Game # 5 - Metal Gear Solid (PS3)
What a game. I first played MGS a couple years ago after being inspired to do so from Giant Bomb's Meal Gear Scanlon series. While there are aspects of the gameplay that can be super clunky and some boss fights that I think are kind of bad, the game as a whole is still fantastic today. The story is everything you could want from an action game. It's full of memorable characters, intrigue, satisfying payoffs, and great presentation. From a gameplay standpoint, while it doesn't control great, the amount of options at your disposal is commendable. The game shines the most during the boss fights that allow you to use your entire inventory (Vlucan Raven being the best example). I also love the Shadow Moses facility and the internal logic that the world has. The developers included so many small and unnecessary details that really help me appreciate the game.
I understand why somebody coming to this game in 2017 might be put off looking at a screenshot or a short gameplay video. But I would recommend they at least give it a shot. Not only is the game historically important, but I'm proof that the game can be fun today without any nostalgia for it.
19. Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (~6 hours)
Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 is a game I first played when I was about four years old. I lacked a fully developed brain back then, and perhaps that’s why it’s taken me until today to beat it. Wario Land is an oddball in the Nintendo catalog. Wario was the villain in Super Mario Land 2, and got his own game immediately after. Some familiar Mario concepts are in the game, but Wario Land is very much it’s own thing. Wario Land is a clever platformer that never feels too hard and is a worthy successor to it’s predecessor, Super Mario Land 2.
Wario has his own repertoire of moves. Yes, he can jump on enemies like Mario can, but many enemies have protective covers that hurt you when jumped on. Also, jumping on an enemy merely stuns them. You need to find another way to completely dispose of one. Wario’s main ability is ramming into enemies, elbow first. For some enemies, you need to do it twice, but the reward for doing so is a coin. You’re collecting coins throughout the game that get stored in a bank, so every coin counts.
Wario also has hat power ups, not unlike Mario having power ups. One, a viking helmet, gives you more ramming speed and lets you butt stomp enemies. Another, a dragon hat, let’s you shoot fire from your head. Last, there’s an airplane hat, which let’s you fly in a straight line for some time. Wario can also just be big or little, but you really don’t want to be little Wario. The game is much harder that way because you can't use your ramming attack. The power ups are fun, and it’s enjoyable to use the power up they don’t intend for you to use in certain parts, like having the airplane hat when you’re not supposed to to fly over large sections.
A criticism is that, after the first world and with the exception of boss fights, the difficulty level doesn’t really ramp up. The stages in the second area aren’t much less challenging than the one’s in the last. Level design overall was good however. For an added challenge, some levels have a locked door in one section, and a key in another. Bring the key to the door (which isn’t always easy), and you get a piece of treasure to hold with your coins.
Boss fights are generally the standard fair. Hit a weak point three times. Knock the opponent out of the ring. To the game’s credit, it didn’t rely on one idea for every boss fight. The boss fights do get more difficult as you make progress, but they’re never that challenging.
The game is short -- I finished in about six hours -- but I think it’s a quality sequel to Super Mario Land 2, which happens to be one of the best 2D platformers ever made. Wario Land isn’t quite that good, but considering this is a new kind of platformer from Super Mario, and it launched a new game series which spans five games, Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 is a good start to that series.
Ah, the Early 2000's the era of cheap shitty Zelda knockoffs. This was one of the more prominent games of my youth, playing again after all these years though it doesn't have that same magic to it. maybe its because i now know more about game design maybe its because i don't care as much about the movie whatever the case may be this is one short uninspired game with horrible voice acting, bad level design and questionable story the weird part is that its completely different from the console version i might actually play that aswell to see how it compares.
Uh, so... INSIDE... What was that about?
Like, it is better than Limbo because the deaths aren't the main focus, but I guess I never finished that one. The end didn't explain ANY of the questions I had. The game just kept giving me more and more.
I went back and did the secret ending and... Eh? What is so special about this game? I had to use a guide for it even. I guess I don't get it. It wasn't a waste of time just.. Hmm? Not worth paying a penny for in my opinion, but play it if you get it for free like I did.
I read ending theories, I guess, and tbh I'm not at all impressed.
The gameplay and puzzles were okay, because they suited a single sitting in that they were too hard but they weren't immediately obvious either. And that's all she wrote...
Achievements are bugged too.
16) Horizon: Zero Dawn(PS4) 2/27-3/14
Very seldom do I go out of my way to obtain a platinum trophy for a game, especially for an open world game but I went all the way for this game. Yeah there are some minor gripes I do have with this game but for the most part, this was very enjoyable and if you haven't played many open world games or are at least not turned off by them, you will fall in love with this game. If you happen to play Far Cry, Tomb Raider and those sorts of open world adventures, you might find this game doesn't really bring too much to the table so I think it's one of those games that doesn't necessarily change the ball game for this genre but it doesn't do anything worse than these open world games.
1) By no means am I a SJW or anything of that capacity but I don't know if there's a game that has a more diverse ethnicities, skin color cast of characters than Horizon: Zero Dawn. Plenty of African American characters, plenty of Asians, plenty of Whites, few Muslim inspired characters too. Seems like it is the medicine for people who want more diversity in their games as you will get this early and often with this game. The game is led by a very strong, very likable main female character that falls along the lines of Ellie from TLOU in being a real tough hombre who will kick your ass if it means to survive yet still has good intentions in what they're doing even if it means they have to kill.
2) The real bread and butter of this game, the robotic machines are at first such a blast to tackle on. You have variety ranging from aerial creatures to ground creatures to sea creatures to hulking giants to animals you can ride upon. I do wish there was a creature you can swim on(Which I will get to later on) but the game makes these robotic creatures a real showdown at times to fight where you need to hit weak points to turn the tides.
You have numerous weapons at your disposal to do such. Explosive traps? Check. Basic arrows? Check. Slingshots? Check. Ropecasters? Check. Very specific/elemental arrows? Check. Good ol spear whacking? Check. Yeah it does repeat with different versions of these weapons later on but you have numerous ways to go at these robots which is much appreciated.
3) I thought at times the story flew over my head but the general basis of the story is pretty good even if it tries to do a bit too much(At least for me). A lot of thought put into this story and it doesn't necessarily always fall into the same old rehashed clique terms for it.
4) Game is gorgeous, almost too gorgeous if that makes sense. The surroundings are so well detailed that you can't honestly tell at times what the heck you are grabbing(Uncharted style) to climb up a mountain as they blend in too well. The rain at times is actually a hindrance for how good it looks because you can't see a damn thing in a fight. I played this on the regular PS4 so I can only imagine how much better it would look on a PS4 Pro. The game does have the occasional sprite pop up here or there but for the most part, game looks fantastic.
1) The lack of variety with missions was evident, had your take out group of enemies missions, take out a certain machine to acquire a part mission, 15 different GOD AWFUL trials that are necessary for the platinum, having to track footsteps at least on 10 different occasions. After a while, it got a bit tedious just doing the same things over and over again but I also know this is a common problem with open world games today but I just wish this game maybe became the one to stand out from the pack in this regard.
2) Some of the hitboxes in particular with the stormbirds and rockbreakers are lousy, they are among the biggest enemies in the game and due to their size if a part gets you, it will sometimes(Key word being sometimes) consider it a big hit and in the sawtooth cases, they can 1 shot you early in the game due to a 2 hit combo that really should not happen(It's the only enemy that can combo you in this game lol). In turn, it makes the fights with these enemies not fun and in both cases, I just run away and try to run to safety rather than try and take them down.
The fall damage is very inconsistent and you think you can going to touch a small piece hanging on the mountain but when you commit, you end up falling and after a giant fall end up dying instantly.
While human enemies fight with robots, I also never got why robots don't fight with robot outside of overriding/controlling robots. Why would an alligator robot work together with a small hawk? Would that alligator not try and eat it? Seems silly to me to see a giant TRex robot work with a horse robot together to kill you or allies when one should be the primary food chain for the other.
3) Inventory system sucks.....100 items altogether,(excludes armor, ammo etc.) it leads to you routinely needing to sell off pieces time and time again for small shards. So many times I had to leave behind animal meat because I did not have the room for it. I never get why games limit you to so little inventory, this isn't even like Dark Souls where you can stock it and go into the leftovers when you need a said item. One can say realism but to me, fighting giant robotic animals is anything but realistic.
4) The swimming is useless in this game and if anything is an absolute hindrance as you can fall into a lake in a fight with a big creature and be left vulnerable for anything and everything as you can do absolutely nothing in water. The only purpose for the water is to go underwater to avoid being detected but that does nothing if an enemy already has their eyes set on you. I actually ran into a glitch that killed me because there was a great idea of putting water in the mini boss area of a cauldron and I ended up getting stuck below the platform and died due to losing air.
If there is a sequel, there is so much untapped potential with the swimming portions. So many robotic animals that can utilize this, shame this did not happen with the 1st one. The water is absolutely useless and if anything more frustrating.
Yay or Nay. Well I plat'd this game so I think I got my money's worth out of this game, the enemy and mission variety could have been much better and the trials were dreadful to play but other than that, there are very few complaints I could have with this game. If you are not burnt out by open world games, go for it with this game and make this one of your first stops in this genre as what it does, it does real well. If you have played the likes of Tomb Raider or Far Cry, you will see a resemblance and if you've played enough of this genre, this won't be a refreshing experience by any means. Game is very well done and is going to be worthy of the accolades it will command later on this year most definitely.
13. Resident Evil 4 - 20 hours
Finally finished RE4 for the first time. 14 hours on main story + 6 hours on bonus campaigns and mercenaries mode. Well, it was a damn great game, probably one of the best I've ever played. Final boss kinda sucks though (basically shoot in leg-eye, climb on this thing and see how Leon attack his main eye, repeat 7 times and then shoot with special rocket launcher, WTF was that?), but still great game. Graphics aside, i can't believe how RE4 is still holding up so well after 10+ years after original release. Impressively well-designed game, variety of situations and gameplay is just insane. I can't remember any other game that legally allows player to skip boss battles if some of the bosses are really annoying to fight (Chief Mendez was top notch, but fuck this blind guy with large claws, twice). Also, this is type of horror games i absolutely love, where your character is not a defenseless bitch and you can fight with enemies, but it's still very intense and disturbing. Atmosphere and music is just amazing, reminds me Silent Hill 2. I knew that RE4 was good game, but playing it episodically is nothing compared to full playthrought. The only problem that i have with this game is very low default FOV, but thank god for PC gaming i can relatively easy change it with Cheat Engine.
20. Wario Land II (~5 hours)
What a disappointing sequel. Wario Land II takes what was good about the first Wario Land -- challenging platforming and fun power ups -- and does away with it in favor of poor level design and power ups you typically dont want. Wario Land was a favorite game of my youth, but I feel sorry for the kid who picked this up at the store in 1998. That same year, the kid could have been playing The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Wario Land II has very poor level design. You use your ramming ability quite frequently to ram pots, crates and the like. These pots and crates arent placed in any clever sort of manner though. Theyre just scattered throughout levels randomly. Enemy placement is pretty well random too. The goal of the game is still to collect coins, but there is generally no real challenge to doing so. You'd arrive somewhere and say, Oh, I happened to have reached an area that has twenty or so coins. Better pick them up and move on to the next area just like it in about a minute or so.
You cant die in Wario Land II. Thats right. There are no lives to speak of. Quite simply, if you get hurt, you lose coins. If you have no coins, you lose a step and continue on. This was the biggest shock to me. It eliminates the challenge of the game. You can run into every enemy and every set of spikes repeatedly and still see the credits roll, all without getting one Game Over. I have to assume they did this to make it easier for little kids, but it ruins the game. How about instead of being invincible, there are multiple difficulty levels with the you-cant-die option on the easiest setting?
The power ups are terrible and you generally dont want them unless theyre needed to progress through the level. You can turn into a ghoul, and walk very slowly and lose the ability to jump. You can get flattened and drift in the breeze before stopping by landing on the ground three seconds later. You can even, if you can believe it, be Drunk Wario, who doesnt always move in the direction you press on the D-Pad. The only way to stop being drunk is to jump in water. The power ups in the original Wario Land were all enjoyable for their own unique reasons. In Wario Land II, almost every power up is an annoyance.
Bosses are actually a highlight to the game, if only because youre never doing the same style boss fight twice. One boss you actually roll into a ball and shoot into a basketball hoop three times to win. He can turn Wario into a ball and shoot baskets with you as well. Three scores and you need to start over. Again, the challenge to boss fights is lost because you can't die, you just start over. But this is an area where the development team got creative.
Wario Land II has its moments. There are rare occasions when the platforming actually is fun, and collecting coins is still enjoyable like in the first game. But in so many ways, Wario Land II falls flat on its face as a poorly designed kids game going out of its way to be too easy. I thought it might be fun to review the whole game series but now Im second guessing that. I understand Wario Land 4 is something of a cult classic, so it could be worth sticking around for that. Wario Land II though, is a game that can be skipped.
16. Injustice: Gods Among Us: I'm not normally a fan of beat 'em ups but I thought I would give this a bash in aid of clearing some of the backlog. It's not too bad a game, the remaster has some major framerate issues at times but the combat is ok. Story mode is very interesting and I like how it bounces from character to character. The little minigames that are thrown in are quite fun as well.
Ai caramba, this game should've ended some 5 hours ago. I beat the final boss and called it quits afterwards. It was OK at start but as it kept going on it got rather dull sadly. Didn't help that some enemy types were irritating to fight against.
Still looking forward to the 2nd game that's releasing later this yaer.
Game 11: Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together! - 3/5 - more than 05:00 hours (14/03/2017)
Done all the puzzles in co-op, tried the competitive modes. The game shows much promise but ends up way too short for its own good. The cut and spin mechanics are nice and work well to create countless possible forms, however the game has what I'd call the "Scribblenauts syndrome": once you've found two or three good forms you'll stuck to those and still be able to complete 90% of the puzzles with little hassle. The graphical style and faces of the protagonists are cute and funny, the objectives of the puzzles varied, the charm strong but there's just too little stuff to do, you can finish everything in just a few hours and the puzzles offer no replay value. A good time-waster, but I hope they improve on it and add way more content in the inevitable sequel.
This game is:
Honestly, I feel you're searching something you can't possibly find in the game.
Wario Land II has very poor level design. You use your ramming ability quite frequently to ram pots, crates and the like. These pots and crates aren’t placed in any clever sort of manner though. They’re just scattered throughout levels randomly. Enemy placement is pretty well random too. The goal of the game is still to collect coins, but there is generally no real challenge to doing so. You'd arrive somewhere and say, “Oh, I happened to have reached an area that has twenty or so coins. Better pick them up and move on to the next area just like it in about a minute or so.”
Warioland II isn't a standard platform like Mario, where the fun is all about jumping and progressing to through the level. It's actually a very clever puzzle platformer: the fun in the game is searching every nook and cranny to find all the coins and treasures hidden in countless places throughout the game.
IMO it is on a whole different level compared to the first Wario Land, especially in regards to the excellent level design: the first Wario was just trying to ape Mario with a less politically correct character.
Thanks. I agree.
I'm playing Wario Land II right now and the worst part is the never dying. The hilarious knockback you take for damage and the stupid gimmicks in boss fights make it unfun as hell at times.
I'm playing Wario Land 3 right now and having a really good time with it. Something about 2 just didn't resonate with me.
Honestly, I feel you're searching something you can't possibly find in the game.
Warioland II isn't a standard platform like Mario, where the fun is all about jumping and progressing to through the level. It's actually a very clever puzzle platformer: the fun in the game is searching every nook and cranny to find all the coins and treasures hidden in countless places throughout the game.
IMO it is on a whole different level compared to the first Wario Land, especially in regards to the excellent level design: the first Wario was just trying to ape Mario with a less politically correct character.
Game #40 - Echoes of Aetheria
Time: 21 hours
Man such mixed feelings in this. For the first half of the game, the game was really good, and it was restoring my faith in RPG Maker games (or at least make me think twice about outright dismissing them), the story was quite well done, the writing was ok if a little amateurish, but it had heart, but the start was easily the combat system, as it uses a isometric, turn based system quite unlike ive seen in other rpg makers. It also has a lot of original art which I apreciated. But then the second half, it all falls apart, especially near the end where the game has a ridiculous and inexlicable difficulty spike, so much so that I had to drop down to easy in the final dungeon, and even then I cant kill the last boss no matter how much I tru, it has a ridiculous amount of OHKOs and you cant do anything. I tried loking at some videos and I guess people had to grind out a lot to get much higher level, because they have a lot more health than me (and my team is in their 60s), but thats just horrible design because nothing in the game until then requires it. So yeah, I just cant be arsed with that type of horseshit, and im going to call it at the "bad ending" that you get for losing to the boss. Super disapointed, especially after loving the first half.
Game #41 - Horizon Zero Dawn
Time: 50 hours
Fantastic open world action adventure (or rpg if you want to call it that), one of those games you struggle to find bad things to say about without nitpicking. Fantastic visuals, super fun gameplay, ton of content, shockingly good writing and story, some of the best voice cting Ive heard in a game, just overall a great package and a great game. Will easily be in my Top 10 for the year, if not top 5.
Game #42 - Stories Untold
Time: 3 hours
Very cool little horror adventure that mixes old school text adventures with some code based puzzles all wrapped around in a 80s horror package. The writing is great and its genuilly creepy at times, but mechanically it has some problems, like for example the text adventure parser being very limited, or the game running poorly when you have some limited command over it, even tho its not exactly a looker. Still, its very much worth playing especially if you like different kinds of experiences, like a Pony Island for example.
13) Deadpool - 7 hours - 3/17
I've been playing a ton of Horizon Zero Dawn, but I needed something kind of mindless to play while I watched the NCAA tournament games so I decided to finish playing Deadpool. The combat was nothing special and got repetitive towards the end but the writing was good and I laughed out loud at quite a few of the bits. There were also some very fun diversions, like 2D side scrolling sections, and these were always a welcome change of pace.
21. Wario Land 3 (~10 hours)
Wario Land 3 is one of those games you need a guide or FAQ to play. That said, it’s really a refreshing take on the series. Where the last game in the series went awry was trying to be a platformer so simple that anyone could beat it. In contrast, Wario Land 3 does away with over the top coin collecting and randomly placed but easy to beat enemies. The game instead has carefully crafted levels and an almost Metroid-like progression in it’s you-can’t-go-here-quite-yet game design. Perhaps a Metroid comparison oversells it, but Wario Land 3 is a fun puzzle game that will keep you busy for hours with new challenges.
Wario Land II was a platform game about collecting as many coins as possible and avoiding enemies who make you lose them. Wario Land 3, on the other hand, is more of a puzzle-platform game. Yes there are coins, but it’s not the focus of the game. There are enemies as well, but there are no serious repercussions for running into one. At it’s core, Wario Land 3 is a game about finding a key and using it to unlock a treasure chest. Treasure chests often contain items that help you progress further through the game. But the path to the key and the path to the chest are usually rather maze like. Enemies play a large role in building these mazes.
On your way to a key or chest, you may need an enemy to feed you a donut, so you’ll get fatter and break through a series of bricks in the ground. Or you may need an enemy to light you on fire so you can light four torches and remove a stone with a fire symbol on it. Enemies typically have a unique effect on Wario upon contact and are strategically placed. Finding out how to use this effect to get closer to your goal is a big part of what makes the game fun.
There are four chests in each stage. Chests' treasures can benefit you in two ways: giving you access to new areas (e.g. seeds that plant climbable vines), or giving Wario new moves (e.g. flippers to swim). The most apt comparison for this kind of progression is a Metroid game, where new items allow you to do things you couldn’t do before. There are a lot of treasures, and the constant world map hopping to see what you can now do somewhere else does wear thin after a while. But I applaud Nintendo for letting the game progress in a way other than linearly. You can always talk to the “Hidden Figure” at the start of the world map to find a place you can now get new treasure from. It's worth noting some treasures are just collectables.
I’m going to reiterate that you really need a guide or FAQ to play this game. Generally speaking, the first key and chest in a level you can figure out yourself, but the puzzles get more obtuse as you work your way toward the fourth key and chest combo. To play without a guide would probably make you feel like a genius in places, but if having a guide doesn’t bother you, by all means use one.
I really have to give Nintendo credit for undoing the mistakes they made in Wario Land II. They completely reinvented Wario Land into a puzzle game with plenty of head scratching moments and satisfying victories. I have to wonder how many people have actually played the game, seeing as it came late in the Game Boy Color’s short lived life with the Game Boy Advance coming out next year. If you like puzzle games, you should absolutely give Wario Land 3 a try. It’s fun, quirky, original, and plenty long enough to be worth your eShop purchase.
#31 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild ★★★★★ Wii U - March 17th - 62 hours
Finally another update. Whew what a game, it's been a long time since a game made me play nothing but it for a whole 2 weeks. It's quicker to mention the few things I didn't like such as the rain being annoying, poor framerate and the map being sliiightly too big with a lot of big areas with hardly anything there, other than that, loved it
14. Horizon: Zero Dawn
+ Combat can be a lot of fun - games gives you plenty tool to be a badass. An overpowered machine-killing badass.
+ Game looks great.
+ Setting and story are good.
- I didn't like the various exposition dumps and participated less and less as the game goes on.
- Writing didn't blew me away, same as before, participated less and less as the game went on.
- Side missions and errands are mostly blabla, but I appreciated that they went the Watch_Dogs route and didn't go overboard on cheer quantity.
Overall plenty of room for improvement, the foundation is fantastic, though. Have no worries this will be a great franchise going forward, whatsoever. Score might fluctuate according how my post-game feelings develop. May go for the Plat, not sure yet if I want to bother.
Plan for the Future in the next few month
Final Fantasy VI
Mass Effect: Andromeda
Kingdom Hearts 1.5 & 2.5 REmix
Still working on
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy VII
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Fire Emblem: Awakening
Danganronpa 1 & 2 Reload (NEW)
Joe Dever's Lone Wolf HD Remastered
Completed: January 04, 2017
Playtime: 15h 08m
Started in 2016, and actually regret wasting time on finishing this. There are good things about it, like lots of flexibility in gameplay and interesting variable choices depending on the type of character abilities picked at start. But story and characters are average at best, doing very little interesting with the setting. The game is an obvious mobile port which uses frustrating swipe gesture mouse controls during combat segments. The music is very repetitive (same track playing in the book segments over and over again). The enemy variety could be much better - you'll be fighting the same enemies for what seems like dozens of battles in a row until something new shows up. Overall, was hoping for something more interesting as an introduction to the Summerlund setting, alas this choose-your-own-adventure digital gamebook was a disappointment.
Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls
Completed: January 07, 2017
Playtime: 22h 42m
I liked the gameplay parts in this game, exploring Towa city and hunting down monokumas with a "hacking gun" was surprisingly fun. The story, on the other hand, is brought down by too many very bizarre/weird or very japanese moments, and by the incredibly annoying bunch of little kids as its "villains". Still It did have its moments, for example the ending twist was pretty cool.
Completed: January 14, 2017
Playtime: 19h 19m
Wonderful 2D puzzle platformer/metroidvania. It has a HUGE map to explore - if there can be such a thing as an "2d open world", this is probably it. Beautiful area backgrounds and nice ambient music combine to create great atmosphere. Puzzles vary in difficulty from very simple ones that you barely notice to complex labyrinths spanning whole sections of the map and requiring surgical precision and timing to clear. There's even some decent quality story and lore, revealed mostly through interactions with numerous NPCs with the help of Mi's two tiny sprite companions. I like how you get to choose which one of them will talk for Mi each time, resulting in different and potentially funny dialog. I really enjoyed this game, the only downside I can think of is no controller support in the PC version, but it didn't bother me too much.
Bloodborne + The Old Hunters
Completed: February 09, 2017
Total playtime: 64h 40m
+ Top notch visuals: excellent monster design, level architecture and art, unique dark gothic dreamy art style and atmosphere. But would've liked an option to switch off chromatic aberration, this is not an effect you should leave on ALL the time in any game.
+ Lots of well-designed and memorable boss fights
+ Interesting evolution of dark souls combat and weapon systems. Less number of weapons, but each is now more versatile/useful overall. Loved the idea of "switchable" trick weapons, but the firearms were a bit less reliable and consistent than I would have liked them to be.
- Story is barely there. Played till the end credits, read every note and listened to every dialog I came across and still pretty much didn't understand anything about what was going on in the world and why. Disappointing. I don't expect Witcher 3 storytelling from a Souls game, but damnit From Software, you could at least try to make an effort.
- One very frustrating and baffling design decision soured the experience for me: the removal of autorefill for essential items (potions, bullets) and the resulting need to grind them if you get stuck on a boss and use up all reserves. Is it an attempt to make a game harder to please hardcore souls fans? If so, it falls flat - players who are really good at the game won't even notice since they beat bosses in 2-3 attempts and never run out of items. Instead this mechanic punishes the players who are already struggling to progress, making the game even harder and more tedious for them.
The Old Hunters:
+ Cool new areas, enemies and items, mechanically interesting bosses (apart from their difficulty)
- Couple bosses are a real chore to defeat, harder to beat in NG than nearly all bosses in original game in NG+. This is because A) they have a bit too much health on NG imho; and B) they have a 1st phase that is as difficult as a normal boss, and then a 2nd phase which is nightmare fuel. To learn the boss's pattern in that 2nd phase you need to suffer through the long and tedious 1st phase again and again only to die continually in a few hits upon reaching the desired 2nd phase, because you don't know its pattern well enough yet. It was maddening, and I really did not enjoy that at all.
The Unfinished Swan
Completed: February 12, 2017
Playtime: 3h 38m
Nice little indie game, was perfect for me as I needed something simple and relaxing to play after Bloodborne. Has neat stylish art style and nice soundtrack. Gameplay is straightforward - you solve easy puzzles to proceed and look for collectibles and bits of story along the way. I like how the game doesn't linger on the same mechanic/puzzle type too long between different chapters, knowing when to move on to something new so you don't get bored.
Completed: February 18, 2017
Playtime: 9h 26m
This took me by surprise. I expected Until Dawn to be a cheesy slasher flick with a few choices here and there, but instead it's actually a pretty atmospheric and creepy horror game with 8 main characters. Each of them is playable throughout different sections in the story, and lives or dies in the end based on the results of dozens of intertwined player choices and actions throughout the game. It's similar to recent episodic Telltale games, but the choice and consequence system used here puts those to shame. Performance issues aside (frame rate ranges from poor to abysmal), the game is extremely well done. I'll play it again some time for sure to see other outcomes (and hopefully not lose all but 2 people this time).
Completed: February 24, 2017
Playtime: 8h 04m
A non-japanese kind of visual novel which tells a pretty dark unrequited love story. The playtime is this long only because I played through several times to get all endings. It was of decent quality and thought provoking, but I can't say I loved it.
Borderlands 2 + DLC
Completed: March 03, 2017
Playtime: 40h 34m (63h 51m total with all DLC)
+ Definitely an improvement on the first game. World design, characters, graphics, main questline quality are much better. Although, speaking about graphics, I modded out the black outlines on edges of everything and in my opinion the game looked MUCH better for it.
+ Loot system is still pretty good with tons of diverse weapon and damage effects, and probably the main reason to play this game
- Still too grindy and repetitive for my taste. Had to skip a few side quests because they amounted to the same "Do this extremely tedious task here in this location. Now go in these 4 other locations and repeat the same thing there. Have fun!" formula.
- Still don't like some of the core design decisions like constantly respawning enemies, including freaking bosses. This pretty much forces you to fast travel as much as you can, but there's still plenty of times when you have to fight (or get shot at by) the same mobs when running through the same area again and again just because there's no fast travel point available nearby to skip it. Dumb.
- Guns could still use an improvement in how satisfying they are to actually use. Sounds, looks, animation, etc. - the gunplay feel is definitely lacking here.
- Too much story is still told via random audio logs. Why is something as important as the backstory of my character and their reason for coming to Pandora hidden away in 4 easily missable log items in one of many areas? If you don't check the achievements page you may not even realize they are there.
Headhunter DLCs (1 through 5)
Completed: March 08, 2017
Total playtime: 6h 44m
Each Headhunter pack has a new area with a short but entertaining series of quests and a fun boss encounter. Loved the soundtrack in the new areas, and the visuals in each are very different and refreshing to see after the main game. The quest lines could be more interesting and less checklisty, but that's a flaw derived from the base game. Overall, very good for the low asking price of these DLC packs.
Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty
Completed: March 11, 2017
Playtime: 6h 48m
+ Cool new characters (Captain Scarlett is awesome), interesting new areas, great new music.
- Some very boring/tedious side quests of the worst possible design (backtracking through areas you just left and cleared of enemies, which of course will now have respawned again).
Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage
Completed: March 13, 2017
Playtime: 3h 53m
Probably least interesting expansion for me. Missions are repetitive and boring and there are more than usual repeated tier 2-3 of the same missions with higher difficulty (I just put those on ignore immediately). Also I can't stand Mr. Torque (and generally people who're constantly yelling for no reason). Tiny Tina, on the other hand, is an awesome character, really liked her in the base game and was glad to see her here.
Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt
Completed: March 17, 2017
Playtime: 4h 52m
Decent main quest line with a funny villain, but traditionally weak and tedious side missions. I liked it better than Torgue's Campaign of Carnage at least.
Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep
Completed: March 18, 2017
Playtime: 5h 52m
Definitely my favorite DLC of all Borderlands 2 campaign packs. Tabletop gaming is among my hobbies, so I enjoyed the main "plot" and all the silly jokes. The new environments look great and music is awesome. Tiny Tina and Lilith are my two favorite characters from the base game and they feature a lot here. A few tedious side quests aside, this one was pretty enjoyable and left a good parting impression of Borderlands 2.
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment
Completed: March 05, 2017
Playtime: 68h 41m
Very mixed feelings on this game. On one hand, I mostly liked Innocent Sin, and this is essentially more of the same. And I was really excited to play as Maya at first, but... Disappointing first half - lots of reused copy-pasted dungeons and locations; poorly balanced progression (pretty much have to grind cards and/or XP to keep up with enemies), lack of meaningful development of the Maya plotline left over from previous game: Maya is doing her thing, getting in all kinds of dangerous shit, while Tatsuya spends all his time somewhere off-screen, "protecting" her and others (good job, buddy). On the other hand, meeting up with old friends and characters from previous games was definitely the high-point for me. It was very cool to have Nate in my party again. Didn't like bosses who take literally hours to kill because they have a million HP (that's for one attempt by the way, fail and you need to re-do again from scratch), unless you happen to have exactly the right persona ready. That's just not cool. Also baffling is how after 2 games they still kept using those annoying undetectable floor traps in dungeon design which drop you down a few dungeon levels below and force you to re-tread your steps for the next 30 mins through corridors filled with boring random encounters you've already beaten before. They can't possibly think this is fun, right? But then why, WHY did they keep doing this? Finally, disappointing ending. Actually, the whole premise of the "the other side" being a sort of alternate dimension which still exists now, after Tatsuya and his old crew applied whatever magic trick they did at the end of Innocent Sin, is kind of depressing, and not at all how I imagined the consequences of Innocent Sin finale to be after finishing it.
The Order: 1886
Completed: March 12, 2017
Playtime: 8h 39m
The highlight of this game for me was the unique vibrant historical setting, brought to life with great audio and visuals. The story is interesting, but feels unfinished and leaves some important things unexplained. I still have no idea who that hooded man was, for one, and what was his role in the events that transpired. Character animations and traversal controls are very smooth and well-done. The bad: game is very linear and with no player agency in story, minimal replay value. Too much QTE sequences, game was much more enjoyable to me in cover shooter and exploration segments.
Completed: March 13, 2017
Playtime: 2h 11m
Short, but very beautiful and enjoyable surrealistic adventure. I liked it, but not enough to hunt for secrets/achievements.
Magic Duels: Origins (PC) - still playing this since last year, on and off multiplayer matches
Empire: Total War (PC)
L.A. Noire (PC)
Mass Effect: Andromeda (PC) - played 10h of the EA Origin trial, will resume after it launches
#10 L.A. Noire + DLC (PC) - 27 hours
Thought it was a pretty good game but a bit slow paced at times. The facial animation is incredible. 7/10
#11 Gears of War 4 co-op on insane (PC)
Not sure how long this took but we got stuck on a number of bossfights. Pc performance was great. 8/10
1: Resident Evil 4 for ps4 - Played this game so many times. way too many times.
2: Let it die - 186 hours or so........
3: Gravity Rush 2 - I had fun, but I had to make myself finish the game near the end. This include the actual ending.
4: Devil May cry 4 SE - I just played the game on super always on and had a lots of fun. I like just breezing thru the level sometimes.
I am like two months behind or so. Getting there.
22. Wario Land 4 (~6 hours)
The Wario Land series finally gets the graphical (and sound) upgrade it deserves because Wario Land 4 is on Game Boy Advance. This game removes the puzzle part of the puzzle-platform game that was Wario Land 3 and makes a traditional platformer where you collect gems and uncover secret rooms. The game takes the better elements from all the previous Wario Land games and throws in an excellent soundtrack and fantastic boss fights. Sadly, the game is short, but if Nintendo-style 2D platformers are your kind of game, there's definitely something in Wario Land 4 for you.
Again, Wario Land 4 borrows from all previous games in the series, but is unique unto itself. Similar to the first two games, youre collecting things, but instead of collecting coins, youre collecting gems, which translate into a dollar value at the end of every level. Warios primary move is still ramming into things with his elbow, but some enemies can transform Wario into things like a bat or a zombie, as a holdover from Wario Land 2 and 3. Finally, Wario Land 4 has a big focus on platforming, like the first two games. And its the best platforming yet.
The game has plenty of gems to collect, but levels are meant to be explored, because if you look carefully, youll often find secret passages or breakable blocks that lead you somewhere with something more desirable. Theres a blue diamond thats worth 1,000 points, which are often hidden somewhere off the beaten path. There are four treasure chests in each level, each of which contains one piece of a gem. After scouring the level for all the chests, the pieces come together to form a large gem which helps unlock the door to the boss. Theres a key in each level that unlocks the door to the next level. Finally, there are CDs which unlock tracks in the Sound Room, which are optional, but always well hidden. Needless to say, if you like games where youre collecting things, this is a game for you.
The soundtrack is excellent. Its definitely game music, but it runs the gamut from smooth jazz, to electronica, to prog rock. Having a Sound Room and collectable CDs was a nice touch. I found myself humming the tunes when I took a break from the game. I cant really say that about previous Wario Land games, with the exception of the first one.
Boss fights are some of the best Ive seen in a 2D platformer. Its much more than just hitting a weak point. There are multiple ways in which a boss can damage you, and after you attack it one way a certain number of times, you typically have to figure out a second way to attack it because the first way stops working. You can play mini-games to buy items prior to the fight to make it easier, but I enjoyed just going in without any items. Youre on a time limit, and if you take too long, treasure for beating the boss gets taken away from you, adding to the challenge.
Again, its unfortunate, but the game is pretty short. There are four stages, a final level, and a final boss. But the quality of the platforming in the levels, the hidden areas, the music, and the boss fights all add up to a fantastic game thats perhaps the pinnacle of the series barring length. Give Wario Land 4 a try if you dont mind beating it in a day.
09 | Torment: Tides of Numenera | PC
Time: 30 hours
TToN is a strange beast. Its story and world have been crafted with an amazing amount of attention to detail. The writing is (mostly solid) and there are a lot of interesting concepts in the game. Yet everything surrounding it ranges from bad to...really bad. The entire game is too easy, combat is a chore and the UI is hideous and unpleasant to navigate in. Even the companions feel subpar. I must say I expected a lot more from this spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment.
Game 12: Blaster Master Zero - 3/5 - 8:08 hours (19/03/2017)
Completed 100%, haven't tackled the extra mode. This game is an excellent re-imagining of the original Blaster Master, but that's part of what limits it. I'm sure Blaster Master had to be amazing back in the day, in fact it's still a very competent mix of metroid's non-linear structure (albeit not as intricated) and shoot 'em ups; however there have been countless more compelling games in the genre since NES days. Still, the dual-style of gameplay, when you're piloting Sophia and when the pilot's out on his own, adds some needed variety in the game, as do the numerous bosses awaiting at the end of almost all caves. Speaking of the caves, the downgradable blaster, which loses power with each hit you take, is interesting, but not so much its various levels: you can annihilate everything with the max level, and if you lack that you're always going to fall back on the same two or three options. The HD rumble was weird, not sure if I like it yet, very noisy. All in all it was a good timewaster, but I won't remember it fondly.
This game is:
I would have waited to post this, but I've beat a few games lately and I wanted to post my thoughts about them while they're fresh in my mind.
Game 11: Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope (Wii U/3DS/PC/PS4/Vita/XB1/NSW) - 6 Hrs 53 Mins (3/12/2017)
#I already beat this campaign on Wii U when it came out, but it has been quite some time since I played this. I love this game as much as I did when I first played it. Great retro-inspired game that exceeds in being its own thing while paying homage to various titles with having that be tedious.
Game 12: Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment (NSW (for now)) - 6 Hrs 23 Mins (3/16/2017)
#I beat this after going through Shovel Knight's campaign again. I loved this campaign more than the original Shovel Knight campaign. The platforming was a lot better in the redone levels, the curios (relics) were fun, the redone tunes were awesome and the story was surprising good for what the game is. Combat was easier than Shovel Knight thanks to Specter Knight's main attack. One of my favorite games I've played so far this year! It was so good and it made me go to it instead of Zelda at times. So good!
Game 13: The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth + (PC, NSW) - 1 Hr 32 Mins (3/17/2017)
#I got some runs done, but I'm going to play this on my Switch on and off throughout the year. Such a great game to sit down and play in short bursts. Still as addicting as ever. This was my first time playing the expansions of Rebirth since I had only played the Vita version beforehand and that made my runs a lot more interesting and kept me from knowing completely what's next far as items and enemies go. Great game!
Game 14: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (NSW, Wii U) - About 70 Hrs (3/19/2017)
#I guess, this game took my breath away... :P
Such an outstanding game with some flaws that annoyed me a bit, but didn't hinder my enjoyment at all. Things like durability seemed really aggravating, but I got used to it eventually. The difficulty curve after you get good equipment and items and progress through the story goes down pretty rapidly, so the game is pretty hard for a Zelda game, but it can get pretty easy if you know the ins and outs of the game. The open-nature of the game was great in terms of exploration and discovery, but the story was definitely hampered by it. It's funny that I felt like previous Zeldas like TP and SS dragged a lot at times, but I spent more time finishing BotW's campaign because of all the stuff to do.
Definitely my favorite game of the year so far in a very stacked year for games (even if it's still early).
Game 15: Super Bomberman R (NSW) - About 4-5 Hrs (3/21/2017)
#Man, do I have mixed feelings about this game...
I'm really glad I got the game for cheap since the campaign was really short, even if it was pretty fun playing with my brother for most of it. The campaign was good to me, but it was very short and it was very Saturday Morning Cartoon in its dialogue, plot and presentation. The game play is Bomberman, but it's pretty basic and I could see some people getting bored of the game quickly. The only thing that could be good is if you see yourself playing online a lot, but the thing is you can only unlock characters and stages with coins from the campaign and the campaign normally only gives you enough for one of the cheaper stages at best. The soundtrack was good from what I heard. I'd definitely say avoid this unless you can get it in a bargain bin, but I'd say for some that still wouldn't be enough...
Game 16: Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows (Wii U/3DS/PC/PS4/Vita/XB1/NSW) - 7 Hrs 26 Mins (3/23/2017)
#Pretty much Shovel Knight's campaign with Plague Knight. I like Plague Knights arsenal of weapons with his chemicals and bombs. I liked his jump, even if I overshot it a bit too much. I liked the story here. Combat wasn't as easy as Specter, but it was close in how you can use your attacks in combat. It was nice to play through, but I felt it was the weakest of the three. It doesn't help it feels like a re-skinned Shovel Knight campaign at times with Plague Knight being the main difference, even if it was great and well-worth playing through. I'm really glad I got through this finally since I've had the campaign on my Wii U since it came out via Shovel Knight.
#Game 7 - hears of iron 4 - 15 hours.
Played another campaign of this. Already given opinion about this game and the state it is in previously in this thread, so I'll just leave a screenshot of the post war 3 world order/border gore for anyone curious.
The climax of world war 2 were followed up by a soviet vs allies war mere months after when the soviets decided poland could use another invasion.
grep "Super Galaxy Squadron" games201*
games2015.txt:60. Super Galaxy Squadron (Steam, 2015/10/10, 8.2 hours)
games2016.txt:10. Super Galaxy Squadron EX (Steam, 2016/02/21, 6 hours)
games2017.txt:09. Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo (Steam, 2017/03/10, 1 hour)
Third free update and this SHMUP keeps getting better and better: three new and very unique ships, new boss rush mode, slo-mo feature for bullet time. The core level design, bosses and waves were not massively changed. It still got the same awesome soundtrack. The story cut-scenes got a little bit improved. The accessibility got tweak with an additional checkpoint in-between the last two boss phases; the slo-mo feature helps rookies not to get overwhelmed or offsets the slow speed of certain ships. I've already liked Super Galaxy Squadron, but the new polish really made it extra turbo wicked.
10. Fire Arrow Plus (Steam, 2017/03/12, 0.4 hours)
I actually had to google, if this was a 90s arcade SHMUP that I missed. It wasn't, but this game completely nails the look and feel. The gameplay isn't bullet hell and more traditional early 90s shoot'em up style: big sprites, lots of 2D scaling FX and fast pacing. The focus is scoring in a limited amount of time. One could call this time attack, but it's more like a survival mode. The 3 minutes mode is doable, but 5 minutes is a challenge. Fire Arrow sports excellent sprite work, banging chiptune soundtrack and even a tate display option. Wicked arcade fun, which I will definitely revisit.
11. Super Star Path (Steam, 2017/03/14, 3.2 hours)
This game managed to mash match3+ puzzles, roguelike and euro SHMUP together. Each of the six levels starts off with a star path blocked by aliens and hazards. The player needs to clear the path in order to get a shot at the boss. Clearing the path is the puzzle element of the game. Shooting groups of same colored aliens will turn them into gems, but neighboring aliens of different color will crystallize into roadblocks. Picking targets is crucial or you'll quickly paint yourself in a corner. Collected gems pay for new ships with different perks. The roguelike element comes from power-up drops scattered throughout the levels. They allow to permanently upgrade your favorite ships. The SHMUP gameplay is split into very surgical precision work in the puzzle stage of each level, followed by a fast paced boss battle with lots of dodging, survival panic, wild spraying and praying. I really enjoyed this neat little gem, lovely combination of genres with fine sprite work, voice acting and soundtrack.
12. REVOLVER360 RE:ACTOR (Steam, 2017/03/19, 3.7 hours)
Intergalactic SHMUPreciation month continues in full force. REVOLVER360 is a pretty basic STG at its core, but with one game changing twist: the player can rotate the playing field. This allows to "flatten" impossible bullet curtains, therefore it makes dodging easier. There's a catch though, rotating the scene can keep perils out of perspective. Scanning the surrounding while dodging while shooting can often lead to frantic juggling of priorities in a "patting your head and rubbing your belly" sorta way. It all results in interesting and unique gameplay. There are only three full stages and a fourth final boss stage, as brief as it sounds, a complete play through takes less than 25 minutes. The stages branch and exploring the different routes extended the replay value. The challenge mode with its mini missions is another way to squeeze more playtime out of this fun SHMUP. REVOLVER360 is a stunner, completely 3D, highly stylized, tons of particle FX and it runs like greased lightning. The art direction is like the green bits of the Matrix, just in blue. The visuals and the soundtrack are all very striking.
Well I think I may be F'd with this challenge....looking at the list of games I want to play I don't see how I can come close. And I was doing so well for my first time participating in this challenge, completed 16 games by mid-February
Just started playing Zelda Breath of the Wild a few days ago. This game has sucked me in and it's all I want to play, I can see easily losing 60-100 hours on this gem.
Not to mention my list of upcoming games or games I stopped playing to start Zelda.
- Horizon Zero Dawn
- Nier Automata
- Finish Dark Souls 3 (On the Skeleton King guy
- Finish Darksiders 2 (over halfway through)
- Super Mario Galaxy 1&2 (halfway through SMG 1)
- Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
- Yakuza 0
- Get back to FFXV, complete After game content. Seriously I want a flying car and complete all the dungeons.
This is a Telltale-like game set during the late 1970s Iran and tells the events that took place during the revolt against the ruling Shah of Iran at the time.
Visually it's not THAT impressive from a graphical POV, as the game has the look of a PS2 game, however, the voice acting and narrative are pretty good and I liked that it let the player get an idea of what Iran was like at the time along with some cultural tidbits thrown in.
Strongly recommend this game for anyone who is looking for a strong story in their game. I am certain the game has multiple endings although I only got a rather abrupt ending and would need to replay the game to see the rest. The game is short, a single playthrough is 2-3 hours long and it was entertaining to play so I'll come back to it again in the future.
3h-ish. All three endings in like four or five complete runs.
Oof. This is a weird one. If I were to describe this game, it would be "Tinder + King of Dragon Pass". Still with me? Good.
This is basically a visual novel where you are a king and you're presented with decisions on how to rule your realm - decisions where you only have two answers, either swipe right or left. Your decisions affect four meters in the top of the screen. If any of the meters gets too high or too low, you lose (usually by dying messily). Your goal? Survive as many years as you can. Initially.
While the amount of power you have over what happens on screen is very limited, the game is fun and engaging for a while. It eventually gets boring as you memorize the consequences for every event, but considering there's 700 of them, it shall last you for a while.
Good luck getting the good ending without ever checking a guide though. The win condition is nuts.
My Score: ★★★☆☆
29 fucking hours. Completed game in Normal difficulty.
I'm literally angry at this one. I liked the first game so much. Hotline Miami 2 improves on everything that wasn't great on the first game, but during the process the game lost basically all that made it special. That is, the finely tuned gameplay.
Hotline Miami 2 is sometimes the most unfair game there is. The enemies have an otherworldy reaction time, being able to spot you the picosecond you step in their room - and, as the game has moved from tight, closed rooms to bigger spaces, this means you can be sniped by an enemy that you didn't know was there. Scratch that, you WILL be sniped down, particularly in levels like "Casualties" or "Dead Ahead". It's extremely hard to complete some levels until you've died enough times to know EXACTLY where everyone is located.
There's also the melee component. While melee in HL was rewarding, in HL2 it's confusing and too high on the "risk" part of the "risk-reward" scale. Apart from the omniscient regular mooks, that can and will gun you down before you get to them, there are also Thugs, that cannot be meleed, Dodgers, that can ONLY be meleed, and what seem to be rocket-powered doggos, which can only be meleed with weapons and, to add to the fun, don't make a sound until it's too late and sometimes are really hard to see.
Pluses? The story is good and ties most of the loose ends left by HL. Also, the music is rad.
My Score: ★★☆☆☆
08 | Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse | PC
3.5 hours | Completed March 21st
I haven't played the Sega Genesis original or many other Mickey Mouse games for that matter, but I thought this was an alright platformer. The game's super short but I didn't really mind, maybe if I had paid the full price I'd be grumpier about it. I liked the story, it was very simple but the narration made it quite charming. Some levels were neat and I thought the boss fights were actually pretty fun even though they didn't reinvent the wheel or anything. Controls felt a bit floaty at times but no major gripes with them. An okay game, probably won't return to it but I had a bit of fun with it for sure!
For FE Heroes I unlocked all the achievements and ranked up a 4 star unit to 5 stars. That's a good enough milestone for me for completion even if I still peck away at it.
How do people here consider games like Final Fantasy Brave Exvius / Fire Emblem Heroes / etc? These games have single player modes but most don't have a finished story (yet).
- When I did the first Act, I thought it was really good. I liked the game play, thought the presentation was good, and the TV Show was very watchable.
Eventually I realised I couldn't play an Act and watch a show without being burnt out. It doesn't work for me and it was tiring. The bad acting and problems with the TV Show never got fixed. Essentially, it's all side stuff, it's very secondary.
The gameplay kept getting better. By the last Act, I was expecting some twist, some cool time travelling thing to take place. Strangely, the narrative either never wanting anything to be a surprise, or everything was lost on me. The game just... Ended.
That was it? I thought there would be something. How peculiar for a time travel story to not even attempt to mindfuck the consumer. Essentially, what I had seen in Act One, was as exciting as the game was ever going to get. It's disappointing because all I needed was a great ending.
I can't recommend this game. The game play isn't special, and the story will disappoint. There's a lot in the many collectables and reading material that's interesting, but it's super long and we never even get to know about some of them through game play.
Jeez, this was tough. Never cleared this when I was kid, and now I remember why. The key here was to basically, not die at all....ever. If you do, it's all over anywhere near the end. Rick Mayall is just as good as I remember, if slightly tongue in cheek racist (looking at you yellow coloured, chinese pigs). I think due to it's sheer difficulty, I would have rated it higher, but I doubt this'll be out on again for another 10 years.
Date finished: 3/22/2017
Time played: 12 hours
System: PC / Steam
Finished Axiom Verge this week. The first game I've finished in March due to the fact that Zelda has pretty much been occupying all of my gaming time. I was in desperate need of a break from Zelda though, after binge playing BotW for 50+ hours, and why not break things up by playing a really good Metroid game!
All of the things you want from a good 2D Metroid game are present and well done in Axiom Verge. Filling out the map and backtracking as you get more items and abilities is as satisfying as it's ever been. The map layout is well designed and nicely interconnected, making late game backtracking a cinch and the environments are nice and varied and riddled with secrets for you to uncover. Axiom Verge's weapon selection is also incredibly diverse, I was actually kind of blown away by how many weapon types you can find in the game, though I will say that not all weapons seemed particularly useful to me. I ended up sticking with the 2 - 3 weapon types through most of the game, rotating between them based on the situation dictated. It wasn't until near the end of the game that I found some weapons that really felt like a step up from your original weapon. The item/tool selection is similarly diverse and really change the way you move through the environments as the game progresses. As for the weaker elements of the game. I think some of the enemy and boss battle designs are hit or miss. Some of the bosses in particular felt incredibly easy. Beside that the story was kind of just there for me. However, non of these gripes with the game really brought my enjoyment of the game down. Well worth a play through and certainly a game I see myself revisiting somewhere in the future.
#12 Shadwen (PC) - 4 hours
Fairly short stealth/action game. The whole game is an escort mission which sounds alot worse then it is. There's multiple endings and I got the "bad" ending for killing a bunch of guards.
Game #43 - Nier Automata
Time: 34 hours
Great game that, for me, falls short of amazing because of some design flaws, mainly its pacing I think Route B should simply not exist for example, it would have been an amazing 20 hour game in my opinion. Still, great gameplay that Platinum has gotten us used to, amazing soundtrack and fantastic story that touches on themes most games dont dare to make up for one hell of a game and easily one of the best of the year.
Game 16: The Legend of Zelda
After finishing Breath of the Wild a few days ago, I've gotten myself back into a Zelda mood. In honor of this, I've decided to go back and finish the OG Zelda game, the original on NES. I had gotten up to level 6 before, but I decided to start all over and experience the game to its fullest.
You play as Link, horribly inept boy who doesn't even start the game with a sword. After meeting an old man in a cave, you head out on your journey to defeat the evil Ganon and save Princess Zelda. You can go anywhere in the map, but the goal is to find the 8 dungeons to find the pieces of the Triforce needed to defeat Ganon. You collect items that allow you to access new areas and better prepare yourself.
Pros & Cons
- Amazing scope. For a game made in 1986, it's amazing about how huge the game is.
- Second Quest. This game has a second quest. A SECOND QUEST. Once you finish the game, there is a whole another game waiting for you, it is incredible.
- It's really hard. That's not really a con, that's just how games were back then, but in today's world it is something to note.
The precursor to video games as we know them lives up to its reputation. A huge amount of scope, large number of secrets, and another entire game after you finish makes the game one of the best of all time.
For a list of the other games I've completed this year, visit my mother post here.
Game 6: Steamworld Dig
Took me a while to get into, but once it did, I finished it in two sitting, though it is short
Game 7: Rain
I've been interested it since it was announced. While I enjoyed it, I felt it dragged on near the end.
Game 8: Resistance: Fall of Man
Decent game, though the graphics have aged. Hard to believe how long it came out.
The longest hour and a half of my life. Hunted for some Bad Ends but not all of them.
I purchased this on impulse because it was cheap, and while I'm usually quite a scaredy cat, I sometimes like horror Visual Novels for the cheap thrills. However, while advertised as an horror game a la Corpse Party, this is actually a very, very short, very, very decaffeinated mystery novel.
The character art is not bad, and neither are the backgrounds, though there's really only a couple of them. The problems are both the plot and its development. The plot is your typical cliche "If you die in the game you die in real life" thing. The protagonist's best friend had this fate befall on him, so the protag plays the game to see if he can find why is this happening. During this time... basically nothing happens. You have like a dozen of choices, and most bad endings if not all of them are basically Game Overs after you select the wrong choice. The first three choices boil down to "This game is spoopy :( do you want to keep playing?". Spoiler: the answer is always yes.
And after some slouching, the plot arrives at the big reveal: the big bad is the game-in-the-game protagonist (Kouko)'s best friend Kana, who secretly hates her because she dared go for a coffee with Kana's boyfriend. This was apparently enough for her grudge and sorrow to materialize in the form of a murderous shadow. What?
My Score: ★☆☆☆☆
The sequel to Styx: Master of Shadows, these games are stealth games taking place long before the events of 'Of Orcs and Men'.
I quite enjoyed my time with the game overall. Some really nice stealth ideas used. Final stage was a little irritating at the start but I enjoyed the game a lot overall.
There is some backtracking in a few of the stages, and it does re-use stages as well, but all in all it was a neat experience.
Strongly recommend this game for anyone who is a fan of stealth games, just know that the game has a wonky translation from French and the humor can be irritating, but look past it and you'll find a well crafted stealth game.
11. Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey (PC, 2017) - 52:15
Completed the story on Normal, standard ending (Liane and Revy endings also unlocked).
It's hard to know where to start with this one.
This isn't the first time an Atelier game has stumbled; Shallie is still the worst Atelier game I've played, even worse than the original Rorona (though maybe that one benefits from being my first). And in thinking about what separates the good Atelier games from the bad ones, I realized that it wasn't necessarily a time limit (or lack thereof); Sophie has no time limits at all, and I liked it a lot. It's not necessarily how likable the characters are; Ayesha is probably the dullest protagonist to date, but Atelier Ayesha is my favourite game in the series. Atelier Meruru relies heavily on characters from previous games but I like that one fine as well.
What I think separates the good Ateliers from the bad ones, then, is pacing. Rorona and Rorona Plus work well because the assignments set a good pace for the game. Escha & Logy, on the other hand, has a similar structure but falls apart in NG+ because it locks so much behind each four-month period that you can find yourself literally sleeping the weeks away just so you can unlock the next tier of recipes and make better weapons and armor. Totori, Meruru, Ayesha and Sophie mostly let you do what you want, when you want, and always provide you with obvious goals (or at least directions) to work towards. To me, Shallie is the worst Atelier game because its pacing is awful. It's the first game in the series where it's often in your best interests, especially at the beginning, to avoid performing certain tasks just to prolong the period of time in which you can finish side quests and life tasks. It's frustrating and arbitrary, and it was hard to make it through the first time, never mind a second run with the second protagonist.
Firis falls a lot closer to Shallie than it does to the other games. The problem is two-fold. First, your goal in the game in theory is to travel to Reisenberg to pass the alchemist licensing exam. During this period, Firis's world is highly constrained. In sharp contrast to Sophie, every action you take in Firis burns time, and you have a strict time limit of one year to learn enough alchemy to be able to pass the test. There are two problems with this. First, you have no real idea WHAT the exam is, and so for the entire year, you have to second-guess every decision you make. Is it okay that I've spent forty days trying to unveil the entire map in this one region that clearly is not on the way to Reisenberg, where the test takes place? Should I be making items and improving my alchemy, or fighting monsters and improving my party? These are great decisions to have to make in an Atelier game, but you don't really know until you take the test whether you made the right ones or not, and if you mess up, you get the bad ending and have to start again.
That in itself is not awful; Totori had pretty much the same structure, and I failed at the first major deadline. It wasn't so bad. What sucks here is that compared to Totori, everything burns time, even the act of walking around. Because Totori stuck to an overworld map and isolated dungeons, it was relatively easy to manage your time: fights, gathering and traveling in the overworld all took a set amount of time, and you unlocked tools about halfway through the game to reduce this time loss in multiple ways. In contrast, Firis basically demands you find the most optimal path through an area in order to save time, and discourages you from picking up everything you see because there are way too many gathering points and not nearly enough time. Also, just from a quality of life standpoint, walking through all the interconnected areas yourself is a much bigger hassle than just selecting a point on an overworld map. You end up walking through areas you don't care about at all just to get to the next spot on the map.
Something else: a lot of the appeal of Atelier games is not necessarily in just finishing the games, but in getting all the endings or finishing all the character side quests. The series has never been particularly well written, but there's still a certain enjoyment in getting to know your party members and helping them with their various agendas. In what is perhaps the most baffling decision Gust has ever made with the series, Firis decides to take all of that and lock it away behind the post-exam period. That means you can see the first credits sequence, assume the game is over, and never start anyone's side quests or realize there are multiple endings. For series beginners, that means a ton of the game's appeal is hidden away; for veterans, it means you spend the first twenty hours or so wondering who these people in your party are and why you're barely even bothering to talk to them. Even your big sister, who's traveling with you the whole time, doesn't really become a fleshed-out character until after the exam, when she reveals a whole backstory that adds badly needed colour.
If the pre-exam period is marred largely by being too restrictive, the post-exam period suffers from almost the opposite problem. Let's start with the good things first: the post-exam period lifts the time limit entirely, meaning all of the issues with worrying if you're spending too much time on something disappear entirely. Weirdly, despite most of the Atelier games having a time management component, it's when that component disappears in Firis that the game feels most like a traditional Atelier game (or at least an Atelier game of the modern era). Suddenly, it's okay to spend hours experimenting in front of the cauldron, trying to merge traits and transfer them to better items and cooking up ridiculous weapons and medicine and whatnot. The post-exam period also brings in all the character sidequests, many of which are decently involved and add colour not just to your party members, but to various NPCs as well.
The problem is that the game falls apart when it comes to telling you what you can do. Take the method of unlocking recipes, for example. In previous Atelier games, you bought books and read them. The game would dole out books at given points in the narrative, and once that happened you just had to save up money to buy the books, then take them back to the atelier and read them. At some point, this changed slightly; either Shallie or Sophie introduced the concept of learning recipes by repeating certain tasks often enough to glean "inspiration" from them. For example, in Sophie, perhaps beating a set number of spirits would unlock a recipe for a weapon well-suited to beating spirits. It was a great idea and in Sophie it was executed well. Your recipe book was divided into several chapters, each one showing all the recipes in the grid, with some unlocked, others locked but available to learn once you fulfilled the prerequisites, and some you couldn't learn yet but would learn the prerequisites to once you unlocked an adjacent recipe. At all times, you could look at the book, pick a recipe you hadn't discovered yet, and know roughly what you had to do to learn it.
Firis throws much of this out. In its place, it simply gives you a list of recipes you haven't learned, and occasionally tells you what progress you've made towards unlocking it. Here are some things it doesn't tell you: what you need to unlock a recipe, and what you need to even make an unlearned recipe appear in your list. This is especially infuriating when you're given a quest or an item that requires an ingredient that you not only can't synthesize yet, but have no idea how to learn to synthesize. I had a request for Philosopher's Stone sit around for probably a year in-game (or twenty hours in gameplay time) because I didn't know how to even know of the recipe's existence, let alone learn the recipe, let alone make it. Eventually I just looked it up in a guide. This game, more than any recent Atelier, demands you look at a guide.
This lack of clarity extends to character side quests as well. For the longest time, I had both Oskar and Angriff in my party and their friendship levels at 100, but couldn't advance either character's side quest at all despite talking to them in the atelier multiple times and bringing them along on battles. What was the secret trigger to unlock the avalanche of dialogue cutscenes and quest missions? Making cookies. That's it. Neither Angriff nor Oskar actually care about cookies; I was actually making them for an unrelated sidequest. I'm not 100% convinced this isn't just a bug, because it's so nonsensical that that would be the thing that finally gets Angriff and Oskar to talk to me again.
Firis is an especially frustrating Atelier game because there is obvious ambition on display. The game dispenses with the overworld map and goes fully open-world for the first time in the franchise's modern era (and probably ever), with much more expansive environments and some attempts at graphical improvements like better shadows. The impulse to change and experiment with the game's systems with every release is ultimately an impulse I want to encourage, even if it means not every game is a winner. But Firis is not one of the franchise's better outings. It could be a very good foundation for future games, so not all is lost, not by a long shot. And I think that unlike Shallie, I might be able to get 100% achievements/the pseudo-Platinum in Firis. But I hope Gust takes some of the criticisms of Firis to heart and really knocks it out of the park the next time around.
And if I could make one last request, completely unrelated to the mechanical issues I highlighted above: if you're not going to get better writers for the game's story and dialogue, could you at least get better localizers? There's so much clunky dialogue in this game that it undercuts most of the emotional high points of the story. And that's not to mention the massive error with many quest descriptions being mistranslated or assigned to the wrong quests. I have a pretty high tolerance for bad localization, but this is easily the worst localization job I've seen in the Atelier series to date, and unlike previous games, this actually affects gameplay. Koei Tecmo really needs to get its act together.
This is based on the iOS/Mobile ver. and the conversion to PC was well done IMO. The visuals look clean and while there aren't many animations, the color palette used is good too.
Puzzles mainly utilize you creating paths using items to shine light on squares to move on.
Completing all stages below the stated par limit will result in earning the true ending.
Def. grab it should it ever go for cheap or appear in a bundle in the future.
GAME # 13 - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - 70+ hours - 10/10 - 3/25/17
Couldn't find the exact completion %, but I completed all 120 shrines, found 152 Korok seeds, did all of the Divine Beats, and got all of the Memories.
This is an absolute masterpiece of a game. I haven't felt this good about a Zelda game since OoT back in '98. Everyone making an open world game should be furiously taking notes about BotW right now. No other open world game that I've played has made me feel the sense of freedom and wonder that BotW has. It's not just about being able to climb every mountain you see, BotW made me want to climb those mountains. In Skyrim I was directed by the icons popping up on the compass at the top of the screen, but in BotW I was directed by my own curiosity. There was nothing in the game telling me to go to a waterfall, or a little burnt down house, or a small cave, but 9 times out of 10, when I went to those places, I found something interesting. Exploring the world made me feel like I was on a real adventure.
Probably the most important thing this game brought to the table was the ability to truly go everywhere. Climbing almost any surface meant that no mountain was tall enough to actually block my path once I figured out where to rest and how to restore my stamina. Hot and cold areas are just a question of making the right foods instead of finding the right gear later on, and tough enemies like Lynels that acted as gatekeepers to certain areas could be avoided outright. But the thing is, unlike a game like Skyrim where I could also go everywhere at the start, because some areas actively try to kill you when you go there too soon, I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment when I went somewhere that should've been out of my league. It felt like sequence breaking in a Metroidvania.
That's not to say the game couldn't be better. The dungeons were weak, as were the bosses. And the voice acting was really 50/50 in terms of quality. But this is easily still the strongest contender for being my GOTY for 2017, and it'll probably end up on my top 10 GOAT games list alongside OoT.