What's the Greatest Video Game: Mirror's Edge Catalyst

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imunbeatable80

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Edited By imunbeatable80

This is an ongoing list where I attempt to do the following: Play, Complete, and Rank every video game in the known universe in order to finally answer the age old question "What is the greatest game of all time?" For previous entries look through other blog entries, or for a quick overview use the link at the bottom.

How did I do?

CategoryCompletion level
Story100% Rolled Credits
Side-quests100%
      • Dashes
Beat them all with at least 1 star rating

Collectables

Between 50-75%

* I figured I should start recording what I have done in terms of "beating" a game. Its not that anyone asked, but with some games, it is more than just beating the story as there are an abundance of side content to see.. So going forward I will be attaching the above to every game we talk about.... Unless people actively hate it*

In theory, I have never liked the ideas of prequels. If I enjoyed a movie, book, or game as written/conceived then I am probably not thinking, I wonder what they did before that great adventure. I might want follow ups, to see how their life changed, but I usually don't want to go back in time. Now with that said, there are some prequels that turn out to be pretty ok, but in general I think it is a tough line to walk, because you have to not only tie the story up so it leads into the original, but you also have to make it stand on its own for the people who want to start at the beginning of the story, and not the release order of the story.

No Caption Provided

Mirror's Edge Catalyst, the game we are discussing, was the follow up (release order) to the original Mirror's Edge. It takes place before the events of the original game. The game is a first-person parkour game, where you are running on rooftops trying to make deliveries as fast/efficient as possible while not getting caught by security. The game is all about free running, so you have a moveset that allows you to traverse the environment as seamlessly as possible. You can wall run, vault over and off of lower objects, slide, use zip-lines, and roll out of large jumps to avoid taking damage. When confronted with security you can either attempt to lose them by running away, or fight in which case you use your free-running (and apparent martial arts background) to knock them out. You can turn a slide into a sliding kick to take out their legs, or use a zip-line to land on them from above. Essentially the game is all about both the freedom of movement you have and the flow at which you can do actions.

Which if we pause here on gameplay is where this game shines. When you feel like you have a really solid grasp on Faith's moves, it is intoxicating to be able to pull off all her moves without missing a beat. Having a run go completely flawless is what this game boils down to, it makes you truly feel that you can go anywhere on the map in record time and that nothing can stop you. However, hitting that stride does not come without some stumbling blocks. If you didn't play the original or are starting this game fresh, it can take a lengthy lead up until you feel you have full control over Faith, and I would be lying if I said there weren't moments when I was attempting to do a simple jump, but Faith decided to do a different move, resulting in me dying and having to start back at a checkpoint.

Zip-lines are just fun in general. I am sure they are brutal on her hands and muscles, but I like em.
Zip-lines are just fun in general. I am sure they are brutal on her hands and muscles, but I like em.

The combat is really touch and go, and is a weird touch that they included in this game. In the original Mirror's Edge, Faith could fight, but it was really seen as a last resort. That game was all about avoidance at all costs until you had to. In fact one of my favorite moments in gaming is from the first game, the crane jump. It centers around running up the exterior stairwell of a building with guards hot on your heels, running up a crane arm and jumping to safety. However, in this game they decided to not only put Faith into more combat encounters, but to make it a core aspect of the game. The further you go in the game, the more and tougher guards you experience, and there are multiple points where you are siloed into an arena expected to fight waves of enemies until your mission marker tells you to leave. It's such an incredibly odd choice to focus on fighting, when in almost every side-quest and main-quest you are advised to avoid it. In fact the final "Boss" of the game is fighting two of the ultra enemies in a circular room with virtually no obstacles to interact with, so hopefully you just like doing slides and kicks for awhile. Now all of this is to say, that combat is not difficult, it is more of a nuisance. I never died at a combat encounter, and once you have some level of mastery over Faith's moves you can pretty quickly dispatch a room of 3-4 guards by kicking them into each other, or over railings to their demise. It does however break some continuity of the series.

Remember, like 3 paragraphs ago, when I talked about prequels have a fine line to walk between setting up a story already completed, and being unique enough to stand on its own. Well Catalyst seems to have missed the first point. In Catalyst we see that Faith is essentially a martial artist. In fact one of the final cutscenes is her do a 1 on 1 fight with her sister. Now that is fine, but that is not the same Faith we play as in the original Mirror's Edge, because presumably if she can fight off waves of guards in this game, then we shouldn't be running from two wimpy enemies in the original. This may seem like I am nitpicking, but there are multiple examples where this game does not set up its sequel in the correct way. Some of these are minor, like the fighting example, but others are huge story plot points that don't tie together.

Get used to seeing this lady a lot.. I think she might be our main character.
Get used to seeing this lady a lot.. I think she might be our main character.

In Mirror's Edge Catalyst, you play as Faith Connors, who is just released from Juvi, for something the game never really says. Upon release you immediately go back to your runner family, where you want to do jobs which has you being an illegal courier. The city is run by "the families" and they have made somethings illegal, and thus you run on the rooftops to avoid detection and deliver said items. Long story short, you steal something one of the families that turns out to be a big deal, and is a "weapon" that can be used to essentially erase free thought (sounds like Shaun White Skateboarding), and thus you and your rag tag group of friends attempt to stop it. Its a very far cry from the original which is: You steal something you shouldn't have that shows bad guys are evil, and they are trying to kill you to stop it from getting out.

Without diving too deep into the story, in this version you are haunted by the day that your parents are killed when you were just a little girl, and you tried to escape with your sister, but the cops/security used tear gas, and your sister collapsed and you left her thinking, she was dead. Surprise, she was not dead and she works for the bad guy who adopted her as his daughter. Exposition...exposition...exposition... and then the bad guy dies, your sister who forgives you/tolerates you takes over the company and credits roll. What a lovely story, except in the original game, your sister is a cop who gets framed for murder. It seems like a crazy fall from grace to be head of one of the three largest families in the city, to just a beat cop, but this game does not set that up at all (unless I missed a collectable that explains it). We are to assume that the original takes place very soon after this game, within a year or two, but again that fall from grace seems extreme. You could also point out that the "twist" in this game is ruined if you played the original at all, and knew that Faith had a sister (who was alive) the whole time. I give them credit for trying, but they didn't have to block themselves in like this. Mirror's edge OG ended without a happy ending, sure you save your sister, but the world is still in need of saving, and you could have made a sequel where you can take the story in any direction you like, but to choose a prequel is to box yourself into a story that didn't need to be written.

There is one particular side quest that I feel they really bungled, and that was the incognito deliveries. Essentially you are given a package, a time limit, and told not to get spotted, but the game doesn't seem able to keep its ruleset between each run. Obviously the timer means you can't really be sneaky and need to book it in a straight line the whole way, but I never understood exactly how many times I could be spotted before I had to restart the mission. There were numerous times where I would barrel through 3 different groups of guards who all saw me and I could continue the mission, and another time where a single camera and 2 groups of guards caused me to fail. It would have been far more interesting if you were given a bloated timer, and told to actually sneak around to deliver the package. It would encourage you to find new routes to avoid patrols/cameras, but still have enough time that you didn't have to make a B-line to the objective. Alright, lets move off the story and talk about two final things. The side activities are almost exclusively timed challenges. Which make sense in the world, you are a runner, your job is to get things from point A to B. My gripe is that nearly all of these time challenges, the time allotted to complete is SUPER tight to running a near flawless run. One of the loading screens specifically says, that the route highlighted is the most direct but maybe not the quickest route, in essence saying that you should explore the world to find your own shortcuts. In theory this is a novel idea, its a semi-open-world you should be able to find routes the game isn't showing you, but there are two major issues with that. The first is that the timer for these missions, does not give you room to experiment. If you are looking to make a new path, then you will be restarting that mission multiple times and sitting through longer then they should be load times just for another attempt. The other issue is the world is not distinct enough where I ever felt I had a good sense about where I was going. There are some semblances of areas (construction zone, purple zone, not purple zone), but I wouldn't be able to run from one area to the next without using the built in guide, because believe it or not, the top of buildings all kinda look the same. My hats off to the people who sat and 3-starred every dash, but I rarely beat a timed race with more than 5-6 seconds left on the clock.

Just follow the red path, and no one gets hurt.
Just follow the red path, and no one gets hurt.

The side activities and the missions that aren't timed are the highlight of the game, because you can solve the rooms/areas like a parkour puzzle. Easily my favorite missions in the game, were these gridnode towers, that were basically platform puzzlers with no route indicated, and testing to see what cool shit I could do in order to get up to the top was amazing. I was bummed that there were so few of those levels.

The final aspect I want to discuss is the skill tree. There are three sections that are essentially: Freerunning, combat, and gadgets. Ignoring the fact that you start with half of the free-running section filled out (why even include those as pips), but after you beat the game you can unlock a skill that shows you where 1 subsection of collectables are located on the map. I hate this concept, and it appears in a lot of games. If I have the experience points, and I want to buy that ability instead of a combat one, I should be able to. It's incredibly stupid to lock that behind completing the game, because if I am honest, I usually don't play games post credits to mop anything up. I either mop up side activities before the final level (because I'm enjoying the game, or want to level up) or I just beat the game and put it on my shelf. To have an unlock that is basically saying, now come back and run around the map with nothing at stake to get experience points for no reason, is very dumb. But... BUt... BUT.... they only have this for 1 of essentially 5 categories of collectables! What if I want to find all of the documents or audio logs? What about the secret bags or CPU chips? Well too bad, those you need to use a guide, or run yourself ragged looking for a tiny item in a giant map, but we will give you the ability to find one full category. All I'm saying, is that if you are going to include an upgrade that shows you collectables, you either need it to show you ALL the collectables, or you need separate upgrades for each one. Hell, if those separate upgrades would have existed, AND I could have unlocked them before beating the game, I might have gotten them all, but I'm not going to watch some youtube guide to find every bag, not knowing which ones I already picked up.

All of those gripes aside, I did enjoy my time with Mirror's Edge Catalyst, but I felt it was missing it's moments that the original had in bunches. There was really only one level that I thought competed with the original in terms of scope and awe, and it was the last level of the game. It made sense for Catalyst to focus more on the open world, because the best part about the game is still running and doing cool shit, but when it tried to silo the player into combat encounters, or even its singular levels it missed out on the moments that I still remember from the first game. Catalyst is an enjoyable game, but just doesn't capture the charm of the original, but if you are someone who just loved the free-running of the original, then I think this game can still give you some pleasure in playing through.

Is this game the Greatest game of all time: No

Where does it rank: I actually liked this a fair bit more than I thought I would, because I heard so many "meh" responses to whether it was worth playing. I have ranked it the 11th best game out of 45. It sits right below "The Legend of Zelda", and above "That's You!"

Up Next: River City Ransom (NES)

Anyone looking for it: here is the link to the list and more if you are interested in following along with me (this is not a self promotion). Here

Thanks for listening.

*P.S. - As we get closer to 50 games reviewed I am thinking about incorporating you lovely readers as a chance to decide my next game. On my next write-up I will be listing 3 games to be voted on and then I will start playing the winning game to put on the list. It most likely won't be the next game completed, but one that I will be working on to someday put on the list.

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bigsocrates

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If you're going to include full spoilers for not just this game but the previous one in the series you should mark them in some way (such as with a spoiler tag or spoiler block.) These games are not super story intensive but there are lots of people who are spoiler sensitive and this kind of blog lends itself towards people who are considering whether or not to play the game so including unmarked full spoilers is not necessarily ideal. Especially because you don't have anything to say about the story that requires spoilers (you comment on your overall perspective of the story but don't really get into specific analysis that requires spoilers.)

If you're going to include information about your playthrough you might want to include a time estimate as well. I think that for a lot of people that's one of the most important elements, not just because of "value" but to know how long it will take to get through if they decide to start it.

Finally, if you're going to do something special for the 50th "episode" you should give people options that actually have a chance of being the greatest game. It's your series, obviously, but it makes sense to get some of the heavy hitters into the rankings. There are a few there, of course, but you're still at a point where a game you're pretty lukewarm on, like this one, is just outside the top 10. It seems like you could use some more heavy hitters with a real shot at the top spot like Tetris, Mario Galaxy, Portal, and, of course, Billy Hatcher.

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lapsariangiraff

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#2  Edited By lapsariangiraff

Mirror's Edge: Catalyst was so strange for me. It was this process of cataloguing everything wrong with the game (and a lot of it right, too, have to be fair) in the middle of playing it, but still looking at it through the rose-tinted glasses of "they made another Mirror's Edge!"

After the credits rolled, and I was just faced with what the game actually is, I was left a bit more disappointed by it, even though, like you, I enjoyed playing it.

For one, I totally get your confusion about the story and its relationship to the original. I only knew what was up because I listened to too much preview coverage: Essentially, this game is both a prequel and a reboot. (Pre-boot?) It's meant to be an origin story for Faith, but not actually the same Faith, or even the same city as the first game. The sister is a different person now, the city is way more soft cyberpunk-futuristic. I get the inclination, as the story was one of the things panned in the original -- but also, what they came up with here, even with a blank slate, was even worse. There's certainly More story with More cutscenes and More lavish setpieces, but it's all very poorly done, so I can't even appreciate what they were going for. They somehow fell into the exact same pitfall as the first game of characterizing Faith like the whiniest, most ineffectual person, always the passive participant in someone else's plan, or complaining that things are going wrong, even though she's a literal parkour/martial arts badass, it's so strange. Oh, also, hot tip, DICE: if you're trying to set up a big late game twist, maybe don't have it be, "you have a sister," which is the ONLY THING WORTH REMEMBERING FROM THE FIRST GAME'S STORY.

As far as the gameplay, I think it was slightly better, in a vacuum, than the first game. It feels a little too light for my taste, not quite as much weight as the original, but it's easier to maintain momentum and not have those harsh stops every few seconds if you're a newer player. And as misguided as the mission design is for penning you in with waves of enemies and having you fight them, the combat was at least slightly better than the original, though again, being forced to engage with it sucked. The time trials were really fun for me, definitely one of those players who 3-starred the entire thing and played with only the runner vision highlighting objects, rather than the trail.

But here's where we get to the big problem.

The open world is terrible.

Well, that's a little harsh. It's not "terrible," it looks very nice, and it's fun to run through the first few times. The problem is that DICE have designed it to have these forced bottlenecks between zones, so any time trial or route that has to take you between zones means you'll pretty much see the same section of the map over, and over, and over. And when you're just "winging it" as the time trials encourage with their strict timing, an aspect I truly enjoyed, this made me come face to face with "insurmountably large gap between buildings, you should have run to the bridge dumbass" moments several times. Also, because of these hard gaps, this is never a city it feels like you can truly explore, and it leads you to be overly reliant on the red line, even as the game tries to encourage you not to use it. The collectibles -- absolutely misguided as well. The Gridleaks are inoffensive, if a little mundane, but the real killers are those chips you have to "stop, press E, watch short but feels way too long animation in a game all about running forward all the time, then finally get moving again."

It's also an emptier feeling world than the original. It's this interesting conundrum, because by trying to show more of the city than rooftops (like the construction yard or the later, ritzy penthouse-filled area), the city actually feels less organic than when you were confined to rooftops. I remember moments like people dispersing in the mall (though in the distance) as you run through it, or the infiltrating the truck in the boat level, and there were just these little touches that made you remember, "oh yeah, this is a living place, even if I'm always isolated in it." Catalyst on the other hand has you barging through people's sterile IKEA future homes (that weirdly can still be parkoured very effectively, odd, that,) where no one is ever home. It's so weird. It's so weird!

Finally, the soundtrack is fine, but so much less distinctive than the original, even though it's the same artist. It's too warm, too fuzzy, too many glittery synths instead of the far colder (even though there was this hint of distant warmth, friendly, if not compassionate) soundtrack of the original. The CHVRCHES song for this is pretty good though (even if, like all CHVRCHES songs, it sounds like another CHVRCHES song, and not actually related, sonically, to the world of Mirror's Edge).

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imunbeatable80

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@bigsocrates: thanks for the notes.. they are appreciated. I guess i am assuming that the discourse for whatever game i am talking about, are people who have already played the game, but this is a change easily fixed.

I actually did think of hour count, but this game has no way to show that. I can go based on first achievement to last, but that wouldnt be accurate since i dont play everyday.. but games that do have an hour count i plan on using.

Another good note, but one i will ignore for my own selfish reasons. While there are a lot of contenders still out there, i like mixing up my bag to have games of all qualities. So i like leaving it as random chance. Maybe one choice will be between chrono trigger, portal, and tetris and that will be great fun, but i also want the choices of superman 64, fushion frenzy, and bugs bunny crazy castle to appear on occasion.

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imunbeatable80

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@lapsariangiraff: thanks for the quick read. Yeah this game gives me mixed feelings about a lot of it. It does do a lot of things better, then the original, but makes just enough mistakes that i don't think i could recommend it over the original.

It bums me out the world was so bland, even some of the buildings that you can people in, have no reaction to a runner at their window, or falling to their death right in front of them. It did make everything seem lifeless, and maybe that was the point since the evil goal was to remove free thought. I just found it always hard to get my bearings based on the landscape, it wasnt until late game that i felt i knew where i was going without my vision.

A pre-boot huh? Well i guess that explains away my issues with the games not connecting, but they certainly didnt do enough of the "reboot" for me to think it was anything but a prequel.

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bigsocrates

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@imunbeatable80: I'm not sure why you'd think that most of your readers would be people who already played the game. You essentially do reviews, and while you've said that you personally don't like to read reviews before playing a game, most people in fact do that to know whether something is worth their time. The way most people would use a ranking of games would be to pick the ones towards the top that are best and avoid the ones at the bottom as not worth playing. Regardless it's generally best to mark major spoilers as a rule. There's even a forum rule here about unmarked spoilers (though it's only for malicious spoilers about recent stuff so you're not in violation of that rule).

I don't know what platform you played the game on but many of them track hours (such as Steam, Switch, PlayStation, so long as you have access to a PS5 to view the information, which is retroactive to games previously played on PS4 too). Xbox tracks hours for some games too. But I think in general if there's no tracking estimating works pretty well. I know within ~5 hours how much time I've spent with most games even if it's not tracked (comparing my estimates to later tracking like with Switch or going back through my PS4 games after I got a PS5) and it's useful information to know if a game is like 10 hours or 30 hours. Of course it's your series, you do what you think is best, but I don't think automated tracking is necessary.

I'm not suggesting you change your play habits to be focused entirely on the best games (Who would want to only play good games? Yuck. Stinky) I'm just saying that if you want to celebrate hitting the 50th game with a big community vote you might want to stack the deck to make it an actual celebration so you don't end up playing Sideways New York, which I played a couple years ago and which is, in fact, not the greatest game.

Do you own a copy of Superman 64? Fusion Frenzy is backwards compatible on the Xbox for...some reason...so that's easy enough to obtain but why would a person have Superman 64?

But Fusion Frenzy is also unfair to rank unless you have people to play it with, which may be hard during covid. I don't think you can properly rank Fusion Frenzy on solo play.

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imunbeatable80

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@bigsocrates: yeah, i dunno.. my thought was people would see the title of the article and then either go. "I love that game it is the greatest" and read it or.. "what, that game sucks, no way it is the greatest" just my interpretation.

I dont want to break the rules, so i will start spoiler warning for other games, but i dont know if this surprise really warrants a spoiler (i know its not my place) but in the future i'll mark the shit out of my stuff..

I do not have a ps5 or series x.. just a ps4 pro

For the game selection, i wasnt thinking just for the 50th game, but also as a go forward, so the 53 selection doesnt have to be massive.

I dont actually own a copy of superman 64, but i am one of those physical game guys, so far everygame i have reviewed has been a physical version unless one doesnt exist. NES games were played on an NES and so forth. Not that this is the debate but if i pulled a game to review that was a party game, i would at least rope my wife or someone else into playing them for the faithfulness of the review.

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#7  Edited By Justin258

One of the coolest things in the original Mirror's Edge was the gunplay. I mean, in execution, it's not great, but the idea of parkouring around, sliding into a dude, kicking a gun out of his hands, blasting everyone with it, throwing the gun aside, and disappearing in the span of half a minute was great. Or that's what I remember of the game anyway.

It sounds like this game doesn't let you use guns at all? I want to play this at some point but one of the reasons I didn't play it at launch was because it didn't really seem like what I wanted out of another Mirror's Edge.

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@justin258: Yep, no guns at all. And I agree the combat, while clunky, could lead to some really cool moments in the original Mirror's Edge.

Though one of cooler parts of Catalyst is they set up more opportunities for environmental hits in combat -- so you can much more often wallrun into a kick, drop down on a guy for an instant takedown, slide into someone, or kick them into an object. That's neat, but again, forced combat, boo.

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Justin258

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@justin258: Yep, no guns at all. And I agree the combat, while clunky, could lead to some really cool moments in the original Mirror's Edge.

Though one of cooler parts of Catalyst is they set up more opportunities for environmental hits in combat -- so you can much more often wallrun into a kick, drop down on a guy for an instant takedown, slide into someone, or kick them into an object. That's neat, but again, forced combat, boo.

Aw, man.

I'm working off of really old memories, but I seem to recall a lot of people disliking the fact that guns were even usable in Mirror's Edge so I went into that game assuming the action would be the worst part, which wasn't true at all for me. I suppose those complaints came from people who wanted something different from the first and third person shooters which dominated gaming in 2008.

Anyway, Catalyst is still on my to-play list and this thread has me interested in playing it. That it ranked highly for OP despite its issues was nice to hear.

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lapsariangiraff

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@justin258: In the right context, it was awesome.

That bit in level 8 where you really fluidly take guns off guys while wallrunning down a huge stairwell, then getting to shoot guys while running along the wall felt really good. Any time you got to quickly dispatch a guy then keep truckin' was the highlight.

Then there's the server room at the end of the game. Ugh.

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@imunbeatable80: Trust me, people are more likely to see the title and think "Is that, in fact, the greatest game? Let's find out!" If you want a title that will get people debating with you it should pose a declarative statement, not a question. That's not to say that people who have played it won't read it, but you'll also get people curious if it's any good (like @justin258 in this very thread), and thus you should avoid spoilers or tag them.

I fully understand that you want variety in your gaming diet and enjoy playing games of questionable quality. I'm just saying that for a celebration you should play something good, and I also think you might want as a general rule to fill in a bit more of the top of your tree here. But put whatever you want in your list it's your list.

That being said...

Why would you buy a copy of Superman 64 for this project? Surely if you're going to acquire games they should be either super cheap or games you think might be legitimately fun.

And why would you subject your poor wife to Fuzion Frenzy? What has she ever done to you?

I'm now imagining you forcing your wife to play Fuzion Frenzy with you for a couple hours and she turns to you and says "Imunbeatable....why are we doing this? Why am I being made to do this?" And you say "funny story. A bunch of Internet strangers voted for this game and I can't give it a fair shake on my own so...anyway...get ready, the eigth rolly ball board is up next. Bill Gates loves this game!"

Does she know she's being volunteered as tribute?

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imunbeatable80

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@justin258: Thanks for the read. I did enjoy my playtime, so much that i did every sidequest, but i will say what i loved about the original was the free running and flow you get into by nailing your runs. In this game that is largely intact which is why despite the issues i still had a fun time with it.

That being said they make a part to say in this game that faith cant use the guns regardless if they are dropped.

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imunbeatable80

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@bigsocrates: points taken.. i do think its interesting that you think i need to fill out the top of the tree more. I actually think i have played too many good games, granted i havent rated all the good ones ive played (because its more fun writing about games with flaws). I ranked all timers like mega man 2, zelda og, mario 1 and 64, (and two of my all timers) in yakuza 0 and xcom 2. I have also played but not written about mario 3, ocarina, mario world.

Obviously i am sure playing but not ranking them means my job is only have done, but since i havent even hit the 50 game mark, i feel i already have roughly 10 all time great games done. Not everyone might agree on them, but if anything i feel i need more middle games to separate out the "enjoyed but flawed" and then "really flawed"..

Might be just a perspective difference.

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I agree with the review. This is one of those games where the short answer is it's good. The long answer... that can take a while.

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imunbeatable80

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@judaspete: damn you summed up my whole review perfectly.. ive wasted my time

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bigsocrates

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#16  Edited By bigsocrates

@imunbeatable80: Well the name of the game is "What is the greatest video game" not "how much better is Octodad: Dadliest Catch than Evoland 1" right? I understand that it's more complex than that, but if you're looking for the greatest game then you want to be weighted towards the good end for the most part. If you're looking for the greatest basketball player on earth you're going to watch more NBA games than over 50 rec league games, right?

But beyond that, I actually think your list is pretty light on the true bangers. You're not going by historical import, but you have Mario 64 as your number 5. That game has aged substantially, and I say that as someone who has played a couple hours of it in the last few months. And Katamari Damacy is your number 4. I love that game, quite probably more than you do, but I'd say it's a very good game with some great aspects, but not a great game. Neither of those games is even necessarily the best game in their own franchise.

You have an arguably strong top 3, but a real lack of recent legends, and if you're not including historical import then the fact that Super V Strike is in your top 10 is pretty illustrative. Is that in the top 20% of video games, if you take it right now? I don't think so. Maybe if you account for its historical context it's in the top 20% of games at the time, but games have evolved a lot since then.

Outside of the Yakuza games you have 0 'benchmark' games of the last few generations. No Gears of War. No Halos. If you don't have Xbox or PC then no God of Wars. No Uncharteds. No Grand Thefts Autos or Red Dead Redemptions. No Outer Wildses or Dooms 2016 or Hadseses or even Symphonies of the Night. NO BILLYS HATCHER!

I think if you're trying to define these games by modern standards as "what are the greatest games" then you need those types of games just as landmarks to judge the others against. Not that they'll necessarily be at the top, but they provide context for everything else and define gaming in the modern context by which you're doing your judging.

They're also games that your readers are most likely to play, so if you say a game is better than Super Mario Odyssey that has more weight than the middle filler you're talking about, especially when you're drawing from every generation. Because if you tell someone a game is better than EQQO but worse than Freestlye Soccer what is that even going to mean to the vast majority of readers who haven't played either of those games?

What I'm saying is...

Billy Hatcher is a benchmark and everybody played it so once everyone knows how many slots worse a game is than Billy Hatcher (which will be #1 on any impartial list) they'll know approximately how good it actually is.

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imunbeatable80

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@bigsocrates: lol, i think we have two very different expectations about what this series is. I need to play every video game in the world in order to determine the best, so i cant make any assumptions based on other people's feelings on games.

If you operate out of that very lofty premise then surely at some point i have to rank "billy hatcher" and it shouldnt matter if that comes before or after odyssey.

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@imunbeatable80: Presumably you would have to play Billy Hatcher last because once you've played Billy Hatcher every other game will be bad by comparison and it will ruin your palate.

All jokes aside, I think that there are two reasonable interpretations of what this list actually is. The first is that it is just a way to play through your collection and get a sense for what you think about the games. The second is that it is an attempt to situate the games you have played within the context of a reasonable sampling of video games. I think by either measure the top end of the scale is underepresented.

Going based off your spreadsheet and the games you have listed there you have played a huge chunk of your NES games but barely touched your later systems. You've definitely weighted your play towards the earlier (and thus worse) end of the spectrum. And where you have touched more modern systems you've often weighted stuff towards the bad end there. Your Switch list, for example, contains a murderers row of top notch recent games like Return of the Obra Din, the Ori games, Owlboy, Breath of the WIld, etc... Now compare that against what's actually been rated. Part of this is just what's been written up vs what's been played (Into the Breach, Stardew Valley, Fire Emblem, Dragon Quest, Shovel Knight, Mario Kart 8 are all played but not ranked) but it still creates a skewed list that's weak at the top while finding room for EQQO and Timberman Vs.

It's your list so you do what you want, but when I say that the list is thin up top that's what I'm talking about. It's why Mirror's Edge Catalyst, a game that you think is decent but pretty flawed could be just outside the top 10, along with "That's You" which is a game that you say is only as fun as your friends make it and shouldn't be played multiple times in one sitting.

If your preference is just to write about the more flawed games because you find that more compelling that's certainly your prerogative. Write what you want to write. I guess I'm only arguing because I think it's not random and not fully representative and justice demands that someone ask the question "Is Billy Hatcher the Greatest Video Game?" and answer with an emphatic "Yes. Yes it is. And it isn't even close."

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imunbeatable80

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@bigsocrates: Damn, i didnt think anyone would use my spreadsheet against me, but it did indeed work.

My only defense is i think catalyst is a good game and it being #11 isn't super offensive. Did i have some flaws with it, yes.. but i also liked it enough to 100% the side missions which i didnt even do in either yakuza games which i like even more.

Now will it stay at #11 for long, no but i do think its a solid 7 or 7.5 out of 10 game and will probably finish in the top 30 when i hit review #100.

Granted i could just start playing bangers and really tank its rating, but that is up to the gods of the roulette wheel to decide.

As always bigsocrates, i do love our back and forths.

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@imunbeatable80: I can neither confirm nor deny that I am a member of the bar in the state where I live and as such will always look over available evidence, especially if it's provided in convenient spreadsheet form, to bolster an argument I'm trying to make.

And yes, we all know how insufferable that makes us.

I don't think you need to defend yourself, and I don't think that Mirror's Edge Catalyst being #11 is "offensive" in any way.

The ratings don't really matter as much as the write ups anyway, because that's where the analysis actually happens.

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I picked up Catalyst for like 3 bucks on PS4 recently. I've never played the first one so I can't compare the two, but I've really enjoyed it. I was kinda excited to see this pop up since I was looking to get someone else's thoughts on it. I pretty much agree with your review. It's definitely not perfect, like the combat not being great, but when it ended I was just wanting more game / any excuse to keep running around (& I actually am going back and collecting those dumb orbs).

I was thinking if this game were made by a smaller developer, it probably would've done well enough to merit another installment. It being EA means the concept's probably tanked forever, which is a bummer since it's a nice counterbalance to all the competitive, high-skill games out now. It's just such a laid back experience. If it were up to me, I'd take the combat out entirely and make it entirely about flow and planning out the perfect run.

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imunbeatable80

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@fishboneink: thanks for the read.. yeah i'm upset that we will probably never see a follow up, because the game didnt sell gangbusters.

If you enjoy the flow aspect, i would tentatively recommend the first game as that one is more about the running then the combat. However by going back even further you lose the side quests and open world and just get a story and time attack mode

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judaspete

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imunbeatable80

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