Games Completed 2019

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ratsoalbion
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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by ratsoalbion » January 21st, 2019, 10:02 am

Arguably the Switch now has the best version of Out Run. Other than the loss of the 3D aspect, the Switch version has everything that the 3DS version had and adds more features, including (optionally) the game’s original graphics reconfigured for ‘widescreen’. Sensational both handheld and docked on the big screen.

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by Sinclair Gregstrum » January 21st, 2019, 10:20 am

Jan – Streets of Rage 2 - Sega Mega Drive Classics (Switch)

Jan - Detroit: Become Human - (PS4 Pro)

My interest in this game really started long before the game itself had even been announced. As a guy with a film degree who wrote his dissertation on the evolution of robots in cinema, the 2012 Kara tech demo was right up my street and I’d always hoped that it would one day be used to fuel a game. So when Detroit: Become Human was officially unveiled at Paris Games Week in 2015, I was all-in.

Fast forward to release in May 2018 and for a few reasons my excitement had waned somewhat. There had been a couple of decent but not stellar E3 showings (for me at least), along with some controversy around working practices and behaviour at Quantic Dream that had soured the pre-release hype cycle. So despite generally good reviews (currently 78 on Metacritic) I didn’t run out to pick it up day one, and then life and other games got in the way. So Detroit just remained on the periphery of my radar from then on, that is until Black Friday hit and the game was on offer for as little as £13. Moral objections to sexist work practices shamefully forgotten, I went ahead and bought the game.

So the game itself, I really enjoyed with some reservations. I play all games of this nature the same way – ‘what would I do?’. If I’ve got time to think I’ll make an informed decision based on how I feel I would handle the situation, and if it’s a quick-fire instance I shoot from my personal hip as it were. I don’t do replays to see alternative routes or endings – the experience I have is what it was meant to be, and I leave it there. In the case of Detroit that led me down some really interesting rabbit holes, many of which (certainly in the final act and ending) took me down some paths that according to the game only a few percent of people took (after each chapter you can see a flow chart with worldwide player and friend stats).

The game is well written if a little heavy handed at times, but combine this with some fantastic performances by the mo-cap cast and you’ve got something that is easily in the upper echelons of narrative storytelling in video games. Detroit also largely excels from an overall audio-visual perspective. The level of care and consistency in the art direction of the world along with the quality of the orchestral score and incidental sound effects really mark this out as a game with top tier production values that’s a pleasure to experience on a big telly with a decent headset or speakers.

On flip side, as mentioned above the script can be a little too blatant at times, really hammering home it’s thematic motivations when a slightly lighter touch would have not only sufficed but probably been even more effective. There’s also not a huge amount of originality on show here in terms of either the narrative, visuals or sound design. The game is executed to an incredibly high standard in so many areas and Quantic Dream really deserves credit for that, but I’ve seen this all before. Maybe not in one place, but it’s certainly a pastiche of some pretty well trodden sci-fi paths. Now to be fair as mentioned upfront I’m a film grad a with dissertation relating to the subject matter of the game, so I’ve probably consumed more robot-based media than most and am an unfair benchmark, but I’d expect even a casual sci-fi fan will feel in familiar territory a number of times throughout their playthrough.

Overall, Detroit: Become Human is an excellent video game if you’re into this type of video game. It won’t convert David Cage-haters, and it won’t blow the minds of sci-fi fans looking for an original answer to the “what makes us human?” question, but in its best moments the game is a genuinely poignant, exhilarating, and morally challenging piece. It is a work of art executed with great care and skill, brought to life by a narrative that while derivative is delivered with commitment and to an incredibly high standard.

A worthy thing then, and I look forward to seeing where Quantic Dream goes next.

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by Magical_Isopod » January 21st, 2019, 11:13 am

Flabyo wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 9:12 am
The 3ds has the best version of outrun. And power drift.
And Sonic Generations.

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by ratsoalbion » January 21st, 2019, 11:25 am

How come? The review scores for the 3DS version were 10% lower than the other formats due to technical issues.

https://www.gamerankings.com/browse.htm ... ev=3&site=

Or are you being ironic?

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by dezm0nd » January 21st, 2019, 12:15 pm

Ah, Sonic Generations. There's a game I could replay.

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by Magical_Isopod » January 21st, 2019, 6:38 pm

ratsoalbion wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 11:25 am
How come? The review scores for the 3DS version were 10% lower than the other formats due to technical issues.

https://www.gamerankings.com/browse.htm ... ev=3&site=

Or are you being ironic?
The 3DS version is the better version of the game, IMHO. Where the console versions have a mix of "classic Sonic" and "modern Sonic" , the 3DS one has more a blend of "Genesis Sonic" and "Sonic Advance/Rush". But unlike Advance and Rush, the levels are actually designed well. There are no surprise pits or "hold right to win". The bosses were better than the console version as well.

When it comes down to it, having played both versions of Generations, the AAA console one felt like it was very much the clunky, awkward Sonic Team game the media claimed it wasn't (like, really, play Sonic Mania and then go back and play Generations - Generations is nowhere close to as fluid to control or fun to play)... Where the 3DS one escaped all the baggage of Sonic (has a human girlfriend, is a werewolf, is an English Knight) and just made a good platformer nearly on par with the Genesis games.

The 3DS version gets a lot of hate online, and the low review scores seem to be more a case of "Oh, it's the OTHER version" than any real criticism, aside from maybe the short length. But most people that hate this game have never even played it - they just say, "Oh, Dimps made it" and dismiss is out of hand. Which I get, because Dimps has a god-awful track record. But I swear this game is actually great!

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by ratsoalbion » January 21st, 2019, 6:55 pm

Fair enough, interesting stuff.

We’ll be sure to make note of the differences whenever we cover the Sonic series!

Dimps also made SFIV of course...

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by dezm0nd » January 21st, 2019, 8:27 pm

Add Edith Finch to my list.

Great "walking simulator" for lack of a better term

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by MajorGamer » January 22nd, 2019, 12:28 pm

Jan 2 - War for the Overworld (PC)
Jan 13 - Pyre (PC)
Jan 16 - Heroes of Hammerwatch (PC)

Jan 17 - Mega Man 11 (Switch)

The big complaint I heard on this one is that stages are way too long. While stages are a bit longer than previous Mega Man games, I didn't find them to be that much of a difference. The gimmick of the game being able to boost your speed or power temporarily. Oddly, you can pretty much ignore the gimmick except for a couple attacks that you need the speed boost to dodge.

I played on the hardest difficulty and it is a bit weird. Items are completely removed from stages and enemies will only drop bolts. There are also less checkpoints and enemies do more damage (some to an insane degree, able to kill you in 4 hits from full). You'd think that would make things annoying but a lot of bolts drop. With this, you can easily get max e-tanks and eat them like candy to get through the game (I used 8 on a single boss fight and then just re-maxed after the victory). Don't think this was thought through completely.

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by Bakers_12 » January 23rd, 2019, 7:54 am

I fell off keeping up with the forum postings last year, hope to be better this one

23/1/19 Baner Saga ios.

Enjoyed this game , I really liked how the choices you make don’t always have an instant or apparent effect , leaving you to ponder “have I made the right decision” and not knowing till a long way down the line if at all if you was right or not. Despite the characters mostly being shown as static pictures you do end up being invested if they are injured, killed or betrayed which is a testament for the dialogue . The strategy side of game is also good is does seem to be used less frequently than I would have thought but this might be because of choices I made. On ward to Banner saga 2

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by Beck » January 23rd, 2019, 12:10 pm

January

God of War (2018)
Yoku's Island Express - Switch
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

All great games. God of War stands out as I didn't think I would like it after GoW 3 but it captured me from the get-go.

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by Chopper » January 23rd, 2019, 12:26 pm

Bakers_12 wrote:
January 23rd, 2019, 7:54 am
I fell off keeping up with the forum postings last year, hope to be better this one

23/1/19 Baner Saga ios.

Enjoyed this game , I really liked how the choices you make don’t always have an instant or apparent effect , leaving you to ponder “have I made the right decision” and not knowing till a long way down the line if at all if you was right or not. Despite the characters mostly being shown as static pictures you do end up being invested if they are injured, killed or betrayed which is a testament for the dialogue . The strategy side of game is also good is does seem to be used less frequently than I would have thought but this might be because of choices I made. On ward to Banner saga 2
I only recently got an ipad, and have been eyeing this up, even though I've already played the trilogy on console. The fighting doesn't necessarily get more frequent in Part 2 (it might do), but it does add a lot of stuff that freshens it up, so you have something to look forward to.
Beck wrote:
January 23rd, 2019, 12:10 pm
January

God of War (2018)
Yoku's Island Express - Switch
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

All great games. God of War stands out as I didn't think I would like it after GoW 3 but it captured me from the get-go.
Funny that Yoku's is the game most of the forum seems to have played in a timely manner (usually nobody is playing the same thing); maybe that's the case for most Switch releases and I haven't been paying attention.

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by Beck » January 23rd, 2019, 12:32 pm

Chopper wrote:
January 23rd, 2019, 12:26 pm
Funny that Yoku's is the game most of the forum seems to have played in a timely manner (usually nobody is playing the same thing); maybe that's the case for most Switch releases and I haven't been paying attention.
For me, it had to do with it being on so many GotY Podcasts. It's also a relatively short game which is exactly what I needed during a recent trip away. :)

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by ratsoalbion » January 24th, 2019, 10:56 pm

24 Jan: Florence (iOS)
Ahead of interviewing composer Kevin Penkin for Sound of Play 183 tomorrow.
A well observed, heartfelt and clever title with a contemplative OST.

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by KSubzero1000 » January 24th, 2019, 11:45 pm

Okay, SOMA then. Juuust in time before RE2 hits, I kept my promise!


I found the first third to be moderately engaging, but I have to admit that I really struggled to pick it back up after my mid-game break. In blatant disobedience of Iso's directives, it was mainly you guys' praise that motivated me to finish it. I'm glad I did though, it was an interesting experience.

Gameplay is rough. On the positive side of things, I do appreciate the lack of obvious signposting and intrusive UI elements a lot. Some of the puzzles can be a bit obtuse (and I had to deal with one particularly nasty glitch at one point), but the adventure elements are a net positive overall. The stealth is really bad, though. Just the usual smoke and mirrors that aren't meant to be interacted with in any interesting fashion. I understand why that is - to make the player feel powerless and anxious instead of euphoric from having outsmarted a difficult opponent, but the end result is more frustrating and boring than anything. Staring at the floor and checking my emails while the game decides whether to make the enemies go away or not is not my idea of good gameplay. The late-game enemies in particular are just insipid chores.
Spoiler: show
One mechanical element I think is interesting is the merging of health recovery "items" with the main antagonist. I kept thinking about how a more conventional action game might benefit from a similar concept which would give the player that extra incentive to minimize damage taken, for example.
Tacky body horror is not my favorite thing either. I'm not opposed to horror as a genre in general, but subtlety is key. Once you've seen a rotting corpse and a random jump scare, you've seen them all. I'm not saying it doesn't succeed at what it's trying to do, because it mostly does, but I don't find this stuff stimulating or noteworthy in any way. Just gross and overbearing. Thankfully there are a few nuanced atmospheric moments to compensate.

Story is interesting. I wish it had been told in a slightly more dynamic matter (audio logs of all sorts are mostly a turn-off these days, and staring at static computer screens while disembodied exposition spells out is hardly an improvement), but the subject matter itself is intriguing. I think the game is about the right length in order to nail its main narrative beats without too much pointless fluff and filler, too.
Spoiler: show
Why is every piece of electronic equipment in this game somehow completely immune to being submerged in water, though?? You have the Omnitool, all sorts of lamps and computers (including flat screens withstanding ocean floor-levels of water pressure), and even the goddamn Ark all swimming peacefully without a care in the world. Is this ever explained within the lore? I must have missed it if so.
Characterization is a mixed bag. Writing is very good for the most part, but I'm really struggling with the lack of facial expressions and body language. It seems like a complete waste of a visual medium, and no amount of POV asterixis is going to change that. It makes all protagonists feel way too similar to one another on the surface level, and if it weren't for a certain other Simon sending me lavender-scented letters of encouragement and becoming an unsuspecting mnemonic device in the process, I probably wouldn't even be able to recall the main character's name off the top of my head.
Spoiler: show
To give credit where credit is due though, I think this particular game's subject matter meshes rather well with the presentation style. The two "coin toss" consciousness-switching moments in the second half certainly benefit from it.

Overall, it didn't convert me to either first-person horror or walking sims / environmental theaters, but I would say it's a rather solid example of those genres that tackles interesting themes and doesn't overstay its welcome too much. It's a good game, I can see why people like it.

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by Magical_Isopod » January 24th, 2019, 11:58 pm

I "finished" Thumper insofar as I'm at a point where I'm stuck. :P Which is okay because I JUST got an e-mail saying my RE2 pickup will be ready at Wal-Mart for 7am... I work night shifts, so guess who's going 2 hours deep before he has to snooze!?

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by MajorGamer » January 25th, 2019, 12:36 pm

Jan 2 - War for the Overworld (PC)
Jan 13 - Pyre (PC)
Jan 16 - Heroes of Hammerwatch (PC)
Jan 17 - Mega Man 11 (Switch)

Jan 20 - ReThink | Evolved (PC)

More puzzles based on lasers. In this sequel, the cubes used to direct the lasers are no longer confined to set spots on the ground. Now you can move them around to wherever you wish. There are zero gravity sections but it just makes pointing the lasers awkward. The solutions are too perfect how they are set up. Often working backwards from the laser destinations makes the answers fairly easy. It still makes for some good puzzle solving, just prefer the original over it.

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by Scrustle » January 25th, 2019, 3:34 pm

25/01 - Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes

After many years this series is finally back! In a game that departs from the usual style of the series. Strange how this game has a lot of similarities to Darksiders 3. Much like with that game, I also rather enjoyed this one. Even though it wasn't the NMH3 I was hoping for, it was obviously never trying to be that, and was still pretty entertaining as its own thing. I like the aesthetic style and atmosphere it creates, and even though the combat is very simple and a bit janky at times, it's still overall relatively fun and has a good base level feel to it. It also has an entertaining sense of humour that is in line with the series, and has a bunch of cool surprises and tie-ins to other Grasshopper games. It even has a few references to real life figures too, which were pretty interesting. The levels themselves were pretty diverse too, and had some fun ideas with how to mix things up with mechanics and visuals.

But like I said, I think this is another example of a game that got a raw deal just because it wasn't the game people wanted it to be. I want a real NMH3 just as much as anyone, but I don't think this game deserves to be punished for that. It's a spin-off that's doing its own thing. And with this being the first game Suda51 has taken the director role on since NMH1, it would make sense that he would start by dipping his feet in to something a little lighter and experimental, instead of jumping right back in at the deep end. It's also got me thinking about how people react to games in this bracket in general. It seems like these days there's very little room for a game to just be "good" or "alright". Or somewhere between those two, as those words can have different implications. Which kind of illustrates what I mean. "Average" gets conflated with "bad", and anything that isn't exceptional becomes not worth looking at. Can't a game just be acceptably fun without having to blow you away every time? I suppose it's nothing new for people to use hyperbole and to be drawn to extremes, but perhaps there's an extra layer in how these middle-tier games have been dead for so long. They've been making something of a comeback in the last few years, but they often tend to split opinion and get very harsh criticism because they're not up to the highest standards of the biggest AAA games of the moment. I hope it's something we can get over, and that "7/10" can maybe finally stop being looked down on. Or maybe even games below that threshold.

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by Chopper » January 25th, 2019, 5:57 pm

Scrustle wrote:
January 25th, 2019, 3:34 pm
But like I said, I think this is another example of a game that got a raw deal just because it wasn't the game people wanted it to be. I want a real NMH3 just as much as anyone, but I don't think this game deserves to be punished for that. It's a spin-off that's doing its own thing. And with this being the first game Suda51 has taken the director role on since NMH1, it would make sense that he would start by dipping his feet in to something a little lighter and experimental, instead of jumping right back in at the deep end. It's also got me thinking about how people react to games in this bracket in general. It seems like these days there's very little room for a game to just be "good" or "alright". Or somewhere between those two, as those words can have different implications. Which kind of illustrates what I mean. "Average" gets conflated with "bad", and anything that isn't exceptional becomes not worth looking at. Can't a game just be acceptably fun without having to blow you away every time?

I suppose it's nothing new for people to use hyperbole and to be drawn to extremes, but perhaps there's an extra layer in how these middle-tier games have been dead for so long. They've been making something of a comeback in the last few years, but they often tend to split opinion and get very harsh criticism because they're not up to the highest standards of the biggest AAA games or the moment. I hope it's something we can get over, and that "7/10" can maybe finally stop being looked down on. Or maybe even games below that threshold.
This is an interesting topic of conversation. I know a 7/10 game doesn't necessarily mean literally that, but rather the next tier down from the 8s and 9s that everybody gives out for the better marketed games (for me personally the Far Crys and Ass Creeds would be the 7-rated games but that's another conversation).

I had a look on Metacritic for 2018, and I was surprised to see that I'd played quite a lot of the games they ranked 65-75. I was surprised because I first went to my list of games played last year and could only pick out a couple that I'd classify as being in this second tier. But on Metacritic Vampyr was a 70, State of Mind was 66, Phantom Doctrine was 73.

So I'm all for these games, as long as they have an interesting hook or do something differently (or even well). The ones I didn't enjoy were the ones that plodded along - Kingdom Come Deliverance, Elex, RDR2...sorry, I mean Metal Gear Survive. These kind of fall into the 'passing the time' category for me, in that they are good enough but not really interesting in any way, and just passing the time isn't an acceptable goal for me. So I would say that these games can be acceptably fun but I need that small bit more. And looking at that list on Metacritic, there is a lot more to be had from these games.

So, broadly in agreement :). I do think, anecdotally because I only have a feeling about this, that reviewers at large outlets are overly eager to put the boot in to games which don't have large marketing budgets, or come from an unfashionable publisher, and this second tier of games suffers a bit from that too.

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by Chopper » January 25th, 2019, 6:07 pm

KSubzero1000 wrote:
January 24th, 2019, 11:45 pm
Okay, SOMA then. Juuust in time before RE2 hits, I kept my promise!
Yay!
KSubzero1000 wrote:
January 24th, 2019, 11:45 pm
..everything else..
Boo!

Agree with your comments on the stealth sections, they are the game's recognised weakness. I don't remember the tacky body horror stuff - for me the horror was in the human-machine hybrids, and their state of mind. And regarding the visuals, audio logs and character presentation, it's a low budget game, so there are restrictions in place - my own expectations would be tempered by that knowledge.

But sounds like it was a net positive, just about :lol:

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