdoor levels in these games and I thought some of them were as good as any in previous titles.

 

I was pleasantly surprised by the good balance of fun gunplay and variety of weapons, which help to promote different approaches, particularly when playing in co-op.  I didn't get chance to play with friends as often as I'd like but the levels I did do it co-op were tremendous fun.

 

To a certain extent the absolute headfuck that is the story isn't a game breaking issue when the gameplay is solid enough, and I thought it held up very well - that's more important IMO (in some ways it's the polar opposite of the campaign in Star Wars Battlefront 2 which was cool story-wise but played like a damp sponge). 

 

My first Halo multiplayer binge in well over a decade was tremendous, what an improvement and I feel incessantly smug coming away with a positive k/d ratio considering I wasn't even a parent last time I delved in (my eldest is now in year 7...!) A really good variety of game modes - the Warzone mode was my favourite, but even a quick blast on Slayer when I had a spare 10 minutes was well worth some time.  I think I'll stay with this for my online fix for a little while in readiness for Infinite.

 

Overall, polished if incredibly confusing, Halo 5 is great fun, pretty to look at, with the addition of bombastic sounds and impressive set pieces that we've come to love and expect from the franchise - topped off with a brilliant multiplayer mode than begs to be revisited.  Better than I expected.

 

8.5/10

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Can't find my "previously" list of games for 2021, possibly because Flight Simulator and Game Pass combined have broken me dedicating time to finishing games.

 

However, I can happily report I have now finished both Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Crackdown 3, both of which were surprisingly brilliant in their own ways

 

And although I am now a Yakuza convert, this only applies to ones that follow with the turn-based battle engine.

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Prey: Mooncrash

 

This is a fairly hefty DLC for Prey that does what I always want DLC to do: take the existing game and use the shorter format and lesser expectations when compared to a full AAA release, and experiment with structure and new ideas.

 

Rather than just being a linear bit of extra story, it's a new concept that asks you to investigate what happened on a moon base. You do this by immersing yourself in a simulation of the events, which is simply a framing device for letting you inhabit different characters and play out their mini-stories and unique escape methods. In practice this means repeatedly entering the same 'map' (made up of four distinct areas) and trying to survive long enough to tick off your objectives. Upgrades and blueprints carry across between attempts, so you gradually get more capable with each attempt. So it has elements of stuff like Dead Rising and Hitman, which are more about repeatedly cycling through the same mission, gaining experience (both in terms of player knowledge, and in-game powers) with each attempt, so that you can ultimately complete all your objectives. There's quite a lot of randomisation as well, so each attempt feels fresh, with new obstacles preventing you from just auto-piloting your way through.

 

This does a lot of things that I like in games, which tend to be under-represented in the traditional linear action adventure game. You become properly acquainted with the play space, meaning you get the satisfaction of mastering it. It has a time limit element. Death is more meaningful than just being sent back in time a couple of minutes.

 

I suspect this is a proof-of-concept for a lot of the stuff that'll appear in Deathloop. In general it worked really well, and I hope Arkane (and other developers) continue to explore this kind of alternative structure for big-budget action games.

 

Spoiler

Dishonored + DLC

Days Gone

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider

The Walking Dead Season 3

The Touryst

PikuNiku

Rain on your Parade

Prey: Mooncrash

 

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16. Control: Ultimate Edition (PS5) - I'd seen/heard lots of hype around this one before going in which worried me as the same happened with Quantum Break and I was hugely disappointed with it. Thankfully though - while suffering problems of its own - Control is a much better game.

 

I like the story concepts, and the realisation of that X-Files/Twin Peaks vibe, however this is undermined by the actual writing which is pretty abysmal. Plot points often feel rushed with massive unrealistic leaps to get to the next set piece which undermines pretty much all emersion. The characters are on the whole flat and/or dislikable (with the lead Jesse being the worst unfortunately) and the dialogue is often film school level cheesy, by the end I was skipping pretty much all the dialogue where possible. I also completed the Foundation DLC and think on balance I enjoyed it more, partly because it is essentially more gameplay with very little in the way of dialogue/cut scenes or ropey plot.

 

Now while that all sounds - and is - pretty damning, it's not all bad. For its problems in the writing department the gameplay loop is really slick and satisfying, and the production values are great. Linking up the variety of powers and weapons can sometimes make you feel like a proper superhero, and the environment/platforming bits lean into the physics bending stuff enough to keep them interesting.

 

Visually it's impressive. I started on graphics mode on the PS5 with all the ray tracing shinies on and it looks genuinely glorious. The frame rate did suffer though so I played 99% of the game in performance mode enjoying silky smooth 60fps and it felt brilliant. The mission save point/structure give it a really accessible pace, and I found myself often jumping in just for 15-30 minutes sometimes for a blast and still felt like I was achieving something and making progress. 

 

Ultimately after a year containing lots of long open world games, this felt like an action packed Remedy sorbet I needed, and I bagged the platinum in about 22 hours ish. As it is I think it's pretty much the definition of a 7/10 game. I just wish they were better at turning their interesting ideas into a decent story.

 

 - 7/10

 

Control-IL1.jpg

 

 

On 25/06/2021 at 13:11, FiveFootNinja said:

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

12. Ghost of Tsushima (PS5) - 8/10

13. Far: Lone Sails (PS5) - 7/10

14. Tint (Book I) (iOS) - 7/10

15. Little Orpheus (iOS) - 6/10

 

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July

 

08/07 Final Fantasy 7 Remake INTERmission (PS5) I loved the original PSOne game and adore the remake possibly more. But I had my misgivings that this would be all about fan service. However it was my partner's first purchase with her PS5 so of course I was going to play through this short episode focusing on Yuffie, the overly cheerful material stealing ninja from Wutai.

 

And most of it was good! Concentrating on all the great parts first. Yuffie is an absolute joy to play as. She's a little faster than Tifa but has a really satisfying combat set switching on the fly between long and short range. My partner (playing on normal) loves the battle systems in Remake and her opinion is that Yuffie is the most fun to play as out of all the characters in Remake so far. There's a board game based on the dreadful Fort Condor except it's now fast and is fun to play (if a little open to Zerg Rush tactics in the easy mode I played this.)  There are some fantastic new musical compositions here as well.

 

The down sides? It's short. Which can be a plus but even then it feels like there's some fat. The writing for the main characters from Remake who you see at a distance here don't feel as well written (when they aren't reusing content from FF7 Remake anyway.) And I wasn't sold by the story arc and the ending.

 

If you're a Final Fantasy 7 Remake fan you've already bought this (if you can get your hands on a PS5). Is it worth getting a PS5 for? No. Is it worth playing for more story? No, you can probably skip it if story is what you're here for. However if you love the battle systems and want to play around with a new toolset for five hours then this is for you. 

 

Screen_Shot_2021_02_25_at_5.30.01_PM.png

 

Previously this month

03/07 Deus Ex Machina Game of the Year 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition (PC)

 

Earlier this year

 

Spoiler

48. 27/06 Answer Knot (PC) 

47. 26/06 1944 : the Loop Master (PC/Arcade)

46. 22/06 Commando (C64)

45. 21/06 GigaWing (PC/Arcade)

44. 19/06 19XX: The War Against Destiny (PC/Arcade)

43. 19/06 Warriors of Fate (PC/Arcade)

42. 18/06 Varth: Operation Thunderstorm (PC/Arcade)

41. 15/06 Carrier Air Wing (PC/Arcade)

40. 14/06 Senjō no Ōkami II (PC/Arcade) 

39. 14/06 1941:Counter Attack (PC/Arcade)

38. 14/06 Forgotten Worlds (PC/Arcade) 

37. 12/06 West of Dead (PC) 

36. 11/06 Raid Over Moscow (C64)

35. 09/06 Section Z (PC/Arcade)

34. 06/05 God of War (PS4)

33. 05/05 Ghostbusters (C64)

32.01/06 Beach Head (C64)

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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Previously...

Spoiler

1.) New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe - Switch - 2019 (2012)
2.) Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - Switch - 2018 (2014)
3.) God of War - PS4 - 2018
4.) Shenmue III - PC - 2019
5.) Sonic Mania - PC - 2017
6.) Abzû - PS4 - 2016
7.) Night Trap - 25th Anniversary Edition - Vita - 2018 (1992/3)
8.) Secret of Mana - SNES - 1993
9.) Rez Infinite - PS4 - 2016 (2001/2)
10.) Moss - PS4 - 2018
11.) Halo: Reach - PC - 2019 (2010)
12.) Papers, Please - Vita - 2017 (2013)
13.) Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary - PC - 2020 (2011/2001)
14.) Undertale - Vita - 2017 (2015)
15.) Halo 2: Anniversary - PC - 2020 (2014/2004)
16.) Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse - Vita - 2013/14
17.) Final Fantasy VII Remake - PS4 - 2020
18.) The Wolf Among Us - Vita - 2014
19.) Halo 3 - PC - 2020 (2007)
20.) Halo 3: ODST - PC - 2020 (2009)
21.) Halo 4 - PC - 2020 (2012)
22.) Black Mesa - PC - 2020 (1998)

 

23.) Axiom Verge - Vita - 2016 (2015)
Completed with 100% map and items (with a lot of a help from a guide!) - 16 hours

 

An almost Metroid clone with Giger-esque techno-horror themes, Axiom Verge is lovely to play and just different enough from Metroid to surprise you. Unique abilities give way to secrets in fun new ways, that still require skill and patience to use, though I do miss becoming an all powerful flying death machine and hoped that might happen before the end. It's possible to get through this without much help, but for clearing the whole map and finding every item -- that's practically impossible without a guide. Some of the secrets are soooo secret, so cryptic and obscure, you'd never think of the solution in a hundred years. Or maybe you would and I'm just impatient.

 

Either way, an excellent game, and I look foward to the next one.

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Minecraft Dungeons 

I've mostly been playing this on Xbox with my kids, but have been giving it a go solo on PC. Beat the end boss last night, which isn't really "completed" , since this unlocks the second of three difficulties but I feel it still counts. 

 

I think it's a great little game. Nothing ground breaking, but still loads of fun. I've also found it a good way to introduce my kids to "proper gaming" with items and difficulty levels and so on. 

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10/07/2021 - Marvel Ultimate Alliance (PC)

 

It is incredibly rare that I ever replay games - aside from this one, I can count on the fingers of one hand how many others there have been (and two of them are Mass Effect titles). I just don't really see the point - I'm a narrative-led player rather than mechanics, so once I've seen a story I feel no compulsion to ever revisit.

 

Having played tried a few other ARPGs in this style over the past 6 months or so, I've yet to find one that is satisfying mechanically as this game and the sequel. That, plus having enjoyed Marvel Avengers and my other half starting a watch of all the MCU films really put me in the mood to do some avengering (yeah, that's a word now.)

 

It was as fun as I remember and I think I actually enjoyed it more. Originally on the 360 I did everything in this game (and MAU2); got all characters unlocked, gold medals on all the solo missions, found all the secrets and all achievements. This time I was happy to just get through the game and enjoy it in a more relaxed way, but mixing and matching my team a bit more often and also using each character more within the missions themselves (I think I played as Wolverine and Ice Man a lot originally, but I left them on the bench during my revisit.)

 

The combat itself remained crunchy; punches and kicks had a bit of heft, whilst powers added the pyrotechnics (in some cases, at least). Characters did offer different abilities and answers to different questions with their skillsets/damage type, but the one thing none of these games have ever really tended to do well is really make each character feel distinct; that's in part due to the same 4 or 5 different types of move liberally thrown around the large cast, but also because you aren't able to play to the strengths of them either, as damage output/speed/health are largely all the same (the sequel didn't address this either, but nor have any others in the genre really.) As a result, nobody gets picked on the basis of being inherently stronger/faster/bigger damage sponge and choosing Storm over Human Torch comes down to whether you prefer looking at lightning versus fire effects.


That's a shame, but even though the story is just mcguffin, contrivance, mcguffin it still retains that feel-good feeling when, as Moon Knight, you unleash his Xtreme attack which shreds bosses in seconds. I just wish games of this ilk were more common.

 

Spoiler

02/07/2021 - Weaves of Fate (PC)

27/06/2021 - Through the Woods (PC)

22/06/2021 - Answer Knot (PC)

10/06/2021 - Halo: Spartan Assault (PC)

07/06/2021 - The Hex (PC)

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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11/07/2021 - Doki Doki Literature Club +

 

No spoilers here, so this will be short.

 

I thought this was clever, but it didn't blow me away or anything. In fact I was actually a little bored for some of it. I think I'd have enjoyed it a little more if I'd played this completely out of the blue with no knowledge whatsoever, but in reality I wouldn't have played the game it presents itself as so that was never going to happen. I'm glad I played it just to be able to follow the conversation though.

 

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

June

13/06/2021 - Super Mario Maker 2

July

02/07/2021 - Sonic CD
11/07/2021 - Doki Doki Literature Club +

 

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Sonic the Hedgehog 1, 2 & 3

With the 30th anniversary this year, this was bound to happen. Still as wonderful as ever, but much harder than I remember them being - I had to save scum to get all the emeralds in 1 and 2, and no amount of assists will ever get me to all the emeralds in 3, I still find the spheres mini game impossible! It’s no SMB3 in terms of difficulty, but these are certainly not hold right to win games. Takes me right back to being 10 years old, every time I play them. 
 

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

09/06/2021 - Resident Evil VII

19/06/2021 - Super Mario 3D World

28/06/2021 - Resident Evil: Village

03/07/2021 - Sonic CD

11/07/2021 - Sonic the Hedgehog

11/07/2021 - Sonic 2

11/07/2021 - Sonic 3

 

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Previously...

Spoiler

1.) New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe - Switch - 2019 (2012)
2.) Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - Switch - 2018 (2014)
3.) God of War - PS4 - 2018
4.) Shenmue III - PC - 2019
5.) Sonic Mania - PC - 2017
6.) Abzû - PS4 - 2016
7.) Night Trap - 25th Anniversary Edition - Vita - 2018 (1992/3)
8.) Secret of Mana - SNES - 1993
9.) Rez Infinite - PS4 - 2016 (2001/2)
10.) Moss - PS4 - 2018
11.) Halo: Reach - PC - 2019 (2010)
12.) Papers, Please - Vita - 2017 (2013)
13.) Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary - PC - 2020 (2011/2001)
14.) Undertale - Vita - 2017 (2015)
15.) Halo 2: Anniversary - PC - 2020 (2014/2004)
16.) Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse - Vita - 2013/14
17.) Final Fantasy VII Remake - PS4 - 2020
18.) The Wolf Among Us - Vita - 2014
19.) Halo 3 - PC - 2020 (2007)
20.) Halo 3: ODST - PC - 2020 (2009)
21.) Halo 4 - PC - 2020 (2012)
22.) Black Mesa - PC - 2020 (1998)
23.) Axiom Verge - Vita - 2016 (2015)

 

24.) MINERVA: Metastasis - PC - 2013 (2005/07)
Completed on Easy difficulty (3.5 hours).

Following on from Black Mesa with more fan-made Half-Life, this is a Half-Life 2 mod, starring an unknown character who infiltrates an underground Combine facility under orders from a mysterious person who relays text messages to you. Features Half-Life 2 assets and enemies (including those fucking screaming bastards that run at you) and a whole lot of stuff I'd forgotten about since I last played Half-Life 2. Pretty much had to play it with keyboard/mouse, which I don't enjoy much.
Generally, the game involves descending through levels of an underground facility, and then scrambling around looking for buttons, switches or triggers to get to the next area, while fighting off waves of enemies. I got lost a lot. I can't remember who recommended playing this, and maybe it seemed more impressive 15 years ago, but I thought it was just OK and nothing special.
I think I'm done with Half-Life stuff for now (until I can play Alyx).

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17. The Last Campfire (iOS) - Although technically created and released by No Man's Sky developer Hello Games, The Last Campfire was actually a side project by just three members of their team and it is really quite wonderful. Channelling little bits of inspiration and vibe from fantastic titles like Journey, Ori and the Blind Forest and Spiritfarer, this indie puzzle game has bags of character and somber charm. It delivers a narrative about fragility, hope, resilience and kindness via some evocative writing and a beautifully delivered narrator performance by British-Scandinavian voice artist Rachel August. Backed up by fantastic sound design art direction the game is a really polished and tight production. It's not long - I finished it in 5:45 hours - and gameplay wise the puzzles challenge nicely but never frustrate. It was just an exquisite, chilled out experience all round. - 9/10

 

riW4StntMNrD5fWB3AhgoU.jpg

 

 

 

On 08/07/2021 at 10:24, FiveFootNinja said:

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

12. Ghost of Tsushima (PS5) - 8/10

13. Far: Lone Sails (PS5) - 7/10

14. Tint (Book I) (iOS) - 7/10

15. Little Orpheus (iOS) - 6/10

16. Control: Ultimate Edition (PS5) - 7/10

 

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Planet Alpha

I had never heard of this before it was a GwG giveaway, but I'm a sucker for 2.5D platformers, so I bunded right in.

You're a little astronaut dude on some bizarre planet full of weird and wonderful things. The best bits of this game are the graphics and sound. The alien landscapes and architecture look great, and have a real "sense of wonder" to them, and the retro sci-fi ambient soundtrack suits it really well. Sadly it's only 30fps (it's an XB1 game, no S/X upgrade yet), and the controls are a little bit spongey, so marks off for that. On the gameplay side, it's kinda slight, with many "hold right and enjoy the graphics" sections punctuated by very simple platforming, with very generous checkpointing. There are a few puzzles, some with neat solutions, but none of them will tax you for more than a minute. Stealth plays quite a big part, with several ForbiddenPlanet-esque robots hunting you down throughout, including one recurring giant daddy robot, whose design is rather excellent. I did sometimes find the stealth mechanics to be a bit trial-and-error though.

A decent wee game, worth playing for half and hour now and then, if only to enjoy the atmosphere (I reckon you'd get pretty bored if you tried to play the whole thing in one go). 6/10

 

Spoiler

 

01/01/2021 - Syberia

07/01/2021 - Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince

11/01/2021 - Fe

13/01/2021 - The Touryst

19/01/2021 - The Gardens Between

22/01/2021 - Donut County

22/01/2021 - Virginia

23/01/2021 - The Witness

08/02/2021 - Trials Fusion

22/02/2021 - Streets Of Rage 4

14/03/2021 - Death Squared

08/04/2021 - The Medium

19/04/2021 - Control: Ultimate Edition

30/04/2021 - New Super Lucky's Tale

01/05/2021 - Kameo: Elements Of Power

08/05/2021 - Gravel

26/05/2021 - R-Type Final 2

15/06/2021 - Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2

26/06/2021 - Shadow Of The Tomb Raider

06/07/2021 - Lara Croft & The Temple Of Osiris

12/07/2021 - Planet Alpha

 

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On 27/06/2021 at 09:55, strawdonkey said:

00. Katamari Damacy
0X. Kind Words

01. Hello Charlotte Episode 1

02. Hello Charlotte Episode 2: Requiem Aeternam Deo

03. Hello Charlotte Episode 3: Childhood's End

04. There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension

05. Mandagon
06. Heaven Will Be Mine

07. Tales of the Black Forest

08. Super Mario 3D World

09. Lair of the Clockwork God

10. Milk Inside a Bag of Milk Inside a Bag of Milk ...

11. Super Mario 3D World: Bowser's Fury

12. Tetris Effect

13. Luck be a Landlord

14. Rain on your Parade

15. The Red Strings Club

16. The Textorcist: The Story of Ray Bibbia

17. Shape of the World

18. Far: Lone Sails

19. Return of the Obra Dinn

20. Donut County

21. Warhammer: Vermintide 2

 

I'd not bothered with Donut County for ages after seeing quite a few people saying that it was really uninspired and boring. I... don't agree? It's very light on the amount of skill required to progress, but the story is ridiculous, the characters are really likeable and well-written, and what's not to like about a raccoon responsible for a reign of terror that involves dumping someone's caravan into a big hole?

 

--

 

Vermintide is on the other end of the spectrum - played this one in co-op with a couple of friends. It's a first person hack and slash/loot gathering thing that probably has way more depth than I've been able to extract out of it for a couple of reasons - it tells you nothing about how to play, and the lowest difficulty is very easy, and the second difficulty kicks our fucking head in without fail.

 

BUT it has been a lot of fun just turning our brains off a bit and carving through hordes of enemies over the last few weeks, and poking fun at how po-faced and Very Serious everything can be. That said, there's some free DLC called "The Curse of Drachenfels" which is a cut above the rest of the environments in the game - it's super atmospheric and places you in Dracula Drachenfels' castle, high atop a mountain, and frames its set-pieces really nicely, something that the rest of the game doesn't do much.

 

Other than the bit where a giant rat spawned in what might have been the wrong place, and then proceeded to knock our entire team off the mountain to our deaths in two swings of an arm. That was a bit shit.

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List:

 

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)
23. Sunset Overdrive (Xbox)

24. DOOM 2016 (Xbox)

25. Lego Builder's Journey (Apple Arcade)

 

 


26. Super Mario 3D World (Switch)

The game is absolutely excellent and a prime example of Nintendo on top form. Stunning visuals, an almost relentless introduction of new ideas and mechanics, charming characterisation and –– if you get the chance –– hilarious multiplayer bedlam. If you missed this on WiiU, this is an essential purchase, especially as it comes bundled with the brilliant Bowser’s Fury which I completed earlier this year.
  Finished off the final stage while away for a few days and I even managed to get past that first bonus level I could never manage on the original version.

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14. Mass Effect 2 Remastered (2021) - Xbox Series X

 

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Coming straight from ME1, I thought this was brilliant, to begin with -  the combat was actually playable! You powers were actually usable! I whacked the difficulty straight up to Insanity and thought I was going to be in for an excellent cover-shooter to go alongside an intriguing story. As the game wore on, however, I gradually turned the difficulty down again, notch by notch, until, by the time I reached the credits, I was back to the default setting. Unfortunately, there are only so many copy-and-paste enemy encounters I could take, especially when turning the difficulty up just increases the number of healthbars your enemies have and the speed at which they can kill you. This, coupled with the general clunkiness of everything - whether it's changing your weapon, reloading, moving from cover to cover or just trying to vault over whatever you're crouching behind - was getting horribly frustrating at the tougher settings. By the time this game was originally released in 2010, Gears of War 1 and 2 were already out, and as much as it's obvious that the combat in this (as well as seemingly every other third-person game released at the time) was influenced by Gears, it's nowhere near as slick. As a result, after 20 or 30 hours of gameplay, it was starting to grate more than just a little. Thankfully, playing on the default setting still provided a welcome amount of challenge.

 

Outside of the combat, however, I can't say I was completely bowled over by anything, really. I remember rinsing this game when it first came out, while I was still in my second year of university, but although I enjoyed it at the time, I never felt compelled to replay it, despite many claiming it was one of the generation's best games. The voice-acting and the overall standard of the writing is good (apart from the godawful sex scenes), but the choices you make and actions you perform are entirely binary, with very few shades of grey. I'd planned to play as a sort of lovable rogue type but ended up going straight Paragon (with the occasional reporter punching interlude thrown in), largely because, often, choosing anything apart from the Paragon option is something only a complete dickhead would do, so you feel obliged to go for the goody-two-shoes option. As a result, in the conversations I had I never really felt like I was playing a genuine RPG. More like a visual novel where I could choose to either be entirely good or entirely bad, but not much in between.

 

The characters you meet and party members you pick up are also often praised by fans of the game, but in truth I felt like I never really got to know any of them, except perhaps for Miranda. I did everyone's loyalty quest and survived the suicide mission with everyone intact, but there were certain characters (such as Zaeed and Kasumi) who I don't think I spoke to or used once after I'd (apparently) gained their trust. Some loyalty missions were more interesting than others (Tali's and Samara's, for instance, were enjoyably different), but pretty much all of them ended in the same way: a shootout in a bland environment with lots of waist-high obstacles, followed by a conversation where I just chose whatever dialogue options were at the top of the screen as I knew these would be the 'good' choice. By including so many characters, many of whom share the same function, and introducing them so quickly, one after the other, I didn't feel a great connection with any of them.

 

The broader plot, in general, I also felt lacked the impetus and drive of the first game. There's no proper villain here like there was with in ME1 with Saren, and although the tension between Shepherd and Cerberus adds some drama to begin with, mopping up the loyalty missions from the mid-point of the game onwards, as well as repetitive missions in brown Collector ships, slows things down a lot. Not to mention that this game is at least twice as long as the first.

 

I don't know. I'm aware I'm sounding very negative. I completed it and there were definitely parts of it I enjoyed, but I found it difficult to play for any longer than 45-60 minutes at a time without getting bored. I ended up playing quite a lot of it on my phone via remote play, actually. I'm not sure if I'd have seen it through if I hadn't.

 

Hopefully things will have improved even more for ME3, when I get to it, but I'm definitely taking a break for a while. By the time I go back, I'm also hoping that the litany of technical issues and bugs I experienced will have been fixed, too.

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On 06/07/2021 at 12:42, Pelekophoros said:

3/01: Night Slashers (Arcade)

13/02: Ghosts Of Tsushima (PS5)

20/02: Kitty Letter (Android)

21/02: Concrete Genie (PS5)

04/03: Maquette (PS5)

03/04: 198X (PS5)

07/04: Moonwalker (Arcade)

27/04: Apex Legends Season 8 (PS5)

29/04: Call Of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War (PS5)

08/05: Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order (PS5)

26/06: Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS5)

02/07: Necromunda Hired Hun (PS5)

06/07: Ratchet & Clank 2016 (PS5)

 

12/07: Warhammer Vermintide II

 

What Strawdonkey said with the added summary one of the gang made during a session: "it's a Warhammer themed chat room". It's entirely served its purpose and is enjoyable, but I have no idea how to play it with any element of challenge that doesn't result in our near immediate demise.

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Spoiler

1. Forza Horizon 4 - Lego Speed Champions & Fortune Island DLC packs (XB1) - 8.5/10

2. The Gardens Between (XB1 Game Pass) - 8/10

3. Sea of Thieves (XB1) - 10/10

4. The Legend of Zelda - Breath of the Wild (Switch) - 10/10

5. Luigi's Mansion 3 (Switch) - 8.5/10

6. Titanfall 2 (XB1) - 9/10

7. Super Mario Odyssey (Switch) - 9.5/10

8. Sniper Elite 4 - (XB1 Game Pass) - 8.5/10

9. Journey to the Savage Planet (XB1 Game Pass) - 7.5/10

10. Wolfenstein: The New Order (XB1 Game Pass) - 8/10

11. Hades (Switch) - 9.5/10

12. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch) - 9/10

13. Halo 5: Guardians (XB1) - 8.5/10

 

14. Halo: Reach (XB1 Game Pass)

 

TBH I was convinced I'd played this when it was first released on the 360, but having now gone through this excellent campaign, I definitely haven't because I would not have forgotten so many tremendously designed, fun to play levels and a very engaging story.

 

I guess this is the Rogue One to the original Halo's Star Wars Episode IV, in that it perfectly sets up the original with a story that's well worth telling.  I much prefer the 'outside' Halo levels, rather than those stuck inside some ancient complex, so as the vast majority of Reach is set outside, this can only be a good thing.  But each level has enough variety and cool set pieces that I never felt that the action became stagnant or samey.  Added to all of this is the amazing soundtrack that hits perfect highs that match the action.  It can be frantic, tense and almost always epic.

 

I suppose if I had to mark Reach down, it would be the visuals - but that's purely just time catching up with games released on the 360.  Playing this right after the gorgeous Halo 5 probably isn't fair, it's much older hardware and whilst it's certainly not a bad looking game, some of the scenery, objects, character mapping etc is dated in 2021.  This is more my fault than Bungie's because I really should have played this when it first came out, when I'm sure it was one of the best looking games the 360 could run.

 

But where it more than matches its sequel is the story, the feeling of being in a proper battle, the variety of levels, the sense of scale etc because it really is top notch.  I would say in terms of the single player mode, this is the height of the whole series because the story and the gameplay match up perfectly.

 

A very pleasant surprise - I'm going back to Halo 5 for the multiplayer until the release of Infinite, but I massively enjoyed playing through this and it's an absolute must for anyone who enjoys an exciting FPS campaign.  Just a shame it took me so long to get around to playing it - a bit pointless to recommend it because I'm sure most Halo fans will have already rinsed this more than a decade ago.

 

8.5/10

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16. Doom II

 

It's the first time I've played this but I'm sure it won't be the last. As literally everyone except me surely already knew, it takes everything that's great about the original and improves and polishes it to near-perfection. I can see why people raved about these games nearly thirty years ago. And now I feel very old indeed.

 

17. Yakuza Zero

 

Yakuza is one of those series that gets raved about on the forum but I'd never tried. So now I have access to them all via Game Pass I thought I'd remedy that, starting with Zero as per the instructions in the relevant thread title. I loved everything about this except the occasional difficulty spikes in the combat, but with a bit of perseverance and a lot of stocking up with health potions I managed to get through them eventually. But everything else was great: the story, the world, the mini-games, the side quests, the porny lady card collection, all of it, even though I'm sure I only scratched the surface of most optional elements. The rest of the series is already downloaded and ready to play.

 

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

15. Rain on Your Parade

16. Doom II

17. Yakuza Zero

 

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Schildmaid MX Beta - Krieger 1cc

 

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)

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

Satazius - Normal 1cc (10)

Espgaluda - 1cc

Touhou Kikamu ~ Elegant Impermanence of Sakura - Normal 1cc

Super Glitter Rush - All stars

Rangok Skies - 1cc (all characters)

 

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Previously...

Spoiler

1.) New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe - Switch - 2019 (2012)
2.) Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - Switch - 2018 (2014)
3.) God of War - PS4 - 2018
4.) Shenmue III - PC - 2019
5.) Sonic Mania - PC - 2017
6.) Abzû - PS4 - 2016
7.) Night Trap - 25th Anniversary Edition - Vita - 2018 (1992/3)
8.) Secret of Mana - SNES - 1993
9.) Rez Infinite - PS4 - 2016 (2001/2)
10.) Moss - PS4 - 2018
11.) Halo: Reach - PC - 2019 (2010)
12.) Papers, Please - Vita - 2017 (2013)
13.) Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary - PC - 2020 (2011/2001)
14.) Undertale - Vita - 2017 (2015)
15.) Halo 2: Anniversary - PC - 2020 (2014/2004)
16.) Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse - Vita - 2013/14
17.) Final Fantasy VII Remake - PS4 - 2020
18.) The Wolf Among Us - Vita - 2014
19.) Halo 3 - PC - 2020 (2007)
20.) Halo 3: ODST - PC - 2020 (2009)
21.) Halo 4 - PC - 2020 (2012)
22.) Black Mesa - PC - 2020 (1998)
23.) Axiom Verge - Vita - 2016 (2015)
24.) MINERVA: Metastasis - PC - 2013 (2005/07)


25.) The Last Express Gold Edition - PC - 2013 (1997)
Completed and got the final ending (approximately 8 hours).

 

Set entirely on board the Orient Express on its final pre-war journey in 1914, The Last Express is ostensibly a point-and-click game, only with a lot more clicking and a lot less pointing. This visually striking adventure game from 1997 uses a combination of rotoscoped animation and pre-rendered backgrounds to bring its scenes to life. But the most interesting aspect of the game is how the other passengers all follow a prescribed schedule and you can carve a different route around their schedules to get different outcomes or complete tasks in a different order. It doesn't always work perfectly, there are some bugs and most of the game is spent getting disoriented and lost until you accidentally stumble into the right room or person, but it's still a really interesting way to design a game. If you make mistakes, die, or just want to try something else, you can rewind time and start from an earlier point.

 

A modern update could probably do a concept like this justice, but it wouldn't have the same distinct style unique to its era. Not quite traditional game art, not quite FMV, a style that sits in the middle. I don't know how many of the game's accessibility features are new to the Gold Edition. This is a PC game to smart phone back to PC port, and the presentation is a little rough. I'm guessing it didn't originally have the hint bubbles at least, which are very useful.

 

One other thing I really like is the performances. Adventure games can often have staccato dialogue or sound forced, but because The Last Express's characters are usually speaking on their own time, often overlapping or overheard, it sounds really natural. I believe the performances were captured live as well (before rotoscoping), which really helps.

 

Did I enjoy actually playing this? Nyeeeah, kind of. But I think it's a really interesting game that captures not just an era of PC gaming, but an era of history and geopolitics and romance. Plus, y'know, trains in games are awesome.

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14/07/21 - Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

 

Really enjoyable platformer this, and a showcase for the PS5's fast loading times. Unlike a lot of games you can safely that this would not work on a last gen console, what with the teleporting seamlessly between different environments. Not without the game chugging along. I enjoyed the story, art style and characters. Now so much the little Clank puzzler that they would occasionally throw in. I didn't even notice till the last one that I could've just paused the game and skipped these puzzles entirely.

 

Interested to see what Insomniac do next with the series.

 

8/10

 

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

 

June

07/06 - Mass Effect 2

19/06 - Final Fantasy VII: Remake

 

July

02/07 - Mass Effect 3

04/07 - Astro's Playroom

 

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14/07/21 - Cyberpunk 2077 

I got caught up on the hype on this one, so my wife bought me it as an Xmas present for the Xbox One and then saw all the negative publicity about it and asked me if I wanted to return it.  I decided to hang on to it, and wait until I have a next gen console to try it on.  It runs lovely on a Series X (and PS5 as well as I understand it) there are still a few bugs I hit.  I couldn't seem to take a body down an elevator, but throwing out of a 32nd story window seems to work ok.  A few issues of the sound going funny and needing to do a checkpoint restore.  But this aside, I really enjoyed the experience - I put 75 hours into it (scary).  There's a few more hours to do in order to get the other two endings.  But that did involve me doing every single side gig/job available to attempt to find something else to finish a mission.

 

It's a very pretty game, Night City looks like a scene from Blade Runner, and the whole game does remind me a lot of some of the pages from Neuromancer.  It's very ambitous (which is where it can come unstuck perhaps) and takes itself much more seriously than the likes of GTA.  The actual main story mission is actually pretty short, so worth having fun on the sidequests.  In the later portions of the game, my character was far too overpowered - he would just go around hacking people and setting fire to them without ever being detected (still fun to do though)

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