Games I played 2019

List items

  • I regret my time with Anthem.

    How do you not make an Iron Man simulator a slam dunk in 2019?

  • Great game, but got stuck in the campaign on a broken quest.

    Very satisfying to just noddle around, building up your trade empire, though :)

  • I was hoping for more. But it's cool.

  • I like it a lot.

  • Basically 100% done, but a handful of achievements not completed. I may go back for them.

    Kassandra is great, Odyssey is good.

  • I kind of like it, but it's also feels terribly antiquated. Game design has moved on, but Darksiders 3 is still stuck in old mechanics.

    The "Dark Souls" like mechanics don't quite work, because the game doesn't commit.

    I still love the universe though... though I do wish they'd just have written the sequel to Darksiders 1, instead of meandering with Darksiders 2 and 3... which seem to have entirely forgotten that utterly amazing cliffhanger in 1...

  • Super clever way of making what is effectively an offline multiplayer game.

    It's a bit simple, and it was very clearly a mobile game ported to steam.

    But the puzzle were pretty good.

    Felt a bit short, but with how hard I'm finding time to come by this year... yeah.

  • As much as I love the feel of From Software's games... I just kind of lose interest in them before I get any payout from them.

    Very cool. But, yeah...

  • Fun. But too long. Should probably have cut the 4th dungeon - or extend the shop game... I'd already maxed out my shop by the 3rd dungeon, at least.

    I like it, but I struggle to really recommend it.

  • Sleeper hit for me. DQB was not even a blip on my radar... but DQB2 was released at a time when I did not have access to my PC - and a light-minecraft with a stronger story was just what I needed.

    I felt like it was a bit long, and a bit hand-holdy.

    But I enjoyed most of it.

    (Except for those annoying cutscenes where the voice is narrating... that are extremely slow and unskippable...)

  • Played during a period when I did not have access to my PC - so Switch it was!

    Start out like a super-cutsey light-minecraft with some minor, simplified crafting - and wound up being the only game that has made me physically ill this year.

    How? Well... in the endgame, the screen is constantly shaking, with things flying past the screen at very high speeds.

    Still a good game. I might be back for the future development/DLC/whatever.

  • A lot has been said about this game.

    ... and I kind of disagree with much of it. I kind of like it. It's not a great game. It's clearly a game of compromises and so many decisions that were not good for the game.

    But.

    But, I'm glad the game was made, and I enjoyed playing through it with my friend.

    Even though I made a throwing axe build where my axes kept despawning or getting ejected into the atmosphere because of unreasonable physics or just bugs.

    Or the other problems.

    The windmill boss though? I didn't like that one.

    Now, if this game was up to par with the previous games in the series, this would've been a really strong game.

    (Probably helps that my partner let me be awesome :P )

  • Enjoying this a surprising amount. Still not sure if I've wrapped my head around it entirely, though.

    It's pretty good, though.

  • Children of Morta is a touching story of a family.

    There's a lot to like here, both the story of the family and the roguelite mechanics, as well as the mechanics of controlling the family.

    But... unfortunately, the story never really clicked with me, and I don't know if I can remember any character's names other than Uncle Ben... and that's just because of the Spiderman connection.

    Still, absolutely worth playing.

  • As hyped as I was for it when it was released... when I wound up playing it, I kind of burned out on it very quickly.

  • Co-op is good, and there's a lot of fun in this game.

    But man, is this bad. The story is almost painfully poorly written.

    Decent gameplay, though.

  • What I like in Roguelikes and Roguelites is that feeling that you keep progressing, that you kind of start beating the game - but then finding new challenges deeper in the game.

    I don't think Noita is in a good place yet, becasue I never had that experience.

  • Only had one opportunity to play this during 2019, but it was quite the hoot - we got through most of the levels with 3 people.

    Lots of laughs!

  • I love a lot about Ape Out. Music, visual, gameplay.

    Unfortunately, I lost my save. I apparently don't love it enough to replay it, though.

  • I don't remember why, exactly, but I still feel burned/frustrated by Alan Wake, to the point where I've stayed away from Remedy productions since then (including American Nightmare and Quantum Break).

    But... the premise of Control was just so damned good that I had to check it out, and I'm glad I did, mostly.

    The story is weird in just the right way, and I really like the supernatural setting.

    And Ahti has to be the best original character of this year. I love everything they did with him.

    But, beyond that, the problems start. The combat is functional, and mostly good. But because of an odd decision to pad the game with random combat missions, it outstays it's welcome.

    Because, for some reason, the mods your character can equip are random drops, and you can have duplicates. And even when you upgrade to unlock higher level mods, it doesn't seem like that does much beyond make them available for you to craft?

    Even at the end of the game, I was mostly looting level 2 mods (most of them being "Decreased ammo use when levitating"), meaning that I ended the game with all level 1-2 mods in one of my favorite weapons (Charge). Frustrating.

    Also, there's this system that feels like a "Daily challenges" system where you can complete objectives for a random mod of a specified level.

    But instead of it being locked to a daily limit, you can just freely accept and abandon these challenges to get something that you want... which is positive because I'm not stuck with missions granting level 1 mods, but still not good because it forces me to spend a lot of time cycling missions to get something I'm ok with.

    And, of course, even if I get a level 5 perk, it might (as it often did) just end up being another duplicate of a mod I already had. Not great.

    Adding to the randomness, the game occasionally throws you "Bureau alerts", which are just random missions in a random location in the game. It's either "Kill the enemies at <location>" or "Protect your allies at <location>" (which boils down to killing the enemy before they kill your allies).

    I really find those mechanical issues to be a huge shame, considering how much I loved the setting and story.

    And Ahti. That music section was amazing.

  • I like time mechanics.

    I like these simpler "16 bit" style games.

    Katana Zero kind of exists where those 2 axes meet.

  • This is so cool. Factorio meets (more) Tower Defense, developed by (mostly) a single developer? I like it a lot.

  • The loot system is unnecessary, but most of the moment to moment gameplay is fine.

  • The writing is pretty good, but... I found it pretty boring and unfocused and uninspired.

    While the combat being boring and unchallenging could be argued being my fault (I never bumped it to hard) - just walking into fights without caring and holding down a button is pretty weak, and I'd argue that at this point, why even bother putting combat in the game, if this is what you are going to do?

    No, the thing I dislike the most, is how unfocused the story is - it feels a lot like the game forgets what it's doing after the intro, and only remembers the plot in the last few hours.

    The middle is a completely different story which is only tangentially connected to the main plot.

    But the worst part is how it feels so extremely familiar, there's almost nothing setting it apart from other games like this, especially Fallout.

    And for me, there's a point where you go from referential to just painting by the numbers.

    That said, as negative as I've been here, I don't think it's a bad game, it's just too safe.

    The world is not uninteresting, though it feels like a very generic mix of a lot of other sci-fi settings.

  • I still don't know entirely how I feel about Death Stranding a week after seeing the end-credits, and having done most of the activities offered by the game.

    I think I was expecting something else. I was expecting something completely crazy.

    I'm not disappointed, but it was different than I expected. Different what I thought I'd find.

    But, I'll say this: No other game this year has made me think about myself and my relationships. No other game has made me think this much about the authorial intent.

    Death Stranding is extremely pretentious, but I think I love it for it.

  • Quite possibly the most frustrating experience I've had in a while.

    I'm a big fan of "X-com-likes" (is that what we're calling them now?), and Julian Gallop's earlier games were formative for me...

    But something went wrong here.

    It's extremely unforgiving even at the lowest levels of difficulty, and you'll very quickly end up in a busywork spin cycle of death.

    I really like what they've done with the Geoscape mechanic - it's pretty interesting, but unfortunately, the Battlescape is just an exercise in frustration.

    The targeting reticle is an interesting way of visualizing hit%, but it just doesn't work very well - half the time, the cover you are hiding behind will be blocking the aiming anyway.

    I love the body-part targeting mechanic - it's very interesting to have a chance to disable enemy abilities by clever targeting.

    I think the faction war mechanic is interesting, but there are some inherent problems here - in desperation to replace 2 of my soldiers that were killed by what felt like bullshit, I recruited 2 new soldiers - only to discover that not only could I not produce ammo for their weapons, but I also could not give them any of the weapons I had researched... and making matters worse, I could not research their weapons as you need 2 copies of something to reverse engineer it (I had 1).

    So I spent all my resources on 2 soldiers I could effectively only use for a single mission.

    ... there's more, and I may come back to Phoenix Point later, but it feels like a turkey right now.

  • Kind of a cheap Diablo clone.

    Kind of interesting, but very stiff and doesn't seem to have a lot of depth.

  • I was hoping for another experience like what I had with Her Story, but I felt mostly impatient to get it all over.

  • Very cool. Maybe I need to play more, but I suspect that the amount of time I've spent in VR - with Beat Saber specifically - has muted the experience a bit.

    And ultimately, I keep coming back to not really liking Tetris that much. It's fine, and important.

    But Tetris Effect vs Beat Saber? I'll be in Beat Saber...

  • After a short honeymoon period with this game - where it felt like a return to form from Mechwarrior 2... (Which I'm probably misremembering as much more engaging than it was), things quickly soured.

    There's a framework of a good game here - obviously, Piranha makes Mech Warrior Online, a competent online mechwarrior game - but... what is going on here?

    Feels a lot like the between mission visits to the Dropship are just thrown in there to justify spending time developing the intro sequence where you watch an Atlas walk past you while you are on foot (which was pretty cool), but it's infuriatingly poorly made.

    It just highlights how dead the game is.

    The combat sequences however are pretty good - until the difficulty makes it fall apart. Around difficulty 30-40, you'll be facing waves of dozens of enemy mechs and many times that in other miscallaneous vehicles.

    And the story just is not told well enough to keep me coming back.

    Disappointing.

  • First of the 3 roguelites I spent time with this year - I like it a lot, but I am a bit frustrated that I did not get to the end of the game during my time with it.

    It's from 2018, but it's very good.

  • I played a bit of Slay the Spire in 2018, but in 2019, I wound up playing the daily challenge for a while.

    My second big Roguelite!

    It doesn't hurt that I also love deck builders.

    There's a lot to Slay the Spire, and it rarely feels like you are treading old ground with how random every run gets - but you still have enough control that you feel like your skill and experience is making a difference.

  • Third Roguelike!

    This is a great game. I can see myself playing more of this - though I do feel like there's a little bit less variation than Slay the Spire and Heroes of Hammerwatch.

    Quite challenging and a lot of fun.

    Also amazing music.

  • Finished on New Years Eve!

    I am very torn about this - on the one hand, I really enjoyed my time with this game, it's great! It's kind of alleviated my FOMO about having missed Symphony of the Night (since I didn't have a console that could play it at the time).

    I'm also a pretty big fan of Metroidvanias. And this one does a pretty good job of it.

    On the other hand, it feels a little bit safe. This is tread ground. Nothing really crazy happens here. And I spent a lot of the game being very annoyed with how slow the character is.

    Biggest complain is probably all the times I just kind of felt lost, rolling from area to area trying to find out where I had to go next, because there were a bit too many times where it wasn't really clear - while I don't need hand-holding, getting a bit of breadcrumb is not a bad idea... I know about the hint system, but when every NPC has a cutscene every time you talk to them, you get used to skipping it - and I wound up skipping a lot of Dominique's shop dialog (sure, /facepalm).

    So, uh, still, Good game!