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What games did you complete? 2021 Edition


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On 22/12/2021 at 21:54, Mawdlin said:

The Crew (PS4)

 

This addition is sketchy because I certainly haven't completed it but then again it's a MMO so who has? Anyway, sunk enough hours into it for it to tip over into this column rather than the abandoned one.

 

So The Crew. It's a bit like being given the keys to a massive theme park for the day only they're the keys to Legoland Windsor rather than Universal Studios.

 

There's tons of stuff to see and do and I love the idea of cruisin' across America, but it all felt a bit flat and uninspiring. The changing scenery is nice and there are some great locations (nice touch to have monument descriptions) but the driving experience is so so weak.

 

The handling model is cumbersome and while I get that upgrades improve this it never got beyond the feeling that I was controlling a rain cloud.

 

Still, I sunk about 30 hours into it (more than most games these days) but those were mainly scoping out locations and avoiding the terrible plot-driven missions.

 

5/10

 

It has a story mode...

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I've started the 2022 thread here https://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?/topic/325155-what-games-did-you-complete-2022-edition/

 

 

which kind of speaks volumes as to my new year's eve plans. Post-mortems of 2021 are welcome in here, I'll be posting my summary of 2021 for me once I get a few hours sleep.

 

Thanks everyone who contributed to this thread, you've all been very entertaining and some of your posts have guided my purchases and playing choices this year!

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Yoshi’s Crafted World - 8/10

 

I think the world of this game but it seems obvious to me that they didn’t think it was long enough so they added the annoying “you need 10/15/30 sunshines to get past here” gates.
 

I’ve tried to put this to one side because the graphics, in handheld mode, are fantastic. There is plenty of variety in the levels - it’s so much fun to play. Just this gating makes it a couple of hours too long but……yeah I’ll try and forget about that.

 

I find that I’m not very forgiving of these kinds of issues even when 90% of the game is great. It’s not fair but when a game wastes my time (even a little bit) I really feel it.

 

I’m going to have to tolerate it a bit more than I am atm as a lot of good games are going to be soured otherwise.

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On 11/11/2021 at 15:46, 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 (Xbone)

27/07: The Last Of Us Part 2 (PS5)

13/08: The Last Stop (Xbone)

27/08: Captain Toad Treasure Tracker (Switch)

10/09: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1&2 (PS5)

12/09: Donut County (Xbone)

12/09: 12 Minutes (Xbone)

14/09: The Artful Escape (Xbone)

17/09: The Gardens Between (Xbone)

18/09: Superliminal (Xbone)

20/09: Golf With Friends (Xbone)

22/09: Omno (Xbone)

23/09: 64th Street: A Detective Story (Arcade)

24/09: Mutation Nation (Arcade)

25/09: Battle Circuit (Arcade)

26/09: Sack Boy: A Big Adventure (PS5)

06/10: The Touryst (PS5)

17/10: Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (Arcade)

21/10: Disco Elysium (PS5)

4/11: Unpacking (Xbone)

11/11: Life Is Strange 2 (PS5)

 

Not completed anything for a while due to a mixture of BF2042 and dropping 40 hours into Assassin's Creed Valhalla, but managed to squeeze this last one in before the year was out:

 

31/12: Terminator Resistance (PS5)

 

Such a weird, weird game. There's a mix of solid, semi-open world levels that encourage exploration and exploring that evoke the future war setting perfectly alongside more on-rails showboating that are at least B tier in terms of their execution. And then there's the rest, which is less good. But, as a heartfelt love letter to the first two films, and an ambitious, story driven single player campaign, it's pretty damned good. The sex scenes are appalling, however.

 

I enjoyed my short amount of time in it, but as I explored most nooks and crannies, don't feel any need to go back...

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And I'm done for the year.

 

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

14/07 - Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

18/07 - Catherine: Full Body

 

September

11/09 - Mario 3D World + Bowsers Fury

 

October

09/10 - Lost Judgment

17/10 - Metroid Dread

27/10 - Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes

 

November

4/11 - Mafia Definitive Edition

11/11 - Dark Pictures: Little Hope

 

December

5/12 - Guardians of the Galaxy

 

26 games completed. It's not a coincidence that my completions dropped off a lot once I got back into Apex Legends. I still have a number of games on the go that I was hoping would be done this year. Mainly The Great Ace Attorney that I've been playing for about 3 months now. 

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I held out hope I might be able to squeak Halo Infinite under the line, but no - 37 games taken down to Chinatown this year, which is not bad at all, and I’m grateful to this thread and all the encouragement herein to finish those games!

 

Heres to 2022! I’ve a feeling it’s going to start with Halo Infinite 😂 

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21 hours ago, 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

22. Cat Quest

23. Touhou: Luna Nights

24. World End Economica: Episode 1

25. Murder By Numbers

26. Hypnospace Outlaw

27. Behold The Kickmen

28. Lonely Mountains: Downhill

29. The Next Penelope

30. Doom (2016)

31. Monster Train

32. Loop Hero

33. World End Economica: Episode 2

34. What Remains of Edith Finch

35. Cube Escape: Seasons

35a. The rest of the Cube Escape Collection games

36. Forza Horizon 4

37. Sayonara Wild Hearts

38. Princess Remedy In A World Of Hurt

39. Glittermitten Grove

40. The Adventures of Elena Temple

41. Sorry, James

42. Deltarune Chapter 2

43. Golf With Your Friends

06a: Heaven Will Be Mine (all the other endings)

44. Cherry Tree High Comedy Club

45. Breath of Death VII

46. Get In The Car, Loser!

47. Kero Blaster

48. Lucius Demake

49. Inscryption

50. Glass Masquerade 2

51. Unpacking

52. Blue Revolver (1CC, Normal)

53. Empire of Steel (1CC, Easy)

54. Luigi's Mansion 3

55. Crimzon Clover World Ignition (1CC, Novice True Clear)

56. Pikuniku

57. World End Economica: Episode 3

58. One Finger Death Punch 2

59. Journey of the Broken Circle

60. A City Sleeps (all stages on 3/5 difficulty)

61. Ether Vapor Remaster (Shameless Credit Feed)

62. Supercharged Robot VULKAISER (1cc Normal)

63. Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth -Record of Lodoss War-

64. Higurashi When They Cry Hou Ch.1: Onikakuchi

65. Star Hunter DX (Space Cadet, totally used the limited coninues available)

66. Pokemon Sword (400/400 Galarian Pokedex)

 

In before the lock!

 

Bought Pokemon back in 2019 as I half-wanted to play it, and thought the kids might be interested. They bounced off it pretty hard, but a couple of years later have fallen completely in love with it and are having a whale of a time, to the extent that when they've finished playing Pokemon, they want me to play Pokemon afterwards.

 

I'd always intended to complete the Pokedex as I've never done one before, but as with most things in life, got distracted by something shiny and it never got done. So it's been amazing fun just dossing around in various different areas hoovering up everything that needed catching, and seeing them get all excited when we stumble across something that hasn't been caught yet, and planning out where our gaps are, what needs levelling, and so on. I think (hope!) that it's helped them enjoy the game more too. They've been helping me with the trade-locked evolutions, and it blew my youngest's mind when we traded Karrablast and Shelmet, and the Karrablast pinches the Shelmet's shell during the trade to become a dual-wielding lance knight thing, and the Shelmet emerges as a sort of Ninja Slug at the other end of it.

 

I've also been using Pokemon Home for trading for some of the Shield exclusives, and that's worked seamlessly - just put something up for trade, let people know what you want for it, and go and do something else for a bit. I've dispatched countless Swirlixes and Scraggys into the void and have been able to get hold of all the Shield Exclusives pretty easily without having to badger friends to spend an hour trading stuff back and forth for me.

 

I get that some die-hard Pokemon fans have been disapponted with this game, but for me it's been an absolute blast in two separate chunks of time, and I suspect I'm going to have to spend the next several weeks breeding Littens and Pupplios and dealing with the question "What's your favourite Pokemon".

As it happens, it's Gardevoir, but even then I was a little creeped out when one day I set up camp and this happened:

 

 

Also

 

Pokemon2.thumb.jpg.1ec544e978996b2661b991e700aeda14.jpg

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I've had a few things I've completed that I've never gotten round to adding to this thread for various reasons. So here's a quick round-up. It's all Game Pass stuff, more or less, the service that keeps on giving. And taking away as a few of these were ones I played when I heard they were going to be removed. A good incentive to get something completed. Anyway, in no order:

 

Myst (the new version) - I've got a bit of a soft spot for it despite it being critically derided. That said, the updated 3D in this really shows up the limitations of the puzzles and exploration. Looks nice, though.

 

Broforce - good pixelated action platformer starring parodies of nearly every action hero from the 70s to the 00s. The variety and the destruction are fun but it needed a bit more polish in the level structure, I thought. Sometimes it was a bit too mindless.

 

Psychonauts - the first one still holds up with some great writing and fantastic ideas for levels. The platforming is a bit iffy these days, and the collecting things is off the chart. Not enough to stop me 100%-ing it, though.

 

Psychonauts 2 - I was surprised how much this sticks to the structure of the first game. More collecting and platforming which was mostly the same, but worth it for the story and some funny lines. There wasn't really one level that made me say 'wow', though. However, it consistently presented good ideas throughout.

 

Eastshade - pleasant 3D adventure game in the style of Oblivion without the combat. Quests were varied and the world pretty enough to explore while compact enough to be over in a few days. I don't want to jump into a big RPG just yet so this was a good stopgap.

 

Omno - another non-combat game, this one a 3D action puzzle thing in an alien world. None too tricky. A nice solid between meals type of game.

 

The Gardens Between - clever use of scrubbing time back and forth to change the level. It did as much as it could with that idea without outstaying its welcome. Nice.

 

Carto - Another puzzle adventure, this time where you rotate map pieces to change things in the real world. Again, it made the most out of a simple concept, although I thought it went on a bit too long. The pleasantly benign story ensures it's not annoying, though.

 

Twelve Minutes - I quite enjoyed figuring out the time loop and trying out the variations in the routine to eke out the next revelation. I guess I had more of a tolerance for the repetition and was intriguing to work out what was happening. That said, the big reveal is terrible and really sours the ending. I guess the developer thought this was mature storytelling, but...nah.

 

What Remains of Edith Finch - more than an experience than a game. Exploring the house and seeing the breadth of mini games on offer was enjoyable. I think I'll go through this again at some point to see how it all holds together.

 

Boyfriend Dungeon - average dungeon combat is surpassed by joyful dating of swords. Quirky to the extreme but all the better for it.

 

That's it for this year. I've completed a lot more than I usually do and a lot newer things, too, thanks to Game Pass. Long may it continue. I'm deep into Forza Horizon 5 now, so I'm hoping I'll at least get the single player story stuff done for early next year. I've also nearly got Sable and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood done and I've got an itching to play Evil Within, so they're my hot tips for next year.

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I thought I might have managed Halo Infinite in time, but it doesn't look like it'll be the case, so that puts me on a nice and even 30 games for 2021:

 

image.thumb.png.06f590f9cd40bed1656a55b1d9797870.png

 

I'm pleased that I managed to play quite a few 2021 releases this year, as normally I'm a year or so behind, and it felt good to stay relatively up to date and to take part in the conversation. The best from that lot were probably Return of the Obra Dinn, which I've posted about in another thread, as well as Death's Door and Hades, which I've posted about in the Games of the Year voting thread:

 

 

All of them are at the very least half-decent, otherwise I wouldn't have finished them (even Deathloop, which was my most disappointing game of the year). In fact, I only abandoned 11 games this year (

 

Spoiler

Dead Space

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Remnant: From the Ashes DLC

Star Wars: Squadrons

Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

The Nathan Drake Collection

Jedi: Fallen Order

Carto

Grindstone (PC)

 

), whereas I started but didn't finish a whopping 40 in 2020.

 

Thanks to everyone who's participated in this thread - always a pleasure reading people's insights into games they've played, and thanks to everyone who's taken the time to read mine :hat:

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My final tally this year was a massive 88 games. This seems like a lot but only a half dozen where large triple AAA games. Due to the continuing awfulness at Ubisoft and Activision I kept to my own personal vow to stop buying their games. Many of the games I completed were smaller indie titles and a few C64 classics (inspired by @squirtle's excellent C64 podcast Zapped to the Past.) The Sacred Armor of Antiriad may have been a decent challenge back in the day but I can complete it wasily now in ten minutes. GamePass kept delivering and many was the time I gave something a quick try before it leaving the GamePass only to get hooked.

 

Eastshade was a standout, a unique small roleplaying game set on an island with no combat, just trading and painting. I usually hate games with anthropomorphic animals but this game charmed me. I loved cycling around the island so much that I don't think I used fast travel more than once.

 

I returned to Life is Strange 2 and got over the hump and despite not liking it near as much as the other games in the series I think despite that it might be the best one. I was also surprised by how different the endgame could be depending on all the tiny choices you made throughout the game. There's at least a half dozen variants and they aren't decided by the choices in the final chapter. By the time you've made it to the end some options are just locked off invisibly.

 

I don't like horror as a genre much at all, I thought but The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan, Call of the Sea, Oxenfree, Dagon, Stories Untold, Control and Observation were strong favourites for the year.

 

The so close but ruined by poor timing award has to go to The Artful Escape which would have ranked highly were it not for Psychonauts 2 doing psychedelia better and Get in the Car, Loser telling a better story about gender non-conformity.

 

One of my big disappointments for the year was the PS5 we bought instead of the Series X (my partner, a Final Fantasy superfan essentially put money down on the console and we could only afford one.) I do love the haptic feedback. I really love that it's whisper quiet. I love that it's given a second life to some games I have like Star Wars:Fallen Order which was awful on the PS4 but shines in performance mode on the PS5. There are two few games though and they're too expensive a proposition next to gamepass. My partner loves it though purely for Final Fantasy 14 her new obsession, a game I dipped my toe into late in the year. For her though it helped her survive the harsh pandemic lockdown we had serving as a social hub for months.

 

Of course that's no where near the disappointment I held for 12 Minutes, a game which I'd been looking forward to and a game one hour in I loathed. Clunky (did it remind anyone else of Dreamweb from the Amiga days?) and incredibly gross early on I was incredulous later when listening to spoilers about the end game. Another reason I was glad of GamePass.

 

My favourites for this year.

 

Sunset Overdrive Late to the party on this one but I really loved this, it reminded me of Saint's Row 4 but with a real late 80's feel. When I played 720 back in the day I wanted it to be something like this and once I'd completed it I had to force myself to uninstall it to stop playing.

 

Psychnonauts 2 was the sequel I thought would never be made (the other being Beyond a Steel Sky which I really enjoyed) and was a really satisfying end to the first game. I suspect I'm one of those weirdos for whom the game was made as it seems to be so polarising but it made me laugh quite a bit.

 

My absolute favourite for the year was Get in the Car, Loser a surprise free release by Christine Love. For me it was released at just the right time for me and it hit me squarely in the chest with it's themes regarding overcoming self doubt. It also has a great mechanic (more RPGs should have roadtrips as a core mechanic, so far there's this and Final Fantasy 15) and amazing pixel art. I don't expect this to be number one on anyone else's list or even on anyone else's list. It feels like it was made just for me and that's ok. Parts of the game are messy (the combat can feel chaotic at first and it changes the rules part way through in a way that doesn't warn you to the point of needing to revert to an earlier save and respec.) For me it was the right game at the right time.

 

Quote

She said "GET IN THE CAR, LOSER! I know you're not up to anything this summer, I've got the Sword of Fate, and there's an ancient evil that needs to be sealed away."

 

789329-get-in-the-car-loser-screenshot.j

 

My final list.

 

Spoiler

88. 31/12 There is No Game:Wrong Dimension (PC)

87. 29/12 Gun Force 2 (Arcade)

86. 28/12 Lake (PC)

85. 24/12 Final Fantasy 14:A Realm Reborn:Seventh Umbral Era (PC)

84. 21/12 The Gunk (PC)

83. 12/12 The Procession to Calvary (PC)

82. 10/12 The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan (PC)

81. 30/11 Haven (PC)

80. 15/11 Fist II:the Tournament (C64)

79. 14/11 Day of the Tentacle:Remastered (PC)

78.13/11 The Sacred Armour of Antiriad (C64)

77. 9/11 River City Girls (PC) 

76. 6/11 Unpacking (PC)

75. 31/10 Lost Words : Beyond the page (PC)

74. 28/10 Murder by Numbers (PC)

73. 26/10 World Games (C64)

72. 23/10 Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion (PC) 

71. 21/10 Eastshade (PC)

70. 18/10 Super Cycle (C64)

69. 16/10 Concrete Genie (PS4)

68. 10/10 Life is Strange 2 (PC)

67. 09/10 Psychonauts 2 (PC)

66. 09/10 Dagon: by H. P. Lovecraft (PC)

65. 06/10 Fantasy (PC/Arcade)

64. 02/10 Get in the Car, Loser! (PC) (plus Battle on the Big Broadwalk DLC) 

63. 19/09 Superliminal (PC)

62. 18/09 The Artful Escape (PC) 

61. 13/09 Mass Effect 3:Legendary Edition (PS4)

60. 11/09 Boyfriend Dungeon (PC)

59. 29/08 Alpaca Stacka (PC)

58. 24/08 Mass Effect 2:Legendary Edition (PS4)

57. 22/08 Last Stop (PC)

56. 14/08 Omno (PC)

55. 03/08 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PS5)

54. 25/07 Mass Effect:Legendary Edition (PS4)

53. 20/07 Law of the West (C64)

52. 18/07 The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit (PC)

51. 17/07 Ikenfell (PC)

50. 08/07 Final Fantasy 7 Remake INTERmission (PS5)

49. 03/07 Deus Ex Machina Game of the Year 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition (PC)

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

Morkredd 

Katana Zero (PC)

Assassin's Creed Chronicles:Russia (PS4)

The Medium (PC) 

The Ascent (PC)

12 Minutes (PC)

 

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I finished with 53 games I think which, considering I only completed one game in December, is an incredible amount for me. I'm very pleased about it and it is, by far, the most games I've ever completed in my life, made even more pleasing because it was in itself a bump over last year's total (40 I think).

 

I don't think 2022 will see anywhere near close to those numbers, mainly because I have a lot of long RPGs I want to get through, but I will certainly try to keep getting the numbers down.

 

In terms of highlights - well, I really, really enjoyed everything about Quantum Break (yes, even the TV show) and a little SRPG from the co-creators of the Legend of Grimlock games, Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forrest. There's a short FMV title, She Sees Red that offered some fun too. Finally, it was much-maligned, but I enjoyed some online co-op (with randoms) on Dungeons & Dragons Dark Alliance. The Last Stop was great and captured a living world brilliantly but rather threw it all away for me in the final chapter.

 

I tend to play a lot of middling stuff, but even so there were some real disappointments. I thought The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan was genuinely terrible (and I had liked Until Dawn); The Medium had a pointless (and CPU-taxing) central conceit that added nothing to the game and Call to the Sea, which had its fans on here, left me feeling like the setting had been wasted on a pretty boring tale and some dull gameplay.

 

The only other thing of note was that I didn't complete any AAA games - unless Avengers counts? I suppose it does, based on budget. It was mainly indie/mid-tier/bargain basement stuff throughout the year, I think that will be change in 2022 as I finally start hitting some of my bigger games (perhaps this will be the year I actually start The Witcher 3!)

 

Hope 2022 brings happy gaming to you all (whatever that may be) :)

 

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I did quite poor in continuing to write up the rest of the games I played since August and it kept building up like a back log, putting me off. I've managed to list the rest of what I did following on from the last game in the list (all written in the quoted section below) which was ion Fury back in July, but also include a short summary of my thoughts. Interestingly these were all first time plays as well of older games which I've pretty much been doing for the last 18 months or so. 

 

10. Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir (PS4)

 

Played this from the summer period for the first time and spent a few months on it trying to  play it to full completion and did in the end. That means doing all five character story arcs which all interlink and connect as one single bigger picture story being told from each of their own perspectives. It works well and is gorgeous and some amazing work from Vanillaware considering it came out on the PS2. A look at the PS2 footage shows that the game was just as amazing looking back then, but has also been improved from a game play stand point and graphically tightened a little. The negative for me is that I felt it really takes a while to go through in full and I think at the time I stopped playing between some of the endings to do something else. It's impressive though and combat feels fluid and different enough between each character that you play enough to make each one worth mastering on their own merit. While you re-visit places within each play through, there's always new territory and story so it's good that way, but it does take some time to fully do it all. 9/10

 

 

11. Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS)

 

I struggled wanting to talk about this because it's so often highly regarded by pretty much everyone who discusses it. I personally was glad to have gotten to the end of it, however I know it's also not a bad game either and can understand the reasons people love it, for me though, I think I just stretched it out for far too long and drew tired of wanting to come back. It took me like almost two years to finish or something like that. I'd also played LttP not long before I started this too and I'm not one for repeating things over again. As I said though, it's definitely a good game and it's great how they essentially remade LttP but re-imagined it all around a new story repeating history again but not quite the same. The use of new powers was good to see and worked well with the 3D and of course the wall moving trick was definitely a stand out mechanic. I think I almost got everything too as I did all those collectible things and the only things I can think of missing were a couple of quarter hearts. 

8/10

 

12. Streets of Rage 2 (Megadrive Collection PS3) 

 

I think the thing that shocked me (and probably anyone reading this) is that I actually think this is the first time I've played the second one. I say this because I don't remember a lot about the game when I went through it and must have only played the first one as a kid and in later years only think I've tried 1 and 3 out. How outrageous is that given the notoriety of the second game. There may be a possibility I'm wrong but I felt like I just didn't remember the stages as I progressed and my memories were more of the first one and I know I didn't play the last until recent years. The thing is though, I never actually owned a MD back in the 90's so didn't have too much chance to check out the series. I def remember the first game though when a mate of mine had it and those special attacks with the rockets, but when I asked my mate, what happened to those, he said "oh that's the first game". 

 

I have to say though that I can see why this one did well. It was really good and never got stale. The levels weren't overly long and constantly changed, there were loads of ideas going on visually and a large move set to work with. In addition the difficulty wasn't stupid and felt balanced and doable but challenging still. I played it as a co-op game with a mate on normal and as we approached the last level, he died off and I had to continue on with what little remained. I think I just managed to beat the final guy with the last bit of health I had left on the final credit. Felt good and can see why it was an all time favourite of many. I remember the third one being too long for stages and more difficult than it needed to be. 8.5/10

 

13. Bad Dudes (Acrade) 

 

Not much to say as this was a quick co-op on the arcade in Arcade Club (Bury) about 6 weeks ago. I hadn't played this or any of the other versions of it before and it really felt a bit dated for my linking with lots of cheap shots going on and quite stiff action. Wasn't too impressed really. (5/10)

 

14. Under Night In-Birth (Arcade) 1CC

 

This one surprised me as I only played it once, but during that play-through, somehow managed to really flow with my character and get into it so much that not only did I complete the whole game, I didn't even lose a single round at all. I did the same with Rival Schools years back when visiting Sega World and finding a free credit on there. UNIB really felt good to control and I loved using the arcade stick to double tap whilst in the air to quick dash over the opponent, something I learned from playing DBZ Fighters. It felt like a good move to pull off with the stick and was surprisingly useful. Really enjoyed this one and it looks great. I think I might have to get an arcade stick one day. (8/10)

 

15. Darius Burst : CS (Chronicle Saviours) (Arcade)

 

This is another one I had a co-op session with at Bury Arcade Club, and for those of you who've been or in the know of this cabinet, it's really something special indeed. Super immersive as the screen is ultra wide and narrow and it sits inside a cabinet that houses some impressive subs and a series of lights that flash during boss attacks. The experience is super good and one I wouldn't mind trying to play some more of in the future maybe. It was all in Japanese so I couldn't understand the menu options, but there were just a few stages for each run (we did a few) but loads of different branching options. The difficulty does come across quite intense and most of the levels you just spent on the boss. There was one we felt like we'd been continually fighting for 15-20 mins. What's cool is that in the Bury AC, it sits now on it's own in a smaller room dedicated to those sit down Japanese white cabinets and you feel like you're away from all the noise when you're inside. 

(9/10) With the arcade experience a big factor in the score

 

16. Shadow Hearts (PS2)

 

This was great to have finally got from someone on here actually, as I'd picked up 3 without realising and the found out the first one had gone up in price quite high. Managed to get it from someone in Trade months ago and now have all three games for my PS2. Starting with the original, it took me by surprise as I had no prior knowledge about it at all, and wasn't expecting it to have that pre-rendered backdrop style like in RE or FF/Parasite Eve etc. It's also quite a dark story, but doesn't take itself too seriously and a unique battle system relying on hitting a needle on a spinning wheel in specific hit boxes at the right time in order to land attacks or get perfects. This can be annoying at first, but you get used to it eventually and it makes a change. Interestingly, a lot of the action takes place inside environments like the village you're already in as opposed to a separate dungeon. There aren't any mini-games so generally the game isn't as drawn out as some JRPG's, but it still took me around 70 hours or so. Good to have played this and look forward to the others some point this year. 8.5/10

 

17. Nier (PS3)

 

I finished this while recovering from Covid (as I still am) on NYE in the early hours so I'm going to include this here. I do realise there's more important stuff to going back through it though and so I'll probably do a proper written up bit when I've completely done and dusted with it. It's pretty good and more interesting to me upon re-playing as I like what they've done to continue it on as a re-play. The initial playthrough was a combination of amazing scenes and action and story, followed by a lot of boring side quests. I understand I don't need to necessarily do these, but I do often find it impulsive to try and get what I can out of the way first. I've hit about 71% of all the side quests and was glad to see that during the second run, it shows them up as still complete so I don't have to think about repeating any again. Some of them are cool but many having you running about backwards and forwards across long distances to pick up some silly bits of crap. Some of the boss fights are epic and I really enjoyed how some of them move around to different areas within a village/town and have you attack them in a different way as opposed to being stuck in a typical arena. 

 

The reading section after completion on Kaine's story takes the piss royally. I think I spent like at least an hour and a half or two hours before finishing the reading off and being able to properly save. It goes on and on and on and on, but the story introduction to Kaine was brilliant and super engaging, but needed a way to save far earlier.

(8.8/10) 

 

18. Devil May Cry 3 H Remaster (PS3)

 

Very almost forgot about this so I've edited it in afterwards. I played this for the first time fairly recently having only been through 1 & 2 so far and it's definitely a really solid title. The first was amazing and the second one quite poor in comparison, but the third has many throwback vibes of the first again but builds on top of what made that good and contains better and more fluid combat control with more moves. This also made me realise how much Bayonetta was really pulling from this game as it has loads of similarities. Will have to jump onto DMC 4 next at some point. 

 

 

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January

 

1. - Summoner 2 (PS2) 15/01/2021

 

I really fell off this thread last year for the first time since I started recording my completions and part of it was due to building up a back log of text I needed to write but ultimately couldn't face. Therefore I've started afresh for the new year. At some stage last year I decided to go back and return to my PS3 for a few titles and that then led me to go back further and start buying for and resurrecting my original PS2 again. I've been through Siren which was strange, extremely slow paced but fascinating and Drakengard 2 and more recently, Summoner 2. 

 

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Some years back around 7 or so I played the first PS2 RPG Summoner game and while it was clearly dated, I did really enjoy it, and now I've had chance to take a stab at what the 2002 sequel has to offer. Overall it's pretty good once you get past the fact it's from 2002 and evidently quite dated and jankey. There are definitely improvements over the first game graphically as it feels as though there's much more variation in locations and more vibrant colours and better looking environments. One of the biggest changes though is the action which presents itself as a straight up action RPG. The original game from what I vaguely remember was more of an automated battle system where your characters would engage in battle but there was a system which allowed you to chain together multiple successful hits by timing presses. You'd physically walk but not attack in the same way as you do in the sequel which is straight up typical action orientated, allowing you to strike enemies with equipped weapons, use items and scrolls and various types of magic abilities. I did quite like this change and it pauses the game while you are in selection mode for whatever item or magic you are choosing to use. This adds an element of strategy. There are a bunch of characters that quickly get involved in the storyline and usually you'll have up to 4 on the go at one time whilst having several reserve characters in the wait. 

 

I'd say there's definitely quite a bit of challenge going on as it wasn't a breeze to get through, but there's a particular way it has been made that can really land you into trouble if you aren't prepared properly and happens a lot. Generally the game, while open to visit areas you've previously been is quite linear. In many cases once you start the next section of the main story, you're often prevented from going back until the whole segment is complete and this can vary as to how long you'll be unable to do things like shop for items or change characters. It allows you to save at any time apart from when there are enemies around and this can be dangerous as you'll end up saving but then realising you can't turn back to better prepare unless you've got a second recent save. This is made worse when it decides to split you up sometimes even solo or have you cycle through small teams making you utilize character who may be unprepared. Sometimes it auto assigns roles but others you get to choose and if you make the wrong choice I can see this leading to problems. There was a bit near the end where the main character has to leave and I was left with two characters who couldn't use any support magic including healing. Luckily I had heal items, except within moments of tackling some fairly difficult enemies, you end up in a scripted fall scene and suddenly it tells you all of your magic potions and health potions have broken, literally ALL of them so you have nothing. Fortunately one of my characters had a weapon equipped which caused 20% instant death (luckily) and it worked on the enemies I was fighting at the time. I think I'd have massively struggled if I didn't have that. One of my characters during the second to final boss was constantly healing the enemy just by fighting and I had to keep him dead in order to get by. It just felt like the sort of thing generally that wouldn't wash these days, but getting by felt good. 

 

It contains a lot of lore and things you can read and there are some references to the first Summoner game including one of the characters being from the old game, albeit the one I kept dead at the end as he was trying my patience. The cinematics are pretty good such as the opening sequence and the final showdown is great, although I wasn't too sure about the sudden twists in characters you fight at the end as they make a sudden entry into the action very unexpectedly and don't feel as though they are integrated well, especially the last boss character who is barely mentioned in the game at all and so has no real connection and impact. Still it's a pretty decent game with a lot of quirky sidequests, many of which I've not fulfilled but can often almost feel like a point and click in the way you try to suss them out with very little hand holding, but often you'll feel really great when figuring out something unexpectedly. 

 

It's not an overly long game at I'd say probably around 40-45 hours, but still enough to get involved. There are some really quirky moments like the city of masks which has you changing what mask you wear in order to speak to specific people in a strange world beyond. I'd probably have not bothered with this game except of my curiosity since having played the first and knowing it's also the last in the series, however I'm not quite sure which of the two games I prefer. I had really fond memories of the first and pretty sure that one lasted a bit longer. The more I got into it, the further away it felt from the first, but I liked how the first started from the perspective of a guy who had nothing compared to how you're a queen who has a lot of allies and power at her disposal. It felt like it could have been longer in some ways too where as I felt it was about right in the first game. They aren't the sorts of RPG I usually tend to go for as I'm more of a JRPG person when it comes to RPG's as a whole, but it's pretty good.

 

I think I'll give it a 7/10. 

 

February 

 

2. - Forbidden Siren 2 (PS2) 02/02/2021

 

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I've started creating a backlog of completed games to write up so I've got a few, but the main game I finished a few weeks ago was the PS2 game (on the console itself) Siren 2. In fact I'll talk a bit about both Siren 1 & 2 because I went through that later on last year but never updated the thread. 


Siren is quite an obscure, in fact very obscure and forward thinking survival horror title that's mostly forgotten about or unknown generally, however is in some respects an amazing series, but at the same time super frustrating. Interestingly it was created by one of the original guys behind Silent Hill 1 and is very obvious once you start playing as the general atmosphere, designs and even some of the enemies (such as the nurse in 1) are all reminiscent of that title. The difference here though is that they have added a lot of innovation and abstract thinking when it comes to game play and really tried to make something different. In some ways it's good but definitely won't appeal to many unless you're quite a hardcore survival horror fan of the older stuff. Siren 2 also only ever got localised in Europe and didn't make it to the US so it's quite rare really. 


The general way both games work is that you play out a series of individual stages which represent a part of the bigger story, although they are always played out of order and regularly switch between different characters each doing their own thing but merging towards a common aspect to the overall story where often they pair up with one another. Sometimes you'll be on your own and other times with a second character guiding them along a dangerously cautious path. It's very hard to get your head around even after completion but there's a village in 1 and an island in 2 which both end up suffering from some mysterious goings on where the cast of characters get dragged into and end up between worlds just like in Silent Hill with there being a dark and sinister world. There's even a warning "siren" sound just like can be heard in Silent Hill (from what I vaguely remember). The game play involves a really interesting concept where you "sight jack" into other people's vision including enemies and see their point of view as you stealthily attempt to make your way past them or take them on at the right time. It's really well done and adds a massive fear factor which genuinely comes across extremely effectively, but the biggest problem is that general movement and actions in the first game are extremely slow. Factor in the fact you mostly have to restart the whole mission if you die or you're spotted by a rifelman and shot dead instantly. Fortunately, the sequel manages to improve on a lot of things as there are many issues that let the game down but I still really enjoyed the first a lot. One thing for sure though is that it takes a huge amount of patience to get through especially if you aren't using any guides which is pretty much what I did. 


Both games have very similar styles of game play with very similar menu navigation and level select methods, but it took me forever to figure out how everything properly worked in the first game. There's far too little to aid you in that one and it's led to me playing levels and being stuck for a couple of hours only to realise there is no solution available until a condition is met on a different stage first. The sequel never allows you to fall into this trap and purposely goes out of its way to give you more guidance and hints. Not only are you playing lots of stages out of sequence and jumping between characters, but each stage also has a parallel alternative mission which differs a little from the first run through as though something new happened in the story which didn't occur the first time round and can only be activated by carrying out a specific task on another level. Essentially there's a lot that really hadn't been properly thought about in Siren 1 and it makes the game much more of a chore and a headache as a result. 


Another massively frustrating thing about Siren 1 is that when you die, if you happen to have found any collectibles, you lose them all and have to find these again. What's more annoying is that say you reach a checkpoint, if you start the checkpoint, you can restart it but will still be missing those items. This comes across like bad design more than anything else and all of this was fixed in the sequel fortunately.I have to point out that from what I've heard online, it's known as one of the hardest survival horror games out there. Siren 2 is definitely easier but still can be tricky but the first one is ridiculously frustrating and will require lots and lots of attempts like a dark souls game until you really get to know the level and what's going on. I love though how every character is different and control different, has their own weapon or no weapon at all. The rifle on Siren 1 is ridiculously bad to control, like the worst I've ever known for a sniper style sight shot because of the speed and lack of finesse of control. They fix this a great deal with Siren 2. 

 

I have to point out the really unique character model aesthetic design choice to go with modelling real japanese faces onto characters. It can often look goofy and hilarious but also often it really works well, especially in Siren 2 and the fact their faces are animated smoothly, makes it look very real and radiates that emotion perfectly, you know that emotion technology they always talked about (whatever that was) well this is better. There are some brilliant moments that will leave you in tears of laughter. The voices in the first are an odd mix of English over Japanese characters and it does feel out of place, but the sequel has Japanese voice actors who try to do the English in some odd accents. 


Despite the negatives, I was absolutely fascinated by them both and really got sucked into them and the atmosphere. There are several endings and each can be found by just trying to complete all the missions for each stage. It was really odd when I got the first ending the first time though (in Siren 1) because I'd just finished a stage with an 8 year old girl hiding and trying to escape somewhere, only to suddenly be greeted by a cutscene which had nothing to do with her at all and instead a bunch of other characters who played out a scene I'd not even known about so had no idea what was going on. Only by playing other levels afterwards did things start to slot together. It really messes with your head the whole time. I got every ending in the first game but the second one was a massive kick in the balls as I'd just finished the first ending with a few more sections to work on and the save file suddenly corrupted not to long after. These are long games and I must have spent about 50-60 hours on the first one alone. I've ordered another PS2 memory card anyway but it's a shame as I don't think I can be bothered to go through it all again, still I got credits rolling. 


Siren is definitely not going to be for the majority so I probably wouldn't advise playing it, but it's one I'm not going to forget at all and really think it's brilliant. The enemy designs of 2 are really mental and there's a secret made up mini game you find on a fictitious console from 1982 called Kunitoris. I haven't played Deadly Premonition, but I can imagine this being somewhat similar in the way it's portrayed (from what I understand it) as a genius mess. You just never know what to expect as you make progress and it will often pull some really crazy stuff out of the bag. Siren also came out on the PS3 and this is supposed to be a complete remake of the first game. I'll definitely have to check that one out one day but I'm going to leave the series for a while. I'd just bought the first two together from someone on here which is why I played them both. I wonder if we'll ever see a return to the world again in the future?
 

Siren 2 - I'll give it an 8.5 out of 10. 

 

 

3. Celeste (PS4) - Farewell DLC 10/02/2021

 

This is another I've finally managed to get back to and finish off after deciding to take a break for a long while as it's so intense and far more difficult than the main game. Just to get proper access to the DLC you are required to do all the b-sides and collect all the hearts from every chapter prior to it, and that's not easy to do at all. I know it's possible to change the difficulty by tweaking settings but I was very reluctant to do so and in the end refrained completely. I thought I was actually quite close to the end having got through a huge chunk of Farewell but it still took me another 20 hours or so to do the last few sub chapters/verses of the DLC. Trying to get good with wave dashing is highly difficult but eventually I think I got the hang of it. There were many bits where it was easy to mess up the direction of the dashes with the d-pad whilst trying to do multiple sections in a single succession as my thumb would slip slightly. I also found that the best way to deal with the feathers was to switch from d-pad to analogue stick and then back again when out of it and that's something you end up doing a few times over the course of Farewell. 

 

What I love overall is that despite the bar seemingly raising and it being a super difficult game that gets harder and harder, I was always able to get by and nothing felt unfair. It was designed with absolute perfection and I loved how it often has you pondering how on earth to make progress only for persistence to pay off when I'd realise there was something critical I wasn't doing initially. It has a simple set of controls but there are many very subtle things that are really important to pick up on such as how a spring board will give you a jump back. The DLC also introduces quite a few new interactive elements which take a bit of getting use to but once you do then it all seems to fit into place. 

 

I can't stress though this was one extremely difficult challenge and far more intense than the main game but it amazes me how persistence paid off and I could feel myself getting better and better. In the end it took me about 93 hours to get to this point and I had around 20.8k deaths with almost half of them in the DLC alone. Farewell was something like 37 hours for me and it amazes me how there are runs that take it down under an hour; one I've seen within about 18 minutes with outrageous twitch speed play style. 

 

My main goal with Celeste was to get the DLC done and that's achieved now so I can feel it's done, however I still have the C-Sides to do and have managed to do the first two areas so far. I got 5 strawberries from Chapter 8 to get too but I have the rest. As for the golden berries, that's not even something I consider part of the main game. It's like an insanity mode for speed runner experts. I only found out recently that there's literally another area that appears if you manage to get through the entire DLC without dying and it supposedly starts you back at the beginning of the DLC on death. It's like that trophy on the Megaman 9 or whatever where you had to finish the game without taking a single hit. 

 

Overall though, Celeste was pretty much my Game of "my" Year in 2020 and sits in a special place. 

 

10/10

 

4. Limbo (PS4) 14/02/2021

 

After all the hectic stress of getting through Celeste DLC I wanted to play something very different in tone and Limbo is the perfect game to relax to with its slower pace and artsy yet moody picturesque visuals and theme. This one's getting pretty old now but one I always liked the look of back when I first got my PS3 and in fact it was released before I even got one of those. Limbo takes me back to when I first noticed the surge of indie titles sweeping in amongst the consoles, along with a few other well known ones around the time such as Braid and Fez. Well received and well loved from what I'd seen and it always sat there in the back of my mind that one day I aught to check this one out. That never really materialised until I decided to fire up my PS4 for the first time in quite a while and (aside from finish Celeste) browse through the store. I'm not one for buying digital much but I was looking for a cheap sale and this came up at a very modest price of just £2 which sealed the deal for me quite quickly. 

 

The game itself is nice; I'm not going to say it's the best game ever and should be a 9 or a 10 even though it's highly appreciated by many, simply because I enjoyed it but it's just not long enough for me personally and I didn't find myself attached enough unlike Celeste which was such a different experience and left far more impact. It didn't take long at all, maybe 4 hours and I have no desire to return to it again either, however it is amazingly nice looking and holds up amazingly well considering its age. I can see why it really must have made an impact back when it was new but these days there are so many mesmerising artistic experiences out there to compare it to. It does do a really good job of setting up an atmosphere and the silhouette black and white noire style feels, make it fathom something that belongs from a 30's dracula esque style era in some ways, giving it a strong sense of identity. The blends between layers and blurry out of focus elements work brilliantly like you're playing through a microscope at times. There is a deep moody loneliness filled with immediate dangers around each corner or rather screen, and what I love about this is that each experience is different. It never repeats the same thing over and over but rather attempts to switch things up continually to keep it interesting and envelops a sense of wonder as you carefully tread forward ever wary of the next trap, no idea what to expect.

 

Featuring numerous puzzles, this physics based game really impressed me as to how organic and natural it handles when being put into motion as you drag, push and pull or swing on things. There's a lot of subtle attention to detail and often I found myself in situations were I'd momentarily be scratching my head only to suddenly realise what the genius solution actually was in order to get up to an impassable platform. I wouldn't say that these puzzles are particularly difficult overall though but there's a little bit of a challenge here and there. It didn't take long to get by though each time I'd arrive at a new dead end but if I was to say what this game reminded me of loosely, it would be Another World but I enjoyed that one more than this and only played it for the first time in recently years. 

 

Once you arrive at the end it gives you the option to replay again and hides a number of cleverly hidden eggs (many of which I missed) but I don't think I'm going to bother as I wasn't invested enough and just wanted to play something to bridge a gap. For that purpose though this is the perfect game and at a price that couldn't be scoffed at whatsoever. 

 

It's a very nice game and can see why it appeals to many, for me personally though I'm going to give it a respectable 8. I'm sure many have already played this one. If you are into your short games and want something relaxing, historically renowned amongst modern indie puzzle platformers, not too intense, visually appealing and less than 4 hours long then this is for you.

 

5. Ziggurat (PS4) [2014]

 

I've got a couple of completed games I've been meaning to add but putting it off and as I'm now approaching the end of a new one, decided it would be best to get these up on here now. Back in Feb I downloaded Limbo and Ziggurat from the PSN Store, while already familiar with Limbo but not with Ziggurat thought I'd take a punt especially as it was quite literally about 79p. Turns out it's well worth checking out and has a lot of replayability. Ziggurat has been around since 2014 and plays very much like Hexen but exists as a rogue-like. That is to say that it's a oldskool fast paced FPS style game in a modern engine (Unity), where you can choose from numerous characters to play as and try to get past 5 stages with 5 bosses where a death spells the end of the game requiring a restart.

 

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In true RL fashion, the dungeon crawl style layouts always randomly generate with many different weapons and abilities becoming available every restart. You pick up cards which give you an option of choosing one of 2 or more which enhance various abilities such as faster attack speed, or being given the location of a hidden room on the map, sacrificing weapons to gain another random set and loads of others. The more you play, the more types you unlock in addition to unlocking new available characters each providing their own stats. The level progression has the player traversing through many different rooms where you'll either find some sort of pick up item inside (for example to unlock a boss encounter) or more commonly fight a wave of enemies. Once a room is cleared you can then move on and try the next, but once you enter a room of enemies you can't leave until it's complete or until you die. To make it more interesting there are many times that a caveat will be placed on the battle for the room you enter whereby every enemy and yourself take on a special set of rules and sometimes this puts you at an advantage then other times you will be put to the test as the enemies have the upper hand. There are loads of these and some are truly annoying such as only being able to fire when in the air. Additionally there are several possible bosses that you can come up against per stage, so it keeps each play fresh as there's no way to know who you'll be fighting until you get there. It progressively gets harder, but you also build up abilities to try and balance that difficulty in hope that you can make it past the fifth and final boss. 

 

I've only completed it once, but actually managed it quite quickly after around 6 attempts as I got a good run. I got the last boss another time on a separate playthrough but was much weaker and found it very tough. It's quite addictive due to the nature of this style of game and all the unlockables you get after continuously replaying. There's also a daily challenge which is different each time but you always get one chance and no more to see how far you can progress on an endless run. Visually it looks nice and the controls are tight. It can often get really hectic but there's this itch to get back on and try again if you like these sort of games. I think the actual standard price is less than £3 so would recommend it for those wanting quick blast game play with a focus on action. A full run may take about 2 hours at the most but there's a trophy to make it through in about 45 mins so it can be done quite fast. Kept me entertained for a week or two and I can see myself coming back to this on and off, although I'm spending more time with other consoles so haven't touched it in a while. 

 

7.5/10

 

6. Drakengard 2 (PS2) 2005/06

 

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Currently I've been really getting back into my PS2 and PS3 buying games again that I've missed and bagged this on ebay a while back some point late last year. As a fan of the first game and owning that for years, I've wanted to try out the other two games but this one has always been pricey, often around the £60 mark when I last looked. I was fortunate enough to get it for just under 30 and having now fully finished it completely, it's time to talk about it here. Originally I was supposed to add this to my last few games I finished last year, but I never actually got round to writing those up, however I can justify it being here this time because to get the true completion, you are required to play the whole game from start to finish 3 times in total, each time gaining a different end boss fight sequence and a different story ending and I've done just that so here we are. 

 

I think Drakengard 2 has often been regarded as a hit and miss, partly because it's not very well known anyway but I seem to recall comparisons made between the overall tone of this one vs the grittier nature of the first and better protagonist. Whilst it's true that the this comes across a little that way, it's really cool how you meet the protagonist from Drakengard 1 in here along with his dragon Angelus, and it's such a cool badass entrance which paints a reminder of that title. It isn't quite as mental as the first one either as I distinctly remember fighting a giant baby fetus or something like that and the music was a darker too, but it's still a decent game with a really good story that sucked me in. The style of D2 remains very much like the first with huge waves of enemies in open areas but also progressions through smaller corridors in caves and buildings that switch it up with a Dynasty Warriors vibe about the action but with a style of story and tone I prefer over ancient Japan. It's also got the flight stages too which play out very like Panzer Dragoon. You also build up your character's levels and also build up the level of weapons you use, gaining new combos as you go similar to the first, however a big difference this time is that you journey through the land building up a small team of 4 characters who can be switched on the fly, each with their own weapon types and health/magic bars. Each person is suited to their own enemy types and situations so you find yourself hopping between each one a lot if the situation arises. 

 

One of the things I loved about the first Drakengard was how it brought in the 5 endings without the need to actually restart from the beginning. You'd go through a bunch of chapters, but there were gaps missing and upon completion of the first ending, you'd learn it wasn't over and that you needed to play specific stages prior to the hidden chapters/verses and qualify a challenge (finishing a stage under a certain time limit I think) before being given access to a completely new story branch that not only had new stages and new ending, but also a new final boss and new key characters who would come into the story. Drakengard 2 makes it a pain in the arse because it means completely restarting again as a new game+ or ++. Each time you start though, you continue with your stats and get given a bunch of money and keep all weapons. There are also new one's to be found and you find yourself improving the characters as you go along. It also starts off with you being overpowered but then that changes further into the game as the difficulty increases beyond the last play. It's challenging but doable and doesn't have a super annoying final boss encounter like in the first game. If you know the game then you'll know exactly what I'm referring to (those black and white rings). It is a pain in the arse at times though but I managed to pull through and get it done. Turbo feature on a pad massively helps with the fluidity of pulling off combos without constantly bashing the buttons over and over destroying your fingers. It should be a standard feature in the game. 

 

Graphics are obviously dated but they still look good and I felt very much in control when I got good at it. There are some annoying moments where I'd spend half an hour on a stage only to die and have to start over, but I was determined to keep on going. It does get repetitive with the hordes of enemies but I still love it. If you die then you get chance to restart with no experience lost, although the biggest flaw is that you can't save it until the level is complete. This means if you're on a stage and have spend a couple of hours trying to get past it and still struggling, you're either going to lose ALL the experience gained or must keep going. It seems stupid not to let you save. 

 

Music wise I love it, really really love it. The main theme for example is outstanding. Orchestral and really full of emotion and cool melodies and energy. 

 

I'll conclude here, and say that it's a really good game, but that's because I'm a massive fan of the series. The bosses are enjoyable as they are quite different and present their own challenges which can appear tough but are doable. The last playthrough really pushes you though and by the time I got to the last boss, I initially found it impossible until I switched a certain item that helped massively and did some more levelling up. I did pretty much every optional quest and must have spent a total of about 130 hours or so going through it three times. It's long but I've played many RPG's that take me just as long to do them once. I'm the kind of player who hates to repeat games more than once but did so because I got every ending in the first game, so wanted to try and get the most out of this too and for the price I paid, I easily got something out of it. While I was playing this, a friend of mine suddenly asked to borrow the original from me and finally got all 5 endings for the first time and I've just lent him this one a few days back. I'll definitely be getting Drakengard 3 at some point. 

 

Score 8.5/10

 

April

 

7. Resonance of Fate (PS3) 24/04/2021

 

Before I finish the next thing on my list, I thought I'd write up this to avoid a backlog, and this being Resonance of Fate, an RPG published by Sega and made by Tri-Ace. I've been on a PS3 kick for a bit now and got this a few months back knowing next to nothing about it whatsoever other than vaguely recollecting its title. I was surprised to find that the makers of Star Ocean were actually behind this, however it's actually incredibly different from that in just about every aspect. In fact I've come to learn that generally it's regarded as quite a unique RPG in its own right and people either get it or they don't. The main difference is how the battle system operates among other things which I'll get onto later. 

 

 

RoF features two guys and a gal operating to form the core of a team right from the off. There's a brief introduction showing the girl (Leanne) attempting to commit suicide a couple of years prior, but being saved by Zephyr, another team member, however once it's over you are pretty much left to explore and have full control of abilities right from the off. This also makes it a steep learning curve to work out how to battle and while I was wandering the map world I ended up landing my first random battle which led to mighty confusion and ultimately a game over screen not having the foggiest about what to actually do. Fortunately there's an arena nearby and a listed tutorial showing you how to battle properly. Sadly this is quite long and it can take a while to go through, not to mention it's not explained too well so can take a bit of perseverance to get your head around. This is one of the aspects that has put people off, but once you get the basics, the rest follows and it really is an excellent and enjoyable system that's so different from any other RPG I've played to date. Guns are the main fighting force (along with grenades and molotovs) and it works by controlling each player at a time and setting up a shot either directly at an enemy or allowing the character to go into a mode where you'll run in a straight line and blast while running or jumping and shooting. Depending on the weapon, you deal either normal damage which tends to take off very little or "scratch damage" which isn't real damage, but if real damage touches a scratch damaged person, then they lose it all instantly. It's a bit like working with a shield but is weapon dependent. There are a bunch of other tricks to get your head around and dealing with shields surrounding the enemies is another important aspect. It's also got less to do with Hit Points as it has to do with losing bezels, each of which have 1000 points of scratch damage. Once all the bezels get damaged then you're on your last legs with HP damage and this is where things really do get hugely disadvantaged and leave you open. Ultimately there's a lot to think about tactically while undertaking a battle, but with a fluid action orientated feel that keeps it moving without feeling like a TRPG. 

 

 

The world is set up a huge tower run entirely by clockwork, but rather than being inside a tower, there are a series of outer platforms connected above and below one another almost like leaves on a vine with elevators running between each platform. The higher the platform, the closer to royalty and therefore wealth and affluence the area is, while trundling to the depths much lower down reveal hostile areas with broken, run down and dirty places with the poor taking up residence there. The towns (of which there arent a great deal of) actually look really nice and have that Final Fantasy 7, 8 and 9 look and about them with lots of detail made to the environments where you'll see all sorts of mechanisms made of cogs turning and alive. Outside of these however, it's not quite as impressive. There are dungeon areas and generally the spots where the fighting takes place and they look rather dull and more like a step down in generation in comparison, featuring very bland and basic 3D looking areas. What's more is that a dungeon is made up of a series of connecting blocks (or hexagons to be more accurate) which act as rooms where each one has a fight inside. It's not about exploring but more about fighting and fighting and yeah you get the point. It feels manufactured for the sake of the game rather than an organic flowing environment urging you to look around, take in the sights and explore. On top of this is the main map which isn't like most RPG's and looks like a board game with a marker on top of a board of hexagons. You are blocked by filled in hexagons at first, but get hold of tetris-a-like pieces which can remove the blockages, uncover pathways to progress and reveal hidden items while you do. There's more to this part of the game too but I'll not go into it too much. You also find yourself going backwards and forwards all the time, expecially if you attempt to do all the side missions, and each time you'll find that talking to the same people dotted around will reveal new information during each new chapter of the game. It's cool but did make the whole thing feel repetitive, and I didn't quite feel like I was exploring a huge world but rather a small section of a structure spread across 12 or so floors. I was yearning to leave the entire place and end up on some planet at the bottom but that never happens. 

 

The story is one of the things that grew to annoy me more and more as it progressed, and it's largely down to the lack of direction. For a very very long time you get very little information on the main plot aside from brief cutscenes at the beginnings of chapters and ends which for the most part can be very confusing as they are so detached from what you'll be doing, especially as almost all the missions tend to have nothing to do with the main story. It's also purposely cryptic and I read the Western release has some cruicial cutscene information removed about one of the characters. I spent literally about 115 hours on my play through, way longer than I expected but tbf I've done this many many times before on lots of other RPG's. As time went on, I just lost interest in the story and had only half an idea of what was going on at the best of times. Japanese games love to do this sort of thing but I feel it was far too loose and disconnected leading me to just end the game with more confusion than when I began it. I wanted to like it as it does have some interesting ideas. After reading up the main thread on here about RoF, I've seen something about there being 10 difficulties but I don't fancy playing it ever again I don't think. In some ways I felt this way when playing Bravely Default, as there were things I hated about it but at the same time I really liked it. I have to also point out the clothing options which are purely aesthetic, and while not usually the sort of thing I'd be into, the designs of clothing in here are really really good. They look more like actual real fashion and not some pseudo-RPG-centric outfits. 

 

 

Overall it is a decent game if you can get into the battle system, then you'll have fun and I can say that it does have a lot of depth to it which make you think first before blindly running into a battle. Some battles are a bloodbath unless you use the right approach which quite often makes a battle go from insanely difficult to super easy once you know the correct exploit. 

 

I'm going to settle on a 7.5 for this. 

 

June

8. Tomb Raider (PS3) 2013

 

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I haven't updated my list of finished games for a few months so I've got a couple coming up starting with this, Tomb Raider the start of the current reboot of the franchise. It wasn't particularly one I'd planned to actually play but I'd ended up with it as part of a bundle of PS3 games I got from someone on here a few months ago so thought I'd try it out despite this also being on the PS4. It was fun to see how it played on the older system and despite the obvious short comings of frame rate on occasions, overall the presentation is amongst one of the best I've played on the PS3 so far, bearing in mind I haven't actually played any of the Uncharted games which I can imagine are equally as impactive. It's been a fair while since I've played any Tomb Raider game before this and those have been among the older variety on the PS1 with Legends being the most current and that was at least 17 years ago or so. This game definitely feels a far cry from the days way back but it's quite good overall. Not amazing but pretty good however I'd say that the overall presentation of the game and the many action scenes which are often interactive adding that semi controllable QTE really surprised me and made it forget how good the PS3 can look at times. 

 

There's a darker tone and atmosphere going on and a focus on story where you're often isolated on an island after being stranded there following an accident uncovering the sinister activities going on as you try to escape with your crew. For me the story wasn't grabbing me enough and felt quckly forgettable as I just didn't feel as though I cared enough for the characters and when it came to the main antagonist, he also wasn't around much at all. For the most part you'd be reading notes trying to figure out more on the back story but the main bad guy never felt threatening enough because he's rarely there. Even at the end he kind of becomes irrelevant but then I'd often spend the majority of the time simply exploring and trying to pick up all of the collectibles. There are a bunch of them, and often I dislike it when games try to Ubify the experience by adding too much but it just about worked as I got everything done a lot quicker than many others out there. These collectibles come in two forms; the one's which become added to the map after certain conditions are met and the ones which aren't revealed and require patience and perseverance to find. To make it more interesting though each area has its own unique collectible type in this category and fortunately there's one of those Metroid Prime/Assassin's Creed style scanning abilities which let you identify objects easier which can be activated when you're not moving. I actually prefer the less is more approach of the original games where there'd be secret areas and maybe a golden rose in each location but then that's it. Obviously in this day and age we have to add as much content as possible. Fortunately it can all be done in not too much time and still feels a lot lighter than say an Assassin's Creed game. This includes levelling up every single item in the game which is another typical mechanic.

 

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The weapons are quite cool, especially the bow and the abilities you get to fire and attach rope to posts so that you can crawl across to an impossible to reach section or sometimes being able to anchor the grapple section of the rope into a post only to pull it collapsing an entire rickety building that's hanging precariously in ruins on the edge of a drop following some explosions. There's a tool that allows you to ride the rope which is great as well. I had a few loose Horizon Zero Dawn moments while playing with the bow and fighting people, mixed in with Assassin's Creed and some Metroid Prime with the scanning and acquiring abilities to make progress. The music is OK in that it serves its purpose to carry the mood but is very generic really and forgettable. 

 

Overall Tomb Raider is quite like that typical AAA blockbuster cinema film that you might go and watch and (If you're like me) you'll think, yeah that was pretty good but it's not thought provoking or going to stick around in my mind and make me want to talk about it or cherish it in the long run. The biggest thing for me was just seeing how good it looked for a PS3 game and it really did surprise me, but as I said, I've not actually played an Uncharted game before and I'm going to make the presumption here that from UC2 onwards, they are in a similar league and style. I did play the Last of Us but that was on the PS4 and was the Remaster. Again another amazing game but TR is all about that flashy over the top action that feels largely hand holdey and guided down a path with many stops to allow you to breathe, upgrade things and search for more collectibles. I'm not feeling the rush to jump into the next one of the three...what's it called? Rise of the Tomb Raider or something, but you never know maybe one day. 

 

My final score is 7.5 

 

Oh another thing I want to add to this, and I'm not sure if this is more down to the PS3 version being less smooth than say a modern one, but I had moments of nausea when playing this. In fact there was one day I thought I might have had food poisoning and went to work anyway as I felt like utter shit, but there was something about TR that made me feel a bit sickly on a few occasions. I decided to try and look into it a bit and did find some talk from other users stating the same thing about it. Could it be the way the scan thing flashes when you activate it frequently while trying to constantly search, or maybe the way the framerate drops. Not sure but it's not something that often bothers me aside from VR which I've had sickness from the two times I've tried it out. 

 

July

 

9. Ion Fury (PS4) 2019/20

 

I seem to recall the brief controversy that surrounded this one a while back from the initial title being called Ion Maiden and the lawsuit that followed, down to the questionable naming of their hand soap dispenser bottles. That latter one gained some traction within the Rllmuk walls prompting a few to boycott the game entirely, and whilst I have to agree that the latter issue was a ridiculous inclusion that baffles me as to why it would be acceptable, the core game itself is brilliant. For those who are curious, the game included a product that imitated the Olay brand re-naming it to Ogay. 

 

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It isn't by any means perfect, and others have pointed out some of the flaws I'd also agree on to some extent, but it's still a very good throw back FPS game which takes you back to a time that Duke Nukem 3D was the latest craze. Firstly I love the way that it has been designed from the ground up using the actual engine that was used to make Duke Nukem 3D in addition to others such as Blood and Shadow Warrior, so when you play this you are bound by the same limitations and accuracies that the old games also had meaning that it's a perfect throwback with zero modernisation. It's also damn well playable and fun with the sole aim of trying to be something along the lines of a new-old version of Duke Nukem in a different guise throwing a female protagonist into the mix. It's got its fair share of slightly crass humour which can sometimes feel a bit on the cringe side, but personally this didn't bother me as I wanted to feel like I was playing a game from the mid 90's but one that didn't exist until now, almost like it belonged in a parallel universe and happened to transfer across the ether via the Mandela Effect. It certainly succeeded and feels very comfortable on the PS4 controller especially when you get fully used to it and properly stuck in the action. It served to remind me that this style of game such as Doom or any of the other games from then are just as fun and playable now as they were then, injecting a fresh change from our modern gaming. I'd obviously get bored if I had to play numerous games of this exact style, but considering it's the first time in years I've done so, it was definitely welcomed. I think the last one I played that was anywhere close to this was maybe Doom 64 around 2001. 

 

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The graphics go for that 2D enemy sprite look with the occasional side on views that pop in and out as you strafe around, lots of high powered guns, cheesy one liners and plenty of secrets. In fact they seem to hyper focus on the secrets putting them just about everywhere on each stage. There are 30 stages I think in total and these are grouped to make up specific chapters with a boss fight scenario before finishing a chapter and starting the new area, also with a message to let you know how many secrets are left. The music is great and has that futuristic Deus Ex vibe about it with authentic tones that totally fit the bill and are quite catchy. I love the bass tune that plays when you find a secret spot as well. 

 

It isn't perfect though as I noticed even on here some people mentioned that there can be a lot of samey enemies. Whilst that is quite true, as you progress deeper in there are quite a lot of types but it takes a while to get to them all. Many aren't designed in the most imaginative ways though and can feel a little bland and sometimes derivative. The boss fights aren't that exciting either and I was certainly disappointed by the final boss, if you can even call it a boss. Some of the environments can also get a bit like that too such as being in the sewers for ages or some of the tech plants, yet there are some cool environments in here too and of course many places have those charming interactive elements to them with destructible environmental objects. 

 

Overall though, this was one of those games I picked up because there were physical copies going for a tenner and I put it on as a break from an RPG I'm currently playing, then got so sucked in that I didn't want to leave it at all. In fact I played some of the bonus content when it was over. My run was on the normal difficulty and it definitely gave a bit of a challenge, but I could feel myself getting much better as I progressed. The bonus content turned out to be the demo which was almost like a beta version of one of the stage and I tried it on hard and handled it fine once I'd got enough ammo and weapons. I'd recommend this for anyone who was a fan of these style games in the past and hasn't dipped back into them for a while. It's also made me want to check out a few of the other modern oldskool style boomer-shooters (as they're now known as) which I've seen mentioned. There's one that someone posted on here recently that looks more like a new Unreal Tournament. Earlier this year there was a mention of a new Ion Fury game called Ion Fury Aftershock that I can imagine I'll get at some point when it releases. 

 

8.5/10

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28/12/2021 - Halo: Infinite

 

This feels like a bit of a bum note to end the year on, but looking back on Halo Infinite I felt it was all a bit underwhelming.

343 absolute have the fundamentals locked down now. The combat at the heart of the game, along with the thirty seconds of fun is incredible, and scales well across the difficulty levels as you'd hope. They've also made some neat additions, most notably the grappling hook which is so satisfying to use that it's almost overpowered.

Unfortunately I didn't find the campaign itself particularly memorable. The linear levels were mostly forgettable, and indistinguishable corridor trudges. The minority of missions taking place in the open world were much better, especially the AA gun mission which was superb, but I feel like there should have been far more of these, and less of the linear stuff.

Going back to that open world, while it sounded like it would be an obvious and perfect fit for a Halo game, as some of the best missions in the older games have taken place in what were essentially mini open worlds already. Some of the side missions in Infinite were great fun too, allowing you to approach from different angles and enjoy the sort of freeform combat that shows the game at its best. However, ultimately there wasn't much variety in either the side missions or the environments, making it all feel quite repetitive after a while. It also really dragged down the pace of the campaign.

And then there were the bosses. Good lord they were bad! I played through most of the game on Heroic, which was perfect for the made some of the bosses an exercise in frustration. The worst for me was a fight with a hammer wielding, shield equipped Brute in what was basically a tight corridor. Deaths felt almost random, and it was simply not fun. At the other end I really enjoyed one boss, mainly because it allowed me to make use of the open world where I felt I had some control.

Finally I have to mention the story. It was bad. Really bad.

A lot of people didn't like the direction Bungie took the story after CE, and I completely understand why. Personally though I really enjoyed the story all through the Bungie games, and even quite liked where things seemed to be going in 4. Let's not mention 5 though, and Infinite's story was even worse. 343 were clearly trying to make this something of a soft reboot, while also tying up their loose ends from 5, but the route they took was both underdeveloped and really boring. Hopefully things will get more interesting in any future campaigns they add on.

This all sounds very negative, but I did enjoy the game for the most part. The core combat was so strong that it massively compensated for the game's many flaws, but I really hope things improve going forwards.

 

And there we go! Bring on 2022.

 

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 +

August

07/08/2021 - Yakuza: Like A Dragon
16/08/2021 - Death's Door

September

15/09/2021 - The Artful Escape
29/09/2021 - Life Is Strange: True Colours

October

22/10/2021 - Super Metroid

November

22/11/2021 - Metroid Dread

December

14/12/2021 - Guardians of the Galaxy
28/12/2021 - Halo: Infinite

 

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A disappointing year where I started a lot of games and then got sidetracked and barely completed anything. Hopefully I'll complete more games this year.

 

Full list below:

 

01. 13/01 - Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PS4)

02. 01/03 - Phar-Lap: Horse Racing Challenge (Xbox One)

03. 03/04 - 428: Shibuya Scramble (PS4)

04. 13/04 - Catherine: Full Body (PS4)

05. 09/05 - Steins Gate Elite (PS4)

06. 13/05 - Code Realize: Guardian of Rebirth (PS4)

07. 12/07 - Katamari Damacy Re-Roll (PS4) 

08. 15/07 - Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! (PS4)

09. 18/07 - 11-11 Memories Retold (PS4)

10. 26/07 - The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (PS4)

11. 06/09 - My Hero One's Justice 2 (PS4)

12. 21/10 - Nascar Heat 4 (PS4)

13. 18/11 - Guardian's of the Galaxy (Xbox Series)

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I thought I'd add a little personal GOTY post here, because why not?

 

Mogster's Official Best Game I Played In 2021 - Sekiro

 

This wasn't my first attempt at playing Sekiro. I tried it on the One X when it came out, but it never really clicked with me and I didn't get on with the combat. I thought this might have been the one From Soulslike that just wasn't for me, and left it. I bought the PC release in a sale though, and for whatever reason all my issues evaporated. Almost every fight in the game was immensely rewarding, as even the losses taught me something. I must have spent hours attempting the final boss over and over again, and that final victory was just glorious. I still watch the recording every now and then. :D

 

FINAL BOSS SPOILER VIDEO

 

Spoiler

 

 

Nothing else came close to the experience of playing Sekiro for me, so it was an easy choice for my personal favourite last year. Let's see if Elden Ring can match it.

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2 hours ago, Mogster said:

I thought I'd add a little personal GOTY post here, because why not?

 

Mogster's Official Best Game I Played In 2021 - Sekiro

 

This wasn't my first attempt at playing Sekiro. I tried it on the One X when it came out, but it never really clicked with me and I didn't get on with the combat. I thought this might have been the one From Soulslike that just wasn't for me, and left it. I bought the PC release in a sale though, and for whatever reason all my issues evaporated. Almost every fight in the game was immensely rewarding, as even the losses taught me something. I must have spent hours attempting the final boss over and over again, and that final victory was just glorious. I still watch the recording every now and then. :D

 

FINAL BOSS SPOILER VIDEO

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 

Nothing else came close to the experience of playing Sekiro for me, so it was an easy choice for my personal favourite last year. Let's see if Elden Ring can match it.


sounds like the feeling I got from finishing the Farewell DLC in Celeste earlier in the year. 

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For 2021 completeness, a quick wrap up...

 

23. Lego Jurassic World (XB1) - More Lego game fun, one of the more polished ones. - 7/10

 

24. Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (XB1) - The newest of the Batman games but actually isn't really a Batman game and more a DC/Justice League game, my son loved it - 7/10

 

25. Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes  (XB1) - Despite now being 10 years old this held up surprisingly well - 7/10

 

26. Paw Patrol: Adventure Bay  (XB1) - Very accessible 3D platformer. My son did it basically solo in about 3 hours. - 7/10

 

It has certainly been a year of Lego games in this house! But it's been a lot of fun to share gaming with my son, and after one year since getting his controller he is genuinely becoming a little gamer (in moderation!). He is now playing, you guessed it, Lego DC Super Villains and still having fun. We are considering a Switch for him later in the year but are slightly mindful that he can get a bit obsessive over it and it'll be harder to police/easier to ignore so we'll see.

 

As for my own gaming in 2021... things slowed up a lot for me in the last quarter of the year with work/family stuff getting in the way of my free time (alongside a hefty MCU catch-up) but looking at my list I got through more than I thought. My GOTY is definitely Horizon Zero Dawn. I pumped 80+ hours into that and loved all of it, I am day one on the sequel.

 

I'm currently about half way through The Last of Us: Part 2 which will probably be my first 2022 completion.

 

Happy 2022 gaming all! :) 

 

On 09/10/2021 at 19:38, 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

17. The Last Campfire (iOS) - 9/10

18. The Pathless (iOS) - 7/10

19. Rain on Your Parade (XB1) - 7/10

20. Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 (XB1) - 6/10

21. Deathloop (PS5) - 8/10

22. Omno (XB1) - 8/10

 

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Some late housekeeping to finish off the 2021 completions list!

 

29. Yakuza Kiwami 2

 

As this was disappearing from Game Pass at the end of December I was panicking I wouldn't get it done in time. I needn't have worried. With the week before Christmas off work I rattled through it with a week to spare. I think this was my favourite Yakuza so far (out of Zero, Kiwami and this) mainly for the polish rather than the storyline, which was of course excellent anyway.

 

30. Townscaper

 

I played this a little each day to get an easy achievement for the daily reward. It's nice and relaxing but I don't feel any pull to carry on building now I've got all the achievements. It's more of a toy than a game, I suppose.

 

31. Lost Words: Beyond the Page

 

This was wonderful, and I don't want to say much about it because everyone should play it and I don't want to spoil anything. It has two interwoven, parallel stories, one about a girl going through some stuff and the other the fairy story she writes while she's dealing with that stuff. It's not long but it's absolutely lovely and it made me cry.

 

32. Unpacking

 

Also wonderful, and an absolutely brilliant way of telling quite an emotional story without words or even any characters on screen. Short, sweet and brilliant.

 

So there you have it, 32 games completed in 2021, far and away the most I've ever managed in a year, and all down to Game Pass. And 2022 is already off to a similar start but I'll put save that for the right thread.

 

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

18. Pikuniku

19. Aragami

20. Last Stop

21. Omno

22. What Remains of Edith Finch

23. The Artful Escape

24. Katamari Damacy

25. Sniper Elite 4

26. Sable

27. Superliminal

28. Yakuza Kiwami

29. Yakuza Kiwami 2

30. Townscaper

31. Lost Words: Beyond the Page

32. Unpacking

 

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Time for a bit of quick housekeeping.

 

Astros Playroom (PS5)

I’m assuming that everyone who has managed to secure a PS5 has played through this so I don’t have much to add. As a platformer its solid, as an introduction to what the DualSense offers its effective and as something to showcase the history of Playstation it’s a joyful experience.  7/10

 

Links Awakening (Switch)

The first remake of a Gameboy game that I beat last year and this was clearly the better game. As I never played the original I’m not sure how much they changed for this but I didn’t hit any sticking point where it clear that the developers had kept something from the original that should probably have been changed. Maybe the feather should have been a dedicated button given how often you needed to use it instead of it being something that needs equipping regularly but that’s a very minor gripe. It looks lovely but there are regular performance dips. Its not gamebreaking but it shouldn’t really be happening. 8/10

 

God of War (PS5)

Very late to the party on this one but I’m not sure that matters much now, its not like the PS1 days where games aged liked cheese in the sun over the course of the generation.

Would it shock people to find out that this is really good? The first boss fight is a bit of a difficulty spike on whats otherwise a very smooth curve until the very last optional battle, which I hated. The game still gives you the platinum even if you drop the difficulty to easy, which I did for that final battle, which is nice.

9/10

 

Rain on your Parade (Series X)

One of those games that could just as easily be classed a digital toy. I’d put Donut County in the same category and based on the amount of people I’ve seen drawing comparisons between the two games I’m obviously not alone in that.

If you treat it like a toy then it’s a great distraction. Treat it like a game to get through and farm for achievements and it doesn’t hold up so well.

6/10

 

Last Stop (Series X)

If you judged this purely as a “game” it is probably a 2/10. Theres not much depth to the action and I’m not sure if its even possible to “fail” a sequence. You get to make some limited choices but they aren’t reflected in the “last time on last stop” cutscenes when you start a chapter so do they even matter? The last chapter is also batshit crazy. I enjoyed experiencing it but I don’t think it built on Viriginias strongest aspects.

6/10

 

Samus Returns (3DS)

The second Game Boy remake I beat this year. Going back to the 3DS is a bit of a shock to the system at this point as you are practically going back to the PS2 days. The game is solid but nothing remarkable. Once you master the counter system, which is generous with its timings, then there isn’t much challenge in the game until you hit the final boss. Once you realise that the key to winning that battle is to go on the offensive instead of being defensive like all the other battles then it becomes doable.  6/10

 

Bloodstained:Ritual of the Night (Xboxone)

 

I really enjoyed this once it got going. It’s a bit ham-fisted when it comes to introducing systems and mechanics early on, a slower rollout of that stuff would have been better I think, the menus could be better and theres too much of a reliance on random drops which unfortunately is something was deliberately carried forward from the later Castlevanias.

As someone who loved the DS Castlevanias this was a great update to that formula. Its shameless pandering but if Konami have no interest in scratching that itch then I’m ok with that. If they do a sequel then they do need address the issues I mentioned. 8/10

 

Costume Quest (360)

Never played this when it came out and kept putting off starting it until Halloween rolled around. Finally played through it this year and as an introduction to RPGs it does its job but theres very little depth to it. I was ready for it be over by the end.  5/10

 

Call of the Sea (PC)

I’m not scoring this as I rushed through it in  few nights, consulting a guide along the way, as I wanted to finish it before it left Gamepass. I liked the story and most of the puzzles made some sense to me but there were some where I didn’t understand the logic of them even after looking up the solution. I’ve gone back and listened to the song that plays over the credits a few times on Youtube. I really liked that for some reason.

 

Halo Infinite (Series X)

Its clearly very flawed but its also the most fun I had with a game last year. 9/10

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