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What games did you complete? 2019 Edition

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Jun

 

27/06 TIMEframe (PC) The setting of this game reminds me a lot of the dead world in The Magician's Nephew. A valley of ruins amid a heat haze. Deserted, the inhabitants having fled due to the return of The Nomad, an asteroid that will hit the valley and destroy all in about twenty minutes. And then the magic within the valley will cause you to loop around. There's not much to this. Find the 14 artefacts and then activate the ancient mechanism. And truth to tell I bounced off this short game when I tried it in September last year. This time I persisted. And it was generally pleasant.

 

18/06 Reigns:Her Majesty (PC) I kind of bounced off the first Reigns game but loved the second. It's a simple narrative game, you're the Queen, you get to make one choice a year using a tinder like interface and you try to do as much as you can before you're killed by being too loved or too hated. These games live and die on their writing and the writing here is snappy and to the point. Perfect fodder for passing the time on a sick day.

 

16/06 Escape Goat (PC) I gave up on completing this excellent hard as nails 8-bit style platformer five years ago. But with a new PC build its entry in Steam was mocking me, I had to give it another run. And this time I managed it rescuing all the sheep and completing all the campaign levels. There's now way I'm going back to try the hardcore levels. No way.

 

12/06 Hotline Milwaukee (PC) A NES style demake of Hotline Miami which is still as hard as nails and desperately missing the door slam mechanic. Doable in an hour if you don't rage quit before the end.

 

10/06 Roundabout (PS4) A quick run on this weird 70's style cross of Kuru Kuru Kururin / Crazy Taxi turned into a run through of the story mode.It has a certain offbeat charm to it spoiled somewhat by random slowdowns and frame drops on the PS4 version that I'm sure wasn't there on the PC version. Some amazingly weird low rent FMV though, especially the bits with Jeffrey the Skeleton and loads of 70's stock footage.

 

09/06 Just Cause 2 (360) Was going to 100% this a couple of years ago but it was just too big. So this time I decided to mainline it most of the way which was more frustrating and less satisfying than just mucking about with cables and so forth. After doing that it unlocked Mercenary mode. Basically a way to complete it 100% post game. After spending an hour watching my number go up by tiny increments I could feel myself getting hooked again and noped out. (I was at 41% after playing 39 hours. Just no, I've had enough.) Still fun while it lasted, it's pretty much the modern day version of Hunter (Amiga). Wonderful skyboxes. The drawbacks? Too big. And...let's be generous and say the storyline has dated a bit. I can see that they were going for silly 80's blockbuster but, yeah. It did feel too much like a celebration of US shadow-ops imperialism.

 

06/06 Maniac Mansion (PS4/PC) For those wondering when this got a port, it's hidden in Day of the Tentacle Remastered. I played this a lot back in the day on the C64 for hours, never getting near the end. This time I used a FAQ, this one is unusual for a LucasArts game in that there's a lot of dead ends due to player death or unwinnable situations. Turns out I almost did finish it back in the day, getting through this only took about an hour. It's more of a historical artifact now being the "first" graphic adventure from LucasArts (although I still count Labyrinth with its 'word wheels' as their first.)

 

06/06 Abzu (PC) Decided to play through this again on the PC if only to get some achievements .Not sure how this copy came to me, Humble Bundle maybe?) Last time I was a bit harsh on it having played it just post Journey, this time I just soaked in the atmosphere. Still lovely if a little weird with some of the water underwater bits that didn't make sense.

 

02/06 Armored Warriors (PC/Arcade) The last of the games on my lap around the Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle. again it's pretty colourful but it feels a mite clumsy. Those big sprites are incredibly impressive but it get's pretty messy at times. It's OK, but not the best on here.

 

02/06 Warriors of Fate (PC/Arcade) Yet another sideways beat-emup by Capcom, this one set in China being a sequel to Dynasty Wars. As with all of these games it's incredibly attractive to look at and it feels fair to play. The characters feel pretty solid and can be thrown against each other creating some really pleasing chain reactions in fights. Not much more to say except it was a pleasant way to waste an hour on a Sunday.

 

 

May


28/05 Knights of the Round (PC/Arcade) 
21/05 Spider Man (and The City that Never Sleeps DLC)
14/05 Knack (PS4)
05/05 Captain Commando (PC/Arcade) 
05/05 The King of Dragons (PC/Arcade)
Apr
30/04 Battle Circuit (PC/Arcade)
29/04 Final Fight (PC/Arcade)   
22/04 Old Man's Journey (PC)
18/04 The First Tree (PC)
14/04 FAR:Lone Sails (PC)
13/04 The Darkside Detective (PC)
03/04 Final Fantasy 15:Episode Ardyn (PS4)
Mar
27/03 Space Pilgrim (Episodes1-4)
19/03 Red Dead Redemption (360)
17/03 Where on Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego (Browser)
Feb
24/02 Universal Paperclips (Browser)
13/10 Florence (iOS)
10/02 Squidlit (PC)
10/02 Plug & Play (PC)
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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1 hour ago, BadgerFarmer said:

You won't have to do much. The level select breaks chapters into chunks and lets you choose which one to start from. It also tells you how many strawberries you still need to find in each chunk. And you'll be surprised how quickly you can get through a lot of these screens now you've done them once.

 

I get that, but the same time I don't want to sour my appreciation of the game by banging my head against a brick wall trying to get all the strawberries for the sake of it.

 

Did you manage all of them, even the ones in chapter 8?

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37 minutes ago, Jamie John said:

 

I get that, but the same time I don't want to sour my appreciation of the game by banging my head against a brick wall trying to get all the strawberries for the sake of it.

 

Did you manage all of them, even the ones in chapter 8?

Yes, I did get them all. Obviously a lot of them are tricky blighters, and I did use a guide for a few that I couldn't figure out. But each one is only a brief, self-contained challenge. Just depends if you've had enough yet.

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30 minutes ago, BadgerFarmer said:

Yes, I did get them all. Obviously a lot of them are tricky blighters, and I did use a guide for a few that I couldn't figure out. But each one is only a brief, self-contained challenge. Just depends if you've had enough yet.

 

Kudos!

 

What about the B sides?

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Not all of them. Maybe the first 4 or 5. I mean to carry on, but moved on to playing other things.

 

The funny thnig about them is that every new screen you reach looks like the one which has gone too far and you'll never be able to do. And then you start to try it and slowly slowly you realise the impossible is possible after all. That's what I love about the game. Still requires plenty of patience, of course.

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Spoiler

 

On 13/01/2019 at 16:24, moosegrinder said:

Done Spider-Man. That was rad. Then last boss and ending were really well done and I enjoyed it a tonne. Good shit.

 

On 19/01/2019 at 21:41, moosegrinder said:

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.

 

On 03/03/2019 at 20:23, moosegrinder said:

Sat 2nd March - Picross S 2. I managed to do normal and Clip unassisted but there were 3 or 4 in the Mega Picross that made me look fucking thick. There were a lot that required a more roundabout way of thinking that I've never had to use before. I enjoyed most of it, just not the ones that made me feel stupid.

IMG_20190303_202155.jpg

 

On 21/03/2019 at 22:11, moosegrinder said:

Today: Guacamelee. Started it on Sunday and it was good fun. Some bullshit moments juggling exploding bastards and shielded arseholes but overall great. 5h 40m.

 

On 08/04/2019 at 14:12, moosegrinder said:

07/04/19 Picross E5. This was abandoned for a long time because of Picross S but seeing as we haven't got a new one of those yet I thought I'd finish this one. It's Picross. I'm sure I'll pick up E6 soon.

 

On 13/04/2019 at 09:28, moosegrinder said:

13/4 - Borderlands GOTY Remaster

 

A lot easier than I remember. The world feels very empty and the way the game calculates how accurate the sniper rifles are is waaaaaaaaay off but I loved it all over again, but 2 is the superior game. Not done the dlc as I'm waiting for a friend to want to start it and we'll go through it in co-op.

 

 

 

15/06 Strange Brigade. It's a shame this didn't sell well because it's a right old lark. It has its problems in that if you take the wrong gun into a horde section you've basically fucked it, and that some bits of the game are skewed too far towards co-op play but it's ridiculous, tongue in cheek and genuinely delightful. I'll get the season pass when it's on offer and go back for the The Club-like score attack mode.

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Been a while since I posted in this thread again and for good reason…

 

18/06/19 Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

 

I thought 2017’s AC:Origins was a stunning return to AC2/4 form even putting it in my top 5 for the year. Despite this I wasn’t really sold on Odyssey when it was announced; Origins was such a huge game and my time is so limited that I couldn’t really entertain another one just yet.

 

But come March this year I was ready to take a Leap of Faith back in to the haystack of Creed and… wow. I've been playing this for pretty much 3 months and it was never less than enthralling. Kassandra is easily the best character to come out of the series yet, bad ass and brilliantly acted. I went total Assassin build and sneaking around forts cutting fools did not once get old or boring.

 

I finished the main story, did a LOT of side quest and smoked all of the cult and there are still plenty of !’s around the map should I wish to engage with more content and a big part of me wants to despite my usual MO of dropping off a game as soon as the story is done.

 

But, I feel it is time to move on, start something new and play a few shorter games (I am currently playing Steamworld Quest on switch in my lunch breaks).

I definitely regret not playing this last year so I could put it in my top 5, and probably more so for Kassandra to be best character, but I really think should we do the Best Games of All Time again this may very well trouble the big guns for me.

 

Previously

Spoiler

 

27/03: Monsterboy and the Cursed Kingdom

08/03: Kingdom Hearts 3

06/03: Super Smash Bros Ultimate – World of Light

04/01: Darksiders 3

04/01: The Gardens Between

02/01: Yoku’s Island Express

 

 

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Oh yes, I completed Assassin's Creed Odyssey as well. 92 hours, level 53 or so, all main storylines done, all cultists done. I usually burn out on games as vast as this but something held my interest. It helps that Kassandra is fucking brilliant (and I love her) and the secondary characters are cartoonish enough to be entertaining but not so much that you want to murder every single one of them. I was one bullshit decision away from the good ending which pissed me off, but I still loved it.

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12. Just Shapes and Beats (Switch)

 

This was disappointing. Not a bad game, but not as good as the demo suggested it would be, and although I got it in the sale, it's overpriced at more than £15. It's at its best when the shapes that appear on screen seem to accurately reflect the beats of the music, and you can properly feel, see and hear the rhythm. Unfortunately, this only seems to the case some of the time, and there were a lot of tracks where I felt like I was playing a sort of interactive mod for a Windows Media Player visualization, disconnected from the music itself. When it works, however, and you get into the flow of it, there's definitely a good game in there - many of the tracks are catchy and the gameplay, while perhaps simplistic, is immediately accessible, so I imagine it'll make a good couch co-op game (and, in its defence, it is promoted as a co-op game). It's just a shame that the package as a whole is a bit inconsistent.

 

6/10

 

Playing next: I'm currently midway through Sekiro on PS4 and as such wouldn't mind something a bit less intense for my Switch game, so I'm going to give Gato Roboto a whirl.

 

Previously:

Spoiler

1. Gris (Switch) - 6/10

2. RDR2 (PS4) - 8/10

3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch) - 9/10

4. Hyper Light Drifter (Switch) - 8/10

5. Nex Machina (PS4) - 7/10

6. Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment (Switch) - 8/10

7. The Room (Switch) - 6/10

8. Spider-Man (PS4) - 7/10

9. Monster Hunter World (PS4) 9/10

10. Gucamelee (Switch) 7/10

11. Celeste (Switch) 9/10

 

Pile of shame:

Spoiler

Breath of the Wild

Sekiro

The Talos Principle

Resident Evil VII

Dishonored 2

Uncharted: Lost Legacy

Cuphead

Prey

Resogun

Thumper

FFVII

Vanquish

Katana Zero

Metro Exodus

Lumines

Hitman 2

Assassin's Creed: Odyssey

Condemned 2

Dark Souls III: Ringed City

Firewatch

Gato Roboto

Hob

 

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You wait ages for a bus…

 

22/06/19 What Remains of Edith Finch

As I said in my last post; I want to play a few shorter games before getting in to a big adventure again so used my free Saturday night to finally play this on GamePass. Not much to add to what has already been said but I very much enjoyed my 3 hours exploring the tragic world of the Finch family. The amount of detail in that house is staggering and I spent a good chunk of time just mooching around each new room before kicking off the vignette, to take in the environmental story telling. Brilliant, brilliant game.

 

Not only, but also…

 

23/06/19 Steamworld Quest – The Hand of Gilgamech

I have loved every Image and Form release, and this is no exception. Good solid mechanics and a witty script stand out here among the usual Steamworld trappings. It can get slightly repetitive, but I found switching up characters alleviated that. My only real gripe is that there was very little impetus to mix up your decks much. I found powering up my base cards preferable to using new ones though I did only play on normal so maybe hard has more scope for this. Again though, another thoroughly enjoyable romp from the guys at I&F and I can’t wait for the next foray in to the Steamworld.

 

Previous

Spoiler

 

18/06: Assassin's Creed Odyssey

27/03: Monsterboy and the Cursed Kingdom

08/03: Kingdom Hearts 3

06/03: Super Smash Bros Ultimate – World of Light

04/01: Darksiders 3

04/01: The Gardens Between

02/01: Yoku’s Island Express

 

 

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Ni No Kuni 2 - Tales of a Timeless Tome DLC

 

I love this game, but the DLC has been disappointing to say the least. Basic re use of assets and no new voice scenes, plus difficulty spikes at bosses that were ridiculous. The final DLC was better, in that there were some stories based around the characters that gave some more background that I enjoyed. But then I got to the final boss. And after a load of relatively easy boss fights at the end of sections, the final boss was just stupid. After a number of attempts I looked at a youtube video where it took someone over an hour to do. Seriously, bugger that. If the combat was fun and intricate, maybe but this was an RPG that relied more on story, the DLC being focused around the combat was complete nonsense.

 

So it's done now, but all of the DLC left a bitter taste in my mouth, I wish I'd not bothered and finished when the main game did.

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24/06 - Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (PS4) - A Castlevania in all but name, and it's been way too long since the last one. In many ways this feels a little like a best of the earlier games, with gaining abilities by obtaining shards from enemies coming straight out of Aria of Sorrow, and a lot of the enemies being very similar in design. There's arguably a bigger focus on boss battles here than in prior games, and what it does excel at is in giving you the freedom and choice to play the game in the way that suits you best. However, it's a bit too long; at times it's incredibly obtuse as to how to progress and with all the different ideas they've thrown into the pot it can seem a little unfocused. It's no Symphony of the Night, but still excellent.

 

Previously:

 

01. 07/01 - Spider-Man (PS4)

02. 12/01 - Berserk And The Band Of The Hawk (PS4)
03. 27/01 - Resident Evil 2 (Xbox One)
04. 29/01 - Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown (Xbox One)
05. 11/02 - The First Tree (Xbox One)
06. 16/02 - Late Shift (Xbox One)
07. 20/02 - The Gardens Between (Xbox One)
08. 25/02 - Super Lucky's Tale (Xbox One)
09. 02/03 - South Park: The Stick of Truth (Xbox One)
10. 13/03 - Devil May Cry V (Xbox One)
11. 21/03 - Beyond Two Souls (PS4)
12. 27/04 - Virginia (Xbox One)
13. 29/04 - Beyond Eyes (Xbox One)
14. 02/05 - Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice (Xbox One)
15. 13/06 - Shining Resonance Refrain (Xbox One)

 

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On 12/06/2019 at 09:47, stefcha said:

Asura's Wrath (360)

This is without doubt the most ridiculously over the top game I've ever played

 

Ah, man, I started that just before I took down the 360, and it was an intriguing start - truly mad demigod behaviour; the bedroom telly ist kaput otherwise I was going to set up the 360 and PS3 on there to finish off some of my back catalog.

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Quote

 

Middle Earth: Shadow of War

Apex Legends

Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset

Oxenfree 

Dragon Quest XI 

Forza Horizon 4

ABZU 

Sniper Elite 4

FFIX

 

 

FFXV - I had some positive views of this after going back to it, I quite enjoyed bumbling about the open world and the intersecting systems of fishing/killing/exploration getting you recipes and ingredients for cooking, but I kinda spoke too soon - all the stuff I liked about it basically disappeared once you hit Leviathan, where the game ends up being a linear walk through salvaged sections of the unfinished second half of the game while masses of plot events happen offscreen and are just exposited to you by NPCs. And it ends on a right bum note.

  • The Episodes - Each of these has a format, they're about an hour long and all have the character overcoming some personal issue, which is actually all the character development they get - bit odd to segment these off. I think the DLC genuinely shows improvement from the base game - they seem to understand their combat better, and more importantly they realise traversal is important, only being able to use the sword warping to get up things in combat in the base game was baffling. That said, they're not world class DLC or anything.
  • Comrades - No one is playing this, I don't know if the hub is supposed to be one of those shared ones because I never saw another person, although the servers kept going down; but you can play offline with AI companions through most of it. There's stuff to enjoy here, an interesting weapon upgrade loop based on running bosses and new weapon types that have like, charge attacks you need to time to enemies movements. Hang on this is just monster hunter, they've got me playing monster hunter!

I like hearing about the in-dev bits of games, the cut content, the "raising the bar" early concepts, etc - a good bit of what I enjoyed from this is picking through that, because the scars are really visible.

 

You can tell the playable Insomnia area is from the scrapped 2012 version of the game, as it looks visually worse than anything in the base game, shown up by the newer "clutter" items they've scattered around to make it look more run down. You can tell the DLC was bits they realised they couldn't do, and hived off into their own things (this isn't to say it's cut content, I think this stuff looks visually better than anything in the base  game and shows improvements due to a familiarity with their tools, indicating it was started after).

 

You can tell the whole world was supposed to be explorable in the World of Ruin section, Comrades showed they substituted the grass and tree models for dying versions, and added post-apoc clutter to the settlements, and this was supposed to be a whole thing, like Dragon Quest XI's Act 2 - re-encountering the party members 10 years later, getting sent from place to place thematically fighting the darkness by restoring light to the world, all cut into this weird non-sequitur section near the finale.

 

I think if they'd have managed this stuff, it'd be looked back on a lot more fondly, as it is it's all a bit of a mess, but it's an interesting mess nonetheless.

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Quick catchup list as I haven't posted in here for a while...

 

March 2019

Golf Peaks (Switch - 2019)

Super chilled puzzler with a lovely clean aesthetic. Far from the most challenging game in the world, but that's not really the point. 7/10

 

April 2019

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (Switch - 2019)

The ugly visuals and preponderance of Boo levels really take the shine off the usual Mario standard of adventure. The archaic save/restart system also doesn't help, but it's still a solid platformer at heart. 7/10

 

May 2019

Cuphead (Switch 2019)

I can see how people might bounce off it, but for me I found the old school gameplay incredibly rewarding. And the presentation is, of course, astounding - especially on a handheld. 9/10

 

June 2019

The Way Remastered (Switch - 2018)

Messy Flashback/Another World clone that is perennially on sale for pennies in the eShop. It's...ok. The soundtrack is bangin' and there are a few interesting ideas buried beneath the slapdash puzzling and controls. 5/10

 

Resident Evil: Revelations (Switch - 2017)

This is a seven year old 3DS game at heart and it definitely shows in the repeating, repetitive environs. Other than that it's a fairly bog-standard third-person shooter garnished with the usual deranged Resi 'plot'. One for completionists only.  5/10

 

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (Switch - 2017)

A step-up on its predecessor but still nothing that's going to set the world on fire. Various minor and major Resident Evil characters run around a prison island blasting monsters and solving the occasional rudimentary puzzle. You know the drill. 6/10

 

Previously...

 

Spoiler

 

February 2019: Resident Evil - Code: Veronica X (PS2 - 2001) 5/10

February 2019: Ice Climber (NES - 1985) 6/10

February 2019: Resident Evil 2 (PS4 - 2019) 9/10

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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13. Gato Roboto (Switch)

 

Spoiler

D97iNSqU0AAGxiI.jpg:large

 

An entirely unremarkable Metroid clone. I'd read a few things about how charming and funny it was but I didn't really see it, myself. It's also very short, which may have been a blessing as otherwise I doubt I'd have bothered finishing it. On the other hand, however, its shortness means that there are only a couple of powerups to collect, making everything pretty repetitive. Not terrible, just meh.

 

5/10

 

Playing next: Hob (Switch)

 

Previously:

Spoiler

 

1. Gris (Switch) - 6/10

2. RDR2 (PS4) - 8/10

3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch) - 9/10

4. Hyper Light Drifter (Switch) - 8/10

5. Nex Machina (PS4) - 7/10

6. Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment (Switch) - 8/10

7. The Room (Switch) - 6/10

8. Spider-Man (PS4) - 7/10

9. Monster Hunter World (PS4) 9/10

10. Gucamelee (Switch) 7/10

11. Celeste (Switch) 9/10

12. Just Shapes and Beats (Switch) 6/10

 

 

Pile of Shame:

Spoiler

Breath of the Wild

Sekiro

The Talos Principle

Resident Evil VII

Dishonored 2

Uncharted: Lost Legacy

Cuphead

Prey

Resogun

Thumper

FFVII

Vanquish

Katana Zero

Metro Exodus

Lumines

Hitman 2

Assassin's Creed: Odyssey

Condemned 2

Dark Souls III: Ringed City

Firewatch

Hob

 

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Ok, on a catch up with this, will post in three parts or so, here is the first covering Jan to March...

 

Jan 19

Spiderman (PS4)

 

Had this for my Birthday and it carried me through Xmas and New Year. I couldn't put it down until I had not only finished the story but obtained the Platinum as well.

 

This isn't a lazy license-based tie in rushed out for some movie like we have had in the past, this has the look and feel of a game that has been given the attention it deserves and that shines through in the graphics and gameplay. The web swinging is very well implemented, making the virtual New York a breeze to navigate and the combat never grows old (i enjoyed the taking down the enemy controlled buildings etc).

 

The story was well written and felt good enough for a Spiderman Movie with some nice appearances from the more classic Spidey villains. My only criticism, some of the side quest stuff felt like too much fluff, added in for no real benefit other than to provide more filler (chasing pigeons, Harry Osborne's Science labs) and some of the Taskmaster challenges were stupidly hard but the same can be said for most open world games these days.

 

All in all a great game and one that does the Spiderman name proud. I look forward to the sequel.

 

March 19

 

Far Cry 4 (XB1)

Had a hankering for a big open world shooter and saw this in CEX for next to nothing so picked it up. What can i say other that it is a solid open world shooter on a very big map with lots to do. The story Missions are fun to play and I particularly enjoyed taking down some outposts stealthily and others with all guns blazing. Despite its age I still had a blast with it and will probably pick up 5 at some point in the next 4 years or so! Oh, I didn't like having to kill animals to upgrade my kit, especially Rhinos and Tigers, made me feel super sad.

 

Korgan (XB1)

Found out about this through TrueAchievements website. It's a very mediocre Diablo clone with PS2 era graphics, you get Episode 1 free to play that also nets you 1000G in just under 2 hours. There is a second episode which furthers the story but costs a tenner but it looks unlikely that it will be finished as the devs have probably gone bust. Worth a play for the easy free cheevo's.

 

The Lego Movie 2 (XB1)

Bought for my 6 year old daughter (obvs!). Its almost a strange hybrid of a traditional Lego game with elements of Lego Worlds thrown in (Hub worlds as levels, unlockable Lego builds to create your own hodgepodge Lego city). All in all a fun game, especially for the younger ones that very loosely follows the plot of the film. I started this on the old Xbox1 and then finished on the X, the framerate difference was astounding when playing in split screen Co-op (juddery mess on the Xbox, silky smooth on the X).

 

The Long Reach (XB1)

Picked up in a sale. Bit of a stickler for these 16 bit stylised games. Its effectively a 2d Puzzler with a psychological horror theme, very similar to Uncanny Valley (for any who have played that) but a far better told story. Its a relatively short game (at around 2 hours) so easily doable in one sitting which is something you might want to consider before buying.

 

Spencer (XB1)

AVOID, picked up in a sale and its total garbage. A 2d platformer with hit detection from the 80's and a visual style of one of those amateur Net Yaroze games that came on the old OPM demo discs 20 years ago. Only reason I completed was to get the full 1000G (2-3 Hour) but an incredibly frustrating time was had getting there.

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On 13/04/2019 at 23:45, dreamylittledream said:

 

 

Previously

 

 

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3. Crackdown 3 (Xbox One/PC) (10/03/19)

 

Well I had originally started playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider and whilst I was kind of enjoying it, it wasn't exactly gripping me.  And then this was released which I had to try.  I also got my first PC capable of playing modern games in well over a decade a week after starting it and was mightily impressed that my progress seamlessly carried over as did my Gamepass membership.

 

And I bloody loved it.  The following is shamelessly stolen from my post on the thread as I'm lazy.

 

All the missions and side quests done and evil corporate bitch dispatched.  I still have a couple of gold medals on the races to get and about 150 orbs give or take but having thoroughly rinsed this otherwise I think I'll take a break before coming back to sweep (not yet returned a month later but I might still do).  Oh and I did none of the driving stuff because well, it feels a tad pointless in a game where you literally can jump large building in a single bound, and I am shit at driving in games anyway.

 

Anyway only a Gamepass game or not, this was massively enjoyable stuff.  Clever hooks, great weapons (that one from the top of the Science Tower is amazing), a clear crisp visual style and whilst no aspect is anything other that derivative of a 100 other open world games, it does them so damned well.  I have massively fond memories of the Incredible Hulk and Prototype games and this is basically those (and of course Crackdown 1) done for the current gen.

 

Oh and its bears repeating how much better this looks on a half decent PC to the standard Bone version, played half of this on the Xbox and then got my new laptop and its a striking improvement...

 

So yeah its really good.  Would recommend/10

 

4. F.E.A.R (PC) 13/04/19

 

So its been at least 10 years, actually thinking about it probably more like 15 since I had any kind of PC that was capable of playing much more than a bit of mild emulation or Minecraft at a push (dunno been Mac exclusive for the past 5 anyway so the grunt is inversely compatible with the available software anyway).  But yeah anyway, I was forty this year and as my birthday treat to myself (because lets face it no one else is going to post up the silly money required) I bought myself a gaming laptop.

 

Being so massively out of the loop on such things, god knows if what I dropped £800 notes on was any good.  Its got an 8th gen I5 something processor, its got a 6gb 1060 GTX Nvida thing.  Its got a HD/SSD combo thing so Windows runs more smoothly than Mac OS does on my 2014 MacBook.  Having played Crackdown 3 on it vs my Mk1 Xbox One and properly gawping at the frame rate and resolution difference, its probably got some grunt.  It also has some very pretty lights on the keyboard when you boot it up and a very nice click keyboard so money well spent right?

 

But I digress.  Having got a potentially beast like machine that I can play on the sofa whilst the wife watches the real housewives of god knows where on the telly box, what's the first real test I should apply.  Well as I have a a Steam library of well over 100 titles, largely acquired for free thanks to the largesse of humble bundle et al,  despite not really being able to play any of them due to lacking an appropriate machine for the aforementioned time, why not a game from 2005?  That will validate my very expensive purchase right?  A game I probably have an unplayed copy of the 360 version somewhere still?

 

 I always fancied playing F.E.A.R.  I like FPS's, and I love the Max Payne bullet time thing, so its a no brainer right?  But never got around to it.

 

Until now of course.  And I stayed the course and played the whole thing through.  Through the wonders of being able to grab some idle time and pop in the AirPods whilst the kids are glued to you tube and Mrs Dream is idly scrolling through Facebook.  Yup gaming laptop purchase confirmed as worthwhile (we'll ignore the fact that the Switch already empowered this sort of thing).

 

And well its really good.  Its a simple conceit.  Its your first day as a member of some random top security assault force.  You are sent in to investigate some weird shit at some secretive corporation.  More weird shit ensues.  Suddenly you are in a massive gun fight and discover that miraculously and completely inexplicably you can slow time and shoot the shit out of everyone and everything without them really realising what is going on.  Which it turns out is just as well as in real time the bullets fly about 10 times faster than in a normal FPS and you would be turned to ribbons without this suddenly discovered super power.

 

And so continues, through poor drawn warehouse after warehouse and later non descript early 00s silicon valley office space.  With more than a few trips to the basement and the sewers of course.   

 

So yeah the environments are completely unimaginative and veer probably too close to parody of a early naughties shooter.  But the shooting, well the shooting is immense.  From the moment you become aquatinted with the shotgun and reel around cover to blow two assailants into slow motion death convolutions, completely obliterating the head of one of them, then you know you have a winner.  

 

Despite being some 14 years old the game still looks impressive now you can turn everything up to max without worry.  Ignore the environments which haven't moved a huge amount on from Doom and focus on the particle effects, where frequently  you can barely see what is going on in the bullet strewn ballet that accompanies your movements.  Its simple stuff, explore a little, massive battle, explore a little more; but oh so moreish. And those explosions are magic.

 

Its also tries a little psychological horror.  This is in the main ineffective but the odd jump scare works well.

 

So yeah I loved it.  Loved enough indeed to put up with all the messing about in Big Picture Mode to get a working control scheme (because fuck mouse and keyboard, I'm on the sofa here) and putting up with the fact that the game likes to crash after about 10 minutes on every third boot.

 

So yeah shortcomings a plenty but more than enough here to make you sad that Monolith have only been making LOTR Assassins Creed clones for the past five years - this is clearly their calling.


2. Crash Bandicoot (Switch)

 

Well I did the grunt work on this as it appears about six months ago - then maybe got too frustrated it and meandered off.  So anyway, its a remaster and a really pretty remaster at that  I always had a soft spot for Crash but I'm pretty sure I never finished it on the Psone - stupid bloody save system probably saw to that.,  So they fixed that and they made the game look - well pretty much as you remember it, only no this is how you expect games to look now - not the horror of what they actually looked at the time.

 

So anyway Crash, its actually a really good game.  Maddeningly frustrating of course in places, but loads of fun and the sheer relief and triumph of beating a tough level is hard to beat.  No I didn't get anywhere near getting all the boxes or finding the hidden gems, its hard enough at it is.  But finally I beat the as it happens only about six levels I had remaining this weekend and yeah its a good game.

 

Actually no its really good.  Obviously not Mario level 2d platform quality but its aged really well.  So one down two to go...


1. Shadow Warrior (XBone) 

So I'm on a Gamepass kick (because when you have a backlog of almost a hundred physical games that's logical right) , so I jumped straight from the very enjoyable Strange Brigade to this.  I always fancied this at the time - bit of a old school shooter action with shiny new graphics et al.  And well bugger me if it isn't really good.  Maybe its just lack of exposure to this sort of thing in the late teens of this decade, but it turns out that Doom (2016) wasn't a one off.  This is a full blooded (very bloody infact) run through all the cliches of classic 90s shooter style.  Flitting between quiet looting and exploration to massively frantic arenas of demons - some full throated weapons - and of course lots of locked door maze puzzles.  Maybe its just the nostalgia but this is so much damned fun.  Its got a great shotgun that you can upgrade to fire four barrels.  And its got a Katana that never gets old.  Its far from perfect of course, V sync issues probably should have been left in the last generation and on occasion its a bit too easy to get lost in very similar looking backdrops but after years of narrow corridor shooters this feels like a blast of freedom.  Oh and whilst I grew accustomed to the quirky controls (ADS on R3 is a new one for me) putting all the special moves as combinations of movements on the left stick and a trigger meant I rarely could pull them off with any degree of accuracy during frantic combat.  Just as well that shotgun is so good... 

I gorged on 17 hours or so of the campaign and never found it outstayed its welcome.  Just for a bonus it actually has a semi serious  story that is really beautifully told with some lovely water colour art and a bitter sweet ending to mix in with the quips and the cock jokes.

I downloaded the sequel straight away (god I love Gamepass) 

 

 

5. Devil May Cry 5 (PC)

 

So muh changes, so much stays then same.  A decade passes between the last numbered entry (writing dmc out is a bad mistake) and all is relatively similar. So this is more crazy character action eventually gifting you with a character that can flick through four different stances and half dozen weapons that can be deployed within a single combo.  No the story makes pretty much zero sense.  Yes the camera still is not quite all there.  Yes its still all amazing fun.

 

The PC version is perhaps not quite perfect; some slight frame rate pauses where you don't want them but I bloody loved this.  I've adored every preceding title (obviously not 2) and whilst I'm not sure this is quite the  game dmc  managed, its still pretty bloody ace.  Love it Capcom, keep it coming

 

6. Rage 2 (PC)

 

So the sequel to the ginger haired step child of iD's output.  I actually loved Rage, honestly swear to god though it was a great game.  Fucking awful ending but that rocket shotgun, well I can forgive a lot.

 

Now this almost ended up on the abandoned games, much as I was thoroughly enjoying myself, the last update broke one of the final mission triggers, as in broke and quit to desktop.  But anyway I' had a blast up to that point and yes they did fix it last week so I got to see the credits.  And I came back to check which says a great deal about the game methinks.

 

So its low brain activity this and high on the open world wander around and blast something front.  But I do like me an open world where the moment to moment gameplay is enthralling and this does combat well like too few other than iD manage.  Its masses of fun clearing up the messy busy work of the map and I plugged about 35 hours in.

 

And it has a great shotgun, what more do you need.

 

Bizarre game structure, too sparse story.  All valid complaints, but when it comes to wrecking shit up, Rage 2 is on the money. Loved it

 

7. Super Lucky Tale (PC)

 

Pallet cleanser and a half decent 3d character platformer which is unusual in itself in 2019.

 

Nothing outstanding but  lots of fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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. 

 

3. What Remains of Edith Finch? (Xbox)

Enjoyed this just as much on my second play through. Excellent game.

 

 

Not really had much time and been sinking hours into stuff like Monster Hunter World, MH Generations and (thankfully no longer) Fortnite.

 

4. Guacamelée 2 (Switch)

More of the same, really, which is fine by me. 8/10

 

5. Gato Roboto (Switch)

Cute little Metroid clone. Finished it in 3h30m with 75% completion rate. Well worth £6 if you want something simple and you like cats. 7/10.

 

 

–––

 

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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Had some stuff to update here:

 

Dead State (PC): It's a zombie apocalypse turn-based tactics RPG. I don't normally gravitate towards this type of strategy action game but my wife wanted to watch me play something in the horror genre. She soon got bored after realising what it actually was, but I found it decent enough to carry on until the end without her.

 

You need to build and upgrade your shelter by going out to scavenge food and resources to survive. Trouble is, if you're diligent enough to collect everything from every map this soon becomes trivially easy to manage.

 

Inventory management was a bit bad as well. There was no way to sort by weapons or armour so it got hard to find and compare stuff when your store was full.

 

Better is the combat challenge that comes from fighting zombies and human. Unfortunately, neither of which change that much from the start and it soon becomes repetitive. There may be more zombies in later maps but they're easy to pick off one by one. Humans with better armour and weapons are a bit more difficult but should be about on level with your own upgrades. Noise attracts zombies to gunfights, though, and some of the best fights were the ones where you took on both at once while herding the undead into the path of the living enemies.

 

The other good part is the writing. It's written by Brian Mitsoda who worked on Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines so you know it's pretty great. Some well-written characters and decisions to be made throughout. Unfortunately, it's low budget fails it a bit in which there's not much for characters to actually do beyond some scripted events and most of the conversations take place in the same location. Overall, though, the dialogue and moral choices were definitely what pulled me through when the rest of the game become repetitive.
 

I spent way too long getting the achievement to rescue everybody, even with using a guide, to say it was great, however it's recommended as one to take a dip into if you're looking forward to Bloodlines 2.

 

Lyne (PC) - Gifted to me as part of Steam Secret Santa. You have to trace lines through different nodes correctly to complete puzzle leves. It was alright, but I found the puzzles themselves quite arbitrary and there wasn't evidence there of a finely-crafted puzzle to crack. Most of it was, for me at least, finding the obvious pattern then brute forcing the final solution. It's definitely one more suited to touch-screen, too.

 

Curiously, I found the daily random challenges more enjoyable as you could blast through several puzzles at once to get a sense of accomplishment without wondering if there was any method to the puzzles that featured in the campaign.

 

One that was enjoyable enough to work through but lacked that spark of a great puzzle game.

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Next part of my catch up list, April to May:

 

April

 

Gears of War Ultimate Edition (XB1)

Had this on the play list for a couple of years. Not a big fan of the Gears series (Only played 1 and 2 on the 360 years ago), I have never liked the art direction and the shallow story/lack of world building. Despite this I really enjoyed playing this, the cover-based shooting mechanic works so well and it all goes along at a fair pace. I had actually forgotten large sections of this game from playing it years ago, other than the final boss battle.

 

Playing this has actually made me start playing 3 in prep for 4 and 5 coming out in Sept. My only gripe with this game (other than the bleak colour palette) is the lack of an X enhancement, surprising seeing as this is the Ultimate Edition and that both 2 and 3 are X enhanced!

 

What Remains of Edith Finch (XB1 Gamepass)

I had been meaning to play this for a while and when I saw it was available on Gamepass it was an instant download. This is probably the most thought provoking and emotional walking sim I have played to date. Discovering each family members story as you wander through this huge foreboding and mysterious house is fascinating and haunting at the same time. I won't go into too much detail as this really needs to be experienced first-hand to capture the full impact and satisfaction of that first play through. A wonderful game and true work of art.

 

May

 

Duke Nukem 3D 20th Anniversary World Tour (XB1)

I am a big DN3D fan and have owned various iterations over the years on a number of different formats. This version features all three original episodes, an episode from the Atomic edition plus a whole new episode made specifically for this Anniversary release.

 

I have played on and off over the past two years but finally finished the last episode (having gone through them in order) in May. I might have cheated here and there (cheats don't disable achievements which is a good thing, in fact you get an achievement for activating a cheat). Also worth playing with the commentary on and listening to the anecdotes of the original 3D Realms team as they reminisce on the 90's pop culture references scattered throughout the game.

 

Tacoma (XB1 Gamepass)

I mentioned this one in the Gamepass thread a while back. A walking sim set on a deserted space station where you have to determine what has happened to its crew through a series of pre-recorded holographic messages. It's a nice short and sweet story and is well worth the time spent if you enjoy these sorts of things. I especially like the setting, bit different from the usual walking sim.

 

ABZU (XB1 Gamepass)

Its a swimming sim! You swim and swim through caves and lagoons, freeing fish and other aquatic life, collecting seashells and occasionally having to touch crystals to "clean" parts of the ocean or something. There is something of a story here but its not overly explicit leaving most of it to the imagination (which is nice). Its very relaxing to play (the colours are vibrant and the ambient music soothing) but can become a little frustrating if you get a little lost in some of the bigger areas. Worth a play as it is different from most of the games out there.

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16. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
19-29 Jun
A near perfect follow up to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night over 20 years later. It captures everything that made that game stand out, including some of the wonkiness, while adding a lot of modern touches. It's happy to let you experiment and play with tons of different set ups, even at the expense of balance, and adds so many nice little call backs to the older game that it's impossible not to appreciate the detail. The only issue really is that the final third drags a bit as you have to figure out what to do.

17. Judgment
1 Jun-2 Jul
Pretty much what I felt about Yakuza 0 in the end, which is a mix of positive and negative. I liked the change of perspective here, in playing an ex-lawyer private detective instead of an actual Yakuza, and all the different detective modes (trailing, chasing, evidence collecting, disguises) add variety. But none of them are substantial or remotely taxing and they don't develop much throughout the game. The only mild challenge comes from the combat, which is as clumsy and hilariously OTT as ever. But then the characters are great. The story is completely daft but also quite addictive. The side missions are often wonderfully silly. And there are all the various distractions (drone racing in particular is good). So it's hard not to like the game even when it's not asking you to do much or sending you running around the city on errands. I doubt I've got another of these games in me, but I'd definitely pay attention if they ever announced a Yagami and Kaito spinoff of some sort. 

18. Sea of Solitude
5-6 Jul
Done in about 4 hours. 5 at most. Which is fine. It's probably most comparable to Rime in terms of what you actually do - ie not much beyond finding your way - and its attempt to represent themes with its various obstacles and sections. The environment design is very good, in the way it keeps changing how you navigate the same locations with the rising and falling water level and other tricks. It's a shame it's so heavy-handed with the story and dialogue, because it could get its point across with more subtlety, and that some sections feel less well thought through than others. But it's still quite effective.

19. Bayonetta 2
22 May-7 Jul
I'm a big fan of Bayonetta and did almost everything there was to do in the first game. But then I thought it did so much and did everything so well, there wasn't much point in a sequel, because it had nowhere to go. Then a sequel came out, and of course I wanted to play it, and now it's on Switch, I have.

Just got round to finishing on Normal (started a while back and got sidetracked), and in a way I think I was probably right. There isn't anywhere for it to go. Mostly it's more Bayonetta, with some of the minor annoyances (QTEs) ironed out. On one hand, that means the combat is still *that* good, far better than in any similar game, with the pace and the timing and the style. It's hectic and visually busy, and yet you can be fully aware of what's going on and in complete control doing the craziest of moves. On the other, it's never quite as fresh, and the design is just a notch down from the scale of the first game. Levels aren't as varied, the new monsters are less memorable, the boss fights are pretty much all the same, the weapons less satisfying. Even the torture attacks feel a bit tame.

Still, I've only finished on Normal, and the first Witch Trial that's unlocked is already a step up from a lot of the main game. And the combat is still *that* good. It's just a question of how much time and effort I want to put into it now. If I try and do almost everything again, I could really get into it. I'm just not sure I've got the inclination this time. I hope Bayonetta 3 tries to move things forward more, if it can find somewhere new to go.

 

Previously:

Spoiler

 

1. 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.

 

2. 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.

 

3. 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.

 

4. 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.

 

5. 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.

 

6. 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.

 

7. Baba Is You [9]
22 Feb-6 Mar
I played this for about 30 hours in the last few weeks. It's a great puzzle game, full of clever ideas and endlessly flexible. There's also plenty of it. It gets difficult though. I got stuck a lot and sometimes spent ages on a single puzzle trying all sorts of solutions. Fortunately it's got an open structure, so you can keep switching between different routes until one of them gives way. And so often the solutions end up being simpler than you'd thought. I still haven't finished all of it, and I'm not sure I will, but it's probably a good one to go back to now and again just to see if anything new clicks. The system behind it is ingenious.

 

8. The Stillness of the Wind
11-12 Mar
A slow indie game about loneliness and a life unlived. Sort of a farm simulator, but only at a very basic level and deliberately makes life difficult for its aging protagonist. It has some interesting ideas but is also dull to play, which is kind of the point, but still.

 

9. Zelda: Breath of the Wild [10]
11 Jan-17 Mar
Finally decided to make a run for the middle and do the finale. The actual confrontation is a bit of a letdown in the end, but the castle was good fun. There's still tons more stuff I could do, of course. My profile says I've played over 70 hours. I've done 64 shrines, still got a few memories to find, and many many side quests to do. Overall, it lived up to very high expectations. It absolutely is one of the greatest games ever made, and the sheer scope and quality of it are incredible. Certainly as long as there was more map to uncover I was happy to keep wandering and jumping into whatever came my way. I lost a bit of impetus towards the end, but it's something I could return to some day to mop up various stuff.

There's not much point going on about it all, especially as everyone else finished it 2 years ago, so here's 5 things that really made it for me:

1. Mountains: The combination of my desire to explore and that climbing ability made every mountain and tower irresistible. Get as high as possible, see what I can see, glide down to a point of interest. Repeat. 

2. The camera: I mean the camera in the Sheikah slate. As soon as it was introduced it changed the game for me. Suddenly there's a good reason to wander around observing the wildlife. You're not only an adventurer but also a tourist in the game world.

3. Breaking weapons: It's a brilliant idea to make everything so disposable. It really encourages you to use whatever you find instead of getting all precious about it and hoarding it for later. Hit an enemy until your weapon breaks. Pick up his weapon. Hit the next one. Liberating.

4. Leaving me alone: Who knew Nintendo would ever dare do this after forcing Navi, Fi and Boaty McBoatface on us? Someone's been playing Dark Souls, it seems, and then decided to take the idea even further. 

5. It's still Zelda: And yet despite the fact they've taken such a change of direction and clearly been inspired by other RPGs and open world games, everything in this still feels like Zelda. Most of all it reminded me of A Link to the Past. Just 100 times bigger.

 

10. Katana Zero
9-12 Apr
Very much inspired by Hotline Miami in style and tone, and with the same brand of sudden, quick violence. The basics of combat work very well, with well-timed strikes proving hilariously and brutally effective. The weird story is also decent enough, but it's a shame there's so much of it in comparison to the relatively short missions. It should have made more of its action sequences.

11. Steamworld Quest
6-17 Apr
Card-based RPG that has a smart combat system at its core, but not much else around it to hold the attention. The exploration aspect of the game is very limited and there's not much to the story. No matter how good the battle system is - and it's not really amazing in the end - it can't stop the whole thing becoming very repetitive.

12. Sekiro
22 Mar-28 Apr
I didn't beat the proper final boss, but did manage one of the endings. Overall, there is so much to like about it and it does most things almost perfectly, but a handful of issues can make it horribly frustrating at times. I'd have one session where it felt like the greatest action game ever, but almost always followed by another where it seemed to be tiresomely punishing. The imbalance between the fun of traversing the open areas and killing normal enemies to make quick progress, and then the multi-phase bosses that can take hours of repetition to learn, is ultimately too pronounced. The sword fighting is still wonderful though.

13. A Plague Tale: Innocence
1-6 May
This is a decent narrative-led action/stealth game made quite a bit better by the quality of world and character building. Gameplay is simple enough to keep it moving at a good pace, but the real stars of the show are the kids, the views and the rats. It all lacks a bit of polish, but that's easy to forgive when the characters and situations drive it forward so well.

14. Heaven's Vault
7-14 May
Indie sci-fi archeology joint. You go around looking for ancient stuff and translating inscriptions, in order to discover new sites of interest. There's also an interesting story going on about the peoples from different moons and some themes about how we understand history. The best part of it is exploring new sites and finding new stuff to translate. When you start to put the language together it's fascinating. The main issue with it though is that it all moves just a little too slow, especially sailing between locations, and the interface can be a bit clumsy.

 

15. Devil May Cry V

The focus and purity of this is very commendable - it's all about the combat - and the systems are clearly refined and deep. What I'm not sure about is whether it assumes too much prior knowledge. I've finished it on Devil Hunter mode (Normal, effectively) and I feel like I've learned 100 different moves but I haven't really been taught how to play it. It's like there's another game running parallel to the OTT button-mashing hack and slash thing I played, but it doesn't want to tell you what it is. Instead it keeps loading on new techniques and controls, until there's too much to remember. Fair enough to an extent, in terms of giving you plenty of approaches and styles, but it makes it all kind of confusing. The other issue is the level design is pretty bland for the most part, so whether it's worth going through all those levels again just to improve skills is questionable. It probably isn't for me, but I did have a laugh with it for the most part. The spectacle, especially with bosses, was strong and the action was frantic and fun. I can understand why some people would love it, but my experience was merely good.

 

 

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Ok all, I have now completed 34 games this year and I will briefly review all. 

 

1) Super Adventure Island: A favourite since childhood. Simple, fun and amazing music. Comfort gaming but objectively not worth the original RRP. 

2) Ridge Racer Type 4: Majestic in terms of gameplay, graphics and music. But the terrible repetitive GP structure means it's overrated to some extent and not the best RR. 

3) Pang! An all time arcade classic. Still one of my favourite single screen games today. 

4) The Combatribes: Arcade game here, it's a lot of fun although does feel slightly unpolished. I love the chunky art. 

5) Ace Combat 2: Never played this before this year, not passed level 1 anyway. It's absolutely brilliant in all honest. Still looks nice, great music and varied missions. 

6) Axelay: My favourite ever shooter. Stunning visuals, better sound and great levels. Just too short and some slowdown. 

7) Rally De Africa: Quirky Sega Rally style racer on PS1. Absolutely loads of fun and plays well today. 

8) Link's Awakening: Masterpiece. All time classic. Incredible achievement to create a 16bit quality game on a GB. 

9) Streets of Rage 2: Not my favourite scrolling beat em up but certainly one of the best. A truly brilliant fusion of gameplay, music and graphics. 

10) Tiny Toon Adventures: This SNES game is varied, super fun and great to look at. A little short but that was common for the time. 

 

11) Aladdin: SNES version here. Far too easy to beat but exceptionally playable. Capcom understood platforming in a way that Virgin absolutely didn't. 

12) NFS Porsche Unleashed: PS1 version, PC is apparently better. Not a brilliant racer by any means. But offers some good handling and tracks. A bit slow. 

13) Shox: Magnificent PS2 rally racer. Brutal AI with obvious catchup but logic you can constantly defeat with good racing. Stunning visuals and annoying presentation. 

14) Resident Evil 2: PS4 remake which was brilliant bar the lack of interaction between stories. 

15) Sonic 1: MS version and by far my favourite. Brilliant music and emeralds being hidden in levels is better than crappy special stages. 

16) F-Zero X: One of my all time favourite racers. Butter smooth, brilliant control and great music. 

17) Exhaust Heat: An above average racer that has nostalgia by the dozen. The upgrade system was great for the time. 

18) Jak and Daxter My favourite ever 3D platform game. Sadly one they never bettered due to the move to a GTA style world. 

19) Need for Speed 3: Great techno music and decent visuals mixed with good handling and tracks. Choppy frame rate on PS1 at times but still good fun. 

20) Ihatovo Monogatari: Magical Ghibli style SFC only adventure. Basically a 16 bit walking simulator that has the qualities of a poignant Ghibli experience. 

 

21) V-rally 3: A racer that I have tried and tried to get into before but this time it clicked. Good career, great graphics and superbly gameplay. 

22) Ridge Racer: All time classic. PS1 port of course. Which I had a cab!

23) Ridge Racer Revolution: A great update that is harder, better looking and just more more more. Mega hard though and no original track in single player. 

24) Mercs: Great arcade action, completed with @strider at Arcade Club. I am crap though, so thank heaven for free play!

25) Heart of Stone DLC: Does this count? Who cares!? It was great and arguable more consistent an experience than the main game. 

26) Wave Race 64: Legendary game and finally beat the reverse courses! Needs a 60fps  update with the MK8 engine. 

27) Super Mario Land DX: Mega easy but when the colour rom hack was released I had to have a go and it's great. 

28) Touge 3: Extremely average PS2 racer but good fun if you like that sort of thing. (clue, I do!)

29) Wave Rally: Underrated PS2 water based racer. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes compulsive. Looks brilliant too. 

30) Destruction Derby: Good quality racer with fantastic visuals and great music. Basic tracks, flawed design but just something I have always enjoyed. 

 

31) Touge Max 2. Brilliant JP only PS1 drift racer. Superb visuals, great modes and top handling. 

32) Rapid Racer: Another superb water based racer that is much better than given credit for. 50 fps, high res and brilliant music. 

33) Wangan Trial: Quirky PS1 'drama' racer. Has a FMW story mode, some good tracks and car models but is rather grey of palette. Good handling too. 

34) Suikoden V: Enjoyable sequel that wronged a lot of what IV did. Still a bit long and grey of colour but a good plot and fighting systems once it gets going. 

 

ta-da!

 

 

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2 hours ago, nakamura said:

Ok all, I have now completed 34 games this year and I will briefly review all. 

 

1) Super Adventure Island: A favourite since childhood. Simple, fun and amazing music. Comfort gaming but objectively not worth the original RRP. 

2) Ridge Racer Type 4: Majestic in terms of gameplay, graphics and music. But the terrible repetitive GP structure means it's overrated to some extent and not the best RR. 

3) Pang! An all time arcade classic. Still one of my favourite single screen games today. 

4) The Combatribes: Arcade game here, it's a lot of fun although does feel slightly unpolished. I love the chunky art. 

5) Ace Combat 2: Never played this before this year, not passed level 1 anyway. It's absolutely brilliant in all honest. Still looks nice, great music and varied missions. 

6) Axelay: My favourite ever shooter. Stunning visuals, better sound and great levels. Just too short and some slowdown. 

7) Rally De Africa: Quirky Sega Rally style racer on PS1. Absolutely loads of fun and plays well today. 

8) Link's Awakening: Masterpiece. All time classic. Incredible achievement to create a 16bit quality game on a GB. 

9) Streets of Rage 2: Not my favourite scrolling beat em up but certainly one of the best. A truly brilliant fusion of gameplay, music and graphics. 

10) Tiny Toon Adventures: This SNES game is varied, super fun and great to look at. A little short but that was common for the time. 

 

11) Aladdin: SNES version here. Far too easy to beat but exceptionally playable. Capcom understood platforming in a way that Virgin absolutely didn't. 

12) NFS Porsche Unleashed: PS1 version, PC is apparently better. Not a brilliant racer by any means. But offers some good handling and tracks. A bit slow. 

13) Shox: Magnificent PS2 rally racer. Brutal AI with obvious catchup but logic you can constantly defeat with good racing. Stunning visuals and annoying presentation. 

14) Resident Evil 2: PS4 remake which was brilliant bar the lack of interaction between stories. 

15) Sonic 1: MS version and by far my favourite. Brilliant music and emeralds being hidden in levels is better than crappy special stages. 

16) F-Zero X: One of my all time favourite racers. Butter smooth, brilliant control and great music. 

17) Exhaust Heat: An above average racer that has nostalgia by the dozen. The upgrade system was great for the time. 

18) Jak and Daxter My favourite ever 3D platform game. Sadly one they never bettered due to the move to a GTA style world. 

19) Need for Speed 3: Great techno music and decent visuals mixed with good handling and tracks. Choppy frame rate on PS1 at times but still good fun. 

20) Ihatovo Monogatari: Magical Ghibli style SFC only adventure. Basically a 16 bit walking simulator that has the qualities of a poignant Ghibli experience. 

 

21) V-rally 3: A racer that I have tried and tried to get into before but this time it clicked. Good career, great graphics and superbly gameplay. 

22) Ridge Racer: All time classic. PS1 port of course. Which I had a cab!

23) Ridge Racer Revolution: A great update that is harder, better looking and just more more more. Mega hard though and no original track in single player. 

24) Mercs: Great arcade action, completed with @strider at Arcade Club. I am crap though, so thank heaven for free play!

25) Heart of Stone DLC: Does this count? Who cares!? It was great and arguable more consistent an experience than the main game. 

26) Wave Race 64: Legendary game and finally beat the reverse courses! Needs a 60fps  update with the MK8 engine. 

27) Super Mario Land DX: Mega easy but when the colour rom hack was released I had to have a go and it's great. 

28) Touge 3: Extremely average PS2 racer but good fun if you like that sort of thing. (clue, I do!)

29) Wave Rally: Underrated PS2 water based racer. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes compulsive. Looks brilliant too. 

30) Destruction Derby: Good quality racer with fantastic visuals and great music. Basic tracks, flawed design but just something I have always enjoyed. 

 

31) Touge Max 2. Brilliant JP only PS1 drift racer. Superb visuals, great modes and top handling. 

32) Rapid Racer: Another superb water based racer that is much better than given credit for. 50 fps, high res and brilliant music. 

33) Wangan Trial: Quirky PS1 'drama' racer. Has a FMW story mode, some good tracks and car models but is rather grey of palette. Good handling too. 

34) Suikoden V: Enjoyable sequel that wronged a lot of what IV did. Still a bit long and grey of colour but a good plot and fighting systems once it gets going. 

 

ta-da!

 

 

Are you locked in a German cellar?

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That's an amazing clearance rate. Even when I was unemployed a few years back I'd get through 52 a week year, (And some of those were indie games that were done and over in less than half an hour.)

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39 minutes ago, Unofficial Who said:

That's an amazing clearance rate. Even when I was unemployed a few years back I'd get through 52 a week, (And some of those were indie games that were done and over in less than half an hour.)

 

A Week!

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1 minute ago, Unofficial Who said:

Oops! I meant a year!

 

Oh! disappointing you should have said yes a week & given us a list of all the 30 minute indie games you've completed.

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21 hours ago, nakamura said:

Ok all, I have now completed 34 games this year and I will briefly review all. 

 

1) Super Adventure Island: A favourite since childhood. Simple, fun and amazing music. Comfort gaming but objectively not worth the original RRP. 

[...snip...]

34) Suikoden V: Enjoyable sequel that wronged a lot of what IV did. Still a bit long and grey of colour but a good plot and fighting systems once it gets going. 

 

ta-da!

 

 

 

Blimey, I know I asked, but I just expected a brief comment on the latest one you'd done!

 

But thanks - retro represent!

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20 hours ago, Mawdlin said:

Are you locked in a German cellar?

I don't actually game that much, especially not as it looks. Some of those games, particularly the RPGs are finish off from years before. Suikoden V for example I started about 4 years ago. 

Other games like Aladdin, Tiny Toons and Adventure Island take 30-45 minutes. 

I can beat Ridge Racer 1 in 8 races, I just win each one first time. 

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