thatpinguino

Just posted the first entry in my look at the 33 dreams of Lost Odyssey's Thousand Years of Dreams here http://www.giantbomb.com/f...

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ThatPinguino's 2021 Game of the Year List

10: Loop Hero

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Loop Hero was a fun second screen game to have running when I was watching a stream or a video. Its mix of active decision making with passive gameplay makes it perfect for that specific gaming niche. If you share my need to have every waking moment filled with some sort of activity that implies progression, Loop Hero might be for you! The game definitely loses some luster if it is your primary activity. So take that into account before you pick it up.

9: Unsighted

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Unsighted was a game that I went into blind (pun intended) and came away impressed. It is a bit of Metraoidvania blended with a dash of Souls leveling mixed with some Minecraft crafting and some Zelda dungeon design. For a while I couldn’t get past how many transparent influences were at play in Unsighted, but once I realized that the crafting system allowed you to make any and all of the game’s items without blueprints as soon as you have the constituent parts, I was back in. The first playthrough of Unsighted is fairly straightforward. The second playthrough is almost certainly a speed run and that gameplay pattern was unique enough to hold my attention.

8: Roguebook

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I have a bit of a deckbuilder obsession. Given my insatiable need to build decks, when I heard Richard Garfield, the creator of Magic: The Gathering, worked on a Rogue-like deckbuilder, I had to check it out. Roguebook is one of the first deckbuilders that I’ve played that directly incentivizes building big, fat decks. The key to success in most deckbuilders is building a lean machine that does the same thing every game. You want to cut cards and exclude anything that doesn’t fit your core focus. Roguebook gives you a little more wiggle room to build a deck that does multiple things and plays differently from game to game. Unfortunately, the duration of a run is a bit too long to play the game regularly. A winning run takes about 2 hours on average and that is a big commitment for a run-based game, especially if you lose to the final boss.

7: Get In The Car, Loser

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Get in the Car, Loser is a delightfully funny and heartfelt RPG about four lesbians on a road trip to save the world from some sort of robot devil. From the jump the game had me laughing and smiling at all of the car banter and absurd setup. Even better, the game parlayed that goodwill into several larger arguments about self-acceptance and radical action in the face of a resurgence of bigotry. My one qualm with the game is that the combat system is heavily inspired by Final Fantasy XIII, my least-favorite game. As a result, I kind of hated playing Get in the Car, Loser, but that is more FFXIII’s fault than GITCL’s.

6: Tales from Off-Peak City Vol. 1

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Tales from Off-Peak City Vol. 1 did not come out this year, but I played it this year and it left such an impression on me that I simply had to shout it out. Cosmo D’s funhouse mirror version of a city block oozes charm out of its many orifices. The corner of July Avenue and Yam Street is the center of pizza-based intrigue, political revolution, and urban blight the likes of which you must play to understand. If you’re in the mood for a far-out adventure game with outstanding music and impeccable vibes, give Tales from Off-Peak City Vol 1. a look. The less you know, the better.

5: The Artful Escape

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I went into The Artful Escape with very low expectations. Coming hot on the heels of Twelve Minutes, I was not enthused to play an Annapurna published game touting a vocal cast full of movie actors. Fortunately, The Artful Escape largely utilizes its high-profile voice actors in supporting roles, opting instead to center the game around the plot: the musical awakening of the young nephew of a Bob Dylan stand-in. The game starts out grounded in the musical frustrations of a young guitarist trapped in the shadow of his famous uncle before it wildly spins out into a space-spanning adventure of personal discovery. There is not much gameplay to The Artful Escape, but the visuals, audio, and story carry the experience for its tight 4-6 hour run time.

4: Inscryption

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Like I said in my Roguebook discussion, I love deckbuilders. Once I saw the trailer for Inscryption I knew I had to give it a try. A horror themed Rogue-like deckbuilder with escape room elements seemed like my jam. Unfortunately, the actual deckbuilding in Inscryption is pretty straightforward and simple if you’ve played a lot of this style of game. Thankfully, the vibes and story carry Inscryption further than almost any other deckbuilder. Inscryption is the rare deckbuilder that I have no problem recommending to people who don’t ordinarily play card games. Give Inscryption a shot. Play to find out more, leave Google out of this.

3: Final Fantasy VII Remake: Intergrade

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I wasn’t able to actually play FFVII Remake until this year and, as a Final Fanatic, the main game blew me away. Intergrade brings Yuffie and Fort Condor into the 2020s alongside some streamlined character progression. While I’m not exactly ecstatic at where the main story seems to be going, the gameplay is still as smooth as ever and Yuffie might be my favorite of the reimagined characters to use.

2: Devotion

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Devotion technically came out in 2019, but the game was basically unbuyable until early 2021 due to some international incidents it caused. I’m happy to say it is a great horror game that is worth checking out beyond the controversy around its release! Devotion is kind of like if Silent Hill 4: The Room wasn’t a convoluted mess and decided to focus on the whole “trapped in a haunted room” vibe instead of detached Silent Hill levels. On top of having a great, scary look, Devotion centers its horror on a grounded and topical story that hits especially hard given some of the turns of the last year. Please try to check it out if you can!

1: Psychonauts 2

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I am a die-hard Psychonauts fan, so the sequel to one of my favorite games of all time had to take my top spot. Double Fine managed to refine the gameplay and improve upon the storytelling of the original game. Pyschonauts 2 uses its mind-hopping conceit to explore a shared trauma from multiple perspectives, which was an unexpectedly nuanced direction for a fairly cartoony game to take. I frankly didn’t expect Psychonauts 2 to ever come out so I’m very happy to report it was as good as I hoped a sequel to Psychonauts would be.

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My Community Endurance Run IX Plans!

After a year of preparation, it’s finally time to talk about what I’m doing for this year’s Community Endurance Run! This is definitely my most action-packed year yet and I’m excited to share the couch with a bunch of my friends this time. My schedule will have all of the events that will be on my stream, but I will not be driving for all of them, though I will always be on the couch.

Donate here!

Friday:

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We’ll be kicking off the GBCER with our traditional opening show: The blindfolded gaming challenge. The way this event works is me and a few of my friends are blindfolded while one of our friends picks an obscure, competitive video game. Once the game is navigated to the versus screen, we take our blindfolds off and play to win. This year there will be a twist: the winner will get to create a “delicious” coffee blend for the blindfolded losers to drink, sight unseen. It’s like a gross Starbucks. All of the mixers will be… eclectic and the losers will have to drink it all.

Saturday:

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We’ll be starting off bright and early with a no hit run of Furi driven by @rothgar. He’s been playing Furi on and off for years now and for some reason he wants to wake up with one of the most potentially frustrating gaming experiences imaginable.

Immediately after Furi, I will be speed running Magic Pengel: The Quest for Color. The fastest speed run time I could find was roughly 4 hours and 20 minutes and I’m looking to shave an hour off of that time. Time to set a record!

After Magic Pengel @rothgar will be back to speed run Shadow of the Colossus. He completed a tower climb two years ago. Now he’s back for a quicker run with slightly less colossi murder.

Once @rothgar is done with Shadow of the Colossus he will FINISH HIS FUCKING PLATE and complete his Dark Souls run from last year’s GBCER. He managed to raise so much money last time that he turned on too many donation incentives to complete his run. He was playing for hours, pounding Sunny D all the way to the Four Kings when he hit the wall. Now with a year of reflection and planning he thinks he has a strategy to beat the game. Tune in and keep him honest!

Sunday:

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We’ll be completing an Inside Out run of Life is Strange! By Inside Out run, I mean that we will have a couch full of people role playing as the different emotions swirling inside of Max’s head. We’ll be debating all of the decisions in the game and steering Max in the “best” possible direction! You’ll be able to donate $10 to give one emotion five minutes of direct control over Max. Choose wisely!

Donation Incentives:

You can name the main character and 3 doodles that I will use in Magic Pengel. The names will go to the highest donation with a character name in the comment.

All weekend we will have a wheel of pain that we will spin for every $15 we raise during the event. The wheel will contain minor inconveniences and major pains alike. So keep the donations coming!

I’m super excited to be endurance running again and this year I know we’re going to break the $10,000 threshold!

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Deep Listens: GBCERIX: Magic Pengel World Record Time!

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Deep Listens is a gaming podcast series I'm recording with a few of my friends. Every two weeks we pick and play a new game and then discuss it from a literary, philosophical, and game design perspective. Its kind of like a book club for video games. We try to dig as deep as we can on an individual game every episode so check it out!

In this episode Gino, Pete, and Em discuss the upcoming 9th Giantbomb Community Endurance Run! We spend most of the show breaking down Magic Pengel speed running techniques to help Gino prep for the Magic Pengel world record attempt he will be making during the GBCER. We then discuss some of the other shenanigans that we will be participating in for the show such as Blindfolded Barista gaming. We wrap up by trying to help Em find a gimmick and by announcing another round of Pete Teaches.

The Giantbomb Community Endurance Run will be April 12th - 14th! Reach out if you'd like to participate! A thread dedicated solely to the GBCER will be up soon!

You can find the team page here: https://fundraise.pencilsofpromise.org/gbcerix

GBCERIX: Magic Pengel World Record Time

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Deep Listens: Final Fantasy by the Dozen: Part Three *Featuring Rorie

This frickin' guy
This frickin' guy

Deep Listens is a gaming podcast series I'm recording with a few of my friends. Every two weeks we pick and play a new game and then discuss it from a literary, philosophical, and game design perspective. Its kind of like a book club for video games. We try to dig as deep as we can on an individual game every episode so check it out!

In this episode Gino, Chris "@zombiepie" -REDACTED-, and special guest Matt "@rorie" Rorie discuss Final Fantasy XII from the Ozmone Plains to Sochen Cave. We start out by answering a listener email on the larger aimlessness of the FF franchise. We then dive into the story's escalating stakes and how it blends compelling motivations with FF nonsense. We finish up by discussing the game's large difficulty spike around its midpoint.

Final Fantasy by the Dozen: Part 3

Final Fantasy by the Dozen: Part 2

Final Fantasy by the Dozen: Part 1

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Deep Listens: Game of Our Year 2018

Deep Listens is a gaming podcast series I'm recording with a few of my friends. Every two weeks we pick and play a new game and then discuss it from a literary, philosophical, and game design perspective. Its kind of like a book club for video games. We try to dig as deep as we can on an individual game every episode so check it out!

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We made things hard this year.
We made things hard this year.
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In this episode Gino, Pete, Billy, Em, and Chris "@zombiepie" -REDACTED- complete GotY proceedings!

The categories this year are:

Game of the Year 2018, Best Comedy, Best Drama, Best Horror, Best Action, Best Adventure, Best Character, Worst Character, Best Soundtrack, Worst Game of Our Year 2018, Worst Story And Or Written Dialogue, Prettiest Game, Best Performance/Voice Acting, Best Mechanic, Best Twist, Biggest Indictment of Capitalism, Most Replayable Classic, Gino's Platypus Award for Game That Should Not Be, Billy's Grindfather Award, John Paul Sartre Memorial Award for Game That Best Expresses the Ultimate Futility of the Human Condition, ZP's "Help I'm Trapped in Sysiphean Torment" Award, Em's Sheeple Award: Most Wildly Overstated/Overrated, and Game of Our Year 2018!

Deep Listens: Game of the Year 2018

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Deep Listens: Final Fantasy by the Dozen: Part Two *Featuring Rorie

He's remarkably swole for being in prison for so long.
He's remarkably swole for being in prison for so long.

Deep Listens is a gaming podcast series I'm recording with a few of my friends. Every two weeks we pick and play a new game and then discuss it from a literary, philosophical, and game design perspective. Its kind of like a book club for video games. We try to dig as deep as we can on an individual game every episode so check it out!

In this episode Gino, Chris "@zombiepie" -REDACTED-, and special guest Matt "@rorie" Rorie discuss Final Fantasy XII from the waterways to the Skyship Shiva. We go into the differences between the Zodiac Age License Boards, the game's insane treasure and chain systems, and the finer points of Diefacted Nethecyte. Also, what is diefacted nethecyte (nethesite?)?

Final Fantasy by the Dozen: Part 2

Catch Part One Here!

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Deep Listens: Final Fantasy by the Dozen: Part One *Featuring Rorie

Deep Listens is a gaming podcast series I'm recording with a few of my friends. Every two weeks we pick and play a new game and then discuss it from a literary, philosophical, and game design perspective. Its kind of like a book club for video games. We try to dig as deep as we can on an individual game every episode so check it out!

Who is this boy and why should we care?
Who is this boy and why should we care?

In this episode Gino, Chris "@zombiepie" -REDACTED- and, Screened/ Giantbomb's own Matt @rorie discuss the opening hours of Final Fantasy XII, true Ape Escape cannon, game guide writing, and the differences between original FFXII and the new Zodiac Age re-release. We go very deep on systems this time! Also, someone please teach ZP about if, else statements!

Final Fantasy by the Dozen: Part One

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Final Fantasy Friday the XIIIth: Parts Three and Four- The Grand Final-e

Deep Listens is a gaming podcast series I'm recording with a few of my friends. Every two weeks we pick and play a new game and then discuss it from a literary, philosophical, and game design perspective. Its kind of like a book club for video games. We try to dig as deep as we can on an individual game every episode so check it out!

In part three Gino and Chris "ZombiePie" -REDACTED- discuss chapters 4-10 of Final Fantasy XIII and answer some listener emails. There are so many chapters and so little happens. Help.

Final Fantasy Friday the XIIIth Part Three

In part four Gino and Chris "ZombiePie" -REDACTED- discuss chapters 11, 12, and 13 of Final Fantasy XIII. We answer a listener question on how we would fix the game. We then lament the game's terrible pacing, stale combat, nonsensical story, paper-thin characters, dead world, bland soundtrack, and on and on it goes. The only question that remains about FFXIII is whether it's the worst FF game of all time...

Final Fantasy Friday the XIIIth Part Four- The Grand Final-e

Next stop... FFXII!

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Final Fantasy Friday the XIIIth Parts One and Two

Deep Listens is a gaming podcast series I'm recording with a few of my friends. Every two weeks we pick and play a new game and then discuss it from a literary, philosophical, and game design perspective. Its kind of like a book club for video games. We try to dig as deep as we can on an individual game every episode so check it out!

In part one Gino and Chris "@zombiepie" -REDACTED- discuss the GBCER, take NBA questions from listeners, and discuss the first three hours of Final Fantasy XIII. We don't even leave the first level. We can't even level up after three hours. Who made this game this way and why?

Final Fantasy Friday the XIIIth Part 1

In part two Gino and Chris "@zombiepie" -REDACTED- discuss chapters 2-3 of Final Fantasy XIII and do a deep dive on the leveling and combat system in the game. We also take some emails, discuss the NBA playoffs, and lament all of the better FF games we could be playing.

Final Fantasy Friday the XIIIth Part 2

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Deep Listens: Final Foiling: Time To Talk About the FF Trading Card Game

The Quina Card is actually really good in the FF TCG
The Quina Card is actually really good in the FF TCG

Deep Listens is a gaming podcast series I'm recording with a few of my friends. Every two weeks we pick and play a new game and then discuss it from a literary, philosophical, and game design perspective. Its kind of like a book club for video games. We try to dig as deep as we can on an individual game every episode so check it out!

In this episode Gino and Chris "@zombiepie" -REDACTED- discuss the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game. We start out with some GBCER announcements and listener feedback before pivoting to the FF TCG. Chris takes exception to the fact that the FF TCG is a trading card game while Gino delves into the specifics of what separates the FF TCG from it's clear progenitor: Magic: The Gathering. We wrap up by ranking the FF TCG among all of the Final Fantasy games.

Final Foiling: Time To Talk About the FF Trading Card Game

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