An Impossible Start to the New Year (January Progress Report)

I dare say it would've been more impossible had Dota not gotten its hooks into me again, and I might have been able to keep a pace of 1 game a day (I had beaten 14 by the 13th) for an entire month. Nevertheless there are 17 games I've completed this year already, after deciding to make a loose resolution of beating a 100 games this year. My traditional goal has generally been 53, but as my productivity has waned of late a 100 seems like a sturdy goal to better motivate me. I hit 86 a few years ago, so I believe I can do it. It's just a matter of finding the games to do it. So far so good. Let's get started.

Abzu [2016]

What a wonderful game to kickoff the new year. It only takes an hour and it made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Not the mystical adventure Journey was, but still quite magical.

Red Dead Revolver [2004]

I tip my hat to how poorly this game holds up.
I tip my hat to how poorly this game holds up.

This game is awful, like not how the west was won at all.

Mega Man 4 [1992]

I decided to try another Mega Man again, despite not really being all that into Mega Man 3. Mega Man 3 was okay, and so is this one. It seems to me that my experience with this series peaked with Mega Man 2, and the diminishing returns are really kicking in.

Owlboy [2016]

This is about as okay a game I've played. It's charming in a lot of ways and looks nice, but something about it kept driving me away. I feel pretty indifferent about having seen it through to the end. I really wish I enjoyed it more.

Furi [2016]

This game looks kind of like it might not be fun to play if you watch someone play it, but as it turns out, it sort of is. The soundtrack is probably the major selling point, but it still controls well and offers a nice challenge.

Left 4 Dead [2008]

I'm one of the people who thinks these games are bad. I played this one for a bit a few years ago and didn't care much for it and played the second game and didn't care for that. Playing this one to completion reaffirms my stance that Valve is capable of making bad games.

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter [1997]

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Who knew a good shooter capable of holding up was on the N64? Night Dive's remaster showcases a remaster done right. I've tried playing the original and emulating Turok, and they both played rather poorly, but this remaster plays really well. After the recent success of the Doom and Wolfenstein reboots, I think I want someone to do Turok. Quake in the Jungle.

Armored Core [1997]

I didn't really know what to expect out of Armored Core, having never played one. It turns out it's like a Gran Turismo-like racing sim, but you just blow up some robots instead of race. Getting used to the controls was a bit trying, but overall I had a pretty good time with this one, save for a couple of really obnoxious missions.

Aliens versus Predator 2 [2001]

Monolith's shooter game was firing on all cylinders in the late 90's and early 00's. I'm not sure there is a more overlooked developer than they when it comes to the genre. Shogo, NOLF, Tron 2.0, F.E.A.R. and this AvP sequel that in every way surpasses the mediocre 1999 Rebellion game. 3 campaigns that play out in a Pulp Fiction-esque fashion. Nowhere near as good as No One Lives Forever or F.E.A.R., but still a slashing, crawling and shooting good time.

Mortal Kombat X [2015]

Despite the 9th Mortal Kombat being my favorite fighting game, I didn't bother with this one until now. Fighting games generally aren't my thing, and while this one doesn't quite reach the highs of its predecessor, I rather enjoyed it. The story is incomprehensible nonsense, but the folks at Netherrealm have found a nice groove to the campaign aspect of a genre that traditionally was never about it.

Dishonored 2 [2016]

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Dishonored 2 might have the best level/mission design I've ever seen. I thought Titanfall 2 might when I played through that, but after completing this I can safely say Arkane really flexed their muscles with the concepts and multiple paths to reaching the end of each level. There is a level in which a riddle presents itself early on, and if you solve it you can just bypass the entire level, and I spent an hour solving it, and then played through the level as if I didn't. What a cool game.

Diablo [1996]

If it didn't it might as well have created the loot grind. Amazingly enough I played through this in one sitting. I don't recommend doing the same, my mouse hand was crying and quite possibly dying. I'm amazed that this held up as well as it did though. I really enjoyed the day I spent playing it.

Devil May Cry [2001]

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Resident Evil turned creating the Stylish Action genre. I finally decided to beat this game despite trying to in the past at least a few times. I shouldn't be surprised about it, as it is the father of the Stylish Action genre, but this game's got style. I haven't played Resident Evil 4 yet, but I think I can safely say we came out ahead when this turned into its own thing.

Watch Dogs [2014]

Given the good reviews of its sequel and my success fearing inability to play games out of sequence, I played through Watch Dogs and I must say I expected worse. That said, it is a mediocre stealth game and a mediocre cover shooter set in about as lifeless an open world as you could think of.

Dead Rising [2006]

I rather liked this game once I leveled up enough to be able to run faster than a snail. I think my favorite aspect of Dead Rising was the time element. Being pressed for time created a stress and urgency not many games go for these days. Once that was gone at the tail end of the game, it really lost a lot of steam, because mindlessly killing zombies gets rather boring after awhile. I did enjoy the psychos as well, but for every psycho was like 6 escort missions, every gamer's favorite. If the game was a little less janky as far as its control though, this game would've been something special. The small scale setting of the mall really had potential.

Watch Dogs 2 [2016]

Watch Dogs 2 is definitely not the lifeless game its predecessor was, but I do think a lot of the writing feels a bit like pandering and it doesn't always stick the landing. It's still not a great cover shooter, but it is a better stealth game. Also why is a Casey Affleck looking mother fucker the bad guy? I mean just because he shot Brad Pitt in that western he's gotta be a bad guy?

SWAT 4 [2005]

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GOG finally got it! Bringing chaos to the order of the First Person Shooter. SWAT 4 is a good shooter that distinguishes itself from the shoot first ask questions later staple of the genre by making you shout first and shoot after. It's a really cool and tactical game that gives you a lot of options to neutralize the bad guys and reveals how thankless a job being a SWAT officer might be with a lot of its writing. Cuffing civilians who frequently exclaim they are not the bad guys and asking "why" all the time, despite the fact you are just trying to do your job and keep everybody safe. It's a really cool twist on an often excessively violent genre.

Those are the 17 games I've beaten thus far. Until next time. Thanks for reading.

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