52 Games a Year 2021 Edition/ Game Record 2021:
  • Arcade DK has a whopping four levels and is much harder. The NES has a hard mode but I didn't play it.
  • Sorry I pageturned this review for that nugget. 
    2: Doom Eternal (PC) 9/10 Posted in the Currently Playing thread about how, after a couple of hours, DE was getting too overwhelming - too many ideas, skills and systems.  I couldn't keep up!  This was at the time you get the flamethrower.   Normal games give you a flamethrower and it's just a fun and different way to kill the baddies for when you want to mix it up from killing them with bullets.  But DE isn't normal; the flamethrower has its own button and you use it to make the baddies shed armour pickups.  You have to use it. On top of your switchable and upgradable gun mods, your different grenades, punching people for health, chainsawing them for ammo, double jumping, dash dodging, remembering how to kill the different enemy types quickly... I thought it was too much.  Early on I couldn't remember which button did what.   But it did all click shortly after!  I never got good but I did get good enough to beat it on easy!  All bets were off after the cueball demon was introduced.  You shoot him and he goes flying and explodes when he comes into contact with anything.  It's this sort of out of the box thinking that I will probably remember the game for - maybe it doesn't make sense but it comes together coherently to make a unique FPS.   Love the heavy metal style too, it looks and sounds like Doom ought to.  I THINK the story takes itself seriously (with bits of overt humour) but it's so over the top.  I enjoyed the cheesiness.  There is the odd winking at the camera but I didn't think there was too much of that.  You don't need to follow it that closely but it seems like it's all there in the data pieces you pick up.   Very impressed, will try the expansions when they're cheap, who knows maybe I'll turn the difficulty all the way up to medium.
  • Wario goes big with a 9.  I enjoyed both recent games (high [9] and mid [8] for me), would probably play some Eternal DLC in a year or so.  Some DOOM purists couldn't get on with the 2016 reboot (retroking I believe?  vaguely remember him disliking the shift to close combat/executions), so I don't suppose they'd embrace Eternal.  There's been a lot of 2016 vs DE chat on here recently and it's all been good to read.
  • 5. Black Future '88 - Switch (2hrs)

    Tentatively dipping my toe in the rogues, that's two in a row now, and three for the year if you count Meat Boy Forever under the fuzzy definition of roguelite.  My niece wanted to buy me a game and Wargroove was too cheap apparently, so I ended up getting two carts from Amazon.  Second Christmas is go.  I've had around twelve runs on assist mode (beefier weapons, slight Matrix effect on the gunplay), during which I managed to see the final boss twice and kill it once.  I assume this is child's play compared to the default settings, but therein lies the rub: it's the random element that kills these games for me, and while I can handle it if the game's not putting up too much resistance (see hours played up top there), waiting for a running riot build on a genuinely difficult game that repeatedly drops you back to square one makes me antsy.  I get it - I understand why the genre is magnificent, how they force you to improve and adapt and all that jazz - but the rng element just discombobbles my head.  Also, I play games to beat them really.  Always have, always will.  'Clocked it', beamed 10yr old me in the playground, which is pretty much what I type in here umpteen times a month.  Rogues aren't really one and done experiences, the real thrill seems to come from the replayability.  Which is rarely something I find thrilling.  However long this would take to beat on normal difficulty, I bet it's a lot of time to dedicate to a game that may or may not be kind to you while you play, so I always tend to shuffle back to games that are guaranteed to be crushingly unkind every time in precisely the same way as they were before (Celeste, Meat Boy, The End is Nigh, Volgarr etc).  The thing is though, the rogue template is most certainly where it's at now for tight 2D gameplay, and it's a shame I played this on easy.  If it were a old fashioned, non-random non-permadeath level based game an easy mode would be an affront to my sensibilities; I'd hang up my thumbs before dropping a side scroller down a notch on an initial playthrough.  Now that developers are adding concessions like assist modes in these games, it doesn't seem too far fetched to continue hoping for fixed seed arcade modes appearing as an option.  One or two games have this already, but it's far from standard.  What I want, in a nutshell, available from the off: a default difficulty seed locked in as standard, with a limited and fixed pool of all-purpose weapons selected by the devs, available from the off for players that don't want to wade all the way into the waters but do want to feel the water on their nipples.  You want checkpoints at the beginning of areas as toggle option too?  We've got you covered.  Want to play Dead Cells to completion without grinding and learning and practicing for 15hrs?  Awesome, select Moot's arcade mode and you'll see it off and see it all in 4-5hrs.  Don't want any of these things?  Play the main game, chief.  More options = always better.  

    Fuck, that was supposed to last a sentence or two  Black Future '88 is a good-but-not-great run & run roguelike - with optional co-op - that probably isn't quite worth the dedication required to tame it, at least compared to the slew of top drawer alternatives available.  I never quite got to grips with the bizarre omission of a diagonal dash, which would've improved the action drastically imo, but overall it's a neat shooter with an excellent pixel art cyberpunk aesthetic.  Tunes are decent too, and unlike many games these days playing it at top volume with headphones on will deafen you.  If you're hankering for that Gunsgunsguns.gif feeling it's got you covered, but the more I unlocked the more irritating the G'nG water magic equivalents became.  Performance issues drag it down slightly, with snags and hiccups rearing their heads fairly regularly on the busiest screens.  Thanks to the solid twin stick shooting it scrapes a [7], it's definitely fun once you're in the thick of it, but it's not quite got enough to trouble the top end of any hidden gem lists. 

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  • Moot_Geeza wrote:
    Wario goes big with a 9.  I enjoyed both recent games (high [9] and mid [8] for me), would probably play some Eternal DLC in a year or so.  Some DOOM purists couldn't get on with the 2016 reboot (retroking I believe?  vaguely remember him disliking the shift to close combat/executions), so I don't suppose they'd embrace Eternal.  There's been a lot of 2016 vs DE chat on here recently and it's all been good to read.

    Pretty sure I went 8 for 2016 as well... Remember really liking the close combat but the other details escape me now.  Too many games ago!  Yeah could easily imagine people bouncing off one or both of them; will check out the Doom thread and have a read.  Sounds more fun than working anyway!
    When you got movies like Tom Cruise in them, you can't lose
  • 6.Destiny 2: Beyond Light - 6 Hours - 5/10 - Xbox Series X

    Destiny just gets worse and worse for me. After worshipping the original and putting serious time in on this sequel it’s just become something else entirely.

    Was it always like this and I just didn’t see it? The grind is beyond grind beyond grind. And it’s all just the same stuff it’s been for years. All this is of course well known but christ, just didn’t have any fun with that at all. The new sub-class was seriously awful and the only one I’ve ever immediately thought I don’t want to use this unless I have to. And I had to over and over again.

    Yeah the same great gunplay is there, but most of the weapons are same old, same old as are the enemies, the environments, everything. Hope it’s the last time I get drawn in.
  • Verecocha wrote:
    6.Destiny 2: Beyond Light - 6 Hours - 5/10 - Xbox Series X

    Destiny just gets worse and worse for me. After worshipping the original and putting serious time in on this sequel it’s just become something else entirely.

    Was it always like this and I just didn’t see it? The grind is beyond grind beyond grind. And it’s all just the same stuff it’s been for years. All this is of course well known but christ, just didn’t have any fun with that at all. The new sub-class was seriously awful and the only one I’ve ever immediately thought I don’t want to use this unless I have to. And I had to over and over again.

    Yeah the same great gunplay is there, but most of the weapons are same old, same old as are the enemies, the environments, everything. Hope it’s the last time I get drawn in.

    There's no way you done everything in beyond light in 6 hours, lots of its good missions and things are hidden away.
    And despite the deep stone crypt being really easy it is really good, fun and different.
  • I’ve done the campaign. I think I’ll live without the hidden away things I did for years and years before for things that are similar to all the things I already have or had. And I’ve not really enjoyed a single D2 Raid so I couldn’t be less interested in that either. I find it just so soul destroyingly boring now.
  • Verecocha wrote:
    I’ve done the campaign. I think I’ll live without the hidden away things I did for years and years before for things that are similar to all the things I already have or had. And I’ve not really enjoyed a single D2 Raid so I couldn’t be less interested in that either. I find it just so soul destroyingly boring now.

    Yeh I keep bouncing off it for the same reason so I feel you there.
    There's just so much more content after the story that is actually better than than the story.
    (The lament quest, hawkmoon quest,) then obviously theres stuff you need a bit of luck for (cloudstrike quest).

    I would argue that raids are destiny though and you haven't really played a destiny till you've finished a raid.
    They are the pinnacle of destiny's achievement's and the best designed content in the game.
    (And best loot and everything else).
  • digi wrote:
    Verecocha wrote:
    I’ve done the campaign. I think I’ll live without the hidden away things I did for years and years before for things that are similar to all the things I already have or had. And I’ve not really enjoyed a single D2 Raid so I couldn’t be less interested in that either. I find it just so soul destroyingly boring now.

    Yeh I keep bouncing off it for the same reason so I feel you there.
    There's just so much more content after the story that is actually better than than the story.
    (The lament quest, hawkmoon quest,) then obviously theres stuff you need a bit of luck for (cloudstrike quest).

    I would argue that raids are destiny though and you haven't really played a destiny till you've finished a raid.
    They are the pinnacle of destiny's achievement's and the best designed content in the game.
    (And best loot and everything else).

    Oh I know. I was happy going through several raids a night on D1. Going through Crota solo if people weren’t about. But the D2 Raids just haven’t ever caught me. There’ll be a few I haven’t done now but it’s just because I’m just nowhere near interested enough to learn them anymore. If there was an Xbox group on here I’d give it a go but LFG’ing, not a chance.

    For every interesting quest there’s just so many steps of doing the same thing that’s been done for how many years now? Kill x amount of Vex, complete x amount of public events, collect this, it’s just the same over and over for weapons like Hawkmoon that aren’t even new and most of the time aren’t even any good. Christ I remember things like Fatebringer that literally were worth every repeated attempt at the drop but couldn’t tell you a single worthy weapon on D2. Quite liked the pulse rifle I got from Gambit but turns out I can’t upgrade that past a certain point...why?

    Honestly dude I’d love it to as addictive as it was, but man it’s just so...boring now.
  • 2. The G.G. Shinobi (Game Gear) - 3hrs

    Take Shinobi and mix it in with a bit of Mega Man and you have The G.G. Shinobi, which happens to make a solid handheld game for its era.

    You basically have 4 levels to choose from, after completing each one you rescue a Ninja with a unique ability. Basic Mega Man stuff, but it works well so why not.

    I found the last level a tad disappointing, you retread the level a few times with a boss rush mode before finally encountering the final boss, felt a bit cheap.

    Still thats a minor quibble, and overall its an excellent example of what made a good handheld game back in the early 90's and a very good Shinobi game to boot.

    8/10

    My list
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  • Shit should I be updating here then adding to my first post?
    I just edit them in to my original first post! :/
  • You don't have to.  Depends if you want others to know as you go along, or using this thread only to keep a log in your first both or a mixture of both.  Entirely up to you.
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
  • 6. A Short Hike - Switch (90mins)

    I played this last year on PC, then bought Tilly the very reasonably priced Switch version at launch, which became the first game she ever completed solo.  Saturday was co-op time, although I didn't see much of the pad.  I don't remember getting the boat when I played, and I definitely didn't buy the hat.  Lovely stuff, a perfectly formed little adventure.  [8]

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    7. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition - Xbox One (6-7hrs?)

    What a game this was, an absolute nailed on [10] in 2001.  

    I'm not usually one for replaying games of a certain era as most things in AAA releases have been refined since (with massive QoL improvements), but I was shocked how well this has stood up on the whole.  Almost every skirmish against the Covenant is fun, ergo pretty much every checkpoint for the first two thirds of the game is enjoyable, which just isn't something many first person shooters manage to pull off in single player.  Alright look, I only ever played Half Life 2 on the Oldbox, but it wasn't anywhere near as awesome as this.  The twin weapon limit, the shield, the plasma grenades, the pistol, the AI, the open space warzones - CE was such a game changer, as a console gamer I'd never seen anything remotely like it and most of the game is no less fun to play twenty years on.  Yes, it has some wayfinding issues (alleviated in places by extra signposting in the anniversary edition), the Flood are passable at best (which does start to test your patience in longer levels), the alien weapons aren't particularly appealing, the auto aim seems unnecessarily heavy and the healthpack system is annoying on harder difficulties.  These are minor quibbles though, especially considering its age; it's a cracking campaign even on standard difficulty.  The anniversary edition is a bit weird played on an Xbox One S, given that you can have it look like either a 360 or an Xbox game, but of all the remasters I've played that offer a button to switch between visual styles this was the only one I couldn't stop fiddling with.  I love it when games let you flit between styles on the go, but I don't usually hammer the button quite as much as I did here.  

    Playthrough inspired by Vere on the previous page.  Other than level one when I first got MCC I hadn't fired up the campaign since 2002ish.  There's a chance I'll revisit another one soon (although it won't be the sequel, that was all about online mp for me).  [9]

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  • 2. Demon's Tilt [8]
    Not one you can really finish, but I set myself a target of getting the two big trophies - access Wizard mode (doing all the ritual challenges on the table in one game) and reaching 1 billion points - and managed those, so that'll  do.

    This is pretty much what I hoped it would be. I'm not really interested in pinball, but always loved Devil Crash on the MD, and Demon's Tilt is clearly channelling its spirit. A little more like a proper table than DC, but also includes all the moving parts and monsters that being a video game allows. Hitting targets is one thing, smashing the ball into bullet-spewing hell spawn takes it to a different level. There's tons to do and every challenge requires strategies, practice and a bit of skill to get it done reliably. The main table is even better than DC's, which is definitely something.

    The only issue really is the rather rigid front end. To get a satisfactory control set up I had to change the PS4 settings. There's an Ex-mode which adds bonus screens, but is also more difficult. Why not have the extras on the standard difficulty too? The game itself is good enough to deserve a little more care in this area.
  • Will get back to this shortly, my Xbox plate is clear.
  • It's already dropped off game pass though, still installed but I can't access it. I'll put it on my Switch watch list as I'd definitely play it more in handheld anyway.
  • 8. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Classic mode (Xbox One, 2.5hrs)

    Post release extra that turns a retro inspired modern Metroidvania into a classic level based Castlevania with 8-bit trappings such as (very good) chiptunes and disgustingly annoying staircases hanging over bottomless pits in the flightpath of bats.  You get three lives and there's usually one checkpoint midway through the five stages, meaning you'll have to beat the often simplistic boss after the second stretch, Volgarr style.  If you run out of lives you get kicked back to the start of the level. It's a reasonably well executed free content addition, you can't knock the commitment to the games it mimics and the annoyances are a package deal with the nu retro layouts.  Patience will see dedicated players through, once the level three difficulty spike is out the way, but not without frequently uttered bigswears.  

    It doesn't suit the visuals though.  The 3D characters in 3D environments on a 2D plane make it feel a bit like a reboot of an aborted Jaguar game.  The controls are just about good enough for what the game asks of you, but if it was any trickier I expect I would have binned it.  Grumble alert: as magic is assigned to the Y button you'd think Up + Attack could be switched off as a magic input, but no, so if your xbox pad is anything like mine you'll find yourself constantly using it by mistake as you ascend stairs.  The jump flip attempts to add spice but feels a bit cumbersome when you're in the thick of it as you have to switch direction to flip the way you were heading.  If anything it's a concession to more modern 2D games that doesn't quite fit the hectic 80s gaming homage screens and occasionally becomes a hinderance.

    All things considered I enjoyed it.  It's designed to be relentlessly infuriating while you learn the stages, so be warned - it does exactly what it's supposed to, but that's only going to appeal to a limited number of players these days.  Would be interested in retroking's take, eventually.  Not as good as Curse of the Moon for me. [6]

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  • regmcfly
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    So that's Mario Galaxy finished with 120 stars.

    It's probably the only Mario game I haven't actually touched since playing at launch.
    Theres a lot to like, but also a couple of big gripes.

    It really is one of the most inventive games I've ever played and to understand how the level design of pinging from level really blows my mind.
    What I really enjoyed more than anything was the end game purple coin challenges, something that had completely left my mind. They are beautiful platforming challenges without the scope of Odyssey, and therefore far more accessible. They ended up being my favourite things in the whole game.

    I guess I would say the scope and scale was also my least favourite thing. Going back now it is so apparent how small every world or area is, and whilst that helps in terms of the little puzzle box aesthetic, I never got the sense of wonder I did the first time round.
    Still a banger.
  • I would have replayed a remaster but I think I'll stick with the memories for the Galaxy games. The small worlds suited me nicely and I should have mopped up some extras but I stopped playing both games at minimum stars for Bowser iirc.
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    Purple stars best thing tho
  • So I hear and I don't doubt it, I just....dunno. Odd gaming habits I guess.
  • I'm in the same boat there; have a hard time pushing on once the credits have rolled.
    When you got movies like Tom Cruise in them, you can't lose
  • I finished a gaem.

    1. Carrion
    Metroidvania type 'reverse horror' game. You play an escaping monster, battling through a facility, discovering genetic upgrades that enhance your abilities, your way blocked by inaccessible areas and enemies of various strengths.

    An entertaining little game with a nifty pixel art style. Fun combat and creature abilities, the movement and animation of the creature very well realised. Doesn't hang around too long and not overly difficult. I had to refer to a map on a couple of occasions, usually after saving and coming back to it a day later after the flow had been lost. Good effort. 7

    Cue incoming Moot gif.

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    GT: WEBBIN5 - A life in formats: Sinclair ZX81>Amstrad CPC 6128>Amiga 500>Sega Megadrive>PC>PlayStation 2>Xbox>DS Lite>Xbox 360>Xbox One>Xbox One X>Xbox Series X
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    1. No Man's Sky (PS5) - 30 Hours [7]

    Massively better than when it launched, I've spent quite a bit of time on the game, but mainly really just grabbing resources to build out a base. They have layered in more ideas here with power generation now part of the equation, but those systems are still a bit clunky. What it takes to get a powered door means your doorway is filled with wires, because the wires from a generator/battery etc. only move in a straight line. It's a small point, but indicative of the still quite rough edged nature of the game. I've enjoyed creating my bat cave base, and exploring a dozen systems. I think I'll occasionally potter around on this, but that's enough for now.
  • 9. Injustice 2 - Xbox One (4hrs)

    One on one fighter with a cinematic story mode that felt eyebrow raisingly close to the whole Mortal Kombat sp thing.  It's good, but to be honest 'Superman's gone bad!' stuff leaves me a bit cold, especially if Batman has to out-clever him with doodads or imprison him (check, check).  Plus it has unevenly matched flights aplenty and only seems to bother with 'aha, kryptonite EMP!' explanations every now and then.  I'm no expert in the wider DC universe but I don't see Batman making waves in a straight fight with Aquaman.  I recognised around two thirds of the characters but once the likes of Black Adam started popping up and shouting "shazam!" the devs could've been having me on. Black Canary? Cheetah? SMH.

    Solid enough fightmans though, nothing you'd want near a tournament but not too shabby.  The gamble mechanic with the clash specials was shit though, and certain chatacters felt hugely undepowered.  

    Enjoyable stuff on the whole and perfect for a runthrough on Gamepass. The super moves were wild. [7].

    Gif incoming but I can't do it on my phone.
  • 6. New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe (Switch)
    Not a game to play with a hyperactive 6 year old. Think it’s quite good but the MP makes it infuriating. It’s a one player game with one player obstacles and platforming challenges. As in there’s only room for one character at a time on some of the platforms, when in MP, you need to get two people onto said platform. Chaos. The kid jumps and farts about and makes it impossible to time things right and bashes into me halfway through jumps. Can’t stand still and wait. Can’t keep up on the quick bits. Just a nightmare.

    She didn’t go this wild with Yoshi’s crafted world (her only other 2D platformer). Which I think is a reflection of the superiority of the game, that just making the characters move around is more fun. After a huge Dad-sulk after too many kid-caused deaths and level restarts, I switched to Nabbit, who is invulnerable, which made it tolerable to get to the end.

    I’d have really enjoyed it solo. Might still do a run in that way. This is the first of the New games I’ve played apart from literally 2 minutes on one of the 3DS ones. The jumping felt off to me then, too sluggish. I think the characters seem to have more inertia than I want. 20-30 milliseconds more than I want going from 0-60. Not sure though. Would need to redo it. It’s still, at minimum, a solid enjoyable platformer. Probably better than that though. [8]
  • Kirby All-Star Allies would be the worst platformer of the three but might be the best fit for your needs.
  • We tried the demo for that and it was unacceptable to her for some reason. Something to do with forcing you to replace members of your team, even if you don’t want to.
  • Ha, sounds like a valid grumble.  The Friend Train is ace though.

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