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What games did you complete? 2021 Edition


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Sonic & Knuckles (1994)

And that's all the classic Sonic games done again.  So glad I was able to add the missing entries to my Xbox library.  I'm not very fussy, and I'm sure you can find better versions of these games, but I thought they were great.

 

Firewatch (2018)

A very atmospheric walking simulator with a fun mystery at its centre, carried through by two great performances by main characters.  Exploring a US national park, it has moments of fun exploration and relaxing contentment, induced by the calming sounds of nature.  It clocks in at a concise 5 or so hours and certainly doesn't overstay its welcome.  I had rather hoped the game would focus more on Henry, the player character, and the background with his sick wife and the developing relationship with Delilah, his supervisor with whom he is only able to communicate by way of a radio (and never meets during the game), but sadly the ending doesn't really deal with this in a satisfactory way, wrapping up rather suddenly.  Very good, but a word of warning - on Switch, performance is not good, struggling to maintain 30 fps throughout, and frequently stuttering and freezing.  Best played on a more powerful system.

 

 

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

15/04/2021 - Yakuza 0

08/05/2021 - Final Fantasy VII Remake

15/05/2021 - Resident Evil Zero

22/05/2021 - Blasphemous

29/05/2021 - Limbo

03/06/2021 - Inside

09/06/2021 - Resident Evil VII

19/06/2021 - Super Mario 3D World

28/06/2021 - Resident Evil: Village

03/07/2021 - Sonic CD

11/07/2021 - Sonic the Hedgehog

11/07/2021 - Sonic 2

11/07/2021 - Sonic 3

24/07/2021 - Sonic & Knuckles

25/07/2021 - Firewatch

 

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On 12/07/2021 at 22:18, strawdonkey said:

00. Katamari Damacy
0X. Kind Words

01. Hello Charlotte Episode 1

02. Hello Charlotte Episode 2: Requiem Aeternam Deo

03. Hello Charlotte Episode 3: Childhood's End

04. There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension

05. Mandagon
06. Heaven Will Be Mine

07. Tales of the Black Forest

08. Super Mario 3D World

09. Lair of the Clockwork God

10. Milk Inside a Bag of Milk Inside a Bag of Milk ...

11. Super Mario 3D World: Bowser's Fury

12. Tetris Effect

13. Luck be a Landlord

14. Rain on your Parade

15. The Red Strings Club

16. The Textorcist: The Story of Ray Bibbia

17. Shape of the World

18. Far: Lone Sails

19. Return of the Obra Dinn

20. Donut County

21. Warhammer: Vermintide 2

22. Cat Quest

 

I tend to buy cat-related games for the kids when they're on sale, with extremely mixed results. So far we've had ".cat", a platformer in which I must be missing something with, as the first two levels are one screen and the third level seems to be never-ending; "Cattails", an RPG that sees you joining a tribe of feral cats, engaging in turf wars with other feral cat tribes, collecting mystical items and having festivals; you know, Regular Feral Cat Stuff, and this game - Cat Quest.

 

Cat Quest is an action RPG where you play as a half-cat, half-dragon, and then kill everything on an island until there is nothing left to kill. It's full of questionable cat-related puns, it taught my kids the word "crap" and the gameplay loop doesn't really change that much, but there's something extremely satisfying about the combat and magic system. Everything is very simple - you get in range, hack away with your sword and then evade before the enemy attacks, can drop in magic spells for damage over time/life leeching/other status effects if required, and can have some fun with your character build, which is entirely equipment-based so you can go from full magic-user to full armour/tank in a few seconds in the menu.

 

Only real criticism is that a few things feel a little unfinished - after you complete the game you are dumped back out on the map and can take on some of the really high-level content, but there's not really a reward for doing so - I'm having to scour the map post-completion for stuff I've not done yet and it would be really good to have that pointed out in some fashion, as I'm pretty sure I've done everything the game has to offer and I'm just endlessly moping around the map looking for something to do.

 

But then, when you get to the point of "I have done literally everything the game has to offer", that means it's probably decent I guess?

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July

3. Bare Knuckle 3 (Sega Vintage Collection) Xbox 360

 

aka Streets of Rage 3, but I use the Japanese title as that is the version that I played and there are quite a few differences according to The Cutting Room Floor page - the difficulty level in particular. I played as Axel on Easy mode, with the maximum amount of lives. I think this was the first time I've ever played this entry in the series. The gameplay was enjoyable, but as with many scrolling beat 'em ups, it got a bit frustrating towards the end. The graphics were really good and the sprites felt bigger than in SoR 1 and 2. The music, which I have read a lot about, didn't really do much for me. There were a couple of good tracks, but nothing as catchy as in previous SoR games. I'll probably play through the American version at some point, to see how much more difficult it is and to actually read the story. Also, I could probably save the police chief now I know roughly what to expect on Stage 6 with the various rooms and timed gas release.

 

Two small things which stood out for me were the overtly sexual enemy character designs - particularly Ash, the overly camp mini-boss on the first stage. And also the section where a Bulldozer closes in on you as you try to break through a series of fake walls. I was losing a lot of lives before I accidently did a back attack, hitting the vehicle and sending it backwards. I would never have thought to try and punch a Bulldozer!

 

 

 

Previously:

Spoiler

January

1. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Ages) Switch

2. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Ages) Switch

 

 

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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
6.) Abzû - PS4 - 2016
7.) Night Trap - 25th Anniversary Edition - Vita - 2018 (1992/3)
8.) Secret of Mana - SNES - 1993
9.) Rez Infinite - PS4 - 2016 (2001/2)
10.) Moss - PS4 - 2018
11.) Halo: Reach - PC - 2019 (2010)
12.) Papers, Please - Vita - 2017 (2013)
13.) Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary - PC - 2020 (2011/2001)
14.) Undertale - Vita - 2017 (2015)
15.) Halo 2: Anniversary - PC - 2020 (2014/2004)
16.) Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse - Vita - 2013/14
17.) Final Fantasy VII Remake - PS4 - 2020
18.) The Wolf Among Us - Vita - 2014
19.) Halo 3 - PC - 2020 (2007)
20.) Halo 3: ODST - PC - 2020 (2009)
21.) Halo 4 - PC - 2020 (2012)
22.) Black Mesa - PC - 2020 (1998)
23.) Axiom Verge - Vita - 2016 (2015)
24.) MINERVA: Metastasis - PC - 2013 (2005/07)
25.) The Last Express Gold Edition - PC - 2013 (1997)
26.) Subsurface Circular - Switch - 2018 (2017)
27.) Beyond Eyes - PC - 2015

 

28.) Job Simulator - PS4 - 2016
Completed all four jobs and unlocked all Trophies.

This came out early on in the PSVR's life, but it never dropped below that impulse sub-£10 price point, so I kinda left it until now. Well... this is one of the best VR games I've played so far. It uses the Move controllers to great effect, is really intuitive for anyone to play, and is absolutely hilarious too. Some of its humour is scripted, some of it is emergent, and some is a combination of the two. In the chef's job, I created a soup by combining ingredients like "Romantic Music CD" and "Fire Extinguisher", and the resulting can that popped out of the cooker had exactly that on its label. As a store clerk, I grabbed the tobacco pipe from one of the customers, put it on the 'enlarge' machine and gave it back to him jumbo sized. In the office job, I 'photocopied' a stapler and then proceeded to fire both of them over the other cubicles, dual-wielding them like a couple of guns. None of this is required or even especially recognised by the game, it's just emergent fun that happens thanks to the loose constraints the game imposes. Every object is simulated with physics, the tactile interface is wonderful, and it's just a heap of fun you can enjoy in short sessions, plus it's played standing still, so it causes minimal motion sickness for me. Definitely a keeper, and one to pull out at the next permitted social gathering.

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26/07 - The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (PS4) - This is a very obtuse walking sim. There's very little hand holding; and it doesn't explain it's systems leaving it entirely for you to work out. The setting is stunning and the game interesting. However, some of the puzzles were a tad frustrating. I didn't like the fact that you had to have completed all puzzles to trigger the ending. Thankfully you can fast travel to each puzzle location, but even so these things should be optional in my opinion. Note sure about the ending - it's very open to interpretation. Anyhow, worth playing if you like the genre.

 

Previously:

Spoiler

01. 13/01 - Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PS4)

02. 01/03 - Phar-Lap: Horse Racing Challenge (Xbox One)

03. 03/04 - 428: Shibuya Scramble (PS4)

04. 13/04 - Catherine: Full Body (PS4)

05. 09/05 - Steins Gate Elite (PS4)

06. 13/05 - Code Realize: Guardian of Rebirth (PS4)

07. 12/07 - Katamari Damacy Re-Roll (PS4) 

08. 15/07 - Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! (PS4)

09. 18/07 - 11-11 Memories Retold (PS4)

 

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On 25/07/2021 at 23:14, acidbearboy said:

July

3. Bare Knuckle 3 (Sega Vintage Collection) Xbox 360

 

aka Streets of Rage 3, but I use the Japanese title as that is the version that I played and there are quite a few differences according to The Cutting Room Floor page - the difficulty level in particular. I played as Axel on Easy mode, with the maximum amount of lives. I think this was the first time I've ever played this entry in the series. The gameplay was enjoyable, but as with many scrolling beat 'em ups, it got a bit frustrating towards the end. The graphics were really good and the sprites felt bigger than in SoR 1 and 2. The music, which I have read a lot about, didn't really do much for me. There were a couple of good tracks, but nothing as catchy as in previous SoR games. I'll probably play through the American version at some point, to see how much more difficult it is and to actually read the story. Also, I could probably save the police chief now I know roughly what to expect on Stage 6 with the various rooms and timed gas release.

 

Two small things which stood out for me were the overtly sexual enemy character designs - particularly Ash, the overly camp mini-boss on the first stage. And also the section where a Bulldozer closes in on you as you try to break through a series of fake walls. I was losing a lot of lives before I accidently did a back attack, hitting the vehicle and sending it backwards. I would never have thought to try and punch a Bulldozer!

 

 

 

Previously:

  Reveal hidden contents

January

1. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Ages) Switch

2. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Ages) Switch

 

 

 

I remember shelling out about 60 quid for Bare Knuckle 3 in the Solid Gold Games Centre in Ayr. I clearly had more money than sense as a 17 year old. I remember filing off the plastic bits in the Mega Drive cartridge slot to fit it in (Wahay!).

 

Even back in 1994 when I got to Ash I was like "That's a bit on the fuckin' nose!". So I was not at all surprised when they replaced him in the Western version. Watching that Youtube vid brought it all back. It's hilarious but very cringey.

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List:

 

Spoiler

 

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)
11. GTA V (XSX)

12. Monument Valley – Ida's Dream (iOS)

13. Gears 5 (XSX, Game Pass)
14. Resident Evil 7 (XSX, Game Pass)

15. Rain On Your Parade (XSX, Game Pass)
16. Titanfall 2 (XSX, Game Pass)

17. Batman Arkham Knight (XSX, Game Pass)
18. Call of the Sea (XSX, Game Pass)
19. The Walking Dead: New Frontier (XSX, Game Pass)
20. A Plague Tale: Innocence (XSX, Game Pass)
21. Tales from the Borderlands (Xbox One, GWG)
22. Batman: The Telltale Series – Season One (Xbox One, GWG)
23. Sunset Overdrive (Xbox)

24. DOOM 2016 (Xbox)

25. Lego Builder's Journey (Apple Arcade)
26. Super Mario 3D World (Switch)

27. Batman The Telltale Series – The Enemy Within (Xbox, GWG)

 

 

28. Part-Time UFO (Switch)

From HAL Laboratory, this is an absolute gem of a game. Didn’t take long to see the credits roll, but it seems there’s a lot of post-game content. Lots of costumes to buy, you unlock a new mode and the Tower of Infinity is the most irritating and also the best game mode ever. 
 

I imagine it’s a riot in co-op — wish I had some mates :( 

 

Highly recommend this. 

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June

8. Tomb Raider (PS3) 2013

 

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I haven't updated my list of finished games for a few months so I've got a couple coming up starting with this, Tomb Raider the start of the current reboot of the franchise. It wasn't particularly one I'd planned to actually play but I'd ended up with it as part of a bundle of PS3 games I got from someone on here a few months ago so thought I'd try it out despite this also being on the PS4. It was fun to see how it played on the older system and despite the obvious short comings of frame rate on occasions, overall the presentation is amongst one of the best I've played on the PS3 so far, bearing in mind I haven't actually played any of the Uncharted games which I can imagine are equally as impactive. It's been a fair while since I've played any Tomb Raider game before this and those have been among the older variety on the PS1 with Legends being the most current and that was at least 17 years ago or so. This game definitely feels a far cry from the days way back but it's quite good overall. Not amazing but pretty good however I'd say that the overall presentation of the game and the many action scenes which are often interactive adding that semi controllable QTE really surprised me and made it forget how good the PS3 can look at times. 

 

There's a darker tone and atmosphere going on and a focus on story where you're often isolated on an island after being stranded there following an accident uncovering the sinister activities going on as you try to escape with your crew. For me the story wasn't grabbing me enough and felt quckly forgettable as I just didn't feel as though I cared enough for the characters and when it came to the main antagonist, he also wasn't around much at all. For the most part you'd be reading notes trying to figure out more on the back story but the main bad guy never felt threatening enough because he's rarely there. Even at the end he kind of becomes irrelevant but then I'd often spend the majority of the time simply exploring and trying to pick up all of the collectibles. There are a bunch of them, and often I dislike it when games try to Ubify the experience by adding too much but it just about worked as I got everything done a lot quicker than many others out there. These collectibles come in two forms; the one's which become added to the map after certain conditions are met and the ones which aren't revealed and require patience and perseverance to find. To make it more interesting though each area has its own unique collectible type in this category and fortunately there's one of those Metroid Prime/Assassin's Creed style scanning abilities which let you identify objects easier which can be activated when you're not moving. I actually prefer the less is more approach of the original games where there'd be secret areas and maybe a golden rose in each location but then that's it. Obviously in this day and age we have to add as much content as possible. Fortunately it can all be done in not too much time and still feels a lot lighter than say an Assassin's Creed game. This includes levelling up every single item in the game which is another typical mechanic.

 

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The weapons are quite cool, especially the bow and the abilities you get to fire and attach rope to posts so that you can crawl across to an impossible to reach section or sometimes being able to anchor the grapple section of the rope into a post only to pull it collapsing an entire rickety building that's hanging precariously in ruins on the edge of a drop following some explosions. There's a tool that allows you to ride the rope which is great as well. I had a few loose Horizon Zero Dawn moments while playing with the bow and fighting people, mixed in with Assassin's Creed and some Metroid Prime with the scanning and acquiring abilities to make progress. The music is OK in that it serves its purpose to carry the mood but is very generic really and forgettable. 

 

Overall Tomb Raider is quite like that typical AAA blockbuster cinema film that you might go and watch and (If you're like me) you'll think, yeah that was pretty good but it's not thought provoking or going to stick around in my mind and make me want to talk about it or cherish it in the long run. The biggest thing for me was just seeing how good it looked for a PS3 game and it really did surprise me, but as I said, I've not actually played an Uncharted game before and I'm going to make the presumption here that from UC2 onwards, they are in a similar league and style. I did play the Last of Us but that was on the PS4 and was the Remaster. Again another amazing game but TR is all about that flashy over the top action that feels largely hand holdey and guided down a path with many stops to allow you to breathe, upgrade things and search for more collectibles. I'm not feeling the rush to jump into the next one of the three...what's it called? Rise of the Tomb Raider or something, but you never know maybe one day. 

 

My final score is 7.5 

 

Oh another thing I want to add to this, and I'm not sure if this is more down to the PS3 version being less smooth than say a modern one, but I had moments of nausea when playing this. In fact there was one day I thought I might have had food poisoning and went to work anyway as I felt like utter shit, but there was something about TR that made me feel a bit sickly on a few occasions. I decided to try and look into it a bit and did find some talk from other users stating the same thing about it. Could it be the way the scan thing flashes when you activate it frequently while trying to constantly search, or maybe the way the framerate drops. Not sure but it's not something that often bothers me aside from VR which I've had sickness from the two times I've tried it out. 

 

Previously completed...

 

Spoiler

 

January

 

1. - Summoner 2 (PS2) 15/01/2021

 

I really fell off this thread last year for the first time since I started recording my completions and part of it was due to building up a back log of text I needed to write but ultimately couldn't face. Therefore I've started afresh for the new year. At some stage last year I decided to go back and return to my PS3 for a few titles and that then led me to go back further and start buying for and resurrecting my original PS2 again. I've been through Siren which was strange, extremely slow paced but fascinating and Drakengard 2 and more recently, Summoner 2. 

 

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Some years back around 7 or so I played the first PS2 RPG Summoner game and while it was clearly dated, I did really enjoy it, and now I've had chance to take a stab at what the 2002 sequel has to offer. Overall it's pretty good once you get past the fact it's from 2002 and evidently quite dated and jankey. There are definitely improvements over the first game graphically as it feels as though there's much more variation in locations and more vibrant colours and better looking environments. One of the biggest changes though is the action which presents itself as a straight up action RPG. The original game from what I vaguely remember was more of an automated battle system where your characters would engage in battle but there was a system which allowed you to chain together multiple successful hits by timing presses. You'd physically walk but not attack in the same way as you do in the sequel which is straight up typical action orientated, allowing you to strike enemies with equipped weapons, use items and scrolls and various types of magic abilities. I did quite like this change and it pauses the game while you are in selection mode for whatever item or magic you are choosing to use. This adds an element of strategy. There are a bunch of characters that quickly get involved in the storyline and usually you'll have up to 4 on the go at one time whilst having several reserve characters in the wait. 

 

I'd say there's definitely quite a bit of challenge going on as it wasn't a breeze to get through, but there's a particular way it has been made that can really land you into trouble if you aren't prepared properly and happens a lot. Generally the game, while open to visit areas you've previously been is quite linear. In many cases once you start the next section of the main story, you're often prevented from going back until the whole segment is complete and this can vary as to how long you'll be unable to do things like shop for items or change characters. It allows you to save at any time apart from when there are enemies around and this can be dangerous as you'll end up saving but then realising you can't turn back to better prepare unless you've got a second recent save. This is made worse when it decides to split you up sometimes even solo or have you cycle through small teams making you utilize character who may be unprepared. Sometimes it auto assigns roles but others you get to choose and if you make the wrong choice I can see this leading to problems. There was a bit near the end where the main character has to leave and I was left with two characters who couldn't use any support magic including healing. Luckily I had heal items, except within moments of tackling some fairly difficult enemies, you end up in a scripted fall scene and suddenly it tells you all of your magic potions and health potions have broken, literally ALL of them so you have nothing. Fortunately one of my characters had a weapon equipped which caused 20% instant death (luckily) and it worked on the enemies I was fighting at the time. I think I'd have massively struggled if I didn't have that. One of my characters during the second to final boss was constantly healing the enemy just by fighting and I had to keep him dead in order to get by. It just felt like the sort of thing generally that wouldn't wash these days, but getting by felt good. 

 

It contains a lot of lore and things you can read and there are some references to the first Summoner game including one of the characters being from the old game, albeit the one I kept dead at the end as he was trying my patience. The cinematics are pretty good such as the opening sequence and the final showdown is great, although I wasn't too sure about the sudden twists in characters you fight at the end as they make a sudden entry into the action very unexpectedly and don't feel as though they are integrated well, especially the last boss character who is barely mentioned in the game at all and so has no real connection and impact. Still it's a pretty decent game with a lot of quirky sidequests, many of which I've not fulfilled but can often almost feel like a point and click in the way you try to suss them out with very little hand holding, but often you'll feel really great when figuring out something unexpectedly. 

 

It's not an overly long game at I'd say probably around 40-45 hours, but still enough to get involved. There are some really quirky moments like the city of masks which has you changing what mask you wear in order to speak to specific people in a strange world beyond. I'd probably have not bothered with this game except of my curiosity since having played the first and knowing it's also the last in the series, however I'm not quite sure which of the two games I prefer. I had really fond memories of the first and pretty sure that one lasted a bit longer. The more I got into it, the further away it felt from the first, but I liked how the first started from the perspective of a guy who had nothing compared to how you're a queen who has a lot of allies and power at her disposal. It felt like it could have been longer in some ways too where as I felt it was about right in the first game. They aren't the sorts of RPG I usually tend to go for as I'm more of a JRPG person when it comes to RPG's as a whole, but it's pretty good.

 

I think I'll give it a 7/10. 

 

February 

 

2. - Forbidden Siren 2 (PS2) 02/02/2021

 

Forbidden-Siren-2-facts-statistics.jpg


I've started creating a backlog of completed games to write up so I've got a few, but the main game I finished a few weeks ago was the PS2 game (on the console itself) Siren 2. In fact I'll talk a bit about both Siren 1 & 2 because I went through that later on last year but never updated the thread. 


Siren is quite an obscure, in fact very obscure and forward thinking survival horror title that's mostly forgotten about or unknown generally, however is in some respects an amazing series, but at the same time super frustrating. Interestingly it was created by one of the original guys behind Silent Hill 1 and is very obvious once you start playing as the general atmosphere, designs and even some of the enemies (such as the nurse in 1) are all reminiscent of that title. The difference here though is that they have added a lot of innovation and abstract thinking when it comes to game play and really tried to make something different. In some ways it's good but definitely won't appeal to many unless you're quite a hardcore survival horror fan of the older stuff. Siren 2 also only ever got localised in Europe and didn't make it to the US so it's quite rare really. 


The general way both games work is that you play out a series of individual stages which represent a part of the bigger story, although they are always played out of order and regularly switch between different characters each doing their own thing but merging towards a common aspect to the overall story where often they pair up with one another. Sometimes you'll be on your own and other times with a second character guiding them along a dangerously cautious path. It's very hard to get your head around even after completion but there's a village in 1 and an island in 2 which both end up suffering from some mysterious goings on where the cast of characters get dragged into and end up between worlds just like in Silent Hill with there being a dark and sinister world. There's even a warning "siren" sound just like can be heard in Silent Hill (from what I vaguely remember). The game play involves a really interesting concept where you "sight jack" into other people's vision including enemies and see their point of view as you stealthily attempt to make your way past them or take them on at the right time. It's really well done and adds a massive fear factor which genuinely comes across extremely effectively, but the biggest problem is that general movement and actions in the first game are extremely slow. Factor in the fact you mostly have to restart the whole mission if you die or you're spotted by a rifelman and shot dead instantly. Fortunately, the sequel manages to improve on a lot of things as there are many issues that let the game down but I still really enjoyed the first a lot. One thing for sure though is that it takes a huge amount of patience to get through especially if you aren't using any guides which is pretty much what I did. 


Both games have very similar styles of game play with very similar menu navigation and level select methods, but it took me forever to figure out how everything properly worked in the first game. There's far too little to aid you in that one and it's led to me playing levels and being stuck for a couple of hours only to realise there is no solution available until a condition is met on a different stage first. The sequel never allows you to fall into this trap and purposely goes out of its way to give you more guidance and hints. Not only are you playing lots of stages out of sequence and jumping between characters, but each stage also has a parallel alternative mission which differs a little from the first run through as though something new happened in the story which didn't occur the first time round and can only be activated by carrying out a specific task on another level. Essentially there's a lot that really hadn't been properly thought about in Siren 1 and it makes the game much more of a chore and a headache as a result. 


Another massively frustrating thing about Siren 1 is that when you die, if you happen to have found any collectibles, you lose them all and have to find these again. What's more annoying is that say you reach a checkpoint, if you start the checkpoint, you can restart it but will still be missing those items. This comes across like bad design more than anything else and all of this was fixed in the sequel fortunately.I have to point out that from what I've heard online, it's known as one of the hardest survival horror games out there. Siren 2 is definitely easier but still can be tricky but the first one is ridiculously frustrating and will require lots and lots of attempts like a dark souls game until you really get to know the level and what's going on. I love though how every character is different and control different, has their own weapon or no weapon at all. The rifle on Siren 1 is ridiculously bad to control, like the worst I've ever known for a sniper style sight shot because of the speed and lack of finesse of control. They fix this a great deal with Siren 2. 

 

I have to point out the really unique character model aesthetic design choice to go with modelling real japanese faces onto characters. It can often look goofy and hilarious but also often it really works well, especially in Siren 2 and the fact their faces are animated smoothly, makes it look very real and radiates that emotion perfectly, you know that emotion technology they always talked about (whatever that was) well this is better. There are some brilliant moments that will leave you in tears of laughter. The voices in the first are an odd mix of English over Japanese characters and it does feel out of place, but the sequel has Japanese voice actors who try to do the English in some odd accents. 


Despite the negatives, I was absolutely fascinated by them both and really got sucked into them and the atmosphere. There are several endings and each can be found by just trying to complete all the missions for each stage. It was really odd when I got the first ending the first time though (in Siren 1) because I'd just finished a stage with an 8 year old girl hiding and trying to escape somewhere, only to suddenly be greeted by a cutscene which had nothing to do with her at all and instead a bunch of other characters who played out a scene I'd not even known about so had no idea what was going on. Only by playing other levels afterwards did things start to slot together. It really messes with your head the whole time. I got every ending in the first game but the second one was a massive kick in the balls as I'd just finished the first ending with a few more sections to work on and the save file suddenly corrupted not to long after. These are long games and I must have spent about 50-60 hours on the first one alone. I've ordered another PS2 memory card anyway but it's a shame as I don't think I can be bothered to go through it all again, still I got credits rolling. 


Siren is definitely not going to be for the majority so I probably wouldn't advise playing it, but it's one I'm not going to forget at all and really think it's brilliant. The enemy designs of 2 are really mental and there's a secret made up mini game you find on a fictitious console from 1982 called Kunitoris. I haven't played Deadly Premonition, but I can imagine this being somewhat similar in the way it's portrayed (from what I understand it) as a genius mess. You just never know what to expect as you make progress and it will often pull some really crazy stuff out of the bag. Siren also came out on the PS3 and this is supposed to be a complete remake of the first game. I'll definitely have to check that one out one day but I'm going to leave the series for a while. I'd just bought the first two together from someone on here which is why I played them both. I wonder if we'll ever see a return to the world again in the future?
 

Siren 2 - I'll give it an 8.5 out of 10. 

 

 

3. Celeste (PS4) - Farewell DLC 10/02/2021

 

This is another I've finally managed to get back to and finish off after deciding to take a break for a long while as it's so intense and far more difficult than the main game. Just to get proper access to the DLC you are required to do all the b-sides and collect all the hearts from every chapter prior to it, and that's not easy to do at all. I know it's possible to change the difficulty by tweaking settings but I was very reluctant to do so and in the end refrained completely. I thought I was actually quite close to the end having got through a huge chunk of Farewell but it still took me another 20 hours or so to do the last few sub chapters/verses of the DLC. Trying to get good with wave dashing is highly difficult but eventually I think I got the hang of it. There were many bits where it was easy to mess up the direction of the dashes with the d-pad whilst trying to do multiple sections in a single succession as my thumb would slip slightly. I also found that the best way to deal with the feathers was to switch from d-pad to analogue stick and then back again when out of it and that's something you end up doing a few times over the course of Farewell. 

 

What I love overall is that despite the bar seemingly raising and it being a super difficult game that gets harder and harder, I was always able to get by and nothing felt unfair. It was designed with absolute perfection and I loved how it often has you pondering how on earth to make progress only for persistence to pay off when I'd realise there was something critical I wasn't doing initially. It has a simple set of controls but there are many very subtle things that are really important to pick up on such as how a spring board will give you a jump back. The DLC also introduces quite a few new interactive elements which take a bit of getting use to but once you do then it all seems to fit into place. 

 

I can't stress though this was one extremely difficult challenge and far more intense than the main game but it amazes me how persistence paid off and I could feel myself getting better and better. In the end it took me about 93 hours to get to this point and I had around 20.8k deaths with almost half of them in the DLC alone. Farewell was something like 37 hours for me and it amazes me how there are runs that take it down under an hour; one I've seen within about 18 minutes with outrageous twitch speed play style. 

 

My main goal with Celeste was to get the DLC done and that's achieved now so I can feel it's done, however I still have the C-Sides to do and have managed to do the first two areas so far. I got 5 strawberries from Chapter 8 to get too but I have the rest. As for the golden berries, that's not even something I consider part of the main game. It's like an insanity mode for speed runner experts. I only found out recently that there's literally another area that appears if you manage to get through the entire DLC without dying and it supposedly starts you back at the beginning of the DLC on death. It's like that trophy on the Megaman 9 or whatever where you had to finish the game without taking a single hit. 

 

Overall though, Celeste was pretty much my Game of "my" Year in 2020 and sits in a special place. 

 

10/10

 

4. Limbo (PS4) 14/02/2021

 

After all the hectic stress of getting through Celeste DLC I wanted to play something very different in tone and Limbo is the perfect game to relax to with its slower pace and artsy yet moody picturesque visuals and theme. This one's getting pretty old now but one I always liked the look of back when I first got my PS3 and in fact it was released before I even got one of those. Limbo takes me back to when I first noticed the surge of indie titles sweeping in amongst the consoles, along with a few other well known ones around the time such as Braid and Fez. Well received and well loved from what I'd seen and it always sat there in the back of my mind that one day I aught to check this one out. That never really materialised until I decided to fire up my PS4 for the first time in quite a while and (aside from finish Celeste) browse through the store. I'm not one for buying digital much but I was looking for a cheap sale and this came up at a very modest price of just £2 which sealed the deal for me quite quickly. 

 

The game itself is nice; I'm not going to say it's the best game ever and should be a 9 or a 10 even though it's highly appreciated by many, simply because I enjoyed it but it's just not long enough for me personally and I didn't find myself attached enough unlike Celeste which was such a different experience and left far more impact. It didn't take long at all, maybe 4 hours and I have no desire to return to it again either, however it is amazingly nice looking and holds up amazingly well considering its age. I can see why it really must have made an impact back when it was new but these days there are so many mesmerising artistic experiences out there to compare it to. It does do a really good job of setting up an atmosphere and the silhouette black and white noire style feels, make it fathom something that belongs from a 30's dracula esque style era in some ways, giving it a strong sense of identity. The blends between layers and blurry out of focus elements work brilliantly like you're playing through a microscope at times. There is a deep moody loneliness filled with immediate dangers around each corner or rather screen, and what I love about this is that each experience is different. It never repeats the same thing over and over but rather attempts to switch things up continually to keep it interesting and envelops a sense of wonder as you carefully tread forward ever wary of the next trap, no idea what to expect.

 

Featuring numerous puzzles, this physics based game really impressed me as to how organic and natural it handles when being put into motion as you drag, push and pull or swing on things. There's a lot of subtle attention to detail and often I found myself in situations were I'd momentarily be scratching my head only to suddenly realise what the genius solution actually was in order to get up to an impassable platform. I wouldn't say that these puzzles are particularly difficult overall though but there's a little bit of a challenge here and there. It didn't take long to get by though each time I'd arrive at a new dead end but if I was to say what this game reminded me of loosely, it would be Another World but I enjoyed that one more than this and only played it for the first time in recently years. 

 

Once you arrive at the end it gives you the option to replay again and hides a number of cleverly hidden eggs (many of which I missed) but I don't think I'm going to bother as I wasn't invested enough and just wanted to play something to bridge a gap. For that purpose though this is the perfect game and at a price that couldn't be scoffed at whatsoever. 

 

It's a very nice game and can see why it appeals to many, for me personally though I'm going to give it a respectable 8. I'm sure many have already played this one. If you are into your short games and want something relaxing, historically renowned amongst modern indie puzzle platformers, not too intense, visually appealing and less than 4 hours long then this is for you.

 

5. Ziggurat (PS4) [2014]

 

I've got a couple of completed games I've been meaning to add but putting it off and as I'm now approaching the end of a new one, decided it would be best to get these up on here now. Back in Feb I downloaded Limbo and Ziggurat from the PSN Store, while already familiar with Limbo but not with Ziggurat thought I'd take a punt especially as it was quite literally about 79p. Turns out it's well worth checking out and has a lot of replayability. Ziggurat has been around since 2014 and plays very much like Hexen but exists as a rogue-like. That is to say that it's a oldskool fast paced FPS style game in a modern engine (Unity), where you can choose from numerous characters to play as and try to get past 5 stages with 5 bosses where a death spells the end of the game requiring a restart.

 

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In true RL fashion, the dungeon crawl style layouts always randomly generate with many different weapons and abilities becoming available every restart. You pick up cards which give you an option of choosing one of 2 or more which enhance various abilities such as faster attack speed, or being given the location of a hidden room on the map, sacrificing weapons to gain another random set and loads of others. The more you play, the more types you unlock in addition to unlocking new available characters each providing their own stats. The level progression has the player traversing through many different rooms where you'll either find some sort of pick up item inside (for example to unlock a boss encounter) or more commonly fight a wave of enemies. Once a room is cleared you can then move on and try the next, but once you enter a room of enemies you can't leave until it's complete or until you die. To make it more interesting there are many times that a caveat will be placed on the battle for the room you enter whereby every enemy and yourself take on a special set of rules and sometimes this puts you at an advantage then other times you will be put to the test as the enemies have the upper hand. There are loads of these and some are truly annoying such as only being able to fire when in the air. Additionally there are several possible bosses that you can come up against per stage, so it keeps each play fresh as there's no way to know who you'll be fighting until you get there. It progressively gets harder, but you also build up abilities to try and balance that difficulty in hope that you can make it past the fifth and final boss. 

 

I've only completed it once, but actually managed it quite quickly after around 6 attempts as I got a good run. I got the last boss another time on a separate playthrough but was much weaker and found it very tough. It's quite addictive due to the nature of this style of game and all the unlockables you get after continuously replaying. There's also a daily challenge which is different each time but you always get one chance and no more to see how far you can progress on an endless run. Visually it looks nice and the controls are tight. It can often get really hectic but there's this itch to get back on and try again if you like these sort of games. I think the actual standard price is less than £3 so would recommend it for those wanting quick blast game play with a focus on action. A full run may take about 2 hours at the most but there's a trophy to make it through in about 45 mins so it can be done quite fast. Kept me entertained for a week or two and I can see myself coming back to this on and off, although I'm spending more time with other consoles so haven't touched it in a while. 

 

7.5/10

 

6. Drakengard 2 (PS2) 2005/06

 

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Currently I've been really getting back into my PS2 and PS3 buying games again that I've missed and bagged this on ebay a while back some point late last year. As a fan of the first game and owning that for years, I've wanted to try out the other two games but this one has always been pricey, often around the £60 mark when I last looked. I was fortunate enough to get it for just under 30 and having now fully finished it completely, it's time to talk about it here. Originally I was supposed to add this to my last few games I finished last year, but I never actually got round to writing those up, however I can justify it being here this time because to get the true completion, you are required to play the whole game from start to finish 3 times in total, each time gaining a different end boss fight sequence and a different story ending and I've done just that so here we are. 

 

I think Drakengard 2 has often been regarded as a hit and miss, partly because it's not very well known anyway but I seem to recall comparisons made between the overall tone of this one vs the grittier nature of the first and better protagonist. Whilst it's true that the this comes across a little that way, it's really cool how you meet the protagonist from Drakengard 1 in here along with his dragon Angelus, and it's such a cool badass entrance which paints a reminder of that title. It isn't quite as mental as the first one either as I distinctly remember fighting a giant baby fetus or something like that and the music was a darker too, but it's still a decent game with a really good story that sucked me in. The style of D2 remains very much like the first with huge waves of enemies in open areas but also progressions through smaller corridors in caves and buildings that switch it up with a Dynasty Warriors vibe about the action but with a style of story and tone I prefer over ancient Japan. It's also got the flight stages too which play out very like Panzer Dragoon. You also build up your character's levels and also build up the level of weapons you use, gaining new combos as you go similar to the first, however a big difference this time is that you journey through the land building up a small team of 4 characters who can be switched on the fly, each with their own weapon types and health/magic bars. Each person is suited to their own enemy types and situations so you find yourself hopping between each one a lot if the situation arises. 

 

One of the things I loved about the first Drakengard was how it brought in the 5 endings without the need to actually restart from the beginning. You'd go through a bunch of chapters, but there were gaps missing and upon completion of the first ending, you'd learn it wasn't over and that you needed to play specific stages prior to the hidden chapters/verses and qualify a challenge (finishing a stage under a certain time limit I think) before being given access to a completely new story branch that not only had new stages and new ending, but also a new final boss and new key characters who would come into the story. Drakengard 2 makes it a pain in the arse because it means completely restarting again as a new game+ or ++. Each time you start though, you continue with your stats and get given a bunch of money and keep all weapons. There are also new one's to be found and you find yourself improving the characters as you go along. It also starts off with you being overpowered but then that changes further into the game as the difficulty increases beyond the last play. It's challenging but doable and doesn't have a super annoying final boss encounter like in the first game. If you know the game then you'll know exactly what I'm referring to (those black and white rings). It is a pain in the arse at times though but I managed to pull through and get it done. Turbo feature on a pad massively helps with the fluidity of pulling off combos without constantly bashing the buttons over and over destroying your fingers. It should be a standard feature in the game. 

 

Graphics are obviously dated but they still look good and I felt very much in control when I got good at it. There are some annoying moments where I'd spend half an hour on a stage only to die and have to start over, but I was determined to keep on going. It does get repetitive with the hordes of enemies but I still love it. If you die then you get chance to restart with no experience lost, although the biggest flaw is that you can't save it until the level is complete. This means if you're on a stage and have spend a couple of hours trying to get past it and still struggling, you're either going to lose ALL the experience gained or must keep going. It seems stupid not to let you save. 

 

Music wise I love it, really really love it. The main theme for example is outstanding. Orchestral and really full of emotion and cool melodies and energy. 

 

I'll conclude here, and say that it's a really good game, but that's because I'm a massive fan of the series. The bosses are enjoyable as they are quite different and present their own challenges which can appear tough but are doable. The last playthrough really pushes you though and by the time I got to the last boss, I initially found it impossible until I switched a certain item that helped massively and did some more levelling up. I did pretty much every optional quest and must have spent a total of about 130 hours or so going through it three times. It's long but I've played many RPG's that take me just as long to do them once. I'm the kind of player who hates to repeat games more than once but did so because I got every ending in the first game, so wanted to try and get the most out of this too and for the price I paid, I easily got something out of it. While I was playing this, a friend of mine suddenly asked to borrow the original from me and finally got all 5 endings for the first time and I've just lent him this one a few days back. I'll definitely be getting Drakengard 3 at some point. 

 

Score 8.5/10

 

April

 

7. Resonance of Fate (PS3) 24/04/2021

 

Before I finish the next thing on my list, I thought I'd write up this to avoid a backlog, and this being Resonance of Fate, an RPG published by Sega and made by Tri-Ace. I've been on a PS3 kick for a bit now and got this a few months back knowing next to nothing about it whatsoever other than vaguely recollecting its title. I was surprised to find that the makers of Star Ocean were actually behind this, however it's actually incredibly different from that in just about every aspect. In fact I've come to learn that generally it's regarded as quite a unique RPG in its own right and people either get it or they don't. The main difference is how the battle system operates among other things which I'll get onto later. 

 

 

RoF features two guys and a gal operating to form the core of a team right from the off. There's a brief introduction showing the girl (Leanne) attempting to commit suicide a couple of years prior, but being saved by Zephyr, another team member, however once it's over you are pretty much left to explore and have full control of abilities right from the off. This also makes it a steep learning curve to work out how to battle and while I was wandering the map world I ended up landing my first random battle which led to mighty confusion and ultimately a game over screen not having the foggiest about what to actually do. Fortunately there's an arena nearby and a listed tutorial showing you how to battle properly. Sadly this is quite long and it can take a while to go through, not to mention it's not explained too well so can take a bit of perseverance to get your head around. This is one of the aspects that has put people off, but once you get the basics, the rest follows and it really is an excellent and enjoyable system that's so different from any other RPG I've played to date. Guns are the main fighting force (along with grenades and molotovs) and it works by controlling each player at a time and setting up a shot either directly at an enemy or allowing the character to go into a mode where you'll run in a straight line and blast while running or jumping and shooting. Depending on the weapon, you deal either normal damage which tends to take off very little or "scratch damage" which isn't real damage, but if real damage touches a scratch damaged person, then they lose it all instantly. It's a bit like working with a shield but is weapon dependent. There are a bunch of other tricks to get your head around and dealing with shields surrounding the enemies is another important aspect. It's also got less to do with Hit Points as it has to do with losing bezels, each of which have 1000 points of scratch damage. Once all the bezels get damaged then you're on your last legs with HP damage and this is where things really do get hugely disadvantaged and leave you open. Ultimately there's a lot to think about tactically while undertaking a battle, but with a fluid action orientated feel that keeps it moving without feeling like a TRPG. 

 

 

The world is set up a huge tower run entirely by clockwork, but rather than being inside a tower, there are a series of outer platforms connected above and below one another almost like leaves on a vine with elevators running between each platform. The higher the platform, the closer to royalty and therefore wealth and affluence the area is, while trundling to the depths much lower down reveal hostile areas with broken, run down and dirty places with the poor taking up residence there. The towns (of which there arent a great deal of) actually look really nice and have that Final Fantasy 7, 8 and 9 look and about them with lots of detail made to the environments where you'll see all sorts of mechanisms made of cogs turning and alive. Outside of these however, it's not quite as impressive. There are dungeon areas and generally the spots where the fighting takes place and they look rather dull and more like a step down in generation in comparison, featuring very bland and basic 3D looking areas. What's more is that a dungeon is made up of a series of connecting blocks (or hexagons to be more accurate) which act as rooms where each one has a fight inside. It's not about exploring but more about fighting and fighting and yeah you get the point. It feels manufactured for the sake of the game rather than an organic flowing environment urging you to look around, take in the sights and explore. On top of this is the main map which isn't like most RPG's and looks like a board game with a marker on top of a board of hexagons. You are blocked by filled in hexagons at first, but get hold of tetris-a-like pieces which can remove the blockages, uncover pathways to progress and reveal hidden items while you do. There's more to this part of the game too but I'll not go into it too much. You also find yourself going backwards and forwards all the time, expecially if you attempt to do all the side missions, and each time you'll find that talking to the same people dotted around will reveal new information during each new chapter of the game. It's cool but did make the whole thing feel repetitive, and I didn't quite feel like I was exploring a huge world but rather a small section of a structure spread across 12 or so floors. I was yearning to leave the entire place and end up on some planet at the bottom but that never happens. 

 

The story is one of the things that grew to annoy me more and more as it progressed, and it's largely down to the lack of direction. For a very very long time you get very little information on the main plot aside from brief cutscenes at the beginnings of chapters and ends which for the most part can be very confusing as they are so detached from what you'll be doing, especially as almost all the missions tend to have nothing to do with the main story. It's also purposely cryptic and I read the Western release has some cruicial cutscene information removed about one of the characters. I spent literally about 115 hours on my play through, way longer than I expected but tbf I've done this many many times before on lots of other RPG's. As time went on, I just lost interest in the story and had only half an idea of what was going on at the best of times. Japanese games love to do this sort of thing but I feel it was far too loose and disconnected leading me to just end the game with more confusion than when I began it. I wanted to like it as it does have some interesting ideas. After reading up the main thread on here about RoF, I've seen something about there being 10 difficulties but I don't fancy playing it ever again I don't think. In some ways I felt this way when playing Bravely Default, as there were things I hated about it but at the same time I really liked it. I have to also point out the clothing options which are purely aesthetic, and while not usually the sort of thing I'd be into, the designs of clothing in here are really really good. They look more like actual real fashion and not some pseudo-RPG-centric outfits. 

 

 

Overall it is a decent game if you can get into the battle system, then you'll have fun and I can say that it does have a lot of depth to it which make you think first before blindly running into a battle. Some battles are a bloodbath unless you use the right approach which quite often makes a battle go from insanely difficult to super easy once you know the correct exploit. 

 

I'm going to settle on a 7.5 for this. 

 

 

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On 13/07/2021 at 08:34, Pelekophoros said:

3/01: 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)

07/04: Moonwalker (Arcade)

27/04: Apex Legends Season 8 (PS5)

29/04: Call Of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War (PS5)

08/05: Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order (PS5)

26/06: Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS5)

02/07: Necromunda Hired Hun (PS5)

06/07: Ratchet & Clank 2016 (PS5)

12/07: Warhammer Vermintide II

 

27/07: The Last Of Us Part 2 (PS5)

 

Dear Lord what a game. The credits are still rolling, but that was just astonishingly good in every way. 

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On 25/07/2021 at 23:13, strawdonkey said:

00. Katamari Damacy
0X. Kind Words

01. Hello Charlotte Episode 1

02. Hello Charlotte Episode 2: Requiem Aeternam Deo

03. Hello Charlotte Episode 3: Childhood's End

04. There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension

05. Mandagon
06. Heaven Will Be Mine

07. Tales of the Black Forest

08. Super Mario 3D World

09. Lair of the Clockwork God

10. Milk Inside a Bag of Milk Inside a Bag of Milk ...

11. Super Mario 3D World: Bowser's Fury

12. Tetris Effect

13. Luck be a Landlord

14. Rain on your Parade

15. The Red Strings Club

16. The Textorcist: The Story of Ray Bibbia

17. Shape of the World

18. Far: Lone Sails

19. Return of the Obra Dinn

20. Donut County

21. Warhammer: Vermintide 2

22. Cat Quest

23. Touhou: Luna Nights

 

Been eyeing this up for a while, so was pretty happy to be able to take a punt on it via Gamepass. I'm not the biggest Touhou expert so will probably get some of this wrong, but Luna Nights is a Metroidvania set in world created by Remilia Scarlet, a vampire, because she was bored. You pay as Sakuya Izayoi, her maid, who just happens to have access to extremely powerful time magic, can float, and has an infinite supply of knives, and has been imprisoned in the world as entertainment because it would seem there are no employment regulations in Gensokyo. 

 

Anyway. Despite being very difficult in places, this game is absolutely brilliant - there's just enough mechanics to keep things fresh throughout the whole game, combat is satisfying throughout and one of your special weapons throws a chainsaw upwards; towards the end of the game with the right upgrades you can easily put 8+ chainsaws on screen at once and who doesn't need that in their lives. Boss combat goes from pecking away at their life total in the early game, to learning where the gaps are so that you can get close enough to them, stop time, and then forcibly attach four or five chainsaws to their face before getting out of there again. 

 

Luna Nights is tough as balls in places, and occasionally there's a save point, then a difficult section, and then you'll die on your way back to the save point which is definitely not frustrating at all, but generally the save points are really well spaced out. You also have the opportunity to regain health by grazing enemies - like in some of the Touhou shooters, or Psyvariar, getting close enough to an enemy or their projectiles gives you a small HP and mana restock, which rewards risky gameplay. You can also stop time and gather these items, which refill your time gauge instead.

 

Bosses are 16-bit pattern-learning pure joy - utterly baffling on the first try or two but totally learnable and very satisfying, in addiition to each boss having at least one attack that you can deliberately graze with a little practice, which makes the battles much less of a slog.

 

This has been an absolute gem, and I'm currently working my way through the bonus area after beating the final boss (I think I'm at the last boss of the bonus area, which is also really nicely designed as it's completely different to most of the other bosses in style). I've not played something so old-school in a while, but it also allows you to learn and improve very quickly, which allows it to get away with its high difficulty. Also the soundtrack is Videogames As Fuck.

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3 hours ago, strawdonkey said:

23. Touhou: Luna Nights

 

Been eyeing this up for a while, so was pretty happy to be able to take a punt on it via Gamepass. I'm not the biggest Touhou expert so will probably get some of this wrong, but Luna Nights is a Metroidvania set in world created by Remilia Scarlet, a vampire, because she was bored. You pay as Sakuya Izayoi, her maid, who just happens to have access to extremely powerful time magic, can float, and has an infinite supply of knives, and has been imprisoned in the world as entertainment because it would seem there are no employment regulations in Gensokyo. 

 

Anyway. Despite being very difficult in places, this game is absolutely brilliant - there's just enough mechanics to keep things fresh throughout the whole game, combat is satisfying throughout and one of your special weapons throws a chainsaw upwards; towards the end of the game with the right upgrades you can easily put 8+ chainsaws on screen at once and who doesn't need that in their lives. Boss combat goes from pecking away at their life total in the early game, to learning where the gaps are so that you can get close enough to them, stop time, and then forcibly attach four or five chainsaws to their face before getting out of there again. 

 

Luna Nights is tough as balls in places, and occasionally there's a save point, then a difficult section, and then you'll die on your way back to the save point which is definitely not frustrating at all, but generally the save points are really well spaced out. You also have the opportunity to regain health by grazing enemies - like in some of the Touhou shooters, or Psyvariar, getting close enough to an enemy or their projectiles gives you a small HP and mana restock, which rewards risky gameplay. You can also stop time and gather these items, which refill your time gauge instead.

 

Bosses are 16-bit pattern-learning pure joy - utterly baffling on the first try or two but totally learnable and very satisfying, in addiition to each boss having at least one attack that you can deliberately graze with a little practice, which makes the battles much less of a slog.

 

This has been an absolute gem, and I'm currently working my way through the bonus area after beating the final boss (I think I'm at the last boss of the bonus area, which is also really nicely designed as it's completely different to most of the other bosses in style). I've not played something so old-school in a while, but it also allows you to learn and improve very quickly, which allows it to get away with its high difficulty. Also the soundtrack is Videogames As Fuck.

 

I got half way through a few month back before being distracted by some other game and have not yet gone back. However up to that point it did seem pretty great. The only criticism I had, was that some of the areas are puzzle oriented in that you need to stop time - which is fine the first time, but does become a bit annoying when you need to traverse back and forth.

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Spoiler

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) - 8/10

11. Hades (Switch) - 9.5/10

12. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch) - 9/10

13. Halo 5: Guardians (XB1) - 8.5/10

14. Halo: Reach (XB1 Game Pass) - 8.5/10

 

15. Bloodroots (XB1 Game Pass)

 

This is an odd one - I think others will get more out of Bloodroots than I did, but by the end of this, I was glad to put it down and I doubt I'll come back to it.  Because it's INCREDIBLY frustrating.  That's not to say it's flawed because the entire reason it's frustrating is kind of the point - you play as Mr Wolf, a warrior hell bent on revenge as you traverse various levels slaying anyone and everyone who gets in your way, with a variety of weapons that are both fun to use and comical to witness.

 

The whole point of Bloodroots is that one hit kills.  But it also means one hit also kills Mr Wolf, so one wrong move means death.  And you WILL die.  A lot.  The combos you can string together whilst jumping, throwing objects, picking up new objects, melee killing etc etc is very impressive, and it's almost poetic when you're in full flight.  The action is so chaotic, and moves incredibly quickly but there is never a right or wrong route to take through each level, and never a set order you need to take enemies out by.

 

The art style and humour injected into Bloodroots is excellent - it's cartoony enough to never be excessively gory despite the fact that the whole point of the game is mass slaughter using anything you can lay your hands on, and scenery is quickly coated with blood.  But that game mechanic is constant throughout the whole game and after 4 or so hours, it did start to become a bit tired.  It's not like Hades where each run can be drastically different.  Whilst it's similar in that you definitely learn from each failed attempt and have to be used to dying regularly, you're reliant on not making a single mistake in Hades.  No such luck here.  Expertly slice your way through 99% of a level will count for nought if you're caught by the very last enemy in a particular section.  Check points aren't overly stingy though but personally, this didn't compensate for the sheer number of frustrating deaths.

 

I would 100% recommend this even though I don't think it's my kind of game.  There's a stack of fun to be had, the chaos is really something to behold, and if you like the idea of smacking someone to death with a carrot before picking up a bucket and killing someone by throwing it at someone before launching into a sword lunge that takes out 3 people at once, you'll bloody love this.  As long as you don't mind dying more than you've ever died in a videogame before.  

 

6.5/10

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On 28/07/2021 at 07:52, strawdonkey said:

23. Touhou: Luna Nights

Just finshed the bonus content. It's an amazing end to the game and a superb boss fight that feels quite different from the other major boss fights in the game.

 

21 hours ago, gossi the dog said:

 

I got half way through a few month back before being distracted by some other game and have not yet gone back. However up to that point it did seem pretty great. The only criticism I had, was that some of the areas are puzzle oriented in that you need to stop time - which is fine the first time, but does become a bit annoying when you need to traverse back and forth.

 

So to begin with I definitely found the time-stop mechanic to be fiddly and difficult, and part of that is that all the stuff you could do in it felt like it probably wasn't worth the effort. And then you get a couple of upgrades, including one that allows you to stand on knives you've thrown during time-stop, and it really opens the game up. Realising I could throw chainsaws during time-stop was the big thing that really drove me to make more use of it though, as the damage you can chuck out using your specials both makes up for your MP running out and also allows you to stack a pile of damage in ways you can't through honest play.

 

Also, with the knife-standing powerup, one really nice design choice is that all platforming puzzles that require you to use this skill only ever require you to throw a knife from standing - so there's very little fiddly work to have to do (stop time, jump, place knife in mid-air, double-jump on to knife, double-jump off knife) - it's literally a case of, stop time, place knife, jump on it and at that point it doesn't matter if your time runs out, you're always going to be able to reach the platform.

 

The mechanic really comes into its own as the game progresses, but the temptation is there to begin with to just not bother using it becuase you can generally perform better without it in the early stages; as you start to unlock those buffs to it though it shows its value and you stop looking at it as a hindrance and start looking at how you can exploit it. This probably isn't deliberate, mind!

 

I got 14 chainsaws on screen in the final boss fight and I feel like that's a metric that we need to include more when discussing the merits of a game.

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28/07/2021 - Luigis Mansion 3 (Switch)

 

I was a huge fan of the original LM on the GameCube.  It was a short game, of course, but full of character.  The Switch game was quite a bit longer at around 17 hours of play and had a few more mechanics to work with - like "Goo-uigi" for example.  I got stuck on a few bosses trying to overthink it before realising it was  much easier than I'd been trying.  I don't think I completed the game very fully - only having found one Boo and no "Rare" ghosts.  So maybe I'll go back at some point and have another nose around.  I never played LM2 on the 3DS, is that where the Ghost dog came from?  (I regard this as not a spoiler, as he shows up in the opening cut scene of the game)

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Bit of a catch up. Finished a couple of these back in May!

 

1. Immortals: Fenyx Rising

2. Control [Game Pass]

3. The Medium [Game Pass]

4. Astro's Playroom

 

5. Demon's Souls Remake

 

I've mentioned it before, but I essentially played the Souls games in a weird way. I bought and played Demon's - I actually imported it off the back of the Edge review, and never made it past the Tower Knight or any of the other x-1 stages. I then failed at getting past the Gaping Dragon in DS, and last year played and finished DS3, before doing DS1 and most recently, the DeS remake. This meant pretty much meant that I had already encountered the final form of every iterative idea in a series of games which is essentially an ongoing refinement of the same ideas. Which was interesting, but not particularly impressive or fun. A lot of things which were discarded were discarded for a reason, etc.

 

4-2 is also some of the least fun I've ever had, and I basically bullied myself into playing it because I didn't want to give up.

 

There were some real highlights, but on the whole, I think probably best experienced as a nostalgia trip.

 

7/10.

 

6. Ghost of Tsushima

 

Sucker Punch made Sly Cooper 1-3, which is one of my favourite gaming franchises of all time. Sadly, I didn't get on with the Infamous games until Second Son, which was great, but a bit simple. I thought this would be an opportunity for them to build on their skill at making games with wonderful traversal mechanisms. Sadly, they've sort of abandoned that in favour of making a very stylish (post Origins) Assassin's Creed game. 

 

And it's a very competent one, but one which is held back by poor pacing, a very by the numbers story that you can see coming from a mile off, and sadly, not much variation in terms of gameplay. Most of the game revolves around clearing out camps of enemies. It's also a game that is constantly holding your hand - it views following an in game bird or fox up to a point of interest (which usually just involves pressing triangle to score some XP or something) as a meaningful activity, and it's choc full of this kind of pointless busywork.

 

It also builds up to this massive bit where you're going to get an amazing piece of technology and then you just get a grappling hook that you can only use on set points in the game, of which there are generally very few outside of tasks which revolve around using it.

 

I really enjoyed it by the end, despite all the above. I'd probably just about give it an 8/10, and I think the style and beauty of it (all the more impressive on PS5 by virtue of being 60fps), is doing a lot of heavy lifting for it.

 

7. Death's Door

 

g0OpLC9.jpg

 

I don't really know how to easily describe this game. It looks like an isometric Zelda game, but plays more like a Dark Souls-lite. You've got a roll that grants you i-frames, it's often about not being greedy with the combat, etc. It's pretty light on puzzles, and the main task is to seek out 3 bosses in their respective areas, which generally revolve around very basic traversal puzzles and defeating enemies.

 

I've probably made a mess of that. Anyway, it's very good. It's made by only two people, and it's an incredible achievement. It's very well paced, polished, feels like there is very little padding (if any) and the bosses are all excellent (there aren't many) and they're definitely not Dark Souls like in terms of difficulty.

 

It's a very nice looking game in places, and that helps the world you're exploring feel interesting despite actually being fairly simple - likely due to the fact it was only made by two people. I know some people have gone back to 100% it, by finding all the secrets and puzzles, but I don't really have any desire to do so, as most of the puzzles are pretty simple, so not particularly rewarding in and of themselves, and mostly just reward you with in game currency. Which is slightly odd, as the weapons you find in the game (I think there are five), you tend to just stumble across, rather than being rewards for good puzzles.

 

Anyway, it's very good and you should probably play it. Others have called it their GOTY, and while it's not quite there for me, I’d still highly recommend it.

 

It's a difficult one to score. I think probably a 7 or 8/10.

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58 minutes ago, Sixkiller said:

Completed "The Touryst" before it disappeared from Gamepass, collecting the 1000Gs.

 

Started off charming and interesting.  Ended up frustrating and chore-like.

 

Some of those Landstalker style jumping bits almost put me off completing it. There were a few rage quits and at least one rage uninstall during my playthrough.

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On 28/07/2021 at 07:52, strawdonkey said:

00. Katamari Damacy
0X. Kind Words

01. Hello Charlotte Episode 1

02. Hello Charlotte Episode 2: Requiem Aeternam Deo

03. Hello Charlotte Episode 3: Childhood's End

04. There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension

05. Mandagon
06. Heaven Will Be Mine

07. Tales of the Black Forest

08. Super Mario 3D World

09. Lair of the Clockwork God

10. Milk Inside a Bag of Milk Inside a Bag of Milk ...

11. Super Mario 3D World: Bowser's Fury

12. Tetris Effect

13. Luck be a Landlord

14. Rain on your Parade

15. The Red Strings Club

16. The Textorcist: The Story of Ray Bibbia

17. Shape of the World

18. Far: Lone Sails

19. Return of the Obra Dinn

20. Donut County

21. Warhammer: Vermintide 2

22. Cat Quest

23. Touhou: Luna Nights

24. World End Economica: Episode 1

 

Klaxons wail in the distance

 

This is probably not a game? Actually this is definitely not a game. I wrote about Dysfunctional Systems a few years ago, a visual novel where I had approximately two decisions to make before the game was over. World End Economica is a visual novel where you literally have no agency over how things pan out, which basically makes it a picture book. It's from the author of Spice and Wolf which I've never read but is apparently quite good.

 

It's a tale about investment banking (...stay with me) but really about finding your place in the world, and the ending is a cliffhanger of Eastenders Christmas Special proportions. I've got the second episode of three downloading and am really looking forward to it, even if the main character is (deliberately) extremely dislikable. 

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17. Super Mario 3D World (2021) - Switch

 

image.thumb.png.3dc8f44b20345815fb84c28d839b2184.png

 

I'm calling time on this, I think. I 100% completed it back on the Wii U - it was the first game I played on the console - and I'd intended to do the same again this time around, but, with a handful of stars and golden flag poles left over, I feel like I can tick it off my list without having to go through the motions (and frustrations) of collecting them all again.

 

Anyway, this is a very good game. The creativity, variety, music and visuals have all been eulogised at length elsewhere, and for good reason - they're all excellent. I will say, however, that I do think Odyssey has a sense of grandeur and scope to it that makes it a better game for me. By its very nature and design, the experience in this feels very bite-sized - it's an accomplished platformer, but it lacks the sense of adventure and wonder of Odyssey. Obviously they're pretty different games, but I think I'll always prefer full 3D Mario to 2D, or 2.5D, for that matter.

 

That being said, this is still an essential purchase for Switch owners.

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31/07/2021 - Outriders (PC)

 

I really enjoyed this. It's derivative as hell - it's literally point gun, shoot, move to next combat box - but moved along at a brisk pace, had additional systems to engage with to add a bit of depth and I enjoyed the story and characters. It also made me feel more powerful as I played - though that's more to do with the fact that I played through on World Tier 1 - but even so, it still counts.

 

I played through it via XCloud and I can't say I was massively impressed. The reason I played at the easiest skill level was because the lag was ever so slightly off and, when I was trying to go up the World Tiers in normal gameplay the reactions were fractionally out, meaning I was dying more than I would've had it been running locally. It also looked a bit blurry throughout, with the graphics clearly compressed. At times - when the stream got lucky - it did look really rather good though, with some impressive vistas to take-in.

 

As noted, it's not a complex game - run forward a bit, shoot, repeat - but the gunplay felt good, the powers and gear mods added further options and the classes had some room to complement (rather than drastically alter) your preferred style.

 

Being a narrative-led kind of guy I didn't stick around for any of the post-campaign content, but I don't imagine it mixes things up a great deal and am not sure it would provide much longevity (despite the appeal of the loot-train). But that's for others to worry about - for me, this was a fun romp across an alien world that satisfied my shootymans fix.

 

Previously completed:

Spoiler

25/07/2021 - Dynamite Dux (Arcade)

24/07/2021 - Stardrop (PC)

20/07/2021 - Dungeons & Dragons Dark Alliance (PC)

10/07/2021 - Marvel Ultimate Alliance (PC)

02/07/2021 - Weaves of Fate (PC)

27/06/2021 - Through the Woods (PC)

22/06/2021 - Answer Knot (PC)

10/06/2021 - Halo: Spartan Assault (PC)

07/06/2021 - The Hex (PC)

23/05/2021 - Renegade (Spectrum)

15/05/2021 - Lords of Xumila (PC)

09/05/2021 - Devolverland Expo (PC)

09/05/2021 - The Medium (PC)

02/05/2021 - Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms (PC)

01/05/2021 - Shadows: Awakening (PC)

21/04/2021 - Rain on Your Parade (PC)

20/04/2021 - Wasteland 2 (PC)

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

02/04/2021 - She Sees Red (PC)

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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Slay The Spire  - (Xbox One / PC / Switch)

Monster Train - (Xbox One / PC)

Dishonored 2 - (Xbox One)

Dishonored Death of the Outsider - (Xbox One)

Doom Eternal - (PC)

Prodeus - (PC - early access campaign)

Contra: Hard Corps - (Megadrive - JPN version)

Streets Of Rage 2 - (3DS / Megadrive)

Minecraft Dungeons - (Xbox One)

Maneater - (Xbox One)

Cyber Shadow - (Xbox One)

Outriders - (Xbox One)

River City Ransom - (NES via Switch)

River City Girls - (Xbox One)

Mirrors Edge Catalyst - (Xbox One)

Star Wars Republican Commando - (Xbox via BC)

 

I’m not doing full write ups for all that lot, so a few quick thoughts:

 

Dishonored 2 and Death of the Outsider are both superb but neither of them fully captured the magic of the original for me. The sandbox is very granular compared to the original game. Guards perception mechanics have more edge cases, powers are more nuanced and ambiguous, set piece interactions with NPCs are fussier. It’s more complex, but a soupy, dull complexity. The equivalent of having 10 of every gun type in an FPS. There’s plenty of welcome quality of life improvements too, but none of them offset this shift in the core gameplay. I couldn't put Dishonored 1 down, but I had to force myself to go back to these (and in fairness, I always enjoyed myself when I did).

 

River City Girls was fun but didn’t capture the scrappy, sometimes surreal, physical comedy of the original River City Ransom. RCG is one of those games that beats you over the head with constant sight gags and try hard wacky dialogue and did manage to get a couple of snorts of laughter out of me but nothing made me laugh out loud the way I did when I walked in to a warehouse in River City Ransom and finding an enemy holding a crate with another enemy stood on top.

 

Was on a scrolling beat-em-up binge and I'd somehow never finished Streets Of Rage 2 before so went ahead and beat it twice, Japanese version on default settings, once on 3DS, once on my Mega SG with my old cartridge from back in the day. Used Axel both times but came close with Blaze (died on final boss). Happy to finally cross it off the list, I had a mad urge to beat SOR1 and 3 and River City Underground too, but the moment seems to have passed...

 

Mirrors Edge Catalyst was a fascinating mess. At one point one character shouted “now that’s what I call a diversion!” over a shot of the side of a building with nothing happening. The rest of the game was equally inscrutable.

 

Doom Eternal threatened to sabotage itself over a whole slew of minor irritations but ultimately the combat was a triumph and this raised it up over Doom 2016 for me.

 

I reluctantly walked away from Slay The Spire and Monster Train in the end. I wanted to beat the heart with all characters on Spire but settled for beating the heart at ascension 4 with the Defect and ascension 1 with the Ironclad. I was 1 hit point off beating it with the Silent too on one game and then never came close with the Silent again... I finished Monster Train 14 times going up the covenant levels. Two incredible games but there’s just so many other things I want to play. Rogue Book, Trials Of Fire, Griftlands… This kind of game is built to last you years, I had to draw a line at some point for my own sanity.

 

The Japanese version of Contra Hard Corps was a piece of piss compared to modern equivalents like Cyber Shadow. A big dumb crowdpleaser of a game full of ridiculous set pieces, mad ideas and classically wonky 16-bit era visual effects many of which were refined and explored further in Gunstar Heroes. I’m toying with the idea of trying to beat the merciless US version as well, but probably going to tackle Castlevania: Bloodlines first.

 

2021 so far:

 

Spoiler

Final Fantasy 15 (Xbox One / PC)

Carto (Xbox One)

Tactics Ogre (PSP)

Slay The Spire (Xbox One / PC / Switch)

Monster Train (Xbox One / PC)

Dishonored 2 (Xbox One)

Dishonored Death of the Outsider (Xbox One)

Doom Eternal (PC)

Prodeus (PC - early access campaign)

Contra: Hard Corps (Megadrive - JPN version)

Streets Of Rage 2 (3DS / Megadrive)

Minecraft Dungeons (Xbox One)

Maneater (Xbox One)

Cyber Shadow (Xbox One)

Outriders (Xbox One)

River City Ransom (NES via Switch)

River City Girls (Xbox One)

Mirrors Edge Catalyst (Xbox One)

Star Wars Republican Commando (Xbox via BC)

 

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Previously:

Spoiler

January

1. Sonic 1

2. Sonic 2

 

July

3. Bare Knuckle 3

 

August

4. Vendetta (Arcade Archives) PS4

 

A solid side-scrolling beat ‘em up from Konami. I played through twice over, starting on Easy using the default character Blood. Died loads of times but there are infinite continues so it’s easy to see through to the end. The game loops around after beating the final boss and bonus stage, so I tried two more of the four available characters on my second run. I will go back and try the final character next time. Excellent graphics for 1991. Music was a bit average apart from stage 3, which is great. YouTube informs me it was done by Michiru Yamane of Castlevania fame. 
 


 

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02/08/2021 - Vendetta (Arcade)

 

For no other reason than @acidbearboy posted about it above, I just played through this. You can copy+paste the same comments for all arcade scrolling beat-em-ups really, it's designed to be unfair and grab that sweet, sweet cash from you, but with the benefit of infinite virtual coins you can (and I did) brute force it. Pun very much intended.

 

Previously completed:

Spoiler

31/07/2021 - Outriders (PC)

25/07/2021 - Dynamite Dux (Arcade)

24/07/2021 - Stardrop (PC)

20/07/2021 - Dungeons & Dragons Dark Alliance (PC)

10/07/2021 - Marvel Ultimate Alliance (PC)

02/07/2021 - Weaves of Fate (PC)

27/06/2021 - Through the Woods (PC)

22/06/2021 - Answer Knot (PC)

10/06/2021 - Halo: Spartan Assault (PC)

07/06/2021 - The Hex (PC)

23/05/2021 - Renegade (Spectrum)

15/05/2021 - Lords of Xumila (PC)

09/05/2021 - Devolverland Expo (PC)

09/05/2021 - The Medium (PC)

02/05/2021 - Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms (PC)

01/05/2021 - Shadows: Awakening (PC)

21/04/2021 - Rain on Your Parade (PC)

20/04/2021 - Wasteland 2 (PC)

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

02/04/2021 - She Sees Red (PC)

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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R-Type Final 2

I "re-completed" this after all the DLC stages (remakes of stages from earlier games in the series) put in an appearance, none of which add that much to the game. The R-Type Final 1 stage 2 remake has pretty ropey performance issues, actually, despite looking rather poor. Still, nice to hear a new version of that classic Stage 1 music, and take down that big Stage 3 ship again.

 

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Pretty decent stealth-em-up, I thought. I played it with French dialogue, and having since heard it in English, I think I made the right choice. The story was interesting enough to prevent me hitting the "skip cutscene" button, a very rare thing, though it went a bit strange at the end, but not in a bad way. It played pretty well until one unforgiveable section in the last level required me to dispatch eight baddies in quick succession with my rubbishy sling weapon (I had focused on upgrading everything else), and it took me upwards of forty attempts, with a lot of swearing in between. The graphics were nice, especially after the XSX upgrade ... but such a shame it lost quick-resume. 7/10

 

Spoiler

01/01/2021 - Syberia

07/01/2021 - Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince

11/01/2021 - Fe

13/01/2021 - The Touryst

19/01/2021 - The Gardens Between

22/01/2021 - Donut County

22/01/2021 - Virginia

23/01/2021 - The Witness

08/02/2021 - Trials Fusion

22/02/2021 - Streets Of Rage 4

14/03/2021 - Death Squared

08/04/2021 - The Medium

19/04/2021 - Control: Ultimate Edition

30/04/2021 - New Super Lucky's Tale

01/05/2021 - Kameo: Elements Of Power

08/05/2021 - Gravel

15/06/2021 - Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2

26/06/2021 - Shadow Of The Tomb Raider

06/07/2021 - Lara Croft & The Temple Of Osiris

16/07/2021 - R-Type Final 2

03/08/2021 - A Plague Tale: Innocence

 

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Aug

 

03/08 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PS5) I was given the PS4 version of this as a gift soon after it's release and I bounced off it. I'm not really into Souls like (or in this case Souls lite) games. But the big reason I bounced off it was because of how it looked. It looked amazing. One of the best looking games on the PS4. Too good though.. Because I had a launch PS4 and this (like Control) should probably not have been launched on the PS4. There was something about the feel of the game that just felt off and muddy.

 

And to be fair once I booted up the free PS5 upgrade I was disappointed. Until I went into the options and switched to performance mode. And that made all the difference. Suddenly I felt like I was playing the game proper. The combat is Souls lite and I lurched around much to the amusement of my partner ("you look like you're waving a log around, there's no elegance in your stance!") until I gained force push and pull and used that to cheese combat. The level design is similar to the most recent Tomb Raider games with elements of Metroidvania.

 

It entertained my partner who was bored to tears by my recent playthrough of Mass Effect. The story in this moves along at a fair pace. It's no Mandalorian but there's a novelty in the small cast being left of centre for a Star Wars game.

 

And it looks and sounds amazing.

 

1018172-star-wars-jedi-fallen-order-play

 

The weird thing is I can't find a screenshot that doesn't look bland, it's just something that works in motion. My only gripe is that even in casual you have small openings for inputs. In a few years I won't have the reflexes anymore to play games like this :(

 

If you played it on a last gen console both of them now have free upgrades. Give it another shot. One of the better Star Wars games and if they use the same artists for the KOTOR remake it's going to look stunning.

 

Earlier this year.

 

Spoiler

54. 25/07 Mass Effect:Legendary Edition (PS4)

53. 20/07 Law of the West (C64)

52. 18/07 The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit (PC)

51. 17/07 Ikenfell (PC)

50. 08/07 Final Fantasy 7 Remake INTERmission (PS5)

49. 03/07 Deus Ex Machina Game of the Year 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition (PC)

48. 27/06 Answer Knot (PC) 

47. 26/06 1944 : the Loop Master (PC/Arcade)

46. 22/06 Commando (C64)

45. 21/06 GigaWing (PC/Arcade)

44. 19/06 19XX: The War Against Destiny (PC/Arcade)

43. 19/06 Warriors of Fate (PC/Arcade)

42. 18/06 Varth: Operation Thunderstorm (PC/Arcade)

41. 15/06 Carrier Air Wing (PC/Arcade)

40. 14/06 Senjō no Ōkami II (PC/Arcade) 

39. 14/06 1941:Counter Attack (PC/Arcade)

38. 14/06 Forgotten Worlds (PC/Arcade) 

37. 12/06 West of Dead (PC) 

36. 11/06 Raid Over Moscow (C64)

35. 09/06 Section Z (PC/Arcade)

34. 06/05 God of War (PS4)

33. 05/05 Ghostbusters (C64)

32.01/06 Beach Head (C64)

31. 30/05 Depanneur Nocturne (PC)

30. 30/05 Commando (PC/Arcade)

29. 30/05 1942 (PC/Arcade)

28. 30/05 Bionic Commando (PC/Arcade)

27. 29/05 If Found...(PC) 

26. 24/05 Final Fight (PC/Arcade)

25. 22/05 Sunset Overdrive (PC) 

24. 11/05 Batalyx (C64)

23. 09/05 Call of the Sea (PC)

22. 25/04 Carto (PC)

21. 24/04 The Little Acre (PC)

20. 24/04 Yorkshire Gubbins (PC) 

19. 22/04 Control:Ultimate Edition (PC) 

18. 20/04 Rain on Your Parade (PC) 

17. 02/04 Summer Games 2 (C64)

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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On 31/07/2021 at 09:14, strawdonkey said:

00. Katamari Damacy
0X. Kind Words

01. Hello Charlotte Episode 1

02. Hello Charlotte Episode 2: Requiem Aeternam Deo

03. Hello Charlotte Episode 3: Childhood's End

04. There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension

05. Mandagon
06. Heaven Will Be Mine

07. Tales of the Black Forest

08. Super Mario 3D World

09. Lair of the Clockwork God

10. Milk Inside a Bag of Milk Inside a Bag of Milk ...

11. Super Mario 3D World: Bowser's Fury

12. Tetris Effect

13. Luck be a Landlord

14. Rain on your Parade

15. The Red Strings Club

16. The Textorcist: The Story of Ray Bibbia

17. Shape of the World

18. Far: Lone Sails

19. Return of the Obra Dinn

20. Donut County

21. Warhammer: Vermintide 2

22. Cat Quest

23. Touhou: Luna Nights

24. World End Economica: Episode 1

25. Murder By Numbers

 

I love me some picross and Murder By Numbers is a lovely twist on a very established formula. Instead of "here are 300 puzzles now fuck off" there's an overarching Phoenix Wright-style investigation story to follow across four acts, which is pretty engaging and funny in that way where you smirk and blow a bit of air out of your nose but would definitely type "lol" if it was text chat.

 

It took me forever to get through this, though and it's definitely a problem with me rather than with the game. The game's split into two parts - investigating and questioning, which is menu-driven and is where the bulk of the story plays out, and hunting for clues, which is where the Picross side of things comes in. What happened to begin with is that I'd progress the story, and then have to do a couple of small Picross puzzles, and then you were back to progressing the story. Thing is, when you start getting to the really exciting bits of the story, the Picross puzzles have increased in size and so you're constantly taken out of the action for 10-20 minutes at a time. 

 

This frequently led to me firing the game up, finding that I was at a place where I wanted to do the story bit but had to do Picross, or vice versa, and then sort of turning it off in a huff. Brains are terrible and weird. But yeah - I got back into the swing of it and had a blast finishing the story off. The Picross side of things is just as good as any other Picross game out there, the story is charming and constantly fascinating as you watch the main characers just tear up the rule book and perform a string of highly illegal activities, and if you are not like me who views Picross as almost a thing you do when you're not Playing A Videogame, it's super lovely.

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Previously:

Spoiler

January

1. Sonic 1

2. Sonic 2

July

3. Bare Knuckle 3 

August

4. Vendetta


5. Metal Slug (ACA Neo Geo) PS4

Another coin guzzler that I blasted my way through. I started with 99 lives and was down to around 30 by the end credits. Great graphics. Average music. Solid gameplay but frustratingly difficult at times with so much happening on screen at once. 
 

I also played through Vendetta again with the fourth character Sledge. I felt like I’m improving, getting the hang of crowd control and not using as many continues. 

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On 02/06/2021 at 17:03, cassidy said:

Game 14 of the year - Judgment and it was bloody marvellous. 

 

 

Well I guess I've not finished owt since June. I blame Darkest dungeon and I still ain't finished that. 

 

Anyway Game 15 of the year. Last Stop and I thoroughly enjoyed this, not that interactive on occasion buts it's a great tale, well told and very Dr Who on occasion.  Well worth a play through imo. 

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