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What games did you complete? 2021 Edition


Unofficial Who
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14/01/2021 - Streets of Rage 3 (Normal)

In an effort to clean up some of my immense backlog of shame, and because I had finally clicked with Streets of Rage 4 this month, I decided to go and dig out the Sega Vintage Collection pack that I had bought for Xbox Arcade to play through the original games. SoR3 was fun for the most part, but I have to admit that I save-scummed like a pro to get through some of the more bullshit mobs and random environmental hazards (also, I had no idea what to do in the rescue mission and lost two lives to the gas which was annoying but nothing requiring a restart). Since I never played these games on release, there was none of the nostalgia factor that would be in play for something like, Golden Axe or Dragon Ninja, so I didn't get that much out of it and enjoyed Guardian Heroes a lot more. I plan to play SoR and SoR 2 as well, but I think I might just bump those down to Easy and just blast my way through the Japanese versions.

 

Previously:

Spoiler

06/01/2021 - Streets of Rage 4 (Normal)

09/01/2021 - Guardian Heroes (360)

 

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January

 

Portal: I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve finished this game and each time  I absolutely love it, there’s always a part I’ve forgotten about even despite it’s brevity. 
This play through was a little more special as I was playing it through with my son for the first time as he is obsessed with the concept of portals at the moment. We are moving onto the sequel next, which I’m really looking forward to. 

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15/01 Astro's Playroom (PS5) - I loved every minute of this, the first game I've 'Platinumed' and earned every achievement on. I'll be sure to re-play from the beginning, one day. 

15/01 Moss (PS VR) - An enjoyable experience in VR, the first game I've completed on the platform. 

16/01 The Stanley Parable (PC) - An unusual game that I could complete in one evening, good narration, only took me 5 years to get around to playing it. 

29/01 Donut County (PC) - This felt like 90% dialogue, 10% game. I played a simple game on iOS with a similar concept (hole.io) and had fun competing with my son, but the dialogue put him straight off of Donut County. It could have been so much more. 

11/05 Astro's Playroom (PS5) - Yep, again. It was a little too short the second time around, I knew where everything was so there was no need to replay any levels. Still, enjoyable game and I'd recommend everyone complete it at least once. 

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11 minutes ago, Fletch said:

January

 

Portal: I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve finished this game and each time  I absolutely love it, there’s always a part I’ve forgotten about even despite it’s brevity. 
This play through was a little more special as I was playing it through with my son for the first time as he is obsessed with the concept of portals at the moment. We are moving onto the sequel next, which I’m really looking forward to. 

 

Have you ever done any of the challenges (fewest steps, fewest portals, shortest time)? Those always looked nightmarish to me, considering I barely managed to stumble through the game on the 360, which didn't really feel like the best way of playing but it was still great fun.

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13 minutes ago, Talvalin said:

 

Have you ever done any of the challenges (fewest steps, fewest portals, shortest time)? Those always looked nightmarish to me, considering I barely managed to stumble through the game on the 360, which didn't really feel like the best way of playing but it was still great fun.


No I’m not great at it either I love it but definitely could be better. Going to give the 2 player mode a try with my son when we’ve gone through the main game. 

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Let's see if I can keep this going for the whole year. This is from last Sunday:

 

10/01/20

Spider-Man: Miles Morales

After the latter half of last year, and the beginning of this, it was nice to play a game that didn't last at least 30 hours. A nice short story, with some good side stuff that I still have to complete. I loved it and can't wait to see where Insomniac take the story next. I just hope they don't do a Batman and go in the co-op route.

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On 15/01/2021 at 21:36, Fletch said:


No I’m not great at it either I love it but definitely could be better. Going to give the 2 player mode a try with my son when we’ve gone through the main game. 

 

The two player mode is amazing and has its own set of unique levels.

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Jan

 

17/01 The Touryst (PC) Feeling a bit down and decided to go for some blue sky gaming and this fit the bill almost perfectly. Charming boxy voxels and a design that reminded me of both old isometric platformers as well as the Wally series of arcade adventures. You are a Tourist dude and you explore temples as well as doing tourist type tasks. Some of the platforming in this is unfair, it's hard to place yourself in 3D space in some of the darker temples. Otherwise it's a neat retro themed holiday from the gloom of real life.

 

ZZSdqaVhKyqxz3Jf6fbJ4K.jpg

 

Earlier this month

 

 

13/01 My Friend Pedro (PC)

03/01 Tell Me Why (PC)

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

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12 hours ago, Unofficial Who said:

Jan

 

17/01 The Touryst (PC) Feeling a bit down and decided to go for some blue sky gaming and this fit the bill almost perfectly. Charming boxy voxels and a design that reminded me of both old isometric platformers as well as the Wally series of arcade adventures. You are a Tourist dude and you explore temples as well as doing tourist type tasks. Some of the platforming in this is unfair, it's hard to place yourself in 3D space in some of the darker temples. Otherwise it's a neat retro themed holiday from the gloom of real life.

I'm playing this at the moment but it really is a beautiful aesthetic ruined by awful controls and platforming (I've just got to the bottom of the mines - oh my god that was bad).

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2 hours ago, Gabe said:

I'm playing this at the moment but it really is a beautiful aesthetic ruined by awful controls and platforming (I've just got to the bottom of the mines - oh my god that was bad).

 

Yep. There were quite a few moments where I quit the game thinking "screw this" before coming back hours later.

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I’ve finally ‘finished’ Skyrim. By that I mean I’ve completed the main aspects of all the DLC’s and the main story quests along with a whole load of side quests. I may go back for some more on it, but I’m finally at a place I’m happy with. I played it originally on the 360 and my save got bugged on one of the main quests so I could never finish it. Did this on Series X and the rapid loading made it so much better.

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Walkabout Minigolf

 

@Eighthours told me this is secretly the best game on Quest and I can't disagree.

 

The course design (there are 4 with both easy and hard modes) is superb and just walking around from hole to hole feels authentic. Details, like the sound of running water echoing when you enter underground cave areas, really adds to the sense that you're on holiday in some wacky adventure park.

 

But all this would be window dressing if the physics and touch weren't up to par. The putting is fantastic and while there are some daft holes I've never felt like the game is unfair. If I play a bad shot it's always my fault.

 

There's also a hidden ball on every hole which I found strangely addictive.

 

Matchmaking and the social aspect is pretty solid too, though I would like the ability to send friend requests like Population: One.

 

This is about £7 and is ridiculously good value for money. The only downside is that you'll rattle through the courses in fewer than 10 hours. Here's hoping they add more.

 

8/10

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4 minutes ago, Mawdlin said:

Walkabout Minigolf

 

@Eighthours told me this is secretly the best game on Quest and I can't disagree.

 

The course design (there are 4 with both easy and hard modes) is superb and just walking around from hole to hole feels authentic. Details, like the sound of running water echoing when you enter underground cave areas, really adds to the sense that you're on holiday in some wacky adventure park.

 

But all this would be window dressing if the physics and touch weren't up to par. The putting is fantastic and while there are some daft holes I've never felt like the game is unfair. If I play a bad shot it's always my fault.

 

There's also a hidden ball on every hole which I found strangely addictive.

 

Matchmaking and the social aspect is pretty solid too, though I would like the ability to send friend requests like Population: One.

 

This is about £7 and is ridiculously good value for money. The only downside is that you'll rattle through the courses in less than 10 hours. Here's hoping they add more.

 

8/10

 

Did you play it exclusively in single player?

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6 minutes ago, Jamie John said:

 

Did you play it exclusively in single player?

I completed all the courses in single player first. But more recently I've been playing randoms in the quickmatch online mode. I've only done this three times but they were all nice people. I ended up playing a guy from Maryland for over an hour as our games were always really close and we kept 'having just one more'.

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Death Stranding - Turns out this was a Metal Gear game after all - not in terms of lore, but in themes. The anti-violence message, the anti-nuclear themes, all are surprisingly present, along with other Kojima staples like cute robots, fourth wall breaking and cinematography that feels a generation ahead of anything out there.

 

EEOcE1DUcAA534z.jpg

 

And the game is just excellently designed, there's a lot of systems here and a lot of interplay between them, all with the usual Kojima "they thought of that?" mechanical touches like jumping over the scanner pings. The game does a great job mixing it's gameplay up with new additions - every act is different, through the introduction of new enemies, hazards, vehicles, weapons or structures that offer new options and keep things fresh.

 

That the game is not an action game feels less important than you'd think, and to be honest I thought the few action-heavy sections were the worst part of the game, just kind of unnecessary and included because they were expected (and in-game characters note them as such). The gameplay loop is satisfying in it's own right, and it succeeds in finding other ways to challenge and pushback on the player that actually feel more impactful than killing them, and when you're actually offered lethal weapons they feel terrifying to even equip knowing what you'll have to do if you use them.

 

I do have some spoileriffic story impressions I'll write below, but overall this probably would have been my GOTY if I had played it in 2020.

 

Spoiler

While the slow burn worldbuilding is interesting, and I think, one of the games biggest successes, it has just generally a bit too much going on. The ending is a bit of a mess, I looked up some impressions online to see if I was missing anything, and no, it sounds like there's just some contradictory information about character motivations in the game, maybe from different script revisions?


Did you really need both Higgs and Unger, especially as Higgs ended up being unimportant except to Fragiles story? Similarly, seeing the DOOMS nightmares and all the BB visions is a bit much, although I can't really figure out a way to handle that without losing something.

 

Kojima seems to think we'll all like Lindsey Wagner as much as teenage him did, which is a bit of a problem when she's the cause behind all of the games problems, an almost outright villainous role. The game defaults to letting her off very light as a result.

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On 12/01/2021 at 20:39, acidbearboy said:

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (Sega Ages) Switch

Hot on the heels of the original, which I finished for the first time last week. I have also now finished Sonic 2 (using ring keep mode and save states). The graphics were excellent, although the stages weren't as memorable as the original selection. Some of the music was also good, but there wasn't anything quite as catchy as the Green Hill Zone or Starlight themes (which I have been listening to outside of the game). The first half of the game was a lot of fun, but I did find it frustrating towards the end. As with the original, I doubt I will replay the whole thing again, just dip into the first couple of levels.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

January

1. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Ages) Switch

2. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Ages) Switch

 


So I’d like to know if, a few days on, the following songs have been niggling at you...

 

Chemical Plant Zone

Casino Night Zone

Sky Chase Zone 

 

:D 

 

I’ll give you Starlight Zone though, but the above three from Sonic 2 are still :wub: 

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1. Dragon Quest XI

 

This game alone proves to me the value of the Xbox Game Pass. I’ve played a few JRPGs over the years (although no Dragon Quests) but completed hardly any of them. I usually get to the point where a bit of grinding is required and get bored. So there’s no way I’d have bought this, but as a freebie that everyone seemed to be raving about I gave it a go. And I’m so glad I did! The story is fairly standard young lad discovers he’s destined to save the world, gathers a slightly odd bunch of mates and gets on with the world-saving type stuff, but the humour and style with which it’s delivered is so good. And best of all, for me, are all the little QOL features that make it such a smooth and pleasant experience. If you’re an RPG nut who loves nothing more than carefully choosing exactly what gear to equip your party with and then micromanaging their every move in every battle, you’re free to do so. But if like me you find such things a bit boring, you can simply choose a focus for each character (offensive, defensive or magical) and let the game automatically equip them with the most suitable armour and weapons in your inventory. Similarly you can set the tactics you’d like each of them to adopt in battle (e.g. show no mercy, focus on healing etc.) and leave them to get on with it. RPG purists might say I was missing the point and just letting the game play itself, but I’d disagree. This game let me fully enjoy the parts I like (the story and characters) and minimise the parts I don’t (faffing about in menus). This might make it an RPG for people who don’t really like RPGs, but as one of those people that’s absolutely fine for me.

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2. Demon's Tilt

Not one you can really finish, but I set myself a target of getting the two big trophies - access Wizard mode (doing all the ritual challenges on the table in one game) and reaching 1 billion points - and managed those, so that'll  do.

 

This is pretty much what I hoped it would be. I'm not really interested in pinball, but always loved Devil Crash on the MD, and Demon's Tilt is clearly channelling its spirit. A little more like a proper table than DC, but also includes all the moving parts and monsters that being a video game allows. Hitting targets is one thing, smashing the ball into bullet-spewing hell spawn takes it to a different level. There's tons to do and every challenge requires strategies, practice and a bit of skill to get it done reliably. The main table is even better than DC's, which is definitely something.

 

The only issue really is the rather rigid front end. To get a satisfactory control set up I had to change the PS4 settings. There's an Ex-mode which adds bonus screens, but is also more difficult. Why not have the extras on the standard difficulty too? The game itself is good enough to deserve a little more care in this area.

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16 hours ago, sprite said:


So I’d like to know if, a few days on, the following songs have been niggling at you...

 

Chemical Plant Zone

Casino Night Zone

Sky Chase Zone 

 

:D 

 

I’ll give you Starlight Zone though, but the above three from Sonic 2 are still :wub: 

Nope! I have mostly been listening to the Sonic 1 soundtrack though. I love the special stage music. I will add the Sonic 2 soundtrack to my playlist! I feel like I know the Chemical Plant theme, but not the rest. 

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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

 

This is the epitome of a Game Pass title.  There's no way I'd have picked this up without my GPU subscription, but purely by word of mouth on here, I thought I'd give it a go.  When you're immersed in titles such as BotW (as I am right now - but it's okay, PLEASE don't pull me away from it.  I'll take 100% immersion...) a quick pick up and play title is always welcome.  It's what makes GPU such good value.

 

The Gardens Between is just adorable.  It's a puzzle game in which you control 2 friends and their journeys into their childhood memories.  Cute.  Each level is a memory or 'moment' the friends have shared, and you have to use certain elements such as rewinding time as well as the environment around you to essentially get to the top of each small, self enclosed level.  Hard to describe, but the game physics are incredibly simple yet very rewarding.  Visually, it's dreamlike - literally.  The audio matches those visuals perfectly.

 

I don't really want to give too much else away about it except to say that it's worth a go - if you have Game Pass, it'd be a crime not to try this.  You may be utterly encapsulated with what you find.

 

8/10

 

Ongoing:

 

Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch) - I cannot WAIT to review this!!

Uncharted 2 (PS4)

Luigi's Mansion 3 (Switch)

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

 

A strategy RPG by the Legend of Grimrock guys, this is referred to a fair number of player reviews as a more of a puzzle game that strategy - and whilst on some of the games 30+ maps that felt true, in the main it's just a solid title that does make you think hard about positioning, skills and maximising your turns - and I really enjoyed it. Well, except the final boss, which was awful and required numerous restarts to get lucky on the positioning.

 

The RPG aspect was interesting in that your core stats never changed on levelling-up; instead, the abilities you chose for your team would confer extra health or damage or range - and these were powered-up through gems, which are the rewards for completing missions and bonus objectives. I played on easy (as I always do) and it still presented a challenge that felt fair and, because there's no RNG involved, it allowed you to focus more on how you achieved your aims and not whether or not an unlucky dice roll was going to stiff you.

 

It looked lovely, too, with lots of colour and vibrancy thrown around and the tale it told kept me engaged. I even laughed a few times at the dialogue.


I was initially put off this because of those aforementioned reviews but glad I took a punt in the Xmas sale (it regularly hits 75% off, making it less than a fiver) because it kept my interest from start to finish and was a slightly different spin on the genre.

 

19/01/2021 - The Touryst (PC)

 

This, however, was a different kettle of fish.

 

I started this because of @Unofficial Who's comments above, and the bits I liked were all superficial - it looks gorgeous (love the rain effect) and reminded me of A Short Hike in terms of the chunky, yet homely, aesthetic. It sounds nice too, with the squarks of birds, the lapping of the waves or the wind and the rain, really bringing home an island vibe to each of the locations.

 

The actual game mechanics though - well they suck. The platforming was awful, with unhelpful camera angles, skitty controls and - at times - a precision required that the game ill-afforded to grant you. I hated the actual moment puzzles, even though they weren't difficult in any traditional sense (although the final boss was a bit cheap with the falling debris). Admittedly, I don't like any platformers to start with, let alone 3D ones (I can only assume the love poured on 3D Mario games is because the controls and depth-perception are so much better) so some of this may fall down to my cack-handedness with the genre but, even so, it wasn't fun.

 

It just about did enough to keep the good impression though; some of the little incidental tasks you can perform are pleasant (though, again, the controls aren't great) and again, the look of it was just too lovely. Definitely not eager to try another one though.

 

Spoiler

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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The Gardens Between

 

Full disclosure: I only played this because it had a decent Metacritic scored coupled with easy achievements to beef up my Microsoft Rewards points with.

A very pleasing aesthetic in this, lots of muted pastel shades and dreamlike visuals. It would be a good game to give to someone as part of an intro to videogames, having only two actual controls (time control, and a "do something" button). This might sound like a major limitation, but the devs have made a good fist of it, and there are a couple of decent logic puzzles. Most of it is fairly straightforward though, and it's all over with pretty quickly (no bad thing these days). A little music-box of a game: well made and pretty, but doesn't hold the attention for long. 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

 

 

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Completed a few this month as I am working through the MS 10k achievement challenge.

 

  • Call Of The Sea (Really enjoyed this).
  • Day Of The Tentacle (Not as fun as I remembered)
  • The Walking Dead Season 1 (Absolutely loved this)
  • Full Throttle (Was OK)
  • Little Acre (Easy points and short)

Shortly to be added Grim Fandango and The Walking Dead Season 2, both of which are great.

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On 15/01/2021 at 11:19, cassidy said:

Doing ok so far considering its January

 

Little Acres

Full Throttle 

Day of the Tentacle

Immortals Fenyx Rising 

 

Not just quoting myself for ego's sake. 

Finished Batman The Telltale series on Monday.  5 in a month so far. 

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

 

JamieJohn1990_TetrisEffectConnected_20210119_21-27-27.thumb.png.7a31d0b30ddd288c2458f983eb5def80.png

 

Shameless self-promotion, but I did a write-up for this for @bradigor's site, Mental Health Gaming.com. Check it out!

 

TL;DR, it's excellent.

 

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

 

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