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Starting to move collection, favorites, etc lists over to Backloggd. Looks like it's going to take a while, but in time I intend t...

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Collection Part 9: The Time After I Got 4K Consoles

This is the ninth part of my collection. It is split into multiple list due to list length restrictions. This covers the period from the release of the Xbox Series X on November 10th, 2020 to whenever I finish transferring all my reviews over to Backloggd.

I make a habit of putting a number (1/5 to 5/5) and about a paragraph on each game. A heart (<3) means I love the game and it's one of my all time favorites.

I haven't written any reviews here for a while, and that's because my focus is on rewriting older reviews from lists past and putting them up on Backloggd. When I get up to present you'll find out how I feel about all these new games. Spoilers, I loved Neon White!

(okay I put down some numbers for future reference. Some are not locked down, but I'll decide the specific number when I write a review and figure out which it sounds more like.)

List items

  • Switch (November 17, 2022) - TBD Needs Movement Patch

  • PS5 (November 9th, 2022) - 3/5

  • Switch (November 8th, 2022) - 4/5? Need To See Other Games

  • Phone (October 18th, 2022) - 5/5 <3

  • switch (Aug 17) - 4/5

  • ps4 (aug 16) - 2/5

  • Switch (July 23rd, 2022) - 5/5

  • Switch (July 10th, 2022) - 4/5 or 5/5?

  • Switch (June 16, 2022) - 5/5 <3

  • Xbox One or Series X or whatever (June 15, 2022) - 5/5

  • Gibbon beyond the trees (May 13th, 2022) - 4/5

  • Switch (May 4th, 2022) - 4/5

  • Switch (May 4th, 2022) - 3/5 or 2/5

  • Switch (May 4th, 2022) - 3/5 or 2/5

  • Switch (May 4th, 2022) -4/5

  • iOS (Apr 29, 2022) -4/5

  • PC (April 27, 2022) - 4/5

  • (Tandis) - PC (April 23rd, 2022) - 3/5 or 4/5

  • Switch (April 10th, 2022) - 2/5 or 1/5

  • Switch (March 25th, 2022) -5/5

  • Switch (March 7th, 2022) - 3/5

  • Xbox Series X (January 19th, 2022) - 4/5 - The second Judgment game delivers yet another amazing criminal conspiracy to unravel. The neat thing about this game is that in addition to going to Yokohama, you also spend a lot of time at a high school which is a bit neat. It's fun how out of place Yagami feels at a high school as a mid thirties cool boy detective. That said, I have issues. First, while the combat is fun and flashy in easy fights, late in the game they introduce enemies who can kill you in one hit from full health, which is super frustrating and unfun when the last fights can last 10 minutes. Additionally, some of the side activities are more of a chore than they are fun. These things are real shames in a game that is otherwise super well paced and engrossing. I wish they could get past these issues.

  • Switch (December 22nd, 2021) - 3/5 - Seems like a fun take on the basic Sonic formula. Enjoyable, but the levels are touch long for my tastes. I don't think I'll ever find the time to finish it.

  • Switch (December 16th, 2021) - 5/5 - A really satisfying little adventure. Really enjoyed coloring in the world, and doing a little bit of art here and there along the way. Was a really nice time. I do think the basic act of drawing can be a little clunky from time to time, but it was still really rewarding. Also, the writing in this game is extremely good.

  • Switch (October 30th, 2021) - 5/5 - One of the best packs in some time. Three of the five games are good to great! That's a high hit rate for a Jackbox. It's great that they made a 2nd sequel to Drawful, and in addition that Job Job is probably the best Quiplash like they've done yet. I think Poll Mines is also a very fun game, great premise with some fun twists along the way. While wheel is kind of boring and the 5th one is too confusing to bother with, the three solid ones are well worth the price of admission.

  • Switch (October 30th, 2021) - 4/5 - One of the best Mario Parties in ages. Unlike the previous game, this one is the N64 Mario Parties so that's great. The ways in which this is more like a classic Mario Party are great! I sometimes wish they went a bit farther - the ways in which it is different are sometimes annoying. However, it is a Mario Party that's true to the originals and has solid online. That's more than enough! They should put 1-3 on N64 Online though. That would be better than this.

  • PC (October 28th, 2021) - 5/5 <3 - This was on sale so I bought it so I can try out all the workshop custom characters. I now own all 3 versions. Don't be like me. Anyways Rivals still rules, I like all the stock characters and it plays really well. Plus the amount of stuff people have made for the workshop is incredible. You could mess around with custom characters for hours. My only quibble is that the community hasn't made all that many heavyweights. Small thing though!

  • Switch (October 8th, 2021) - 5/5 - An incredible sequel to Metroid Fusion, nearly 20 years later. With the exception of the counter system (which I don't like at all) everything in this game feels really tight and has some of the best mobility tools a Metroid has ever had. Additionally, the EMMI sequences are harrowing and add a lot of tension to things. The game is very well paced, and finds a good middle point between telling you where to go and letting you get completely lost. A tough balance to reach! I only wish the bosses dealt a touch less damage.

  • Switch (October 5th, 2021) - 2/5 - The basic gameplay doesn't feel good to me. Because each character has fewer moves than in Smash, each character has a lot of holes in their kit, and a lot less going on with them. I've been trying online and various characters, but I haven't found a character that I like to play as. That's pretty important. Additionally the online is a bit clunky - it takes a bit too long to get out of a match and into the next match if you don't want to rematch.

  • Switch (September 23rd, 2021) - 4/5 - Aria of Sorrow is a fantastic game. It feels just right, introduced the brilliant souls system, and has incredibly spot on aesthetics. That said, Aria of Sorrow is only one of the four games in this pack. The other 3 are either terribly antiquated, or bad to begin with. I'm really glad they put out this pack, it's interesting to play those other games for a bit, but the only one I can honestly recommend playing to completion is Aria of Sorrow. Can't wait for the DS collection!

  • Switch (September 16th, 2021) - 4/5 - Really charming and good looking game that is about 3 times longer than it should've been. I haven't been able to find 30 hours to finish the game yet, but what I've played has been fun. The combination of earthbound vibes and zelda combat works really well but it's a bit too heavy on the dialogue for my tastes.

  • PS5 (September 14th, 2021) - 5/5 <3 - Super super compelling time loop game that's a lot of fun to unravel, but also it has reasonably fun gunplay and some magic powers. While I thought it was a little slow to get started once you're powerful enough to forgo stealth and tear ass around the world it becomes super satisfying. And, like in many time loop games, learning the world and how to manipulate it is super satisfying. Loved it!

  • Switch (September 10th, 2021) - 4/5 - Really good game feel. The dive feels really good, and it's neat collecting additional moves to use over the course of the game. That said, I eventually got to a place where I didn't know where next to go and eventually put the game down. Could've used more clear direction, and perhaps a little more zest.

  • Switch (September 10th, 2021) - 3/5 - It's a very charming little game and the microgames are pretty good, most especially in 9-Volt's stage as usual. The gimmick this time adds an unpredictable element to the microgames, which is fun and quirky but also can feel sloppy and shitty. Additionally the game is extremely short and the post game stuff isn't as compelling as in the earliest WarioWare games. Fun for a time, and then it's over.

  • Xbox Series X (September 3rd, 2021) - 5/5 - Really great time loop mystery game! While it took me some time to figure out how to approach it and get past the first few puzzles, once it clicked and shortcuts started opening up I started really digging it and got through it in a couple long sessions. The set up of the game is really cool, and the scope of the game is just about right, not too big and not too small. Figuring out what's going on in the city and what you can do about it is a real pleasure.

  • Xbox Series X, Steam (August 24th, 2021) - 5/5 <3 - Extraordinary sequel! With each level in this game they deliver amazing imaginative level concepts, awe inspiring art design, and super sharp writing. There's also a lot of great open areas to explore between levels which are a great contrast to the brain worlds. The game is expertly paced and hits hard. Just an incredible accomplishment. Chef kiss of a game.

  • Switch (August 11th, 2021) - 3/5 - A pretty disappointing successor to Axiom Verge. It preserves very little of what made Axiom Verge kick ass, and feels rather loose, sloppy and half hearted in its combat and overall structure. Unlike in the first game it's really easy to be constantly lost looking for the way forward, the next power up in the progression. I had to consult walkthroughs several times. There are no bosses except for the final one, which is so easy to defeat it's not satisfying in the slightest. Just a bleh game. The only saving grace is that I always wanted to keep going, to find the next power up, even if said power up was always disappointing when I got it.

  • Xbox Series X (August 6th, 2021) - 5/5 - This game absolutely whips ass. Makes a great first impression, and is just super fun to play. The combination of Halo and Portal is exquisite and allows for a lot of wacky nonsense flanking, traps and mobility that is super fun to play with. While I do have some minor critiques about weapon variety in the long term, some of the modes and other minor details, these are small small gripes that are regular to have when you play a live game. This game rules and is free, that's what's important.

  • Switch (July 21st, 2021) - 4/5 - While it is simple for a moba and somewhat of a mess in a lot of ways, it is still rather addicting and quite satisfying when things are going well. I love to punish enemies that are overextended and I love to extend to the proper safe degree myself. I don't see this dominating my life like Heroes of the Storm did, but it's still fun to me and I can see myself playing a match or two now and again, especially if they update it often.

  • Switch (July 16th, 2021) - 3/5 - For sure the worst 3D Zelda game. Even with new controls which are mostly less annoying, there's no getting around that most everything outside of the dungeons misses hard. There's only a few non-dungeon segments that are cool, and even they lost some of their luster playing them again. It's a game that doesn't respect your time, and tries to pad out its runtime a lot. Still, the dungeons hold up and I was able to get most of the way through the game before putting it down. The worst 3D Zelda is okay enough.

  • Switch (July 9th, 2021) - 3/5 - Replayed some of this such and such years later, I don't think this game aged very well. There are a lot of "Murfy" levels where you hit a button to emulate Wii U touch screen gimmicks. These were bad levels when they were purely Gamepad gimmick and they're bad levels now that you actually play them. While the rest of the levels are okay, playing them isn't fun enough that I really want to keep going. They're just okay.

  • Xbox Series X (July 4th, 2021) - 4/5 - A great feeling game with some good character stuff mixed in. It's sort of like an action game with some persona-lite stuff around the edges. I've enjoyed my time with this game, though I've struggled to find the time to get through it. I want to finish eventually.

  • PC (June 30, 2021) - 3/5 - Fun to mess around with, but I didn't spend too long with it. Wading into battle can be fun, but I'm not very good at it and haven't spent the time to figure out how to be better at it.

  • Switch (June 11th, 2021) - 2/5 - The idea of a Tony Hawk game but with a boat instead of a skateboard is really fun, however this is just far too clunky to live up to that idea. It feels bad to play, and that makes it really hard to do anything in it. I immediately dropped it, will give it points for the concept though.

  • PS5 (June 11th, 2021) - 5/5 - This is a really really well paced and satisfying to play video game that is also technically very impressive. It really pulls you in and makes you want to spend as much time with it as possible. The weapons are fun, the movement is fun, whole game is fun.

  • PC (June 9th, 2021) - 4/5 - Fun game to hang out in, though the appeal is limited since you probably won't hang out more than a few times here.

  • PC (June 3rd, 2021) - 5/5 - This is a great little puzzle/4X game. I really enjoyed my time with it, my only issue is the one that's core to the entire genre - no matter how much you expand, exploit or explore you will never be satisfied. This game purports to help by making it finishable in an hour so each run doesn't take forever, but all that means is the main mode has a time limit on it, which can come out of nowhere and feel anti climactic. Still, it is very very satisfying and fun to me. I like it a lot, especially the endless mode which defeats the purpose of it being a short game.

  • Xbox Series X (June 2nd, 2021) - 3/5 - Seems cool and well made, and for free it's a great value, but I don't like to play Bomberman, even with the addition of a battle royale mode.

  • PC (May 28th, 2021) - 5/5 - Really satisfying game where you can turn your brain off and blast dirt. I like it, would love to spend more time in it than I did.

  • PS5 (April 30th, 2021) - 4/5 - It's a very messy game with amazing production values. While I felt compelled to keep at Returnal until I finished, I was pretty conflicted about most of my time. It's easy to get caught unaware by enemies around you, and there's not much variety between runs so it can feel repetitive. Additionally the game has a really bad difficulty curve. The first zone is the hardest zone in the game, and you have to beat it with crap weapons. After you get past that wall things get more manageable, except that runs start going 3-5 hours and you can't save and quit during them which is... absurd. Ultimately I think the game is pretty compelling, but compromised.

  • Switch (April 30th, 2021) - 3/5 - Seems a bit more tedious than the original game. Since level progression isn't based on finding secrets, but instead getting points you have to repeat the same areas many times mostly just hoping to eek out a few more points out of the same pokemon you photographed the last time. I didn't get very far, I don't imagine I'll return to it.

  • Xbox One (April 30th, 2021) - 3/5 - While there is clearly something cool here, it's very clear playing this why the original NieR did not have the immediate success Automata did. While that game is about sexy depressed androids fighting a futile war, which is immediately cool, this game is about a guy who has a sister. Weird stuff does happen, some of which is really cool, but it's a lot more sparse than in Automata. The combat is a bit clunky and the writing a bit unfocused. I fell off pretty hard before finishing A route, if I find time to return and get farther I may reevaluate.

  • Switch (April 26th, 2021) - 4/5 - Okay little 3D Platformer. Charming, but also kind of clunky and short. For one dollar on the eShop this is a perfectly fair deal. It might only last a half hour or so, but it's fun to play for that half hour.

  • Switch (April 19th, 2021) - 5/5 <3 - Still a fantastic game, top to bottom. While the game no longer has mysteries for me, it's still a fun time. To explore the world, collect all the cubes, punch in all the codes, it's all very good. Also, this very convenient in the way that all Switch games are convenient.

  • PC (April 17th, 2021) - 5/5 <3 - Apparently this is a port of Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 that works on modern machines properly and has a number of nice modern conveniences like autosaves, resolution options and more. RCT2 is an all time classic, and this feels like the definitive way to play it. Wow. Very addicting!

  • PC (April 15th, 2021) - 3/5 <3 - They put this game out on Steam! It's still the best Theme Park Simulator available! It's simple, streamlined and not too much work to make a park. Very satisfying. However, it would seem on modern machines this game has a crashing issue... and given that there's no autosave... that can be rather fucked. Still, I have a lot of fondness for this regardless. (Note: Shortly after buying this I learned there was an alternative - see the game above)

  • PC (April 1st, 2021) - 4/5 - It's fun for a session if you have enough people on board! With Parsec you can play it with people online, but it's a little cumbersome to do all the time.

  • Switch (March 26th, 2021) - 5/5 - Kaze is a fantastic indie DKC like platformer that has really well designed levels. Like in DKC2, the levels are fun both if you want to speed through them, and if you want to comb them for hidden bonus stages. I have been thinking recently it was a shame no one ever copied DKC2 and DKC3's style of hidden bonus stages, which is why I love how Kaze does so. While not perfect and certainly pretty derivative, Kaze is really tight, really fun and it has more than enough level variety to keep things interesting throughout.

  • Switch (March 8th, 2021) - 4/5 - Honestly never found the opportunity to play this too often, but it seems like a very good entry in the series. Its only serious problem is that it isn't the N64 Mario Parties.

  • Switch (February 12th, 2021) - 4/5 - The new mode in here, Bowser's Fury, is super cool. While it's a little rough around the edges and a bit short, it's a good time and well worth playing. That said, I personally enjoyed the main game here a lot less than I did first time. It's passable. Some levels are pretty good, others pretty bad, the more levels I play the less I like the game overall.

  • Xbox Series X (January 20th, 2021) - 4/5 - This is still Hitman, and Hitman is still really cool. Of the five main levels there's not really a bad one this time, which is good. However, the levels have fewer story missions than in previous installments, meaning there's fewer methods to do your murders than ever before. That sucks. Additionally, every mechanic the game adds to the formula is a miss, and detracts from the traditional formula. It's a shame this doesn't quite measure up, but it's still Hitman at heart.

  • PC (January 16th, 2021) - 5/5 <3 - These four episodes go incredible places and tie things up super well. It's really interesting how it encourages you to think for yourself as you read, there's also other throughlines that are really interesting and rich in themes. Ryukishi is great at that. While overall I personally prefer Higurashi to this, Umineko is full of novel conceits that are used to great effect. it explores its ideas super well and is fun to read as well.

  • PC (January 16th, 2021) - 5/5 <3 - I don't think it's really fair to put a number on what is essentially the first half of Umineko, but in a vacuum before knowing how the Answer Arcs conclude things, the first four episodes of Umineko are great. While the first two episodes are pretty slow and are mostly set up, episodes 3 and 4 are incredible and continually up the ante with incredible developments, incredible scenarios, incredible scenes, and really gripping climaxes. These episodes work because of the set up done in 1 and 2, so the time spent there isn't wasted. This is a great VN, love how it's basically just a big argument over whether magic is real or not. It's very novel.

  • PS5 (December 18th, 2020) -3/5 - Didn't hook me. By the time I tried it it no longer gave you a bunch of pulls for free, which killed a lot of the interest I had.

  • Switch (December 15th, 2020) - 4/5 - Pretty cool game. The way the various moves interact with each other is really interesting. That said, as a roguelike it's not a game I'll really put that much time into. Also, you can just die randomly sometimes if your enemy rolls 3 6s, and that isn't great.

  • PC (November 28th, 2020) - 5/5 <3 - It's an incredible series and I love it! It took a while to get through the first few arcs, but once I got into the back half of the third arc, Tatorigoroshi, I was 100% hooked. The characters are all so well written, the themes are so well explored, and it's all extremely fun and good. Also the spooky bits/mystery are really well considered and work really effectively. It's all so good. Everyone should read Higurashi.

  • Switch (November 20th, 2020) - 4/5 - I really like hitting the buttons and seeing stuff happen! Only problem is the missions are so long, I get tired during longer sessions with this game. Would also make it easier to commit to doing a level if the levels were more like 20 minutes long.

  • PS5 (November 16th, 2020) - 5/5 <3 - This is a tech demo in so far as Wii Sports is a tech demo. It shows off what's cool about the tech while also packing in a ton of personality and charm. I wouldn't be surprised if, like Wii Sports, no future PS5 game makes better use of the controller's gimmicks. It's really fun and doesn't overstay its welcome. My only complaints are that the PS5 Digital Version isn't represented (that's the one I got) and the motion control stuff is a little overdone.

  • Xbox Series X (November 15th, 2020) - 5/5 -Really enjoyed this game, it's a great game to turn your brain off for. You just go where they tell you to go next, do a couple story missions, and head home after. It's a nice even experience that pairs well with podcasts, especially given how boats and horses can autopilot you straight to quest objectives - great for reading Twitter or Discord midgame! Also, raiding christian monasteries is fun. You light Jesus's homes on fire and take his gold, what's not to like?

  • PS4/PS5 (November 13th, 2020) - 5/5 - An extremely charming game! Running around and catching all sorts of bugsnax is really fun, and the writing is pretty good which is good considering there's a lot of it! Only issues I have are load times in the PS4 version and the Adaptive Triggers being somewhat annoying in the PS5 version. Also, please note no save transfer between the two versions at launch, keep that in mind when choosing where to start it.

  • PS4/PS5 (November 12th, 2020) - 4/5 - While I do like that this is much more streamlined than the original Marvel's Spider-Man, I found that the changes they made to the combat made the game much less fun for me. In the original game enemies were often punch sponges, but you had loads of options for dispatching them instantly. In this game you have only one option for that, and it doesn't work a lot of the time. The traversal is still really good though, and also the story is really well written.

  • Xbox Series X (November 10th, 2020) - 2/5 - I really liked the writing and characters, which unfortunately doesn't save one of the sloppiest, messiest RPGs I've ever played. The fighting system is actually more tedious and annoying than the brawler system was, especially since the open world is now peppered with random enemies who can kill you in one hit and it's not clear which ones they are, which is not only annoying, it also makes me avoid grinding. Even outside of the RPG system, the new minigames aren't great, there are no new games in the arcades (same games as Judgment) and there are other small changes that are mostly for the worse. I'm only like 10 hours in, but I've heard it gets worse and also I don't want to spend any more time. Disappointing.