I'm Keeping Track of Every Game I Played in 2016

Similar to last year, I'll be keeping track of every game I played in 2016. Some of the them will be new, many of them will be old, tragically few of them will be beaten. The gist is that I attempt to work through a backlog while trying to keep vaguely up to date with gaming in general, I'll make note of each and every game I played this year for an hour or more. Or less, if the game warrants it.

List items

  • More Etrian Odyssey III! Still working my way down the labyrinth, smashing things as I go. I've beaten the boss of the third stratum and am working my way to the 4th.

    A few months later, I picked Etrian Odyssey III back up because I will finish this game or it will break me. Halfway through the fourth stratum currently.

    Shortly after that, I finished Etrian Odyssey III, though it largely remains a fever dream. I remember thinking that the final stratum was really neat, but the final boss was frustrating as all hell. Standard fare, really.

    What's more interesting to me is that I bought all three of the Etrian Odyssey games around the same time (late 2010-early 2011) and how much my life has changed since then. I began the first game right around when I met this fascinating woman on-line, who I started dating shortly thereafter. I have strong memories of flying up to meet her and her family, feeling overwhelmed and retreating to play Etrian Odyssey I for an hour or two to relax. I finished the first game as I moved up to be in the same city with her. I started the second game shortly thereafter and finished it when we had moved in together. I embarked on the third game before we were even engaged and now, as I finish Etrian Odyssey III, we've been married for almost a year and are thinking about children. Etrian Odyssey, in a way, is the mapping of my own relationship with my wife. And I'm grateful for that. I can only imagine what will happen when I start the fourth Etrian Odyssey game.

  • MORE STRETCHMO.

  • Still playing Batman, still enjoying it. I greatly appreciate the Intel system for giving hints for completing the side missions as I seemed to miss just about everything in Arkham City.

    The further away we get from Arkham Asylum makes me really appreciate what Arkham Asylum was and just how fantastic a restrained approach to Batman could be. Arkham Knight throws everything against the wall to see what sticks. Most of it does. Parts don't. The first ending is great. The first half of Knightfall is okay and the 100% ending (that I watched on YouTube because I'm not spending 10+ more hours collecting Riddler trophies) is bizarre.

  • So real talk for a second. I really love Final Fantasy. Always have. One of the things I always enjoyed about Final Fantasy was the music. I used to have multiple save files on games before certain boss fights that had certain music just so I could hear it again and again. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call is basically that in the form of a fun little rhythm game split into two different styles of action: Field Music Sequence (FMS) and Battle Music Sequence (BMS). FMS has the character running to what would normally be background or world map music. BMS involves your party of four fighting against various monsters across all of Final Fantasy.

    The art style is absolutely adorable, with everyone redrawn in a cutesy style. The quest system is much improved from the first game. Here you play through various FMS and BMS in a row, culminating in a boss fight where you either get rare scrolls to get new abilities or closer to unlocking new characters. I love it and can't seem to get enough. I played so much of the first Theatrhythm and Curtain Call just seems to be that with so much more.

    I just still question why there have to be multiple versions of the same characters. Like, it's wonderful that Benjamin from FF: Mystic Quest is here. But does there really need to be two Lightnings or three Clouds? They couldn't throw in Fang from XIII or another class from FFI or FFIII? Odd choices. Also Terra might be the most powerful character by far. Doublecasting Tranced Ultimas is no joke.

  • How is there so much to do and so much to see. I am overwhelmed already and it's been like two hours maybe.

    Enjoying it so far, though I have a few criticisms of the upgrade and skill system. Namely they try to fix both ends of the problem with the skill system in Witcher 2, and end up messing both up. The skills feel less important overall and only having a few active at a time in the lower levels is frustrating. Having to spend 10 upgrade points to get to better skills in 2 was annoying, but having numerous upgrade points unusable because I don't have the slots for equipment is even more inexcusable.

    Otherwise, I'm having fun.

    Having now finished Witcher 3, some two/three months after I originally started, I have some more thoughts. The pacing of Witcher 3 is all over the place, having an absolutely glacial first Act followed by incredibly swift second and third acts. The combat is and remains mediocre throughout the entire game and this might honestly be the worst inventory system I've ever seen in a game. I will praise the writing and story until the cows come home, but I honestly could not stand Ciri all that much. I found her a bit too bratty and frustrating to deal with.

    All in all, I enjoyed large swaths of Witcher 3, but got bogged down far too often, even as I started to ignore every non-major questline towards the mid-point of the game. An overwhelming masterpiece with some major flaws.

  • Adorable-ness, the game. I love it.

  • I really did not expect to start playing Dark Cloud 2 again, nor did I expect to put as much time into it as I have. The PS4 re-release is great and Dark Cloud 2 retains just as much charm now as it did back in 2002. The core mechanics of upgrading weapons is so satisfying. Get tired of upgrading? Go play some mini golf or go fishing! It's an incredibly dense game that I adore.

  • Let's talk about Dream Team. Let's talk about all the TALKING in Dream Team. Let's talk about talking about all the talking in Dream Team. Every plot point, every ability, every twist and turn is met with lines upon lines upon lines of dialogue.

    Oddly enough, this seems to have waned the further into the game I've gotten. New attacks have been acquired without a single tutorial. New abilities have a quick little "hey, do you want to practice this, or are you good?" It's like the developers knew they frontloaded far too much tutorial (and it seems like this has been fixed in the sequel).

    Another issue: While the 2-D/3-D sprites are gorgeous, the way some enemy attacks are drawn and animated make it difficult to determine where you need to defend. This, coupled with a much more intense game overall and enemies with subtler clues as to where they attack, make Dream Team harder than it perhaps meant to be.

    Still, even with those major complaints, Dream Team is a great Mario & Luigi game. The combat is as good as it has even been and the dialogue, while excessive, is charming. Dream Team is beautiful to look at, with expressive sprites that are breathtaking in 3-D. I've spent most of my time playing in 3-D which is something I rarely, if ever, do. It's that good.

  • Maybe it's just me, but Invisible, Inc just did not grab me. Beating an enemy when the deck is stacked against you is certainly fun, but I feel as if Invisible, Inc depowers the player in way that doesn't feel fair. I don't have nearly enough tools, or enough situational awareness of my surroundings to make use of the limited toolset I do have.

    I don't think I'm over roguelikes in general, but I think I'm done with Invisible, Inc. With all this said, I'll give it another shot on PS4 since it's coming out free with PS+.

    After giving it another shot and playing a few hours, I'm still inclined to agree with my earlier assessment. Not for me.

  • The Witness might be one of the best puzzle games I've ever played. Every facet of the island is meticulously planned and laid out in a way that's mindboggling. I still get incredibly excited every time I've found one of the "secret" puzzles in the world. I want to know more about the island. I want to uncover secrets that lay beneath. I need more. I need to KNOW.

  • After a quick attempt to play Partners in Time on the Wii U Virtual Console (protip: Don't play DS games on the Wii U Virtual Console), I hunted down a copy of the game on eBay.

    It's more Mario & Luigi. I wouldn't say it's fantastic by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm enjoying the time traveling shenanigans. Four characters to control in battle mixed with the increasing of enemy HP for the American release is a bit frustrating.

  • I have some mixed feelings on Fire Emblem Fates. At the outset, it seems to be Fire Emblem at its absolute best and the multiple storylines are each fascinating in their own rights. However, I'm having some trouble getting pulled in, and all of the characters seem extremely stereotypical. I don't think I'm going to deep dive into Fates like I did with Awakening, but I still plan on fighting my way through the three campaigns.

    Nearing the end of the year and I still have not returned to Fates. It just did not take hold with me, which is kind of a shame. I think my plan might be to restart Birthright on a higher difficulty and fight my way through, not worrying about trying to get all the child characters.

  • Pokemon Yellow has the "honor" of being one of the few Pokemon games I never played nor owned. With the 20th anniversary of Pokemon upon us and the 3DS re-release of the old classics, I figured it was time to finally dive into the tale of the electric rodent.

    Realtalk: These old games have not held up well. There's a lot of potential here, but these early games are *rough*.

    Still, I can catch 2 Mews through a glitch to transfer to Pokemon Sun/Moon, so it's not all bad.

  • Every so often I like to sit down in front of Skyrim, spend a few hours trying to install all manner of mods, and relax in some Skyrim. I never get very far. For whatever reason, I'm just not a fan of the Elder Scrolls games. I think it's a combination of the gameplay and the story, neither of which I feel are very good.

  • Fun fact: I have never actually watched a Star Wars movie. So a lot of the Star Wars references go right over my head. Is it just me, or is the gameplay super janky? I may have to spend some more time with KOTOR II, but as it stands right now, it's not really holding my interest.

    I have a love-hate relationship with most Bioware games however. I love Mass Effect 1 to death (2 & 3, less so), but I can't stand Dragon Age. I adore Jade Empire, but KOTOR isn't doing it for me, yet.

  • The Legend of Dragoon is a really fascinating game. The game is a blast to play even though it's painfully slow, even by Playstation 1 standards. Especially by Playstation 1 standards.

    But that may be part of why I love it? The game is earnest. Overwhelming so. In this modern era of meta-narratives and fourth-wall breaking, Legend of Dragoon eschews that and instead provides a very forthright story. What it lacks in subtlety, it makes up for in substance. Earnestness is a hard thing to describe, but I tend to think of it as the game respecting its own story. And that respectfulness makes me care just as much about the story than I otherwise would.

    Basically, I enjoy Legend of Dragoon more than a typical JRPG from the late 90s. A sincere and plainspoken game - doesn't try to be more than it is, but wants to be the very best at what it does. And it's pretty freaking good.

  • About two years ago (maybe three) I played through Resident Evil 2 Leon A/Claire B. Right now I'm trying out a Claire A/Leon B run.

    Is the knife useless? The knife feels useless. I can't remember if I used it once during my first run through the game. Also does Claire get a shotgun? I honestly cannot remember.

  • Maaaaaaaan, Galak-Z seemed so awesome at first glance. This game is super rough and I'm not sure if I'm enjoying it. I hate how the game saves.

  • Yo, Life Is Strange GOES SOME DARK PLACES HOLY SHIT

  • Cute and endearing twin stick shooter. Interesting health mechanic in that health doesn't really matter, instead a battery indicates the character's current "charge" and occasionally enemies will drop extra batteries. Get knocked down by losing your health means wasting precious seconds you need to kill enemies to get the batteries. It's a tad chaotic, but it works overall.

  • In order to keep myself from buying Stardew Valley, I've dived back into Rune Factory 3. It's a pretty great one of those. I have a bad habit of focusing on one or two characters to build relationships with at the expense of everyone else, which I definitely need to work on. I'm still struggling on choosing who to marry.

    Also, the main character transforms into a kung-fu sheep.

  • I am surprised by how much I'm enjoying Wolfenstein. I'm not a FPS guy, but Wolfenstein is such a blast to play. The final boss is bullshit!

  • I will never claim that the EDF games are good games. They are fantastic B-movies made into video games and they are wonderful. Over the top characters, silly dialogue, and weapons aplenty make this a treat. The framerate is not quite up to par with the console version, but the game remains playable even with dozens upon dozens of enemies on screen.

    Having unlocked the Pale Wing, I can say with some certainty that flying around the battlefield and shooting lasers at giant insects is fantastic.

  • Another roguelike that I'm terrible at but is still incredibly fun to play. Getting huge bounce combos is so satisfying.

  • Valkyria Chronicles meets Danganronpa, basically. Managed to get the Platinum trophy, which is my first one since FFX HD.

  • Earth Defense Force has never looked better! An updated remake of Earth Defense Force 2025, but with a much improved framerate and graphics, 4.1 is the definitive version of EDF. It's such a wonderful blast to play.

  • The conclusion to the Ys saga that actually takes place in the land of Ys. The gameplay remains the same as before, with a lot of bumping and grinding to slash through enemies. At least, until a boss shows up where you just hurl fireballs for days.

  • A great JRPG from the people at Falcom. It's completely sucked me in. And the main character isn't an absolute jerk or wuss for once! Seriously, Rean is actually delightful.

    Nearing the Final Chapter, wondering if I should continue on to try and Platinum. Cold Steel has been absolutely wonderful, but if I were playing it without a guide, I'd be pissed at a few things, like how all the recipes are obtuse to find and how frustrating some boss fights are.

  • More Ys, more hack and slash with Adol. Wonderful as usual.

  • With Uncharted 4 on the horizon, I've taken the time to delve into the original Uncharted games. They're pretty good so far! Some quick thoughts:

    Uncharted 1 - A great entry point, with far too much shooting dudes.

    Uncharted 2 - Less dude shooting, much more varied landscapes to traverse through. The story is a little contrived, but 2 is definitely a step up over 1.

    Uncharted 3 - I don't think I've ever soured on a game quite as rapidly as I did with Uncharted 3. It starts off with a great premise for the story and little to no gunplay - I was expecting great things! But the gameplay just wore on me after a while. Not to mention that Uncharted 3 is unforgivably challenging. Oftentimes my progress would be halted as I died and died again as swarms of enemies converged on me. I finally had to drop the difficulty down to Easy because I just wanted to see the story through. Challenge is great in games, but not in Uncharted 3.

  • My wife doesn't play a lot of video games (sidenote: is it videogames or video games? I'm leaning towards two words, I think). The ones she does like to play, she enjoys playing over and over. She was in the mood for some Mario Kart 8 so we did a few races. She's gotten pretty good! To lean on my F1 knowledge, we basically Mercedes'd it: 1-2 finishes all around.

  • I finally played Journey for the first time this year. I finally get all the critical acclaim surrounding Journey. One of the most beautiful games I've ever had the joy of playing. Journey is a masterpiece, full stop.

  • Playing a badass female Paladin named Lyndis with the Enchantress as my companion. That said, while I enjoy Diablo III, playing it mainly just makes me feel tired. I should maybe bump the difficulty up to Expert, but I worry that constantly getting stomped won't be as much fun.

  • Played the 360 version for a while until I came to this conclusion: While this is an important game in the canon of video games, since I didn't grow up with it or play it until this year, I'm not enjoying my time with it. Playing on a harder difficulty made it more intense, at least.

  • What a weird fucking thing, right? I can't tell if the solitaire is difficult or if I'm just bad at it. I'm leaving behind two or three cards about half the time, so maybe I should plan my moves slightly better.

  • My wife played a demo of this at a video game store and just had to have it. The 360 version isn't too bad, if a bit simplistic.

  • Holy shit this game is absolutely massive. Why is the UI so small? The decision to make the main character silent is frustrating, but understandable considering the customization aspect. Still, when multiple dialogue options are available, the screen will slow down to emphasize the decision you make. But then the decision isn't voiced and the other characters just continue on! It worked in Dragon Age, but doesn't work all that well here.

  • I spent way too much for this game. I love Star Fox, but damn.

  • I don't consider myself a hardcore gamer in any sense of the word, but I'm finding Furi to be a pretty fun romp. So far the most I've failed is a boss is twice, and of course this always happen during the last phase of a boss fight. Furi has one of the best soundtracks I've heard in a game in some time.

    The Burst gets special mention for that incredibly annoying final phase. I was especially fond of the Edge boss fight, which might be my favorite in the entire game.

  • I don't want to call SASRT an also-ran to Mario Kart, but it's a kart racer with numerous Sega characters. And Danica Patrick. Surprisingly fun!

  • I have no idea what's going on in the story, but hey I'm piloting this giant tank and shooting dudes so it's all good.

    Oh dear god why is Chapter 7 so brutal.

  • Oh look more Ys.

    While it is "more Ys", I have some problems with the long exposition dumps, numerous player characters, confusing upgrade system, and mashy combat. Previous Ys games have had simple stories and I definitely appreciate the attempt to expand on the story, but having characters just Metal Gear throughout narrative sequences is annoying. Having six playable characters, but only able to use three is annoying, especially when the weapon types (which gets you more money/items when killing enemies with the right type) are all duplicated. I never fully understand how to upgrade equipment, or even if it was necessary. The combat never fully clicked with me, basically prefer to mash on the attack button until the end of a combo and then fire off a special attack. Or if I had enough juice, use the Super Special attack. This worked from the beginning of the game until the very end. Most of these issues are minor in the scheme of "more Ys", but I can't help prefer something like Felghana over Celceta.

  • So I set out to give this game another chance after originally dismissing it. Nope. Still not a fan. Sorry Dragon's Crown.

  • Sometimes a man just needs some over-the-top pun action.

  • I love this game, but there is a Digimon that is literally a pile of shit. Not even figuratively. Literally.

  • So on the one hand we have a wonderful re-imagining of Rondo of Blood and on the other hand we have kind of ugly polygonal models. Thankfully, you can unlock the original version of Rondo of Blood (and Symphony of the Night), but only by completing some entirely arcane tasks. They should have been unlocked from the very start!

    And also I beat the game but Dracula got away. Then the game admonished me for not finding all of Shaft's ghosts or something. Yeah, no thanks, I'm good.

  • While Runner2 commits the cardinal sin of two loading screens before the main menu, I still really love it. Relatively challenging, but incredibly fair, I have to say that it's a delight.

    There's also a character named Whetfahrt Cheesebörger.

  • Fucking nope.

  • Mega Man 9 is still pretty fantastic! The Wily levels are a bit too brutal for my taste though.

  • I'm not so sure if I enjoyed the actual act of playing Pony Island, but I did like the story told and the way the game turned all of its idea on their head. Really neat.

  • Harvest Moon in all but name (quite literally). I haven't spent much time with Story of Seasons because something about the Harvest Moon game series sucks me in. I can never escape the farming black hole.

  • I played this game so much that I think I gave myself tendonitis. Whoops.

  • I paid $4 for this at a Gamestop and I think it might have been too much? Shinobi is not a good game.

    Most of this is due to the extreme level of difficulty found in the game. I loved Shinobi III, for instance, but I don't remember it being nearly as difficult as Shinobi 3DS. Most of the difficulty is due to unseen or rapidly appearing enemies that attack with little warning and the only defense is a "parry" so short that it's insulting. Frustrating all around.

  • It's Burnout!

  • While I have no idea what's really going on in the plot just yet, I love the direction Steins;Gate is going in. Having a ridiculous main character is pretty fun.

  • Neat little 8-bit style platformer. Seems like an NES game lost to time, which might be the highest praise I could give to it.

  • The plot of the Dead or Alive games is silly and I love it.

  • Quite possibly one of the best narrative experiences from the last console generation coupled with a game that is just not a ton of fun to play on the defaul difficulty. Maybe if I had more of a challenge or if resources weren't so plentiful, I would have enjoyed the combat more, but it was just not a fun experience. Still recommended, but if you know the strategy of "throw bottle to distract/gather, then throw molotov", you can win 90% of encounters with little trouble.

  • This is such a weird game looking at the premise. Puzzles, courtroom antics, magic, and adventure game mechanics all collide in this wonderfully charming game. While I would say it's probably the weakest game in either series, I still enjoyed it for what it was. That said, I did completley lose the thread of the plot in the final case and had to resort to using the in-game hint system to guide me. How magic works in the world of Professor Layton vs Phoneix Wright was really confusing!

  • Dragon Warrior/Quest III is one of the most important Japanese video games ever made. Not even Japense RPGS, Japanese games. Period. Dragon Warrior III represents one of the early zeniths of the role-playing genre, featuring a huge sprawling quest, compelling and emotionally gripping story, and the early implementation of a class system with seven (or eight in the remake) classes to choose from and change into. And, keep in mind, Dragon Quest III released a short three months after Final Fantasy I in Japan, showing just how ahead of the curve and mindblowing this game is and was.

    I'm currently about halfway through the GBC remake of Dragon Warrior III, running with a Hero, Fighter, Cleric, and Mage. The quest I'm in the middle of right now is to find the six magic orbs to summon a giant bird so that I can fly around the world, looking for the main bad guy Baramos.

    Finished Dragon Quest III and I still feel like DQ3 is one of the greatest JRPGs ever. The reveal of what the World of Darkness actually is remains fantastic.

  • Dragon Warrior I is such a fun game that doesn't have a whole lot of fluff surrounding it. The straightforward nature of DW1 makes it relatively easy to plow through over a couple of hours. It's just grind and go, beat the bad guy, save the princess, and you're done.

  • The story mode for Injustice was pretty fun, but good god those character models are ugly close up.

  • The bro puns were great at first, but after a short while they just feel kinda lazy. Bro Hard? Bro in Black? Really? Fucking really? Couldn't be even a little more creative? Couple that with the mediocre gameplay, and I got bored after a short while. Why are there no mid-mission checkpoints?

  • It's reverse Tetris and I love it so.

  • At the behest of my wife, mainly because I think she wanted to see some pretty ocean life and I didn't want to buy Abzu just yet.

    The game is wonderful and relaxing, but why is there such a bizzare storyline going on? Why did Endless Ocean need this? Who was asking for more storyline in their chill ocean exploration game?

  • So, first off. I played through Rise of the Tomb Raider on 360. I would exactly call it a burning dumpster fire, but it's not far off. Wonky animations, long load times, weird hiccups during cutscenes and gameplay, and just a general level of grime smeared across the screen did no favors to me during my fifteen or so hours playing Rise of the Tomb Raider. Add into that a story and protagonist I cared little for, and you have the recipe for a game I would not recommend. At least the 360 version.

  • Nostalgia is a middle of the road JRPG specifically tailored to appeal to, well, nostalgia. Not bad, not great, decent graphics for the DS.

  • A fun little DS roguelike. Less challenging than a Shiren, probably on the same level as a Pokemon Mystery Dungeon. I'm mostly done with roguelikes for the time being, however.

  • Batman style combat but in Mordor! Such a strong front half, but the disappointing finale and a combat curve that plummets very quickly leave this as one of the best games of 2014, though not the best.

    Confession: I have never actually seen or read Lord of the Rings. Any of them. I read about half of the Hobbit and was bored.

  • I need to get out of the Hinterlands. Please remind me to get the fuck out of the Hinterlands.

  • I started playing Last Specter right on the heels of Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright but my mind is not in a great place for puzzles right his moment. I'll come back to it soon.

  • DOOM is actually amazing, and this coming from someone who only casually played the very first Doom. One of the few FPSes I will play this year, and it's one of the best. The flow of combat between switching weapons, weapon mods, melee, and Glory kills keeps everything fresh and frantic. One of my favorite games this year.

  • I love so many things about the crazy Namco, Capcom, and Sega mash-up strategy game, but it's just so LONG. Every battle feels like an ordeal. The second game speeds this all up considerably, but I really just want to see as much of the first game as I can before moving on.

  • Can't stop, won't stop. Rocket League is still a constant companion. A great game to relax in the evening with, even as I'm yelling to myself about something stupid a teammate did (or, let's be honest, it was probably my fault).

    The powerups are ridiculous and I'm terrible at them.

  • The "Tales" games have never been the best of what JRPGs have to offer. They are the also-rans, the second tier, what I would consider comfort food JRPGs. That's not a bad thing. Sometimes, that's exactly what I want - to be comforted by a familiar setting, story, and gameplay. I don't need every game to be a masterpiece, sometimes I just want to relax, y'know?

    Zestiria isn't a bad game. It's a bit formulaic in the story department, with another "oh here's our Savior metaphor" plot. The character interactions are top notch and the voice acting is surprisingly good. The combat is the one thing I'm still coming to terms with. In Tales games past, the combat was on a linear plane that operated from a similar perspective to a sidescroller, but the character could run around freely and then "lock on" to the enemy plane. In Zestiria, you still lock on, but the camera doesn't necessarily lock to the side perspective. This results in more freedom, but also in the camera getting stuck on level geometry. Zooming out the camera up and out makes the combat much more manageable - I wish that option wasn't so hidden.

    I'm enjoying Zestiria a lot more than Vesperia, which seems to be sacrilege among the Tales community.

  • Now take what I said about Tales of Zestiria and flip it around. Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE might actually be a masterpiece. It's one of the freshest and most interesting JRPGs I've played in the past few years. What seems like a superficial mix of Persona style battles and Fire Emblem characters has become this intense mixture that I would heartily recommend to fans of either. The visuals alone are breathtaking - the UI is incredible and the main menu screen just screams charm and style. I can't get enough of this game and TMS♯FE makes me desperate for Persona 5.

    The main hook of the combat here are "Sessions" that work by letting your characters essentially follow up attacks that hit an enemy's weakness. For instance, if someone casts Bufu on an enemy, you might have a skill that lets you stab someone every time that happens. But someone else might have a skill that lets them follow up your stab with another slash of their own. One of the skills hints at chains larger than 3, which makes me think you can set up huge multihit chains if you have the right skills. It's fantastic.

    The two knocks would the having to go back to a certain area every time you want to forge a new weapon or character skill and the save system, which is unfortunately archaic with no autosaves. Save early, save often! And for forging weapons, there is a way to warp directly there pretty early on, but I feel like a better solution could have arisen to keep the player in the dungeon longer. Then again, there are plenty of warp points around each dungeon to get you right back to where you were and getting out allows you to rest, regroup, and heal up, so this is probably all by design.

  • I've tried to play the first Resident Evil numerous times. I actually own like four copies of this game across the ages, including the GC and DS remakes. Usually I make it to the first save point and think, "Yeah this is neat, I'll come back to it soon" AND THEN NEVER DO.

    So this time I pushed through that point, refusing to save until I reached a second save point. And y'all, now I'm invested. I just electrocuted a shark and Resident Evil is wonderful.

    I finished up Resident Evil with Jill and am contemplating a Chris run. Is the ending of Resident Evil supposed to be that quick? It felt like I just entered the labs, ran around a bit, didn't get any real story exposition or closure, and then the game just ends. I don't think Chris will shed any more light on this story, but I am curious to see how I can manage his limited inventory.

  • Oh hey look more Dragon Quest what a surprise.

    The class systems seems much more robust than previous games, but the boss of the first section of the game might be the hardest Dragon Quest boss I've ever fought. Seriously, I had to grind at the Casino for a while to grab some higher level armor that reflects heat and chill damage, then level grind some more, and then only succeeded by the skin of my teeth and that grace of the game to toss you a free Mid-Heal. Real rough stuff.

  • Danganronpa 1 was a fantastic game that had some issues with the courtroom minigames. Those minigames didn't soil the overall experience, rather they were minor annoyances.

    So Danganronpa 2's solution is to double down on those annoying minigames because fuck the player, I guess. I turned the difficulty to Gentle because I honestly, genuinely, value my time more than Danganronpa 2 seems to. It almost revels in wasting the player's time - I felt like it takes twice as long for the game to really start up and the sections in-between each murder feels agonizing. But then the actual courtroom sections in 2 feel shorter and less interesting! How Long to Beat almost backs me up on this: Danganronpa 1 takes around 24 hours to beat normally, but Danganronpa 2 clocks in at 32.

    I also have some serious issues with certain characters, especially Hiyoko and Mikan. Maybe it's the point that Hiyoko is a gigantic asshole to solely Mikan and Mikan is hypersexualized to a point where her accidentally exposing herself is a vital clue in a murder case. Maybe it's the point, but I still am not really fond of it.

  • I never played any of the Ratchet & Clank games when they were brand new, but I'm enjoying my time with this remake of the first game. It's witty and charming in a way that I appreciate. The variety of weapons is welcome and I love all of the locales. My main issue is with the combat and the constant switching of weapons/running out of ammo. It's not a major gripe, but I feel like I'm constantly having to switch to level up weapons and there really should be a faster way to switch between more than 4 weapons.

  • This game is so much harder without the Wii remote. Holy crap it is so much harder.

  • Interestingly enough, Devil Survivor 2 was the game that convinced me to keep my DSi around after I had bought a 3DS. Some DS games look *awful* on the 3DS and Devil Survivor 2 is probably the worst offender I've seen. The text is almost illegible on a 3DS and every sprite looks blurry. It's rough.

    Devil Survivor 2 is wonderful, though. Much more fleshed out than its predecessor with better characters and a more interesting plot. I always appreciated the Devil Survivor games for making it easy to plot fusions to counter-act weaknesses - something that I would normally have to consult a FAQ to try to comprehend.

  • I've never been much of an adventure game player, usually finding their inventory quirks and general gameplay boring and frustrating. That said, I'm really enjoying what I've played of Technobabylon so far. The puzzles have been challenging, but with just enough guidance to figure them out on your own and feel like a genius doing so. The voice acting is all surprisingly well-done.

    I'm also a sucker for cyberpunk, so.

  • I love Pokémon, ever since I was 10 years old and extremely jealous of my friend's copy of Pokémon Red. While I would love little more than to rush out and buy Pokémon Sun/Moon, I still have a little work to do in the previous generation. You see, I've caught 712 of the total 721 Pokémon available. 9 Pokémon stand between me and a complete Living Pokédex, which is having one of each and every Pokémon. Not just seeing them all, but actually having one of everything. Mew, Raikou, Suicune, Entei, Stantler, Ho-Oh, Jirachi, Groudon, and Heatran are the remaining Pokémon I need to capture. Mew, Raikou, Suicune, Entei, Stantler, and Jirachi are safely nestled in my copy of SoulSilver that I just need to spend some. The others I can capture in Alpha Sapphire (and I've already traded a shiny Pokémon for a Groudon).

    I need this. I need to complete the Pokédex. Maybe it's meaningless, but it's something I need to do before I play Pokémon Sun/Moon.

    Oh hey, by the way, I completed the Pokédex in X. Now to work on Alpha Sapphire.

  • Wow. Talk about a turnaround.

    I've always enjoyed the Hitman games, especially Contracts and Blood Money. They, along with Splinter Cell, really scratched that stealth itch that I've always found satisfying in games. So, when Absolution came out, I was disappointed. Disappointed in the lackluster stealth, the campaign, the numerous bugs and glitches that deleted my save several times over. And then hearing that this new Hitman is going to be an episodic, always online nightmare? Imagine my surprise with a new Hitman game that is everything I've ever wanted.

    While some Hitman purists loathe the Opportunities system, I absolutely adore it. I spent hours upon hours pouring over Blood Money to try and find a way to assassinate without getting shot full of holes. But this new Hitman helps players right out of the gate in getting to "the good stuff" and then helps the player get a great feel for the map. This is so appreciated, especially as the maps are more detailed than ever before. I have a complete mental map of Paris and it's more detailed than any idea I had of the layouts of Blood Money levels. I know exactly where the crowbars are, how to get the Sheikh outfit in the first minute or two. It's like a Unix system, I *know* this. And I love it. I'm so excited to play more of this game to uncover later levels and secrets.

  • It wasn't until I was a few hours into Chroma Squad that I realized, "oh wait I used to really love Power Rangers as a kid." Chroma Squad reminded me of just how silly and fantastic those old Power Rangers shows were. Incredibly formulaic, but still exciting to a child, Power Rangers was a staple of my childhood. I think I even went as the Red Ranger for a Halloween.

    Chroma Squad is good. I wouldn't call it some huge advancement for the Strategy RPG, but it's fun. The dialogue in-between scenes is snappy and balances a good line that dances right in the middle of witty and eye-rolling. Chroma Squad doesn't take itself too seriously and knows exactly what kind of audience its playing towards.

    My only gripe is that there's no way to rewind or back up a move! This was annoying in Final Fantasy Tactics, and it's annoying here as well.

  • I am really bad at Nuclear Throne, y'all. Like really bad. I can make it to the third world occasionally, but I still get destroyed.

  • 10 years. I've waited for this game for 10, long years. First announced when I was in-between high school and college, so much has changed between 2006 and today. I've graduated college, met a girl, moved cities, got married, and am hoping to start a family soon. I haven't been ravenously waiting for FFXV (that honor goes to Kingdom Hearts III), but it's always been in the back of my mind.

    Is it worth the long wait? In some ways yes, in many others no. It's an absolute blast to play and the most fun with a Final Fantasy I've had in some time, at least. I love the aspect of the "bro road trip" and the combat is sublime. The story, however, is a bit of a dumpster fire. How can the game just completely skip over the events of Kingsglaive and not even include a half-decent summary? Who's idea was *that*?

  • I actually bought the second Senran Kagura game dirt cheap but wanted to finish the first before moving on to it. I enjoyed a lot of Senran Kagura Burst, but after a while it just got boring and repetitive. Surprisingly good writing and characterization. The girls seem in on the joke, if that makes sense, which is important.

  • Yu-Gi-Oh! was one of my favorite animes as a teenager. This is a statement that should maybe fill me with a modicum of shame, but I tend to embrace it. I loved the ridiculous plotlines, the melodrama surrounding a children's cardgame, the over-the-top character designs, all of it.

    I played a ton of Forbidden Memories on the GBA and loved it. Legacy of the Duelist is likewise pretty fun, retelling the stories of Yu-Gi-Oh! The card game itself is extremely complicated, but I'm having a pretty good time.

    I have no idea who half the characters are on the title screen. I think the dude on the far left is from Yu-Gi-Oh 5D? Is that a thing? I think the guy on the far right is Judau, but I've been watching a lot of Gundam and might be confusing him with the guy from ZZ Gundam.

  • It was 99 cents.

  • Suda 51's free-to-play Dark Souls has its heart in the right place, but it just did not interest me. The ideas are neat and the execution isn't awful, but just none of it clicked for me like previous Suda games.

  • Ape Escape 2 is a fun time capsule to the Playstation 2 days of silly game concepts. Still a blast to play and it was only around $6 on the PS4!

  • Wild Arms 3 was, at the time, one of my favorite JRPGs on the PS2 that I never had a chance to finish. The Wild Arms games, in general, are a fun pastiche of the Wild West - a time period not really explored in RPGs. Wild Arms 3 isn't the best JRPG on the system, but it has heart and style, both of which matter to me.

  • I haven't made much progress in Spirit of Justice. I finished the first case, which was pretty great and am currently working on the DLC case. I've heard the DLC case is fine, but that the rest of the cases range from good to amazing, so I wanted to play the DLC first to avoid a Dual Destinies situation (where the DLC case was fine, but played after the final case of the game makes it a huge letdown).

  • More climbing, more shooting, more Uncharted. It's an absolutely beautiful game, one that I'm constantly stopping to look around and just admire the scenery. I'm also impressed by Naughty Dog's ability to throw in a completely new character and have him feel like a natural addition.

  • I received Pokemon Moon for Christmas because all I desire in live is to be mildly inconvenienced by a game clock that's permanently 12 hours ahead.

    I gave myself tendinitis playing this game, so it has to be good.

  • This game looks so gooooooooood.

  • I actually didn't expect a whole lot from Titanfall 2, but in the final week or so of 2016 it's rapidly become one of my favorite multiplayer FPS games. I range all over the board in terms of actual skill, but the movement and combat feel so good that I don't care when I'm awful. Calling in a Titan is such a rush that hasn't gotten old yet. In my most recent game, I was able to survive from first spawn to Titanfall (and was first to Titanfall), which is honestly one of my proudest gaming achievements this year. I'm having such a blast with Titanfall 2.

    Stim is love, Stim is life.

  • I actually backed Half-Genie Hero on Kickstarter but never finished Pirate's Curse, which is a real shame because Pirate's Curse might be my favorite Shantae game.

    I think I'm on the third or fourth island?