31-Day Game Challenge



  • Day 21 - Game you associate with frustration
    Ridge Racer: Unbounded

    "Hate" is a strong word, and I very rarely use it since I'm more tolerant than most people, but this game I do hate. It's quite different from what I would want from a Ridge Racer game, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, but everything this game offers are just so unappealing. The style and presentation is too try-hard at being cool, and it's just a bad game in general. The controls try to mimic the RR games, but it's nowhere near as fun to play. The level destruction stuff gets boring real fast, and it feels so corny. I stopped playing after like 4 hours of trying to give it a chance, and I was left with not only frustration, but also disappointment.



  • Day 21 - Game you associate with frustration

    Need For Speed: Most Wanted (2012)

    I love Need For Speed games and was thrilled that Most Wanted was returning albeit rebooted as a different entity. The result saw me crashing a whole lot and I highly doubt it was because I was crap at racing games. I can play many racing games without crashing too much but in Most Wanted it was a common occurrence and it really sank my feelings towards the game because besides this frustration it looks good and it seemed like a game that could be enjoyed were it not for the headaches.



  • Day 22 - Town or Village

    Arni - Chrono Cross

    As far as peaceful places go, you can't do much better than Arni from Chrono Cross. As your starting location, it's the quiet place where nothing bad could ever happen, complete with pleasant villagers whom are all close and friendly with one another, and grand natural scenery. While not quite as grand as other places close by like Termina, or as large and inhabited as Guldove, there's a coziness that permeates a walk around Arni that makes you want to sit and just enjoy the slow pace of life by the water. A true, small tropical paradise that's as warm as welcoming as the sun that hits the windows in the morning, or the surf of the beach in the afternoon.

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    Mitsuda's soundtrack again is just perfect and masterful, giving it the perfect ambiance of laying in a hammock as the sun slowly crawls over the course of the day with the sound of seagulls lulling you to a daytime nap.

    Youtube Video

    When you return after the story begins, as a character who in a timeline never existed, there's a sense of longing, looking at a place where you remember so clearly, but don't fit in with anymore. A nostalgic and almost sad look at the place you grew up, hoping to return again one day.

    Youtube Video



  • Day 22 - Town/Village
    Golden Temple - Ghost of Tsushima

    I know, I know. This is a stretch, but with the amount of people there during the game it's pretty much a small village! This was the first "settlement" I found during the game, and I truly love the vibe of it. It's like there's some invisible power protecting the people inside (a recurring theme of the areas in this game), a power that is soft and gentle at heart. The scenery around the temple is absolutely gorgeous, and all the leaves scattered by the wind really helps making the place feel lively. Later on you'll find some people that you rescued there, and it's great to see them safe and sound with the others. I do wish that the people there would act more dynamically (not only here but everywhere else), but I still find myself strongly connected to this place anyway.

    I would place my own pictures of the place here, but I don't have access to my PS4 rn so here's a placeholder.

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  • Day 22 - Town/Village

    Everybody's Gone To The Rapture-Yaughton

    I'm not big on the game but the idyllic Shropshire village of Yauhton in Everybody's Gone To The Rapture really belongs on an English postcard. The beautiful and authentic British pubs, the serene seaside and the pleasant and welcoming setting itself is cozy even with its abandonment. It's truly lovely that a videogame is set in such a beautiful modest village as opposed to a huge city or a familiar location we've been to a thousand times in other videogames.

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  • Day 23 - Underrated Game

    As opposed to the overlooked game from earlier this month, I thought this one could represent a game that scored lower than what you feel it deserves rather than if it didn't receive the sales or following but scored well regardless. So I was looking for a game that I thought scored too low based on a Metacritic score, or just off its public perception in the present.

    With that out of the way, I wanted to showcase

    Singularity

    I recognize that Singularity isn't exactly the most polished game in the world, but it also has a certain feel and focus that I appreciate. If you ask me, and this is a minority vote, I prefer the story and atmosphere of Singularity to Bioshock any day, even though I can't say that one didn't inspire the other.

    In Singularity, you're exploring an island of Katorga-12 where in the 1950s scientists of Russia discovered a new element, and with it the power to manipulate time. While investigating, you get a device that allows you to control time in a way, as a weapon or as a tool, which makes for some really cool and interesting puzzles and action related possibilities. Just like Bioshock, you'll also come across different audio-logs and videos giving you exposition on what happened in the facility before you got there. It's not grade-A material, but it gets the job done. Where it shines is definitely more in the action and shooting. It's really fun to use the device to mess guys up, and to just shoot in general. This is much more of an action shooter than a Bioshock comparatively, where you'll often have to go through waves of guys and try out different weapons.

    I haven't picked it up in a while, but if you're looking for a little hidden gem, give Singularity a shot! It's usually on the cheap side.

    Youtube Video



  • Day 23 - Underrated Game

    The Saboteur

    It's crazy how middling the review scores were for The Saboteur. I mean you play an Irishman in France who kills Nazi and blows stuff up-doesn't seem like a middling game to me. Furthermore the black and white veneer made it stand out and of course being Pandemic Studio's last game-it was arguably its most inspired. Glad Brandon had to play it with Huber in the Prison of Love.

    Youtube Video



  • @jdincinerator great pick! I never got to play this, but I didn't even consider this for the slot.



  • @HappyGaming Dude The Saboteur is so cool-wish it got remastered or was available via backwards compatibility.



  • Day 23 - Underrated Game
    Warhammer 40K Space Marine

    I remember playing this game for the first time, and loudly saying "How the hell have I never heard of this game before??" a few minutes in. It's a pretty awesome third person shooter with a really cool setting, and it really nailed the feeling of being a tough dude with a huge armor. The combat encounters are all fun, there's some cool set pieces here and there, and best of all, it never overstayed its welcome. You just go in, punch and shoot a bunch of bad dudes, get through whatever obstacle is in your way, and be a badass.

    Youtube Video



  • @bam541 again, this is one I played a demo for, but want to put the full time into!



  • Day 24 - Game you constantly have stuck in your head

    Persona 5

    I know it was posted previously, but I would be dishonest if I said that I went two days without making coffee in the morning thinking about Sojiro, or doing my daily tasks to the soundtrack. I changed the contact on my Amazon package text notifications on my phone to be Futaba Sakura, and my Pizza Hut one to be Ryuji, so whenever I get a package or pizza delivered, I can thank one of my favorite Phantom Thieves. On top of all that though, Persona 5 just came out at a really pivotol point in my life and helped me through a lot of rough times. Here's what I posted in the EZA Top 50 games of a Generation thread:

    @happygaming said in The EZA Forums Top 50 Games of the 2010s!:

    I purchased Persona 5 having never played an entry in the series. I watched the reveal trailer, pre-ordered it, and was on media blackout until the day it came out. It took me close to a year to finish. But it helped me through some of the most difficult times in my life, and continues to inspire me today like it did the first time I experienced it.
    Persona 5 has a sense of optimism in the midst of overwhelming odds. Even though you're looked down upon, and even though things can be against you all the time, its presented that with your friends, and with a voice and a sense of justice, things can get better. The themes are expressed as such that even in the worst of times, you can help others be the best person they can be, and you can stick up for and fight for what you feel is right. In the climate in the US when the game came out, not to delve too deeply into politics, it was especially resounding to feel like you're able to stand up and fight for your beliefs, for those who don't have a voice, for the truth. Even before the turmoil therein, the game gave me a sense of pace and stability. I worked long, uneven hours, and would usually only have a small bit of time here and there to pour into the game, and the ever present message that as a player, you should 'Take your time', that you're always improving no matter where you sink your time was always comforting.
    On top of the themes, the wonderful and deep characters though, and the messages about personal rebellion and pent up indignation, there's also a deep, long, and incredible RPG that's deeper and stronger than most other games I've ever played. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I've spent my life hoping to leave the country I've lived in and been abandoned by for the majority of my life behind, and live somewhere else, and this provided the kind of realistic tourism to a country I would fight to live in. But beyond those feelings of personal attachment to the location, there's a level of Pokemon appeal, letting you get attached not just to a crew of characters but also that that you accrue yourself. There's an incredible battle system I never got tired of after nearly 150 hours of play. There's a consistent story that I always felt personally driven to uncover. Even after all that time, when "Life Will Change" comes on at the end of a long dungeon chapter, I felt so stoked to take the boss down.
    To some, this may just be another anime JRPG. But to me, this is a game that has provided inspiration. Through months of going through different seasons with the game, it always gave something fresh and interesting. It never stopped showing strong characters and stories to accompany them. It didn't just make me feel like I had a sense of personal community, or a close knit group I could rely on, it gave me comfort, and gave me hope. It still does today, after having played it twice, and watched my girlfriend do the same. It's not just my favorite game of the decade, it's one of the most powerful games I've ever played through. Sometimes you just need to hear that life will change, especially when things are at their worst. Watching the Phantom Thieves make a change made me feel like I could, and can do the same.

    Youtube Video



  • Day 24 - Game you have constantly stuck in your head
    Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

    The first half of this game has some really depressing moments. I still feel like shit everytime I think about some of the shit that BJ's going through here. His general attitude and monologues during this half almost made me cry at times. Machine Games really did well to humanize this ridiculously superhuman dude. It's certainly not the kind of thing I expected when I first played it, and it kinda stuck with me ever since I finished it. It's like how going through TLOU Part II helped me made the right decisions in this pandemic: I really felt that this game subtly helped me empathize more with people around me, as crazy as that sounds.

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  • Day 24 - Game you have constantly stuck in your head

    Hotline Miami/Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

    An impulsive pleasure it is to barge into buildings and through doors and spray bullets fast and bludgeon your foes before they do the same to you. So much bloody awesome carnage awaits players and it's viscerally satisfying and the levels are conveniently short enough to make them bite-sized bonanzas that never let up until the end of the game. The soundtracks are just as memorable and quirky as the gameplay too with tunes that feel as rapid and impulsive as the games themselves.

    Youtube Video



  • Thought I'd share since we're close to the end of the month that I've got a surprise coming for the 1st I've been cooking up:

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    I know there are only 30 days in November, but I wanted to get a template for different months as well. I've been coming up with all new categories and fun things to look for for all of the days that I still need to finish up.



  • Day 25 - Game that gets you pumped

    Final Fantasy VII Remake

    I haven't finished Remake yet, but it makes me extremely excited every time I turn it on. Having played the original into the ground when it came out, I can't help but just stop and stare at all the little details, and getting into fights with characters like Rude, or seeing how things are subtly tweaked makes me giddy. I also love all of the character moments. There's a spot where Aerith gets offended and says "Cloud, permission to kill" that made me laugh out loud. But as much as I'm constantly pumped to see what comes next with my old polygonal memories in mind, those fights and the music just never get old, and I'm super excited and at the edge of my seat with the new battle system!

    I must have just spend like ten minutes sitting at the title screen alone.

    Youtube Video



  • Day 25 - Game that gets you pumped
    Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown

    The soundtrack of this game energizes me like no other, and it is a essential part in the adrenaline filled gameplay loop of this game. Chase some fighters, neutralize them, dodge incoming missiles, scan the environment, and repeat. Especially with the late game jets that you unlock, the sense of speed and superiority of riding a billion dollar killing machine in this game is something that is truly special. Not to mention the enemy and teammate response dialogues that fuels the ego after you did something really well.

    I chose to share the first DLC mission because it's so intense right from the start, and it doesn't really spoil the main story missions.

    Youtube Video – [07:01..]



  • @bam541 I've never played an Ace Combat game. Do you think someone who would probably suck at flying a plane would have fun with it? I'm always curious.



  • @happygaming Well, there's a simplified control system that you can try out if you're feeling overwhelmed with the regular controls. I kinda sucked when I first played this, but the game has a lot of set ups that challenges you to fly better, which helps me gradually get better. There are some difficulty spikes in the first 10 missions, but once you get past them, I think you can handle most of the things that the game throws at you later on.



  • Catchin' up...

    Day 8, first-or-third person shooter

    Halo, the one and only original release. Standardized FPS mechanics right to this day, still the best AI I've seen in any game, 16-player LAN on a console, and still a visual showcase.

    Here are some original promo shots (work backwards from page 8), with some other early official promo material links on the right side.

    Day 9, licensed game

    Sorry for a common pick and another FPS, but it's got to be GoldenEye. The only other licensed game that ranks highly for me is Alien: Isolation, but it isn't close.

    Day 10, RPG from a western studio

    I already used Oblivion, so...Skyrim. :P

    Kingdom Come: Deliverance looks pretty good in terms of world-building, but I have little interest in playing it because it doesn't have the slickness I need for a game of that size not to tire me. Simply knowing that BotW 2, Starfield, and TES VI are on the way is enough to push me away from an alternate massive open world for the time being.

    Day 11, puzzle game

    I'd like to put Myst here, but my only experience with it is the first few minutes (which was actually enough to get it on my top 40 games of all time!). It's the kind of game I MUST play on original hardware, but I probably won't have spare dough for a retro PC for a while.

    So...Tetris Effect. I don't think I can rank a game higher in terms of pure presentation.

    Youtube Video

    Day 12, game that makes you sad

    There are parts of Halo: Reach's story that made me legitimately sad (all spoilers - for those who've played it, you know which parts).

    Day 13, game that didn't get the recognition it deserved

    The original Xbox/PS2 version of Burnout Revenge. Burnout 3 gets all the glory, and when Burnout Revenge IS brought up, it's the Xbox 360 version, which is smeared in dreadful bloom. It's Burnout 3 with better visuals, insanely fun Traffic Checking, and a more diverse soundtrack.

    Youtube Video

    Youtube Video

    Day 14, boss battle

    Donkey Kong 64 - Mad Jack

    Youtube Video

    Day 15, Metroidvania

    I firmly dislike this style of game. Metroid: Samus Returns looks ok, and I might play Symphony of the Night someday, but...(insert Ian sound here).

    Day 16, 16-bit game

    I'm turned off by most games that are older technically than Star Fox 64. There are some PC games I like that used 16-bit executables, but that's cheating.

    I do want to play Earthbound, but that's another one I want to experience on the original hardware, and the cartridge is $$$.

    Even though it's pretty crude, I'll pick the original Star Fox. It's damn unique, and the soundtrack is solid.

    Day 17, game you never get tired of

    I already used Oblivion, but I know I will get tired of it someday anyways.

    So, it'll be my favorite game of all time, Worms Armageddon (PC). I do get tired of it periodically, but I'll always come back to it.

    Day 18, game over

    Hey, I can use Alien: Isolation here! When you die, you watch your character die through their eyes and ears, and it's always uncomfortable.

    Day 19, JRPG

    Well, Pokémon Red & Blue's been mentioned already, so let's do Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. Just an all-around Good Game.

    Youtube Video

    Day 20, racing game

    RalliSport Challenge 2. One of the most visually impressive original Xbox games, and fun too!

    Youtube Video

    Day 21, game you associate with frustration

    Tony Hawk's Project 8. Some of the goals, in particular the "Spot Challenges" where you have to perform a specific maneuver across specific points, are amazingly hard, even if you are well experienced with Hawk games.

    Youtube Video

    And you actually have to be an elite gamer to get golds on the "Classic" stages, meaning beat every objective in a SINGLE. RUN.