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Legolas_Katarn

Games Beaten By the AJSA (2019)

70 posts in this topic

Completed: Katana Zero
Platform: PC

2D action game where you can slow down time, deflect bullets, and roll to dodge through attacks and traps while trying to kill all enemies in each area with your sword or thrown weapons. Dialogue choices and occasional actions in a level can change how plot details play out. Gamepaly can change up a bit with stealth or a motorcycle chase. Excellent soundtrack and artstyle for characters, world, and backgrounds. Endgame sword unlocks can change attacks for replays. Too simple in most sections until you start getting near the end of the game, it's fun but most sections just wouldn't be that interesting to replay and are too simple to take much effort even the first time. Not that long of a game and ends on a cliffhanger likely for a sequel or DLC.

 

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70) Rochard

Platform: PC

Steam Spring Cleaning does it again.

 

This game is what happens if Shadow Complex removes its Metroidvania elements, replace the gun with a Half Life gravity gun which can fire bullets and grenades, have it be funnier & you have access to change gravity at will. It's a pretty sweet combination. You basically play as a miner named John Rochard who got screwed by his boss, so now you're kicking his ass. There's a lot of levels to explore each with their own little unique puzzles on how you can use gravity to platform your way across, and each levels also have hidden collectibles for you to hunt. I managed to collect 90% of them with the ones I missed being in the early levels. 

 

Unfortunately, the game ends on a cliffhanger, and there's no sequel since 2011. URRGHHH, I WANT TO SEE HOW THE STORY CONTINUES DAMN IT!

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Completed: The Daedalus Encounter
Platform: PC

FMV puzzle game where they had a somewhat interesting idea for your character and hired two people that could act well enough but did nothing else remotely well.

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71) Dead Space 2

Platform: PC

Since RE2 Remake was damn good, I'm in the mood for RE4 - 6 esque shooter esque games of the past. One of them being Dead Space, 2 specifically because that's my personal favorite. Now that I replayed 2, it has aged really damn well & still really damn fun to play. It doesn't scare me one bit since there's too many obnoxious jump scares, all except that fucking eye needle section that I still am scared to play even now. Shudder. Still, all that matters is that it's still so much fun killing necromorphs by dismembering their limbs by any means necessary, and the natural futuristic HUD in this game is still very refreshing to see, though I do wish that you can skip cutscenes so that I can get through the talking parts that I already listened to before.

 

72) The Surge

Platform: PC

This is that game from the maker of Lords of the Fallen, that game which has a smooth fast paced combat with Dark Souls mechanics. This one still has Dark Souls mechanics, but the combat emphasizes more on aiming enemy limbs so you can perform fatalities on them and get separate gears & materials for each limbs. And it takes place in a futuristic setting where there's a lot of robots & people that went haywire and tries to kill everyone in their sight.

 

I actually played this game last year, then I got really bored with it because the grinding in this game is so damn obnoxious that I had to kill 30+ enemies just to upgrade my gears, and no matter how much I upgrade, it seems that my character dies so quickly that I question if there's any need to upgrade at all. When I got back to playing this game, turns out there's actually implants that significantly upgrades your max HP, but I found it WAY LATE in the game which suddenly turns the game from way too hard and grindy to actually being a normal Souls esque game...... WHY CAN'T I ACQUIRE THE HEALTH UPGRADE MUCH EARLIER???

 

This game actually achieves one of the rarest things in gaming nowadays: it has a final level that destroys any good thing it had before. The game starts fun, then it becomes boring, then it becomes fun again towards the end, then the end section has to add a fuckload of mazes for you to navigate through which sucks the fun out of it. The entire games' level design have mazes in the form of maintenance tunnels that sometimes can lead you to a shortcut to your savepoint. It's all well and good, but the final level in this game went WAAAYYY too far with putting so many hard to kill enemies & making navigation a pain in the fucking ass because there's so many freaking maintenance tunnels that looks the same, so much so that I actually went in circles 5 times just trying to figure out a way out to my save point. By the time I beat the final boss, I immediately uninstall the game & don't want to play it anymore. THANK GOD that's over with! Oh please don't let Surge 2 have any more of those annoying mazes to deal with!

 

73) My Friend Pedro ( flash)

Platform: PC

To prepare myself for the upcoming insanity of a game that is My Friend Pedro,

I decided to go back to a previous version of this game, which is a flash game that can be played here.

https://www.crazygames.com/game/my-friend-pedro

 

It's definitely way simpler than the upcoming game, but it's still fun. You can slow mo & shoot guys with style, though there's no score to rack up & you can't do the stylish stuff that the upcoming game has. The final boss though is quite crazy, that I can't wait to see if the Steam version will have a similar level. Only 1 week to go!

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Completed: Total War Three Kingdoms
Platform: PC

Beautiful map and the best one I've seen in a Total War game. Massively improved diplomacy, economy, spying options, and supply system that all works perfectly for a Three Kingdoms game. Characters with their own personalities, likes and dislikes, and background uses (though things will start to overlap as you see many characters with similar backgrounds or passive skills from their class tree). Starting factions, resource locations, and gameplay elements unique to each lord can drastically change how you want to build your force/economy. Has more realistic records mode or powered up character romance mode that makes generals similar to heroes in Warhammer. Seasonal changes effect economy, food, and battles.

Not a wide variety of units to use with many going to be locked behind reforms that you won't reach or behind starting lord choices. The one artillery piece seems extremely powerful, even ignoring its uses for siege and settlement battles, I tended to finish fights with each one getting between 3-6 hundred kills, wiping out around 3-5 units alone before even getting into all the unit routing they cause. I never really lost a fight even when outnumbered by quite a bit once I threw two of them into every army I had (I suppose I could have used six), and would assume they would be even more powerful in records mode. Maybe more balanced on a higher difficulty. The actual battles are fun but aren't near as interesting as the Warhammer games, but that is going to be helped quite a bit by being on the second game and with all the added and freely updated content that Warhammer has gotten over the years. You can't really watch the character duels that well in romance mode since you need to command the actual battle going on while characters fight and the game really likes to make your characters lose duels for no reason when you choose auto resolve. Some of the pre and in battle dialogue is terrible and not at all matching with certain characters. Odd to see certain characters not being legendary (though some that should be still start with better equipment or a unique description), maybe more of a balance reason with more likely being added later.

 

Completed: SILPHEED
Platform: Sega CD

Vertical shooter. Art of the enemy ships and weapon effects doesn't look very impressive with the early polygon graphics the effects going on around you, destruction and laser fire, visuals of your movement making it look like you are getting further away as you near the top of the screen, and impressive level design that can have you flying across enemy ships/bases or making death star style trench runs make up for it. Enemies swarm around you from all sides., effects can hide enemy shots, and you can very suddenly be surprised by large objects or fast moving lasers that you will have almost no time to dodge unless you knew about them beforehand, these things combined with no continues or lives can make the game more of chore to play at times. Good music, dull sound effects. Dull bosses.

 

Completed: Ranger X
Platform: Genesis/Mega Drive

Looks good for a Genesis game with some nice backgrounds. Charging weapon power by staying in light is interesting. Awkward to control with how you shoot and having another bike with you that can be controlled if you have a six button controller or that you can merge with to swap weapons or make use of auto aiming main weapon. Can't shoot up, leading to awkwardly trying to hover to shoot enemies. Dull weapons. Hit detection is off. Enemies aren't satisfying to shoot and rarely let up. Weird exploitable enemies and bosses. Only five levels with some of them or parts of them severely limiting your already awkward movement.

 

Completed: Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth
Platform: 3DS

Higher production value, surprised to like the art and love the opening. Good moments between the characters. Elizabeth is always amusing, as are Yukiko and Yusuke together. Battle system is good but not a major step up like the system of P5 was to P4. Removal of extra new character from Q1 to now include P3 female hero and P5 cast gives way to many characters for a five person party set up and later introduction to some characters is unfortunate. Characters are fairly well balanced, with only a few seeming like they just wouldn't be good to use (Yosuke and Junpei). Reserve characters don't level with you so you can't do much switching out even though the extra missions seem to have been thought out as needing certain characters and the game allows for multiple saved party set ups. Some extra attacks or team attacks can trigger with people not in your party but it is a shame you can't use more characters or at least put more in positions to be swapped out or to use supporting abilities. Simpler dungeons, map drawing tool is still fairly pointless, really no reason it can't just fill it in for you. Poor bosses. With the much slower pace of getting through dungeons and frequent switching of persona along with all the side missions that may switch things up objective wise but take you back to the same old areas, the game can start to overstay its welcome. Still easy to recommend for a dungeon crawl and more so for Persona 3-5 fans.

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74) My Friend Pedro (full PC version)

Platform: PC

At last, after this game's preview at E3 2018, and after playing the flash game, the circle of Pedro is now complete. Even the launch trailer is awesome

 

As for the game itself, it's like the flash game on steroids with more platforming puzzles that makes you have to shoot switches to open up locked platforms. There's 40 levels in this game and each levels has rankings depending on how long your killing combos are. If you can kill everyone in sight without resetting the kill combo, you'll definitely get S rank easy, though it's impossible in some stages since you have to do platforming puzzles which resets the combo multiplier. Good thing is you can rack up the points if you play the game on the hardest difficulty which reduces your healthbar to just 1 and makes almost every enemy shots very deadly, if you like racking up points that is, otherwise you can just enjoy the game without care which will take around 3 - 4 hours to complete. Shame it's that short and the only replayability is just you trying to S rank every stage, but it's still a lot of fun regardless.

 

75) BirdGut

Platform: PC

This is a free Steam game where you play as a deformed insect that's thrown out of your home, and you're eaten by a bird. So your goal is to get out of that bird while traveling through its intestines. Interestingly this bird's intestine is pretty much a factory for insects, so you'll see each intestines having their own divisions & workers. It's like Bugs Life, only with modern tools!

 

76) Assault Spy

Platform: PC

This is quite an entertaining game. Basically, this game is what happens when you take Dante & turn his sword + Yamato loadout into a single character, and then make his fist gauntlet + Pandora's box + Ebony & Ivory loadout into another character. Then make it all anime as hell. The plot of the game is pretty much this:

You're a spy working to steal info from a robot factory. Then you get inside the robot factory & turns out the factory is taken over. Then plot twists left and right ensues which I can't say because it's quite fun to go through. 

I hope there's a sequel to this game. The combat is quite fun even though it's pretty much and elseworld DMC & I would love to see more characters with their own special move lists added. 

 

77) Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Platform: PC

OHOHOHOHO MAN, the creator of Symphony of the Night has come back to make his own game universe with the same Metroidvania stuff he's known for, and it is beautiful! Freaking Snake is cast as one of the cast which was the main character of the 8 bit throwback game Curse of the Moon? Shovel Knight is also here? There's many unashamedly cheeky Castlevania esque enemies & areas put together? There's THIS?

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Alucard is also here, right down to having the same voice actor??

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And there's even giant dogs & cats as enemies??

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This game is freaking awesome. My nostalgia sense was tingling every step of the way I play this game from the beginning right down to the very end after I completed 99.80% of the entire map. IGA, well done. You made your kickstarter goal & created the game that everyone requested, and you added so many more awesome stuff in it, including free upcoming dlcs. This game is definitely one of the best of 2019 & I can't wait to play the upcoming dlcs!

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Completed: APE OUT
Platform: PC

Control an Ape attempting to escape from a variety of settings including a lab, ship, jungle, and office building while smashing enemies against walls or each other. Jazz drumming and expressive colors follow your destruction as you make your way out of each level. Enemies explode in bright blood and body party, fires start from enemy flamethrowers and barrels exploding, the power dies and flashlights and flames help to guide your paths and your enemy's view. It's a loud and intense game separated by four albums that act as 8-10 stages each with their own area focus, each album can be played on a more difficult setting for greater challenge.

Rooms can change with each level reset causing the need for improvisation matching both the state of the ape and style of music, this can cause extremely easy or extremely difficult set ups where you can pretty much easily walk through the level or where you will be suddenly killed if you have the slightest hesitation in performing a nearly perfect improvised plan to get by.

None of the artistic or musical choices are something I could talk about remotely well, but this guy can

 

 

Completed: Zanac x Zanac
Platform: Playstation

Solid vertical shoot em up with three different ships to choose and a variety of weapon upgrades, a stronger attack charged by destroying enemies. Released late in the Playstation's life, not the most impressive for its time but good base gameplay, music, and decent backgrounds

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78) Bohemian Killing

Platform: PC

Now this is an interesting one. Basically you've killed someone, and you have to make an excuse to avoid getting the guilty verdict in court. The reverse Ace Attorney if you will. You're given the version of events that the people in court know, like "at 10:30 am the suspect is sighted in a hotel" or something similar like that. Then what you have to do is pretty much make stuff up to paint yourself as innocently as you can, while being consistent with witnesses testimony so you can make what they saw/ know a complete misunderstanding. 

 

The interesting thing is that while you're recounting your story, you will come across items like "a letter addressed to a friend of yours", or "letter from a company which supports your work" which will be included in the evidence bag. Instead of the evidence actually working against you and make you even more guilty, they surprisingly help making you look even more innocent in this whole thing. After collecting the evidence and making sure to testify according to the facts, I actually got the innocent verdict regardless of whether I actually killed the victim or deny it because as it turns out, the victim was actually working for someone else that planned to steal your invention blueprint which you plan to give to the government, and the victim attacked you first by smashing your head so badly that you bled, so in the end even if you testify to killing her, it's all in self-defence. Well....... that worked out well! That is of course unless you fucked up and tell complete bullshit that doesn't line up with the facts at all which of course will get you jailed immediately.

 

The game had a glitch where when I pause the game while I am on an elevator, I fell through the world & had to jump in a specific spot to get back in, and there's also one where if I pause the game when someone is talking, that someone will repeat their sentence from the beginning, but good thing you can skip the dialogue. Quite a fun game with rough edges here and there. Can't wait to see the game dev make another game, whenever that will be.

 

79) Muse Dash

Platform: PC

I LOVE THIS GAME SO MUCH! HOLY CRAP THIS IS AWESOME!!

This was originally an iPhone game & it's pretty much a rhythm game with only 2 buttons. It's simple but hard to master & the music are fucking incredibly good. So much so that I played many of the songs over and over again until I can't get them out of my head. Then proceed to find if there's a full version of the songs & download them, and thankfully I found them!

I highly recommend this game for lovers of rhythm games. You will play the crap out of this game & hum the tunes all day long! 

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Completed: Truxton 2
Platform: Arcade

Vertical shoot em up that loops six very large areas that each include multiple enemies and bosses. Good music. Speed and three types of weapon upgrades and a skull bomb. Has co-op. At an hour in length it can start to overstay its welcome with backgrounds only changing up slightly and when you start fighting the same or similar enemies, the boss designs are good. Losing lives will start you back at an early part of a section (not too far back) so you can't just win by having enough credits.

Completed: Hellfire S - Another Story
Platform: TurboGrafx CD

Horizontal shooter, some animated scenes in the CD version. Main mechanic in this game is being able to switch between four firing modes forward, back, up and down, and diagonally in all four directions. Powerups can make your shots stronger by adding multiple beams to your basic shot and making them wider, pickups can also be found that allow you to take an extra hit. Dying spawns you back where you were. Very easy until enemies start quickly coming from below/above. Good music, bad sound.

 

Completed: Hypnospace Outlaw
Platform: PC

Gives you the role of what is basically a Geocities moderator shortly before the year 2,000 (though with a web device that is used while you are asleep). Often a humorous and satirical game that has you working for the kind of egomaniacal amoral tech bros that people like Steve Jobs popularized in the tech industry and looking at the web pages of many people obsessed with themselves as they bask in the hubs of their obsessions. Puzzle like gameplay first has you finding violations but later involve finding hidden objects, guessing relationships, and using hidden tools to find the content you need to report and later to solve an issue with more deadly implications. The main story and cases are fairly short and the enjoyment of the game and most of the time spent will come from just exploring the pages available to you.

 

Completed: 198X
Platform: PC

Part 1 of a coming of age story focused around a high school student's life and the meaning they find through their interactions with arcade cabinets and culture of the arcade set in the 80s in a fictional suburb outside of a large city. Narrative takes place between playing five different arcade style games (and inside two of them), with four of them being quite good and one mostly just being visually good. Beautiful detailed artwork, good music, more sincere story on meaning games can have for someone disillusioned with their current life. Or the origins of a pretty generic white suburban kid becoming a gaming obsessed psychopath, starting with a need to continually pump quarters into consumer products that overtakes other desires in their life until they begin to lose all grip on reality. Could work both ways as it is.

Not sure if/when the rest releases if it will be as a new game, free update, or paid content.

 

Completed: Nekketsu Oyako
Platform: Playstation

Beat em up. Plays like a poor Streets of Rage, also looks like too similar to Streets of Rage for a Playstation/Saturn title. Game plays too slowly, a quarter circle attack is overpowered, your movements can feel awkward. You get eaten by a whale at one point and fight octopus like creatures in it and on top of it. Lot of weapon drops but they aren't really fun to use, some are character specific with the bigger guy being the only one who can use a rare bazooka or drink beer but can't use normal. Would be just average if not for what feels like sudden slowdown effecting some of your moves and some enemy attacks.


Completed: Way of the Passive Fist
Platform: PC

Beat em up style game where you are unable to do normal attacks and instead have to parry and dodge enemy blows to either tire them out until you can push them over, can grab and throw back enemy throwing weapons, or until you build up a combo allowing you to perform a powerful attack. Allows you to change five different options for custom difficulty. Decent enemy variety with some needing to be defeated in certain ways or more easily beaten in certain ways but the palette swaps to show different attack patterns can make it more difficult to remember what they do. Enemy grabs are a little off hit detection wise. Crowd of enemies on screen can make it hard to see who is doing what, even on the normal enemy number setting, enemies attack you one at a time but might all move together with larger ones mostly concealing the smaller. Most of the levels are fairly dull with you just walking through similar areas until you move into a wave based enemy section. Base gameplay is good but can become simple and repetitive fast, like many beat em ups, but this one lacking the characters, co-op, variety of moves, or more interesting levels of the better beat em ups.
 

Completed: Detention
Platform: PC

Set during the White Terror period of Taiwan focusing on both the damage done to society living under martial law, powerlessness of your character's personal circumstance, and coming to terms with the damage you inflicted on others stemming from the abuses you've suffered. Physical manifestations of horror draw on Taiwanese mythology. An effective artstyle made to represent looking at old photos. Succeeds at telling a story of tragedy and horror both personal and socially.

 

Completed: Wulverblade
Platform: PC

Beat em up focusing on Britannia fighting the Roman 9th Legion, with heavy elements of Scottish mythology. Mostly basic attacks expected for the genre, with a lot of chopped off head and arms to throw and some alternate heavy weapons to find. Camera follows you pretty close compared to many beat em ups and the large character models and environment look good. More story than most games of this type with cutscenes before and after each level, dialogue that changes with your character, and notes/lore to find. Levels can go on too long, dodging doesn't always work well. Base gameplay is fun but fairly generic for a beat em up but with an addition of a block and counter system. Good when selling at a lower price for the base beat em up mechanics but made better with the art, raging Scotsmen, and ability to throw heads at your enemies.

 

Completed: MORDHAU
Platform: PC

Mordhau is a first or third person melee combat game where you can create classes by spending 16 points on head, body, and leg armor, weapons, shields, items, and passive perks. The combat is a lot of fun, if you don't mind frequently being in large melees with little control and overzealous allies that can (and will) damage you, and it offers a good amount of strategy both with class options and the ways that you can attack, feint, and chain blows together. A lot of armor customization options, which do unfortunately almost always hide you facial, body, and hair options. Avoids the ridiculous mess that Chivalry became where the better players would walk around crouching rapidly spinning around to make their attacks land faster. It would take a very long time to build up enough in game gold to unlock everything, but it doesn't take that long to buy every type of equipable weapon or item the game has and you can quickly save of up the pieces of armor that you will actually want to wear.

Has the usual negatives that seems to come with these games of extremely questionable weapon range, often seeing the end of blades miss you when you are hit or connect with your enemy without effecting them, the frequent high ping servers not making things any better. Many times it will feel like you are swinging weapons like you don't have arms but instead just a hand attacked to your chest as you somehow are unable to reach people taking up half your field of vision with a great sword. Couched lances on horseback might just not work at all and when they do work I have no idea how it decides on who wins when two riders meet (more of a problem then you would think since every map has some horses and one of the few maps is very heavily horse based). The lack of report or banning features combined with the kind of men that often have an interest in medieval style warfare (on top of online video games in general) often gives the game a pretty terrible seeming community if you are paying attention to chat, though with the style of the game people do at least seem to be fairly forgiving or willing to apologize for team damage or kills.

Could really use a dedicated duel mode, jousting mode could also be interesting once that is working better.

 

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Bought lots of games from Steam sale, but only had time to play a few since I'm busy traveling with my parents. Now that they returned home, I FINALLY HAVE TIME TO FINISH THEM! AHAHAHAHA!!!

 

80) The MISSING: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories

Platform: PC

Gaahhh, so annoyed that D4 will never have its season 2..... for now. But at least we got Swery's next game. And surprisingly, it's his most normal and ground to earth game so far, second being Spy Fiction. Finally got to play this game after waiting for the price to go down.

 

This is...... quite an interesting game. I think it's one of the only few puzzle platformer games I have played where getting yourself heavily injured through cuts & bone dislocation actually is required to get through the next stage. And I like how down to earth this game is. Even though it has Swery's stuff like having another character named FK + WTF moments like the backward speeches & moose head doctor amongst other things, it all ends up making sense in the very end. And I like how after you beat the game, you get alternate costumes after the game's reveal & you can pretty much replay the entire game with all-new lines so it encourages replayability, though that's pretty much it unless you haven't collected all the donuts. I miss games that do these things.

 

81) Team Fortress 2

Platform: PC

Played this game to get the points during that Steam store racing metagame, and then I realized that I actually still have 20000 points from playing other games which I can't use since I didn't buy too much stuff to get more maximum points so......

 

Regardless, man..... this game takes me back. Nowadays Overwatch does the team based battle WAY better since you got lots of characters that have their own unique things besides weapons that makes them really fun and different to play. TF2 does have them, but it's way more limiting since most characters only have different weapons without skills, though this game was the one that set the standard back then & it's still fun to play after all this time. That is of course if the server you're in doesn't crap out with lags, you're not getting headshot all the freaking time by Mick Mundy or getting Dell's turrets shooting at you over and over again. Yes, that's Sniper & Engineer's real name.

 

I still watch the youtube shorts when I feel like watching em. Especially this one:

 

Personally I like these better than Overwatch's shorts. It's a lot funnier & not with superhero cliches. The comics are so freaking hilarious. Can't wait for more!

 

82) Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death

Platform: PC

I had this game for a LONG time, but when I played this game again, all my save file was on my other computer, so I had to restart all over again. Hate it when that happens!

 

This is pretty much a God of War (PS2) clone, with less budget, less QTE kills, more annoying hard to kill enemies & less fluid controls, but a lot more minigames which includes railshooters & plane 2D shoot em up segments. It's a fun ride that's for sure, and it's helped with the funny banters your Marlow Briggs has with Steve Blum along the way, even if some of the comments are repeated after you make combos. The weirdest thing about this game is the way a lot of the cutscenes play out. It's like if the cutscene plays out normally it would look less cool, so they decide to freeze frame everyone and change the poses everytime the camera pans on something. The song that accompanies it is pretty cool, but when this happens every time you beat a boss & when you acquire a weapon, it just makes you wish the scenes play out like normal.

Shame that there's no sequel to this game since it ends on a sequel hook. I would love to see how this tale continues.

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Game: Prey (2017)

Platform: PC

Play Time: ~21 hrs

 

Well... This game was interesting, to say the least. I don't mean to say that in a negative way, mind you - I mean it in the most positive way possible. For one thing, the story was genuinely intriguing and kept me playing unusually long in one sitting, which is something I can't say about every game I play. And without entering spoiler territory, the post-credits sequence was quite the interesting surprise. The visuals, while expectedly devoid of much color variety, were great, and the game's sound department was top-notch as well, mostly thanks to the soundtrack by one of my favorite composers, Mick Gordon. The gameplay was mostly enjoyable, counting out the few instances where I ran dry of resources, but then, those weren't as much the game's fault as they were mine. Overall, an enjoyable and decently long experience with an exceptionally gripping story.

Rating: 4 / 5

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Completed: Devotion
Platform: PC

First person domestic horror game about a Taiwanese family from 1980-1987 that has you exploring their increasingly disturbing apartment as both the father and daughter while you piece together what happened to their seemingly happy life. Extremely well made environments and scenes that tell a story focused around traditional societal expectations of family and children, effects of ignoring and stigma towards mental health, and the effects of cults and their appeal to vulnerable people.

 

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83) RED HOT VENGEANCE

Platform: PC

A free game shoot em up game which is like Sin City meets a bit of Hotline Miami minus the hard as hell difficulty, so expect a lot of internal monologues, black + white + red colors & blood everywhere. There's a fun easter egg with the main character going to the bathroom & monologuing every single bit of it before continuing shooting, and he gives one solution of what happened when you run out of toilet paper: use your sock...... WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT BEFORE??? 

 

The game ends on a sequel hook, so I look forward to that happening.

 

84) Tetris Effect

Platform: PS4

When I heard about this game last year, I was like "oh, it's Tetris with funky music that follows your every move? That's cool, but it's still too expensive". With the PC version out recently & it being Epic Games exclusive, and also much cheaper on PSN Singapore, I decided to buy it on PS4. Horray for patience!

 

As for the game itself, now I know what this game truly is: it's Tetris, but with a "freeze" mechanic once you fill the bar to make clearing blocks easier, and it's made by the same guy who made Rez, Child of Eden & Lumines, AKA those games that lets you create your own version of a song by shooting/ solving puzzles in tune with the music. So what you get is FUCKING MAGICAL. OMG this game's soundtrack made Tetris 10 times better. So many funky music for every single stages, all with their own colorful backgrounds ranging from the ocean, to the desert, mountain, and even an Indonesian Kecak dance which I didn't expect. There are frustrating parts of this game which annoys me, and all involving how freaking random the Tetris speed can be in stages. So in that Indonesian Kecak dance section for example, the blocks fall at a steady pace in the beginning, but when you reached phase 3 of the song, the blocks suddenly goes apeshit and just drop down in a freaking instant without warning, making me flip out & fuck up my perfect plan for my Tetris combos! And this game does this all the freaking time. A song can immediately drop fast in the beginning of a stage, and then drop even faster on the next section of the song, only to then slow down at the end.

 

The final stage of the game though, HOLY FUCK that stage is fucking relentless. The song that accompanies is like if Pitch Perfect is on steroids.

Not only do you have to clear 90 blocks total to beat it, but once you break 60 blocks, the speed just goes fucking apeshit & you will need 1 second reaction time to instantly drop your block at the right spot. I had to replay this stage God knows how many times until I finally beat it. By the end of it, you're greeted with a light show of the galaxy & the song from the first stage of the game playing in the background to congratulate you, which is another thing that this game dev did with Child of Eden as well, only without the live action girl singing. Will I play this game again? Yes, but I need to recover after playing that damn last stage over and over again!

 

85) Do Not Feed the Monkeys

This is pretty much one of those Stalking game like Beholder (which has the same publisher as this game) or Double Switch where you have to stalk people, ahem I mean "monkeys" while you have to earn money to pay your rent, buy food & buy more camera feeds for your surveillance system or else its game over. Managing your hunger, health & sleep meter while working + stalking while giving necessary intel about each "monkeys" to your employer is the name of the game here. The cool part about this game though is that the people you can see in the cameras are randomized, so you'll see different people/ places to stalk every time you start a game/ load a save file and decided to buy a new camera feed.

 

The best part of the game is the different outcomes each people in the cameras can have. So lets say for example that there's a camera which shows an old janitor stuck in an elevator somewhere. By monitoring him and searching the internet from words he said, you'll be able to deduce which building he's stuck in & contact his wife to get him the hell out, but of course alternatively you can just let him get stuck in that elevator, or receive a bribe from a lawyer to let that man die. I get him out though because it's the right thing to do, and you'll be rewarded with an item that you can sell for $100+, giving you more money for your everyday needs, and also a well paid job as a janitor which is more than what most jobs you get will give you. And this is just 1 out of 10+ many scenarios you can encounter!

 

I got the best ending of the game because I bought all the cameras as required & help many of the people in the camera feeds with their personal problems while also paying rent regularly & eat healthy fruit for myself, and I "don't feed the monkeys" because hey, those monkeys don't need food anyway so I don't need to. XD

 

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Completed: Judgment
Platform: PS4

A Yakuza spin off taking place in the series main town. Story and themes deals with trying to find justice in a society where the legal system, policing, and lawmakers are more destructive and corrupt than the allies you make who work outside structure (not completely new for the series). Good cast, and some nice details to be found in the city and its inhabitants. The dating side activity has improved. If they continue to do side games like this it would be interesting to evolve the city and introduce recurring characters from other games over time.

Every new gameplay element is terrible and so are the new mini games. Tailing people, which most people were smart enough to leave out of games after Assassins Creed 2 almost 10 years ago, has become a major part of missions and is probably worse here than in almost any other game I've played, both due to the engine not working well with it and how uninteresting it is (at least it is easy). Your ability to wear disguises is severely limited to very few missions, to the extent that once when I needed to put one on to leave an area I had to look up a walk through to remind me that disguises were even a thing. A dull lock picking game, a different lockpicking mini game that you almost never see. Powered up boss attacks and gunshots now permanently reduce your health unless you run over to the one doctor on the map and pay a large fee for healing or medical kits. You have a key-chain and some doors require you to pull out your keys and remember the right key to use to open the door, or you can spend skill points so it tells you automatically. You have a drone, it is boring and almost pointless, you use it to look around the city if that interests you. You have drone races which is just a dull racing game that is basically Kiwami 1, 2, and Yakuza 6's answer to the pocket racing mini-game which was more enjoyable due to gameplay and much more enjoyable due to the characters and characterization of the main character that came from them and is completely lacking here.

Limited combat moves, both due to Yakuza 6 engine removing a lot of the weapons and your character just doesn't learn that big of a variety of special moves, many of your most powerful attacks have you doing very similar looking attacks. The entire crane combat style is worthless and never gave me a reason to switch from tiger since it was the clear best choice in single or group combat and had more passive moves available for it. Poor side quest (partly due to detective minigames), the good ones almost all are required in between main missions and one of the very few other good ones requires you to complete a lot of side content to make all 50 friends in town. Other than the poor new minigames the game is missing many of the best ones from the past such as the arena, club business, karaoke, drinking with friends, trainers, and running a baseball team. Lack of ripped shirts and Majima. Somehow manages to have even worse uses for female characters after for the most part leaving the Yakuza behind. The game is set almost entirely (more than any other entry) in Kamurocho which somehow has less areas than I believe every other mainline entry. The new engine introduced with Yakuza 6 still does nothing beneficial to the series other than better loading and what little good it did mechanically for Yakuza 6 is removed from this entry which lacks the locations that took advantage of it.

This was the worst entry in the series, except for the other spin off game that had zombies and was stupidly made into a bad third person shooter instead of a game where you beat up zombies and monsters. If I was to ignore everything but the main story it probably would have been a much quicker and enjoyable experience, only missing a few good moments. Even though the main story was good it never comes close to matching the best moments of some of the past Yakuza game either in emotion, humor, or action.

 

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86) Distraint 2

Platform: PC

Remember the first Distraint where you play as a guy who feels really2 guilty after he evicted a kind old lady from her house just so he can be promoted in his work? This is the aftermath of that, which pretty much takes place in his own mind as he journey through his past & learn to forgive himself for what he did, and also uncovering details of his traumatic childhood to finally let go of his guilt. I like the ending, quite uplifting considering the first game was so freaking sad. There definitely won't be a Distraint 3 that's for sure, and I like that! I don't want to see things going downhill after all that self-reflection I went through!

 

87) A Hat in Time

Platform: PC

Ahhh, now this is a nice game. Where Yooka-Laylee was supposed to be the spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie but doesn't quite hit the mark in a couple of places, Hat in Time definitely hit the mark & exceeds my expectations by how damn good moving around is, and also how full of various stuff the 5 in game worlds have. You have a world full of asshole mafias that you can beat the crap out of; a world where you star in films, even one where it's a murder mystery which is one of my favorite stage in the game; one part in a haunted forest where you sneak in a mansion and, jeezus, be spooked beyond belief by this monster queen Vanessa which I did not see coming at all; and the boss battles in these worlds are really damn fun, each with kickass music to accompany them. Especially the Snatcher's theme

I can't wait for the sequel & see more worlds to explore! And perhaps you can have mustache girl be a friend this time instead of an enemy. Poor girl wasn't even a true bad guy in the first place, the NPCs in the game are!

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Completed: Spriggan Powered
Platform: SNES

Horizontal shoot em up that came out late in the life of the SNES. Decent music and level backgrounds with some nice effects. Three powerups and a different charged shot for each, as well as a shield you can activate to destroy incoming shots, with the shield sharing the same energy meter that allows you to use your charged shots. Enemy design, weapons, and main attack aren't all that interest, boss designs are also simple. Slightly above average.

Completed: Wolfenstein Youngblood
Platform: PC

A budget priced co-op sequel to the previous Wolfenstein games taking place 20 years after the last one. The shooting is still fun, and the guns feel a bit more balanced than the previous game due to only being able to duel wield one handed weapons. Well put together but frequently similar, almost repeated, areas.

Main characters are almost always unlikable (which is made pretty obvious from the trailers) and fall into the trope that frequently effect women in games with their obsession with daddy, and being like daddy, and finding daddy, and remembering daddy, and making daddy proud, etc. Basically reboot Lara Croft without destroying the remains of other cultures and stealing stuff. The only positive I can think of for them is that they are at least nice to their tech expert friend who would usually be used for frequent jokes or constant dismissal by similar main characters. Loses good commentary of previous games regarding things like the main characters Jewish identity combined with him looking like the model Nazi ideal, minorities and socialists being the ones to stand up to the Nazis, and America's culture that influenced the Nazis and the country's complacency and support of white supremacy, all of that replaced with characters talking about Nazis as if they have no interactions with them or the wider world apart from stories told (mostly by daddy) when they were growing up.

Constantly gets in the way of enjoyment with heavily armored time wasting enemies that hurt the previous game but are now worse as they can be called as reinforcements and the game makes use of a Borderlands style leveling system where enemies that are too strong can kill you in a second or two while being bullet sponges (never quite as bad as Borderlands though). The game likes to place these over-leveled enemies right next to low level ones which prevent you from following a normal path of progression where you will go to a large map area after leaving the hub and be able to complete almost everything or everything in that area, instead due to levels and the awful basically nonexistent map, you will have to jump back and force between areas doing one or two activities at a time, possibly forgetting to do missions you were right next to due to the poor objective organization.

The weapon upgrade system is fine for the most part but every weapon gives you a bonus to headshots, general damage, or capacity if you use at least three of the same upgrades, this is fine until you get to weapons like the flamethrower or guns that do giant multiple AoE explosive blasts where you would never want bonus headshot damage.

If you have a friend you want to play this with and you both go in for the buddy pass version for around $20 each you can have some fun with it but it spends a lot of time trying to ruin that fun. It would have been a big improvement if it was linear and an even bigger improvement if they would just remove the heavily armored and robot enemies.

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88) UNDEFEATED

Platform: PC

Not to be confused with that 2011 documentary film about a football team.

 

This is a free game that 3 students from Osaka made, and it's pretty much an Unreal Engine 4 Superman simulator. You can fly, run really fast & beat the crap out of enemies + bosses. Don't expect much from this game as all you do is complete obstacle challenges, fight a couple of weak bad guys with ease, and then do 3 boss fights where all you do is fly to them, hit them with a ranged attack until they're stunned then beat the crap out of them, rinse and repeat. The end.

 

Gotta say though, there is definitely potential for a really fun longer game. The base is here, and all this game needs are more enemy variety, customizable abilities, more destruction & more locations for you to fly and wreck stuff up. Can't wait to see if the 3 people who made this game will create another game in the future!

 

89) Necrovision

Platform: PC

This game was back when Painkiller, aka FPS games that tries to be Doom but with more religious supernatural elements were all a thing, before DOOM in 2016 blew this genre out of the water and reclaimed the throne. This game was fun, but unfortunately it's hindered by the floaty imprecise gun controls & enemies that likes to move so damn much all over the place that it's hard to get a straight shot most of the time, and for some damn reason your machine guns spray bullets so damn fast that you'll end up using single shot bullets or use your melee attacks most of the time to save that ammo. I like how it has vampires that pretty much are more like ninja predators that does Tony Jaa roundhouse kick acrobatics than being, you know, actual vampires. Cool design for these guys.

Image result for necrovision vampire

It's weird that this game's ending actually gets better when you play on the lower difficulty. I have never seen any other game does that. Most of the time its either you purposefully pick the worst options to get the worse ending, or be like Drakengard where you just play multiple times & have the ending go from optimistic to....... whatever this is

AHHHHH GET THEM OFF ME!!!!

90) 428: Shibuya Scramble

Platform: PC

 

If you're a fan of Danganronpa & the Zero Escape games, this was released 1 year before Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors & the one that started the "mindbending mystery" games Spike Chunsoft created. It was translated to English in 2018, 10 years after this game was released in Japan back in 2008, and it is a joy to finally experience this VN. Now I'm watching the anime sequel Canaan that takes place 2 years after this game. Can't wait to see how the story continues!

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Completed: Fire Emblem Three Houses
Platform: Switch

This finally feels like a game that takes almost everything the awful Awakening and more often mediocre Fates wanted to do and gets a lot of it right.

The terrible pairing system of those games is gone, replaced with an adjutant system that allows you to assign 1-3 characters to fight with another and to very rarely help out slightly in battle (as opposed to blocking entire attacks or doing massive damage and stat boosts for every deployed character, more for building supports and getting the paired character some XP) and battalions of soldiers that give smaller stat or damage boosts, useful tactical abilities, make it feel like a larger battle (although they visually never engage in fights in an entertaining way). Makes good use of systems Awakening/Fates attempted. The game allows for four story paths with the events and interactions happening between battles giving you more information about the world, side characters, and the characters that can join your army or that you might end up fighting. Every support isn't leading to characters getting married allowing much more sensible conclusions and non romantic endings for characters that can go off to do things together, the actual support conversations themselves are much improved and finally give an actual scene where multiple characters and an area can be involved as opposed to just talking portraits. When a five year time skip happens later in the characters visually look different and the ones you would probably expect to have experienced more growth in the time do have some personality differences. Most of the characters are very likable and have great interactions with each other, the best that has been in the series as a whole. The opening academy setting gives a good reason for characters to have multiple classes they can become and the base stat growths and talents of units does still make them favor certain areas. Nice painting look to the scenes during the chapter opens.

The only area that it doesn't improve on what the series has been doing since Awakening is that it has absolutely no balance. Even people who are bad enough at the series to have had problems with entries like Awakening are saying how overpowered their characters are (some even on hard), even without them fighting optional or many optional battles. I tended to avoid side battles that weren't story, side quest, or character related and even with me recruiting every single character I was allowed to (which is very easy, and does certainly worsen the story battles in the second part of the game when your enemies have basically no one supporting them) and leveling up every single one of them my characters were still overpowered. Every month you have three or four days where you can choose to explore (move around the academy area to find quests, shop, build support ratings, get story information, recruit characters, etc, useful as many times as possible until you recruit everyone then only useful once per month for story elements), rest (worthless), seminar (worthless), or battle (fight 1-3 non main battles based on your professor ranking). The battles can be character, quest, monster appearance, or reward related or just a random fight on a very small number of repeated dull maps (on normal you can fight on the random map as many times as you want). It became a problem in the second part of the game where there was literally nothing for me to do of value but fight on the same 2-3 repeated reward maps, made worse that the monster maps just add a monster to one of the existing maps with the same other enemy units. The extremely easy difficulty is made worse by a time rewind ability that you will eventually get around 12 uses of per battle that allows you to go back any number of actions you want, if toned down this would be a nice feature if the game had any difficulty. When they added the ability to turn off permanent character death they might as well have added the ability to skip battles entirely, and in this game, I probably would have made use of that ability.

The actual story of the game is improved over the recent games by letting you get to know more characters that you could be fighting against, doing more world building between fights, and giving you four different paths but an issue with the different paths is that you miss out on a lot of story and side character knowledge in what tends to be a pretty long game, there are very few main battles compared to past titles, and your story path locks you into only getting comments from a particular classes characters even when you have recruited other people. The story path I took even ended when there could easily have been more to come after it, basically giving a greater group of villains and then just saying that was handled after the war in closing text stories for the characters. A huge missed opportunity was the opening which is just one battle with a plot that just makes everyone look stupid before throwing you into a nonsensically handed out role as a teacher when it could have had multiple maps and introduced you more to not only the three lords you have to pick from but also all or some of their classmates. Hell, Fire Emblem 7 basically included a 10 mission tutorial that gave a whole backstory to one of the games main characters and allowed her to meet multiple characters you could recruit later.

Based on the DLC announcements it sounds like they are adding new random battle maps, quests, and story content (though that might be a side thing as opposed to attached to the main game) and if that adds more variety that could certainly help the gameplay.

They managed to improve or fix a lot of the problems with the kind of content they have been adding, if they would finally stop adding random side battles with no story significance that breaks the games they could easily start releasing the best games in the series.

 

Completed: Blazing Chrome
Platform: PC

Fun Contra style action game with six levels that combine the usual sidescrolling shooting sections, a few hoverbike sections, and a flying rail shooter segment. You have a basic weapon and melee attack and can find a powerful grenade launcher, a beam weapon that can shoot slowly or be charged up for a long constant burst, or a constantly firing shorter beam that follows your weapon movements. You can also find and have one active robot powerup that can make you faster, block two hits, or one that gives you more firepower by shooting in the direction you are aiming. You can unlock two extra characters when you beat them game that have a more melee focused playstyle, different modes and difficulties are also unlocked after beating it.. More forgiving than Contra by not only letting you continue after losing all of your lives on the same stage but at the section of the stage that you died on.

 

Completed: Night Call
Platform: PC

Play as a blackmailed taxi driver trying to learn the identity of a serial killer in somewhat noir styled visual novel. The mystery of the killer and the mechanics of identifying them are the least interesting elements of the game. The real game is the archetypes of modern life (and at times unlife), culture, politics, etc you meet in the back of your cab. Learning their stories, your own, attempting to help them in the moment by being someone to listen to them or just by making a connection.


Completed: ACA NEOGEO METAL SLUG X
Platform: PC

Remade version of Metal Slug 2 that was then released in an emulated form for newer consoles and PC. Apart from a quick play through and the amusing art style I never was the biggest Metal Slug fan as it felt like a lot of them were reusing parts from each other (even this one replaced a boss with a boss from another game) and usually the first to levels are easy then you start dying quite often. Vehicles have always been pretty dull, with some not even appearing at times where there style makes much sense, and it always makes it really easy to accidentally bail out of some of the ones it gives you in boss fights. Suffers from a lot of slowdown (though apparently less than the original game).

Completed: Old Man's Journey
Platform: PC

Beautiful art style with relaxing gameplay and music. Mechanics mostly involve you manipulating the hills of each area to allow the old man to reach his destination, which typically has him sitting down and remembering something from the past before he moves to the next destination closer to his final goal. The story told by his journey and memories isn't really that interesting or detailed to the point that you would feel anything for anyone.

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91) Words for Evil

Platform: PC

You know those free iPhone games where there's a bunch of letters and all you do is link on letter to the next to create a complete sentence? This is that game, but with RPG element & parties.

Image result for words for evil

You attack by creating words, but only if that letter is colored. The more colored letters you create, the better skill you'll unleash depending on your character. If you create more than 3 letter words, the blocks will explode & hit other colored letters in its vicinity. If you have more than 1 party, the party members will have different colors on them. Aside from battle, there's an "avoid this deadly trap by creating words" minigame, "open this treasure box by creating a specific word" minigame & "your lifebar is gone. Create a 6 to 7 letter word to revive or else you're dead" minigame. It's quite a lot of fun. The best character in the game is undeniably this werewolf dude that lets you heal yourself after you transform and do an attack. He is the MVP of this game. So much so that I can get past many of the stages just by himself and by the end I have to let myself get killed to finish the game since this game is endless after you beat the final dragon boss.

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92) THOTH

Platform: PC

A dual stick shooter game where you're a circle & you shoot other shapes. Then after you beat the final stage, you become a circle in the sky 

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Then you probably become one the colored shapes from that monolith thing in 2001 Space Odyssey. Or a kaleidoscopes color I don't know WTF

 

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Completed: Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
Platform: PC

Mechanically dull, visually pretty but filled with generic locations and interpretations of areas of Norse mythology, filled with generic stories of legends to find. Senua's depicted life revolves around her mental illness and pain, offers no room for nuance in its depiction only the light of perfect seeming dead boyfriend and contrasted by a traumatized, confused, and tortured Senua in past and present that give you no reason to care about any aspect of the world and little reason to care about her. A poor finale with an ending and certain lines of dialogue falling more into ableism in its depiction of mental illness or utter stupidity. And for a game focused on mental illness or disability it offers extremely poor options to cater to players that could players with its focus on poorly subtitled near constant voices that are difficult to hear without wearing a headset. A slog to get through even with its short length, likely not helped with its odd voice-over design that usually requires you to stand around to hear the story from a rune as continuing on will cause voices to play over each other, cut lines out, or drop to such a low volume that you will be unable to hear it.

Completed: Thimbleweed Park
Platform: PC

Adventure game in the style of early 90s games. Looks good, mostly good puzzles. With five characters to switch between it can take a bit longer to get through than most games of this style and the added length and interactions tends to stretch out the time between good jokes. An abrupt and odd ending that, while making the homages and references to old games make sense in context, ends up dulling all the characters stories which weren't always that detailed in the first place.

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