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Games Completed in 2019

In an effort to clear my backlog, I have set out to play and beat 24 games in 2019 (that's two a month). Ideally, these will all be games I already own, and games I will be playing/beating for the first time, in order to maximize the backlog-cutting-ness.

List items

  • The first game I completed in 2019 was XCOM: Enemy Unknown with the Enemy Within expansion. Extremely good game, had me playing for hours on end into the night, although I wish the last third was a little bit harder, and I wish the last ~3 or so missions were harder in a fairer way then "screw it these guys just have, like, a bunch of health". Lookin' at you, Sectopods.

  • This game is the perfect length for sitting down for an evening and feeling really sad in the end. Fantastic game and level design used to hammer home an incredible story. Absolutely lovely, had me tearing up by the end.

  • Hey, y'know what, it's a decent attempt at the Crackdown formula. This game is fun, but I wish there was more to it. I feel like in the ~8 years since 2, so much could have been done to improve this formula and really bring it to new heights, and instead they made "Just A Pretty Alright Crackdown Game". Not necessarily complaining, but the unreached potential of this game hurts.

  • There are some points where the clunky controls and bad checkpointing made me fuming with rage, but I think this game's idea and its message are so beautiful that it won me over in the end. A wonderful example of the way games can be used to immerse someone in an experience that is not their own.

  • This is technically a replay for me, but what are you gonna do, call the video game cops? This is a fantastic game, and the Dishonored series remains one of my favorites. I wish the Pacifist route required more thought than it does, and the plot and writing can fall flat, but this is such a fantastic game all around I have a hard time doing anything but loving it to death. I have a Mark of the Outsider tattoo for a reason.

  • What a profoundly, sublimely stupid video game. It lacks the weird Third Act lull that Bayonetta 1 has, and as a result feels like it's going 60 miles an hour through its entire runtime. The story makes ... a moderate amount of sense? Frankly, for this series, I'll take it. The combat is sublime, the enemy design is fantastic, all in all this game is absolutely wonderful.

  • You cannot convince me that Titanfall 2 is not the best first person shooter ever made. The campaign is short, but full of nothing but highs. The multiplayer is fantastic, and, obviously, the movement in this game feels sublime. 10/10

  • An excellent chapter in an excellent series. The substories in this one are a little weak compared to the ones in Zero, buoyed by the incredible joy to be had in the Majima Everywhere encounters. Majima's absence as a second playable character is felt, as Kamurocho is left feeling a smidge stale by the end, but the game is still a masterclass of the genre.

  • This game is *viscerally unpleasant* in almost every regard, from the brown and green color palette to the slow, creeping horror, to the horrible way characters' faces sort of drift on their skull. A short, but extremely good dip into a horrible place.

  • The first time I played Bastion on PC I bounced off of it hard. I picked it up on Switch, on a hunch that maybe it was the M+K control scheme I disagreed with, and that hunch was correct.

    While the combat isn't the most interesting in the world, the world, the characters, the story, and the fantastic sound design (including superb narration by Logan Cunningham, as well as the first of many of Darren Korb and Ashley Lynn Barrett's fantastic soundtracks) make this game deserving of its place in the stars.

  • I honestly was completely caught off guard with how good this game is. A Soulslike built from the ground up to accommodate co-op, with really good gunplay, and a heaping helping of Souls-style apocryphal secrets, makes this one really solid, even despite some finnicky netcode and a crap garbage final boss. Genuinely really happy to hop back into this one for New Game+

  • This game's dumb and great. The extremely casual tone makes all of the writing superb, and it's extremely wholesome. A fantastic little game to spark some joy in a night. Books do not have a place in our society.

  • My opinion of this game is kind of inseparable from the nostalgia I have for it as my first video game. Sure, there's some dumb adventure game-y logic, and some of the bosses are kinda jank, but it's still a dang good Zelda game.

    Not a *huge* fan of the additions, but they don't bring the game down any, so eh.

  • This game is damn near perfect. The world it creates is amazing, the writing is fantastic, the gameplay is extremely fun, the plot goes some really interesting places, it's just fantastic. I can't remember the last time I was so giddy to go play more of a game, not even beat a game, but just to play more of it.

    Also, for what it's worth, this game is hilarious.

  • A fun little throwback game with some really neat ideas. Levels have this sort of reverse unlock system, where you're rewarded for keeping the full roster of characters alive by having a wider selection of movement options and hard counters to enemy types. A fun way to spend an hour or two for sure.

  • Kinda brainless, generally charming. The moment to moment writing bounced off of me a little bit, but the Trashopedia got some good giggles out of me. It's generally clever, it takes an hour, I really can't knock it for anything, but I dunno that it's gonna leave a lasting impression.

  • I have really mixed, but ultimately positive feelings about this game.

    I really dig it's aesthetic. I think it makes some pretty solid additions to the Bethesda Game formula, like the clustered skill system, the Drawback mechanics, TTD, the changes to combat. The companions I liked, I liked a lot!

    But this thing has problems. The quest design is way too simplistic and has so little room for experimentation and player choice. The writing can hit the same beat a few too many times (Corporations bad! Rich people bad! I don't disagree, but I get it after 20 hours). The player progression feels really bland, especially the boring ass perks. It has a Terrible Obsidian Final Boss.

    I enjoyed this at the end of the day, but it's not evolutionary enough, and it misses a few too many cues of New Vegas to qualify for "Greatest Hits" territory.

  • A very similar game to The Stanley Parable, but instead of playing it as an introspective, thoughtful piece like TSP or The Beginner's Guide, it mostly plays it as straight comedy, allowing the player to slip straight into the role of an incompetent moron. Good for a couple of solid laughs.

  • (Shield, specifically)

    Man, what an excellent game. There are a few reasonable complaints: the difficulty is pretty easy, and some options to tweak it up a bit would be nice. The story is weirdly paced, and Hop as a character sucks. I wish there were more Pokemon in the game.

    But MAN what's here is good. The new 'mons are fantastic, and the Wild Area adds so much needed variety to the sorts of teams you can build. Gym Battles are extremely fun, as are Max Raids. All in all, this thing is just a dang good game, and full of the kind of big Pokemon ideas I dreamed of as a kid.