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What games did you complete? 2019 Edition

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Gravity Rush (Vita)

Titanfall 2 (PS4)

Hue (PS4)

Just Deal With It (PS4)

Rime (PS4)

Nairi: Tower of Shirin (PC)

 

Resident Evil 2: Loved this so much. Only thing stopping me from going straight back in is the deluge of other games. Possibly the best update of a classic game ever, and a fitting evolution of my favourite title in the series.

 

Conarium: Interesting Lovecraftian exploration game, based on The Mountains of Madness story. Aside from one bullshit chase sequence it was moody and atmospheric. Mostly a walking sim but with more tension and dread than many manage.

 

Momonga: Pinball Adventures and Rollers of the Realm. Picked up some pinball type games after really enjoying Yoku last year. Neither of these match up to it, with both being fairly standard pinball table like set-ups but with narrative and challenges. Momonga was frustrating as hell in places and I abandoned going for all the trophies due to some annoyingly fiddly challenges but enjoyed it for the most part. Rollers of the Realm was far more successful and I'm tinkering with the high score style challenges when I get a spare few minutes. Unfortunately it's a bit too small and cluttered on Vita so having to go back to the big screen.

 

Currently playing: Kingdom Hearts 3 (PS4) and Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (Vita) 

 

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1. GRIS (Switch)

A beautiful and bittersweet experience with absolutely stunning visuals and music. I don’t really want to say much else as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. The end really got me in the feels. Recommended. 
 

 

 

2. Katamari Damacy Rerolled (Switch)

Got a couple of constellations left, but the credits have rolled (LOL), so this is in the done pile. Recommended. 

 

 

–––

 

Abandoned Games

 

i. Bloodstained Curse of the Moon (Xbox)

From the gushing praise this was getting, I thought it was going to be great. I really didn't like it at all. Not because it's a retro game – I've actually enjoyed some of the NES games in the Switch Online service – but because of really dull, sometimes infuriating level design, uninspired enemies and an annoying final boss (dual-stage with un-skippable and overly long transitions!) which pushed it over the edge from diverting curio to load of time wasting balls. A couple of the bosses were OK, character swapping mechanic wasn't as good as it seemed at first. 

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I think I've just completed my Game of the Year. 

 

01/02 - Resident Evil 2 Remake (PS4) - Leon Playthrough

04/02 - Resident Evil 2 Remake (PS4) - Claire (2nd Run) Playthrough

Well all I can say is that the 20 year wait was worth it. My game of the PS1 generation has also just become my game of the PS4 generation. I seriously couldn't have asked for more and this has undoubtedly raised the bar for future remasters/remakes. The game just oozes love for the franchise and somehow manages to add a fresh twist without losing any of what made the original so great. The perfect mix of old and new elements.

I'm already looking forward to the free DLC next week along with tackling the alternate Claire/Leon playthroughs to complete the set.  

An outstanding title from start to finish. 

 

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)

14/01 - The Eternal Castle (PC) 

22/01 - Resident Evil Revelations 2 (Switch)

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February 2019

Resident Evil 2 (PS4 - 2019)

As others have pointed out above, this is fantastic. The lack of the two stories intertwining in any meaningful way is a shame, but overall this is as good a modern re-imagining of the 90s Resi formula as you could hope for. 9/10

 

Previously...

January 2019: Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (PC - 2000) 8/10

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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A Way out (PS4) - 19/1/19

 

Damn I enjoyed this game. One of the best co op experiences I have played and it didn't outstay it's welcome at nearly 6 hours long. I was kinda hoping for more of the prison break stuff but there was some great storytelling and even the mini games where quite fun (it's a shame you don't get an option to play the mini games after you finish it). Not much replay value after you complete it though - but i want to see another game like this in the future.

 

Aladdin (MD) - 27/1/19

 

Felt like replaying one of my favorite megadrive games. Still looks and plays well and whilst it's not the hardest game to get through it certainly is challenging (frustratingly so sometimes). Thanks to save states i managed to get through it and "get gewd" before replaying it through only using a life or two. Still a quality game.

 

Aladdin (SNES) 3/2/19

 

After playing the MD version, I thought i'd give the SNES version of Aladdin a go considering I'd never played it and had heard it wasn't as good. Again, save states got me through it as the platforming can be a bit frustrating at times, however i am trying to do a clean run of it now. The graphics are decent, just not as film like as the MD version. The floating mechanic really helps when you collect the item, something i didn't realise till i finished the game the first time! With it, it really makes the game easier/quicker to get through. Aladdin's aero-acrobats are a bit fun addition to the game. Well worth playing if you like platformers and if you want to 100% it , it has some additional challenge there too.

 

Resident Evil 2 (PC) 3/2/19

 

RE2 is one of my favorite games of all time on the OG PS1 so I have been waiting for a remake for a long time. Well, thankfully the remake is as awesome as I could possibly have hoped. Whilst i do miss the zapping feature of the original, it still deals with the scenarios relatively well and the constant presence of Mr X makes this one tense atmospheric game. I loved the fact that it feels the most survival horror like RE for years, running low on health and ammo a lot of the time. Whilst most RE games have poor 2/3rd acts i feel this one does well to keep you interested throughout. Bring on Nemesis =) Is it worth me replaying a Claire A / Leon B though? I'm not sure just yet.

 

 

Previously...

 

 


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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Lego Indiana Jones (PC) - First game completed of 2019! I'd given this short shrift around the original release. Coming back to it now, though, in a desire to play through all the Lego games, I really enjoyed it. It gets the Indiana Jones-ness right and it's constant rewards and bite-size levels make for an enjoyable experience. It was a different enough experience to Lego Batman, which I played before, despite having the same underlying structure.

 

I've also been playing this through with my son, who took to it really quickly as his second Lego game. I'd have finished sooner, only for his insistence on playing the same levels over and over again which I had to oblige - ended up having to finish it off after he went to bed. The lack of split screen in the earlier games also became an issue when one of us wanted to wander off. Thankfully, they improved on that a couple of games later as we're now on to the sequel.

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Red Read Redemption 2

 

I had no interest in this for quite a while. As much as I enjoyed the original, I bounced off GTAV quite hard and just didn't have faith that Rockstar could deliver a decent story. Add to that what looked like a pretty by the numbers open world game, along with an insane price tag and I figured it could wait. After hearing people rave about it in podcasts and end of year lists however I felt I had to give it a fair shot, and some well timed Xbox credit deals and rewards brought the price down to a more manageable level. 

 

I'm so glad I did. I was maybe right to be wary about the structure and mechanics, which are pretty dull when viewed in isolation. It's also yet another case where the implied freedom of an open world is squandered in overly restrictive mission design. However, none of this seemed to matter when experienced alongside the wonderful story and characters, and that by the numbers open world was so well realised that it was a joy just to exist in. It felt like a real place, and I found myself treating it like that instead of viewing it as a big playground.

 

It's not perfect of course. Combat remained a little awkward and clunky no matter how much I played, and clearly the game would have been improved with a little more variety in the mission design, but taken as a whole it was definitely something special.

 

Previously:

 

January

 

Far: Lone Sails

Florence

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Wargroove [7]

1-9 Feb

Could also be called abandoned, as I haven't actually finished the campaign. Honestly, I got bored of it. But I got quite far into it, did arcade mode with one character, and played some multiplayer and puzzle mode, so that counts.

So yeah, in the end I wasn't as into this as I'd hoped to be. The balance is still just right as in Advance Wars, but a lot of the battles drag on too long. These days I'm used to turn-based strategy games that pack just as much into smaller spaces and time frames, and it can get tiresome shuffling units about rather than getting stuck in. It may be that I need to learn some better strategies, but it's often hard not to get bogged down.

I have played it a lot over the last week though, so it's not like I didn't enjoy it. It can still be great when the missions are a bit smaller. Puzzle mode is also a good change of pace. But whether Advance Wars is kind of outdated now, or whether they didn't quite do it justice here with the level design, it's not as quite as much fun to play as various other alternatives.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Vane [4]

17 Jan

Stylish indie adventure that looks nice and has an interesting scenery morphing mechanic. But it's full of technical issues and feels like most of the content had to be stripped out to make it work at all.

 

Pikuniku [7]

22-23 Jan

Charming, funny, surprising indie game. The simple physics and character movement make some basic platforming puzzles more interesting, although never really challenging, and there's a good quantity of brief side distractions to discover if you explore the small game world. In the end, I was disappointed that some of the themes and ideas weren't developed enough, but by that point I'd had a few good hours of fun.

 

 

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Feb

 

13/10 Florence (iOS) Incredibly charming short visual novel that everyone should pick up. You'll finish it in less than an hour but it weaves a lovely tale in that hour

 

10/02 Squidlit (PC) Cute platformer done in the old Gameboy style. Which is green monochrome shades, fat pixels and done and dusted in lees than an hour.

 

10/02 Plug & Play (PC) What. Was. That. Reminded me of the sort of thing that would have been shown on Liquid Television in the early 90's.

 

 

Jan
28/01 Killing Time at Lightspeed:Enhanced Edition (PC)
28/01 Assassin's Creed Origins:The Curse of the Pharaohs (PS4)
27/01 Awkward Dimensions Redux (PC)
27/01 Home (PC)
27/01 Explosionade (PC)
13/01 Kero Blaster (PC)
12/01 Bandersnatch (Netflix)
05/01 Assassin's Creed Origins:The Hidden Ones (PS4)
01/01 TRAUMA (PC)

 

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Completed these so far...

monster Boy In The Cursed Kingdom (Switch)

brilliant and the best Wonder Boy game

 

Katamari Damacy Reroll (Switch)

Always loved this and now I can sell my PS2 copy

 

Forgotten Realms Demon Stone (Xbox)

Started off strong but the later levels are naff. Will sell it.

 

Golf Story (Switch)

got a physical copy from limited run games. It’s really charming.

 

Salamander 2 (Saturn)

Just got a PVM so wanted to play something to show it off.

 

 

 

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First of the year:

 

Middle Earth: Shadow of War - This feels like the game they wanted to make with the first one, it's vast, epic, far more varied and makes some surprisingly audacious story choices, particularly the ending. I've come to the realisation I really like games that let me recruit and level up a team of allies, Pokemon, SMT, and this series. The gameplay loop here is just great fun, jumping captains out in the world, branding them into your squad and then using them as a bodyguard, spy, assassin, or an essential component of your army to topple forts, helped by the sheer amount of personality in your units and the interesting pushback the Nemesis system gives you - every play session felt like it generated unique little stories.

 

I remember on release a lot of people had trouble with the postgame where you're on the defensive against big armies, but I think those players probably conquered the forts early in the game, left them to rot and then got stomped, whereas I had gotten a bit obsessed with the Fight Pits, the bit that makes the Pokemon analogy explicit: take your Captains, set them against another in a match with permadeath and if they win they'll gain a load of levels, and if they lose you can just capture the stronger victor anyway. Choosing the best matchup from your diverse candidates and customising them with training orders is a bit addictive - when those invasions came coming, they were crushed by my Lv 50 forts.

 

Verdict: really good, this one ends the series pretty definitively, but I'll be interested in whatever the Nemesis system ends up in next.

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Bit late with the update but:

 

26th January

New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe (Switch)

 

Just the Mario part so far. It took me a while to adjust to the mid-air tap of jump activating the spin jump. By the time I found out there was a cheat to turn it off I'd already completed the main quest 100%. Oh well; at least it'll help with New Super Luigi U.

 

I'd always felt NSMBU was absolutely the best of the NSMBU series (as someone who really disliked the DS one). I'd even go as far to say it's just behind Mario World as my favourite of the 2D games, mainly due to its excellent Challenge Mode. I was worried my enjoyment would dampen with a replay. It did not. It's wonderful.

 

I only played in handheld mode and, for all the criticism of the series' aesthetics, its beautiful on the Switch's screen. Looking forward to obsessing over the challenges all over again!

 

Previously:

 

Spoiler

1st January

Wolfenstein: The New Order (PS4)

 

2nd January

Overcooked (Switch)

 

3rd January

Super Punch Out!! (SNES)

 

4th January

Florence (Android)

 

5th January

Gorogoa (Android)

 

6th January

Super Mario Bros (Switch)

 

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Done some more shooters.

 

Hyper Duel

Super Saturn conversion with some ridiculous bosses. Noticed for the first time that the entire game has continuous levels that flow into each other which seems quite novel for the genre.

 

Sexy Parodius 

another great saturn conversion with some dodgy bosses. Shooting a raccoon in the nuts will never get tired.

 



Completed these so far...

monster Boy In The Cursed Kingdom (Switch)

brilliant and the best Wonder Boy game

 

Katamari Damacy Reroll (Switch)

Always loved this and now I can sell my PS2 copy

 

Forgotten Realms Demon Stone (Xbox)

Started off strong but the later levels are naff. Will sell it.

 

Golf Story (Switch)

got a physical copy from limited run games. It’s really charming.

 

Salamander 2 (Saturn)

Just got a PVM so wanted to play something to show it off.

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Mortal Kombat XL 

As with all fighting games, you never really complete it. But I've now beaten the traditional tower with every character, to get all the ending videos, and got everything out of the Krypt. Working through the characters shows there's some amazing imbalance and shoes why you see the same characters over and over when playing online. I'm calling that done. Just in time for Mortal Kombat 11.

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11/02 - The First Tree (Xbox One) - short and pretty average walking sim, where you control a vixen looking for her cubs, whilst the loser narrator struggles with the relationship he had with his father. Looks quite nice and the music is very good. It cost me the equivalent of a pint of beer and I think I'd rather have had the beer.

 

Previously:

 

07/01 - Spider-Man (PS4)

12/01 - Berserk And The Band Of The Hawk (PS4)
27/01 - Resident Evil 2 (Xbox One)
29/01 - Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown (Xbox One)

 

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Resident Evil 2 (Remake)

 

Completed is a strong word, but I've played through Claire A and Leon B. I'll go back at some point to get through everything else. Anyway, this was fantastic. 

 

I loved the PS1 Resi games, and as good as Resi 4 and 7 were I think I've been missing a classic survival horror experience. This really did feel like a modern take on that style of game, managing to be surprisingly faithful to the original while feeling completely current at the same time. It was also pretty scary and incredibly tense, although I found it had less power over me the more I learnt its systems. That didn't make it any less fun though.

 

Previously:

January
Far: Lone Sails
Florence

 

February

Red Dead Redemption 2

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