Games Completed 2024

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Alex79
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Games Completed 2024

Post by Alex79 »

JAN - Strider (Arcade on Evercade)

I wanted to get a couple of versions of Strider in before the show, having never finished any of them before. This was fun but the boss rush at the end took me a few goes. Ended up 1cc the game though (after a lot of practice on the different stages using save states!) The game went some places I wasn't expecting (jungle!?) but I'll save full thoughts for the show thread.
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Alex79
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Re: Games Completed 2024

Post by Alex79 »

Alex79 wrote: January 2nd, 2024, 12:11 pmJAN - Strider (Arcade on Evercade)
JAN - Strider (Megadrive on Switch)

Visually, a very impressive port. It lacks the sound of the arcade and the final boss seemed a lot more difficult in the Megadrive game. Also, not sure if it's an emulation issue or it was present in the Megadrive original, but there is awful slowdown in places and the game frequently pauses for a half second too. More thoughts in the show thread. I preferred the arcade original though..
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Re: Games Completed 2024

Post by Truk_Kurt »

1. Super Mario Wonder
Simply put, one of the best 2D platformers I've ever played and definitely my favourite 2D Mario game. From start to finish every level was a delight to play. The wonder seeds add some great spice to levels and the new abilities were mostly great (there was only really the bubble one I thought was a bit duff). Then there is the card system which encourages you to replay levels with different cards equipped in order to get to secret areas. It looks gorgeous too with some nice animation work on display. I don't think I will be going for 100% as I tried the special world levels and found them too tough and don't want to press on with them, get too frustrated and have them ruin my experience of a fantastic game. A great way to kick off the year. 9/10
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Re: Games Completed 2024

Post by seansthomas »

Jan 4th - Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PS5)


I'm a long term Tomb Raider fan. Played just about every one. But it's always been a confused series with an identity crisis.

There are games where it's just you, some ancient monuments to explore and a bunch of puzzles (my favourite). There are games that try to flesh out Lara Croft, and give her a set of characters to interact with (my least favourite). There are games that go all in on combat and stealth. There are games that try to do it all.

Despite all that, I have really liked most of the games over the years as Tomb Raider massively scratches my biggest itch in gaming; to explore, jump around and find cool hidden areas.

I really loved the reboot. I 100%ed it - something I rarely do - and whilst I sense it heavily emulated Uncharted at times (a series I haven't played) I felt like it was a good base to build on, if it had some more puzzles, as it just felt so good to move around as Lara.

'Rise' was largely more of the same, but the tighter setting and new equipment made puzzles more satisfying and expansive. And there were a few more of them.

And 'Shadow' continues that arc, upping the platforming, exploration and Tombs further. Whereas the reboot only had about 5 from what I recall, with the DLC too There are more like 15 here and they're all a decent challenge. There is also a lot less combat here than I was expecting, which I was hugely thankful for. I really love the combat in these new Tomb Raiders but for me it jars with what the series should be about.

I do think at the heart of these games is still that same conundrum that's existed since Tomb Raider 2.

Is Lara an explorer or an action hero?

They tried to lean into it in reboot, where you spend the first few hours agonising over killing a deer, but somewhat undermine that narrative 2 hours later when Lara is slaughtering dozens of indigenous civilians.

'Shadow' starts to explore a similar tension in her past: what if Lara is nothing more than a selfish spoiled thief, nicking monuments from countries and leaving a trail of destruction behind her? Here, her actions literally result in apocalyptic events and huge human suffering.

It's a really interesting idea. Again though, the developers utterly back out of exploring that fully and you end up with a fairly traditional Hollywood hero finale. I didn't find it overly gross or problematic like a few people warned me I would; rather more tiresome and a waste of a good narrative arc.

But I think I always go off Tomb Raider games when they try to not make Lara a blank vessel, much like Samus Aran or Link. Her back story to me just isn't really interesting. I'm here for all that other stuff.

And on that, Shadow really excels. If you overlook or skip the average story (which is already pretty slight) and power through the 3 or so forced stealth / combat sections, then the rest is the closest the series has come to Tomb Raider, The Last Revelation, Underworld or Anniversary in years. There's lush forests, underground rivers, epic lost pirate ships, Incan temples, sunken death traps, tricky rope machinery conundrums, vertical rock climbing, Tombs, secrets, forgotten crypts, decaying Christian churches, wildlife infested glades, rope bridges and a ton of puzzles.

It was the most I've enjoyed a Tomb Raider game in a decade. Sure, it's largely more of a formula that's 3 games old. But it's the best balanced of the new trilogy. And it's over within 18 hours.

I'll be mopping up the last few Tombs over the next few nights and when the Definitive Edition is on sale, I'll be back to tackle those 8 or so DLC Tombs too.
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Re: Games Completed 2024

Post by ColinAlonso »

Jan 3 - Unpacking (Steam Deck)

I've moved house twice in the last three years. I say this because I know the feeling of putting all my things where I think they should go, even if that's not ultimately where they stay when I live there. And to be honest, that part of moving is one of the few things I like about moving. So I did enjoy this and its storytelling through the various things being moved and the places being moved into.
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Re: Games Completed 2024

Post by Truk_Kurt »

seansthomas wrote: January 4th, 2024, 6:59 pm Jan 4th - Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PS5)
As I said in the BPP Discord to you, I had the game breaking bug near the end. But I would agree with you that despite that bug, this was my favourite of the reboot series. It did feel like it was the one most like the original games. I thought some of the temples you explored in it were fantastic to explore with some really cool puzzles. The only things I didn't like were the story which I stopped paying attention to after a while and I wasn't into all the side quest stuff in the hub areas which I didn't think were necessary.
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Re: Games Completed 2024

Post by seansthomas »

Yup 100% with you. I didn't bother with much of the side quest stuff either.
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Re: Games Completed 2024

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first game beaten in 2024, though it was started in 2023: The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails

Really good PS4 remaster of a 2012 PSP game from Falcom, that plays like a mix of their Trails and Ys games

The story was somewhat middling, but it does the job, however the real star of the show is the gameplay. It's really fast paced ARPG combat with a surprising amount of really good platforming. All the levels are stages (complete with multiple hidden areas and forks to explore) that can be beaten in 5-10 mins.

The cool thing is you're able to change the season of the stages, from Spring to Winter etc. This changes the stages up by amending their routes and the enemy placement etc.

It's quite a looker as well (for a PSP game) and has some really fun boss battles too.
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Re: Games Completed 2024

Post by Jobobonobo »

Jan 7 New Super Lucky’s Tale

This was nice and pleasant but not too groundbreaking. Controls are really nice and the levels are basic but nicely designed. This is definitely aimed at a much younger audience not only because Lucky is a wholesome, cutesy protagonist but also it is for the most part incredibly easy. The bare minimum of collecting opens up the door to the boss of the area and extra lives are incredibly abundant resulting in me never getting a game over once. The extra puzzle areas and the guardian trials at the end are a fair step up in challenge and are something I might return to when I get other more high priority games out of the way. While it was not anything special it is quite refreshing to get a unapologetically cute 3D platformer with a animal protagonist. Felt like I was back in the late 90s playing Croc but with much greater polish. Compared to the old school 3D platformers such as Crash and Ape Escape which I finished last year, this is a far more accessible title to approach in terms of both controls and difficulty and I would actually recommend this to anyone with small kids who wants to introduce them gently to the genre.

Jan 7 Super Mario Land

Was shocked I finished this in 40 minutes or so. Weird little game and far from Mario's best but decent enough at what it does. The sequel, Six Golden Coins really is a far more compelling and deeper title though. Amazing the difference a couple of years developing for a handheld system can make.
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Re: Games Completed 2024

Post by seansthomas »

Jan 4th - Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PS5)


Jan 10th - Jusant (Xbox Series S)


So I went on a right journey with this. Literally and critically.

On the face of it, it's a simple enough game; climb to the top of a tall mountain.

First impressions were good. It looks gorgeous, it sounds great and the gameplay is interesting. Lots of games do climbing, but it feels on rails. Here, you definitely feel in peril and the tethering mechanic adds real suspense. Can I swing across here? If I loosen this rope, can I jump further? Shall I drop down this pit? A few times it glitched on me and went loopy, but on the whole it held up really well, and I'd be intrigued to see if future exploration games borrow it. It felt genuinely like new news to me, which in 2024 is pretty rare.

Interestingly as I played it, my feelings started to mirror those of the climbers. I started to feel a sense of fatigue when faced with another big section to climb. As I read the discarded notes, and noticed the odd grave, I started to feel desperately alone and hopeless. When I began to pay more attention to objects strewn around the empty homes, I started to figure out what was occurring in the world.

And ultimately, I really wanted to get to the top. I had to keep going. See what was up there. And I'm really glad I did.

There's no doubt that it borrows heavily from a ton of other games. The atmosphere is pure Ueda. The melancholy premise reminded me of Sable. The emotional journey harks back to Gris and Celeste. There are fleeting moments that remind me of Okami. And I do wonder if this 4 hour, slightly bittersweet indie genre has slightly run it's course, for the time being.

But equally, this game is precisely why Gamepass can be so good. I heard about it on a few podcasts, gave it a go and really found something here that I had a rewarding time with. It married the story and gameplay in a way a lot of bigger titles utterly fail to; and I can see why those it resonated with, rate it so highly.
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Re: Games Completed 2024

Post by markfm007 »

January 6th - Persona 5 Royal

I played this off and on for a year and loved it. It was a relaxing game and a source of comfort for me. I loved the balance of the story, the day to day life stuff, and going to the palace. I felt very drawn into the world as everything is so well integrated. The turn based combat is excellent, consistently stylish, fun, and dynamic. The palaces and personas are a great way to reveal things about the characters and villains, and allow for some pretty wild, fun and heartfelt encounters. The fourth palace in particular is superb for how everything comes together.

The characters are great. My favourites were Sojiro and Futaba, but I liked most of them - Ryuji, Ann, Makoto, and the Royal characters Kasumi and Maruki stand out. The story does sag at times, and there are perhaps one or two too many characters and storylines. Think I was dragging half the school around those palaces eventually. But the story is great overall, particularly around the first, fourth, sixth and final palace. There’s a great balance of humour, darker storylines, character growth and light social commentary. I was properly hooked at times. I’ll miss this game a lot, and I don’t think it’ll be long before I come back to it, or give one of the spin offs a try (Strikers is calling my name). Persona 3 Reload around the corner too….

January 11th - Control: Ultimate Edition

I came out of this one a little mixed. I loved the Oldest House and it’s weirdness, austere and striking style, and how it hints at depths and strangeness you can only imagine. There are so many cool ideas here, and I loved discovering through its documents, video and audio clips, and terrifying puppet shows. This game is seriously unsettling at times, even when it might not mean to be. The writing and voice acting is great, and like Alan Wake has a tone and style all its own. It respects your intelligence, and isn’t afraid to be weird, abstract and wryly humorous. More than anything that might be what I loved here, a game with a style and tone all its own, that I’d love to see more of.

I enjoyed the slower sections of this game, the exploration, the light puzzle solving. The combat wore me down though. It starts out quite fun, particularly as you gain new abilities. It eventually became a persistent roadblock for me, another tedious wave of enemies to mow down so I could get back to exploring. There was just too much of it, and for the DLC I put on the cheats so I could enjoy it unencumbered. I would’ve preferred if there had been more of the abstract puzzle solving, kinetic movement and exploration than shooting. It felt more appropriate for this game. Still, I’m very interested to see where Alan Wake 2 goes from here, as the final ‘AWE’ DLC was excellent.
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Re: Games Completed 2024

Post by Scrustle »

12/01 - The Legend of Zelda: The Missing Link

I've still been in a Zelda mood, but wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to play. So I ended up playing this, a ROM hack for Ocarina of Time. It's a short little adventure set between OoT and Majora's Mask that has you going through a string of locations and eventually a dungeon with a boss at the end. It was pretty impressive. It fits in with the style of the N64 Zelda games pretty well, and is visually nice. There's also quite a lot of brand new assets in this, but it does a good job of not feeling out of place. The end boss is a completely custom model with unique animations too. The dungeon itself also has some spooky atmosphere to it, and the item you get for solving puzzles in there is cool as well. It's a magic hourglass that lets you quickly retrace your movements for a few seconds, even through solid objects. In practice it's kind of janky and sometimes doesn't work too well, but being able to get something like that working within such a limited context it's quite impressive on a technical level. There were a few moments through the game where it suffers from "what do I do" syndrome, but none of them are too bad, and the solutions are usually something pretty reasonable once you work them out. But maybe it could have done a better job of clearly teaching you exactly what your new abilities do here.
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Alex79
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Re: Games Completed 2024

Post by Alex79 »

Alex79 wrote: January 2nd, 2024, 12:11 pmJAN - Strider (Arcade on Evercade)
JAN - Strider (Megadrive on Switch)
JAN - God Of War (PS5)

This was fun to go through again, the combat is really good. Enjoyed it a lot but just wanted to go through the story so didn't really do any side stuff. Still took 20 hours, but they flew by. I'll play Ragnarok at some point but had my fill of Kratos for a while now.
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Indiana747
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Re: Games Completed 2024

Post by Indiana747 »

(Jan) Battlefield 3 - Series X.
(Jan) Hi-Fi Rush - Series X.
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Re: Games Completed 2024

Post by Truk_Kurt »

Indiana747 wrote: January 15th, 2024, 2:59 am (Jan) Battlefield 3 - Series X.
(Jan) Hi-Fi Rush - Series X.
What did you think of Hi Fi Rush?
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Re: Games Completed 2024

Post by Indiana747 »

Truk_Kurt wrote: January 15th, 2024, 8:56 am
Indiana747 wrote: January 15th, 2024, 2:59 am (Jan) Battlefield 3 - Series X.
(Jan) Hi-Fi Rush - Series X.
What did you think of Hi Fi Rush?
Was going through the motions with it at the start, just didnt hook me when i played it last year. Ended up enjoying it till i think it was level 9 or 10 where The Prodigy tune kicked in. This elevated the game immensely in my book, ive been a huge Prodigy fan since 91, so hearing a tune i was familiar with was cool af, was the only level i got an S rank as i found it easier to get the rhythm down to a tune ive heard hundreds of times. The other music in the game is good but i just never heard it before. From that level on the game exceeded expectations for me, it ended so strong with story, character arcs, humour & the music. Chai turned out to be a great character despite me not liking him at the start, he & CNMN gave me plenty of laugh out loud moments & generally found myself rooting for them all by the end. Special mention for the boss fights, they were great.
All in all a great game & if id played it last year it woudve been inside my top 5 of games from 2023.
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Re: Games Completed 2024

Post by oni-link »

I beat Sea of Stars last night

Overall I really enjoyed it, much like Chained Echoes (which I beat last year) it's a love letter to the classic RPGs of the 16 and 32 bit generations.

It melds and borrows a lot of ideas from other games. Chrono Trigger influences much of the game, from the map screen to the combo attacks. It borrows timed attack/defence commands from Super Mario RPG and some plot points from the Final Fantasy series.

The world of Sea of Stars (and The Messenger, seeing as this game is a prequel) are really interesting, and visually I think it has it's own identity.

The game took me about 25 hours to beat. I know there is a true ending but I watched that on YouTube simply because one of the things you need to do to unlock this ending is obtain 60 collectables from all over the game world, and that's just too tedious to contemplate.

One thing I will add is that while I did really enjoy my time with Sea of Stars, and Chained Echoes, they're both a rung below the classic RPGs they're an homage to. Late last year I played and beat Skies of Arcadia for the first time, and while that game is much slower and more archaic, I think it's so much better than any of the more modern indie JRPGs, though I can't really put my finger on why that is.
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Re: Games Completed 2024

Post by Truk_Kurt »

Indiana747 wrote: January 15th, 2024, 10:22 am
Truk_Kurt wrote: January 15th, 2024, 8:56 am
Indiana747 wrote: January 15th, 2024, 2:59 am (Jan) Battlefield 3 - Series X.
(Jan) Hi-Fi Rush - Series X.
What did you think of Hi Fi Rush?
Was going through the motions with it at the start, just didnt hook me when i played it last year. Ended up enjoying it till i think it was level 9 or 10 where The Prodigy tune kicked in. This elevated the game immensely in my book, ive been a huge Prodigy fan since 91, so hearing a tune i was familiar with was cool af, was the only level i got an S rank as i found it easier to get the rhythm down to a tune ive heard hundreds of times. The other music in the game is good but i just never heard it before. From that level on the game exceeded expectations for me, it ended so strong with story, character arcs, humour & the music. Chai turned out to be a great character despite me not liking him at the start, he & CNMN gave me plenty of laugh out loud moments & generally found myself rooting for them all by the end. Special mention for the boss fights, they were great.
All in all a great game & if id played it last year it woudve been inside my top 5 of games from 2023.
Nice, yeah I also really enjoyed it. That Prodigy level is a highlight, as is the level where Nine Inch Nails are playing the song The Perfect Drug.
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Re: Games Completed 2024

Post by Jobobonobo »

Spoiler: show
Jan 7: New Super Lucky’s Tale
Jan 7: Super Mario Land
Jan 9: Tetris Attack

This was decent enough. Really liked the Yoshi’s Island aesthetic. Got really tough later on with how quickly the blocks move up the screen and if it was not for save states I don’t think I would have had a hope in hell of finishing this. Also finished puzzle mode but while it was satisfying clearing levels, oftentimes I was so stuck that I resorted to a walkthrough. I had to resort to it more than I would have liked and as a result I think the main game was a lot more enjoyable than the puzzle mode. I was also really sick when I was going through puzzle mode and maybe it was a bit too much for me at the time but oh well. Recommended if you like puzzle games in general and as I said, looks and sounds lovely.
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Re: Games Completed 2024

Post by ratsoalbion »

Originally neither a Tetris game nor a Yoshi game. It's in its Japanese form on the Switch SNES service as Panel de Pon.
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