Tackle the Backlog - 12 in 12 2020



  • Still left from last year:
    Dragon Quest VII
    Persona 4
    Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
    Shenmue II
    Devil May Cry 3
    Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain
    Shadowrun (SNES)
    Ultima VII
    Luigi's Mansion 2
    Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

    12 new ones:
    Yakuza Kiwami
    Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
    Nioh
    Devil May Cry 4
    Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic
    Halo 4
    Gradius Advance
    Metal Slug Advance
    Castlevania Chronicles
    MediEvil
    Rhythm Tengoku
    Icewind Dale

    Finished two games from the list this week.

    Persona 4 Golden
    I loved it but not as much as Persona 2 and 3. The characters are great and the soundtrack is awesome but I think the story is a bit too thin and too light hearted compared to the previous games. I do like the lenght of the game. I beat it in 60 hours whereas Persona 3 took me 90 which was way too long.

    Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
    I don't have a lot to say about this one. It's a remake of the first Fire Emblem and it really feels like Fire Emblem stripped down to its basics. It's not very memorable but I did still enjoy a great deal. Goes to show just how good the core gameplay of Fire Emblem really is.



  • April was fruitful: I knocked down 3 more games from my list, which brings me to 8/12! I might actually be able to do this, especially since none of my remaining games are 50+ hours epics.

    Shovel Knight: King of Cards

    I enjoyed it a lot! More than Plague of Shadows and Specter of Torment for sure. I enjoyed the simpler, to-the-point control scheme, you have a dash which can turn into a spin, and it quickly feels intuitive to use in every situation. The level design is top-notch as usual.

    I also connected a lot more with the story than I did for the others, it was silly as usual but its social commentary felt on point: the self-serving arrogant asshole who almost inadvertently amasses a cult-like crowd of supporters to carry him to the top... reminded me of a certain someone. And the ending is extremely fitting in that sense.

    I didn't care for the card game at all though, at first I was excited to get into it but... well I kept getting my ass kicked by the AI, and just like Triple Triad losing a match means losing a card, which felt way too punishing while I was still learning the ropes. Maybe I just suck, but I thought the AI was way too good, planned moves several steps ahead, never made a mistake. It felt like an uphill battle and I quickly gave up on it. Thankfully it's totally optional and you can just play the regular levels.

    The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

    Back in the day on GameCube I almost made it to the end but the Triforce shards hunt stopped me in my tracks, like many people. Finally got back to it, and it was alright. The dungeons are a highlight, although there's been some very obvious cuts, and the last two are particularly annoying, with those characters you need to literally carry throughout. The game also gets a bit formulaic at the end, with gauntlet battles and rehashed bosses (is this Mega Man??): it's very clear that it needed at least 6 months to a year of extra dev time back then.

    Refreshing soundtrack, fun sailing. I didn't find it nearly as painful as in the past, even before I got the Swift Sail which removes the need to alter wind direction and makes traversal a breeze (pun intended). Not my favourite 3D Zelda, not my least favourite either.

    Devil May Cry 5

    I wanted to love it but it never clicked with me. I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more if the entire game was only Nero, or only Dante. I hated V, never got the hang of him, I had no idea what I was doing, and still somehow he's the one I most consistently got S ranks with, which baffled me even more.

    Overall, I felt like as soon as I started to grasp the combat system, I had to switch characters, or a new weapon or playstyle was introduced, way faster than I could ever hope to master them. I appreciate the effort for variety, but I was overwhelmed by the game's systems from beginning to end. It's weird to complete a game while feeling like you suck at it every step of the way, and I didn't appreciate that at all. I played on Devil Hunter (Normal) too, so I guess I wasn't terrible, but I never felt good.

    The world and story were fun, this was my first Devil May Cry so a lot to take in, but if you boil it down this game's plot is paper-thin anyway. Some good quips although Dante and Nero pretty much have the same personality. I enjoyed Nico the most, and the ridiculous ways she manages to reach your location every time you call her were a highlight. Trish and Lady felt meaningless to the plot and like they were only included to please the fans.

    It's an extremely polished game and there's so much to dive into if you're looking to master it, that's undeniable. It's just not for me. I much prefer Bayonetta.



  • The month began fully dedicated to P5R as soon as it released and a good amount of progress with other games.

    Finished This Month:

    Persona 5 Royal 10/10

    As usual with the revised versions of the games, they add small yet significant things throughout the game to make it just a tad easier to enjoy what was already in my mind the best JRPG ever made, the rebalanced combat and slightly altered dungeon design made it so going through the palaces again, while a familiar experience was still very entertaining, and it again just feel like a refinement of something that was already fantastically made.

    For the new content, having gone through depression last year (and still going through it) and having a newer more profound appreciation for many social interactions irl, the new social content and even the old SL struck me very hard at some moments, and the additional chapter at the end was something I enjoyed greatly and to which I could relate very strongly.

    At one point I was talking to a friend that is not familiar with the games, along with another friend that did play P5, and while it was clear that just a baseline description of the games are sound weird and potentially unnapealling we ended up going back to just how well made everything is in the game that it manages to make what seems like a potentially unappealing idea for some still captivating, and for me that I'm 100% in I just get to enjoy something I love refined to highest extent (which depression was actually making me think I wouldn't be able to).

    Loved it, playing NG+ casually to complete everything and I'm extremely happy with the additions, Persona remains in my top spot as solidly as ever and I'm looking forward to Strikers and Re:Fantasy as much as ever.

    Bloodstained Ritual of the Night 8.5/10

    A great game putting it simply, which makes zero attempts at masking that it is just trying to be an old school game and a SoTN copy, and it simply makes for a very entertaining playthrough, and honestly the hole fashion and appearance change options were something I enjoyed maybe even too much.

    Nitpicks abound but the overall experience was so enjoyable that's all I really care about with it.

    Currently Playing:

    Trauma Team Second Opinion

    No Progress, I can't allow this to just fall behind.

    The World Ends With You

    Starting to make progress with it, the Switch controls are definitively weird at times, and some of it's mechanics just seem sort of irrelevant, but enjoying it a lot.

    Forgotton Anne

    Put a little time into this one, it kinda just throws you into stuff, but it is making for a compeling and entertaining experience so far, fairly janky though, but the pace of the game makes is so it is a trivial issue.

    My List

    Finished

    A Hat in Time 8/10

    The Banner Saga 3 8.5/10

    Dusk Diver 7.5/10

    Katamari Damacy Reroll 8.5/10

    Utawarerumo Mask of Deception 9/10

    Bloodborne 9.5/10 (Not on the list)

    Persona 5 Royal 10/10 GOAT!!!

    Bloodstained Ritual of the Night 8.5/10

    Started

    Trauma Team Second Opinion

    The World Ends With You

    Forgotton Anne

    Not Started

    Cyberpunk 2077

    Psychonauts 2

    Persona 5 Strickers

    13 Sentinels Aegis Rim

    Shin Sakura Wars

    Trails of Cold Steel4

    Digital Devil Survivor

    Metro Exodus

    River City Girls

    Travis Strikes Again

    AI The Somnium Files

    Killer 7

    Control

    Katana Zero

    Taken of the list

    Gravity Rush 2 - DNF 5/10

    Persona Q2 DNF 6.5/10



  • @axel said in Tackle the Backlog - 12 in 12 2020:

    Overall, I felt like as soon as I started to grasp the combat system, I had to switch characters, or a new weapon or playstyle was introduced, way faster than I could ever hope to master them.

    an interesting thing i heard early on in my playthrough (think maybe Maximilian dood) is that your first playthrough is basically the tutorial to give you all the gear and abilities you need for the harder difficulties (eg you get neros "mode" in literally the final fight.)(not saying its a smart idea)

    cause i felt kinda the same especially with dante late game he got so many new weapons, what helped was just focusing to reading the ability menus and basically just sticking to 1 or 2 weapons.

    what really put dmc5 as my 2nd for last year was my hard playthrough, where i basically had all the tools and i could just focus on mastering them, i remember spending 2 hours on "V" at the end because i just wanted to beat him without using any revivals and really master him(and this was literally the night before i got sekiro)

    also this was the first game of this type when it finally clicked after just mashing my way through bayonetta years ago(which i really wanna replay now)

    update:
    beat some new games but no backlog picks

    Dropping
    Jedi:fallen order 7ish hours
    weird? this game ran rather badly on my ps4 pro and all around just felt clunky, maybe because of the gameplay style i was expecting it to feel much more like GOW(2018) and dark souls but ehh it just would not click, i made it to wookee planet and dropped it, from what i've heard i'm around a 3rd or more into it and yeah... also alot of bugs mutiple hitches and god that loot and progression just feels worthless.

    Playing

    -Active-
    FF7 OG(25hours)
    added another 5 hours on, just got cid

    P5 Royal (7hours)
    hoping to beat it before xenoblade remake... don't like my chances. am loving it though

    The last of us remake(5 hours)
    only played it once and was pretty ian hinck about it so i want to see if i like it more... edit:enjoying it more and it's a good side game among my behemoths

    Assassins creed:Origins
    have not liked an ac game since brotherhood, so gonna try jumping back onboard, Going to be my side ape-brain game once i finish TLOU and am stuck in the JRPG heaven (and hell) of P5 though xenoblade remake.(btw am so excited for xenoblade after loving what i played of XC2)

    -on pause-
    Pathfinder:kingmaker(it's gonna be a while)
    20 hours in... hopefully <100 to go

    Ori and the will of the wisps(2 hours)
    on game pass like it but doom took priority.

    Death stranding(15hours)
    been a couple months but might try to mainline it a little more i spent alot of time building roads and then lost interest because the story had slowed down....because i was building roads.



  • @nimbat1003 said in Tackle the Backlog - 12 in 12 2020:

    this game ran rather badly on my ps4 pro and all around just felt clunky

    Rushed game.



  • Update from my progress over the last month

    I only finished 1 game this month, however I'm making pretty good progress with 4 games in my list, that I think should be done this month.

    I'm also taking out Trauma Team from my list because I can't, and replacing with Bloodborne, which I have already beaten, so I'm just throwing myself a bone with that one, since after all it was a 40 hour first playthrough of a game I didn't think I would beat.

    Finished This Month:

    Forgotton Anne 7.5/10

    It's a shortish and charming game, that looks pretty most of the time, at the cost of fluidity on it's gameplay, and honestly the main drawback it has is that it feels too clunky most of the time, and it becomes a hindrance at some points, would be much easier with some improved controls, the story is enjoyable but nothing so memorable that I think I will end up thinking back on it, but it was fun enough for what it is, the aesthetic was the main thing that drew me to this one, and it ended up looking good byt not amanzing most of the time.

    Currently Playing:

    Trauma Team Second Opinion (dropped from the list) 6.5/10

    I'm quitting on this game because one of the missions at roughly the middle point is absolute bullshit and it is simply a poorly designed mission that can't just be skipped or cheesed through it, you have to know what to do, and apparently get fairly lucky with the RNG, and after 20+ attempts I'm done with it, there are a good number of things I liked about this game, and I would look into a new release if that were to happen, but I'm done with this game, I prefer the idea to the execution, but I still think it makes for good base for a series with an interesting concept.

    The World Ends With You

    I think I'm at the half point of it, definitively like it, but there are aspects of it that I'm not completely sold on, I guess I'm waiting to see how things wrap up to decide where I ended up with it, but overall positive impressions.

    Sakura Wars (2020)

    This game is dumb as shit, and I love it, it has a ton of the things I would normally find issues with, but they did such a good job with the characters that I can't help but love it.

    No More Heroes Travis Strikes Again

    Probably a third of the way with this one, I can see it growing old, but so far this game is phenomal, I love the references it makes and how it is so bold with the attitude and presentation it takes, gameplay wise it is entertaining enough that I have little complaints, so as it is going I'm hoping I'll end up really liking this game.

    Killer 7

    A few missions from the end on this one, the weirdness and difficulty to comprehend what the hell is going on is a bit alineating as was the control scheme at first, but I'm absolutely loving this game and I think it is if nothing else a very well designed game that could use some QoL improvements.

    My List

    Finished

    • A Hat in Time 8/10

    The Banner Saga 3 8.5/10

    Dusk Diver 7.5/10

    Katamari Damacy Reroll 8.5/10

    Utawarerumo Mask of Deception 9/10

    Bloodborne 9.5/10

    Persona 5 Royal 10/10 GOAT!!!

    Bloodstained Ritual of the Night 8.5/10

    Forgotton Anne 7.5/10

    Started

    Killer 7

    The World Ends With You

    No More Heroes: Travis Strikes Again

    Sakura Wars

    Not Started

    Cyberpunk 2077

    Psychonauts 2

    Persona 5 Strickers

    13 Sentinels Aegis Rim

    Trails of Cold Steel4

    Digital Devil Survivor

    Metro Exodus

    River City Girls

    AI The Somnium Files

    Control

    Katana Zero

    Taken of the list

    Gravity Rush 2 - DNF 5/10

    Persona Q2 DNF 6.5/10

    Trauma Team Second Opinion 6.5/10



  • New update: I finished The Talos Principle so I'm now at 9/12 completed for the year. And we're not even halfway, I might be able to pull this off.

    I enjoyed it a lot, possibly more than The Witness. I appreciated what The Witness was doing but sometimes I didn't have any idea what it even wanted from me (eventually figured it out, but it could be a bit demotivating). In Talos though, you always know what your objective is, the new abilities and mechanics are introduced in a very natural manner, the learning curve is pretty much perfect.

    There was only ONE puzzle I had to look up, and I'm glad I did because I would never have figured it out. This one actually required a mechanic that was never even hinted at anywhere, and was the only time I think the devs messed it up. Reading the comments on the video I looked up for it, many other people were stuck on this one.

    Apart from that, it was an amazingly smooth experience. There's this sweet spot that only great puzzle games manage to hit: every new puzzle feels impossible at first, like you must be missing something, there's no way you've got all the knowledge or abilities required for this one... and just when you're about to give up, something clicks. What if you do that? And lo and behold, that's it! It now feels obvious, why didn't you think of this before? And you feel smart, like surely tons of people never managed to solve this one, because it's so outside the box... And you get this feeling puzzle after puzzle, many times over. It's extremely gratifying.

    On top of that, the story is impressively well crafted. It touches on various philosophical topics, in a deep but approachable manner. You engage in conversations with an AI throughout the game, and it challenges you in very clever ways. I caught myself a few times thinking "Wow, I had never considered life this way!" Which is quite a feat. I feel like they could take all these conversations out of the game and offer it as a stand-alone philosophical interactive experience.

    The ending (I think I got the good one, although I didn't get all the secrets so maybe there's an even better one) is also more satisfying and meaningful than The Witness, less abstract I guess.

    I might play the Road to Gehenna DLC too, but I'll take a break from it for a while, don't want to burn myself out.



  • @axel Definitely don't burn yourself out on Talos. I did every puzzle and secret in it and it turned the game from what HowLongToBeat told me was 15-20 hours into well over 50. I loved the story and a good portion of the puzzles, but by the time I got to the end after that, I was completely burned out on the game and didn't want to spend an equivalent amount of time playing Gahenna since it uses the exact same puzzle mechanics in much harder puzzles. I'd say give it a break for a bit, especially since you're feeling good on it! The good ending (which I think is what you got) was a lot more satisfying to me than the perfect ending.

    I agree I think I enjoyed it more than The Witness, but both are games I equate with a different side of frustration. With The Witness for me, a lot of it came from a lack of understanding puzzles and the audio recordings feeling like a lot of unearned pretentious preaching. Talos was the opposite for me; I would have loved more audio logs and story by the end, but some of the harder puzzles were just too much for my tired brain by the end. I was looking a lot of things up by the end (not for lack of trying).

    But by far Talos's story, diary entries and audio logs make the game well worth it! It showcases an interesting philosophical set of quandaries you may have never taken a look at before. While I personally would have trimmed like 50% of the puzzles, there is so much more in this game than I initially expected.



  • Anybody still updating these? :D

    I just finished The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, which brings my total to 10/12 (plus countless other games that were not in my list).

    It's a tough 2D Zelda, can't remember dying so much (or even at all) in games like Link's Awakening or Minish Cap. And because I had previously finished Oracle of Ages, I accessed the true ending which was pretty epic! Those two games are pretty well done, they squeezed as many ideas as they could out of Link's Awakening "engine". Honestly if they were remade in the same style for Switch and released as one game, it could do very well.



  • @axel said in Tackle the Backlog - 12 in 12 2020:

    Anybody still updating these? :D

    I would if I will ever finish a game from the list again.



  • I'm keeping track of mine but forget to update it here, had to make a few changes to my list since my heart was broken not once but twice with Psychonauts 2 and Persona 5 Strikers not coming out this year (seriously Atlus what the fuck), I'll copy paste my last post from reddit below, the formatting probably won't translate well...

    Finished This Month:

    AI The Somnium Files 9/10

    I really liked this game, I don't think it hits the highs of Zero Escape, but it does a lot of great and fun things throught. Not a game for everyone considering how little 'gameplay' there is but the characters and story make for a great experience and the gameplay evolution from the Zero Escape games make it more palletable.

    Easy recommendation for anyone interested in the concept and heavily narrative focused games.

    Metro Exodus 6.5/10

    This one was a dissapointment, I liked the two previous games a lot when I played them, and I just feel the approach this one takes is not focused on the strong areas of the franchise and the game suffers for it, it still has some great moments, but they are diluted by a pseudo open world that doesn't really work, and the rough edges it has make it suffer more.

    Also Artyom in this game is the worst silent protagonist ever, and the caracther interaction in the game is also very poor, it really doesn't make a good job of presenting itself and the game is the worse for it.

    SpongeBob Battle for Bikini Bottom 7/10

    I added this game to my list, as replacemente for the two games not coming out this year, and to throw myself a bone with an easy one. Pretty much what I expected, and it was a pretty fun version of that, not much to say aside from that, clearly not the best or most complex game, but playing a collectaton like this every once in a while.

    My List

    Finished

    A Hat in Time 8/10

    The Banner Saga 3 8.5/10

    Dusk Diver 7.5/10

    Katamari Damacy Reroll 8.5/10

    Utawarerumo Mask of Deception 9/10

    Bloodborne 9.5/10

    Persona 5 Royal 10/10 GOAT!!!

    Bloodstained Ritual of the Night 8.5/10

    Forgotton Anne 7.5/10

    Killer 7 8.5/10

    No More Heroes: Travis Strikes Again 8.5/10

    Sakura Wars 7.5/10

    Katana Zero 10/10

    The World Ends with You 6.5/10

    AI The Somnium Files 9/10

    Metro Exodus 6.5/10

    SpongeBob Battle For Bikini Bottom 7/10

    Started

    Digital Devil Survivor

    Not Started

    Cyberpunk 2077

    Donut County (Replacing P5 Strickers because Atlus sucks)

    13 Sentinels Aegis Rim

    Trails of Cold Steel4

    River City Girls

    Control

    Taken of the list

    Gravity Rush 2 - DNF 5/10

    Persona Q2 DNF 6.5/10

    Trauma Team Second Opinion 6.5/10

    Psychonauts 2 (Guess I'll have to wait)

    Persona 5 Strickers (Atlus pleaseeeee)