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GOTY candidate emerges + 10 other completions [January Report '20]
Games I've Quit - 19
- Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
- Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate
- Crysis 2
- Darksiders III
- Divinity: Original Sin
- Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen
- Gears 5
- God Eater Resurrection
- God Eater 2: Rage Burst
- Prototype 2
- Red Faction Guerilla Re-Mars-Tered
- Saints Row: Gat out of Hell
- Snake Pass
- Spyro Reignited Trilogy (3 games)
- The End is Nigh
- The Talos Principle
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is a game I did not even start playing. I did finish the original and gave the sequel two tries before giving up both times. The gameplay loop really bothers me because you get guns that do barely any damage and you end up dying 10 times during each boss fight, which kind of takes away from the excitement that boss fights should provide in my opinion. So I doubt this'll be for me either.
The 50th Metroidvania that I've quit is Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate. I really have a hard time enjoying these. I didn't like the story. The gameplay is God of War (the original) but in boring. The enemies suck. The level design is not fun, with all that backtracking (especially in Act II). Yeah, that's a No for me.
I've quit Crysis 2 for the same reason that I've quit the original. The only thing I'm impressed by are the graphics. The nanosuit is just a gimmick in my opinion. It allows you to go invisible, to reduce damage, to sprint very fast and to scan an area for enemies. With the nanosuit, this game at least gives a reasoning for why your character can do those things but I'm not at all impressed by it. The shooting is boring. The enemies glitch out more times than I can count, there are so many "cheap deaths" and the checkpoint system is trash. Yeah, not a Crysis fan.
I also didn't start Darksiders III. I didn't like the original, so I removed Darksiders II back in the day. I have the third iteration through PS+. Based on reviews, some videos and my disinterest in the series, I ultimately don't want to play this.
One game I was looking to spend a bunch of time on this year was Divinity: Original Sin. Shockingly, I was very disappointed by this game. The soundtrack immediately felt very out of place (is it just me?) and not really fitting the setting. The fact that you were forced to have two user controlled characters kind of annoyed me as well because you basically needed to deal with inventory management TWICE, which isn't something I really enjoy doing (I didn't find a way to only create one char). Didn't really have the same feeling playing this game as with other cRPGs.
This is the second time I have put Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen on this list but I had to be honest with my self here. I didn't like it that much during my first try, which was about three years ago. So don't feel like pouring 50 hours into this.
I started Gears 5 in coop with my brother. We were immediately put off by the bad humor, boring and bland shooting gameplay and a story that we didn't really care for, because, to be fair to the series, we hadn't played another game in the series previously. Still, I doubt I would have gotten through a single game in this series with all those terrible one-liners. But I won't say that the production values in this game is great, it's evident that this is a bid-budget game, at least I think so.
I've tried God Eater Resurrection and it felt like the game was way older than it is (released in 2010). Terrible mission design, bad graphics, technically very limited (maybe due to being originally released on PSP), meh soundtrack and trash combat. Didn't even try God Eater 2: Rage Burst but might give the newer release a try, if I get it for free.
Insurgency is actually a multiplayer shooter and I mixed this game up with Invisible Inc. for some reason :D Nothing to see here.
I saw some gameplay on Prototype 2 and after removing and adding it to my backlog two times already, I will now permanently remove it. I don't like starting with sequels anyway and the game seems to have aged poorly.
Red Faction Guerilla Re-Mars-Tered is another game that I didn't even start but just based on gameplay videos I could tell that I wouldn't have fun with this.
Saints Row: Gat out of Hell. Another case of "don't actually own it". I remember it being free through PS+ but looks like neither I nor my brother got it back then.
Snake Pass. Man. Terrible controls. This could have been ultra relaxing but the controls were so infuriating that they made me quit an hour or so into it.
I've only played the first game in the Spyro Reignited Trilogy but that's just not for me. No nostalgia attached to the series.
I've tried The End is Nigh and some how made it past that poor intro and 15 not so poor levels before deciding that this is the type of platformer that isn't really worth my time.
This one I'm truly sorry for because I think The Talos Principle explores very interesting elements about AI and if they should be considered conscious beings. There is this one funny archived chat on a computer where four guys argue about how one can determine, if a user is actually an AI or real. Person A says that no one can tell the difference, while Person B tells A that he is stupid. Person C agrees with Person B and says that Persona A is a troll. Then Person D tells Person C that Person B is actually an AI :D. Best plot twist of the year, folks.) And I think I did quite well with a lot of puzzles in World A and most of World B. But then puzzles get more complex and I never have the patience to spend one hour on one puzzle (same with The Witness) and so I give up. Yeah..
Hope you can all appreciate me trying to explain why I didn't beat this games, in case you are fans of any of them. This month could be called "The Cleansing of the Backlog" just based on all of these abandoned games. Suffice to say, February won't look like this. If it does, I might run out of games. And soon.
Games I’ve Added – 4
- Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate
- Gears 5
- My Friend Pedro
- Overcooked 2
Unfortunately, you already know my thoughts on two games I got via Game Pass: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate and Gears 5. Glad I didn't buy these two.
My Friend Pedro is the only one of these games that you will find in the "Beaten" section (and it's a good game imo).
My last addition for the month is Overcooked 2, which I've been playing in coop with my brother and it's been extremely enjoyable so far. First Battle Chef Brigade, now this. I might be a fan of cooking games :O.
Games I've Beaten - 11
A quick overview of all the games I've beaten this month. Reviews are in alphabetical order. (Bold = Game of the Month)
- Blair Witch
- Detroit: Become Human
- Half-Life 2
- Half-Life 2: Episode One
- Half-Life 2: Lost Coast
- Marvel's Spider-Man
- My Friend Pedro
- Pokémon Sword
Owned Since: December 31st, 2019
Beaten: January 2nd
Platform: Xbox One
Playtime: 6 hours
You will see a lot more Xbox One games on my completions this year. It all starts here, with Blair Witch being my first Xbox completion since Mass Effect on March, 2019. I've played this with my brother because we couldn't find a coop game we agreed on. We did have a horror game itch though, so we chose this. The game was released in 2019.
I watched the recent Blair Witch (2016) movie a couple months ago and actually fell asleep, which is a new horror movie low for me. Suffice to say, I didn't really enjoy it. That might be why I didn't see any connections between game and movie but I doubt that would have made a difference.
You play as Ellis, a veteran and former police officer, who suffers from PTSD after his experiences during his time in the army. Ellis joins a search for a little boy (Peter) who was lost in the woods, possible having been kidnapped. Ellis killed the kid's brother by accident when he tried to stop a robbery, so he feels like he owes this to Peter. He constantly communicates with others involved in the search and also with his wife, Jess. Their relationship is struggling due to Ellis' mental health issues, which is portrayed through many flashbacks throughout the game.
Ellis is joined by his dog, Bullet, who helps Ellis find objects, guides him through the woods and also relaxes Ellis, whose symptoms worsen when he is left alone. I actually loved Bullet, he is helpful and not just a nuisance. He also has his own "back story" as well, so it's not just a cute gimmick or anything. Talking about back story, Ellis' personal struggles are also interesting to a degree and at least don't deter you from continuing the game.
His relationship with Jess also helps in his character development, though one thing I disliked was this: You have a phone, so the game sometimes allows you to call Jess and have a conversation with her. Sometimes, this happens automatically. But man, these convos are so pointless and annoying. Especially when they happen automatically. Call 1: "I'm sorry Jess, I love you, you know that, right?", Call 2: "Fuck you, Jess, I'm angry now!", Call 3: "I'm sorry Jess, I love you <3!". And on and on it goes. I know that Ellis is very anxious and a very stressed individual due to his past traumas but this happened too much and most of the time, they would just discuss uninteresting topics that really didn't add anything to the game's story or at least not in a sense that it made you more interested in their relationship. And, you know, this is a "Blair Witch" game. It's not "Ellis: The Story", so I would've liked less focus on Ellis' relationship with Jess and more focus on the actual IP.
The overall plot is fine but I won't say much more on that. One gameplay feature that I actually liked is that you can change your surroundings thanks to cassette tapes. Each tape is a short clip about what happened in the past. One of them for example is about the kidnapped boy, who drops a ball in the clip. If you stop at that right moment, the ball will reappear where he dropped it. You can let the dog smell the ball and track the scent. Really cool feature and added a unique element to the game.
One final point: The final chapter, my god, that one took fucking ages. The boy is brought to a little house with a few rooms. I thought that yeah, some f'd up things will happen eventually and you might have to go through each room a couple times. But it ends up being this crazy episode where you get jump scared 50 times, enter 800 doors, sneak past the demon 20 times etc. They really made more than the most out of that little house because you easily walked 50km in there before the credits finally started rolling. And after all that, the ending was shit.
Detroit: Become Human
Owned Since: July 2nd, 2019
Beaten: January 7th
Platform: Playstation 4
Playtime: 15 hours
Wow. This is one of those games were I felt empty inside for a day or two after beating it. That might have something to do with the ending I got but the overall journey definitely had something to do with it as well.
The three characters you play - Marcus, Kara and Connor - all have their own interesting stories, which, as the game progresses, become more and more intertwined (as usual with David Cage's games). All three were played excellently in my opinion. The graphics, the atmosphere, the music and all the side characters even were all major positives in this games. And the best part about this game: Your choices matter.
I've never seen a game with this many choices and so many of them having so much weight. I'm serious when I say that main and side characters can die at so many different points in the game based on what you choose to do. After each chapter, something like a "choice tree" pops up, which basically highlights your choices within the chapter. Just by taking a look at this window, you realize you can play each chapter in so many different ways. You also get points for each choice you make, which you can use to unlock extras. These can be the soundtrack, art works, trailers and other videos, interviews with the cast and more. This is pretty cool in my opinion.
One thing about the gameplay. The game sometimes asks you to do mundane tasks like "wash dishes" or "clean tables". I didn't like these parts from a gameplay perspective but I understand how these tasks are supposed to show you how Androids "live". QTEs are very present throughout the game as well and.. yeah, you'll either like those or not. The best parts are definitely the decisions you get to make and when you can walk around an area and just look at all the highlighted items.
I won't get into the story too much but I can say this. I really liked it overall but I still don't know what I think about the whole "Androids are people" storyline. You see them crying, having relationships, feeling any kind of emotion, arguing and all that. They are supposed to be sentient Androids, sure, but making them act exactly like humans kind of felt too much. Maybe that's because rogue AI is still something that is way too far into the future for me to really believe in. Still, if you look past this point, you will find an intricate, exciting and emotional story around it that managed to draw me in completely. I of course tried to keep everyone alive (main and side characters) but three people in total didn't make it in my playthrough.
There is also one chapter called Freedom March. The scene is pretty epic and powerful in my opinion, especially if you can look past the point that I mentioned in the paragraph above. I'll definitely play this game again with a friend or family member, if they're interested, because they will 100% make different choices and I'd like to see how they experience the story as well. Great concept, great execution, hope to see more games like this from David Cage.
Owned Since: November 23rd, 2016
"Beaten": January 3rd
Playtime: 10.5 hours
I've played the original Half-Life when I was in Brighton for 6 weeks and doing an internship (I'm from Germany and my employer allowed me to do it, best experience ever). I only had my laptop available , which is not suitable for playing games, so I had to play graphically less demanding ones, like System Shock, Shantae and the Pirates Curse, CUPID and Half-Life. Half-Life was easily my favorite out of the bunch, because the game aged relatively well and the level design is solid.
That was back in 2017. So playing Half-Life 2 was a long time coming and I'm glad I finally did. This game is absolutely incredible. The jump from the original, especially in terms of graphics and even level design, is crazy. Each chapter drops you into a different environment with different challenges to overcome. In one chapter, you have to drive an "airboat", in another you drive a car because Antlions come out of the sand and only allow you to pass with a vehicle. Then there is Ravenholm, where you jump from roof to roof in the dark, while monsters jump at you from everywhere (scariest level ever).
What I loved about this game and it's something that (almost) no current games do anymore, especially not at that level, is that there are no cut scenes that interrupt you, when something major happens in the game. Everything happens within the flow of your playthrough. There is this robot dog that will jump around and throw cars at enemies, there are gigantic striders that come out of nowhere and shoot at everything they see and there is nothing that interrupts you, while you play. This game is just such an amazing experience throughout that I was just blown away throughout. The game keeps throwing stuff at you, especially in the first half, and manages to keep the gameplay fresh throughout, which, for a game from 2004, is ridiculously impressive.
The game mostly uses similar weapons as in the original, though I believe the crossbow and something else I won't mention are both new. And also there is the gravity gun of course, which is a weapon that you can use for basically everything. It lets you pick up items, throw them at enemies and it even lets you pick up enemies and throw THEM at enemies. You need to use it many times to progress through a level and I was always glad to. Just a fun weapon to use.
And then there is the G-Man. I don't really get the story much unfortunately but the G-Man is supposed to be a mystery anyway. One of the cool features in this game are the G-Man easter eggs. In almost every chapter, you can see the G-Man in the distance just walking away. I didn't know this before playing but once there was this train that crashed into a wall. There was a little hole which you could look through and I for some reason decided to do that and saw the G-Man. This spotting is accompanied by mysterious sounds and it actually startled me a little bit. The G-Man is definitely badass.
Now some negatives. The voice acting is poor (though I played it in German). The characters are not that memorable. The story isn't really all that well told in my opinion, though that might be one of the negatives, if you don't have any cut scenes in your game. I'd rather have seamless gameplay as I explained above rather than cut scenes that don't tell much anyway but the combination of both (e.g. God of War) is something I'd obviously prefer.
Still, I definitely understand why this game is considered the best game ever. I do think we should seperate games by the generation that they came out in because each gen produced very different games but the fact that Half-Life 2 still amazed me 15 years after its release says something about this game's quality.
Half-Life 2: Episode One
Owned Since: November 23rd, 2016
Beaten: January 21st
Playtime: 2 1/2 hours
More of the same as Half-Life 2. I switched to English audio and it made a big difference. I don't know, if that was the sole reason or if the game did a better job with Alyx, but her character got ten times more interesting and endearing than in Half-Life 2. Also, Dog is great.
The game is obviously much shorter and the level design is either similar to or more simplified than the chapters in Half-Life 2. Also, Alyx is following you around for way longer than in the "main game" (I guess that's what H-L 2 is), so that opened up a few different puzzles that involve Alyx, who can open doors and manipulate rollermines, among other things.
Not much else to say here, the game advances the story nicely and I'm already dreading the finale of Episode Two, which will undoubtedly end on a cliffhanger.
Half-Life 2: Lost Coast
Owned Since: November 23rd, 2016
Beaten: January 1st
Playtime: 15 minutes
This is a tech demo apparently. I've played it, so I'll add it here but I don't have much to say about this.
Rating: No Rating
Owned Since: December 31st, 2019
Beaten: January 18th
Platform: Playstation 4
Playtime: 30 hours
This is one of those games where my review won't do it justice. First off, I got 100 % of the trophies. This is maybe the fifth game ever that I fully completed (and I've actually done it with another game this month, that one being not quite as impressive). That should tell you what I think about this game.
As usual, here is my backstory with the Spider-Man franchise: I've watched the first movie with Tobey Maguire about 40 times as a kid. Spider-Man was my hero. Yet, I only watched Spider-Man 2 and 3 once or twice and have never gotten to watch the newer releases because I kind of forgot about Spider-Man and superheroes in general.
After starting this game, I rewatched the original Spider-Man and let me tell you, the nostalgia was real. Anyway, about the game:
The game references a ton of stuff from the comics I'm guessing (didn't read any of the comics) but I understood a few references here and there thanks to the original trilogy and just the soundtrack of this game got me feeling very nostalgic. The music, the web swinging and the web shooting sounds all were immediately recognizable as well.
The web swinging in general is easily the most satisfying thing I've ever done in any video game ever. It's incredibly smooth and as close to perfect as it can get. Once you unlock a few more abilities, swinging gets even more fun. I found myself swinging without any goal from time to time because it was so fun and that's really the most impressive thing about it, the fact that you even forget what you were going to do.
Just as smooth is the combat system, which is like the Batman Arkham games for anyone who played those. You have a few buttons to hit enemies and get alerted before you get hit so you can dodge. Right from the start, because you're Spider-Man, the combat system allows for so many nice combos. Hit a guy, slide between his legs, come up behind him, kick him in the back, done. Then go to the next guy, uppercut him into the air, grab him with your webs and throw him on top of another enemy, done. Later on, you unlock more abilities and a lot of gear that you can use to beat the crap out of enemies in even more fun ways. Pinning an enemy against the wall with your webs is also immensely satisfying and easily my favorite way to beat them.
Next to the main story, there is a LOT of extra content to explore and because the web swinging and combat are both so fun, I actively wanted to do all the extra content. I didn't want this experience to end, which is why I did EVERYTHING in the game and got 100% completions in all 9 districts. Side content varies from side missions, in which you help civilians or fight "side" villains to random encounters against enemies of one of 4 varieties (Fisk's guards, "demons" etc.).
While you're fighting, Spider-Man is being Spider-Man of course, so he always drops some one-liner to annoy his enemies. Most of these are hilarious and I audibly laughed at least a couple times. He repeats himself during some of the side content but with the sheer amount of the side content that is in the game, that might be unavoidable. Also, the voice acting (played in German) is superb. Probably the best German voice acting in any game I've played, which can be very poor in even AAA titles sometimes. J. Jonah Jameson's voice actor does an amazing job and so does Spider-Man's. Everyone else ranges from very good to solid, which was a positive surprise.
Two more things I want to mention quickly: 1. There are a few dozen Spider-Man suits in the game. Now get this: All of them can be unlocked JUST BY PLAYING THE GAME. Yes, the game released in 2018, not 2008 and there are no microtransactions for this sort of stuff. They put stuff in the game that they didn't need to and didn't charge you extra for it. I know, it's nuts. And it made me remember how big of a difference such a little feature can make in the grand scheme of things. You can just feel the love that went into creating this game and I really appreciate everyone working on this.
Lastly, the story and the games villains. There are actually more than a few that you encounter throughout the game. Most of their backstories are actually explored during the game, which was great. My favorite thing about any story is a game, movie or book is a good villain. Pagan Min of Far Cry 4 could have been awesome, if he wasn't so absent during almost the entirety of the game. Same goes for Vaas in Far Cry 3. Heath Ledger's Joker is easily my favorite villain ever and Gus Fring in Breaking Bad is also an incredible character. Both get a ton of screen time, not just when they are one on one with the protagonist. They get their chance to shine on their own. And the main villains in this game do as well. Electro, Vulture, Scorpion and Rhino are some of the less frequently presented villains but their boss fights were still all unique enough and enjoyable. Everyone else, like Spider-Man, Mary-Jane, Miles, Aunt May, Martin Li, Otto Octavius, Norman Osborne and Yuri Watanabe were well written and all added something to the story.
Can't wait for the sequel!
(Also, I could've sworn this game was developed by Sucker Punch, this game reminded me of Infamous: Second Son so much).
Owned Since: October 3rd, 2019
Beaten: January 1st
Platform: Xbox One
Playtime: 1 1/2 hours
I wanted to check out Minit since the game was released because I liked the premise. You have 60 seconds to get as much as possible done before your character dies and resets in the last home that you were in. Beating this game requires exploration, timing and patience. Often, you are required to solve puzzles, which, because you only have 60 seconds, can take you a few trips to the location of the puzzle. None of the puzzles are too challenging but if you're someone who has a hard time solving ones on, say, medium difficulty, this might get slightly irritating. Yet, Minit manages to be an enjoyable experience and offers enough variety in its game and level design to not bore you and make the main gameplay mechanic be annoying at the end of your playthrough. The 60 second loop is not groundbreaking by any means and I know there are other games out there that use this same mechanic. I don't know, if those were developed before Minit, but I'm guessing that Minit isn't the first game ever with this 60 second loop mechanic.
The soundtrack is fitting to the gameplay. Nothing special. If you own this game and have a free afternoon at some point, give it a try. It's a solid experience imo.
My Friend Pedro
Owned Since: January 20th, 2020
Beaten: January 22nd
Platform: Xbox One
Playtime: 4 hours
A banana called Pedro wakes you up and tells you to kill "Mitch The Butcher". So you do as told. You go through a wave of enemies and obstacles during the first few levels and make your way to the boss fight, which was actually pretty epic in this case. Then the second of 5 chapters begins. As you progress, there are new weapons, obstacles, enemy types, ways to kill, objects to use and more. Pedro will talk to you during missions as well to give a little bit of insight on the backstory or to just tell some dumb jokes. He even writes you a poem (which was hilarious) but overall you don't really engage with him in a way that makes him this memorable and unique character that I thought he'd become.
The gameplay is great. You can use pistols, uzis, shotguns and more to shoot enemies. You can shoot them while walljumping, by letting bullets ricochet from metal objects (even by shooting a frying pan) and you can make barrels drop on top of them, among other things. When you get better and can do all these things in one motion, it looks amazing. There is a "bullet time" system as well and you can even dodge bullets by pressing LB to spin around, which just looks epic. Some levels are more annoying than exciting though, especially when there is less shooting and more puzzle solving or platforming going on but overall the level design is superb.
The soundtrack is the biggest disappointment here in my opinion. Some tracks are as strong as in other Digital Devolver games (Hotline Miami in particular) but there aren't enough memorable, epic electronic beats that flow with the action. And there aren't enough tracks in this game, period. Definitely expected something more grand here. Most boss fights were also pretty boring, especially the penultimate one. Overall definitely a game I would recommend, with a ton of replay value for anyone who wants to get an S-Rank in every level.
Owned Since: November 18th, 2019
Beaten: January 16th
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Playtime: 19 hours
Hot take alert! This review might anger some of you, so continue reading with caution.
Quick overview on my experience with the Pokémon franchise. I've watched the anime as a kid. I've watched friends play Pokémon games on their Nintendo DS's. That's it. I've never played a game myself. Always wanted to. My brother bought Pokémon shortly after its release, so I decided to give it a try.
Right at the start of the game I was very much reminded of the Persona series, so I guess I can see which series the Persona games were influenced by. Anyway, as a big Persona fan, I thought I would dig finding new Pokémon, the battle system and hey, maybe even the story. Let's start with the positives.
The music is awesome. The track that plays during arena battles is especially great. Collecting Pokémon actually is fun as well, so I wasn't left disappointed there. A lot of Pokémon's have weird names and look really sometimes and I wanted to throw my Switch against the wall when they would break out of a Pokéball at like 1 HP but 'oh well'.
I also really liked the wild area. It offered a ton of Pokémon to catch, a few characters to battle and get items from, items to find and challenges to do. This could definitely be fleshed out but I liked the time I spent here, though that wasn't much at the end.
The battle system is good but fights are way too easy. I've played for 19 hours and didn't lose a single battle. Every gym leader does the same thing. They fight normally til they have 1 Pokémon left and then they active the Dynamax. Predictable and makes me wonder what the point of the Dynamax feature really was. For everyone who doesn't know, Dynamaxing a Pokémon means that it becomes gigantic for three rounds. That's it. There isn't much strategy involved with it, because the Pokémon still take damage like they're at LVL1 sometimes. One final issue I have is those extremely long animations, especially for dynamaxing Pokémon. The persona series and many other JRPGs have this issue though, so I'm nitpicking here.
One last positive are the different areas and locations in the game. Some, like Engine and Claw City, look pretty cool. You can definitely see that art designers put a lot of work into this game as a whole, though as I mentioned, some Pokémon characters are so stupid (like Klikk, what the fuck is that?!).
The worst part about this game in my opinion is its' story and characters. If you're only playing the game to collect Pokémon, you might not care but I personally always look or a good story, unless the gameplay is fast-paced action like DOOM or Metal Gear Rising. In this game, you partake in Arena challenges. So you and your friend, Hop, who is one of the most annoying characters ever, embark on a journey to beat eight gym leaders and fight in a tournament to be the new champ. Hop's brother is the current champ, so Hop always talks about how he wants to be the best and how you're his biggest rival. You fight Hop after almost every arena fight and you wipe the floor with him each time. Then he starts talking about how "he is inspired by you beating his ass" and "how you humbled him" and how he will work harder now. Then you meet him in the next arena and he says: "I just beat this gym leader, he couldn't handle me and my GOAT Pokémon, I'm the best!" (GOAT as in an actual goat, not the "greatest Pokémon of all time". And his goat sucks). So this is the story of Hop for 20 hours. Gets cocky, gets humbled, gets cocky and during all of this I'm thinking "I don't care about you, Hop."
Throughout this game, every character talks the same way. "You're amazing, nobody can stop you, keep going!" and I just felt like the game thinks I'm a 5 year old or something. I know that's Nintendo's spiel, to make things feel very fun and also very nostalgic for all the players who have grown up with their games but Pokémon takes this to a whole nother level.
One last thing about the Pokémon franchise. Why are Pokémon games so highly regarded for doing stuff that other AAA games get absolutely destroyed for? Releasing two different versions of a game with slightly different content? Imagine Mortal Kombat 12: Version 1 and Mortal Kombat 12: Version 2 with exlusive fighters for each version? The shitstorm would be huge (and rightly so). But Pokémon does it and it's OK? Also, gamers criticize FIFA and other sports games for releasing the same game every year and Pokémon doesn't? It's the same gameplay loop every time from what I can tell, it's badly optimized even, it's mostly the same Pokémon (fewer this time around), a bare bones plot and horrible childish writing. Sure, if you like these games because of what they mean to you and you actually enjoy it, great for you. But to go hate on similar games for doing the same thing feels kind of hypocritical and I'm always amazed at how Nintendo gets away with it.
Owned Since: August 22nd, 2016
Beaten: January 20th
Playtime: 9 hours
This is one of the oldest games in my backlog. I got it from one of the first Humble Monthlies but never got to it until the game was giving away for free on, what feels like, every platform by now. Nevertheless, I'm glad I was able to support the devs somewhat back in the day because this game is pretty good.
You play as Simon Jarrett, who lost his girlfriend after a car accident. He barely survived the accident himself with severe brain damage. He agrees to go into a brain scan developed by some student. When he wakes up after the scan, he finds himself in an unfamiliar room, surrounded by machinery and technology he's never seen before.
The start to this game is so weird. First off, I've played this on "Safe" mode, so monsters don't attack you. They're still there and they will hit you, when you're too close but they don't kill you. There are also these blue "mechanical plant" things. You can put your finger into its hole and then ... nothing happens. I've done this with every "plant" I've seen in the game and nothing ever happened, though later Simon puts his whole fist into it (yep). Maybe this would recharge your health, if you're not playing in safe mode? I don't know.
You meet a bunch of broken robots in the game, who all think they're human, even though they're clearly not and that gets you thinking: Where the fuck am I? Later, you meet Catherine, who helps you uncover all the mysteries. I won't go into any detail here but she basically created this thing called the "ARK" and needs you to shoot it into space because humanity depends on it. As you go, the story starts making more and more sense.
Gameplay in this game boils down to solving puzzles, which are perfect in difficulty in my opinion, walking a lot, interacting with items and reading data. You can add "hiding from monsters" to that list, if you're not playing on safe mode but I was perfectly happy with my decision. The game is eerie enough as it is and I probably wouldn't have gained anything from dying a bunch of times.
As I mentioned, the game is really atmospheric, which was really important because otherwise the constant walking around would have become very tiresome. The story started off slow as well but once I started to understand, it was this interesting dilemma about where the line is drawn between at which point you can still consider yourself human and at which point you can't.
Overall, I liked the story, I liked the atmosphere but the slow start and the tedious nature of walking simulators are the reasoning behind my final rating.
Owned Since: July 12th, 2018
Beaten: January 3rd
Platform: Xbox One
Playtime: 3 hours
In Tacoma you play as Amy Ferrier and have the task of retrieving data and the wetware of an AI, ODIN. from an abandoned station, Tacoma, which was struck by a meteor a few days prior. The crew was rescued, so as you collect the data, which happens automatically once you enter an area, you are free to explore the many different rooms in the station, where you can re-watch interactions between the crew members during and immediately after the meteor strike. During these, you find out about each member's role, ambitions, backgrounds and relationships between each other.
While checking some info about this game, I found out that this was developed by the same guys who made Gone Home. These games are very similar in that there isn't any threat, you can basically just explore a location and piece together the story and the events that unfolded. It's possible that you can beat the game without really "completing" the story or finding out every truth but I wouldn't recommend it, because the story is actually pretty interesting (way more than Gone Home in my opinion). Beware that this is a walking simulator, so there isn't much in terms of gameplay. You just walk around, read some notes, listen to dialogue, do a few very easy puzzles and interact with a couple other things and that's it. All the value here is in the story and the characters, so your prior experiences with walking sims should tell you, if this game is for you.
- Half-Life 2: Episode Two: Let's "finish" the series. Very hyped about Half-Life Alyx, though I'd only be able to get my hands on it, if they port it over to the Playstation 4 (probably 5) at some point. I'd definitely buy a VR headset then.
- The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine: Made some decent progress at the end of the month once I was content with all those completions I had. Could be a completion in February.
- Uncharted 4: A Thief's End: Time to continue/conclude Nathan Drake's story. Very hyped for this.
- Overcooked 2: Coop game of the year contender. Love this. Currently on Chapter 5-1.
- Ryse: Son of Rome: Been in my (PC) backlog for a while. Now that I have the Game Pass, I'll give it a try (that rhymed).
12in12 original list - Progress: (6/12)
- Batman Arkham City
- Blair Witch | COMPLETE
- Bioshock Infinite
- Deponia Doomsday
- Detroit: Become Human | COMPLETE
- Half-Life 2 | COMPLETE
- Mass Effect 2
- Minit | COMPLETE
- Orwell: Ignorance is Strength
- Pokémon Sword | COMPLETE
- SOMA | COMPLETE
- The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine
My Yearly Stats:
- Games Added: 4
- Total Price: 1 €
- Games Removed: 19
- Games Finished: 11
- Games Left in the Backlog: 63