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What games did you complete? 2020 Edition

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January

 

 

Red Dead Redemption 2 - XB1X 

 

I bounced off this game for a long time after buying it day one, and buying a 4K telly and another One X just to play it. I eventually returned to my save near the start of chapter 3 and I decided to just mainline the story and see it through. It has any number of mechanical issues which have been widely discussed but by the time I was done, I was almost heartbroken to have to put the controller down. The characters and the world are almost peerless in gaming. It genuinely moved me and changed my (fairly recent) dismissive perception of story-driven games.

 

 

Battle Garegga (Rev. 2016 Premium Mode) - PS4 

 

This is a legendary shoot em up which is commonly heralded as the origin of the bullet hell genre. There's still nothing quite like it. It's uncompromising in its vision and one of the most cohesive and complete experiences in any genre. The soundtrack is a genuine all-timer, somewhere between rave and Japanese midi jazz. Aesthetically, it's a kind of militaristic matte steampunk with 'natural' coloured bullets which are really difficult to see until you get your eye in. In terms of gameplay, it's got some of the deepest scoring and player-controlled difficulty mechanics ever seen. It's a fucking miracle of game design, to be frank. Maybe one day I'll clear Arcade Mode but for the moment, I'm really happy to have cleared the Premium Arrange Mode which does away with the complexities of rank management for a fixed (pretty stiff) challenge. One of the most fun 1CCs I've ever enjoyed.

 

 

February

 

 

DariusBurst Another Chronicle - Arcade 

 

Having fairly recently got into the Darius games with the Cozmic Collections on the Switch, I went back to DariusBurst Chronicle Saviours which I bought ages ago on the PS4. It struck me as quite unspectacular and austere first time around but having grown to appreciate and indeed love the original games, I went back to the PS4 game and got a lot more out of it. Last Friday, I went to Arcains in Liverpool where my brother lives and I was lucky enough to play on the ultra-wide screen DariusBurst Another Chronicle cab, which is also the loudest, bassiest arcade machine I've ever played on. The bass rumbles as the bosses arrive are genuinely awe-inspiring. While I did clear this last month when I went to visit him, that was in 2P which doesn't quite count. This time around, while he played on Mario Kart GP Arcade, I sat down, got the 1CC and left with a very vibrated arse.

 

Kirby Star Allies - Switch

 

I can't remember if I bought this day one but it was very soon after release, in any case. I regretted it for a long time and felt that it was a retirement home game, at best. I've downloaded and uninstalled it countless times over the last two years but recently, I decided to put it to bed. At its very best, it's a fun, chaotic, joyous, daft game. I wish the whole game were at that high level of intensity. For the most part, it is very pedestrian and requires you to try to make your own fun. All the different character interactions and abilities are fun if you're in the right mood but this is wholeheartedly a children's game. I have no issue with playing a game for kids, except that it's often simplistic and quite boring. That said, it did pick up in the final world and I enjoyed the last couple of hours. I would love a Kirby game with the chaos of Lapis X Labyrinth, I think it would be spectacular.

 

Untitled Goose Game

 

I bought it day one, chuckled for five minutes and then realised that it was a slightly frustrating, simplistic stealth game. I don't like stealth unless it's very well done and while I appreciate the cohesion of the artwork, delightful piano and the irreverent tone, I didn't really find it funny and I found the miniature sandboxes very simplistic. I decided to see it off today having uninstalled it a few months ago and I really enjoyed the very last section. It was clever and perfectly suited the tone of the game. It tied it all up with a very neat red ribbon and the final punchline was actually great. Had I not heard anything about it beforehand, I would have been a little kinder in the first instance, I think. It's not really my thing but it's a pocket-sized triumph of form and function.

 

Neko Navy (Hard 1CC) - Switch

 

Speaking of which...This is a low-budget flying cat-themed shmup which has no right to be as great as it is. Graphically, tonally, it's spot on. It has an odd sense of humour and the posterised, cartoony sprites work extremely well. It's fun and accessible and encourages you to bomb like mad and cancel waves of bullets and collect lots of power ups and points, all of which push my buttons. There are plenty of different ships/cats and a few difficulty modes which are all fun and offer something different. It's a great beginner shmup but it's also satisfying and challenging as you move up. It's no Battle Garegga, but it more than holds its own and I'd recommend it to literally anyone with a Switch. 

 

 

Gris

 

I first started this pretty much at launch, I think, and I was gripped by the music and gorgeous pen and watercolour visuals. It's hard for me to get drawn into these meditative post-Journey indie games these days unless they're absolutely top drawer, and in many ways this is. The sense of isolation and melancholy interspersed with the moments of spine-tingling euphoria is wonderful. I was also continually impressed by the way it made you feel like you were exploring independently but always managed to wrap your path around as if you had in fact taken the expected route. Some of the puzzles were a bit frustrating for me initially, and that's why I put it down, but having gone back today with a little more motivation to explore, I found that the game got better and better. It didn't especially hit me as I think it intended to do so, but I still had a lump in my throat in the final section and the music and visuals were a real dopamine flood. It's not quite Journey, its principle concept isn't as emotionally resonant or as beautifully allegorical to me, but it's a game with a lot of heart and an exceptional degree of craft. 

 

 

Gris

 

I first started this pretty much at launch, I think, and I was gripped by the music and gorgeous pen and watercolour visuals. It's hard for me to get drawn into these meditative post-Journey indie games these days unless they're absolutely top drawer, and in many ways this is. The sense of isolation and melancholy interspersed with the moments of spine-tingling euphoria is wonderful. The rare moments of companionship were often very emotional and they are the moments which will stay with me. I was also continually impressed by the way it made you feel like you were exploring independently but always managed to wrap your path around as if you had in fact taken the expected route. Some of the puzzles were a bit frustrating for me initially, and that's why I put it down, but having gone back today with a little more motivation to explore, I found that the game got better and better. It didn't especially hit me as I think it intended to do so, but I still had a lump in my throat in the final section and the music and visuals were a real dopamine flood. It's not quite Journey, its principle concept isn't as emotionally resonant or as beautifully allegorical to me, but it's a game with a lot of heart and an exceptional degree of craft. 

 

Gris

 

I first started this pretty much at launch, I think, and I was gripped by the music and gorgeous pen and watercolour visuals. It's hard for me to get drawn into these meditative post-Journey indie games these days unless they're absolutely top drawer, and in many ways this is. The sense of isolation and melancholy interspersed with the moments of spine-tingling euphoria is wonderful. The rare moments of companionship were often very emotional and they are the moments which will stay with me. I was also continually impressed by the way it made you feel like you were exploring independently but always managed to wrap your path around as if you had in fact taken the expected route. Some of the puzzles were a bit frustrating for me initially, and that's why I put it down, but having gone back today with a little more motivation to explore, I found that the game got better and better. It didn't especially hit me as I think it intended to do so, but I still had a lump in my throat in the final section and the music and visuals were a real dopamine flood. It's not quite Journey, its principle concept isn't as emotionally resonant or as beautifully allegorical to me, but it's a game with a lot of heart and an exceptional degree of craft. 

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9 hours ago, strawdonkey said:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

oh no what has happened. I will have to fix this later

 

 

 

9 hours ago, strawdonkey said:
On 26/01/2020 at 21:57, strawdonkey said:

01: Shovel Knight

02: Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment

03: Racedierun

04: Super Mario Maker 2

05: Muv-Luv Extra

 

Deleting nested quotes on mobile is hell

 

06. Untitled Goose Game

 

I hate being a dick in games. Even though I'm not being a dick to anyone real I still feel like it's an inappropriate way to behave.

 

At least, that's what I keep telling myself but all it takes is turning my avatar in to a goose and I'm immediately channeling my inner shithead, no questions asked.

 

I also don't really like stealth games, but making it impossible to truly fail an objective really helped me with this game, not to mention that every objective completed rewards you with something funny. Basically everything that happens with this game makes me smile - running off with a spade, getting chased out the garden, spreading your wings defiantly. Even just reading some of the to-do lists had me grinning at the extent of the reign of terror this goose could get up to.

 

The ending is absolutely glorious and I am just endlessly delighted to be existing and pissing about as a naughty goose.

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Untitled Goose Game (Xbox One):

 

Perfectly pitched in terms of humour and setting and looks great, like a softer edged version of Katamari Damacy. I've heard it compared to Hitman a lot, a series I've never played, but for me it had a feeling of an early 90s Lucasarts adventure. A lot of the puzzles in those games seemed to revolve around someone being in your way or stopping you from doing something, and then you had to come up with creative ways to wrong foot them and get what you want, which is the core of Untitled Goose Game. Maybe even the Gobliiins games where you were stuck in a small (typically 1-2 screen) environment and just experimented, pulled at and messed with the games objects and inhabitants until you forced your way in to the next area.

 

Alternatively imagine Broken Sword but every puzzle is the goat on the rope bit. But better than that.

 

I was trying to get through this in a couple of sessions so I was a bit impatient and looked up a couple of solutions to puzzles, one of which I kicked myself over (dressing the bust) but another one I had the right solution but was trying to carry out my nefarious scheme on the wrong person and so ended up assuming that I was supposed to be trying something else.

 

It didn't click for me the way it has for a lot of people but overall I enjoyed it despite it being a mix of stealth and point and click style puzzles, two things I don't typically get on with. Putting a sociopathic goose in your game apparently gets you a lot of leeway.

 

...

 

2020 so far:
 

Spoiler

 

January:

 

Jedi Fallen Order (Xbox One)

Untitled Goose Game (Xbox One)

 

 

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Pictoquest on Switch.

 

I love picross but this really made me appreciate how much craft Jupiter put into their games. I bought it at a really bad time too just before their Overlord spinoff Lord of the Nazarick got a reduction, and also I'd just picked up Glass Masquerade in the same sale which fills a very similar post-work relaxo-puzzler gap in my life. It's not a bad idea - picross with mild (and basically ignorable) RPG/battle elements - but the fact this can be essentially disregarded makes you wonder why they bothered, and the grids are quite amateur with even the 20x20 ones being really simple due to their over-reliance on featuring long lines, which frequently run along the far edges making the rest of it a breeze. Also there's no counting function, no marking of suspected blocks and the sound effects are maddening.

 

2/5

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23 hours ago, matt0 said:

Untitled Goose Game (Xbox One):

 

Alternatively imagine Broken Sword but every puzzle is the goat on the rope bit. But better than that, you are the goat.

 

 

 

ftfy

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Just now, Unofficial Who said:

 

ftfy

 

Nah, you're George and the goat is a small village in the Lake District.

 

It's not a great metaphor to be honest.

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05/02 - Shadow of the Tomb Raider (XB1X) - Selfish, murderous psychopath Lara Croft kills a few hundred civilians in the opening act through her own ignorance, sulks when her friend tells her off and then spends the rest of the game thieving from villagers and patronising actual researchers and archaeologists, having learned nothing.

These are rotten, miserable games that assume the people of these lands are too simple to discover and appreciate the wonders surrounding them without Lara there to explain everything. I honestly wanted the villain to win, which I'm sure some more generous folk might interpret as a deliberate move on the part of the writers, but I'm not buying it. 

 

I suppose the tombs are fine, though.

 

 

Previous:

Spoiler

 

03/02 - The Outer Worlds (XB1X) - I went into this wanting to play as a mostly pacifist, sarcastic space arsehole. That the game accommodated this throughout the  play-through is massively to its credit. Visually it's wildly inconsistent (some of the interiors look fantastic - outside, less so) and there's not much to be gained from exploration, but the flexibility of so many of the quests drew me in, after Fallout 4 proved to be such a huge disappointment.

29/01 - A Plague Tale (XB1X) - Essentially The Last of Us with rats, as you stealthily escort someone through a bleak environment occasional engage in some brutal stoning. Even shares some of the same story beats. It's well executed, though. The soundtrack is of particular note, with it's scraping, scratching strings and rough percussion, and it's one of the prettiest games I can recall playing. The rudimentary combat doesn't really support the greater emphasis on combat in the final hour or so, and it became a little frustrating there, but it's amazing to me that this comes from the studio behind  a bunch of licensed games and Fuel (which I fucking loathed).

24/01 - Sunset Overdrive (XB1X) - Enjoyed this about as much as Spider-Man, which surprised me. The humour is, well, a bit zaaaaany, which usually puts me off, but it has its heart in the right place and the core grindin', bouncin' and shootin' is really satisfying. Some tasty boss-battles in there, too.

24/01 - Lonely Mountains - Downhill (XB1X) - A nice little game, this. They got the feeling of slinging the bike around corners just right, and avoided the temptation to fill the later levels with novelty shite as a way to add variety. It's a neatly pure experience.

19/01 - Afterparty (XB1X) - A disappointment after Oxenfree. The same neat little dialogue system is there, and the voice acting is great, but the central characters are unappealing, the game itself is riddled with bugs and there's some rough stuttering between areas. Mostly it just lacked the compelling mystery of Oxenfree, though, and I was bored long before the end.

14/01 - Untitled Goose Game (XB1X) - It's slight, but my daughter laughed like a loon throughout the whole thing, so it's a winner in my book.

 

 

 

Ongoing:

Persona 5 (PS4), Forza Horizon 4 (XB1X), Luigi's Mansion 3 (Switch), Demon's Tilt (XB1X)

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3. Firewatch (PS4)

 

EP9ydcQXkAAyNfa?format=jpg&name=large

 

I didn't know a great deal about this going in, except for the fact that it was a narrative-led game that, as its title implies, has something to do with watching fires. As it turns out, it's a walking simulator overlaid by a well-written mystery thriller that keeps you guessing right up until the end.

 

Unfortunately, the ending itself I thought was very anticlimactic and disappointing, but up to that point the story kept me on tenterhooks from the very beginning. The sound design and voice acting are both particular standouts and go a long way to make you believe in the world, two main characters and their relationship. It's a shame it doesn't stick the landing as, if it had, as far as these sorts of games go, this would have been right up there with Edith Finch.

 

7/10

 

 

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Another game finished!

3) Kaizou Choujin Schbibinman Zero (SNES)

 

Picked this up quite cheap in Osaka; it was a Satellaview game that then got a 2017 physical release, which appealed to me due to the sheer oddness of doing such a thing -- certainly other titles have had ROMS ripped and dodgy Chinese carts, but this was a legit release (albeit not one with the Nintendo Seal of Quality, what with them no longer producing SNES carts).

It's really not that difficult -- if you imagine Megaman but much easier and you're mostly punching in a scrolling platform beat-em-up style, you're close -- but it's quite charming. May have to return to it in two player mode, as I've only cleared single player.

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14/02 - Blazing Chrome (XB1X) 

12/02 - Luigi's Mansion 3 (Switch)

11/02 - Demon's Tilt (XB1X) - The old Naxat Soft games are pretty much the only pinball games I've ever got into, so I was somewhat sceptical about this having the same allure, but I think they've nailed it by dialing up the occult intensity to ridiculous levels. It's aesthetically pitch-perfect, really, but more importantly plays a mean, addictive game of pinball. I'm still shit at it, mind.

11/02 - Metro Exodus (XB1X) - 

 

Previous:

Spoiler

14/02 - Blazing Chrome (XB1X)

12/02 - Luigi's Mansion 3 (Switch)

11/02 - Demon's Tilt (XB1X) - The old Naxat Soft games are pretty much the only pinball games I've ever got into, so I was somewhat sceptical about this having the same allure, but I think they've nailed it by dialing up the occult intensity to ridiculous levels. It's aesthetically pitch-perfect, really, but more importantly plays a mean, addictive game of pinball. I'm still shit at it, mind.

11/02 - Metro Exodus (XB1X)

07/02 - Ori and the Blind Forest (XB1X) - Really enjoyed this. It wasn't as difficult as I'd been lead to believe, and was lighter on the Metroidvania side than I'd imagined, but I'm all for different takes on the genre. Appreciated the brisk pacing, as I pretty much ran through this in about two sittings. Bring on the sequel.

10/02 - Sea of Thieves (XB1X) - A combo of network issues and time means I'm putting this aside, and I suppose the GaaS things are never finished anyway, but I enjoyed my time with this, sailing the highseas with random Australians. Found everything on the ocean captivating and full of adventure, but everything on land very tedious and pedestrian. 

07/02 - Ori and the Blind Forest (XB1X) - Really enjoyed this. It wasn't as difficult as I'd been lead to believe, and was lighter on the Metroidvania side than I'd imagined, but I'm all for different takes on the genre. Appreciated the brisk pacing, as I pretty much ran through this in about two sittings. Bring on the sequel.

05/02 - Shadow of the Tomb Raider (XB1X) - Selfish, murderous psychopath Lara Croft kills a few hundred civilians in the opening act through her own ignorance, sulks when her friend tells her off and then spends the rest of the game thieving from villagers and patronising actual researchers and archaeologists, having learned nothing.

These are rotten, miserable games that assume the people of these lands are too simple to discover and appreciate the wonders surrounding them without Lara there to explain everything. I honestly wanted the villain to win, which I'm sure some more generous folk might interpret as a deliberate move on the part of the writers, but I'm not buying it. 

I suppose the tombs are fine, though.

03/02 - The Outer Worlds (XB1X) - I went into this wanting to play as a mostly pacifist, sarcastic space arsehole. That the game accommodated this throughout the  play-through is massively to its credit. Visually it's wildly inconsistent (some of the interiors look fantastic - outside, less so) and there's not much to be gained from exploration, but the flexibility of so many of the quests drew me in, after Fallout 4 proved to be such a huge disappointment.

29/01 - A Plague Tale (XB1X) - Essentially The Last of Us with rats, as you stealthily escort someone through a bleak environment occasional engage in some brutal stoning. Even shares some of the same story beats. It's well executed, though. The soundtrack is of particular note, with it's scraping, scratching strings and rough percussion, and it's one of the prettiest games I can recall playing. The rudimentary combat doesn't really support the greater emphasis on combat in the final hour or so, and it became a little frustrating there, but it's amazing to me that this comes from the studio behind  a bunch of licensed games and Fuel (which I fucking loathed).

24/01 - Sunset Overdrive (XB1X) - Enjoyed this about as much as Spider-Man, which surprised me. The humour is, well, a bit zaaaaany, which usually puts me off, but it has its heart in the right place and the core grindin', bouncin' and shootin' is really satisfying. Some tasty boss-battles in there, too.

24/01 - Lonely Mountains - Downhill (XB1X) - A nice little game, this. They got the feeling of slinging the bike around corners just right, and avoided the temptation to fill the later levels with novelty shite as a way to add variety. It's a neatly pure experience.

19/01 - Afterparty (XB1X) - A disappointment after Oxenfree. The same neat little dialogue system is there, and the voice acting is great, but the central characters are unappealing, the game itself is riddled with bugs and there's some rough stuttering between areas. Mostly it just lacked the compelling mystery of Oxenfree, though, and I was bored long before the end.

14/01 - Untitled Goose Game (XB1X) - It's slight, but my daughter laughed like a loon throughout the whole thing, so it's a winner in my book.

 

 

Ongoing:

Persona 5 (PS4), Forza Horizon 4 (XB1X), FIFA 20 (PS4)

 

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2020-01-19    :    Sisters Royale [Switch]
2020-01-20    :    Vader Immortal episode 1 [Rift]
2020-01-26    :    Grid [PC]
2020-01-31    :    Red Matter [Rift]

 

I'm not particularly bright, so any puzzle game I challenge to a battle of wits tends to best me pretty easily. Hearing this was amazing but, crucially, only about 1.5 hours long I was happy to get stuck in. 

 

An FPS problem-solver, there's a twisty mix of manual/manipulation segments, and clue-based head scratchers. The real draws are the graphics - specifically the pseudo-Soviet aesthetic - and the eerie atmopshere.

 

It has a very distinct Stanley Kubrick vibe (including a couple of Easter eggs) and is inarguably one of the best looking VR games out there. Strongly recommended! 

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God of War (2005) - This was enjoyable in the first half, it looks great for the time and is fun and accessible, but once you get to the temple on the back of the giant it becomes a slog, with enemy health pools inflating to ridiculous levels, so many waves of reinforcements that I regularly thought they were infinite, and increasingly bullshit traps/puzzles. It's also such a B-title tonally, all ridiculous schlock and tryhard edginess that feels like it's from a decade earlier. Oh, and what was with old games thinking Sokoban was a universal thing to give your game some variety? I'm glad that went away.

 

Of the two PS2 series that mix platforming, arena fights and puzzle solving, I think Prince of Persia is probably the better first impression, and has certainly aged better.

 

Spoiler

Resident Evil 2 RE

Grandia 2 

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On 03/02/2020 at 00:10, 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

 

I found this while searching Steam by review score and then picking stuff that was really cheap. I think this was about a quid.

 

Glass Masquerade is basically a jigsaw, but every jigsaw is a clock face for reasons I am yet to understand. Instead of having the regular jigsaw piece shapes, pieces take the form of chunks of stained glass, so while you'll spend a while finding most of the outside pieces first, picking a piece up and evaluating its context is often as important as whether it goes around the edge or not.

 

And that's about it! I absolutely loved this though - it's very chilled out, the music is great, and it has a really lovely early Windows 95 shareware vibe, but in high resolution. It feels like a PC game from the past, like I'm playing an HD remaster of some forgotten gem out of the back of the Apogee catalogue.

 

There's some DLC and a sequel that I will definitely go for next time they are on sale, but this has been really lovely and non-demanding to play whilst still being really satisfying, in a way that not a lot else is.

 

[edit] it's on Switch! For something like eleven fucking quid, compared to about £3.50 on Steam. Madness.

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Feb

 

12/02 Juanito Arcade Mayhem (PC) Bought this on a whim in the steam sale and it's pretty much a cartoon version of Pang with all the levels being retro themed. Even on easy it was incredibly hard in some levels, I would have loved an auto-fire for those of us with aging hands. Even so it wasn't a bad way to spend two hours (on and off over a couple of weeks.)

 

08/02 Wolfenstein 2:the New Colossus (PC) (plus The Freedom Chronicles DLC) I just had to pick this up on sale post playing through The New Order and The Old Blood and I loved it. I did get stuck in some of the levels this time but really I was here just for the story and the world building and this did not disappoint. It's in terns tragic and shocking and satirical with some amazing set pieces it would be criminal to spoil. I even went back post game to assassinate some Nazi generals and play the DLC, neither of which is essential but worthwhile for those wanting a little more. I was won over by this and can't wait to play the third in the series.

 

The DLC is very pulp novel in feel and each focuses around what in the main game is enabled by gadgets. The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe cast you as a professional quarterback who can burst through some walls like the Kool Aid Man. The Diaries of Agent Silent Death is played as a stealth / James Bond style spy thriller and the last episode The Deeds of Captain Wilkins is pure GI Joe on stilts. It's a bit too expensive for what's on offer though.

 

03/02 The Outer Worlds (PS4) I generally love Obsidian rpg's but this one left me a little cold after a promising start. I loved the setting, it had a fantastic start and Pravarti is so lovely. I just didn't warm to the other characters at all. I think part of this might be because I preceded playing this by playing Death Stranding and Wolfenstein, both games that made you feel very much in the environment while in this I did feel a bit like a floating camera. Frustrations included a clunky inventory, some very samey quests (I completed two major quests in two different places using the same solution which was disappointing.) The loading times between areas are incredibly slow. And I almost never complain about loading times. I didn't get on with the combat as well as I do with VATS and spent most of the game getting my sidekicks to do the shooting for me. My biggest issue? It looks very pretty but very busy. There's so much on the screen that I'd never spot potential hazards until it was too late and would sometimes have trouble picking out enemies among the landscape. Also the big text patch did nothing to the text in the inventory which was where I needed it. I still enjoyed my time with it but it's not going to be the most memorable thing I played this year. Still my partner is doing a run through, maybe watching her playthrough will cause me to re-evaluate. In short good but not great. (Weirdly it reminded me a bit of how I imagined Liberation on the CD32 would look on a modern system.)

 

Previously

 

 


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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Loom - the one LucasFilm / Arts game I never played. Ironically, the reasons I didn't play it then are the reasons I want to play it now: too short, too easy and not the same as all the other LucasFilm point 'n clickers I loved back then. Right now, that all appeals to me to get a quick bite of a game I can actually finish.

 

There isn't too much to it, then. Your main interface with the world is a musical staff on which you can play a series of four notes which translate into spells. You use those on the environment to solve puzzles. Simple enough, although I stumbled for a while on what it all meant until I resorted upon that near-forgotten art of reading the manual.

 

The game is set in a sort of whimsical fantasy land which plays it straight rather than winkingly sardonic, as it may have done if made a few years later. In fact, I was surprised that it got a little dark towards the end. Overall, rather gentle, though, and one to finally tick off the list.

 

As an aside, I started playing the voiced Steam version. Reading the game's discussion pages while trying to look for instructions, I learnt that this was a cut-down lesser version with less music and dialogue. I found out that the FM Towns version was considered one of the best and, after a little research, I got it running through ScummVM. Voices aside, it is pretty good and it works well with the music, unlike the Steam version which has very little. Never thought I'd ever play an FM Towns game, mind.

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On 29/01/2020 at 22:53, 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

 

Kicking February off...

 

6. Braid (XB1/360) - Finally went back to play this masterpiece after never getting round to it. It’s a brilliant puzzle game which still totally stands up. Jonathan Blow is a genius and if you like the genre it’s absolutely a ‘must play’ - 10/10

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On 07/02/2020 at 23:39, 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

 

Kinda cheating a bit because I played a lot of this before 2020. Haven't played a Pokémon since Ruby on GBA, and since my kids are starting to take an interest in the franchise I picked this one up and became very addicted to it quite quickly. It feels streamlined, looks lovely, and is genuinely funny in a few places too. Your whole party levelling up after every fight/catch is a lovely grind-reducing tweak, and being able to send your Pokémon off on jobs when they're not active members of your party is also really helpful - I've been trying to catch one of everything I come across and I've got about five boxes of neglected Pokémon, so giving them a way to level up without endless grind is great.

 

I have every intention of going back and completing the Pokédex, as I didn't do that on the two other Pokemon games I've played (Red and Ruby) - but at only ~140 entries there's a long way to go and I reserve the right to get bored before I get it done.  

 

As for the kids? They've played it once and spent the entire time arguing.

 

[edit] oh wait that isn't the end

[edit2] ok actually done now

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1. Resident Evil 7(XB1) 8/10

2. Batman Arkham Asylum(XB1) 7.5/10

3. Halo: CE Anniversary(XB1) 5/10

4. Life is Strange(XB1) 8/10

5. Luigi Mansion 3(Switch) 8/10

 

6. New Super Lucky’s Tale(Switch) - Overall a solid platformer that took me roughly 10hrs to complete, mostly played whilst watching YouTube so didn’t take much notice of the story, not a very challenging game but still kept me playing with its varied levels. I will finish the world that opens after the credits and collect the last couple of missing pages before putting it down. 7/10

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10/02/2020 - Disco Elysium (PC)

 

This was a rather good, and rather unique RPG that played more like a point and click adventure game. I had my eye on it ever since hearing about a preview version on a podcast way back when, although in the end I didn't enjoy it quite as much as I thought I would.

 

At its best I was completely enthralled in the story, the character I was building and the idiosyncratic world. I made a point of avoiding save scumming when it came to skill checks and enjoying the results either way, although I had to abandon that idea later. The game offers a huge amount of freedom in how you develop your character, and while I'm sure there's some amount of smoke and mirrors involved it really didn't feel like it.

 

However, things got a little bit dodgy towards the end, to the point where I briefly considered giving up. As there's no combat to speak of, you gain experience by completing skill checks and uncovering information, which you can spend on a wide selection of skills which modify those checks. Many checks can be further modified by learning pertinent information beforehand, or by saying the right things to soften someone up for instance, but they all ultimately come down to a dice roll.

 

Anyway, there's a very important dice roll you need to succeed at towards the end, and while I'd done enough to raise my chance of success to about 85% I still failed the roll, but as I didn't want to save scum I carried on anyway. It was the kind of check you could retry after spending points in the relevant skill, so I figured I'd clear up some side quests and other skill checks I hadn't gone back to to gain some experience. The problem was it was late in the game, and I was really worried I wouldn't be able to do enough. Luckily I scraped by, save scumming before every check and talking to absolutely everyone to dig up options I might have missed. I scraped together enough experience to level up, and passed the important check.

 

That was an extreme situation, but there were a few times in the game where I decided to pursue side-quests purely to level up my skills, which tended to take me out of the experience a bit, although a lot of those side-quests were genuinely interesting in their own right.

 

Overall it was a really refreshing experience that wasn't quite like anything else I've played, and one with a really neat ending too. At least for my version of the character!

 



January

07/01/2019 - Control (Xbox One)

26/01/2019 - Final Fantasy X (Switch)

 

February

10/02/2020 - Disco Elysium (PC)

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So far I've completed.

Banjo-Kazooie (N64)

The final boss is an absolutely nightmare, but I thoroughly enjoyed this and I still think it holds up really well.

 

Sega Ages: Shinobi (Switch)

Completed this on both the classic and ages modes. Took me about 5 credits for each attempt, which I felt was pretty good.

 

GoldenEye (N64)

I had to drop the difficulty level down about halfway through the game and the last few escort missions were annoying, but I still had a lot of fun with this. Classic Rare.

 

Castlevania (N64)

It's certainly aged and the game seriously runs out of steam (and has a load of performance issues) in the last few stages, but I still don't think this is the train wreck that many claim it to be.

 

That's it for the moment.

 

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January

 

Injustice 2 (story)

 

February

 

Don't Die, Mr Robot - picked this up for some 10-15 minute plays a few months ago, albeit often ended up playing for an hour or more. Finally unlocked all the special guests and got at least a bronze in all the remix modes. May go back to try for all silvers now and then, but think golds and platinums will be beyond my ageing reflexes :lol:

 

Lovely game, so simple and yet so moreish.

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Spoiler

Jan

 

Piczle Colors (Switch) - I've always enjoyed Picross style puzzles and this is a collection of colour based Picross puzzles, a couple of trickier ones by the last few levels but this was fairly straightforward. Iit comes in a triple pack with two line puzzle games which seem much harder to 100%. Nice to play in short bursts or on journeys though.

 

Gears 5 (Xbox One)- I nearly didn't play this as I wasn't that enamoured with Gears 4 but I'm glad I did as this felt like a big improvement on the series to me. There are a few rough edges and some annoying insta-kills,  especially for one boss that I've talked about in the main Gears 5 thread, but overall it is still a great cover shooter and additions worked well. I don't really play much online anymore but this has got me tempted to jump in with some of the extra modes. I imagine it would be an even better experience in co-op but I'm happy to move on to other games now. 

 

Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Now Climax (360/Xbox One) - This is a game I have half played through a few times and across different platforms so I finally decided to get to the end of the game when I saw it sitting in my games list. I had a save that was most the way though the first mode so I picked up from that, I haven't done all of the modes but I got to the end of the main story thread. It still plays as well as I remembered but it is a shame that they shortened four of the game modes for this release as the levels in their place aren't the best, if I had known before that they have been part restored on the PC version I'd have gone to that instead. Good pick up and put down game that has a lot more to it than you'd think if you want to complete it 100%.

 

Wandersong (PC) - I absolutely loved this. Yes it is easy to play through and some of the platforming sections are wonky as anything but the story and characters really stand out. Genuinely made me laugh in places and I made sure that I talked to everyone as often as I could to get as much out of it as I could. It has also some of the implements music through out in interesting and different ways. As I said earlier, it isn't really a challenging game and it won't be to everyone's tastes but I thought it was charming and definitely worth a look, especially as it is available on Gamepass now and you won't have to put too much time in to work out if it is for you or not.

 

Sayonara Wild Hearts (Switch) After my first half hour with the game I was not that impressed and I stopped playing as I found the bike annoying to control. I went back to it and finished the rest in one sitting and loved it, the build up to the end was great and I could finally see what everyone had been raving about. One of the most stylish games I've played, it is wonderful when you are in full flow and I wish I hadn't cared so much about the rankings on my first playthrough. I'd definitely recommend trying to play it all in one sitting first time through. That said I still have some gripes with the game, such as the bike controls, and it feels like getting the gold ranks will be down more to trial and error/routing repetition rather than the rhythm-action game I was expecting.

 

Untitled Goose Game (Xbox One) This was my second playthrough having already completed it on the Switch last year. Obviously it was a lot shorter to complete but it is still fun seeing the reactions to your antics, definitely going to go back and possibly even have a go at the timed challenges and extra 'to-do' bits which I haven't done before.

 

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Switch) Another game that I'd played before but it had been long enough that I had forgotten the main story line and most of the cases. I enjoyed it a lot more that I did first time through, not sure if it was down to knowing exactly what I was getting into/less hype but I found its flaws less annoying. Though don't get me wrong, it is still annoying that you have to do it in the exact order that the game wants you too or when you pick an option that should work but doesn't despite the underlying logic. Overall I'm looking forward to playing though the rest of the trilogy, I think I played 2 or 3 cases in the second before and none of the third game, definitely going to have break first so I don't get fatigued from the style.

 

Feb

 

Gris (PC) - I think this definitely suffered from going into this with all of the hype I had eard about it, which meant the first 30 minutes of  fell a bit flat for me and felt like fairly standard platform fare, abeit very beautifully made. I think this was definitely down to going in with having heard so much hype about it. Once it picked up though the pacing becomes much better and the game becomes more into its own. Its an easy game to play through and I liked the narrative but I don't feel a need to go back and get all of the collectables anytime soon.

 

Phoenix Wright: Justice for All (Switch) - I can see why I never finished this game the first time round when I played it, the first introduction case is easliy the worst from the first two games with lots of inconsitencies and jumping logic. The story through the rest of the cases is good enough to make up for the slow start and, as after finishing the first, I'm looking forward to finishing the trilogy off. I've heard the second is the weakest game as well so hopefully Trials and Tribulations hits the ground running.

 

Outer Wilds (Xbox One X) - I don't think I could add anything to Pob's brilliant write up on page 3 and to say too much would be to spoil it, I have put some thoughts in the main game theread. I didn't find my self as attached to it as some but it really is unique experience and a game I'm very glad I played to the conclusion. 

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1. Resident Evil 7(XB1) 8/10

2. Batman Arkham Asylum(XB1) 7.5/10

3. Halo: CE Anniversary(XB1) 5/10

4. Life is Strange(XB1) 8/10

5. Luigi Mansion 3(Switch) 8/10

6. New Super Lucky’s Tale(Switch) 7/10

 

7. Catherine: Full Body(PS4) - Played through the game on easy, took around 10hr 30 mins. Really enjoyed the game, especially the puzzle gameplay, story and art style. Going to replay it on normal and get a different ending in a month or two when I finished some other games on my list 8.5/10

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Couple of new completions

 

Resident Evil 2 Remake - PS4

Not sure this counts as completed, I've done Claires initial campaign. In my mind though, I completed the game so can move on to something else for a while. But I will definitely be back to do the extra stuff. Loved 90% of this, fantastic game with tons of atmosphere and just the right amount of challenge. Mr X was genuinely scary, the inventory management was well done, and it never got too difficult to progress. The only thing I disliked, and it's something I hate in most games, is the boss fights. Taking a game thats all about careful exploration, ammo conservation and inventory management and then throwing in ridiculous boss fights is way too jarring for me. I realise I'm probably in a minority with this but I hate those moments that pull you out of the rest of the game. But still, a fantastic experience, and in a few months I'll come back to to do the other runs.

 

 

Donut County - PS4

After Resi, I felt I needed a quick game and really enjoyed this. Super easy, very short, but funny and daft. Paid just over a fiver for in in a PSN sale and felt I got value for money. Ended up getting the platinum as well. For the same price as a cinema ticket I got some beilliant entertainment for a few hours, can't complain at that.

 

Up Next - Back to Witcher 3. Person 5 Royal is out at the end of March so I'd like to finish this by then. And its been great jumping back in.

 

Previously

 

SAO : Fatal Bullet

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2020-01-19:  Sisters Royale - [Switch]

2020-01-20:  Vader Immortal episode 1 - [Rift]

2020-01-26:  Grid - [PC]

2020-01-31:  Red Matter - [Rift]

2020-02-11:  Robo Recall - [Rift]

 

Take the best bits of Virtua Cop and Time Crisis, remove the rails (well, most of them), plonk in an an arena/horde score-and-survive mechanic, 1:1 shooting and that's Robo Recall. I've been dying for a new lightgun-type since Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles way back in 2009so thank Christ for VR and the necessity for tightly-focused interactions in comparatively small spaces. That's where arcade games thrive, and is very much my jam.

 

The short campaign's done, but i'll be coming back to this time and again for quick blasts; it's the Beat Saber of shooters. Jesus, I hope they make a sequel. 

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A bit behind in getting involved in the thread this year so here is a quick catch up to where I am so far:

 

01/01 – Lego Builder’s Journey

Spent a nice couple of hours finishing this on New Year’s Day while this wife caught up with Eastenders. A lovely chilled if slightly abstract experience that for some reason reminded me of Thomas Was Alone despite being very different. Simply use the available Lego bits to construct a path around the beautifully lit environments with some very light puzzle solving and that’s pretty much it. Recommended for a night you don’t fancy getting to riled up.

 

28/1 – The Outer Worlds

I feel very similar to others about this in that it started really strongly but started to run out of steam for me toward the end of Monarch. It didn’t help that, Parvati aside, I didn’t really like any of my companions which made me pine for a more Mass Effect type of affair. I did like the story enough to finish it (hence it’s appearance here) but something intangible was missing. Still it’s a solid 7/10 for me.

 

01/02 – Untitled Goose Game

Another game played with my daughter which took far longer than it should have due to spending most sessions watch her terrorise the kid with the glasses (this itself was 10/10). Nothing to say that hasn’t already been said a very enjoyable romp around Borton-on-the-Water being a prick. Fuck that pub bouncer guy though.

 

04/02 – Wandersong

Well this was lovely. An adventure game where you use music instead of weapons; where you a categorically told you are not the hero of the story but you carry on anyway as you still have a mission. With a simple art style and a palette that had my brain rifling through old Amiga games for comparison, you move from act to act using your songs to help people and try and save the Universe from destruction. The story is superb and really quite uplifting as your character is relentlessly optimistic which doesn’t get as annoying as you think it would. My only gripe on this is that the music controls could do with being a bit tighter but that’s probably the pretentious muso in me and by no means a deal breaker.

 

11/02 – Ghostbusters

Like many of you I’m sure, Ghostbusters was an enormous part of my formative years, but I never got round to playing this one first time around for one reason or another. With a few gaming sessions spare before Darksiders hits the consoles I thought it would be a perfect time to squeeze it in. Glad I did. Despite taking a bit of time to get used to the controls (after playing Luigi’s Mansion 3 recently my brain kept expecting the proton streams to stay locked on ghosts) the gameplay was samey yet satisfying. I cracked a little smile pretty much every time I trapped a ghost from start to finish. Where the game shines, of course, is in its script. Written by Aykroyd and Ramis, it’s full of very authentic humour, silliness and one liners worthy of the franchise. The performances are mostly great with only, disappointingly, Bill Murray appearing to phone it in for long stretches. So despite feeling distinctly ‘last gen’ in its level design this was well worth the 6 or so hours to play through and a must for any GB fan.

 

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4. Dishonored 2

 

Finally got round to this, and so pleased I did. Dishonored was one my favourite games of the last generation and I wish I'd played it through more than once and done all the DLC.

 

The immersive sim genre is responsible for some of my favourite games of all time but they are very intense to play. I would even call them exhausting. It took me over a year to get through the original Deus Ex, though I regard it as one of the best games I've ever played. Mankind Divided took me almost as long. I've had Dishonored 2 and Prey on my shelf for two years, but keep putting off starting them.

 

They're just so detailed. I get a compulsion to try to explore every single route, often following myself round in circles, finding other entrances to places I've already visited. Every room needs to be thoroughly ransacked for pick-ups and lore. Every safe and locked door that I can't open nags at me. I have to force myself to crack on rather than spending an hour rinsing every environment. There's a tension between being immersed in the character and their mission, and the gamey desire to find all the content.

 

I remember giving up on Bioshock for a few reasons, but one memory that sticks with me was spending 10 minutes in a single room looking under desks and on top shelves, finding trinkets everywhere. It rewards exploration, but perhaps a bit too much. I think these games might be a bit better if each new room you gain access to has all the loot gathered together in a single place so you don't feel the need to scour every surface. Perhaps the lore is too plentiful. The gameplay is interrupted by reading material quite often - it could do with some editing. Less is more. Of course, all this stuff is optional, but the designers need to consider our OCD tendencies.

 

Dishonored 2 gives you amazing powers, but all immersive sims give you the most godlike power of all: the ability to travel back in time and fix any blunder you made. It's called Quick Save. For a genre where your actions have consequences, I wonder if there's a better way to let players explore the different options without the ever-present option to simply Quick Load until everything goes to plan. I relied solely on the auto-saving in D2, which meant I never knew how far back I'd be sent if I died. This helped a lot. I also tried to stick with the natural evolution of events, rather than keep retrying for the optimum outcome, or the one that matched the way I'd chosen to play. These rich, branching games work best when you roll with whatever happens and stand by your actions. You get to see the systems in all their glory.

 

Hitman isn't quite an immersive sim, but it shares a lot of qualities. Ginormous sandbox levels that simulate realistic environments with tonnes of routes and options. But each Hitman level is a discrete sandbox designed to be played over and over again, almost like a track in a racing game. You don't feel the need to go everywhere on your first run. In fact, the game is at its best after several runs, when you have mastery over the map and prescience over the events that occur. Immersive sims like Dishonored and Deus Ex are meant to be played more than once, but the whole story, because the branching ripples through the game. Although I appreciate the sentiment, I've never actually replayed any of them before. These games are pretty long.

 

Anyway, despite all that I loved Dishonored 2. Some of the levels were perhaps too clever for their own good, and it's telling that my favourite was the penultimate, which is a standard infiltration and assassination mission.

 

I'm currently replaying it on NG+, on Iron Mode, which means perma-death. My first attempt ended in failure towards the end of level 3, but I tried again last night and got further (about 25% through the game so far) in about 90 mins. Now I know what I'm doing and don't feel the need to search everywhere, it's pretty quick to get to your objective. I do love modes like this, but wish there was some middle ground between 'save anywhere' and 'one life for the whole game'. Surely no mid-mission saves would be easy to implement?

 

Previous:

Spoiler

 

1. Jedi Fallen Order

2. COD Modern Warfare

3. Outer Wilds

 

 

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Shadow Complex just done main story.  Still holds up today and a crying shame there wasn't a Shadow Complex II.  I posted over on the nintendo eshop thread that I wasn't getting on with either Hollow Knight or Axiom verge and maybe Metroidvanias were not for me.  Just blasted through this and didn't have a problem with it.


Not sure whats next.  May go back to Yookie laylee but wasn't really feeling it which is why I jumped on to SCII.  Do have Arkham Knight waiting but not sure I want another Bat adventure just yet.

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Metro Exodus:

 

I really enjoyed this. It falls just shy of being a triple A game, but has that distinct Eastern European dev team feel and is all the better for it. It also has the best HDR implementation I've seen in any game so far. Some appalling writing, but the world building is second to none. 8/10.

 

Q.U.B.E. 2:

A portal kind of puzzler. It was free on Games With Gold at Christmas 2018 and I've only just got around to playing it. It's surprisingly polished and very well balanced. Took me less than 5 hours to finish and it's a nice little palate cleanser after the very full on 20 hours of Metro Exodus. Also 8/10.

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Detroit: Become Human

 

Only started this because it was free on PSplus. I have mixed feelings. A lot of the writing is actually very good, especially towards the end 

Spoiler

when the androids are de-skinned/dehumanised and put into death camps it becomes particularly chilling and thought-provoking.

However, it did take me six months on and off to complete it, largely because I struggle with heavy narrative-based games. I thought the end of chapter flow-charts were fantastic and I did feel my choices made a difference. It's easily the best David Cage game I've played, but that's not saying much. I gave up on Heavy Rain and Fahrenheit.

 

I think I'll give it a few years before I try Beyond: Two Souls. If ever. Out of interest, how does this compare to Detroit?

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