Games I've Beaten In 2020

List items

  • 8/10

    A puzzle game that seems impossible until you do it. Really fun puzzles, constantly making you think and always making you feel like a genius once you solve it.

  • 6/10

    I was ready to give Final Fantasy 13 a higher score earlier on. Sure it's slow to start, but the characters have a lot of heart and it opens up after a while so it's not all bad, right? Unfortunately, FF13 does too many things wrong for me to give it a higher score.

    The most frustrating thing is that it has so much going for it. The visuals hold up even 10 years later, there's some great music, the combat is pretty fun once it opens up, and the characters have some great chemistry. It's just designed all wrong.

    Most of the character development happens in the first third. People are paired off and you get to see some great interactions as they bounce off of each other. After the party reunites though, they stay pretty much exactly the same. Same with the gameplay. It takes way too long to open up all the mechanics (15 hours at least) and then it doesn't really evolve much at all beyond that. I was able to get through most fights switching between two paradigms and mashing A, it just became dull at some point. Boss fights would usually be fun because they'd provide an actual challenge and you constantly had to make sure people were buffed, healed etc, but those are way less common then the average fights which are everywhere which brings me to my next point. So much of the game is random encounters in straight pathways. It does open up for a bit, but then it gets super linear again right after. There's a ton of random fights too so it often just feels like your moving from cutscene to cutscene, since there's no real world to explore, nor towns to find, nor characters to talk with. It's a weirdly lifeless world.

    Even the story, with its unique setting was originally pretty interesting but by the end of it it feels like even the devlopers didn't necessarily know how to tie it all together. I do like the core message of never giving up hope, but they could've conveyed it a little better than how they did.

    Like I said earlier, it's just a shame that they weren't able to capitalize on the things that made FF13 good. If they had stripped a bit of the combat out, added a bit more life into the world, and streamlined how they introduced mechanics I feel like this could've been a great game. As it stands now, it's just alright.

  • 6/10

    After playing We Were Here Together, this one is a bit disappointing. Obviously this and its predecessor led to We Were Here Together, but yeah it's just much more simple and mostly consisted of describing how things looked. It's alright but definitely not as good.

  • 7/10

    Bit more spooky than the others, I do like how for one person so many of the puzzles are in the room you start in and you get to figure out how they apply to your friend as you go. Short and sweet, better than We Were Here Too.

  • 8/10

    As a Soulsborne fan and Star Wars fan, I was immediately drawn to Fallen Order and it doesn't disappoint in either category. It falls mostly into a Sekiro-like game weirdly enough, straight up aping the tight parry system and unblockable attacks and the like. It's not as tight as Sekiro unfortunately; it feels like they introduce too many enemies sometimes and you can't do anything but just get dinged by blaster bolts, even with the tools the game gives you. The frame rate dips when too much is going on on screen as well which definitely doesn't help when you're trying to time things perfectly on a harder difficulty. Still, it works very well most of the time and I really enjoyed killing the shit out of many storm troops, shock troopers, and inquisitors, not to mention fighting some very intense bosses who definitely roused some old Dark Souls feelings in me.

    They also nail the aesthetic perfectly. The game looks and sounds very much like a game set in the Star Wars universe should and I especially liked the detail they put into the characters and outfits. The inquisitors look imposing, the amount of detail in your lightsaber and the billion parts you find for it is a great touch, and I thought the faces looked really sharp, with the minor exception of Cal and Cere having a bit of a weird look occasionally.

    The story is a bit simple and what you'd expect from a game of this type, but the characters and the setting make it interesting. It roots itself firmly in Star Wars lore and makes things like Order 66 and the horrors the Empire has committed feel really real. The characters in this game got fuckin hurt and you feel it. The crew you end up developing really grew on me throughout and the only thing I can criticize about them is that I don't feel like the game gives you enough time with them. Still, what you do get is good and legitimately emotional on occasion.

    Also the bugs are real. Everything everyone said is true. There's slow downs, pop in, crashes, t posing, enemies spawning in late, messed up physics, collision issues, you name it. It was enough that even I noticed it and I have a tendency to forget a lot, but it wasn't enough to sour me too much. Thankfully it only crashed once, and it was right after I saved. Still, like I mentioned earlier, things like framerate do get in the way of the combat and I feel like in 3 months this game will be where it should have been at launch.

    Fallen Order is a really good game. It takes a bunch of ideas from other games as cements itself as it's own thing in a familiar setting. They could've just churned something familiar and simple out, but they did a good job making a unique, character driven Star Wars game which I haven't really experienced since KotOR, so good job Respawn.

  • 7/10

    This is exactly what every fan of the series will want. It's a great character action game, but unfortunately, I'm not as big of a fan as I used to be of those kind of games thus the lower score. In terms of just ridiculousness and style it's like an 8 or 9. There's tons of flavor and in this game, very reminiscent of the older games, and I love it.

  • 8/10

    There are some games that nobody has anything bad to say about whenever it comes up, and Danganronpa is one of those games. That's not to say it's without flaw, but its flaws are certainly few compared to the fun, terrifying thrill it brings to the table constantly.

    The premise is one that's not unfamiliar: people are locked in a building and they need to kill their way out. It is its execution (heh) of a familiar concept where Danganronpa shines. Each character is incredibly unique; they are based on familiar archetypes like a sporty, cute girl, or a sadistic gothic lolita, or a cool, quiet beauty, or even a cocky rich kid, but their archetypes are dialed up to like a 1000% until they become these crazy versions of themselves. They're all rooted in humanity, but they're also ridiculous and provide a lot of personality. Seeing how they interact with each other and what they are driven to is the crux of the game and it never failed to surprise me.

    It would've been pretty easy to have a murder mystery game that focused mostly on just crazy anime people killing each other with an inspiring message thrown on top, but the developers do a lot of work to make it much more legitimate then that. There were many times where I was able to work out who committed the crime, as well as plenty other times where I was sure I knew who did it, only for the game to pull the rug out from under me. There were plenty of times I was only able to piece together certain things and all I could do was wonder, "How the fuuuuuck is this going to come together?". What makes this possible is that the game plays by its own rules. It presents you with all the clues you need to figure out the mystery which makes the class trials all the more fun. It's awesome watching everyone piece everything together. I don't particularly like a lot of the minigame stuff they throw in to the class trials, but it's not that hard to get used to, it's just all feels like they wanted to add more to it than just simple back and forth talking and presenting evidence.

    In general I'd say the game holds your hand a bit too much. There's lots of times where you'll be presenting evidence for something that was already incredibly obvious, or had just been established in the last scene, but they want to make sure you got it. Also, the class trials suffer the same problem the Phoenix Wright games have where you know the answer, but you don't know which combination of evidence and statement go together. Again, feels like they could've just streamlined the trials a bit and solved the problem.

    The graphics were another thing that I wasn't always a fan of. There's some great art direction in this game, but some of the "3D" environments look pretty bad. I think that juxtaposing 2D characters models in these 3D spaces especially didn't look good and there's probably a better way to do it than how they did. Certainly I noticed more than someone who played this on Vita would most likely, but still, when they display that they actually can make really good art and cutscenes, it makes it all the more disappointing the stuff you see the most of doesn't have the same care.

    Thankfully, like I mentioned at the start, none of these things are enough to diminish what the game does give you: a tense, crazy, character based story. I wish the game gave you more time to hang out with each character because, while you don't get much time or even a lot of info, what you do get from hanging out with people is always interesting and provided some great background info into these incredibly memorable, incredibly crazy cast. Seeing them tear each other apart was always horrifically engrossing and some of the twists are crazy. I don't think some of the crazier things would have as much impact had the game not done a great job leaving enough hints and clues around for the player to notice.

    This could have been a much simpler and more boring mystery about a bunch of kids killing each other, but instead, it's a great game about hope and despair and how far you can push people in both directions. Super memorable, I'm looking forward to playing the next one.

    Byakuya is my son.

  • 8/10

    Right off the bat, you kind of know what you're getting in to with Danganronpa 2. Despite a new cast and a completely different setting, it's rooted in the familiarity of the first one and even though things start off hilariously peaceful, you know some teenager is gonna kill another teenager pretty soon. And boy do teens kill teens in this game.

    The same stuff that's appealing about the first game is appealing here: the crazy cast, its weird sense of humor, the tense trials, and the fun of trying to solve a murder mystery. You can still spend time getting to know your fellow classmates though, just like the first game, you don't have as much time as I'd like. In general though it is a likeable cast (with a couple exceptions) but I do gotta say, I preferred the cast of the first game a lot more. In the first game, people paired off and formed a lot of interesting relationships, and those relationships in turn influenced the decisions they made. In the sequel people do pair off, but a lot of the time their relationships are hidden, or just don't feel as meaningful. Same with the main crew, by the end of the first game you've got a couple people you're ready to take on the world with. In the second game, Nagito is kind of your "right hand man" but also he's super not cause he's insane and nobody trusts him. He's still an awesome character, easily the best in the game, but I did miss the dynamic you make in 1. Chiaki also is a great sidekick, but I felt like you didn't get enough time with her in that role until the last couple trials.

    For me, I think my lack of attachment to some of the characters just comes from the kind of game they're looking to make. Danganronpa 1 feels like a self-contained crazy murder mystery, but Danganronpa 2 feels like a sequel trying to find a place in that world. It does succeed at doing that, but I feel like the impact is just lessened because it is a sequel. In the first game you spend a lot of time trying to figure out the nature of the mystery with the cast, and the game spreads hints everywhere for people to try and piece things together. The sequel holds a lot of the cards in its hand until the end of the game, and to be fair the end of the game is fantastic, but I did wish it had more of a fun detective side to it, like the first game did. Still, at its base level, its still fun as hell to figure out how the hell these kids killed each other and it's always a surprise figuring out who'll be killed next and in what way. The core gameplay loop remains very similar, but still very satisfying.

    The exception to that is the trial games which still suck ass and in some cases got worse. I'm looking at you, Improved Hangmans Gambit. Also Logic Dive sucks. Just like the first, they're not bad enough to get in the way, but its frustrating when you already know the answer to the questions these games pose and you still have to spell it out. It's not satisfying and it's not fun.

    All in all, my qualms with this game are few. It's still a fun murder mystery and though I do wish it leaned harder into the investigation end, you still get to hang out with some crazy characters and watch them kill each other against an insane backdrop so what else could you want? I hope the third game lives up to the legacy of these two.

  • 6/10

    Reach used to be my favorite, but I've moved in a different direction in the last few years in terms of what I want from a shooter. Reach was the turning point in the Halo formula where you got armor abilities and the ability o finally sprint, but even then it's very limited and you can really feel that today in a world full of twitch based, fast paced shooters. It's still pretty good for a story you know the end to and the shooting still feels good, but it's just not as exciting for me as it used to be.

  • 7/10

    A classic experience. Still very slow, but full of old memories so it's hard not to like it. Still, there's a lot of parts that are just completely silent, the last half of the game is all backtracking, and theres a couple small glitches that do detract from the experience. Still a great game though.

  • 9/10

    Still as full of style and personality as it was all those years ago. Just like with Golden, everything does feel a bit more bloated. You have more time to do everything, more support during combat, more ways to get buffed, more social links, more everything basically. I'm happy to say I liked everything that was added, but I do think that it's better to still play the original first. They do have some missteps along th way, some of the ways they shoehorned in new story feel a bit blatant and it's not always a smooth transition, but it does pay off mostly. Kasumi and Maruki ended up being two of my favorite social links in the game, despite being new, so that was a surprise. Fused a lot of great personas too., even beat the Reaper finally. Definitely got more out of P5 this time than I did in my original playthrough, but like I said, the game helps you a lot more.

  • 7/10

    I got the Katherine True Ending. I'm not much a fan of the block puzzles, but I do really enjoy the narrative and the time you spend socializing in the Stray Sheep. They do a great job of making that bar and the time Vincent spends there very real. Just like in the original I like the central conflict, I think it's very human. Vincent has a deep struggle with commitment and each Catherine in his life represents the opposite side of that commitment. It ends up becoming much more of a jrpg by the end which does detract from the very relatable premise a little, but it's still fun and I ended up blitzing through it in like 8 hours to see the ending.

  • 9/10

    In a lot of ways, this game hasn't aged well. The graphics are pretty grimy and lack a lot of detail, the NPC's are voiced by like 5 different people, theres glitches all over the place, the face zoom during convos is still aggressive as hell, etc. At this point though, all of those things added to the charm. I knew what I was getting into as I've played the game before which helped me appreciate how good the story and roleplaying aspect of this game is. The game is technically a shooter as well, but New Vegas definitely hangs its hat on its roleplaying.

    From the get go I went into it having a character in mind and this game more than any other Bethesda rpg rewards that. Ironically it's the one not made by them. As opposed to other Fallout games which thrust a background onto your blank slate, this one leaves everything pretty open and thrusts you out into the world very quickly. You're a Courier and the job went wrong, boom, go. It's effective and it helped build Tinbin the Tailor into the god that he became. Playing an old, weathered cowboy type really lent itself well to the setting, but there's so many options for how you want to play. It was the first time I tried to roleplay a character in one of these kind of games and it really paid off.

    As I mentioned above, there's a lot of ways to go about doing stuff. Also, there's just a lot of damn stuff to do. All the factions are interesting and even the ones you'd think you could predict end up surprising you. The companions have some fun backstories and all feel like characters of their own with lives before they met you. The dlc is all great and adds to the world and the story in really fun ways. And the main conflict is very provocative with each side having a relatable viewpoint, even when you can't agree with their methods (here's looking at you, Caesar). It all adds up to make this an incredibly fun game to playthrough. The shooting and gameplay itself is fun and loose in that 2008 Bethesda way, but it is by no means a complex game mechanically. I preferred that to some extent, it made it easy to blast my way through that game, hopping (literally) around the wasteland and having fun shooting everything with little to no recoil and a sickass revolver.

    I'm more surprised than anyone I came away with such a positive experience. Like I said before, I've played this game in the past but I would've given it a 7/10 then. It's really grown on me and I'd recommend it to any fan of rpgs, especially people who value player choice.

  • 6/10

    I don't have a lot to say about Fallout 4, this is more of an addon to my New Vegas thoughts in some ways. I didn't beat 4 this time but I'v beaten it before, put around 20 - 25 hours in again. It's still incredibly disappointing, espcially coming off of New Vegas. Where New Vegas had wide array of choices, this game railroads you much more in how you approach things. Everything ends up being about your kid who frankly I didn't care about at all and it sucks from a roleplaying perspective to have that be the constant driving force when you're not interested at all. Shooting wise it's definitely better, but also it's still not great. There's some good writing, but there's way more buildings and quests that are paper thing content wise. New Vegas has some pretty vapid areas it wants you to explore, but there's way fewer of them and usually they tie into a quest or faction in an interesting way. This game just wants you to clear buildings for the fun of it.

    So much potential wasted. The worst part is that there are good parts but they're bogged down chasing this idea of an endless open world shooter. I'd have preferred more focus as opposed to more content but oh well.

  • 8/10

    Another game I'm shocked I came away from so positively. I've spent years saying that this was a game that was great in its time but the industry has moved so far forward since then that its time has passed. I'm happy to say it still holds up and is absolutely worth playing. That's not to say it doesn't show its age, but rather that it succeeds at being a super fun, mostly well written game throughout.

    The writing, as I just mentioned, is where the game succeeds. The gameplay is a different story. It's a pretty clunky rpg overall. The swordplay is simple but never feels that good to control, the movement is very floatly, which personally I was okay with mostly, and the menu navigation is clearly built for consoles and is pretty infuriating to navigate sometimes. All of these things do stand out to me as areas of improvement, but none were ever so bad that it made me want to stop playing. Except dungeon crawling, that could be a bit infuriating after the 30th time exploring the same dungeon. The gameplay is serviceable and it provides you a way to interact with the great writing, which is by far the best part of the game.

    The guilds are the easiest thing to point to and say, "Hey, this is why this game is good!". Dark Brotherhood especially has gained a lot of notoriety over the years as being a great questline and I can confirm that it remains great. It does lull in the middle somewhat when you're just doing dead drops, but that builds to something pretty great so it's super worth it. Thieves Guild and Mages Guild are both pretty good but they do have a few quests that are pretty dull fetch quests which are boring as hell. Fighters Guild is definitely the weakest and most of their quests if not all consist of boring dungeon crawls. Still, the guilds are all great supports to the main story which is pretty fun itself surprisingly. That, plus the daedric prince quests and plenty of other random quests all over the map kept me pretty interested in questing for almost 70 hours in Oblivion. That includes Knights of the Nine and Shivering Isles, as well as the smaller dlc as well. Knights of the Nine is good, Shivering Isles is much better and it's peppered full of all sorts of weird shit, ending with events that are arguably larger in scale in some ways than even the main story.

    Oblivion is a game full of old rpg energy and it works in it's favor. It's almost a weird time capsule of that PS2 era emerging into the 360/PS3 era. It still looks and plays like one of those games and though the way it looks and plays doesn't hold up, it does work enough to showoff the fun writing and stories all over that game and it makes it a must play still if you're an rpg fan in my opinion.

  • 8/10

    I didn't actually play this game, I watched someone else do it so I can't speak to the gameplay too much. From what I did see of it, it looked fun enough though.

    The world is worth an 8/10 or more alone. The Oldest House is a crazy ass location and you can tell the writing team went wild here. It must be incredibly fun and also a little stressful to be able to write any kind of weird ass story you want, as long as it's interesting. Even if you don't play the game, I can testify that it's good enough to keep you interested just watching Jesse figure out what the fuck happened to the Federal Bureau of Control and work her way through all the crazy shit they've been up to.

    I think it's pretty easy to create pseudoscience that doesn't make any damn sense and can't hold your interest, but they do a good job grounding things in enough familiarity that when they start talking about Hedron Resonance Amplifiers and similarly crazy sounding shit they don't lose you right away. They made the right choice having you view the world through Jesse's eyes; she's experiencing all this stuff for the first time too so you don't feel like an idiot when you are surrounded by people who are overly familar with all the weird stuff you see throughout Control.

    It's easy to get a game like this wrong and Remedy has dabbled in stuff like this before with varying levels of success. I think this is their most successful outing and I'm looking forward to whatever followup they release.

  • 7/0

    It's a great game to wind down to at the end of the night. It's fun to serve up drinks to people, and hear their stories. It's a game about fantasy peoples problems at first glance, but it becomes obvious pretty fast that these are all problems any human can have. It does incentivize you to give them the right drink, but it also doesn't give you any way of learning those drinks beforehand really so it's kind of a weird choice that makes you save scum. I understand they want people to play through it more than once, but the characters stories aren't interesting enough to warrant that and even if you play it again there's no guarantee you'll figure out what drink the person wants anyway.

    Still, it's a fun thing to spend some time with. it's pretty lowkey and up until the end it really is about what I said before: problems any person can have. Definitely glad to have experienced it.

  • 8/10

    I've never really been as big a Skyrim fan as others, but I've always appreciated what it does and gotten enjoyment out of it. When I replayed it earlier this year, I felt like I finally got the experience a lot of other people get out of Skyrim. I ended up playing all the dlc, doing all the factions, and most of the sidequests I found too.

    It's still the same game as before, but for whatever reason I was able to dive into it more. Maybe it was because I was just coming off of Oblivion and I felt much more at home in Tamriel then I did before, or maybe I've just changed what I want from games a bit. but either way, I had a great time with Skyrim. I think the factions are weaker overall than Oblivion, but I like the political struggle more as a backdrop overall. Both have their merits, but I thougt Skyrim's setting provided a great way to immerse yourself in the lore of the time.

    I did a lot of the same content I did years ago, but I played it in a more fun way. I think going big into stealth archery helped a lot cause thats a fun as hell way to play Skyrim. I also had plenty of brawn to duke it our with people so I never really felt like I was missing out.

    Overall I just had a better time. I finally can say I had that experience I missed out on years ago.