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Flawed gems - the best 7/10s of the year


BadgerFarmer
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I did the whole "buying one game per month" thing this year so I feel like I was much stricter about what I picked up over these twelve months. At a push, I thought that R-Type Final 2 (which I was going to get hold of one way or another as I had backed it) was solid but probably not up there with the shoot 'em up classics. The desolate atmosphere feels appropriate for R-Type but consequently it lacks the "energy" of something like Dariusburst CS. Also, some of the weapon effects feel oddly muted, and some enemies are a bit too bullet-spongey for my liking. I still think it's a phenomenal achievement that the game actually got released, and I don't regret backing it at all, but it definitely verges close to 7/10 territory.

 

 

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Probably Luck Be A Landlord.

It's a brilliant small concept - you 'Deckbuild' a slot machine to make enough rent money after a certain number of spins.

Everything else about it is basic - plot, UI, music, the works. The game literally revolves around pulling a lever X times and picking symbols that works in your strategy. But it's so incredibly novel that it holds more than enough water for several playthroughs.

Is it going to change your life? No. But it's well worth a punt for a fiver and amusing yourself for a couple of hours longer than a trip to the cinema.

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I'd say The Artful Escape sits in this category for me, although I know lots of other people would probably rate it a bit higher. It's certainly a unique experience, and at less than 4 hours long, not a huge time investment if you want to see whether or not it is for you. I never found it to be the mind-altering experience some said it was, but it was definitely entertaining.

 

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And I mentioned it in the GOTY thread, but people definitely shouldn't sleep on Little Nightmares 2. It's similarly short and very linear, but the way it looks and sounds is excellent, and I thought it was a very memorable experience that improved a lot on the first game. It's not quite to Playdead's standard, as far as creepy 2D puzzle platformers go, but it's not that far off, either. If you see it going for around £15 then it's definitely one to snap up.

 

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I thought you rated Ender Lilies more highly, @BadgerFarmer?

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3 hours ago, BadgerFarmer said:

Hoa

 

 


Yeah, agree with this one. It looks stunning, and while it’s quite relaxing to play, the gameplay doesn’t quite match the visuals. It starts well enough, but it’s pretty uninspired and repetitive. It’s only a few hours long, but you think they could have put a few more interesting ideas in there. Beautiful game though.

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Maquette had lots of interesting ideas but some of the puzzle solutions were far too obtuse, and some even break the game’s own rules. There was enough really good stuff to keep me hacking away until the end though, and I also enjoyed the time trial trophies. A generous 7/10.

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2 hours ago, Junker said:

Maybe Resident Evil Village. I really enjoyed it and I would say it’s a good game  and one of my favourite the year but it has obvious flaws. 

 

You must have really high standards then, considering it's currently the 2nd most awarded GOTY recipient for 2021 and has an 84 on metacritic, though saying all that, our beloved Edge magazine did only give it [6]...

 

 

Art of Rally, despite being a 2020 PC release is firmly in this territory, I kind of love to hate it as I wish it played differently than it does, but it can be quite magical at times on certain tracks (generally not involving either night or wet conditions).

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5 hours ago, Siri said:

Probably Luck Be A Landlord.

It's a brilliant small concept - you 'Deckbuild' a slot machine to make enough rent money after a certain number of spins.

Everything else about it is basic - plot, UI, music, the works. The game literally revolves around pulling a lever X times and picking symbols that works in your strategy. But it's so incredibly novel that it holds more than enough water for several playthroughs.

Is it going to change your life? No. But it's well worth a punt for a fiver and amusing yourself for a couple of hours longer than a trip to the cinema.

Great shout. Think I'm at about 40 hours playtime. It's a great dip in for a run, listen to some music style game, and their continuous updates are really good and mix it up a fair bit.

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I think The Forgotten City falls under this category for me. It's a nice little game, though I felt it wasn't quite deep enough to justify some of the praise. Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth also: a good stab at a Symphony of the Night style game, but plays itself just a little too safe.

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Even in a thread about games that shouldn't be forgotten, nobody remembers Aliens: Fireteam Elite. I guess that says everything about it, which is weird because it is genuinely fun to play. I'm not even annoyed that I paid £35 at launch only for it to later hit Game Pass, I got my money's worth!

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15 minutes ago, CheekyLee said:

Even in a thread about games that shouldn't be forgotten, nobody remembers Aliens: Fireteam Elite. I guess that says everything about it, which is weird because it is genuinely fun to play. I'm not even annoyed that I paid £35 at launch only for it to later hit Game Pass, I got my money's worth!

 

Same as B4B imo, it launched in such a broken state with so many issues, I think it should have been game pass from the start tbh. I had an absolute blast with it at like 120 hours or sommat but that's because I set up a proper team to do all the difficulties with. As a solo experience it's woeful and from what I gather the matchmaking issues are still as broken now as they were. 

 

They had a seperate queue for each difficulty, each mission and then again for each of those with challenge cards on and off. Splitting the playerbase into what was something like 128 different queues was a bad move. They did add a QP function in months later but I couldn't get a decent game going when I last tried. Add to that the debacle of them screwing everyone over with the weapon bug as well as enemies getting stuck in walls stopping you from completing the mission and having to start from scratch, it's no wonder it tanked. 

 

Definitely sommat that could have done with another few months at least in the oven, the hype for it wasn't exactly booming so not sure it would have made much difference really. 

 

 

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Necromunda: Hired Gun was a great bit of fun when it worked. I bought it on Xbox without realising that they were way behind their patching schedule on Xbox. The game was a mess of crashes and glitches. It was never going to win any awards, but if you're a fan of the Necromunda universe then there's definitely enjoyment to be had with this, even if it is a little fleeting.

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Resi Village probably for me. The first half of the game is superb, the creepy castle was chilling to play at night with the headphones on, same as the dollhouse. 

 

Sadly after that, it goes somewhat downhill and the last part of the game is a boring slog through a tedious brown/grey factory that goes on for farrrrrr too long in comparison to the relatively short length of the other areas. 

 

Not too dissimilar to how RE7 ended up in all honesty with regards to the first half being great and back on form and the latter half getting tired and boring. 

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The 7/10 games are my favourite games. They do stuff really well and your left with low hanging fruit on how to improve them. As someone who’s not a game designer it’s still really easy to see what needs to be done with my favourite flawed gem Snowrunner.

 

That was 2020 though.

 

This years flawed gem is …damn hard because I feel like hardly any games came out this year. Does Battlefield even get a 7? Maybe.

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17 hours ago, Thwomp said:

Probably Tales of Arise for me. It hasn't got much depth, but it's worth playing for the characters. I completed it and know I'll never play it again.

 

I've been on the fence about buying it for ages. Love my anime but for some reason I just can't pull the trigger on it despite it being generally praised.

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On 28/12/2021 at 22:15, the_debaser said:

Returnal is a solid 7/10. Gameplay was pretty solid, though not great and it had a game ruining save system. I think there was a patch that came out months later which somewhat solved the latter but it was never going to be a top tier game anyway. 

 

Had away was the gameplay not great. The moment to moment gameplay was incredible.

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On 01/01/2022 at 14:02, BadgerFarmer said:

Currently playing another Metroidvania - Aeterna Noctis - which may well end up as one of these. It's leaning into the Hollow Knight approach to the genre, but just isn't quite there. So far at least.

Changed my mind on that. It's a pain in the arse.

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Most people are choosing indie gems here but maybe a week of casual play in I'm saying Far Cry 6.

 

It's exactly what you're expecting.  A competent open world by the numbers carribean island destroy the dictator via getting assigned missions and a pile of side stuff em-up.

 

7. All day.

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OMNO - A lovely little game that doesn't do anything particularly new but it is well made and doesn't outstay its welcome. It is made up of several small areas with progress made by obtaining enough orbs through simple puzzle solving and collecting, to unlock the next level. There are also Lore Stones to discover in each area along with local animal species if you want to 100% a level, though these are optional I found that it made me want to really push on and see what else it had to show me. It's about 4 hours in length and pretty easy to play through which made it a relaxing game to dip in and out of.

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5 hours ago, keptbybees said:

OMNO - A lovely little game that doesn't do anything particularly new but it is well made and doesn't outstay its welcome. It is made up of several small areas with progress made by obtaining enough orbs through simple puzzle solving and collecting, to unlock the next level. There are also Lore Stones to discover in each area along with local animal species if you want to 100% a level, though these are optional I found that it made me want to really push on and see what else it had to show me. It's about 4 hours in length and pretty easy to play through which made it a relaxing game to dip in and out of.


Good shout but it’s better than a 7, I really loved it.

 

My vote was for Biomutant which I surprisingly have lost over 30 hours to during the last few weeks.

 

It does nothing terribly well, has no structure, the combat is mediocre at best and the main quests are pretty much identical to the filler open world fetch stuff.

 

But it’s engagingly pretty and the run around, kill some and find some loot to craft increasingly bizarre creations is ridiculously addictive.

 

Realistically it’s a 6 at best but despite all of that I enjoyed it enough to throw over a day of my free time at it so for that it must earn a 7.

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