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What games did you complete? 2019 Edition

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I'm terrible at finishing games but have done 2 so far this year:

 

Blackwell: Epiphany (2014) PC

The fifth and final game in the Blackwell series. I finished the first four games over the last few months in 2018 and really enjoyed the entire series. A cozy point-and-click adventure with an interesting story, chilled soundtrack and not-so-great voice acting.

 

Never Alone (2014) Xbox One

This was an Xbox Gold game this month and I took advantage of the 1 month for 1€ offer over Christmas so I could play this. Finished it in one sitting and really greatly enjoyed it. It's got a lovely art style and despite a couple of bugs I enjoyed the gameplay as well, for me it was neither too tricky nor too easy. I don't play a lot of platformers and give up quickly when it's too hard (never finished Ori for example, which is a shame) so this one really hit the spot for me. I also really enjoyed the little videos that you unlock as you play where you learn about the culture from which the game's narrative came. 

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Two more completed the past few days:

 

09/01 - Resident Evil Revelations (Switch)

In the run-up to my most anticipated release of 2019 (Resi 2 Remake) I thought I'd go back and playthrough the only two Resi titles I've yet to complete from the main series.

Have to admit this one isn't the best, plot was the usual nonsense, characters were laughable/annoying and it was a bit too combat heavy for my linking. However I felt compelled to play through it prior to tackling the superior Revelations 2. In fact some of the bosses almost had this winging its way to the "Abandoned Games of 2019" thread but I stuck with it. What I did enjoy is the bitesized nature of the game. No single chapter lasted over an hour and each one was further broken down into smaller sub-sections, so progress felt quite rapid and rewarding. Was just nice to be able to play through it in a couple of sitting without getting involved in a 30hr+ campaign (that seems the norm nowadays).

 

10/01 - The Gardens Between (Xbox One Gamepass)

Took out the £1 gamepass sub and this was first on my list to sample. Ended up playing through it in a single sitting. Its a lovely little puzzle game, one thats not overly taxing but does feel quite clever with how puzzles are implemented against a really limited control method (basically left, right and a single action button). It quite rightly joins the list of impressive indie offerings from 2018 and is well worth a quick playthrough. 

 

 

Previously in 2019:

01/01 - SuperHot (PSVR) 

03/01 - Spiderman Silver Lining DLC (PS4) - 100% Complete

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Gravity Rush (Vita): Took me a while to adjust to the gravity shifting and spent a long time at the beginning just floating around but once I got the hang of it this became a joy. Didn't clear all the challenges as wasn't good enough at the time trials but will replay on PS4 with the kids.

 

Titanfall 2 (PS4): picked this up for £4 and rattled through the campaign. Wished I'd put the difficulty higher as it was mostly a breeze but really enjoyed a great and tightly focused single player mode. Not going to bother with multiplayer (although might dip in for the trophies) but will reinstall at some point to try it at Master difficulty.

 

Hue (PS4): Lovely little colour changing puzzle platformer. Enjoyed this up until the final puzzle which involved a timing mechanic that hadn't been introduced beforehand. Charming story too. May look for the hidden collectables but finished the core game.

 

Just Deal With It (PS4)!: a pretty crappy PlayLink card game collection. Only five games and a dodgy app but did as much as was not purely luck based and chalked it up as a completion.

Blimey, this year's starting a bit productively... Well, at least as far as backlog clearing goes.

 

Rime (PS4): Had this sat on the HD since it was on PS+ and started it a couple of times before getting distracted and then lost. Rattled through it in a couple of sittings and then went back in to get the Platinum trophy. A wonderful and meditative experience that had a real emotional kick (right in the balls!) Really benefited from the second collectable playthrough as so much of the symbolism was evident that way. Just a beautiful game all around. As usual, don't know whether my emotional response was heightened by being a parent but not ashamed to admit that I shed a fair few tears at the close.

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I'll try and remember to keep this complete this year.  No promises, though.

 

09/01 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PC): I could have put this into the abandoned pile as I haven't completed every mission, but with 76 hours on the clock I'm choosing to call this a completion.  I have 5 or 6 of the main missions to complete and it was these, that come at the end, that made me stop with the game.  Up to that point the gameplay, if not the story or some characters, was excellent.  I will never get bored tranqing some surprised guard in his stupid face before sending him into the sky attached to some balloons.

 

The re-mixed 'extreme', 'stealth' missions at the end looked very lazy to me.  In particular they make you repeat the mission where you capture Quiet, which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever as she's on your side by this point.  It was a total narrative nonsense that just pushed me out of the game completely.  Not that the story was great or that Quiet wasn't a disaster of a character for all the reasons mentioned by everyone, ever, but a mission with gameplay that goes completely against what your current situation is, is bonkers.  It didn't help that I replayed the terrible first mission again, as it asks you to do, for the stupid reveal there, so I decided I was done with its nonsense.

 

09/01 Carpe Diem (PC): I've been looking or smaller experiences that you can complete in one sitting to play inbetween the 'main' games I have on the go (currently Yakuza 0, Final Fantasy 7 (I've never beaten the Weapons and This Is The Run) and Torchlight 2) and Steam is great for small, experimental things that are short and free.  This is on Steam, it's free and takes maybe 10-15 minutes.  It's a short visual novel with a relatively simple hook, so I won't say anything about the story but will say it's worth a look for the time and cost investment, and I was pleasantly surprised.

 

12/01 Disturbed (PC): Another of the 'free on Steam' gang and I completed this in an hour or two.  Remember those 'Choose Your Own Adventure' books that had stark choices to make (To go East, Turn to page 132) and instant death was only ever a wrong choice away?  This is one of those.  You're a farmer who finds his land overtaken by a corruption and has to try find the cause.  In classic fantasy tradition you'll need a sword guarded by a ghost and an glowing orb and quick death lurks around every corner.  What makes this less frustrating than that sounds is that it's been expertly made, has full controller support (even for quick save and quick load and the other, modern, PC conveniences) and the art and writing are both pretty good, if a little sparse (although I think that's by design).  I did grab a guide to mop up the last few endings near the end, but it's perfectly possible to complete and see every ending without help. Another pleasant surprise.

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Jan

 

13/01 Kero Blaster (PC) Cute but hard as nails stroll'n'gun shooter. You play as a Frog who must clear a series of levels. For fans of Cave Story this might be a disappointing follow up. It's entirely linear and the pixel art is a little ugly at first. Once you get used to it there's a certain charm about it. If you're unsure about it you can try out the free prequels Pink Heaven and Pink Hour first.

 

12/01 Bandersnatch (Netflix) It's not a game. Except it is. Or is it? I'm not sure, I just feel this really odd urge to include this on the list. (Throws tea over computer.)

 

05/01 Assassin's Creed Origins:The Hidden Ones (PS4) With the DLC going cheap over Christmas I had all the excuses I needed to refill the shoes of Bayek of Siwa, the Batman of the New Kingdom. Taking place in Sinai this is a pretty meaty adventure. There's a couple of callbacks to the base game but it's more of the same. Which is fortunate because I wanted more of the same! It's between 5-10 hours long depending how off the beaten track you want to explore.

 

01/01 TRAUMA (PC) I have no idea why this has been sitting in my pile of shame for so long. Since 2011 in fact. It's an hour long hidden object / puzzle game (although I spent two hours with it) with a very odd but satisfying mechanics. Not sure why I bounced off this before, and maybe The Norwood Suite has put me in the right frame of mind to play some arty indie games. Beret/10.

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Celeste (Xbox One):

 

A modern classic. Looks and sounds fantastic, the story is married to and reflected in the level design beautifully. I got to the end credits with 78 strawberries, 1639 deaths and 9 hours 43 minutes on the clock. When you take the epilogue chapter, b-sides, hidden areas and missed pick ups in to account I'm really just at the beginning but since I've got almost an entire console generation to catch up on I'm going to leave it here.

 

Assault Android Cactus (Xbox One):

 

I think I appreciated the craft behind this one more than I actually enjoyed it. I liked it enough to play through the campaign, but not to go back and improve my ranks or try the infinite modes. There's a lot to chew on here between the various modes and all the different characters, I can see why it's so highly regarded, but the moment to moment game play didn't gel for me. Sometimes I'd S+ rank a level, sometimes I'd scrape a D, but I rarely felt like I'd played any better or worse to get those results.

 

2019 so far:

Spoiler

 

January:

Ashen (Xbox One)

Celeste (Xbox One)

Assault Android Cactus (Xbox One)

 

 

2018:

Spoiler

 

January:

Vanquish (360)

 

February:

Ghost Recon Shadow War (3DS)

 

March:

Super Metroid (SNES Mini)

Split Second (360)

 

April:

Zelda: Breath of The Wild (Wii U)

Metro Last Light (360)

 

May:

Shovel Knight (Wii U)

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (360)

 

July:

Castlevania (NES mini)

 

August:

Super Castlevania IV (SNES mini)

Castlevania: Dracula X (SNES via Wii U virtual console)

 

September:

Destiny 2 - year one campaigns (PC)

 

October:

Banner Saga (PC)

Assassin's Creed (360)

 

November:

Abzu (X1)

Halo 5 (X1)

Gears of War 4 (X1)

Wolfenstein: The New Order (X1)

 

December:

Oxenfree (X1)

Thomas Was Alone (X1)

Dragon Quest 7 (3DS)

Defence Grid 2 (X1)

Wild Guns (SNES via Wii U virtual console)

 

 

2017:

Spoiler

 

Steam World Heist

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

Kane and Lynch 2

Etrian Odyssey Untold 2 

Fire Emblem Echoes

Fire Emblem Awakenings

Forza Horizon

Metroid: Samus Returns

Nights Into Dreams

 

 

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Mega Man 11 [7]

8-13 Jan

Completed on Normal difficulty. Same old Mega Man really, but with plenty more polish. Visually it's lovely, especially some of the bigger characters (special mention to inflatable frog mini-boss). Gameplay wise there's some tight level design that's mostly testing without being too vicious.

 

But there are leftovers of old design sensibilities and a generally odd approach to difficulty that don't quite work. It seems outdated now to make pits and especially spikes instant death hazards when everything else isn't. It makes certain screens difficult to pass at all while the rest are only likely to cause moderate damage if you mess things up. On the other hand you end up carrying a whole range of cheap useable items and equippable parts that can make many challenges insignificant. The big temptation is not to just stockpile a load of energy tanks for a boss encounter and then mindlessly blast through it, especially when a Game Over means repeating the whole stage again.

 

The best moments, as ever with MM, are when you do things properly, especially making the breakthrough against the first boss and then working out the weaknesses of the others using the new weapons you get from each victory. In fact, one of the highlights in the end was probably the boss rush, which I made myself do in one life without items.

 

Not sure I'm bothered about the extra challenges or difficulty levels now, but I've had a decent enough time with it.

 

Previously:

Spoiler

 

Super Mario Odyssey [9]

28 Dec-1 Jan

Yeah, this is pretty special. Love the open levels and the cap mechanic, and there are loads of clever ideas to put it to good use. Some of the creatures you can capture are wonderfully inventive.

 

It does often jump from one thing to the next too quickly, before making enough of them, but that's less of an issue once things get a bit more challenging. The low point of the game (other than those awful rabbit characters) is New Donk City about halfway through, but every stage after that is excellent. And now I've reached the end there's an absolute ton more stuff to do. It's hard to know where to start, but I think I'll keep playing a while.

 

I still struggle with the controls and camera a bit in the trickier platform sections, but it does get slightly easier with practice. Mostly forgivable as well in a game that's trying so many different things and has so much content. Best Mario since 64.

 

Into the Breach [8]

3-6 Jan

Played 7 games in total (on Normal) and emerged victorious twice.

 

I always like a good turn-based strategy, so this was always likely to suit me and I immediately got drawn into it. I really like the way it reduces everything down to concentrated bite-sized chunks, and that it mostly ditches any kind of percentage based play for clear rules and outcomes. 

However, the downside of the small scale is a lack of variety, despite the different squads you can choose to control. I've had good value already, but I don't feel it has the replayability factor of the best in the genre, like Invisible Inc.

 

 

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Gravity Rush (Vita)

Titanfall 2 (PS4)

Hue (PS4)

Just Deal With It (PS4)

Rime (PS4)

Another day, another completion. This is going to have to slow down soon :)

 

Nairi: Tower of Shirin (PC): This is an odd one. Pitched as an all ages cartoony point n click but has a few risque moments and some obscure logic puzzles at the end. Pleasant enough, but nothing groundbreaking. It's on Switch too so interesting to see what kind of market it finds over there.

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1 hour ago, matt0 said:

Sometimes I'd S+ rank a level, sometimes I'd scrape a D, but I rarely felt like I'd played any better or worse to get those results.

 

Don't dawdle and make sure you don't drop the chain, they're the main scoring mechanics.

I recommend you give the infinite mode a go at least once, it's really good fun.

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5 minutes ago, witchypoos said:

 

Don't dawdle and make sure you don't drop the chain, they're the main scoring mechanics.

I recommend you give the infinite mode a go at least once, it's really good fun.

 

I've still got it installed so I'll give it a look.

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Kept a streak going right up to the sixth but I've not finished anything since:

 

4th January

Florence (Android)

 

A short visual novel about a young woman's dreams, feelings and memories as she enters a new relationship. It has beautifully drawn style which is made all the more impactful by the method and rhythms of player interaction matching perfectly with the tone of each scene. Well worth the <£4 asking price.

 

5th January

Gorogoa (Android)

 

An absurdly clever puzzle game made up of four square panels of animated art whose edges and entrances can interlink to create perspective-meshing paths for the character to navigate. I did find myself bewildered while looking for solutions on a couple of occasions which reminded me of playing PC puzzle games like 7th Guest and being completely perplexed as a youngster. I consider that a big positive.

 

6th January

Super Mario Bros (Switch)

 

AGDQ 2019 started and I got back into playing through Super Mario Bros. I'm going to spend some time trying to get as close as I can to the world record of 4 minutes, 55 seconds. If I can get under 5:30 I'll be very happy but I'll settle for under 6 minutes in the short term. I used to casually play through this a good few times every year anyway but never with the aim of being as fast as possible.

 

Finished it a couple of times on the 6th January before watching a few speedrun videos and Summoning Salt's breakdown of 4-2 so I got obsessed with getting "Fast 4-2". I'm not at all consistent but in my quest to get better I ended up playing Super Mario Bros for more than 7 hours over five days. And it's still a brilliant game.

 

 

Spoiler

1st January

Wolfenstein: The New Order (PS4)

 

2nd January

Overcooked (Switch)

 

3rd January

Super Punch Out!! (SNES)

 

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Another one done.. and it was a good one:

 

14/01 - The Eternal Castle (PC) 

Only found out about this due to a trailer posted in a Pixel art thread in Gaming Discussion. What a total gem of a game. Its basically a reimagining of Another World/Flashback, with the most gorgeous 2-Bit CGA graphics you are ever likely to see. Gameplay and controls are almost identical to the aforementioned titles, although slightly more responsive. The game is set across four distinctly themed zones, each one brings it own unique atmosphere. An achievement to be commended given the games incredibly limited palette.

Ended up playing through it in a single sitting, with about 3 hours playtime in total. Which is pretty much perfect for a game of this scope. At only £5.99 on steam I'd say its an essential purchase... oh and heres the trailer incase you need further convincing:

 

 

Previously in 2019:

01/01 - SuperHot (PSVR) 

03/01 - Spiderman Silver Lining DLC (PS4) - 100% Complete

09/01 - Resident Evil Revelations (Switch)

10/01 - The Gardens Between (Xbox One Gamepass)

 

 

 
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12/01 - Berserk And The Band Of The Hawk (PS4) - Berserk gets the Musou treatment. It's a slightly strange game in that fully half the game covers The Golden Age Arc and is full of cut scenes from the anime; whilst the other half of the game covers several other story arcs pretty briefly with all further story being driven by in game cut scenes. It then ends rather abruptly. It's probably not the best franchise to give the Musou treatment to. Battlefield management takes a back seat, most of the stages are pretty linear, but the addition of proper boss battles is a welcome addition. Despite having never read the manga or watched the anime I really enjoyed this, and would recommend to fans of Musou games in general.

 

 

Previously:


07/01 - Spider-Man (PS4)

 

 

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Alan Wake 7/1/19

 

Hadn't played through it since originally playing it on the 360 back in 2010 or whenever it was. Great game, even if the game holds your hand a bit too much. The flashlight mechanic reminds me off Luigi Mansion.

 

Outlast Whistleblower 13/1/19

Nice dlc to the original game. More of the same really coming from the first game but perhaps goes a bit too far with the gore/shock factor. Still, i really enjoyed it.   

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18/01 - Mutant Year Zero

Whew! I honestly didn't think I was going to make it with this bugger. In the end though, another superb game; a stealth/strategy/puzzle game with an x-commy flavour but bursting with tastes of its own. Nicely set up for a sequel too, with a bit of refinement that could be a real classic.

 

 

Previously

Spoiler

02/01 - Yoku's Island Express

04/01 - Darksiders 3

04/01 - The Gardens Between

 

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Just finished Okami. Finished it on PS2 but the HD version has been sat on the PS4 since release. Stopped playing about 30 hours in just like with the PS2 version because it's just 10 hours too long. I love the art style, the characters, the music, all of it except that it's just too long. 41 hours or so.

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January 2019

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (PC - 2000)

The slight refinements introduced here like branching paths and a tad more maneuverability are all neat touches, but, overall, RE3 definitely feels like a spin-off or side story rather than a fully-fledged numbered sequel. Too much combat and some poorly balanced puzzling mean that Nemesis himself is definitely the most successful part of this game. His relentless pursuit remains pretty terrifying. 7/10

 

Previously...

January 2019: Resident Evil 0 (GameCube - 2003) 6/10

January 2019: Resident Evil (GameCube - 2002) 10/10

January 2019: Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee! (Switch - 2018) 7/10

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Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice (Xbox One):

 

Beautifully put together, sometimes gruelling, character study where everything from the combat, puzzles, environments, sound design is geared towards getting you inside the head of the main character. I did find myself wondering what a bigger version of this game would be like, with deeper combat, wider environments with more organic puzzle solving etc. but that's not really the point. It's more like a walking simulator with some combat and puzzle solving thrown in because the story needs that sense of resistance and struggle. I don't usually play games for the stories so it's always interesting to play something story focused that I actually enjoy.

 

2019 so far:

 

Spoiler

 

January:

Ashen (Xbox One)

Celeste (Xbox One)

Assault Android Cactus (Xbox One)

Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice (Xbox One)

 

 

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21/01/2019 - Adam Wolfe (PC)

 

An episodic hidden object game where the actual hidden object puzzles were pretty light on the ground - it was more an adventure that dabbled.


It wasn't bad. Spread over 4 episodes was an overarching story of supernatural detective Mr Wolfe solving some mysteries whilst the underlying theme was searching for his sister. The last episode was a bit ropy but in the main the story was okay, a lot of the puzzles felt quite logical (though of come some relied totally on 'game logic') and it didn't outstay its welcome.

 

These types of games are ten a penny and they are pretty relaxed fare so they are something easy to play every once in a while (although this is only the second I've ever played) - so yeah.

 

22/01/2019 - Alan Wake (PC)

 

I'll probably take some heat for this, but I really found this hard to get through and didn't enjoy it at all - so I uninstalled and read what happens in the DLC for it.

 

I feel massively out of step with the general consensus on this, because I found the light mechanic interesting but ultimately fairly dull, I thought far too much time was spent in the forest (which looked the same from the first to the last time - it is just forest, after all), the story lost me (mainly because of too much just running slowly around bland environments with what felt like arbitrary reasons for doing so) and - whilst accepting that it's a 6-year old game - I don't think it looked all that great.

 

Also, what really, really annoyed me was that I like to play third-person games with the camera over my right shoulder. You could toggle either in this but it kept constantly flipping to the left if you turned too much. A small thing, but having to constantly toggle it back really started to frustrate.

 

I know it has plenty of fans (I've already been told I am wrong for not liking it) but I honestly don't know why and I feel like I'm missing out on something.


Still, it's a game I've had for a long time that is now off my list, so there's that, but I'm not sad that there won't be a sequel.

 

Previously completed:

Spoiler

05/01/2019 - Simulacra (PC)

 

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