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Games I played in 2018.

It's videogame time! Here are those I played in 2018!

List items

  • It's a fighting game, so I bought it. It remains to be seen if I'll play it any.

  • It´s the fifth generation Monster Hunter and while they have changed A LOT, plenty still remains the same. It´s one of those games with an endless endgame grind, that you don´t so much finish as you just eventually quit. Still, a good time. Looking forward to an eventual expansion.

  • This one took me a while to take to, as it is a bit different from the game it takes inspiration from. A game I also happen to hold in very high regard. But the ways that it modernizes some of the design it borrows, as well as the twists it adds itself, just come together into a game I got immense satisfaction from playing.

    Heck, whether or not the other Bloodstained hits or not, give me one more of these and I´ll be happy!

  • Putting time into the Definitive Edition. Still a flawed game, but the remix made for this version is solid and does make it feel appropriately Definitive. All the previous DLC have become unlocks that are integrated into the different maps and the maps themselves have had their level ranges rebalanced. I´d still say that there´s too much grind here and just unlocking all of the characters feels like it would take too long to hold the average persons interest, and that´s not mentioning leveling/upgrading all the characters or finishing the different maps. It´s a game you´re sure to be tired of long before you run out of things to do.

  • 2015. Picked this up at the time and played it a little but didn´t return to it until the announcement of 5 got me on the mood. Spent a lot more time with it now. It´s kinda fun, kinda hard but only in that not executing perfectly makes you feel clumsy. Getting a lot out of having a bunch of extra characters to play around with. It will be interesting to see how much, if any, of the non-combat part of the game will change in DMC5, as the platforming in this is still deliberately stiff and difficult, often in a frustrating way, and the exploration requires you to memorize the layout of the map a lot more than you might expect. It´s a weird part of these games I came to realize was always there, just was rarely talked about. I mind it a lot less than I used to, but I also wouldn´t miss it if it was replaced with something simpler.

  • Probably pretty good. Controls feel kinda weird and take some time to get into, story mode is so so. Need to put more time in sometime.

  • I had never played all of the second half of this series before. They are kind of rough, but also forgiving enough that I could make it through them. Eventually decided to get the Platinum Trophy for it.

    X5 was ok. I kinda had to play it a lot and there was a lot of unskippable text you had to button through every playthrough, which was a pain. Some stages were decent while others were very annoying. A lot of the bosses were pretty tough, which made it take some time.

    X6 defintely had the most frustrating enemies, mechanics and level design of the bunch, this cannot be overstated, but at least it streamlined away the annoying, unskippable talking bits. I overall had a decent time with it, despite some grind, and really liked the mechanics of the two X armors that you got.

    Both X5 and X6 has a slightly odd, partly CG, aesthetic that is mostly fine, but has aged poorly in spots. Particularly those where it is hard to judge the outline of a platform.

    X7 is a big step down, especially in regards to comfortable menu design, but also in general game design. Still, despite the poor execution I appreciated some of what it seemed to want to do with its switching between 2D and 3D view and gameplay. Also, with one exception it wasn´t very difficult, so that helped the overall impression upon finishing it. Zero controlling like absolute crap was sad though.

    X8 was the biggest shakeup to the formula from the other 3 and made a stellar first impression with its 3 distinct playable characters and better blend of 2D gameplay in polygonal, sometimes 2.5D stages. It looked sharp, and it played well, best of all it felt refreshingly modern coming from the earlier games. Sadly some of the later levels didn´t quite impress as much, and it felt in spots like too many locations took shortcuts in the form of repeating or indistinct terrain, which made the content of the levels feel slight.

    That said, X8 came out on top as the game which design I want them to copy and improve upon, should they ever decide to come back to the series. It just needs to be bigger, and with fewer bad levels dedicated entirely to vehicles.

  • A pretty if simple and very linear puzzle game. Has some kinda funny writing too, and Racoons. Puzzles are never very hard and there´s no failstate, but being short also prevents the game´s hole mechanic from becoming tedious. It stays "kinda satisfying" throughout.

  • A very smooth game. You can definitely tell that a lot of work went into making the runs as smooth, with as little downtime, as possible. Ended up unlocking pretty much everything, not sure if I´ll end up clearing the higher difficulties, either way it was a good time.

  • Been a while since I played a brand spanking new triple A title and this one sure looks nice. It took a while to get into all the systems that they threw at you in the first part of the game, and still I spent the majority of it not really liking the combat. Combat trials pushing me to learn certain things helped with that, but I wasn´t fully turned around on it by the end. Other bad stuff include a few minor design annoyances around customization and just a general feeling that the movement is tough when you´re trying to be precise. There´s a lot of good stuff though, the various story threads and fresh characterizations of known characters was very fun to follow and the gameplay was still satisfying in broad strokes. If a sequel looks good and delivers on a certain thing hinted at the end, I might play that too.

  • It was hard to believe that a series that sticks so close to a specific formula could keep doing that and still feel like a successful step forward. But it turns out that a few key design changes, some good level and enemy design, along with just great art, animation and gorgeous particle effects, goes a long way. It´s modern in the way it needs to, like putting Rush on a button, while also making sure that the core of what makes the series appealing (the jumping & shooting) is as polished as possible. My only complaint would be that while the main stages are as good and more stacked with minibosses than they´ve ever been, the endgame feels just a little bit thin. Despite this, it´s still a top tier Mega Man game!

  • Two old Castlevanias that I´ve already played, but decent time-filler nonetheless.

    Rondo´s controls don´t feel as smooth as the more recent, modern interpretation of Castlevania that is Bloodstained: CotM, But it still has a few really good and complex enemy designs the likes of which I haven´t encountered in the rest of the series. This goes for some of the bosses as well. It makes me think that a modern version of this type of game could be even better, and is still waiting to be made. A pretty hopeful outlook.

    As for Symphony, with how it´s been iterated on since its initial release, it´s less inspiring from a design perspective. And boy is it easy with a bit of knowledge to completely break the difficulty of the game. Still, it has some cool secrets, and puts in work to give the rooms of its castle character in ways that I don´t remember subsequent games ever doing.

  • A very pretty and very well animated series of remakes. While you can still sense the games´ age in some of their dialogue and game design, collecting things while blowing through enemies and exploring the many varied worlds definitely holds up, at least when it looks this good. Its gameplay doesn´t evolve a ton throughout, but it mixes it up fairly well. Jumping, running and gliding is interspersed with swimming and flying. Sometimes there´s a minigame or, in Spyro 3, even an additional playable character. It all comes together into a fairly relaxing, good time where exploring every inch of a world is engaging and rewarding. The Sparx treasure compass also helps to alleviate a lot of frustration that finding that one last missed gem could have caused.

  • A game with a lot of issues, from technical hiccups to uneven writing and a bit of a lack of depth to its mechanics. Which is unfortunate, as a more polished version of this game could have been a great throwback, or maybe even fill its own niche among the souls-likes. As it stands now it has its bright moments; combat is mostly fine, if lacking in variety, and exploring the majority of the environments was fun. What few puzzles there were, were also decent. I´m into the look of the game, and I still like the idea of a game series that keeps having new protagonists through a connected story enough that I forgive a lot.

    It´s a game I want to root for, but also one I could never recommend to anyone not knowing what they were in for. Still kinda hoping they get to make a 4th one.

  • It´s more Smash Bros, and this time there´s a decent grind in the single player. Fighting the computer isn´t a great time, but upgrading and unlocking stuff has kept it engaging. The amount of fanservice packed into this, as well as the general polish of all the characters, stages and animations has also made it enjoyable, even if I haven´t had the opportunity to play it against people.

  • A pretty good, platforming puzzle game. I liked the methodical pace of it, it made the movement feel weighty and satisfying. It was a bit frustrating at times if you got stuck on something and had to redo some long animations, but overall not too bad. I wasn´t sure of where I would land on the story starting out, but did get really into it once it ramped up. It did a good job of telling a very personal story at a very personal level, I thought, with its phone and text message stuff. A sad but hopeful tale.