52 Games a Year 2021 Edition/ Game Record 2021:
  • 3: Ridge Racer Unbounded (PC) 6/10

    This 360 era racing game is famous for having a silly name and not being much like any of the other Ridge Racers.  It didn't review very well except with Edge who gave it a 9/10.  I wouldn't got that far but it holds up alright.

    It's one of those games where you have to build up a nitro metre and burst into your opponents for bonus points.  It's pretty fun and you can crash through most roadside objects and some buildings without slowing down.  You do have to blow up your opponents to win in the normal races (there are a few different types, nothing too unusual.  Drifting races and shit like that).

    It gets a bit old a bit too quickly though.  I did a double take when I downloaded it and it was only 2GB.  It seems like a technical marvel for a minute, but there's not much meat on the bone.   All the levels look the same.  The same city, the same assets.  I got sick of it after 5 hours or so and it goes for about 12.  Think it only cost like $5 in a Steam sale years ago so it was okay value i guess.
    When you got movies like Tom Cruise in them, you can't lose
  • regmcfly wrote:
    3. Super Mario Sunshine

    What to say about it? It's the worst 3D Mario game, for sure, but even then there are moments of joy and genius within it.

    Exactly what I came away thinking.
    オレノナハ エラー ダ
  • Nina
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    Here we go, number 1:

    1 - Bloodborne Just Completed Post

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    (crow set best set and I fought very hard to obtain that one)
  • 16. ScourgeBringer - Xbox One/Switch (10hrs)

    Ultra tight arcade roguelite with a near-perfect screen-to-screen gameplay loop.  While some rogues expand exponentially by trowelling layers on as you play, this retains its simplicity regardless of the rng synergies - your standard moveset is always far more important than whatever random elements your current run spits out.  It's a screen clearance game at heart, with each room presenting you with two waves of opponents.  The more you play the more you learn to prioritise threats, so when the enemies pop in you've got a split second to formulate/execute your knee-jerk plan.  Once you've got to grips with the tools at your disposal you'll start to differentiate between immediate and secondary hazards, snuff out danger with ruthless speed/precision, and learn how to mitigate mistakes.  This may all sound painfully obvious, but it does it better than most - despite the hack 'n slash core it's as much Geometry Wars as it is Dead Cells.  In terms of control it's Celeste meets The Dishwasher, and - deliberate delay on the parry aside, which is still destroying me when the game's set to full speed - it's close to perfection.  Your main attack is a standard slash, which holds you in place if you swipe in mid-air.  You can also dash, which offers a slightly weaker attack, and perform a heavy swipe that can stun enemies.  If you see an exclamation mark above a monster, it's about to attack.  If you thwack it with a heavy attack while it's preparing to fire (Y on Xbox) you'll have a chance to stun it for a few seconds, or propel it in a chosen direction (stunning any enemies it hits) assuming you've unlocked the correct perk.  If you dally long enough for an enemy to fire you can parry projectiles with Y, which will rebound in whichever direction you choose turning defence into attack.  You're toting an auto-aim firearm too, which feels like an afterthought at first but eventually reveals itself to be absolutely essential.  The loop repeats itself at such a breakneck speed you've never got much time to do anything other than fizz around the screen in a desperate flurry of attacks that you're somehow in complete control of.  It's fucking masterful, zen gaming stuff and even the rogue element couldn't shake me off.  In terms of the basics that make this game tick, it's one of the tightest & bestest run & slash & gun types I've ever played.  The DOOM reboots might sound like a weird touchpoint for a kinetic 2D roguelike but bear with me, badgers - the way every move at your disposal is so intrinsic to success at any given moment, and they way you have to juggle threats by constantly eeking every last drop from the cause and effect of your limited actions while clearing rooms with style - before immediately and gleefully repeating it - reminded me of the recent ID efforts.      

    I won't go on about my unfortunate lack of love for roguelikes, I've done that enough in recent years, but I will say that the random elements didn't take the shine off this one, even for me.  Yes, I still find it annoying when the game is generous or stingy with its randomised offerings, but it's a bitter coated pill I could swallow thanks to the sweet, sweet centre.  The levels are knitted together differently each run but you'll need to defeat the sub-boss (or bosses) to open the boss door for each stage.  When enemies die they drop blood droplets, which act as currency for buying weapons, perks, health or mods.  For every guardian you defeat you'll receive an orb that can be spent in the chiming tree at the start of your next run.  In all fairness unless you're in the Dubs zone for hand eye co-ordination I expect you'll need to unlock everything before the difficulty starts to feel much less than impossible anyway.  And therein lie the rub, I guess: it's a hideously difficult game even with the entire skill tree unlocked, and unless you embrace the sheer nastiness of what it demands of you you'll struggle to even see the back half.  I'm currently playing it at 80% speed with additional health drops, which is scrub tier considering the defaults.  It's a YouLoseGoodDaySir.gif on repeat, with a Stop,Don't,ComeBack.jpeg mocking you intermittently, but every time you kick the bucket you can't complain because the snozberries always taste like snozberries.  What?  [9]  

    There's so much more to say, but the nonsense has set in.  TL,DR: I love this game. 

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    THREE GIFS!
  • Im going to have to buy it on the switch. It’s the only way I’ll get to play it often enough to get into any sort of rhythm with it.
  • It should go in a sale soon, based on nothing but the fact that I recently paid full whack for it and the most it's been discounted by so far is 15% iirc.
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    I haven't even seen any of those levels yet.  

    You're claiming this as "done" from your 70/70 run, right?  Or have you levelled that up yet?
  • I'm still going, but it's definitely done in terms of sticking it in the thread.  Most of the 3D games I get through these days are played on lower difficulty settings and they go in.
  • Another Moot game. I’ll wait to see if Tempy or JonB recommend it.
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
  • Back in your box you've bought and played Valfaris, you.  It's on sale again.
  • I don’t know how much weight my word carries but I can vouch for the tightness of the controls. Feels in the same tier as Celeste.
  • It's roughly as tight as Akane.
  • Moot_Geeza wrote:
    Back in your box you've bought and played Valfaris, you.  It's on sale again.

    I haven’t, have I?! Dammit, I say I will every time it’s on sale. And then I remember that you actually liked it...

    But then, you liked Hollow Knight, so we must have some commonality.
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
  • 8.Halo 2 Anniversary - 6 Hours - 8/10 - Xbox Series X

    Love the chunky militaristic art direction of this Anniversary edition, same with the sound work, seems to stand alone in the series as a slightly different aesthetic. Absolutely love the game but...I only ever play the Chiefs levels after one competition to unlock them all as I hate playing as the Arbiter. Absolutely hate it. Cheating on Chief, hate the weapons, and the levels just feel devoid of character without Cortana and the marines chat etc. Always think if it like MGS2 and playing as Raiden. So strange to have such iconic characters and make you play as others.

    Still, incredible game and whilst nowhere near my favourite Halo it was miles ahead of the competition at the time, and still so now.
  • 5. No More Heroes (Switch) - 14hrs

    Good hack n slash action game in which your the 11th ranked assassin in the USA and to become number 1 you have to take out the top 10, oozes style typical of Suda 51. I get a real Quintin Tarantino vibe from it, no doubt due to killing assassins drawing a parallel to Kill Bill, with the OTT blood also reminiscent of the Crazy 88's scene.

    The story missions are decent, and add enough variety to the simple fighting mechanics to keep it interesting. The boss battles are where it's at though, they seem very tough at first but once you get the patterns down they're not much trouble. Overcoming them is very satisfying.

    What let's it down for me is the grinding between the story missions. You have to earn money in order to fight the next assassin and to do so you have to complete jobs or side missions, which tend to be less varied than the main ones. 

    Its not a big deal to begin by by the later 3rd it all becomes rather tedious and dull, because of this I much preferred the sequel on Wii which is a lot more streamlined from what I remember.

    Good game, looking forward to the third entry.

    6/10

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    オレノナハ エラー ダ
  • 17. 80's Overdrive - Switch (3.5hrs)

    Don't blame me, apostrophe fans, that's what it's called.  I recommended this to Gav after 20 mins as it's currently £2.24 but in fairness I'd seen the best of the career mode at that point.  Early doors its wide roads and agreeable Polish synthwave choons (changeable via the shoulder buttons while you race).  The approximation of super scaler controls is serviceable enough and it looks the part, despite its budget nature, weird parallax technique and tendency to chug undocked on the forest stages.  Dig deeper and it's a poor game unfortunately.  Absurdly twitchy traffic and terribly irritating crashes push it way into the SMDH zone as you progress.  Hit any sort of roadside hazard at any point and your race is pretty much done if you're pushing for first, so you'll do a lot of restarting if you have the patience to stick with the campaign.  I did, but I didn't make it to #1 on the racer rankings, I just unlocked and played all the stages.  It falls apart as soon as the roads get narrow enough to consider braking really, and the car upgrade/purchase system is lol, but I can't deny I still kinda enjoyed it overall.  

    My advice to anyone buying this would be to sack off the campaign once you've unlocked a decent car and just play the time trial mode - which does the split route against the clock Outrun thing - for maximum vibes.  If you treat it as a quick dip funtime nostalgia tickler you can't go too far wrong, just make sure you buy it while it costs less than three Push Pops and a sticky hand. [5]

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  • 18. Bowser's Fury - Switch (4hrs)

    Unexpectedly assured bigmap Mario that lacks a little polish but still winds up being an excellent (and surprisingly sizeable) diversion.  Nintendo are the irrefutable masters of milking consumers while playing them like fiddles, laughing all the way to the bank and so on, so it's refreshing to see a Wii U rerelease with such a sweet sideshow bolted on.  NSMBU/Bayonetta 2 for £49.99 on Switch look practically criminal in comparison.  It's not a huge game, but if it had emerged as DLC I expect they could've successfully charged £20+ for it.  It's a cross between Mario Sunshine and a large Odyssey stage, albeit with the more basic 3DW controls (no triple jump here).  It's not as sparkly and gleaming as Odyssey - not many games are - but it's still quite shiny.  It feels like a labour of love that was pushed out the door a month early, perhaps, but it's lovelier than most 3D platformers, and of course the Mazza core means it controls perfectly too.  The template won't get old for me as long as the platforms keep coming, I love it.  

    The red moon Bowser cycle is a neat enough gimmick that mostly works well.  Boss fights are passable, which is about right for a Mario game really.  With my overly critical hat on I'd say that none of the 50 shines I found on the way to the credits were as brilliant as one might hope for from Nintendo's very best, but you'd take it over most games.  I certainly would anyway - it's all varying degrees of great fun.  As a taste of the delights that might be in the pipeline for the next mainline Mario excursion it's a win. [8]

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  • I nearly bought 80s Overdrive last week. Bullet dodged.
  • 12. Olija (Switch)
    Excellent but slightly frustrating 2D platform dungeon adventure. Looks like Another World, plays a bit like Prince of Persia. 

    Your main weapon is a harpoon that can teleport you into whatever organic matter you can lob it. Which is either enemies or weirdo blob things that hang around seemingly just so they can be harpooned. There's some fairly beefy secondary weapons. Enemies will follow you around between screens, you can chuck your harpoon off-screen, fire at enemies you can't see, hear them a couple of screens away, and teleport around and have these multi-screen battles. Zap in, shotgun, slice em up with the sword. Zap out. Nice crunchy sound effects. Unfortunately there's only about four enemy types and they turn up in groups of two or three and they can be sent packing almost immediately. So most of the time is spent geeing the game along hoping it will get going. It is good and very solid action-platforming but the combat rarely goes to places that it’s system seem tailored for. 

    The boss fights are good though and there’s a few other set piece bits. Not really hard, (none of it is hard). But you do get a chance to unload properly. And the bosses are interesting and quirky and good to throw a harpoon into.  

    There are some very half-baked power-ups involving hats. Certain dungeons have the ingredients you need to make hats that make very weak upgrades to your harpoon. The dungeons are solid, full of secret rooms, shortcuts and the rest. But you can’t really do anything with the loot except make crap hats and increase your health, which you can max out pretty early. 

    Probably the stand out thing in the game is what (for lack of a better description) I’m going to call the ‘acting’. Not the dialogue or the story (which is some ultra-pretentious, wilfully obscure stuff about hats and possibly death). But the physical actions of the pixel characters on the screen during gameplay. You can sense the atmosphere is off on one island from the shifty way the NPCs look at you. Confirmed when one of them spits on the floor as you walk past. There’s a hundred little touches like that. 

    So plenty to like, but feels insubstantial. Would recommend though.
    [8]
  • I hate the Bowser bits so much, it's going to lose a ton of marks. Going to get the full 100 shines though.
  • I'll push on for a while, I think we're on 59 atm. I generally dislike the whole "Mr.X is Coming!" change-up in games but it was the highlight for Tilly, bizarrely, so it just about added to my enjoyment on the whole. Until it didn't, as covered in the other thread - that bit can still go in the bin.
  • Nice Olija review btw, missed that earlier. The floor spit was great.
  • I didn't realise anyone had played it. Where's your review?
  • 13. Bowser’s Fury (Switch)
    Irresistibly good and irredeemably bad. I can’t believe people aren’t marching in the streets about the Bowser bits. I was bored of them after the third or fourth time. Then it just didn’t stop. A regular stream of pointless delays and tediousness. I don’t know what went wrong or what they were thinking. In my day we used comets when we wanted to alter the difficulty or add variety to a level. It seems they’re going for something more dynamic combined with a Minecraft night time bit. There are just such better ways of doing this stuff. They’ve got the balance of it completely wrong, it takes up far too much of the game. Especially during the multiple bits when he doesn’t fuck off. Occasionally it works. The cat heads that are on a moving platform that you need to find a new way up to every time and use the environment in new ways etc. 

    The rest of it is great. The dino guy is great fun to slide and jump around the place. Could do with a FLUDD though. The islands are pretty well designed. This could be a good mainline Mario (minus bowser). Have the open-world as the map and the islands as the levels.

    Stopped on 97 cat heads after a stand-off with the kid. Bunnies that have things in them have to be left alone because when you catch them it kills the bunny. This is a rule she established in Odyssey. I caught a couple of them when she wasn’t looking but she was watching me like a hawk at the end and attempts to negotiate this rule didn’t go well. I don't get to finish it, she doesn't get her Bowser-free playground to mess around in. 

    I don’t care that it’s missing the final layer of graphical polish. The two-player clearly hasn’t had much work done to it though. Anyway, it’s got propellor boxes coming out the wazoo which makes up for a lot. 71%
  • 9.The Medium - 8 Hours - 8/10 - Xbox Series X

    10.Little Nightmares 2 - 6 Hours - 7/10 - Xbox Series X
  • regmcfly
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    Forgot to add Bowser's Fury.
    I agree withba lot that has already been said in that there's a lot of really cool ideas, but it feels like it maybe needed a few more months (or a few more Mario experts) in the oven.
    I mentioned elsewhere it has a bit of the freewheeling vibe that NSMB2 had, and whilst I really disliked that, there's a lot to like here. NSMB2 was initially a younger dev project learning how to make 2D Mario levels and this feels like the 3D equivalent.
    I'm the rare one who enjoyed when the big yin came onscreen, as I really enjoyed the little precise platforming moments it offered, and the pace change. But I do get that it could get frustrating quickly.

    My biggest gripe was the repetition in goals, despite changes of landscape - here's a hurry one, here's a blue coins one, here's your 5 logos one. My favourite ones were the Plessy ones that always involved a bit of getting off and doing some nimble platforming.

    It's a nice addition on an excellent game, and if it was DLC a £20 entry point would be fine. If it was the next Mario, I'd be in here up in arms, but it was fun, different, and I'd love to see some ideas carried over to the next full Mario game.
  • regmcfly
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    Just seen on the first page that DS changed his Axiom Verge score back to an 8, which is good eating. Get ready for 2 this year!
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    2. God of War - PS5 Update - so glad I waited to finish this on PS5. Beautiful game, great gameplay and enough of a story to keep you going to the end. The 4K HDR 60fps was just sublime. I really can’t fault it as a game. I even liked the ending.

    [10]
    Spoiler:
  • Yes mate!

    I think Ragnarok is this year? Can’t wait.
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
  • I reckon you'll be waiting a bit longer, but I'm often wrong about things.

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