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52 Games. 1 Year. 2021.

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12h-ish.

This year I decided to replay all the Phoenix Wright saga, in preparation for DGS2, the only one I haven't played. And what better place to start than the beginning?

Even with the standarization of the health bar system made in the Switch remake, PW1 is definitely the odd one out of the series. Excepting the 5th case (which was made years later specifically for the DS edition) PW1 is a lot more subtle than the wacky sequels. The cases make more sense, the killers' breakdowns are much more subdued, the judge isn't a total tool, the world isn yet full of fake countries and mysterious japanese villages smack dab in the middle of LA, and Edgeworth is, though arrogant, much more professional than the rest of the prosecutors that will come later. Some mainstays of the series, like the Blue Badger or the Steel Samurai, are introduced here, so one gets the feel this game was simply setting up an universe for a long series.

All this makes PW1 probably the one with the least personality but the most pleasant one to play, as you don't have to make giant leaps of logic to win your cases, nor it requires a serious amount of suspension of disbelief to handle the schizophrenic localization. It's very much a GBA game at its core, though, and it shows - until the last case, which as already explained was made to showcase the DS touch screen capabilities.

My Score: ★★★

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jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.


Game 33 - Final Fantasy 3 Pixel Remaster - PC Steam - Completed Aug 12th, 2021
What an amazing old-school JRPG. I've played the NES original and the 3D remake, but I think this is now the best version of this game available. I liked it a lot, although my biggest complaint is that the difficulty seemed to be toned WAY down. For example, I believe in the original game you couldn't buy Phoenix Downs in shops, which made using the Raise (and Arise) spell strategically a lot more important - basically that shit was golden and saved for when the White Mage died. Probably because I kept stocking up on Phoenix Downs, I kept running out of money until about half way through the game. But then by the end of the game, I had so much money I was buying Shurikens in Eureka like they were on a fire sale. Either way, a great game that is made awesome through this re-release.
 


28:06h. Normal difficulty. Yuito route and like half of Kasane's.

This is a great example of a game that bit more that it could chew. The first impression is brilliant, as the game world is meticulously crafted, as are the characters, and once you're actually playing the combat is amazing. The game feels like some sort of fusion of Astral Chain (For the setting) Valkyria Chronicles (For the characters) and Astral Chain+Nier Automata (For the combat).

But! I can't help but feel that having to play the game twice to get the full picture does not work with this game. Yuito and Kasane's stages are basically identical, their gameplay is basically identical (Yuito is supposed to be a melee specialist while Kasane is a ranged fighter, but really, they play basically identically) and you don't even get an extended ending for your troubles - the second half of the game is the same for both characters. The only reward for playing the game twice are snippets of story that you already extrapolated while playing the other route and feel... redundant.

They should have integrated Yuito and Kasane's story in a single playthrough. We would likely be talking about a 5-star game if that was the case.

My Score: ★★★

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37:16h. 15 hearts and the Hylian Shield. Didn't do the Batguy sidequest.

Master, I detect an 85% chance of unmarked spoilers in the upcoming text.

Skyward Sword is a bit like Zelda's very own Super Mario Sunshine. In a series known for its monolithic quality, Skyward Sword has ups and downs. One minute you're having the time of your life pursuing the sky dragon thing, then the next one you're lost in the most boring desert imaginable. One minute you're fighting Ghirahim for the 3rd time, an epic and fun battle, and then you're fighting Demise which handles himself like a Bokoblin on steroids. Skyward Sword has some of the best moments in the saga and some of the most dull. Some bits (Like when you're captured by the bokoblins in Eldin) had me chomping at the bit and not in a good way.

I blame the fact that the game was designed around motion controls and most of the bosses and lot of the puzzles hang heavily on this. Of course, playing the HD version, this only means you have to move the joystick in a specific way, which is less than exciting.

The good, though, outweighs the bad. I love the characterization of Zelda and Link and Proto-Ganon (as it's the first game in the timeline, the developers could afford to be imaginative) and most of the dungeons and bosses are top-notch, even for a series known specifically for having great dungeons and bosses. So I'd say this one is definitely worth your while, but don't expect the best Zelda ever.

My Score: ★★★★☆

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40h-ish. Unable to complete my preferred ending due to game issues (More on that below).

Okay, okay. Allow me to explain.

Yes, this game is porn. No ifs or buts (but plenty of butts, hurhurr). Instead of the usual japanese visual novel, this game is western-made, and it's more of a sandbox stud-raiser... thing. I played the free version out of morbid curiosity and it hooked me enough to buy the Steam release.

So, in this game you control a dude (or a dudette, but that part is still in very early alpha) and you can meet around 30 girls. Each of them has a distinct personality and their own baggage; all of them have at least two "meters" (Love and "Kink", which controls how submissive or dominant the girl is). Lots of girls have also a third meter; professionality, religiousness, how much of a psycho she is, etc,. Moreover, you have several stats that you have to raise if you want the game events to go well for you. In this regard it's similar to "raising sims" like Princess Maker or some early 00s VNs like True Love.

What I liked about this game is how much content it has and how open-ended it is. You can play like a regular dating sim, pursue a girl, and marry her. You can also fuck everything in your sights, though good luck pulling it off. You can mostly ignore the girls and center in your career. You can be murdered by your boss or by a machete-wielding drug dealer or by a crazy yandere bitch or even a bear.

However... this game is still very much early access. Lots of things are broken, some girls have unnervingly bad Poser placeholder art, and events that depend on phone calls have a tendency to break and be lost forever. I was shooting for the super duper golden home sixsome ending and I'm unable to get two of the girls to join the House Harem, so I'm leaving it until it's fixed. But I've played 40h so I feel I deserve this notch on my bedpost.

I give this game 3 stars, which is the equivalent of 5 stars for a non-porn game.

My Score: ★★★

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jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.


Game 35 - Doki Doki Literature Club Plus - Nintendo Switch - Completed Aug 18th, 2021
I went into this game (mostly) blind, and that's how I'd recommend playing this. I knew that there was some sort of psychological horror aspect to this game that was in direct competition with it's art style. But I started playing the game and for the first few hours it just felt like a regular ol' visual novel. And then, it wasn't. Not to give too many spoilers away, but I felt like this was an excellent experience. For $15, it was definitely worth playing.
 

IKSTUGA

Member
I've played too many great games lately. :messenger_grinning:



47. Doki Doki Literature Club Plus - Nintendo Switch - 9/10
That twist... Won't say more, but despite its short length, this is definitely a game I will remember years from now.



48. The Last of Us Part 2 - Playstation 5 - 10/10

Second playthrough. I love everything about this game. Yes, even the story. Looks even more gorgeous @ 60 fps.



49. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition - Nintendo Switch - 10/10

This was my first time playing a Xeno game and I absolutely loved it! Great story, great music, great characters, interesting world etc. Can't really praise it enough.

50. Xenoblade Chronicles: Future Connected - Nintendo Switch - 9/10
Nice epilogue that didn't feel tacked on, which is pretty uncommon for these type of add-ons. Feels like it's actually trying to set something up story-wise.



51. Star Fox 64 3D - Nintendo 3DS - 8/10
A classic. I wish I could play this version on the big screen, 3DS isn't the most ergonomic device.



52. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim - Playstation 5 - 10/10

Probably my favorite visual novel alongside the first Phoenix Wright game. It's very uniquely structured and keeps you guessing right till the end. I didn't hate the RTS parts either.



53. Hades - XBOX Series X - 10/10

This game is like crack. Within 5 days I managed to put in another 30 hours into this game, even though I already beat it last year on the Switch. Hades deserves all the praise it's gotten.
 
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jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
Part 1 Here

Game 36 - Castlevania: Symphony of the Night - Retro Achievements - Completed Aug 21st, 2021
I decided to play through the PS1 version of this game again since it had retro achievements added to it and it seemed like a pretty good set. I'm glad I did! I love this game, and thanks to a few of the achievements I was actually able to find a few secrets about this game that I previously didn't know about. Which was surprising, because I've probably played through this game a dozen times or more. As always, the game is great and the action is buttery smooth. Really, one of the best games of all time.

Game 37 - 12 Minutes - PC Game Pass - Completed Aug 24th, 2021
This game was really a mind-trip, even though there were only a few set items that could be interacted with doing so in various ways or in different orders would radically change the outcome of the game. Getting pretty far into the narrative, having time reset, then using the clues that you found in the previous loop to move forward was a pretty awesome concept. Even though I've seen games like this before (The Outer Wilds, etc.) it was done here with great effect. The voice acting was an incredible feat - getting James McAvoy, Daisy Ridley, and Willem Defoe all in on this was incredible. Overall, I thought this game was really good and I'm glad it came to Game Pass because I probably would have otherwise just skipped it.

Game 38 - Hidden Through Time - Nintendo Switch - Completed Aug 29th, 2021
I've been playing this game here and there for the better part of six months. It's a good game to just chill to, listen to the music, and try to find the hidden objects. This game is basically "Where's Waldo" but animated which gives it a fun twist. All of the hidden objects have a clue associated with them (for example, a clue for a fish might be "I think I'm being watched", and the fish is in the river next to a bear that's on shore). This makes things a bit easier to find rather than just mindlessly clicking through a bunch of different things, although there's still a bit of trial and error to the process. A few of the hidden items were WELL hidden. I'd find all of the things on each level before moving on to the next. Finished all levels, but none of the DLC.

Game 39 - Hades - Xbox Series X - Completed Sep 3rd, 2021
Oh man, Hades! This game is awesome, full stop. This was one of my favorite games of 2020 (I played it on the Switch last year) but it finally came to other consoles so I picked it up on Xbox, even though it came to Game Pass. Such a fun and solid game. Obviously, this version ran miles better than the Switch version. I was able to easily swap from Xbox to PC to phone and my cloud saves just happily followed me everywhere. This game is still amazing, I think I'd put it at one of my favorite action games of all time. It's absolutely my favorite Rogue-like ever because I'm typically not a fan of the genre. If you haven't at least tried this game, you definitely should.

Game 40 - Road 96 - Nintendo Switch - Completed Sep 5th, 2021
I liked the idea of a procedurally generated road trip, and seeing this was set in a fictional 90s hellscape I decided to pick this up. The art style was really pretty good and not ultra-realistic (which I suppose worked well for the Switch). The game is filled with these smaller story vignettes, but it was surprisingly cohesive and had some really great characters. You can learn or earn different traits that stay with you between episodes (runs to the border, essentially) so stuff like "hacking" or "cleverness" let you unlock new areas or dialog choices. Overall, I got the kind of "indecisive" ending, but that's okay because it was a fun journey.

Game 41 - The Shapeshifting Detective - Nintendo Switch - Completed Sep 5th, 2021
I've had this one in my backlog for a while. I love FMV games and the previous ones I've played from Wales Interactive (The Complex and Late Shift). However, this game more closely resembled the structure of Contradiction: Spot the Liar which is one of my favorite FMV games of all time. The main character from Contradiction was also in this, as a detective of all things! Anyway, this game was pretty great and I loved it for it's cheesy dialog and sometimes over-the-top dramatic acting. They were definitely trying to channel the "spooky radio" vibes of PT and combined them with a spooky tale set in a small British countryside village. The premise is that your character, Sam, can shapeshift into any other character that you've met - so you can talk to other people as other characters which made for some really interesting dialog and story progression. I can definitely recommend this game if you're a fan of FMV games.

Game 42 - Metroid: Zero Mission - Retro Achievements - Completed Sep 6th, 2021
I decided I'd play through a few Metroid games in anticipation of Metroid Dread next month, and I started with the GBA remake Zero Mission which I've never played before. The game is pretty solid all around - I have played the NES Metroid a few times so this whole thing felt pretty familiar to me. The "after you beat Mother Brain" part was pretty wild too and felt like a proper epilogue to the game. I'm sad to report that it took me almost 4 hours to finish, and I only got 61% of the game's items. There are some crazy achievements for this game like "beat X boss without taking damage" which seems crazy hard to me. Since I've played Super Metroid a million times, I might skip it and go on to Fusion.

Game 43 - Final Fantasy IV Pixel Remaster - PC Steam - Completed Sep 15th, 2021
Even though this version of the game was massively easy (even compared to it's US SNES counterpart) I still love this one to bits. The characters are amazing and well built. The music in this game is phenomenal. Hunting down Steam achievements was great fun although a massive grind. Really, I loved everything about this game - much like I have difficulty finding fault in the SNES version. After I beat the game, I actually went around to a few of the spots I had missed (freakin' chocobo forest in the middle of an island I never even knew about!) and tackled like 3 monsters I had missed from the bestiary (thankfully they were ones that were easy to find!) to get 100% of the game's achievements. Now I'm back to patiently awaiting the next Final Fantasy pixel remaster.

Game 44 - Watch Dogs: Legion - Xbox Series X - Completed Sep 16th, 2021
I picked this up last year when the Series X launched. Game was a lot of fun, but at about 40 hours in I hit a glitch that sent me back to where I was about 15 hours in (lost progress, whomp whomp) so I got pissed off about having to do the same missions all over again and shelved it for... almost a year. Well, I picked it back up and re-did a bunch of missions and things I had previously done before until I finally got to the place I was previously. And then, I did all the story missions until I got to the end of the game. Pretty cool sandbox game, and it ran at a smooth 60fps on the Series X with only a few minor slowdowns. I also played the Assassin's Creed tie-in mission(s) which were really great. This game has been super duper cheap (I've seen it for $6 physical / $20 digital Gold Edition) and I'd say it's easily worth that price.

Game 45 - Life is Strange: True Colors - PC Steam - Completed Sep 17th, 2021
When this game was first announced, it didn't really capture me. I had played the first two games, but skipped Life is Strange 2 since it was so incredibly woke and heavy-handed. However, reviews for this game started coming out from people I trusted not to bullshit me, so I thought it sounded worth picking up. And they were right! A lot of the reviews I saw said "this is the best Life is Strange game yet" - and I didn't exactly believe them, but I do now. Extremely compelling characters that you really care about mixed up in an emotional tale of love, loss, friendship, and heartache. There were times I laughed out loud, and times I legitimately cried. I'm so happy that I decided to give this game a chance.

Game 46 - Dungeons and Dragons: Dark Alliance - PC Gamepass - Completed Oct 5th, 2021
I've been playing this in co-op with my son (who plays on Xbox) for the past few months. It's... not great. Controls and movement are pretty bad, everything feels very latent. I suspect the movement is all done server-side (like an MMO) but it's not implemented nearly as smoothly as one. The loot is pretty bad too, at no point did I think "wow, this rare thing I got is so much better than what I had" because everything is nearly the same only slightly better - maybe we both just got unlucky? Co-op was a pain, half the time after we completed a mission it would kick us from each other's game. Seriously, probably the worst game I've finished this year. Sad to see the Dark Alliance name smeared like this.

Game 47 - Psycho Dream - Nintendo Switch - Completed Oct 9th, 2021
I was browsing through the SNES online games and thought this one looked... interesting? Game is like a cross between Castlevania and a beat-em up but the combination works pretty well here. You're character starts with a sword and through various powerups can eventually become like a super powerful robot... thing? This game was definitely confusing because it's level design didn't really make much sense and didn't have any sort of cohesiveness whatsoever. I powered through it though, and eventually got to the final boss and saved the girl. A pretty fun side-scrolling action game, but even if I had played it when it was originally out on the SNES I wouldn't think it'd set the world on fire or anything. But fun for a lazy afternoon.

Game 48 - Rock Band 4 (Rocudrama) - PlayStation 5 - Completed Oct 10th, 2021
It's time again for my annual playthrough of the Rock Band 4 Rocudrama mode. I've probably put in around 100 hours of Rock Band so far this year, it's pretty much a staple at my house, mainly because it's one of those games I can typically play decently when getting hammered. This year's rockin' tour through the mock-documentary "Behind the Tuneage" was great - for the first time I played on Hard mode all the way through, and not only that I earned enough stars to get "the best ending" for the first time! I'm pretty sad this genre is so fizzled out these days, I'd really love to see what a Rock Band 5 would look like on modern consoles.

Game 49 - The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope - Xbox Series X - Completed Oct 16th, 2021
In anticipation of House of Ashes coming out, my son and I decided to play through Little Hope in "movie night" mode. Lots of fun, the game has some really good jumps scares. The generally creepy atmosphere (both in the town as well as the curator's museum) make this the perfect October nighttime game. This play through ended up being quite a bit different than my playthrough last year, and the ending played out quite a bit differently as well. Overall, I still really like this game and this series, cannot wait for House of Ashes next week!

Game 50 - Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart - PlayStation 5 - Completed Oct 24th, 2021
I really really enjoyed this game. Not only was it a technical marvel, but it just felt like I was playing a Saturday morning cartoon. Obviously, the really big flashy setpieces this game has are second to none, but the gameplay was really good as well. I got all the gold bolts, all of the outfit pieces, basically 100% of the game (outside of a few random achievements). The story was the standout part of this game, it was big and the stakes were high and the characters were really well done here. This game is definitely in the short list for my "game of the year".

Game 51 - The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes - Xbox Series X - Completed Oct 27th, 2021
I've played all of the other games in the series and really liked them, so I knew I had to pick up House of Ashes. While I didn't like the characters as much, initially, as Little Hope, they definitely grew on me and by the end I felt like this has been the best bunch yet. The game had a few throwbacks to the earlier titles in the series, which was a lot of fun as well. Without going into spoiler territory here, I felt like the main bad guys were really really well done and a good choice for this game and it's setting. The story was a strong point here yet again, I liked it better than the previous two games for sure. All in all, this is a wonderful scary game for the Halloween season.

Game 52 - Ys IX: Monstrum Nox - PC GOG - Completed Oct 30th, 2021
This was, without a doubt, an amazing game. While I didn't care as much for the emo theme this game had (not nearly as much as the deserted island theme of 8) it definitely grew on me. I absolutely adored the characters in this game, every one of them was really well done and had perfect personalities. Since I played my first Ys game in the early 90s, it's weird to think that I've followed Adol's adventures for almost the last 30 years. The ending of this game was definitely bittersweet, but maybe more on the sweet side - I definitely can't wait to play Ys 10 when it eventually comes out.

Game 53 - Immortals: Fenix Rising - Xbox Series X - Completed Nov 6th, 2021
I liked this game quite a bit, but some of the puzzles and platforming sections really got on my nerves. Of course, I persisted through it because the story was nice but otherwise I think I would have given up on this game half way through. I liked the open world exploration quite a bit - there seemed to be stuff to do just about everywhere. The combat was really good and obviously comparisons would be drawn to the newer Assassin's Creed games. Overall, I think this is a pretty great game but I wouldn't recommend it to people who get frustrated with puzzles.

Game 54 - Shadow Complex: Remastered - Xbox Series X - Completed Nov 7th, 2021
This is one of my top 5 "metroidvanias" ever, and I always jump at the chance to replay it every couple of years. Now that it's basically an Xbox exclusive this generation (lol) I decided to install it and play through it yet again. I believe this is my first time playing the Remastered version on console, and it was generally a good experience. There are a ton of spots in this game that look really rough around the edges, but I mostly chalk that up to this originally being an Xbox Live Arcade game. The premise is still great, the movement and level up mechanics in this are fantastic. Just a really solid gameplay experience that doesn't overstay it's welcome.

Game 55 - Elden Ring Network Test - Xbox Series X - Completed Nov 13th, 2021
Even though this was only a network test that took place over 3 hour windows, I feel like I "completed" it after putting in 9 hours (over three different sessions). I completed the main path, killed all of the optional bosses (including the giant dragon!), leveled my character up to level 40, and generally just did everything there was to do in the game. There were a lot of neat little hidden areas to explore, I really hope that the actual game is this dense with content and things to do. I'm definitely looking forward to playing this when it releases.

Game 56 - Picross S4 - Nintendo Switch - Completed Nov 15th, 2021
I've been jumping back and forth between a few picross games lately, but decided to finish this one up. Honestly, I love everything about the Picross S games - they're just pure puzzles, and the puzzles that are there are a lot of fun to complete. Nearly everything turns out to be wacky and random, so you never know exactly what's going to pop up sometimes, even after you complete the puzzle, until the big reveal. The clip picross in this game was a bit boring, just a Wizard of Oz theme. I'll finish up Picross on SNES online, then probably move on to either the Sega Picross or Murder by Numbers.

Game 57 - Kingdom Rush - Nintendo Switch - Completed Nov 24th, 2021
I picked this up (triple dipped) when it went on sale today for the eShop's Black Friday sale. I've played this on both Android and PC, but it's easily my favorite tower defense game and it was $3. The game is still awesome on console, but I did find the non-touch controls to be pretty cumbersome. I found that I would mostly use the touch screen instead, which was okay by me - especially in the last map where you have to click on like 8 towers in rapid succession. Looking forward to playing the other Kingdom Rush games I also picked up today on the Switch.

Game 58 - Sega Ages: Phantasy Star - Nintendo Switch - Completed Nov 27th, 2021
Amazing games are great regardless of how old they are, and the Ages version of Phantasy Star is a testament to that statement. Although the difficulty has been tweaked to be easier than the original release of the game (on account of lowered encounters and raised XP and money values) it definitely still kicked my ass at times. I absolutely loved that the game was offset on one side by a map and character stats - this gave this old game a lot of modern QoL features. I might have to pick up that Genesis collection now so I can play through the others, it's been entirely too long.

Game 59 - Streets of Rage 4 - Xbox Series X - Completed Dec 3rd, 2021
I had some company over and we were looking for a cool four player split screen game, and we landed on Streets of Rage 4. This game is such a blast, especially with four players in couch co-op. Tons of juggling enemies back and forth, and just carnage everywhere. We just played the Game Pass version, didn't have the DLC but I'm kinda interested now to pick up the complete package so I can put this into my regular party rotation.

Game 60 - Archvale - Xbox Series X - Completed Dec 4th, 2021
I had a really good time with this game. I'm not usually a fan of bullet hell games but this one was extremely forgiving. The game had an amazing sense of progression that just made me want to keep playing more and more - so much so that I finished the game in two sittings that took about 9 hours. My only gripe is that a few of the Xbox achievements were bugged, hopefully they fix those soon! Otherwise, this was a great game that's definitely better than the sum of it's parts.

Game 61 - Kingdom Rush Frontiers - Nintendo Switch - Completed Dec 10th, 2021
Another eShop game I picked up during the Black Friday sales, and I'm glad that I did. Fun and challenging, with better tower options than the first game. I love that the Switch version has all of the heroes unlocked (as you progress through the story) rather than having to buy them individually for $1 each like the mobile versions. Fun leveling mechanics, and some levels that are just downright difficult. Overall, really happy with this and there is one more Kingdom Rush game on the Switch I got that I'm sure I'll play through.

Game 62 - Final Fantasy Legends (Collection of SaGa) - Nintendo Switch - Completed Dec 11th, 2021
Man, I played the shit out of this game when I was younger. I bought it just because it was a Gameboy "Final Fantasy" game without ever realizing that it was the earliest SaGa title. Anyway, this game is pretty cool but it it absolutely hard as shit. A unique class system, a unique leveling system (per class), and interesting story, a pretty large world all things told, and really solid turn based combat. This game could have used a huge number of Quality of Life upgrades, but I'm kinda glad that it's presented here as-is. I never played the sequel, so I'll probably try that one out next.

Game 63 - Guardians of the Galaxy - Xbox Series X - Completed Dec 17th, 2021
What a wild ride this game was! After the abysmal Avengers game, I had almost completely written this off as being terrible by association. Thankfully I listened to the folks in the GAF OT, and decided to pick it up during Black Friday for cheap. This game was a lot of fun - and the characters here are somehow even more charming than their movie counterparts. Rocket Racoon was easily my favorite character, completely sarcastic the whole way through but a good friend to Peter Quill. I hope they get to make a direct sequel to this one.

Game 64 - Tales of Arise - PC / Steam - Completed Dec 19th, 2021
This game was absolutely incredible, easily my favorite game to release in 2021. Complex storytelling weaved with excellent combat mechanics that was good from the beginning right up until the very end of the game. My only real complaint is that the back half of the game was MUCH more story-driven then the first half, in fact I think the last 10 hours of the game for me were two dungeons and a dozen or so bosses mixed with all story segments. Despite that, this was an amazing game and a worthy entry into the Tales lineup. I've beat Vesperia, Berseria, and now Arise and I can confidently say that Arise is the best of the bunch (though it's a pretty stiff competition). There were times when I laughed out loud, and others when I shed tears. Getting to know the characters and their aspirations and hobbies was a fun ride. Kisara best girl, obviously.

Game 65 - Captain Commando - Xbox Series X - Completed Dec 25th, 2021
I had my daughter and her boyfriend over for Christmas, and after opening presents we decided to fire up an old beat-em-up on the Series X. We landed on Captain Commando because it was four players co-op and just wacky fun. We of course laughed about all of the game's stupid names, like ShitStorm and Scumocide. Anyway, this game is classic and was a lot of fun playing through on Christmas morning.

Game 66 - Wizards and Warriors - PC / Retroachievements - Completed Dec 25, 2021
Speaking of games that remind me of Christmas morning, none other comes to mind besides Wizards and Warriors. This was the very first game I received as a Christmas present, I believe it was 1987. I haven't played this game in years, but my wife picked me up a copy from eBay that included the old manual. After reading through the manual I decided to fire this up in Retro Arch (since I don't have a convenient way to play NES cartridges) and blew through the whole game in about an hour. I still remembered most of the game's secrets. Had fun unlocking a few achievements along the way was well!

Game 67 - Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony - PC / Retroachievements - Completed Dec 26th ,2021
I somehow never played this game when it originally came out for the PSP. My loss, because this game was actually pretty fantastic! Although obviously quite dated (being 15 years old or so) I had a really fun time playing through this game all the way to the end. It's basically a Diablo clone similar to the PC Dungeon Siege games, but the controls were actually pretty good and well mapped for the PSP's button layout. Lots of quests (and side quests) accompanied by cool retro achievements for each. Lots of secret areas to explore. Lots of fun loot and cool abilities. Only big turnoff was the companions AI being braindead, but otherwise a really great game!

Game 68 - Parasite Eve - PC / Retroachievements - Completed Dec 29th, 2021
This game is a solid Christmas pick for me, and I usually find myself playing through it around December. The last time I played through, this game (actually all PS1 games) didn't have support for Retro Achievements, so it was fun going through and doing the extra challenges here. I had to level up quite a bit to beat a lot of these bosses without using magic powers and just rely on standard attacks. The game has a lot of EX mode achievements as well, so I guess next time I decide to play through it I'll be able to mop up the rest of those. Still an amazing game, great characters, fantastic music. Way better than the second or third games in the series.

Game 69 - It Takes Two - Xbox Series X - Completed Dec 30th, 2021
My son and I have been playing through this game for the past couple of weeks - ever since it was announced as the Game of the Year at the Game Awards. It played like a LEGO game but with these kind of Pixar visuals. Lots of level variety and really fun parts, but was bogged down by several other parts that were... not great. The final level, for example, was pretty bad. Overall though, we had a good time playing through the game and figuring out the puzzles. The story was cheesy but entertaining. We kept thinking the whole thing was a giant fever dream. Some parts were very Brave Little Toaster-esque. Recommended if you have someone pretty decent at playing platformers to co-op with.
 
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Wozzer

Member
I noticed a handful had already reached the 52 for this year, but haven't reached out with a DM. So I took the liberty of doing the whole medal and first post thing ahead :D.



Gratz on beating it this year, and to everyone else still grinding. Don't forget to drop me a DM as a helpful reminder <3

Also whilst I'm here, updated the Game Club post to reflect where we're at for the year;
  • January 2021: Outer Wilds
  • Q1 2021: Grand Theft Auto V
  • Feb 2021: Return of the Obra Dinn
  • Mar 2021: Axiom Verge
  • Apr 2021: Battle Chef Brigade
  • Q2 2021: Hypnospace Outlaw
  • May 2021: Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun
  • Jun 2021: Carto
  • Jul 2021: A Hat in Time
  • Aug 2021: Psychonauts
  • Q3 2021: Death Stranding


And might as well drop some of my latest completions in here whilst I'm at it;





As ever we're holding up in Discord too, to chatter as we beat the challenge and to organize the Game Club funs, so hop in if that sounds potentially fun, and a summary of all that is posted up at www.backlogbeat.com
 
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BadBurger

Gold Member
BadBurger - August Update

  1. Sackboy: A Big Adventure (PlayStation 5) | 11 hours | 4/5
    A charming platformer that rivals the greats from Nintendo. Amazing use of the PS5's features, great use of the DualSense controller, innovative cohesion with what is terrific music. My only knocks are that it relies too much on its gated advancement, and some levels were a bit tedious

  2. Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PlayStation 5) | 11 hours | 4/5
    Better than the game it spun out of (no pun intended). It refines any rough edges while implementing the best features of the PS5 and improving upon character models. The story has heart, the combat is great, the music bumpin'

  3. Days Gone (PlayStation 5) | 57 hours | 2.5/5
    A game that doesn't really get anything gameplay wise wrong, but it doesn't achieve anything I'd consider innovative either. The story telling is very poor IMO, something Bend Studio needs to learn to execute more organically and with more compassion. I think "mediocre" might be the best word to describe it

  4. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PlayStation 5) | 10 hours | 3/5
    Good, not great as a kind of addendum to Uncharted 4. It gets the core gameplay right, the story is light, and it relied perhaps a bit too much on merely peddling around a kind of lackluster tiny open world

  5. Destiny 2: Beyond Light (PC) | 5 hours | 2/5
    If you've played Destiny 1 or 2 you know what to expect. Bungie is still failing to offer a compelling or even coherent story. I found myself tuning out. Some of the newly introduced mechanics enriched the game, however. PvP remains oddly limited and boring. Some of the added content that is available following the short story campaign is all grind for few rewards

  6. Genshin Impact (PlayStation 5) | 12 hours | 3.5/5
    Logging this now even though it's one of those games that are ongoing like a MMO. I wrapped up the introductory content and am working on the business of furthering the story and acquiring heroes, etc. It is a surprisingly well fleshed out game for something that's free - quality characters with full voice acting, great presentation value, deep and well designed systems, simple yet enjoyable combat, a large open world, etc. One spends a lot of time walking, even given fast travel options, and that thin veneer of design that nudges people toward the store is of course there. With just a tiny bit of QoL improvements this would be a 4/5, easy

  7. Samorost 3 (PC) | 5 hours | 2.5/5
    Another vibrant chapter in the series. Great art and music. Some easy puzzles, some on the tricky side. Amanita Design fixed some of the rough edges from 1 and 2. Unfortunately too many of the puzzles can be essentially failed, forcing one to go back and redo entire areas / puzzles to reacquire items if they don't methodically save at every single juncture. This made it occasionally frustrating and a struggle to get through at times, which was the exact opposite of the experience I had with the first two installments of the franchise

  8. Civilization VI: Gathering Storm (PC) | 5 hours (first complete match) | 3.5/5
    This second expansion adds a plethora of helpful and fun systems, fixes problems related to resources and diplomacy in the core game, and adds some rather effective leaders. In fact, it fixes so many problems that I think it's kind of shitty for Firaxis not to release at least a few of these system changes in an optional patch for all owners of Civ VI. But business is business I guess. It's very good, I think essential as it repairs so many issues with the core game.

  9. The Banner Saga (PC) | 9 hours | 4/5
    Phenomenal tactical strat game

  10. GTA Online: The Cayo Perico Heist (PC) | 12 hours | 4/5
    The most solo-friendly content drop for GTAO thus far. It has an amusing story with some funny characters and cameos by several real life celebrities. There is plenty of new content between the submarine, setup missions, and heist itself - which can be tackled in a wide variety of ways giving this update more replayability than the others. It's extremely lucrative, and through a partnership with Prime Gaming and GTAO promotions Rockstar pretty much tees this up for new players.

  11. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Switch) | 11 hours | 4/5
    I never played the original so I don't have a point of comparison. However this was very well done. The mechanics are at time dated, but in a good Zelda way. The art direction is pretty and charming. The story just the right amount of old-school Nintendo. A few dungeons could have really used some more modern sensibilities in design while they were bothering to remake this, but perhaps that would be considered heresy to purists - I don't know.

  12. Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood (PlayStation 5) | Around 30 hours | 3.5/5
    Not as game-changing or entertaining as I was led to believe, but still a solid expansion for a good MMO. Some quality jobs and updates to existing jobs, the story is only so-so until what would qualify as the final act.

  13. Cozy Grove (Switch) | 10 hours | 2.5/5
    Kind of a poor man's Animal Crossing, but the art is nice and it keeps one busy enough day-to-day.

  14. Returnal (PlayStation 5) | 20 hours | 4/5
    Not quite a fan of either roguelike nor highly-difficult games, but this managed to ensnare regardless. Solid action, great visuals, fantastic use of 3D audio and the DualSense haptics. Needs save points or something. It's 2021 and we aren't playing games on a NES cartridge without a battery.

  15. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart (PlayStation 5) | 18 hours counting part of an ongoing challenge playthrough | 5/5
    We all played it. You know it's good, looks amazing, fun story, replayability, etc.

  16. Mario Golf: Super Rush (Switch) | 7 hours for the campaign, around 8 hours online | 4/5
    All around fun Mario golf game with a great adventure mode, some cool new features, and good online support and performance

  17. Chivalry 2 (PlayStation 5) | About 20 hours | 3.5/5
    Take the first Chivalry, slightly improve upon every mechanic, add new combat actions, expand the scope of battles, and crank the visuals way up. The core game was pretty light on largescale combat but the latest update made it a bit better

  18. Doom Eternal (PC) | 14 hours for the campaign, several hours in multiplayer | 2.5/5
    The campaign gameplay loop is solid but far too repetitive. It's also not terribly interesting with what little story it's trying to tell. The multiplayer is limited with its single mode and, again, repetitive nature given its one map and confined spaces. I just do not understand the adulation this game received. It is the definition of a middle of the road iteration

  19. Worldbox (PC) | About 10 hours | NA (alpha)
    It's still alpha but even so it effectively sets out to do what it's designed to do, which is create a great, easy to manipulate, fun to build up and tear down world. Funny and amusing. This one could turn out to be truly great when it's all wrapped up - it's the most together simulation in an alpha state I've played

19/52








Edit - just keeping a list of things I am playing / have played for the next update:
Humankind
The Frozen Wilds
Hoa
Life is Strange: True Colors
Eastward
Predator: Hunting Grounds
A Plague Tale Innocence
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
 
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marcincz

Member
Few more games and I'am almost done:

Game 41 - Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (PS5) - 14h 55m
Beat 25/07/2021 - my score: ★★★

Game 42 - Unravel (PS4) - 07h 32m

Beat 29/07/2021 - my score: ★★★

Game 43 - Unravel Two (PS4) - 05h 52m

Beat 02/08/2021 - my score: ★★★

Game 44 - Concrete Genie (PS4) - 06h 03m

Beat 08/08/2021 - my score: ★★★

Game 45 - Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PS5) - 11h 41m

Beat 15/08/2021 - my score: ★★★

Game 46 - F.E.A.R. (360) - 11h 33m

Beat 27/08/2021 - my score: ★★
 


<2h-ish.

God was this boring. I recently picked up a Play Pass trial and this game got my attention. The premise is great; you found an unlocked phone and you browse through it trying to guess passwords and make sense of the small pieces of the original owner's life.

If only the owner's life wasn't so unspeakably BORING. When I first read the mails and received messages, I thought there was some murder mystery or sect conspiracy going on. But it was some really bland gender hyjinx. All of the information (Not "most", "all") is obtained via dates and postal codes, with no thinking outside of the box or leaps of logic. And at the end what you get? A pat in the back and a "yeah maybe better format this phone now lol"

I would give it a single star if it weren't for it's admittedly interesting premise.

My Score: ★★☆☆

Original post
 


3h-ish. 3 dead people.

This little trivia game plays like Osu Tatake Ouendan but with a quiz as its main gameplay. When someone is in trouble, they call the little witch who offers a deal; if the person in trouble can win her trivia game, she will make their wishes come true. If they don't... well, they usually die or are mutilated. Or they aren't voted Prom Queen. Anyway their story ends.

A cute game to pass the time with some surprisingly dark turns when you lose a round (Just like OST)

My Score: ★★☆☆

Original post
 
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jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.


Game 39 - Hades - Xbox Series X - Completed Sep 3rd, 2021
Oh man, Hades! This game is awesome, full stop. This was one of my favorite games of 2020 (I played it on the Switch last year) but it finally came to other consoles so I picked it up on Xbox, even though it came to Game Pass. Such a fun and solid game. Obviously, this version ran miles better than the Switch version. I was able to easily swap from Xbox to PC to phone and my cloud saves just happily followed me everywhere. This game is still amazing, I think I'd put it at one of my favorite action games of all time. It's absolutely my favorite Rogue-like ever because I'm typically not a fan of the genre. If you haven't at least tried this game, you definitely should.
 

marcincz

Member
Many years later I finished:

Game 47 - F.E.A.R. 2 (360) - 09h 29m
Beat 30/08/2021 - my score: ★★

Game 48 - F.E.A.R. 3 (360) - 06h 55m

Beat 04/09/2021 - my score: ★★
 

jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.


Game 41 - The Shapeshifting Detective - Nintendo Switch - Completed Sep 5th, 2021
I've had this one in my backlog for a while. I love FMV games and the previous ones I've played from Wales Interactive (The Complex and Late Shift). However, this game more closely resembled the structure of Contradiction: Spot the Liar which is one of my favorite FMV games of all time. The main character from Contradiction was also in this, as a detective of all things! Anyway, this game was pretty great and I loved it for it's cheesy dialog and sometimes over-the-top dramatic acting. They were definitely trying to channel the "spooky radio" vibes of PT and combined them with a spooky tale set in a small British countryside village. The premise is that your character, Sam, can shapeshift into any other character that you've met - so you can talk to other people as other characters which made for some really interesting dialog and story progression. I can definitely recommend this game if you're a fan of FMV games.
 


2h-ish. All stages in all difficulty levels.

I like the fact that PlayPass gives you unlimited free MTX in all the games that support them because it really shows how bullshit MTX can be. Without them, this game would be barely playable as the hardest difficulty levels are almost unfair in a touch screen. With the MTX though? It's like watching a Youtube video.

The game itself? It's a bullet hell top-down arcade shoot'em up. It's not Touhou though. Have you played Raiden? It's Raiden.

My Score: ★★☆☆

Original post
 
https://i.imgur.com/sgNKqRf.png


Many, many hours. Created a Spanish Segunda B team and played until I won the UEFA Champions League European Champions Cup. Tried to do it again with a Serie B team but I got bored. Might or might not have used the Editor (Nothing too much, just avoiding getting broke from time to time).

I don't think I would have played this if I didn't get it for free in Game Pass, but it's still nice. I used to like the old FIFA Manager because it gave you a lot of fancy options to customize your team (The Stadium builder could have been a game by itself). This ain't that; there's a lot of numbers and what you can do and you can't is very limited by the board (We need an option to actually OWN a club for it to be our playtoy, like the sheiks did with PSG and Man City)

The players are unsufferably, gigantic drama queens that cannot be kept content, the board makes you wish there was a FPS mode, there's no way to guarantee a wonderkid is going to develop into a wonder...man, and your billion-dollar squad is going to lose 2-1 against a mid-table team no matter how much time and reloads you spend in tactics. So, kudos for realism.

My Score: ★★★★☆

Original post


ED: Is this guy in the cover Moukoko? He deserves to be in the cover, what a fucking beast. 46 goals per season. Laporta sign Moukoko.
 
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jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.


Game 44 - Watch Dogs: Legion - Xbox Series X - Completed Sep 16th, 2021
I picked this up last year when the Series X launched. Game was a lot of fun, but at about 40 hours in I hit a glitch that sent me back to where I was about 15 hours in (lost progress, whomp whomp) so I got pissed off about having to do the same missions all over again and shelved it for... almost a year. Well, I picked it back up and re-did a bunch of missions and things I had previously done before until I finally got to the place I was previously. And then, I did all the story missions until I got to the end of the game. Pretty cool sandbox game, and it ran at a smooth 60fps on the Series X with only a few minor slowdowns. I also played the Assassin's Creed tie-in mission(s) which were really great. This game has been super duper cheap (I've seen it for $6 physical / $20 digital Gold Edition) and I'd say it's easily worth that price.
 

GametimeUK

Member
August
(43) 10th - Uncharted Drake's Fortune remaster (PS5) ★★★★★
(44) 22nd - Terra Incognita (Series X) ★★★★★
(45) 22nd - Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (Series X) ★★★★★
(46) 31st - Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Series X) ★★★★★

September
(47) 18th - Devil May Cry 1 (PS5) ★★★★★
(48) 18th - Dead Space 3 (PS3) ★★★☆☆

I didn't manage to update last month so here we are. I'm really losing pace now, but I am on track to finish soon. I may take some time off at some point.

Uncharted was fantastic despite feeling dated. I may make a YouTube video review. I have a script ready and everything.

Terra Incognita is a super short game from a Playstation demo disc. We used to have a collection of indie type games appear on there clunder the Net Yaroze banner. Terra Incognita is super charming and a lot of fun for what it is. I adore the soundtrack and gravitated towards the art style as a kid.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 was a quick play through so I could test out the Duckstation emulator on the Series X. It's fantastic and ran really well at 4K.

Ori and the will of the Wisps quite frankly is one of the best games I have ever played with one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard along with some of the crispest visuals and performance I have ever seen. Full fat 4K 120fos on Series X with HDR on an Oled display. Marvelous. I am super lucky and fortunate to have experienced the game like this.

Devil May Cry 1 is a game I got stuck on 20 years ago and never fully revisited. Blasted the whole game in around 5 hours. The game somewhat holds up today due to it being the game that laid the foundation for a lot of character action games. I had a blast.

Dead Space 3 is a game I played on the PS3 in 2021. How crazy is that? I love this console it's my fave of all time. Despite having a beast gaming rig and every system under the sun, the PS3 captivates me. I chose PS3 so a friend and I could coop the game. I paid £4 for the experience and it was well spent. I had to finish the final chapter solo as my friend and I have conflicting schedules and it was not nearly as fun that way. Solid B tier game with a coop partner. Fun to be had.
 
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BadBurger

Gold Member
BadBurger - September Update

My busiest month by far and it's not even over yet.

  1. Sackboy: A Big Adventure (PlayStation 5) | 11 hours | 4/5
    A charming platformer that rivals the greats from Nintendo. Amazing use of the PS5's features, great use of the DualSense controller, innovative cohesion with what is terrific music. My only knocks are that it relies too much on its gated advancement, and some levels were a bit tedious

  2. Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PlayStation 5) | 11 hours | 4/5
    Better than the game it spun out of (no pun intended). It refines any rough edges while implementing the best features of the PS5 and improving upon character models. The story has heart, the combat is great, the music bumpin'

  3. Days Gone (PlayStation 5) | 57 hours | 2.5/5
    A game that doesn't really get anything gameplay wise wrong, but it doesn't achieve anything I'd consider innovative either. The story telling is very poor IMO, something Bend Studio needs to learn to execute more organically and with more compassion. I think "mediocre" might be the best word to describe it

  4. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PlayStation 5) | 10 hours | 3/5
    Good, not great as a kind of addendum to Uncharted 4. It gets the core gameplay right, the story is light, and it relied perhaps a bit too much on merely peddling around a kind of lackluster tiny open world

  5. Destiny 2: Beyond Light (PC) | 5 hours | 2/5
    If you've played Destiny 1 or 2 you know what to expect. Bungie is still failing to offer a compelling or even coherent story. I found myself tuning out. Some of the newly introduced mechanics enriched the game, however. PvP remains oddly limited and boring. Some of the added content that is available following the short story campaign is all grind for few rewards

  6. Genshin Impact (PlayStation 5) | 12 hours | 3.5/5
    Logging this now even though it's one of those games that are ongoing like a MMO. I wrapped up the introductory content and am working on the business of furthering the story and acquiring heroes, etc. It is a surprisingly well fleshed out game for something that's free - quality characters with full voice acting, great presentation value, deep and well designed systems, simple yet enjoyable combat, a large open world, etc. One spends a lot of time walking, even given fast travel options, and that thin veneer of design that nudges people toward the store is of course there. With just a tiny bit of QoL improvements this would be a 4/5, easy

  7. Samorost 3 (PC) | 5 hours | 2.5/5
    Another vibrant chapter in the series. Great art and music. Some easy puzzles, some on the tricky side. Amanita Design fixed some of the rough edges from 1 and 2. Unfortunately too many of the puzzles can be essentially failed, forcing one to go back and redo entire areas / puzzles to reacquire items if they don't methodically save at every single juncture. This made it occasionally frustrating and a struggle to get through at times, which was the exact opposite of the experience I had with the first two installments of the franchise

  8. Civilization VI: Gathering Storm (PC) | 5 hours (first complete match) | 3.5/5
    This second expansion adds a plethora of helpful and fun systems, fixes problems related to resources and diplomacy in the core game, and adds some rather effective leaders. In fact, it fixes so many problems that I think it's kind of shitty for Firaxis not to release at least a few of these system changes in an optional patch for all owners of Civ VI. But business is business I guess. It's very good, I think essential as it repairs so many issues with the core game.

  9. The Banner Saga (PC) | 9 hours | 4/5
    Phenomenal tactical strat game

  10. GTA Online: The Cayo Perico Heist (PC) | 12 hours | 4/5
    The most solo-friendly content drop for GTAO thus far. It has an amusing story with some funny characters and cameos by several real life celebrities. There is plenty of new content between the submarine, setup missions, and heist itself - which can be tackled in a wide variety of ways giving this update more replayability than the others. It's extremely lucrative, and through a partnership with Prime Gaming and GTAO promotions Rockstar pretty much tees this up for new players.

  11. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Switch) | 11 hours | 4/5
    I never played the original so I don't have a point of comparison. However this was very well done. The mechanics are at time dated, but in a good Zelda way. The art direction is pretty and charming. The story just the right amount of old-school Nintendo. A few dungeons could have really used some more modern sensibilities in design while they were bothering to remake this, but perhaps that would be considered heresy to purists - I don't know.

  12. Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood (PlayStation 5) | Around 30 hours | 3.5/5
    Not as game-changing or entertaining as I was led to believe, but still a solid expansion for a good MMO. Some quality jobs and updates to existing jobs, the story is only so-so until what would qualify as the final act.

  13. Cozy Grove (Switch) | 10 hours | 2.5/5
    Kind of a poor man's Animal Crossing, but the art is nice and it keeps one busy enough day-to-day.

  14. Returnal (PlayStation 5) | 20 hours | 4/5
    Not quite a fan of either roguelike nor highly-difficult games, but this managed to ensnare regardless. Solid action, great visuals, fantastic use of 3D audio and the DualSense haptics. Needs save points or something. It's 2021 and we aren't playing games on a NES cartridge without a battery.

  15. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart (PlayStation 5) | 18 hours counting part of an ongoing challenge playthrough | 5/5
    We all played it. You know it's good, looks amazing, fun story, replayability, etc.

  16. Mario Golf: Super Rush (Switch) | 7 hours for the campaign, around 8 hours online | 4/5
    All around fun Mario golf game with a great adventure mode, some cool new features, and good online support and performance

  17. Chivalry 2 (PlayStation 5) | About 20 hours | 3.5/5
    Take the first Chivalry, slightly improve upon every mechanic, add new combat actions, expand the scope of battles, and crank the visuals way up. The core game was pretty light on largescale combat but the latest update made it a bit better

  18. Doom Eternal (PC) | 14 hours for the campaign, several hours in multiplayer | 2.5/5
    The campaign gameplay loop is solid but far too repetitive. It's also not terribly interesting with what little story it's trying to tell. The multiplayer is limited with its single mode and, again, repetitive nature given its one map and confined spaces. I just do not understand the adulation this game received. It is the definition of a middle of the road iteration

  19. Worldbox (PC) | About 10 hours | NA (alpha)
    It's still alpha but even so it effectively sets out to do what it's designed to do, which is create a great, easy to manipulate, fun to build up and tear down world. Funny and amusing. This one could turn out to be truly great when it's all wrapped up - it's the most together simulation in an alpha state I've played

  20. Humankind (PC) | About 20 hours | 4/5
    A solid 4D simulator that adds some new spins on the genre, and improves upon the commonly found political and growth systems in all of these kinds of games

  21. Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds (PlayStation 5) | 8 hours | 4/5
    Strong DLC. The PlayStation 5 performance patch really helped with revisiting this game. It's more Horizon, story could be a bit better but no major complaints

  22. Hoa (PlayStation 5) | 1 hour | 2/5
    I gave up on this one early in. The controls are just too clumsy and imprecise. It has nice art and the story seems Ghibli-esque, at least

  23. A Plague Tale: Innocence (PlayStation 5) | 5 hours | 2.5/5
    Another I gave up on. Majestic in its presentation - the artists, animators, musicians, etc, clearly went to great lengths to make sure it looks and sounds amazing. The problem is dated, rote, repetitive gameplay that eventually bore me to tears. I wanted to finish it, I just realized I was not having any fun trying

  24. Predator Hunting Grounds (PlayStation 5) | several hours | 1.5/5
    This game is just boring and pointless feeling. When I played as the predator I was able to toy with groups of soldiers and pretty much end matches at will. As a soldier one runs to a point on a map, kills a bunch of brain dead and poorly animated AI combatants while keeping an eye out for the predator - rinse and repeat. I played five or six matches before abandoning it

  25. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice (PC) | several hours | 1.5/5
    I played this as suggested - high-end PC with all graphical settings maxed, and a pair of good headphones with spatial sound. While it's an auditory feast that looks very good, it's simply very boring and limited in scope. Walk around, look for certain things in the environment, then engage in combat against unchanging enemies, performing the same exact combos over and over. I didn't finish, too boring

  26. Life is Strange: True Colors (PlayStation 5) | 15 hours | 4/5
    A near perfect adventure game. Impressive visuals, particularly the facial animations. Killer soundtrack. Supporting cast are written with depth and all of the acting is superb. The optimization on the PS5 was not great, and the final act kinds of flies by. Feels an hour too short

  27. Eastward (PC) | 5 hours so far | 3.5/5
    A good adventure game with charming art and story. It needs some optimization work, the combat can feel repetitive at times, and dialog is often overstuffed and worse uninteresting. Would be an easy 4/5 if they just optimized the PC version better (in full screen the visuals take on a slightly blurry appearance and the colors look washed out)

27/52










Edit - just keeping a list of things I am playing / have played for the next update:
Kena: Bridge of Spirits
New World
ActRaiser Reinassance
World War Z Aftermath
 
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44:26.
As I platinumed the game back in PS4 I didn't care this time around, but I still completed all sidequests and explored most of the map.


As an addendum... I think I didn't like this game that much the second time around. The game looks absolutely incredible at 4k 60 FPS and the new shortened load times are a blessing, but the plot is way too dark; sometimes, it feels dark for the sake of being dark (I've counted four uses of the "bloodied toy" narrative shorthand) and the length feels a bit padded around the end. This might be my own fatigue speaking though, so I'll play something else before starting Iki Island (Yes I'm counting it as a separate game, sue me)

My Score: ★★★★

Original post
 
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IKSTUGA

Member
Games Galore!



54. Scarlet Nexus - SeX - 8/10
Cool new concept, drags a bit towards the end.



55. Super Mario 3D Land - 3DS - 10/10
Really really like this game. That's all.



56. Judgement - SeX - 10/10
The main story is so good in Judgement, 10/10 Japanese crime drama.



57. Sonic Colors Ultimate - SeX - 7/10
Well this game was rather underwhelming, I remember liking a lot more 10 years ago on the Wii.



58. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - PS5 - 9/10
A modern classic.



59. Uncharted 3. Drake's Deception - PS5 - 8/10
Plot takes a nosedive after the second game. The game also suffers from having too many scripted walking sequences.



60. Horizon Zero Dawn - PS5 - 9/10
The 60fps patch really makes the game shine. I quite enjoyed the sci-fi parts of the story this time too (I think I skipped most of the cutscenes during my last playthrough...).

61. Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds - PS5 - 8/10
Felt kinda tacked-on. Still solid.



62. WarioWare: Get it Together - NS - 8/10
Too much focus was put on multiplayer IMO. A solid WarioWare game nonetheless.



63. Tales of Arise - PS5 - 10/10
Fucking love Arise, easily the best Tales game for me since Symphonia. It also helps that the setting and structure really remind me of classic Final Fantasy. The combat system is one of the best I've ever seen in a JRPG.

After the demo I actually wrote this game off (they kinda throw you in the middle of things without properly explaining what's going on with the story and combat), so glad I decided to pick up the full game anyway.



64. It Takes Two - PS5 - 9/10
This game is an instant indie classic, so many clever ideas everywhere. Game's pretty lengthy as well.



65. Kena: Bridge of Spirits - PS5 - 9/10
The most stunning PS2 game ever published.



66. Super Metroid - NS - 10/10
The granddaddy of modern metroidvanias, still so so enjoyable.
 
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marcincz

Member
This year I completed 52/52 even faster than last year. 2 weeks faster.
Btw it's my 3rd year in a row and 4th in last 5 years.

Game 49 - Gran Turismo Sport (PS4) - 22h 00m
Beat 08/09/2021 - my score: ★★

Game 50 - Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee New 'n' Tasty (PS4) - 09h 19m

Beat 16/09/2021 - my score: ★★

Game 51 - Oddworld: AON 'n' T - DLC Alf's Escape (PS4) - 01h 51m

Beat 16/09/2021 - my score: ★★

Game 52 - Oddworld: Soulstorm (PS5) - 21h 38m

Beat 29/09/2021 - my score: ★★
 
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Quasicat

Member


Game 25 - A Short Hike - Nintendo Switch - Completed Jun 27th, 2021
I set out to play a short game, and I landed on... A Short Hike. The game was definitely charming with lots of cute pixel animals. The 3D environment was fun to explore and there was quite a bit to do. The objective is simply on the outside - climb from the bottom of the map up to the top of the peak. To do this, you need to collect golden feathers that are kind of like stamina wheels in Breath of the Wild. You're a bird, and you use the golden features to climb or jump higher. Along the way you collect various items to trade with the other animals in the park, usually for additional golden feathers. A really cute game that gets surprisingly dark if you look under the surface just a little bit.
Last night, I was wanting to get something new for the Switch that is somewhere like Breath of the Wild (at least 280 hours) Animal Crossing (at least 595 hours) and came across your explanation of A Short Hike. I’m about an hour in and it is absolutely charming. The dialogue between the characters is just amazing! I’m looking forward to finishing it tonight, but even when I make it to the end goal, there are still so many things to still do! Thanks for the recommendation!
 
Main Post

Close to goal but way behind on updates. Just going to list my latest batch with score.

35. Lost Planet 3 (PS3) - 8/10
36. Devil May Cry 3 (PS4) - 9/10
37. Resident Evil 3 (PS4) - 8/10
38. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (SNES) - 8/10
39. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES) - 7/10
40. MadWorld (Wii) - 6/10
41. Close to the Sun (PS4) - 5/10
42. Corpse Killer (PS4) - 5/10
43. The Conduit (Wii) - 7/10
44. Batman: Return of the Joker (NES) - 8/10
45. Detective Pikachu (3DS) - 7/10
46. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Switch) - 8/10
47. MediEvil (PS4) - 7/10
48. Final Fantasy VI (SNES) - 10/10 - Still my favorite FF and easily the reason I enjoy RPG's today. The story/music/gameplay is just amazing. Wanted this to be #52 but I couldn't stop once I hit a certain point.
49. Medieval Moves: Deadmund's Quest (PS3) - 6/10
50. Mortimer Beckett and the Secrets of Spooky Manor (Wii) - 6/10
 

7h-ish.
Normal difficulty.

I remember I bought Quake at launch, in 1996. I was 13, I had been saving my pocket money and I went to the movies. I saw Die Hard III, then got home to play my shiny new game.

Not-too-many hours after that, I beat the first boss and saw the "Congratulations!" screen. My then non-English speaking ass thought I had finished the game. "That was short!" I thought "But it was very good so money well spent I guess". Then I shelved it forever, not realizing I basically paid premium coin for the shareware version of the game until many, many years after.

That's the reason I was so happy it got to Gamepass, so I could finally get what the universe owed me.

The first few levels, I was having the time of my life - I remember literally thinking "Now I understand why we had so many Quake-likes in the last few years". But this feeling didn't last - around 50% in I started getting tired of cramped brown corridors and unfair mob spawns. Then it hit me - Quake is actually a pretty irregularly designed game. Some levels are "holy shit" material, others are "ehhh...". The bosses, though, are not a mixed bag at all: they all suck, with the final boss sucking the most. Depending in your luck and your skill running away, you can finish it in 10 hours or 10 seconds. I am apparently the world champion of running away, so I never even got a good look at ait.

Still, the good parts are REALLY good and if you have Gamepass this is a part of gaming history you have to experience by yourself.

My Score: ★★★★☆

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jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.


Game 48 - Rock Band 4 (Rocudrama) - PlayStation 5 - Completed Oct 10th, 2021
It's time again for my annual playthrough of the Rock Band 4 Rocudrama mode. I've probably put in around 100 hours of Rock Band so far this year, it's pretty much a staple at my house, mainly because it's one of those games I can typically play decently when getting hammered. This year's rockin' tour through the mock-documentary "Behind the Tuneage" was great - for the first time I played on Hard mode all the way through, and not only that I earned enough stars to get "the best ending" for the first time! I'm pretty sad this genre is so fizzled out these days, I'd really love to see what a Rock Band 5 would look like on modern consoles.
 


8:13h.
Normal difficulty. All tales, all memories, most side stuff (Left like a fifth of the map without exploring due to ending fatigue)

Iki Island is a worthy continuation to Ghost of Tsushima, exploring Kazumasa Sakai's character and the consequences of his actions in Iki, many years before the main game. It's still Ghost of Tsushima, of course, but some new ideas are applied - enemies that change weapons on-the-fly, forcing you to change sword styles, shamans (buffers) that have to die first, and some pretty interesting puzzles (I hated loved the one where you have to fight against the tide to get to a shipwreck). The story, however, has a more... let's say magical approach that I'm not sure fits the strictly realistic (aside for a few mythic tales, which are, well, mythic, for a reason) world of GoT. Also, the Eagle seems like it could be an interesting character, but it's not given enough time for it to actually threatening or even give us a good look at its psyche, unlike with Khotun Khan.

Also, this may be just me, but the Spanish dub seems... off. The original game's dub was all well and good, except for some minor pronunciation quibbles (For example, some voice actors say Tsu-TSI-ma instead of Tsu-SHI-ma) but Jin's voice was very good. In here, he sometimes sounds like a whole different voice actor altogether and suffers from a bad case of the Anime Grunt that is very distracting.

I did enjoy my time on Iki a lot, though. I just wish this was a full-fledged sequel instead of an expansion pack. More time to develop the story would have resulted in another banger.

My Score: ★★★★☆

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8:21h.
43% of all items. Some gameplay spoilers in the text.

I enjoy a Metroid game from time to time (I've played most, but not all of them) but this one caught me off left field. I wasn't expecting such a merciless game. 10 minutes in you're likely to have gotten a couple Game Overs thanks to the E.M.M.Is and their lovely OHKO grapple. The parts where the robots appear are almost survival horror-like, with the player experiencing a real feeling of dread (Roll credits! ·ding·). But that's not the only hard part - the bosses are also (in true Metroid fashion) tough cookies to chew, requiring you to master all of your abilities.

This said... the difficulty of Metroid Dread is very well thought. After each E.M.M.I section you manage to find a way to kill the robot, which is extremely satisfying and cathartic. And as it's usually the case with good games, the bosses "train" you with each defeat, so you go from "destroyed" to "killed the boss with all my HP left" in just a handful of tries. This is, IMO, a sign of a great attention to detail and kudos to the devs are in order.

The only two things I found lacking were the controls and the exploration. There's SO MUCH Samus can do and you have to memorize a fairly sizable amount of button combinations. This, and the fact that the controls are not as responsive as I would have liked, had me dying several times when I had done what the game wanted, which is a bit annoying - but you learn to live with it and play "around that". As per the exploration, while the game does its best to not stray you off the critical path, it's sometimes not immediately obvious where you have to go or how. I'm not one to advocate for minimaps with target pointers, but a simple "mission objective" marker that said something like "Go back to Cataris" would have been enough. Granted, ADAM more or less has this function, but it's easy to forget about him...

(Sometimes I wonder why I am so critical with games I enjoy so much. Likely it's because it's much easier to write about something that sucks that about something that doesn't.)

My Score: ★★★★

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GametimeUK

Member
Since my last update I've beaten the challenge.

September

(49) 18th - Crazy Taxi (PC) ★★★☆☆
(50) 19th - Sonic Generations (PC) ★★★☆☆

October

(51) 9th - Sonic Mania (Switch) ★★★★★
(52) 17th - Wolfenstein 2 (PC) ★★★★★

Super happy right now, but I won't be taking part next year considering I've done this 2 years on the row. I mean I'll join the thread, but I'll see if I beat 52 games naturally.

Anyway here's a summary of the games I beat

Crazy Taxi
I have been wanting to roll the credits on this game randomly for a while now. Had a great hour or so with the game. Not having the original soundtrack and licensing on the Steam version sucks, but it was a nostalgia fueled trip regardless.

Sonic Generations
I remember wanting this game for the 2D sections, but now that I've played it, I enjoyed the 3D sections more. An awesome little game to spend the weekend with.

Sonic Mania

I think I went from really enjoying this game to OMG it's one of the best 2D platformers of all time. If you haven't played it just do it.

Wolfenstein 2: TNC
I enjoyed the story in the first game more and I've been putting off playing this game for years, but omg it was worth the wait to play at 1440p 120fps on PC. Great game I recommend it. Just nice to see a bit of violence in a game again.




 
61. Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!
03 hrs. 37 mins. 22 out of 25


62. Metroid Dread
06 hrs. 07 mins. 12 out of 25
Didn't enjoy this game at all; Loved the older games. when I finished this game, it felt like a hollow and dry shell of its former self :( I'm really bummed i didn't like it. It is what it is :messenger_loudly_crying:
 
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jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.


Game 49 - The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope - Xbox Series X - Completed Oct 16th, 2021
In anticipation of House of Ashes coming out, my son and I decided to play through Little Hope in "movie night" mode. Lots of fun, the game has some really good jumps scares. The generally creepy atmosphere (both in the town as well as the curator's museum) make this the perfect October nighttime game. This play through ended up being quite a bit different than my playthrough last year, and the ending played out quite a bit differently as well. Overall, I still really like this game and this series, cannot wait for House of Ashes next week!
 


45h-ish.
Got the requisite 10 wins within 80 tries. Max Heat Level 2 (yeah, I know)

I'm not much of a roguelike/lite fan, but Hades was a good experience, mostly because the power curve is very well designed and the more you play, the easier it gets to progress. I still had to toggle easy mode for the last handful of runs, mostly because I insisted on trying all weapons and they're not exactly balanced: the Shield and the Bow, for example, are easy mode, while the Spear or the Gauntlets seem harder to handle). The difficulty never feels unfair, though, even though it does get too random at times: even though you can slightly "nudge" your luck with the keepsakes, it's almost impossible to get a perfect build and you have to more or less live with what you get, which, unless you're really skilled, can be painful.

I also liked the portrayal of most of the myths, particularly the way they didn't fall on the "Everyone hates Hades" pitfall of a trope and he was, correctly, portrayed as a gruff, but respected and fair, deity. Generally speaking, everything was pretty true to the mythological source, except for Zagreus himself but he's a bit of an obscure character so in a certain way he's perfect for a bit of customization.

My Score: ★★★★

Original post
 

marcincz

Member
61. Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!
03 hrs. 37 mins. 22 out of 25


62. Metroid Dread
06 hrs. 07 mins. 12 out of 25
Didn't enjoy this game at all; Loved the older games. when I finished this game, it felt like a hollow and dry shell of its former self :( I'm really bummed i didn't like it. It is what it is :messenger_loudly_crying:
Doki Doki only 3,5 h to beat?
 

IKSTUGA

Member


67. Metroid Dread - NS - 10/10
Finished twice (100% + hard mode). I'm not joking when I say that this game might have the best feeling combat out of all the 1000s of games I've ever played. It's just so smooth and really rewards people who learn the ins and outs of each mechanic. My GOTY for sure.



68. Metroid Fusion - Wii U - 10/10
I played the crap out of this game, when I was younger. Still holds up incredibly well. It's simply amazing how they were able to pull off an atmosphere this unsettling on GBA hardware.



69. Metroid: Zero Mission - Wii U - 9/10
Zero Mission feels a bit barebones compared to other Metroid games, but it's still really really really good.



70. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All -- PS5 - 10/10
Initially I wasn't a big fan of the psych lock mechanic, but now I can't imagine AA without it. Also, that last case was probably the best one so far, such a cool idea. I might actually like this game even more than the first game...
 

jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
Doki Doki only 3,5 h to beat?
Yeah - it's a pretty short game. I think it took me about 4 hours as well.

There is a lot of reading (it's a visual novel after all!), so the game's length will also depend a lot on how fast you can read.
 

tav7623

Member
I am now officially at the halfway mark (Yay!) as I've just finished my 26th game of the year (for Games 1 - 26 check out my original post), Batman: Arkham Asylum Remastered. This game also marks the 7th Platinum Trophy (the others being FF XV which I didn't do a full playthrough of this year, Ghost of Tsushima, Crash Bandicoot 1, Crash Bandicoot 2, Crash Bandicoot 3, & MLB the Show 21) I've obtained this year , but given the rate I'm going I highly doubt I'll hit 52 games (unless I opt to cheese it by playing/beating a whole bunch of short/retro games) before the end of the year, though I'm still gonna try. Also I'm gonna use this post to share/update everyone on the remaining games I manage to beat this year.

27. Marvel's Spider-Man: Remastered - PS5, 20+ hrs, finished the campaign (on normal difficulty) on 10/22/21 and obtained the game's Platinum Trophy
I love the Insomniac Spider-Man game and ended up getting the Platinum Trophy for this game on my PS4 shortly after getting it. Well last year I ended up getting a PS5 and one of the launch games I picked up was the Ultimate Edition of the Spider-Man: Miles Morales game (which I really enjoyed & got game's the Platinum trophy) which came with the PS5 version of this game. Well slowly over the past year I've been replaying the game (I beat & Platinum'd Miles Morales last December and didn't touch the remaster until about February) and once again set out to Platinum the game while I was at it. Overall it's the same awesome game but with a new (& very pretty) coat of paint, some Dual Sense functionality, and all the DLC which is definitely a plus.

28. Tormented Souls - PS5, approx 7 hrs, finished the game on 10/25/21 with approx 80% of the game's trophies (need 4 trophies, 3 are "challenge playthrough" i.e beat the game in X amt of time related, & 1 is death related)
Overall I really enjoyed this game even though it was a bit on the short side (7 hrs to essentially 80% complete the game the first time through) and had some rough puzzles (the worse ones were the door knocking puzzle which required super strict timing & one in the late game that I won't spoil), but it definitely hit that old school survival horror spot complete with a rankings screen at the end.

29. Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water - PS5, approx 20+ hrs, finished the game on Normal difficulty with the Good Ending(s) & approx 40% overall completion (100% requires multiple playthroughs on a higher difficulty) on 11/2/21
I first played this game about 6 years ago when it came out as a Digital Only title for the Wii U coming off playing & beating my first Fatal Frame game (Fatal Frame 2), but by the Sixth Drop (Ch.6) I grew frustrated with the game and hadn't touched it.......until last week when it was re-released on current & last gen systems. I don't know if it was because of how long since I had played this game or not, but this time around a couple of things kinda clicked with me. Still there were times where a couple of things that had frustrated me the first time through (like going back & forth over the same areas and not letting me explore at my leisure) that still frustrated me as well as a couple of new things (since I had finally progressed past the Sixth Drop), namely a sequence near the end of the Ninth Drop which lead to about nearly 2 dozen instances of "Retry previous checkpoint". Despite these frustrations I still enjoyed my time with the game and while not as good as the second game in the series (which was the first & prior to playing the Wii U version of this game only game in the series I had played) I'd say it was a solid C+/B-. At the moment I'm still trying to let it settle and once it does, then I might contemplate going for another playthrough in order to unlock the rest of the endings & costumes.

30. Batman: Arkham City Remastered - PS5 (via PS4 Backwards Compatibility), finished the game on normal difficulty with approx 62% completion on 11/4/21
I love the Batman Arkham games especially Arkham City, I loved the first 2 Arkham games so much that I 100% completed the first game (Asylum) on the Xbox 360, earned the Platinum Trophy for Asylum & City on the PS3, and re-earned the Platinum for the PS4 Remaster of Asylum, I also plan on eventually re-Platinuming this game as well. For now though I'll be happy having replayed & beaten it for the first time since I had earned the game's Platinum trophy on the PS3 a decade ago.

31. Shadow of the Tomb Raider - PS4, finished the game on normal difficulty w/100% in game & 94% trophy completion on 11/8/21
I've been a long time fan of the Tomb Raider games going all the way back to Tomb Raider 2 on the PS1 (which was also the very first PS1 game I bought) and I've especially enjoyed the "Reboot Trilogy" that started in 2013. With that said this game was my least favorite of the trilogy when I first played it on the Xbox One shortly after it originally came out. Since it had been a while (at least 2 years) since I had last played it and it was on sale for like $5 through PSN ($12 total if you include the Definitive Edition upgrade DLC which included all the DLC and was also on sale at the time) I decided to give it another shot. After playing it as far as the story is concerned it's still my least favorite of the trilogy and felt kinda lackluster to me (the South American story was ok and the main antagonist felt like a rehashed/cliched villain) , but some of the new gameplay additions kinda grew on me this time around and stuff that had frustrated me the first time didn't bother me as much as it did during my first playthrough. While this was my least favorite of the "Reboot Trilogy" it was still imo a pretty solid game and I completed enough of this game to where if I got a wild hair up my @$$ an decide to finish the job by earning the Platinum trophy I could do so relatively easy (all I'd need is a couple of combat kills w/endurance , escape/break line of sight a couple more times, and beat the game on the Deadly Obsession difficulty) without having to worry about getting everything.

32. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Switch, finished the game on 11/9/21
When it comes to the Legend of Zelda series I'm a big fan of the 2D games and mildly tolerate some of the 3D games (prior to BotW I'd only beaten 1 3D Zelda game, Ocarina of Time 3D for the 3DS, came close to beating Wind Waker on the GameCube but that f*****g Tri-Force treasure hunt towards the end pissed me off enough to stop playing), but when ever a new 3D Zelda comes out I at least give it a try to see if maybe just maybe it'll either finally click with me or that they've done/changed something gameplay wise to finally pull me in. Well when this game first came out for the Wii U I ended up picking it up and absolutely loved it. Outside of the breakable weapons this was the 3D Zelda game I was waiting for and I hope every future 3D Zelda is like/similar enough to this one from a gameplay perspective (minus the breakable weapons) from here on out. I loved this game so much that last year when I finally bought a Nintendo Switch this game was one of the very first ones I picked up and over the past year & a half have been slowly playing through the game, just trying to make it last long enough so that it'd be fresh in my head for when Breath of the Wild 2 comes out. Well with it due to come out next year and me finally picking up the Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity spin-off/semi-prequel game I decided the time was finally right to stop dicking around with the Ballad of the Champions DLC and to once again put an Light arrow into the Dark Beast Calamity Ganon's head.

33. Super Mario 3D World: Bowser's Fury DLC - Switch, finished the story on 11/9/21
Since I've been in "clean up" mode (i.e. going back to games that I'd almost finished and finishing them up) lately I figured I'd pop in Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury in order to wrap up the Bowser's Fury DLC (I still got a ways to go on 3D World since I'm on World 5 and kinda trying to 100% complete it) which I was about 3/4 of the way through the bare minimum needed to beat it. All in all I enjoyed the plot (what little there was) & music (I loved the rock music they used for the Bowser fights) of this self contained DLC (which is why it's getting counted as it's own game) and as far as 3D Mario's go it's no Odyssey, but it was still a fun game to play and one that I plan to eventually 100% complete.

34. Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti (via Namco Museum Vol.1) - Switch, finished the game on 11/10/21
When it comes to the Splatterhouse series I've only played & beaten one game in the series, the 2010 remake (which I really enjoyed), andhave been interested in eventually playing the classic/older games in the series since they, with the lone exception of the weird (and previously Japan only) Wanpaku Graffiti game, being unlockable with in the 2010 remake. Well earlier this year I happened to find out that the game (along with childhood favorites Dragon Spirit, Pac-Man, Dig Dug, and Galaxian) were included in the M2's Namco Museum vol.1 for the Switch, which at the time was on sale for $5 via the eShop. So I snapped it up and would occasionally pop into this game and progress little by little since I was able to create save states for it (it also had a rewind feature but I tried to limit how much I used it) which allowed me to essentially pop in & out of the game when I felt like it, since I'm still in clean up mode I figured now would be a good time to finish up the last couple of levels I had left to beat. All in all it's kinda hard for me to peg down as far as NES games go, it's a weird, but interesting take on the series (the first boss fight litterally begins with it coming up out of a crypt and doing a take on the Thriller dance complete with dancing zombie like enemies before starting the fight proper), it can be challenging (though not throw your controller through the wall kind of challenging) at times (there were at least 3 - 4 times where I went through all of my continues and had to start all over), and it had a mix of old & later mechanics found in NES games (SMB style scrolling meaning no back tracking, limited use shotguns which was also the only additional weapon/power up you get in the game, a leveling/health system, some levels had traps that set you back, alternate endings, and some flashy animation/effects) so I'd say if you find that appealing/interesting, are a fan of the series, or looking for something of an oddity NES game then you might find this game interesting.

35. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart - PS5, finished the game on normal difficulty with 100% completion & Platinum Trophy on 11/13/21
When it comes to the Ratchet & Clank series I haven't really played too many of them despite loving 2D & 3D platformers as evident by the fact that this is not only the second game in the series I've played it's also the second one I've beaten this year. All in all I really enjoyed my time with the game, more so than the first R & C game I played (the 2016 remake) earlier this year and I enjoyed it enough to go for the game's Platinum trophy (my ninth one of the year) during my first time through of the game.

36. Disney Aladdin S(aka the Sega Genesis) Version (via Disney Classic Games Collection) - Switch, beat the game on normal difficulty in 1 hr & 30 mins on 11/14/21
I have a long history with this (aka the superior Sega Genesis/Mega Drive) version of the game (and disney video games in general) and I've beaten this game so many times as a child (the last time I beat/played it from start to finish was about 25 years ago) it's not funny (as evident by my short play time, which I did "ode natural" aka no rewinds, no save states, etc. which were available in this version) so right around the time I got my Nintendo Switch I found out that they had (just the year prior) come out with the Disney Classic Games collection which featured this game (and a couple of different versions...not the inferior SNES version :p..., a new harder "Final Cut" version, a museum complete with making of videos,etc.) along with a couple different versions of The Lion King (I'm more familiar with the Game Gear version which was surprisingly absent from this collection) so I had to pick it up. Well shortly after getting it I played through the previously never before played (outside of the year it appeared at the show) CES demo for the game before getting sidetracked by other games. Well with my 6yr old nephew coming across the game, getting decimated by it (and subsequently stopped playing it cause it was so hard for him) it prompted me to pick up the joy-cons and start a new game (I made it all the way to The Sultan's Palace aka the next to last level without using a single continue and nearly accrued a 100,000 pts), all in all it's exactly as I remember it though with slightly sluggish/off controls (don't know if it was input lag, the joy-cons or not, but it did lead to a couple of deaths) so I was able to breeze through it.

37. Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time - PS4/PS5, beat the game on normal difficulty with approx 74% completion on 11/15/21
I'm a big fan of the Crash games (namely the PS1 trilogy & the recent remasters) so when they came out with this game last year (which I got as a Christmas present a few months later) I was not only thrilled but also dead set on trying to 100% complete the game as I went along. That ended up being quite a big task as a year later I was 45+ hrs in to the game with 10 stages, 2 boss fights, 130 gems, 38 platinum time trial relics, 7 flashback medals, & 13 N.Sanely Perfect medals left to finish/collect. Well since I was that close (10 stages & 2 boss fights) to beating the game and with each level getting more & more difficult to try to 100% complete as I went I figured it was time to give up the ghost an finish the game. All in all I really enjoyed my time with Crash 4 (loved the new version of Tawna and I think that she deserves her own game) and to me it felt like a genuine progression of the series. Now I do plan on (eventually) 100% completing this (some day) and get the Platinum (which would go nicely with the Platinum trophies I earned earlier this year for the N.Sane Trilogy), but for now I'm just happy to have finally beaten the game as well as managing to get as far as I did completion wise.

38. Super Mario 64 (via Mario 3D All Stars Collection) - Switch, beat the game on 11/17/21
The game has long been on my Backlog Wall of Shame, I've played it many times (the first time being about 23-24 years ago at my cousin's house) but never beaten it from start to finish. That changed today as I've finally beaten the classic Super Mario 64 for the very first time, outside of having an issue with the camera system (which hey it's one of the most innovative 3D platformers and it everyone was still figuring 3D so yeah there's gonna be issues every now & then) I really enjoyed playing this game and will now be adding it to my long list of games I want to try an 100% complete.

39. Mario Golf: Super Rush - Switch, beat Golf Adventure (aka Story) mode on 11/21/21
Last week was my b-day (I'm now 38 years young :p) and was given this game as a b-day present from my aunt. Now when it comes to Golf I'm not a big fan of watching or playing the sport but I do occasionally like a good Golf video game (Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 was the last one I played regularly) as I find it to be a nice change of pace from the games I usually play and this one while not amazing is imo pretty solid. The game's story mode (Golf Adventure) was pretty basic and nothing special to write home about as I was able to beat it in about 8 hrs or so, but as far as gameplay goes I really enjoyed it. Now that I've beaten the game's "story" mode I plan on eventually taking on the game's Challenge mode and try to level up a few of the 18 or so playable characters (Mario, Luigi, Pauline, Bowser, and maybe Boo) as well as try out some of the newer courses (like New Donk CIty) that have been added since the game's launch (story mode only had you playing through the 6 base courses that were available at launch) via free updates.

40. Disney’s Aladdin N (aka the SNES edition) Version (via paid dlc for the Disney Classic Games Collection) - Switch, beat the game in about 2 hrs on 11/23/21

Growing up I was a Genesis kid (my family could only afford one game console and the Genesis was it) so I never really got to play many SNES games (mainly just Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Mortal Kombat 2, and a demo for DKC) growing up. The past several years I’ve slowly been rectifying that and one of the games that I’ve heard hyped up a lot was the SNES version of Aladdin (many of those same people say it’s superior to the Genesis game), as some one who grew up loving the Genesis version of the game (which I beat earlier this year for the umpteenth time) and upon learning that it would be added via paid dlc to the Disney Classic Games Collection I decided it was finally time to see if it lived up to the hype while trying to be as unbiased as possible. All in all after playing the game I feel it was a bit overhyped by those who have strong nostalgia for it (like me with the Genesis version), in some areas (following the story of the movie more closely, cutscenes, the better bonus game, the inclusion of the carpet ride w/Jasmine as a bonus level, and ending) it was definitely better than the Genesis version, but in other areas (the levels, combat, character animation, music and bosses) it imo wasn’t better than the Genesis version.
 
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63. Xuan-Yuan Sword VII
12 hrs. 44 mins. 22 out of 25


64. Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars
16 hrs. 41 mins. 20 out of 25

 
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