52 Games a Year 2021 Edition/ Game Record 2021:
  • acemuzzy
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    Acemuzzy (aka murray200)
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    Interesting.  You totally sure there was no way out??
  • Dark Soldier
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    acemuzzy wrote:
    Interesting.  You totally sure there was no way out??

    Yep. It was when you get the longer drone range. To the right were laser doors you could only unlock via the top route, to the left were those side to side enemies you can corrupt to create blocks. I corrupted them all but the jump required to exit was too high and i couldnt throw the drone up. To the right was one of the things you hit to open the laser doors but again the drone wouldn't reach.

    Checking for hidden paths revealed nothing. Was there for about 15 minutes. Guessing I somehow got in without the larger jump arc needed to get out.
  • Dark Soldier
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    Just checked it on a guide. I'm a fucking idiot. You're not supposed to go down, your drone is.

    SMH. Changed to an 8.
  • 3.Halo Wars 2 - Spear breaker - 3 Hours - 6/10 - Xbox Series X

    Really wanna polish of the rest of this so did the first DLC element today. It wasn’t bad by any means but the score reflects it just being ok. Not bad just ok.

    No Spartans involved in these missions which always sucks a little but I just took my time and built a MASSIVE army then slowly destroyed EVERYTHING! Which I always find fun.
  • regmcfly
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    Just checked it on a guide. I'm a fucking idiot. You're not supposed to go down, your drone is.

    SMH. Changed to an 8.

    So I just saw this and was about to write a 'well, actually' then you solved it yrself. I do really enjoy that game.

  • Dark Soldier
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    It is a banger and easily one of the better non-Nintendo Metroidvanias.
  • Nice, downloaded that last night.
  • Moot_Geeza wrote:
    Moot_Geeza wrote:
    Nice, downloaded that last night.

    Or not. I'm sure I clicked on everything but it's just installed the main game. 17gb update and 8gb dlc has put a stop to any Gearsing tonight.

    Should’ve mentioned that as it did something like that to me. Damn it.
  • It's installed now, but it keeps kicking me out the game or loading forever when I try to start a hivebusters campaign. I've not managed to boot it up properly yet. Looks like I'm going back to Super Punch-Out.
  • A full reboot worked.  Scottish GoW is go.
  • Dark Soldier
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    3. CLOSE TO THE SUN - 5 HOURS [6.5]

    An Epic Games freebie so can't complain. A 'horror' explorathon plot thingy. We've all played them. Tesla, electricity, science, ship, nonsense.

    Fairly enjoyable, in a go here and do this then go there kinda way. Let down by some real shit chase sequences and it all kinda just dribbles out in the last couple chapters. Its horror but isn't scary in the slightest. I still fairly enjoyed it though and as I said, for free can't complain.
  • 1. Gears of War: Hivebusters - Xbox One (4hrs)

    Short, sharp, seat-of-the-pants mini campaign.  It's so much better than what' I've played of no.4 I'm considering giving 5 a proper look at some point.  It's weighty, visceral (is this word still allowed?) and less po-faced than what I remember from Gears campaigns of yore.  The roadie run, chainsaw attack and reload snap are still great, as is the arsenal of useful weapons (it's approaching Ratchet & Clank levels of options now, and none seemed totally redundant).  The main character looked a bit like a clutz and I expected him to accidentally drop things every second cut-scene, but it was played straighter than that in the end.  He's more appealing than most of the the stoic stalwart no-neckkers of the previous games though, which is a relief.  The graphics are excellent - as expected, but it's still pretty wow in places on the One S.  Does this really look much better on the next gen consoles?  Tip of the hat if so.  Most importantly, it's fun to pop up and down while shooting things, and crucially - again I'm going to compare it to what little I played of no.4 - the things you're shooting at are satisfying to take down.  Even the robots, and perhaps even more impressively, even the swarms of little scurrying things than run at you (which are historically never fun to take out in any game ever).  Special shout for the last boss, which looked incredible and was a blast to defeat. Definitely the most fun I've had with a proper Gears game since the second one; it's as solid as it ever was but just a little more playful. [8]

    BossySneakyHuman-size_restricted.gif
  • Told you!!! Glad you enjoyed it dude, totally the perfect snapshot of what Gears should always be.
  • I think it's been long enough for visceral to come back!

    Really should give those games a go, they look like good fun.  Never got into the series because the main guy used to have a bandanna and soul patch.
    When you got movies like Tom Cruise in them, you can't lose
  • 1. Kentucky Route Zero
    What do you say about this? Probably loads once you really get going, but no time for that now. The best brief thing to say is that it's not like anything else I've played before. I mean, it's not a game, is it, or even a walking sim? More like an interactive theatrical production, but also a bit like a novel due to all the text. It's fascinating, and not just for being weird, which it definitely is, but for being properly surreal in a way that brings out the strangeness of everyday (American) lives. And for being playful with your perspective and your role, ensuring that you're always taking part in the story, not just a spectator, even when there's not really much to do.

    I did think it was a bit too stretched out though, especially in parts 3 and 4. Not enough to break up the endless conversations, no matter how well written they are. But even then, it's interesting to think about that in terms of how the game branched out over time between episodes and got more ambitious. I think it would have been a different experience again to play it in pieces, as originally intended.
  • 2. Super Punch-Out! - SNES (2hrs)

    Ridiculously good boss rush that probably would've crushed me without save states, even as a kid.  I think I finished it on the Wii Virtual Console, but it may not have arrived until the Wii U era come to think of it, which had save states I believe.  I'm convinced Hoy Quarlow would've merked me forever without my relentless cheating for the home stretch of the game.  The whole thing is perfectly irritating though, with what felt like a reasonably well measured difficulty curve, albeit with necessary jumps and spikes to keep you on your toes.  I tend to enjoy pattern learning stuff, and this is up there with the best of them - it's a deft upgrade on the NES game for sure.  Just about my only complaint is that the music seemed unremarkable for a then flagship Nintendo title.  Brilliant fun anyway, all three home console Punch-Outs are in my top 5 for their host systens.  Would play again, and no doubt will at some stage. 93%

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  • regmcfly
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    Move straight to the Wii version, do not pass Go.
  • I can't unfortunately, even though I found the game in the loft last month I've got no Wii systems to play it on. It's a remaster I'd chuck £25 at.
  • 1. Super Mario Sunshine (Switch) - 17hr 30mins

    Good game but by far the worst 3D Mario for me, and excluding the Land games on GB it's way down the pecking order with NSMB2.

    There's something about the way Mario controls in this that just doesn't feel right. He seems to have a tad more momentum when coming to a stop and his point of turn has less finesse than in the other 3D games. This issue is amplified by the fact that the trade mark back flip in the other releases is absent. In place of that you have to reply on the flip jump and spin jump more. Unfortunately it all results in a game that just doesn't quite feel up to the Super Mario name.

    On top of that the game feels really harsh when it comes to check points. There's a fair few Shines where you have to do a mundane task in order to actually activate the Shine challenge. This is most notable in Delfino Plaza where you have to feed a Yoshi egg a specific fruit to hatch it. Then travel via two boats to an island where only he can unlock a pipe for a mini game for a Shine. It's just far to laborious to be fun. I think this was more a problem of gaming in general back then, thankfully  most developers have taken note, including Nintendo.

    If those were the only issues I'd probably still give this a generious 8, but what really lets it down for me is the lack of unique levels. There's only 7 proper levels compared to Super Mario 64's 15, and the red coin Shines have been increased from one per level in 64 to a couple in most levels here.

    One complaint most had about 64 when it first game out was collecting 100 coins for a Star, which was definitely a cheeky way to extend play time. Thing is back in 96/97 the sheer wonder of traversing a 3D environment was such a novelty that few cared, not so much in 2002 and unfortunatley this game dials that up to 11. Not only are the 100 coin Shines still present, but there are now 240 blue coins to find, which can be exchanged for another 24 Shines at 10 coins each.

    Combine these with the extra red coin challenges and your looking at around 30 Shines of collecting instead of unique challenges that even 64 had 6 years earlier. It all feels a bit like the Tri Force quest at the end of Wind Waker, its lazy.

    It's not all bad though. The Fludd-less Shines are a stand out and obviously an inspiration for the Galaxy games.

    The graphics stand up surprisingly well, cut scenes aside. Sure there are a few dodgy textures but as a whole the HD up-res makes the colours pop. If this is what a lazy update is then bring on more please Nintendo! Fingers crossed for F-Zero GX and Wave Race Blue Storm.

    So definitely a good game, just not particularly good by Super Mario standards. I gave up at 87 Shines, and it's those missing Shines that let it down. It feels about 25% incomplete because of it, if there was say 3 more fully fledged levels in place of those blue coins it would have been so much better.

    7/10

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    オレノナハ エラー ダ
  • I've got about three different Super-Punch out saves across different SNES emulators over the last few years. The patterns for the final circuit always break me.
  • I was left with a more positive experience of Sunshine because I got out of there straight after the credits. I knew the mop up would be torture.
  • In my head I finished it on GC, albeit with minimum shines, but now I'm not so sure.  If retro only got 87 shines I find it unlikely I got 80.  Unless you could get to bowser on 60?

    64. Mario Golf Super Rush - Switch (5hrs)

    Disclaimer: The following is predominantly a review of the adventure mode, rather than the overall package.  While the full game has a few problems it plays an undeniably strong game of galf if you ignore the bullshit, and imo sits at a [7] with the potential to comfortably putt for an [8] if the free dlc comes good.

    The RPG lite adventure mode is a staple of Mario Golf games, at least in the three that I've played (this and the two previous handheld efforts).  I believe people were underwhelmed by this mode in World Tour, given that it was pared back compared to Advance Tour, but I enjoyed it immensely.  Here it just feels cheap, lightweight and cobbled together as an afterthought.  I used the word complacent in the MG thread, but if you focus on the bigger picture it's also pretty cynical.  There seem to be two distinct versions of Nintendo in recent years, and this becomes more apparent as the Switch juggernaut rolls on.  One the one hand you've got the double-polished AAA games that glisten under layers of varnish, but then you've got the titles that feel like they're plugging gaps between major releases.  Which could be fine - who better than Nintendo to develop competent AA games anyway, on paper - but when these releases feel lazy you've got to wonder how much Partridge shrugging is going on behind the scenes.  I'm all for free post-launch additions but when the likes of ARMS, Mario Tennis Aces and now this arrive with what is essentially a 'roadmap' of upcoming content it all starts to feel a little bit Early Access.  

    The adventure mode in this is a mess.  The whole experience feels like a game that's covertly visiting from a bygone era, like some sort of reverse Gary Sparrow.  The sparse map segments are knitted together by loading screens and it all feels like a resurrected Wii game.  There are characters to talk to, but the script is weak compared to most of these Nintendo spin-offs (the previous golf games, Superstar Sage etc), plus they don't seem to offer anything of useful, so why would you bother?  You're forced to take part in an abundance of undesirable play styles as you level up your Mii character like it's 2007.  The barebones golf is great, as I mentioned above, but the variations are a grab-bag of bollocks.  Cross country mode is an abomination, it should never have made it past the blue sky white board.  Speed golf is okay, but also a complete waste of time.  I assume it was decided that a modern game needs extra bells and whistles to release at £49.99, but I'd wager most series stalwarts would have preferred a more focused golfing experience at the near-mythical £34.99 pricepoint.  What if you take Tetris, right, but have a character that you have to move between puzzles?  Ooh, ooh - or Streetfighter 2, but you fly the plane to the USSR?  It's a money tennis approach to golf, and that's not cricket.  I'm not saying don't change things ever, but I am saying don't change them if the additions are only there to pad things out, rather than improve the experience.  If the speed golf had been binned in the early stages of development we might have had nine courses out the box, instead on a paltry (for a modern game) 6.  Even the visuals lie on the wrong side of rough - first party Switch games often look smashing; for the sake of hyperbole this looks like a Bleemcast PS1 game, or whatever the equivalent would be for running high res Wii games on a Wii U.      

    I've shanked the review wide of the adventure mode here and I'm basically just venting now.  I'll mention for a third time that the golf is good, but some of the course design doesn't seem to be anything to write home about.  As usual it struggles to make the tougher courses enjoyable, imo, but that could be down to practice.  If you eschew everything other than standard golf mode it just drops in for a par, but everything else is a double bogey being flicked in your face. [5] for the adventure mode, fuck it. Tap/tap snap golf is still my gaming comfort blanket but Camelot have embroidered all sorts of embarrassing flourishes to it. And it smells of wee.
  • 3. Bud Spencer & Terrence Hill: Slaps & Beans - Switch (2.5hrs)

    So many questions.  I've had my eye on this since release, and the price was finally right.  It's a stupefyingly basic scrolling beat 'em up that ends up being mystifyingly appealing. First question then - who are Bud Spencer & Terrence Hill?  Well they're not Slaps & Beans for a start, it turns out that's just what the game's called (one of them seems to attack with palms and backhanders and beans are central to the plot, in case you're wondering*).  They were an incredibly successful duo of Italian actors in the 1970s who adopted their American sounding names for spaghetti westerns like God Forgives...I Don't!, They Call Me Trinity and Trinity Is Still My Name, before moving on to non westerns like Even Angels Eat Beans.  As far as I can gather they're a cross between Hap & Leonard and Little & Large.  So that's the TIL out the way - back to the scrolling beat 'em up itself.  It's poor, but there's something infectiously likeable about the whole thing.  You've got two attacks (which are assigned to weird buttons and can't be changed) a grab for downed foes (which is a bit useless) and a parry (which appears to be fully useless), so really the whole game's played out with running attacks and standard punch barrages.  Streets of Rage 4 it ain't, it would probably have more in common with a scrolling Pit-Fighter tbh.  It takes the Battletoads approach to breaking up the action with minigames, which are mostly brief and all quite basic/fun, but the core walking & punching isn't anywhere near as solid as the much maligned 'Toads 2020.  There was one particular section with motorbikes criss-crossing the screen - which you have to dispatch without a jump button - where I found myself wondering why the hell I was a) still playing and b) mostly enjoying myself, and there's no point trying to break it down into anything that makes sense.  I was a big meanie to games like Horace and Knights & Bikes last year for being poor videogames underneath the artifice, but this is worse than both...yet I liked it more.  Why?  It's a genre I could happily play to death, the whole thing only lasts as long as one of their films and the music - replete with full lyrics - is absolutely delicious.  It's a hodgepodge of The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Lee Hazelwood and The Monkees, none of it's all the way great but it's all absolutely perfect nonetheless.  Actually I take that back; the spaghetti western, Bulldozer and ending themes are all the way great, and elevate every section they're used for.  It's peak legerdemain and I'm all for it.  The graphics are an odd mix of reasonably attractive (sometimes flirting with genuinely nice looking) and slightly off.  It also feels like it could've done with an extra month in the oven as there are more than a few rough & unpolished edges - the map screen between stages, for example, is only ever visible for a split second and feels like something they tried to cut out but didn't quite succeed. The ability to swap characters seems to only be offered at random intervals too.  

    Absolutely gutted I couldn't play this one with retroking, he would've hated it and I dare say had a great time too.  It's in the pump for co-op anyway, will happily play again at some point.  It's not a good game and I can't recommend it, but I'm half convinced I fucking loved it. [6]

    *This is my best guess, there may be a deeper meaning.

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    Wrap your lug'oles around this:

  • And because I'm never going to have the opportunity to post these anywhere else:



  • Moot_Geeza wrote:
    In my head I finished it on GC, albeit with minimum shines, but now I'm not so sure.  If retro only got 87 shines I find it unlikely I got 80.  Unless you could get to bowser on 60?

    You only need 50 to get to Bowser.

    オレノナハ エラー ダ
  • Moot I know it's not SPO but you should watch the summoning salt Matt Turk vid, it's a cracker. Plus the blindfold punch out one.
  • Glad you enjoyed Slaps and Beans Moot!

    Can't remember much about it except not liking it but being amused that it exists.
    When you got movies like Tom Cruise in them, you can't lose
  • Moot_Geeza wrote:
    Absolutely gutted I couldn't play this one with retroking, he would've hated it and I dare say had a great time too.

    Sounds about right.
    オレノナハ エラー ダ
  • nick_md wrote:
    Moot I know it's not SPO but you should watch the summoning salt Matt Turk vid, it's a cracker. Plus the blindfold punch out one.

    Watched the summoning salt one this morning. Fackinell, I don't think I've been that locked into a Youtube vid since the impossible sudoku one from last year. Excellent stuff, mind boggling how Matt Turk did it without half a dozen twelfth men in his corner.

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