Games Beaten in 2019
New year, new list!
New year, new list!
Switch - 8th of January
I bounced off this game twice before forcing myself to stick with it the third time. I'm glad I did because I enjoyed myself. I enjoyed exploring and interacting with the complex environment. That being said, I didn't enjoy the breakable weapons. The open-world nature of the game got tedious near the end but a robust fast travel system helped with that. It was pretty good overall just not my favorite Zelda game.
PlayStation 4 - 19th of January
Charming and addicting.
Xbox One - 1st of February
I enjoyed the setting and theme of this compact strategy game. It played a lot like X-Com but with an additional stealth mechanic which I thought added an interesting element to the combat planning.
PlayStation 4 - 27th of February
I never played the original but I thought this remake was fantastic. I played through both Leon and Claire’s playthroughs. Thinking about playing through it again with the ‘98 character artwork.
PlayStation 4 - 10th of March
This was less of a game and more of an interactive film. I was following along for most of the game then at about two-thirds the way through it went off the rails. I guess there was a reason I kept putting this one off.
PC - 17th of March
Alex's play through got me interested in playing through this series again, but this time in 4k. The combat in the first installment didn't age well but I still had a good time. The modding community has put in a lot of work to make this 12 year old game look great.
PC - 14th of April
Femshep's second installment was better than the first because of a darker story line and improved combat. My game hit some bugs near the end but I was able to get through it with a series of restarts.
PC - 2nd of June
I appreciated this game more the second time through and felt like synthesis was the perfect ending for my play-through. They stripped away all the extraneous stuff like unlocking puzzles to focus on combat and wrapping up the story. One change I didn't appreciate was the mission journal, it was really useless in this game. When I would quit the game mid-quest and come back later it would have been nice to see if I had the quest item or not.
I never played the DLC for this one and that was a mistake because the Citadel DLC was fantastic.
PS4 - 8th of June
I liked the premise and the setting but this game didn't play very well. Navigating the space station with sam wasn't fun and I found myself lost on a couple of occasions. Overall this game was disappointing.
PC - 21st of June
This game had a great art style and a good sense of humor. I loved how they explained the re-hydration aspect.
NES - 20th of July
The one, the only. My first video game.
PS4 - 30th of July
Going into this game I knew I wanted to play a JRPG and the games I had to choose from was this and FFXV. I ultimately decided on this one - my first dragon quest game - and 80ish hours later I'm glad I did. I have enjoyed my time with this game a great deal and look forward to the next Dragon Quest game. I didn't complete the post-game stuff because I'm not interested in grinding currently but maybe I'll go back to it later.
Switch - 12th of September
This game wasn't on my radar but I decided to pick it up on a whim and I'm glad I did. I have a few gripes mainly having to do with the things you do outside combat but I had fun throughout my entire 75 hour play through.
PC - 29th of September
Control is a game that is great in many ways but for a few reasons won't end up at the top of my best-of list come December. The world is rich with small pieces of information from workers in the Oldest House. Most of which help to explain the level at which they do not understand the environment they inhabit. But others speak about rubber ducks, offices covered in Post-Its, and co-worker romances that bring a nice levity and also ground the inhabitants in the otherwise bananas oldest house.
The game itself is beautiful while also brutal, which fits with the brutalist architecture that defines a lot of US federal buildings. I played this game on PC with a 2070 Super and the ray-tracing in this game was well worth the frame rate hit. I really enjoyed the lighting effects, especially the reflections on glass.
However what kept me from fully enjoying the game was the checkpoint system and the controls. Losing a boss fight or dying in any other way meant starting back at your last control point which can sometimes be a ways away. The difficulty of the boss fights and the lag in the controls meant that some fights were repeated seven or eight times. Having to make the trek to the boss fight every time robbed any momentum I was feeling at the time.
PC - 2nd of November
I was told I should wait until October to play this game and I kept forgetting but I finally got around to it this year and was not disappointed. It was a nice, short episodic experience.
After finishing the first two episodes I was curious as to how they would tie all of this together because it seemed like more than independent episodes. They way in which they tied it all together wasn't too surprising but I was happy with the conclusion none the less. If you haven't played this yet I would recommend it.
PS4 - 9th of November
I never beat this game back in 1999 so when the remaster came out this year I took the opportunity to see it through for good this time. My feelings on this game are so-so, I can see why people really like it but it wasn't for me.
Mechanically I give them props for changing up the square jrpg tropes with junctions, and performance based pay, etc. Aside from limit breaks it left me free to mold the team how I liked. That being said I wasn't a fan of the junction system. I thought drawing magic was tedious and I found myself hoarding it for stat boosts so I rarely casted any spells.
The story was over-the-top which is expected, but also uninteresting. I was hard pressed to find a character I actually liked. Quistis maybe? Squall was insufferable.
The remaster could have used some more work on the backgrounds. I see where they improved the character textures but some of the backgrounds and interface elements were a blurry mess which made the world a pain to navigate at times. During the final boss rush on disk 4 there's a menu that you are presented with after you finish every boss that was extremely blurry. Some welcome additions were the x3 speed, no random encounter, and all limit break buttons.
PS4 - 9th of December
"I brought you a metaphor."
There's a lot to unpack here. I'm going to do my best to record my thoughts on this game. But I'm fresh off beating this game as I write this so it might warrant a revisit later on.
This might be the most torn I've been about a game to date. I had fun playing it and at points actually looked forward to jumping into it when I got home. But on the other hand it was one of the most annoying and pretentious games I've ever played.
I'll start with the aspects I enjoyed. The world is beautiful, even if the environments are very similar at times. They did a great job crafting it. Looking around the world made the long stretches that much more enjoyable. Above all, my favorite part has to be the world building and the social aspects. Once I made it across the lake I went wild building roads. I would take trucks up and down the map collecting materials from preppers and facilities to build new stretches of highway. I spent so long in the west that I forgot what the east side looked like.
Then suddenly the social aspects started to become negatives for me. Getting notifications that people used the roads that I helped build made me feel good, but once I started to refocus my attention on the story missions I was disappointed in the lack of community support to finish them up. People just stopped contributing materials. The signs, while nice in theory are getting out of hand. They litter the landscape in places and sometimes they're placed in a way where you have no choice but to walk through them so the owner can farm likes. Later on in my play through I kept running into people who would leave trucks blocking entrances. The whole "human connection" metaphor that this game hammers home over and over again falls apart every time I go to a shelter only to find someone has parked a truck in front of it and I can't get in. It's become such a problem that they have to patch in a solution to remove them yourself.
The game's systems and mechanics I found to range from overly complicated to downright annoying. The combat was middling, it wasn't difficult but there were times when I wanted Sam to take out a weapon but instead he would hold his backpack straps. I did find there was a sensitivity slider for balancing vs weapon usage in the menu but I didn't find that until way late into the game.
That said, the balancing mechanics I didn't mind so much but the momentum could use some more work. BB's mental health is another mechanic which involves an action on the player's part. Most of the time it would abruptly end before I told it to and I couldn't figure out why so I kept having to repeat the action over and over. Also, why do I need to leave my private room so I can deposit crystals to upgrade my backpack if my backpack is already in the private room? Why can't I deposit materials from the private room? Finally, let me exit a menu with the circle button.
All this brings me to the story, which I won't get into specifics but I will say I found to be heavy handed and pretentious. Which is normal for me and Kojima games but other parts I found to be obnoxious and condescending. It was as if he didn't trust me to be able to follow along. Pro tip - Give yourself a few hours to do those final few missions because the story takes it's time coming to a conclusion. You go for vast stretches of the game without too many Kojima brand cut scenes but that's because he saved them all for the end.
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