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So last year I shot for beating a hundred games in one year, I ended up with 64 (one isn't the GB wiki and I don't think qualifies).

I'm debating a writing a post-mortem blog about the experience.

Long story short, I felt that was too much for a lot of reasons. So this year I figure I'm going to lower the bar quite a bit and go for 50. But this time I'll try to write a blurb about my thoughts of each one

Let's see how it goes!

Scoring system - Star system is my more or less critical opion, PE is my personal enjoyment of it. Often similar but not always.

List items

  • cleared 1/2 - 5 Stars/5PE

    I enjoyed this one quite a bit, thoughts here in my GotY 2014 list

  • cleared 1/3 - 5 Stars/5PE

    I enjoyed this one quite a bit, thoughts here in my GotY 2014 list

  • cleared 1/4 - 2 Stars/2PE

    This game is not very good. Very clearly very low budget and feels very amateurish. The story is non existent, the bosses are kunai sponges and boring,there is virtually no sound or graphics options, the enemy variation is non existent and the platforming movement is stiff. Yet it doesn't feel broken or anything, so it's hard for me to call it a 1 star, but I thought about it. I paid a dollar for it, I wouldn't suggest paying any more for it.

  • cleared 1/5 - 3 Stars/4PE

    A Poor Man's Layton. This game is alright, I liked the story and art direction quite a bit in this one. There's a raw organic simplicity to the art which helps makes this game standout. A nice thing about games of this size is you can see more of an individuals's creative vision instead of the design by committee AAA monstrosities.

    That being said, simply put the puzzles aren't that great or varied. For a puzzle game, that's kinda of a big flaw.

    Still despite being pretty easy, it was an enjoyable if brief ride.

  • cleared 1/6 - 3 Stars/3PE

    Boy am I glad I broke tendency and played this right after Puzzle Agent 1, because really this just felt like the second half of that game. There are some nice new wrinkles in this one like achievements (cool), bonus puzzles (pretty cool) and stat tracking (very cool), but on the whole the game was bit of a downer on the story side. While entertaining it felt like there was way too many ideas and plot threads jammed into this one that were hinted at or just dealt with matter of factly in a way I found very unfufilling. You could tell this was meant to be a much longer series and perhaps they didn't get aggressive enough in cutting some ideas when condensing it. Still pretty amusing game and a short amicable ride. The Puzzle difficult in this one is all over the map compared to the first, some were laughably easy and some were surprisingly tough.

  • cleared 1/7 - 2 Stars/2PE

    Law & Order (the show) is a guilty pleasure for me. Probably seen a couple hundred episodes over the years. However this game is bad. You'd think given the conversation driven nature of many Telltale games, that this would be a natural property for them to adapt. But man they really swung and missed here

    While Telltale did an excellent job aping the basic narrative structure (investigation, interrogation, trial), staccato clipped banter and tone of the show, they didn't quite nail the characters or the hyper realistic look of the series. The characters are instantly recognizable for who they are in the Telltale engine, the backgrounds while stylistic look a bit too abstract for a Law & Order game, a property all about aping reality (cases ripped right from the Headlines type stuff) without playing it up. The story also awkwardly combine super popular characters (Det.Curtis from L&O, Det. Benson from SVU and Det.Loganfrom Criminal Intent ) from different L&O properties as partners for reasons never articulated well in game. Something they very wisely avoided doing in the The Walking Dead, as the “offness” of the dialogue and VO of characters I’m very acquainted with I found to be distracting (e.g. it didn’t sound like Det. Benson or sound like something she would say).

    But perhaps most critically they never found a way to translate it into interesting gameplay. All three phases of the episode more or less play the same. You listen to some dialogue, you are then asked to pick your response and then you are asked a second question where you get to pick your rationale from 4 choices. That's really about it. There's the occasional pixel hunt for murder weapons but those multiple choice quizzes are 90% of the game.

    There's also scoring for reasons that escape me, should you guess answers wrong you'll be docked stars. I suspect you also get docked more stars if you make a few wrong guesses in the pixel hunt phase or ask a non-relevant question. This is never really communicated to the player whether or not it ties into the star system. In any event the stars have no practical effect in terms of gameplay as it only causes a fail state unless you miss quite a few of questions and rarely ever changes the dialogue other occasionally removing a potential conversation topic. Even those fail states are fortunately a minor pain at most as each segment doesn't take very long to complete (or replay).

    Where the game arguably is the most fun is in the trial phase, where your answers feel more instinctive and have additional weight to them given the secondary scoring system of how much influence you scored with the Jury. But again the score is basically meaningless, all it does is potentially trigger a plea bargain negotiation the game clearly doesn’t want you to accept ( as you won’t get 100% completion for the case if you do) and if you start to lose you have to replay the part just like you would any other phase. Phoenix Wright this is not.

    I don’t know why exactly as I should have known better, but I’m pretty disappointed.

  • finished Part 1 1/9 -5 Stars/5PE

    Even better than gave it credit for in my GotY 2014 when I had only partially played it. God I love these games. I probably placed this too low on my list

  • cleared 1/10 - 3 Stars/3PE

    Not sure I "get" this one quite yet, need to think about it some more. Score may change.

    EDIT: thought about it some more. I still haven't really played a tremendous amount of Visual Novels, but as a comic book fan and a avid reader in general I think I really like the format.

    That being said I'm not sure how much I enjoyed this one. The story was certainly compelling, you can tell Love is a writer at heart, but the hoops the player has to jump through to get to the story bits are a mix of rote simplicity and sometimes annoying seemingly arbitrary randomness. It would have helped tremendously if the game gave you an indication of what files you've shown to which Ai, while I usually remembered I did hit a wall a couple times because I needed to show an Ai a specific file I didn't realize I hadn't.

    I started Hate Plus immediately after this and the gameplay structure of it seem significantly better although simplified.

  • cleared 1/21- 4 Stars/5PE

    Kind of got off track here a bit. I meant to play Hate Story next, but then I needed to replace the CMOS battery on my mobo. By the time I was done futzing with it a few days later I had fallen down a Suikoden well on my PS3 (nearly finished) and wasn't in the mood to pick a Hate Story back up right away. So when I fired up my PC again I felt like something like more action-y.

    This game was a lot better than I was expecting based off Jeff's review and lack of enthusiasm. And admittedly for the first hour or so I didn't like it because it felt like it started slow, which is odd for a game that throws you right in with no explanations very old school in that regard.

    But kind of like Double Dragon Neon, I wonder if the sentimental nostalgia blinded both he and I a bit. Both those games just don't "feel" like games in those series,the physics in both just feel pretty different. It took me a good while in both to gte over that alienness to the mvoement.

    This game definitely has some serious shortcomings, e.g. visually the backgrounds aren't terribly exciting and I felt lacked enough contrast from the sprites and foreground. In general the aesthetics of the game lacked style. It has that annoying thing that some games do with achievements where the lower difficulty achievements don't unlock if you beat it on a higher level. It has a single save with a point of no return for collectibles (and no end game), both pet peeves of mine. And Good God that story, plot and dialogue is horrific even by NES standards. The VO and under produced cutscenes make it worse.

    However the deeper I got into the more the combat system started to speak to me and I really began to enjoy how fast Hiryuu can slash his way around the screen. Plus his mobility upgrades made traversal a heck of a lot more fun. The Boss fights were pretty decent too, about the right mix between just enough of a challenge and variety. That combat and exploration was enough to override everything else in this game I didn't care for.

    Plus it helped that the extremely irritating subtitles you can't turn off stopped being omnipresent due to a certain antagonist no longer being around to barrage the player with annouccements after a certain point.

    This is no Guacamelee, but it was a pretty good time Combat focused Metroidvania.

  • cleared 1/23 - 3 Stars/3PE

    Didn't end up quite liking this one as much as the first. The interface was cleaned up in some ways I appreciated. But the whole aspect of "hacking"/mystery solving aspect from the first game was gone. Basically this was just straight up reading, which is ok and the main reason to play these games, but it was a lesser experience as a result. I also didn't appreciate having to wait 12 real world hours after each third of the game to be able to continue onward. Neat idea, but not actually fun.

  • cleared 1/24 - 2 Stars/2PE

    Bone has a nice art direction and a solid script probably due to being a retelling of the source material, but is severely lacking in terms of gameplay or content. Furthermore it doesn't control super well, many navigation puzzles require unnecessary pixel hunting just to find the proper place to say climb an obvious ledge. Extremely short, this game clearly just an episode of a larger series although not always clearly marketed that way, could probably be smashed through an hour.

    Probably best suited for young kids

  • cleared 1/24 - 5 Stars/5PE

    I enjoyed this one quite a bit, thoughts here in my GotY 2014 list. But I didn't go into it much there.

    Besides having a story I found really appealing, (enough so that I really really drug out finishing it) what I perhaps liked the most was that this game felt like one of the best modernizations of and Adventure game mechanically I'd ever played. Far more so than say Broken Age. There were a couple puzzles that were bleh obtuse adventure game logic but for the most part the game moved at a really nice speed that kept the story and flowing prevented me from ever getting bored. I'm very excited to see what these folks can do with a larger budget (and hope this game did well!).

  • cleared 1/30 - 3 Stars/3PE

  • cleared 2/7- 4 Stars/4PE

    This game is as strange as you probably think it is.However it stays consistent and totally owns the tone wholeheartedly down the super hammy but well delivered VO work, which somehow makes it pretty good. Also the swiping fight mechanic is actually pretty good, kinda adds the same kind of Tension the Judgement Wheel system from the old Shadow Hearts games did to what would otherwise be rote turn based battles. And lastly the soundtrack is surprisingly stellar.

  • cleared 2/13 - 4 Stars/4PE

  • cleared 2/20 - 4 Stars/5PE

  • cleared 4/25 - 5 Stars/5PE

    Got back on the horse with some Good ol' Batman, haven't been finishing games lately but Batman really really grabbed me. I didn't expect to like Arkham City let alone like it better than Asylum but I did.

    Reeally when I think about the Batman : Arkham games are the "mature Zeldas" that Ocarina of Time fans always wanted. They have very similar play structures and that's a very good thing.

    Some of the key things I thought Arkham city got right was the "faster travel" as opposed to fast travel and a compass as opposed to a minimap. Seems small but those two changes made me really enjoy exploring the city much more than I typically do in open world games. Every game should do it similarly imo.

  • cleared 5/4 -4 Stars/5PE

    replayed part 1 and beat Part 2 So I guess it counts right?

  • cleared 5/20 - 4 stars/5PE

    Even a less good Batman game is still a dang good time. Arkham Origins is basically Arkham City the expansion pack and that's ok. Half the map is a retread of Arkham city (which I guess it kinda has to be since Batman always stays in Gotham more or less), the new southern half is kinda interesting. Has more of a commercial district feel and is separated from the Arkham city sector by a massive bridge.But what I was not expecting and was unpleasantly suprised to discover is that there is no area behind the walls of Arkham city, Arkham city/Old Gotham is essentially a mini island.I assume that's for coding reasons, but that makes gotham feel a whole lot smaller than what I always felt it was.

    Origins also added some neat tweaks to the combat system. Combat now has a grading system and and an objective based skill tree to level up. Origins also has more traditional boss fights than the rocksteady games typically do, which is something I appreciated.

    The story got off to real slow start and I don't feel Origins did a great job of capitalizing on the "origin" side of the story, but once it got rolling and it got significantly better. A greater focus on some of Batman's less high profile villains (Black Mask,Anarky, Copperhead etc) was a very welcome change and helped make the game feel fresher.

    but what holds back Origins is the lack of critical polish it has versus Rocksteady efforts. There are several odd clipping errors throughout the game. Scripting is occasionally unreliable, audio cuts in and out or off altogether and perhaps most critically since the predator rooms don't reset unlike City, The entire predator tree becomes a missable.

    Still it's Batman, so I dug it.

  • cleared 5/25 - 3 Stars/ 3PE

  • cleared 6/12 - 5 Stars/5 PE

  • cleared 6/13 - 3 Stars/3 PE

  • cleared 6/21 - 4 Stars. 5PE

  • cleared 6/25 - 4 Star. 5PE

  • cleared 7/10 - 5 stars, 5 PE

  • Cleared 7/12/15 - 4 Stars / 4 PE

  • cleared 8/8/2015 - 4 Star/5PE

  • cleeared 8/14/15 - 2 Stars/3PE

    see AbritraryWater's review

  • cleared 8/15/15

  • cleared 11/5/15

  • cleared 11/7/15

  • cleared 11/23/15

  • cleared 12/4/15

  • cleared 12/5/15

  • cleared 12/6/15

  • cleared 12/8

  • cleared 12/12

  • cleared 12/15 - Season Mode

  • Cleared 12/19/15

  • cleared 12/20