November Game Challenge

  • Day 21 - Closed Studio and A Game From Them

    Silicon Knights - Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes

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    I'm not proud to say today, but Twin Snakes was actually the first Metal Gear game I ever played. It got me into the franchise that I had missed for a good portion of growing up. After the fact, I got all the games on the PS1 and 2, and when I played the original, everything clicked into place and I was like "oh, this is so much better than Twin Snakes..." The acting is a lot more seriously taken, the gameplay works in a way that isn't in an engine made after the fact that breaks some of the mechanics and there weren't dumb Matrix superpower segments. But as much as it's a flawed game in comparison to its predecessor, I still admire the game in a certain way, if in no other way than it got me into one of my favorite franchises of all time. There's something sort of admirable about trying to take such a revered game in your own direction. It will always, if anything, be its own thing.

    Silicon Knights had a few games under their belt, and will probably be most remembered for Eternal Darkness, which I have but keep forgetting I own when Halloween rolls around. But I mean, remember Too Human? That game from 2008 that took ten years to make and was supposed to be the start of a trilogy? Someone should pick that up. Someone should buy up their properties and keep the legacy going.

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    Sacrifice is an awesome 3rd person real-time strategy game and you play as a wizard serving one of five factions of gods. You build and control an army of creatures and every faction is different enough to warrant several replays. On the technical side was quite impressive for its time and the soundtrack is pretty awesome. It's a challenging game and mechanically very unique. Special mention for the writing which is consistently good, and funny.

    Shiny Entertainment was one of my favourite developers for their unique vision and Sacrifice was their last truly great game. Their catalogue includes titles like Earthworm Jim, MDK, Messiah and of course Sacrifice.

  • Day 22-Game You Wish You Could Play For The First Time

    Resident Evil 2

    I wish I could go back and experience how horrifying Resident Evil 2 was on PS1 because then I could better learn to manage it or have somebody with me when I play so I don't freak out because the zombies in RE2 are expletive terrifying and horrifying. Whether it's from their gurgling noises or the way the fixed camera angles prevent you from seeing the dangers lurking about-RE2 just seems like a game I'd love to play for the first time so I can relive true horror. Here's a scene that encapsulates how much I'd have wet myself as a kid and probably have shivering nightmares:

    Youtube Video

  • Day 22-Game You Wish You Could Play For The First Time
    Another World

    I've said it here 1000 times already, that's my favourite game ever. I played many games before but this is the moment when I can pin point exactly when some synapse fired in my brain and I fell in love with gaming. I understood where gaming could take me, what it would inevitable become. So I wish I could relive this again but I had to go back in time too. Obviously current me wouldn't be mindblown if it experienced this game for the first time today, having gaming progressed to much.

  • Day 22 - Game you wish you could play for the first time again

    Yakuza 0

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    I've spent a good portion of the day just stewing on this one with the page open. Most of the games I want to play for the first time again, I'm likely to have my oldest friend play it so I can watch him experience it for the first time. That was the case with most of the games I've introduced him to. However I also am trying to avoid repeat entries, or games that I want to show up for certain spots. A game that my friend has never played, and may never because of the time required and the genre is Yakuza 0 though.

    This was my entry into the Yakuza franchise, and I couldn't have been more impressed. I can't exactly remember a lot of the minute points for the game, but I do remember specific details that stuck with me. Most of all, this game has heart. It knows how to pull the serious punches, but also be funny, all at the right times, all playing off perfectly and never in a way that makes me roll my eyes. There were side activities that would make me laugh, and when I got to the conclusion of them, I'd tear up. There's a sincerity here that I adore, and while I liked Kiwami, it didn't strike me the same way as many of the scenes in 0. I can jump back into Kamurocho anytime I want and try the story again, but most of what I've played I'll remember, and most of what I forgot probably won't stick. Plus, with the amount of side activities I've exhausted, I don't know if it will ever be quite the same. But I love it. Wish I could have that first time again.

  • Day 23 - Movie that should be a video game


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    I feel like this would be a cool game to take the concept and make its own original idea out of it, rather than just a script rehash. Like, imagine if you sort of took the gameplay of Control but put it more into a sort of Silent Hill feeling adventure where you always have to question what is reality. You can have the crazy physics-bending worlds that shift and contort, but have it centered around characters that are always questioning whether they're in a dream, or if they're accomplishing their goal they set out to do in these heist style scenarios, maybe even make you assemble a team and need to wonder whether you should trust them or not like Mass Effect. Personally, I think a solo-mindbending story would work better than having to converse with a squad, but it could go a lot of different directions with the concepts introduced in the film.

  • Day 23 - Movie that should be a video game

    The Shape of Water

    Surely The Shape of Water has the ingredients to be a great narrative-driven adventure game. A silent and deaf protagonist, an amphibious monster and some good old fashion 1960s Cold War contextualization-makes me believe that it could be a great call back to Bioshock whilst bringing a myriad of fresh and interesting ideas to the videogame medium.

  • Day 24-Videogame That Should Be A Movie

    Heavy Rain

    Unfortunately many films based on videogames are awful probably because Hollywood try to alter the film in order to drawn as wide an audience as possible-but one game I think should be turned into a movie is Heavy Rain-well actually Heavy Rain should be a film instead of a game because David Cage directs games as though he wants them to be film even though he's laughably bad at it in my opinion-but if he did go ahead and direct a film I'll go in an open-mind and if it's terrible at least I can laugh at it and it could be a so bad it's good type film. I'd have put Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch down again but I've already mentioned it so many times in various categories that it wouldn't be fair.

  • Day 23 - Movie that should be a videogame

    Dark City

    I think one could make a good immersive sim out of this movie, maybe with some horror sprinkled in there. The way the world changes shape in the movie could be great in the hands of a good level designer.

    Day 24 - Videogame that should be a movie


    Would love to see Inside's universe expanded into a movie. Maybe let's go wild, travel in time and have Andrei Tarkovsky directing it.

  • Day 25-Boss That Made You Quit

    Metal Gear: Rising Revengeance Senator Armstrong Boss (Not sure if this is too spoiler-filled)

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    Back in 2013 I was slashing my way through Rising Revengeance and after a difficult start I acclimated to it and really enjoyed it-and then the final boss happened and there were several layers to it and it was drawn out-I managed to carve my way through a few of them but eventually it got so difficult as I diligently fought and fought to finish the boss but I ultimately gave up because I had had more than enough of dying again and again. I should have toned down the difficulty but back then I was always playing games on the normal difficulty.

  • Day 24 - Game that should be a movie

    Twisted Metal

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    I've been anguishing over this question because every game I come up with sounds like it would make a terrible movie unless it were put into the right hands. Twisted Metal though would be hard to mess up, but would have a decent chance of being pretty good if they do the characters justice. I think of it being sort of a Mad Max car combat movie, but in a more Escape New York stylized setting mixed with something like The Warriors where you have all these branches of messed up people competing for the prize, and and focus on bonds and betrayals in and out of battles. If it ends up bad, it could just be a B-grade car combat movie.

  • Day 25 - Boss That Made You Quit

    Brutal Legend - Sea of Black Tears

    I had to look it up to remember but this on Brutal difficulty is why I never finished this game. That damn tree! I can't name another game since the Genesis days that I have hard quit from the difficulty of one particular part.

  • Day 25 - Boss fight that made you quit

    Blazing Bull - Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

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    I have one of these for every From Software game. Most recently it's just the miniboss of the fire bull. I always reach one of those points in these games where my skill isn't quite at the place where it should be, but it's more tiring to get back there to try again than anything, so it's just the stopping point. It's the place on the graph where the difficulty of a boss versus my desire to get better to beat it is overtaken by the former. I don't get those fist pumping moments from Souls, but I always hope to. Instead I just get tired, go back to my home screen, and eventually delete the game for something I will actually have fun with.

  • Day 25 - Boss That Made You Quit

    Never happened to quit a game over a boss, but in God of War once I got to the last Valkyrie I tried a couple of times and realized it was way too much effort for what it felt right for that game and just turned my back and got back to the main game.

    But the closest I was from quitting a game was with Ornstein and Smough in Dark Souls, but oh boy was that satisfying.

  • Day 26: Game you like in a genre or series you don't

    Portal 2

    Puzzle platformers and puzzle games in general aren't a good fit with my brain but Portal 2 is amazingly fun, especially with another player in co-op. I played Portal 2 with my brother on Xbox 360 and we had so much fun with the sense of humour the game had and it made all the puzzle challenges that much more rewarding to get through. Stephen Merchant is terrific as Wheatley as well.

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  • Day 26: Game you like in a genre or series you don't

    Tekken 2

    Never was a fan of fighting games but there's very few games that I've put as many hours as Tekken 2. Tekken controls are pretty brilliant, Upper left button for left harm, lower left for left leg and so on. So intuitive, even complex combos come naturally. Got to a point where I dominated most characters and was unbeatable in our local tournaments with friends.

    Great solo mode too, those story CGI videos were the bees knees.

  • Day 27 - Favourite Composer

    David García Díaz
    OK probably not my absolute favourite but while I was playing Rime I really loved the soundtrack, to the point that I had to look for the composer's name, then his work in Hellblade and Arise is also excellent. And Bleeding Edge shows a completely different side to his work and again, it's pretty good.

  • Day 27-Favourite Composer

    Joe Hisaishi and Masafumi Takada

    Composers of Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch and Danganronpa respectively, the music they have conducted are sublime and are tonally exact with the themes of these games being nailed perfectly through the music. Wrath of the White Witch's soundtrack delicately balances the fantastical with the elements of bliss and melancholy that perfectly captures the game's spirit and themes. Danganronpa's meanwhile manages to juxtapose a lot of elements in its music such as paradise with danger and foreboding or whimsy with creepiness. Both of these composers have made soundtracks that have layers of meaning and they provide depth through their music that I don't hear being captured all that often.

  • Day 28-Game You're Thankful Exists

    Spider-Man (PS4)

    I don't know about anybody else but I have found that the large American PS4 exclusives are far too serious that they don't feel like they have enough other elements to drown out feelings of grit. God of War's epic adventure is a journey about a man and his son-a tale of growing and evolving with age and passing down lessons to the young so they don't make the same mistakes you did-very powerful and relatable lessons yes-but also rather unexciting and dull. I feel similarly about Days Gone and Horizon: Zero Dawn as well-these games have serious subject matter at their heart and although they're both pretty decent at their core-they're both rather forgettable-especially the protagonists. I'm not trying to give these games flak, I'm saying they are serious and the leads aren't very endearing. I play games to have fun and escape the real world, not to be reminded of it-and although Spider-Man is a big triple A videogame based on the Marvel universe-it strikes a carefully considered balance between being emotionally relatable and being funny, quirky and amusing, managing to showcase a wide-range of themes and elements without getting bogged down with one essence for too long. I'm glad Spider-Man on PS4 exists because it shows that not only can triple A games be fun and funny again, but that Spider-Man makes you feel like an empowered and unstoppable superhero and the scraps are so moreish and pleasingly stylish that instead of wanting to get fights over with you probably don't want them to end.

  • Day 26 - Game you like from a genre you don't

    Civilization V

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    Strategy games and RTS games are typically outside my wheelhouse, probably because I just don't really enjoy playing games on PC and they don't excel on consoles. There are also typically a ton of rules and mechanics you need to learn and understand off the bat before you can gleam any enjoyment out of the experience, sort of like when you have a buddy who wants to play a board game with you but has to spend an hour telling you all the rules first. Civilization 5 is not like that.

    This is such a breezy experience that is easy to get lost in, and have fun even if you don't understand what's going on beneath the surface. You can get by with a basic understanding of what's happening turn to turn, or really get neck deep in what all the numbers do. I just go turn by turn, but it's the beauty of the game.