Untitled 2019 Games List

2019 was a year of backlog games and indie games. There was also some checking in on, or continuing with, long-running favorites.

I'm on my quest to play through the Etrian Odyssey series, and while this will be a long journey, I was happy to have the Untold games (remakes of EO 1 and 2) in order to play the older classics with some modern conveniences and graphics. Next year will likely see me tackle Persona Q2, and a few more numbered Etrian Odyssey titles.

Goose Game is a phenomenon where I'm not sure whether I like the game or the idea of the game more, but I played that and other new titles.

Blizzard has some things on the horizon that I'm going to be interested in - that long-awaited Warcraft 3 remake, and Shadowlands, but for right now all I can do is hang around in the somewhat boring Battle for Azeroth and wonder why I'm even there.

And fighting games are pretty hot right now. Mortal Kombat 11 was a fun new experience for me, and Street Fighter V is plugging along with some fresh features.

List items

  • This year began with a game I probably should have played long ago. The recent HD remaster released for PS4 was a good excuse to finally get to this. I knew Okami was supposed to be charming and I was not disappointed. It's a solid action adventure game with great aesthetics, quirkiness and humor, mythology, and characters. Comparisons to Zelda have been done, I'm sure - I'd simply say that it captures the same warm feeling as Link to the Past or Ocarina of Time (and it has the same sense of mystery of Majora's Mask).

    I hope this isn't the last we see of this IP. I can now appreciate Ammy's appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 even more, having played Okami, but I would definitely be happy to see a sequel.

  • Donut County comes directly from Giantbomb GOTY 2018 deliberations. It meets all the usual credentials for quirky indie game: charming humor and characters, simple but pretty graphics, short and sweet. Moving the hole around to consume everything in its path is fun, but I guess I would have liked it to be a bit more open like a Katamari game. Some of the puzzles are surprisingly fun and clever, but it does feel very linear. All in all, it's worth playing through at least once.

  • Being a goose is fun. I think we all wanted it deep down - to be free to flout society's rules and to disrupt order through honking and misplacing items. Goose is here to help us live this dream. It's a good dream, but very short. Even by indie game standards, there just isn't enough of Untitled Goose Game. It looks really polished and feels good to play - I just wish there were more.

    I wouldn't be surprised if others share the feeling that I like the idea of this game more than actually playing it. It's fun for a short time, sure, but there's ultimately not much there. I think I've found more enjoyment not from the game itself but from the surrounding memes and fanart. If we see an expanded version of this game with more to do, I'll be all in.

  • Another patch has just been released this month, adding even more farm map types, new events, new items, and multiplayer features. Some sort of "bountiful harvest" pun can go here, I guess. It's thanks Concerned Ape who is really a great developer that cares about continuing to polish and add to this game.

    True to the in-game story of leaving the stressed life of working for Joja Corporation and enjoying the simple life, playing Stardew Valley is a relaxing experience that lets you play at your own pace.

    I have yet to even finish my first 2-year playthrough (at which point Grandpa scores your progress, which could be considered a good stopping point), but already I am itching to start a new game to try out different starting farm types. There's enough customization with your farm and your relationships with the townsfolk that this game can be fun for multiple playthroughs.

  • I've never played the Resident Evil games. It's just not my genre, I guess. But Resident Evil 1 Remake was available on a Steam sale so I gave it a go.

    I don't really have much to comment on regarding gameplay - the cumbersome inventory, the save rooms, combat - they are what they are, I suppose, and have been talked about before. I'm really in this for the story so as long as nothing is terribly broken with the gameplay, it's fine.

    With Resident Evil 2 Remake having been released, and Resident Evil 3 Remake on the horizon I'm most interested in catching up with what's going on in the story. Resident Evil Remake was a nice introduction to this world. I like little self-contained stories like this. Yet it introduces characters like Wesker who I know will have more to do and say in later installments. I look forward to delving into 2 and 3 next year.

  • This was really a late entry for 2018, but I played this mostly after Christmas and after my 2018 list was completed, so here it is. What can I say? Tetris is a good game and we all know it. Even ESPN wants to get in on it, having just aired the amazing Classic Tetris World Championship match from last month.

    Tetris Effect has some nice modes that let me get back into Tetris in a few different ways. Marathon has been great for really testing my skills in a long run with whatever speed I'm comfortable with at the time. Quick Play is nice to just jump in and replay some of my favorite levels/songs. I also really like the challenge modes such as Purify which help you practice specific skills like downstacking.

    The best part, of course, is the music and visuals. Every stage is amazing, but somehow I can't get enough of the stratosphere stage with the puffy white clouds and the somewhat obnoxious but oddly soothing bird squawking out the tune.

  • Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl and Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight are remakes of Etrian Odyssey 1 and 2 that add modern quality-of-life features and updated graphics for the 3DS.

    Having played Etrian Odyssey 1, I can surely say this is a much-improved experience. Bittersweet as it might be losing the iconic orange "moyamoya" FOEs in favor of updated enemy models, the change is a welcome one to take advantage of the 3DS for a better-looking game. More importantly, modern Etrian Odyssey quality-of-life features make the game less of a chore - more map tools, better menus, etc.

    The biggest addition to the Untold series is the new Story mode. Rather than building a party, the player is locked into a set of main characters who provide more dialog and character interaction than a standard Etrian Odyssey experience. Classic mode is also available to forego these story additions and play with a custom party instead. The story mode experience is more akin to the Persona Q spinoffs which also add more story and character elements than the usual dungeon crawler.

    I admittedly like this type of experience more than the standard dungeon crawler experience. Dungeon crawlers tend to sprinkle in story very sparsely and let you focus on the dungeon crawling and party management. That's great, and is definitely the purest experience, but to me can feel pretty tedious when compared to a game like Untold or Persona Q. I'm a bit worried about returning to a standard Etrian Odyssey such as 4 or 5 and finding that I miss these story and character elements. We'll find out next year!

  • Fafnir Knight continues the same polished Etrian Odyssey experience started in Millennium Girl. The biggest addition to this game is the cafe (named by the player) which must be built up by learning new recipes, advertising, and developing the town. It's quite a fun side system which provides battle/dungeon buffs for your party as a reward. The food illustrations look absolutely yummy, and your resident chef is voiced by Erin Fitzgerald who is a welcome addition to any game cast.

  • With Shadowlands looming as the next expansion already, I suspect Blizzard is all too aware of fans' desire to brush Battle for Azeroth aside and move on as soon as possible. Coming off the heels of the epic Legion expansion already put this expansion in a precarious position - how can you top a battle with Sargeras? But poor writing and boring game mechanics really sealed the deal on this expansion.

    And really - if you're going to do the seafaring expansion and not give us our own ships, you're doing it wrong.

  • I never played a Mortal Kombat, though I played Injustice 2 and so was a bit familiar with NRS games coming into this. I don't know the Mortal Kombat history, but playing through story mode I can sense that there is one, and that they care about it. I enjoyed the story even being new to this universe - NRS does these modes well (Injustice 2 was also very good). Scorpion and Sub-Zero just look amazing in their cinematic scenes.

    I really like the new Krushing Blow mechanic. Having a resource that's not super meter or health - a situational resource that you can burn by landing specific blows in the right conditions is a very cool idea, and it feels great to land those blows. The Krypt mode is a cool way to unlock things, though it ends up being just a tad too grindy when you're trying to find that last costume or fatality. The towers provide a decently fun way to earn money, though.

  • Boy if Street Fighter V Champion Edition was released 3 years ago as Street Fighter V, we'd be making fun of Capcom a lot less. Anyway, it took a few years to get here but better late than never. Champion Edition is going to finally provide what feels like a full fighting game experience. We have 40 characters, plenty of good looking stages, costumes, and colors, and 2 sets of V-Skills and V-Triggers for all.

    Capcom has done a fine job turning this bare-bones game into something. It's still a really fun fighting game to play and to watch and I think it's the right move to give it one last hurrah with Champion Edition rather than already planning to move onto Street Fighter VI.

  • This fighting game is turning into something pretty special. They've finally added voices to the cast, and it looks like a full story mode may be coming next. It's a fun fighting game, so I'm looking forward to see what they add in the future.

  • As far as mobile Collectible Card Games go, Teppen is not too bad. It's fun to play, it's got some nice looking cards, and it doesn't feel like you have to spend money to enjoy it (as of now I haven't yet spent money on booster packs and I don't feel like it's hindered my experience).