52 Games a Year 2021 Edition/ Game Record 2021:
  • 16. Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion (Switch)

    I think Splatoon MP is very solid but I hate it (except the roller which is immense). Despite much of this being very decent, it’s averages out at arse. There’s one big reason - the range on the guns. They’re aren’t powerful and they feel pathetic to shoot with but that’s not as key as the range. Most of this game is shooting stuff that’s floating in the air and you can’t reach, and you’ve got to get close enough to hit it. But it’s not enough to be on the right platform with the enemy dead in your sights, you’ve got to be right on the edge of the platform, toes hanging off, while avoiding incoming fire, and probably on some time limit, and the platform is a grate so when you need to refill on ink somewhere else but you’ve now got to find cover that isn’t drenched in enemy ink, then back to the edge of the platform, but now the enemies have rotated around to some other side and now you’ve got to wait. But now you’re not close enough to the edge so get closer. Oh they’ve gone again. Fucking great fun. 

    A lot of it doesn’t have guns, but can still be a grind. There’s one level where you have to smash all the crates on a timer and you’ve got to go round the course with an ink brush. The last crate is armoured so it takes a fair amount of ink to get it. But there’s no time to fill up and there’s one bit in the middle where you have to leather the ink out because you’re on rails and if you miss one of the crates you can’t go back. I reached the end first time but just a second off the pace or I need to fill up or something so it’s do the thing all over again, trying to shave off milliseconds or save a drop of ink here or there. So it took me 10-15 goes trying to do something that is piss easy but just set on an overly onerous time limit. Which isn't the sort of challenge I'm looking for. 

    I should say most of this happens on the stations where you can change lines, the levels that open up new levels and cost more to try and are more of a pain in the arse to complete. Most of the normal station levels are fine. Some it is great fun. Plenty of that inventive, varied, compelling gameplay your expect from top-tier Nintendo, but whoops you’ve got a shit load out. 

    Splatoon needs someone with some balls to go into the code and stick an extra zero on the values of certain variables. Range on weapons, power / ink output, running speed, movement speed while aiming with some weapons, knock a second off ink refilling, make the ink last an extra few seconds of shooting. Stick the enemy health up as well if you want to balance it, just let me feel like I’m shooting something. Then they’ve got a great game. I'd buy that DLC. 
  • Gonna disagree here. I also dislike Splatoon MP, happy for it to be what it is as an alternative to the majority what's on offer but it's not for me. Had a great time with the SP on the main game and expansion though, would probably pay for more of the same. Quite varied, varying degrees of punishing but always rewarding when you clear a stage. I think I went [9] with Octo. Fair enough with the grievances but it's peak Ninty for me.
  • Yeah I'd heard good things. I was ready to like it. It's good in many ways. Just hate them guns.
  • Thought I was already in this thread but it seems not. Anyway, I’ll use this post. Gonna try and finish games this year - or rather, see as much as I want of them until I’m done.

    Games “Completed”:

    1. Destiny 2: Beyond Light
    2. Detroit: Become Human
    3. Control
    4. Rise of the Tomb Raider
    5. Bugsnax
    6. Danganronpa
    7. Danganronpa 2
    8. The Last Campfire
    9. Oxenfree
    10. Donut County
    11. Slay the Spire

    Updated to include Slay the Spire. Had it a couple of days now - got to Ascension 3 on Ironclad and 1 on Watcher (not tried much of Defect or Silent).

    Yes I know there’s much more to the game but I’ve seen credits multiple times and I don’t think it’s a game I’m gonna dive deep into. Not a slight on the game - it’s clearly excellent and I enjoy it a lot, I just don’t want to dedicate myself to it more than very casually. So will probably hang it up soon.

  • Windjammers (Switch) 8/10

    This is a lovely little arcade game about a made up 1990's extreme sport.  The sort of thing that might be on an episode on Baywatch where CJ Parker gets roped into a game against special guest star John Stamos.  It is a Neo Geo thing so it has those nice detailed sprites and they're all appropriately bright and colourful; everyone is in their pastel leotards with those angular 90's sunglasses and they play on the beach.  It's refereed exclusively by bikini babes.

    The game itself is pretty much air hockey with extreme frisbees and that's not such a bad thing.  Games are nice and brisk and (at least on medium difficulty) don't feel cheap.  There's not much meat on the bone but the arcade mode is good for a half hour blast and you get a couple of mini games to break up the action, as well as different courts with unique walls and scoring areas.  I imagine you can get quite good at it.
    When you got movies like Tom Cruise in them, you can't lose
  • 26. Donkey Kong Country 2 - SNES - 4hrs 

    Quality stuff, all things considered it's one of the best 16-bit games, which of course plants it firmly in the toppest tier of early to mid 90s platformers too. I was late to the DK party and the first one I played was the GBA port of DKC, and I don't think I played that until a few years ago. I'd always assumed that deep down it was a B list platformer with snazzy graphics, but I misjudged it with my Sega eyes (I think I wanted it to be average under the surface because I was hugely jealous of how it looked as a youngster - 'but we've got Vectorman!'). The roll and character weight both felt good and the stage layouts were well designed. The sequel is miles better though, which has surprised me again. I'd heard it was the best one and while I'd still say it's not (Tropical Freeze is almost certainly better and I prefer DKCR too) it's remarkably good for 1995. It's huge, varied, playable and packed full of secrets, all of which add up to represent insane value for money when compared to most games of the era. I remember convincing my mate to buy Ren & Stimpy on the MD once, which we polished off in just over an hour. Oops. I was busy chasing polygons when this was released, which was fun at the time but another oops in hindsight. There are a few weak sections and the trial and error gameplay asks a little too much of the player at times (it's doable, but the final third is definitely on the rough side with one checkpoint per stage). Having to pay coins to save the game is also yikes, but it was a different time. It's hard to fault on the whole, so I'll go with a whopping 95% as its '95 score, it really is/was that good.

  • I've always fancied Windjammers, it looks like a proper same room 1v1 game, but I think I'll wait for the sequel now.  

    Also Monkey fwiw you've listed your last two games as #15.
  • I picked op Windjammers in a Switch sale, one im sad to say I've not booted up yet, I will get around to it.

    DKC2 is 90s platforming gold, nice to see it lived up to your expectations.
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  • SNES at its best. 

    Best console.
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
  • I love the SNES DK arc 

    *God look at those Graphics!
    *It's style over substance
    *God it's ugly!
    *...actually it's really good
    When you got movies like Tom Cruise in them, you can't lose
  • I've never been convinced by them. Competent but mechanical. Fun but not inspiring. Put them next to SMW or Yoshi's Island and the gulf in ingenuity is obvious.

    I played DKC2 not that long ago. Enjoyed it then got bored of it after a few areas.
  • Mechanical isn't a bad way to describe them, but they're purer assault course platformers than YI or even SMW. More often than not DKC boils down to 'can you negotiate the upcoming stretch without dying', whereas YI and SMW rarely demand (or thrive on the requirement of) pinpoint precision/memorisation/trial and error. There's plenty of variety sprinkled in with DKC2, but comparatively little of that pixie dust ingenuity. You've gone for two of the most complete platformers ever there though, the DKC series is more straightforward/screen by screen but not too far behind in terms of quality imo; sometimes you just want a bourbon biscuit.
  • Yeah, but no one gives Bourbons 95%. ;)
  • Yeah they’re fine on their own. But pale in comparison to Nintendo’s titles. It’s why I didn’t like them at the time but can appreciate them more now.
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
  • I'd put DKC2 as the third best platformer of the 16Bit generation.

    Whoever disagrees please let me know yours as I'd like to try them if I haven't already.
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  • Dynamite Headdy is probably the only Sega platformer in with a real shout of the top 3.

    SMW, YI, DKC2, Dynamite Headdy and (if you ball) Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
  • Yeah I really need to play Dynamite Headdy soon, Ristar is another Mega Drive game on my list to play.
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  • Castlevania IV and Rocket Knight Adventures have strong hack 'n slash/shooter leanings but should probably be mentioned.
  • Ristar is fine but it wouldn't make a 10 for me. I played it late and didn't quite get the fuss. LivDiv would disagree, so it does have fans. Pulseman is better imo.
  • Plok!
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
  • Castlevania IV is definitely a platformer.  And an amazing one.
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
  • Plok was an over-long samey collect 'em up with average gameplay and good music. Come at me etc.
  • Come at you?  I just need to look at the games you play now and have done for past few years.  My ammunition is the 52 games a year threads.

    (I just have fond memories, haven't actually played Plok! recently!)
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
  • Aha, but I've only played 23 games worse than Plok in four years.
  • Dynamite Headdy is definitely the main MD one in terms of pure platformer games that comes close to the Marios. There's a fairly big gap from there to the rest.

    Even then, I'd rather play Tiny Toons on the SNES than DKC. Inventiveness counts for so much.
  • Moot_Geeza wrote:
    Also Monkey fwiw you've listed your last two games as #15.
    Ah cheers. Fixed. 

    I've started DKC a few times and haven't quite got on with it. It seems too brutal but it's probably better once you get into the rhythm of it.

    17. Bonanza Bros (MD)
    Last played this a year or two ago but wanted another bash. Hard difficulty this go. Which is the same but you've got less time. Still pretty straightforward as long as you don't hang about. You're given so many lives by default you can sacrifice a couple to get through any tricky bits where you're running out of time. It's still great for a quick razz. Almost timeless. Simple but rock solid fundamentals. 90%
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    4. Maquette (PS5) - 2hrs

    The PSN freebie game this month that was better than I thought it would be. The puzzles are generally ok, though a couple depart from their own internal logic. What surprised me was the quality of the story, voice acting, ambient sounds and soundtrack, all of which kept me wanting to play something that I would probably have given up on. [7]

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