Games Completed 2020

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Sinclair Gregstrum
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Re: Games Completed 2020

Post by Sinclair Gregstrum »

Jan - Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (XOX)
Feb - The Last Of Us - Left Behind (PS4 Pro)
Feb - God Of War (PS4 Pro)

Mar - The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening (Switch)

Will keep it brief. Lovely art and sound direction. By turns too easy and too obtuse. Actually quite a touching narrative arc. Only my second ‘2D’ Zelda, and I think I preferred A Link Between Worlds. Very good though!

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Magical_Isopod
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Re: Games Completed 2020

Post by Magical_Isopod »

#6 - The Room

This was a hecking good little puzzle game. I paid a mere $3.43 for it on Switch, and I had a blast. Really stinks that the sequels aren't on Switch (yet?), but I'm glad I gave this one a shot. I needed a chill, no-pressure game after Doom Eternal had my arms going numb from adrenaline, and that worked just fine.

I'm a long ways off my target of 52 games beaten this year... So I'll have to start playing some shorter games to catch up. Doom Eternal will be done soon enough, I'm just stuck on the final boss.

&Iso2020

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stvnorman
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Re: Games Completed 2020

Post by stvnorman »

Spoiler: show

3 January: Untitled Goose Game (Xbox One)
13 January: Punch-Out! (NES on Switch)
16 January: Spyro the Dragon (PS4)
19 January: Mega Man X (SNES Classic Mini)
26 January: The Ninja Saviors (Switch)
31 January: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (SNES on Switch)
3 February: Bulletstorm (PS4)
5 February: Koral (Switch)
7 February: Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES on Switch)
9 February: Super Mario Bros. (NES on Switch)
10 February: Super Cycle (C64 Mini)
16 February: Bioshock (PS4)
18 February: Castlevania - Circle of the Moon (Game Boy Advance)
19 February: Bloodstained - Ritual of the Night (Xbox One)
25 February: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Game Boy Advance)
27 February: Ninja Gaiden Shadow (Game Boy)
29 February: Ghostbusters (C64 Mini)
4 March: Destruction Derby 2 (PlayStation Classic)
14 March: Doom 3 (Switch)
18 March: Anodyne (Switch)
30 March: Agent X (ZX Spectrum)
31 March: Agent X II (ZX Spectrum)

45 hours on Animal Crossing over the last couple of weeks is quite apparent in this month’s list! Loved the chance to play Destruction Derby 2 again, and Doom 3 became probably my favourite shooter ever! And just finished the wonderful Agent X and less wonderful sequel on the Spectrum for a new post on my blog at https://retroarcadia.blog if you’ll forgive the shameless plug! Also played but abandoned Shadow of the Colossus and Sonic Forces before their ends, am most of the way through Doom and Doom 64 on Switch and am learning the ropes on Madden 2004 on GameCube.

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duskvstweak
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Re: Games Completed 2020

Post by duskvstweak »

I finished the main campaign in Sleeping Dogs. Despite my occasional open world fatigue, the game was fun throughout. All the little things are done well. I think the whole undercover cop story gets a bit too silly with all the things our hero does in between, but it's unique for sure. I'm gonna tackle the DLC missions sometime soon, since enjoyed the game as much as I did.

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Scrustle
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Re: Games Completed 2020

Post by Scrustle »

Spoiler: show
03/01 - Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005)
08/01 - Need for Speed: Carbon
12/01 - Devil May Cry (Normal)
15/01 - Devil May Cry 2 (Normal/Dante)
26/01 - Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
08/02 - Dishonored
18/02 - Deus Ex: The Fall
23/02 - Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition (Normal/Dante/Free Style)
26/02 - Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition (Normal/Vergil)
28/02 - Horizon Chase Turbo
28/02 - EQQO
02/03 - Yakuza 3 Remastered
03/03 - Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition (Hard/Dante/Free Style)
10/03 - Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition (Very Hard/Dante/Free Style)
13/03 - Mirror's Edge Catalyst
19/03 - A Short Hike
01/04 - Doom Eternal

Like I mentioned before, this is both better and worse than the last game in a few ways. Still really great overall and a brilliant shooter that goes against a lot of contemporary design trends and is all the better for it, emphasising movement in a way not many other shooters do. The moment-to-moment combat is a fantastic thrill that really gets the adrenaline pumping in the way that all action games aspire to do. It's fast and fluid, with intensely crunchy and impactful game feel, and it has a smart design to how it uses all its different tools in a way that makes you actually think about what you're doing in a fight, and that you have a good incentive to explore all the variety it provides. This entry steps things up in those respects compared to the last game too. Weapons feel like they are better thought out and more distinct, and the new enemies expand the possibility space in battle by giving you meaningfully different problems to solve that makes you approach combat a bit more cleverly than before. The environments are impressive too, and a bit step up in some ways. Overall level design is fairly similar to before, so it still has the same sprawling levels, although here they are a bit more linear. But they are so in a way that just feels like it makes progress through a level feel smoother, not necessarily dumbed down in any way. And being able to fast travel once you have made your way through the whole thing to go back to pick up anything you missed is a welcome addition too. But the biggest difference is simply in aesthetic. There's a much wider variety of places you visit, and pretty much all of them are visually interesting and artistically impressive. Much better than the limited and often uninspiring backdrops of the first game.

But there were quite a few things I didn't like as much. One of the biggest things was the change in how the story is presented. Here it's much more complex than in the last one, so it spends more time stopping the pace to let things play out. I wouldn't be so bothered by that if they then didn't do a poor job of explaining the context of what is happening. So you often feel left behind and not understanding why characters are important or why exactly you're doing what you are for a lot of the game. It does explain things well enough eventually, through voice over during gameplay. You can learn a lot of that information earlier if you read the lore text that gets doled out across the game, but there's a lot of it, and it again kills the pace to stop and read it. It's often full of loads of unfamiliar nouns that only get explained in yet more logs too, so they can be pretty bewildering on their own as well until you get more of them. Another aspect of the story that I think they didn't nail as well as they did before was the characterisation of the Slayer. His personality doesn't come through like it did before, with how he acts in response to other characters in an amusingly impatient and destructive silence. There's still a bit of that here, but it's scaled back and feels like it's somewhat forgotten under everything else that is happening. Another issue is that some of the enemy design can actually be sort of bad, depending on the situation. The Marauder enemy, being a tough miniboss of sorts, can be either really good or really bad, depending on the area you fight them in. In enclosed spaces it is a nightmare and not fun at all. But in the right setting, it's a very exciting and unique challenge that can be a highlight. Aside from that, there are a couple of late game bosses that I think are pretty tedious too, with one I think being simply all round poorly designed, but that's a bit too spoilery to go in to details with.

So overall it's a somewhat uneven game, but one I still like a lot. It builds on the last game in a way that gives it both pros and cons. The gameplay is evolved in some very good ways, and it's nicer to explore too. But it's also somewhat bloated and inelegant in some ways. But it still plays brilliantly and mostly does a good job of carrying on what Doom 2016 did so well.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Games Completed 2020

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Scrustle wrote:
April 1st, 2020, 9:14 pm
So overall it's a somewhat uneven game, but one I still like a lot. It builds on the last game in a way that gives it both pros and cons. The gameplay is evolved in some very good ways, and it's nicer to explore too. But it's also somewhat bloated and inelegant in some ways. But it still plays brilliantly and mostly does a good job of carrying on what Doom 2016 did so well.
That's pretty much where I'm at as well! I was wondering what you were going to make of it. :)

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Simonsloth
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Re: Games Completed 2020

Post by Simonsloth »

Spoiler: show

January:
God of War
Resident Evil 2 remake: Leon A and Claire B

February:
Triforce Heroes
Donkey Konga Trilogy
Halo 4
Yakuza Zero

March:
Bury me my love
DK: Jungle Beat
Florence
Axiom Verge
Halo 5
Days Gone
Gradius
31st March:
Bloodstained: Curse of the moon

1st April:
Uncharted Lost Legacy

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Magical_Isopod
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Re: Games Completed 2020

Post by Magical_Isopod »

#7 - Doom Eternal

I went back and tried the final boss again, and I beat it pretty easily. I think I was just exhausted on Sunday -- I had been playing for 7 hours straight by that point.

To give a very brief review... Good game. Very good game. A small step up from Doom 2016. It had a handful of issues... Primarily in how it overloads you with tools and doesn't pace out their introduction very well. For instance, I used to hate the Marauder enemies, but they're actually a piece of cake once you figure out you can smack them with the Ballista, quick swap, and hit them with super shotgun before they can get the shield back up. You can basically stun lock them when you get the pattern down. But without knowing that, they're a headache to deal with.

Also thought the ending was kinda weak, with those last major boss encounters being a bit obtuse. Though the staff photos during the end credits was outstanding, really put some human element on the game. People made this. Cool people, by the looks of it.

But all in all, yeah, this one's my GOTY thus far. Very good experience.

&Iso2020

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Sinclair Gregstrum
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Re: Games Completed 2020

Post by Sinclair Gregstrum »

Jan - Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (XOX)
Feb - The Last Of Us - Left Behind (PS4 Pro)
Feb - God Of War (PS4 Pro)
Mar - The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening (Switch)

Mar - Panzer Dragoon (Switch)

Panzer Dragoon is a special series for me. Whether it’s the on-rails shooters of the original, Zwei or Orta, or the legendary RPG, Saga, there is something uniquely captivating about its striking world. It holds an intoxicating, haunting, timeless fascination for many that is as strong today as it’s ever been, so when news of a remake of the first game emerged, I was delighted and terrified in equal measure.

The original game was a very early Saturn release, just missing the Japanese launch but being present for the infamous ‘surprise’ US release of the console in 1995, and arriving very shortly after in PAL regions. While a die-hard Saturn fanboy to this day, I didn’t get my console until 1996, and by that time the highly regarded sequel, Zwei, was already out, meaning I never went back to the original game at the time. Of course fast forward to present day and I’ve owned both PAL and NTSC-J Saturn copies for many years, and played through the game countless times. And it still holds up well. The visuals are early 32-bit 3D, with all the janky, wobbly polys that come with that, but the design and art direction still shines through, and the soundtrack is so good they’ve literally lifted it straight into the new remake without it seeming out of place at all.

The gameplay is very much of the Afterburner/Space Harrier arcade lineage, and if you like Rez but have never played any Panzer Dragoon, then frankly what the hell have you been up to? This is arcade, on-rails shooting, sat on a dragon, with either single shot or group lock-on firing options. That’s basically it. Enemies large and small, from beasties to battleships, come at you from all sides, and you can swing the camera around 360 degrees in four quadrants, making sure you can shoot or dodge your attackers from all angles. You have some control of the dragon within the frame of the screen, with a little bit of manoeuvring to be done to avoid enemy projectiles, but essentially you’re on a preset path moving ever forwards.

That sounds restrictive, but actually the limited control really plays into the character and tone of the game. You are not the dragon. You are the rider, trying your best to aim and shoot while wrangling the beast as best you can and not get blown up. The feeling of resistance in the controls and lack of immediacy when trying to direct your flying steed therefore makes perfect sense, and while the dragon lacks any AI to speak of, this helps make it feel like a companion and character in its own right throughout.

In terms of structure, this is a simple, short game that’s designed to be replayed, again showing it’s arcade shooter roots. It has six episodes in total plus a final boss, and while there is challenge here that will cause you to die and retry as you learn the levels and enemies placement, even then a decent player can blast through the game in a few hours at first, and as little as an hour when you get really good.

So that’s Panzer Dragoon, and all of the above is just as true for the Saturn original as it is for the Switch remake (there’s a fairly straightforward story here too, but if I get sucked down the rabbit-hole of Panzer lore we’ll be here all day!). The new game is about as literal a remake as you will find. Every enemy is in its place. Every twist and turn of the levels. Every memorable structure. It’s all there. As I mentioned before, even the original soundtrack is used in this initial release, although a re-orchestrated score from the legendary Saori Kobayashi (composer on Saga and Orta), is due soon in an upcoming patch.

The visuals then, are essentially where the the biggest change has happened, and the recreation of the Panzer world here nails it and misses the mark in equal measure, and it varies level to level, almost enemy to enemy, where it lands on that spectrum. Some stages look lovely, and exactly what you’d hope for in a Panzer remake (Episode 4’s network of dimly lit tunnels is particularly effective). Others still look nice, but rather miss the point of whole series’ aesthetic. The tone of the Panzer Dragoon series is one of a desolate, dangerous world, ravaged by wars long since past. Humans have been returned to almost a pre-tech state, while the ruins and inventions of once great civilisations punctuate the barren landscape, where dangerous creatures now roam the wastelands. This is not a ‘nature has reclaimed the earth and isn’t it all beautiful’ vibe, but more a ‘everything’s ruined, it’s a fight to survive, and oh my god there’s a six-eyed monster trying to eat me’ thing. There is no more obvious example of where it misses the mark than in the very first stage. It looks lovely in its own right with its vibrant colours and foliage, but that’s really just missing the point. Give me my eerie expanses of desolation back! It’s a decent, if not entirely successful, visual upgrade overall.

In summary, if you like the original Panzer Dragoon, it’s hard not to like this remake as they are, at their core, one and the same. It’s then down to personal preference whether, on balance, you feel the new visuals are your cup of tea or not. For new players, you might find it short and expensive (I’m happy to pay £20 for it, but others may not be) and the controls can be a little obtuse and unusual by today’s standards before you really get the hang of things. And whatever you do DO NOT try the ‘modern’ control method where they split the aiming and dragon movement between the two thumbsticks. It does not work, and again, rather misses the point of the original set-up.

Apparently Zwei is also in the works, and I sincerely hope this remake of the game that started it all is successful enough for that to see the light of day. Zwei is the better game, expanding on everything that makes Panzer Dragoon great, and the developers have done a decent enough job that with a few lessons learned, a remake of the sequel could be something really special.

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Scrustle
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Re: Games Completed 2020

Post by Scrustle »

Spoiler: show
03/01 - Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005)
08/01 - Need for Speed: Carbon
12/01 - Devil May Cry (Normal)
15/01 - Devil May Cry 2 (Normal/Dante)
26/01 - Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
08/02 - Dishonored
18/02 - Deus Ex: The Fall
23/02 - Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition (Normal/Dante/Free Style)
26/02 - Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition (Normal/Vergil)
28/02 - Horizon Chase Turbo
28/02 - EQQO
02/03 - Yakuza 3 Remastered
03/03 - Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition (Hard/Dante/Free Style)
10/03 - Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition (Very Hard/Dante/Free Style)
13/03 - Mirror's Edge Catalyst
19/03 - A Short Hike
01/04 - Doom Eternal
02/04 - Lucah: Born of a Dream (NG+, Bad Ending)

I felt the desire to go back to this game recently, as I always felt I never quite got the full experience, as I heard this does similar things to Nier in how it delivers its story. Second time through, while there was extra stuff, it didn't really seem to add anything significant to the story. No big contextual shifts like in Nier. Instead it made a story that was already near inscrutable even harder to parse. Or at least from what I saw. I don't think I saw absolutely everything that was different, but it didn't seem like there was much more to see in general. Although, there might have been some big changes in the ending, which I didn't get to.

This game has a mechanic where you accumulate "corruption" constantly as you play, and if it ticks over 100%, you become consumed by it and get the bad ending. You can reduce it a bit by defeating enemies, but it's not meant to be something you can really get on top of. It's meant to be a ticking clock putting you under pressure for the whole game. On my first run I managed to get through everything in time. This time, even though I was rushing to get through it, I didn't quite make it. The game must increase how fast you become corrupted in NG+ I assume. But I got almost to the end though. I only had one enemy gauntlet and the final boss left. I was somewhat curious what the bad ending was anyway, and it was somewhat interesting, but clearly not meant to be a legitimate ending. But I've played enough of this to feel like this counts as a run, and I'm not really bothered about trying to eek out a bit more for something that I doubt will be any different to what I've already seen.

NG+ does do some interesting things to the gameplay however. It opens up a selection of "mods" that are basically cheats, sort of like what Doom Eternal has in a way. It changes the way the game plays quite dramatically, especially with the pace of it. You have stamina in this game, and it's pretty stingy, putting a cap on the amount of things you can do in a row. One of the mods is simply infinite stamina, which lets you be way more aggressive, and you never have to miss a window to do damage. I guess it breaks the game somewhat, but I got the sense that these mods were meant for this sort of thing, to make NG+ a different and quicker experience.
Sinclair Gregstrum wrote:
April 2nd, 2020, 10:57 am
Mar - Panzer Dragoon (Switch)
Interesting write up. I was curious how fans of the old games would react to this new one.

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DomsBeard
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Re: Games Completed 2020

Post by DomsBeard »

Lost Words: Beyond The Page

A real joy to play through in current times. The narrative is a little predictable but the story was good (occasional dusty room) however the highlight was the soundtrack, so much so I bought it from the composer as it wasn't available any other way.

Shame it is a Stadia exclusive for a year as it is a great little game for £11.99 and deserves a bigger audience

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Indiana747
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Re: Games Completed 2020

Post by Indiana747 »

(Jan) Far Cry New Dawn - XB1X.
(Jan) Darksiders 3 - XB1X.
(Feb) Borderlands 3 - XB1X.
(Mar) Remnant: From the Ashes - XB1X.
(Mar) Farming Simulator 17 - XB1X.
(Mar) Tracks-The Train Set Game - XB1X.
(Apr) Vanquish Remastered - XB1X.

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Sinclair Gregstrum
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Re: Games Completed 2020

Post by Sinclair Gregstrum »

Scrustle wrote:
April 2nd, 2020, 8:50 pm
Sinclair Gregstrum wrote:
April 2nd, 2020, 10:57 am
Mar - Panzer Dragoon (Switch)
Interesting write up. I was curious how fans of the old games would react to this new one.
Cheers Scrustle! :)

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NoMoreSpearows
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Re: Games Completed 2020

Post by NoMoreSpearows »

I have beaten the original F-ZERO to the best of my current abilities, meaning I have beaten every cup in Expert difficulty. I do not believe I have the patience, nor the talent, to tackle Master at this time.

Moving backwards in the series after playing X, GX, and GP Legend is an interesting phenomenon, mostly in the sense that I'm not used to a racing game where the end goal isn't acquiring the most points, but simply outlasting your opponents and ranking highly enough with each passing lap. Additionally, since boosting is a set number of uses rather than being tied to your vehicle's remaining health, it is a lot less about making a comeback as it is never falling far behind enough to make you feel like it's mandatory.

I really liked this approach. It's loads better than dealing with rubberbanding AI, and it incentivized me to pick a vehicle that could take a beating not for its speed, but so I could shave off a little more time by hugging the corners (the Wild Goose, for the negative three of you interested). I understand why the move to a more conventional (read: based on the success of the Mario Kart series) approach was taken, but for a game that's thirty years old it certainly still holds up.

Also I just realized this game is thirty years old and I need to go find a rock to crawl under as I have an existential crisis.

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Jon Cheetham
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Re: Games Completed 2020

Post by Jon Cheetham »

13th Jan - Dishonored 2
19th Jan - Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
23rd Jan - Sayonara Wild Hearts
4th Feb - Wolfenstein: The New Order
18th Feb - Titanfall 2
28th Feb - What Remains of Edith Finch
2nd Mar - Gone Home
2nd Mar - Florence
21st Mar - Hitman (2016)
21st Mar - Thief 2
22nd Mar - BioShock Remastered
25th Mar - Dishonored
3rd Apr - Resident Evil 2 Remake

Finally finished it the day RE3MAKE dropped. Love that final area! The lab reminds me of the Dino Crisis games, which I've been hoping for a remake of ever since this one turned out to be a slam dunk last year.
Ended up beating the game as Leon, and will have to decide whether to wrap up my Claire A playthrough or start a Claire B run instead. Probably the latter because, I have to be honest, Easy mode was so much more fun.

4th Apr - Hitman 2

Although I ultimately preferred Paris, Sapienza, Marrakesh, Bangkok, Colorado and Hokkaido from the first game's campaign, Hitman 2's locations were still amazing. Whittleton Creek and the Isle of Sgail in particular were a fabulous third act, and the latter might be some of the most fun I've had sneaking around and infiltrating in this game as the level is very forward with opportunities for scaling the walls and getting to your target via a window as opposed to via a guard costume.

DLC time now. First up is a bank job - right up my street.

Edit: the DLC maps are some of the best in the game! Can't wait to do these all over again.

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Combine Hunter
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Re: Games Completed 2020

Post by Combine Hunter »

Spoiler: show
03/01 - Disco Elysium (PC)
03/02 - DUSK (PC)
12/02 - Baba is You (PC)
13/02 - Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (PSP - via Castlevania: Dracula X)
21/03 - Dying Light (PC)
24/03 - Ori and The Will of the Wisps (PC)
04/04 - DOOM: Eternal (PC)

I loved it and I think the combat is genre peak, but there is some stuff that weighs it down. The lore in 2016 took a less is more approach, this takes a more is less approach. There are these weird tentacle enemies I find to be frustrating and pointless (thankfully they slowly disappear). The platforming, while perfectly "fine", feels like an over correction to the complaint that DOOM (2016) was just arena after arena, thus sacraficing the original's purity and focus in the process.

I think Arkham Asylum and Arkham City share a similar relationship. City improves and expands on the systems that made Asylum great, but also manages to dilute what made Asylum special.

I will say that the Marauder is one of the best enemy designs I've seen in a game of this nature.

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Simonsloth
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Re: Games Completed 2020

Post by Simonsloth »

Spoiler: show

January:
God of War
Resident Evil 2 remake: Leon A and Claire B

February:
Triforce Heroes
Donkey Konga Trilogy
Halo 4
Yakuza Zero

March:
Bury me my love
DK: Jungle Beat
Florence
Axiom Verge
Halo 5
Days Gone
Gradius
Bloodstained: Curse of the moon

April
Uncharted: Lost Legacy

4th April
Curse of Monkey Island

Every bit as brilliant as I remember it with Chapter 3 probably my favourite bit in the entire series. A pirate I was meant to be...

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dezm0nd
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Re: Games Completed 2020

Post by dezm0nd »

The Marauders in doom eternal are bastards. Reminded me of a souls style enemy

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Games Completed 2020

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Marauders are... *chef's kiss*.

I get why so many people have a problem with them considering they fly in the face of basically every FPS convention, but I think they're really well designed and a fantastic addition to the already brilliant Doom Eternal combat loop.

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Simonsloth
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Re: Games Completed 2020

Post by Simonsloth »

Spoiler: show

January:
God of War
Resident Evil 2 remake: Leon A and Claire B

February:
Triforce Heroes
Donkey Konga Trilogy
Halo 4
Yakuza Zero

March:
Bury me my love
DK: Jungle Beat
Florence
Axiom Verge
Halo 5
Days Gone
Gradius
Bloodstained: Curse of the moon

April
Uncharted: Lost Legacy
Curse of Monkey Island

5th April
I have no mouth, and I must scream

I grew up with point and click games and can hand on heart say I have played pretty much every half decent one prior to having kids 5 years ago but this is a glaring omission. Now I know why I didn’t play this when I was younger, it’s probably the most “adult” game I’ve ever played.
Not the best choice of material to play if I’m honest given the present world state. The subject material is depressing and incredibly intense so to play it from my sick bed hearing the laughter of my kids in the garden made the experience full of even more despair. Unforgettable for both the wrong and the right reasons.

5th April
The Gardens Between

Been chipping away at this over the last week with a handful of levels a day and was the perfect antidote to the former. Can’t really see why it made the game of the year list on the TCGS pod. Nicely put together with a lovely end credits song and it didnt outstay it’s welcome but I won’t remember it in a week whereas I have no mouth and I must scream will stay with me for years to come.

Edit:

Just in case anyone is worried I am fine. Just got a diarrhoea/vomiting bug immediately after the Coronavirus which is pretty rubbish. I am neither dying nor depressed, just moping around mainly near the bathroom 🤢. That’s why I’ve smashed a load of games this weekend.

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