Last game you finished

  • Ace Combat 2
    Man, now this is what you call a good sequel. First of all, the graphics look way better, everything looks more exciting and "real". The aircrafts dont look like they're made out of paper anymore, plus that ugly livery from the last game is gone. The mission types and environments are more varied, and there's branching paths too, which adds replayablitity. The main addition in the gameplay is the expert controls that is typical of the modern Ace Combat games. The soundtrack is better too, it's not just rock n'roll all the way, there's some extra influences that I appreciate (for example, the song Night and Day has bossanova-esque vibes that I really like).

    It seems that this game is actually the main template for all future Ace Combat games, a lot of the formula ingredients first appears here: the briefing map, being able to keep aircrafts forever even if you die in a mission, the story driven progression structure (even though this game is still very light on story), and so on.

    Overall, this is a big improvement over the first game, and it still holds up very well (8/10). Playing through this just makes me yearn for a remaster/remake of all the AC games, I would buy that in a heartbeat.


    P.S. I forgot to mention the fact It's so cool seeing some of the environments here repeated in future AC games. AC's Strangereal universe is one of the coolest thing about the series. Also, the wingman AI fucking sucks.

  • @bam541 I've sorta been going through my backlog a year at a time, and I'm checking out stuff from 1997 right now. I'm really looking forward to playing AC2. I thought the arcade game and AC1 were a little barebones, and I've heard so much good stuff about the series. Hyped to check this one out if it's the prototypical entry for the rest of the games.

  • @ringedwithtile said in Last game you finished:

    I've sorta been going through my backlog a year at a time

    Oh, dude, that is such a smart way of going about it. I usually do it by series, but going by years is a clever way of not getting burnt out on a particular series or genre.

  • Parodius: Fantastic Journey (Saturn)

    It's a decent Parodius game but I prefer Parodius Da!
    It's a shorter game and doesn't really offer much new but it's still just as fun.

    I don't like that you can not customize your controls in this versions and are forced to have "shot" and "missile" on different buttons, it's weird because in the Gradius Deluxe Pack for the Saturn you can change the controls.

  • I just finished Half Life: Alyx! Have to collect my thought, but – it’s the best VR game I have ever played. Graphics are so good, and gameplay is really solid. Didn’t found it that scary but save scumming might have helped. Now waiting for the level editor, just to play more of it and maybe some mods…

  • Played through Bulk Slash

    It's a fast, arcadey mecha game that lets you transform between a jet and a walker mode. Some big open battlefields, and it has a high-colour, low-poly style that I like in games from its era. It's short and the draw distance isn't the best, but I had fun with it. Solid 7.

  • Gears 5: Was free for 5 days or so on Steam. I played through the campaign in 16hours. Awesome graphics and lighting, HDR and Dolby Atmos support is great. Gameplay was all Gears, and I think it didn’t aged that good. “A”-Button has way to many functions, so I often did stuff I didn’t want do. Game could have done without open world elements and ability upgrades.

  • Sea Salt

    This Indie game looks absolutely horrible. It's pixel art is atrocious, uninspired and confusing. But it's a cool game. A so called “reverse horror” game where you control a group of minions and attack villages from a top down perspective. Very short and fast paced, keeps giving you upgrades through new creatures so it's quite rewarding. Not a goty contender but a cool and different game. If you have GamePass go for it.
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    Journey to the Savage Planet

    This is the kind of game that makes me happy to be a gamer. I already had it one my “list” since last E3, it's humour and art style caught my eye. Then I heard some of the allies shitting on it and that caught me by surprise. Still was pretty sure this was going to drop on GamePass eventually and I was definitely going to give it a try.

    Holy smokes, this game is pure bliss! The writing is in the same vein of Void Bastards or Outer Worlds, it genuinely made me chuckle several times. From the commercial videos to small details like your character gagging every time he eats a particular type of upgrade, humour is prevalent and tasteful imo. Big Metroid Prime influences in the way you navigate the world and unlock secrets. Immensely satisfying. Gorgeous art direction too. The world is colourful with the right amount of variation, specially in secret areas. Imaginative creature design too.

    Big chance of this ending up on my goty nominations. Anyone fan of exploration focused games, do not miss this!

    Animal Crossing New Horizons

    Don't want to write too much about this game. Pretty sure I would never play this game if it wasn't for the proto-apocalypse happening outside. With that said, it will be a memory I'll keep with me forever. As a game? Love the graphics, the sound design it's superb, music is great and characters generate more empathy in me than pretty much any game I can remember. It's a joy to develop your island too, and the real time passage of time makes things feel meaningful in retrospect.

    But on the other hand ACNH doesn't respect your time. The escalation of your production means to deal with its progression is way too asymmetrical. Turnips are cool, but can be too punishing. At the same time it's a missed opportunity that people with an internet connection can't have a global Turnip stock market in real time. But what really takes the cake is that there's bad menu design and then there's ACNH menu design. For a game that has so much attention to detail it's kind of inexplicable how terrible this game is, to the point that makes me wonder if it's intentional. I wont even go too deep into it because as I start to type my mind starts racing with examples and ramifications of how terrible it is.

    I love that this game is getting good scores, because I love it too, but from a product standpoint, this is not good.

  • Yakuza 3

    Not very good. Not that the first two games are great, they aren't, but they point to possibilities that felt like could be taken advantage of with some new, beefy hardware. Instead, this one both doubles down and takes a baffling step backwards. It's Yakuza, again and louder.

    So the good thing is that it still has some of the same strengths as the first two games. If anything, the incredible attention to detail is even stronger: it's an extremely believable world, visually speaking. The third-person camera helps to bring out a lot of the finer points of the environment, even if part of me misses that high, fixed-camera work from the first two games. Okinawa is a nice, contrasting environment, even if it's built similarly and there appear to be a much greater amount of people who try to fight you per capita. Some side activities have been polished, some have been added, and some have been taken out which is disappointing---I liked mahjong in 2. There are also a lot of subquests and other activities, most of them very silly. The first two games had a silly streak, but this one veers into wild absurdity pretty frequently.

    The combat was the most disappointing factor. It really feels the same as the PS2 games, and with those ones it was a little more excusable because there was a lot of novelty to the world and storytelling. For a PS3 game not just slapping together the same slow, imprecise gameplay, but having a lot more of it (like the hitman missions, more elaborate sporting matches, etc.) just didn't cut it for me. I feel like they tried to make it more interesting by giving you more powerful abilities like parries and a bucket of heat actions, but it makes you overpowered and turns fights into repetitive, canned animation showpieces. Also the storyline is another blunder. Teaching robotic Japanese children moral lessons isn't really my idea of an interesting crime story. Neither is a land deed MacGuffin, because it requires a lot more dialogue not just to set up, but to explain all the twists and turns. I guess the first two games were also convoluted, but they felt leaner in their motivations.

    I think I'm going to take a good break before getting into 4. This one was pretty tiresome.

  • The last few games I played made me think about game environments and how you interact with them. All of them are beautiful but often they are wasted because you do not spent a lot of time in them, interaction is limited to a straight part and sometimes there are invisible borders or elements that the character should be easily able to climb. And worst of all, often the game world is to big that you can’t even appreciate the details, which left me feel sorry for the environmental artists. Anyway…
    I finished Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey with all of its DLC. Started it directly after finishing AC Origins and it took me maybe 8 month to finish. Lot of stuff to do during this time so it took a while. Probably everything I thought about Origins applies to that game, but I liked the combat a lot more and felt the three playstyles (Hunter, Worrier and Assassin) really complemented each other. Traversal is great. But Story and how it is presented is still bad. I wish there is more meaningful interaction with NPCs, not only with the few important ones but also more random or normal citizens. I think a few good quest were you could learn a lot more about ancient Greek culture would be more beneficial than the Discovery tour, which I also completed. For the Discovery our, I wish there is more Making off the Game in those. There was a small questline from the monthly update that took place in one coast village, where you met a few citizen and experience there unfortunate deaths. Was more comedic but you could get a certain “feel” for that place. And god, the awful sections in modern time. I do not care about any of these people and it was so stupid that it made me angry. Playing as yourself in these sections, maybe in first person, you still can tell the same story and it might be more engaging. I think Black flag did something like that.

    I completed Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The game has a surprising lot of exploration, probably spent ours not shooting anything. Has also some sections were you could only use your bow. Still, Gameplay wise it felt like the Arkham Origins of the new Tomb Raider series. Like 90% it is the same but something is off. Weapon combat often felt too sluggish, probably because there is not a lot. Climbing/Traversal was so inconsistent. A few spots were it was not clear where to go and sometimes jumped to my death because I could not say if Lara could make the jump. This also contributes to having a simple fence, barrel or big stone in the environment that you were simply unable to climb. Some off the puzzles were also bad. Tips for the solution might have be brought up during a conversation or relict but I could not find a way to open up a journal or find the item to find the solution. The two puzzle with mirrors that I can remember were especially bad. One you should direct beams of light to move certain objects to clear a path, but you are somewhat unable to get a good few of the puzzle, or the layout of the room to know what you are doing… Anyway, graphics are nice, especially with Ray Tracing, but it also introduced some not so good looking shadows on the characters, and a small seem between Lara’s hair and her face…

    I spent my time with Quantum Break. Completed all Achievements, which includes every story choice (there are only 8), every collectible and finishing on hardest difficulty. Game runs not good on RTX 2070 but I might be limited by my CPU. On 1440p with some downsampling it was okay. I got really into the story and world building, so that was nice. Graphics are somewhat inconsistent as a lot of visual noise is introduced by motion blur, the form of antialiasing they use and screen space reflections. Gameplay could be faster and more snappy. Traversal, the parts were you have to climb stuff, was more context sensitive than having free movement. Final boss was annoying on hard because his only attack, that is one hit kill, is badly telegraphed and when it is at a certain point the camera rotates automatically, so it is more difficult to get away. Had to do the chapter on lower difficulties before I beat it on hard.

  • @ringedwithtile

    I plan on getting to the Yakuza 3-5 Remaster PS4 collection sometime soon-ish but I have the feeling that time hasn't been kind to some of the design decisions in Yakuza 3-5. It's my understanding that Yakuza 3 was a lot of people's first entry into the franchise and it sold itself on the graphical prowess of the PS3. To be fair, A LOT of games back then were jaw dropping because we've never seen anything like it before, but in hindsight, the games were just average to decent.

    I didn't realize 3 was so similar to 1 & 2 as you say. I always thought Yakuza 3 was a big step up. I remember reading the somewhat infamous IGN review of Yakuza 4 by Greg Miller who gave it a a solid 6.5/10 basically citing that its the same game but with a new story. I wonder if this series really did just hit its stride on PS4?

  • Great: Characters, their new dialogue, the cleaned up/better motivations, the iconic locations got for the most part - better. Midgar fully realized is amazing. Materia is still great. Music...

    Good: For the most part, relatively free of bloat. There's some sidequests that didn't really add much to the story, but usually they added to the world. The optional stuff that could be considered bloat is entirely skippable, but mostly worth pursuing for items and materia. Camera is default too close for my taste, but settings allows adjustment, so good for them! Combat isn't flawless, but it's also not bad. Pacing - I didn't speedrun this game by any means. Ended up a little over 47 hours. I took my time, pacing seemed about right to me, but then again maybe I'm just used to Yakuza/Persona? Only noticed a couple times where I thought the game dragged a bit.

    Needs improvement: Pop in/textures, as has been widely documented. Even with the camera pulled back, action sometimes becomes hard to discern in fights. Rarely did it affect me, but YMMV. Similar to the OG game, usually you walk into a boss fight blind, see what it's doing - get wiped, reset your materia, skills, and equipment, then go back and kick ass. I've seen that listed as a complaint, but it's really how the game is meant to play IMO. So if you think you'd hate that...

    Last boss "sequence" is real long, and doesn't give you much of a time to adjust your equipment, so if you make it like 20 min in, and realize you're going to need a certain spell or whatever...


  • Half-Life: Black Mesa

    So here's the thing, HL is my favourite series in gaming and Black Mesa is a cool thing to exist. But from a remake of a 90s game in 2020 I kind of expect it to improve upon the original release in a way that makes it welcoming for younger players that might have missed it or have difficulty enjoying it due to being now dated. Because for me as an old dude I really don't feel the need for a remake, I can just play the original. Or at the very least I want the remake to really push it to 2020 standards.

    There's two parts to BM. The first one it take a more or less literal approach improving graphics and redoing the music but not making drastic changes to the game's core. And it kinda works but at the same time it feels pointless too. The graphical improvement lags some 15 years behind and design wise introduces some technical problems that were absent in the original, like load points that respawn you directly to death and force you to manually load a previous save. Level design is actually worsen over the original. Again, at the very best the changes made update this game for a 2005 standard, not 2020.

    The on the second half we have Xen, a complete redesign from the original. And at first it impressed me. Great atmosphere, an art direction that makes smart use of its technical limitations, more emphasis on puzzles and some impressive music. But then it starts to drag way too much, feels over-designed, repetitive, seriously needing some editing and better direction.

    Don't want to be too negative on a fan made remake, I can enjoy it for what it is but it introduces more issues that solves them.

    Nier: Automata

    Again, not exactly impressed by this one. Played it on the Xbox One X, disappointing performance, inconsistent graphics (dull world, nice characters), kind of atrocious level design (invisible walls galore!!!) and average combat. Feels like a game planned for a much bigger budget and then compromised a lot and not in most effective way. The emotional progression between 9s and 2B within the story's arch doesn't feel well paced either, or even between 2B and the main antagonists. But it's definitely a title with a heart, some really cool moments that's makes this game more than the sum of its parts. Delightful soundtrack too.

  • Viewtiful Joe

    I like that it's challenging, but I think it's pretty facile and has some wrongheaded design. I can't say I'm that familiar with tokusatsu, but I didn't think that it was a very interesting exploration of filmic form or iconography. I get that Kamiya's interested in motion, and built the game around combat that takes advantage of that idea, but even that feels unsatisfactory.

    The camera is bad, which is a hard thing to do in 2D. Too close, and one of the main powers is literally pulling it in closer. The game is about motion and yet Joe's movement options are limited and sluggish. He has a obnoxiously slow ground speed, yet can jump about three stories high extremely fast. So what are bosses like, the thing that probably should take advantage of fighting up close at different speeds and stuff? They almost all run away from you and have a habit of attacking from off screen. Good thing slow down + zoom in + hold punch does an absurd amount of damage. There's no reason to use anything else because the combo system isn't very intuitive.

    I haven't played W101, but I'm confident in saying this is the worst game Kamiya directed. I don't like Bayonetta either (feels like a legacy title more than anything new), but that game functioned much better.

  • Streets of Rage 4

    I think it does a good job in bringing Streets of Rage to present time. Cool soundtrack yet bad mix and very nice visuals. Gameplay wise it could do a better job and improve over past games. Really disappointing specials. (I used to play SoR2 with my mother when I was a kid, have very good memories and it's a bitter sweet coincidence playing this now when it was her birthday and so close to the anniversary of her death.)

    Deliver Us the Moon

    This is a cool little game that does a very good job on delivering the narrative. Grounded, extremely well paced, with very simple environmental puzzles that flow naturally. Superb sound design! If you're into science fiction play it. It will only take 4h of your time. (Am I the only one that wishes there were more short narrative focuses games?)

    Gears Tactics

    Freaking amazing game. Not the biggest Gears fan. Tactics does a brilliant job bringing the Gears universe and mechanics to a “xcom” style of game. Also visually a step above similar games and in my experience with 10% of the bugs and glitches that usually come with the genre. (Good to find an excuse to use the PC and feel for a bit how everything just goes faster, smother and prettier. But I would still play it on console if it was available there.)

  • Gears Tactics. As far as XCOM like games go, Gears Tactics is one of the better ones I've played in a while.

    The only thing holding it back in my opinion are the side missions. This game is padded with too many of the same mission designs and reused maps. It wouldn't be so bad but these side missions are required to progress the story. If they just gave you the option to skip some of these missions, Gears Tactics would be a much tighter experience.

    But, overall I did enjoy most of what I played. As it successfully translates the look and feel of Gears of War into a turn based strategy game. 8/10

  • 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.

  • Dead Space 2

    It's funny because I think it's a mechanical success but a conceptual failure. It moves quickly, combat is satisfying though repetitive, and it's still pretty impressive technically. Nice lighting effects.

    But it's weirdly enamored with its previous game's legacy. I don't know who cared about that first game's story, but this one not only continues it, but doubles down on the absent wife plot and tries really hard to strike an emotional or psychological chord. The first game's notable for its atmosphere and how quickly it loses its menace, and the sequel misses the first point and speeds up the second.

    It's a theme park of a game, here a spooky cathedral, there a spooky school. Don't think too hard and shoot the freaks. It's fine.

  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses

    I beat it on the Silver Snow route. From what I read, it's one of the more difficult and controversial routes. Definitely intend on beating this game again in the future. The game, story, lore, ending, etc. didn't sink in until I was ironing one day and was thinking about it.

    As far as stories go, I think it's really rewarding in a subtle way. After getting a decent chunk of lore, building many relationships, and ending the game, you are left with some profound questions. They're not asked outright, but it's interesting that the game leaves you with your decisions, and whatever information you gather about the world.

    Brilliant game.

  • Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
    I played the vanilla version before but wanted to replay through it before diving into Will of the Wisp.
    Such a great platformer, nothing much to add really.
    I just remember the world being much larger. I mean, it is big, but I 100% it in 3 days. It could be because of the current situation though.