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What games did you complete? 2021 Edition


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Hitman 3 (February)

 

Sniper Elite V2 Remastered (March)

 

Purchased on a whim from a PS Store sale for less than a fiver having enjoyed the more recent SE 3 and 4.

 

I’m glad it was cheap as a lot of the rough edges that have been rounded off in the later games are present even in the remaster. It’s playable but frustrating, especially the AI, which is insanely accurate, even if you flee your last visible position, and controls that feel cumbersome in the far too frequent non-sniper sections. Think the later games vastly improved the set-up by making the maps more open, allowing for more freedom in planning the best approach (usually methodical) to taking out targets.

 

There are still traces of what makes the later games enjoyable, not least the sniper cam, which has evolved into Mortal Kombat levels of gore. Is it essential to gameplay? No. Damn satisfying though.


Have since gone back to SE3 up through PS Now as the game’s DLC that I hadn’t played is included, and the changes are very positive. Despite frustrations with V2, I got 10+ hours out of it and still found it interesting to see how a series has improved.

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1. Alba (Apple Arcade)
2. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (Switch)
3. My Friend Pedro (Switch)
4. Don't Look Back (iOS)
5. Bowser's Fury [Story] (Switch)
6. Super Ghouls 'n' Ghosts (SNES/Switch)

7. Yoku's Island Express (Switch)
8. Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Museum Collection Complete(Switch)

9. Donut County (Xbox Game Pass)

Kind of like a Katamari Damacy idea, but you're a hole which gets larger the more things you eat. It has a suitably daft and sweet storyline involving raccoons and trash which gets to the point quickly — I think this may have been a mobile game to start with, which is probably why.
Definitely worth a play if daft games are your thing.

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Barrage Fantasia - 1cc (7)

 

Spoiler

Solid State Survivor - 1cc, TLB (10)

Dangun Feveron - Fever arrange 1cc (10)

GG Aleste 3 - 1cc Normal (10)

Aleste - 1cc (8)

Power Strike II - 1cc (10)

GG Aleste - 1cc (8)

GG Aleste 2 - 1cc (8)

GG Aleste - Special mode 1cc (8)

Power Strike II - Hard 1cc (10)

GG Aleste 3 - Special mode 1cc (10)

Natsuki Chronicles - 1cc Arcade, Normal (10)

G-Darius HD - 1cc, Lambda route (10)

Cotton Reboot - Arrange 1cc (10)

Cotton Reboot - Arrange hard 1cc (10)

Assault Shell - 1cc, Original single (10)

Assault Shell - 1cc, Void arrange (10)

Assault Shell - 2-all (10)

 

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1. Forza Horizon 4 - Lego Speed Champions & Fortune Island DLC packs (XB1) - 8.5/10

2. The Gardens Between (XB1 Game Pass) - 8/10

3. Sea of Thieves (XB1) - 10/10

4. The Legend of Zelda - Breath of the Wild (Switch) - 10/10

5. Luigi's Mansion 3 (Switch) - 8.5/10

6. Titanfall 2 (XB1) - 9/10

7. Super Mario Odyssey (Switch) - 9.5/10

8. Sniper Elite 4 - (XB1 Game Pass) - 8.5/10

 

 

9. Journey to the Savage Planet (XB1 Game Pass)

 

Thought I'd give this a go as it's due to be taken off Game Pass at the end of the month.

 

I'm glad I did because there are lots of really good ideas in this, some sections are tremendous fun to play through.

 

However, I did find some aspects a bit unpolished. Sometimes, I don't think it know exactly what kind of game it's trying to be and it definitely falls into the trap of not being as good as other titles in the various genres it emulates. 

 

For example, whilst there's nothing essentially wrong with the scanning mechanics, it's done so much better in NMS. Gun play is okay, but something we've seen done better in many other titles.

 

But what I did enjoy was the visuals and the b-movie style and feel. It's vibrant and gorgeous to look at, so many striking colours which fit the game perfectly and the layout of the levels is great (there's no map but I don't think it needs one). The cheesy videos that play back at the ship were awesome, though I did find myself skipping them by the end as I wanted to get back to the mission in hand. 

 

The various power ups you have to work towards are also really good - using various flora as tools is also neat - I did enjoy the grapple berry sections and the shock fruits are VERY useful in combat. The feeling of progression is pitched just right with plenty more to upgrade and collect after the credits roll.

 

I try to avoid the phrase 'a perfect game for Game Pass' but this is exactly what this is! It's a title I wouldn't have looked at otherwise, it only took about 12 hours to get through the campaign (with plenty more to do afterwards should you feel the need) and I'm pleased that this kind of game is available on the service because it's neat, fun and enjoyable without ever being anything too groundbreaking. 

 

7.5/10

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01/01/21 - Dark Souls (360)

02/01/21 - Untitled Goose Game (PS4)

27/01//21 - Death Stranding (PS4)

23/02/21 - Star Wars Squadrons (PSVR)

22/03/21 - The Last of Us 2 (PS4)

 

26/03/21 - Abzu (PS4)

 

Picked up today as one of the freebies from Playstation.  I was up for something quite lightweight after finishing The Last of Us 2 earlier in the week and at just a few hours this certainly did the trick.  It's an absolutely gorgeous experience, and I'm a sucker for swimming around with fishes.  Was it a game though, not really - just kind of a lovely way to spend a few hours swimming around.  Enjoyable all the same, and something I might come back to when I need a fix of chill gaming (or I might just play Journey again).  Anyway, onto the next game in the growing backlog.

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26/03/2021 - Freedom Fighters (PC)

 

I remember when I originally bought this, way back in 2003, it looked so good and I knew it had reviewed well. Never did play it though (I did Steam piles of shame long before Steam :lol:) - in fact, I've probably still got it somewhere in a box at my parents house.

 

When I saw it was coming to Steam, then, I figured I shouldn't miss out on it for a second time and I'm glad I played it.

 

To get the obvious out of the way - it looks pretty ugly, even considering its age. The controls are awfully skittish, too, considering it's using a mouse, making movement and snap-aiming a bit more tricky than it should.


The structure of the game though is what makes this fun and there are different approaches you can take on each map, giving you some ways to mix it up. You are free to tackle maps in each broad 'level' in the order you wish, though you do sometimes need to do something on part of one map, go somewhere else and come back to it later. That flexibility though to either collect a cadre of fellow citizens and play as a pseudo-RTS, directing them around to investigate/defend/scout an area, you can go alone and Rambo it or try and be a bit more stealthy. There is something to about sitting back and letting your team take the bullets, but (on easy) it was sometimes quicker just to go into superhero mode and blitz through the levels. I'm sure tactics are required on higher levels though, adding a bit of strategy into the mix.

 

Perhaps the best thing about it is that it is very short and sweet, which is a good thing because the formula is good, but there's not enough variety to survive any padding out. I doubtless would've been more impressed had I actually played it at the right time, but despite that I still had a fun romp with this. Perhaps I should go visit gog and see what other games I still own the originals of but never played and buy them too, huh?

 

Previously completed:

Spoiler

10/03/2021 - Breath of Death VII (PC)

05/03/2021 - Dungeons & Lesbians (PC)

04/03/2021 - Quantum Break (PC)

26/02/2021 - Marvel Avengers (PC)

20/02/2021 - Life is Strange (PC)

02/02/2021 - P.O.W. (Arcade)

28/01/2021 - Devil's Hunt (PC)

24/01/2021 - A Mortician's Tale (PC)

19/01/2021 - The Touryst (PC)

19/01/2021 - Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forrest (PC)

15/01/2021 - A New Life (PC)

05/01/2021 - Vostok Inc. (PC)

02/01/2021 - Call to the Sea (PC)

01/01/2021 - Suikoden (PS1)

 

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Star Wars: Squadrons - I feel like this is the best space games can be, you have visually interesting, complex environments, a fast paced arcadey combat system, optional mission objectives, and really high quality in between mission sections chatting on the ships, and yet... it's still kinda dry to actually play. I felt bored and had to kind of force myself through the last couple of missions to the anticlimax of an ending.

 

The story doesn't help, they really don't know what to do with this new Disney era, and it suffers from the "written by a team" thing of characters repeating the same points every mission (drink every time they mention they were a racer, drink every time they do a knockoff 'nerf herder' idiom, actually don't because you'll die) 6/10

 

Spoiler

 

Doom (1993) 

ESO: Clockwork City

Superhot: Mind-Control-Delete
Genshin Impact

Sayonara Wild Hearts (twice!)

Control

Death Stranding

 

 

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7. Night in the Woods

 

I absolutely loved this. It had so much to say about the pains and confusions of young adulthood and it wrapped that emotional core in a beautiful, stylised 2D world. When I started it I wasn't expecting to be moved by a story about American twenty-somethings represented by what are essentially cardboard cut-out cartoon animals, but in the end I was. It even ended with a really positive mental health message that fitted perfectly with the story and characters. I can't praise it enough.

 

I know it's already a cliché but this is another "perfect for Game Pass" game as it's ideal to dip into for a few minutes at a time to move the story on, like reading a chapter of a book before bedtime.

 

Spoiler

1. Dragon Quest XI

2. Donut County

3. Tell Me Why

4. Slay the Spire
5. The Medium

6. Final Fantasy XII

7. Night in the Woods

 

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27/03/2021 - Greedfall (PC)

 

Man, this is a tough game to like. It does lots well but it's a game that has no respect for your time, to the point that it felt more like some kind of fantasy themed travelogue than a game at times with all the boring, slow backtracking that needed doing. It's a great example of a game that would've been really good at 20 hours, not so much at 40+.

 

First though, the good.

 

It looks beautiful at times, with the geography, apparel and architecture being a blend of revolutionary France, colonial Spain and indigenous US peoples (amongst other things) and there's a real sense of scale when you hit the first big city in your journey. The voice acting, too, is actually pretty good, and the story it tells of politics, religion and war is engaging and very grounded. Perhaps best of all is that the world feels like a proper, real environment. The game is largely based on an island and the devs sensibly decided against putting about five different biomes on there (so no obligatory desert/snowy/forest areas). There landscape is therefore largely the same, but the various towns and camps all make sense within this land.


Quests often offer different ways to complete them, too, and these, again, largely make sense within the world. The game also is actually quite flexible, too. You have main missions, of course, but they are broadly grouped into different 'buckets', so I actually completed them in a non-linear order and the game was intelligent enough that it didn't break the structure and little references to previously completed missions were made in dialogue.

 

Combat, whilst being very basic, was quite fun, too. Magic - for a change! - is quite overpowered, so it was good to actually feel quite powerful and viable to go a magic route (though you'll get enough points to also pick another weapon type too - so my mage with big two-handed swords was the way to go).

 

Unfortunately, the not-so-good list is also quite big.


Now I have history with the games from the devs, Spiders, because I've played all of their RPGs (Faery: Legends of Avalon, Mars: War Logs, Bound By Flame, The Technomancer and now this) and, previously, you could tell they had no real budget to work with. Indeed, that was one of the things that excited a number of people in the lead-up to the release of this - that they clearly had some money to play with this time.

 

Their games have always had similar problems though, with pacing, combat and character development. Certainly with Mars: War Logs and The Technomancer they have always been based on having skills, attributes (things like agility, strength and magic power) and talents (e.g. crafting, alchemy and lockpicking). Seeing the exact same layout for the third game immediately led to a little internal sigh, because I also instantly knew that the skills would be very lacking - and they are. Again, as with those earlier games you have a light and heavy attack and a small number of purchasable skills through levelling-up. There's no combos to reel-off or a range of additional skills to mix things up - as a mage, I basically had my two basic attacks plus one other offensive ability from the skill tree - and that's it (there are some more defensive-oriented skills, but there's little to make things tactically varied).

 

Despite the above, because the magic was quite strong it did manage to at least be moderately engaging throughout, but for whatever Spiders do next, they really need to have a long think about making it much better (though a lot of ARPGs have incredibly basic and dull combat so it's not unique to them).

 

The pacing though is where the wheels really fall off. That's partly because every mission features an inordinate amount of travelling to talk to people all across the island or to hunt for people or items and it's not just a case of going from A to B, it's A to B to C etc all the way through to A again. It's ridiculous and even with some sort of fast travel available at certain points on the map, it's just far, far too much. Like I said at the top, as a solid 20-hour game this would've been much better received, but I reckon I spent double that (it's a shame that doesn't track playtime on Game Pass) - and I gave up doing a fair bit of the side content and listening to conversations long before the end (of which there are faction, companion and generic varieties), just to get to the end. And that's a shame, because as I say, the world that has been built was pretty interesting.

 

The other big downer - and again is shared by their previous titles (especially The Technomancer and Bound By Flame) - is that the story does run out of steam when you are being bogged down with missions sending you to talk to 400 people for no good reason other than padding. It does pick back up again right towards the final push, but that lull added little to the experience.

 

In the end, I'm left very conflicted about it. There's enough charm here to make me still want to play whatever Spiders put out next - especially if they continue to benefit from lesser budget constraints - because they do a number of things well. But I really would want to see combat and character development being given a rethink and for them to have the confidence to produce a much tighter-focused experience, rather than feeling the need to stretch things out beyond the 20/25 hour mark.

 

Do I regret playing it then? No, because I had planned to buy this at some point before it came to Game Pass. Would I recommend it though? Also, and sadly, no - because there's far too much busywork that goes on for far too long to do anything other than frustrate.

 

Roll on their next game, Steelrising!

 

Previously completed:

Spoiler

26/03/2021 - Freedom Fighters (PC)

10/03/2021 - Breath of Death VII (PC)

05/03/2021 - Dungeons & Lesbians (PC)

04/03/2021 - Quantum Break (PC)

26/02/2021 - Marvel Avengers (PC)

20/02/2021 - Life is Strange (PC)

02/02/2021 - P.O.W. (Arcade)

28/01/2021 - Devil's Hunt (PC)

24/01/2021 - A Mortician's Tale (PC)

19/01/2021 - The Touryst (PC)

19/01/2021 - Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forrest (PC)

15/01/2021 - A New Life (PC)

05/01/2021 - Vostok Inc. (PC)

02/01/2021 - Call to the Sea (PC)

01/01/2021 - Suikoden (PS1)

 

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4 minutes ago, Gabe said:

27/03/2021 - Greedfall (PC)

 

Man, this is a tough game to like. It does lots well but it's a game that has no respect for your time, to the point that it felt more like some kind of fantasy themed travelogue than a game at times with all the boring, slow backtracking that needed doing. It's a great example of a game that would've been really good at 20 hours, not so much at 40+.

 

First though, the good.

 

It looks beautiful at times, with the geography, apparel and architecture being a blend of revolutionary France, colonial Spain and indigenous US peoples (amongst other things) and there's a real sense of scale when you hit the first big city in your journey. The voice acting, too, is actually pretty good, and the story it tells of politics, religion and war is engaging and very grounded. Perhaps best of all is that the world feels like a proper, real environment. The game is largely based on an island and the devs sensibly decided against putting about five different biomes on there (so no obligatory desert/snowy/forest areas). There landscape is therefore largely the same, but the various towns and camps all make sense within this land.


Quests often offer different ways to complete them, too, and these, again, largely make sense within the world. The game also is actually quite flexible, too. You have main missions, of course, but they are broadly grouped into different 'buckets', so I actually completed them in a non-linear order and the game was intelligent enough that it didn't break the structure and little references to previously completed missions were made in dialogue.

 

Combat, whilst being very basic, was quite fun, too. Magic - for a change! - is quite overpowered, so it was good to actually feel quite powerful and viable to go a magic route (though you'll get enough points to also pick another weapon type too - so my mage with big two-handed swords was the way to go).

 

Unfortunately, the not-so-good list is also quite big.


Now I have history with the games from the devs, Spiders, because I've played all of their RPGs (Faery: Legends of Avalon, Mars: War Logs, Bound By Flame, The Technomancer and now this) and, previously, you could tell they had no real budget to work with. Indeed, that was one of the things that excited a number of people in the lead-up to the release of this - that they clearly had some money to play with this time.

 

Their games have always had similar problems though, with pacing, combat and character development. Certainly with Mars: War Logs and The Technomancer they have always been based on having skills, attributes (things like agility, strength and magic power) and talents (e.g. crafting, alchemy and lockpicking). Seeing the exact same layout for the third game immediately led to a little internal sigh, because I also instantly knew that the skills would be very lacking - and they are. Again, as with those earlier games you have a light and heavy attack and a small number of purchasable skills through levelling-up. There's no combos to reel-off or a range of additional skills to mix things up - as a mage, I basically had my two basic attacks plus one other offensive ability from the skill tree - and that's it (there are some more defensive-oriented skills, but there's little to make things tactically varied).

 

Despite the above, because the magic was quite strong it did manage to at least be moderately engaging throughout, but for whatever Spiders do next, they really need to have a long think about making it much better (though a lot of ARPGs have incredibly basic and dull combat so it's not unique to them).

 

The pacing though is where the wheels really fall off. That's partly because every mission features an inordinate amount of travelling to talk to people all across the island or to hunt for people or items and it's not just a case of going from A to B, it's A to B to C etc all the way through to A again. It's ridiculous and even with some sort of fast travel available at certain points on the map, it's just far, far too much. Like I said at the top, as a solid 20-hour game this would've been much better received, but I reckon I spent double that (it's a shame that doesn't track playtime on Game Pass) - and I gave up doing a fair bit of the side content and listening to conversations long before the end (of which there are faction, companion and generic varieties), just to get to the end. And that's a shame, because as I say, the world that has been built was pretty interesting.

 

The other big downer - and again is shared by their previous titles (especially The Technomancer and Bound By Flame) - is that the story does run out of steam when you are being bogged down with missions sending you to talk to 400 people for no good reason other than padding. It does pick back up again right towards the final push, but that lull added little to the experience.

 

In the end, I'm left very conflicted about it. There's enough charm here to make me still want to play whatever Spiders put out next - especially if they continue to benefit from lesser budget constraints - because they do a number of things well. But I really would want to see combat and character development being given a rethink and for them to have the confidence to produce a much tighter-focused experience, rather than feeling the need to stretch things out beyond the 20/25 hour mark.

 

Do I regret playing it then? No, because I had planned to buy this at some point before it came to Game Pass. Would I recommend it though? Also, and sadly, no - because there's far too much busywork that goes on for far too long to do anything other than frustrate.

 

Roll on their next game, Steelrising!

 

Previously completed:

  Reveal hidden contents

26/03/2021 - Freedom Fighters (PC)

10/03/2021 - Breath of Death VII (PC)

05/03/2021 - Dungeons & Lesbians (PC)

04/03/2021 - Quantum Break (PC)

26/02/2021 - Marvel Avengers (PC)

20/02/2021 - Life is Strange (PC)

02/02/2021 - P.O.W. (Arcade)

28/01/2021 - Devil's Hunt (PC)

24/01/2021 - A Mortician's Tale (PC)

19/01/2021 - The Touryst (PC)

19/01/2021 - Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forrest (PC)

15/01/2021 - A New Life (PC)

05/01/2021 - Vostok Inc. (PC)

02/01/2021 - Call to the Sea (PC)

01/01/2021 - Suikoden (PS1)

 

Great write up. I'm currently playing this off the back of it being a psplus freebie last month. I'm certainly enjoying the setting and characters but it is early days. It feels like a Bioware game, though the combat is definitely a bit easy so far.

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@Mawdlin Thanks!

 

One bit of advice I would give would be don't go exploring each new map too much in the early game, because a) loot is generally terrible throughout anyway and b) you'll be sent all over every map during the course of the various quests - so if you've already explored (as I did) then it makes the travelling feel even more boring (though you should always set up a camp when you come across them, for later fast-travel access).

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1. Forza Horizon 4 - Lego Speed Champions & Fortune Island DLC packs (XB1) - 8.5/10

2. The Gardens Between (XB1 Game Pass) - 8/10

3. Sea of Thieves (XB1) - 10/10

4. The Legend of Zelda - Breath of the Wild (Switch) - 10/10

5. Luigi's Mansion 3 (Switch) - 8.5/10

6. Titanfall 2 (XB1) - 9/10

7. Super Mario Odyssey (Switch) - 9.5/10

8. Sniper Elite 4 - (XB1 Game Pass) - 8.5/10

9. Journey to the Savage Planet (XB1 Game Pass) - 7.5/10

 

 

10. Wolfenstein: The New Order (XB1 Game Pass)

 

Thought I'd give this a go following the influx of Bethesda titles onto Game Pass and was very pleasantly surprised.

 

Whereas this ticks a lot of the generic FPS boxes, it also boasts a really impressive story, one of the best I've experienced. The cast of characters is also excellent and it definitely helps the action which is well paced throughout.

 

Gunplay is nothing spectacular but solid enough. Weapons feel meaty with the exception of throwables which never felt quite right to me. Some of the extra perks you unlock as you progress are really good too, progression is very satisfying as you unlock the new gadgets and shooting Nazis in the head is as satisfying here as it is in the excellent Sniper Elite 4.

 

The alternate history setting - where the Nazis have won WW2 and have taken over the globe - is my favourite thing about The New Order. The horrific alternative versions of Berlin, London etc are visual treats - the robotic soldiers, dogs and even cyborgs the size of skyscrapers give the game a foreboding, creepy vibe and they make formidable opponents. 

 

I loved the way Nazi ideology is suggested in the form of gory experiments on prisoners, forced labour camps and even the occult. There are times when it becomes ridiculously OTT but it's so well presented that it's easily forgiven. 

 

It probably took me about 12 hours to get through all 16 chapters. Some choke points took a long while to clear and I struggled with the final boss but I never found it frustratingly difficult. 

 

Unfortunately, the main drawback with The New Order is not a small one - the bewilderingly archaic ammo collection system. You have to manually collect EVERYTHING - health packs, ammo, grenades. And I never got used to this. It's a baffling design choice and could even break many gamer's patience, especially during tense gunfights when you're frantically scrambling around trying to find loot. Combined with an unnecessarily fiddly weapon select screen, it really over complicated things. I hope this is rectified in other installments of the Wolfenstein series because it really did my head in!

 

If you can get past this very irritating issue, Wolfenstein: The New Order is a great, engaging and swashbuckling FPS benefitting from a superb story, an impressively deep and diverse set of characters and a very cool alternative take on history. 

 

8/10

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31/03/21 - Mega Man X (Switch)

 

Like I said in the "Comfort Games" thread, Mega Man X is a game I try to complete at least once a year. I've owned this game on the SNES (twice), Gamecube, Wii, Wii U, Switch and the Maverick Hunter remake for PSP. It's my favourite platform game of all time. Stunning level design, music, gameplay. It's simply sublime.

 

10/10

 

Spoiler

January

10/01 - Spiderman: Miles Morales

23/01 - Yakuza Like A Dragon

 

February

14/02 - Concrete Genie

18/02 - Mega Man 11

21/02 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered

 

March

21/03 - Persona 5: Strikers

 

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I've have been having a bit of a break from the console myself after my 80+ hour stint on Horizon, however my 5yo and I have been motoring through some of his games at weekends now he's back in school and have wrapped a few up over the last couple of weeks. Given I've played most/all of them I think they count for my list...

 

 

7. Lego City Undercover (XB1) - Think of this a Lego GTA Lite. You are a cop in Lego going undercover to save the day from the bad guys. The open world itself is big but actually a little uneventful, however the main plot line is decent and the various levels incorporate some nice lateral thinking and all the typical light-hearted fun you get from Lego games (holding onto chickens to fly between buildings, etc..). My son and I completed it together, firstly with me mostly in control. However over time he got more into it and has since actually been through it almost completely again on his own having got the twin stick and trigger set-up much more under his control. For me it was fun enough, but he absolutely loved it which is the main thing. - 7/10

 

8. Lego Ninjago Movie (XB1) - My son absolutely loves Ninjago. He's watched the TV series 3 times, has most of the Lego kits and enjoyed the movie (although not as much as the series). I actually got this game over a year ago but when I tried it out felt it would be a bit too advanced for him, however after playing Lego City Undercover and doing a few fighting bits I thought we could give it a go so we ran through it all in co-op together and had a great time. It's a decent looking game and there combat is satisfying (yet easy). It does get pretty frantic on screen at times and descend into button mashing and made my PG Xbox One chug frame rate wise in places. As above, the levels have a good mix of fighting and puzzling but it's not a game I would recommend unless you are playing it with a little'n. - 7/10

 

9. Phogs (XB1) - Our next game was one we'd started a long time ago on Game Pass and played a few levels before my son got a bit overwhelmed and bored. However going back to 'the dog game' (as he calls it) second time around has been a brilliant fun. It's a puzzle game where you play a two-headed sort of sausage dog creature manoeuvring a playful world consisting of things like giant food, a sleep/bedtime themed zone and various harmless characters and solving puzzles by using each of your heads (and stretchy body) to grab, move and manipulate objects and the environment. The world is bonkers, but the puzzle mechanics are actually pretty fun and constantly move with the themes. However we have had loads of bugs and glitches whereby things haven't worked, or the stretchy dog get stuck in scenery or flies off somewhere unexpectedly. But they do at least have a non-punishing 'respawn' option in the menu to take you back to safety without losing progress. Perhaps a bit of an acquired taste but a bit of a hit in our house.  - 7/10

 

 

I'm not sure what we'll be playing next together, I need to do a bit of research as that is pretty much my 'children's games' catalogue completed as far as he is concerned. However for me personally I'm hoping to pick the pad up again over the Easter weekend and get stuck into a) Control, b) Last of Us Part 2, c) Cyberpunk or d) Death Stranding. Ghost of Tsushima (just bought it in the sale)

 

EDIT: Sony sale got me so I'm playing none of my planned next games :lol:

 

Quote

1. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (PS5) - 8/10

2. Gris (PS5) - 9/10

3. Fez (PS4) - 8/10

4. Horizon Zero Dawn (PS5) - 9/10

5. Horizon Zero Dawn: Frozen Wilds [DLC] (PS5) - 7/10

6. Maquette (PS5) - 5/10

 

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06/03 - Final Fantasy 14 – Realm Reborn Quests

 

As previously mentioned, I’ve been wanting to give this a try for quite some time, but I made a conscious effort to stop after the original questline with the intention of continuing once the PS5 upgrade drops. It was fun! Typical MMORPG faire but with cutscenes.

 

Nice to switch your brain off and grab a couple of beers to do a few quests. One downside (for me) was the inclusion of mandatory dungeons. Nothing saps a good mood like getting revved up for a session to be immediately confronted with a 30-minute wait before you can continue. Still at least the dungeons were mostly tank & spank so were quite easy to blast through.

 

What was very welcome was inclusion of the greatest mini game in all history. Yes, I’m talking about Triple Triad. Total genius of SE to add this to game, only let down by the poor low-res art on the cards but I hope this will be sorted in the patch.

 

So, looking forward to continuing with what I have been assured is a much better story from here on.

 

21/03 – Final Fantasy 12 Zodiac Age

 

FF thirst not totally slaked, I then moved on to another one I’ve been wanting to go back to for some time. Rinsed the PS2 original at launch and had never got round to a replay, and lately have been waiting for the GamePass drop.

 

I was a little disappointed for reasons that are totally on me. I still like the game for the most part and Fran and Balthier are still superb, but a few issues soured the experience. First off, the changes for Zodiac Age meant my original guide was next to useless when it came to loot. This annoyed me far more than it should have all the chest contents were different and the shop stock was also different, not a big deal really but still annoying when the guide says “Use Firaga to kill this dude easy like” and Firaga hasn’t become available yet.

 

Second, I much preferred the old big licence board to the many separate ones, don’t know why but I felt I had more of an overall picture of what I was doing with the other one.

 

Lastly, and certainly down to me is that I found I had little desire to work on the gambits. Back in the day I would spend ages tailoring gambits for fights and loved it, but now I just don’t have that kind of inclination due to time constraints. This is the biggest shame as that’s pretty much what the game is about.

Still, enjoyed romping through Ivalice again but still disappointed they never gave us a Bangaa party member.

 

31/03 – Batman: Arkham Knight

 

As everyone was talking about this I decided to finish up my Arkham replays. Damn this game is still bloody great. My only knock (as it was 6 years ago) is there are just a few too many ‘faceless’ and repeating side missions. APCs, Towers, Mines and Checkpoints too many Firemen to rescue. But this is a minor complaint about what is an incredible piece of interactive storytelling.

 

I’m absolutely gutted we will not see it’s like again (Unless Gotham Knights and Suicide Squad end up very different to how they currently look).

 

Previously

Spoiler

01/01 - Assassin's Creed: Valhalla

15/01 - Immortals: Fenyx Rising

22/01 - Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

27/01 - Yooka-Laylee: The Impossible Lair

19/02 - Cyberpunk 2077

 

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Barrage Fantasia - Advanced 1cc (10)

 

Spoiler

Solid State Survivor - 1cc, TLB (10)

Dangun Feveron - Fever arrange 1cc (10)

GG Aleste 3 - 1cc Normal (10)

Aleste - 1cc (8)

Power Strike II - 1cc (10)

GG Aleste - 1cc (8)

GG Aleste 2 - 1cc (8)

GG Aleste - Special mode 1cc (8)

Power Strike II - Hard 1cc (10)

GG Aleste 3 - Special mode 1cc (10)

Natsuki Chronicles - 1cc Arcade, Normal (10)

G-Darius HD - 1cc, Lambda route (10)

Cotton Reboot - Arrange 1cc (10)

Cotton Reboot - Arrange hard 1cc (10)

Assault Shell - 1cc, Original single (10)

Assault Shell - 1cc, Void arrange (10)

Assault Shell - 2-all (10)

Barrage Fantasia - 1cc Normal (7)

 

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1. Alba (Apple Arcade)
2. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (Switch)
3. My Friend Pedro (Switch)
4. Don't Look Back (iOS)
5. Bowser's Fury [Story] (Switch)
6. Super Ghouls 'n' Ghosts (SNES/Switch)

7. Yoku's Island Express (Switch)
8. Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Museum Collection Complete(Switch)
9. Donut County (Xbox Game Pass)


10. The Medium (XSX, Game Pass)

This is basically a very pretty walking sim at times. The story is OK and there's not much gameplay, but I enjoyed it despite the fact it has a few – thankfully brief – instafail stealth sections. I don't know why game designers keep this mechanic alive. There's a big lull at the start of the third act which is 30 mins of "walk, press Y to climb ledge", which along with a couple of other small sections could have been cut and made a pretty good 3 hour game instead of an OK 5 hour game.
Play the first bit for the pretties, stay for the easy achievements if that's your thing.

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Hitman 3 (February)

Sniper Elite V2 Remastered (March)

 

Dangerous Golf (March)

 

Downloaded while scrolling through PS Now’s offerings. It’s a physics demo dressed up as a golf game, and yet playable in that ‘just one more go’ way.

 

Completed the solo world tours, now just hoovering up a few trophies before deleting. Tried Danger Zone, essentially the crash mode from Burnout games but in a weird ‘test environment’ setting, but found that far less enjoyable. You certainly can’t knock over a load of paint cans and make a mess of a French chateau in it, innit. Golfy golfy golfy!
 

 

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Previously...

Spoiler

1) New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe - Switch - 2019 (2012)
2) Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - Switch - 2018 (2014)
3) God of War - PS4 - 2018

 

4) Shenmue III - PC - 2019

Completed on normal difficulty - 32 hours.

I had to turn the graphics down to medium and play at 720p, and it still stuttered when running around! I really need a new PC. :lol:

 

This is considerably longer than both the previous Shenmue games and yet bafflingly little actually happens in it until the end. The gameplay is stretched thin, sending you on tedious quests and forcing you to complete chores every day. Due to the game's focus on maintaining energy through food and the need to level up fighting abilities through repetitive training regimes, my daily routine often consisted of chopping wood, eating garlic and squatting in front of wooden posts. Previous games did not require you to maintain Ryo's endurance like this, and it's the single worst change in this game, almost single-handedly ruining the experience.

 

Otherwise, it's Shenmue business as usual and I suspect fans of the series will find something to either enjoy or laugh at. Awful dialogue (thank goodness for the Japanese option), stilted cutscenes with cheap transition fades, mini-games to play, fights and QTEs to react to (the timing for which seems punishingly harsh now) and lots of little details to look at and interact with in every area. One of my favourite passtimes was just wandering around picking up herbs to sell, but even this is very repetitive. Shenmue I and II were cutting edge for their time, but Shenmue III's rather modest budget puts it somewhere on the lower end of today's games, and it shows.

 

Most disappointingly, Shenmue III doesn't finish the story. It satisfies some small desires in certain regards, but leaves loads of questions unanswered and feels unfinished. Despite liking Shenmue I and II (as recently as last year), I can't say I enjoyed the third very much at all, sadly. :(

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10 hours ago, shirubagan said:

Wasn't it made by Alex whatshisface who used to work at Criterion?


It was! Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry founded Criterion, and set-up Three Fields. I was surprised the golf game was more enjoyable than the dedicated crash game.

 

Did read Danger Zone and Dangerous* Golf were essentially side projects while they worked on the well-received Dangerous Driving.

 

*incidentally, for some reason my phone auto-corrected ‘Dangerous’ to Zhang Roy’s. Zhang Roy’s Golf sounds amazing! How do I develop a game?

 

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Dark Souls Remastered (2018)

I’ve been plugging away at DS for a while now, and just like Bloodborne the amount of time spent playing vs actually in the clock must be at least 2:1 on account of all the deaths. My deaths. Marginally more difficult than Bloodborne, I would say, and just as sprawling and packed with places to explore and enemies to slay. Also, some of the most memorable boss fights in gaming - a giant wolf, a bloke with an enormous flaming sword, 2 towering knights who smash up the arena while trying to twat you; all inhuman life is here. The power trip - the sheer sense of smug satisfaction - when you overcome these massively intimidating challenges is unlike anything else. It probably overstayed it’s welcome, on balance, but apart from that I can’t fault it. 
 

Spoiler

 

09/01/2021 - Bloodborne

10/01/2021 - Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

10/01/2021 - Halo 2: Anniversary

13/01/2021 - Little Nightmares

26/01/2021 - Donut County

27/01/2021 - Astro’s Playroom

06/02/2021 - The Medium

13/02/2021 - Paper Mario: The Origami King

21/02/2021 - Spider-Man: Miles Morales

28/02/2021 - Super Mario 3D World: Bowser's Fury

03/04/2021 - Dark Souls Remastered

 

 

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Halo 3 (2007)

OK, wow - I wasn’t expecting to finish another one of my games so soon after Dark Souls! But this was also a while coming, as I started it immediately after Halo 2. 
 

Honestly? I think I prefer it’s predecessor, especially since the Anniversary update, which looks resplendent. The third chapter has a lot of Flood-heavy levels, which are long and boring; and Covenant encounters are Brute-heavy, which are also kinda boring. The story is also kinda crap and unengaging. Or maybe I’ve just played too much Halo recently? Maybe! It’s still Halo, though, and better than most other fare. 


 

Spoiler

 

09/01/2021 - Bloodborne

10/01/2021 - Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

10/01/2021 - Halo 2: Anniversary

13/01/2021 - Little Nightmares

26/01/2021 - Donut County

27/01/2021 - Astro’s Playroom

06/02/2021 - The Medium

13/02/2021 - Paper Mario: The Origami King

21/02/2021 - Spider-Man: Miles Morales

28/02/2021 - Super Mario 3D World: Bowser's Fury

03/04/2021 - Dark Souls Remastered
03/04/2021 - Halo 3

 

 

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02/04/2021 - She Sees Red (PC)

 

I do quite like the new wave of FMV games that we see now days, which are shorter and more focused to the point that it makes replaying for different choices almost rude not to. The last one I played, Late Shift, had good production values, a fun story and choices that led to quite different experiences. That was a feature-length experience with no means of skipping bits you'd seen, but I still played it twice and enjoyed it both times.

 

She Sees Red isn't by the same developers at all, but it encapsulated me for the sub-1 hour runtime enough for me to go for 3 playthroughs (there are 4 endings). Rather smartly, there's a scene skip function here, but only after you've gone through 2 playthroughs - and that's important as you get snippets of the overall story because of the clever way it is all structured. By that, I mean it is pretty well signposted as to what decisions lead to different breakpoints in the story - of which I don't want to say anything for fear of spoilers, other than whilst fairly obvious, it was still a good ride, thanks to the production values, clever transitioning between scenes (so nothing ever felt jarring no matter which choice you made a given point) and the fact that, as it is a Russian dev, they don't muck about with a bit of violence.

 

For the pennies I paid for it, this was a really nice little package and, like Late Shift, perhaps demonstrates this bite-size experience is a better delivery method for FMV titles than trying to make it a 'proper' game length.

 

Well done you crazy cossacks :)

 

04/04/2021 - Secret World Legends (PC)

 

I remember the original Secret World launching back in 2012 and how it was heralded as being a different type of online title (though I can't recall why) but it wasn't until much later I bought it cheap and gave it a try. I don't really remember a great deal about it, but I only put in a handful of hours (probably less than 10) before dropping it and then it of course was dumped and relaunched as the above game. I think it rejigged pretty much all of the systems whilst largely retaining the same missions and content, but it won't surprise you to know that I don't know much about that, either.

 

Anyway, I digress. I have dipped in and out of this very, very sporadically since I guess 2017 when this version came into being and I still don't know what is meant to be so different about it. The character creation let's you take any 2 of the 9 weapon skills to start with, so I guess there's a freedom there, and you can keep earning skill and ability points forever (even when you hit the level cap) so if you played long enough you'd have every skill and passive to choose from though - and this is the one of the numerous problems - you can only ever have 5 passives and 6 skills mapped at a time - and as there are more than 150 skills overall, that's incredibly restricting.

 

The actual combat itself is pretty boring, too, not least because of the aforementioned issue. There's no sense of you actually hitting anything, with the lifeless denizens of the world showing no sign of impact and too many of the skills seem to overlap too much to make picking anything seem like a meaningful choice.


The game also looks rough and performs poorly, with a constant stutter every few seconds making you think the engine is creaking.

 

On the plus side, there's a lot of lore that has been put into the world and there's a lot of content to get you through to the endgame. Not that I got there, mind. I did that main mission chain that got me to level 30 and have called time on it. There's still more to explore - they called the DLC 'issues' that introduced new areas and extended the story - but I think that's now all included in this version. Regardless, the game wasn't engaging enough to push me to keep investing time in it.

 

I do view that decision as a bit of a pity, though. Being set in the 'real' world already set it apart from nearly every other MMO and there were various mechanics that almost had their hooks in me (the crafting system is fuelled by running any type of mission to get rewards, and combining the resulting weapons/equipment you earn to make stronger versions - so farming on low-level maps was very viable), but man, that combat really, really held it back.

 

It's done me a favour I guess, as I have Neverwinter, Guild Wars 2, Black Desert Online and Path of Exile all with single-player content for me to enjoy if I get that itch, and they are all far more polished and user-friendly. But still, that setting...

 

Previously completed:

Spoiler

27/03/2021 - Greedfall (PC)

26/03/2021 - Freedom Fighters (PC)

10/03/2021 - Breath of Death VII (PC)

05/03/2021 - Dungeons & Lesbians (PC)

04/03/2021 - Quantum Break (PC)

26/02/2021 - Marvel Avengers (PC)

20/02/2021 - Life is Strange (PC)

02/02/2021 - P.O.W. (Arcade)

28/01/2021 - Devil's Hunt (PC)

24/01/2021 - A Mortician's Tale (PC)

19/01/2021 - The Touryst (PC)

19/01/2021 - Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forrest (PC)

15/01/2021 - A New Life (PC)

05/01/2021 - Vostok Inc. (PC)

02/01/2021 - Call to the Sea (PC)

01/01/2021 - Suikoden (PS1)

 

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April

 

02/04 Summer Games 2 (C64) An amazing compilation, some of the events are better than lone offerings by other companies at the time. (I'm looking at you Kayak and Harvey Smith Show Jumper.) And most of the events still hold up playing them 35 years later.

 

A sports game so good that I still love it despite being bored by sports in real life.

 

SummerGames2StartAnimation.gif

 

Previously

 

Spoiler

16. 16/03 Beach Head 2:The Dictator Strikes Back (C64)

15. 13/03 Assassin's Creed Chronicles:India (PS4)

14. 07/03 Alvastia Chronicles (PC)

13. 27/02 Oxenfree (PC)

12. 26/02 Assassin's Creed Chronicles:China (PS4)

11. 11/02 Beyond a Steel Sky (PC) 

10. 02/02 Stories Untold (PC)

9. 31/01 Katamari Damacy Reroll (PC)

8. 28/01 2020 Game (Browser)

7. 26/01 Observation (PC)

6. 25/01 Hades (PC)

5. 23/01 Donut County (PC)

4. 17/01 The Touryst (PC) 

3. 13/01 My Friend Pedro (PC)

2. 03/01 Tell Me Why (PC)

1. 01/01 Tales from Off Peak City : Vol 1 (PC)

 

Abandoned

Assassin's Creed Chronicles:Russia

The Medium (PC) 

 

 

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 Previously...

Spoiler

1) New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe - Switch - 2019 (2012)
2) Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - Switch - 2018 (2014)
3) God of War - PS4 - 2018
4) Shenmue III - PC - 2019

 

5) Sonic Mania - PC - 2017

Completed Mania mode again, as I hadn't played through this since the 'Plus' expansion came out. Terrific game, of course, I just find some of the new levels a bit visually busy and confusing. It's also really hard to break out of the flow of the level design and find secret rings, especially as Sonic. Still, I probably just haven't played it enough yet - and it will get plenty more attention in the years to come. This also has my favourite special stages and favourite Super music.

 

6) Abzû - PS4 - 2016

Played it back in December on PC, so full thoughts here. I keep intending to buy this but keep being given it for free! Played through again on the PS4 (Pro), which is still a little iffy framerate-wise, but does handle smoother than my PC. I guess Unreal Engine 4 is a real resourse hog!

 

7) Night Trap - 25th Anniversary Edition - Vita - 2018 (1992/3)

Cleared the game with an 'imperfect' ending (eighty-something augers).
One of the first FMV games, to its credit, did something appropriate with the idea (surveillance cameras, traps), but FMV games are fundamentally shite, so there's only so much it could do. With legendarily bad sets, lighting, costumes and acting to boot, there's not much more you can do but laugh at it.

 

'Synergy' is a term you can use for games where all of the components work together perfectly to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Night Trap is the exact opposite of synergy - all of its parts work against each other to make something that breaks no matter how you try to play it. Watch the performances and follow the story and you'll miss the augers. Play through it properly and beat the game and you'll miss big chunks of the story. Play it repeatedly and you'll just get bored of doing the same thing over and over.

 

This is... not a good game. BUT, it is a good remaster. Interface improvements, higher quality video and animated preview windows all combine to make something that plays better than any of the old versions, and it's got a few nice bonus features too. If you're intrigued by this game and its history, this is a well-made preservation.

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On 05/03/2021 at 08:57, Pelekophoros said:

03/01: Night Slashers (Arcade)

13/02: Ghosts Of Tsushima (PS5)

20/02: Kitty Letter (Android)

21/02: Concrete Genie (PS5)

04/03: Maquette (PS5)

03/04: 198X (PS5)

 

Been looking forward to playing this for a long, long time, but was hugely disappointed. Apart from the nighttime driving section it didn't really do much that was amazing.

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8. Wreckfest

 

To the extent you can ever "complete" a driving game, i.e. I got the trophy for completing career mode. What a fabulous game this is. Because the focus is as much on destruction and survival as it is on racing, you often find yourself limping along on three wheels but still hoping to reach the finish line, and it's always fun. I think this is the most I've enjoyed a racer since the mighty Excite Truck on the Wii.

 

Spoiler

1. Dragon Quest XI

2. Donut County

3. Tell Me Why

4. Slay the Spire
5. The Medium

6. Final Fantasy XII

7. Night in the Woods

8. Wreckfest

 

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I made the mistake of buying a load of games over Christmas and since then I've been afflicted by choice paralysis. I've put 2-10 hours into several games and then moved onto something else. So, I've barely managed to complete anything. 

 

13/01 - Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PS4) - Arguably the best of the Uncharted series. It's short and almost all of the padding has been removed. At it's best in the more open hub worlds where you can go off and explore and uncover several optional puzzles. The combat is as rubbish as ever (the train yard shoot out is just bad), and why I much prefer the rebooted Tomb Raiders. 

 

01/03 - Phar-Lap: Horse Racing Challenge (Xbox One) - It's a horse racing game with elements of a clicker. Race horses to win money so you can upgrade your stables; breed better horses and beat your rival. I think it may have started out as a mobile game, with a lot of progress being continually blocked off until you reach a certain level. Compelling; even if the actual horse racing largely revolves around holding your position until the final stretch and then bashing the whip all the way to the line. 

 

03/04 - 428: Shibuya Scramble (PS4) - Absolutely brilliant visual novel; where the story is viewed from the perspective of several characters. Choices made by one have a knock on effect on the storyline of others. You will end up with a lot of bad endings; and selecting the correct choice is admittedly largely trial and error. Think of it as more of a flow chart where selecting the correct answer allows you to flow forward. I even went back to get all the extras and unlock the Platinum trophy after finishing the story, which is well worth doing, because the minor characters side stories are as brilliantly bizarre as anything from the Yakuza series (which is high praise indeed). Great stuff.

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