Games I've Beaten In 2014

List items

  • 7/10

    I have many opinions on Dark Souls 2. To say the least, I think that it definitely improved a lot of smaller things, but it really suffered in a big picture kinda way. For me, it just doesn't measure up to the settings and gameplay Demon's Souls and Dark Souls created. Still a very fun game, but profoundly flawed, I feel.

  • 7/10

    A god damn nightmare with controls. Holy crap I killed so many people. This game is just fast paced and crazy. The speed and responsiveness of the action make it really easy to get into, but with just enough challenge to make you keep throwing yourself at the wall trying to overcome it. Also it's trippy as hell and the "story" is really messed up and weird.

  • 8/10

    The Wolf Among Us is just a real interesting premise. I loved seeing all these storybook characters in the gritty streets of New York. Playing as the Big Bad Wolf himself was a lot of fun, regardless of how you choose to deal with situations, Bigby is a badass.

    The game follows Telltale's recent pursuits of morale choices leading to people remembering said choices for later, but as with The Walking Dead, I feel like at the end of the day, I could've chosen the opposite option and things wouldn't have played out that differently. You still get some cool dialogue in the moment, but the game is going to progress regardless.

    Either way, I still had a lot of fun playing it. Great cast, some messed up dilemmas, a real fun mystery to solve. I'm able to appreciate it even more after reading all of the Fables comics, it is a great setup to that series.

  • 8/10

    Second Son improved on a lot in the Infamous franchise. The gameplay feels way more varied than before with all your powers, and you get some awesome means of traversal. It really lets you travel the city however you want to by the end of the game. The problem is, the side missions are all pretty simple and repeat themselves over and over again, they get old fast.

    The combat often keeps the gameplay really interesting though. Again, they've added a lot and with your new ways of getting around, you'll end up zipping up buildings, hurling yourself off, and blowing tons of shit up. Overall it just has a better flow to it. That being said, it still suffers from issues that plagued the first game, and I got caught in really annoying, overwhelming situations more than once.

    Also this game looks awesome. The facial animation is great and really adds to the cutscenes, and there's tons of detail in all your different powers.

    Overall a really fun game with a lot of great improvements, I was pleasantly surprised.

  • 6/10

    I kind of just button mashed my way through the story. It's fun to see the characters of DC interacting in this parallel universe, but sadly I don't have much investment in them. The battles look pretty good, there's some really cool supers and it plays well, but I'm not much of a fighting game person, thus the lower rating for me.

  • 10/10

    Still a god damn fantastic game. There's just so many things to see and do and so many ways to do them in Dark Souls. I can still enjoy the awesome sights in its connected world, whether its looking over at Lost Izalith from the Tomb of the Giants, seeing Anor Londo, or strolling through Ash Lake, it is just a beautiful world.

    So fun to play as well. This playthrough I went with an Uchigatana and only an Uchigatana. I usually mix it up with magic or a stronger weapon, but I stuck to just that katana throughout and it gave me a whole different experience. So much fun to roll around bosses getting a couple hits in when I can, shaving off health bit by bit.

    It just has so much that Dark Souls 2 didn't bring. The world is so much better, the characters and bosses are way more interesting and challenging, and the combat is much quicker and I find its easier to reap the rewards from once you master it, while Dark Souls 2 kind of fucks you over with stuff thats out of your control

    Dark Souls is just a whole lotta fun, I'm looking forward to beating it again and seeing what other kinds of enjoyment I can get out of it.

  • 9/10

    Having never really gotten into turn-based strategy games before, I was pretty wary going into Fire Emblem: Awakening. I'm glad to say that I enjoyed the hell out of it.

    One of the most daunting things about the genre is just getting into it, and the game does a great job of introducing new players, the tutorial is really well done. By the time you've learned one basic, it shows you another one and you learn really quickly and efficiently as the game slowly ramps up the difficulty battle after battle.

    And boy does the combat have a lot to offer. It's so much fun arranging your units to be both strategically viable, and also to be beside the person you want them to marry. It seamlessly involves character development and combat into a really fun system. You end up surrounded by people you like, and even their kids, in a crazy time warp mash up.

    Overall the only real complaints I have with the game are few. I really wish the characters had a little more depth to their interaction, a lot of the Support conversations felt pretty shallow or short. It was a shame because I really wanted to see more of several characters interacting. I also don't like how weak some characters are when you get them, weak enough that you have to drag them through battle after battle just hoping they don't get one shot and can manage to steal a killing blow or two to level up.

    Anyways, I didn't have big issue with the game, just some afterthoughts. By the end of my 30-ish hours in the game I was definitely ready to finish it, too much of a good thing and all that. I did a ton of extra battles, so I was very much ready to end up by hour 27 or so. Despite that, I had a damn good time all the way through and I'm super pumped for the next game.

  • 5/10

    Now that I've put over a hundred hours into Destiny, I figured I'd write a little bit about it.

    Destiny is a damn strange game. The story is incredibly thin, it feels kind of like you just had your memory wiped but nobody knows that so everyone assumes you still know everything about the universe, the major players in it, and where you fit in. But you really don't know any of that. After playing it for this long, I still don't really know who I'm fighting or why we're really even fighting. The same goes for characters, there really arent any. Besides your Ghost, who you could barely call a character, there's a smattering of npc's across the Tower, which has got to be one of the most lifeless hub worlds I've ever seen in a game like this, who don't really interact with you in any meaningful way what so ever.

    The end game consists mainly of running the same Strikes over and over again and redoing the same missions over and over again, except everything is harder now. Enemies have more elemental shields, take more hits to kill, etc. You seem the same bounties every second day, and a lot of them really lack any kind of imagination and are not particularly fun to complete.

    And yet, despite all of this, I'm still looking forward to turn on my PS4 tomorrow and spend way too much time playing Destiny.

    Destiny does get some things right. For one, the shooting is super tight. The guns respond the way you expect them to, enemies are aggressive and evasive, and the gameplay is designed so that many different guns are viable and fun to use. Going back to the elemental shields, you end up getting guns with different elemental damage, and the game loves to apply elemental bonuses in some of the later content , so you can do tons of bonus damage to bosses and regular enemies alike. Basically, it ends up that you build up your arsenal full of different kind of weapons with different kinds of bonuses attached. You end up with a very personalized selection of guns that you've worked hard to upgrade and that will help you in all kinds of situations. That's why the exotic system of loot works so well, exotic gear and weapons feel super unique and with the different looks between them, and some of the crazy perks and damage some have, it's just a lot of fun to collect them and test them out.

    The game looks pretty good too. I wouldn't call it flooring, but it's very smooth and sharp.

    Pvp is a whole different beast in itself. There's a handful of modes and they're all fun to varying degrees, everyone will find their favorite.

    It turns out that there's a lot I want to express about Destiny and all the ways it gives you loot and keeps you interested, and not interested, but I'll cut it off here. It's a fun game to play with friends, the carrot on the stick will keep some interested, and some not so much. It provides some decent challenge, but is incredibly repetitive and I can't stop playing it, god damn it.

  • 6/10

    So the original Ruby might be my favorite Pokemon game. It was one of the first games where I really looked at it and thought "Wow, look at all these changes! This is awesome.". I played the hell out of it back in the day. Omega Ruby didnt necessarily live up to my expectations, in that regard.

    It's got the full graphical overhaul so it looks exactly like X and Y, which is to say the battles all look pretty cool and you get a lot more character animations and expressions. You lose the charm of the strictly 2D world though, which is a bit of a shame.

    On top of that, I found the whole experience kind of disjointed. At almost every opportunity for you having to backtrack, May or whoever else will come along and say "Hey! I'm going there too, let's go together." which is basically just their way of giving you fast travel before you get Fly. It's kind of a weird acknowledgement of the fact that the random battles and trainer battles on the way to what you want to do is kinda boring. To add to that feeling, EXP Share basically just makes the game incredibly simple, having to really only ever use one Pokemon. Also, there is something really wrong with the leveling in both X/Y and OR/AS because I always end up 10 - 20 levels higher than what I'm fighting which makes an already simple game even easier.

    In this new remastered version they also added the Delta Episode, which basically gives more of a story to Rayquaza than you just running up and capturing it. The highlight of the story is you literally ride him into space and shoot through a meteor heading towards Earth, then a Legendary Pokemon pops out and you fight, it's fucking crazy. Unfortunately everything leading up to that is boring and repetitive as hell. You revisit areas you've already explored and fight people you've already beaten, it's really lame.

    At the end of the day, maybe Pokemon just isn't for me anymore. I do like catching Legendaries, building a party, and fighting the Elite Four, but everything leading up to the climactic moments is pretty dull.

  • 7/10

    World of Warcraft is kind of an ever growing, ever changing beast, so this'll be mostly my impressions of the launch of WoD and the endgame.

    The launch was literally the worst. I played it with several friends, and for the first few days, one of us was basically always in a queue of 2000 - 5000 people, and the only reason the anyone of us got in without that is because we were rapidly retrying to connect right after the servers would come back online.

    Even when we got in, it was buggy as hell. Mobs for quests not spawning, terrible lag, crazy zoning issues (not being able to see people right beside you until you move 5 feet to your right, and then hey, there they are), quest objectives that were busted ie: you can't palce this marker flag in this corpse if you've looted the body. That's just a few, on top of being d/c'd every once in a while. It was rocky as hell. I've heard the launch of the first raid was similar in its queues and server breaking ways, but I didn't actually see for myself.

    Beyond the technical problems, the actual game is pretty good. When you're introduced to Draenor you get thrown into the middle of this battle and you can see enemy generals and familiar faces everywhere, its really cool even if you don't necessarily know who everyone is. Leveling is more engaging as well I found. It didn't seem to take quite as long, you get special quests called Bonus Objectives which give you a lot of xp which is always nice. The zones look great and all have interesting stories, there are rare spawns everywhere and they all drop loot. Each zone has a special ability you can choose between too from riding a big mech and ripping into enemies to be able to enter combat while mounted, it ends up changing things up a bit.

    Garrisons are also a really cool new addition. They're filled with shit to do, you get tons of perks from different buildings too. Even though I'm a Tailor/Engineer, I'm able to collect herbs and mine, as well as make blacksmithing materials thanks to the buildings I have. There's all kinds of other buildings too that offer unique rewards that are pretty cool and it ends up being a huge timesink.

    The main problem I have is the fundamental problem with this game overall: everything is super repetitive. Send your followers out on missions to get loot, they come back with gold/materials/gear, upgrade them so they can do harder missions and get more/better of the stuff I mentioned above, set your work orders, make gear with the materials you get, so you can get into a raid with the gear you have to get more gear to do the same raids over and over again. WoW really breaks down when you look at it like that. I always hit a stride whenever I get into one of these holes where everyone around me at work and online gets super into it and we make plans to do stuff together and everything becomes more interesting and work it again, but right now, its super boring to me. World of Warcraft is a hell of a game, thats for sure.

  • It's hard to really give this a rating as I used the option where you don't have to fight any battles, so I really haven't played much of this game. I've certainly watched a lot of it though. And what I've watched I've definitely loved, just because it still has the cast of characters I love in a setting I'm familiar with and interested in. It takes place after the first Arena and builds on some the ideas the first one set down story wise. It's damn fun watching the Investigation Team try to solve yet another mystery, even though it is kind of ridiculous that the one event that happened in this town seemingly spawned countless problems that they're still dealing with.

    Still looks and sounds great, voice acting is pretty good overall, and Charlie is still the best.

  • 6/10

    So here's the thing about this game. It's not really a game you should play by yourself. The story seems pretty thin and the entire game basically revolves around you getting gear so you can do harder heists so you can get more gear and money. That's it. Now, breaking it down like this isn't really fair. It is a lot more fun when you play it with friends. All of a sudden you'll be delegating roles, comparing gear, talking about how you specced your skill tree, and trying more and more challenging stuff. It ends up being pretty fun and high energy. The music does a great job of keeping that energy up as well.

    Basically, don't go looking for a compelling, well controlling shooter from this because they hide all the good guns behind lots of money and gear drops. Instead, try to enjoy the fun time you'll have with your friends by the endless progression it provides you.

  • 4/10

    Maaaaan, these games used to be so good! Why is this happening. This game is just so frustrating. I'll get the good things out of the way before I start to ramble about everything it gets wrong.

    First off, Unity looks pretty damn good sometimes. You really notice the detail in cutscenes, especially in well lit scenes and in the clothing. Elise's hair also looked pretty good most of the time. They've redone movement in Unity as well, the animations for the most part look a lot smoother and going up and going down a building is bound two separate buttons now, so it makes the random jumping in the wrong direction stuff happen less. That being said, I still had a hell of a lot of trouble running around sometimes, climbing is a way worse way of getting around than actually running through the streets. The last thing I liked were the first time you do each Rift mission. There's three in total and they're all pretty fucking cool, the last one less so, but still pretty neat. They're exactly what everyone loves about the series: crazy time paradox madness in locales you recognize with great set piece moments. It's a shame the main game had basically nothing like that.

    On to the negative. When it comes to actually hunting down your target, you're given a pretty big sandbox to run around in where you have to infiltrate where they are, find them, and assassinate them. It gives you a few bits of info about enemies, entrances, possible advantages you can give yourself, and sends you on your way. This is theoretically a really cool thing, but they totally fuck it up. Just the way this game works mechanically makes it not fun at all. You'll often get spotted just walking around outside the area, not really doing anything suspicious. People are incredibly quick to react and mobilize, and all of a sudden its just a bloodbath. On top of that, I've never much liked their Arkham Asylum ripoff combat system. It never frames the action well enough, the reaction times are pretty short, and there's too many ways you can just mess up and die. It is so easy to die in Unity, also. The systems are poorly explained in regards to how to make yourself tougher, and even after beating the game I'm not sure I completely understand them. You basically have to make a lot of money and buy yourself better gear and abilities so you can have some level of survivability and adaptability or else you're dead. There's an Initiate system or something that ranks you as you do challenges? I don't know. I constantly felt squishy and limited. I'd walk into situations where guards were covering each other so I was basically guaranteed to get caught. Coming from every other Assassin's Creed game and being used to a pretty basic skill set and then all of a sudden being told you have to BUY crowd blending and double assassinations is insane. The gameplay really only becomes complete after you spend a few hours unlocking all that crap and good armor and weapons. By the end of the game, it was telling me to go assassinate people in their fortresses and I'd literally sprint through the front entrance, run up to them, stab them, jump out a window and run away and the missions was over. It just feels like the game is actively trying to turn you away from it.

    Lastly, the story and characters are boring and that's really where it falls apart. The Desmond story and Ezio and even Altair were all super interesting. You get a taste of a great scope, an incredibly large world and a million possibility with this modern day storyline connecting to the most interesting historical cities, and then after Assassin's Creed 3, they just drop everything. The story in this is a complete write off, nothing fucking happens that's relevant to the "main story" whatever that is anymore. Why did they even make all those games leading up to 3 if they were just going to continually pretend like it didn't even happen for every game after that? More than anything, this game is so so so disappointing. It was supposed to be this bold new start, the first Assassin's Creed on new hardware. This series used to be amazing, now its just so lackluster, it's really a damn shame.

  • 7/10

    I finally beat Halo 2, a decade after it came out. I'm glad I ended up playing it after it was remastered.

    They add so much in the remastering. The game looks super sharp and runs very smoothly. The reorchestrated soundtrack sounds great, and all the redone cutscenes are awesome. Overall the package is just super solid, and super pretty.

    The gameplay and story are also pretty solid. For the most part, you're getting the same old Halo here: there's flying missions, warthog missions, the sniper mission, etc. You run around and get in vehicles, shoot stuff, and it all feels very solid and responsive. The opening is a bit slow, but once you get past that, there's a lot more fun moments. A big problem people have with this game is the Arbiter missions, but I found them to be fine. There was only 3 or 4 and they were generally pretty enjoyable and provided a good look at the opposing faction we've seen so little of in the Halo universe so far.

    The story is super cool. Having read a couple books at this point, it's really fun to see how the Arbiter and Chief become unlikely allies, what happened to Cortana and the Flood, and see the Covenant start to fall apart. A lot of back story is made in Halo 2 and it's all very interesting and important.

    The Anniversary Edition is definitely the way to play this game. It covers the game in a new coat of paint and brings a whole lot of life back into it that makes it worth playing again even for people who have beaten it before.

  • 8/10

    Halo 3 is prooooobably my second or first favorite Halo game, besides Reach. Halo 1 will always have a special place in my heart because I played it a lot when I was a kid, but 3 is just such a well constructed, fun game it's hard to not love it.

    First off, it's super fun to co-op. With the addition of 4 player co-op, it really feels like encounters and vehicles and levels were made to accommodate extra people. On that note, I found myself getting lost way less compared to other Halo games. While in the other ones, you'd constantly be stuck inside buildings or out in an open area with multiple paths to choose from and not really sure where to go, 3 does a better job routing the player and actually providing waypoints when necessary.

    The gameplay is damn tight as well. Shooting never felt better, the scarab sequences are awesome and driving vehicles still is super satisfying and fun. There's so many more crazy fun moments in this game.

    The story really comes to a close too. You're given a satisfying end to a trilogy that was many years in the making. The whole thing is chalked full of details and emotion, its just a great package.

  • 9/10

    SPOILERS ABOUND.

    This has been a very checkered experience for me, playing this game. First I bought it when it came out and played it for a few hours, never got that into it. Flash forward over a year and I've gotten the PS4 version, still not getting super into it.

    What it all came down to really was the gameplay. It was totally serviceable, it makes sense with the story they're telling in the world they've created. But I dunno, it just was never particularly engaging for me. Getting into shootouts was never fun, I'd get caught a lot (which was mostly my fault, but there was definitely some bullshit where the guy who saw me was far away as hell, looking through a crack in the wall) and by the end of the game, I had proceeded to get a great combo of smoke bombs, bottle, shotgun (last resort) as a speed run tactic that actually made the gameplay a little more fun. When you do manage to go through an area without alerting anyone, that is pretty badass though.

    So, whereas I'm not very into the gameplay, the story is suuuuuper good. If you really break it down, it's just a roadtrip simulator, considering how many times you go from one place to the other looking for the Fireflies over and over again, but everything in between that is what really makes it shine. The game has a great, small cast of characters with their own stories and they all have just enough presence to not overstay their welcome, and they all add to the world in their own ways as well. If we want to get to the real reason that I'm giving it 9/10 even though I was relatively lukewarm on it the entire game, that'd be because of everything in the last 30 minutes. That fucking ending is so good. This entire game, you see and hear about Joel's insane amount of loss. His daughter dies in his arms at the beginning of the game. Two hours later, Tess dies. He's not the only one who loses people, but those events serve as our anchor into the message that's delivered about him at the end. Sometimes you just need someone, something, to hold on to. To believe in. This entire game sets up Joel for this moment. He's a huge dick for most of this game, both to Ellie, and to everyone else. Near the end he finally makes a connection again and when he lies right to Ellie's face, when he shoots and kills Marlene in cold blood, somewhere inside you can't disagree with his choices. The Last of Us' greatest accomplishment is what it did with Ellie and Joel.

    Lastly, the game still looks damn good. The PS4 upres really helped smooth out the frame rate and make it look nice and crisp. You can still see in spots where it's a last gen game, but those faces and the lighting look super good still.