Best of 2020

Understandably everything is delayed, hopefully things pick up the back half of the year.

Things have picked up late year.

List items

  • Very shocked how much I enjoy this, thanks Ubi pass otherwise I wouldn't have given it a shot.

    The upgrades are meaningful, typical gear upgrades give nearly a 50% kick, plus add extra bonus when leveling 4 times.

    Combat is not overly complicated with complex combos which is right up my alley, but for others may be a detriment. However dodging or parrying often and at right time is critical if you don't want to go through tons of health potions. In general I've found most meaningful fights reasonably difficult without being way too frustratingly difficult.

    There are numerous cosmetics provided in game rewarded through puzzles and completing challenge tasks (like daily to do lists). Far more and better than I usually see in today's pay me more than game price.

    On the negative side I struggled with navigating puzzle areas (and some underground open world areas) or understanding what a new puzzle variation was wanting me to do. Each time the solution was easy enough. Some direction on where one is supposed to move in some puzzles, and an intro to new sort of puzzles on how they work would improve the negative experiences for me greatly. If not for YouTube I would have long ago gotten overly frustrated with the game because of this. Then I've gotten numerous crashes after having had played over 20 hours without 1, suddenly encountered 4 or so in a single day. Seems like the crashes usually occur when gliding and coming into contact with an object. The worse is when a crash occurs in a puzzle arena (versus in the open world) as those can't be saved while progressing and a few of them are quite lengthy (especially if puzzling out some of the mazes vs referring to youtube). Games that are prone to crashing should allow saves anywhere.

  • This game is great right from the start, well assuming you enjoyed Slay the Spire. Combat is reminiscent of Slay the Spire, beyond that this game feels far more strategic vs. having large chunks of chance muck up a run. Additionally getting upgrades/geared up always feels rewarding whereas in Slay the Spire it often felt like a hard tradeoff often not letting you leave an upgrade all smiles.

    You pick a primary class which determines your Champion hero card and class cards and your secondary class which effects the types of cards you receive.

    As you progress in your adventure you pick up card upgrades and artifacts. You get money when winning a boss fight and there are some random events. You nearly (if not always) get a choice in your rewards which is great, again leaving you smiling afterwards.

    The combat strikes a nice challenging balance, but doesn't feel overwhelmingly impossible - though at first sight some bosses fights did look a bit overwhelming, but after going thru them they definitely weren't in the end.

    There's a ton of customization per run, with the random events, the choosing of primary/secondary classes/cards, and the choices you make along the way with upgrades and path choices - 1 path will give you an artifact, another may let you upgrade character cards.

    Slay the Spire was my #1 game of 2018, and still in 2019 it would have made it in my top 5 list even though I had played it a ton already by then. This game is even more enjoyable, at least in the short run and I am hopeful long run too.

  • A fun rogue lite looter shooter. In this rogue lite you gain progression each run to unlock new characters, weapons, and scrolls for use on future runs. Each run has a pseudo randomized layout and random weapon and scroll drops. The same bosses are laid out at the end of a sector, so you know what to work towards as progressing the sector as each boss has different systems that make certain weapon combos and strategies more applicable.

    Each sector has different scenery and enemies.

    As you can imagine with all that randomness each run feels fresh and unique.

    If you are dead set on certain weapons you'll run across 1 or 2 gun vendors before the boss fight so you'll have some more random options versus just the random drops.

    Upon dying you can use tokens earned to level up stats for future runs things like starting health and ammo.

    The price is fantastic for all that is offered, this is a great game to pickup if you enjoy looter shooters or rogue lites. It can also be played coop if you are not wanting to go it solo, it's great either way.

  • Unexpectedly I prefer the turn base combat this release, as it has a bit more to it to keep you active and easy fights go by real fast. You can time blocking/dodging by pressing a button at the right time, you have to look at enemy position (unless using a skilled attack) if targeting distant enemy, if fast you can attack a downed enemy for extra damage. The combat is well animated and fun to watch.

    The story and characters are strong, especially difficult as there are numerous characters.

    I wouldn't recommend this for those that dislike cut scenes as they are as numerous as the gameplay and I think if skipped would greatly lessen the game.

    The numerous cut scenes (they are even pausable) and turn based combat make this a relaxing game to play versus the frantic past entries.

    On the negative the way they handled DLC is a bit trash like showing enterable buildings that when entered bring up a purchase this DLC to access store page. Then many of the DLC feel like things that in past would be included in a base game, especially when the base game isn't offered at a large discount. The only pro of the dlc is much of it isn't worth much so you aren't missing a ton not having it, but the way it's done day 1 and intertwined in the base game leave a nasty impression on an otherwise amazing game.

  • Really surprised how much I'm enjoying this release as pre-release marketing and gameplay didn't look that appealing to me and thought I was a bit tired of AC games. Gave it a try thanks to UPlay Connect monthly sub allowing me to try this and Watch Dogs Legions in the same month period for a much smaller $15 commitment than the $120 it would cost to try them day 1 otherwise.

    Enjoying the way the weapons feel in combat being very different from one another.

    Prefer the way Raids work vs the alliance battles in Odyssey.

    Also a bit refreshing to not have the complicated climbing of some buildings most AC games have had, nice to just be able to climb and not have to spend time finding next hand hold or camera rotation to advance.

    The puzzles this time are animus related and how to scale to an object you can't just climb too vertically, having to look for jumps and tight ropes. Also some puzzles for unlocking doors.

    The story and characters are well surfaced and interesting. Feels more narrative focused than most AC games.

  • Like Outer Worlds, another great rpg game available cheaply via GamePass.

    Combat is fun and turn based like Divinity Original Sin 2 except here you have gun/military skills vs fantasy elemental ones.

    Leveling is enjoyable letting you increase your stats and improve/increase your skill set. Having a party along allows you to spec high in multiple skills across the party having each member specialize in a few key areas.

    As the title suggests game is set in a post apocalyptical wasteland. You'll travel to town outcroppings and experience different takes on how one should live in such a world. You'll continue to unravel the mystery of the current governing body and their agenda. It's enjoyable to have multiple areas to travel to each with their own characters and missions.

  • Had a blast with this game, then put it on backburner cause it did have some bugs upon release, should be even better now. This is a Souls Like side scroller like Salt & Sanctuary. What I really enjoy about this vs most other Souls like games is it's easy to level up so you can meet the challenges ahead even if you're not the best Souls player. Leveling is straight forward and (almost) immediately accessible, very quickly I increased my damage and health so I was able to make it past the starting area and continued abusing (over)leveling to work past my lousy combat skills :). If you're looking for a Metroidvania Souls like game, you'll find this right up your alley.

  • Strong 2nd in this series below Until Dawn. It didn't take too long to finish a playthrough which I rather enjoyed as too many games get a bit dull before I manage (if I finish) to see the conclusion of the story. Being able to experience it with a friend is interesting and enjoyable, though (for me) I don't know if it's worth the extra development costs/time. I look forward to the next release from this studio.

  • Haven't finished as story drove me thru 1st game, but is not as touching this go round. However the stealth and combat are much more enjoyable and being able to adjust so many different difficulty settings versus a single adjustment is a refreshing newer trend.

  • A fun sci fi souls like game. It's got a lot of maze running and hidden passage finding. Many of the passages are only accessible during certain space time events. There are more checkpoints than in the Dark Souls series, making progressing a bit easier.