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What games did you complete? 2020 Edition


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Hypnospace Outlaw - This is a really good little title. Essentially a text adventure, you solve cases as a moderator through an increasing roster of programs and processes where the puzzle is working out which ones to apply, a bit like Papers Please.

 

There's a great strain of absurdist humour through the various websites, but what I didn't expect was an actual theme and message behind the whole thing that was very timely, a condemnation of the way individual internet service CEOs can have outsized impact on our culture, such as the impact of harassment and abuse landing on the victim speaking out. And the music is far better than it has any right to be.

 

Spoiler

The Touryst

Carrion

Mario 64 (PC)

Gone Home 

Observation 

A Short Hike 

Age of Wonders: Planetfall

Yakuza Kiwami

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

Gears Tactics

Grandia 3

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Wave Race 64

Slay the Spire

Halo 3 

Halo 2: Anniversary

Halo CE: Anniversary 

Crackdown 3
Kingdom Come: Deliverance + DLC

God of War (2005) 

Resident Evil 2 RE

Grandia 2 

 

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Sep

 

26/09 Carrion (PC) So many games don't think about player movement and are clumsy. Fewer games still make the movement itself a joy. Carrion is a game about a monster. Expect you are that monster, a clumsy looking ted mass of tentacles meat and mouths. But the movement is a joy. Despite slithering and tumbling about you always feel in direct control, whether you're creeping in a ceiling or rushing through the complex ripping it and it's occupants apart. I've heard it described as a video game where you play as the boss and it never falls into the trap of adding overpowered enemies. The real risk is in becoming overconfident and over aggressive and finding yourself in a situation you can't get out of.

 

19/09 Glass Masquerade (PC) It's a jigsaw puzzle game where you put together the fronts of stained glass clocks. Some puzzles took minutes to solve, some took near half an hour. There's something about this that reminds me of chill puzzle games on the Amiga, there's not much to it but a more chill game I'd challenge you to find.

 

08/09 A Short Hike (PC) I've heard this can be a very short game. You can reach the peak in an hour. Maybe less. I took a lot longer than that, distracted for three hours. This game is just nice. Incredibly chilled. And even though I've finished it I don't think I'll be uninstalling it. There's still more to see. The only downside is the creators preferred fat pixel mode. I usually love chunky pixels but in this case felt that the game looked much better without the chunks. (A quick trip to the graphics menu allows you to fix it.) And if you've played it before...play it again. They've added a motorboat which has a great scene.

 

06/09 RAD (PC) Bit of an odd one this. It's a six level rogue like with a Diablo style perspective and design somewhat like the Binding of Isaac. It's a weird collaboration between Double Fine and Namco which means it's wacky and off kilter but with classic Namco arcade sound effects. It's got an 80's straight to VHS feel down to the filters on some of the screens, the colour palette and the new wave music. The plot? After the second apocalypse teenagers are sent into the radiation infested world outside the village. You're armed with a baseball bat and the ability to absorb radiation. Every creature you kill (and some food you consume) with give you XP in the form of radiation. Every level up gives you a new mutation. Maybe a buff or resistance. Maybe extra health. Maybe an arm you can rip off and use as a boomerang, a tail that spawns spider like mini me things, maybe gas that can poison.

 

It's great and all but it's the very definition of a 7/10 game.

 

And I fell in love with it. After completing it eight times (out of over 50 runs) with a play time of 60 hours I've probably exhausted everything the game had to offer (and truth be told the ending was anti climatic) but I got an awful lot out of the $11AU I paid for it. I'd hesitate to recommend it over Diablo or Binding of Issac, both better games. It just felt like this was made just for me.

 

Previously this month

 

05/09 Super Mario Bros (SNES/Switch)

 

Earlier this year

 

 

 


58. 22/08 Assassin's Creed:Unity:Dead Kings DLC (PS4)
57. 02/08 KIDS (PC) 
56. 24/07 Close to the Sun (PC) 
55. 23/07 Thunder Cross (PC/Arcade/Switch)
54. 18/07 SKYE (PC) 
53. 18/07 Metal Gear Solid:Ground Zeroes (PS4) 
52. 18/07 Erica (PS4) 
51. 18/07 Symphonia! (PC) 
50. 12/07 Life is Strange:Before the Storm (PC)
49. 05/07 Assemble With Care (PC) 
48. 04/07 Mushroom Cats 2 (PC) 
47. 04/07 Outer Wilds (PC)
46. 20/06 Diamo XL (PC
45. 16/06 Bing Bong XL (PC) 
44. 16/06 Duke Grabowski, Mighty Swashbuckler (PC)
43. 15/06 Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge (Browser) 
42. 13/06 Shinobi (Switch)
41. 08/06 Final Fantasy 7:Remake (PS4) 
40. 08/06 Missile Command:Recharged (PC)
39. 07/06 Star Wars Battlefront 2 (PS4) 
38. 07/06 Orbt XL (PC) 
37. 07/06 Ding Dong XL (PC)
36. 30/05 Tales from Off Peak City:Vol 1 (PC) 
35. 27/05 30 Miles to Barnard Castle (PS4/Dreams) 
34. 24/05 Super Bit Blaster XL (PC)
33. 22/05 When the Past was Around:Prologue (PC) 
32. 15/05 Mushroom Cats (PC) 
31. 09/05 deltarune:Chapter 1 (Switch) 
30. 21/04 Donkey Kong Jr (NES/Switch) 
29. 21/04 Donkey Kong (NES/Switch)
28. 21/04 Super Mario 2 (NES/Switch)
27. 13/04 Black Mesa (PC) 
26. 11/04 Arcade Moonlander Plus (PC)
25. 10/04 There is No Game (Jam Edition 2015) (PC)
24. 10/04 The Adventure Pals (PC)
23. 30/03 Bioshock Infinite:Burial at Sea (PS4)
22. 23/03 Bioshock Infinite (PS4)
21. 15/03 Bioshock 2 (PS4)
20. 11/03 The Supper (PC)
19. 08/03 Devil's Kiss (PC)
18. 07/03 Time Gentlemen, Please! (PC)
17. 04/03 Bioshock 2:Minerva's Den (PS4)
16. 01/03 Bioshock (PS4)
15. 27/02 Ben There, Dan That : Special Edition (PC) 
14. 21/02 You've to to be Kitten Me! (PS4/Dreams) 
13. 17/02 Art Therapy (PS4/Dreams) 
12. 16/02 Art's Dream (PS4/Dreams) 
11. 12/02 Juanito Arcade Mayhem (PC) 
10. 08/02 Wolfenstein 2:the New Colossus (PC) (plus The Freedom Chronicles DLC) 
9. 03/02 The Outer Worlds (PS4) 
8. 27/01 Quest of Dungeons (PC) 
7. 21/01 Feather (PC)
6. 20/01 Paperbark (PC)
5. 09/01 The Cat and the Coup (PC) 
4. 09/01 1979 Revolution:Black Friday (PC) 
3. 08/01 Wolfenstein:the Old Blood (PC) 
2. 03/01 Wolfenstein:the New Order (PC) 
1. 01/01 Detroit:Become Human (PS4)

 

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Zenodeath - 1cc, Normal, Gregg (9)
 

Spoiler

 

Wolcen (8)
Monolith Relics of the past DLC - Loop 4 (9)
Mushihimesama Futari - Normal 1cc (10)
DoDonPachi - C-L 1cc (10)
Cardinal Sins - Trial 1cc (10)
Darius Gaiden - 1cc (8)
Gunbird - 1cc (7)
ZeroRanger - White Vanilla 1cc (10)
Dezatopia - 1cc (up to and including route L) (9)
Skycat - Expert 1cc (6)
Roundguard (4)
Gunfire Reborn - Elite solo (10)

Super XYX - 1cc, Challenging, Helltiger, TLB (9)

 

 

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Previously...

 

 

1) AM2R - PC - 2016 (1991)
2) Ecco The Dolphin - Mega CD - 1992/3
3) Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - 3DS - 2012/14
4) Mega Man X - SNES - 1993
5) Super Metroid - SNES - 1994
6) Donkey Kong Country - SNES - 1994
7) Chrono Trigger - SNES - 1995
8) Star Fox 2 - SNES - 2017 (1995)
9) Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island - SNES - 1995
10) Xenogears - PS1 - 1998
11) Sonic the Hedgehog - Megadrive - 1991
12) Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - SNES - 1996
13) Kirby Super Star - SNES - 1996
14) Earthbound - SNES - 1995
15) R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 - PS1 - 1998/9
16) Tomb Raider III - PC - 1998
17) Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation - PC - 1999
18) Tomb Raider Chronicles - PC - 2000
19) Shenmue HD - PC - 2018 (1999/2000)
20) Shenmue II HD - PC - 2018 (2001)
21) Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy - PS3 - 2012 (2001)
22) Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness - PC - 2003
23) Jak II: Renegade - PS3 - 2012 (2003)
24) Jak 3 - PS3 - 2012 (2004)
25) Tomb Raider: Legend - PC - 2006
26) Tomb Raider: Anniversary - PC - 2007
27) Uncharted: Drake's Fortune - PS4 - 2015 (2007)
28) Tomb Raider: Underworld - PC - 2008
29) Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice - 3DS - 2016
30) Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - PS4 - 2015 (2009)
31) Final Fantasy Adventure - GameBoy - 1991
32) Alpha Protocol - PC - 2010
33) Day of the Tentacle Remastered - Vita - 2016 (1993)
34) Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game - PC - 2011

 

 

35) Star Fox 64 3D - 3DS - 2011 (1997)

 

After playing Star Fox last year and Star Fox 2 earlier this year, I thought I would give the sequel a go, having played it briefly on the N64 when it was known as Lylat Wars. So I played through and completed the 3DS remake a few times, to try alternate routes and see all of the levels (approx. 8 hours total). I got the good ending eventually, on normal N64 difficulty.

 

This is an on-rails shooter like its predecessors, but can be thought of as a reboot of the series as it follows the same scenario as Star Fox 1 and ends with a fight against a giant Andross head. Obviously it isn't relying on the SNES's FX-chip to render pseudo-3D anymore so it can do the concept justice. This was an impressive game back in the day and the first to make use of the rumble pak, which is sadly not an option in the 3DS remake. However, the remake does have some impressive new graphics with snazzy textures and no vaseline-o-vision. I like it, but it's a little uncomfortable to play for long periods.

 

This didn't get much attention in 2011, did it? I guess for those unfamiliar with Star Fox, it's just a short on-rails game. And fans of the original probably snubbed it for having too many changes like re-recorded dialogue and the aforementioned new graphics. Still, for the money (not much these days), it's a pretty fun on-rails shooter with some nice ideas, excellent presentation and a structure that begs you to play through it lots of times. Different routes through the levels produce different outcomes or make different characters appear in support roles. It's got levels with land- and water-based vehicles and adds the All-Range mode, which is its attempt at free flight dog-fighting. This for me is the weakest element, as I find it frustrating, unable to turn and face my targets quickly enough or get enough distance from them to aim well. It made the last fight against the big brain thing a nightmare as he just follows you around the arena, inches from your back.

 

There's local multiplayer and score challenge modes but I'm not particularly interested in them so I'll probably sell this on.

I wonder if it's worth playing any of the other Star Fox games or if it's all downhill from here...? :unsure:

 

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Prey

The last game on my backlog! I've had this since about 2017 but, like other immersive sims, it takes me a while to build up to playing them as I know they'll be really dense, demanding experiences.

 

Actually, I found that I sailed through this once I got going. It definitely has that 'scour every corner of every room' thing that put me off Biohock, but the hoovering up of items is streamlined, and the whole recycler/fabricator loop is tactile and rewarding, particularly when taken alongside the brilliant powers that you're saving up for. I love the way raw materials clatter out of the recycler like 10p pieces in an arcade change machine.

 

I stuck it on Hard, and the first few hours really are quite tough due to lack of resources. Every shotgun shell feels like a gift. You're forced to get creative to dispatch your foes, using the environment to your advantage. After a while I found resources became quite plentiful and I had become the hunter rather than the (ahem) prey. This is all well and good, but a late-game development put me on the back foot again and I was reminded that I preferred the brutal survival aspect due to the way it taxes your brain.

 

That said, the encounters are excellent once you adjust your approach to be more strategic and use your tools creatively. Setting up turrets, luring the typhon into traps, surprising them with a combo of psi-powers, gluing them down and then winding up a massive wrench-smash - it's really unconventional and satisfying. The enemy types require different approaches, and it's super engaging figuring it all out. It's not a twitch-shooter - once the shit hits the fan, you're fucked due to how fast the enemy moves and drains your health. It's all about scouting the way ahead and making a plan of attack. Often you'll scarper to a hiding spot or behind a locked door and sit there for a couple of minutes deciding how best to dispatch the enemies prowling around outside with the tools at your disposal. Then you need to execute your plan.

 

I had some extremely memorable moments of self-determined emergent gameplay of the type that only this genre can deliver. The best was probably placing some loose items in the doorway of the room I was hiding in and watching them for movement so I knew when an invisible enemy was sneaking up on me, then blasting the fucker with a shotgun when I saw the cardboard box move.

 

The space station setting is right up my street, especially when I found you could float around the outside in zero-g. It's a superbly-designed world - it all makes sense and has plenty of variety within it. However it's one game that would really benefit from the new consoles' SSDs, even without a patch. The way that every area seems to be perfectly preserved the way you left it, right though the whole game, is really impressive, but the loading breaks between sections are tedious and immersion-breaking. This becomes a big problem later on when you are whizzing back around the station mopping up side-quests and doing the final segment. These immersive sims also need to come up with a control scheme that gives you quicker access to more weapons and powers. I was constantly in and out of the weapon wheel. It's a decent implementation of a weapon wheel, but it still gives the experience a stop-start feel. MGSV nailed real-time access to a huge range of weapons and gadgets - other games need to copy it.

 

I immediately started a NG+ on the Nightmare setting with all the survival settings switched on, playing it totally different for my second run. Whether I'll finish it or not is another thing, but it shows how much I enjoyed it.

 

2020 games to date

Spoiler

 

1. Jedi Fallen Order

2. COD Modern Warfare

3. Outer Wilds

4. Dishonored 2

5. Trials HD

6. Trials Rising

7. Streets of Rage 4

8 The Last of Us pt 2

9 Forza Horizon 4

10 The Division 2

11 Hitman 2

12 Prey

 

 

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 Previously...

 

 

1) AM2R - PC - 2016 (1991)
2) Ecco The Dolphin - Mega CD - 1992/3
3) Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - 3DS - 2012/14
4) Mega Man X - SNES - 1993
5) Super Metroid - SNES - 1994
6) Donkey Kong Country - SNES - 1994
7) Chrono Trigger - SNES - 1995
8) Star Fox 2 - SNES - 2017 (1995)
9) Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island - SNES - 1995
10) Xenogears - PS1 - 1998
11) Sonic the Hedgehog - Megadrive - 1991
12) Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - SNES - 1996
13) Kirby Super Star - SNES - 1996
14) Earthbound - SNES - 1995
15) R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 - PS1 - 1998/9
16) Tomb Raider III - PC - 1998
17) Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation - PC - 1999
18) Tomb Raider Chronicles - PC - 2000
19) Shenmue HD - PC - 2018 (1999/2000)
20) Shenmue II HD - PC - 2018 (2001)
21) Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy - PS3 - 2012 (2001)
22) Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness - PC - 2003
23) Jak II: Renegade - PS3 - 2012 (2003)
24) Jak 3 - PS3 - 2012 (2004)
25) Tomb Raider: Legend - PC - 2006
26) Tomb Raider: Anniversary - PC - 2007
27) Uncharted: Drake's Fortune - PS4 - 2015 (2007)
28) Tomb Raider: Underworld - PC - 2008
29) Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice - 3DS - 2016
30) Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - PS4 - 2015 (2009)
31) Final Fantasy Adventure - GameBoy - 1991
32) Alpha Protocol - PC - 2010
33) Day of the Tentacle Remastered - Vita - 2016 (1993)
34) Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game - PC - 2011
35) Star Fox 64 3D - 3DS - 2011 (1997)

 

 

36) Limbo - PC - 2011 (2010)

 

Just a quick one, this - an indie platformer with silhouette stylings and bags of atmosphere. I originally played it on the 360 when it first came out and absolutely loved it, and it was great to play it again on PC. I didn't even realise I owned it; I must have picked it up in an indie bundle years ago, redeemed it on Steam and forgot about it. Two and a half hours later and it's all over.

 

Less is more, and this is a game of absolute ambiguity. Is the boy dead? Is he trying to find his sister? What's with all the other kids and why are they trying to kill him? Why is there a factory and a hotel and a forest and a giant spider in here? Are we in the the imagination of a boy who's filling this world with his nightmares before death? And is that shattering glass at the end alluding to what it looks like? Who knows! I'd rather not know and just enjoy it. Limbo knows when to shut up, and its soundtrack does too, presenting little more than haunting ambience throughout. The whole thing is seriously evocative, moody, creepy and wonderful. And its gameplay makes excellent use of physics and puzzle-solving as you move from left to right through oppressive monochrome environments without a word uttered or printed.

 

If I had any complaints it's the trial-and-error nature of the gameplay, especially early on. The game delights in killing you with sinister traps that you couldn't possibly avoid almost as much as something like Abe's Odyssey or Flashback, and when you 'die' you just pop back instantly to a checkpoint like it never happened. Surely a more organic form of challenge would suit the game better and be less jarring?

 

If by some miracle you haven't played Limbo yet and it sounds good, give it a go. It's on every format, it's excellent and it's something you can clear in an evening or spend a couple of leisurely nights on with the lights down and the sound up. :D 

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On 30/08/2020 at 21:57, Pelekophoros said:

01/01: Superhot (XBone)

03/01: Old Man's Journey (XBone)

05/01: The Turing Project (XBone)

19/01: Halo: CE Anniversary (XBone)

01/04: Quantum Break (XBone)

02/04: Halo 2 (Xbone)

04/04: Call Of Duty MW (2019) (XBone)

13/05: Control (PS4)

02/06: Call Of Duty WWII (PS4)

18/06: God of War 2018 (PS4)

26/06: Shadow Of The Colossus (PS4)

05/07: Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

06/07: Resident Evil 2 (PS4)

07/07: Universal Paperclip (web)

09/08: Carrion (Xbone)

10/08: Robocop (Arcade)

12/08: Sly Spy Secret Agent (Arcade)

14/08: Bad Dudes vs DragonNinja (Arcade)

16/08: Batman Arkham Knight (PS4)

19/08: Vigilante (Arcade)

20/08: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Campaign Remastered (PS4)

25/08: Glass Masquerade (Switch)

30/08: Erica (PS4)

 

08/09: Into The Breach

 

As with Animal Crossing, this is essentially endless and I anticipate playing it for many, many hours to come. BUT! I got a four island victory so that's a 'completion' point for something like this. It's an absolutely incredible little tiny game and I love it.

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28/08 - Asura's Wrath (Xbox 360) - This is a strange game. Half the game is cut scenes and the other half involves lot of QTE's and some fighting. I liked it a lot. The only thing to note is that you have to buy DLC to get the fourth Act, and you really need to play the fourth Act - it elevates the game from good to very good, by giving you some excellent boss fights and giving the story closure.

 

10/09 - Marvel's Avengers (Xbox One) - I've never watched any of the Avengers movies. In fact I avoid all comic book to movie adaptations after sitting through an awful X-Men film where the main protagonist sprouted wings. It was bad. So why did I buy this? The truth is I'm a big fan of the recent Tomb Raiders and surely such talented developers couldn't make a bad game? It has it's moments and yet it's a bit of a mess. The campaign is a mish mash of a very linear Tomb Raider; a brawler; and weird team based missions all set to a backdrop of a stupid storyline. There's good variety in each character's move sets; the linear Tomb Raidery levels are enjoyable, but the team based missions are very repetitive and quite simply not very good. I assume they put these in due to the focus on the multiplayer side, but in single player they don't really fit in. As someone who hasn't watched any of the Avengers films the only character I knew was the Hulk from watching the cartoon as a child - he's probably the weakest character, but the others are very good especially Miss Marvel. I played this on the Xbox One X and whilst it graphically looks stunning the frame rate even in performance mode is all over the place. There are also a lot of weird glitches such as if a message pops up on the screen then you can't access the menu for a good 5 seconds; and the loading times are atrocious. I hope this is a one off but Microsoft's idea of releasing everything for the next two years on both the Xbox One and Xbox Series might not be such a good idea. Overall the main campaign is short enough to not overstay it's welcome and I mostly enjoyed my time with the game, however I do feel that a more focused single player game (a reskinned Tomb Raider) would have been much better.

 

 

01. 01/01 - Persona 4: Dancing All Night (PS4)

02. 03/01 - Sayonara Wild Hearts (PS4)
03. 11/01 - Yakuza 3 (PS4)
04. 11/01 - Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (PS4)
05. 12/01 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan (PS4)
06. 21/01 - Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox One)
07. 24/01 - Storm Boy (Xbox One)
08. 10/02 - One Piece World Seeker (Xbox One)
09. 10/03 - GRID (Xbox One)
10. 01/04 - Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F (PS3)
11. 07/04 - Resident Evil 3 (Xbox One)
12. 11/04 - Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (Xbox 360)
13. 12/04 - Duck Tales Remastered (Xbox 360)
14. 14/04 - Song of the Deep (Xbox One)
15. 15/04 - Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd (PS3)
16. 25/04 - Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Future Tone (PS4)
17. 08/05 - Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (PS4)
18. 17/05 - Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4)
19. 17/06 - Maneater (Xbox One)
20. 18/06 - Coffee Talk (Xbox One)
21. 27/06 - Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X (PS4)
22. 30/06 - One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows (Xbox One)
23. 11/07 - 1979 Revolution: Black Friday (Xbox One)
24. 04/08 - Ghost of Tsushima (PS4)
25. 10/08 - Fast & Furious Crossroads (Xbox One)
26. 15/08 - AER: Memories of Old (Xbox One)

 

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Zenodeath - 1cc, Expert, Wolfgang (No TLB) (9)

 

Spoiler

 

Wolcen (8)
Monolith Relics of the past DLC - Loop 4 (9)
Mushihimesama Futari - Normal 1cc (10)
DoDonPachi - C-L 1cc (10)
Cardinal Sins - Trial 1cc (10)
Darius Gaiden - 1cc (8)
Gunbird - 1cc (7)
ZeroRanger - White Vanilla 1cc (10)
Dezatopia - 1cc (up to and including route L) (9)
Skycat - Expert 1cc (6)
Roundguard (4)
Gunfire Reborn - Elite solo (10)

Super XYX - 1cc, Challenging, Helltiger, TLB (9)

Zenodeath - 1cc, Expert, Wolfgang (No TLB) (9)

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29. Botanicula (PC)

 

20200912204711_1.thumb.jpg.9ff54fbb12cd7f9dddc2ab99a7a1da40.jpg

 

Botanicula is a surrealist point-and-click-lite from 2012 developed by the same Czech studio who created Machinarium (which I loved) and the recently-released Creaks (which I've yet to play but is high up on my list). In it, you play as a group of five seed/bug creatures who are on a quest to descend the tree that they live in so that they can plant a seed in the ground, which will hopefully kill the spider-like beings who have begun to take over their home. Like Machinarium, it's entirely dialogue-free and is made up of a string of self-contained puzzles that don't rely so much on Lucas Arts-esque adventure game mechanics (whereby you collect a repertoire of eccentric items that you have to figure out how to use in specific ways) but rather on clicking upon and manipulating things you can see on the screen, often in a particular order. As a result, the puzzles themselves are pretty easy (I only had to use a guide once as I'd missed something) and don't require you to make the twisted leaps of logic that the likes of Monkey Island, et al, require, but are nonetheless quietly satisfying and lead to a more or less fustration-free experience. What elevates the game, however, is the striking art style, the blurriness of which succeeds in making you feel like you're watching the antics of a race of quirky little creatures under a microscope, in addition to the sound design, which is excellent throughout, all of the 100+ Flanimal-like organisms you encounter being lent their own, distinct personalities by the wonderfully squeaky, chirpy, farty noises that they all make.

 

Overall, I'm not sure how memorable this will prove to be, but I thought it was a charming and oddly wholesome little game that made me smile. I finished it in two sittings today and got to the credits in about three and a half hours. Recommended if you've enjoyed the rest of the developer's output, or like weird games in general.

 

7/10

 

Completed this year:

 

Spoiler

1. Death Stranding (PS4) - 8/10

2. Mark of the Ninja Remastered (Switch) - 7/10

3. Firewatch (PS4) - 7/10

4. Dishonored 2 (PS4) - 7/10

5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) (PS4) - 6/10

6. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PC) - 8/10

7. Half-Life 2 (PC) - 9/10

8. Gears 5 (PC Game Pass) - 8/10

9. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch) - 9/10

10. A Plague Tale: Innocence (PC Game Pass) - 7/10

11. Half-Life 2: Episode 1 (PC) - 7/10

12. Lonely Mountains: Downhill (PC Game Pass) - 8/10

13. The Last of Us (PS4) - 10/10

14. The Last of Us: Left Behind (PS4) - 9/10

15. Sniper Elite V2 (PC) - 6/10

16. Amnesia: The Dark Descent (PC) - 6/10

17. Rayman Legends (Switch) - 6/10

18. Monument Valley (Android) - 7/10

19. The Last of Us: Part II (PS4) - 10/10

20. The Gardens Between (PC Game Pass) - 6/10

21. Subnautica (PC Game Pass) - 7/10

22. Observation (PC Game Pass) - 7/10

23. Ape Out (PC Game Pass) - 7/10

24. Dark Souls 3 (PC) - N/A (Replay)

25. Paper Mario: The Origami King - 7/10

26. Superhot (Switch) - 6.5/10

27. Ori and the Blind Forest (Switch) - 9/10

28. INSIDE (PC) - N/A (Replay)

29. Botanicula (PC) - 7/10

 

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1. Pokémon Sword – Completed Pokédex (Switch)
Giving myself a point for this as a 'second' completion. After finishing the main story, I went and completed my Pokédex. Don't think I've ever managed that in a Pokémon game before.

 

2. What the Golf?! (Apple Arcade)

Getting time to do anything has been tricky, and getting time away from Pokémon Sword & Shield has been even trickier. This is a bloody brilliant and supremely daft game, based on golf. Sort of. I won't ruin any of the jokes, but there are a lot of them and they're all genuinely funny. Had this on 99% for ages, but finally tracked down that last secret and got 100%.

 

 

3. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (2019) (Switch)

As I mentioned in the thread, this is an excellent example of game design which hasn't aged at all in 27 years. The graphics and audio are wonderful, the map and dungeons are just tricky enough to have you scratching your head, there are some really fun boss battles and lots of secrets to discover — I've yet to find 27 seashells. I've only scratched the surface of the dungeon designer, but that is also brilliantly executed. I really hope they remaster the Oracle games in this style also. 
Can't wait to buy the re-remaster in 2046/10

 

4. Pokémon Ultra Sun (3DS)

Sweet Jesus, this game has a lot of bloat, which is a shame as it's otherwise really good. Finished the main story in around 35 hours, with another 10 faffing around in Wonder Trades, Festival Plaza and the pointless Poké Pelago. Now I'm in the endgame, it's a lot more fun and I'm looking forward to getting some Ultra Beasts and Legendaries across to Bannk/Home/Sword & Shield.
Long, but worth the investmentl/10

5. Pokémon Shield (Switch)
Same as Sword, but with a couple of different gyms... and a worse cover 'Mon.

6. The Stretchers (Switch)
A really fun game. Played it in chunks when my brother was visiting, so it took a while, though I'd guess you could hammer through it in 6-8 hours. Enjoyed this a lot, and got a few non-gamers involved also absolutely loved playing it. Some of the puzzles are really fun, there's tonnes of slapstick humour and weird driving physics, with a suitably daft story. Can't comment on the single-player antics. Highly recommended.

 


7. Paper Mario: The Origami King (Switch)
Enjoyed it quite a bit. There are some dips, but overall a great little game. Took me just over 30 hours with many secrets left unfound, but I'm fine with that.
A very good 7, maybe even 8/10.

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On 04/07/2020 at 23:23, strawdonkey said:

01: Shovel Knight

02: Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment

03: Racedierun

04: Super Mario Maker 2

05: Muv-Luv Extra

06. Untitled Goose Game

07. Glass Masquerade

08. Pokémon Sword

09. OneShot

10. Gorogoa

11. Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom

12. Hylics

13. LiEat

14. Sonic Robo Blast 2

15. Hustle Cat

16. Universal Paperclips

17. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

18. Pixel Session Vol. 1

19. Helltaker

20. What The Golf? (100% + Sporty Sports)

 

Two months since I completed a game eh? Turns out that playing things that have no discernable end (PSO2! Project Diva Mega Mix!) will do that to you. Anyway:

Now that World's End Club is finally out I've jumped on the Apple Arcade free trial for that and What The Golf. World's End Club has been given an hour or two but I've been utterly hooked on this instead - it's funny, charming, inventive and even though many of the stages are nothing more than an excuse for a gag I was laughing at it throughout (though having to try and explain to my seven-year-old why one of the end-of-level messages says "FROG OFF" was awkward).

 

One or two of the challenges where you have a limited number of strokes are quite misjudged - there was one where you have two shots to get through a long, straight stage, and the way I completed it was by doing the same thing I'd done for the last 20 attempts with no discernable difference, and there are some instances where you're in first-person; these are really frustrating as the gyro controls sometimes require you to physically turn 180 degrees just to see the thing you're meant to be aiming at, or just restart incessantly until it decides to point you roughly in the right direction. 

 

On the whole though, it's completely wonderful and the Sporty Sports expansion suggests they still have plenty of ideas in the tank for future content.

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15/09/2020 - Destiny 2 (PC)

 

I quite like the idea of MMOs but have nowhere enough time to devote to them, so I quite like the fact that most these days are structured such that you can solo the content, thus enjoying the world and lore at your own pace. It also usually means you don't have to dig deep into every system and mechanic or learn to min/max everything to survive. Other than this, I have Neverwinter, Secret World, Guild Wars 2, Black Desert Online and The Division 1 & 2 in various states of play (admittedly I've not played any of those for at least a year, other than The Division). Regardless, it allows me the opportunity to play these things - for free - and dip in and out of the more PvP/large-scale PvE stuff at my leisure.

 

The appeal of Destiny 2 of course is that it's Bungie's well-renowned shooting mechanics dropped onto a shlooter model - and the shooting is very, very satisfying. The rest though, I was a bit more indifferent about.

 

My definition of completion here is that I played through all the free legacy campaigns (The Red War, Curse of Osiris and Warmind) and some of the New Light stuff. I also played a little Gambit and Vanguard stuff, so I got a good mix - though I didn't try a Strike or a Raid. All in, Steam tells me I clocked in at around 30 hours and I feel that's a fair stint.

 

So the good was, as mentioned, that the shooting is excellent, from the 'feel' and responsiveness of the weapons. It looked nice enough, the maps were all a fair size and full of things to do and the main Red War campaign was fun. Also, because of the power bump for everybody to 750 (which I only found out about through googling) it means all of the story content is quite easy to get through. I also appreciated that you can properly flank enemies, popping up behind them and they are still facing forward looking for you. A nice, but immersive, touch.

 

On the flip side, the game is atrocious, absolutely awful, at settling new players in. There's no signposting of where to go/what to do, you have 5 or 6 New Light quests all flashing at you in the quest log (along with all the other stuff for 'The Past', 'Seasonal', 'Exotics' etc), you get lots of inventory junk thrown at you with no explanation of what to do with it (Gunsmith Materials? Bright Dust? Engrams?) and the whole structure is a mess, starting you in a position in the world that you don't actually know about unless you've completed the Red War campaign. It's a real mess, and quite off putting. None of the actual gameplay systems are explained either, from Armour 2.0 to weapon stats and perks, Engram decrypting and recasting, even your own skillset - and none of the descriptions for anything make a lick of sense (Umbral Engrams being a great example). It makes for a vertical learning curve if you did want to dig deep into the core and learn how to gear a character properly and that's a real shame for anybody sticking around - a lot of googling and reading awaits those that do, I guess.

 

The story content of the expansions is really lacklustre, too - from the CGIs to the landscapes of the missions (which, especially for Osiris are bland and cut-and-paste), they all feel very starved of some love.

 

Whilst that all sounds pretty downbeat, I enjoyed what I played for the most part and, because I was never going to be a long-term player, I could ignore pretty much everything outside of the pow-pow shootyman stuff. With that said, I did start to get a bit bored once I'd completed the Red War campaign. You see, I don't mind a shooter, but they don't offer the variation of a more traditional RPG template - it's basically you shoot things or grenade them. There's not a lot you can do to mix up how you approach a situation, unlike a traditional fantasy based MMO where you'll have a raft of skills to choose from, and so it was never going to have any lasting appeal for me - it's one of the reasons I've never liked the Borderlands series (though I don't like the aesthetic, characters or setting of those games, so they have pretty much nothing going for them :P).

 

In the end, I'm definitely glad I played it - though I prefer The Division as a more rounded game (plus it looks so much nicer) - but I'm a bit happier I've reclaimed the 90GB from my SSD.

 

Spoiler

02/09/2020 - Combatribes (Arcade)

18/08/2020 - South Park: The Stick of Truth (PC)

16/08/2020 - Marvel's Avengers Beta (PC)

15/08/2020 - Deliver Us The Moon (PC)

06/08/2020 - Bombshell (PC)

01/08/2020 - World War Z (PC)

01/08/2020 - For Honor (PC)

30/07/2020 - Soda Dungeon 2 (PC)

17/07/2020 - Swords & Souls: Neverseen (PC)

05/07/2020 - Hellpoint: The Thespian Feast (PC)

04/07/2020 - A Short Hike (PC)

22/06/2020 - Late Shift (PC)

22/06/2020 - Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (PC)

21/06/2020 - Final Fantasy XV (PC)

14/06/2020 - Bright Memory (PC)

11/06/2020 - A Normal Lost Phone (PC)

09/06/2020 - The Outer Worlds (PC)

07/06/2020 - Sin Slayers: The First Sin (PC)

26/05/2020 - Astrologlaster (PC)

25/05/2020 - Demon Stone (PC)

23/05/2020 - Stories Untold (PC)

03/05/2020 - Streets of Rage (PC)

29/04/2020 - Inside (PC)

21/04/2020 - Call of Duty WW2 (PC)

19/04/2020 - Wheels of Aurelia (PC)

15/04/2020 - Sword Omen: Legacy (PC)

02/04/2020 - Mother Russia Bleeds (PC)

29/03/2020 - Operencia - The Stolen Sun (PC)

20/02/2020 - Ruzar: The Life Stone (PC)

20/02/2020 - Alder's Blood: Prologue (PC)

17/02/2020 - Universal Paperclips (PC)

15/02/2020 - Gris (PC)

21/01/2020 - Gears of War 5 (Xbox One X)

19/01/2020 - Diablo 3 - Reaper of Souls (Xbox One X)

05/01/2020 - Night Call (PC)

02/01/2020 - Remember Me (PC)

 

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 Previously...

 

 

1) AM2R - PC - 2016 (1991)
2) Ecco The Dolphin - Mega CD - 1992/3
3) Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - 3DS - 2012/14
4) Mega Man X - SNES - 1993
5) Super Metroid - SNES - 1994
6) Donkey Kong Country - SNES - 1994
7) Chrono Trigger - SNES - 1995
8) Star Fox 2 - SNES - 2017 (1995)
9) Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island - SNES - 1995
10) Xenogears - PS1 - 1998
11) Sonic the Hedgehog - Megadrive - 1991
12) Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - SNES - 1996
13) Kirby Super Star - SNES - 1996
14) Earthbound - SNES - 1995
15) R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 - PS1 - 1998/9
16) Tomb Raider III - PC - 1998
17) Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation - PC - 1999
18) Tomb Raider Chronicles - PC - 2000
19) Shenmue HD - PC - 2018 (1999/2000)
20) Shenmue II HD - PC - 2018 (2001)
21) Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy - PS3 - 2012 (2001)
22) Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness - PC - 2003
23) Jak II: Renegade - PS3 - 2012 (2003)
24) Jak 3 - PS3 - 2012 (2004)
25) Tomb Raider: Legend - PC - 2006
26) Tomb Raider: Anniversary - PC - 2007
27) Uncharted: Drake's Fortune - PS4 - 2015 (2007)
28) Tomb Raider: Underworld - PC - 2008
29) Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice - 3DS - 2016
30) Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - PS4 - 2015 (2009)
31) Final Fantasy Adventure - GameBoy - 1991
32) Alpha Protocol - PC - 2010
33) Day of the Tentacle Remastered - Vita - 2016 (1993)
34) Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game - PC - 2011
35) Star Fox 64 3D - 3DS - 2011 (1997)
36) Limbo - PC - 2011 (2010)

 

 

37) The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D - 3DS - 2015 (2000)

 

Fun fact: Majora's Mask for the N64 was the very first item of any kind I purchased through eBay. Two decades later and the 3D remake is still bloody hard to buy, at least in the UK where it never got a budget re-issue. Still, that wasn't going to stop me.

 

It's a weird, brilliant and frustrating sort of experience, this one. It's a work of absolute genius and creativity, but also at times tediously dull and depressing. The core premise of impending doom creates an ever-present sense of dread, and replaying the same three days over and over starts to feel like you're trapped in a nightmare inhabited by puppets. Any sense of relief or joy at breaking these hopeless characters out of their slump and bringing a little happiness to their lives, falls flat when you're forced to turn back the clock and watch them struggle with the same things over and over again as if nothing you did made any difference. All you can do is use their lives as a means to get some permanent item into your inventory and start over again. Repeat times a thousand.

 

Clock Town and its surrounding locations are not especially big, but they are densely populated by a ridiculous number of side quests, each one intertwined in a complex temporal system, all working together like the cogs of a clock, fittingly. Though the dungeons and their surrounding areas are large and substantial, there are only four of them, and as somebody whose favourite part of Zelda games is the dungeons, this was always a sore point for me.

 

Majora's Mask is something very different from other Zelda games; it's a work of art that simply couldn't exist in any other medium, and I am glad that it exists. There is a lot to enjoy here and on the whole I had a good time with it, but at many points I struggled or found it immensely frustrating. The game often leads you down paths you can't complete yet, or sends you back and forth to pick up specific items, or forces you to repeat things you've done before, and it feels very stop-start. With so much of the game requiring playing songs, transforming or moving through time (requiring constant unskippable short cutscenes or menu fiddling) the flow of the gameplay suffers, even with the improved interface. And while it may be churlish to complain about minor performance issues considering how much nicer it is than the original, this version is a little bit sloppy in places.

 

All in all, by the end, I was just going through the motions to finish it. I have to say I did not enjoy this anywhere near as much as Ocarina of Time 3D, which I willingly played through twice in quick succession. This felt like more of an ordeal than an adventure, and part of me is glad it's all over.

 

Whatever my issues, though, it's such a brilliantly sad and melancholy game. There's nothing else quite like it.

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Ghost of Tsushima - 04/09

 

 

Weirdly, I can’t think of much to write about this game. Everything has already been said really, a gorgeous, atmospheric and slightly po-faced romp. Some great characters (special props to Yuna and Ishikawa) and a decent well told story. It is far too long and by the start of act III I was very much done with side quests and ready to strangle the next bloody fox I saw (It is always a fox den). Overall, it was an enjoyable if samey adventure and well worth your time as long as you don’t spend too much of it chasing question marks.

 

Must mention that this is the first game I played on my new tele that used HDR and my goodness. That shit is awesome.

 

Previously

Spoiler

01/01 – Lego Builder’s Journey
28/01 – The Outer Worlds
01/02 – Untitled Goose Game
04/02 – Wandersong
11/02 – Ghostbusters

28/02 – Darksiders Genesis

04/03 – Slay the Spire

27/03 - GTA V

03/04 - Tomb Raider Go & Monument Valley 2

10/04 - Journey to the Savage Planet

24/04 - Ori and the Blind Forest

28/04 - Murder by Numbers

29/05 - Battle Chasers: Nightwar

13/06 - Picross S4

19/06 - Xcom 2

06/07 - Thronebreaker

07/08 - Paper Mario - Origami King

 

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On 16/09/2020 at 08:19, strawdonkey said:

01: Shovel Knight

02: Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment

03: Racedierun

04: Super Mario Maker 2

05: Muv-Luv Extra

06. Untitled Goose Game

07. Glass Masquerade

08. Pokémon Sword

09. OneShot

10. Gorogoa

11. Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom

12. Hylics

13. LiEat

14. Sonic Robo Blast 2

15. Hustle Cat

16. Universal Paperclips

17. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

18. Pixel Session Vol. 1

19. Helltaker

20. What The Golf? (100% + Sporty Sports)

21. A Kishoutenketsu in the Countryside

 

From the giant itch.io bundle. This is a lovely, minimal puzzle game that tells you nothing and expects you to figure it out. There's four distinct regions that feature familiar puzzle game mechanics and a gorgeous, super low-res four-colour palette.

 

I felt a lot like an idiot when I couldn't find the fourth area but it turns out I just hadn't been paying enough attention.

 

https://remi-tootata.itch.io/a-kishoutenketsu-in-the-countryside

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21. Ori and the Will of the Wisps (XB1) - A very worthy successor to the brilliant first game. Moon Studios have crafted yet another absolutely stunning platformer with all the character, charm and gorgeous art direction and music you would expect. It's a much bigger game with larger maps, more complex advancement/customisation and more in-depth combat. Mostly this expands the game favourably however in places it perhaps can be a bit too much. Overall though it's a must play if you like the genre.   - 8/10

 

 

On 29/08/2020 at 15:31, FiveFootNinja said:

1. Jedi: Fallen Order (XB1) - 10/10

2. Untitled Goose Game (XB1) - 8/10

3. Gorogoa (iPad) - 9/10

4. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice (XB1) - 8/10

5. Abzû (PS4) - 6/10

6. Braid (XB1/360) - 10/10

7. A Plague Tale: Innocence (XB1) - 8/10

8. Quantum Break (XB1) - 6/10

9. Oxenfree (Mac OS) - 7/10

10. Monument Valley 2 (iPad) -  7/10

11. Sniper Elite 4 (XB1) - 8/10

12. Marvel's Spider-Man (PS4) - 10/10

13. Fractured Minds (XB1) - 5/10

14. The Last Guardian (PS4) - 8/10

15. Journey (PS4) - 10/10

16. God of War [2018] (PS4) - 10/10

17. Superhot (XB1) - 8/10

18. Deliver Us the Moon (XB1) - 7/10

19. Virginia (XB1) - 5/10

20. Journey to the Savage Planet (XB1) - 7/10

 

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1. Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order (XB1) 7.5/10

2. Jurassic World Evolution (XB1) 7/10

3. No Man's Sky (XB1) 8/10

4. Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons (XB1 - Game Pass) 8/10

5. The Last of Us: Remastered (PS4) 8.5/10

6. The Last of Us: Left Behind (PS4) 8.5/10

7. Overcooked 2 (XB1) 7.5/10

8. Journey (PS4) 8/10

9. Untitled Goose Game (XB1 - Game Pass) 6.5/10

10. Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4) 8/10

11. Streets of Rage 4 (XB1) 8/10

12. Mortal Kombat X (XB1 - Game Pass) 7.5/10

13. Spider-Man (PS4) 10/10

14. Moving Out (XB1 - Game Pass) 6.5/10

15. Marvel v Capcom: Infinite (XB1 - Game Pass) 6/10

16. Doom (2016) (XB1) 8.5/10

17. Carrion (XB1 - Game Pass) 7/10

 

 

18. Gears of War 4 (XB1 - Game Pass)

 

A nice surprise, this - a very enjoyable way of refreshing a franchise that had grown rather stale. Theres nothing particularly new here but the campaign is an entertaining romp full of bombastic cliches and impressive set pieces. 

 

The new characters are decent, and a few surprises throughout the story are a fun reward for veterans of the series. 

 

Horde mode is better than ever and the physics during lightning storms are a really good touch.

 

On to Gears 5 then....

 

8/10

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Tell Me Why - Not played any of these Dontnod games, and honestly not that impressed by this. I know these games tend to be on the slower side, but boy, I expected some sort of drive to the plot, or one at all.

 

Two twins return home after a decade of not having seen each other, to a house where some sort of incident played out that resulted in their separation and the death of their parent. By exploring the house you learn that their mother loved them, was supportive of them, but was also desperately poor, struggling to make ends meet and maybe also had some sort of substance abuse problem.

 

They realise their memories are slightly different, and what follows is six hours of inexplicably over-the-top reaction with them driving over town to yell at supportive, pleasant people in the community and breaking into police stations, only to learn the exact same information from everyone. It ends with a speech about how memory is unreliable. Maybe I didn't get what it was trying to do, but that's barely a theme is it? It's just known, people can't remember what was in the meeting on Tuesday or what they had for breakfast yesterday. This went nowhere.

 

Spoiler

Hypnospace Outlaw

The Touryst

Carrion

Mario 64 (PC)

Gone Home 

Observation 

A Short Hike 

Age of Wonders: Planetfall

Yakuza Kiwami

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

Gears Tactics

Grandia 3

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Wave Race 64

Slay the Spire

Halo 3 

Halo 2: Anniversary

Halo CE: Anniversary 

Crackdown 3
Kingdom Come: Deliverance + DLC

God of War (2005) 

Resident Evil 2 RE

Grandia 2 

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1. Luigi’s Mansion 3 (02/01)

2. Shadow of the Tomb Raider (03/01)

3. Jenny LeClue (04/01)

4. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition (11/01)

5. Rise of the Tomb Raider (29/01)

6. Minecraft Dungeons (June)

7. Diablo 3 (June)

8. Animal Crossing New Horizon

9. Last of Us Remastered (23/6)

10. Last of Us Part Two (10/7)
11. Ghost of Tsushima (1/8)

12. Gris (2/8)

13. Spiritfarer (21/9)

 

My first PC Gamepass acquisition, and a game I adored for the first 15 hours and progressively began to find irritating and dull after that but I persisted until seeing the sort of end. Didn’t help everyone - who decided an irritating rock hard TIMED platforming challenge for one of the characters was appropriate. 
 

Anyway, it was pretty good overall. A few moving moments, some lovely art and music and I quite liked building up my ship. But way too much boring crafting and farming for items rather soured it overall. I’d give it a 6/10, a 7 if this is your kind of thing. 

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January

Injustice 2 (story)

 

February

Don’t Die, Mr Robot

Untitled Goose Game

Titanfall 2 (campaign)


March

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Middle Earth: Shadow of War

 

April
Rogue Aces

Burly Men At Sea

COD: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered

Rory McIlroy PGA Tour

Prey (2017)

 

May

Prey: Mooncrash

Far Cry: New Dawn

 

July

Stardew Valley (will go back once the 1.5 update releases)

 

August

Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell

What Remains of Edith Finch

The Last of Us Remastered

The Last of Us Left Behind
Watch Dogs 2

God of War III: Remastered

 

September

 

God of War

 

What a wonderful game. And even more so given the series’ history. Replayed GOWIII as a build-up to this and almost can’t believe it’s the same studio at work. As revisions go it’s one of the most successful and satisfying I can recall.

 

There’s the usual hack and slash, albeit much more refined with a wealth of options to customise styles. But the combat is now punctuated by some really quite beautiful moments of pathos. Kratos evolves over the course of the game, which is an achievement in itself. That there are moments of mirth, poignance and emotion makes the journey through Norse mythology all the more satisfying. All anchored by some brilliant voice-acting, at times jaw-dropping visuals and a design that consistently wows.

 

And the optional, likely post-game side quests, are equally enjoyable. I’ve posted a fair few times in the game’s thread, but suffice to say one foe will live long in the memory. Victory provides a genuine punch-the-air thrill, so intense is the fight.
 

From there continued on to get the platinum, adding it to the ones earned from Horizon Zero Dawn and Spider-Man. What a fine hattrick of games. It’s been an absolute pleasure playing each one to its fullest.

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 Previously...

 

Spoiler

1) AM2R - PC - 2016 (1991)
2) Ecco The Dolphin - Mega CD - 1992/3
3) Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - 3DS - 2012/14
4) Mega Man X - SNES - 1993
5) Super Metroid - SNES - 1994
6) Donkey Kong Country - SNES - 1994
7) Chrono Trigger - SNES - 1995
8) Star Fox 2 - SNES - 2017 (1995)
9) Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island - SNES - 1995
10) Xenogears - PS1 - 1998
11) Sonic the Hedgehog - Megadrive - 1991
12) Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - SNES - 1996
13) Kirby Super Star - SNES - 1996
14) Earthbound - SNES - 1995
15) R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 - PS1 - 1998/9
16) Tomb Raider III - PC - 1998
17) Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation - PC - 1999
18) Tomb Raider Chronicles - PC - 2000
19) Shenmue HD - PC - 2018 (1999/2000)
20) Shenmue II HD - PC - 2018 (2001)
21) Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy - PS3 - 2012 (2001)
22) Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness - PC - 2003
23) Jak II: Renegade - PS3 - 2012 (2003)
24) Jak 3 - PS3 - 2012 (2004)
25) Tomb Raider: Legend - PC - 2006
26) Tomb Raider: Anniversary - PC - 2007
27) Uncharted: Drake's Fortune - PS4 - 2015 (2007)
28) Tomb Raider: Underworld - PC - 2008
29) Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice - 3DS - 2016
30) Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - PS4 - 2015 (2009)
31) Final Fantasy Adventure - GameBoy - 1991
32) Alpha Protocol - PC - 2010
33) Day of the Tentacle Remastered - Vita - 2016 (1993)
34) Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game - PC - 2011
35) Star Fox 64 3D - 3DS - 2011 (1997)
36) Limbo - PC - 2011 (2010)
37) The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D - 3DS - 2015 (2000)

 

 

38) Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception - PS4 - 2015 (2011)

 

Completed on normal difficulty (9.5 hours). Another stunning remaster by Bluepoint Games, and this is the only one of the three I hadn't played before.

 

It's more of the same, a mix of "push-foward-to-navigate" sections and some shooter combat, wrapped up with some great character chemistry, natural writing and performances, over-the-top peril dialed up to eleven, and Drake seemingly surviving superhuman odds, while gunning down several hundred more people. I know realism isn't what they're going for here, but the most ridiculous scenario is one in which, after two days wandering a desert without water and being on the verge of death, Drake still somehow manages to pull himself together enough to slaughter a small army he stumbles across.

 

I enjoyed my time with it, and it's hard not to be won over the absolute roller-coaster of an action-packed journey this takes you on. However, compared to Uncharted 2, the combat feels a little bit... scrappy, for want of better word. I like the new 'grenade return' throw feature and the expanded hand-to-hand repertoire, but it does mean both of these feature more prominently in normal combat, and I lost count of the number of times I was unable to avoid being blown up because I was locked into "fist-fight" mode with some nearby enemy. Or the number of times I had someone come up behind my cover and shoot me before I realised they were there - the enemies flank you a lot more, so you can't bunker down and you tend to flutter about awkwardly (well, I did). And I swear some of the headshots I got didn't register, and enemies seem more jittery, or the cross-hair moves more slowly. I dunno, something about it felt slightly "off", but it wasn't bad. There are a handful of good combat arenas, but much of the game is geared towards spectacle and linear showpieces - and, to be fair, these are spectacular, particularly some of the boat and aeroplane sections, but it's not a game I would rush to go back and play. It's a one-and-done sort of thing, and this enhanced remastered collection is the ideal way to experience it. Thanks for the freebie, Sony.

 

 

Edited by Sprite Machine
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Halo 3 ODST - Never played this, it's obviously a bit low-budget compared to the mainline games, and the character models look positively PS2, which is a bit embarrassing considering we're 4 years into the HD era at this point, and Bungie are supposed to be the flagship AAA developer. Still it plays well enough, refining an already excellent game with a bunch of varied levels, well paced with slower, exploratory sections, and a breakneck finale. Oh, and it's very cheesy.

 

I think on balance, it sits at decent, rather than anything to rave about.

 

Spoiler

Tell Me Why

Hypnospace Outlaw

The Touryst

Carrion

Mario 64 (PC)

Gone Home 

Observation 

A Short Hike 

Age of Wonders: Planetfall

Yakuza Kiwami

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

Gears Tactics

Grandia 3

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Wave Race 64

Slay the Spire

Halo 3 

Halo 2: Anniversary

Halo CE: Anniversary 

Crackdown 3
Kingdom Come: Deliverance + DLC

God of War (2005) 

Resident Evil 2 RE

Grandia 2 

 

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Super Mario 64 - 23/09

 

Do you need me to tell you about this game? Didn't think so.

Showing it's age in many places but it's still the masterpiece that defined 3D games (no, Jumping Flash doesn't count ;)). What showed it's age worse during my playtime was me. So much so that I daren't go for 100 coins on Tick-Tock Clock for fear of doing myself a real mischief. I would have loved a proper remaster with the super tight Odyssey controls but I guess that would ruin the spirit of the game.

 

On to Sunshine. 

 

Spoiler

01/01 – Lego Builder’s Journey
28/01 – The Outer Worlds
01/02 – Untitled Goose Game
04/02 – Wandersong
11/02 – Ghostbusters

28/02 – Darksiders Genesis

04/03 – Slay the Spire

27/03 - GTA V

03/04 - Tomb Raider Go & Monument Valley 2

10/04 - Journey to the Savage Planet

24/04 - Ori and the Blind Forest

28/04 - Murder by Numbers

29/05 - Battle Chasers: Nightwar

13/06 - Picross S4

19/06 - Xcom 2

06/07 - Thronebreaker

07/08 - Paper Mario - Origami King

04/09 - Ghost of Tsushima

 

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On 09/09/2020 at 12:00, Pelekophoros said:

01/01: Superhot (XBone)

03/01: Old Man's Journey (XBone)

05/01: The Turing Project (XBone)

19/01: Halo: CE Anniversary (XBone)

01/04: Quantum Break (XBone)

02/04: Halo 2 (Xbone)

04/04: Call Of Duty MW (2019) (XBone)

13/05: Control (PS4)

02/06: Call Of Duty WWII (PS4)

18/06: God of War 2018 (PS4)

26/06: Shadow Of The Colossus (PS4)

05/07: Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

06/07: Resident Evil 2 (PS4)

07/07: Universal Paperclip (web)

09/08: Carrion (Xbone)

10/08: Robocop (Arcade)

12/08: Sly Spy Secret Agent (Arcade)

14/08: Bad Dudes vs DragonNinja (Arcade)

16/08: Batman Arkham Knight (PS4)

19/08: Vigilante (Arcade)

20/08: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Campaign Remastered (PS4)

25/08: Glass Masquerade (Switch)

30/08: Erica (PS4)

08/09: Into The Breach (Switch)

 

12/09: Rastan (Arcade)

 

Fuck that last, insta-death single credit needing set of levels. I watched that played through on YouTube. Does any arcade game not have a bullshit last round/level? The other 5 rounds though? Loved them. 

 

19/09: Super Mario Bros (Switch)

 

First time I've completed this. Used the Switch rewind feature a lot. It's good, innit?

 

24/09: A Short Hike (Switch)

 

Thoroughly lovely. Will play again. 

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19/09/2020 - Blackguards 2 (PC)

 

A follow-up to 2014's strategy RPG based within the Dark Eye universe, this was a sequel done well. It took the mechanisms from the first game, stripped-out some off the superfluous elements and fleshed out the better bits of the first game, whilst also adding more meaningfully to the metagame.

 

The first title was standard fare; you get your team, you spend skill points to beef them up, you pick fights on the world map to progress the story and pick up some side-quests along the way. Here, for the sequel, you still have your team, but the selection of skills and abilities removed some of the areas that didn't add much in the original title. Furthermore, whereas in the first game the world map was a means to picking where the next fight is, now it was a map you had to conquer. In practical terms that meant your movement was more restricted, but doing missions yielded certain bonuses, such as extra equipment to buy in shops or new units and even getting intel that would help on another map. Plus, the enemy would counterattack every once in a while - this just meant a fight with against your B team, but it made the map - and my attempts to subdue all - a bit more alive.

 

The meat of the game - the combat - was as unforgiving as always, though another new addition here was your team could be bolstered by meat shields (and there were up to 6 different troop types available, depending on which maps you chose to fight in the meta game). Being totally expendable, they helped if you needed to protect a retreat for your core team, or helped pull levers to let out lions to help you out. In short, they were damn useful.

 

I mentioned retreating there, and another aspect of this I liked (which wasn't particularly prevalent in the first game that I can recall) is that on plenty of missions your aim is not to kill anybody, but merely complete an objective and/or just survive to the exit. Some real strategic thinking was required on occasion, to the point it sometimes felt like a puzzle to be solved (in a good way). It also could lead to some real hanging-on moments where you desperately needed to cover your exit with barely enough breath left in your characters. It made for some tense battles which on higher skill levels would be a real nightmare.

 

The story was decent enough and there were little character moments which impacted the ending and each mission was usually snappy enough to mean you could make progress with each gaming session and 'see' that on the map.

 

All in all, it was a sometimes painful, sometimes funny, sometimes tense SRPG and I'd be happy to see a third game.

 

23/09/2020 - One Night Stand (PC)

 

I wish the itch.io bundle was a bit easier to navigate, because there are lots of gems in there I'm sure which I won't know about without trawling through 50+ pages of games.

 

This isn't a gem, but an interesting little curio nonetheless. The game centres around your interactions in the morning with a one night stand. Through the course of some basic clicking on objects and talking to the young girl in question, you try to piece together what actually happened and then exit on good terms. There are 12 endings - with such conclusions as a naked walk of shame; running out of the door behind the girl's back or parting as potential friends.

 

There's not much content - each playthrough is about 15 minutes or so - but there definitely was a desire to try and leave on the best terms possible (which I did manage), and there's some logic at play in how things transpire (i.e. if you go poking around her bedroom and her personal effects like her wallet, don't be surprised if you get chucked out). It has a really rather low-key rotoscope look to it, but it actually looks great in motion.

 

Aware that a barrier to replaying these types of things - no matter how short - is re-reading stuff, there's even a handy fast-forward button to skip through text you've already seen. A nice, but thoughtful and welcome touch.

 

I enjoyed my brief time with it (I got 5 of the 12 endings - I'm no completionist) and decided to have a look at some of the endings I missed - including the hidden epilogue, which changes the nature of the evening in question and I think is hinted at during some of the conversations. 

 

This type of more non-traditional game is something I've really started to explore over the last couple of years, so knowing that there are likely quite a few more of this type within the itch bundle is great - now just need a way to find the good ones!

 

Previously completed:

Spoiler

16/09/2020 - Destiny 2 (PC)

02/09/2020 - Combatribes (Arcade)

18/08/2020 - South Park: The Stick of Truth (PC)

16/08/2020 - Marvel's Avengers Beta (PC)

15/08/2020 - Deliver Us The Moon (PC)

06/08/2020 - Bombshell (PC)

01/08/2020 - World War Z (PC)

01/08/2020 - For Honor (PC)

30/07/2020 - Soda Dungeon 2 (PC)

17/07/2020 - Swords & Souls: Neverseen (PC)

05/07/2020 - Hellpoint: The Thespian Feast (PC)

04/07/2020 - A Short Hike (PC)

22/06/2020 - Late Shift (PC)

22/06/2020 - Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (PC)

21/06/2020 - Final Fantasy XV (PC)

14/06/2020 - Bright Memory (PC)

11/06/2020 - A Normal Lost Phone (PC)

09/06/2020 - The Outer Worlds (PC)

07/06/2020 - Sin Slayers: The First Sin (PC)

26/05/2020 - Astrologlaster (PC)

25/05/2020 - Demon Stone (PC)

23/05/2020 - Stories Untold (PC)

03/05/2020 - Streets of Rage (PC)

29/04/2020 - Inside (PC)

21/04/2020 - Call of Duty WW2 (PC)

19/04/2020 - Wheels of Aurelia (PC)

15/04/2020 - Sword Omen: Legacy (PC)

02/04/2020 - Mother Russia Bleeds (PC)

29/03/2020 - Operencia - The Stolen Sun (PC)

20/02/2020 - Ruzar: The Life Stone (PC)

20/02/2020 - Alder's Blood: Prologue (PC)

17/02/2020 - Universal Paperclips (PC)

15/02/2020 - Gris (PC)

21/01/2020 - Gears of War 5 (Xbox One X)

19/01/2020 - Diablo 3 - Reaper of Souls (Xbox One X)

05/01/2020 - Night Call (PC)

02/01/2020 - Remember Me (PC)

 

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On 24/09/2020 at 22:00, Pelekophoros said:

01/01: Superhot (XBone)

03/01: Old Man's Journey (XBone)

05/01: The Turing Project (XBone)

19/01: Halo: CE Anniversary (XBone)

01/04: Quantum Break (XBone)

02/04: Halo 2 (Xbone)

04/04: Call Of Duty MW (2019) (XBone)

13/05: Control (PS4)

02/06: Call Of Duty WWII (PS4)

18/06: God of War 2018 (PS4)

26/06: Shadow Of The Colossus (PS4)

05/07: Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

06/07: Resident Evil 2 (PS4)

07/07: Universal Paperclip (web)

09/08: Carrion (Xbone)

10/08: Robocop (Arcade)

12/08: Sly Spy Secret Agent (Arcade)

14/08: Bad Dudes vs DragonNinja (Arcade)

16/08: Batman Arkham Knight (PS4)

19/08: Vigilante (Arcade)

20/08: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Campaign Remastered (PS4)

25/08: Glass Masquerade (Switch)

30/08: Erica (PS4)

08/09: Into The Breach (Switch)

12/09: Rastan (Arcade)

19/09: Super Mario Bros (Switch)

24/09: A Short Hike (Switch) 

 

26/09: Halo 3 (Xbone)

 

The first half is desperately trying to hit a reset switch following Halo 2. No! No! Honestly, we have a plan for this story and it makes sense. The second half is a remake of all the best bits of Halo: CE. Overall, it was all just a bit boring. I remember feeling the same when I first played it co-op too. Cortana's costume choice hasn't aged well either.

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10/09/2020 - Tell Me Why (Xbox One)

 

A bit of a belated writeup, this. I was a big fan of the Life is Strange games, so I was always going to jump on this. Especially on Game Pass.

 

This was basically a new Life is Strange game in every way other than sharing a universe. Once again it featured a grounded story with a supernatural twist, in this case the twins you control having telepathic abilities. This allowed them to discuss topics without being heard, sometimes during verbal conversations with others, but more importantly it also allowed them to view each others memories. This mechanic was used particularly well, exploring the unreliability of memories based and how they differ for people recalling the same incident. At times you could view both characters memories of an event and choose the one you wanted to believe, which also affected the relationship between the two twins you play.

 

I think this game should be applauded for featuring what must be one of the best portrayals of a trans character in a game so far. I can't say I've seen many others, and I'm sure there must be good examples in the indie scene, but here was a mainstream game from a well known studio with a great trans character in a leading role. Crucially, it didn't fall into the trap of making Tyler being trans his sole character trait, or even the focus of the story. At the same time it wasn't simply ignored, with characters reacting in various, sometimes awkward ways to Tyler's transition without ever really dwelling on it. This definitely wasn't a story about Tyler struggling with his identity, and indeed I think he made for a really positive portrayal.

 

The main story lowered the stakes considerably from the LiS games. It centred around the two twins trying to get to the bottom of the death of their when they were children. It took place in a small community in Alaska, allowing for some amazing scenery and a manageable amount of characters for its three episode length. As well as being lower stakes it was also more subtle, with nobody being outright good or evil. It was quite a chill experience really, but still satisfying.

 

One last thing I wanted to comment on was the release schedule. Dontnod were rightly criticised for the enormous gaps between episodes of LiS2, but I think they overcompensated by releasing these across only three weeks. Each episode was about three hours long, and while not unmanageable that made for quite a time investment for me. Obviously there was nothing forcing me to play them on release, but it would have felt like less of a burden if it was spread out a little more, either by splitting the story into more episodes or just making the gaps a bit longer.

 

I had very few complaints about this really, but it was ultimately my least favourite of Dontnod's LiS style games. It was a good little story, and it was nice to play something more relaxed than normal, but it didn't have the same impact as either of its predecessors.

 

Spoiler

January

07/01/2020 - Control (Xbox One)
26/01/2020 - Final Fantasy X (Switch)

February

10/02/2020 - Disco Elysium (PC)
22/02/2020 - Frostpunk (PC)

March

10/03/2020 - Darksiders: Warmastered Edition (Xbox One)
29/03/2020 - Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox One)

April

07/04/2020 - Yakuza Kiwami (PS4)

May

04/05/2020 - Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4)
09/05/2020 - Streets of Rage 4 (PS4)
23/05/2020 - Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (Switch)

June

05/06/2020 - Vader Immortal (Oculus Quest)
07/06/2020 - Red Matter (Oculus Quest)
17/06/2020 - Beyond Blue (Xbox One)
18/06/2020 - Life is Strange 2 (Xbox One)

July

03/07/2020 - The Last of Us: Part II (PS4)
15/07/2020 - Control: The Foundation DLC (Xbox One)

August

23/08/2020 - Alan Wake (PC)
29/08/2020 - Alan Wake's American Nightmare (PC)
30/08/2020 - Control: AWE DLC (Xbox One)

September

10/09/2020 - Tell Me Why (Xbox One)

 

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