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52 Games. 1 Year. 2022.

36. Stray

4:29h. Like 60% of the memories recovered. Most sidequests complete.

I might get some flak for this as this is one of the current darlings of the Internet, but I think Stray is a bit of a half-baked game. The graphics are beautiful (It seriously looks like it has raytracing at times). The sound design is top-notch, and the cat is one of the most realisticly designed animals I've seen in a game. The cyberpunk city reminds me a lot of the Midgar slums in FFVII remake, which is a good thing to be reminded of. The gameplay is... functional. As Stray is a contemplative game (A bit of a walking simulator at times) the controls are meant for slow-paced movement, which makes it sometimes hard to control in the few situations when you have to run for your life. I loved the interactions between Cat and the robots, mostly because every robot seemed to have a very distinct, very noticeable personality.

But after completing the game and reflecting on it, it's pretty clear the pull of the game is the cat. This game would be the exact same with a small bipedal robot, a sloth on a jetpack or a sufficiently athletic gnome, and I feel it wouldn't have gotten such glowing reviews. The animations for every non-feline character are clunky and "cheap", the jumping is absolutely automatic, there's literally no challenge bar for a short stretch at the beginning of the game when you're still getting used to the controls - after that, the little potato headcrabs are more of an annoyance than anything, and the stealth sections can be simply rushed through. And when things are just getting interesting, the game ends. Just like that. Not with a bang, but with a whisper and a sad trombone.

Stray is not a bad game by any means. It's just... a game, with its ups and downs. Given the critical acclaim I would be surprised if it didn't get a big-budget sequel, hope it can fix its issues by then.

SteamDeck: Works well with High settings, the initial area has fps drops but after that you can safely lock it to 40fps.

My Score: ★★★

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37. The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero

64:24h. Tried to do all sidequests - Rank 1 Detective achieved.

I'm great at purchasing games in weird obscure stores and then having them released in Steam against all odds. I got TfZ years ago on DLsite (Warning: store is like 20% normal games and 80% porn) and applied the excellent Geofront patch. Then I did the same with Trails from Azure and some Chinese store I forget the name of. I forgot about both games and now they're getting released on Steam, so OF COURSE I had to beat them before that happened or I would surely rebuy them because that's the way I am.

But I digress. The Crossbell saga is greatly beloved by all Kiseki fans. And no wonder - it's a new, shiny locale, very well made and excited compared to dull, JRPG-Kingdom-y Liberl. The new cast is great and has tons of chemistry, but you get the sense that the real protagonist of the game is Crossbell itself and everyone else is mostly there to help the stories of the city move in the right direction. In Trails in the Sky the story revolved around its characters, particularly Estelle (But more particularly Joshua) - here, you don't get a sense of character development until late in the game, as Crossbell itself is in the limelight for most of the early and mid-game.

This is really not bad, because Crossbell is the "heart" of the Kiseki universe, at least Zemuria, and becomes crucially important in later games. But it does making for a somewhat boring second act, and the game's pacing improves considerably once KeA appears and the story becomes a much more standard Kiseki fare, with a plot twist so obvious that even the chest chatter makes fun of it. (Sidenote: the chest chatter is much more pointed and meta this time, thanks to the fan translation).

I feel Trails from Zero is mostly the introduction to a bigger arc that will be resolved in Trails to Azure. And even with its faults, it's an absolutely marvelous game that can't be skipped if you are a Kiseki fan. If I were to rank it, I'd say it's not as good as TiTS2, as it lacks character development for that, but it's comparable to TiTS1.

My Score: ★★★

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Game 91 - Super Mario 3D World - Switch - 100% Complete co-op - 95/100
This is a fantastic game in every way. The levels are creative, the gameplay is tight and a ton of fun. I only played this in small snippets when it released on the WiiU but we spent more time tossing each other off cliffs than trying to complete the game. Years later my brother and I sat down and made a point to finish the game. I wasn't planning on it but we ended up getting every single star in the game and outside a few levels where having multiple players on-screen actually makes things harder the entire experience was a blast. I really hope the next Mario game has co-op again. As much as I love Super Mario Odyssey, I never felt the competitive drive to 100% the game though I am pondering it after playing through this. If you haven't played this yet and you enjoy platformers, just play it.

Game 92 - Batman: Arkham Origins - PC - 100% Complete - 65/100
I played this right on the heels of Arkham Knight, so going from one of the best looking 2015 games (or really one of the best looking games ever) to this was a shock. This almost felt like it was in another universe than the Rocksteady games. The world had far less character in it than the Rocksteady games, the enemies didn't quite fit in with the Rocksteady version of the characters and the section of Gotham City used in the game doesn't line up quite right. While it was interesting seeing the Origin stories for many characters even they often didn't quite jive with the unlockable audio tapes found in Asylum and City. Boss fights ranged from basically nothing to QTE-ridden add-fests with only a couple memorable fights. Traversal gameplay was also not quite there with a strange flight ceiling forcing you to work your way around the Gotham Power building and frankly the grapple hook was even sketchier than the one in Arkham Knight, randomly firing at ledges in a different time zone than the one I was aimed at. Perhaps the biggest offender in this game is the motion jpeg-tier cutscenes all over the game that were clearly made for the console versions running at 720p/30fps with pretty awful CG models. It was kind of hilarious watching those and being put back into a 1440p/144Hz max setting modded PC game that looked infinitely better. Easily the worst of the Arkham games for me.

Game 93 - Final Fantasy V Advance - Game Boy Advance - Complete playthrough, Brave Blade run - 90/100
I'd never played Final Fantasy V before. I got my start with JRPGs with the release of Final Fantasy III (VI) on the SNES and actually only rented it on a whim before completely losing myself in it. I later played Final Fantasy II (IV) on the SNES and later Final Fantasy III on the DS but never really went back to the well. Like each game in the series before it, Final Fantasy V felt like it was entirely new, but at the same time carried the spirit of the previous titles. Just like the previous games the adventure is grand, full of a small cast of memorable characters who become more fulfilled with each entry in the series. This game features two worlds in separate dimensions that come together as one which combines the games two maps into a single map of overlaid worlds. The villain is a wacky character, a sentient tree who can shape-shift into any wooden object even as small as a sliver and enjoys beating up on tortoises. Like previous installments this game featured crystals that protect the earth and a lost-civilization storyline where technology from the past is needed to overcome the dark magic rearing it's head in the present. The game prominently featured an improved version of the job system previously seen in Final Fantasy III. There are a ton of new unique jobs to learn and experiment with making this a very replay-able game for what it is. In the end I think I preferred IV. While the job system was interesting it was perhaps a bit too much as a single playthrough wouldn't allow full use of all the jobs and I found I liked the characters more in IV. Still easily one of the best JRPGs of it's day and still worth playing today.

Game 94 - Batman: Arkham Asylum - PC - 100% Complete - 80/100
This is the best of the Arkham games overall. The game only features the small island the Arkham Asylum is located on and covers just the facilities themselves. This game was a treasure trove of cool hidden shit , origin stories and characters all given a fresh coat of paint by Rocksteady's artists. Beyond that great voice actors were used from the animated series like Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill to reprise their roles as Batman and the Joker. The game plays more like a Metroidvania than later games in the series with hidden paths unlocked by acquiring new gear. By the end of the game you find yourself able to access almost any area in the game from just about any other area with a few exceptions. The fluid combat system developed for this game was and still is very fun to use, not only being near seamless in action but also rewarding proper timing to dissuade button mashing. The boss fights were pretty decent and fun as well. For me the highlights were the supervillains like Scarecrow who poisons you and bring you into a world inside your mind, Killer Croc who you must avoid while sneaking around his lair under Arkham Asylum and Poison Ivy which played like a classic action game boss. Absolutely worth playing and it holds up incredibly well.

Game 95 - Final Fantasy VI Advance - Game Boy Advance - Complete playthrough - 95/100
This is a game I've avoided playing again for 20 years. I have always considered it my favorite game of all time. I first played this in the 90's on the SNES. It was really my first jaunt in JRPGs and it's the standard I've held other JRPGs up to since. My brothers and I rented it multiple times before finally putting down the cash and buying it. I played through the game multiple times on the SNES but never played it again after that. I remembered every music track from it's fantastic soundtrack, I remembered every character in it's massive roster and I remembered every twist and turn in the story. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire 76 hours I put into this playthrough, more than I even expected to. In contrast to previous entries in the series, the game features a massive list of characters all with their own abilities. It's like the job system, but each job has a character and story attached to it. The character abilities are all fun to use and experiment with even within the confines of a single playthrough. The game's world is full of interesting locales from haunted woods with a ghost train passing through it to a massive steampunk Imperial city piecing the clouds to a transforming castle that can submerge beneath the desert and travel under a mountain range. The story in the game is the first in the series to abandon the crystals and instead focuses on magic and follows a large group of people as they become acquainted with the power it holds. The story in the game is fantastic, full of many twists and turns and possibly one of the saddest moments in a video game. To back this the game's score is easily one of the best ever composed for a game which sounds great even given the limitations of hardware when it was released. The game's ending is one massive musical number showcasing each character in the game and wrapping up the adventure in a way that gives closure but will always have you wondering what came next. After a couple decades I still consider this my favorite game ever made. You might be wondering how my favorite game has a 95 when I've rated other games 100, right? The Game Boy Advance version of the game is not as good as the original. The music is often a bit butchered as the GBA sound chip was a bit on the shitty side and the music in the game was a massive part of what made it as great as it was. This version adds flourishes that don't fit and is missing any sort of bombastic punch the original featured. This version also featured censored content and added post-game shit which was almost entirely worthless. If you play this game, play the original game.

Game 96 - Batman: Arkham City - PC - 100% Complete - 80/100
I played this game on the Xbox 360 back when it first released and I didn't remember a lot of the game as I likely played it after long shifts where I should have been going straight to bed. After playing through it again I feel I enjoyed it more than I did originally. The prison city is fascinating with plenty of hidden backstory items, characters and this game featured a lot more style than the original Arkham Asylum did. The idea of having a section of old Gotham made into a prison gave the developers a way to shoehorn as many villains into the game as possible without it feeling off. The gameplay was a great evolution of the first game's fluid combat and traversal was made simple with the ability to grapple and glide around the city. The Riddler puzzles were plenty and fun to find and figure out. Most importantly the Rocksteady versions of all the characters were more fleshed out in this game with more personality. The story was great, full of twists and a big surprise at the end that really had me flipping the first time. While I prefer Arkham Asylum overall for it's map design and just how memorable it all was, this game was a lot of fun to play through again. Definitely worth playing through.

Game 97 - Power Wash Simulator - PC - 100% Complete - 60/100
I went into this game expecting a time waster and initially was disappointed that it was a "simulator" and not an actual simulator. One of my dreams in life is to eventually operate an automotive detailing service. I love cleaning things so when this game was basically erasing dirt textures I was more than a little let down. Still a great time waster though with a weird story going on in the background involving a growing threat from a volcano and a bunch of crazy shit. I put way too many hours into this game that I could have used for something more productive like watching paint dry or grass grow. Give it a shot but don't play until 3AM like I did.

Game 97 1/2 - Cooking Simulator - PC
This seems like a more serious simulator game than Power Wash Simulator, but the first thing I did was pour water in a bowl, dump some tomatoes and a whole fish in it, ram a blender in the bowl, microwave it then serve it as tomato soup. It worked. Then I literally blew up the entire kitchen. I don't think I need to play this any more than that.

Game 98 - Xenoblade Chronicles 3 - Switch - Complete playthrough including post game (I think I've found and completed all side-quests, but it's a big game so I'm sure I missed something) - 95/100
This is one of my longer reviews but the game deserves one. After the PS1 came and went with a ton of fantastic releases I kind of fell out of JRPGs. The new Final Fantasy games didn't seem appealing to me (after playing X and X-2 recently, I feel I made the right choice not playing them) and as time went on, I moved into other genres but always remembered the genre fondly, Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger are still my two favorite games ever released in fact. When the Wii came about my brother and I were both hyped by the trailers for a new RPG from MonolithSoft. After it released he played through Xenoblade Chronicles long before me and he'd mention the game and recommended I play it. This went on for some time but I was stuck in a phase where I played hyped-up shitty games over actual masterpieces for some reason. I missed Xenoblade Chronicles in 2010 but lucky for me I came to my senses and gave it a go on the WiiU. The world, which was contained to the bodies of two long-dead gods was enormous, the scale still unmatched to this day. The variety within the world simply incredible, especially for a Wii game. The story was a series of twists that floored me and included some very memorable characters and a surprisingly great English localization which gave flavor to the already good characters. Then there was the music... it was sublime. XCX came next with a very different feel, several things tying it to XC1 but in the end being a mental roller-coaster which again featured a massive crazy world, this time called Mira, with ties back to Baten Kaitos. When XC2 released once again I had a massive world to explore, a world of clouds with massive creatures (yet still tiny compared to the Bionis and Mechonis) making their way around a massive tree in the center. Eventually you discover the world is not what you thought in another series of twists. This game was full of memorable characters and almost felt like an anime with how over the top goofy scenes could be. In the end it became one of my favorite games that I will certainly play again in the future.

That brings us to XC3. Once again although obviously tied to XC1 and XC2, the box art alone leaves no question, the game takes a much more serious tone similar the XC1. The worlds in XC1 and XC2 have been united and the result is a world of nothing but fighting and death. Two military nations who make up the entirety of the populace, Keves and Agnus, are locked in a perpetual battle that has lasted thousands of years, perhaps hundreds of thousands of years. People are born in capsules and are pumped out as fighters, live just ten years, then are returned to their queen should they survive that long. People that die in battle have their life force used to keep the opposing faction alive using a device known as a flame clock which absorbs their essence. The game has a ton of incredibly sad moments throughout that deal with loss, death, dwelling on the past and the fear many have of what the future might entail. The world is once again a wonderful place to explore and discover as you bring the people in it together for a common purpose. If you've already played XC1 and XC2 (you should first) you'll recognize most of the world and appreciate it more. The gameplay is a mix of previous titles just like the world, the battle system is active and fun with a ton of customization open for the characters. The Hero system is fantastic and expands the cast into the dozens, all with full character development through the many side-quests. Gone is the Core-crystal system used in XC2. Despite dozens of hours of farming, I never managed to complete my blade collection, something that actually bugs me. The music is not as memorable as XC1 or XC2 but is still top-tier, full of calm melodies, punchy battle themes and bombastic tracks all appropriate to the settings. Like previous games the story remains a mystery until it's shoved right in your face, knocking you on your ass. The English localization once again was fantastic, while it's not the same as the Japanese voice acting, I feel I actually prefer the flavor it adds over the Japanese voice work. In the end I did every side quest I could find and as I got to the end of the game I felt sad that it was almost over. Once finished I was treated to perhaps the absolute saddest happy ending I can remember seeing, pretty strong stuff. I can't wait for MonolithSoft's next game, in the meantime I look forward to the expansions for this game to release over the next year.

Game 99 - Fire Emblem - Game Boy Advance - WIP
I've only played Fire Emblem Awakening and the mobile game Fire Emblem Heroes in this series. I really enjoyed Awakening, I play the mobile game almost daily and so far I'm enjoying this entry just as much. The battle animations are awesome despite the simple character sprites.

Game 100 - Inside - PC - Complete playthrough - 40/100
Phil Spencer said this was his favorite game a few years ago. He's so full of shit, there's barely a game here. This game consists mostly of holding the stick to the right and watching pretty uninteresting shit happen while doing so. There is absolutely no music, just ambient tones. The visuals look almost decent at times when the light is just right, but then you notice everything is basically a featureless blob when it's lit up. The few puzzles that exist in this game are not exactly made for the thinking man, most have single steps while the most complicated has you do a few things to proceed. The game played floaty and slow yet the devs felt confident to put a couple platforming areas in the game which were not great. There were a few fun bits thrown in there like becoming a human orgy monster at the end of the game and smashing through walls but for the most part this was an extremely linear, short and dull experience. If you're looking for something to kill a couple hours on Gamepass by all means give it a go but if you're going to play a game like this do yourself a favor and play something like Flashback, Out of This World, Abe, Blackthorne, etc. They were better games.
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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 31 - Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin - PC / Epic Games Store - Completed Aug 17th, 2022
Well, after putting in about 90 hours on this game I finally finished it. This game was definitely a wild ride - full of fun Final Fantasy references, music, and good combat. The story was honestly a bit shit, and silly, but that could be said of a lot of Final Fantasy games that this is trying to mimic. The game ran really well on my PC, and stayed at a pretty steady 60fps the majority of the time. Occasional lag spikes, especially when doing finishing moves on monsters, but these got progressively better with updates. The class system was the standout here - so many fun combinations of move sets and whatnot. Overall, a solid B action adventure game.
38. Final Fantasy IV Pixel Remaster

16:08h, with all side activities (Sylvan Cave, Bahamut cave, etc.) complete

The first one of the Big Three of classic Final Fantasy, it can be said the FFIV is the most influential of them all bar FFVII. If FFVII codified the JRPGs of the 5th generation of consoles, FFIV did the same with the 4th; while the gameplay remains much the same than in FFIII (Save for not having character classes and removing Vancian magic once and for all) where FFIV made a real difference was in character development. While now it may seem lacking, FFIV character development was absolutely revolutionary for the era and many characters (Cecil, Kain, Golbez, Rubricante...) are fondly remembered as "trope codifiers" for the whole genre.

Storywise, FFIV is the closest to regular Final Fantasy fare yet. We got a brainwashed rival, a brainwashed family member bad guy, an all-encompassing evil that only presents itself near the end, a couple unexpected plot twists, a couple expected plot twists... all in all very comfort food-like. The only gripe I had is that FFIV is surprisingly short. It's not a hard game at all, and the final boss is a gigantic difficulty spike (to the point that of my 16:08 playtime around 1:30h were just me grinding in the room before the boss) so as long as you know where to go, you can finish the game in three/four long sessions easily.

My Score: ★★★

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39. Yakuza 5 Remastered

63:34h. All Sidestories and all 78 Substories complete.

This game has been my own white whale for some years now. I've purchased it three times already (PS3, PS4 and PC) and I've only finally completed it now. And really, it's a necessary game in the series. I've said before that the jump from Yakuza usual craziness to Yakuza 6's darker, almost melancholic tone, is jarring, but Yakuza 5 was the piece that I was lacking in this puzzle. From the beginning, Yakuza 5 is much more subdued than the games that came before. The beginning is slow, almost sad. Of course this is done on purpose, to highlight how much Kiryu has sacrificed to give Haruka the life she deserves, but it makes for a hard sell because it just doesn't grip you from the get go. Once you're in, however, you're in for good. And this is probably the longest game in the series, on par with Yakuza 0 and slightly shorter than Like a Dragon, which is a pure JRPG...

About the game itself? It's Yakuza. Haruka's unique dance mechanic is not as out of place as I initially thought it would be, and Shinada's chapter, which I thought I would hate, was actually one of the most engaging parts of the plot by virtue of being basically disconnected of the main story. It felt like a mini-Judgment, on a way. Though I would have liked Kineicho (and Tsukimino, by the way) to be a bit more interesting: the other locations in the game (Kamuro, Osaka and even Nagasugai, which isn't GREAT, but it's ok) are much more engaging.

I've talked about this game like 20 times in the last 10 years. It's fun, the story is cheesy but engaging... at this point, Yakuza is a game for Yakuza fans, really. And I consider myself one.

SteamDeck: FMV cutscenes don't work well, the audio desyncs and eventually crashes if you don't skip them. However, the game itself is perfectly playable in max settings 60fps.

My Score: ★★★★★

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40. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

About 8h. Sith Warrior difficulty.

I'm not even sure why I purchased this game. I think I just wanted to flail a lightsword around for a bit, and I've already played The Fallen Order, so I wanted something new. And well, this isn't exactly new - in fact, it's 2008 as fuck. But has it stood the test of time? Is it as good now as it was back then?

No, not really. The graphics are pretty outdated and you need to apply an unofficial patch to unlock the framerate (And higher resolutions? Can't remember). The controls are clunky as hell, of the "controller smashing" variety, the camera is capricious, the difficulty is all over the place, and sometimes you even need a guide (Even though it's a linear brawler) because it's not completely clear where you have to go or what you have to do. Technologically, it's a very forgetable game.

But is it fun? Well, let me just say this: it's really cathartic. Starkiller is the most ridiculously OP force user in all of Star Wars Legends. He throws starships around and pulls Star Destroyers out of the air like it was nothing. He's a super-2000s archetype, with his shaved head, his furrowed brow and his Chosen One schtick. But even though the game itself is not fun fun, playing as Starkiller is fun, even if only ironically. Make of that what you will.

SteamDeck: Even though it's listed as "not compatible", the game is perfectly fine on SteamDeck. Applying the 60fps patch is a pain though (But doable)

My Score: ★★★

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Game 41 - Stray (PS5) - 07h 25m
Beat 19/08/2022 - my score: ★★★☆☆
Finally received PS5 from service after almost 3 months of waiting and decided to try Stray. To be honest I was little disappointing. Expected better game.

Game 42 - Chicken Police (PS4) - 10h 02m
Beat 25/08/2022 - my score: ★★★
Yes this is it! Fantastic game. Noir climate, adventure or VN adventure game and detectives as main heroes. Even platinumed it.

Game 43 - Avicii Invector (PS4) - 03h 46m
Beat 27/08/2022 - my score: ★★★
One word. Hard. Damn, this is one of the hardest rhythm games I ever played. One of the best, too. Soundtrack is amazing.
Main Post

Piss poor job of updating my games played this year. Here is everything since my first update...52!

10. New Super Luigi U Deluxe (Switch) - 8/10
11. Super Metroid (SNES) - 9/10
12. Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX (PS5) - 5/10
13. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (PS4) - 7/10
14. Super Mario All Stars: Super Mario Bros. 3 (SNES) - 10/10
15. Wolfenstein II: The Freedom Chronicles (PS4) - 5/10
16. Sonic Generations (Xbox 360) - 7/10
17. Elden Ring (PS5) - 10/10
18. Super Mario 64 (Switch) - 8/10
19. The Last of Us: Remastered (PS4) - 9/10
20. The Last of Us: Left Behind (PS4) - 8/10
21. Alan Wake's American Nightmare (Xbox 360) - 6/10
22. Thomas Was Alone (PSTV) - 8/10
23. Medal of Honor: Heroes (PSTV) - 7/10
24. Ratchet & Clank (PS3) - 7/10
25. Return to Arkham Asylum (PS4) - 8/10
26. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II (Xbox 360) - 6/10
27. Picross e (3DS) - 8/10
28. Halo 3: ODST (Xbox Series X) - 7/10
29. Ninja Gaiden (NES) - 8/10
30. Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones (NES) - 7/10
31. A Hat in Time (Switch) - 7/10
32. Minit (Switch) - 8/10
33. Streets of Rage (Genesis) - 8/10
34. Final Fantasy VII (PS4) - 10/10
35. Ikai (PS4) - 6/10
36. Spirit of the North (PS5) - 8/10
37. Doki Doki Literature Club (Switch) - 8/10
38. Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy (Switch) - 8/10
39. Papo & Yo (PS3) - 7/10
40. Call of Juarez (PS3) - 7/10
41. Wonder Boy (PS4) - 6/10
42. Wonder Boy in Monster Land (PS4) - 5/10
43. Wonder Boy in Monster World (PS4) - 7/10
44. Monster World IV (PS4) - 7/10
45. Medal of Honor: Warfighter (PS3) - 7/10
46. Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara (PS3) - 6/10
47. Toree 3D (Steam Deck) - 7/10
48. Alien Rage (PS3) - 5/10
49. The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest (Wii) - 7/10 -
Way better than I thought it was going to be. Budget but still fun and made me miss LoTR.
50. Little Nemo: The Dream Master (NES) - 8/10
51. The Adventures of Chris (Steam Deck) - 8/10
52. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (NES) - 3/10 -
A game I hated when I rented it as a kid but wanted to beat it as an adult. I regret that and I regret making it #52. Maybe the most tedious/awful final boss I have ever played.
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Game No.45 - 真 流行り神 1
Playtime: 11 hrs. 23 mins.
My Rating: 24 out or 25
Completed: Finished Single Player
Version: Nintendo Switch

Game No.46 - 真 流行り神 2
Playtime: 08 hrs. 15 mins.
My Rating: 24 out or 25
Completed: Finished Single Player
Version: Nintendo Switch

Game No.47 - 真 流行り神 3
Playtime: 7 hrs. 56 mins.
My Rating: 22 out or 25
Completed: Finished Single Player
Version: Nintendo Switch

Game No.48 - Thymesia
Playtime: 7 hrs. 42 mins.
My Rating: 18 out or 25
Completed: Finished Single Player
Version: PlayStation5

Game No.49 - SIFU
Playtime: 03 hrs. 05 mins.
My Rating: 20 out or 25
Completed: Finished Single Player
Version: PlayStation5

Game No.50 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection
Playtime: 04 hrs. 25 mins.
My Rating: 22 out or 25
Completed: Finished Single Player
Version: Nintendo Switch

Playtime: 08 hrs. 02 mins.
My Rating: 16 out or 25
Completed: Finished Single Player
Version: PlayStation5

Game No.52 - Joe Dever's Lone Wolf
Playtime: 08 hrs. 45 mins.
My Rating: 16 out or 25
Completed: Finished Single Player
Version: Nintendo Switch

Playtime: 04 hrs. 42 mins.
My Rating: 20 out or 25
Completed: Finished Single Player
Version: Nintendo Switch

Finished this years challenge; very difficult year for me mentally. Trying my best to be fine; one day at a time. I Hope all you lads are well, Cheers :messenger_beaming:


What time is it?
Tinykin is my 52nd completed game this year and wraps up the challenge. It's a neat game but has very little challenge.
41. Psychonauts 2

20h-ish, again not a completionist run (Rank 61)

Psychonauts 2 is a masterclass on how to do a sequel. It improves everything it already did right, while fixing most of the things it did wrong. The story, which (while fun) was pretty basic in Psychonauts, is now a pretty complex political plot, with a ton of memorable characters involved, which very cleverly ties up with the plot of the first game. The production values are great, particularly the music, which rules (though I wish I could get the "Grulovia, Grulovia" song out of my head) and the quality of the levels, including the hub (which was a pain to traverse in Psychonauts and now it's a great level by itself) has generally improved a lot. You still have moments where it's hard to know where to go, but not as much as before and the experience is generally much less frustrating.

This doesn't mean that Psychonauts 2 doesn't have issues. The most glaring one I find is that the game takes a lot less risks. While the first game was dark and discussed themes that aren't generally seen in gaming (Like parental abuse, mental disorders, bullying, etc.) Psychonauts 2 goes for a larger-than-life political intrigue, which, while effective, is much more "safe" and less prone to being cancelled by the twitter horde. In that vein, while the adult characters are all great, the Planeteers interns are absolutely forgettable compared to the campers from the first game. Besides being designed by comitee as fuck, they are only relevant for 30 minutes at the beginning and 30 minutes at the end. And the "Big Damn Heroes" moment at the end would have been much, much, much more effective if the ones rescuing you from Maligula were the Psychic Six, who love her and (in the case of Ford) care for Raz instead of those guys whose only contribution to the game was being annoying.

Given the rave reviews, a Psychonauts 3 is probably inevitable. I would love for it to be again more risky and "dark", like the first entry, but that's not going to happen given, well, 2022. But as long as it's as high-quality as Psychonauts 2 I won't miss it for the world.

SteamDeck: With some compromises, the game can be run at 60fps. You can safely run it at 40fps in High settings by lowering the resolution scale. It will look blurry but still amazing.

My Score: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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42. Spider-man Remastered

29:48h. 92% complete, Amazing difficulty.

This review, but with better graphics.

SteamDeck: It's almost impossible to hit 60fps without it looking like a blurry mess. However, you can hit 30fps and have it look better than the original PS4 version. With med settings and FSR 40/45fps are feasible. What an incredible little machine.

My Score: ★★★★★

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43. Two Point Campus

59:12h. Three stars in all Campus (Campuses? Campii?)

This is a weird one. I remember enjoying the game thoroughly while I was playing it, but after I'm finished I realized that I don't have much to say about it. Is it good? Yes. Is it worth your time? Absolutely. It's a fun builder, with great humor, a flawless gameplay loop, and lots of stuff to do and discover; it manages to keep itself fresh from beginning to end by introducing new mechanics in almost every level, so it keeps you on your toes - and then the last level is a "final exam" type where you more or less can choose what mechanics you want to use to accomplish the tasks presented to you. In my opinion, this is great game design.

The thing is... TPC is very aseptic. Just like it happened to me with Psychonauts 2, I feel it's not taking risks. Everything, from the NPC design to the radio chatter, feels very "clean and shiny". It's not a bad thing per se. It's just that I feel TPC looks like a game someone would play in a sitcom or in a photo from a catalogue. Which is fine, really. It doesn't make it any worse. It just lacks that spark of joy. But it's still an impeccable game, both technologically and gameplay-wise. Maybe I'm just getting old. I'm going to call this sort of flawless, flavourless aesthetic "Ikea Gaming" from now on.

SteamDeck: Works surprisingly well! The game has controller-specific controls which take some time to get used to, but once you do the game handles really well. With Medium details the FPS suffers when your campus gets large, but it never gets unplayable.

My Score: ★★★★

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44. House Flipper

26:54h. Finished all jobs, "flipped" like half of the available houses.

Another one of the "games about work" current fad, House Flipper is strangely addictive (like most of these). In some aspects it feels quite limited, something that I'm sure would be fixed with the liberal application of paid DLC, something which I refuse to do for this sort of game. Still, even with its limitedness, House Flipper scratches a very specific itch (Particularly for people in the spectrum or with OCD). There's beauty on purchasing a ruined house, repairing it, making it liveable, etc.

However... once all the jobs are done and it's time to actually flip houses, you're severely limited by your own creativity. You don't get "scored" by correctly combining colors or furniture styles, you don't need to actually make plumbing or wiring work, etc. As long as there are no cockroaches, the walls are painted, and the rooms have the correct minimum furniture, you get the A-OK. This means House Flipper is mostly a toy box that gives you as much fun as you can produce by yourself by using your own creativity - and I don't have much of that, so the value of the game is like halved for me. But 27h of gameplay for like 10€ is still godlike value.

SteamDeck: Works great if you stick to 30/40fps. You can hit 60fps if you play in low settings.

My Score: ★★★

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Game 101 - Mario Party Superstars - Switch - Played a few games with my brothers - 80/100
I adore the Mario Party series. If you ever have a room full of people and find yourself at a loss for something to do (let's face it new TV and movies are shit and actually talking to people is always the worst) popping Mario Party into a console will guarantee that you'll all either have a good time or at the very least, you'll find out which of your "friends" actually hate you. I played this one with my brothers, so I already know there is a deep-rooted hatred towards me as they both want to murder me to collect my inheritance. Despite that we had a blast playing for the entire evening. This version of Mario Party is a large collection of remastered levels and minigames from previous games, and it seems like all the best stuff is here. I do find the star giveaways are a little more catered to propping up the weak players but that goes back quite a bit in the series now. Thank fuck they ditched the vehicle mechanic.

Game 102 - Rage - PC - 100% Complete - 70/100
I played this game back when it released on the X360. I found it pretty good despite the texture streaming bugs. Vehicle controls were good, gunplay was excellent, and I was enjoying the world in the game. I never finished the game though as I quite frankly sucked at FPS games at the time and couldn't get past a room. I figured I was about half-way through the game. I'm better at FPS now and decided to jump back in and finish the game. Turns out that was the last room in the game and had I tried one more time I likely would have finished the game. Unfortunately, the game abruptly ends and runs a 10-second-long ending cinematic which is among the biggest letdowns I can recall in a game. Playing it on PC meant I didn't have texture issues and the game ran at 144Hz without any issue as opposed to the pudding texture festival I played on the X360 (though that ran at 60 which was crazy given the hardware) but having played Rage 2 recently I don't get why Rage 2 is shat on everywhere while this is put on a pedestal. I found Rage 2 a better game overall with a more interesting overworld and more to do. The gunplay in Rage 2 was also better and it actually had an ending. Overall, this was a decent game hampered by a story that didn't end until the sequel did.

Game 103 - Tomb Raider - PC - 100% Complete - 40/100
This game was pretty mediocre. Quick time events, interactive cutscenes with instant death penalties abound, a wimpy protagonist, shaky cam 5000, raiding tombs has been relegated to completing small rooms with idiot-tier puzzles and then opening a chest, etc. As a reboot for a series that featured deep exploration, trick gun combat and a grid-based platforming mechanic this was an abysmal failure. Lara is scared of everything right up to the game's ending despite the fact that she easily murders entire towns full of people effortlessly. She’s constantly receiving mortal wounds then wading through bacteria infested pools of decaying corpses with no I’ll effects. She just shakes it all off like nothing, maybe she’ll hold her side for a second and say “ahhh”. The gameplay in this was a mix of jank and pressing buttons when prompted, there is no satisfaction in it. The AI is absolutely braindead and seems to prefer walking directly into your crosshairs rather than actually fighting you. The puzzles are at most two moves deep, in fact the "trickiest" puzzle in the game is one of the first puzzles in the game. The story is dog shit, your friends are all retards, the people on the island are all retards and Lara is a retard. Everyone does the dumbest shit at every turn. The writing is hilariously awful. I put playing this game off for a very long time, I wish I'd left it alone. I got this when it was free and thankfully I never bought the sequels.

Game 104 - Game and Watch Gallery 4 - Game Boy Advance - Played all games in both modes once (so far) - 75/100
I always have fun with this series. the recreation of the LCD games is pretty good given the resolution available on the GBA and the reimagining of each game in the modern mode is nicely executed. My first video games were old LCD games like the Tiger Electronics handheld games, so I always enjoy going back to these old games. Definitely a nice time killer when you don't want to wade too deep into a game. The story is actually better than Nu-Tomb Raider.

Game 105 - Sleeping Dogs - PC - Completed playthrough - 65/100
This is a game I've owned three times (on X360, Xbone and PC), but kept forgetting to play. Always touted as "the best GTA clone" which isn't saying a whole lot. This game is exactly what it depicts, it's a Chinese clone of and American-made product. It looks similar, it's structured similarly, but it's kind of shit at everything it attempts. Gameplay borders between Saints Rox janky and RDR1 stiff, vehicle controls are good until you try to power slide a heavy vehicle (it won't) and touching curbs can completely unsettle your vehicle in unexpected ways. Boats are especially awful. The story goes well enough with some memorable characters, but it never takes any real risks, so you know what's coming at every turn. Villains are mustache-twirling evil, and the "good guys" are murdering thugs. The open world version of Hong Kong in the game is plenty large, but not very memorable. I tend to complete open world games 100% but with this one after a while I just lost interest and finished the story. It wasn't a bad game by any means, just a lot less than what it has been built up to be.

Game 106 - Metroid Zero Mission - Game Boy Advance - Completed playthrough - 90/100
This is how to remake a game. While the original Metroid was revolutionary in its design, after playing Super Metroid it's evident that the limitations of the time really held the game back. This remake features new bosses, new secrets, new abilities and new areas while still feeling distinctly like the original game. Quality of life updates, traversal updates, and weapon updates all make the game flow much more smoothly than the original. The new post-game area ties the game to Super Metroid and with a simple image at the game's ending, delivers more context to Samus' backstory than any number of cutscenes could. Gameplay is tight, graphics are nicely done with an art style that stays true to the original despite being a massive upgrade. This isn't a long game despite all the added content over the original, but it's as long as it should be with no filler padding weighing down the entire package. My 5-hour play time is on the long side for this game. My only real gripe with the game is that the music isn't as much of an upgrade as the rest of the package, which is an issue with the GBA as a whole.

Game 107 - Tinykin - PC - 100% complete, all Achievements - 80/100
This was a huge surprise. I only played this because I read a couple reviews on the Gamepass app basically explaining it was similar to Banjo-Kazooie. At first the 2D sprites on the 3D background was jarring but I got used to it. The game is very polished and runs flawlessly to the point my PC doesn't even ramp up at 144fps. The game controls incredibly well, platforming is spot-on, and the pick-ups are placed around the world with apparent care as they aren't all just jammed into corners all over. In terms of level design and gameplay I could easily see this studio making a Banjo-Kazooie game. This particular game however is aimed at a younger audience and therefor offers absolutely no challenge. You can die by falling but are immediately revived where you fell from. You can also float freely so falling deaths are by choice. The game's story is basically just there, it exists but is absolutely not important which is just how it should be in a platformer. If you have a chance give this game a shot.

Game 108 - Quake - PC - Finished two playthroughs - 85/100
I never played the OG Quake over the years despite several opportunities to do so. I was always curious, but it was just one of those games that kept slipping past the radar. The game plays fantastic, gunplay is still on-par with a lot of modern FPS games. The game is fast and pinpoint precise which makes traversal extremely fun. The level design is pretty straightforward and it's easy to keep your bearings, but the stages are full of really well-hidden secret areas making multiple playthroughs almost necessary to find everything. I've heard quite a bit that Doom Eternal feels more like a modern Quake than a Doom title and I get it now. The traversal, combat and pacing of the game does feel a lot more like Doom Eternal than Doom 2016. If you never played this, give it a run.

Game 108 1/2 - Quake 2, Quake 4 - PC
I didn't give these ones an honest go as I mostly just wanted to get a quick feel for them, but I can't believe these are the same series as the first game. I'm getting generic Space Marine vibes from these games where the first was me fighting demons. Weird.

Game 109 - Wolfenstein 3D - PC - Abandoned. I played until I just couldn't anymore - 60/100
This game is a slog. Limitations of the day mean everything is blue bricks and about 4 enemy types. The game isn't so much hard as it is tedious. You will get bored seeing the same 10 things arranged in different ways throughout the game and that will lead you to losing focus and dying. In the end I didn't finish the game, I didn't even kill the gatling gun for arms Nazi, but I played as much as I needed to. It plays well, it looks fine for its age, it's just too repetitive.

Game 110 - Yakuza Kiwami - PC - WIP - 75/100
This was the game in the series the internet said I should play first. It's been a blast; it feels like a Shenmue game if they actually made it into a game. Plenty of activities like gambling, racing pocket cars, bowling, batting cages, claw games, watching dancers, cabaret clubs, a Pokemon-style minigame featuring real Japanese porn stars, etc. For the most part the game is just a bunch of goofy fun laced with a hilariously and intentionally awful story. The problem with this game is I hate the boss fights and apparently the same internet that told me to play this one first also hated the boss fights. Enemies are quick to flank and back attack you. Later when you expand your move set it's not so bad but early on if you've been upgrading your health and attack more than your move set you can find yourself unable to land attacks on higher-skill enemies. This leads to frustratingly long fights where you might score a couple hits once in a while. The other issue I have is where the CPU characters will clearly attack and miss but instantly rotate and contact you with the attack while my own character can't do the same.
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With only a few months left in the year, it is clear to me that I will not get near the goal. I've only completed 25 so far and doubling that will be impossible unless I specifically target shorter games while skirting some real world responsibilities.

This in large part is due to a lot of the games I've been wanting to play being very long, having gametime be increasingly redirected to multiplayer with the mates, and generally feeling self conscious about my gametime and wanting to cut back where I can.

Mad respect to the hustle of those who are nearing/surpassing 52, one of these years maybe I'll come back in and make it happen too.
45. Return to Monkey Island

7:48h. MegaMonkey Hard? Difficulty

Monkey Island was the first game I got truly obsessed with. Since I got the first game as part of a now legendary Spanish PC game collection that was sold in installments in bookstores and newstands (Pictured: not Monkey Island) I got immediately hooked. I used to simply beat the first game from beginning to end whenever I was bored. I must have beaten it like 50 times.

What I mean with this weird flex is that Return to Monkey Island was meant for people like me. Once you get past the... weird... artstyle, which is actually not that bad in motion since it's reminiscent of great games like Guacamelee, the fanservice is laid thick and you can see small references to the older games every-fucking-where. Most of them warranted a small chuckle or a "Hey, I know that reference" meme reaction, but some of them were actually quite clever. However, if you're not a big Monkey Island buff, or (Heavens forbid!) this is your first foray in the game series, you're in for a series of "whoosh"es and very limited enjoyment.

Also, I missed some characters, like Meathook, the Cannibals or the old blind pervert from the pawn shop, which I'm sure weren't removed because thEy wErE prOblEmAtIc and I'm just seeing things.

The story is a love letter to all things Monkey Island - at first, a bit too much, in fact, since I was completely sure the game was pulling an Episode VII on us (you know what I mean). And they were, up to halfway through the game more or less. From that point on, the game gets a personality of its own - and in my opinion, this is for the worse, as once RotMI stops treading familiar ground it becomes blander and sort of rushed. This is better exemplified in the final game location, which should be the Mother of All Puzzles but it's over in 5 minutes. And then the ending... well, it has to be seen to be believed (it's basically a retell of the ending of Lechuck's Revenge). You will either find it's super clever and funny or you will want your money back. Me? I felt as trolled as I was with the ending of Danganronpa V3. Take that as you will!

SteamDeck: Works flawlessly.

My Score: ★★★

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46. Digimon Survive

49:56h. Normal Difficulty. Got Moral ending blind, got Harmonious ending after understanding the trick, tried for Wrathful ending but got bored and went for the Truthful route instead.

Digimon Survive is a weird duck of a game. The production values are undeniably high, even though for a VN, the "only voiced sometimes" lines feel a bit on the cheap side, and the story is surprisingly elaborate. But Digimon Survive doesn't know what kind of game it wants to be, and it shows. It's a mediocre VN (it's basically a kinetic novel with relationship values that are only used for evolving Digimon... except for a single case, in which they are vital for advancing the story. And all the choices that advance you in a specific route are always in the same position and are shaded in the same color. So you literally can't miss getting into the route you want.) with mediocre SRPG mechanics. Moreover, you can only get the Truthful ending in a New Game+, and the story barely changes from playthrough to playthrough, so getting all the endings (the main objective for many Visual Novel fans) feels like a chore and a slog.

As per the SRPG gameplay, it's pretty cookie-cutter, really. Move your things around the screen and hit the enemy things. There are types and weaknesses, but frankly, they're useless if you're not playing in Hard, as the game is easy as pie... except for the later half of the Truthful route, where all enemies level up to an absurd degree and you're likely to hit a wall (Specifically, the Azulongmon fight) or two. It's likely this part is meant to be played once you're in NG++++ or something, but frankly, fuck that. If you get stuck for too long don't do what I do and endure, just set the difficulty to Very Easy and let the game play itself.

I do think Digimon Survive is worth playing. I do not think it's worth paying full price for. If you get it on sale, play it once blind and play it again for the True Ending. If you try to see all four endings your interest will end before the story does.

SteamDeck: Has some trouble with the intro CGs, and you have to use a community controller profile to unscramble the controls. Apart from this, it's perfectly playable.

My Score: ★★★

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