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What games did you complete? 2020 Edition

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On 23/02/2020 at 23:40, 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

 

Gorogoa feels like a mixture of early Windows shareware, and early Flash experiment, back when people were doing genuinely interesting things with Flash. It's an abstract puzzle game where you have a two-by-two grid, a series of simple cutscenes or locations to explore, and then you have to figure out how to link them together in order to help a boy collect several fruits in order to summon the Gorogoa to end the universe (may not be strictly accurate).

 

It's a game that rewards you for messing around, there's no unnecessary cruft or red herrings and if you take a step back you will usually figure it out - it does a great job of making you feel like you got there, rather than making you feel stupid. Interacting with the tiles is really neat too - as well as rearranging them, some tiles have transparent sections which can be overlaid on to others, and some have removable features that become their own separate tile. The only way to figure it out is to play around until it makes sense, and figuring it out is equal parts delightful and confusing.

 

It's the kind of game people who don't like games might get something out of. I almost said that it's the kind of game your mum would like but we all know what kinds of games your mum li-

 

never mind

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Feb

 

27/02 Ben There, Dan That : Special Edition (PC) The special edition being it works on modern system. I've always liked what sizefivegames do in theory, but I've never actually sat down and played any of the games I've bought. This has been sitting in my to play pile for over a decade. It feels a little creaky (as a lot of Adventure Game Studio games do now) but this homage to Lucasarts games made me laugh a few times even if I had to resort to spoilers a couple of times to locate objects I assumed were scenery. My hotspot scanning skills are a bit rusty. Doesn't overstay it's welcome although the music loops too quickly prompting my partner to ask to turn it off.

 

21/02 You've to to be Kitten Me! (PS4/Dreams) 

17/02 Art Therapy (PS4/Dreams) 

16/02 Art's Dream (PS4/Dreams) 

12/02 Juanito Arcade Mayhem (PC) 

08/02 Wolfenstein 2:the New Colossus (PC) (plus The Freedom Chronicles DLC) 

03/02 The Outer Worlds (PS4) 

 

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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So far this year:

 



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%.

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Both free tomb raider games on stadia and sniper v2 on GeForce now 

198x and Luigi s mansion on switch 

 

Next up moss on oculus quest, hopefully have a bit of a push on that as it’s gorgeous 

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7 hours ago, shirubagan said:

So far this year:

 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 


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%.


Still haven’t found that last percentage. Great game though, like you say, genuinely funny moments throughout. Didn’t think a ‘golf’ game would be the funniest I played in 2019, but it was.

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4. Bloodroots
Hotline Miami or Katana Zero type murder spree where you charge through levels, grabbing all sorts of weapons and execute baddies as quickly as possible. The variety of weapons and the different ways they work makes for some very creative slapstick violence. There are multiple ways to finish most levels and it's up to you to prioritise threats and decide what's best to use where. And it encourages you to play at a relentless pace, quickly picking up an object smashing it over an enemy's head, then looking for the next one. Chaining kills together into an unbroken combo is supremely satisfying.

The only problems come with moving the HM/KZ formula into 3D. It just doesn't have the precision reqired, visually or in terms of control, to allow you to execute your plans as reliably as you want to. Too many deaths result from confusion because of the perspective, or because the camera zooms too far in or out. Some levels are hugely frustrating for the wrong reasons. There's some great high score chasing potential and online leaderboards, and I can imagine some amazing runs being possible. I just wonder if anyone will have the patience for it.

Anyway, I'd recommend the campaign to anyone who likes this sort of thing. It's rewarding and often funny when it goes right or even when it goes wrong and it feels like it's your fault. Just be prepared for it to piss you off as well.

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13 hours ago, glb said:


Still haven’t found that last percentage. Great game though, like you say, genuinely funny moments throughout. Didn’t think a ‘golf’ game would be the funniest I played in 2019, but it was.

 

Is it the missing trophy by the ! block and football?

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A very special game indeed completed!

 

4) The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time

 

I have owned this since it was new, and back in the day I played it obsessively... right up until I got to Ganon’s castle.

 

then life got in the way, and I stopped for about six months. Went back to it, and I was kind of lost. Not in that I didn’t know what to do, but I was out of pace with the controls, the flow and even the mood of the game. So I stopped, and every few years I’d load up my save and weigh up if it was worth finishing it from there in a disconnected way, or start again.

 

Recently, I chose the latter, and switched over to the 3DS version.

 

Oh my. What a game.  I didn’t get everything - even now I can’t be bothered with all those gold skulltulas and I’m about 3 hearts short of a full set. But Link is victorious, and if I feel particularly keen I could dive into the Master Quest too.

 

It’s still an exceptional vision that still stands up well today. It may have taken me a long while to finish it properly... but it was worth it.

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5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) (PS4)

 

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This was disappointing. I'd heard that the campaign was a return to form in comparison to those of the Black Ops and Advanced Warfare iterations of the series, and while the graphics and sound design combine to make this the most realistic murder simulator I've ever played, the actual gameplay, in contrast to the original MW trilogy, was paper-thin throughout. Most of the time I felt like I was playing a lightgun shooter - an almost on-rails experience where player agency is extremely limited and you're not really tasked with doing much at all except moving from one shooting gallery to the next in between cut-scenes and scripted set pieces. Barring a few enforced stealth sections where your weapons get taken away from you (which are about as fun as they sound), that's pretty much it as far as gameplay is concerned. The environments are lavishly rendered in hyper-realistic detail, but you're not rewarded for exploring them, and seeing as you're constantly being ordered to push up, move forward and generally get a bloody move on by the NPCs barking in your ears from all sides, you don't really get the chance to have a look about anyway. As such, levels feel like they're over just as they getting going and there's a distinct air of superficiality to the whole experience.

 

This extends to the narrative, which alternates between being, on the one hand, relatively innocuous macho action movie guff, reminiscent of something like The Expendables, to being, on the other, something that makes very overt references to far more serious thrillers set in the Middle East, such as Zero Dark Thirty, Argo and The Hurt Locker. This leads to an inconsistency in tone that is by turns jarring, offensive and laughably farcical in how seriously it takes itself. I was reminded throughout of that episode of Extras with Ben Stiller, where he wants the soldier to slam the butt of his rifle into the old woman's face in the hopes of lending the movie he's trying to film more edge. This feels the same: its graphic portrayals of the slaughter of civilians, including the murder (and torture) of children, which the developers obviously want to be seen as meaningful and profound, instead feel unearned, often cliched, turning the perpetrators of these acts into caricatures and leaving the player with a sense of bemused distaste rather than poignancy.

 

I'm not interested in the multiplayer and don't have PS Plus anyway, but if you're looking for a decent single-player FPS campaign then you'd probably be better off playing the remaster of the original Modern Warfare.

 

6/10

 

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

 

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8 minutes ago, Jamie John said:

5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)

 

Most of the time I felt like I was playing a lightgun shooter - an almost on-rails experience where you're not really tasked with doing much at all except moving from one shooting gallery to the next in between cut-scenes or scripted set pieces. Barring a few enforced stealth sections where your weapons get taken away from you (which are about as fun as they sound), that's pretty much it as far as gameplay is concerned. The environments are lavishly rendered in hyper-realistic detail, but you're not rewarded for exploring them, and seeing as you're constantly being ordered to push up, run on and generally move forward by the NPCs barking in your ears from all sides, you don't really get the chance to have a look about anyway. As such, levels feel like they're over just as they get going and there's a distinct air of superficiality to the whole experience.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

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

 

 

Historically, this is the Modern Warfare campaign to a tee.

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1 minute ago, Mawdlin said:

 

This has always been the Modern Warfare campaign to a tee.

 

The missions in this felt especially rushed, though, more so than the other CoD campaigns I've played. The paucity of the whole thing contributed to this a lot as well: I finished the game in three sittings and it must have only taken me about 5 hours all in - I literally started playing it for the first time on Friday night (after the endless bloody updates) and finished it an hour ago. This was on the 'Hardened' difficulty as well. Given the amount of money and the attention to the detail in the levels, it seems like a massive waste that you're shoved through them so quickly (although I imagine a lot of the assets and locations are re-used for the MP maps).

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An unexpected one for me - Trials HD.

 

I've been playing a lot of Trials Rising recently, including the excellent 'Trials University' training sessions that you need to A-grade before you can progress onto harder tracks. This is the best thing about the new game - the tutorials are really well put-together, and teach you exactly the techniques you need to master to consistently get over tough obstacles. In earlier games you tend to fluke or intuit your way over the tough stuff, but this helps you understand the physics behind it, and genuinely helps smooth out the difficulty curve present in all Trials games.

 

So I went back to the earlier games to see if I could beat the obstacles that defeated me all those years ago. The '///' slopes on Inferno III in Trials Evo is still a big nope. Going back further to Trials HD, I finally managed to overcome the first jump on the Extreme track (Goin' Up) that halted my progress before, and then went on to beat all the Extreme tracks over the next hour. I spent 20 minutes on a single obstacle on the last track, which left me with two minutes to do the last few obstacles in the game, but amazingly I managed it.

 

This being a backwards compatible game, I picked up exactly where I left off 10 years ago, and all my friends' leaderboard times were there. This is the real beauty of backwards compatibility over remasters and re-releases.

 

I remember I really went off Trials HD because of that brick-wall difficulty spike, but I finally did it a decade on. I also had this idea that Trials HD was much more simplistic in graphics and physics than Trials Evo but it's basically the same game it is in 2020 but with plainer graphics.

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March

 

08/03 Devil's Kiss (PC) It's one of those dating game visual novel thingys. Only it's by the creators of Ben There Dan That so it has such romantic options as "quick! Kick me in the bollocks!" Free with Lair of the Clockwork God it's one achievement is "Basically read a book." Amusing for the 30 minutes I spent with it.

 

07/03 Time Gentlemen, Please! (PC) The sequel to Ben There, Dan That with the due accidentally creating an alternate timeline where Hitler wins the war using mecha dinosaurs. Hugely improved interface, marginally less wanking jokes but a lot of fun. I did reach for faqs a few times forgetting that one of the characters can give you hints. :facepalm: A solid adventure game. 

 

04/03 Bioshock 2:Minerva's Den (PS4) It was originally DLC. It's hiding in the extra section of the Bioshock collection in Bioshock 2  like some sort of shame. It's also the best Bioshock. For a start it's based around Bioshock 2, already the best Bioshock. And it takes Bioshock 2 and creates this tight side story that takes two or three hours to play through, compressing the essence of Bioshock.If you've played Bioshock 1 and / or 2 and haven't played this then remedy that immediately. If you want to play a Bioshock game but don't have time to play a ten hour game then this is also the perfect way to experience the core parts of Bioshock.

 

01/03 Bioshock (PS4) Went through this again mostly because my partner's interest in it was piqued by it appearing on PSPlus. For a 13 year old game this still looks as amazing as it did 13 years ago when @Phelan showed it to me on his brand new 360 (moments before it red ringed!) And a lot of that is down to the fantastic art design of the architecture and the doomed residents of the fallen city. I still prefer the second game mechanically (more on that later), and it loses a little something once you know the story twists. Still well worth playing if you've never given it a try before.

 

Previously

 

 

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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Crackdown 3 - I didn't mean to complete this, I only installed it on Game Pass to rubberneck at how bad it was (I know there is a guy here who worked on it, and no offence is meant - that must have been a real poisoned chalice of a project to be given) and uh, it's kind of incredible that they charged $60 for this - it's very low rent, it looks like a last gen re-release, has no music, and aside from the opening and ending cutscenes which they spent a bit of money on, the rest is cheapo 2D or VO over the map screen.

 

And yet the game is surprisingly fun, I ended up knocking out the 8 hours or so runtime in a couple of sessions that had me playing long past my bedtime. Sometimes a lot of guns and different enemy types is all you need, I dunno? That said, this is the third exclusive franchise Microsoft has had this gen that's just "shooting hordes in an open world" with Sunset Overdrive and Dead Rising, and none of them did well, so uh, maybe they should have got the message and stopped at one.

 

Spoiler

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

God of War (2005) 

Resident Evil 2 RE

Grandia 2 

 

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Days Gone

 

I got really engrossed in this and even had ambitions to Platinum it but Shadow of the Colossus is out on PSplus tomorrow and I think I've had my fill. Need to move on.

 

On the surface this is a pretty average open world game that Ubisofts the soul out of a great idea - dealing with hordes of zombies. However, if you have the patience to get to the sphincter-pulsing heart of the experience (a ridiculous 30 plus hours in) this game becomes tremendous, nay awe-inspiring, fun.

 

Why the developer left mission specific quests that deal with the hordes until the end game is one of the worst design decisions in history.

 

Despite this it has characters I enjoyed spending time with and some emergent moments that I'll never forget.

 

I feel like I'll hold onto my physical copy for the Challenges which distil what's brilliant about this flawed masterpiece.

 

 

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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) 8.5/10

8. Untitled Goose Game(Switch) 6/10   

9. Sleeping Dogs(PS4) 9/10

 

10. Doom 2016(PS4) - I had an absolute blast playing this game and is one of my favourite games I have played this year, I tried it on Switch last year and fell off it pretty quick but gave it another go and I’m glad I did. I found it tough in places but never felt unfair, gunplay was satisfying and movement was great. Will replay again at some point in the future and very much looking forward to the 20th to play through the sequel. 9/10

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On 26/02/2020 at 21:49, 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

 

Breaking tradition and putting a game in here that I didn't, techncially, complete.

 

Monster Boy is held up as an excellent platformer and throwback adventure game. I had a read through the thread on this forum and it is full of people being absolutely delighted with the game, its puzzles, its platforming.

 

hated it.

 

Part of the reason for this is that despite a lot of the puzzling, platforming, and so on being really satisfying and interesting, the game is full of moments that feel designed to "gotcha" you and artifically lengthen the amount of time you have to spend playing the game. There's multiple moments where stuff appears from nowhere, and the penalty for not knowing or reacting in time is that you have to repeat a section. Even right at the start of the game the tone is set, when spiders will appear from nowhere and threaten a third of your life total if not reacted to. In some ways it's like a slightly more forgiving Rick Dangerous.

 

I haven't turned a game off in a huff this often in years. There's just so many things in it that feel like they are actively working against you. Chests that require a certain number of hits with a special attack to open, only they disappear after a fixed time and you only have a limited number, so you may wind up hitting it 14 times rather than 15 because it randomly disappeared halfway through you spending your entire stock of special attacks on it.

 

Towards the end, you have to go hunting for three relics. The game tells you what location they're in, gives you a new weapon and then just leaves you to go over those regions with a fine-tooth comb. Later on there is a challenge where you must not stop moving at any point, and then right at the end of this sequence there is an enemy that will perform a stun attack on you, causing you to fail and go back to the start of the section again.

 

It's like the game has absolutely no respect for your time, and when I got to the final dungeon it wouldn't let me progress until I traipsed all over the world map looking for five pieces of a golden weapon. It is impossible to progress through the final dungeon without it, and you are given nothing more than an idea of which location they're in. This was the final straw. 

 

I'm genuinely delighted for everyone that loved this game, but for me there were too many points where it felt like the game actively wanted to waste my time and see me have a frustrating experience with the game. It's a real shame as the character switching and a lot of the puzzles are brilliant. 

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Finished three games over February:

 

Innocence: A Plague Tale (Xbox One)

 

I'm going to name a sub-genre, the "stressful walking simulator". Games that are basically walking simulators but have some perfunctory mechanics to push back against you to sell the conflict and the hardships that the main characters go through. Innocence has some light stealth and resource management mechanics but it ultimately wants you to win so you can usually find everything you need and is generous about giving you items that give you a second chance if you get caught. There's a couple of elaborately constructed "puzzles that aren't really puzzles" where you pull switches or push blocks and everything slides in to place and you admire how intricate and clever it all is without actually really having to do anything.

 

It's a good looking game for what I assume was a low budget with some incredible volumetric fog and lighting effects and the environments at their best are as good as anything I've seen.

 

I was relieved that for a game where the lead characters are children, they don't spend most of the game alone or in completely hopeless situations - it's definitely not a light story, but it's not Hellblade style misery - there's a supporting cast and flashes of optimism. Also has comedy French accents. It's maybe a few hours too long but it ends well with a satisfying finale. Decent.

 

Outer Worlds (Xbox One):

 

If you've played the original Mass Effect trilogy, and you've played any modern Bethesda open world RPG then you've seen everything this game has to offer already, just done better. Challenge free combat even on hard. Status effects that have no meaningful impact on anything. Nonsensical Bioshock style hoovering up items  - ("what's in this toilet cubicle? Why it's money and ammo!").

 

I found a handful of moments genuinely funny, but the constant comedy is exhausting, because the vast majority of the writing isn't funny enough to justify it. It's occsionally very pretty when you're not wandering around dull, identikit interiors. It's robust, you can fuck with storylines and it won't fall over and die. As a constructed thing it's very easy to admire. But it's ultimately a dull retread of aging ideas realised to better effect in earlier games.

 

Steel Empire (Megadrive):

 

Good, honest 16 bit shmup. Decent soundtrack, loads of set pieces, great steampunk aesthetic. Feels very euro-shmup despite being a Japanese game because you have massive hit boxes on your ships and an energy bar. It's very rough around the edges, gets choppy when the screen is busy, but it's packed full of details, special effects and parallax trickery.

 

...

 

2020 so far:

 

Spoiler

 

January:

 

Jedi Fallen Order (Xbox One)

Untitled Goose Game (Xbox One)

 

February:

 

Innocence: A Plague Tale (Xbox One)

Outer Worlds (Xbox One)

Steel Empire (Megadrive)

 

 

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Spoiler


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

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On 03/03/2020 at 23:17, 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

 

Step 1: Sort Steam by User Reviews

Step 2: Buy anything that looks interesting for not much money

Step 3: Why is there a burrito in the toilet

 

Hylics is basically a very short JRPG, but it looks like a surrealist Windows 3.1 experience, sounds like a tape being played backwards and when you die, your face melts off and fish talk to you. There is a plot but it was completely incomprehensible, instead of casting a heal spell, you "Manifest Ablative Holo-Pleather", you cannot touch the Ambulant Skulls becuase you will die in a pile of skeletons and blood, and no I don't have a clue what's going on either.

 

Enemies don't respawn, but do remain on the map as a pile of blood and bones. When you re-enter an area the death animation plays from the start, so as you walk around you'll see skeletons collapsing to the ground all the time which is definitely not unnerving. Much of the text is also procedurally generated, which resulted in one of the first lines of the game referring to the act of straddling a skeleton, and the majority of the NPCs making no sense whatsoever.

 

Pressing F12 to capture a screenshot causes the game to reset (still unclear if this is a bug or a feature) but to be honest much of the joy is in being thoroughly confused and trying not to become skeletons.

 

Also someone on Steam put the main character's face on Pikachu and it is inexplicably perfect and wonderful.

 

 

1510114413_Give Pikachu a face template.jpg

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Halo CE: Anniversary - Boy, this is a bad remaster - like I think they're unnecessary at best, but this is just a series of baffling decisions from an art and gameplay perspective. The textures are somehow less detailed and just scaled all wrong, so weeds are three feet across, effects are missing, and some of the level themes are unrecognizable. And then stuff like chunky tree trunks being slimmed down, a change made because of aesthetics, that doesn't understand they were chunky for cover and having their collision being different from the visuals leads to a shit gameplay experience. Sticking everything in the MCC's unified frontend is a bit of a pain, you could have multiple playthroughs on the go in the original, here I gave up my attempt at Legendary and lost the progress on that level. The improvements are the lighting, which isn't as eyestrain-inducing in the indoor areas as the original, and the skyboxes, which benefit from real geometry rather than low-res JPEGs.

 

At least the original is still in there, but as someone who hasn't played the 343 sequels, this is a poor first impression.

 

Spoiler

Crackdown 3
Kingdom Come: Deliverance

God of War (2005) 

Resident Evil 2 RE

Grandia 2 

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28/02 – Darksiders Genesis

Well this was grand. Not a diablo clone as first suspected but a full blown Darksiders adventure from a different perspective. I’ve had a soft spot for Darksiders since taking a punt on the first game in a Steam sale a while ago. I just find them to be solid, enjoyable, gamey games and this delivers the DS feels like a smashed chest full of souls so if you’ve played one you’ll already know if you like this or not. A few mis-steps here and there (the worst offender being the baffling lack of a player position icon on the map) doesn’t stop this from being a top notch addition to the franchise.

 

04/03 – Slay the Spire

I haven’t fully completed this, but Murder by Numbers has just come out and that will be taking my Switch time up for the foreseeable and I need to take a break for my health. What a fucking game man. Nothing else to add.

 

Previously:

Spoiler

01/01 – Lego Builder’s Journey

28/1 – The Outer Worlds

01/02 – Untitled Goose Game

04/02 – Wandersong

11/02 – Ghostbusters

 

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Previously...

 

January:

AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake) - PC - 2016 (1991)

Ecco The Dolphin - Mega CD - 1992/3

Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - 3DS - 2012/14

February:

Mega Man X - SNES - 1993

Super Metroid - SNES - 1994

Donkey Kong Country - SNES - 1994

 

 

March:

Chrono Trigger - SNES - 1995

Completed with the normal (best?) ending, having done all the major side quests and beating Lavos by going through the Black Omen. I probably won't bother with NewGame+ and seeing all the other endings because I've done it before in the DS version and most of the endings aren't worth the trouble - they're just fun little extras or slight variations on the normal ending.

 

I'm a Final Fantasy fan, but I think Chrono Trigger's streamlined approach to JRPGs, its short length combined with re-playability, as well as other changes, make it a superior game to pretty much any of them. Stripping out random battles and dimensionally expanding the world map, limiting character skills but introducing dual/triple techs to experiment with, and just generally having a brisk pace and easy-going nature, makes for a modern feeling game. It's only the writing that dates it (and the translation's a bit dodgy) - even the graphics are timeless, coming in near the SNES's end-of-life and pushing pixel art and 2D backgrounds to their limits. I've played a few ports over the years but this confirms that the original is my favourite - no loading times or replaced intro (PS1), no out-of-place extra missions (DS), and no... whatever the hell the PC/smart port is. :unsure:

 

Damn, I think it might actually be one of my favourite games. Somehow, I keep forgetting it exists and I always love it when I replay it. The story, atmosphere, music and pretty much everything about it are excellent, creative, and demonstrate that this project was certainly a labour of love from an era when Squaresoft actually gave a shit.

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Trials Rising

The much-reviled UI conspires to halt your progress, but behind all that, the game is as satisfying and addictive as ever. Once you figure out what you're supposed to do, there's a good spread of skill games and other challenges that mix things up with the standard Trials medal and leaderboard-chasing.

 

Seriously, though, the front end. I could (and might) write a whole article about how how it obfuscates and traps the player, and how inappropriate a map interface. Not a single Trials player cares or even knows where tracks are geographically set, meaning the icons are essentially scattered randomly around a large scrollable region. Even if you use the filters to narrow down the icons, there is still no order to the results. It's liking asking an archivist to retrieve some some files, and they climb up to the mezzanine and empty the box of documents all over the floor, leaving you sift through the mess.

 

You need to gain XP to unlock new tracks, but finding where to get XP is a not-very-fun treasure hunt. After a while you'll work out that 'contracts' give the bulk of the XP you need. Some actions randomly unlock new 'sponsors', and suddenly a whole load of new contracts are splurged all over the map. I only worked that out after 20 hours. When I first started playing it on release, I tried for ages to complete a backflip contract on an Easy track. Much later I realised that although the track is Easy, the contract was 'Extreme'. Why was I given an 'Extreme' challenge so early on? I stopped playing it for a year due to all the confusion.

 

Then there's the loot box cosmetics. It's one of those games where loot boxes contain fairly boring things, so as an adult gamer I can't really be bothered to open them. I have over 100 of the things, and there's the customary 10-second fanfare every time I open one, designed to promote the release of endorphins or something. I will never be bored enough to spend 20 minutes opening those crates, meaning even if I wanted to customise the look of my bike and rider, there's a tedious barrier in the way.

 

But it's Trials, possibly the best platform game ever. There are a shit-tonne of tracks, all of a high quality. The difficulty curve is well-judged this time. The best bit is Trials University, which I mentioned earlier in this thread. This teaches you advanced techniques like slope landing and rear-wheel hopping, and genuinely helps you improve your skills, making Hard and Extreme obstacles seem do-able.

 

I got as far as completing the Grand Finale, and cleared all the Extreme tracks, except for Inferno V (Inferno is always the hardest track in Trials), on which I can't even make the first jump. 

 

If you can get past the terrible front-end, it's classic Trials.

 

Previous

Spoiler

 

1. Jedi Fallen Order

2. COD Modern Warfare

3. Outer Wilds

4. Dishonored 2

5. Trials HD

6. Trials Rising

 

 

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4. Assemble With Care - Apple Arcade

 

Lovely little game this, really enjoyed playing it on the bus journeys to work. Nice idea well executed with a touching story built in. 

Previously

Spoiler

1. Sword Art Online Fatal Bullet

2. Resident Evil 2 Remake

3. Donut County

 

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Previously...

 

AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake) - PC - 2016 (1991)
Ecco The Dolphin - Mega CD - 1992/3
Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - 3DS - 2012/14
Mega Man X - SNES - 1993
Super Metroid - SNES - 1994
Donkey Kong Country - SNES - 1994
Chrono Trigger - SNES - 1995

 

Star Fox 2 - SNES - 2017 (1995)

I can see why this game was canned, despite development being finished in the 90s. Clever though the SuperFX graphics are, it would have looked ridiculous going up against the PlayStation, Saturn, etc., and with the cost of the cartridges and chips, it might very easily have lost money.

 

But more than that, there isn't really much to the game. It feels less substantial than Star Fox 1, in terms of... urgh "content". It's an arcadey score-chaser, which is fine if that's your thing. You can play through the whole campaign in about 45 minutes, then see if you can do it better / more effeciently next time and put your name on the scoreboard. That's pretty much it. There are no branching routes; instead the entire thing is open, and comprised of little mini-skirmishes and slightly larger skirmishes, all moving around the map in realtime, adding a touch of strategy - but not much. It's also really easy, at least on the Normal mode. But, again, that's where the score-chasing comes into it, I suppose.

 

So the SuperFX chip was an updated one. Believe it or not, the framerate is an improvement over the original Star Fox! Yeah, it's still headache-inducing but it doesn't descend to a slideshow quite so often as the first one did.

 

Overall, it's... fine. It's experimental, different from the first game and quite an interesting thing. Each play through can be different and unpredictable. The technology is old and it chugs along, but it's actually pleasant enough to play and still looks iconic, like the VR craze of the nineties, all flat polygons and abstract shapes. I may play it again in future, but I've blitzed through it once to see the credits and that's all I care to do for now.

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5) Go Go Ackman (SNES)

 

Not the hardest game, but a charming and fairly simple platformer. Given you’re collecting souls for the demon king, beating up cherubs as you go, I can see why this never got a port. But a fun evening’s entertainment with just a few difficulty spikes around death traps and the last two bosses. 

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And

 

6) My Friend Pedro


Didn’t expect to be finishing something so fast, but I’d been interested for some time, and it’s in the current humble choice bundle, so...

 

Just a basic run - there’s obviously a lot of score run gaming that could be done here. 

Definitely a game of two halves; I found it got bogged down in some padding out and some annoying drop puzzles later in the game. I did like

 

Spoiler

The final fight against Pedro the Banana though  

 

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1. Metro Exodus

2. QUBE 2

3. Darksiders 3

 

4. What Remains of Edith Finch

I didn't really know what to expect going into this, but I really enjoyed it. It reminds me a lot of the movie Big Fish, and it creates a real sense of ambiguity and melancholy which I've never experienced with a game before. Highly recommended. Probably only takes about 2 hours or so to complete, there's no challenge to it, it's almost pure narrative. It's on Game Pass and I think it's been on PS+ as well.

 

It looks rough as a badger on Xbox and there's no X patch but about 10 minutes in and you forget all that. Lovely game.

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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) 8.5/10

8. Untitled Goose Game(Switch) 6/10   

9. Sleeping Dogs(PS4) 9/10

10. Doom 2016(PS4) 9/10

 

11. Peggle 2(PS4) - Finished campaign on main game and dlc, only took me around 8 hours. Good mindless fun, might go back and get the platinum at some point. Overall nothing spectacular but a solid time waster. 7/10

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