Games Beaten 2023

Anything that is gaming related that doesn't fit well anywhere else
User avatar
SpaceBooger
Moderator
Posts: 4401
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:40 am
Location: The AK-Rowdy
Contact:

Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by SpaceBooger »

Lufia and the Fortress of Doom (SNES) 1/21/23
Lunar 2: Eternal Blue (SEGA CD) 4/1/23
Crystalis (NES) 4/21/23
Life on Mars (GEN) 4/30/23
Illusion of Gaia (SNES) 5/31/23
Wonderboy in Monster World (Genesis) 6/15/23
Final Fantasy Legend (GB) 7/2/23
Metroid Prime (Wii) 7/21/23
Donkey Kong Country (SNES) 7/29/23
BLOG | BST
Systems Owned: Atari 2600 & 5200, NES, Game Boy (Original, Pocket, Color & Advance SP), DSi, 3DS, Genesis,
Sega CD, Nomad, SNES, Saturn, PS1, Dreamcast, XBox, PS2, Gamecube, Nintendo DS, Wii, PSP, PS3, WiiU, XBONE & Switch.
User avatar
Ack
Moderator
Posts: 22356
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:26 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by Ack »

1. Northern Journey (PC)(FPS)
2. Hatchpunk (PC)(FPS)
3. Might and Magic IX (PC)(RPG)
4. Star Wars: Empire at War (PC)(RTS)
5. Chasm: The Rift (PC)(FPS)
6. Real Heroes: Firefighter HD (PC)(FPS)
7. CULTIC (PC)(FPS)
8. Consortium (PC)(FPS)

9. Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 (PC)(FPS)
10. Forgive Me, Father (PC)(FPS)

11. Teomim Island (PC)(FPS)
12. Regions of Ruin (PC)(Action RPG)
13. Void Bastards (PC)(FPS)

14. Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad - Single Player (PC)(FPS)
15. Quake: Scourge of Armagon (PC)(FPS)
16. Quake: Dissolution of Eternity (PC)(FPS)

17. Bioshock Infinite (PC)(FPS)
18. Chop Goblins (PC)(FPS)
19. Ravenloft: Stone Prophet (PC)(RPG)
20. Halfway (PC)(Tactical Strategy)
21. Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood (PC)(FPS)
22. Might and Magic X - Legacy (PC)(RPG)
23. Civilization IV (PC)(4X Strategy)

24. Operation Body Count (PC)(FPS)
25. WW2 Rebuilder (PC)(Simulation)
26. Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos (PC)(Action-Adventure)
27. The Ascent: Cyber Heist (PC)(Top-Down Shooter)
28. Bright Memory Infinite (PC)(FPS)

29. Tuin (PC)(Farming Sim)
30. Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun (PC)(FPS)
31. Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef (PC)(Run and Gun)

32. Dark Messiah of Might and Magic (PC)(RPG)
33. Subnautica (PC)(Action-Adventure)
34. Frog Detective 3: Corruption in Cowboy County (PC)(Adventure)
35. The Shore (PC)(Horror Adventure)
36. Embr (PC)(Action)
37. That Which Gave Chase (PC)(Horror Adventure)
38. Witch Hunt (PC)(Horror FPS)

39. Amanda the Adventurer (PC)(Horror Adventure)
40. Shadows Peak (PC)(Horror FPS)
41. Berserk Mode (PC)(FPS)
42. Soul Calibur 2 (Arcade)(Fighting)

43. Zortch (PC)(FPS)
44. Bloodhound (PC)(FPS)
45. Poker Night at the Inventory (PC)(Traditional)
46. Ghostlore (PC)(Action RPG)


I had a slew of games that I have been playing, and I let the reviews get away from me again. I'll keep it short.

Zortch

This is an FPS done in the style of a late '90s N64 shooter. You have colorful textures, low polygons, rudimentary locational damage, and an enemy set that ranges from alien soldiers with shotguns to a guy with a wasp hive stuck on his head to robo-sawblades, to a velociraptor that when killed explodes into two smaller velociraptors. It's ridiculous, from the plot detailing how you got scammed on a free vacation to alien fast food joints to the giant billboards for extraterrestrial cola to the ship hangar you blast open and then bounce around in low gravity. And it plays delightfully well, with all guns staying useful throughout the 20 levels (including 5 boss fights). It's fast-paced and hectic, though you can also sit back and snipe with your scoped machine gun if you so desire. And yes, you do end the game by giving your vacation 1 out of 5 stars.


Bloodhound

And here is the opposite end of the spectrum. Where Zortch borrows more from the likes of Turok and Jet Force Gemini, Bloodhound takes its cues from Painkiller. You're going to Hell, and you're going to do it one locked room full of monsters, demons, and cultists at a time. Unfortunately, it lacks the goofiness of the Painkiller games and takes a bit of time to get going. Early weapons are bland and offer little worth paying attention to. That changes once you get a little ways in and discover the upper tier guns, which rely on the same ammo types but offer new strategic maneuvers. Why would I use a plain shotgun when I could pull out sawed off double barrels with a grappling hook to pull enemies towards me...and put their skulls right in line with a buckshot blast? Something else Bloodhound handles well are bosses, with arenas full of hazards to avoid while trying to take down big opponents who offer more than mere circle strafing to beat. While it's not better than the first Painkiller, Bloodhound certainly beats many of the poor follow ups that came after.


Poker Night at the Inventory

Do you want to play Texas Hold 'Em Poker with a handful of fictional characters from video games and the Internet, circa the 2000s? Because that's what this game is. Max from Sam & Max, Strong Bad, Red Heavy Weapons Guy from Team Fortress 2, and Gabe from Penny Arcade play you at cards and have conversations, which often turn murderous or awkward. And you play cards. That is...pretty much it. If you like Texas Hold 'Em and the characters, great. There are even tells the characters have that you can look for. But once you've won a few rounds, there is little to do. There were also items that could be won and unlocked for use in Team Fortress 2, but it appears random as to when these get offered up. The game has since been delisted from Steam due to the expiring licenses involved, so if you don't have it, you can't get it. The same is true for the sequel, though I don't have access to that game.


Ghostlore

If you like the original Diablo but prefer something a little less European-centric, Ghostlore may be of interest. It's an Action RPG focused around Southeast Asian folklore and set in an island chain where the walls between our world and the spirit world are breaking down. You most defeat the invading Mogui, spirits and monsters from a different plane of existence, while exploring dense jungle, ancient temples, forbidding hospitals, ruined city streets, and eventually the many different layers of Hell. To do this, you start by selecting a class, and eventually taking on two more, then mixing and matching abilities to make other, additional abilities, while also building up bonuses and triggers to kick off your powers.

For example, I have a pair of skills that puts up ice armor and summons tornadoes on nearby enemies whenever I use a movement skill. The basic dodge roll is one such skill, so by rolling away from enemies, I become tougher, freeze them in place, and then begin my attack on the locked down horde. But this is just one approach, with others involving shadow clones the player can hop between, hordes of pets, or a wild variety of other powers to check out. And then there are glyphs, which can then be comboed across a large grid with other glyphs to make you more powerful, food upgrades, gear upgrades, gems, a smithing system, quests to unlock further powera of gear, and much more. There is also technically no level cap, so you can beat the main story and then plunge the depths of Hell for all eternity if you so wish.

I really like Ghostlore. It feels fresh, and while it does have some bugs and jank, it's the kind of jank you can have fun with and enjoy. I recommend it for anyone else who wants something different from the usual Diablo clones.
Image
User avatar
ElkinFencer10
Next-Gen
Posts: 8707
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:34 pm
Location: Jonesville, North Carolina
Contact:

Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by ElkinFencer10 »

Games Beaten in 2023 - 33
* denotes a replay

January (5 Games Beaten)
1. Banner of the Maid - Switch - January 2
2. Silver Falls: 3 Down Stars - 3DS - January 8
3. Silver Falls: Episode Prelude - Switch - January 8
4. The Pathless - PlayStation 5 - January 12
5. Modern Combat: Blackout - Switch - January 14


February (7 Games Beaten)
6. Fire Emblem: Engage - Switch - February 2
7. Dragon Quest Builders 2 - PlayStation 4 - February 15
8. Silver Falls: Undertakers - Wii U - February 16
9. Silver Falls: White Inside Its Umbra - Wii U - February 18
10. Silver Falls: Guardians and Metal Exterminators - 3DS - February 22
11. Silver Falls: Frontier Fighters Mini - Browser - February 22
12. Silver Falls: Ghoul Busters - Switch - February 24


March (7 Games Beaten)
13. Red Colony - Switch - March 5
14. Hentai World - Switch - March 5
15. Silver Falls Gaiden: Deathly Delusion Destroyers - 3DS - March 9
16. Silver Falls: Galaxy Bound Curse - Game Boy Color - March 12
17. Vs. Super Mario Bros - Switch - March 13
18. Dead Space - PlayStation 5 - March 17
19. Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars - Switch - March 24


April (3 Games Beaten)
20. Super Mario Bros - NES - April 10*
21. Super Mario Bros 3 - NES - April 11*
22. Back 4 Blood - Series X - April 17


May (0 Games Beaten)
I suck :(


June (6 Games Beaten)
23. Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - Switch - June 10
24. Resident Evil 4 - PlayStation 5 - June 11
25. Hentai Girls - Switch - June 11
26. Halo Infinite - Series X - June 12
27. Star Trek: Resurgence - Series X - June 14
28. Redfall - Series X - June 18


July (5 Games Beaten)
29. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare [2019] - Xbox One - July 15
30. Neptunia: Sisters vs Sisters - PlayStation 5 - July 17
31. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered - PlayStation 4 - July 18
32. My Little Pony: A Maretime Bay Adventure - PlayStation 5 - July 18
33. Final Fantasy XVI - PlayStation 5 - July 26


33. Final Fantasy XVI - PlayStation 5 - July 26

Image

Final Fantasy is a series that I love, but it's always been a series I tend to like more in theory than in practice. They're such a massive time commitment, and since FF9, the games have seemed less and less interesting to me. From the time I first saw the reveal at the PS5 original reveal, though, I loved the look of Final Fantasy XVI. It looked dark, violent, and full of political intrigue, and that's completely my jam. I know there's been some criticism online for the complete exclusion of any non-white characters even as incidental NPCs, but all I'm going to focus on here is the game itself; I'll leave the arguments about social issues to Kotaku, Tumblr, and Twitter (although I guess it's just "X" now thanks to Elongated Muskrat).

Image

The main character, Clive, is the elder son of the archduke of the Grand Duchy of Rosaria, a small but proud country in the west of the continent of Storm. Most people are just regular people, but a small number are born as bearers, people who an use magic without a crystal. These people are brutally discriminated against by the non-magical majority and enslaved with a tattoo brand on their cheek. A select few people are dominants, those who can not only use magic but can harness the power of an eikon associated with one of the seven element. Rosaria's archducal family has always had the power of the Pheonix, the eikon of fire, passed down in its family line. Clive did not awaken as the dominant of fire, but his younger brother, Joshua, did; as such, Clive instead trains as a soldier to be the First Shield, the knight whose primary duty is the protection of the dominant of fire.

Image

Most recent Final Fantasy games used an active time combat system that's not truly turn based but not a true real time action RPG. Final Fantasy XVI is a full fledged action RPG, though. If you just stand there, you're not going to attack at all. You've got your basic attack with square and your basic ranged magic attack with triangle, but you can use magic abilities to chain attacks together. It takes some getting used to, but once you get a feel for your abilities and how to chain them together effectively, you can absolutely devastate your opponents. I still prefer classic turn based combat, but I do prefer this over the hybrid system that Final Fantasy has used for a lot of the past several entries.

Image

It should come as no surprise given that it's the first current generation Final Fantasy game, but Final Fantasy XVI is a stunningly gorgeous game. You've got two visual settings, graphics and frame rate, as is usual, but the use of the two settings here is sadly minimal. The frame rate setting wavers a lot, especially when exploring. It will range anywhere from near 60 to low 40s and high 30s. The combat frame rate, at least, is a fairly consistent 60, but the inconsistency of frame rate is a real bummer. The graphics setting, on the other hand, looks much better with details, and while the frame rate is obviously much lower, it's fairly consistently 30 fps. I almost always go for frame rate when there are settings, but in this game, I opted for the graphics setting for the sake of the consistency.

Image

Final Fantasy XVI is, potential social issues aside, a fantastic RPG. It's one of the shorter Final Fantasy games if you stick just to the main quest, but if you 100% the game like I did, it will take probably 80 hours for a playthrough. If you want the platinum trophy, you'll have to do a New Game+ playthrough on the Final Fantasy difficulty that is unlocked upon finishing the game once. It would be nice if they could fix the inconsistency with the frame rate visual mode, it would be an even better experience. Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this game and may well do another playthrough on the Final Fantasy difficulty later on. Gotta give a shout out to my buddy, Gordan; his brother won a download code for Final Fantasy XVI from a contest, but as neither Gordan nor his brother have a PlayStation 5, they gave the code to me. As a result, I got to play this incredible (and $70) game for free.
Patron Saint of Bitch Mode
User avatar
ElkinFencer10
Next-Gen
Posts: 8707
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:34 pm
Location: Jonesville, North Carolina
Contact:

Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by ElkinFencer10 »

Games Beaten in 2023 - 34
* denotes a replay

January (5 Games Beaten)
1. Banner of the Maid - Switch - January 2
2. Silver Falls: 3 Down Stars - 3DS - January 8
3. Silver Falls: Episode Prelude - Switch - January 8
4. The Pathless - PlayStation 5 - January 12
5. Modern Combat: Blackout - Switch - January 14


February (7 Games Beaten)
6. Fire Emblem: Engage - Switch - February 2
7. Dragon Quest Builders 2 - PlayStation 4 - February 15
8. Silver Falls: Undertakers - Wii U - February 16
9. Silver Falls: White Inside Its Umbra - Wii U - February 18
10. Silver Falls: Guardians and Metal Exterminators - 3DS - February 22
11. Silver Falls: Frontier Fighters Mini - Browser - February 22
12. Silver Falls: Ghoul Busters - Switch - February 24


March (7 Games Beaten)
13. Red Colony - Switch - March 5
14. Hentai World - Switch - March 5
15. Silver Falls Gaiden: Deathly Delusion Destroyers - 3DS - March 9
16. Silver Falls: Galaxy Bound Curse - Game Boy Color - March 12
17. Vs. Super Mario Bros - Switch - March 13
18. Dead Space - PlayStation 5 - March 17
19. Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars - Switch - March 24


April (3 Games Beaten)
20. Super Mario Bros - NES - April 10*
21. Super Mario Bros 3 - NES - April 11*
22. Back 4 Blood - Series X - April 17


May (0 Games Beaten)
I suck :(


June (6 Games Beaten)
23. Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - Switch - June 10
24. Resident Evil 4 - PlayStation 5 - June 11
25. Hentai Girls - Switch - June 11
26. Halo Infinite - Series X - June 12
27. Star Trek: Resurgence - Series X - June 14
28. Redfall - Series X - June 18


July (5 Games Beaten)
29. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare [2019] - Xbox One - July 15
30. Neptunia: Sisters vs Sisters - PlayStation 5 - July 17
31. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered - PlayStation 4 - July 18
32. My Little Pony: A Maretime Bay Adventure - PlayStation 5 - July 18
33. Final Fantasy XVI - PlayStation 5 - July 26
34. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II [2022] - PlayStation 5 - July 27


34. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II [2022] - PlayStation 5 - July 27

Image

When I played the 2019 Modern Warfare, I had some pretty high praise for it. It was significantly better written than the old school Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and the voice acting was better, as well. Modern Warfare II from 2022 is a direct sequel to that reboot, and while I didn't think it was quite as good as Modern Warfare, it's a fantastic sequel and a much more engaging experience than the original Modern Warfare 2.

Image

After the events of Modern Warfare, Captain Price's special task force along with some key allies are fighting against Hassan Zyani, an Iranian officer in the Quds Force, showing that the game was clearly inspired by the real-world assassination of Iranian Quds Force General Qasem Soleimani. That's the kind of touch really elevates a game for me. In addition to Iranians, you also fight a Mexican cartel smuggling drugs across the border and aiding terrorists. In other words, the Trump administration heavily influenced the storyline of this game. The game's overall story was less interesting to me than the previous Modern Warfare game (probably because Mexican gangsters and Iranian terrorists are a little - but only a little - less fun to shoot than Russians). There wasn't a "No Russian" level, but there was plenty of other brutality to make up for it.

Image

The biggest advantage Modern Warfare II has is level variety. Sometimes you're shooting Iranians on a traditional battlefield, sometimes you're blasting Mexican gangsters in urban combat. Sometimes you're driving a truck through a chaotic highway battle, sometimes you're controlling the guns in an aerial gunboat. Sometimes you're using range and stealth to snipe enemies from afar, sometimes you're sneaking around incognito like James Bond. It never gets boring because you never know what the neve level will bring you.

Image

When I first fired up this game, I was stunned. I seriously pulled out my phone and texted one of my friends and said "I've seriously never seen a FPS game with graphics this good." It's not necessarily THE prettiest game out there of all genres, but at least of the FPS games I've played, Modern Warfare II is definitely the most visually impressive. Sound design is fantastic and the voice acting is stellar. The level design is, for the part, excellent with a lot of variety in objectives to keep things interesting. If you're into modern military shooters, then this is an excellent one. I'm not one for Warzone, but the regular multiplayer is just as much fun as you'd expect. As with most of the Call of Duty series, it's not perfect, but it's a damn good time.
Patron Saint of Bitch Mode
User avatar
Markies
Next-Gen
Posts: 1441
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:29 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Contact:

Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by Markies »

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2023!
***Denotes Replay For Completion***

***1. Dragon Valor (PS1)***
2. Breath Of Fire (GBA)
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge (NS)
4. World Of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse And Donald Duck (GEN)
5. XIII (GCN)
6. NES Remix Pack (WiiU)
7. Dr. Mario (GBC)
***8. Bully (PS2)***
9. Dragon's Crown (PS3)
10. Bangai-O (SDC)
11. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)
12. Destruction Derby (PS1)
13. X-Men Legends II: Rise Of Apocalypse (XBOX)
14. Vice: Project Doom (NES)
***15. Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm (PS2)***
16. Terranigma (SNES)
***17. Super Street Fighter II (GEN)***
18. Guitar Hero II (PS2)
19. Kirby's Dream Land (GBC)
***20. Gunbird 2 (SDC)***
***21. Stella Deus: The Gate Of Eternity (PS2)***
22. I Am Setsuna (NS)
23. DuckTales: Remastered (WiiU)
***24. The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past (SNES)***
***25. Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers 2 (NES)***
26. Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade (GBA)

27. Prince Of Persia: The Two Thrones (XBOX)

Image

I beat Prince Of Persia: The Two Thrones on the Microsoft XBOX this evening!

I have been slowly going through the Prince of Persia series on my XBOX. I beat Sands of Time back in 2015 and I beat Warrior Within back in 2018. I really liked Sands of Time, but I did not enjoy Warrior Within all that much. Wanting to finish the series, I purchased Two Thrones right after I beat my Backlog and I was looking for a XBOX game to play. I had heard some people say that Two Thrones was the best in the series, but I was a little hesitant after Warrior Within. But, I was craving some more of that Prince of Persia style of gameplay, so I decided to jump in and see what I found.

I was happy to see that Two Thrones was much better and ends the series on a high note. The game play is a mixture of the first two games. You still do a ton of platforming and puzzle jumping throughout the entire game while being able to manipulate time. Also, you turn into your dark self during specific parts in the game and the game becomes more combat focused. Thankfully, these segments aren't too long and none of them overstay their welcome. The main focus is the platforming and the puzzles that you run into within each room. Most of these are very enjoyable, though some of them can be very cruel and require the most precise timing. The combat as also been revamped as you can do almost stealth quick kills that trigger an almost QTE. When done correctly, they are very satisfying and helps alleviate the repetitive combat. If you don't do it correctly, then the combat falls apart and becomes rather annoying. The game offers little music and the graphics are maybe a slight better than the previous games. The story starts off a bit confusing because it had been so long since I played the other games, but that was soon patched over and I began to enjoy the character interactions throughout the game.

Overall, I would say that I mostly enjoyed my time with Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones. Warrior Within left quite a large sour taste in my mouth, so I was happy to see that the series could do well here. This development team would go on to make the Assassin's Creek games and after playing the first, you could really tell how the games compliment each other. I would say Sands of Time was my favorite just because it never has any of the Dark Prince stuff in it. But, I would say Two Thrones is worth playing as well and an excellent final chapter to the saga!
Image
User avatar
ElkinFencer10
Next-Gen
Posts: 8707
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:34 pm
Location: Jonesville, North Carolina
Contact:

Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by ElkinFencer10 »

Games Beaten in 2023 - 35
* denotes a replay

January (5 Games Beaten)
1. Banner of the Maid - Switch - January 2
2. Silver Falls: 3 Down Stars - 3DS - January 8
3. Silver Falls: Episode Prelude - Switch - January 8
4. The Pathless - PlayStation 5 - January 12
5. Modern Combat: Blackout - Switch - January 14


February (7 Games Beaten)
6. Fire Emblem: Engage - Switch - February 2
7. Dragon Quest Builders 2 - PlayStation 4 - February 15
8. Silver Falls: Undertakers - Wii U - February 16
9. Silver Falls: White Inside Its Umbra - Wii U - February 18
10. Silver Falls: Guardians and Metal Exterminators - 3DS - February 22
11. Silver Falls: Frontier Fighters Mini - Browser - February 22
12. Silver Falls: Ghoul Busters - Switch - February 24


March (7 Games Beaten)
13. Red Colony - Switch - March 5
14. Hentai World - Switch - March 5
15. Silver Falls Gaiden: Deathly Delusion Destroyers - 3DS - March 9
16. Silver Falls: Galaxy Bound Curse - Game Boy Color - March 12
17. Vs. Super Mario Bros - Switch - March 13
18. Dead Space - PlayStation 5 - March 17
19. Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars - Switch - March 24


April (3 Games Beaten)
20. Super Mario Bros - NES - April 10*
21. Super Mario Bros 3 - NES - April 11*
22. Back 4 Blood - Series X - April 17


May (0 Games Beaten)
I suck :(


June (6 Games Beaten)
23. Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - Switch - June 10
24. Resident Evil 4 - PlayStation 5 - June 11
25. Hentai Girls - Switch - June 11
26. Halo Infinite - Series X - June 12
27. Star Trek: Resurgence - Series X - June 14
28. Redfall - Series X - June 18


July (7 Games Beaten)
29. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare [2019] - Xbox One - July 15
30. Neptunia: Sisters vs Sisters - PlayStation 5 - July 17
31. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered - PlayStation 4 - July 18
32. My Little Pony: A Maretime Bay Adventure - PlayStation 5 - July 18
33. Final Fantasy XVI - PlayStation 5 - July 26
34. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II [2022] - PlayStation 5 - July 27
35. Gears of War Ultimate Edition - Xbox One - July 27


35. Gears of War Ultimate Edition - Xbox One - July 27

Image

Gears of War was one of the flagship IPs for Microsoft in the Xbox 360 days. Unfortunately, it's been somewhat neglected lately, but the Xbox One days still held some love for Gears of War. While Gears 2, 3, and Judgement have been neglected, the original game got a nice Xbox One remaster. It's got some bug issues, but it's definitely the way to play these days, and it's totally a game worth playing.

Image

The premise of the game is that humans on the planet Sera have, like the humans on Earth, been fighting each other for forever. That all changed on Emergence Day when the Locust, subterranean reptile people, burst from the ground and started ravaging the human cities. Clearly Hillary Clinton leads the Locust. You play as Marcus Fenix, a soldier for COG, the Coalition of Ordered Governments, as he works alongside Dom, Baird, and Cole (the best character in the entire series) to hit back at the Locust and win the war for humanity.

Image

Gears of War is a third-person shooter where almost all of the men are victims of chronic steroid abuse. The roided up bros tear through the Locust - literally since they have chainsaws on their rifles - as they dart from cover to cover. Since this was a mid-2000s Xbox 360 game originally, the game exists almost exclusively in shades of grey and brown save for the red of the blood. It originally turned me off of the game back in the day - I hate the desaturated aesthetic that was so prevalent back in those days - but the game itself and its gratuitous violence is undeniably awesome

Image

Gears of War was a trip down memory lane for me. Playing it co-operatively with my childhood friend Grant was a ton of fun and definitely more enjoyable than playing through solo. The original is available on Xbox 360, this remaster is available on Xbox One, and both versions are playable on Xbox Series X via backwards compatibility. It's also playable on Windows, so if you've never dived into Sera to battle the Locust, definitely give it a go.
Patron Saint of Bitch Mode
User avatar
MrPopo
Moderator
Posts: 23954
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:01 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by MrPopo »

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022

1. Void Destroyer - PC
2. Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights - Switch
3. Raging Blasters - Switch
4. Citizen Sleeper - Switch
5. GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon
6. Hands of Necromancy - PC
7. Project Downfall - PC
8. Chasm: The Rift - PC
9. Cultic - PC
10. Kirby Super Star - SNES
11. Kirby's Dream Land 2 - GB
12. Kirby's Dream Land 3 - SNES
13. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards - N64
14. Fire Emblem Engage - Switch
15. Mechwarrior 5: Rise of Rasalhague - PC
16. Kirby's Epic Yarn - Wii
17. Kirby's Return to Dreamland - Wii
18. Mega Man 7 - SNES
19. Mega Man 8 - PS1
20. Conquest: Frontier Wars - PC
21. Theatrhythm Final Bar Line - Switch
22. Octopath Traveler II - Switch
23. Last Call BBS - PC
24. The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure - Switch
25. Dread Templar - PC
26. The Great War: Western Front - PC
27. GrimGrimoire OnceMore - PS5
28. Haegemonia: Legions of Iron - PC
29. Everspace 2 - PC
30. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor - PC
31. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - Switch
32. Warhammer 40000: Boltgun - PC
33. Diablo 4 - PC
34. System Shock (2023) - PC
35. Huntdown - Switch
36. HROT - PC
37. Armored Core V - PS3
38. Armored Core: Verdict Day - PS3
39. Aliens: Dark Descent - PC
40. Zone of the Enders HD - PS3
41. Trails into Reverie - Switch

Trails into Reverie serves as a coda to both the Zero/Azure duology and the four Cold Steel games. It's on the same engine as Cold Steel and it seeks to follow up on the end state of Cold Steel 4. While Cold Steel 4 wraps up the primary plot that had been running through those games, there were still a lot of loose ends and "and now what do they do?" going on with the characters. It wasn't really appropriate from a pacing standpoint to have it be in Cold Steel 4, so Reverie exists to put a bow on things. In this way, it serves the same purpose as Trails in the Sky the 3rd.

The game starts off with the SSS kicking out the remaining Imperial troops in Crossbell who ignore the stand down order at the end of Cold Steel 4. Following this, Crossbell plans to have internationally recognized independence, but the event is stopped and the SSS is scattered across the countryside. Meanwhile, the new Class VII finds out that Prince Olivert's honeymoon cruise disappears without a trace. And there is a mysterious man going by the moniker of C who seems to have some plans afoot, with it being unclear how he ties in with the other things going on. Of course, if you've ever experienced a story before, you know things are going to come together by the end.

The main innovation is the fact that you have three plotlines occurring concurrently, and you can hop between them nearly at will. You can't jump into a character's story if their storyline in the current act is done, and you often will find a given character's story is blocked until you move another character's story forward (and once you do it makes perfect sense why you had to wait). For the most part, you'll run a character until they block, then move to the next, but if you want to you can hop between them at any moment. Additionally, there is an out-of-time dungeon called the Reverie Corridor; this resembles the primary dungeon of Sky the Third, where you have a random setup without any real tie to anything. The primary purpose of this is to unlock more story insights. As you proceed you will unlock the ability to view daydreams, which are events that happened in the near past that gives you more insights into the characters (and gives you some solid rewards). You can't experience all of them until the postgame, and there's definitely some that you want to see, so you'll definitely be doing some of the postgame.

Aside from that, if you played the Cold Steel series there isn't really anything new. They added a feature that lets you use that resource that you normally used for a free preemptive during main battles; you can spend a character's turn to get 2BP and then either do a full party (including reserves) physical or magical attack, or just do a solid full party heal. It's just another option in combat but doesn't really change the shape like how the break gauge did.

Trails into Reverie serves as the halfway point to the overall story arc of the Trails series, wrapping things up for the current crop of characters and giving some hints as to where things are going to move next. It is 100% not a game to use as a jumping in point for the series, but if you have been following along so far you already have this and don't need to read this review. You're in for the long haul.
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
User avatar
ElkinFencer10
Next-Gen
Posts: 8707
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:34 pm
Location: Jonesville, North Carolina
Contact:

Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by ElkinFencer10 »

Games Beaten in 2023 - 36
* denotes a replay

January (5 Games Beaten)
1. Banner of the Maid - Switch - January 2
2. Silver Falls: 3 Down Stars - 3DS - January 8
3. Silver Falls: Episode Prelude - Switch - January 8
4. The Pathless - PlayStation 5 - January 12
5. Modern Combat: Blackout - Switch - January 14


February (7 Games Beaten)
6. Fire Emblem: Engage - Switch - February 2
7. Dragon Quest Builders 2 - PlayStation 4 - February 15
8. Silver Falls: Undertakers - Wii U - February 16
9. Silver Falls: White Inside Its Umbra - Wii U - February 18
10. Silver Falls: Guardians and Metal Exterminators - 3DS - February 22
11. Silver Falls: Frontier Fighters Mini - Browser - February 22
12. Silver Falls: Ghoul Busters - Switch - February 24


March (7 Games Beaten)
13. Red Colony - Switch - March 5
14. Hentai World - Switch - March 5
15. Silver Falls Gaiden: Deathly Delusion Destroyers - 3DS - March 9
16. Silver Falls: Galaxy Bound Curse - Game Boy Color - March 12
17. Vs. Super Mario Bros - Switch - March 13
18. Dead Space - PlayStation 5 - March 17
19. Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars - Switch - March 24


April (3 Games Beaten)
20. Super Mario Bros - NES - April 10*
21. Super Mario Bros 3 - NES - April 11*
22. Back 4 Blood - Series X - April 17


May (0 Games Beaten)
I suck :(


June (6 Games Beaten)
23. Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - Switch - June 10
24. Resident Evil 4 - PlayStation 5 - June 11
25. Hentai Girls - Switch - June 11
26. Halo Infinite - Series X - June 12
27. Star Trek: Resurgence - Series X - June 14
28. Redfall - Series X - June 18


July (8 Games Beaten)
29. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare [2019] - Xbox One - July 15
30. Neptunia: Sisters vs Sisters - PlayStation 5 - July 17
31. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered - PlayStation 4 - July 18
32. My Little Pony: A Maretime Bay Adventure - PlayStation 5 - July 18
33. Final Fantasy XVI - PlayStation 5 - July 26
34. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II [2022] - PlayStation 5 - July 27
35. Gears of War Ultimate Edition - Xbox One - July 27
36. Gears of War 2 - Xbox 360 - July 30*


36. Gears of War 2 - Xbox 360 - July 30*

Image

Gears of War 2 was Microsoft's and Epic's follow-up to the absolutely killer original game. It unfortunately never got a remaster for a stronger Xbox console like the original did, but it's still playable on modern Xbox consoles via backwards compatibility.

Image

Since the Locust clearly weren't killed over the course of the first game, Marcus, Dom, Baird, and Cole are back to the battlefield against the reptilian horde, and you start off in the meat grinder almost from the get-go fighting off an attack on Jacinto, the last remaining human stronghold. From there, you launch into a massive counteroffensive to take the fight to the Locust. As you would expect, though, not everything does to plan; after all, no plan ever survives contact with the enemy. Over the course of the game, you finally get some solid character development for the Roid Boys and the glorious Cole Train.

Image

The game looks rough by today's standards, but it's pretty damn good looking for the time period and the hardware it was released on. I'd love to see a remaster like the original game got, but even without that, it's absolutely playable. The frame rate is consistent even on original Xbox 360 hardware, and if you're playing on Xbox One or Xbox Series X, that frame rate consistency is only more stable. Gameplay wise, it's pretty much exactly the same as the first game with no major changes or additions. The Hammerburst is a single shot weapon now instead of a burst fire weapon, but aside from that and a couple of new guns like the mortar and flamethrower, the combat and game mechanics are pretty much the same.

Image

Gears of War 2 is a great follow-up. The characters finally get some real development, the story and world get fleshed out a little, and the action gets a serious bump up. The game is still dreadfully drab with its desaturated color scheme, but that's just a product of being a gritty game made in the mid 2000s. The action still holds up extremely well today, and it's still a blast to play especially if you play co-op.
Patron Saint of Bitch Mode
User avatar
ElkinFencer10
Next-Gen
Posts: 8707
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:34 pm
Location: Jonesville, North Carolina
Contact:

Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by ElkinFencer10 »

Games Beaten in 2023 - 37
* denotes a replay

January (5 Games Beaten)
1. Banner of the Maid - Switch - January 2
2. Silver Falls: 3 Down Stars - 3DS - January 8
3. Silver Falls: Episode Prelude - Switch - January 8
4. The Pathless - PlayStation 5 - January 12
5. Modern Combat: Blackout - Switch - January 14


February (7 Games Beaten)
6. Fire Emblem: Engage - Switch - February 2
7. Dragon Quest Builders 2 - PlayStation 4 - February 15
8. Silver Falls: Undertakers - Wii U - February 16
9. Silver Falls: White Inside Its Umbra - Wii U - February 18
10. Silver Falls: Guardians and Metal Exterminators - 3DS - February 22
11. Silver Falls: Frontier Fighters Mini - Browser - February 22
12. Silver Falls: Ghoul Busters - Switch - February 24


March (7 Games Beaten)
13. Red Colony - Switch - March 5
14. Hentai World - Switch - March 5
15. Silver Falls Gaiden: Deathly Delusion Destroyers - 3DS - March 9
16. Silver Falls: Galaxy Bound Curse - Game Boy Color - March 12
17. Vs. Super Mario Bros - Switch - March 13
18. Dead Space - PlayStation 5 - March 17
19. Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars - Switch - March 24


April (3 Games Beaten)
20. Super Mario Bros - NES - April 10*
21. Super Mario Bros 3 - NES - April 11*
22. Back 4 Blood - Series X - April 17


May (0 Games Beaten)
I suck :(


June (6 Games Beaten)
23. Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - Switch - June 10
24. Resident Evil 4 - PlayStation 5 - June 11
25. Hentai Girls - Switch - June 11
26. Halo Infinite - Series X - June 12
27. Star Trek: Resurgence - Series X - June 14
28. Redfall - Series X - June 18


July (8 Games Beaten)
29. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare [2019] - Xbox One - July 15
30. Neptunia: Sisters vs Sisters - PlayStation 5 - July 17
31. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered - PlayStation 4 - July 18
32. My Little Pony: A Maretime Bay Adventure - PlayStation 5 - July 18
33. Final Fantasy XVI - PlayStation 5 - July 26
34. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II [2022] - PlayStation 5 - July 27
35. Gears of War Ultimate Edition - Xbox One - July 27
36. Gears of War 2 - Xbox 360 - July 30*


August (1 Games Beaten)
37. Call of Duty: World at War - Xbox 360 - August 2*


37. Call of Duty: World at War - Xbox 360 - August 2*

Image

I first played Call of Duty: World at War when it originally came out a good 15 years ago, but back then, I played on Wii. To be clear, I unironically and genuinely love Call of Duty on Wii. With the 360 Call of Duty games being backwards compatible on Xbox Series X, though, I wanted to collect the old 360 games partly for nostalgia and partly to revisit them on a different system for fun. After all, they're dirt cheap these days.

Image

Call of Duty: World at War was the last World War II Call of Duty game for a long while. It's usually looked at as the black sheep of the WW2 CoD games, at least from my experience, and while I don't disagree with the assessment that the other World War II games in the series are better, that's not to say that World at War is bad. You spend the campaign bouncing between playing as American Marines fighting against the Japanese and Soviet army fighting against the Nazis towards the end of the war. Because, as we all know, Russians are terrible, I used a historical loophole to comfort myself and insisted that I was actually a Ukrainian soldier in the Soviet army. Probably wasn't true, but the thought of playing as a Russian in a heroic role is just gross. Anyway, you do a couple of missions as the Soviets, a couple of missions as the Americans, then back to the Soviets, etc. The campaign culminates with the storming of Shuri Castle during the Battle of Okinawa for the Pacific theater and the storming of the Reichstag during the Battle of Berlin for the European theater.

Image

The looks pretty damn good for a relatively early Xbox 360 game, and the action in the campaign is absolutely awesome. My main complaint with the campaign is simply that it feels a little disjointed, not with the content of the fighting itself. It's a bit jarring to jump back and forth between armies and theaters of war over the course of the game. That's not at all unusual for Call of Duty - the series still does that today - but it's not a method of presentation that I tend to prefer. Within the missions, though, there's a pretty solid amount of variety of action. In one mission, you clear out trenches and machine gun nests in the jungles of the Pacific with a flamethrower. In one, you play as a bomber gunner supporting American ships during a naval battle. Then you might be driving a Soviet tank through the German countryside, blasting German tanks and watchtowers along the way. In Shuri Castle, you get to pick up actual mortar shells and just yeet them at the enemies like gigantic grenades, and in the Reichstag, you have to contend with absolutely brutal combat against wave after wave of Nazi defenders. The storytelling and character presentation may have left a lot to be desired in my opinion, but the action was absolutely spot-on.

Image

If all you want is a good World War II experience, there are truthfully better choices than Call of Duty: World at War. That doesn't mean that this one's a bad choice, though. Whether it's on Wii, PS3, 360, or PC, just because it's not the best at what it does doesn't mean that it doesn't do it well (super confusing but somehow grammatically correct sentences for $800, please Alex). If you're wanting a good World War II story, I'd turn your attention to Call of Duty: Vanguard or Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. If all you really care about is Nazi and Japanese killing action, though, you can do a lot worse than World at War.
Patron Saint of Bitch Mode
User avatar
Ack
Moderator
Posts: 22356
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:26 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by Ack »

1. Northern Journey (PC)(FPS)
2. Hatchpunk (PC)(FPS)
3. Might and Magic IX (PC)(RPG)
4. Star Wars: Empire at War (PC)(RTS)
5. Chasm: The Rift (PC)(FPS)
6. Real Heroes: Firefighter HD (PC)(FPS)
7. CULTIC (PC)(FPS)
8. Consortium (PC)(FPS)

9. Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 (PC)(FPS)
10. Forgive Me, Father (PC)(FPS)

11. Teomim Island (PC)(FPS)
12. Regions of Ruin (PC)(Action RPG)
13. Void Bastards (PC)(FPS)

14. Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad - Single Player (PC)(FPS)
15. Quake: Scourge of Armagon (PC)(FPS)
16. Quake: Dissolution of Eternity (PC)(FPS)

17. Bioshock Infinite (PC)(FPS)
18. Chop Goblins (PC)(FPS)
19. Ravenloft: Stone Prophet (PC)(RPG)
20. Halfway (PC)(Tactical Strategy)
21. Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood (PC)(FPS)
22. Might and Magic X - Legacy (PC)(RPG)
23. Civilization IV (PC)(4X Strategy)

24. Operation Body Count (PC)(FPS)
25. WW2 Rebuilder (PC)(Simulation)
26. Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos (PC)(Action-Adventure)
27. The Ascent: Cyber Heist (PC)(Top-Down Shooter)
28. Bright Memory Infinite (PC)(FPS)

29. Tuin (PC)(Farming Sim)
30. Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun (PC)(FPS)
31. Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef (PC)(Run and Gun)

32. Dark Messiah of Might and Magic (PC)(RPG)
33. Subnautica (PC)(Action-Adventure)
34. Frog Detective 3: Corruption in Cowboy County (PC)(Adventure)
35. The Shore (PC)(Horror Adventure)
36. Embr (PC)(Action)
37. That Which Gave Chase (PC)(Horror Adventure)
38. Witch Hunt (PC)(Horror FPS)

39. Amanda the Adventurer (PC)(Horror Adventure)
40. Shadows Peak (PC)(Horror FPS)
41. Berserk Mode (PC)(FPS)
42. Soul Calibur 2 (Arcade)(Fighting)

43. Zortch (PC)(FPS)
44. Bloodhound (PC)(FPS)
45. Poker Night at the Inventory (PC)(Traditional)
46. Ghostlore (PC)(Action RPG)

47. TimeShifters (PC)(FPS)
48. Beacon Pines (PC)(Narrative Adventure)


More games. I'm bored a lot thanks to the strikes.

TimeShifters

This is a poor man's version of TimeSplitters. Since you can't play that on PC, folks decided to come up with a build-your-own version. Levels do not feel connected save that how you beat them is consistent: go grab an item at the far end of the level and come back as new enemies teleport in. To add to the experience, there are challenges that make minor tweaks or completely rewrite what you're doing, from throwing bricks through windows to playing Blackjack in the game's system. And if you want to make your own levels, there is a somewhat limited mapmaking tool to create additional content.

One thing I appreciate is that the difficulty settings of levels also has a much bigger impact than simply bolstering health. Enemies are equipped with more powerful guns, but level layouts also change including new starting points and pathways being opened up. While I didn't care for the gunplay, this approach to game difficulty is fantastic. But the guns...well, the game lives up to having been inspired by a console shooter from the 2000s. You don't aim so much as click into place, and I had to lower the sensitivity to actually be able to hit targets. Also, the enemy AI mainly consists of running at you or standing there and shooting. That's pretty much all you get. It isn't impressive, but you may find it nostalgic.


Beacon Pines

This game plays like a choose your own adventure. As you play through the story, you learn new words that can be input at specific moments in the story to change how everything progresses. For instance, do you fight or flee in a key moment? Each choice may lead to an ending or a new branch further down the line, with more words being learned that can then be taken back to previous paths to find new ways.

As for the story, it's about a small rural town called Beacon Pines that is in the midst of a crisis; the fertilizer company that was the town's lifeblood died out six years before after a bizarre event called the Foul Harvest. Now there is a new corporate conglomerate in town interested in fixing things, but there is much more going on. Despite it being summer, there is an unseasonable chill in the air. Lights are appearing in the abandoned fertilizer factory, while strange clone-like folks with clipboards record everything people say and do. And so it's up to a handful of kids to find out the mystery, sometimes with dark conclusions.

I found Beacon Pines fantastic. It's gorgeous to look at, the story kept me guessing, and I found it an interesting way to present a story wholly unique to games in a way that the old Choose-Your-Own-Adventure novels just never quite captured. If you want to focus on story, I recommend it.
Image
Post Reply